h a chat wit
s n a h n e jor
L A I C E P DIY S
1st issue - may 2009
welcome Dear Reader, Welcome to the first issue of Raged magazine, a magazine who shows you the inside of the punk rock scene, with in this issue a tour report with Antillectual, interviews with FUCKED UP, just came back from there Europe tour; THE BRONX, just finished recording CHUCK RAGAN, reunited HOT WATER MUSIC. Also in this issue a chat with some of my closest friends Joren Hans and Marijn Degenaar, we’ve talked about what’s on their minds and how they came involved with punk rock. And of course there is a DIY special, a beginner’s manual with tips and tricks for those who want to start a record label (Johan Reflections, Peter Bootsman, Phillip Powered) , how to photograph shows (Paco Weekenstro, Koen Tornij, Burkhard Muller – face the show) & how to set up a show (Amsterdam underground Collective). And make sure you don’t forget to read the reviews, new records from amazing bands, to keep your punkrock collection fresh! For more punk rock and subscription visit www.ragedmagazine.com HAVE FUN!
1st issue - may 2009
06 tour report 08 12 marijn degenaar 14 17 22 joren hans 23 28 30 33 diy special 42
on tour with antillectual
a chat with
a chat with
colofon Editor in chief Borush Loman
Art Direction/lay out Borush Loman
Illustrations Joren Hans, Marijn Degenaar
Contribution Erik van den Berg
Yorick Buwalda, Hans Christenhuis, Caroline Spraakman
Peter Bootsman, Pim Said And Done, David, Straight Edge Nico.
Website Borush Loman
Paul Evers, Joren Hans, Marijn Degenaar, Yorick Buwalda, Hans Christenhuis, Caroline Spraakman.
SMOKE OR FIRE (USA) Fat
FAKE PROBLEMS (USA) OMISSION www.myspace.com/fakeproblems
TENEMENT Record Release
RUSH ‘N ATTACK (NL)
VRIJDAG 21 NOVEMBER ENTREE€8,-
flyer design by: Borush appr email@example.com
06 To be honest I admire Propagandhi more for their lyrics and the way they do things, than for their music. Still when the opportunity did arise to interview them on their new album ‘Supporting Caste’ I didn’t hesitate. Bassman Todd Kowalski was kind enough to answer my not that great questions. Why leave Fat and decide upon Smallman? Was it time for something different? So far how do things work out on a ‘smaller’ label well at least from a European perspective? Yeah, we wanted to do something different. We are friends with everyone at Smallman and they are from our hometown of Winnipeg so we thought it would be a good idea. In Europe the record is on Hassle and Hotel Van Cleef which is run, in part, by our Friend Marcus who we’ve known for years and years. He’s a great guy! It all seems to be working out well. Why ship our records all the way across the world and have them sold as imports? Now they are domestic releases. Our friend in china might even be releasing the cd. As punkrock veterans do you keep up with new bands and if so which new and old bands do you like and are an inspiration? I always keep up with a lot of new bands. I really love a lot of metal bands like Cynic, Immolation, Necrophagist, and Krisiun, I like some new punk bands but don’t listen to them too much at home simply because some metal bands are scorching the earth right now! I Love old bands like Born Against, Manliftingbanner, Sticks and Stones, MDC, Voivod, Razor, Crucifucks, man I could list a million of them! I’m still into it all 100%. First you released the news you would stop with the G7 label, now the new record is partly released by it. What happened? Why did you come back on that decision? We flow like the mighty river! We never know which way it will turn. We just figured it would be another good G7 release. Why not? Ha ha. Can you tell me where the song Supporting Caste is about. And if it is about the Indian caste system do you really think a song by a Canadian band will change anything about that?
How do you avoid simply sloganeering punk rock criticism and also do something about the topics you discuss in your songs?
The song is not specifically about the caste system in India although it includes that as well. there are tonnes of unwritten caste systems in every country and between many types of people. The song is really about all the people who through history will never have their story told or acknowledged even though they did profound or powerful things, or perhaps suffered immensely for Kings, generals, saviors, etc.. to have their place of esteem and glory in the history books. the supporting caste is the majority of people working hard and keeping the world afloat.
We avoid sloganeering by playing and writing from the heart. We just say what’s truly on our minds. We don’t try to be part of some made up “revolution” or something. We’re just writing songs about our day to day experiences and things that move us the same as someone writing love songs or something. Our music is fast and heavy, when I hear these sounds it does not move me to write love lyrics in the typical sense. It is truly an outlet for our frustrations in the world. I know every metal band has said that since the dawn of time, but it’s true. it’s hard to live in and accept a world that seems so at odd with what we believe to be fair and just.
You’ve toured the US with Paint It Black recently. things to say about them. How was it to share the stage with a band that everyone sees as the best thing in hardcore since What excatlty has Bill Stevenson done in the studio that a while. How did the tour came made you sound better than on We avoid sloganeering about and did you guys have late previous records? night discussion with Dr.Dan? by playing and writing from the heart. We just say what’s truly I think a lot of people don’t know We live in Canada and don’t read that Jason Livermore at the Blasting on our minds. music magazines or blogs so I was Room is the guy who also does a unaware that they were thought of lot of tracking and almost all the like that by the masses before we went on tour. I can see mixing so he should get a lot of the credit. They are very why they are so highly regarded. They are a great band meticulous with the playing and tuning down there . they and great guys. Dan has great and thoughtful lyrics and work very very hard to make sure everything is on the right always has something to say. I was trying not to talk to track. We were in there for hours. Then they work very, very much on tour to save my voice but I did talk to Dan and hard on the mixing process. Jason was seriously in there he’s a very, very nice and good guy. the tour came about for hours and hours, and hours at a time with no breaks. I by someone suggesting some bands. We checked them couldn’t believe it. I’ve never seen someone work so hard out and liked Paint It Black and thought they’d be good on a record in my whole life. He deserves a shitload of credit to have along. It was a good choice. I have only good for his efforts.
Antillectual is (in my opinion) one of the best dutch punk rock bands at the moment. I was blown away by their energetic and aggrassive performance the first time I saw them three years ago. Since then I started checking them out more often. I played with them a few times in my gascoigne era. Last september Willem (guitar, vocals Antillectual) asked me if I would like to join them on a 10 day tour in the UK. This wasn’t a difficult discision for me and I immediatly said yes. In the next few pages you can read a report from this tour, Have fun! december 12th
Venue: Bedford Park City + country: London, UK
It is just one of those days. Everything goes wrong. The whole world is against you; you’re against the world. That day there’s a battle between you and the tour-gods. You know it’s a losing battle, but you won’t go down without a fight. It is just one of those days. We got up really early and drove off from Nijmegen, Holland. It was a long drive to the tunnel (from the North of France to the UK). We arrived early, got on the train and drove to London. So far, so good. We had all the time in the world when we arrived at the venue, so we had a cup of coffee and decided to go and see Buckingham Palace. We decided
to go there with the van. On a Fridayafternoon. In the centre of London. Worst idea ever, anyone? It took us forever and we ended up not seeing the fucking palace, and driving back to the venue. Everyone was tired and cynical. The show started and we were only playing with local bands. Six of them in total. We played last and there was hardly anyone left. The show wasn’t very good. But the people who were there had a good time. Our friend PJ came out to hang with us, sing with us and drink all of our beer. Edd (from Last Hours) stopped by to say hello as well, and have nice talks about Propagandhi. After the show we loaded in, drove off… and found out we had a flat tire. So there we were, in London at
three o’clock at night, changing a tire in the rain. Keep in mind we got up at six o’clock in the morning. That’s not funny, that’s fucked up. Even in retrospect. Fuck the tour-gods! 13 December
Venue: The Fawcett Inn City + Country: Southsea/Portsmouth, UK
After the best start ever, we needed sleep. We slept ‘till two in the afternoon, which felt actually really good. It was like I was reborn. Goddamnit, three cheers for whoever invented sleep. I think it’ll be pretty big in the future. Before we could get going, we head to buy a new tire. And luckily there was a shop under the place where we slept. So the tour-gods were with us
again… And off we went, to Portsmouth! I heard good stories about the shows there so I was looking forward to the show. Besides, we’ve never been there. And everything was true, the show was amazing. We played with good bands (especially Above Them knocked me of my socks!), El (the promoter) was taking very good care of us with good food and some drinks. The show was quite crowded and everybody was simply having a good time. Alain came out to the show, which was cool. Alain lives in Switzerland and helped us out several times with shows. Unfortunately I’ve never met him in person. It was quite funny to meet up with him on the other side of Europe. We played a good set (I think…), people were standing in front and one guy stole the show with his lovely dance-moves. I believe his name was Kevin. We stayed at Harry’s place where I saw the biggest jar of Marmite ever! I was in heaven! And Harry told me you could buy it pretty much at every supermarket. So I had my mission on tour; get me one of those! 14 December
Venue: The Hobbit City + Country: Southampton, UK
slept in the van that night and it was actually quite okay, not too cold indeed. We had to leave early unfortunately, but the reason was all worth it. We arrived at the house of Rich (the promoter of the all-dayer) and he was making an incredible lunch. Something with mashed potatoes, beans, in the oven, vegetables, drewling dutch kids, hmmm and aaahhh. Rich had an overwhelming record collection, shelves full of
books I’ve always wanted to read, posters of shows with Tragedy he put on… awesomeness! Brito was also joining in for lunch with us. Brito is from Holland as well and on tour, as well. Really nice people. The all-dayer was a real ALL-DAYER. There were over ten bands playing and we were second to last on the bill. I checked quite a few bands that were playing and some I really enjoyed. Especially Brito and Wreck Of Old ’98 were good! What I liked most about the show was the whole atmosphere. People were having a good time; the venue was beautiful with a garden in the back. Plus some kids were doing insane graffiti on the walls. I also spotted some Banksy clones, but just slightly different. I didn’t play the best show of my life because I had some trouble with my sound. The day before water fell over my sansamp-pedal and now it wasn’t doing what it should be doing… but the show was great. I had the idea nobody knew us when we started playing, but really gave us a chance. We also sold quite some books that day. There was one guy who was interested in the whole phenomenon of direct action. He wasn’t an experienced activist at all, and he was wondering why people were so motivated and determined to fight for a bigger cause. We had a long interesting talk. I love interactions like that. It reminds me why we are singing about subjects we care about, why we bring books to punk-shows. We slept at Sam’s house. Sam brought a shoebox full of old zines with him to the show, for free. It was from a friend who wanted to get rid of them. I picked up some old HeartattaCks, always good reading material. I think it’s pretty safe to say Sam and I share the same music interest: old nineties screamo, some good heavy hardcore, some d-beat… His roommates were playing this videogame where they had to shoot nazi’s, with From Ashes Rise blasting out of the speakers. Beautiful.
Venue: Cavern City + Country: Exeter, UK
In the morning I was introduced to Peepshow. Peepshow is an English comedy in the vein of The Office, but different. But the same, but different. It’s about two friends who have shitty jobs and get in awkward situations. Hilarious. I’m not gonna try to explain it, just give it a shot if you’re into English humour. Anyway, after breakfast we hopped in the van to Exeter. Before the tour I also heard good stories about The Cavern, about all these bands that have played there (Face to Face, Converge, the Bouncing souls, A Death In The Family, Leatherface, Fucked Up, The Kaiser Chiefs), I had no idea what to expect. We arrived there and it felt like home. Everybody was hospitable, cool kids running a great venue. The venue was in the middle of the city centre, next to a hipster coffee shop where they served organic coffee and had vegan items. I was already looking forward to some breakfast/ lunch there… I still had to fix my bass-pedal. The sound-guy advised me to put it on an amp that got really hot so the pedal could dry on the inside. I gave it a try and it actually worked. Hooray for the sound-guy! Chris (promoter) and his friends cooked a nice meal for us, and I was wondering if people would show up. It was a Monday-night and those can be tricky… but the place was pretty filled when started playing, so that was great! On top of that, our friend Tom stopped by with his friends. We talked for a long time about his American friend who’s now in jail for protesting against the Republican Party. It’s a ridiculous but sad story, too much to explain. If you’re interested, please read this: http://helpdavemahoney. blogspot.com/ We slept at the house of the promoter; he lived with his parents right outside of Exeter. The house was huge and beautiful, in the middle of the countryside. A typical English scenery with hedges, fog and cold weather.
10 16 December
Venue: Light Lounge City + Country: Basingstoke, UK
Today we had some time to wonder around in Exeter. we stopped by this record store of somebody who was at the show. He was just starting up his own little punk record store. I always love it when people are following their dreams… And I had to stop by the coffee-place next to the venue, just to check out the options. I have to be honest, I was a little disappointed because they only had one vegan sweet dish and it was kind of expensive as well. So only coffee for me… We played in Basingstoke that night. We played with an awesome eighties metal band in the vein of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. They had it all; a skull of a deer with light bulbs in the eyes and a smoke machine. Leather jackets, leather pants, high screams and twin guitar solo’s. Singa-long tunes and clap-a-long parts, inside jokes and headbanger moves. Karrion! Best band we’ve ever played with, definitely! http://www.myspace.com/karrionuk 17 December
Venue: The Cooperage City + Country: Newcastle, UK
Today we had one of the few long drives ahead of us. Today the GPS system failed. We had the right address but GPS send us in some suburban neighbourhood. Luckily Pieter had been to the venue once before. The Cooperage is a beautiful old venue/ pub. It’s built on a hill and it has several storeys. It looks like it’s been built 300 years ago, a venue where you can get lost in. Did I mention it had several floors? Did I mention we were playing on the top floor? Did I mention we have heavy equipment to carry to that top floor? I know, I’m complaining. And it wasn’t that bad at all, especially since a lot of people helped carrying stuff upstairs. But I just like to complain, it’s a thing that I enjoy. So when we were eating our delicious meal (vegan chilli in the oven, with rice and such…), young teenagers were getting ready for their karaoke party. Believe me, it was as weird as it sounds. There were fourteen-year-old kids getting completely wasted, puking over the stairs where I just complained about, and yelling at me in the most hilarious drunken English I’ve ever heard. Quite amusing. The show itself was good. It was cold and there weren’t too many people, but it was good. There was a good intimate atmosphere. After the show the guys from ONSIND came up to me and it appeared we had some mutual friends (Vincent from Kiel). They told me that they kind of miss political
bands, they’re not around much. In a way I agree; sometimes it’s like punk and hardcore is simply filled with bands that sound angry and pissed off. But somehow I miss the point where they are angry about…. Now I’m not saying that every band has to be political (personal subjects can be as angry and pissed off as political subjects) but I always enjoy when bands explain their songs/ music/ motivation. I want to hear bands that are driven. I want to hear bands that sound like they’re going to kill themselves if they don’t play music. Those bands play music because they have to, they must play music. There’s no other option. Okay, now I’m rambling. But you get it, right? Good. To put things in perspective; that night Pieter and I walked to some supermarket to get vegan bacon and coffee (I know, best combination!) and talked about funny films and good films. Those are not one and the same. For example; we agreed “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” is one of the best films ever made in history. But it’s not funny. “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” is a funny film. But not good. And then there’s “Anchorman”. Somehow everybody is all about that film. Pieter loves it too. I saw it and I was not amused. Not at all. Two hours of my life in the trashcan. That night I put on “National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon”. That was funny. But not really. And definitely not good. 18 December
Venue: 1in12 Club City + Country: Bradford, UK
We had breakfast in a vegetarian café, just down the street where we slept. I had a huge hamburger and some good coffee. I don’t think you can start your day better than that. Bradford was next on the list. The 1in12 Club has been a social centre for years and years. I love going to places like that. They had a great venue (again, on the second floor goddamnit!!) a radical library with tons of titles I have on my to-read list. They have a vegan café. It’s incredible. Luke (promoter) cooked us a nice, spicy curry and that night we played with Captain Hotknives. He covered The Clash’s White Riot, but he made White Rice out of it. It was actually quite funny. His other songs were also pretty funny. http://www.myspace.com/ captainhotknives 19 December
Venue: The Cowley Club City + Country: Brighton, UK
We had to get up early because Luke had to go to work early. That was okay since we were going to Brighton! Everybody was excited. Four hours later, we arrived in The Mekka of Vegan Treats and Hipster Kids.
11 We decided to have breakfast/ lunch at the Dumb Waitor. I hadn’t been there before, but according the Pieter it was a good place for breakfast and not very expensive. It turned out to be a good choice indeed. After that we wondered around in Good Ol’ Brighton. I came to the conclusion that there isn’t that much to do when you want to save money. I mean, they have great record stores, good bookstores and nice fashion stores. But I really don’t need that. Even when we passed Vegetarian Shoes I didn’t go inside because there was no use. We passed Red Veg (vegetarian Mc Donald’s, but really good and PC) and I didn’t want to grab a burger since I was still full. So we decided to stop and get back to The Cowley Club, the social centre where we would be playing that night. Ariadne was doing the show and it was very good to see her again. I know her for some years now and we get along really well. She moved to Brighton some time ago so I don’t get to see her very often. That made this show extra special. We couldn’t stop talking, there was so much to catch up that there was hardly enough time. The show itself was nice, but there were not a lot of people. Too bad. The other times we played in The Cowley Club, it was packed. Oh well, better luck next time. This time everybody had gone home for the holidays. Another thing that really struck me. Those English people take their Christmas bloody serious! Everywhere we came I was blinded by Christmas lights, Christmas heads, Christmas this and that… fuck that shit! I mean, one time in
the year we should think of the poor and love our neighbour and blablabla. First of all, fuck that one day! I have a plan; let’s eat each others brains, spit on each others head, fight our neighbours to death for one day. So the rest of the year we can get along. Second; we don’t think of the poor. We stuff ourselves full with fancy food. 20 December
Venue: Le Baron City + Country: Caudry, France
This was going to be the fourth time we played in Caudry. It was definitely one of the best times. This time it was the last show of François (the promoter) and the small pub in the middle of nowhere was packed with tons of kids. Everybody was having a blast. François will take some time off with doing shows because he wants to focus on other projects. He helped us out a lot of times and hopefully we still get to see him every now and then. Our friend Bertrand from Le Havre also came out to the show and it was nice to see him again. We played with Fire At Will (from Toulouse) and they turned out to be really nice guys. Their set was full of energy and that motivated me to play as well! Despite that fact, our set was okay. We’ve had better shows. But I was also pretty tired. I didn’t play the best set ever, but I had a good time.
marijn dege naar a chat with
I met Marijn a year ago when I did a show for his band Padded Cell. later on we’ve hooked up again at Trashfest. Since then we kept contact. in januari this year marijn left the Nederlands for a school project in Australia. Marijn makes the coollest illustrations, some of them you can check out at the next page. On this page you can read a confirsation I had with him in april Hey Marijn, how are you, everything all right down under? hey man, yeah I’m doin pretty good. it’s cool here. I’m having a lot of fun! but I’m also kinda stressed out cause I’m pretty busy, but too lazy to make quick process haha. So your in Australia for school. What kind of project are you working on? I’m studying Digital Media Design and I’m doing my graduation project here in Perth, Australia. My study is all about interactive new media stuff and you pretty much could do whatever the fuck you wanted. So I decided to go to Australia and do my thing over here. My girlfriend is from Australia and she’s also living here. So that was a good reason to head over here too. I wasn’t really feeling like doing any web design stuff so I decided to make an interactive installation. My installation is gonna be a portal to the dream world. When you get in, you’ll walk into the dream world. You’ll notice that the dream world is dying. Everything around you is dying. You’re the only person who can save this world by bringing the tree of dreams, the center of the dream world back to life. Once you’ve done that the whole world comes to life again. I’m using some sensors, and projectors and audio to really emerge you into this dream world. How did you become interested in punk rock? I think I got into it in the beginning of high school, like many other people when I got my hands on some nofx. I was totally into it. I started listening to a lot of skate punk, also cause I was skating and my friends introduced me to all those bands. I particularly liked Belvedere because they were so fast. I was getting into more faster and faster stuff, which led me to Minor threat. I was digging a lot. It had everything I looked for in music. After that the ball kinda kept rolling and I got way into hardcore-punk. Now I’m into a lot of different stuff from the velvet underground to pink reason to neurosis. After a few years of going to shows I got a few friends together and we started a straight up 80’s hardcore band that we named Padded Cell (after the Black Flag song). We just wanted
to play the music we loved, play shows and have fun. I’ve started a new band here in Australia too with my buddy Jon Grader called Dead Arm. We’re playing punk while trying to play our own take on things we really like. Think Slint coveringf Black Flag, playing songs from their records that no one liked while being watched by Moss Icon. Or something like that, I dunno. And how’s the punk rock scene down under? There are some pretty sweet bands over here. You might have heard from Extortion, they’re on 625 records and they’re pretty well known. They’re fucking rad as hell too. Straight up fucking fast stuff. Also check out Suffer, Burning Sensation and Jaws. Not to many international bands make it here to Perth cause it’s so isolated. That leaves the whole scene being pretty small and tight knit. Everyone has got a couple of bands and all the hardcore kids are into other shit too. There is a really cool diy indie scene here. With some great bands. Things to check out are Taco Leg, Cease, Whalehammer, The Wednesday Society, Mental Powers, Silver Bulletin, Bone (moved to Melbourne recently and Carbuncle. Cool labels are Eerie Stratum, Farmer Frontier and Badminton Bandit. They aren’t necessarily straight up punk bands. But they’re all really DIY and try to do some new shit. It’s all kinda experimental. It’s cool. The show’s that I’ve been to were really cool. Because there is so much space, everybody’s got a big house. People just let bands play in their backyard or living room. There’s a real good vibe going on.
13 What are the biggest differences between the Dutch and Australian punkrock scene. I don’t know. It’s pretty different I guess. People here really envy Europe for being so much closer to other places. The scene is definitely bigger in Holland then in Perth. But that’s not so strange. We’ve got a pretty national scene where a lot of people know each other. Here it’s more focused around a city. I really like how there’s more like a music scene than a separate punk/ hardcore scene. A lot of people seem to be in a lot of different stuff. Discovered some new bands? Yeah lots. Check out Extortion, Suffer, Jaws, Burning Sensation, Mental Powers, Cease, Carbuncle, Bone, These Shipwrecks, The Wednesday Society, Silver Bulletin, Wooshie, Whalehammer and the Wednesday Society.
So your singing in padded cell, when you come back this summer, are there any new plans? Yeah we wanna try and do a lot of shows and record some stuff. A lot of people always ask about if we’ve recorded anything. I’m really looking forward on doing some recording. Your study at the visual art school in Utrecht has almost come to an end, what are your plans after that? I’ve not been really happy with my study. I’ve been getting way more into graphic design, illustration and art. I’m not really that into interactive media anymore. So I hope I’ll do some more stuff in that direction. I’ve got an exhibition coming up here in Perh just before I leave, where I’ll exhibit my installation and some illustrations. I hope I’ll be doing some more freelance design stuff cause I really like to do that.You can check my stuff out at awesomemountain.com
While this year’s CMJ Music Marathon brought a host of sub par indie rock bands to New York City, it also brought The Bronx. And what this means is if you were one of the lucky ones who made it into the 100 person capacity basement of China Town’s Fontana’s, then you now know what it feels like to have your face melted. It’s shows like this that make bands like Bad Religion and Social Distortion want to take you out on tour. They’re what makes ex-Guns ‘N’ Roses guitarist, Gilby Clark, want to produce your record. Flat out, they’re what make bands and characters of this caliber, LA’s finest, want to pass the torch. Guitarist Joby Ford took some time beforehand to discuss what it means to be homeless in the name of music, how much office jobs suck, White Drugs, and white drugs with our own Francis John Corva III. The Bronx’s set comprised of some premiere tracks off of their new record, The Bronx (2008), as well as some choice jams from their first two records, The Bronx (2003) and The Bronx (2006). Judging by the crowd’s reaction to the new material, The Bronx is still living up to it’s name. Lets start with the big question of moving from a major label (Island) to putting out a record on your own label, White Drugs, with the help of Original Signal Recordings. It goes without saying that the major to indie shift is a big trend these days. How’s it going for you guys? It’s fuckin’ awesome. I mean, here’s the thing, I want to make something very clear, I’m definitely not anti-major label. It’s just not for us. It’s for the Jessica Simpsons or for bands that… …write mega hits. Yeah, it’s like where the children of America is their [target audience.] That, and when we got signed it was a completely different thing. Major labels did well, had cool bands… now, it’s gone. Everything’s gone. Yeah, I feel bad for a lot of people that lost their jobs, but at the same time I’m glad I’m not stuck in a legal situation where I have to deal with Jessica Simpson’s fucking publicist going, “Alright, if we get Jessica Simpson on
the cover of Teen People that means we can get you guys an interview in it.” And you’re just like, “Dude, are you fucking serious?! Wow. That’s great – thanks.” It’s the way all that stuff works, [but] it’s funny because a lot of people that I knew at Island [I’ve been] hanging out with this evening or are coming to the show. So, there’s definitely not any bad blood, but I’m glad not to be in business with that anymore, because it’s just not for us. How did it officially come to a close? Were you dropped or did you just want to part ways? We asked. It wasn’t in their best interest and it wasn’t in our best interest, so we were just like, “Listen, can we please just go?” And they were totally fine [with that.] Is it difficult to do it on your own, without tour support and other nice bonuses like that?
15 Oh, yeah, they threw tons of money at us. They paid for tours. We were on buses. Now, (he taps on the inside of the van with a smile.) Yeah, I was going to say, this is a little bit different. Yeah, it’s nice to be on a bus, but that’s not the point. The point is doing what you want and you definitely can’t do what you want on a major label. Now it’s like “I can do whatever the fuck I want,” and we’re having a blast. We’re playing music. This band and crew, our minimalist crew, are great friends first and foremost. It is a constant party and it’s a constant road trip around the world. We do very, very well in other countries, but not so great in the US, but it doesn’t matter. We don’t want to be a Teen People magazine band. I want to be in a band that plays music that I like and also has another band where they play mariachi music (The Bronx have an artistic alter ego that performs as a mariachi band from time to time.) The thing that’s tough is to continue doing it your way and to pay bills while doing so. Oh yeah. Do you guys run into a dilemma with that? Oh yeah. Absolutely. Island Def Jam bought us a recording studio before we left. Three of the band members live there because they can’t afford to pay rent. So, it’s like, yeah we’re really lucky, but at the same time it’s like, ummmm. You can always work and get a job. I mean, I still work (as a graphic artist. Ford also used to work at Vagrant.) A couple of us still do stuff -- both guitar players, me and Ken. The economy is in the shitter. It’s not just bands that are having a tough time. It’s everybody. It’s definitely not like a sob story, like “Woe is me.” No, this is a choice that we made as five people, that this is what we want to do with our lives, and so that’s what we’re doing. What comes of it comes of it. I don’t know, I’ve worked corporate jobs and it almost killed me, and I just vowed to myself that I wouldn’t ever fucking do it again. Being happy is more important than being rich. What was it like to open for Bad Religion? You guys have a pretty fickle fan base. Do you make converts on a tour like that? Absolutely. That was weird, because Bad Religion is such a seminal band. And it was just like they invited us to go on tour with them. First of all, I was blown away that they’d ever heard of our band. Second of all, we played right before them and they’re like the nicest guys. They’re all very peculiar people, very intelligent. The singer is a professor at UCLA. It’s a very strange dichotomy.
