Black Psychobilly | Music Stories and Interviews | San Antonio
Many Americans like to say how great it would be to move to Europe, but if you’re one of those aspiring expats, you might want to start by saying, “I’d like to move anywhere in Europe, except in Denmark”.
It turns out that, in a continent plagued by simmering youth movements that seem 40 years outdated, the country of more than five million people is one of the few living an honest anarchic rebellion. Last year, nearly 700 protesters were arrested during three days of rioting sparked by the forced closure of Ungdomshuset (House of Youth), a building that had stood for more than a century and which had been, since early 1980s, the headquarters of Copenhagen’s counterculture. . People came and went, artists prospered, and everyone from Nick Cave to Björk played there. Danish band The HorrorPops, now proud residents of rock and roll hub Silver Lake, California, are still pissed about what happened.
“It was a piece of Danish culture that should have been kept alive,” guitarist Kim Nekroman said while “freezing ‘his’ ass” in New Haven, Connecticut. The HorrorPops, a crazy mix of everything from pyschobilly to new wave to ska, are currently touring the country. “I remember when I was younger, it was a place for punks and outcasts. All kinds of bands played there. I had been there many times, played there with my other band, the Necromantix. But eventually, he was sold to this Christian cult who decided they wanted to save all those punks.
Residents, many of whom became squatters for nearly three years as organizers fought in court to protect Ungdomshuset from its new owners, a Christian sect called Faberhuset, were uninterested in negotiating their salvation. Protests followed and helmeted police arrived to save the day. Nevertheless, on March 5, 2007,
Ungdomshuset was demolished under heavy police protection; construction workers wore masks so they could not be identified and targeted later.
Now you might be wondering why the Ungdomshuset matters to you, or why an obscure event with only local consequences was covered around the world. From a philosophical point of view, this matters a lot. What he represented, and continues to represent in the hearts of so many, is freedom and a sense of resilient rebellion against an international movement toward capitalist political homogeneity. Now, that’s a simplification that deserves to be singled out by more than a fair share of our readers, but it’s not really easy to describe the primordial essence of a phenomenon without the length of a memoir for support your thoughts. Fortunately, the HorrorPops did it for us with “Boot2Boot”, a fiery song from their latest album, Kiss Kiss Kill Kill, which chronicles the group’s rage at what happened. Or, as Nekroman puts it, “The song is truly a tribute to the spirit of this house.”
Singer and double bassist Patricia Day sings: “They are persecuted, prosecuted, abominated, aggravated / everything you could do to us has been done. But it’s when she shouts, “I’m tired of being wrong,” repeatedly than her previous lyrics, “Do you want to follow along?” start to sting.
“It’s kind of like a small town in the Midwest,” Day says of his homeland. “You can’t really look too different, or be too different, or stand out in any way. This is Denmark for you.
Despite the emotional power of “Boot2Boot”, it remains the only song on Kiss Kiss Kill Kill which does not actually belong to the diverse album. The other 11 tracks are all conceptually linked by a cinematic theme, with titles like “Thelma and Louise” and “Hitchcock Starlet”. The title itself even sounds like a Herschell Gordon Lewis B-movie, though it probably owes more to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, critic Pauline Kael’s 1968 film review book. Kiss Kiss Kill Kill qualifies as a concept album, with the HorrorPops trying to score a spring blockbuster.
“We’re all big, big movie fans,” Nekroman explains of why the album was put together the way it was. “Whenever I hear a song – it can be one of our songs or someone else’s – I always put images in it, I always see a movie in my head.” Besides, after three years spent in the shadow of the Hollywood Hills, how could proximity not begin to influence the eclectic work of the HorrorPops? “We are located in the biggest city in the film industry,” he adds.
The irony is that the HorrorPops were founded on rebellion, outright disregard for conforming to the norm, and now they’re making music and taking inspiration from a city famous for mass-marketing beautiful clones. .. uh, people . Of course, that sounds a lot better than Denmark these days.
“We go home and it’s like, ‘Oh, HorrorPops have found some success in the States’, but, in Denmark, if you’re not a big mainstream band, they don’t care” , says Nekroman, echoing Day’s comments. did us two years ago to explain why it had become necessary for the HorrorPops to leave Denmark. “Being an artist in the US or the UK is an official career, being an artist. But in Denmark, they don’t care. Like, ‘Why don’t you sign up and get a real job?’ •