Saturday, April 30, 2011


April seems to be interview month for this blog. Either way, extremely proud to present to you the interview with "Ghostlimb" done by Luka and myself. I definitely have to say thanks to Justin who managed to answer the questions in the blink of an eye. Hope you enjoy the read!

1. First and foremost, thank you for taking your time  for this interview. We'll take it the old fashion way, so please introduce yourself and the rest of "Ghostlimb".

My name is Justin, I sing and play guitar in "Ghostlimb". We are a three piece, Neal plays bass and does vocals as well and Alex Tenaj plays drums.

2. How did you all get together to form a band? And always an interesting question, why "Ghostlimb"?

We have played together in other bands before or were just friends. I met NEal in 2006, "Ghostlimb" was originally just guitar and drums, but then he joined the band and filled it out, and really compliments the sound because he is not a bass player, but a guitar player playing bass. There is a marked difference, haha. Alex and I were in the band Dangers together, and he quit last year and joined ghostlimb. The concept behind the name is funny to me, it is the idea that when you have a severed limb, you can still feel it. In an old Cursive song, there is a reference to a ghostlimb as an unbelical cord, thus everyone is missing something in their lives due to their separation from something at birth. What a mess.

3. 2006 saw your first self titled release, followed by "Bearing  And Distance" in 2008 and 2011 finally got "Infrastructure". Tell  me something more about those three releases, were they somehow similar in creation process or did they have their own unique ups and downs?

Each record has been a different writing process, the first stuff I did all myself, because it was just drums and guitar, but as time went on Neal and I started writing a lot more together and it kind of solidified the sound we have now. The new record was super easy, and was written and recorded in about 2 months, which is super gratifying. Things are smooth now, and it is essentially, whatever we feel like playing.

4. Each of your albums has one song with only a number for a name ("Six", "Seven", "Eight"). Any particluar reason behind that? 

Originally on the first record "Six" was the sixth song we wrote. But "Seven" on "Bearing and Distance" refers to November 7th, the date here we had elections and voting that particular year. So that would be known in more of the context of American politics. "Eight" refers to Proposition 8 here in california seeking to ban gay marriage, so they have a corresponding theme, even though the ideas are different.

5. Between these releases "Ghostlimb" has been extensively touring. Any particular show or part of the world  you are most fond of? Somewhere you'd ike to go back to?

Europe is always fun, but I really like southeast Asia and Japan. I would also like to get back to Australia with "Ghostlimb" and see how we fare there.

6. What are your thoughts about the state of this  kind of music worldwide? Due to doing a lot of shows all around the  world I guess you got first row tickets to peek into various types of music scenes.

I am glad that the music industry as a whole is crumbling. DIY and cooperative networks of people playing music and doing productive things have always existed, although it is a lot easier now with the internet. I think the world DIY scene is alive and kicking, and it has done a lot for us in the past, I try to put back as much as I can into it to help other people or bands as well.

7. While we are at it, could you explain how do you  feel about your local underground music scene? Is there anything  specific that you hate or love about it?

Los Angeles is strange right now for music. Venues come and go within a year usually and although 10 years ago it was arguably the biggest hardcore scene in the country, it gets difficult getting things going here these days. That being said, the people that are doing stuff help out a lot of people and really do bring shows and bands together, but I will it wasnt such a hassle to start or run a venue or show spot. Thanks LA.

8. Does it further inspire you to keep the band going once  you see how your music inspires the audience during live shows?

People tend to react strangely to "Ghostlimb". Since there is no free hand singer, I think they may not know what to do or might feel strange, but I like that the shows are different than "Graf Orlock" or "Dangers" sets, and it has a different kind of intrinsic value for me when we play tight and did well, whether or not people are watching at all.

9. Aside of the mentioned releases, you were also on a split with "Fischer" and a fourway with "Zann", "Trainwreck" and "Perth Express". How did those happen?

I have known "Zann" for a long time and people in that band have set up all three of our Euro tours as well as released the "Ghostlimb" records on vinyl in Europe. We also know "Trainwreck" and "Perth Express" so it was a cool thing to do with people from the other side of the world we are friends with. Always nice to have a split record with friends.

10. You have been going strong for a fair number of years now, how do you guys  feel about  where "Ghostlimb" is now when compared to from where it started? Was everything like you initially planned?

I can honestly say that I am much more into the band and where it is going now than I ever have been. The stuff we have been writing and this new record is more in the direction I have always wanted to go than anything. So I a, real happy to get out there and play a lot of new songs and hit some new places. I wasnt unhappy about the band before, I just feel like the 3 of us click in such a way that we can achieve whatever we want.

11. Thus far, what have been your experiences concerning  diy, both good ones and bad ones?

Mostly good ones. Every now and then people rip you off or whatever, but that is how it goes dealing with people, period.

12. What are your thoughts when it comes to diy music and  internet? Do you actually follow some webzines or blogs?

I try to pay attention to what is going on and certain message boards bring stuff up I probably wouldn't have seen on my own. There arent though particular ones I frequent. Give me some suggestions!

Stefan: Basically I would suggest any blog from my "Friends and partners" list, all are being run by extremely friendly people and are quite interesting to follow. There are probably a bunch more blogs worth mentioning, but lack of time prevents me from exploring as much as I should.

13. Do you think that the diy note makes this kind of music more heartfelt and passionate compared to "mainstream" projects?

I don't know. I feel this way about the things I am into and have done, but there can be just as much fronting in a small band as a larger one. When you are in a huge band though, a lot more of what your band is about is out of your hands, with labels and managers and all that. So i think that perhaps it is more genuine doing it yourself and staying tre to whatever you set forth, out of the hands of backstabbers, etc.

14. Do you have some plans for the future as a band?

I would like to go as far as possible with this band, make some more records, play some shows, meet more people, and travel more. We will see how much of that we can do.

15. Time for you to ask a question!
Where do you live and what is the scene like there? 

I'm from Belgrade, Serbia. There are a lot of bands here from various genres, one can surely find something here that can please his or her music taste. The only problem here is that we definitely need more shows, most of the time it's a sort of "dry season" when it comes to gigs.

16. You are also a member of the band "Graf Orlock". How do you  feel about  that project when compared to "Ghostlimb"? Do different things inspire you when it comes to writing music for it?

I feel like they are very different things. They focus on different ideas and the songs in "Ghostlimb" more accurately reflect what we are into, like history, theory, and things of that sort. So in this way, there is a different sort of gratification with both, and the fact that they are two different sides of what I want to do.

17. Are there any more musical projects in which "Ghostlimb" members are involved?

Yes, the label that is connected to us is called "Vitriol" and I run that. Neal is in another band called "Forming" who are very awesome, and I am in the bands, "Graf Orlock", "Dangers" and "Buyer's Remorse".

18. Aside of band and music related work, do you guys have some other hobbies?

Lots of dork stuff. Neal is into landscape architecture, Alex is into geography, and I am into history.

19. Are you involved/interested in any form of activism, be it animal/human rights, ecology, politics, ...?

We are all either vegetarian or vegan and try to have some idea about the way money is spent and how our real voting with cash effects things. Our politics fall a lot in line together, but it is difficult to write it all out. We are interested in autonomy and cooperative enterprises.

20. What have been your favorite releases in 2011 thus far? And what about some overall favorites?

I like the "Owen Hart" record, and the new "Graveyard" record "Hinsingen Blues", it is super 70s. Also the new "Obits" record, real rock and roll called "Standard, Moody, and Poor".

21. Once again, thank you so much for doing this interview, hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Any final  message for the readers?

Write what you want to read, play what you want to hear.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fuck, Wolves! & Sarg - Summer Tour 2011 updates

For all those interested, here are some updates regarding "Fuck, Wolves!" and their upcoming tour with "Sarg".
The band took a small pause with playing since January, but a few days ago they had a rehearsal and all is fine and well. Sadly their "Euro tour" changed into just a "Summer Tour", so here are the planned dates:

07.07. - Darmstadt, Oetinger Villa
08.07. - Hamburg, TBC
09.07. - Berlin, Scherer8
10.07. - Leipzig, TBC
11.07. - Erlangen, Jugendhaus
12.07. - Germany / Austria / Switzerland (help)
13.07. - Germany / Austria / Switzerland / France (help)
14.07. - Landau, Fatal
15.07. - Liège (Belgium), Carlo Levi
16.07. - Wiesbaden, Kreativfabrik
17.07. - Kaiserslautern, Basement

Some of these shows will also feature the great French band "Theme of Laura".
If you can help them with the dates they still need, feel free to get in touch via their myspace here or their facebook here. Or just send me an email/shout/whatever and I will forward your message. Either way, help will be highly appreciated.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Move the Island - EP (2010)


This month has been extremely scarce with posts for various reasons. At the moment I acquired two writing jobs, one already in motion, one waiting to start next month and just the preparations for those are really draining my energy for writing. Since I'll keep the blog running of course, you should probably expect more interviews and a bit shorter than usual reviews. But enough rants, let's get this one going.

"Move the Island" is a hardcore/punk band coming from Birmingham, Alabama. This four track EP was recorded in November 2010 and as much as their blog (found here) suggests they immediately went onto writing and recording some new stuff for a full length. There are just a few posts over there and for a second I thought the band stopped existing, but luckily they have several shows in line, so all is well.
So, what do you get in this neat little EP? The majority of sounds in the four songs present here are surprisingly, for this genre, mid tempo. I was actually expecting to hear some maniacal rampage or something similarly wild, but was actually greeted with an easy going record. Don't get me wrong though, this is not a flaw at all, the tunes are very well composed with a lot of shifts in melody and the band is exceptionally well presenting its skill and talent. In the sea of mid tempo playing, there are some faster peaks and it is quite interesting how they literally spice up a song. Thanks to great recording, the sound is completely superb and you can hear everything. At times I was literally forgetting a currently playing song as a whole and was just focusing on a particular instrument. I was very surprised with how well you get to hear the bass and how good the lines actually are.
It's all good and nice, but what does it sound like? Yeah, this question was bugging me during my initial listening, since I really couldn't put my finger on it, a definite seal of uniqueness for this band. In the end, I kinda managed to find some similar projects, but thinking about it now I don't know if it will make sense. "Move the Island" swings on the line of "Bright Calm Blue", creating a bit more punk version of "Asymmetry Set" and at times morphing slower bits and pieces of "La Dispute" into more hardcore. Lyrics are also written in such a manor, bouncing between social criticism and emotional dilemmas. Don't take my words for granted though, it sounds strange, but it makes perfect sense in my crazy mind.
But forgetting influences and all that for a second, the fact that you should take for granted is to just take a listen to this band. I was stupid enough to really delay listening to them just to be in the right mood, yet once I took a listen I realized that I would love their music despite the moment I initially listened to them. So don't make the same mistake as I did and just check them out. If you are not into downloading music at the moment, you can take a listen to "Move the Island" on their bandcamp page found here. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Interview:The Saddest Landscape

Mitko from "Tigersuit" zine asked me to post this interview he did for back in October 2009. Initially, of course, the interview was posted in Bulgarian, but now you get a chance to read it in English here. Quite an interesting and a bit more personal conversation, definitely give it a glance.

1. As there isn't so much information or band biography on The Saddest Landscape around, could you begin with a history of the band. And once the band split up, why did you manage to make a reunion in 2009?

The saddest landscape originally formed in early 2002, our other guitarist at the time, si, and I talked about forming a band, and he went to school with our original bassist who in turn knew aaron, our drummer, and that sort of started it off. We have always lived a number of hours apart at any given time so we just did things when we could. So we did that for awhile released a few records, toured both in the states and Europe, did some more records then eventually took a bit of a break, this was in part as we had a falling out with our bassist, and at around the same time si went to korea for awhile, (which is also what lead to aaron and I doing her breath on glass). so we never really broke up we just kind of didn’t do anything. It also felt like we didn’t really want to do it without si, and if he wasn’t there maybe we shouldn’t do it, then over time it became clear he just wasn’t into doing it anymore, so we had to really think about could we do it with someone else? So when we were in Europe last aug, we agreed to do a couple tsl shows and have our boys in merkit help out and learn some songs, and it turned out to be a lot of fun and a lot of kids still seemed to be into it so we realized yes we can do this, and more importantly we really wanted to keep doing it, so we got the 2 mikes to join the band on bass and second guitar, and here we are, a year later a few shows, a couple new records coming out soon and quite excited about the future.

2. In what past and current projects have the members of The Saddest Landscape been involved? Her Breath On Glass comes to mind.

Well Her Breath is the most known right now I would think as it is both myself and aaron (tsl drummer), so that is definitely the one that shares the most resemblance to the saddest landscape, before that I was in a band called, the last forty seconds, which I also sang and played guitar in. Aaron was also in a short lived post-rock band called championship, and mike is in a alt-country style band called the farm league.

3. You were part of the scene in the 90s with venues like ABC No Rio, bands like Saetia, Neil Perry, You And I etc. What are your memories of that time, can you give us an insight into the emo hardcore scene since the time you have started playing in bands and being part of the DIY scene? Your favorite bands, shows, moments, good and bad things... and what's different now?

Well to clarify, the saddest landscape came just after most of those bands you mentioned, (and as a side note ABC NO RIO is still going strong so they are in no way just a 90’s venue), but I was in other bands that played with some of the bands you mentioned and I definitely saw all those bands. As for my memories of that time, it was exciting I had started seeing more diy/emo hardcore shows a few years prior with bands like anasarca, frail, Julia, ordination of aaron etc., so it seemed like a lot of kids my age who saw those bands formed the next round of bands around the time frame you are mentioning. It was really a great feeling to be part of the scene we loved as more than just a spectator, be it in bands, doing zines, labels etc., we could do it too, and change what we thought needed changing while carrying on traditions we wanted to see preserved.

Around the late 90’s early 00’s I would say my favorite bands of that scene were orchid, yaphet kotto, jeromes dream, reversal of man, city of caterpillar, the list can just keep going so ill leave it at that.

As for what is different now, mainly the internet has really changed so much, this whole file sharing thing has made it so kids can just get an entire bands discography in a matter of minutes, gone is a time when you had to search every distro imaginable just to hear a song by a band, buying records on packaging alone, this risk/excitement just isn’t there in the same way. It seems now by the time you even hear a band you have already formed some sort of opinion on them because of posts on message boards, or clips on a myspace page. I miss that aspect of it. Or seemingly simple things like going to friends houses and making mix tapes just to hear more bands but while doing that having a conversation with them about how they found this band, or what this record means to them, now its just click and on to the next one.

4. What would you say to people who think that there is no room for emotional expression within hardcore punk, that hardcore should be political, tough, aggressive? Do you think it can be really an appropriate balance between politicaly outspoken and emotionaly available hardcore without being contradictionary to each other?

Well first I would argue that isn’t all hardcore an emotional expression? Just because you aren’t singing about broken hearts does not mean you can’t be emotional, a lot of strictly political bands I happen to have quite an emotional response to, which I think a lot of other people do too. This is good, it causes people to take action when they really feel something, as opposed to just being told to think something.

Hardcore/punk should be whatever you make it, this means though that you have to accept that it may include some really silly tough guy macho bands, just like you have to accept some really shitty emo bands as well, just listen to what you like, just because these bands exist does not make what you like, (or any other bands for that matter) less hardcore because of it.

As for the balance between politically outspoken/emotionally available hardcore, sure I think there can be a balance, I think the best bands are the ones that offer both, just be fucking passionate about something, I want to believe what your singing about really matters too you, whatever that is.

5. What's the saddest thing that you see in your everyday life? Do you feel the people around you are getting more and more alienated and lose their passion to change the things around them? And how the music you're making deals with this, is there an intention to ignite the passion in those listening to your music and coming to your shows or it's just a way to escape from the alienation of the outside world and create your own alternative through the hardcore scene?

This is a tough question, it sounds overdramatic to say I see sadness all around me, because it isn’t up to me to decide what/who is sad, I do see a lot of people though who don’t really seem to know what truly makes them happy, or if they do they lack the courage to go after it, which I think is something we can all relate to. Just this very real fear of getting hurt, or rejected, judged, or simply dismissed as not valuable. I know I am afraid of this, and I often feel trapped because of it.

And sure I see a lot of people who have lost their passion, but I also see a lot of people who never seem to lose it, who put so much of themselves into what they do, whether it is playing in bands, making dinner, or making someone close to them feel loved. These are the people who inspire, the ones whose excitement for what they love is so contagious that I can’t help but get caught up in it, and it makes me want to do better, to put more of myself into what I do.

