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December 06, 1991 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-12-06

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The Michigan Daily Friday, December 6,1991 Page 8
The Thrill Kill Kult
revamps music scene
Less industrial rock concept worships Satan


by Nima Hodaei
Let's get something straight. My
Life With the Thrill Kill Kult and
the Bomb Gang Girlz is not a band,
at least not according to Buzz Mc-
Coy, the keyboardist for the
Chicago-based industrial/dis-
co/dance act. In his opinion, the Kult
is a concept.
"Well, I think bands are musi-
cians ... and share the same sound and
goal in music, and are musically in-
clined," says McCoy, "whereas a
concept is more like - I don't know
- you have your painters who go to
art school all their lives and are
still bad, and people who have never
picked up a brush and then become
famous artists. None of us (in the
band) can claim to be good musi-
cians, and it's more an attitude. And
I think that's what makes a concept
- (being) more artistic rather than
music oriented."
Concept or band, the Thrill Kill
Kult has been shocking, annoying
and frustrating parents and censor-
ship groups around the country since
its inception four years ago. With
songs that contain a wide array of
references to Satan, Jesus and, on the
new album, sex, TKK has continu-
ously made fun of everything that

goes on around it. Song titles like
"Kooler than Jesus" and "The Devil
Does Drugs" have proven that the
Kult takes practically everything
with a grain of salt.
"The shocking thing is little old
ladies off the street handing us
pamphlets that say 'Christian zom-
bie vampires' on them," explains
McCoy. "These little old ladies are
handing us this and we're just spew-
ing it back out and they think we're
the ones that are crazy, or Satanic, or
The members of TKK, who all go
by pseudonyms - McCoy, Groovie
Mann (vocals), Levi Levi (bass),
Trash Kavity (guitar) and Adam
(drums) - originally met in
Chicago to form a movie sound-
track. Although the film was even-
tually scrapped, the team of McCoy
and Mann decided to use the film ti-
tle and start a band with the music
they had composed. A record deal
with the Wax Trax! label soon fol-
lowed, resulting in a number of 12"
recordings and albums, including
1991's Sexplosion - a disco-ori-
ented album that shocked a lot of
older fans who had been expecting
the former heavy industrial and
techno-sound from the band.
"With the new album, we de-

cided we wanted more of a concept
instead of a bunch of different
ideas," says McCoy. "Groovie and
myself said, 'OK, let's write an al-
bum we feel is really sexy to us.'
The mid-seventies was when we
were growing up, and that's the mu-
sic we'd hear in clubs all the time,
and go home to, and do whatever. I
think that's why it took on a disco
feel, 'cause that was our origin."
McCoy laughs when he's asked
about censorship. However, to orga-
nizations such as the P.M.R.C.
(Parents Music Resource Center),
there is no joke to what the TKK
does. The P.M.R.C. recently placed
the Kult on its infamous "hit-list,"
which is a compilation of bands the
group considers to be "dangerous"
and "obscene" for young listeners.
Once again, McCoy laughs,
"Censorship has no effect on us," he
says. "Our basic philosophy is, if it
makes them (P.M.R.C.) happier, if it
for some reason makes their life a
little better, we don't care. If they
want a sticker on our album ... I'll
put a sticker on it, because it doesn't
matter either way. I think I'm the
nicer guy just trying to give them an
easier life. It sucks that a sticker has.
to be there ... but the kids are going
to buy it anyway."

Nope, it's not Squeaky Fromme's autobiography. But My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult (with back-up singers the
Bomb Gang Girlz) ain't exactly a band, either. The bizarre outfit is more of a ... concept. Yeah, that's it.

Known for extravagant, cabaret-
style performances featuring female
back-up singers, the Bomb Gang
Girlz, the TKK has had to strip
things down a bit for its opening
slot on the current Siouxsie and the
Banshees tour. Nevertheless, Mc-
Coy is still full of adjectives in de-
scribing what fans will see.
"They can see forty-five minutes
of Las Vegas, sex, sexplosion, danc-
ing, fun, glitz ... just an overall

forty-five-minute orgasm," he ex-
With a move away from the
darker industrial music of other
bands in the business (such as Min-
istry and Front 242), the future of
the TKK, once this tour is finished,
remains largely a mystery.
"Tentatively, I want to get back
to the visual aspect, which we never
really explored too much, meaning
video, etc.," says McCoy. "Hope-

fully, the next album will be long
format video, where there's a video
for every song, and maybe every
song tied together, sort of like a
Regardless of what comes out of
this production, it can safely be as-
sumed that the TKK will continue
to terrorize the authorities, while
touching base with its loyal legion
of fans. After all, not taking itself
See KULT, Page 12

