Max Kittler on The Hitler Youth

The Hitler Youth was such a short-lived band that there is not a lot to remember. I do, however, remember the first jam/meeting/rehearsal with Ross and Lloyd. After a few formalities and setting up etc we were ready to roll. Ross did most of the talking, Lloyd seemed a bit reserved. After describing what he was after rhythm wise… it was time!

What happened next was the most incredible musical experience imaginable. Ross counted in song after song at breakneck speed. His guitar sounded like a jet taking off – a fat distorted sound which he hammered out like an engine. Lloyd wailed and screeched the lyrics as he writhed and distorted his body like a madman. I just pounded out whatever I felt was required and held on for the ride. Most of the songs were short, with fat chunky guitar riffs and pumping rhythms over which Lloyd howled and moaned. Bassist Phil had a great sound which sat nicely under the white noise guitar sound Ross used in some songs. Dripping with sweat, the band pumped out a set of original material with the roar of a primeval beast.

This was garage rock at its “garagiest”. (The “punk” tag was something new to me – at the time, I was aware of The Pistols and The Damned, but not much else.) All I knew was, it fuckin’ rocked!

A rehearsal or two later and it was time to unleash the band on the unsuspecting public – but just one frantic, wild, chaotic, drunken, insane live gig later and it was all over. The shooting star that was the HY imploded, virtually on the spot.

Ross recalls the gig less enthusiastically than I do. Sure we had crap foldback (nothing out of the normal there) and sure the venue lacked atmosphere (the fact that this threw the band off kilter was pure inexperience). But audience indifference is something we came to expect anyway (later, in The Orphans) and the sheer fact that we got up and did what we did anyhow is, to me, the pure essence of Punk.

Max Kittler (Hitler Youth and Orphans drummer)
June 2006

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