The Prophet from Infidel Netwerk talks to Zoog Von Rock from Angelspit.
- Zoog Von Rock, Angelspit.
First of, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?
My name is Karl, my friends call me Zoog. I am from Sydney, Australia. I currently live in Chicago and am moving in LA in May 2017.
What does Angelspit mean to you guys in 2017? And how does that compare to what the project meant to you guys when it was formed?
Angelspit has always been about art. The music, design and fashion has always been about pushing the boundaries and trying something different. I want to push myself – challenge myself to do something new each album. I’ve done albums ranging from cyberpunk to industrial rock. This year I am toying with dance music. i am inspired by modern dance music and early 90s cyberpunk. Angelspit’s 2016 album “Cult Of Fake” dipped it’s toes in dance music – this time it’s full immersion.
I am also launching a Patreon where Angelspit fans get to watch and participate in the creative process.
Have you had any particular moment(s) that you would like to share, that you would consider to be a crowning achievement in your musical career so far, or moments that you would say truly continue to inspire you to pursue your artistic path? What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?
The constant support of Angelspit’s amazing fan base keeps me going. They share their life stories with me – these become lyrics. They are endlessly encouraging and so awesome!
When it comes to your musical self and your real world self, would you say that their is a separation? Do you find yourself getting into a character or mindset when you create, or do you find your music is a representation of your day to day self?
When Angelspit started, I made a decision to always be genuine. I think the world is filled with enough falseness. The last thing we need is another insincere arrogant dick with “Rockstar” syndrome. People need to know that they can contact me anytime – I am a real person and i share the same concerns.
What do you feel separates your music from the rest of the music in the Industrial music scene?
Angelspit is based in punk. Even the name “Angelspit” is from a Sonic Youth song – a very respected punk band. Henry Rollins is my hero.
I rarely listen to industrial music. I love it and respect it, but usually listen to P-Funk, Bootsy Collins, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Pink Floyd, David Bowie. These greats inspire and challenge me to make better beats, catchier melodies and more viscous synths.
If you could say there are underlying themes or messages that permeate throughout your discography, what would you say are the most important concepts and ideas you’ve tried to express throughout your artistic career, political, spiritual, or personal?
“You are better than this”. Strive to make your relationships better, your job better, your world better. Your opinions count. The world needs your art.
So much has been said, and it sometimes feel that every word combination has every been taken. As a lyricist myself I know the pain of how hard it can be to articulate something in a way that is both engaging to the audience and uniquely artist. How do you find inspiration for your lyrical poetry?
I always listen to Angelspit’s supporters. They present themes and ideas which I build on. This keeps the content real. I want people to know that these songs contain small reflections of them.
I spend months working on the lyrics – they are so important.
However on the new album (due 2017) and in the Patreon I am experimenting with more instrumental tracks. These are a wonderful challenge, as they evolve differently and have a different way of expressing emotional content.
Playing live shows, recording new tracks, attempting to go live the life that gives you the experiences that inspires it all… it can be difficult to balance the time. Do you have any particular methods that you use to keep yourself focused or balanced in your direction?
When you work for yourself and by yourself, you can get depressed, anxious and loose direction quickly. I need to manage myself – so I need to be strict. I don’t watch much TV or movies. I eat healthy, I try to excersise daily.
I have a timetable. I will allocate three hour blocks to different tasks. This timetable repeats weekly. If you spend one hour a day planning your day, you will get SO MUCH done!
You have released quite a few releases over your active musical years. What has been your favorite album you have put out so far, and how do you feel your music has evolved over the years?
My last album “Cult Of Fake” (2016) is my favorite. It experimented with dance music but stayed grounded in Angelspit’s sound. The lyrics of this album were cynical, political and relevant. I’m very proud of this one!
You guys have mentioned you have something new in the works. What’s the progress on your next release, and how do you feel this next release is going to evolve the sound of the band? What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output?
2016′s “Cult Of Fake” was Angelspit’s first venture into dance music. It was great fun to make! This years’ album will go further down the rabbit hole. I want to see how far I can push this – as dance music is such an amazing genre.
What sort of processes do you go through when making music? Do you have a formula(s) that you follow, or do you feel it out as you go along? Or is it more of a mixture of the two?
I have a spreadsheet that I religiously stick too. It helps me manage the workflow and timeline. When writing an album, i will work on several songs at once, then focus on one, then work on another, then several…I always lose track of where all the tracks are at. Are their lyric finished? Have I done a demo vocal? How far is the composition developed? The spreadsheet helps me keep track of this.
Do you spend a lot of time crafting your own sounds? Or do you value song crafting and effects tweaking more? Or do you find it’s a balance between the two? What’s your relationships with presets? When you make music are you primarily a hardware or software oriented musician? Or do you do a fusion of both? Are there any particular instruments, programs, or effects that you would say are vital to you making music?
On the new album, I am allowing myself dedicated time to play with sound – sample sounds, patch the modular, program new sounds – it has made this album great fun!
I have not used many effects in the past – but i am now using them more, utilizing them as a “sound processing instrument”. I send a lot of real time parameter changes to the effects units. It’s the best fun!
I have a bad relationship with presets.
I am hardware based. I like the sound thet produce and I love there interactivity. Soft synths are fine, but they do not compare with the magic of a Doepfer Modular Synthesizer. I love my modular synth. I love how it is absolutely limitless. I also love my MiniMoog, she’s the queen of bass. I am increasingly using the E-mu EMAX more – she’s a wonderful sampler, such a beautiful sound. I recently dug out my old Korg KP-3 Kaos Pad and TC Helicon effects unit. I am controlling these real time – as they come come alive when thou tweak reverb times, delays and bit depth live.
You guys have had a lot of opportunities to tour and remix some pretty big name industrial artists. What are some of your most memorable experiences? Who would you want to work with again? And if you could work with anyone who you haven’t worked with yet, who would it be?
Remixing Ministry was an honor. Seeing they’re original stems was awesome. Having bands like Twistid and KMFDM trust you with a B-Side is awesome. It is an amazing feeling when your idols tell you they love your work, and they love what you did to their track.
Outside of Hard Electronic and Industrial music, what other genres could you see yourself composing music in? Or should I say, do you see yourself inspired by? Do you have any other musical projects that you are involved with, or do you have any other musicians or artists that you collaborate with in some capacity?
I write music for silent Horror films. I have done several, including Phantom of the Opera (1928) and Nosferatu (1925). I love doing these – as it is experimental music and uses a lot of noise and DIY instruments. I love to build my own instruments.
I am working on an EP with Lorelei Dreaming (due May 2017). This is more dark electro – very inspired by Gary Numan.
I am Also working on a project called Miss Ballistic. It’s electro pop with a dirty bass lines and a viscous streak. It’s centered around a beauty queen who is plotting to kill all the other contestants. It’s a really fun project.
You’ve done a decent amount of remix work, and have had artists remix your tracks for you. Do you find you enjoy doing remixes, and listening to remixes of your work, or is it mainly a promotional technique?
Remixing is the most awesome way to work with someone on a track.
I love to remix other artists – I am lucky because I get total freedom to DESTROY their tracks!
You guys have worked with a lot of different record labels over the years. Out of all of the labels, which would you say would have been the easiest for you to work with?
Dancing Ferret Discs. Patrick is awesome and he cares about the artists.
What would you say are your biggest influences when it comes to art and music? Are there any bands that you would say struck you with the chord that inspired you to peruse your current path of musical aspirations?
Angelspit supporters are my biggest influences. They shape the music, lyrics and direction.
Stevie Wonder is also a huge influence…so is Van Halen – David Lee Roth is a god.
Would you say that your choice to pursue music has changed your life since you started? Would you say that creativity has evolved you spiritually, emotionally, or logically?
Music has had a profound influence on me. Music allows me to live outside the corporate cubicle bubble. The reverse side of this is that I find it hard to relate to people who live to work in a job they hate only to make money.
Music is a great dream, but a tough reality. It has given my life such wonderful purpose – and I can not thank my supporters enough.
When it comes to fan and critic feedback, how much do you take it to heart, and how much do you feel it evolves, pushes, or holds your sound in place? Do you feel that the personal response and interaction in the live environment, and the subsequent positive press you’ve regarding both your live and recorded music has consciously encouraged you to do things a certain way?
I try not to be swayed by reviews…but when a fan is not happy it destroys me. I feel like I have let down a friend.
I don’t have a lot of self confidence. It’s hard to release an album and go on tour – I always assume people will hate it. I try so hard to make art this is exceptional and will have a long “shelf life”. I want to make something classic that will be remembered. I look at people like the master architect Andrew Llyod Wright and I am reminded I have a long way to go! …which is so encouraging.
When it comes to non-musical media, what do you find yourself most inspired by, and what about it draws you to it as a source of inspiration?
Artists that manipulate a grotesque idea to become something beautiful and bold. Artists who take an all-out risk and make it work.
The under-dog who won’t give up. The person who is told they can not achieve, and goes on to achieve something amazing. Every person from a small country town who has had the guts to boldly proclaim their sexuality and come out – surrounded by family, friends and community who shun them.
Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?
Everybody is saying that the United States are divided. Now is the time to be open to other idea and accepting people of differing opinions – especially in our alternative community.
If you are unhappy with the political climate, vote, attend town hall meetings, write letters to those in power, attend peaceful protests.
Be informed and check the facts.
Make your art – it will help you and others get through this. Your art is a source of power to help people.
We are living in an extraordinary time. Don’t watch it on TV, get out and participate – help shape it!
Follow Angelspit on their official Facebook for all their latest updates:
As well as Twitter for an alternative platform:
YouTube has all their video content, check it out!:
You can download their music on their official Bandcamp:
Their official discussion board can be found on the Reddit group below:
And they have a Patreon campaign that was mentioned above, if you’re interested follow the link below: