TISM profile, Adam Perrett, Forte magazine (Geelong), 1998


Well, what don’t you know? They don’t do interviews, so with just me and a veritable rainforest worth of paper with lies about TISM printed on it as a source of information, you should be hoping you know enough. I’ll confess right now and say I am a fan, but that is my mistake, not yours. Just don’t repeat it. What you should know is that they are coming to defile Geelong soon, and that there new single, ‘I Might Be A C--t, But I’m Not A F--king C--t’ isn’t really all that good. It’s only getting any attention because of its use of offensive language, a practise not entirely new. God, even Frente swore a bit.

Before this single was ‘Yob’, which proved to be a complete waste of time. Its B-side, if there is such a thing on a CD, was called ‘Last Australian Guitar Hero’ and that got far more airplay than ‘Yob’, again because it was full of rude words, approximately 16 of them actually. They have a new album coming out in May, stupidly titled ‘www.tism.wanker.com’. It follows on the heels of 1995’s load of tosh ‘Machiavelli and the Four Seasons’, which criminally sold so many copies that it went ‘gold’, which is really a lighter shade of brown, better reflecting the quality of the recording. They then won an ARIA award, but that isn’t hard.

If you really wanted to know, TISM formed in 1982, the year that pop music achieved perfection. Amid the success of Duran Duran and The Motels, they promptly disappeared, only to reappear in 1983 with a gig that was supposed to be their debut and farewell show, the aptly named ‘Get F--ked Tour’. Unfortunately, overwhelmed with the public’s apathy towards them, they record their first single, the childish ‘Defecate On My Face’, complete with crappy B-side ‘Death Death Death, Amway Amway Amway’. Then, in an act that completely lacked foresight and logic, 3RRR judged them winners of their Battle of the Bands competition. One can only imagine the sheer hopelessness of the other competing bands.

1986 proved to be a sorry year for music as TISM record ‘Form and Meaning Reach Ultimate Communion’, and people buy it. That mini album would later reappear repackaged in 1992 as ‘Gentleman Start Your Egos’, which featured the late Teddy Whitten on the cover. Such an insult to the great man. After winning the 1987 F--kwit of the Year Award, an award they bestow upon themselves (they beat Derryn Hinch and the Channel Ten News Team), they then perform the most disgusting act upon the unsuspecting public imaginable, they release ‘Great Truckin’ Songs of the Renaissance’, a double album of unimaginable drollness. It less memorable moments on it included ‘I Shit Me’, ‘Fosters Carpark Boogie’ and ‘If You’re Creative, Get Stuffed’. Still, people buy it, and this leads to an appearance on ‘Hey Hey It’s Saturday’ that still makes Daryl Somers piss his boxer shorts in fright.

Next was the album TISM have justifiably come to regret. Titled ‘Hot Dogma’, it is another double album. It still isn’t good, and features such inglorious moments as ‘Whinge Rock’, ‘Let’s Form A Company’ and the aptly titled ‘I Don’t Want TISM, I Want A Girlfriend’. Interestingly, when TISM performed the ultimate in commercialism by releasing a boxed set of collected works, they included barely half of this album. One good listen will confirm why. 1992 saw ‘The Beasts of Suburban’, another mini album, which confirmed TISM have little to say, if they ever did at all. Filling the space on that release were songs of a dubious nature, ‘Get Thee To A Nunnery’, a cruel slandering of Sophie Lee, ‘Bishop = Handjob’ and the football inspired ‘Father and Son’, a song that should have compelled Tony Lockett and Nicky Winmar to seek legal recourse.

Sadly, not long after that followed another example of TISM resorting to schoolboy language to sell albums. ‘Australia the Lucky C--t’ was mercifully censored after artist Ken Done objected to the depiction of a koala shooting up drawn in his own special style. The EP was to then emerge as ‘Censored Due to Legal Advice’ sporting a pointless picture of Sinead O’Conner tearing up a photo of the Pope. This collection of drivel included the awful ‘Jesus Pots the Whiteball’, a song that, amongst other insults, questions The Artist Formerly Known As Prince’s involvement in film. While this was fair enough, are TISM the right people to ask this? After the pap they produce as filmclips?

No other band could last this length of time without either feeling very guilty, or being Def Leppard. TISM are both, and yet worse. I have already spoken of the horror success of ‘Machiavelli and the Four Seasons’, their last album. It housed such trash as ‘He’ll Never Be An Old Man River’, ‘Greg! The Stop Sign!’, ‘Jung Talent Time’ and the most appropriately named piece of filth, ‘Garbage’. Too many young people were exposed to this poncing anthology of pseudo-techno via radio stations of low moral standings (you know who you are, damn you), leading us inevitably to this crucial epiphany, the new album. Hopefully no-one will care. Yeah, and everyone will stop watching IMT. While there are bored and simple people with cash, TISM will exist. Blame yourselves.

Adam Perrett

TISM are playing at the Wool Exchange Nightclub on Friday 15 May.


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