Friday
25. September 2009

Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche

Nihilist Spasm Band

John B. Boyle: electric kazoo, thumb piano, percussion; John Clement: bg, percussion; William A. Exley: vocals, found instrument; Murray Favro: guitar, percussion; Art Pratten: Pratt-a-various, water pipe;  Honorary member: Aya Onishi: electric kazoo, drums

Words can be shredded, meanings twisted and dogmas undermined. In their verbal rides the Nihilist Spasm Band (NSB) attacks any form of political striving for hegemony. Against confession and stupidity everywhere. An obstinate outcry driven and chased by improvisations that seem to implode at any moment.

For more than 40 years the Canadian Nihilist Spasm Band has appeared unteachable. Numerous instruments have been built, like an E-bass patched together from one and a half piano and two bass strings. Or an electrically amplified giant kazoo. While rehearsals are strictly denied, the fragility of music is forced and structures generated are instantly subverted.

The one and only consistency has been that Monday is public performance day—since 1974. The noise band was already founded back in 1965 in London, Ontario, by Hugh McIntyre, John Clement, John Boyle, Bill Exley, Murray Favro, Archie Leitch, Art Pratten and Greg Curnoe. While Leitch has resigned, Curnoe died in a car accident in 1992 and McIntyre has died of a heart failure. The rest of the band members undeviatingly still perform—only recently after a festival in Japan and performances in Mulhouse, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and London on their first US tour. Fluxus and Dada find themselves on a merry-go-round as soon as William “Bill“ Exley starts declaiming expressionlessly, while the remaining Nihilists prick our ears.



© Don Vincent

© Don Vincent

Nihilist Spasm Band