Saturday, February 8, 2014

Conversation with David West

This summer I had the opportunity to get in the van with Rank Xerox and Rat Columns as they wondered through Europe to present their amazing music. I have met many bands and had the luck to spend some time with them but these fellows were definitely a bunch who stood out. They were funny, smarter than anyone I have met before and just lovely in a punk way. They killed it every night and it was as heartbreaking as life changing to get out of the van just few days later filled with memories that carry on to live vividly in my mind. I thought I will interview the mutual member of these two bands. He is David West a talented musician, anti-authorizer leader and the most fashionable van driver. Besides playing paranoid post punk with Rank/Xerox and landscape-ish bedroom punk with Rat Columns he is a member of Total Control, Burning Sensations and Lace Curtain.

MRR: How did you meet as friends and what were the reasons to pick the specific each other to play music with? And how did you recruit people into Rat Columns since it has started as your solo project? What was appealing for them to join this band?

DW: I met Jon, the drummer from Rank/Xerox, right when I moved to San Francisco. He put on a show in an obscure location outside of the city and I sent him a message on a now obsolete social networking/music website to find out how to get to this obscure location. When I got there he was very friendly and we chatted and within a couple of days I went to his practice space and lo and behold Mr. Kevin McCarthy, the bass player from Rank/Xerox was there too. This was the creation story for that act. For me, the reason to 'pick' them was that I knew nobody else in the entire city. 

I 'recruited' people for Rat Columns based on already being friends with them, and knowing that they could play music. Actually Matt, one of the drummers that plays in the band, was originally playing guitar. Our then drummer quit and Matt casually mentioned that he knew how to play drums. It was a pleasant surprise. He is an amazing drummer! To this day I know not what was appealing about it for them. 

MRR: What do you think about the connection of music and loneliness? As you said you started a band with Jon and Kevin cause they were the only people you knew. So rock and roll is based on a group formation. Still sometimes we are lonely in these bands. Is music for the lonely? The headphones are separating us while they are saving us, when we meet someone who shares the same taste in music we feel like we have found a piece of ourselves that was missing, instant connection. At shows where we are among many people our body language tells we feel alienated, hands in pockets, arms crossed, fist clenched. Still we go there to see people and be in a scene. For you how do these two things music and loneliness collide?

DW: Music is for the lonely, loser-y, lustful, lecherous, illiterate, illegitimate lads and lasses of this world. Music is for those who seek humiliating conditions and reverse parabolically destined lifestyles. Smart people do visual art, graphic design, architecture, literature, fashion, basically everything else. Anyway, I've never been lonely, never felt alone, I've always been accompanied by a small monkey named Fabian who compliments me all the time. I've never been part of a scene. I don't care if someone shares the same taste in music as me. In fact, that would be off-putting, as I have bad taste. Music and loneliness collide like a pasta splashing down into boiling water; the right amount and duration of loneliness makes for a delightful meal, too much and it turns into a soft mushy mess. If you're gluten-free, avoid loneliness.

MRR: What are you influences in creating music? Not just in terms of other musicians and band because as I see your bands Rank / Xerox is self conscious, controlled, even if it’s collapsing it still has an architecture-esque form, while Rat columns is more like sub-conscious, floats  around like a cloud and it rather sounds like feelings and visions since on record it’s so eclectic and free. Both bands are unique I wonder what’s behind the writing of songs, the process as much as the motivations, or triggers and maybe other people’s art as influences too.

DW: Rank/Xerox's songwriting is a torturous collaborative process that might be described under the classic umbrella term of 'jamming'. Rat Columns has collaborative elements and some of the songs are co-written, but much of it is more classic songwriting where somebody writes a song, brings it to the others and they add their fairy dust to it, or not.

