Written by Johny Chhetri
Photos and illustrations by Tom Hines
18 Monday 18th October 2010


Violens is quite a weird named for a band, even more so to pronounce perfectly. One thing’s for sure with these guys though, their music is pretty faultless.
Violens are a band brimming with twists. They utilise the 80s synth pop sound of acts like Simple Minds, The Pale Fountains and Stephen Duffy but bend, stretch and distort them into psychedelic sonic hotchpotch. They’ve also released a new album entitled Amoral and I suggest that you go out and buy it, because it’s a pretty sweet record. Plus, no one really buys records these days.
We sat down with the art-rockers in a secluded pub in King’s Cross and talked Biggie, 2Pac and dickheads...
How’s the tour going?
Jorge Elbrecht: We’ve just been here for a couple of days; we’ve just done one show.
Myles Matheny: We played at Rough Trade.
JE: That was cool, it was a pretty awesome to play there. The guys there are all super-knowledgeable and cool and super-nice. We’ve played here (London) a few times on a few different tours...
The doors to the room suddenly closed and it freaked me out a little.
Wow, this is the most intimate interview I’ve ever done!
JE: We usually have our own place when we stay here.
Whereabouts are you guys staying now?
JE: We’re staying on Brick Lane right now.
Iddo Arad: That’s a nice way of putting it.
Spotted any ‘dickheads’?
All: Yeah.
JE: Sure thing.
Must be annoying.
JE: It gets scary when you hear a woman screaming and stuff like that.
A woman screaming?!
MM: Yeah, the other day Joe and I were walking down Brick Lane and we saw some guy kind of accost a woman.
JE: He was running up behind her and going to different people and a few guys that were walking towards us were like, “That guy’s fucking crazy!”
MM: And then he came up to us and we were like, “Nah dude.”
Maybe he’s just a big fan who wanted a hug?
MM: We can only hope, we can only hope...
I’ve been telling people that I’m interviewing you guys and they keep saying, “How do you spell it?!??” and I’m like, “It’s like ‘violence’ with an ‘s’ instead of the ‘ce’ and at the end.”
(Laughs all round)
JE: By the time you’re done telling them that they probably tell you to forget it! (Laughs)
IA: It’s like words that have a ‘z’ on the end, like ‘showbiz’.
Some people just end up sounding Texan when they attempt it, are you guys based near there?
MM: We’re from all over.
JE: Yeah, Florida, Maine, Yugoslavia.
IA: I’m a native New-Yorker.
So would you have saved Biggie over 2-Pac?
MM: Hands down Biggie. I happened to really like Biggie.
JE: When you guys used to hang out, was he really cool?
MM: Yeah man he was really cool. 2-Pac was violent all the time.
I imagined 2-Pac would be the kind of guy to involuntarily spit a lot whilst talking angrily.
JE: Saliva is what’s coming out of my mouth. I’m really not adjusting well to the time difference. We landed on Monday.
MM: What day is it today?
All: Wednesday.
MM: Whoa.
How has the tour been? Has it helped you bond?
JE: Well it spawned the word “broadie”; it’s a blend of bro and roadie. You gotta say it with a bit of a Pauly Shore twist, like “Hey Broooadiie”
Like, “Haaayyyyy Bruuurrrdaayyyyy”?
All: Yes!
IA: Like a true American, I actually thought you were American when you came in.
Unfortunately not, I’m Filipino.
IA: Can you speak tagalog?
I only know the curse-words like “death to your mother”.
MM (eagerly): How do you say it?
Ookie nam.
MM (waving hands up and down slowly): “Ookie Nam!” That’s some curse shit man!
I see you waved your hand up and down slowly, that’s actually a good fighting technique. What you have to do is rub your opponents face downwards, and then run.
(Laughs all around)
IA: Don’t tempt him man!
Who’s got the best fighting technique out of you guys?
JE: I think the best fighting technique is to act like you’re possessed.
What’s the most boring question that you’ve been asked on tour?
MM: Probably, “What do your parents do for a living?”
JE: I’ve never been asked that!
Someone actually asked you that?
MM: No, but I kinda wish they would ya know.
JE: I think the most boring question would be is, “What’s the weirdest thing to happen to you while you were getting a massage?” (laughs)
Paid or unpaid?
MM: You know what happens when they’re unpaid. That’s just foreplay.
Errr, yeah. I always get that shit. Every night. When they’re paid for I’m like, “Whoa, I don’t want my snake skinned.” I think I just made that up, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve made up?
MM: Umm, I can’t really talk about it right now because I’m still employed by this person.
Who is this person?
MM: Well I can’t really talk about it.
IA: He said he has a termin-
(Laughs all around)
Whoa, tell me about this terrible illness you have?
MM: Basically, I don’t wanna talk about it, it’s pretty bad. Word to the wise, if you can’t make it to work, don’t tell a lie.
So what wise words do you have for the youth of today?
JE: I think the youth of today should invest time into how to solve problems.
MM: And worship Satan.


For more info on Violens, check out their myspace. They play the HMV Forum in London on November 24th and 25th.

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