Mute drummer Étienne Dionne talks about his views on skatepunk

Canadian skatepunks Mute recently toured Europe and Jera On Air was one of the stops that was blessed with their energetic music. After a hectic day of traveling and playing we catched up with vocalist and drummer Étienne Dionne for a quick talk about all things Mute. Find out below.

Welcome to Jera On Air, first time here? How’s it been?

First time, we arrived maybe an hour and a half ago. We played our set already and I just walked around to see what the festival looks like.

Because of the traffic we arrived late, we played Munich last night, it was a long drive and we got delayed because of that. I didn’t get the chance to really experience the festival that much. I went straight from packing the van to meeting you here. It seems like more a of a hardcore than punk festival. Since I arrived I only heard hardcore bands and like Ignite, although they are in between. I was wondering if it was like a hardcore festival or a punk rock festival.

Almost halfway the Euro tour, Aalst, Belgium was the first show….

Not even, I think we are only a third of the tour now. We played Belgium, Aalst first show and we played a secret show in Leuven. We’ve got a substitute bass player, Jeroen Meeus (from the band March,…). Our bass player stayed at home, he’s got a young family and he couldn’t leave for a month and we wanted to tour for a month.

So we asked Jeroen to come along like six months ago, he learned all the songs, all the harmonies. We’ve played like 8 shows already and it is really starting to gel.

And you’re actually one show away from a small tour with Descendents.

Only two shows, you can call it a tour if you want too. We’ve played Milan and in Austria, the guy that does all those festivals in Austria booked us to play the show with Descendents. We got the chance to play two shows with them. Milan was organized by the same people who do the festival Bayfest. We’ve played with basically like all the bands we were looking up to but not the Descendents. We never played with the Descendents, they were really cool. Down to earth people. We also know their tour manager. It was a fun experience.

Mute plays fastpaced skatepunk, guitar shredding included. Who are some of the guitar gods that inspired Mute?

That’s a good question, because I play drums. There’s some metalheads in the band, so I guess some metal bands I don’t know about. I’m not the metal guy in the band, I’m more the skatepunk guy. The guitar players they are also into skatepunk but they are into metal a lot.

What drummers would you mention as an influence then?

I even follow some on Instagram, I follow Josh Freeze (The Vandals), he plays with Pink now. The guy is really good, he played with all the big bands around, he played with Weezer. He played with Guns And Roses. I like his style, he’s very energetic. He can play fast, he can play slow. He’s always super hard on the drums. He’s the guy I really look up to.

In 2016 you released Remember Death, quite a dark album at times for skatepunk.

You’re right. It just came naturally, we started by writing the songs, the melody. And when you got a melody that’s darker it is hard to put something positive on top of it. So maybe when I write the lyrics I was inspired by what the music was bringing to me. The songs are a little bit darker in their progression and melody. That’s the reason why, when we collected all the songs together. I also do the artwork and the graphic design. That’s when I thought about that, I told the guys about the concept. I found someone on the street that looked like part of the death lady. I asked her to do it and she also starred in the video. It also brings a whole to the concept of the album.

Nowadays it’s not a hype music, it’s more like the oldschool punkers that were listening to it in the 90’s that are still at the shows. There’s not that much of a younger generation. At least not here in Europe.

Étienne Dionne – Mute

Mute hails from Quebec Canada, where you combine the band with your daytime jobs. A hard position to juggle?

It is harder every single time. The older we get. That’s why th bassist isn’t with us this time. We’ve got dayjobs, fortunately we’ve got dayjobs that still allow us to go on tour for many weeks or months a year. On my part I’m a freelance photographer so I’m the most flexible one. Even with that, just before leaving on tour I had to work my ass off just to get everything done. I woke up at 6 am the day before leaving, I went to work untill 10h, went home, at 10h30 I got my luggage done and at 11h I was at the rehearsal space and at 11h30 I was at the airport. I had to work untill the very last moment, even now I’ve got my laptop with me so I can I manage a few things during tour. It’s hard trying to work on tour at the same time. That’s how it is on my side. We’ve got a guy who is doing videogames, the other guy does coding and works a real dayjob at an office space.

End of last year you celebrated 20 years of Mute with a special show, a fitting tribute to two decades. Also two decades in which music and skatepunk in particular changed a lot. What’s your view on skatepunk in 2019?

It’s funny, I was just talking with the guy from No Fun At All right there at the table, they’ve been in it way longer than 20 years and I asked them how was the scene back in the 90’s. He told me it was pretty much the same but it had more of a hype back then, more popular. Nowadays it’s not a hype music, it’s more like the oldschool punkers that were listening to it in the 90’s that are still at the shows. There’s not that much of a younger generation. At least not here in Europe. I see it in South America or in other places. Here it is like people are growing older, they got kids that are older and the parents can go back seeing shows. It’s not like a younger generation. Like it told No Fun At All, I started going to shows in like 1993 when I was a teenager and the shows were crazy. So energetic, the moshpit was huge. That is why it left a mark on my music. A passion for punkrock. I was there at the right time in the 90’s when it was so cool. I’m still loving this music. That’s why we’re still here today, 20 years after.

The show in Quebec was supernice, it like sold out in a few days. We rented extra lights, we wanted to put up the best show.

Skatepunk covers the load actually like it says, punk for skateboarders, Once a sacred marriage now punkrock and skateboarding have evolved. How do you feel about skating these days?

I still skateboard myself. Punk music was more on like snowboarding videos back then, also hip hop on it in the 90’s. Then it turned to hip hop a lot and know it goes all directions. It can be truly anything. Punk rock is still associated with skateboarding.

I still love seeing skateboarding videos.


Chaser makes Punk Skate Again

Melodic Skatepunk, my weapon of choice as a teenage skateboarder back in the mid 90’s. When punk broke in 1994 , moments after Nirvana paved the way to mainstream succes, tons of undergound skatepunk bands rose up and left their marks on kids all over the globe. In 2019 Southern Californians Chaser are set on a mission to keep that style of punk alive and kicking. A quest that led them to Jera On Air to play the Buzzard stage on Saturday. Time to chase vocalist Mike LeDonne around the festival and find out all about Chaser’s mission.

Welcome to Jera On Air, How’s it been?

It’s been amazing! Really, really happy to be here. The show couldn’t have been better. We had a lot of people come and see us. The tent was packed, the stage was packed, just a lot of energy. It was fun, it was great.

Last year you’ve released Sound The Sirens and a few days ago your label Effervescence Records is already doing a repress of the vinyl for the US market (available worldwide). Excited about the collaboration with the label?

Absolutely, it’s a repress which is awesome. That means the first edition was sold out. Which is great. This new color variant, it’s beautiful, it’s red and orange swirl. We just saw it for the first time yesterday actually, it’s really nice. Effervescence Records big shoutout to you guys, Fab thank you very much. We handle the US shipping and Fabien handles the international shipping.

With the artwork of the album and some songs there’s a feeling of revolution hanging in the air, what are some things to inspired you for this call to arms?

An uprising. A collection of people that have the same mindset that want to make a change for the better. It’s also kind of an hommage to 90’s punkrock. That kind is what Chaser is all about, keeping that 90’s style of melodic skatepunk alive. There’s a lot of crazy things going on in the world but there is hope in the end. I think the main point of it all, even with all that chaos depicted on the cover there still is like an united end goal. That we can all achieve if we all just come together. That’s kind of the whole point of the band, one of the biggest things we kind of try to portray is positive mental attitude, PMA. Just stay to try positive, looking out after one an other. Just enjoy your life.

Chaser hails from Orange County, what is it with California and melodic punkrock that so many bands have spawned there?

I think it comes along with the Southern Californian lifestyle. The surf, skate, snowboard culture. Melodic punkrock kind of went hand in hand with that lifestyle. Motorcross, especially like in the 90’s and the 2000’s, all the Crusty Demons videos for motorcross, all the snowboard videos, Tony Hawk Pro Skater… it all featured skatepunk. A very good tactic and it kind of sparked a whole new wave of this genre of punrock. A subgenre actually that really inspired our lives and our music.

One of your songs, The Show sums up a list of punk fests, will Jera On Air be added to the list soon?

You know what’s funny, we are actually talking about doing a ‘Show’ 2.0; like Volume 2. When we wrote that it was before we got to play a lot of festivals that we’ve been doing. Now we had the opportunity to play all these new festivals and meet all these new people. Like i do a lot of name dropping in that song, those are people we’ve met back in the time. But now we’ve met so many new people that we’ve been talking about doing a ‘Show’ 2.0 on the next record.

You’re currently on a two part European tour, first leg started in April and led you to Groezrock. This part has Jera On Air and some UK dates, what’s next after the tour?

Second show of the tour, we did London last night. At the New Cross Inn, it was an awesome show. Chaser and Darko co headlined, we’re actually on tour with Darko right now. We want to give a shout out to those guys. This is the second part so far, we got the offer to play this festival first so we booked the tour around it. A little short run. We didn’t come out for just one show. We go to Ostend tomorrow. And then some UK dates.

There’s a Chaser shirt that says Make Punk Skate Again, given your all avid skaters, who’s your favorite skateboarder and why?

We skate, again that is kind of that Southern California culture. It just ties in with what we are going for, that 90’s style melodic skatepunk. That’s the music we are trying to keep alive. We’re trying to keep it going. It’s the music that influenced our life, growing up. We’re just doing what we can to keep that subgenre of punkrock alive. That’s our motto, keep skatepunk alive.

My favorite skateboarder would be like the 90’s Bucky Lasek, the Birdhouse crew, the Tappas brothers from Australia. Chad Muska, he’s a punkrocker. Basically everyone on the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series.

There has been regular posting of rehearsal videos on Facebook, a great way to communicate with your fans in a way. Learned anything from the conversations?

Yeah, we’re like a very interactive band. We are a very personal band, everytime we play we will be the first one back at the merchandise table. To meet everybody, take pictures, sign autographs, it’s really important to us. There would be no reason we would be doing this if it wasn’t for us to meet our fans. So when we’re not on tour to kind of let them know what we are up to. If you don’t you become irrelevant. If you don’t stay connected. So the videos we take of our rehearsals or shows and we post them is basically our way of saying what we are up to. Sometimes it’s just a little clip, it’s just a way of keeping connected with everyone. It’s the life we live now, being connected.

Any last words you’d like to share?

The ball is rolling man, we have a plan to spend the rest of the year writing our new album. We want to put out a new record in the summer of 2020. Which is two years from when Sound The Sirens came out, we want to try and be on a two year program.Just keep momentum. Stay relevant. Keep the ball rolling. Look for big things next year, brandnew album, more tours next year. We will definitely be coming back here, hoping to hit Japan and we will be touring Canada. I want to tell the readers to keep in touch via social media. That way you’ll know when we’ll be coming to your area and you’ll get all the information on the new record.

Ravage Ritual – Interview Ieper Hardcore Fest 2018

Ravage Ritual have been bringing their musical terror since 2011, hailing from Finland they bring their unique style of True Northern Holy Terror. Their appearance on Ieper Hardcore Fest 2018 led them to the H8000 area and with a brand new EP XVIII to be released that same day it was time to meet up with vocalist Timi and guitar player Nord to unravel some of the mysteries that Ravage Ritual is shrouded in. 

Welcome to Ieperfest, first time here?

Timi: Actually yeah, for me.

Nord: I’ve been here once but never played before

In the middle of H8000 territory, a sound that Ravage Ritual can appreciate?

Nord: Yes. Some of the bands that this area has given birth have served us as an influence throughout the band’s existence.

And today also serves as a releaseshow for your new EP XVIII. What may we expect from your latest creation?

Nord: It’s kind of the end of one era that we started with the Higher Power LP. It’s the seal of this period. Three tracks of crushing heavy metallic hardcore with the cold touch of the north.

You worked with Powertrip Records for the digital release?

Nord: Yes. They are going to co-release the 7” with Unquiet Records later this year.

Ravage Ritual creates negative hardcore, Northern Holy Terror as to say. What would be your response if asked, what is Holy Terror exactly?

Timi: I think it has more to do with the ideology than the music itself. To me it’s being able to see the destruction going on in the world and rising above it. To me it’s just interesting how human race is so talented in it in so many levels.

The original spiritual leaders of Holy Terror has been Integrity and it happens to be that you’ve toured with them last year. How did this come by?

Nord: Our greatest supporter and collaborator Stateless Society booked those dates for us. It was an honor to tour with the band that has influenced your musical visions so much. It was really powerful experience.

Your worldview is clearly expressed within the lyrics and style of Ravage Ritual. Apocalyptic, dark and desperate negative hardcore. Is there still hope for humanity or are we already doomed?

Timi: I think that mankind is already pretty much fucked. I might not be the one to tell but for me it’s kind of hard to see our ways to change for the better in such a way that would secure the future for humanity. We live in a world that people seem to be passionate to destroy both physically and spiritually.. I just try to enjoy the world as it lasts and live somewhat responsibly.

Today is part of a two day European tour, Ieperfest today and tomorrow Özzfest in Germany. Any other upcoming tours scheduled?

Timi: We have two shows with Harm’s Way coming up back in Finland. Otherwise we hope to be back recording soon again. After the shows we will start writing an start the circle again.

For the EP MXVIII you’ve teamed up with designer Razoreater, a well known name within artwork for darker sounding bands (Amenra, Oathbreaker,…). Was he your favored designer for Ravage Ritual?

Nord: Razoreater is a long time friend of us. He has designed our album coverarts since Soul Eater and he is a great artist. He has always had deep vision of our music and we’ve been more than pleased working with him.

Ravage Ritual is from Seinäjoki, Finland, being part of the Finnish scene, how do you feel about your country’s scene and any recommendations?

Nord: The scene is small but active. It’s mainly based on bigger cities of Finland, Helsinki, Tampere, Turku etc. As Ravage Ritual, being from the small town without scene at all already makes us outcasts. The hardcore scene of Finland still has already quite long legacy. Fullhouse Records has 20 years of history releasing records, and bands like St.Hood and Cutdown still continues carrying the legacy. There are also few active independent label’s and promoters. Circuit Breaker Bookings takes care of that there’s shows to go and also brings bands over the borders. From newer bands I’d recommend Gray State, young dudes playing furious 90s edgemetal influenced heavy music.

Timi: I’m not sure if I have ever felt part of the Finnish hardcore scene. I know some people that I see at our shows and they are nice people to hang with but there’s also lots of people full of shit. I just happen to be in a band thats somehow to related to the scene. To recommend something I´d say Judas Chair Collective operate some nice things from time to time, such as Long Gone, Vegas and Gray state.

Any last words?

Nord: Thank you for the interview.

Timi: Thank you

Damien Done – Charm Offensive

Charm Offensive is the latest release of Damien Done, the gloomy rock project of Damien Moyal (As Friends Rust, Culture, Morning Again,…). Ten dark tracks ranging from straight on rockers to more intimate songs, all intertwined in a theme of secrecy. From stalking your neighbour to the power of information on one’s persona. 

On Charm Offensive Damien pulled out all registers to write and record the most part of the album on his own. With the help of some friends he assembled a live band that recently performed their first European tour as Damien Done. Musically Damien Done rocks back and forth with an underlying dark tone that gets visualised by the lyrical content featuring gloom allover. A few of the outstanding tracks are The Lord Fox that displays Damien’s vocal talent in the chorus and of course the stalker inspired track Roof Access. 

Damien Done – Interview Ieper Hardcore Fest 2018

Hello, welcome back to Ieperfest. You’ve played here with Culture before.

Today it’s with your solo project Damien Done and the first day of your first European tour, are you excited to perform here?

Very much, i’m excited. This whole thing is a very different experience from Culture. We don’t have a following. It’s not the kind of band where people will be rushing to the stage to sing along and pile up on each other. It’s interesting. Because i’ve never done like this before.

It’s a different sound compared to the ‘regular’ Ieperfest lineup.

It’s definitely a change for the festival, having something this mellow. Although live i think we are a

little heavier and louder than most people realise. The live version of Damien Done that is. It’s definitely a change for us. The shows we have played have not been with metal or hardcore bands.

Last week your latest album, Charm Offensive, received an European release on Hypertension Records. The album has been released in US since a few months. How has the response been to the album up untill now?

In the States it’s been pretty good and actually in Europe there has been some good reviews about, some good press around it. It’s hard to really know. These days when all your doing is digital and vinyl you don’t know how digital sales have been untill months and months down the road. And vinyl, the only people that will by them are vinyl collectors. You only press 300 or 500 of something sometimes and even if you sell them all it doesn’t tell you about how many people like your stuff. So who knows, the real test will be the shows. To see if any one comes out, if they do, if they know the music.

For the European version you’ve made a deluxe version of the vinyl. Screenprinted by l’7e Oeuil, what led you to pick L’7e Oeuil for this collaboration?

That was entirely Hypertension Records their ideas. They worked with him on some Amenra artwork. They proposed the idea and i looked at his stuff and thought it was a great fit. Didn’t give any direction, i wanted it to be whatever he wanted to.

There’s also a bonus track when you buy the special vinyl edition. A cover of Killing Joke’s Primitive, why that particular song?

Before the LP came out in the States we did a 7” with Curious Thing, which was one of the singles of the album. The B-side was this cover song, i love Killing Joke. And i really like that song. I’ve already did some demo versions on my own and i thought it had some potential. Re-recorded it, put it on the B-side and then Hypertension wanted to have something else to offer for the digital. It was supposes to be exclusive for the Mind Over Matter 7” in the States. But Austin that runs the label is a really cool guy and he appreciated what Hypertension wanted to do.

In previous projects you’ve always performed vocal duties, but with Damien Done you’ve done it all DIY style. From writing the lyrics to performing all instruments on the album. And now for the live performances you’ve assembled a full band of friends to accompany you. How different is it to play your songs with other band members?

It’s a relief. The alternative is playing by myself to backing tracks. Me and laptop on a stage. You know, that might happen from time to time. But for the most part this band is the line-up. It feels good, we have some good chemistry. They’ve really been awesome about helping out and being down for anything at anytime. This is the band, this is the ideal situation. On the recording i didn’t record everything but i did write everything. Programmed the drums, the piano. I did guitars and vocals. Programmed the bass lines but then the guy who produced it redid the bass lines and added extra guitars. It’s very different writing the music rather than just the lyrics and vocals. It became much more of a live band. The recording is either very minimal and stripped down in which case the live version much fuller and heavier. Or the recordings are like really full and glossy and slick. In which case we just make them loud, live rocksongs. It’s a good balance, it really works.

Charme Offensive features some amazing artwork, the guy with a balaclava riding on the public transport holding a bouquet of roses in his hands clearly has a message. What was the underlying thought to this?

A lot of the songs on the album have to do with secrecy. There are a lot of stories about people keeping sides from themselves hidden from the people that they love or work with. Sometimes they are up to no good, because they are just pieces of shit. Other times the are good people who find themselves in situations where they don’t know where to navigate. There’s a theme of elements of oneselves being hidden. The guy having the mask, even the other releases, the face is always obscure. I think that is just a common theme that sort of runs through the music. The songs are either about the sides of people we’re not seeing or the side of people we’re seeing they rather have us not seeing.

I’ve read that one of your earlier songs was even used in a Belgian porn movie. How did this come by?

A bunch of them. Most of the songs on the Stay Black record. Muriel is a friend of mine, she runs La Fille D’O. She was doing this kind of really interesting, i don’t know if she’d approve of the term, alt porn kind of thing. She wanted to use my music in it. It went surprisingly well, the whole soundtrack was really good. There were a lot of other artists too.

End of 2017 a video for the song New Cleavage appeared on Youtube, Edward from Goodlife was involved and Dwid Hellion of Integrity directed the video. Looked like a fun shoot in Kortrijk drinking Duvel while girls are dancing around?

Edward coördinated it, the record was originally supposed to be on Goodlife. Back in 2003 or whenever it was. He had me come over to do the video. Dwid had just moved to Ghent. It was a great day of shooting. Nothing to complain about. Everybody on the La Fille D’O team is incredible too.

You’ve released your previous albums, EP over the last years but most of these songs have been in the making since 2004 as you’ve shelved the record for a long time. What led to the prolonged release?

There were a few problems. When it was about to come out Edward decided he wanted it to be a full length. So he wanted me to add songs. But there was no recording budget to add songs. That kind of killed the enthouisasm. I started recording, that was good because it drove to start figuring out how to record at home. But that early stuff was not ready to be on the same record as the songs i had recorded in the studio. I couldn’t see them all on the same release. It kind of just killed moral. Then i would be ready, he wouldn’t be.When he was, then i wasn’t. Finally at a certaint point when we were both ready it didn’t make sense on Goodlife. The label had changed, it had been too long since my other bands had done things. So Demons Run Amok stepped in in 2016 and put out the Stay Black record and the 7” to go with it.

Next to your music career you also work as an industrial designer and you have your own t-shirt line named Wear Dinner, where you design humorous mock up shirts. Looks like you’re a very busy man, how do you combine all this?

Not very well sometimes. On top of that being a husband and a father. I’ve always needed a lot of projects. When i wasn’t in two or three bands, this is what happens when i’m not in two or three bands at the same time. I’m in one but i’m also going to do T-shirts and so on.

Any last words or thanks you want to share with our readers?

Really looking forward to today and looking forward to the next shows. We have no idea what to expect. It’s kind of exciting to be starting over as like a small band. I’m really happy that some people have been supportive already. Buying the record, amazing we even sold some T-shirts today. We never took it for granted with the other bands. We always appreciated people being fans but we knew they were fans. We knew what we were going into. This is just an adventure.

Crowsview – Interview Ieper Hardcore Fest 2018

Crowsview are a five piece metal/hardcore inspired band from Roeselare, deep in the Belgian H8000 territory. They have been crushing stages for a couple of years with their brutal sound inspired by H8000 bands, Kickback and Arkangel to name a few. Ieper Hardcore Fest also must have noticed the hard working ethos and talent of Crowsview. They were invited to open the Main Stage on Friday. RMP Magazine caught up with guitar player Bart to discuss their upcoming release of their abum Lost Resistance and more.

On September 8th you’re releasing your new album, Lost Resistance. Congratuations. Featuring 8 songs and a release show in De Verlichte Geest, Roeselare. Tell us why everyone should be present?

The choice for De Verlichte Geest was obvious. Most of our band hails from Roeselare and have been going over there and seeing shows for years. We’ve worked really hard to get our album ready in time and so we hope to make it a great party. We’ve chosen for a diverse line up and after the show me and Dieter intend to deejay some records to keep the party going.

Lost Resistance is self released?

There have been some vague talks with a few labels but in the end we decided to release it ourselves. This way we could keep better control of everything and it enabled us to release the album a lot faster. It’s quite a complicated process, as we’ve experienced, to get all the paperwork done but we’ve learned a lot along the way.

The artwork for Lost Resistance is pretty dark in a way, it features a winged Madonna bleeding from the eyes, holding a goatheaded child amidst bones below. Not an everyday image, what motivated this artwork?

Jeroen was knew of the work of CLLK artwork. Pretty quickly we agreed to let him design something for us. We all agreed that it needed to be quite dark. We are really pleased of his work. Totally our style.

On Lost Resistance you’ve worked with two guest vocalists. Namely Ché Snelting (Herder) and Ross Demon (Length Of Time). How was the collaboration?

It went great. We’ve known Ché and Ross for quite a while and next to being talented vocalists each of them are also awesome guys. We’ve contacted them and they were in it for it immediatly.

They came down together to the Hearse studio and everything was recorded pretty fast. Afterwards we’ve went to go eat some fries and had an amazing night witht them. Ché also was really hungry that night.

Things are going fast for Crowsview, you’ve recently played a show opening for Agnostic Front and Merauder, what’s next?

It was quite an honour for us. They’re not the leastest of bands to play with. When i’ve learned about Agnostic Front in my younger years i never could have imagined that one day i’d be playing with them on the same line up and definitely not in Roeselare. It was an amazing night. Really nice people too.

Crowsview hails from Roeselare, H8000 area. How big of an influence was the H8000 scene to Crowsview?

For most of us it all started with the H8000 bands from when we were younger. Bands like Congress, Liar, Sektor, Spirit Of Youth, Deformity and many others have certainly inspired us musically. But those aren’t the only bands that have inspired us,

You’ve all played in different bands before and earned your stripes, Core Of Anger, Victim Eyes,… But what was the motivation for the formation of Crowsview?

I missed performing and creating music, so i persuaded Pieter to have a jam session. The song The Proposal pretty quickly came out of it. After a few rehearsals Jeroen and Dieter joined and we started writing songs. After a difficult search for a fitting vocalist we’ve found Kevin.

If you had to set a goal for Crowsview, where would you want to see the band go in the future?

We just want to play a lot of great line ups on shows and festivals to amuse ourselves. Just playing with awesome bands and playing fun locations.

Any other local bands we need to check out?

The Curse Of Millhaven, Senter, Lost Baron.

Last words or thanks you’d like to share?

Big thanks to everyone that collaborated on our album. The people setting up all the shows and last but not least all the people coming down to our shows.


Crowsview – Lost Resistance

If you are into heavy metalcore then Crowsview is what you’ve been waiting for. Hailing from the H8000 area, this five piece delivers a hammering sound inspired by 90’s hardcore and metal that will leave you jaws wide open. They have been destroying stages since 2015 and Lost Resistance is their newest album that will be celebrated at their September 8th release show at De Verlichte Geest in their hometown of Roeselare. Lost Resistance holds 8 tracks that resemble the style and sound of Arkangel, Kickback, Power Trip,… and even has two tracks featuring guest vocalists. On the song Of Skin And Nails vocal duties are shared with the mad bark of Ché Snelting of Herder. The second guest part is by Length Of Time’s Ross Demon who lifts Burn It Down to a different level with his screaming nightmares. Crowsview has been playing all over Belgium the last year with a stop at Ieperfest just recently. With their new self released album to be celebrated it seems 2018 has been succesfull for Crowsview. 

Crossface – Interview Ieper Hardcore Fest 2018

Today you’ve played the Trench stage at Ieperfest. How was it?

Very good, We thought that we would play for some friends, maybe some people would be interested but when we started it was quite full actually.

Crossface has been a band since a few years, you’ve started for the love of it and playing Ieperfest was one of the main goals you wanted to achieve. Today you’ve succeeded. What’s next?

We’re playing Sunday 26th of August in Kavka, Antwerp with Merauder and Harm’s Way. That’s something that came up. Playing the mainstage at Ieperfest someday would be nice too.

Last year Stijn joined the band on guitar duties. A breath of fresh air into the band?

Some people gave us advice for a second guitar player. We’ve had like two or three people asking to play or try out but we were always like no. We’re like a bunch of friends playing, we want to improve ourselves but it has to be fun. I knew Stijn from the scene. He asked, he’s a really dedicated hardcore kid, to put it like that. He can try out for me, no problem. The rest shared the same idea, so one year later was playing with us. He added some little things to the sound of Chedli’s and actually it’s yet another great friend who joined the band. So it’s still a lots of fun and that’s really necessary for us.

You released an album last year, Kayfabe Is Not Dead on Dust & Bones Records. In the meantime you’ve played all over Belgium. How was the album perceived by the crowd?

We printed 300 copies and split it with Freddy (Dust & Bones Records), each 150 copies. A year later we’ve got 8 CD’s left and he’s got about 50 or something, i’m not sure. But he’s quite happy with the sales. We never thought of it, 300 was like the minimum, so let’s just go for it. And now it’s almost sold out. Like i said, we amaze ourselves every time that it’s all going so well. A lot of people here today on Ieperfest come up to us and say that was a really great show.

The album title Kayfabe Is Not Dead refers to one of your passions, wrestling which seems to flow throughout the artwork. The word Kayfabe comes from wrestling, could you let us in on what it means?

Wrestling is my passion from like ten years old. We were looking for a name, i’ve put Crossface out there. It kind of stood on itself. The cover of the album is a wrestling picture, that was not my idea. But it worked out great. Kayfabe really stands for as a wrestling term that means pretend. Most people will know that pro wrestling is staged. A Kayfabe is like when two wrestlers are having a feud with each other. Battling each other but actually they are friends or colleagues. That’s the term Kayfabe, it’s not real. That’s why Kayfabe Is Not Dead is the album title, not being real is not dead.

With Crossface you’ve choosen for old school hardcore. 90’s H8000 bands seem to be a big influence, what other influences makes Crossface into it’s own?

I think it’s all old school, like Merauder is an influence, Slayer of course. But mainly early Hatebreed, for the vocals and lyrics. Mainly it’s H8000 influenced. We really love Congress, Vitality and Regression and so on. That’s really the main influence.

As you just mentioned Vitality, you’ve worked with AK (Vitality) from the Off The Moon studio to mix and master the album, a well known name in H8000. Why this choice?

He’s a friend, a friend of mine and Chedli’s. We often go there, twice a year, when he’s at home. Because he works for Slayer and Carcass as well. He’s not at home that much, but if he’s at home we like to go there for stories. We’re not only wrestling nerds but we’re also music nerds. We like to know what’s going on with this and that band. So we’re friends and he told us if we needed his help we should come over. We are very lucky to work with him. He helps us out a lot. He even came over to our rehearsal to tune the guitars. He helped us with mixing and mastering. He told us where to go to record. You just need to ask and he knows that we’re not taking advantage of him. It’s really another hardcore friendship experience.

On live shows you often play a cover by Vitality, namely Slaughterchambers, a song against vivisection and animal abuse. Any particular reason this song was chosen?

The lyrics does not pose a problem because i’m a vegetarian. We are with three vegetarians in the band. I always think that when you have straight edge / vegetarian lyrics, the one that sings them has to be like be it. Otherwise it’s like not real. Apart from that, Chedli and i were very ODK crew, Vitality minded. Chedli has that sound, if he plays the guitar he just has that sound. It was like a natural thing, when we started playing we didn’t have enough songs so we were looking around. Congress, Liar, it’s also difficult but it’s well known to say so. Why not play a Vitality song, because AK helps us out a lot, the rest of the Vitality guys know we play it as well, they love it when we do. Why don’t we play that and it also fits with our sound. There have been talks about not playing it anymore because we have enough songs now but we love that song so much it stays in there.

To quote one of your song titles, Anger As Fuel. Is this one of the main drives for your music?

It’s a part of the message. There’s a lot of stuff going on in hardcore and the world that dislikes us.

You have to use that anger as fuel to keep pushing forward. It’s like a positive message. You can look at it as violent but we are not about that.

Another track where the title sort of speaks for itself is Nature’s last laugh. What’s your vision on the current state of nature?

It’s about that subject, i love to read about it a lot. That’s also why i’m also a vegetarian, not only for the animals but also for the environment. What can we say about it, it speaks for itself. It’s sad and it’s true. What i wrote is about my personal view of things, i’m not really relaxed about it. When everyone tries their best, at least i do or we do that’s what the song is about.

Any last words or even some fresh bands we need to check?

We really have to thank a lot of people, Laurent helps us out with the pictures. Freddy who believed in us since day one. All the friends that come out to shows and some of them became friend through that. Steele Justice, Five Across, Sore, Today’s Illusion, Farsight, Makasrr, Minded Fury are some of the bands that we like to play with…But really: a big thank you to the people who support the underground scene in any way, let’s keep it alive.



Ieper Hardcore Fest 2018

Ieper Hardcore Fest has become a legendary name in the underground DIY festival circuit. With visitors from all over the globe coming over for the weekend to a small historical town in Flanders Belgium, Ieper Hardcore Fest grew into a three day happening of worldwide hardcore. Following the DIY ethic the festival is held for the 26th time in 2018 and all thanks to the hard work and dedication of the originators and their legion of helping hands. What started as a small festival in a local youth club grew into this yearly collaboration of two DIY collectives hailing from the Ypres region bringing together an impressive roster of bands to perform over the weekend.

And once again 2018 holds some true gems in it’s lineup. Whether you like your hardcore old school or you’re more into the more heavier sounds, Ieper Hardcore Fest will cater your needs.

Kicking off on Friday 10th of August a diverse selection of bands grace the different stages with their performances. Local Flemish rippers such as Crowsview and Maudlin are present to rip you a new one amidst legends such as Discharge, Doom, Oi Polloi and of course headliner Shelter that are playing one of three shows planned for Europe this year. A chance you can’t miss.

Saturday 11th of August the feast continues and Ypres will tremble once again under the thundering sounds of Belgian mincecore godfathers Agathocles. If they haven’t destroyed all then local H8000 bands as Crossface, Turbowarriors Of Steel and Headshot will gladly gather their hordes of followers to finish the job. If anything left Wisdoms In Chains is waiting on you to present their new album or what about Jasta to end of your Saturday at Ieper Hardcore Fest.

On Sunday 12th the gathering reaches it’s final day with another series of killer acts, a few personal favorites to see are Vonnis, Merauder, Comeback Kid, Coffins, Darkside NYC and festival headliner Converge.

Quite an impressive lineup but that’s not all, Ieper Hardcore Fest is More Than Music, there’s also the delicious vegan food provided by the Ieper food team, homegrown and made with tons of love and of course the fourth stage, The More Than Music tent where several ngo’s and others man the stands to inform the public about different topics. Ranging from veganism to more political, the MTM tent is open to all to discuss their thoughts or to find knowledge on many topics be it by pamphlets, speakers or just supporting a cause by signing a petition. Ieper Hardcore Fest has it all and is inviting you to join in, the music may be loud but the crowd isn’t.

For the complete lineup and more info visit 


I Against I – Jera On Air

Hello, welcome to Jera On Air. How has it been?

We had a blast at Jera! So cool to see people still into these songs we did 20 years ago.

Today you played the full Headcleaner album on stage. The bands breakthrough release in 1998 on Epitaph Records. Why did you pick this particular album?

Headcleaner was released twenty years ago. It was the first record we ever made, produced by our heroes of The Descendents, and released by our favourite label ever. We did a show earlier this year where we played the entire album. The good people of Jera asked us to do the same thing at the festival and we happily obliged.

You’ve just mentioned that you did a similar full Headcleaner set earlier this year in a venue in your hometown of Dordrecht. I couldn’t make it but how was this rare occasion?

It was fun to revisit those old songs, especially since we’ve been working on a new album for the last six months or so. The crowd was a mix of old friends and new ones, and we had two amazing bands playing with us that night: Note To Amy and Cooper. We’ve been playing shows with Cooper for twenty years, we go way back with those guys. They actually played with us when we did the album release party for Headcleaner 20 years ago.

For Headcleaner you got the opportunity to record at the legendary The Blasting Room studios with the even more legendary Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Black Flag). Guess that was a pleasant call from Brett Guerewitz (Bad Religion, Epitaph records) when he announced the news?

Actually, it was the other way around. Epitaph gave us absolute freedom, we could pick who ever we wanted to work with. And since we really loved the records that were made at The Blasting Room around that time, it really was a no-brainer: The Blasting Room! To this day we’re still very grateful for that opportunity. Not many people can say they made an album with their heroes. On one of the last days in the studio, Bill took us out into the mountains. I still remember him saying that above anything else, making a record should be fun. Bill and Stephen made sure it was just that.

Picking up on some of the songs on Headcleaner, it was 20 years ago. People change, but how do you feel on certain lyrics today such as those of Maybe Tomorrow that are sometimes dark.

It’s funny to hear you say Maybe Tomorrow is dark, ‘cause to us, there’s a sense of hope in those lyrics. But I see your point, generally speaking our lyrics were darker than those of other melodic punk bands. We always felt that part of what made us stand out from so many other bands was the content of our lyrics. Not all of our lyrics have aged that well, but I still like the words of Maybe Tomorrow.

On the other hand you also recorded a song like Ordinary Fight that appears to be timeless as it’s content is still very vibrant with the way the world is going. Is this still your view on the state of the world?

Taken at face value, Ordinary Fight is about fighting fascism. It is the first song we’ve ever written, and we felt we had to get that of chest. Looking at the world today, it’s safe to say there is still plenty to fight for.

It appears I Against I is more than a reunion tour like we’ve seen from many bands the last years. You’ve released a new song, Walk Away, it was featured on the White Russian Records label sampler earlier this year. And a new album is coming soon?

When we got back together last year, we had only one mission: to make a new record. We just finished it last month, and we’re very, very happy with how it turned out. People who liked Headcleaner will love this one. It’s very energetic and hyper melodic.

The new album is called ‘Small Waves’, it will be released on october 6th by White Russian Records. 

What’s next for I Against I?

The good thing is that we don’t really know what’s next. We just want to meet new people and play with as many great bands as possible. As long as we’re having fun playing again, we will continue. And right now, we’re having more fun than ever.