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BATALJ
noise/trash [Swe/Aus]

Release date: 24.08.12
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TRACK INFORMATION (Scroll down for the interview).

 

ABORTED TRIPLETS, SLUG GUTS, SNAIL SATAN, GAGA THIS
Tracks from S/T EP to be released on 7-inch vinyl by TWINTOE RECORDS and ET MON CUL C'EST DU TOFU in September 2012. Recorded in Berlin with Felix-Florian Tödtloff, mixed by Bastian Hagedorn in 2011. Mastered by Shelby Cinca.

MISS ANTHROPY
Track from Split 7-Inch w/ Mr Marcaille. Self-Released in 2011. Recorded and mixed in Welfare Studios with Per Stålberg in 2010. Mastered by Shelby Cinca.

TUMULT
Track from 7-Inch Split w/Suckinim Baenaim. Recorded in Lablaza in 2010 with Caroline Wickberg. Mastered by Shelby Cinca. Co-Release by Power Negi records, Shitpiece records, Dirty Demos, Subwix, TwinToe Records, Gafas Del Rigor Cassetes and Chucky The Rat Records.

 

Who are BATALJ?

David: Two of my previous bands are Madamm (drummer) and Alarma Man (2nd drummer/synth/noise). I'm currently working on my solo project Appetites D and Mystic Knights. My drumming career started with the project that eventually turned into BATALJ. I joined as a potential bass-player, but that wasn't really my thing. So one rehearsal I tried out the drums and I've been playing ever since. Last years we've become much more noise based. When we became a duo I started experimenting with a Line 6 FM4 in addition to the drums. Since then I've added more pedals / synths which today is a Micro Korg, Monotribe, FM4, Monotron, and a crappy delay pedal.

Per: My musical path began at the age of 12 taking out the chords to old Ebba Grön songs on my parents acoustic guitar. A couple of years later I made my debut as vocalist in a highly questionable cover-band. Since then I’ve been involved in numerous projects of different character, some of which led to the inevitable birth of BATALJ. It has been my love child and subject of my musical focus ever since. Currently I also play drums in PISS, a reincarnation of Swedish 80's hardcore-bands Shitlickers and Mob 47.

V: I was born in Brisbane, Australia and raised in South East Asia. I moved to Berlin when I was 22, directly after finishing art school. I've played in numerous bands of numerous genres since the age of about 20 including: Eat the Joy Fingers, Painkillers & the RSK, V, The Vems, F6 ACID, VXL, VO, The Sa†anic Lovers, V & the STDs, BATALJ and will be playing bass in the American band 'Friends' for their US/Canada/Europe tour this October. I am still very active with my solo project 'V' and will be releasing my debut album (on cassette!) at the end of this month via Freudian Slit. Technically I self released about 7 solo albums prior to this but they were so naive/ghetto that for now they are better lost in the sands of time.

History

David + Per: BATALJ is a band that has gone through numerous transformations. After being an abstract project with constant line-up changes during several years, somehow reluctant to leave the safe haven of the rehearsal room, BATALJ finally took form with the constellation of Per Warberg on guitar and vocals, David Hantelius on drums and Albin Oskarsson on bass and vocals (occasionally implementing a dissonant saxofone and Korg Ms-20). After our first show in a local pizzeria the band was officially born and out of the closet. In the summer of 2009 we recorded a selftitled demo in the infaumos rehearsal space/drug den Lablaza and went on our first tour, including a couple of shows in Berlin. It was great. In February 2010 we moved to Berlin.

Half a year and a split 7-inch later, having performed around Germany, Poland and London, Albin, bored of Berlin decadence moved back to Gothenburg and we lost our bassist. We decided to go on as a duo and spent the coming half year frequently playing shows in and around Germany. After a while we felt restricted being solely a guitar and drum-duo and reluctant of turning into just another noisy math-duo we started looking for another member. The search did not last long. V joined the band in March 2011 and two weeks later we went on a 21 date tour in France with one man band/freak cellist Mr Marcaille whom with we also made a self-released 7-inch split.

With V maneuvering her synthesizer in combination with high pitched screaming, the possibility was given to start exploring new territory in terms of dynamics and instrumental dialog. 2011 was a year of extensive touring and more than 70 shows were carried out throughout Europe. Our music has changed a lot over the years. We started out as kind of pure hardcore. Last years we've been so much more noise based.

V: I met David and Per on the same night, the night I returned to Berlin from a 6 month prison sentence working in Switzerland as chef in a children's ski camp. We became fast friends, I went to their shows, they went to mine, and I made them some 'BATALJ' patches for one of their shows and that must have planted the seed because a few weeks later drunk in a bar they asked me to join up and I knew I had to say yes.

 

Which sensations do you expect to provoke?

