SMUT

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SMUT
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SMUT at Thistle hall
Background information
Also known as Sexual Mutants Under Tension
Origin Screaming Asylum
Years active 1990-1997 ?
Associated acts Septic Noise Grinder, Loosehead, Diecast, Schitzofrantics, Carnage, Devoid
Past members Simone (vocals), Richard (1st vocalist), Eli (guitar), Zane (1st bass), Kieren (2nd bass), Chaps (drums), Nathan (2nd drummer), Dave Workman (vocals?), Claire (1st vocalist)

History

Wellington hardcore punks SMUT emerged from the Screaming Asylum in 1990 quickly establishing themselves as a important band in the Wellington scene for much of this decade. Like Compos Mentis a generation earlier SMUT's early line-up featured male/ female dual vocalists originally with Richard and Claire plus a number of other women singers before Simone joined. This early version of SMUT had nothing overtly political in its lyrical content, being heavily influenced by bands such as GBH. SMUT eventually settled on Simone as sole lead vocalist and around this period the music became progressively more politicised/ social commentary based with band members active in the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection movement of the 1990s.

“Simone once got shitty at me for describing SMUT as a political punk band. “We weren't - we were a thoughtful band” she said. There were politics there but it was mostly about how people relate to each other and based on what Simone saw around her. They were issues about women (Competition Element), violence (Smash), excessive drug use (Was It Good For You) and others. Later on we had songs like Rons The Con (about the golden arches) but it was all very personal and taken from Simone's perspective.” (Kieren)
“There was a lot of politics in the punk scene particularly around the NZAVS theme and it seemed to me to be a warm, open, welcoming scene where there were always things to get involved in if you wanted to. There were frictions and problems between different groups of people as there always is but on the whole the scene was great.” (Kieren)

SMUT packed a lot of recordings and gigs into their time releasing the frenetically powerful album, Tunnel Vision, in their first year followed by The Eye Tape (1992) and Liquid Lunch (1993).

“The Eye tape was recorded at a place in Palmerston North. We spent a weekend up there and put, for us, a lot of time into it. However from the result it is kind of hard to tell. The sound quality is not great, at all.” (Kieren)

Throughout the 1990s SMUT collaborated with three Wellington artists, Rufus Dayglo and Simon Morse and Affy Rapata and their distinctive artwork features prominently in posters and album art from this time. In 1993 SMUT released a three song tape, Liquid Lunch, with an accompanying comic zine by the Rufus and Simon. Rufus currently works as an illustrator (Tank Girl and others) in London, while Simon Morse has opened tattoo studio Dr Morse Inc. in Wellington and also continues to work extensively in other forms of illustration.

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1991 poster by Rufus Dayglo

In 1993 SMUT moved to Australia. “We got a new drummer, Nathan, and started again. We played a lot of the old songs off the first tapes and wrote a whole lot more. We played a lot, toured quite a bit and recorded a couple of times with most of our shows in Sydney and Melbourne.” (Kieren)

SMUT returned to New Zealand in 1997 for the Better Off Dead national tour with Melbourne band H-Block. This was to be their last tour. (?)

“Eventually the band split between those two cities with Nathan and me living in Sydney, and Simone and Eli living in Melbourne. We still got together and played but of course after a while it stopped. To be honest I am not entirely sure when we stopped or what was the final straw kind of thing but there was never any hard feelings at all, it was just time.” (Kieren)

Kieren went on to play in Oppressed Earth with Chris from Septic Noise Grinder, and Bastardos, both in Australia before moving to Germany and playing with hardcore band Murder Disco. On his return to Australia he joined crust punk outfit Vae Victis before forming and playing guitar in None Remain. He currently plays bass in Sydney based alt rock super group Black Breaks

Audio

SMUT: 1.Competition Element, 2.Was It Good For You? from Poison Profits compilation 1993.

Recordings

Images

Videos

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