Doomsday Student – An Introduction…


Doomsday Student are another exciting addition to this years lineup, and are sure to find favour with fans of other acts on the bill this year like Zeni Geva, Dope Body and Drunk In Hell.

Doomsday Student are in many ways a logical continuation of the seminal Providence noise rock band Arab on Radar. For the uninitiated, Arab on Radar’s sound was a thrilling whirlwind of abrasive, trebly guitars, harrowingly repetitive distorted bass lines, brutally primitive rhythms and nasal shrieks, a winning combination that influenced pretty much every noise rock band to follow in their wake. Doomsday Student comprises the bulk of Arab on Radar’s personnel (plus members of another post-Arab on Radar project, Chinese Stars) and as such share some similar qualities, but these musicians are keen to distinguish Doomsday Student as a distinct entity in its own right, stating that –

“You know who these men are. They have been other men. Who they were before does not matter. What matters most is who they are now. These men, with two menacing guitars, violent drums, and wild words will fill that void in you. They will build bunkers out of your bones. They will make weapons out of your teeth. They will drink your tears and feed on your meat.”

Evidently, Doomsday Student mean business, and will stop at nothing to eviscerate your eardrums with their pummelling noise rock. We contacted the band to find out more about what they have in store for us at this year’s festival, and which other bands they’re looking forward to seeing…

Supersonic: Why should Supersonic attendees check out your set?
Doomsday Student: Doomsday Student features 3/4  of Arab On Radar, 3/4 of Chinese Stars, and half of Athletic Automaton. All founders of and contributors to the now Near-Mythic Providence R.I. No-Wave/Noise scene. Our reputation precedes us.

Could you tell us briefly about how Doomsday Student came into being?
The band was born out of confusion and obsession. It’s a delicate topic. I would suggest rereading answer #1.

If time, money and space were no object, what would you do with your performance?
We wouldn’t do anything different.

Who else are you looking forward to seeing at the festival this year?
We’ve heard a lot about Goat and Lichens. We are looking forward to seeing them for the first time.  We are also looking forward to playing with Dope Body and Zeni Geva again. Arab On Radar played with Zeni Geva in Grand Rapids, MI in the late 90’s and it was unreal! We haven’t seen them since.

Who would be the ideal artist for you to collaborate with at Supersonic 2012?
No offense to any of the other artists but I think we would be a nightmare to collaborate with. We wouldn’t want to put anyone in that position.

If you were curating Supersonic, which three artists would you most want to have on board?
We would want Sightings, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, and Lightning Bolt. But we would also take the opportunity to beg Lake Of Dracula, US Maple, and Harry Pussy to get back together and play.

Which items would you say are essential for festival survival?
A great location and great bands.

Finally, what does the future have in store for Doomsday Student?
We’ve already begun writing our second record. So, we will probably finish writing it and record it in early spring.



The Living Jarboe




With visual arts being such a huge influence on how I receive live music, I will be awaiting Jarboe’s performance at the festival with extreme trepidation. Also known as The Living Jarboe, she practices what she preaches. As a member of Swans, and consequently Skin, Jarboe’s warbling yet emotive vocals are sure to be situated within a visual atmosphere that will make any attendee weak at the knees. Her performances invite you to be a part of her particular moment, creating shockingly powerful visions through the music itself. It will undoubtedly be one of the performances to watch and I have no doubts that we will be subject to a feast for the eyes and the ears. ‘Lavender Girl’ is within the upper echelons of my favourite tracks of all time, with its ability to create an atmosphere that I feel is almost unique amongst musicians. Examples such as  ‘Totem’ and ‘Miracle of Love’bring a slice of the ungodly down to us mere mortals, proving why Jarboe’s career has been such a long and healthy one. Make sure to watch this interview with Swans which dates back two decades!

If you are a fan of Jarboe, then be sure to check out the equally as enchanting artist, Lichens. Lichens is the name of Robert A. A. Lowe’s musical project, that needs to be seen live to be believed. With tracks that trick the mind into a sense of suspension in time, through seamlessly looped wordless vocals, instrumental intersections and a beautiful layering of sound, Lichens epitomises transcendental sound. For Supersonic goers who haven’t listened to his music before, ‘Faeries’ and ‘Shore Line Scoring’ are two of my favourite tracks, and I would urge any fans of Jarboe to check out the music of Lichens before the festival to make sure you do not miss out. Having collaborated with the likes of Lucky Dragons, Alan Licht, Lee Ranaldo, White/Light, Kevin Martin, Tyondai Braxton and Genesis P-Orridge, this guy certainly knows what he is doing.

Also make sure to check out his fascinating blog, at


Also check out the video for an example of Lichens collaborative work with White/Light.





Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe is an artist and multi instrumentalist working with voice in the realm of spontaneous music Through collaboration Robert has worked with such artists as Lucky Dragons, Alan Licht, Lee Ranaldo, White/Light, Kevin Martin, Tyondai Braxton and Genesis P-Orridge.




Photographing Supersonic for the past 2 years, James Robinson has been able to not only shoot live performances , but also develop an on going set of portraits of the artists off stage.

It can be difficult to think of musicians as people, popular culture elevates artists to such inaccessible places, it is often easy to forget that they are real.  Photographers rarely get the opportunity to interact with musicians, restricted to press pits and passes, blocked by security and reduced to paparazzi.

The beauty of the ‘alternative’ music scene is that it’s about creating, doing and making music that is to be thought about, enjoyed, sometimes maybe even not enjoyed. These are the people who are making without a shadow of a doubt, the most interesting, challenging music anywhere in the world. These artists maintain integrity. These people are real.


Supersonic 2010 – fun n games


Video by HTF Media

Here’s a reminder in a mere 90 seconds of all the fun and games that we got up to at last years festival, which included the first UK show of GODFLESH in over a decade, the almighty SWANS, with honourable mentions for incredible performances by NISSENMONDAI, LICHENS and ZENI GEVA.
We’re getting pretty psyched as we put the finishing touches to this years festival line up – keep your eyes peeled for forthcoming announcements in the next few weeks.

Lichens performed in the Old Library creating a mesmerising improvise set

Melt Banana headlined Saturday night with a riotous performance

Nisennenmondai wowed crowds with their awesome danceable beats

Photos by Mark E Rhodes

Weekend tickets are just £75 for 3 days – you can get them from HERE
Hotel info with special Supersonic rates is available from HERE


Supersonic portraits in NY show


Christoph Hahn of Swans fame

Robert Lowe aka Lichens

Congratulations to Supersonic photographer Jamie Robinson, who for the past couple of years has helped to capture some amazing images at the festival, a few of which will be on display as part of a group show in New York.
The show opens on the 23rd of June – for more details check

To see more of Jamies Supersonic photos check our Flickr group


Outer Limits


Lichens (aka Rob Lowe) is not just performing at Supersonic, he is also curating a series of film screenings in the Theatre space.

Outer Limits is an exploration of contemporary works dealing with observations and ritual practices in connection with the natural world and the cosmic plane.

Subtle, glacial and turbulent, like the simple seismic shift of Luke Fischbeck and Sarah Rara’s “Earthquakes Agave” , or the deep breathed bliss of Sabrina Ratté’s “Mirages”. These video works provide an open door into the next phases of image capture, while embracing the history of the medium.

With Paul Clipson and Rose Kallal both working in a multiple image16mm film format, it makes for a warm and saturated feel that is properly visceral. You truly understand the intuition and process both attribute to their craft as they immerse themselves in the violence and awe of nature and what is unknown.

The centerpiece of this program is “Guardian of the Veil”. Matthew Barney’s first in a series collaborations with Jonathan Bepler that will be seven performances to convey the stages of Norman Mailer’s novel “Ancient Evenings”. This documentation is a performance at the Manchester Opera House in 2007. With precision of form, Barney gives a nod to the old Gods, while presenting Egyptian ceremonial rites from his own perspective, and a fresh one at that.

This will be an exclusive screening, as this has not been shown in a format larger than a video monitor as of yet.