Mel Hughes (Intense Voice #2)

Myself and Mel Hughes (Northern-Ireland / Ulster) exchanged letters for quite a while and distributed each other’s zine. The Network Of Friends; if anyone remembers… He was also sXe, supportive of DIY and anti-consumerist, and also ran a mailorder. He was still doing No Barcodes Necessary at the time of this interview. If I remember correctly, he did 7 issues (1993-98). An issue of Direct Hit followed later right after (’99) and that continued on-line for a few years. Direct Hit came with a split-7″ Active Minds/Urko and that was the start of Mel’s label Direct Hit recs (4 split-EPs in total).

The interviewer, Florian Gemmrig, was also a corresponent of mine. He did Intense Voice together with his mate Matze Walz (both living near Stuttgart). This second issue also featured the bands ‘Texas Is The Reason’ & ‘Strife’; besides an article on terrorism, some short stories & columns, a tour-report, an article on Amnesty International and reviews…

Brob

I believe we correspondended, probably because of your distribution, but as far as I remember we also exchanged letters about life, music and scene-stuff. My motivation for doing the zine was being part of a DIY culture which was a big thing to me when I got in touch with hardcore. We did 2 issues around 95-96; I was pretty young (15-16) at that time. We interviewed ‘Refused’, ‘For Her Sake’ (a local band) & ‘End In Sight’ for the first issue.

Florian Gemmrig

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Coche Bomba (Antipoder #9)

Antipoder (‘Against Authority’) was a follow-up to No Flag – both zines were done by my correspondent ‘Uge’ (Eugenio García Escudero) from Gijon (Asturias, Spain). ‘Uge’ played guitar in ‘Intolerance’ and ‘Strangis Guajes’; plus a few other bands. He also ran the record-labels Xunca recs and Don’t Belong. Nowadays he’s in charge of Throne recs (metal) and works as a DJ at a local pub.

He distributed my zine and  and visited me when traveling to Willy ‘Hiatus’ in Liège… A lot of the things he published were in Spanish so hardly anyone over here could read it.  He also did another zine later (Ilegal) but I never got to see that… This issue of Antipoder was meant as a split-zine (together with Love And Flowers, by Fidel) but became a cooperative project aiming to reach more (non-Spanish speaking) people and to encourage readers to become more active. Contents? Various columns (in English & Spanish), an interview with a butcher-turned-vegetarian, a lengthy piece with opinions on drugs/legalisation, another one entitled Nationalism & Sexuality (both in Spanish); interviews with bands such as ‘Cress’, ‘Muff Potter’; reviews and more…

The other issues of Antipoder I have, are jam-packed with interviews with ‘Hiatus’, ‘Selfish’, ‘Resist’, ‘Health’ Hazard’, and info on SOA recs, ‘No Security’ & ‘Huasipungo’ (#1, 1994); ‘Fleas & Lice’, ‘Disaffect’, ‘One By One’, Disfear’ (#2/3, 1994); ‘Subcaos’, ‘Varukers’, ‘Rood Arch’, and info on ‘Headache’, etc. (#4/5, 1994-95) – to mention just a part of the contents…

I saw ‘Coche Bomba’ (from Lyon, France) perform at the Vort’n Vis (95-09-16). They played fast & brutal crusty hardcore-punk: 2 vocalists (political lyrics in French, English & Spanish) – Ivan Brun & Jean-Pierre ‘J.P.’ Davila, 2 guitarists – André & ‘Gork’, bassist Cécile (also in ‘Dirt’; she replaced Christoff) and drummer Steph Coi. They had recorded a demo (95-06-03; still with Christoff) and there was a split-7” out with Enola Gay (Fra) on Bad Card recs 1995. The 7″ Viva La Derelicción was recorded May ’96 with André, Cécile, Ivan, J.P. & Steph). This interview was with J.P., André, Ivan (bass at that time) and Steph. They had some line-up changes but kept going well into the noughties and did several tours (also Latin-America, etc.).

Nowadays Ivan Brun is a pretty wellknown cartoonist, comic book writer & painter; also check his blog sickfuckermagazine.blogspot for more of his work and info on the band… Also JP Davila is still doing graphic art.

Brob

I think I did 6 issues of Antipoder; all of them in Spanish. 4~5 being a double issue… and the 6th a split issue with Love And Flowers (the only one being pro-printed). Could it be? [The cover reads Antipoder #9 – Love And Flowers #4] I lost all my old zines at the CSA raid, back in the late 90s, so my memory fails… Love & Flowers was done by my old friend Fidel… That was more a personal/emotive zine than Antipoder but we wanted to try something new by arranging a split issue… Looking back now, I think we were able to get rid off 1.000 copies (that was the minimum print-run for a pro-printed zine back at the time) and we managed! That’s a small accomplishment in my eyes. Antipoder started as 50/50 % music (mainly crust – as it was my passion back in the early 90s) and animal-liberation/anarchist politics. As years went by, my politics became more personal and nowadays I keep my political views personal but don’t usually mix these with music. I’m not that much interested in using music as a vehicle for politics anymore. I prefer music to be a vehicle for emotions and re-connection to nature/avoiding humans.

‘Uge’

After Love & Fowers, I continued doing other fanzines: Ilegal, and Antipatia, that a good friend and I did – a free newsletter (for 6 years, one per month)…

Fidel

[Translation – Miguel Angel Lorca / Dieter Roefs – below]

‘CocheBomba’ stayed at my place for five days and we shared experiences and life lessons. Let’s say they weren’t very lucky during their tour in North Spain, due to last-minute canceled gigs and poor assistance of people. I felt really sorry I had to bring them the bad news; I felt somehow responsible as I was the organiser of most dates of their tour. It’s a pity as they deserve better. Often we don’t appreciate things at the time. Let’s allow time to make things right.

Uge: Well, an introduction for the people who don’t know anything about ‘CocheBomba’, who don’t know who you are, what you do,…

JP: Well, we are from France (Lyon)… We’re 4 people: Jean-Pierre [Davila] on vocals, André on guitar, Ivan [Brun] on bass and Steph on drums. Thanks (laughs)… The ideas of the band… Ah, we’re a band that plays, that likes hardcore and…we’re not politically correct (laughs), at last we don’t try to be. We’re more or less normal people and…well, we play where we are accepted, nothing more.

Uge: Last year you were over here too and…for various reasons the tour…got interrupted…was over before it was supposed to be, some gigs got canceled, there were rumors and blablabla, all that… I know the part I was told but I want to ask the version of the band, which I guess will be the true one…and I want it to be explained in the zine to, to… To let people know what really happened and to stop the gossiping about things, no?

JP: Well…we had a bit of bad luck due to, as you said, 3 canceled gigs, some technical or organisational problems in some places… and all that built-up pressure that ended in a discussion between Cécile and the guy that drove us, the driver, Cristophe. She decided to leave – not to leave the band but to leave the tour – because this guy was…euhm, couldn’t stand the tour, right? He wasn’t familiar with the hardcore scene and all that, the squats… It all got a bit on his nerves and… It was very difficult…the relationship between Cécile and him, no? That helped to cause a row between them and she decided to leave the tour. She didn’t leave the band… something like that, no? She decided to quit…stop traveling in the van because they had argued, she just argued with this guy…she had nothing against ‘CocheBomba’.

Uge: So… If you want to say something through this publication, to say something to the people, who – in theory – you let down or the people who got a bit annoyed with you… If you want to say something or if you want to deny something…

JP: Well, no… After the tour we have exchanged letters with Miguel Angel (Lorca; ed.) and luckily, well… All these feelings and all that have passed, no? Because he said to me: “It’s nobody´s fault.”. He literally wrote that and…well… People from Burgos and Bilbao…due to the problem with…Cristophe wanted to leave us behind there with all the material… Also, for us it was…very bad to go through all this, stopping the tour due for such a stupid problem, no? Human relationships and…well, I think that… We apologize to the people for not being able…to play. But it was something completely beyond our control.

Uge: You were over here last year and now you’re again, touring the North of Spain (Asturias & Euskadi)…after the bad taste it left in your mouth last year, what made you want to return and what differences do you see between last year and this year,  in case there’s some difference?

JP: Well, we already came back in May of this year for two 2 concerts in Barcelona and Selrá and… Because, we like the people over here a lot (laughs)… Also: it’s a way to explain the problems we had, no? It’s a pity that in Burgos they didn’t welcome us to play…

Uge: Do you mean that this tour could have served to clear things up…?

JP: Explaining things in a more clear way; so that’s why we wanted to come here to the North of Spain. And to Euskadi and all that. Well, the only difference we can see is that…things aren’t too good, no? Similar to what’s happening, more or less, in whole Europe (Germany, France), when the squat-movement politically gets shattered… People have a lot… They’ve created so many different things: symbols or attitudes or different kind of things, that helps to divide people more too, no? Well, but, I think this tour… Also, when I’ve written you to ask you… You accepted because you knew us, more or less, and you realise we haven’t… That we weren’t as the rumors that you had heard, no? You were surprised that some things happened… Problems during the tour when you met us and…we behaved properly in your house and… That also was… Coming back was kind of, as I said you, clearing things up…

Uge: The question is… No-one in the band is vegetarian nor vegan now… Knowing that, I suppose that you want your ideas to be respected… What would you tell to people who say that you deserve no respect because you don’t respect the life of animals, do you know what I mean?

Steph: First, I think vegetarianism is about personal feelings…

Ivan: …Personal choice…

Steph: Personal choice… And I think that hardcore is not about judging others but doing things by ourselves, so if people don’t want to respect me because I eat meat… Well I don’t care, why should I care? Because I can’t do nothing… People are free to be vegetarian or not. If you…base your relationship just on that one thing, I think it’s a bit stupid.

Ivan: Hardcore is tolerance before all… It’s a matter of tolerance. Respect is about tolerating people’s choices.

JP: For my part… Well, I think that they have said almost…completed what we truly, more or less, feel… I’ve tried to be vegetarian for some time and finally, I don’t know… Because of my meat-consuming habit, because of my childhood and all that, has been, maybe…that hasn’t helped, no? But well, if I’m not respected because I eat meat, so what? Anyway there are many people that don’t respect you and not only because you don’t eat meat…

Steph: I’ve never been vegetarian myself. I think the idea of not eating animals is a good idea. Maybe I’ll be vegetarian myself one day, I don’t know, but for now I’m not ready to take on that way of life, so I prefer not to try or to stop eating meat for one month and then eat meat again… I think when I’ll be ready for it maybe I’ll quit meat, but for now definitely not.

Ivan: Yeah, I think it’s easy to quit eating meat but it’s a matter of choice… As for me: I don’t eat meat everyday, because of the price, because it’s quite expensive and also it’s quite easy to take the food in the shops. I take…cheap things… For me food is not important.

