Monday, June 30, 2008


This was an interview I had done for my old and defunct zine, Engine. It’s been languishing on a zip disc for about 7 years now. Figured I need to do something with it. So here you go.

For those who might not know, Dance Of Days is a book chronicling part of the DC punk scene (largely centered around Dischord) from the early days to when things started getting weird in the early to mid 90s when punk became a strange place that no longer made sense. So it goes...

Even though the subject matter of this interview is a book on punk, I think much of what is said can be applied to anyone, whether they have interest in reading this book or not. Ultimately this is a story of someone finding themselves via the channels and doors that punk presents.
Interview by Matt Average

M.Avrg : What made you want to write Dance Of Days?

Mark : Well, I came to DC in 1984, and I’d had kind of, already, a punk lifetime if you will, because a lot of people, in their teens or early 20s they were starting to wonder, Is this really for me anymore? By their mid 20s they’re on to something else. I had kind of gone through that. I came to DC actually to go to school, to grad school, and have a career. Instead, I found what I like. So, part of that discovery was, literally, encountering the DC punk scene, and becoming involved with it and learning a little bit about its history. By 1986, right at the tail end of what could be called the Revolution Summer period, it was just apparent to me that it was a great story, and someone should write it down. No one was writing it down, so being a punk, I volunteered.

M.Avrg : What was your first experience with DC punk?

Mark : Ironically, my very first experience with DC punk is very negative, as I mention it in the book. My first direct encounter with DC punk is seeing Nazi skinhead graffiti on a pay phone across the street from the apartment I moved in to in the DuPont Circle area of DC. And much of my initial impression was very negative. Part of it was I that I had come there knowing some about the DC scene already. I was from Montana, and news of it had already reached Montana, about PMA, and Bad Brains, and straight-edge, and Minor Threat, and all those other bands. Henry Rollins, obviously. I knew of him because of Black Flag. I knew he was from DC, from that scene. So I was kind of shocked to see this kind of fabled scene and how much violence and stupidity and conformity seemed to be running rampant there. Now, the good news was that wasn’t the whole story. As I got involved in helping to set up this group that would become Positive Force, a punk activist collective, I started running into other people who were kindred spirits. Largely from the Dischord crowd, who were preparing for this idea, or this moment called Revolution Summer, and we just became friends and allies. In the process, I learned a lot about the history of the DC scene, and became very inspired by what I saw.

M. Avrg : Is this when you became inspired to write the book?

Mark : I came up with the idea in ‘86, not terribly long after Embrace broke up. At that point I began to do interviews. By late ‘86 I was doing interviews, I was gathering old flyers, old audio tapes, video tapes, fanzines, any kind of scrap or document that I could find about DC punk I was starting to gather and immerse myself in that. And that immersion went on for about seven years because there was this intense work around researching from ‘86 to ‘93, when I started the rough draft of the book. I took some notes personally as I was doing that, but a lot of things I was at, personally, when I can came back to the book I was relying on tapes and photos, stuff like that. Memory is sometimes really reliable, and sometimes it’s not.

M.Avrg : Was it hard not to romanticize the past as you were writing the book?

Mark : It wasn’t hard for me, I don’t think, because by the time I was writing this town I kind of seen this story... It turned out the story I was trying to writing was part way through a certain cycle. By ‘93 it was starting to complete that cycle, from starting out very small, terribly marginal, and then going into something that was ushered into the mainstream in some sense. As I learned the story it was clear to me that this was the story of human beings, so there was a lot of mistakes, bad choices, and failure. That’s youth. It was really important to me to reflect that, including the mistakes I was making, or that I make in the context of that. To not pull any punches. To be fair and accurate, but also honest, because there’s not point in doing it other wise. I felt, and you might think, Well wouldn’t it be hard? You’re really passionately moved by something. You’re inspired by something, and you see it in a rosy light? Well, by ‘93, ‘94, ‘95, when I’m writing this down, I’m not seeing it in a rosy light. I’m seeing a lot of my own failures, I’m seeing a lot of the failures of other folks. I’m also seeing, of course, the beautiful stuff, the accomplishing, and inspiring stuff. And I would never make a pretense of somehow being objective, if objectivity can exist. We’re all caught within a certain context. Try as we might, we’re biased. And that’s okay, as far as I’m concerned. I think it’s pretty clear to people that I’m pretty open about what my bias might be. I also tried very hard to document stuff and to be fair and accurate to everybody. It’s funny, because some people have critiqued the book saying that it’s too dry. That there’s not enough of the juice, like where’s the passion there? Well, I think it’s a passionate account. But it’s also one that’s trying to be just more than my account, obviously. I have a co-author, and so both our voices have to be represented.

