Peu Être (Chill Out #3)

Chill Out, another French zine I helped make available through my mailorder/distribution was done by Olivier Lacoste (singer of the Bordeaux band ‘Öpstand’) that I’d met at the Vort’n Vis and corresponded with. I can’t remember having seen his first issue. #2 (1995) had interviews with bands such as ‘Bleed’, ‘Boot Down The Door’, Seein’Red’, ‘Symptom Of Isaac’, etc. Fabien Charlot contributed a gig-review and a Barcelona travel-report. There’s columns by the editor and others, record- & zine-reviews, and more… In #3 (1995) there’s chats with ‘Ananda’, ‘CocheBomba’, ‘Malva’, ‘Swing Kids’, ‘Tribute’ and more. The above mentioned Fabien shares his experiences of traveling to London; there’s columns by various people and a whole bunch of reviews. I don’t think there was a fourth issue? Olivier also ran the grindcore label Murder recs until after the turn of the century. Nowadays he produces wine in a Bordeaux ‘chateau’…

‘Peu Être’ was an emo band from Niort/Poitiers (France) with some people I corresponded and collaborated with (Gérôme Desmaison & Mickaël ‘Mike’ Ramounet) – zinesters, label people but above all nice and activist people. In 1996 they toured Spain together with ‘Öpstand’; after that some of them went on to form ‘Alcatraz’.

[translation below]

‘Peu Être’? You wanna know more? Believe me, they’re talkative these guys, so I keep quiet, and … Let’s go… Enjoy reading.

Presentation of ‘Peu Être’. Is this your first band? What have you released so far?

Laurent: Hello, we started playing together in September 1994. There was only Sébastien who had already played in another band. ‘Peu Être’, is Mike [Mickaël Ramounet] doing vocals, Sébastien [Janouin] on drums, Gérôme [Desmaison] guitar/bass/vocals and myself [Laurent ‘Ballon’ Daudin] guitar/bass. We recorded a demo with ‘Robot Monster’ [band with Alain Vidal] and we released our 7”. We also appear on several compilations. We are a group of friends that are together since a long time.

‘Peu Être’, hmmm, what’s behind that band-name? [‘Peu Être’ can signify ‘may be’ of ‘small being’]

Gérôme: Apart from perhaps a little humility, I don’t believe that our name hides a lot of treasures if it’s not a gigantic joke: if you pronounce it very quickly, you will end up calling us ‘pouet’ [squeaker]. I like that name.

Sébastien: For my part, the name ‘Peu Être’ means just being little, very small, compared to the many things that surround us, people, nature, etc.

Mike: Hey, this is Mike. First of all thank you, Olivier, for this interview, it’s an honor for me to be interviewed for the best French zine… (That’s licking ass!) All right, now with regard to the answer to your question: well, for me, it will be little, what I am, that’s all.

Can you tell us a bit about everything happening around Poitiers/Niort (bands, organisations, zines, …)? I feel like there’s a lot moving, right?

Gérôme: It’s funny because we often desire what we believe we know from other places and we quickly snub what is within our reach. I’ld say that there are surely a thousand things happening, especially in Poitiers; but there’s little, very little that interests me. It quickly becomes the reproduction of a rock environment, which I don’t like at all. I find it very closed, it’s a small family that inbreeds, the patriarch is the modern comfort, the big concert-venue here. I don’t see a lot of revolutionary or enchanting stuff in all the bands here, nor the labels with their smell of nepotism. We try to organise concerts and independent way and it’s hard because independence is expensive. I’ld say that we do have certain affinities with a group of people who organise concerts for their political struggle, they’re Atheaïna. Some of them also run an association for animal liberation. I prefer Niort, at this level, where it’s really young people who take things in their hands and try to get stuff done and I get the feeling that it pays off. It’s not necessarily what I prefer musically or attitude-wise but the approach is pleasant. And then there’s this band that I really like: ‘Hebb’ [with Thierry Rambaud, who turn up in ‘Alcatraz’]. There’s many people that I appreciate and with whom I share the love of music in these two cities.

Sébastien: I couldn’t tell you a lot about Poitiers because I’m not often there, but I’m a little more aware as for as Niort goes, and things are starting to move, recently there was the creation of Rezo Uht that organises concerts and also a sort of festivals that bring music and visual arts together. These people also make a fanzine, but I won’t say more about it (!!!). Otherwise, regarding bands: there’s styles for everyone (HC, rap, noise, punk, …); and since there’s good recording-equipment in the space where we rehearse, there’s a lot of bands that have made demos. Well, it’s good that all these people start doing things, I’m hoping it will continue for a long time.

Laurent: I don’t know if Poitiers and Niort are really active. Anyway, we try to be active, and a lot of people from these two cities are trying aswell. It’s clear that there’s a small local scene that is getting busy in Poitiers. There’s of course the fantastic distro of Olivier Lépine and the label Laissez Nous Jouer! [Later La Libre Expression; together with Nicolas Fisseau of ‘FingerPrint’] On our side, we try to set up a small distro with Gérôme, and above all we tried to set up a label (Le Brun, Le Roux Corporation) for the production of our EP. Zine-wise, there’s of course those of Gérôme (J’Ai Le Regret À La Joie Mêlé) and of Mike (Aura Popularis) – he’s doing a split zine now, the photo-zine La Main De La Bête of my good friend Norbert [Chomat]. There is Mandoline, Zaius and a superb compilation by Nicolas Marilleau [‘Rachel’ vocalist] (Give Me A Gun). Concert-wise, we – Sidonie – try to organise concerts as best as possible, but we have trouble with venues, there’s also Atheaïna in Poitiers, and Rezo Uht in Niort. Well, it’s not so bad adter all! I just hope I didn’t forget anyone.

Mike: As for bands: there’s ‘Symptom Of Isaac’, ‘Carther Matha’ [with Gérôme], ‘Init’, ‘Peu Être’ and ‘Born Against’ – oh no they’re Americans – some labels indeed, Laissez Nous Jouer a.k.a. La Libre Expression (Hello Mr Lépine!), Le Brun, Le Roux a.k.a Desmaison/‘Ballon’ Corporation; beside that there are a lot of zines: Aura Popularis of course, then there’s La Main De La Bête photozine of Norbert (called ‘XXX’), J’Ai Le Regret À La Joie Mêlé by Gérôme, Pierre Qui Roule N’Amasse Pas Mousse by ‘Balloon’ (not out yet…) and the concert-organisation Sidonie, with me as chief so if you’re in a band, send me your productions in triplicate + 100 francs for a response (just kidding of course).

What are your activities outside the band, with or without a link to hardcore?

Gérôme: We move about without a lot of success because there are too many difficulties to organise HC-concerts with Sidonie. It’s a shame because we want to offer something new, different. I do the zine J’Ai Le Regret À La Joie Mêlé with great pleasure, it thaught me a lot. ‘Ballon’ and myself are pretty much occupied with the distribution of the ‘Peu Être’ 7”, that we made and molded with our own hands on Le Brun, Le Roux Corporation, at the moment. We’re full of desires and hopes regarding the label. And then, there’s my second band ‘Carther Matha’ for which I hope to devote more time this year despite my studies!

Sébastien: I skate, well not at the moment because I was recently operated for a knee-ligament problem, so I have to wait 8 months before I can resume.

Laurent: For now I work as a metal-labourer. Five months ago, I was a student and soon I will be a conscientious objector at the DDASS [Direction Départementale des Affaires Sanitaires et Sociales; Departmental Direction of Sanitary and Social Affairs] in Niort. Outside the band, I try to take care of the label Le Brun, The Roux Corporation together with Gérôme. I also participate in Sidonie, organisation of concerts. Otherwise: I live! I try to see my friends as often as possible.

Mike: Well, Aura Popularis zine, Sidonie, mail, militant for the party the Parti des Travailleurs [PT; a French socialist party] in its current communist internationalist, French section of the 4th international. I listen to my records right now (95-08-08): the Kosjer D LP is spinning, fantastic! Otherwise there’s my cat, Felix, then Stephanie with whom I share all that (except the party, but that will come, haha! I love you). That’s all, I might seem very active but in fact I loaf about a lot. Oh yes, I’m a conscientious objector at the hospital (in the operating-room, my hands are covered in blood, haha).

Is it important for you to get involved, to participate in the hardcore scene? What does it bring you?

Gérôme: I think that anyway, it’s necessary that some ‘get involved’ to make zines, do concerts, bands, records, tapes. I know that’s what I like, but others are free to do something or not. It’s certain that I like someone who participates, who shares a project as much as someone who doesn’t put their hands in the dough. It gave me a lot of pleasure to meet interesting people and especially brought me a new and different vision on certain subjects. And this music moves me.

Sébastien: I don’t consider myself as someone who’s particularly involved in the scene, I mean: apart from playing in the band, I do nothing else, I would like to do a zine (skate/HC) but I’m a little short of ideas; it shows that doing something in the scene would be important to me, I would feel less passive.

Laurent: Being involved in the scene is very rewarding. You have to know things better than everyone else. Making a zine like you do, is something extraordinary and I think this is the most interesting and useful implication for the scene. For my part, getting involved in the scene through the band and Sidonie brings me a lot of happiness. Sometimes disappointments but usually joys. This small investment in the scene allowed me to meet very nice and interesting people. Coincidentally, thanks to this environment I discovered or reinforced concepts of thinking such as vegetarianism, DIY, etc. In fact, to understand my point of view, it would help to read the text of Gérôme (Le Brun) that comes with our EP. I think this is the best answer we can give to your question. All you have to do is buy the 7” and read this text (a good commercial technique I believe!).

Mike: I, for my part, think that if we really like this scene we have to participate, in whatever way. I participate because I don’t want to see it die, it’s already mortified and I especially owe a lot to this music, so don’t let the HC die, on the contrary, spread its message.

What does the Straight Edge mean to you?

Gérôme: Not having a beer with some space-cake for breakfast. Between us: the word Straight Edge bothers me because it’s pejorative because of its excesses and the prejudices of people who don’t really know anything about it.

Sébastien: In the beginning, it was more about not doing like everyone else, not ‘smoke to look like grown-ups’ and not running to the bar as soon as the opportunity arose; that also didn’t really attract me anyway, considering that life is short enough not to take full advantage of it; for some enjoingy life is to be ‘plastered’ every weekend, they call it fun, for my part, I don’t think that spending whole evenings not being able to stand up and throw up, would be a lot of fun!

