Corrupted Morals (Strul #5)

When I was organising ‘Lethal Gospel’s 3rd European tour in 1989, I got in touch with Patrick Fredriksson who started organising shows in his hometown Gävle (Sweden). This was the first show he promoted. ‘No Means No’, ‘Fugazi’ and many more followed. He also did a zine – entitled Strul (which means “trivial, petty, useless, insignificant”) – so I guess we traded. I got issue #5 (interview with ‘Corrupted Morals’, ‘Desecration’, ’16 B.U.H.’, ‘K.G.B.’, etc.), which was the last one as he was goin’ to start doing Screaming Mess with his mate Patrik Söderberg (they had done a Swedish HC compilation-tape together).

During a stay in San Francisco (1989) I purchased ‘Corrupted Morals’ first 7″ (Chet; out on LookOut recs). They were a political band and connected to MaximumRock’n’Roll’s venue (924 Gilman street), and got a lot of attention from European zines aswell… This interview was done with vocalist Rick Morgan. The others were Ray Sebastian & Dan Boland (guitar), Jose Mariscol (drums) and Roman (bass)… From the review in Tilt! #4: >>C.M. play powerful straight-forward HC with some breaks. Very good and original socio-cultural lyrics. A record  with a song called Peer Pressure (talks about what SxE really is, even though C.M. isn’t a straight-edge band) is not to be left aside.<<

corrupted-morals-strul-5-acorrupted-morals-strul-5-b

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Lifecycle (Infantile #2)

This interview comes from Infantile zine which was done my Vincent ‘Pit’ Maes (who resided in my hometown at that time and was the singer of the youthcrew band ‘Instinct’). I only got this issue. Besides reviews, a few columns and photos, it contains interviews with ‘Eyeball’, ‘Sincerity’, ‘Spirit Of Youth’ and ‘Upfront’.

‘Lifecycle’ was a ‘new-school’ metal-influenced HC band from the Ieper/Kortrijk region (H8000 but not with that typical sound; because of the female vocals they reminded of ‘Shortsight’). The band consisted of Sofie Vantomme (vocals; co-founder Vincent Merveillie soon went on to sing for ‘Spirit Of Youth’), Karel Deweerdt (guitar), Steve Noyelle (guitar), Jurgen Degryse (bass; later replaced by Maarten Kinet, Peter Leuwers & Jelle Dobbelaere) and Jan ‘Relle’ Verhelst (drums; Jan Volckaert of ‘Resist The Pain’ stood in a few times during gigs; Vincent Tetaert joined in a later stage). They recorded a demo (There Is Hope Again) in 1997 (at Michael ‘Link’ Maes’ home-studio) and a few years later a mini-album (CD) entitled Forever…Until… (at 195 studio; released on SoberMind recs). The band never aimed at being a ‘real’ H8000-styled band, they just did their own thing and I value them for that…

lifecycle-infantile-2-alifecycle-infantile-2-blifecycle-infantile-2-clifecycle-infantile-2-d

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Attitude (interview by Daragh Hayes in 1987)

While on an exchange-programme in Germany, Daragh Hayes (the later bassist of ‘Sons Of Ishmael’ – 16 at the time) interviewed ‘Attitude’ who were were touring Europe. His intention was to publish it in a zine he wanted to do with a mate but that didn’t work out. It eventually (in the new century) ended up in Equalizing Distort, a monthly publication that is an extension of the weekly radio-show (dedicated to the underground hardcore-punk scene) that Stephe(n) Perry (singer of the band ‘One Blood’, and co-editor of Drastic Solutions zine) and friends are doing for a Toronto radio-station.

Just as myself, Daragh seemed a bit disappointed by the band’s attitude. I was also really impressed by ‘Attitude Adjustment’s LP American Paranoia (of which my band covered a few songs) but when meeting them in Belgium (our collective also set up a show for them: 87-12-11), I was a bit disappointed by their “American HC imperialism” and rather commercial way of thinking. On this tour Andy Andersen (vocals), Chris Scaparro (guitar) and Rick Strahl (bass) took drummer Joey Devlin along. The summer before this tour they had recorded the Kein Schlaf Bis Deutschland 12” with Keith Chatham (‘Condemned to Death’ guitarist) playing bass and Paul Birnbaum (who was in ‘Septic Death’) on drums (replacing Chris Kontos). Paul left the band before the tour… Joey played on the The Good, The Bad, The Obnoxious 12″ (recorded in Germany early Dec. ’87) but when ‘Attitude’ got back to the USA they kicked him out of the band…

- Attitude (Daragh Hayes) a- Attitude (Daragh Hayes) b- Attitude (Daragh Hayes) c

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Doom (Carry On Screaming #4)

No need to introduce ‘Doom’, I’m sure. This interview (with ‘Stick’) was done somewhere in 1996, between the release of their Monarchy Zoo 7” and the recording of the Rush Hour Of The Gods LP. They did a tour through Europe around that time too. In the band then were: Anthony ‘Stick’ Dickens (drums), Brian Talbot (guitar), Denis ‘The Deuce’ Boardman (guitar), Chris ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne (bass) & Wayne Southworth (vocals; R.I.P.).

Luc Ardilouze visited the Vort’n Vis in Ypres (Belgium) from time to time and we corresponded for a while. He lived in Bayonne (Pays Basque) and nowadays resides in Bordeaux (where he plays drums for ‘Gasmask Terrör’ an runs a small webstore Ratbone recs). This issue of C.O.S. (interviews with ‘Öpstand’ & Sludge recs, reviews and an article on police-violence) is a split with Ludovic Haché’s zine Ras B’bol. Before this Luc did another zine entitled Scream (7 issues I believe)… He also blogs from time to time (Kängnäve)…

[Translation below]

Doom (Carry On Screaming #4) aDoom (Carry On Screaming #4) bDoom (Carry On Screaming #4) c

When ‘Doom’ started out, you declared somehow that it wasn’t much more or less than a ‘joke band’ supposed to be a clone all these Scandinavian bands, who were copying ‘Discharge’ themselves… Can we consider ‘Doom’ as a more serious band nowadays?

Stick: I never intended to make ‘Doom’ a ‘joke’ band. The name ‘Doom’ was a reaction against names like ‘Death’ and other metal bands. So it was a kind of joke but it can also be taken seriously. I believe we have always been serious regarding the music and the lyrics. As individuals we’ve always appreciated jokes and I believe that because of the lyrics we write, people tend to think that we’re very serious, if not morbid. But it is rather the opposite: we love the big parties of fun. I think we didn’t change that much in 8 years. Only me and Bri remain from the original line-up but I believe we’ve seen through a lot during this period, and we’re probably not that naive as in ‘87, and that’s why our lyrics are deeper and more serious.

Would you consider recording other covers of Swedish or Japanese bands?

Stick: We haven’t really thought about it. We recently recorded Possibility Of Life Destruction by ‘Discharge’, only because we started to play it live (during our Swedish tour) and it turned out that we ended up in a studio halfway the tour. Originally we tried to record it for our second demo (in ‘88) but we played too few lines in the verse, so that the lyrics didn’t fit. We don’t expect to do other covers at the moment. Our next recording will be a full LP and I think it will contain nothing but new songs.

So what does the word ‘thrape’ mean then?

Stick: Generally we use the word ‘thrape’ when we talk about cars. If you ‘thrape’ a car, it means you push it beyond its limits until it breaks. We decided to use the word ‘thrape’ partly for its significance and because people are always trying to define us and classify us in a category. So when people ask “What are you?”, we can use our own words, rather than saying “Oh! We are…”. It’s a foolish thing on our side but it’s equally stupid to classify everything in small boxes. Break the barriers.

Stick, you play (or have played) in many excellent bands (‘Doom’, ‘Excrement Of War’, ‘Dirt’, ‘Extreme Noise Terror’, ‘Deviated Instinct’, ‘Filthkick’,…). Are you trying to compete with Ake Henriksson [played for ‘Mob 47’, ‘Protes Bengt’, etc. etc.] or what?

Stick: Yes! That’s the only reason for doing it. The other reason is that I’m friends with the bands and drummers are (or appear to be) the most difficult thing to find. That’s annoying for bands but positive for me.

Talar du svenska? Vill ni ha nagot att dricka? [Do you speak Swedish? Would you like something to drink?]

Stick: No! I don’t speak Swedish. (Red.: But you understood the question.) The only words that people teach me are insults: I can only tell people to fuck off, go to hell and burn there.

Knowing that your first LP [War Crimes, 1988] got out on Peaceville, how do you react regarding the evolution of the label, that ended up selling out to a metal major label?

Stick: When we joined Peaceville they had just started out. We appear on the first compilation-LP. ‘Hammy’ [Paul Halmshaw] seemed like a great guy and he agreed to everything we asked, particularly regarding the ‘pay no more’ label. Everything was based on trust, no contracts, but he changed and not for the better. I’m no longer in contact with him since years. Nowadays he’s trying to make us sign contracts for the transfer to Music For Nations (Red.: Peaceville was bought by Music For Nations, a big metal major label.) But he can go fuck himself if he thinks we will cooperate with the liar asshole he is.

Is this the reason why you’re-releasing the CD Total Doom [1989] yourselves (as a double-LP entitled Fuck Peaceville [1995])?

Stick: For this reason but also because I’ve never been satisfied with the recording of War Crimes. I haven’t listened to it for years because I couldn’t stand the music: all I could hear was the terrible drumming. The sound of War Crimes and the fiasco with Peaceville pushed us to do it ourselves. D.I.Y. not M.F.N.

What’s your opinion about punk-labels such as Earache (remember the first ‘Heresy’ flexi!) that end up getting into big business?

Stick: It’s just greed. Money comes before morality.

My English is not perfect, I didn’t get the full meaning of the song Scandinavian Doorbreaker. I only understood it was a message on your answering-machine by Magnus [Jansson] of Crash Mag records, apparently drunk, threatening to wreck your flat, etc. What was the reason for that?

Stick: It was just an idea of Magnus to make fun when he was drunk. He called my home that night but my girlfriend answered and so he yelled at her. Bri told me about this ‘message’ and proposed to include it on the record. We were therefore happy to compose music to accompany it in the background. During our Swedish tour we asked Magnus to do it again on stage but he was too afraid (or too drunk). It really is a good friend and all that was done for fun. Perhaps one day we will do a second part. The Magnus rap?

There is another answering-machine message on the split-EP Doomed To Extinction [1994]. Who was that? Do you get many calls from people threatening you or insulting you?

Stick: We’re not sure who they are (but we have a faint idea). We used it because we thought it was fun because they were wrong. No, we don’t get a lot of insults via the phone but directly into our face.

Do you get along well with ‘Extinction Of Mankind’? Rumors go that they have a very bad reputation in England because of their macho attitude …

Stick: We get along perfectly with ‘Extinction Of Mankind’ and these rumors regarding their attitudes are new to us. I think they are a band of lovely people. Bless them!

One of my favourite questions at the moment: you’ve recently recorded a cover of We Are The Road Crew by ‘Motörhead’. ‘Motörhead’ has always been very influential for the punk-scene but what do you think of the image that Lemmy tends to portray (swastikas, sex, violence,…)?

Stick: I love old ‘Motörhead’ music and people always talk about the swastika on the first LP but at the time a lot of punks also wore swastikas (Red.: Or were homophobic… cf. old ‘Angry Samoans’ or ‘Bad Brains’!). I believe Lemmy’s very honest and when he writes about women, I think it’s about his experiences. [Brob: That’s blaming and shaming the women! Sexist!] I don’t think he’s politically correct [Brob: Lemmy was a conservative narrowminded bastard in my opinion.] and I’m convinced he would be the first to say that he’s not. I think these nazi paraphernalia are bikers’ images. Perhaps he’s racist but that never appeared in his lyrics. I listen to ‘Motörhead’ since 1977 and at that time I didn’t really care about politics. So I grew up with ‘Motörhead’, it’s just good rock-music to me, I don’t look any further than that, maybe because I don’t want to know. [Brob: ???!!!] To me, ‘Motörhead’ do music, not politics. I won’t particularly defend them since I don’t know them.

Is there a resurgence of police-repression in England due to the Criminal (in)Justice Bill?

Stick: There has always been police-repression in England but this new amendment gives them even more power. I don’t believe many people know how it can and will affect them, and of course when it’s done, it will be too late for them to do anything about it.

What do you think of European Union? Politicians are trying to coax us by talking about free movement of people within Europe. Yet Tom [Croft] (vocalist of ‘Doom’) was not allowed to enter Greece during your tour in ’94.

Stick: It was Tom’s fault only. He couldn’t find his passport so he could not get on the plane.

To what extent do you support direct action? I mean, a lot of innocent people are injured or killed due to indiscriminate terrorism…

Stick: I wouldn’t support the indiscriminate terrorism but direct action, yes. (Red.: Another one of these thorough answers and I’m sending you a parcel-bomb! Haha!)

Do you consider yourself a pacifist? Can we fight war through violence?

Stick: No! I don’t consider myself a pacifist. I don’t think that violence is the only answer but it undeniably is one. I think the best thing to fight against war is the refusal to cooperate. (Red.: Disobedience / objection!)

Can you tell us a joke about cops?

Stick: The cops are a joke by themselves but a rather sick joke.

What would be the best way to trap one of these bastard cops to ridicule him in public?

Stick: Ask many of them to count upto 10, that would be enough.

Something to add? Perhaps a word in French as well?

Stick: We are working on a new LP [Rush Hour Of The Gods, 1996] scheduled on Flat Earth. We still don’t know the release-date but hopefully we’ll record it in Sweden (at Sunlight Studios, where we recorded our new 7” Monarchy Zoo [1996]), it depends if someone organises us concerts there to fund the trip. By then we’ll release the double LP/CD Fuck Peaceville on our own label Thrape Grade A (with the help of Profane Existence) including 37 re-recorded tracks from the CD Total Doom originally released on Peaceville. A word in French: Maurice Chevalier, shit! (Red.: Note that ‘Oi Polloi’ are more political regarding their ‘shit’… see Carry On Screaming # 1!)

Posted in 1996, French zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Krank (België In Dromenland)

Belgie In Dromenland - Persons Unknown Kortrijk (Stel)In the early 80s, in the Kortrijk region (Belgium) some concerts were organised under the name ‘Persons Unknown’. As far as I know most of them in a bar called Reflex (where I saw ‘The Ex’, and ‘Svätsox’ or ‘Zowiso’ – if I remember correctly?) The ‘main man’ was Mark W. He also did a bunch of zines; (Message To) Persons Unknown (‘8x), België In Dromenland [Belgium In Dreamland] (Dec ’83), 19AT4 (Feb ’84), Humdiddledumhoowahaya (Mar ’84) & Omdat Mensen Belachelijk Zijn [Because People Are Ridiculous] (June ’84). Most things I got to see from these are band-presenations (‘No Numbers’, ‘War Risk 3’, ‘Pigs In Blue Glue’, ‘Zyklome-A’).

Belgie In Dromenland - front‘Stel’ gave me this interview with ‘Krank’ (Turnhout, Belgium) from België In Dromenland. I’ve never seen that band live, though they played a gig in my hometown-area (Harelbeke, 85-03-09). Their music was more in the cold-wave vein; they had 4 songs (Forgive Me ChristFrightened / Depression / No Escape) on the Punk Etc. compilation-tape Second Time Around (’83). The band consisted of Peter Beaufays (vocals), Michel Vanderhaegen (guitar), Roel De Loore (bass) & Tony ‘Ratje’ Van Steenbergen (drums). Peter & Michel (the latter played -together with Roel- for the pop-band ‘The Sands’ later on) also did a fanzine: Het Religieus Bloedblad (the religious massacre)…

[Translation below]

Krank (Belgie In Dromenland) a (Stel)Krank (Belgie In Dromenland) b (Stel)Krank (Belgie In Dromenland) c (Stel)

KRANK

Our struggle against the dark sides of society. The side that many people don’t see or don’t want to see. The struggle against the powers-that-be, the domination, manipulation, physcial, but mainly mental violence. It’s an embittered and discouraging struggle. A struggle that can lead to paranoia, depressions, drugs… We also try to fight against those things. Only the future will tell if we will win this battle. We can participate in society, what is of course the easiest way. We can end up with a noose around our neck or a syringe in our arm, or we can continue the struggle in a positive way. We hope that it will be the latter.

We don’t want to destroy things needlessly or do whatever we want but we try to live in harmony with one and other in natural order, without artificial rules or obligations. (You can call it anarchism but unfortunately the masses only understand anarchy as violence and chaos.) According to us these properties are ingrained in every human but they are only suppressed through manipulation, by school, church, parents…

The only way to reach general anarchy is to purify people’s thoughts from power and evil, and make them think as humans and ecuate them with humanity, instead of with achievements, money.

If you really want to change and want to realise what is written on your leather jacket, then start now, by addressing people, if necessary yell at them. Let yourself be heard, make pamphlets, write lyrics, make sure that you get attention, on the radio, in the media, so that you can spread your ideas; and above all: live the way you want to live your life. (By that we don’t mean beating people up or tearing things down if you feel like it.)

The struggle against war and the church. The church that keeps people obedient, that brainwashes people, the opium of the people. The church that takes the bible literally, that suppresses the most beautiful things, that causes wars, that makes people slaughter for the cross. The catholic schools: stirred up fun and camaraderie, hypocrisy, insensitive harsh punishments, mass and confession under force: we’ve experienced it and we’re sick of it.

IS THERA A LIFE AFTER DEATH?

It’s proven by the fact that most people aren’t happy: something has to change in this world. People are raised to achieve, everybody wants to possess more and more, money and luxury. One has to accomplish something in life, a well-payed job. If this is the goal of life, it’s a pretty stultifying, boring affair. (Is there life before death?) According to us it’s unnatural to sit in a school-bench or to work for 8 hours a day. At the moment however, we’re obliged to do so if we want to survive.

There will always be people who want to exert power and we can’t change much about that, but we also can’t resign ourselves.

There will always be people who want to work out their frustrations and lust for power on others: the army, police, gendarmerie. All people that are a bit ill in their minds (most of them anyway); we’re the victim of their debility. Police should only consist of people that can handle the job, that don’t get blinded by hate and frustrations, and that don’t believe they can do whatever they want in a blue uniform, but that know the problems of the people and can deal with them. Society breeds criminals, that they then sentence and lock up.

Not a lot of people feel totally at ease when the police is around. Most of them avoid the police and still they should be their friend and protector of the people?

SUPPORT THE BLACK FLAG

We have realised that we should remain loyal to one and other, that we have to organise if we want to reach something. At first you’re alone and then you can’t do much but that doesn’t mean that you have to give up: look around you for people that think like you and want to change things. There’s thousands of them. Then start together, learning from your mistakes, but not become discouraged, also not when at first things seem often hopeless.

State and police are not allmighty. We know that we can’t disrupt the state, destroy it or overthrow it.

We’re not screwed up petty bourgeois, it’s our opinion that words and verbal demands are not enough to change that was is going wrong in this country. There’s already written too much about this, too many people experience it in their daily lifes. In this society only a few do well, the majority is flipping out.

Movement of June 2nd (Rote Armee Fraktion)

Lastly something about our music (???)

How we started and who we are doesn’t really matter. We don’t play hard music because we’re not hard or heavy guys and we also don’t want to present ourselves as such. We think that an audience is better addressed with music and lyrics that scream emotions rather than with superficial bashing. It’s not the intention to just let the audience pogo because nobody listens then to what we have to say. Instead it’s our intention to grasp the audience, to let them think, to move them. At a concert it would be better that it’s as quiet as a mouse after certain of our songs. Then everybody’s busy thinking, asking themselves questions. Instead of applauding and going home contended.

We don’t know how people can best describe our music, it also doesn’t interest us much. Some call it ‘positive punk’ or perhaps even ‘horror punk’, but these are just labels that people want to stick on everything, fabrications of the press.

And a word to all meat-eaters: try to stop it. It’s not that difficult, meat is not addicitive. If you don’t eat meat for a few days and buy a book about vegetarian food with the money you saved, you can start preparing equally nutricious and eaqually tasteful dishes. Vegetarianism might seem futile in your view but if every vegetarian only saves just a few animals of the hundred-thousands being killed, I think it’s worthwhile. We don’t want to force anything upon anyone but nobody has the right to force death and suffering upon. If you look at the piece of meat in your plate, just think of the butchering, the horrible screams of pain, of the guts, the blood, of the fear in their eyes, of the rotting garbage infested with fly-eggs. You see a cow in the meadow and a piece of meat in the shop but you don’t know what has happened in-between.

KRANK; Turnhout (Belgium)

*** We’ve walked quite friendly up to death / Death was never an enemy of ours / We laughed at him / No soldier’s paid to kick against his powers / We laughed (War Requiem) ***

‘Krank’ lyrics and artwork, courtesy of Koen ‘Mad Mohawk’ S.:

Krank lyricsKrank artwork_2‘Krank’ pics (1982-83; Wollewei, Turnhout), courtesy of Jack Kenis:

82q83q Krank vox (Wollewei Turnhout) by Jack Kenis82q83q Krank git+dr (Wollewei Turnhout) by Jack Kenis82q83q Krank dr (Wollewei Turnhout) by Jack Kenis82q83q Krank bass (Wollewei Turnhout) by Jack Kenis

Posted in 1983, Belgian zines | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Christophe ‘Stonehenge’ Mora (El Otro Mundo #5)

