Total Chaos was a Belgian zine done by 3 friends: Tania Jonckheere (from Oostkamp), Bart Verlent & Arnie De Schepper (Melsele/Beveren). They were regular visiters of our (Smurfpunx) and other concerts. We exchanged zines and we all participated in what was to be a ‘national’ zine made by Belgian zinesters on a meeting in Brussels at one timepoint… Their first issue contained interviews with ‘Winterswijx Chaos Front’, ‘Heresy’, Skeezicks’, ‘Electro Hippies’, etc. This one here featured talks with ‘Spermbirds’, ‘B.G.K.’, ‘Generic’, ‘Cry Of Terror’, ‘Neuroot’, ‘Chronic Disease’, etc. Tania & Bart also did one issue of Swompy…
‘Indirekt’ was a female-fronted band from Hoorn (North of Amsterdam) that played melodic punkrock (with political lyrics in Dutch): singer Anneke Knip, bassist Rick Blom, drummer Jeroen Hennis (sometimes ‘Vernon Walters’ Niels De Wit was their stand-in), guitarist Ruud Sweering and sound-engineer Marcel ‘Ko’ Kok. I saw/met them for the first time in Antwerp (86-02-15) and a few month’s later again at one of the early Smurfpunx fests (86-05-10) and got hooked on their militant singalong tunes for life. They also became mates and I invited them a couple times to my hometown-area for gigs, together with ‘Vernon Walters’ (87-04-30 & 87-09-26).
In 1983 the band did a tape called Groeten Uit Hoorn. They recorded their 1st 7″ Nieuws Voor Doven En Slechthorenden (News For The Deaf And Those With Bad Hearing) – still with the first singer Marjolein (Hennis) – early 1984. Their first gig with Anneke was 84-08-11 in Diest, Belgium. They went into the studio again for their debut LP Op Oorlogspad (On Warpath) during the summer of ’85. The 7” Nacht Und Nebel was put on reel October ‘86. Their last release was the double split-LP with the ‘Vernon Walters’ , entitled Present History. All obligatory stuff, in my opinion… They re-surfaced in ’92 for a brief reunion, playing 2 shows organised by the A.F.F. & S.H.A.R.P. Belgium (Leuven & Herzele).
How did you come in contact with punk?
We all got in contact with punk through records and the music in the beginning. Soon after that came the realisation that decent things were being said through the music, and that the bands on those records also did concerts. The first punk-concert that I went to was one by the ‘Nitwitz’ (precursor of ‘B.G.K.’) in a youth-centre in Hoorn [‘Indirekt’s hometown] (which was in early ‘82). I also immediately got introduced to D.I.Y. record-selling at concerts; in short: I began to understand that punk can be a very active movement. In August 1982 I started playing in a band with 2 friends of mine; we wrote our own lyrics and music, asked the sister of the drummer as singer and called ourselves ‘Indirekt’. A little while later another friend saw himself as sound-engineer. That remained our line-up for 2 years, until the first singer [Marjolein] left and Anneke joined the band.
Why did you always play with the ‘Vernon Walters’?
‘Indirekt’ did indeed do many gigs with the ‘Vernon Walters’ during the last year (Not always though, e.g. last summer we toured Denmark and Germany on our own.), there’s a number of reasons fro that. When they just started to play (late ‘86), we found them to be a promising band and so we asked them along when we were offered a gig. Furthermore: we stand stronger with 2 bands, we created a foundation and a label together. Together we can offer a fairly varied show. In the mean time we’ve become good friends with each other and also like each other’s music.
Why did ‘Indirekt’ split up?
‘Indirekt’ hasn’t just disbanded but even totally split up. In other words: ‘Indirekt’ doesn’t exist anymore. It’s a long story, something that has been going for quite a while (± 1/2 years) according to me. You can read the biggest part of this story on the enclosed photocopy ‘The Last News’. Briefly: it came down to the fact that we saw that the interest of 2 band-members of ‘Indirekt’ – regarding punk and music in general – was declining. Jeroen (drums), Marcel (Ko, technician) and myself (Ruud, guitar) thought that it was better to take the initiative and quit, rather than risking ‘Indirekt’s slow death and quarrels within the band. The legacy: there will soon be a live-tape of our farewell show (November 26th ‘87 in Hoorn). People can order it from me or Let’s Make Our Own Records for 150 Belgian francs (including postage). Furthermore there will probably be a videotape of the same gig by late January. I do not know the exact price of this; if you’re interested, you should consider writing (eds. The tape and the video are already available.)
Are there any plans for the future?
Sure there are future plans. Jeroen, Ko & myself (Ruud) will – together with Alex (a friend of ours and former roadie of ‘Indirekt’) – start a new band. We haven’t got a name yet [‘Antic Hay’]. The music will be in the punkrock vein. We also stay involved in the foundation and the label Let’s Make Our Own Records. I’m also still involved with the ‘Vernon Walters’ as sound-engineer, and Jeroen and Alex often join as roadie. Oh yeah: Ko drums in his own band: ‘Amnesia’.
Do you believe in Anarchy?
Anarchy, to me, means absolute freedom in acting and thinking, without abusing this by using it against others. Personally I always try to pursue the anarchist state as much as possible. I don’t know how the others think about this exactly.
What is most important for you people: the lyrics or the music?
For ‘Indirekt’ the lyrics have always been as important as the music. There has always been given a great deal of attention to both. We tried to express some of our ideas through the lyrics and amply these with the accompanying. Listen e.g. to Present History [the split double LP with the ‘Vernon Walters on LMOOR from ‘87]. Of course it was also important to get some pleasure from these activities. Without fun we would never have lasted for 5,5 years.
What kind of stuff do you listen to?
Anneke: Rock’n’Roll, ‘Buzzcocks’, ‘Chumbawamba’. Rick: ‘Subhumans’, ‘Germs’. Jeroen: Jimmy Hendrix, ra-bands, ‘Anthrax’, ‘Rolling Stones’. Marcel: Reggae, ‘Butthole Surfers’, ‘Bad Brains’. Ruud: ‘Stranglers’, ‘Crass’, ‘Subhumans’, ‘Dead Kennedys’, ‘Hüsker Du’. Alex: ‘Christian Death’, ‘Cramps’, ‘G.B.H.’, ‘Bad Brains’. This list is definitely not complete, but indicates more or less what is spinning on our record-players most of the time.
Are there many people in your region that are straight-edge?
In our neighbourhood the straight-edge craze isn’t that big. Everyone lets others free to drink, eat, etc. Whatever someone else thinks is good or nice. In general one can say that people in our region drink quite a lot, without really getting aggressive or pesky.
What do you think of squatting?
The vacancy of houses because of speculation, while there is a very high housing-shortage, seems quite antisocial to us. So we definitely encourage squatting. But one should be able to expect the squatter(s) to take on a positive attitude towards the building: redecorating, trying to arrange a lease, etc.
Any last messages?
Hopefully a lot of people understood what we meant with our lyrics and music, and they’ll also take some time to think about what we told. In summary: keep looking around you in a critical way and let us hear from you when there’s something you dislike.
After five and a half years of existence, more than 130 concerts (40 outside of The Netherlands) and 5 vinyl productions, ‘Indirekt’ ends its activities by the end of 1987.
There’s of course a good reason, or in fact reasons, for splitting up; we want to explain the most important ones.
According to us, ‘Indirekt’ – after many gigs, 5 tours (3x Germany, Spain, the Basque Country and Denmark) and records – learned a lot, reached a certain level. To remain at this level or to be able to even achieve more, a lot of time and energy had to be invested in the band; so much that it became too much for some – since all members also have to work or study. We also couldn’t agree anymore regarding longterm plans (new record, touring).
Rather than risking an increasing opposition of the and letting ‘Indirekt’ slowly fade away, we chose to stop at a relative high. So we still stand behind the things we’ve said and done in 5 years for a 100%; there’s just some disagreement about the way of propagating the message!
Finally, we would like to thank: everyone who helped us in the course of time, by attending concerts, playing together with, organising concerts, tinkering on our van or for whatever other way of support; and everyone who just tries to think critically and honestly about the things she/he sees happening around them.
Love, Peace, Anarchy
Anneke, Rick, Marcel (Ko), Jeroen and Ruud