(Sonny Mayo & Paul Fig)
When "We Have Come For Your Parents" hit Planet Earth a couple of months ago it signalled the death of Adidas Rock. Amen alongside producer Ross Robinson really set about ripping the corpse of Limp Bizkit well and truly apart. With an NME tour early in the New Year, Alex McCann caught up with Sonny Mayo and Paul Fig for a rare interview on their first British Tour. Read on about their hatred of America, censorship and the political system.
Q: The recent single "Price Of Reality". What's that specific song about?
Sonny: Its about an Abortion Holiday. There's all these holidays for Easter Bunnies and all these other things. In America they should have a holiday for Abortions, where everybody can have an abortion on one day. Take a day of work for it like Secretaries Day. Its basically citing all this crazy shit in America and saying "Is this really reality? Is this what were paying for with reality?"
Q: The album "We Have Come For Your Parents" attacks alot of the American societal problems. How do you feel when the parents attack the likes of Marilyn Manson and of yourselves about being the cause of the problems?
Sonny: Were pointing out that "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" was right - the parents are to blame. The parents in today's society put their kids in front of a television, video game or the internet to occupy their time - so that the parents can go off and do their selfish & greedy things because their going through a mid-life crisis.
They are realizing that what they were told as children, young adults and even as adults that what the "American Dream" was, is a lie and its not what's best for them as persons- it is what is best for the government and the consumerist frame of mind ...
Paul: ... Get a job, go to college, follow the machines and become part of the machinery. Get a credit card, run up you debts so you're forced to work for a living.
Sonny: The kids suffer from it because they don't have the real attention from their parents. They don't get communication from their parents to let them them know "that even though they feel they're different. They're not fucking freaks and socially inapt, they don't have to go and kill people"
Q: What was your background then?
Sonny: I have a great mother. My father and I didn't get along for many years because he didn't understand what I was doing, I didn't hold it against him I just didn't go round there anymore.
Paul: I had full blown alcoholic parents and there were times when my mum would flip my amp upside down trying to get me to stop playing to tend to her needs. From that I just became totally self sufficient, I didn't need to depend on them.
Q: Do you feel any affinity with acts like Marilyn Manson and Korn?
Sonny: In a way we speak alot about similar topics and stuff, but Marlin's more of a showman. Casey's fucked up!!! Everything you read in a magazine, everything that everyone thinks is an act is actually true - he cuts himself, he's an absolute psycho - its all true.
Its the general American lifestyle that pisses us off and living in Hollywood you get to see all the vampires - energy vampires that come there strictly to get fame, fortune and follow the American Dream. Were against all the things that people need to attain to feel complete - cars, having a good looking arm piece - its all bullshit!!!!
I just want to play for a long time and run the risk of getting a serious head injury on stage each night.
Q: You've talked about the freedom in Europe before. Don't you think its a case of the grass is greener?
Sonny: Maybe at first. But we had all these images from our video's and our records that were censored by America and Europe is like what? Look at Robbie William's the fucking fag, he's dancing around like Hellraiser. Europe is like "Little Girl with machine gun. So what!!!!!"
Maybe the English politicians are learning and are getting diseased by the same frame of mind the American politicians are - which is keep the status quo and return us to the 1950's. When the guys went to work in the morning his wife had coffee and breakfast ready for him and when he came come from work she had dinner waiting on the table for him. "Hi, I had a swell day honey!!!! How about you." "Oh! It was just swell honey" - Its just garbage, its a dream.
Q: You were recently in the Satanic issue of another publication. Do you think that's a bit of a Stereotype and do you think Amens lyrics are the closest thing kids have to religion today?
Sonny: They're taking a little shot at it. Were about 180 degrees away from Christianity, but were not Satanic - we don't actually worship Satan. I've done reading on Satan but we don't walk round going "Hail Satan"
Paul: I think this our lyrics and music is the closest thing to being real, as opposed to being something to cash in on. Definitely, you don't listen to that record and go "this could get played right after Limp Bizkit, right before Lincoln Park and were going to make millions" We just want to be brutally honest and they can appreciate the art in writing and in the music.
Sonny: Magic - black magic, white magic, whatever - the definition of magic is bringing about change and conformity with the will. So whatever you put out comes back three fold.
Q: Your known for the live shows. Is there a chance that somebody could die at one of these shows and could you live with yourself?
Paul: I feel for Pearl jam. They were shouting "get back, get back" and they wouldn't back up. The crazy thing is people can get lifted out of the pit, they've got to know their limits. I'm not going to jump into a super violent pit if I know I can't handle it and if I am getting my ass kicked I know I'm going to get out. I'm not going to be a retard and stay at the front barrier and get my lungs crushed just cos I want to see Pearl Jam.
Amens amusingly titled website:
Whores Of Hollywood