The Noise of Making Art
Hanzel Und Gretyl
by: Adrian Bromley
Speak German? If not, don't worry because the German-voiced rage of anger, madness and chaos of Hanzel Und Gretyl will leave you disoriented. You won't know the difference between "achtung" and "violence."

"We are not aiming to be anything special," says H.U.G. lead singer/screamer Vas Kallas about the band's multi-faceted aggro- industrial dance debut offering of _Ausgeflippt_. "We just want to be ourselves and we play music by throwing out all of our influences. We love the heavy 'kill, kill, kill' thrash music but we also like the ambient musical bleeps and bloops and songs with melody. That is why we called this album _Ausgeflippt_, which means 'flipped out' in German, because it is completely all over the place. We just couldn't make the decision on what we wanted to be: a punk rock band or an industrial band? We just wanted everything!"

Over the phone from New York, Kallas is proud of the product she and fellow programmer Lupie created (the touring band is rounded out by bassist Ginger Bread and drummer Pat Wolff). She knows that her creativity has been let loose within _Ausgeflippt_. "The album is music and it is a beautiful thing - it is our baby! We just got together and we exchanged juices and it came out that way. The album is all our creative influences - Lupie and mine - which was put together with all our little machines in our rehearsal studio. I never know what is going to happen even as we were doing this record," says Kallas about the album, one full of samples and a majority of the songs sung in German. "The songs changed drastically as we did them. It is always an ongoing situation. Definitely next time I would like to get the best sound and quality and record it in a different way."

She reveals the album was recorded live at a rehearsal studio and then taken back to her apartment where the sounds were sequenced into the music. The album was later mixed in the studio and at Kallas' home. "There was no reasoning to the way the songs formed - it was just what we did while recording the material. We come up with sounds and then we would record them and then later on we would remember them (the sounds) and put them over a drum loop or guitar part and we'd just leave it that way. It was by pure luck or chance that it worked out."

And the reasoning for the emphasis on German lyrics? "I used to live in Germany and it is one of my influences and I always wanted to write lyrics and songs in German. Lupie was like, 'Write some German rap off this hip hop stuff,' and I did and it sounded pretty cool." She admits, "I don't speak German fluently. I speak shive german - baby German. In other words I speak enough German to get by. It is such a cool language - I wish I could speak/sing in Russian."

Kallas goes on to talk about her formation of the songs and lyrics, explaining that she normally just puts songs together to mean something by the meaning of a word she has heard. "The way I write lyrics is the way the words sound, that is if they mean something then that is cool. Or if I want to express something, I find the word that helps me say what I want to. I have use a lot of dictionaries and thesaurus'," she chuckles.

       Listening to the album and judging by what Kallas has explained so far, the use of technology is a main contributor to _Ausgeflippt_'s sound. What gives with the technology? Is she a technological junkie? "I am not the tech-head in the band, Lupie is," she says defending herself, sort of. "He is the one that buries his head in manuals and stuff like that. I just like the sounds and I have learned a lot from him. You can do a lot of really cool stuff with it. You don't need people." She is constantly learning more and more technology as the band continues to grow. "I just learned generally how to do all of this stuff but I am not the one manning the station and pushing the buttons. That is not my forte - I just watch and listen and I suggest a lot of things."

One thing the band hopes to work on in the coming months (early 1996) is being able to get out on the road and support their debut album (the band has toured a bit - most recently for a week with psychos Marilyn Manson) and let people see what they are all about. "Our live shows are pretty chaotic," indulges Kallas. "The live show is pretty much like the album except there is a lot more guitars and it is much heavier - way heavier. We don't do any of the ambient stuff live."

Though shows are going good for Kallas and her band, she is a bit surprised things are going the way they are. "I am surprised that people are pleased with our live show. I can't believe how well it is coming off. People come to our show and they love our show and are freaking out. It is happening because our music is happening right in your face."

If you don't understand by now what Hanzel Und Gretyl are trying to say or do, then you ain't got it. Anarchy has a friend and its name is Hanzel Und Gretyl. Foreign language means nothing when it comes to this band's music 'cause they deliver with ear-piercing numbers and complexity. Isn't that all that counts?

(article submitted 17/1/1996)


CHATS
7/14/1997 A Bromley Hanzel und Gretyl: Children For Breakfest
ALBUMS
5/29/2003 A McKay 8 Hanzel und Gretyl - Uber Alles
6/7/1997 A Bromley 9 Hanzel Und Gretyl - Transmissions from Uranus
12/13/1995 A Bromley 7 Hanzel Und Gretyl - Ausgeflipt
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