|[The Ausgang Story]
We were all of the right kind of age when punk rock fouled Britain's streets. After relying on the semi-fantasy world of glam during the early/mid '70s to relieve the boredom of real life, what better way for a 16 year ooldto vent his spleen in '76 than jumping around in stinking, darkened clubs to snotty, cocky bands playing variations of the stripped-down, 3 chord anthems previously only heard in the 'States? It was a revelation. And, to compound a cliche, I used to look at those bands and think, "I could do that!"
So that I did. As did the other membersof Ausgang in their own punky, proto-Ausgang outfits. Mine was The Solicitors, a shouty, tuneless, ramshackle affair that nonetheless made me a 'local hero' and opened a few night club doors where I ended up DJing on 'alternative' nights. This led to putting on local bands, one of which featured this magnificent bass player who I swiftly nicked and christened 'Cub'. We advertised and roped in a posh geezer, Matthew, who being classically trained could play anything that made a sound - including guitar. 'Mystery' man and Zappa lookalike, Trynitron, strolled in with a drumkit and a car, Jowan provided backing vocals and Wilz a plastic piece of shit laughingly called a 'keyboard. This was Kabuki, a pretentious, arty troupe that set the scene for what was to become Ausgang.
In '82 we ditched the art, the backing vocals, the synth and the drummer (but got a new one, Ian) and got back to basics, ie, a post-punk, pre-goth, Stooges/Birthday Party-like nightmare which fused drugs, sex, motorcycles and twisted rock'n'roll in equal measures. It was only after we made this move that we realised there were other outfits operating in a similar vein - Sex Gang Children, Alien Sex Fiend, Skeletal Family, Gene Loves Jezebel, Specimen, etc. We were not alone. And what with live shows that teetered on violence and madness, a porn-infested fanzine and a dedicated, rabid following, who could ignore our dark potential?
Certainly not Criminal Damage records, who, after being tipped off by staunch Ausgang supporter and journo, Mick Mercer, signed us up and we were on our way, recording and releasing two 12" and a 7" masterpieces of rumbling, dischordant, grotesque noise. It was at this point Cub decided enough was enough and quit. Enter Stu. And waiting to take the band a step further into the 'mainstream' (ha, ha!), was FM records, previously known for dodgy heavy metal acts. Despite a glorious 12" and mighty debut album, it became obvious that the company hadn't a clue how to market the likes of us. The only people who did, it seemed, was us. So we struck out on our own, forming our own label, Shakedown, and releasing a 12" and mini-album. What we didn't have, of course, was cash. And although we were playing gigs to half-decent crowds, we just couldn't afford to continue. The end was nigh. We decided to go out with a bang rather than a whimper and slaughtered the vile beast ourselves, rather than let anyone else weild the axe.
And that was it.
Or so we thought.
Many years passed. We all kinda lost touch. In 2001 Cherry Red asked to do a 'Best Of...' compilation which was flattering and seemed harmless enough a project. In 2003 a German promoter got in touch to ask us to do a reunion gig. I arrogantly said no way without consulting any of the others. Then in September of that year, Stu got in touch outta the blue to announce his 40th was looming and wouldn't it be a gas if we played at his bash! Well, yeah, that WOULD be kinda cool. But what about Ian, who'd since gone awol? No problem, said Stu, he knows this whiz drummer Joel, who'll stand in...
And so it came to pass that the night before Stu's party, Matthew, Stu, Joel & I rehearse for the 1st time in 20 years and we were... BRILLIANT! The show itself was small, but perfectly formed. We were heroes all over again and we all got laid - by our girlfriends/wives who were now looking at us with new eyes...
I mentioned the German connection and everybody kicked my ass and told me to sort it out. So it was that we played the Undercover Of Darkness festival in Munster (now with new skinsman, Josh) and went down a storm. And from THAT we were asked to play 3 shows in NYC as part of the Drop Dead Festival - we seriously kicked some ass in all 4 shows. And from THAT, well, the story continues - gigs, new songs, recordings, etc.
Looks like we're back in the game. So, lock up yer daughters, etc, etc, 'cause Ausgang are growling back into your consciousness. Sure, we're 40-somethings (apart from Josh), but boy, do we mean business. Grrrrrrrrrr......