M.Avrg : I find personality comes out in the later years, the later chapters.

Mark : As you’ll notice the book is set up to be framed by a very personal prologue, which talks about where I am when punk starts to happen, and how it effects me. But also about the ‘60s counter-culture, which is the essential foundation to understand how punk comes about. You really can’t understand punk without understanding the sense of betrayal of the promise of the ‘60s. So that was really important for me to be there, both for me historically, and also for accuracy historically. Then of course, at the very end of the book, I’m back in Montana, and this time I’m writing from the other end of the cycle. All these friend of mine, or acquaintances of mine, or peers of mine, are rock stars. They’re on the covers of magazines, and I’m seeing it from this context where I was this lost lonely teenager. I felt like, and other people may disagree, but I felt like that was a good way to frame things, and to bring in my personal perception, and to be able to ask some questions that maybe Mark (Jenkins) would be uncomfortable asking, because Mark, even though he’s been... I consider Mark Jenkins a punk, and he’s been around since the very beginning of the DC punk scene. He’s a great writer, he knows an awful lot, and he’s very smart. But, he’s a journalist, I’m not a journalist. I guess I am in some sense, but my primary identification is an activist. As a punk, understanding my definition of that, which is maybe not other people’s definition, but it’s mine. So Mark has tried to keep a certain distance, I’m really not interested in distance. I’m willing to participate and get in the thick of things. So, I think we managed to strike a good balance where some of the personal stuff could be shared, but also preserve enough of an objective tone so that it could be both in my voice and Mark’s voice. I think it made for a much stronger book than otherwise.

M.Avrg : Going back to what you said about the feeling of betrayal from the ‘60s counter-culture. Do you think there will be something created in the next few years by the people who feel betrayed by the commodification of punk?

Mark : It’s probably already happening. In some ways it’s already happened. We’ve seen the rise of rave, for example. Parts of the rave, or the hip-hop culture... Who knows what will come out. I don’t know what to predict. I can’t imagine that there won’t be a reaction against it. Although, it’s interesting, because if we look back it seems like cycles were happening more quicker then. There’s the initial rock explosion in the mid 50s, and then it kind of died down by the early ‘60s. Then it kind of explodes again in the mid ‘60s. Then punk comes along and explodes in the mid to late ‘70s. Now, we’re sitting at a point where we’re well into 25 plus years of punk. And you don’t see something connected to rock that is rising that is kind of new. You see a lot of the old things kind of playing themselves out. And obviously, there’s the punk underground that is thriving, and in a sense is already what you’re talking about; it is in rebellion against perceived failures of certain parts of the punk community. It’s an interesting question, and I can’t pretend to have an answer to it. I am certain however that anytime people try a would be revolutionary cultural experiment, counter-cultural experiment, that certain ground is gained, and there’s also certain sense of the promise is not entirely fulfilled, and that provides a foundation for a new movement. And also something that it reacts against. I don’t know if it will come from rock music, or if it will be tied to rock music, because in way, and Mark Jenkins would probably disagree, but to me in some sense, part of what this book is about is arguably a failed effort to prevent rock music from simply turned into a consumer commodity. In a way punk is trying to revive certain romantic ideals around rocknroll, where it’s kind of a street music, the music of the disaffected, of the rebel. You know, Bill Clinton, his campaign song was a rock song. All of our TV advertisement at this point... Who would have believed someone like Iggy Pop’s “Search & Destroy” could be used for a car commercial? It’s an intense song that’s borne of this raw outrage and confusion of the Vietnam War, and the nuclear threat. But it has been. I just saw this terrible ad with David Bowie. I don’t know what David Bowie is up to, but it’s an Absolut ad that takes the Aladin Sane cover graphic and turns that into an ad. There’s this great quote that I quote in the last chapter from Ira Robbins, who was from Trouser Press, which was this really cool magazine, and he says, “Overwhelming economic synergy has rendered absurd the idea that rock still exists in opposition against anything. Above the lowest grass roots level of independents everything is for sale, and nothing is forbidden.” He goes on to say, “It’s obvious any traditional beliefs in rocknroll as a vehicle for social and cultural progress are obsolete.” Rock is so thoroughly part of the mainstream fabric and so thoroughly coopted. That’s why I brought up rave. Because rave in a lot of ways reacts against... It’s not rock music. It’s something entirely different. Who knows. The basic answer to your question is I simply don’t know. But I do believe that anytime people try something idealistic and utopian, which punk in many ways, had a lot of those elements, you’re going to fall short. And the fact you’re falling short will provide, in a weird way, fuel for another endeavor, another utopian endeavor. There are certain elements out there in the rave culture.

