HEALTH’s John Famiglietti: “This is a helluva show!” (9/6 at TLA w/ Perturbator)

“The capacity to get destroyed is insane,” says John Famiglietti, bassist and electronic specialist for noisy industrial rockers HEALTH.  He’s discussing the Psycho Las Vegas festival, where he recently...

“The capacity to get destroyed is insane,” says John Famiglietti, bassist and electronic specialist for noisy industrial rockers HEALTH.  He’s discussing the Psycho Las Vegas festival, where he recently found himself DJing cyberpunk and EBSM late into the night, alongside a plethora of PHILTHY’s favorite metal-ish acts, including Boris, Tobacco, …Trail of Dead, King Woman, Marissa Nadler, Death Valley Girls, and Blackwater Holylight, which took place two weekends ago, and which he tells me is an experience unlike anything else.

“Psycho Las Vegas is like a heavy metal convention.  All the stages are really close, and it’s in a luxury hotel, but everyone is in battle jackets.  It’s a hilarious mismatch.  And if you’re bored or tired, your room is right there…  You can get a six-pack and go back to your room and drink, if you don’t feel like paying for venue drinks.”

However, Saturday night HEALTH kicked off the Heaven and Hell Tour, a double-headlining jaunt with French synthwaver Perturbator and experimental duo Street Sects, who are opening the dates.  The tour stops next Tuesday, September 6th, at Theatre of Living Arts for a show that John tells me is more than worth checking out: “This is a helluva show!  Us and Perturbator are bringing big fuckin’ guns with production, with lights and all that and also, it’s just fucking loud.”

HEALTH are currently touring behind DISCO4 :: PART II, their second collaborative album, which was released this April on Loma Vista Recordings and features collaborations with the likes of Poppy, Lamb of God, and Nine Inch Nails (!!!), in addition to Perturbator and Street Sects themselves.  The album follows DISCO4 :: PART I, which features Youth Code (who appeared with HEALTH at Underground Arts in 2019), JPEGMafia, and Soccer Mommy.  I ask Famiglietti if there are any artists with whom he would still love for HEALTH to collaborate and he jokes, “I mean, my greatest ambition, we did do a song with Nine Inch Nails, which is like, ‘I’m good!  That’s great!  That’s all I needed!’”

The LA-based band — who has been doing this for the better part of two decades – has been through some major changes throughout the years, despite the fact that Famiglietti has been doing it alongside vocalist/guitarist Jake Duzsik and drummer BJ Miller since 2005, in addition to guitarist Jupiter Keyes, who left in 2015.  “I mean, there have been huge fucking changes with our sound.  Like, we changed clubs, we’re a different genre now,” says Famiglietti.  While their 2007 self-titled debut was a full-on noise rock, later releases found them experimenting with synthpop and EBM in a manner that is not a million miles from industrial-inspired alt rockers of the mid-late ‘90s.

HEALTH have also played a number of shows in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection over the years, including two stops in 2019 and two appearances at Making Time, the second of which Famiglietti tells me was exceptionally memorable: “Philly is a Rock N’ Roll town.  We’ve had some magical nights out there.  We played Making Time twice and the show on the Death Magic tour was one of the best fucking shows we’ve ever played!”  He also tells me that, with their changing sound, their fans, indeed, seem to have changed, sometimes even to a comical degree.  “There is a psychological profile that has emerged.  There is a HEALTH fan,” he tells me, before going on to say, “I’m always at the merch stand, so I meet everyone.  And it’s not a hard and set music fan.  Sometimes we’re like, ‘Do we have all new fans from last time?’”

The Heaven and Hell Tour wraps up September 18th in San Francisco, and October will see HEALTH and Perturbator trekking through Europe together on the Excess Tour.  However, John tells me that HEALTH absolutely has new music readying to be released and that these tours and collaborative albums have just been an ultra-fun way to fill in the gaps: “We’ve been working on new music this whole time, and in 2023 the record will come out and we’ll probably do another round of touring.  This whole DISCO4 :: PART II and touring has just been an extended runaway up to the new record.”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.