Monday, October 28, 2013

Pheaturing William Brunskjill From Autopsy Boys

You can't depend on your family, you can't depend on your friends. You can't depend on a beginning, you can't depend on an end. Man, I'll mention Lou Reed in a little bit but I am bummed he has passed. I always wanted to see him in concert. What's with all these goddamn bugs?! Haha. There's no bugs, but I had to say that. Long story. So, how are you doing? Welcome back to the Phile for a Monday.  Realizing it's important for an artist to always change and grow, Chris Brown punches a MAN in the face. Hip-hop artist and girlfriend-beater Chris Brown was arrested and charged felony assault yesterday morning, after allegedly repeatedly punching a man with whom he'd gotten into an argument outside the W hotel in Washington DC. Authorities say Brown did not appear to be under the influence of anything other than the personal demons that make him feel inferior.  Researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute have determined that text messaging with your voice is just as distracting, and therefore no less useful for accidentally killing yourself and the people with whom you are sharing the road, than texting with your fingers. Safety-minded drivers should, instead, pull out their laptop and send a quick email.  "Dancing With the Stars" 'star' Julianne Hough, who is apparently completely unfamiliar with the past 300 years of U.S. history, opted to dress as her favorite character from Netflix's original series "Orange Is the New Black", who happens to be played by Uzo Aduba, an actress who has considerably more pigment in her skin than Hough. Clearly, without giving the matter the full three seconds of thought it deserved, she chose to complete her costume with what appears to be a slightly more upscale version of shoe polish, blissfully unaware that there was an Internet full of hungry commenters just waiting for someone to feed their moral outrage. I have to show you a picture of here it's so weird.

That settles it. I'm going as Sexy Julianne Hough In Black Face for Halloween.  On Saturday's Phile I mentioned Marcia Wallace passing away in the Someone Phamous Has Died pheature. I said she starred in both "The Angry Beavers" as well as "That's My Bush!" Seems like she was trying to tell us something. Well, I had quite a few emails saying they were disappointed I didn't say she was the voice Of Edna Krabappel on "The Simpson's". I apologize. I should've said no hope for Bart now instead. That make you readers happy?  Brewmeister Brewery in Scotland has created a beer that contains 67.5% alcohol by volume, which is considerably stronger than vodka or whiskey, which is typically about 40% ABV. The Snake Venom beer is expected to have a massively positive effect on cases of accidental alcohol poisoning. My favorite beer is the one with the stupid fucking gimmick.  Several months after witnessing Kim Kardashian produce a tiny crying equally-self-possessed version of himself from the inside of her body back in June, Kanye West has decided to hold onto the magic woman and her little-Kanye-creating powers. The hip-hop mogul proposed marriage to her in front of a stadium full of friends and family at AT&T Park in San Francisco. I hope someday Kanye will tell us how embarrassing it was when Kim caught him proposing to himself in the mirror and got the wrong idea.  Large doses of the compound resveratrol found in red wine has been found to have the potential to wipe out cancer cells, according to a University of Missouri study that you're going to start citing while drunkenly opening a fifth bottle of Pinot Noir even though you're the only one at the table who had any of the fourth bottle. Though you likely will neglect to mention the possible side effects, which include intestinal distress, bloating, diarrhea and leaving your pants on the front lawn.  So, did you see the new trailer for the latest Captain America film? I saw it and I wasn't impressed.

I think Cap let himself go after The Avengers. So, do you remember a few weeks ago that whole Barilla controversy? Well, I think there's another problem very similar.

I think Splendido is in big trouble.  Just now I mentioned Kim Kardashian... well, I have to mention her again. Did you see the selfie she posted for her birthday? If not, I have it right here.

Happy birthday, Kim. My birthday is in a few weeks, maybe I'll post a similar selfie. Haha.  Okay, it's almost the end of October and all through the month I have been showing you breast cancer awareness posters that are creative and controversial. They are supposed to be anyway. Here's another...

Mammograms let you live longer. Don't you forget it.  Halloween is just a few days away and if you are wondering what costumes are out there, I have the answer.

In 2011, this costume was chosen as the most tasteless costume of the year. It was going to be called Anna Frank, but she didn't make it. This is real by the way. And now, kids, for some sad news.

Lou Reed 
March 1942 - Oct 27, 2013
Less Velvet. More Underground.

Jackass, minus the potential for serious injury plus Borat, minus the pointed xenophobia satire plus Mrs. Doubtfire, minus the crossdressing equals the emptiest calories of the year. I'd like it if you kept reading but if you were looking for a simple math-like equation there it is.  It was inevitable at some point that Johnny Knoxville would tire of going to the hospital for his art. So in spite of its "R" rating for language and occasional suggestion of penises (prosthetic, stuck in soda machines) and scrotums (also prosthetic, dangling old-man-parody-style out of some underpants), he plays it safe, with minimal chance for concussion. Instead he goes cuddly, gentle and just clever-naughty enough ("They call me Jizzy Gillespie!") to remind you that this is still a Jackass joint.  Unlike the Jackass films, though, it pretends to have something almost like a plot. Knoxville, in geriatric drag, accompanies a small boy acting as his grandson (Jackson Nicoll, Fun Size) on a road trip, ostensibly to deliver the boy to his negligent father. Along the way there are public stunts in bingo halls, strip clubs, public parks, restaurants and biker bars. None of them involve the sort of bystander mockery that made Borat so sharp and Bruno so bothersome; this is old-fashioned "Candid Camera" stuff and nobody's made to look foolish except Knoxville (unless you count the male stripper whose erection is covered with a sparkly penis outfit). It's funny and then its forgettable and nobody gets their feelings hurt or their buttcheeks snapped at by hungry alligators.  And for lovers of the truly confusing there are also interstitial bits of plot between stunts in which Knoxville and Nicoll remain in character to discuss the details of their relationship and their sad destination, essentially a trip to dump a helpless child into the custody of a deadbeat. Attempts are made in the direction of poignancy and tenderness, the pair bonding as the family they clearly aren't. But why? For whom are they acting? Not the audience, obviously, because we get to see what the camera sees. And thanks to this level of not-making-sense, the film takes on a pushy, uncomfortable, mysteriously wrongheaded quality that outshouts the genial trickery the audience is already in on. We don't know who the movie thinks we are during these moments, part of the inner circle of prank-makers or goldfish with five-second memory spans who'll believe any new narrative no matter when it presents itself. And we're not sure we want to be played this way, treated like just another object of a practical joke. You'd be forgiven for yelling "Stop being weird at me, movie!" even though nobody on the other end could hear your cry. From 1 to 10, it gets a 7.

A few minutes ago I mentioned Lou Reed, well, a phriend of the Phile wanted to come on and say something about him. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man... you know what time it is.

Good morning, humans... Time to do the Monday thing again. So bummed out... I had the honor of meeting Lou twice in my life. Once, at a recording studio when Annie Lennox introduced me to him and once in Boston years later. I had jumped up onstage with a friend's group to sing "Generator" by The Foo Fighters. When I finished, I was at the bar when I heard a voice behind me say, "That was a very interesting song." Before turning around, I blurted out, "Tell Dave Grohl... he wrote it." I turned to find Lou Reed (one of my childhood idols) scowling at me as he said, "Okay then..." and walked away from me. Two memories stick with me about the track "Take A Walk On the Wild Side". One is the first time I ever heard it on AM radio as a kid. I was driving with my mom and dad through Times Square after sundown. All the grit and dirt, peep show signs in neon, hookers and junkies milling about... and this cool bass line started. My father just turned it up and said, "Cool." The other was in a pub in Greenwich Village in the early '90s. My pal Tony and I were playing an unplugged show and someone from the crowd shouted "LOU REED!" Tony started playing this and on the spot we played a near perfect version of it complete with ending sax solo on my kazoo. Tony and I fell over with drunken laughter when we finished the last notes. Lou Reed was (and always will be) a very important part of New York's rock n roll history. R.I.P. Lou Reed.

I have a quick Lou Reed story, but it's not that good. In the 90s a friend and I went into Manny's music shop in New York City and overheard a few people talking in there. Apparently if we would of been in there a few minutes earlier we would of seen Lou. Fucking timing.

Today's pheatured guest is the lead singer for the U.K. band Autopsy Boys who fuse hardcore/post punk and 80s synth pop. Their latest single "Crushing on Cynthia Leech" is now available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... William Brunskjill.

Me: Hello, guys, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

William: We’re good. We’re always good. Thanks for asking, and thank you for having us.

Me: William, you and Gary Hargreaves are two are the main guys and founders of the band, am I right?

William: Well, we started the band together, but Al has been in the band pretty much from the start.

Me: Where did you two meet and start writing music?

William: We were both working at a chemical plant together. We had music in common and so it wasn’t long before we started hanging out together at parties and stuff. Before long we hatched a plan to file sexual harassment suits against our bosses and use the compensation we received to go to Music College and educate ourselves. Even before this band really started it was running on bribery and corruption. You know what they say though, nice guys finish last.

Me: Who does most of the songwriting?

William: We all chip in to be honest. One of us will normally come up with a basic idea and then everybody builds on that.

Me: You have other guys in the band as well, right? Who is in the band?

William: Yeah, Al plays guitar, JP on drums and Jamie plays bass.

Me: I don't play drums. Haha. How long has Autopsy Boys been together? I think you've been together as long as I have been doing the Phile... seven years, am I right?

William: It depends how you look at it really. Me, Al and Gaz started writing together about 7 years ago. But it was only late 2011 that we actually started taking it seriously and playing live and stuff.

Me: I was gonna ask you about the band name, where it comes from but I think I know... you guys like blood, am I right?

William: Yeah, kind of. We’re obsessed with horror movies, so we wanted something that would instantly get that across.

Me: Alright, where did the band name come from and who came up with it?

William: We were trying to think of names like Dead Boys and Zero Boys, all we really knew is that we wanted to be called something boys. One day I was listening to an album called "Autopsy" by 45 Grave and then we were like hey, that’s a pretty cool name and so Autopsy Boys it was.

Me: So, would you consider Autopsy Boys a punk band? You're not straight out punk, as you have lots of synthesizers in your music. Do you agree?

William: We’re not really sure what to label ourselves to be honest. We just write whatever we feel like. The majority of it is punky, so it’s easier to just say that. We all love 80s synth pop and new romantic stuff too though, so we add stuff like that to the mix. I think it’s the horror movie influence. You see, I never really knew what punk was as a kid. I was really into thrash metal. But every horror movie I’d watch would have kids listening to this cool music. So my uncle gave me a Dead Kennedys records and I fell in love with punk. So when you crosshardcore punk with horror movie scores you get Autopsy Boys.

Me: I have a feeling your musical influences are no one I have heard of. What bands are you into?

William: I think you’d be surprised. There’s a massive range of genres and influences involved. We’re real music geeks and listen to all sorts. Thrash metal, hardcore punk, 80s pop, hip hop, breakdance, classical, whatever. Our biggest influence is a band called The Dwarves. They were my idols and actually ended up being friends and working with them. Other than that there are far too many to mention.

Me: I read in your bio you kids are fans of 80s TV shows, horror movies... no shit. We'll talk about that in a minute, gaming and marijuana. First of, what TV shows in the 80s were your favourite?

William: Wow. There are a lot. Stuff like "Married With Children", "Airwolf", "Knight Rider", "Streethawk", "ALF", "Tales From the Crypt", "Outer Limits", "Creepshow" to name a few. We’re big WCW fans though. So a lot of our time was spent watching wrestling week after week after week. 

Me: And what kinds games are you talking about? Video games?

William: Yeah man, video games. But not just like PS3 and XBox, we also still love the older stuff like Nintendo, Megadrive, Tomyttronic 3-D, C64 and shit. Video games and horror movies are definitely they key contributions towards the lyrical content.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your new single "Crushing on Cynthia Leech". Who is Cynthia, is she a real person?

William: She’s a screw from "Prisoner: Cell Block H". You only see her every now and again though, and when you do see her she’s lurking in the shadows, or it’s just her mouth during a phone call. She’s the most feared prison officer in the programme. If Cell Block H can’t handle a prisoner or they want them bumped off they send them to her.

Me: I never heard of that show. Who is the girl on the single cover?

William: She’s called Macey. She’s another friend. She was in our first ever music video. I got to pull her arm out of its socket and beat her round the head with it. Haha. She’s kind of like our mascot. She’s on all our covers. We did a photo shoot with her and came up with a few different concepts for single and album covers.

Me: Speaking of girls, I just watched the video for the song and holy shit, it started out good with two hot girls kissing then they started ripping each other apart. I am not a fan of blood or horror movies, so I was taken back. I have a screen shot here.

Me: Anyway, who were those girls? Friends of yours or actresses?

