Interview With Derelict Hardware

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MANIC! Connection (October '80)

Bricked but Beautiful - an Interview with Derelict Hardware!

Diving in the deep end of the scum-filled pond that is Seattle's punk rock scene since 2061, it's your minimum wage pool girl Lizzie Wicked back with another up-and-coming act! This month, my net-on-a-stick scooped up a sparking hunk of rusty, jagged metal ready to give you tetanus and a nasty shock! It's Derelict Hardware, the band behind the hit single "Horizon for No One!" Derelict Hardware hit the airwaves hard in late October, courting controversy by releasing their obviously topical song the day after the brazen terrorist attack on the Potter Administration's Living Studio for Civic Engagement and Analysis downtown.

They fucked us over once again, man
From every wage slave to the homeless col-lec-ting cans
Well, this time shit's going to be different 
We're gonna tell that slitch in office she can get bent
We're gonna make sure they're well done
This is a Horizon for no one!

I met with the whole band at the Daze in Redmond, where they were already drinking synthohol and dressed up in clashing outfits like a traveling freakshow trying to unwind after pitching the big top. They introduced themselves one by one. First there was Bo Rip, a paraplegic amputee dryad with spiked hair dyed bi pride colors and the band's frontman/rhythm guitarist. Next came Static, a mysterious feline changeling and violinist who unfortunately wasn't able to get into the recording booth for the hit song due to scheduling conflicts. Then there was Haymaker, the bassist who looked like a chromed-up roadie/bodyguard who'd been on the scene for years without catching a break. Finally there was Tr0j4n, the lead guitarist and backup vocalist who appeared to be some sort of anthro drone (an act, of course) with a digital voice. Once I got their names down, I went right to the questions.

Q: So, tell me about the recording process. How did that go down?

Bo: Well, i figured we'd need a clean sound, so we recorded at Flash!'s recording studios, we got the bass and drums recorded before me and Tr0j4n recorded the guitars and vocals at once in a few takes... my throat's still a bit scratchy from some of those screams toward the end!

Tr0j4n: Yeah, uh, I kinda do all my stuff at once. Live sound mixing isn't too hard over DNI these days, if you know what you're doing.

Static: I uh, got my ass handed to me in a bar fight the night before, woke up in a dumpster thinking it was yesterday, and the fraggers lifted my commlink.

Q: So why didn't you wait? You rushed to get it out as fast as possible.

Bo: We had to strike while the iron was hot and the news about Horizon and the technocrats was still fresh in people's minds. I do very much regret not doing it with Static's violin prowess, but with her MIA, we unfortunately had to press on. Sorry, Static.

Static: I wasn't in much condition to play, anyway. You saw what kind of shape I was in when I stumbled back in.

Q: How did you have everything ready to go so fast after the news broke?

Bo: As soon as the news broke, Tr0j4n locked herself away and wrote the lyrics and guitar chords in less than a night. It only really took me a day to fine tune everything else to make it a reality.

Tr0j4n: I actually had most of it together already. I repurposed a song I was working on shortly after leaving UVH.

She was referring to "Ultraviolent Host," a lesser-known glitchpunk band that played a few warehouse concerts in Redmond and Puyallup for a couple months before breaking up due to personal conflict before finishing their first album. Rumors abound what exactly that conflict was, with explanations ranging from a disagreement about sexual content to something about Tr0j4n being in love with a real, (un)live vampire. She denied the vampire thing, though.

Q: So you're not in a relationship of any kind with... what was it, a vampire? Because that's pretty hardcore, not gonna sugarcoat it none.

Bo: Feh, sounds like jealous ex-bandmates to me.

Haymaker: That's one of those situations where you can't trust what you hear. Let 'em say what they want, just remember that rumors aren't fact.

Tr0j4n: She laughed. Vampire? You'll note the lack of bite marks on my neck and fact that I'm still alive and well.

Back on the subject of the recording process, I stopped beating around the bush and asked about a rumor that's been going around.

Q: So you don't have connections in any neo-anarchist groups, then?

Bo: An Ancients ganger tried to man handle me once... does that count?

Haymaker: I've had a few drinking buddies over the years and thrown my fair share out of venues, but can't say I've had anything resembling what you're suggesting since my wilder days.

Q: Wilder days, huh? What were those like?

Haymaker: Lots of brawls, a fight club or two, and a handful of riots. Nothing your average punk rocker won't at least claim, but I've got the strength to back it up.

They didn't mince words on the political content of their message, but they weren't heartless about it either.

Q: There are, of course, certain individuals who have denounced the terrorist attack on the city-state's property that involved the killing of Emerald City Security personnel. Critics claim violence has no place in politics, and any issues should be opened to reasonable, civil debate. What do you have to say to them?

Haymaker: I think it goes without saying that I don't approve of murder, but on the other hand I think it's a very optimistic person who believes that we can fight corruption with nothing but words. My heart goes out to anyone who lost a loved one in this event.

Bo: Well said, Hay.

Static: Violence is the oldest form of politics, if you really think about it.

Tr0j4n: Yeah. The idea that violence has no place in politics is a lie spread by the people who don't have to face the consequences of their political beliefs. On the contrary, all politics is violence. It's about who is allowed to inflict violence to whom, in what manner, when and why. That isn't necessarily a bad thing - I'd rather have someone with a gun ready to defend me if someone wanted me dead. But it's a truth we have to recognize. When you don't pay rent, someone comes to remove you by force. You get sick, you starve. Maybe you find a way out of it, but most don't. You do something desperate, now you're branded a criminal for life, and the system will extract every last bit of value out of you that it can upon threat of death. Your labor, your body. Nothing is sacred to them. There is a blade to all our throats, every moment of every day.

Bo: He applauded.

Static: Exactly right.

Q: You sure you're not a neo-anarchist? It sounds like you're already writing a manifesto!

Bo: We're punks, we're all anarchists, Liz.

Static: You don't have to be an anarchist to not like the way things are in the world. Or to speak up about it.

After that speech, I gave them a softball to finish it up.

Q: Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans? Anything to plug, that sort of business?

Bo: We should have at least an EP to release by Christmas, other than that, I'm still doing the travelling solo gig in our off time, catch me if you can find me, chummers!

Tr0j4n: Yeah, album's still in the works. Song's gonna be on it, so look forward to that. It'll be remastered, though. We gotta do some additional sound editing, et cetera.

Haymaker: Gotta get Static on the track.

You heard it here first, drekheads! Derelict Hardware's first album, Sowing the Fruits of Discord will be out before this Christmas! It promises to be more of the subversive, raw content fans ate up in "Horizon for No One." Until next time, may your pools somehow smell like chlorine but be filthy and brown at the same time!

- Lizzie Wicked