Carlos Leon Liquete, a correspondent from Valladolid (Spain) did 7 issues of his zine El Otro Mundo (The Other World) from 1996 to 2001. Since I don’t speak Spanish I could never read it but I contributed some of my columns that Carlos translated and published. This interview here appeared in #5; which also contained: “Carta a los directores de manicomios” (letter to the directors of mental hospitals),  Not Your Property (by ‘Active Minds’), Asociación Cultural La Polilla (a cultural assosiation), poems, kéfir, texts about punk-songs and their lyrics, etc. Nowadays Carlos is a univeristy-professor philology (linguistics) and a poet. He has a website (La Pagina De Nadie, Nobody’s Page) where people who master Spanish can find some poetry and a collection of Spanish zines…

El Otro Mundo #5 coverChristophe Mora (from France) is a good friend that I got to know when he used to come over here regularly to perform with his bands (‘FingerPrint’ and ‘Undone‘). He was/is a very active and dedicated chap, who released a whole bunch of great records on his label Stonehenge recs and ran/runs a distribution with plenty of interesting music and literature. Nowadays Chris lives in Toulouse and plays in a couple of bands again.

[Translation – by Carlos Leon Liquete – below]

- Stonehenge (El Otro Mundo #5) a- Stonehenge (El Otro Mundo #5) b- Stonehenge (El Otro Mundo #5) c- Stonehenge (El Otro Mundo #5) c'- Stonehenge (El Otro Mundo #5) d- Stonehenge (El Otro Mundo #5) e- Stonehenge (El Otro Mundo #5) f- Stonehenge (El Otro Mundo #5) g- Stonehenge (El Otro Mundo #5) h- Stonehenge (El Otro Mundo #5) i- Stonehenge (El Otro Mundo #5) j

  1. HOW ARE YOU? HOW ARE YOUR DISTRO/BANDS/LABEL AT THIS MOMENT?

I’m doing very interesting things, thanks for asking… The label’s growing, I feel happy about it, also regarding the mailing-list (although it really takes me a lot of time). I’m starting to play in a new band now, we don’t have a name yet… It’s still all very new (we’ve only done a few ‘trials’).

  1. HOW IS THE FRENCH SCENE AT PRESENT (BANDS, ZINES, LABELS, ETC.)?

Oh, good, you know… I’ve always described the French HC/punk-scene as a strange place… I also think that it’s a strange scene but I’m already used to it… It seems that there are a few new groups of people involved, etc. That’s cool! Our scene is very small… It has always been something like this: few people, but a lot of dedicated and active ones… About bands: we have a handful of really good bands here. As far as I can think, the better ones are ‘Bidewell Hospital’, ‘Alcatraz’, ‘Soar’, ‘Headway’, ‘What’s Wrong’, ‘Spit’, ‘Elevate’, ‘Kochise’, ‘Protex Blue’ and many more. There are some big zines aswell, such as Scream (the next issue will be in English, a split with Engine zine from the USA), Star Sixtyne, Coexistence, Krach, Abstraction. We’ve also got a zine published in French called Desiderata that people have called the “French HeartAttack”, a handful of politic publications (such as La Gryffe or Maloka Newsletter), etc. If you need any contacts: just ask me, OK?

  1. ARE THERE SOME/MANY SQUATS OR SOCIAL CENTRES IN FRANCE? SQUATTED VILLAGES?

Of course, there are squats in France… I used to live in Paris where I went to a big and very nice squat there, where we used to do engage in some activities (cooking for Food Not Bombs Paris, etc.). I know there are a lot of squats in Paris now and that they’re trying to organise themselves in a better way (2 months ago they began an inter-squat committee or something in that vein). Some squats have been closed, others start up, as always… I know of squats in Lille (North of France): they have a good squat ‘tradition’ there; also in Toulouse, Dijon, Rennes, etc. I know of the existence of a few squatted villages but I’ve never been there so I can’t tell you anything about them. We don’t have Social Centres in France, like you have in Spain. That’s too bad…

  1. WHAT ABOUT ‘UNDONE’, ‘FINGERPRINT’, ‘JASEMINE’? WHICH ONES DID YOU PLAY IN?

Well, you know, just as with all bands, we decided not to continue for different reasons… Partly because we didn’t want to follow the same path – for some reason or another – or we just didn’t want to do the same things again and again… Nothing new here, I’m afraid.

  1. WHAT IS PUNK FOR YOU?

Well, that’s a very hard question. Punk is all that people want it to be, I suppose. To me, it’s a way of organising your life and trying to work on your education, changing yourself and your behaviour towards others, etc. This means not taking part in this society of which we don’t feel part. It means not playing roles that you are expected to and trying to find your own answers.

It means living a happy life and trying to be free. It also means realising that there’s something more beyond white heterosexual culture in life and refusing to consider other cultures in a selfish way, with all our ignorance… This means trying to live an honest life, engaging in what one thinks is true, without worrying that there are tons of people (parents, teachers, leaders, bosses, politicians, etc.) who think we’re stupid and without worrying there’s tons of pressure in our daily lives. It means having no fear about questioning ourselves and trying to admit that sometimes we all fuck up, and that arrogance and egoism will never make our lives better.

It means not being afraid to say what’s bothering you, to say that you love, to show your emotions and trying to build a better life for the people living around you. Let me try to summarise all this in this sentence: punk (to me) is solidarity, freedom, autonomy, questioning, love, communication and change.

  1. HOW DO YOU SEE THE HC/PUNK SCENE IN EUROPE? WE KNOW THAT YOU RELEASED A SPLIT-EP WITH ‘E-150’ AND ‘IVICH’… DO YOU THINK THAT COOPERATION IS REAL OR ONLY FOR A FEW THINGS (LIKE RECORDS)?

Well, I believe that there’s a tremendous potential, really… When I see the European distribution of the ‘Los Crudos’ LP, for example, with a lot of people getting involved and working on it, I get really inspired and I feel that punk is still my home, after so many years… The cooperation is real and always seems the best thing, even it’s a hard to work things out when we live so far away from each other, when we don’t speak necessarily the same language, etc. I’m going to do a split-EP with ‘Soar’ & ‘Grievance’ (an Italian band) again with Biba recs (from Italy) and I’m happy with that. Of course, this kind of cooperation isn’t the best but honestly, every day I see people of different parts of Europe helping each other, organising tours, asking for records, zines, helping others to travel, providing a floor to sleep, or just communicating with each other. There are many negative aspects about punk but we should never forget the really important things that are there in the end…

  1. IS PUNK REALLY A MOVEMENT? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE ‘DISCORD’ IN THE SCENE?

I don’t see punk as a movement because I think that we’ll always be with very few to make a real change in this society… But, on the other hand, I honestly think that punk is real. It has been here for 20 years and there are still people organising and trying to provide a valued and coherent response to this western, heterosexual and white society. It’s real, because we found some autonomy while getting organised in this community… We gained empowerment and slowly achieved not to be fucked over, no matter how this society looks at us or thinks about us. We can be creative people. We can be engaged and dedicated… Our education always teaches us to be submissive people who never believe in themselves. Punk is true because it offers places where you can start believing in yourself and believing in people who live around you in the same way… Yes, we’re getting things done in our small punk-community, without worrying about whether they’re just basic things… There’s still a place where we can learn to be different people, more focussed on what we believe, more sincere about how we want to live our lifes, etc. Therefore I still see punk as a great place, even if I don’t like everything… It’s so easy to see the negative aspects of something (and punk surely has a lot of them) and forget about all the great and positive aspects… But, sincerely, let’s keep the positive points in mind and try to work on the negative ones to change them, instead of always complaining… It’s very good that we don’t agree about many things. This proves that punk is not a fucked-up ‘sect’ and we have the freedom to choose what we think and decide.

  1. DO YOU THINK LIVING OF PUNK IS POSSIBLE OR ACCEPATABLE? (WHY OR WHY NOT?) WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT NON-PROFIT?

No, I don’t think that we can pay our lives with punk. It’s a very difficult discussion, I’ll try to organise my thoughts a bit. I know life is full of compromises…  If you really think and even recognise that running a nice and ‘ethical’ punk business is probably a hundred times better than compromising yourself in a crappy job. What actually happens is: I fear that people will really start counting on punk to pay their bills and will slowly end up deciding to take the ‘easiest way’ (like e.g. considering only to bring bands of which you can sell more material, distribute more expensive records, etc.) I don’t think you can be very ethical if the fact of being able to pay your debts depends on the LPs that you sell or not. Obviously you have to choose and when your survival depends on it, I’m pretty sure that the only choice you can make will be to accept competition, business, money, etc. What I want to say is that I think it’s possible to live of punk theoretically but life can turn this into a business one day or another, and from this point of view, I don’t think I want to support this. On the other hand, I know we have to live, eat, have a roof over our heads, some clothes, etc. and we obviously compromise ourselves to satisfy our needs one way or another. Because of this we can believe it’s better to run a ‘punk business’ than a ‘shitty job’… I understand, it could be better for me to live of my label than to work a shitty capitalist job… But, I also still want punk to be a place with ideals and values, I think it’s very important to maintain symbols if we want help to change this world a bit… The way I see it, to be non-profit is a way to resist the capitalist system and to try and create something different in our own way…

  1. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE CONFLICTS IN THE FRENCH SUBURBS? CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS A LITTLE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF FRENCH PEOPLE?

