Five guys from Aargau, CH, named Angry Bastard have already made some impact at various band competitions for their intense live shows. Still you donīt hear much about them and they are still waiting for the big break-through. That means itīs time to present you this Swiss band as the first Fresh act in 2011, STALKER talked with singer Dim and Bass player Roger.
Who are Angry Bastard, and how did you come together? Dim Twist of fate, it was time that some RockīnīRoll happened in our region. We have known each other for a long time and everybody had done his own thing before, more or less in the same direction or slightly different. Life is a wheel, constantly turning and at some point we found each other and decided to do something together. Roger Basically it grew out of three different bands, when somebody quit here and there, and to put it sarcastically we put the best-of together, simply those who wanted to continue rocking. This is how Angry Bastard was born. Iīm Roger and I play the Bass. Dim And Iīm fucking Dim, vocals. Roger Then we have Git on guitar, the Gringo, whoīs now in Mexico plays the second guitar, and the drummer... Dim ... the Bastardo Mif Batteria (all laugh)
Tell us about Angry Bastard, which kind of music is it? Dim How to say that... Country? (laughs) Country meets Metal. Roger People have difficulties to categorize us. Dim Thatīs right. It is difficult, we were recently interviewed in a Radio show Rockstation and it is always the same question. You can always say, a bit Maiden, a bit Sex Roger A bit Slayer Dim A motley mix of everything we like, and it works.
So you donīt chase trends but do your own thing? Dim I think you cannot claim something totally unique or your own thing, you are always influenced by something and you can always find parallels to something. Roger Especially nowadays Dim Yeah right. It is important that you do what you do with full conviction and have fun doing it, then you automatically put your own mark on it.
Who are your musical idols, the most important musical influences? Roger Iīd say because of one guitarist who is a big Slayer fan itīs definitely Slayer. The drummer and me are huge Maiden Fans Dim Kiss of course, we all like them Roger (to Dim) In your case itīs definitely also Glam Dim Yes, I am a fan of the dick-rock movement, my heroes were and still are Aerosmith, certainly! But itīs a colourful mixture, you always find something for yourself. As mentioned before, all of us like Kiss but also fancy Maiden or Slayer, that means that there is a wide range. Roger I think there are constant changes, too. When I compare our last record to the new one, there is a big difference. There are much more Rock Thrash influences. Dim Yes, sometimes the emphasis is on mid tempo and groove, then you have some more Old-Classic Song in Priest style, and sometimes you are more influenced by something else, then you have two or three faster songs. Again, life is a wheel, constantly turning.
You just released your new demo ready to rock, can you tell us something about its development? You produced it yourselves? Roger Well until now we always record everything ourselves in our rehearsal room, also the last 2 demos. One guitarist began to enjoy recording, and we invested in some microphones, an old harddisc recorder, and slowly itīs getting better, also financially. Itīs simply crap to pay 10000 Swiss Franks for a good recording, but then you sell maybe 200 cds and still have this huge debt, thatīs what happens to so many bands. Dim And itīs possible to crack under such pressure, suddenly you are insecure, that happened before that yo end up with a 10000 load or more. Roger And then thereīs pressure in the studio, you got to be fast. Now we can take it easy and work 6 months on 4 songs. Dim Yes and we can take a break, which is the right thing for us now. We are naturally open and wait for future developments. Roger Weīre looking for a sponsor to get a good recording.
Why does your cover show a penguin? Dim Because the penguin is a fucking Rock Animal, itīs black-white, which are Er RockīnīRoll colours, just like Kiss.The Metal Animal the penguin, thatīs it! Roger Exactly, and by the way, one of our guitarists is also a dad, therefore his daughter can put this CD into her room... Dim ... put it up right beside her toys, because there are no Zombies jumping from the cover, which has been seen before a million times. Penguin fucking Rocks! (all laugh)
You have new plans? Dim As we said before, itīs proceeding, we have now 2-3 new songs that will be definitely recorded. Roger That means a new demo could be coming up soon.
Your are looking for a label, how would you promote yourselves? Roger Well, we can certainly claim to be a good live band, not boring on stage, and we inspire audiences, especially because of our front man. Dim We kick ass live, although we are instrumentally not the highest-level musicians or the best band, but we sell ourselves better when on stage than many other bands. We want to entertain people, thatīs our motto and goal, and we will continue with that, otherwise we quit. And this is a huge bonus. And concerning our rocking songs, thatīs a question of taste. Roger We also think that our songs are differentiated, it doesnīt sound alike. As said before, thereīs variety, sometimes Metal, sometimes Rock. Dim Thatīs making it more interesting also for the listener.
What is your dream, what do you want to achieve with your music? Dim We want to become rock stars and millionaires. Thatīs our goal. We wanna have those hot nights were dozens of women throw themselves at us. Now itīs just two of them, but the goal is a dozen (all laugh) Just kidding. Roger Well to be honest, goals are simply playing shows now and then, perhaps not only in Switzerland but also abroad, that would be great. We are basically a working band, everybody has still a full time job. We rehearse twice a week and you would like to have some time-off, too. And it works nicely as it is now.