André (JP translates from French): He’s aware of what’s happening, the slaughterhouses, the money and all that…multinationals… These are things that make you think, no? If there are people with the will to be vegetarian, that’s very good. Maybe I don’t have much will to stop eating meat due to the education I had. As Steph said: I try to eat less meat than before… He keeps eating meat but now he pays attention to what he’s eating… Yes, he cares about it.

JP: For me it is the same. For example… I never go to…a supermarket to buy 20.000 pork-chops wrapped in plastic… I have a friend who comes from the countryside, so all products are from the farm. You know where they come from. Not… They’re not coming from a multinational or anything like that. We pay more attention to this, to avoid contributing to…a certain massacre that you don’t like.

Uge: According to what you say Ivan, that you usually buy only cheap things to eat, that you don’t mind too much about eating; you know that usually the cheapest things are really junk-food… You know what I mean? So, you know that eating mostly junk-food is bad for your health. The question is: How do you balance the price of the food and your health? If you don’t mind too much about your health or… How do you balance that things?

Ivan: Yeah, I know the price of your health, of your life is more important that the cost of eating, yeah (laughs)… To me, my health is not important. Yeah, I’ll probably die at 40 or 45 or 60 years of age. Yes. What’s the difference…we die in the end? I’m not giving a lot of importance to this… Yeah, and about the future… What will the future be? (laughs)

Uge: Do you think there’s no future?

Ivan: Oh, yes, I think there will be a future. It could be really worse than now. I really believe that it will be really worse, like…political problems, dictatorships, less and less freedom, more and more control of people’s mind, things like that. I really believe there will be the future…

Uge: I have a book that my mother borrowed me, it’s not from a ‘political’ author or a ‘radical’ author or anything like that. An ‘average’ writer that wrote a book 15 years ago, that dealt with how he thought the future was going to be. Then, when you read stuff written in 1980/81 about 1995/96… He’s dealing with a number of things that he thought were going to happen and that actually happened. I was really surprised, skipped some pages and read what he wrote about 2000, 2015… He wrote that an almost anarchist state was going to be reached, which was supposedly something beneficial because everything would be based on barter trade. I give you something and as an exchange you give me something. Because the currency was going to collapse, the whole capitalist system was going to fall down due to its own corruption, etc. So I was interested in knowing what you think the future is going to be. Do you think something like this could happen and…if you know or… For example: I know Ivan draws – would you rather exchange paintings for food, things like that… If you think that something like this could happen, if you would be willing to do everything as a barter trade… What do you think about this?

JP: Well… I also draw, like Ivan. I’m already exchanging (laughs). I, more or less, exchange my paintings; I even give them for free sometimes. I trade them for other paintings or for other things. And…I think Ivan wouldn’t be having any problem doing that if it truly has to be done… Practically we’re starting to do it. What we mostly do isn’t… How could I say it?… We are not known artists or anything like that, we try to become a little active doing things but without pretensions or anything like that… becoming Andy Warhol or (laughs) Basquiat [Jean-Michel Basquiat, an American artist], I don´t know… A piece of art by Basquiat is now worth a fortune, millions of dollars…

Ivan: Yes, millions of dollars for a little piece of art by Basquiat…

JP: Basquiat everywhere and so… Then if painting could become a currency of barter-trade; it would be better to be able to live by exchanging things instead of merely using money. And politicians use money for…everything…to tie-up all people…in the whole world.

Ivan: About that question… It’s kind of an utopia. I think the capitalist system will make a lot… It will take a lot, a long time to collapse. To fall. Maybe like the Roman empire, the decadence. It will take… It’s about 200 years of decline. So it’s a very slow process. I think right now, since the 80s, the beginning of the decline. The capitalist system is at its top and now it’s beginning to fall, to fall… It’s really a slow process…

JP: Many lies, to keep the capitalist system on the top, no? But it’s apparent that everything, politically everywhere, is a big fraud…

Uge: The Spanish government doesn’t give support to young people nor to old people; that means if you don’t have a job, you don’t get support or a house or a place to live for free like in England where you have the dole, the housing and everyone lives ‘OK’… So if you live here or in a country with even less money than here… If you had the choice to live, making enough money off ‘CocheBomba’ or with a label or a distribution… Would you do it or…? What do you think about this subject, do you think it’s selling out, corrupting or do you see it as something positive?

JP: The fact of living off the music that you make, I think that’s good, no? Because eventually… It would be like surviving, like working any other job, no? Of course, you can’t market your things, your… Truly becoming commercial in music, no? But living off your own music, I think, is correct. For example, there are many people that are musicians, that have self-sacrificed during their lives to have the satisfaction of living off their music…

Steph: I think that there’s no problem with living of our music as long as we put efforts and energy in it. I guess it is normal to get some…

Uge: …Something back…

Steph: …Something back. If you need money and if the only thing that you know is playing drums or playing guitar or screaming in a microphone, why not? I prefer living… earning a living playing than being in a factory, doing a shit job… But the goal with ‘CocheBomba’ is not about making money, it’s about not losing what we put in it…

André (Steph translates from French): André thinks we can’t gain enough money with ‘CocheBomba’ because it’s impossible…

Ivan: In the DIY and non- profit scene…

André (Steph translates from French): He says that it’s not possible to gain enough money with ‘CocheBomba’ while being in the DIY movement but he wouldn’t mind making money by teaching others how to play guitar… It’s what he’s doing now… And if you wanted to make big bucks with ‘CocheBomba’, we’ld have to change our attitude by asking more money to do a gig…

Iván: …Being professionals, but we are not professionals…

Uge: So, continuing about this subject: how do you earn a living in France, how do you survive, what does everyone do to live?

Ivan: I’m on welfare…what the state gives me, and also doing some paintings or stuff with… Making some money with drawings and stuff. So yeah…it’s not a regular job. I can’t get enough money to live from the drawings, so I have to take money from the state, from social welfare…

Steph: I work in an administration, I do the mail and my contract ends at the end of the year. I think then I will be in the dole too, like Ivan, on welfare…

JP: I take what the state gives me because I’ve worked the previous two years and after that I studied arts, which provided me a subsidy and that extended the duration of the unemployment welfare. Thanks to that I receive unemployment cheques from the state. And, well, I’m less lucky than Ivan: I sell less paintings than him (laughs)… Well, that’s how I survive. A bit of painting sometimes or otherwise whatever job I can get. Now I don’t know until what date I’ll get unemployment-benefits but after that maybe I’ll have to work or look for a job…

André (JP translates): André gives guitar-lessons in a cultural centre and sometimes he plays in a blues-band to earn a bit of money (laughs)… And also sometimes this… He goes… How is it called? To a scientific centre where he has his hair washed to (laughs)…test cosmetics (he has a very white skin). He is consequent, he knows animals are sacrificed, they do experiments, he goes through experiments himself, he’s like a guinea-pig (laughs).

Uge: Staying with this subject about living/not living off music and so: a moment ago you mentioned that you couldn’t live off the noise you make…and I told you that there’re very noisy bands, such as ‘Extreme Noise Terror’, that are completely living off it. As time goes by ‘average’ people listen to more extreme music. It started with heavy metal in the 80s, nowadays you can find this new wave of HC-Metal on MTV… I think, as a friend of mine (Chuto) said: ‘E.N.T.’ could be the new… MTV’s ‘Korn’ in two years’ time, the new trendy band on MTV. Do you think that there will a time when DIY music, such as hardcore, crust, grindcore, could become as famous as… That the only thing that could distinguish bands would be the attitude and that music could be the same?

JP: Yes, I think that could be like that. ‘Napalm Death’ appears on MTV, so … You can make people listen to music that becomes more and more violent, no? There are bands that are more violent than that: industrial noise and things like that, techno, that is noise itself… Well, we’re talking about HC, but it’s true that people listen to louder and louder stuff, no? I don’t know what extremes could be achieved? In the end of the century… But…perhaps some bands from the HC-scene will become really famous and will be aired on TV all the time. I remember when I arrived in France, all metal was very much discriminated against. And suddenly there was a radical change… There were many thrash-bands aired on TV, there’s a ton of commercial bands nowadays – melodic hardcore or ‘Theraphy?’, ‘Green Day’, ‘NoFX’ – that appear on TV or on compilation-CDs that get promoted everywhere. It looks like there’s a mystification of… several musical styles that are proclaimed as known at one time or another…

Ivan: Logically, such bands, crust-bands like ‘E.N.T.’ could be famous or commercial bands in the near future… Because of the provocative attitude, the screams and the stuff like this, it couldn’t be a commercial product, it couldn’t be considered a commercial product, in my opinion…

Steph: ‘Napalm Death’ is a kind of commercial product and you can hear it on the radio…sometimes on TV. I think that maybe in the near future violent HC bands could be the next big thing and… I don’t think that’s a problem as long as they stay true to the DIY ethics. You know? If the ideas of HC get spread into society, why not? Because some ideas are good: like vegetarianism or squatting, non-profit… Why not, if the bands stay underground, independent spirit…

Uge: Many people or many bands that are selling out nowadays, say that they do it to spread the message to a wider audience and… But it never works out because the people are just interested in music. And when ‘E.N.T.’ is on MTV screaming about “Think about it.” (about vegetarianism), I believe most of the people discovering ‘E.N.T.’ – who are not vegetarian – don’t mind what they say. So the question is: Do you think being in the mainstream media kills the message? It’s just as if once you’re there, people will only look for the music, they don’t care about anything else… Well, the music and the looks you have, because it’s like a trend to have ‘radical’ looks. Do you think that it’s the big failure of being at the top?

Steph: I think that most of the people is not áll the people. Perhaps if a band can bring 1, 10, 20, maybe more persons to the DIY scene, that’s good. In France there’s ‘Bérurier Noir’, you know? That band does lots of concerts, records; and by the end of the 80s they were very famous in France. That’s not a problem because if I didn’t get to listen to ‘Bérureir Noir’ maybe I wouldn’t be here today, you know? Of course not everybody will get the message, most of the people will be like: “Oh yeah, good record, oh yeah, nice clothes.”… But if 10 people think about it and they become active, I think it’s not bad…

Uge: So, in that sense: do you think it’s like necessary to have some bands on the top singing about such things; is it necessary for new people to come into?

Steph: I think one of the big problems about HC is that it´s very closed, you know?…

Uge: …A ghetto…

Steph: Yes, and like I said: there are good ideas in HC, about squatting, non-profit, etc. And if we stay in our ghetto, I guess nothing will change. If we spread some ideas then we can aim for some change. It’s perhaps utopic what I say but I think if you want to change things it’s not gonna be by singing “Aarggh, kill the bastards, kill the nazis.” at a punk-concert… Of course everybody will say yes, “Kill the nazis!” but that doesn’t mean anything, you know?

Uge: So the next question follows naturally: I want to ask every one of you how they got introduced into hardcore, into DIY; how did you start getting into this?

JP: Well, for me I… How could I say it… I took a big musical turn. I listened to ‘Queen’ and one day I got a record – Never Mind The Bollocks (laughs)… I’ve known punk in its heyday. During the 80s I got to know ‘Dead Kennedys’, ‘Germs’, ‘CIA’…all those bands from the end of the 70s/80s. After that I got into new-wave…

Uge: Is new wave ‘The Cure’ and all that?

JP: All that, yes, and after that I turned into old metal – Monsters Of Rock , like ‘Deep Purple’, ‘Led Zeppelin’, all that – and turned all that around listened to first thrash-metal bands (‘Exodus’, ‘Anthrax’, ‘Metallica’). Little by little, each time louder. ‘S.O.D.’ and things like that. And one day I met people who liked 80s HC. I didn’t really know it as I had walked away from it. I listened to things I hadn’t listened to before and… That’s how I started to get to know old bands that I hadn’t heard before. Like ‘State Of Alert’ and things like that… Most of them were from the American HC scene, that were unknown to me…

Steph: In the beginning I listened to new-wave and rock. Then some French bands like ‘Bérurier Noir’ and all kinds of punk; stuff like ‘Sex Pistols’, ‘Clash’ and the old punk from the 70s. Then ‘Crass’, ‘Conflict’ and some cool HC like ‘H.D.Q.’, ‘Senseless Things’ and things like that. Then HC, faster stuff each time, then crust, grind, sXe, lots of stuff…

Ivan: When I was a kid I wasn’t interested in music really, just listen to the radio, listen to the comercial stuff. But I wasn’t really into it. There were ‘free radios’ with radio-shows playing punk-music and alternative stuff, also some HC. That was back in 1986. I listened to that kind of stuff and it was really the thing that interested me because it was fast, loud… Sometimes really funny or provocative. So when I was a kid, I liked it a lot. I started getting into that kind of music and looking for fanzines, going to record-shops to buy these tapes or records. But at that time it was really difficult to find HC records beacuse it wasn’t popular at the time.

André (JP translates): He started with metal, with classic hard-rock, then a normal evolution, each time faster, more violent, thrash, speed, death… He’d listened to some old French punk bands like ‘Committerandsec’ [Komintern sect’ perhaps?] (laughs) (I don’t know how it is really written!!!; ed.), an old skunk-band. In the 80s in France there were a lot of punk/skin-bands, skunk. That’s how it was called back then…

JP: Well, I think that everyone has been forced to listen to that music at a moment in their lives (laughs) with Chaos Productions [80s punk and oi! label], a compilation including all these bands, called Chaos En France.

Ivan: Pure bullshit…

JP: (laughs) Pure bullshit, so you can get an idea of the hardcore movement of that period, no? Complete lack of ideas, violence, very retarded, no?

André (JP translates): He has listened to French punk. He preferred more metal, more hardcore and… Then he played in several metal, doom-death metal, grindcore bands… That’s the way he got into the DIY movement and ‘CocheBomba’…

JP: In ‘91 the 2 of us did something for a radio-station sometimes, where we played grind or brutal hardcore bands. Just before starting in ‘CocheBomba’. We already spread, more or less, the music, the spirit of “total resistance” (laughs)…

Uge: There are people that reject the music they used to hear 5/10/15 years ago, the music they first started to listen to. Do you reject it or you still like the same music even though sometimes you take it with some humour or with a bit of nostalgia… Do you keep liking it?

JP: For me the answer is yes. I respect all music I’ve listened to. Music is music and it’s important…recognising what has helped you to evolve. I won’t deny that I enjoyed, as I said, ‘Queen’ or ‘Kansas’ or what can I say…folk bands. What should I say now? That they are awful? No, I don’t deny the fact that I liked what I used to listen to, I’m not gonna say that I won’t listen to it ever again. As you say: I look back with some nostalgia and sometimes with many laughs. Some stuff is very funny, especially when you see the old metal record-covers, with the wigs (laughs) and things that way, yes…

Steph: For my part: I don’t deny what I listened to before; I don’t listen to all the bands I used to like but they are all a part of my life even if I don’t listen to them. If I think they sound like shit now, I still like them because I…

Uge: Is it like going back to those years?

Steph: Yeah, a memory, something to remember.

JP: Also… The old stuff and all that… There’s things I haven’t heard before and that I listen nowadays, new stuff for me, old bands that I like.

Uge: Stuff that you discover nowadays…

JP: Stuff that I discover nowadays. It’s very good there have been people listening that stuff in its heyday.

André (JP translates): He also admits that he enjoyed all kinds of bands, different music styles; that gave him sensations, vibrations. And if I don’t listen to these bands anymore nowadays that’s because his musical taste has evolved. In the past that music gave him things that just helped to become what he is…

JP: Besides that, now we are… Music-wise we know each other well; we accept each other music tastes. For example: we don’t restrict ourselves to just the HardCore genre; we like salsa music, free jazz, ethnic/aboriginal music. We also enjoy industrial noise, experimental music; Steph likes Boris Vian [French musician/singer] (laughs). We are more open to the universe, musically. We enrich our spirits quite well.

Uge: I want you to tell me about one commercial band (any kind of style) you like it a lot, and one DIY band you like it a lot… (laughs).

JP: Well… If I have to limit myself to just one band, it’s gonna be difficult. Ahhh… I don’t know. A band that is commercial and brutal, that has left a strong impression, is ‘Slayer’ for example, commercial music-wise… It’s even more difficult to choose a DIY band because there are many bands, too many bands. I don’t know, I’m gonna think about it… (pause) A DIY band that impressed me, on a music level, is ‘Man Is The Bastard’…

Steph: The commercial band should be ‘The Cure’ because I listened to ‘The Cure’ for… (Changing tape so missing some words. Oops!!! ed.) …Which is a very good LP. And as for DIY: I think like Jean-Pierre: ‘Man Is The Bastard’ is “bleuurgghh!!!”, ‘la bomba’!!! (laughter).

Ivan: Commercially something like Michael Jackson. As for DIY: something like ‘Confuse’ (laughter).

André (JP translates): He listens to ‘AC/DC’ without getting tired of it (laughs)…and ‘DropDead’…

Uge: You’ve been here, in Xixón, for some days and you were here also last year. Given the little you know about it: what remarkable differences do you find between Lyon and Xixón; city-wise, hardcore-scene, landscapes, everything…?

JP: Well, let’s say you’re very lucky as you’re close to the ocean (laughs). In Lyon, we are locked in by pollution. There’s a couple of rivers that cross the city: completely polluted… I think it’s very good here. I’ve enjoyed a lot visiting Villa because of the amazing landscape, very green. I think you’re lucky having a Social Centre where you can have activities. Because it’s not easy to get a Centre like that… Sometimes we’re out of luck: we would have liked meeting more people but what can we do? I think someday, maybe tonight, we’ll meet more people…

Ivan: As for the DIY scene: I think that in Spain the people are more into all the DIY bands and stuff. They follow that type of music more than in France. In France it’s a very small minority. Also, I believe there are less differences regarding landscapes and cities between what we have in France and what you have here. There’s more architectural differences. I think the towns in Spain are cleaner. It’s like in the big cities in Europe: there’s less differences…

André (JP translates): Lyon is a very bourgeois and right-wing town, and because of that it’s difficult to get a place, a Social Centre or something like that, because the municipality gives less cultural funding and all that; especially because of the mayor we have, a right-wing guy that always falls asleep… (laughs) …and well, there’s a difference there too, no? It’s difficult you see… For example: here in the weekend it’s a total party; on a normal weekend you can find bands playing live on the streets each 15 metres or so. That doesn’t happen in Lyon or in France, because that kind of culture is excluded in the minds of the French people. To them noise is just a very bad thing and all that makes them feel disturbed in their way of life. Culture is limited to opera, for the rich, and what else, all those kind of superficial things. Dance, and all that…

Ivan: There’s more popular movement here in Spain…

JP: Much more popular movement here…

Uge: So, knowing that, would you like to live here rather than in France?

JP: Euh…I’ld like to, live here, yes (laughs)… But…well, I’ve a family, so I can’t come here touring all the time, going around… going around (laughs)… No, I think there are many things that would make me want to live in this country.

André (JP translates): He prefers living in France because over there he can eat rice with tomato-sauce (big laughter).

Ivan: For me it doesn’t matter. I think there’s really no difference but I’d rather live in France because it’s the place where I was born… Kind of sentimental approach…

Steph: The same as Ivan and André. I prefer France because my family, my friends are there and I know more how things work in France. Maybe it would be great to stay here for 2 weeks but then…

JP: He wanted to refer to an expression in French, which is used when you miss your country.

Uge: Ah, yes, homesickness.

André (JP translates): (laughs) He says that in France there are also people with good ideas, positive ideas. What happens is that sometimes they’re more reserved people. It’s the little differences… There are things to do, many things to do and perhaps France is not so negative after all…

Uge: Do you see a difference between people’s behavior here and over there?

JP: Yes, (laughs), a big difference. Here people are more, more, euh…

Uge: Open…?

JP: More open but at the same time they’re so open that…

Uge: Do they intimidate?

JP: Yes, they make you… You don’t know if the people truely appreciate you or not, because they’re talking happily all the time… I don’t know… (laughs) To Ivan everything is the same, he says, people are the same because it’s Europe, because Europe is getting levelled out, but it’s true that there are very different characters in each European country; in Germany it’s completely different than in France. In France we think we’re more Latin than in Germany. Because Germans, well, they’re completely cold and…reserved and…they don’t scream, they don’t communicate in a loud voice…unless they’re drunk (laughs)… The same difference could be true between France and Spain. French people think that Spanish people are crazier, more party-freaks. And there’s a big difference regarding the standard of living. Here everything happens later in the day…since you wake up at a different time. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, it’s a… How d’you say that? …In France you eat lunch at noon, here lunch is at 3 in the afternoon; people go to bed here at 10 at night and at 7 over there (laughs). So, there are many differences between people’s habits and character.

Uge: JP, you’re 34 years old, you have a son, how old is he?

JP: Four years old.

Uge: …Four years old. You’re older than most of people in HardCore scene and DIY-movement. How do you look at this movement at your age? Are you starting to get tired, do you hold on to your beliefs? How do you see things at your age? Because I’m 11 years younger than you and I want to know what someone older than me thinks…

JP: Well, I break the rule a little as I said yesterday… People in this movement are very young but there are a few people of my age. It’s just to…confirm that one can have a libertarian mindset. What do I know?… Staying true to DIY all your life, no? For example: my son sometimes attends gigs, with earplugs (laughs) and he skates in front of the scene. I think that’s very good for him, as he learns many things. It’s not that I go too far with him. Because he’s a little kid and well… I’m not going to take him on tour everywhere. I’ve seen… I remember the ‘M.D.C.’ singer on tour in Europe once and he brought his son [actually the drummer’s son] that was six years old at that time. He ran everywhere. I believe that one has to stay young, nothing more. Having a young spirit, to be able to resist and to continue in this scene, because there are people that get bored and leave it… But, anyway it’s my way of being, I like this, I like the music I make and because of that I’m here.

Uge: What are your ages and how do you usually live/survive…

Steph: I’m 25 and I live… I’ve got an apartment since the 1st of September… (laughs) It’s really really recent. And before that I used to live half in my mother’s house, half in my girlfriend’s house. And now I live in my own house.

André (JP translates): 25 years old or 26? He’s already 26 years old (laughs). He lives with his mother, sometimes he lives at his friend’s place, but all his stuff is at his mother’s house.

Ivan: I’m 25 years old and I live in a squat because the cost of the rent. It’s easier to get your own independence… That’s all. I keep doing drawings and that stuff all the time.

Uge: Even if you’re living alone or with your parents: what’s your relationship with your family, and what do they think about what you’re doing in ‘CocheBomba’, things like that?

Steph: I don’t know what my father thinks about ‘CocheBomba’ because I haven’t seen him since 2 years, but my mother really doesn’t care, she’s happy that I’m doing something that I like. Other members of the family are mostly going like: “Oh, you play in a band, that´s great!” but nothing more…

JP: Well, I don’t have a family anymore so… Not getting a criticism for what I do… But I’ve the family of my friend and they’re surprised by the fact that I play in a band and travel a lot. To them that’s a little strange. (laughs) But they look at it in a positive way: with no prejudices, no criticism.

André (JP translates): His mother understands it quite well, she’s a tolerant person. His mother’s father was Spanish and he was in the 1936 war, the civil war against Franco. He keeps on being an anarchist – together with his brothers and their mother. They understand quite well. Pseudo-anarchist, he’s not annoyed that it’s an anarchist band, he understands it quite well as he knows what it is to defend one’s ideas…

Iván: My mother doesn’t care about the music. She’s always saying it’s pure, really really annoying noise. She can’t understand it but now she’s a bit more proud because we made some records, so she believes we’re musicians now and things like this (laughs).

Uge: Do you have a serious/affective relationship? What does your partner thinks about HardCore?

Steph: My girlfriend isn’t into HardCore stuff but she’s not the only normal one in my life, you know what I mean? I guess at my work, for example, I meet a lot of people who are not into HardCore and that have different views on things…

JP: My friend is not part of the HardCore scene but she’s interested in it because she reads everything, listens to the music; she endures it. I don’t have any problem at that level; she understands it perfectly. Sometimes she attends gigs with me when she’s able to and not working. She’s very receptive. Even though she’s not part of the scene, she knows it perfectly. And she thinks that some ideas are good.

Iván: Yeah, I believe that there’s also girls that can enjoy this type of music. Like the song of ‘7 Seconds’ that goes “It’s not just boy’s fun.”. I think…even people that listen to HardCore think they’re normal also, it’s a normal thing living in those environments yeah, I think it´s normal…

André (JP translates): As he said before: it was his mother who contributed tranquility and normality (laughs)… She supports what he does but she’s not in the HardCore scene. She has listened to it and listens to metal, she knows much about metal, which is more or less similar… Noisy people…

Uge: You have a son (JP). You’re not vegetarian or vegan. I don’t know about your partner: she isn’t either…?

JP: No, she isn’t but she hates meat.

Uge: She isn’t but she hates meat? Well…I know of marriages and couples not being (or completely) vegetarian – one is vegetarian and the other one isn’t – that have a child and since they know that vegetarian/vegan food is healthier, they want their children to be well raise their kids vegetarian. How do you see this? Do you think there’s any kind of (how could I put it) problem there or do you think that when the child becomes older and reaches the age of reason there will be a confrontation between what it sees outside the home (eating meat is a normal fact) and at home? How do you balance that question?

JP: Well, what happens is that, as Steph said, he wasn’t vegetarian because he didn’t eat…

Uge: …He had problems…

JP: Nutrition-problems, he didn’t eat any food… With my son it’s a bit similar. It’s very difficult to let my son eat vegetables. I don’t know why but he doesn’t like it at all, so it’s very difficult to nourish him, feed him when he refuses much of the food I give him. For example: when he was little, a baby, I prepared mashed vegetables and things like that for him (because at that age they can’t eat meat yet) – in fact I always prepared a vegetables mixture for him, I even gave him lentils when he was one year old. I think this shouldn’t be given to children of that age, no? But since he got 2, it’s impossible to make him eat…things like cereals, beans or that kind of things. Then because it got so difficult to feed him we were obliged to give him meat, because that’s what he likes. Little by little he started enjoying the salad flavor, things like that, a bit, but it’s very difficult. Sometimes I have to stuff food into his mouth because he doesn’t want to eat it. So for the time being I don’t want to oblige him to be vegetarian or not. Maybe later I’ll explain him but he’s very little and he can’t understand the difference yet. I’ll explain him at a later time perhaps… When he develops a more regular nutritional pattern, then perhaps he can become a vegetarian. I don’t think about him becoming a vegan but becoming vegetarian would be good, good for his organism…

Uge: This is also related to your kid. It has always attracted my attention… I’m a person that tends to think much about the future. What will happen when I have a child ( in case I’ll have a child), etc. There’s always this doubt: I know the actual education-system could provide the child some good things (learning to write, read, things that are very necessary) but also some very bad things are taught. Having the responsibility of being a father – which you are: do you think you’ll send your kid to school or schooling it at home? How would you avoid the brainwashing of the education-system…? That’s a question that keeps me on edge because I wouldn’t know what to do: sending it to school, try to find an alternative school, homeschooling…? More than anything to not get it brainwashed, get shit that you won’t be able to get out of its head…

JP: Well, he is already attending school, even though he’s so little: he’s attending his third year of pre-school…

Uge: kindergarten?

JP: Yes… I don’t know, so then you start realising about all the influences the education-system can have on him, on his way of thinking. I know there are things that are very negative. I, myself, teach him Spanish – speaking, writing, he’s starting to learn. To me, the way you put this question, it’s also something that is going through my mind. I think I’ll send him to school but…finding an alternative school or a left-winged school (What do I know.), something that is different; that’s very difficult to find it in France. There aren’t any of them practically. It’s very difficult to find a place like that that is close to your place of residence anyway. There are very few anarchist or libertarian schools; it’s difficult to educate your child if you haven’t got a lot of resources so you’re forced to send it to an ‘average’ school. But of course you always… Communication with your child is the most important thing: it learns from everything in your life, all that you provide it, as a person… So I think it couldn’t be a problem then? C’mon, let’s see what will happen until when he’s 10. I think that… His mother and me, we pay him a lot of attention to give him a good education, at least at home.

Uge: Do you have a television at your house?

JP: Yes.

Uge: Do you allow him total freedom to watch whatever he wants to; is there something that you think is not good for him to watch? What do you think about all these new cartoons or TV-series for kids that show so much violence, do you think is prejudice? Do you consider what things to ‘censor’? Or what things could be harmful to him; so that you prevent him watching them or do you allow him total freedom so he can choose? How do you do it?

JP: Well, it’s difficult because he’s already having a very easy access to TV. He wakes up and searches for cartoons on TV. But well…it’s true that there are many very violent cartoons but I can’t prevent him watching that because his friends also watch them. And then I’ld be entering into… I’ld be interrupting something and later he’ll think it’s rebellious to do it and that’s not good. So I allow him the freedom to watch what he wants. Of course on his own level. No, we don’t censor or something like that, but not having a TV would be better because the kid grows up in a more healthy environment. All that is TV-related is false, no? It’s very difficult to make him understand that as a child you believe myths but only realise this when you grow up, but while it happens, you can’t censor the kid because you screw it up, you frustrate it by doing so, no? So you have to allow it a certain freedom with his own interests. Because that, perhaps, can help him get an appetite for something, other things, but really it’s true that TV is negative from A to Z. But it’s important to watch everything to be able to make a…judgment later. On his own…

Uge: What are the drugs (legal or illegal) that you take and what others you don’t take, you never take? Why?

Steph: Uhmm… I use hash and marihuana. Some coffee (laughs)… (Uge: Yeah, that´s a legal drug.) I don’t use hard-drugs nor alcohol, I don’t drink alcohol, sometimes a white wine (laughs) but without exaggerating… Why I do/don’t take these drugs? As for tobacco, I guess it’s about habits I got when I was younger and I can’t stop it because I’m an addict. But hash…I like the effects; it relaxes me, it makes me think about good or bad things. But I try not to be too dependent on drugs since I try to stay in charge of my conscience…

André (JP translates): He doesn’t consume any illegal drugs – not hash, not cannabis or anything like that, not hard drugs. He has never tried them in his life. He drinks alcohol but…without abusing it. He’s not a drunk (laughs).

Ivan: I take them for the experience, all types of drugs, yeah, legal or illegal. I like to drink, I like to smoke every day, every hour. Illegal drugs, yeah, I like to take as much as I can. It’s more for the experience, not for… Just to try different chemical drugs like heroin, cocaine or speed or hash or stuff like that.

Uge: Is there some drugs you would never take?

Ivan: Acid or drugs like XTC, stuff like that. Heroin is OK but just some times. I don’t consider myself like a drug-addict since I like to take drugs because of their effects on the mind, for the experience, but I’m not really an addict. I’m mostly addicted to tobacco but not hard drugs…

JP: I’m an alcoholic, permanent cannabis-addict, but… Well, apart from the fact that that I know cocaine quite well and the coca-paste (I come from Peru)… I don’t consume that drug in France because firstly they’re very bad, they´re diluted or… Drug-trafficking is bullshit… Well, I had a friend that is in prison now and that has stopped me from consuming that kind of drug. I’ve never tried heroin in my entire life either. I think I’ve done well. And if not, well, I’ve been used to smoking hash every day, or marihuana, since I was 13, and until now I haven’t stopped one single day (only when there’s a shortage). It’s not like without it my head would explode or I would sit around the whole day like an idiot. Or at least I try it (laughs) and, but, alcohol is the same … I like drinking alcohol every day but I don’t think I’m a negative alcoholic. Only an alcoholic that lives a regular life (big laughter). I’ve never tried drugs like XTC in my entire life either but I’ve tried tabs, and even I took a tab before a gig and… I think it gives a bad vibe. Very bad so I haven’t used acid in a long time… Little by little you realise there are certain things that damage your organism and the best thing to do is to avoid them. The same goes for cocaine too, and all these kind of similar things. Because of that I prefer to stay with my everyday habit of hash and alcohol, and well, legal drugs such as coffee or tobacco… I smoke few cigarettes at night to get relaxed before sleeping; cigarettes make me sleepy Other people stay awake because of them but they make me sleepy… As for coffee or… Since I’m in Europe I got used to drink quite a lot of coffee but, no, I’m not a coffee-addict. I’m not going to die if I don’t drink a coffee.

