The Band

The Band is a collective of many people. This is the main index of the band members and any information that has been gathered or contributed by or for them.

Who are they‽

What is Interröbang Cartel‽

Interröbang Cartel is something in between one of your ordinary Earth-bands and a collaborative art project. Think of it as a musical collective. Proposed originally by Jacob Haller (jwgh) and named in a discussion between John D Salt and Jeremy Impson (using a phrase coined by TWillis), some people have described the Cartel's behavior as "song fighting": someone proposes a song or album title or concept, practically daring anyone to turn the idea into a workable song. Another person may take up the challenge and write the lyrics, or yet another person may record those lyrics. Sometimes, two people write different lyrics based on the same song concept, or record two different arrangements of the same lyrics. There are even two different track listings for the first album, Needs More Wanger.

Why "Interröbang Cartel"‽

An Interrobang is a typographical symbol invented by Martin K. Speckter in 1962. It is supposed to convey a combination of curiosity and wonder. It looks like an exclamation and a question mark superimposed on each other. It didn't really catch on (although it's still available in some fonts), but it's alt.religion.kibology's favorite punctuation mark.

The Umlaut

Jacob Haller wrote: "I later added an umlaut over the 'o' in 'Interrobang' because I think all band names should include at least one inappropriately-placed umlaut. Some people dislike the umlaut and sometimes the name will appear without it." Because of this creeping umlaut-ism, Wikipedia mentions Interröbang Cartel in the Heavy metal umlaut entry.

We're Not The Interrobangs

There's another band called The Interrobangs, but they are completely unrelated.

Band Members

Ben Allard

This guy is a true fan! He loves the band and never hesitates to heap helpful derision upon them, and he's pirated all their songs.

Casey B

CB, also known as Casey B, "lives" and "works" in Melbourne, Australalia. In Interrobang Cartel, he alternates between short frenzied bouts of recording and long, rich, complete silences. Unfortunately, he can't seem to combine the two, for he doesn't have the luck that John Cage had with silences - attempts to record them invariably end with him retreating to a sandbox and complaining that "it just didn't quite groove today". He's been a musician, and therefore unemployed, for some time now. He barracks for Collingwood and survives on chilli jaffles and lemon cordial.

The first directly kibological song he wrote was inspired by the infuriated postings of an alt.comedy.standup regular called Kimberrock, author of such classics as GO GO GO AWAY, GOD DAMNIT WILL YOU LEAVE US ALONE? and the immortal all-caps comeback "WHAT DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE WORD STOF?!!!!!!?!?!?????????????????" The song, entitled "No One Wants You Here", has since faded into obscurity and, interestingly, it's Kimberrock who has the last laugh: the GOD DAMNIT WILL YOU LEAVE US ALONE? thread developed into a debate on the wisdom of offering him extra punctuation "in case he ran out", whereupon TWillis offered this perspective:

"Don't be a fool. The idea that punctuation marks are rare and valuable is totally and completely false. The whole thing is the result of a conspiracy by the Interrobang Cartel."

From there, things unravelled quickly.

Lyrics written by this band member:

Songs recorded by this band member:

Titles / Concepts by this band member

External Links

Charlie

Charlie is the !?C resident studio guitarist. He never quite had the time for the touring.

He started with the band doing some session work in a couple of versions of "Rewind" and then branched out created his own songs Not Bitter Blues, and Kibo's Beard Wax. Emboldened by the lack of hate mail he went on to record a wide variety of songs, and then became obsessed with finishing Bad Coelacanth (still in progress).

Songs recorded by this band member:

Album: The Last Days of the Crazy People's Supermarket

Album: Interrobang Cartel Tribute Album

Album: Right of Reply

Album: House Made of Awesomeness

Album: Aspartame Placebo

   

Album: Bad Coelocanth

External Links

* The Spaceroom Website

Doctroid

DOCTROID, or more fully Doctroid Doctroid Holmes, joined Interrobang Cartel soon after the release of the first album, Needs More Wanger. He brings a much-needed sense of relativistic invariance to the lineup. As lead melodeon player for Thornden Morris he has honed his musical skills right down to a nubbin, as a brief listen (as brief as possible) to his recordings will soon reveal.

Lyrics written by this band member

Songs recorded by this band member

Songs otherwise contributed to by this band member

Song recordings in what we laughingly call progress

External Links

Gokmop the Irrefrangible

Stage name of John D. Salt. About his role in Interrobang Cartel, he writes:

;OK. My musical accomplishments are pretty much limited to the triangle, though.
;I think I would like my stage name to be Gokmop the Irrefrangible.
;I would like to be the one with the $10000-a-day chocklit habit, and a reputation for punching reporters on the nose in interviews when they ask bloody stupid questions, please.
;I intend to die in a plane crash, so giving rise to several dozen fruit-loop conspiracy theories about having been assassinated by the Austrian secret service because of my romantic involvement with Kylie Minogue.

jwgh

 ZIP DRIVE CLICK OF DETH was the stage name chosen by Jacob Haller, who confusingly also is sometimes referred to as jwgh. The stage name was announced by a post in which he said:
: I'll play the concertina and my stage name will be ZIP DRIVE CLICK OF DETH! At the end of each show I will disassemble my concertina and feed it, piece by piece, to an iguana! Then I will stuff paperclips into my sinuses until they bleed! It will be great!
: I will write songs about filth and large concrete buildings and beautiful necrotizing butterflies and I will shout them out to the world in a voice filled with angst and suffering and goldfish! I will force my bandmates to perform these songs until they all want to stick my head in a blender! My songs will employ the subjunctive!
: I will die unexpectedly at the age of 32 as a result of my hitherto-unknown allergy to glitter pens!

Lyrics written by this band member

Songs recorded by this band member

External Links

Kerri

_yaaawn_

Songs recorded by this band member

Major Zed

Major Zed has been traversing the spaces between ambient electronic and psychedelic electro-pop since Y2K. His vocal work has been compared to David Bowie, David Byrne, and Thomas Dolby; his instrumental work to Tricky, The Orb, Aphex Twin, Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa (as in, "He's no Frank Zappa").

Until he started collaborating with Doctroid, Major Zed was responsible for all aspects of his music: composing, arranging, keyboards, electric guitar, synthesizers, vocals, drum programming, loop programming, producing, and engineering. Now he disavows any responsibility for work that appears on IBC.

Major Zed lives on a hilltop in rural Connecticut (USA) with his wife Dee Dee (the Moon Goddess).

Major Zed and Doctroid go waaaaaaay back.

Lyrics written by this band member

Songs recorded by this band member

Songs contributed to by this band member

External Links

Matt Mc Irvin

Matt Mc Irvin has been one of the mainstays of alt.religion.kibology for quite some time; his capacity for explaining memes has inadvertently turned him into a meme himself, which is why he is mentioned in songs like Support the Lurkers.

He has also provided lyrics and vocal talents, as well as several suggestions, for a number of Interrobang Cartel songs.

Lyrics written by this band member

Songs recorded by this band member

External Links

Not R

Not R began life in late 1981 or early 1982 in a not yet formed band at Rice University called Youth in Asia for Sick Puns, later renamed to Åäð Nøyς. He was transferred into online existence on IBM's internal computer conferences, emerged again in a band called Not You and its followon, Limp Richard, and finally erupted onto the UNSENET in 1995. He has been known to burst into unwonted profanity when presented with a broken violin. In addition to not playing the violin, he sings and plays keyboards and electric elephant trunk. In real life, he installs VM software by day and sings Georgian songs, other a cappella music, and occasional light opera by night.

Lyrics written by this band member

Songs recorded by this band member

Songs otherwise involving this band member

External Links

Why are they‽

The History of "Interröbang Cartel"

At First, It's Just A Gleam In USENET's Eye

In April of 2003 Jacob Haller, aka jwgh, proposed the creation of an International USENET punk band.

I think we should start an International USENET Punk Band! I'll play the concertina and my stage name will be ZIP DRIVE CLICK OF DETH! At the end of each show I will disassemble my concertina and feed it, piece by piece, to an iguana! Then I will stuff paperclips into my sinuses until they bleed! It will be great!
I will write songs about filth and large concrete buildings and beautiful necrotizing butterflies and I will shout them out to the world in a voice filled with angst and suffering and goldfish! I will force my bandmates to perform these songs until they all want to stick my head in a blender! My songs will employ the subjunctive!
I will die unexpectedly at the age of 32 as a result of my hitherto-unknown allergy to glitter pens!
Who's with me?

This led to a lot of discussion in both the original thread he started and a later one started by Casey B.

The Band Gets A Name

TWillis, in a different context, coined the phrase "Interrobang Cartel":

Don't be a fool. The idea that punctuation marks are rare and valuable is totally and completely false. The whole thing is the result of a conspiracy by the Interrobang Cartel.

After reading this, John D Salt asked to change his stage name from "Gokmop The Irrefrangible" to "Interrobang Cartel", but Jeremy Impson asked if it could be used as the band name instead. (Some other names that had been suggested were "Violent Bloody Anyone" and "Ponaris Nasal Emollient".)

Interröbang Cartel Becomes Bigger Than Chicago

After Jacob's call for band members, everyone declared their intended role in the band. There were an awful lot of roadies at first. However, Matt McIrvin, Karlo X and Ranjit Bhatnagar offered pre-Cartel songs they had written for anyone to record; they were soon joined by new song writers as well as people offering song and album title suggestions, album cover art, and the occasional sound sample for the band's use. The final lineup included a concertina, nose flute, theremin, triangle, keyboards and various people shouting and/or singing. Basically, a good time was had by all.

The First Recordings Begin To Surface

The first officially recorded Interröbang Cartel song was "The Robot Song". Jacob Haller wrote the lyrics, intending to record them later; Casey B soon recorded the cheery-sounding "Data" mix. A bit later, Not R recorded a "Dalek" mix of the song using a completely different melody, laying down the ground rule that Interröbang Cartel was not going to be a normal band in any sense of the word. To confirm this, Casey later wrote lyrics for "Pumpkin, Mrs. Farnsworth", based on a dream John D Salt had; he and Jacob then recorded completely different versions of the song simultaneously, released as the "London Sharehouse" and "English Country Garden" mixes.

After that, the chronology gets kind of hazy, with lyrics, song titles, and album names tending to flow in much faster than recorded songs. For a while, the original Interröbang Cartel web page listed mainly song titles people had suggested, with a few actual lyrics and the occasional MP3. Other early recordings included "Free Your Cones" (Karlo X/Jacob Haller) and the avant-garde soundscape "Young Human Body Transplant 13" (Talysman).

Interröbang Cartel Gets More Wanger

In September of 2003, the band assembled a CD of all the existing recordings to send to radio stations and what-not. This CD became the first album, Needs More Wanger. To date, we are unsure whether any radio stations have actually played any of the songs, other than [one college station] where we had inside help.

In October 2004, the band released a second CD, with the longish name of The Last Days Of The Crazy People's Supermarket. By this stage, the Cartel had actually recorded more MP3s than could fit on one CD, so several MP3s were assigned to other suggested album titles, such as Aspartame Placebo and Luxury Potato.

A Tribute to the Cartel

In May 2003, Paddy Smith noticed that the BBC had a list of the 20 least-popular internet searches in Great Britain, as provided by MSN. He thought it looked suspiciously like a track listing for a future Interröbang Cartel album.

Casey B helped fill in the future history of the Cartel:

Yes, in a vision unnervingly Wyld-Stalyn-like, we can see the future of Interrobang Cartel in the track-listing of this album - recorded in 2008 by several "old-timers" in tribute to the genius of the Cartel.

In Feb 2004, Talysman finally took up the challenge and wrote lyrics for all 20 songs, recording three of them as sound collages in early 2004 ("Zoo Heaven", "Virtual Geese Honking", and "Sausage Calories".) Tim Chmielewski later wrote alternate lyrics for four of the songs; Jacob Haller recorded "Walking Stick Making" and provided accompaniment for "Virtual Geese", Casey B] recorded seven of the songs (including three versions of "[[How To Be A Texas Ranger",) and Doctroid recorded an alternate version of "Hedgerow Hypothesis". The tribute album was finally finished as of 2008 as it had been predicted that it would come from that year. We did not want to be responsible for creating a possibly universe destroying temporal instability by failing to actually complete it so members Charlie, Doctroid, and Major Zed got busy and finished up the remaining unrecorded songs. Phew! A narrow escape from epochal failure.

The Cartel Goes Concept

Every band eventually does a concept album that pushes the borders of its own style, and Interröbang Cartel is no different. In Jan 2005, John D Salt, responding to one of Kibo's posts, took sentences out-of-context from Kibo's parody of a Monty Python sketch and created a track listing for a concept album entitled "Bad Coelacanth":

Charlie began to record tracks for the album; Tim Chielewski wrote stream-of-consciousness lyrics for all the tracks (except "Go past the volvox", which was recorded as an instrumental.) At this stage most of the first part is complete, and there are two tracks done from the second part.

The Cartel Answers Its Critics

In early 2005, playfully twisting a LiveJournal "meme", Talysman posted a challenge, vowing to write lyrics based on concepts randomly selected from the interest lists of anyone who asked for lyrics. Jacob Haller also issued a similar challenge; several of the resulting songs were assigned to yet another proposed album called "Right Of Reply".

Other albums have gotten sporadic contributions. In March 2007, Dr HotSalt proposed a new album, Rules for Dysfunctional Patterns, based on a post by John Winston, quoting (apparently) from the book E.T. 101: The Cosmic Instruction Manual for Planetary Evolution (also online here). A number of tracks for that album have also been recorded by Major Zed and Doctroid.