Cause & Effect (Stonehenge #3)

This zine was done by Christophe Mora (from France), 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 guy and dedicated to D.I.Y. and creating a true alternative (interview). He also has 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. The first issue (he did three in total, 94-95, living in Magnanville) had interviews with (French bands) ‘Ultimate Disorder’ & ‘D.C.A.’, a few columns (HC/punk, straight-edge, vegetarianism) and reviews. I seem to have lost n°2 unfortunately. In #3 there’s interviews with ‘Enola Gay’& ‘Cause’n Effect’ (from France), thoughts on animal liberation & D.I.Y., plus reviews. Later on he started another fanzine-project (Desiderata; aiming to “faire de nouveau du punk une menace” – making punk a threat again) together with some people of the Sidonie collective in Niort.

‘Cause & Effect’ was the band (from Caen, Normandy, France) of my correspondent Sandro Cargnelli (vocals). The others were Henri-Pierre Trocherie (guitar/vocals), Fabrice Tanguy (bass) & Alexis Dectot (drums/vocals). Sandro & Alexis went on to play for ‘Season’. The musical style was melodic hardcore. They did a tape and recorded a 7″ (out on Panx recs) in 1995; also appeared on Stonehenge’s Reconstruction compilation-LP (’94) and on the Wod’s Yer Name compilation-EP (’96, Up Front recs). Antoine Goubard (guitar; later ‘Amanda Woodward’) replaced Henri-Pierre in 1996.

[Translation below]

Band-presentation?

Sandro: No problem… Henri-Pierre (guitar), Alexy (drums), Sandro (bass/vocals). We’re looking for a second guitarist.

In a certain radical punk environment, melodic pop-core hasn’t got a good reputation. It’s been accused of being a type of music made by idiots and having nothing to say. What is your opinion on this?

S: I don’t quite agree… A band like ‘J Church’ is absolutely the opposite of what you say. It’s a band that has a multitude of things to say. Their lyrics reflect the surrounding apathy,… Take ‘Jawbreaker’: their position regarding majors can’t be more explicit (Editor’s note: Well, they just signed on a major… Anyway, they never took a radical stance against major labels.) It seems to me that mixing things is dubious. Just because a band has fun lyrics doesn’t make them not worthwhile. On the other hand, we can’t generalise, idiots are everywhere, right? To be honest, there’s some real aberrations in the radical punk scene. What about pseudo-vegetarians who wear leather? It’s easy to sing about the revolution but it would these ideas still apply in everyday life… The same for guys who sing ‘Fuck the USA’ but who consume a litre of coke and two packs of Marlboro a day. Where’s the credibility? I have the deep conviction that change happens in the first place by oneself. We have to challenge ourselves before yelling anything! Ah, I almost forgot: it’s not by lumping things up and screaming ‘Anarchy’ that we’re gonna estabish the revolution. Moderation and humbleness…

How do you view the hardcore/punk scene in France?

S: I think there are more and more interesting and distribution-initiatives of innovative ideas. Compared to that, I believe it’s absurd to think that French bands are worthless. We don’t have to have any complexes. That kind of attitude just irritates me. France is bubbling with very good bands (Look for them, they are numerous!).

What is your position on the idea of legalising soft drugs?

H-P: I’m in favour, and for several reasons. First, we could control the quality of the shit better. Prices would drop and I don’t think there would be more people who’ld smoke… Anyway, it’s stupid to ban it because hash is out there, even if it’s severely repressed (trade and consumption). There will always be people who will produce it. Anyway, I don’t smoke (so theoretically, I would have to be against), but it’s true that a guy who’s smoking right under my nose (shit or tabacco) really annoys me. Smokers should take responsibility towards non-smokers, and realize how annoying it is for a non-smoker to breathe cigarette-smoke. The smoker has the right to smoke, but the non-smoker has the right not to breathe cigarette-smoke.

S: I don’t know if legalisation would manage to put an end to all this crappy business! I don’t feel too concerned, sorry…

What does hardcore music mean to you? Do you see it as a way to try to change the mentality of people or is it just music?

S: My notion of hardcore is related to D.I.Y. It’s inseparable to us! People have to understand that we don’t need to be very technical to start a band. The important thing is to engage, to create… I like the sincerity in hardcore. It’s also about getting organised to create our own structures; not make concessions to the crappy and shitty business; it’s about rejecting the benevolent ideas (homophobia, racism,…) You see? On the other hand, I find it uncomfortable to try to change people’s minds. I prefer it when someone tries to explain me their point of view rather than impose it on me. Again: communication has to remain paramount. I don’t like a band that comes on stage saying: “Do this like that, think this way.”. That’s sometimes what happens… It’s brainwashing and we get to communalities. We end up going around in circles and I, preaching to converted, it’s not my thing and it will never be.

What do you think about ‘violent dancing at punk/hardcore concerts? Do you think the band is responsible for that? How to react?

S: Ah! We just returned from a festival where we could see a guy trampling a twelve-year-old boy during a pogo! What is there to add? The pogo is the expression of a certain frustration but especially of the stupidity and the disrespect of others… Stage-diving becomes a display: people jump higher and higher, and get increasingly hurt… How to react? By stopping to play, quite simply (as did ‘Disaffect’), when it gets too violent. I like it when a concert becomes synonymous with party but party doesn’t mean violence or simply stoned. Discrimination should also be stopped. Whether you’re big, small, big, thin,… Whatever your social origin, your colour of skin is… You come to concert because you’re interested in the music. The guys who come confront others, criticise, fuck shit up,…should get lost (I mean, at concerts).

The projects of ‘Cause’n Effect’?

S: Continue, play, communicate,…

Influences of the band?

S: As for musical influences, we’re not going to hide that we’re listening to a lot of melodic/pop-punk hardcore: ‘Stupids’, old ‘Hard-Ons’, ‘Snuff’, ‘No Use For A Name’, ‘LagWagon’, ‘Strung Out’, ‘No FX’ (Who as a matter of fact make uncalled-for remarks. They belong to the category you mentioned in the second question: stupid and having nothing to say.). Also: ‘J Church’, ‘Propagandhi’, ‘Sicko’, ‘Joyce McKinney Experience’, ‘Rancid’. But the band I value most is ‘Screeching Weasel’. A band that has been able to remain honest and concerned. Moreover: they don’t hesitate to play (and support) for the gay community in the States. To me they remain a reference in terms of pop-punk and attitude. For extra-musical influences: I love the old French thrillers, the movies of De Palma, Polanski, Peter Jackson. C’Est Arrivé Près De Chez Vous is the most fantastic movie (a treat) ever made. I also like fantastic literature (King, Masterton, Lovecraft, …)

What do you think of the straight-edge lifestyle?

S: I’ll repeat myself but I think it’s a good answer to the old stereotypes of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll… I leave that to the old rock-stars with cocaine-filled noses. For my part, I won’t condemn anyone because he smokes shit. Tolerance and respect! As for tobacco: that’s something else. I have to admit that I can’t stand this extremely selfish ‘pleasure’. People never talk about the rights of non-smokers…our only right is to inhale their shit. Intolerance often comes from smokers. Fuck their tobacco!!! On the other hand, straight-edgers proudly boasting by showing of their Xs irritate me. Some don’t respect what sXe means above all: respect. The right to be different is a bit too abstract for them. Their attitude is archaic and outdated. To conclude: ‘true sXe’ is a very respectable choice.

H-P: It’s certain that keeping a healthy body, not damaging your health through smoking/drinking is a good thing. But you have to let people choose. We don’t have the right to force people to not drink or smoke, as is often the case with people who say they’re sXe. It’s become fashionable, it’s stupid. Moreover: regarding sXe people, what makes me laugh, is those who in France for example, put Xs on their hand. In the beginning these were intended for guys who weren’t 21 years old and therefore couldn’t consume alcohol in the United States. In France, when you’re 13 years old (or less, I took the age at random), you go to a grocery-store and get yourself a Valstar [brand of beer]. In the USA, you can’t. It’s really forbidden. So I smile when I see that kind of fashionable behaviour. If you want to, you have the right not to drink or smoke, but shouting it out because of that, that actually sucks. For some it’s definitely their way to exist, to be someone.

One last word?

S: Thank you Christophe… Good luck with all your activities! STAY UNDERGROUND!!!

contact: c/o Sandro Cargnelli — 14000 Caen

 

 

 

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Posted in 1995, French zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Profane Existence (Assault With Intent To Free #9)

Newt Rayburn started working for the (anarcho-punk; connected to the A.Y.F.) zine Assault With Intent To Free at the time of its fourth issue (March ’88; the first A.W.I.F. came out October ’87, edited by ‘Skull’ Chris Robertson, Tait Graves & and Tom Queyja). They were all living in Oxford, Mississippi (late 80s). I only got to see #9 when he had moved to Minneapolis. This issue dates from 1991 and mentions a few people collaborating; before Newt joined, it was also a collective effort. One of the people who collaborated in this 9th issue was ‘Troll’ (Dan Siskind of Profane Existence). He was probably the one that sent it to me; or it could’ve been Joel Olson (Hippycore zine) who’d moved away from Arizona to Minneapolis aswell. Newt & Joel joined the P.E. staff and started a band -together with Dan- called ‘Pissed’. Newt played guitar on the band’s self-titled debut-7″ but was no longer in the band when they toured Europe in 1993. He started a new band (and still plays bass for) ‘The Cooters’ and is back in Mississippi where he runs a publishing-company.

Over the years I helped distribute Profane Existence (and even wrote some bits for it). In my opinion one of the best anarcho-punk zines… Read also Profane Existence (Our Struggle #4).

Brob

Posted in 1991, USA zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

De Rattebeet

The Ieper/Ypres  HC/punx celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Vort’n Vis in June 2019. One of the founding-fathers (Jan Claus, at the time nick-named ‘Jangle Ratpoison’) used to play (guitar) in a band called ‘Modern Underdogs’ and did a (fan)zine called De Rattebeet (“the rat-bite”; 1986-88). I got to know him at gigs (in my hometown & elsewhere) and Smurfpunx-shows. In the 90s we were both ‘shitworkers’ at the above-mentioned V.V.

Jan was helped by some of his friends (e.g. Johan Dewancker). De Rattebeet was in Dutch and full of references to the socio-economic situation in Belgium of that era; and also to local ‘politics’ in ‘de Westhoek’ (area around Ieper/Ypres, between the French border and the Belgian west-coast), known for its ‘Big War’ tourism… Translating and explaining all of that would fill a whole book. The tone was quite sarcastic; no chance was missed to expose the bourgeoisie, enterpreneurs and clergy. Jan himself called his zine ‘unrespectful’ but there was always a funny touch (e.g. #3 came with a few sheets of pink toiletpaper embellished with the head of the French facist Jean-Marie Le Pen)…

As far as I know, Jan was one of the very few (if not the only one) zinesters around here that ended up in jail for something he published (a leaflet with a comic – that was before he started his zine). The original was confiscated by the police but he managed to save a few copies.

In 1985 pope John-Paul II visited Belgium… As Jan explains: “On wednesday May 15th 1985 –  a few days before the pope’s visit to Ieper – I was in the slammer because of a satirical comic-strip about the pope. Something that was considered blasphemy and an insult to a friendly head of state in the Ieper of that era. I was held for some 6-7 hours and was free to go home the same evening. A few days later (friday May 17th) I even watched the pope’s speech on the Ieper market-place, after which I attended a satirical ‘Roman party’ fuif in a new-wave pub.”.

Centerfold (from De Rattebeet #2) with collage, including captions such as “put him on the cross”, “open your eyes before JP closes them”, “long will he stick [to the tarmac]”; the penis in the centre erected when the zine was opened…

>>Hey Popie Jopie [Dutch nick-name for pope JP II], super-tourist that travels the world! How many airports did you vacuum by now? Or was that kissing? How many bells, prayer-cards and figurines have you blessed? How many millions did you get for your shows? Yeah, make the poor – in misery, hoping for their heaven – pay. Of course you can’t criticize the dictator in Chili. But well, we understand you. After all Pinochet is a devout catholic. And if you had preached a little less in favour of atonement of the people and the junta in Argentina, then the latter wouldn’t have felt so supported. Also when you visited West-Germany, people were in fire, especially in Stotzheim, near Köln,  where there was once a beautiful village-church.<<

A bit more on the contents… #1: a report on Bob Geldof’s visit in Ieper; short bits on the army, politicians; The Meaning Of Life (sneers on local/national politics); weather-report (gives a first glimpse of Jan’s interest in science/technology); ‘Belgium, my homeland’ comic-strip, a rant on the Leet 86 local festival (inspiration for the later Leed fests at the Vort’n Vis), record-reviews, DIY effect-pedal electronics, etc. #2: report on punk in Poland, letter-section, presentation of the band ‘Dawn Of Liberty’; The Meaning Of Life (kicking various shins); record/fanzine-reviews; God’s-Last-Er (“god’s burden/blasphemy”) comic, info on the arms-industry, etc. #3: various vitriolic swipes (dumb HC crossover, jehovah’s witnesses, McDonald’s, school, music-industry, cops, …), report on racism in the Westhoek, gig/zine/record-reviews, another edition of The Meaning Of Life, presentation of ‘Shooting Skippies’, a lengthy article entitled Science As An Excuse For Discrimination, etc. #4: a plethora of comments under the title ‘News From The Thrash Can’ & ‘Our Grumble Column’, report on a youthcentre in Aalst that was set on fire, The Adventures Of God, presentations of ‘Hate Crew’, ‘Disgorge’ & ‘Deadly Serious’, info of the No More Censorship Defense Fund, reviews (records/gigs/movies/zines), letters, a comprehensive interview with an Oxfam-collaborator, etc. etc.

Posted in 1987, Belgian zines | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Gorilla Biscuits (Connection X #3)

Connection X was a straight-edge, “socialist” fanzine edited by 2 members of ‘Feeding The Fire’ – Roger ‘NBH’ (‘Nothing But Human’; bass) and Rob Franssen (vocals). They were from Kerkrade, The Netherlands. I believe they did 4 issues in total…

Didn’t get to see #1 (featured ‘Chain Of Strength’, ‘Unit Pride’, ‘Our Gang’ & ‘Time For Change’), #2 or #4 as far as I can remember. I just found this 3rd issue containing interviews with ‘Man Lifting Banner’, ‘Gorilla Biscuits’ & ‘Last Straw’ (Nor). It also had some columns (on sXe, death-sentence, idolatry, bio-industry), other info-bits (permaculture, food-additives), a German scene-report, reviews (demos/zines) and a few pics.

The editors of Connection X and Crossblock (Marc Herbertz) also did a compilation-tape: Coming Back To Haunt You (came with a 20-page booklet).

‘Gorilla Biscuits’ was a straight-edge band from New York City with Walter ‘Wally’ Schreifels (guitar; also bass in ‘Youth Of Today’ & ‘Project X’), Alex Brown (guitar; Schism fanzine; R.I.P.), Luke Abbey (drums), Arthur Smilios (bass) & Anthony Civorelli (vocals). This interview with Walter was done by Michiel Bakker (‘Man Lifting Banner’ vocalist) after the band had ended their European tour (1989).

Posted in 1990, Dutch zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Spawn (Clear Perception #1)

Chris(topher) Meadows (who lived in the Liverpool area) did this straight-edge vegan zine. He was also the drummer for ‘Unborn’ and the vocalist of ‘Withdrawn’, etc. He sent/gave me his first issue (1993). It had interviews with ‘Unbroken’, ‘Spawn’ & ‘Refused’, a column about love by Tom Lang (editor of Our Struggle) and some ads. #2 (94) contained interviews with ‘Gorilla Biscuits’, ‘Frail’ & xTrain Of Thoughtx fanzine & Crucial Response recs, and Italian & North Carolina scene-reports.

Later on Chris decided to follow the hardline philosophy. Together with Nathan Bean (‘Rot In Hell’ vocalist and Harder They Fall zine) he ran UK Hardline. His third issue (96) featured ‘EcoRage’, ‘Insurrection’ & ‘Statement’; plus columns & reviews. In #4 (97) there were talks with ‘Purification’, ‘Day Of Suffering’ & ‘Upheaval’, info on “natural medicine”, animal suffering and caffeine, loads of reviews and a report on the Roman sXe scene.

‘Spawn’ (formerly ‘InnerXCircle’) was an sXe band from the German Rurhpott area. At that time the band consisted of Chris(topher) Van Dornick (vocals), René Natzel (drums; also ‘Feeding The Fire’; In My Blood fanzine), Holger Andt (bass; later Dirk Zeise), Daniel Frankowski (guitar; Shattering The Silence zine) & Patrick Uhle(mann) (guitar); and had their first 7″ out (released on Chris’ label Emblem recs).

Posted in 1993, UK zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Scraps (Y’En A Marre #1)

Acquaintances from the Vort’n Vis scene (back then living in Lille & Roubaix, north of France, just across the border) – Doriane Billard & Diabolo Caste – did this zine…  I only saw this one issue (1990-ish). On the cover it says: “This zine is not a trivial consumption-product but an instrument for reflection.”. The profits were donated to REGAR (a social/humanitarian association). “Y’en a marre” is colloquial for “I’m fed up”.

Nowadays they live in the south: Doriane lives in Bayonne (capital of French Basque Country) where she directs a circus-school (Oreka Zirkoa) and Diabolo is the manager of Veganethik (a “concept-store” with a range of vegan foods plus organic/ecological products, a skateboard corner/skatepark, a bookstore, a comic-strip class, a non-alcoholic organic bar, a tattoo-parlor and piercings, etc.) in Capbreton (south Atlantic coast).

Diabolo became the vocalist of ‘P.R.A.C.H.’, an anarcho-punk band, played guitar in ‘Diatribe’ (anarcho-crust-punk, 1996-98) and was in ‘Rezistenza’ (rock/metal, 2006-07).

Both Doriane & Diabolo were friends with the people in ‘Scraps’. Around that time the Dutriaux brothers had enlisted Tomoy as bassist & Xavier as drummer, and were about to record their LP for Be Yourself recs (Wrapped Up In This Society)… There’s more to read in this interview from their earlier days. They also did a Smurfpunx gig (90-10-06) and an antifascist benefit we co-organised (91-03-03).

Brob

Why did we do all this (zines, concerts, etc.)? To create some sort of existence alongside all that commercial stuff! To pass on all sorts of information that couldn’t be found in the sacred press, yes, glitter and company… To have a good time with friends too!!!

Doriane Billard

I wasn’t that much involved with the zine, I only took care of the drawings. There haven’t been that many issues, I believe. The content was very engaged because our motivation was to pass on antifa, anti-capitalist, anti-sexist ideas…in the DIY scene of the time.

Thionville is where I lived before but I studied Applied Arts in Roubaix where I met the ‘Scraps’. I went back up there to set up a HC/punk band (‘P.R.A.C.H.’ [Pour Révolutionner Alternativement Chaque Humain (To Alternately Revolutionize Every Human)]) and a libertarian and antifa vegan-edge collective. I also replaced ‘Scraps’ guitarist for a tour in France/Spain/Portugal.

Diabolo

[Translation below]

START OF THE BAND

The band was formed in ‘83 on the coast in the region of Boulogne-sur-Mer and since 5 years we have had a lot of changes of musicians (too much to mention…) and quite some problems. Currently we are: Xavier on the drums; Tomoy on bass, ‘Gros-Boeuf’ [‘Big Ox’] on guitar and ‘Charogne’ [‘Carcass’] on vocals. ‘Gros-Boeuf’ also throws in some of the Aaarghs.

How many concerts have you done?

We did about a hundred concerts all over Europe (West and East) with bands such as ‘Negazione’ (laughter… seeing what it is now), ‘Cólera’, ‘Chaos UK’, ‘Generic’, ‘E.N.E.’, etc. To be brief: a good bunch of international bands.

You play a lot more abroad than in France! Why is that?

That’s due to the fact that we get a lot more asked there, especially in Nordic countries where hardcore is more popular, people appreciate this kind of music more than in France. A simple example: this summer we did a European tour, we played in Switzerland, Germany, the U.K., Austria, Yugoslavia…but not in France because in France, we’re still a little behind when it comes to hardcore; there’s no permanent structure that can host bands like ‘Scraps’ or other Americans, British,… We often visit concerts in Belgium, or go see American bands that tour in Europe because in France, there’s no possibilities to see them. There’s hardly anyone who organises gigs for hardcore bands, for many reasons. First, in France people are more interested in Parisian bands that are often more approachable than hardcore outfits. And then, there’s also the demand for concerts. On 10, there are often 8 that get canceled at the last moment or aren’t really interresting. Now things are starting to move a bit; a few months ago we played in Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand. It’s starting to change… Let’s say the gigs in Lyon and C-F were concerts organised by political groups, alternative collectives, S.C.A.L.P., autonomous groups… People who do concerts without ads or ‘wild’ gigs, not specifically hardcore things. They ask ‘Scraps’ to play especially because of our committed lyrics and our political approach.

You’ve played in a lot of countries (Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, etc.) What are the differences in organisation, concert-atmosphere…compared with France?

We have the impression that people who come to concerts abroad or who organise them, take a really more positive approach. When they set up gigs, it’s a way for them to make a difference, invite bands that are truly independent, positive bands that try to create something in stead of always destroying what already exists without offering solutions. The atmosphere at concerts abroad is much better, we really got an impression of solidarity, friendship amongst people. People get together there to meet up, party with mates, exchange contacts, sell records, set up press-tables, do as much as possible! While in France, guys are just out to get drunk and pick fights. Well, I don’t want to generalise but a concrete example: the last time we played in France, in Lyon and Clermont-F.: both times there were problems, fights with intolerant people; as soon as they’re drunk, they start looking for trouble with people who’re there, who did nothing to them and then, obviously, things get out of hand. The difference with countries like Belgium, The Netherlands, etc. is that over there there are also a lot of 77-punks, hardcores, trashers, skaters, cool dudes and hard-rockers (very little). In short: it’s an extremely varied crowd but above all, everyone respects each other and from then on, there are no problems.

What kind of things do you do outside the band?

Well, we try to put our lyrics into practice in our daily lives. That is to say that we’re not just satisfied with denouncing the system (that’s not good, this isn’t right, don’t do that…) but we try to put all this into practice. We do a radio-program called Raw Power on Radio Campus, which is a very interesting radio-station because it’s non-commercial, non-advertising and an association. It exists since 1969 and it is also the first free radio that was created in France. For 20 years, it has kept its character of freedom, pluralism and expression. This is an important part of our work: to show people, not just the new music, the current alternative music of the United States, Japan or other countries but especially the message and ideas of these bands. We also give a lot of info because we’re not DJs who just broadcast music but we try, through our comments, to provoke reactions, to make people think. We give addresses, contacts so that communication can develop. Otherwise, apart from that, we’re part of a movement of individuals called S.C.A.L.P. (Section Carrément Anti Le Pen [Department Firmly Against Le Pen (fascist politician)]). It’s also an important part of our work because S.C.A.L.P. corresponds exactly what we demand, our political opinions, the social analysis of society. S.C.A.L.P. unites the music, alternative rock, politics, partying, the comraderie, and especially an effective and radical action in the streets. ‘Scraps’ are guys who are pretending-to-be-students: ‘Charogne’ has just finished his military-objector service and has resumed his studies, as for ‘Gros-Boeuf’, he works in a factory (he’s the most unlucky one at the beginning of this year…). But anyway, we always organise ourselves to develop activities related to our ideas. This is unfortunately not always obvious…

You have a lot of new songs? The music is really more varied. Can you tell us a little about it?

Initially, when we started, there were no bands that sounded like us in France and that’s how the band actually got off. We said to ourselves: “Well, it’s weird, everyone sounds the same.”. The music was a bit oi, a bit heavy, etc. It made us really pissed because at the time we already liked brutal bands. So, we did things in that style. It’s been almost 6 years that we did very powerful things, and always very simple. In any case, in the beginning our goal was to make so much noise that people would say to themselves: “Hell, what kind of band is this? Where do they come from?”. And on that level, we succeeded. Now, we really elaborate on the songs. We don’t say to ourselves we’re going to make hardcore songs or very noisy songs to follow the trend (because yes there’s some sort of phenomenon, a bit of a fashion that get some bands to play faster and faster – at the expense of the lyrics). There are bands that have absolutely no lyrics, they’re replaced by grunts! We think that is a bit silly because it has always been going together: music and committed lyrics. The purpose of ‘Scraps’ is no longer to play as fast as possible (though we love it because when you play 3 notes and there’s already hell of stagedive and great atmosphere, it’s something you really feel on stage). Having said this, we try to bring something different now, to find new rhythms; and besides we love playing, e.g. breaks, a bit of rap; it’s really to loose our minds and make a bit of fun. We don’t say in advance: “Well, we’ll do more rock songs or more punk.”. We do what we like and what comes out of the rehearsals. When our album comes out, it won’t necessarily be hardcore songs. It will be the songs coming from the rehearsals and that we will have elaborated. If it works out: good, if it doesn’t: too bad. (Ed.: Well, I’m sure it’ll be okay.)

