Abolition (Ras l’Bol #2)

‘Abolition’ (at the very beginning named ‘Violent Arrest’) played power-trash. They were from Ludwigshafen: Bernd Bohrmann (vocals), Corey Von Villiez (bass), Jens Wagner (guitar) and Andreas ‘Huy’ Huyhammer (drums). During their existence they also had several second guitarists… I corresponded with Corey after we’d gotten in touch about distribution. I enjoyed reading her elaborate letters and other writings. A very intelligent woman, that taught me a lot (on feminism, women’s rights and politics in general – she also contributed to Women in HardCore Punk in Tilt #8)! I met them a few times at gigs (of ‘Abolition’ and, later, ‘Stack’) and it was always great to encounter such dedicated people.

The editor of Ras l’Bol (which can be translated as Fed Up) was a gentle and intelligent chap from Beauvais (North of France) that regularly visited concerts at the autonomous centre Vort’n Vis and elsewhere in Belgium: Ludovic Haché (a.k.a. little pony). He started doing this zine late ’92 (#0) and the last issue I have is from ’97. He wrote in his mother-tongue (French) and it was always packed with excellent interviews, info, reviews, etc.

[Translation below]

Abolition (Ras l'Bol #2) aAbolition (Ras l'Bol #2) bAbolition (Ras l'Bol #2) cAbolition (Ras l'Bol #2) dAbolition (Ras l'Bol #2) eAbolition (Ras l'Bol #2) f

The German hardcore scene has seen an explosion of its DIY scene for some time and is politically very active and creative. ‘Abolition’ was part of that, yes was because they split up… They evolved from powerful and straightforward hardcore to a more elaborated and thought-out style while keeping the power, the vocals also evolved and become more tormented, less heavy. The vision of the band was not just a musical one: lyrics had a very big importance and the topics were very interesting, engaged and affected. As you will notice in the interview, Bernd (vocals) and Corey (bass) are very talkative and have plenty of interesting things to say, especially on what is happening in Germany. The interview has been done a while ago but I think that what it deserves to be published. The album referred to in this interview came out and as for their EP: it’s a co-production between the two labels: Equality recs & Homemade recs.

Corey, Bernd and others formed a new band called ‘Stack’. I was told that it was in the same vein as ‘Abolition’.

RL’B: The story of the band?

Bernd: ‘Abolition’ was formed in 1990 by Jens (guitar) and myself (vocals), and two others. Six months later, just before our first gig, Corey joined us on bass because our former bassist had to leave. In March ‘91, we released a split-demo with ‘Step Into Nowehere’, with whom we share our rehearsal-room. We sold over 250 tapes and did some concerts that year. In September, ‘Huy’ joined us on drums because our drummer couldn’t rehearse frequently. In December 1991, we went into the studio to record our 7” Jesus Was A Fuckin Dick. Now we rehearse with a second guitarist who just joined the band: Roland. We already had a second guitarist but he left the band just before the tour in the spring. With two guitarists there’s a lot more possibilities and a bigger sound.

RL’B: What made you want to do a band? What are your influences?

B: If you want to know what motivated us to form the band: that is indeed the music. I mean, I had no experience because I had never played in a band before, but I always wanted to be in a band and I think for the others the reasons were more or less the same. This doesn’t mean that we were not interested in politics before or outside the band. ‘Huy’ took part in anarchist circles, Corey studied political sciences in the United States, and Jens & Roland are also studying political sciences. I listened to punk for a long time but I wasn’t too interested in the political aspect of the music. But at the end of ‘88, I started to do a bi-monthly fanzine with friends (named Amok) and from that moment, I got more interested in politics. I did 15 issues of Amok. After a while, I was more or less the only one to put effort in it, which is why I started a new zine in September 1991 (called Confrontation). The concept has changed and it’s now more or less a mix between MRR and No Answers; at least that’s what people say. My personal musical influences vary a lot but hardcore thrash is what I like best (‘Infest’, ‘Ripcord’, ‘Heresey’, etc.). As for the lyrics: I get my inspiration from experiences in everyday life or subjects that I find in books that interest me.

RL’B: Why did you choose the name ‘Abolition’?

Corey: The abolitionist movement was a movement aimed at halting black slavery in the United States around the turn of the century. That movement was led by women but, after a while, they were increasingly outnumbered by men of the movement, because they considered it “inappropriate” for women to express themselves in public. These women finally realised that if it was unfair that blacks didn’t have equal rights, it was also unfair that women didn’t have equal rights, which led them to create the American Women Movement, aimed to fight for equal rights for women too. Abolishing something means, deleting it. To us, ‘Abolition’ means deleting all forms of oppression, particularly sexism, racism and homophobia. This represents the belief in the intrinisc equality of all human life and also respect for other species.

RL’B: Can you tell us about your 7” ‘Jesus was…’? The choice of label?

B: The 7” contains 6 songs and there is a 20-page booklet containing columns on each song. Corey and I thought that it would be a good opportunity to give people more information and ideas on what prompted us to write the songs, or deepen the topics which we have chosen to talk about. Obviously, you can’t put everything in a song or it would turn into opera, haha. The songs deal with the death-penalty, religion, personal criticism, sexism and the freedom of abortion. The EP is a co-production between Equality recs (Corey) and Homemade recs (Jens) because we wanted to put it out ourselves.

C: Other releases of Equality recs are the second ‘Profax’ 7”, the compilation-7” You Make Me Wanna Puke, the ‘Truth Against Tradition’ 7”, the double-7” by ‘Age’, the double-7” by ‘Hypocritical Society’ and soon another compilation-7”.

RL’B: How did the distribution come about? What comments did you get about your EP?

B: Because I already had a lot of contacts in Germany with the distribution of Confrontation, we started with about 30 different distributors but we’re upto about 50 now, in Europe and the United States. Apart from 2 or 3 exceptions, we received good reviews and we sold over 1.800 EPs, which is, I think, is good for the first 7” of a young German band.

C: Equality recs & Homemade recs have both built their respective distribution-network and now everything works really well.

RL’B: Can you explain the drawing on the cover of the EP cover? And what about the title Jesus Was A Fuckin Dick?

B: Well, we were in a hurry to find a cover and when I saw this drawing, I wanted the swastika, but the person who drew it wouldn’t let us just use a part of it. The rest of us liked it too but I don’t think that we would still call it Jesus…; it was more or less done to shock but doesn’t really have a meaning. OK, Jesus on a wastika is quite political but the title, for that matter, is somewhat ridiculous.

RL’B: Do you think there may be some good in religions?

C: I think there are some very good things in pre-patriarchal religions where people worshiped the Great Mother Goddess, where birth, death and re-birth were considered part of a combined natural cycle and where people had a general respect for the earth and life. This ‘religion’, if one can call it that, was a tangible part of human experience and was based on a deep respect for nature and life in general. It was practiced worldwide, from the dawn of humanity through the first matriarchies. With the establishment of patriarchy, these primitive religions have given way to patrirachal religions, especially Judaism, the culture of ancient Greece and the Islamic religion. The first 2 being the pillars of the history of Western culture, all of which are built on the same thing: contempt and the subordination of women. I see no good in a religion that subordinates any group of people. The patriarchal religions totally reject the human body, constructing their ideas based on abstract mental concepts that have absolutely nothing to do with the human experience. They inject people with guilt and belittle them into poverty, in the name of a fictional vengeful god. They justify/glorify violence and oppression, and do not tolerate dissent. They sell you a crutch to help you live – leading to a loss of your identity as an individual, your ability to think/decide for and by yourself, and finally your conscience is the price to pay.

RL’B: Tell us about your lyrics, what topics do you address? What reactions do you expect from the audience?

B: Having already presented you the words of the 7”, I’ll tell you about our new songs. There’s a song called Potsdam and that talks about the fact that in Germany people can’t free themselves from the church, even if they stopped giving it money or do not believe. Germany is the only state in the world where the church-taxes are collected by the state. Potsdam was written when we did a concert in a town near Berlin, which was in the former Democratic Republic of Germany. The concert took place in a very disadvantaged area and when we entered a church, I was shocked: everything was so clean and neat, perfectly organised, while at that time the people of this city live in dilapidated houses. It must be remembered that this city is located in former East-Germany where they worshiped Marx and related persons who were saying: “Religion is the opium for the people.”. Once More talks about the fact that many people tend to categorise others, so that they can glorify them without exception or discriminate them. Everyone is different so you can not ‘park’ them in different categories, even when they say they are hardcore. Perverted addresses the fact that our daily life is more or less a perversion due to the fact that we are conditioned to adopt all these ‘cool’ features: greed, selfishness, etc. There is a song that is entitled Contaminated and it tells the story of a man lying in bed in the last moments of his life. He will die of lung-cancer and the song is about the ads made by the tobacco-industry and how they offer images of freedom that you can survive when you smoke. I tried not to write the typical ‘smoking sucks’ song. It’s just the story of a man who has to accept the way he’s going to die, due to the fact that he has never listened to anyone who has tried to reason about the effects of tobacco. Konterrevolutionär (counter-revolutionary) is written in German because I was not able to express my thoughts on this subject in English. It’s about how people try to change the situation in Germany using violence. I was inspired by this because I read a lot about how to change people’s mindset, especially extreme right youngsters (I’m not talking about organised hardline-Nazis parties.) between the ages of 12 and 21, when their political attitudes are not really firmly established yet. It’s a serious problem in Germany nowadays, because many people don’t know how to respond to incidents like in Hoyers-Werda, Rostock, Hünxe and other German cities where refugees and asylum-seekers were killed or injured by racists, and ‘normal’ people applaud those acts. There’s also, to my surprise, many people with anarchist ideas and ideals that still don’t realise that you can’t change the system with violence (For example: we’re not in South-America where most people live under dictatorships financed by industries from Western countries and there are many revolutionaries amongst the citizens. I mean to say that we live under industrial dictatorship in the West but most people don’t realise it because they are paid much more than what is needed to survive.), nor fight fascism in this way on a higher level. This subject is too important to be treated in the space of this interview but when our LP is released, it will be accompanied by a booklet with more things on this subject, because I’m certain that after reading this interview, many people will not share my opinion and accuse me of doing nothing to change the state of this world. We’ll see…

In terms of reactions on our performance, we always tell people that they should, if they are interested, read books or learn about what we say on the subject of the song that we bring. We don’t want to indoctrinate people or convey them anything that we claim to be the truth, but we want them to think as individuals for themselves, which – on the other hand – does not mean we’re perfect. There are a lot of bands that say, for example: “The next song is against sexism and we’re against it, blahblahblah …”. I just mean to say that this isn’t enough and it makes it completely lose its meaning. Nobody escapes from sexism and it would hypocrite to pretend otherwise. This goes much further than just saying “We’re not sexist!”, Because we’re all conditioned.

C: I don’t expect any particular reaction from the audience. Besides: why should I? I’m not some kind of guru. The lyrics deal with topics that concern us, with our personal experiences. If others can identify with it: all the better. Maybe they will be interested enough to read other things.

RL’B: How is it, in your opinion, that the German hardcore scene is so important and so creative?

C: Because basically most middle-class young Germans have enough time and money to invest, to create an active hardcore scene (myself included). Of course, when you use ‘active’, it’s also a question of definition: active, to me, means playing in a band, organise concerts/tours, do a label or a zine, write, take pictures, etc.; and not just go to concerts and buy records, zines … Of course, I’m not expecting from everyone to be in a band, do a zine or a label… But there’s always a way to get involved, go beyond just consuming.

RL’B: Can you talk about bands, zines, German labels that you find interesting?

B: As far back German bands: I like ‘Age’, Step Into Nowhere’, ‘Nothing Remains’, ‘Truth Against Tradition’, ‘Intricate’, ‘Abyss’, ‘Chastement’, ‘Not The Same’, ‘Hypocritical Society’. Zines: I like MSI which is more a political zine than a musical one, but there’s no fanzines that appear regularly that I like. Most zines put out 1, 2 or 3 issues and disappear forever. I guess you know how that goes. Cool labels are Equality and Homemade, hahaha.

C: My favourite bands at the moment are ‘Armicide’, who are in fact from Switzerland and ‘Monument’, also from Switzerland. ‘Age’, ‘Hypocritical Society’ Step Into Nowhere’, ‘Nothing Remains’, ‘Truth Against Tradition’ are also great bands. Gags’n’Gore is, I think, a good zine.

RL’B: You address the issue of sexism in your lyrics, what is its significance in the German hardcore scene? In German society?

C: Sexism in the German HC scene is simply a problem as it is in German society and as it is in all patriarchal societies in the world. The hardcore scene simply being dominated by people of the male sex like any other musical scenes and as it is in society in general; there is little interest in the oppression of women in the scene, as in the world outside of the scene. The only way to break free for women who are interested in HC/punk is to get involved, to be active. Do not just think about it, do it!!! Do not let people push you into passivity, physically nor mentally. You can be as strong as the guy next to you. In prehistoric times, men and women were the same size. In matriarchies, from the beginning of human history, women were stronger than men. In early societies, and in the world as a whole, the tribes were led by warrior-queens and the warrior-men were trained and led into battle by female warriors. Do not let anyone tell you that you are weak and in need of ‘protection’, don’t let them fool you with the same patriarchal lie that kept your mother, your grandmother under control. Re-learn to defend yourself, both mentally, verbally and physically. You will be as strong as you have chosen to be. It’s up to you to choose to spend your life in a golden cage or free.

RL’B: Do you feel close with straight-edge bands?

B: I’m the only SxE god in the band! No, seriously: I don’t care one bit if a band is SxE or not; nonetheless you can call me SxE. I think there are thousands of reasons not to smoke, however it seems that’s the case for smoking. There are many bands that don’t consider themselves SxE, although they could be considered according to Ian’s dogmas (hahaha): ‘Downcast’, ‘Born Against’, ‘Age’, etc.

C: I don’t listen to specific bands who claim to be straight-edge, simply because I find their music and their words are just a copy, without inspiration, based on the stereotypes of the first American SxE bands. There are several bands that I listen to whose members are SxE in their lifestyle, like ‘Downcast’ or ‘Age’. I don’t care if people are SxE or not, about their sexual habits, their hair-colour, etc. I usually listen to a band because I like their music (and what they say). Obviously, I will not listen to bands advocating the oppression of others in their lyrics.

RL’B: Looking back, what do you think of the reunification of Germany?

B: I think that West-Germany’s politicians were wrong when they claimed that no-one would be disadvantaged but that there would be benefits for many people instead. Now, the metal-workers (former East-Germany) should get a higher salary and their wages should reach those of the workers in the West, since there is a difference between East and West. But the steel-industry is in decline. We’ll have to see what will happen the coming months. It’s the same for the textile-industry and the engineering-industry. The strongest pillar of the German industry has always been the chemical industry and car-industry, but nowadays there’s a global recession even in these sectors. At the beginning of the reunification, West-Germany was able to slow down the recession for a few months, because the people of East-Germany bought all the products of contemporary capitalism: from tropical fruits, to cars and even vibrators. That brought a lot of money into the industry in the West. What I mean is that with the reunification, it was more or less like with colonisation in the preceding centuries: the rich industries with their cunning businessmen bought more or less all intact industries and now all profits are flowing into their pockets. The only difference – and this is the main factor – is: the eastern part of Germany is not that different from Africa or South-America; and people want their rights, there’s no border or no ocean that can keep them away.

The fact is that in West-Germany people don’t want to share, nor pay more taxes (which I can understand because most of the money comes from the working-class and not the rich, who are the only beneficiaries of reunification in terms of finances) to finance the reconstruction of the East (as I explained in the song Potsdam, everything is run-down) and the people of the East want the same wages as those in the West because they have to pay the same as people in the West, for example when they go to the supermarket, etc. There was also a high rate of unemployment in the eastern part but I don’t think this is related to the reunification. East-Germany would have been in this same situation if it had not been for the reunification because the whole industry and markets were poorly organised, but the politicians were too blinded by their ‘victory’ on ‘Communism’ that they promised everything to the people of the eastern part. Many people from the East are now very disillusioned because of all these problems. We’ll see how it will all turn out.

C: People should be free to decide where and in what form of government they want to live – utopian, huh?!? The economic development that followed the reunification was easily predictable, I’m sure it’s not a big surprise to politicians aswell.

RL’B: Since several months there’s a sharp rise in racism/fascism in Germany, what is the reason for that?

B: It’s stupidity, I think, what else? Of course, they have scapegoats: strangers, asylum-seekers, leftists, homosexuals, disabled persons,… but what they were especially focussing on were asylum-seekers. It would take too much space here to analyse the whole subject. Why do people write tons of books on this subject and, of course, even more people that don’t read these? There are many people in Germany who think they will die if they have to share with others, although all their wealth is based on the exploitation of others. I want to say that many people in East-Germany are unemployed and by that, they can not obtain the ‘wealth’ and ‘luxury’ they see on TV and in the newspapers every day. Nowadays people come to Germany seeking asylum and those who don’t find jobs think they have to engage in a competition with immigrants to find work (although the latter aren’t allowed to work unless they have a refugee-status, which is actually 14%, with the rest having to go, obviously not to go spending a pleasant holiday in their country!!) and they are accused of enjoying the benefits of the German ‘social’ system and of being real crooks, just because many have to leave again (only 14% are allowed to stay). If we consider the criteria by which is determined who can stay and who can’t, it’s clear that so many people have to leave. Of course, there are people who cheat to get welfare-support in 3 or 4 cities, but it’s ridiculous to blame all asylum-seekers while only a few cheat. It’s ‘normal’ that people try to betray other people, but most people in Germany (I’m not talking about those who’ve lost the capitalist race.) should not be the last to open up because their wealth is based on exploitation, but it’s something they don’t believe because they are not able to look beyond the facts and are not even able to add 2 + 2. Let’s get back on topic: I wouldn’t call all people of the extreme-right ‘nazis’, even if they are really patriotic. When they lost everything – their work, their home – they have nothing left but their damn nationality, because no one can take that away from them. So it’s a good excuse for extreme-right parties to manipulate them, because the purview isn’t exactly the same and you can’t compare with the national-socialists of 50 years ago. As hard as it may seem, I think they’re the only major political movement – and accepted by a number of people in Germany – who was capable of learning from their past and especially from the left. Many people try to attack them, arguing that they want the domination of a new world-order but then why have they been so much against ‘Europe 92/93’?

The fact is that the new right openly tries to get rid of Hitler’s image and his theories, and tries to adapt elements of the political left such as ecology, ‘women’s rights’ (the right to be a housewife, raising your children for the capitalist machine, i.e. the negation of an autonomous mind and body), etc. The new right is aware of the constant insults from the left, so they overcame their attacks by implementing new strategies. This means that many ‘normal’ people who’re in favour of the new right do not consider the programme of the party to be racist or do not consider themselves racist at all, and if you ask them they say no. That’s it exactly. For example, at work, I have a lot of discussions with people that others would call fascists, racists, nazis, etc. but you can’t tell them that because they don’t perceive it that way.

C: This is the main point of their strategy. They take a somewhat different terminology and expand the party’s programme by adding other elements and bam! Not only do they attract more and more people but they become more acceptable to society (however, many ‘normal people’ are aware of what they do); in that way it’s harder to show what they and their goals really are, and to take legal action against them. Also: it’s not as if nazism was a German phenomenon. What I mean to say is that you can take no matter what fascist country or fascist movement in any country, and realise that their strategies and goals differ greatly between each other.

B: Of course, there are a lot of boneheads who have no problem claiming their racist ideas and their belief in Blood & Honour. On the one hand, you can range all descriptions in the same category and on the other hand, however, you have to differentiate them.

