SOUNDS FROM THE EDGE OF THE WORLD : RADIOMANIAC

syndrome

Images courtesy of Radiomaniac

By DEMETRIA PHLORENTIA

With no music label to assist in digital distribution, Russian experimental rockers RADIOMANIAC released their 2nd self-funded LP early last week rather haphazardly. Following the link on their Facebook page where I was taken to a file retrieval server on Vk.com, the process of downloading SYNDROME in its entirety was a little too cheap, fuss-free and painless than the masochist in me would have preferred.

“Can free Art ever be good Art? Don’t you think you guys are giving it away too easily?”, I posed 26 year old frontman YURI CHE, not long after my one-click download of their album was complete. “I don’t know…”, the Uglegorsk native typed rather noncommittally, “nobody ever buys music in Russia… Perhaps only as an act of support…”

As capitalistic consumerism poisons the masses with false promises of substance and quality, the ignorant is not to blame for dismissing SYNDROME as another inferior product in the age of sub-substandard Internet music; where bedroom musicians produce lo-fidelity sounds of questionable taste. After all, if the suburban hipster brat next door only manages to churn out pretentiously uninspiring shit, why should you waste your time and bandwidth on the musical output of a bunch of crass, boorish, working class youths from a backwoods island in the middle of nowhere?

Radiomaniac circa 2012

Radiomaniac live, circa 2012

Radiomaniac first appeared on my radar in late 2012, when then-bassist Yuri messaged me on Facebook to promote 1st Transmission, their debut EP. Obliging him by going through two videos of their live performances, I was spellbound. While You’re On Air sounded like an industrial clone of Bauhaus and with its clicky double bass drums and scratchy, hair-raising guitars, It had me floored with it’s inventive synthesis of electronic samples with live instrumentation. This band will go far, I thought. I was getting goosebumps from their two and a half minute odes to existentialism, but hey, is that creepy looking bass player ever going to open his mouth and sing or not? Intrigued, as much as I was intimidated by this pale (no pun intended) likeness of a Pan-Asian Ian Curtis, I nonetheless started talking art to Yuri on Facebook. This whole feature, I would say, is a compilation of all our exchanges, as far as the written word can go…

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Yuri Che, scary looking bass player, circa 2012

I. CONCEPTION : FORMATION

“I see nothing offensive in combination of the words ‘low lives’ about me or our band, cause it’s true. We really are somewhat ‘low live’ musicians.”
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A room with a view : Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in Winter

Hailing from Sakhalin, a coal-rich archipelago tucked amidst the Eastern coast of Russia, the volatile quality of Radiomaniac’s music could perhaps be traced back to the island’s troubled history and industrial aspirations.

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Yuri Che

Spearheaded by the 3rd generation spawn of a WWII Korean slave and a Russian schoolteacher, Yuri Che’s brooding air and mixed ancestry is many a times a dead ringer for Russian rock legend Viktor Tsoi. A shining example of a true blue proletarian rocker, this theatrical college graduate administers physical training to elementary grade students on his days off from the Sakhalin Puppet Theatre. His musical ambitions however, were ignited by a long time friend and collaborator, ANDREY ROZHKO.

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Andrey Rozhko

“Radiomaniac began when two young people met in the night. They were drinking coffee, smoking, talking, listening..talking again.. These two people were none other than our old bass player, Andrey Rozhko, and I. We wanted to gather a band that plays psychedelic music full of energy, a band that mixes noise and melody. We had a rule: we must experiment. I like it when I don’t know what sound, style, mood our next work will take on next. It intrigues me.”

Despite Rozhko’s recent departure from the band, the duo nonetheless managed to assemble a permanent line up of like-minded collaborators in the short span of two years. The first two being ANDREY TRYASTSIN and VLADIMIR GORBACHEV.

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Andrey Tryastsin

Lending complex Math Rock-esque polyrhythms to the tunes of Radiomaniac, this 22 year old walking metronome has a knack for dicing and doubling time on command. Many might tell Andrey that abandoning his last semester of Japanese studies at the Sakhalin State University, despite his stellar grades, to tour the Mainland with his bandmates, is sheer foolishness. Perhaps, only time can tell if Andrey will end up a naive youth chasing childish dreams.

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Vladimir Gorbachev

With his gangly frame and gaunt cheekbones, I have always thought of 23 year old Vladimir Gorbachev as a young David Bowie Doppelganger. Naming the glam rock god as one of his chief influences, it is highly likely that those spacey, discordant drones and jagged, punchy riffs you hear were once conceived in Vladimir’s head.

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Danil Khazhainov

If Vladimir is weed, 22 year old DANIL KHAZHAINOV is unmistakably speed. Touted by Yuri as “the most technically competent amongst us all”, Radiomaniac’s 2nd guitarist adds sonic contrast to the band’s sound by doubling Vladimir up with his slinky licks and sleek lead lines.

Egor Rychkov

Egor Rychkov

Replacing former bass player Andrey Rozhko, the latest addition to Radiomaniac is none other than 22 year old Egor Rychkov. No stranger to the music scene, Egor was fronting a cover band in one of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk’s many pubs before he was invited to join the quartet.

II.  INCUBATION : STYLE & METHODOLOGY

“They say we are a synthesis of different musical styles, genre eclecticism…”
Radiomaniac, from left to right : Vladimir Gorbachev,

Radiomaniac, from left to right: Vladimir Gorbachev, Danil Khazhainov, Andrey Tryastsin and Yuri Che

Blending the styles of Post Rock, Psychedelia, Post Punk, Noise, Shoe Gaze, Industrial and dare I say Doom Metal into a perplexing kaleidoscape of haunting melodies amidst harsh dissonances, frenetic beats and industrial synthetics, the band would describe their sound as:

“As if Thom Yorke, Thurston Moore, Dominic Aitchison and Stephen Morris got together and played a 65 days of Static tribute gig with a cover of Nirvana done in the spirit of Nine Inch Nails.”

Multifarious influences aside, it will perhaps come as no surprise that Radiomaniac is no stickler for system when it comes to the creative process. Yuri elaborates:

We strive to create our material in a number of different approaches.
Way #1: Somebody has an idea or rough draft. We work on the different parts and finalize the structure together.
Way #2: Somebody has a finished song that does not require additional work and then each of us just try to play with the different tone and timbre of it, by using different effects.
Way #3: We jam and improvise. Sometimes we get something worthwhile, sometimes we don’t.

Each member of the band has responsibilities beyond just playing his instrument. For example Andrey, the drummer might be in charge of recording and mixing a song, while one of our guitarists, say Danil, might select suitable electronic samples while another guitarist, perhaps Vladimir, invents a title and come up with the cover artwork. However, nothing is fixed, sometimes we choose different responsibilities as long as it feels right…”

If productivity is the result of their chaotic operational style, perhaps I could confirm my hypothesis of Order being the death of Creativity.

Following Radiomaniac through 2 instrumental EPs (1st Transmission & 2nd Transmission) and their debut instrumental LP (Antenna Theory), I was pleasantly stoked to discover the versatility of Yuri as a vocalist in their latest offering. Delivering in a variety of tones – from deadpan lower register mumblings to pitch-perfect emotive wailings on Syndrome, Yuri takes on his new role with effortless ease. He describes the transition in following words:

“It was a natural progression, I guess, and mutual decision made by all of us. We decided our experiments in instrumental music are finished. We have tried what we wanted and gained a valuable experience from them. A band has to keep developing. It is boring for us to produce the same thing over and over again. Instrumental was just one of phases of Radiomaniac’s development…Now it is time for something new.”

 

III. KEEPIN’ THE GAZE ALIVE – SYNDROME : PRODUCTION

“Yes, when necessity calls, we must resort to cunning ways to keep production costs down.”
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With a stash of half-baked musical ideas and unfinalized song structures, the plucky members of Radiomaniac got cracking in February this year.

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Armed with just a Macbook Pro, the band rented a rehearsal space, and miked separate instruments into multiple tracks on a pirated version of Logic Pro.

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A miked up guitar amp.

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To subsist, the members held day jobs while huddling in the studio for their nightly recording sessions.

Finishing the final mix in July, chief engineer Andrey Tryastsin concludes:

“Estimated budget was somewhere about 15 000 rubles, or just about 500 in American dollars. Everything was recorded at rehearsal point, then mixed at home with my laptop in Logic Pro, and mastered at sageaudio.com. The whole process took about 5 months. “


IV. LIVIN’ IT LOW : FROM SAKHALIN TO ST. PETE

“I want to get a job of a cleaner or a loader. Andrey Tryastsin is looking forward to selling hockey gear in a sports equipment shop.”

With the release of what I consider their most promising effort, it seems like these boondock youths are finally chasing their arena dreams with plans to move to the big city. However, relocating to St. Petersburg came at no small price. Revealing the move as the cause of Andrey Rozhko’s split from the band, Yuri waxes sentimental about leaving his long time friend in Sakhalin:

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More than just a bandmate. From left to right : Andrey Tryastsin, Yuri Che and Andrey Rozhko

“It is really a pity, and none of us can say we feel good about it. He was with us since the beginning, the very basis of Radiomaniac. He was more than a bandmate, a worthy friend, a companion. However, he has made the decision with his personal reasons and we understand and respect it.”

Catching up with Yuri this morning, I was happy to hear that he is adjusting well after arriving in St. Pete in less than a week. Having settled in a modest rented apartment, Yuri is hoping to find a job in the next week or so. When asked if he is deciding to knock on the doors of the local theatre, he replies:

“No, I am not looking for a job in the theatre again. If you want to be an actor you have to devote all your life to it. It is almost not possible to be an actor and a musician the same time. How can I combine my musical life and acting?

We need to find jobs that would let us to have a lot of free time and it must not to strain our heads, because our heads will be filled with the rhythms, the melodies, the structures of the songs, musical ideas etc.

We need a fixed schedule, because we must know when we are free to plan our work on the music. I see how people who sit in offices are constantly thinking about their works. They are thinking of their jobs and when they are home they continue to think about finishing their work projects or other paper shit.

Furthermore, because there are many local good qualified workers here in St. Petersburg, so I guess we will all end up working on menial, non-prestigious jobs. And that is good for us, because non-prestigious jobs are just what we need.

I want to get a job of a cleaner or a loader. Andrey Tryastsin is looking forward to selling hockey gear in a sports equipment shop. Perhaps only Danil will find a good job, because he is the best qualified of us all. But there is my one condition: Work must not interfere with our music making.”

With these words reeking of youthful idealism from our protagonist, I close this chapter in the story of Radiomaniac.

It is impossible to know if this pack of mangy underdogs will succeed in exporting the sounds of Sakhalin to the rest of the world or succumb to the pressures of inner city life. Nonetheless, I’d say god luck and good speed for trying.

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LINKS

Radiomaniac on Facebook
Radiomaniac on VK
YouTube
SoundCloud

ARCHIVES

1st Transmission EP – FREE download on archive.org

2nd Transmission EP – FREE download on archive.org

ANTENNA THEORY LP – FREE download

Little Faith (The National cover) single – FREE download

SYNDROME LP – FREE download

 

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Unidentified Flying Dreams: The David and The TOD

by DINO PROMETHEUS

Heralding from the decadent west edge of the United States known as Los Angeles lurks a being who donates all of his work to your ears for free on bandcamp, while courageously fronting one-man live shows of his brilliant material.

I’m not sure if it was the mystique of Their Only Dreams that lured me in, or the throwback psychedelic sound minus the ego. If nothing else I saw an artist hiding in plain sight, not getting nearly enough attention. Heady lyrics and psych-pop genius is how I summarize my latest discovery.

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David Lyudmirsky, or TOD, as I like to call him, is the high priest responsible for Their Only Dreams. From what I have experienced (TOD’s entire catalogue from band camp) the man is no one trick pony. You can hear the rich musical styles as they layer, or proceed one another. It is rock sub genre variety at its best. TOD goes from psych-rock to rock n’ soul to garage rock to folk rock. The rock never dissipates, but the wide array of complimentary tones are all over the place. My best description would be a mixtape of the most notable rock cross over giants. From Prince, to Bowie and Iggy, even Zapp & Roger, the influences are there, although never plagiarized.

I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with him for weeks via Facebook. Follow the words of this old crow, tell it TOD………

DP: Explain yourself TOD.

TOD: I am hoping that I get to share my music with as many people as possible; live and on recorded formats while I am here in this life making art regardless of an audience or not. I hope the support from an ever growing fan base I am continually working on attracting, even if it is only 1 new fan a day. While sharing my music independently will attract people who get what I am doing and want to help me. A record label that believes in my music , presses records, promotes and distributes them and an agent that wants to make sure I am playing shows and getting paid would be a great accomplishment that I can only hope for. I love making music, I believe I am here to do so and I want to share it with everyone.



DP: Your lyrics are very creative and visceral.  Are you a madman or on really good drugs?

TOD: Im a madman who did really good drugs in the past.

DP: In your words, why do you make your albums available for free downloads?  Do you think making your music free is good karma, or is it a way to get a leg up on people who try make money from their art?

TOD: I make my music available for free download because I want people to hear it, and it works. Only good can come from sharing your gifts. I am not competing with anyone else nor am I concerned how or what they do and what works for them. I am just giving away my art and doing things my way.

DP: What is your creative process?  Or, how do you write and record your music?

TOD: I write lyrics down on a daily basis in my notepad app and collect them. I also write songs in a traditional way sitting down with an acoustic guitar and i usually practice them a few times a week to remember them. Then a couple of times a year I get 3 or 4 weeks to record non stop. I have been playing guitar, bass, drums and synths for years so I just get into a flow of laying down as many groundwork tracks in my playing style that are good enough to build on.
Recording is like painting to me , I just step back and look at my instruments and listen back to  what I have been recording and keep going until I am satisfied. The latest thing I am working on, which is the 5th album, has already taken 2 of these blocks of time and I am not even finished yet.

DP: What started your conquest into music?
TOD: I guess I blew my own mind early on jamming with people and my initial foray into home recording by myself.   I felt that if I could do that to myself and with the people I was playing music with, I could probably share it with more people and be happy doing that.

There’s no such thing as a lost soul  –  Permission Statement

DP: Who influenced you to make music?

TOD: There are just so many artists and musicians who inspired and probably  influenced me early on. And I don’t want to name just a couple people and have any emphasis put on the because I have been writing my own songs for close to 18 years. In that time I have been developing my own style and not being all too much influenced but continually inspired by things I hear in passing or in deep listening to on a daily basis.

DP: Who is making good music now?

TOD: have you heard of “the humpback whales” ?

DP: Like whale songs? Touché…. What is good music?

TOD: Whatever you like.

DP: Explain your surroundings and how the music scene is in LA.

TOD: Los Angeles is a giant multidimensional mixed media landscape I traverse daily. I was born and raised here , so after all the sunshine and unique LA vibes, it becomes a…… I feel like in my teen years I got into this Australian outback sort of dreamtime with this place. Well there are scenes just like any other town and I have never been a part of any scene. I just book my own shows with whoever I feel like playing with, unless I am asked to hop on a show.

DP: How do your surroundings affect your art?

TOD: I just run wild in my  head and use the scenery as a launching point.  Native plants and trees, geological formations, UFOs, nostalgic neighborhoods, city history, local culture, personal experiences in the city etc…are all important to me in making music.

DP: How do you make a living?

TOD: I’m a superintendent/foreman for a general construction company along with website design.

DP: Some of your favorite films?

TOD: The Graduate, 400 Blows, The Last Temptation of Christ, A Hard Days Night, Velvet Goldmine, Doom Generation & Nowhere, Excalibur, Repo Man, The Quest For Fire, Pump Up The Volume……..

DP: Favorite albums?

TOD: Favorite? Here are some things I have been appreciating recently some of them are lifelong favorites:
Rodriguez – Cold Fact, Kraftwerk – Computer Love, John Maus – a collection of rarities and previously unreleased material, Foxygen – we are the 21st century ambassadors of peace and magic, Love – forever changes, Syd Barrett – complete discography, Eddie Harris – the electrifying eddie harris, An African Psych compilation my friend made me, NEU -1, Brian Jonestown Massacre – revelation, Gremlock – e.p.


DP: Favorite books?

TOD: Return From The Stars, Communion, The Second Ring Of Power, Sirens of Titan, Life, Bowie, Bolan, and the Brooklyn Boy, The Stranger, Just Kids, Childrens First Encyclopedia………

DP: Do you like sports, religion, nature, or existentialism,  or all of the above?

TOD: No,yes,yes and yes

DP: Should the human race be sterilized at birth?

TOD: NO!

DP: Tell me about your song “Wings of Horus.”  What was the driving impetus behind that song?

TOD: “Wings of Horus” was written and recorded a couple weeks after seeing Orange Orb UFO’s with my wife through our bedroom window. There were many eye witnesses that reported seeing them in the same location and it continued a few more times afterwards. It was very inspiring and still is to this day.

DP: How do you think your sound has developed over your albums (on Bandcamp)?

TOD: I began traveling towards a planet of sound and over the course of albums the sound of the planet has become louder ,clearer, and more vibrant the closer I get to the planet.



DP: Where do you hope to be with music and art in the coming years?

TOD: Planet TOD

DP: Describe a typical day of your life.

TOD: I wake up at about 6:30 am get ready and rush off to work. During work which lasts until 4-5 pm I have a lot of time to
myself even though I am working, because my work involves a lot of driving and I have no passengers.  I take advantage of this time by writing a lot of potential lyrics and notes for things. I get home from work and give my attention to my 2 daughters ( 5 year and 22 month old) and my wife. We go to parks usually. After dinner we play some more, then I give the kids a bath and  read stories to the younger one while my wife reads stories to the older one. Once they are asleep I usually watch an hour or 2 of tv with my wife and then I spend a couple hours listening to music with headphones, doing some graphic design and write down an interesting line or 2. Go to bed and hopefully have a cool dream that I can remember.

DP: Describe your name: Their Only Dreams.

TOD: After having a couple of bands and dreams of becoming successful, with them fizzled away, I continued writing and recording with the only person around me at that time which was my wife, then girlfriend. All I ever dreamed of was being able to play my own style of music and sustain a living from it. I just started to feel my age and I knew the weight of my responsibilities would only become heavier. But I never wanted to lose sight of my dream. Since I am lucky enough to not be alone in this life, I made it “their” as in “these are our only dreams”  because the first songs of this project started out as a collaboration. I remember looking at the name after writing it down on a piece of paper and even though it originated from feelings of desperation, it gave me the power and freedom to keep moving forward into a world that I could keep  growing as an artist and musician without any constraints and make my dreams come true. Dreams are really important to me in drawing source material for songs from. The name definitely is not meant to belittle anything about aspirational dreams or any kind of dream. Collectively it also symbolizes everyones dream.

DP: Are you depressed, neurotic, crazy, or do you consider yourself happy?

TOD: All of The Above

DP: Any advice for other artists trying to do something with themselves?

TOD: Give it all the love you have all the time.

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So again, another discovery of seemingly psychotic and brilliant art; and my fantasies of finding a degenerate maniac behind it all have, in the end, exposed a hard working and honest gentleman. Unless you consider UFOs as inspiration to be uncanny. Flying saucers are what my dad would blame when he would expel flatulence when I was a boy in the mountains. That’s the closest I have come to ET. I would do anything to hear my dad fart again. So maybe it’s not bullshit after all. Welcome to planet TOD.

DP – DP

DEPENDENT PRESS RELEASES : DARK KORVETTES & THE SLIDE TO OBLIVION

 

“Welcome home / Home is where you’re dead.”
– Welcome Home

By DEMETRIA PHLORENTIA

So, DINO PROMETHEUS and myself have been assembling a selection of taciturn tunes from now-defunct garage rock outfit DARK KORVETTES. Thanks to a stealthy stranger going by the name of IVAN KLEVLING, here’s it – the entire catalogue of essential Dark Korvettes hits and misses in its spiritless splendour.

Ravaging the tracks which Ivan sent, I was instantly transported to the angsty ethos of the last decade. Guitarist and singer FRENCH McCAIN spits out his cryptic rants like a Know Your Enemy era James Dean Bradfield while rhythm section CHANCE REID clicks his sticks with as much venomous vehemence as Jeremiah Green on The Lonesome Crowded West. From the themes of domestic dysfunction (Welcome Home) to drug abuse (Medication) to personal resignation (87 Octane), Dark Korvettes were more of a recording outfit than live band, that has sadly, failed to ascend the ranks of MTV-sanctioned circa 2005 “Indie Rock”. Whatever. Looks like McCain’s pathetic whines in 87 Octane has become somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ivan Klevling shares with DP how this departed duo has come to suffer the fate of oblivion.

“Nothing ever happens for a reason / Nothing ever happens to me.”
– 87 Octane

DP: Hey Ivan, thanks for those tracks. So tell us, how the fuck were you acquainted with the Dark Korvettes and who the fuck were they?

Ivan: The Dark Korvettes were just two junkies who were better off without each other. I was briefly acquainted with McCain in a Cleveland madhouse. That must be around 2005. Everything was over by then. McCain was just such a nutter, too volatile. Those two brought out the worst in each other.

DP: Ahh I see. French McCain, right? What sort of an asshole name is that?

Ivan: You’re right, French McCain was a total asshole. Grouchiest fuck ever.

“Medication’s gotten me down / Only you want me around.”
– Medication

DP: How about Chance Reid?

Ivan: Never met him. Heard about him from McCain. I’d say you should try to interview Chance Reid but you might be waiting for years.

DP: Oh, is there a way I can get in touch with him?

