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.