Thursday, November 10, 2011

No Doves interview with Christ Vs Warhol!

Christ vs Warhol have only one LP to their name so far -- Dissent -- but it's garnered tons of positive reviews. In large part a continuation of Scarlet's Remains, a band that Drop Dead Magazine in 2005 enthusiastically said "have been called the 45 Grave of the new millennium," Christ vs Warhol features the stand-out vocals of Eve Ghost, the deft guitar of Steven James, and the precision-perfect rhythm section of Marzia Rangel on bass and Geoff Bruce on drums. They have a Facebook page here, and a MySpace profile here

Along with Fangs on Fur, Ciril, and Alaric, the band are part of an exciting new resurgence in California deathrock. They have the guitar-driven postpunk sound of Scream-era Siouxsie, Rubella Ballet, or Lost Cherrees. Christ vs Warhol donated two songs for us to use on our No Doves free sampler CD that we gave away on our debut on October 19, and Eve Ghost and Steven were kind enough to be interviewed by myself (Oliver) in early November, 2011.

Interview below the cut.

Q: Eve, you sing vocals for Christ vs Warhol now, but you've been in other bands. What bands are they, and how is Christ vs Warhol different from them?

Eve Ghost: I was vocalist for Scarlet's Remains. Steve and Marzia (Rangel) were also in the final lineup of Scarlet's and in fact I wouldn't call it that much different. It's just that there are various reasons why we are no longer in Scarlet's Remains. I also sang for Purnama which consisted of myself and Bari Bari (Mephisto Walz, Christian Death, Scarlet's Remains), but we only released one song on a compilation. 

Steven James: As for the rest of us we have had quite an eclectic history. Marzia and myself play currently in The Deadfly Ensemble, and for the last couple of years we have played with Geoff Bruce in Faith & the Muse. Before that I played bass in Chaos U.K. and the offshoot F.U.K. which originally started out as a mixture of Chaos U.K. with Brad Logan of F Minus on vocals. Geoff played in the SoCal anarcho band Anima Mundi who toured with Subhumans a few years back. There are plenty of others, but you get the idea.

Q: What does the name "Christ vs Warhol" mean? Who chose it, and why?

Eve Ghost: I'll let Steve take this one. 

Steven James: Julian Cope coined it, but I interpreted it for us. To me it shows the dichotomy between the accepted establishment and the absurdity of a globally accepted paradigm that is based on absolute fantasy. I firmly believe that Jesus was not a social anarchist. Some choose to justify their beliefs with this wishy-washy nonsense. I firmly believe he never existed but was conjured up in a board meeting by a group of Roman officials many decades later. And yet he is so ingrained into our lives that he has become an ultimate celebrity. Andy Warhol saw as much substance in this fictional character as he did in a tin of Campbells soup. 

Absurd, completely absurd.

Q: On Facebook I've noticed you've encouraged folks to contact the Oakland mayor about the recent police actions there regarding the Occupy protesters. I'm a supporter of the Occupy Wall Street/everywhere movement, as well, but it seems like right now Oakland is the militant epicenter. What do you hope the Occupy Everywhere demonstrations accomplish?

Eve Ghost: Now I'm speaking just for myself because you're speaking of my own personal page. Like most people involved in the movement, I don't set out any specific goals at this point. I am enthused enough that people are coming out of their apathetic slumber. 

I've been politically active since I was an early teen and always felt very disappointed in the political process here. I would like to see a move toward a more just system that doesn't involve corporate excess. I would also like to see higher taxes on the wealthy so that they can pay their share back to the society on the back of which their empires were built, so that we can share equally in the resources that exist on earth for all of us to share, not just the few. I'd love to see a new voting system replace our 'winner takes all' system because otherwise it will just be the same 2 parties spewing out the same useless rhetoric...but that's just me. I'm hopeful that real change will finally come to the the US because unfortunately it is a fact that our politics spill over and affect the world at large. 

Steven James: I was a part of the Reclaim the Streets movement over ten years ago, and I see this to be in the same vein. I myself feel that most people involved are fighting for causes that they do not have a full understanding of, and the people they are protesting directly do not understand their position either. This leads to a rather awkward stalemate as nobody knows what they want or how to achieve it. As Mr. Dylan once said, "You can't fault someone who lives in a vault." 

