Hi guys and girls, and welcome to your weekly escape from insanity. The world has gone mad, and we’re not talking about the COVID pandemic. Let’s take our mind off things, and enjoy some music and the stories behind it together. For the next hour, your soul belongs to us and will be immersed in goth and darkness. We’re going to kick it off with an Infected Classic. So sit back, and enjoy this beautiful cover by Gary Jules featuring Michael Andrews, that is, “Mad World.”
Mad World – Gary Jules, 2002 (Tears for Fears)
Mad World is a great song, originally written by Tears for fears. It’s a song from back when Roland, the singer, was just an unemployed guy strumming his acoustic guitar all day long. He was sitting by the window of his apartment in the center of Bath, watching the world go by when he wrote this.
It certainly is a sad song, although it’s not about suicide, as you might think. Granted, he does sing “The Dreams In Which I’m Dying Are The Best I’ve Ever Had,” but that is not actually a suicide reference. It is a reference to the psychologist Dr. Arthur Janov, writer of the famous book Primal Scream.
He was saying that some of the most dramatic dreams we have, release the most tension. If you have those, you can wake up feeling a lot better. So that is what the song was referencing.
Personally, I like both versions of this track, but I like Gary Jules’ version better since the mood goes much better with the lyrics. What did you think?
By the way, Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister talked about death in one of his final interviews back in 2015. Lemmy knew his end was near, but he never wanted to quit, so he joked that he might come back to haunt musicians: “What, life after death? No! I’ll have to stop then – I think. But you never know, I could haunt somewhere, mess up somebody else’s gig. Probably a Tears For Fears concert, come to think of it.”
Car Crash Set – Heart of Stone
Another uncovered obscurity that I dug up some years back: Car Crash Set, a pioneering electronic synth & wave band from New Zealand. They don’t have a Wikipedia page, but I managed to find enough background information to paint an interesting enough picture.
I didn’t know, but it appears that many successful bands were coming from New Zealand in the ’80s, albeit that most of them were one-day flies (like Kajagoogoo, etc.). Car Crash Set was among them and also quickly disappeared. Which is strange because their debut 12-inch single featured 3 really great songs. They should have been able to build from there.
The band was founded by Nigel Russel and arrived at the scene dominated by the British post-punk bands. The idea to play live was not something that appealed to them, and they only took the stage 5 times in total. They didn’t want to put on a show or be entertaining on stage. After hearing their music, all things taken into account are a mystery why they weren’t signed by a major label.
When hearing their music, you can immediately recognize the distinctive 80s touch. It may remind you of numerous bands like New Order (their main source of inspiration), OMD, and the vocals made me think about Marc Almond of Soft Cell on some tracks. Car Crash Set was into the real true spirit of 80s electro-pop & wave formations and mainly used synthesizers. Some tracks also have guitars, and I think that’s when they really shine, together with Russell’s charismatic singing.
I must say that this band really doesn’t have an own sound identity. They were more into emulating some famous bands from that time. Together with their unwillingness to perform, that could be why they didn’t breakthrough. I still like them very much, and the track we are about to play is on their one and only album from 1984 called “No Accident” and is called “Heart of Stone.”
Metakross – Bulletproof (2020)
This came out just last month, in September 2020. It’s a track from the album called Limbo, by Russian artist Metakross. We were fortunate enough to be able to do an interview with Peter Cross, which is now live on our website TheInfected.NL
Peter told us he admires characters who keep going no matter what, and some of his songs reflect this theme. It does sound like Bulletproof is one of those songs. In Peter’s own words, I hope Bulletproof will energize you and give you strength. Keep moving forward; if you believe in yourself, you really are bulletproof!
So who is Metakross? I’m just a guy trying to break out of the personal limbo inside me. I don’t really think I am that different from other people at all, to be honest. When some people see me on the street wearing black and all, my outfit may seem weird to them. Yet that’s how I feel and who I am. Who says that military shoes are heavy anyway? I feel comfortable like this.
These days I value personal freedom and independence more, especially after the coronavirus. Mostly I get my energy from outside sources, like listening to new music, taking a walk, or just socializing. Sometimes I find it hard to keep working on my music to keep going because of my depressions. But when that happens, one of my oldest friends keeps arguing with me, and he keeps pushing me. Without him, I wouldn’t even have finished my album. This guy just motivated me to keep making progress. OK, mostly by yelling at me, but still, I am thankful for it.
And so are we! We are thankful to this friend for his support. Because without it, we might not have been able to play Bulletproof. Also, we are grateful to Metakross for this music – go check Metakross out on Spotify. You can find the complete interview and link to his music at TheInfected.nl
The Damned – In Dulce Decorum (1986)
Loosely translates from Latin: it is sweet and honorable. But then in de context of dying for your country. It’s the title of a poem from 1920 by Wilfred Owen. At the beginning of the track, you can hear part of a speech by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons as the Battle of Britain began on 18 June 1940
About The Damned: It’s funny that critics at the time said that Punk was only going to last six months. Some of these bands are still around after 40 years, like The Damned.
Bands, especially punk bands, are not supposed to improve with age. They’re supposed to burn brightly, then fade away. That’s the accepted modus operandi. But The Damned is still quite active.
The Damned are an English rock band formed in London, England in 1976 by lead vocalist Dave Vanian and they were one of the first punk bands ever. During the eighties, they shifted more towards gothic rock. In fact, they were setting the tone. By then, Vanian adopted a vampire-like appearance onstage, with chalk-white makeup and formal dress. Also, they made an appearance on the TV show The Young Ones. Remember that punk guy Vyvyan, with the red spiked hair and the iron stars stapled in his forehead?
However, not all their work turned out to be a commercial success. In particular, one track was successful. That was “In Dulce Decorum,” which was featured on the immensely popular TV show: Miami Vice. In the 3rd season, to be exact, in the episode “Walk Alone,” it was an instrumental version. That’s the one we just played.
The Mysterines – I WIN EVERY TIME (2020)
So the Mysterines are a young band from Liverpool. Lia Metcalfe is the Lead singer and guitarist. She has been performing live since she was 13 years old, and her stage presence is fierce. The Mysterines debut EP “Take Control” was released in 2019.
They have been quite successful for a young band; they recently supported British Rockers Royal Blood on tour. Also, Lia has signed a publishing deal with Domino Records, also home to the Arctic Monkeys.
Did you hear who is winning every time? This is a song about the devil, as you can listen to in the lyrics;
I bet you hell,
I bid you, Christ,
Even Robert Johnson said
I’d win every time.
By the way, the video of I WIN EVERY TIME is also worth checking out. Lots of attitude!
They’ll be doing a full concert in a live stream show on 17 October. The admission is 10 euro. The band is very keen as they can’t wait to get back playing and show all the new stuff they’ve been working on. You can watch the live stream or re-stream the show afterward. Look for the Close Encounter Club online, or find the link in the show notes on http://www.theinfected.nl; https://bac.org.uk/whats-on/close-encounter-club/ – Let’s support these artists, it’s hard enough for bands these days!
Akira Yamaoka – Alone in the Town (2001)
You may have noted that we’ve played the music from the video game Silent Hill 2 since the beginning of our podcast but as background music. Shame on us. It’s time to honor Konami’s team, especially Akira Yamaoka, and bring his music to the forefront.
In 1998, a team was formed to make a survival horror game that could compete with the popular Resident evil. Within Konami, Team Silent was formed. It was a group of developers that had failed at their previous project. Among others, Akira Yamaoka was responsible for the music.
These people were very talented, but not able to work in a fast-paced environment. As it turned out, the season they were slower than others is that they were not motivated to make big blockbuster like videogames. They wanted to create games with intimate emotions.
For Silent Hill, rather than having a lead character that is a soldier, or someone with supernatural capabilities, they chose an everyman. Average, but sympathetic and relatable. And they put him into a creepy and silent town under a perpetual fog and filled with evil creatures.
It features plenty of psychosexual images but subtle and haunting—a mix of sex and violence but mainly a lot of suspense and a sense of total isolation. I think the opening level or scene was genius. The player must follow a trail or path through the woods that takes 10 minutes of just walking (this was well before open-world games like GTA). The forest walk alone made you doubt yourself and look over your shoulder before entering the Town of Silent hill (Is this the right direction??).
The song Alone in the Town is played mid-way through the game when leaving a deserted bowling alley. It gave me goosebumps, still actually. I like the Twin Peaks bass, or you know it from Berlin or the Commodores with Nightshift. It’s a lightly modified preset from the Yamaha DX 7 synthesizer.
But there’s more, there’s also a movie link here!
The Big Picture!
The movie Silent Hill is from 2006 and very worthwhile. The lead character is played by Sean Bean. Most video games that are turned into a film are cringe-worthy, to say the least (Doom, Duke Nukem, Streetfighter etcetera..), but this one sticks really close to what made the games great. It also helped that the director was a big fan of the game.