Eugene S. Robinson on New Oxbow Material and Reviving Black Face

Photo: Craig Murray

In addition to his duties in whacked-out heavy metal band Oxbow, Eugene S. Robinson continues to keep busy these days with his side-job as an amateur MMA fighter and professional jujitsu competitor — but he’s also delving into other musical and non-musical forms of expression as well. He just released Sal Mineo, an abrasive spoken word/electronic album with Xiu Xiu and has gained notoriety in France for his sexually-charged playsA Long Slow Screw detailed psychopathic gay men and his newest, The Inimitable Sounds of Love, which is about threesomes. Hive spoke with Robinson about some recent fights he’s been in, what’s next for Oxbow, and the rebooting his Black Flag side-project, Black Face.

I heard that you got suspended from your fighting club for … fighting.

Not suspended. I got kicked out.

How do you get kicked out from a martial arts club for practicing martial arts?

They came out with the world rankings and apparently I’m ranked 35th in the world. There’s a guy on the team who has pro-aspirations and he came out lower than me, so we all began mocking him. He took a shot at me. It was all good-natured and joking. We started sparring. I was okay with that. But, the coach said stop. I was in the type of situation where I know if I put my hands down, he’s going to take one last shot. So, I kept my hands up. The coach said, “stop!” In this instance, I just kept my hands up and kept fighting with the guy. The coach said, “You’re 86’ed. You’re out!”

How did you get back in? Did you call up the coach and apologize?

No. I would never ask. I waited a certain period of time and I did what all people do in uncomfortable situations like that. I came in and acted like nothing happened.

If I’m in situation where I have to brawl, how should I approach it?

I go back to grappling truisms. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been so effective because you do the opposite of what you normally do. Usually, in a situation, you move away. The best way you can deal with it is get as close to the person as possible. You minimize the amount of damage that he can cause you and you maximize the damage you can cause him. Even if you over-power me, as long as I can get a hold of your leg, I’ve got an advantage. I’m holding on.  If it’s biting or crushing, I’m damaging you. You always want to get close.

Speaking of getting close, you just had a play run in France that was wildly popular. It was about threesomes.

The Inimitable Sounds of Love: A Threesome in Four Acts. It’s about complicated adult relationships. It’s a departure for me. It could have been written by Harold Pinter if he was as poor as a writer as I am. It got a good reception in France and was picked up for print by Southern Records, which was started by Crass.

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