M.Avrg : Were there any stories you wanted to include in the book...

Mark : (laughing) That aren’t in there? I’ll answer the question this way, I did a rough draft of this book that is quite boring of the book that exists now. When I did the rough draft I was shocked and horrified of how much of these really extraordinary stories, all these stories that I had to leave out.

M.Avrg : Wasn’t it supposed to be on Pressure Drop Press?

Mark : That’s who I was working with when I was doing the rough draft, Martin Sprouse, from Pressure Drop Press. I would have continued to work with him, but when it was delayed for so long we developed an understanding. My intent was to return to Martin, and when I decided I did want to work on it again, I did talk to Martin and, basically, he was at a place after Tim Yohannon passed away, I kind of got the sense that Martin needed to move on to other things, and let go of Pressure Drop.

M.Avrg : Let’s talk about Positive Force. I remember in the late 80s and early 90s it was very visible to the punk scene at large. And then after a while I hadn’t seen anything about it, and I thought it was over. Then in the book, and seeing the literature tonight, I see it’s still happening.

Mark : Absolutely. Positive Force represents the DC ethic in a lot of ways. At least the DC ethic as I understand it. A lot of people may have a different understanding. But my understanding is, you do the work, and the work is not... you just go get your job done. You make your music, you set up your demonstrations, you get food to hungry mouths. You let your actions speak for themselves. Positive Force continues to do the same things it’s always done. Arguably, there have been big changes in the community, maybe it has led it to being a little less high profile. I never felt like we had a very high profile. I feel like a lot of people know about it largely because of Fugazi, who had such a profound impact. People know because they care about, and have been passionately moved by Fugazi. We’re actually headed toward what I think is a huge step forward for us. Which is a community center in DC. We’ll have a performance space there, an office space, an art gallery there, a library. All sorts of mixing of radical arts and direct service for people in the neighborhood, which is a low income neighborhood.

M.Avrg : How many people are currently involved now?

Mark : See, it’s hard to know. If we’re talking about meetings, then that’s one level of Positive Force. An average meeting, we meet every Saturday... Our house, which was a communal house was sold and demolished to build a luxury home there. We haven’t gotten into the community center yet. It won’t be ready until early next year. Actually a bunch of our stuff is in storage so we meet at my apartment. At any given meeting there’s half a dozen people there, or two dozen. Who knows. That’s not even a good way to look at Positive Force, because a lot of people who are active in Positive Force don’t necessarily come to meetings regularly. They’re out there supporting us in bands, in other organizations... I have to say, that it’s inspiring me to see that Positive Force, over 16 years after it started, is still seems relevant to people. They keep coming in, doing great stuff. It’s a continual inspiration for me. And that’s personally. There is a transition. Punk is a very transitional community. People come in and they do a lot of stuff, and maybe they move on...

M.Avrg : Are there any people involved who have been around for a while?

Mark : There are a number of people who have been around for a good period of time, but no one nearly as long as I have. Which is kind of tough. Like I said, I still find it inspiring that it’s an all volunteer group that meets every Saturday afternoon. That’s prime time for leisure activity. It just seems to be motoring along. No guarantees or anything. But I think it’s a testament to the strength of the DC community.

M.Avrg : How could someone start a Positive Force chapter in their town?

Mark : Well, basically, they certainly don’t need to call it Positive Force. There have been literally a couple of other Positive Force groups in existence. We have the resource material to give based on our experience. The basic thing is very simple, we just want a place where some people can get together and talk about what they’d like to see happen. It’s very simple, but it is revolutionary. One of our early slogans, one of our early ideas was borrowed from Chumbawamba actually, years and years ago in ‘84. In a Maximum Rocknroll interview actually, with Chumbawamba. And they said, “Isolation is the biggest barrier against change.” First and foremost, what Positive Force has strived to do, and we encourage other people to do, is to create space where kindred spirits can spark off each other. The things that are in your head that seem so impossible, when they come out of your mouth into a space of other people who share some of those ideas, suddenly it’s not so impossible at all. And that’s a beautiful thing. Very simple, but very profound.

