To be honest I really hate metalcore or at least most of what is released under this trademark nowadays. All these cloned bands can really make you forget that mixing hardcore and metal beasically is everything but a bullshit idea. If you do right it can be a devastating and intense hurricane. If you combine the power of metal with the energy and the spirit of hardcore you can really get the crowd moving and I mean more than moshing by that. To me there are few bands right now that manage that mixture as well as Lt. Mosh from Münster(D). So there was no doubt that I would try to drag them to an interview as soon as their new record would be out. In the end it took some weeks and some delays but finally we met in the vastnesses of the internet on a snowy december evening and did an interview via email while I did several phonecalls along the way trying to find a lift to their new year's eve show in Berlin(D) two days later. In the kitchen the washing machine was doing its job and I asked my questions to guitarist Tim and singer Benni. Here we go:
Your music can hardly be described as something else than a mixture of hardcore and metal. Would you call yourselves a hardcore band with a metal edge or the other way round and why would you do so?
Tim: Well, I myself regard ourselves definitely as a punk/hardcoreband. The metal edge came rather accidently. The personal tastes in music especially those of Flo and Fabian in addition shifted rather towards metal or deathmetal/grindcore. Maybe for reasons of fascination about the musical skills of those bands.
Benni: In my heart I am punk/hc and actually don't really like metal... Funnily enough I am in a quasi metal band by now and get along quite well with our sound. But in principal we are in particular in our attitude a hardcore band, but one with metal borrowings.
What is it then exactly that makes up this hardcore attitude in oposition to e.g. metal?
Benni: Well, I just grew up in this whole punk/hc thing somehow and it was always important to me that music got a certain pretense respectively a certain statement or something subversive. Plus I was amazed at the whole d.i.y. thing that made all these things possible.
Tim: The main difference to me is the that d.i.y. idea. A typical example: If you try to gain ground in the metal scene it is pretty hard. Almost no promoter answer your requests for a show no matter how low your claims are. In the punk/hc scene the people just have a higher motivation to do things for smaller bands as well and also the bands themselves seem to be more thankful for shows. Personally, I would never ask for more than gasmoney and food. In the metal scene it doesn't seem to work that way. The concert culture as a whole is also different there...
Benni: What annoys me as well is this whole big balls/bloke thing in metal and lyrics about vikings bore me...
So now even yor label writes something about swedish metal and that isn't so far off. Do you regard this as a musical influence? And doesn't it happen quite often that people come to your shows that don't give a fuck about the attitude, that didn't really get the point of it all and just wanna mosh? And do these people maybe come just because of your name?
Tim: Oh man, I already expected this question. Somehow I'm a bit the one who is blamed for this stupid name. Seems like it's to late for changing it now. I read a review once that said the name would suggest shitty music but in reality we or our music had nothing to do with that. I was pretty happy about that then.
The name is misleading. It might attract people that just wanna mosh but after all that's okay, too, as long as everything is peaceful. You gotta give people the right of just wating to enjoy the music. If they don't care about the lyrics that's distressing but whatever... I don't want to point my finger on people and tell them how to experience music.
Benni: Firstly I don't believe that the MOSH alone will drag 200 idiots in front of the stage. If people expect rather dull moshers, bloke affectations and kickboxing of our shows they will disappointed at the latest when they come to see us live and think we are queer chicks. We don't give a fuck then.
The way we are described by someone and what others associate with that we cannot control that much...
Haha, yeah, I think so. I mean on stage you rock like a hurricane but you do it in a very emotional and honest way. In general you are really nice guys live I think... Okay, when I say northcore, what do you reply? After all Münster isn't that far south and your label Zeitstrafe hails from far north. Are you down with that or do you add yourselves in?
Benni: Whew, yeah this whole northcore thing seems to be hot again somehow and we were already called Escapado on metal by someone... Somehow we are really socialized by Enfold a little but musicwise I don't really see us in that vein at most that I partly sing in german...
Good keyword. Benni, all lyrics on the record, that were written by you are bilingual english/german. Coincidence or intention? A concious stylistic device or did it just happen that way?
