SSS – Short Sharp Shock played at this years Damnation Festival on the main stage, offering their punk infused thrash with an imposing grind style. The DIY band have brought their appearance with a brand new EP ‘Manipulated Living’, that went on sale the very same day. ‘Manipulated Living’ is an EP teaser for their new LP which is to be released in spring next year. Foxy goes into great deal around socialism and the true meaning of their new release; “I mean, first and foremost ‘Manipulated Living’ is all about control and consumption” Foxy goes on to say “I think it’s more about an awakening…If people delve deeper than scratching the surface, get away from the varnish that we are constantly being given to look at, hopefully they can see there is a bit more to it”
Lara Kisel – You have always been a DIY band, how have you managed to keep control in an industry where the record labels and other mediums have so much control over the working band?
Foxy – Well we have never really had a manager. In terms of the DIY ethic, if you want something done, you’re best off doing it yourself. And that sort of runs through all the dealings with the band. Touring, recording, art work scheduled, even right down to getting t-shirts printed, it’s all done in house. We have a tight leash on things, it has been the most comfortable way of operating.
LK – So it’s clearly been quite stressful then, doing the band as well as doing management side, the PR work and booking the gigs….
Foxy – Because your juggling everything. You are constantly thinking of band stuff, you got to deal with the present day also, you know, job, family, that just doesn’t go for myself, it goes for the rest of the band. You have a good few sleepless nights shall we say, making sure that everything is the best it can be. I never…we never want to put anything out that’s half baked music, artwork, our performance live at gigs. Practising and tightening things up to the end degree. We don’t like anything sloppy or half arsed.
LK – yeah definitely. SSS is a cross over thrash, hardcore punk and grind-core band. In 2011 you decided to push your sound further including other elements; death metal, prog and classic rock. Is this something you have continued to develop for ‘Manipulated Living’?
Foxy – I think there has always been…the staples within the band, in terms of hardcore, punk, metal, grind and there’s always that wild card of some experimentation depending on where we are musically on what we would like to put in. There is sort of experimentation in terms of noise that might not necessarily be music in the traditional classic sense but it adds atmosphere. On the B-side there is some , which is two thirds longer than the actual song , but it sort of puts the song into context, it creates a mood, again that’s the left of centre coming in to keep your imagination and your own boredom at bay.
LK – That’s interesting, have you done that in your earlier work, or is this something that is a future development progress, in terms of adding atmospheres and evoking imagery in the listener’s mind?
Foxy – The last one ‘Problems to the Answer’ that had a little bit of that, from what I can remember, I haven’t really listened to it to be honest since we put it out but definitely on a couple of songs like ‘Deep Sleep’, that adds like a hypnotic, repetitive sort of riff going on and it’s those kinda things that we are going to develop. But in terms of ‘Manipulated Living’ it’s kind of more, it is more abstract sort of noises getting put into the context, to make musical form we are definitely going to explore more. It adds another layer, another dimension to a band, if it’s done right. If it doesn’t work it will get binned. If it does work we will take it further and progress it to a point where, within the recording time, hopefully it will be a concrete idea and pays off.
LK – Well there’s always I think an appreciation from music enthusiasts that enjoy experimentation within bands, like a mixture of different genres and if it doesn’t work, there’s the appreciation and if it does then fans want it to develop with the same idea really.
Foxy – I think it is always good to keep listeners on their toes, if we can deviate a little bit and come back, it’s all for the greater musical good really.
LK – There are portrayed messages of social and political views within your music, how do you portray such views within songs that are 16 or even 7 seconds long?
Foxy – To give a politicians convoluted draw out spectacle of an idea, just isn’t us. I think going for the throat is far more beneficial and on those particular occasions, less says a lot more.
LK – ‘Manipulated Living’ screams out a socialist theme, what can we expect as listeners from this vinyl?
Foxy – Manipulated Living’ is all about control. We are kept in the state by constant fear and consumption. The population is told what to eat, drive and think right down to moral and social values that people hold. There’s clever deployment of distraction tactics that keep people in line. Mind flex restriction continues the illusion. There’s three songs on this EP, “For your own good”, ‘The Sleeper Awakes’ and ‘Beige’, those first two songs, deal with the control and waking up and seeing through the fog. “Beige” is about low grade cheap food and the billions of lives consumed.
LK – The artwork is very surrealist and Dada-esque. Would I be right in saying it’s going along with the theme of ‘square pegs and round holes’?
Foxy – It’s about an wakening within yourself to the realisation that what we are told through corporate media isnt rose tinted. Corruption within our leaders, exploitation to the point of exhaustion of the planets natural resources and massive disparity between rich and poor is quickly becoming apparent on a global scale. The left and right figures, they can see something is not quite right on. The optimistic hope that a conscious awakening can be attained may hit the brick wall reality that the population wants to left sleeping. Its always possessed with fear and consumption to keep it in line….
LK – The release date collides with the Damnation date. Is this intentional and will there be something planned for your performance?
Foxy – The planets aligned when we signed with Prosthetic. Simply right lets do this EP and literally two weeks later it was recorded. Prosthetics were like sound – lets do it. Do a little teaser for the LP that is going to come out next year. The something special is hoping we don’t sound like shit and keep it all together when we play.
LK – so not the like the old punk routine no [laughs]
Foxy – We have done that with all the records as well, you know. Even right back to the first demo. We just sold it within a gig, if you were there, if you weren’t there, you weren’t there…
I like to keep it small and collectible to people that are definitely interested in it. You can throw the stuff everywhere. I think sometimes it can loose it’s sort of value almost, you know if it’s everywhere and everyone’s got one.
I think people who have got our stuff in the past… I have been plagued by people, “keep us one…keep us one”. “where can I get hold of it!” I’m just like look it’s here. There would be the dedicated people that would be totally into it and want it and it’s like amazing. That still balls me over till today that people even want to bother with it to be honest.
LK – There is talk of you guys finishing an LP, is there a release date planned? What is the progress of the LP so far and will this be a follow on from ‘Manipulated Living’ or it’s own entity?
Foxy – It is going to be out spring next year, so at the moment, we are just finishing up, tying up a few loose ends,,musically seeing what holes we need to fill. It will be an expansion of the ‘Manipulated Living’ EP, musically and again lyrically, so they both will run hand in hand.
LK – What are you most looking forward to about Damnation Festival, besides your own performance?
Foxy – Last time I saw Carcass was about 1988/1989. It would be good to see them now. I have only see them twice but it was way back when they started, so it would be good to see them now and good to see where they are off to now. Their new record is a banger.
LK – What are your thoughts on the line up this year?
Foxy – I think I’ll just have a little walk round and see what’ going on. I’m not too overly familiar with the bands that are playing on it but I’m sure something will catch my attention. What I will say about the line-up is there are six Liverpool bands playing today so I’m givin’ the scallys, the wools and the wirral massive some SSSupport
LK – Thank you very much for your time.