M.Avrg : Going back to the book. There’s a part in there where you say when punk is political or socially aware, is punk at its best.

Mark : Punk, to me, is about life. It’s a window into a universe of possibilities. Which life is. I don’t think every single song has to have some profound political message. In fact, some of the silly songs are revolutionary in a way, because it’s getting in touch with another possibility in life. I do think that is essential we also ground these things in, some sense, ultimately, in awareness of our social surroundings. Or we’re just not going to be able to achieve our potential of our lives. That’s one of my big personal beliefs; that punk is not a musical style, it is not a hairstyle, or a style of clothing, or tattoos and piercings. These things are a very important part of it. But punk something is way more open ended, and something non-commodifiable. Which is part of what makes it so great. To me, it’s a spirit. No one has to agree with me, it’s just an opinion. A label is a label. What I’m interested in is life. A rich, rewarding, and beautiful life for everybody. Punk is just a word. Life is what I’m about. In the end, life is what really matters.

M.Avrg : Do you think the underground will be as strong as it was before the labels were being bought out and bands getting signed?

Mark : Good question. I think it might be stronger now than it was already. This is a challenge for us. Some of this corporate stuff actually can help the underground. Money comes in, and what do you do with it? I know labels like Epitaph and Lookout, and others, Dischord to some degree, benefitted from this. Sub Pop certainly did. Now, what do we do with those resources once they flow in? That’s a good question, and I can’t answer it. That’s a question for each one of us to ask. That again, is another thing in my book; to bring the questions back to us personally. To be less concerned with this certain figure in punk. Did that person sell out? To ask yourself, Can I sell out? Am I selling out? What does that mean? What is my life meant to be about? Am I being courageous enough to pursue that, or am I copping out? Those are the questions I ask.


Here's another old interview I did a long while back. This one originally appeared in U.G.Z. zine from Oakland. I think you can obtain a copy from

Atrocious Madness are proving to be a prolific band. They have a nice number of releases behind them, as well as ahead of them. Their first LP is now out on Wicked Witch Records, and everyone who’s heard it have nothing but positive things to say about the record. No surprise, they do what they do well. Noisy hardcore punk with some of the most interesting lyrics and song topics out there. Outspoken against animal experimentation, the state, and the like. But they also bring to light secret histories and more reasons why you shouldn’t trust those in power.
This interview was conducted over the internet.

M.Avrg : When did Atrocious Madness begin? Have you been in bands prior to this?

Chanel : Atrocious Madness started a little over 4 years ago when our old guitarist Saira and I decided that we didn't need to learn how to play guitar before we made a band. About two years ago she moved to Germany, then Minneapolis, and we got Hopper to play second guitar.
Frank- Saira was in Detestation and Joel, who played drums, was in Axiom at the time and Indignity and Discontent before that. Hopper was in Starved and Delirious, Landfill, and Detestation. We now have Dominic playing drums who was in Yankee Wuss, Detestation, Family Counciling, and New Day. No one else had done anything before.

M.Avrg : Do you think the comparison to Confuse is accurate?

Frank : Not really. The name definitely implies that we think we do, but I wouldn't listen to us and think of Confuse otherwise. I think we fit into the general noisecore style of Confuse, Acid, Gloom, Gai, Disorder, Chaos UK, State Children, etc... and of course we steal plenty of stuff from all those bands. It seems it's an easy comparison to make, but not entirely accurate. That's just the music side of it though. A lot of people have said that we're different because of our lyrical content. But all those bands had political songs as well.

M.Avrg : What do you think a band gains when they throw musical proficiency out the window?

Frank : You don't have to be expected to impress anyone with your next 5 minute epic. You don't need to put any pressure on yourself to write a fucking punk song. A couple notes (or one note!), verse, chorus, verse, chorus... there's a song. As long as there is some energy behind it... It makes having fun playing music a lot easier rather than concentrating on what you are doing. Of course I don't actually know how to do much on any instruments, so maybe it is a lot of fun playing complicated songs. Rush sure liked it.

M.Avrg : Many of your lyrics seem to be based in conspiracy theories and secret histories. Is this a fair assessment?

