Category Archives: Interviews

(interview) Alo!Stari:Elitism should not exist in punkrock!

We recently witnessed fantastic set by Alo!Stari from Maribor, Slovenia when they played with Lagwagon in Ljubljana. It was about time to talk to the guys for our zine. Enjoy this interview like I did.

You guys are relatively new band in the scene, as I heard you exist from April this year. Could you describe your name, music and the background story to the readers of this zine who didn´t hear you yet. As  I understand you guys played in Trash Candy before this band? What´s up with that?

We are new to the scene in this band, but we play or played  in Trash Candy, Happy ol’ McWeasel and some other projects also as you mentioned. So yes, the band is new but the band members are old and we played in various combinations throughout the years.  The thing is, the dialect where we come from is often portrait as funny and stupid, but we tend to change that with great lyrics and catchy riffs. The name Alo!Stari is basically a hello. It’s a hello we use in our daily lives.

Regarding the last question – all our other projects live except for Trash Candy that is currently on hold as we are focusing it all to Alo!Stari.

You recently played with Lagwagon in Ljubljana. How was that for you? I think it was a fantastic show. Two guitar players really give power to the band drive. How many shows did you play until now?

Playing with the music that you loved growing up is always something special. We’ve seen Lagwagon play tons of times, we even shared the stage with them at one point, but for us that day it was two things: Satanic Surfers (duuude, Rodrigo playing and singing at the same time is priceless) and our own gig, which was a first in Ljubljana and that city is a tough crowd to get moving, especially if you’re from Maribor, but we managed to do that, so mission accomplished. Until now we’ve played 4 shows, but there’s a lot more being booked everyday. Every week is more or less full in December.

We tried to buy your record on your merch after the show in Ljubljana, but the girl there told us that the album is coming out soon? What´s up with that? When is the record coming out? Is it going to be only digital or also physical copies? Is it the full length or the e.p.? Tell us something about that, how many songs, how was the writing and recording process? Do you think merch is important for promoting band and where can people find your merch?

We know records are something people still enjoy, but majority listens to singles nowadays. What we tend to do is release 3-4 more singles and then release a full album afterwards (somewhere in late 2020). Times have changed and even though we personally love having records (Jernej and Matej have huge collections at home), we’re going the singles way. Merch is the most important thing in your band besides the music. This is your bands opportunity to get the word going. You can get our merch from our FB site and soon from our website alostari.si

I saw your videos for the singles you released. You sing only in Slovenian language or do you also have English lyrics, do you plan to go international or concentrate more on this region?

This is a regional thing only. We think that the main problem of punk-rock music is that everyone tends to sing in English to be able to tour, but we forget that people relate to the native language way more than they do with a foreign one. We are way past that mindset and we’ve done quite a lot of touring with TC and HOMW all around Europe, so this time is local only – we need the scene here.

Concerning lyrics, do you guys think that punk has somehow stopped being a threat? Did it stop somehow being a rebellion against the stupidity and is sailing more towards safe waters? How important is the message in the lyrics and not only having fun?

Man, not having a message is the biggest problem in music today, because what gets pushed to the mainstream nowadays is either some depression-related lyrics or you know the usual, chicks, party, sex, drugs… I think punkrock delivered itself a fatal blow because of the elitism. This is a complete and utter bullshit. We are the biggest promoters of equality, openess, freedom of speech but deep down inside we’re doing just the opposite, you know what I mean? Scene is too closed. How do you expect to get a following if you don’t let kids join the party? That’s why we need to get back to the roots – heavy, straight in your face, but heavy lyrics in local language but with a catchy twist and party-like attitude to get the kids excited.

You guys are from Maribor. How is the punk scene there? I know Brez Vprašanj are from there, Malo Morgen which I don´t think are active anymore and are there more bands? I know Pekarna is the place to play gigs, my former band played there in 2015.and I remember great times I had there in the 90-ies at No Border Jam festivals. Are there more venues besides Pekarna? I read that there was some hooligan attack there, that someone was beaten or something. Is there a lot of violence nowadays?

Punk scene is at its lowest point at the moment, there’s just not enough bands to keep the scene rolling. Sure there are some bands but none of them are working towards the same goal, which is keeping the scene alive. There were some festivals in the past like No border Jam but those are now a distant past. Festival Scena is trying to help the local bands and get them to perform but it’s not on the same level as were the old school festivals. There are some other venues where you can play, like Štuk, Satchmo… Everywhere you go in the world at one point or another you are going to bump into assholes, so Pekarna is not immune to that but I wouldn’t say there is anymore violence nowadays.

What do you think of the so called immigrant crisis? I saw on tv that some kind of right wing extremist paramilitaries are strolling on Slovenia-Croatia border with guns in their hands. Do you think that media should ignore those lunatics and not give them any space in news and newspapers and portals, or should people be warned about their existence?

The immigrant crisis is very real and should be addressed properly. At the moment it is not. If we (I mean Eu and Usa) wouldn’t go there and start wars for them and then leave them to pick up the pieces, believe you me there would not be an immigrant crisis. Who doesn’t want a better life for himself and the people close to him? Would a mother cross a fuckin Mediterranean sea on a dingy boat with a child if it were this great in their country?  So they go on this perilous journey leaving their home and loved ones behind. Sometimes you have to look at things from a different perspective and the world seems a little nicer.

As everything else around us, everything is blown out of proportion so the media is having some content to report about. I mean does anyone takes these guys seriously? Bunch of low IQ kids and men with nothing to do on the social welfare playing soldiers in the forest is not the most important issue we have here. Bigger issue here is why doesn’t the state or province or whoever arrest those morons and send them to jail? That’s the issue. I don’t believe this is freedom of speech if you are intolerant to others and want to do them harm!

Back to the music. What´s next for the band after the record release? Gigs, tours, what´s up with booking summer festivals? Punk Rock Holiday maybe?

Hopefully to play a lot more gigs and get our message across. We won’t be touring as much as is normal for touring band mainly due to Slovenia being so small and we don’t have a reach in other countries due to the Slovenian lyrics. But we can guarantee you that you will be seeing a lot of us this year, maybe even on PRH, who knows? Stay tuned on our channels and page where we will update any news we will have.

Slovenia always had great melodic punk scene, since the 90-ies and nowadays too, with so many awesome bands playing, maybe not big, but tight and compact. Do you guys get along? I can only tell from our perspective, I have been part of the scene here since 1992.and I can safely say that nowadays the scene is great here in Croatia with so many fantastic bands, kids organizing gigs etc…the only thing that we must work on more is gig culture, attending and supporting more gigs and quit so much talking and start more working. How is Slovenia with that? I love that most of your gig venues are non smoking areas hehe. You don´t smell like smoked ham after the gig hehe.

We grew up in the mid 90s when bands from Epitaph, Fat Wreck etc… were at their peak, skate culture was at it’s peak, but nowadays we cannot talk about the scene anymore. There are two reasons. First – punkrock elitism. It’s what killed the community and the second thing, we are really small. But none-than-less there are a nice number of great punkrock bands from Slovenia that keep the music alive. What we now need are bands with Slovenian lyrics. People tend to feel the native lyrics much more than English for example. Hopefully we are giving some younger kids some inspiration to go and start a punkrock band.

As for the non-smoking venues – it’s awesome, but we remember the days of smoked ham parties.

This is is all for now. You guys watch after yourselves and I am looking forward to your record. Thank you so much for answering all these questions hehe.

Thank you for interviewing us and supporting the scene! All the best dude!

 

(interview) TSUNAMI BOMB: Everyone has the right to be heard and should be given the chance to explain why they feel the way they do!

Tsunami Bomb are back with a new record soon out with Alternative Tentacles and it was about time that I talked for our zine with Oobliette, keyboard player and vocalist, also one of the co founders of the band.

YOU ARE BACK AND THERE IS A NEW LINE-UP IN THE BAND. WHAT ARE THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS DOING RIGHT NOW? HOW DID THE NEW MEMBERS FIT IN THE BAND?

OOBLIETTE: We are!  If you go back to the very beginning, I think most of the original, original members are not necessarily some of the members that many people know of.  I think the most questions we field are asking about Emily.  She has her own project right now that she is focusing on and wasn’t interested in a return to the punk scene.

The original idea for the reunion was to only play the two first shows as a sort of album release for our retrospective, ‘Trust No One’.  We had so much fun playing and enjoyed Kate Jacobi so much we decided to get the band back together.  Kate fits in perfectly,  after spending the last few years playing with her I can’t picture the band any other way.  I hear her voice any time that a Tsunami Bomb song gets stuck in my head.  Andy Phol is a long time friend and was actually at the very first Tsunami Bomb show.  His guitars add a whole new perspective to each song and I really enjoy writing with him and am always floored by the parts he comes up with.

THE NEW RECORD IS READY FOR RELEASING IN ABOUT MONTH TIME. HOW WAS THE RECORDING PROCESS? DID YOU GUYS PRODUCE IT YOURSELVES? 

OOBLIETTE: We are so excited to get this album out!  We recorded it several different places and in two batches.  I live in New York, some of it was recorded out here.  We did produce it ourselves.  When thinking about it, it just came natural.  Dominic and I have always had a really strong connection in writing music together.  We also both know the sound we were going for and had a vision for the album.  I feel like it was a smart move, with our comeback after being gone for so long to be able to have that creative control over the release.

WHAT WAS THE LYRICAL INSPIRATION FOR THE NEW RECORDS? DO YOU CONSIDER TSUNAMI BOMB TO BE A POLITICAL BAND?

OOBLIETTE: Let’s see, if I had to describe this album it would be…..  “Don’t tell us what to do, everyone do what you want and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for it, everything we love dies, put your money where you’re mouth is, don’t tell us what to do,  shit is fucked up, like, really fucked up right now, we are so happy to be back, if you don’t like that we are back, fuck you, don’t tell us what to do.”

So, I wouldn’t say we are political as far as taking sides but I would say that we are political in the way that we think everyone has the right to be heard and should be given the chance to explain why they feel the way they do.

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photo credit Amber Mannon

DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE SONGS ON THE NEW RECORDS, I KNOW IT IS HARD QUESTION. COULD YOU GIVE US A BRIEF TOUR THROUGH THE NEW ALBUM, SONG BY SONG?

OOBLIETTE: I think my favorite is a song called Petaluma.  The second I heard the song I immediately thought of this kind of haunting chorus singing the word “follow” .  It’s different, and it’s dynamic.  I like that it’s sad but also angry.  When I left the band originally there was so much hurt that I feel like I had been carrying and this song makes me feel like I can finally start to let some of those emotions fade.

Really, the whole album is my favorite.  There was a lot of heart and soul put into these songs.  In the past, when I had written, it was always in satire.  This is the first time I’ve been this serious and this honest in music.  Writing with Kate and deciding the topics of each song was a great experience but it was also very painful.  I feel that this album tells a very distinct story when you listen from beginning to end, it tells our story, and I am so happy we were able to do it and to share it.

YOU ARE RELEASING THE NEW ALBUM WITH ALTERNATIVE TENTACLES. WAS THE LABEL NATURAL CHOICE FOR YOUR BAND? HOW DID IT COME TO COOPERATION WITH ALTERNATIVE TENTACLES?

OOBLIETTE: It all came to be because Jello asked Dominic if we were boring.  The rest is history.

IS THERE A TOUR IN PREPARATION FOR PROMOTING THE NEW RECORD? ARE YOU CONSIDERING COMING TO EUROPE? HAVE YOU PLAYED IN EUROPE BEFORE? WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FANS AT CONCERTS AND SCENE IN AMERICA AND IN EUROPE?

OOBLIETTE: We don’t have any dates yet but it is on the horizon.  I haven’t played in Europe.  I left the band just before we started touring internationally.  But I am very excited to visit.

PHYSICAL ALBUM RELEASED VERSUS DIGITAL ONLY RELEASES. WHICH ONE DO YOU PREFER?

OOBLIETTE: Vinyl, all the way!

HYPOTETICAL SITUATION. LABEL YOU SIGNED ORDERS YOU TO COMPROMISE YOUR ART, YOUR MUSIC, YOUR MATERIAL ACCORDING TO THEIR WISHES. HOW WOULD YOU REACT?

OOBLIETTE: 10 middle fingers in the air!

CAN YOU LIVE OFF MUSIC? WHAT DO YOU DO FOR LIVING OUTSIDE THE BAND?

OOBLIETE: I might be able to, but it’s not something I want to do full time.  I am the GM of a restaurant group and work for an amazing boss.  I love what I do and wouldn’t change a thing.

TSUNAMI BOMB IS FANTASTIC MIXTURE OF PUNKROCK AND MORE DARKER SOUND. WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSICWISE? 

OOBLIETTE: Thank you.  I really love Oingo Boingo, I listen to a ton of the old Trojan Records artists like Desmond Dekker, I like a lot of metal, especially viking metal, Andrews Sisters, I’m all over the place.

FOR YOU, WHERE LIES THE BEAUTY OF UNDERGROUND SCENE? CAN YOU STILL REMEMBER WHAT DREW YOU TO THE SCENE, WHAT MADE YOU SAY, THIS IS IT, HERE I AM TO STAY, THIS IS WHO I AM?

OOBLIETTE: It’s that you can be whoever you want to.  I was drawn to the scene because there was a local theater, the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, CA., that gave kids a place to hang out, go to shows, skateboard, paint, you name it.  Bands from all over toured there and that what really got me into the underground scene.  The music, I just got into on my own.  I used to pick just the most messed up CDs I could find in the dollar bin.  From there I got into metal, industrial, and punk music.  Once I found out there were local places to see music like that, I never looked back.

LAST QUESTION, THANK YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME. ANY SHOUT OUTS? WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY SOMETHING THAT I DIDN´T ASK YOU?

OOBLIETTE: I just want to say thank you to anyone who takes a listen and gives us a chance.  We don’t do this for the money, we do this for the fans.  We have to juggle our jobs and families to be able to leave and make the few shows we get to play happen, but the fans make it all worth it in the end.  Tsunami Bomb has a long history and we are so excited to show you this new chapter in it’s tale. 

 

(interview) KRANG: Punkrock is family. Closer or more distant family, but it´s family!

Krang from Czech Republic are fantastic melodic hardcore/skatepunk band with a lot to say. It was time for me to talk with Stanislav and Tom at Punk Rock Holiday. This interview is one of my favorite all time interviews I did.

YOU RECENTLY TOURED WITH USELESS ID. HOW WAS THE TOUR? WAS THAT YOUR FIRST TOUR WITH, CONDITIONALLY SPEAKING, LARGER BAND?

Stanislav: It was actually the first tour we ever been with another band. We usually tour alone.

Tom: Sometimes we do it in our country with another band, but we never did it like that before. It was awesome because I have been listening to Useless ID since I was 15 years old.

SO IT WAS LIKE A DREAM COME TRUE FOR YOU.

Tom: Yeah, exactly!

Stanislav:There is not many bands for which we all can agree on. The few that we can are Descendents and Useless ID, so Descendents didn´t ask us for a tour yet, but we did it with Useless ID and we were really happy to do that.

IF I UNDERSTOOD WELL, YOU ALSO HAVE A NEW LABEL, SOUND SPEED RECORDS, KRIS IS IN MY OPINION A REALLY GREAT GUY, SO HOW COME YOU AGREED WITH HIM FOR A COOPERATION? PHYSICAL RELEASES OR ONLY DIGITAL?

Stanislav: When we got robbed by Bird Attack, the new record was just out on a physical copy, but we just found out that he(Garret Wadford-Bird Attack owner) stole all our money from us and from the other bands, so we asked if there is a label who would want to put it out and couple of labels reached out to us and Sound Speed guy was really interested, like Kris was really interested in releasing, so the vinyls were already done with Bird Attack logo on the back of each record, so what  we had to do, we made like 500 stickers and stick all the vinyls with the Sound Speed stickers, totally diy(hahah).

I LOVE YOUR MUSIC BECAUSE IT IS LIKE A PERFECT MIX BETWEEN OLD SCHOOL SKATEPUNK, LIKE MELODIC CALIFORNIA STUFF AND MORE TECHNICAL STUFF, YOU GUYS CAN REALLY HANDLE YOUR INSTRUMENTS WELL HAHA, ARE YOU CONSIDERING YOURSELVES AS NEXT GENERATION OF BANDS OR STILL PART OF THE 90-IES WAVE OF SKATEPUNK?

Stanislav: I am the oldest in our band, I´m like 35 and the singer is ten year younger, so he is from the different generation.

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YOU ARE THE SAME LINE-UP FROM THE BEGINNING?

Stanislav: Yeah, we are, but we started as a fun project, because Tomas here and other Tomas, we have two Tomases in the band, one on guitar and one on drums, they also play in one of the oldest Czech pop punk bands called Criminal Collection…

I KNOW KRITICKA SITUACE HEHE!

Stanislav: Yeah, that´s really old, that is the oldest hardcore Czech band.

WE USED TO LISTEN TO THEM A LOT IN THE 90-IES IN OUR COUNTRY.

Stanislav: Yeah, they were also big in Czech Republic, but when we were young they already stopped playing.

I ALSO LIKE THAT GRIND CRUST BAND MALIGNANT TUMOUR.

Stanislav: Oh, yeah, they are from Ostrava.

IT IS YOUR HOMETOWN?

Stanislav: It´s not our hometown but it is the closest biggest town from us, they are still around playing. They work hard, they are old guys, but are still playing, they are like big small band, probably they are more famous abroad then in Czech Republic. When we created this band, we were just talking to do like fun project, so I talked to Tomas and other guys and we decided to do something on which we like grew up, you know like Pennywise, Bad Religion, like old stuff, because no bands play this style in Czech Republic and the guys listen to newer music so they put more melody into the songs.

IN THE EARLY DAYS, DID YOU SING OR CONSIDERING SINGING IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE OR WAS IT ENGLISH FROM THE START? I THINK ENGLISH IS THE PERFECT WAY TO REACH MORE PEOPLE.

Tom: We were planning to play more abroad in foreign countries, so it was English from the start.

Stanislav: Singing in Czech is only good if you are planning to stay big only in Czech Republic.

Tom: Our scene back home is pretty small and if we sang in Czech, we could play it only like for few people, but this way we can play for more people around the world.

YOU ALSO HAVE DAILY JOBS? NO ONE LIVES OFF THE BAND REALLY, IS IT?

Stanislav: Tomas here is freelancer, so he arranges his own business hours.

Tom: Yeah, sometimes it´s hard, because the guys have to take day off from work which is sometimes hard, but we manage somehow.

Stanislav: Daniel the singer used to be, not anymore because he changed job recently, but he is a tennis coach and player, he also plays tennis league, so one German club hired him and he played for them and also won a championship in duels, like a year ago in Czech Republic and second Tomas, the guitar player, he is only one with really like proper job, like from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon.

YOUR SHOW HERE AT PRH IS THE FIRST TIME YOU PLAY HERE OR HAVE YOU PLAYED HERE BEFORE? WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS? ARE YOU EXCITED?

Stanislav: Yeah of course, I mean Punk Rock Holiday is like a shopping mall for punkrock. It is really great from the promoters here they let small bands show off and it is great that the two stages don´t cover each other, so it is always just one stage playing and if people want to listen to music they go there, so lot of people will discover new music, there is a lot of really great bands out there at the Beach stage.

IT IS REALLY FASCINATING HOW NOT ON TOUR PROGRESSED FROM LITTLER STAGE TO MAIN IN FRONT OF SO MANY PEOPLE IN JUST TWO YEARS.

Stanislav: Not On Tour are fucking great, Mute also played first at the Beach stage and Counterpunch, you know bands which play clubs now play festivals.

I JUST THOUGHT ABOUT THAT, PUNK ROCK HOLIDAY IS LIKE MERCATO IN FOOTBALL?

Stanislav: Yes, yes, totally!(laughs). People come and see bands and usually discover new favorite. Sooner or later if the band is good, people will discover it. Punk Rock Holiday is a good way to start, you show yourself at the small stage, if you did well and push hard, probably in few years  you will play on the bigger stage. It doesn´t matter, even if you play again on the Beach stage, it´s really like dream come true, playing for people who care about your music.

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THIS FESTIVAL IS REALLY NICE, BECAUSE IT IS FROM THE FANS FOR THE FANS.

Stanislav: Oh yeah, that´s it! Iti s not corporate big festival, okay, you got few sponsors but you need it. If you promote a show like this with this line-up, for this price, you can´t probably cover your expenses only from the tickets and keep it small like this. I mean, there are like 40 or 50 000 people in Groezrock in Belgium which has similar line-up but tickets are three times more expensive and only two days, here you have five days.

FESTIVAL LIKE THIS COULD NEVER HAPPEN IN OUR COUNTRY, BECAUSE THERE IS STILL TOO MUCH NAGGING ASSHOLES, VIOLENCE, PRIMITIVISM WHO SPOIL EVERYTHING FOR OTHERS. THREE OR FIVE ASSHOLES NOT DANCING, BUT FIGHTING KUNG FU IN FRONT OF THE STAGE AND SPOILING EVERYTHING TO OTHER PEOPLE WHO CAME TO SEE THE SHOW. I MEAN, I AM NOT AGAINST DANCING AND SLAMMING AT THE HARDCORE SHOWS, YOU ARE NOT AT POETRY EVENING, BUT HARDCORE SHOW, YET IF YOU ARE RUINING FOR EVERYONE ELSE AND PUSHING PEOPLE IN THE PIT WHO DON´T WANT TO DANCE, POGO OR SLAM, YOU ARE A DORK.

Stanislav: Of course, we have a song against this. The real story happened in Mexico with one of the Mexican kings of the dancefloor. There was a one guy.

THERE IS ALWAYS THAT ONE GUY!

Stanislav: Yeah, there was that one guy, punching girls around and everyone else, so we stopped playing and told him to get the fuck out of there. I mean it was a punkrock show, really small place, almost like a living rooms show, it was packed, everybody was enjoying except this guy. He tried to explain us that he just had fun, but he was like two meters tall, and there was this small girl dancing, enjoying, you could see how happy she was and then he just like punched her. I was like, what the fuck is going on here?

DO YOU CONSIDER KRANG A POLITICAL BAND? I MEAN POLITICS IS EVERYTHING TODAY, EVEN WHEN YOU GO OUT TO THE STORE TO BUY BREAD AND MILK, IT IT ALSO TIED TO POLITICS.

Stanislav: We try to mix it. I mean, we are trying to make a little bit of fun from serious things, we are not political band per se, but something similar.

I DIDN´T THINK LIKE PREACHY BAND, IT IS A WASTE OF ENERGY TO PREACH TO THE CONVERTED. YOU HAVE THAT FINE DISTINCTION BETWEEN PERSONAL LYRICS AND BETWEEN THE LINES THERE IS A SUBTLE SOCIAL MESSAGE.

Tom: I like when the band is political and when they sing and have lyrics in a different way, not only fuck this and fuck that you know? Because it is so clichee now. So, I like when they make it in a different way, when is more interesting to hear the song.

Stanislav: Kinda like Propagandhi does it, I am not the biggest fan of Propagandhi, but they do it in a good way, they are making good lyrics and deep, still funny on one side, but touching hard issues around the world.

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ARE THERE A LOT OF NEO NAZIS IN CZECH REPUBLIC? IN OUR EASTER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES THERE IS A LOT OF RIGHT WING NATIONALISM ON THE RISE RIGHT NOW. I COULD NEVER UNDERSTAND HOW SOMEONE COULD BE A NAZI AND A SLAV AT THE SAME TIME, CONSIDERING WHAT NAZIS DID TO SLAVS IN WWII.

Tom: I mean, those Slavic nazis don´t call themselves nazis. There are a few people who are nazis, but most of the people who are nazis, don´t consider themselves being nazis.

Stanislav: Just plain racists.

I HAVE READ THAT A LOT OF NAZI SKINS NOW GO TO BLACK METAL GIGS.

Stanislav: Yeah, black metal stuff is really connected to the racist scene, you know, they don´t wear svastikas and stuff, but they are just hard racists.

YEAH, THEY CONSIDER SLAVIC RACE TO BE SUPREME RACE, NOT ARYAN BUT SLAVIC, HOW ABOUT THAT?

Stanislav: Wow, they probably don´t read much, I am not even sure they can read. There are not much Nazis in the Czech Republic, there are a lots of stupid people, al ot of hooligans, and with the refugees, lot of people get on that wave , like political parties who just build they career around that.

A LOT OF PEOPLE TRY TO FIND BLAME, EXCUSE FOR THEIR POVERTY ON SOMEONE.

Stanislav: Yeah, so those kind of nazis and racists, not like in 90-ies when it was like really hard fight every day and it was really tough. I guess in the 90-ies was like now it is in Russia. This cycle never ends, it is always like your grandfather did this to mine, so I have to do this and similar. It never ends, it is like Israel and Palestine. Everyone goes back like ten thousand years when someone did something to someone.

Tom: If people don´t start to educate themselves properly, it´s gonna be neverending circle. Even then it is going to be hard, but education is basic thing, lack of education creates fear, that is like the first step to anger and anger is connected to racism, so education is basic point, good education, open mind you can´t control people if they are educated well.

ARE YOU GUYS LISTENING TO IGNITE? I AM REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THEIR SHOW TONIGHT, IT IS MY FOURTH IGNITE SHOW IN FOUR YEARS, BUT I WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT ZOLI,  HE ALSO HAS SOME CONTROVERSY…

Stanislav: Oh yes, we love Ignite. I know Zoli is kinda patriot Hungarian. He is also like hard Christian.

I DIDN´T MEAN TO GOSSIP ABOUT ZOLI, YOU KNOW…

Stanislav: He is also like strong anti communist because he is from Hungary and they got that awful Soviet regime there, we had similar but a bit softer one in Czech Republic. It is good he sings about it, all those songs, about the Hungarian revolution in 1956. Nobody´s perfect!

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AND HE HAS THAT FANTASTIC VOICE!

Stanislav: He is a fantastic singer, of course. Until he is not a racist or something I have no problem. I mean, being proud of your country is not a bad thing, being proud in a good way, not to put it above all other countries and slander others. Every country has its own good and bad sides.

THIS IS GOING TO BE MY LAST QUESTION AND A HALF. DO YOU THINK YOU WILL EVER GET SOME MONEY BACK FROM GARRETT WADFORD?

Stanislav: That is probably a question for me. He stole money from really lots of bands. Us, Straightline, Hit The Switch, Authority Zero and probably all the bands on the Bird Attack. He also stole a lot of money from the vinyl pressing factory and now he also commited tax frauds in the States, he is moving from state to state, so the whole system of lies is so complicated so we will never get all the money back.

IT IS REALLY FUCKED UP THING TO STEAL FROM YOUR BRETHREN, FROM YOUR COMRADES IN ARMS.

Stanislav: That´s the worst thing. If we got robbed by some label corporate asshole or something it would be fucked up, but hey, that was expected from that corporate fucks. But, someone who pretends to be your friend, a family, because all of us in the punkrock scene are family. Closer, or more distant, but family. And you never want to steal from your family. And I understand that people make mistakes, that is life, that is normal. You can also do some shitty things, but there comes a time when you step up and say hey, I fucked it up. I will probably not give you your money back in next five years or so, but I just fucked up and I am sorry.

YEAH, AND HE WROTE REALLY NASTY THINGS ABOUT YOU ONLINE, THEN HE LIKE PUT ONLINE THAT LETTER OF APOLOGY WHICH HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING.

Stanislav: So I think if that guy never even apologized to anyone of the bands or the people he stole from, then we can safely say we will never get our money back.

I MEAN IF HE DID THAT TO ME OR MY BAND, I WOULD PROBABLY KICK HIS ASS, I AM NOT A VIOLENT MAN, BUT IN AFFECT WHO KNOWS?

Tom: Yeah, but you would have to fly to the United Stated and find him.

THEN HE WOULD PROBABLY SUE MY ASS AND GET THE MONEY FROM ME FOR BODILY DAMAGE HEHE.

Stanislav: Yes, he is the exactly type of person, haha, he fucks you up, robbed you and still he goes to court and claims you owe him for kicking his ass.

LAST HALF QUESTION, HAPPY QUESTION. IMMEDIATE FUTURE PLANS FOR KRANG?

Stanislav: Yeah, we are thinking about two tours next year. The problem is we have like lots of opportunities for touring, but problem is to get vacation from our work. We have like four weeks for whole year and then we have to split it between our families, girlfriends, friends and band. But, we want to record a new album after the new year in the winter probably if we manage to do all the material, we already talked with Useless ID guys, they are gonna produce the stuff, the record, so we will see if it´s gonna be better, worse, we never did it with a producer, we always did all by ourselves so we hope it will be good.

 

 

(interview) 69Enfermos-Brasil skatepunk at Punk Rock Holiday 1.9!

We meet again after two years and the news is: the new record, new tour and the new line up, so tell us something about all of those news!

-Couple of years ago we were supposed to do the split record with four bands, one from Japan, two from Europe and us and we were looking for another band from United States and we heard Symphony of Distraction and we thought that it would be nice to release a split record with them because our songs are kind of similar, the influences are the same, so they agreed. After that we talked to the guy in Morning Wood Records and he released it in December last year. We talked also about doing a tour in United States or Brasil, but at this moment it would be easier for both bands to tour Brasil, because it was easier for me to book the tour so we went and did it together. That was basically the story about the split.

I think that the new material is more melodic and more progressive than the older stuff. The songs are again in English language, so you quit singing in Spanish altogether or only for the moment?

-We quit singing in Spanish because we wanted to get to the wider audience. When you sing in Spanish, or French not everybody knows that language and what you are singing about, it is hard for people to understand the lyrics and stuff. We want to bring our music and message closer to the people. When I was a kid in Columbia, we used to listen mainly bands in English language, we really wanted to get to the wider audience. We kept our older audience, but many people at the gigs came and asked us, so why don˙t you sing at least one song in English. When we started the whole proces like 5 or 6 years ago, not many American bands toured our circuit, now they do, but back then they still didn˙t  and we released two albums and one split in English and it worked great for us. About the new material being more catchy, I didn` t want to do the same songs all over again, I wanted to get it more poppy, more melodic..

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Yeah, I love the melancholy in your songs so much, when I listen to your songs, they always make me a little bit sad, for example Maribor or In the nineties…I love them, but they touch my heart and I am just sad somehow…

-We put our more melodic songs on this new split record. Sometimes you have a split record of maybe two excellent bands, but you don˙t listen to the whole cd. Our fans maybe will like Symphony of Distraction and their fans will like our songs and so far it is working.

You also have a new line-up, two new guys in the band. I knew you changed a drummer, so the bassist Vagner quit too?

-Yeah, the new bass player is the substitute for Vagner. He is not in the band anymore. He lives with his girlfriend now and they are taking things more seriously. 69Enfermos is an expensive hobby you know? It takes a lot of your time traveling and playing around.

How far away from home are you know? Six or seven thousand kilometers?

-It is like twelve thousand kilometers from here, dude. We made it worth this time, it is basically one more tour, so Vagner couldn˙t make it and the new bass player jumped in for him. When Vagner told us he couldn˙t go to Europe again, we took the new guy. Vagner is a nice guy and I love him very much.  The new guy is in the band because of his commitment, he is wearing our shirt with pride, you know? He knew the band and he liked our music prior to playing with us, we kinda came from the similar scene, so he fit perfectly in the band, he has a lot of energy and is super happy to be here in Europe.

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You are now in Punk Rock Holiday for the second time, yet there is one fun fact. You play the third show, because I remember in 2017.you played twice because I was there when that storm ruined and broke your first show hehe!

-We were surprised when we got our chance to play here again.

What does being here at Punk Rock Holiday mean for you personally?

-When we were here for the first time, it was wow, our main goal. This time the tour has been way better than we expected, we played Brackrock also and it was insane there, Paris Punkrock Summer was a blast too! The main goal of this tour was to play Brackrock and Punk Rock Holiday came like one big plus, because it is nice to promote your band on such high ranking festivals. We didn˙t expect to be invited to Punk Rock Holiday, so big thanks to the promoters for inviting us again. We were planning to come here and stay at Punk Rock Holiday for the whole week whether we play the festival or not. Maybe we could do a festival or two in Czech Republic or Germany, but the other two members were never here at this festival, my wife is here too, so it is nice to be here for the whole week.

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I noticed that Southamerican people are lot more warm, have big hearts, like to hug and smile. I met you, the other guys from the band, I met guys from Cronos Debe Morir, shout out to them, and you are all so heartwarming, passionate and I love it. Do you think that Europeans are more cold?

-I can˙t say that was my experience with Europeans, because both times, I noticed it is like we have the same problems, we are not so much different. At least for me, the way people here are no different from the people in our country, they have been really nice and fantastic to us! I feel at home in all the countries we have been, I like to tour Eastern Europe, not many bands go there and I love to go there. We appreciate it so much! Finding new friends, like you, when I knew I was going to see you again, I was so happy, and also every other friend we have met along the way.

 

 

(interview) Useless Id interview at Punk Rock Holiday

Ok guys, you obviously tour a lot around the globe, when you come home back to Israel, do things at home change a lot, I mean the scene, new bands and stuff, do you still love to tour after all these years? How do you coordinate touring with your daily jobs if any?

Ishay:For me, I started to work the job I am working  13 or 14 years ago. When I started to work there, they knew I was playing in a band and they knew that I am touring and I have been going on tours ever since I started working, so it will always be cool with the people where I work for me to go on tour and this is why I also enjoy the work there because it helps me when I need to go touring. It is like a cycle, you know, work, tour, work, tour which I guess is natural for a punkrock band.

Yotam: For me, the past few years being on the road I enjoyed it so much, instead of going to work, I just kept touring and touring and touring, I kinda lost my mind on the road there, so I am at the point where I am trying to balance all these things, like a fresh new start right now.

I read somewhere that you are planning to do a movie about Useless ID. Are you still collecting the material or is it done and ready?

Ishay: Times change and so does it for our band. For example, we wanted to put out the dvd as a band, but when we decided to put out the dvd, people really weren´t buying dvd-s anymore and I think that the media is changing, we may use some stuff for a different and maybe we will do a movie eventually, who knows?

Yotam: Yeah, we´re mostly gathering a lot of stuff right now and we have one very good friend working on it but it´s good to take time with these things, we don´t wanna like make a half ass movie and we will rather take time and release something that is worthwhile.

Ishay: I know a bunch of bands that have been working on a movie for at least ten years., so like a punkrock band, we are not the fulltime operation, you know with an office who works it and operates it, I think it is quite natural to do a movie and kinda do it as you do your band. Maybe one day it comes out. But, sometimes the movie sounds to me like being a closure, like when you are going away. But that is not the case with us, even if we are not right now in a serious songwriting mode, we should save our energy for that. The movie sounds to me almost like an obituary sometime. We like to be spontaneous.

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You collaborated and did a split record with TARAKANY!, how come, they are from Russia, you from Israel, are you friends with them? How did it come to that?

Yotam: Yeah, a guy sent us an e-mail a while back if we want to be guests on Tarakany!´s record and normally we say yes to this things, we always like collaborating with people all over the world, so we did this collaboration and like two years later the same guy, Dima came to me after Useless ID show and introduced himself, I was like this guy is very nice and I thought we should do something together again in the future, maybe do like a split, so we came with an idea of them doing Useless ID songs in Russian and we were doing Tarakany! song in English.

Ishay: I just love hearing our song in Russian. I hope it has the same effect on the other band when they hear their song in English..

There was a fascinating change in your material from Symptoms to State is Burning, from emotional almost No Use For A Name-like songwriting to more angrier, more political yet melodic approach on State. Was the change drastic for you or was it more natural, more normal transition?

Ishay: Natural as fuck, man! We can be couple different bands now at the same time. Imagine you take a room, and you put drums in there. Then also guitars and a microphone. You bring Sisters Of Mercy, you gonna get one sound. You bring Angel Dust, you gonna get a different sound. You bring Useless ID and we have a few tricks because we are the hardcore kids, but we are also indie kids and we are also like pop kids and we are bunch of things and whenever we press a button, something different is gonna come out.

Yotam: We love No Use For A Name and we love all those band on Fat Wreck Chords and we started the band and then we didn´t know about lot of those bands. When people say and ask us do we like this or that band, sometimes we never heard of those bands when we started our own and I think we are different because other bands maybe have to go play fast all the time, but we did a full album that does not have a single fast song on it and after that we did all those fast songs and that was not a problem for us. If I can add that for me personally as a writer I was always writing emotional songs, about my feelings the relationships and stuff. When we wrote State Is Burning, even before we wrote the first note for that record, me and Ishay spoke about it one Summer and thought maybe we should write about the place we live in, write about something that many people can relate to and see we give a different take from the place we are coming from. You know, we are a band from Israel and it is such a weird, little spot on this globe and it is okay to sing about feelings and about women and all this, but when you are singing about struggles and what you as a citizen go through, I think it makes people listen to it.

Ishay: Tel Aviv is a very hot, very crowded and very uptight. People honk all the time, people will bump into you, people have a lot of nerves and it is a sweaty place and I think this album, it has that smell, you can smell like getting shoved in the supermarket. Like that song Creation, it is about standing outside of the Israeli musical industry where everybody wants to be a star, but stardom is quite a joke, because it is such a small place and all the efforts towards being a star are futile and we are from outside of that business, we really gave up on that whole concept, to us those guys just look funny, no passion, no imagination, no drive, that music scene is only about likes. Hearing the lyrics of some of Israeli pop stars, you just don´t know what to do with it, even your seven year old daughter can´t listen to that, if you have one.(laughs)

Not yet!

Ishay: Doesn´t matter, even that little girl can write better lyrics than that!(laughs)

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Is there such a thing as collective guilt? I am asking this regarding Israeli state and expansion. My friend and his band, who play political antifa hardcore punk played in Germany and they have a lyric translated into flag of occupation meaning Israeli flag and the occupation of Gaza territory and the promoters cancelled their tour in squats and they were never able to play there. Is there a thing like in Germany that is a collective guilt?

Ishay: For me a lot of that stuff is…I really like to feel that doesn´t exist you know? In punkrock we have like a bubble inside bubble, we are outside of the world and I think it´s safe to say that we are kinda all together in one room. There should be no racism, fascism, attitudes like I owe you something because my country did something to your country and similar, like there is no debts and no owes. We come to play a good show and I want to be treated nice. We are very straight up  people and we never get extra attention because we are coming from Israel. For sure we don´t get extra money.(laughs).

The last time you played here at Punk Rock Holiday in 2016.you had a NUFAN/Tony Sly song in your setlist. Did you know Tony, how much his songs affected you as a band?

Yotam: We go a way back. We met hm in 2002.at Warped tour when we were looking for a producer for our record and when we hit up Tony he was so nice and cool about it then he just started inviting us to the No Use tour bus every day. Man, that guy was giving us so much of his time and he really appreciated our willingness to write better music and choosing him. That started our friendship with him. Once we put out that album we just went on tour with No Use for like a whole year all over the place.

Ishay: Canada, Europe, Usa…

Yotam: Pretty much when the band started you can say No Use For A Name was somewhat our influence when we discovered all these bands, kind of like hardcore Fat records, the beginner bands like Lagwagon, Propagandhi Strung Out, we got to know them all like in one shot, so right away we knew we wanted to do that sort of music.

What are your plans for the new record?

Ishay: I think individually we both have a bunch of ideas.

Yotam: I have some music on the side, I have some lyrics like subjects I wanna write about but we still didn´t get to it yet, but I think it is safe to say that the new record is in the talking phase right now.(laughs)

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Yotam, you also did a One Week record and go solo touring?

Yotam: Yeah, I did One Week record, but less of the solo touring now. I took a step back cause I don´t think I can be on the road all the time anymore.

Any surprises for tonight´s set, any specialties?

Yotam: Not On Tour will be with us on the side of the stage, so this is special.

I am going to shorthen this one for you. Have you ever wanted to play Croatia, know any bands, we have like a great punk hardcore scene in our country?

Ishay: We know 5 Minutes To Steve, we used to play with them.

Oh yeah, they were great!

Ishay: You know them? One of the guys is also called Davor, like you.

Davor, yes! And Sergej, he was kinda the main man hehe!

Yotam: Yes, Sergej, we know him, he is a cool guy!

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(interview) Lockjaw Records/Shout Louder zine Sarah: Focus on and build on the positives that you have. !

Lockjaw Records quickly became one of my favorite record labels out there. Besides releasing great music records, they recently also got themselves in coffee project with Sham City Roasters. Punkrock and coffee? Yes, please! It was about time for me to talk about everything with Sarah from Lockjaw Records/Shout Louder zine.

PUNKROCK AND COFFEE, IS THIS A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN? ARE YOU GUYS COFFEE ADDICTS LIKE ME? LATTE OR MACCHIATO, TURKISH COFFEE, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE?

The Lockjaw team is definitely obsessed with coffee! Our social media expert Joelle is a bit less keen, but the rest of us more than make up for it. I tend to drink my coffee black – no sugar, no milk, no nothing – just to make the most of the flavour. I used to drink a lot espresso, but nowadays I tend to go for an americano.

COULD YOU EXPLAIN FOR OUR READERS THE PHILOSOPHY AND BACKGROUND BEHIND LOCKJAW RECORDS? IS IT SMALL DIY LABEL BUSINESS?

We’re all individually part of the DIY music scene, however as Lockjaw we like to take it a step further with a ‘do it together’ philosophy. Our aim is to contribute to the music community by supporting bands as best we can. None of us have any grandiose expectations of financial gain! We’re also keen on doing that in the most ethical and environmentally sustainable way possible, which has led us to producing merch using bamboo, cork and recycled materials, rather than plastic.

LAST SUMMER YOU GATHERED A NEW CREW, NEW TEAM, COULD YOU TELL WHO IS ON BOARD LOCKJAW CREW RIGHT NOW?

There are five of us in the current Lockjaw crew; it works well because we’ve got a variety of skills and a lot of enthusiasm between us.

Rob Piper is our head honcho; he’s run the label since 2011, however he’s also known as the guitarist in Darko. Lesley-Anne O’Brien is our resident spreadsheet wizard and industry expert, she also plays guitar in Midwich Cuckoos.

Cedric Degruyter is a web designer who’s a whizz at keeping everything up to date, improving our webstore and making all of our online material look bangin’. He also plays bass in The Affect Heuristic. Joelle Laes is in charge of all our social media; she’s got lots of experience from previously running Less Talk, More Records. I’m Sarah Williams – I look after press, publicity, marketing and write all of our blog posts / online content. I’m probably slightly better known for looking after a website called Shout Louder.

HOW MANY RELEASES DID YOU HAVE UNTIL NOW? DO YOU ALSO BOOK TOURS FOR YOUR BANDS? IF I HAD A BAND, HOW COULD I GET YOU INTERESTED IN THE MUSIC OF MY BAND? WHAT ARE YOUR HOTTEST RELEASES RIGHT NOW?

Since 2011 we’ve put out more than 60 records, although we’ve not properly kept count. In 2018 we put out 8 records, including successful albums from Fair Do’s and Drones and we’ve got a similar amount booked this year. This year there’s even more on the way, plus we’ve just released a coffee and a hot sauce.

We help our bands make connections with promoters, and Rob often drives or tour manages bands that we’re working with. We tend to work with bands that we’ve enjoyed watching live; it’s important that we love their music.

We’re stoked at the moment to be working with Chicago skate-punk legends Much The Same to release their new album Everything Is Fine. If you want our hottest release though it’s definitely Fights & Fires’ Kebaptism! It’s a bottle of hot sauce with an EP attached.

LET´S GET BACK TO COFFEE. PROJECT LOCKJAW RECORDS COFFEE IN CO-OPERATION WITH SHAM CITY ROASTERS, HOW DID IT COME TO THAT? IS IT THE TWO SMALL BUSINESS DIY PROJECT? IS IT BORN OUT OF YOUR OWN LOVE FOR COFFEE?

I’ve been in love with Sham City Roasters for a long time – they’re an excellent punk-inspired artisan roastery in Hastings, with a little veggie cafe attached. I’ve been pretty keen to work with Dave over at Sham City for a while and, with a bunch of coffee addicts behind Lockjaw, it seemed like the perfect time to start up a fresh project.

photo by:Josh Sumner

IS THE NEW PUNK COFFEE AVAILABLE FOR BUYING? HOW MUCH DID YOU GUYS RELEASE? ARE THERE BIG QUANTITIES? ARE YOU GOING FOR BIGGER SHOPS DISTRIBUTION OR PUNK STYLED, LIKE DIY RECORDS AND MERCHSTYLE?

We sold out of our first batch of coffee pretty quickly! We’re getting a fresh batch roasted in time for KNRD Fest in Nuremburg, where we’re planning to serve up some Lockjawesome espresso martinis.

The coffee’s small batch only so that it stays fresh. Initially we’d planned for it to be a one-off, but there’s been so much demand that we’ve ordered more. You can buy it direct from our webstore, or come find us at a gig or festival. You can’t buy it anywhere else – this is DIY only.

BESIDES COFFEE, THERE IS ALSO COMPILATION FOR OUR LISTENING PLEASURE, HOW DID YOU CHOOSE BANDS ON IT? ARE THERE LOCKJAW RECORDS BANDS ONLY OR OTHERS TOO? WHAT ARE YOUR MUSICAL FAVORITES PERSONALLY RIGHT NOW?

The coffee comes in an exclusive 30-track compilation. It’s a mix of Lockjaw Records bands, bands we admire from outside the label, and bands based in Hastings (where Sham City is). We wanted the comp to reflect the collaboration between the two businesses, and we’ve got ourselves a diverse (but awesome) comp as a result.

I got the pleasure of finalising the tracks and fiddling about with the running order, which was great fun – like making a big mix tape for all your friends.

WHAT GOT YOU INTO THE WHOLE DIY PUNK HARDCORE MOVEMENT PHILOSOPHY?

Personally, I grew up in a family with a fairly alternative ethos and an interest in music, so it’s pretty deeply ingrained. Growing up, I started watching a lot of ‘punk’ bands. I’ve always felt embraced by the music community and I agree with the principles of helping one another, supporting venues and bands, and being socially and environmentally aware.

IS THERE SUCH THING AS UNITY OR IS IT ONLY HARDCORE PUNK ARCADIAN DREAM, UTOPIAN LAND OF DREAMS?

I think that it’s better to focus your efforts on what you can achieve: support local businesses, venues and bands; be good to the people around you; always be open to new ways of thinking. Focus on and build on the positives that you have.

I CAN´T AVOID POLITICS HERE, DO YOU GUYS THINK THAT BREXIT WILL BRING GREAT PROBLEMS TO PEOPLE AND BANDS FROM UK TRAVELING TO PLAY OR VISIT FESTIVALS ABROAD CONCERNING VISAS, WORK PERMITS AND STUFF?

Unsurprisingly, none of us support Brexit. For one thing, three of our team are in England and two are in Belgium, which presents enough challenges without adding extra legal complications.

We’re expecting it to be a clusterfuck and for there to be complications with visas, etc., but we’ll still make it over to the mainland for tours. I’m more worried that we might see less international bands coming to play in the UK. I’m worried about the queue for the ferry getting bigger too!

I SUPPOSE THAT LOCKJAW DOESN´T PAY YOUR BILLS. WHAT DO YOU DO PERSONALLY?

No, Lockjaw doesn’t pay the bills! We all do it for the love of punk. We’ve all got full time jobs and other projects alongside Lockjaw.

LAST QUESTION:WHAT FESTIVALS ARE YOU RECOMMENDING FOR US TO VISIT THIS SUMMER? WHERE WILL YOU GO? WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITES?

This summer, the Lockjaw Crew will definitely be at KNRD Fest (Germany), Brakrock Ecofest (Belgium) and Punk Rock Holiday (Slovenia). You can also spot a couple of us at Polite Riot (UK), Jera On Air (Netherlands), Boomtown (UK) and Wotsit Called Fest (UK). Come say hello!

lockjawrecords.co.uk/coffee/ 

 

(interview) Chat with Koffin Kats at Trash And Burn festival 2019.

Koffin Kats from Detroit, psychobilly legends played two shows in our neighbourhood and the first one was at Trash And Burn festival in Sveti Martin Na Muri, Croatia. That hot Saturday was ideal for us to have a little chat with them for our zine. Enjoy!

You guys just celebrated your sweet 16, did you have a party?

Vic: We were out on the road on this tour and I just realized oh, hey guys, it’s our 16th birthday, oh cool, and then we played our show.

16 is a big deal in America, isnt´it?

Vic: Oh yeah, for us it’s like oh yeah, we’re 16 now, keep it goin’.

How many European tours did you have?

Vic: This is our 13th.

And you played in Croatia like three or four times ?

Vic: I believe it is our fourth , two times playing Dirty old festival.

You also played in Rijeka, Mud blood and beer festival.

Vic: Oh yeah, Mud blood and beer festival, and now we ‘re here again.

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What exactly happened last year when you cancelled Euro tour?

Vic: We weren’t aware that, a passport was good, until the tour was going to end and then we were going to renew it after the tour, but when we were leaving they told us, no you can’t fly with this passport because it’ s going to expire in a few months even though we were in the window of returning before the passport expired, we weren’t aware that you had to have like an extra four months on the passport –so they wouldn’t let us fly over. Otherwise it would be just drum and bass and it wouldn’t be any fun (laughs).

We are fascinated by your bass lines. When you create songs are bass lines main foundation for the songs, or the guitar riffs…

Vic: Some songs are based on the bass lines, I’ll come over with the bass line, it dictates where the guitar goes, but then that can equally happen with the guitar, sometimes it dictates, or even a drum beat if Eric comes up with a random drum beat and then I just think of something off top of my head for a bass line, then the guitar will follow. It ‘s really a combination of all the things. We don’t specifically set up and go like ok guys here comes the bass, let’s build on  this, it’s whatever kinda pops in, we’re all playing together.

What about the lyrics? The first three albums were more horror, SF thematics and now they are more personal, do you agree?

Vic: The newer materials are more the combination of everything from what we’ve done in the past. After the first three albums I was getting little tired of writing constant horror stuff, I thought it was getting little boring for us, so I decided to change it up a little bit, now I feel it’s ok to revisit some of that stuff  with older perspective and I can start incorporating into the new lyrics more influences from different genres.

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One thing that also fascinates is your vocals, one of the most beautiful voices in the scene, kinda like Elvis or Danzig but not clone, yet better. Did you ever take some vocal training coach?

Vic: No, I never even intended to be a singer, but when we started the band we didn’t have anybody that can sing so I just figured that I would do it. And learning how to sing really was by playing so many shows. Our first shows I had no idea what I was doing and had no vocal control but you kinda developed that after playing so many shows. Koffin Kats is now close to at least 2500 shows so I’ve had a little bit experience (laughs).

Do you still hurt yourself with the bass at your shows? You were often bloody on your head while playing alive.

Vic: I don’t get paid enough to do that anymore. (laughs) It was too damaging.

For your head or the bass?

Vic: Both (laughs).

You are one of the most hard working bands, how many days in one year are you touring?

Tommy: It depends on the year, we pick and choose where to go, back in 2012. we played close to 250 shows. Always touring Europe, USA and Canada.

Do you have time to sightseeing when you’re in Europe?

Tommy: Yeah, tomorrow we’ll have a day off in Ljubljana so we will get to walk around and see some things. We’ve seen a lot when we drive by, like you’re in the van and then you see the Eifell tower. Each time you have a chance to get out the van and walk around it’s nice.

Classic question – what’s the difference between American and European tours?

Vic: The license plates are different. (laughs) Anywhere where we travel we find enthusiastic people at the shows, that’s universal. Difference in touring over here vs. The States are that we’re very used to convenience in the States as far as 24 hour shops are open and after the show we can go and find food anywhere and we’ re used to that. Here it’s a little bit different, things close at 7 pm, and the City kinda shuts down. But we don’t have doner kebabs at home (laughs). But the excitement at the shows is universal. There’s not too much difference with that.

Tell us something about your cooperation with 12 Step Rebels. You did the split album From Our Hands To Yours. Do you hang out privately?

Vic: Yeah, they are friends of ours, they are not as active as they used to be, but once in a while we still do shows with them. They live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, our guitar player that took over Tommy’s spot when he left the band for a while, his name is Ian,  actually played with 12 Step Rebels, that’s what connected us with them. We are hoping to see them again next time we’ re out in New Mexico.

What about The Quakes? You delivered guest vocals on Seven Seas Alone.

Vic: They are also friends of ours and we do shows from time to time with The Quakes. I actually talk to Paul Roman on regular basis, catch up with each others stuff.

Are you also friends with some other bands?

Vic: Yeah, through playing shows, touring and traveling all over we meet with many different bands, we try to get along with pretty much every band. It’s a very cool situation because bands we grew up listening to and who helped form the sound of Koffin Kats like Mad Sin, Nekromantix, The Quakes, Demented Are Go, now we actually play shows with those guys.

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You also had a lot of shows with Goddamn Gallows.

Vic: Yeah they started as a band pretty much around the same time as we, we’ve been friends ever since.

Do you do your merch yourselves? Do you have somebody for the design?

Vic: Yeah we can’t draw for shit (laughs) so we always hired up the artwork and the lot of the US printing we actually do ourselves in our shop that we have. And when we tour over here we have somebody else printing it for us.

What about the videos, you don’t do them much. Only Giving Blood and The Way Of The Road.

Vic: We’re working on that, we’re gonna focus on making some more video material.

Tommy: For a while it seemed like videos weren’t the thing anymore and now we see more and more videos, so we realized we have to do them, but it takes time.

Is Tommy back for good?

Vic: Oh yeaaaaah.

Tommy: I’m not going anywhere.

Vic: Until he has a heart attack…on stage (laughs).

Who gave Eric his nickname E-balls?

Vic: Oh, he kinda got it himself because he’s got only one ball.

Eric: Yeah, I don’t know who gave it, you guys did, someone did…

Vic and Tommy: Eric – one ball, – e ball, it’s just one big ball – E ball (laugh).