Infest was the zine done by Stéphane ‘Scholl’ Brochier, the guitarist of ‘Undone’. He studied political sciences in Paris, and also ran a label and distro (called Kleines Mädchen). A nice fellow and great friend.
Here he interviewed ‘Unhinged’ (from Liège) when they were still in their original line-up: my long-time comrades Manu (vocals; occasionally joined by Mireille) & Alain (guitar) – who were running Nabate recs & distribution together – with some of the ‘Hiatus’ guys: Wills (bass) & Azill (drums). They’d only done one demo by then, and the 7″ Resisting The Murder Of Self. Their 2nd demo was recorded around this time (April ’95).
From the review of their 7″ in Tilt! #8: >>A blast of power and anger … Alain’s personal crumbly-melodic guitar-sound and Manu’s powerful capabilities make the difference … crust-emo. Lyrics on the devastation to nature and mankind brought about by the moral majority and their disastrous system. I hope they leave me this when they lock me up. <<
‘Unhinged’ is a band from Liège [Belgium] with Alain (guitar), Manu & Mireille (vocals), and Willy (bass) & Azill (drums)… Their music is powerful and energitic; HC/punk sometimes with crust influences. The lyrics are demanding and vigorous aswell as personal…
ACCORDING TO YOU, IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE ‘REVOLUTIONARY’ NOWADAYS?
Alain: I don’t know if one can be, but I want to. I’m in favour of radical change of society. I think that the world is not fixed, that our potential is enormous; otherwise why live while watching people die on TV, without any hope.
Willy: I believe that’s what all of us do in our own way; there’s many ways to steal from the State and recuperate what they steal from us. I experience a certain pleasure when I deal with stuff like that.
Alain: The State steals, we reclaim!
DO YOU SEE VIOLENCE AS A MEANS TO GET TO THIS, AS AN ACTION-FORCE? IN AN ISSUE OF PROFANE EXISTENCE OF LAST YEAR E.G., THERE WAS A WHOLE PAGE ON THIS MATTER, MAKING AN APOLOGY FOR WEAPONS AS SUCH A MEANS FOR ACTION, EXPLAINIG WHAT TO CHOOSE… WHAT’S YOUR OPINION?
Willy: I have several American friends and some are in favour, others are aginst this page in P.E. I didn’t read it myself because I feel it doesn’t concern me.
Alain: A ‘non-violent revolution’ is possible; one has to realise very well that there will never be ‘THE’ revolution who will suddenly change the world, but rather some ‘revolutions’, social events, violent or non-violent, according the powers and the challenge. The military-economic powers-that-be are ready for any violent action to safeguard the established order (economically maintaining their profit, domination of North over South, etc.). At the point where we are, I don’t think that we should be divided regarding the use of violence. The page on fire-arms in P.E. wasn’t a shock to me, it made me laugh instead. But I understand the logic of arming one’s self minimally (I also include martial arts) in order not to get crushed and be submitted too easily.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CONCEPT ‘POLITICALLY CORRECT’ THAT WE ENCOUNTER IN THE HC/PUNK SCENE?
Alain: I’m not certain of its definition: does it indicate people who act politically correct (?) but who are in fact proving to be the biggest puritanists, and who hide behind façades that they think are flawless? Those people who, the moment they become vegetariens, start to hate those who still eat meat? If you mean that kind of people that would be covered by that term: they don’t really have my sympathy.
Willy: Mine neither. I appreciate differences and our scene is supposed to be openminded. The term ‘P.C.’ has the same initials as ‘papier-cul’ [toilet-paper]; that’s all what it represents to me.
WHAT APPROACH DO YOU TAKE REGARDING THE ‘ANIMAL LIBERATION MOVEMENT’? AND WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE FACT THAT – E.G. IN FRANCE – QUITE A FEW GROUPS AND ANARCHIST FEDERATIONS STAY ADVERSE TOWARDS VEGETARISM (CONTRARY TO THE U.K. E.G.). SEVERAL MONTHS AGO, DURING A MEETING WITH DIFFERENT LIBERTARIAN GROUPS IN LYON, A GROUP REFUSED TO JOIN BECAUSE OF THE PRESENCE OF THE ‘CAHIERS ANTISPECISTES’…
Alain: I have to admit I don’t really feel too close to the ‘Cahiers Antispécistes’ nor the ‘Fédération Anarchiste’, even though I value what they’re doing. I’m vegan for several years, but to me the struggle for the improvement for the condition of animals cannot overshadow the struggle for our (human) liberation. Perhaps deep-down I’m ‘speciesist’, because to me human life comes before animal life. But that doesn’t hold me from trying to avoid the exploitation of animals. And as to the subject of anarchist groups: everyone chooses who (s)he associates with, personally I don’t have any problem to do constructive things with people who don’t worry about the fate of animals, if they’re people I love, who are worth the trouble. On the other hand: I don’t see what I would do together with a vegan bourgeois… Regarding the U.K.: I think you’re right about certains groups, but not as a whole. The English are generally more involved with animal liberation, and that reflects with the anarchists. But when I think of the different anarchist groups – Green Anarchist, Class War, Direct Action, Counter Information – none of them has animal liberation in its ‘program’.
Willy: I was almost vegan except for cheese and yoghurt (very easy to steal) but I’m not even vegetarian anymore becasue I recently started to eat fish again from time to time – I missed it. I don’t know if I could steal some: it would smell and I would get caught at the checkout.
Alain: It’s sad, those vegetarians who start to eat animals. Don’t take Willy as an example!
TOLERANCE HAS ITS LIMITS. HOW COULD WE DEFINE IT ACCORDING TO YOU?
Manu: As for me, I absolutely refuse the notion of tolerance itself. When I’m confronted with an opinion, words or actions that I find fundamentally wrong, how could I find them ‘tolerable’? I would rather speak of respect and comprehension of the person, not of the ideas that (s)he represents, when I think they’re wrong.
Alain: I don’t tolerate Willy anymore when he eats fish but I always respect him!
WHAT DOES THE NOTION ‘EDUCATION’ MEAN TO YOU?
Manu: Raising a child is something quite difficult. (S)he has everything to learn and it’s in the biggest part upto the parents to take up the role to ‘educate’, through dialogue and communication. It’s not obvious to define an anti-authoritairian education. It’s about learnig her/him things while respecting her/his choices. The problem is that there’s no defined path to follow and one is never certain not to be mistaken.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT PORNOGRAPHY?
Manu: The porn-industry is an industry of exploitation, like almost everything that exists in this world. The majority of what goes on in porn addresses men and shows women in an inferior position, as an object. Having said this, it’s the form that bothers me and not the background. Sexuality is important and there’s nothing unhealthy about it, and I don’t see why it could not be expressed in magazines, books, movies. It’s not very intellectual but…so what?!
CAN ONE IMAGINE A SOCIETY WITHOUT PRISONS? HAVE YOU PERSONALLY HAD TROUBLE WITH THE LAW?
Alain: Most crimes are born from the discrepancy between the rich and the poor, aswell as the pile-up of sexism, business, … Before, one would have never imagined a world without psychiatric asylums and that’s the case now in Italy. We never had big troubles with the ‘law’ (newspeak) upto now; Willy is leading the hit-parade for the moment…
Willy: That scum wants to make me pay 40.000 FB [1.000 €], that I can convert into a month in the slammer, for an old story of ‘drunk-driving’. I would prefer to go to prison in stead of paying the State but I don’t have the time for that. So I took a free lawyer and I will see. I can perhaps pay a small amount each month and only pay a quarter of the total. I wasn’t even driving when they, those nazis, arrested us – Alain, myself and other friends – just because we were pissing on a big jalopy and were tossing our empty cans in the yard of this villa; it’s intolerable.
YOUR OPINION ON THE DEATH-PENALTY?
Willy: An immigrant squatter was killed not far from here in a station (in Berlin) a few years ago. I’ld experience a certain pleasure in killing whatever nazi but perhaps I would feel remorse for his family afterwards.
Alain: I sometimes feel like killing and I understand that drive, but I make the difference between my impulses and my idea on what kind of society I want to live in. The death-peanlty, as collectively decided by the State, society – is stupid, cruel, inhuman. Society should not do the same thing to someone what is reproached to it. Why not steal from the thieves, rape the rapists?! Moreover: it’s irreversible, one can never change opinion, mistakes… It’s totalitatian practice, used in the U.S.
SOME WORDS TO END WITH?
Alain: I can ‘t encourage everybody (punk/hardcore) too much to get involved in all this (play, write, travel, organise, produce, etc.). It’s just in this way that all this makes sense. Take care of yourselves!