Do you think that in 1992, with the opening of the borders, this can mean an extra for the alternative scene and that it will change something on a the social level?

It’s not in our interest to leave Europe in the hands of politicians because if we leave it up to them, as it is currently represented, it will be a Europe of cops, unemployment, repression. We remain really vigilant regarding all this. Anyway, it’s like with everything. From the moment we let the politicians decide in our place, we know what the result will be! If there’s no movement behind it, if there are no people who move their ass to make sure that the Europe of ‘92 won’t be a Europe of cops and security-forces, then: dream on! It’s obvious that we shouldn’t rely on politicians.

Also, on the level of the alternative scene, we haven’t waited for the opening of borders to show solidarity between us, to exchange contacts, records…and to play abroad. There might be a good side to it: we won’t have to spend more than 2 hours at customs each time… To us, Europe, on the level of exchange, communication and friendship, that has existed for a long time! In the end we don’t give a fuck about Europe… The media talk a lot about it of course, it will be an event but it will be the Europe of arms, police! The Europe as it is conceived, exists and we’ve lived it since the band and the punk-movement exists.

The social and political level of our beloved France?

We’re already fighting against all the crap in France. There is a climate of hate, a climate of intolerance, a climate where people are afraid of who knows what and they’re divided. It’s something that is artificially created by the powers-that-be. It’s much easier for the state to divide people, to create social classes, cultural classes rather than to see people facing the same problems, united to defend their freedom, their rights. At the social level, be it socialist or whatever, the gang of Chirac [Jacques Chirac; prime minister/president]: we don’t see any difference; and anyway, we’re against any form of government. It’s not the socialists who will bring us more freedom, more cultural well-being. It will only be from the moment when people will realize themselves, take things in their own hands and act themselves, that it will change. We don’t wait for our future, our perspectives, for the part of the politicians. Our future will be won in the streets, in the media, by a movement of unity and solidarity.

You have a lot more contact with foreign alternative bands than with French bands. Why?

In France, there’s no solidarity between bands. Everyone does their own thing, their own concerts, have their own way of living without relying on others; according to their region, their city. There’s very little exchange between bands in Paris and bands from the province. It’s also has to do with labels, e.g. Bondage [Bondage recs], Gougnaf [Gougnaf Mouvement] or Jungle Hop [Jungle Hop International]. It’s a real pity that there’s no solidarity-network, except with fanzines: they support the bands. This also exists with other structures but the bands between them, with a few exceptions or those that do cooperate, show no solidarity. Besides, a lot of bands rely on rumors, gossip, it’s really shitty!

Well, it’s not new but we stay quite serene in those matters because when people insult us through fanzines, we won’t amuse ourselves responding to this kind of bullshit. We work with people who are really interesting, in Belgium, Germany, England, the United States,… If French bands want to stay in their shit, well let them there. It’s not up to us to always take the first step. We already suggested bands to tour with us but they refused. We offered them concerts with us: they refused, or we invited them to play in Lille: they refused again! Well, we can’t always take the first steps, especially not to get a refusal each time. And we won’t take the lead for French bands. Now we work with a lot of super-interesting people abroad, we have good contacts, good relations and we work with them; that’s all. Anyway, the French scene will remain poor as long as there’s no contacts, solidarity between bands, as long as people will shoot in their own foot instead of working together and trying to get by; at this moment there’s a standstill. There’s still some progress but that’s at the level of fanzines, a public that has evolved. Too many bands remain selfish in their attitude and behaviour.

You’re all vegetarians, what does that mean to you?

Indeed, we’re all vegetarians and depending on the person of the band, there’s more or less different reasons. Vegetarianism for us is a form of political and economic commitment. We refuse to condone the profit made on the death of millions of animals. Eating meat contributes to the imbalance with the Third World and its exploitation. There are hundreds of thousands of acres of land that are destroyed to become grasslands that will be used to fatten up cattle for McDonald’s and other like-minded companies. This meat doesn’t even stay in the Third World countries but is processed directly into hamburgers.

And then it would be impossible for us to eat R27. R27 is the name given to chickens reared on industrial farms. They’re 4 per cage, they can’t move, they are mutants. They have no wings, no legs. (Ed. To save space probably…) They’re fattened up systematically, they never see the light of day, it’s really despicable! They’re also stuffed with chemicals. It’s not just an economic and political problem but it’s also a health-issue because when you see what they put in the meat, you will prefer not to eat it.

Companies like McDonald’s do not dare to give the exact composition of their hamburgers or other crap. We have friends in the United States who know those things very well and who say that McDonald’s, regarding hygiene and quality of their product, is really despicable.

Besides, we reckon that we can easily feed ourselves without killing animals. Entire civilizations rely on cereals and vegetables. But we are forced to eat meat from childhood on. That makes stock-breeders a lot of profit. And then there’s also some sort of bloody French tradition, which is complete bollocks. (Ed. Fucked up?) We don’t give a shit about eating meat with each meal, that’s completely worthless. Being vegetarian is not a fad, it’s an attitude in life, it’s a personal, political commitment.

Your point of view in relation to jails?

Prison is surely not the solution to the problems of violence and rape when we talk about common law. If one sees prison as political confinement, when we look at what’s happening in the Basque Country, imprisonment becomes a means of repression against people who claim their freedom, their autonomy, their rights. When we are against prisons, it’s because it solves absolutely nothing. It often gives rise to shenanigans, manipulations so that people who interfere with the system find themselves in jail for a good bunch of years that way; they have their hands free for even more depression. Being against prisons is also because of the fact it doesn’t respect human dignity. Prisoners are deprived of their freedom, their dignity and the very fact of existing. In addition, prisoners have to undergo all kinds of humiliations, every day. Prison is a place where ferocious beasts or sheep are formed. We try to do everything to avoid that prisoners are reduced to a piece of crap without a brain. Either you bend, you submit or you become a ferocious beast. There’s no alternative because there’s no “social reintegration”. There’s nothing. Prison is a place where people are put away, and we are against exclusion.

Against vivisection? (stupid question…)

We wrote some lyrics about it: Holocaust Animal (Ed. Really good.) In that, we denounce vivisection because in the first place it’s useless, barbaric and above all, it shows well how humans, certain human beings, are the most dispicable: blood-thirsty, barbarous! Especially since we now know that it’s possible to test pharmaceuticals on cell-cultures that are much closer to humans than animals. There are hundreds of products that are tested as ‘valid’ on animals but have had tragic consequences for human beings, especially pregnant women who later gave birth to disabled children, and so on. When we’re against vivisection, it’s because we respect life as a whole. We can’t be for the rights of mankind and despise the rest of the animal- and plant-life… We’re not just against something but we’re for life in general, so that everyone can live in harmony with their environment, with nature and we don’t see why animals should be subjected to frightful tortures, to stupid and useless experiments, without anesthesia (Ed. And even with.). Most of the time, it’s done to test totally stupid cosmetics, beauty-products. We really don’t see the point of killing millions of animals for that! In England, there’s an animal that dies every 6 seconds.

Hmm…for those who would never have had the opportunity to read an interview with ‘Scraps’… A few words about apartheid. It was the title of our first 7”. Apartheid is the glorification of racial hatred, racial differences, discrimination by colour. It’s one of the most disgusting systems that is legalized. That’s to say, in the lyrics we notify the fact that it’s “well-known that white is superior to black” with all that results from it at the level of conflict, violence and contempt for human rights. Apartheid is the ultimate disgusting system and in addition, the most shamefully legalized hate and racism that exists.

You [David] were conscientious objector, the guitarist ‘Réformé P4’ [refused from the military for “psychological reasons”] (Ed. But not affected!). The other 2 haven’t gotten to military service yet and don’t want to. Can we say that you are totally against the army?

It’s clear that there is no member of ‘Scraps’ who goes to the army since we can’t claim a libertarian, anarchist ideal, ideas committed to the freedoms, and then get a lobotomy in the army, enter the military institution with all that it represents: respect for order, respect for hierarchy, submission, discipline, etc. We’re against the fact that thousands of young 18-year-olds have to get their brains taken away in the army. We have no respect for the military. They’re the ones who are causing the problems in the world: wars, arms-trade, etc. We refuse to enter the mold: work, army, education, etc. (Ed. They are bad citizens.)

Can we hope to see an LP by ‘Scraps’?

Well yes, very soon… We’re working on it. Some time ago we put 2 tracks on a Japanese flexi (Ed.: Released by MCR.), with ‘Don Don’, a hardcore band from Japan. We got 600 copies for sale. (Ed.: If you don’t have it, hurry up to get it, there are very few left.) The rest is distributed in the US. There’s 2 new titles on it: Time ‘s Up & Maquereau Trottoir [pimp]. The sound-quality is very good and the flexi itself aswell. (Ed.: That’s right!) As for the album: we work on it and it’s starting to materialise since we went to see for a studio, we have enough songs (some 20). It’s been two years now since we released anything except for the live-tapes. (Ed.: For real fans!) We’ve had a lot of problems with musicians coming and going, we also had to get concerts… Normally there shoudn’t be any problems now, we should be recording it in May. (Ed.: Great, it will be a nice birthday-present for me.)