Uge: What do you think about junkies?

JP: Sad, it’s very sad… He knows much more about this subject…

Ivan: They’re fooled by the system; they’re dependent on a product and after they tried it they only live to take more and more drugs; I think it’s very sad…like wasting their lives…

JP: Junkies in Spain are very common, no? Everywhere… I go there have always been junkies, especially in this environment… There are people who take advantage of the HardCore-scene and squats to stay there, sell drugs; I mean consume them, and that’s very negative because it destroys things that are being constructed. Because if there are squats, they should be used for positive things and not just so people can come settle in and turn the place into a kind of New York house where they smoke crack or stuff like that. It’s very tough the junkies here…in Spain. They destroy their own lives and everything around them.

Uge: Have you thought about possible solutions regarding this? For these people? How to avoid things being destroyed by them or something like that?

JP: I don’t know if there’s a way to help these people. There are people that try to help them and give them syringes (laughs) or drug-substitutes. In the end that’s even worse because they’re already mentally in an complete imbalance. Physically, everything… I think the best way to help them…I don’t know… It’s really their strength of will that can save them. It’s very difficult to play the role of a doctor and try to save somebody when this person has already decided differently.

Ivan: I think it’s really difficult. You just can’t save junkies because they’re in the situation they wanted to be. They wanted to take drugs and…they wanted… They only can help themselves… their own will-power.

André (JP translates): It’s a situation that you really need to live, to be able to know about it. When they tell you about it it’s not the same anger you feel than when it actually happens to you. Then this… I don’t know, I don’t know what we can say to that person…

Uge: Do you think the violence towards junkies sometimes…

JP: Is necessary?

Uge: Or it is justified?

JP: I don’t think it’s necessary to be physically violent. I just think about catching him to get my money back; knowing who it is and just get him/her to agree to pay back the money or something similar. Sometimes you’ll never meet the guy/girl anymore in your life but the anger will stay. But if you’re lucky to know who it is and if you make the people close to this person/junkie to take responsibility, well you could finally do the right thing. But no, I don’t see that in a violent way, nothing would be won… Because maybe it would create bigger problems for the junkie, towards society and then it would be even worse, I think…

Uge: You’ve been together as a band for 4 years, almost 5 years. As far as I know (besides the tape) you’ve only released the split with ‘Enola Gay’ [7”; Bad Card recs, 1995] and Viva La Derelicción [recorded with André, Cécile, Ivan, J.P. & Steph; out on Bad Card recs, 1996]… That is to say a split-LP and a 7” EP: relatively not a lot of recorded material for almost 5 years. There are other bands which have been together for less time that have released many records… Why is that? Do you prefer quality over quantity? Didn’t you have the chance to release more stuff? Also tell me about the whole bunch of projects you’re going to release…

JP: What has happened is that we’ve had a certain delay releasing stuff due to musicians that left the band and so… Then we were never ready at a certain time. And when we were ready with our more stable line-up including Gork and Cristophe – six members, ‘Enola Gay’ offered us to release the split-LP; so that’s why we started releasing records since then. And nowadays we almost release one record every year. I think it’s not about releasing thousands of records – like ‘Spazz’ or ‘Agathocles’, the most popular bands (laughs). It has almost turned into a kind of musical magazine, every 15 days you can listen to a new ‘Spazz’ or new ‘Agathocles’ record. I don’t know if they really have much to say or in the end they’ll say anything to say something and release records, and have an excuse to make records. That’s not the way we see things. Just making a record for the songs on it… It’s not, like you said, the quality, the quantity, it only depends on our chances. We’re not industrial production-machines. We work according to our feelings and make things based on the feeling, nothing more. Our projects: well, since of course the monicker ‘CocheBomba’ is getting more and more well-known, the opportunities to make records come up. We now have offers for a compilation-EP on Christophe Mora’s Stonehenge recs (he released the ‘E-150’/’Ivich’ split-EP) and from Jeff of Six Weeks recs, for a compilation-LP with European bands. I also told you about a split with ‘Hellnation’ but we’re starting to get into trouble because we’ll have to make new songs – we have already recorded a 10” EP [with André, Ivan, J.P. & Steph] and it’s going to be released very soon (ed.: on Bad Card records [Poco O Nada – Just Another European Bullshit; 1997]) – so as for the ‘Hellnation’ split we’ll have depleted our repertoire… Sometimes there are songs we don’t play anymore because we don’t like them as much as we used to or music-wise the songs have lost the feeling they had. We prefer doing other things.

Uge: What does ‘derelicción’ mean?

JP: Don’t you have a dictionary? It means the same as in French.

Uge: But it’s not in the Spanish dictionary. What does it mean?

JP: It means when nothing has sense, that everything… Nobody is interested in something, everything goes…

Ivan: …When nobody cares.

JP: That is what it means… It is the guy who appears on the EP cover. We kind of see the ‘derelicción’ as no-one caring about nobody or everything going to shit. Something like that. The do-it-yourself if you don’t do it by yourself, then it goes to shit.

Ivan: ‘Derelicción’ is like a philosophical term which is linked to decadence, spiritual decadence, things like that…

Uge: OK, tell me about a book and a movie you like a lot; your favorite ones…

Ivan: Movie: Possession [1981; with Isabelle Adjani & Sam Neill] by Andrzej Żuławski. Comic: since I was a child and still my favorite, Ranx Xerox by Liberatore. Book: umpf, there are so many… I read many books but I don’t think I have a favorite one… It should be something like a novel on sociology, stuff like that…

JP: My favorite book is Las Venas Abiertas De América Latina (Open Veins Of Latin-America) by Eduardo Galeano. Film? I don´t know… There’s such a big evolution in cinema that… To mention just one film, I really dont know, but let’s say…Brian De Palma and not mention a particular one… Or Taxi Driver, or Mean Streets [both directed by Martin Scorsese].

Uge: Didn’t he direct Scarface? [Brian De Palma]

JP: Well…Mean streets is by Scorsese… The comic I choose is the same as Ivan: Ranx Xerox by Liberatore, an Italian author. It´s really, really good.

Uge: What’s the comic about?

JP: The future, with punx, destroyed people, junkies. The main character is brutal, when you see him it´s amazing…

Steph: The seventh volume of Dune [science-fiction] by Frank Herbert (ed. I didn’t understand the name too clear and I’m too fucking lazy to go to the library and check it out… Well, do it yourselves!). Movie? Ah, hard to say…

Uge: Dune? (laughter)

Steph: No, the movie isn’t very good… Perhaps Brian De Palma’s: Scarface. I like that very much. And as for comix…I don’t read too much of them…

JP: (laughter) After Ranx Xerox I’ve been impressed by Jesulín (ed. Famous Spanish bullfighter) (laughter)

André (JP translates): A French movie that is called Buffet Froid by Bertrand Blier: it’s a comedy about modern cities, about the future, completely insane people and people that are murderers and so… A book about a society that gets devastated, that disappears. There’s no more infrastructure, no more industralisation, everything is ruined. Devastating. Everything gets obliterated and nothing is left. People are forced to go back to the caveman-times (laughter)…

Uge: Did you get any trouble with the band name? Did someone ever think that you were in favor of terrorism or something like that? What do you think about ETA terrorism – you visit Euskadi quite often and you know, more or less, how things are over there? What do you think about your band name applied to reality, bomb-cars and all that?

JP: Well, we’ve never had, fortunately, any problems due to the band-name up to now. In France…people…even people from hardcore-scene don’t know what it means (laughter). Sometimes they ask or don’t, they’re not interested in knowing about the translation… As for ETA… pro-ETA, why? No, I don’t agree with the violence of this independence movement… It’s good to want to be independent, but not like this… I don’t know, using violence and all for, what do I know… I think nothing is gonna change if Euskadi turns into an independent state or not, I don’t know if they’re going to be more happy or less happy. I think it will be the same… But all the repression that exists as a reaction to this, that is the serious thing. This is done on purpose just to have people destroying themselves a bit. Josu told me there were people behaving like fascists – acting like freedom-fighters, they put on masks and beat up anybody they don’t like on the streets and things like that… Being a freedom-fighter and showing it this way, I think that’s close to fascism and very bad. I’ve read an article about the Basque Country written by a boy from French Basque Country and he said that maybe if the Franco dictatorship wouldn’t have existed, maybe Euskadi would have been…more normal. That is, this quest for independece wouldn’t have arisen in such a radical way. This argument has just helped to contribute to make war.

Fidel (just appearing): Basque nationalism always was right-winged and in the 60s the youth-branch of PNV (Nationalist Basque Party) split from PNV because they saw the PNV had a very…very ‘soft’ direction so they split and this was when they created ETA. It was from that moment on that ETA was born…

Uge: Which French hardcore bands would you recommend to Spanish people?

JP: ‘Scraps’, ‘Heimat-Los’, the first bands playing power-violence music (laughter)… And nowadays ‘Undone’ (but I think they don’t play live anymore)… ‘Öpstand’ (laughter). They’re a new band, powerful… A band we’ve recently played with and that felt like a slap in the face to us is ‘Plum’ (meaning “stinks of shit”): they play a mix of French hardcore and witchcraft or… It’s brutal; a very good band and the people in the band are…crazy, unhinged (laughter) but serious with plenty of ideas…

Uge: And any band from Spain you’ve played with…that caught your attention? Any band you didn’t know and you didn’t expect to that good?

JP: ‘Uprising’ and ‘E-150’ are the best we’ve Heard until now, aarrgghh!!! And ‘Protesta Animal’…

Uge: Last question!!! Your favourite phrase/word in Spanish…?

Iván: “Chaval!” (laughter)

Steph: “Chaval” and “Vale” (laughter)

JP: For me it’s “¡Venga!” “¡Cállate!” (laughter)… His mother says that “cállate niño mierda” (ed. Shut up shitty kid)… “Monomierda” (ed. shit monkey)… Greetings to everybody and I hope to get some letters, so we can explain better to the people who didn’t know what happened last year, so all will rest easy this way.

Jean-Pierre Davila: 46 rue Burdeau; 69001 Lyon, France

‘CocheBomba’ in Gijon, 1997

 

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Angelic Upstarts (Through The Looking Glass #2)

Editor of this zine was Alice ‘Uncool’ Lagnado, sister of UK Resist’s founder Jake. She also contributed to that… No idea how I got this but perhaps someone of the UK Resist crew send it over? Alice resided in Isleworth (west of London); nowadays she lives in Russia, where she used to work as a journalist and news-correspondent; nowadays as a translator. I have no idea how many issues she did but this one has also interviews with ‘Sofa Head’ & ‘Less Than Zero’ (Scotland), poetry, reviews and pieces about pornography, male domination of the scene & diets.

‘Angelic Upstarts’ was tagged as an anti-fascist punk band. Supposedly “one of the most politically charged and thought-provoking bands” and supporting a socialist working class philosophy. They had a bunch of catchy songs but were actually signed to major labels (Warner Bros, EMI) from early on. (Not punk in my book.) Their vocalist ‘Mensi’ (Thomas/Tommy Mensforth) is a bit of a controversial person… Dickie Hammond (‘H.D.Q.’, ‘Leatherface’) played in the band (somewhere in the second half of the noughties) but we can’t ask him (R.I.P.). Alice poses a bunch of indepth/provocative questions (about feminism, the music-biz, politics, Oi!, etc.) in this interview from 1989.

Brob

It was a bit scary interviewing the ‘Upstarts’. I was only a kid; 16 or 17 (born Sep 1972)… I always liked writing; when I was a child I wrote newsletters all about my family and sent it to family-members. Later I became a professional journalist. And now I translate, which is also a kind of writing, and am writing a novel. So: I love words and I love interviewing… I think I only did 2 issues though.

Alice

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

Pansy Division (Initonit #10)

This zine was suggested/sent by Duncan Mckinlay (from Abderdeen, Scotland). I’d never heard of it so I asked the editor to tell me a bit about it…

Brob

I begun with my zine in about 1990 and it ran for around 20 years – started out as mainly music but turned into mainly rants with a couple of band-interviews. I ended it with a split-issue called Initonit Reborn. There were around 25 or 26 issues and I still have a blog that is zine-related and I still contribute columns to Lights Go Out fanzine. There’s a Facebook group too called Initonit Punk Zine – the main pic is the cover of the last issue.

Paul Initonit, Spalding/Peterborough, UK

Pansy Division‘ (from San Francisco) was probably the first openly gay rock band featuring predominantly gay musicians – Jon Ginoli (guitar), Chris Freeman (bass), Jay Puget (drums; later Luis Illades), Patrick Goodwin (guitar; later Joel Reader). Their music was dubbed queercore. They played “a mix of pop-punk & power-pop” and “focused on LGBT issues, sex and relationships, often presented in a humorous light”.

Posted in 1999, UK zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

5Les (I And I And Me #2)

In the heydays of De Finkel, a youth-centre and HC/punk venue in Jette (Bruxel, Belgium), scenester Patrick ‘Kockie’ De Kock (vocals), Dirk Jans (drums; also still in ‘Deviant Gedrag’ at that time) and Onno Hesselink (guitar; Peace Or Annihilation zine) got together with Filip ‘Boule’ Burgelman (bass; school-buddy of Onno & volunteer at De Finkel) and rehearsed there under the name ‘Hyperactive Children’. They soon noticed ‘Kockie’ was “good at a lot of things, except singing”…

Dirk, Filip & Onno teamed up with Chris(tophe) Dexters (vocals) and that became For ‘Indecency’. Izzy (‘Deviant Gedrag’ guitarist) also played for ‘Indecency’ a little while… These did shows during the second half of ’87 and beginning of ’88; 2 of them were for Smurfpunx: 87-07-05 & 87-12-12. ‘Indecency’ never recorded anything.

At a certain timepoint Chris Dexters didn’t feel like singing anymore (a bit before their first recordings; these would be released as ‘5Les’) – even though he kept writing lyrics – and for a moment they considered of going instrumental but it turned out that Dirk was a good singer… So ‘5Les’ came into existence (Dirk, Filip & Onno) and later Fons Ceuppens joined (vocals; ex ‘Anguish’ & ex ‘Taartje Aardbei’ bassist). In the beginning Chris was still mentioned as lyricist. They did 3 ‘official’ releases (on Werner Excelmans’ label Hageland recs): 100.000 Eyes (7”, recorded 88-03-28 with Dirk doin’ vocals), Two Fisted Politics (7” released in ‘88, with Fons singing) and Wild Daze (miniLP, recorded Dec. ‘88 & presented @ Democrazy in Gent on 89-06-30). The band mentioned they were inspired by the somewhat softer Wasinghton DC HC-bands à la ‘Scream’. Some used the term emo-core or even jazz-core… Later (when ‘Boule’ had quit, shortly after followed by Fons), Onno & Dirk recorded a last demo (92-03) with Koen on bass & Kristof singing.

‘Boule’ – Fons – Dirk – Onno

This interview was done at a show @ ‘Jagersborg’ in Maasmechelen (Belgian Limburg) on 89-11-19 (where ‘5Les’ played with the Welsh ‘CowboyKillers’ and the Ducth ‘Swampsurfers’ – from Dutch Limburg; also a band on Hageland recs). The editor (Maurice Kamps from Sittard, The Netherlands) was a correspondent of mine and I believe I helped distribute the zine. If my memory serves me right he did 2 issues. #1 (entitled I And Me) contained a lengthy exploration of ‘Lärm’, a piece on Clause 28 (British law regarding homosexuality), reviews (vinyl/zines/film), and interviews with ‘Instigators’ & ‘Swampsurfers’. #2 gave attention to Marcel Ruijters (Dutch cartoonist), ‘Fugazi’ and ‘5Les’; and had odd bits (e.g. animal-experiments) plus reviews (gigs/vinyl/zines/film)…

[Translation below]

The people playing in ‘5Les’ come from various bands: ‘Deviant Gedrag’ (Dirk – drums), ‘Anguish’ (Fons – now singing, bass) and ‘Indecency’ (Onno – guitar & Chris – now lyrics and then singing), but let me get started with the interview, otherwise I will summarise its content in one sentence. Due to the lack of questions in this interview, Han [van der Gouw, ‘Swampsurfers’ drummer] has interviewed ‘5Les’ on another occasion but afterwards it turned out there was only background-noise on the tape.

Situation 1: Han & I [Maurice Kamps] interview Fons, ‘5Les’ singer, backstage at the venue Jagersborg (that name !?) where they play together with the ‘Swampsurfers’ [Dutch HC band] and the currently sound-checking ‘CowboyKillers’ [from Wales].

(M) How did the band evolve, by playing together?

(F) Yes, just play together a lot, do other things.

(M) You never took any lessons or so?

(F) No, well, I think Onno took lessons classical guitar.

(M) Do you know anything else? You guys still play Space For Hire, an ‘Indecency’ song. Do you play more songs from previous bands?

(F) There are still a few songs that are actually ‘Indecency’ songs but we’ve changed them. Space For Hire was originally something different; we changed the vocals and some other things.

(M) I’m not entirely sure but in my opinion you already changed your songs from your last EP?

(F) Yes, there are 2 songs we don’t play anymore and also songs we have changed since we got a second guitarist.

(Then one of the ‘CowboyKillers’ asks Han something about his bass-drum.)

(M) You wrote on the EP “And we don’t care at all whether or not the VPRO [Ducth TV broadcast] gives us airplay or not.”?

(F) That was a joke by Onno, but it was the intention that our music got played by the VPRO…

(M) Are you still going to get work together with ‘Political Asylum’?

(F) We toured together with them last year but we haven’t heard anything from them. I think they split up.

(M) Split up? I happened to meet Ramsey [Kanaan, ‘Political Asylum’ vocalist] in Amsterdam at the Europe Against The Current festival and he said they were doing a new LP, it was already recorded and it would be a benefit for Ecomedia.

(F) With the same people? Because the bassist was emigrating to Canada…and the guitarist lived in Rotterdam for a while.

(M) You deliberately chose to play autonomous youth-centres and squats with ‘Political Asylum’, but on the other hand I think that you’re also trying to reach a bigger audience?

(F) Yes, it’s always more fun to play for many people, to be known; in the beginning you don’t care that much but later it’s more fun.

(M) But in my opinion you can really reach a big audience that way?

(F) No.

(M) Isn’t that also the intention?

(F) No, just get as many people as possible into the music.

(H) How far would you take that? When I look at our country: Rough Trade (distribution) is pricing the LP for fl. 16.50 [a DIY distro usually sold an LP by a HC/punk band at fl. 12.50 at that time], just like that…

(F) As long as you have things in your own hands everything is OK but if you start denying your own… (incomprehensible because the ‘CowboyKillers’). Principles change of course but you have to try and keep everything under control.

(H) But suppose, for example, Enigma [commercial record-label] comes up to you and tells you just to do a record and pay for it, OK. But you know that the record is gonna end up in the stores for 25 guilders [double of what was usually payed for a HC/punk record at that time].

(F) Record companies: I don’t really feel attracted to them; we would rather record something ourselves and release it and keep control, keep the price low and make records the way we like. When you sign for a record-label, they’ll go “You have to play that kind of music and that’s the way it should be and that we don’t want.”.

(H) But then it’s not about reaching a wider audience because you can only readh that by seeing things big.

(F) No, but with a wider audience I do mean not playing at big festivals. (The ‘CowboyKillers’ start to play and the lights go out.) Shit! Haha, do you got a light? (Fons takes his cigarette-lighter but the lights stay out, the tape-recorder goes out.)

Situation 2: The tape-recorder is on top of the car of someone of ‘5Les’ (according to Han) and the interview continues…

(H) Let’s have a look, shit, I’ve lost track completely.

(F) Where were we?

(H) How does Belgium respond to your band?

(F) Pretty quiet, usually. It’s something unusual for most people, they don’t know excatly how to react. They find it a bit too complicated sometimes.

(M) Don’t you ever get any reactions like it’s too soft or too slow? (At that moment, the driver of the car where the recorder sits on, arrives and says she wants to leave…)

Situation 3: The ‘Swampsurfers’ bus has been chosen as new location. Present are now: Paolo [Melis] & Vital [Gerets] [editors of the Belgian zine Rednecks Not Allowed] and Joop.

(M) Are you satisfied with the LP? (Fons told me before they believed it was sounding too flat.)?

(F) No, not really.

(H) You guys live quite some distance apart, how are you working that out?

(F) By car.

(H) How often do you practice?

(F) Normally once a week and when we have gigs twice; we have a small space in the back at our drummer’s house, where we have everything set up.

(M) Let’s just leave it there, it’s not really a lot.

(F) Yes, we have to do that again some time.

Posted in 1989, Dutch zines | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Crass (Religieus Bloedblad #9)

This interview with ‘Crass’ (no introduction necessary) dates from August ’83. It appeared in Religieus Bloedblad (a portmanteau-word for religious massacre), a fanzine done by Michel Vanderhaeghen & Peter Beaufays, guitarist and vocalist of the band ‘Krank‘ (from Turnhout). They did 9 issues in the period 1982-83. Peter found this in his archives and donated it. I’ve never seen any of the issues myself: in that period I was doing civil (instead of military) service and was pretty much stuck in my hometown because of the meagre fee that paid…

Around that time Michel also did a comic-strip inspired by a song of the Belgian cold-wave band ‘De Brassers’ (“revellers”)…

Brob

cover of Religieus Bloedblad #9 (courtesy of Steven ‘Stel’ R.)

No idea why Michel and myself started our zine Religieus Bloedblad. Probably because of an overall agitation and an urge to shout out loud about everything we didn’t like. And to ‘score chicks’ of course. 😉 We had a print-run of about 200 copies (bimonthly, if I’m not mistaken). We did interviews with ‘The Ex’, ‘Amsterdamned’, ‘Dead Kennedys’, ‘Dirt’, ‘Special Duties’, ‘Crass’, ‘Moral Demolition’ and more, reports about concerts and demonstrations, LP-reviews, etc. Unfortunately pretty much everything has vanished into the garabage-bin in the past.

Regarding this ‘Crass’ interview: via via we’d obtained the address of their farm in Epping. As a way of spending a ‘cheap holiday in other peoples misery’ ‘Ratje’ [Tony Van Steenbergen, drummer], Roel [De Loore, bassist], Michel, Staf (RIP) & myself found ourselves in a squat in Brixton: a newly built apartment-block, however without electricity and water-supply. With lack of a better alternative we crapped in the bathtub, which was filled with shit up to the edge. Yummie. All in all a pretty marginal situation, and the fact that a few aggressive skinheads were living in the neighbourhood, didn’t improve our peace of mind either. Concerts we attented at that time: ‘The Mob’, ‘The Alternative’, ‘The Virgin Prunes’, ‘Sisters Of Mercy’, etc.

When we got fed up with the chaos of London, we took the subway to Epping, where we hitchhiked direction Dial House. We got a ride from a surprised Eve Libertine in a decrepit little van. We were allowed to set up our tent in the garden of Dial House (the ‘Crass’ farm), rehearsed with ‘Krank’ in their rehearsal-space and were all in all bij quite hosptably welcomed by our heroes in ‘Crass’. Inbetween we commuted back and forth between Brixton and Epping. The last time it was just Michel and myself: after all we had an interview to do. The chat took place at the kitchen-table, we slept in the guest-room and we left in the morning, a stack of buttered sandwiches was waiting for us, together with a farewell-letter. Looking back these little outings to ‘Crass’ left quite a serious impression, and they put me on a new track in my (at that time still) very inconsiderate young life. Thanks for that.

Peter Beaufays

[Translation below]

If there are still certain people who think that ‘Crass’ are pretentious and that they’re out to grab money, they should go and have look themselves how it really is like. ‘Crass’, in my opinion, is one of the few (only) bands that exists since ‘77, and that didn’t give up on their initial ideals, but realized them. As for the money: they’re not rich. When they go on tour, they usually lose money and with money they do make, they help out other bands (Flux [Of Pink Indians], The Mob, …).

83-08-15; Dial House, Epping (UK)

Before the interview started ‘Crass’ told us that the answers are to be considered as not just those of the people that give them but of the entire band. So: the opinion of a person is usually the opinion of the whole band.

R.B .: Is there a lot of tumult in England between ‘Crass’(punx) and other punx?

‘Crass’: We didn’t really notice that. It’s probably the press spreading such rumors. We don’t think there’s much going on it that sense in the streets.

R.B.: And during concerts? Aren’t there always certain people who try to boycott ‘Crass’?

‘Crass’: Yes, but I think that’s also happening at concerts of any other band. There are always people who think they should do something like breaking down the toilets. But it doesn’t happen specifically at ‘Crass’ gigs. It’s usually people who apparently agree with nothing and I don’t know why they’re doing it; it’s probably the easiest thing to do in the world, to act aggressively. They are being stupid.

I don’t think there’s aggression between ‘Crass’(punx) and other punx, a lot depends on the media. The aggression we notice at our concerts is not aimed at us. It’s more of a Friday-night habit to start a riot.

It’s only because people write something in the press that most people hear about it. One creates a certain image in the press and the punx think it is that way; they even go along with that particular idea.

Even because you ask that question you generate a certain idea that in fact doesn’t exist. You have to be very careful with the media. The aggression against us doesn’t really exist among the people. I’ve never heard of street-fighting because of ‘Crass’. (laughter)

R.B.: You are disappointed in punk, we assume?

‘Crass’: Yes, terribly. Probably for reasons that you can think of yourselves. Most punx just drink, are bored, etc. It’s the same here in England and we don’t sympathise with that. I understand why they do it but I don’t accept it; those people are weak. We try to say that it doesn’t have to bet hat way. They can do something with their lives. That’s the difference with certain punx. There are a lot of punx that do something, even if it’s just something that keeps their life together or makes it worthwhile. You don’t see those people in the streets. But there are a lot of people who organise their lives that way. They do fanzines like you do, they have a band, they do all sorts of things. Perhaps they even have a garden where they can work. When we talk about punx, we mean the mass that parades on King’s road and these aren’t really punx. It’s just their clothes, their parade. They have the thought of saying ‘no’ to authority but they do it in a way that doesn’t help them to make progress. They don’t do anything to make a change.

R.B.: Do you sometimes get negative reactions, unfriendly letters…?

‘Crass’: No, we don’t get anything of threatening nature. Once we received 2 letters in which we were called “bastards” and “fuckers”. One letter was from a skinhead in the navy who was with the nazi party. But instead of scolding him, Steve wrote him a very kind letter to ask what was going on and why he reacted that way. And a while later we received a letter from him saying that he hadn’t expected such a response from us and that he was rather happy with it. That’s how we actually noticed that he’s just a friendly guy. We regularly receive letters from him now and that’s also interesting for us because of the fact that he’s in the navy, he went over to the Falklands. We regularly get letters from people in the army. They’re usually people who have signed on at a young age because they were unemployed. But they didn’t want it themselves and now try to get it out, but that doesn’t work out because they signed for a relatively long period. So they’re spending most of their time in an army-prison. There’s an organisation been set up now trying to get them out in a legal way.

R.B.: Have you already had troubles because of your singles about the Falkland war and against Thatcher?

‘Crass’: Yes, but not enough! (laughter)

Sometimes we do things that we think “OK. That’s it, they’re gonna come knocking on my door.”. But it’s strange, they apparently prefer keeping things secret.

R.B.: But we read in a Belgian newspaper that you had to come to court regarding a single about the Falklands.

‘Crass’: No, we haven’t been to court, but we received a letter from the House Of Commons (parliament) and they asked us to stop the single, to get it out of circulation. First, they gave as the reason that the record was obscene and because of the insults against Margaret Thatcher (mother of a 1.000 deaths); afterwards, they it was because of the fact that we had used an illegal radio-programme (recordings) about parliament. But they dropped everything and we haven’t heard anything about it.

For Asylum we got the moral-police at the door. Again because of the record’s obscenity.

I think they’re very careful about making the charges against us public because they would have to answer some difficult questions themselves. But I think that all the things we’ve already done are in police-files and when one day it gets too much, they’ll start digging them all up.

R.B.: Will you do anything more serious in the future then to get at?

‘Crass’: Something worse? (laughter all around, then serious again)

It’s not our intention to get worse. We don’t know if we can reach something that way. We actually say what’s on our minds, nothing but the truth actually. It’s not our intention to shock but to communicate. But the following projects are quite ‘soft’.

Margaret Thatcher has just been re-elected and it’s indeed difficult to express one’s frustrations and anger about that. It’s quite rotten for us that Thatcher has been elected for 5 more years. Everyone in the band was depressed and disappointed for a month. But now we’re going for it again. It’s been since christmas that we’ve played. There’s a concert scheduled in Iceland (September 10th); this gig will bring everything back together and we’ll see what kind of things happen afterwards.

All those things are so frightening; it’s not just Thatcher but also the entire American scene that sends missiles and troops everywhere. It’s terrible and we don’t know what we can do about it. We can’t beat them. Disgusting is also the mentality of certain people. As you may know, we recently released a single from an Irish hit-parade band and on the cover you’ll find information about the use of plastic bullets by the police in Northern Ireland, that already killed several children. And there’s been a review of that single in the N.M.E., and all that man could come up with was that ‘Crass’ supports the I.R.A., that ‘Crass’ supports murderers. He didn’t say anything about the song, nor about the plastic bullets. Then we responded to that man that we were displeased about the review and all he could say was: “Yeah, I thought you would say that.”.

Northern Ireland is a very difficult subject. And the politicians don’t touch it because it would mean the end of their career. There’s only one man who dared to start tackling because he was elected for parliament being a member of the political side of the I.R.A. This is considered outrageous in England because a member of the I.R.A. is now in parliament. It may give positive results.

R.B.: What do you exactly mean with anarchy?

‘Crass’: It’s a very extensive subject but I’ll keep it short. When we use the word chaos, we mean it in the sense of chaos in thoughts. You can doubt yourself in such a way that you create total confusion in yourself. Until you can clear your mind, and then you can start thinking again in the true sense of the word. That’s the anarchy we’ve always talked about. And what results from that, is that we look at each other and build a new world in which we try to avoid fear, and try to achieve confidence and happiness. We make lots of pamphlets in which we explain what anarchy is, or what it means to us, you can translate it and put it in your zine if you want.

We see anarchy as something individual. It must all happen in yourself first; but people wonder what will happen when there is anarchy. Who will take care of hot water, who will repair my TV, etc. But if you want to achieve overall, total anarchy, that’s a process of hundreds of years of cooperation in harmony.

We also believe that anarchy, the way we see it, is not in the future but now. If you want to live like this, you can do it now. It’s here and now in yourself. And you can use the system (society) to do that because if you try to break down society by violence in the streets…forget about it. They can stop you as they like, they have so much more power than you. But you can use the system to overthrow it, you can use and bend their rules and laws, and we’ll go on until they have to give up, because they’ll have to give up some day.

R.B.: Now something about the prices of the records. They are usually more expensive than the ‘pay no more than’ price.

‘Crass’: That depends a bit on the import-taxes. They can be quite high.

It also depends on the store. They can actually ask more in the shop than what it says on the cover. It’s just a suggestion we give. Legally we can’t do anything about it but what we actually do here is ask the addresses of the stores where they’re more expensive and we call those people and say that if they don’t lower the price we won’t supply them any longer. And usually they lower the price then. But if they’re really too expensive, you better buy them somewhere else, otherwise you’ll support someone who makes a relatively high profit.

R.B.: Where do you get the money to keep everything going?

‘Crass’: From the band.

We make a profit on the records that gives us enough to make the next record. We live of 120 pounds a week for 7 adults and 4 children.

But we live a very simple life, we grow our own vegetables here, we don’t have any extravagant habits. The most luxurious thing for us is smoking (Tobacco is terribly expensive in England.). From the money we pay each of the band-members a sum of 500 pounds a year. That’s a lot of money to me, it’s enough for us to get by. And if we save that, we have enough to visit another country some time.

R.B.: In Belgium, people think that you live in a rather luxurious farm and that you are quite rich. But that might have something to do with the punk-industry, if you see all those T-shirts, etc.

‘Crass’: We have nothing to do with that. They’re probably earning more money than us. A big advantage for us is this house. We’ve lived here for a long time and we still pay the original rent, 9 pounds a week, which is very little.

We do have a very strict money-system because we can’t afford to make a lot of expenses. Like this cocnerts in Iceland. Our tickets will be refunded, it’s the first time that happens. But we also still have to pay several things, which we can only just afford, because we don’t get paid for it. We do it to help them.

The rumor that we are rich may be because we’re living in the countryside. For many people today, in England anyway, it’s a dream to live in the countryside. And when punk started in London it was normal to wander around in the city, that people were on the dole and drinking beer.

And also because most people think that a well-known band is always rich, but that’s not the case.

The ‘Cockney Rejects’ once said they thouht we were a bunch of assholes because we’re living in the countryside, and I was recently talking to someone who had the same idea. I explained him how difficult it sometimes is. When you live here you can’t go anywhere. If you want to go out in London you have to leave at 10.30 p.m. and need a lot of money for the subway. And there are no concerts in the neighbourhood.

R.B.: Can you tell us a bit about Dial House? (the ‘Crass’ house)

‘Crass’: Penny and I (Joy de Vivre) started it – 17 years ago – with the intention of creating an open house. Our home, but also a home for other people with whom we could work together and share. It’s actually still the same as it used to be. We thought about it a lot, we had to deal with a lot of mistakes. There were always things being created and disseminated in this house, but until now, the band (‘Crass’) has been the most successful.

In 1977, punk came up, everyone was bored with hard-rock… and I found punk to be very exciting. It was the first time people said that everything was shit. The only thing I didn’t agree with was ‘no future’, which was negative. But the energy of punk was fantastic. We started a paper and the band started to grow. We took everything very literally. When other bands started to yell “fuck off to the system”, we thought they really meant it; but apparently most didn’t. You can’t change anything by working with managers or signing contracts for 5 years and then acting revolutionary. They won’t let you go about that way.

R.B.: You have 4 children here. How do you raise them, with the anarchistic idea in mind?

‘Crass’: The children are all very different. What you’ve experienced in the garden has never happened before (We, ‘Krank’ & Staf, were laying in the garden behind the house and 2 children behaved very aggressively towards us, just because we had spilled some water on the grass, which, according to them, damaged the grass. Eventually one of the boys asked -in an impending way- ‘Rat’ if he thought of himself as being kind, and ‘Rat’ asked him the same but the boy screamed out loud: “I asked you a fucking question, so bloody answer it!”. We took off to prevent further incidents.)

R.B.: It was a miserable experience for us.

‘Crass’: Yeah, it was a disturbing experience, for him too actually, because he realizes what he did. But he can sometimes be very tense for very personal reasons. But…I…don’t know, the children are usually treated as human beings. They are children but also human beings that are intelligent, and they are very demanding. One of the children doesn’t like school at all. And after a week of school he can get very confused and fucked up. So we have to be mild and tolerant, because it is that fucking school that does all of that. He doesn’t even want to be there, in school. But we have no choice. It’s against the law not to send him to school. We have searched for other means to help him but we don’t have that much money. We thought of a private school but then we get reactions like: “You are that kind of people who want to educate their children separate and secluded.”. It’s a big problem.

R.B: Is there no problem that the children will get spoiled. That they think they ‘re allowed to do everything?

‘Crass’: Spoiled? I don’t think so, because… They have a pretty hard life here. They’re confronted with everything here, nothing just passes by with out them noticing. They’re quite open and free. You can imagine that there are a lot of strange people coming and they approached these in an open manner. What happened yesterday was very unusual and I’m sorry that you were the victim, but I think he suffered more because of it than you guys. What we really hope is that they obtain the courage and the power to handle those kind of problems. But they’re more delicate. Things are different with the other 2 children. One has finished school now and she doesn’t really like the way we live here. She has her own idea about a way of life but she’s OK. I don’t fully agree with her but she needs to go her own way. The children feel that they don’t have to live the same way we do. I don’t think they’ll keep hanging around here much longer.

It’s difficult with 4 children, because they go to school. The pressure from the outside is probably bigger and stronger than other children. You know: TV, the latest new toys, etc. They’re being influenced. They’re labeled as ‘strange’ at school because they don’t eat meat, because they live with punx and because they almost don’t watch any TV. The other kids at school talk about the latest TV-movie; do you understand what I mean?

That’s the hardest thing for them. The confrontation between school and their way of living here.

They are very knowledgeable children. They might not talk about it often but every time we make a record or a do a paper, they look at it and read it. And they know more than a thing about the nuclear energy problem e.g. and at school they get all that shit again, and they have to try and deal with that. They’re doing a fairly good job, I think. But a child is a huge responsibility. You don’t know if you are doing things the right way. You can only hope that you treat them in the most open and helpful way possible.

R.B.: OK, that’s it, I believe.

‘Crass’: Yeah? It was good, nice questions.

R.B.: Really? I’ll stop the recorder now …CLICK!

After another cup of tea and some chatting, we went to sleep. (The first time in 10 days on a real bed.) The next morning we had to get up early to get the train to London. Before they took us to the station we got another cup of tea. On the table there was a note addressed to us. It read that it had been a nice encounter and that we could take sandwiches for the travel. When we left, one of the boys waved to us. We waved back…

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Wasserdicht (Pssst #2)

Tea Hvala (the ‘thank you’ girl), from Šebrelje (a village in the moutains, west of Ljubljana, Slovenia), was still a teenager when she sent me the first issue of her zine Pssst… in 1996/97. I wrote this review in Tilt! #9 on the first 2: >>Made by a 16 year old intelligent girl. The first issue is filled with clever columns (about propganda, media-freedom, beauty-myth, …) and thought-provoking bits (thinking about death, work in a smalltown factory, US cultural imperialsim, …). The only weak part is that the grammar isn’t always 100% correct (so we have to guess a few times) and that too much ideas are crammed into the same sentence or paragraph. Nr 2 goes in the same direction but there are some band-interviews (‘Rain Still Falls’, ‘Emily’, ‘Wasserdicht’). These are not the best parts of the zine ’cause Tea isn’t always able to catch her emotions & opinions on paper exactly as she has it in her mind. A lot of the columns contain however brilliant ideas (lack of creativity in established scenes, capitalism & consumption encourage tolerance towards abuse, anti-elitary art for people, contemporary sports restrain the individual, anti-sexism can be sexist, etc.). Great!<<

I can find 5 issues of Pssst in my archives. Nr 3,5 (A6 format, horizontal, with the number 3,5 carved in linocut and hand-printed on a cardboard cover) seems missing. #3 (subtitled ‘The Screaming Issue’) was an amalgam of texts (in English & Slovene) and drawings by various people in an attempt to find answers to the questions of life. Nr 4 was a split with Forkboy (done by Joris Willekens) where Tea’s part continues on the previous path. There’s also interview with the bands ‘Goutte D’Or’ and ‘Prohibition’. #5 (subtitled ‘The Meaning Of Words’) was a collaboration with Frederik Danneels, with contributions from people such as Laura W., Teo Petricevic, Shannon Colebank and more. Tea herself wrote about porn, Ecotopia, etc.

Later Tea studied Comparative Literature, Sociology of Culture and Anthropology of Gender. Nowadays she’s a writer (e.g. essays on feminist activism). She has facilitated workshops in collaborative writing of feminist-queer science fiction, has been co-organising the International Feminist and Queer Festival Rdece Zore (Red Dawns) between 2002-13; has edited books and co-hosts Sektor Z (a monthly feminist radio-show).

Also check out Tea Hvala’s blog… And her article: ‘A Personal History of the Slovene Zine Scene’, published in Vox Feminae in 2015.

Tea’s zinography: Pssst… was between 1997-2000. Afterwards there was Potopis Kože (2001), Slastičarna (KUD Anarhiv & KUD Mreža, 2002), The Curved (2004) Izvajanje Velikega Blatarja (self-published by Damijan Kracina, 2007), Svetovi Drugih / In Other Wor(l)ds zine series (2008-2016), 3 Stories (2010), Togi Nasmehi/Stiff Smiles (2013), Razkorak/Discord (Look Back And Laugh Books, 2015), Podzemlje (self-published by Bata Leviki, 2016)…

‘Wasserdicht’ was the band of another correspondent of mine. Dejan Požegar (who also did Jay-Walk – a label/distro/zine – together with his partner Tina Kraševec; nowadays a professional dancer at the London Contemporary Dance School) was their vocalist. They were from Maribor (Slovenia) and played crust-core. The others in the band were Miha Mehtsun (drums), Marko (guitar) & Robi (bass).

Brob

I wasn’t a member of ‘Wasserdicht’ the whole time so I don’t know the details of the years before or after me. I know that they had a female singer (Petra Kolmančič) in the begining (1992 or so). Then they went on as a trio, until I joined in ’94. We went on for 5 years and released a split-LP with ‘Scuffy Dogs’, split 7” with ‘Konstrukt’ (both on Jay-Walk) and some songs on various compilations. We did a lot of concerts since we where one of the first crust-/fast-core bands in Slovenia. At that time we also did an East-German Tour 96 with ‘Deca Debilane’, ‘Scuffy Dogs’ and ‘AA’ organized by Boco from Extreme Smoke 57 (legendary Slovenian grindcore band). At that time it was hard to do something like that for a Slovenian band: a 14-day tour was hard to get. In 1999 I went on with 2 other bands. I know they stopped for a while and then continued years later with a new bass-player and Marko the guitar-player on vocals. In 2013 they did a reunion-show supporting ‘Extreme Noise Terror’…

The lyrics where political or sociological orientated. Some where in Slovenian and some in English. We were really into the DIY thing back then. We also helped organising shows for other bands form Slovenia or worldwide (e.g. ‘DropDead’, ‘Dystopia’, ‘Defiance’, ‘Los Crudos’, …). It was all about spreading the idea that we can be self-sufficient. Back then it was also possible to do that. The shows where organised in Maribor (my hometown) or Ormož (‘Wasserdicht’ hometown). It wasn’t about money, it was about helping each other out. The result of those things or ideas is still present to this day. Some of us still try to move things and we still cooperate one way or the other. Marko (guitarist) is one of the main organisers of the Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival (the musical support for this festival is still punk, hardcore, …). I still do a band (‘Nakajima’) and organise shows here in Velenje, where I live now. Trying to spread some ideas to the kids of today. I’ve learned so much; all the ideology I gained in the 80s/90s marked me for life. And I am glad that my life went in this direction.

Dejan Požegar

Posted in 1997, Eastern-European zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment