Haunting percussions of infested reality echo steadily in the impending dark.Movements of freezing terror, beat with heartlike patterns, crunching forth driving abrasive guitar friction. Thumping bass plucks sharpen rigorously in eerie dimensions of shivering panic as strong reverberating drum booms pulsate in the cranium, chomping full of fluid fright. Mysterious shrills of dooming vibrations cry out from the electrified ivories as this frenzied ensemble push manifesting thoughts into lyrical convulsions of verity. Creepy,hypnotic melodies preformed by AMEBIX. Hailing from England, Aphid, Stig, Jenghiz and Virus make up this arousing phenomenon of unique moods and graspingharmonies called AMEBIX.
MRR: What does AMEBIX mean to you?
JENGHIZ: A is for arsehole of which I am one. M is for mammeries, for they'reso much fun. E is for excreta, the world's full of shit. B is for bollox to mankind. I is for ID, egotism's this game. X was just thrown in to make up the name. Or, alternately read aphids.
MRR: Give us some background information on band members, lifestyle etc.
JENGHIZ: Having spent some time in an asylum where one of Europe's top psychiatrists refused to certify me sane, [line unreadable]... take over his hospital, which I did find insulting, since if I was going to be in command it would be the world, my upbringing was working class. In the U.S. I would have been classed as white trash. I don't consider myself a musician. My lifestyle isvery frugal and simple. I live by my convictions refusing to be carried away by the stream of commercialism.
MRR: You stated on your info sheet that you have lived in quite a few squats. Could you explain what that is like, and whether it makes you happy to live in this manner?What is the alternative for AMEBIX? I've heard stories about DISORDER being so poor, they dig through garbage cans for food. Is this the same with AMEBIX, or is "life" better for you? Now most people shun the thought of looking for food in garbage cans,but if you hit the grocery store dumpsters there are plenty of good vegetables and other edible items which just aren't proper for sale for procedures of looks or date,so this food is wasted while millions starve, and rich phoney movie stars get on T.V. begging for your money to feed the poor. But to some this is their survival, whether they have money or not, the food is there and free. What do you think of this? Any personal experiences?
APHID: Yes, we've been squatting [line unreadable]... one bedsit (1 room, cooker, fridge etc.) which 3 of us rented and lived in for a while. Squatting's OK in the summer, but unless you have electricity and heating in the winter it can be very uncomfortable. Welived in Hampton Road two winters back and the roof was caving in and the windows weresmashed, and on top of this there was no electricity and it was snowing - we nearly froze,it was really bad. Most of the places we've squatted have been OK though; some exceptionalones were St. Andrews Road, Cotham Side and Oakland Road. Cotham Side even had a cooker, fridge, furniture, carpets and TV! It was a dream come true, a squatters paradise.
When we first came to Bristol we had no money for ages, so we used to go raid the skips behind Littlewoods and get bags of doughnuts and cakes which were out of date. Sometimes we'd find nothing, which would mean DISORDER had got there before us. Some good bread fights used to ensue as well. I don't know how the fuck we managed to stayalive on such a sickly diet but we did. Apparently that food gets given to the Salvation Army, who charge people all their gyros (social security cheques) to stay in their hostels and eat shitty food. I agree with you that a lot of good food is to be found in skips. At Oakland Road we used to get vegetables down the road as people won't buy ones with even little blemishes on them, and that's bad news. I think the people who have lived this sort of lifestyle would be far better acquainted with surviving any major catastrophe, whereas the rich slobs would starve. It definitely makes you sharper.
MRR: Are you vegetarians, vegans or carniverous? Explain your personal beliefs which make you swallow what you do. Now, England has a current awareness of a non-meat meal where many will dwell in drinking and drug abuse but watch what they eat. Is this healthy? It makes no senseto me to protect your body and also an animals, but destroy your brains with something that was tested on animals first. What are your views on this? How do you feel about vivsection?
APHID: I was a vegetarian for a while but not anymore. So many people over here try to ram their vegetarian ideals down your throat, but if anyone tells me what to do, I inevitably dothe opposite. I respect the right for a person to be a vegetarian or a carnivore, as long asthey don't try and preach to me about how I should be. I am prepared to kill my food in the eventuality of getting starved to death, even though it might be "unhip" at the moment. I think everything a person puts into their body is their responsibility, so I take no side in the affair. I personally don't like the idea of vivisection, especially when its being used for products we already have an excess of hairsprays, make up, etc.
JENGHIZ: I personally am omnivorous. I am not against injecting monkeys with cancer to try and control the disease. I also believe people with a terminal illness should be experimented on to try and control their ailment. I am against making animals smoke or putting cosmetics intotheir eyes to gauge the reaction, just so some pissyarsed woman can smell nice.
MRR: The lyrics in your songs are great descriptions of reality. What inspires you to write certain songs? Songs like "Battery Humans", "Sunshine Ward" and especially "Sanity" all describe something that society's people would like to ignore. What brought you to make these statements and who are you trying to get to listen and understand, if anyone at all?
APHID: Unfortunately, a few of our songs have been misinterpreted. People think "Sunshine Ward" is a dig at glue sniffers [line unreadable]... how we live and asking people if they want to carry on in that way. "Battery Humans" was designed to make people feel revolted, just because its about humans instead of animals. It's a test of morality in a way. My songwriting is often inspired by conversations within our band, and everybody puts forward suggestions now and again. As far as who are we trying to get through to, well basically as many people as possible, we want to play to all spectrums of society, as most bands these days are just preaching to the converted instead of trying to get through to the rest of the world. If you feel you have a valid message to put across, then surely you should tell everyone and leave them to make what they can of it.
MRR: How would you describe your music? In a world that is so filled with labels and various individul interpretations of those labels, which category do you feel you belong in, if in any at all? What inspires you to make this haunting beat sound? What are your influences?
STIG: Our music is totally us. We don't try to attain any sort of sound, it just happens. Weplay to the very limits of our technical ability, for instance, my being a guitarist. I can't play chords or any traditional rock 'n' roll styles because I taught myself how to play withno guidance or tutoring from anyone ever, which means you have to make up your own style of music from the beginning. That's why everything we play is very basic, but we try and make it abit interesting as well. I personally consider myself to be one of the most untalented guitarists ever, but when everyone's playing as well, it doesn't sound that bad. We don't set out to sound weird or eerie, its just our music. If people consider it depressing, its up tothem, but it seems to be fairly optimistic music to me. But then again, we are very depressing people anyway. Everything influences me, everybody influences me, but mainly I influence myselfthrough drug abuse and just sitting down and thinking (usually on the bog).
MRR: Now we come to everyone's favourite corner - political questions. How do you feel about political systems? And what is it really like to live in a country and see the Queen's face everywhere? How does it feel to know thta if there is a world war, it will be fought in your backyard?
JENGHIZ: Politics means simply a way of life. I do not dislike politics; only politicians andtheir selfish, insensitive manner. The Queen is only a figurehead, and there are no penalties for drawing a moustache on her. Britain has the "Polaris". France also has independent nuclearcapabilities. The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. could only fight it out in our backyard if we allowed them to. France has the neutron bomb, the most heinous of all bombs, and as yet the most powerful. It's a capitalist bomb, in that it destroys only organic structure, leaving buildings,property, standing.
STIG: Politics is all just intellectual theorizing, made up by people who think everyone is moronic and sheeplike and therefore think that they will just do what is decided for them en masse. Politics doesn't account for the individual, therefore I take very little notice of it except when something nasty's coming our way.
MRR: What has more potential threat for you - the bomb or chemical warfare (which since 1963, I think, has been banned from war, yet they still make it)? Or "yellow rain", which is a substance which seeps into your body and makes your insides expand at such a rapid pace that you explode. What kind of mind would create these things?
APHID: It's not the bombs or chemical poisons that are the danger to mankind; it's mankind himself! We all have too high an opinion of ourselves (mankind that is) and so we can't live in peace on a mass scale. Man is the vermin, the filth of this planet, and it may be a blessing to get rid of him altogether. I hear Chernenko and Reagan have come to the same conclusion.
JENGHIZ: The biggest threat is the TV, that popular propaganda machine. It brainwashes people.The bomb is no threat; it's a hoax to keep the people under the umbrella of manipulation andexploitation that's capitalism and free enterprise.
MRR: Explain an AMEBIX gig. What is the crowd like? What is the UK scene like?
APHID: We haven't played any big gigs besides the Zig Zag squat gig in London, and the audienceall stood mouths agape but seeming to enjoy it. You can't really tell what it's like at a gig unless you're in the crowd and amongst the atmosphere, but I usually find our gigs are very tense and exciting when the PA people don't fuck the sound quality up. The scene over here has gone underground really, which is a good thing, although very few people go to gigs unless it's CRASS, the EXPLOITED etc., which is a shame. The English crowds are still very good though; theyreally have a good time in general.
MRR: What are AMEBIX's views on religon, god, church and other forms of sacrilege? Are you afraid? What is death to AMEBIX?
APHID: Everyone has their own belief; mine may differ from yours. I believe in neither god nor devil. I prefer to think of them as part of man. Evil is just a manifestation of the badness in man; we all have the power to be god or satan. You cannot eliminate the guilt inside yourself through the grill of a confessional. We must take responsibility for our own actions.Another thing, it seems like the trend to shout about Jesus being a prick - well, I'm not religious but I still feel that he had some extremely valid statements to make. The reason it got so fucked up is because man misinterpreted the Bible to be to his own material advantage. True belief can only be that of the individual's belief in himself. Death? I'll let you know when it happens.
JENGHIZ: No Gods, No Masters. The church is a ripoff; just another way of controlling the people through fear.
MRR: Any special messages, thank you's or last words?
STIG: Yeah! Keep up the good work, stick together at all times. Unity + Strength = Freedom. Thanx Pus for some original questions for a change. Thanks to MRR for some intersting reading. Hello Mum, M.D.C., Jello and friends.
JENGHIZ: Only the same kind of unity and communciation that was prevalent in the '60's will doanything good. It was the refusal of the youth of America to be drafted, and the support from the youth of the rest of the world that stopped the war in Vietnam, which must surely rank as one of America's most shameful exploits.
MRR: Who designed the AMEBIX logo and who does the graphics? Good stuff!!
APHID: I designed the two singles and the back of the 12". Stig did the drawing inside the sleeve.