A rock anthem rouses the spirit and uplifts the soul. Sure, it takes talent, purpose and of course divine intervention. You can’t force inspiration, it comes to you at the right moment. New Zealand rock group, System Corporation have written a song that could very well be the song that revels the hearts and minds of our generation. With global malaise the future of humanity is reduced to an unreal existence. Controlled by tyrannical governments and forced indoors by deadly pollution; people have lost touch with nature, God, and themselves. . Lo and behold, a vision is captivated through a song!… Who remembers the liberating power of rock and roll? System Corporation’s debut single release, “Dismal Universal Hiss” has this power… From its beginning with a Stephen Morris (Joy Division & New Order drummer) like thundering drums it sets up for a most perfect rock song and perhaps the best rock and roll song for the tumultuous Summer of 2017! We dare musical pundits to say what System Corporation is not. In one simple song they pave the way to see through false reality and discover truth and transparency.
Dismal Universal Hiss Lyrics:
You can look up high..To the ivory towers…What a waste of time…No one’s coming down
To see you..To help you.. To wait on you.. To feed you.. To bring you up.. To tell you what to do
All the little people.. Holding up their little hands…For a grasp at power..Making promises
They will never keep… While they pursue their own agenda..
In 1971 Pete Townshend of The Who wrote “Baba O’Reily”, the lead track from “Who’s Next”. He was no longer satisfied with power chords and the “clever stuttering” of “My Generation”. He succumbed to the reality that he had grown older and his sense of the cosmos had grown more complex. Some avant-garde musical concepts had wormed their way into his old-school rock n’ roll psyche. The chorus chimes about “teenage wasteland” and pleads that the biggest problem facing the world is apathy… which is the greatest issue facing our globe!
Who’s Next and Pete Townhsend..
Lo and behold, Townshend becomes the visionary who remembers the liberating power of rock and roll. Through the song he creates this hypothetical “Life House” where people can be freed from their artificial lives through the efficacy of music; and calls the people to join in this lifesaving process through the power of a song.
System Corporation began as a fluke…Phil Sumervelle from hard rock band The Datsuns chatted with recording engineer, Scott Newth in Stockholm working to record The Datsuns 5th album.. “Death Rattle Boogie”. Between sessions they’d trade demos between each other. Mr. Newth started to put something together and added vocals..He felt it was time for him to start a rock band… They recruited Ben Cole on drums, also from The Datsuns . Finally, Scott Newth’s brothers..Andrew and Kent joined and now System Corporation became a full fledged rock band with a mindful socialist ethos.. The collaboration felt magical and the writing of songs ensued. In the band’s bio its said best ..Scott Newth takes particular inspiration from both music that is “beautifully calculated” and, at the opposite end of that, “beautifully uncontrolled”.
Rock Bands of L.A.com had the pleasure to interview Scott Newth who gave great insights about System Corporation..
Rock Bands of L.A.com:
How do you feel having the first “hit” release of Summer 2017? “Dismal Universal Hiss” is an amazing song. Is the rest of the album going to sound like this? I’ve read the press kit and I’m always dubious when they say. “sounds like this band and sounds like that band”. It just doesn’t compute for me. To me “Dismal” sounds like the song that Jane’s Addiction never recorded… or a song that never made it to Bowie’s “Aladdin Sane”. ..Joy Division’s missed opportunity…A song in Pete Townshend’s lost psyche..
Thanks for your kind words, it would be great if it were the ‘hit’ of 2017. I just hope that as many people hear the song as possible, and that’s always tricky when you are independent. We just want to be heard. As for the ‘sounds like’ dilemma, no one has been able to agree on who, or even what, we sound like. We have had so many bands put forward, and I quickly came to realize that it’s very subjective and depends on the musical background of the listener. But interestingly, people hardly offer up the same comparisons. Bowie, Jane’s Addiction? That is the first time anyone has mentioned those bands. But I think that’s great! It seems very hard to pigeonhole System Corporation, and I see that as a good thing!
The rest of the album will be even harder to fit into a specific genre. We have songs a lot more ‘rock’ than Dismal Universal Hiss, but we also have some genuine Indy-pop songs on there, and some of it has hints of our Industrial music influences as well. There are hints of all sorts of things, which come from having so many songwriters in the band. Also we don’t have rules or preconceptions about how we sound. Anything goes, but the lyrical theme running through it is similar – for now..
Rock Bands of L.A.com:
When you talk about “Dismal” in interviews you bring up its “political ramifications” … What
brought this on? To be honest and I’m just being straight… everyone is coming out with a
“political” song. This is not a criticism… all these songs are “anti-Trump”… ok the guys a prick…
but why is your perspective so different? What’s society like in New Zealand? As an American it
seems to be just a quiet part of the world..
Firstly this song isn’t taking a left wing, or a right wing stance. It takes a social stance. Now I know a lot of Americans see the word social and think Socialist as if that is some kind of anti- american ideal. By social, I mean by everyone or anyone who is just trying to live their life in a community, that loves their community and wants it to succeed, and is feeling let down by big government. You can feel that way as a lefty or a righty.
There are a lot of ideas crammed into this three minute song. It’s never going to be a strong political thesis. It’s situational and observational. There are a lot of ideas crammed into this three minute song. It’s never going to be a strong political thesis. It’s situational and observational. I wrote this song when I returned home to New Zealand after a stint in Sweden. It was about the time of the Occupy Movement and I was following that closely. Sweden, if you haven’t been there is beautiful and I recommended spending time there. It still has a lot of those famous Scandinavian social principles to the fore, and it reminded me of how New Zealand had been regarded, and to a degree, still is regarded.But on returning home I was dismayed at how much New Zealand wasn’t like Sweden. We had the political backlash against ‘politicians’ and New Zealand had elected a ‘businessman’ torun the country. But as it turns out, you shouldn’t get a businessman to run a nation. A nation isn’t a bank, or a business. It is a complex set of communities, situations and cultures. You actually do need politically savvy people with a wide knowledge of the world, rather than knowing how to make a billion dollars through money manipulations. I couldn’t believe how happy all the white middle class property owners were in New Zealand, they truly had put on their blinkers and rose coloured glasses, and they sat around saying how well we as a nation were doing. The building industry, real estate agents, property developers and banks were making a killing. But on the streets, I saw homeless people, or beggars. In New Zealand! People were living in garages and cars, and the Kiwi dream of owning your own home was well and truly gone for lower income families. The government was also privatizing long held state owned enterprises, and corporatizing the prison system. So it seemed like the government was in less of a position to help those in need then ever before. I wrote this song long before I had even heard of Donald Trump, Presidential Candidate, or Brexit. The line “All the little people holding up their little hands for a grasp at power”, that wasn’t about Trump. But I did write the song to fit almost all political situations, in any country. The Occupy Movement had spread around the world and the ramifications of the global financial crisis had hit almost every country. This was a global issue. Dismal Universal Hiss is about the futility of expecting big banks, big business, and big government to really look after you on a social level. It does relate to the USA now. I get that. I get why Trump was voted in. People were sick of politicians lying to them, or being ineffective. If you really want to blame someone for Trumps election, then you have to look at Clinton, Bush, Obama and maybe a few more before him, maybe all the way back to Reagan. Most of these presidents have worked hard for their backers – and I don’t mean the people – I mean their financial backers. So the people rejected politicians like Hillary Clinton and went for the non- politician.
Unfortunately, all you doing is cutting out the middle-man and electing big business right into the top job. “You can look up high to the Ivory Towers, but no ones coming down….”
(America isn’t that divided when you think about it. Democratic voters see the Republicans as the cause of all that’s wrong with America, and the Trump voters see politicians like Clinton the same way, and they see Trump as a way to get change. When you boil it down to its base contents, both sides (and I mean the average American) are fundamentally after the same thing. But a wedge has been pushed between the two sides. – from the outside looking in anyway..
Rock Bands of L.A.com:
Any plans to come to America? Have you had any live gigs?
We played live once, at the celebration of a Flying Nun Records anniversary (A famous NZ
Label). Playing live isn’t our primary focus. We all play live in our other bands. If there was an opportunity for us t be able to get together and play in the states, we would take it, but as we live in different cities and almost never met up in person, it would take a lot to organize. Right now our focus is on recording.
We want to thank Ms. Shauna Mc Larnon and Scott Newth for their help and patience..