Ivan: Sure, he’s on Soundcloud as Kevin Strang (https://soundcloud.com/kevinstrang). He lives for females so I’m sure he would get back to you immediately. You’re a chick, right? He’s one giant cock.

DP: Ahh I see, will probably hit the Strangler up sometime. So, where’s McCain right now?

Ivan: No idea, really. Heard from his third cousin, twice removed that he’s in Romania, in prison. Not sure if that was made up to distract his creditors. Last I heard he was knee deep in debt.

DP: Right, thanks for your time Ivan. Now would you tell us who the fuck you are?

Ivan: You’re most welcome. I’m no one significant, a lonely old fuck perhaps, just giving my missing old pal a hand.

 

BOSTON’S NEW RELIGION: MARIANNE TOILET & THE RUNS WRITE THE NEW BIBLE OF FILTH

by DINO PROMETHEUS

 

“I whack off until a song comes out”

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From the same Massachusetts that brought you the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, we are welcoming MARIANNE TOILET & THE RUNS for this feature.  Straight from the somewhat progressive Boston area, there is a sort of ripple effect I attribute to the executions that took place in Salem.  It is possible that there is a movement happening in the New England area; and it’s also possible that this clan of artists I am about to introduce you to are the shark fin poking out of the macabre waters of Boston’s murky harbor.

Take for example, the anthem “My Christmas Wish.”  The song starts with ballad-like guitar riff that transforms into a trashy, comedic hoe-down.  Most importantly, it’s not about a Christmas list, but a cloudy tale of incest, or self identification. I would prefer to believe the latter. Marianne may be a deviant pervert, but TODD BADOLATO, her puppeteer is pretty decent folk.  Come to find out, Todd just wanted to write a song about love in his own striking manner.

I’ve been watching Todd from a distance for a little while on social media, and he passes my internet standards for a decent human being. Trust me, I’ve done the work for you.  I’ve never seen him or his band perform, but I don’t leave the mountains for that matter.  Marianne looked as sexy as Satan in stilettos on one of the DIY musician sites, so I began following. The guy behind it all, Todd Badolato, is the kind of performer who possesses the credulity of many artistic merits. Much theater background gave birth to a band of turds and a toilet dressed like Divine, spewing runny shit water onto your sensory’s propensities.  But it’s fine, that’s what they are trying to do.   So give his psycho-comic-persona a once-over. (The band is pretty gnarly as well.)

The TB claims that Marianne Toilet & the Runs sound similar to pop doctors Wham!  I don’t doubt that to be true to his ear. But truly the music is a vehicle for a visual performance theatre mixed with taboo comedy.  Fans of The Dead Milkmen, Ween or 90’s retro should do just fine decoding their transcendence to sound.  Where does MTR fit into today’s music onslaught?  I prefer artists that don’t, so who really cares?  Point is, they are for sure standing out amongst the banality.

Let us hear from demonic duo, Todd & Marianne.

 

DP: Todd, please explain just what the hell you think you’re doing.

TB: My material is an exploration in sexual humor (which in my opinion is the only true thing that connects all demographics of people in the world. Born from sex, live for sex, we are a sex. 

 DP: How does that go over, especially in drag?

 TB: The fact that people are opposed to my music or my sense of humor is more of an insult to them than to me. It is a sign they fear their on truths, their own desires, and they are terrified to be open to their own wants and the wants of others.

 Marianne Toilet and The Runs lives to make people laugh, to have fun, and to embrace the hilarity of human folly. We are pioneers picking up what Andrew Dice Clay, The Jerky Boys, 2 Live Crew, Richard Pryor, and many more have left to carry on.

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Humans probably shouldn’t be allowed here.

DP: What’s your opinion on using sex-to-sell?

TB: In my opinion there is nothing at all wrong with having the ability to look one’s self in the mirror and find an uncontrollable urge to masturbate right then and there.  Nobody

should be afraid to be who they are and to know how sexy they are for who they are.

DP: Now explain to me these “Runs.”  Do they give you a rash?

TB: The Runs are everything to me. I don’t want this to be a one man show, I want a collective spectacle. Cami Traumatic (bassist) and Spinabifa,Travis, (lead guitarist) are integral to my work. We’re training our new drummer Jamie Dragin (nickname to follow) and I can tell she is going to also redefine Marianne Toilet and The Runs.

DP: Are you single?

TB: Well, many people have tried to exorcise me but every time they try they end up discovering my godliness. No one can resist the Toilet!  I have my guitar. She’s always hot to play and desperate to get it on!

DP: Biggest influences, GO!

TB:  The Who, Brian Eno, Ministry, The Tiger Lillies, Skafish, Jane’s Addiction, The Misfits, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Emo Philips, Judy Tenuda, Andrew Dice Clay GWAR, The Wet Spots.

 DP: Marianne, are you in there?

 TB: I like to think of Marianne as a Diva Clown. Most of comedy tends to live in humiliation and mockery. Drag Queens though somehow have the power to be very funny and flattering. They demand sexual prowess and make everyone feel sexy.

DP: Wanna take a survey I made on my palm pilot?

TB: Of course!

 First cd bought? Pat Boone “In A Metal Mood”

 First cassette tape? 2 Live Crew “As Nasty As They Wanna Be”

 First vinyl? E.T. narrated by Michael Jackson

 First concert? Gloria Gaynor Live at the Apollo

 Favorite John Waters movie? Titanic

 Your pet’s name? Sweet Pussy!

 DP: Where did your musical endeavors begin?

 TB:When I was eight years old I accidentally knocked my cousin down the front brick stairs of my house. Somehow she managed to do a cartwheel on the stairs and landed on her feet!  Still she screamed and cried once she landed. Sounded amazing! Got my first boner and wrote my first song, haven’t looked back since.

my mother annoys me about Marianne Toilet and begs me not to be so offensive

DP: Who is Todd?

 TB: Todd is a……victim….working insanely hard….It’s fucked up….You’re raised to believe you’ll be nothing …… money just for a piece of paper.….paper means almost nothing, so you get stuck….. you need the money….. Todd is a wreck.

 DP: So you have an identity crisis, or who are you really?

 TB: Marianne. …….knows exactly who he/ she is. Marianne has a plan and a goal. Marianne Toilet has vision.

 DP: Boston and Salem.  How’s your dynamic there?

 TB: Marianne Toilet was definitely shaped by Boston’s sensibilities (Bostonians have a great understanding of the difference between offense and intent. Most people outside of Boston don’t understand that so easily.) Marianne Toilet was actually created in Albuquerque, NM though! I was living with a drag queen named Chastity Belt-Off. I was doing stand-up regularly and I was asked to perform in an all female show called The Ladies of AnarKomedy.  They asked me if I was willing to be in drag to do the gig and I said yes.

 DP: What the fuck is wrong with this planet?

 TB: Humans probably shouldn’t be allowed here.

 DP: To all your sex addicted fans:

 TB: All I’d say is play till you bleed, then keep playing. Who gives a shit if other people think it’s shitty.

 DP: I hear you co-write songs with your actual penis?

 TB: I whack off until a song comes out. Sometimes this can take a while.

 DP: Any last words?

 TB: Just like my dear friend Chastity Belt-Off once told me after a weird day in San Francisco “It was your first Asian prostitute, one of many. You’ll get used to it over time.”  Got my first rim job that day!!

Okay, whoever that was, we’ve gotten through it alive and I think we are all terrified, and convinced to pay attention to Salem.  Now, heres the scoop on the rest of these clowns: TRAVIS GIANATASSIO(Spinabifitravis) is the axeman.  CAMI TRAUMATIC plays bass.  JAMIE DRAGIN plays drums and just recently joined the band.  They can all be found on Facebook, if you feel the need.  I had a brief discussion with Travis and he had this to say:

 trav

“Spinabifitravis was conceived in the back of a paddy wagon in 1985, when both his mother and father were arrested for illicit activity at a Frank Zappa concert. Born during an unsuccessful abortion, his early years were spent locked in a dirt floor basement chamber. His only exposure to the outside world were two video tapes thrown down the basement garbage chute. They were a Fraggle Rock tape, and and Iron Maiden concert video. At the age of 25 during a home invasion, he had his sexual awakening at the hands of Marianne Toilet. Like an oversized ass-ripping turd, Spinabifitravis has provided the chunky, filthy, stool-shaking guitar leads to Marianne Toilet’s sex-filled musical fuckfest.”

So there you have the ramblings of the six-stringer, unaltered as per his request.  I wanted to get an angle on the musical renderings of MT & Runs.  We all know bassists think they are gods (I have the right to say that since I have been one) so who better to address the rhythm and the screws of this otherwise theatric comedy act than Cami Traumatic herself.

cami

music is my boyfriend

DP: How long have you been playing music?

 CT: I started writing songs when I was 5. I would sing onto cassette tapes.  Then I started playing my sister’s keyboard till I got one of my own around college. I started buying all kinds of instruments. I had a lot of music in my head but didn’t know how to get it out.  Then I started taking some piano lessons in school.

 DP: I thought I saw you performing in all black with some seemingly metal act.  Was this you?

 CT:  Yes, that was me in the picture you saw.  Only metal bands wanted me but I am into all kindsa music.

 DP: So you’ve played in your share of bands?

 CT: Yeah I’ve been in my fair share of bands, mostly as lead singer.  I dabbled in bass a year ago but had severe wrist issues which made me think I’d never play it again. Then in college I found bands on craigslist. I knew a lot of musicians but the general thing I heard was “girl singers are pointless.”  I got into one band as the keyboardist and just kinda bullshit my way through it til i figured it out. When I met Todd a few years ago… I decided quickly I was gonna be in his band.  So far, he knew I had played keys and sang…but I picked up my bass and convinced him that was what I was gonna do.

 DP: So is music your life? or a hobby?

 CT: Absolutely. Music is definitely my life.  I’m lost without it.  My world revolves around it.  I used to have a shirt that said “music is my boyfriend”

 DP: I would wear that now just to be ironic.  How would you describe the sound of MT &  the Runs?

 CT: Honestly I’m never thinking of a genre when I write. Writing is just whatever feels right, and if it sounds like a different genre than the previous song, oh well.  We just sounds like fun.  We sound like a bunch of people trying to laugh at our own issues while we embrace them at the same time.  We sound like a herd of muskrats being tumbled around in a drier with flutes stuck in their butts. Idk man haha.

DP: So you do the female backup vocals as well?

 CT: Yes, If u hear a girl in any song that’s me.

 DP: Have you guys released anything on media? or all digital?

 CT: Well we give out CDs at shows.

 DP:  Ok so you have a cd with the same songs that are online?

CT: Yes

 DP: More songs?

 CT: No. Same ones.  We only had one day to record and have everything mixed.

 DP:  So are you guys/gals here to stir up some shit?

 CT: Definitely! Haha. Did you say “shit” because we are the runs? Haha

 DP: Maybe your defining a new sound, or rock era coming from Boston and MA culture?

 CT: Hopefully!!

 DP: More!

 CT: We do a song where I rap about having ADHD and OCD and such and I really do (suffer from those conditions).

 DP: Where can I hear that song?

 CT: Unfortunately only live right now.  Until we have more money to record in the studio again. It’s our Theme Song, we start every show with it.  It introduces us all

 DP: So you really suffer from this disorder? ADHD, or OCD?

 CT: Yes, Both, Horribly.  I also have a tic disorder which is like tourette’s but waaaaaaaay more manageable so it’s kind of not… Same medicine though haha

 DP: Yes medicine you said the magic word whats your favorite “medicine?”

 CT: I don’t know. I wouldn’t take tylenol for a head ache half the time growing up.  I have one of the worst cases of ADHD and OCD to the point where most people don’t graduate high school with them. I graduated high school, college and started my own business for a few years.  I was reluctant to take any medicine till life got nearly unmanageable and I realized I needed some assistance.  Other than the prescribed needed medicine I’m not into anything else. I’m sort of straight edge you could say as far and drugs and alcohol, I don’t do any of it. So did u even see the stickers i sent?

 DP: Yeah monkeys,  I have this thing with monkeys.

 CT: Oh yeah?  Like… A “thing”?

 DP: It’s too complex to get into here, this is about you.  No not like that, nothing illegal.

CT: Well whatever. You have to do what makes you happy. Look at the people who wake up every morning and go on a hunt for the lochness monster. If that’s what makes you feel alive and gets you out of bed in the morning then who cares. Do that shit!

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So there you have the final exposition of my feline curiosity.  Although it didn’t kill me, there is enough ego in this band to power a small suburb; watch out wind turbines!   Marianne Toilet & the Runs is a good mixture of the performing arts.  That is the reason I chose them as the subject for my first feature for Dependent Press.  Have MT & R fully matured musically and comedically?  I would hope not.  I look forward to future offerings from this motley crew.  Let’s just hope they don’t have to endure the scrutiny of their predecessors in old-town Massachusetts.  Whether they like it or not, they seem to be living their art because of those who died in the witch trials of Salem.  So carry on you filthy neo-witches.  The pressure is on.

 DP – DP