Meatdog and The Gutter Gods - Interview (2014)
I knew Meatdog via his first Groin Gravy issue, a real slap in the face. A mix of savagery, ultra violence, gratuitous nudity, sexism, misanthropy and good record reviews. Even the Lyrics from Banana Nut Cake were turned into a porn recipe. After numerous mails, emails and fanzines exchanges, i learned to know the man behind all this mess. A crazy gentleman (straight edge and way funnier than you) with a face that will make you get out of his way, tattooed from the feet to the head (on which we can find a spider and a fucking X). After a first Oi! Band, Reckless Aggression, Meatdog founded Gutter Gods with some iceheads who were previously playing in Kicked In : A noisy and weird space-hardcore, somewhere between Mayhem et YDI, brightened up by angry shows with green lasers. He introduces us to his city, Melbourne, his prostitutes friends and all other kind of shit.
One of the interesting aspect of Gutter Gods for me is this « futuristic hardcore » theme. Like the green lasers at shows, the art (flyers, the demo tape, also called ''demo 2015''). It's kind of weird, like a dolphin on acid meeting a cyborg skinhead. Could you tell us more about it?
It's just some vision I had for us. I get a big kick out of music being this thing that transports and elevates you into your fantasy life, and the experience is euphoric, life changing like underground club raves did and it was about a feeling. Punk music is about a feeling, and maybe it's gotta be this for us / me or nothing. I want to take my mind and get outta here but I'd also like to show people what I think it's about. The time is now.
What are you talking about in your lyrics? What kind of themes? I bet you're preaching a positive message to the kids...
Just writing about stuff I know. It's mostly isolation and hatred of life. Shallow shit. There's no goal in mind, it's really purging out unhappy emotions. But it doesn't make me happy to play, it's very uninspiring, just a cycle of negative energy. We joke about just making people feel aweful after seeing us, like "yeah we went to the show and it made us have the worst night... the fucking Gutter Gods suck"
Ever had to cancel some gigs, people talking shit about you or who wanted to punch you because of your attitude, your drawings or something else?
Nah, never cancelled shit and no one's ever hit me at a gig 'cause they are weak. Like, yeah, people talk shit and say stuff behind your back, but hey who gives a fuck ? Latest bullshit was this little kid, I mean a boy, got on the microphone and said I was a racist and homophobe and sexist and some shit. I couldn't even hear him cause the PA was so fucked. Then his band went into a cover of "We hate you" by Rupture? Give me a break and get a fucking clue. Anyway, that was all because I did some graffiti with some friends, making fun of the singer of Pisschrist / Kromosom 'cause he pretends to be some anarchist guy but is just another money grabbing business guy. Ah, some uptight clown said he'd never book us again cause I brought pigs heads and barbed wire to a metal gig and they all got offended? hahahah this is the city I live in. Wrist band metal and pretend punk where they think it's a community.
What's the story behind the pictures of you and the hooker with your tape up her ass ? Do you often hang out with prostitutes ? Any good stories?
When I did some Gutter Gods graffiti, I got this hooker to pose with it and she stuck a demo tape up her ass. I had to wait around while she scored heroin to get more photos. Her name was Parris, not a bad ass, and then she was paranoid and asked me if she could weigh her smack in my car. So I drove her to a spot down the road and she weighed it and shot up in front of me, it was strange but I got some cool snaps. Real dirty bitch. She told me to touch her back and showed me goosebumps from the heroin high, whatever. I was so worried not to get jabbed by the needle and wanted it to fuck off so hard. She told me about a story, she said there is a poem about it, but some hookers on smack that don't get any dicks to suck and make no money do this thing called a strawberry milk shake, where they find a needle dissposal box and open it, getting all the used fits and squeeze out ever last hit from the fits, put it together and shoot up the dregs making a strawberry milkshake. She said she hates anal and won't do it, most don't and she has a guy she calls Mr Stinky who pays her 500 bucks so she shits in his mouth. I like talking to prostitutes because they are so real and this world has very little bare reality. Life is cold. The area in St Kilda where all the street prostitutes are is a place that I like to go late at night and just walk around, I'm very into walking the streets at night and I do shit graffiti there too. I've always been fascinated by whores. I think the idea of just getting head in a heartbeat in an alley is great, like fast food, society is all about fast food. I almost got busted by the cops, I started painting on a mainroad just as flashes of sirens came past pulling over a car, lucky escape. I was hastled by a tranny asking me if I was doing graffiti and I said "you're in the wrong place mate". The trannies don't stand with the girls. There is this fat deaf tranny with fake boobs, probably socks. There are just endless cars driving, curb crawling, one guy in car doing laps of the area looking for meat. Dealers dropping off their girlfriends, or just boyfriends making 'em work to get the drugs, a lot of ice heads.
I was taking photographs on the corner of Inkerman and Greeves, an old hooker stood there on her own 3am. With little interest from anyone. She wasn't pissed off that I was there taking photos or standing near her, some think it's bad for business ya know. She asked what I was doing and tried to spark up a conversation, she thought it was great to pose for me at the street sign. She got approached by a young guy in his mid 20's and they went for a walk... I found another hooker working just down the road, and when I started taking photos near her of the area she was in, she yelled at me just pissed off cause she was finding it hard to attract business and someone to want her chubby pussy. She was pretty fat and had fucked up teeth. Dudes walk constantly around the area pretending to play on their phones, and the same cars just do laps of the area trying to find their moment. I walked off and eventually found the young guy with the old prostitute in an alleyway against a fence, I listened in from around the corner. They were nervously and quietly chatting the whole time so I knew she wasn't sucking his dick. I caught a glimpse of flesh but tried not to let my shadow be seen. I think he was fucking her ass. She was saying stuff about a guy cheating on her and he complimented her on her ass. She said she exercises. I quietly crept off as not to be found, it could have been awkward. Some cops pulled a car over for driving through the back street, it's general curb crawl traffic. Sirens and flashing lights. I took a few snaps, it's not like the cops don't get them to suck their dicks too. There has been a considerable drop in the amount of hookers in the area over the last 8 years. But it'll never go away the girls return like herpes. It's in their blood for life. For a lot of them it's a place to go, somewhere where people know their name and are needed, wanted , accepted. Much like a youth centre is for kids and boxers, or punk gigs are to people that possibly have more in common with a prostitute than they'd think or admit.
Is street prostitution legal over there? Do you know some prostitutes personnally with the time? Do prosties are united or they're all doing their own stuff ?
I don't know them personally as a person I contact or see regularly around and say hi, but they are generally quite open with me, open up and tell me alot about themselves and how they got to where they are. I have come in contact with some very broken women. It's the end result of a tragic up bringing etc... Some get turned from children, this one lady in her 50's said she used to get preyed upon by pedophiles, she grew up in council flat high rises, there are a lot surrounding the city and she would be offered 20 dollars or something to wank old men at age 8 and then got turned onto some drugs by age 15 and would buy these pills similar to valium she'd buy off a guy and then wake up in different men's beds. She would wake up and see full grown men getting ready for work and not know what was happening. She grew up in missions 'cause her dad died and her mum was an alcho that bashed her. She spent the remainder of her life as a hooker and did jail time, had borderline personality disorder, constant cutting her arms up, she had some massive scars. When I saw her and talked she had just been dumped and was back turning tricks after a long hiatus. Sad. But genuinely a nice person, very fragile and just wanted nice company to talk to. Most are very callous people, quick to snap at you and aren't nice. The best ones are all smacked up and in a daze. Like zombies. St Kilda has an established prostitution zone and a crash centre for rapes and bashings. It's quite common for them to be abused, raped etc... But due to the nature of their work, the police don't assist them too well, so they have a centre that advertises in the front window statements of descriptions of perpetrators, vehicles, facial recognition, behaviours. Near where I live out in the suburbs a place called Dandenong has prostitution too. I have never seen it, but from the girls in Greeves St and St Kilda, the girls there get hasstled by cops and made to suck their cocks and get their money stolen as a means to get them to leave the area and not be arrested.
On a side note Harvey Kietel in The Bad Lieutenant, the bit where he pulls over the two girls in the car...enough said. Brilliant
I don't know I just like walking around at night. Hey, you'll like this one: I was looking around for spots in West Richmond and I could see into this girl's bedroom, like I saw some hats and clothes and the dresser. I got up on the fence and I could see her asleep in bed. I watched her for a bit but the dooner was too high and I couldn't see her face. So I went on the veranda and there was a lighter so I took that. Yeah, cops suck! Massive fun ruiners. I have been done a few times but nothing substantial, just arrest without court and no record but got fines and shit.
