Society for Cutting Up Men in Berlin

All rights reserved by Kate Avant-Hard

When I took this picture 3 years ago I did not know who they were. It was Lounge on the Farm Festival 2009, I got there for free, and I was too relaxed to pay attention to smaller names. So, I snapped these guys watching the previous band on the small tent stage where they would play themselves 20 minutes after.

Later I thought they were the best new act of 2009. Same year I saw them in London, at Field Day Festival and for the 3rd time in Canterbury, Farmhouse (and it was the last time i stepped there as later they had only boring acts). Dark and specious, with a very young good looking frontman they managed to take the best from Joy Division and other 80s post-punk bands. Live they had this young virgin energy, and their spirit wanted to break the sky. I thought watching The Horrors on the main stage was twice more boring than S.C.U.M. What was truly disturbing for the 21st Century and the age of Internet insanity that S.C.U.M tracks were impossible to download. Luckily I spoke to someone at the festival, and that girl later sent me some songs via e-mail.

All rights reserved by Kate Avant-Hard

S.C.U.M took their name from famous Valerie Jean Solanas manifesto S.C.U.M. (with a dot after each letter, so why S.C.U.M are missing one I have no clue) which stands for  Society for Cutting Up Men. Their homepage called also seems to reflect the time of the Silver Factory life and Valerie desperately trying to get it published and filmed by Mr. Warhol. And God damn you, Mr. Warhol! You kept on shooting your weird 24h long films! However, the manifesto was actually written in 1967.

Suppression of Individuality, Animalism (domesticity and motherhood), and Functionalism: The male is just a bunch of conditioned reflexes, incapable of a mentally free response; he is tied to he earliest conditioning, determined completely by his past experiences. His earliest experiences are with his mother, and he is throughout his life tied to her. It never becomes completely clear to the make that he is not part of his mother, that he is he and she is she.

Valerie Solanas

This quote also leads to Kristeva’s analysis on motherhood and the notion of abjection:

Kristeva separates the function of meeting the child’s needs from both love and desire. As a woman and as a mother, a woman both loves and desires and as such she is primarily a social and speaking being. As a woman and a mother, she is always sexed. But, insofar as she fulfills the maternal function, she is not sexed. Kristeva’s analysis suggests that to some extent anyone can fulfill the maternal function, men or women.

Julia Kristeva

The Silver Factory

Earlier this year they have finally released their debut album called  Again Into Eyes (should I post an album cover here? here is a very English answer to you – can’t be asked!). It is very hard to say what happed within these 3 years, but what I can hear on the record is not what i remember from those 3 gigs. I get terribly bored after first 30 seconds and switch to “Passover”(Joy Division).

Nevertheless, S.C.U.M are playing in Berlin Friday, January 6. Details here: clicky clicky

And you can read their personal manifesto on their homepage:

THESE ARE THE S.C.U.M I REMEMBER, ghosty and mysterious. The echo hitting walls and ceiling.. Let it be like this again on the 6th…


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