The Alpine-by-way-of-California rock group Arnocorps is looking to correct a great injustice. You see, for the past thirty years, an Austrian actor named Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken ancient tales from the Alpine region, brought them to Hollywood and sold the plot to the highest bidder. The story of a man fighting against a beastly, physically superior opponent all by himself in a jungle? Originally from the Alpines. The tale of a man fighting against a younger, more advanced version of himself in order to protect a family he barely knows. Yup, from the Alpines. The epic of a poor, barbarian peasant who would be king -- you got it -- actually an ancient Alpine tale dating back to Pre-Christian Europe.
But, not only has Schwarzenegger used these tales for his own gain, he has corrupted them. What used to be tools for inspiration, tools for self-betterment, tools for gaining greater understand of the world, have been reduced to mere Hollywood schlock.
And thatâs where Arnocorps comes in. On their Alternative tentacles release of The Greatest Band of All Time, the band takes back these wonderful stories and restores them back to their true meaning -- all to a pumping, thunderous, heavy metal soundtrack. Because Arnocorps is on a mission to spread the Alpine legends and their messages of positivity, features editor John Gentile spoke to Holzfeuer, Arnocorps' frontman, about the album, the bandâs fitness program and what do to if you are attacked by the Predator.
Editor's note: We recommend that you listen to the June 3 Punknews podcast which features the audio version of this interview to gain the full experience. (Interview starts at 56:00) Holzfeuer, itâs a great pleasure for me to get to interview Austrian legends like yourselves!
Well thank you! I would clarify that as Austro-Killafornian legends! Weâre international studs going on here.
And actually, you guys are about to head over to Ireland for some shows.
Thatâs right! Thatâs part of our international presence that we always have to maintain. We have to get out there and spread the pump! That is what Arnocorps is all about!
Do you think people in the UK interpret the Arnocorps message differently than us here in the USA? How is the Austrian message changed across borders?
I think it is really a combination of things right there. Like so many things in life, there are so many variables in life. One thing that I would like to point out is that so many people put emphasis on the Austrian thing, we are actually from the Alpine region. This is where the ancient heroic lore originates from. As far as the flatland regions of Austriaâ¦ Iâm barely even familiar.
This is more about the Ballzy Alps! All the time people say, "Oh Arnocorps, they have an Austria accent." That is wrong. We have the ballzy accent! What I mean by that is this is an accent that anyone can choose to adopt. Just like in the morning, the way you choose to put on sneakers or boots, you can choose to say, "Dammit! Iâm gonna talk ballzy! Iâm going to command an audience." As far as Killafornian, Iâve been her for 14 years now, so maybe Iâve adopted a little bit of the Killafornian way of speaking. Instead of saying something is ballzy, I might slip up and say itâs radical! Câmon!
So, what you are saying is that the ballzy way of life is more a way of thinking that it is a genetic background?
Exactly! It is important for people to realize. The primary message of Arnocorps is empowerment. We are motivation. We are inspiration. We want people to reach their own potential to be a goddamn hero or shero, right there! Thatâs what itâs all about. If they have any type of hindrance to that, as to where they were bornâ¦ Câmon! Donât bullshit me!
We have to clarify one thing for the audience. Thatâs that you guys arenât necessarily Arnold Schwarzenegger fans, itâs that because you and Arnold come from the same region, you tend to have similar traits, correct?
Exactly! One of the big goals of Arnocorps is to expose the wrongdoing that is going on. We find inspiration from ancient Austrian lore, mythology and symbolism. The lyrical message is one of metaphor. We are here to expose Austro-ploitation! Cinematic Austro-ploitation! In these blockbusters, and one thing in common is that you see Arnold Schwarzenstruddle!!!!… every single time. For a while, I thought that this was coincidence. I thought that maybe he was a victim and was being exploited.
Turns out, he was selling out his own peopleâs culture! He wasnât even from the Alps! He would just go up there to go skiing! He would go skiing and he would listen. He would hear the tales told around the campfire and get pumped up and inspired himself! But, I am not sure that he had the right amount of respect for those tales. So, that is what Arnocorps is about -- restoring INTEGRITY!!!… To these heroic tales of triumph, and tragedy and the muscles and the arms and the glutes, and the biceps and the triceps to the action-adventure lifestyle!
Now, youâre re-releasing your album, The Greatest band of All Time on Alternative Tentacles. I believe that most of those songs are about ancient Alpine lore.
Absolutely! On that particularly record, in fact, every single song is based on an ancient tale…
And soâ¦ oh! Sorry! I didnât mean to interrupt you! I apologize! I would never want to get on the bad side of the powerful guys that are Arnocorpsâ¦
Hey, câmon! Weâre a rescue team! We are not assassins!
I know one of the songs is called "Predator." Whatâs the best way to fight a Predator in case I ever get attacked by one?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! Well, let me tell you. In life, every time we wake up, we are being assaulted, right? We are being assaulted whether you know it or not. Society is trying to make you soft like a marshmallow. Itâs a metaphorical pursuit of ballzyness and also looking at the metaphorical concept of what a Predator is. It is different for each person.
Arnocorps isnât like the other bands out there -- we look at the underlying meaning. There is more truth in mythology and the tales being passed down than there is in mere factual delivery, you know? There is truth that you can apply to your own life that you enhance your own ballzyness and the action-adventure lifestyle.
For you, Iâd have to sit down with you. What are the Predators in your life. What are he things creating obstacles for you? We must talk about all the surrounding variables. Like in the song, when you have a friend, you must trust it, you trust your life in his hands. But then, you realize that youâve been betrayed! You and your whole rescue team have been dropped in the meat grinder! This guyâs been pushing too many pencils. You have to say to him, "You son of a bitch! Iâve used to be able to trust you!" So, that is going on in "Predator!" So many layers! CâMON! SO MANY LAYERS!!!!
Do you get frustrated when people donât see the underlying meaning to your songs?
Of course. That is very frustrating. But, frustration is also motivation. If I become contented that the world is perfect, Iâm gonna get lazy. Iâm gonna get complacent. My ass is gonna get soft. What I do as a reminder, if you have an objective point of view, and it is a half-illuminated point of view, one side is light, one side is dark -- like sunglasses. You can only see the light on the sides, right? So, this is a reminder for. This is why I always wear my sunglasses on stage. It is a reminder to ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE!
Youâve got a song called "Crom," on The Greatest Band of All Time. Thatâs from the ancient Alpine legend of Conan, that was passed to Robert E. Howard in the '20s, and eventually made it to the movies. What I like about Crom is that heâs a god that doesnât necessarily care about his subjects, as opposed to the Judeo-Christian God that loves his children.
Câmon, let me talk about Crom, strong in his mountain. We live in the Alpine region to be closer to him, despite that he will not listen. But, once in a while, even if you do not pray to him, you can say to him, "Crom, grant me one request- GRANT MEâ¦ REVENGE!!!!!!" That should always be a last resort. When you really need revenge, to bring justice to a situationâ¦ Johnâ¦. I must say. I am impressed with you. You did your research.
Well, I had to because you guys are international legends. You guys might be the biggest band of all time.
Well, if you go by strict measurement of muscularity, we might be in that classification. Itâs true.
Your album is being released on Jello Biafraâs Alternative Tentacles label. Whatâs interesting about that is that Jello once modified a Dead Kennedys song to to fit into Alpine lore.
Exactly, exactlyâ¦ Hey, can I tell you something? I have to admit something, when it comes to Alternative Tentacles, and Jello Biafra and all that. When he came to us, it became very clear right away -- we have very different goals. But, I think we can work it out. With Arnocorps, our primary concern, of course, is integrity of the Alpine tales. Bringing it back, restoring it. Pumping people up, inspiring people with these goddamn tales. When you look at Jello, and he found out, heâs exposing Arnold Schwarzenstruddle politically. Heâs politically motivated. You know, Jello Biafra, politics. Itâs more for him he wants to take down Arnold, right there. He has rewritten the song to apply to Arnold. But now, Jerry Brown is back in officeâ¦ AND HE DIDNâT CHANGE THE LYRICS BACK!
Hey, listenâ¦ can we keep something between you and me and your listeners and readers, right now?
Just between you me, and the listeners and readers. You got it.
Iâm thinking tight circle. You, me, the listeners, readers, and the people on the Internet. Thatâs all. Outside of that, I donât want to hear this story that Iâm telling to you.
We have a gentlemanâs agreement?
Alright! Perfect! I have a theory. This is unbelievable. I have a theory that Jello Biafra, in his heart, has a goddamn man crush on Arnold Schwarzenstruddle, right there! You know those preachers, those wacky preachers, that are always telling people how the gay people are going to go to hell and all that? And then, they are found with a male prostitute?! Well, I think itâs kind of the same thingâ¦ I hope Iâm wrong hereâ¦ but one day, weâre going to find Jello greasing up his body, flexing his muscles, smoking a stogie and practicing his ballzy accent of course. All that we can hope, is that itâs not a downward spiral to start doing steroids. But, if he does, who are we to judge, right? Forgetaboutit!!!
