5FeetUnder Records er et forholdsvis nystartet pladeselskab med base i Aalborg, som fokuserer på punk- og hardcoremusik. 2010 har været det år, hvor pladeselskabet er begyndt at udgive plader med andet end lokale bands, så det var på tide at få en snak med de bands, som har udgivet noget i årets løb. I denne omgang er det de lokale bands, der stadig er at finde på pladeselskabets lønningsliste, som står på menuen. Still Around og Mighty Midgets fra Aalborg samt Stars Burn Stripes fra København er dagens bands i ringen. Så bliver det spændende, at se om danskerne kan snakke om andet end håndbold, muslimer og flæsk.
Revolution Music: The name of your band, and who is answering the questions?
STILL AROUND: We are Still Around, I´m Thomas and I play the bass.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: The band is called Mighty Midgets. Yours truly, answering all the stupid questions, is Niels.
STARS BURN STRIPES: Our band is called Stars Burn Stripes. We are four guys in the band and we´re all here for the interview.
Revolution Music: What is the story behind your band name?
STILL AROUND: We were discussing good band names and the lack thereof – and came up with about 20 different names, ranging from the ridiculous to the totally arty and self indulgent. We settled on Still Around with a 3 to 4 vote. We are geezers, old and jaded, so the name seemed appropriate. I think Jakob mentioned the song by 59 TIMES THE PAIN, and we stole it form them basically.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: I wasn´t in the band when the name was decided but I think the guys were just lame pimple faced teens thinking that band names with alliterations in them were cool. No one in the band really likes the name anymore and it doesn´t really fit the music we play nowadays. But then again it´s just a name…
STARS BURN STRIPES: How we came up with the name is a pretty stupid story... So here goes:
When we formed the band in 2004 we couldn´t really decide on a name, and we came up with like a hundred really bad names that no one liked. One day while Filip and Lasse were waiting for a bus, they tried to remember all those crappy names and Filip mispronounced one of them and said: “Stars Burn Stripes”. They both thought: “Wow, this totally rocks!” and we ended up choosing that name because it was the one suggestion that the least people in the band hated.
Revolution Music: Can you present your band and its members, your history and influences?
STILL AROUND: We are just four average guys from different backgrounds who have a passion about music. We bonded through music and the first band practice was on a partially abandoned farm were we could play as loud as we felt like. We are products of punk and have all been more or less active at 1000 fryd in Aalborg for years. We are influenced by a lot of different stuff, musically we can agree on Minor Threat, Have Heart, Lack, Carry On and stuff like that. Jakob and I are really into some of the older hardcore bands, Troels and I like a lot of experimental stuff as well. Our drummer is into stuff like the Deftones and Terror. We like a lot of anti social shit hehe.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: All right, the elevator version: We´re five people with a love for fast music and late after parties. Peter: Guitar, Rasmus: Drums, Lasse: Bass/vocals, Troels: Vocals and me (Niels): Vocals/guitar.
We all go way back and were all friends before joining the band. Troels and I are brothers so I guess we´re the ones going back the longest. The band has slowly evolved from a poppy punk band to a heavier melodic hardcore band – we all love screaming so this style fits us much better…
STARS BURN STRIPES: Lasse:
I play guitar and sing. I started a band with Brian sometime around 2002 and we met Filip and decided to steal him away from his old band to form SBS. We all listen to punk rock and we really like it fast and with lots of energy and melody.
I play the guitar in the band. I sat around by myself playing Green Day and NOFX songs for like six years ´till I met Lasse who I decided to make a band with since I never met anyone else who liked punk music. And been doing that ever since…
Drummer. I have known the guys via the punk scene for about 8 years, as I used to play (and still do) in other different bands. Actually SBS stole Filip from my former band! So after they threw out their 15´th drummer, I started to stand in at gigs and studio stuff in early ´09. Seems like I´ve just been sticking around since then..
I started in a band BEFORE the band with leo from which I was stolen from. We played some concerts with Lasse and Brian´s band and became good friends with them.
Revolution Music: How famous is your band on a scale from 1 to 10?
STILL AROUND: 1
MIGHTY MIDGETS: If 10 is Albert Einstein and 1 is number of hearts an octopus has (which would actually be 3), I would say we are around 2.5. A group of people in Japan knows about us while most people I work with don´t even know what the name of my band is. So, if S is a finite set with |S| = n elements, then the power set of S contains | P(S) | = 2n elements. And I´m not even sure that makes sense.
STARS BURN STRIPES: Well, we just went on our first tour abroad. But if you do some research, you´ll find that Metallica has 11.463.495 “likes” on Facebook, whereas we currently have 400. You do the math from here.
Revolution Music: Why are you the best band on 5FeetUnder Records?
STILL AROUND: We aren´t, at least not technically, but we have a different approach than a lot of the other stuff I think. I consider us pretty pure in aesthetics and sound. But we are definitely punk rather than tech.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: We´re not…
STARS BURN STRIPES: Why do Catholics molest children? It´s hard to answer but we all know that it is how it is.
Revolution Music: Can you tell us about your local scene? Any bands we should google?
STILL AROUND: I am not following it that closely, but I really love SKIND OG BEN, UNDER AL KRITIK and that kind of stuff. It needs to sound convincing.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: The Aalborg scene is small but pretty cool. The local punk/alternative venue 1000Fryd often has a lot of good shows and the entire hard rock scene is pretty vivid. A great thing is that because of the city´s size the bands are good at connecting and working together across genres which expose you to a lot of different input.
To name drop a few local bands: In Crimson Colors (on hiatus at the moment), Terex Titan, One Stop Noise Shop, Aedra, Kolyma, Still Around and Lemlæstet Fosterbræk.
STARS BURN STRIPES: Something you should take at look at is Rockfreaks.net and revolution music. They are online zines about everything happening in underground rock music in DK. And they rock.
Revolution Music: Do you know anything about the Danish scene?
STILL AROUND: Nah, ask Troels. I have to comment on the state of hardcore in general in this country – what I have seen with my own eyes is cliqueish, retrogressive and pathetic, some people obviously worship these tough guy sxe or metalcore bands and act accordingly, I see no difference in this approach than the weak mindless schoolyard bullies who might yell shit, but once you get them alone, there´s not much to it but the posing. Also scene police can eat shit. We aren´t teenagers anymore and this isn´t NYC, chances are you are not Harley or Raybeez haha.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: No not really. Aren´t Volbeat and The Prophet Muhammad from Denmark?
Revolution Music: You have a record coming out, or already released, on 5FeetUnder Records. Tell us about the record in ten words!
STILL AROUND: It´s primitive, loud and angry.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: Fast melodic hardcore with a few technical details mixed in.
STARS BURN STRIPES: Well, it´s called “buy now, pay later” and we think
Revolution Music: What do you, generally, write lyrics about?
STILL AROUND: I don´t, Jakob does. Buy the album and find out haha. It´s all about love man..haha
MIGHTY MIDGETS: Our lyrics are typically politically charged but we try to keep things at a more general and personal level. When writing lyrics, I often take starting point in one or more actual events that I think say something about people or reflect tendencies in society that I´m offended or puzzled by. I then try to take this to a more general level in some sort of attempt to portray the human species and all its failings (and sometimes successes – but failings are easier to yell at). So while the actual event triggering a lyric might be quite local (often some event in the Danish political climate) I try to keep the lyrics relevant to people outside my tiny bubble.
That being said, I try not to limit myself to political subjects. In the songs we´re currently recording, I think my lyrical content is moving in a more personal direction while still trying to keep the general appeal. Somehow these things made more sense to write about this time around. I guess I´m becoming older and more selfish.
All this is very much a personal quest because only a few people actually seems to notice lyrics anyway and I have no hope that writing my lyrics will ever change anything in a bigger perspective. But nailing down a piece of poetry that reflects exactly how I feel about something and fits a certain song is very rewarding and in a way a very soul-searching process. I can only recommend it to everyone…
STARS BURN STRIPES: We write about a lot of stuff, but mostly about friendship and feelings of discontent towards certain things in our society. We try to keep our lyrics honest and we try not to preach about things that we don´t really know that much about.
Revolution Music: What is your most memorable experience with the band?
STILL AROUND: After listening to the demo´s we made it dawned on me, that we had some potential. At least to make an album that we would like. The record is made for us, not for general consumption. We are all big music heads, and being able to have a piece of vinyl with our songs on it, pull it out and crank it, is basically the entire scope of our ambition. Totally DIY and for ourselves. If someone likes it, that´s cool - if not, that´s cool too. It´s all about expressing how you feel in the end.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: Hmm, there´s a lot. Funny thing is that that best experiences are probably those that I can´t really remember because I was too drunk.
Many of the most memorable experiences are often connected to people passing out and humiliating them in their sleep.
STARS BURN STRIPES: One of our first shows was at a homemade festival in the middle of nowhere. This guy had invited us to play, and we knew nothing about what to expect. Turned out that the festival was in the guy´s backyard and everything was made of things from the local landfill.
Oh... And this was outdoors in March, which meant snow! Three guys saw us play, while they crowded around a fire in a barrel trying to keep warm.
Revolution Music: Name your three favorite albums?
STILL AROUND: Ehh, that´s tough. For punk rock? Hardcore? Jazz? Influences?
