Revolver teamed with Monster Magnet for an exclusive vinyl variant of their new covers record A Better Dystopia, which sold out immediately. Head over to the store now to see our full selection of extremely limited vinyl offerings.
Dave Wyndorf clearly remembers the moment the pandemic morphed into a surreal dystopian movie.
"Driving to New York at 8:30 at night during the peak death time of the pandemic … Driving down the streets of Manhattan and there was nothing — no traffic, no people," " recalls Monster Magnet's leader. "It was like, 'I'm Charlton Heston in The Omega Man!'"
Living through the COVID-19 crisis, the lockdowns, the civil unrest and the reign of former president "Doctor Doofus" have all contributed to Wyndorf's recent reflections on the "the thin veneer of 'civilization.'"
"There have been two times in my life where I've seen newspapers and the mainstream media using the word 'dystopia' — in the early Seventies, and then this past year," he says. "There was the 'end times' of the early Seventies, where the Vietnam War was still going on, nuclear war was still a big threat, and there was civil unrest in a way the country hadn't seen here since the Civil War.
"And now we've got the current one," he continues, "which has the new wrinkle of the pandemic, and also included in there — which is almost a bigger thing for me — is this whole thing of somebody trying to hijack our whole system of democracy and knock it down."
These concepts directly influenced Monster Magnet's new album A Better Dystopia — a 13-song collection of mostly obscure "nega-psychadelic" covers of Hawkwind, Pentagram, Poobah and more.
"I wanted to pull off an album of covers where the songs sounded like they were all by the same band — it still sounds like a Monster Magnet record — but it also took you on a little bit of a journey like my favorite records do," says Wyndorf. "And I really wanted it to be more like that aggro, paranoid, proto-metal vibe of the late Sixties and early Seventies."
Ahead of the release of A Better Dystopia, we asked Wyndorf to pick his five favorite dystopian flicks. Wyndorf, who also happens to be a noted film buff, happily came back with ten.
This one is totally forgotten. It stars Harry Belafonte and Inger Stevens, and it's a weird one. It's a think piece; it's not schlock. There are like three people left in New York City after some sort of smart bomb is dropped; everyone's dead but nothing's blown up and the city's empty; they probably shot it in New York City at six o'clock in the morning, or something. But that's what driving around Manhattan during the pandemic reminded me of.
That's a fucking classic. I saw it in the theater when I was 12, and it was a real "holy shit!" moment. I didn't see the ending coming; it did to me exactly what the director and what all those writers and everyone that worked on that movie was trying to do. They should have just sat there and videoed me because I was like, "Wow! … It's earth!" How cool was that final shot? I mean, it's still cool!
The Nevil Shute book is better than the movie, but the movie is still really, really good. It's about a submarine commander and a bunch of Australian diplomats hanging out and waiting for the nuclear winter to reach them. It's a bummer. I mean, Fred Astaire commits suicide — how much of a fucking bummer is that?
Just because it's completely hilarious. What a horrible, stupid movie — but if you've ever wondered what Sean Connery's genitals looked like, there ya go!
Who doesn't want to be Charlton Heston in The Omega Man? He drives around killing zombies, then stops off somewhere and gets laid. Zombies are always good because they satisfy the American urge to kill everybody.
This one happens in England in the future where there hasn't been a human baby born in something like twenty years, which, as you can imagine, is freaking everyone out. Whoever put the music for it together included a needle drop of King Crimson's "The Court of the Crimson King," and it works perfect. I was like, "Yeah, I can see the future sounding like that!" It hits all the right notes — a very smart movie. It happens in London, and it looks every bit like you'd imagine London in the future will be: like, Buckingham Palace is very shiny and everything else has puke all over it. [Laughs] You know, like, there'll still be some nice places to live if you have the money!
It's totally dystopian, and it's totally rock & roll, too, because Alex's gang is like a rock band —they're an actual band of people, with a power structure and everything. It's horrible to say, but I've known so many bands who operated like those guys, you know? One guy fools another guy, then hits him in the nuts with a cane and throws him in the water — I've seen that happen! [Laughs]
It's a Steven Spielberg movie, but it's a Stanley Kubrick movie, too — Spielberg directed it, but it started out as a Kubrick project. I think of it because people are so scared of other people right now. But it's like, "You really want to get scared about something? Get scared about corporations — get scared about robots!"
That's another good one. Aliens land in South Africa, of all places, and give them shit. I mean, why not? Why do they always have to land in America? [Laughs]
We have to have [director] Fritz Lang in there. I know Metropolis is like a hundred years old, but it's fucking great. They built all that stuff for the film, all those huge, insane buildings. It was not just a couple of people flying in backgrounds from some digital mat company. And try shooting crowd scenes like that today; you can't even digitally replicate some of those shots. It's just really cool.