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xmag.com : October 2006 : Hanzel und Gretyl

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HANZEL UND GRETYL return this month to the Northwest to rattle your cages as they unleash their newest EP release, Oktotenfest 2006. Containing four new scorching tracks, Oktotenfest 2006 is heavier than any other previous Hanzel Und Gretyl. To celebrate their return, our very own BETTY X caught up with the dynamic duo for an Exotic Underground exclusive interview. BETTY X: When and how did you two meet and what was the driving force behind Kindermusick (the first demo) and the choice of the project name—Hanzel und Gretyl? VAS: That was so many light years ago...let me take a moment to dig into my memory bank. Now, let‘s see...Kindermusik was born out of frustration with the music scene and going against whatever was happening at the moment. We became the actual fairy tale (Hanzel und Gretyl), alienated from everyone else and lost on the streets of NYC with nothing but stale bread crumbs. In other words, we purchased drum machines and samplers, for lack of musicians, and innocently created our music. Loopy: We met while in the band Cycle Sluts From Hell. After it dissolved, I bought a Roland drum machine and said, “That‘s it! I‘m starting a German electro-deathmetal band from outer space, dammit!” BETTY X: I heard a rumor that you wanted to release an album entitled, Into the Oven. Is there a reason the CD was retitled or never released? Or is it still on the horizon? (by the way—if you ever make Tshirts of that, I must have one!) VAS: Rumors are just that. We play around with a lot of CD titles before we decide on which one to pick. LOOPY: We needed something that depicted a fiery shit storm! Alas, Scheissmessiah was born! BETTY X: Have you been banned from playing Germany for the release of Uber Alles? VAS: Again with the rumors! German CD stores and even online stores may not openly sell our CD because they believe it is controversial. If that‘s the case, obviously they don‘t get it, or maybe they‘re just jealous of our schnitzel-making talents? Some Germans seem to be very cautious about anything that might create even a small rise of the eyebrow. No matter where you are, it‘s always been that way and we‘re not the only band that gets the scrutiny treatment. Despite occasionally being misunderstood, there are tons, or should I say teu-tons, of German fans that play our music in clubs, on German Internet radio, buy our CD and send us emails constantly who do get it! We hope to finally get to Germany and Europe next year! LOOPY: To my knowledge, we are not banned from playing anywhere, but it‘s high time we get this thing to Europe and other faraway lands, considering that most of our songs are in German or some other language. BETTY X: Vas—who are your musical influences vocally? I hear Nina Hagen influences, and I simply love her voice and charisma. You possess that as well; with the German accent, albeit faux, it‘s still tough and sexy. VAS: I love Nina Hagen, but I could never possibly sing like her. She has a trained operatic voice and I am just an angry guttural beeeeeeautch!! I love her intensity and really relate to her freakiness. I also love Siouxsie and Dead Can Dance vocalist Lisa Gerrard...they bring me to a very sedate place. As far as my vocals, I do the best I can with what I have to work with. I love play-acting accents; that comes very naturally. As far as musical influences, I am all over the place: from black metal to sublime ambient, to old-school punk, to even some shit-kickin‘ country-rock music. BETTY X: Loopy—what were your musical influences as a kinder? LOOPY: Brian Eno was a huge influence, but then again so was Slayer...I have very specific tastes based on nothing I really understand. BETTY X. You guys have a history of supporting and headlining some of the best industrial-metal bands of the 90‘s/00‘s: Marilyn Manson, Prong, Rammstein, and just recently with Ministry‘s “Evil Doer” Tour with My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. Any stories from the road? There must be with that lineup. It seems Al is a prankster on tour. VAS: Being on tour with Al is like joining the circus. He is a very funny, loveable and insane muthafukka! Everything revolves around good times, and that we had...way too much to even begin to explain. Being on tour with Manson was exactly how you would expect, weird and rock-starrish. Being on tour with Rammstein was the greatest wet dream for HUG, or should I say for Vas Kallas...ahaha!! Those guys were the nicest, most down-to-earth menschen you‘ll ever meet. Wish we could tour with them again! LOOPY: After the last show on the Rammstein tour, Till Lindemann insisted we take him to where I live in the Bronx! We walked into a bodega and got a coupla six packs. “This is a famous German rock star!” I proclaimed to the guy behind the counter, to which he replied “$14.50.” To this day, Till is still the only member of Rammstein who has been to the Bronx. BETTY X:. Anything else you want to add? Anything you‘d love your fans to know? VAS: YES!!! We expect to see you all at Oktotenfest 2006 Tour this FALL! We‘ll be at the ‘NEW‘ Fenix in Seattle on Oct. 22 and in Portland on Oct 23 at Rock N Roll Pizza (with Betty X)!!! http://www.hanzelundgretyl.com http://www.myspace.com/hanzelundgretyl





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