Will it be self-produced like the previous two?

Yes…but this time, it will be a little mixed. Our Belgian friend Karl [Be Yourself recs = Carl Levecke & Ghilain Vermeersch] will give us the money to do recordings in a Belgian studio and it will be self-produced and distributed in part by Karl, the rest by us and by small labels. We won’t change our habits. We don’t intend to go through record-stores that will make a profit by selling our records, it’s us who will set the price and choose the places where it’s distributed. [Wrapped Up In This Society was released in 1990]

Is there something that is really important to you?

Yes, the record! (Ed.: Am I stupid?) And also staying true to all that we started, to the people who follow us, always remain sincere towards what we do, always find pleasure in doing what we do, always having a lot of fun meeting interesting people, doing good concerts where there’s a good atmosphere… In fact, what interests us is to continue what we do but not no matter what. We’ve set ourselves a ‘course of action’ from the start and we’re actually evolving towards certain things (especially with regard to alcohol, drugs, etc.). But we absolutely want to continue the job we do and to do it better and better with respect for the audience and the people who support us.

Something to add?

Hmm… Laughter (???)

Congratulations and thank you to the ones who’ll read this interview through to the end and good luck to this new zine.

New address: c.o. Stéphane Ll. – BP 21 – 59007 Lille cedex, France (Planet Earth); indicate SCRAPS on the back.

And in preview: The Anthem Of S.C.A.L.P. ‘Gros-Boeuf’ is the songwriter and (partly) interpreter. There isn’t enough space to write down the whole piece (which is quite long). Here are some excerpts: “We live in France but aren’t proud to be French. This wind of intolerance, we will stop it! If the ‘big one-eyed’ one of France [Jean-Marie Le Pen, president of the fascist party Front National] of France shows up in your neighbourhood, we will all go get him to avenge the oppressed. (…) And from the highest branch; like what happened to Joan Of Arc. Without remorse and without fear, I will light the fire. Join us at S.C.A.L.P.; together we will fight against hatred and violence. Solidarity! (…)”

This is a stencil… Just take this sheet, enlarge or reduce it depending on the size of the stencil you want. Then stick it on a not too thin cardboard (otherwise, it can only be used once). Cut out what is blackened. There you go, it’s up to you to find a slogan in the vein of ‘Destroy fascism’ that fits your ideas (and maybe somewhere to put it…). You have the right to sign ‘S.C.A.L.P.’ (Section Carrément Anti Le Pen). It’s up to you…to spray-paint!!!

This interview is a bit out of date (I don’t even dare to tell you when it was done!). It has been reformulated because there have been changes. […]

Disco- and tape-graphy:

Demo (7 tracks): no longer available

EP Apartheid (6 tracks; self-produced)

EP Aaargh! (6 tracks; self-produced)

2 tracks on the French HC-compilation Rapsodie (Jungle Hop)

2 tracks on the Japanese HC-compilation This Is The Life (MCR)

1 song on the compilation New Wave, 1984 The Third

1 song on the Riot Record compilation (Ger)

live-tape in Bredene [Bel, 88] (30 min.)

live-tape ‘Scraps’ / ‘Cowboy Killers’ in Eernegem [Bel, 89-04-18] (90 min.)

split-EP ‘Scraps’ / ‘Don Don’ on MCR

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X-Creta (Hard Core #1)

As one can read this zine was aiming at promoting unity between hardcore/punk and speed-metal/thrash scenes. Something that was a matter of debate in the second half of the 80s. Crossover certainly spiced up the music but unfortunately some HC bands adopted the ‘metal attitude’ (sexism, homophobia, major labels, etc.)… In this first issue in English (there had been a previous one in Dutch), the editors – Jeannot Schram (drummer for ‘Liquor Store Heroes’, ‘Mind Ruin’, ‘Die Sinner Die’, ‘Cult Of Scarecrow’) & Kurt Christiaens – who organised a few gigs in the youth-centre of their hometown, Zele (e.g. 86-11-22) – and ‘Metal Gunny’ Gunther Poppe (bassist of ‘Trial’ and later ‘Dead Serious’) – gave attention to some HC bands (e.g. ‘Heibel’, ‘Capital Scum’, ‘Concrete Sox’, ‘Scapegoats’, …) but the biggest part of the (brief) interviews/info-bits were about metal(-influenced) bands (‘Hirax’, ‘Anthrax’, ‘OverKill’, ‘Nuclear Assault’, etc.). Didn’t get to see the second issue but the cover mentions “NOT featuring ‘Quiet Riot’, ‘Twisted Sister’, ‘Bon Jovi’ … & posers”…

The interview with ‘X-Creta’ was contucted by Pat Van Laethem (who also contributed to Onno Hesselink’s Peace Or Annihilation, around the time of the release of Patronizing The Heterodox. The band consisted of Erwin Vanmol (guitar), Erik Steppe (drums), Marc Maes (vocals) & Peter Reynaert (bass).

Posted in 1986, Belgian zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment