“There is no description for this band. No one could possibly explain what this is.” That’s the social media biography that greets one trying to find information on the South Wales collective DEATH CULT ELECTRIC. It’s an ever so slightly smug statement that borders upon being egocentric - certainly not something a band that holds itself with unassuming modesty would proclaim. However, this band are anything but unassuming, modest and reserved. Violently fusing unhinged noise rock haste with musical dystopian anarchy and cold post-punk industrialism, DEATH CULT ELECTRIC are an overwhelming experience intense enough to cause a counter culture aneurysm.
Featuring the bile soaked vocal power of Estrons' Steffan Pringle, the relative noise-punk supergroup came screeching into life in the tail end of last year, imposing their debut single ‘She Comes Too Quick’ on anyone in harm's way. Frenzied, possessed and totally unhinged, the tracks hit the delicate, often unobtainable spot between short-wired synapse insanity and focused precision.
Whilst being manically reminiscent of bands such as Thee Oh Sees, USA Nails, JOHN, CLT DRP and even Eagles Of Death Metal, the group inhabit their own space ruled by physics breaking energy that many will claim to be absurdly over-the-top. Simply, they’re utterly too much, overwhelming and like most corruptive stimulants, wickedly addictive. It’s qualities that quickly allowed them to share stages with of McLusky*, the aforementioned JOHN and even got them air time on Radio 1.
Their namesake now hot wired into the neurons of many, DEATH CULT ELECTRIC have now recently premiered their most idiosyncratic and seizing work thus far. Titled ‘Deleter’, the track is a musical convulsion. It’s an experience that sees the band throw everything into the mix whilst ensuring nothing is misplaced, and with a paralysing video documenting total cultural apocalypse, it’s a violent sonic melee of a song. Really, the complete ‘Deleter’ experience plays out like something a zealous David Lynch would premiere if he discovered a love for multi-day binges composed of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Raketkanon and unabridged stimulant consumption.
With ‘Deleter’ already electrifying any who encounter it, we got in touch with Thomas Beedim (guitar, vocals) and Steffan Pringle (lead vocals, guitar) for a chat on the band, 'Deleter' and what's next.
For those new to new to DEATH CULT ELECTRIC, could you give us a bit of a history on the band? How would you define yourself?
Thomas: "This whole thing began as a project me and Steffan started working on. We wrote an albums worth of material a couple of years ago and managed to track the entire thing sporadically over 18 months by taking advantage of Steff’s knowledge and resources as a producer. We simply wanted to make an album, there was no endgame in mind, no band name, no foresight on what to do with it or how to present it. That’s what the last two years have been about, building a band, getting up to speed performance wise, understanding our identity and how we want showcase that with the music videos, the social media content and the live show. We are trying to get to a stage where we have an audience that wants our album and is prepared to digest it and support it and demand another one."
"I don’t think we can define ourselves, especially in terms of genre, we’ve been called industrial punk, noise rock, we’ve been on metal radio, indie radio. The music wasn’t written with an audience or genre in mind."
There's a lot of elements to unpack and decipher within your sound. What are your inspirations, both culturally and musically?
Steffan: "We were deliberately trying to avoid listening to other rock music around the initial writing process. So musically , I can’t really tell you what inspired this or that. But Inspiration is a funny thing isn’t it? Some creatives wait for it to hit them like a train, others find it in nature. Others find it by staring at financial charts for 12 hours a day, waiting for the sweet sweet collapse of capitalism and the end of our current institutions as we know it. I feel inspired by walking my dog, but that’s just me. And crystal skulls. And spheres."
Your latest single and video 'Deleter' is certainly provocative. Talk to us about the track and video, what where the inspirations and how was the overall creation process?
Thomas: "DELETER came alive during the recording of the vocals. Me and Steff are not singers and that was the first track we did properly vocal-wise, we learnt what we were capable of in terms of creating an energy and a battlecry regardless of our skill-level. The lyrics were being finished during the session and we were very meticulous about what we were saying and how it was being sung. The track is about stripping away your musical beliefs and affiliations in a monk-like fashion, resetting your brain while we install DEATH CULT ELECTRIC there. With the pace of the music and the intensity of the vocals we wanted to have something that sounds how a Mad Max car chase looks. I think we achieved that."
"We did the video ourselves with barely any money and taking that into consideration it turned out pretty well. The idea is based around televangelists, Conspiracy nuts, Alex Jones and people of that ilk. Anything involving some crazy guy screaming at a camera behind a desk trying to get an audience to understand how he sees the world or perhaps trying to fool them into seeing the world a certain way. The human programming element of that kind of media resonated with the lyrics of DELETER."
'Deleter' follows your debut track 'She Comes Too Quick', looking back what was the reception like upon releasing that debut?
Thomas: "It’s hard to know where the yard-stick is when you release your first track but I think it did reasonably well when comparing it to DELETER. I thought people might misunderstand what we were trying to do and find it provocative or maybe even silly but the response we got was pretty positive. It managed to get on Radio 1 which for a debut release is something to take pride in."
How do you approach projecting the volatile chaos of your work when playing live?
Steffan: "There’s never any conscious effort to have a “how chaotic can we make the show” attitude because a lot of that energy is within the songs and our style of playing them. All that chaos and energy will just happen naturally. A big chunk of the effort before hand is making sure that that we’re playing the songs as tight as possible and keeping the Stamina up. You can’t be playing these songs like some Camden Indie sloppy slop slop band. The whole aim is making sure that each band member achieves repetitive strain injury after every show."
What's set to come in the future?
Thomas: "We’re planning on doing a single or two in the summer and we want to stream a live studio performance while we’re unable to play in front of an audience. We still feel like we’re in the process of building momentum as opposed to maintaining it, so we’re trying to remain as productive as possible in terms of releasing content. In the long term we want to release an album, wether it be this autumn/winter or next year, that’s always been the goal."
Finally, anything you want to end on?
Thomas: "Stay 6ft apart, don’t talk to anyone, don’t fucking look at anyone."
Steffan: "Nothing further, no further answers to no further questions. There is nothing that I want to end on, for life is not a destination, but rather a very unpleasant journey."