The Locust’s Gabe Serbian vs noisecore master Otto Von Schirach

By on 29 April 2010

Gabe Serbian - The Locust


Gabe Serbian is arguably one of the best drummers in the world. I know this for a fact as I watched him drum live to the crazy electronic headfuck symphonies of noisecore master Otto Von Schirach. Gabe Serbian is also a really safe guy. I know this, as I met him.

Monday night’s gig at grotty Elephant and Castle rave-hole Corsica Studios was quite simply, brilliant. A big fan of anything so obnoxiously noisy people recoil at the sound, I was truly in heaven seeing a member of San Diego grindcore outfit The Locust sharing stage space with a man I consider to be a total genius – anyone who makes songs called ‘Frog Gingivitis’ or ‘Anal Spaghetti’ or ‘Teabagging The Dead’ deserves to be lavished with praise. It’s worth noting though that whilst the titles are funny, the tracks themselves are no laughing matter.

On the surface, it might seem a bit odd that these two would be aural allies, but Von Schirach’s off key sounds have previously attracted the professional interest of both Mike Patton and Skinny Puppy: Patton produced the album ‘Maxipad Detention’, and 2003 saw Von Schirach working on the Skinny Puppy album ‘The Greater Wrong of the Right’, as well as open their 57-date US tour.

Sitting upstairs in the draughty rafters of the venue, the creepy insect-a-like mask is off and a charming and amiable human is revealed. “This is our second show, and this is the thing that’s driving me crazy, as we never rehearse anything, we just kind of go for it!” Gabe laughs.

But surely that kind of makes it better? “I don’t know,” he continues. “I don’t know how to figure it out. Especially as tonight he played three songs I’d never even heard before!”

The two musicians’ paths crossed a few years ago, their friendship cemented the good old fashioned way – in the back of a van on a roadtrip. “I think it might have been ’08, we met Otto for the first time. We were touring and he was jumping in our van with us and travelling,” he explains. “We instantly all became really good friends, it was the perfect dynamic. Y’know, Otto’s totally, like, crazy and it just worked out great with my crazy bunch of friends.”

That they started playing together was a spontaneous thing, almost, you get the impression, as spontaneous as their show that night, and most probably their debut outing just days before. “Otto played before us, and I’d always have my drums set up. After a few shows we started to play together and it was great, really crazy and loose, and that’s how we started doing it,” he says. “Then a few months back, he asked me if I’d want to come out here [to Europe] and tour with him, and I was like ‘Fuck yeah!'”

Their European tour takes in several more UK cities before heading to the ‘mainland’ where they’ll thrill audiences in Belgium, Holland and France. Of course, it all began at Bang Face – a weekend of gabber, breakcore and general rave shenanigans and weirdness at a Pontins holiday camp on the south coast. The theme this year was Juracid Park and people were encouraged to dress like cavemen and dinosaurs.

“I’ve been to raves in San Diego, where I’m from, but it was my first time to Bang Face,” he says, looking quietly stunned. “I’ve been there [Camber Sands] for ATP, but being there for Bang Face… that was the complete other side of the spectrum!”


About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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