Spawn, Repel fanzine & records, True Blue, Reaper Records. These names should ring a bell. They’re all linked to one person, Patrick Kitzel. You know the man. Let’s not waste any more space with silly introductions like this and let’s get straight to the conversation I had with him in October 2007. Sit down comfortably, it’s a lengthy one… A reprint of the interview in Some Will Never Know #1 (a slightly updated version of the version I posted on Asice.net before)
So let’s start at the beginning. You were born in Germany right? How was it growing up in Germany?
I was born and raised in Essen, Germany in 1977. It’s a beautiful city with lots of history. Growing up in Germany? Hmmm, I dunno man. I guess I grew up in a working class environment. We lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with 4 people and a parrot – up until I was 11 or 12 and then my parents bought a house and we moved out of the city into the suburbs. Not much too report other than that. I guess I grew up like many other kids. Playing outside every free minute, wrestling around with other kids over playground beef, haha… it’s strange how you lose all your innocence the older you get. I watch my godson grow up and it’s nice to see how innocent kids are. They don’t have a care in the world….
While you were growing up, did “the war” still influence Germany in any way at that point?
Not really, at least not from what I could tell. Soon after the war, Germany had a big industrial and financial come back. I’d like to think everything went back to normal. It wasn’t until later that I realized that Germany is a lot different from other countries. Like people from Holland, France, Poland or America can say “I AM PROUD TO BE …..” but people wouldn’t say that if they were from Germany. I’m not sure if this makes sense to people, but I guess Germans are thought to use the term PROUD very wisely or you will get lumped in with right wing idiots or “Germany’s well known past”, know what I mean?! I always thought people should take pride in where they come from and what they do because that’s what makes them who they. It has nothing to with being a Nazi or political right oriented person. I guess that’s one of the main things that come to my mind when people ask me if the war still shows its effects on Germany.
It makes sense, no worries. So while you were wrestling around with other kids what was the first music a kid in Germany was exposed to?
Good American rock ‘n roll. Elvis Presley was the very first music I heard. My mom had this “best of” type record and played it one day. I must have been 5 or 6 and it stuck. To this day it’s my favorite type music, next to hardcore of course… Sorry, no German VOLKSMUSIK.
“My dad, still to this day, says I’ve wish i’ve never gotten you that damn skateboard”
Thank god! Somehow, someday you did get in touch with hardcore? What went wrong dude?
I don’t know man. All I know is that my dad, still to this day, says “I wish I’ve never gotten you that damn skateboard.” hahaha
So it all started out with a skateboard?
Yeah I guess that’s where everything went wrong, hahaha. At school I would meet other kids that were into skateboarding and that’s how the stone got rolling. Next thing I knew, I saw this kid in my class show up with a home-made Youth Of Today shirt on with the Can’t Close My Eyes cover kinda xeroxed on it. He made me a tape and that’s basically how I got into straight edge hardcore. Actually, I was already listening to a bunch of stuff like Dead Kennedys, Slime, Black Flag, Minor Threat and Bad Brains, but it was more background music in a sense. Tapes were passed around and dubbed, but you had no idea really who was who since most of the time the tapes had no labels or anything… but that day in 1990, everything changed when I saw the kid with the YOT shirt. From then on I’d go and find records wherever I could. I found stuff at POWER, a local record store that carried mostly mainstream stuff, but also had CD’s and vinyl of different punk and hardcore bands. There was this other great independent store called RockStore that had tons of great vinyl and also sold presale tickets to the bigger hardcore shows in the area. Most importantly there was a mail-order called Funhouse, which later turned into Frontline, out of Hannover Germany, which still exists as a hipster, Fashion Clothing Store / Mail-order Catalogue. It was from there that I got the BOLD and Judge LP, the first Suicidal Tendencies LP (which by the way I still remember to this day, the description it had next to the ST LP.. “If you wanna show your kid what real hardcore sounds like, buy this record”! hahaha.) So yeah, Funhouse was the most crucial mailorder at the time and I bought countless 7”s, LPs and even T-shirts from them.
You said you were already listening to bands like Black Flag & the Bad Brains before things really started to get rolling. You must have been pretty young back then? How did you get in touch with those bands?
I was twelve or thirteen at the time. I got into it mostly through skateboarding. Older kids would have tape players at the local skate spots and would be playing Black Flag, Misfits, tons of German punk stuff, a lot of Bad Brains, etc. When I said things really started to get rolling, what I meant was that the music went from being loud background noise to a way of life. Once I started reading lyrics of certain bands I would realize that this wasn’t just noise. People sang about things such as politics, drug free living, being yourself, god, vegetarianism, etc. It was life changing…
I can totally relate, a whole new world opens up to you. Do you have any favorite lyrics? Like a song or a couple of lines that made the most impact on you?
Youth Of Today’s “No More” definitely made me go vegetarian. In the “We’re Not In This Alone” LP it had a couple book suggestions so I went and ordered the books at the local book store. One of them was Peter Singers “Animal Liberation”. After that, I turned vegetarian. They also got me into straight edge along with the Minor Threat lyrics. Another band that had great impact on me lyrically was and still is the Bad Brains. Songs like “We Will Not” are true inspiration and lines like, “We read the bible and see your 666 And now we’ll never have to deal with no more tricks. We will not do what they want or do what they say.” Or when it says in Coptic Times “Leaving this place won’t be no big disgrace, let loose those lies and hold onto your faith.” Those are simple, but very effective words entirely full with truth. PMA, man, that’s what it’s all about… of course there are plenty of other lyrics that had an impact, but those were definitely some key ones in my life… I remember the first time I read Cro-Mags lyrics I was like, ”Wow! This is like some sort of horror movie compared to what YOT or Uniform Choice sang about.” I was hooked.
Talking about the bible and faith, what are your beliefs? If you are religious that is?
I am not religious, I am not following a religion. Religion is manmade and as so many manmade things it’s not used for good, but for bad. I am trusting in the “lamb” that is a “lion”…
Ok, I totally agree with the first part but I don’t know if I’m following the latter part? Are you saying you do believe in a god, but just don’t follow/support a religion?
Yes, I do believe in God. You are right, but I don’t follow any type of organized religion and neither do I support it.
Ok, perfectly clear. Back to those influences. What singers did influence you as a singer yourself? Any of those bands you mentioned in the previous answers? Henry Rollins, H.R., Elvis?
I never saw myself as a musician or as a singer. I wanted to be in a hardcore band because it’s what I love. I wanted to scream about things that mattered to me and that’s all. It seems like nowadays kids get into bands and have this plan of getting big and famous. All I ever wanted was to say what I had to say and travel to play with other bands and see my friends. I didn’t try to be anyone but myself. People like HR & John Joseph definitely inspired the way I was on stage, but as far as my singing “style” goes, I don’t think anyone influenced me. I just grabbed the mic and let my brain do what it did. Hahahaha. Some people liked it, some didn’t… Life is tough.
What was the first band you did and how did you get together?
The first band I ever did was a band with Peter from Crucial Response Records. It was called Edgewood and the idea never left his stinking Golf (type of car by VW) hahaha.
Hahaha, right. So what was the first band that you actually managed to do a rehearsal with?
That was Spawn if I remember correctly.
You started playing together with René Natzel (now drumming for World Collapse) in that band right, how do you look back on those times?
I have a lot of mixed feeling about those days. It was definitely a great time. Spawn accomplished a lot of things on many levels and I am not afraid to say that Spawn as a band and the band members as individuals were an important factor in creating the scene that a lot of kids call their home now. Spawn was a part of my life from 1993 to 1997. I was 16 when I met them and I was 20 when the band broke up. It was a great time growing up with those dudes and the lessons I learned stuck with me…
“Living the American dream so to speak is not just a phrase as long as you work hard”
You’re saying mixed feelings, but you only mention positive stuff?
I just rather talk about the positive things than the negative ones. People let other people down and betray what they once held dearly. I am not their judge. I am just one of the people that had to witness ugliness at times when I would have rather seen something more positive…but that’s all in the past.
Ok, PMA. Good. You also said that Spawn was an important factor in creating the hardcore scene as we know it now. In what way? Like fixing venues as Black Flag did on their first tours, drawing people in or giving the right example or something? Can you elaborate on that?
I believe that Spawn opened the doors for a lot of bands. We were the first European underground hardcore band to go to the USA on tour. Also, the first to be on a US label. Spawn and Feeding The Fire were definitely the two bands out of Europe that really got the stone rolling, man. I am not saying there weren’t other people spread across Europe doing what we were doing, but I do believe that Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium were the three most important countries in European hardcore back then. After that people got active everywhere.
Must have been exciting times. What’s the best memory you have from those days?
Lots of laughter. We used to goof around a lot. Just being young and stupid you know!?! All the road trips were a blast. People that we met along the way, friendships that are still going strong after all those years and separated by great distance.
You just talked about Spawn being the first European hardcore band to go to the USA. Let’s talk about European hardcore. What bands do you love? You must know quite some bands from those times and I think you still keep up what’s happening around here. So, tell me.
As for old school: Larm, Skeezicks, Charley’s War, 7” Boots, Jingo De Lunch, Spermbirds, Profound & Manliftingbanner, Spirit Of Youth demo, Statement, Inferno, Daily Terror, Slime… to name a few… New school: Rise And Fall, Born From Pain, Said And Done, Justice (Escapades fucking rocks), World Collapse, Cheap Thrills… so many bands man…
Are there a lot of differences between the European and the American hardcore scene? Or are they pretty much the same?
In a way it’s all the same, at least on the surface. I think European kids are too focused on what’s going on over here sometimes. But then again it has always been like that as far as youth cultures kind of redoing what kids have done over here. No matter if it was the Fifties, Sixties, and all the way until now. Not sure why that is, but all I know is that Europe has some really awesome bands going on right now. Definitely, a lot more than just a few years back. Rise & Fall makes me wanna kill people during their live set. Definitely one of the main differences is that things over here seem to be more short lived. Trends come and go, Europe always seemed to be a little more steadfast when it came down to that, but then again with kids being so focused on copying what’s cool that’s all subject to change.
So what’s the current trend over there at the moment? Just making sure we pick up on it as soon as possible.
Hahaha. What about your current playlist? Any surprises?
Hmmm… This might not be so surprise to people who know me a little bit but I love vocal girl group groups from the Fifties, like The Shirrelles, The Bobbettes, The Chantels, The Chordettes, Rosie & The Originals, The Shangri-las. I am also a big fan of Sam Cooke as well as countless others from the mid-Fifties to early Sixties. Elvis has been dead for 30 years now and so many people often still say that “he has left the building”… well he hasn’t. His impact is felt on a daily base and even though he might not have been writing his own songs, he did open the door in the long run for what became rock ‘n roll and then punk and in the end hardcore. I also listen to Billy Bragg (who fucking rules), Editors, Interpol, Weeping Willows, Morrissey, lots of old school reggae and old ska stuff, (I love the Specials), some oi!.. Infa Riot etc. As well as countless great hardcore bands such as Trapped Under Ice, Violation, Mindpiece, Iron age, Black SS, Forfeit, Terror, Crowns Of Kings, Bitter End, Rise And Fall (who fucking rule live), Down Again, Vendetta (my friend Nick put them out on his label, New View), World Collapse, Justice and a 1000 others… Trapped Under Ice is def the best band in hardcore right now. fucking love that band. Ryan Adams “easy tiger” is another record i cant listen enough to. The Icemen as usual. lots of old school rocksteady stuff…
Back to the past. You also did run a fanzine called Repel some years ago?
That must have been 1993 if I remember correctly. I always loved zines. Back in the day it was pretty much what the internet is now. You would read news, hear about new bands, see pictures, see ads, the whole deal. I wanted to do something to contribute to the local hardcore scene and that’s pretty much how it started out.
Ever had the urge to do a fanzine again?
Yeah and I have. I started Last Absolution back in 99 or 2000 when I was still in Germany. At first it was a two sided newsletter that was inspired by my friend Pat Federlis’ newsletter, FEAR NO LOVE, from Switzerland. The newsletter turned into a zine once I moved to the USA. The first issue had interviews with Final Word, Terror and a cool The Promise tour report. The last issue was more of a photozine… I definitely never stopped doing them and a new issue is in the works… as a matter of fact I am working on interviews as we speak…
Cool. Looking forward to that new issue. Want to drop some names we can expect in that issue already?
Probably Rise And Fall, Trapped Under Ice, Violation, and some more plus an interview with one of my all time favorite NYHC bands…
Thank god! Somehow, someday you did get in touch with hardcore? What went wrong dude?
Looks interesting. You don’t have to tell me which band it’s going to be. Just tell me your favorite NYHC bands…
Bad Brains (if you wanna call em NYC instead of DC), Cro-Mags, The Icemen, Straight Ahead, Side By Side, Alone In A Crowd, Judge, Rest In Pieces, Merauder, Carnivore, just to name a few. Oh and of course Agnostic Front and Absolution, fuck there are too many to name…
Shit, still don’t know which band it’s going to be haha. Anyway, back to Repel. It also was a label, what releases did you do? I love the booklet that came along with the “Return To Heaven” tape compilation. Any favorites yourself?
I believe the first two releases on Repel Records were 2 tape comps with European hardcore bands. After that we put out the Iron Skull demo, the Damage ID demo, Return To Heaven compilation, Discord, True Blue demo, Buried Alive demo, Born From Pain demo and a bunch of others. I loved the Iron Skull demo when it came out, they were all my favorites.
So when did you move to the USA?
In 2001, right after the True Blue US tour.
Why the big move?
I was over Germany, I needed a change of scenery. At the time I felt like I had to separate from a lot of things in my life. I felt like nobody wanted what I wanted. No matter if it was work related, my family, my friends or even when it came down to True Blue. I just felt like it was time to make a cut and start over. It wasn’t because I didn’t love a lot of those things, it was more like that sometimes it’s important to get some sort of distance in between things, to figure out what’s really going on. Spending 24 yrs in one place seemed enough. Next thing I knew, I got married and basically lived at the other end of the world.
“Rene’s mom used to ask me if my tattoos came off…”
Did you meet your wife in the USA? Or did she make the move with you?
You mean my ex-wife? Haha. Yes, she was from the US, but wanted to live in Germany. So she moved there and ended up hating it. We moved back to the USA and decided to stay there.
Oh… damn painful mistake. Sorry dude. If it wasn’t clear enough yet I’m not particularly well informed, it should be now… So how about the USA? How is it to live there?
Pretty damn good. The move brought me trying times, but I definitely feel like it was the right move. The only downside is that all my people from back home are far away and that I can’t just see them whenever I want. So aside from that, life is great here. I am around a lot of great people. Overall I must say that I prefer living here compared to living in Europe. It’s a lot easier to have your own business here. My dad has a small construction business in Germany and its pathetic how hard the government makes it to have your own business. Over here it’s definitely a lot more supported from the government to be your own boss and I like that aspect of living here a lot. Living the American Dream so to speak is not just a phrase as long as you work hard.
Hehe right. Care to elaborate on that? Anything in particular you really like? Or something you really dislike about the USA?
There are a lot of problems such as healthcare, education, racism, etc. I am not a very political person, but the problems are easy to see and you would like to think that they are easy to fix, but they aren’t. People are dying in Iraq everyday and its pure chaos. It is time for Bush to leave office and let someone fix the mess he made. Apocalypse now man….
You’re kidding. Bush isn’t a great president? Oh well, let’s not go down that road. Let’s talk about Reaper Records. Why the name change? You could have went with Repel?
Repel and was a FANZINE and TAPE label. I copied cassette tapes on my stereo, made covers and sold them at shows. I stopped soon after the True Blue demo came out in 1998. People started letting go of tapes and it became a dead format. Reaper Records started as a one 7″ deal for AWOL, a local Syracuse straight edge band that I really wanted to put out. It was never meant to be the full time label it became. Anyway to answer your question, they are 2 different labels, so that’s why there are 2 different names…
A dead format? What about bands putting out demotapes?
What I meant is that not many people are using tapes in 2007… and at the end of the Nineties, less and less people used them. People started making demos on CD-R’s etc…
I did understand, just teasing. I love tapes myself. Anyway, you said full time. So Reaper Record is a full-time job? Does it generate enough money to pay the rent? Or are you stuck to shitty side jobs?
When I say full time it means that it takes up a lot of time. Reaper Records doesn’t pay any of my personal bills at all, but it does pay for a bunch of the Reaper bills. There are still plenty of personal funds that go into each project, but we are happy to sell enough records to keep making money to put out the next release. Aside from that I got a great job here that pays my bills. No shitty side jobs needed, thank god. When I first moved here I unloaded furniture trucks at the mall but that’s part of the past and I am very thankful for that. Hauling big ass furniture around at –20 degrees in the winter time outdoors is not exactly fun. Usually I work 50 hours a week at my full time job and then spent my 2 day offs plus plenty of hours before and after work doing Reaper stuff. So in a way it’s like working 2 full time jobs…
And then you also have to answer these endless questions… Hard work dude! I feel for you haha. So what’s the other, non-shitty, job you’re doing?
I work for Halo tattoo in Syracuse NY. www.halotattoo.com. One of my best friends DJ ROSE (Cabal, Shame of Cain, Path Of Resistance) owns it. Soon after I moved to the States he offered me a job as a manager. He knew I had skills as far as running a business goes and that I was a responsible person. So he put me in charge of everything. Five years later I have 15 people working for me and a total of three tattoo shops that I have to keep an eye on. Part of my job there is do the book keeping, advertising, handle all of our employees, which includes handling their paychecks etc, customer relations etc.
Sounds like a cool job indeed. You have some tattoos yourself as well, want to tell something about them?
Not much to tell, they look pretty (some more than others hahahaa).
Hahaha okay, so no interesting background stories behind them you want to share? Like your first tattoo or something?
My first tattoo was a straight edge tattoo on my leg. I got it a few weeks before I turned 18 in 1995. at that time I had already been straight edge for a couple years and it seemed like the right idea. Most tattoos I have are hardcore related or just kinda markers of my live. Rene’s mom used to ask me if they come off. I think about that all the time. Funny how time flies…
Can you do tattoos yourself? As in, did you ever tattoo someone?
I tattooed a bunch of people. It’s fun. But I am not an artist and have no skill when it comes to art / drawing. So I’ll leave it up to others…by the way, check out LIFETIME TATTOO in Duisburg, Germany. My man Icepick owns the shop. Great work. Great people.
Ok. back to Reaper, after that first AWOL 7”, the next release was the Terror 7”. I guess that really took the label to the next level?
Yeah it definitely helped to put the name on the map. Scott and I have been friends for 13 years and always worked together in one way or another. I used to tour manage Despair who were also on my tape comps. I released the Buried Alive demo tape and also printed their very first shirt design. So on a personal as well as a scene level we were always really close. So when Terror wanted to put the demo on vinyl, they thought of me. They liked what I did with Reaper and wanted to be part of it. Same goes for the Rhythm Amongst The Chaos EP we did put out.
Let’s skip forward a bit, to the World Collapse MCD. I read you already sold out on the first press so I guess it’s safe to say the release is doing well. What I’m wondering though, is it doing well outside the hardcore scene as well? Since some of those songs could very well appeal to ‘other audiences’ as well?
To be honest I think the entire first press was bought by people that are definitely traced back to the hardcore scene. You are right though by saying that music could appeal to all kinds of music listeners. And I am sure that the World Collapse made their mark already outside of the hardcore scene as well…
“The Masterkiller re-release is very special to me and I only wish Sob would be still alive to see it himself…”
Yeah I expected as much, but you never know. Are you going to try to reach out to those people with the second press? Or are you just putting it out there and seeing what happens?
We are trying to reach people that dig the World Collapse sound. Everybody involved is doing what they can to push the band to its limit and do as much as possible.
Ok, perfectly clear. What’s up with the World Collapse 3 x 7″ boxset ? What’s up with World Collapse anyway? Can you give us an update?
My apologies to all the peeps out there that have been waiting on the World Collapse vinyl. The band is not doing anything at this point so we put the vinyl version on ice for a minute. No doubt that it will come out sooner or later but for now we’re gonna push the more active stuff until World Collapse gets back on their feet.
People seem to react very strongly to World Collapse. Either they hate it or they love it. Nothing in between. But even taking that in consideration I’ve read some pretty extreme stuff about World Collapse though (think I’ve read it on a German message board). Some people accused them of being racists?? Not that I believe a single word of it, but maybe you want to speak out about it. I mean, the Deutschland ‘image’ is a bit over the top maybe, but come on… Care to comment on that, what you think of that?
People are evil and they will attack what they don’t understand. World Collapse is a band with a multicultural background. Rene and Frank are both half black. Rene’s mom’s family is from South America. The rumors are nothing less but absurd. WC as a band are trying to communicate not just through their music but also via their appearance, layouts etc… The sole reason for them to do what they do with the whole “Germany” thing is because that’s where they are from. Its where they grew up. To them it has nothing to do with nationalism but more with a cultural type bond/message. I suppose the people that set rumors like that into this world are not to be taken too seriously, since it’s all nonsense. But still I want to get the point across that people should not just blindly follow other peoples’ opinions, but rather they should think for themselves. I am not naïve, I know people would rather drag other people’s names through the dirt than actually do positive things with their time, and that’s fine. People like myself have always stood up against racism in public. No matter if it was at shows or on the streets, outside of hardcore. It disgusts me how all these morons sit behind their computers hiding behind their monitors and get away with spreading lies. But that’s not just a problem WC are facing. I wish people would be more upstanding in their actions and stop being cowards and liars for there is no glory in such behavior. If you have a question, ask the band or myself directly…
You just re-released the Merauder “Masterkiller” LP. Sob was a friend of you right? Must have been a special release for you?
Rene and I met SOB in early 1995 when they came over for the first time. We did an interview for REPEL #2 or #3 with him and kept in touch then after. True Blue did a small tour with Merauder a while back. It was only like 4 or 5 shows, nothing major but needless to say it was a blast. SOB was definitely a one of a kind person. He always something funny to say, great taste in music.. fucking hilarious to be around. I remember the day “Masterkiller” came out we were sitting in Rene’s old room at his parents’ house being blown away by the record. It was the perfect mix between metallic riffs pumped up with hardcore attitude. With the re-release I really wanted to try and capture the band’s attitude and mentality. From the cover to the collage on the inside. That’s what Merauder is all about. The record is a true “masterkiller”! So yes, it’s very special to me and I only wish that SOB would be still alive to see it himself…
… I can imagine… Up next is the Cro Mags “Alpha Omega” LP re-release. Something I’m really looking forward to, but how did that come together?
I always loved Alpha Omega. I thought it was a great record, great heavy riffs and awesome sound. I just love it. While working with Century Media for the Merauder Reissues I asked them if I could do Alpha Omega and they said sure. Then I contacted the band to see if they were interested in the idea of me re-releasing it and after they gave me the green light it was go… we are working on the cover art right now and gathering stuff for the rest of the layout. If everything goes well it will be out in late November…
It’s a great record for sure. Curious to see what you’re going to do with it. Any other re-issues coming up?
Reaper will definitely keep doing re-issues as well as discographies. As I said before Reaper documents hardcore history and that’s all part of it. We got 2 or 3 other discographies / re-issues planned but I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag quite yet. Another reissue will be of one of my all the time favorite bands from upstate NY: SLUGFEST! layout is gonna be awesome and it will have lots of unheard material on it.
Hmmm, sounds like a lot of big plans! Aside from the “coming soon” list and those reissues/discographies… Any other releases you’re working on?
We just did a 7” with Forfeit from Syracuse NY, great band with good people in. And ofcourse we released a 7”/MCD for Trapped Under Ice, a band from Baltimore, Maryland, they will blow your mind. More stuff is planned. Maximum Penalty is gonna release a brand new EP on Reaper. I am exited for that….
Maximum Penalty. Amazing! I have a Trapped Under Ice demo 7” right here. Good stuff. Light The Fuse distro carries that stuff over here (take notes people). Anyway, it’s cool to see you’re putting out “big” bands and at the same time give newer bands a chance. Is that important to you, to give “smaller” or newer bands, whatever you want to call them, a chance?
The way I see Reaper Records is as a platform to document hardcore history. And that means we are doing stuff with big bands, small bands, broken up bands, fictional bands, as long as it’s hardcore we will do it. We serve this scene as a tool. Reaper is being run as professional as possible as far as work ethic goes, but by no means are we trying to “sign” the hippest bands just to make sure we sell tons of records. We are not looking for the next big thing. What we are looking for is the next release that will stand out as something unique and real. If you look at our bigger releases such as Merauder and Terror, etc. it’s the friendships with the people in the bands that make us want to put them out not their size. Anyway, in the end it’s the new bands that keep getting new people into this scene. So yes, it’s more than important… it’s what keeps pumping the blood through this scene…
Totally true. New blood is important. If you could re-release ANY record that’s ever been put out, which one would you pick? And more importantly, why?
I don’t know man. I would really like to do some old school German stuff. Like Skeezicks, Tu Do Hospital, Jingo De Lunch, Charley’s War, 7inch Boots etc.
“We didn’t try to be anyone else but ourselves and we didn’t try to copy anyone or anything…”
What about the True Blue discography by the way? It did fell of the “coming soon” list. It’s still happening right? What’s the hold up?
The coming soon list is for releases that are coming out this year. The TB discography got bumped to 2009. No worries, it’s coming out…
Good to hear. Will it include those demo recordings (for the LP that never happened)? Anything else you want to give away about it already?
To be honest, we haven’t figured it all quite out yet. Rene and I are playing around with a couple different ideas and hopefully by the end of the year we’ll have the game plan all set. All I can say at the moment is that it’s gonna have a bunch of surprises to offer for sure.
Sounds good, we’ll see. First up is the demo though, this time re-pressed on a 7”. Anything special happening with that?
It’s going to have the demo remastered along with a new layout etc… I am pretty excited to get this out.
While we’re on the subject of True Blue… If you have to tell someone about True Blue, what would YOU tell them?
That I am really sorry that they didn’t care when the band actually was a band.
That’s going to be hard to sell to a new kid (like myself) that wasn’t around back then, don’t you think?
I am sorry, I guess that wasn’t the right answer to the question. It just seems like a lot of people used to not like us because we weren’t part of the youth crew revival trend that was so dominant back in the late Nineties. And now I see all these faces popping up praising us when I know that they definitely weren’t on our side when things were happening. People are pathetic. But to answer your question. I guess I would tell people that we were five individuals that played the music that they grew up on. We didn’t try to be anyone else but ourselves and we didn’t try to copy anyone or anything. What we wanted the band to be was about being yourself. Hardcore was invented, so to speak, by people that thought outside the box. Nobody got props for copying the band next to you. You got props for coming up with new things, for being who you are. Bands like World Collapse take what they grew up on, put their current influences in the mix, shake it up, and combine that with the people who they are and the end result is what you have now. Love it or hate it it’s unique and real and that’s what hardcore is. Being yourself….
As for the first part… The well known sheep mentality. Oh boy. Just think of all those famous painters that got really big after their deaths as well man. Maybe not the best comparison out there, but you know what I’m aiming at. Does it frustrate you?
Yes it does. Because Rene and I poured our heart and soul into the band and didn’t receive much of a thank you at the time. Not that we did the band for anyone else but ourselves but still it’s pretty disturbing to do a band and try to show people what real hardcore is… Namely being yourself and doing something from your heart. I can’t stress enough that True Blue was not some sort of concept band unlike so many others around that time. We weren’t running around sucking Ray Cappo and co’s dicks like so many in that time seemed to do. It was the opposite, we despised that whole form or hardcore. The so called “youth crew revival” to us it was nothing but a clique of retards that are just following the next trend. Don’t get me wrong please. I am not trying to diss people like Big from Mainstrike who were always into that style because that’s their deal. But more so all the followers that are just like you say, just sheep, following blindly. To get back to your question. I guess overall I could care less, but it is frustrating to see how people seem to think so highly of True Blue while back then it seemed like dudes were hating on it because it didn’t fit in. The funny thing is that we always sold a ton of merch and the record was Crucial Response’s best selling release to this day, but people wouldn’t admit liking it because it wasn’t what was hip and cool at the time. All good, the joke’s on you!!!
“We weren’t running around sucking Ray Cappo and co’s dick like so many people in that time seemed to do”
When I interviewed René some time ago (about World Collapse) he told me about Retaliation, the band he’s doing with you now. Can you give an update on the band? What’s happening? Or what’s not happening?
You are right. It’s not happening at the moment. Rene and Frank live in Germany. Buske and myself live in the States. We tracked a couple songs a while back. The next time around we gotta put some vocals on those songs and figure it out from there. Everybody is just slammed with work and their own projects, such as World Collapse, Terror, Reaper Records. As I said so far we have about five songs written and did some sort of demo recording to make sure we don’t lose the ideas. Here are some song title though, “False Prophets”, “Death By My Side”, and “RSMNYCB” among others…
That’s a shame. Was curious to hear those songs. Any chance of a demo to be put online or something?
Or a tape ? Oh wait… no tapes…
We are just doing our thing. Something might happen in the next couple months or maybe not for another year or two. Who knows. We are definitely not gonna put anything up until we got a real recording all set… Patience my friend… patience…
Patience, you’re talking to the wrong person here… But I guess that’s it. I’m out of questions. Thanks a lot for going through them with me. Time for the usual last words, hit it!
Thanks so much for doing the interview. I heard somewhere recently that that “it takes a big man to realize how small he is” and it makes me think about life a lot… it’s a very true statement… so those would be my last words!
Go check out www.reaper-records.com and please stop stealing music. If you like something, go buy it. Support independent music. Ipods are great and all, but you are definitely not HARDCORE if you steal all your music and keep it in a metal box the size of a cell phone. Tons of great Euro labels popping up everywhere…god bless. RDL REPRESENT 2008Back to interviews overview