Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Interview

This is an interview with me that is included in Stephanie's (Hysterics) tour diary. I was an asshole to her and kept editing my answers even after it was long printed and sold out. Sorry.

My interview with Hysterics will be in the next issue of MRR.

1)  When and how did you start doing shows in Budapest?

Wow, I looked it up and the first show I booked was in 2007 for a german band called Short Fuse. Back then I was doing one show per year. I didn’t want to spend too much of my parents money on barely attended punk shows. Everything changed when the dude who booked all the sick shows here moved away to live in Canada. Then with another guy we took over the duty of keeping Budapest on the map. The worst part is to deal with the sound guy. Fuck them. I also hate to call strangers on the phone and to depend on other people like club owners, junkie band members, etc. The best part is I can watch some of my favorite bands while they are sleeping around my flat.

2) Favorite Hungarian bands of the last few years?

Rákosi is pretty sick. I like this band called Gross Out they play super violent and groovy sxe hardcore. Youth Violence is raging. I like Piss Crystals because they are my unwanted lil brothers but they fit well my stoned states. Padkarosda has an amazing sound although live they always play a bit too much. Don’t know, one of the reasons I’m in bands is because I don’t find other people play what I want to hear.

3) Why do you think some bands choose to sing in English not Hungarian? What are the advantages/disadvantages to this...is there a difference in crowd reaction?

I have a theory. It used to be when you finally received a record you had to spend time with it. Even if you didn’t like it first, because your channels for learning about new music were limited you were forced to be locked together with a band. In this dependent state it was essential to fully understand the music and enjoy all of its layers. You wanted to learn the lyrics because you thought the absolute of being a fan was to see the band play live and then it was important more than anything to finally have your chance to sing along because this would have been the last element to make the overall connection. Which is: at the same time, singing the same thing, feeling the same. In this process using a mutual code (language of the lyrics) is essential. We who started getting into punk in the pre-file sharing days still think like this, for example I still always read lyrics on bandcamp. But it isn’t only fans who want to make a connection.
As for Hungary it is a small country and there is no language like this anywhere else. All our neighbors could understand some of each other but we are left alone in this Babelian crossroad.  We could only be connected with each other but everybody here hates everybody else while everybody keeps a constant dream of conquering the whole outside world from their little, depressing bedrooms.
In the ‘80s bands who were able to do that, used English only when they wanted to pass censorship of communism. But no one talked English until the end of the ‘00s so every band was singing in Hungarian. Then everybody started singing in English because they thought that is the only way they can make a connection, in other meaning to tour or be recognized. Because they thought no one would listen to a band that uses a secret language they rather used a communal code and it was English language. Also because punx are usually dumb and boring; they tend to think their lyrics sound a bit better in a different language. But since the internet and blogs and all this, listening to music is no longer a secret or an intimate relation with a few very special bands. We no longer spend time with bands, we are rushing through discographies and everybody is in hurry to listen to more music and be the first to know and report about new/newly discovered groups/sounds. Thus we don’t care about the layers of music, about lyrics, about anything anymore and thanks to this oversupply of every band in every genre; dumb and boring punx switched back to Hungarian cause this way it won’t turn out that what they are singing about is bullshit because even if it wasn’t, no one would care either. Also it's less likely for a hungarian to sing along in english with another hungarian. That's a bit pretentious.
I had a lot if inner struggle with deciding which is better to write in hungarian or in english. After my first band I do both. Just as many bands are mixing language in their discography. Just like how Beckett wrote books in French. Unlike how Joseph Conrad and Nabokov wrote books only in English. I like to believe what matters is what you put into your creations. I love books and I usually feel weird when I read translations. Because those books are written by other people not the original author. How do you know if the original author would choose the same exact combination of words in a different language? Still there is a core of the book that will be never lost in translation. This is why I think that even if you use another language if you have something real to say it will come through.
I also like the idea how Japanese bands use English language. Most of them can’t speak English at all still they write their lyrics in English. Just like us who can’t play our instruments but still we are playing music. This makes the voice and the lyrics as well just like an instrument, like the drums.
Is it the end of the content of hardcore punk? I don’t think so. We only lost the time to digest content, but the content is still there. I have written an essay about hardcore being just music but music is a form of communication. Noise is a form just like a letter from the ABC but people behind the noise fills the form with content. If I were unable to understand English I would still get Void and I have to say the way You act on stage is more radical to me than any of the lyrics of any Crimethinc band has ever written.

4) What's your day job?

I work for a company that parallel distributes medicine. We buy medicine that is useless in one country, relabel it and sell it cheaper than the actual price in another country. Not even a year ago I was hired for six months to print out labels. Now I’m the deputy manager of the regulatory department that has no boss so technically I am the boss now (since then I have a boss again!!!). I have to get shit done which is basically the same thing what I do with bands and booking shows. But it’s much easier to work with my colleagues than with unmotivated, drunk, high punx.  
They have no idea about my real life, I lie when they ask about my band shirts, I tell them I just got them in a thrift store. My ex-boss was cool. She was a weirdo who hired all of us who were denied in the job market. She went alone to see Sick Of It All and once borrowed my mp3 player and copied Daydream Nation and the first Agnostic Front 7” to her hard drive because she knew these bands/records. To put it in context even though I have this serious job I make like 1000 dollars a month. But it’s cool because living here is cheap so I can spare like 500 dollars every month.

5) What bands have you been in?

I joined my first band when I was 16. It was called Something Against You. I was the youngest and other members came from bands I have idolized. I have learnt everything from this band. I was also in Ninpulators and Szextank. Now I play in Norms, Diskobra and Zen Fascists. I also wanna start a band where  I write all the music and lyrics. I want it to sound like listening to Oi music while having a bad trip. And lots of romanticism.

6) What do your parents think of you being punk?


My folks are weirdos. When I was young they always took me to nude beaches and camps. I spent my childhood being frightened by the naked bodies of elder, chubby german women. My dad is always disappointed in me because his idea of punk is Sid Vicious in his glory days multiplied by ten. He is a weird man and even though he never says nice things he always buys merch from my bands which is super weird but probably nice too. My mom is cool. She is my role model and she was always supportive in anything I have done. She let me go to different countries when I was 15 to see NOFX. I never lied to her instead I just always kept my word. This way she thought me how to be reliable and free. The only thing she doesn’t like is that I scream. She says it’s not good for my health. They came to my first band’s reunion show. It was touching, a packed room with 200 people, everybody singing along. Right after the show I went straight to them and told my mother without her this all could have never happened. But she has no idea she gave birth to the last hungarian punk.

Friday, November 28, 2014

What you do shouldn't be a secret for me

Yo, december is next week and i've already got assigned to write my YETT for MRR. BUT I don't live there and I never receive amazing tapes/records/cds from all over the world, as for current bands I mostly/only know about the ones from the hip countries, those who are hyped on blogs, bla bla. All the non-usa/spanish/japan/scandinavia bands i like and know are from decades ago. I believe there is more and i want more, i wanna hear about your fucking scene/bands/noise. At least send me stupid links, i don't trust post offices around the end of the year. YES, if you are great i'll write about you in the punk bible! Please!

Monday, November 10, 2014

#379

I have a friend here visiting from SF whom I won’t name. He is really secretive. He used to be in charge of editing the MRR book review section but the moment he stopped to do it he started this struggled to get his name out of the list of contributors and shitworkers. The reason why I like spending time with him is that we can have all these serious, nerdy, embarrassing, awkward conversations about punk. International punk conference is on!
            We sit around and talk about every aspect of punk—joking, naming bands, discussing ideas and approaches and attitudes in punk, sounds, and the way people relate to music—basically everything connected to this world that is held together by band patches. As we get older, it becomes much more fun, because many times if I stop for a second and try to envision myself from the inside, I can do nothing but laugh. Because, after all, like, who gives a fuck? What we do should be secret, otherwise we will be “thrown into the loony bin” for being obsessed with such a lame topic. But having him around is great, especially in these times when everything in my life is great except for punk.
            Not my punk, because it’s stronger than ever. I do feel like I’m the last punk, or the last one I know for sure. But it’s strange how not so long ago I thought the only thing I was good at was doing my punk and now I’m having success in normal, boring life, with promotions and my company’s trust and an increasing salary and a perfect relationship, while I suffered through this year with bands, promoters, clubs, crowds, band members, my own laziness. The other night, we played a show and I had a nervous breakdown in a car (I sounded like Meat Puppets’ In a Car). If my girlfriend Anna hadn’t been there with me to take control and save my ass, some serious shit would have happened. In the end, everything went alright but I’m just done giving blood, sweat, and tears for this thankless job where everybody feels fine and free except me. That’s the only thing that matters for me now—I wanna keep my punk as fun as it can be, not a duty I have to serve. Right now I feel like I’m forced into the role of a fool and I’m blamed for everything no matter what I do.
            My strategy to survive this is not to fade away or give in and go mainstream (= grow up, get fucked). I’m gonna grow a thick skin. My idea is to go more radical in order to be able to play on my own terms. I’m done being that guy who has to be the only one who solves all the bullshit that could spoil us all at any given time. I’m done with it. To live is to be confused, and try to fight against it, but I do want the privilege to be confused a bit too.
            Alright, whining stops here.
            Basically, I’m about to establish my one-man secret society. I do other projects with people but I like my punk these days as I shelter my brain and my hours with noise and nerdy punk thoughts, rather than caring about any of the bullshit others create. I wanna fill every one of my hours with good things. It’s not some new age hippie bullshit but I don’t have time for things that bother me, do something different or shut up. Enough talking about myself. It’s not a diary; it should be a diarrhea of amazing sounds.
            I still get goosebumps when I blast No Trend while heading to work. That band is just another level of evil awesomeness. Their guitars, the powerhouse restrained grooves, that cynical voice of the singer. Of course pre “we are artists” era. Somehow they sucked at doing that. Not sure why, but America is kind of failing at progressing their ideas. As in, they suck in fabricating World Peace and Freedom version #2, they are also bad when bands like Die Kreuzen and Saccharine Trust figure out they should do something more and go far out into experimenting.
            Ruidosa Inmundicia live three hours from my town and it was such a bummer that they had never played here before. They finally did and we had an eventful weekend with them, which was mostly saved by their cool spirit, constant party mode, and the way I was able to get into my meditative state when I shook my head to their crushing sets. Busy minds look around and organize to arise.
            I started buying records on instinct and it does not disappoint. Spinning my newly arrived Shoes This High LP is something like next-level punk heaven. They sound evil and noisy and this totally calms me. New Zealand was already good at creating sounds that are hard to pin on an exact emotion but unlike the dreamy sounds, this band brings on the nightmare chills.
            Speaking of nightmarish sounds, I just received my Fottutissima Pellicceria Elsa LP, a band that follows no rules. Creativity in total chaos, they make space for guitars to play out whatever they want and these mutant jam sessions placed into raging punk songs are amazing. It’s always the best when anger opens a platform for creativity. The live recordings gave an extra flavor to this on the loose sounds, so many layers melting into each other. All in all, it’s just a heartfelt record driven by enthusiasm and not giving a fuck at all. So good. They remind me of United Mutation, in a way. A band that is constant in my life—their sound is something I have to give time to every month, sitting down and rediscovering what was hidden in the complex form. Even their band photos contain this mystical magic of mutant minds—there is something else there that is more than life. It feels as if they have figured out what punk should be, then they made it and disappeared. Their cover art, lyrics and everything are just unbelievable.
            This approach to punk is a total component of the Vixens LP. Girls from nowhereland playing Void-worship blaspheme punk with a cover and package art that blows my mind. Hope they are still a band, and if not, I hope they are working on new projects with the same quality. This is why I love Hysterics, too. One of the few contemporary bands that doesn’t follow the codes and rules that are mistakenly thought to dictate some territories of hardcore punk. I have been sitting on an interview with them for an embarrassingly long time now, but I loved it when they told me how they didn’t know the whole history of hardcore punk and that they just simply started playing this amazing blasting music. ’Cause after all, this subculture is for the freaks who would rather have visions and ideas than a codex written in stone. Stones are good for throwing at cops, but you should write to fanzines punx!
            Ladies are winning me over this month with their extravagant sounds. I got Sida’s 7”. No idea about this band but they are probably from Spain or Japan. The record sleeve tells me no info on this (or I wasn’t looking closely enough). They play repetitive, feverish paranoid music, something that could be Kim Gordon’s revenge on the world; all amps switched on, tuned into the wrong level and just played out at maximum level. Bad trips, evil vibrations, burn your surfboards because even the desert of your mind gets freezing cold at night and you need that extra heat.
            For real, everyone out there, do yourself a favor and spend your useless nights in front of your computers checking out new bands. You’ll realize punk is this bottomless pool of universal anger and creativity. Just because everyone is bored, talking about cool bands or too clueless to know what is the best shit, there are millions of bands whose existence is forgotten, even by their ex-members, who deserve your attention. The more music you listen to the more you will learn about music, and music is a form of communication so music is basically people.
            Ideas.
            I could still spend hours thinking about the idea that our society is fucked because we watch each other too much, thus we are afraid to express our true selves because of the fear of failure. On the other hand, in punk everybody is purposely making mistakes, which will later be recorded, archived, consumed, adored, and collected. This is why punk is the best.
            There was this old punk guy who said you should start to learn to live for the inside. He might have been right, because those who only care about public stunts are empty as fuck. I can appreciate the results of listening to shitloads of music and reading lots of books and keeping these things for myself. It’s not as if I envy my own perfect taste (which is basically developed after reading who says what in this magazine); it’s that to get into things and not give a fuck about other people’s ideas could benefit you. If you build up your own little world, the outside will never tear you down or let you feel embarrassed or awkward. It’s like the Zouo 7”. That thing should never have existed at all, because it makes no sense, as to what the meaning was before they released that 7” in question and yet still there is such a document and it’s just another perfect example of all the marvels this world can produce.
            One night, I had a conversation about the age before everyone was able to learn about anything in seconds and how people then were forced to listen to bands who are now considered ridiculously mediocre, washed out bullshit, but who then sounded interesting because no one knew where they were gaining influence from. One could feel now that one has wasted months or years of one’s life on things that are now laughed at by the youngsters. But for me this is another great thing in punk, because this scene is full with fallen idols. Because it proves that nostalgia is only a great excuse for bad taste and laziness. It’s not about getting stuck in the past but about always learning new things and picking out the best. There were great bands who either broke up early, or turned into total shit, and there were times when we were just listening to terrible music and luckily we have grown out of it. The present is now and if you feel embarrassed by your past that means you are smarter now.
            Also we tend to think that some countries and eras were unable to produce amazing punk bands but for fuck’s sake just do what I have told you: sit on your ass and learn about the nonstop coolness of punk if you are a devoted fan. Most likely the harder times with their obscure bands are much more interesting, because they give you that extra flavor of secret society, with their efforts to go against the grain. That’s a bit self-indulgent, but come on, there has to be some pleasure even for us.
            There is a thing I hate. Hipsters are gone. I thought they were idiots because, for some reason, they felt like they had to adopt everything that seemed cool, and because they were unable to relate to anything but the coolness, they used irony and cynicism to blend in. I hate it when people like a band because that band looked or acted strange. It’s their music that’s supposed to dominate, not the other bullshit. The Clean looked like total office workers and Hoax proved to be more than just a bleeding forehead.
            It’s pretty tiring that, while I think I’m the lamest person, at the same time people around me force me to feel that what’s happening in my surroundings is hip. It is the best thing ever for sure, but it is only so because we know what the worst thing ever is: normal life. What is more normal than to base a subculture on the chase of doing cool things, on worshipping a format over content? I don’t like when these normal life things get mixed with my world.

            But the fun is over, hipsters have grown up and they have become self-proclaimed experts. Everybody is raving about how much they know about everything and how perfect their taste is and they try to see even listening to music as just a set of rules that could be mastered. While again I feel embarrassed and awkward for not saying more, and while their life is just this constant self indulgence, mine is working at feeling like shit less. It’s that “I know the more I learn the less I know” thing. But at least I know that I’m real and that feels good for sure.

#377

This method will make it hard to keep up with what is discussed within these upcoming lines of thoughts transformed into words, but history will treat it right.
So, two months ago in MRR Ratcharge raised an interesting question. Why is the punk punk? Why do we say that he is a punk; why does it need you to be fully committed to listening to non-musical pop music?
            I’m the least qualified person to go into the history of words and phrases. But the fact is not the simple reasoning of saying that punks came before them and that punk music made a perfect match. Punk is the origo of the music and its accompanying cultural world, thus it carries a significant impact on our whole life. Everything was leading into the way of creating this sound and aesthetics; and sometimes it seems as if culture fights with all its power to go back into this fundamental epicentrum of everything. But to swim against the currents is not always easy.
            But punk music is played by punks for punks. It’s not like progressive rock, that is played by assholes and listened by dads in leather vests and ponytail hair. Punk is like girls; this is why girls are punks. There were girls before girl bands, and it’s such a huge thing for some: that the better half of humanity is capable of making noise, and out of shock everyone calls these bands “girl-bands” and their members “girls.”
            These are just words. But words have power. I’m pretty sure I could quote some hip hop artists here, but I only prefer rap songs about body parts. Whatever. Too much knowledge might break up my rhyme.
            So I came to this revelation a few months ago. I was at this radio show as a guest being interviewed by some drunken friend of mine. After work, a three hour train ride, reading through a Balzac novel, a punk show, a drummer’s broken finger, riding bikes after I don’t know how many years, meeting my girlfriend’s grandma, drinking too much in too short a time and smoking weed, I found myself in a small booth in front of a microphone where I was talking too much.
            But I got to a point where I realized people want too much from punk. They think it’s important. That it will do something. Even the lamest mainstream asshole will say it’s such a punk attitude or approach to do things when one gets his or her head out of his or her asshole and acts like a normal fucking person.
Acting normal; just to shake yourself and say I’m done with following this bullshit. Punk seems to have a mission to do something. To break rules and destroy or rebuild the establishment. But punk is mostly about not being a fucking asshole. People know this and this is why they try to force extra tasks on us ones that are impossible to get done and with our forced out failure they believe it’s proven that we are dead. This is why they are disappointed when you are a punk and you seemingly fit into the establishment because you used your brain for a second and figured out its rules. If they see that you can eat with forks and knives while not shitting yourself they will think this is not fair. How come you can be normal but not a self-forced norm? Then they will say you are not punk and punk is dead because they can’t bear to realize there is life even beyond throwing your stool at the crowd, or shooting heroin with your girlfriend in Mad Max extras clothes. Simply not thinking your job is the most important part of your day since it’s only 1/3 of 24 hours. Punk bears a cross in the sense that we are cultural Jesuses, but the job is too hard, that’s why we oppose religion.
            It’s true that you will never hear people say that, “you are not a trip hop fan and trip hop is dead”—it’s still alive right? - Why would they? No one gives a fuck if you like Massive Attack or not. For Americans: Massive Attack is a British band with a political message and people listen to their music when they don’t have taste in anything and when they are really really stoned. Trip hop fans have no duty to serve. What would that be? They are lucky, it’s just a genre of music they are free to listen to, or abandon when bored and rather switch to U2. No one will blame them, question them, and tell them what they believe in is dead or a lie for loser teenagers. Not even the bands have to worry about anything. No one cares if their flame goes out because, like, who gives a shit? Was there ever a flame anyway?
            Would this be the point? Are we cultural messiahs cursed to be forever questioned, hunted, disgraced and crucified? Well maybe.
            But there is another explanation as to why a fan of punk music and radically normal ideas (for example not being a capital fucking asshole) is a punk. If you are a punk it’s not the punk that matters. What matters id that you are a punk. When you listen to any other music you are a fan of that genre you are a part of a bigger picture of a crowed, you are the part of a fan base you are not a single lonesome entity wondering in this cosmical chaos.
            Have you ever been to a punk show? You are a punk thus you spend every third day of your life in a basement. We are constantly among people where everyone is free to express themselves yet still we are lonely. Punk is not a mass. Our dance is pogo, moshing, whatever in which we are fighting each other. We want to destroy our surroundings while having fun. When we are happy we want to push away other people, not hug them and be together with them. Even when no one dances, our metacommunication says we feel hostile among people. Among each other.
            People who say we all just wanna do our parents also say that we are defined by our desires. The absolute of punk is unity. With desiring it we say we are alone and want it different. One never reaches one’s desire, that’s the point of it is named desire - this is the fuel for us to do things. Or something but at the end we don’t make love with our parents and probably there won’t be some Bill and Ted moment where the whole world gathers together in peace under a Discharge solo.
We starve for being together that’s why we say all these things to be heard and embraced thanks to our brightness, that’s why we tour to go out and meet, experience, that’s why we book bands to host them to invite them to make them entertain us, that’s why we are constantly communicating writing fanzines, singing songs, drawing pictures of skinheads sucking off each other, but communication in punk is never a discussion of two these are just parallel monologues howled by the lone wolves of this cruel world. This is what punks are.
            We are the ones that indicate the frustration of this world. When people say you are not a punk they want you to stand up and say: Yes this is unbearable and I will put this safety pin through my nose to protest against it. They want us to do this because they know we are lonely and we have nothing to lose.
            They can’t tell their bosses they don’t give a shit about their jobs because they have a family to feed, they can’t trash their apartment because there is a gathering on the upcoming weekend with their neighbors. While we without families, neighbors and any belongings are free to do anything. For them we are modern day Franciscans wondering in the world with nothing else but the desire to form a brotherhood with other pure people.
            That’s why we could be called as a punk that’s why we are punks, that’s why they see a meaning in this commitment. While I’m not always so sure if there is any.

Ps.: Gosh I fucking miss talking about music. 

#376


Great things are simple. They don’t need too much, they can speak for themselves. Great things are simple but deep at the same time, they conclude everything, they are ground zero for things to come and sometimes even for things that have happened before them. There are many great things in this world and it’s a fact that the Ramones are one of them. Speaking about music, Ramones is the best band ever. It’s a fact. They are not my favorite band, they haven’t written my favorite song, their first album is not my favorite record although that is my favorite Ramones record.
Ramones is the best band ever not only because Tommy Ramone died today.
            We all hate to be alone. Even when you skip a drunk hike on a Saturday afternoon and rather sit alone in your shady room to write a column for a fanzine that might not be the same if the Ramones had never written their songs. We feel connected when we encounter things, tiny things we thought were our secrets. These things are simple thus we mostly never tell them to anyone else. We feel that would be foolish either because these are too obvious, or the others just wouldn’t get it. What Erdélyi Tamás and his friends did was synthesizing this simple great feeling. Another great mind said, to see what everyone sees, to think what no one thinks. The Ramones based their sound on the feelings of how it is to be a freak, to like getting high, to be obsessed with loud things, to fall in and out of love, to have no clue and the only sense you have in yourself is the sense of humor. To be a nerd for weird things, be it vaudeville-esque horror, political conspiracies, UFOs, the streets of New York. Their sound proved that talent is luck and the important thing in life is courage. To be brave enough to know that with so little you can achieve so much. With anything you have you have to do everything you want.
            I have experienced the power of the Ramones when with my then best friend we were hanging at his family’s weekend house. Two teenagers on a rainy summer night with no better idea than to get drunk on cheap wine and listen to the Ramones. As awkward a two-man party can be, it was super awkward for sure, but a magical moment happened when my friend started singing “Pet Cemetery” along with the actual song playing in the back at the top of his voice, crying out of joy and probably teenage sorrow. The Ramones was this. As Steve Albini said about them first, their songs sound funny, then you realize there is something more in them and you start to think they are people you would hang out with. They are melancholic, funny, nihilistic, thoughtful, ignorant. They are everything that has happened to punk ever since and everything that has happened to music before their time. Their music lives forever, even if now everyone from the original line up has passed away.
            It’s such a terrible curse that people have to die, but it’s such a gift that we are allowed to create something universal. Tommy Ramone passed away today but his music is still here, it’s still fresh and even though he hasn’t done anything memorable in the last few decades, his death has become a celebration of what he and his friends gave to us. They as human beings couldn’t out-live most of the people whose music made them stand out with standing up and inventing punk music. But their music already killed decades ago that dinosaur prog rock bullshit what was once occupying young minds. They showed us a way that when you embrace what you have and squeeze out the most of it, great things will happen. The simple fact that this could happen—when it happened—worked. And it worked out to be this loud and it has made a change in the world. It helped young minds connect with each other, helped them crawl out from their basements and jump around together to noisy music in awesome clothes.
            Have you ever tried to play a Ramones song? The power chords are super easy. To play it like them is almost impossible; because what they did is what I spend most of my words on here: they put themselves into their songs, among their pure, essential music. This is the ultimate example of how punk music is great; because it is played so you can hear people among the sounds. The Ramones will always live. To be honest, it doesn’t matter if Erdélyi Tamás died today or if he lived ten more years or passed decades ago. Ramones live forever.

Now I’m gonna sniff some glue. Nyugodj békében!

#375

Right now I’m sitting on a balcony that is facing the garden of my girlfriend’s family’s weekend house. I’m sipping great Czech dark beer and listening to Kromozon 4. Trying to scribe down the Hysterics interview, figure out interview questions for other people, writing a zine in Hungarian while only wearing a Rank / Xerox shirt and underwear. I’m on vacation. This is how a punk vacation goes.
Life is good I guess and I only feel spoiled when my baby is stuffing my head with her amazing grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s already June and May was busy as hell at Budapest. Pleasure Leftists, Hyterics, No Problem with Voight Kampf and Condominium played shows in the capital of Hungary. All shows were great in the sense of the main bands played amazing sets. But I got tired because I participated in promoting most of these shows and doing this while having a full time job with three bands, fanzines, my first serious relationship and other shit; sometimes I feel I give too much of my life to punk. But I guess I get back in return a bit. Cause punk is amazing and I will never say it’s not.
            It’s a bit interesting how cities get on the map of touring bands in Europe. Most American bands either know this guy named Flo or want to know him. He runs Trapdoor Tourz a booking agency which is a total punk operation. Have you heard about the cancelling of Total Abuse tour in the middle of their journey? That was him. And it’s so liberating that he works only on trust and promoters don’t have to suffer through asshole bands who treat them like servants. I will serve any great band delicious food and with a clean sleeping place anytime but assholes only have one chance with me.
            Budapest got on his map when Flo came here with Neon Piss who played in a rehearsal room that was packed with half naked punx who were dancing and screaming. Not the words since Neon Piss came to Europe only having a demo out and their record was officially released on the same day they played Budapest. Not if in this day and age a release date would matter that much since yeah the internet but I always loved the experience of people losing their shit even to bands whose lyrics are unknown by the crowd.
From then on bands are frequently coming here and not just through Flo. His tours are always great but it was amazing too to have Piss from Germany here. Maybe it has got to do with the fact that I met their guitar player while I was hanging in Berlin and he was the only guy who liked Hungarian moonshine and at one point we were showing each other our shitty tattoos and discussing Japanese bands until I puked and passed out.
            It’s such a letdown because Europe is full with amazing bands who rather stay at home or tour the US.
            What I sadly realized at these previous shows was that the crowed got tamed down. My heart broke when most of my friends were just hanging out in front of the club drinking beer when Hysterics played. It’s like local punks are not hungry anymore for visiting bands. Or the scene got diverse that now every subgenre has it’s own shows and people only get enthusiastic for their own beloved bands not for everything else.
            On one hand as a promoter I’m devastated by this idea above on the other hand as a band member I like it. I play in one band that sort of has a crowd and even if I’m not anxious to play live I like to play for a smaller crowd than for assholes who just scream their bullshit between songs. Punk is for everyone but for me this means you are able to create whatever you desire because no one could judge you for the outcome if you put your whole self into it. If putting your whole self into something ends up with yelling offensive, ignorant shit between songs to draw the crowds attention from the band to you then I’m sorry dude but your life is sucking sad.
            I miss freaks want to be freaks and wild people being illegal, free and interesting. I hate aggression and when someone forces his idea of behaving at a show on others. If you think a pit is a place where you can hurt others without consequences why don’t you just beat the wall? Maybe it’s my loneliness but I never understood the concept of only being able to dance with making other people fall around you.
            At the Voight Kampf show I was let down because live their new songs sounded like a punker version of New Order and while I was shaking my body I imagined the whole crowd dancing to them as people dance at a night club or as probably people were dancing in the Hacienda. I was sorry for the band because I guess they would have thought we had appreciated them more if this scene of party people partying had happed but for me just seeing and actually hearing them for the first time and having this vision in my head made the whole night really magical. Also since I wasn’t booking this show I had the freedom to arrive late and leave early with my friends to have one more for that night and discuss movies, books and gossips.
            It’s funny how now away from the city and punk reality on a long weekend I found peace to write in a garden. I like music that fits perfect to gardens and right now I’m listening to the Gutter Gods lp. They are from Australia a place that is far away from everything. I know barley nothing about that continent except it’s an almost empty island for the outcast. Gutter Gods is a psychedelic oi band where Meatdog the insane drawer sings. They seem to be obsessed with the future while their music sounds so hopeless and melancholic. Sure there is aggression since a skinhead sings who has a head tattoo and psychopathic eyes and the music sounds as a really bad, never ending acid trip. It’s so existential, like feeling let down for no reason staring out the window of your flat that is facing the ocean letting the sun’s reflection set down on your face turning the sky dark and being unable to stop the city’s scum from crawl out their hovel and take over the streets. They have this weird outsider flavor to their music as what they do would be a secret and we only could observe the upper layers of it but will never blend with the feelings of the inner layers.
            My prediction seems to be right as Gag just recorded a full length album which will be out at Iron Lung records. I have only heard one track that came out as a preview for the whole record and it was awesome. Gag sounds as a band who would be amazing to see live. If I remember it right, and I can’t check it now cause it’s a garden without wifi connection but they are from Olympia right? Haven’t checked that town on google maps but I have always visioned that town as a huge garden where people are crammed together in punk houses, forming bands over bonfire before they fall down from their rotten plastic chairs in a weed daze. Gag probably doesn’t drink because they seem to be such nerds, also they look too cool on photos and so energetic on live videos. Their simple recipe to write songs comes from mixing together lot’s of feedback and the stomping parts of SSD the crazy noise and monotony of No Trend and same fast parts from the Midwest craziness. They seem as a band who probably doing it right and even they carry in their sound the feeling of this is more than just music. My friend who toured with them said they are the coolest to hang with so probably they are not assholes.
            I’ve got a tape from a local label with the coolest name Pizza Days Records. For me everyday is Pizza Day thus I relate easily to his releases. Too bad it costs a lot here to press your band on vinyl and because everybody is poor as fuck it’s a rare thing to happen. I got a tape of this amazing local band called Gross Out. There are some Xs before-after or between the words since Gross Out is a straight edge band in the vein of the mean Boston sound but their approach to such philosophy could be named as eternal tolerance. I saw them once where the singer said things between songs that actually made sense and didn’t make anyone feel provoked because of their chosen way of having fun. Half of the hardcore scene talks shit on them because they are critiquing the arrogance of sxe and making fun of hardcore cliques. Funny thing is it made a louder fuss within the scene than nazi related bands. Seems like for hardcore kids it’s still the biggest problem if a band has provoking lyrics toward the crowd and it’s attitude than racisms, sexism, homophobia, rock star attitude within the scene. Don’t wear your white pants, don’t start bands if you identify yourself as a woman just follow the code and don’t forget the struggle. Gross Out is not just a band who says different but they rip so fucking hard. Their guitar player is a little kid with amazing riffs. Their singer is some musical genius who threatens their bass player to tune in for the last song which last for 20 seconds. He is a perfect hardcore singer or will be when he will sing facing the crowed. The night I saw them he was bare foot, moving the whole crowd. It was great.
            The past few weeks was not only good in getting stuffs but buying too. I could put my hands on the Crustwar repress of the Zouo 7”. One of my all time favorite hardcore records. Mutant craziness channeled from another evil dimension. Full with ideas that basically would kill of each other but here it raises the freedom level of the music. It supposed to be fast but for some reason the manic beast of the music is restrained and on chains it’s like a dangerous power house. The whole thing is grotesque, funny and frightening at the same time. Like a vision of the failed future of punk.
            Talking about failed future some smart minds in Scandinavia re-released ex Yugoslavian bands in an amazing package art. I was lucky enough to purchase myself a Defektino Efektni 7” and a Kaos lp. I love the Balkan hardcore since it’s wild as fuck but these two bands showed something more. Not as Sarlo Akrobat who were the Minutemen of the Mediterranean Sea but Defektino Efektni has this paranoid vibe which is excellently mixed together with post punkish riffs. The singer has a great theatrical voice which alienates him from humans. Cause art is not real. The gatefold 7 inch cover contains a brief bio of the band and few awesome photos. Constant guitar playing and raising tension with the battle of who could play louder the bass or the guitars. This rerelease is essential.
            Do I have to start on how great Kaos is since the MRR house was so loud about it even my ear in eastern Europe could hear it? Sometimes it’s ridiculous that I hear about a band that was at one of our neighbor countries from the US. What matters is that I have heard about them and now I can listen to their lp in the best format ever. It’s new wave but sometimes as fun as no wave. Not more than a month ago I bought the Los Microwaves lp at a record fair. Them and Kaos have this beeping noise to their sound. Reminding us when computers had class and it was us who were using them not the other was around. It’s a powerful party record for gatherings where the cop calling neighbors are busy serving their duty as if to be young and want to have fun would have it’s cost like there were a philosophy of being the queen and king of the dance floor. Loner bedroom dancers included as well. There is a party in your headphone just push start on your music playing device.
            Yesterday Gross Out played as a supporting band for two boring ass straight edge bands but I went and they were super sick. Singer was angry as fuck coordinating his band just as Michael Gira did when I saw Swans. Their whole set was bridge by feedback between songs except once when they went completely silent and the crowd sounded frightened. The dead silence in the air was mixed with amazement. It was funny how the band commanded their angst on us. They used more blast beats in their new songs than they have on their demo. They played a lot with the sealed concept of hardcore. Breaking up it’s layers and redistributing them, picking up some pieces and laughing on them, showing how fun is it to play with the easily fragile state is hardcore. While doing this they still stayed true to the core.
            The other two bands were boring for me a lot. Things I wouldn’t expect at a hardcore show are bands speaking about the importance of friendship (this is irony) and being able to buy an UBR record (reality!!!!). I went through this amazing distro and went home with the U.B.R. discography record, The Proletariat’s Soma Holiday and a Gauze record that has Fuck Heads on A side and Equality Distortion on B. After founding these records I felt like I should drink a beer in celebration but I rather got high sitting on a curb. Way to blend in the crowd at an edge show.
            I’m a man of needs and the thing about needs is it comes along with always wanting something else or more. Most of the times I wanna say the past is the past and America is America let’s hear contemporary bands from all over the world singing their lyrics on their own language. Want their voices to be instruments which are able to transform their thoughts even if I can’t understand the things they are singing about. I too sing some of our songs in English but I sometimes talk in german with my girlfriend too.
            So even though I get millions of e-mails from shitty bands who wanna tour, maybe great bands are not that lame that they need to write me. But I want their fans to write me fucking e-mails telling me what’s great in their scene! Or whatever what was great.
Some people say everything in MRR is shit and every band except theirs and their friends are terrible, waste of time and space. I’m quite the opposite. I do think a large part of the bands suck. Even among the good ones there are uniquely good ones who stand out and there are millions of regular bands who just don’t suck. But again wasting your time on hating bands, telling how everything sucks and only that is great what is connected to you is really fucking stupid. Talking about what is bad and not about what is great is like eastern European football hooliganism. When you are not about loving something but hating everything else. These people love to shit on others but hate to be shitted on. I just sat in a van with such who were wanted to annoy, humiliate and shit on me but when by mistake I harmed them just a bit they turned into little babies crying and really frustrated. GG Allin escaped from cops many times hiding in the venues bathroom as a scared child, covered in his own shit, scared. When did he ever got shitted on? When is these scumbag people ever get hurt? Maybe their bands are good or even great. So fucking what? Millions of other bands are great too who don’t fabricate this ladder from body fluids to stand above others. Fuck the haters always and forever!

            MRR is not important. It’s not THE punk. It’s not even THE punk fanzine. It’s just a version of punk. It’s whatever the people who are doing it make out of it. It’s whatever the readers think it is. It’s made by some people who sometimes only write three sentences about records that could be discussed through dozens of pages and sometimes they write about their bullshit life way too long rather than just mention it in as a limb of a long sentence. Sometimes they write better than anyone else in the music biz. Life is nothing and if you think MRR is something that worth the time to criticize it than you probably believe in god too. So you are a fucking idiot.

#374

I don’t think I can be a punk writer. I can only write about punk. I had this hesitation over the idea whether one can be a punk on a lonely island without anything to be opposed against. Nowadays I feel like the only punk things I do are cheating taxes and making my lonely island mega mix with PUNK music. I rarely leave my flat on punk cruises and I easily get distracted by people who are hanging out. I’m allergic to dork fun.
            Did I tell you that food is the new rock and roll? Everybody is talking more about nappa cabbage than early Agnostic Front. I do too. Cause I like food, food is good. It’s not that I’ve been burnt out. I’m making my denim jacket more punk, it’s like my bike in my garage what I like to fix in my free time and I do wear it when I go to buy food. Circle is closed.
            I’m writing a fanzine. There is one I actually spend time with writing and there are two others I write in my head. My ass is getting bigger so I might be able to sit on it more. Calvin Johson said he is too punk to sit down thus he doesn’t have time for that. That might be true since he was dancing even to his acapella songs when I saw him perform.
            Dave Smalley said something else. That hardcore is an American invention. Yeah right, but Europe is a cool place to get money for your nostalgia tours. Reagan Youth asks for 1000 euros to play a gig here. When some local guy said we should chip in and book them I rushed to youtube to check out how fucking sad their gigs are. They are depressing even for me who is heading from a country that once produced a song that was banned because too many people were influenced by it to commit suicide. For me that’s a lullaby.
            Punks are depressed because they face too many problems they can worry about but we are too dumb to figure out alternatives as solutions. But being a punk is not depressing. I guess. Cause even pieces of top class journalism are beautiful examples how there is something more that can be created by reporting this confusion. Confusion is people around us who keep me away from doing PUNK stuffz.
            Even if there is no hope there are beauty that is created in opposition of madness. Transformed chaos into bright sentences or total blasting cacophony. I’m talking about punk music right now.
            Things I don’t get about the scene today:  People complaining about every band sounding the same. I mean wearing white pants with Void shirts is awesome just as much as putting feedback into your songs in which fast parts are bridged together with these really ignorant stomping parts. Stomping is awesome and Oi is good.
            This is called a sub-genre. If you don’t like it find another one but there won’t be anything that is called being original. It’s not because everybody is copying everybody else it’s because people like, think and do the same stuffs even if they have never heard about each other’s works. It’s either this or I lead a fucking mediocore life.
            The point is as always to be happy. And I’m more than happy when I discover French hyper speed bands making amazing noise. Too bad amazing-core is to describe terrible bands bros could mosh to. But Mopo Mogo and Scraps are fucking fast and at the same time something that is more than your average case of upbeat tempo. I prefer guitars above everything but the drums on these records are crazy cause they sound as, and maybe that’s the real case, they are not even played by humans. As their songs being played the resonance makes it to be more than just noise, not music but life. So when I found them one after another on a pointless weekday night wandering on youtube I was elevated by the discoveries of hidden treasures of people. Great punk music has this ingredient in themselves to show human reactions to the world. So everything that is fucked up and sounds as a mistake is the best cause real people are fucked up and they are making mistakes all the time. Thus great music sounds like as these innocent failures are glued together with enthusiasm, creativity and freedom. Mopo Mogo sounds so futuristic with it’s vibrating, neon after taste guitar sound that is swinging on the hyper fast basics that are in a way humanoidly strange. His slower songs are pre-visioning the bedroom romanticism of huge cities that are attacked by bad weather in regular occasions. Less Bleeping and whipping but enough bizarre sorrow and personal craziness.
            Scraps on the other hand are reminding me to Rapt. But instead of how Rapt was doing everything a bit too much and then a little bit more, Scraps are more focused on blindly spreading out their craziness but forming it more ugly and filthy. They are not lacking melodies which is great cause they turn these catchy guitar parts into full blown dissonance thus their songs are punk and noise at the same time. From the beginning till the end they create a contrast in which aggression and harmony are going hand in hand. It’s so unreal and unusual I can not resist to love it. So strange this is just a band I have stumbled into on a random day and no one ever mentioned them to me. Please keep telling me that we only should listen to the best and most original bands cause hardcore is boring and everyone sounds the same.
            I watched this movies called the Nymphomaniac and I was thinking about the main character’s need for sex. Did she simply need sex, the act or sex with as many people she could have? Was it her search for the perfect orgasm? Why do I have to listen to more and more bands? Why is it I found a sound and I wanna hear it’s other versions from other times, from other people and from other countries? Why do I want the whole world to make perfect punk music? Is it because I know they can or I still haven’t found that one perfect sound that satisfies my need? I too do like what this obsession has done with me. I do feel frustrated and let down when I have my own hesitations. Even when it just connects to listening to music.
            I do hate myself when I seemingly stopped writing about music million sentences ago but I did not.
            If you put together Fix, Necros and Negative Approch there are differences but not as big as that you can’t say the same things about these bands. Originality is amazing but I don’t listen to Home Blitz, Total Control, Swell Maps, Johnny Moped all year. It’s cool when you are able to create space in your music to fit a tasteful variety of different sounds but trust me this balloon could pop cause I was in a jam band and it was a great experience but I was eager to join a hardcore band and stomp again. In Void shirts wearing white pants attacking the crowd, dancing weirdly.
            Few days ago I was listening to SSD’s Get it Away on my walk in the fully sunshined city. I realized again this is a great record made by probably really dumb people. It’s visceral and aggressive has no clue what to do and it has a Buzzcocks cover as well. The whole thing is so good. But is it that American? Maybe the way they present their music is but the fundamental idea behind the music at least for me doesn’t really connects to the land of apple pies and freedom fighting eagles. Is it that original?
            Is it better than UBR? Super fast and freakish Yugoslavian band with non stop guitar attacks, filth, anger and noise is all around the place. Some solos that are born on a dead end path appear in the back but they died off so quick. This band sounds like falling. Not that bouncey as SSD but beside that groove there is not just aggression in their music but struggle. They sound like it’s their only chance to survive the Yugoslavian reality. It’s no hobby for them. There is something on stake in their music. After all it’s entertaining but not as funny as SSD could be.

            As final thoughts I wanna add that I have just recently seen Hytserics play and that band is amazing because they are so free. Sadly it’s really rare that people are brave enough to be themselves and as Stephanie dances on the stage screaming crazy and not giving a fuck is such a liberating experience. They do play a style that is easy to describe and they might not the most perfect players of it BUT they are one of the truest people who are playing it since they do whatever they want. Interview here soon. Till then see them live if you can and check out Vacum an amazing Swedish punk band.