Frank : Yeah, a lot of them are about what people consider conspiracies. But that's just a way of not taking them seriously. All the songs we have that deal with those topics considered on the fringe are things that are actually happening or have happened. The HAARP project really does exist and is capable and being used for things like weather control, and mind control. The official HAARP propaganda even admits that it could be used for that, but of course says they never would. And people believing what the government tells them is the really scary thing. Everyone knows about CIA mind control experiments on unknowing victims and it is public knowledge, if you look for it, that Nazi scientist were brought to the U.S., Russia and Britain and were behind the creation of the CIA, NASA, training of South American death squads, and mind control "cults" like Jim Jones's Peoples Temple. They are only theories because they aren't accepted by mainstream media machines which use terms like "conspiracy theory" to push facts and ideas into the realm of laughable nuts. Shows like the X-Files help to defuse information that comes to light by letting people think of it as "that stuff on TV". Just like accusing someone who says that fluoride in the water is being used to weaken the minds and bodies of the population as being paranoid and right wing. Secret history is more accurate. The connections between corporations, political dynasties, banks, intelligence agencies, "think tanks"(Tavistock Institute, Rand Corporation, Club of Rome, Committee of 300), gatherings like the WTO, and G-8 and secret societies are not something that those involved want to be known. All media surrounding wars and terrorism, including what is happening now, is meant as diversion from what is really happening and who is really pulling the strings behind world events. Who is gaining from the attacks on the World Trade Center/Pentagon and these Anthrax mailings? If you think that these "civilized" governments wouldn't murder thousands of innocent people, take another look at the history of British and US imperialism and it's dealing with "undesirables" in their own countries. But not all of our lyrics could be placed in the "conspiracy" box. True, we sing about these things, but that should not be considered some gimmick, which takes away from the fact these are serious topics. And we also cover what the usual political punk territory: animal rights, environmentalism, sexism, homophobia, religion... things just as important and relevant as anything else we sing about.

M.Avrg : What is HAARP?

Frank : HAARP stands for High frequency Active Auroral Research Project and is located in the remote area of Alaska in the Gakona region, owned by the Department of Defense. It's basically a huge antenna array and research facility tucked away where it can operate in almost secrecy. What the government/military claims is that it is to be used to study the upper atmosphere and communicate with submerged submarines that could not otherwise be reached. It is a joint Navy, Air Force operation with academic support from the University of Alaska. The official HAARP website, maintained by the Air Force, has a long list of further uses (oceanic mapping, finding hidden bunkers and underground cave systems, which is of course very useful propaganda nowadays etc...) and goes on and on about what a safe and wonderful tool it is in predicting weather patterns. What they don't say, and even deny, is that it can be used to alter the weather in specific areas by "lifting", or punching holes in portions of the Ionosphere in order to create heat waves, floods, snow fall etc... This not only effects the specific area targeted but creates a reaction in world weather systems. The facility uses electro magnetic waves which disrupt the magnetosphere causing confusion in migratory animals whose natural guidance systems are effected, either causing them not to migrate, migrate in the wrong direction, and in the case of a number of native Alaskan wild life, to wander straight into the antenna array. The more frightening uses that are not mentioned in the official propaganda are those that are actually claimed in the original patent. Not actually the original, because the designs used for this type of radio transmitter were created by Nikola Tesla. A lot of his patents were stolen after his death by intelligence agencies or simply refused by the patenting office and confiscated. But some of the other possible uses are a land bases Star Wars type defense shield, destruction of satellites, altering the weather for military and civil disobedience purposes, negatively impact the health of human and other biological systems (including inducing heart attacks), taking control of air craft guidance or melting engines, altering the mental state of large groups or singular people, and if implanted with a receiving chip, actual physical control. The list goes on and on and the science and secret history behind the development and uses could fill a book. Actually there are a number of books on the subject and plenty of places on the internet.

M.Avrg : Do you know if the government has actually experimented on populations with HAARP?

Frank : Definitely. This type of technology has been used in different capacities since World War I when John Hettinger modified beam power weapons to radio wave power weapons. Sounds ridiculous, like something out of a sci-fi film. But who do you think controls the film studios? The banking/military cartel who produce books and films as a way to defuse and make unbelievable secret science and conspiracy theories. During the 80's the Greenham Commons Women Peace Camp in England, who held a constant vigil outside the Greenham military base to protest the placement of U.S. cruise missiles there, were subject to radio frequencies emitted from the base that caused headaches, nausea and constant menstruation. The USSR used something called "The Russian Woodpecker" to bombard the eastern United States with radio waves that caused an increase in suicides and murder during the times it was turned on. Similarly was the use of these signals to cause disruption in the mental state of employees at the U.S. embassy in Moscow. The Montauk facility on Long Island was home to some of the most horrific human experiments on U.S. soil. Including the mental torture of homeless and kidnapped victims via low frequency radio waves and "shock rooms" in a sort of MK Ultra mind control experiment and creation of split personalities. The Montauk base would also aim their antenna at New Jersey, New York and even at the housing units on it's own grounds which resulted in the same effects as the Russian Woodpecker. During the WTO protests there were reports of people being effected by the same symptoms as the Greenham Peace Camp women. There are people who have mapped out storms and strange weather patterns that coincide with when the HAARP facility was activated at the frequency needed to cause such things. The school shootings over the past few years can also be connected to HAARP being active on the frequency to control human emotions and thought. But a moveable radar dish is no longer needed to transmit. They are simply bouncing signals off the upper atmosphere, using it as a mirror, to directly hit a target. Now I have read some reports of transmitters being reduced to hand held targeting devices for used in civil unrest (WTO, Genoa...) to incapacitate protesters. Most recently is the under reported link between the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks and the fact that HAARP went online to satellite communication frequency moments after the planes were in the air. This is also the frequency used to take control of a vehicles guidance system, which has been a useable technology, as admitted by the government, so who knows how long it's really been
available, since the late Eighties.

M.Avrg : In the song “Terror Technology of The Conspiracy” you mention something called E.L.F. waves. What are they, and how are they used in mind control?

Frank : E.L.F. waves are Extreme Low Frequency waves and were being researched during World War II by the RCA company to aid in the communication with submarines and a way to avoid disruption from naturally occurring electro magnetic pulses in the atmosphere. The EMP's are now being artificially produced to cause earthquakes, destroy communication systems and disrupt vehicle engines. It is the same thing that happens when a nuclear missile would enter the atmosphere. But, with the ELF waves, they soon discovered the negative side effects of there use. Which to the military means positive side effects. One frequency on this wavelength is the same as that which human thought travels on. Again, this is not science fiction. The human body and mind produce electrical charges which translate into electronic waves. Emotional and mental derangement were noted in the early test subjects exposed to ELF waves. Alone they cannot actually cause physical control without an implant of some sort. And they cannot be aimed to pinpoint specific people from long distances. Whatever is sending the signal needs to be ground based. Which is where the hand held devices come in as use in effecting small groups in a riot situation. The main use of mind control is the injecting of thoughts or emotions into someone's head. Even to the point of "hearing voices". This is usually detectable by a constant humming sound. Like those emitted from electricity boxes.

M.Avrg : When you say implant (in reference to answer about ELF), are you saying that something physically has to be implanted in the subject?

Frank : Yes. It doesn't have to be something incredibly sophisticated though.
In 1965, Dr. Jose Delgado of the Yale School of Medicine (and funded by the Office of Naval Intelligence, U.S. Air Force 6571st Aeromedical Research Laboratory and also linked to Spanish Fascist groups) had a working "stimoceiver" that received a radio signal, implanted into animals, specifically a bull, that could force them to stop on command. His work was actually an extension of the research done by Walter Rudolph Hess, who is acknowledged as the first person to conduct experiments into direct brain cell stimulation by inserting wires into the brains of cats. This was almost 40 years ago, just think how much has progressed since then. And look at what is being put into animals now! Implants that will monitor the location of pets. This has been happening in animal shelters for years and people are now willing to accept the next step, which is the tagging of their children and criminals. Delgado was able to prove that a radio signal via an implant in the brain could override natural motor function and eliminate the freedom of movement in an individual. The army has been implanting soldiers for at least 30 years. Just ask some notorious government patsies like Timothy McVey or Lee Harvey Oswald. Whoops, he's dead. There are many, many documented cases of people having implants removed that they have no recollection of how they got them. Just wonder what some doctors and dentists are up to, even outside the military. This last year a news story was released that there are now available computer chips that are so tiny over a hundred could be inserted using an average size syringe. So how long has this technology really been available?! And what the fuck is really in those flu and anthrax vaccinations?

M.Avrg : The song “Inquisition” brings attention to the money driven pharmaceutical industry. What’s your opinion on people in the Bush cabinet having connections to drug companies, and the recent “anthrax scare”?

