Moral Demolition (Het Schandaal #4&5)

When I got to know Het Schandaal – “the scandal” (through my mate Felix De Witte, who did some interviews for the zine), it was already at its last issue (#10). Het Schandaal was started by Bart Steens (from Haacht; later drummer of ‘Koyaanisqatsi’) & Marc Heindrijckx (from Berg). Dirk Ceustermans (bassist of ‘Koyaanisqatsi’) provided me with some of the earlier issues and Ann Hendriks also donated some…

#3 (late 1983): biography of ‘Sexy Bollocks’ (Bel), info on ‘Svätsox’ & ‘ De Zwembaden’, interview with ‘Subhumans’, Brasil scene-report, Xcentric Noise recs & tapes, Er Is Hoop tapes (Jos ‘Lärm’). #4: interviews with ‘Disorder‘ & ‘Mau Maus’; info on ‘Lärm’, ‘Pandemonium’, Punk Etc. #5 (84): the end of ‘Moral Demolition’, anarchism, history & religion, ‘Naked’ (US band), A.L.F., ‘P.S.A.’ (Ita), Terveet Kadet’ (Fin), etc.

Around #5, ‘Stel’ (Steven R. from Hasselt; bassist of ‘Subversion’) – who was doing a zine/newsletter entitled AMI – started to share contributions. In #6 there was no mention of Marc anymore, and Stel took over the editorship.

#6: scene-report Spain, chemical warfare, ‘EU’s Arse’, ‘Inferno’, ‘Amebix’, ‘Skeptix’ (UK), ‘Wulpse Varkens’, gig review of the show with ‘Conflict’ etc., and more. #7: info on vegetarianism, scene-report Finland, report on fascism in Belgium, presentations of ‘De Boegies’ (Nl) & ‘X-Creta’, brief talks with ‘Inferno’, ‘Necros’, ‘Wretched’, ‘Slam’ & ‘Patrol’ (UK), letters and reviews. #8: ‘Koyaanisqatsi’, ‘Onslaught’, ‘Warfare’, ‘Wretched’, Better Youth Organisation, ‘Political Asylum’, …

#9: announced the exit of Bart and wellcomed Felix; content: ‘Toxic Waste’, ‘Subhumans’, etc. #10 (last issue): interviews with ‘Conflict‘, ‘English Dogs’, ‘Deviated Instinct’, ‘X-Creta’, ‘Disrupters’, ‘Ceresit’, ‘Raw Power’, ‘Varukers’, etc.

After the last tenth issue  started contributing for the metal/thrashcore fanzine ‘Metallised’… Felix became a media-correspondent in Latin-America, worked for an NGO who defends the rights of children in Africa, Latin-America & Asia, and now for an developmental NGO.

Brob

I met Bart somewhere between issues 4 & 5. I had done one issue of my own fanzine AMI and we thought it would be better for distribution, the variety and the content to do something together. AMI was a separte part (4 pages) of Het Schandaal #5; we sold 250 (!) copies of it. It reads: >>Mind you: Actually this is a fanzine within a fanzine. The AMI pages are clearly distinguishable from Het Schandaal. The purpose is to make Het Schandaal a bit more enthralling and varied, and to make both AMI & Het Schandaal a bit more known. In that way there’s less chance that AMI and Het Schandaal give one-sided information. Hopefully this initiative becomes a source for a tighter cooperation.<< Het Schandaal #6 (print-run: 300!) still has 10 pages of AMI. After that my contribution was no longer a seperate AMI inside the zine but articles in Het Schandaal itself. And since Het Schandaal #9 Bart is no longer involved. At one timepoint he totally disappeared from the scene. No idea why. Felix then made his entry, with damn-fine interviews. Het Schandaal #10 is the last issue; I had to make a choice because of my studies.

Steven ‘Stel’ R.

I “disappeared” from the HC/punk-scene when I took a totally different musical direction (together with Ludwig, ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ guitarist). For years I was involved in the rockabilly scene (drumming for ‘Stirrin’ Stuff’ & ‘The Shuttlecocks’). All that ended when I suffered hearing damage

Bart Steens

I got to know Bart at the gigs in ‘Paradox’ [Antwerp venue; 1983-84] via ‘Stel’. ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ was active in 1985. It was probably because of Het Schandaal that I started DROL (also inspired by ‘Stel’). We both did a fanzine-stall at the concerts in Paradox. That’s also where we got in touch with Dirk Michiels of Punk Etc. [One issue of Het schandaal was dubbed “special Punk Etc. edition”].

Dirk Ceustermans

‘Moral Demolition’ canceled a gig in my hometown (84-01-28). They’d started about a year before (when ‘Pix’ split up – some went on to form ‘Krank’) but quit real soon so I never got to see them (they were from the Kempen region and mostly played Antwerp). The line-up was: ‘Bink’ (vocals), Danny Stessens (guitar/vocals), ‘Jaki’ Jack Kenis (bass) & Peter Janssen (drums). Their highlights were a support for ‘M.D.C.’ (83-12-21), their split-EP with ‘Zyklome-A’ and a track on the MRR compilation Welcome To 1984. ‘Stel’ wrote in the December ’84 issue of MRR (#20) that the band had split up and that Danny was trying to build a slower band, ‘Tribe Of Morons’…

From Het Schandaal #4:

Previously ‘Pix’; now with another bassist and singer. The former now play for ‘Krank’. ‘Moral Demolition’is. ‘Jaki’ bass: / Peter: drums / Danny: guitar+lyrics / ‘Bink’: vocals+lyrics. They’re from Turnhout; where people used to be (about 2 years ago) very active with concerts, parties, etc. Now there’s just bands, discos, cops, streetfighting and paratroopers, and the silent grey mass. Ideas within the band vary: Danny has anarchist tendencies; ‘Jaki’ & ‘Bink’ ad: have fun, do as you please. But that doesn’t mean that you have to forget about all the rest. You can combine: Anarcho-funism.

The E.P. has 3 songs by ‘Moral Demolition’: Police State / Bought & Paid / Killer Cops; and 3 by ‘Zyklome-A’. It was recorded at Ace studio in Antwerp and produced by Roland Beelen, together with Punk Etc.

Police State is the most important song; a possible vision of the future for our region and the harsh reality in countries such as El Salvador, Chili, Uruguay, Rusland, … People disappearing (i.e. arrested, beaten up, raped, tortured, murdered). These crimes are commited by law-enforcers and are possible here too. It’s not the intention to get rid of them but they should in the first place be serving the people, not the powers that be: those with the money.

Bought & Paid was written with the intention to make a slow, melodic song. America under Reagan; money = power. The citizen dreams, people suffer! In the end the song ended up hard and brief.

Killer Cops is a real pogo-song. It was actually written but improvised during a rehearsal. The lyrics are based on facts that anyone who gets arrested can experience + the fear for more.

Lyrics: ‘Bink’. For info: Punk Etc.

 

From Het Schandaal #5:

BELGIAN HARDCORE DECAPITATED IN TURNHOUT

‘Moral Demolition’, the hardcore band from Turnhout, no longer exists (everybody knew that by now but still …). There was positive reviews from not just Belgium … ‘Moral Demolition’ will appear on the new Maximum Rock’n’Roll compilation (together with ‘Frites Modern’, ‘B.G.K.’, etc.) with the song Police State. But the band decided to dissolve. Peter (drummer) didn’t feel like continueing for a while and after a crap rehearsal, he decided to call it quits. At first we thought it was a joke but then we had to accept it as a fact; insisting was no use. The second problem was that ‘Bink’, the singer, was gonna stop anyway to join the army, so he could do that straight away. Danny and myself are the only ones, somewhat perplexed, who remain. We’re now in the process of forming a new band but we don’t have a singer yet. The band will probably called ‘Tribe Of Morons’ but that’s not certain yet. Danny will play drums, myself (‘Jaki’) guitar and Joris bass. Joris is a friend wo played for ‘C.L.C.’, another band from Tumhout that is splitting up. He’s actually a guitarist but he’s gonna play bass for us.

WE WISH OURSELVES GOOD LUCK AND HOPE TO BE ABLE TO START PERFORMING SOON.

Pre-split interview

Recently your EP got out; what do you think of it yourselves and how did the split with ‘Zyklome-A’ come about? [‘Repression’ split-EP with ‘Zyklome-A’ (Punk Etc. 1983)]

We’re very satisfied with the EP. The quality is very good goed, the cover and poster could’ve been better though. It got 6 tracks and is definitely worth it, we believe! 100 BeF is the maximum price! We know ‘Zyklome-A’ already for nearly 2 years and we’ve always been fans. At a given moment we made plans to do a record together and about a year and a half later it resulted in this EP.

You’re on a cassette by Subvert. What do you think about it?

We know we’re on that tape but Subvert no longer responds to our letters and we have never seen or heard the promised cassettes. The recording wasn’t that good anyway.

You already played in The Netherlands and there are rumours that you would go to England, how did that come about?

The gigs in NL happened because of the article about the band in the Koekrant [Nieuwe Koekrand; Dutch fanzine]. Frankly, when it comes to audiences, NL is much more fun to play. In Belgium ‘local bands’ are not very appreciated. Nothing’s fixed yet with regard to England but we’re trying to get in touch with people who want to organise something.

What d’you think of the Oi-‘Cr@ss’ crisis, exploitation of punk; and is clothing important to you?

Jaki: I find that whole Oi vs. ‘Cr@ss’ thing nonsense, especially here in Turnhout. That silly thing makes you see how stupid some punks are. I once cut my hair and painted Oi! on a T-shirt and suddenly I was no longer one of the good guys, because I was supposedly a skinhead. Clothes are unimportant but I think you subconsciously buy or make clothes that are ‘different’.

Danny: Chaos shouldn’t be a goal. Why don’t those punks see that? The only thing you achieve with chaos is survival of the strongest (By the way: that’s even lower than the form of society of, for example, animals!). You can already see that now: society has fallen into an ‘anti-living-together-society’! Instead of joining hands and fighting (not against the innocent) for a better society: society and governments don’t belong together! Oi! creates chaos and dwells on it: they don’t replace anything. ‘Exploited’ sings “I believe in anarchy.” but I’m sure they won’t believe that themselves.

