When it comes to dirty, sleazy garage-n-roll, I can only think of a few French bands. But if there was only one, it would be the infamous Magnetix. It's their unique blend of trashy 50's surf and garage that you can't beat: hypnotic drums, poisonous guitars, dangerous vocals. It's raw, sexy, and bitchy, just what you perverts need . And live actually it's flawless, you just can't do anything except realize your old favourite band is lame.
They got an amazing LP, which is OOP and hard as fuck to find, and also they released a great 10'' on the amazing Yakisakana Label which might be OOP too by the time you'll read this. What's this shitty world is coming to ?
They deserve to be world-famous while you guys deserve shit.
Here's some questions i sent them by e-mail , which they agreed to answer in order to unveil the secrets of their insanity...
TB: Ok, who's who, who plays what, who has what kind of superpowers etc. ?
Magnetix: Aggy "Big Bad Beat" Sonora and Looch "Fix It" Vibrato : telepathic powers, electric shocks, magnetic tapes, and genetic mutations...
TB: How did you guy met each other? How was this thing with two heads was born?
Looch: Casual stuff...Aggy was a trapeze artist in the Swinging Mataharis, a world-famous aerial gang more unofficially known for all kindsa devilish acts (high class heists and non-governmental activism), while I was a knife thrower and part-time wrestler performing in some lousy cabaret close to her big-top. One night I got caught in some unusual midnight ride, since this hellish trio hired me as a chauffeur and a casual bouncer; we were riding at sustained speed, splitting the sticky and tepid air of the Altra planet, a spatial DKP pump where nothing really lives anymore, near the artificial star of Worrex. A few minutes after we stopped in front of a huge blockhouse tearing the heavy cloak of the permanent Altra night. Doors were banging even before the astrocar stopped, right across the draining system on the north side, leaving me alone with the rhythmical roar of the hydraulic brakes, only the 3 shots of Mezcal I just had 5 minutes before our leaving, were starting to tickle my brain...while I was watching the emergency passage behind me, struggling against the internal vapors, a violent shock on the roof got me out of my ethylic mist, and there was Aggy Sonora, laying on the top of the aircraft, shouting : "LET'S GET THE FUCK OUTTA DODGE !!!" "But what about the others ???" I said. "They're all dead..." she said...to be continued...
TB: OK...How's the rock n roll scene in Bordeaux? There's a shitload of great bands. The south of France is like the US Midwest and South at the same time, isn't it? There's some kind of strong mutual emulation going on over there. What are the bands lurking around you guys?
Magnetix: We have a really great rock'n'roll scene right here, and also quite varied; bands do not influence each other. For the last few years, you can find many two-piece bands: Deche Dans Face, Belly Button, Hot Flowers, Last Face Pack( ex-Mutantes with Fredovitch), etc. We really get along well with each other, between the Wonky Monkees, Il Fulgurante, or even Donald Washington, to name a few. Even if the Magnetix takes up a lot of time and/or energy, it's essential to create other stuff, whether it's linked with comics or video, or to play with other guys, like the Jakes which is O.D.(ex-TV Killers) plus Lickenboy (Hero-X) and the two Magnetix, which creates a big blend of garage/punk in the real meaning of the term. Or Les Challengers de l'Inconnu with Looch Vibrato, Arthur Burners (who's Burnside on our first LP 'Magnetic Reaction'), Orange Special (aka El Verdugo and Butor the drum man of the Wonky Monkees), the best surf/garage band over here, and let's not forget Last Face Pack (Looch and Fredovitch).
TB: Whoa...and the Jakes, what great fricking band, what about them?
Magnetix: Arghh, the Jakes!!! GREAT band but we're on standby right now, we don't play much, a few local shows only, too few of them, bummer!!! There's an LP coming out early December called "Who are the DJ" on a new label from Bordeaux, a really good friend produced it (he did part of the Wonky Monkees LP on Dog/on Records), 13 cuts: half garage, half punk, in English/French, sometimes both...check it out!
TB: You guys love wrestling. Who's your favourite wrestler? Mine is Charles Burns' El Borbah...
Looch: My all-time favorite wrestler is Lino Ventura (a former wrestler who became a GREAT french actor in the mid 50s...): class, charisma, force of persuasion. El Borbah is great, I would see myself between these two: chili and tequila galore, and big slaps with big hands...the Coyote Men weren't bad either...
Aggy: Mine is Looch "Fix It" Vibrato.
TB: Hmm...You have played out a lot these last few years. Which band that you played with did you like the most?
