In the early 80s, in the Kortrijk region (Belgium) some concerts were organised under the name ‘Persons Unknown’. As far as I know most of them in a bar called Reflex (where I saw ‘The Ex’, and ‘Svätsox’ or ‘Zowiso’ – if I remember correctly?) The ‘main man’ was Mark W. He also did a bunch of zines; (Message To) Persons Unknown (‘8x), België In Dromenland [Belgium In Dreamland] (Dec ’83), 19AT4 (Feb ’84), Humdiddledumhoowahaya (Mar ’84) & Omdat Mensen Belachelijk Zijn [Because People Are Ridiculous] (June ’84). Most things I got to see from these are band-presenations (‘No Numbers’, ‘War Risk 3’, ‘Pigs In Blue Glue’, ‘Zyklome-A’).
‘Stel’ gave me this interview with ‘Krank’ (Turnhout, Belgium) from België In Dromenland. I’ve never seen that band live, though they played a gig in my hometown-area (Harelbeke, 85-03-09). Their music was more in the cold-wave vein; they had 4 songs (Forgive Me Christ / Frightened / Depression / No Escape) on the Punk Etc. compilation-tape Second Time Around (’83). The band consisted of Peter Beaufays (vocals), Michel Vanderhaegen (guitar), Roel De Loore (bass) & Tony ‘Ratje’ Van Steenbergen (drums). Peter & Michel (the latter played -together with Roel- for the pop-band ‘The Sands’ later on) also did a fanzine: Het Religieus Bloedblad (the religious massacre)…
Our struggle against the dark sides of society. The side that many people don’t see or don’t want to see. The struggle against the powers-that-be, the domination, manipulation, physcial, but mainly mental violence. It’s an embittered and discouraging struggle. A struggle that can lead to paranoia, depressions, drugs… We also try to fight against those things. Only the future will tell if we will win this battle. We can participate in society, what is of course the easiest way. We can end up with a noose around our neck or a syringe in our arm, or we can continue the struggle in a positive way. We hope that it will be the latter.
We don’t want to destroy things needlessly or do whatever we want but we try to live in harmony with one and other in natural order, without artificial rules or obligations. (You can call it anarchism but unfortunately the masses only understand anarchy as violence and chaos.) According to us these properties are ingrained in every human but they are only suppressed through manipulation, by school, church, parents…
The only way to reach general anarchy is to purify people’s thoughts from power and evil, and make them think as humans and ecuate them with humanity, instead of with achievements, money.
If you really want to change and want to realise what is written on your leather jacket, then start now, by addressing people, if necessary yell at them. Let yourself be heard, make pamphlets, write lyrics, make sure that you get attention, on the radio, in the media, so that you can spread your ideas; and above all: live the way you want to live your life. (By that we don’t mean beating people up or tearing things down if you feel like it.)
The struggle against war and the church. The church that keeps people obedient, that brainwashes people, the opium of the people. The church that takes the bible literally, that suppresses the most beautiful things, that causes wars, that makes people slaughter for the cross. The catholic schools: stirred up fun and camaraderie, hypocrisy, insensitive harsh punishments, mass and confession under force: we’ve experienced it and we’re sick of it.
IS THERA A LIFE AFTER DEATH?
It’s proven by the fact that most people aren’t happy: something has to change in this world. People are raised to achieve, everybody wants to possess more and more, money and luxury. One has to accomplish something in life, a well-payed job. If this is the goal of life, it’s a pretty stultifying, boring affair. (Is there life before death?) According to us it’s unnatural to sit in a school-bench or to work for 8 hours a day. At the moment however, we’re obliged to do so if we want to survive.
There will always be people who want to exert power and we can’t change much about that, but we also can’t resign ourselves.
There will always be people who want to work out their frustrations and lust for power on others: the army, police, gendarmerie. All people that are a bit ill in their minds (most of them anyway); we’re the victim of their debility. Police should only consist of people that can handle the job, that don’t get blinded by hate and frustrations, and that don’t believe they can do whatever they want in a blue uniform, but that know the problems of the people and can deal with them. Society breeds criminals, that they then sentence and lock up.
Not a lot of people feel totally at ease when the police is around. Most of them avoid the police and still they should be their friend and protector of the people?
SUPPORT THE BLACK FLAG
We have realised that we should remain loyal to one and other, that we have to organise if we want to reach something. At first you’re alone and then you can’t do much but that doesn’t mean that you have to give up: look around you for people that think like you and want to change things. There’s thousands of them. Then start together, learning from your mistakes, but not become discouraged, also not when at first things seem often hopeless.
State and police are not allmighty. We know that we can’t disrupt the state, destroy it or overthrow it.
We’re not screwed up petty bourgeois, it’s our opinion that words and verbal demands are not enough to change that was is going wrong in this country. There’s already written too much about this, too many people experience it in their daily lifes. In this society only a few do well, the majority is flipping out.
Movement of June 2nd (Rote Armee Fraktion)
Lastly something about our music (???)
How we started and who we are doesn’t really matter. We don’t play hard music because we’re not hard or heavy guys and we also don’t want to present ourselves as such. We think that an audience is better addressed with music and lyrics that scream emotions rather than with superficial bashing. It’s not the intention to just let the audience pogo because nobody listens then to what we have to say. Instead it’s our intention to grasp the audience, to let them think, to move them. At a concert it would be better that it’s as quiet as a mouse after certain of our songs. Then everybody’s busy thinking, asking themselves questions. Instead of applauding and going home contended.
We don’t know how people can best describe our music, it also doesn’t interest us much. Some call it ‘positive punk’ or perhaps even ‘horror punk’, but these are just labels that people want to stick on everything, fabrications of the press.
And a word to all meat-eaters: try to stop it. It’s not that difficult, meat is not addicitive. If you don’t eat meat for a few days and buy a book about vegetarian food with the money you saved, you can start preparing equally nutricious and eaqually tasteful dishes. Vegetarianism might seem futile in your view but if every vegetarian only saves just a few animals of the hundred-thousands being killed, I think it’s worthwhile. We don’t want to force anything upon anyone but nobody has the right to force death and suffering upon. If you look at the piece of meat in your plate, just think of the butchering, the horrible screams of pain, of the guts, the blood, of the fear in their eyes, of the rotting garbage infested with fly-eggs. You see a cow in the meadow and a piece of meat in the shop but you don’t know what has happened in-between.
KRANK; Turnhout (Belgium)
*** We’ve walked quite friendly up to death / Death was never an enemy of ours / We laughed at him / No soldier’s paid to kick against his powers / We laughed (War Requiem) ***
‘Krank’ lyrics and artwork, courtesy of Koen ‘Mad Mohawk’ S.: