Clang Quartet Talks INC 2013 and Harsh Christian Noise: "I Am a Follower of The Crucified and Resurrected Christ"
|Image by Bleeding Palm|
|Clang Quartet loves Jesus.|
Just like the circus, urban downtowns, and Ultra Music Festival right as the clock strikes fuck-a-tree-o'clock - this envelope pushing, challenging, and potentially full-of-shit genre is a straight up 24/7 weirdo convention.
But out of all the beardos, hippies, art crusties, masked perverts, LARPers, Burning Man types, people from Tampa, etc., no other act at Rat Bastard's annual International Noise Conference - a 4 day survey of experimental and retro-experimental music from Florida and way beyond - is more provocative than Clang Quartet.
-Rat Bastard's INC 2013: Insane 135-Act Lineup, Celebrates 10 Years
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-Ed Wilcox Talks INC 2013 and Temple of Bon Matin: "The Loudest Band to Ever Play CBGBs"
Like many that frequent the INC year after year, Scotty Irving builds viscerally industrial and highly-personalized personalized noise-making sculptures that he uses as instruments. He also wears masks, is dedicated to groovy non-sequitor free-drumming, and, when at the roaring peaks of an uproarious Clang Quartet performance will completely ruin your hearing.
However, Clang Quartet rises above the deaf and unwashed hordes of blaring power electronics solo artists by consummately defying all expectation. For starters, Irving is the Quartets lone member.
The real essence of Clang Quartet, however, lies in its evangelical motivations: Irving's in-the-red performance of undulating wall noise, and sharp, smeared feedback, is an expressionistic component of a sonically dense theatrical depiction of Irving's torment before he accepted Jesus Christ as his lord and savior.
Crossfade: Your FB lists your repertoire with the added note that the project has been "for Jesus since 1997." Tell us about the noise and/or music you made before Clang Quartet.
I played in a couple of cover bands, but it was not for me. I put that aside to join a band called Geezer Lake from 1989 until 1997.
Geezer Lake was a learning experience of many sorts for me. I was introduced to many styles of music and ways of playing that were largely new to me. During this time, I rediscovered Neubauten, and also checked out other acts such as Throbbing Gristle and Z'EV, who made a HUGE impact on me as a listener and a performer. One day, when Geezer Lake was in Texas, we were in a record store and I noticed a videocassette on display called 'Kingdom Of Noise'. Later when I saw the same video listed in a Relapse/Release Records mail order catalog, I ordered a copy. I have not been the same since!
My interest in extreme sound became much more intense. My bandmates were not happy with this new found knowledge, and this caused much friction within the band. It seemed I was trying to take things in a direction that they would not or could not allow me. It was time to move on. I performed the first Clang Quartet show in January of 1997 and Geezer Lake split up in the spring of that same year. There was no going back.
Where/when did your faith begin to intersect with your music?
I became a Christian in 1984 and I began to try to bring my faith and music together from that moment on. My early attempts were unintentionally hilarious. I think I will shut up on that note!
Do you subscribe to a particular school of Christianity?
I am a member of a United Methodist Church, but I don't like to focus too much on the denominational side of things. I am a follower of the crucified and resurrected Christ as the son of God, and ultimately I feel that is what makes a person a Christian and not whether they are Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, etc.
Do you consider your work evangelical? Do you prefer to play in the company of non-Christians?
My show is evangelical in the sense that I am telling a story of my life without Jesus, then my life with Jesus. I present the passion play as a representation of what I feel Jesus did for me to give me another chance at life. As far as what type of audience I prefer, I am fine with either. It just happens that most of the time I am performing for non-Christians.