Crash Box (T.V.O.R. #4)

Teste Vuote, Ossa Rotte (“empty heads, broken bones”), also known as T.V.O.R. Chaoszine, was a hardcore/punk fanzine that was started in 1981 in Como by ‘Stiv’ (Stefano) ‘Rottame’ Valli (singer, later bassist of ‘Orda’/’Orda Massacrata’) and Marco ‘Maniglia’ Medici (Milano; ‘Crash Box’ vocalist).

Empty heads – Because of  how others judge us, that means: disbanded guys, people unable to have their own ideas, who’re influenced by a way of dressing that is merely an expression af fashion, because everything that young people in Italy do that is alternative, is fucking defined with this shitty word [fashion].

Broken bones – In many respects: because if the police don’t break them (when they do it, they attack for stupid reasons), or the short-tempered quarrelsome hateful ‘Popeyes’, or the snobs (strong only in large numbers), or the provincial bullies who want to demonstrate their superiori muscle-force against those who are inferior (especially in number), if we don’t break them ourselves in clashes and fights (which we try to avoid), we break them scattering ourselves before the stage.

[Translation: Paolo M.]

I never met these guys nor did I read the zine (in Italian) but it looked good… In his book, Johan van Leeuwen wrote: >>M.R.R. used to mention T.V.O.R. as ‘the best European fanzine’ (together with Nieuwe Koekrand) but I’m afraid that judgement was just on appearance. My Italian isn’t good enough but T.V.O.R. had to make do with mainly photos, especially of American bands and fans tumbling over each other. […] ‘Stiv’ was – totally against my expectation – a skinhead, a head taller than me (I’m over 1,80 m) and with a beautiful round skull that many a skin would be proud of. But even though his appearance was quite aggressive, he was a kind person.<<

The cover of #1 announces ‘Black Flag’, ‘The Partisans’ & ‘Dead Kennedys’, and lyrics of ‘Discharge’, ‘Crass’ & ‘Flux Of Pink Indians’; plus “anarchist & sadist humor”. >>Don’t contribute to granting power to anyone because with what you do allow them, one day they destroy you.<< #2 states >>Dying for the fatherland is like dying for nothing.<< Bands listed: ‘Wretched’, ‘Loggia P2’, ‘UK Subs’, ‘Exploited’, ‘Disorder’, ‘G.B.H.’, ‘T.S.O.L.’, ‘Crucifix’, ‘Bad Religion’ & ‘D.O.A.’. The internet informs us that here were also a bits on straight-edge, the Hannover Chaos Tage, and info on more than 30 active fanzines in Italy (Archeopteryx, Punkamination, Anti-Utopia, G.D.H.C., Echo, Dystrophy and many others). The cover of the 3rd issue show a photo of undernurished children, subtitled >>L’Ora Della Pappa<< (“meal time”). #4 is the one with the stagediver in swimsuit. Inside: ‘M.D.C.’, ‘Gang Green’, ‘D.R.I.’, etc. The last issue features ‘Hüsker Dü’, ‘Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers’, ‘Negazione’, ‘Dr Know’, Jello Biafra & many more. >>When christians gather for entertainment, both young and old can dance together.<<

These 5 issues were published in 5 years (1981-1985). Around that time the guys also put out cassettes on their label Ossa Rotte tapes. The label T.V.O.R. On Vinyl released some records between ’86 & ’89. Later ‘Stiv’ started the New Zabriskie Point record-shop in Milano

In 2006 Edizioni LoveHate (Milano) published the book Teste Vuote Ossa Rotte 1980-1985 – Storia di una Caoszine Hardcore Punx  that ‘Stiv’ wrote. It contains the five issues and a lot of extras: pages of the unpublished #6, illustrations, letters, flyers, photos and other curiosities. In 2015 the documentary Italian Punk Hardcore 1980-1989: Il film (by Angelo Bitonto, Giorgio S. Senesi & Roberto Sivilia – LoveHate80.it) came out…

If you understand the Italian language and want to read some more history, visit >>T.V.O.R. – COME FARE LA RIVOLUZIONE PER VIE DIAGONALI — Storia ed Iconografia della Fanzine “Teste Vuote Ossa Rotte”<< (T.V.O.R. – How to Start the Revolution — History and iconography of the fanzine).

Here’s some early history of ‘Crash Box‘ (Milano; Fabrizio Trigari – guitar, ‘Maniglia’ Marco Medici – vocals, Marcello – bass; also ‘Rappresaglia’ & ‘Moxxx’ Massimiliano Cristadoro – drums) written by Marco Medici (from #4).

[Translation below]

Crashbox – Born To Be Fast

It was around the middle of September 1982 that Fabrizio [Trigari], the guitarist and I, decided to form a band. He came from ‘Logudros Pishes’, I was in many other bands, both as a singer and as a drummer (‘Free Cream’, ‘Tanx’, ‘Desper-Azione’, ‘Wretched’). I knew ‘Bundy’, who played drums for ‘Negative Influence’ [Milano], one of the first punk bands in Milano, a couple of years before. So he started playing with us. The first time we played with Beppe as bassist. But because of the fact that he had to go sailing and wasn’t very technically gifted, he was replaced by ‘Canaglia’, a rough bassist, suggested by Daniele, our second guitarist, formerly of ‘H.C.N.’ [Milano; with Marco ‘Philopat’ Filopat]. Shortly after, however, both Daniele and ‘Canaglia’ left the band (that was starting to get the first songs together). Daniele [De Sanctis] went on to play for ‘Indigesti’, ‘Canaglia’ left for unspecified reasons.

Not at all discouraged, Fabrizio and myself then proposed to Fabio [Degiorgi], who was playing for ‘Libero Pensiero’, to join us. He accepted and thus the formation stabilized definitively. The first concert took place in November ‘82 at Virus [self-managed social centre in Milano], and it wasn’t a success. But bit by bit, constantly trying, we let people know about and appreciate us. We played at Virus again, then there were 2 concerts in Torino, 2 in Bologna, 2 in Piazenca, 1 in Alessandria and 1 at Virus on the occasion of the opening. We all have excellent memories of the gig in Alessandria and the 2nd event in Torino.

On that occasion ‘Bundy’, completely out of his mind, dived at the end of a song, in a pile of people, launching himself from the drumkit. Around February-March of 1983 we entered the studio to record a tape; during the first session we recorded and mixed 8 songs in 2 hours, but those fucked up people from the Hammil studio in Milano recorded everything on a single channel and mixed everything very badly. The result was: we went home with the 8 songs, decided to try the whole thing over in a more qualified studio. That’s how we got into the Panda studio, ran by a friend of the drummer. We had to pay half of what the Hammil studio asked and helped us with everything involved with the registration of the tape. We recorded 13 songs that came out on our self-produced cassette (with the help of [producers] Greg and ‘Muscoletto’) which is simply called ‘Crashbox’. Of course, the hurry, the fact that we had little money and our inexperience meant that 2 or 3 pieces weren’t perfect and not as we desired them to be, however generally speaking, we’re satisfied with the tape. A bit after this Fabrizio left the band and Fabio did the same shortly after. For the moment ‘Bundy’ doesn’t want to play anymore (which is a shame because he’s one of the best Italian drummers). Fabio played with Rudy [Medea], ex-vocalist of ‘Indigesti’, in a band with references to country, and stuff like ‘Minutemen’, but Rudy then left and Fabrizio had formed a new band. We found a new guitarist even before Fabio left: ‘Pacco’ (short for Paccomen) and did an outdoor gig in a squat in Milano. Then we broke up. Now we have resumed playing with Fabrizio back on guitar, ‘Titty’ [Tiziano] on bass and Tonino on drums. Both from Como and ex ‘Loggia P2’.

Attention: the Crashbox tape is out of stock. Don’t send any more money because we won’t make anymore copies. Those waiting for it will receive it. Soon a 7” EP [… Vivi!; recorded spring ’84] will be released with 6 new songs. Excuses to everyone for delays due to reproduction issues.

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A.O.A. (Playmobil System #2)

A zine edited by Dominique ‘Bouboul’ Raas, from Le Havre (harbour on the French Channel coast, gateway to the UK at the time). He had been the guitarist of the punk-band ‘Hatefuls’ in the early 80s and started ‘Burning Ambitions’ in the second half of the 80s. He was the guitarist/vocalist. Doris Le Mat-Thieulen (vocals/bass) & Fabrice ‘Moshé’ Bosman (drums; later ‘Gooloo’ & Loïk Paillette) of the band also helped out with the zine. Later ‘Bouboul’ was also in ‘Guttersnipes’, etc. Besides all that he promoted also the Vieillesse Délinquante tape-compilation of his friends François Gasnier & Vincent ‘Coco’ Colliard (Ballyhoo productions).

The zine started 85-ish. As far as I know there were 3 issues (#3 got out March ’86). #1 featured ‘Upright Citizens’, ‘Dirty Scums’, ‘X-Creta’, ‘Zyklome-A’, ‘Instigators’, ‘Rattus’, ‘Subkids’ and there were also reviews (concert/records/tapes), infos, etc. #2: Short bits on ‘Neurotic Arseholes’, ‘Pandemonium’, ‘H.H.H.’ ‘Wulpse Varkens’ ‘Mottek’, ‘Mellakka’, ‘Wrecthed’, ‘Wut’, ‘Maniacs’, ‘Heimat-Los’, ‘Sherwood’, ‘Disrupters’, ‘Terveet Kädet’, ‘Final Blast’, ‘Capital Scum’, ‘Subhumans’, ‘A-Strant’, ‘Ceresit’, ‘Kaaos’, ‘Armatrak’ and more, plus a longer interview with ‘A.O.A.’, reviews (also zines), a lengthy scene-report from West-Germany, one about São Paulo and a piece about squatting in London. #3: contains interviews with ‘Butcher’, ‘Final Conflict’, Kurt I Kuvös’, reviews, info and more…

At the time of this interview ‘A.O.A.’, an anarchopunk band from Edinburgh, was: Stephen Telford (vocals), Scott Patton (guitar), Bruce Wagener (bass), Deek Smith (drums; replaced ‘Marshall’ Anthony Mallin).

[Translation below]

‘A.O.A.’, a band based in the beautiful but boring city of Edinburgh, are one of the revelations of the year from across the Channel, with their excellent EP Who Are They Trying To Con [C.O.R. 1985]. So it seemed interesting to ask them a few questions to find out more about them. It was Stephen – recently released from a detention-centre, where he had to stay three months after being arrested at a ‘Conflict’ concert for insulting cops – who responded on behalf of the band.

When, where and how did the band start?

The band started late ‘84; Bruce, Scott and Marshall lived in the same area and decided to play together. I got to know them at a concert and they asked me to sing with them. This is how it all took off.

Current line-up?

The line-up at the moment is Stephen (vocals), Scott (guitar), Bruce (bass), Deek (drums). Deek is the only new member, he took over from Marshall on drums when we felt that he didn’t invest enough in the band and that he didn’t agree with what we were doing and saying.

How is Edinburgh for a band? Is it easy to find rehearsal-space, places to play?

Edinburgh, and Scotland, are zero for bands. It’s almost impossible to find a place to rehearse, and even harder to organise concerts. It’s illegal to squat in Scotland so all venues are owned by capitalists whose sole purpose is to make as much money as possible, and we refuse to deal with them. It’s about reclaiming what is ours, taking back what they stole from us, squatting everything.

What’s your best gig so far?

Personally, my favourite show was at Loanhead, with ‘Direct Action’ (!), ‘Oi Polloi’ and ‘The Apostles ’. It was a benefit-gig for the miners and there was a really good atmosphere there; there were speeches made by miners and the money raised was used to buy Christmas-gifts for the miners’ children. Loanhead is home to Dilston Glen, Scotland’s largest [mine]pit.

How do people respond during your concerts?

The reactions at our gigs are always very good; we’ve never had any problems, and a lot of people dance and have fun while others prefer to stay quiet, watch and listen. Concerts are ideal places to meet people, have a drink and exchange fanzines, cassettes, leaflets, general information, etc. And this is what we think they should be: places to get together, not for various tribalisms and brawls.

What d’you think of your “local stars”, ‘The Exploited’?

I don’t want to talk too much about the exploiters since they’re bigger than us!

Do you have relations with other local bands or in other regions?

Our bassist’s brother is in ‘Oi Polloi ’so I think we’ll play with them quite a bit in the future, since they don’t live far away and believe in the same things as we do. [Hence the split-LP] Other than that, we don’t have any special relationships with other bands other than our beliefs and shared gigs.

What are your favourite bands (musically and lyrically)?

Some of our favourites are ‘Disorder’, ‘Chaos UK ’, ‘Antisect’, ‘Flux ’, ‘Rudimentary Peni’ and many more. We either like bands that play fast and loud, or those that have something interesting to say, so our list would be too long; the ones mentioned above were chosen at random.

I have noticed that most people in Britain are not very open to foreigners. To them, what is not British is shit. What do you think?

I don’t know why people think foreign things are crap. I’ve heard a lot of great bands before. I don’t even call them “strangers” because we’re a whole, all the same, and the way of thinking that you evoke, leads to divisions within the movement: “divided, we fall”. If people don’t listen to a band because it’s not British then they’re a bunch of morons. Everyone, regardless of nationality, is trying to spread the message of freedom. We must give everyone a chance! THINK!

Talk a little about your relationships with Children Of The Revolution. Did you sign a contract for your EP?

No, we didn’t sign a contract and we never would. That’s their way of looking at things, we can operate without pieces of paper that counteract our lives, telling us what to do and what not to do. All we did was send a tape to Tim [Bennett] (C.O.R.) who asked us if we wanted to release an EP, to which we responded positively; no legal hassles, no contracts, no complication . Thanks Tim.

In France, we have got a lot of problems with some neo-nazi skins. And in Scotland?

In Scotland all the skinheads I know are relatively cool and don’t start fights, so until now that hasn’t been a problem for us. This is for all skins, everywhere: why do you fight with your fellows, we’re all considered as shit by those in power, direct your anger towards the real cause, those who order us what to do, those who manipulate us. FIGHT BACK!

What do you think of anarcho-punk bands such as ‘Conflict’, ‘Flux, ‘Crass’, etc.?

Those bands have done a lot of things for people, putting up gigs, founding record-labels and basically helping other bands; they showed what can be done. It’s up to everyone to continue this good job. DO IT.

Do you think believing in anarchy is realistic?

Yes, it’s realistic to believe in anarchy. After all, everyone wants to be free and we should all strive to make our dreams come true, take command of our own lives, express our anger against what we think is wrong. Anarchy is being realized, it’s just a matter of making it clear to more people, we can lead our own lives, we don’t need to be told what to do. Crush the state / Break the law / Stay in bed until 4 a.m. / Yeah!

Since people love to put labels on things: don’t you think you’ll get one with “Anarcho-punk” written on it (because of your lyrics). Does this bother you?

People can label us but we won’t accept their labels. We’re 4 individuals with similar beliefs, not clones of anyone or an item to put in a box with a label stuck on it. Labels lead to divisions, stay yourself.

What is your opinion on drugs, glue and alcohol?

Drugs and alcohol can just as easily turn you into a wreck or a zombie as they can help tear down walls, make people less reserved, help them have fun (personally I like alcohol, the more, the better.). BOOZE NOT CRUISE.

What do you think of Class War (pro-revolutionary, anti-capitalist magazine) very popular with the punx across the Channel?

Class War is a good thing as long as it is against the elite who run our lives; it helps ordinary people realize that something is wrong, people are showing their anger; despite everything there should be a lot more facts, we should organise our own worker co-operatives and get rid of the bosses, help each other to do the things that need to be done, ignore their laws. In the meantime, if one day you get bored and go out to mangle a rolls royce, at least it will cost them money to get it fixed and that’s where it hurts them, in their purses.

Do you have any record-projects, especially an LP?

We’re going back to the studio soon but we don’t have any definite plans for the band. We would love to release another record anytime soon but until we can afford it, we have to wait and see what happens.

What are your hopes for the future?

In the future we want everyone to come to their senses, see what’s wrong and put it straight. We’re going to keep playing, release another single if we can, keep spreading the word. NOT DO THE SAME. The future is in our hands.

What’s the meaning of ‘A.O.A.’?

Originally ‘A.O.A.’ stood for ‘All Out Attack’ but we decided not to keep that name but we kept the initials and changed the meaning on various occasions. For example: ‘Authority Organises Armagedon’, ‘All Our Anger’; ‘A.O.A.’ doesn’t correspond to any specific meaning, find one yourself. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

 

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Anti-System

When I was on tour with ‘Hate Crew’ (Belgian HC/crossover band) through Germany, we ended up doing a show at the ‘Alte Meierei’ in Kiel (88-07-13), a squatted old milk-factory. That evening I met ‘Kalle Stielzel’ (Karl-Heinz Tolkmit). He was the drummer of ‘Scapegoats’, a HC/punk band from the area. They recorded 2 tapes (Pogo Leben! & Last Attack, both in 1983) and a 7″ (Kopflos, in 1985). It was only years later that I found out he used to do a fanzine (1983-85), together  with the band’s singer Henning Prochnow. ‘Kalle’ also did the Noise Attack compilation-tape…

Some contents (see covers)… #1: ‘Chaos UK’, ‘G.B.H.’, ‘Insane’, Finland report; #2: ‘Rattus’, ‘Terveet Kädet’, Sweden report, etc.; #3: ‘Toxoplasma’, ‘CanalTerror’, Italy report; #4: ‘Uproar’, ‘Riot Squad’, ‘Bluttat’, ‘Wrecthed, etc.; #5: ?; #6: ‘Crude SS’, ‘English Dogs’, ‘Legion Of Parasites’, ‘Moby 47’; #7: ?; #8: ‘Inferno’, ‘Power Age’, ‘E.A.T.E.R.’, etc.; #9: ‘Mottek’, ‘Sons Of Sadism’ and more; #10: ?

Henning announced that parts of the zine were goin’ to appear in a book in 2020…

Brob

We did 10 issues. The last issue (#10), was the only one that was printed (print-run of 500; which costed us a lot). The others were photocopied (in  local copy-shops; 30 to 70 copies). We  were just into…like hey…let’s  do a fanzine  here in  Kiel. At that time I was  very much inspired by the UK band ‘Anti-System’ with whom I was in contact with. I think I took/stole the cover for the first issue of them…and of  course they were featured in it as well. I  have no original issues of  #1 – 9 here. I worked on all issues but Henning Prochnow did quite a lot of work too, and so did Ulf [Nagel; Demolition Room studio] (‘Scapegoats’ guitarist), but not for  every  issue though.

‘Kalle’

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Profax (Silent Majority #1)

Work, family and a nice and long fall season in the Swiss mountains distracted me from writing this up. Actually, that was also the reason why 15 years ago I started to disengage step by step from the hardcore scene. It was great to play in ‘Sundowner’ [Swiss emo/screamo band], spend time with Marianne [Hofstetter; also ‘Profax’ bassist], Martin [Schaub] and Roman [Meier], practice and record songs, and play the occasional gig. But I lacked the time to do more and rather saved my vacation-days to join long trekking-expeditions in the Himalayas, then met my wife, … the usual for many of us.

So it was just shifts in interests and though I’m not buying records regularly any longer, and go to shows only once or twice a year, I often remember and am still grateful to all the growth I’ve experienced only thanks to the hardcore-scene – personal growth, growth in friendships, exposure to a world I wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise, and being part of a community where it is (or especially was back then) OK not to eat meat, and not to drink, and not to enjoy the regular parties, and where personal anger and frustration were transformed into something productive, creative and healthy.

Growing up in the country-side, though only half an hour from Zürich, was all idyllic for me but not the real world (* Oh, fun fact: ‘Celtic Frost’ – their predecessor ‘Hellhammer’ – practiced in the basement of my sister’s kindergarten: I watched them when I was 11 or so years old, and remember the head-banging and how incredibly loud it was – but I was too young for it to have a lasting influence and turn me into a metalhead – I came to to hardcore relatively directly 😉 …). And music never interested me, it just seemed so shallow, so I still remember the first time I heard a hardcore song and was blown away by the intensity – I walked past a halfpipe where some skaters listened to ‘The Accüsed’ (but it’s been more than 30 years ago, so don’t hold it against) – I remembered that sound for days and couldn’t get it out of my head.

I was hooked, stumbled into the my first show in the late 80s – ‘R.K.L.’ – which was just incredible; all that raw energy! Somehow I bought my first fanzine there – Prawda – and that was the gateway into a world of records and zines that was just mindblowing. I ran into Peter [Bader] of Prawda soon afterwards at a ‘Profax’ show (the first Swiss band I’ve ever heard – I did miss the earlier Zürich punk days but probably wouldn’t have been drawn to it anyway) and realised that though the scene was small, there were pockets of like-minded people all over Switzerland. Another fun fact: Pascal [Claude] who sang for ‘Profax’ probably has the largest soccer vinyl-collection on this planet [also read: Knapp Daneben – Fussball und Alltag].

At one of these shows I met Marianne of Ape Must Not Kill Ape recs. She had lots of guts and was very energetic, so she motivated me to do a fanzine together, Silent Majorty and Lib. The holy grail of zines for me were No Answers and Exedra, they were like hardcore music transformed onto paper where content and form were one and the same, and all raw and tight and elegant at the same time. Luckily we never tried to copy those since we would have failed. 😉 I felt comfortable doing a zine, I have always liked the written word and was (and still am) musically untalented and not very motivated to learn it. 😉 We also organised shows, put out records of people and their music we liked (Mugglewump recs), which then lead to a distro to sell the records we’d traded with other labels. It opened new doors and it was great to contribute something back. Oh, we also had the chance to run a radio-show for a while which was fun, and though I think we had good shows and played great records, we never reached the level of Speed Air Play or Hardcore Hour, two previous shows on LoRa [local radio in Zürich] which played mind-blowing music and introduced me (and others as well I believe) to all the great bands out there in the late 80s. Actually Roli [Roland Brümmer] from Speed Air Play [together with Röbi Zollinger & Claudio] also ran No Way, a skateshop where he sold records, and that small store always felt like an oasis.

Marianne & Carsten

The scene was too small to be balkanized, everybody got along and it was fantastic to get exposed to all kind of music and ideas. The same bunch of people showed up at shows, no matter whether it was ‘Youth Of Today’, ‘Nausea’, ‘Fugazi’ or ‘Verbal Assault’. The early 90s were great – my network grew, trading sleeping-places led me to meet inspiring people and stays in Berlin and California, and there were all those great sXe, emo and ‘regular’ hardcore bands which put into words and tunes exactly how I felt.

When coming back from the US, I somehow got to meet Simon [Füllemann; co-founder of By Norse Music] from ‘Mine’ – we were both looking for a flat in Zürich and became roommates. ‘Mine’ was fantastic (especially their split with ‘Dawnbreed’) but also other friends’ bands like ‘Blue Water Boy’ were intense, especially live. In the late 90s Marianne, Martin and Roman (who played in many bands before) formed ‘Sundowner’ and somehow I got to sing/scream there – we recorded a bit, played a couple of shows and though all on a very small scale, it was something I couldn’t ever have imagined to happen when my journey into hardcore started in the late 80s. Though these days everybody has their own busy lives, we still meet occasionally and Martin and I go trail-running in the mountains.

So, after all I believe hardcore was and still is a major part of my life, and helped to shape, or at least strengthen my values. It’s soo easy to get distracted or taken over by all the hypocrisy, phoniness and shallowness out there. Sometimes I still wonder how the scene grew to such a level where (most) things just made sense, was smart, grounded in reality while being positively provocative on personal and political level – and music and content fit seamlessly together.

Call me an old fart, but the slowness of how way things worked made it easier to appreciate it: you heard of a record coming out or read a review in a zine, then ordered it by mail, ran to the mailbox for weeks and when the packet finally arrived, had the big revelation when the needle hit the vinyl. Don’t get me wrong, I love the instant availability these days but somehow it can lead to treating music as a commodity, which is exactly why I was never interested in it until the first chords of hardcore mesmerised me.

Silent Majority, our first fanzine, put together by Marianne, Sandro Dalla Corte (Later drifted into the skateboard scene and ran Phood Skateboards.) and me (Carsten) came out 1991 and I think we only put out 1 issue. At least I only found the first issue. Not knowing what to expect, I’m relieved there isn’t anything too embarrassing I wrote 30 years ago ;-). We must have sold around 300 copies at local shows and traded a few with German distros, it’s all in German because we mainly did it for the local scene. The themes of sXe, vegetarianism, animal-rights guided us when doing the zine. We were in our late teens and excited about hardcore, the scene, its ideas – anyone remember posi-core? It must have been the time when hard-edge started to emerge, so there were a couple of drawings and notes making fun of that. Though we were all sXe at that time and the band-interview selection reflects that, we were very non-dogmatic about it (I mean we were seriously sXe ourselves but didn’t mind if others weren’t – as long as they behaved decently at shows and half-drunks didn’t bring their beer-bottle into the pit.) – so, the zine wasn’t targeted exclusively at the sXe crowd so I hope everybody got something out of it. In a sense it was a classical fanzine, with interviews of bands we liked like ‘Profax’, ‘Face Value’, ‘Charley’s War’, ‘Hammerhead’, and reviews of zines and records. But we also tried to make it a bit more creative, with Sandro drawing some comics, bands sharing their favourite veggie recipes, excerpts from Rollins’ book, and there were columns on topics dear to us. I don’t quite remember why we didn’t continue after #1, it was a nice collaborative effort and I don’t recall any problems, probably we were just busy doing other stuff.

A year of two after Silent Majorty, I guess around 1992 or 1993 (?), Marianne asked me to contribute to her second project Lib. [Hopefully more on that later.] I did a couple of rather personal micro-zines afterwards with linoleum carvings and stuff, but none of that survived, and the world won’t miss it I presume.

Carsten Nebel

‘Profax’ (from Stans; near Luzern) started in the late 80s with ‘Pasci’ Pascal Claude (vocals), Reto Burrell (guitar), Mario Schranz (bass) & Jesco (drums). When Reto left, Marianne Hofstetter started playing bass… I planned on printing an interview with the band for Tilt! #10 but the disk crashed. Here’s a report of the “blind-date” where the S.M. people played them some songs and the band just said what came to their mind…

[Translation below]

BLIND-DATE near the lake

On a warm summer-evening, myself (Marianne) and Carsten, armed with 2 cassetterecorders, went to the ‘Moving Targets’ concert, which was to take place in open air near the Rote Fabrik [music venue & cultural centre in Zürich]. We got hold of Pasci and Mario from ‘Profax’, sat down with them on the lake-shore and we were ready to go. On this blind-date, we were primarily concerned with hearing the opinion of the ‘Profax’ers and we were only secondarily interested in how quickly they guessed the songs. All in all, they didn’t do badly. Well, anyway let’s get started…

Public Enemy: Fight the Power

(The lyrics are far too long for me to type out. Which power is meant here, is probably clear anyway…)

M: (immediately) I don’t know anything about this.

P: Well I don’t know the band but I think it’s good. Is it Don’t Believe The Hype?

?: No, but is from the same band.

M: ‘Public Enemy’! This is from Do The Right Thing! [movie directed by Spike Lee, 1989]

P: Well, to me, black power is not the same as white power. Especially not in America, because blacks have somehow been robbed of all their dignity. In a way they have…no, not the right, but I understand that they want to regain their dignity. Although the way ‘P.E.’ go about, so militant, is totally shit I think.

M: Black power might seem a little more harmless to us because we never encounter it around here. We always just see white power.

P: I simply think if there was no white power there would be no black power either. That’s an answer to white power in my opinion. It’s a reply to racism and the constant humiliation of blacks, but when it gets militant, I think it sucks.

M: It is, I think, already pretty militant, the black power thing in the hip-hop scene.

?: Have you seen Do The Right Thing?

P: I haven’t.

M: I saw it.

?: And?

M: I didn’t like the film too much. (There wasn’t more to squeeze out of him…)

Minor Threat: Straight Edge

[lyrics]

P: (laughs and sings along with the first few lines) Cult song!

?: The tiresome question…

P: This is still good. Out Of Step, when ‘Minor Threat’ came up – as far as I can understand – was something really new and extraordinary. SxE was really something provocative. The whole punk-scene that was totally rotten…full of self-destruction and so on. But today; there’s nothing more socially conformist than SxE these days, I think; that’s not the anti-drug thing, but all the SxE stuff, and everything that has to do with it nowadays.

?: The American government surely is happy about it.

M: I don’t know what to say. You already said everything.

?: All the bands now are totally conservative, or what do you think?

P: I think not taking drugs is much more subversive than taking drugs. But what is considered to be SxE nowadays …that’s drifting back into the negative.

M: It could be really cool nowadays. If it didn’t always have to follow a certain pattern.

Judge: New York Crew

[lyrics]

P: (laughs and again sings along the first few lines) One of the most embarrassing songs there is! I once heard that Mike ‘Judge’ [Ferraro], who sings this, was about 12 years old in 1982. That actually says it all. It would be the same if I was to write a song about Woodstock and the feelings I had there. I was about 2 years old… No, I think the song is ultra embarrassing and also glorifies violence… Boston Came Round…

M: In the beginning I thought it was really bad, the lyrics and such. But now I don’t believe them anymore.

P: But ‘Judge’ mean that, I seriously think so. I’s also a completely negative band somehow. Although this song is extreme, of course.

M: I don’t necessarily mean this song, but the whole 7”.

?: Even if he had experienced that… Let’s say he was 18 at the time. I always find these damn crews in the USA so extreme. Boston, NY, etc.

M: Above all, that they’re still proud of that. About their brawls and so…

P: Local patriotism… Yeah, of course I think it’s totally crap that they still thought it was good.

?: It’s also totally childish somehow.

P: The NY Brotherhood, Where Did It Go … It’s like in puberty, where you look for a connection somewhere and still don’t know what to do with yourself. You need a scene like this where you can submerge in. So it seems to me.

Louis Armstrong: What A wonderful World

(The absolute tearjerker lyrics à la Don’t Worry Be Happy. By the way, the song runs in the background in Barry Lovinson’s Good Morning Vietnam [movie, 1988] while you can see Vietnamese farming-villages being bombed.)

P: I know that! This is a black man.

M: Is that from a movie?

?: Hmm, yes aswell. (In Good Morning Vietnam, the song is played while peasant villages are being bombed.)

P: I don’t know what the guy’s name is…

?: Well known! He also plays the trumpet…

P: Louis Armstrong!

?: What do you think of the lyrics? I also could’ve brought Don’t Worry Be Happy.

P: What A wonderful World, nice if he thinks that. Well (looks out over the lake), up to a certain point. In any case, I think Don’t Worry Be Happy is the ultimate garbage.

M: I don’t think the music is that bad.

P: Yeah, the music is OK, but the lyrics…

M: Yes, I think one shouldn’t make them all that way. In the HC scene people tend to take everything seriously. I think that’s a good thing, there are enough bands that loosen things up a bit.

?: For example?

M: ‘Stikky’!

P: Love Is Good Until It Isn’t, a ‘Stikky’ song. I think it’s good when you have an attitude towards life. But every time you think about the future you have to consider: “Oh come on, don’t worry be happy. Basically, you can enjoy life.”…

M: That’s most people’s pattern.

Shelter

(Some song from their demo. I don’t know what the title is…)

P: Don’t know it.

?: A demo…

P: Maybe when he sings… Ray! Right, krshna and so is actually totally against everything what HC, in my opinion, stands for. Blind obedience, following an unwritten law and pursuing a goal that doesn’t exist – maybe doesn’t exist. What I hate most about sects is their claim to truth. Nobody who is krshna bothers me as long as they don’t try to force it on someone. I mean, it’s a question of belief, a matter of opinion. I think it’s shit, because Ray surely knows how much responsibility he has and how many kids there are who think he’s a god. And now he really completely goes for the krshna thing. I don’t know… A couple of kids are sure gonna love it. I think that’s pretty crappy.

M: That’s what I find dangerous about it. Everyone can believe what they want. But in this particular case with Ray pulling people in, I think it sucks too.

?: Do you think ‘Shelter’ will sell?

P: I believe for sure.

M: There are sure to be people who buy this. The biggest part of them probably. Even though they probably don’t care whether they’re krshna or not.

P: However I don’t think one should boycot that now. I’ll probably buy the 7” too.

Dead Silence: Can You?

[lyrics]

P: I know that…

?: ‘Dead Silence’.

M: I just know this one song from them…

P: I only have a 7” of them: For Your Ego’s Sake. Is that the one?

?: Yes.

P: Then I should actually know it. I knew that I had heard it before… ‘Dead Silence’ is a really good band and especially Hippycore is one of the most positive things there is at the moment. It’s way too undervalued.

?: Most SxE people probably won’t buy that at all.

P: That’s another problem. These bands can be so good; from the lyrics to the attitude, to the music. But in some way they’re not commercial enough. I certainly don’t mean that negatively. I actually think it’s good, but it’s a shame. For me that’s kind of the ideal picture of a scene, the way Hippycore does. Simply totally fair and consistent.

X-Large: Freundschaft

P+M: Already recognised after a hundredth of a second. (Roman [Amstutz; guitarist], this is not a joke!)

P: They should finally put out a 7”.

M: They don’t want to!

?: Do not want???

P: They have far too little self-confidence. They think they’re totally bad… While they’re totally cool, especially this song. This is my favourite song.

M: Mine too. I think their music is totally cool, totally rough, the way it should be; original…

P: They’re totally sweet guys, but don’t have enough self-confidence. You can tell them: “Go for it now! Lots of people think you’re great!”. But they don’t believe it.

?: From the scene in Stans?

P: Yes, they’re our local heroes…

?: It’s booming a bit, isn’t it?

P: Yes, it’s booming. It’s really cool right now. I got to know a lot of people because of all that, through our band and so on. And I also think – yes, that might sound crappy – it’s extreme when you see what has come about now after we started. That up to 300 people come to the concerts now, there’s another band that is totally good; just as ‘X-Large’. It’s totally nice to see.

?: Do you think the same would have happened in Zürich?

M: I think it’s totally different here (Central Switzerland) than in Zürich.

P: There’s also a certain over-saturation there when it comes to concerts and so on.

M: The bands in Zürich also tend more towards punk.

Majority Of One: Three Songs

(A very quiet acoustic song from their LP.)

M+P: (perplexed faces)

?: It’s an SxE band. ‘Majority Of One’.

P: Oh, that’s from the LP!

M: I don’t like them at all…

P: I think this is good! I have the 7”. But I never liked it so much, that’s why I didn’t buy the LP. But apparently I should have…

?: That’s a really slow, acoustic piece. What do you think of it, regarding the HC scene?

P: Yes, I’ld like to do that too… Also ‘Kina’ and so I think are really good. The acoustic ‘Kina’ songs are some of the greatest. Also the ‘Sink’ songs. I also like melodic stuff no matter what.

?: It seems as if most of the bands had the HC image and then “you can’t” write a slow or “nice” piece…

P: Yeah. But I think that’s good. ‘Ugly Food’ also have a great song like that.

M: Yes, that’s also good live. That adds some variation.

P: It’s totally cool. I also listen to a lot of other music, not HC stuff. I always think it’s good when bands try to “slip out of their own skin”.

Negative Approach: Ready To Fight

[lyrics]

?: You cover the song, right…

P: Yes we did.

?: Don’t you want to play it anymore?

P: No, we play covers a maximum of 3 times anyway, no more.

M: what do you mean? Because of the lyrics and such?

?: Well, in general actually. What does the song mean to you?

P: I was also wondering what that was about when I was singing that. We mostly covered it because it’s simple. We had to rehearse something quickly and so we decided on that.

M: The lyric is pretty extreme…

?: Well, fighting doesn’t have to mean using your fists…

M: I think the whole thing is also like ‘Minor Threat’. It’s just from the past, when it started.

P: For me it kind of means: “So, now let’s talk! We have been put down long enough!” When I sang that, it never felt like this: Yes, damn it, I’m taking it serious now and so now we’re gearing up… It was just always great fun to play that song. I think the music is totally awesome. ‘Negative Approach’ is one of the coolest bands. But anyway, I addressed it more from relaxed point of view.

Rise Above: What It Is!

[lyrics]

?: What’s this? (I already forgot it myself…)

M: That’s ‘Rise Above’.

?: Oh yeah, Unity Is Bullshit.

P: Yes, I thought that was totally cool… They say unity is good, but today that means uniformity, also that everyone is the same and so on. And below (on the lyrics-sheet) you can see 4 photos with just the hands of the band-members, all with an X on it. I thought that was really funny. They must have thought that over a lot when they did it! (general laughter)

M: I think the 7” isn’t that bad at all.

P: No, that’s right, the music is really not bad. And the lyrics too, except this one.

M: I guess I’ve never heard a good word about the band.

P: Me neither. Anyway, this song is really delicious! Still with the photos below. But yeah, the statement is still good. It’s kind of true; unity nowadays means wearing a hoodie.

Slapshot: Addiction

(Comment is probably superfluous…)

M: I was just thinking it had to come. I’ve sold all of my records from them. I should have burned them…

P: (Sings along again.)

M: They’re trying to come across extremely funny somehow, à la ‘Project X’ or something. But I think it sucks how they put down vegetarianism and all that.

P: ‘Choke’ [vocalist Jack Kelly] is definitely sick.

M: It sucks and I don’t find anything funny about it either.

P: Yeah, I have this record. I shouldn’t have that if I were consistent. This is one of the few… What just totally annoys me is that they are discussing topics where you have to seriously ask yourself whether there’s nothing more important. In half of their interviews, they talk about the rules of straight-edge. When SxE came up, it had other rules, about meat and so. This is so embarrassing! That’s the biggest joke! Have they got nothing better to do, I wonder, than to talk about things like that. I’ve Had Enough and stuff. SxE Kids Drinking Behind My Back (reaches for his head). So please… An embarrassing band!

?: Stars and Stripes?

P: I have nothing to say about it. I’ve never held it in my hands.

M: Well, I really don’t know what they want with these miserable lyrics.

P: I just don’t trust ‘Choke’ is intelligent enough to be able to attack patriotism etc. That’s why I think it’s meant to be serious.

M: I might find Stars + Stripes really funny…

P: If one didn’t know who’s behind it.

M: You can’t take these lyrics seriously, they are so stupid.

Profax: We’ll Make The Difference (‘Insted’). Live in Sarnen

[lyrics]

M: This had to happen! (both laugh) Why did we play that?

P: why? I do not know either. At least that wasn’t my idea. I also said “Well, I don’t think the lyrics are that bright, but what the heck.”. If you look at the video-recording closely, you can see Mario and me as we get into it. (both laugh)

M: I still think it’s good.

P: Yes, ‘Insted’ is a good band…

M: One of the good bands in the SxE scene.

P: Well, the lyrics are just a bit…you couldn’t write one that well. That’s why I didn’t take it so seriously. During rehearsals we always sang it in German: “Du Und Ich, Wir Machen Den Unterschied“ – You and I, we make the difference… Now when I hear it, it reminds me of a really good concert. It was awesome!

?: With many SxE bands the embarrassment comes about when you literally translate them into German.

M: I don’t think that simple lyrics are bad now…

P: Yeah, but some really don’t have a message.

M: I also find disguised lyrics a little better that perhaps deal with the same topic.

P: Me too. You have to think about things.

?: Do you have any final words?

  1. (submissive) Yeah, how were we?

?: Well so-and-so…

M: It’s still a good change from interviews. (Thanks for the flowers.) We have to do that in the Rebound [Mario’s zine] too some day.

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

Ludichrist (Nice Noise #2)

This zine was done by Jakob ‘Jalle’ Pedersen (from Roskilde, Denmark) and his mates Jacob, Thomas & Jonas). Never saw it until someone suggested it (#2 is on the www). It’s mainly a (a-political) music-zine (thrash/hardcore/metal/crossover)…

The second issue appeared in 1989 and has (mostly brief) interviews with ‘Instigators’, ‘Inhuman Conditions’, ‘A.M.Q.A.’, ‘Lord Crucifier’, ‘Lethal Aggression’, ‘Raped Teenagers’, ‘Skeezicks’, ‘The Accüsed’, ‘Active Minds’, ‘Adrenalin O.D.’ (…in the form of a comic!), ‘Wehrmacht’, ‘Concrete Sox’, ‘Spermbirds’, ‘Ludichrist’, ‘Pungent Stench’, ‘Death’, ‘Napalm Death’, ‘Deformed’, etc. There’s also some demo- & gig-reviews plus some features (e.g. ‘Naked Raygun’, ‘Scarecrow’ and more).

Brob

We only did two issues. The first is from ’88.

‘Jalle’

Since I liked the lyrics Tommy ‘Christ’ did for ‘Ludichrist’, I tried to interview him for my zine (see Ludichrist – interview Tilt! #2) but that turned out rather brief. It’s hard to find a decent talk with the guy… Here’s a reprint of one with guitarist Glenn Cummings from around the time of the Powertrip album (when they grew away from the DIY path)…

Posted in 1989, Danish zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Peggio Punx (ControCultura #3)

I read some reviews of this zine in Raising Hell but never got to see this zine back in the days. It was written in Italian. Adriano ‘Magou’ Di Gaspero from Faedis (near Udine, Italy) was the editor. He sent me some scans (+ translations) and you can read his story below…

Some of the contents? #1 (1983): ‘Subhumans’, ‘M.D.C.’, ‘The Skulls’ (Ita), Bastards (Fin), …; #2 (’83): ‘Necros’, ‘P.S.A.’, ‘Rubella Ballet’, ‘Kronstadt Uprising’, …; #3 (’83): ‘Capitol Punishment’, ‘Conflict’ (USA), Annie Anxiety, ‘Deformed’, ‘Peggio Punx’, …; #4 (’84): ‘Septic Death’, ‘Dicks’, ‘Iconclast’, ‘Frites Modern’, Gran Ducato Hard Core, ‘N.O.T.A.’, ‘Negazione’, …

There’s also a compilation-tape – Weekend For Maniacs (1985) – released under the name ControCultura produzioni…

Brob

#1 una voce per gridare il nostro rifiuto alle imposizioni (anche musicali) del sistema! = a voice to shout out our refusal against what the system imposes (also musically) on us!

The year was 1982…when I got in touch with the hardcore-punk scene in my hometown of Udine, Italy. I had been listening to new wave and punk since the late 70s, eventually focusing on the latter after being exposed to the ‘Dead Kennedys’ and especially ‘Germs’ at the beginning of the decade. I was living in a small village and was quite isolated, knew nobody so when the chance came, I grabbed it! I could tell you how it went but I’ll keep it short: I wanted to be involved in the scene but I couldn’t play any instrument. In retrospective I can see how I’ve never been able to function properly in a band or group/team situation, so a band wouldn’t have worked. I wasn’t even very creative but something that I always believed in was that information and knowledge should be as widespread as possible. I loved writing, so my solution was there: start a fanzine! And that’s exactly what I did. The idea for ControCultura came about in late 1982 and early 1983 saw the release of #1. I had it clear in my mind: the title was meant to be “Against Culture”. You know: fighting the system, and its rules and preconceived notions, the ones they would shove down our throats, in order to turn us into slaves and disposable pieces to their giant chess-game. The name was more often than not read as a single word, though, so many translated it as simply “counterculture”, which probably made it sound a bit pretentious, when it was simply meant to be something rebellious and youthful. And it was: I tried to cover both music and politics in an equal way, but the former was the centre of my interest, always has been. So I wrote everybody, kept contacts around the world, did reviews, interviews… Looking back at what I did, the way I wrote and dealt with issues and stuff was very childish and I wouldn’t consider it very informative (though you must remember that being connected in those times meant snail-mail and information was scarce anyway, so even the slightest hint of it meant a lot)… I still like its spontaneity, though, and my curiosity for obscure stuff was already there. (I mean, I liked ‘Crass’ but I would end up interviewing lesser-known artists on their label, such as Andy T [Andrew Thorley] or ‘Rubella Ballet’, which were very unknown at the time… I liked ‘Black Flag’ and ‘Circle Jerks’ but I would rather feature ‘The Proletariat’ and ‘The Fartz’, just to name a few.) This penchant of mine for discovering things, animated my own pages and three more issues followed, until late 1984, when I started my next project: a record-distribution meant to expose people to the sounds I loved and which were very hard to find in shops. This went on until the early 90s and in 1985 I had also started my own radio-show, which would eventually air until early 2005. I kept myself active when it came to writing zine-stuff and I even started a new fanzine called Ah! Sun-Flower, which never went further than #1 (but the name survived as the radio-show was called the same way)… But this was the 90s and a whole different story already.

Adriano Di Gaspero

[Translation below]

Peggio Punx

From Alessandria, Marco [Laguzzi] – guitar, Paolo [Chilin] – bass, Alberto [Pisani] – vocals and Federico [Massarino] – drums are ‘Peggio Punx’. The band formed about two years ago. Last year they released a 7” EP called Disastro Sonoro [“sound disaster”; recordings late 1982]. This year, they followed that one with La Città È Quieta… …Ombre Parlano, another 7” EP [the city is quiet … … shadows speak”; released 1984]. During the course of the year, they have grown considerably and the record, to me, is proof of that. Musically, they are one of the few bands, together with ‘ I Refuse It!’ and the now split-up ‘Indigesti’, to assimilate influences from American hardcore in an original way. In their songs, I can detect the influence of, specially, ‘Meat Puppets’ and ‘Bad Brains’ but melted together in a very positive way. What’s more, with this record, the band explored the concept of D.I.Y. in a deeper way; in fact, the EP was recorded with the Kollettivo Autogestito [self-ruled collective”] in Alessandria. Perhaps the end-result might not be the best, technically speaking, but it obtains a deeper political value. Its only flaw is perhaps the fact it’s so short: only six songs in six minutes. Politically, here’s a short interview to get to know more about the band’s ideas.

CC: Do you consider yourselves anarchists?

PP: The band acts on an individual basis, trying hard to point out the ideas and moods of everyone. Working inside a self-ruled collective, whose purposes extend well beyond the musical aspect, our social and political commitment is very strong, both as individual expression and the reality of the band. Politically, the band was born from previous experiences each one of us had, especially with the students’ movement of 1977. Alberto and Paolo have been involved with politics and self-ruled action for quite a while (for example with Radio Veronica, the movement’s radio-station), while you could say Marco was politically born with punk. Alberto is the one actually calling himself an anarchist, also being active in the F.A.I. [Federazione Anarchica Italiana, Italian Anarchist Federation].

CC: Are there many differences between the first and second EP?

PP: On our first EP, the concepts we expressed were quite banal and trivial, mainly because we weren’t yet living the problems that we face today, in view of managing the collective and keeping contact with other militant political entities. Living the self-rule experience, both in social and political terms, has made us much more sensitive to the subject of “making music”, making us more mature both in musical and lyrical terms. On our second EP, we try and emphasize the alienated role an individual has in the context of society, its wanted and imposed isolation, stemming from a lack of communication with likeminded people and the increasinly heavier role played by the mass-media and their power to impose standards, thoughts and images of a life growing increasingly more standardised and massified by the day. These issues, perhaps less immediate than others (such as comprehension) were dealt with in our lyrics of the second EP, with a spirit and a willingness which was new for us, with the awareness of not wanting to quit when confronted with early obstacles, but wanting to keep on refusing imposed concepts, thoughts and models. Moving forward means, for us, not ghettoising and isolating ourselves in our diversity but expressing it loudly, without falling into the trap of cheap exhibitionism or the image of the drugged-out ones, which you often see at gigs.

CC: Describe the activities of the collective and your role in it.

PP: The self-ruled collective has, during these recent months, become the only voice of opposition in our city of Alessandria. There are several different realities here, working in parallel for common goals.

CC: What is the meaning of actually recording the new EP within the collective?

PP: There was a need of exploring the concepts of self-ruled action and self-production in a more profound way, so that the ideas put forward by the collective are not limited to words and music, but are advanced through truly self-ruled channels and media.

CC: What’s your opinion on punk?

PP: To us, punk is a movement of ideas that are constantly developing and aiming to become a reality, that’s actually antagonist towards the system; that’s why we refuse all attitudes dictated by purely exterior, exhibitionistic reasons and sheer exaggeration. In our opinion, expressing this energy during a concert is allright but at the same time you have to express it in an intelligent and really constructive form, laying down the bases of a movement, which is actually present both in social and political perspectives.

————————-

some extras from #2

‘P.S.A.’ (Punk Sound Against)

They’re the only punk band from Sassari [Sardinia] and their name means ‘Punk Sound Against’: “We’re anarchists and pacifists if that means we actually are anti-militarist and opposed to all fucking power wars wanted by all fucking governments, which send you to die without even knowing why. We’re not if pacifism means being passive. We hate all those dirty yankees, smearing the soil of our island with their filthy NATO-bases and we try everything, to make people aware about this absurd situation of indifference towards the dangers that surround us, first and foremost this absurd nuclear arms race.”. They don’t like putting borders to punk and anarchy and that is why they sing in both Italian and English (the other reason is because they don’t recognize themselves as citizens of any country, especially Italy, which has been a colony of the hated U.S.A. since forever). I don’t approve of bands singing in English because “it’s more musical” but if expressing themselves in such a language, besides the above mentioned ideological reasons, allows them to reach more people, then that’s OK. Talking about their lyrics: they are mainly against nuclear energy (this is a problem the band feels strongly about, especially because of the presence of American bases on their island, as mentioned before) and against war (Another problem they’re very concerned about, especially when it comes to the situation in Lebanon where our own soldiers, volunteers no more, are sent to die for nothing.). Their music is hardcore, perhaps not very original (and seemingly American-influenced) but great when it comes to impact and power. They released Sulla Nostra Pelle [“on our skin”], a C-60 tape featuring 14 songs in both Italian and English versions (so 28 songs total) and they’re trying to release a record. If we get enough pre-orders, we will acually distribute the tape, while distribution of the record through ControCultura is already almost certain. If you’re not patient enough and want to get in touch with the band themselves, here’s their address and the tape costs 3.500 Lire if you buy it fron them (or 3.000 Lire if you buy it from us; both prices postpaid).

[Geppi Sanna (vocals), Danilo Sini (guitar), Gigetto Carta (bass; later replaced by Gianfranco Squintu), Luigi Palomba (drums)]

Soglia Del Dolore

They come from Spilimbergo [near Udine], where they formed in September 1982 under the name ‘Threshold Of Pain’. In February 1983, they changed their singer and translated their name in Italian. Their line-up is now as follows: Jacques Use [Giovanni Lunghi] (vocals), Erik (guitar), Antonio (bass) and Eros (drums). Their music is a very original brand of hardcore, sometimes English-sounding. They have four songs on Autogestione, the second compilation-tape by NFP [Nuova Fahrenheit Punkzine]. To better understand their point of view and ideas, we interviewed them and below is the result (to save space, only their answers have been transcribed).

Antonio – I like ‘Crass’ very much but I don’t think a polemic against skins is something anyone should be looking for, because they use a form of expression which must be taken into consideration and accepted, perhaps it’s not a very thoughtful one but it’s still a form of expression and can’t be denied. Obviously, I can’t accept nazi-skins because these are just out to cause trouble and fights; their ideas must be respected anyway, even if doesn’t change a lot. When it comes to ‘The Exploited’, I don’t really know what to say, they bore me after a while, ‘Crass’ instead are more original.

Jacques – I agree. I share much of ‘Crass’s ideology but I think it’s absurd to have a polemic in Italy based on two bands that are active in the UK. I think we should think more about what’s happening here, because the divisions that are going on locally are a bit a reflection of the English situation and I feel that’s just not fair.

Antonio – We don’t have a definite musical style yet. We can’t be considered completely hardcore and we strive to be as original as possible. We have some songs that are more rythmic and remind us of oi! somehow (just musically speaking).

Antonio – The Italian scene, part from fashion-punk, seems to me quite good and sincere, at least the bands I know are serious and committed. In our region, the punk-scene is not very organised, bands from Udine (except for ‘Eu’s Arse’) are having problems to develop. And then you have bands from outside town, like us, ‘Pravda’, ‘Warfare’. It shows there’s something actually moving/growing. Regarding the propagation of ideas, our situation as a band, being quite isolated from the city, is difficult: almost most everyone here is still into disco, etc.

Jacques – I have a pretty good opinion of the Italian scene, the movement here isn’t as developed as in the UK yet, so I think it’s still very genuine, though even here you can feel the influence of fashion. Our regional scene has still a long way to go, being punk doesn’t necessarily mean sharing the same ideas, beliefs and so on. It’s allright to express different ideas. I’m not saying there’s a need for conflict between anarchist punks and other punks, but it’s a thing that needs to grow, even on an Italian level. Everybody should make their own history, being punk doesn’t necessarily mean thinking alike or that punk is a political movement or whatever.

Eros – Fighting creates divergence. It fucks up the unity and you end up even more isolated than before.

Erik – In our region punk-bands are quite isolated, I can’t really judge the work of others because I don’t know it well. The scene in Udine is allright, in our province of Pordenone there are only a few punks and even those are mostly in it for fashion.

Jacques – We all have a good experience about keeping in touch with other people, especially me: I’ve always been confronting myself and try to share ideas and bring up issues, discuss them with other punx. Now that we’re a band, sending out tapes and stuff helps widening our contacts and the chance to get ti know each other.

? – Our lyrics deal with differnt themes: Bologna 6/6/82 is about police-repression at a gig; Vita Morta [dead life] talks about fucked-up, apathetic life and the lack of relationships between people; Democrazia is criticizing this fake “democratic” society, only trying to keep people dumb and silent; Il Punk Deve Morire [punx must die] is about the exploitation of punk by the media, and the fights between punx and skins. To sum it up: it’s easier to destroy something than to create something positive. Natale Fottuto [fucking Xmas] is a song against the consumerist myth of Christmas. Some other songs we have are Non Sopporto Più [can’t stand anymore] and Libano [Lebanon].

Antonio – We care a lot about our lyrics but the music is equally important. To me, doing trying musical things out is important and I don’t entirely agree with people who only care about the lyrics and not about the sound.

Eros – I don’t agree with those who turn music into chaos and are critical of those who try and play well. If you only care about the lyrics, you should stick to poetry. If you want to spread your ideas through music, you should try to make the latter good and important, and not just mess about so that the lyrics are impossible to understand.

Jacques – I agree with both Eros and Antonio. There has been a stereotype created that punk should be fast, loud, etc. but to me this is an absurd limitation. It’s good to give everybody the opportunity to express themselves but it would be ideal to reach a unity, a balance between words and music, so that they can express the same idea. This is why I like bands such as ‘Crass’ and ‘Flux Of Pink Indians’: bands expressing their thoughts with music as well as lyrics. It’s nonsense to put any limits to creativity.

Antonio – I’m an anarchist and pacifist, but not necessarily non-violent.

Jacques – I think violence depends on the place and where you stand, but I don’t like labels, so even being an anarchist is just a convenience-label. I think I’m one, because I’m interested in developing my personality in the same way people near me should develop their own, without neither influencing nor being influenced by others.

Erik – I’m an anarchist but I think this is very subjective.

Eros – I’m an anarchist but perhaps not too committed yet.

In the future, besides being featured on the above mentioned compilation-tape, the band will also release a demo-tape of their own and collaborate with punx from Sassari.

 

Posted in 1983, Italian zines | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

S.F.A. (New Breed #1)

After the first and only issue of his fanzine F.T.W., New Yorker Freddy Alva teamed up with Chris Wynne (later In Effect zine) & ‘Tatu’ Paul A. (bassist of the oi! band ‘Oxblood’). to do this one… There were band-interviews (‘Pressure Release’, ‘NY Hoods’, ‘Raw Deal’, ‘S.F.A.’ & ‘Underdog’) plus reviews (records/demos/shows). The booklet that came with Freddy’s New Breed compilation-tape is considered as the second and final issue. He did that together with Chaka Malik.

‘S.F.A.’ (‘Stands For Anything’) was the band of Mike ‘Bullshit’ Bromberg (of Bullshit Monthly). Mike ‘Riot’ (as he’s referred to here) was the singer. In the beginning Ron (later drummer of ‘Go!’) played bass, Bill(y) Arbizu did guitar and Tim McArdle hit the drums. At the moment of this interview (after the recording of the second demo) Ron had switched to drums, Bill to bass and Jan Impala played guitar. In the late 80s Mike parted with the band and started ‘Go!’…

Posted in 1988, USA zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sacrilege (Little Things Please Little Minds #3)

I started corresponding with ‘Slug’ Ian Glasper (from Ledbury, in the UK’s West Midlands) in 1988 when his band ‘Decadence Within’ was looking for help to tour the European continent. We met a bunch of times when they gigged in the neighbourhood, I helped distribute their releases and exchanged frequent letters. We disconnected when he took a direction towards metal (writing for the mainstream magazine Terrorizer, playing in the band ‘Stampin’ Ground’) but he surprised me postitively again when he published books such as Burning Britain: The History of UK Punk 1980-1984, Trapped in a Scene: UK Hardcore 1985-1989, Armed with Anger: How UK Punk Survived the Nineties & The Day the Country Died: A History of Anarcho Punk 1980-1984.

But he never told me about the zine – Little Things Please Little Minds – that he’d done as a teenager (nor about his old band ‘Ammonia 77’ for that matter)… He donated #3 (which got out in March ’86): there’s interviews with ‘Lunatic Fringe’, ‘Sacrilege’, ‘Deformed’, ‘Varukers’ & ‘Symbol Of Freedom’; a bunch of zine-reviews and some personal scribblings. The cover of 4th issue mentions ‘Instigators’, ‘Concrete Sox’, ‘Oi Polloi’, ‘The Next World’, ‘Death Biter’ & ‘Heavy Discipline’.

Ian Glasper in ‘Decadence Within’, 1987

In an interview he mentions: “I did my own fanzine – that lasted five or six issues, which got me into putting pen to paper… everyone did a fanzine back then though, didn’t they? It was just another way of expressing yourself – I had a lot of shit to get off my chest, but I was very shy, so it was easier to write it down than scream it from the roof-tops…”

I’m reprinting the interview with ‘Tam’ of ‘Sacrilege’ (conducted a bit after the release of the Behind The Realms Of Madness LP on C.O.R. recs) as it seems Ian likes them best, and they’re from his region. In the band at that time: ‘Tam’ Lynda Simpson (vocals), Tony May (bass), Andy Baker (drums; replacing Liam Pickering) & Damien Thompson (guitar).

Posted in 1986, UK zines | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Lunatic Fringe (Ayatollah #3)

In the late 70s Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran to start an “islamic revolution”… The zine was started (early 80s) by Fredrik ‘Fredda Frivolt’ Brickman (later guitar/vocals for ‘Bedrövlerz’), Peter Ahlqvist & Jörgen Wernersson (3 friends from Fagersta, Sweden). It contained mostly oi!/skinhead/punk bands. They even gave attention to ‘Skrewdriver’…

Content? Band-info (e.g. ‘Red Alert’ in #1; ‘The Partisans’, ‘Conflict’, ‘One Way System’ in #2) and -interviews (#1: ‘Crude SS’, ‘Special Duties’; #2: ‘Destructors’, ‘Bad Relgion’, ‘Violators’, ‘Chaos UK’; #3: ‘Channel 3’, ‘External Menace’, ‘Lunatic Fringe’, ‘Subhumans’, ‘T.S.T.’, ‘Awlopp 69’, ‘Combat 84’, ‘The Insane’; ‘Cult Maniax’); zine-/record-reviews, cartoons, etc.

In 1983 Peter A. started his record-company/mailorder/shop Uproar Records & Tapes and a magazine focussing on US and international HC. Later “he ran the Rockborgen venue and started the Bergslagsrocken festival” in his hometown, “a renowned punk/HC/metal/indie festival”. The www states “In 1991 he started the fanzine The Burning Heart and worked as a manager with a local metal/crossover act, besides continuing as a promoter. In 1993 he founded the label Burning Heart. That grew bigger and bigger, leading to a joint-venture with Epitaph recs (run by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz).”

Brob

Me and my friend Peter from the small town of Fagersta were bored because we had nothing to do (we weren’t into sports). I was into punk since ’77 and my friend was into oi mostly. I played guitar in my first band ‘Awlopp 69’ but Peter couldn’t play an instrument. We’d seen some early fanzines and thought we could do that as well. We sent letters to bands with questions and most often got answers. The bad jokes in the zine are me to blame for. When I started ‘Bedrövlers’ and Peter started Uproar records and tapes (later Burning Heart recs), there was no time left to do a zine. Instead we started Bergslagsrocken, a festival with punk/HC/metal. Also numerous smaller gigs. Fagersta is a small town: 14.000 citizens. We were about 50 punx at the time in early/mid ’80s. And one skinhead. It all came from boredom and frustration. We wanted to do something. It created a movement of DIY and shaped us to be non-racists. We were fighting for animal liberation, etc. We got to know and played with all the important bands. Not only from Sweden. It was a great time.

Jörgen was part of the mag for a short period but was kicked out because of he was lazy. Peter was a soft skinhead, a ‘herbert’ (a word we use for a person between punk and skin; a little bit of hair and half-skin) ha ha ha. It wasn’t me who wanted ‘Screwdriver’ in the mag. And maybe none of us knew enough about them. Can’t remember. Later on we learned what ‘Screwdriver’ was about and wanted nothing to do with them. We are all anti-racist.

Fredrik Brickman

I did Ayatollah fanzine with Fredrik and some others in the beginning, but it was mostly Fredrik and me. Then gradually it mostly became just me and after Ayatollah #3, I continued with Uproar zine and also did one issue each of Stick Together and D.N.N.H. (with some remaining material intended for Ayatollah). All off them in Swedish.

Peter Ahlqvist

‘Lunatic Fringe’ was the band of Michael Hopewell a.k.a. Bear Hackenbush (vocals) who also did Skate Muties From The 5th Dimension zine. I met him when visiting St.Paul’s squat in Bristol (home of ‘Chaos UK’). This interview – condcuted after the release of the Who’s In Control EP (on Resurrection recs – was with bassist Nick Horne. The others were Adrian Blackmore (drums) & John Finch (guitar).

[Translation below; with help of Fredrik Brickman]

‘Lunatic Fringe’ is a socialist punk band from Bristol, England. The first time they let themselves be heard, was last summer: on the famous compilation-LP Riotous Assembly. They had a great song on that called British Man. The band became known because of that. 2 months later [1982] they put out their debute single containing 3 songs: Who’s In Control, Mail Order Rebels and Omnibus. We got interested in the band and decided to write some questions to Nick, the bassplayer. A week later we got a letter from him. We wanna make clear that these are only Nick’s views and the others might have other opinions.

Nick Horne (bass), Adrian Blackmore (drums), John Finch (guitar), Michael Hopewell a.k.a. Bear Hackenbush (vocals)

I think the song on Riotous Assembly is great, what do you think? How come you are on that record?

Well we had done some gigs in Bristol and Riot City recs has it’s main office in Bristol, so because of the support we got, we were asked. We’re happy with the song even if it’s badly produced and the other bands on the compilation sound better. And it’s slower as well. We were worried that people wouldn’t hear how good it is. Myself, I like it hard and I’m happy that at least one more person likes it.

Is it easier to get gigs now after the compilation?

No it’s not, nobody’s offering gigs anyway. But we haven’t put that much effort in it anyway. Nowadays in the UK you have to be in genres like oi, ‘Crass’ or ‘Discharge’ to get gigs. We don’t like to play music that fit others, not to criticise those bands at all. Therefore we dress like heroes and jump around like stars.

What is Resurrection recs like and how do they treat you?

It’s a record-company put together by Shane [Baldwin] and Dave [Bateman] from ‘Vice Squad’ and we have a single out there. We like the production and the layout picturing a tortured cat. We are strongly involved in animals and their treatment. But right now we are tired of how the company treats us… They haven’t bothered to contact us since the single came out. Neither did they sent the money they owe us. They didn’t give a shit about it. Apparently they have more important stuff to to take care of. At the moment we have a a strong punk-movement here in England, with people who care about things and want an alternative for the world of today. Of course there’s also bands who betrayed their ideals, and who’ve gotten involved in the mainstream music-business and are a threat to no-one. They want to be accepted by the media, so their part in the whole thing is to fool people and in the end they themselves are deceived and totally controlled by the media. These are the things that people hear about punk and that they then accept, and I think that sucks.

Has the record-company helped you with gigs?

No, not at all. It doesn’t to help them or rather, fill their wallets. We appreciate that they gave us a chance but not what they did/didn’t do later.

How does your audience look like and respond?

We get mostly punx but we would like to have others too. The response is mostly good but it depends if they don’t stand posing in the corner or if they dance.

Would you perform on Top Of The Pops if they gave you the chance?

We wouldn’t like anything better than to be on that programme, not for commercial reasons or to appear on TV but to see some real punx on that shitty show. Just think of a punk-band that breaks the barriers and to see real punks, not a stupid band. I also think that on such an occasion it’s important to explain the lyrics and what punk stands for to ordinary people. I try to scribble down my views and think that in that way I’m conveying a message. The music for the songs is then done by John Finch, the guitarist. In addition, he writes most of the lyrics and he does that wonderfully.

Have you got any new records coming?

We have absolutely no plans for a new record. We have nowhere to put out a new record, we have recorded a demo and would like to make records out of them; we will send the tape out.

Anything to add?

A lot; that people would start to think for themselves and think free, then the earth would be better and people free. Then society, the media, the education-system would have it harder to control us. The most important thing is nuclear disarmament. The earth will be a battlefield if this goes on, starting with Europe. It’s also a way to show that people don’t go for the lies of those who rule. Diarm Or Die!

Posted in 1982, Swedish zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Eat Yourself (God Bless Cheese Steaks #2)

‘Fozzy’ Stéphane ‘Stef’ Cormary was originally from the Toulouse area (L’Union, south France) but ended up in Dunkerque (in the north) in the early 90s. He was the singer of ‘Six Feet Over’ and played/visited a lot of the gigs at the autonomous centre Vort’n Vis (Ieper, Belgium). We often met there but had been corresponding before (if I remember correctly). He did the fanzine God Bless Cheese Steaks with the collaboration of Eric ‘Graff’ Graffeuil & Hervé Crumière. Before that ‘Fozzy’ had done No Way Out zine. In 1988 he also released a few compilation-tapes under the name Cheese Steaks.

Some references… #1: ‘Lärm’, ‘Concrete Sox’, ‘Krull’, ‘Anti-Dogmatikss’, etc. #2 (1987): ‘Electro Hippies’, ‘Scraps’, ‘D.R.I.’, ‘Corrupted Morals’, ‘Gang Green’, ‘Instigators’, ‘Eat Yourself’, ‘Rapt’, etc. #3: ‘Heresy’, ‘Infezione’, ‘Verbal Assault’, ‘Crucial Youth’, ‘So Much Hate’, ‘Ripcord’ and more.  #4: ‘H.H.H.’, Barn Av Regnbuen’, ‘Seven Minutes Of Nausea’, ‘Dawn Of Liberty’, ‘Extrem’, etc. #5: ‘Go!’, ‘Cowboy Killers’, ‘Anarkotics’ and more. #6: ‘Brains Of Humans’, girls in the HC/punk scene, etc.

Steph has posted some photos of these on-line

Back in Toulouse, in the late 90s, Stéphane did Wishy Washy Beer, a humorous zine, with no or less bands and more personal stuff. Never been able to read that… In 2000 he played bass and sang in the band ‘ViolenTopaloff’.

‘Eat Yourself’ (a hilarious chaotic noisy HC/punk band from Saint-Donat-sur-l’Herbasse, near Grenoble) were Laurent Seiter (bass/vocals, co-editor of Roger Mag), Bernard Verron (guitar; later ‘Seba’ Sébastien Charme who was also in ‘The Feebles’) & Xavier Aubonnet (drums). Around the time of this interview the ‘E.Y.’ demo-tape Roger Core Turbulence was released (together with a booklet: a short A5 fanzine that contained the lyrics plus unrelated ‘articles’, jehovah witnesses parodies and select drawings).

[Tranlation below]

I met Laurent at a concert in Grenoble where ‘Eat Yourself’ (of course), ‘Death Noise’, Mass Murder’ and a few other regional bands were to play. I say ‘should have’ because unfortunately what was (again) to be a great hardcore night, was actually a huge mess, because of a few primitive and stupid hardrockers. Thanks (!) to these assholes who provoked everyone, we were entitled to a huge fight instead of the concert. What can we say? Thank you hardrockers!! In the end, these people are more to be pitied than anything else.

OK, let’s go back to what we were saying! Why did I tell you about this? Well, simply because I wanted to! No, it was to help you better understand some of Laurent’s answers regarding the metalheads.

‘Eat Yourself’ is a fast/fun hardcore band. They consist of Laurent (bass and vocals), Bernard (guitar) and Xavier (drums). They’ve just released a demo of 13 good quality tracks. [the 1987 demo Roger Core Turbulence has 19 tracks] I recommend it to you because they deserve to be encouraged, indeed playing hardcore in France is almost an achievement.

Ready for the interview? OK, go!!

What prompted you to play hardcore?

Well, it’s very complex. One day, the rain fell gently in our retroactive barn and there was the revelation! I bought myself a bass, Bernard afforded himself a guitar and we hunted Xavier out of his cave in order to communicate our hatred against what is beautiful, refined, aesthetic and pretty.

Why did you choose ‘Eat Yourself’ as your name?

Because of the flies. Because. (Editor’s note: Did he really answer?)

Are you satisfied with the demo?

Uh … of course, my dear. It’s a little bit less bad than our first achievement. (Well yes, we have a first demo [rehearsal & live] that I won’t send to anyone.) Moreover, considering the recording-circumstances, the result is not disappointing, yes, in fact, I like us very much! (Editor’s note: I think you’re not the only one!)

A very important question now: do you like cheese?

Well there you reach my weak spot, especially when it comes to roquefort and boursin. With strawberries (boursin with strawberries).

What’s the last book you read?

Physics Handbook, by Vuibert, pages 24 to 29 (magnetic fields). Oouaahhhhhhhh, it’s heavy. Otherwise, the last novel I read is The Cross And The Banner, very very good and very funny, as well as well written. It’s not very thrashy, but hey, the sound isn’t bad (pfffffffffffffhh…)

What are the 5 bands that you hate the most?

Easy: all speed-metal bands… More specifically: ‘Slayer’, ‘Kreator ’, Indochine’, ‘The Cure’ and Henri Krasucki [???].

What about your 5 favourite bands?

Difficult… Well: of all times-and-all-eras, through the ages, I still love: ‘Negative FX’ (who make ‘Slayer’ look like ‘Madonna’, with a less pretty ass, aaaaaaaarrrghhhh, sex, drugs, satan, death-metal). Other fetish bands: ‘Agnostic Front’ (damn, but Liberty & Justice, very good!!!), ‘Ludichrist’, ‘A.M.Q.A.’, ‘Cancerous Growth’; that’s 5, right? There’s also ‘D.R.I.’, if they promise not to continue on this dangerous slope…, and ‘Napalm Death’, ‘Ripcord’, ‘Neos’, ah yes, ‘Neos’, what a song, what an orgasm, aaaargghh, same as ‘Negative Fx’. Others? Noooo!! Yes, yes, I insist: ‘Lärm’, ‘Negazione’, ‘So Much Hate’, ‘AOD’, ‘The Mob’, ‘Psycho’, ‘A.A.’ [‘Attitude Adjustment’] (not ‘Attitude’, what shit) (Editor’s note: Disagree!), ‘Poubellor’, ‘P.P.K.’, ‘Nous’, ‘Negative Gain’, ‘Final Conflict’, ‘F.U.’s’, ‘S.O.B.’ (I insist.), ‘Outo’… I can add more, eh? Okay, I’ll stop. Thanks for the cherries.

Why this fixation with the fabulous first name Roger?

You’ll notice, dear friend, that I haven’t used it once yet in this fascinating interview. Here you go, I make up for it before answering: Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger. (I leave spaces for better appreciation.). As for the answer: it comes from my dog Bismark, who’s very very stupid.

Are you going to vote for the next presidential elections?

Of course, and rather twice than once: I will vote blank, to piss them all off. I hate them all, and I order you to do the same.

Your dearest wishes?

To stop this interview… No, can I give a serious answer? Thank you, so here it is: let the USSR get out of Afghanistan, in the first place. Then, that all those idiots destroy all nuclear weapons, and not just a small part (they really take us for idiots), that’s original! And all the not so original things: apartheid, racism, etc.

Otherwise: no more heavy metal, long live Roger, worship all the new gods: ‘Eat Yourself’, and be happy, be nice to the lady, nasty to the hardrockers, neutral with the Swiss and indulgent towards us!

The unconscious few who want our Roger Core tape can either send me a check for 20,45 FF, or a blank tape + 5,63 FF stamp or a demo (of your own band, no heavymetal!!! thanks).

Thanks to the Rogers of G.B.C.S. (what a particular name!) for their impatience and to the hardrockers for the good atmosphere they radiate at concerts!!

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