C: In fact, everything comes down to the same: it’s just a matter of definition. Whether you admit proudly be fascist, or consider yourself as being a nazi or a fascist sympathiser, it is ultimately the same thing. It will always be difficult to convince someone with fascist ideas, and those that don’t consider themselves to be fascist, are indeed. But, as was said before, this is part of the elaborated stratagy of fascist parties. Fascists, leaders of movements and parties, are not stupid. Always keep this in mind because if we underestimate them, they will eventually win.

B: One has to remember that I’m not talking about the old nazis who’re very close to the old nazi-movement; they still exist but their influence is not as significant compared to the new right that is very sly. And of course, I’m also not talking about all rightwing extremists who attack asylum-seekers or foreigners who have lived in Germany for much longer, simply because they are older, they are poor or don’t have jobs; and of course there are also many rich people involved. But instead of undertaking a class-struggle, these idiots are attacking people who are just one level below them in the social hierarchy and are not fighting the real enemy nor the real cause of this situation. Asylum-seekers are not responsible for the fact that there is no work and there aren’t enough homes. I guess I don’t have to explain who’s fault this is. Following the attacks of rightwing extremists and under the pressure of many conservatives and ‘normal’ people, the German government wants to change the constitutional conditions for asylum-seekers in order to fight them and get rid of them faster, which clearly means that they’re closing the borders and will immediately deport asylum-seekers who have already been expelled by a third country. If, for example, a family wants to come to Germany, because the first European country they asked refused them, they will be deported immediately because another country has already refused. But there are also states like Poland and the former Czechoslovakia, which must take back refugees such as Sinti and Roma – ethnic groups who were persecuted in their supposed countries (which they never had) for years – when they have been arrested in Germany without residence-permit. This form of expulsion is the result of 3 years of hard work and ‘diplomacy’ by German conservatives. ‘Diplomacy’ here means more or less obvious repression and the promise of financial aid to Poland and the former Czechoslovakia. But now that they signed the contract, they will not give them the promised money. So now Poland and former Czechoslovakia must also defend and close their borders because many people pass through these countries to reach Germany, but the latter will not accept them because they have already been expelled in these countries. Finland and Sweden have also closed their borders to and Iraqi or Kurd asylum-seekers coming from Iraq or Turkey.

RL’B: How do you see the situation? What ways are there to fight against the fascists?

B: Many of the actions taken to fight fascism are outdated or have no longer any effect at all. While the left is concerned with the past, with all the nazi crimes committed before and during World War 2, the new right simply ignores the past and excludes it from its policy, which can only be beneficial for them because it keeps the left busy so it doesn’t have any real success. If the left is mainly concerned with the past, it will have less time to take care of the present and the future. Other people seek to suppress the right by banishing extreme-right parties but the only result will be making these parties illegal. You can’t change the opinion of a person by oppressing it. I think we all want things to change concerning this problem.

C: I think that legal action must be undertaken to prevent these parties to become more and more accepted. What I want to say, is that the more people will be accustomed to see them as a legal party with representatives in parliament, the more they will be accepted. Many of them are engaged in illegal activities and if we can catch them during these activities, that is an effective way of getting rid of them temporarily, because in that case they can’t find any excuses.

B: Another method is to denounce the rightwing extremists or to call them psychopaths. I don’t think you can change people by telling them how stupid they are, as this will put them in a position where they have to defend themselves. I think we should be more sensible, even if you feel like hitting them when you hear them talking, but I think neither myself nor anyone else can force them to change their minds by using violence. And coming back to exclamations: many people thought and still think it would be good to have ‘nazi-free’ youth-centres. But social workers and people who are in the social domain as volunteers, working on projects for soccer-fans (encouraged by the mass of hooligans who terrorise soccer-stadiums and cities before and after games) found that giving them a place where they can get together (in the beginning just them on their own), giving them something they can consider as belonging to them, the level of violence has declined in the places where they were. What I mean is that social workers do not expect them to completely reverse (to the left or whatever…) but that the extreme right youngsters change their attitude instead of solving problems through violence. I’m not talking about people who are already organised into parties but many young people who participated in this project eventually turn their back on these parties. It seems easy but now it has taken a lot of work and ultimately proved to be more promising (in my opinion) than violence or believing that once pne has become a true nazi, no-one can take the idea of their head. Many people were against this method to give them a place to spend their free time, because they thought it would be an opportunity for extreme-right parties to ‘capture’ these youngsters, but it didn’t happen. However, there are only 30 projects like that in Germany. There are many more ways to fight the fascists that don’t work because they are simply outdated. I will write more about this in the booklet of the LP. As to the means: it’s not easy but I think that even though many leftists don’t agree, we should take over the politics that the right uses to increase its influence. The right addresses issues that the German people (for whatever reason) have with asylum-seekers, foreigners or refugees and it is also absolutely necessary to pay attention to that – to address the problems and make people understand that they are not fighting the real causes of socio-economic problems. When you’re ignoring these issues that the right addresses, you can’t show an alternative to people – and I do not want to know what kind of shit that will put us in. Closing your eyes and calling them morons will not make them disappear. Which doesn’t mean I want to solve these problems in the same way that these so-called social-democrats do: deporting them or not even letting them into the country.

RL’B: What do you think of your government and its attitude against the fascists?

B: People pay attention to it, others don’t – the biggest part being the ‘others’. Of course they could do more but many politicians also benefit from rightwing extremists. But again, politicians don’t have to solve this problem on their own, because that would mean that I give up my responsibility and leave everything in their hands. This is exactly what most citizens do (giving up their responsibility) and in the end they’re surprised by the way the government uses our power: almost like shit. But I think most politicians are just puppets in the hands of the big industries.

C: You don’t seriously expect a government is able to solve a complex problem like fascism, do you?!? Of course, there are many actions they can and should take, mainly in a legal way, to make it disappear. But how many chances do you think there are that any government begins to spend more money in areas like education or social programs, to form thinking and conscious beings, and create a harmonious world to live in, which would be the only effective way to ultimately prevent fascism. But that just won’t happen because it’s not economical; although in the end it would be profitable. There’s rather more intrest (at least for some) in trying to eliminate the causes that allow fascism to gain ground, as there is interest in trying to eliminate sexism, which will only be possible through the destruction of patriarchal structures and their replacement by structures based on equal rights for all people.

I also agree with Bernd on the fact that each of us must take responsibility towards the world we live in, which means doing something to help solve social problems, if only talk to people about things that can help bring about a change in attitudes.

RL’B: What do you think of a united Europe?

B: You can send your records without having to pay taxes in other European countries! No, seriously: from now until Europe reaches the status as the responsibles have planned it, there will still be a lot of water flowing under the bridge. The first steps have been made but as you can see on TV or read in the newspapers, Denmark voted against on the first occasion; during the second election there were 56% of people in favour of a united Europe – there were clashes in the streets of several cities in Denmark. Switzerland said no to Europe 92. Belgium appears to be a part soon as a nation. There are problems with the export of Japanese cars built in the UK, Italy is in a major crisis, etc. Also, more and more economic institutions and business-magazines walk away from the political and economic idea of a united Europe, and flirt with the idea of a Europe with 2 gears: with Germany and France as co-leaders because they will be more or less the economic losers since the economy is in decline everywhere, which means more losses than gains. I think there is too much trouble now to say what will happen in the near future. We’ll see.

C: It will be nice to cross the (ex-)borders without being stopped by customs but this is something that usually only happens to me when I go to Switzerland… There are good things if you look at it from an ideological point of view and there are probably as many bad ones if you look at it from a realistic point of view. Obviously, nothing having a major impact happens in this world unless those who have the (financial) power find a benefit in it.

RL’B: Germany seems to have a powerful enough environmental movement, can you tell us about it?

C: I don’t know much about German environmental movements to be honest. The government launched major recycling-programmes which makes it easier for people to take responsibility for the environment. I’m sure these improvements are due – at least in part – to the efforts of environnemental groups. There has been greater awareness, both regarding personal well-being as for the environment, which is undoubtedly the result of efforts of different public environmental groups.

RL’B: Are you concerned about the struggle for animal liberation?

C: Of course we are interested in the struggle for animal liberation. Jens is involved in Animal Peace. Personally I’m more involved in human liberation right now, especially with the liberation of women. Have a go and count the number of people you know who are involved in animal-rights. Then count how many people you know who are involved in women’s rights and the abolition of sexism. You get the picture?!? The struggle for the ethical treatment of animals is undoubtedly very important but forgive me if I consider the struggle for the liberation of my sex at least as important. Every hour of the day women are abused, mentally and physically. This abuse is both forgiven and encouraged by the patriarchy structured in the societies in which we live. Women undergo such abuse because they were raised to believe that they are weak and inferior, to believe that this treatment is fully justified. There are many people who take a stand for animal-rights that I cannot take seriously because how can you claim to be genuinely concerned with the rights of other species while at the same time you do not want and can not even consider treating the other half of your species as equal. The people I speak of won’t last long though, because obviously they just follow fashion without any idea of or sincere interest in equality. When the last hardcore fashion regarding animal-rights is over, they will disappear or go on to the next one. What they do is exactly the same as when I would say: “I’m against racism but sexism is not a problem for me”; or like someone saying: “I’m against police-violence but military violence is OK.”. There’s no reason at all to be against a form of oppression and accept others. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that all people who fight for the rights of animals are like that but I’ve seen a number of them and it really bothers me.

RL’B: Tell us a bit about your concerts, where did you play?

B: Since the 7” got out, we have advanced quite a bit: we played a lot and became a little more known, which allowed us to tour in spring 1993, which was a great experience. The tour took us to Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and France, and I’ld like to take the opportunity to thank all the people who helped us and believed in us once again. So far, we played almost 60 concerts, mostly in Germany but also in Luxembourg, Belgium and the countries in which we played during the tour. The best places we’ve played so far are Madrid, Esch/Alzette (Luxembourg), Wolfsburg and Bad Dürkheim (both in Germany) and Orléans.

C: Ditto for best concerts. The best memories of concerts are those where there were friends. I loved the shows we played with ‘Armicide’, ‘No More’, ‘Truth Against Tradition’ and ‘Age’.

RL’B: What are your releases until now?

B: When we recorded Jesus Was…, we also recorded songs for two compilations: You Make Me Wanna Puke (There are 2 songs of ‘Abolition’ on it, and it’s sold out) and Turner Raus, a 7” whose profits go to Animal Peace, an animal-liberation organisation (we have 1 song on it, it’s available from: Andreas Föcker / Hans Kruse strasse 21 / 57074 Siegen / Germany). We also have two live songs on a Swiss compilation-LP entitled Trapped In A Toothed Gear, with 16 other bands who play more or less hardcore/thrash from around the world, one of the two tracks is on the 7” and the other will be on our LP (to order the compilation: Two Sheds recs: c/o Simon / Schwalbenstrasse 4 / 9000 St.-Gallen / Switzerland).

RL’B: What are the future and immediate projects of ‘Abolition’? What are your wishes? Dreams?

B: With respect to the band, we will record songs for 2 compilations: one will be a compilation (made by Kent McClard of Ebullition recs) of European bands. And the other will be a French compilation with ‘Fingerprint’, ‘Sea Shepherd’, done by Phil & Fred from Orléans. I hope we’ll stay be the studio in October/November to record an LP. We are also trying to see if ‘Capitalist Casualties’ from California (A great mix of old and ‘D.R.I.’ & ‘Infest’ . They have an LP out on Slap A Ham, get it!!!) can tour Europe in December 93 / January 94. If it works out, we’ll tour with them for 2 weeks and we’ll try to come back to France. Fingers crossed that it works. (Unfortunately this tour didn’t work out!! – RL’B) Desires? Dreams? Well, peace and joy for all living beings, of course.

C: Desires, dreams…equal rights and respect for all human beings, respect for the earth and all its inhabitants.

RL’B: Any last words?

B: Good luck with your fanzine and keep thrashing!

C: Thank you very much for the interview and keep on thrashing.

————————-

If you wanna know how they sounded like:

 ‘Abolition’ live @ Nagold (Germany) 1992

‘Abolition’ live @ Ludwigshafen (Germany) 1992

‘Abolition’ live @ Ludwigshafen (Germany) 1994

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