I’m sure they were a big time influence on you guys, growing up in LA and all. Yeah, I mean it’s Bad Religion. To be able to tour with them has to feel like a rite of passage. Yeah, to get the blessing from that band felt pretty... I’m not going to lie to you, I felt pretty cool. Speaking of bands from Los Angeles. I know that this is a question that was probably asked a million times after you guys recorded the first record, but what was it like having Gilby Clark as a producer? No, no. It’s cool. It was awesome. Did he give you any Guns ‘N’ Roses stories that blew your mind? Yeah, but it was like the weird little stories. Do you remember those Converse that Axl wore with the white and the red… The ones with the big tongues and stuff that said Axl on them?! …that said Axl on them (said in unison.) Yeah, the whole band had a pair of those and Axl was trying to get the whole band to wear them on stage. And everybody was like, “Go fuck yourself.” It was stuff like that where you’re just like, “Wow.” He brought them out and they said “Gilby” on them. And he told me [that] Axl fought a lot, had a bad attitude and that [he] was the baddest motherfucker [he’d] ever met. He would beat anybody up. It didn’t matter how big they were, how big their security guards were - he’d always win. And if you pissed him off he’d never speak to you again. That’s the way he rolled. And he said it was really uncomfortable when he would write off crew and they’d still be with the band, but Axl wouldn’t even acknowledge their presence. Did you read Slash’s biography? He mentions Gilby producing you guys in it. I mean, being asked to tour with Bad Religion is one thing, having Slash know your band, even just the name, is the next level. I mean, it’s Slash. Yeah, I got an email that was like, “Dude, the name of your band is in Slash’s book.” I was like, “You gotta
16 be fucking kidding me.” Of course, I went out and got it and it was just like, “Yeah, Gilby was doing this band called The Bronx.” I was pretty stoked. You guys have a very dedicated fan base, at least here in NY, which is cool… Especially since we stole our name [from this city.] Good point. But you guys draw from punk kids, indie kids, post-hardcore kids, etc. and now have your own hybrid of fans. What is it like in the Midwest or other not-so-hip places? A lot of bands that sound something like The Bronx speak a lot more highly of places like Europe or Japan. I think that it’s different in Europe or Australia or Japan, those countries are small. I mean, Europe’s big, but you know, France, Germany… they’re not very big, whereas America, if you want to tour America you have to tour for two or three months just to hit it, where as Australia is five days and you’re gone. The UK is 10 days. You play one date in France, two dates in Sweden. In America, there’s so much shit going on because this country is all about people selling stuff and making money. The amount of attention that people have to spend time on music is so little compared to people in a country where it’s like, they go to work and they buy bread and they go on the Internet. It’s amazing how little focus is placed on hanging out and doing things for yourself in America. People work way less and hang out way more in those countries. In America, you work way hard and [in] the amount of free time you have, you have to pack all this stuff in. Also, in these countries, it’s not that social mobility isn’t possible, but people seem to be more content with where
they are in life. It’s not all about getting ahead. It’s the way Americans have been brought up to think. I mean, I was an ‘80s kid and it was like you have to go to college to get a job so you can work really hard so you don’t have to work that long so you can retire, whereas other countries are like, go to school, take some time off, go travel, get a job selling coffee and spend time with your family and friends. People seek out entertainment a lot more in other countries than they do in the United States and I think its because your time is so limited and your so inundated with video games, music, television, movies and just have so many things trying to grab your attention. I also think that counter cultural entertainment is more appreciated abroad and that trends don’t come and go as quickly as they do here in America. It seems that substance is more important. That’s the great thing about different countries. It’s like being in New York City, [it’s like] who cares about the gig, man? we’re in New York (laughter.) And its not like who cares about the gig. This city is fucking fun. In LA its like, “Let’s go to the beach.” Not us, but probably people that come. The experience is probably half of it. I haven’t had a job for five years. How many people can say that? I feel very fortunate and so does everybody else. Yeah, we’re broke but we’re living, having a good time. You guys have a reputation for “partying” pretty hard. Is that still as full-throttle as ever? Well, if you were given a golden ticket with five [or] six of your best friends, to go around the world for five years, do you think you would sit in a room and drink coffee or would you live it up?
OUT NOW ON LP ORDER!
18 The first thing I want to ask is, how did you get hooked up with Dustin Kensru from Thrice for this tour? We’ve been long time friends and fairly recently made contact with me. He had heard I was doing some acoustic stuff. He had this thing going on and he was kind enough to ask me to come out. It’s a good feeling to get up there, and to be scared, and just be frightened to stand in front of people and bleed yourself. I’m glad you were able to make it. Have you had the chance to play a lot of acoustic shows on the west coast? I think no. Not really. It’s fairly new. The big question, and I don’t want to harp on it but people are going to want to know about is Hot Water Music Uh-huh. Is there a general statement or explanation of what’s going on? Well, there wasn’t any dramatic crazy break up or anything like that, just to set that record straight. It’s more just kinda coming to terms with changes and where we’re at. It’s just a transition really, that’s what it is. I think a lot of people…I mean Jason and I posted these letters on our site and it wasn’t necessarily stating, “Hey everyone, we’re out of here”. It was more just kind of like, “We’re not going to be the hardcore road warriors that everybody knows us to be”. For a lot of different reasons, ya know. But honestly, when it comes down to it, it’s all positive. Hot Water Music, to me, has just always been about searching and finding things that’ll set you free, one way or the other. That’s what it has always been. When it comes down to it, it’s just another transition. I mean we’ve always…we’re family and we have too much fun to not play.
inch’s and what not. Just for fun. I mean I have songs so, that’s what I do. I’m going to record a song and if I record it I might as well put it out. I don’t have any fine line agenda right now. My main focus right now is actually getting my contractors license, that’s what I’m shooting for right now. But absolutely there will be stuff coming out. Any talk with record labels or will you just be doing it by yourself for right now? I going to do stuff with Var and No Idea. He’s just a long time old friend and I’ll just always work with him, as long as he doesn’t get tired of me (laughs). So the other point, that I was actually asked to ask you, is about Rumbleseat. Now that the other guys from Hot Water Music are working with The Draft and you’ve been doing your own thing is there any chance for more stuff from Rumbleseat or even just show of that music? No. No, that just the past and it’s done. It’s a separate thing entirely. Coming from a band where there’s a bunch of different members is it more intimidating to be up on stage by yourself where all eyes seem to be on you? (laughs) Absolutely. I mean sometimes. It’s definitely intimidating and sometimes you can get quite a bit shaky. That to me is a big part of it. That’s the big rush of it. It’s a good feeling to get up there, and to be scared, and just be frightened to stand in front of people and bleed yourself. The just doing it and the feeling afterwards is awesome, you just climbed a mountain. That’s kinda what it is. Yeah, I mean it scares the devil out of me all the time. I hope that never goes away, because that’s a real part of it. I mean, I love to feel comfortable and I love to feel confident and I do. I don’t want to get too comfortable. I want to be nervous and I want to be scared.
Just don’t expect it anytime in the immediate future.
I don’t know if I could get up there and do that every night.
Yeah. God willing it will most definitely happen. I love those guys more than anything and I would love to be standing on a stage, 60 years old trying to what we’ve been doing. So it’s kind of one of those things where we’re all family and it’s just a transition period.
Yeah ya could. (laughs)
One of the other obvious questions is now that you’re playing and writing new material are you recording for a solo album? I’ve recorded quite a bit of stuff, ya know. And I’m not necessarily…I’m definitely gonna put stuff out. Actually, really soon. Been doing a bunch of stuff, probably just start with seven
So you recently, well I don’t know if it was recently, but you now live in the L.A. area? Yup. How long ago was that? Uh, about four years ago.
19 Wow, I need to start stalking you better. (laughs)Please don’t. So what motivated that move? Jill, who is now my wife…We’ve been married, October 10, will be two years. So we took off to Costa Rica a couple years ago. We had a big wedding planned, in Baja at the time and we were getting ready to send out a ton of invitations. I don’t know. It just all made sense to drop it all, call the families and buy tickets to Costa Rica. So that’s what we did. Was anyone upset about that? Well, you know a few family, but when it came down to it I think a lot of people were relieved because it was just such a crazy ordeal to get everyone to Mexico as it was and put that together. So, it just made all the sense in the world. So, why originally Baja? That’s where we fell in love. We took a trip down there and we’ve done a couple other trips before then and that was just kinda where we really hit it off. We had done a couple other trips beforehand, went snowboarding, and that was one of our first, kinda where we hit it off. We did a couple other trips here and there but we did, I can’t remember, maybe 10 or 12 days and that what is. We stayed at a little place called La Fonda down there and, ya know, I was done. (laughs) I knew, knew, knew it. This is the person I would be with for the rest of my life. It was amazing. Since then we go there all the time. That’s kind of our little spot. It’s not too bad to get there from the L.A. area. It’s like three hours. It’s great. It’s great food and great people, great waves. (Jill ask what Chuck’s talking about) Talking about La Fonda. Now there’s going to be people lined up to catch you on vacation. (Laughs) No, I doubt that many people listen. (laughs) So how is life in L.A., is it different than growing up in the Florida area? Absolutely. I mean, it’s really cool, there’s great things, especially in our neighborhood, we live in Silver Lake. It’s kinda…It’s 50/50. There’s a lot of rough stuff that happens and at the same time some really good people. So right now work is great for us and music is a lot of fun. We love the culture around there and great food.
Mind if I ask what you do for a day job? I’m a carpenter. I know you said you were working on your contractor’s license but I didn’t know if you were just going to take the test or what. I cut big sticks into little sticks (laughs). That’s a unique way to look at it. Well it can be a little more complicated that but when it comes down to it that’s what it is. See you can say that, but I can’t because I would cut my fingers off. (laughs) Well, it can be. (Chuck get’s up to get some water for everyone) So Hot Water Music has varied a great deal over the years and what you’re doing now is different from anything Hot Water Music has done. It’s it part of a gradual progression or is it something you’ve always wanted to do? Well, it’s not really…When I think about it, at least thinking about what it’s driven from and the energy of it to me and where it’s coming from, honestly it’s not really any different, other than it’s just acoustic. So, it’s kind of one in the same. It’s quieter (laughs). Honestly, it’s kind of the same energy, for me. Same concepts and everything. It’s just porch songs. Funny you say that, my friend Joanna, who was sitting next to me, she’s a huge Hot Water Music fan and after the show she said it felt just like a Hot Water Music show. Oh wow. That’s huge. I mean, I got to say I miss playing with the guys and I love them to death. It is, it’s extremely liberating, going back to what we said before, just being extremely scared and getting up there just kinda busting through that. It is what it is. It’s simple stuff, just simple songs. I don’t think I’ll ever be a very technical player or play anything that fancy. It’s just porch songs. So what are you listening to music wise? Uhm…All kinds of stuff. Been listening to…Well, it changes. And it’s changed a lot since the day of the iPod (laughs). We put it on “shuffle” quite a bit. Yeah, it moves around quite a bit. I’ve been listening to…I still love kinda a lot of Latin
20 jazz. Love Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Buena Vista Social Club , different stuff like that, Abraham Ferrara (?). I mean like, I wish I could play like that (laughs) I wish I could do stuff like that.
Does anyone at your work know about your music or do they just know you as the carpenter?
So for the tour are you all in one van for this?
(laughs) I mean some of my guys will come out to shows and it’s pretty cool and I’ve had a couple of clients come out to shows. It’s just neat, it’s different. To me it’s just something else that I do but to them it totally comes out of left field. They’re like, “What? You actually play an instrument or what do you do?” I say, “We’re going to have to finish up this project on the ninth because I’m going out to play some shows”. And they’re like, “Play shows? A show? Are you like dancing?”
Are they amazed that people pay money to see you?
So who decides how the music goes, is it whoever’s driving?
(laughs) Totally. They’re just like, “What? Where are these people from?”
Usually, it’s whoever’s driving. That’s usually the road rule, if you’re driving you get to pick.
Before we wrap this up is there anything else you want to promote?
Do you have any future touring plans, I know you have a fest coming up that you’re playing, anything other than that?
Well right now, just tonight we have, for gas money, some t-shirts that Jill and I made up and a live CD we recorded at the Troubadour. Just simple stuff like that. Not really that much. Jill set up a Myspace account and I think that’s really neat. I never was involved in that and I’m just dumbfounded. I am so amazed at the response that has come from it. I can’t believe it. I can not believe it. I think it’s such a cool thing for musicians and I am so new to it so it could be a mess but she set it up and put four songs on it, so you can listen to those. Just something new.
That’s sort of a “one day” type dream. Or just one of those dream dreams. (laughs) But we listen to all kind of…(to Jill) What do we listen to? (Jill says some music that we can’t decipher) Yeah, been listening to Ray Charles lately. Just good music.
Yeah actually. We live in Silver Lake and this is kind of the extent of any touring that I’m going to be doing right now. With work and jobs. I mean I have jobs right now. I just kind of had to put my foot down and say, “Alright, I’m out. I’m leaving and I’ll be back on this day” and just try and stay off the phone as much as possible. I mean, with work and school and everything else, this is about the extent. I’m totally game for doing shows and just traveling around a bit but, I mean, I don’t want to go out and do any long term. That’s kind of what drove me away from Hot Water, you know? Just that life. I was just feeling a little trapped and a little burnt on it and the whole point is feeling free, isn’t it?
EURO TOUR 2009 2009-06-02 2009-06-04 2009-06-05 2009-06-09 2009-06-10 2009-06-11 2009-06-12 2009-06-13 2009-06-14
NL SE SE UK UK UK UK NL NL
Amsterdam Stockholm Stockholm Bristol Cooperage Sheffield London Utrecht Tilburg
Winston Kingdom Rockbåten Rockbåten The Croft Newcastle Stockroom Borderline Ekko 013
a chat with
The following chat is with one of my closest friends and music buddy Joren Hans. He’s the guy who actually introduced punk rock to me. So boy, how did you become interested in punk rock?
such as SNFU, Down By Law, Propagandhi etc.
Yo Borush, as many of my age (20) it all started back in the late-nineties when I saw The Offspring on TV. For years they were the only band in my music collection. When I was still on primary school I even did The Offspring’s “Smash” at a little playback show with classmates. That was pretty cool, comparing to other kids who did silly songs like “HEE! Magarena” and “De kabouterdans”
So you can say this guy is something like your punk rockeducator
And then? Well for years the one and only were The offspring. Later on I had a regrettable period, listening to Limp Bizkit, Korn and shit. Sounds familiar? Fortunately, I soon met Sander Kuipers, singer of early-eighties ‘legendary’ punk band called “ZMIV”. So, I went to his house, dressed in Slipknot-sweater and scored some copies of his favorite records. Bad Religion, NOFX, Epitaph and Fat Wreck compilations, etc were now added to the collection. The following couple of years I automatically discovered great punk rock pioneers,
Something like that, yes. Nowadays, I make music with him in a French party-punk-band called “Le Roi Mort & les Lentilles Rouges” which means something like “the dead king and the red lentils”. French traditional music with big punk influences. Why French? I don’t know. After a few beers and smokes in the French Alps, Sander and another friend Serge thought it could be fun, I guess. Is this band you first musical experience? No. Years ago, around 2003 I think, I started making noise with friends in my parents garage. We were shit, but that didn’t matter to us. So, then came the day, I had troubles with my bicycle. AND THEN.....yes, I met you: a long haired army boots wearing heavy metal dude. Me: “Can you play bass?” You: “Maybe...”. So we found ourselves a bass player. Not many weeks later a local pub offered
us a opportunity to play our first gig. Awesome... but we had to write some songs first with just three days left. After that we did about three shows I think. Why did we quit the band? Do you know? I don’t. I guess because our drinking bisexual guitar player screwing shit up for us all the times. No, seriously, that was not the reason, was it? What keeps you busy besides making music? At the moment I study “Illustration” at the Visual Art academy in Zwolle. Busy? Maybe not as busy as I should be... sometimes I need a good kick in the ass. Besides getting my ass kicked, I work in a local alternative pub called “Clouso”. And besides working I drink and misbehave, just like you do. Hmmmm....sounds good. Good stories to tell? Do you remember the times that we... Oh no? Well....so long.
When we heard that Thursday were going to play with the reunited Hot Water Music on Saturday, July 12, at Terminal 5 in NYC, we asked frontman Geoff Rickly to pow-wow beforehand with HWM vocalist Chuck Ragan, “Rebel Meets Rebel”style, and he gladly compiled because, well, let him explain it himself… “In the canon of modern-day punk-rock legends, few have been able to reemerge from the dead with anything more than a dim echo of their former glory. Often, the band comes back as an unintended parody of their younger selves. So how is it that Hot Water Music are back after two years and several other musical projects, stronger and more energized than they’ve ever been? From selling out shows all over the country at two or three times the size of anything they played prebreak-up to playing sets already heralded as harder, dirtier, and rawer than ever before, Hot Water Music have apparently done the impossible. In the week before playing with one of my all-time favorite bands, I called up the band’s roughthroated singer, Chuck Ragan, to find out what they have in store for us. ” So how has it been doing the reunion shows? It’s been an absolute blast. We’ve all been having the time of our lives doing it. It’s so different with the way we’ve been doing it lately. So much less pressure than what we have ever dealt with before. Just feels like the beginning and when we’re onstage we all feel like we’re 18, 19 years old again. So to say the least, it’s just an absolute blast. That’s great man; I’m really psyched for you guys. I actually haven’t gotten to see any of them yet so I’m totally thrilled that we’re playing with you guys.
It’s going to be something else. Yeah, I kept hearing when we played the Starland Ballroom [in New Jersey] just a week or so before you guys did, and everybody was just so excited for that show. That show was insane. I feel like you guys always had a real strong love up here. You know I used to live in New Brunswick and even just going back to The Melody or when you guys played my basement. I’ve never seen you guys in Gainesville but I feel like it’s almost like a hometown situation for you guys up here too . We have always had great friends in that area and have
always felt at home up there. Inside and outside the big city, we love that area, always have. I mean, just playing that Jersey show and the way it was. Man, it was just insane. It was at the end of the night and we were all leaving and Chris and I were saying bye and we were all going to see each other the next weekend. Joe and I were out on tour with Ben Nichols in between all those shows and Chris and I were just looking at each other not saying anything but just totally communicating about the night and what was going on. We put a lot of time and energy, a lot of years into Hot Water Music. And you know, it wasn’t all good. It wasn’t all pleasant. You know, the life. It totally takes a toll on you. On anyone who devotes as much as people like us do to music and the road and traveling and recording. After that show, before we all went our separate ways, all we could talk about or say is, this is what all those years of struggling and eating peanut butter and living off a gallon of water and being out on the road for a long time, this is where it got us. Granted, you never think about that stuff in the early days. It’s just all for the love and the joy of it.
Yeah, I mean the early days in some ways are so much easier than the later days. Regardless of where you’re at. It’s just that in the beginning there’s nothing but energy to burn off. You know what I mean? It’s like everything is new. Then when you’ve been doing it for 10 years, it’s not that you get tired of it or hate it but you definitely don’t have that endless supply of energy. I think just like anything else, I think it’s just crucial to have diversity in your life and in any career of any type or trade, if you spread yourself thin, you’re just bound to break down. You can only run a machine so long without maintenance before it breaks down. We definitely hit those points through the years. Just like you said, it’s not that you lose passion for it. It’s just that anything can become stagnant and anything can become a job doing it day in and day out. That’s why these shows have been so special to us. We all went on that hiatus and it was exactly what
25 right now, he just moved to Atlanta. Chris and George still live in Gainesville and I live out in California. So if time permits and it all rolls how these shows have rolled then yeah I mean it’s just a matter of time. If it makes sense and we feel its worthy putting out we’re going to go for it. I wanted to talk to you about the history of the band because I feel like these shows are in some ways this great celebration of this long history you guys have had that has been so up and down and all over the place. Can you remember what it was like to join Hot Water Music?
we needed and now coming back together and playing together after that time apart it’s just made us only fall in love with the songs all over again and revitalize that energy. Do you guys know what you’re going to do in the future? Is it “a play it by ear” situation? Like, this was great, the reunion, but let’s just leave it where it was? The best part about it, honestly, is that we have no agenda. It’s about the coolest place we can be in for us. We want to play shows and we will continue playing shows. We’ve all talked about writing again. We haven’t done any at all. I could definitely see it down the road. We’d all love to do it. I think the most important thing to do is just continue having fun and loving it for what it is and what we’ve done and enjoy it. And whatever comes to us in the future with it and wherever we find some time to sit down together and knock some new stuff out, we’ll do it. It’s just a matter of time and it’s a matter of timing. Everybody doing all kinds of stuff. I’ve been super busy with the solo stuff. And the other guys are constantly saturated in music as well. Chris just finished a solo record. Jason is playing with Senses Fail
I want to say we first sat down, the four of us together, and wrote our first song was October of 1994. We were all living down in Sarasota-Bradenton. We were all just super young, just felt really stagnant. Our whole plan was let’s get out of here. Jason was already up in Gainesville in school, and we kept hearing all these stories of Gainesville and all these shows and this big music scene, and George and I decided to move up and Chris decided to move up as well. At the time we were actually two separate bands. Chris and Jason had a band called Thread and George was filling in on drums. George and I had a band called Fossil and Jason was filling in on bass. Both bands had singers and we had planned to move up to Gainesville all together and the plan was they were going to find a new drummer and we were going to find a new bass player. And when we actually all moved, both the singers in the band had their own things going on and it just didn’t pan out and the last four people standing were us. We all lived in the same apartment complex and just terrorized this poor place and all these poor people playing our music at all hours of the night. In those days, living in an apartment complex, we didn’t plug in ever. We wrote the majority of the early Hot Water Music stuff on the acoustic guitars just sitting on the porch. That’s kinda how it all started. From there we just looked at each other and were like, well, I guess we could start a band. We just got on it and it’s never changed since. Even in the early days we kinda made this pact that if any one person were ever to leave or needed to leave or was just gone, that it was just over; that Hot Water Music was the four of us, it is the four of us, and will always be. And we just kept it. When was the point at which you personally felt like, Wow, this isn’t just cool and it’s my friends; this is really me. You know, when you just felt this really strong connection you get when you really find the music you wanted to make?
I would say by the end of the first song we wrote. It was no question. There was no question at all. Still isn’t. Looking at it kind of reflecting now, we were all young and just super hungry and just ready to grow. All we wanted to do was play and just devote our lives and time and energy entirely to the music. Our main goal was, We have four songs, let’s do a demo. That was the mindset back then. The last thing on our mind was a tour or signing to a label or any of that. We were just fully living in the moment and things just kind of came in baby steps. Like I said, “Yeah, we got a song! Let’s write another one!” Then we got four songs. We should do a demo and so we put out a demo tape. That’s what we did, too. Then the biggest step was putting out our first 7-inch. That was huge. That was just monumental for us. It’s cool to look back on it. We never started the band with any intention of “Let’s blow this thing up.” Or “Let’s do this for 10 years straight.” We were there and we were living it and loving it and just learning music and growing up. That was the biggest part I think. We were just growing up. I remember very specifically when we were recording a record of ours called Full Collapse in 2001. I
remember telling the guy who owned the studio, “Well, you know, I’m not that talented; I’m not trying to do this for a living or anything but I want to do this now and someday I’ll probably end up being a schoolteacher like I’ve been studying for.” And he was like, “I don’t know, man, I’ve been listening to that record. I kinda feel like you’re going to be in music longer than you think. Not because you’re good but because I can tell it’s all you really care about.” I remember just being like, All right, old man, whatever. Now when I see him, we both laugh about it. There is a certain sense among younger bands now, this kinda ambition, like, I want to be in one of those bigger bands. I don’t think it was totally absent when you guys were starting out but that just wasn’t even a world you thought about really. I felt like it was more one of those things that you would see some bands on TV and be like, I’m not even into that. I just want to do my thing. I want to be with people I like. I want to be with some friends. It was sort of like a little culture you would start around yourself. Yeah totally. I think a lot of that is that this type of genre—even though it’s a pretty vague statement—is a lot more accepted than it was 15 years ago. I remember it was one of those things when I would go looking for [Hot Water Music’s 1997 album] Forever and Counting, which was even sort of later. I knew which store would have it. It would be Curmudgeon in New Brunswick. And I knew everybody that worked there. It was one of those things where
27 you had your spot that had underground music. That’s it. The underground was kinda hard to find. You had to pick up the zines at the local show so you would actually know what was going on because that was the only way to figure it out. Sure. I remember reading about you guys before I saw you play in New Brunswick. They sort of built up to this point where no band could possibly live up to you. You guys were one of the most exciting bands in the scene at the time. I remember going to see you guys then and it still being better than what I was expecting. The reason why is I just felt like it was like a fire burning itself really intensely. Was there ever a time you just thought while you were playing, I can’t play another song I’m so exhausted. I’m so spent. I’ve given everything in the last 20 minutes and now I don’t even know where to go from here. Yeah, are you kidding? For us that was always part of it. We play the music for ourselves, and the energy we would exude was definitely just a very intense, strong form of life therapy for us. We love the sound. We love everything about it, especially the crowds, more than anything. First and foremost, it was just kind of what we did to heal and deal with whatever was going on. Just looking back through the records, and just all the lyrics, it’s our diary. It’s our journal, the way we were able to kind of hack life. To us, there was never any other way than to give every ounce of sweat and blood you had. The only thing that made us able to make it through some of the shows like that was the people and each other. We always believed and still believe in this cycle of energy. It’s a simple idea: You always get back energy that you put out. What you exude can radiate and, in turn, people will attach onto that and give it back to you. It ends up being something where you play and you’re running on fumes and you burn out, but you look down and see one kid standing right in front of you that is giving it up as hard as you are and he empties himself or herself out and, in turn, fills you up and you just keep that cycle going. That’s always the way we looked at it, and it just made us who we are as a band, as individuals and as friends. I always saw that with you guys. Is there a Hot Water record that is especially close to your heart in any way more than others or is that too hard to say? Honestly, it’s too hard to say. It’s always ever changing. Caution was definitely one of my favorites and a lot of it had to do with the recording experience that we had. Caution was one of my favorite records ever made. My parents love that album. When I go
home, it’s in their CD player, too. We all love that record. That’s wild. I think a lot of it had to do with where we all were at that point in our lives and something really clicked in the studio, and it was a really wonderful recording experience with [producer] Brian McTernan and that was just a really nice time in the life of the band. It is really hard to say. Every song that we’ve ever had has a story behind it and those stories have hundreds of stories behind them. Looking back on the songs on their own is extremely intense and just special to look back on them. It’s like, how can you judge an album when each album has so many songs that have so many personal connections to you. Yeah, for sure. Like I said before, with the way the band dealt, looking back on everything it’s hard to look back at anything lesser than another. It was all ways of healing and getting by and expressive what we believe and what we trust. It’s hard to pick and choose. What was it like for you watching the band going without you? Was that strange? I mean, watching The Draft, I was nothing but proud. I loved them. The songs are incredible. The energy was great. And it was just plain cool to be on the other side looking up at Chris and George and Jason and Todd just tearing it up. They’re amazing. I loved it. My wife and I had a chance to see them a few times when they had come through California and it was just brilliant. I felt pride and was just stoked. Did it make you want to jump up there and play because it was your boys up there? Actually, not at all. I was just in a totally different frame of mind and especially seeing them get in the van taking off down the road onto the next gig. I was more like, Right on, you go, guys, but I was more excited to just go home. That’s interesting. It’s funny to watch. Every release we’ve been doing one instrumental track, and it’s weird because it’s always my favorite because I get to step back and listen to how rad my band is. And not judge myself. Sometimes when I listen to songs and I hear myself on it and it’s not exactly the same as listening to a song you’re not on. You can’t get that distance. When I get to step back and hear this band that are my boys just being awesome and have nothing to do with how great it is, it can be a great thrill so I can imagine The Draft would be a lot of fun. It was a thrill.
A few years ago i was playing through some new records by various acts and Annihilation Time was thrown in to the CD player and seemed to blow everything else away. Ever since then we have followed their releases and grown with them and their beer bellies over 3 albums so this interview was way overdue. In May 08 AT were supposed to cruise into the UK, play some shows, blow the joint up and get back on the road to Oakland, California. Unfortunately, they were stopped at customs and turned back to France. The Old Blue Last in London was full of people gutted but c’est la vie, sometimes you are the pigeon, sometimes you are the statue. Regardless of the disappointment of not making it, Zac shared words with AT guitarist Graham and shot the shit on why and how Annihilation Time stoke the fire to keep the the good times of heavy metal and punk alive. Photo’s courtesy of Sebastian Gondek who shot the band at the Sputnik Cafe, Münster. Who the fuck are Annihilation Time? Graham - guitar, Wess - guitar, Noel - drums Chris - bass and Jimmy - vocals. Together we make ...just some dudes. You are from Oakland yeah? What’s the scene there like? Do you play with the likes of Drunk Horse etc? Yeah Oakland’s cool. It a scummy shit hole town in northern california that breeds all kinds of human filth, violence, drug abuse, transexual activities, and general uglyness. Which is a sorce of insperation for music. Drunkhores is awsome. We were suposed to play with them at this roller derby thing, but a bunch of crazy drunk assholes got the whole show shut down within 5 minutes
of us playing. So they never got to play. Oakland is linked to SF by a huge bridge, does your sound bridge the gap between hardcore and metal? No, I don’t think so. I’d say we would like to think of our selves as creep rock. Like the lewd or something.. Your previous release ‘2’ has a rip roaring sound and brings up comparisons to the good old days of hardcore and metal, how does the new record III – Tales of the Ancient Age compare? The new one is much more brutal than the second one. I don’t know how you would describe it! Tracks from your new album sound like you are more out of control with more sneer – were you guys more wasted when this was being written? No, I think I was meditating on a hill side and it all came to me at once. Lyrically you seem to cover politics, fun times and much more, write us some lyrics with 4 lines for this interview.. “Huffed my share of solvents, I know I’ll probobly die. Quick pass me that shit, Ill give it a try.” What lyrics are your all time faves across the albums? Germ freak for sure. It’s “pervert music”
29 How do guys write/record?
What would you have spent the money on?
Jimmy writes all the lyrics. And me and wess write all the music. The other dudes throw in suggestions and other ideas.
English rock artifacts and over priced warm beer. haha!
Do you write your shit on the road?
Haha! - Your artwork reminds us of the good times of thrash and metal from the 80’s, who is responsible for your sleeves?
No, on the road i’m either sleeping, drinking or playing gigs. There’s not time for much else.
Sean Filley (he used to be in the band). The guy’s a bad ass artist, guitar player and all around dude.
You tour a lot, how has Europe treated you on the 2008 tour?
Who were you fave skateboard graphics artists?
Killer! Other than the UK for not letting us in the country!
Vernon Johnson. All the old Powell art is killer.
Best show on the tour?
You have all grown through the skate scene I believe, who skates in the band?
Stockholm Sweden was fun. We got hammered and after our real gig, we went and played on this crazy boat and hung out with some awesome folks.
Me, Jimmy and Wess. I don’t skate as much anymore ever sense I shattered my hand and thought I wasn’t going to be able to play guitar again. Made me kind of paranoid.
Best tour story?
Do you travel with a deck on board or is it too risky getting served?
If I told you some of the ones i’m thinking about, we would be in deep shit! How much of an influence was the UK hardcore and punk scene to you guys? Big time! We all freak out over the late 70’s early 80’s punk. The pistols were the first punk band I ever heard. We all love that stuff, in addition to all the old English rock bands. It’s safe to say we wouldn’t be a band without those influences. How did you completely manage to fuck up the UK dates?
We always bring at least two skate boards on tour with us. How much is skateboarding an influence on AT? As a kid, nothing was more important. That and surfing. It’s a big influence on our sound. I don’t know how to describe it, but some music actually has that sound in it. If you don’t skate, then you won’t understand what i’m talking about. I heard you guys are like most British people when it comes to getting wasted, gimme your best acid or mushrooms story?
What did you miss out on most by completely fucking up the UK tour?
Me and Noel were in Den Hagg, Holland and on lot of really strong acid. We were just kinda walking around town tripping or what ever. Next thing I know, we walk over this military barricade without even realising what we were doing. Turns out we had walked into this restricted area of some foreign Embassy. There were all these military with machine guns and military jeeps and shit, I freaked out! We had been watching a World War II special on TV before we left the house for like 3 hours before. All of a sudden we were both convinced we were in occupied Nazi Germany, and they we going to gun us down! I was seeing like tanks and shit coming at us! We like freaked out and started running for our lives half way across the city before we pulled our heads together. It was great!
We wanted to go to Philo’s grave in Dubland and rage it up with some bro’s we have over there.
You have the chance to Annihilate 3 people in the World...
It must have cost you a packet huh?
My landlord, Lars Ulrich and last but not least that scum sucking bitch Arnold Schwarzenegger!
It was your asshole customs douche bags! Next time those clowns aren’t going to stop us, we’re gonna get work permits! No one was crying but we are all pissed off with your lack of organisation you knobheads! ;) Dude, we have always been fuckups, but we are getting our shit together a little more each year (not that im trying to say we will ever have all our shit figured out).
Yeah, I think all our best shows were going to be in the UK. Not only that but we already paid for this like £500 ferry from the UK to Norway that we had to just skip out on, and then drive from France to Norway in a day and a half all because some joker says we can infect your country. We lost our asses on that one.
Final words bitches... Thus three so far shooter...w
Fucked Up hail from Toronto, Canada and are unlike any hardcore band before them. Which is why they hit the cover of the NME last month. Although the foundations of Fucked Up’s music is unmistakably punk, they are so much more than that. This year’s ‘Year Of The Pig’ eighteen minute progressive hardcore single was a fantastic example of how far into the unknown the band are prepared to take their music and new album ‘The Chemistry of Common Life‘ continues the journey.
It really sounds like a lot of thought was put into the multi-layers of music. Is this the case of was it a bizarre accident?
I guess when we in the studio last time we had a better idea of what each song was like while we were recording so we didn’t have a lot of room to put any other stuff on,” explains Mike. “This time, we had almost no idea what each song would sound like so it allowed us to experiment with any little idea we had in the studio. First we recorded drums then left it for a few weeks while we were on tour. We’d listen to the drum tracks and get some new ideas to add in. After six months of doing that, with new ideas for each song coming every couple of weeks it gave us enough time to put as much onto the record as we could.
But it doesn’t sound like it!
With your previous album ‘Hidden World’ I presume you had those songs written when there wasn’t so much touring going on and you had a lot of time to spend on the songs. A lot of bands seem to fall into that trap of having a successful first album then go on the road for a year and their label says ‘ok, we want a new record! and the ideas get thrown together into that disappointing second
I think in total this has been the seventh trip over. We’ve only properly done mainland Europe twice, but the rest of the times we would come over here. We actually came to London for just one show once! We just like London so much, I guess that explains why we keep coming over!
Well, It was a lot like that!
We did write a few songs while on stage, but with the amount of breaks we had we could listen to the stuff again and again and add to it a lot which helped. We’d go to the studio, record a little bit then come back to it later and do a little more. Space things out. You have done a lot of touring; it seems that you’ve been to Europe a lot in particular, how many times have you come over here?
31 What is it about London that appeals to you so much? I think it’s the whole cosmopolitan feel to it. It’s such a mixture; you can walk 8 or 10 miles from the east end and cover so much ground. Shows are great as you take a lot less money with you than you would in the States because the dollar is so ridiculously weak right now. The shows are really working over here too, they’re getting busier, and it’s always real good atmosphere from a huge variety of people. You do seem to play very different places and different venues, and you always seem to have the right band playing with you, like The Shitty Limits, rather than some industry shit or an agency favour… Well we come from a community, rather than just being a manufactured band so we always have great bands to play with. And a lot of our friends are in great bands so we are lucky to play with them often. What about the Gallows tour earlier this year, was that a good experience? Well they picked us to play with them. It was really good opening for them; normally a lot of opening acts get eaten alive, I know when I was a kid going to shows I didn’t want to see anyone other than the band I came to see. Everyone else is just a waste of time, like I paid to see these dudes, not you! But we had a gnarly reaction from the crowd, they could get into it and we had a lot of fun. There wasn’t a bad show on the whole tour. The Astoria show in particular seemed to work. A lot of punk bands’ sound gets swallowed up in larger venues but yours manages to fill the venue perfectly. And of course it helps that frontman Pink Eyes gets so involved with the crowd. The crowd make the show man! Even if
things aren’t going for you sound-wise, the crowd can always turn things around. If you let them make the show it takes the pressure of us a little! Getting down and dirty with the crowd is the best part. How different is it being on Matador Records compared to your previous involvement with Vice? Vice, for us was just a London-only thing, we just had our friends set up all those tours before. It was good, and this is good now. It’s different I guess, there’s a lot more work involved what with promo and all that. Even though Vice is such a huge piece of culture it was still a friendly thing and this is a real big step. Matador has a great history and we’re gonna get involved in a lot more things through them. Like Gallows, who have obviously came from a similar DIY community as yourselves and have subsequently been thrown into the mainstream, do you find it a battle to hold onto your roots? I’ve seen them a lot of times now and we know them well; I think a lot of people are sceptical, which is fair enough, a hardcore band going into the mainstream, I would probably think that if I didn’t know them that well. Personally I think that Gallows are just like any other hardcore band but happened to be a right place at the right time. I think they’re really honest. I guess a lot of people of this generation haven’t really seen music like this before, especially if you’re not tuned in to underground scenes. A lot of kids will think of them as a new indie band who are really exciting, they’ll turn up and see them and you guys and just be blown away. They’ve really caught the right moment. That’s the thing, these kids have just seen something they really like and there shouldn’t be anything frightening about that. I know when I was a kid I would have been thankful to have a band like Gallows or Fucked Up showing up. And you’re back here now in November? “Yeah we are. Should be fun. Bring it on!”
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Powered Records interview with filip First you gotta understand that doing a real label is a real commitment. It’s not just a thing you can do for a couple of days and then leave it to rest. It’s people busting your balls 24/7. It’s something that keeps you awake during the night when your friends are in bed. Your first release is kind of important. It sets the standard of the label. We were lucky with the Justice B/W 7” so we had a good start. People were interested, it helps. Ofcourse not everyone is that lucky but don’t release a band where you know deep inside that they’re the worst band ever, don’t release a band that is just ok, don’t release “a good guys bad band” record... do a band you’re stoked on. A band you’d mosh to, a band where you know the lyrics from... it’s a plus if it’s a friends band. Make sure every release looks sic kso you’re really proud of it. The band you’re working with probably worked real hard to track the songs down in the studio, this your part so make something out of it. We don’t need another half assed label who releases record without decent covers or with mistakes in the layout or whatsoever. Whenever a new release arrives at the PRHQ i carry the thing around for a week, I’ll take one record with me in the car, take it to work... so i can watch it whenever I went. When a record has on error somewhere it can really bum me out. Your records and label have to be out there so work hard to get distribution up and running, sell records at shows, make bands tour.. spread the word about your label, get the name out.
reflections interview with johan First and for all: don’t worry about taxes and all that stuff. Just do it! If you want to release a record, have a good band with good music, then just go ahead! Hopefully you’re a smart person who actually KNOW that other people likei t as well! (Not kidding here! I’ve seen people releasing records from bands that were absolutely horrible and only their deaf grandma’s liked what they were doing!) Find out where to press and what costs are. A good tip in that matter: Don’t EVER take a loan to pay for it. Seriously, you gotta have the money and you don’t care (that much.....) that you’re not making it back. I’v seen people take loans, putting out shitty music and gotten in trouble becouse the couldn’t make it back. Write agreements down with the bands you’re working with. No matter how good friends are ALWAYS write down what you agreed on. How many copies the band gets, what amount of money the band gets...etc,etc...(since we are REALLY good friends with some of our bands we have been lacking in this department as well, but it’s kinda dumb...Then again... some bands are REALLY good friends! ;-) Do NOT worry about taxes and/or becoming an official company! Oh.. I already said that, didn’t I? I’ve seen So many people worrying about this, it takes away ALL the fun and since you’re not making any money when you’re starting anyway, why bother? You can always do that later when things are selling like crazy and you feel you have to hide the amount of money you’re making (wich you won’t be doing anyway) Money: Do NOT worry about this and don’t think you can make a shitload of it either. In this day and age it really is difficult to make enough $$ to get by as a label, let alone take enough out of the label to actually make a living as well. We are REALLY fortunate that we can... It took us a long LONG time till we reached that point and are still making less than minimum wage. BUT.. if you got to that point and your first release is there... Let me tell you: a kid in a candy store! Still to this day I get REALLY exciting when we receive a pallet full with brand new records. It’s the best thing in the world (and if you’re able to sell most of those, it’s even better, because then you might have some money left for a next release!) Conclusion: PLEASE start a label! It;s a lot of fun and it really makes you feel you’re accomplishing stuff. If you however want to have a career move and make this your day job: don’t worry and don’t do it.
angry youth interview with peter I am probably the last person you should ask for tips and tricks on releasing music. I totally lack any business sense and I am not really good (understatement) at promoting my stuff. But I’ve learned some things along the way from the mistakes that i made. It might save you some money First of all, you are not reinventing the wheel. There are more people out there that started a label from scratch. Just like you. Ask all these experienced people for advice an general help. Only a couple will respond but the ones that do are more than willing to help out. I’ve spend a good time on the phone with Wouter from Rebellion Records who had some great advice about the whole business side of releasing records. When i started doing vinyl, Gertje from shield recordings guided me to the right people and companies. So ask around! If you are doing &’ EP’s, you can save a lot money on artwork. It’s not likely you’ll b ereleasing Hot Water Music anytime soon so you don’t have to use a full color sleeve from an expensive printing company. A nice cut and paste or photoshopped black and white sleeve can be amazing too. Your local copyshop can produce excellent sleeves ( printed and cut to the right size) for a couple of bucks so it wil be easier to break even. A DIY product with a DIY look. Please note that DIY doesn’t have to mean crappy! Forget about DIY! Let’s Do It Together! It’s much more fun to release something with other parties involved. There are thousands of small labels around the globe. They are all a part of this amazing network. A lot of them are more than happy to co-release good music. You’ll also be able to get your name out there for only a small investment. I did the Yo Man Go! 7” together wit Square Of Opposition in the USA. In the near future, I will team up with Crucial Attack fo the Room 13 EP and I also release the sick mormons EP together with Demonomania Records and Gummopunx Records. There are endless possibilities. Share the fun! Stay away from shitty consignement deals and crappy distros. I’ve send out many Antillectual CD’s and never got paid fort hem because the distro’s sezed to exist and the owners can’t be reached. Fuck That! Trade wisely and communicate as much as possible. Have fun doing it! Just do it!
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amsterdam underground collective interview with sam Make very good and clear deals with the bands or their booker 1. Put all info in a contract and/or rider, so there can’t be any misunderstanding about the deal you made. 2. In case the band/booker doesn’t work with a contract make sure you have the agreed deal in an email and 3. Even print it out if you feel that might be needed. 4. Don’t promise bands anything you can’t guarantee: if you tell them you will pack the place and 30 people show up it makes you look bad. 5. It always helps to keep a little variety in the lineup. If you ask 3 same styled from the same small town to play, all 3 of them attract the same small crowd . if you ask 3 clearly different bands you will attract several crowds. Besides that, people usually don’t want to listen to only mosh or only youth crew at a show. At least i don’t Don’t pay too much for a band 1. Always pay the bands a % of the door money (in a lot of cases with a minimum guarantee). The money the bands and/or the tour booker is asking is in most cases more than they actually need, so try to get the band for a lower price. 2. On the other hand make sure it’s a fair deal because if you think the band wil draw at least 100 people and your ticket price is 7 euro it’s not really fair to offer them for example only 200 euro 3. Always (also if bands play for little money) make sure you have enough food and drinks for them. If you take care of bands, the next time you will contact them they are more likely to respond positively to you again. Invite all your friends and tell the (local) bands to do the same 4. of course you want a lot of visitors on your shows. Starting with all the people that you know yourself. When you don’t start to invite them who do you think is coming to the show then? 5. Always ask the band to send out an email list, myspacebulletin and sms’s to their fans, friends’ family colleagues, etc. Make a website, myspace, hyves etc.. 1. a website, myspace page, hyves page is important, so people can keep checking what you are doing. Always keep this up to date, so people know that you are always working on new things and keep coming back to your sites. Make flyers (& posters) 1. Make clear flyers for the show (or put more shows on a flyer) and make sure you spread them through your town. Also important is that you spread them at similar kind of shows the two months before your own show. 2. It’s very important to put all info on the flyer (bands – with description!!!, time, venue, price, website) 3. A lot of time you get posters from the (tour booker of the) band. Do the same with them as with the flyers 4. Don’t just stick to your own town/city but try to go to shows in other cities as well to flyer there or ask friends to do it if you don’t have the chance. Remember small shows are just as important as big ones. We have had a lot of experiences where so-called small shows with 3 local bands get a bigger crowd than 3 “bigger” touring bands Take care of your flyer-and poster distribution, drop them of at all the cool record- and clothing stores. Don’t forget skate-, snow- and BMX stores or “hip” hairdressers. Always ask if you’re allowed to drop flyers there or maybe put up a poster.
38 Mailing list 1. Because people are lazy..... You have to keep them up to date with all your shows. The best way is to send them emails (newsletters) once in a while with all your up to date info. Don’t do this too much, because then people get sick of your emails and unsubscribe from your mailing list. It takes a while to get a proper amount of people on this list, but just starts with your own friends and you will notice that this amount will grow in time. 2. Also try to get media attention from other types of websites then the usual punkrock/hardcore websites like asice.net or punx.nl. Websites like 3voor12, kindamuzik, liveXS or vice magazine are interested in hearing what’s happening in the underground. Use their forums to promote your show or send them an email if they are interested in writing a review or offer them some free tickets to give away in their newsletter. Upcoming shows 1. Don’t get worried if you don’t have any shows coming up for a month or so, because then you obviously didn’t get any interesting bands offered to you or they decided to go to another city. Make sure though you keep on working getting more shows and keep people informed of what you’re working on. Looking ahead 2. keep checking regularly what the booking agencies are working on/having coming up regarding touring bands. In a few years (after you’ve done lots of shows and proved yourself) you might have the luxury of booking agencies contacting you first but this is not the case in the beginning. Too many shows 1. Before you confirm a show check how many other shows on/around your shows are going on because if people have to choose you might get less people to your show resulting in a possible loss. The same goes for booking too many shows yourself (especially if you’re doing it al on your own) as also then people have to make choices so better to do a few good shows than a lot of average ones.
o w o t h
p o o t a gr h
Don’t use to expensive gear for punk rock pics. Otherwise you would be to worried that something will break. And to shoot some nice punk rock pics you simply don’t need the best equipment. Flash! In general the stage lights at punk rock shows suck bigtime. Because of the action on stage you won’t shoot any cool pictures without a flesh. Be selective. Don’t dump your compact flash card on the internet but only expose pictures that really stand out. Keep an eye on the crowd. Sometimes the crowd is a more interesting subject fo photography than the musicians. The interaction between crowd and musicians is what punkrock makes unique…. Try to capture those energetic moments
Go up front! From the back you will not be able to shoot any action packed shot so move that lazy ass to the front.
40 koen tornij Fix yourself a spot in the crowd or on stage where you can stand firm. Depending on the venue, you’re bound to be hit if there’s any movement by the crowd. You don’t wanna fall on top of your own camera now, do you? Look around during the show, if you only watch the show through the lens, the chance of missing something much bigger. Especially when you know the band is playing, there’s always that one moment where the crowd explodes or the band jumps in the air simultaneously. And that’s where you get the coolest expressions (and ugliest ones too!) Keep in touch with the bands. Every band is interested in photos, even yours. If it is’t for artwork or merch, it’s just the sake of having photos of the show they played. At some point the band will recognize you, and then things start to get real fun. You know you’re doing something good when a guitar player asks you to shoot his wedding. If you want people to see your photos, get noticed. Take that camera everywhere, even to places where it is not allowed to shoot photos. If you slip in with your camera and shoot 10 photos, before security notice you’re already done. Don’t expect to get paid. Even if you’re gonna get paid, it’s not gonna be much. But instead just give away your photos to the bands, they appreciate that very much and a lot of times you’ll get free stuff, free entrance, free road trips or free whatever.
41 Burkhard MÜller The Five Do’s and Don’ts for taking showphotos Do look for a good position. There’s nothing more annoying than a photographer concealing the band, it’s not you the kids come out to see. I prefer the border in front of the stage. You see everything and don’t conceal anyone. Don’t be afraid of damaged equipment and getting hurt. It was your decision to take photo’s on a punk rock show. Take care for yourself, but when you follow tip one and don’t annoy the people they usually keep an eye on you. Do it fast! Some technical infos: A wide angled lens has a big depth of field that also stand for a faster focus. The less you have to focus the faster you van react and catch the moment of your choice . Do it for the scene. There are many kids taking photos an hoarding them at home. Put stuff online, that’s always the better choice, even when they are not the best ones. Often it is more the personal involvement than the professional realization which makes a good showphoto. Don’t expect becoming rich. You can not earn money with photos of bands from the underground – maybe in 20 years. But this shouldn’t be the reason for taking photos on punkrock shows
42 With their second full length “When Fear Is All Around Us”, Smash The Statues affirms their status as one of Europe’s best answers to the aforementioned bands.
Union Town Self Titled (powered Records) THE word that best describes this Dutch punk rock band and its releases is “awesome”. Because until now, everything this band has done is simply just that. An amazing demo, one unbelievable contribution to the Glory Days compilation and jaw-dropping live performances. And now there’s a new record. Well, not really new ‘cause the vinyl version of this disc was released somewhere last summer. And luckily Union Town hasn’t changed much, if any. Virtuoso guitar parts, portentous drumming, bass lines for baby makers and impressive singing. More than before, they are not only taking cues from 30 years of punk rock but they also seem to embrace (no pun intended) acts like Creedence Clearwater Revival and late seventies
Antillectual Testimony (shield) Antillectual is the only Dutch DIY band, besides No Turning Back, that is willing to take that next step in music. Touring constantly across the globe to spread their music and message, these three guys from Nijmegen and Arnhem wholeheartedly dedicate their lives to this band. Where most bands try it, Antillectual does it and makes it look really easy. “This is or testimony of the things we see happening around us and we do not agree upon” This line is taken from the explanation of the opening track “Testimony” (a Boysetsfire-esque intro song) and pretty much sums up the lyrical content of this record. Some isssues they adress, like war, feminism and broken promises, are more important than others (“scene” issues or corporate advertising) but all lyrics are spot on and written with sincerety. And sincerity is the basis of all great things. Every song is explained to make sure that you know what they are singing and screaming about. In comparing “Testimony” with “Silencing Civilization”, one is struck by the musical progress since that time. Dynamic changes, intelligent songwriting, richly colored melodies. A true parade of different punk rock styles. Being a conservative prick when it comes to punk rock music, I’m losing my head over songs like “Sponsorship for life” and “Benefit of the doubt”. Unbelievable! But all the pieces work extremely well together even though the ending can be a bit of challenge due to the length of both the song “I hope you got my letter” and the Shawshank Redemption sample. A Sturm und Drang approach to political punk rock is certainly not unique but proves to be the most memorable. It should be no suprise that fans of Propagandhi and Strike Anywhere will do themselves a huge favor by checking out this uncanny record.
hardcore edge than NOFX ever had. With their
fusion of melodic punk rock and fast hardcore,
The breathtaking artwork has a No Idea –ish
Brat Pack is not just bridging a gap, they make it
feel to it and is done by the very talented Mara
sound like there never was a gap to begin with.
Piccione and looks even better on the vinyl release.
The really powerful, thick production by Menno
As I may have already implied, I view everything
Bakker and great cover art by Ronald Huiskes
of Union Town as essential and this soulful
round off a, for as far as I’m concerned, flawless
record is no exception. That might not mean
much , coming from a punk rock junkie, but even if you are remotely interested in good music, you
smash the statues when
should pick this up.
Glory days (Angry Youth)
Dutch foursome Smash The Statues are not
Polar Bear Club
on a daily basis for the last couple of months and
the most original band you’ll ever come across.
Our favourite politician Rita
it still hasn’t gone dull. Can´t wait to see them
Musically they obviously take their clues from
Verdonk recently started a new political party
open up for The Gaslight Anthem at the end of
Good Riddance, Propagandhi, Strike Anywhere
called “Trots op Nederland” (Proud of The
and early Rise Against and lyrically they rage
Netherlands). Well, I can’t relate to her and her
against pretty much everything that a political
political ideas at all, but I know what it means to
It took some time to get into this record. When I
punk rock band is expected to rage against.
be proud of The Netherlands. And “Glory Days”
received it, I gave it a spin and I think it took 5
Hate The Neighbours
Pollution, homophobia, religion, war, materialism,
is the reason why. Four great punk rock bands
songs before I switched to another record. This
neo-nazism, politicians and the media, pretty
from our little country on one 7”, how cool is
much all the customary subjects are checked off.
happened a couple of times until one of my cats decided to take a nap on my lap and I was forced
Brat Pack from Nijmegen
But is that a bad thing? If you ask me: heck no.
to listen through the entire thing. And while
made a great first impression in 2006 with a
I think you can never have too many bands like
There are four songs on this disc and I like them
listening to the latter songs it finally dawned to
demo that was later re-issued as a seven inch.
these. And by literally quoting Propagandhi in
all. That doesn’t happen very often when I listen
me that this is an amazing record. Just listen to
The band now returns with a full length album
the booklet these guys acknowledge that they’re
to compilations, let me tell you. The emotion-
the punk rock anthems “Tried”, “Our Ballads”
that’s easily one of the best Dutch hardcore/punk
aware of the fact that they’re not touching any
filled but still rocking song “Soul” by Tenement
or the closing song with epic proportions
rock releases of the last few years.
new grounds. They’re just doing what they like
Kids, “The Other Way” by The Real Danger, who
and they do it really well.
easily match Face To Face with their melodic
called “Convinced I’m Wrong” and I bet you are
punk rock, “Dancing Dead” by Union Town, the
shouting along in no time! The music reminds me
“Hate the Neighbours” is made up of thirteen
of bands like Gunmoll and Small Brown Bike but
impressive bursts of energy that, since not too
Musically this band is about as tight and
band that was the band of the evening for me
I wouldn’t categorize them as just another “No
many bands are currently playing hardcore punk
energetic as they get. The production by Nico
during a Bad Brains show (go figure!), and Brat
Idea band”. One of the reasons is singer Jimmy
like it was made in California in the mid to late
van Montfort (who also plays bass) is really
Pack with “Elections”, a short but very powerful
Stadt who does not have a whiskey soaked voice
80’s, sound nicely refreshing. There are “S&M
powerful and exactly right. And the sincerely
outburst of energy (and it fits nicely with the
that we all know and love about the label. The
Airlines” and “Ribbed” era NOFX influences all
pissed off sounding vocals are easily intense
political comment I started this review with). It’s
guy sounds a lot like Rise Against singer Tim
over the melodic guitar parts, but the explosive
enough to give “When Fear Is All Around Us” the
all just great stuff!
McIlrath on `The Unraveling` and writes amazing,
rhythm section, pissed off vocals and intense
spirit that is absolutely essential for this type of
You better get this, because this is an instant
personal lyrics. I´ve been listening to this record
performance give this album much more of a
classic for sure.
43 dead To me
the first MCD/12” called ‘Hope Against Hope’.
Well, Witness is everything I hoped it to be. It’s
Just as during their live shows, The Hunger
a logical follow up to “My Love, My Way” but it
brings you a heavy form of hardcore in the vein of
feels different nonetheless. If it seemed like the
With a follow-up you always have to compare it
Integrity and Cursed combined with the rocking
world came to an end on “My Love, My Way”,
to the previous album but I don’t know yet if this
Jack’s new band! It wasn’t
vibes of The Hope Conspiracy and Unbroken.
you’ll be damn sure there’s nothing left of it after
one’s better or if I prefer their previous effort. I
easy to contain my enthusiasm when I first
Seeing them live a couple of times this year, I
listening to Witness. Aside from the catchy (for
don’t want to chose anyway. I like both albums
learned that Jack Dalrymple, singer/guitarist
noticed they were picking up their own style
MLIW at least) “D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S.” there
and I’m sure they’ll both end up in my CD player
for the amazing but defunct One Man Army,
more and more.
are less singalongs on this record. It’s all darker
a lot. In short: They did it again. Already looking
and even more desperate. I can be short about
forward to their next release.
put together a band with Chicken, bassist for Western Addiction and former and founding One
The six statements on ‘Hope Against Hope’ are
the production, it’s better than on “My Love,
Man Army member Brandon. In the beginning
the first conclusions of that. Packed in a great
My Way”. The artwork (including the 24 page
my excitement was a little bit overshadowed by
looking digipack and a monstrous sound the six
booklet!) is done by Jake Bannon (Converge) and
skepticism but boy, they sure do deliver. Easily
songs are putting back the hard into hardcore in
is really cool, black and silver/grey images with
one of the best, if not THE best, punk rock record
the Netherlands. Clocking in within a quarter of
of this year. Jack and Chicken’s dual vocal attack
an hour these songs are raging without forgetting
has been done before but never worked out so
the groovy element just like in the last part of
good. Musically the mix of street punk, punk rock
“Hope Against Hope” or “Sole Survivor”. As
and power pop will appeal to a wide audience.
always singer Nico is screaming his guts out and
Any fans of Leatherface, One Man Army, Dillinger
on “Sway with Me” he has used the same titled
4 and Therapy? out there? Looking for something
poem of Charles Bukowski as lyrics.
parts of the lyrics. Works great.
new and fresh? This is the shit! If you have some cash left after buying all the punk classics, do
In roughly one year The Hunger has became a
yourself a favor and buy this modern classic
band that’s standing in the forefront of the Dutch
while it’s still goes for the cover price. The band
hardcore scene without losing the fresh energy
has it all and is bound to become huge.
of young guns starting to play and with the experience of a longer running band.
Rentokill the ose
the real danger
self titled (shield)
What do you prefer: LPs or CDs? You don’t have to ask yourself that
Loose, melodic, catchy and
question when you get this release, because
rocking. Punk rock in the best sense. I have
you get both formats in one package. And what
been hearing Descendents and Face To Face
makes it even better: the LP is a picture disc.
comparisons and they are well justified. There
A butt ugly one, but still: it’s a picture disc and
picture discs are cool. moments where it gets more rockin’, reminding Side one of this concept EP by Austria’s Rentokill
me of mid nineties pop punk records by Lookout!
contains ‘The OSE’. Although it’s cut into three
bands such as The Queers and Pinhead
“songs” for your convenience (‘The Object’,
Gunpowder and maybe a little bit of a dorkier
‘The Subject’ and ‘The End’), it’s really one
Screeching Weasel, chock-full of personal lyrics.
consecutive, almost seemless whole that clocks
in at about ten minutes. The music reminds me
Thirteen amazing songs (including four re-
of Vision, Propagandhi and Strike Anywhere, and
recorded demosongs) that would have been my
the triptych as a whole sounds like a somewhat
soundtrack for the summer of 2007. This will get
moodier version of NOFX’s ‘The Decline’, as
a nice spot next to “Baja California” and “How I
it goes through of wide vary of sections with
spend my summer vacation”. Basically, stuff that
different moods and tempos without ever
will cure everyone’s winter depression. Get it!
sounding too patchy.
modern life is war Side B is considerably less impressive as it only
contains a bonus track, ‘Downtown Train’, which
stands apart from ‘The OSE’ and is little more
Dead To Me little brother
When Jack Dalrymple (One Man Army, Swingin’ Utters) and
than a repetitive riff and a simple sing-a-long. Oh
There are not many CD’s that
Chicken (Western Addiction) joined forces and created an
well, I guess they just had to put something on
I get really excited about, but the new Modern
absolutely marvellous listening experience with “Cuban
Life Is War CD was one of those. In 2003 they
Ballerina”, I already predicted a bright future for this outfit from
blown me away out of the blue with their debut
San Fransisco. They already played the songs from this new EP when they came over
For the price of a regular 12”, Rentokill gives you
(Check Lou’s review), so I couldn’t wait to spin
in May to stun their European audiences for the second time. From that moment on the
a picture disc, a CD and an ambitious piece of
this next release. With every live show I saw, the
waiting game started. So the big question is: did they deliver? Yes, they fucking did! The
music that works out pretty well, so it’s safe to
expectations grew higher and higher.
sheer quality of this five songs make up for its short length. Great songs, amazing melodies
say that this is a good deal.
and honest lyrics. The key ingredients to make an awesome record in my book. And with Before I’ll let you know if they fulfilled those
Jack Dalrymple, they probably have one of the best singers in punk rock and he alone lifts
expectations, I’ll have to introduce this band to
this record above the countless punk rock records flooding the scene. He plays a bigger
Hope Against hope
the few unlucky people that lived under a rock
part on this record compared to their debut. It’s not that I don’t want to hear Chicken sing
or something (you can replace this with any
but Jack IS the better vocalist and it totally works for these songs.One of the fine examples
cliche phrase you want). Some keywords for you
of the extraordinary power that music exerts on us all.
After a sold out two song demo tape at the end of 2007, now it is time for
: darkness, intense, passionate, heavy, melodic, desperate and pissed.
44 rise and fall
The CD kicks off fast and furious with “Forked
It fits the mood of the CD perfectly. The lyrics
they sounded like a Bad Religion clone with a
Tongues” and the intensity of that track holds up
are a bit hard to read though and that’s the only
nasal singer and their live shows were always
for the rest of the CD. With songs like “Failure Is
negative thing you’re going to get from me about
As Failure Does”, “Live In Sin” and “The Void”
punkmetal, not punk, not metal, not clevo
(guest vocals by Stijn Reproach) Rise And Fall completely blows you away.
hardcore, certainly not metalcore. Punkmetal,
So when I heard that this Swedish band was Be sure to check them out live, if you didn’t
going to release a new album, seven years after
already. You wil not be disappointed. Anyway,
they called it quits and eight years after their last
don’t forget. So what does punkmetal sound
Bjorn screams like there’s no tomorrow and the
get with the program, pick this up. Another killer
album “State of Flow” came out, the news left me
like? Well in the case of Rise And Fall like a
band seems to be chasing some of their own
release from Reflections.
quite indifferent. And now that I’m listening to it,
gigantic wall of sound hitting you like a train and
demons too. “Stakes Is High” and instrumental
destroying as much as possible in the process.
closer “Ruins” are a bit slower, but even those
Only not sounding as cliche as this description.
songs make you wanna crush things. Everything
From a nostalgic point of view I think it’s cool to
Others say they sound like Ringworm, Integrity
just sounds so damn heavy!
hear a new album that could just as well have
correct, I guess. Another band that kept popping
The production is raw (in a good way) and it fits
up while listening was Tragedy, on overdrive
the Rise And Fall sound perfectly. The artwork is
chaotic, desolate, harsh, cold, intense. Yes,
perhaps. Bust most of all Rise And Fall sounds
done by J. Bannon so you know what to expect.
they’ve managed to do it again. They’ve
raw and pissed.
Skulls and a lot of splatters. The drawing inside
produced just another masterpiece to which all
“Low Rider” is definately a solid album, but it’s
the booklet is great, even better than the front.
these adjectives are applicable. It catches your
mostly solid like a professionally done routine job
attention from the beginning and you won’t loose
on the automatic pilot.
I actually still am indifferent.
been made in the mid-90s, with the familiar
and Entombed mixed together, which is quite fierce,
quasi-Californian punk rock sound, but the songs all sound really uninspired to me.
it till the record is over. It starts off with a series of rather short and fast tracks. Especially the
Me First And The
song Vengeance displays a return to the metallic
vibe of earlier albums, although it’s not as
Have Another Ball
apparent as on Petitioning The Empty Sky. The
first moment offering the possibility to recover from the violence of the initial stint is provided
“Have A Ball”, the first album by what just might
by Weight Of The World. But this is kind of
be the world’s most popular cover band, was
misleading, since the track functions as an intro
released in 1996. No less than eight of the twelve
for the fast, intense and raging album title track,
tracks on that album were released as seven
one of my favorites on this record. It comes to an
inch singles, each with a non-album track on the
end in a similar fashion as its predecessing track
B-side. “Have Another Ball” compiles these eight
begins. Plagues is a slower, more twisted song,
B-sides and adds four more outtakes from the
and it’s followed by the album’s epic Grim Heart/
“Have A Ball” sessions.
Black Rose, featuring beautiful guest vocals by Jonah Jenkins of Only Living Witness. This is a
With excellent punk rock versions of pop classics
great emotional and desolate song, lasting for
such as “The Boxer” (Simon & Garfunkel),
over nine minutes. And after this song it’s full
“Country Roads” (John Denver), “Theme From
throttle again with Orphaned. Lonewolves is
Mahogany” (Diana Ross) and “Don’t Let The
characterized by complaining vocals, which we
Sun Go Down On Me” (Elton John), this album
know of Converge’s former efforts. The rest of
is just as enjoyable as any of the regular Me First
I’ve never been into acoustic singer/songwriter or folk that much, but
the record is fierce, metallic and chaotic with
and the Gimme Gimmes albums. Even if there’s
I bet this release is about to change all that. Sure, it was the Hot
some more elaborate interludes and To The
a tune or two (Barry Manilow’s “I Write The
Water Music connection that made me check out Chuck Ragan’s
Lions is just the perfect finishing track, leaving
Songs”, Neil Diamond’s “Coming To America”)
solo work at first, but due to the catchy and moving song The Boat,
you behind with ringing ears.
that doesn’t really work as a punk rock song, and
chuck ragan feast or famine (side one dummy)
even if Spike wasn’t as good a singer yet in 1996
he immediately got me hooked. I started to get addicted to the live album Los Feliz right away and was very curious about his first studio recordings on Feast Or
This album reminds me a lot of Jane Doe, which
Famine. And then, when I first spun it round, I couldn’t say I was really happy with it. The polished
is a good thing in my opinion, because that’s my
sound of the recordings didn’t quite match the raw stripped-down approach of the live record in
favorite Converge record. They didn’t reinvent
my opinion. But I thought, hey, come on, don’t give up on this. Give it a try.
themselves, but hey, they already are a selfmade
We’ve All Been Down
The album opens with The Boat. By adding some additional effects and guitars here and there,
institute. As long as they keep putting out great
the song becomes somewhat more accessible, and sets the tone for the following song For
releases like No Heroes, I won’t complain. Singer
Broken Ears. Both really good acoustic songs with a more conventional rock sense to it than
Jake Bannon is repeating himself a bit as it
Unless you just don’t care for
some of the songs that follow. The third one California Burritos, for example, is an all out Cajun
comes to the artwork, though. It seems he only
anything with loud, distorted guitars at all, I think
folk song, with violins and female vocals. The song Geraldine opens with a banjo riff and brings
knows one graphic trick. But apart from that, this
that Tenement Kids are one of those band that
that alt-country feel. And with this mix of American roots music and contemporary rock and punk
one is awesome again!
are hard to really dislike. These guys combine
elements, Chuck continues his journey of gold-honest and beautiful songs. Towards the end the
as he is now.
catchy and melodic songs with a raw, intense
best songs will pass. Especially the last two songs are of epic proportions, climaxing with tear-
no fun at all
and heartfelt performance, they’re musically
jerking choruses. And like the live album, this studio effort full of quality material is addicting as
diverse and open minded and on top of all that,
fuck. You’ll keep spinning it around.
they can really play. So what’s not to like?
an almost oversaturated niche, it’s hard to create something relevant. But Chuck Ragan silences
No Fun At All was one of
The group’s first-full length “We’ve All Been
the critics with his combination of affecting music and lyrics by which he reveals his soul. And
Europe’s best known punk rock bands in the
Down” starts off with what sounds like a typical
of course, his signature raw voice is the icing on the cake. When you add the nice artwork to all
1990s. Ten years ago you’d see the familiar
Southern rock riff, which is a funny nod to the
that, there’s very little doubt less that this is an essential, kids! This could be your introduction
shirts with their logo everywhere at every punk
somewhat peculiar cover art, but switches to
to American folk music...
rock show you went to. And to be perfectly
their by now familiar Hot Water Music-ish mixture
honest, I never quite understood why. To my ears
of raw (punk) rock with some serious balls and
Of course, Chuck Ragan isn’t the first punk musician starting to search for his roots. And amidst
45 clever, poppy hooks soon enough. Basically the
guitar solo’s and authentic seventies riffs. All
The lyrics are all personal like “The only person
group picks things up where they left off with
songs are direct hits whether you talk about
I’ve ever been afraid of is me”. I like it. The
their EP “Doves” two years ago, but this time the
“Get A Job”, “Bad Luck” or “Germ Freak (I Ain’t
artwork is ok, a nice drawing of a heart but the
No)”. You’ll see that not only Annihilation Time’s
outcome is a bit too dark. The picture you see
The five song EP ‘Fences’
sound refers to the seventies/early eighties,
on your left is much brighter.
is the first release by this punk rock band from
but this last title (and also the lyrics) are also
Even though Tenement Kids already made a
Zwolle and is definately a very solid one. The
referring to those times.
more than convincing impression with their rock-
poppy and melodic punk rock sounds somewhat
solid debut two years ago I think I can safely say
generic, but is really tight and professional and
What else can I say? With the stereo on ten it’s
forget to check them out on tour next year!
that this release is a vast improvement. So go
reminds of bands like Pulley, Rise Against and
like playing the old punk and hardrock albums
Can’t wait to see this band live, I’ll be there for
figure how good this one is...
Face To Face.
of your daddy with a production that isn’t too
songs are even catchier, more diverse and more adventurous.
All in all this is a band both oldschool and mosh fans should check out. Get this. Now. And don’t
old fashioned. Currently they are still on tour in
Although purely musically speaking Midnight
In a Million Pieces
Menace doesn’t really stand out that much, this
band does have a major trump to lift it far above
mediocrity: lead vocalist Heleen Tichelaar is
Epidemic (crash landing)
Europe, so be sure to catch them while you can.
Build A Nation (megaforce)
At times like this, I wish
one of the best female vocalists I’ve ever heard
I’d never heard of Hot Water Music. Because
in this genre. Her powerful and crystal clear
no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to
singing really lifts the music to a higher level
review this record without comparing The Draft
and makes it so accessible that I even wouldn’t
to that legendary band. There’s just something
be surprised if this band would get picked up by
in the back of my mind going “you know that
3FM and TMF. And if that would already happen
- They rock like hell.
opinion on it and discussions broke loose on
three members of this band were in Hot Water
with this release, I’d put my money on the
- They see the beauty of ugly artwork.
the message boards, also on the board section
Music” over and over again. The most shallow
insanely catchy ‘Seperate Ways’ as the song
- They are named after one of England’s coolest
of this e-zine. Some people loved it right away,
view therefore would be that this is just a new
that could get things done.
football players ever.
others were skeptical. I was among the latter
- Bootsman used to be in this band.
group. The big downside wasn’t the music in
Hot Water Music record – minus Chuck Ragan
release, the new Bad Brains album featuring the original line up already leaked onto the 10 Reasons why you should like Gascoigne:
internet and the buzz got started. A new record by the Bad Brains... Everyone already had an
and with a new guitar player, but there’s more to
The great cover art by Gijs van Hal and excellent
- Martheun still is.
my opinion. But the vocals of HR, or the lack
this record than just that. This record takes the
production by Nico van Montfort round off a
- Their demo and first album were very good
there of, were way less than I had expected.
melodic side of Hot Water Music a step further,
fairly impressive first release by a band that
and so is this new 7”.
Especially the exaggerated echo and pitch
by incorporating more pop and rock elements
clearly has quite some potential.
- There is a side ‘Gasc’ and a side ‘Oigne’ on
effects used on the vocals annoyed me. Well, in
short, I was disappointed.
then before. A new start – with a new name and all, probably
- Four(!) labels were eager to release the
helps a band to re-evaluate itself and to set out
Epidemic 7”: Crash Landing Records and
And then I received a promo copy of Build A
a new course. To that extent, this really is a new
Nation… Ok, well, let’s give it a few more spins
Disillusioned Records from England and World’s
before I’m going to form my definitive opinion
Appreciated Kitsch from Greece.
on it, I thought. So I did. Being one of the few
band. When Canada’s conscience
At the same time, it is impossible to regard
delivers another classic, critics (the REAL
- We reviewed this 7” way too late, so this could
still sporting an old-fashioned discman while
this record as being ‘a debut’, if you consider
enemy) battle each other with a plethora of
be a wake up call to some of you that don’t
traveling to work, I spun it round and round
that the major part of this band has so many
adjectives. I am only familiar with “awesome”
know Gascoigne yet.
while sitting in the train. And somehow, after
years of experience together in such an
so forgive me for not partaking. This is an
- They might be psychic, since this 7” is called
a few days, it seemed Build A Nation started
impressive band. It’s just no comparing it with
awesome record, despite the somewhat silly,
‘Epidemic’ and all of a sudden the swine flu
to find its way into the discman itself. I started
the average rookies. The Draft certainly has all
thrashy parts. It will definitely wake people up
to sing along to the rastafari reggae anthems
the advantages and disadvantages of a loaded
who slept through “Potemkin City Limits”. I can
think of a dozen better records to come out this
I actually began to like it. And that wasn’t it yet.
year (or the next couple of years) but it won’t be
...The Beat Goes On
It has come to the point I’m addicted to the
If both aforementioned views are basically
one in the category: “Awesome, political punk
rubbish – and are therefore to be dismissed –
what is ‘In a Million Pieces’ then? Leave it to
And did you know that Canada kills a seal cub
So let me try to describe the new Bad Brains
these guys to write a record that combines a bit
for each sold copy of “Supporting Caste”? And
surprised me, I absolutely loved the “Left
record. It has got all the usual Bad Brains
of a southern groove with anthemic punk and
if you buy the vinyl version, you get a certificate
Alone” song. A Great Cro Mags/Madball vibe,
ingredients. There are some hardcore punks
that guarantees you that the harmless, white
but without sounding like a copy. I still listen to
songs as well as some reggae/dub tunes.
hardcore vibe. It’s not really a complex record,
coated creature will be skinned alive. Instead of
that demo a lot. The next release “Our Youth Is
Vocals still aren’t the strongest point of the
but one that gets stuck in your head rather
a download card! Again, awesome!
Wasted” still had that vibe. And then we got the
release. Many songs only feature a few lines
two songs on the split with First Blood, which
that are repeated a couple of times. And some
quick. And unlike many records that do just that,
and even put it on at home. I had had to admit
this one doesn’t go stale quick. It has enough
showed us some more American Nightmare
songs really miss vocals on certain parts. The
grittiness and sharp edges to keep you listening
vocal effects can be annoying the first time you
to this record over and over. At least, that’s the
effect it had on me.
listen to it, but I’m completely used to them And that’s where “...The Beat Goes On” picks
now and they don’t bother me anymore. I even
it up. There’s less “singing” and more over
think it’s cool to hear HR -completely lost in
“That’s what I like about it, it’s not so
I’m not a big punkrock fan but I make
the top screaming on this record. Something I
his belief in Jah- sing his message of love and
an exception when it comes to the style
regret, because it’s what made the band stand
peace in his own mental way. The reggae songs
opening song. Now there’s a spot-on analysis
Annihilation Time plays. Mixing the energy and
out for me a bit more. But does that make a
on Build A Nation are some of the finest the
of this record.
aggression of punk with the virtuosity and balls
bad album? Hell no. It’s still raging hardcore
band recorded to date. And the hardcore punk
of hardrock in well-balanced songs hasn’t been
with a great groove and some killer mosh parts.
songs are authentic, they breath the old BB
the right formula for every band, but Annihilation
Personal favorites? “Wolves At My Door” and
feel. Adam Yauch of the Beasty Boys produced
Time succeeds with this recipe for the third time
especially “Good Grief”. I should also note
the album and he did a great job. The mix isn’t
now. ‘III, Tales of the Ancient Age’ again proves
they end the album in a great way with the
very standard and stands out and especially the
the band has written ten raging songs in the
instrumental “Mother Theresa”.
bass sound kicks ass. Build A Nation definitely
fast forward punkrock style full of incredible
doesn’t top Rock For Light or I Against I, but I
hardrock ‘n roll. A pounding bass, rolling drums
and heavy guitars riffs put together one hell of
a sound and together with the enraged vocals
searching for answers. If all this sounds a little
Done with you
this compounds into one crushing blast. Think
ambitious, it is. But a little ambition never hurt
of a heavy mix of Motörhead and Mastodon.
think it’s a good runner up in terms of quality.
The grinding bass is very upfront in the mix
Abraham—think Bob Mould with a head cold— of
you’ll find a skeptical non-believer genuinely
anyone. The Chemistry of Common Life is...
is there anybody out there
which makes it even more filthy. The opening
that hasn’t seen a Dead Stop-show? No?
track however is the best track on the album.
The hardest part about reviewing Fucked Up’s
That’s what I thought. Does this band need
They continue quite strong with “The Long
latest record is trying to boil it down to a single
(not just words)
an introduction? No? That’s what I thought.
Walk” and after that, they do manage to keep
But I’m still gonna do it anyway. This 4-piece
me into it, but I’m not totally blown away
hardcore-machine from Belgium released a
anymore. The melodic and slow sixth song of
“The Chemistry of Common Life is this
out in 2003 they focused on the old NYHC
demo that sold out in no-time, after that came
the album called “Midnight eye” is a welcome
generation’s New Day Rising.” Perhaps. Do
sound of the early Agnostic Front stuff and
the small vinyl stuff, and now it’s time to put
intermission though. Overall it’s quite original,
kids these days know Hüsker Dü?
Antidote. Through the years and releases such
14 tracks on CD/LP and show the world what
offers some real good heavy rocksongs and has
this band is capable of doing when it comes
a fine layout and great production so you might
“The Chemistry of Common Life is like getting
towards a sound that reminds me of Black Flag
down to a full length. What to expect? Negative
want to check this out.
hit with a ton of bricks.” True, but that’s a
especially, but it also has the punky attitude that
a band like Circle Jerks had. To sum it up: this is
Approach, Reagan Youth, a twist of SSD, and
When Nothing Done started
as “Idiot Stomp” and “Powertrip” there’s a shift
that leaves you with Dead Stop’s ‘Done With
hot water music
You’. The album contains 14 tracks of pissed
“The Chemistry of Common Life is the second
Dutch band with ex-members of Uppercut and
off Reagan Era hardcore, and it just keeps on
coming of hardcore punk.” Arguably, but after
Know Your Enemy managed to do it in a modern
being cannibalized in the late ‘80s and again
way. Menno Bakker produced the new songs
over the last few years, does “hardcore” even
on “Everybody Knows” and he took care of the
mean anything anymore?
modern day sound that captures the energy of
going like a speeding train. Vocals sound mean, the riffs are fast and raw with some nice solo’s
Hot Water Music’s follow-up
in them. The way we all like it. Just press ‘buy’.
to last year’s presciently titled A Flight and a
hardcore punk in its purest form. However, this
Nothing Done to the fullest. He plays guitar on
Crash takes itself very seriously and begs its
listener to do the same. Caution, the Florida-
However it’s billed, Fucked Up’s sophomore
“Jail Bait” and “Everybody Knows” too, by the
State of Confusion
grown emo quartet’s seventh album, brims with
release is one of 2008’s singular records. For
way. In less than 14 minutes the band pours out
thick, howling guitars and steady rhythms. The
whatever reason, loud punk rock has fallen out
10 songs and the only thing you can do is just
lyrics can be moody and melodramatic: Singer
of favor as of late, and with its crunchy power
let it overwhelm you, because Nothing Done is
Chris Wollard cries, “You needed the pain to
chords and overdubbed guitars, The Chemistry
clearly one of the best hardcore bands in The
hardcore scene is back on the map with bands
feel you had a connection” on “Not for Anyone,”
of Common Life is an unapologetically loud
Netherlands at this point.
like Abusive Action, State Of Mind, A Step
while co-frontman Chuck Ragan warns that
punk record. Despite a surprisingly visceral
Apart, Nothing Done and Restless Youth. The
“Death won’t set us free/Nor will misery” on
first listen, Chemistry reveals itself to be
last band impressed with their “Bad Trip” demo
“Sweet Disasters.” But the gloomy rants are
expertly crafted record with hidden subtleties
so Dead & Gone Records gave them the chance
offset by a few Fugazi-style yell-alongs, making
at every turn, be they the synths that swirl
to record and release some new material which
for a nice balance; touches such as the whoa-
in the background of “Golden Seal” or the
resulted in “State Of Confusion”. The six new
oh-ohs on “Wayfarer” and the dueling vocals
shared melodies of the album’s opener (“Son
The first LP by Vogue, I had
tracks are quite an improvement in comparison
on “The Sense” are impossible to deny. Just
the Father”) and closer (“The Chemistry of
some high expectations after their last 7” that
to the demo, which is added as a bonus to this
because Caution is serious doesn’t mean it
Common Life”). And if you listen hard enough to
served as a preview. Let me start out by saying
MCD by the way. The biggest influence for these
can’t be fun.
the thick growls of frontman Pink Eyes Damien
that if you liked their previous efforts, you’ll also
guys is obviously the Bad Brains, although
like this one! If you don’t know Vogue, and you
Dead Kennedys and Government Issue also
like bands like Violent Minds or Brutal Knights,
left their mark on the music of Restless Youth.
you’ll also like this one!
Probably on the lyrics then, because they are pretty political. This 17-minute explosion will
The first track starts off as we’re used by now,
bring the blood of many hardcore fans to a
fast and loud. The outburst by singer Bounce,
boiling point, so the youth will get restless once
a guitarsolo thrown in, sarcastic and pissed off
again. Nothing left to say except that this is a
lyrics (A TRAIN RUN OVER MY FORESKIN!),
everything is there. What’s new is that they added some parts
between songs, like for instance a sample. This
kinda takes the pace out of the record, so I’m
not really a fan of that. Furthermore you can really notice that the
Did anybody needed lessons
songs have gotten a lot better, they try new
on how to open an album? Pick up “Black
thing especially on side B. It starts of with a
Thunder” put it up at high volume and just listen how these guys kick off their record with the title track! Hard, heavy and with a killer Iron Maiden riff in between. Awesome track.
bridge and tunnel east/west (no idea) This is awesome. I mean that. With Jeff Cunningham screaming at me and Rachel Rubino making my panties wet with
Bonton’s Doomriders are comprised of a stellar
her own vocals, Bridge and Tunnel break through the comparisons to Hot Water Music, Small Brown Bike, or any of the
lineup featuring Nate Newton (Converge, Old
gruff-voiced bands that inspire men around the world to grow beards and wear plaid. Standing firmly on their own, B&T
Man Gloom), along with Jebb Riley (There
remind us that our youthful overzealousness should not be replaced by apathy that is so easy to be seduced by. Layering
Were Wires, Disappearer), Chris Pupecki (Cast
multiple guitars, multiple vocals and a rhythm section that gives my ears a hard on, B&T achieve on East/West what a lot
Iron Hike), and Chris Bevalaqua (Hallraker).
of bands have failed to do in recent years: getting me to scream along at the top of my lungs. While I was safely in the confines of my car, the terrified
Their music is dark and vicious. Their sound
looks on passersby verified that real emotion was present.
is powerfull and dirty. “Black thunder” features 13 tracks that could be described as ragging
w w w. r a g e d m a g a z i n e . c o m
Published on May 7, 2009