V: Full body vibrations. Confusion? Short bursts of dancing. Sonic experience. For those audience members not wearing earplugs, hardcore tinnitus. Sometimes, especially with Per's loud screaming I think we could be interpreted as agressive/angry, but I don't get this feeling when we rehearse. Because the music is extremely fast, often doubly so when we play live (excitement /adrenaline pumps up the BPM to the extreme) so perhaps its TOO fast to absorb properly - so at the end of the concert I would expect that the people would feel a little bit drained, feel like their brains have had a massive jackhammer in there and are a little bit confused as to what they have witnessed.

David: I'm always looking to present something new, something that hasn't been done/heard before - and if it has - just do it better! When I see a band I usually look for musical talent and creativity. I rarely listen to lyrics, I'd rather watch the drummer.

Per: I find it important not to reflect too much about how the things we write are going to be recieved by an audience or a listener while it would ultimately effect how you approach the writing process and might come to a point where you adapt to what you think people expect and want to hear. That would be starting in the wrong end.

So, experimental noise/trash/hc/punk-outfit ??? Explain this? Do you consider that the experimental "extreme music" scene is changing a lot in the last years? If yes, how? ( Extreme music is a kind of old school term... if you have a new one... mention it )

BATALJ: Well the thing is, we have one foot in outer-space, one in the toilet, another in punk, one in h/c, one in noise, one in ambient, one in grind.

David: What I can say is that you can erase hc/punk, because we're not. Not that what we do is so new that you can't describe it. It's just that there never was a good - definite - description. Some people call our music "power violence"... I really hate that term. I don't consider our music to be extreme in any sense, other than extremely fast and loud. I'd say whats on the mainstream radio stations today is extreme. Seriously, how can people be so stupid to swallow that shit?
My biggest influences comes from the San-Diego 90's punk scene (check out Three One G Records). I'd say the drummers that really inspired me to become the drummer I am today would be Gabe Serbian, Zach Hill and probably also "Van's Cool Drumming". Van's is making really funny and easy-to-learn drumming lessons on youtube. I seriously learned so much from him.

Per: I would say that our music contains elements of all genres listed in the description above but could not be narrowed down to one of them. We are definitely going in a direction where the hc/punk label seems very outdated in relation to what we are doing these days. I believe we even removed it from the bio's posted online. As cliché as it sounds, trying to fit BATALJ into a certain scene or genre is doomed to fail. We were always too "hardcore" for the experimental noise scene and when playing squats alongside straight up hc/punk bands we generaly tend to stirr confusion, leaving people not knowing what to think.

As far as the current "experimental extreme music-scene" goes and how it has evolved over the past years I find it hard to say. Personally I've increasingly been travelling back in time discovering obscure 80s noise and synth oriented stuff rather than following the current development of the scene in question.

V: We often get compared to the Locust (less so these days) which frustrates and pisses me off because I must say I don't really like them and wouldn't want to listen to them at home. Although puzzlingly I've found myself becoming more open to listening to them and other such bands since being so heavily exposed to these genres... sub genres? Bands such as Melt Bannana, the Vanishing, Bad Brains, Deerhoof, Arab on Radar & Aids Wolf, as well as classic post-punk such as Abwärts (!!!) & the Birthday Party I can really get into and are probably the closest I get to being influenced by the same genre that I consider us to be somewhat connected to. If we speak about roots, I am coming from a pop background all the way, which is quite a ridiculous contrast to what we play. I love pop music such as Robyn, Kylie Minogue, early Spice Girls. I was raised on Abba, Enya, The Bee Gees and the Carpenters. When I got to my rebellious/obnoxious teenager stage I moved onto bands like Tool, NIN, the Smiths, A Perfect Circle and the Mars Volta. The Mars Volta was the first band besides Nirvana that I truly became obsessed with. I must have listened to Frances the Mute about 1000 times. Per: I would say that our music contains elements of all genres listed in the description above but could not be narrowed down to one of them. We are definitely going in a direction where the hc/punk label seems very outdated in relation to what we are doing these days. I believe we even removed it from the bio's posted online. As cliché as it sounds, trying to fit BATALJ into a certain scene or genre is doomed to fail. We were always too "hardcore" for the experimental noise scene and when playing squats alongside straight up hc/punk bands we generaly tend to stirr confusion, leaving people not knowing what to think. As far as the current "experimental extreme music-scene" goes and how it has evolved over the past years I find it hard to say. Personally I've increasingly been travelling back in time discovering obscure 80s noise and synth oriented stuff rather than following the current development of the scene in question.

 

Names of AUSTRALIAN and SWEDISH bands we have to listen:

David: Uran (Swe), Black Bug (Swe), HTRK (Aus), Freestyle (Swe), Fuck with eyes (Swe), Smackdown (Swe)

V:
JUSTICE YELDMAN!!!!!!!!! PLEASE GO SEE HIM!!! And don't cheer for blood. (Aus)
HTRK - drudgey depressing..... electro pop??? But slow and sexy. I love HTRK they have been a huge influence on my solo stuff.
STAG - Amazing 4 piece group from my hometown. Pretty much the starletts of the music scene there decided to form a band together, they are AMAZING and I have sick fantasies of being in that band. If only I'd never left Australia.
TUSK - The synthpop assassin who programmed synths and beats for my new record. He is an amazing blend of 80s synthpop and... dark electro? I made his website too: tusklives.com
RODEO - Drummer/singer extroidinare. Amazing pop.
XOXO - The band of Katie, a noise girl, also a member of Stag. She does allot of circut bending. I think she is too underground to look up on the net sadly but her show was the standout performance when I went back to Australia earlier this year.
OMEN - another Aussie, doing reverb drenched vocals with synths and programmed drums. Dreamy.
КИНО - Sorry this is a russian band but they are better than the beatles. They are amazing. They're from the 80s and the lead singer Viktor Tsoi died in a car crash/falling drunk out of a window (depends which russian kid you listen to) at the age of 27. Hardly anyone not russian has not heard of them and they are SICK.
BLACK VACATION - The former guitarist of V & the STDs. Surfy pop, delicate and beautiful.
SHIVER LIKE TIMBER - Probably my first musical hero in the flesh, this is the solo projet of local Brisbane fashionista Betony Dirks. Before I started playing music I saw her play plenty of times, so shy and a babe and with her bright green electric guitar, untouchable, fragile beautiful and she inspired me in some ways to start up music more seriously.

Per: A few must-know's from Sweden would be: BRAINBOMBS, KITCHEN AND THE PLASTIC SPOONS, BATHORY, TYRED EYES. Regarding Australia I'd most likely be preaching to the choir but: THE BIRTHDAY PARTY

 

Interesting artists or bands connected to punk, hardcore.... in the present days?

V: My favourite discovery of this year - Tele detente 666!!!!!!! Guitar, drum machine and synth from Strasbourg, France. So so so so so so so good. Headwar from France. Of course Piss, Per's crusty project with Robin & Patricia is awesome. Xaddax from Brookly are amazing. Will I get beaten up if I also say I really like Burzum? I'm not into racisim or nationalism but I fucking love this band even if he is a murderer. Hey we all like Michael Jackson, rite?

David: I'd say the best Berlin-based bands that's compatible with our genre WAS Jailhouse Fuck and MoHa, unfortunately neither of those exists anymore. Some of the best bands I've seen lately is Gum Takes Tooth (UK), Divorce (UK), Child Abuse (US - NYC), Xaddax (US - NYC), Hure (Berlin).

Per: When it comes to hardcore/punk I'm quite into this (for me) new breed of bands playing pretty basic stuff but implementing lots of noise and feedback in combination with a rather lo-fi production. Acts like Slavescene, Drunkdriver, Mayyers, Slices and so on are approaching the genre in a for me very refreshing way.

 

Describe the sounds of BATALJ

BATALJ: As mentioned before we are moving in a direction where riff-based song structures are being replaced by instrumental dialogue more based on noise and sounds. We're all playing with various synths and effects, the hard part is not to make noise, but to create a good dynamic between them. Usually when we create a new song one of us has an idea of how the song should go and then we all work with it - changing, adding, removing, improving etc. We don't have a "bandleader" or anything like that. We all have the same input. That doesn't necessarily mean that everyone is contributing 33.3% of everything. Sometimes one of us writes what could be a complete song with arrangements for all instruments, but mostly we collaborate while experimenting with different ideas to form our new material.

 

Do you remember your motivation to become musician?

David: Well, to be honest it was when I moved to Berlin that I realized that I wanted to take my music career to the next step. That's also connected with Berlin being fairly cheap to live in, so it's actually possible to do music every day without burning yourself out working with shit jobs. When I started playing drums it was kind of a joke, or rather "only for fun". But I really remember, maybe 3 years ago, when I started to take my drumming a lot more serious. I started taking d.i.y. lessons, reading, practicing by myself every day and pushed myself to the next level all the time. It's pretty simple - the more time you spend on your instrument, the faster you're getting better.
It might also be the fact that Sweden is quite conservative when it comes to getting your shit together. The general consensus is that you go to university after high school and secure your life with some bullshit job, doesn't matter what you do - just as long as you "make something out of yourself" - I guess that would probably apply for the majority of the industry countries in the world. I also realized through intense touring over the last few years that I definitely see music as my job. There's a lot of bands who see touring as a "vacation", I just don't see it like that.

