It took a few years but one of the most notorious vocalists of the Netherlands is back with a new band. Johnny Z talks about his new band Sex Drive as well as looking back on Downslide and Reaching Forward.
After Downslide you haven’t been in a band for quite some years. When did it start to itch once again? Is part of the reason that Sex Drive happened the fact that Mordax fell through?
Actually, after Downslide ended I wanted to start a punkband in the old Dangerhouse tradition. I jammed a couple of times with friends but nothing really worked out. Two years ago I came up with the idea to start another fast hardcore band with Daan & some of my old friends from Reaching Forward. Unfortunatly I had to kick out some of the members before our first practice because they were too busy walking dogs or playing metalcore. Daan was still down so I asked David because I knew he’s into fast and raw material. He brought in Freek and we started jammin’. So yeah, Mordax got me exited to do another band.
Sex Drive is the first non sxe band you’re fronting, do you find yourself writing different lyrcis for this band or does that have more to do with the fact that the music of Sex Drive is different from your former bands?
At first I wanted to try a new angle but when I sat down to write I just came up with the same old stuff so I don’t think the lyrics are really different. Actually, i’m planning a side project called SxE Drive to get rid of some straight edge aggression.
When I see people walking around wearing fur my blood still boils.
Your life has changed a lot since the end of Downslide, you’re a father and teacher now. Are you also less angry with the world or are did you get even more pissed about how things are?
Nothing really changed. There’s a lot to like in this world and there are a lot of ignorant people getting on my nerves. When I see people walking around wearing fur my blood still boils.
While you have some seasoned musicians in the band with David, Daan and Freek, they don’t all have much experience playing the type of fast music that Sex Drive plays. Was it hard for Daan and Freek to pick up the pace and was it the intention from the start to take the band in this musical direction?
Well, in the beginning I wanted to start a artsy punkband mixed with KBD stuff like the mighty Die Kreuzen.. that’s why I brought a sampler to our first show and we had some Flipper and Butthole Surfers in out mix. But soon we focused on the fast parts, something we could all relate to. Daan had some trouble keeping up but he’s going to the gym now so i’m not really worried about that.
Sex Drive debuted on RnR Fest, opened up for The Men and is playing its first show on Belgian soil at the Rise And Fall record release show. Are you guys picky on which shows to play or are these just the shows you were offered?
I don’t really care. We’re planning on doing 12 live actions every year but if you have 5 tientjes, a small stage and a decent line-up I do not see a problem.
At the Frankie Deny Birthday Bash you told me the Sex Drive 7″ was the best debut ep of every band you’ve ever done. Why is this ep so much better than ‘Pride Is Everlasting’ by RxF or ‘ Nowhere To Hide’ by Downslide?
Actually, in general I’m a giant lover of first 7″s because they usually are more primitive and angry. Let’s see how it works out for this band. We’re not planning on slowing down or polishing up our sound. I do not really like most of the songs on the first Downslide record and hate the lyrics for that Reaching Forward 7″. This time I think we got it right!
Looking back we should’ve taken some more time getting everything right. Still, I’m proud of the other stuff we did and we had a great time.
In retrospect I always wondered didn’t you start Downslide just a bit too fast after the ending of Reaching Forward?
I don’t know. I was hanging out a lot with Daan talking about hardcore so it felt natural to start a new band together. We had trouble finding the right guitarist so different people wrote some of those early songs. Looking back we should’ve taken some more time getting everything right. Still, I’m proud of the other stuff we did and we had a great time. There were a lot of crazy shows and many great bands around like Dead Stop, Restless Youth, Justice & Abusive Action! It just sucks our edge turned out to be a ‘lik me lul’ edge.
What are your plans with Sex Drive besides releasing the ep, are you planning to get to tour Europe?
We don’t have any plans right now exept for doing more live actions and write some new songs.
The Reaching Forward reunion show is happening soon. Who took the initiave to do it and did you all agreed without a thought? Have you rehearsed already and how did that go?
We’re doing two rehearsals next week. Artur asked us to play a reunion show to raise some money for a good cause. Last year his girlfriend died of cancer and because she was’t insured the family could’t affort a grave stone. So some old friends are joining forces to raise some money. There’ll be a cd for sale with some unreleased material of all the bands playing. I hope there will be a lot of people to support the cause.Back to interviews overview