Influences are the usual pop culture detritus of the previous century and others. Music, books, movies. And then there are things I would call environmental influences, like stealing scenarios from other people's tortured relationships, urban/rural/pastoral landscapes, exotic lifestyles, ideas, the idea of an idea, Ikea, The Crimea, exotic lifestyles, ape-like creatures, memories, other people's memories, shows I went to, shows I didn't go to, horribly embarrassing situations, triumphant moments, Bleak Moments, the ocean, the desert, farms, rural towns, youth, old age, the future, Renaissance painters, underground car parks, inhabiting another person's body, dance clubs, parties, flashing lights, raves, mind altering substances, walking in the park, Indian food. 

The motivation behind the music is totally unclear to me. Arrogance mixed with boredom, the desire for companionship and naivety? 

MRR: Is there specific process in synthesizing the non-cultural more like life-based inspirations into sounds? I have read that Nabokov connected colors to words so when he was creating sentences, he also did something which in his head was drawing. But it was only in his head. So while it’s a rare thing that people are experiencing the same emotions when encountering something that’s like a song - for you, is there an approach when you want to translate everyday emotions into songs?

DW: Yeah, there is a specific process. Write down the event, subject, feeling onto a piece of paper. Reverse the victim and the victor. That is, make yourself the victor, Viktor. OK, now replace desperation with recalcitrant ambivalence. Scrub out Budapest and replace it with New York City. Erase feelings of inadequacy and insert feelings of non-directional aggression. Blank out crisp white wine and replace with heroin. Replace sweatpants with leather pants. Now sing, with some feeling, but not too much. Pat yourself on the back now. You are PUNK, baby!!!!! This method works for me, every time.

MRR: As I feel Rank / Xerox sounds like it exists in a trapped / hostile environment. Maybe I have told you this but for me sometimes you sound like being in a European block of flats and waiting for nuclear attack to happen during the cold war. A bit Kafkaesque frustration. While Rat Columns is more like out in the nature all alone wondering around. Are these real surroundings you are coming from or are these feelings you wanna create? Is there any feeling you wanna create with your music?

DW: I grew up around nature, on a farm, in rural Western Australia, so that is real, as real as a feeling or impression that somebody else has upon listening to your music can be, which is to say, really quite real, but it is more you than me, no? There are no feelings I want to create in others, but I do want to create feelings in others. It is non-specific. If anything we have done can bring out an interesting and evocative emotion or imagination in somebody else, that is a really pleasant thing. I don't wanna dictate. If we could frame somebody's loneliness into a more self-conceptualized, evocative loneliness, provide some comforting distance from discomfort, comfort via contextualization, or if we can make domestic chores less of a bore, both are fine results. Some say fine cheeses take on an even richer flavor when listening to Rat Columns' first LP. This is a good result too.

I have been in hostile environments but really my life is quite spoiled by global standards. Not everything can be holding hands in a field of flowers or neo-realism and I suppose an evocation of darkness is a luxurious activity for us comfortable westerners. There is a place for luxury. It could be a finely cut leather suit, a walk on the beach, a spare moment to cultivate an alternative persona, a fantasy existence. These are all luxuries. Rank/Xerox is a luxury brand. A luxury band.

MRR: You say Rank / Xerox is a luxury band. Couple days ago I was walking to a date and it was raining. I was listening to a band that sounded like they wrote songs for people who walk alone in autumn rain at night on empty streets. While I was out there I wondered about that what I saw and heard both total fit to each other and I felt like I was at the right place in the right situation. While the day before I lost my job and I couldn’t see my future. But still I felt if I could find joy in moments like this life is all right and everything is gonna be fine. Do you think art is luxury? Is it cheating? Should we wake up?

DW: We are a luxury band. Art is luxury, free time to create is luxurious. Cheating is a sensational sensation and a beautiful act. To be punk is to cheat, ignore rules, ignore morality, ignore the system. No, we should not wake up. To dream is to be granted temporary respite from this disgusting mutant octopus called Life. You experienced a classic synchronicity of sentimentality and circumstance. Slap yourself in the face Viktor. Wake the fuck up!!! The day before, you were an artist. The next, you were a consumer. Love is the drug, and I thought you were straight-edge. The supply of happiness is limited. Save some for me, lover boy.

MRR: Could you explain the violence in Rank / Xerox's music?

DW: There is violence in Rank/Xerox music? It comes from our tortured relationship with one another. When Jon hits the drums particularly hard it is because we have criticized trees in the van earlier in the day. 

MRR: What about the nature in Rat Columns? It feels like when I’m listening to the music while I’m even in a town, the buildings just become things similar to trees or hills. 

DW: That's a really nice image Viktor. That's a real compliment! That's really pleasant to hear. As far as evocation of nature goes, I am a bit of a classicist when it comes to imagery; I stick to things from the pantheon, to my advantage and detriment, so there is a lot of nature, earth and human nature.  Flowers, night, love, loneliness, sadness, dark, light, empty streets, trees, grass, obscure sexual imagery. It's a bit lazy really. Traditional. Classicists are those without the spine to walk into the unknown, generate new ideas, reference the internet, make GIFs? It exists, it is powerful, eternal, I am going to use it. Why not?

MRR: Since there seems to be a boom in coalitions of punk bands and bigger indie labels (with  major distros and coverage in lame media) and because your music could find fans in larger crowds do you feel like you need to act in protection of your music’s integrity?  Would you mind stepping one level up?

DW: Hmmm, I think if you had existed in the 90s you would not be considering our current period much of a 'boom'. 'Punk' bands used to be signed by massive, multinational corporations, not 'major indies'. Going backwards, the Sex Pistols were on Virgin Records. This is a company that also has airlines, mobile phones, space tourism. Royal Trux were signed by a major label and released a record with an overflowing toilet on the cover. Things have been shrinking and shrinking to such an extent that anything beyond your housemate releasing 300 copies of your record is worthy of notice and comment. We are so aware of the machinations behind culture. Your housemate could rip you off, and use your massive profits to buy gourmet Danish rye bread, which you can't eat, because you are gluten-free these days. A major corporation could purchase you, lock you in a room for 3 years, shelve your album, let you out looking like Rip Van Winkle but with a million dollar handshake. Politics and business are worthy of discussion at times, but music and art have their own integrity that is not in the same sphere of existence as 'credibility', social networking, cheese sponsorships, tote bags. In answer to your question, our music is so inscrutably pure and sincere that I feel no need to protect its integrity, and sure, perhaps if I go one level up I will be closer to saving the princess and achieving the highest level of magic and the ability to fly.

MRR: Does the cruel gentrification of San Francisco affects your every days thus your song writings too? Do you feel like leaving the bay area? I know some of you already have.

DW: Hmmm this is such a hot topic. SF is really expensive partially due to gentrification so therefore you need to work more so therefore you have less time to write songs. So it has affected me. It is just like a force of nature, in my eyes, so I don't really think about it as much as some other people. It is a bit of a drag, I must admit. It is an idyllic spot in a lot of ways so people have always wanted to live here, have moved here, over many decades and cultural periods, but right now it is somewhat obnoxious. I don't have anything new or insightful to say about it. We need new industries that generate money that generate jobs for us art scum to work part-time at, but does it have to come at such a severe aesthetic and societal price? Rich people could at the very least, if they are going to change the social fabric of a city, wear beautiful clothes. Flip-flops are not appropriate for San Francisco's climate patterns. Toe shoes are not appropriate for anything. A lot of people have moved from here lately. If you want to live somewhat outside of the mainstream perhaps you can't live in the pop charts. I have left the Bay Area too but you never know, I might come back, perhaps technology is just a fad, lolz.

MRR: You are all engaged with different bands since you are fans of all different kinds of music. So it’s not just you like to listen to different music but also like to  play different sub-genres. What is it that you look for in music? In other people’s music and also in the one you create?

In music I listen to or create, I just look for an combination of evocative melody, noise and/or rhythm, something to take me out of concrete reality for a moment or two. 

MRR: Has it ever happened that you had a song that you liked but couldn’t fit into the whole picture?

DW: All the time! I wrote a lot of songs for Rank/Xerox that were overtly poppy or couldn't be integrated into our group-based writing system for some reason or another. Not good for productivity but good for having a strong identity, I am forced to admit, by my lawyers.

MRR: There seems to be a control in Rank Xerox. Is it shared in an anarchistic way or is there  someone in charge? How much are you a perfectionists? 

DW: There is always control, in everything, ever. I suppose it is democratic, kind of like a democracy where there are also slaves. Early USA? Our level of perfectionism, amongst members, ranges from low to high. I am low level, more based around tossing it off, letting it ride. 

MRR: What is the horror?

DW: Toe shoes. Pop music without melody or songs. 'Janitors' aka stand-up paddleboard surfers taking too many waves, 'yes' you have the ability, 'no' you don't have the right. Flights back to Australia from the Northern Hemisphere. Environmental destruction on a massive scale in developing and non-developing and developed nations that we can't look down upon properly because we have been there and done that, and because we fly around the world guilt-free. People on their phones at the cash register. Sweatshops, the underground buying non-secondhand sportswear. People watching cultural events in person, through their phones. A constant presence, of anything. 


Dear current state of punk,
You don’t exist. Not because you have been dead, betrayed and backstabbed or even worse existed only as an unborn child kept alive just as someone’s fantasy. None of these.  I’m not even over you and this is no place to make spiky, chained folks to the butt of any jokes and I swear this will go without any intention to make anyone feel shitty who like me is listening right now to Isterismo or fuck it even to Toy Dolls (which I do not) and wearing boots (which I do) or leather jackets indoors (I have an anorak on). It’s just that there is no fucking current state of punk. Never was, never will be. It’s a fucking bottle that has been labeled. It could be smashed and then it could be replaced with another jar. There could be million labels and million bottles. The only thing that should be important in this allegory is that it’s an empty space so whatever you pour into it that’s what you get cause it’s your space.
You don’t like kids being apathetic?
You don’t like bands being boring?
You need something new, something interesting?
Then either find it, make it, realize it but shout up if you don’t do anything. If you had done anything then you wouldn’t complain. (yeah, you would as I do most of the time but please follow me) My heart has been broken million times when I saw people just shrug their shoulders on the scum who beat or rape women in our scene, who are friends with nazis, people who are just the worst human beings. My heart breaks even when friends and self-proclaimed music enthusiasts rather hang in front of shows and drink cheap wine than come down and support local promoters like myself. I’m not against having fun and pointless hangings but I have different level of fun when I witness people perform their angst in front of me than with chugging shitty beer on a piss soaked bench. I have spent a fortune on getting shitfaced on pointless weekday nights still I rather spend my money to eat something good or buy a record. Although I still think drinking beer is fun and smoking cigarettes are fucking cool but don’t get addicted to any. Get addicted to buying records and attending shows. And carrying about what’s good for your fucking mental health punx!!!   
Back to crying over the non-existing current state of punk: Most of the people are fucking stupid and the only fact that they probably listen to let’s say Faith, well it won’t make them better or smarter or anything. It’ simply that they share one thing common with you or with me cause I do love Faith and probably think 80% of their fans are people I’m lucky I don’t know. Still I could love the fact that someone does listen to them but again it’s just my enthusiasm towards that band what is reflected on someone else. I like you because you are like me, I was so lonely now I have found you who is another version of me. This is how I made most of my friends but luckily they proved to be more than just people with similar taste in music.
Today I’ve learned my girlfriend also loves Modern Lovers. Do I love her more now? No because I’m already head over heels with her and there is no chance I could love her more than I did before I have learned this fact. She would be perfect even if she was listening to elevator music.
The music we listen to, the basic principles we believe in, there should be more to define us. And remember the fact alone that someone does punk in a way that’s lame to you - it won’t make them terrible humans. JUST TERRIBLE PUNX!!!!
So why are we so needy, obsessed, concerned and chained to people who are dumb, lame or just have different ideas about how to do their own punk thus giving us hard times? Care about your friends if you need company in all this. About people whom you are doing something together. You don’t even have to be best friends with your band mates and partners in crime either. It’s better if you could spend time with them even when you are not doing punk things and please don’t play with people just because they are schooled musicians but being in a creative and time consuming project with other people sometimes could lead to places and situations where you don’t wanna end up with your best friends cause you could lose them there and then over few seconds in a stupid punk song. I’m saying this while I have only played together with people who I count among my best friends and it’s a happy marriage. So care about people who cares about you. Don’t waste your precious time being upset on assholes. Be a freak that will scare them away.
I don’t want to disrespect the hard work everybody is doing to fill and run this magazine but when I got bored of all the interviews that said nothing to me (and this problem was based in me) I started interviewing bands I do like and asked questions I do care about. I don’t live there, I don’t speak the language properly I’m not even that smart. I only have the will that has been gathered in me when I don’t like what is the current state of punk. Then I change it. Not for you but foremost for myself. And you will decide if you like it or not. I’m glad if you do and I will be a bit hurt if you don’t, still if the process is fun enough it could overwrite any cruel but righteous criticism.
There is a changing dynamic of how I approach my friends, the scene, local bands but all of them are still growing, improving and at the same time staying the same. Things will happen if you try to make a change for yourself and not sacrifice yourself to try to change other people or be bothered by how different their attitude from yours. Just do whatever the fuck that makes you happy and if you are lucky enough to create your own bubble where you could be as much of a freak as you want then you will be happy.
Two of the bands I play in now went on tour and since they include the full membership of Piss Crystals they played as well. Seven people, three bands, one constantly stoned driver, one friend who came along. We played three nights at Pécs (H), Graz (A), Zagreb (HR). It was beyond fun. Shows with good turn outs, great vibes and all of us played tight sets. On our last night we bought some weed and I hate to play while stoned but I gave a little chance. A sketchy weirdo skinhead guy smoked with us and this meant he inhaled half of our spliffs (we launched two) in one take. He hung with us for 10 minutes and spent the next 3 hours sitting in the corner being paranoid of weed only staring in front of him.
We played a set with Norms and it was amazing. I felt like this was the sense of playing music with people you respect with whom you created something that is above your everydays. There was that unidentified energy that was bouncing among us and it felt like I was feeling what they have felt as well. When everything that is haunting you through months transform into the power that is the engine in your body that is playing these songs. I felt like something grabbed me. It was amazing. Seriously, form a band!
Then I played bass for Zen Fascists in shades in a room that had no lights just red and blue flashes. We covered TV Casualty from the Misfits and it felt like we played that song for 2 hours but it was amazing two hours. That monotony and growing tension of the song had hypnotized me. While everyone else from our crew was moshing out crippled moves.
We knocked ourselves out from reality through these three days. We were just a bunch of weirdo creeps playing shitty music to people who appreciated this. And that was our scene, that was our bubble and that was our punk. We didn’t achieved, changed or proved anything. It was just good and after all that’s what matters.
On the road I was wondering on few things when I was not punching the air to the first Cock Sparer record. That shit is so good it sounds like really slim scumbag powr pop fans are making evil music to threaten people with knives.
Anyway, who the fuck listens to hardcore? Seriously half of those bands are preaching about how important it is to have a personality for yourself. Which is cool but these bands sound like this is a serious problem in their scene and very few people are having an individual identity since every 3rd song is about this case. Is there really people who has no personality even if they are awful? Being an asshole counts as being something. And songs like these will change anything?
Also how can someone be backstabbed and why are people sad because others change? I have some ideas but is it really happening all the time? This would mean hardcore fans are probably the scummiest people ever on the face of earth. Is it masochism then what leads people to spend their time listening to bands who are questioning them? Is it a mental punch they need in a more digestible form of every day humiliation? I love many of these bands but some of them sound like dorks who wish to be jocks. Stop writing lyrics in the locker room if you want to be taken serious by people who are old enough to consume alcohol and smart enough to read a book.

I also realized that my heart is with people who feel alienated and awkward even at a hardcore show and it doesn’t mean she or he is not the fan of the genre just feel weird even on their night out. Why not? Sometimes I couldn’t even find my place at band rehearsals. It’s okay to feel alienated sometimes.
I also fucking hate bands preaching against being political. It doesn’t mean you need a degree in political science but talking about almost anything is political in this day and age. Wake the fuck up there are no ideologies left it’s just us being afraid of the downfall of this system. Everything is politics. Even having a self to be.
Anyway the end is near and of course I did not started writing together the bands I will pick to include on my year end top ten even though I already got the memo that I was picked as a list maker. I rather listen to European bands from decades ago.
I love living in Europe cause every country has another culture, another approach for the same thing. And while I love in good music that the component of it being universal in the sense that it’s so good it could have been made by anyone, anytime anywhere. Thus while bands here have a prolific sound that could be connected to where they are from the good ones are also universal.
Have you heard Rapt from France? Really ferocious and disgusting hardcore, super fast, noisy and it runs brutality through confused kids who are angry as fuck. Just hardcore perfection played by punks. As fast the music doesn’t make any sense only the fact that it is played by the youth. They sound if they were drunk by the awakening of they could do anything they want. So they made this beautiful mess.
I rarely listen to Hungarian punk bands. Old, legendary ones. The reason is even if those bands were good, the recordings are terrible. I love lo-fi and noise but these are the ones what makes you angry in a bad way. Due to the recording and pressing industries were controlled by the commies it was illegal to record and distribute anything that was not okayed by the government. Pressing on Vinyl was out of question. Thus very few bands had recording that are not painful to listen to.
Other problem for me is how we Hungarians are. I mean this fucking column is about me preaching to the whole universe. Some of these bands just tucked everything in their music. They wanted to do everything at the same time and it just turned out to be some super annoying weirdo music, and even though this description sounds cool the actual records aren’t that good at all. But there are exceptions.
My friends were talking about a video of a local legendary band 88-as Csoport which I have rewatched again and it lead me to discover this amazing Hungarian band called Biztonsági Tanács. They are amazing. I have only seen a picture of their singer who looks like how Brainbombs sound but their music is distant from this. It’s crazy, and fast and noisy while it holds some melodic edge to it. Just perfect hardcore / punk. With enough stupid jokes as tape manipulation between songs. Their later songs include clarinet and they have replaced their singer with a girl. Still they sound good. Go in youtube and search for BiztonságiTanács – Demo. Crazy good.  
Whatever. Stop irony.


My girlfriend left me her last cigarette what I’d just finished smoking. Then I did the dishes, cleaned out all the disgusting black mold from the microwave oven which she luckily haven’t seen and now I’m waiting for my water to boil up so I can put a tea filter in it. It’s not even midnight but I don’t care. Flux of Pink Indians is on and I plan to blast records till I finish this piece. If I won’t cheat myself into watching Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett for hours till I fall asleep.
I was lurking on that webpage for socializing with friends and I was wondering on the difference between my life and my high school classmates’ who are sharing photos of their weddings and newborn babies. I never thought happiness is what I do. I never thought that norms are unhappy although many times it has been proven that they kinda are. I’m not taking a cruise in the ocean of happiness and calm either so who knows the secret?
Some tend to say ignorance is bliss but truth be told I don’t know that much about life and the right way to live it either. I’m all right with the way I’m but I’ve always missed something. There was just always such a lack of something minor inside of me what was missed majorly. But nowadays I feel that I’m drifting towards a point where I could be satisfied with all this.
I feel weird writing these things that are the constant anxiety echoes in my head but punk is my life thus I think when I share these thoughts I’m still writing about punk a bit. About my punk. To survive it as an eastern European. 
This week I booked a show for Big Eyes. I’m far from calling myself a fan of pop punk but I have found their ‘90s college rock vibe charming. Big Eyes played a great show and they were nice people to have around. We were watching together how the bass player of Guided By Voices ate shit after a sketchy jump while performing live on Letterman before we went out sightseeing. And instead of getting super drunk we were watching lame ‘90s horror shows for American kids and reading news about some creepy hotel. Awkward raging.
Then yesterday I went to a skate contest where a couple of my friends’ bands played. It was amazing. Having friends and skaters next to a local train’s rail line on a blown out concrete field. Just cool people, cheap beer, the setting sun and live punk music on the outskirts of Budapest. It sat the mood for the show later that night where I played with one of the bands that I’m in. I say it like this because it’s my friend’s solo project and I don’t write my parts I just play them live. It’s kinda refreshing since with many different things I have to do more than just play as hard as I can and try not to fuck up. So this simple task is my vacation in punk. Still it’s amazing to be in this band and play hardcore-ish d-beat raw punk. Hardcore for the abused and mutants. The show was amazing but it’s not a surprise when you put hundred and plus drunk punx into a rehearsal room and let their angst come out. Then joy will fill the air that makes you drunker than cheap booze. Mostly I was hanging with my girlfriend between and after the shows. It was refreshing. I’m really losing touch with keeping up my social life. It’s not that I hate people it’s that I was never really here for company.
I never really believed that punk is a shelter in the sense of we need each other that much to survive. I say this while 90% of my friends are punx and together we saved our lives and built something marvelous. Although most of the people I know are bond to this lifestyle but even among friends most of the times I feel solitude. It’s not really their fault and I know that strength is in each other but it’s just the way I was raised. I can’t trust people in a way as I could convince myself that I’m able to rely on them when I would be in trouble. And since I’m always afraid I am in trouble I hardly feel safe even among friends. So I have decided I will be concerned about the bare minimum of other people’s problems that type which could be solved by them too. With this free time I will focus on my own shit and try to make my girlfriend happy.

Thing I hate about the scene is when people act like they are above it. Ironics and cynicals are the plague of everything. For them everything is a trend what might be half true but half righteous as well. That’s lame. I don’t like people using punk because through this it might be easier to achieve some status somewhere. LEECHES! Is it elitism to think that your thing is more than the scene that you are a part of? Not the elitism that is accepted by me if there is any sort of. Anyway go fuck yourselves.
While I’m saying this I’m listening to Missing Foundation but I swear today I have spent a tram ride with listening to DYS and I’m planning for a week now to sit down next to my turn table and go through the complete discography of Minor Threat. Find something new in their evergreen tunes.
Tonight I have watched some Cult Ritual live videos. That band really was something and what they have created is still here. They were part of a huge movement for sure, if we can call something a movement that has separated elements and huge if huge means thousand people from all around the world thinking their lp is great. And it still is something I love to listen to. It’s the same with Sex Vid. Both bands are seemingly full with fans of damaged music that feeds it’s intensity from their lives. I hope they had less haunted lives than their music but just being complete nerds, freaks and misfits can be a good nest of amazing punk songs. I don’t know them for sure. But just looking on someone and hearing their music could tell a lot about them.
The thing is the more I listen to music like proto-techno post punk or Mongolian throat singers or trippy kraut rock I appreciate the power of punk more. Not because these sounds are that terrible they remind me that punk is the best, it’s the best because it is for me. Because music is life and good music is real life. I won’t say that there are only good and bad music but there is power that could be put into almost every genre and if it’s there almost everything could sound cool. Reasonable things, not prog-rock, white dad jazz or trippy hippy shits.
Let’s dig in. Due to a pretty legit list that could be found at the I spent some recent time discovering and re-listening to Scandinavian hardcore. It’s amazing how most of those bands are carrying that inherrited ability of infusing perfect melodies into their music. And while it’s raging, fast and reckless still there is another layer to it which is pure hit material. Like something beautiful that is damaged or vica versa.
We tend to mention Scandinavian rage along with Japanese hardcore but even though I’m a fan of both scenes and even these days the land of rising sun is a returning guest in my mind and listening devices but they are better at making a grotesque mess that is dangerous to dig into and when you dip in this world of glowing fetish and hyper activism it feels like a childish marvel on the strangeness of humans. Yes, I did listen to LSD this week.
Scandinavian hardcore is different from this. Take Bannlyst who are amazing. Their arsenal contains neck breaking speed, filth and amateurism. In my head they resonate as early Agnostic Front. Or as how I hear Agnostic Front. How AF appeared on a cable show without one of their members, switching instruments, pretending they are playing on them. This chaos with the skandinavian melodies I was detailing above equals a really unique sound. And I’m talking now about a 7” that was released decades ago and still it could save my day.
And fuck, I love the first Sods record. All of its various sounds. From where it departs till where it arrives. Thank you technology for guitars.
More music. I’m blasting the B side of my Siege lp right now.

Two days before I was lying in my bed jamming Crisis after listening to Can’s lost tapes beyond midnight hours to have something as an escort to my sleepy eyes and dead end thoughts. I love the weirdly good quality of these anarcho fellows’s songwriting. Crisis has songs you can actually dance to. In your mind, with your mind. On the imaginary grave of fascist cops and collapsed governments. I call this the english groove cause post punk there was about heavy bass beats and song structures that made you jump. Not how pothead, paranoid slacker rock as post-hardcore was in America. Europe is about dancing foolz!
I love anarcho punk and I love post punk and I love the vicious bleakness of that failed futurism that was happening at the same time these bands have existed. Have you heard the Division Four demo, ep, mini lp whatever it is? It sounds like as if Kubrick would hired an Oi band to score Clockwork Orange II where Robo Cop is being harassed by ultraviolent but poetically sad rude boys. While in the background something so new that is already expired is happening like a broken dream that is still sealed. On the front we have some indolent vocals with dumb/scared lyrics on how lame humans are even today. It’s really really good. Australia is on fire fool if that flame has ever been taken out. Love their obvious weirdness. I’m still in love with Total Control. To take pills to remember to take pills to forget.

The end of this year is getting closer so it’s gonna be a time when I should re-listen to most of the records I liked this year. Lists are still stupid but maybe it should be a shame to let actually good records be forgotten. Was there a record this year as memorable as Cult Ritual’s lp or anything Sex Vid ever put out? Maybe. Every year is a good year in punk. Cause punk makes a year great.

I tend to detail here nights that I have spent with visiting random rehearsals and this time I will again tell you that I was at a military object’s abandoned building that was functioning as a dress storage for an armature theater company and in some extra room there was a practice space for bands. We asked the renter bands to let us sneak in to play our set before a show we had that night. Because we had time to kill, half of my band got high after practice while I was just sitting still and listening to some jammed out fuzz fused stoner weird rock that was played by complete weirdoes.
I adore those kids because they seem to not give a fuck at all about anything that is not serving their desire to get joy out of desolated nights. Those types who can walk a mile just to get a cigarette in freezing cold still wearing only a shirt and not even shrugging their shoulders. Survivors. It’s not Kids at Budapest in 2013. These kids are modern age bohemians. Intellectuals who seem to have time for everything because they have perverted time. They spend their hours giving it to art and trash only to learn one thing about life and many of these times the award is only a question. But instead of paintings and poems they use music, cartoons and shitloads of weed.
What I was thinking about is how many amazing bands are doing something in hidden rooms? Those who are lazy or unmotivated to record and put out their sounds. Those who go into rooms and turn their backs on the world and get disconnected to the rule what their nation is forcing on them. Then I felt that creating music is universal. Because they had no intention to do anything with it. Is this happening anywhere else? Unsaid thought, unwritten novels, unrecorded songs, unlived romances? Do I wanna hear them or would that spoil everything? Should it be a secret what we do?