We first became mindful of David Cox (vocals/guitars) and Russell Crank’s (machines/guitars) dictatorial might with their 2008 mini-album ‘Down And Out In Paris And London’ on Parisian hipster imprint Kitsuné; since then they’ve risen precipitously, thanks to tireless touring and a blistering, molten lava live show. Their first full length record, ‘Animal’, is out now on Kitsuné. We linked with Crank to learn more of their radical outlook — and diabolical ambitions…
An autocrat is defined as a ruler with absolute power or a despot — how does this relate to you?
“It started off as being about autoKratz exploring the same ideas as (1984 author) George Orwell, the way that the world we’re living in now has similarities to the world that he foresaw. But now, with the new record, our lyrics have become a lot more personal, about people. From the outset, though, me and Dave have been tyrannical over the music we’ve created. We’re both very forceful about what we wanted. There are still political ideas explored on the album, but now we’ve become able to explore more personal themes in the music, too.”
Are songs important for the dancefloor?
“We weren’t really thinking so much about the dancefloor or anybody’s reaction, we just had ideas and ran with them. We wanted to explore our songwriting and didn’t set ourselves any boundaries. We realised that we had a lot to say and that was the only way that we could do that, through full songs. We still love the bangers and there are some really hard moments on the album. Electronics are what we love, but they can have more of a value than just being full-on dancefloor music. We wanted to make people think a little bit as well.”
Why did you cover Primal Scream’s ‘Swastika Eyes’?
“I love the raw energy and power of it. The way that it’s brutally honest, it could apply to any rulers. Mani (Primal Scream’s bassist), who I know a bit from back home in Manchester, gave me a t-shirt which had Margaret Thatcher’s head on with swastikas over her eyes. Berlusconi, Brown, even Obama, they’ve all got swastika eyes.”
The album is called ‘Animal’ — why?
“It’s about me and Dave being animals, about emotions and feelings. It felt very natural to us, the album is so personal to us as humans that it felt like the right title.”
There will be loads of touring, we’re doing the festivals in Europe and the UK throughout the summer and then off to Japan in September, Australia after that. We plan to get a hard electronic EP out soon as well.”