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!
For those of you who don’t know DEADLY REIGN, Its time to get with the program! DEADLY REIGN is a 3 piece D-BEAT killing machine with a legendary line up comprised of members from GLYICNE MAX, DOGMA MUNDISTA, SCARRED FOR LIFE, WORLD BURNS TO DEATH, KEGCHARGE, CENTURY OF WAR AND TILL DEATH. These guys have been at it for a long time and don’t fuck around when it comes to bringing you punk rock authentic and true to its sound and with their new single released on PE entitled SLAVE! These guys don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. So let’s get to the brass tacks and see what these guys have been up to. (INTERVIEW BY DUTCH WELCH FROM KRIGBLAST)
PE: So what are your names, what do you play, and how did you guys come together?
(RAYGUNN) I MOVED TO AUSTIN AND RAN INTO GUERINOT AT HIS DAUGHTER’S BIRTHDAY PARTY. UNKNOWN TO ME, MY WIFE WAS AND STILL IS GOOD FRIENDS WITH HIS WIFE AT THE TIME AND HE AND I KNEW EACH OTHER FROM THE PAST WHEN OUR PREVIOUS BANDS HAD PLAYED TOGETHER. WE GOT TO TALKING AND DECIDED THAT WE SHOULD START A BAND. I SAID, WE JUST NEED A BASS PLAYER/SINGER, AND HE SAID HE HAD ONE. HE CALLED HIS FRIEND GUSHAMMER AND HE WAS INTO IT. THEY HAD BEEN WANTING TO START SOMETHING TOGETHER FOR A WHILE. AND EVENTUALLY WE GOT THE BALL ROLLING (OR SHOULD I SAY, THE BEERS FLOWING?).
PE: You guys have all been in some pretty kick ass bands in the past. who played in what?
RAYGUNN – GLYCINE MAX, DOGMA MUNDISTA, KONTRAKLASE, AND SCARRED FOR LIFE.
GUERINOT – WORLD BURNS TO DEATH, AND KEGCHARGE.
GUSHAMMER – CENTURY OF WAR, AND TILL DEATH.
PE: Who came up with the name Deadly Reign?
(RAYGUNN) I USED TO HANG OUT WITH A KICK ASS BAND IN THE EARLY 80’s CALLED BODY COUNT. THEY WERE AN EARLY D-BEAT STYLE OF BAND (BEFORE THE TERM D-BEAT WAS AROUND) AND THEY HAD A SONG CALLED DEADLY REIGN. SO I TOOK IT FROM THAT. (AND YES, I AM AWARE THAT THERE WAS A BAND CALLED DEADLY REIGN FROM NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BACK IN THE EARLY 80’s, BUT THAT IS NOT WHERE I GOT THE NAME FROM).
PE: The music of DR is furious, in your face politically and socially. Whats the motivation behind your song writing?
(RAYGUNN) MUSICALLY, WE JUST TRY TO WRITE MUSIC THAT WE LIKE. THE KIND OF STUFF WE WOULD LISTEN TO AT HOME. NOT SO MUCH TRYING TO BE ORIGINAL OR GROUND BREAKING. MORE OF JUST PLAYING THE HARD AGGRESIVE TYPE OF MUSIC THAT WE LIKE. WE GET IT ALL TOGETHER AND THEN GUSHAMMER WRITES SOME LYRICS.
(GUERINOT) I’VE ALWAYS SAID I CAN’T AND WON’T BE IN A BAND THAT I COULDN’T ALSO LISTEN TO. WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT OF PLAYING SHIT THAT YOU DON’T LIKE? WE AREN’T DOING THIS TO PLEASE OTHERS, JUST OURSELVES.
(GUS) SOME LYRICS HIT RIGHT TO THE POINT, RELIGION. IT’S FUCKING 2013 AND HERE WE ARE STILL DEALING WITH RELIGIOUS NONSENSE! PEOPLE THE WORLD OVER ARE BEING PERSECUTED, MISLEAD, AND OUT RIGHT SLAUGHTERED OVER RELIGION. RATHER IT’S CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS, JEWS, OR WHATEVER FICTITIOUS BULLSHIT SECT THEY ARE IN. RELIGION IN ANY FORM IS UNCALLED FOR AND DANGEROUS! AND THIS COUNTRY USES IT TO PULL OFF SOME SERIOUSLY HEINOUS ACTS OF PURE AND UTTER VIOLENCE AND WAR. WE TOUCH ON THIS OF COURSE ON THIS RECORD, BUT MORE SPECIFICALLY IT’S DIRECTED TOWARD THE WORKING CLASS FOLKS AND THEIR DAILY STRUGGLE JUST TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE FOR THEIR FAMILIES. THE OLDER WE GET, THE SAME STRUGGLE REMAINS, EXCEPT NOW WE MUST NOT ONLY FIGHT TO FEED OURSELVES BUT FIRST FEED OUR CHILDREN AND LOVED ONES AND THEN WITH WHAT IS LEFT OVER, TAKE CARE OF OURSLEVES. SO WE CAN SLAVE ANOTHER DAY FOR A LESS THAN ACCEPTABLE WAGE. OVER THE YEARS I HAVE WATCHED OUR (PUNK) COMMUNITY OF FRIENDS WORK IN HORRIBLE CONDITIONS FOR SHIT WAGES WITH NO BENEFITS AND NO HOPE OF MOVING UPWARD IN THESE POSITIONS. AT THE END OF THE DAY THEY HAVE A SMALL CHECK THAT IS OVER TAXED AND A SORE ACHING BODY, THAT CONTINUES TO GET WORSE. “TELL ME IS THIS THE LIFE I’M FORCED TO LIVE TO PROVIDE FOR MY FAMILY?”…THE ANSWER IS NO! BUT NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT. WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO POINT OUT THESE CONCERNS OVER AND OVER UNTIL THE POWERS THAT BE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO LISTEN.
PE: You guys did a split with HELLKRUSHER not to long ago entitled Continuous Warfare. How did this collaboration come about?
(RAYGUNN) I HAVE KNOWN SCOTTY (HELLKRUSHER) SINCE THE MID 80’s WHEN HE WAS IN HELLBASTARD, AND I WAS IN GLYCINE MAX. WE USED TO BE PEN PALS, AND WOULD SEND EACH OTHER TAPES OF OUR BANDS, AND OUR FRIENDS BANDS. WE EVENTUALLY LOST TOUCH WITH EACH OTHER AND THEN YEARS LATER FOUND EACHOTHER VIA THE INTERNET. I SENT HIM SOME DEADLY REIGN AND HE LIKED IT. AND WE DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING TOGETHER.
PE: You guys all have family’s now and continue to tour, play shows, practice, record and work. How has DIY punk changed in your lives and how do you make it work?
(GUERINOT) WELL, I HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS BUT HAVING AN UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORTIVE PARTNER IS KEY. HAVING KIDS IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE SO IN MY OPINION, THEY COME FIRST. WORKING AROUND THEM AND WORK IS USALLY PRETTY EASY. LATELY IT HAS BEEN A BIT MORE DIFFICULT BUT TRYING TO WORK OUT THE KINKS IN A SITUATION AND PUT PIECES BACK TOGETHER IS PART OF THE PROCESS.
PE: The new single from Profane Existence entitled SLAVE, what can we expect and do you have any future releases coming out?
(RAYGUNN) IT’S A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN OUR LAST TWO RECORDS, BUT STILL THE DEADLY REIGN STYLE. NEXT WE WILL BE WRITING FOR A SPLIT 12″ WITH OUR FRIENDS KONTRASEKT.
PE: Closing comments, any last words?
THANKS TO ALL OF OUR FRIENDS THE WORLD OVER. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. ALSO, THANKS FOR THE INTERVIEW. AND BE SURE TO PICK UP THE NEW DEADLY REIGN ‘SLAVE’ EP ON PROFANE EXISTENCE! AS WELL AS OUR LP AND THE SPLIT WITH HELLKRUSHER. ALSO, WE WOULD LOVE TO GO TO EUROPE SOMEDAY, IF ANYONE OVER THERE WOULD LIKE TO HELP OUR BROKE ASSES OUT. HAHA! CHEERS – DEADLY REIGN
WARTORN are a whirlwind of thrash punk goodness hailing from Wisconsin. Since 2004, they’ve been hitting the touring and record release circuit with no looking back. Here’s a quick interview I did to let people know about their two latest releases, Domestic Terrorist 7″ (Profane Existence) & Iconic Nightmare 12″ (Southern Lord). – Andy Leffer
(This interview also appears in CVLT NATION)
PE: You know the drill, just give us the basics on who’s who and what’s changed in the past, in regards to any line up changes, etc. Also, give us some insight on where WARTORN is going. We want to know tours, records, riots, protests, arrests….the whole back story on WARTORN’s origins.
Bitty: (Vocals) The band started in 2004, with Ryan, Hart (on drums) and myself as a three-piece. Within half a year I got a call with an offer for our first tour, which was with Municipal Waste. We did a mini tour with them and ever since then we have been able to go on tours with amazing bands each year such as Los Dolares, ATU, CYP, Krang, In Defence, Pyroklast, Hellshock, and up next Raw Power . We have been to 13 countries and have done lots of releases on many different labels.
Ryan: guitar / low vocals / whiskey enthusiast. Well we started as a 3-piece and over a span of over 8 years, have ended up with 6 members. With 3 of us being guitar players we are able to diversify our songs in ways that we could only do in a studio setting. This obviously makes a difference live as well.
Ela: I’ve been the bass player for over the last 6 years. Recently, we came out with an LP/CD on Southern Lord Records called “Iconic Nightmare” and a 7-inch, “Domestic Terrorist”, released on Profane Existence (which is part of their limited edition singles series).
Toban: (Guitar) I think I might have the most arrests out of anyone in the band. Not like its anything to brag about. I did narrowly avoid another arrest a few weeks ago.
Derek: Guitar as well. I’ve been in the band for a few months and have been on two tours so far.
PE: The music is dynamic, to say the least. You’re not getting any half-assed riffs or mindlessly thrown together lyrics or production with your music. Elaborate on the process and what is the driving force for doing such a band. Punk is a political movement, it’s always been a political movement. Are you a part of this fray as a whole, or is this more of a personal, therapeutic outlet?
Ryan: I definitely believe in the power of the riff. Heavy and raging. Punk is a political movement, but I also see it as a community (full of musicians, artists, writers, photographers, open thinkers etc). A lot of us live/ have lived in punk houses and have been booking DIY shows for years. It’s something we do to contribute to it as a whole.
Toban: Ryan is the riff-master general of the band. He does a great job of coming up with some of the most incredible riffs of anyone I’ve been in a band with. Adding Bitty’s smartly composed lyrics and Hart’s hard hitting/tight drum style makes a great concoction.
Bitty: As far as what I write lyrically, I mainly write about personal experiences or historical events. I don’t tell people what they need to think, that is for them to figure out on their own. Also, I could not label myself as more than a realist and a situationalist.
Ela: Well in my opinion, I would say that we are a part of this as a whole, but it also is a personal outlet for me. We have all contributed to the movement in one way or another, but I think of punk as more than just a political movement. For me it is also about a unified community… where people come together, whether it is for political reasons, to share a passion for music, a hobby, art, etc. … and we definitely have that in Appleton, which is awesome.
Hart: I honestly wouldn’t say punk’s always been a political movement at all. The fact that DK, Meatmen, and the Germs, for example, all existed during one heyday suggests more of a harsh musical and broad social changeover than anything to me. For me personally, punk rock, metal and hardcore have always been a therapeutic and vindicating way of life that has consistently solved a lot of my life’s most harrowing, fucked-up times. It had a total bottleneck effect on how I raised myself mentally and emotionally. It was a really great thing to find out about when I was trying to figure out how to express myself when everything just infuriated or bored the shit out of me. Later, after I was free as an adult, I quickly found out it came replete with its own sense of community, and a totally viscous following I was never aware existed at all. This band is fucking great, cause we never throw a blind rhetorical blanket over our lyrical ideals, or even necessarily our instrumentation for that matter. We have a rough format that we’ve stuck to, but we all come from slightly different scenes and upbringings, and I’ve always thought it showed at least a little in our styles. I honestly don’t think the excitement of being in this band has worn off for any of us. Sure, growing pains have slowed our progress a couple of times, but whenever the next lightbulb goes on over our heads, it’s all go no slow!
Derek: For me, this is definitely a personal outlet. That’s what music has always been for me. Being the young’n metalhead in the group, I’ve kind of just been exposed to the world of punk houses and DIY shows recently. From what I’ve gathered so far I can at least say that the sense of community is beautiful.
PE: Your latest singles release on Profane Existence “Domestic Terrorist”. There’s no beating around the bush on this subject matter. Once again, can you elaborate on this specific release and the intention behind the subject?
Bitty: There have been a few times where I had local law enforcement “protect and serve” the shit out of me. As a kid in the 80’s from a small hometown, I’ve had guns in my face from the cops, hammers pulled back and screaming in my face. I have also had an off-duty cop put a gun in my face and ask me if I thought it was funny while he was wasted. You know of all the times I was ever robbed or assaulted, at least I knew if I fought back I stood a chance; I even survived an attempted homicide! But, it’s not so easy when you have to fight back against law enforcement. They just beat your ass and lock you up, even if they are totally in the wrong. I’ve witnessed so much personal corruption; to me it seems to be an extension of an abuse of absolute power. Now that, to me, strikes terror in any citizen.
PE: Bitty, you’re straight edge…maybe not self-proclaimed, but you don’t consume drugs or alcohol. Considering the genre of punk and it’s history of abuse with these elements, has this hindered your views on the movement?
Hart: Total interjection here! Dude, Bitty’s optimism actually astounds me. He’s seen more friends either die or completely lose their vitality as humans due to drug and alcohol use than I’d like to ponder. He’s remained pretty fucking pragmatic in his attitude toward his friends’ choices in that sense. I myself get pretty fed-up at times about my own friend’s use of drugs, especially certain ones. I’ve had plenty problems controlling my drinking in the past. I do believe I have a fairly good idea these days of when to dry out, but it can pull me into a real bad place. I start questioning what even matters anymore, and I start fighting everything that means the most to me. However, that’s where that community comes in again! I’m learning to seek out the right punks or no one at all when the time feels right, and I’ve been keeping up on it for a while now.
Bitty: Not at all. You don’t need to be like me in order for me to like you. The real moment that reinforced my decision was when I came home to a friend that lived with me and I found him in a pool of his own blood. He had tried to cut his hand off with a butcher knife while he was completely wasted and ended up with more stiches then an average shark attack. It really put a bad taste in my mouth about how substances can amplify bad decision-making skills. Although I am aware that most just use it to have a good time, truth be told, I just didn’t like it. It wasn’t my thing. But as long as you’re not hurting me or others in any way shape or form it’s your deal not mine. This is just a suggestion, have fun and do what you need to do to deal with things or get by, but try not to destroy yourself in the process. You might end up missing out on some good things in life.
PE: WARTORN is a great band, so with that….does WARTORN have anything they’d like to say to the world, it’s listeners or the masses in general?
Toban: In the words of country music legend Kris Kristofferson “Don’t let the bastards get you down”. Ryan: Thanks for the interview.
Ela: Thanks for all the support. We can’t wait to hit the road and tear it up again in a couple months!
Derek: May the force be with you. But seriously, I can’t wait to hit the road and I hope to see everyone reading this there.
Hart: As always, start 4 bands tomorrow and eat your fiber!
Bitty: Thanks for the interview Andy and everyone that helped us out and we’ll see you on the road. If you’d like to help us out with booking or have any questions, feel free to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.