Missstand from Austria delivered a killer hardcore punk set on this year´s Tepih na Paleti festival in Slovenia, so it was about time that I talked to them a bit for this zine.
YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR A WHILE, NOW FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS FOR SURE. CAN YOU SAY, WHAT WAS THE LOWEST POINT OF THE PUNKROCK SCENE YOU SAW AND WITNESSED AS A BAND AND WHAT WAS ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FOR YOU AS A BAND?
Hey Davor! First of all, we wanna say thank you for getting the chance to answer your questions. Like you said, we are doing this band for 10 years now. We’re celebrating this jubilee this October in Austria within a few shows. To be honest, we are very privileged to have the opportunity to play in this band for such a long time. Many bands we got to know along these 10 years have already broken up, which is sad. We are still good friends and enjoy every show we can play. We always want to record some new songs and want to go on tour. It’s so nice that you can have so much fun and meet so many nice people by doing the thing you love. And regarding to your question, in the scene it’s like in your private life, there’s always up and downs.
YOU SING IN GERMAN LANGUAGE. COULD YOU HAVE DONE MORE IF YOU SUNG ONLY IN ENGLISH? I PERSONALLY THINK THAT IT IS AWESOME TO SING IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE BUT IF A BAND WANTS TO REACH MORE AUDIENCE WORLDWIDE, IS IT POSSIBLE TO REACH THEM WITH GERMAN LYRICS?
Good question. When we started doing this band, it was clear to us, to sing in German, because most of the bands we listened to, also sang in German language. There’s a huge scene in German speaking countries of German singing bands. It’s called Deutschpunk. We always wanted to make a Deutschpunkband, so we never considered singing in English. But I think by singing in German language it’s much more difficult to play gigs in non-German speaking countries. But in every country there are DIY scenes and I think if you’re focusing on it, it would also be possible to play shows worldwide. I think if people see that you’re into the DIY thing, it’s not important in what language you sing your songs.
WHEN PLAYING LIVE, DO YOU THINK THAT BAND SHOULD TALK BETWEEN THE SONGS AND EXPLAIN THE MESSAGE BEHIND THE MUSIC? I THINK THAT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR HARDCORE PUNK BAND TO INTERACT WITH THE CROWD AT GIGS, NOT ONLY TO ACT LIKE THEY ARE ON REHEARSAL. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THAT?
In my opinion every band has to decide how they act on a stage. There are a lot of bands which have good political statements between the songs, and they can reach a lot of people. But I also like hardcore punk bands which play their 20 minutes without any sayings. It depends from band to band. But in general, I like bands that make political statements.
THERE HAS BEEN SOME TIME FROM THE RELEASE OF YOUR CURRENT ALBUM, HOW WAS THE FEEDBACK? IS IT IMPORTANT FOR ANY SELF RESPECTING BAND TO BRING ALONG SOME MERCH WHEN TOURING? MERCH OFTEN SAVES THE BAND WHEN TOURING DOESN´T IT?
We released our current album „I Can’t Relax in Hinterland“ on September 1st 2017, which is now a year ago. We got so many positive reviews after releasing it. People wrote us nice messages and ordered the album, so that the first press is already running out after one year. Which is very nice for us and we didn’t expect this. Of course, we are making this music because we love it, but it’s always nice if people can relate to it and like the stuff you’re making. We also always have some merchandise with us. And yeah, if you’re touring merch is really helping that the tour isn’t turning into a financial disaster. But also, many people like to wear band shirts. Including myself.
HOW IS THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN AUSTRIA FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW? DO YOU GUYS THINK THAT EUROPE IS SLOWLY BUT SURELY HEADING TO HELL? IN MY COUNTRY, THAT IS CROATIA, I WITNESS THE REBIRTH OF FASCISM, PRIMITIVE IDEAS, VAIN POPULISM AND BLAMING SOMEONE FOR WORKERS MISERY AND HOPELESSNESS. IT ALL REMIND TOO MUCH OF THE 1930S DOESN˙ T IT?
Since the last election Austria is governed by right wing extremists, which label themselves as a liberal rightwing. But they are passing laws, that are just focusing on making the rich even richer and cutting down every social support for the poorer ones, especially for asylum seekers. They are closing the European borders and are celebrating themselves as heroes for doing so. But the consequence of these closed borders are thousands of people dying in the Mediterranean Sea. And the people in Austria don’t even care about that. Asylum seekers are labelled by right wing politicians and media as rapists and terrorists and many people get scared by that bullshit. So yeah, Europe is slowly heading to hell. And if we don’t stand up against this shit, 1930 is really coming again.
