> G.X. JUPITTER-LARSEN (The Haters/Survival Research Laboratories) – Interviewed By Miss Amy Young
In 1979 while I was locked in my room listening to Cheap Trick records and getting into Punk Rock, GX Jupitter-Larsen was taking the picture and smashing it into the ground, literally! Twenty years ago, this May, marks the first Haters’ performance. For the last twenty years Larsen has provided somewhat of a chaotic balance in the world of Noise by giving function and amplification to inanimate objects and also by providing the best soundtrack possible to the process of decay- -the actual sounds amplified, sometimes at levels that have been described as “maddening! And the incitement of madness is vital to the heartbeat, I say! He is the man behind the Survival Research Laboratories’ videos and live show sound for the last seven years and has an extensive Haters’ discography. I could go on and on, but perhaps you should just read more about someone who just may be responsible for why i don’t hear things quite the same way anymore.
Miss Amy Young: Not that your reputation doesn’t precede you, maybe you could begin by giving a little history of The Haters?
GX Jupitter Larsen: Well, it’s the 20th Anniversary of The Haters. It all started back in ’79 in New York when I got tired of getting kicked out of Punk Bands for refusing to learn how to play my instrument. People at the time talked about Punk as if it was noise, but it was never noisy enough for me. So one thing led to another and I started The Haters. At first no one could be in the group if they knew how to play their instrument. But I soon got rid of instruments altogether and just started smashing stuff on stage. Then we started to smash the stage itself. Then we’d destroy the whole club.
But after trashing venues around the world for 15 years I have to say it got a little boring. So for the past 5 years the performances have been less destructive, but a lot louder. The amplification of erosion, like sanding or grinding, is now the main force behind the releases and the live gigs.
Amy: Why erosion?
GX: I find decay gorgeous! Perhaps because the lack of it is a sure sign there’s a lack of everything else! You can’t eat anything without doing some kind of damage to your digestive system. Yet, without the decay going on in your stomach, there wouldn’t be the pleasure of another delicious meal. Outside in the world around you, the process of rot and decay is merely the natural environment digesting nourishment.
Amy: You told me of a recent performance where you premiered your Untitled Title Belt. I’ve told many people about this and you would not believe the response!
GX: The response to my noise belt has been truly amazing! The belt is designed to look just like a traditional championship wrestling belt. But this implement functions as a combination microphone, distortion-pedal, and noise generator. Damion Romero of Speculum Fight did the electronics for me.
Its great; you’d never know just by looking at it what the thing can actually do.
The belt is an acknowledgement of the aesthetic traditions that I subscribe to; my own and wrestling’s.
If I had an artistic predecessor, I’d have to say it was Gorgeous George. George was a psychiatrist turned wrestler. He single-handedly transformed Wrestling into the theatre of the absurd we know today. I would like to think I’ve transformed Noise into the same kind of spectacle George made Wrestling into.
Amy: Have you done anything with film or video lately?
GX: Recently I co-produced an episode of FUCK TV on Channel 53 here in San Francisco. In it, three young Victorian ladies were counting sand only to wind up eating the stuff. And they really did eat it! Amplified erosion was used as the soundtrack, because without erosion, there wouldn’t be any sand to count.
Amy: Are you working on any SRL (Survival Research Laboratories) projects right now?
GX: I’ve been doing the soundtracks for all the videos and live shows for Survival Research Laboratories since ’92. And during that time SRL hasn’t been allowed to perform all that often. It’s either the Fire Chief or the Police Chief coming down on Pauline for one reason or another. There’s some talk of a show in Oakland later this year, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
Amy: It seems that the Noise scene is far smaller here (NYC) than in the West and Southwest even. Do you at all agree that this can be attributed to region?
GX: From what I’ve been able to figure out over the years is that it all depends on how active the region’s central players are. The Noise scene is like a secret society; the only way you can know about it is by knowing somebody else who’s already into it. In regions where there isn’t a lot of stuff going on people will be more likely to make their own fun.
Amy: Tell us about your new collaboration CD with conceptual artist David Ireland.
GX: David was totally into doing the project. He’d never had the opportunity to do an audio release before. I wanted to work with him because I’d always had a great respect for his attitude towards what he does. The CD has three collaborations, all of which contain sound fragments taken from David’s audio archives of 500 Capp Street, and were re-edited by myself. I prefer working with people who are not into the Noise scene because I find the results more unpredictable. It’s more fun that way. My next collaboration is with Scanner. The CD should be out this summer. It doesn’t sound like anything either of us have ever done before!
Amy: Have you seen any performances lately that have blown your mind?
GX: Funny you should ask. A few weeks ago I was in L.A. and took in a performance by Fin. It was great! He made an oil-barrel into a speaker. Now I’m not saying he put a speaker inside an oil-barrel. He actually converted electrical signals into sound through the cylinder body of the barrel as if it were a speaker. The barrel itself was wired to vibrate in order to emit sound. It wasn’t that loud, but the fidelity was phenomenal. It really didn’t sound like anything you’ve ever heard before.
Amy: And lastly, do you have any big fantasy projects you would like to do?
GX: I’ve always wanted to get shot out of a cannon. Perhaps this will be the year.