The early issues of Trust, the first big German hardcore fanzine were a collaboration of a bunch of scenesters from the South of Germany: Armin Hofmann (‘Skeezicks’ bassist; ExtremMist tapes, X-Mist recs), Dolf Hermannstädter, Michael ‘Moses’ Arndt (‘Challenger Crew’ vocalist), Tomasso Schultze (singer of ‘Everything Falls Apart’, later ‘NoNoYesNo’), Anne Ullrich (well-known for her photos), etc. In the beginning I was interested in Trust because my mate Armin was a co-founder but soon it grew into something that was too big/commercial for my liking (payed ads, bands/tours/agencies I couldn’t support, etc.) so I gave up on it. Armin also left after a while… Today the magazine still exists but it’s done by a proper business (‘verlag’), an official publishing-company lead by Dolf (who lives in Bremen nowadays) and based on the labour of a big group of new collaborators. In 1988 ‘Moses’ quit to start his own mag Zap. Also Tomasso soon started to write for mainstream mags about music and film. The reader can check their history, etc. on their website or have a look at the interview with Dolf that Helge Schreiber (Plastic Bomb) did…
I left perhaps as well for reasons like getting “too big/commercial” but also because it became too lame and uninspired with its contents. No one taking care about the ‘quality’ of the contributions and too many people coming in, using it as a stepping-stone for a career in ‘music-journalism’. It still exists until today but it’s just a generic magazine about hardcore and punk, trying to avoid confrontational issues… Almost like Ox ‘fanzine’, which sucked like hell from its very beginning.
>> I’m here at the printers now and should still write a few lines. First off: we don’t do this fanzine because we’re bored or need a pastime, rather the opposite: we have enough on our hands. We just think that Trust is necessary, at least that’s what we imagine. Yes, yes conceited as we are. The plan is to get this out about every 2 months, which of course can not be promised, but we try to give our best. If you have anything that you consider important (news, tapes, records, political stuff, etc.), then it send it over please. Otherwise we can’t write about it write – logical. We would also be pleased with a lively participation in the form of letters to the editor!!! So write your us with your compliments, criticism, etc.!!! We hope that this zine is an enrichment for the German scene (not just, because we’re international). Now a few technical ‘instructions’: we also run ads, so if you’re interested, inquire for the current advertising-rates. Besides this we will do some sort of column in the future, entitled ‘Enough Already’ where people can talk about things that they’re pissed about in the scene. Yes, that’s about it actually, we hope to have good cooperation so that everything gets better…!!!!! <<
Halfway the 80s ‘Raw Power‘ played excellent hardcore music and did a few great records but I never considered them a truely DIY HC/punk band: the thought that everything they did was subordinate to their n° 1 goal (living of the music) kept bothering me…
Thanks to Fabsich for translating.
The line-up of ‘Raw Power’ has changed quite often. On your record and during the US tour other people are playing in the band compared to now, why?
G: This is how it was: we had organised the 3rd tour but then my brother and I couldn’t come along, and because we already had a drummer from another group [Fabiano Bianco], he took along 2 more people from his band ‘Raff’ (heavy metal group, but quite soft) at the last moment and then they just took of to America. Those people only played during that tour – on time, so to speak – and then they left again. While it wasn’t the best thing, but unfortunately we had no choice. Now my brother, our singer, is missing: there’s something wrong with his neck so he couldn’t come along.
Who organizes your current US Tour (N° 4)? Do you do that alone or with other bands?
G: On the tour It’s just us who play. Everything is organised by Toxic Shock [American record-label], who release our new LP After Your Brain. They commissioned an agency in New York to get everything sorted.
A professional agency?
G: We hope so at least!
OK, about the current tour. The idea was actually that you would be touring with ‘Mottek’ [from Hildesheim, Germany], then there was this guy in England who wanted to organise something; different people just wanted to do the tour. Somehow that caused a big mess and a lot of trouble. What exactly happened?
G: We also wanted to do a new record and Mike (Just) [Starving Missile recs] from Münich offered to release the record on his label. He also wanted to organise the tour for us. The crux of the matter was that many of the gigs would get us no more than 100-150 DM per concert… We would have had to come here to Germany, to do the recordings (I can’t remember where the studio exactly is). Mike had sent us a tape with recordings from that studio, including stuff by ‘Mottek’ but we didn’t like the sound, which doesn’t mean that the studio is bad. But under these conditions we just canceled. Mike got pretty agitated; in the end the recordings were done in Italy. Half of it got paid by Toxic Shock, the other half by a label in London, that sells our records here in Europe. We simply lacked the money to produce the record by ourselves.
S: Mike would also have paid us the studio-costs but in return we would’ve gotten so little money and we would have had to bring our own equipment. That doesn’t mean not to say that we wanted to get back from this tour to Italy with a Rolls Royce and tons of money, but something should have covered the expenses.
G/S: We don’t know Mike and don’t want to make him look bad, but we can’t understand why he got so upset about the cancellation, and then there was a lot of bad talk…
H: Let’s not talk about it anymore, it was just a big misunderstanding.
How are your relations with other people in Italy in other cities, e.g. the people from Virus [venue/squat in Milan], etc.
G: Some time ago, there was some tension because we played Slut by ‘G.B.H.’ at Virus. But lately the relationship is really well. We recently played a benefit-concert for the restoration of Virus. Also in other cities there were good concerts. We are simply rarely in Italy since we’re touring very often, but I believe things have improved a lot and the people have changed, we have good relations with everybody nowadays.
G: Well, you cant do good for everyone, that’s impossible. When you do something, there’s always gonna be that don’t like certain things. We simply address things according our ideas and try to step on their toes as little as possible.
Myself, for example, I have a family and that’s become a matter of life and death for me.We hope to get together some more cash during the current tour; if not, I might unfortunately have to stop playing. Meanwhile the situation regarding this tour looks quite good, since we have contracts with the organisers, and furthermore we get a good bus and the equipment we need.
H: We even have 2-3 sponsors. Peavey (company for amplifiers) provides the guitar-amps, Pearl (company for drums), etc.
Have your ideas and goals changed between now and the start of ‘Raw Power’?
G: Musically they have, because we have developed ourselves. We play more complex things than before but our lyrics and our ideas have changed very little. Perhaps they’ve gotten even somewhat more angry and aggressive. But we haven’t lost anything of what we originally wanted; we’re quite happy with what we do.
In Parma, Reggio Emilia, where you come from, are there possibilities for you to organise a concert?
H: No there is nothing permanent. If you want to organise something, you have to take care of everything. It’s quite difficult to find a space, equipment must be borrowed. Sometimes you can do something in a park. It’s not evident that someone says, OK, you can play today.
G: In Italy there are very few places where one could set up concerts, especially not in our genre.
How did you actually get your 1st US tour? Was there always someone who organised the concerts for you or have you done everything yourselves?
G: We sent our first demo-tape to America, to B.C.T. [Borderless Countries Tapes], and the guy of that label has organised everything for us at his own expense. He had a lot of money and was, I believe, pretty crazy. But I think he had his expenses covered by the sales of the tape, because he sold a lot of them. He was really mad and risked a lot; you shouldn’t forget that we were completely unknown in the United States. During this tour and others we’ve always had to pay more, always made losses. It was always said that ‘Raw Power’ were rock-stars but that’s not quite true. From the sales of our record (13.000 units) we’ve only seen 700 pounds so far. That was all, and that was before any expenses were paid. We don’t want to be rock-stars but we would like to live from our music, instead of having to pay extra permanently.