TODAY WE HAVE A TALK WITH ANATOMY OF THE HEADS - KIRIBATI'S HOTTEST EXOTICA INSPIRED JAZZ-FUSION BAND THAT IS SURE TO GET YOUR GIRL TANNED. WE TALKED WITH THEIR GLORIOUS LEADER MICHAEL VAN GORE WHO AGREED TO TALK TO OUR HUMBLE PERIODICAL. ENJOY!
WHAT WAS THE CLOSEST THE BAND HAS COME TO REENACTING A SCENE FROM SPINAL TAP WHILE ON TOUR?
Our biggest Spinal Tap moment so far occurred during interviews. One time we played together in an art gallery in Germany. That wasn't under the name Anatomy of the Heads though. We were hired by the organisers to do a noise show, and we were expecting edgy artwork with random naked people and screaming women. However, it turned out to be a gallery of children's artwork created as part of a project funded by the city. So the kids were there with their parents, the organisers introduced us, and we were baffled. If I had been a parent, I would have been furious. But we went, "200 bucks for noise you bought. 200 bucks for noise you're getting." All the kids and parents walked out, and we played for the organisers and some weird art guy. Afterwards we were interviewed and had to give this pretentious art gallery talk: "Our work explores the relationship between postmodern discourses on UFO sightings. With influences as diverse as Nietzsche and John Cage, we distil new insights from the explicit and implicit structure of their works. Since childhood, I have been fascinated by the essential unreality of non-human extraterrestrial relationships. So we performed an improvisation for you, and what began as contemplation was soon manipulated into a manifesto of temptation that left you, the listener, with only a sense of dread and the inevitability of a new beginning. As momentary replicas are distorted by emergent and academic practices, you, the listeners, are left with a tribute to the darkness of your own existence."
THAT SOUNDS FUCKING TERRIBLE. WHAT WAS THE RECEPTION LIKE?
Oh man, in their own delusion, the organisers saw it as a success and thanked us saying "Great show, guys. This is something you really have to confront people with, you know. These people [meaning people who didn’t go to college] would never look for this kind of art on their own." I would fire that guy for ruining what could have been a wholesome event.
WHAT A DUSH. IF THERE WOULD BE A PLACE YOU PLAY WHERE WOULD IT BE, AND WHAT WOULD THE SHOW LOOK LIKE?
I would like the idea of Easter Island. Maybe a one-off gig, fully decked out, entering the stage via war elephants, surrounded by the all-encompassing fog of incense, torches at hand, scantily clad hula dancers and a big band. We would play two sets, one at sunrise and one at sunset, film it, sell it as a pay-per-view and retire to a pineapple farm. That would be peak AoftheH. Alternative locations suitable for such a thing would be any large ancient temple. Come to think of it... we could do it at a fraction of the price if we just did it in Yogjakarta. Mhhh, stay tuned for that.
TELL US ABOUT A LIVE SHOW YOU WENT TO, AND WHAT MADE IT MEMORABLE FOR BETTER OR WORSE...HEY, REMEMBER GOING TO
MvG: I have to be honest, I've never been to a good live show, or maybe I have and it's my problem, but yeah.
hanes: I can picture you standing there with your arms crossed, just inches away from an active mosh pit and people stage diving
MvG: That's me. But here is one of my favorite stories. It was a small club that hosted a black metal night three bands. The headliner was something famous and the other two bands were regional. The first band was an occult-whatever-not-your-typical-black-
metal-band. They played mostly mid-tempo to slow stuff and the audience hated it. After 10 minutes they had a little break in between songs and the reaction of the crows was zero. You could hear a pin drop. I however liked it and was the only one going WHOO *CLAP* *CLAP* *CLAP* *CLAP* Then I noticed that I am literally the only one reacting and went „fuck you, people. I am not shutting up“ and my art appreciation intensified
hanes: I have had a few instances of going
"Y E A A A A A A A A A A A A H" like a metal vocalist and applauding (cyclops hands allow for thunderclaps) at acts no one liked except me and some other guy at the opposite end of the room. I've learned to just scream things in Spanish while clapping so everyone just joins in lol
MvG: LA SANGRE DE ABUELA! *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM*
hanes: EL DIABLO! *FRANTIC THUNDERCLAP*
MvG: Okay, well then I got another one. Similar set up, but teenage black metal band from the suburbs of Germany decked out in hot topic clothing and supportive parents and other relatives in the front row camera in hand and all. In between songs the parents and relatives go WHOOOOO GO TOBIAS! *CLAP* *CLAP* *CLAP* YEAH TOBIAS, GOOD SOLO YOU ROCK *LOOK INTO THE CAMERA*
hanes: Hahahah. Oh my goodness, their ride back home was mom and dad
MvG: Hahahah. That was truly awesome
hanes: "TOBIAS DO YOU WANT ANYTHING FROM MCDONALD'S?"
MvG: You just know they had McDonald's afterwards for celebration *BIC MACS ALL AROUND, GANG. GOOD SHOW!* and of course Tobias is LORD ANAL DESECRATOR released by 666420 Productions
hanes: Tobias, that is such a white suburb name
MvG: I mean cool guys and cool parents and all, but the optics of the whole thing are just so bizarre. Anyway, this is what I mean - musically I don’t care much for shows, bands mostly play weaker versions of material you already know, and it's a let-down. But live shows are a magnet for weird people and their delusions, so you’ll be entertained anyway.
IF TWO PEOPLE YOU ABSOLUTELY HATED ENTERED A KUMITE, WOULD YOU BE SAD ONE OF THEM IS VICTORIOUS OR DELIGHTED AT ONE OF THEM
I say better them than me. I would be happy if there were fewer daggers with my name on them. As a glorious leader and dictator, I have to be on guard all the time anyway.
SO, KILL’EM ALL AND LET GOD SORT THEM OUT?
Allah, but yes. Stop complaining or complain more funnily. The beatings will continue until morale improves
YOU'RE STUCK IN AN ARCADE FOR THE ENTIRE AFTERNOON WITH INFINITE CREDITS. WHAT THREE CABINETS DO YOU CAMP OUT UNTIL YOUR
I would say Nightstalker for the Atari, Elevator Action for the Gameboy and Final Fantasy 8. Nightstalker captivated me with its artwork that looked like David Hasslehoff was trapped in a futuristic maze. I kept playing it because it has that distinct Atari hypo effect and because I had the crazy idea that something magical would happen when you roll the score over. Some secret ending or glitch Y2K-style. Of course, usually nothing happened. I even considered playing Nightstalker at a competitive level, but eventually stopped playing video games at all. Elevator Action is the exception to the Y2K disappointment. If you max out the counter, it gets stuck on a number that converts all power-ups to health, the enemies are on steroids, and you get stuck with the weakest weapon. So imagine a frantic game+ mode where everyone is shooting at you, you can only defend yourself with a peashooter, but there is health everywhere. Also, I'm a big RPG player, especially strategy RPGs, and Final Fantasy 8 is basically the game I'm most invested in, and to me, it has stood the test of time for me. The best game ever, I'm going to die on that hill.
I HAVE A FOLLOW-UP QUESTION RELATED TO 9/11. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE TRACK TITLES. WHO COMES UP WITH THE TRACK TITLES AND
I think them up. I use three main tools for this. A notebook in which I write intriguing phrases that come to me or that I find in books, films or overheard conversations, a digital cut-up machine that mixes up texts, and a high-concept approach to making an album. So I have a bunch of raw material that I either use directly or cut up to create or at least inspire new phrases. Finally, I selected those that somehow seem to fit coherently into the album by suggesting some kind of narrative. We never have a specific goal when we make a record, other than to make it good. So we have no idea what we want to say. Working on the album is like a discovery process for us, where we get to know ourselves, and in the end we have basically figured out what is on our minds.
AND WHAT IMPORTANT MESSAGES FOR THE LISTENERS HAVE YOU DISTILLED THIS TIME?“
Never flush a tampon.
THE VOICE OF A GENERATION, LADIES AND JERKS. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FORBIDDEN DAY FOOD/NIGHT FOOD COMBINATION?
I regularly get in trouble with restaurant staff and my wife when I mix pineapple or other fruits with meat. Pineapple and beef are
my opium, and even after some 30 years of living here, I complain about day/night food in general. Because I want it the way I want it. I have been spoiled by the king.
FOOD FOLLOW UP. WHAT IS A FOOD OR PRODUCT NOT AVAILABLE IN INDONESIA THAT WITHOUT HESITATION YOU'D PISTOL WHIP SOMEONE
ELSE'S NEMESIS TO DEATH ON THE STEPS OF A CHURCH FOR?
The grass is always greener. When I am in Indonesia, I miss some European food. For example, bread that is not white bread, curd cheese and yoghurt. These are all unspectacular grandpa foods, but the craving for them is sometimes so strong that I would gladly commit murder for them.
DO LEFTISTS EXIST IN INDONESIA? IF SO, WHY?
They do, even though Marxism is banned here. You find them, ironically, in Islamic studies, where they try to combine the altruist parts of Islam with communist theories, and in everything to do with the environment. They become vicious during elections and riot in universities and schools. They often set fires or cause other forms of property damage there. I actually have a story about this. My wife has a favourite park that she used to visit a lot as a child. It is called Tiger Park and it takes its name from a big tiger statue that is in the park. She used to go there to picnic and play with her family. We visited it recently and were disappointed to find that the place has become a battleground for all sorts of lunatics who demonstrate and riot there. Now the noble tiger statue is covered with graffiti from hammers and sickles, ACAB, SS runes, DOWN WITH CAPITALISM, DEATH TO ISRAEL and so on. It is a shame.
WHAT IS A SONG THAT MAKES YOU GO 'WHY YES, A TWO HOUR VERSION OF THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT' ?
According to my YouTube history, I'm really into William Shatner supercuts. There's one where Kirk climbs a mountain and it's just insane. Apart from that, my mood swings, and currently I'm into a guy called Koshiro Yoshimatsu. All his stuff is on Youtube, he recorded all kinds of styles in the 1980s, but every record has this dreamy 4-track band sound that's just magical. We always strive to get that sound for our own records, and with modern recording equipment it's getting harder and harder because it's just too good. We actually always spend a lot of time dirtying everything up. I'm in the process of going through his discography right now. Koshiro Yoshimatsu - check him out.
THIS HAS BEEN A CONVERSATION WITH ANATOMY OF THE HEADS. WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING IT AND FEEL NOW ENTICED BY THEIR CAPTIVATING PERSONALITIES TO GIVE THEM ALL YOUR CASH. CONSIDER LISTEN TO THEIR NEW ALBUM A BANISHMENT OF BLOODSHED AND SUPERSTITION. FOLLOW THEM ON TWITTER AND VISIT WWW.AOFTHEH.COM FOR ALL THINGS ANATOMY OF THE HEADS. AND JUST IN CASE YOU ARE WONDERING BANDCAMP IS THE BEST WAY TO SUPPORT THEM.