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Alex Wank (Pungent Stench)

Interview with Alex Wank from Pungent Stench
by Kayla Hutton at 28 July 2018, 7:05 AM

PUNGENT STENCH, an Austrian rape rock influenced extreme metal band that formed in the late 80's and saw their success throughout the 90's. They disband temporarily in 1995, reformed in 1999, and recorded their last album in 2004. PUNGENT STENCH were pioneers in their day pushing the envelope with violent and grotesque sexually explicit lyrical content in songs such as, "Embalmed In Sulphuric Acid," "Choked Just For A Joke," and "Got MILF?" Unfortunately, they called it quits in 2007. However, we now get their last recording that never saw the light of day. "Smut Kingdom" was released in 2018, as well as all the old albums being re-issued. Metal-Temple writer Kayla Hutton had a chance to sit and chat with Alex Wank about the release, his new endeavors, and his time in PUNGENT STENCH.

All the reissues and the release of “Smut Kingdom” defiantly celebrate a turning point for extreme music. Did you ever think, back then, that Pungent Stench’s contribution would play such a large role and have such an influential impact?

In the very beginning not at all but after For God your soul and when releasing Been caught buttering I had a feel that this is going to be a milestone, at least in our career. I still think BCB is a very solid record standing the test of time so I am glad Death Metal followers and enthusiasts think the same.

What was the best aspect of creating “Smut Kingdom?”

Back then it was more than overdue for a new record and during the creation process it went very fast and we had a flow in spitting out nice tunes. It was like when creating Ampeauty, at the right time me & Cochino were very creative and fast in writing songs. That album is a solid work too. In the late 80’s/90’s Pungent Stench carried the torch in creating gnarly, raw music and offensive sexually explicit lyrical content. We, the fans, loved it. However censorship and freedom of speech laws hated it.

Did the attempts to ban or censor Pungent Stench help or hinder the bands success?

No not at all. We only had problems with some releases in Germany and partly Australia and a bit in the US.  But it wasn’t promoted in a huge way so we didn’t benefit too much from it. In Australia it was a big thing and probably helped a bit regarding coverage. But as fans down there were hungry for that music live anyways it was just a little nice add on having us on tv there for prime time. Our audience didn’t get bigger because of that, we just had all a good laugh with that mainstream coverage.

(Cannibal Corpse said it was the greatest thing to happen them, being mentioned by a politician on live TV as being offensive gave them some free publicity)

Looking back, any regrets or anything you would’ve done differently?

I have no regrets at all and always did exactly what I thought was needed to do. Later on you always think you could have done this or that different or better but in general all was done great at that particular time.

What is your fondest memory of being on tour?

I have many great memories and experiences while on tour. Touring was the main reason why we did the band! Exploring the world and exploring pussies all over was the essence of it all! Glad we did the very first Type O Negative Tour in Europe!

The band had split and reformed and then split again, what was the defining moment that caused band to call it quits?

There is no defining moment, a long term relationship between me and Cochino came to an end, many things came together and I just couldn’t stand him and the situation anymore.

On the Pungent Stench website Attention! Achtung! Attentione! Atencion! - Pungent Stench it states:

“The attempt of an Pungent Stench member to start this band again and to present it as a "Reunion" is pure nonsense and a fake. Pungent Stench was formed, created & lead by Mr. Stench and nobody else. The goal was reached with the other guy, but that doesn't allow him to “re-form” the band again under the Pungent Stench moniker (or anything related). This attempt was made to cheat the supporters and promoters to make some quick cash and nothing else. By no means I will sit back and see my creation abused - legal action has already been taken. This Church is foul – and this Church will burn!”

Is this in response to a 2nd website for Pungent Stench, pungentstench.net which leads to www.facebook.com/pungentstenchofficial which claims, “Welcome to El Cochino's official Pungent Stench profile?”

When he announced a “Reunion” of the band, doing his solo thing, and named it “the church of PS” but writing “the church of” so small you hardly could see it pissed me off, correct! He tried to make it look like the “band” is together again to just to cash in big time with all these festivals. It took my lawyer, with the sneaky attitude of his lawyer to prolonge things, a year to make clear even “the curch of..” is to close to the original. He lost the complete trial, paied my lawyer and trial costs and it is not possible to use any version of PS alone. Which is clear because there is no Pungent Stench existing so all which is possible now is the only way he can do Schirenc plays PS and nothing else.  Every promoter booking him should pay him very little and every real fan of PS should understand he see´s Cochino with 2 punk losers doing covers.

Is there any possibility for a reunited Pungent Stench for a one off show? Or any future recordings?

No, not at all.

Through Cineploit you have been restoring old movies as well as creating cinematic music as “LAWA”, are there any other musical projects you have going on?

Cineploit is a record label with more than 30 releases with all kinds of cinematic music outputs. Lawa is just one project where I am involved. I do have other great artists on my label so if anybody is interested in avantgarde cinematic music check it out! I do indeed restore Italian genre movies and working on a lot of films at the moment. I also produce Documentaries and have a huge book release planned – same subject matter.

I am not interested in the Metal genre from nowadays at all. But I do some drums for an Italian project called SANGUE. One 7” EP was released by Nuclear War Now Productions and we are working on a full length album this summer!  I do this because they are good people and real friends of mine.

What motivates you to play music?

I have little to no motivation playing metal and just do Sangue because these guys asked me and are real friends. All the electronic stuff for Lawa I really enjoy doing and is a complete different experience for myself. I really do only what I want to do and enjoy for myself. So far I am also honouring great composers from the past with our activities, we did a homage to Frizzi, Rizzati and Ortolani. Currently we are working on all kinds of score music, French and Italian composers. We take great tunes and do our own versions, more dark, more electronic, more modern in a way. Sometimes you can recognize the original, other times there is only a skeleton left from the original piece. That is my motivation and full fills me!

What are your future plans as a musician?

I will continue with my cinematic project but time is limited with all other activities I have so I focus on LAWA (plus from time to time I do some bashing for Sangue.)

Lastly, thank you for your contribution to the metal genre, any lessons learned that you can share with our readers?

I am glad I experienced the 80´s as a fan and as a musician in the end. I lived what I loved! That is the quintessence of having a great life! Cheers and take care!



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