NOISE 1996 Interview The following interview was first published in the Spring 1996 issue of the Taiwanese zine NOISE.
Noise: First of all, give us a brief history of The Haters. Jupitter-Larsen: Seventeen years ago I had this really dumb idea that I'd make a mess of my life by travelling around the world homeless, making noise. I guess I just don't know when to draw the line.
Noise: What feelings or ideas do you want to express in your soundworks? Jupitter-Larsen: That rot & decay can be fun.
Noise: Do you have a particular background? What are some of your influences? Jupitter-Larsen:I played in a few punk bands back in the late 70's. But I refused to learn how to play my instrument. What I wanted was to make noise, and so I went on from there. The one thing I loved most about punk was how the audience was as much a part of the show as the bands. I've tried to keep that kind of audience interaction for The Haters.
Noise: How do you make your recordings? What instruments or materials do you use? Jupitter-Larsen: I never use musical instruments. After all, this is noise, not jazz. I use tape-collages and samples taken from the sounds of destruction. I have a real fetish for such sounds. I could listen to the sound of breaking glass over and over again for days and never get bored.
Noise: Which past show of your's has left the biggest impression? Jupitter-Larsen:There are so many! Most of the early shows consisted of us just trashing the venue. Lets see. July 7th, 1993 in San Francisco. At the old Kennel Klub. Seven of us on stage sat watching blank static on a TV while slowly cutting up pieces of cardboard. Hung above the audience was a gigantic ion-gun. The entire audience was charged to five thousand volts! People started to chased one another around giving each other shocks. The whole thing was very silly.
June 18th 1994: We staged a show in the Nevada desert, near Reno. We detonated a series of explosions. Loud orange fire balls and all that. Several people from the audience quickly joined in the festivity by helping us to put out the resulting small brush-fires. This was also very silly.
We just did the 225th Haters performance in London at bar SATE. One performer stood centre stage with a motorcycle tire over his shoulder. A second performer behind him used an electric sander to wear away at the tire. And I in front rubbed a calculator on some sandpaper which had been taped to the tire. We had contact-mics on both the sander and the calculator. Sounded great.
Noise: Have you other projects? Jupitter-Larsen: I have other projects, but not in noise. I also write and do videos. I've had one novel published so far; a book called "Raw Zed & The Condor." It's your usual story about nomads, the weather and radio static. My last video was about a group of lesbian-vampire-garlic- farmers. Their human lovers wanted to become vampires themselves, and so lured these garlic farmers into initiating them. It's called "Holes On The Neck", and it's been released in the U.S. on Commercial Failure, and in Europe with Old Europa Cafe.
Noise: What do you think of the current noise scene in the U.S.A.? Jupitter-Larsen: I can't remember a time when hard noise was as relevant as it is now. Still a very underground thing. But it use to be a scene cut off from all other scenes. In the last two years it's almost become commonplace to see punk and metal labels release noise projects. It's nice to see, but I'm not taking it too seriously. There has always been people making noise. And there always will be. Audiences however, come and go. Noise: What Eastern and Western artists do you find most interesting at this time? Jupitter-Larsen: As for artists from the East, Bara was doing vocals for Merzbow when they came to the Bay Area last year. Bara was great! I never thought vocals would ever work with what Merzbow does, but Bara's vocals had more to do with breathing than with voice. Reiko-A released a cassette last year. Her first. One side had collaborations with Merzbow and Achim Wollscheid, but I prefer the other side which has her alone. Very interesting vocals again. Very different from what one usually hears out of Japan.
As for artists from the West, I have to say I'm really into the group Smell & Quim. I saw them perform a few times when I was over in Europe late last year. They do the same harsh & unrelenting noise they've ways done, but now they do it while dressed up like bad Elvis impersonators. Now I'm not into Elvis, but I really think this is how "Industrial Music" should have been played from the start.
Noise: Any future plans? Jupitter-Larsen: Always.
Year Zero Interview
The following are highlights from a 1993 interview from an Australian zine.
Year Zero: The whole "concept" of The Haters reminds me of the Dada movement; do you think that's true? G.X. Jupitter-Larsen: With the packaging, yeah; in some ways. But with the contents, no; not really. The Dadaists used chaos as a protest against the rot and decay of society. The Haters use chaos as a celebration of rot and decay, regardless if society is effected or not. With Dada, society was still the main issue. With The Haters, society isn't an issue at all.
Y Z: At what age did you become involved with avant-garde activities? G.X.: I was 20 when I did my first performance piece. I smashed up several video cassettes by hitting them repeatedly with a video camera. It was the same period I started The Haters. I published my first manifesto when I was 19. It was called "...But Unemployment Is The Answer," and was four pages about the idea of nothingness being as concrete as any other substance. I was 17 when I started to paint. And I think I was about 12 when I started to make cassette recordings of the noise I found around me. Even when I was a small child I always enjoyed watching the static on an empty TV channel more than any network show. I never got into music. Even now, I'm still more interested in making a mess, than making music. Fact is, with all the records and CDs I've done, there's no music to be heard on any of them. Just pure noise.
Y Z: Describe your childhood situation. G.X.: I had an unusual childhood, in so far as I had a close and loving relationship with both of my parents. Dad and I use to go out every Monday night to see the local wrestling matches. I'd do all the screaming and shouting, and somehow my silent father would be the one losing his voice. They both supported me in everything I did, regardless if they understood it or not. A far cry from most of the families I see around me now. Sad really.
Y Z: What was your High School experience like? G.X.: Really very uneventful. Nothing to report.
Y Z: Did you go to college? G.X.: Yeah, but I dropped out of my second year in film school. I primarily studied animation. Did a few films, but got bored.
Y Z: Do you think art can be used for revolutionary purposes? G.X.: Don't limit yourself to what society manipulates as thinkable and unthinkable. Life is no time to be practical. Real revolutionary art would be indifferent to the issues that society deems as important. And when I say "society," I'm speaking about both the leaders and the dissidents.
Y Z: What are your thoughts on politics? Do they play any part in your life? G.X.: So long as society keeps out of my way, I'll keep out of its way. Society is an alright place to visit, but I'd never want to live there.
Y Z: What other projects are you involved with outside of The Haters? G.X.: For the past year I've been doing the sound tracks for the performances of Mark Pauline's "Survival Research Laboratories." Robots killing robots, with a few explosions added for color. I do a live mix of mostly cartoon sound effects to put more of an emphasis on the whimsical side of the whole thing.
Y Z: Tell about the novel of yours that was just published. G.X.: My first novel is called "Raw Zed & The Condor" and was just published by Blood Print Press out of Denver. In it I used nomads, the weather and radio static as icons to talk about rot and decay. As one reads it, the story itself falls apart. By the end of the book, the narrative turns into a series of unconnected words.
Y Z: How'd you first get in contact with Merzbow? G.X.: He wrote me back in '82 asking if I'd like to trade records with him. I listened to what he'd sent me, and loving every bit of it, I sent him some of my stuff. We've been in touch ever since. We've performed together twice. Once in '89 in Bordeaux, France and in 1990 in San Francisco. Both times I would do some small action and Masami would amplify and manipulate the resulting sounds into something very, very loud.