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Auxiliary Magazine is an alternative fashion, music, and lifestyle magazine available online for free. JUNE / JULY 2013
skinny puppy
sex gang children / OOFJ
ego assassin / alexander mcqueen
latex and leather / oil and pastel
subtle rebellion
nina de lianin / ophelia overdose
toxic beachbabe / making trouble
look but don’t touch / neon glare
I like to take some time with the Editor’s Letter each issue to reflect on the issue we just put together. To try to pick up on any overarching themes that seemed to have created themselves on our pages. All our features seem to gel in an odd way and line up on the same wavelength. Our music editor, Mike Kieffer, pointed out a sort of trend this issue: rebellion. Not straight up riot and mayhem; more the rebellion we had in our youth. As he sort of put it, “I’m gonna kick over this gar-
bage can cause ugh, I can, so there!” Then he got a bit grandiose with it, going on that it’s about stepping out of your moral norm, disregarding for a moment your social obligations, going outside your comfort zone, letting your guard down, and pushing the boundaries. I guess, breaking the habits and disobeying just a bit to see things in a new light, to kind of realize it’s not all so important and new things and creativity only come from shaking it up a bit and sometimes just not caring and doing your own thing. Try to decode that mess of text. It’s a hard thing to pin down: a little bit of nostalgia, a little bit of defiance, kind of cynical and innocent all at once. This issue sort of rebelled a bit too because it in itself is a bit all over the place. Some of the features and editorials fit this theme, others are pushing against it. It seems like it’s going to be an odd summer and when we come out on the other end in fall something is going to be different. Not dramatically, but slightly differ-
ent. Musically? Fashion-wise? Socially? Not sure. To make this even more ram-
bling, I’ll finish with a thought I had while putting together the Sex Gang Children interview: when the scene we now know as goth was getting a name, it was just a bunch of artists (people we now consider icons) doing their thing. It’s easy to feel disjointed when like-minded individuals are spread across the world connected by a fragile network, not a close knit Batcave, but if we just focus on each other, our culture, our scene, maybe another movement with some real substance can emerge.
Sincerely, Jennifer Link
Editor in Chief
Jennifer Link
Fashion Editor
Tasha Farrington
Music Editor
Mike Kieffer
Copy Editor
Dylan Madeley
Logo Design
Melanie Beitel
Layout Design
Jennifer Link
Aaron Andrews
Tasha Farrington
Reem Jazar Jessica Jewell Mike Kieffer
Liisa Ladouceur
Arden Leigh
Nina de Lianin
Jennifer Link
Dylan Madeley
Paul Morin
Jessica Rowell
Vanity Kills
Moritz Maibaum
Bailey Northcott
Ian Compton
Justine Louise
Gregory Moore
Laura Dark
Marisa Pike
Ron Douglas
Jennifer Link
Photographs / Illustrations
photograph on 3 / Bailey Northcott
photographs on 18 / Jennifer Link
photographs on 20, 22, 23
Emilie Elizabeth and John Kraw
photographs on 26, 27, 28
Bari Goddard
illustration on 36
Michael Morton 3
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY Auxiliary = alternative, supplementary, to provide what is missing, to give support. Auxiliary Magazine is an alternative fashion, music, and lifestyle magazine cover-
ing goth, industrial, EBM, electronic, punk, indie, pinup, retro, rockabilly, gotha-
billy, deathrock, witch house, grave wave, cybergoth, cyberpunk, steampunk, and many more subcultures, genres, and styles that all combine to create one Auxiliary. / email :
Advertising / email :
issue 28 : june/july 2013 / ISSN 1948-9676
No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the permission in writing from the publisher, except small excerpts for review purposes. Submitted work, reviews, ads, and photographs are copyrighted by their respective owners and fall under previous declaration. Copyright Auxiliary Magazine 2013.
your opi ni ons on the Apr/May 2013 Issue
Auxiliary y’all are too sweet darlings!!! Your mag is sick on an ill note!!! I look forward to it every month!!! - Kelly Flinkman via our website
I have been a fan of Audrey Kitching since my shameful scene days. I’m glad to see her have grown into an alternative style icon and model! - Gregory via our website
Love the new issue! Especially the Douglas McCarthy interview! The hair, fashion, and makeup are to die for and very inspiring. - Denise Upchurch via our website
I absolutely love this magazine, from its music to its alternative style. I love the hair in the Lady of the Manor photoshoot. - Vicky via our website
share your thoughts on the i ssue, news and events, whatever i s on your mi nd!
Email, comment on our website, tweet at @auxiliarymag, or comment on our Facebook page.
Tahsa Farrington aka Pretty Deadly Stylz has been working for over ten years as a stylist and creative director in the Toronto scene. Styling for hair salons, boutiques, local designers, and photographers day to day to hone her skills, she awaits her favorites, the next editorial or highly creative project. “And of course styling for the goth/al-
ternative scene, which I started from, and is where I feel my style excels,” Farrington explains. She contributed fashion editorials for a couple years before becoming our Fashion Editor in 2012. With our June/July 2013 Issue she celebrates one year as Auxiliary Magazine’s Fashion Editor! “I’ve been dabbling in more modern alternative of late, but I am beginning to also see some more classic looks emerge, so the styling will probably take on a but more of a fundamentals feel in upcoming issues. At the same time I like to break the ideas and concepts of what alternative is exactly. So there will probably always be a few weird combinations, and looks that walk the edge of what alternative is to us as a group.”
Tasha Farrington
5 runway to vani ty
Anna Sui ’s bol d eye
6 oi l s & pastel s
a soft meets dramati c summer
14 mythi c
hai rstyl es of l egend
18 the goth gi rl ’s gui de to the beach
beauty pi cks for the beach bound goth
19 fi l m revi ews
Stori es We Tel l and Star Trek Into Darkness
20 Ski nny Puppy
i ndustri al l egends Ogre and cEvi n Key tal k about the new al bum Weapon
25 i ntroducti ons
26 Sex Gang Chi l dren
Andi Sex Gang on the new al bum Vi va Vi gi l ante! and moments at the Batcave
29 musi c revi ews
The Kni fe, Sui ci de Commando, Austra, THYX, Army of the Uni verse, and more
ski nny puppy : 20
ni na de l i ani n : 42
sex gang chi l dren . OOFJ . ophel i a overdose : 26 . 25 . 33 ego assassi n . al exander mcqueen . toxi c beachbabe : 38 . 36 . 41
maki ng troubl e . neon gl are . oi l and pastel . l atex : 54 . 41 . 6 . 50
32 ask arden
advi ce on rel ati onshi p strategi es
33 the Pi nUp
Ophel i a Overdose
36 i con
Al exander McQueen
38 desi gner spotl i ght
Ego Assassi n
41 styl e
toxi c beachbabe
42 shape
featuri ng Ni na de Li ani n
50 temptress
l ook but don’t touch
54 troubl e makers
punk meets grunge meets trashy styl e
64 must
l ace tri mmed cami sol e
65 where to buy
Photographer : Mori tz Mai baum
Fashi on Styl i st : Ni na de Li ani n
Makeup : Sonj a Schwarz
Hai r : Sonj a Schwarz
Model : Ni na de Li ani n
AUXILIARY june/july 2013
THE VANITY : For more of a natural feel, start out with a medium-full coverage mineral foundation by applying the powder in a circular motion. For ad-
ditional sheen and contour, use pastel pink on the cheek and a bubblegum pink on the cheekbones by lightly sweeping on the color. To add warmth, use a golden tan or bronzer to further contour the forehead and cheekbones. For the eyes, apply a cream base in blue to the lid, starting at the inner corner of the eye and following your crease, extend the edges into a winged shape creating an exaggerated cat eye. Your base layer doesn’t need to be perfect, with a turquoise pigment start filling in the shape and refine any lines. For depth use a true blue or darker hue at the tail of the cat eye to give the shadow dimension. To avoid any pesky fall-out be sure to add a layer of powder underneath the eye. Simply sweep this away once you’ve applied the pigment. With black liquid liner follow the shape by outlining the crease, also line your upper lid and lastly create a winged edge on your lower lid. To top off the look use mascara and lashes if desired. For the lips, a great nude or pastel lip color will suffice. Change up the color palette and have fun with this versatile look!
The creativity and innovation of the runway reinvented for recreation at your vanity.
THE RUNWAY : Anna Sui’s models hit the catwalk this season with a refreshing contemporary spin on the classic mod cat eye during her S/S 2013 presentation at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. This bold eye pairs per-
fectly with soft pastels and is a great go-to look for the summer!
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY 5
written by Jessica Rowell
photographer Marisa Pike
fashion stylist Jessica Rowell of J-Chan’s Designs
makeup artist Jessica Rowell of J-Chan’s Designs hair stylist Jessica Rowell of J-Chan’s Designs
model Countess Isabella
On the face, Sei Bella Mineral Foundation and Shany Cosmetics Pigment 22, Pigment 03, and Pigment 32. On the eyes, Shany Cosmetics Pigment 15 and Pigment 13. On the lips, MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Pink Nouveau.
photographer Ian Compton
creative director Pretty Deadly Stylz
makeup artist Ronnie Tremblay
hair stylist Jesse Y of Flavio’s Hair Design
nail stylist Pretty Deadly Stylz
models Agata Waclawska & Veruca Cyn
Mix pastels with glossy black for a soft meets dramatic summer.
AUXILIARY june/july 2013
Oils & Pastels
On the eyes, MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Gesso, Electric Eel, and Silly. On the lips, customized lip color made with MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Electric Eel. For the hair, Redken Fabricate 03, Hot Sets 22, Vinyl Twist 12, and Forceful 23.
On the eyes, MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Gesso, Chrome Yellow, and Beautiful Iris. On the lips, MAC Cosmetics Tinted Lipglass in Pink Lemonade. For the hair, Redken Fabricate 03, Hot Sets 22, Vinyl Twist 12, and Forceful 23.
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY AUXILIARY june/july 2013
On the eyes, MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Gesso, Chrome Yellow, and Beautiful Iris. On the lips, MAC Cosmetics Tinted Lipglass in Pink Lemonade. For the hair, Redken Fabricate 03, Hot Sets 22, Vinyl Twist 12, and Forceful 23.
On the eyes, MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Gesso, Electric Eel, and Silly. On the lips, customized lip color made with MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Electric Eel. For the hair, Redken Fabricate 03, Hot Sets 22, Vinyl Twist 12, and Forceful 23.
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY AUXILIARY june/july 2013
On the eyes, MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Gesso, Chrome Yellow, and Beautiful Iris paired with MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Daydreaming and MAC Pigment in Landscape Green and Teal. On the lips, MAC Cosmetics Eye Kohl in Smolder layered under MAC Cosmetics Clear Lipglass. For the hair, Redken
Fabricate 03, Hot Sets 22, Vinyl Twist 12, and Forceful 23.
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY THIS PAGE
On the eyes, MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Gesso, Electric Eel, and Silly paired with MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Daydreaming and MAC Cosmetics Pigment in Landscape Green and Teal. On the lips, MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Chrome Yellow. For the hair, Redken Fabricate 03, Hot Sets 22, Vinyl Twist 12, and Forceful 23.
AUXILIARY june/july 2013
On the eyes, MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Gesso, Electric Eel, and Silly paired with MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Daydreaming and MAC Cosmetics Pigment in Landscape Green and Teal. On the lips, MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Chrome Yellow. For the hair, Redken Fabricate 03, Hot Sets 22, Vinyl Twist 12, and Forceful 23.
On the eyes, MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Gesso, Chrome Yellow, and Beautiful Iris paired with MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Daydreaming and MAC Pigment in Landscape Green and Teal. On the lips, MAC Cosmetics Eye Kohl in Smolder layered under MAC Cosmetics Clear Lipglass. For the hair, Redken Fabricate 03, Hot Sets 22, Vinyl Twist 12, and Forceful 23.
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY AUXILIARY ONLINE CONTENT See more of this editorial by searching “Oils and Pastels” on
photographer Gregory Moore
makeup artist Erick Magallanes
hair stylist Olga Loera
model Tawnie Lynn
Blow out, crimp, and tease to achieve the hairstyles of legend. AUXILIARY june/july 2013
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY AUXILIARY june/july 2013
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY BEAUTY
1 Impromptu beachside séance? Why the hell not? Get in the spirit with Spookyville Bootique’s Ouija Tote Bag. $20
2 Diving into murky depths may pose unforeseen dangers (sharks, killer whales, The Kraken), but thanks to Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Splashes! Waterproof Mas-
cara in Black smeared lashes will never be a threat. However, when it comes to saving you from becoming some sea creature’s lunch, we can’t vouch on its ef-
fectiveness. $19
3 Aside from the obvious benefits of providing portable shade from the sun’s relentless glare, carrying the Gothic Beauty Parasol by Retro-a-go-go just feels so Real Housewives of Transylvania. A must for any ghoul who wishes to look ex-
pensive, no matter how vehemently the balance in her checking account disagrees. $22
4 Don’t forget to pack your Sourpuss Skeleton Beach Towel, or face the indig-
nity of being forced to purchase a last-minute terrycloth nightmare from a board-
walk junk shop where overpriced options usually consist of either a screen printed visage of Justin Bieber or tie-dyed pot leaves. $17
5 Goths brought ink-hued mouths to the beauty forefront long before hipster fashion bloggers and fly-by-night popstars declared them cool enough for mass consumption. As dilettantes move on to matte pink and orange (better known as Summer 2013’s “it” lip colors) shelving vampy shades till fall, darkly inclined girls impervious to fleeting trends blissfully continue rockin’ their trusty black lip-
stick whenever (sunrise to sunset) and wherever (the epicenter of Miami’s South Beach) they please. Standing out in the sand begins with prepping your pout with SPF-15 containing Laura Mercier Lip Balm before filling it in with Portland Black Lipstick Company Lipstick in Black. $20 & www. $10
6 After applying all makeup, seal the deal by lightly misting Urban Decay’s All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray 12 to 16 inches away from your face to avoid the dreaded mid-day Slip �N Slide. $29
7 Dangers of melanoma still don’t scare-you-straight? Nevertheless, the sun’s rays are still 80-85% to blame for photo-aging and prematurely faded tattoos. To combat the damaging effects of UV rays, protect exposed areas with full spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen (try Murad’s Waterproof Sunblock SPF 30) taking care to reapply every two hours. $30
Thanks to reliable eyewitness testimony, relentless perusal of found footage, and our Forensics Department, who successfully managed to reconstruct a partially obscured boot print recovered at Coney Island, we have conclusively confirmed the existence of the elusive Beach Bound Goth. Once thought to be nothing more than underground urban legend, the females of this species exhibit strong aversion to anything billed as the “California surfer babe look”, adamant refusal to synonymize “bohemian” with “artsy vagabond freespirits” on the grounds of, “those hippies not even being from Czechoslovakia,” and deep-seated desire to build sand castle replicas of the Addams Family mansion.
The Goth Girl’
Guide to the Beach
by Vanity Kills
AUXILIARY june/july 2013 1
theatrical release : 05.17.13
directed by Sarah Polley
From the time we arrive on this earth, the lives of parents that long pre-existed ours, their winding path that lead to our birth is a mystery. Knowingly or unknowingly, some of us are predisposed to behaviors and tendencies. From the earliest stages, the nurturing of our parents can define the type of person we grow to be. Our per-
ceptions of them inform our perceptions of ourselves. This is initially why the story woven by Sarah Polley in her documentary Stories We Tell is so ultimately relatable. The film begins by drawing in the audience with the depiction of a woman who laughed loud, loved wholeheartedly, and was artistic by profession and in the way she lived her life. When the accounts of a seemingly normal, charmed existence begin to wear thin the tone of the film leaves the audience awaiting the twists and turns; waiting for the shoe to drop. In the happy and loving remembrances of Polley’s mother, Diane, it is always clear that there is a slow build-up, something more to the tale. The heart-wrenching, reflective story examines memories of sev-
eral different players with varying degrees of closeness to the memories at hand and the differences and similarities of their experience of the same memory. Polley deals with the issue of her paternity, a very personal and private subject taken on through this documentary in which she interviews some of the people closest to her in an unbarred manner. The artistry in storytelling and format blend the documentary style of the film with recreations and narration. The truly artistic approach taken by Polley completely lacks pretension while approaching a multitude of complex ideas about stories, memories, the way we experience life, and the beauty of perspective. A deeply personal story becomes a universal one, about life, relationships, family, the pres-
ervation of self, and the way one event can alter the lives of many. The tale of one family’s struggle with the memory of a woman who departed too soon leaving a trail of mystery leads to reflections on cause and effect.
In the film, Polley says, “I’m interested in the way we tell stories about our lives; about the fact that the truth about the past is often ephemeral and difficult to pin down and many of our stories, when we don’t take proper time to do research about our past, which is almost always the case, end up with shifts and fictions in them that are almost always unintended.” Easily one of the most resonating revelations in the film, it gives way to perspective that all of us create and recreate the past through our accounts of it, and therein the past finds new life and translates into the present.
theatrical release : 05.16.13
directed by J.J. Abrams
Star Trek Into Darkness is every bit the feel good, action packed thriller I hoped it to be. Not to be outdone by Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek film, the sequel offers a visually, emotionally, and imaginatively stimulating journey for audiences. To be clear, I am no Trekkie, but the experience of watching this movie pushed me down the rabbit-hole that is the legacy of Star Trek. This film has the same sheen and ominous yet campy tone of The Avengers and Iron Man 3. Benedict Cumber-
batch who plays Khan has similar qualities to Loki, The Avengers super villain whose cunning, superior strength and intellect made him a seemingly impossible adversary. Chris Pine is the same hot-heated, lovable tough guy he was in the first Star Trek and the dynamic between the crew is what keeps the film engaging and humorous even in the darkest plot-points. The greatness of films like Star Trek Into Darkness isn’t just the stunning special effects, the incredible heart-pounding actions sequences, or the endearing characters, of which there are many. It is the beauty in humanity, the destruction and salvation, that make films like this so triumphant. In Abrams’ distinct visual style, the colors are bright and bold, the sleek futuristic aesthetic is anime-like. This is fitting with the multitude of astounding effects and design elements. The famed director drew from Star Trek: The Original Series as well as the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Admittedly the Khan in the 1982 film was more 80s hair-metal than the Cumberbatch version, but we are all products of the times. There are many heroes likely and unlikely in this film. Star Trek fans will defi-
nitely have opinions when watching the musical chairs the crew plays when the USS Enterprise is in crisis, every character being tested personally and in their role as a crewmember. We go to the theater to escape but we also go to relate, watching characters with flaws like us persevere in the most extreme of circumstances. Star Trek lore and Abrams illustrate the similarities between our world and that of the futuristic Star Trek, adding to the suspension of disbelief. The comforting fact that in space throughout time, human problems like pride, greed, love, friendship, glory, and death are what the motivation of even a superior being boils down to. These are the very human stories we will always be telling, whether exploring the final frontier or carrying out our lives on earth. FILM REVIEWS
by Reem Jazar
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY MUSI C
interview by Hangedman
Auxiliary caught up with industrial legends Skinny Puppy on the occasion of the release of their fifteenth studio album, Weapon. Founding members and self-described “industrial hippies” Ogre and cEvin Key discuss the creation of the new album and where Skinny Puppy stands in relation to much of industrial music today.
AUXILIARY june/july 2013 Skinny Puppy
Approaching the legendary band Skinny Puppy is no small feat. One could say it is daunting in some respects. They are industrial giants, intelligent and clear spoken, mentored and inspired by the pioneers of the industrial arts scene and quoted by the media as being the first industrial rock stars. I’ve been following this band since 1987 when the vinyl for Cleanse Fold and Manipulate landed in my hands and changed everything. To me, they are musical heroes and in many ways and for many people, the story of Skinny Puppy is a reflection of our own journey through life in the industrial scene whether you discovered them last year or in the awe-
some 80s. Numerous artists have been cast into the influence of the band and sur-
viving core members Nivek Ogre and cEvin Key (along with Mark Walk) remain passionate about the project. In an age where some legacy bands stay together for pure business purposes, it’s refreshing to see Skinny Puppy stay firmly locked into an artistic vision that hasn’t strayed far from their original mission. Today with the release of their fifteenth studio album Weapon, they are still making great music and expressing an artistic pursuit that spans their near thirty year timeline.
I want to delve into the history first thing and in many ways I personally was your atypical Skinny Puppy teenage fan from the 80s. I did college radio in London, Ontario and discovered Skinny Puppy when a friend of mine handed me some vinyl for on air and it changed everything for me. Today, here we are all grown up with families, careers, lives, what not. What has changed today with your approach to Skinny Puppy compared to the really early years? Would you guys consider yourselves grown up?
cEvin Key : That’s a good question, I don’t think it’s healthy to grow up in some manner. I think it’s healthy to try to remain young at heart. It’s important to follow your original set of goals and dreams and not be overwhelmed with the stigma of age or having to be defined by previous history in the sense of where we should be. I try to keep as close as possible to a spiritual base rather than thinking about the world clock. In a sense the music is doing that too because I don’t do anything really different than what I used to do early on. I don’t make music a time-based event. I rather like to move and see where the picture of life goes. Some people were saying on our forum the other day how childhood is a certain thing and de-
fined a certain way and people don’t see it in a way where we make a splatter in a certain point of time, where it’s like expressing yourself without really trying to do anything or appease or be a part of any scene but just make something that you feel want to make. Something that naturally we do without being affected by time and styles and fashion or anything like that. Unfortunately, when we make an album we don’t have much of a choice as it’s defined by what we feel at the time. But, I really like this album [Weapon]. But some of our fans always give us a hard time when we release something new, but ten years later they are like “hey I finally get it”... or not. So I think we are staying true to what we did in the early 80s because we haven’t been forced to grow up. We’ve been encouraged to continue and en-
couraged to keep going. When we started losing a bunch of people around us and dying and having a really horrible history in a way that has tried to wipe us out over and over, we’re like now, we can’t really just go and work at Starbucks now. We actually take it as a blessing now, we still have labels and people that support us, saying they do want to hear the album, we do want to see you live. So it keeps you young to be able to do what you are doing best when you defined it as a teenager.
Nivek Ogre : Growing up? Let me preface that by saying I don’t have family, and I don’t have what you would call a normal life. I feel a little bit stunted in that regard and don’t feel that much different from the 80s. Today I have a much better grip on my magnificent volcanic drug habits I had at the time so for me I have been a bohemian for the last twenty five years. In a lot of ways things haven’t changed. I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the country and the world in some cases in different states of sobriety, but I’m generally cognizant with a great viewpoint on life from this perspective. I think that has a lot with not doing what most people do which is settle down with families and all that stuff. Part of me regrets that, or rather, did. I just turned 50 last year and I actually feel like I’m in a second child-
hood, perhaps not childhood per se but I’m revisiting certain things about myself. I’m doing a second approach to a lot of the years I mishandled via my lifestyle choices and things like that. So a lot has not changed, I have a girlfriend which I’ve always done. I have animals which I’ve always done. In regards to Skinny Puppy, a lot of the past acrimony has lessened, although not diminished completely. We MUSI C
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY still have our issues over the recordings and the direction, but that Sturm und Drang has always been the thing that propelled Skinny Puppy, sometimes the most polarized positions in the band have created the best work. The drama has diminished greatly, [laughs] the back and forth flicking cigarettes at each other kind of thing. Yeah, all that bullshit, trying to get under somebody’s skin is so much of an energy waster now it’s not even pertinent. Now, I’ve got more focus just with my writing and just from the art of my work and what I want to say. Some people are saying, “Ogre is not as verbose as he was when he was younger.” Now I’m crafting music with vowel sounds and things flow a little better. I think time has given me a lot more hints of the primary colors I’ve formed on my palette that I can use. I’m not really afraid to step into areas that maybe before I would have been more self-conscious because the fan base wasn’t comfortable. [laughs]
Business wise, have things leveled off to a comfortable hum?
NO : Business is hell! SPV was hell but now Metropolis has been absolutely won-
derful. They have a great reputation; they are good to bands, fans, and DJs that’s for sure.
NO : Absolutely wonderful! We’ve known Dave for a lot of years, not really well but he’s always around. I just have to say his business ethic is top notch. He only says what he means, he doesn’t blow smoke and that’s been great. The business of music is very hellacious. When I got into making music, I was a very insecure person. I was introverted. I stuttered when I was really young so I really glom-
med on to the whole Factory Records thing, the Peter Saville covers, the stuff that was not so much about the artists but more about the art and artwork that laid a background and atmosphere to the music you were about to hear. I found that wonderful. Same with literature, one of my favorite books is Maldoror by Comte de Lautréamont which is a pen name for Isidore-Lucien Ducasse. He only wrote one book, died at 24 of starvation at a time when horse meat was more expensive than anything. So little is known of him personally, that it actually gives the book so much power. This book was embraced by the Surrealists and Dada so I thought there’s great power in speech and we’re in a world where in order to sell music you have to show the colo r of your next bowel movement on Facebook. There’s a lot more expected of an artist now. Through things like fans via social media and I’ve never been a social media guy, I’m kind of a private guy. I’m an odd person, I put all my shit out there [laughs] but I’ll shit myself on stage, but don’t call me at the wrong time of the day. [laughs]
And don’t try to Facebook friend you.
NO : [laughs] Never try to Facebook friend me! A few months ago we talked to Phil Western and we got talking about Skinny Puppy and all the artists who live in the direct influence of Skinny Puppy over the years. It seems to be a lot of folks but the core remains you two. This would suggest to the fanbase that you two are quite close. Would you say this is true and have become closer over the years?
CK : Typically we’ve not had to hang out and not to be like daily “let’s go play pinball” friends. We live like brothers in the sense we are close. But we do live two completely separate lives. Our lives correspond when we work but for some reason on our off time, we’re like any band that has been together for a long time. We embrace who we are outside of the band because you need to in order to sur-
vive, but there will always be the band. Sometimes you have to leave the band and the work and go home. Don’t take your work home with you?
CK : So true, you sometimes need that space away and be true to yourself. You can’t live at one angle to be happy, you have to live at many angles to be happy. NO : Our friendship has stayed mutual over the years. CEvin and I love each other a lot. I care about cEvin a lot, if something were to ever happen to cEvin I’d be devastated. But, within all that we certainly have our moments of disagreements. Sometimes we’ve had acrimony. The reverence to Skinny Puppy is the impetus of our writing together. The other core member of Skinny Puppy right now is without with each other. Then mixed into that obviously is a great deal of respect and love for each other. It maybe does not show all the time. Encumbering hurt feelings or misinterpretations or a litany of things that just come from not spending a lot of time together, but underneath it all is love. A lot of folks rank Skinny Puppy among the pioneers of industrial and this genre has developed a lot over the years. Skinny Puppy seems to be somewhat separated from what we might call “mainstream” industrial. Is this intentional?
NO : Well it’s not calculated. When we’re working on a record and the direction we’re going, at least for me conceptually it’s a little unconscious. We started out as more “industrial hippies”. When we first toured, we shared the same look as people in Texas, we found our tribe down there. Down in Houston, that’s where I met my ex-wife. She was actually the girlfriend of the promoter who booked our first show in Austin. Seven years later we ended up getting married. We were never really rivetheads per se. There’s a very military side to industrial music and we are far more on the psychedelic side. There’s a regimented side to industrial music. When everything gets too uniform and a song layout is too regimented, you know if everything sounds like VNV Nation I want to shoot myself. [laugh] Where I see myself within that kind of music, you know the inception of VNV Nation and that kind of boom boom boom, and I’m not knocking VNV, I’ve been to festivals and they really are good and get the crowd going, they are fucking amazing, I’m not knocking their music, it’s just not really my thing, that whole martial side.
CK : We’re not thinking about what we do. Ogre and I in some ways are like per-
fect brothers in that we’re exactly the same on many levels but we are completely polar opposite on many levels. That’s what makes us good when we work together and when we come together. That unique combination not tinkered with too much when a musical piece gets made, he’s actually spoke about how there’s a thrill about working apart and when we present it to each other, it’s always like a bit of a bang factor to the other person. Whatever thrill that gives, that’s how we’ve worked. I can never really predict what Ogre will do and he would say the same thing about me. We just follow that course. On Weapon one of the songs “solvent”, this is the same song from 1984 on the Remission album. But on this album, I’ve always had this idea that, I kind of remember how I exactly felt when we went through the procedure of that song. And I thought, what if I took that exact proce-
dure I remembered in my head and did it again, use the exact same equipment and lay it down pretty much the same, in a way like I was creating it that night again. What you have there is what the fans want to hear which is, “sound like your old album.” If this doesn’t make those people happy, I don’t know. We created that exactly in the manner how we did it thirty years ago. It turned out really good for me. It showed me that if we wanted to back step we could. “costume” in a sense. So we tried to stay away from a lot of that. I remember when we were touring around Illinois and we heard this song “No Devotion” by Revco on the local radio and so bands started picking up on us. Revolting Cocks is kind of a hip version of Skinny Puppy coming out after we’d hit the road a couple of times, so we definitely started something a bit off kilter than what the norm was. Then the fact we were such shape shifters throughout our career is what solidified that sort of “can’t pin it down” thing but you still know that Skinny Puppy sound. The Skinny Puppy sound originally came from this polarized separation between sickly sweet pop melodies and disgruntled disembodied voices. There’s a lot of contradictions in the music where the music becomes a pin for the voice and that culminated in Last Rights. We started along a new path with The Process which focused more on the recording process which looked at how to record things dif-
ferently without using the effects in the beginning. Then we have the new phase which started with Greater Wrong of the Right that was a new writing team alto-
gether, although Mark Walk was very involved with that process as well. We never chose to follow a particular path; honestly a lot of that stuff is kind of boring to me. And again not to knock it (I’m not going to call out any bands in particular) but you go to these European festivals and it strikes me that no one has put in any kind of thought into the stage show, it’s just a drum machine and a keyboard player. Even worse just a laptop, that just makes me gack. Nothing is worse than slow head banging to a laptop. It really gets me going. [laughs] Whereas when I saw Killing Joke live, and I saw them the year before and they didn’t have Youth, then they had Youth, fuck they kicked ass after that. In Skinny Puppy, we’ve al-
ways had a balance. During The Process word on the street is Ogre wanted to turn it into an industrial rock band, where Dwayne and cEvin wanted it to be a techno band. There’s always been this element in a way. Dwayne was much more talented with dance music than anybody in the band, he was a genius, fucking genius. He was way ahead of his time. CEvin appreciates dance music too in the way you see in Download. The way we’re writing albums now, HanDover was a bit more of a Download album. The way we’d write albums before cEvin would write and we’d layer over top of that. With Great Wrong and Mythmaker we tore things apart like with ohGr and we rip it down and build it up again. That wasn’t jiving with cEvin as much. So with HanDover we went back to specifically working with his compositions and working vocals over top. That had to change on Weapon, as it didn’t work for me. I think a lot of the songs that came through on Weapon are the kind of sounds you are going to hear on Download’s upcoming LingAM record. On Weapon the first song I really pushed for was “wornin” which is the first song on the disc. We did a bunch of recording based on some of that LingAM sound and when we went back after a couple of months and listened to it later, “wornin” just stuck out like a sore thumb to me. I was like, “we have to follow this path.” So Mark and I really pushed cEvin to write some stuff like that. It might have been MUSI C
AUXILIARY june/july 2013 a doubt Mark Walk. He’s kind of an essential member of the band as well as Ken Marshall who facilitates a lot of writing with cEvin before it comes to us. Not so much on this album Weapon as he’s put his studio in storage and moved back to Vancouver, following a lady and setting up a goat cheese farm or something. [laughs] More power to him, he loves being out in nature and so do I so I can respect that. But he wasn’t around for most of Weapon and came in for the last two weeks to mix it and do the mastering. On occasion he comes out to do live sounds with us. But yes, cEvin and I are the core members of Skinny Puppy and getting back to that reverence we have for Skinny Puppy it’s what keeps us involved I think I get what you mean when you say industrial hip-
pie, it strikes me that Skinny Puppy has kept to the shadows of a true artistically motivated underground.
NO : We’ve received shit for that too. [laughs] You’ve got the real old timers, say there’s Throbbing Gristle, and there’s SPK and I was quoted in the LA Times as being the first industrial “rock” star which really irked me when I was young. Now I’m kind of like yeah okay, sure. [laughs] When I was young I was like this cute little fe-
tish object. At that time I wanted to dig more into what industrial music represented and express, no boundaries, no rules all that stuff. The fetish side was the ob-
jectification of the action and the “ The fact [that] we were such shape shifters throughout our career is what solidified that sort of �can’t pin it down’ thing but you still know that Skinny Puppy sound. ”
hard for him because he’s really used to writing this really dense and layered dance sound, but he did and he really came through with some great stuff and that’s how Weapon came around. To me it was more on the mark that what we did with HanDover. Also not to denigrate it by calling HanDover a Download-like record, but that album was also our third album with SPV, and business with SPV and our dealings with them and insolvency with them was real hell. It didn’t benefit us one ounce. I don’t know if Skinny Puppy is cursed like Macbeth or something but we haven’t got an accounting for HanDover and for Devils in my Details. That’s shitty, HanDover was much acclaimed. With Weapon, I’ve only heard the promo material but to me it sounds very fresh. Some of the reviews I’ve read claim that you are returning to your electronic roots.
NO : There’s some very direct songwriting that is not in layers going on here. If that means going back to our roots, well we’ve always written songs like that. To me, you can write songs in two styles and there are two styles of writing in my own two projects. Skinny Puppy is very much writing over existing stuff. OhGr is very much starting with vocal and writing a song around the vocal parts, or starting with a bass line and vocal and writing around that. I think within Weapon you have kind of a hybrid of things in the sense that there are production tracks like “paraGun”, which is purely production and then are some tracks like that are written around vocals like “illisiT”, “wornin’” and “saLvo”. To me personally it sounds different, it sounds like “new Skinny Puppy”. NO : Well that’s what I want to hear more than anything. CK : I’m kind of with those people who say it’s like old Skinny Puppy. The con-
cept of this album was that if it wasn’t able to be made on a true 24 inch track tape machine then it wasn’t going to be the right song for this album. So basi-
cally all the parts were played much like the first two Skinny Puppy albums were played. We have hand played parts versus sequencer parts and if it had to go into a sequencer then we would play it by hand. The album was tackled in the most primitive manner that we used to approach in the early 80s, with the same drum machines, the same delay, the same equipment that we use on those albums. This was a good concept, I found this to be super inspiring for when Ogre and I laid out the idea of what Weapon would be as an album. So it is kind of a return to old Skinny Puppy so I agree with those people who are saying this. As a concept, the idea of Weapon came from stories in Guantanamo Bay to torture people. We had first-hand information that they were using Skinny Puppy tracks as a weapon [on prisoners]. Wow!
CK : We thought we should send an invoice to the U.S. government for that ser-
Leatherette” and all that stuff I fucking love from the early 80s I was into when I first started getting into all this. So if it’s nostalgia then yes. There’s two types of nostalgia. There’s the stuff you fucking love and then the other type that’s kick-
ing me in the ass right now [laughs], are the things I let go of because they got too mainstream, like The Cure, after Pornography, or OMD after Organisation, or New Order after “Bizarre Love Triangle”. All of a sudden I’m like, “blech, what have they done?” And now when I hear that stuff, like when I went and saw OMD and they are playing a ton of their new stuff and who’s jumping up and down? [laughs] This little Ogre fellow! It’s that kind of nostalgia I don’t think some young people might not understand yet. Some folks might say that’s a cash grab but maybe they’ll cross that line in their life too at some point. I don’t think nostalgia is a bad thing, I think honoring where you come from is a great thing. That fact you said Weapon sounded fresh but some still say we’re honoring some of our old techniques is the best thing you could say.
One of the grand traditions or trademarks of Skinny Puppy has been tying your music in with a heavy politicized or social cause. Some have even gone as far as saying that Skinny Puppy really fused this tradition in industrial music very early on. Today we have a number of causes and messages that newer industrial bands are pushing very hard and these bands will often attribute Skinny Puppy as an example of this becoming a part of the fabric of indus-
trial music. A close example these days is the Toronto band Ad.ver.sary who has a very strong push in the scene that is anti-misogynist and anti-fascist messages where they are actually publicly calling out other industrial artists on their use of images and themes. NO : Kudos to Ad.ver.sary. Good on them! It’s a serious thing. In Europe with some of the pseudo fascist themed bands they are attracting people who go to festivals looking for sellers of fascist music and it’s fucking illegal over there. It’s horrifying. The fact that nationalism is making such a comeback in Europe, well that shit needs to get knocked right down. Okay, there’s freedom of expression and I guess you have to kind of protect that in a way but you don’t have to like it and you can protest that.
CK : As far as calling bands out, I think we were a little more subtle or perhaps have more of hidden messages in our music. That was more our manner. We’d never directly come out and attack people, or other musicians. Pretty much the camara-
derie of the industrial scene was created from supporting other bands. When Nine Inch Nails opened for us in �88 they hadn’t even put out an album yet, but there had to be a level of support for other bands. Yeah okay, there are bands out there like Marilyn Manson for example that have played with SS imagery and stuff, that’s his own choice. I don’t dig it myself but basically I’m not going to go around and say what I think in private, in public. I don’t know, I guess I’m definitely not into MUSI C
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY vice. We’d never see credit for that. [laughs]
It’s kind of a clear misrepresen-
tation of your music!
CK : Well that was the first concept for Skinny Puppy, music as a weap-
on to induce some form of trauma. You have to wonder if people are looking for old Skinny Pup-
py? They want to recapture the nostalgia.
NO : I’ll be the first to put up my hand and say that I actually do too. My ex-wife got into this minimal electronic band called Violet Tremors and I started hang-
ing around the minimal electronic scene here in LA which is very fresh and new. For me it’s like go-
ing back to Die Form, and “Warm causing friction between bands. I don’t know, [laughs] in the old days we definitely did have more verbal wars with bands like Front Line Assembly and ourselves but that was because we were former band mates. These days we now have much more brotherly love for each other and lots of long term respect. Anyway, you won’t see that happen anymore with us. How do you feel about Skinny Puppy being attributed as the band that established that tra-
dition of protest messages in music? NO : Well we really didn’t. We may have brought it a little more into the mainstream of industrial music more but there are bands like SPK and Throbbing Gristle. “ Well that was the first concept for Skinny Puppy, music as a weapon to induce some form of trauma. ”
AUXILIARY june/july 2013 There’s a litany of bands that inspired me to do more than dance and wiggle on a stage. When I first saw Portion Control, one of my favorite bands, and I can honestly say I’ve stylized a lot of my vocals around. When I saw them first he was dancing on stage with a coonskin cap and an Apple computer synth. That kind of let me down and made me want to do more with the music and performance. At first I started out the door doing things that were disturbing with more self-inflicted pain I guess and then I started getting a little more socially educated. The most wonderful thing about that was that it was an abstract alternative education and worldview. I learned this through a lot of great mentors. I had a great art mentor named Myra Davies. She is an incredibly talented and intelligent woman and so I’ve had some great mentors who have taught me critical thinking. I think that is what Skinny Puppy has taught me more than anything. If I didn’t have that in Skinny Puppy I’d be a daydreamer, drooling at the sky wishing the world was a better place. I think we are all fundamentally weapons in that way and we can have an effect on the world that is good by the things that we do using our bodies, our voices, and our minds. Along the lines of supporting other bands, one of the things I really dig about Skinny Puppy is the whole subconscious communications thing and support-
ing a lot of really interesting but perhaps not well known artists. You go to a Skinny Puppy show and you never know really what to expect with the open-
ing acts. What bands would you like to support and see on tour with you?
CK : Well some Japanese bands for sure. In spending a lot of time in Japan recently I came across two bands I fell fully in love with. One is called Baal, the other is Uterozzzaaa. Uterozzzaaa is from Osaka and basically I had the opportunity to have my face ripped off by people who are just genuinely redefining what I felt like when I witnessed bands like Einstürzende Neubauten at Larry’s Hideaway in 1985. You are from Toronto so go back and look at the history of that place! I was at that show and it was unbelievable. You couldn’t believe that show! It was like nothing you have ever seen in your life! The night before that was Cabaret Voltaire at the Con-
cert Hall. I’d flown out from Vancouver to see that show, but then my friend Chris Sheppard said to me, “hey tomorrow night there’s a show at Larry’s Hideaway that we have to check out, these German guys.” It turned out to be Neubauten. The reason I bring it up is these Japanese bands have that kind of same effect on me in that when I was realizing what the underground was like and what it is today. What I love about Uterozzzaaa is he’s got a punk rock ethic, straight off the most hardcore acts and translated that expression into electro punk and all the sources of all his sounds are riffs ripped from Slayer, from Skinny Puppy, from Ministry, but not directly recognizable. All that work we did in 36 hours he just ripped and made something completely new and I thought, that is the essence of punk, all that need-
less amount of time, money, and energy and this guy will just rip it and throw it back at you sped up like 600 BPM and sing over top of it. This is truly like what it is all about now! This opened my head, it really did. I thought, “this is truly punk.”
CEvin, you love Japan too don’t you?
CK : Japan is like the most inspiring culture of the world. In traveling throughout the world, the two most inspiring cultures and places for me are what I call “the two JAs”, Jamaica and Japan. Both spiritual, both have their own roots that are deep, both have lots of culture. There’s something about Japan, the purity of every-
one. Not so much the purity, but let’s say the respect they give to one another. The way their system operates, the way culturally they stick to the way they have been doing things for a thousand years. I kind of feel my whole life that that is what was missing from America and Canada in that we were searching for those roots but we didn’t have them, or we couldn’t tap into, like a thousand year old rules such as the first born will take care of the house and mother and father, and the second born will do this. We have traditions, but not like these deep seeded ways. I think it’s amazing the amount of respect people have for each other and the way the system works. It’s quite insane, it has to be experienced. You have this shocking and angry narrative out of early Skinny Puppy, but in recent years, post Greater Wrong phase Skinny Puppy, I find there’s a sort of subtle underlying humor to it all. It’s all still laced with a message but there’s more of a sense of humorous irreverence that makes it more fun for those that know where Skinny Puppy has come from?
NO : Yeah, at some point in a career if you don’t turn around and laugh at yourself you are going to end up being laughed at or become a grouch. Around the time of Greater Wrong, you had krumping for example, I really liked that. Mind you, I was at the age where doing that would have snapped me in two but I was really im-
pressed by it. We did the video for “Pro-Test” we were auditioning all these guys and having a blast, but the underlying theme in the video is a dance off between goths and street kids and that was one of our most popular videos of all time. It was done tongue in cheek to a degree and that’s not a bad thing to do. The artwork for the new album, Weapon, the big mechanical weaponized spi-
der, what does that represent within the context of the album?
NO : Well that was really Steven R. Gilmore’s work and we always let him do what he does. Steven had it in his head right away to do a spider and I like spiders. The idea of doing something composed entirely of weapons was also an idea. The spider looks a little bit like Skynet from The Terminator and that was one thing, trying to avoid that fine line between it looking like the Terminator, Spiderman movie poster kind of thing. You guys don’t really seem to do the remix thing, whether remixing other peoples stuff or other people remixing yours. Is this intentional?
CK : Ken Marshall and I have done some stuff for our friends. Sometimes we’ll have a spare minute but it does take a while and there’s this commitment of several people. I’ll work with Ken on a remix and he’ll say, “this is harder than making music for myself.” For us remixes is I won’t say a 100% fun, they are just a favor, or exercise to make something the band will enjoy without being too self-indul-
gent. There is kind of a line drawn. I enjoyed working on Morbid Angel, as we could go a little further, but generally, I tend not to want to do remixes as opposed to working on one of the many projects I currently have going. If I’m not working on Skinny Puppy, I’m working on Download. If I’m not working on Download, I’m working on Plateau. I’m working with Ryan Moore on a new dub project. If not those, I’ll be working on Tear Garden, then there’s the Scaremeister project with Ken Marshall, doing clips for films and stuff like that. And then after that there’s still more, like with Otto Von Schirach, Baseck, all these local friends here that are always coming over to collaborate. There’s almost too many options at times to focus on exactly what it is we are doing. With all that a remix is like...
You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew.
CK : Exactly!
NO : One reason is the money for remixes is generally not what it was before. When Skinny Puppy does a remix it involves all of us and we all share the money. I’m open to it but sometimes cEvin and others aren’t. It’s a complicated thing but it comes down to not money for money’s sake of wanting to have more money but when it gets split up for the amount of work, it’s generally not worth it. We’ve considered an album where we remix ourselves, of Weapon for a tour. We have a lot of good songs that are worthy of a remix. Question more for cEvin, I noticed a preview of LingAM.
CK : June 10th on Metropolis, I think. It’s our tenth album and I’ve been working with Phil for coming up twenty years and this album was really in my heart. Phil is one of my best friends and also a genuine artist, he’s pretty gifted. One of the things I’m always impressed with is the performance part of both Skinny Puppy and Download. All your projects seem to go the extra mile with a visual or performance impact. I remember Phil Western donning the green makeup and dress for the Beyondfest tour and little things like that are so inspiring. CK : I tried to tell him how wonderful that kind of thing is when he will do some-
thing spur of the moment like that. It really did inspire everyone. I just love it when he does that. We really enjoy the performance part, even with Skinny Puppy. Definitely a part of my day is spent thinking about performance as well as music.
Thanks guys, it was a real honor and pleasure to talk to you both!
Let me introduce you to OOFJ, and if you’ve already had the pleasure, it’s time for a second introduction. OOFJ is the miss-
ing piece. Incredibly refreshing and perfectly innovative, Katherine Mills Rymer and Jenno Bjørnkjær do an excellent job of creating something fresh, while still capturing a sense of melancholy, nostalgic wonder. The couple bring together the technical finesse of a classically-trained orchestra with the honesty and vulner-
ability that comes with Mills Rymer’s “newness” to music. The result is some-
thing undefined but gripping and familiar. Listening to OOFJ is like revisiting a secret dream swathed in strings and a subtle electronic lullaby. OOFJ’s debut album, which aims to blend downtempo pop noir, Nico’s hypnotic gloomy 60s folk, techno’s minimalism and subtleties, Twin Peaks, the majestic symphonies of 20th century composers, and the rhythms and structures of jazz and trip hop, Disco To Die To is out now. For a bit more insight and a more formal introduction, check out what this haunting duo had to share with Auxiliary.
What lead you two to create such an effortless, elegant fusion of musical styles?
Katherine Mills Rymer : Well that’s a compliment if we ever heard one. Wow, thanks. I think in answer to your question, as with most things fusion, it comes with background prep and obscure accident. We never really set out to fuse things in a really obvious way. I think the only really coherent direct “fusing” was in regards to the Symphony Orchestra scoring joined with a thuddy yet restrained modern pop music (but not in that weird Ibiza DJ way). It’s about doing something then discussing how it sounds or feels. Jens talks about sound. I talk about how it feels. If you had to cite three main sources of inspiration what would they be?
KMR : Russia, France, and intimacy.
How do you feel your cultural backgrounds contribute to your sound?
Jenno Bjørnkjær : I think my conservatory training in Denmark gives me the pol-
ish and geek needed to make the music as complex as it is. I grew up with classical music and got into jazz and electronic music later. I think in a weird way I kind of tried to get away from my classical roots for years. And now they are coming back full force.
KMR : I think… I dunno. I grew up in a hot, sunny place in South Africa. But I was really pale and weird. I hated being in bright places. I’m a little better now. Slightly. So I think that has some effect on how I see things. And how I write things and/or sing things. Being inside while everyone is outside.
Do you feel that moving to LA is influencing your sound or the direction you see your music going?
KMR : Probably, and not consciously; we kind of work on an island in a dark room. But then we take breaks on the deck with all this heavy-green landscape and blue birds. Maybe it will turn into a Disney princess bondage thing.
What track do you feel defines Disco To Die To and why?
KMR : “Death Teeth”. I think in some way because it has a sexed-up death drive feel to it and is also is a little bit psychologically terrifying in some really mellow way. It has all the big complexities that the album turned into and all the simple dancing-alone-in-the-corner feel that is kind of exciting to us.
Is there any news we can look forward to from your label, Clapyouclapme?
KMR : Yes there is some simmering stuff. We have two projects coming up... but we have to keep quiet about those.
Katherine, what is your musical background?
KMR : Actually. Nothing. I went to Stella Adler in New York for two and a half years, but that was theatre and American Emotionalism stuff. No music program really. So this whole album process has been strange and terrifying and ultimately kind of freeing. For Jens to ask me to write songs and melodies and all that was a really big experiment, and the fact that he took my opinions seriously is almost paranormal.
Is it strictly business when you two work together on OOFJ, or is it an exten-
sion of your dynamic translated musically?
KMR : Things collide sometimes in great ways. But it’s not like we stop what we are doing if we are working to make-out over the microphones... maybe sometimes.
Where can we see OOFJ? Any tour plans?
KMR : We just came off doing our debut mini tour in New York, which was actu-
ally my first real gig EVER. And then we did two shows out here in LA getting our feet wet in translating the sound to a live environment. We are off to Denmark and Germany in a few weeks to play some shows.
Is there a master plan for OOFJ?
KMR : If there is a master plan I want to see it! Basically the plan is to try make beautiful things.
interview by Jessica Jewell
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY Andi Sex Gang, lead singer of the influential 80s Batcave era postpunk gothic rock band Sex Gang Children, and a solo artist in his own right, discusses the new SGC album Viva Vigilante! and many memorable moments in time.
Sex Gang Children
interview by Dylan Madeley
AUXILIARY june/july 2013 Sex Gang Children
Sex Gang Children emerged in the punk era and saw big years on the UK indie charts between 1982-1985, with eight singles and five albums hitting the top thir-
ty, and Song and Legend hitting number one. They are legends of the alternative who never quite got the mainstream recognition that they deserve, nor would they go for that if it meant compromising their art. Andi Sex Gang, lead vocalist and lyricist of Sex Gang Children, answered Auxiliary’s questions about the new SGC album Viva Vigilante!, some retrospection on memorable times both solo and ac-
companied, the art of performance, and lyrics presented to him in a dream.
Let’s start with the lyrics on this new album, which are highly political as ex-
pected. Rather than cover the entire album, which could be a whole interview in itself, I thought it would be best to focus on the first three songs to give an impression of the album. Starting with the opening track, “Hollywood Slim”, it seemed tough for me to decipher at first listen; I thought I caught a literary reference to John Brunner’s Stand On Zanzibar or I could be hilariously off with that. What’s the message of this song?
Andi Sex Gang : No message as such in a preacher sense. One should treat the lyrics in this piece as a “case scenario” with a usual twist of surreal imagery. John Brunner? I looked him up; I do not know of him or that novel, but it sounds like one I would love to read absolutely, and a definitely valid book indeed. And yes, it certainly touches on similar feels with what interests me as a lyricist. It’s on my list now.
On to the second track, “Religion Free Zone”, the lyric, “It’s either money or God, but it’s always you,” definitely stands out. Is the song about an ideal, or the ways that ideal can get complicated?
ASG : I think this song is one of the least ambiguous I have ever written, and I can-
not make it plainer than that. I just felt on this song its straightforward approach was necessary, gloves off, you know what I mean? But that is just the approach for this particular song. Each piece is different and demands a different approach to it. My responsibility is to the feeling that swells inside me with each song as and when it comes to me. And on this song, it is the eternal struggle between lower and higher self and who we choose to be.
“Conversation” definitely brings religion and politics into the fold together, as Jesus, Hitler, and Gorbachev all chat with you in your dreams. The first two contrast pretty sharply, but the inclusion of Gorbachev got my attention. He’s an underrated revolutionary figure in his own way, isn’t he? Is he there to represent a sort of pragmatic happy medium between the two opposite figures in his early years was based upon harmony and love. There is no doubting that, as his early diaries show. His positive energy became soured and eventually twisted, succumbing to the hatred embedded in Nazi ideology. How and why? Who really knows. As for Jesus, well, not too much is really known about him, or rather, too much is left out, but we do know his intentions were good, we know he was obviously a person of great empathy and generally a man of peace. A man who believed in a world based on harmony and love. Gorbachev was in the third and last dream, a great humanist indeed. I did not control or choose who was to be in the song or what they said to me. It was the dream.
Trying to describe the sound of the Sex Gang Children, Glenn Danzig once said you have an original punk ethic, and there’s that postpunk feel to the music for sure. Your solo career sound has definitely shifted over time; there was a cabaret vibe on Arco Valley for example. And one can hear where this sonic evolution has taken you and SGC on Viva Vigilante!; down tempo com-
pared to albums like Medea, but with a sharp focus on lyrics and a darkness that hasn’t lost its edge. How would you describe the sounds of this album to the prospective listener?
ASG : It’s quite difficult for me to describe this album right now. In a few years’ time I could listen to it as an outsider and understand it a bit more perhaps. But I would say that it does have a definite glam tinge to it, but I suppose the songs lend themselves to that. Even now I would say that it has a cinematic feel to it: it’s definitely visual. I would like to think that the listener will hear it for what it is, a piece of work that is as uncompromising as it is rich in its expression.
You’re known for bringing this energy and passion to live performances. Is there a particular technique to the live show that one can learn, or would you say it’s something an artist grows into?
ASG : There is no technique to it. Just feel, focus, and discipline to the art. Live or in the studio, the same rule applies. The only thing the artist grows into is the connection to his or her art and the execution of their expression. To this day for live performances, we still never can tell if we will rise to the occasion. We don’t kid ourselves that “it’ll be okay”. No, we lay ourselves bare to it and hope that we get lost into the feel of it all. Anything less is just going through the motions and that’s like painting by numbers. Fuck that.
Ian Astbury once said that the origin of the word goth, as a description of a contemporary subculture and music genre, started as a description of you and your followers. What would you say really defines goth and its music MUSI C
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY that show up first?
ASG : My conversations with these three historical figures were from three ac-
tual dreams that I had a long time ago all within the space of one week. The conversa-
tions in the song are word for word the conversations that took place in these dreams. I do not think there was too much difference between Jesus and Hitler. Seriously, Hitler was a “positive soul” before he got “interfered” with by “negative forces” (reference Edgar Cayce) and imploded. Reading Hitler’s early diaries circa 1912, he rails against the bigotry and great injustice directed to-
wards people of the Jewish faith. His attitude towards the world and life in general today? Is it an aesthetic, a focus on the macabre?
ASG : Of course it should be about aesthetics, in the same way art is pieced together, it should be a celebration of one’s self-expression but without the chains and shallowness of superficial-
ity. Self-expression should never be motivated by nar-
cissism, it is very much about the aesthetics of mind and soul. Well, the lifestyle that is described as goth of course has a heartfelt attrac-
tion and relationship with the macabre. And there is great beauty to be found in that.
Ian also described your followers as more like demons than vampires. “ Each piece is different and demands a different approach to it. My responsibility is to the feeling that swells inside me with each song. And on this song, it is the eternal struggle between lower and higher self and who we choose to be. ”
What sort of fashion statements were most popular among the demons?
ASG : I do not believe in fashion. I believe in style.
Over the years of touring have you found that the aesthetic of your audience has shifted? If so, what differences do you see?
ASG : If at all, then in the sense that in the early 1980s there wasn’t such a defined style demographic of people in the audience as the fledgling movement was still underdeveloped. So you had quite a mix of people and a lot of them were still finding their way into it.
Circus performers, belly dancers, and hare krsnas are some of the things that helped make the launch party for Veil crazy awesome, and still talked about today by everyone who had the pleasure of being there. How was that experi-
ence from your central perspective? Was it a once-in-a-lifetime happening, or is it something that could happen again?
ASG : A good thing should never try and repeat itself. Each moment creates its own magic and the Veil launch party was its own special moment at that point in time and one should never try and recreate a moment in time. Time is constant, we move and change within that constant and should act accordingly. Any future event would have to reflect that, but rest assured, in the Sex Gang camp, never a dull moment.
The Batcave is well-revered. My hometown of Toronto even has a Batcave 28
“wanted my voice on his film,” and that’s how it came about. There was no inter-
ference from Dario or suggestion in what should be done, (as he was known for doing) we were just left to our own devices. He attended a couple of the sessions, purely out of interest. Dario himself; I liked, an artist who works hard and parties hard. A man of extremes. I liked that and we spent several crazy nights together. I would say that he is definitely a Renaissance man of the underworld.
Your career is dotted with interesting collaborations: Piero Balleggi, Marc Al-
mond, and Mick Ronson. Was there ever an artist you wanted to work with, yet never got the opportunity?
ASG : Funny, but I have actually never actively pursued collaborations with other artists in similar fields. It is something that just happened , or as in the case of Mick Ronson, it was something planned and suggested by others close to him, but didn’t happen until I knew the time was right. I am not really into that “music circle” as such, I would have loved to collaborate, musically or otherwise, with Joan D’Arc, Alexander the Greek, Napoleon Bonaparte, Leni Riefenstahl, Victor Jara, Lenin, Gandhi, Geronimo, David Lynch. All interesting and challenging souls, what the fuck, would be great art.
I got the impression from the Bastard Art documentary that you really had the worst luck in the past when it came to record companies and management. Are there any lessons you would like to pass along to musicians today, any advice that might help them to avoid such problems?
North party to celebrate it, as I’m sure other cities do. Do you have any special reminiscences from the ear-
ly days of the Batcave that you would like to share?
ASG : Got to meet some very good and interesting artists in that club before it became commercially successful. I also remember one time there when a singer from a certain band had said something to me which I took the wrong way and with my usual Greek resolve and lethal Irish tem-
per, I wanted to fight him. My tour manager Craig and Marc Almond tried to calm me down and then a very drunk Siouxsie Sioux just waltzed right up to me with a big smile and introduced her-
self. That was the Batcave... a good club indeed.
Recording for a true master of horror, Dario Argento, for the soundtrack of Phe-
nomena must have been quite something. What was that like?
ASG : An interesting experi-
ence for sure. Our producer at the time, Simon Boswell, was working with Dario and had played him the song “Deiche” which he had just remixed. Dario told Simon that he, ASG : Absolutely, but at the end of the day, only one thing is all important to know and remember, it always begins and ends with the music and that includes never compro-
mising on your art. Stay pure and true to your music. All the bad assholes in the world cannot stop or change that. Always trust your instinct, it never lies or steers you wrong, and never lose your naivetГ©. It is a pure strength, that only weak and lesser people see as a vulnerability and therefore exploit. Anyway, think on this. These days, do we re-
ally need record companies anymore?
Are there any goals you have set now that the band is re-
united? Does Viva Vigilante! give people a good idea of the direction that Sex Gang Children will keep going in the near future?
ASG : SGC are not and never were at any previous time reunited, despite some past misinformed written com-
ments stating as such. That would mean that SGC was and is a band. It is not, it’s an idea and that idea through its music will always challenge, hopefully inspire or maybe just implode.
“ I remember one time there when a singer from a certain band had said something to me which I took the wrong way and with my usual Greek resolve and lethal Irish temper, I wanted to fight him. My tour manager Craig and Marc Almond tried to calm me down and then a very drunk Siouxsie Sioux just waltzed right up to me with a big smile and introduced herself. That was the Batcave... a good club indeed. ”
AUXILIARY june/july 2013 MUSI C
j une/j ul y 2013 AUXI LI ARY 29
Army of t he Uni verse - The Hi pster Sacri fice
rel eased by Metropol i s Records on 05.14.13
Army of t he Uni verse hi t a home run wi t h t hei r de-
but al bum Mot her Ignorance; now t hey’ve rel eased t hei r fol l ow up al bum, The Hi pst er Sacri fice. The l i neup i s st i l l Lord Kal i don on vocal s, Al bert Vorne (Trebl a) on keyboards and programmi ng, and Da-
vi de Tavecchi a on gui t ars, but t hey al so added a new but fami l i ar face, Chri s Vrenna of Ni ne Inch Nai l s and Mari l yn Manson fame, t o t ake on t he drums. Army of t he Uni verse keeps t rue t o t hei r sound on The Hi pst er Sacri fice, mi xi ng i ndust ri al rock and t echno wi t h poppy choruses. The al -
bum has t en sol i d songs t hat cl ock i n at j ust under 40 mi nut es; i t bl azes by maki ng me wi sh t hey woul d have added j ust one or t wo more t racks. Compared t o t he previ ous al bum, t he songs are j ust as sol i d but t hey j ust don’t have t hat same awi ng i mpact due t o t hei r si mi l ari t y i n st yl e and sound. Al t hough i f you l i st en t o t he t wo al bums back t o back, you can not i ce t he subt l e i mprovement s and upgrades. There are a few songs t hat wi l l work wel l as si ngl es, i n-
cl udi ng “A Vi si onary St ory” and t he t rack t hat was al ready on an EP, “Unt i l t he End”, whi ch feat ures Chi bi from The Bi rt hday Massacre doi ng some support i ng vocal s. These “si ngl e t ype” songs sort of overshadow some of t he t rul y st ronger songs on t he al bum l i ke “Pret t y Unconsci ousness”, whi ch j ust rocks when pl ayed al one. AOU has t he sound of a band t hat ’s i n i t for t he l ong haul; hopeful l y t hey wi l l cont i nue t o produce great musi c and get t hei r but t s over t o t he US for a t our. - Mi ke Ki effer
recommended track : A Vi si onary St ory
genre : i ndust ri al rock
si mi l ar arti sts : Mi ndl ess Fai t h
7/10 : musi c 7 : l yri cs 7 : recordi ng qual i t y 8
Ski nny Puppy - Weapon
rel eased by Metropol i s Records on 05.28.13
Si nce comi ng t o-
get her i n Vancouver over t hi rt y years ago t he duo of Kev-
i ns (cEvi n Key & Ni vek Ogre) have gone t hrough t hei r share of l abel s, col -
l aborat ors, and, of course, one maj or mel t down/breakup/reuni on. Thei r l egacy i n el ect roni c musi c i n general and i ndust ri al i n part i cul ar i s monument al, i nspi ri ng many maj or act s and t he i dea of what el ect roni c musi c can be. Thei r l at est rel ease, Weapon, i s t he band’s fift eent h st udi o al bum and t he first on Met ropol i s, fol l owi ng t he i mpl osi on of t hei r previ ous home wi t h l abel SPV. Weapon i s t he best new mat eri al from t he band si nce t hei r 2004 ret urn al bum, The Great er Wrong of t he Ri ght. It i s a perfect ed mi x of t hei r l egacy and evol u-
t i on, t he band seems t o be get t i ng t hei r l egs back un-
der t hem aft er an especi al l y st range det our wi t h t he odd and di sj oi nt ed Myt hmaker. Part of t he st rengt h of t he musi c may be due t o t he concept t hat uni t es t he wri t i ng, t he expl orat i on of humani t y as a weap-
on. As wi t h t he previ ous Puppy al bum, Ogre seems wi l l i ng t o di vorce hi s sol o art i st st yl e and i t s choppy rappi ng vocal st yl e and i nst ead t ears i nt o many of t he songs wi t h hi s di st i nct growl (al bei t wi t h l ess di st ort i on t han i n t he past ) wi t h a vi gor t hat makes me smi l e. Add t o t hat t he presence of a remake of “sol vent ”, whi ch ori gi nal l y appeared on 1984’s Re-
mi ssi on, and t hi s i s a great pl ace for any wayward fan t o rei nsert t hemsel ves back i nt o t he l egacy and cat al og of t hi s i ncredi bl e duo. Ski nny Puppy seems t o be one of t hose bands t hat many past fans feel unwi l l i ng t o l et have a l i fe beyond t hei r opus (i n t hi s case Last Ri ght s). Is Weapon a l at t er day equi val ent of t hat work? No. But i t i s one of t he best t hi ngs I’ve l i st ened t o i n t he l ast year and i s a cl ear remi nder t hat t hi s i s (not was) a great band. - Aaron Andrews
recommended track : paragUn
genre : i ndust ri al
si mi l ar arti sts : Front Li ne Assembl y, Mi ni st ry
9/10 : musi c 9 : l yri cs 9 : recordi ng qual i t y 10
Lux I nterna
- There i s Li ght i n the Body, There i s Bl ood i n the Sun
rel eased by Pesanta Urfol k on 05.27.13
Lux Int erna have a t ough sel l: t he am-
bi t i ons of t hi s al bum are l oft y, bei ng sel f-
procl ai med as a de-
vot i onal al bum wi t h each song an al t ar. Thi s i s an al bum of al chemi st s and shamans, gods and myt hs, ghost s and shadows, ri t u-
al s and ri t es. Most of t he songs are bui l t on si mpl e acoust i c fol k foundat i ons, but t hi s i sn’t Kumbaya around a campfire. A vari et y of i nst rument s and sounds (bot h acoust i c and el ect ri c) bui l d t ext ures i nt o dense arrangement s wi t h t ri bal rhyt hms and Arabi c scal es t hat creat e downri ght si ni st er and hypnot i c moods. Drawi ng from t he apocal ypt i c/got hi c fol k t radi t i on of Deat h i n June, t he no wave heavi ness of Swans, and Enni o Morri cone’s West ern t hemes, t he songs unfol d l i ke fol k t al es or l ong forgot t en pas-
sages from anci ent t omes. The l yri cs can be a l ot t o swal l ow, deal i ng wi t h heavy spi ri t ual t hemes and di fficul t phrasi ng (“weave my ski n on t he spi ri t l oom t oni ght ”) but work wel l i n cont ext of t he musi c; you ei t her buy i nt o t he myt h or not. Joshua Levi Ian’s bari t one, cavernous vocal s (t hi nk Mi chael Gi ra or Mark Lanegan) del i ver t he message convi nci ngl y wi t h a preacher or murderer ’s i nt onat i on (somet i mes a whi sper, somet i mes a growl, never t o be i gnored) whi l e t he rest of t he band i s off di ggi ng a grave or compl et i ng t he ri t ual i n t he background. St ri ngs are pl ucked and hammered, et hereal haunt i ng backi ng vocal s float i n, and subt l e flouri shes of st ri ngs, au-
t oharp, banj os, sampl es, and vari ous percussi on i n-
st rument s fil l out t he arrangement s. Thi s al bum i s more t han capabl e of achi evi ng i t s ends, and t hose wi t h an ear for t hi s t ype of musi c wi l l find i t di fficul t t o put down. Hi ghl y recommended. - Paul Mori n
recommended track : Wounded St ag
genre : experi ment al fol k, ameri cana, got hi c fol k si mi l ar arti sts : Swans, Ni ck Cave, Cul t of Yout h
9/10 : musi c 9 : l yri cs 8 : recordi ng qual i t y 9
AUXI LI ARY j une/j ul y 2013 Aust ra - Ol ympi a
rel eased by Domi no on 06.18.13
Fol l owi ng up 2011’s accl ai med debut al -
bum Feel It Break, Toront o’s Aust ra have come back t o t he t abl e wi t h 12 new songs. The band’s near const ant t ouri ng for t he t hree years i n bet ween may be t he reason t hat t he creat i on of Ol ympi a i s more of a band process and l ess t he sol e work of t he cl assi cal l y t rai ned Kat i e St el mani s who’s been t he creat i ve core of t he band. The band feel s l i ke t hey’ve grown from t hei r experi ences and t hi s sophomore rel ease i s act ual l y a more cohesi ve work t han Feel It Break. Each dark el ect roni c t rack of t he out fit ’s al bum fit s wi t h i t s nei ghbors and l i s-
t eni ng i s a j oy of ant i ci pat i on. Lead by St el mani s’ emot i onal and di st i nct i vel y wobbl i ng operat i c voi ce t he songs were performed not programmed or sam-
pl ed maki ng a recordi ng t hat breat hes and feel s al i ve. Ol ympi a’s sound i s i nfluenced by t echno, synt hpop, i ndi e rock, got h and even an i sl and feel on “We Be-
come.” The presence of pi ano, horns, hand percus-
si on and even flut e i n vari ous songs i s i nt erest i ng, di st i nct and creat i ve. Thei r use over t he underpi n-
ni ngs of synt hs and dance beat s feel s t i ght, wel l as-
sembl ed and, most i mport ant l y aft er combi ni ng al l t he el ement s ment i oned above, uni que. Aust ra has moved onward and upward wi t h Ol ympi a, refini ng t hei r sound and becomi ng even more i ndi vi dual and di st i nct. Thi s i s what an art i st shoul d achi eve i n a sophomore rel ease, not a sl ump but a resoundi ng success. Surel y t hi s wi l l be every bi t t he at t ent i on grabber Feel It Break i s. - Aaron Andrews
recommended track : Pai nful Li ke
genre : i ndi e, synt hpop si mi l ar arti sts : The Kni fe, Trust, Col d Cave
8/10 : musi c 8 : l yri cs 8 : recordi ng qual i t y 8
The Kni f e - Shaki ng the Habi tual
rel eased by Mute on 04.08.13
Thi s al bum i s wei rd. The opening track, “A
Tooth for an Eye”, begins the album on solid footing, but shortly thereaf-
ter the album slips into another world, and it feels like you are receiving alien transmissions. It’s very visual, conjuring images in the listener’s mind, and it’s the thing nightmares are made of. On first listen, I was on a morning commute to work. Not recommended unless you really enjoy an added level of stress and anxiety or want to feel like you’re a central charac-
ter in a David Lynch film. By the time track two or three rolls around, you realize you’re in for it. Those looking for the band to return to the happy pop days of “Heartbeats” can forget it. This music is dark and challenging, with each track exploring its own pecu-
liar metaphysics. As usual, The Knife approach their writing with a strong emphasis on percussion and Karin Dreijer Anderson’s beautifully schizophrenic vocals filtered through multiple personalities that appear and disappear with little warning. There’s very little to hold on to; loose structures that empha-
size improvising to traditional frameworks allow the songs to wander in their own madness. And wander they do. “Fracking Fluid Injection” for example, is about as ambient as it gets, with Anderson’s vocals oohing and ahhing into a delay pedal while someone is playing with what sounds like a door frame that desperately needs lubrication in the background. In the end, this album requires patient listeners, but re-
wards those with an imagination brave enough to fol-
low it through its labyrinths and mazes. - Paul Morin
recommended track : A Tooth for an Eye
genre : experimental, electronic, ambient
similar artists : EinstГјrzende Neubauten, Fever Ray
7/10 : music 7 : lyrics 7 : recording quality 9
Totakeke - Digital Exorcist
released by Tympanik Audio on 03.19.13
It’s good to see an-
other album from IDM industrial art-
ist Totakeke. The thing I love about Totakeke is the fact that so much of his music retains that chill-out groove the IDM scene has embraced yet it is still suitable for a stompy dancefloor. With Digital Exorcist we have a musical offering that is more of the grittier industrial inspired tunage we saw with his 2010 release On The First Of November. However, unlike his discogra-
phy of three years past, Digital Exorcist reflects the namesake with a creepier, darker thematic presence. Opening with a sample and melancholy piano, the album blends smoothly into Totakeke’s trademark atmospherics, and begins a musical journey that seems to play out as a story. Some of the track titles also suggest this, including three distinct versions (chapters) of the song “Digital Exorcist” strategical-
ly placed throughout the album, all of them dark and thought provoking. The album also has great dance-
floor tracks, like the thumping beat of “Virtual Intel-
ligence”, my favorite off the release. A great thing about Totakeke’s music is his experimentation with changing tone and mood mid song. Often a song will start off somber, explode into a pleasant cacophony and then settle into a chill bass driven rhythm. There are shades of trip hop, hard industrial, ambient, all fused together with the irregular breakbeat of IDM. The Chicago label Tympanik Audio has a reputation of attracting the best in class musicians of this genre and Totakeke remains one of my choice artists on the industrial inspired IDM landscape. - Hangedman
recommended track : Virtual Intelligence
genre : IDM similar artists : Tonikom
8/10 : music 8 : recording quality 8
THYX - Below The City
released by THYX Records on 05.14.13
It’s hard to draw the line between mind. and their synthpop side proj-
ect THYX. Both hail from a distant future and both incorporate great synth lines and gor-
geous modulated vocals. In fact, my only real cri-
tique of the entire THYX project is why not just keep it all under the MIAB banner? Whatever his reason, frontman Stefan Poiss’ reputation of deliver-
ing top gear music forces me to eat a little humble pie when listening to Below The City, THYX’s 2013 offering. Poiss’ standards are high, therefore, so are mine and as such, as I try to get into the album, a part Volt 9000 - Conopoly
released by Artoffact Records on 06.04.13
I feel like Volt 9000 has done a sneaky thing and appeared right under my local Toronto nose. Here’s a band with three albums since 2010 and a fourth, Conop-
oly, released in June of 2013 with the fabulous Artoffact Records people. I confess I was unaware of this awesome band until Conopoly and I personally have pangs of guilt that I’ve not given Volt 9000 more attention. What we have here is good grooving music that delves deep into purist industrial roots. Admittedly the band can’t escape how Ogre-esque the vocals are and the unmistakable similarity to the post Greater Wrong of me is longing for a true MIAB release and asking questions as to why THYX exists as a project. For an OCD music purist like myself I recognize I must not get too hung up on this and force myself recognize that the album is indeed very strong, well recorded, and bursting with sublime Stefan Poiss branded elec-
tronics and cyber vocals. If I had to pick a signature difference within the THYX project I’d say there’s more “soul” in THYX. I’m talking about true R&B soul which really comes out in the refrain of many of the songs on the album. It’s clear to me that Poiss really does love to craft that vocal talent in a gut felt passion we rarely see in electronic music. This really comes out in tracks like “Below The City”, “Net-
work of Light”, and the true gem of the album, the synthpop ballad titled “Alien Love”. - Hangedman
recommended track : Alien Love
genre : futurepop, synthpop
similar artists :
8/10 : music 8 : lyrics 8 : recording quality 10
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY Mimetic - Where We Will Never Go
released by Hymen Records on 04.18.13
I can’t stress enough the quality of this album. French electronic wizard Jérôme Soudan’s Mimetic project has not put out a full al-
bum in some time so I approached this release quite casually. Not knowing what to expect, the result after one listening session was a bang effect and perhaps one of the finest rhythmic noise break albums I’ve heard this year. I’ve since listened to this album perpetually for almost a month and each time I’m astounded at the crystal clear lay-
Miss Kittin - Calling From the Stars
released by wSphere on 04.22.13
The third solo full length from vocal-
ist, producer, and DJ Miss Kittin (known for her own work as well as collabora-
tive projects with The Hacker, Golden Boy, and Felix Da Housecat), Calling From the Stars, is an ambitious double album. Her voice and creativity have been an essential part of the electroclash sound and her more recent guest vocals for Kris Menace or Oxia have kept her current. The twenty three songs are split into two parts, the first more pop oriented and as up-tempo as this album offers. The second half is more toned down and experiments with less vo-
cal presence from Miss Kittin. It’s obvious as the album goes on that it’s her distinct, nearly mono-
tone, vocal style that is the star of the show. A few of the tracks are instrumental and end up feeling a bit empty. Those songs unintentionally highlight not only how cool her voice is, but also how important it is to the quality of the compositions. Her singing feels like a perfect blend of enticement and detach-
ment on the first half and its more ethereal use on the second half offers some much enjoyed textures. The songs themselves are very gentle, downtempo, and subtle. While not being minimal in a genre associat-
ing kind of way, the song elements are simple and direct and don’t stumble on being overwrought. The double album does end up being a bit too ambitious, there could be some fat trimmed and a refined work, composing of the best of both halves, would be more concise and easier to follow. Calling From the Stars is a bit bloated but a good listen nonetheless, hone it down to some favorites and enjoy the abridged ver-
sion you’ve created. - Aaron Andrews
recommended track : Come Into My House
genre : electro, techno, synthpop similar artists : The Hacker, Ellen Allien, Tiga
6/10 : music 6 : lyrics 6 : recording quality 7
OOFJ - Disco To Die To
released by Fake Diamond Records on 04.29.13
If you have been paying attention at all to our website or even paged through this issue you would have noticed this band OOFJ and can conclude that we here at Auxiliary Magazine really dig their music. Right from the single release of Death Teeth they had our attention; and our anticipation for the release of their debut album Disco To Die To was pretty high. OOFJ is Jenno Bjørnkjær and Katherine Mills Rymer; Jenno provides the music being the producer, multi-instru-
mentalist, and also scoring the symphony which was performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra while Katherine provides the eerily enchanting voice you hear throughout the album. Listening through Disco To Die To, the listener is immersed in dark electron-
ics; cinematic orchestra with vocals used more as a piece of art than just singing a song. The elements of each track do not overpower each other; there is a nice blend of each and plenty going on to catch new sounds after multiple listens. Although the songs are complex, they are not to the point of challenging the listener, in fact it is rather relaxing. Overall there is a bit of a dreary feeling going on but it is nothing that is going to push your emotions or ruin a good mood. This album is perfect to cruise around to on a hot sticky summer night. - Mike Kieffer
recommended track : Pinstripe Suit
genre : electronic similar artists : We Love
9/10 : music 9 : lyrics 8 : recording quality 9
Suicide Commando
- When Evil Speaks
released by Metropolis Records on 05.14.13
Throughout my life I have always been aware of Suicide Commando, mostly through casual lis-
tens and from hear-
ing the same hits over and over at the club. That last bit is my excuse as to why I never got too into them. I was just so fucking sick of hearing the same three songs over and over that I shunned the band. There is just too much damn music out there which made it easy to just gloss over a staple. I am not totally foreign to Suicide Commando, I did listen to the last full length Implements of Hell and in comparison the new album, When Evil Speaks, blows it away. This album is less aggressive in the BPM department than the previous album and trudges along, dragging the listener through the filth and misery instead of shoving it in their faces; it feels more fitting with current music trends. The songs tend to be on the slower side but it also has plenty of dancefloor kill-
ers that can hopefully replace the dated staples; such as the album’s single, “Attention Whore”, which just pounds relentlessly with a nice resounding bass beat. What’s really impressive is that while the album is dark and evil, it doesn’t sound fake or intentionally over the top for shock value. When Evil Speaks is an album that “normal” people won’t understand, they will keep away from it and look at you with judg-
ment for listening to it, and for these reasons it is a winner. Suicide Commando is a legend and a leader that bands for decades have stood behind and will continue to for decades more. - Mike Kieffer
recommended track : When Evil Speaks
genre : electro industrial, aggrotech
similar artists : :wumpscut:
7/10 : music 8 : lyrics 8 : recording quality 9
ers of sound that maneuver elegantly through deep bass lines, IDM breaks, and tribal and jungly drums. There are even classical overtones reflecting Sou-
dan’s classically trained ear in tracks like “Sparkling Love” and the diamond of the release, the deep de-
liciously operatic vocal piece “So Little Chance”. The diversity of the album is amazing, as seen in the aggressive hip hop/metal inspired anthem “One of Us”. This particular track also comes with a curious-
ly enjoyable dubstep remix as the final track. Where We Will Never Go is so beautiful, so exquisitely put together that listeners not familiar with this genre of music will surely enjoy it. Soudan is a perfection-
ist, reflected in both the composition of the pieces and quality in recording. The label Ant-Zen/Hymen Records has a reputation for outstanding artists and should be proud to have such a beacon of excellence charging forth. Mimetic has fully captured my at-
tention and I highly recommend buying this album. - Hangedman
recommended track : So Little Chance
genre : IDM, rhythmic noise
similar artists : Tonikom
9/10 : music 9 : lyrics 9 : recording quality 10
period of Skinny Puppy. But, this is not a handicap, nor are they a SP copycat band. This is a group with its own vision and its own sound, blending future friendly cyber themes with sort of SP inspired in-
dustrial hippie melodies. This band obviously works hard to appeal to a SP fan, but not associate with the industrial giant. In Conopoly, the underlying future computer feel is scored with classic sci-fi samples and sounds, modulated clips and frickin laser beams. The diversity in the vocals is also a boon, sometimes I’m reminded of the melodic refrains from Encepha-
lon, sometimes the grit distortion and macabre of Yelworc. This is an extremely well executed al-
bum. I simply must give Volt 9000 high marks for my spidey sense suggests this is a band to watch very closely in the years to come. - Hangedman
recommended track : Speak And Spell
genre : industrial
similar artists : Skinny Puppy
9/10 : music 9 : lyrics 9 : recording quality 10
Ask Arden
submit your
questions to :
what is the best way to try and start something with your personal trainer?
Q : Joined a new gym, and with it got a free personal training session with a very cute guy. Felt like there might have been some chemistry there, but not completely sure as part of me thinks he was just trying to make a sale. Advice on how to approach?
A : I’m assuming he didn’t make the sale and you didn’t purchase further sessions? If you did, that’s cool. There are pros and cons to both sides here. If you purchased a training session package, this gives you a lot of time to build at-
traction but you will most likely have to put the kibosh on making a move until your sessions are up. Also, you don’t know where his personal boundaries stand with his clients. It could be that his priorities are focused on his business and/or he has a girl-
friend, so there are lines he won’t cross. Or it could be that he has plenty of clients and wouldn’t mind letting one go if he felt there was more to be gained personally than professionally. Either way, you can build attraction through your interactions there, utilize the tension that results, and then transition after your sessions are up. If you didn’t purchase additional sessions, it will be easier for you to escalate sooner, but you won’t have as much opportunity to build attraction. Does he also teach classes? If so, attend them in order to still see him and make idle talk, or just make idle talk around the gym (harder to do because you won’t be able to corner him as easily, but if there was chemistry between you, he should be into stopping to say “hi”). This talk should start to transition into talking about who you both are outside the gym. Ask him, does he teach anywhere else? Does he train outside? Does he compete in his sport? Where does he study and/or train and/or otherwise better himself? Does he have a day job? Etc. Try to do this smoothly so that you don’t come off like a spy or like you’re playing Twenty Questions. Hopefully he begins to ask you about yourself in return, about what you do and who you are. The goal is that eventually you transition your friendship from being about the gym to being about just the two of you as people. Better yet, to cover more tracks, make friends with other regular students there too, and involve all of you in get-
ting to know one another better. Get out of the gym at some point. As an example (and granted I have no immediate plans to date anyone from my gym, but if I did, this is exactly what I would do), there’s a guy in one of my gym classes who’s in a band, and they happen to be performing this Friday, right before my performance at the NY Fetish Ball. So I brought this up, and suggested a bunch of us (instructor included) go to his show and then mine, and voila, all of a sudden we’re actual people instead of gym classmates. If you’re in for the long game with this guy, that’s how you should go about it.
to get a boyfriend should I focus on being more cute and less sexy?
Q : In the context of dating advice, a guy friend once told me that I was, “too sexy for my own good,” and that if I want a boyfriend I should focus on being, “more cute and less sexy.” At first I disregarded it (maybe he’s just intimidated by sexy, confident women). But, I wonder, is there something to the statement that men look for “cute” vs. sexy girlfriends? My sexiness is natural and understated, and I don’t at all exude a slutty vibe, so I’ve always considered it to be a solely positive thing.
A : Intimidated, maybe. Or threatened. Or jealous because he knows he’s in the friend zone and can’t stand to see you act so sexy around other guys. Or maybe he’s genuinely trying to be helpful, but his taste is in cute girls rather than sexy ones. I think it depends on the kind of guy. In my experience, the kind of guys who go for cute girls are generally “nice” guys. They’re not super sexy, but they’re funny, charismatic, compassionate, often smart, and very sweet. The kind of guys who go for sexy girls are going to be a bit more sexually confident, more on the bad boy end of the spectrum, maybe even a little asshole-ish, but good-looking and charm-
ing. These are all generalizations, of course, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you an idea of the sort of patterns I see. And in my heart of hearts I bet the former kind of guy would go for a super sexy girl if he thought he could definitely have her. Ultimately what’s going to be important is tailoring your seductions to your in-
dividual targets. I have had targets where I was like, “alright, I’m going to dial this fucker up to 11 because there is nothing that could possibly intimidate him sexually,” and I have had targets where I was like, “whoa, I’m going to need to keep this reigned in at least in the beginning, because he’s already responding to my average, everyday level of vixenness.” So, stay tuned in. Importantly, you will Bringing together her experience in neuro-linguistic programming, psychology, pick-up artistry, and the fetish industry, Arden Leigh, author of The New Rules of Attraction and today’s freshest voice on women’s dating and relationship strategies, answers your questions. by Arden Leigh
photograph by Ron Douglas
AUXILIARY june/july 2013 always be yourself in your interactions; you will just sense how far to turn that dial up in order to get the results you want. But as far as your friend’s comment, I mean... really, when you wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror, you have to be happy with what you see, not your pal (who probably spends his time wishing he could see you when you wake up in the morning). So, if you’re really stressing it, ask a couple other opinions, but in the end, be the you that you are most happy with, and the right guys (the ones who can handle you) will come your way.
Ophelia Overdose’s creativity knows no limits: she is model, makeup artist, hair stylist, fashion stylist, designer, and performer. This makes the personality of each of her photoshoots hers to control on the deepest level; paying close attention to detail and using her skills to realize her visions. She travels regularly all over Europe and North America and now on to the pages of Auxiliary.
photographer Moritz Maibaum makeup artist Ophelia Overdose
hair stylist Ophelia Overdose
model Ophelia Overdose
the PinUp
Auxiliary’s playful take on the sexy centerfold pin up. Flip the page, cut out, and tac on your wall!
THIS PAGE Embellished swimsuit, skirt, and accessories by Kicka Custom Design.
Embellished swimsuit and accessories by Kicka Custom Design.
Auxiliary Magazine Presents
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY Ophelia Overdose
name : Ophelia Overdose
birthday : May 19th 1989
birthplace : Germany
hair color : orange
eye color : light green
turn-ons : Sunshine.
turn-offs : Stress.
why do you model? : I enjoy being creative to underline the different facets of my personality. For me doing a photoshoot doesn’t mean to just wear a dress that a stylist brought because I usually design my own wigs, accessories, and costumes. I am also responsible for the majority of concepts. how did you get into modeling? : A few photographers approached me on the street at the age of 18. My style was totally wicked and very extreme at that time so it happened that I got shooting requests by both professionals and photography students every month. I’ve always been pretty interested in art, so for that reason I decided to give it a try. At first I was not convinced, but after I organized my own photoshoots instead of modeling for somebody else’s vision, the passion was awakened.
favorite musical artist : Various. Really depends how I feel and what time it is. 50s jazz in the morning, pop or alternative music during the day, and dance or electronic music in the night.
favorite movie : In Time and Avatar.
favorite tv show : Desperate Housewives and 2 Broke Girls.
favorite cocktail : Strawberry Daiquiri, Mojito.
favorite color : Rainbow.
favorite article of clothing : Embroidered dresses, fancy leggings, and high heels.
favorite fashion designer : Amato Haute Couture, Alexander McQueen, Royal Black.
favorite outdoor activity : Doesn’t matter as long as I am with my friends... but exploring my surroundings when traveling and of course shopping are on the top list.
favorite indoor activity : Crafting in my workshop.
favorite club/club night/place to go out : Cocktail bars.
anything you’d like to say to our readers? : I’d feel very honored if you take a bit of time to visit my blog at, to get a more intense feeling of what I do. It’s all about preparing shoot, crafting costumes and wigs, doing makeup, traveling, and dancing on stages around the world.
follow Ophelia Overdose on Twitter @miss_overdose
AUXILIARY june/july 2013 Ophelia Overdose
written by Liisa Ladouceur
illustration by Michael Morton
Alexander McQueen shook the foundations of fashion with runway shows inspired by finding beauty in the grotesque. Defining gothic haute couture and known for his stunning yet boundary-
pushing designs, he met a tragic end shortly after cracking the mainstream. With the new behind-the-scenes book of photographs Love Looks Not With the Eyes by Anne Deniau and the inclusion of several of his design in the latest exhibit at The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Punk: Chaos to Couture, Auxiliary looks back on the life of this melancholic romantic icon.
AUXILIARY june/july 2013 Alexander McQueen
“I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.”
This quote by Alexander McQueen was one of several posted in the exhibition Savage Beauty, on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011. The retrospective of the late British fashion designer, who died by suicide in 2010 at the age of 40, was more than a collection of clothes; it was tribute and testament to a man who, more than any couturier of the modern age, brought romanticism and rebellion to the runway. Throughout the 1990s and up to his final collection, McQueen defined gothic haute couture: fantastical, fetishistic designs of feathers and leather, corsets, and lace. He loved skulls and severe shapes and irresponsibly high heels. His fashion shows were spectacles that often shocked: for one of his earliest events he sent a double-amputee down the runway in intricately carved wooden legs; years later, he had models leading wolves on chains. And if some people were afraid of his creations, and the women who could afford to wear them (women including Björk and Lady Gaga), those with a lust for dark and decadent designs were enamored, inspired, in awe.
The man the press called “l’enfant terrible” and the “hooligan of British fash-
ion” was born Lee Alexander McQueen, March 17, 1969 in South London, the youngest of six children to Scottish parents. As a teen, he was a member of a bird watching club and studied synchronized swimming. At age 18, he came out as gay. He quit high school but, long obsessed with fashion and design, quickly landed himself an apprenticeship on Savile Row: the esteemed street of prominent London tailors. Here he learned the tricks of the trade that would set him apart, perfection in cutting patterns and tailoring suits. Legend has it, while working for these tailors he scrawled “I am a cunt” into the lining of a jacket destined for Prince Charles. McQueen was a right brat.
He eventually did get his Masters in Design. His 1992 graduating collection was called Jack the Ripper Stalks his Victims. Instead of a label sewn onto the cloth-
ing, his signature was plastic pouches filled with his own hair. (He claimed to be inspired by the hair lock kits that were popular gifts between lovers in Victorian times, specifically those made from prostitutes’ hair.) McQueen was fascinated with history, especially its darkest parts.
McQueen arrived on the scene at a time when the British arts were shaking things up. Britpop music. Trainspotting. Damien Hirst’s animals in formaldehyde. The young designer created his first scandal in 1996 with a collection he called High-
land Rape. The models wearing his red tartan designs were presented disheveled and he was accused of promoting misogyny. McQueen explained it was his com-
mentary about the rape of his Scottish homeland by England, but by then his bad boy reputation was secured. The collection introduced his most influential design, the “bumster”: pants and skirts cut so low on the backside to expose the top of the ass. Some people made plumber’s butt jokes. But as we now know, the extreme low-rise pant would soon be seen in malls everywhere. It was a rare occurrence of the man’s vision trickling down to the masses.
“I find beauty in the grotesque, like most artists. I have to force people to look at things.”
Most of McQueen’s designs were too outlandish to be ready-to-wear but that didn’t prevent him from being wholeheartedly embraced by the fashion industry: he became chief designer at the French house of Givenchy in 1996 (until 2001) and was four times awarded British Fashion Designer of the Year. He was certain-
ly not the first or only high-end fashion designer to play with Victorian, romantic, S&M, or other gothy aesthetics, especially in the 1990s, when it seems that every few seasons Vogue and others were declaring black the new black. But there was something especially macabre about McQueen’s work. He put on runway shows inspired by The Shining, Hitchcock, and the Salem witch trials. He used actual worms and locusts and dead birds in his clothing. He himself was quoted as say-
ing, “There’s something… kind of Edgar Allan Poe, kind of deep and kind of melancholic about [my] collections.”
Kindred spirits responded. David Bowie wore a Union Jack-themed coat custom made by McQueen on the cover of his 1997 album Earthling, and was a fan. Björk had him direct a video for her 1998 track “Alarm Call”. He put her on a raft in the jungle with a snake between her legs. There was always something brazenly fetish about McQueen. One of his most infamous collections in this regard was 2011 spring/summer, which he called VOSS. The catwalk was contained in a huge glass box. In the middle of it, a cube of mirrored glass. Inside the cube, Michelle Olley, a writer for Skin Two and founder of the Rubber Ball, and a whole lot of live moths. The climax of the show was when the glass walls of the cube were opened, smashing to the ground, releasing the moths and revealing Olley, laying on a chaise lounge, naked, except for a full-faced rubber hood with breathing tubes attached. The fact that Michelle was under 5’4” and plus-sized made it all the more risqué. There was much applause. This is the McQueen of legend.
Years later, a popstar would make McQueen mainstream. Lady Gaga became the designer’s most famous client, an unofficial spokesperson and muse. Who else would dare to wear his most impractical outfits out in public? Gaga accepted the MTV Award for Best New Artist in 2009 in a red lace ensemble that covered her entire face. To the MuchMusic Video Awards she wore a gown made completely of duck feathers dyed black. She debuted her single “Bad Romance” at his spring/
summer 2010 runway show and made his crazy, impossible-to-walk-in 10-inch sti-
lettos (the lobster claw-like “Armadillo” design in particular) famous in the video. They were made for each other. And after 15 years of inspiring and influencing other designers and fashionistas, McQueen was now on the lips of tweens. It was around this time that his skull scarves became so ubiquitous; priced at a few hun-
dred dollars it was a somewhat-maybe-affordable luxury item for those who could only dream of his couture collection. For a while, it seemed like Alexander Mc-
Queen would join Tim Burton on the short list of freaks who broke through, who would make the whole world a little darker, a little stranger, for everyone.
On February 11, 2010, it was announced that Alexander McQueen was dead, a suicide. His mother had died of cancer just days before. The coroner found signifi-
cant drugs in his system and his friend, photographer David LaChapelle, claimed he was very unhappy. His body was found hanging by his housekeeper. He had apparently used a favorite belt.
“It is important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, mel-
ancholic but romantic at the same time.”
Alexander McQueen’s final collection, for autumn/winter 2010, was presented at Paris Fashion Week, in a gilded 18th Century hotel salon for a select group of fashion editors. The 16 pieces, which McQueen had designed and cut before his death, were inspired by master painters and had a hauntingly angelic theme. A chiffon gown with wings on the back; black thigh high boots with sculpted angels for heels. A message from beyond the grave. It had already been announced that the company Alexander McQueen would continue, under the stewardship of his assistant Sarah Burton.
Since his death, the McQueen brand has only grown in influence. When Catherine Middleton married Prince William in 2011, she wore a wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton for McQueen. You can buy Burton’s collections, which continue to use the skull and nature motifs so prominent in Lee’s own designs, and the more modestly priced McQ line, in boutiques around the world. Even more, Lee’s legacy as one of the most important artists of this generation is secured. The Savage Beauty exhibit was one of the most successful ever at the Met, and several of his designs are included in the museum’s current show Punk: Chaos to Couture. And a new book by photographer Anne Deniau (a friend, and the only shooter allowed backstage at his runway shows), Love Looks Not With the Eyes: Thirteen Years with Lee Alex-
ander McQueen, documents his career with exclusive behind-the-scenes photos. The images are haunting. They capture the extreme, bold nature of his designs and, even more importantly, the beauty and wonder that he created in those around him. McQueen is dead. Long live McQueen.
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY 37
interview by Vanity Kills
photographer Ian Compton
creative director Pretty Deadly Stylz
fashion stylist Pretty Deadly Stylz
makeup artist Jesse Young
hair stylist Jesse Young
model Brittnee Brimstone
AUXILIARY june/july 2013 THIS PAGE
Moxy top in Metallic Blue, COLONY Hex Bolero in White, COLONY Flare skirt in White over Pencil skirt in Metallic Blue all by Ego Assassin.
Upper, COLONY Hex Bandeau in Black over Bandeau in Red, Flex shrug in Red, Witch skirt in Black, and wrist gloves in Black all by Ego Assassin.
Center, COLONY Hex Bandeau in Black over Bandeau in Metallic Blue, Bolero in Black, Rocket Pants in Black, and wrist gloves in Black all by Ego Assassin.
Lower, COLONY Pollinate top in Yellow over Moxy top in Black, Pencil skirt in Black, and arm length gloves in Black all by Ego Assassin.
Ego Assassin
The maiden flight of the queen bee is marked by sex and death dispersed in equal proportions as she mates mid-
air with countless drones whose lifeless, eviscerated bodies fall to the ground once the act of procreation comes to completion. Such indivisibility between pleasure and pain resonates highly with the all-too-eager-to-give-
into-their-darkest-impulses players of the S&M playground. And so it’s hardly surprising that Ego Assassin’s expert grasp on transmuting the agony and ecstasy of the bee experience into honeycomb patterned latex has the kinkster in-crowd abuzz over spring 2013’s COLONY collection. Freshly emerged from co-creators James Hagarty and Slinka’s Toronto hive, this versatile swarm of laser-cut separates creates erotic tension if worn against bare skin or forms an insectoid armor-like exoskeleton when layered over solid colored latex, coalescing the queen’s carnality with the soldier’s strength, all the while, inadvertently making entomology fetish “a thing”.
Visions of exploring the unknown and hierarchies of bee hives bore a heavy influence on spring 2013’s COLONY collection. Each dress, chemise, handbag, and mask marked by the laser-cut hexagonal hon-
eycomb motif call on the wearer to outwardly express the soldier, adventurer, or queen archetype hidden within themselves. Can you elaborate on the nature of these symbolic beings?
Ego Assassin : In the fetish community, those in the queen (or royalty) archetype are easy to recognize. They have a presence that can seem unapproachable but generally they have a flock around them. They are the ones that create, organize, and choose the direction of the community. They might be event organizers, designers, or star performers. They enjoy social perks that come with their role but they put in a hell of a lot of work to earn it. Soldiers are the muscle; they’re the strength and the purpose of the community, the social network. The adventurer isn’t a bee archetype but, as in colonization, is an important aspect of the fetish community. Human beings are at their best when they’re testing limits and exploring. In our community that can mean pushing personal boundaries or even nudging the bounds of what’s socially acceptable. Genetics (DNA Dress), Japanese woodblock printing (Great Wave skirt), technology (Hardwire under-
bust cincher), and insect colonies (Pollinate cropped muscle top) figure prominently as Ego Assassin’s muses. Was there ever a point when you came across a concept that inspired you to the core yet due to difficulties in execution remained an undeveloped idea?
EA : This happens all the time, as we find so much to be inspired by in the world. The biggest obstacles come from ideas that require learning to work with materials and techniques that are beyond our resources (at least for the moment). For years, we’ve been fascinated with the possibilities afforded by 3D printing. We often have hours-long conversations about what we would do with such technology. We foresee a time when someone can scan themselves in their living room and send us the data. We would then send back a customized design file, which they can print out in that same living room, using a latex cartridge in their own 3D printer. Unfortunately, 3D scanning and printing isn’t quite at the point where that’s possible. We’ll get there very soon though.
Be it a flesh-and-blood individual, an abstract notion, or perhaps an objet d’art, who or what do you consider to be the absolute embodiment of contemporary beauty in this very instant?
EA : Beauty has a very in-the-moment, ephemeral quality to it. The “now” is so fleeting, it’s exciting. We’re currently enamored of prosthetics design, the architecture of Norman Foster, and Tilda Swinton.
How do you recall your very first time wearing a latex garment? Was any part of the experience awk-
ward or was it all smooth sailing from the get-go? Was your perception of how the fit and texture would feel like similar to or different from reality? James Hagarty : I did an impromptu photoshoot with an ex-girlfriend, and she had me wear some men’s latex pants that were sent to her. Getting into them was a very awkward experience because we didn’t have any lube or dressing aid. I don’t think anyone can accurately simulate in their mind how it feels to wear latex until they’ve tried it that first time. It’s just such an alien experience, which I think forms a large part of the appeal for most wearers. These pants, however, were not a good introduction to latex because the fit was very odd; too tight in some places, too loose in others. It would be a few more years before I tried it again.
Slinka : The first latex outfit I bought was a black cocktail dress and opera gloves. I brought it into work still in the package to open it. I was so excited and, as I worked in a lingerie store at the time, I hoped it wouldn’t be too shocking to anyone. Everyone was so supportive and oohed and ahhed over it, stretching it in their hands, asking about how to make it shiny. It was a very accepting environment and I’m so grateful to the women I worked with. Wearing it was a learning experience. I had ordered it by the flat measurements, assuming that would coincide with my own measurements. It was far too large. Latex garments have reduction for stretch designed into them. My next outfit was bought by proper size and fit like a new skin and I was hooked.
What’s the most important lesson you derived from working with a material as unique in its properties as la-
tex with respect to fashioning pieces which complement various human body shapes in a flattering manner?
EA : The single most important lesson we learned about working with latex as a fashion medium, is that tailor-
ing matters. Latex is not a miracle material. You can’t expect it to do it all the work for you just because it’s thin and stretchy. Like everything else in the world, latex has limitations. When you draft a proper pattern and cut the latex to fit within its tolerances, it will create a space that the body can occupy comfortably and beauti-
fully. Without proper tailoring, you might as well just wrap elastic bands around your body. Thankfully, this is FASHI ON
a lesson we learned early on when we tried (and failed) to make a dress for Bianca Beauchamp, as our third customer ever. After that, we learned how to do it right!
How did you transition from the role of fetishwear enthusiast to that of a designer?
EA : Like all good acts of creation, the transition was born of necessity. We were very disappointed with the selection of fetishwear that was available at the time, so we took it upon ourselves to make the pieces that we thought should be out there in the world. This thinking still informs our design process today. We make the pieces that excite us the most, because chances are they will excite other people too.
Finish the sentence, “I’d rather be swarmed by bees than…”
EA : I’d rather be swarmed by bees than live in a world without flowers.
McQueen has been cited as one of sources from which Ego Assassin’s creations draw inspira-
tion. What’s your take on the direction Sarah Burton took the brand in since being named Creative Director in 2010?
EA : Alexander McQueen was a remarkable human being. He thought of himself as an artist, first and foremost. Like all good artists, he bared his soul for everyone to see and poured it fearlessly into his work. A legacy like that is impossible to live up to. When a Hokusai or Van Gogh dies, how could anyone pick up their brushes and continue in their place? The McQueen line, under Sarah Burton, continues to inspire us. The honeycomb details in the Spring/Summer 2013 collection caused the spark that led to our recent COLONY collection. On the whole though, Burton’s work lacks the fearless exploration and social introspection for which McQueen was so well known.
What were some of your most memorable happenings from Toronto’s Torture Garden 2013?
EA : TG 2013 was our favorite yet. We didn’t put on a show this year so, even though we were busy with customer orders, we didn’t feel swamped. We usually put in 500 to 1000 hours to create our shows so this year felt like a breath of fresh air and we thoroughly enjoyed the event. Craig (the organizer) did a great job; the circus theme was pulled off very well. Again in the vein of pushing boundaries, the fire performers from the UK used some techniques that we’d never seen: breathing giant fireballs, cracking single-tail fire whips. Not to mention all the great people that TG brings into Toronto. The best part of TG is always getting to see your extended fetish family once a year. Oh, and somebody barfed all over us and our friends. But we were all wearing latex, so it pretty funny!
Are there any particularly bothersome myths surrounding the fetish community that you’d like to dispel?
EA : I think the biggest myth surrounding the fetish community is perhaps the same one that any human being believes of a group to which they don’t belong: that they are weird and unknowable, so they are therefore dangerous and somehow broken. The fact is, like any community, the fetish world is made of people; real people, who have lives, jobs, families, fears, and dreams. I once heard the Dalai Lama say that the only difference between any human beings is the manner in which they seek happiness. We would all do well to remember that.
What scares you, if anything at all?
JH : Not having the freedom to do what I love. Being forced to accept a life of dull routine for the sole purpose of subsistence and survival, without any learning or growth. And tarantulas.
S : Disconnection, or the illusion of it. And submarines. Dark, scary submarines.
Being that colonizing alien worlds appears to be relevant to your interests, care to share your thoughts pertaining Mars One’s plans to establish a permanent human settlement on the surface of the Red Planet?
EA : Ray Bradbury being a favorite author, space colonization has long been a fantasy of mine. I do think it will become a reality, likely even a necessity. People are pushing the limits of technology and public opinion today to do the prep work for tomorrow.
What’s next for Slinka, James, and Ego Assassin?
EA : We’re extremely excited for the cinematic release of Pacific Rim in July. It includes some com-
plex costume work on which we collaborated with Elastica Engineering and Kate Hawley, the head costume designer on the film. It looks like nothing we’ve ever done! We’re looking forward to do-
ing a lot more work with the film industry in the future. We’re also planning a series of short-films to be released over the course of this year and next, as well as an elaborate high-fashion editorial with Jeff Hui, and our first celebrity model collection co-designed with Kassandra Love.
AUXI LI ARY ONLI NE CONTENT See more of t hi s feat ure by searchi ng “Ego Assassi n” on www.auxi l i arymagazi
AUXI LI ARY j une/j ul y 2013 COLONY Pol l i nat e t op i n Bl ack over Bandeau i n Red and COLONY Fl are ski rt i n Bl ack over Penci l ski rt i n Red.
toxic beachbabe
1 Tattoo Print Blouse by Stella Tweed, bikini bra from H&M, and high-low skirt from H&M. 2 Mix and match bikini set in black and neon pink paired with skull and cross tank all from H&M. 3 Mix and match bikini set in black from H&M.
4 Spike Knuckle Ring and Spike Cross Necklace both available at Fashion Whore Boutique. 5 Hot Pink Cameo Brooch from Creeps and Geeks. 6 Neon and spike bracelets from H&M. 7 Crystal ring from H&M. 8 Leo Splatter Bow Heels with interchangeable brass knuckle charm glitter bows by Too Fast. 9 Interchangeable gun charm glitter bows for Leo Splatter Bow Heels by Too Fast. 10 Skull ring, spike ring, and skull earrings all from H&M. 11 Anarchy Spike Heart Purse by Evil Clothing available at Fashion Whore Boutique.
styled & written by Pretty Deadly Stylz
photographer Ian Compton makeup artist & hair stylist Leah Licious model Leah Licious june/july 2013 AUXILIARY Simple, basic pieces can be picked up for cheap and adorned with your favorite accessories and colors. For putting together a killer summer look, this is particularly effective. This season there are a lot of neons on the racks, so we paired neons with skull and spike acces-
sories for an alternative take on the trend. Make sure to choose only a few neon pieces, like bikini bottoms and matching shoes. Then overdose the rest of the look with your favorite shade: black. Toss that beach hair up, apply some dark lipstick, and add some heels or strap your feet into some wedged sandals. To brave the outdoors, which can burn your pale skin, melt your makeup, and mess up your hair, the Toxic Beachbabe uses pops of color and ac-
cessories to make a statement; shaking up the resorts and waterfront.
Nina de Lianin likes to wear many creative hats stat-
ing, “I love singing, dancing, acting, performing, and modeling, but I am complete only when I can do it all together. I kind of identify with that ancient concept when artists had many talents and interests and they basically covered the whole bright spectrum of art and science. Comparing to them, my range is too small.” But her range is constantly expanding. In 2009 she joined German electro-industrial band In Strict Confidence as a vocalist and songwriter. Recent-
ly they played on stage at one of the largest goth fes-
tivals in the world, Wave Gotik Treffen. When asked about the performance, de Lianin exclaimed, “Oh I loved it! One of my first performances with the band was at the same festival three years ago and I loved the energy so much, so I couldn’t wait to come back and play there again. This year it felt like being home.” She also recently acted as MC for Germany’s biggest fetish event, Fetish Evolution. She hopes to travel to the United States soon for a fetish event saying, “So far I have only attended German and Dutch fetish parties, but I think I ought to do a show in New York when I come to visit! Being the MC and having my own show at Fetish Evolution has motivated me to do it more of-
ten, because I got the most amazing feedback from the fetish audience. So see you soon!” On the horizon is her sexy musical theater solo proj-
ect titled Education of Mary. “I’m educated as a musical performer and I work in many musicals and theater plays. However I always wanted to make my own piece, since I find that much more creative than only reproducing what the others write, compose, or choreograph. Education of Mary is a story of a young conservative girl who gets sexually educated, but she doesn’t realize it at first. I’m the Mistress of the house, the teacher, and a cold dominatrix, looking like Morti-
cia Addams. The point of the show is the sexual libera-
tion and education of the audience; that being different and/or kinky is just fine and healthy. So all in all it’s a harsh social critique , with the special emphasis on the religion. It is extremely sexy and slightly provocative, but it’s in no way vulgar or insolent. I took my inspira-
tion from many alternative scenes, mostly fetish, bur-
lesque, and gothic.” Nina de Lianin
Model, performer, and In Strict Confidence
singer Nina de Lianin showcases her tailored, geometric, and structured style. AUXILIARY june/july 2013 interview by Jennifer Link
photographer Moritz Maibaum
fashion stylist Nina de Lianin
makeup artist Sonja Schwarz
hair stylist Sonja Schwarz
set designer Moritz Maibaum
model Nina de Lianin FASHI ON
Who can guess what project she’ll set her sights on next. De Lianin guest styled and stepped in front of the camera for this Auxiliary editorial. She answered our questions and gave us some insight on her sharp, elegant, and commanding style. How would you describe your personal style?
NDL : Fashionable, with the elegant touch from the 50s and with avant-garde details. High heels are a must!
What are your favorite places, stores, or designers to shop?
NDL : I started shopping online a few years ago, because it saves a lot of time and I don’t like the atmosphere inside of shopping malls. I do buy some mainstream clothing, but I like more made to measure clothing, so I have a few designers who I like working with: Laura Galic, Moni Novy, OrologiSilenziosi, Maria Margoth, Brigitte More, Savage Wear.
What is your favorite garment or accessory this season?
NDL : It’s a belt made of Plexiglas by French Connection, I used it for this Auxiliary shoot for the first time and I fell in love with it! I like accenting my waist, I find that very feminine.
What is your favorite all time garment or accessory?
NDL : I remember getting Dr. Martens� tall boots with a higher heel than usual from my mom in my teenage years, these were unique in my country. (I originally come from Bel-
grade, Serbia.) She found that one pair at some exposition, I was so happy and I wore them every day for years, no matter if it was winter or summer. What outside aspects, such as music, location, art, people, inspire your personal style?
NDL : Everything and everybody can inspire me, it just has to be the right moment. No matter if beautiful or ugly, action or peace, I find inspiration both in my laughter and my tears.
What subcultures have affected your personal styling sense?
NDL : Dark and elegant goth, fetish, avant-garde urban, Г©poque, 20s-50s.
Do you think subculture fashion follows trends as much as mainstream fashion? Is this a benefit or disadvantage?
NDL : I think most subcultures used to be a very inflexible field, for years there was nothing new happening, which formed certain barriers and rules. Like a few years ago I would’ve got hanged for mixing goth or fetish with fashion, it was like a blasphemy. Today those boundaries opened a lot, fashion became more alternative and alternative got more relaxed. I think it’s good that alternative people (especially designers) have more freedom to ex-
plore and the fashion industry sets some trends (which are inspired by alternative scenes) that alternative scene overtakes or vice versa, like black and white stripes this season. I see this in the most positive way, because setting trends doesn’t exclude the back-to-the-roots-
alternative-style. It’s not going to run away anywhere.
Do you believe in dressing differently for different events and parts of the day or dress-
ing to fit the whole day whatever may come? What is your personal dressing strategy?
NDL : I have my day clothing, makeup, and hair style and then another styling for the evening. During the day I wear mostly some mix of business, classy elegant, or slight urban style, I like it strict and dominant and the evening/night is reserved for something extravagant. However this may also vary on the occasion.
What is one style or look you admire but you have never tried to pull off personally?
NDL : I like a lot pure urban avant-garde style, but since I like being elegant and classy, I never wore an outfit in my private life that looked completely that way. My styling for our music video “Morpheus” was the closest I ever got to it.
Look into the future; what do you expect to be interested in fashion wise this time next year?
NDL : As usual, a complete opposite from this season, so nothing metallic and not geo-
What is one piece of styling advice you’d give to our readers?
NDL : Express yourself, don’t repress yourself.
AUXILIARY june/july 2013
Blouse by Asos and vintage Trousers paired with corset by Orologisilenziosi and leather belt by Asos.
Left, dress by Asos paired with latex top by Savage Wear, latex gloves by All You Need Is Gl<3ves, and Harness by Degenerotika. Top right, Blazer and trousers by Mango paired with belt by French Connection and vintage tie and choker. Lower right, dress by Moni Novy paired with corset by Royal Black.
Blazer and trousers by Mango paired with belt by French Connection and vintage tie and choker. AUXILIARY june/july 2013
Blouse by Asos and vintage Trousers paired with corset by Orologisilenziosi and leather belt by Asos.
Blouse by Asos and vintage leather dress paired with harness by Degenerotika, choker by Ellizabeth, and stylist’s own stockings.
AUXILIARY june/july 2013
Blouse by Asos and vintage leather dress paired with harness by Degenerotika, choker by Ellizabeth, and stylist’s own stockings.
Dress by Asos paired with latex top by Savage Wear, latex gloves by All You Need Is Gl<3ves, and Harness by Degenerotika. photographer Justine Louise makeup artist Ruby True
hair stylist Ruby True
model Ruby True
Painfully stylish in a league of her own: look but don’t touch. AUXILIARY june/july 2013
Latex dress and cat ears by Opium Latex. OPPOSITE PAGE
Lower right, latex dress by Opium Latex paired with shoulder pads by Lena Quist.
Left, Latex bodysuit by Opium Latex paired with shoulder pads by Lena Quist.
Lower right, peplum top and leggings by Lena Quist.
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY AUXILIARY ONLINE CONTENT See more of this editorial by searching “Temptress” on
photographer Bailey Northcott
creative director Pretty Deadly Stylz
fashion stylist Pretty Deadly Stylz
makeup artist Ainsley Graham
nail stylist Pretty Deadly Stylz
models Kassandra Love & Katastrophic
Kick up some mischief in the streets with punk meets grunge meets trashy style.
AUXILIARY june/july 2013
Trouble Makers
On left, Black & White Purple Triangle Sweater by Bllk Box and Guns Addicted Legging by Too Fast paired with necklace by COVEN by Sonia Kang and stylist’s own shades. On right, Black & White Eyes Sweater by Bllk Box and High Five Filthy Shorts by Rat Baby paired with Skull Clutch by Marina Rocks Toronto.
White Bones Tee by Monster Aesthetics, Pentagram Malice Cardigan by Rat Baby, and Hot Topic shorts paired with stylist’s own bracelet and earrings.
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY Trouble Makers
AUXILIARY june/july 2013
On left, White & Black Eyes Tank by Bllk Box, High Five Threat Vest by Rat Baby, and Hot Topic shorts paired with stylist’s own cuff and Black Damsel Purple Spikes boots by Jeffrey Campbell. On right, Grey Cross Tank by Monster Aesthetics, stylist’s own vest, and Lips Misfit Mini skirt by Rat Baby paired with Hot Topic beanie, Multi Rose Hairclip by Marina Rocks Toronto, Leopard Print Mini Clutch purse by Marian Rocks Toronto, and model’s own shoes. june/july 2013 AUXILIARY OPPOSITE PAGE
White & Black Eyes Tank by Bllk Box, High Five Threat Vest by Rat Baby, and Hot Topic shorts paired with stylist’s own cuff and Black Damsel Purple Spikes boots by Jeffrey Campbell. OPPOSITE PAGE
Lower right, on left, Black & White Purple Triangle Sweater by Bllk Box and Guns Addicted Legging by Too Fast paired with necklace by COVEN by Sonia Kang, stylist’s own shades, and Black Damsel Silver Spikes boots by Jeffrey Campbell. Lower right, on right, Black & White Eyes Sweater by Bllk Box and High Five Filthy Shorts by Rat Baby paired with Skull Clutch by Marina Rocks Toronto and model’s own shoes.
Lower right, on left, White Bones Tee by Monster Aesthetics, Pentagram Malice Cardigan by Rat Baby, and Hot Topic shorts paired with stylist’s own bracelet and Black Damsel Silver Spikes boots by Jeffrey Campbell. Lower right, on right, Lips Crash Dress by Rat Baby paired with headband by COVEN by Sonia Kang, stylist’s own bracelets, and Black Suede Night Lita boots by Jeffrey Campbell.
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY THIS PAGE
White Bison Sweater by Monster Aesthetics and Hand Dyed Black and White Leggings by Bllk Box paired with Hot Topic beanie, Multi Rose Hairclip by Marina Rocks Toronto, HoundsTooth Clutch purse by Marian Rocks Toronto, and Black Suede Night Lita boots by Jeffrey Campbell.
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY AUXILIARY june/july 2013
On left, White Bison Sweater by Monster Aesthetics and Hand Dyed Black and White Leggings by Bllk Box paired with Hot Topic beanie, Multi Rose Hairclip by Marina Rocks Toronto, HoundsTooth Clutch purse by Marian Rocks Toronto, and Black Suede Night Lita boots by Jeffrey Campbell. On right, Black Bones Tee by Monster Aesthetics, Black on Black Vest by Monster Aesthetics, and Pink Puke Hand Dyed Leggings by Bllk Box paired with Playland Wallet by Marina Rocks Toronto and Black Damsel Purple Spikes boots by Jeffrey Campbell.
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY AUXILIARY ONLINE CONTENT See more of this editorial by searching “Trouble Makers” on
written by Jennifer Link
photographer Laura Dark
makeup artist Deanna Roberts for Makeup Vamp hair stylist Odette Despairr model Xlcr Moon
This season’s must-have.
AUXILIARY june/july 2013
Summer means hot and hot means a camisole tank is a pretty handy garment to have in your wardrobe. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a boring or plain one. The Camille Tanks by Too Fast offer bright lace trim and dark and playful graphics to combat boringness (in this case neon purple and a potion illustration by Glitter Sniffer) and tunic length and a stretchy cotton spandex blend to optimize usefulness. Pair with leggings, cropped leggings, skinny jeans, capris, shorts, swimsuits, or just hot shorts underneath if you dare; versatile and season appropriate means the Drink Me Camille Tank by Too Fast is a must-have.
Drink Me Camille Tank by Too Fast.
All You Need Is Gl<3ves www.allyouneedisgloves.
com . Bllk Box . Creeps and Geeks COVEN by Sonia Kang Degenerotika . Ego Assassin . Ellizabeth . Evil Clothing www. . Fashion Whore Boutique www. . Hot Topic www.hottopic.
com . H&M . Jeffrey Campbell . Kicka Custom Design . Lena Quist . MAC Cosmetics www. . Marina Rock Toronto www. . Sei Bella Foundation . Moni Novy . Monsther Aesthetics www. . Opium Latex . Orologisilenziosi . Portland Black Lipstick Company www.portlandblacklipstickco.
com . Rat Baby Redken . Retro-a-go-go www. . Royal Black
Sephora . Shany Cosmetics . Sourpuss www. . Spookyville Bootique . Too Fast WHERE TO BUY
your guide to the best in alternative fashion, music, lifestyle, and more...
june/july 2013 AUXILIARY 65
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