INTERVIEW

Sam E Danger (AKA Sam E Slaughter) fills awkward silences with a drunken slurring, “I just want to forget the whole thing as soon as possible,” he summarises.

“Sam E Danger (AKA Sam E Slaughter) fills awkward silences with a drunken slurring, “Err… I dunno” quickly followed with a short snigger. Not that we’re implying he’s under the influence at present of course, although his approaching confession of “constantly drinking” to get through playing ‘Boa Vs Python’ at live shows (a song that Danger describes as “gross” and “terrible”) does have us in doubts for a second or two. “I just want to forget the whole thing as soon as possible,” he summarises.

Between the umming and arring, one thing is clear: Test-Icicles (or Danger at least) hate everything. Forget the fact that their debut album, ‘For Screening Purposes Only’, has whipped up a shit storm of excitement for all of its metal/punk/emo/hip hop and dance sensibilities. Travelling the world is considered a chore; being London’s hottest band is a burden; and having a fan base of over 33,000 on myspace alone doesn’t even manage to raise a smile. Danger just isn’t impressed by any of it. If he had it his way, things would be very different. “We never intended to last for more than two weeks, so it’s been kind of annoying and frustrating that it’s going on for so long,” hints the man behind Test-Icicles’ harsh tasty beats at killing off his band sooner, rather than later. But surely that can’t happen. Everyone loves Test-Icicles, and for good reason.

Drummerless, Danger, Devmetal and Rory have produced a unique sounding record. You can try high kicking it into a pigeonhole or battering it in with a mallet but the band describe their sound best with a single word – “fun”. And whether as “meaningless on the whole” as Danger puts it or not, ‘fun’ is pretty damn accurate.

Their skate park hardcore, meets dancefloor head banging translates best on a live stage; all three members crashing into each other and severely straining their vocal chords with wild primal screams of rage. It sounds like fun and looks like fun. But guess what? Apparently it’s not fun at all.

Perhaps it’s because the band are simply fed up of playing their record night after night? Danger in particular is known for soon tiring of his own material. “Yeah, I’m sick of the record,” he says. “It started to kind of thaw out for us about six months before it was released.” So why not write a new record then? “Never,” replies Danger, frankly. Never? “Ever!”

If he’s being honest, Test-Icicles would be sorely missed from the live circuit and undoubtedly myspacers would have a national mourning for the passing of their favourite band. But it’s hard to figure out if Danger is telling the truth of wanting Test-Icicles to split or playing the whole ‘I’m cool cos I don’t give a shit’ card. Ultimately, it’s irrelevant because from his slurred speech, to his nonchalant attitude, via his kicked up Vans and back again, Sam E Danger is cooler than Danny Zuko in the Arctic, as are his band mates – the lively and approachable Devmetal and the relaxed and mature Rory.
It’s all part of the Test-Icicles appeal: art school drop out chic, mixed with street graffiti whiz kids covered in spray paint and sketching doodles wherever they can. Creating everything from their artwork (Rory designs all of the band’s record sleeves and T-shirts) to their music, Test-Icicles seem to ooze a creativity that argues that they’re too productive to give it all up now, even if they do want to. But we’re still struggling to find anything that Danger savours from life in the band.

Fresh from a show in Japan, we turn the attention to that free jolly on Domino Records’ expense account. “I really hated it,” dismisses Danger once more. “I was ill and I still haven’t recovered from the jet lag. I wish I didn’t have to go but it’s a job I guess. It was really shit for me but the other guys probably liked it.”

Now back in the UK and about to embark their biggest headlining tour to date, Test-Icicles plan to end up with a show at South By South West in Austin, Texas, the biggest industry showcase of the music calendar and more often than not the place where US careers are either made or broken. Not that we expect Test-Icicles to feel the pressure. To them it’s just another show; another day at the office, presuming that they’re still making it into the office by then.

It’s a miracle that all three Test-Icicles found each other to form a band in the first place. Rory may well hale from High Wycombe but both Devmetal and Danger headed to London from stateside (the former from Texas via Edinburgh and the latter from Miami via Australia and New York). Danger started rapping when he was just 7 and Devmetal spent his early years covering Smashing Pumpkins songs in a band called Gel. But that was before the sound of Slipknot changed his life forever.
Dev now has a side project he’s working on called ‘Devonte’ whilst Rory has gone one better than his band mate, forming an outfit called ‘Dodger’ and also joining a fifteen strong all male choir, which he assures is “gonna happen.”

Still, it’s hard to believe that members of ‘Devonte’, ‘Dodger’ or even a choir of fifteen will contain three individuals as complementary to each other as Test-Icicles – a trio brought together through their joint love of American underground noise and their joint hatred of countless other records.

“I kidda like ‘Catch It,'” answers Sam in response to us asking him to choose a favourite track of his to play live. Sure, it’s voiced in his customary blas√© drawl and we’re still far from any gushing sentiment of enthusiasm but ‘kinda’ is going to have to do for now.

Test-Icicles are off to the first stop on the UK leg of their tour, in Brighton (which we cant decide is better or worse than Tokyo until Danger informs us it’s “good, but cold.”).

And so, we’re left with but one question, a question that we think we know the answer to already. But through gritted teeth we ask anyway… What’s next for Test-Icicles? “We’re going to do the tour here in February and then we’re going to America in March and then we’re going to finish off that tour with the show at South By South West and then that’s it. Hopefully nothing after that.”

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