As for the intent to ignite passion, there is no deliberate attempt to do that, but if it happens great it would feel like an accomplishment. And sure it is an escape, but again I don’t really think about it in that way, there are  a large range of emotions that go into playing music for us, ultimately it feels like something I just can’t imagine not doing, I would feel lost without it.

6. What keeps you waking up every morning? Do you feel loved and do you think you're giving enough love to the people who deserve it? What in your opinion are some useful things we can do in our everyday lives to feel more connected with the people we care about and to deal with the important things in our lives?

This is a tough question for me, I actually skipped this one as I was not sure how to answer it, I just know I wake up every morning because that is what you do, scars and all, you just keep trying. And most days, yes I do feel loved, but some days are darker than others and it is hard to see or feel it. and as for giving it, I hope so, but I think we can all give a little more at times.

As for what to do to feel more connected and deal with the important things, I guess the real trick is to take a step back and really try and define what is truly important to you, a lot of things we fight so desperately to hold onto we often times find out they are not really where happiness lies, and it clouds what we should really be caring about and fighting for, but everyone needs to find out what that is for themselves. And yes of course you are going to get hurt, that is ok, just don’t be afraid to fail again if need be, who knows one day it may get better, but failure is not as lonely a place as it sounds.

7. Your lyrics are beautiful, really expressive, passionate and romantic. Which are your favorite The Saddest Landscape's lyrics and what about the process of writing it?

Thank you, it always means a great deal when people tell me that,

As for my favorite lyrics, it varies depending on what I am feeling at the time, the first one I felt really good about was “the sixth golden ticket”, I felt I was really able to encapsulate what I was feeling with that one, “wishlist for the drowning”, and “a statue of a girl” come to mind as well. Lately though “eternity is lost on the dying”, which was on a bonus 7” with the discography I am really happy with. Also a new song we just recorded called “..sp lightly thrown” I think is one of the better things I have written, but we shall see tomorrow I may feel otherwise.

As for the process of writing them, I write a lot, it just helps me sort things out, I try to write everyday, not just lyrics, then at some point I just get an idea, or moment where I feel like this would make a good song, so it can start there. Ultimately I just try to write in a way that hopefully people who listen can understand exactly the feeling I am trying to convey, even if the situation may be different the feeling is there. And at the very least it will help me get a better understanding of what I am feeling.

8. It seems that the title of the song "Fourty-four Sunsets" comes from the book "The Little Prince" by Antoine De Saint-Exupery, right? How do you came up with this song? And what about the meaning of "The Stars in January", why are there two parts?

That is very astute of you, so yes it is a little prince reference, (as is the band name). in terms of what it is about, it is simply just being passionate about one thing(or person), and whatever this may be, whether it is a person or a sunset, can mean everything to you while at the same time be completely overlooked or taken for granted by someone else.

As for …the stars in January, first the song is not in 2 parts, that is just some bullshit internet thing where the people downloading it made a fucked mp3 with the song in 2 parts, so yeah one song.

As for what it is about, it is about trying to get through life doing everything you think is right, learning from examples/mistakes made by people you have maybe looked up to, or who had been where you are before, but then when you get there watching everything fall apart, seeing what you want directly in front of you and you just can’t get to it. And because of this being sort of forced to rethink everything you believed in and feeling desperate enough to put all of your faith in things like stars, then wondering if even they can take the weight of it all.

9. What do you think of the role that the internet currently plays in the hardcore/punk scene? In the song "The Fashion Magazines Have Succeeded" you touch the subject of the internet message boards and the negativity of internet over the scene. Also what about the fashion magazines and media hijack of terms like Emo and Screamo and the huge fashion trend that was generated in the last few years?

The internet is a tricky thing, we actually spend a fair amount of time debating this within the band too, its tough I really struggle with how useful it is, often times it just seems to do more harm, which I don’t mean as far as physical damage or anything of that nature more that the convenience of everything just seems to lessen the value of the music. It just seems like so many people download so many records that they just don’t spend enough time listening to them and really absorb them, instead if something does not instantly grab them then its on to the next thing, which is sad, a lot of truly great records take a few spins to really get under your skin.

As for the song “the fashion magazines…” it is less about any specific form of media and just more commenting about the over all struggle some people have with staying hip/relevant. Part of the negative aspect of internet culture seems to be this desire to not only be the first one to find out about a band, but also be the first to start talking shit about them, almost like there is some sort of status points in tearing people down. I see it all the time people hiding behind computers commenting on one show they heard about where a band supposedly played poorly, or had a  record that one person didn’t like so they post like they are experts, and the band in question gets torn up and that is what people remember and they are just associated with those comments before they are even heard, never mind that the band could have had an off night at that show and are usually brilliant, or that record in question was a leaked unfinished demo never intended to be heard etc.

As for the media hijacking the emo scene, fuck it, it doesn’t even matter, it has been happening for decades the media can have the shitty bands, there are enough great and amazing bands/records/zines within our diy scene to keep me interested that I just don’t worry about it anymore. The whole fashion trend is only relevant if we take part in it, so just don’t invest.

10. What is the most meaningful thing you have heard at a hardcore show? Is there any band that you've seen live and something what they say between the songs have strucked in your head?

Oh man there are so many, but if I think back I remember seeing frail play a long time ago, and the singer in-between songs made everyone turn to the people next to them and introduce themselves, saying that if we really wanted to make this a scene, and be something different, make a difference we should start by getting to know everyone around us as we were all part of it, I thought it was such simple thing, but something that is so overlooked, and when people did it you could kind of feel this energy in the room and when the band played it felt like we were more involved somehow. That always stuck with me.

11. Anything you want to add?

Just thank you asking me to do this interview, and as always communication is encouraged so feel free to get in touch: and not to plug product to blatantly but if you would to order any of our records you can do so at:


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Interview:Laatste Halte

I wanted to do some writing today for the blog, but actually realized that I won't be spending so much time by my pc today and I won't be in Belgrade for two days, so something cool had to be posted as soon as possible. Here is the interview I did for the third issue of "Tigersuit" zine with the friendly guys from the Dutch screamo outfit "Laatste Halte". The interview was done back in January, so some of the dates mentioned here have already passed. Hope you enjoy the read, it was quite a lot of fun!

1. First, I would like to thank you for taking your time and doing this interview with me and Tigersuit zine. Please, introduce yourself and the rest of the band.

Awesome that we can participate in this zine and your blog! My name is Joost, I play guitar and do some vocals, then there's Dirk, he also does vocals, and Karel, the drummer in our band.

2. How did all of you join together to form a band?

I was jamming about 5 years ago with Karel, nothing got serious until a few years later. I really wanted to do screamo band and he was O.K. with that idea. Dirk was in my other band at the time and wanted to do vocals, so he joined in.

3. Before "Laatste Halte" you guys went under the name "Lewd". Why the name change?

There are some punk Lewd's out there and we wanted to have a band name that reflected our music. Laatste Halte means Last Stop in Dutch. It somehow captures a bit of the anxiety and despair in our music.

4. I know only a handful of bands coming from the Netherlands aside of you, including Shikari, Dodewaard, Grinding Halt and Gonzo. Could you describe the scene in your country when it comes to screamo?

Screamo is almost dead, luckily we have some newer bands who just started: Mosaïc and Praesentia. Hardly any shows are happening at the moment. I hope it will change.
Hardcore/punk shows do happen very often, that scene is a bit more alive. Check out This Routine Is Hell, Cracks in the Wall, Citizens Patrol, Cornered, those are some of the cooler bands at the moment.

5. Are there any zines or similar collectives which support bands in the Netherlands? Do you generally enjoy reading zines?

There are some dudes doing zines in the Netherlands:
He's also vocalist in Said & Done (check them out if you're into NYHC)

6. Diy attitudes have melted down with this type of music from the very beginning. What are your experiences regarding diy, both good and bad?

We'll try to keep our recordings DIY. Our demo, when we were called Lewd, received some critique for the bad recording quality, "It feels as if the drums were recorded when the wind was blowing through the rehearsal space". We recorded the music in the parents of the drummer's house and did vocals in his studentroom. It was really a lot of fun creating this. When we recorded those vocals people outside were yelling back and we just laughed and had a good time.
I made the demo myself, printed the artwork on a bit thicker paper and sew them together.
For the split with Gonzo we hired a rehearsal room with some equipment, but because we and our friends didn't know to much about it we only recorded 3 songs.
Hopefully we'll get to work with a friend who recorded the last Gonzo songs. DIY as much as possible (we want to use Gonzo's hangout place and just get some good live recordings).

7. Are you guys interested in some form of activism? Animal/human rights, politics, ecology? 

Dirk: I am really interested in globalization and mass-consumption.  I like to think and read about why the world works the way it does. It’s messed up but luckily people are starting to realize this system maybe isn’t the best. But setting fire to a McDonald’s restaurant isn’t going to solve anything. Throwing bricks through the window of a bank is not a revolution. The only thing we can do is inform ourselves, and inform others, and "our revolution" will come, maybe in 5 years, maybe in 50 or 500, but it will come.

8. What is your biggest inspiration when it comes to writing lyrics? And which themes you like to touch through your words?

Dirk: For me, one of the biggest inspirations for laatste halte is human suffering, on personal and global levels.
We like to try out different languages as well; we’ve had songs in English, Dutch, German and Arabic.

Joost: Personal issues are the biggest inspiration to our lyrics. But also this society we live in. And for example 'De Lepelaar' is a poem from one of my favorite Dutch writers (JMA van Biesheuvel).

9. You will be playing with "Manku Kapak" and "Black Everest" in March, as well as on the "EMOEMU fest" in Germany. Do you plan just these few shows outside your country or will they be a part of a tour or something?

We still need to fix some shows to let it be an official tour. Most of the shows will be in Germany though. Maybe we'll play a show in Poland if we can sort it out.

10. You have done quite a nice number of shows. Which gig with "Laatste Halte" has been your most memorable?

A lot of our shows have been great nights. Playing with Child Meadow in Liege was really cool, they are some really nice dudes. Our shows in Nijmegen were also pretty cool and Gonzo's last show was really awesome.

11. A split with "Quantis" from Malaysia has been mentioned. How is that coming along?

Moment of Collapse will help us with the pressing plant stuff. Some other labels are chipping in, but we're still looking for some more labels. Maybe a friend will start a label to help us out.
A friend of us will draw the artwork.
We and Quantis are writing new songs for this split
He also did this for a Russian release of our demo + the songs on the Gonzo split:

12. Do you have some other plans for the future?

Dirk: Joost’s dream is to play Cry-me-a-river-fest, but other then that, no real plans. For me, I just want to have fun, write songs, play shows, go to cool places, meet cool people.

Joost: Next to CMAR, I like to hold the split 7" with Quantis in my hands; that will be an epic moment. Playing Fluff fest would be really awesome to, gotta keep dreaming.

13. Any chance of hitting up some shows in Eastern Europe?

First up is the March tour, but we're open for anything and we like to play some more shows abroad since we don't have a vivid screamo scene over here. And meeting new people is always a blast. So hopefully we'll have the chance to do some shows in Eastern Europe later this year.

14. Reading some of your posts on cmhwak forums I see you have a side project. Care to share that a bit more in detail? And also, do other members of "Laatste Halte" have some other bands?

Karel played in some projects, but nothing active at the moment. He makes some ambient/aphex twin/bonobo stuff with his laptop and keyboard.
Me and Dirk play in another hardcore band called Malfunction:
And I play guitar and do vocals in a black metal project - Haa(s)t (it's influenced by bands like Ash Borer/Fell Voices/Panopticon/Suicide Nation/Liturgy)
And I do vocals in a hardcore punk band called Gewoon Fucking Raggen (Just Fucking Shred)
Recorded a 18 song demo in one day with those guys last winter.

15. Do you guys have some other hobbies besides making music?

Reading books for all of us (Tolstoy - Anna Karenina is one of my favorites and Herman Hesse gets appreciation in this band). Dirk does some cool stuff with his photo camera.

16. I'm very interested to hear about your favorite releases in 2010; as well as some all time favorites.

I'm really bad at making these lists but these are definitely great:
Vogue - Pompshit 12"
Grinding Halt / Drainland
Sports - demo
Vestiges - the Decent of Man
Ash Borer / Fell Voices
Probably a lot more if I would remember which records came out in 2010.

17. Time for you to ask a question!
What's your all time favorite book?

I have to be honest, that is a very easy question for me haha. “The Whisperer in Darkness”, a compilation of tales written by H.P. Lovecraft, all concerning to the Cthulhu Mythos. In my opinion he is the best occult/horror writer and in general quite a genius man. His life was very rough and it is very interested how it actually managed to inspire his writing. Definitely check him out if you are looking for a scare!

18. Once again, thanks for doing this interview! Any final messages for the readers?

Just have fun.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Shat Shorts - Seersucker and Sundresses (2010)

Woke up today and felt extremely charged and excited about doing some writing for the blog. Morning sleepiness, some coffee, my cat blocking half the screen and an extremely interesting band to top it all...small things make life fucking great.

"Shat Shorts" is a quintet hailing from Washington, DC, consisting of former members from quite a lot of past projects, including "Dawn Treader", "Mop Attack", "The Summer We Went West", "Bezout's Identity", "Hobis" and "Monument". The dudes got together in last April and by the following September they already recorded this six song tape. In the mail that Andrew from the band sent to me, he mentioned that they play hardcore/punk, but once I took a listen to their material I realized that it was so much more than just plain hc punk. My excitement about writing today was further increased once the tape ended, since there are all sorts of elements flying around in their music which really make "Shat Shorts" your atypical band.
"Amateur Hour" opens up first, comically starting with the whole band just playing some random (warming up) tunes. Drums get in line to get things serious, after which you are greeted with a deep, guitar screeching, evil melody, quite an eerie feel to it. After some time, drums go at it again and kinda separate the song into several repeated sections, a near start stop style if you please. By now you are are still in the so called hc/punk genre, but already drifting away from it, since now bass comes up front with a rather simple line which completely blew me away with how much it sounds great. Seconds later guitar comes above the bass, this repetitive melody going on for some time.
Ok, so I'll stop with the description here, hoping that you got my point. This is about half a song and as you can see there is so much going on. Not only are the melodies diverse, but the instruments sound vastly different from your standard hardcore. Call me crazy, but the bass has a sort of post punk tone to it, a bit distorted but quite solid at the same time. It really sounds great this way especially because it seems to both perfectly fit in with the rest of the band and to be extremely out of this world. The vocals are also raspy and you get a feeling like the singer is performing through a bunch of static, which exceptionally fits in with the overall chaos. Generally, the whole recording seems crunchy and raw, with a lot of crackles going on around in the air and it fits perfectly. My readers probably know how much I praise "clean" recordings, but this just blew my head from my shoulders, I instantly fell in love with this. One would think that this crunchiness would drag along some slow, sluggish tunes, but "Shat Shorts" just bursts with energy. Yes, they have some slower song sections, but there are also extremely fast and melodic parts which are just stunning.
The fact that I wrote this review in one breath, without turning back and after the initial listening gives quite a lot of praise to this band by itself. They really managed to impact hit me so fast and really left a mark in my head. There is really an interesting and unique experimental edge within their music and it grasps your full attention. I definitely recommend "Shat Shorts" to everyone, they are bound to attract your liking. If you are still uncertain whether to give them a try, you can read an interview with them which was done by "dcist" here or if you found my review retarded you can check out their one song being featured in a local city paper here. You can also get in touch and follow them on their tumblr page here. So, what are you waiting for? Go and just enjoy!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Small updates

Up front I really have to say how sorry I am for not providing too much posts lately. My mood is quite swinging lately and although I'm feeling quite positive and full of energy, I'm actually having a tough time to sit down and write. My focus is (among other great things) mainly on my band at the moment, so most of the time I am actually pondering about that. Needless to say, I won't abandon NWNP (ever), I just need to get back to full gear, which I will most certainly try.
Aside of that, there are cool things coming up. I have updated the "Tigersuit" zine page, since a new, third issue came out. Check it out and sit tight for further updates because the fourth issue is planned to be in English!
In a couple of days an interview I did with "Thou" will be posted. It took quite some time to be done, but Bryan was extremely honest about the delay, so I really can't blame him and the rest of the band. The delay actually made me be excited about the interview that much greater and I really hope you all will enjoy it, since it is rather long and quite detailed. As for the interview I did with "Laatste Halte" for "Tigersuit" will most likely be posted in a day or two.
Luka and I are planning to do a series of interviews with names such as "Deafheaven", "Ghostlimb" and "Graf Orlock", but we are yet to contact the bands. Hope I tickled your interest a bit!
In any case, this was just to let you know that your host is still alive and kicking :)