Per: The urge to explore the more dissonant and experimental side of music making was born in the same instant as I wrote my first riffs as a teenager. To form cryptic patterns, play around with rhythms and modify sounds is just a lot more fun than to write a nice melody. Moving to Berlin definitely meant a change of focus regarding how much time and effort was put into making music/playing shows/touring etc, in comparison to before.

V: I kind of just fell into it. I am an artist first and foremost. I am also an opportunist. Even before I was in the band and simply a fan, I remember the pure excitement of going to their shows, watching Per dance around and stomp on his pedals and David hit the drums furiously all while I was in the front row (without ear plugs!!) trying to jerk my body around in some parody of dance. I still can't really believe that I DO play this kind of music. With BATALJ, it was our friendship and my respect of their musicianship that made me decide to join, and ultimately, to stay. Per & David are my family. I believe in our project and I also believe that we are touching on something 'new', which is the overriding reason I want to make this kind of music. My solo stuff is for expressing my emotions. BATALJ is for expressing my musicianship, trying to create whacked out crazy new sounds that transcend genre and working out how the fuck do you work as an ensemble, especially when we are so different together. The 'scene' BATALJ is included in is also horrifically male dominated and I hope to change this. First by screaming about cunts, tits and nipples. Second by hopefully encouraging other young women who attend our shows to start something up.

 

Advantages and disadvantages of independent venues?

David: I did some touring in fancy clubs, sleeping in nice hotels and shit. The only good thing about that is that you get proper sound and promotion (and a comfy bed). But soon it all becomes boring and impersonal. BATALJ's touring has revealed the dirty side of every city we've been in. You get to see the most obscure places, everything from living room shows to squatted medieval villages in a hidden valley. The bad thing - which happens to us a lot - is really lame promotion. No poster, no spreading-the-word, sometimes they'd only care to write "tonight: live band". What's also really annoying is when the promoter won't set up a proper line-up. Not that it matters THAT much whom's going to play first/last, but it's usually "I don't care, you bands can discuss it".

V: Advantages - Meeting cool people who don't give a shit about materialism, eating vegan, trying out new languages, FREE BOXES!!, playing with dogs, free dope (AFTER the show! I learnt that the hard way! Sadly this is not a stoner rock band), free beer, playing with some AMAZING bands
Disadvantages - bad pay days, the occasional ignorant asshole

Per: It differs a lot in between venues of course. In my opinion a well organized DIY-show beats a club-show any day. On the contrary I find that in some squats or houseprojects putting up concerts has become routine and sometimes one can feel the lack of motivation from the promotor. A lot is lost if organizing a DIY-show is a job half done.

 

Sites and recommendations:

 

SWEDEN:
Christian Pallin, the man behind KOLONI has been a huge force maintaining a vivid scene for experimental music in Gothenburg.
Other important representatives of Gothenburg underground culture that should be mentioned are UTMARKEN/NATTMARAN as well as IDEAL. Oh and TRUCKSTOP ALASKA.

 

Amazing labels in Australia releasing great GREAT local stuff:

Negative Guestlist - RIP Brendan 8'(
R.I.P. Society
Bedroom Suck
Mmm hard to say for venues because most of the noise shows I saw recently in Australia were all SUPER D.I.Y., outdoors and in basements.
Real Bad is a great venue on the magic mile in Brisbane. AUS is a shit place to be an experimental musician in (at least if you want a payday),
absolutely no money and no support from venues that I came across. But an amazing network of hardworking noise stars.

 

Links to things we love:

www.vanzdrumming.com
moncul.org
twintoe.blogspot.de
www.threeoneg.com
www.kolonigbg.se
www.freudianslit.com
www.tusklives.com
www.vlovescats.com
www.alexandramacdonnell.com
www.josewilliamvigers.com
www.sarahbyrne.net
www.tralalafat.org
www.afriendszone.com
www.glyphberlin.com
www.koolthingmusic.com
www.negativeguestlist.blogspot.com
www.ripsocietyrecords.tumblr.com
www.bedroomsuckrecords.com
www.zoubroff.blogspot.com
www.skyneedle.bandcamp.com

 

 

BATALJ, 30th June 2012 Berlin

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL DATABASE 2010-2015

[ar076] BATALJ | noise/trash [Swe/Aus]

ar076

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RELEASE CREDITS:

Promotional 2010-2012 curated by Julian Bonequi

David Hantelius - Drums / noise station
Per Warberg - Guitar / vocals / various pedals
V - MicroKorg XL. Boss Fuzz Pedal, Bad Monkey distortion

"Special thanks to Shelby Cinca -The most efficient and patient mastering expert ever."

Picture by Nadja Kurz. Design by AR.

Contact: www.batalj.tk