“Gary Bushell comes to bury punk, not to praise it.” (Pax records n° 7)

I like ‘Cr@ss’. At first I misunderstood them: rich hippies in their beautiful farm and ‘don’t fight back’. But I’ve read some articles about them now and these made me change my opinion about the band. ‘Cr@ss’ have great ideas about anarchy that probably made them so famous, because I think the music is only so and so! “‘Cr@ss’ are just a bunch of fucking wankers.” is not what I think. Would you see ‘Exploited’ helping out unknown groups to get more famous? Youth-cultures have always been exploited by profit-maniacs. This is also the case with punk: tigerprint-trousers, zippers, haircuts, … Thate’s why punk always hast to be innovative: no uniformity but making your own designs. Don’t dwell on it either whether or not you’re original: it’s your inner self that counts!

How long have you been playing?

In this line-up, about half a year. Before ‘Jaki’ joined, we played for about a year with Michel [Vanderhaegen], who’s now in ‘C.L.C.’ and ‘Krank’, as bassplayer. ‘C.L.C.’ is also a band from Turnhout and originated from ‘Disgrace’; once Turnhout’s most popular punk band, haha.

Which bands have influenced you the most and have you always played hardcore?

We’ve always played a kind of hardcore but in the past it was funny, simple melodies, now it has become heavier, but we still think it’s fun. We all have our favourite bands but we do develop our own style. We don’t want to be compared too much with other bands because ‘M.D.’ is simply ‘M.D.’ …

A word to the Hasselt group ‘Subversion’ who claim to be “the fastest group in Belgium” and simply imitate ‘Discharge’ (very un-original guys): there are indeed faster Belgian bands that don’t dwell on how fast they can play but who have made the choice for themselves what they want to play and come up with their own style!

A word from Danny: I puke on that ‘positive horror-punk’ stuff. Summoning ghosts, playing Dracula, etc. can be fun, but come on: that can’t be the goal!

What are your political views and principles, anarchy or not, vegetarianism, …?

Jaki: I think that people shouldn’t bother about other’s bullshit (= politics) and know for themselves what they’re about, but you should be able to take your responsibility in time!

Danny: I’m politically engaged in the sense that I don’t like all that fucking bullshit. I do like some points of the left and the greens (nuclear weapons, environment, …). I hate nuclear energy! I’m anarchist inspired and consider anarchy an ideal, not an illusion or utopia! Who says that anarchy is impossible in practice, knows very little or nothing about it! I’m a vegetarian and a conscientious objector.

See you at a gig, and let’s have a chat afterwards; we can become friends! (That’ll be for the new band.)

Smash the nazis, cops, politicians … Fight back for a better world.

‘Moral Demolition’

Capitol Punishment (Metallised #9)

When the second half of the 80s started HardCore (punk) bands started to become more and more influenced by metal, resulting in speedmetal, crossover, thrash (or whatever you wanna call it) bands. In the beginning most people in the HC-scene wellcomed that as a refreshing influence but because of the dilution of the HC/punk ideology by the skin/Oi-movement in mind, some were also careful. After a few years it seemed like the commercialism, sexism, homophobia, etc. amongst the metal-crowd did the same thing and some turned away from it…

Around that time some people from the metal-scene that did a fanzine got interested in metal-influenced HC/punk. Metallised started featuring bands from the HC-scene. I got 3 issues from that time. #7 was still in Dutch and contained mostly metal bands, #8 & 9 were in English and more varied. The main editorial crew was ‘MetalCurse’ Tony Holemans & ‘Fobie’ Johan Wuyckens from Leuven. They were helped by (girl)friends and various contributers. From #8 on Steven ‘Stel’ R. (ex ‘Subversion’ bassist, concert-organiser and MRR-correspondent) joined and emphasized HC/punk… Also Dirk Ceustermans had an influence (long conversations about music, zines and the scene in pubs in Leuven)…

Here’s a the metal-head view on HC (as published in Metallised #7):

The HardCore scene (especially in Belgium) has become very important in recent years because it’s the only scene that has really kept going all these years. Just as anywhere else in the world, you’ll also find specialised labels that release (although only sporadically, but that is understandable, because they are non-profit organisations that sell their products at an economically almost irresponsible price) records by HC bands. In our (still very small) country you’ll find about thirty HC bands that perform regularly. We’ll try to learn you a little more about these. However, we’ld like to clarify the following terms, because ‘HardCore’ is a word that is sometimes, wrongly, used quite generally. One also has to distinguish certain little differences in this scene.

There’s the pure HardCore (or HC punk), played by people who detest everything that has to do with metal (in terms of music), that’s the purest form of HC (not often appreciated by metal-heads). Crossover or metal HC is, in terms of lyrics, similar to regular HC. The difference lies in the music, which contains (to a greater or lesser extent) metal influences. HC metal is yet another mixed-bag: there the lyrics are less important, not always (but sometimes) socially or politically engaged (which is the case for the other two forms of HC) and sometimes (rather often) they are even purely satanic (which isn’t always appreciated in punk circles).

Now something about the scene itself. And there’s (unfortunately enough) something negative to say. Although the HC scene here in Belgium is the tightest scene there is (there’s rarely fights or people getting injured, which might be surprising when you see how wild people sometimes are), there’s also things here that spoil it a bit. Surprisingly, that screw-up isn’t caused by the punks themselves but rather by metal-freaks. Indeed, while there’s also real HC fanatics amongst the metal-heads (and there’s more and more), which actively participate in the scene, there are on the other hand too many headbangers who just go to HC gigs to stirr shit up and knock some people up (and then us metal-heads sometimes act weird when confrontations between punks and metal-heads occur – as if we’re not to be blamed…). Who also still screw up the scene, are skins. Here in Belgium, these are fascists and racists, who start fights (even amongst each other) for whatever reason (preferably with harmful or deadly consequences).

As for the rest: punks themselves are usually very peace-loving people, who care for each other, peace for everyone and all living creatures (just look at protests against inhumane conditions). Many punx have become vegetarian, because animals can also express feelings and are therefore entitled to a meaningful and free life. Moreover, vegetarianism is also a clever thing from an economic point of view: when looking at the nutritional value of meat of slaughtered animals and comparing it with the nutritional value of plants used for to raise these animals, then a ratio of about one in six can be determined. In other words: teach people vegetarianism, breed fewer animals to kill, and then you’ll still have enough to feed many more people (a solution to the famine in the Third World, gentlemen economists?).

Another craze amongst punx is the rejection of alcohol- or tobacco-use (and some even reject sexual intercourse). This phenomenon has the nice name Straight Edge, and comes from the States. Unfortunately, some S.E.-ers are starting to exhibit rather fascist tendencies nowadays when they start to knock beers out of people’s hands. Though it needs to be said that there’s only a small amount of S.E.-ers (after all, this fashion of S.E. hasn’t been around that long here).

What follows is a summary I made of Tony’s personal account of the zine’s history. If someone wants to read the full 8 pages: get in touch.

Brob

This Belgian metal & HardCore magazine existed in the second part of the 80s, evolving (under the influence of its editor-in-chief and a slightly changing staff) from a purely hardrock/metal-geared tri-monthly offering towards a more diverse rag. The language changed from Dutch to English, allowing for a thinly but relatively widespread distribution outside the Dutch-speaking countries. […].

Summer of 82 ‘Metal Curse’ (yours truly) made friends with a bunch of slightly younger metalheads, of whom some had started their own hardrock band who eventually got very hot about ‘Metallica’ […] A couple of them were contributing to the metal magazine Whiplash (started in ‘84) but were not so pleased with the attitude of their editor-in-chief towards certain types of music. One of ‘em (co-editor ‘Ladykiller’) was eventually sent out to contact me with the proposal to start a new heavy-metal magazine. […] Obviously, I consented to the proposal. I was the one proposing the name (a term I had already used in some artwork of my own), a logo already in mind…and so Metallised was born (April 1st, 1985). With the addition of my girlfriend (later (ex-)wife) we were 5 (‘Ladykiller’, ‘Fobie’, Dirk, my girlfriend ‘HoneyBee’ and myself) to finance the first release (which was to be printed by Leuven’s student printer-shop ACCO). […]

[…] From the beginning, and to liven things up a bit, it was decided that we would use a fair portion of humor (done, however, with all due respect for the musicians) in our writing, which would be done in the Dutch language. […] Dirk, after a period of hesitation, decided nót to join us, after all, although he did contribute material to that first issue, was still mentioned as a contributor in the 2nd, and also contributed written material to issue #3). […]

[Brob: From listings of the features in early issues (83-84), I highlight a demo-review of ‘Possessed’ (from California) in #1, concert-review of ‘Slayer’ in #2, ‘Megadeth’ back-cover (#3), an interview with ‘Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson in #4.]

After a while I came time to rethink a couple of things. For starters, both ‘Fobie’ and myself turned out to have much broader interest in music than ‘just’ metal. The budding HardCore and crossover scenes were sure to our liking, and somehow we wanted to start adding from that to our magazine. I would also start making work of getting in better connection with the music-industry […]. We had already decided that we were only going to have an 800-copy issue but with an increase of material to write about in mind, we decided to up our offering to a 40-page booklet. Evidently, we had to up the price as well […]

[Brob: #5 (1986) featured ‘Amebix’, ‘Metallica’, there was a ‘Cyclone’ interview from their show as Belgian support-act to ‘Overkill’ & ‘Anthrax’, the tape-section had a review of a demo by Seattle-based act ‘The Dehumanizers’), etc.]

A chance visit to a young friend, the punkrock & HardCore loving Rudy [Hoeykens], mid-summer 1986, brought me in contact with a young female friend [Heidi Briers] of his. Being of a very open mind, she immediately understood (most probably Rudy had already told her about me) that I was eager to get to know the HardCore scene in Belgium from closer up, and after inviting me to a local HardCore festival (where Rudy would perform his debut-show with his first band ‘O.I.L.L.’), we continued to talk about the values maintained within the HardCore scene (which strangely corresponded largely with my own views on interpersonal relationships) and hit off a friendship which would last several years. She invited me over to her place, a flat which she shared with Dirk [Ceustermans] (then guitarist for ‘Ear Damage’, which also boasted the drummer and singer/bassist of the defunct ‘Zyklome A’), to meet up with other HardCore lovers, who usually came together once a month, more often if they could. Though I’m sure that at the beginning he and the guys from ‘Heibel’ (whom were studying in Leuven, and among the usual visitors) perhaps found my presence weird (after all, I was a ‘metalhead’, right?), they soon found out that I was not only into the music (of which I learned so much thanks to Dirk’s collection and the stuff the others brought along for hearing – the usually fastest things coming from Ludo [Van Noppen], whom had worked together with Dirk on the latter issues of magazine D.R.O.L.) […]

[Brob: #6 (1986): interviews with ‘Cyclone’, ‘Motörhead’; concert-reviews with the likes of ‘Onslaught’, ‘Sodom’, ‘Cryptic Slaughter’, etc.]

During the frequent meetings at Dirk’s room, I also met a nice dude by the name of ‘Stel’. He had already worked on his own ‘zine [Het Schandaal] before and showed interest in joining our staff, so we let him contribute several record- and demo-reviews, and an interview, for what was to be our last issue printed in Dutch. Issue #7 was also the first in which I could do something to promote the Belgian HardCore scene […] Prior to the issue’s release, I visited several more HardCore shows with upcoming bands, some in Leuven, one in Tielt, as well as a gig by ‘G.B.H.’…

[Brob: #7 (‘87): features on ‘Agnostic Front’, ‘Crumbsuckers’; a report on the Australian metal-scene, the first file on the Belgian HC-scene (‘Anguish’, ‘O.I.L.L.’, ‘C.P.D.’, ‘Heibel’); etc.]

[…] I went on a holiday trip, together with Heidi, to Oslo, where we had open interview date with ‘So Much Hate’ singer Gunnar [Nuven]. He also put us onto a squat (an abandoned hospital) to spend the night. Oslo can be very depressing though, what with food and drinks so expensive, and Heidi’s homesickness for Dirk made us shorten our stay. […]

[Brob: #8 (‘87): interviews with ‘Artless’, ‘Bad Brains’, ‘Death Angel’, ‘English Dogs’, ‘Excel’, ‘No Fraud’, ‘Prong’, ‘Sacrilege’, ‘So Much Hate’, ‘Suicidal Tendencies’; features on ‘Attitude’, ‘Cancerous Growth’, ‘Rattus’; a new report on the Belgian HardCore-scene (‘Creep Insanity’, ‘The Dirty Scums’, ‘Repulsives’); etc.]

[Brob: #9 (‘88): interviews with ‘Capitol Punishment’, ‘D.R.I.’, ‘Instigators’, ‘Leben Und Leben Lassen’, ‘Social Unrest’, ‘Stupids’; Japan scene-report; Belgian HC-scene file (‘Disgorge’ & ‘Hate Crew’); features on ‘Gang Green’, ‘Scraps’, ‘The Freeze’, ‘Mottek’; etc.]

[…] For #10 I wrote Metallised’s first ‘political file’ with material found at Oxfam Wereldwinkel (where I had been working on a voluntary basis since the ending of my military service). Due to an enormous amount of material sent to us, plus the fact that we’d begun to review sent-in video tapes and started a fanzine section, there was less place for articles and interviews […]. The front cover came together as a team effort by ‘Fobie’ (original artwork), ‘Stel’ (ameliorations) and myself (finishing). This time, the text displayed presented us as “Probably Europe’s most crazy ultra-information metal & Hardcore magazine”. Special contributions came from Dirk (‘Ear Damage’), his girlfriend Heidi and one Scott Lake (Canada)

[Brob: #10 (‘88): interviews with ‘Capitol Punishment’ (part 2), ‘Raw Power’, ‘R.K.L.’, ‘D.O.A.’ & ‘Jingo De Lunch’; Belgian HC-scene (‘Heibel’, ‘Bad Influence’ & ‘Ear Damage’); etc.]

Some personal shit then happened to me […]. ‘Fobie’ & ‘Stel’ kept the faith and I eventually got back to work, with part of the texts pre-printed by ‘Stel’. […] For #11 we had a contest to win ‘Attitude’s The Good, The Bad, The Obnoxious EP. The front cover was done completely by ‘Fobie’, with the picture of Graham ‘Gizz’ Butt, at the time guitarist for ‘WarDance’ (which had just split).

[Brob: #11 (‘90): interviews with ‘G.G. Allin’, ‘Doom’, ‘President Fetch’, ‘Seattle’, ‘Bolt Thrower’, ‘Hellbastard’; etc.]

Totally revitalised, we had planned so much. We intended to compile a Guide To Gigging Europe with a list of venues, gig-organisers, radio-stations, etc. I mean, things were really looking up for us : bands and labels had reacted positively in spite of our delay, I was in fact already working on stuff for issue #12, and then…some 3 months after the release of #11, I got a visit from 2 men  […]  who told me to close down the operation […] …

In the second half of the 90s I became the editor-in-chief of the bimonthly mag of Leuven’s youthcentre Clockwork and later (1999-2015) I wrote for the website concreteweb.be

Tony Holemans

Metallised existed from 1985 to 1990 (with a large hiatus between #10 in the summer of ‘88 and the last issue #11 in the spring of ‘90). Some of the personnel came from other magazines such as Whiplash, Total Blur and Het Schandaal (The Scandal). It intially covered all kinds of 80s heavy metal and hardrock music. Hardcore Punk was added to the mix in issue #7 and became more prominent in the English issues.

A new issue was released about every three months at around 800 copies. The magazine was printed (not xeroxed) on recycled paper and as of issue #3 had one or two extra support colours on the front and back cover for a slightly more ‘expensive’ look. Even so the overall look and feel and the lay-out were still very much a testament to the DIY nature of the magazine.

The first issue was pretty anaemic with 11 band introductions (small biographies), 4 short interviews (but at least two of those were with Canadian thrashers Exciter and with the German band Accept), 30 album reviews, 4 demo reviews and a few concert reviews.

Gradually the volume of the content grew and diversified and writers from Italy, France, the U.K., U.S.A. and Canada started to contribute. The three last English issues each had inbetween 90 and 125 demo reviews, over 100 album reviews and around a dozen interviews (with bands like ‘Capitol Punishment’, ‘Death Angel’, ‘Heibel’, ‘English Dogs’, ‘D.R.I.’, ‘Cacophony’, G.G. Allin, ‘Instigators’, ‘Prong’, ‘Suicidal Tendencies’, ‘Bad Brains’ and many more). This recurring content was accompanied by some videotape-reviews, introductions of other fanzines/magazines, as well as a number of concert reviews, and the odd social/political article.

This is all the personnel throughout the years, some hung around for an issue or two, others were there for the entire trip. Editorial staff common to #1 to #11: Tony Holemans, Johan ‘Foob’ Wuyckens. All other contributors (editorial staff as well as contributors): Rita ‘Honey Bee’ Cornette, Kurt Jaenen, Benny Fory, Dirk Van Den Auweele, Steven ‘Stel’ R., Gloria Vanden Bosch, Dirk Ceustermans, Max de Baerdemaeker, Paul Fot, Peter Van Helden, Ilse Teunissen, Dries Van Damme, Johan Boschmans, Bart Gilliard, René Piket, Tony Peelman, Nicola D’amelio, Koen Willequet, Marc Meneve, Johan Tuerlinkcx, Nathalie Vasseur, Stéphane Corbara, Agnes Lambrechts, Louis ‘Ludo’ Van Noppen, Peter Van Helden, Heidi Briers, Scott Lake, ‘Metal Queen’, Conrad Lawrence, Paul Fox, Stefan Joosten, ‘Hades’, ‘Wille’, ‘Makke’ & Willy.

‘Stel’ and ‘Foob’ started the weekly radio-show Dakka Dakka on the Belgian free-radio station Radio Scorpio. It covered a wide variety of heavy guitar music (grunge, hardrock, metal, punk, industrial, …) and became the longest running radio-show in Radio Scorpio’s history, clocking in at about two decades. Currently they are together in ‘Klabotskop’, a rock/metal/punk band.

‘Foob’

The when and where I met Tony and ‘Foob’, I don’t exactly recall. It was around the time I was relocating from Leuven to Hasselt to finish my studies there. Het Schandaal had seen its final issue and I was probably still writing now and then for De Nieuwe Koekrand, a magazine from Amsterdam. I met them both through different people and didn’t even know they were both in the writing-staff of the same magazine at first.

A year later I was again visiting Leuven regularly in the weekends because my girlfriend had relocated to finish her studies there. She lived on the other side of the street to Tony. Which was instrumental in my joining the writing-staff for Metallised. I remember the sheer amount of work that went into the magazine, mostly by Tony. The hours of typing and glueing; of going to the copyshop to create dithered fotographs and copies of logo’s. And the liters and liters of self-made lemon-tea we drank.

Between issue 10 and 11 I graduated and started working in Leuven which helped to get, what was going to be the final issue, out. I saw a lot of that typewriter in those days.

After Metallised ‘Fobie’ and I also made a short detour writing for a few issues of Rumble, a free music-magazine that didn’t make it to its 3rd year to finally decide to start a radio show on the local radio-station Radio Scorpio as the promo material was still coming in. The show, Dakka Dakka, became the longest running show on the station after 20 years when I started a new show called Switchblack. Switchblack then became a pod-cast 2 years later. That was around the same moment we decided to start our own band: ‘Spawn’. Later re-named to ‘Starspawn’. Now re-named to ‘Klabotskop’.

In 1994 I played with becoming a writer for MindView, a free metal magazine, but that lasted only one issue because I didn’t feel ‘at home’ in the team. And because I found a new pass-time… LARP [live action role-playing]!

‘Stel’

This reprint of (the first part of) an interview (that ‘Stel’ did) with ‘Capitol Punishment’ (87-10-25; day of the band’s concert for Hageland Hardcore) seems appropriate, as it deals with crossover in the HC/punk-scene and the raison-d’être of zines. The line-up at the time (the Zipeyrpantsup LP had just been recorded in Berlin): Ralph Lotspeich (vocals), Dale Stewart (guitar), Joceylin Fedrau (bass) & Mike Branum (drums).

 

Death Sentence (Peace Or Annihilation #6)

Read more on Peace Or Annihilation

There’s several bands that were named ‘Death Sentence’, but this interview is with the Australian one… Keith Chatham of ‘[Condemned] Attitude‘ (& later ‘Lethal Gospel’) used to play for them when he was over there…

[Translation below]

Australia will be known by many because of the very heavy hardcore bands such as ‘Depression’ and ‘Vicious Circle’. “Death Sentence” from the same country, play a very different kind of music: ultra-fast tràààààsh à la ‘Lärm’. Yeah, an account….

