Interview time with Shut Up! Twist Again!
I was able to see these French guys playing in Munich and here is the follow up interview with Shut Up! Twist Again!
RTC: Who are you guys, please introduce each band member one by one. Name, job in the band, shoe size, why the hot chicks should choose you and not him or whatever
I’m Jerome, I’m 28 years old, I play the guitar and I sing. Lucas is 22 and plays the drums and vocals. Johnny is 26 plays the guitar and vocals. Thomas is 25 plays the bass and vocals.
RTC: Since when is Shut up! Twist again! around?
Jerome : We started the band during the end of 2013 and we made our first tour during the next summer in 2014
RTC: You are coming from?
Jerome : We are from the Basque Country, we don’t live in the same cities we are between Bayonne and Hendaye (you can check on internet it’s beautiful) but 5 years ago I moved to Bordeaux.
RTC: Do you surf?
Jerome : No, I tried during 2 weeks but I stopped, I am too lazy to spend my time waiting for good waves. But I have a good level in Ski cause the mountains are not so far from our house (less than 1 hour)
Lucas : I used to do it a couple of weeks when I was 14 but I was not so good at it (and my fuckin cousin’s broke my surfboard, so I quit !)
Thomas : No, I always preferred eat a tasty ice cream near the beach!
Johnny : I started young in my city’s club but I’ve quickly joined Thomas near the beach.
RTC: What is the place to be in your hometown?
Jerome : Bayonne.
RTC: And when you are not on tour, which is the best bar/restaurant where you hang?
Jerome : I go in a lot of spots in my hometown but if you are in Bayonne you have lots of chance to see me in a bar called “San Nicolas” or I in an associative bar with friends called “Pena Sale El Sol”.
Lucas : I guess a good beer in front of my hometown’s beach fits perfectly for me !
Thomas : Before, I was all time in the “Kanttu” Basque bar situated in Hendaye, there was a lot of good concerts and amazing people there. Unfortunately, this place is now closed like many others… So now I drink at home, with my friends obviously!
Johnny : I was often in the “Kanttu” too… now I go to eat some tapas and grab a beer in the harbor of Hondarribia in Spain.
RTC: Good concert places from where you are from?
Jerome : Unfortunately, lot of places closed during the last 5 years, there are some places still open but it depends on the teams doing the gig.
RTC: Where can I get your record (on vinyl) in your hometown?
Jerome : Some labels have our vinyl but for the most important part we have our merch on bandcamp or with us on our gigs of course!
RTC: What was your first record you bought?
Jerome : The Offspring – Americana
Lucas : Limp Bizkit – Greatest Hitz
Thomas : Shakira – Laundry Service
Johnny : Nirvana – Nevermind
RTC: And the last one?
Jerome : Against me – Shape shift with me
Lucas : Hot Mass – Nervous Tensions
Thomas : PUP – The Dream is Over
Johnny : Downtown Struts – Victoria
RTC: How many records/ singles does Shut up! Twist again! have released?
Jerome : We have two albums you can listen here : https://shutuptwistagain.bandcamp.com/
RTC: Can you make a living out of your music?
Jerome : Of course not, it’s not the goal and nearly impossible when you play alternative music.
RTC: What do you do to earn the money for life?
Jerome : We all have jobs beside
RTC: Does it work out with your “Pay What You Want” at the merch desk?
Jerome: Yes, we are not professional sellers, the merch is a way to help the band and most part of people understand that. That’s why people can fix their own price and decide how much they can give
RTC: What is the average that people pay for the vinyl?
Jerome : I don’t know but it’s around 10 euros
RTC: Highest price paid?
Jerome : Maybe 40 euros! It’s rare of course but sometimes people give us money and they say take it, it’s not for vinyls, use it for recording, gasoline, etc.
RTC: Here is some place for that fucker who did not pay anything but took your stuff:
Jerome : This doesn’t happen a lot, but in fact when it’s under the cost price we refuse to sell or it depends on the guys. If it’s a kid and he enjoyed the gig and before going I can give a cd for example. But “pay what you want” it means you have an idea about the costs of making a vinyl or a t-shirt. If you have money you give more if you want, if you don’t have you can give but you can’t give something disrespectful for example under 4/5 euros for a vinyl.
RTC: How many days a year are you on the road?
Jerome : For the two last years, we played around 200 gigs…
RTC: What is the main difference between playing in France and Germany?
Jerome : There is not a lot of difference cause inside each country there are differences. Some places are more rock than others. The scenes are very close cause the same bands tour in France or Germany. I can’t tell you a main difference.
RTC: Beer or wine?
Jerome : Whatever the answer it could be tasty to drink!
RTC: When travelling on a tour, you have your own van?
Jerome : Yep it’s kind of obligation, when you have your own van you can play everywhere and everytime you can. When you are often on tour, it’s less expensive than renting.
RTC: How many are you on tour?
Jerome : It depends the minimum is 4, we made a tour with 8 people until Russia and 9 in Spain and Portugal. But often we are 5, we take Chuck our best roadie/photograph/merchguy with us.
RTC: What was the best thing while this time in Germany (OK you met me, but I asked for the BEST thing!)
Jerome : Playing 2 gigs with The Dictators in front of a lot of people I think it’s a pretty cool thing (just after meeting you of course!)
RTC: How did you come to play with the Dictators NYC?
Jerome : Stefan from M.U.F.T help us a lot, he’s a very nice guy!
RTC: Could/ can you learn anything from them?
Jerome : Not really, but it was fun to drink some beers with “legends” and chatting together about lot of things.
RTC: Any tip/ help for other bands on tour from you guys (what can they learn from you)?
Jerome : Not really, do your best to find places and go on! Even bad luck happen is still fun!
RTC: What made you start making music?
Jerome : I don’t remember, my parents listen a lot of music (rock music of course!) since I was a child I’ve this influence, I started to learn guitar when I was 4/5 years old.
Lucas: My parents pushed me to choose an instrument and take lessons when I was 7
Thomas : At that time I knew Johnny, he already played guitar and we started to play together in a garage of a friend who was drummer.
Johnny : I started to play accordion when I was 10 years old cause my parents are portuguese… hahaha after some years my father finally understood I’ll never be the new one “Joaquim de Magalhães Fernandes Barreiros” (Quim Barreiros) then he bought my first guitar!
RTC: Which bands did influence you?
Jerome : Lot of bands like Against me!, Dead to me, PUP, Title Fight…..
RTC: What about French bands?
(my French band knowledge is quite bad, I know Ludwig von 88, Berurier Noir, The Hatepinks, La Flingue, Jean Michel Jarre, Mireille Mathieu, Les Thugs and Shut Up! Twist Again!, haha)
Jerome : Whoa very different things you know! We have a pretty strong DIY scene in France, in fact there is less people coming to the show but the numbers of cool bands increase ahaha. This is a list : Guerilla Poubelle, Sport, Quitters, Intenable, Totorro, Heavy Heart, Not Scientists, Justin(e), The Traders, RAVI, Monarch!, Wank For Peace, Birds in row…
RTC: Why should more people listen to Shut Up! Twist Again! ?
Jerome : Kind of mathematics when you played a lot, you meet a lot of people no? By the way when you make the thing honestly people see it, that’s why the alternative scene is very attractive for me. The guys drive all the day to make a gig, take a drink and speak about things just for spend time together. Sometimes, music is in the background is not the most important.
RTC: What was your first show?
Jerome : For the first show we played with The Decline! and Burning Lady (2 French bands famous maybe you know cause they play often in Germany) it was cool for a first time. And like every first time not the best but it was not catastrophic too.
RTC: (for each of you) Imagine you are God and you are able to set up a festival of your choice, name me the five headliners (even dead people or dissolved bands):
Jerome : Obviously we are all agreed to choose, Bruce Springsteen, The Pogues, Rage against the machine, The Who, Queen, Nirvana, The Clash and if I’m god I can add one more : The Ramones!
RTC: Before giving a highly intelligence statement to my readers, one more question, How would your mother describes your music to her neighbors?
Jerome : Good question. I think she says punk rock but she adds “they are nice guys”.
Lucas : I think she speaks more about the fact that I spend a lot of time in other countries than specific style of music we make.
Thomas : My mom is a fan of the band! I guess she says: “my son has a band, he plays guitar and he’s a rock star!”.
Johnny : I think she describes our music sound like Johnny Hallyday but a bit louder!
So thank you dear reading for taking your time, now go and listen to them and when Shut Up! Twist Again! are coming around, try to catch them live, they are worth it!
Interview time with Jessica Hernandez
The god of music had a good day and allowed me little creeping want-to-be journalist worm to have an audience with one of the rising ambassadors of rock music: Jessica Hernandez!
So it was written in the knowing book of history the 22nd of April in the year that Percy Sledge died, that on this Wednesday in Munich, Rock The Cam was given the chance to soak up the wisdom, knowledge and visions of this fantastic female artist.
And who is she? What kind of person is this Miss Hernandez you may ask? If you do, I may answer: how should I know? I had my 15 minutes of “star fame”, how should I know after this little time who she is? But (the famous but) I am pleased to give you a hint how it was doing the interview: good time! A pleasant quarter of an hour in my life, let’s go Jessica:
How everything started
RTC: Hello Jessica, what made you start playing music?
J: I don’t know, I’ve been singing since I was little, since I remember I think singing is the main thing which got me into music and into other styles of music. Then I started doing theater and all kind of stuff that was musical. The older I got, I got into different types of music. I was into Punk, into Ska, I was into Surf Rock, old Jazz, Latin music and the older I got I wanted to perform and write, this was there since I was a child.
RTC: Did you do some music in school?
J: Ja ja. From early age, when I was about 3 I was doing choir.
RTC: Aha, and with 3 you knew you gonna tour with Social Distortion!
J: Ha, ha, now it is Social Distortion (while saying this Jessica is having a look like she still cannot really believe it). I still have notebooks from preschool Kindergarten saying one day I want to be in a band.
How influencing parents can be
RTC: Your parents supported you when you said this is the moment you want to do music not just for fun but for fun and for life?
J: Ja, there was definitely a moment, when I was in college living in Chicago, actually studying fashion design –which is also a very crazy thing in getting through and surviving- difficult industry, when I had this moment. I told it my parents, when I was 19, you know I want to do music seriously and I think I’m gonna leave college and they were all about it! They were super exited and I was not expecting that but they thought I should be singing. They said this is what you need to be doing like you were meant to do this.
They were super supportive and they were more exited then I was, I was nervous.
RTC: Are they coming to your shows?
J: My dad was at our show in London, in Amsterdam and he might come to our show in London at Shepherd’s Bush.
RTC: But he is not from Europe?
J: No, but they like to come to shows and they are super exited.
A Rock band
RTC: You mentioned you got a lot of styles involved; you grew up with a lot of different things, so how your mother would describes your music to their neighbors?
J: She probably says: she plays in a Rock band
RTC: So I guess your parents weren’t into Punk or Ska?
J: My mom was but still she would describe it as a Rock band.
She got me into 80s New Wave, my mom is pretty young, so she was listening to The Clash, The Cure, Joy Division all those bands. She got me into that scene and my dad who is a little older than her was listening to Alice Cooper, The Stooges, all that stuff. So it is cool having these sides of that music history to influence me.
In Europe with Social Distortion
RTC: Your first time in Europe?
J: 1st time touring, but have been to Spain, France and UK with my family.
RTC: How is the difference when it comes to touring between US and Europe?
J: Oh, different comparison, in the US we do our own headlining tours and so we play smaller clubs, so it is a crazy thing to go from doing our own headliner shows in US with between 500-1000 people –depending on the city- to then first touring in Europe opening in these giant venues for Social Distortion. See it’s hard to even compare, I think it will be different if we were doing the same style of touring as we do it in the states.
RTC: How did you landed with Social Distortion?
J: Honestly it was through luck and friendship. We met them when we did Riot Fest in Chicago and we were on the same bill.
RTC: So you blew them away and they came up to you and said: hey Jessica, if they don’t wanne see us, please open up that they have a good experience!
J: Ha haha, no the guys saw us performing and their manager saw us performing and we ran into them backstage at the artist tent and talked. Later the manager said: you know, the guys were really impressed with your performance, would you consider doing shows together? Ah ja, that would be a honor, I would love to open for them.
RTC: and wondering if this is true or wondering what’s in your drink…
J: Yes exactly like that. A few weeks later they called up and asked if we want to open for them at New Year’s Eve in California and we said YES and so we did this big New Year’s Eve show in Pomona at Fox Theater. It went really well and we went on with the guys really well and then they invited us to do that European tour.
Small record label – a good decision
RTC: How do you choose your record label?
J: It was hard for me I switched around a lot, when I first started I was a solo artist and was more a singer/ songwriter doing more acoustic, cause I didn’t had a full band. In that moment I was signed to a major label called Blue Note Records which is more known for Jazz and they were doing it more of a kind of an experience. Let’s do something different and I wasn’t really happy and they ended up being bought out by another major Warner Brother and I was really lucky because in this transmission the head guy there Don Was who is/ was the president, he is from Detroit actually, called me and told me before anything happened, hey take your record before Warner Brother notice it and I help you find a new label, cause I’m worried about the new label and the people that they might not care. They did not find you and have no invested interest, so I was really lucky that he was looking out for me and helped me out. He and the “old” people introduced me to a lot of good new people; I found a manager, found Richard whom I work with now. He is with Instant Records, which is our label now. I had a bunch of meetings with a lot of different people and since I was on a big label already I wanted to do something smaller but be a priority at an indie label, rather than be some random person on a big label. It was a good decision.
The 48 hours artist day
RTC: How you do it with the covers, do you do it on your own?
J: I do everything on my own; I write all of our stuff, some of our music videos and I completed a shot myself and directed myself.
RTC: Boah, your day has 48 hours?
J: Ha ha, you got a lot of time in the van. On the drives I usually sit on my computer, work on lyrics, work on music videos, ideas, whatever.
I still sew a lot and make a lot of my clothes so I like being creative in a lot of different ways.
Sewing and shopping
RTC: You have a sewing machine in your van?
J: (Smiling) Not in Europe but in the US! You never know when there is an emergency (smiling big eyes look).
RTC: How you do it on tour with clothes and shoes in a little van with limited space?
J: Look there (pointing to a small suitcase), I think I brought less stuff than the boys, but I shop a lot on tour. I like to bring a small suitcase with my favorite show clothes and then at each town if possible I like to go to thrift stores, vintage shops.
Listen to Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas!
RTC: Why should more people listen to Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas?
J: I think it is different than a lot of other music out there now (thinking and then smiling) guess everybody is saying that (more smiles). I really have no good reason, it’s like everyone wants that everyone listen to their music, so it is hard for me to say why. If you like to finding new music and you like stuff that is kind of eclectic and comes from a lot of different influences or you have a wide musical taste, then you might like it and you should try it out!
RTC: What was the best song you have been involved?
J: Hmmm I don’t know if I have a favorite one. I think I have one, it is not the best one musically but emotionally, it’s called Young, Dumb and Drunk. It’s not out yet, it’s actually one of the songs that is older but I never released it, perhaps cause it is personal, every time I recorded it, it’s not, it’s not right!
RTC: You need more time for it.
J: Yes exactly, I need more time for it to make it like it should be.
RTC: And which is the song you wished to have written?
J: (Long break, thoughtful face) what will it be? I feel there are a lot of songs by David Bowie that I wished I wrote. He just did a good job by combining Pop with Punk with Garage Rock, this cool combination is interesting for me as an artist. For me he is really inspiring because this is what I eventually wanted to do. This is what I love about being an artist, cause artist they can do a little bit of everything. I think even Punk Rock used to be more like this than it is now. Punk artists in the beginning had dance hits, still being so raw and still being themselves but hits.
RTC: What was your first show?
J: First show was Johnny Buffet (I did not get the name) he is very American, guess you don’t know him (Jessica you are right, don’t know him and don’t know how to spell his surname), my parents took me there.
RTC: And which show really caught you?
J: Probably when I saw No Doubt open for the Rolling Stones and it was a dream for me cause I was really young and No Doubt was my favorite band, I was obsessed with Gwen Stefani and they were opening for THE Rolling Stones. That was where I was really wow (making a WOW face!) like the whole time.
RTC: Last question is: Imagine you are god and you are able to set up a festival of your choice (even dead people or dissolved bands), name me the 5 headliners:
J: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
I had a lot of fun doing the interview and sooner or later Jessica Hernandez will present a joke here as well. Thanks Jessica for your time and thanks to Claire and Dennis making this possible. Now use this link and look at some Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas concert pictures from the Munich show at the Zenith.
You Owe everything to Kill It Kid?
If you did not hear about Kill It Kid from UK, please check out their page and listen to their songs. And if you do, be sure to catch them on stage.
After I have seen them playing at the fantastic Atomic Café in Munich (what a good gig) I was able to meet them backstage for a little interview. Although I refused to eat their Pizza, Stephanie Ward and Chris Turpin gave me some minutes: a friendly gang they are.
RTC: If your music would be a film, what kind/ genre would it be?
KIK: A road movie for sure!
RTC: Should your film entertain/ teach/ make something aware to the people?
KIK: It should leave you with an Ohhuuu
(What a funny Ohhuuu-face Stephanie was making to the sound of Ohhuuu)
RTC: Should your music entertain/ teach/ make something aware to the people?
KIK: Stephanie smiling
The music of Kill It Kid should leave you with an Ohhuuu (and now Stephanie and Chris smiling all over the face)
RTC: Why should more people listen to Kill It Kid?
KIK: Because the music on the radio is shit (Fast answer from Chris)
Then we had a little discussion being filled with noise from people/ movement in the backstage room about Kill It Kid leaving Bath and that the best club there burned down and the other good one is/ was The Nest (?) and as well the famous last question I did not get completely (unfortunately).
RTC: Imagine you are god and you can set up a festival, name me your five headliners (even dead people or dissolved bands):
KIK: Antony Jones + Billy Armstrong together
Ahhh by the way, they have a new LP out on Sire Record which is called You Owe Nothing and you should consider to purchase the yummy vinyl version! I did…
Miami – Music – Mephiskapheles
There are days when things just go perfect. On the 4th of April it was like that. I was in Miami and went to Churchill’s Pub to catch Mephiskapheles live and it turned out that there was time left and that I can do an interview.
Sitting relaxed outside it was Greg Robinson (trombonist) joined by Brian Martin (keyboards) and Andre Worrell (vocals – is he The Nubian Nightmare?). For you to file them: I learned from discogs that Mephiskapheles are a 3rd wave ska band from New York.
The past and now
RTC: You’re on the map since 1990 and you had a break in-between.
GR: We’ve been gone for over 10 years and it was time to take a break.
RTC: I guess too much success with too much money and then you though to take some time out to spend the money?
GR: (Smiles) That’s a way of looking at it, something like that.
RTC: You’ve been to Germany as well?
GR: Twice, we did two tours in Europe in 1997 + 98
RTC: What is the difference in touring the US and touring in Europe?
BM: Well, what isn’t the difference? We’ve loved going and playing in Europe.
RTC: Will you come back to Europe?
GR: Yes, if it works out we definitely come back to Europe.
RTC: Let me know more about your plans, new record?
GR: No new record out yet, but we are working on it. Should be out in a few months, I can’t be any more specific.
Music in life and big boobs
RTC: How did you start with playing music?
GR: Oh I had piano lessons when I was a child and then I took of the trombone at the age of nine.
AW: I started doing this when the band started basically. When I was really young I went to choir, the regular shit people do when they are young: sing in a choir.
BM: When I was six, I took piano lessons mainly because I had a crush on a lady who gave me lessons because she had really big boobs, so that started my musical career.
RTC: And it worked out with the big boobs?
BM: Yeah (laughs), I got to know them once in a while.
RTC: OK, so you are not in it because of the music but because of the big boobs?
ALL: Yeah (laughing) in for the boobs!
RTC: Your parents like your music or how do they react?
GR: They really loved it when we were successful, the rest of the time they like it OK.
AW: It’s more like: is that what you want to do? Then do it!
RTC: I guess, unfortunately you cannot live of the music
GR: Well we have before and who knows?
RTC: What else do you do?
GR: I’m doing proofreading.
AW: I’m an artist that is not extremely successful at this point.
BM: I’m an artist too and between the two, I can keep just below the poppy level, so it works out.
God and Satan and No!
RTC: Do you guys believe in god? Asking because of the title of your record (God bless Satan).
GR: There will be no Satan without god, so I guess I would say yes.
BM: The same.
AW: No, god is a loaded oppressive term or has become over the past centuries and god is whatever it is for everyone. For some people rain is god, so no!
Do you talk about god as a figure of some personage we’ve all invented, hell no!
The answer is no!
(Stupid joking around, did you say no? Was it no?)
RTC: What is a question which really sucks and you get it asked several times?
Is it: do you believe in god, hehehe)?
AW: (Laughing) That is right, that’s the question!
RTC: And which is a question which you liked to get asked, but never happen?
BM: If it wouldn’t be you but a good looking girl: would you screw me and my younger sisters?
(Big laughing here and message to the chicks out there, come on do start asking this question!)
Then we had another long discussion about god, my opinion, questions about it, god what or who is god and so on and on.
Namedropping and the festival headliners
RTC: Are there any bands you want to have mentioned?
GR: Inspecter 7 from New Jersey, they are long overdue to come over to Germany!
BM: Inspecter 7
AW: No Redeeming Social Value
RTC: Imagine you are god and you can put on a festival; name me the five headliners, even dissolved bands or dead people.
AW: 5 times Mephiskapheles
BM: Sex Pistols / The Clash / Pink Floyd / Queen / Jethro Tull
GR: Luis Armstrong / Charlie Parker / Elvis / Motörhead / Mephiskapheles
Big boobs and beer
RTC: All right, almost thanks, last one: What do you have for Europe and Germany when you come back over?
AW: Play our ass of, have a great time, meet some cool bands, some cool fans and just party! (Laughing)
RTC: big boobs?
AW: Big boobs are great, small boobs are great
BM: Big boobs and beer!
That’s it, catch Mephiskapheles live when you have the chance and click here to see the concert pictures of Mephiskapheles on stage at Churchill’s Pub in Miami
Everyone is music – it comes naturally, just allow it to happen. Revolution!
In a small venue in Munich (Glockenbachwerkstatt) I was able to experience Barb Wire Dolls live on stage. After this kick-ass show, Isis Queen was so kind to do an interview with me, while all around the “after concert” action (eating, packing stuff, money exchange…) was going on.
The age of a woman
Never ask a woman how old she is, this only leads to trouble, so trying to find out about Barb Wire Dolls, Isis Queen and Punk Rock, this is a fantastic question to start with!
RTC: How old are you?
ISIS: Wtf? You god damn idiot!
Suddenly there was a smack in my face, she kicked my recorder down, punched me again and while I was lying on the floor she kicked me another five times before she let me lying – crying.
Got you here dear reader, hehehe, didn’t I? Come on, I know you would love to have it like this, but it was a bit different.
ISIS: I will always and forever be almost 18.
Job – band – music
RTC: What is your job in the band?
ISIS: I have no job but I sing in the band. I’m just one out of four people and we all contribute to the power. Barb Wire Dolls been on tour now for three years and we do nothing than focus 100% on Barb Wire Dolls.
Which is really true, although Isis is doing most of the stage action, it is not an one-woman show, but a band pushing the energy towards the people.
RTC: Tell me how you started with music.
ISIS: Everyone is music; it comes naturally – just allow it to happen.
Punk Rock: rebellion, anger and a need to express yourself
RTC: How did you get in touch with Punk Rock?
ISIS: Through the aggression that comes with being a teenager.
Remember, she is almost 18.
RTC: Must every teenager be aggressive or are there some soft teenagers?
ISIS: All teenagers are aggressive and all teenagers are sexual and that is why they get into Punk Rock; if they are lucky enough to find out about Punk Rock because it is such an underground thing which is difficult to find.
Getting back to you dear reader, are you a Punk Rocker? Drop here a comment how you found Punk Rock and let all the seven Rock The Cam readers know about your aggression and your sexuality!
RTC: What is your interpretation of Punk?
ISIS: Rebellion, anger and a need to express yourself.
DIY can make you achieve anything
RTC: What does DIY means for you?
ISIS: Totally doing things yourself – but all times you need someone to come to help you because you can’t do it all by yourself. But DIY is a basic, a root foundation of how you can achieve anything as long as you put your mind to it.
From Greece to LA, where is home?
RTC: Barb Wire Dolls are originally from Greece and you relocated to Los Angeles (USA), why?
ISIS: We got the opportunity because we got played on one of the biggest Rock Radio station in Los Angeles, so that is the biggest opportunity a Greek band can ever get. We took it and went to LA.
RTC: You moved to the States, now you are touring in Europe, does it feel strange somehow, like home?
ISIS: Well I am originally from Greece, so I know Europe very well and the band started off in Greece before we went to US, so home is really where you make it. It is not where you were born, not where you have a house, it is where you feel most comfortable and I feel most comfortable on the road with the band.
Crises in Greece and Europe
RTC: Do you still follow the developments in Greece / Europe; with the crises, with the government?
ISIS: Of course, but I follow it through my relatives and friends, they know exactly what is going on, not the propaganda that goes on in TV.
RTC: What tendencies do scare you for Greece?
ISIS: There really needs to be a big change and this is much needed for people to realize and to remember what the sole purpose of being alive is! It is not to worry about, all the crap that goes on in the world; it is to find the passions that are needed and to find ways to make these passions livable without having the comforts of economy backing them up.
Wake up – beauty of art
RTC: Which opportunities do you see with the crises? Will people wake up – finally stand up?
ISIS: Yeah. Wherever there is a huge downfall in economy and government, there is a huge uprising of arts, so you will see a big change in expression and that is the beauty of art. Anything that brings a low has to generate a high, that’s what I will be expecting from Greece: a big art movement.
RTC: And a hoping as well.
ISIS: I hope for nothing! There is a Greek saying from Nikos Kazantzakis: Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα. Δε φοβούμαι τίποτα. Είμαι λέφτερος which means: “I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free“.
How can I get back from the famous Greek philosopher Nikos Kazantzakis to Barb Wire Dolls? Just by putting this parenthesis here.
RTC: Let me and my readers know how you pick your labels?
ISIS: Right now we are only working with chosen record companies to release the album with a certain amount of printings. We don’t sign anything; no record company owns the rights to Barb Wire Dolls – but they are allowed to print out a certain amount and to distribute them. If they do a good job, we will distribute more with them.
RTC: How did you find Wolverine records?
ISIS: They found us, they liked us and we gave them the right to distribute 500 LP vinyls and then they came back and wanted to do more with CDs. They are a cool label so we wanted to do something with them.
Unity with upset guys?
RTC: The Punk scene doesn’t want to be sexist. You are a woman. Do you think being a woman in a male dominated scene makes it easier or harder for Barb Wire Dolls?
ISIS: I’m not quite sure because the Punk Rock scene started with equal rights for men and women! Men were just as important as women and vice versa in the scene to create it. It was all about art, it wasn’t about aggression yet in Punk and then slowly aggression came in and pushed the female vibe out of it. That is where you get Hardcore and a lot of other scenes from that are male dominated but there needs to be a change. There needs to be a female aspect in this movement because you can’t have unity when there is a bunch of guys that are angry and upset because their dick isn’t getting sucked, so you know sex and art go hand in hand and if you don’t want to accept that you are in the wrong genre of music.
No more heroes anymore?
RTC: Which artist do you look up to?
ISIS: All artists that say “Fuck you” every once in a while in their careers.
RTC: How is it to be on tour with famous Punk Rockers for example Jello Biafra and other names?
ISIS: Jello is always surprising me, he is actually one of the very few people who put up an amazing Punk Rock show and is not too old to show the young people what Punk Rock is all about. That’s about not giving a fuck and doing it just for yourself and doing it to express an energy that units people. Jello Biafra defiantly does that; it is an honor to play shows of him (them).
RTC: What can you learn from him and the other ones you are playing with?
ISIS: It is all about having fun and
RTC: You don’t look like you need to learn how to have fun!
ISIS: Well, that’s why we tour with such great bands because they are always having fun and that’s the key ingredient: having fun. What I learn as well is that you should not take yourself too serious, because at the end of the day it is all about having fun.
Finally coming to the end
RTC: coming to the end, please imagine you are god and you could choose the five headliners for a festival (even dead people or dissolved bands), let me know who is on the list:
ISIS: Let me think, OK it is:
1 – Sex Pistols
2 – Clash
3 – Germs
4 – Black Flag with Henry Rollins
5 – The Slits
That’s it. Off I went with my interview, the record, the concert pix and the memory of a great Punk Rock night. Let’s see if the beauty of art in Greece will rise, if Barb Wire Dolls will rise and if I will be able to catch them again somewhere around, I would be happy. Thank you Isis Queen for your time and your view of the world. Revolution!
After an intense gig (like always) at the Strom in Munich I had the chance to get 3 minutes with Jason Reece. He is one of the original members (besides Conrad Keely) of And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. The band Trail Of Dead is from Texas and they had their first album out 1998. Last year they published Lost Songs and this is the name of the tour.
RTC: If your music would be a film, what kind / genre would it be?
Jason: Let me think, it would be in the future, a science fiction, kind of blade runner with lots of sex and violence.
RTC: What would be your role in this film?
Jason: I would be the renegade, a corrupted cop, not being bad but doing a lot of illegal things, struggling and just trying to survive. Half a cyborg, wait a cyborg is half human half machine, then just a cyborg, not a half one (and on the face was a terrifying cyborg smile)
Now we clarified Jason’s Trail Of Dead film; all right back to music.
RTC: Why should more people listen to And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead?
Jason: Why? Cause we are the best band on this fucking planet, we are the number 1 (another smile) at least in my mind.
RTC: Imagine you are god and you could choose the five headliners for a festival (even dead people or dissolved bands), give me the names:
A Tribe Called Quest
Off he was (dragged away by his – take this Gordon – evil cyborg manager), ciao Jason – see you next tour again.
And here you can look at the Lost Songs tour pictures from And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, live in Munich.
I met Kjartan Ericsson from the Norwegian band Ribozyme after the Munich show which they played together with Trail Of Dead. A little talk, some pictures and afterwards some questions and answers via mail.
News about Ribozyme and life on tour
RTC: Who are you?
K: Kjartan Ericsson, Ribozyme.
RTC: What is your job in the band?
K: Guitar and vocals.
RTC: Who else is in the band and doing what?
K: Bård Bøge, bass and vocals. Cato Olaisen, drums.
RTC: Was it your first time in Munich?
RTC: How did you like it?
K: Loved it! Best city on the tour.
RTC: Did you have the possibility to see something in Munich or just the club?
K: We took a walk around the city. It was a good day. Nice now when the spring is here.
RTC: On tour, do you sometimes have the chance to do some sightseeing or is there no time for that?
K: We often have time. I love to travel and I always try to see the places we go.
RTC: How is it to travel the world with Trail Of Dead?
K: We learn so much about playing good live shows and how to entertain the crowd.
And they are great guys to hang with.
RTC: Please let me know your personal highlight of this tour?
K: Think I must say playing full house shows in general has been amazing on this tour. The crowd that follows Trail has embraced us much more than we expected.
RTC: And now give me an embarrassing story of Ribozyme’s tour life?
K: Playing in front of 3 persons in a Mc club in Norway is the most embarrassing thing I’ve done.
Why listen to them?
RTC: Why should more people listen to Ribozyme?
K: Hopefully they will hear good songs and a band that sounds good!!
RTC: How does your mother/father describes your music to their neighbors?
K: They probably say that it is too darn loud!!
RTC: and what is your description?
K: Hard rock.
How it all started and more about work life
RTC: What made you start playing music (did you see someone and thought; oh cool I wanna do this as well)?
K: I listened to Soundgarden, Pearl jam and Alice in chains. Those bands were the reason for me starting a band.
After that I have broadened my taste in music.
RTC: If not being a musician, what would you like to be (astronaut, police man, football star)?
K: An art painter
RTC: Can you make a living out of your music? What else do you work?
K: I do some radio hosting and run a demo record studio for youngsters.
RTC: The song (out there) you wished to have written?
K: Bohemian rhapsody
Records, bands, wine and no groupies
RTC: You still remember your first record you bought?
K: Yea. Think it was Mega dance.
RTC: And the last one?
K: Cancer bats, Dead set on living.
RTC: Are you a record collector?
K:No not really.
RTC: Any band you want to do some namedropping for? If yes, name and why:
K: Not really. Check out Blood command from Norway!!!
RTC: Any tip/s for a new band what they should do / think about in their music career?
K: Focus on making music you love and don’t believe that there is any other way than hard work.
RTC: While being on tour, how do you keep yourself and your voice in form?
K: I don’t smoke and I try to limit my alcohol abuse.
RTC: Beer, wine, champagne or water?
RTC: Is it true that the singer gets all the groupies, give us some inside information
K: It is not so. I think drummers always get the groupies, the weird ones.
The god festival question
RTC: Imagine you are god and you are able to set up a festival of your choice (even dead people or dissolved bands), name me the five headliners:
Yes, and after I have seen the show in Munich (check the Ribozyme pix here) I could imagine seeing them playing alone on this imaginary festival.