With the titular hero Ed Banger off somewhere in the universe pondering his next adventure it was a little tough to nail him down to answer a few questions. Instead we had to contact Christian ‘Indy’ Inderbitzin, himself a busy man, who sent us these on the fly.
Enjoy, and welcome to the beautifully strange world of Ed Banger And The Kardashits…
1) Ed Banger And The Kardashits are preparing to release your EP Crash And Burn later this month. What can you tell us about the EP musically?
G’day mate ! is that how we say? Ed Banger and the Kardashits is a new project. The idea was to bring together musicians from various local bands here in Geneva and start a punk rock project. Two, three-minute tracks, hardly any solos, just pure rock. As I started writing these songs in 2019, I still had no idea who was going to be in the band, all I knew was that they wouldn’t stick to my other band Rattlesnake. I played my demos to my bassist Bourreau, who advised me Seb for the vocals which has an exceptional voice, somewhere between Lemmy and Anselmo. Fred on drums was a pretty obvious choice and once all the members were found we just had to find time outside of our respective groups. But from then on everything went very quickly, we did our first rehearsal in July 2020 and we recorded in November of the same year in less than four days.
2) The EP tells the stories and adventures of Ed’s arrival on Earth in five separate songs. Has he come in peace or does he have an ulterior motive?
Funny question. You know Ed Banger is not a superhero, he’s more of a looser, a bit of a space pirate in his spare time, but certainly not a Guardian of the Galaxy. He hadn’t really planned on stopping on earth, he was running away from his planet because he was having trouble with his girlfriend and he had some trouble with the law. He thought the human being had destroyed the earth a long time ago and as he fell asleep at the controls he didn’t saw that the earth was still there. He tried to stop but it was too late. On Earth he realized that no one cared about him until a Kardashian took a selfie with him. So he is more one of us who enjoys drinking and sex, more than an enemy of mankind. Maybe later.
3) Run us through all five of the songs and what adventure they see Ed face.
The album consists of five tracks and six interludes. We start with Ed presenting the album from his ship and we get into Crash and Burn, a groovy and powerful track that tells about how Ed crashed into Earth. A little story with a New Yorker taxi driver brings us to The Day After, a faster track that sees Ed meet his first Earthlings. He realizes that most people are brainwashed with too much information and ultimately don’t care about anything. Then we arrive in the love moment of the album, we laughed so much with my friend doing the Hot passage with the song LSH (Love Sex Hate). Don’t take this piece too seriously, it’s just a fun thing with Ed recounting his desperation in love. I’m sure a lot of people will find themselves in there (laughs). An intro that tells the story of a Space Invaders character leads to Videogame Freak. Ed was so disappointed with his experience on earth that he locked himself in a virtual video game world. And as the situation does not improve, he ends up drinking way too much one night and Stone Cold Drunk recounts his difficult morning. The album ends with a somewhat Cartoon conclusion where Ed invites us to follow his next adventures.
4) Is this theme of alien exploration something that will continue after this EP?
Good question, I don’t know yet. Most of all, I want to do something that is fun for me and that I find motivating at the time. I’m going to keep the idea of a concept album anyway with interludes that tie the songs together. Ed Banger has a lot of potential as a character but I would like to evolve him outside of the usual sci-fi clichés. If he still has some interesting things to say, he’ll be there, otherwise I’ll use him differently.
5) Are all of the songs written from Ed’s perspective or some from the humans?
Yes, everything is written from Ed’s perspective. In fact, the EP is a radio show that Ed hosts from his ship. He tells different things between the songs and they represent the adventures he has had on Earth. I don’t think that changes much of what a human might feel under the same circumstances. I really wanted to avoid the clichés of an extraterrestrial on Earth, it is more an awareness of what humans and the Earth have to offer from the point of view of someone who has just arrived on Earth.
6) You will also be releasing a video game with the EP. Tell us about that.
As so often, the craziest ideas start around a table with a few empty beers on them. I have a friend, Giuseppe, who does programming. I told him about my concept for Eb Banger and asked him if it was possible to make a video game based on that. To my amazement, he said yes. To my knowledge, if you put rock band style aside, the only bands that have released a game are Kiss and Iron Maiden and it was not for their first album. So we talked and I thought he was going to develop a little shooter for mobile. He told me he could do a 3d FPS for me on PC. I was very surprised but being a fan of Doom, Quake, Half life or Duke Nukem at the time I was super excited at the idea. The game is called The Quest. We play the character of Ed Banger who searches for the best musicians in the world across time and other dimensions. He will have to capture Fred in a world of the Middle Ages, Seb in his Viking universe and Bourreau who is a butcher in area 69 of the Nevada desert. At the launching of the game, there will be these three levels and we will add later my level, very inspired by the 5th element and the level of Drop (guitarist of Samael and who recorded our EP) which will be in a universe of a black magician of sound. Giuseppe did a great job and we found a really fun way to bring Ed Banger’s music into the game, but that’s going to be a surprise for whom will play the game.
7) Will it be PG-rated or more something like R rating?
As the game is not distributed in stores but only on platforms like Steam (or as a direct download from our website), these ratings are less important. If it were up to me we would put everything in R rating to be able to say and create what we want in the game. There will always be haters who will reproach us that the game is not technical enough, or that this sentence shocked them etc…. Today’s video game world is very bizarre because all young kids play Fortnite, Call of Duty, those kind of games and I feel like parents are completely overwhelmed by giving their kids limits on the subject. As long as a kid knows an older friend, these rating stories are a bit of an illusion. We are releasing a fairly soft game in comparison, we kill monsters yes, but I wanted to keep a retro aspect. Nice textures, cool graphics, funny and sometimes a little gory situations, but old-fashioned gameplay without aiming help for example. The game is like the EP, fun and rock.
8) The whole band is based around a sci-fi concept. It must allow you to let your imagination run wild sometimes.
I’m not sure all band members are as much into sci-fi than me you know (laughs). Of course other musicians like the concept, but we are first and foremost musicians, not sci-fi writers. In 2019 when I started to lay the groundwork for the concept, I wasn’t sure where to go. The first song I wrote was called In love with a Wookie. I little story where Ed Banger came to earth and saw Star Wars in a movie theater because he liked the name and was falling in love with Chewie. From there everything went very quickly because I had my concept and in three days I had my lyrics and my songs. We didn’t keep this song on the Ep because I just wanted a five-track, but we’re playing it live. I think when you write songs the hardest thing is to find a common thread, then you let your imagination run wild and voila…
9) Are there plans for a movie based on Ed’s adventures?
If you know someone to finance the thing, I’m a taker (laughs). Seriously basically, instead of making a music video for one track, I wanted to make 5 clips that we could put together to put the whole album in picture. But this is maybe doable when you have a big label funding it, we are just a bunch of friends playing in a rehearsal room in Geneva and making music for fun. For the clip, we had the chance to work with a very talented guy, Olivier, who did a fantastic job for us. Making a cd, the promo and everything that revolves around it costs a lot of money and time. We could never have released our EP so quickly if we had made a film. On the other hand yes I have this idea in mind for the future, I know that what I have in mind nobody has ever done it before, so I won’t say anything, you will see.
10) What does your live show look like? Do you have aliens and props or is it more about the music on stage?
Again it is a budget issue and there is a difference between what I have in mind and what is achievable at our level. So far, with these Covid stories, we’ve only had one gig. We were just us on stage playing our songs with all the energy we had. The health situation here does not allow you to do everything you want. Afterwards it’s like I said before, the craziest ideas often come from meetings over a beer and we have a friend who has lots of ideas and is very good with flames and stage effects. We will already see what it will look like with our second clip that we will do in September. After that, the visual aspect must not take precedence over the musicians and the music, it is a balance to be found and to be reflected.
11) Ed is a pretty common name for someone from out of space…
Yes apparently. And his girlfriend on earth is called Vega that can’t be made up (laughs). This is the red-haired girl in the clip. You know you don’t have to worry too much, there the term Ed Banger obviously comes from the word headbanger. We thought the name was funny and there isn’t really too much band called like that. Finding ideas in a world where almost everything has already been done or already exists is very complicated. We would have had to make music in the early sixties to have more opportunity to be original in our names.
12) What exactly is a Kardashit?
This is a good question. It was Bourreau who came up with this idea of a name if I remember correctly. You need a bit of provocation in rock or it’s not funny. In Ed Banger’s world, the Kardashits are his musicians telling his stories. He called them like that because when he came to Earth he saw a TV show that surprised him. Apparently on earth, if you do nothing special apart from telling your life story on TV you can become world-famous. On his planet, the famous and respected people are sportsmen or people who have done great things. On earth, if you have big breasts and big buttocks, put the media in your pocket and make mini scandals about nothing at all, you can be famous and rich a million. It is a sadness to cry and above all it gives hope to young people to become rich without doing anything except looking after their image. So all of this got on his nerves and he decided to call his musicians the Kardashits.
13) Have you heard anything from the Kardashigan’s lawyers yet? They would likely make some sort of connection there.
So if they are interested in us, we can say that they are paid for doing nothing. We have no money so if you want to attack us you’re going to be disappointed (laughs). I think Gary Holt in his shirts will be in trouble quicker than we are… although it would be Slayer who should file a complaint than anyone outside metalhead can wear their shirts (laughs).
14) Your music has an awesome punk edge, influenced by bands like Motorhead, The Ramones and Misfits. They are obviously all big influences.
I wanted to combine the simple little stories and the powerful, fast music of the Ramones, to have the fun side of the Misfits in mind and to keep the musicality and the aggressiveness of Motörhead. I also wanted each song to have its own musical signature. Love Sex Hate has little to do with Crash and Burn which itself has nothing to do with Videogame Freak and yet it all fits together well because everything is based on powerful rock.
15) Where can people find out more about the band and get hold of your music?
So this is the simplest question. Everything is on our website www.edbanger.ch. From there you will find all the links on the music, the clip, the video game and the networks on which we are.
Cheers mate, raise a glass to all our Australian friends.
Watch The Day After below: