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Culture Shock

An Interview with Alex Venchuk: The Woman Behind The Death Grips Culture Shock Peitition

Alex Venchuk is probably Bloomington's most passionate Death Grips fan. I first met Alex through a group on Facebook called Patrician Music Chartposting in a "Post which college you go to so you can make cool friends!" thread. As it turned out, we had quite a few groups in common, one of them being Death Grips Trashposting, a group of over 45 thousand members that shares updates, fan theories, and memes about the infamous industrial hip hop group. Alex posts frequently about Death Grips, both in the group and on her personal page. Most notably, she created a petition asking people to sign to support bringing the group to Culture Shock 2018. Unfortunately, things didn't work out that way this year, but the petition garnered over 250 signatures, which is a promising sign for the Bloomington Death Grips fanbase. I reached out to Alex earlier this week and asked her a couple questions about her thoughts on the band, her influence, and Culture Shock.


What do you like about death grips and why should people listen to them? What do you say to people who sort of dismiss their music as just angry noise? (I say this as someone who’s unsuccessfully curated multiple playlists of “Death Grips Bangers” for friends who don’t really seem to appreciate them).

Alex: They're iconic and succeeding in a genre that's not accessible or near as profitable as others. When I first got into them like three years ago I merely liked them for how they sounded, their songs are very cathartic and perfect for a specific mood for many. At this point I've listened to them so much I realized how clever some of their lyrics were and how each member is able to influence DG as a whole. Flatlander AKA Andy Morin's synthetic techno-inspired instrumentals, Zach's punctuality and overall mastery of percussion combine as the perfect backdrop to an "angry homeless man" letting out all of his angst and nihilism into his vocals. They have created something utterly unique with the most hilarious fandom on the entire internet objectively. They're unconventional which to me makes them likable as a band, they don't care about their image which almost makes their image. For fucks sake when "Death Grips is Online" happened my browser nearly exploded. They just mess with their fans for fun and the fans hype DG up more than DG will ever hype themselves up. DG's social media is obscure as hell.

I've done the same thing! I always try to get people into them as you can see. To people that dismiss their music, I say 1. fuck em they're clearly not noided, and 2. some of us are normies and that's okay. Everyone has their own taste I guess, It just makes me sad when people I care about can't share in the benevolent aura of Mr. Grip with me.


Why do you think they’d be a good fit for culture shock, beyond the fact that they have a song called Culture Shock?

I think I just really love Death Grips and wanted to see how their angry music would react with the crowd at culture shock. I think people would either be really into it and scream all of DG’s songs out like banshees or they’d be like, what kind of hipster bullshit is this?

Exmiltary is one of my favorite albums of all time. The fact that they have a song named Culture Shock should give them a mandate to play the festival here. That’s hilarious. Additionally, I think it would make a lot of sill fanboys on DGTP in B-town and IU in general very happy.

Were you aware that there was such a large following for Death Grips around Bloomington? Did you expect this kind of response to your petition?

As I've become more of a part of the fandom I’ve noticed there’s an almost respectable fan base here, although I know it’s not that big of a base because a good amount of people I know refer to me as this crazy death grips Superman in passing (which is not wrong). I did not! I had my mom, high school TV teacher, ex boyfriend, etc. sign it. I got I think around almost 400 signatures if I’m right.


Are you satisfied with the fact that we at least got some sort of experimental hip hop this year at Culture Shock with Milo on the bill?

Yes, I'd say Milo is what I’m most excited for this year! Although he’s not exactly a Death Grips or H09909 experimental punk rap type performance I was sort of looking for, he’s talented and I’ve been following him for a few years.


What're your thoughts on the recent developments with the upcoming Death Grips album, Year of the Snitch? (i.e. Death Grips is Online and them collaborating with the harsh noise glass eating dude, Shrek director and Justin Chancellor from Tool)

I’m very excited for Year of the Snitch. Their album art so far for it looks like a still from the credits of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (the real art will probably be coming soon). (Update: the new album art is now out, this is what it looks like). When I heard they were collating with the director of Shrek, I almost thought I had read an onion article. I feel like this next album as a result will have more abstract imaginative concepts potentially. Tool objectively has respectable musicians in it I know but I'm not heavily into tool. Glass eating is fucking Death Grips at its finest in any sense of the phrase, hell yeah.


Lastly, do you have any memories from Culture Shock that you particularly remember fondly?

I had a blast last year. Post Animal is one of my favorite bands so I was super pumped to be front row.


Come out to Culture Shock next Saturday, April 14th in Dunn Meadow!

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