martedì 29 gennaio 2013

SKITSYSTEM interview 2005

I don’t think these guys need any introduction, their metallic and downtuned HC is already an institution of swedish crustcore…Interview conducted via email with guitarist/ singer Alex on sept. ’05.

Perro: Let's go straight to the origin of the band: how does it happen that, back in 1994, four metalheads decided to start a d-beat hardcore band?
Alex: Well, Tompa and Adrian played with At The Gates who did some gigs playing just hc songs. They liked it so much so they wanted to start a d-beat band. Wallenberg who was their friend joined them. Then they asked me, at that time I played in a punk band called Non Fortes Sed Crudeles so the step wasn't as big for me as for them. We all loved d-beat hardcore so hell, why not!

Perro: Your death metal background is pretty evident in Skitsystem music and has always given a distinct sound to your music. Was this something you planned or you just ended sounding in that way?
Alex: I don't think that was planned, it was Wallenberg and Tompa who did the song writing on our first 7" and 10" (I joined them later). They probably wrote what they liked, and since they were both into Death Metal they probably added some of that style into the music.

Perro: I've tried to play some 45 rpm eps of some modern swedish metallic d-beat bands at 33 rpm and they sounded exactly like early Entomebed or Dismember stuff. Do you think that there's a sort of connection between early 90s' death metal and modern crust going on Sweden?
Alex: I'm not sure. I think that modern crust in Sweden is more influenced by bands like Anti Cimex and stuff like that then being influenced by Death Metal.

Perro: You used to share two members of the mighty At The Gates. Have you ever been considered just an ATG side project? Do you think that your connection with that band helped in any way to increase your popularity?
Alex: Well, it was a side project from the beginning, I had my bands NFSC and Straight Edge My Ass and Tompa and Adrian had ATG. I don't know if the fame of ATG has helped us that much. In some way certainly, but just because your into Death Metal doesn't mean you like Crust. In most cases not.
Perro: In your early days you named it System Collapse. Is Skitsystem simply a Swedish translation of that name? Why have you decided to call it in that way?
Alex: Skitsystem means Shit System. It was to many bands whos name reminded of System Collapse. War Collapse as one example. It was then Bodenmalm at Distortion Records who came up with the name when we wanted to change the name.
Perro: Recently Tompa left the band. Why he has taken that decision? Which effects has his departure on the band? Who has replaced him? Is your sound changed after that?
Alex: Tompa had too many projects going on. Disfear, The Great Deciver to name a few. We replaced him on guitar with Micke from Martyr Död. I replaced Tompa on Vocals. Tompa just wrote one song on our last album, me and Wallenberg did the rest. So the sound hasn't changed very much just because Tompa left the band. My vocals will be different though.
Perro: I've heard rumors of a new full length that will be released at the end of the year. Could we have some anticipations?
Alex: Yes, we are going to record a new album in October this year.
Perro: All your last stuff has been recorded at the Soundlab studios with Miezsko Talarzyk (Nasum) behind the soundboard, that unfortunately passed away recently during the Tsunami disaster. Do you think that without him your sound won't be the same?
Alex: Miezsko had a big influence on a lot of good bands sound. So our sound will defently change. But we are going back to the same studio (Studio Fredman) where we recorded our first 7" and the 10".
Perro: Your early stuff was released on Distortion Records, a label that has the ambiguous fame of not being totally honest. Did you have some troubles during that collaboration?
Alex: No comments.

Perro: I've noticed that on your website there's almost all your discography on mp3 free to download. A totally cool and punk thing that only few bands decided to do 'till now…
Alex: We had all of our songs to download already in 1995/96. I think the world would be a little better place if all artists had their songs for free on the their website to download.

Perro: How much is important the message contained in your lyrics?
Alex: There is a lot of thought behind the lyrics. There is offcourse political stuff, but also alot of personal stuff like in Svarta Tankar (Black Thoughts) that is about the rage you feel when people laughs behind your back.

Perro: You toured North America for a couple of times. How's been these experiences? Any funny/ scary tour story? We want dectails!!!
Alex: The first tour wasn't that well organized. But we had realy fun. The last tour was realy nice. We toured all of America and met a lot of nice people. Stories? Well, one time in Philadelphia we were playing in the bad neighbourhood. Tompa was going to ask a car driver the way to the gas station. The answer he got was a gun to his head. The guy in the car thought that Tompa was in a local gang. And one time we played in a crack area. The police came, and one guy attacked them, so the police realy went hard on him. He had to go to the hospital. When the police had left, a big black guy comes out with a gun in his hand threating that if we make the police come one more time he would use that gune. I have more stories, but that I can tell over a beer or something.

Perro: I know you are planning a euro tour after the release of the new album. I hope to see you on stage down here soon…
Alex: Yes, that would be nice. I've been on tour in Italy with NFSC back in 95. It was a great experience and I realy miss that good wine they had in Foggia.

Perro: Generally talking, Sweden has the fame to be a really socially aware place. But I'm sure you have some fucked up things who don't work at all, too...
Alex: Yeah, there are homeless people even in Sweden. The psychiatric health care doesn't work that well. The booze is to expensive. etc.

Perro: What are, in your opinion, some crucial but underrated records that anyone should own?
Alex: Ancient Chinese Secrete - Caveat Emptor

Perro: Any other projects for the future?
Alex: Just the record, European and Asian tour. That's it.

Perro: It's time to put an end to this interview. Thanx for your time. Feel free to add whatever you want!!!
Alex: Thanx for the Interview and good luck with your local scene in Italy.

mercoledì 23 gennaio 2013

Veneno En Sus Flechas

I've been a Glam fan since their debut "s/t" ep came out three years ago, so I was pretty excited to finally hear their way too much delayed debut on the big format, the "Veneno En Sus Flechas" lp. Courtesy of La Vida Es Un Mus again, of course. I must admit that I'm not too much a fan of everything that came out of Spain in the last 5 years or so. But there's no doubt that Glam is, along with Sudor, one of the most interesting out of that scene and definitely my favourite of the bunch. And this lp just confirms how great they are! No frills or bullshit here, just solid hardcore the way it should be played: straight forward, intense and direct to the point. And it proves again that you can do something equally interesting, powerful and intense without sounding like a clone of this or that yankee 80s' band.
So if you're not familiar with them, please don't let the cover/insert fool ya, this ain't no crappy mysterious guy bullshit!! It takes equal influences from those Stoke-On-Trent lads as well as from their own country golden era most well known names. Sometimes they even remind me a bit colombian classic band Bastardos Sin Nombre with a better and more modern recording. A future classic for sure.

martedì 15 gennaio 2013

Ääretön Joulu

My infatuation for finnish hardcore started about 15 years ago when I got a tape full of finnish classics from tape trading with a guy outta sweden. Of course I still own that tape but thanx Thor during the last decade almost the entire 80s' finnish hc catalogue has been repressed in a way or another. And Svart records outta Finland has been responsible for tons of cool represses lately. Seriously, in only 4 years of existence they've been able to release something close to 200 records!! Quite impressive, I'd dare to say.
Anyhow, back to that tape. One of the bands that impressed me a lot was Terveet Kädet. I had their first three eps recorded one after the other and I simply kept playing them continuously. While the first two had a rougher sound, it's their third ep "Ääretön Joulu" the one that, thanx to a slightly better production, in my opinion captured their intensity perfectly. Also, along with the "s/t" and "The Horse" full lengths, it has one of their most iconic artwork.
For the 30th anniversary of Terveet Kädet "Ääretön Joulu" release, they've done things in the big way at the Svart Records HQ. Gatefold cover, 12 pages booklet with tons of pics, reviews and articles about the band. Too bad it's all in their native language. An english translation would've been more than welcome!! I've been able to get a copy on piss & shit splatter vinyl which is a nice addition to the already cool package.
But the best additional touch is that, inside the gatefold cover, they've chosen to reprint the original picture the band has used for the cover in its entirety and full-coloured. That led me to an unexpected yet interesting discovery. Judging solely on the original black and white cover, I've thought for years that the hanged guy was simply wearing a pair of gloves. But the picture shows that his hands simply have a more intense pink colour than the rest of his body. I'm quite sure it has something to do with blood circulation and bondage. Damn weirdos.

venerdì 4 gennaio 2013

Disastro Sonoro

The first parcel I got this year (well, technically I bought it in 2012 but thanx to fuckin' xmas postal service has been slower than usual in the last couple of weeks) contained two uberclassic eps from the golden era of italian hc. Here's the first one: Peggio Punx debut ep "disastro sonoro", self-released by the band on their own label Peggio Records back in 1983. Yep, that's exactly 30 years ago! But it still sounds fresh and unique as it always did. Spastic hardcore with super fast riffs and guitars with almost no distortion. They've always reminded me a local version of Dead Kennedys.
Scored this copy for a decent price since back cover is a bit damaged. It looks like some small points had been scratched with sandpaper! But for the rest it's in pristine conditions. Love the fold out sleeve with the strip where you should put the record. But that's just for pics, as all good record nerds should know, it's better to keep the record separated in a more appropriate dust sleeve to preserve the cover.
Fate wanted that tomorrow they'll play at approximately 1 km from my house. Still not sure if I'll go since I've always skipped reunions gigs. But at this point I quite curious to see them 30 years later...