Monday, April 9, 2012

[event] Marah Dan Baruah // 14th Apr 2012 @ Chapter 6 Studios

GEEN NAAM (thrash metal punk, KL)
DISKANGKUNG (hardcore punk, Batu Pahat)
ANGKARA (d-beat, Kedah)
EXKORIATOR (crust quad, SG)
BLOODSTONE (thrash as fuck, SG)

and introducing:
SNAGGLETOOTH (punk and roll hiking metal punks)

in support of the 4-way split Capitalist Holocaust by Angkara, Diskangkung, Exkoriator and Geen Naam.

Tickets at $6.

[event] Hardcore Hell III // 13th Apr 2012 @ Old Married Soldier's Quarters, Fort Canning


XIBALBA (brutal and messed up hardcore from the US)
RECOVER (break down the walls!)
STRAIGHT FORWARD (our pride, our glory)
PLUTO (too fast,too loud)
JORGE OF THE JENGGO feat. THE TUJOBELAS (B-Hood represent feat P-Town sounds of the Teh Ais!)
NO EXCUSES (the new abrasive hc kids on the block)

Former Old Married Solder's Quarters at Fort Canning
We shall open the gates of hell this Friday the 13th.
Madness begins at 7pm and shall be seized by 11pm.
10 Bucks

Proudly brought to you by Prohibited Projects

[event] From The Back of The Room Asia Premiere // 10th Apr 2012 @ The Pigeonhole

Asia premiere of From The Back of The Room, a documentary highlighting women within the DIY-punk scene, this Apr 10 (Tues) at The Pigeonhole. Expect to see interviews with the women from KYLESA, BIKINI KILL, BRATMOBILE, SUBMISSION HOLD, and BLATZ, amongst several others.

$10 per entry, half of the proceeds go to the film.

Don't miss this!



In the early 1980s, American hardcore punk began to take shape in Washington, DC. This subculture blossomed in the United States, with bands like Minor Threat at the helm. Women, however, did not gain much visibility in this community until the 1990s, when Bikini Kill and their contemporaries spawned the riot grrrl movement.

Although Bikini Kill and riot grrrl made undeniably important contributions to underground music and culture, their peers and predecessors are often forgotten, both by music fans and feminists. From the Back of the Room aims to remedy this, beginning in 1981.

Cynthia Connolly, Tribe 8, Chris Boarts-Larson of Slug and Lettuce, and others take the viewer through these early years, exploring the development of the role of women in the national music scene through venues like ABC No Rio, and 924 Gilman Street. Kathleen Hanna and Allison Wolfe discuss the rise of riot grrrl, and the movement’s staying power in underground music is disputed by many of the women interviewed.

The film moves through the 1990s with interviews from Naked Aggression, Submission Hold, Look Back and Laugh, Sick Fix, and Detestation. Booking agents, zine authors, musicians, and artists are all featured, giving the film a well-rounded scope. Red Thread, Condenada and Bruise Violet bring the viewer into the present tense.

Although respect is given to the riot grrrl movement, the second half of the film focuses more specifically on the variety of issues that face women in underground music. Beauty ideals, sexuality, motherhood, race and sexual violence are all discussed. Hopes for the future, and advice for younger women close out this heartfelt portrait of women in music.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

[interview] WORMROT (grindviolence from Singapore)

Mention the name WORMROT, and most everyone in the global hardcore-punk/metal circuit know who they are. Playing a style of abrasive in-your-face grindviolence, they have toured tirelessly in the past 2 years -- in the US, Europe, and Indonesia, with the occasional show in Singapore, Malaysia, and even Vietnam. Pretty soon they will conquer the world! We get the scoop on them in this exclusive interview which gives us the lowdown on all the stuff no one has dared to ask (at least not in front of them anyway): the Scion A/V deal, their recent Indonesia tour (What?! They asked for USD$300/show?!), their arrest by the religious police over New Year's in Malaysia, whether they consider themselves DIY or not. So: are they DIY or not? We love this game. You decide.

Hey guys! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Before we get started, let's get all the usual formalities out of the way. Names, positions in the band, daydreams and hobbies, favorite pop band/song on the radio? Also, perhaps a really really brief history on the band, for those who aren't familiar with WORMROT or grindcore in general?

Rasyid: Hi, my name is Rasyid. I play the guitars and I'll be doing the entire interview. Arif and Fitri do the vocals and drums respectively. We play grindcore with powerviolence and crust influences. We started in 2007 after we completed our National Service, and got signed by Earache Records in 2010 I think. Right now we have two full-lengths and various EPs, splits and comps, and are currently writing the third full-length. My favourite punk rock band EVER is FOUR GET ME A NOTS. Ever. A close second would be UPLIFT SPICE.

Wormrot has always been a hardworking band -- constantly writing, recording, improving and honing the art of blast-beat grindviolence. All this has evidently paid off, what with you guys being picked up by Earache soon after having your first full length LP released by underground label TVG Records. Since then, it's been constant touring coupled with solid releases and you have never looked back. Care to share your thoughts and views on this whole experience? How has the international world of grindcore been treating you guys on the road? How does it feel to be able to play huge festivals alongside big name bands most of us here back home only dream of seeing live while we sleep naked with their records nestled in our bosom?

Rasyid: The experience has been terrific so far, meeting and talking to members of big bands (well at least to us) like PLF, PHOBIA, MUNICIPAL WASTE, and TOMBS. What makes it more awesome is that they're all actually nice guys and not stuck-ups who think they know the scene too well. Watching bands that we only hear of or listen to back home is always a pleasure, but playing/touring with them is an indescribable experience altogether. Perceptions of them slowly fade and you realize that these people are just like us, trying to beat all odds, and loving what they do best every night on stage. But touring comes with a huge price: you will encounter financial problems, you will miss home or someone who's waiting for you back home, irregular mealtimes and of course lethargy, not due to performing but the tiring wait in the van from point A to B. We've basically got everything down except for the financial bit. Definitely not easy, dude. We once thought it was all fun and games, now shit has gotten real. It's a fucking business.

With so much touring for the band, and with each tour lasting at least a month or 2, how are you guys able to get time off work ? Do any of you even hold proper day jobs? What do you guys do to survive when you are not on the road playing music to grind freaks everywhere?

Rasyid: I'm the only one who has a day job most of the time. I work as a mover/driver in a furniture company. I'm lucky enough to get a job that allows me to leave for months and resume when I return. Not many companies in Singapore (or maybe, anywhere) would even consider hiring someone who goes out of the country ever so often, especially when they know it's to tour with a band. Arif doesn't have a day job but he supports himself with his art. Fitri gets a job after one tour, quits before the next, finds another after, lather rinse repeat. Currently he's selling electrical products in an IT shop. I work 6 days a week, and during my off days I prefer to stay at home and watch DVDs, read manga/comics, and play the guitar.

When MAGRUDERGRIND decided to release a free 10" vinyl under Scion A/V (for those who don't already know, Scion A/V is a music label owned by Toyota Motor Corporation, the Japanese car company), there was a huge backlash within the global punk community where harsh accusations of the band selling out and abandoning their DIY ethics were made. Understandably, the same can be said for WORMROT's decision to follow the same path and release a free record under Scion as well, as there were definitely tongues wagging within the local scene when the news broke. We are still on the fence on this whole debate about DIY-punk bands signing on with major corporate entities like Toyota to release a free record, even if the label is willing to pay for every single aspect of the release, from the recording to the pressing of the vinyl. Why did WORMROT decide to collaborate with Scion A/V in the first place? What was the deal?

Rasyid: Actually, we didn't want to do a release with Scion A/V, not because of ethical conflicts but because we thought we needed a break from writing after Dirge. MAGRUDERGRIND's decision to release it for free definitely set me thinking and influenced our decision. Our primary objective to collaborate with Scion is to capitalize on the massive advertising campaign, totally free, and if you're in a band, you would want as much exposure as possible (OK, OK... maybe not all bands). Especially us, coming from our tiny shores trying to make an impact in the foreign market. Everything we have done for the band has cost us a lot of money, and we have had to deal with currencies which are stronger than Singapore's. Why would we not jump on the chance to spread our music further, which also at the same time lightens our financial burden?

If you're against buying from these labels/companies, it's simple: don't buy it, and wait for it to be downloadable online. So far, our music has been available online way ahead of their physical releases anyway. However, if you want absolutely nothing to do with these entities, then cool, we respect your decision and point of view. So wag your tongues and tails all you want, we still won't give a fuck; we do things by our own rules.

The deal was simple: Scion offered us an amount of cash to record a few minutes worth of material for an EP release, they print copies of it, and then give it out for free. That's it. The only condition was that we had to put the Scion logo on the cover, and we had no problem with that, considering they paid for all the costs and get ZERO profit in sales. They even offered to support our US tour this year to promote Noise, but that fell through, so it's on hold. We didn't find anything suspicious with the deal, so we went ahead with the recording of Noise, and it paid off. No regrets.

DIY hardcore-punk has always been very apprehensive and suspicious about anything corporate and has relentlessly tried to keep business and government entities out of the community. Yet with the emergence of Scion Fest, this line has clearly been blurred, especially when staunchly DIY bands like BASTARD NOISE were on the bill last year. WORMROT, like most grindcore bands, started out playing small shows in the local DIY scene. In fact, you guys still do so to this very day. So the question is: do you all still consider WORMROT to be a DIY grindcore band? If so, what are your personal definitions on what constitutes as being DIY in this day and age?

Rasyid: We do what we think is right and that's it. That includes playing DIY shows whether you're under a label or not. I'm not sure what a DIY band is. Sure, we're signed to a label, but we book our own shows. Sometimes we use booking agents, but that doesn't mean we leave everything to them. In some ways, every band is a DIY band. I can't comment on what makes a band truly DIY (or not). Maybe I'm not DIY enough haha.

OK, let's get to the more recent stuff that has been going on for the band. The New Year's Eve show at Rumah Api in Kuala Lumpur was off the fucking hook. All the bands slayed, but WORMROT clearly was the highlight of the evening. Later on however, you were arrested by the Malaysian Islamic religious police. Please kind sirs, for the benefit of those who don't know, tell us more. Details please!

Rasyid: I've written a full write-up on what happened that night and included my opinions in a post on the band's Tumblr page.

You guys have also most recently returned from an Indonesia tour, and judging from the response and comments we've been hearing and reading both online and off, this has not been one of the highlights for the band thus far. Let's set the record straight for all the haters out there: what really happened?

Rasyid: It wasn't the best tour we had but certainly not the worst. There was a misunderstanding regarding our show fees. Apparently, they thought that we had asked for a high show fee, basing their assumptions on our show fees in Europe and the US. And if you convert that to the Indonesian currency, it's a lot. We have managed to clear up the misunderstanding with all the organizers that had asked us about the problem. This is really not a big issue however. Anyone can make assumptions. And quite frankly, we're used to it.  But thanks to all our friends in Indonesia, the problem was settled and we've got our name cleared (I hope).

WORMROT is embarking on a furious month and a half long UK/Europe tour starting this June of 2012. Sounds like an invincible summer! Who is setting up the tour? We understand that the original plan for the band this summer was to cover the States, UK, and Europe, back to back. Why is it only the UK and Europe now? And while we are talking about this, since you guys have toured all these areas before, any major differences between touring these 3 places? Any favorite city or scene that really left an impression? What about sketchy shows? Sketchy promoters? Sketchy kids? Any good tour story to share with the kids? 

Rasyid: As I mentioned above, our US tour has been put on hold, the reason being because MUNICIPAL WASTE will be touring the US during that same period, and Scion will be sponsoring their tour. We were offered to tour with MUNICIPAL WASTE, but Scion found it redundant to sponsor two bands on the same tour, which we understand completely. Also, we've toured the US consecutively in 2 years, and we can afford to give it a break. It's not as if we're not gonna return -- touring the US is awesome fun! Although the tour has been shortened, there's a downside: we now have to fork out our own cash for plane tickets to Europe, which the last time we checked costs about  SGD1700 per person. Therefore, we're saving our monies right now in the shortest time possible. We hate the idea of a fundraising show, -- usually with high ticket prices -- it's almost like begging for others' sympathy (money). Instead, other than our day jobs, we're collecting money by selling our possessions online. I'm selling my collection of toys, comics and whatnot, which are hard to part with but I'll do anything for this silly band.

This tour is set up by our friend named Luc who runs Doomstar Bookings. He too plays in a grindcore band and you've probably heard of it -- FUBAR. He set up our last Europe tour too and we've decided to work with him again. This time around we'll have Nico from Bones Brigade Records to drive us so that's a bonus!

Differences are not much, though I find the crowds crazier in Europe, especially when they're speaking in a language you don't understand. The language barrier is the main obstacle everyone will experience in Europe. Some of them have repeatedly apologized to us for their weak grasp of the English language, but it has never bothered us. Sometimes I find it fun trying to decipher a cryptic code. And coming from Singapore where languages are all mashed up into one, I believe not in the the language spoken but in the message delivered.
I really can't think of a favorite city or an outstanding show right now, but maybe you can ask me again later. These things happen when you're not thinking about it. Though I have the fondest memory of playing in front of a goat. We had a show in a squat/farm, and this goat was following us around... she was like a pet dog! And while I was playing, she'd occasionally come up to me and Arif, put her nose on my guitar, brush against my legs, totally distracting me and my fearsome grindcore playing haha! It was one of the coolest shows where everyone was smiling and laughing whenever the goat stole the spotlight.

(the aforementioned goat)

Describe a typical day in the life of WORMROT while on tour so we can all live vicariously through you. What are your most and least favorite things about touring?

Rasyid: The time we wake up in the morning depends on the journey to the next venue, sometimes we wake up as early as 7AM to get on the road. We'll either have breakfast at the organizer's house or somewhere along the way. And then we hit the endless tarmac roads for hours, usually around 4 hours or more per day. We've driven up to 18 hours, because our driver got lost. I'll usually listen to my player during the journey, and I'll try my best to stay awake and look out the window. I get tired if I sleep too much. I'm a quiet person, sometimes I don't even talk throughout the whole journey. When we arrive at the venue, we'll unload all our gear and equipment, set up the merch table, maybe sound-check (we usually don't), have a beer, and then it's the waiting game. Usually we'll be headlining the show, which means we're playing last, and most of the time, time passes so frustratingly slow. Whenever we're given a chance to play second last or earlier, we take it! After the show, we'll load our stuff back into the van, drive to the place to stay that night -- it could be the organizer's place, a cheap hotel, or a not-so-cheap hotel, or if we're lucky, a friend's apartment. We usually do not party after shows; we prefer a good, quiet and homely rest. But there are nights that I just need to get more alcohol in my system haha. That's about it. Repeat that for 70 days.

Last few questions so make 'em count! Upcoming plans for 2012 and beyond? Last words? And spill it guys, underwear preferences: boxers or briefs? 

Rasyid: Last words: this summer we'll be touring Europe for a month and a half. Everyone knows that we fucking love touring, but this summer will be our last before we take a long and indefinite break. Touring is taking a toll on our lives in Singapore, we have difficulty coping what with our personal commitments, not to mention it's tough for us financially. It's really not easy for Asian bands to travel to the US or Europe to make a living because of all the finances involved. Let us stabilize things back home first, we'll start touring again when things get better. Meanwhile we'll be writing new stuff for the third album, so rest assured we won't be sitting around doing nothing. WORMROT will still be active. And as for undies, Arif is the only one who likes it snuggly. 

[shoutout] Blackhole Radio #9 March 2012

Blackhole Radio is back again! This time with a 9th edition (it appears that Hafiz Bastard was lazy in Jan and Feb, or busy... but whatever) that features a sick line-up of bands from around Asia. PLUTO and FUKK BAR CULTURE are 2 of the top ones, in our very humble opinion. Sometimes there're so many awesome punk bands in the region we can't catch up! So thank goodness for folks like Hafiz Bastard. Get into this.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

[food for thought] GLASS WALLS - Official Video

Paul McCartney narrates powerful documentary about factory-farmed animals and how we can help animals and the environment by adopting a plant-based diet. 

For more information as well as other videos, cliick HERE.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

[event] UNHOLY GRAVE (JP) live in Singapore // 5th May 2012 @ The Substation

UNHOLY GRAVE, a highly prolific grindcore band from Japan (have you got ALL their releases? We think not) will be doing a one-off Singapore show this May at The Substation, with 10 other grind and metal bands (see poster) as supports! This is going to be a sick one.

Get your pre-sale tickets via Electro Sponge Media, who accepts either: 1) direct funds transfer (to POSB Savings account 039-42953-5), 2) Paypal (to, or 3) contact them directly through their Facebook page!

Part of the proceeds will go to the Dyslexia Association of Singapore.

Get ready to grind your head in!

[shoutout] Wanna get on a comp?

Endtime Revival, a webzine, is putting together a sick international extreme compilation to post on their blog for free download titled Burning Enemies/Embracing Friends.

So far the bands onboard are:

NUCLEAR (thrash zombies / Chile)
HYDROMEDUSA (stoner jams / Australia)
SERIOUS BEAK (prog/next level metal / Australia)
MOTHER EEL (noise/grind / Australia)
DESULTOR (death/thrash / Sweden)
BATTLE POPE (stoner punk party / Australia)
FESTER (blackened death / Norway)
ADRIFT FOR DAYS (drone/doom / Australia)
REIGN OF VENGEANCE (death/grind / US)
BEYOND DISHONOR (modern metalcore)

There's already one comp posted, entitled Hell Is War! featuring 19 bands from all over the world.

While you're at it, they are also looking for review material. The two things this blog features are free comps and reviews. If you have review material or material you would like to see on this next comp, forward it to staydown1978 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Artwork and a track listing will be available that people can download as well as the tracks themselves. There will also be contact info for bands and labels and also info on what release the track came from.

Get amongst it!

[event] Earbleedwaxpopfuzzkill w/ STELLARIUM // 13th April 2012 @ Esplanade Recital Studio

Not a stranger to the shoegaze and neo-psychedelia communities and music worldwide, STELLARIUM has been pushing the boundaries of their influences and music by incorporating elements of old and new in their music. Proud stalwarts of the traditional sound as well as fiercely injecting their individual integrities into the mix, they are relentless and unforgiving. Taking into account the beauty and ugliness of life's senses and converting it into sounds.

The band features Azman Kadir on guitars and vocals, Firdhaus Ahmad on bass and Baktiar Zainol on drums and percussion.

Also, be the first to witness animations and art installation by Baktiar, current Masters student of Fine Arts from LASALLE College of the Arts. With chosen works from his most current collection, Baktiar explores the boundaries of personal illness and its relationship with the collective unconscious through the use of mythical allegories combined with wordplay and punk subculture. Put aside art exhibitions and its associated etiquettes, will this multi-disciplinary experience evoke the palpitations in your heart?

Join the trio as they take you on an aural exploration through gritty neo-psychedelia, noise and soundscapes together with art installation and visuals, this coming April, Friday the 13th, at 9pm. The band will be playing a specially selected mix of songs that marks their journey from start to beyond.

Get your tickets now at all SISTIC outlets or from the Esplanade Box Office.

[event] We Know No Boundaries // 24th Mar 2012 @ Chapter 6 Studios

It's been a while since the Lion City DIY hardcore-punk scene saw a show made up of a full bill of local bands, so this may just mark the revival of that, who knows? This show also marks the release of grindviolence 2-piece ABRASION's CD EP before their Indonesia tour, so come on down and grab your copy!

Featuring some of the best names in the Singapore underground circuit, yet:

THIS IS ATLANTIS (atmospheric rock your socks)
PLUTO (brash in-your-face hardcore)
ABRASION (2-piece grindviolence)
VAARALINEN (Scandi worship punx)
SJANSE (skramz)

24th March 2012, 6PM
$5 at the door
Chapter Six Studios
87A Rowell Road

[event] FC Five (JP) live in Singapore // 21st Mar 2012 @ Blujazz Cafe

This may be the last tour ever for Japanese hardcore stalwarts FC FIVE! Known for their energetic hardcore stage presence, they will be doing a short Singapore/Malaysia tour very soon so don't miss this for the world. 

With opening acts:

Show starts at 6pm sharp, and tickets are $12 at the door. It's an all-ages show!

[event] Heaven In Her Arms (JP) live in Singapore // 17th Mar 2012 @ The Substation

HEAVEN IN HER ARMS (JP) live in Singapore 2012 
Mar 18 (Sun), 4pm
The Substation Theatre

Pre-sale at $20 available NOW at: The Substation box office, Straits Records and Inokii till the 9th of March, after which it will be $25 at the door.

This event is proudly supported by.:
The Rockstar Collective
The Substation

Epidemic Records will be releasing a split 7" between HEAVEN IN HER ARMS and YUMI in conjunction with the tour! Limited copies only so watch out for it.

Supporting bands:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

[announcement] We Are On Facebook

Add us up, 'like' our page, be our friend, and spread the love.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

[interview] An Oral History of Powerviolence

WHERE'S THE UNITY? Virtually everyone cites Infest, from Valencia, CA, as the primary influence on the sound that would become known as powerviolence. Infest fused the youth crew-styled hardcore of the time (1986) and the proto-grind fastcore of Siege, Impact Unit (with a pre-Mighty Mighty Bosstones Dicky Barrett), Holland's Pandemonium and Vancouver's Neos into short, undeniably violent-sounding bursts. Towards the end of Infest, guitarist Matt Domino started playing with Eric Wood of Pissed Happy Children in Neanderthal, the band that would first coin the term "powerviolence."

Eric Wood (PHC, Neanderthal, Man Is the Bastard, Bastard Noise): Living in southern California, I was lucky to get to see [Infest] tons of times. They were fucking blitzing power. Their first demo was a primitive recording but you could feel that everything was there, the emotion and the speed. They were a great band; everyone loved them. It's a shame they didn't stay together.

Chris Dodge (Spazz, Despise You, Slap a Ham Records): I saw Infest for the first time around 1988. Nobody knew who they were and I think a lot of people were confused by them. They were harsher and faster than most bands, even in '88. I really liked them, and tracked down their demo soon after.

Wood: Me and Matt Domino kinda came from different backgrounds. I'm a little older than Matt and I was raised on things like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yes, early Alice Cooper, then I was into Raw Power, Zero Boys, Toxic Reasons, then Infest. In Neanderthal, we didn't take a lot of direct influence; we just tried to vibe it. We tried to be freaks in our minds and develop our own thing. I was right out of PHC and he was still in Infest; at the same time I was doing an instrumental bass and drums thing called Cyclops. There were a lot of influences in what we were doing at the time and in what we grew up with.

Parts of Neanderthal's "Fighting Music" 7-inch hit grindcore tempos and song lengths ("Built for Brutality," 16 seconds), but without the overt metal influence of the Earache grind bands. The fast stuff owed more to hardcore punk, while metal influenced the sludgy breakdowns and progressive flourishes.

Evan Garner (Burned Up Bled Dry): I think that powerviolence represented the DIY punk side of grindcore, bands like us that grew up listening to Black Flag, old D.R.I., old C.O.C., things like that, while grindcore represented a more death metal, Napalm Death side of the coin—not that Scum isn't one of my favorite records ever! I think it goes deeper to intent and lyrics and such. More of a punk approach than a metal one: basement shows, DIY ethics, less than perfect records.

Wood: I was never anti-metal. I really liked early Prong, Primitive Origins and Force Fed. Early Obituary is fantastic. Even something like Bathory, him being a one-piece was fascinating to me because he was not being suppressed by anything, including a lack of personnel. I would put things like the Crumbsuckers from New York City. Actually, the Liberty and Justice-era of Agnostic Front, to me, was the most progressive era of their writing, and it was when they had moved into a metal-ish environment. They were written off as being followers but that fuckin' record has phenomenal composition. That was a big influence on me.

Chris Dodge, formerly in Berkeley funny-punks Stikky, started up a DIY label, Slap a Ham, after leaving the melodic hardcore band No Use for a Name in 1989. Records from the Melvins and Fu Manchu were among early Slap a Ham releases, along with Wood's PHC and Neanderthal. Soon, Slap a Ham was putting out records from almost all of the bands associated with the burgeoning powerviolence movement.

Dodge: I started the label to help out bands that I liked who I didn't think were getting the recognition they deserved. NUFAN was one of them. When I put out their 7-inch, at that point I was out of the band but I still wanted to help them because I thought they were great. They didn't have any interest from other labels at all. Same with the Melvins; I became friends with them when they moved to San Francisco from Washington. Besides Boner [Records], there wasn't a whole lot of interest; they played a lot of crappy local shows to a handful of people. My primary focus became what turned into the powerviolence scene. I loved the music and the people in the bands, but again, there wasn't really anyone else interested in working with them at the time. Some of the bands, like Capitalist Casualties and No Comment, were around for at least five years without any label interest before I put out their records. I couldn't believe how great these bands were and I was stunned that they couldn't get anyone to help them release anything.

Wood: The Kubby Hole in Pomona, CA, where Neanderthal practiced, was where "powerviolence" was said for the first time in late 1989. I must give Matt Domino 100% of the credit. We were talking like, "We need to come up with our own trip. We don't want to be lumped into hardcore, punk, any subgenre." We wanted to come up with our own description of our sound, and out of the blue he just said "fuckin' powerviolence." Then it was "west coast powerviolence." We were trying to give it a sense of humor, like "our geographical location is better than yours," and give it a serious brutality.

Neanderthal eventually morphed into Man Is the Bastard, a massive conglomeration of multiple bassist and vocalists, electronic noise, iconographic imagery and slogans, and a radical pro-animal, pro-nature, pro-female platform.

Wood: It was a fluke that I met [Henry] Barnes [MITB noise/electronics]; we worked different shifts at this same bakery. I remember going to his house and seeing these boxes, which were the caveman electronics, and as soon as I heard them and he told me how he was attempting to simulate nature or bird sounds with them, I was like "you're fuckin' in our band, dude. This shit is sick." I had to steal him from anyone who would ever hear these boxes. Luckily no one seemed to understand it. Our whole thing was like: mellow human, ultra-megaton brutal music. Progressive brutality.

Professor Cantaloupe (Gasp): MITB had an artful take on the dichotomy of powerviolence, in that they embraced peace, love, equality and respect to all living creatures as priority number one while belting out burly, complex prog-punk in an I'm-gonna-kick-your-ass kind of way. They encouraged the blurring of gender roles and generalizations of all kinds—I mean, teenage boys all across the globe were turned on to sticky sweet Hello Kitty imagery. How righteous is that?

Goretex (Non-Phixion): MITB are one of those bands like Crass or Black Flag to me, not only for how brutal they were—you really felt like they believed what they were talking about. They were all about getting free. Whether they were talking about an elephant on a rampage or San Salvadorian drug dealers getting a thumbs-up from the President, they delivered the goods.

"H.S.M.P." ("Hispanic small man power"), from a split with Aunt Mary, recounted the events of MITB's first-ever show and officially name-checked powerviolence as a movement.

Wood: That night, there was a lot of shit-talking and fighting going on in one area of the crowd. This little Hispanic man, this little Ranchero dude at the bar, totally mellow, stood up and walked into the crowd and said "Please! Please! We must all be friends!" He reached out to this violent air in the room in an attempt to calm it, and actually did. He really dropped the tension in the room by being an outsider inserting himself into a foreign group and spreading goodwill. When [Aaron] Kenyon witnessed that, he completely tripped out. On that track, Kenyon cites the premiere powerviolence quintet that shaped that movement: Crossed Out, No Comment, Manpig, Capitalist Casualties, Man Is the Bastard. Those were the bands that existed that were powerviolence.

Through the early '90s, new labels like Six Weeks, Pessimizer and Sound Pollution joined Slap a Ham in putting out records from new bands that were inspired by the first wave of powerviolence, including Dodge's own contribution, Spazz. Slap a Ham released several of the classics of the genre, including No Comment's vicious "Downsided" 7-inch, the truly bizarre Drome Triler of Puzzle Zoo People by Gasp, and the Bllleeeeaaauuurr-rrgghhh! series of compilations that crammed 70+ bands onto one 7-inch record.

Dodge: [No Comment] were an enigma. I think they started around '87 or so. I got their demo by chance and it was one of my favorites, but I figured they had broken up. Several years later I was reviewing stuff for Maximumrocknroll and a copy of their self-released first 7-inch came in. I couldn't believe they were still playing, so I wrote to them immediately because I wanted to help them put out more. "Downsided" was supposed to be an LP, but they only ended up writing six minutes of material, so it became a 7-inch instead. It's one of my all-time favorite releases. Andy [Beattie] was later in MITB. He's been involved in a few post-MITB projects, but I haven't seen any of them in maybe five years.

Professor Cantaloupe: It was interesting watching the cross-pollination of genres at the time. Emo was merging with hardcore punk, folk with noise; Men's Recovery Project were twisting the perceptions of Born Against fans. And we were just exploring stuff that was exciting to us. Now flash forward nine years and you've got all kinds of crazy hybrid subgenres with more than just a few bands operating in each. I mean, in 1998 would you have predicted such a huge acceptance of noise like we have today? It makes me wonder what would have happened if we had done another full-length with the material we were working on just before our demise. That stuff was pretty far out and varied and didn't get recorded. In early 2006 we made an attempt at picking up where we left off in 1999, but those creative differences reared their ugly heads and pretty much closed the book for good.

Dodge: [Drome Triler was] another unappreciated album when it came out. It seems like people are just now showing an interest posthumously. Their early stuff was more straightforward grind, and they eventually progressed into whacked-out psychedelic noise. They broke up soon after the LP was released. Cynthia, who was the original Gasp bass player, is doing vocals for Despise You now.

The first of six annual Fiesta Grande fests took place on January 2, 1993, with a lineup of Assück, Man Is the Bastard, No Comment, Crossed Out, Capitalist Casualties and Plutocracy. Subsequent lineups would include straight-up grindcore (Phobia, Discordance Axis) and sludge (Cavity, Noothgrush), but always featured powerviolence bands. MITB played the first four; Capitalist Casualties played all of them.

Dodge: Most of the powerviolence bands didn't really have places to play and were usually out of place on a lot of other punk shows. I think Capitalist Casualties played with Green Day a few times, if that gives you an idea of what the climate of the punk scene was like at the time. Assück was touring and Ken Sanderson was booking Gilman at the time. I was talking to him about getting some of the SoCal powerviolence bands up to play with them, and I think he was the one who suggested making it a Slap a Ham label showcase of sorts. It was the first time all of those bands had played together, and they were all finally starting to create their own scene.

Wood: The first one stands out in my mind because it was the first, it was a new concept, and I don't believe there was ever a better lineup. I had to pull double duty with MITB and Crossed Out on the first one, but it was the most pleasurable double duty I've ever had.

Richard Johnson (Enemy Soil): Fiesta Grande 5 was the first show we played with the new bass player that we had at the time. When we confirmed with Chris that we would play the fest, we hadn't practiced even once with the new lineup, but there was no way we would have said, "Thanks, but we're not ready to play a show of that magnitude." Fuck that! We had recently been fortunate enough to discover Excruciating Terror and we were obsessed with their Expression of Pain album. We were as excited about playing on the same day as Excruciating Terror as we were about playing the fest at all. In Berkeley, as we made our way on foot from the last BART stop to Gilman Street, someone unexpectedly walked out of his house into his driveway as we passed and gave us directions to the club. It turned out to be none other than [Dead Kennedys bassist] Klaus Flouride. This was after we ran into Slight Slappers from Japan at an earlier subway station. We exchanged band stickers, I opened my guitar case and slapped a Slight Slappers sticker on my axe, and the Japanese all clapped in approval. We hadn't even gotten to Gilman yet that night and were already having the time of our lives!
Finally, we banged through our set as best we could and hoped that we were at least half-decent in the eyes of the attendees and especially the other bands, not the least of which Spazz. We didn't want to look like a bunch of chumps in front of them, or Discordance Axis, or anybody else that took their grindcore seriously that night. We saw how much of a coming together Fiesta Grande was. I ran into a troupe of French-Canadian punks there; Bill Yurkiewicz, who at the time hailed from Relapse and Exit-13, was there filming. On the way back home, we met the guys from Hellnation during an airport layover. I could go on. A lot of good came out of that fest for us. Whatever you want to label the music on offer at Fiesta Grande, if nothing else it was a magnet that helped pull together a community.

Dodge: I'd been wanting to start another thrash band forever, but didn't know anyone who was free to start one until after the first Fiesta Grande. Max [Ward] from Plutocracy had mentioned a fastcore band he was starting with Dan [Lactose] from Sheep Squeeze, and he said they needed a bass player. Max and Dan had already written 10 songs, so we practiced once, recorded them, and put it out as our first 7-inch. A bit premature, but oh well. We were originally called Gash, but decided to change it. I suggested Spasm, but there was already an east coast band called Spasm, so I suggested Spazz, and it fit.

Spazz were every bit as brutal as any of the other powerviolence bands, but instead of MITB's politics or Crossed Out's personal rage, they loaded their records with references to kung-fu movies and skateboarding, cameos from Kool Keith and a banjo player, and tons of inside jokes.

Dodge: The fact that my label was called Slap a Ham is proof of what a goofball I am. When I was starting my label, I remember thinking how funny it would be if some of the world's most brutal bands all wanted to be on a label with a ridiculous, non-brutal name. A lot of the humor in Spazz was the result of boredom. We were pretty sick of how generic everything was in the scene, so a lot of our lyrics were pop-culture references and jokes about our friends and came out sounding like gibberish because no one but us had any clue what we were talking about.

As Spazz became popular and Fiesta Grande became a yearly event, powerviolence bands began to appear in other parts of the country and, eventually, other parts of the world.

Garner: The west coast powerviolence bands weren't as much of an overt influence as they were sort of kindred souls—like, "Oh, other folks who love the first D.R.I. record." We thought that we played hardcore punk, just like all the bands that were part of the scene that we were a part of: Man Is the Bastard, Capitalist Casualties, Copout, Los Crudos and all the other bands that we enjoyed.

Steve Makita (Apartment 213): You always hear these stories like, "Oh, Cleveland, those guys are all mean and terrible." If you come to Cleveland for 15 minutes, you'll know why we're mean and terrible. I can't believe we don't have the highest suicide rate in the country. It's the most mundane, boring, backwards city. It's home and we make the best of it, but it makes us angry so we write songs about it. Our good friend Chris Pellow, who was in Ringworm and was in Apartment 213 for a while, turned me on to PHC, MITB, No Comment, and I was like, "This is it." I liked that it could be noisy and sloppy, it wasn't like, "Hey, let's tighten it up and try to get on Victory." Keep it loose and go nuts. When we started 213, it was to kill the boredom that comes from Cleveland.

Andrew Orlando (Black Army Jacket, Monkeybite zine): Our original influences were more towards early Napalm Death, Discharge, Septic Death, Infest and NYHC. Once we started touring a little on the west coast, we got heavily influenced by [west coast powerviolence]. Just meeting some of the amazing bands and people like Spazz, Benumb, Noothgrush and Man Is the Bastard had a strong influence on all of us as people. We got to play many shows with great Japanese bands: Slight Slappers, Senseless Apocalypse, Corrupted, Hellchild. It was cool to see underground hardcore music blossoming in all corners of the earth. Gary from Noothgrush and I started Monkeybite to document this scene of bands that we felt were ignored by some of the more "established" zines at the time like MRR.

If a movement that wasn't really a movement and only officially had a handful of bands can come to an end, then powerviolence came to an end in the late '90s. Man Is the Bastard broke up in 1997. The next year marked the final Fiesta Grande, the final Slap a Ham release (Otophobia's Malignant), and Spazz's final show. Gasp, Black Army Jacket and countless other bands broke up around the same time. Post-Spazz, Chris Dodge has been making experimental music, collaborating with Dave Witte in East West Blast Test, and recently joined reformed grinders Despise You. Eric Wood plays in Bastard Noise with Henry Barnes and Bill Nelson.

Dodge: Spazz called it quits officially once I knew I was going to move to L.A. The timing was good; I think if we had kept going, we would have just released the same-sounding record year after year. Everyone wasn't quite sick of us yet, so I think it's best that we quit while we were ahead, instead of having everyone think, "Oh my god, finally!" The same with Slap a Ham. I couldn't afford to run the label any more. It was close to bankrupting me, and I had gotten so far in debt I had to stop. But at the same time, I had started the label to help out all of these bands who weren't getting the recognition they deserved, and by the time I quit the label there were more than enough grind/thrash/hardcore/powerviolence labels out there who were competing to release stuff, so clearly Slap a Ham wasn't needed like in the early days, and it had served its purpose. I don't miss it at all, so that tells me it's good that I stopped when I did.

Wood: A lot of bands that think they are [powerviolence] today—they fucking are not. The two that exist today, because they get the psychological aspect of it, are Apartment 213 from Cleveland and the Endless Blockade from Toronto. They totally get it. That is powerviolence. And that's where I draw the line.

Andy Nolan (The Endless Blockade): [Powerviolence is] the music that really drew me in during that early- to mid-'90s black spot of DIY hardcore, when faux humanism, tolerance for morons, celebrations of inadequacies and screen printed manila envelopes were de rigueur. It cut through the bullshit and laid waste to everything in its path; it synthesized Heresy, Neos, Ripcord, Larm, Impact Unit and many other greats perfectly, updating them for a new era and always keeping an eye on the roots that grew before. As for being aligned with powerviolence, I'd say we're a powerviolence-influenced band, or a neo-powerviolence band. My favorite record of the era is definitely No Comment's "Downsided." You can't fake that despondent rage.

Beau Beasley (Insect Warfare): Of all the first wave powerviolence bands, No Comment has had the biggest impact on me. They took all the things I loved about D.R.I. and then completely blasted them into lightspeed. Of the big four they are the least discussed, but they will always be my favorite. Well, them and Crossed Out, of course. Crossed Out are the dark lords of powerviolence.

Wood: The title "Fighting Music" says it all. It was about musical fighting. Treacherous examinations of humans defacing themselves or injuring their psyches. Powerviolence was hyper-driven violent signals with human freak subject matter. Powerviolence is up to the determination of those who listen to it, but those who have an intellectual interest will understand it more easily than those who don't look at lyric sheets. In "Fighting Music," the insert wasn't actually the lyrics; there were statements or descriptions concerning the tracks which tried to force you to listen to the lyrics. In Neanderthal's case, and maybe the early stages of MITB, we were about humans desecrating their very Garden of Eden through psychological torture of themselves. Powerviolence is kind of a weird moniker. I believe there was power in the documents that we recorded, and we did kind of get off on the violent hypothetical-ness of it. Power with hypothetically violent subjects.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

[interview] Post-Tour Retrospective w/ RAIVORAITTIUS (hardcore-punk from Turku/Tampere, Finland)

It's been more than half a year since RAIVORAITTIUS were on our shores, and they might already be a distant memory in some of our minds, but as that old adage so omnipresent in DIY-punk goes: "better late than never"! This interview is the first of its kind to be featured on LIONCITYDIY, although we're pretty certain it's been done before elsewhere (although we are unclear exactly where... so if you DO know, show us, and make us feel very unoriginal). Expect more of these where they came from in spits and starts over the next months.

Introduce yourselves, please. Folks may have forgotten about you already!

Tuukka: My name is Tuukka and I play bass. My biggest interests are comics and music.

Jussi: Hi, my name is Jussi and I play guitar. I like riding my bike in the night time. Lately I've been really into R.A.M.B.O, HIS HERO IS GONE, and CATHARSIS (all American, hmm...), but generally I have a diverse taste in music.

Timo: Hi, folks! I'm Timo and I do vocals.

Janne:  Janne, I play drums. It's a new band, we just started to play with the current line-up beginning of 2011. I play in a couple of other bands too: guitar in d-beat crust band VELOITUS, vocals in grindcore band BÜFO and keyboard & drum machine in 1980's inspired synth-pop group PLEASE YOUR KNEES. Beside playing music, I'm a film director and producer. I study media management and work in a theater as a lighting and sound engineer.

The 4 of you did a month-long SE Asia tour in June last year. How did that come about? How did it fall together?

Jussi: Janne found the contact to 7x0x7 through Yeap from PISSCHRIST I guess. From there on, we can thank 7x0x7 and especially Cher for everything. And of course all the people who put up all the shows, gave us food and a place to stay or helped us in other ways. The whole thing was just a huge casserole of international punk-solidarity. Dodon, who came along with us in Java made touring there a lot easier. Without him, we would never have known when to get off the bus or which bus to get on. He also told us when to take a shower (yeah, thanks for acknowledging our maturity, D!) or when we needed to dress better in order to not get into trouble in malls or such. In the end, I'm rather surprised at how smoothly everything went. We didn't have any major problems I think.

Janne: I've always wanted to tour outside of Europe and as I had travelled in Southeast Asia before, I was thinking that it could be a interesting region to tour with a band.  My other band BÜFO was touring in Poland and Czech with an Australian band PISSCHRIST in 2006 and we also played a show with them in Germany in 2008. During the tour I got to know the guys from the band, we kept in touch and about a year later I asked Yeap, the singer of PISSCHRIST, if he had some contacts in SE Asia. I knew that they had done some shows over there and Yeap is originally from Malaysia. At that time, RAIVORAITTIUS, as it is now, didn't even exist, Jussi and I had just been jamming together a couple of times. Anyway, I was planning to tour SE Asia with BÜFO in 2011, and Yeap asked me to contact the 7x0x7 collective. So I did, and they promised to organize the tour for BÜFO. Schedule for the tour was almost ready when BÜFO's drummer Ilmari left the band. I think he wanted to concentrate more on his other bands: THE PHOENIX FOUNDATION, 1981 and XSPECIESTRAITORX. This was the beginning of 2011 and we didn't know who could replace him at such short notice and learn the songs before the tour. I thought that maybe a new band that we just started with Jussi, Tuukka and Timo would be able to do the tour instead if we had more material and more practice. Everyone in the new band was keen to do the tour and folks at the 7x0x7 collective were okay for changing BÜFO to RAIVORAITTIUS.

Tell us one highlight of the tour. Was it [the tour] like anything you ever expected?

Tuukka: There were many highlights, but for convenience I'll mention just one: dancing to local pop music with the crust-punks in Medan. Everyone was all smiles and we had a great time. Sounds corny but at the moment I felt like we were all one. It would have been impossible to expect the tour to be the way it was. The reception in all the cities and venues were just amazing. The hospitality and excitement the people showed was exceptional.

Jussi: One of the highlights for me was a solitary moment in Medan, Indonesia. I had been sleeping in this big room with a concrete floor and big windows. It was late afternoon when I woke up and it was completely silent. The sun was shining in low and I was lying at the edge of a shadow. There were a lot of wonderful moments and many of them were a bit more exciting than this one, but this was the first one to come to my mind now. I was really excited to see people in the punk scene who are also politically active. I'm a lazy sod, so I greatly admire people who get shit done. Oh, and I'm still proud of my one-hand-cartwheel-basketball-whoop I did in Pati, Indonesia.

Timo: It's really hard to choose just one highlight from the whole month of highlights. I guess I'll have to go with the honor of meeting with the Kendeng mountain resistance in Pati, Indonesia. Visiting the people living from and with the ecosystem of the mountain, whose lifestyle has been compromised by the greed of the cement companies. Check it out and show your solidarity!

Janne: The highlight was making friends with people and eating Indonesian food! That's two already!

How did the general response differ in the different countries/cities? How did kids react to your music, and to you, as people?

Tuukka: Generally, Indonesians were most excited about us both as people and as a band. I think the other countries had more opportunities to see touring bands so it wasn't such a novel experience for the people in those places. At some shows we didn't get any response besides some lazy clapping, but at other shows the whole crowd was a screaming moshpit. It's good to remember this if the first couple of shows happen to be really good -- the band shouldn't expect the rest of the tour to be the same throughout.

Jussi: Tuukka pretty much nailed this one already. In smaller places people were apparently more interested in us as people and as a band. In a lot of places in Indonesia, people were stopping us on the streets to take photos with us. I don't know if it was because we are white or if it was because we look like punks. It was weird. Pretty much everywhere we went the hospitality was overwhelming. The standard of hospitality was very high, which kind of made the places that were slightly less overwhelmingly hospitable seem not that good, but that's just psychological.

Timo: The people in Indonesia were mostly really curious about us as people and as a band. The "modern" style of hardcore is really big there and our blend of the 80's Finnish and American HC seemed to be something else. Some loved the rawness and others seemed disappointed that we were not playing metalcore. In other countries we didn't have the exotic value we had in Indonesia, but everywhere we went, we were positively surprised by the feeling of solidarity and equality in the DIY-punk scenes.

Janne: All the places were nice, but the Indonesian crowd was the best and they seemed to be the most interested in us too.

There are obviously a lot of complex race and class dynamics when a Western band tours SE Asia. How do you think you navigated that?

Tuukka: Because we are from the West, people seemed to be very curious about us, but only in a positive way -- no one was hostile towards us. I guess people also thought we were rich because we could come all the way to the other side of the world, but the truth is almost all of us had to borrow money to go on this tour and we were on a really tight budget the whole time. It felt bad to say no to some of the people who wanted to trade their own shirts for our band shirts, but we really needed the money from the shirt sales.

Jussi: It was weird, being the white minority. I mean, it was weird that being white accounted for getting special treatment in some places, like not being security-checked in the promised land of security checks, the Philippines. Our Philippine friends were asked if they got paid for hanging out with us or for being our guides. I hope we navigated this and all the other situations without doing any harm. I think what is needed is just respect for other people. In the end, we are all equal, even though in the present (and past) fucked-up situations, we don't get treated that way. Equality should be obvious. That's my compass for inter-human-navigation and I'd recommend it for anyone and everyone.

Timo: A hard question! As a political-punk band we obviously had something to preach about, and our cultural background was vastly different from the crowds. We thought about the perverse situation of Western people coming to SE Asia to "spread the word", but I guess there are no clear solutions to the problematic dynamics of the whole thing. Luckily we had a friend touring with us with the most of Indonesia, helping us understand local customs and ways, as well as helping us out with our poor language skills. Without Dodon, we probably wouldn't have had nearly as much understanding of everything around us. I guess the key in approaching the race and class (as well as other) dynamics is to listen and to try to understand, to communicate equality in as many ways as possible.

Janne: Realizing that despite us being poor students back home, we still had a chance to travel to the other side of the world. The awesome people we met and the bands that we played with in SE Asia might never have enough money to do that, and it made me feel guilty sometimes, especially when travelling in the countries that have been in their history colonized and exploited by Europeans and Americans. Even now the exploitation continues, except that colonialists have been replaced by multinational corporations. I'm not a big fan of our destructive Western culture that has spread all over the world like cancer, but unfortunately I'm part of it whether I like it or not. I hope that people wouldn't see the materialistic Western lifestyle as something desirable. Even our DIY punk rock movement has its own idols that are looked upon. I guess I'm just trying to say that we should be aware of this kind of cultural imperialism even in the punk community. I hope we can get SE Asian bands to play in Europe sometime soon – punk rock cultural exchange!

Other bands have said that touring SE Asia is an experience in and of itself which is unlike any other. What do you reckon? Are there any differences between touring here and elsewhere, and how so?

Janne: The crowd in SE Asia reminded me of the Russian audience during BÜFO's tour in 2009. Everyone dancing and having good time with the music. In most parts of Europe it's more of people standing and watching the show unless it's a big and popular band. In central Europe like for example in Germany punx are spoiled with heaps of touring bands that go there, so it's not a big deal for them to see a foreign band. Financially, touring SE Asia was hard because we did not cover our expenses at all, but despite that the experience was worth it for sure! In my European tours with Büfo we almost always covered our travelling costs with the ticket income from the shows.

Were there any experiences that were particularly unpleasant that occurred while on tour?

Jussi: I was going through some emotional stress while touring. At home, I spend most of my time alone or with my wife, so it was tough not being able to do either. I snapped a few times and raised my voice. I'm sorry about that, for anyone concerned. I have trouble controlling my impulses when I get irritated and pissed off. One thing that wasn't really unpleasant for me but might be something to consider for bands who are considering touring in SE Asia: the sleeping conditions vary hugely. A lot of times we slept on the hard floor or shared a bed between the four of us. A lot of nice spooning there! The most usual thing was sleeping on a rug on the floor. So if you need somewhere soft to sleep, bring a sleeping bag with you.

Tuukka: Travelling on a train for four hours without the possibility to sit down and a ten hour bus ride that was supposed to take six hours and nobody spoke English so we were constantly thinking that we had already passed the city we were supposed to go to.

Timo: The most unpleasant experience was probably the bus that broke down in the middle of nowhere in Indonesia, with no one around us being able to speak English. As we had no experience of the buses or cities there beforehand, we spent the whole ten-hour bus ride trying to ask people if the next stop was ours, and if the bus that we got into after the first one broke down was the right one. Haha. Our Indonesian language skills were also a bit lacking, so we probably pronounced the name of our destination really funny as well.

Janne: I love touring life but some of the band members couldn't handle stressful situations too well and were time to time physically and mentally worn out during the tour, which led to unnecessary arguments about stupid things. There were also some losing of tempers and mental breakdowns even. Seeing this side of the other people was surprising.

Favourite country/city to play in, and why?

Timo: I can't really choose. People were great everywhere and I love doing gigs. Hell, I'd even go to the "20 beatdown bands and us" gig (where the crowd left as they got a whiff of what we were about) again and love it!

Tuukka: My favourite cities to play in were Bekasi and Bandung in Indonesia. Those were our first shows on the tour and the people in both those cities were super nice and the crowds were really active and seemed to really like the music.

Jussi: I liked Pati, Indonesia most, because the show had an inspiring political agenda. It was part of a protest against companies trying to exploit the Kendeng mountain range. The audience consisted of not only young punks, but also a lot of farmers and their families, who came to shake hands and talk with us after the show. And also we heard later that some young punks had become more involved with the struggle after seeing and hearing us talk about it. Hearing that was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Janne: It's hard to name just one place -- every show with an insane moshpit was good. Maybe the first show in Bekasi, Indonesia because I didn't know yet what to expect and then when we started to play it was just total mayhem, with people falling over the drum set, stage diving and all.

In your tour blog, Jussi wrote that there may be something that you had learnt at the end of it all. The blog has left us with a cliffhanger of sorts so we're clearly in suspense. What is it, what are they?

Jussi: It's not like I hadn't figured it out before, but going somewhere so far that's supposed to be so different made it clear, that it's ridiculous to be afraid of cultural differences or to protect national interests or to believe oneself to be better than others. We're all just people from the same planet... fuck, we aren't even that, we're just energy packed into a physical form. It makes greed look ridiculous. "I want to pile these shiny things into this area, which is mine, so they can't be used over there, which is theirs." It doesn't make any sense. And the world is dictated by that. I've always had the feeling that everything is going to end. But not now. No matter how bad the situation, we're not dead yet. There are still species not extinct, though they are getting scarce. There's still friendship and resistance. There's a tiny speck of hope, and I guess that makes living worth all the pain.

Janne: I've been setting up shows DIY style for more than ten years but I still learned a lot from the kids. Some of the venues where we played were totally random, and it made me realize that shows can be be organized almost everywhere. Something that we should try here in Finland too.

Timo: I guess that the biggest revelation to me was that punk and DIY is truly global. That people and cultures may be different, but that the struggles to do things outside of global capitalism and to treat others as equals help us connect with each other.

Tuukka: I have learned that people are 95% the same everywhere. The remaining 5% counts for cultural differences. I also learned how little possessions one needs to be happy. Travelling for two months with just a backpack with some clothes in it is a good experience. Also seeing how little material wealth some of our hosts had, but at the same time seeing all their social and mental wealth, it was easy to figure out which one is more important.

Thanks for letting us have a chance to do this retrospective with you. First of its kind, it seems! Or at least on this portal. Any last words?

Timo: Thank you for doing this! Peace, love and anarchism! Up the punx and all that!

Janne: Huge thanks to everybody who set up shows for us, hung out, gave us food, place to stay and danced the night away with us! Stay vegan and smash the state!

Tuukka: For bands, I'd like to say if you get the chance to go on tour in SE Asia you should do it! I also want to thank all the people who were involved with our tour, the aspect of the tour I think about now in retrospect were the people, not the places.