Here´s a quick stab:
Minor Threat “Discography” (having it all compiled is mind blowing)
Big Black “Songs About Fucking”
John Coltranes “A Love Supreme”
Songs to Scream at the Sun by Have Heart is mandatory.
I love the dirty stuff like Cursed and His Hero is Gone, stuff that has a violent edge and a blue collar attitude.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: Though choice but in the punk genre it would be something like:
• A Wilhelm Scream - Ruiner
• Propagandhi - Potemkin City Limits
• Raised Fist – Dedication
Mix these three and I actually think you have a pretty good idea of our sound…
STARS BURN STRIPES: Lasse:
Osker – Idle Will Kill
Kid Dynamite – Kid Dynamite
The Get Up Kids – Something to Write Home About
NOFX – Heavy Petting Zoo
Pennywise – Straight Ahead
Bad Religion – The Process of Belief
Rufio – 1985
Clutch – Blast Tyrants
Bad Religion – The Empire Strikes First
Strung Out – Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues
Propaghandi – Todays Empires Tomorrows Ashes
Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness
Revolution Music: Name your three favorite movies?
STILL AROUND: Taxi Driver
These are three really awesome movies...It definitely depends on my mood. I am a huge film head so I could name 200 films in about 30 seconds that are essential to watch.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: According to my IMDB ratings something like: • Fight Club
• Blade Runner
But it´s impossible to nail down only three. A few others that have had a big impact on me are:
Happiness, Alien 1-3, Irreversible, City of God, Collapse (I just saw this a week ago so I guess it doesn´t really belong here but it was a great movie none the less – and I was stoned), Delicatessen, Pulp Fiction, No Direction Home and Hercules in New York.
STARS BURN STRIPES: Lasse:
Suburbia (from 1996)
The Big Lebowski
Life of Brian
Life of Brian 2
Life of Brian 3
Deep Purple – Live In Copenhagen
Muse – Live At Wembley
Rage Against The Machine – The Battle Of Mexico City
Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back
Army Of Darkness
Revolution Music: Name your three favorite authors?
STILL AROUND: Again, this is shit I find funny and irresistable – not necessarily my favorites ever. Exept for Thompson probably.
Richard Meltzer or Byron Coley
MIGHTY MIDGETS: During university I kind of got fed up with reading books so most of the books I´ve read are about creating interactive storytelling, design and theory of science but a few fiction authors have still given me some great experiences:
• Chuck Palahnik (the short story Guts from the book Haunted is a band favorite)
• Eric Drooker (I don´t know if he counts since there are no words but Blood Song rules)
• Halfdan Rasmussen (One of the best Danish poets even though most of what I´ve read from him is written for kids – without him, no Malk De Koijn - without Malk De Koijn, no Danish hip hop worth mentioning)
STARS BURN STRIPES: Lasse:
Revolution Music: Name your three favorite words?
STILL AROUND: “I love you” are good words.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: Wank
STARS BURN STRIPES: Brian:
Revolution Music: Name three other things you like?
STILL AROUND: Coffee, sex and power violence oh, and “romboller”.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: • My girlfriend and daughter (counts as one)
• Music (incl. playing myself and going to shows)
• Hanging out, discussing, drinking/smoking weed, listing to music with people I like
STARS BURN STRIPES: Brian:
I like movies, authors and words.
Cycling, gaming, eating.
Revolution Music: If you could go back in time; when would you go to and why?
STILL AROUND: I have always wanted to see a real life dinosaur haha, something about that totally fierce and alien time fascinates me. In regards to music I would like to have seen Ice Nine or Union of Uranus play a live set. As well as some of the classic stuff like the above mentioned bands. I will spare you from a zen type answer or from getting into some heavy personal , emotional stuff haha.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: I would go back to the beginning of the sixties, join the Beatles and turn them into a punk band – maybe hire Lars Ulrich´s dad to play the drums instead of Ringo Star. The song ´Because´ could really use some ´Nothing Else Matters´ feeling (I´ll use the word feeling because I don´t know the antonym).
If they wouldn´t let me, I would make a solo career and play all their coming songs before they would ever get a chance to write them – maybe hook up with Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash for a few albums (if not for anything else then at least I could prevent their collaborative album).
STARS BURN STRIPES: “Do you really wanna change your life? And if you had the chance would you dare to try? Does the memories always make you smile? Or do they always make you cry?”
Revolution Music: Anything to add here at last minute?
STILL AROUND: Just act responsibly and try not to be too much of a dick to people haha.
MIGHTY MIDGETS: Keep on rocking in a free world, dude!
STARS BURN STRIPES: Yes, go download our EP at www.starsburnstripes.com Or of course… Go pay for it at www.5feetunder.com Thank you for taking time away from whatever you were doing when stumbling upon this.