The Ex: Celebrating 27 Years (part one of two)

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The Ex formed in Amsterdam in 1979. Over the years their fearless exploration of life and sound has manifested in a legendary rock and roll career. Recently, Monkeyclaus was fortunate to catch up with The Ex's frontman G.W. Sok at the Ottobar in Baltimore for an interview backstage before a stellar show. Jos, as he is know offstage is a softspoken, thoughtful and inspirational figure. We discussed many of the Ex's dynamic collaborations throughout their history, their love for African music, tours of Ethiopia, and their early days in the squat scene and much more. For those not yet familiar with the music or vision of the Ex, I highly recommend you read at least their history on their website and of course check out some of 20+ releases available through Touch and Go in North America and through their own Ex Records in Europe.

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Their own website delivers a concise and accurate verbal portrait of this esteemed band, ''Starting out as an anarcho-punk band from Amsterdam and Wormer, The Ex has developed over the years into a melting pot of divergent musical styles, interweaving noise, folk, jazz and ethnic music, under one unique umbrella: Ex-music. Other features are the discordant, highly rhythmic guitar work, the rolling almost African drumming style and the furious way in which Sok delivers his often sarcastic lyrics. In the first few years The Ex denounce political and social evils in their typical black and white manner, and its members, active in the squat movement, come across as genuinely driven and committed individuals. They set a significant example for the alternative music circuit by the manner in which their records, accompanied by posters, booklets and other relevant readings, are released and distributed by the group itself.''

Please listen and enjoy the following interview. We will be posting live audio from The Ex's most recent U.S. tour, recorded at the Ottobar in Baltimore, and more assorted media files soon, in part two of this celebration of The Ex.


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