CF98 come from Poland and play catchy melodic pop skate punk. I talked to them a little for my zine, so read the interview.
Hello and welcome to my webzine! For start, how would you describe CF98 to the readers of this zine that didnt hear your band yet. What does the name mean?
Hi! It’s really nice you want to talk to us. Our band was created long time ago (13 years ago) when a lot of people in our country wanted to play fast skatepunk music full of melodies. This is when we met and started the band although not everyone is still a member. Alike every single person or band we had our ups and downs cause life sometimes sucks really bad :D. But anyway, we survived, we’ve changed a lot, we’ve grown up, recorded 5 albums, traveled Poland and some countries abroad. What is the most important we stayed true to ourselves and we still love skatepunk. Although there was a time we betrayed it a little.
The meaning of our name is simple – take a look at periodic table of the chemical elements. Californ 98 is our name as our first inspiration was Californian punkrock…
How did you get in touch with the underground music scene? Why is this diy underground scene and ethics so beautiful?
Me, personally, I discovered this scene when I joined the band. My friends already played in some other bands at that time. And I fell in love. With honesty, simplicity, team work, unity, helpfulness and of course music that was fast, positive and energetic – although so many genres exist here. I’m really thankful I’ve met a lot of people at that time who inspired me, who showed me that the best things in life happen when you count on yourself and your friends. That all those ideas coming from the underground are the most honest and true ones.. and the strongest ones. Man, I can talk about it for more 2 hours! Haha.
What is more important in your music, the lyrics or the riffs, what comes first when you are making a song? Where do you get your lyrical inspiration?
Music, lyrics and identity are 3 elements that make you stand out and make your band alive. For me. But talking about making songs by us, we usually start with instrumental music, then I just close my eyes and simply imagine what those sounds are about for me (no drugs involved, maybe glass of wine) and then I write it down. Our latest album – Story Makers is the first one I felt I needed to speak out about important staff so much – the world huge business, human behaviors, that racism is not cool etc. Till this album I prefered to inspire people, sing about being strong, having passions, stick to your true friends, having to let them go sometimes and my life. And our band’s life as this is also a good story to tell. Our friendship went through a lot as well…
How big is the scene in your hometown? Are there venues and clubs and fanzines, bands?
I live in Kraków, south of Poland. Hardcore scene is very strong here and in my country. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about melodic punkrock scene. Maybe the reason is a mentality of people here but this music is not very popular, not very needed, people connect this style mainly with foolish American teenage bands. There are maybe 8 bands now in Poland, so we simply do our best to promote this genre and support other bands as much as we can.
How is living in Poland in general? We hear in Croatia that there is pretty right wing government over there, banning a lot of stuff?
Well, same here. Lots of protests, government decisions that drive people crazy, unbelievable brain wash and right wing comments that unfortunately inspire a lot of stupid people. It was also the reason I had to write about it in our songs. We are taking a huge step backwards and it really breaks my heart, but what breaks my heart the most is racism, discrimination and hatred. It all starts with anxiety that our government simply feeds…
What do you think about the rising right wing tide in Europe? Did the recent terrorist attacks only increase the hatred among people?
I think the most important thing here is to remember that what we see and hear on tv is not always true. How can you hate someone just because someone tells you to do so or is trying to convince you that one group of people is bad and responsible for attacks? I don’t buy it, I really feel like this is a huge business going on here, and right wing tide is simple using it for their own interests.. Nothing happens without a reason, we see just a tip of the iceberg, this is a huge war, modern type of war for me that uses simple human feelings, emotions and social media to manipulate us. To tell us who should we hate and who should we love. Total bullshit. People die, I understand but people die not only in greatest countries we see on tv…
As I recall, it has been almost six months since Story Makers is out. How was the feedback on your last album?
Oh man, we are really proud of this album. We were simply planning to end CF98, due to lack of drummer, energy and good luck. And after 6 months after that time we had almost all the songs for Story Makers, the drummer, friendship and good times. Just because we did not give up. We received a lot of positive feedback, even from HC scene in PL. People say that this is our best album. I’m really thankful that Story Makers happened.
English lyrics vs lyrics in Polish language?
We have albums in Polish, but English was always my love. Our language is square for me and it’s really easier to write down my thoughts in English. A little strange but true!
What does the future hold in store for CF98?
In January we play couple of acoustic shows, to do something different for each other and friends. How often can you play punkrock, c’mon haha. Then, we have couple of shows planned in Slovakia and Poland. We are writing also very slowly new songs, so no pressure but we still make it going.
Thats it for the first time, thank you for your answers. For the end, tell me one thing. What do you guys know about Croatia? Maybe you heard for some Croatian band from our scene?
I remember one of my first hc/punk shows and that was Analena gig in Kraków. So good. And of course the sea – I know you are probably bored with it but your coast line is beautiful. I’m jealous. And I like your rakija.
Thanks for a chat and I hope CF98 will play in Croatia some day!
Follow CF98 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cf98music/