HOW MUCH IS DIY ASPECT IMPORTANT TO YOU AS A BAND? DO YOU HAVE A MANAGER? DO YOU HAVE SOME LABEL DOING THE WORK AND PR FOR YOU? CAN YOU SAY FOR MISSSTAND THAT YOU HAVE A STRONG ETHICAL PHILOSOPHY BEHIND THE BAND?
Without DIY this band wouldn’t exist for this long. Everything we do is DIY in some way. We book our shows by ourselves, all of our designs are made by us, we released our first two albums by ourselves, and so on. For the last album we got the chance to release it on „Aggressive Punk Produktionen“, which is a very political label with many great German punk bands. Most of them were the first bands we listened to, when we got into the scene. Matze, the owner of the label, is such a great guy and he really knows what he is doing and is always very supportive. But in general, it wouldn’t be possible to have a punk band without DIY. Beside the band, we are also organizing shows for touring bands. Regarding the question about the ethical philosophy behind the band, all three of us are living a vegan lifestyle. But that’s just a personal decision. But it’s also very important for us, that our merchandise is produced as ethical as possible.
ONE USUAL ZINE QUESTION. HOW IS THE SCENE IN YOUR AREA OF AUSTRIA? YOU´RE FROM KLAGENFURT, RIGHT? ANY VENUES, GIGS, BANDS?
Originally, we were living in and around Klagenfurt, but in the last year we all moved to Graz, which is about 150 kilometers in the north-east of Klagenfurt. Many young people are moving from Klagenfurt to Graz or Vienna, because of their study, their work, or in general for a better lifestyle.
The scene in Graz is much bigger than it is in Klagenfurt and there are much more venues, you can organize or visit a show. But it was also very important for us to stay as long as possible in Klagenfurt and keep the scene there alive, by organizing around 40 shows in the last years. Graz on the other hand has a very vivid scene. There are many bands and many motivated people. There are also so many vegan restaurants, it’s like a vegan heaven, compared to the situation in Klagenfurt haha. The best place to visit in Graz is the SUb. The SUb is a self-organized, non-commercial venue, which had some struggles in the past months. But it’s re-opening in October. If you are in Graz, you should visit the SUb. (www.subsubsub.at)
DO YOU THINK THAT PUNKROCK HAS BECOME LESS THREAT AND LESS SHARP ON EDGES AND MORE BUSSINESS LIKE AND CORPORATIVE? ON THE OTHER HAND IS IT WORTH SPREADING ANTIFA, ANTISEXIST, ANTIHOMOPHOBIA MESSAGES ON THE PUNK GIGS? I MEAN, THE PUNKS SHOULD KNOW ALL OF THAT AND LIVE WITH THOSE IDEAS IN THEIR HEARTS. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE IS A LOT OF DARK AND UGLY THINGS HAPPENING ALSO IN THE PUNK SCENE WHICH SHOULD BE FREE OF THOSE THINGS, DON´T YOU THINK?
I don’t think that punk has become less a threat. But other music scenes, hip hop for example, are far more provocative and are getting more media coverage. Also the typical punk style isn’t that provocative in 2018, where everybody can color their hair, or have tattoos or piercings, which is getting more and more socially accepted. You can walk into a bank and the person behind the shelter can sport a nose ring and it’s totally normal. But besides that, the pop culture, especially in Germany, is also getting political more and more. Many acts have left wing views and communicate their views at their concerts. And I think it’s always important to communicate your political beliefs with the crowd, regardless if it’s a hip hop concert, or a punk concert. In every scene there are people, who didn’t care about that stuff, but maybe will do so, after thinking about what the people said on stage. We all know that punk is the best thing in the world, but there are still so many things going wrong in the scene. There has to be much more awareness about antisexism and antihomophobia. But also it’s getting better and better over the last few years.
ARE YOU GUYS VIOLENT? HOW FAR DOES YOUR TOLERANCE REACH? IN A GIVEN SITUATION WOULD YOU REACH FOR VIOLENT ANSWERS WHEN PROVOKED OR ARE YOU TOTAL PACIFISTS?
It’s important to stand up against right wing extremism, no matter how. The last years showed, that being tolerant against right wing views and giving them a stage (in talkshows, or other forms) has only one effect. The intolerant kill off every discussion with the tolerant ones, using rhetorical tricks or other things. They do everything to make their views appear in the best possible way. If you see Nazis in the pedestrian zone handing out flyers, call some friends and stop them from doing so. I don’t care if it’s a violent way, or a creative way, by cutting them off from the other pedestrians with umbrellas. Be creative, but don’t just walk away.
THAT IS ALL FOR THE FIRST TIME. IN THE END, SAY SOME WISE MESSAGE FROM MISSSTAND TO THE READERS OF THIS ZINE!
Support your local punk scene, support your local Antifa and keep macho bullshit out of punk!