Entrevistas | Interviews

Entrevista a Negative Standards

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Negative Standards de San Francisco, una banda de hardcore oscuro que si aun no escuchas, esto te puede ayudar a despertar el interés suficiente para ir a bandcamp, escuchar su discografía y posiblemente, te den ganas de golpear a los puercos que rondan por tu casa.

-Thanks for the time and consideration to do this short interview. I{m going to start with the question that’s always asked, ¿When and who form the band?

Will: At the end of 2008 our singer Will got pneumonia and wrote the first batch of songs while he was stuck at home. I had just moved to Oakland and was playing in a shitty band, and he asked if I wanted to play bass in a new project where he would sing. We tried out one drummer, who turned out to be a turd, and then ended up asking Al if he wanted to play guitar, since he and Will had been in Acts of Sedition together for a long time.

Max: I was living in the Bay in the summer of 2009 and started playing drums with those dudes, we came up with a handful of songs at the practice space in East Oakland and recording them on the 924 Gilman soundboard. Then I had to move back to the East Coast to be a college dickbag for another year, but had already decided that I would move back to continue the project afterwards.

-¿The name of your band have an specific meaning or all of you agree with the name?

Will: It’s certainly open to interpretation, the other Will came up with it but I’m not even sure he knew exactly what it meant at the time. Personally I take it as referring to the struggle to define one’s life primarily through negation, which is largely how I interact with the world. It’s a lot more palpable for me to understand the modes of living that I want to resist, and to identify what around me is worthy of destruction, than to create positive political projects or identities.

Max: I like Negative Approach. Not as people, though.

-¿Do you have side projects?

Will: Not side projects, but we are all in other bands. Will plays bass and sings in Reivers, which is a fast hardcore band, and he and Al are still in Acts of Sedition. Al’s also been playing bass in Pills for about as long as we’ve been a band, they’re really fast mathcore in the vein of Botch. I just started a band with my housemates called Nasty Dilemma, it’s super dreamy post-punk with lots of effects pedals. None of us know how to write songs so it’s kind of a jam band at this point.

Max: I play drums in a black metal/punk band called A Katharsia, kind of in the vein of Bone Awl but spacier. We haven’t played a show yet but are going to record next month. I also drum in an unnamed power violence project with singer Will and Sven from Reivers. It’s ignorant.

-¿How was your experience on the European tour? It’s the first time on the old continent?

Max: Being an American child of privilege I had been to Europe when I was young, but under very different circumstances. It was amazing to experience such a whirlwind of places and people and to get to do so on the basis of a shared love of music and an identification with d.i.y. ethics. Now that I’ve had a little more time to reflect on the experience, I find myself sticking on how the collective and anti-oppressive nature of many of the spaces we got to play was a refreshing alternative to a lot of experiences I’ve had in the American punk scene. And while it’s important not to idealize or romanticize the European squat scene, it was a great relief to see people operating in that way on such a large scale, and lightened a general despair about humanity.

Will: It was such an amazing time and we all felt really lucky to be treated so well as a new and mostly unknown band from halfway across the world. We made so many friends and got to play with some of our favorite bands, and learn about a lot of new projects too. It sounds cliché, but I really couldn’t have asked for more, definitely hoping that we can make it back there soon.

-¿American festivals or European Festivals? Every audience is different, but which do you prefer? 

Max: We didn’t play any of the big festivals in Europe, which seems be a distinctive institution over there, but we did play a number of smaller fests and weekend-long events such as the Køpi squat twenty year anniversary. It’s hard to answer the question because you’re talking about two very different cultures, but as I said before, many of the spaces that these smaller fests occurred in were organized around the idea that d.i.y. punk and radical politics can be a common project. I haven’t seen that attitude as prominent in American festivals, but at the same time I can’t pretend I would feel more at home at a European festival for fairly mundane reasons of language and upbringing. That experience highlighted how much more the American scene could be energized by radical ideas.

Will: For me, I personally found the culture of shows in Europe to be a lot more comfortable than in America, for all of the reasons Max said and especially the consistent effort we witnessed around creating safe and inclusive spaces within punk. It was also really refreshing to be in a scene that’s not so anti-intellectual, which is something I find to be really irritating in a lot of American contexts. The only hard thing in Europe was getting over that fact that, especially in German-speaking places, no one dances when you play! We played a few sets where several hundred people were standing there totally still, and to us they seemed sooo bored, but afterwards everyone was super positive. It’s also very strange for us to play on a stage every night, we’ve probably played less than ten shows in North America where there was a legit stage and a sound guy.

-¿European airports are as stringent as the U.S. airports?  Any trouble to get there and play a bunch of shows?

Will: We had no trouble whatsoever getting into Europe. I literally had a bass in my hand when I went through customs and the lady didn’t even lean over the counter to see what I was holding. Getting into the UK was slightly more stressful, but in the end all they did was steal Max’s knife.

Max: I know this doesn’t exactly answer your question, but it’s worth mention that in the Berlin-Tegel International Airport feature special vending machines that dispense products including but not limited to vibrating cock-rings and something called a “travel pussy”.

-Apart from the split with Whitehorse, is there unreleased material or what are the future plans?

Will: There’s no unreleased material, and honestly probably never will be. Our songs just take us too long to write and record, so we usually have a pretty solid plan when we go into the studio how we’re going to use everything. We’re working on a new LP right now, called Fetters, that will hopefully come out towards the end of the year.

What about Vendetta Records, how you start editing with this German label?

Will: After we put out our first EP as a cassette, we emailed it out to a few of our favorite labels to ask if they might be interested in pressing it to vinyl, or releasing new stuff in the future. Stefan doesn’t actually listen to digital music, but he watched some live videos of us and ended up buying a copy of the tape. We kept talking back and forth and after a while the conversation became “so, when I put out this LP…” and that was that. It was kind of the perfect fit, they’ve just put out so many of our favorite releases in a bunch of the genres we draw from. He ended up helping us a ton in booking the Euro tour, and we actually slept in the record store (Bis Aufs Messer) that he co-owns with Robert from Adagio 830 for a few nights in Berlin.

-2013 soon will be finished  is done and some people have their top list. ¿What’s your favorite records so far?

Max: I’m really bad at listing things by year but off the top of my head I can think of some pretty amazing LPs that were put out by the New Flesh, Pallbearer, Fell Voices and Vastum as well as 7″s by the mighty Permanent Ruin and Diehard (R.I.P.).

Will: A few that really stood out to me are the Pleasure Leftists 7″, and LPs by Cloud Rat, Hard Skin, OvO, and Violent Party. Framtid, obviously. I was also really impressed by this Chilean band Föllakzoid, they have a kind of neo-Krautrock feel and the new album is amazing.

-¿Bands you would like to suggest?

Max: See above. Fossor House are good. Graves at Sea is playing shows again and doing so with the utmost of brutality. Sutekh Hexen has been upping the blackened noise ante around town. I’ve also been listening to a lot of stuff by the Delmonas, Cülo, and Klaus Schulze.

Will: Communion of Thieves from El Paso continue to put out some of the best metal/punk out there, I guess they’ll have their first vinyl out soon which is exciting. Some new band I’m excited locally about are Ritual Control, Pig DNA, Cold Circuits. That Flesh World LP is mindblowingly good. Xenotaph is a new black metal band from the Bay Area that’s impressed me. Dispirit continues to be one of the sickest black/doom bands around, hoping they finally release an LP this year.

-¿Any plans to do a west coast tour and include Tijuana?

Will: We’d love to come back to Tijuana, we played the Polis y Ratas fest that Maladie set up there a few years ago. Not sure when we’ll make it there next, maybe on our U.S. tour in the fall. We are trying to do a Central Mexico tour this spring, probably in May, and we’re really excited about that.

-¿Where we can get your records in U.S?

Will: You can get them from us, through our website or just email negativestandards@gmail.com. Cory from Halo of Flies keeps all of our stuff in stock too, along with pretty much every other d.i.y. hardcore/metal release you could possibly want

-¿Anything else you want to add?

Max: Thanks for the support!

Contact/Facebook//Website

Listen/Bandcamp

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An Interview with Dunk! Records from Belgium. If you like instrumental music, you should know more about this label.

Thanks for the time for answer this questions, How and when did Dunk! Records started?

– Dunk!records started in 2011 with releasing If Wolves by Kokomo from Germany. I was dreaming about starting my own label but never even considered to take the risk until René from Kokomo asked me if I wanted to release their new album. His question was meant as a joke but I didn’t had to think twice. My answer was immediately yes. Of course the days after that I did my research if I would actually be able to keep my promise. The internet said it would be a lot of work and that’s true. But it’s also a lot of fun.
-¿What record labels inspired you?
– I am still impressed by the way Denovali Records from Germany keeps doing his own thing and how big they have become in their underground scene. All their records are great quality. Not only the music but also the package is always very nice. I try to make every dunk!release look, feel and sound as nice as possible. For example, all vinyl releases are on 180g vinyl and everything in cardboard is upgraded to thicker cardboard to feel and look better. The quality of the music is up to the bands and they are doing a great job every time.
-Dunk!Records only edits post-rock/metal bands, ¿Do you have in mind to expand your label in other genres?
– It was pretty obvious to start releasing post-rock albums since that’s the music we are into and we already had that audience. However I would like to discover new genres and also release some heavier music but also more electronic ambient stuff. Nobody only listens to post-rock so I don’t see any reason to only stick with post-rock. I want to stay interesting and not only be that post-rock label from Belgium. But that requirers a lot of time and effort which I don’t have at this moment. So for 2014 it will mostly be post-rock and post-metal releases. And of course that’s great too!
-¿Is there more people involved with the label?
– No, dunk!records is only me. It would be a lot easier with two people or more but I can’t expect other people to be as crazy as me to do all this work for the sake of music and nothing more.
-You have been editing only Cd format, ¿Do you plan to do vinyl sometime in the future?
– We actually released vinyl from the beginning. Kokomo ‘If Wolves’ was also available on vinyl. We plan to keep releasing on vinyl and I would even like to stop releasing on CD but there are still people into CD so I don’t want tho disappoint them. But I hope dunk!records will be a vinyl label in a few years.
-I know besides the label, you’ve been working on the Dunk! Festival, ¿What bands will appear in your line-up this year?
– We are working very hard for dunk!festival2014. It will be on a new location. Outside in a big festival tent this time. So there is some extra stuff to take care of. But it will be our best (and 10th) edition so far! The line-up is almost ready. We’re only waiting for one band to confirm.
These bands already confirmed: Mannheim, Tides From Nebula, Marius, Halo Of Pendor, Year Of No Light, Alright The Captain, Zero Absolu, Steak Number Eight, Alias Empire, Exxasens, Arms and Sleepers, God Is An Astronaut, Indignu, Syberia, UpCDownC, MOTEK, The Seven Mile Journey, Industroika, Sleepmakeswaves, Lymbyc Systym, Le Seul Elément, Lost In Kiev, Kerretta, Aesthesys, The Best Pessimist, thisquietarmy, EF, Nadja
-¿How do you solve the festival, are sponsors involved?
– We didn’t work with sponsors until this year. In the first place dunk!festival2014 is crowd funded by 250 people for 15.000€ in total. That’s pretty huge and was a very good motivation to keep going after the financial problems of dunk!festival2013 where we didn’t have enough visitors to reach the break-even point.
Other big sponsors are the flemish government and provincial and city council. These governments are sponsoring us already a long time now and without their help dunk!festival would not be possible. This year we will also work with commercial sponsors. For example, coffee is always free at our festival and this year that will be sponsored by a local coffee business called De Zwaluw. We are still looking for more sponsors.
-When you started the label, ¿Do you imagine doing all this things?
– When I started the label I knew it would be a lot of work. I never expected to have so many great releases so fast! I made a ‘best case scenario wish list’ for my upcoming releases and it was those bands coming to me with the question to release their music. That was pretty insane. And now the latest album of MOTEK is pretty huge for me. They are pretty big in Belgium and were signed to EMI but decided to go back into the underground and asked dunk!records to release their new album.
So no I couldn’t imagine I would be releasing all these great bands on my label. Of course it was my goal because I set the bar very high for myself and for all the projects I’m involved. But I didn’t expect it would go that fast.
-¿What releases are scheduled for this year?
– For 2014 I will release a new album by The Seven Mile Journey from Denmark. They will play at dunk!festival for the second time. Also Horses Die Standing from Italy is about to release a new album. The upcoming album of We Stood Like Kings from Belgium will be a co-release with Kapitän Platte. That’s a very good label from Germany. Valerinne from Romania just released their new album. We’re also checking the possibilities for a new album of Terraformer from Belgium. That is all for spring 2014. We don’t have anything confirmed for fall 2014 but there are some pretty cool option in the running :-).
-It has been a full-time work Dunk! Records or do you have a job besides Dunk!?
– Besides dunk!records I also run The Stargazer TV with my colleague Jeroen. At this moment that project and organizing dunk!festival (together with my father because he is actually the founder of the festival and still in charge) takes most of my time. The Stargazer TV is an online magazine or TV channel. We only work with video and aim our cameras to artists making music or other forms of art. We like to show the dedication of people creating beautiful but also vague things like music or visual arts.
We want to promote those people who put all their energy into their project for the sake of that project only. Some artists are more focussed on their audience or what they think the audience wants but we believe in the truthfulness of a pure story told by the artist. We have some cool plans and are really motivated to continue with this.
-¿What’s the process to sign a band or simple you put records you like from your friends?
– I think I basically answered this question before. I get email applications all the time. Most of them are send to a bunch of email addresses. I ignore those messages. Every message sent to dunk!records only will get my attention. I will carefully listen to it and let them know what I think. I have to disappoint most of those bands since there are just too many and I only want to ‘sign’ the bands that I am really 100% into. If that is not the case it will cost too much energy to make it work. Besides great music I also want the bands to be nice people. I think it’s important to still be friendly and thankful to everyone, even if you play in a (un)successful band. So I do not only release records of friends. Most of the time not. But the bands I release are mostly becoming good friends. Because the process you go through together is pretty intense and you need to trust each other as you can trust a friend. That’s really important to me. It has to be fun all the way.
– Nowadays internet has change the form of selling music. ¿What’s your opinion about selling digital copies, is this a real competition to physical copies?
– My thought on digital releases is that it is a good promotion tool. I also think it is competition to the physical copies but if you are not offering the album as digital release they will download it illegal anyway. So in my opinion it is better to offer the album in a legal way. As free download or not. That way you can at least track the downloads and thus the success of the release on the internet. So as a promotion tool it can help people to convince them to go to a show of that band when they are around and pay the entrance fee. And maybe even buy that album on high quality vinyl :-). I think the real music fans still buy physical music. Especially the smaller scenes are really into vinyl. Which I totally understand. It sounds great and it looks great. The act of listening to a vinyl record is completely different than listening to spotify. That’s not the same at all! I still buy vinyl and CD but I also have spotify to pre-listen to an album before I buy it.
– Belgium seems to be pretty active in music, ¿What bands or labels can you recommend us from your country?
– Belgium is a small country but there is a lot to do here. Only the amount of summer festivals here is crazy already. Some bands I would like to recommend are MOTEK, Terraformer and Stories From The Lost from my label. Some bigger Belgian bands and not on my label I would like to recommend are Steak Number Eight, Raketkanon and Kapitan Korsakov. And Zeal Records is one of the better labels from Belgium.
– ¿Anything else you would like to add?
– I would like to add that it is really important to do your own thing and stay true to that. Tell your story or support others who tell their stories with passion. The stories told in music and arts are so important but also difficult to tell.
Contact/ Website
Listen/ Bandcamp

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1240384_634683866562746_256718641_nEntrevista con Valerinne, una banda de Romania tocando post-rock de una manera muy pesada.

-En primer lugar gracias por hacer esta entrevista con MVSICVSHEROIN . Empazare con la pregunta clasica ,¿Quiénes son los miembros de Valerinne y qué es lo que hacen?

Hola! Hay tres personas en Valerinne , Alexandru Das ( yo) -Guitarra/Sonidos, Liviu Stoicescu -Bajo y Mircea Smarandache -Batería.

-¿Por qué el nombre de Valerinne ?

Nos formamos en diciembre del 2011 y tuvimos nuestro primer concierto en junio de 2012. El problema era que estábamos ya en mayo del 2012 y no teníamos un nombre para la banda. Tuvimos una larga lista con nombres cada vez mas grande y los nombres también fueron cada vez más largos. Nos enfermamos de esa lista. 🙂 Finalmente , nos decidimos por algo que es femenino, tiene un tono algo familiar y es corto, pero eso no significa nada.

-¿Qué pasa con la escena del post-rock en Rumanía?

En realidad hay un montón de cosas interesantes sucediendo en la escena underground de Rumanía en este momento, sea post-rock o más allá , especialmente en Bucarest, Cluj- Napoca y Timisoara, y un montón de buenas bandas que todo el mundo debe checar!

Solo haré una lista de las bandas que me gustan como Environments (ambient/drone), Nomega (sludge/stoner rock), Semiosis (ambient/post-rock), Kultika (post-metal), White Walls (progressive metal), The Egocentrics (psychedelic/stoner rock) , Roadkillsoda (stoner rock), Fluturi pe Asfalt (post-rock), Alternativ Quartet(post-rock), The Boy Who Cried Wolf (hardcore/metal), Flesh Rodeo (alternative/metal), Bloodway(dark metal), The Thirteenth Sun (post-metal), Sunset in the 12th House (post-rock).

Por supuesto existen mas bandas, pero estas fueron las que me llegaron a la mente mas rápido. definitivamente tienen que checar esas bandas :).

-Arborescent es su segundo álbum y suena diferente al álbum anterior, ¿qué me dices de este cambio?

Tanto Kunstformen der Natur y Arborescent fueron grabadas en vivo en Next Dog Studio con nuestro amigo Mario Costache (www.mariuscostache.ro) quien también mezcló y masterizo , por lo que el proceso de grabación no cambio mucho, pero desde el primer album, pienso que las canciones nuevas se han convertido de alguna manera en algo mas coherente, como ya tenemos mas tiempo tocando esta formula y llegamos a conocernos mejor. Ademas, quizás sin intención. las canciones son mas pesadas y oscuras

¿Su musica tiene mensaje o solo es un escape personal?

Hay referencias de cosas diferentes en los titulos de las canciones y los albums, pero es mas algo subjetivo. Ya que no tenemos letras, no hay manera de guiar a un tema, pero cuando una cancion esta lista y ha sido tocada sufiente en los ensayos, de alguna manera se siente una conexion a algo, entonces le damos un nombre en consecuencia.

Se que es un poco abstracto, pero no hay algo místico/esotérico/trascendental o cosas politicas en nuestra musica, como sea en los titulos de los albums y canciones hay algunas referencias literarias y filosoficas, lo que puede servir al interlocutor como uia, pero sin imponer un marco estricto.

-¿Quién es el autor intelectual en el proceso de la escritura o  sus canciones se crean en los ensayos?

Algunas veces regreso a casa con una idea, hago un demo casero y me estanco, entonces tocamos un rato ese riff o lo que sea, podemos estar en el cuarto de ensayo y ver a donde llegamos, algunas veces pienso que tengo toda una canción con todos los arreglos en mi cabeza y cuando es tiempo de mostrarla a los demás y tocarla en los ensayos, nos damos cuenta que muchas cosas no funcionan, entonces pasamos por cambios múltiples. Es un proceso democrático, y la canción no esta “lista” hasta que todos esten contentos.

-Planes a futuro para Valerinne ?

Estamos trabajando en canciones nuevas y empezaros a grabar demos para la pre-produccion, pero no se si editaremos nuestro tercer album en 2014 o despues.

-¿Qué bandas son tus influencias ?

Nosotros tenemos bandas que nos gustan asi que tenemos un interés común, pero también están los diferentes bases de cada persona en la banda. No diría que tenemos influencias claras como “Oh cielos, quiero sonar asi o como esa banda” escuchamos diferentes tipos de música desde el post-punk a black metal y jazz..

¿Discos favoritos del 2013 ?

Generalmente no soy muy fan de hacer listas de fin de año y tal, por tanto aquí algunos albums que se han quedado en mi playlist a través y hasta el final del 2013, los escucho todos varias veces.

Chelsea Wolfe – Pain is Beauty
Year of No Light – Tocsin
Rosetta – The Anaesthete
Cult of Luna – Vertikal
Oathbreaker – Eros/Antheros
The Black Heart Rebellion – Har Nevo
Jesu – Everyday I get closer to the light from which i came
Environments – Fraktal

La lista es sin orden alguno. También he re-escuchado muchas cosas viejas este año, como The Cure, Slowdive, Stars of the Lid, Low, Neurosis, Swans, Anekdoten, Esbjörn Svensson Trio etc.

-¿Han tocado en otro país o tienen planes de hacer una gira por Europa ?

Hemos estado en una gira europea la primavera del 2013 con nuestros amigos de Environments, también de Bucarest, promocionando nuestro primer álbum Kunstformen de Natur y su album Fraktal, por Bulgaria, Croacia, República Checa, Alemania y Bélgica. Este año queremos hacer una gira europea en otoño.

-¿Cual fue su experiencia en Dunk!Festival ?

Dunk!Festival fue sin duda el punto culminante de nuestro tour Europeo de primavera en 2013, fue una experiencia maravillosa, personalmente pienso que es el mejor festival en que he estado, buen ambiente, buen line-up y una gran organización.

¿Proyectos paralelos ?

Tengo un proyecto ambient/drone llamado Modern Ghosts of the Road, el cual básicamente son soundscapes y cuando sea que me agrade toco en vivo, y Liviu (nuestro bajista) esta en una banda de grunge/metal llamada C.O.D. también en Bucarest.

-Algo mas que quieras agregar ?

Gracias por esta entrevista!

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