Laurent: I don’t consider myself Straight Edge, or at least not now and since a long time. I don’t like the term Straight Edge any more because in my view people completely distorted it. I might live like a straight-edger (I drink some alcohol from time to time) but it’s a choice to live that way. I don’t obey the straight-edge doctrine. What really bothers me is that people who define themselves as straight-edge have become intolerant because of this term (I’ve been bit like that for a while). Above all it’s a personal choice. Being straight-edge is all about respecting others, it’s not about rejecting them. In any case, we are not an SxE band. On the other hand, I find it unfortunate to see some people being forced to take drugs to be happy. I don’t understand the act of smoking, especially for no other good reason then the fact one starts to smoke to act like an adult, like the others, and not for pleasure. However, I really like being in contact with people who smoke, because in general the action of smoking relaxes me (gestures, smell,…). On the other hand, it’s obvious that some smokers don’t respect non-smokers at all and that’s a shame (especially during concerts).

Mike: I’m Straight Edge, that is to say that I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t see women as sexual objects. To be SxE is actually: freedom & respect.

What do you think of the debate regarding the legalisation/decriminalisation of drugs? Do you make the distinction between soft and hard drugs?

Gérôme: I think that sometimes, regarding ‘drugs’, it’s all about showing off, at least at the beginning. There’s a fashion phenomenon surrounding it. We talked about it last night: if cannabis was legalised, we would wonder what would be the next cool thing, wouldn’t it be: ‘I’m taking cocaine.’. To cut it short: I believe in education rather than in the decriminalisation/prohibition debate. What I see around me is that the more people abuse, the more they are apathetic, uninteresting, the more they decline. I still find it pretty ridiculous though that cannabis isn’t legalised yet.

Sébastien: The legalisation of drugs wouldn’t bother me, on the contrary, it would prevent too much ‘shit’ circulating, by which I mean that the resellers would have better quality goods and perhaps in larger quantities, since legalisation would lower prices, so there would be no need to ‘cut’ the goods with anything, which is sometimes worse than the drug itself! When it comes to differentiating between drugs, the only soft drug is, in my opinion, cannabis, the rest is already another level.

Laurent: Legalise drugs. I say: yes, why not. But we shouldn’t legalise hard drugs. I make a difference between hard drugs and soft drugs. Cannabis should be legalised in France (banning it encourages people to smoke). Alcohol is legal in France whereas it’s a drug that is more harmful and more dangerous than cannabis and its colleagues. Many people in France are against the legalisation of cannabis while often they are alcohol-consumers (I’m talking about the post-war generation). So where’s the problem for them? What is certain is that I don’t like the idea of being submissive, dependent on a drug, and not being myself. We can have fun without alcohol, I hope, because otherwise it would mean that people are sad by their nature.

Mike: I’m against the decriminalisation or even the legalisation of drugs (soft or hard), I don’t think it will bring anything good to the youth. Apart from apathy maybe. Of course I make the difference between hard and soft drugs; and then? If in France young people don’t die of shit, in Guatemala, the farmer and his family die because they’re forced to grow poppies (or coca for hard drugs) at the expense of cereals or vegetables, while we give them misery, and all that because petty bourgeois want to get high for a few minutes.

Recently, even in France, we hear more and more about anti-abortion commandos… What does this mean to you? What’s your opinion on abortion?

Gérôme: It’s a right that is important to me, it’s paramount. I’m against the abuses of course, it’s often said that abortion is not a means of contraception, I definitely believe that it’s a myth to think that women abort simply, repeatedly and without trauma. I recently learned that Islam doesn’t condemn abortion, that’s good? I’m fed up with this whole middle-class Catholic environment that mixes everything up in the name of a certain morality. I often want to go on a crusade against the Vatican’s henchmen. Again education would avoid many dramas, it’s also up to the parents to take their responsibilities and realise that youngsters have a sexuality.

Sébastien: Abortion, to me, is an additional right for women to decide over their bodies, and as for people who protest against this right, I don’t see how it’s any of their concern if a young woman wants to have an abortion; it only concerns her and the person that made her pregnant.

Laurent: The right to abortion is an essential right that women have. It’s unacceptable that some people are still against the right to abortion. These people don’t have to think about the problem, it’s not possible! Anyway, these people are often completely intolerant religious fanatics. Oh ‘sacred religion’, when you keep us under control… The song Choice by ‘Jasemine’ answers this completely for me. In any case, it’s my opinion: “How can we challenge the right to take control of their bodies? How can we refuse them the choice?”

Mike: Jawbreaking and the dungeon for anti-abortionists. This right – which, by the way, was introduced by the Bolsheviks in 1917 in Russia and which was only acquired in 1975 (just 20 years ago) in France – can not be questioned! (The lyrics of the ‘FingerPrint’ song Choice talks about this in a superb way!)

Have you voted in the last presidential elections? So, this change, do you believe in it?…

Gérôme: I don’t remember anymore. Yes, I believe in this change since I see it. But change doesn’t mean improvement. Anyway, I knew what to expect. There’s no surprise. People wanted the right to rule, we shouldn’t expect a social justice policy.

Sébastien: Yes, I voted, but in the second round I didn’t put anything in the envelope, and as for the change: I think it takes place, but not in a good way!

Laurent: I voted in the presidential elections, but only in the first round. There was however no candidate and particularly no party that I really liked, except for one candidate. This second round was a masquerade. In any case, the presidential elections have never brought any real change. Every second round, there’s always the same political parties, in each election: the PS [Socialist Party], the RPR [Rassemblement pour la République; neo-Gaullist and conservative political party founded by Jacques Chirac], the UDF [Union pour la Démocratie Française; centre-right political party, founded as an electoral alliance to support Valéry Giscard d’Estaing]. It’s crazy, no!? People constantly complain that there’s no change and yet they still elect the same dickheads in power. What surprised me was the victory of Chirac. How could he win? The French really have a short memory. What to think about the fact that no one remembers his passage as prime minister from 86 to 88 and about the train of errors he made at the time (he’s still producing bullshit). The defeat of Jospin doesn’t surprise, the PS has been in power for 10 years and I haven’t seen any real change in society. Many people have been disappointed by this party and it’s normal. What is good about Chirac is that we haven’t finished laughing with his nonsense, but we will also cry. Most disturbing in these elections is the confirmation of the FN and its leader Le Pen. As long as we have this political system in France, and in the world for that matter, there will never be a change.

Mike: I didn’t vote in the last presidential election, why should I? Let’s be serious, between Jospin and Chirac, where’s the choice?

Military service … Do you intend to do it? Do you believe that one day we can see witness its abolition of?

Gérôme: I especially intend to get exempted since I’m deaf in one ear, but otherwise I wouldn’t doubt to be a conscientious objector like Mike and ‘Ballon’. What I hope at least is that the objection would be an easy choice to make, that is: that it no longer lasts twice as long as a military service. I have a friend who has an idea that goes against the current regarding the service and it doesn’t seem that stupid to me. He thinks that if one day there was a kind of civil war (and why not?) or ‘revolution’, our beautiful extreme left ideas would stand little chance in the face of extreme right people who learned how to fight.

Sébastien: I don’t intend to go to greet the French flag dressed in khaki, and anyway, I don’t think they’ll want me, since I just had knee-surgery and it seems they don’t like anyone with joint-problems, cool!

As for the abolition of the service, it was one of the promises before the elections of our new president, but again: I think it is something he forgot the day after his election.

Laurent: The national service is an aberration. The mere fact of learning war-techniques revolts me. We must do our duty for the fatherland! But by what right and for what country? I don’t have a homeland. I’m French but I’m not a patriot. Prepare for war if you want peace. But if everyone prepares for war, they will follow that path. The abolition of the national service in France: I believe that we mustn’t hope. I’m in favour of the abolition of the national service but I’m not for a professional army either. What control could we have on such an army? Somehow the soldiers could be a means of pressure on the war-professionals. Imagine for a moment that corrupt or power-greedy generals want to take control in France. If it were just me, I would already have abolished all forms of armies in France and in the world. But you have to be realistic I think! Unfortunately, we’re not immune to a fascist or other putsch… Let’s always remember the 39-45 war. The fascist danger still exists. Let’s keep aware. In case of a fascist aggression, of any kind, fighting can be very important.

Mike: I’m a conscientious objector but I hope to see the end of military service someday, I think at that time all men will be brothers and they will understand that their worst enemies are in their own camps!

Are you afraid of the future? How do you see yourselves and the rest of the world in ten, twenty, thirty years…?

Gérôme: Yes and no. For what I can control in part, i.e. my personal future, I’m not afraid; it’s up to me to make the right choices regarding my studies, who I hang around with. As for the future of my surroundings, I’ll admit that I’m rather pessimistic. I can’t see what would stop me from being afraid, there’s so much stupidity everywhere. So in ten years, 20 or 30 years, I hope to be healthy, passionate and above all not to be ashamed of anything I could have done. I can hardly imagine the future in fact.

Sébastien: The future doesn’t really scare me but it’s true that some things sometimes make me think about the consequences they might have for the future, especially the wars that are going on everywhere, it’s actually that I’m most afraid of: war, but hey, on that side, things seem to be getting better (Bosnia) and somewhere I’m relieved. Otherwise, frankly I don’t see what could become of me in a few decades, still healthy I hope.

Laurent: I’m pessimistic. I see the future of the world as pretty gloomy. Pollution, economic problems, wars, diseases, poverty, etc. I don’t know aboyt my personal future. I’m not a fortune-teller, let alone a clairvoyant, so… Only god holds the answer. (Clairvoyants have no power, beware of the quacks. The worst are the real clairvoyants. God has never had any answers, or they were bad.)

Mike: I’m not afraid of the future, I don’t know about it! And I’m hardly a clairvoyant or other half-god to even imagine how I would be in 10, 20, 30 years.

Can you tell us about the lyrics of your songs? Are they important to you? Less than music? As much? More?

Gérôme: Even though I don’t write lyrics for ‘Peu Être’ anymore, they remain very important for me and I can find myself perfectly in Mike’s, which I really like in their sense and their form.

Laurent: The lyrics of our songs represent a lot of things for me. At first we were three to write them. In the beginning we were three to play the guitar simultaneously (two nowadays). As soon as we had a plan for the guitars, we needed lyrics to go with them. Since Mike became a full-time singer, he’s the one who writes the lyrics and I take my hat off for him. Good job, in my opinion. In general, I love all these lyrics and poems (a blessed poet, our Mike). Whenever he comes up with lyrics, we look into each one of them. To be retained, they must please everyone, just as for the guitar-parts. We change very little in his lyrics because they’re often excellent. Besides, he talks about topics that affect me so I’m happy. I hope his words also touch people who listen to ‘Peu Être’. I like reading his poems.

Mike: I write the majority of the lyrics for ‘Peu Être’; to me and I think I can speak for the whole band, the lyrics are as important as the music.

Which bands influence you, or your musical tastes?

Gérôme: They are numerous and change often. I don’t know if they influence me more than that since I can’t reproduce anything on guitar. I love ‘FingerPrint’, ‘Jawbox’, ‘Hoover’, ‘Fuel’, ‘Action Patrol’, ‘Vanilla’, ‘Ivich’, ‘Rain Like The Sound Of Trains’, ‘Ananda’, ‘Shatter The Myth’,… The list is ridiculously long, I like so many records.

Sébastien: There is not really one band particularly that influences me, but those I love are very numerous and varied in their styles. First of all there’s ‘Elements Of Need’, ‘FingerPrint’, ‘Half Man’, ‘Vanilla’, ‘Merel’, ‘Los Crudos’, ‘Sedition’, ‘Against All Hope’, ‘Disaffect’, ‘Monster X’, ‘Nations On Fire, then there are other, let’s say more ‘fun’ bands such as ‘Pennywise’, ‘No Fun At All, ‘Ten Foot Pole’ and others; ah, I’m listening too a little bit of rap.

Laurent: There’s numerous bands that influence me. I like a lot of French bands ‘Jasemine’, ‘Vanilla’, ‘Undone’, ‘Symptom Of Isaac’, ‘Anomie’, ‘Ivich’, ‘Weep’, ‘Hebb’, ‘Ananda’, ‘Thrill Of Confusion’ and then there’s ‘FingerPrint’ and ‘Shatter The Myth’. And of course ‘Carther Matha’. At the moment, in addition to these bands, I’m listening a lot to beaucoup ‘Julia’, ‘Prozac Memory’, ‘Ordination Of Aaron’, ‘Hoover’ (live), ‘Elements Of Need, ‘Bev Clone’, ‘Lifetime’, ‘Chisel’,…

Mike: ‘Merel’, ‘Rye’, ‘Monster X’, ‘Current’, ‘Shotmaker’, ‘Kosjer D’, ‘Shatter The Myth’, ‘Anomie’, ‘Undone’, ‘Dive’, ‘Frail’, ‘Scapegrace’, ‘Iconoclast’, ‘Bob Tilton’, ‘Po!’, ‘Second Story Windows’, ‘Monster X’ (x2)

Hmmm, we’re coming to the end soon, so… What are your plans?

Gérôme: We have several. More than anything, we want to do concerts. Then there’s the Autonomie compilation and the split with ‘Anomie’. Also tape-compilations and a split-tape in Spain with ‘Union Of Uranus’ if all goes well. The most immediate project is to take finish up   our 7”. Outside of the band: be happy and satisfy myself by achieving my study-goals. And then there’s the zine, ‘Carther Matha’, and Sidonie and the label.

Sébastien: At the moment I don’t really know what projects with ‘Peu Être’ are, but outside the band, me and Gérôme formed another band ‘Carther Matha’ together with our friend Antoine, it’s a faster band then ‘Peu Être’ musically.

Laurent: Play concerts, the Autonomie compilation with ‘Anomie’, ‘Ivich’ and ‘Undone’, and a split with ‘Anomie’. I have many projects but I am a bit of a lazybone.

Mike: Do a lot of gigs and why not play in New York at the foot of the statue of liberty!

This is the end; something to add to conclude?…

Gérôme: Yes, I would like to add that I’m happy with what is happening in France even if it the HC-scene could be better.

More and more decent bands, bands that come to play here which allows our own bands to play elsewhere. Good fanzines, records that come out, in short: plenty of interesting people who take things in their own hands. I hope that will continue. Thank you very much for your interview. It’s a pleasure to be in your very nice fanzine, sincerely, write us.

Sébastien: Thanks Olivier for the interview, damn it!

Laurent: Thank you very much Olivier for this interview. Good luck. Excuse me if I talked bullshit.

Mike: ‘Sugar & Spice’, ‘Portobello Bones’, ‘Condense’, ‘Prohibition’, ‘Cut’,…all these, it smells even worse than shit so don’t buy that crap. Otherwise: thank you very much Olivier, you know that you are in the top 10 of the French scenesters, I’m proud of you! Kisses. Long live the international socialist revolution!

 

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Posted in 1995, French zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Yuppiecrusher (Strongly Opposed #1)

(Ou)Rania Giakoumaki did this zine while studying at the University of Wolverhampton but she was from Athens. I got to know her because she was a friend of Swiss’ zinester Pablo (Resistance Productions/Strongly Opposed recs). She also sang for ‘Umbrella Tribe’, a ‘project’ band based in Switzerland but with an international line-up (e.g. Joakim Bergman from Sweden, Pablo & Pille from Switzerland, etc.). In her #1 (1997) there were interviews with ‘Active Minds’, ‘Battle Of Disarm’, ‘Disclose’ & ‘Yuppiecrusher’, plus a bunch of columns (e.g. Athen’s uglyness, fences & borders, exploitation, ecucating children, …). I can’t remember having seen #2 but Rania tells me it featured ‘Hibernation’ (Greece), ‘The Chineapple Punx’ (UK) & ‘Rashit’ (Turkey); and had bits on growing older, isolation in big cities and burning of Greek forests.

‘Yuppiecrusher’ (from Enköping, Sweden) played fast and catchy hardcore/punk with political lyrics. It was the band of a correspondent of mine, Joakim ‘Jocke’ Bergman (Am I Punk Yet? zine). He did guitar/vocals; the others were Henrik Boman (bass/vocals) and Andreas Jansson (drums; later replaced by Jimmy Lindbergh). ‘Jocke’ played in several bands the following years (e.g. ‘Scumbrigade’, ‘Unkind’, ‘Diaspora’, ‘War Of Words’), and did the label Witchhunt (when he’d moved to Finland).

Brob

‘War Of Words’ was my last band in Finland. We’re inactive, but not officially broken up, I guess. We played Puntala Rock only 2 years ago. But haven’t played since.

‘Jocke’

 

Posted in 1997, Greek zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Öpstand (Cheval de Troie #1)

Somewhere halfway the 90s I got to know Gérôme Desmaison (guitarist of ‘Alcatraz’ and ‘Peu-Être’, later vocalist of ‘Amanda Woodward’ & ‘Kiss The Bottle’ – with Christophe Mora), from Niort (later Poitiers). He did this zine Cheval De Troie (Trojan Horse) after he ended his first one (J’Ai Le Regret A La Joie Mélé zine) – I helped distribute both. He started it because of a polemic that emerged from an opinion in Le Regret #5. Cheval De Troie was labeled a “punk zine”. I believe there was only #1 (1996); it contained interviews (‘Öpstand’, Helene Keller of Subjugation recs, Remi of ‘Anomie’, ‘Republic Of Freedom Fighters’, etc.), columns and reviews.

Gérôme also ran the label Le Brun Le Roux Corporation, together with ‘Ballon’ Laurent Daudin (other ‘Alcatraz’ guitarist). Nowadays he’s a tattoo-artist (and a father), living in Barcelona. He states: “I still have a lot of nostalgia for this period and punk has changed my life; it made me into what I am today. I’m proud of it. It’s the most beautiful and important thing that has happened to me in my life.” but also “I think we lost everything, so many things happened that the punk DIY scene often makes me sad and shameful. It’s become less and less interesting…”.

‘Öpstand’ was a political powerviolence band from Bordeaux: Olivier Lacoste (vocals)  – Manu Pe (drums) – Jeremy ‘NoProfit’ (guitar) – Adrian Morel (bass; replaced ‘Fast’ Erik Oyhenart).

[translation below]

Well, since the guys from Bordeaux have a little trouble presenting themselves (see question 1), we’ll do it for them: ‘Öpstand’ is Olivier on vocals, Jeremy on guitar, Manu on the drums and Adrien on bass (he replaced Erik). The questions were given right after this line-up change, which is why neither bassists answered the questions. Thank you to the band for answering these. It took a while to get this zine out so their EP is already released and it’s really good. It comes with a booklet with texts that explain the lyrics to the songs, inspired by current French and international politics. Really very interesting…what am I saying? Essential!!!

‘Öpstand’, your names are Karl, Jorg, Franz and Ugo and you come from Sweden, right? How long have you been together?

Olivier: Talar of svenska? [Do you speak Swedish?] ‘Öpstand’ exists since September ’96 [should be 1995; their First Strike demo was recorded November ‘95].

You explain your lyrics during concerts. Is that important to you and is it difficult because some people might feel force-fed by this?

Manu: I’m particularly devoted about the announcement of the songs during the concerts and this for several reasons. First of all: our lyrics are important to me and I want people who listen to our music to have access to the things that matter to us. During concerts, since it’s difficult to perceive what Olivier sings, we have two solutions: to provide the lyrics and/or announce the songs. Jeremy made a sheet with our lyrics but I still want to announce the songs during concerts, and not only because the songs are short and on average very simplistic. This allows me to explain the message that we wanted to convey, possibly to put it in a context (particularly the actuality) or to approach the topic from a different angle than the words to the song (and it’s happened to that I deviated completely from the initial theme). Moreover, I find that speech is a way of expressing oneself much more direct and close than music or writing. Without wanting to make a whole issue about the lack of communication in the hardcore scene, I think that addressing people during concerts is a way to break down the wall that can come between a band and the audience. I remember the concert of ‘Undone’ and ‘FingerPrint’ (two years ago) in Bordeaux where an icy atmosphere had arisen, largely because of the bands.

As for people being force-fed by the introductions, I would rather worry about people who could be annoyed by the music (the noise) that we make (we’ve never been asked this question by the way). It hurts a great deal (morally), to be interrupted during the announcing of a song, by a person exclaiming “we don’t care”, “balance la sauce” [literally ‘ejaculate’; metaphorically ‘going all the way’]; it gives the impression of being just having to shut our mouths. If someone comes up to me after a gig to tell me that I’d better shut up (usually just told to be shorter, hypocritically), then they’ll tell something to say about how to play the drums, I’ll be deeply hurt by the contempt they express towards me. In the end, if people just come to see ‘Öpstand’ in concert to have their dose of ultra-violence, they should know that I don’t play for them.

What do you think of the French scene, its evolution, and what would you like it to be?

Olivier: I’m pretty happy with what’s happening in France regarding the DIY/HC scene. There are lots of bands/zines/labels/people etc. that I like and it’s where I feel best. Certainly: proportionally to other countries; like Belgium e.g., there could be a lot more things going on, but it could also be worse, so finally, it’s not that bad…

So, Bordeaux, it’s California… It’s hot and you get a tan… Can you tell us about the things happening there? And what are you doing outside the band?

Olivier: Outside the band I’m a student, it seems, and I don’t do much else…

Jeremy: No, Bordeaux is rather the city of Juppé [Alain Juppé: mayor of Bordeaux and prime minister from 1995 to 1997], there isn’t really much going on, the hardcore scene is quite eclectic, from ‘Obvious Waste’ – excellent crust band – to ‘Weep’ – very very good emo band (who will release an EP this summer). There is/was (?) also ‘One Sollution’ who have problems to rehearse at the moment. A promissing band is ‘Emo Middleclass Kids’ and then there’s Chill Out zine that Olivier did, and the distro Wolfpack. Outside the band, I go to the School for Fine Arts.

Can you tell us about the demo? Jeremy, what is Praxis recs? Is your name really ‘NoProfit’?

Jeremy: The demo was recorded pretty fast and we didn’t have any recording experience, so the sound is not perfect. The 7” has a much better sound thanks studio Ape (thank you Gilles… [Gilles Auvinet, ‘Anomie’ bassist]). Praxis recs is a small label that I try to do. I’m also trying to edit books (re-editions actually), quality against DIY prices; something about the Black Panthers (Marxist blacks movement in the US) and a thing by Noam Chomsky about US imperialism. By this I mean spreading books that are hard to find and/or too expensive, because the ideas and information they convey come before everything, obligations and other constraints of reproduction. I have several projects in that direction and I hope for other opportunities to do singles. My name is not ‘NoProfit’ but to give you a clue: just remove the ‘No’ to find my real name; if you do, you don’t have the right to make fun of my name.

Will your involvement and passion for HC influence your professional future and your life?

Olivier: I think so. I can’t know how and who I will be in 20 years, if I’m still around, but since I got involved I probably already changed a lot. To give one example: vegetarianism; in my opinion, I would never have asked myself questions about this subject if I’d never listened to HC or people in this scene. Otherwise, I hope to stay true to the ideas that punk/HC brings, and there’s no reason why that would change. The (dark) future will tell…

Jeremy: I don’t know, it’s hard to say but in any case, it’s thanks to HC that I realized the importance of taking a stand or being interested in political and social issues; I must say that for some time, I was ignoring a lot of things, I focused only on my own little problems, then after a while, I told myself that it wouldn’t become better this way, things were going around in circles and I began to think that my problems were not just my own, but they were the result of a very sick social system. I think it’s useless to just think about personal problems first because they’re often pure ego problems that must be gotten rid of because they really lead to nothing. I don’t want to deny our individuality but just put the importance of that in perspective. Of course, I think that people have to blossom and be aware so that harmony can exist between people, but the fact is that not everybody is so lucky, and I would definitely say that not everyone has this opportunity. and to me it needs a political struggle to change that, starting with breaking down inequality. In the end, all of this is because of HC and other influences, and perhaps time has made me evolve in an irresolvable way regarding how I think and see things.

Manu: I don’t have the necessary perspective yet to see what implications HC has had in my life but for now it consumes almost all of my free time. It’s a shame because it doesn’t leave me time to go play golf, to go out to allure, do weight-training, skydive from the top of the Eiffel Tower, run naked in the snow, or gamble on the roulette in the casino next door.

I believe you’re veggies. Have you persuaded people around you to become vegetarian? What do you think is the best way to convince people and open their eyes?

Olivier: I’m a vegetarian. It’s a conversation-topic that comes up quite often in discussions that I happen to have with people outside the world of HC. The first months I was a veggie, it was even me who brought the subject into the conversation. But not anymore. And to be honest: I avoid talking about it 9 times out of 10. It’s always the same arguments, stupid reflections, that come back. It’s boring and it bugs me! It does happen that people are more open, interrested though, so there’s no problem to talk about it then and – why not – to convince them or make them doubt; but honestly: it’s rare! And after all, I don’t care if people do or don’t eat animals, it doesn’t bother me at all.

Jeremy: I’m vegetarian, I haven’t ‘converted’ a lot of people to vegetarianism because to me it’s a minor issue. I don’t eat animals because the serial and inhuman aspect of murder in the slaughterhouses is inadmissible but this is due to the functioning of the capitalist system that transforms all goods…including mankind, and to me that’s where the political debate is situated: in the exploitation and alienation of mankind within the capitalist system; boycotting and vegetarianism are not political actions, it’s a personal choice and if the commitment doesn’t go beyond this stage, it will always be an individual and individualistic choice, nothing will be changed if the whole world hasn’t got the philosophical conscience that killing an animal isn’t right. It will be a cultural change but will have no impact on the ‘social’ and economic laws that govern this world. I think that the exploitation of people by people is much worse than the exploitation of animals by mankind, it’s through the comprehension, the analysis of the political problem, by which I mean structural, that we can hope to change something for people and mankind, and in thereby the conditions of animals. It’s much harder, more restrictive and (as Erik said in Carry On Screaming [zine by Luc Ardilouze]), much less rewarding for oneself than to boycott, where it’s enough to just say no, the simplest thing… (who use the word simplicity?)

How important are zines in HC? Olivier, can you tell us a bit about Chill Out?

Olivier: Chill Out HC fanzine is mostly a musical fanzine (interviews, reviews, etc.) that fully claims the ‘label’ Do It Yourself (Or Die!), so somewhere not just about music. I’ve done 3 issues so far and I don’t know at the moment if I there will be a 4th because it really takes up a lot of time and I’m not sure I’m that motivated…well, I’ll see about that later… Of course fanzines are very important in the HC scene. It’s the only way (or almost) to keep up to date with what’s going on in the scene, right?

You’re doing Murdercore, right? But what is that then?

Olivier: Murdercore is synonymous with “mega trashcore ultra touka touka” (Hello Luc!). No, I don’t know, it’s just misguidance…although, in fact, it means killing people who stab you in the back while they were your friends (The bastards, they’re really not nice, huh, aren’t they?, ha ha!)

Do you feel related to a political ideology and a party? Is it important to you?

Olivier: Yeah, I’m interested, but that means so many different things and it’s so vague. I’m not part of any activist group or traditional political party and I would never be. Having said that, I feel close to some parties, some political currents, but there’s always something that bothers me or that I don’t like… Always dirty stories of money, corruption, shady financing and other shit, and again, I’m sure we’re not even aware of half of the things that go on. Finally, it’s so vast and complicated…

Manu: If I’m more Trotskyist than anarchist, or Marxist anti-Leninist? I don’t know and I don’t care. I have neither the desire nor the time to ask myself such questions of a purely ideological nature. What interests me is the practice, the reality, the news, the struggles regarding specific points like the right to abortion, the right to housing, the opposition to the security- and racist politics, the fight against the extreme right, the general social struggles which oppose the liberal logic of the rulers. I don’t intend to invest myself in a party or movement that begins to define itself ideologically; I don’t want to fight for an ideology but for ideas. I haven’t found any association or collective in Bordeaux that motivates me enough that I would take the time to engage myself seriously, so I’m satisfied with what I consider to be the minimum for me: stay informed of the political and social actuality, keep myself informed of current actions and struggles, use my music as a means of expression, organise support-concerts and above all, especially to take the streets when the time comes. I hope that I’ll find the time and the motivation to invest myself in something more serious because the social injustice which reigns and extends at present, really deserves that people move their asses a bit more.

Jeremy: I feel close to an ideology and a party but first I would like to clarify some things: to me, almost everything is ideological, starting with the system in which we evolve, nothing happens by chance, nothing is natural, any organisation whatsoever is ideological and our society is based on the capitalist ideology of the so-called “freedom of enterprise”, freedom to make profit, freedom of exploitation and the requirement to crush the other to survive. Basically, that is what our life depends on and that is what makes our reflexes and our mentalities degenerate (exploitation of animals, conditions of women, racism,…); also for me it’s futile to fight against racism for example if one doesn’t see the ideology that underlies all this (colonialism was born from the ease to make profit on the backs of blacks, hence slavery, racism). For me, it’s on an ideological ground that one can fight against social and human defects in general to change something about them, by denying the ideology that gives reason to the entrepreneurs and liberals of all kinds which, through the media, newspapers, make us believe that the organisation of the current economy, i.e. liberalism, is the natural state of the world. In truth, it’s the fruit of an ideology, it must be combated, and it’s always fought by opposing its own ideology. The true refusal is ideological.

I feel close to the Trotskyist Marxists in particular. This is not a label but means that the point of view and the analysis developed by them, and their proposed actions are those which I adhere to; I also think that collective struggle and organised from a [?] and a clear reflection, i.e. a conscious struggle is the only one that can have results.

Soon there’s the Olympic Games in Atlanta; do this kind of events really seem so praiseworthy and fraternal to you?

Jeremy: I already see the meaning of this question. Sport as the opium for the people, sports with a competitive spirit, efficiency,… Yes yes yes but myself, I don’t think exactly that way, I think sports e.g. develop the collaboration and the collective spirit. We don’t have to be the most virile or stupid to play in a football team for example; on the contrary: the collective spirit is very appreciated and in great demand, and is the basis of this game. Once again, it’s the money, the concern for efficiency and productivity through competition that corrupts the spirit of sport. It’s not sport itself that generates bullshit. Atlanta, the city of Coca-Cola that hosts the Olympics: that shows in what structures the sport is embedded, but I don’t condemn sports per se, it would be like reprehend cinema because of the fact most films are made for profit or music for the same reasons, we can take any example. This is why, again, it’s not against the reactionary spirit of sports that we often have to fight but against the structures in which it has developed because it’s these that cause this spirit.

Manu: Ah, very good question. The Olympic Games open up a range of interesting topics. First of all, like any high-level competition, it falls into the category of what might be called ‘the opium for the people’. By implementing a tremendous media-process, this type of event focuses all the attention of millions of people. They occupy the frontline of the news, relegating much more serious information to the background. Sports were just a game, a hobby, but it became a major event. Moreover, the sporting competitions in fact only thrives on confrontation, on elitism: one needs to fight, to be the best to win, there’s no place for the weak; and one doesn’t mix everything: men and women don’t play together. A struggle, a fight against opponents of which we can’t but be surprised that they take a violent character because by its very nature even sports are out for war. Any good soccerplayer must not only know how to play soccer but (s)he must also be able to fight and show off their force/virility on the field. But what is even more deplorable is to see how systematically all sports-competitions can perpetuate feelings such as patriotism. Indeed: it’s not just the confrontation of players that can be seen but, and the Olympics are the best example, it’s nations that engage in battles. Players march militarily behind their banners, they leave to fight for their homeland, proud to serve their country; the rulers can’t dream of better ways to perpetuate the absurdity of nationality. To return to sports: I quit soccer when the coaches replaced the expression “to have fun” by “to fight”, and unfortunately this state of mind disgusted me in all sports. With regard to the Olympics: we can’t but boycott them. I learned, by reading Apache (excellent opinions and information newspaper), that the ‘Atlanta Olympic Protest Comitte’ will organise a festival against games.

———-

CAPITALIST PIGS

Addicted to the economy / indifferent towards the right / the idea that you flee from mankind / is the one I have of you…shit. (Jeremy)

About capitalist pigs

The businessman, the manager, the big boss, these implement the capitalist machine that serves them to enrich themselves. This capitalist machine is without mercy for the majority. Its engine can only expand in order to survive. It takes only its own destiny into account, lauding the values, the justice, the laws denying mankind and the very principle of civilization.

The capitalists exhausting the last human and planetary resources are showing an almost ‘inhuman’ cynicism. Obviously we can’t attack individuals but the machine, the system itself. However how not to be disgusted with these individuals. (Jeremy)

In France the total profits made in 1994 that went to financial speculation amounted to 624 billion francs. The 400 largest fortunes in France own 380 billion francs (30% of the state-budget). These two figures give an idea of what is called economic liberalism: the freedom to speculate billions, the freedom to enrich oneself on the backs of others, the logic of everyone for themselves, with a single objective: the making profit.

And today they come to tell us that for lack of money, we must privatize, dismantle public services (e.g. SNCF [French national railways]), leave the universities abandonned, question the status of civil servants and maintain insecurity. To impose its policy of rigor, the government tries to put people up against each other: consumers against strikers, employees of the private sector against civil servants. The latter with their 37,5 years of contribution would be privileged, while if we wanted to restore the balance, it would be enough to amputate the 40 years of the private (that mister Juppé proposed), scapegoats to better distract us from reality. Because, when we see bosses who earn up multiples of the SMIC [‘Salaire minimum interprofessionnel de croissance’; statutory minimum wage], we shouldn’t look further where the privileged are. (Manu)

THERE WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH FIREMEN TO PUT OUT THE FIRE OF THE SOCIAL EXPLOSION.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Fuck that weak shit! / if you want to be cool / do not want to be a fool / you just have to fit and / or buy the new shit / music industry / music industry train / and follow the new trend / music industry. (Olivier)

About the music industry

Music can be used to convey opinions, emotions, feelings, to share a love of music, or simply to have a good time. But if musicians make money with their music they don’t make me laugh when acting like music-lovers or engaged artists, their bands are nothing more than a money-making machine. You have to choose whether you’re making money or you’re making music. There is no middle ground, music is giving yourself; what they sell is a vulgar consumer-product. And this is especially true for committed bands; how do you want people to take someone who uses an anti-capitalist discourse to make money seriously? The sound of a cash-drawer is louder than all music and speech. (Manu)

———-

How did you experience the student-protests and what do you remember of them?

Jeremy: Alas, my school didn’t go on strike I attended 2 or 3 meetings but it was very disappointing. Myself, I was in favour of a strike supporting workers against the liberal reforms of Juppé, while some others wanted to address the lack of equipment at the School for Fine Arts etc., even though our situation is really that of spoiled children; I mean we have a lot of material, many rooms, plenty of space… What we would have to go and protest against with the railway-workers: to get a little more benefits? Well, that’s a very serious depoliticization of the majority of students.

Manu: I’m a student at IUT [‘institut universitaire de technologie’; University Institute of Technology]. Unfortunately, my section didn’t vote in favour of a strike because they didn’t feel concerned by the main demands (lack of resources, staff). So I went to general meetings of the literature faculty and I was skipping classes to be able to go to the demonstrations. I also found the time to go to a toll-occupation (that payed off) and spend a night at the Crous [student-lodging] that was occupied by striking students. What impressed me was the extent of the demonstrations against the reformations proposed by Juppé. I don’t make a distinction between the struggle of the students, the railway-workers or the opposition-movement against Juppé’s plan, because for me it’s a question of countering the ultraliberal policy of the government), it was really impressive to see so many people in the streets of Bordeaux. And the strongest was that where there were the most people (70.000 people), it was freezing cold outside. I also remember the evening when railway-workers came to bring sandwiches to the Crous, it was almost moving, there was no question of trade unions or politics, 2 different worlds that stood side by side, solidarity and a sincerity like I’d never seen before. And then because of the fatigue and the holidays, the movement faded. It may be for the next time, I don’t really believe in it too much let’s not give up, let’s not give in to individualism.

Are you ready to kill for your ideas?

Olivier: I don’t know, I’ve never had the opportunity upto now.

Jeremy: If you consider about terrorism, I’ll answer you obviously not; but it seems clear to me that during an armed struggle or revolution or anything like that, from the moment when one fights for a cause against an enemy, one can get to a point, even in spite of oneself, to kill, whatever is to be said about that, for her/his ideas. I’m not violent, I’ve never been in a fight but as far as politicized struggles are concerned, I’m not a supporter of pacifism as the response to violence. I think that this can at best make a situation evolve (like that of blacks in the US, or Indians against the English) but never bring true change (the blacks are still victims of racism and ghettos despite the few laws obtained).

PEACE MEANS YOU DON’T WANT TO RESIST.

Manu: That’s a bit strong as a question. Without going as far as to kill, one can already wonder if one is ready to use violence for one’s ideas. I never had to hit anyone in my life and I really don’t hope to ever have to do it someday. Perhaps I would do it to defend myself, because of fanaticism, anger, but definitely not for my ideas.

What are your future projects? I heard about a 7”…on a DIY label? Tell us everything…

Olivier: We recorded 19 tracks at Gilles’ (Ape) studio in Orléans at the beginning of March [1996]. The first 12 tracks will be on our first 7” [No More Police Brutality] which will be self-produced and financed by ourselves. There are 5 others for a possible split-7” [with ‘Seein’Red’], we don’t know yet on which label [Stonehenge recs], in any case there are chances for it to be in co-production…we’ll see…

Jeremy: We’re releasing the 7” in May-June on Praxis and Murder recs [Jeremy’s & Olivier’s label respectively].

Any final words anything else to say?

Olivier: Thank you Niorters [inhibants for Niort]! It’s nice to see you’re interested in us, it makes us happy! Long live the zine and your bands! Waiting for another war Bordeaux vs. Niort! Go Vegan & Eat Human & The Canibal Ege & Fuck Pitty & Fuck Tolerance… Write us!

Posted in 1996, French zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Profound (Nooit Meer #5)

Nooit Meer (“never again”) was the zine Marcel Schilpzand (nowadays running Gummopunx recs and record-collector) did. I’d gotten to know him at the end of the 80s when I started booking tours, and him and his friend Roland ‘Big’ Roller (later ‘Man Lifting Banner’ guitarist & ‘Mainstrike’ vocalist) sometimes organised gigs in a squatted bank-office (De Bank) in their hometown Apeldoorn (The Netherlands). In ’91 he moved to Amsterdam where he continued to do his mailorder, label and shows (in OCCII). The zine appeared in the late 80s and there were (as far as I know) 11 issues (of which I distributed quite a few)…

The zine was in Dutch and it contained band-interviews, reprints of socio-politcal articles & (gig-/record-)reviews & scene-reports. A non-exhaustive list based on the issues I found… #3 (1988): Dawn Of Liberty, The Regiment, SNFU; #4 (’88): Angry Red Planet, Doom; #5 (’89): Electro Hippies, Profound, Scraps; #6 (’89): Oi Polloi, NoFx; #7 (’90): Union Morbide; #8 (’90): Infest, Rise Above; #9 (’90): Dissent; Seein’Red #10 (’90): Courage, Satanic Malfunctions; #11 (’90): Crivits, Betray, Insted.

Brob

I did 13 issues…

Marcel ‘Gummo’

‘Profound’ was a relatively short-lived (1989-90) “communist straight edge” band with Paul & Olav van den Berg (ex ‘Lärm’), Bart ‘Burt’ Griffioen and Michiel Bakker; though they did a tape (Dutch Wolfpack) and Peter Hoeren released a 7″ EP (entitled Integrity) on his label (Anti-Schelski/Crucial Response recs). Around that time they played a show in Aalst (89-01-14). Later that year they added Roland Roller (second guitar) and then became ‘Colt Turkey’ and ‘Man Lifting Banner’. Paul & Olav also continued ‘Seein’Red’, and halfway the 90s Burt & Michiel were in ‘Dead Stoolpigeon’.

Brob

[translation below]

We started with ‘Profound’ in autumn of ’88; from that moment on the band got really serious. We have practiced with a second guitarist [Jos Houtveen?] for a while, but he left after some time because he didn’t have enough time. The members of the band have known each other for a long time from the Amersfoort scene and Definite Choice fanzine. The current line-up is: Paul, guitar / ‘Burt Alert’, bass / Olav, drums / Michiel, vocals.

Well I think that when you read [the lyrics] things become clear. But of course not all lyrics are inspired by one theme. We have political lyrics, personal ones, lyrics about what hardcore means, Straight Edge, a bit of everything. The lyrics are pretty much the message.

The band-name ‘Profound’ is a synonym for ‘abyss’ [chasm]. When you’ve made a choice in life for an alternative attitude and a different vision on the world, the society in which you live doesn’t accept this. The whole world is at the edge of the abyss and forces you into the same position. What can you do: run back in the hands of those who ‘lead’ and ‘love’ you, or stay where you are, and face the truth and try to change things. Try to make clear that you take a different position. You can also turn away from reality, take refuge in drugs or self-destruction. But that won’t help anything at all. Remain at the edge of the abyss and try to fight back. Don’t be tempted to return but also not fall into the deadly trap. No slave to the government, no slave to the drug-world. You better stay clear and keep your eyes open.

Nooit Meer: What do you, being an S.E. band, think of the way S.E. is being promoted in New York? By this I mean the sometimes aggressive lyrics.

Well personally I have nothing against that. In principle, that way doesn’t differ from mine. But I think you’re referring to bands such as ‘Project X’ and ‘Judge’. The first band is actually a joke, at least: the lyrics about Straight Edge are not meant to be taken literally. ‘Judge’ is a serious band. I don’t really like bands that preach hatred and violence when it comes to Straight Edge. On the other hand, I can very well imagine the feeling from which these lyrics were born. Drunken people and smokers terrorise the scene, or at least the people who would rather not have to deal with that mess. They have a feeling of ‘we don’t wanna take that any longer’.

To add my story about the Straight Edge issue… Jerks walking around at a concert with anti Straight Edge buttons: my god, what problems these people had with themselves. I have chosen freedom, not slavery. That they do what they do: fine. As long as I don’t get confronted with it! If those people don’t realise that they’re violating the right of people to lead their lives in their own way, then they can’t but expect me to compare them with nazis. The nazis – for those of you who have forgotten – were a group of people who simply denied a certain other group the right to live and they gassed them…! Public gun-ownership is allowed in America; so go over there, because I don’t want to succumb to your bad habits. Now I’m purely talking about my own person. Think of what your support to the tobacco- and drug-industry is doing to the rest of the world. I’m talking about people’s lives here goddamned. Don’t you have any respect in your bodies??? !!! I no longer have respect for you.

Nooit Meer: How do you think to carry out your ideas in a clear way during concerts?

Well, before every song I tell what it’s about and why I wrote it; although it usually doesn’t matter a lot. The main part of our songs is political but in Apeldoorn there were people who didn’t listen or didn’t want to hear what I was saying, so later on they came up to me with the idea that all songs I’d sung were somewhat about Straight Edge. These dickheads apparently had been too busy with other things; they hadn’t listened to me! So after the concert they asked me why I didn’t sing about political issues. I mean: you can try what you want; most are too apathetic to really listen to you and that appears to be especially difficult when it concerns a band with a different opinion and a different sound (no ultra-fast mega-speed-hyper-mosh-fuckin’ thrash or speedmetal). But I keep trying…

Nooit Meer: What do you think of the development that small labels cooperate with large ones such; e.g. Hawker / Roadrunner, Positive Force / Giant?

Not a good thing! Hardcore is independent and that has to stay that way. We’ve had (and still do have) that crossover nonsense, now we’re getting this. Do not ‘Bow for the Buck $’ [one of ‘Profound’s songs] !!!

Nooit Meer: Do you think it’s important to be politically engaged, also outside the band?

Well, yes, that’s important, but I don’t have the time for it; moreover: what do politics actually bring us? Being politically active what does that actually mean? I’m not member of a party but I do vote. I also go to demonstrations. I intend to become a member of Greepeace, who do something at least. Amnesty International is also OK but sometimes they have a bit of a hard time questioning themselves. If that means being politically active, then I am, otherwise apparently not.

Nooit Meer: What do you think of the hardcore/punk movement in the Netherlands?

Well, I think it’s pretty much at a low. There are a lot of active people but whether that is enough: I doubt it. I see a lot of people turning towards speedmetal. Punks today have no real connection with hardcore anymore. I think the spirit of ‘77 will come back; that is precisely what we don’t need. What we do need is the spirit of ‘89, something new, the scene should become a lot more positive and constructive in my opinion. It looks like a one-man show. And the taboo, as far as I am concerned, may well disappear, the taboo called Straight Edge. We are only a minority but we want more.

Nooit Meer: What are your influences, musically and in terms of ideas? And what kind of music do you like yourselves?

We obviously play music that we love and we are inspired by the bands we love. Lyrically, mostly: ‘Offenders’, ‘Youth Of Today’, ‘Verbal Assault’ and ‘S.S.D.’ [Society System Decontrol]. I also love ‘Minor Threat’, ‘Uniform Choice’, ‘Judge’, ‘Project X’, ‘Gorilla Biscuits’, ‘Bold’, ‘The Clash’, ‘Black Flag’, ‘M.D.C.’, ‘7 Seconds’, ‘Negative Approach’, ‘D.Y.S.’ [Department Of Youth Services; with Dave Smalley & Franz Stahl], ‘S.F.A.’ [Stands For Anything], ‘Lärm’, ‘Straight Ahead’, ‘Stalag’ 13, ‘McRad’, ‘J.F.A.’ [Jodie Foster’s Army], ‘Government Issue’, etc. I also like some classics such as Satie, Rachmaninov and Mahler. And ‘The Style Council’, ‘Fine Young Cannibals’, ‘Specials’, ‘The Beat’, ‘Redskins’, etc.; enough?

Nooit Meer: What do you think about the release of the from ‘Breda two’ [2 of 4 remaining German nazis with a long-life sentence receiving ‘grace’…]?

Well, we don’t agree with that of course. Violation of human rights is a serious matter. Nazis shouldn’t be allowed to be released from prison just like that. This is the umpteenth post-war victory for them, there still is a goddamn war! Besides: this ‘rule of law’ does apply to people, not to non-people.

Nooit Meer: What do you guys do in daily life? And how long do you think you’ll be involved in the punk/HC-movement, and will you still get something out of it later on when you’re older?

Paul and Olav are unemployed, Burt is at the art-academy in Utrecht. I’m studying history at the Utrecht University. And oh well, that hardcore scene… I do want to get out of it by now; try something else again – just kidding. I wouldn’t know how long this will stay in my blood but if later on I’m not anymore what I am now, I will surely have gotten something out of it. Besides, I’ve learned to think for myself by now; that is something that will always stay. Furthermore: the principles, the ideals; I’m hoping I’ll stick to them. Moreover: I also find myself in an era of big change; I keep paying attention…

Nooit Meer: Do you consider playing in a band as a hobby or is there a lifestyle behind it?

I turned my lifestyle into my hobby. Or no: I’m happy that I have been able to turn my hobby into my lifestyle, or vice versa. OK, I don’t know more than this: ‘It’s more than music, it’s a lifestyle’ (‘Verbal Assault’); also for me.

Nooit Meer: Something else to tell to the readers of this magazine, etc.?

Well, have a lot of pleasure reading this. I wouldn’t mind if you all stopped smoking and started to drink more moderately, or quit all together. You know what: if you all turn Straight Edge, grandma will bake you a delicious cake. I mean…think about it. Life is serious for some people. You’re just addicted to a bad habit, don’t be sadistic and think about the victims too! Sorry, I have to leave, I believe I have to get my Cowboy Henk [Belgian cartoon-character] out of the oven, otherwise he’ll be burned and that’s a shame because it’s such a good boy.

Greetings. Mr Proper XXX

Posted in 1989, Dutch zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Theo Witsell (Fucktooth #22)

Theo Witsell, who did Spectacle zine, was interviewed here by his good friend Jen Angel. She did her zine Fucktooth (“one of the first queer punk zines” but so much more than that…) from 1991 to 2000. She wrote about her personal life, music, sex, progressive political issues and a lot more. Often other people involved in the HC/punk-scene would contribute. Later on Jen focused on people she admired in the HC/punk- and zine-communities and talked more about relationships (e.g. poly/non-monogamy), gender-roles, body-image, underground media, etc. The last issue of Fucktooth published in 1999 was #24: a split with Theo’s Spectacle; “a collaborative effort examining the effects of technology (& its corporate control) on our lives and the world” (to which yours truly contributed). I corresponded with her and distributed some of her zines. Jen moved from Ohio to the Bay Area (California) and became the zine-coordinator for Maximum Rock’n’Roll (1997-98). She also compiled some issues of the Zine Yearbook (1996-2004) and published Clamor magazine with Jason Kucsma (1999-2006). If you wanna know more: there’s an interview with Jen Angel in Screams From The Inside #7 and I also have a very interesting one that Cat Shackleton did in her zine Eejit #3. Nowadays Jen’s Adjunct Assistant Professor (Anthropology and Social Change) at the California Institute Of Integral Studies, runs her own business (making cupcakes) and works for a booking- and publicity-agency… (read more on jenangel.wordpress.com).

I only have a few of the last issues of Fucktooth left in my archives… In #21 (1996) she wrote about dating, punk-rock, etc. Eric Boehme (After The Revolution) contributed a piece about community. There’s the continuation of the 50 Ways To Be Punk project (with Christine Boarts, Lisa Camisa and others). And so much more (also letters, reviews, more contributions). #22 (1997) contains rants on punk-rock, consumerism and youth-culture. There’s also show-reports, more punk-profiles (people such as Theo Witsell, Kent McClard, …), bits about (women’s) health and AIDS. A conversation with Bill Reidy is about freight(train)-hopping. What The Hell Do I Know About Getting Married is a contribution, another one deals with non-monogamy. More pages with readers’ letters, book-reviews, resources regarding zine-libraries, distributors, reviewers. In the 23rd issue (1998), Jen gave the ins and outs of her departure from MRR (she was treated badly), she theorized about long-term relationships and let us know what else she was up at that time. And then there’s the above-mentioned split-issue…

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Pandemonium (Doodtschreiver #2)

Doodtschreiver appeared in ’84-’85. Mary ‘Siouxsie’ Lindekens (from Montenaken, Limburg) took the initiative for the first issue. The 10 pages (25 BeF [60 Eurocent]) contained short interviews with the Dutch bands ‘NV Le Anderen’ & ‘Bloedbad’, and ‘XXX’ from Kortrijk. For the next issues Mary’s partner at the time, Dirk ‘Dick’ Hermans (Sint-Truiden) joined. There were 4 issues in total (all in Dutch). #2 (25 BeF, 28 pages): ‘Indirekt’, ‘Deformed’, ‘Pandemonium’ & ‘Dier’, and an info-sheet on the Wormer band ‘The Gentry’, a lengthy piece on vivsection and reviews (music/books). #3 (10 BeF, 36 pages): ‘Capital Scum’, ‘X-Creta’, ‘The Ex’, ‘B.G.K.’, ‘M.O.G.’, a few scene-reports, info on animal-cruelty/homosexuality; reviews. #4 (20 BeF, 40 pages): ‘Disgust’, ‘Avskum’, ‘Diatribe’, ‘Kaaos’, ‘Dirty Scums’, ‘Funeral Oration’, ‘Rattus’, etc.

In 1985 ‘Dick’ compiled the famous Maja De Brij tape with a variety of Belgian bands of that era. He also organised a (few) gig(s) in Sint-Truiden. E.g. 86-03-15 (‘Heibel’ – ‘No Numbers’ – ‘Dirty Scums’) was announced as a Doodtschreiver zine gig…

‘Pandemonium’ was a hardcore band from Venlo, The Netherlands; with ‘Der’ Peter Janssen (bass/vocals), Danny Lommen (guitar; also bass in ‘Disgust’, drums in ‘Gore’, etc.) & ‘Rawhide’ Rowdy Lommen (drums; also ‘Negazione’). From 1982 until 1985, the band’s friend ‘Matski’ Mat Aerts ran his label Limbabwe. He compiled/archived ‘Pandemonium’s history & downloads on his website.

Peter writes poetry and novels; one of which (Indigo Blue And Red Impact) is an autobiographical account of his involvement in ’80s punk and squatting.

[translation below]

PETER: bass + vocals / DANNY: guitar / ROWDY: drums

PANDEMONIUM was founded in October 1981. Peter and Danny had already been playing together for a long time when Rowdy joined.

WHAT’S THE INTENTION OF THE BAND?

Danny: We wanted to sing about certain things that we are positive and negative about.

WHAT ARE YOU POLITICAL IDEAS?

Danny: Everyone has to be able to do what she/he wants to do but do take your fellow human beings into account. Every person has the same rights, no one is ranked higher or lower. In short…

ARE YOU PACIFICITS?

Danny: We are pacifists but if people are fucking shit up or if things can’t be dealt with in another way…well, yes then one has to fight. There’s no other way in our opinion.

DO YOU THINK LYRICS ARE IMPORTANT?

Danny: Indeed, we think they’re important. They talk about the environment in which we live, things that we experienced in our personal lives and things we are for or against.

ARE YOU DOING A LOT OF CONCERTS?

Danny: Sometimes we play 5 times a month, other times 4-3-2 times, once or not at all. We always ask some money for transport-costs and some consumptions, but if the organiser can spend a little more, then that’s always welcome because every once in a while a string, a drum-skin or -stick…breaks; and then we buy new stuff from that money. But we don’t really make money.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT PUNK IS DEAD OR NOT?

Danny: Punk is not dead because there are still enough punx that are active all over the world.

ARE THERE GONNA BE NEW RECORDS OR TAPES OUT IN THE FUTURE?

Danny: We’re working on a new EP [Their 2nd – Wir Fahren Ins Grüne – came out in 1985.]. There are gonna be 4 songs. I think the EP will come out in May or June. Then we want to release a tape.

 

PANDEMONIUM

Danny (guitar), Rowdy (drums), Peter (bass & vocals); founded somewhere in October 81.

Inspired (still) by the punk (or hardcore, depending on how you wanna call it), we decided to set up a band ourselves, to keep busy, to make a lot of fun and to convey the ideas that are living in lyrics to make them (more) known in that way.

Do we want to achieve something?

You shouldn’t call it like that; of course we would like to perform a lot (Which band wouldn’t?), to collaborate in compilation-tapes, perhaps do an LP, but all on a non-commercial basis, to show other people who’re also working that way that they’re not alone. That there are many people who think/act like that. (Sometimes more than you would think).

We want to encourage people to start a band, do pamphlets or fanzines, to become active politically or a-politically (Whatever you wanna call it.). Such political views are strongly expressed in songs such as Wir Fahren Gegen Nazis (Du Auch?), Religionkrieg, Kill, U.N. Real, etc.

Not all lyrics are political, that’s not necessary to us, but let it show where you stand for!

These non-political lyrivs still are important content-wise (definitely for the band). Some have a political undertone. They deal with school, feelings and everyday life.

It’s important to us that new things keep happening, e.g. that new bands emerge, fanzines, concerts, in order to be able to gain lasting inspiration.

Punk dead or not? Yes/No. The ideas still live in many people’s minds. But opposite to that, there’s the fact that commercialism has fucked things up a great deal. The T-shirts, buttons, studs. All to make money, MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY, FUCK OFF WITH YOUR MONEY.

Some bands that are signed to major record-companies act under that guise of “We’re punk because we look heavy.”, and try to make money out of it. It’s good that many people / bands oppose this.

We play for expenses & some consumptions; if there’s any profit left then that’s an extra. Fundamentally, you can make a profit, but if you stick to it for a 100%, you will eventually become a victim of your own principles.

Somewhere there’s always a limit.

Aiming for a profit is not our intention either, but let those people – who think they can make money out of you – see that you don’t like it. Opposition to capitalism, which neglects the individual; the hunger for money and power over the backs of others. (As if that’s everything!?).

Show that you are against something; like politics, the whole wrought-up mess, religion. During childhood they already try to brainwash you. That god is there. And being a ‘good’ person you’ll end up in heaven later.

There is no room for an opinion of your own.

Pandemonium against racism.

Pandemonium against fasciame.

Pandemonium against nationalism.

Everyone in the Netherlands is equivalent; whether you have the Turkish, Moroccan, Dutch or Surinamese, or whatever, nationality. In our view, nationalities and colour of skin are no excuse.

Who doesn’t understand this: we feel sorry for you!

Future:

Perhaps do an LP [Wir Fahren Gegen Dreck was out already; Are You The One That’s Getiing Fucked… was released in 1986], do a lot of gigs, but also stay active besides music, or become even more active…

Released / contributed to:

Vlaaikots, compilation-tape on Limbabwe (no longer available)

De Pandemonium Affaire, tape on Limbabwe [1982]

Als Je Haar Maar Goed Zit 2, compilation-LP Vögelspin [1983]

Who The Fuck Are You, 7” on Limbabwe [1983]

Holland Hardcore 2 [nd Attack], compilation-tape on Er Is Hoop tapes [1984]

 

Danny (guitarist) plays drums in another Hard Chaos Punk band named ‘Zwaar Klote’.

Posted in 1985, Belgian zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pullermann (Reptil #4)

 

One of my all-time-favourite hardcore bands is ‘Pullermann’ (from Frankfurt, Germany). I saw them perform a couple of times (they played for our Smurfpunx collective twice: 90-03-31 & 90-12-22) and did an interview in Tilt! #6. I’d been introduced to them by Jörg Rosenbaum (R.P.N. recs) and helped distribute their records.

The band had 2 singers: Cybèle (de Silveira) & Mathes ‘S.A.M.’, which blended very nicely: the outgoing, almost boisterous male and the more intimate female (not to be stereotypical). Instrumentalists were Tobias Schlepper (bass), Jörg Wabnitz (guitar) and Stephan Grohe (drums). Their music was very inspiring HC (with ‘Bad Brains’ influences)…

Brob

Reptil zine started in Barcelona in 1990. I took the name from the ‘Motörhead’ song Love Me Like A Reptile. We got the chance to do it through Ramón Porta, who was the editor of Metali-K.O., a metal magazine. So for the first time in Spain we got to do a publication specialised in hardcore and punk music with a commercial distribution in all of the kiosks of Spain, Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands. At first it was going to be me and Ramón doing it, but I preferred to ask Jordi [Llansamà; bassist of ‘24 Ideas’] of BCore [Bcore Disc; label] to get involved as well, so he could support his label and the contents of the magazine would be more diverse. Later on different collaborators joined: the people from Desconcierto [zine] – Zamabombo Producciones [concert-organisation] from Zaragoza and others from Madrid, the Basque Country [Euskadi]…

I think we begun at a good time, as in 1990 the promoters and bands started including Barcelona in their tours. The first issue had an interview with ‘Fugazi’ and after that ‘Verbal Abuse’, ‘Pullermann’ and others visited us as well. The first issue was completely on recycled paper, in line with MRR, but the editors (who ran all the expenses and also kept all the benefits), convinced us to use a different type of recycled paper to get a better quality of the images, layout, etc.

After 7 issues and one/one and a half years of work, we asked the editors to give us a minimum money for all of the expenses like mail, photo-developing, etc. but they refused. That was the end of our period with Reptil zine. After that the editors wanted to make more profit from the job we had done, and without our consent they published some more issues pirating and translating interviews from other publications.

After Reptil zine, Jordi BCore started Absolute zine and I did other things.

‘Boliche’ (‘Subterranean Kids’ drummer)

Full copies of Reptil #4 & #7 (in Spanish) are available on the www.

review in MRR #105

[Translation (by Luis A.) below]

 

Many of you have seen them on the last tour that they did in our country [Spain]. It wasn’t long ago, and although this interview should have come out in the previous issue, we didn’t want to leave it unpublished and include it in this one because they have some interesting things to say. Others have heard about them and have already got some of their excellent records. If you don’t know them yet, you now have the chance to get to know some of their opinions and then, you might be interested in getting some of their music. We have no doubt that you will like them.

The interview is done by ‘Semolina’ [Juliana Tomic] and as usual she interviews the foreign bands that play in Barcelona. A good example of this were the ones that she did with ‘Fugazi’, ‘Victims Family’, ‘Assassins Of God’, … and now, this next one with ‘Pullermann’.

This interview was done the day after their gig in Barcelona (in a venue called KGB), in a popular rehearsal-place known as La Ratonera (The Mouse Trap), guess what it is? (it’s the ‘Subterranean Kids’ rehearsal-hole). This is what we got from ‘Pullermann’…

S: Semolina – B: Belle – ST: Stephan – M: Mathes – T: Toby – J: Jörg

 

S: The typical question for the people who don’t know anything about you. Tell me about your start and where the idea to form ‘Pullermann’ came from…

T: I first started to play with Stephan and another two guitar-players four years ago, but it wasn’t serious and we quit. Later on Jörg joined the band and we started squatting a nice squat in Frankfurt: In Der Au. The idea to form the band was just for fun and to play punk-music.

