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December 05, 1994 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-12-05

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x__,_ . ..... . -..-.- ----..E


Godflesh tears away at metal

With the recent signing to a major
*cord company, a controversial video
by the decade's most controversial
artist and being the opening band for
the very selective Danzig/Type 0
Negative audience, Godflesh vocalist
S/guitarist Justin Broadrick has some-
thing more important on his mind.
"We should be in Providence, but
our bus broke down yesterday," he
lamented in his English accent. "We
d to stop in New Jersey. We might
ve to take a train. It could be bad."
When the horrors of Amtrak are
not worrying Broadrick, he fronts the
acclaimed noise band Godflesh, who
have earned a strong underground
audience in the U.S. with their unique
form of minimalist industrial hard
rock. After several years on the inde-
pendent label Earache the band signed
a deal with Columbia, joining such
*ainstream roster acts like Alice in
Chains. For Broadrick, it was time to
move on.
"They gave us money to buy a
bigger studio," he explained. "Mil-
lion times better promotion, more
money for videos, and more money to
get ourselves over to people more
professionally, which is great."
With the major label signing has
o come more pressure, as the label
viously hopes to turn the band into
a money-maker. But Broadrick real-
izes his angry, confrontational and
completely undanceable form of mu-
sic is not the stuff of superstars.
"Godflesh is a rock band, but it's
not commercially oriented as an aver-
age rock band," he said. "It's obvious
we're never going to be a million
ler, but we can get to amuch bigger
el than we are. We're never going
to be Guns 'N' Roses or anything ...
that's not the idea, anyway."
Anotherreason for the move might
have been the limitations of being on
Earache, a wonderful but narrow-
minded label specializing in death
metal bands like Napalm Death.
Godflesh worked with many of their
labelmates, but also stood out rather
"We sort of outlived some of the
stuff," he said. "We advanced our
music to some extent. The Earache
thing has been a bit of a stigma in the
long run. In England the media's re-
ally fashion-oriented, and Earache is
seen as unfashionable. Which is fine,
because the English music scene gen-
erally sucks."
Although Broadrick laughed at the

last statement, he has several horror
stories about the treatment he has
received from both the press and En-
glish audiences in the past.
"If we were applauded heavily in
England, we would think there was
something wrong," he laughed.
"America's got it much more sorted
out and is open to something more
decent, as opposed to England where
you have to play some stupid little
ballgame and be fashionable. You
have to live in London ... it's a lot of
However, Broadrick is quick to
list fellow Earache band mates as a
'We don't always think
reality is absolutely
necessary. Our music
deals with half
extreme reality and
half extreme fantasy.
We're saying there's a
way out to some
-Justin Broadrick,
guitarist of Godflesh
musical and political inspiration.
"When Napalm Death started off,
it was an anarchy punk thing," he
explained. "I hold some of the same
ideals now as when I was in anarchy.
Now we've gone beyond that; we're
resigned to 'people are what they are'
and 'the world is what it is,' things are
very black and very screwed up. We
got out of the dogma years ago, but
it's still very personal."
As Godflesh rails against control
and conformity they have also in-
spired their share ofcontroversy. Their
video for the latest single "Crush My
Soul" (off of the brilliant "Selfless"
album) was directed by Andres
Serrano, a photoartist that single-
handedly pissed off artistic
ubermensch Jesse Helms a few years
ago with his "Piss Christ" exhibit.
The band had used a very similar
photo on their "Streetcleaner" album
a few years back and were very inter-
ested in having the controversial art-
ist work with them.
"We knew he never made a video
before," Broadrick admitted. "But we
knew how he put stuff together, and if
he could make a video it would be
great. I think it's going to have prob-

lems with MTV. It makes a few state-
ments that might make some people
uncomfortable, which is what 'Piss
Christ' was about. That's the sort of
statement we make as a band."
Growing up in a restrictive En-
glish society has had its effect on
Broadrick. "England is a very limit-
ing society," he said. "That's what a
lot of our stuff deals with. It makes us
angry to see people filed away like
sheep. We just say to people, 'Use
drugs and stuff.' We say some dan-
gerous things sometimes, we say
things to escape everyday existence.
We don't always think reality is abso-
lutely necessary. Ourmusic deals with
half extreme reality and half extreme
fantasy. We're saying there's a way
out to some extent."
Another influence from growing
up in Birmingham was the legendary
music scene that came from the bleak
industrial town. "We're huge early
Black Sabbath fans ... they're from
the same area literally, brought up a
mile away from where we were,"
Broadrick explained. "It's a cultural
thing. Led Zeppelin came from there,
Napalm Death is from there."
"It breeds individuality," he
laughed. "It's a working class area.
We say it's the Detroit of England,
like the hard-core bits of Detroit."
As the band nears the end of its
successful tour with Danzig and Type
O Negative, plans are already in the
works to come back in March with the
godfathers of industrial, Ministry.
Unlike the huge shows that Al
Jourgensen and company put on,
Godflesh is using only its two band
members, a drum machine and a live
drummer to recreate the dense sound
of their records live.
"Musically it's the exact same,"
he explained. "People think there is
something there that they can't put
their finger on with our music. I guess
that's our secret, not that there is any
real secret to our music."
Broadrick sees the appeal of the
band to be much more basic. "I think
it's because we have an abstract way of
approaching rock music," he said, later
adding, "People just want to be con-
trolled, begging for it. We feel the op-
posite way about life, and we're willing
to scream at people about being an
individual and making a choice."
GODPLESH is opening with Type
O Negative for Danzig at the State
Theatre in Detroit tonight. Doors
open at 7:30 p.m. for metal-heads
of all ages. Call (313) 961-5450.

Everyone felt groovy on Saturday night with MUSKET's production of "Hair." Peace, man. TONYA BROAD/Daily
A 'Hair'i-raising eXperience
MUSKET took a 'trip' with the tribal rock musical

On a psychedelic cloud of marijuana haze, MUSKET's
production of "Hair" hit the Power Center this weekend.
For cast and audience members it was a time warp back to
the '60s.
Even before the show began, it was clear that the cast
members were
really into their
- 'parts. They
ai walked among
the audience
Power Center members, hand-
December 3, 1994 ing out daisies
and inviting ev-
eryone to the "Be in." This pre-show mingling worked
well to get people thinking in a different frame of mind.
Clearly the strong point of the show was the cast.
Members of the "tribe" brought realism to their hippie
characters and each created their own individual persona.
The featured actors were basically strong in their parts.
Yet, amongst this strong cast, scene stealers still
emerged in Benjamin Cherry (Claude) and David Burtka
(Berger). These two were perfectly cast in the leading
Burtka had an excellent sense of comedic timing,
while also being able to be serious when his part dictated.
Cherry was incredibly moving as the tortured Claude who
is forced to choose between life as a hippie and serving his
country in Vietnam. Both Burtka and Cherry had strong,
unwavering voices which carried of the songs well. These
performances were especially impressive when you real-
ize that Burtka and Cherry are both sophomores. It will be
great to see them in other shows in the future.
The other standouts in the production were first-year

students Elveria Buford (Hud) and Nicholas Sattinger
(Woof). Both were consistently funny with strong vocals.
Sattinger's ecstasy over his Mick Jagger poster was one of
the funniest parts of the show.
The songs are definitely the cornerstone of any pro-
duction of "Hair." While there is a throughline which
relates Claude's story, it is fairly weak. Director Tammy
Jacobs made a good effort to try to accentuate the story,
but the nature of the show makes this difficult.
No matter how closely you watched the story of the
show, you still left the theater singing "Let the Sunshine
In." The music definitely steals the show. And this cast
carried the music off with minimal sour notes.
The sound in the theater did not always do the music or
singersjustice. Several of the cast members were wearing
body mikes but were still difficult to hear, especially when
the entire cast sang. It was also somewhat distracting to
see the mikes on the performers.
Choreographer Ronit Mitzner did a wonderful job
bringing the cast together in large dance numbers. How-
ever, by the end of the show, the numbers began to look a
bit repetitive. There seemed to be only so many different
types of hippie moves which could be done in a cast of 29.
The set, designed by Marcus Sakey, was very basic.
With ramps and platforms for the tribe to move along,
space was utilized very well to give the impression of a
free and easy life-style which was not confined to struc-
ture. The players frequently walked out into the audience
space which gave the show more of a community feeling,
as if all of the audience were members of the tribe.
MUSKET successfully staged a production of "Hair"
which left people dancing up the aisles and whistling on
the way out. The Power Center became a "trip" back in
time which left nostalgia ringing in the ears.

'Gothadelic' Type 0 Negative tells the truth, whether you want to hear it or not

After three years of doing things
their own way Type O Negative, the
self-described "four assholes from
Brooklyn wearing our psyches on our
yes," is finally enjoying success.
t artistic freedom and frighteningly
honest viewpoints have also occasion-

ally swallowed up the band and their
music, putting them on the defensive.
"At one point we were called Na-
zis," keyboardist/co-producer Josh
Silver explained over the phone from
Providence. "I'm Jewish. Ithink that's
pretty fucking funny."
Part of the problem comes from

lead singer Peter Steele's rather
moody and candid subject matter,
which involves a lot of personal grief
and failed relationships. Titles such
as "I Know You're Fucking Someone
Else" and their current single "Chris-
tian Woman" (an attack on the Catho-
lic Church and inhibited sexual ex-
pression) at one time provoked self-
righteous critics, who now have to sit
back and watch the band get signifi-
cant airplay and critical accolades.
"The songs are 99% about deep
emotion, which everyone has, so how
could you disagree with that?" Silver
The songs on their latest release
"Bloody Kisses" continue to explore
inner pain, sometimes taking over 10
minutes per song. Each track encom-
passes the best of thrash, goth, and
even '60s psychedelia that surpris-
ingly has found a home in the era of

Southern California pop punk and
Sabbath grunge.
"It's not like we said 'Let's go
commercial and do 12-minute
songs,"' Silver said. "We do what we
want, and we can't be concerned with
sales. Type O Negative tells the truth,
and people don't like to hear it."
The success of the band has placed
it on several mainstream tours, in-
cluding such odd pairings as Nine
Inch Nails, the current Danzig show
and in the future Pantera. But the self-
described "gothadelic" band has no
qualms with their tour mates, includ-
ing this past summer's bizarre stint
with Motley Crue; in the end that tour
with the bad boys of '80s metal was
not all girls, girls, girls.
"Middle America audiences are
the same kids that go out to see Mot-
ley Crue go out to see Nine Inch
Nails," Silver said. "I mean, there's

nothing to do in middle America, if
there's a show coming through it's
something to do. Motley Crue treated
us great, and it was a lot of fun."
While Type 0 Negative has a lot
in common with the introspection of
Trent Reznor, they also seem to share
a subtle but dark sense of humor.
Recently they covered the old Seals
and Croft hippie love anthem "Sum-
mer Breeze" (also the soundtrack to a
nice feminine hygiene commercial),
recrafting it into a bizarre psyche-

delic epic with a killer guitar riff.
"Actually the first version we did
completely different lyrics, because
the lyrics were dated and rather mean-
ingless," Silver explained. "I mean,
'paper on the sidewalk'? What the
fuck is this?"
Unfortunately, with age the soft
pop duo had become rather crotchety
and demanded they go back in and
use the original dated free love prose.
See NEGATIVE, Page 8

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University of Michigan
Director of Housing
Search Advisory Committee
invites ,
the University community
to attend
public presentations of the remaining two
candidates we are bringing to campus.
These sessions will provide an excellent
opportunity to meet the individuals.

Type 0 Negative plays with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir tonight in Detroit.


A1.1ka .


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