O.: Can you tell us how the band was founded and the like?

M.: We started as a band sometime around November ’84, at that time the line-up was: Peter [McGrath] (bass [later vocals]), Matt [Deveson] (guitar), Jenk [Akyalcin] (drums). Jenk and Matt used to play in ‘Permanent Damage’ but playing in two bands at the same time didn’t work out so well so Gary [James McGillivray] replaced Matt and Scott [Verity] replaced Jenk. We did a few gigs in the Melbourne area and then we released our EP [1985]. This was recorded when we had only been playing together for 3 weeks. The previous line-up also had a contract to do a tour in America. Peter and I went to San Francisco anyway because we had already booked our plane-tickets. Conn [bass on the tape & 7”] came with us and he’s still there. I believe that he’s currently hanging out with the people of ‘Scared Straight’ [Simi Valley, California] and that he has plans to go to Ireland soon. (He was born there.) When Peter and I were staying in San Francisco, we ran into Keith [Chatham] from ‘C2D’ [‘Condemned To Death’; later also ‘Attitude’, ‘Lethal Gospel’, …]. At that time, ‘C2D’ needed a singer and they asked Peter if he was into singing for them. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen because we couldn’t possibly stay in San Fransisco. ‘C2D’ broke up and Keith decided to come and play bass with us. He arrived here in August and has already played a few songs at a gig. For the moment we’re taking things a bit slower gig-wise so that we can practice more and let Keith get to know the songs better.

O.: What have you released so far?

M.: We have a 7” EP out named Ryan – Thanks For The Support. It has 7 songs and there we also added lyrics and a lot of info-sheets, and a sticker. It costs $ 4.50 and that includes the postage. We also have a tape out, which is called Waldo Blew His Brains Out, and costs 4 dollars. T-shirts are also available for $ 12 at the following address: 50 Brunswick / Nth. Fitzroy 3068 / Melbourne / Victoria / Australia. We hope to release an LP by the end of the year [If Pain Mens My Mind; recorded late ‘86].

O: What does the scene look like over there? Which clubs / bands are worthwhile?

M.: In my personal opinion we have a great scene here in Melbourne. Everyone knows each other and gets along well with each other, even the skins! I let the skins know that I don’t agree with their nationalistic ideas; like when they inundated the city with stickers Stop The Asian Invasion. I think that his is just ridiculous! But I can talk to them and they’re not aggressive, and that is quite a lot already! Our scene is still getting bigger and is always at its peak during the summer. Then there are a lot of young people coming to gigs, and it’s nice to see that they’re not just passively attending gigs but also release fanzines and things like that.

Another point is that the input of girls here is quite large. There are several that do fanzines; and they just join in (slamming) at concerts. By the way, it’s mainly the girls that pogo.

An important band to me is ‘Vicious Circle’. A great band and very nice people. The same applies to ‘Children Of Sorrow’. In the past they were called ‘Aids’. The last months a few new bands have also popped up; I’ve seen the newest perform last week: they’re called ‘Arm The Insane’ and play fast punk. There is also a new skate band and two new thrash bands called ‘Play Dog’ and ‘Ardvarks Afterbuth’.

O.: What do you think about international ‘zines such as MRR and Flipside?

M.: Awesome! It’s one of the best ways to quickly reach a relatively large audience. More and more people are learning about the existence of hardcore and the ideas behind it, and that’s very positive. I find one thing very unfortunate about these leaflets though; so stupid that people are: they believe everything that’s written, both good and bad. The record-reviews are a good example of this. It often turns out that one good review in the MRR yields more than a 100 orders…

O.: Are you satisfied with the result of the single and the tape? What response have you gotten?

M.: We would have liked the quality of the tape to be better, but well … and after listening to the single a few times, we thought we should have spent a little more time on the mixing. It took a while but now the responses are slowly coming in. Letters from all over the world, from people who really like the tape a lot, and more. I think communication through letters is very important. Moreover, I like reading the opinions of people about our music.

O.: There are no lyrics with the tape, why is that? Does that mean that you don’t find them important enough?

M.: Actually the lyrics are a very important part of ‘Death Sentence’. We just didn’t get the lyrics to the printer before the tape came out, because it all had to go very fast. There’s a lyrics-sheet with the single. We also hand them out at gigs. They talk about sexism, violence, pollution, fanaticism, oppression. Furthermore, we have quite a lot of personal lyrics, and only the person who wrote them can understand…

So far Maureen [the band’s ‘manager’ Maureen O’Brien]…

Astrant (België Is Grijs #1)

Another zine from Ann Hendriks’ collection. The name, België Is Grijs (“Belgium is grey”), reflects the gloomy 80s… Probably a one-off, done by Eddy Mispoulier from Overpelt (Limburg), with the help of some friends. Besides articles on vivisection & anarchism (it was announced as a “political” zine), cartoons, poetry & columns, he interviews a band from his community…

‘Astrant’ (or ‘A-strant’) was the precursor of ‘Dawn Of Liberty’. The latter played a bunch of Smurfpunx-gigs (4). The first on 86-12-19, when they had just changed their name… Around that time I also did an interview with their singer Stefan Joosten. ‘D.O.L.’ was Stefan (vocals) / ‘2 (va)’ (or ‘Tweeva’) Luc Deckers (bass), ‘Frits’ Danny Brebels (guitar), Danny Vandevelde (guitar) & Stijn Persoons (drums: later ‘Kosjer D’, etc.).

‘Astrant’ never released any recordings under that name but they appeared on 2 compilation-tapes:  24 Love Songs II (Smurf Punk tapes) & Weekend For Maniacs (ControCultura tapes). The band started in 1982-83 with Stijn (also editor of Boel fanzine, ‘Tweeva’, ‘Bibip’ (‘Tweeva’s brother, Eric Deckers (R.I.P.), on guitar) and ‘Agfae’ (or ‘Afai’, synthesiser; R.I.P.). Later ‘Anaco’ (Stefan Joosten) joined.

Brob

‘Bibip’ played guitar in ‘Astrant’ for a brief moment; later he focussed on experimental music. Eric Gielkens became the new guitarist: great musician, lifted the band to a clearly higher level; his dad was in the army, had contacts with U.S. marines who got him acquainted with ‘Circle Jerks’. He was well informed about hardcore when we got to know him, a gift from heaven. But: he wanted to quit, after a while he was no longer interested in hardcore, listened to experimental music a lot and started jamming with other musicians.

‘Afai’ (‘Afgae’ in the interview) played synthesizer in the beginning, but we soon discovered that this didn’t really fit our music. It was part of the atmosphere of Northern Limburg (a suicide area in the mid ’80s): ‘De Brassers’ and other [cold-wave] bands also did something in that vein (to my great annoyance; I thought it was a dumb instrument meant to conquer the ‘charts’).

In the 90s Eddy M. (who did the zine – in our community we all encouraged one and other to do fanzines) ran a pub called Mazzel, where a lot of punk-gigs (e.g. Steve Ignorant) took place…

Stefan Joosten

[Translation below]

The origins of the band date from around the end of ‘82, beginning ‘83 with the this line-up: Stijn (drums), ‘Tweeva’ (bass), ‘Bibip’ (guitar), ‘Agfae’ (synthesizer). They didn’t have a singer yet. The music was neighboruhood music, i.e. depressive, experimental, calm, and that was it. Then ‘Agfae’ got to know ‘Anaco’…

That was at school?

Yeah, that was at school. He told me that he was playing in a band. That did interest me and I went over to their rehearsal once. There I grabbed the mic but the music didn’t affect me at all. It was really music to fall asleep to.

That’s true.

But there were also other people that came to watch and they said “Get Jan Peters (Boel fanzine)” and then someone else, I can’t remember. They also said that we were quite similar to ‘The Ex’. Yeah, according to those other people, we were quite like ‘The Ex’. So I joined and took on the vocals, I hoped the music would start to appeal me and I started writing lyrics myself.

‘Anaco’ was very shy.

Haha, I wrote lyrics that were very much directed against the state, against the brainwashing, about the usual punk subjects. The music started to go well: it got faster, more rhythmic, and short and powerful. Yes, it did go well. After the second performance – which we will talk about later – Eric joined and ‘Bibip’ left. Then we started to play melodic hardcore. Now we already have 10 songs, which is really crazy. Our first performance was in November ’83 in. We had to go to a meeting on a Sunday with the guys who set it up. They were interested in us and we were interested in the gig. We go to that pub. A kind of youth-club, very cozy, really fine; just that floor: you couldn’t pogo and so, haha. And that’s how we got on stage, quite scared. We started fast and firm. Everything went smoothly. Almost no mistakes, ‘Anaco’ did his very best. But still he was ridiculed by stupid guys, dickheads. A person named ‘Port’ encouraged us and provided a good atmosphere. It was quite busy, very good. But there were some stupid people around. ‘Axie’ (Lastig fanzine) then also started jumping around and a window got smashed, that was far out; ‘Port’ dived from the stage into the crowd. He really took care of the atmosphere. Thanks to that guy.

After the concert we stuck around waiting for reactions and these were generally quite good. We did regret it that there was a stupid audience, I won’t say anything more about it. Then there was the second performance. We had been keeping quiet for a while. Nothing was arranged, nothing rehearsed, everyone on his own. Then we got to a pub and we were told we were allowed to play. We had just one day to rehearse and still find a rehearsal-room. But we got things done and it was awesome. Yeah, it was crazy, a lot of mistakes. The mayor was there too and the priest, haha. ‘Anaco’ did very well during the concert; with shouts between the song. It was very good.

So the lyrics deal with the usual punk subjects.

They were quite simple because we played for a decent audience: a lot of people just came to have a look what we did. There aren’t a lot of punks in the area; a pity.

Yeah, really a pity… Everybody has the right to write a lyric.

That’s right, but in general ‘Anaco’ writes them himself, and Eric the new guitarist. Most deal with anti-hierarchy, anti-state. But Eric writes more lyrics that deal with feelings, The Day After [movie on the nuclear threat during the Cold War] e.g. He simply writes what he feels and ‘Anaco’ about what is wrong in society.

We’re influenced by bands such as ‘The System’, ‘Conflict’, ‘Subhumans’. From time to time we also play a solid, powerful song. But we sometimes also play a calm and quiet song. We just like a lot of noise.

In punk today, the distinction between hardcore and punk is made. Hardcore refers to music and helps to get the band of the ground. And I find that very positive: the scenes from abroad. I fully support hardcore. You know: I work on a fanzine (Boel) myself. A zine that covers a lot of bands.

I agree with Stijn: punk is a good collective. People help each other, people attend concerts, the atmosphere is good, writing letters, sending tapes and fanzines; really good. But it’s a pity that only a few people are really involved. It might be all very good with all that collectivism but I’m against when people want to make hardcore the norm. I appreciate hardcore a lot and I like listening to it but don’t make it the norm. It’s going very well now: more people are getting involved and they’re trying to be united as well as possible.

Stijn: I’m a vegetarian because I think that factory farming is over the top, but I’m not against other people eating meat. I’m not that radical.

‘Tweeva’: I’m also a vegetarian, but a radical one.

‘Anaco’ & Eric: We’re not vegetarians. I like eating meat. But it’s not because I like to eat that I don’t want to be a vegetarian. I like to eat hare and they get shot anyhow, to express it sadistically. But it’s just the law of nature. I do agree with Stijn about the bio-industry.

‘Anaco’: What do I think about anarchism? I look back a lot, into the history of anarchism. I try to get to know it as well as possible. I think it’s important to know how it used to be. Anarchism was a strong labour-movement, in the past anarchism had more followers than marxism; which I really like. And there were anarchist congresses, there was a good atmosphere, really revolutionary. Now it’s all getting weaker, because people don’t hear much about it anymore. Punk will never have an influence anyway. Punk is anarchist-inspired but is really becoming a strong anarchist movement.

Stijn: Global anarchism will never work out, not even on the level of communities.

‘Anaco’: Why not?

Stijn: You won’t get the tradition of the bourgeoisie. That’s just te reality. I don’t believe in it anyway. The best thing you can achieve is transfer your ideals to your friends, to realise things later on and that you stay true to yourself.

‘Anaco’: I think anarchism is the ideal, with an emphasis on anarcho-communism. Because I really demand proletarian autonomy, especially in this situation; just look at the mine-strikes in England, the Philippines, I see it happening there and also in Belgium. There’s an outright dictatorship formed by the capitalists here. I’m really against that. So I’m in favour of anarcho-communism and syndicalism. I’m really not turned of by these terms because I see it as a political ideal.

Stijn: I’m also in favour of anarcho-communism, but in terms of friendship and equality. The practices are sometimes good but I’m really against attacks on people, you can’t achieve anything with that. According to me terrorism doesn’t yield anything but it can be a kind of warning or directed against people, because if you look at if from the point of view of democracy: that simply doesn’t exist here, there’s a sham democracy here. Certain terrorist groups may revolt against that and try to wake people up, but terrorism won’t really break through. The C.C.C. [Cellules Communistes Combattantes; Belgian extreme-left group that committed attacks halfway the 80s] e.g: I completely disapprove of them being mentioned as being rightist. They are just communists, I’m convinced. I also find it ridiculous when they say “We are fighting for the people.”: they don’t do that at all. I also find it stupid that they want to achieve their ideals through murders.

Outside the band we run Clandestiene Produkties: tapes, fanzines.

‘Anaco’: I put out [the zine] Lastig together with ‘Axie’ and ‘Bibip’.

Stijn: I cooperate in [the zine] Boel that deals with a lot of music and sensible lyrics, good articles. In the band we’re individualists. Some of us are too serious and the opinions are very diverse. I think we should organise more gigs and have fun. But we’re still the best of friends. Our plans for the future are, erm … We’ll be on a compilation-tape and in a few fanzines. And we may be publishing a D.I.Y. tape. We wanna make our rehearsal-room into a kind of studio; and that’s just about everything.

For more info: Eric / Leopoldlaan 13 / Overpelt

Peace Or Annihilation

Obviously this fanzine refers to the intro-tirade of ‘Crucifix’s song Annihilation (on the album Dehumanization, released in 1983)… Around that time Onno Hesselink (born in The Netherlands) was studying graphic design at Sint-Lukas School of Arts in Brussels. Some of his friends there (e.g. Erik VdV a.k.a. Erifix who did Macht Van De Onmacht (and later the anarchist mag De Nar [the jester] and was in Onno’s first band W.C. Papier [toiletpaper]) sometimes helped out.

Personally, I never got to see any issues until the Finkel-scene (youth-centre) started to get more attention and Onno interviewed my band ‘Repulsives’ for issue number 9 (86-11-16).

Thanks to Dirk Ceustermans (who borrowed some of the early issues), I know the first issue (1984) (made together with Danny?) mentioned (the female punk band) the ‘Wanda’s’, and Gepöpel? There was also an article on socialism/anarchism, and a report on ‘Conflict’ playing in Antwerp. #2 (’84) featured bands such as ‘Political Asylum’, ‘X-Creta’ & ‘Stigmathe’ (Ita), plus there were bits on vegetarianism & media-indoctrination. The same year there was #3 (with the help of scenester Patrick Van Laethem), with ‘The Fiend’, ‘VanAlles & NogWatt’, concert-reviews, vegetarian recipes, etc.

#4 was with ‘76% Uncertain’, ‘Wretched’, ‘Bloedbad’, ‘Verdun’, ‘Capital Scum’, ‘Onslaught’, ‘Wulpse Varkens’, ‘Svätsox’, ‘D.T.A.L.’, an info-sheet on ‘Chumbawamba’ and had reports on the Italian & Yugoslavian scenes. There was also (#5?) a collaboration wth Erik VdV (Macht Van De Onmacht #4) & Koen De Cleen (Snot) featuring Steve Lake (‘Zounds’), ‘Dezerter’, ‘Funeral Oration’, etc. #6 (’86) was with ‘Cancerous Growth’, ‘Negazione’, ‘Murder Inc. III’, ‘Death Sentence’ (Australia), ‘Asocial’, ‘H.H.H.’, ‘Blyth Power’, etc. There were also bits on multinationals and ‘women as lust-objects’. #7 was done with the help contributers such as Annick (Clerick), Bruno Stroobants (Onno’s class-mate), Frank (Geeraert) & Koen (De Cleen). It had an interview with ‘Final Conflict’, and bits about squatting, Belgian zine-gathering, anti-militarism, etc.

#8 saw the entry of ‘Heibel’s vocalist ‘Bollie’ as co-editor. Also helped: Anneke Knip (‘Indirekt’ tour-report), Erik VdV, Sonia (?, article on Afrikaner Weerstands Beweging). Bands: the Brussels ‘Bad Preachers’, ‘Heibel’, ‘Generic’, ‘Pigs In Blue Glue’, ‘Sons Of Ishmael’, etc. #9: ‘Scream’, ‘Impact’, ‘C.O.C.’, ‘Excel’, ‘Kina’, ‘Pure Hate’, ‘Government Issue’, ‘Repulsives’; These issues were in Dutch.

The last 2 issues were in English and in the A4 format. #10 (summer ’87): ‘S.N.F.U.’, ‘Ear Damage‘, ‘Ripcord‘, ‘The Detonators’, ‘Straight Ahead’, ‘Electro Hippies’, ‘Skeezicks’, etc.; articles on squatting in Spain & fascism in the U.S.; a scene-report from Peru, and more. #11 (jan. ’88): ‘Heibel’s U.K. tour report, ‘Butthole Surfers’, ‘Rhythm Pigs’, ‘Indigesti’, ‘Seizure’, ‘GOD’, ‘The Hard-Ons’, ‘Ignition’, ‘Poison Girls’ and loads more. Here Onno got help from his band (‘Indecency’) -mates Filip Burgelman & Chris Dexters too…

Regarding the bands mentioned: sometimes they were interviewed comprehensively, sometimes we got only informed abot them briefly. Since the beginning there was interest to review other zines (besides the obligatory musical material). Because some interviews of the later ones are re-published elsweshere on this site, I’ll choose some from the earlier issues later. If anyone wants any, feel free to get in touch.

Brob

Macht van de Onmacht, Snot & P. or A. did an issue together. It had Steve Lake (‘Zounds’) on the cover… An inside a pic of Onno holding my severed head… We both attended Sint-Lukas (interior design), were in the same class (8 students; small cozy group). The collaboration went smootly of course, everyone brought stuff and then, hup, you have a fanzine!

Erik VdV

Filthkick (Pyrobolum #1)

Pyrobolum #1 back-cover

This is actually the first fanzine from the Ieper/Ypres Vort’n Vis scene (before Fifi, which was a zine done by V.V. collaborators). Pyrobolum was started in 1989 by Dieter Roelstraete and (his step-brother) Klaas Hardeman (both from Westouter, near Ieper). Bruno Vandevyvere (living in the nearby Poperinge; at that time running a small distro that would turn into His Master’s Noise, long before Genet recs and the Pyrrhus store) offered support and helped out here and there.

Around that time Dieter ‘Lord Moloch’ Roelstraete was the vocalist of the local grindcore band ‘Sloth’ that had David Stubbe as guitarist (plus Fabrice Baclet on bass & Jeroen Vanhandsame on drums); both were growling for the noise-combo ‘Gnuft’. Klaas Hardeman played bass in ‘Rothead’ (with Bruno Vandevyvere doing vocals, alongside David Stubbe on drums and Peter Vanthuyne playing guitar).

Dieter Roelstraete went on to study philosophy and eventually fell into the art game. After having worked at a number of art-institutions and museums around the world, he now teaches and organises exhibitions at the University of Chicago.

The first issue had interviews with ‘Filthkick’, ‘Aphrodite’s Lawyer’ (Nl), ‘Belgian Asociality’ and ‘Electro Hippies’; info on acid rain and the rain-forrest, scene-reports from Greece & Belgium, some columns, reviews, ads & a few cartoons by David Stubbe a.k.a. Spans Hrac. #2 (early 1990) contained a letter-section, lots of gig- and record-reviews, an opinion on the (falling of) the Berlin Wall, interviews with ‘Spermbirds’, ‘Intense Degree’, ‘CowboyKillers’, ‘Exhaustless Revolt’, ‘No Security’, ‘Chronic Disease’ & ‘Jailcell Recipes’. For #3 (summer ’90) there were more contributions (Bruno VDV, future ‘Nations On Fire’ bassist Jeroen Lauwers, Nicolas from Enjoy Life distro in Maubeuge, France). Letters/reviews/columns, an introduction to paganism (by Nicolas) and interviews with ‘Industrial Suicide’ (Gre), ‘Warfear’ (UK), Turtle Terror (Ger) & ‘The Plot’ (Nl); plus a travel-report (1 in 12 Club ‘pilgrimage’)

Brob

I really didn’t have much to do with Pyrobolum. It was more Dieter’s brainchild

Klaas

Did the first issue of Pyrobolum really appear back in 1989? Makes sense  it would have come out just a couple of months before the fall of the Berlin Wall then, and the beginning of the end of the world as we knew it (and as I liked it). Also – clearly a product of a scholastically enthused youthful fantasy: “Pyrobolum” (did anyone ever ask?) is a Latin neologism for atom-bomb, Latin being what we were being fed week in week out for all of our six teenage years back then. (There’s a lot of nuclear imagery strewn throughout – children of our time!)

I haven’t looked back at any Pyrobolum back-issues for decades now and would not know where to start searching for them, but I’m sure I’d be alternately charmed and shocked by the quality of the writing – for writing (editing, publishing) is of course what this was always about. You’re very kind to identify me as the member of a local grindcore band, Brob, but ‘Sloth’ never really meant that much to me personally (four local gigs and we called it quits, I believe). Sure, music was of course massively important in them hardcore days – the single most powerful connector – but to me much of the joy of this curious subculture was rooted in words: in reading fanzines (Raising Hell was a major source of inspiration for Pyrobolum – the graphics, the humor… I pretty much copied the RH blueprint there), in writing letters (with people who ended up being interviewed in the fanzine; fanzines were basically publicised extensions of letter-writing networks), in singing along song lyrics, in figuring out the politics and history of the moment and movement… Pyrobolum wasn’t the first magazine I published, and it wasn’t the last either – and I have been writing, publishing end editing ever since. (I did give up on the drawing though – it’s clear that Pyrobolum was also an aesthetic undertaking.) Call it an important early thoroughfare.

Looking back at the contents of the three issues we put out, I see there was of course a lot of fan-dom involved. Klaas and I were huge fans of ‘Electro Hippies’ – and ditto, in issues 2 and 3, for ‘Chronic Disease’, ‘No Security’ and what I thought was something of a Bradford stenchcore supergroup, ‘Warfear’. (This is back in the day when I wanted to be in a band like ‘Sore Throat’. Or ‘Chronic Disease’.) Really though – an interview with ‘Intense Degree’? I have no recollection of that whatsoever and don’t think there was a lot of there there, ifyouknowwhatimean. I think I may have enjoyed writing record reviews the most. Passing judgment – I somehow managed to make a living out of it…

Dieter, Roelstraete, Chicago, February 2020

This interview was done with Jim Whiteley (former ‘Napalm Death’ & ‘Ripcord’ bassist) just before the release of the band’s split-LP with ‘Extreme Noise Terror’ (for which ‘Filthkick’ recorded in September ’89). The others in ‘Filthkick’ at that time were ‘Leggo’ Julian Kilsby (vocals; also ‘Deviated Instinct’), Mark Bailey (guitar; also ‘E.N.T.’, later ‘The Wankys’) & Ben Mochrie (drums; also ‘Cathedral’).

Gehenna (Apocalypse Now #1)

I have some artwork/drafts of  Raf Peeters (Gooreind, north of Antwerp) that was to meant for a zine. Can’t remember why I never got to see the actual publication… It was announced as follows: “For all you a-political dicks, who are in it for the music: here’s a zine with no music and a lot of politics.”… I believe there was only one issue (the cover read ‘Rain’, ‘Rubbish Heap’ & ‘Culture’; also ‘Gehenna’ & ‘Seein’Red’ were featured). His mate ‘Spat’ (Buttcancer ditribution) – who also made some drawings – was mentioned aswell.

Nowadays Raf works as an artist/painter

Brob

The first and only issue I did was in 1998: interviews with ‘Rain’, ‘Gehenna’, ‘Culture’, ‘Seein’Red’, an article about cocacola, some short stories. I got inspired by the movie (Apocalypse Now) so there was a lot of apocalyptic artwork. Went to school with Dennis Tyfus; it was at a time when Belgium went through a  period of collective fear and psychosis because of the ‘Dutroux-crisis’. My motivation? The same as other people in that ‘scene’ I guess: commitment, a feeling that something is thoroughly skewed in this society. ‘Spat’ didn’t really do that much actually…

I still consider HC/punk as an environment with a lot of great people and a good breeding-pond for real change (I’m thinking about the books on anarchism I bought from you). I still love the music (but also listen to hiphop).

After A.N. I made one more zine (Word Made Flesh) with just graphic experiments: it had a print-run of 2 (!). Now (late 2019) I’m working on a documentary series on how everything in this society is one big lie: some history of how we ended up in this situation, how widespread it is, …). I’m investigating how I can use that necessary rage as a healthy motor/ energy, without letting it exhaust me.

Some thoughts on HC/punk…

I wouldn’t say that HC determined my path but it was a logical phase for someone that wants “to change society”. Early on I got in touch with organisations such as Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, etc. but I noticed that these finance themselves and apart from a few cool slogans/merchandising they don’t really change much. I noticed that most of my peers seemed to be nihilistic – because of their purely materialistic lifestyle and their glorification of superficiality. The HC/punk-scene was one of the few places where people were concerned with social problems, not involved self-destructive escapism and where there was a potential for real change; because they didn’t rely on politics and seemed to take things in their own hands.

Nowadays, of course I have a bunch of critical concerns about the whole thing and it seems – despite the inspiration it was for many people – a project that was doomed to fail.

The main point is that it’s a subculture without any ambition and hence is stuck in ‘preaching for the converted’; a frustration that of course lived internally. In my view, the whole ‘anti-establishment’ thing of the 60s also went completely astray by regarding everyone above 30 as the enemy and, hence, not evolving beyond a youth-culture raving about oriental concepts and the umpteenth example of controled opposition. People wanted to form a counterweight against the duty to consume but eventually it remained a marketplace with exhibited goods, a game of production and consumption, of thinking up nice slogans and selling merchandise. Perhaps there was even more homogeneity, herd-behaviour and trend-sensitivity than in mainstream culture because it was mainly carried by youngsters still puzzling together their  identity. In HC/punk they were offered a bite-sized package of themes, fashion, image,… Because it’s such a small and young world, where nothing is economically viable, most eventually give up. The same as with the generation of the 60s, most begin to abnegate their ideals when growing older and adapt in the end.

HC/punk has no theoretical basis at all. In a social movement there should at least be some kind of assembly of what targets to aim for and discuss what goal was achieved; and for lack of result: what it is due to. Internal discussion among people that prioritize the philosophical and those that keep busy with the commercial aspect. When the establishment would act as non-committed and people would unavoidably ‘grow out’ of it after their 30, power would be out of the question. Their organisation is as tight as a tense bow, power gets passed on from one generation to the next, and because they plan 50 years ahead and anticipate on resistance, every resistance-movement runs hopelessly behind the facts. To me, some idealists in the HC-scene are too amateurish or stay thinking in circles, forget that there’s other laws in the music-biz… (Vegetarianism, a phenomenon that occured in the 60s: the fact that there’s vegetarian products in every supermarket, is not the result of collective awareness but of social engineering that was fixed in advance.)

In essence American HC/punk is a controled opposition-movement. As it was with the hippie-icons of the late 60s: it’s about key figures, stemming from military families (‘Minor Threat’ in Washington, etc.) that make the anti-establishment-manifestos. People with sincere intentions get diverted, their energy gets lost and (like with the modern ‘whisteblowers’) steam is released so that the machine keeps running.

The aggression of [straight-edge] HC is in contrast with the positive attitude towards life. Hate and violence are glorified (e.g. ‘Earth Crisis’) There’s attention for lyrics with a message but it’s very one-sided to define yourself by not doing something. It’s a movement of mainly young males, with concerts where particularly male, aggressive behaviour scares off women and older people. There’s a contagious macho-pose with militant, seditious energy that makes you want to stand on the barricades, but it all remains within the confines of the organised event.

The ‘do it yourself’ philosophy’ is a positive thing, it’s a preambule to the youtube-generation that gets presented a deceptive illusionary freedom: you can start doing everything yourself, make music yourself with one click, put it online, etc. But in the end, when it has become the pillar of the entire human culture and society, freedom of speech gets abolished and it becomes apparent that is was all about filtering the truth, definitely not spreading it…

Raf Peeters

‘Gehenna’ was a HC/metal band (“blending death, black and thrash metal”), originating from San Diego (California) and Reno (Nevada). The band described their musical style “negative hardcore; an extreme brand of hardcore with raw black metal influences”. On their 1997 tour (they also played at the Vort’n Vis, 97-10-12), the band consisted of Jensen Ward (drums; later ‘Iron Lung’), ‘Reno’ Dean Christopher ‘DC’ (guitar), Mike ‘Apocalypse’ Cheese (vocals), Mike Rho(a)des a.k.a. ‘Mickey Featherstone’ (bass) and original guitarist Justin Holbo.

Seems like Raf thought this was the ‘right’ band for his apocalyptic zine… An interview with the provocative Mike Cheese…

Cry Of Terror (Krisis #3)

The guys who did this (trash magazine; as they advertised it) were from the Eeklo area: ‘Ratte’ Guy Ginneberge (brother of Peter ‘Rabbit’ Ginneberge, the drummer of ‘Creep Insanity’) & ‘Trash’ Peter De Zutter (guitarist/vocalist of ‘Creep Insanity’). There were 3 issues (1987-88). If I remember correctly ‘Ratte’ also did a small distribution.

The first issue was a merge with L.E.F. (Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité) zine: interviews with ‘Heibel’, ‘Attitude?’, ‘C.P.D.’ & ‘Anguish’; bits on apartheid, binary weapons, suffrage for migrant laborers, etc.  Inserted is the first free issue of Fabeltjeskrant (Marco Bauer), which is pretty much a report on Best Genôg & on Pakhuis, 2 venues/youthcentres in Heerenveen (The Netherlands). #2 contained interviews with ‘Disgorge’, ‘Chronic Disease’ & ‘Bambix’ plus info on ‘No Debt’ and animal-experiments. #3 featured ‘F.F.F.’, ‘Cry Of Terror’ & ‘Tyfoon’.

Brob

We were very young. We wanted to highlight crossover: hardcore, metal & skatepunk. I came up with the name and the logo. Peter’s younger brother played bass in my other band (‘Slow Death’)…

Peter De Zutter

This ‘C.O.T.’ interview was done when the band hadn’t released anything yet (early 88; Ronald Hogeboom (‘W.C.F.’) had left), with guitarist Wouter Maarse. The others were vocalist Hans Aalbers, drummer Peter/Pierre ter Bogt & bassist Walter Raben. If you wanna know how they sounded at the time, click Cry Of Terror (Hol) live (Hengelo, Hol, 87-11-14)

[Translation below]

 

INTRODUCE YOURSELF.

Well, my name is Wouter, I’m 20 years old and I’m goin’ to school. There’s also Pierre. Pierre is 21 years old and is unemployed. Then there’s Hans. Hans is 19 years old and he works. Finally (last but not least) there’s Walter. Walter is 21 years old and is studying.

WHO’S PLAYING WHAT?

Hans sings. Walter plays bass, Pierre the drums and myself (Wouter) guitar.

HOW HAVE YOU MET? HOW LONG DOES THE BAND EXIST AND WHAT DOES ‘C.O.T.’ MEAN?

We originate from 2 different bands. Hans & Walter played in ‘Royal Vomit’, and myself (Wouter) & Pierre played in ‘Mad Rats’. We were all not satisfied with the musical developments of these bands. So we quit them and formed ‘C.O.T.’ together. ‘C.O.T.’ stands for ‘Cry Of Terror’ and that means something like cry of fear. We’ve been playing (rehearsing) since December ‘86 and have started to perform in March ‘87. We did almost 25 gigs by now.

WHAT DO THE LYRICS TALK ABOUT AND WHAT DO YOU FIND MORE IMPORTANT: LYRICS OR MUSIC?

Our lyrics deal with various issues such as war, apartheid (fascism, racism), vivisection, capitalism and the like. In general we find lyrics more important than music. The music may not be that good but if lyrics are ‘vague’ then a band gets discarded by us. I mean when a band is musically decent but the lyrics are vague (bands like ‘S.O.D.’ [‘Stormtroopers Of Death’], ‘M.O.D.’ [‘Method Of Destruction’]), then that band is shit to us. Also bands with lyrics that have absolutely no content (satanic lyrics) are not our taste.

IS THERE ANYONE IN THE BAND S.E.?

We’re not straight-edge. Hans no longer drinks or smokes but he doesn’t label himself XXX. If you drink, you have to know for yourself; as long as you do it in moderation, not in such a way that you’re drunk for days. You have to be able to control yourself.

THERE’S A LOT OF MESSING ABOUT WITH DRUGS IN THE NETHERLANDS, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?

We’re all against the use of hard drugs. Soft drugs shouldn’t be a problem, but that is the limit for us.

WHAT’S YOUR OPINION REGARDING THE ARMY AND THE ARMS’ RACE? HAS ANYONE OF YOU SERVED IN THE ARMY?

No one of us has been in the army yet. Hans and Pierre have already refused, and I will refuse if I will be drafted. I don’t know about Walter but I believe he wants to refuse too. But I’m not going to do military service. It’s against my principles. I think it’s all a waste of time and I don’t see the point in serving the homeland. Let the government sort out their problems themselves; I’m not going to fight for them. Also: all that money that is spent on defense every year: well, well, well… What kind of useful things one could do with that money!?

ANY POLITICAL OPINIONS?

Yes, we have. There are few (or perhaps no) political parties in the Netherlands that we can relate to, idea-wise. They’re promising a lot but never actually do anything! We’re against capitalism, class-society, right-wing bastards, etc.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE REGION YOU’RE LIVING?

In our area there’s some things going on. Here in Winterswijk you have the Chi Chi Club where sometimes HC bands are performing. You can call it a kind of scene but it’s fairly small. [It grew over the next years and became a hallmark.] There are a few bands in our area. A band that we regularly play with is ‘Winterswijx Chaos Front’. There are more bands but these often split up again after a while. But maybe some day a decent band will emerge again from our region. There aren’t any people making zines in the area. In the Netherlands there are only few fanzines compared to Belgium.

DO YOU HAVE FAVOURITE BANDS? ARE YOU INFLUENCED BY CERTAIN BANDS?

We don’t really have favourites but bands that appeal to us at the moment are ‘Accüsed’, ‘Excel’ & ‘C.O.C.’. I don’t know if we’re influenced by bands. We will always unconsciously take over influences from other bands because we listen to them.

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE THE MUSIC THAT YOU PLAY? HAVE YOU RELEASED ANYTHING?

We play hardcore/crossover. We haven’t released anything yet but it’s pretty certain that we’ll be releasing an LP this year; but nothing concrete yet. We want to release other things anyway (demo, EP).

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD?

I like … uhum … I don’t know. There’s nothing special that I like best. But I do want to eat healthy.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ‘MEAT IS MURDER’?

Only Pierre is a vegetarian and I eat meat in moderation. But there’s definitely something to say about the ‘Meat is murder’ slogan. I think humans are too spoiled to be able to live without meat (in the first world anyway). I find it amazing that someone is vegetarian.

WHAT QUESTION SHOULD I HAVE ASKED? ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SAY?

Keep thinking, voice your opinion and don’t let the bastards of this society fool you.

Lost Cherrees (Lastig #7)

I got to know ‘Axie’ (“action”) Axel Willekens (R.I.P.) around the end of the 80s when he’d (ad)ventured away from his hometown Neerpelt (in the ‘far east’ of Belgium). At that time he did (one issue of) of Geef Nooit Op (Never Give Up) with ‘Dawn Of Liberty’ singer Stefan Joosten. Before that (in the first half of the 80s) he did a series of Lastig (meaning ‘awkward’ or ‘troublesome’ in Ducth), which I never got to see until Ann Hendriks & Dirk Ceusterman donated/borrowed a bunch…

#2 (1983): info on the bands ‘Zyklome-A’ & ‘Vacuüm’; columns on unemployment, 1984, authority; reviews; pieces about atheism, vivisection, etc. #3: note from the band ‘Zowiezo’ and the zine Destructief Jong Nederland; info on the Animal Liberation Front, Rote Armee Fraktion; etc. #6 (1984): info on the UK miners’ strike, interview with Erik Vloeberghs (author), very brief talk with ‘Subversion’, … #7 (84-85): interviews with ‘Lost Cherrees’ & ‘Political Asylum’, info on ‘Poison Girls’, … #8 (’85): bits on nationalism, demilitarisation, the band ‘Funeral Oration’, squatting in Barcelona and various odd bits/opinions. #9: presentation of ‘Stone The Crow’, interview with ‘The Sears’; bits on anarchy, freedom, homosexuality; reviews, etc. #10: info on demonstrations/manifestations, 2 questions for ‘Flux Of Pink Indians’, personal bits, reviews. #11 (’86): Int’l @ Meeting at Applescha, Nick Toczek, solidarity with conscientious objectors, demonstration in favour of Chantal Paternostre (militant of the Front Révolutionnaire d’Action Prolétarienne), in memoriam of Hans Kok (A’dam squatter who died in a police-cell), activist news, interview with ‘Flowers In The Dustbin’, etc. etc.

‘Axie’ mentioned his zine was an anarchist one, not punk per se (not that much attention for bands). His friends referred to his house as the “Meinhof pub” (after Ulrike Meinhof, Rote Armee Fraktion). Axel operated under the name ACT together with Clandestine Productions: besides this it entailed a small distro (zine/pamphlets/tapes), supporting another local publication (Leugen & Verraad, “lies and treason”), putting out tapes (compilations and his own project ‘Pragma’)…

‘Bibip’ Eric Deckers (R.I.P.) – who had done a zine entitled Anders (“different”) & ‘Anaco’ (Stefan Joosten, ‘Dawn Of Liberty’ vocalist) started to help out from #7 on… There were also some contributions by various people (e.g. Bruno ‘Duco’, Onno Hesselink, etc.)

‘Lost Cherrees’ was interviewed here around the time Siân Jeffreys had left the band and their album All Part Of Growing Up was due to come out. At that time the others in the band were Steve Battershill (bass), ‘Nuts’ Warren Samuels (drums), Andy Rolfe (guitar), Gail Thibert (keyboards/vocals), Bev Cook-Abbott (vocals) & Debbie McKenna (vocals).

Listen to their (1983) tape Nothing New

[Translation below]

The ‘Lost Cherrees’ got together three years ago. The current line-up is: ‘Steev’ (bass), ‘Nuts’ (drums), Andy (guitar), Sian, Bev, Deb (vocals), Gail (keyboards & vocals). The band was founded by ‘Steev’ and Sian because they felt they had something to say and needed a platform for it. The first ‘Lost Cherrees’ single was on the Riot/Clone label, it was a 7-track EP and was sold for 86.5 pence. The second single was on Mortarhate: A Man’s Duty, A Woman’s Place was a 5-track EP and costed 99 p. ‘Lost Cherrees’ also have a song on the LPs The Animals Packet and Who, What, Why, When, Where? (Mortarhate).

Has anyone influenced you musically/lyrically?

No, other bands have not influenced us but there has been a motivation to get up and do something ourselves.

Would you call the ‘Lost Cherrees’ a punk band?

We don’t label ourselves a punk band because this is a far too restrictive label. We hope to catch on with a much wider audience because by being “just another punk band”, you end up playing for the same people, always the same type of music and preaching to those who are already convinced.

Are you concerned with animal rights?

‘Steev’ is an ‘animal-rights activist’; several of us go to animal-rights campaigns and we’re all sick of the cruelty of vivisection. Listen to our lyrics to You Didn’t Care, Please Don’t Hurt The Animals Anymore or Pain Relief, and you will see how we feel. Of course, just singing about it isn’t the way to change the situation, so we try to get involved in other animal-rights activities.

Do you agree with direct action?

Yes, we agree with direct action, as long as it is non-violent. Sometimes it’s the only positive way to free animals from their pain and misery. Hunters who attack people who want to save foxes show how cruel they are. They don’t care who or what suffers of their ‘sport’ selfishness.

Is any of you vegetarian?

Four of us are vegetarian.

Do you still wear leather?

Three of the people in the band still wear leather jackets but the rest of us try not to buy leather or animal-tested products such as cosmetics. It’s actually up to the individual to set their own limits when it comes to veganism etc. It’s interesting to note that some people who eat meat don’t want to wear fur coats because of the futile murder for beauty. At least it’s a start.

What do you hope to express in your songs?

In our songs we express our anger because of what’s going wrong in the world around us all the time. We want to make people aware of what’s happening. We’re not the kind of people who can sit and write I Love You And You Love Me And Everything’s Wonderful, while sexism, war and vivisection continue to destroy our lives.

Do you consider yourselves anarchists?

Not everyone in the group is anarchist, because ‘anarchy’ is that kind of term that means different things to different people. Gail, Sian and ‘Steev’ assume that it means personal freedom without exploiting anyone and without being exploited.

What do you think about racism?

Of course we’re against it. It seems that the younger generation is more willing to integrate and that racism is especially alive among those people who have been taught by their parents and teachers to hate anyone who is different from themselves. It’s ignorance that creates prejudice. It’s time that people learn not to judge each other on the outside. The next time you make fun of a mod or disco, remember that this is the same way of thinking that caused racism (fascism).

What are your opinions regarding sexism?

Sexism is totally unnecessary and again, like racism, taught to us by the elderly. Who tell us how men and women should behave. Fortunately there are more and more people who reject the stereotyped lifestyles and who regard each other as equals. If people respected each other there would be no racism or sexism.

Did the women in the band suffer from sexism during performances? How do they respond?

Yes, we have had sexist events during performances (on or off stage). If the rest of the audience understands what is happening, they usually show their disapproval. Fortunately, something like that rarely happens.

What are your goals as a band?

We want to keep playing and improve our music. We would like to keep the prices at performances below 160 BeF [4 €] and also keep the records cheap. We would also like to play for a wider audience, play in new places and where we have already played.

Do you believe it’s important to keep prices low?

Yes, it’s important to keep prices low. Few people can afford 400 BeF [10 €] for an LP. Everyone who pays 110 BeF for a single with a normal cover and two songs is clearly exploited. There’s nothing wrong with a band making a bit of profit as long as they don’t exploit the people who believe in them and help them. Our first single costed 86.5 p. (approx. 70 BeF) because we made no profit and there were no heavy costs. We couldn’t release our second single for less than 99 p. and so we decided to give the profit to a rape crisis centre and to the hunt-saboteurs association.

What are your plans for the future?

We will be recording an LP for Mortarhate soon. It wil contain 16 songs and will cost no more than 3.75 pound. We’ve also received an offer to record a single for Bluurg but we don’t have any songs for that yet.

Is there anything else you want to say?

Thank you to everyone who listens to us. You’ve Heard It All Before – But Do You Ever Listen?

‘Lost Cherrees’, 6 d’Arcy road, North Cheam, Surrey, U.K.

NO FIGHTING – NO WAR – NO TROUBLE NO MORE

D.R.O.L.

 

I already wrote a brief introduction for this zine: D.R.O.L. (Dieren Recht Op Leven; Animals have a Right To Live – ‘drol’ translated literally would be ‘turd’) was a zine in Dutch done by a bunch of people from Leuven (Belgium): mainly Gert ‘Gette’ Hambrouck & Dirk Ceustermans (as editors/coordinators).

Here’s what Dirk wrote for the zine’s FB-page:

“What do bored teenagers do when they realize they have to fight against prejudice and rules they have to put up with from respectable people in a respectable society? Well, society looked nice on the surface but didn’t it have that horrible stench when you lifted up its skirt? As a matter of fact, the smell just never went away! Some kids roamed the streets, some escaped to dancehalls, in those days referred to as ‘Tea Dansants’). Others escaped into underground culture, as was I.

I soon realized there was far more than just great music in that environment. I knew punk music had something to tell you, but there was more… Those people communicated, informed and people actioned! A true network of friends. And all of this happened in a D.I.Y. way. Kids just came together and started bands, fanzines were made, kids organised punk concerts where again communication and information was crucial, and very much at hand.

That is how I met Bart Steens, who just released another copy of Het Schandaal fanzine, back in 1984.  I became good friends with him and I realized that we have to do our own things ourselves. He inspired me to start my own fanzine, although at that time there were plenty of those already all over Belgium, but not one in Leuven.

That is how D.R.O.L. came about. I was by no means a journalist and, going through a couple of pages and articles in the first, second or third zine I know these are hilariously, childishly written: juvenile perceptions of a world we didn’t appreciate and that didn’t appreciate us.

D.R.O.L. wouldn’t survive much longer as I started getting involved in bands and that got time-consuming, but at a certain point I got a telephone-call from Gert Hambrouck asking me if I was in for some cooperation…  I was on the verge of calling it quits as it does take time and effort to get a a fanzine out on your own. But after that call, I thought I’d go and see what these kids had to say.

Was I not just a little bit surprised to see a whole bunch of people in that cellar (yes, D.R.O.L. was made in a cave, boys and girls!) that were anxious to cooperate to a new specimen of that fanzine. It got more than just one more issue, so it seems… A creative bunch of folks doing this ‘zine together, gave me a good feeling: we could achieve things together, and I am proud I was part of that. In due time we all learned what we did best and everything was chaotically well organized in a way. But most of all I like the fact that we kept the ‘zines simple, no glossy stuff, no colour-print: just because we could sell these at a very moderate price.  It was far more important that it was read, rather than appealing and less affordable.

The ‘zines got very serious, it was no longer a mere rant or a piss-take on society, it got filled up with profound articles and good reads. How it all ended is a bit blur, I’m sure I was too much involved in ‘Ear Damage’, my band at the time… Others moved on as well I’m sure… Fill in the gaps if you like.

Having had hillarious times and good fun with these people, I still can’t believe we made all these issues… Those cellar D.R.O.L. get-togethers (I have no better name for it, we partied a lot in that cave!) were good fun in a great period in my life. I met a lot of fantastic people that had vision and talent.

At a certain point in time (mid 1985 I would guess) the D.R.O.L. crew even started to organise parties in Q104, the soon to become legendary Leuven venue. Having people DJ with music that we liked, these happenings were memorable and did bring in some pocket-money to keep the zine cheap. We even had a bit of money left to help our friend Felix De Witte organise shows in the Q104 venue and the D.R.O.L. crew were happy to help ‘De Feel’ at those gigs. That way we got some great bands over to Leuven: ‘Disrupters’, ‘Disorder’, ‘Varukers’, all from the U.K., but also a lot of shows with ‘local’ (read Belgian) bands.

This is dedicated to  Ludo [Vannoppen], Gert, Jan & Kris [Verbruggen], Bart [Willemsen], Mieke, Joelle, ‘Mumu’ [Murielle Celis], Seppe, Bop, Eef, Heidi, Jan & Peter. And to all those that bought and read this rad ‘zine!”

Brob

I wasn’t involved yet when the first issues got out: it was just Dirk in the beginning. Kris Verbruggen wrote the more political bits.

Gert Hambrouck

D.R.O.L. was a happy crew with a mission. The zine, the concerts were a part of all this. However, it was much more than just that. The group, or a part of it, was very active on a ‘political’ level. We had a vision and made that visible (in the underground and publically). It definitely molded me into who I am, and I think that a part of these principles are still ongoing in daily life. It was/remains a fantastic time to look back to and I’m glad I was a part of it!

Bart Willemsen

Dirk did the first four (five?) issues by himself. The zine was in Dutch and there were 11 issues (1983-86) in total (of which I only got to see the last three). Dirk borrowed me his archive to get an idea about the full zine-history… The first 2 issues were somewhat mixed together so it’s hard to get the chronology right. There’s a translation of an interview with ‘Flux Of Pink Indians’ (from Raising Hell #1), some artwork/lyrics, tape-reviews, etc. #3 has more info on tapes, info on animal-testing/apartheid, a brief chat with ‘Crude SS’, introduction of the bands ‘Addix’ (Bel) & ‘Criminal Justice’, etc. #4: continuation of the topic of apartheid, info on civil service, brief info on ‘Political Asylum’, ‘Kurt I Kuvös’, & ‘Dead Man’s Shadow’, music-reviews, translation of an interview with ‘Dan’ (from Raising Hell #7). #5: conclusion of the topic on apartheid, info on the Belgian prison-system, article on Amnesty International, the great rock’n’roll swindle, ‘Instigators’ presentation, arms-race, reviews, etc. In #6 editor ‘Gette’ compiles anti-fascist info, a short piece on fur-trade, intros to bands such as ‘Malice’, ‘Squirrel Bait’, ‘Richard III’ (Fra), ‘Crapping Dogs’ (Ita), ‘Verdun’, ‘Van Alles & Nog Watt’, reviews (gigs/tapes/vinyl/zines), etc. In #7 Dirk & Gert and their friends vent their frustration about the pope, warfare, there’s brief chats with ‘Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers’, ‘Crash Box’ & ‘Strong Concentration of Anger’, info on the political situation in Chili, reviews and a few letters. #8: interviews with ‘Anti-System’ & ‘The Dicks’, comprehensive info on the anti-cruisemissiles actioncamp in Florennes (85) and the Cellules Communistes Combatantes, an Icelandic scenereport, band)info on ‘Wulpse Varkens’ & ‘Indirekt’ and more. #9 opens with info on anarchism and a ‘grilling’ of some extreme-rightist scum; there’s band-info on ‘No Debt’, ‘English Dogs’ & ‘Zyklon-B’, an interview with ‘Heibel’, lengthy reports on anti-military action in Woensdrecht (Nl) & Florennes (Bel), letters and reviews. #10 opiniates on coalmine-strikes, informs about police-oppression, the bio-industry, C.C.C.; there’s interviews with ‘Varukers’, ‘Stalag 17 &  ‘The Freeze’, and much more… In #11 the collaborating crew interviews ‘C.P.D.’, ‘Repulsives’, ‘Skeezicks’, ‘Final Conflict’ & ‘Attic 22’; deals with nuclear plants (and alternatives), police-murder, animal-abuse, South-Africa politics, military service; and there’s plenty more…

Brob