Roger has some humbler goals than you, Dim, so it seems (laughs) Dim Step by Step, one does not that exclude the other, thatīs for sure (all laugh) Roger But when all of us are about 30 years old, you have those dreams he mentioned, but youīre 30 already and dreams become more realistic. As long as we have fun we will continue.
You have participated at some band contests and won some, e.g. you won a slot at Metal Inferno, so how was that experience? Roger We won one and were second at another, still seing it as victory. As for contests, the cool thing is that clubs are really full and thereīs always a lot going on. Sometimes it gets difficult having space ,when there are 8 bands itīs chaos. Dim Itīs simply getting tight. A special experience, usually in a club itīs 3 bands, 4 bands max. And then there are 6 bands, but the club doesnīt get bigger, still the same space. Well, we are pleasant people and can adjust, but thatīs not the optimal scenario. But still itīs fun. Roger The pay off we got was to play on a big stage. Great. The bigger the stage, the better for us. Dim Yes with some irony I have to mention that we are made for big stages! Not because we are such brilliant musicians or have the biggest dicks, but we sell ourselves better on a big stage, can display ourselves better. Roger And when you have great monitors you play better automatically, because you enjoy it.
And how were you treated by the clubs? Rumour has it that a small Swiss band is not treated well. Roger Well, Rockcity Uster was super. The promoter and the club owner are great guys, and also Z7 where we wouldnīt have cared, just great to play there. But we were treated nicely. Good food, good backstage area, professional people, super! Dim Respect has always been there, you can see that with bigger clubs or events, thereīs much more professionalism than elsewhere, where stuff happens only once or twice a year. Roger I think in Switzerland itīs quite OK. Sometimes you hear stories from the USA, no food, no backstage, no accommodation for bands, and equipment is hauled to the street. In comparison we have a super scene.
How does your song writing work? What are you trying to achieve when you write a song? Roger First there are the guitarists who have riffs, a basic idea. Then we rehearse together and jam a bit, and this is how songs are born. Nobody makes a song just by himself, thatīs always teamwork. Dim Thereīs a basic idea, usually coming from a guitarist, then during jamming a lot of feeling is added, and spontaneously vocal lines evolve, drum parts, bass lines, you are fiddling around and at some point you say, Thatīs it! Roger When itīs good itīs a new song, otherwise we ditch it.
What was the most exciting / most disappointing moment in your band history? Dim Well there havenīt been big disappointments. Roger I remember something, not a disappointment but it was tough. When we were busy recording in our old rehearsal room, next morning I drove back to play some more bass lines, I discovered the building burnt down in the night, equipment gone, everything under water. The guitars could be rescued, everything else drowned. That was total crap. Dim Otherwise just cool stuff, I rather remember the nice things. Roger Exactly, when you are touring together, with nice colleagues like THE VIBES, that was great. Dim Funny evenings and afterparties here in Zürich or Aarau, thatīs always fun. Just travelling together and having the feeling of nice evenings, thatīs simply great. We hope to be able to do that again soon.
Do you think that itīs more difficult for a band from Switzerland to have a break through, compared with for example a band from Germany? Dim Yes definitely! I mean we are an island or something. It is difficult, unless for Singer/Songwriters or Country crap, for those it might be easier. And I think that audience numbers are limited, you donīt suddenly get 100.000 people, the number remains the same but there are more and more bands, and who wants to listen to all the stuff.
And I can understand that, I listen to a lot of underground bands like us, but even then you cannot listen to everything. In that aspect the supply and demand ratio is wrong in many places in Switzerland.
Roger And we are not such a Metal nation, like e.g. Germany, where they have also a lot more bands and therefore itīs not easier there either. But we also have no respected Metal label, I donīt recall any with a big name. And the same with bands, thereīs hardly a dozen of those big Swiss hard rock bands Dim Itīs always a matter of connections, who could perhaps push you. You can always try to find those, and we are selling well in my opinion. Sometimes those connections are an advantage, sometimes they donīt help at all. Roger And we lack the ability to for butt-kissing!
Itīs like that here, if you donīt kiss butt you donīt get anywhere! BothThatīs correct, you are right.
Is there anything positive about Switzerland? Dim Mostly when you book a gig, the arrangement works out 100% in Switzerland, you can usually rely on people. Youīre not ripped off, in most cases itīs a fair deal, no matter if Basel or Luzern, people are fair. And when going abroad the situation can be more difficult, you sometimes have to be tough just to have things work out that should have worked out in first place. Those things you got accustomed to have here. Roger Another nice thing are the distances, you can get to places quickly, and big concerts happen here, we drive perhaps 1 hour and can watch any band. Dim Thereīs good aspects and bad ones, like anywhere.
Why should people listen to Angry Bastard, what do you have what other bands donīt have? Dim Who has seen us live know that itīs the magic, the moment when we kick off live. That is my opinion. There are many bands that rock like hell. We are five dudes and I am convinced that live we are quite a spectacle. Roger When Dim also takes off his shirt, definitely (all laugh)
Heīs not doing it that often, I have seen you several times, but never without shirt! Dim Next time, I promise!
Ok I take you at your word! Many thanks for this interview and good luck in the future! Roger Merci, to you! Dim Merci, too!
Angry Bastard info http://www.myspace.com/angrybastardmusic