You know, I think that youâre on to something. If youâve followed Jello Biafra for the past five years or so, heâs definitely been getting fitter!
Absolutely! When we first met, the first thing that we started talking about muscles. He told me that he felt that he wanted to work on his arm muscles, but always felt good about his pectorals. Can you believe it?
I do! Holzfeuer, you have a push-up app out. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
ABSOLUTELY! This app is already out! It is out on the market! It is in the app store! Right now, it is only on the iOS platform. The Wheel of Pain Push-Up app! You can install the Wheel of Pain app. It is an app that will get you in condition. It has a few variables and of course, Arnocorps music! It is a whole training regiment and Is scientifically based. We get people be able to execute 102 consecutive push-ups over a period of time. Itâs all about the repetition and the recovery. Getting people back to it. Working hard. It is like the making of the sword. The more resistance you get it, the more obstacles it overcomes.
It tracks your progress. As you do your push-ups, it goes, "One! Two! Three! Four! " The counting, if you go fast, it complements you. "Look at those pectorals Those deltoids! Hey, youâre a stud!" It tells you these things. But, if you slow down, it takes the opposite, it goes, "CâMON! DONâT BE A GODDAM CHOIR BOY!" While this app kicks your ass, it also takes your name. If you put in your name, it can put you on the leaderboard. Right now, we have people from 50 different countries on the leaderboard right now!
Iâm not a big fan of competition. What we have on there is people -- but I donât want people to compare themselves with each other. I want people to compare themselves with who they were YESTERDAY! RIGHT?! Thatâs what weâre talking about. Thatâs what weâre talking about.
Holzfeuer, there are several bands that came after you that seem to be inspired by the Alpine region, or perhaps, by Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. What would you say to those bands?
Heyâ¦thatâs a ballzy question. When I first came here in 2000, my first show was in 924 Gilman in February 2001. Over time, we have had opportunity for bigger exposure. But, people want to control you. So, we always felt that it was beneficial to stay underground -- to be discovered by people. It creates a stronger bond. Arnocorps has the strongest bond with its fans in the world, because, they know that when they discover Arnocorps, they become GODDAMN HEROES OR SHEROES! It is a connection that is life long.. Câmon!
What we did was invent a genre of sorts. I am the first to admit that it was a mistake to say that it was a genre. Itâs only a genre if other band are doing it, right? What we should have never done was say that it was a genre. It should have just been "This is Arnocorps and this our hardcore action-adventure rock and roll! And no one else can do because they do not have our background!"
So, after about seven years, seven years of touring up and down the coast, back to Europe and doing tours out there, we discovered that there are other bands that are attempting what they perceive Arnocorps to be. But, they misunderstood. Anybody out there that shares song titles and lyrics with Arnocorps has twisted it around and made it backwards. They are giving homage to the man that has bastardized the Arnocorps message. And, let me tell you, I donât have a vendetta against Arnold or anything, but it is not conducive to put this guy on a pedestal when I am trying to put my own audience on a pedestal! They need to realize that they can actually surpass their own hero. They need to realize that when they hear these timeless tales of war and mythology and action and adventure, that is not somebody elseâ¦ THAT IS THEM! They could do that every day! They could apply that to themselves.
But, if they get caught up in thinking that this heroic character is tied to an actor, or to a body builder or a politician what is that going to do to you? You are always gonna have a glass ceiling that you can never reachâ¦ so WE TEAR IT DOWN! So, that is the wrongdoing of any other band that is doing this.
Frankly, I didnât have a whole lot of problem with one of these bands, because each band member wrote to us, and told us, "Arnocrops, you are fantastic!" They had the guitarist of Korn in the band, and they were really polite about it, so it is hard to take them out.
But then, there was another band where the guyâ¦ I donât want to go on a rant here, but what he did was wrong throughout the whole process. I told many people that the guy was dangerous. There are problems here. I maybe had a different perspective, right? In the long run, truth is always revealed, right? So I donât need to worry about these thing. It all goes back to Arnocorpsâ missionâ¦ LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE! We have gained many new goddamn people on our rescue team.
Maybe new fans were exposed to a higher profile band and then they are exposed to us and the go, "Holy shit!" right now. "Arnocorps was doing this nearly a decade before! This isnât just a band. This is a goddamn lifestyle! I can integrate this into everything I do! This is the thing that will raise me to a championship level. This is the band that can raise to me an challenge!" HOLY SHIT! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!!!!!!!!