You said to me one time that you read true crime books. You told me about a case that got stuck in your head, about Shanda Sharer?
I used to read all the time but now everytime I try, I fall asleep because I need my eyes tested to wear glasses. Shander Sharer is really nasty maybe cause they were all so young and some were into hardcore, early 90's white trash. True crime is always interesting. Loose cunts that do loose things for fun and excitement. It's a topsy turvy world. From what I can remember, she was very young like 12 years old, and very beautiful. Total jail bait. And was involved with another girl in a lesbian relationship. The girl she was seeing had a jealous girlfriend, and her group of friends had it in for Shanda, they lured her out for a ride. The girls were aged between 14 and 17. She was attacked on and off all through the night, bashed with poles, sodomised with a tire iron and eventually they tried to slit her throat and they set her on fire while she was still alive. One of the most gruesome details was that her tongue poked in and out of her mouth while she burnt. It's something that's always stuck with me I guess because it was a group of very young girls. I've since seen the girls interviewed years later on television shows similar to Jerry Sponger. They all lost their lives and for what? Lesbian love must be soo strong.
Have you ever heard of Paul Denyer, the "Frankston Killer"? He was from Melbourne I think. He killed three women and just told the police he did that because he "hates them".
He's a piece of shit. I think I've read about him previously. He was quite over weight and non threatening in appearance, his face was mushy like a puppy. I can't relate. He must have had very poor social skills when talking to females, like I said I can't relate. He killed a lady in a cemetery, that's the only thing I liked about his story, it makes for a cool death. Oh, I am mistaken. I'm thinking of Peter Dupas, another Melbourne killer. He's a piece of shit, such a worm. These kinds of scum are out there, in every suburb. I like to read true crime though because it resides in me like sick enjoyment. I love movies like 'Maniac' and reading about characters like that, but these people are no way special.
You're running two fanzines, called Groin Gravy and Soapbox. They're to me the perfect incarnation of what a hardcore zine should be. Extreme, dealing with the best hardcore punk bands, bad taste, bad humor. It's always a blast! When did you begin to write a zine? What was your goal? And why two names, what's the difference between the two?
I started writing a "zine" when I was 17 or something and it was horrible. I mean I didn't know how to do back to back xerox. It looked like shit I think. It was ultra militant vegan straight edge shit but it had cd reviews and maybe some local show stuff. It was at some party I went to in Brisbane at that time, that some fat feminist chick, I think she wrote 'Personality Liberation Front', some gay shit, confronted me and yelled at me or something. So the ball has been rolling for a while with where I stood in punk hardcore. Corruption and Faggots All Around ME!! It was when I moved to Melbourne that I started some other really bad piece of shit called 'You Are Wrong'. I didn't print it but I cut and pasted it all together, and showed some friends who laughed heaps cause it was ridiculous taking the piss out of what was happening and out of the sacred cows of the day. In 2005, SOAPBOX was born. It was cool while it lasted, and was great getting in touch with bands I obsessed over, a good document for that time period in Melbourne. Frustrations of doing a zine with interviews is you have to wait a million years to get replies, when in contrast you can just get a type writer and fucking smash out local show reviews, records and whatever else you wanna say very easy. So, I just started doing that and changed the name cause I was reading WHITE TRASH, an old Portland Oregon zine. What motivated the zine was boredom and frustration with everything around me and wanting to influence it and infiltrate it to what I saw as hardcore punk. It's been a good magnet for communication with other like minded individuals.
You use a lot of pornography and taboo subjects in the artwork, like porn pictures, girls getting abused in drawings. A woman giving head to a viking on the moon while she's fucked from behind by a wolf. A hand putting a gun in a headless pregnant woman's snatch. A baby coming out from a cunt and getting his head smashed by a hammer. Hilarious ans shocking. Love it. You said in an issue you were like a sorta Ted Bundy when you were working on a zine. Could you tell us more about all of this?
It's always been like "hey what will people remember?" and also just what I wanted to see in a zine or on a shirt. Just draw some shit. That's just what I'm drawn to image wise my interests and tried to make the zines personal but not in a 90's vegetarian feminist kinda way, like so many predecessors before me who made it their duty to make hardcore the limp status quo.
I used to watch heaps of porn, and the more I did the more it bored me.Then I'd just buy more and more and it's compulsion. I sorta discovered I liked the 70's stuff a lot more, shit like 'The Farmers Daughters' by ZEBEDY COLT. It's really raw and the movies were set out to be films written and directed by film makers trying to break into the film business, that's why they are so much better then a miss mash of sex scenes with nothing more to offer. 70's were all about exploitation and trying new concepts and ideas. After watching Rinse Dreams 'Night Dreams and Cafe Flesh', I found it hard to find exciting pornography. The entire vibe and what you walk away with after CAFE FLESH can't be found anymore. Gritty New York peep shows fucking rule! What ever happened to old new york? I like some new stuff. I picked up this french one where this girl is sucking this guy's cock in a forest and all these hobos start showing themselves, wanting over it in the bushes and eventually they all just fuck her. All 3rd world euro porn would rock my socks. It reminded me of the rape scene in 'Street Trash'. Oh baby I'm gonna cum!
I like early Peter Weir films, Wake Up In Fright, Ghosts of the Civil Dead, Dead End Drive In, The Boys, Razorback, or more recently Snowtown. It seems there are a lot of good movies coming out from Australia. Do you think there is an Aussie touch, something special in the movies from this country? I think there is something in the colours, and two kind of horror flicks, one in the wasteland, vivid colours and heavy, warm atmosphere due to the heat, and one in the city, really cold atmosphere and blue colours, especially in the more recent movies. Do you know some really sleazy, nasty flicks?
Aussie and New Zealand films definitely have a certain charm not captured by other countries. We related a lot more to them, they are not glamourised and the concepts and attitudes hit home. I like your perception how you see the city films as grey blue wash over everything, it definiety added to the grittiness of Ghosts Of TheCivil Dead, Romper Stomper and Snow Town heaps, no future and bleak. There is a really cool video store in Richmond where I used to live across the road, they have a massive Aussie and NZ film section, schooled me on a lot of shit. I like British films a lot too, life in the housing estates and raw living, there is a parallel of commonality in their approach. Low brow films are a must, if you wanna see a goodie from here, check out 'PURE SHIT'. Melbourne at it's best, skinhead car chases,chemist break and enters, crazy safari, speed freak cunts with sniper rifles the works!
How's life in melbourne? Are there some good local bands?
Right now is the best Melbourne punk has been in a long time. We kinda have a mini scene of our own. New bands are DRIBBLE (Cleveland rocknroll worship Dead Boys, Rockets, Stooges. Unrecognisable rocknroll. Those guys are skinny but they'll punch you out if you fuck with them), LEATHERLICKERS (guys from Dribble and Guttergods, have some decent hooks and grooves, nothing to sneeze at, demo out soon), VELVET WHIP (loose as fuck! I like where they're coming from void and united mutation zone.)
As far as life in Melbourne it's easy, easy to steal, easy to live, easy to relax. It's a good place to live but can be very boring also. A lot of passive music fans but there's tons of hot tottie at every show.
As a skinhead who has the good taste of not showing off about his personal political opinions, how do you feel about the movement ? What attracted you to be part of it ? Do you attach any importance to the roots of the movement ?
I care about finding first wave oi recordings and love that early gritty shit and all the styles, attitude and fashion from early 80's Britain, it's the best youth culture. the Real oi not scooters or ska, straight down the line oi skinhead. I never cared about being apart of anything going on today, even though i have had skinhead friends over the years. There's too many rules and cliches in those circles, not many free thinkers or individuals. It just doesn't exist today. Listening to the 4 skins attracted me and finding out stuff about Melbourne skinhead, i loved how much the hardcore and punk scene disliked skinheads and it drew me in. Moving to Melbourne played a big part.
What kind of bands do you like to listen to these days?
Last week, I drove around listening to SKYHOOKS and GG ALLIN « Faggots freak and junkies » and interspersing that with power pop compilations and HANK WILLIAMS 3. I've been told I have a Schizophrenic music taste or some bullshit. I have been playing ''Goodbye Horses" on repeat every morning before work a lot, and coming home and playing the SHIPWRECKED LP on the record player and drawing listening to DARK SPACE and LES LEGIONS NOIRES bands on my headphones. Love is the drug i'm thinking of.