Interview: David Thrussell (Snog) (Part 3)

David Thrussell

17. Why did you move away from Australia? Did it become too much of a consumer society?
Like the song says, I still call Australia home. I choose to live here because I love the landscape and the color of the sky even though I’ve had many opportunities to live in other places. It can be quite beautiful sometimes, especially when you’re living out in the country side, in the hills. You could technically call us «hillbillies» because we live in the hills, you know? There’s nature all around us. We’re about 2 hours North of Melbourne and the nearest town is called Castlemaine.
18. Are you an open minded person?

That’s a great question! The most honest answer would be that it’s not for me to judge though. Only other people could judge this type of thing. What I can tell you is that I certainly enjoy hearing other points of view and things I don’t with because I’m actually interested in finding out if there’s any common ground here. And I don’t like that idea that there could be people whose opinions are completely wrong, althogh the mainstream will tell you that those people are in the margin, in the extreme. From my point of view the most boring and wrong opinions are in the mainstream.
19. Can you tell us about The International Mind Control Corporation label? What is it? Where is the name came from?
I actually just made the name up, it’s simple as that. It was my little joke about those multinational corporations and what they do and so forth. This joke seems a little too obvious now but we had to have some kind of label or an organizing thing, so I made this thing up. Some kind of organized and powerful resistancewhich of course was not true because it was basically just us making some songs, but it’s always fun to pretend to be sinister and underground, right?

Snog - The Dissolving Satellite of Egoism Centured (2010) (Hymen Records)
20. Another question about music labels. You recorded a few albums on Hymen Records. We know Stefan Alt quite well. How was it working with him? Would you consider working with him in the future again?
I really like Stefan as a person, he’s a really fun guy! So he’s always been very good and very easy to deal with, so we will definitely work more with him in the future.

«I like the electronic guy called IAMX. I really like his songs. I'm quite envious of his voice because he can sing very well and I can't»

We’ll also stick with Metropolis Records in America for the Snog records because I like Dave Heckman as a person and we get along pretty well.
21. You recorded the last three albums of Snog on Metropolis label. What made you switch to this label? Would you say you found your new home there?
I guess you could say that Metropolis Snog’s home. I mean, I  can’t predict what the will bring.

22. How did you get to know and started to work with Chris Woods?
I love Chris Woods’ paintings! I saw his paintings in the magazine called Adbusters and then somehow got in touch with him. I think it was through the people at Adbusters. And then he did a lot of paintings for us, he’s really talented. His artwork is quite beautiful to look at and it’s also quite subversive, and for me this is an excellent combination! He’s been super helpful and he’s a great guy to deal with, I think, the last album we used Chris’ artwork in was Babes In Consumerland which was a couple of years ago. You know, behind the scenes I’m always feeling a little bit cheeky so I asked Chris if he had any paintings he was finishing and that I could have a look at, so he sent me all these new paintings which were great and I loved them. And there were all these women with suicide vests and guns and all this good stuff, you knowBut then I thought what would be the reason for us to use these paintings? So I made up this story, where I was even sort of making fun of myself, this idea of musicians and artists who were basically prostitutiong themselves, like when they tell these obscene tragic things to sell their music better. So I mede up this story where I had a sex change surgery, I thought it would be quite ironic but the internet believed it for at least a year! It was hilarious! I’ve even had real life friends dial me on the phone and ask me about it.
23. You wrote music for 9 films. What films were these? Some musicians that we interviewed did not like writing music for films. What do you think about this experience?

For me it really depends on whether the film is any good or not and whether I can do what I want. I’ve done some big budget Australian films, but my favorite of those is The Hard Word (2002) because I really enjoyed it as a film, it’s one of those sleeze crime films. There were lots of arguments and disagreements about the way that film was being made which resulted in me basically being able to do whatever music I like and, unsurprisingly I think, this is the best music I’ve done for a film. Total freedom is just how I like it. I’ve done some other movies as well which were not like that at all with varying levels of control and arguments. And I don’t like that at all because I’m really used to being the captain of my own ship. I’ve had many opportunities to do more films but I gave them a pass because I don’t like being the sailor boy very much.
I should say though, the first time you see your music work well with a moving image it feels very good, it’s quite a magical feeling, a beautiful moment.
24. What inspires you for writing new music, songs? Is it anything in particular like an impulse, something happening in the society, or in your life?
It’s often mischief, just me being a little cheeky. Or otherwise just my views on something and it makes sense to put them in a song, I will ofter start a new song when I’m in the middle of shower or I’m in a plane or in the middle of some trip and it’s quite inconvenient. I often start writing a song out of boredom and I always need to immediately find a piece of paper and somehow put it down event if it’s a diagram, otherwise 15 minutes later it’s just gone, so it need to be captured.
25. Who is playing in Snog currently?

Welllive, there are like three or four of us on stage. There’s Eleanor who’s been playing the keyboard for Snog for a really long time (like 20 years or something). 

Scott Sanders who’s been doing keyboards and writing music for the last couple of albums We have a revolving lineup, so there are different people at different times depending on who’s available and who wants to do it.
26. Who would you like to play with in a concert? Are there any musicians, bands that you find interesting today?

My favorite band in that area would probably be Laibach. I love everything they do! I think they’re funny, intelligent, beautiful and ugly all at the same time, and I think it’s really magical. Apart from Laibach, I would say this other electronic guy called IAMX. I really like his songs and I think his voice is fantastic. I’m actually quite envious of his voice because he can sing very well and I can’t. There would be other ones too, but those are just the two that come to mind.                                                                                                                                                
27. What is the main idea behind Black Lung? Black Lung – is it your alter ego?
From my perspective, Black Lung is just my instrumental music. There’s no vocal things, I’m not croaking always, not complaining away at the top. The Black Lung songs are written very differently from Snog. With Snog, 99% of the time the lyrics will be the first thing and we will have to fashion some music that fits with it, which is a bit of a struggle sometimes. But with Black Lung it is just my experiments with sound, it’s all about sound. For instance, this Black Lung album called The Soul Consumer is actually sort of a rockabilly in a way, or at least my version of rockabilly music. You may call me insane for saying that, but that’s how I see it. And then there was thing Black Lung album called The Great Golden Goal of which the title is actually a little joke, It’s a quote from Nabokov, the guy who wrote Lolita. Maybe I’m misremembering it now, but I think in Lolita his code for orgasm was The Great Golden Goal, so I wanted to capture that idea of the consumer moment, the moment of purchase and the moment of sale in our consumer society as the orgasm, and that’s why I called the album that. I was comparing that moment to some kind of biological necessity.
28. It has been a while since the last release of Black Lung. Are you planning more releases for the future?

Yes, absolutely. There will be some new Black Lung songs. There was a time when there were 3 Black Lung release within a year and it was a very busy time for me, making all these records, and I actually felt quite exhausted after this, spent even. So now I’m not putting any pressure on myself. It will happen sometime. Right now I’m more focused on experimenting with different things and not necessarily on making any new records.

«I'm pretty bored with the way electronic music gigs happen and I want to introduce more performance things. I really like the idea of cabaret and burlesque»

29. What would you like to do as a musician in the world of music?

What I’m really interested in at the moment is doing different things with electronic music. I’m pretty bored with the way electronic music gigs happen and I want to introduce more performance things. I really like the idea of cabaret and burlesque, I want to introduce more theatrical things, although I’m not exactly sure how to do that. 

30. What are the three words that you would use to describe all works of Snog? 

Let me think...You know, it's impossible for me to be realistic. I think we're quite misunderstood so maybe misunderstood is a good word. I hope that we're provocative but I can't be sure...so houw about Misunderstood, Provocative and Ignored?  Maybe Black Lung performance with avant-garde dancers and other musicians and things like that.