BIO

(Rob Stangle thinks speaking in third person is something that should be reserved for the pompous or The Incredible Hulk. As such, that common practice found in most bios, will be abandoned.)


How To Avoid Art is a string of words that doesn’t really make sense, but “How To Avoid Art” lacks punctuation, and as such, the insertion of a comma, question mark, or colon changes the meaning completely. Originally intended as self-deprecating humor, it now yields a fuller meaning: there is no way to avoid art - it's all around us. Created things point to a creator the same way that design implies a designer. Art is completely unavoidable, but is can also be found through abstraction and dissonance (as found in the music).
From supporting World Vision to time spent behind the scenes, people are the end goal.  Music can occasionally touch people in a way that words reach for. Lives matter and How To Avoid Art is stationed to reach the people that may have been overlooked. If a deep theological concept is heard from a pulpit, that's great. If the same concept can be heard by people not in that setting, but in one almost hostile to it (through a familiar medium), even better. That's the sole intention, but to do so artfully.


INTERVIEWS


Audio
Live on Crosswalk (WTHU)
(MP3 download)
"A Night With How To Avoid Art"
Live on Remnant X Radio

(MP3 download)
"Revolution - Indie Industrial With Special Guest How To Avoid Art"
Live on Remnant X Radio
(MP3 download)
Museboat Show Answers
(MP3 download)
Diane Fasching (Fasching Radio) SPECIAL
(Skype interview with French translations intermixed between songs)
(MP3 download)

 




ROBEX LUNDREN INTERVIEW


What´s the name of your band?
How To Avoid Art

How was the band formed?
Equipment started piling up and it seemed to  be silly not to use it.

Can you tell about your band?
It's a blend of thrash/punk and electronic as well as other elements thrown in as necessary. I wanted to merge Kraftwerk and Metallica in the 80s  and this an outworking of that thinking.

Where are all band members from?/Who does what in the band?
All band members (past and present) came directly from their mothers (with the help of their fathers).
Rob Stangle (who is writing this, so "I" will replace third-person locutions as they seem so pompous) is an engineer from Maryland (USA). I also do everything else...percussion, guitars, vox, etc.

Dave Ward was the initial guitarist and we went to the same high school.

What was the ambitions of the band when you started?
Put orthodox Christian theology in an non-orthodox package and present it as it might appeal to those in the shadows.

Could you explain your music to someone that haven't heard you?
There's a quick way and a long way. The quick way to to ask "Are you familiar with The Carpenters?" (nearly everyone will say "yes"), to which the response is "Well, it's nothing like that."  

The words "electronic", "industrial", and "metal" all conjure up different meanings for different people. One person's "metal" might be Bon Jovi and another's might be Slayer. You need the person's point of reference and from there you build a model.
From what others have said, my sound is  "metal, gothic, dark, intense, EBM/EDM". All of which I agree with in part.



Where was your first gig?
Some medical/science facility. I distinctly remember seeing framed pictures of illuminated insides (stomachs, colons, etc.) along the walls in the hallways.

Where was the latest gig?
There hasn't been one. The band is solely now one engineer (not a DJ), so shows are not happening.

Who writes your songs?/ who writes the music who writes lyrics?
I do both.

Who has the best since of humor in the band?
That would be Doug. Doug does not even exist...but if he did, I'm sure I'd be laughing at him.

What's good/bad with the band?/What genre do you feel you are?
The good is creative use of found sounds and processing, the bad is spending too much time doing that.
I refer to the genre as "industrial" to those in the know, but "electronic" to everyone else.

Why did you pick that particular style?/What are your songs about?
It's what I could do and it's where all my loves meet: I can merge Zulu chanting, an orchestra, thrash guitars, and an arpeggiated bassline against a backdrop of machine-like percussion....and change the hue as it were to fit the song's content.
My songs are about and come from Christian worldview. Some lyrics are lifted entirely from the Bible ("Monk Q", "Sons Of Hell"), while others expound upon certain sections ("Repaid").

Do you write your own material or mainly covers?
Solely my own work. I might cover one of the Greats one day...that would be Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi...something along those lines.

Have you made any albums?/If yes what are they?
Currently working on a full album (in the mixing stage). I've remixed several artists and had my own worked remixed. The EP of remixes is called "Diverging From What Was Written (The Sons Of Hell Remixes)".

Do you have any clips on YouTube?

No.

How old are you?/What got you started in music?
Currently, I'm a day older than I was yesterday. I got started a long time ago, but only recently truly engaged with it. Video games and collecting action figures have always been more fun.

At what age did you start playing?
I got a Casio keyboard in the 8th grade and played with it as one would a toy. To this day, I'm not very good at playing any instrument. In this sense, I don't "practice" music, nor have I ever.

How old were you guys when you first stood on stage?

Early to mid-20s.

What year was the band started?

2005.

Best/worst gig you've played?

The first and last, since both are the same event.

What places will you be playing in in the immediate future?

There are none.

Which band is the best you've seen?
Possibly Kraftwerk. True pioneers in nearly every sense of the word.

What are the plans for the rest of the year?

Complete my album and do freelance engineering.

What are your goals with your music?
I want to "put a stone in someone's shoe." That is to say, I want to give people something to think about...whether it be challenging, convicting, or uplifting. I'd also like to do this is a non-conventional way.

When did you decide to go all in for the music?
When I retired from being a cellular/telecom tech.

Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern?
I don't actively listen to music. What I find appealing is Classical and early Big Band. When forced into a situation where I cannot play my iPod, I find a station that plays one of these. Pop music typically irritates me.

What are your sources of inspiration?
The Bible, movies, theologians/philosophers (Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, Greg Koukl), and conversations with people.

What's the first step when making a new song?
It depends. In the past, it was always randomly hitting keys into a step sequencer until a bassline is formed. Sometimes it's finding a cool beat with whatever percussion I happen to be pounding sticks on, and other times, it's a riff on a guitar, and sometimes it's an interesting combination or sequence of keys I accidentally played.

How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums?
I like the physical product, but storage space is an issue. When I download an album, I've bought the whole thing...and I typically listen to the whole album from start to finish.
What do I feel about downloading music illegally? Anyone who has a job would feel upset if their paycheck went to someone else instead of themselves for the work they've done. Pay for what you have. I don't endorse stealing at all.

What would be your dreams for the band?
Affect a people's thinking.

Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to?
There isn't anything I dislike. I can only take Drone, R&B, Gospel, and House music and in small doses.

Here are some of my favorite bands: (early) U2, Xymox, Juluka/Johnny Clegg, The Art of Noise, The Smiths, Mind.In.A.Box, The Police, Controlled Bleeding, Celtic Frost, Kraftwerk, The Misfits, RUN DMC, Fear, Front 242, Madness, Outer Circle, Pop Will Eat Itself, The Psychedelic Furs, Qntal, RatherBros', Stan Ridgway, The Sisters Of Mercy, Steely Dan, Sting, Type O Negative, Antonio Vivaldi, Dead Can Dance, Celldweller, and Warrior Soul.

What do you hold most dear?
My God and my redeemer, Jesus Christ. Next in line would be my wife.

What would be your greatest fears for the future?
I tried to think of some, but I don't have any.

What songs and what years were they released?
The full album might be called "How to Avoid Art And The Past All Together" , which should be released in 2015. The EP, mentioned earlier, was released in 2014, but not commercially yet.

Have you been part of any other projects?
Yes. Masked Pain (current member), and Sublevel Sieben (current member), I've also worked with Charis, Greg Kneller, Modern Ruins, Four On The Floor, and...oh, I nearly forgot this: The Rob Stangle Show - a syndicated one hour show playing independent artists worldwide. I do that each week.

Have you been in any other bands?
Yes, most went nowhere, but here's a list (as myspace still houses most of these projects):  Sublevel Sieben, Masked Pain, The Stangle Ward, The Forgotten Girls, A Long Time Ago,  Align to Omega (which is an anagram of "A Long time Ago"), HoodZ Jones, The Doctors Of Destruction, and Joe Grambles' Searing Crotch Pain Orchestra...maybe others, but half of THESE weren't worth mentioning.

What do you work with outside of the band and the music?

I'm currently retired. I like illusions, effects, and street magic...so I work with playing cards. I love toys. I'll buy just about anything with the Alien from Toy Story, Ewoks, Ultraman, Boba Fett, and super robots (Mazinger Z, etc.). I ran a online toy store for 10 years in the 90s and still have a room full of stock - that was fun, but time consuming. I might go back to that if engineering doesn't take off.


What would you do if there was no music?

Make some.


How important are your fans?

I love people. They are of the utmost importance.


What's the funniest/most memorable thing a fan has done for you?

One person, Christina Edwards (an amazing person), was able to use my the How To Avoid Art logo shirt as a springboard for sharing the gospel with a stranger. Nothing can top that.


How often do you rehearse?

How often is never?


Name 2 of your own songs you like at the moment?

The remix of Joe Gilder's song "Better This Way (Romans 6:11 Mix)" and "Sons of Hell (Blind Guides Remix)".


What do you feel is the best live band you've seen?

The Ramones.


What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing?

Misplaced hope and/or credulity.
 I have always had other sources of income, and music is nothing to bank on. Those that put all their time and and trust in making music for a living are facing a high probability of disappointment.
Personally, money would be nice, but people are far more important to me. Dr. Norm Geisler wrote in one of his books about a hierarchy: God above people and people above things. With money being a thing, it's very low on my list.
 
Do you have any webpages?
http://www.howtoavoidart.com/
https://www.facebook.com/howtoavoidart
https://twitter.com/howtoavoidart
http://www.reverbnation.com/howtoavoidart/
https://soundcloud.com/how-to-avoid-art/
https://myspace.com/howtoavoidart

There are other pages out there which a quick google.com search will reveal.

Any pearls of wisdom for all other bands out there?

Learn to mix properly. Recordingrevolution.com and other places like this offer great tutorials.

Describe your show, visually and musically.

There are no live shows and "nothing" has no properties.

How do you view the music industry of today?

I don't pay attention to it, so I have no idea.

What advice would you like to give other bands?

Practice duality: pursue your passion, but maintain a job to pay the bills. Banking on counterfactuals like "getting signed" or "hitting it big" is foolish.

What are the biggest obstacles for a band?

Giant robots. It seems no one can defeat them. (This works on several levels.)

What is best/worst with playing the clubs?

Clubs, like most weapons, are very difficult to keep in tune. Therefore, I don't play clubs.  :)

How would you describe your sound in one sentence

Different.

What is your favorite crappy instrument?

A water tank. In my previous occupation, I had to go to a new job site nearly every day. Some of these locations were a Masonic temple, government buildings, places above and underground, and water tanks. Inside these massive metal structures are rich, natural, immense reverberations. I took recordings of anything being thrown, hit, and kicked and these sounds I used for drums, synths, and instances (such as transitions) in my work. I guess really, it was the unit I used which was designed for field recordings, because it was highly susceptible to handing noise.

What was one of the most quarrelsome times for you in the band?

When I work with other humans, and they don't understand the limits of technology.

Do you have anything to add?
Thanks for this opportunity!
I would encourage people to look into the Christian worldview. I have a background in apologetics and in my research,  the Christian worldview makes the most sense of the most data. All other religions are a system of "do this", "do that". Only in Christianity, is the work already done by Jesus on the cross. He death ensures eternal life for those that follow Him. Get a Bible and read John.


Print
SOB Magazine (link dead currently).
Real Sounds OK

 

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