Well, conflicts in suburbs are an unusual reflexion… On the one hand, I feel happy that people don’t accept to live their lives and that some ‘resist’ but on the other hand I think that they won’t really get to change this society or question the powers-that-be… For some of them, it’s just desperate violence (because when you live a life of poverty, inequality, etc. there’s not a lot of ways to resist and try to change things) but for the vast majority it’s just a ‘hype’, somethng to do (clothing, music, ‘way of life’, etc). And guess who will be cashing in on the ‘hype’? Basically I hate violence and people who just behave well to get accepted. Also, I hate the very ‘macho’ behaviour of the suburbs.

  1. HOW IS THE CURRENT SITUATION FOR UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE IN FRANCE? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WORK AND THE SYSTEM THAT REVOLVES AROUND IT OR IS BASED ON IT?

Another great but difficult question… Just like so many people, I don’t want to work a capitalist job, I don’t want to waste my life strengthening the power and privileges of the system/bosses. I have ‘excluded’ myself from the ‘labour-market’ about 5 years ago. (I’ve been working a shit job 5 years before this.) Since then, I don’t have any ‘official’ or ‘regular’ job. In France, we are lucky, because when you‘re older than 25 years, the state will give you some money to survive (around 35.000 francs at month – 1.000 Euro). This is the only regular money I’ve had over the past years but, honestly, I like the idea of living with very little money, it helps me to be a less stupid consumer and slowly get myself away from ‘the system’. Regarding the situation of unemployed in France. Well… I think that it’s the same as anywhere else (except that perhaps it’s better to be unemployed in France than in any Latin-American or African country). In France, as elsewhere on the planet, work is the fucking rule that governs us and people don’t consider that you can organise your life in a different way. Work is so ‘natural’ that people without work become marginalised and people we have to worry about. Unemployed people have to suffer poverty and at the same time – as if it’s not enough – they have to feel doomed for what they are. As long as capitalist labour is the only way for all of us to live, freedom does not exist. We can produce food, goods, etc. to feed and satisfy the global population, without having to keep the fucked up traditional organisation of labour. Returning to the question of French unemployed people nowadays… Since 2 years there’s an enormous movement, with most unemployed people trying to get things done about their situation, together… Nowadays there are still a lot of people organising together (unemployed, squatters, homeless, etc.). I think that’s good…

  1. THAT’S ALL, FEEL FREE TO ADD WHATEVER YOU WANT? AND IF YOU DON’T WANT TO, PICK A QUESTION THAT YOU WANT TO ANSWER.

Well, thanks for your time sending me these questions. I’m always very happy when people care for others, it’s a very intense thing… I hope I’ve given meaning to my words (it’s not easy to write in English and develop your thoughts in a language that is not yours) but if someone wants to talk about it: don’t hesitate to write. Actually anyone can contact me for anything… Thank you for your time!!! Solidarity. Communication. Resistance. Christophe xXx.

Posted in 1999, Spanish zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sam McPheeters (Seen Not Heard #1)

Mel(anie) Gauthier, from Toronto (Canada), spent time with people from the European HC-scene in the early 90s but I think I got this from another fellow zinester… I only know of this one issue of her zine Seen Not Heard. She interviewed a bunch of scenesters such as David Mandel (Indecision recs), Al Quint (Suburban Voice zine), Kent McClard (No Answers zine), Daisy Rooks (Not Even zine), etc. MellyXMel’s focus was on straight-edge, veganism and animal-rights.

Another person she did a brief interview with was Sam McPheeters who’s zine Dear Jesus I’d gotten to know through my friends from the NYC HC scene. We would also meet when he toured Europe with his band ‘Born Against’ in 1992. The following years I distributed some of his zines (D.J., Error, I Yeast Roll) and records from his label Vermiform recs. After a period in Richmond (Virginia) Sam moved to California. He authored a couple of books and has written for bigger magazines (HC/punk and other). Hopefully he’s keeping up his sarcasm and uncompromising attitude…

- Sam McPheeters (Seen Not Heard #1)

Posted in 1992, Canadian zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment