“Gloves off, this is war and the rebellion starts here” // An Interview with ANDI from SEX GANG CHILDREN

WL//WH Interview ANDI from Sex Gang Children

Today (April 23) is the official release date of the new ‘OLIGARCH’ LP by living legends Sex Gang Children via Liberation London label. All that we could say about them may reach the limits of worship along with and beyond the deathrock hedonism. Active since 1982, Sex Gang Children are always at the core of ‘situations’ like cynic prophets or furious poets. They are fairly considered among the most influential deathrock acts ever and they are also considered among the most artistic and bizarre post-punk acts ever. All true, and with an endless string of records in their quiver (singles, EPs, LPs, solo works, side projects) these old kids now jumped over the wall and ran wildly against us…to save us, again. I had the honor to be with frontman Andi Sex Gang at a few wonderful ‘banquets’ in Athens GR and I assure you that he is an awesome interlocutor and a very kind punk in the English style. Ι knew that our interview would be more than interesting but the man here is a machine gun. We talked about many things SGC, politics, music, and more…ladies and gents here is the frontman of the gang.

  • Scary things are coming soon with the ‘Oligarch’ album as the first song to appear from the record leaves not much of a question about… “Death Mask Mussolini” is a selectively targeted upward strain towards the ruling elites. Tell us please what made you write this song with these specific lyrics in it, and give us the news on the upcoming album!

This song first appeared as a Dirty Roseanne single and was later remixed by DJ Ragnar for my solo album ‘The Devil’s Cabaret’. There was no conscious or premeditated thought process behind the lyric. When I’m in the ‘zone’, I just pour out my inner reflection of what I observe in the world. The song is not about Mussolini the man, I just used him as an allegory. The idea to do an SGC version came to me one sunny afternoon in Berlin. The whole finished piece filled my head in an instant and that was it. Game on!

The new album ‘OLIGARCH’ will be released on April 23rd (digital download and CD). I really decided to pull no punches lyrically on this album. We are living in times that deserve no less. Gloves off, this is war and the rebellion starts here.

  • I see in the lyrics of ‘Death Mask Mussolini’ a clear connection of the ridiculous Italian dictator with the present conditions in the world. What characteristics of this historical luno fascinated you the most to make him the ‘model’ of your new creation, and why please?

I wouldn’t describe Mussolini as a lunatic, I would say he was a symptom of the time and represented a desire of a large enough portion of the populace who supported him. It could have been someone else, say from the far left, but instead, he maneuvered himself in that game in a way that secured his success to become a national leader. I purely chose him as a historical figure that was well known enough and cartoonish enough to be used as a metaphor. A vivid splash of colour on a painting. No more, no less.

  • You make music since 1982 and we have seen and heard your passions repeatedly, so the question in my mind (evaluating your new ‘Death Mask’ explosion) probably has no self-evident answer; what kind of music are you playing now in ‘OLIGARCH’?

OLIGARCH is a snapshot of current times and the events and flaws of our species that have brought us to this point. The music explains itself a lot better than I ever could or should. I will just add this, it is uncompromising as all SGC and ASG albums have been. An oral explosion, a challenge to the mind, and food for the soul.

  • With three additional remixes to be included, ‘OLIGARCH’ appears like fully armed in the first row. May I ask you to give us details on each one and more on how you chose these names? Kitty Lectro, Dominic Hawken, MGT? 

All three have remixed SGC/ASG tracks in the past and we love their work. They understand the music and where we’re coming from. Dominic Hawken did two remixes on the bonus tracks on the 1992 Cleopatra re-issue of ‘BLIND!’ MGT remixed two tracks (“Hollywood Slim” & “Pigs To Men”) from our 2013 album ‘VIVA VIGILANTE’. Kitty Lectro remixed “Syrian Plain” from the 2015 ASG album ‘ACHILLES IN THE EUROZONE’.

  • Α kid asked me what do these guys play, so apart from the new record which other of yours should I recommend, and why, please?

Where do I start? Where should I start?? The list is pretty long. But how can I refuse such an invitation, so let’s go down that road. SONG AND LEGEND, BLIND!, MEDEA, BASTARD ART, VIVA VIGILANTE. Why? They are all worth a listen purely for their uncompromising stance and refusal to limit themselves within the boundaries of ‘textbook songs’. If music doesn’t challenge the senses, then it ain’t worth a fuck.

  • I have this feeling that SGC started all the way back on a peak and they never looked back, like the band said “deathrock SGC born on the stratosphere, more vertigo soon near you”, and so far, we have one of the most explicit and intriguing acts ever in avant-garde music with a really remarkable discography. What motivates you to keep going on? And if I asked you to give us the story of the band what would you say while drinking a beer with us all?

SGC was born as an idea more than a band. We were never going to be just another band. Rock music had become too stale and clichéd for that. We wanted to tear the whole scene down and rebuild from the bottom up. The system was corrupted and flawed. It needed shaking up. It needed to be reinvented. It’s a battle for the hearts and minds and in that war, there is no room for compromise. Our very existence is a big ‘fuck off’ to the system. As a species, take a look at what we have become. Consumer addicts, slaves to corporate mediocrity. We have lost touch with our inner nobility. That is unacceptable. As a species, we’re better than that. The cultural war continues and so will we.

  • Deathrock 1981 – Deathrock 2021, what are the things you love from that ‘book’, and what is it that annoys you along the way?

I love the experimentation that came from a number of bands in the period of the early 1980s, but then again, I love good experimentation from any period. Deathrock? Goth? etc. I never really subscribe to categories. Music that is true and from the heart does not need to be categorized. Be an individual, find yourself and be yourself.

I try not to get ‘annoyed’, however, I don’t always succeed in that endeavor. If I do get annoyed I use that anger in a positive way; as energy to fuel the fire that burns within me. When people use music or any of the arts for their own selfish desires, that can be annoying. When record labels or concert promoters rip you off, then that is annoying too, but then they might get a slap on the face.

  • As the tears dry up now in the social media, the Covid thing is the absolute winner around us, and you are the Health Minister with no limits on your work, what would you do to relieve the music scene and what would you demand by the societies?

Well, that is pretty much a no-brainer. The government in the UK has offered very little support for the arts. They have been closing down many music venues here for the last 15 years or so. We must adapt in order to survive and thrive and that means be more DIY (Do It Yourself). Despite the global trend of destroying subculture, we can create our own avenues of communication in order to strive and challenge ourselves. We can demand this or that from our governments to support the arts, but that tends to be the strategy of the champagne swilling armchair art rebels.

Remember, the great subcultural movements of the recent past never had support from the establishment, but nevertheless broke through the barriers and exploded onto the world. We need to take a leaf from that book. Lock, load and shoot.

  • I guess we’re gonna be surprised now, but can you give us your current top-5 musings at home or in the car?

I don’t drive. I don’t have a car. But at home, I have recently been listening to (again) ‘Pet Sounds’ by the Beach Boys. Various Jim Foetus albums from the collection he gave me way back in the ’80s. They still sound inspired and timeless. ‘Sandinista’ by The Clash (again after so many years it stills sounds so fresh). ‘Metal Box’ by PiL (always on my turntable every now and again). Best Of Roxy Music (as always). And here’s the killer surprise…David Essex.. absolutely brilliant and ‘out there’.

  • A message to the fans and our readers?

The journey is the life!

  • Thank you so much for your time, last words on you!

Be a warrior, not a slave!

OLIGARCHwhere the ghosts of Orwell & Huxley come together in this dark vision of our dystopian world.
CD album comes with 3 bonus tracks, not available digitally.

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Interview by Loud Cities’ Mike