Frank : I don't think that it will ever be admitted that entities inside the U.S. government (who are just puppets to the same masters as governments all over the world) were behind the spreading of anthrax. The way things are looking though, it seems someone is going to have to admit that it was manufactured in this country. I think this goes way beyond George Bush part 2, his cabinet members and his business interests. Of course they are the ones to gain from a massive rush on any vaccines, which are only made by two companies in the world, one of them only for military use, and both of them with stock held by Bush 1 and 2 and friends, but I think this is more a case of keeping us in a state of fear. Where the hell have all these anthrax attacks gone? I haven't heard anything for a while. Keeping populations in a state of constant, underlying panic about what will happen next, and looking to world governments to save us from these threats, that is what I think the real motivations are.

M.Avrg : Staying on the subject of the song, “Inquisition”, part of the story is about Dr. Wilhelm Reich, and the harassment he dealt with at the hands of the FDA. What threat did he pose to them?

Frank : I'm not a totally familiar with a lot of Wilhelm Reich’s work and don't know all about his research. But that song is mainly using him as an example of the lengths that the FDA and governments will go to to keep the money coming in and crush any science or health methods that might put more control over ourselves in our hands. Basically he was claiming to have an invention, the orgone accumulator (later the subject of a great Hawkwind song), that could cure all sorts of ailments, including cancer. He was also a strong proponent of homeopathic medicine and often wrote about sexual repression creating the urge to live under a tyrannical ruler and in a restrictive society, which creates a continuous cycle of repression. This was in the 50's and was definitely not what mainstream science and psychology was promoting. During one of his tests with the orgone box, a group of assistants placed a tiny piece of plutonium inside which exploded, giving cancer to all those who were present. It was then that he realized that radiation could give people cancer, which wasn't being let on by the Atomic Energy Commission and which I'm sure they wanted kept quite. It seems pretty clear that after years of harassment and working on the fringes of science that he started to lose his mind. He built a Tesla lighting ball generator and drove around with it threatening to blast various government types unless the public was informed of the dangers of radiation and atomic energy. So it was more than just the FDA, but of course the same people who have control of the drug companies control power and weapons manufacturing, so...

M.Avrg : In what ways was he harassed?

Frank : At first I think it was just cutting him off from the rest of the scientific community by making him seem like a nut case. Later though it became the seizing of his research, raiding his experimental lab and destroying his equipment and burning of his papers. In the end, garbage trucks full of his published books were hauled off and burned and he was put in jail, although I'm not sure on what charges, where he died of a heart attack. Before he died he was having his lawyer smuggle out letters to his wife where he claimed he was being denied his medication, forced to take a strange pill and that he was being murdered. Induced heart attacks and fast acting cancer are two of the ways the Feds get rid of unwanted people without arousing much suspicion.

M.Avrg : What is orgone? What do you know about the machine he built, the orgone accumulator?

Frank : This is where I'm a bit fuzzy with the information. As far as I know, Orgone is the energy emitted from all matter. The Orgone Accumulator was a sort of large box covered inside and out with decaying plant matter, that if you sat in would revitalize you. Because he was demonized, he has become another figure in conspiracy lore and the center of a lot of controversy. There has grown a small community of people who still study his work. Actually, there is a doctor named James De Meo who received his masters degree conducting experiments that proved some of Reich’s weather research and has lists of other doctors who have been able to confirm other aspects of his work. The Orgonomics Institute that Reich started is still around today. Somehow I got on their mailing list too. I get all kinds of brochures telling me how to make an orgone blanket and invitations to their yearly seminars.

M.Avrg : In the piece following the lyrics to “Sadistic Dreams” you say that NutraSweet “causes mood alterations, depression, and erodes short term memory and intelligence.” Could you give us more information on this?

Frank : What causes the effects is actually aspartame, which is one of the ingredients in NutraSweet. In addition to those listed above, it also causes brain lesions, headaches, mood alterations, skin polyps, blindness, brain tumors, and insomnia. Obviously not from one dose, it is an accumulative thing, much the same as fluoride. Aspartame is officially classed as a food additive, so adverse reactions are not required to be reported to any federal agencies (not that their say means anything) nor is it required to have any safety monitoring as it would if it were classified as a drug. It was once listed by the Pentagon as part of it's inventory of biochemical weapons that could be used to poison an enemy population. The current patent holder is the infamous Monsanto Corp. known mainly for it's push towards genetically engineered food and crops and it's patenting of seed varieties in order to eliminate farming competition. They are under control of the I.G. Farben company who were the main funder of Hitler’s regime and one of the suppliers of Zyklom B, the gas used in the death camps. NutraSweet made its way to market under the guide of the G.D. Searle company (whose chairman ,W.L. Searle was an officer in the Army Chemical Corps in the 50s when they were testing LSD on unwitting human subjects in conjunction with the CIA) who bribed researchers and investigators and faked lab tests in order to get FDA approval and beat any other artificial sweeteners coming up. In fact, it's main competition was saccharine, found to cause cancer. Pepsi was the first company to use NutraSweet in their products and was one of the funders behind the research that buried saccharine. Once ingested, aspartame breaks down into amino acids and methanol, which degrades into formaldehyde. Numerous groups have tried to halt production and usage of aspartame but are always crushed by the multinational pharmaceutical and soda giants in control. Probably also backed by the same people in government forcing fluoride into our water supply since a lot of speculation points to this being part of a massive destroying of the health and immune systems of the population and dumbing down of our minds.

M.Avrg : Do you believe the world will end up like you predict in the song “Give Warning To the World”? Also, is this title taken from the John Brunner book?

Frank : Yeah, it is definitely from a John Brunner book! No one has caught that yet. The song actually has nothing to do with the book, I just though it was a cool title. I do actually think that is where we are headed. Governments have been secretly testing chemical and biological weapons on populations for decades. As well as the UN, NATO, and US military practicing tactics of urban control and warfare in "third world" countries in preparation for "homeland security". Actually John Brunner wrote another book called "The Sheep Look Up" which has some of these types of scenarios in it.

M.Avrg : In an e-mail you once told me of some current activity in the Antarctic that concerns cover ups going on there. You also mentioned it has been Nazi territory since World War 2. Please give me more information.

Frank : That's actually something I'm interested in and not really related to the band. What I was talking about was an Antarctic research team that had uncovered something that started making them all sick and some of them died.
The entire thing was really hushed up pretty quickly, but one scientist refused to be evacuated even though he was dying and felt he needed to continue the research. Sounds like the movie "The Thing" and some HP Lovecraft stories, which is what was interesting. Especially since Lovecraft’s father was a 33rd degree Egyptian Freemason and supposedly imparted all manner of knowledge and secret history to him before he died. Who knows... But the Nazi part refers to Hitler’s belief in a hollow Earth and that the main entrances were at the poles. All through the war, and especially near the end, Hitler was sending U-boats to the Antarctic region to set up a base and stash their looted goods and religious relics collected by Nazi archeologists around the world. Apparently Antarctica was originally claimed by Nazi Germany and there is still a base there somewhere. This obviously contradicts explorations that have occurred and seems quite improbable. But who knows! Most reports of polar openings have to do with tropical areas around the poles that lead into the hollow earth. Admiral Richard Bird, who made a number of ground breaking polar expeditions claims to have flown into each polar opening and is reported to have led a US Air Force group to the south pole in an attempt to oust the remaining Nazis. Sounds pretty heavy huh? This is speculation based on facts, but is quite interesting nonetheless. Again this is mainly an interest to me and not the band. There are a lot of books written on this subject, and if anyone is interested you should check out "Arktos: The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival" by Joscelyn Godwin.

M.Avrg : What are the five most important books you ever read?

Frank : Fuck, I don't know... The books that were important to me aren't necessarily my favorites and some are only important because they led me to other things. Ok... "and the truth shall set you free..." David Icke, "Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre" HP Lovecraft (the first Lovecraft I ever bought), "The Dispossessed" Ursula K. LeGuin (probably the best book you will ever read about anarchist theory and what it would be like to live in that type of society... and it's a sci-fi book!), "Illuminatus Trilogy" (and related books) Robert Anton Wilson, and all early William Gibson stuff.... Most of those don't really seem important now that I think about it...

M.Avrg : Okay, we’ve been talking mainly about secret histories, which are heavy subjects. Switching gears, what do you do for mindless fun?

Frank : I collect stuff: punk records, anything related to Iron Maiden/Hawkind/Discharge or Antisect, books, H P Lovecraft shit, X-Files cards.... I'm kind of a geek... I like to read a lot, put out records, put out zines. Other members take care of all the drinking.

M.Avrg : Is there anything you want to say about the upcoming LP?

Frank : Thirteen songs of raw and noisy punk. I'm not sure how well it will be like by people who were interested in our other shit because it is really fucked up sounding. It took us all of 45 minutes to finish, if that gives you any idea.

M.Avrg : Final comments?

Frank : Of course thanks for the interview! There isn't always a lot of space to fit in everything related to each question and I'm sure a lot of shit slipped my mind. Feel free to write about anything discussed here or for lyrics, records, shirts etc... Cheers!