Sorry for not posting anything sooner, but things have been very hectic here at GBM’s world headquarters with numerous projects, orgies and debauchery, but here we go again with a very special treat.
I would like to dedicate this post to our friend Behjan Mirhadi, who died December 8 2010. May he be remembered.
What happened to Steve Warrior, a.k.a. Savage Damage, a.k.a. Urs Sprenger after he got fired from HELLHAMMER in 1983?
In “Only Death is real”, Steve says that he understood the sack: “I should have never tried to be a musician. I simply don’t have the the ear for playing music. It was okay for me as long as Tom showed me how to play a song. (…) It was pointless for me to try to be a bassist. This is also the reason why I didn’t play bass anymore after Hellhammer. I didn’t possess the necessary musiciality. I simply don’t hear it. What are you going to do?”
Fact is: Steve did not hang up the bass, as he seems to remember. Having been the chaotic force in Hellhammer, he couldn’t just walk away without leaving another trace, however small it may be. In 1984, he formed a fun project called KOTSEN (the name derives from the german verb “kotzen” which means “vomiting”). Two demos (“Sick and crazy” and this one here), a couple of ironic promo photos (mostly taken in some dump in the middle of nowhere), two or three flyers and a poster – that was all KOTSEN ever produced and all of it is nearly impossible to find nowadays. When recently, I tried to dig up the stuff in my personal archives, all I could find was the one flyer pictured here – everything else is gone with the wind, including the two tapes (so thank you Selwyn for lending me your tape – which in fact is my old copy that I sold over 20 years ago). Did Steve or did he not have the ear, as he said? Judge for yourself – the BEATLES cover alone is priceless.
I was quite irritated when I received the demo from Steve (Urs), from what I remember. On the one hand, it was obviously coming from him, on the other hand he insisted on KOTSEN being a band from Iceland and he was only the manager. One short glimpse on the cover artwork and you’ll immediately recognize the graphic references to the two Hellhammer demos – and of course, you’ll immediately discern Steve’s voice.
Barbaric noise, that was what Steve always had in mind back in the Hellhammer days already. He was the “punk” in the band and was obsessed with Hardcore bands like Terveet KÃ¤det, Rattus, Varaus or Discharge and the likes. Tom, being the undisputed chief in Hellhammer, never was too fond of Punk (although he keeps suggesting differently since the boundaries between Punk and Metal have become very porous in the early 80’s music explosions aftermath). However, the more Hellhammer took shape, the deeper the alienation between Steve and the rest of the gang grew, until he got fired. So in the maybe only ever printed KOTSEN interview in Germany’s crucial Â«BattlefieldÂ» fanzine (the unreleased first version of my own fanzine, Â«MegawimpÂ», featured the band too, incl. the aforementioned photos and all, but I currently can’t find the artwork masters in my basement), Steve makes clear that the band has nothing to do with Metal – “we don’t play Metal, we play Hardcore or Chaos Punk!”.
Anyway, for the first time ever, you’ll be able to download the only “official” KOTSEN demo tape and eventually even hear of this band at all. Enjoy – if you can.