In 1986, à;GRUMH… toured with Skinny Puppy all over Europe. cEVIN Key, Dwayne and Ogre and us rapidly became good friends due to the promiscuity in our touring van, sound check and… smoking 🙂
When we were driving on the roads of Europe, we played lots of silly games. One of them was the Fart Game. Everybody in the crowded van would fart as bad as they could, and whoever opened a window lost the game. S3 used to create these huge noisy farts of several liters of methane, but not smelling that bad. The winner in that game was always Dwayne. His thing white body produced small farts but of deadly capacity. We usually ALL lost to him as it was impossible to breathe after he had emitted his dethly gasses. We espescially enjoyed this game in Germany, since the highway exits say “AUSFAHRT” which to us sounded a lot like “Out farts” ands triggered the game, or a groupe shouting of “Ausfahrt, Ausfhart, Lekken meine Scheisse”. LOL.
Another habit of ours was to stop at rest areas to take gas, and also fill up with “disgusting food things”, either junk food like pre-packed sandwiches tasting like modelling paste, or chips, banana’s, chocolate, biscuits etc… The habit was called “Chudding” from the movie C.H.U.D. where some monster was living in the sewers of the city. The food we bought being, basically, shit, it was assimilated to shit, ergo sewers, ergo CHUDS – Rot and Assimilate. So each time we stopped at a gas station we yelled “CHUDS” and went raiding the shop for horrible things to nibble on.
Another game we played was NOT to throw our trash anymore but dump it on the floor of the van on purpose, like an ART statement. Trash, papers, wrapping, banana peals, etc, started to pile up to a level of 50cm or more, and was “naturally” flowing out of the van when the doors were opened. We considered the waste as an entity, a growing organism able to reproduce and grow based on the “food” we were prodiving to it. That experiment stopped after 5 days as LIO said it was smelling horribly and he kicked everybody out of the van to clean it and forbid us from starting another bash. 🙁
After the tour was over, we had three days off in Brussels before Skinny Puppy had to fly home to Canada, and we decided we should get into a studio and try to improvize something. We got to Paul Delnoy’s studio one full day, and cEVIN and S3 started improvising basic tracks and came up with one long industrial song. cEVIN basically played the drum machine, and then was spending more time on the phone than focused on the project, so it really ended up more a S3 project with cEVIN and the singers, than a real combination of the entire two bands. After the track was completed, J3 and Ogre improvised some vocals on it. But J3 had got a big cold and was coughing a lot. Dave Ogilvie and Didier Moens were helping Paul Delnoy at the mixing desk.
During the mix, we took off most of J3’s coughing to mix SILENT SORROW that turned out as being the A-Side of the EP, and then, since we saw we wouldn’t have enough time to compose another song and everybody was tired, we just made another mix WITH the coughs and mixed PATIENT SORROW that ended up as the B-Side. The records was released as A CHUD CONVENTION on PIAS/à;GRUMH…’s “Circle Records” label. It sold very minimal at first, but later became a totally cult record. It is revered until now as a very rare piece of industrial music.
This reminds me of an episode from a cartoon called Cowboy Bebop, where their spaceship came under attack from an unknown life force.. (it was later discovered that the ‘alien’ being actually was a leftover meal that sat in the refrigerator for too long)..
…glad your van’s ‘trash bash’ was contained before anyone got hurt 🙂
ps ‘AUSFAHRT’ = lol !! …If you turn the heat on full blast with the windows up, it adds another level of gross haha
Thanks for sharing this story!
Merci beaucoup d’avoir partagé ces quelques petits moments plus ou moins “glorieux” d’une époque considérée comme “magique” parmit ceux qui ont pû en entendre les “résidus”…
I used to be a big SP fan as well as a “moderate” fan of à;GRUMH… (I say moderate because I never went to see your Montréal show; the rumours and stories were slightly horrifying!) and recall being frustrated at not being able to buy the “A CHUD CONVENTION” record once it sold out at Dutchy’s Record Cave (great underground/alternative shop in Montréal, now long time RIP) – it sold for $20 and once it was gone, it was GONE.
Luckily a friend had a copy of the record and managed to find a second copy in better condition and I was able to purchase the first used copy off of her. It has been in my most precious vinym record collection ever since (due to it being quite rare).
Thanks for the story surrounding the project and de-mystifying the obscurity surrounding its origins! Cheers to you!