People on Wall Street are as much a cog in the machine as the postman who delivers your final notice for foreclosure on your home. The reality is is that when the shit really hits the fan, which will be soon, they will be as surprised as the rest of us. The only people we should be targeting is the Federal Reserve, with one clear concise message to remove the private interests of corporations from our money supply. Cut off the head of the beast and all the other issues will soon have a chance to be heard. As far as I'm concerned it's too late to really change the way America and the rest of the world works. I'm pretty sure we are all doomed with very little natural resources left and an unsustainable global population. It's now down to true anarchist values of personal liberation and close-knit communities. There is a good chance that that is all we will have to rely on in the coming years. As for the Occupy movement, I feel it's too little, too late.

Q: I noticed that on Facebook Christ vs Warhol's description reads as "anarcho-post punk." The band we named our monthly event night after, The Mob, I think also would fit that description. Your LP was named "Dissent" instead of something like, say, Shadows from the Bloody Tomb of Remorse, or something like that. What sort of political views do Christ vs Warhol reflect in your lyrics?

Eve Ghost:  Like I said, I've been politically active for ages and I would never write a song about spooky, cave-dwelling bats because I don't care about being spooky. It's just not my style. I'm a thinker, I care very deeply about the world and that is reflected in my lyrics. but there are other things in there too, it's not all politics.  That said, I think a lot of the lyrics on our album are very much in tune with the political climate of the nation right now and that's something I hope will inspire people.  

Steven James: As you may have gathered I have no faith in any political system. We are happy to point out the downfalls of our civilization, but we are not hear to tell you how to live. I'm not even here to tell you if you should live! The Age of Petroleum-Man is nearing an end. We hit the jackpot that thousands of years missed out on, and we squandered it in 150 years. Our children will look back on us with such hate at what we did to this planet. Put that message to a catchy little guitar line and some tribal drums and that encompasses what we have attempted to achieve! 

Q: Do you feel like people in the deathrock or goth scene want to hear a political band? What's been your reaction from audiences to your lyrics?

Eve Ghost: Personally I don't care if they want to hear a political band because when I sit down to write lyrics, I'm not thinking about people-pleasing. I write lyrics that pertain to what I care about and if other people get on board, great.  Now, that said, people seem to like it and if it makes just one more person more aware of the world around them, then I feel proud enough of that.  I have thus far received nothing but complimentary remarks about the lyrics so I suppose it's a good thing!

Steve James: That group do not have any interest in politics, but we do not aim our music just at one group of people. As Eveghost said, we do not care what they want to hear or if they agree with us. This is our message and our sound. In fact, if the masses like it, then we are probably doing something wrong.

Q: What are some of the big musical influences on you? I feel like there are a lot of bands like Rubella Ballet, Poison Girls, Rudimentary Peni, and a lot of the Crass-y "peace punk" bands that have a kind of death rock sound, but who were also political. Has this type of music provided any inspiration for you all?

Eve Ghost: I was a huge Crass fan as a teenager so I guess there's a pretty high likelihood that it influenced me to some degree. As for the others, I haven't really listened to them but Steve and Marzia do. I got more into the Neue Deutsche Welle and French Cold Wave and I draw more influences vocally from those genres. 

Steve James: I love all that stuff. Mix in some early Killing Joke and you get the idea. Nothing like a mixture of raw energy and absolute misery to get me interested!

Q: What projects are coming up next for Christ vs Warhol? Any EPs, or an LP, or live shows coming up?

Steve James: Marzia & myself are always working on something. I have a few things in the pipeline including a new album by our other band The Deadfly Ensemble. Geoff has been on the road around the world with bands. I have been in Japan working teching with Peter Murphy. Eveghost has spent much time in Norway. We are always up to something, and it's usually interesting. CvsW has been patiently waiting for us all to be in the same country as each other at the same time. Once that happens then a string of singles will probably be the future course for us. I hate albums, I hate the time it takes to make them happen, and in this day and age very few people buy them. Singles make for a much more intense burst of creativity and energy with a much lesser dent to my pocket!

Q: Last question! What are your favorite death rock and post-punk bands that are currently operating?

Eve Ghost: I like Varsovie, Deadfly Ensemble, Native Fauna, Tearist, Dandi Wind and Light Asylum, if any of those bands fit the bill! 

Steve James: Beastial Mouths, Swann Danger, and Fangs on Fur are all excellent. There are plenty of shitty bands out there too. I might start a fanzine that just writes about the shitty bands. It would be like printing a telephone directory!


You can buy Christ vs Warhol's LP, t-shirts, buttons, and other merchandise HERE.

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