Sunday, March 24, 2013

EXCLUSIVE - My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult INTV!

For over 25 years Chicago industrial / disco rockers My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult have been pulverizing audiences around the globe with their cyber slamming and pulse pounding sounds. Last year the band celebrated their quarter century by returning to the road as a recharged and reinvigorated band. While the 1990's were their heyday, the Thrill Kill Kult is still proving that they can hold their own as they get older and with the slew of bands they have inspired over the years. While the band have had a revolving door of musicians, we spoke to one of the founders and centerpieces of the legendary band, Buzz McCoy about their longevity, music, overcoming drug use, and the fall of Wax Trax! Records. Take a look at our interview with McCoy below.

Many industrial bands like yourself, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails and others formed in the Midwest of America. What is it about that region that you think could have spawned such an aggressive and diverse style of music? 

Something in the water perhaps? Sub zero winter temperatures. Lack of sleep. Too much coke, speed and vodka? Probably all those factor in.

Did you ever think that you would be doing this for 25 years?

I thought for sure I'd be dead by now, so the answer is definitely no! But since that's not the case, I'm glad I have it to do.

Now that the band has celebrated their 25th anniversary, what is your fondest memory doing this?

Just meeting a lot of cool, great people / fans over the years, many of whom still come out to shows after all this time... sometimes with their kids!  It's kinda like facebook, but you actually get to engage in conversation and share a drink or two with strangers instead of posting pictures and commenting.

25 years later, is this still just as fun as it was when you first started?

Fun? I suppose it's good to be able to create and have others enjoy it.. But to me fun is jet-skiing or something like that. This band thing can be a lot of work!

Elements of the occult, sexual fantasies, grind house films, have all played an important role in the bands image and music. Who came up with the idea to use these elements?

It's kind of how Groovie Mann and myself bonded and became friends when I first moved to Chicago. We would get burritos to go from the mexican market down the street,  along with a few VHS tapes. They had an amazing collection of b movies, and foreign horror flicks for rent. We would stay up all night watching and laughing for hours. We share similar tastes when it comes to bad taste. We just naturally incorporated those elements into our musical styling.

One of the first labels you signed with was the legendary Wax Trax! Records, a label that took chances on left of center musicians and something new. Do you feel they were pioneers in what they were doing? How come we see a lack of Wax Trax! beliefs today, even though labels seem to be the decline?

Jim and Dannie just loved music! And sometimes the more off the wall, the better. They both had a unique outlook on life and art. It takes people with a lot of passion and vision to take the chances they did. People nowadays are just looking for a buck, or to be famous. That wasn't the case with Wax Trax.

You at points were unfairly labeled to be a “Satanic” band due to the amount of devil and occult imagery you were using on stage and in your public persona, yet, none of your music ever really had anything to do with this. Did it piss you off that people would rush to judgment before listening to anything?

Of course not. We love exploiting religious imagery of any persuasion. It's fun to watch people get so worked up over such nonsense. Those kind of people have no affect on us. They need help. That's why they use religion I guess.

The last record you released was 2009’s Death Threat, is a new album in the works?

We did a song around Christmas, which kind of set the mood -  but lately we have been busy finishing up our debut "Bomb Gang Girlz" album which comes out July 31st! Next we are getting ready for tour this fall. After that we will hit the studio again and see what happens...

After all these years making music, is it more of a process putting together a setlist for every gig?

Sometimes. This year was a little more challenging because we wanted to showcase something from every album. the set list is also dictated by whatever the band's incarnation is at the time too. We can't do a lot of songs with "diva" back-ups vocals without Jacky Blacque with us. We can't play our guitar songs without a guitar player in the line-up.

This band has seen and done it all in terms of exposure within the music industry, seeing the downfall of major labels, the internet boom, music videos actually being played on TV. What advice do you have for younger bands starting out today?

Just stay true to your art/music, and know you can only really rely on yourselves. Others just want to ride your coattails until you trip and fall.

What are your thoughts on the music industry today?

I really don't pay much attention to music, or the associated industry. As a band, we never really did. We never really fit in and played along. We didn't want to. We just do what we do and pay any attention to the so called music biz. 

Do you ever feel jealous or angry, if not both, about how fast it is for someone to get recognized today, unlike when you started out starving for what you were doing?

Not at all. We never wanted to be famous or anything like that. We weren't looking to get rich. I hate being recognized. Just cuz your famous or your songs get played continuously on the radio doesn't necessarily mean your any good at what you do, or even that you're remotely interesting or talented for that matter.  Look at Lady Gaga. Snore! If someone thinks she's outrages, then they haven't been exposed to a lot in life. 

The band went through a big line-up changes through the years. Is the current line-up of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult seem secure and intact right now?

The band is myself and Groovie, and whoever/whatever characters we feel fill the roles needed for any particular chapter in our sordid little tale. We will always evolve. It's part of being a kult. Lol. We do have some great current live musicians this tour. Justin Bennet, our drummer, has been with us for 10 years or more. Bassist Mimi Star will return this year. She is awesome. Jacky will be making guest appearances in select cities.

How long will you keep doing this for?

Who knows. perhaps this could be the last tour, or not. I don't speculate. We kind of live by the "every day could be your last" philosophy. I wouldn't want to make a big deal and announce a farewell album or tour, just to turn around 4 or 5 years later with a "comeback" album/ tour. That pisses me off when bands do that. And so many do! I guess they spent their inflated "last tour" ticket price cash too fast and have to start touring again.. I guess we'll just go on until one of us keels over dead. ..or gets committed!