Melody Maker October 13, 1990

"My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult --
Tabooed Love Boys"

by the Stud Brothers

transcribed by rorschach without permission

"YOU SHOULDN'T TAKE US TOO SERIOUSLY, MAN. WE'RE JUST A RED HOT CABERET from Hell."

The red hot cabaret from Hell are sitting in Frankie's flat, smoking opium. Behind them stands a large wooden altar ripped from the ruins of a deconstructed church. On it sits the most comprehensive collection of kitsch Catholic memorabilia this side of the Vatican. madonnas and saints glow and flash blasphemously in the background. A clockwork crusified Christ, with tiny red light-bulbs for eyes, writhes in a robotic simile of agony and mutters, "Forgive them Father, forgive them for they know not what they do". My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult have been getting themselves into quite a lot of trouble recently. The PMRC, those blue-rinsed old bids who've appointed themselves America's moral guardians, are saying that the group are practicing Satanists and perverts who promote the use of drugs. And what makes all this worse in the eyes of the PMRC is that Frankie, their supersonically camp lead singer, and Marsden and Thomas, the two rubber and leather fetishists who operate the samplers, spend a great deal of time hanging around Chicago's Trax Studios with the biggest Revolting Cock of them all, Al Jourgensen.

Support from America's fanzines was fast coming. In a letter to Jim Nash, president of Wax Trax Records, Scott Munroe, the editor of Chairs Missing, wrote: "I hate dance-club music! The overtly homosexual tone and atmosphere of (these records) gives me an upset stomach. I prefer placing my blood-engorged penis inside a women's/girl's mouth or vagina and not another man's buttocks. I hope this won't affect (our) relationship". Gee, thanks Scott.

EVERYONE hates the Thrill Kill Kult except Chicago's record buyers who snapped up their latest single, "Daisy Chain for Satan", with such speed that Wax Trax actually had difficulty restocking the shops.

Frankie, who Tom Sheehan describes on first sight as "a born fucking star", is entirely unfazed. The opium might be helping.

"I don't believe music should have a point," he drawls, sounding like Jack Nicholson on helium. "Music should just freak you out. The whole idea of artistic responsibility is just completely bogus. We're not not trying to sell ourselves to everybody. We're already on the PMRC hit-list as a band to watch out for, so what do we care?"

"They're trying to get groups to put stickers on sleeves," says Marsden. "We'll do that, we'll put a sticker that says we promote the use of drugs, murder, homosexuality. That's fine by us, we'll be the first to put it on. People say it's censorship but it ain't censorship to say what your record's about. If someone wants to put a sticker on our sleeves I say 'Okay have your goddamn sticker'. I don't care. If it makes you a little happier, fiiine."

A RECENT rendezvous with a rival publication left the interviewer so incensed that he stormed out. The interviewer, having spent 90 minutes trying to discover whether the Thrill Kill Kult and Frankie in particular were in any way burdened by civilized values, morality, conscience etc and finding out that on the whole they probably weren't, was eventually reduced to asking them what they thought of the Holocaust. Frankie and the rest said sorry but frankly they didn't give a damn. The interviewer, apoplectic with fury, declared that if the Thrill Kill Kult represented American youth then America was, as he'd always suspected, morally bankrupt. To this Frankie responded, "You think we're bad, man. Most kids on the street probably don't know what the Holocaust is. They probably think it's a comet or something. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Zyklon B shower unit! Holocaust's Comet!"

One wonders, since almost everything Frankie says inflames passions of someone or other, how balanced he is.

"Sometimes," he hisses, "half the time I think 'Gosh you are sooo together.' That's when I really want out, when I have to sit down and smoke a little. And the other half of the time I think it's like 'AAAAGH!' See, I get these thoughts and feelings during the day and sometimes I express them all at once. That's when it gets a little crazy. But it's about half and half, so I guess that's balanced, right?

WE asked frankly for an example of craziness other than sitting beneath an alter that looks like a fairground, smoking opium with boys who look like renegades from "Cruising". Frankie squeezes our thighs and offers to take us out later. WE accept. But that's another story.

Frankie, Marsden, and Thomas are so much like they sound. Beguilingly sweet (Thrill Kill Kult have a marvelous melody"), they literally bubble with sugar-coated Sadean impulses. Excessive to the point where you think they'll barely last out the interview let alone the year, the Thrill Kill Kult makes Chicago's finest beat-oriented Eurotrash. Perpetually high on something, Frankie usually on himself, they describe their music as "the real Acid house".

Threateningly, violent camp, Frankie and the boys are a homophobe's worst nightmare. As you might have gathered from Scott Munroe's reaction, just listening to them can turn some people's gut. the thrill Kill Kult are subversive because they'll subject themselves and you to any single whim. In this sense they are both anarchist and fascist.

So what about sex Frankie?

"As much as possible and as detached as possible. Love I save for the stage."

Truly a red hot cabaret from Hell. Coming your way.


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Alex Fletcher