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Stalins of machine punk

If drum machines have no soul, neither do humans

Stalins of Sound employ a drum machine, “so we can be louder than a regular band.”
Stalins of Sound employ a drum machine, “so we can be louder than a regular band.”

As Hadi Fever sees it, having a drum machine is more punk rock than having a drummer.

“A lot of original punk had the attitude of experimentation as opposed to conformity, which a lot of punk has become.”

Fever is the singer/guitarist for Stalins of Sound. He says the idea that punk bands should sound a certain way goes against the essence of punk.

“When hardcore became prevalent in the ’80s, and then in the ’90s when pop-punk was big, punk started to mean more uniformity. When you think about it, the original burst of punk from the ’70s was a much wider field of experimentation.”

Video:

"Monkeys Attack"

By Stalins of Sound

By Stalins of Sound

Fever tells the Reader that the Stalins of Sound follows a more adventuresome “machine-punk” path pioneered decades ago by proto synth-punkers such as Metal Urbain, Suicide, and Big Black, and by the more contemporary Digital Leather or Gay Anniversary. “Those bands stick to the core of punk’s rebelliousness.”

After playing for four years in a more traditional “nasty garage-punk” outfit called the Dissimilars, Fever says the drum-machine-powered Stalins of Sound was switched on by accident six years ago.

“It was dumb luck,” Fever says, “I was in this pawn shop on El Cajon Boulevard when this tweaker came in trying to sell his drum machine. He wanted $40. I told him I’d give $20 and he took it.”

The Stalins swapped cymbals for cyborg and never looked back.

“We tried out six different drummers in the beginning. I wasn’t getting the totalitarian abrasiveness and harshness I was looking for.”

But what about those bumper stickers that say drum machines have no soul?

“To that I would retort that humans have no soul.... Some people think we are cheating because we don’t lug around a five-piece drum set. But we have to lug around as much if not more. We have four more amps and speakers that are just dedicated to our drum machine so we can be louder than a regular band.”

Past Event

Stalins Of Sound and Crunk Witch

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015, 8 p.m.
  • Bar Pink, 3829 30th Street, San Diego
  • 21+

Stalins of Sound, including bassist Davie Deathmetal and keyboardist David Hurtt, appear Thursday, May 28, at Bar Pink.

“I got an email from this guy in Crunk Witch from Maine. They’re right up our alley. But they didn’t really know San Diego so they set up a show at the Kava Lounge, which turns out to be more into DJs than bands. They wanted [the band] to be done by 9 so their DJ could start. So I said, ‘Let me take care of this.’ We moved it to Bar Pink.”

Stalins have released two seven-inch EPs. They have one full-length vinyl album on Amsterdam-based Slovenly Records. Fever says, “They will put our second record too. I refuse to consider it an official release if it’s not on vinyl.”

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Stalins of Sound employ a drum machine, “so we can be louder than a regular band.”
Stalins of Sound employ a drum machine, “so we can be louder than a regular band.”

As Hadi Fever sees it, having a drum machine is more punk rock than having a drummer.

“A lot of original punk had the attitude of experimentation as opposed to conformity, which a lot of punk has become.”

Fever is the singer/guitarist for Stalins of Sound. He says the idea that punk bands should sound a certain way goes against the essence of punk.

“When hardcore became prevalent in the ’80s, and then in the ’90s when pop-punk was big, punk started to mean more uniformity. When you think about it, the original burst of punk from the ’70s was a much wider field of experimentation.”

Video:

"Monkeys Attack"

By Stalins of Sound

By Stalins of Sound

Fever tells the Reader that the Stalins of Sound follows a more adventuresome “machine-punk” path pioneered decades ago by proto synth-punkers such as Metal Urbain, Suicide, and Big Black, and by the more contemporary Digital Leather or Gay Anniversary. “Those bands stick to the core of punk’s rebelliousness.”

After playing for four years in a more traditional “nasty garage-punk” outfit called the Dissimilars, Fever says the drum-machine-powered Stalins of Sound was switched on by accident six years ago.

“It was dumb luck,” Fever says, “I was in this pawn shop on El Cajon Boulevard when this tweaker came in trying to sell his drum machine. He wanted $40. I told him I’d give $20 and he took it.”

The Stalins swapped cymbals for cyborg and never looked back.

“We tried out six different drummers in the beginning. I wasn’t getting the totalitarian abrasiveness and harshness I was looking for.”

But what about those bumper stickers that say drum machines have no soul?

“To that I would retort that humans have no soul.... Some people think we are cheating because we don’t lug around a five-piece drum set. But we have to lug around as much if not more. We have four more amps and speakers that are just dedicated to our drum machine so we can be louder than a regular band.”

Past Event

Stalins Of Sound and Crunk Witch

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015, 8 p.m.
  • Bar Pink, 3829 30th Street, San Diego
  • 21+

Stalins of Sound, including bassist Davie Deathmetal and keyboardist David Hurtt, appear Thursday, May 28, at Bar Pink.

“I got an email from this guy in Crunk Witch from Maine. They’re right up our alley. But they didn’t really know San Diego so they set up a show at the Kava Lounge, which turns out to be more into DJs than bands. They wanted [the band] to be done by 9 so their DJ could start. So I said, ‘Let me take care of this.’ We moved it to Bar Pink.”

Stalins have released two seven-inch EPs. They have one full-length vinyl album on Amsterdam-based Slovenly Records. Fever says, “They will put our second record too. I refuse to consider it an official release if it’s not on vinyl.”

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