Magnetix: Recently, we played with the Buff Medways and it was just great. Last summer with The Locomotions (Martin Savage's gang) was a blast, The Fatals (dumbfucks as usual), The Jerry Spider Gang ("When there's a problem there's no problem"), also playing with the Wonky Monkees in the UK for 3 dates was so cool. Some people say we're an "individual" band (?), it might be true but we try to anticipate on possible issues or situations so we can be really voluble without having to be affected by anything or anyone.
TB: Which bands drink the most on shows or tours? Magnetix? Fatals? Mighty Go Go Players? I wanna know!
Magnetix: That's a good question which has been tested and proved. The Magnetix fuck the Fatals both literally and figuratively. About the Go Gos, we know that Gogoman and Looch get shitfaced and go nicely berzerk whenever they get a chance...
TB: On stage you are quite amazing, I gotta say. I myself got this year's big stroke of death when you opened for the Tyrades, and i'm not the only one to say that. You guys love to play live, we can feel it and see it...
Magnetix: Yeah, on stage you can't cheat. Hey, where would be the pleasure in that, by the way? It wouldn't last long otherwise, but still, when you see all those shitty bands running around for years and still unmasked. This is where you're your true self, and very quickly the adrenalin's running from your toes to your head and brings you back to your very instincts...the wildest ones...dismantling for recreating...destroying for rebuilding...
TB: Looch, I saw you once "playing" keys with your your feet. Most of the time people play keys with hands you know...
Looch: It ain't no keys, it's an organ!
TB: It's crazy because your influences are really large: from 50's Crampsy rockabilly to garage lo-fi trash, surf, Suicide-like protopunk. And you manage to get a unique sound out of it, almost primitive. I gave your 10" to some guy and he went blind just like that. Who's to blame? Yakisakana?
Magnetix: Extra-sonic swallowing for the Rock'n'Roll Cause! Yakisakana is a really good label, Ronan is an extremly passionate guy, and motivated too. He has all the elements in his hands. Long life to Yakisakana!
TB: what's up with this Gun Club Tribute on Unrecording Records which conatins one of your cuts, and was supposed to come out AGES ago? Any news?
Magnetix: Ain't got much news. It shouldn't be long, but considering all the work, and the contributions of all these bands...
TB: What's on your turntables these days? Stuff you dig? Records you shouldn't have bought?
Magnetix: We're not on the edge of all the new stuff coming out, but the new Black Lips LP is a crazy-killer, the latest Cramps comp rocks, Buff Medways' "1914" and "Steady the Buffs" are top-notch.
Then you have the Mummies, Oblivians, Remains, Electric Prunes, Artwoods, Joe
Clay, Dead Kennedys, Devo, Sonics, Gories, Kim Foley ,Stranglers, Outtaplace, Gravedigger 5, Charlie Feathers, 5 Gentlemen, Perez Prado, etc.
A record I shouldn't have bought? 'Sleazy Surf', an instrumental comp which came out in the 90s.
TB: Big Itch, Nuggets, or Back from the Grave?
Magnetix: The Back from the Grave series made all the young wankers get out of their rooms, and made 'em play a few strings in front of guys who thought they knew all about rock n roll...
TB: Your all-time top 5 LPs...
Looch: I don't like to sort music, LPs, or songs, and anyway, I'd be unable to do so, but yet I'd say i love the first Alan Vega, including "Fireball", the 1st Seeds rocks, 1st Pink Floyd, "Long Blond Hair" Johnny Powers, Music Machine "Talk Talk", Mark 5 "Hey Conductor", Stooges "Shake Appeal". I also dig that monster rock comp "I Was a Teenage Brain surgeon".
Aggy: Today...The Fabulous Wailers "Out of our Tree", the Swamp Rats, the VU "White Light White Heat", Dictators "Faster and Louder", Blacktop, the 5678's, and also Gainsbourg Confidential and initial BB.
TB: Any plans for the future? New records? New bands coming up? Mutant children with superpowers on the way?
Magnetix: We're recording 20 cuts in November with Lo Spider for an LP and a 7-inch, tours in Germany and maybe Scandinavia next year, for now a few shows here and there, including Berlin on November 4th. We also have to set up a knife throwing act. We are also inquiring about a new transplant project: transgenic twin-development with bass and organ integrated (in-outro, without safety net or numeric of course.)
TB: Last question: The Black Lips (who love you guys) say hello. When will you go to the USA to play and kick their lil' asses once and for all?
Magnetix: It would be a mutual ass-kicking, and a real pleasure! Nothing's planned for the States, but we got some good contacts over there so nothing's impossible.
Do yourself a big favor....get anything you can find from them, at all costs.
Interview by Kemp Boyd
Pics swiped from the band's website
Magnetix on the web: www.themagnetix.com
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