M: The beginning was crazy and it was a lot of fun. At first, when we used to play with two guitar-players I sang in a rude way and Belle in an opera kind of manner because she was studying singing. It was quite a funny mix but at the same time weird…

S: Have you been singing for a long time or did you start with ‘Pullermann’?

M: In the beginning I was very mad and I used to get the lyrics from the comics. Yes, from the American MAD magazine, where you can find good lyrics.

S: And you, Belle? Did you start with ‘Pullermann’ or did you sing before?

B: Yes, I started with ‘Pullermann’.

M: But she had already sung before.

S: When you started, did you get many gigs in Germany?

T: Yes, at first everybody asked us to come and play (laughs).

S: When did you do the first tour with the band?

T: With ‘Loveslug’ [band from Amsterdam with Tony of ‘B.G.K.’] but we only did two days. And also with ‘H.D.Q.’ [UK]: they asked us to go and play in England, so we did a mini-tour over there. That was in ‘88.

M: We didn’t have a record out in those days.

J: We had recorded the EPs but they weren’t pressed yet.

M: It was good but very weird. We didn’t get any food or drinks, we had to play and pay for it.

S: Have you played in Holland?

M: Yes, we played a couple of times in Arnhem and Leiden. We played with ‘Do Or Die’ [all female band from Amsterdam].

S: And in Italy?

B: Yes, in Torino, but not as ‘Pullermann’. Toby got measles during the tour with ‘Subterranean Kids’ and he had to go back to Frankfurt.

M: We played as ‘Kill Roser’, a fun-band. More than anything, we played ‘AC/DC’ and ‘Deep Purple’ covers to have a laugh in the gigs.

B: Our driver was playing casually in another band; he joined us so we could play.

S: Have you played in any Eastern European countries (Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, …)?

M: Yes, we played in Yugoslavia once, but as ‘Kill Roser’ (laughs).

S: In what city?

M: In Ljubljana. We would like to go to other places there but now the situation is a bit erratic, isn’t it?

S: No, the problems are more inside the country. People are still attending concerts in the big cities, near Italy, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade, … Have you read that in the newspapers? [Semolina is origanilly from ex-Yugoslavia]

M: Yes, the “problems” of Croatia, Slovenia…where police fight against the other.

S: Well, let’s stop talking about Yugoslavia. What is the meaning of ‘Pullermann’?

J: Nothing.

S: Someone told me that ‘Pullermann’ was something to do with taking to pee…

M: Yes, it has two different meanings…

T: For me it doesn’t mean anything, it is just a name. We don’t want to have an English name like any other band, they all sound the same!

B: Yes, but it’s a name that the children have for their penis.

S: The penis?

M: Yes.

T: In Berlin they didn’t want us to play because of that, they said the name was sexist and more nonsense.

S: It is true?

T: Yes, we are sexists… Well; they said that because we call ourselves ‘Pullermann’.

S: That’s very stupid. Apart from that, tell me about your records.

J: We recorded our two first EPs, one of them called simply Pullerman and the other I’ve Got My Rule To Play. We recorded them in three days and we released them on our own label [Angry Mob recs]. It’s a weird story. A man told us that he would release our LP with the two EPs but then he disappeared. So, the solution was to release them as two separate EPs. There are still six songs that haven’t been published anywhere, that was in ‘88.

S: How many copies did you do?

T: 1.000 copies of the first and 2.000 of the I’ve Got My Rule To Play EP. We did the second one together with RPN. The LP was also released by them.

S: And the next recordings?

T: The next one was a live album with Your Choice Live Series. We’re going to be part of a compilation released on Beri Beri recs [label from Hamburg] featuring ‘Spermbirds’, … [Life Is Change Vol. 2] We also have recorded a song for the Frankfurt Hit Collection LP and the Die 2555 Nacht compilation featuring ‘Subterranean Kids’ [benefit-compilation on RPN recs].

S: Are you happy with RPN?

T: Yes, that is very important.

B: At one time some people from England were interested in releasing a record of ours but we eventually did it with RPN because we knew them and we knew how they worked.

M: There isn’t a contract with them but they live near to Frankfurt and we see each other constantly. Like I said before, there is a good working relation (laughs).

S: Since there are two singers…who writes the lyrics?

B: I write mine.

M: I don’t write lyrics, I only think, sing and the lyrics come from there. It’s a very crazy way.

S: OK, but what are they about?

T: I don’t know, it depends on the song (laughs).

S: But what are they about in general?

M: The songs talk about what surrounds us, the hardcore scene, politics, attitudes and people’s problems. There are bands like the ‘Dead Kennedys’ or ‘Crass’ that have brilliant lyrics and people like them, but some really don’t understand them. They just pretend they are good…but they don’t know what the lyrics are about. There are a lot of people that go to hardcore gigs and buy records, but that’s not what it is all about. It’s a general problem. The hardcore scene is only a small part of life.

T: He’s not studying hardcore, but it looks like it (laughs).

M: I hate people who study! Hey, can I get a rider of the gig?

S: OK.

B: They deal with the experience that you get throughout life.

S: A guy from Zaragoza told me something about your song Generation 68. What it is about?

B: Which guy from Zaragoza? The one with the dark hair?

S: Yes.

B: I was talking with him about my parents and what they thought about the Revolution, after the hippies, but that is very personal. It’s about the relationship with students and in general, with young people nowadays.

S: How do you compose?

T: We explain all of our ideas to the others and then we go into our rehearsal-room and improvise on the fly.

S: This guy from Zaragoza also told me about the pamphlets included in your In Der Au LP.

T: We put them in because we spent a long time there. It’s a place where you feel comfortable, where you breathe freedom… We wanted people to be aware of it and to know what we do and what we organise. We thought it was OK.

T: The record isn’t just about music, it’s also our ideas; and this pamphlet, for example, makes you think.

S: Do you all live in the squat?

B: You should decide for yourself if you want to live in a squat or not, or in a community, but for me it’s a paradise.

T: Too much stress sometimes, although we don’t tell anybody what to do. They must decide what’s best for them.

M: Music isn’t everything. Hardcore is like living in a squat, everything is part of an attitude. Hardcore is getting more popular all the time. You can see people with band T-shirts and all that, but there is more behind it. These people are only interested in music. They can say “I like hardcore” but hardcore is something more, more than the posers, the middle-class and people like them…

S: What do you do apart from ‘Pullermann’?

M: We study (laughs). I play music because I like it, I don’t want to get any money off it.

S: And you, Stephan, what do you do?

T: I watch TV (laughs). No, I do an engineering-course.

S: How is the Spanish tour going?

M: Quite well, we got the chance to stay in Spain for three weeks, and as I have no money for holidays, this is a way I can visit other countries and get to know a lot of new people. Our music is the way that we communicate, through it everything comes. Thanks to the music, it’s not like working or having to sell out for a living.

T: When we get some money it’s ok, we don’t say “Oh, I need to release a new record because I have to pay my rent.”. It’s special; you do it when you want to.

S: About the tour: who organised it?

ST: Connie [Conny Hoenes of In Der Au squat] from Frankfurt was in touch with Xavi of Cap Cap (booking-agency)…

S: When did you decide to come to Spain?

ST: When? During the tour with the ‘Subterranean Kids’, they and Xavi’s Cap Cap told us that it would be very good, that people would like it if we came, so since then we started to work on it.

T: Yesterday’s gig went very well but I didn’t like the venue.

S: Where did you first play?

T: In Zaragoza. Musically it was good but in our opinion the atmosphere was a bit subdued. ‘Mimo’ (‘Subterranean Kids’ singer) came with us and explained to the people that we couldn’t speak Spanish, but even then it was still a bit hushed. When we spoke to them in English, they didn’t understand us, and when they spoke to us in Spanish we didn’t have a clue. At the end we spoke to them in German (laughs).

B: At first it was hard but they recognised that we couldn’t speak to them because there was nobody who spoke English.

M: Only two people.

S: What venue was it?

T: It was something like Entalto…

S: Was it a venue, bar, pub…?

T: I don’t know, I found it there (laughs).

ST: It was a bar. It was weird because in Euskadi we only played in Gaztetxes (squat), some of them were free entrance like in Vigo (Galiza [Galicia]), where we played for expenses and drinks.

S: How did it go there?

T: Good, there were quite a few people but not the typical audience of a hardcore-gig but every other type of person… But I liked it and I think the people did as well because I saw they were quite excited.

M: It was exciting because almost nobody in Barcelona knew much about Galiza. ‘Boliche’ (‘Subterranean Kids’ drummer) told us: “Are you going to Galiza? Where? How strange!”. So, because of that we went without knowing exactly what we were going to find. There wasn’t a big hardcore-scene over there. There were normal people who listened to rock’n’roll… but everything was really positive.

S: How many concerts in total?

M: Eight, all over of Spain.

S: Anything else to comment about the Barcelona gig?

M: It was the first concert where there was a big PA, lights, good stage…but the venue was shit.

B: The people who worked in the venue.

M: We don’t usually play in those type of places in Germany because we don’t want the people to pay 400 Pesetas (2,40 €) for a beer… But we have youth-centres and cultural organisations there and here there aren’t any. We can’t do like ‘Fugazi’ does: they come from the USA and say the gigs can’t cost more than 10 German Marks (5 €). When we came here we already found the tickets a bit expensive.

S: What are you going to do when you go back to Germany?

M: Work.

ST: I will carry on studying and playing. Not much, it may be 2 or 3 times per month and not too far away from Frankfurt (just 200-300 km).

S: How is your life normally in Frankfurt?

M: The people are more quiet.

B: But sometimes, there can be lots of concerts, parties…very mad!

M: The people are more reserved than here, everything is more relaxed. At 2 a.m. you don’t see anybody in the streets, they’re deserted.

S: Tell us about your Summertime cover?

B: It’s a special song, it’s for the kids and it makes you feel good… You know: the birds sing, life is easy… It has some slow parts and other parts are rougher. We like it a lot.

S: To finish up, another typical question. What bands do you listen to?

B: In the van we mostly listen to Jimmy Hendrix, Joe Jackson, Glenn Danzig, ‘Descendents’, ‘Crucifucks’, ‘AC/DC’, Frank Zappa…and a lot of 70’s punk.

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