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Rising Stars: Meet Karl Learmont

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karl Learmont.

Hi Karl, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I started Angelspit in Sydney, Australia in 2004. I’d been in several other electro-industrial punk bands up to that point and was also involved with a zine distro. I loved the punk edge of zines – they are endlessly inspiring! Angelspit moved to Berlin, Germany for 2007, then to the USA for a tour with KMFDM in 2009. The plan was to move back to Berlin after the tour, but I fell in love with New York. I lived there for four years, then Chicago for four years, then to LA in 2017. Angelspit has played major European festivals and played with KMFDM, The Sisters of Mercy, Nitzer Ebb, Skinny Puppy and Front Line Assembly and Lords of Acid. Angelspit has released nine albums, ten remix albums and done over 70 remixes for bands like SNOG, KMFDM, Ministry, Twiztid; 8 US tours; 5 UK tours; 3 Australian tours. The current tragedy of the Covid era has forced me to re-design the way Angelspit interacts with fans. I do a weekly free-style synth improvisation stream involving fans; a weekly meet-up with fans where we address issues with making art and writer’s block; and play an online festival or gig every other week. Our tribe is bored and lonely – it’s our job to encourage them and get them through this.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I am an immigrant (Australian). Immigration has been a constant hurdle…it’s often a nightmare. Keeping a band together is very difficult. It’s easier for people to jump on/off projects or songs when they can afford the time – it’s almost as if our society doesn’t want people to explore their artistic expression. The floor is always moving – if you assume it’s stable, there will be trouble, but if you welcome the idea of constant change you will adapt.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I specialize in electronic music on the darker, harsher side. I am interested in music that expresses relevant ideas using images of horror with a twist of humor – and presented with an accessible sound…almost 80s new wave/pop sensibilities…with a lot of distortion! This is what I am known for. I don’t yield to the demands/expectation of marketing as my fan base is intelligent and open to new music and ideas – plus it helps that I run my own record label. I’m proud of the music and the content I create. I am proud that it is relevant in this turbulent time.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Not being ashamed or embarrassed about what you have released. Having a body of work that is still relevant and appealing years after it’s been released. Creating art that has the strength to inspire and keep people going. Success is not defined as a dollar sign. It’s not record sales. If you are blessed with the gift of music, use it to edify your tribe.

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