Not Safe For Work: Drumcunt Interviewed
, January 26th, 2011 06:42
Bass! How low can you go? Pretty far... says John Doran after interviewing Drumcunt
When the Quietus plays records out we sometimes like to "attrocitate". This means playing the kind of records that we're discouraged from playing at home through a really big rig, with the intention of getting people ready for live sets by bands such as Wire, Mogwai and Factory Floor. Usually this means slinging on some crackhead dancehall, some Pan Sonic, some 3bpm drone doom, some Coffinworm, some Cornish acid, Gnaw Their Tongues, some hardcore (of both kinds), some Coil, some Burial Hex and at least one remix by Kevin Martin.
But the littlest record in The Quietus' collection always goes on first. It's a 3" CD called Fags by a one man electronic bass disruption project called Drumcunt. We always signal the coming atrocity by dropping 'Fishlicker', a cone shredder that makes people bug out and has a vocal sample featuring the man from "the fish delivery service" leaving DC's lunch outside his house. Or leaving his perch in his porch if you will. Last time we deployed it, five people handed post-it notes to the DJ booth asking what it was, another three got in touch via Twitter followed by a steady stream of emails the following day all wanting to know what the freaky fish song was.
Anyway, for those wishing to immerse themselves in the world of the 'Cunt, several examples of his work are soundclouded below, including 'Fishlicker'.
Drumcunt is better known to his family as Rhys and to others as the drummer for Hey Colossus and a drummer for $hit & $hine. On the morning we speak to Rhys, he has just got in after a night sleeping at London Bridge tube station, which is what apparently happens if you go out drinking with The Stool Pigeon music newspaper. We have to allow him time to make a cup of coffee and roll up a spliff before he's in any fit state to speak.
A little bird tells me that Drum Cunt was born out of your domestic situation. Can you fill me in on what your roles as a musician have been traditionally and what precipitated a move into the more electronic field of Drum Cunt?
Drum Cunt: Drum Cunt was born in a van on tour if memory serves correctly. Being a drummer and playing in various bands with multiple drummers the tendency is to talk drums. Drumm Chimp [from Part Chimp] coined the phrase drumcunt and it was born. I was wanting to do a more electronic project, the focus being on beats and drums and stripping out the weak-ass pussy guitars.
Ah but I was told that you'd just spawned, and had to get into playing and recording a type of music at home that you could do without irreperably traumatising your bairn...
DC: Absolutely. Around that time my son was born and rather than spending most of my time down the studio in Camberwell I was forced to be at home changing shitty nappies and cleaning puke off the bedsheets.
What set up did you use to make your first tunes?
DC: The first tunes were all made with a four track, an Akai S900 and a Korg Kaosilator.
When we're out DJing as the Quietus, we always kick off one of bracing Attrocitator sets with your track 'Fishlicker'. Can you tell me what's going on in the sample there?
DC: I guess you mean the opening sample. That is an answering machine message from the fish man. I was at a good friend's wedding and had to leave dinner early as my son had taken it upon himself to start trouble at the dinner table. He likes to gouge his eyes out at the most impromptu moments and bleeding self-harming babies don't go down well at weddings. So we bailed out and I left my fish dinner on my plate. My good friend being a kind soul, felt obliged to pack up my fish dinner and deliver it to my front door step. I was out. He left a message. I wrote a tune in his honour. He went above and beyond the call of duty.
That's a banging tune, it always makes people bug out. Talking of your son, you told me an awesome story of him creating feedback while still in nappies...
DC: Ha... Thanks. I am glad you are rocking that number. A couple of mates have mentioned they have heard it played out; so it must have been you. One of my boy's favourite pastimes is creating feedback on this sick toy keyboard Barry Adamson gave us. It has a built in mic and speaker. He quickly realised if you put A against B and throw the sign of the devil in the air you get this awesome sound! It must be in his blood.
So obviously you've just toured recently with Hey Colossus and I saw you play a gig recently with $hit & $hine. Can you explain a little about both of these bands and what, if any, influence they have on DC.
DC: Hey Colossus and S+S are both Riot Season outfits and I have been involved with them both for many years now. They tend to have their own outlet and don't really have a great deal to do with the DC output. The only association is that a couple of the regular S+S drummers have contributed to DC recordings but this is purely coincidence and down to us all being close friends.
Your most recent DC recordings are collected on a CD called I Shot Westwood. How seriously should we take this title? Also titles such as Bread Bin Dub and Potato Geek suggest that these recordings were made under the influence of marijuana.
DC: The I Shot Westwood title comes from a London graffiti artist now based in Berlin called Dave The Chimp. Years ago he handed me down a T-shirt which I wore with pride for many years and this featured the tag with the, "I Shot Westwood" title. Westwood is like car crash radio in my opinion. He is so annoying and irritating that it becomes compulsive listening. I find myself listening or watching him cringing at every other overblown middle class white boy interpretation of homeboy banter that spills from his gob. I love it as it hits pretty close to home. Take it as seriously as you like. As for the influence of ganja - I am not really interested in anything that isn't influenced by Raspberry...
Are you likely to play any of these tunes live at any point? Perhaps at a local nightclub like Fabric?
DC: If anyone will book me - I will play this shit out live. To date I have played one DC set which caused the show to shut down as the sound guy, bar staff and management took great offence in the sounds I was playing. Saying that, it was a fucking lame ass Shoreditch, tight jeans and quiff venue on Brick Lane where anything other than psych folk and acoustic drone is classed as shit. The most confrontational thing they had seen at this place was a fucking Belle and Sebastian show.
What frame of mind should one be in to enjoy DC?
DC: Full belly of jerk meat, topped up with Red Stripe and entombed in an amnesiac haze.
Please tell me three surprising facts about Drumcunt and what your future plans are.
DC: I can't think of any surprising facts. As for future plans, I am keen to play some tunes out live in London before the Summer when I will be relocating to Tokyo. I'm looking to get some shows in Japan towards the end of the year. I'm putting out more stupidly limited edition releases. Hopefully some wax will follow that. I'm also doing some remixes for Esben And The Witch that are sounding pretty gruesome and there is talk of a split 12" with Hyper Black Bass sometime this year. I will also be passing out on public transport and waking up in strange places.