Cocksure brings the classic Wax Trax! sound barreling into the present
By Bob Gourley | Published on August 1, 2014
Cocksure is a not direct continuation of Revolting Cocks, but is without a doubt a spiritual successor to that project. A team-up of Chris Connelly (of Revolting Cocks and many, many other projects) and Jason C. Novak (DJ? Acucrack / Acumen Nation), Cocksure brings the classic Wax Trax! sound barreling into the present. It combines the humor and intensity of Revolting Cocks with updated ideas and technology. Cocksure recently released their first full-length album, “TVMALSV,” on Metropolis Records. The following is an email interview with Connelly.
How did you and Jason C. Novak initially come to work together?
Chris Connelly: Jason and I have known each other for a long time, have moved within the same musical circles, but it was not until the WaxTrax! Retrospectacle in 2011 that we started working together. Jason helped put together a lot of the tech side of the reformed Revolting Cocks project for those two shows. It was actually Jamie Duffy (r.i.p.) who masterminded and engineered the whole thing – me, Paul & Luc just sort of showed up and ham-fisted our way through a few of the old anthems.
Did the two of you have a strong idea for Cocksure before you started working on music, or did the concept develop as your collaborated?
Chris Connelly: I think so, yes. As you know, I collaborate a lot, and I only collaborate if the project has a strong identity of its own. I didn’t want to do another “sort of” Cocks reunion. Those days are past and although there is a certain excitement in looking back, it’s nothing I want to base a musical career on… Jason loves the old classic “WaxTrax!” sound, but it needs a shot of steroids. It needs to get addicted to drugs that were not around in 1987. It needs to suck on the internet nipple for a while. We wanted to do something new and vital that had its roots in what we did before.
Could you describe creative / collaborative process between the two of you?
Chris Connelly: Yes, Jason does not live far from me. He generates these amazing scary soundscapes and rhythms, and I write words on top of them. I might record myself here at home, but then I will go over to his and we’ll record… I don’t write with him. He don’t write with me. We are not in the same room. I usually write my lyrics on the subway late at night, eavesdropping on other peoples’ lives….
Are there any particular ways that you feel the Cocksure sound evolved from your initial work together to what we hear on on the final “TVMALSV” album.
Chris Connelly: I don’t know if ‘evolve’ is a good word… ‘regress’, maybe? I am definitely not a nurturing environment. Evolve suggests hope and growth. I hate that shit.
What was the time frame of making the album? Were you both involved with other projects at the time, or did you block out time to focus on it 100%?
Chris Connelly: We are both very busy people. At the time, I was writing several different things, as well as playing gigs. I used to be able to focus 100% on the task or project at hand. But now my time will not allow it, and I find that boring anyway. I go through so many vivid moodswings in the space of one day, I can’t remember which Chris I am much of the time. The channel is always changing, and that’s probably best for everyone.
For you personally, what appealed to you most about revisiting the style of music?
Chris Connelly: I think finally being able to execute it on my own terms. I was quite young when I first started doing this. So now that I am older, much more broken, irate, careless, selfish, cutthroat, and I don’t really care what anyone thinks (if I listen to them), I can relax and reeeally get in touch with the REAL Chris. Plus, I think that the old sound-again-needed upgrading, etc.
You’d reunited with some Revolting Cocks members for the “Wax Trax! Records Retrospectacle: 33 1/3 Year Anniversary” concert. I know that Richard 23 appears on a Cocksure track – did you consider bringing any other Revolting Cocks members on board with this new project?
Chris Connelly: No, it felt right to ask Richard, and who knows about the future, but this is me and jason’s first record together. We like it this way.
Was there any hesitation about using the name Cocksure, given that it obviously references Revolting Cocks? Do you worry about people making comparisons, or being upset that particular Revolting Cocks members are not a part of it?
Chris Connelly: I don’t care what people think. That’s fine. Bands pander far too much to audiences these days. They can suck it.
There’s a quote from Jason saying that the intent was to make it sound like you both “woke up from a 20 year coma and walked right into a new studio.” If that were actually the case, what do you think the biggest surprises would have been? What changes would have the biggest impact on your creative process and sound?
Chris Connelly: That’s a Jason question, for sure. Studios bored the tits off me 20 years ago, and they bore the tits off me now.
Do you see Cocksure as a side-project, or something that will be a major focus in the foreseeable future?
Chris Connelly: We are having a lot of fun with it. Unless we injure ourselves badly, I see no reason why we shouldn’t proceed.
What is the live line-up? Do you perform any Revolting Cocks material?
Chris Connelly: The live lineup is me and Jason, just like the albums. As far as playing Revolting Cocks material, maybe a little, it could be fun.
How did you feel about opening for Front 242?
Chris Connelly: We were, of course, very excited.
You’re about to re-issue “Concrete, Bulletproof, Invisible, and Fried: My Life As A Revolting Cock” – what was the motivation behind doing that now? How will the new edition differ?
Chris Connelly: Well, it’s been out of print, and I get asked about it a lot. That’s the motivation – supply & demand. There are more pictures, a couple of more stories, a new forward, new cover and there is an AUDIO version, read by me.
For more info on Cocksure, visit: http://www.cocksurenoise.com/
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