Translated from the magazine "Destiny" ©NPTWN Press - Taiwan.
Meeting Abomination Angel for the first time was, to say the least, unnerving. A lot has been said about the man. Most of it crap, I think... However, you can never tell.
We met in a hotel room in the downside of the city - reached via the red lights and vagrants - the epitome of the chaos that is Abomination angel. But once inside I began to understand a little of the man who creates the sounds of chaos and hate within the music he makes and we love. What I expected to hear, I don't know. What I found was someone who thought carefully about what he was saying... sometimes speaking quickly to get to the main thrust the matter - sometimes pausing to reflect on what he had said or was about to say. Whatever... Perhaps it was the way he spoke or the things he said, but I found myself, for once, listening rather than seeking the next question. Read what he said and make your own mind up...
You've been very vocal recently regarding the death and election of the new Pope. Explain briefly what your feelings actually are on the new Pope?
Frankly, I've always thought the whole idea of one man acting as the voice of God as obscene. It was actually total coincidence that "911" came out at the same time as the death of Pope John Paul, but it did mean it got heard more than perhaps it would have done. I mean, it's like "God save the Queen." That song would have had an impact anyway because it was the [Sex] Pistols, but it was the timing that really made the difference. Bring it out during the Jubilee year - hey, make that Jubilee week, why not? - and people are going to listen. Well, maybe not even listen - just be offended by it. And the result? A much bigger impact than it would have made at any other time. Consequently, people became more defensive towards the pope and more anti me, when the record was released. Believe what you will... I'm telling you that record would have come out whether or not events had occurred that way. New pope, old pope - it's still a pope and it's frightening the control one man has on much of the planet.
Yet the track, Fatwa911, appears to be more anti Muslim than Christian?
No - I think I give each the same kicking as the other. You can call it whatever you like but I'm making the point that until religion is finally replaced with reality & sanity, there will always be Violence in the name of god. People that seek to either impose their god on others by violent means or wipe out the 'infidels' - those that don't believe. We've seen it throughout history, whether it be the Crusades, Protestants & Catholics in Ireland or Sheiks & Hindus in India - there is always some religious group fighting another.
But you seem to have slated the Muslim faith wholeheartedly, some may say dangerously, in "Underground." What are your feelings at the moment, towards the Muslim community, following the London bombings?
Lets be honest about this. It's not the majority of people with faith in whatever god, that go round killing people. It's the fanatical few. I'm not stupid & I realise that. However, the big problem is that god, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish or whatever, is a god of violence and vengeance. You only have to look at the Bible to see example after example of this. Just a for instance... Take the chapter in the book of Numbers where Joshua has entered the promised land. There they are in camp and one man is caught collecting wood. We don't know why, but it's safe to assume he was either cold or needed it to cook & eat. Fair enough. Trouble was that it was the Sabbath. They took him to Joshua who didn't know what to do, so asked god. What does god say? "He's working on the Sabbath. Take him out and kill him." So they take him outside the camp and stone him to death. Now I'm thinking, "What?" The whole idea is totally obscene... I beg anyone to disagree. Yet the frightening thing is that for centuries, people's lives revolved around this stuff. They lived this to the letter. And that's what's happening today with the extremists. Take a few verses and use them to inflict pain, violence & terror on others in the name of religious piety. You see, it's not just Muslim extremists, there are fanatics in all religion.
The majority of people with a faith don't follow these extreme views, though. Why condemn these people who themselves condemn the violence perpetrated?
Because whilst not physically violent towards others, all those who worship a god do so in the belief that they are the only true way. "No one comes to the father except by me." You know the phrase. Most if not all Christians take this literally. If you don't turn to Jesus and be saved you're destined for hell. The same goes for every other faith on the planet. Once you get into it, you follow the rules or you're damned as well. Again, I come back to the idea of one man making the rules. Image if I formed a religion & said, "God has told me that contraception is evil and so is abortion, so I forbid anyone to go down these routes. However, he has said that you should practise sex within marriage as this is good." I'd be condemned by most of the intelligent world as a lunatic. 'You want to bring hundreds of children into the world which we don't need? You have just had a severely disabled child and are struggling to bring him up and yet, despite the odds on any further children being born with even worse conditions, or even dead, you forbid contraception. You're encouraging people with little or no income to raise more children?' The reaction of most sane people would be understandably angry. And yet, millions of Catholics go along with this philosophy every day of their lives, because the pope says so. They live their lives by what he says, and by small obscure verses in the old testament. They attack homosexuals for being unnatural because of what the Bible says, but incidentally also ignore what Paul says about women being silent in church. I don't condemn the people themselves - just what they stand for.
What do you think should be done about the threats posed from religious extremists?
Apart from making religion illegal? No, seriously. I just find it incredible how some people's feelings towards others are so marked by what their religion says. Let me give you a simple example - obviously apart from those wanting to blow me to bits because I don't happen to follow their god - I was listening to the radio and they were discussing the withdrawal from the Gaza strip by Israel. Obviously there were those Israelis that had resigned themselves to this for the sake of peace, but there were also those that were intent on holding out. One woman gave her reason that this was the land given to them by god. THIS was her belief and was the only reason that she was not going to leave the strip, except by force. I'm sure there were many other relevant reasons for wanting to stay - I mean put yourself in her situation & I know I'd come up with a few dozen - but her paramount reason was that god had given her this land. In this situation it can be quite dangerous. Reality and reason go out the window once you start saying "god says this or that is right, so it doesn't matter what YOU feel." Convince someone that god says it's ok & you're away. Take David Koresh. He had women sleeping with him because he convinced them god wanted them to do so. The problem is that it's got so out of hand . Previously you had to gather an army to wipe out a load of non-believers, as in the crusades. Now, because of the technology involved, from dozens to thousands can be killed by just a small handful of people. it took four planes and a few believers to wipe out thousands of Americans. Four people caused death and mayhem on the tube. What do you do about it? There will always be these people who justify terror, violence and hatred through god and religion. Yeah... make it illegal I suppose.
But aren't you doing the same? You disagree with religion and you're turning your own hatred towards those that have some sort of faith?
No. Absolutely not. What I hate is religion... the idea of a god and all that this encompasses. I don't hate people. What I hate is the effect religion has on people. How it provokes violence towards other men who don't have the same faith. Get rid of the religious crap and Osama Bin Laden could be a decent bloke. No seriously. What turned him against the West? The fact that, in his eyes, the West are all infidels and should be wiped out. By doing so he's laying down his own riches in heaven - killing non-believers. The stupid thing is, that we're all going to hell according to his faith, so it doesn't really matter whether we die now or later - the result is still the same. It's weird - if he didn't have the will of god ringing in his ears all the time, 911 may never have happened and he could have spent his cash on saving lives instead of destroying them. That's life. I'm against religion - Not against the person.
Your new album is out soon. Why has it taken so long?
I've been busy. [Laughs]. Really. It's almost a year late but... Fuck! I actually had a lot of the album virtually in the can, but then I felt it needed a slightly different direction. Some of the songs I kept - a couple I chucked. Also the original production was too neat.
In what way, "too neat?"
Over produced. I wanted a rough, almost home-made sound. Studio is ok but I've always been at my best live...
Not enough violence in the studio?
No... there's always some... but not like a couple of thousand hyped up kids on the rampage at a gig... it's never been something I've sought. it just sort of happens. As they do. But, no, because Abomination Angel has always been a raw sound, why clean it all up for a record? The original had strings - yeah can you believe it? Strings! Whereas now... well, there's a bit of fuzz from a buzzing plug in there somewhere, the odd duff note and things like that, the vocals sometimes don't quite reach the peaks their supposed to... but that's how it should be. I don't want a "perfect" sound - I don't want crap either - but take away the edge and you lose a lot of what it's all about.
What about the record company? Weren't they pushing to get it released quicker?
Topheth? Superb they were - and still are. Yeah, of course they give me jip - they want their "product." Fucking product - it's not songs is it - it's just fucking product to them. But give them their due, they have been patient. I suppose it's the contract I've got. They know I'll turn out something decent and, yes, it'll sell. Certainly in the East. God knows what'll happen in the UK & the states.
Are you going to push harder to get the recognition in the West that you have in say, Japan and the far east?
I honestly don't know. I've done a bit in Europe and the UK but I enjoy what I'm doing here, and I've got a huge base of hardcore fans who seem to follow me around - usually causing trouble I might add - but having a good fuck-off time along with it. Local areas don't go a bundle on me being there, but the fans love it - big or small, I don't mind what sort of venues we play, but so long as people remember the night its been ok. I'll do another set in South America if I can - that was really something. Getting back to Cusco and Antofaqasta might be a bit of a problem [Violence erupted at these two venues] but it was a great time we had.
Is security a problem?
Shouldn't be. I know Abomination Angel carries a reputation but towns know that as well. There were bloody huge preparations in some of the places, like Lima, that we went to. But, like Antofaqasta had a couple of fucking traffic wardens to control about eight thousand kids. It ain't gonna happen! There was a bit of a ruck towards the end of the set and it seemed to erupt after the show. I can't control things outside - that's up to the local police and stuff to look after that side.
So you're going on tour again soon?
First I've got to get the album out. Then yes.
The working title I believe was "Skeleton Army." Is it still called that?
No. That was what I'd originally intended. The Skeleton Army was a group of vigilante folk who came together soon after the formation of the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army used to go round the local inns preaching abstinence - not like today where they go round collecting money. They stood outside the pubs preaching & encouraging people not to go in. The Skeleton army were simply a group of men that had enough and decided to voice their opposition by beating the shit out of the Salvation Army. It was a notion that had a sort of appeal to it [Laughs]. So that's what I called it initially. When it comes out in a few weeks, it'll be "Religious Intolerance." It's a play on words, really. It echoes the intolerance shown by fanatical groups of zealots at the moment and also my own intolerance towards anything religious. That's what it's called.
When will it actually be out?
The final date hasn't been decided yet. Within the next two months, I'm sure. I'm really just working on the design stuff - cover, that sort of thing. That's been a headache because of objections to some of the images which the company think are too strong and which I think are right. Something's gotta give & we'll agree in the end. Yeah. couple of months. I'll let you know.
The 30 minutes passed too quickly, and I found that with my recorder working only briefly, and resorting to pen and paper after only 10 minutes, I seemed to be torn between simply listening and actually reporting. I left with a sense that here was someone who was more than just a "shock-horror tactician" out to make a quick buck. Here was someone with beliefs that had been born and nurtured over the years.
With his music and attitude, Abomination Angel might make a
quick buck after all... but if the kids actually listen, as well as fight, his
message and belief that things can change might just actually happen.