Jazz drummer Max
Roach blazes on at 67

Charles Dickens joins Bert
Hornback for Christmas fun

by Josh Mitnick

In the mid-'40s, Max Roach, to-
gether with Charlie Parker and
Dizzie Gillespie, revolutionized the
jazz world with be-bop, bringing
controversial new melodic concepts
and exciting improvisational tech-
niques to American music.
As Parker redefined the alto sax
and Gillespie the trumpet, Roach
transformed his drums from their
traditional supporting role in the
rhythm section to instruments just
as capable of creative improvisa-
tions as any horn or piano in the jazz
Almost 50 years later, Roach
continues to explore new formats
and new sounds, composing music
for ensembles featuring non-tradi-
tional jazz instruments. M'Boom, a
group Roach has nurtured for the
last 10 years, utilizes over 100 per-
cussive instruments, while his dou-

ble quartet combines a string quar-
tet with his traditional quartet.
Jazz shouldn't be confined to the
regular combination of trumpet,
sax, bass and drums, Roach said.
"It's very narrow to think that jazz
is confined to that instrumental
configuration," he explained.
"You're constantly searching
for ideas. It's a creative art," said
Roach, explaining why he has exper-
imented with so many different
mediums and formats. "At least
you're doing something today that
you didn't do yesterday."
You would think that juggling
so many ensembles and projects all
at once might make for a lot of con-
fusion, but Roach says working on
several different projects at the
same time actually heightens the
level of excitement he brings to the
music. "It means that I don't have
to depend on one musical format to
survive artistically," he said.

Nowhere is this demonstrated
more than on Roach's latest release,
To the Max. Featuring original
compositions performed with
M'Boom, his quartet, his double
quartet, and his chorus and orches-
tra, the album samples Roach's
broad experience of musical explo-
ration within the jazz genre.
As if this wasn't enough, Roach
has gone outside of jazz perfor-
mance, composing music for theater
See ROACH, Page 12

by John Morgan
C ontrary to popular belief,
Charles Dickens remains alive and
Recalled to life for his annual
performance by University profes-
sor of English Bert Hornback,
Dickens will be reading A Christ-
mas Carol at the University Art
Museum tonight and tomorrow
night. The version that will be per-
formed has been shortened from the
original to fit a one-hour time span,
although Hornback has added two
new scenes to this year's perfor-
Hornback has given well over
300 readings during the past 16
years, from Jackson Prison (where
he was made an honorary inmate) to
St. Paul's Cathedral in London,
travelling with a replica of Dickens'
specially-designed velvet-covered
reading desk on hand, and always

performing in full Dickens regalia.
Hornback admitted that during
his London performance, he felt less
natural in the part, describing the
streets of the city - a city where he
himself was a foreigner - to its
own inhabitants. "That was the
only time I knew it was a fraud,"
Hornback said.
"The Art Museum is always the
most fun," Hornback continued.
"The audience is more responsive to
the positive aspects (of the read-
Hornback was inspired to do the
revival by Dickens himself. During
his lifetime, Dickens travelled
throughout England and the United
States, reading from his own work,
often doing so to assist charities. As
he did in the 19th century, the resur-
rected Dickens will begin his up-
coming reading by briefly dis-
cussing current problems in the

The reading will be preceded by a
performance of carols by the Adult
Flute Ensemble of the Ann Arbor
Studio of Performing Arts, directed
by Penelope Fischer. Afterwards,
the Residential College Singers
will lead the audience in Christmas
carols. Donations will also be ac-
cepted for Oxfam, the family relief
fund founded in Oxford.
Hornback stressed the continued
timeliness of the themes in Dickens'
work, particularly in A Christmas
Carol. "Dickens argues against
greed. It's in all of the novels," he
said. "Every year, we keep promis-
ing to make the world a better place.
If we stop doing even that, it's all
over." As Hornback concluded,
"Christmas doesn't belong to
Christians alone."
CHARLES DICKENS reads tonight
and tomorrow night at 7:45 p.m. at
the University Art Museum. The
doors will open at 7:15. Tickets are
available at the Michigan Union
ticket office, free of charge.
5TH AVE. AT UBERTY 7614700
. l Present this coupon when
Purchasing a large
and receive one




Gender Issues: Today and Tomorrow

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