The long awaited debut LP from NYC’s FLOWER “Hardly A Dream” is finally set to arrive.
FLOWER’s tedious approach to writing/creating/drawing their debut LP was carefully thought out and the result is a monumental anarcho punk /crust record.
“Hardly A Dream” Takes us on a bleak journey through the dark side of society. As soon as you drop the needle a dark atmosphere is immediately created with a slow intro featuring arpeggio guitar work that builds into pummeling d-beat crust. The albums vocals then leave you with a feeling of being crushed by the ever-present weight of living through our modern world of late stage capitalism that was built on the falsehoods of the so called American dream, religious hypocrisy’s, nationalism, and the greed of humankind.
FLOWER take many cues from predecessors and are most often (and rightfully so) compared to NAUSEA but they also take a heavy influence from ANTISECT, SACRILEGE & other greats. The artwork has a very RUDIMENTARY PENI feel and the record comes with an amazing 24.5 X 34.75 CRASS style poster jacket. All art work was meticulously hand drawn and overseen by the guitarist Willow in true DIY style and spirit. Willow was also cool enough to draw up a special shirt for the record release featuring an alternative PROFANE EXISTENCE backprint!
Dark, heavy, galloping crust from the streets of London. AGNOSY is back to present us with a ferocious beast of an album that can only be forged by the anger and frustration of living in today’s world. “When Daylight Reveals The Torture” aggressively attacks evils such the current rise of fascism and animal abuse. It intelligently and passionately touches on the Afrin invasion and the revolution in Rojava and shows nothing but utter disgust toward the arrogance of humankind’s lust for greed and power that will inevitably lead us down paths of war and environmental devastation.
While lyrically AGNOSY are much more politicly straight forward this time around than on previous releases, musically they have expanded on their sound to create a dark and moody atmosphere while at the same time staying crust as fuck. To say they know what they are doing would be an understatement from this band of vets whose members have played in HIATUS, HEALTH HAZARD, and BEGINNING OF THE END.
Long galloping intros are followed up by traditional d-beat, fierce solo’s are then meet with vicious vocals and pulverizing bass in a brilliant recording captured by Lewis Johns at The Ranch Production House and was mastered by Brad Boatright at Portland’s legendary Audiosiege. We then pressed on deluxe heavyweight 150-gram vinyl, printed on reverse board jackets, and included an 11in x 22in gatefold insert to bring you a high quality and truly epic record.
The legendary crust classic is now available once again!
Authorized and released in cooperation with MISERY, S.D.S., & MCR Japan & Remastered by Jack Butcher at Enormous Door Studio we are beyond proud to make one one the most rare and sought after crust records available once again.
Fuck the scavengers charging punks exuberant amounts of cash on ebay and discogs. We worked meticulously with both bands and with Jack at Enormous door to bring you an updated version that kicks major audio ass while maintaining the original authenticity.
Released on deluxe 150 gram vinyl. With an 11×11 inner sleeve. Black Paper Jacket. Reverse Board Jacket.
Earlier this year we re-issued this legendary LP and sold over 950 copies in just 4 short months. For this second pressing we pressed 490 copies on Krystal Clear & 485 on Grey Vinyl with Black Mist.
Stench crust the way it was meant to be played!
The UK crust scene of the 1980’s inspired band after band but no other band has ever reincarnated the sound of that time as well as SWORDWIELDER. Quite simply if you like crust, then this the album you have waited decades for.
Review by Craig Hayes from “Your Last Rites”… Swordwielder – System Overlord Heavyweight punk fanatics take note: System Overlord is a fucking triumph. The long-awaited sophomore album from Gothenburg stenchcore band Swordwielder is a brooding behemoth, constructed from the filthiest and heftiest strains of punk and metal. System Overlord shimmers with apocalyptic visions, and it’s overflowing with all the grim atmospherics and intimidating intensity that defines consummate crushing crust.
Too much hype? No way… And no apologies, either. Swordwielder deal in definitive stenchcore on System Overlord, and much like their full-length debut, 2013’s Grim Visions of Battle, the band’s latest release is a knockout. Swordwielder’s harsh, gruff and dark sound owes a significant debt to old school icons like Amebix, Axegrinder, Deviated Instinct, and Antisect, and they mix and mangle their influences and leave ’em to rot on the battlefield.
Plenty of hammering rage drives System Overlord tracks like “Violent Revolution,” “Savage Execution” and “Cyborgs,” and thundering epics like “Corrupt Future” and “Northern Lights” exhibit subtler strengths, mixing guttural growls and clean vocals with crashing percussion and dirge-laden riffs. Connoisseurs of corpse-dragging crust will love the brute-force belligerence of “Absolute Fear,” “Nuclear Winter,” and “Second Attack,” which rain down like merciless mortar barrages. As a rule, all of System Overlord‘s mammoth tracks chug and churn with grinding muscle, while reeking of squalor and decay.
Swordwielder exudes tightly coiled aggression from start to finish here—songs rise from the ashes of desolation, and resounding calls for action and resistance ring loud. If you’re a fan of heavy-hitters like Fatum, War//Plague, Carnage, Zygome, Cancer Spreading or (insert your favorite hefty crust crew here), System Overlord‘s trampling tempo and strapping sound are bound to appeal.
WILT combine old school metal and crust in a perfect hybrid that very few others have ever achieved. Prepare for a LP thats equal parts galloping d-beat crust reminiscent of bands like HELLSHOCK, and INSTINCT OF SURVIVAL, meets old school death metal in the vein of BOLT THROWER, MEMORIAM (old) SEPULTURA.
Here is a track from the upcoming LP
“Sermon for the Bootlickers”
Despite the inculcation of helplessness within each there remains great power. Ill at ease with such makes us ill. Learn to see the hand that feeds for what it is. You’ve been fooled if you think you’ve got no power. Refuse to be reduced to a consumer you’re a human being. Define yourself by more than wealth. Define yourself as a human. You don’t need what you’re being sold. Bend your knee to no authority but your own mind. You have the power to avoid the gilded trap. Avarice is what you’re conditioned for. Break the mold discover what’s really valuable to you.
Wed, July 12 Hanover / Germany / Confirmed Thu, July 13 Bremen Fri, July 14 Mulhem / Germany / Confirmed Sat, July 15 Gent, Belgium / CrustPicnic / Confirmed Sun, July 16 Paris / France or Amsterdam / Nederland July 18 North-East France or West Germany July 19 Freiburg / Germany TBC July 20 Winterthur / Switzerland Fri, July 21 Zurich / Switzerland Sat, July 22 Biel / Switzerland July 23 Lausanne or Geneva / Switzerland
July 24 Geneva / Switzerland or Grenoble france
July 25 Treviso (or Milano or Bologna or Verona) / Italy
July 26 Ljubljana Slovenia Confirmed
July 27 No Sanctuary chilling day
Fri, July 28 NoSanctuary Confirmed
Sat, July 29 NoSanctuary Confirmed
July 30 Ilirska Bistrica/Slovenia or Vienna/Austria or Budapest/Hungary.
July 31 Wiena / Austrai or Budapest or / Slovakia
August 1 Brno / Czech Republic.
August 2 Prague / Czech Republic
August 3 Finsterwalde / Germany TBC
Fri, August 4 Leipzig / Germany TBC
Sat, August 5 Berlin / Germany / confirmed
August 6 Dresden
August 7 Wroclaw / Poland
August 8 Warsaw / Poland
August 9 Poznan / Poland
August 10 Szczecin/Poland TBC
Fri, August 11 Rostock / confirmed
Sat, August 12 Hamburg TBC
On July 4, 2 activists from Vancouver Animal Defense League locked themselves down to the inner railing of the chuckwaggon race track at the Calgary Stampede. Marley Daviduk and Samantha Baskerville used bike U-locks around their neck, in this inspiring act of civil disobedience. PE took the opportunity to ask them more about what they did, why they did it, and what they hope to achieve.
This interview with Marley and Sam was conducted by Comrade Black
PE: Why are you targeting the Calgary Stampede? It seems far away from home for a Vancouver based group?
Sam: I lived in Calgary for about 7 years and have always thought poorly of the Calgary Stampede. When this opportunity was presented to me, I couldn’t say no.
IMarley: I’ve been a horse person my whole life and my love of horses is what brought me to veganism and activism. Ever since I was young, the Calgary Stampede, specifically the Chuckwagon races, has been on my list of issues that needed to be dealt with. It came to a point where I felt that the Chuckwagon races were vulnerable and lacking public support. I hoped that an action like this would give us the opportunity to bring national media attention to the event and, for the first time, to their sponsor GMC. The Calgary Stampede may take place in Calgary but it’s an event that puts Canada in the public eye.
Sam:Being the largest rodeo in Canada, we knew that this action would raise international awareness and really enlighten people on the deaths and risk of injury during the Chuckwagon races.
PE: Was this action pre-planned, or improvised based on opportunity?
Marley: We started planning this event more than two years ago. This event was actually supposed to take place last year until Calgary was hit with a devastating flood, and much of the downtown core was under water including most of the Stampede grounds. The Stampede adopted the slogan ‘Come hell or high water’ and the show went on. We decided it would have been an inappropriate time to address this issue, the media was rightfully wrapped up in covering the devastation of the flood. There was a MASSIVE amount of planning and preparation involved with coordinating a crew of more than 18 people in 3 locations. In the last two years we have had dozens of strategy meetings, training sessions and fundraising events. Sam and I had locked down to just about every basketball hoop, cat scratching post and fence post in East Van to train for this. We had to be able to get on the track, lock down and dispose of the key in less than 30 seconds, in full view of a crowd of 20,000 people. It would have been reckless to attempt this without serious preparation efforts.
PE: How did you get onto the chuck wagon track without being noticed or stopped?
Marley: All it took was a plaid shirt. Just joking. We paid for tickets to get into the venue and both Sam and I had our bags searched. Our bike locks were in our bags and we had prepared for the search by filling our bags full of tampons and pads knowing most people wouldn’t dig through them. The security guard took one look inside our bags, and basically recoiled in horror and pushed us through. Once we were in the grandstands, all we had to do was hop over one small barrier and we were on the track.
Sam:It was pretty easy. We just ran from the beer garden down the inner track and locked down. It took several minutes before security reached us.
PE: You have a lot of firsthand experience with horses, yet I have read some people are trying to dismiss you by claiming you don’t know what you are talking about…
Marley: It seems like the most common response from Stampede officials in response to opposition is that ‘these dang city folk simply do not understand the ways of the horse’. I understand horses as much as any of them, but it doesn’t take an expert to acknowledge the risk of injury and death associated with the Chuckwagon races. This years death makes it the 10th year in a row horses have died during the event. Denny was a 12 year old thoroughbred, he died of an aortic aneurism near his kidneys, resulting in massive internal bleeding.
Sam: My experience is minimal in comparison to Marley’s but I did have a horse while growing up and took lessons as a child. Regardless, when one or more horses are dying every year from an event that only lasts ten days, you know that something is wrong and change is needed.
PE: Did you have any expectations of the outcome? Were you hoping this would shut down the race?
Marley: We were hoping that our actions would get national media attention and we knew that would happen even if we got tackled before we had a chance to lockdown. It would have been great to have prevented the races from happening that night, but due to unforeseen complications we had to lock down earlier than expected which gave them more time to locate a grinder to get us out.
PE: In the video, the officials with the stampede covered you with a black tarp. What’s the significance of the black tarp?
Marley: They covered us with the black tarp, which is the same black tarp they use when a horse goes down on the track. They use it so the crowd cannot see what’s happening.
Sam: I felt like we were that tragic mess that they were trying to hide from the public. Just like they do with the horses.
PE: Are you facing charges now? What are the repercussions?
Marley: We are facing mischief charges, our court date is on Aug 20th. We are banned for 99 years from the Stampede and we cannot approach within 3 blocks of the grounds.
PE: How can people help?
Sam: We need to keep this momentum going by sharing information, helping the Calgary activists, and by voicing their opinion to GMC to ask them to end their sponsorship of the Chuckwagon races.
Marley: People can help by contacting GMC the sponsor of this event, asking them to pull their sponsorship. @GMCcanada 1-800-263-3777 They can support our legal defense and the cost of this action by donating here. The cost of moving a crew of 10 people more than a 1000km’s to Calgary was pretty expensive and we were not able to find a lawyer in Calgary who was willing to do pro-bono work for us.
PE: What other campaigns are VADL engaged in? Have you had much success?
Marley: For the last 1.5 years we have been targeting Canada Goose retailers with protest campaigns (Canada Goose jackets with wild trapped coyote fur). Our efforts have resulted in 2 (out of 14 Vancouver retailers) dropping the brand and adopting a fur free policy. For a more detailed list of our campaign history please visit www.vancouveranimaldefenseleague.com
PE: Some people feel the tactics employed by VADL are controversial and too confrontational; why do you choose these tactics? Are they proving effective?
Sam: Protesting outside the venue was no longer bringing the attention that we need (although I still appreciate their efforts and encourage them to continue) so we had to amp it up a bit. And look, people are talking and the support has been overwhelming.
Marley: Sometimes I think we get more criticism for our tactics from vegans in the movement than from the opposition we target, especially when it comes to those who are involved with large multi-national organizations. We choose these tactics (pressure campaigns) because they work, and they provide achievable goals; which keeps people involved and motivated. Civil disobedience, like a lockdown, is not something we see very often within the Canadian animal rights movement, and yet actions like this have been such a massive part of AR history. We hoped to inspire activists across Canada and show them that there really is a diversity of tactics available that go well beyond vegan outreach and we hope to see more actions like this happening within our movement.
PE: Where can people get updates on your actions? Is there a way people can get involved with this campaign or VADL in general?
PE: Is there anything else you want people to know about the stampede?
Marley: We want other activists to know that we chose the Chuckwagon races because we felt there was a tactical advantage to isolating this race, not because we are at all okay with any other rodeo events.
Sam: While Marley and I cannot participate in direct protests against the stampede, I strongly encourage Calgary activists to continue the fight. The rodeo consists of events that cause extreme stress to the animals involved and continuous action is needed to bring the abuse to light so that more people will raise their voice against the Calgary Stampede.
PE: Any last advice for other activists?
Marley: My advice to other activists would be to pick a tactic/tactics that you are comfortable with and work at them without condemning the actions of others. I see so much public criticism of campaigns and tactics, specifically coming from people with little or no knowledge of historical campaigns and what has worked in the past. All I can ask of people is to embrace a diversity of tactics, please challenge yourselves, and finally lets learn about the history of our own movement.
Sam: don’t be afraid to push the limits a little bit, as long as it’s done safely and you are prepared to face the consequences responsibly.
ROAC hail from Denver, Colorado and feature several contrubutors from Profane Existence magazine as well as members Denver’s longest running crust band, THE CLUSTERFUX. This is ROAC’s debut LP and they offer up a heavy dose of doom laden mid-tempo darkness with hints of early AMEBIX, CELTIC FROST and DEVIATED INSTINCT while creating a sound all their own. Lyrically they rail on the horrifying imapct humainty has imposed upon our environment and eachother through unjust laws, war, greed and trechery. The cover features killer artwork from “Bam Bam” and helps make this one solid epic split release by the band’s own LESS ART RECORD LABEL and PROFANE EXISTENCE!
PE: Who plays what and why?
Josh – Dean plays drums because he is a drummer and has some drums. I play bass because we needed a bass player and I wanted to be in the band and Justin plays guitar because we couldn’t find a guitar player that wasn’t already in several other bands. Justin also does the vocals because he wanted to try vocals.
PE : How did you guys get together? Two of you were in the Clusterfux, was this band started during the Clusterfux? How did it start?
Josh – The idea for the band was planted the night Justin and I decided to disband Clusterfux. We tossed around the names of some dudes that would be fun to jam with and Dean was on that list. It really started out with a much different vision musically. At one point we did have a guitar played and Justin only did vocals. We were called Apex for a while but as our sound developed we dropped that name.
Justin- I knew I wanted to keep jamming with my brother but was kind of over writing guitar riffs. After 16 years in the Clusterfux and writing 90 % of the music I was burnt out. I really wanted to be a singer but that only lasted so long before I had to fill guitar hot-seat again. Then when I did I couldn’t write the way I used to. It made me physically ill to even think about it.
PE: In a city of amazing Grind Core bands and Ska Punk bands, how did you guys find yourselves playing low and slow.
Josh – I like some Grind Core but I am not a grinder really. I listen to a lot of metal and crust. Actually in our early conversations about the band we talked about a two vocalist punk band somewhere between Aus-Rotten and MDC. Very political and aggressive hardcore. Probably more like what World Pain is. But once we started jamming we let our sound kind of go where it wanted and not force anything. We are all huge Black Sabbath and Amebix fans so it kind of just ended up going in that direction. Like you said this is Grind City, I don’t think some people get what we’re doing. More people are getting tuned in but Denver hasn’t really had a heavy crusty-metal band like this, that plays slower…But really that’s what I am into personally…Misery, Axegridner, War//Plague, Neurosis, Black Sabbath, Celtic Frost, Amebix, Deviated Instinct…You get the picture.
Justin- I even remember talk of doing a D.R.I. cover band for a sec., hahaha. When I became the guitar player and chief writer of Roac I just couldn’t play fast like the Clusterfux. I was always pretty good at writing thrashy punk riffs even helped write a Hirax album but I was done with it and was feeling something different. I sit around jamming Killing Joke, Amebix, Joy Division and Sabbath all day. What I was writing was what I wanted to be listening to. Our sound and music happened totally organically. We didn’t plan on being super crusty it was just the way the energy of the universe pulled our sound together. I am also a drummer and I play drums in some other bands like World Pain and the now defunct Dripfed. In those bands I play fast and hard for the most part but once Roac started playing I just knew it couldn’t be like those bands, I was feeling something different, I think we all were.
PE: In a time of extreme materialism, where consumerism is considered a virtue and plastic and pollution threaten to push the planet into extinction how do you cope and survive?
Josh – I ignore it. Commercials don’t work on me, its bullshit. I don’t relate to anyone in ads. They are the sheep. We are all consumers, you really can’t escape that but you can be smart about where and how you consume as well as what you do with the left overs. You vote with your dollar. You can eat at the locally owned establishment or some chain shit hole. Life is full of choices, anyone can buck the system and make better choices. Recycling is so easy these days, most cities have free recycling centers, its too easy to not toss shit into a landfill anymore. You make a choice, the trash or the recycling can. Make better decisions and pass that on to others. I have kids, this stuff will just be natural to them when they are older I hope. With that my son watches VHS tapes I get from the thrift store, sure I’ll cough up cash and by a new release if it’s something worthwhile like the LEGO movie (which by the way has a very strong anti-police state / New World Order message). We don’t succumb to every new product or advancement in technology. I finally got a new phone only because the old one died, not because I have to have the latest stuff. I pack up the kids’ old clothes and give them to friends or donate them. Again, that message is handed down to the kids. We help others as much as we can, we donate whenever we can and I explain to the kids why. They get it.
Justin- I have a hard time with it. The way people act is appalling. Greed runs amok through every single level, angle and facet of the planet and its resources. It’s easy to recognize the faults of others but soon you have to point the finger at yourself and realize those same truths are in your own existence. Then you have to discover how to overcome those and better yourself and help those around you instead of using honesty a means of hurting someone and making yourself falsely feel better. Instead of inanely bragging about ourselves we need try to reach out to others and better their lives.
PE: Over the years I have met people who have been “awakened to the big picture”. Meaning they thought, for the most part, what they learned in school was somewhat true just to have that idea shattered to its very core. Everything including Illuminati, Skull and Bones, Monoliths fling around our planet that Tesla tried to talk to, world banking systems hell bent on enslaving the human race, Anunnaki and Adamu , fake gods and their followers, 9/11 has been exposed. Was there a certain moment that awoke you guys?
Josh – My Dad was a hippy and raised us to question everything, don’t trust the police and don’t trust the government. We grew up listening to punk and metal and have always questioned authority but for me the defining moment really was 911. That was like putting on the glasses in ‘They Live’. I haven’t looked at the world the same since. It was from there that I did a lot of research on my own and starting reading books and hitting sites and getting as much info as I could. I have a much clearer understanding of the world now. Once you really wakeup it’s so liberating. The thing is that what used to be considered “conspiracy” is now main stream news. Drones for example, I first started reading about them on the conspiracy sites years ago, then it was on other media outlets like RT and finally they hit the mainstream. People from all walks of life are waking up and putting aside their petty differences to recognize that we’re all being lied to and mislead. Its too easy to go online and see that a presidential candidate is getting his financial backing from the same banks and corporations as his opponent. It’s too easy to research who the cabinet members are and see that they came from Monsanto. These are scary times, but exciting too. The revolution is fully under way and it’s all about information, exposing the phony wizard behind the curtain for all to see. Every meme your share or video clip is a shot fired.Like I said in the previous answer their tricks don’t faze me much anymore. I don’t have anything that I believe I have to measure up to except myself, there is no “keeping up with the Joneses” type bullshit to take from my happiness. I still have bills and I still work too much, I am still an economic slave in that sense but I have no debt and I live for furthering my cause. Not pay for crap that I can’t afford. My house is small but it’s affordable, I am not chained to an enormous mortgage and I am more free to spend my money on things that are more fun and fulfilling. I know people that put their entire vacations on plastic, they are 10, 20, 30 thousand dollars or more in debt. They live in McMansions that they cant afford and live way outside their means just to uphold an image. They will leave their children with debt when they die. I may not have a lot to leave my kids but there won’t be a pile of debt for temporary shit that isn’t even around anymore. I’ll be able to leave a house that is paid for. And a killer record collection!
Justin- A guy named Matt Easterly turned me onto it in the late 90’s. He introduced me to Alex Jones, David Icke and a bunch of other “conspiracy theorists”. That’s where I learned about Bohemian Grove, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, Carlyle Group and the Illuminati and New World Order in general.
PE: What do you guys sing about, partying or politics or is it a mix?
Josh – Social / Political stuff, awareness and being awake. Justin writes most of the lyrics and his style is more poetic than how I write. But we don’t write party songs, I don’t have time for empty messages. We were watching a band the other night and their lyrics were so empty and devoid of meaning. You have to ask if it was even rebellious or just an excuse to dye your hair. We saw SoCal punk legends D.I. the other night too. A guy actually said to me that he didn’t like D.I. because they were “too political”! Really? Well at least you look cool. For me punk was supposed to mean more. Our lyrics aren’t all doom and gloom either, there are moments of hoped weaved into them. Justin could probably elaborate more.
Justin- I write about the shit going on around me. I don’t write about partying and trying to get laid but I don’t try to bum myself out through all of it either. Like in the song Blast the Opportunists… “ my friends and family rejoice in their sense of community” I write a lot about trying to survive mentally and physically in this world amongst so much greed puked out by lost souls.
PE: What the hell is a Roac and how do you say it?
Josh – Look it up!
Justin-Rowuck with two syllables
PE: Now that the LP is out what is next for the band?
Josh – More releases. We have several songs already written and would like to get in and record them by the fall. I’d like to get a cassette out or even a 7” or split in the not too distant future. We’ve got several out of town weekend shows in mind. We were just down in Colorado Springs last weekend and hope to go back soon and a few weeks ago we were at OC Cruststock. Then maybe we’ll get up to Cheyenne, Rapid City, and beyond. Now that we have a record out a tour in the fall would make sense too.
PE: Closing comments?
Josh – Thanks to Dan, Ben and Profane Existence and to Bam Sickos for the killer artwork. He really did some cool stuff for us. Here is his FB link > http://www.facebook.com/BamSickosArt
Another friggin good band from Sweden, maybe it is something in the water there. Crutches play more than three minute punk noise, they have perfected it to a defined raised fist clenched and pumping through a barrage of angry d-beat and whistling feedback. Their new album “Luard”, is very much quintessential listening. Thanks to Oskar and Andreas for answering the questions.
Hi there, could you give a history of the band and when you got together? What is it like to be involved in hardcore punk Sweden? With so many successful bands coming from there is the scene very big? Is it a political scene or more of a musical one?
O: When ending our former band me and Tom decided to form CRUTCHES to get a new beginning and new energy to what we felt strong about, and that’s political D.I.Y. raw punk. This was in the end of 2009, beginning of 2010 we made our first show, then we had some unfortunate situations that made us unable to make all the things happen as we planned. Today we’ve changed members a few times and been able to actually tour and make new songs in a way that we’re all happy about.
As for being a band out of Sweden we know that we’re one of many and have a lot to live up to. There are as in so many other places different parts of the scene, some are more political than others, some do not care for politics when others think it’s more or less the whole deal about punk music. I’d say all we do is political, from daily life to direct actions there are so many things that matters, and there are many with me in that question. For Sweden all in general we have loads of great bands, but unfortunately not that many places for gigs. We’ve been forced to close than more than once here in Malmö, but the urge of creating new alternatives has become so strong that there will most likely be new ways getting things going again.
A: I joined the band around October 2011, if my memory serves me right. I’d been trying to find a band to play with more or less active ever since I moved to Malmö, and one day Oskar popped the question. So I jumped aboard and it’s been one hell of a ride ever since. We’re all good friends since way back and hang out a lot even outside the band so it felt pretty natural.
Wether or not the punk scene is politically or musically focused is I guess in the eye of the beholder. But for me punk is politics and will always be so, as it goes hand in hand with life and every day actions. The punk scene is as big as ever in Malmö with tones of new bands sprouting (almost) each week. Which is really inspiring and makes me happy to be part of. But at the same time, as Oskar points out, there’s very limited venues. Which I guess have a both positive and negative influence. Positive as it pushes bands to go touring and negative as in not having a steady culture space where things can take place.
What do you think were the most important ideas/bands in the development of the underground diy hardcore scene there?
O: The most important ideas must be the ethics of D.I.Y. and equality that has been a big thing here in Sweden.
A: I’d say as long as you’re having fun doing things together you’re on the right track. If it’s no fun doing it you might as well just give it up. Helping each other out is another one. Don’t be an asshole and make way for punk hierarchy. If you do, you suck. One of the main reasons which got me into punk was the realization that bands consist of persons like me and you. Anyone can do it and you don’t have to be a musical genius to do it. If people like your music that’s just a bonus.
You have a new record coming out “Lurad” and it is released through four different labels. Is this to cut costs or is it more about getting a better distribution with the labels involved being based in Australia, Ireland, Sweden and the Czech Republic?
O: Yes the 12″ is out now and called “LURAD” (Fooled). Since having a label for 12 years now (Not Enough) me and Tom are releasing it together with friends such as Alex – Distro-y (Ireland), Toda – Rawmantic disasters (Germanland) and Mirek – Phobia records (Czech). This is to make it a bit more wide spread and since it’s a release of our own it feels really nice to have good people aboard to help spreading the word in a totally different way than you can do on your own. And I think that co-releasing records is really cool since it’s a good way for all involved to get the things to different parts of the world. Before we embarked on our South East Asia tour “On your war horn” we had Borhan – Bullwhip and Syahir – Pissed off records to help us release the “LURAD” recording and the previous releases, demo and 7″ as a tape version that was sold on the tour. This feels really great since it’s distributed in so many different parts of the world already.
Would you give us some of the meanings and ideas behind the songs on “Lurad”?
O: the title song LURAD would be one that I’d say is about the way we’re taught how not admit that we’re wrong/weak or not knowing it all in our society. A typical way of a manly/patriarchal society is that you think you’re stronger than you are and to admit your weakness is one failure that you shall not, which I personally think is a really scary and disturbing thing about life. That along with the fact that we feels fooled by the system and all that it stands for. ARBETARJÄVEL is a song that’s dedicated to workers all over the world, where we all shall unite against the ones in power and control of our lives. From sweeping floors, taking care of elderly and children to hard labour industrial workers we shall unite and win.
When writing as a band lyrically do you have to align yourself against or with certain ideas. So that every member of the band represent the exact beliefs? Or is it more the ideas of the person who is writing the song?
O: I’m the one writing most of the lyrics and I’d say that I know the ones in the bands good enough to be ok with my ideas and that we all feel that we can stand as one behind the words I put to print. We’re discussing the meanings of the songs and all are free to change or come with ideas of what could be different with the lyrics if that would be a situation that would occur. I think it’s really important that all as one can stand for what we’re doing as a collective, if that wouldn’t be the case we’d fail big time as a band, and that would be really sad since this is something we’re doing for a belief and as well as a band that is part of our lives.
Some of the band are vegan, could you give us a recipe of a good traditional dish from Sweden done in a vegan way?
A: I guess this question goes out to me, the labeled food freak in the band. Swedish cuisine is pretty lame as it is. The vegan versions just substitute the meat from the dish, which consists of some kind of meat, potatoes, brown sauce and is served with lingonberry jam or sauerkraut. But there are some dishes that really stand out. My personal favorite is the sandwich cake. It’s pretty straight forward in the making. Whip out a layer (as big as you like) of bread. Smear on a spread of whatever spread you like. New layer of bread. New layer of spread. Build it as high as you like. Then on the last layer of bread as well as on the sides of the cake you cover with mayonnaise. Stick salad leafs on the side and top off with minced veggies and vegan caviar or whatever. The sandwich cake is the ultimate dish for endless combinations. The hardest part is to savor yourself until the next day when the ingredients have made the bread all soggy and delicious.
How did your tour of SE Asia go with Apparatus? Was it a very different experience of touring, was it hard to organize. What advice would you give other bands if they were looking to tour there? Can you describe how your tour went there and what places would you advise people to check out? What are your next tour plans?
O: The SE Asia tour went extremely well, I’d say that this tour was the best I’ve done so far in my history of touring. The experiences were amazing and the people were fantastic. As for being hard, it would be more to Esa (Doombringer) and Along (Apparatus) to judge since they were the ones booking the tour for us, but as what we could see it seemed to be pretty much ok. I’d say you should go and travel and experience all, but the crew from Bandung were awesome in Indonesia and the Rumah Api in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia were two I’d say I’d definitely like to come and visit more than once again.
A: I couldn’t agree with Oskar more. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I guess nothing could’ve prepared us for it. It was an amazing experience which had it’s hardships as well. But what tour doesn’t? We were treated and greeted really well and all the fantastic people we got to meet and places we got to see and play were absolutely stunning. On top of that killer bands we got to play with, which I probably never even would’ve heard of if it weren’t for that tour. Everything went pretty smooth, the only big set-back was a delayed flight between Indonesia and Malaysia, and a couple of upset stomaches. So my advice is to stock up on diarrhea pills. Haha. And drink a lot of water! Playing in 35+ degrees celsius with a humidity of 95% takes it’s toll on you. I had to re-learn how to hold my guitar due to the sheer amount of sweat gushing out of my skin. A fast fret stick is also to recommend as my strings started rusting after just one show. And if you’re planning on going, give the Pyrate Punx collective in Bandung a holler, Dead Beat Shop in Penang and Rumah Api in KL.
O: We have a bunch of stuff going on now and the next longer tour we’ll be doing is a West Coast USA tour together with Frustration (Seattle) that will be in June this year. After that we’ll be doing some weekend trips for festivals in Germany, France and England. Even some vague plans for next year already but we’ll post more on our webpage when we know the exact deals.
Crutches “Tsunami E.P.” 7″
Contorture “Who’s in charge” LP
Lautstürmer “Bedtime for humanity” LP
Visions of War “King of swines” LP
AHNA are a force to be reckoned with, combining elements of sludge metal, grind, death metal, crust, with a heavy dose of anti-authoritarian politics.They have never fallen into any trend or relive-the-past nonsense. AHNA are truly doing their own thing, making a hell of a lot of noise, and keeping it super real. Profane is proud to be a part of their new split 12″ with Winnipeg crusties CETASCEAN. To celebrate this new record, Damien Inbred sat down and had an email exchange with AHNA drummer/vocalist Anju.
First off, can you give me a bit of the history of AHNA? We started as a two piece doing doom-drone and later had Graham on bass, Anju on drums, and a vocalist for a bit doing primitive doom stuff. We decided to go back to being a two piece and take on vocal duties ourselves and wrote our demo “The Confederation of the Cult of One” which led to our first record (s/t) that we also just recorded among ourselves. We have been a band for about 6 years and our focuses as musicians and writers has grown and changed throughout those years, with right now it just being an obsession with a variety of crust, old school death metal, primitive black metal, and other stuff in that realm. We basically just try to execute the ideas in our heads as best as possible and obsessively work on it. This might be why we started playing music together, we are both really committed and constantly work on music pretty much every single day. And I think this is also why it might seem that our music is often evolving or changing, since we are always challenging ourselves to do what we are inspired by. There is rarely a time when we are not writing.
Right now Graham and I write all of the music and lyrics and that’s fine for writing and even recording, but we feel that being just a two piece is really limiting in terms of what we can do live. Traditionally, we have always played all instruments on our records ourselves and Graham and I would do all guitar etc.. overdubs, but live it would be challenging to do what we managed to achieve in studio. Now Graham has moved onto playing lead guitar and we have a bass player (Derek) and a second guitar player (Taylor) to try to get a sound that is as close to what comes out on our records as possible for when we play live. The people we have playing with us are our friends and the lineup might change from tour to tour based on who is available for what tour or recording and this lets us continue with the level of commitment we both have while getting some help live and in the studio from friends who are stoked and wanna do that stuff with us. On this split with CETASCEAN, our friend Taylor played bass on the recording which meant that Graham could focus on guitar and then guitar overdubs and it was definitely way less pressure and allowed for more interesting guitar parts to come out. Having a third person record with us was a totally new approach and it worked well. It was great to have him there and he will be playing 2nd guitar on our LP and Derek will be on bass.
Aside from the split 12″, what releases do you have coming out in the near future?
We have a split 7″ with raw d-beat punks CONTORTURE from Sweden that is later than expected, but should be arriving any day now. We also have a split 10″ with Canadian gore-grinders G.O.D (GROTESQUE ORGAN DEFILEMENT), and then we will be recording out next full length LP that we hope will be out in time for our tour in late July. A Danish label is also going to be doing a Discography cassette of our stuff in Denmark ideally for when we get there for our tour.
You did a tour of Europe last year with ISKRA – how did that come about? What was the tour like? What were some of the positives and negatives?
ISKRA are good friends of ours and we wanted to tour with a band that was like minded so we all talked about it and it happened. As a band they are incredible to watch, night after night they played crushing sets. They are one of our favorite bands going right now and I believe they act with integrity and their music shows their sincerity and dedication. Everyone in that band is great as people and Wolf (guitarist) is someone who I respect and have learned a lot from. The tour was long and we had a total of 2 days off in 45 days or something and it went really well. The best part of that tour was watching our friends play to receptive crowds every night and having the chance to see them over and over. It seemed that people all over Europe really appreciated ISKRA and of course it’s the best feeling when you see your friend’s bands do really well. It’s hard to pinpoint any negatives, I guess not having any time off sucked but the idea that tour is a vacation is a misleading concept that even after many tours we have to remind ourselves is not the case. That said we wouldn’t be able to handle not playing music for longer than a few days very well anyway, so the lack of time off isn’t a huge deal for us. It’s hard to find negatives on a tour when we already spend our regular life playing music everyday, taking work out of the mix is the only real change and that’s always awesome.
What are some of the differences that you’ve noticed between touring in Europe, and touring in North America?
We haven’t toured the US yet due to a criminal record but Canada versus Europe is quite different. First the music we make seems to have stronger communities all over Europe. Smaller cities in Europe have a longer history of DIY squats and venues where that seems to be rare and newer in Canada. Quebec is probably the best province for that stuff here. And of course when planning a Europe tour we can tell our bandmates that they will probably be fed, get some drinks and a decent place to sleep whereas in Canada that mostly only happens when you plan ahead or know people. This all said, touring Canada is important to us since we now have a lot of friends and a strong community across the country. And especially since a lot of our friends and punks have moved to spaces off the grid, we visit and remind ourselves that there are options to live without being a wage slave.
Vancouver has long had a vibrant and active punk scene of all stripes. Where does AHNA fit into the Vancouver scene?
We have a strong connection to a lot of different bands and communities in our city. Genre is not the defining point of how we participate since we appreciate punk and metal from a variety of genres and perspectives. We have a strong community of friends in bands in and around the city including ISKRA, HAGGATHA, HOOPSNAKE, MASS GRAVE, COOKED AND EATEN, FAMINE, SIXBREWBANTHA, OSK, WAR HERO, OBACHA, SHOOTING SPREE, CHAPEL, RADIOACTIVE VOMIT, KOSZMAR, HYPEREMESIS, POOR FORM, and so many more. Just based on that abbreviated list it’s clear that what’s happening here is really diverse, and so it’s hard to say where we fit in when we participate in a lot of it. It’s kind of a small scene so it’s crucial to support everything from raw punk to grindcore to black metal to crust if you’re into it, otherwise that shit dies out and then there’s nothing interesting left in the city. People in bands in our community tend to end up at shows you might not expect to see them, because people are supportive across genres. And obviously we have a lot of respect for our friends bands that we play with who have been keeping punk/underground metal going in this town for 10+ years like MASS GRAVE, ISKRA and HAGGATHA and I think that helps keep punk “vibrant and active” as you described it here, or “alive and thriving” as someone has described it in town before, ha.
Since we both also do harsh noise we also have a strong connection to local projects like THE RITA and RUSALKA as well. As a drummer, Anju’s main influence was Matt Wood (HAGGATHA/BISON) from when she first saw GOAT’S BLOOD years ago and that really totally started a path to where we are now. Now she takes a lot of influence for drumming from Nick (BAPTISTS), Brett (MASS GRAVE), Goat (EXPRESSION OF PAIN) and Bina (CAMBODIA). There is a lot of dialogue between musicians in Vancouver because we all love what we do. MITOCHONDRION is another local band that is slightly outside of the community we usually connect with but their originality and unique approach has inspired us though we end up with a different sound in the end. Of course close neighbours being Kamloops, we have a strong connection to bands like BRIDGEBURNER, SKUFF, CHANGE and also a new anarcha-feminist space in Kamloops called The Femme For All Collective which is run by Athena, Freja and Sian, all of whom now play in bands. It might be easier to ask how we fit in the BC punk community rather than just Vancouver since it’s pretty much impossible for our band to separate ourselves from the influence and relationship we share with Squamish, Kamloops, and Victoria.
Is there much of an anarchist punk scene in Vancouver these days?
We strongly support anarchism and play fundraisers with our band and our other bands and harsh noise projects often. All of the bands in our community may not identify explicitly as anarchists or political bands but the people involved all have an interest in maintaining a non oppressive community. People like Brett from MASS GRAVE, and Dave Mccrea from OSK have always shown me a lot of support and respect as a female drummer in a predominantly male dominated genre. Tommy Wilson who runs fastcore fest has traditionally supported politically focused bands like RAPE REVENGE and opens up that dialogue within the fastcore community by attempting to bridge those gaps. I bet these people may not even be aware of the importance of their subtle contributions. That said, we don’t have a unified specifically political punk scene here but I don’t believe that labelling something makes it more legitimate. If you listen to bands like SIXBREWBANTHA’s lyrics you will definitely find strong political ideas, though they do not identify specifically as a political band. So, I guess I would say that while we don’t have a labelled anti-oppression community in Vancouver, it’s happening and co-operation between people with slightly different viewpoints and perspectives is important to us.
Aside from AHNA, are you involved with any activist or political organizing? We have been/are part of a couple projects that are focused on expressing anti-oppression ideas in punk and underground music by running physical spaces or events. The newest project is a radical space that is opening in the city in early March. We support political organizing in the city by working in collaboration with groups who are interested to have our band or projects play or contribute in a specific way.
Where did the idea for the split with CETESCEAN come from? Will there be a tour to coincide with the split?
We are about 27 hours away from Winnipeg and yet both of our bands have made efforts to tour back and forth between one-another’s cities and play together. This created a strong friendship and we have influenced each other’s bands in the process as well. I don’t remember exactly how it happened when the decision was made to do the split, but it made absolute sense and it seemed to be at a good time while we are taking a break to record a few records before our next tour. They are an incredible band and we have a great personal relationship with all of the members.
We are not touring together to support the record, but we will be going to Kamloops and Edmonton on March 21st/22nd to play with CETASCEAN and HEAD HITS CONCRETE, and then doing a record release show in Vancouver on March 28th. We are touring ourselves on the way to the ROAR festival in Montreal in August and then we will head to Europe in late August to tour starting with a festival in Denmark. Our tour dates are approximately late July to early October and go from Vancouver to East Canada and then to Europe and back.
The split with CETESCEAN is called “Imperial Decline”. Who came up with the title, and what does it mean in the context of this record?
It’s hard to remember who exactly came up with it, but i’m pretty sure it was collaborative between the bands. The themes that both of the bands are interested in relate to the title directly, which is that people and systems in power are fucked. Both of our bands have had lyrical themes about oppression, genocide, and treatment of humans by other humans on other records as well. The title seemed fitting to sew the two sides of the record together.
On this split with CETESCEAN, what subject matter do the songs tackle?
The first track War Games is about a person at the top of the colonial food chain. Master of War was another title we were considering for this track, and it might explain some the ideas behind the lyrics. The song is comparing the war mongering person’s role to someone playing a chess game and not thinking about the lives they destroy, only ever thinking about it as a game because they never have to deal with any consequences.
The second song, Massacre describes the use of “total war” as a common tool in colonizing efforts throughout history in many countries. Graham was especially inspired by a particular event in a biography he was reading about Goyahkla (Geronimo) when writing these lyrics in which it was described how the army would wait until the men were out hunting and go in and slaughter all those who were unlikely to be able to fight back. There is also General Custard and the massacre at Wounded Knee. American history made this man a hero for going in and slaughtering woman children the sick and the old. The last lyrics are about the soldiers marching on to glory but actually marching on to their own massacre like the one at Little Big Horn. “March on brave soldier your penance awaits…..”. When we wrote about hell and penance we were talking about the reality of the payback that is due for such cowardly acts: the violence that begets violence and the nightmare of retribution.
The third song (Death Sentence) specifically uses anecdotes from victims and observers of the effects of the use of White Phosphorous by the American army on Iraqi civilians in Fallujah. The chemical would burn its victims and cause incredible pain, suffering, and damage. In the lyrics the “rain of fire” refers to a common description made by residents of Fallujah of the day that the US army dropped WP on the city. The vision of the chemical dropping was described as being surreal and horrifying, and the aftermath showed that the only function the chemical had would be to torture, harm, and destroy. Most of the victims were civilians, many of whom were unable to evacuate the city in time before the chemical assault. Many of the victims were children. The lyrics don’t focus only on this particular event since they are a more general description of the use of fucked up weapons like this, but images and descriptions from Fallujah have stuck with us and were used in the lyrics.
CETASCEAN play anarchist crust and organize d-beat damage parties in the north. When they were first getting asked questions, all they would say is that they dismantle corporations and send pure hatred to homophobes, racists, misogynists, and christ-heads. Further probing revealed them to be located in Winnipeg (Canada). Profane Existence is co-releasing their third record Imperial Decline, which is a split LP with Vancouver’s AHNA. They have released two other records, a s/t 7″ (2012) and the Crows 10″ (2013). Here is what they had to say about a variety of things.
(interview by Anju)
PE: How did CETASCEAN start as a band? Who are the current and past members?
Surgeon: CETASCEAN’s been around for about three years. Esmerelda and I were in a band called DEAD DOGS together and wanted an excuse to keep d-beating in dank basements and discussing anarchism. Drogo, our first bass player, helped write our first two records but then ended up getting really into photocopiers and kind of disappearing… Liz joined us about a year and half ago. He listens to a lot of grind, so we’ve definitely incorporated that style more into our new songs. Now you know everything. PE: What are some of the main ideas behind your lyrics and music?
Liz: mainly our lyrics touch on social ills and other fucked up things happening around us. There is lots of racism, sexism and gentrification around us where we live and we try to critically and emotionally respond to that which see I guess.
Surg: Yeah…I would say we are fairly angered and sickened about the things that we see and due to our privilege, often directly benefit from. That translates into what we write. Without that approach, this band would cease to exist. I feel that the values are what drives CETASCEAN as a project.
Ezmerelda: maybe we’re a pretty typical punk band in many ways, trying to push certain registers that many people have pushed already for decades in punk. We’re not trying to do anything new, but we’re also trying to do it thoughtfully I guess.
PE: How does the song writing and lyric writing process work for your band? Is there one writer or do you write collaboratively?
Ez: For the music a lot of the time Surgeon comes to us with ideas and we work them out over many months, changing stuff infinity times before somewhat settling on a certain arrangement. Although not all ideas originate with him, it’s only fair to say that he spends more time writing riffs and thinking of arrangements for our songs. Lyrically, again it’s mostly Surgeon, though we’ve all written lyrics to at least one song. In this area we mostly stick to one person having control although input is always welcome and sometimes alters the final product.
Liz: Yeah, a few riffs usually become a song pretty quickly.
Surg: I do a lot of the initial writing, but do so with both Ez and Liz in mind. I feel like those two are what shape the style of this band, because what would come out would be drastically different if I was doing this without their input at the forefront. Pretty sure if I just wrote the songs we’d sound exactly like a worse AVSKUM. Ezmerelda brings what I would call a post-modern approach to this shit…he asks the question ‘why?’ when I’ve written things that are typical or cookie-cutter in terms of d-beat style or timing. He pushes us to progress and write different styles of riffs, to do something harder to define. Liz brings a delivery vocally and instrumentally that is both earnest and devastating. The riffs he has written are among those I am the most excited to play and record.
PE: Have you ever disagreed about your lyrical content?
Surg: Yeah that’s actually how I lost this finger (holds up hand with partially missing finger). Just kidding (laughs), but not about disagreeing though, because that happens and is important. Just because we are friends doesn’t mean we share exactly the same perspective, and we don’t sometimes. Dialogue about the lyrics is an important process to this band. When a song’s lyrics come together, we elicit and provide feedback. Each of us wants to write about things we have feel strongly about. Since our perspective is unique to us as individuals, dialogue is necessary to figure out what the position of our band is on the subject matter. Through these discussions our perspective becomes better informed. I really value both Ezmerelda and Liz’s perspective which have both challenged and supported my own at different times. Liz: the three of us talk about the general idea or theme of a song before attacking the lyrics, so we’re generally on the same page. Fine tuning is a normal part of the process, when we really want to be clear with what we’re saying though.
Ez: I think most people can benefit from some editorial feedback, no matter what it is they’re writing.
PE: Your album art steers away from some traditional punk themes; can you explain where the ideas for your album art come from?
Surg: Adam Kindred from CONTAGIUM/ABJECT PAX has provided us with our cover art up to this point. He has a beautiful and crusty mind (as well as nice glasses). We converse with him and provide him with ideas, he then runs with it in a way that is completely his own. The idea behind the crow ouroboros that donned our aptly named Crows EP grew out of the lyrical concept on the album. I find crows very fascinating as a species. Many have probably read how incredibly intelligent they are, in terms of societal development, facial recognition, and tool usage. I wanted to draw a parallel between two sentient species and make the connection to humanities inability/unwillingness to alter our clearly all-consuming destructive path. Crows still flourish in the face of our decline. This planet, no matter the destruction we cause, will continue in some form after we have disappeared. There will be no salvation for humanity. We procreate and destroy. The duality of our nature fascinates me.
PE: How do the tracks on this split differ from the Crows release?
Ez: We’ve moved away from the d-beat centered stuff from earlier records a little bit, incorporating traditionally more mince and metal rhythms. That’s the main diff to me.
Liz: Yeah, we like to sound punk sometimes too. Surgeon and I are playing simpler, heavier riffs in the stuff we’ve written recently.
Surgeon: I think anyone that listens to “Crows” and then to our new split will notice a bit of style departure. Although I feel that crust/d-beat will stay the backbone of this band, we’ve also been interested in bringing in elements of hardcore punk, sludge, stench, and blackened raw punk. Like if DEVIATED INSTINCT were swimming with DESTINO FINALE at NOOTHGRUSH’s 50th birthday party. Everyone’s just partying, having a good old time up in the pool with those floating pool noodles and then BONE AWL gets busted inside the house stealing someone’s VHS collection. Classic BONE AWL, amirite? The next 13.5 minutes is what our side of the new split is like I guess. Well not really. It probably sounds closer to Bristol squat-era AMEBIX tongue kissing “Hear Nothing…”-era DISCHARGE on top of an erupting punk volcano… a couple of goats watching, probably smoking weed and drinking root beers being like, “Woah – check that out. You don’t see that very often when you are in jail”. I guess in this scenario the goats just got released from prison. Also we are trying to be mindful to write simple progressions because I hate when a punk band begins over-producing and over-thinking their songs. This becomes a danger when you become more adept to what you are doing (not so much of an issue for me! Ha!), and want to keep progressing. Just because you can play more complex songs, should you? (Everyone take a second to think about this). We want to stay away from melodic or ‘epic’ sounding crust because none of us listen to that shit or find it interesting. We want what we are doing to be earnest at all times. We want it to be punk in both intent and implementation.
PE: What’s your next release?
Surgeon: we are currently working on our next release with Neanderthal-Stench, a label based out of Belgium. We are also releasing a tape to coincide with our tours this year which collects a lot of our unreleased material and hit singles.
PE: Why did you decide to do a split record rather than a full release of your own material? Why did you choose to do a split release with AHNA?
Liz: Splits are great. That’s no secret to anyone, I don’t think. It’s the opportunity to collaborate with another party, to create something that’s shared, but also complementary to each band’s offering. In some cases you meet new friends and cover new ground with splits; in this case we get to share this record with good friends of ours who we’re all massive fans of musically.
Ez: I think we first met AHNA when Anju booked us a couple shows in Vancouver almost 3 years ago and we really hit it off. I had been hearing some good things about AHNA already and was stoked to see them play. Since then we must have shared bills almost 10 times or something. I think we share a lot of common ground in terms of our approaches to doing music and doing being punk.
Surg: I was actually thinking, once all this LP/punk volcano bullshit gets sorted out, we should all get an apartment together. I’ve heard Squamish is lovely.
PE: You’re from Winnipeg. It rules for music, why do you think this is the case?
Ez: Egh. That’s your opinion.
Liz: Winnipeg has a handful of really great bands but it’s no punk utopia or nothin’.
Surg: I think it has been in a lull for about 3-5 years, roughly since we started, actually! I have definitely seen more exciting times, but I feel like every late 20s/early 30s punk has said that and it’s a fairly boring/unproductive sentiment. There are definitely way less women involved with our scene, which is disheartening and points to bigger issues to what is going on. It is not that women don’t like playing brutal music. It is the dynamic of our community which is continually pushing women out. As an all-male identified band we realize we are playing a part in that. I do miss the days when people gave a shit about their lyrics and everything wasn’t a fucking joke all the time. So doing this tour with HEAD HITS CONCRETE and this split with AHNA is exciting because I feel like we are doing shit with bands that care about what they are saying.
PE: Why is Ezmerelda such a sick drummer?
Surg: Well, funny story about ol’ Esmerelda here. Esmerelda stole part of his first drum kit from a POLICE cover band when they were playing a police BBQ outside of a police station. It was kind of like the Oscar nominated film The Perfect Storm. He just slow danced in and then slow danced out with two cymbals and a snare stand. Since that moment, Ez has been like I CAN DO IT with every new riff and problem with his punk house. I don’t use the word hero very often but…
PE: What are some of the political/activist activities you take part in?
Liz: Does reading stuff on the internet count?
Ez: I’ve only recently become involved in stuff other than taking vacations to Montreal to run amok. One group I’ve taken part in that I’m stoked about is the Prisoners’ Strike Support Network, which formed to support and raise awareness about the federal prisoners’ strike to protest wage cuts. This happened in the fall of 2013. We raised money for them and organized other shit aimed at raising the profile of the story and connecting with the strikers. Me and Surgeon were also involved in a DIY feminist venue/art gallery over the last few years called Negative Space.
Surg: We just finished doing a fundraiser for a long-standing anarchist bookstore that was going out of business. Other than that, I’ve been mostly trying to stay informed and support friends and family that are having hard times.
PE: When is Cetacean going to tour next?
Ez: End of March 2014 with HEAD HITS CONCRETE and our new record!
Surg: we’ll also be doing three weeks throughout eastern Canada and the US in July. Take us to your rich parents place and feed us their organic vegetables. We won’t tell anyone you have rich parents, don’t worry.
To listen to CETASCEAN’s new LP Imperial Decline (EXIST 149), check out:
INDOCTRINATE hail from Austria and are a political (anti-fascist, anti-sexist, anti-authoritarian and animal friendly) DIY crust punk band who play a catchy, abrasive and diversified blend of hardcore punk and d-beat/crust. Their music also incorporates elements from grindcore, post-hardcore, doom/sludge and other sub-genres of metal. They recently released a new 7” called “… and all hail to progress and efficiency” on Profane Existence. It is their first release for PE and the band as well as the label are quite excited about this collaborative effort. The record was co-released with several other fine DIY punk labels from around the globe. – Interviewed by Lisa H. CLICK HERE TO GET A COPY
PE: So you’ve just finished recording your newest release, a 7” going by the name of “… and alll hail to progress and efficiency”. Are you satisfied how it turned out?
Indoctrinate: Yes we are. We think the songs are cool and we like how the recordings turned out. It took us quite some time to get them done and to find labels which would contribute to the release. In the end we’re really happy to have all these great DIY labels from around the world behind us and supporting us. Also, we like the overall design of the record and how it goes together with the content.
PE: Your lyrics are mostly concerned with socio-political issues. Why do you think it’s important to keep writing about such topics? Could you imagine ever writing a feel-good party song or a love song? Do you think that music can actually bring about change?
Indoctrinate: We think it is important to write about these things because they concern all of us. Fucked up things happen all the time, everywhere, all around us and it’s not that we have a choice but in one way or another we have to face them. So we think it’s very important to draw attention to certain political/environmental/social issues because in order to be able to change things we have to understand them/know about them first. There are so many issues one could write about and sometimes it’s quite hard to pick just one of them. So yeah we think that music can actually bring about change in the sense that it can create awareness, unite people and inspire (direct) action. Hmm…a love song…what a great idea… No, seriously, I think there are so many more important current issues to address and there are just way too many ridiculous feel-good party or love songs out there so we will spare you from another one of those. Haha!
PE: So is this one of the reasons why you choose to make music? What other influences are there?
Indoctrinate: Yeah this is definitely one of the reasons why we do what we do. Concerning other influences I would say the world around us, especially when it comes to writing lyrics, is a big influence since we try to talk about things that are happening and that need our attention (e.g. animal/human rights, war, neo-liberalism, the prison system, environmentalism, and so on). Music-wise there are a lot of bands and musicians that are an inspiration for us but to name all of them would be pretty useless. We just wanna play heavy music that besides being brutal (wow!) has got a certain groove and feel to it.
PE: What do you think about the political and environmental situation of the world in general? Do you think that the recent riots in Egypt, France, Ukraine or Hamburg (Germany) could open the door to major changes in global politics?
Indoctrinate: In general I think that the current situation of the world does not look very promising. Although all the recent riots, protests and uprisings show us that people are in fact trying to bring about change in the world. And one can only hope that all these events in the long run somehow do bring about (for the lack of a better word let’s say revolutionary) change and an end to poverty and oppression on a worldwide scale. The least these events do teach us is that we as human beings are capable of autonomy and self-governance (when you think about Occupy and similar movements for instance).
PE: Lets talk about your music again: Who does the songwriting in your band? How do your ideas for lyrics and tunes evolve into actual songs? Could you describe the process for us?
Indoctrinate: We arrange the songs together but usually our guitar player/singer has already a certain pre-existing structure in mind which he tries to communicate to the others sometimes more sometimes less effectively.
PE: How would you describe the underground scene in Austria? Do you get the chance to perform a lot? Are there any remarkable differences if you compare your home country to other places that you have played in?
Indoctrinate: Well, I guess the biggest scene’s in Vienna although it’s actually not that big compared to other (for instance European) cities. And there are a few venues (like EKH, Venster99, Arena or Pankahyttn) and DIY promoters who set up shows in the city and surrounding areas. So it’s quite a good scene. Other cities like Graz, Linz and Innsbruck also do have a vibrant punk scene. As far as politics are concerned there are for example local groups of Food not Bombs and the Anarchist Black Cross. Yeah, you do get the chance to play live, especially in Vienna where you got a lot of shows. Hmm differences? There are some minor differences, of course, but I wouldn’t say other places are so much different when it comes to shows.
PE: Do you worry about the future? Do you think there’ll be a time when you will be “too old” for punk-rock, when you’ ll be happy to marry and settle down with your wife, your three kids, the dog and a big-ass plasma TV?
Indoctrinate: Yep, we do worry about the future. A lot. But there’s still hope I guess. Oh yeah, that reminds me, I gotta go and watch some MTV on my big-ass plasma TV!
PE: Well, thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Hopefully the readers will have a chance to see you performing live sometime soon! Do you want to make any last comments or give a shout-out to anyone?
In times like these we need a band that takes all that is good about punk and metal and combines it into something amazing! Something that is raw and tight and dark and energetic and destructive all at the same time then combining that with lyrics that matter. Lyrics that speak to both the personal and political nature to this world in which we live. That band is called WE MUST DISMANTLE ALL THIS! and they just released an incredible new LP called “Decathect”. It’s been on heavy rotation here at the PE warehouse. We took a moment to sit down with the band and do an interview with them so that everyone else can see what they are all about.
PE: Lets start with the old standard: how did WMDAT! come about? All of you were doing separate bands before Justin moved to Champaign-Urbana from Milwaukee.
WMDAT: In 2007, Justin, who played in Avoided, was set to play second guitar for Sali and Greg’s drunken, depraved street-punk band Carbomb Lottery. Carbomb broke up before Justin could join and we started Dismantle afterward. Our first practice space was Austin’s tiny, unfurnished room in the basement of a punk house – he had nothing in there but beer cans and a blanket. We kicked his shit out of the way, set up, and then realized he should probably join and play lead guitar – even at 18, he was a sick metal guitarist. Chris’ crappy metalcore band at the time played that house and we recruited him after watching him bolt out black-metal, tortured screams. Chris ended up singing and cutting off 7 years of his life to debauchery and sleepless nights thanks to our collective insanity – Chris loves us for it.
PE: What do you think has been the impetus for the band’s evolution over the years? Early on you had much more of a street punk mixed with thrash metal feel, and nowadays you guys are pretty much an “epic crust” band (though I hate putting labels on a group with so many different influences).
WMDAT: Everyone’s self-evolution has contributed to the bands evolution, be it expanding musical tastes or different aspects of everyone’s personal lives. The D-beat style we now play came out of deepening our appreciation for Scandinavian crust and battling demons – the loss of close friends, addiction, hopelessness, and capitalist culture. The dark melodic style we play now is a better voice for our fears, angers, and frustrations.
PE: Though you guys are all punks, metal clearly has a huge influence on your sound – and Austin is a dyed-in-the-wool metalhead. Who do you think has influenced you the most from the genre, and what are some of your favorite bands? Does it ever feel like you’re cheating on your wife punk with your mistress metal, playing some of these riffs?
WMDAT: Austin is certainly the metalhead in the band. He grew up obsessed with Metallica’s first 4 albums and it was all downhill from there. Justin’s love of punk and thrash challenged Austin as a guitar player and they ended up feeding off each other very well. Justin will write something and Austin can almost immediately find something that sounds cool over it. Our genre mashing results in some pretty sick riffs. We are all influenced by different styles (e.g. Justin: Tragedy, Martrydod, Passiv Dodshjalp, Krum Bums; Sali: Disfear, Anti-Cimex, Iron Maiden, Nausea, World Burns To Death; Chris: Darkest Hour, Tragedy, Total Abuse, Raw Nerve, Tenement, Grave Babies; Greg: Mariah Carrey, N SYNC, and, in general, Puruvian dance hall pop-disco unlimited).
PE: Your lyrics are pretty personal yet also fairly political in nature. They’re also fucking depressing as shit. What goes into the creation of such tormented writing? Chris, being a carnivore, how do you feel about singing some stanchly vegan lyrics at times?
WMDAT: We write about what seems to be destroying people and ourselves, in particular, the consequences of internalizing values esteemed by a capitalist system (selfishness, greed, inequality, murder, and so on), which infect our ability to be autonomous and develop truly loving relations with people and our environment. Sometimes this translates into expressing pure hatred and depression, and sometimes it helps us fight and find possible solutions. The system’s disgusting nature lives in all of us – mostly, it shapes what we find valuable and justifies actions we do but sometimes can’t fucking stand – and so we tend to write personal songs about our experiences that illuminate the killing fields of the system. Chris sings our songs about militant veganism because he’s flexible enough to hate himself – we should all thank him for this. He understands why we disagree with the commodification of slaughter and cruelty towards living creatures, but since he’s a pretty sexy dude so we’re not gonna give him too much shit.
PE: WMDAT! are confirmed road-dogs. What were some of your best shows/venues/cities? Any crazy stories that you can reveal without getting arrested?
PE: Tour has been kind to us over the years. We’ve been to most states numerous times, and we’ve met some unbelievably inspiring, loving, and supportive people, which has really helped us understand ourselves, our music, our collective problems, and our collective advances. The show, the people, and the interactions after the show and the next day all make a huge impact on us – after all, tour is 23 ½ hours a day developing relations with others. Some of our favorite places have been Appleton, WI; Amarillo and Dallas, TX; Binghamton, NY; Providence, RI; and East Bay and Sacramento, CA. A few insane shows stick out. One is our second show in Las Vegas in a little taco joint on the east side. We were two songs into the set and the pit erupted and a group of kids smashed someone’s head open. The taco joint pulled the plug on the show and we were left loading out dodging pools of blood on the floor. Another show that comes to mind is last year in Binghamton, NY. A small living room show packed to the brim with redneck crusties begging for some heavy music. The crowd went insane – people hanging from the ceiling, jumping from this little makeshift bar head first into a crowd of people. We then proceeded to get into fights (nothing serious, just some fools who were being assholes in the pit), break into an abandoned masonic temple, get lost in said temple for almost 3 hours, booty dance, Depth Charge (if you don’t know, you don’t know), and general craziness.
WMDAT: Many of the band have lived in Champaign-Urbana for a good deal of time and have differing perspectives on the punk scene in town. Having lived here myself for over a decade, it has certainly been cyclical and at times disappointing, other times fantastic. What are your thoughts about it?
PE: The first few years we were together, there were sick houses to play, shows every weekend, strong support for local and touring punk bands, and a powerful sense of community. In the last few years, there has been a general disappearance of a crowd that is passionate about hardcore punk. There are many kinds of bands and strong local support as a whole, but only a handful of people into punk. Nonetheless, the punk scene ain’t dead, and we’re far from letting C-U live without some nice, dirty crust.
PE: Justin/Prof. Remhof just got a teaching job in Santa Clara, CA. What’s the future for the band now that he’s gone long-distance?
WMDAT: Mostly the band tells Justin to fuck off, leave his career, and live in a shitty 1999 F250 Ford Cargo Van with the band until everyone’s health deteriorates to the point of welcome, creative despair … or we plan to continue playing and touring in summers, and we’re working on filling the spot for shows during the school year. Until then, Austin will continue to cry himself to sleep each night with a broken heart.
PE: What are all of you up to in your spare time away from WMDAT!? I know all of you have different bands and projects you’re working on.
WMDAT: Sali lives in Indianapolis and spends most of her time running Dead Rodent Records, a screen printing business, and playing in This Is The Enemy. Justin lives in San Jose, teaches philosophy full-time, and has recently joined the grind/powerviolence band Buried at Birth on Give Praise Records. Chris is in Gnargoyle, repping 80’s skate punk/hardcore – recordings coming soon. He is also busy working towards a computer science degree and so has very little time to do anything but the nerdiest of homework. Austin has taken over Justin’s vocal duties for the band Unnerve that he sang for here in Champaign. He loves playing guitar but nothing helps with stress like screaming in peoples faces. Greg drums for Unnerve, and, since he wasn’t able to get his replies for this interview to us on time, we will say that he spends most of his time eating the heads of rare birds, studying locust migration patterns in the South Pacific, and drinking gallons of Four Loko (one of those is not a lie).
PE: That’s about it. Shout-outs and fuck-offs?
WMDAT: Shout out to Ben from Profane for being an ugly helper of a beast. Shout out to all of you who have let us play your house (ripped it apart and put it together again), cuddle your animals (more people need goats), throw up on your floor (and buy us a 30 pack), talk about the universe (especially Pluto), and inspire us to keep writing, touring, and fighting to live well. Shout out to ice beers, cheap whiskey, broken hearts and the people that broke them, without which we may not have come up with some of the shit we’ve written. A huge fuck off to bar shows, sex and gender inequality, income disparity, and materialism.
Repression Attack from Ryazan, Russia have being playing guttural Deviated Instinct styled crusty stenchcore since 2007. Their second release since their split with Pan Zlobek in 2009 was out in May of this year, entitled “Altar of Destruction”. Musically bleak and cold metallic crusty punk, which hits the nail on the head. (Interview conducted by Sean Fitzgerald)
Can you talk a little about the history of Repression Attack? A lot of references in reviews are made to stenchcore, Axegrinder, Hellshock etc. Did you start the band with the set idea of specifically playing a heavy metallic crust style of music?
Hi! Repression Attack emerged from the void in September 2007, and in December, already gave our first show in my garage, where we rehearsed then (the frost and a leaking roof were our indispensable companions at that early date). Initially, the group consisted of Nickolay, me (Gleb) and Cobra, but soon we parted with him for a number of reasons (but just for awhile, near about a year). It was a fun time when every gig we had a new bass player and sometimes we didn’t even have a one. That time, our sound was basically different from the present; we focused on the D-beat and Swedish hardcore which bothered us quite quickly. In May 2009, we recorded a few songs for a split with Moscow band Pan Zlobek, which was released in a couple of months. In September 2009, when Cobra returned to the group, we began to turn our sound into a more heavy and metallic crust, since then the orientation were the early Hellbastard, Misery, Axegrinder, Effigy and Hellshock (Religion and Cold Death are from that period). In fact, we were influenced by a variety of styles, but we love the British punk-scene of 80’s very much.
The next important point in the band’s history was the year of 2011. We recruited another soldier – a second guitarist Toha Stalin. Early in the summer, our rehearsal space, which was located at the basement of the house, was flooded with the sewage (yeah, fucking stenchcore!), and we stopped to rehearse for a while. And soon Nickolay moved to St. Petersburg for six months. It was a severe shock for us, because RA lost at once the guitar and vocals. Anyway in September, we were gather again, calling for sing our friend Yulia from the Toverheks (now she is also playing on bass-guitar in Axidance), because it was the most obvious candidate, even though she lives in the other city. For three months of inactivity Stalin had totally forgotten all our songs and it has become clear that it was necessary to look for a new guitarist and we found Dimashkin (he also plays and sings in Moscow scandicore rawshit band Shitworld). As we had to start from scratch, we decided not to recall some of our old songs that we did not like. In December Nickolay returned to Ryazan, and took his usual place in the band, and since that moment the war machine is running full out. I think it is the best line-up that we could ever have! If I confused you a bit, look, today Repression Attack is:
Cobra – bass,
Yulia “Pila” – vox,
Nickolay Dolboeb – guitar, vox,
Gleb – drums,
Dimashkin – guitar.
In September of 2012 (again in September!!!) we went to the studio to record the album, which was released in June 2013. There you have it, perhaps!
Is ‘Altar of Destruction’ self released and is it hard to get distribution in and outside of Russia? What kind of response have you been getting? Where can it be bought?
Yes, that’s right, we self released the album on CD by our own without any support from the labels. As for the distribution, if you have the time, desire, and some amount of money on postage and you don’t want your discs to gather dust in the box under your bed, it is easy as pie to trade with someone. Essentially, I traded off with foreign distro / labels. The answer was either positive or no response at all. Sometimes I got a reply: “Thank you, but we aren’t interested in cd-trade because nobody buys CD’s”. I sent “Altar of Destruction” to the Czech Republic (Insane Society Records, Gasmask Records), UK (Imminent Destruction Records), Japan (MCR Company), Australia, Malaysia (Crysis Records) and the USA (Dr. Strange Records, Black Water Records). The album was released three months ago, and we just have about 150 CDs from 500 – I think, it’s not too bad.
What type of atmosphere do you try to capture with your music? Lyrically it paints a picture of a very desolate landscape, is this the way you see the world turning? Is there a political philosophy in your lyrics or is it more a mood?
I’m the author of the lyrics; sometimes Yulia helps me a little bit. The lyrics are reflecting the views of the certain things which are happening around us or with us. I can’t say that we have hugely politically charged lyrics. Anything could affect – world events, books, movies… everything that happens with us. The song Rats is about my two rats which used to wake me up during their night battles; the idea of Cold Death crept into my mind after a trip to St. Petersburg. It was the end of January and on the street was a thirty degree frost…
Album title idea – “altar of destruction” is devoted not to a war, but rather to a man and his passion of destruction, that’s why I put the man at the center of the cover. Throughout the history, people have just only shed the blood, for the sake and the name of themselves. Over the past 100 years, we do well out of this. It is the man the altar of destruction. Could you tell us about the underground scene in Ryazan? Do you get to play many gigs? Are there many divisions within it? Is it hard for a band to go on tour in Russia?
I’m glad to tell if it was some =). There are few punks in Ryazan because the bands decay as quickly as they appear, leaving nothing behind. It’s rather difficult with clubs for the gigs here – either clubs conduct the kind of policy that you crucially do not want to deal with or they easy want to fuck you over . We don’t often play in Ryazan, usually on the shows which we do or our friends. There are some guys now who try to make gigs on rehearsal room, well, see what happens. In addition to our own, perhaps, only Diswarp try to fight, record and ride with concerts. As you know, Russia is very big, not every punk van could withstand such a distance and so bad roads. I know, there are Russian bands that traveled for many times through out Europe, but in Russia they played just in the 5-6 cities. Although Axidance drove over Russia, recently and reach the Lake Baikal! This is a good sign for DIY-scene)
With homosexuality against the law in Russia and the rise of neo-Nazi groups is it hard being part of a very left of field underground scene? Can there be trouble at gigs etc.
I don’t somehow think that it could be a serious obstacle. This scene has evolved in a state of siege, so everybody is used to clashes with boneheads. At proper time, they were given a decent resistance and it was sufficient to those bastards to do not even dare to poke nose into punk concerts, all the more to attack. All they can – is to troop and catch a couple of punks near the club and beat them brutally or may be cut. The main clashes taking place on the street and are more random. There are really a lot of scumbags on the streets.
Problems happen to the bands, on which concerts run a big number of the radical youth. In this case, you begin being interested in the Centre for Combating Extremism (something like a political police) who starts actively poking sticks in the wheel. These bastards from the Centre tried to ban groups in Ryazan, one of them played pop-punk, another ska. There was nothing radical in their lyrics, but they played to full house. It’s certainly much more than that … but don’t think that we live in a reality of Orwell’s 1984 or sleep with a Kalashnikov under the pillow – it’s not the true).
What is next for Repression Attack? Plans, tours, releases etc
At the end of August, we will play in St. Petersburg with our friends – Fatum, Shitworld, Bloodsuckers, check out these bands! Also, soon “Altar of Destruction” will be released on tapes by the Belarusian label Vomit rec. Early in 2014 we plan to go to the studio and record new songs, and of course we will play gigs. Let’s not make globally plans))
MP Johnson is a local punk rock horror writer who just released his first book, THE AFTER-LIFE STORIES OF PORK KNUCKLES MALONE. It’s a story about a farm boy and his pet pig that gets turned into… well… a rotting zombie ham with slime-spewing psychic powers that reeks havoc on those it encounters. It brings to mind Charlotte’s Web… Well if Charlotte’s Web had a sequel called Pig’s Revenge and was directed by Loyd Coffman of TROMA it might look something like THE AFTER-LIFE STORIES OF PORK KNUCKLES MALONE. I first met MP at a punk rock basement show in Wisconsin. At the time he was doing a self published zine called FREAK TENSION. The zine featured short stories about monsters and monster themed reviews of different punk records. He went on to write for RAZORCAKE where he has been a strong supporter of Profane Existence releases and published interviews for PE bands like DRESDEN, WARTORN and IN DEFENCE. He recently stopped by Profane to ask if we’d help distribute his book. Of course we said yes. We also took the opportunity to ask him a few questions for the blog.
PE: What’s The After-Life Story of Pork Knuckles Malone about?
MP: It’s the tale of a boy and his pet slime-spewing, psychic ham. One reviewer called it “The literary equivalent of a Troma movie.” It’s part of the new bizarro fiction literary movement, which is defined as the book version of the cult section of the video store. There aren’t any video stores anymore, but you get the idea.
PE: Why would your book appeal to punks?MP: Generally speaking, if you listen to punk and you read, you need to be reading bizarro fiction. It’s all the things you love about punk in written form: energetic, fast-paced and raw. It’s DIY. It’s weird and fucked up. As for my book specifically, two of the characters are punks. The climax of the book takes place at a show, set in a fictional version of the legendary Green Bay venue the Concert Café.
PE: You asked if we’d sell your book in a package with the In Defence – Party Lines & Politics album. Why?
MP: Aside from the fact that they’re one of my favorite bands, there’s also some commonality in terms of subject matter. They draw influence from B-movies. The “Curbside Dentistry” video looks like something Lloyd Kaufman would come up with. Also, I actually helped write the lyrics to “…And Toxic Justice for All”, which is about the Toxic Avenger, so it’s definitely a good match.
PE: How long have you been writing?
MP: I’ve been writing fucked up stories for as long as I’ve been able to hold a pen. I created Freak Tension zine in ’98. Some of the older punks in the Twin Cities still remember it, and I still do new issues occasionally. It was a bunch of reviews, usually me mocking shitty Hopeless Records pop punk bands, and also included messed up stories about zombies and all that good stuff. My short stories have been printed in a bunch of books and magazines, but The After-Life Story of Pork Knuckles Malone is the first book that’s all me.
PE: What’s next for you?
MP: I write this crazy shit because I love it. I’ve lucked out and found some publishers that are also into it and people are starting to read my stuff and get psyched about it, which is just the best feeling. My next book is called Dungeons and Drag Queens. It’s coming out from Eraserhead press, which is pretty much the premier publisher of bizarro fiction. That’s coming out this fall. It’s really gory and funny, but it’s a lot different than Pork Knuckles. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones, but with drag queens. You can find out more at www.freaktension.com.
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″!