Berlin’s infamous noise rock squad CUNTROACHES will be unleashing their first ever vinyl release through Teratology Sound & Vision and Instruments Of Discipline on July 20th. After their insane show in Cardiff, Wales earlier this year, CVLT Nation caught up with the band to find out exactly what it is that makes them tick…
Disclaimer: Sadly, Claire, our drummer, could not attend this interview. We felt the interview
would be inadequate without Claire’s participation, so we employed a “clickworker” to
answer on her behalf. We submitted the questions to the lowest price point copy-writer
Let’s start with a bit of background on CUNTROACHES. Tell us a little about
yourselves individually, where you’re from & what brought you together?
Clickworker: I can honestly say I am a hot, sexy and also angry girl which typically comes
from having a pretty rocky childhood. I lived where poppers were being tossed around like
hot cakes by my family.
Martina: Alcohol. Cuntroaches is totally one of those bands that started out during a bender.
We were at an acoustic Nirvana tribute show and felt inspired.
David: I’m now an alcoholic. All thanks to Cuntroaches! I was always into the weirder
experimental stuff and my main thing before this band was drumming and playing noise in
BATALJ. My dad bought a really nice bass and I was always playing the Seinfeld theme
whenever I visited. Eventually he just gave it to me and so I looked for a project I could shred
some bass. We all rehearsed in the same building and hearing what Martina and Claire were
doing in the studio I knew I really wanted in!
Your live experience is extremely intense & purposely abrasive / visceral. What are
you drawing on to deliver such a fierce performance on a consistent basis?
M: Passive aggressive bowel syndrome.
Clickworker: We have a lot of history between us, some of it is fucked up, and some of it is
crazy. Some days we have so much anger – it is chilling and truly tormenting. So we add fuel
to the fire and allow ourselves to perform with perversion. Our ferocity is sometimes fuelled
by poppers and alcohol, but we our demons are ready to perform regardless. No matter how
many poppers we pop, or how much alcohol we’ve chucked down our throats, we pour out
our souls when we are on stage.
D: Wow… well, at least they got poppers right!
You’re based in Berlin…How would you describe the DIY community in the city in
Clickworker: DIY? What the hell is this? HGTV, honestly there is a ton of potential for people
to live that life but for us we focus providing music for the masses. I will say on our behalf
though for all the “go-getters” who are out there doing big things we appreciate the efficiency
they display in their efforts. Overall though just not something we typically get into.
D: I have to say it’s like Mama Mia the musical.
M: What’s in the Mama Mia musical?
D: They say “Mama mia!” a lot – my favorite catch phrase. Apart from the musical aspect of
things I think there’s a pretty great number of people putting in a lot of effort in booking
shows, exhibitions, festivals etc. Seeing how it is in the UK for example – where it seems like
a deficiency of decent places to put up a show – we’re blessed with a lot of venues and it’s
fairly easy for anyone to organize a show at a venue.
Your name is wonderful. What was the thought process behind it?
D: Thanks. My mom wanted to call me Ellen, sadly I turned out to be David. Her thought
process behind this is that it’s an international name. However I’m more into Davin these
days, but if I’m in drag it’s Suckles.
Clickworker: It all started one night when I was absolutely blazed out of my mind and I
thought to myself “damn cockroaches can survive so damn long without a head”. I told this to
the others in the group and we all laughed so hard we were crying. We were then ripping on
each other and I said to Claire “damn you dirty, unwashed pussy”, her only response “just
call me a cunt next time”. Being high, I was like “easy CUNTROACH” and from there on out
it stuck, it was a real Instagram moment.
M: Yeah, it was. Claire and me didn’t really know how to play an instrument at that time so
after the inception of the idea of Cuntroaches, we started shredding like crazy
mothertossers. It was a great progressive time. Kinda romantic. We spent an entire summer
locked away in a tiny, stinky windowless room. It was so hot, we rehearsed in our underwear
for 8 hours every day. We thought of us as Satan’s potent 2-woman shred army. David
joined us half a year later. Now we’re a potent, 3-woman shred army. In the name of Maria
and Joseph and their dumb son Jesus.
What are your expectations or goals in terms of what you want to achieve with
D: Get as famous as possible. On a more serious note. I think it’s interesting to bend genres
and “fall in between the chairs” as we say in Sweden. Most scenes, especially hardcore and
metal, are way too stuck up and picky. That’s boring!
M: Yeah, there are some metal people who are only into black metal, or some who are only
into death metal. Purity seems to be key. That can’t happen with CTR. We’re genre
Clickworker: What we really want to achieve with CUNTROACHES and is one of our main
goals as a punk band is to become famous enough that we can rock all day and night, man.
It is one thing to make a lot of dough singing and going wild, but it is something completely
different to be known by a huge amount of people. What we are trying to get at here is that
we want to experience #themeaningofbeingfamous.
In Cardiff you quite literally drenched the audience in trash bags (a personal
highlight). What is your reasoning behind this?
M: There were these three drunk jerk heads in the crowd at the Cardiff show, making fun of
Claire and me and screaming ‘Haha look, a female drummer’. Releasing three-week-old,
mouldy garbage on them felt like the appropriate answer.
Clickworker: We’re all human fucking trash, that’s why! It’s our natural environment. It’s all
we deserve. We would prefer to be pumping straight raw sewage into the audience so we
can be literally in the shit, but that requires open mindedness from the host venues. We may
have to ask future audiences you to bring their own shit instead. GG Allin would be proud.
D: Also think about climate change.
What was your introduction to the DIY punk scene?
D: For me it was in Göteborg. There was some great illegal venues hidden away from the
standard hang-outs. Some of them still exists but are constantly harassed by the
government. Kind of ironic since Göteborg is the self-proclaimed “cultural city” of Sweden
and the smaller venues they’re trying to shut down are putting up so many bands for
M: My introduction started when I was about 23 in Berlin. A late bloomer regarding its
discovery, I guess. Until then I felt like I didn’t really belong anywhere. And then you discover
this giant global network and all these things you can do independently from what the
mainstream market foie gras’s down everybody’s throats.
Clickworker: My introduction to the DIY pink scene was like about the many things that make
punk what it is today. Some of these things include #beer, #outcast teenagers in their 20s
and 30s, and #fuck 9 to 5, and people with #scabies. In other words, we feel like fucking
misfits in the ‘normal world’ that came together to just rock out and be chill.
Your Demo (2016) & EP (2017) have both being extremely well received & you’ve just
completed a European / UK tour. What’s next for CUNTROACHES?
Clickworker: Well first off thanks for noticing just how fucking great the reception has been
on the European front. The goal for CUNTROACHES has always been to break into the U.S.
market. We feel like since being animal lovers, vegan, and living that vegan lifestyle which is
so important to a large portion of the U.S. we should be able to slide right in there like a dude
sliding into the DMs for any hot girl on Instagram. On top of our kick ass music we hope we
can appeal to the masses with our love of our pets and with that sweet, sweet sound we hit
D: Oh my lord. I don’t even want to know what a DM is.
M: Two Berlin-based labels, Teratology and Instruments of Discipline are putting out the EP
on 7”. We’re playing some crazy festivals. Also, a new release is in the canon shaft.
Does the creation of this music help you work through things? Is it a cathartic
Clickworker: Sometimes being creative is cathartic, sometimes it isn’t. You come home after
working your shit job and you think, why? So sometimes making music helps. Sometimes
getting really pissed helps. Sometimes nothing helps. But if I can get out of my own head
long enough then I can work through things. Yeah, creativity is a big part of that. But also
alcohol. And bad hangovers. I would say bad hangovers are just as important.
D: I thought the music we’re doing would be a way to channel stress and anger. In the end I
think it made me more stressed and angrier. Martina just got me a Anger Management for
Dummies. It made my angry.
M: Playing in this band makes me definitely an angrier human being in my everyday life. Bye
bye, impulse control.
In summation, is there anything that stands out in terms of a particular message
you’re looking to get over to the listener?
Clickworker: We don’t have a particular message. Fuck, we are the message. Be yourself!
Love, fuck, drink, rocknroll. It is for the listener to find meaning in our songs. If it helps them,
great. If they just enjoy the music, great. Peace through chaos. Love through war. Paradise
through violence. Nihilism. Destruction. No seriously, we are just having fun. We don’t take
ourselves that seriously.
EP will be released July 20th through Teratology Sound & Vision and Instruments of Discipline.