Vulvax: the interview

I don’t believe in Top 10 lists, especially not if they’re coming from someone else, as lists usually do, but ask me any time from now which live acts blew my socks off, and I’m pretty certain Vulvax and The Stiff Nipple Of Terror (aka Vulvax+) [mySpace] will be on that list.

In their present form Vulvax and The Stiff Nipple Of Terror are “a Celtic/Dutch Toy’n junk Noise duo that originated in the squatter/home tapers movement“? that consists of Erwin (Vulvax) and Lorna Buckley (The Stiff Nipple Of Terror, you guessed it). The independent ZXZW festival [website] described the duo as follows in their 2007 programm: “Formed at a time when the reverberations of the digital techno cult (the post-disco corner) could still be felt, they were determined to be a different kind of performance, a noise act that set themselves outside the then currents of fashion and style, a performing that were the missing link between Slayer, Kool & the Gang, stoned Armand and Abba. A sexy, sliced and blended mix of trash-noise & shit-core (…) driven by the same sense of skewed semi-perfectionism, the same need to experiment and the same belief in the mysterious power of idiot trashed sounds, meta-chaos, ITC, feedback gabba and black metal!“?

Having seen Vulvax live a couple of times (first solo, later as Vulvax and The Stiff Nipple Of Terror) I can say that ZXZW’s description is pretty accurate. Imagine a blond, long-haired guy, of slim posture, wearing a mask with a mohawk of studs, a greasy jeanscoat adorned with metal and punk patches, completed with spikes and combined with a miniskirt and panties. Imagine a chick which is his physical opposite, with short hair, about half his size and round ‘n curves, clad in poptrash panties, yellow tutu, or straightforward in the nude, as during Live in De Living 41 [video]. Now imagine a truckload of recycled props, with circuitbended electronics tucked away underneath. They move around as being driven by speed or on an overdose of caffeine if you wish, the sound is loud as fuck, and can be described as some kind of junkelectronics on stereoïds, rambling like powerelectronics train, with scattered beats, the sound of sirenes and alarms, surfing on radiowaves and Dutch schlägermuzak. In 2007 I saw Erwin literally break through the ceiling at the Heerler Kwark Festival [video], and at the 2007-edition of the ZXZW-festival they terrorised the streets of Tilburg with their trashnoise and loud fucking fucks ‘n shits, lighting cans filled with carbid-bricks [video].

For a while Erwin lived at De Hondenkoekjesfabriek, toured as Spermatak [picture], and is one of the four members of The Fckn Bstrds [website], the notorious Dutch baggernoise band. Lorna too is member of The Fckn Bstrds, just as Peter Zincken is, the senior member of the band, cunt’n and dick’n around with tapes and noise since 1986. Both of Peters’ solo-projects (Odal and Dr. Bibber) are also on my list of best live acts, as are The Fckn Bstrds, who I’ve been following since 2000 or 2001.

The Vulvax-releases I know all contain delightfully diverse tracks of junk-electronics, you won’t get bored listening to these.

I learned of Erwin’s filming experiments through his Promoporno-videoCDr that contains “43 shortvideomovies” worth of “30 minutes_funporn” – almost all made with cut-outs from (porn)magazines, and which I reviewed in an earlier post. On his youTube channel [MySofilieTV] you can watch more films he made since then.

After receiving a mail and later an open letter [link] from Erwin, from the closed institution he was in for a series of reasons I thought it was about time for an interview and ask a couple of things about Vulvax, the Fckn Bstrds, and his films.

Vulvax and The Stiff Nipple Of Terror is on my list of best live-acts I’ve seen so far. Odal and Dr. Bibber are too. And the Fckn Bstrds, the band that unites you all [the current line-up of the Fckn Bstrds is Peter, Lorna, Erwin and Maarten "Sjab El Kebab" who is also very active with video and edited the Powertrash DVD feat. live material by the The Fckn Bstrds]. A coincidence – Or not?
Thanks. Dr. Bibber and Odal are sure great to see live. I think the link between it all is Peter, whose already active since 1986. Live we like to keep things simple, without getting boring. And loud, of course. I think trahsnoise appeals to a lot of people, and is relevant, fitting in these present times.”

Did playing with The Fckn Bstrds influence what you are doing as Vulvax, and vice versa?
I try out new things with Vulvax, and the other way around. The Fckn Bstrds have influenced me a lot. With Vulvax, initially called Volvox, I used to do some kind of Techno-music. Nowadays I hardly use drumcomputers. Lately I dress the same [for both acts], as a hooker. At the moment I don’t feel like wearing a costume.

I’ve seen a fair amount of Fckn Bstrds-shows over the years, the first time I saw them live was in 2000 or 2001 – Over the years I saw the live acts of the Fckn Bstrds getting more and more extreme, but I’ve also seen the band becoming tighter – while a couple years ago it was Peter that attracted most of the audience’s attention (on the Fckn Bstrds site he is introduced as the bands’ leadsinger) at the most recent gig that I saw (Optimus Prime II) everybody was equally there. Does everyone in the Fckn Bstrds as a specific role?
Roles change, there are only a couple fixed things, habits is a better word, Peter has got the mike, the rest has the noisejunk. We do the mixing ourself, most of the time there is one mono-jack going to the sound-engineer. It’s good that everyone is so prominently present. Monobrain left everything behind in a neat condition [Monobrain is Marc van Elburg, one of the founding members of The Fckn Bstrds, who left the band a couple years ago, before closing down De Hondenkoekjesfabriek]. If the sound is good, a bit late in the evening, a couple party-people among the audience, things grow, we grow slowly, and we think it’s perfect that way.

Did you play in other bands, before Vulvax, and The Fckn Bstrds? Looking at your stage-outfit I’d say your roots are in punk and metal. What music are you listening to these days, and is worth recommending?
During the eighties I played in a couple Motörheadbands, and I was the first bass-player from Abcinate, a crazy trashmetalband from Nieuwleusen around ’89. Later I traded in my bass-gear for synths and started Volvox.

You get used at playing live, especially when you do it a lot. For the rest I still feel very metal/punk, so as far as that is concerned, I didn’t change much.

I like what Butchers Harem is doing these days. At home (when I have one) I play a lot of old metal tape/vinyl from the early eighties. Exodus, Riot, Picture, Venom and the likes. But also Zappa, Oldfield, Hendrix. I listen to smartlappen [Dutch equivalent of the German Schläger, wikipedia] on the radio. It’s full of [radio] pirates, up here in the east of Holland.

You’re doing pretty destructive sets – Are your live sets an outlet for you? How much of Vulvax is there in you?
The entire life is an outlet port. Unfortunately enough that’s also why I destroy all sorts of things in real life too. Often doing stupid things, the latest was an attack of AKZO [Nobel, a Dutch multinational manufacturing corporation, active in healthcare products, coatings and chemicals – also see the clip Erwin made on AKZO: AKZO NOBEL STINKT VIES, KANKER]. Damage caused: 2.500 Euro. I can’t handle alcohol, and use it in combination with Valium. Advice now: a double diagnosis institution. Psychedelic and addicted. Demolishing and doing stunts on stage is also addictive. I’m happy that my agression is aimed on my gearn and not on the king personally or something like that [a few days prior to this interview a man tried to ram the royal bus with his car, killing six bystanders].

Vulvax+ live at Heerler Kwark

I’d like to do Vulvax all day long. Sometimes that’s possible, by periods. In those periods I’m filming all day long, or soldering, that sort of things. I’m a rejected overqualified electro fitter, and have worked in the car and bicycle industry for 15 years.

Most of your gear is circuitbended electronics.
Since I joined De Hondekoekjesfabriek I started circuitbending. I liked it straight away. It helps if you have a bit of electrotechnical knowledge, and know how to work with a soldering iron.


Mr. VULVAX CIRCUIT BENT SEX MANIAC

Any particular reactions from the audience that are worth mentioning?
Yes, the reaction of the elderly people in the street [during ZXZW 2007] – before they had regular fireworks people used to do carbid explosions, and they stopped to talk about those times. [During his set Vulvax lighted cans filled with Calcium Carbide stones (CaC2), which gives a loud bang.]

You’re also into filming – You have a youTube-channel, MysofilieTv [link].
For years I’ve filmed with a usb-cable of three meter. Filming is magic and I’ve evolved into videonoise and ITC [INSTRUMENTAL TRANSCOMMUNICATION (ITC) is a method for attempting to record spirit or transdimensional images on your TV using a video camera - http://paranormal.about.com/od/ghostaudiovideo/ss/aa111405.htm]. Since a while I’ve borrowed a camera and now I’m also filming outside of the house. In january my films reveived 100,000 clicks. If 1% of those sat through my crap I’m happy. It’s only since youCrap that I started going on the net – I’ve also started filming animals, it’s fun cunting around with the sound.

Your films cover a wide variety of topics – some are rather abstract, others are rather autobiographic (you filmed during your stay in the closed institution), and in some we see you cross-dressing.
The travestite-crap is a great mash-up. It’s a pity that there are limits. When I still had an internet-connection I , that had no boundaries. I’ve got loads of really hard material, but I don’t dare to release it – yet. Some kind of sequel to Pornopromo. Time will tell.

I can imagine that some of your movies, are disturbing to see people, or that some people that are looking for regulat porn happen to stumble accross one your pornparodies or travestite movies – Do you get lots of reactions on them?
I use Youtube to put films online. I hardly communicate through youTube. Look at it as some kind of galery. Myspace on the other hand has grown into some kind of second mailbox.

What people think of me is their business. By moments I look at myself as being pretty fucked-up, so someone else has the fullest right to have that same opinion.

Update When working on the post above I noticed that a couple clips on Vulvax’ youTube channel had gone missing – A comment that Vulvax posted on my mySpace explains things: “I got an account alert on youtube because of too horny clips. One was removed. I removed another 15 after that. Pity, but there’s nothing that can be done about that.

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