Originally pressed in 1996 PROFANE EXISTENCE is bringing this quintessential anarcho punk masterpiece back in circulation.
In 1996 AUS-ROTTEN released their first LP “The System Works For Them” on an unsuspecting punk scene. It spread like wildfire in a pre internet era within a genre that mostly depended on tape trading. (at least is was pre internet for us penniless punks) “The System Works For Them” was the perfect mix of anger and intelligence that the scene needed at the time (and still does today). It was like a wake up call that opened the eyes and ears to many punks the world over. The messages where crystal clear and most us were hooked as soon as the beginning shouts of “Boycott” bellowed over the speakers. I don’t believe any of us ever expected their message to resonate so well within the scene, but even more surprising is how the songs are just as relevant today as on they the day they were written. Which is why PROFANE EXISTENCE has decided to repress this record. We feel that that messages that AUS-ROTTEN brought to the table are to powerful to ignore. We feel that this LP is important and therefore should be highly available and priced affordably.
PROFANE EXISTENCE has worked out every last detail of this release with the members of AUS-ROTTEN whom have been involved from step one. All tracks have been re-masted by Jay Matherson at the Jamroom studios. To be 100% honest we didn’t want to do a complete re-master of what we already considered a good recording. However when we opened the tracks on protools we noticed a few balance issues that required fixing. These fixes resulted in a tremendous upgrade to the overall quality of the tracks. We painstakingly scanned, puzzled, and photoshopped the original artwork to make sure that it was as close to authentic as it could possible be. We then went for broke by pressing in three different vinyl color combinations! Overall to say that we are pumped to release this would be an understatement, we are absolutely ecstatic to bring you this LP on PROFANE EXISTENCE!
To top this all off we worked with AUS-ROTTEN vocalist Dave Trenga on redrawing the classic “What Good Is Money, When There Is No One Left To Buy” design for a T-Shirt to concede with the albums release. This is a fresh take on an old image to create a new and original design.
Vinyl options are…
1. Standard black vinyl
2. “The Battlefield is Still Red” Bloodsplatter vinyl.
3. See through “Smoke”. – Available at SKULLFEST only
Silence are a highly active post-punk/peace-punk band from Pittsburgh, PA. “The Deafening Sound of Absolutely Nothing” strives (and succeeds) to achieve the perfect balance between peace and post punk. By taking influences from The Mob, Bauhaus, Zounds, Killing Joke, Amebix, Crass, Conflict, Internal Autonomy and Joy Division SILENCE have created what can only be described a brilliant debut LP. At one moment this record is dark, heavy, and atmospheric and then the next moment it makes you want to dance and sing along. Lyrically SILENCE are much closer to the anarcho side of the previously listed influences. Lyrics focus on a variety of topics but often have a strong focus on the way punk and activist communities deal with political struggle in our current political climate.
“The Deafening Sound of Absolutely Nothing” comes with a 16 page magazine size zine containing lyrics, personal writings and song explanations. Designed, printed and assembled by the band themselves in true D.I.Y. fashion.
Silence will be having a record release show in their hometown of Pittsburgh PA at the Rock Room Friday April 22nd with SHADOW AGE and SKELETON HANDS. Then later this month SILENCE will embark on a full United States tour to support “The Deafening Sound of Absolutely Nothing”. Here is a list of dates. Be show to check in with the bands “bandcamp” or “Facebook” page for show updates.
When all that remains is a world in flames. Is that when they’ll say the wars are finally won? That wars are finally done?
They’re beating on the drums again, they’re fueling up the planes. The congressmen fall into line and sing the old refrain. In the name of peace they’ll burn the land and drop a thousand bombs.
Meanwhile we’ll just stay at home and go back to our sitcoms. It’s the same old song, we’ve heard it before. They’re beating the drums and they’re calling for war. What it’s supposed to accomplish, no one is sure But the victims are always the hungry and the poor.
Once the drums of war begin it’s hard to make them stop. The noise silences the dissidents once the bombs begin to drop. All those who call for peace will be mocked and pushed aside. In 10 years they’ll admit we were right after many thousands more have died.
Finally after many delays from the pressing plant the WARWOUND Demo’s LP “A Huge Black Cloud” is out and copies are moving fast!
Recorded in 1983, this record contains 15 songs from 3 sessions. With a few different takes you get a total of 25 blistering tracks. For those unfamiliar with WARWOUND, they are a UK band formed in 82. WARWOUND recorded 3 demos in 83 before disbanding and members went on to join THE VARUKERS and form SACRILEGE. These demos never received an official release… until now! Highly influenced by DISCHARGE, WARWOUND is one of the first bands ever to take D-Beat Punk to a raw and intense level. Recently reformed in 2015, original guitarist Damian is now joined by Ian Glasper on bass and Rat Varuker on vocals. After a few gigs in the UK word is spreading fast of the relentless onslaught of a live show these veterans put on. WARWOUND have also recently hit the studio to record for the first time in over 30 years. Needless to say WARWOUND is back with a vengeance!
Yes! Finally, after what turned out to be a gigantic task of moving the PROFANE EXISTENCE distro from Minneapolis to Denver, transferring tons of data, and rebuilding the web store, we are finally set to open back up. To access the new store follow one of the many links from profaneexistence.com or access it directly at http://profaneexistence.storenvy.com
The first official PROFANE EXISTENCE title of 2015 is out and ready for order! We are proud to bring you the RIFLE DIET – “NO SOLACE”LP
Rifle Diet’s No Solace is a 12in 45 that combines the Classic Minneapolis crust sound with Swedish hardcore, D-beat and Epic crust (think somewhere between Servitude and Wolfbirgade, with hints of Tragedy and Fall of Efrafa). The beautiful cover art by Hannah Benoche sets a bleak mood for the dark music within, plus a cover of His Hero is a Gone – Chain of Command (ex-members of InDefence and Garmonbozia) This LP is a joint release between PROFANE EXISTENCE and BLOOD OF THE YOUNG RECORDS
To honor both the opening of the new store and our first release of 2015, we are giving a free copy of the RIFLE DIET – No Solace lp to everyone that spends more then $50 from Monday January 12th to Monday January 19th!!! This deal is for one week only. DO NOT MISS OUT!
*Note*Rifle Diet are playing a record release show 1/17/15 at the Dogplex in Minneapolis with Kontrasekt, Aziza, and Fucking. To coincide with that show all orders that contain the RIFLE DIET – No Solace lp will be shipped out on Monday January 12th.
The next release in the works is the new full length lp from APPALACHIAN TERROR UNIT – “We Don’t Need Them”.
We Don’t Need Them is the second full-length record from West Virginia punx Appalachian Terror Unit. ATU have become known throughout the years as being one of the most politically charged bands in the current punk scene. This new record is an all out attack on today’s society that takes ATU to a new level of intensity both lyrically and musically. The combination of the beautiful and thought provoking gatefold cover art designed by Stivart along with the brilliant recording and mastering job by Jay Matheson at the Jam Room take this record even further. Song subjects include the horrors of war, police brutality, destruction of the environment, rape culture, consumerism and much more. Expect a very heavy and much angrier approach from a band that has been around the block and matured their sound. Seven raging new tunes including the epic fourteen and a half minute track “We Don’t Need Them”, a song that will one day be ranked among similar greats as the SUBHUMANS “From the Cradle to the Grave” and AUS ROTTEN “And Now Back to Our Programming”.
APPALACHIAN TERROR UNIT – We Don’t Need Them will be pressed in the United States on PROFANE EXISTENCE & in Europe on SKULD /RUIN NATION
WARWOUND – “A Huge Black Cloud-The Demos 1983“
Another record we are very excited about is the upcoming WARWOUND – A Huge Black Cloud-The Demos 1983. Recorded in 1983, this record contains 15 songs from three sessions. With a few different takes you get a total of 25 blistering tracks. For those unfamiliar with WARWOUND they are a UK band formed in 82, and released 2 demos in 83. Members went on to join THE VARUKERS and form the almighty SACRILEGE. Warwound are one of the first bands to take the politics and d-beat influence from DISCHARGE and combine it with the blown out sound of CHAOS UK to achieve total destructive raw d-beat ear bleeding chaos!
WARWOUND – A Huge Black Cloud-The Demos 1983 will be a split release between PROFANE EXISTENCE and ORGANIZE AND ARISE.
It will be available in the spring of 2015.
Other records and projects we have in the works for 2015 …
VASTATION (pdx formally night nurse) vs WAR//PLAGUE Split EP
KRANG are a new band birthed from Chicago’s DIY punk underbelly. They play a brutally powerful brand of thrashy riff-laden crustcore and have an intense live presence. They have recently recorded for a few vinyl projects, including PE’s own 7″ singles series. Check ’em out!
Interviewed by Brian Poulin (NEGLIGENCE). All photos by Adam DeGross.
PE Who’s in the band and what does each of you do?
AUSTIN: guitars / backing vocals / song writing (synth & keyboard on 12″)
ADAM: bass / backing vocals / song writing
BRENDAN: lead vocals / lyrical content
DEVAN: drums & percussion / backing vocals
PE: What’s a brief history of the band and how did you guys form?
Austin: We started circa 2009. We had an additional guitarist: Louis C. He went on to start a blackened crust band called Welkin Dusk, based in Chicago that he plays drums & lead vocals for. We used to have an additional lead singer as well: Hannah B. Hannah was a part of our first two releases: the out of print “Onward Desolation” demo tape, and also the out of print “Bog of Eternal Stenchcore” 7″. Hannah is now the front-woman in a band called Despise, based out of Minneapolis. Our original drummer, Brett, is on the two recordings I mentioned before, as well as our “Sounds of Death” 12″. Brett now drums for a Chicago / northwest Indiana band called Asphixiate. Devan is now our permanent drummer and he will have his first appearance on the “Broken Waves” 7″, released by Profane Existence, which is coming out in June. Devan will also be on our next 12″: “Bad Moon”, which we are writing right now. I, as well as Krang, are totally stoked on Devan and really happy to have them. Devan is active outside of percussion as well with assisting in writing, assistance in lyrical content & structure, and the internet stuff. This line up has been solidified for over a year and is totally fucking Krang! It just works perfectly.
PE: You guys are based out of Chicago. What are your favorite parts of the scene there? What are your least favorite things about Chicago’s scene?
Devan: Chicago’s an interesting place. I feel like the pros and cons are often directly related to one-another. For example, the mere size of the city. There are so many people – new to here, young, old, whatever – that there is basically always something going on and a handful of solid DIY spaces at all times, regardless of whether people leave or places get busted or whatever. The downside is that the physical structure of the city makes it difficult and/or terribly time-consuming to navigate. Especially if you don’t have a car. And even if you do, parking sucks. Anyway, as a result of the city being as segregated as it is, people are often inclined to just stick to what’s going on in their neighborhood and it results in a lack of exposure or attention paid to some really cool things. It’s unfortunate. But then there are some events like the annual Black and Brown Punk Show (shout-out to Monika!) or other fest-type shows where the attendance is crazy and bullshit is minimal. It’s rad.
Austin: I used to live in CHI. I reside in northwest Indiana (NWI). It’s really close. You can compare it to how close Jersey is to NYC. The rest of the band does live in CHI. My favorite things about Chicago is the “don’t take shit” attitude that at least me and the scene we’re involved with has. We’ll kick you out if your a piece of shit human or kick your ass if we have to. I also like The Void Haus in NWI for gigs. My personal least favorite things are cliques, hype, division, etc… the things that you see in every rather large city, I suppose.
Adam: I love Chicago’s unspoken rule of everyone being down to get down when shit hits the fan and nobody lets bogus comments or derogatory gestures fly. My complaint for the longest time was how there is the same hierarchy that we all hate in daily life at a lot of the gigs. It seems like those “in crowd” wanks have come and gone though, or maybe I just don’t surround myself with such fools anymore. My main complaint, and I know I am sounding super negative, but for such a large city there is a lack of bands playing what I am into personally. There are a lot of great bands doing great things…but that doesn’t necessarily mean I am into them musically. Haha! I have a particular taste and its not being fulfilled. I usually go to shows to hang out and have a good time and just show support but its rare that I actually shit over a band that I see locally. I do really, really get down to Population though. White boy can’t dance but when I see this band I start doing shit I didn’t know I was capable of.
Brendan: Chicago is simultaneously the best & worst place to live; which I’d imagine is a critique most other big-city dwellers share. There is no shortage of great folks, bands, eats, cool nerd-haunts (comic & record collectors rejoice!), and beautiful neighborhoods/communities in which to live. The same is true for all of the awful yuppies, gold cost bourgeois, & assholes who get your friends hooked on hard drugs. A lot of the time I wish that I lived in a vast expanse of lush nature with no human presence save myself. When I’m not wishing for seclusion, I’m loving how hard of a time I have sorting out which of the 5 awesome punk shows I get to go see any given night. Chicago has everything I love & hate at once; most of the time its worth it.
PE: Musically what are you guys going for?
Devan: I’d say sincerity, first and foremost. In sound, words, and delivery. And the connections we can and have made with people based on that. My musician’s answer would be just to write the best songs we can and perform them at the highest level at all times.
Austin: I just want to stick out and be a little different sounding. I still want to have that essential formula for great punk. I personally believe we found the introduction to our sound with the “Sounds of Death” 12″. We have two formulas: triumphant, galloping crust metal and simplified, pissed off, to-the-point stuff.
Brendan: Initially we formed with the idea of writing over the top odes to crust circa late 80’s/early 90’s; stuff you could flail your overgrown dreadlocks around to. We all fell into a groove with each other over time, where we don’t really need to define what we’re gonna write before we do. We approach releases with general outlines (theme,length, format etc.), but when writing songs I’d say we aim for mean, earnest & impactful.
Adam: I think naturally all being into different types of musical backgrounds, our finished product ends up being a thing of its own, but we all have similar enough interests to where we end up with the result that we initially were trying to go for. I personally am really into trying to sound like the bands I am into. It doesn’t end up exactly that way which is good but I love when bands obsess over old school sounds/bands/records and try to make their contemporary music sound as authentic as possible whether it be tone or style or whatever. At the end of the day we are trying to sound pissed, like we worship the 80s and have our music sound anarchy as fuck!
PE: What bands inspire you the most?
Austin: I listen to EVERYTHING. I don’t know where to begin but musically, keeping personal interest aside, I think we’re inspired by 80’s UK crust and a lot of Japanese stuff as far as writing collectively. This is something me and you will have to nerd out on when we’re in Boston next. Haha!
Adam: For Krang, bands that influence the writing process for me are Masskontroll, Deathraid, Sacrilege, Hellshock, Deviated Instinct, Sodom, Axegrinder and Amebix as well as Instinct of Survival. Personally I am all over the water but my all time 2 favorite punk bands have always and will always be Discharge and the Dead Boys.
Devan: I could go on a long rant about every band I’ve ever loved and how they’ve all stuck with and influence me to this day and blah blah blah, but I’ll spare you the cost of ink and just say Sacrilege, Crude, Amebix and Discharge. That said, we are quite the eclectic bunch.
Brendan: Musically, anything running the gamut from Paintbox to Elliot Smith. I enjoy a lot of soaring Japanese hardcore with that Burning Spirits feel, 90’s screamo, early black metal & hip hop. Any band that has a way with words gets me going, but mostly I enjoy music that you can’t help but feel.
PE: What are most of your songs about? What inspires the lyrics?
Brendan: Lemme preface by saying that Discharge is rad & “The More I See…” could be the soundtrack to my daily tedium… but i think punk rock has much more potential than to rehash our dogmatic & oftentimes simplistic politics. Having been a few places where the punk scene eats itself inside out with depression, addiction, & apathy towards the struggles of those around us, I think its real important to allow ourselves to be more open in the way we express all of the things exploding in our minds. I am not blowing my own horn, or any horn for that matter, but I really enjoy taking the personal route when it comes to writing & am constantly attempting to better address the common threads that run through all of our lives. Our first wave of songs covered some of our political leanings in regards to vivisection, arms manufacturing, rape culture & the willful destruction of our Earth. The “Bog of Eternal Stenchcore” 7″ reflects on the weight of stagnation on the “politically motivated”. “Sounds of Death” is the result of an obsession with death and a years worth of hurt; friends making irreversible decisions in regards to their lives & some of us falling into those spirals ourselves. There is absolution in acceptance though & I think a glint of hope in such dark subject matter. Our upcoming 7″ deals with cycles of change in our lives, moments of mania & madness; a counterpoint to our last 7″. The songs we are writing & playing now are an extension of that, focusing on moments of change in our lives, wanderlust & really just form one big, loud, pissed love letter to the DIY community, punk rock & time spent on the road. Inspiration comes from any human I’ve met that has dared to be open, honest & shameless about it.
Devan: Passion in all its forms and extremities is what inspires us. Totally.
PE: You guys have done a few extensive tours. What’s your favorite city you guys haveplayed in? What’s your least favorite?
Austin: I love Boston. Detroit, New Orleans, and the Twin Cities (Minneapolis) are up there too. I don’t really have a least favorite. We have had some bad experiences, though. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and not mention them. Hopefully things will be better when we return.
Devan: New Orleans is my favorite city ever, and our most recent gig in Boston totally ruled. I’d have to say, though, that many of my favorite shows have been in non-major cities. Birmingham AL was awesome, Asheville NC, Cincinatti OH, Grand Rapids MI…basically anywhere with a really tight-knit but wide-ranging DIY scene in terms of age, music, spaces, projects, etc. It’s always super encouraging to see.
Brendan: I’ll echo the others in saying that NOLA, Asheville, Cincy, Birmingham, Boston & Baltimore all kick ass. I’m usually super appreciative of all the towns we’ve been lucky enough to play in, though of course we’ve played in towns that seemed to embrace the anti-PC attitude/sense of humor that I am so fucking sick of. Some cities are really 50/50 because you’ll either play an amazing show with bad-ass folks & have the time of your life, or you might end up wanting to eviscerate some fuckhead who only listens to GG Allin & doesn’t get why a confederate flag hanging at a show space might ruffle some feathers.
Austin: We as a band aren’t about making sure we are politically correct all the time, but we definitely are hellbent on showing one another respect and are willing to give respect back to those who are legit. No single city is bad. Like I said before, sometimes there are some bad experiences. Fuckheads are everywhere.
Adam: Yes, Cincinnati, Birmingham, Boston, but most of all NOLA and Minneapolis. New Orleans and Minneapolis…no other city can live up to the debauchery that is expected to happen when we arrive in these two places. We need a week of recovery after being in either place for just a day. Also I love playing Madison a lot. Fuck, I love touring. So many amazing friends are being missed right now as we speak.
PE: What are some of your favorite bands you guys have played with?
Lord Krang: Scum from Detroit, Appalachian Terror Unit, Antisect, In Defense, Nu-kle-ar Blast Suntan, Kontrasekt, Cognitive Dissonance, The Skuds, Coelacanth, WrathCobra, Wartorn, Negligence, In Ruins, and definitely D-Clone; but honestly, it’s great to play with anyone and everyone who aren’t assholes and give a shit about “punk rock”.
PE: What are some of your favorite local bands from Chicago?
Lord Krang: Asphyxiate, Decay After Death (Decay A.D.), Cemetery (RIP), Culo, Die Time, Slag, Escalofrio, Sex Bunker (RIP), Birth Deformities, Gas Rag, Welkin Dusk, Daylight Robbery, Dirty Surgeon Insurgency, The Breathing Light, La Armada, Black September, Kontaminat, Ooze, Tensions, The Busy Sugnals, Population, More that we’re forgetting to mention….
PE: What does the future hold for Krang?
Devan: As Austin mentioned earlier, we have our “Broken Waves” 7″ being released in June, at which point we’ll be doing a small tour with Coelacanth. Also, as previously stated, we are well along in the writing process for our next full-length LP. Look for us around the Mid-west this summer and keep up-to-date and get in touch via the following:
crustardpunx[AT]gmail.com – krangcrustards.bandcamp.com – krangcrustards.blogspot.com
Austin: More touring, more albums, more blood spit nights, more everything! We’ll do a more extensive tour when the new LP comes out.
Brendan: “Bad Moon” 12″ – Skull Fest – Split(s?) – Self-Destruction With A Gusto
Lord Krang: Record labels that are interested in helping us with our next 12″ (which is more than half way written) get in touch with us!!! It will be even more galloping, pist, and triumphant than our still available “Sounds of Death” 12″!
PE: Even though alot of people in the punk scene are familiar with your art can you please introduce yourself ?
Nesha: Hi Flox, first of all thanx for doing this interview with me.I Think people who are familiar with my artwork already know alot about me, cause my artwork transparently show my views of reality and my imagination…but for the record, my name is Nesha (better known as the guy behind Doomsday Graphics), I’m 36 years old, living in Berlin, Germany for almost 2 years now…born in communist Yugoslavia, grown up and lived most of my life in Serbia,the country that was involved in few wars, dictatorship, big economic crisis, international isolation, and brutal transition in recent history, that influenced me a lot as a person and artist. Beside this, things that influence me and I’m interested in,are visual art, especially painted/ draw surrealist art, and people behind it…different subgenres of punk and metal music, individualism, 70s and 80s post-apocalyptic, SF and horror movies and literature…comics…history of 20th century, especially World War II…
PE: It’s been years that I’ve known you now and it’s crazy the amount of work you have done. For how long have you been drawing ? And how did you get involved in art and then into punk art ?
Nesha:I’ve draw my whole life…my first memories are connected with drawing…when I was a kid,different kind of pens and paper was my favorite toys…but that was my thing in those times, I didn’t have vision of me becoming an artist, I grow up in small place, village, nobody from my family was artist or something…first time I was exposed to the world of art was when I entered high school for graphics design…I learned a lot there about technics, history of art, etc. ,and got exposed to work of Hieronymus Bosch, Eduard Munch, M.C. Escher, H.R. Giger between others, but also to the work of my classmates…About more or less same time I got into punk, and later d.i.y movement…I was attracted not just with music and lyrics, but also with covers of the records done by Gee Vaucher, Pushead, Jeff Gaither, Nick Blinko, etc. Also in those times there was a lot of art fanzines going around, like Sivulinen from Finland…first cover artwork I did was a tape cover for my first band Unutrasnji Bunt split with our friends Agitator(also from Serbia). After this my artwork started to be published in fanzines in Serbia and abroad…but that was different time, before domination of internet, the world was still not so small like today…
PE: Knowing you are from Serbia I imagine things don’t have the same reality and chances that people have on the western front. You told me you didn’t do any art school what so ever! What were your techniques to learn on your own ?
Nesha:One can’t choose place of birth, it’s simply like that…but on an another hand everybody should have a right to choose where to live, and to have right to travel, to move freely…this right was taken from me and the rest of the people who live in Serbia. For almost 20 years Serbia was like a prison, we needed visa to travel to most European country’s…and it was a really complicated procedure to get the visa…it was almost impossible…things changed lately…I Think you misunderstood me, I went to art school, and i really learn a lot there…but techniques I use now I learn mostly by myself during the process of drawing. After I finished art high school I wanted to go to art university but I couldn’t get in…that’s also the story of living in Serbia where art universities are considered like some kind of elite schools, so you needed good connections or money to pay to the right person to get in. So I was learning by myself, I was drawing every day, and during the years I was becomming better and better in what I do.
PE:You work alot on the black and white contrasts in some kind of Giger influenced art as some other punk artists such as Fartwork, Ratgrinder, Melvin, people from Pack, Sonia, Mid, etc… How do you work on projects for bands ? And how does the artwork form come together ? Is b/w a deliberate choice ?
Nesha:Yes it’s a choice, I like to work in black and white, this contrast always gives the picture kind of strength that full color pieces don’t have, at least for me. But also, somehow it was a set of circumstances, cause I draw a lot for fanzines in 90’s and they were always copied black and white so there was no point to make color illustrations, also if you do black on white you just need black pen and piece of paper, which is more practical and cheaper than to have all colors brushes etc.. Sometimes I also use colors in my drawings, and recently I did some color paintings also…cause I came to the point that I can’t visualize all I want just with black and white. When I work with bands, we first discus the ideas for the artwork, than I make a detailed sketch and if people from the band like it,I start with drawing an original artwork…usually it’s simple like that.
PE:Even though this is the art section of the zine can you talk to us a little bit of how it was growing up in Serbia in the middle of your teen years in the middle of the war ? How things have changed over the years there and how the situation is now ? Do you think this has affected your work and inspiration of creating a band as well ? As you were telling me that the situation living now in Germany leaves you a bit speachless as to lyrics because of the different atmosphere and politics here or am I wrong ?
Nesha:Huh, it’s not really easy for me to explain it, especially not in a few sentences and in english…but for sure the 90s in Serbia was not the best place to grow up, sure not the worst also…Serbia was involved in all conflicts on the ex-Yugoslavian territory, from ’91 and war in Croatia, to war in Bosnia, and war in Kosovo that ended up with NATO bombing Serbia in ’99. So how it was…living in fear, living in poverty, being contra regime in a country in war…avoiding going to army that was obligatory at that time…being anti nazi in country with Nazis in power…was scary sometimes, like walking around with the target on your back…but fuck it, it’s only one life I have, I also had a lot of fun in those dark times…in 2000. government changed violently, and lot of people were thinking that after this change better days are coming… of course that’s not what happened…local war profiteers and foreign companies were buying this destroyed country for cheap…all that what people build by their own hands after the second world war, was first destroyed and then sold for nothing…the new government was providing all this…same people that promised fairytale democracy when they needed help to come on power…so people were pissed, angry, more poor than before and still isolated, also nationalist hatred from past wars were never publicly discussed or recognized like bad thing…and that was a perfect ground for Nazis and the church to spread their sickness. The Situation now is maybe even worse than before 10 years….Of course all this affected my work and inspired me to create a band….when we started with Nakot, beside that I wanted to play fast and loud music, I wanted to talk/sing about things that happened and still are going on in the country I lived, and even more because nobody was actually talking about this, even in punk scene. In Germany the things are on a different level, oppression same as resistance are much more layered and better organized than in Serbia.
PE: Is the fact of moving to Berlin a choice because you don’t see a future in your own country, when you see that you have much more access to things here ? Has living in Köpi been inspiring for you as well to see and meet all these international bands, people and activism here ?
Nesha:You can say it’s a choice I made when I finally had an opportunity to choose (in December of 2009. EU finally cancels the visa-obligation for Serbian citizens). I lived all my life in one country, so I wanted to travel, to see and to experience something different. I wanted to see shows I don’t organize myself or play on them, I was tired of being responsible for this and that, for being always in the first row, trying to create something over the years there, but always ending up in the beginning…watching my friends leaving the country, or getting fucked up on drugs, or just disappearing. I was sick and tired of watching my back every time I leave the house, just because the way I look… I wanted to move from all this. At the same time I got together with Marina, and she was living in Berlin, so I decided to move here …and definitely I’m impressed to see all this places, not just Koepi, but lot of other houses and projects I saw in the last two years…places that exist for 20 years or more, something like “institutions” of the scene, we miss places like this in Serbia.
PE: As for the record you used to play in NAKOT which has some releases people can find. But how is the punk scene in Serbia and which bands would you recommend to people. What is going on in the punk scene there nowadays ? Politically you were telling me how crazy people were intolerant with the gay pride marches and the rise of more right wing and extreme right wing reactions over there. How do you feel about this ?
Nesha:Yes I was singing in Nakot, and we have few releases:
Nakot/Dyspnea split 7″
Nakot/Dazd split 7″
Nakot “Pod NATO bombama i represijom nacije” CD and Tape
“Grombiera & Paprika” 4 way split LP
with Murder Disco X, Nulla Osta and Corrosive.
I think most of this releases are still available and easy to find. Today scene in Serbia? Well some bands that were important in the last years are not so active any more like Dazd, or stopped to play like Nakot. But there are also some good new bands like Dishumanity from Kragujevac, or Katma and New Mortal Gods from Belgrade and Otvoreni Prelom from Senta. Less foreign bands are touring Serbia then before a few years, so there are less shows. Some active people moved out from the country, or just stopped doing things, and there is not much new, young, active people. On the contrary Nazis are getting bigger. They are supported by church and secret police and of course used to do the dirty jobs for them. Gay Pride march was always a big topic in Serbia. First march was organized in Belgrade in the year 2001, and a few people which had the courage to go out on the street demanding their rights, got brutally beaten up by hundreds of Nazis and football hooligans lead by a priest. 10 years later the situation is not much better, few weeks ago police forbid Gay Pride 2011, claiming that they can’t guaranty safety to the participants of the Pride Parade. That was the result of negative campaign that was going on for weeks, made from church, most of the political parties and nazi organizations. Few days after they forbid the Gay Pride march, one girl got stabbed on the street of Belgrade from a underage kid, just because she had t-shirt with the colors of Gay Pride flag. Sadly that was not a big story because it became common to hear stories like this. How I feel about it, same like when I lived there – angry and frustrated.
PE: Which artists inspire you outside and inside the punk mouvement past and present ? Are there things you have never tried that you would like to work at ?
Nesha:All artists who put a lot of effort and meaning in their work, and there is a lot of them. I hate to make a top list, but some of my favorite artists are Zdislaw Beksinski, HR Giger, Frank Frazetta, Ed Repka, Vania Zouravliov…And from the punk scene: Pushead and Gee Vaucher were the first I got into… I like a lot the work of Sugi, Septic art(my friend from Serbia), John Baizley, Florian Bertmer, Daniel Shaw, Adam O(from Copenhagen, who recently put out a really good comic book “Ruiner”)…
Yes, I would like to experiment with screen printing, printing my stuff with different colors and on different type of paper, and I would like to try air-brush and some other techniques.
PE: You’ve had a first book of your art that came out years ago! Since then it’s been sold out for sometime, are you considering working on a new one, since you have done tons of work since the previous one ? Your art has also progressed over time. What are your own 5 favorite works til now ?
Nesha:The book came out in 2005, and it was published by my friend Oui Oui( Louarn Konnaret Releases). I met him last summer and he had with him the last 10 copy’s from the book,which he found at his mother place. Maybe it is still possible to get this book trough some distros, 700 copies were printed, and that’s not too much. Before a year or two,Irena from Active Rebellion came with this idea to release a split book with Steve’s (VoW) and my artwork, but to this day nothing really came out of it. I still hope that this could work, cause like you said the old book is sold out and I did a lot of new artwork in the meantime, and it would be great to split the book with Steve, he is a cool guy and his artwork marked European crust. I like all the artwork I did, some pieces looked better to me at the moment I made them, then after few years of distance, but I think that’s normal. Again I love all pieces I made and I can’t name my favorite 5, I could name 5 favorite bands I worked with, but maybe that wouldn’t be polite to the others.
PE: It’s nice to see also your artwork etched by acid on metal plates by your wife Marina ( AC/D Witch ). How does that work, and is this something you two would like to develop since it’s quite original ?
Nesha:Marina’s metal work is really special and unique. I’m a fan from the first time I see it, and I’m really happy to see my art etched in metal by her. It’s like some kind of artifact you know, something durable, one day ink on paper will fade away, and paper will dissolve but metal will stay. It is also one higher level in our relationship, to produce something together, that’s really something special. Recently she started to make jewelry, and I did series of drawings specially to be etched on these jewelry pieces. You can check Marina’s(Acid Witch Produxions) stuff at http://www.acidwitchproduxions.de/
PE: You’ve also practiced a bit of tatooing! Is that something you would like to develop as well ? I feel it’s a great continuation / extension of your art and are tatoo artists also an inspiration to you ? When will we see the DOOMSDAY tatoo shop in Berlin🙂 ?
Nesha:Ha,ha…I’m not sure about Doomsday tattoo shop, but yes I would like to develop my tattooing skills…I didn’t do much tattoo’s in my life and I’m not sure if I could totally commit myself to it, which is necessary if I want to be good at it. At the moment I have some equipment and I urge to do it, and we will see where this will lead me.
PE: Ok so I’d like to thank you for your time answering these questions, do you have any closing comments and what are the upcoming projects for you ? Any bands you would like to work with in the future ?
Nesha:Thank you for doing this interview Flox! We will see what future brings, sure there is a few bands I would like to work with, not just one…also soon some good records will be out I did the artwork for, and hopefully I will present that artwork on my new website.