William: Friends of ours. Betty and Sassi. Betty is a dancer for The Booty Skool Dropouts and Sassi is a model. We have a small network of friends and between us we can achieve cool things. Pretty much anything we need to do you can guarantee we know someone to help out.

Me: You guys weren't in the video but were you at the shoot? Even though I hate blood I would have been there.

William: We were in the first video "Last Day of School" but we just enjoyed helping out behind the scenes and stuff more than actually staring in them. Also, just about every band going make the videos about them, so it seemed like it would make the videos slightly more original if we weren’t in them. We thought it would be cool to just concentrate on the narrative too and just give people a short movie.We’re always at the video shoots though to overlook stuff and configure with the director and FX team.

Me: Who came up with the concept for the "Cynthia Leech" video?

William: Our director Paul Shrimpton. He said that he’d like to do a cannibal video with a romantic couple. We were just throwing ideas around and before long somebody mentioned it being lesbians, then someone else mentioned it being like a fucked up Calvin Klein ad. So we blitzed my basement with white paint and got to work. It’s meant to be romantic, but I think it gets lost in translation because of the gory girl on girl action.

Me: The beginning was romantic when they started kissing before the blood. I have a screen shot of that as well.

Me: Is this the first video you did like this? Do all your videos have blood in them? Or hot girls?

William: They all have hot girls and normally everybody dies in the goriest way possible. All apart from one, for ages I’d wanted a time lapsed graffiti video, so we gave our buddy Eject EP a shout, gave him and Major Kuts a load of weed to smoke and left them to it. Our usual music videos are made by a group of our friends from Thrisk who were always into making films as kids. They started a film company called Thirskploitation and a special FX team called GTFX. They recently made a movie called Inbred, we love horror and that’s what they excel at. It just seemed logical. We’re just lucky we have such talented friends. Search Autopsy Boys on YouTube or just go to our website.

Me: And who was that actor in the beginning of the video? I think I saw him on "Doctor Who".

William: It’s another friend of our called Seamus O'Neil. He’s been in tons of stuff. He was in Dead Man’s Shoes, Inbred, Sightseers, This is England and tons of other stuff. I remember "Heavy Metal Heaven" hosted by Elvira as a kid and wanted to do something similar as a kind of homage to it. Seamus is at the start of all of our videos and will hopefully be on every video we do from now on. He’s a really good guy and an amazing actor.

Me: So, what does a typical Autopsy Boys show look like? Do you guys dress up, and spray fake blood?

William: Yeah, we wear dead skin masks like Ed Gean and disco shirts to help get our groove on. Other than that, plenty of blood, guts and people going nuts.We try and get the crowd fucked up so that they feel like joining in the party. Haha.

Me: Where are you guys from anyway? I know England, but what part?

William: I was actually born in Ijsselstein, Netherlands, but my family moved to England and I grew up in Leeds. Gaz is also from Leeds, the others are from Wakefield.

Me: You guys played at something called Beefstock IV. What was that show like and was that the biggest show you have done?

William: No. It was the reason for this band becoming a reality though. Me and Gaz were drinking and smoking weed in a beer garde and a local promoter approached us and asked us to play. We were wasted so agreed. Before long we saw posters appearing with our name on. So we recruited the others and started practicing. From that gig we got signed to a small label who released our first 7’’. It gained really positive feedback and so we decided to make a go of it. We’ll give you a copy to check out.

Me: So, are you guys coming out with an album?

William: We actually have an album out called "Def Elements" but it wasn’t really meant to be an album, its just a collection of songs we’d written over the years. We are currently a new album though; it’ll be out at some point next year. It’s sounding really cool though.

Me: When it comes out, will you come back on the Phile?

William: Of course.

Me: Okay, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Are you ready? Where would you choose to live if you had to leave the country?

William: It depends on the reason behind us having to leave. If it was just to holiday it would probably be Amsterdam. If it was because there was a bounty on our heads or we were wanted by the police it would probably be Perth, Western Austrailia. We know people there who can give us new identity’s and hide us and stuff.

Me: William, thanks for being on the Phile. Come back soon, and take care. Less blood and guts from now on, okay?

William: Sure thing. More blood and guts coming up.

Me: Oh, mention your website. Take care.

William: It's You can watch all our vids and listen to our music there. Take it easy.

Well, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim and William Brunskjill. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Mikey Shiraz, lead singer for the band Mr Shiraz. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever.

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