Benni: Well, good question! When we started I sang in english only cause it flowed better somehow. Then Tim came up with the first german lyrics and after a little familiarization I was pretty cool with it. The rest just happened from there on. Stupid hippie splits between internationalism and being able to express better in german somehow. AThis english german mixture sounds best to my ears now also...
And what about that song title „adorno hätte die bullen gerufen“ (adorno would have called the cops)? Student of sociology or what? ;)
Benni: Yo shit, now you unmasked me as an (alibi-)student of sociology. „adorno hätte die bullen gerufen“ is a toilet writing I read at the Baracke in Münster once...
The song is about dogmatism and narrowmindedness within the left and the way those who „do not think the right way“ are treated. Of couse the title alludes to a certain current in the left but this criticism doesn't go out to them only.
Yeah, that's right. Now you name it I remember having read it there eventually... But now a question for Tim. Tell me, how do you juggle all that stuff with Lt. Mosh, Poostew and then also Muad'Dib? Do you really have the time for so many bands? And when there are to gig requests for two different bands for the same day, aren't you the asshole who has to decide which band can play its show and which can't?
Tim: You name it. The double burden of band and family :)... On december, 17th I played a double show for the first time. First up with Lt. Mosh and then with Muad'Dib. That was pretty straining.
But in the end it's all a question of planning. But with my studies and my girlfriend having moved to Munich I really have but little time. During the past year I've played about 100 shows for sure and benn to the studio four times. To be honest the battery is empty by now. You are really happy about every rehearsal failing and if it wasn't so damn much fun in the outcome I would of course think about quitting at least one band. But right now there is nothing like this in my head and I'm already looking forward to the next shows!
And what about your plan of forming a Body Count coverband?
Tim: Well, two of us got shot...
Just kidding but it is harder than you might think to find people for such a project. Would have been fun though. If there's still someone outthere who is interested...
So, let's hope the best, that you find the right co-conspirators. Now let's get back to d.i.y. which you've already spoken of. Am I right, that this is very important for you? I mean you silkscreened one side of your 12“ and the stencil pattern isn't from the supermarket also...
Benni: That's right. It was a fucking bunch of work, haha... But I do really like this d.i.y. esthetics. When you can see that something was done by hand and with love then that got a certain appeal. d.i.y. as a philosophy... I see an antagonism about that: on the one hand you cannot avoid (yeah, capitalist) manufacturing processes and I don't see no sense in that or it ends up with self exploitation which isn't that cool also. On the other hand this whole punk/hc scene is laid on the shoulders of people rip their asses off, set up shows, release records, book tours and the whole shit. Without this „if no one else then i do it myself“ attitude the whole pnk world wold be impossible and that's what I love this idea for. I guess that has something to do with my sympathy for people create something by themselves and give a damn about what others say. But as a social counterconception it's value is limited I think as it reflects things like effiency as well, right!?!
Okay, then let's come to an end now but I won't let you go without telling us the lovestory between Lt. Mosh and Zeitstrafe. How did this liaison happen and when will the church wedding take place? Do you feel comfortable with your new sibblings Escapado, Kurhaus, American Tourists and all the rest of them?
Benni: Allright, the Zeitstrafe liaison... It must have been about a year ago that we played at the G18 in Bremen along with Kurhaus and the American Tourists. Renke (the guy behind Zeitstrafe) was on tour with the two bands it seems like he was that amazed about us that he wrote us an e-mail a few moths later and asked if we were interested in releasing something on his label. We had never really thought about a label but we felt the time had come to release something and right now I cannot imagine doing it with another label. With Renke it's still all about friendship and idealism and he is very engegaged and does his job very well. Big thanx again from here! And also bands like Escapado, Kurhaus or the Tourists are a good commnity for us. One love for the Zeitstrafe Collective!
Well, I think as we will never find better final words than these we better end the interview right here. Thanx again for taking the time and we wish you good luck and a lotta fun for the future! One love!
Lt. Mosh hail from Münster(D), formed in 2003 and consist of Fabian (drums), Benni (vox) Florian (guitar), Tim (guitar) and Dominik(bass) who replaced founding member Phyllis. They have a selfreleased three track demo cd out and just released a one sided 12“/cd called „bestandsaufnahme“ via Zeitstrafe.