KNIVESandFORKS: punk rock zine from St.Petersburg, Russia
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(November 1998)

Are you tired of interviews? How many of them have you done?

No, I'm definitely not tired of interviews. In fact, I'm really glad when people show their ineterest in our band, and if these people are from some remote place like St. Petersburg, it's even better! But I really hate when I send back my answers to a zine-maker, and then the zine never comes out. it's a complete waste of time and energy, and what's even worse - it's totally dishonest to the band. I still wait for around 10 zines who asked for interviews like 1 or 2 years ago, and after I sent them the answers, I didn't hear from them again. So, we have done around 30 interviews, but only around 20 of them were printed:

What is your recent line up? How can you define the style of the music you play?

Marst - vocal, Rosi - vocal, Filip - guitar, Marek - bass, vocal, and Ciko - drums. We have this line up since summer '97. two of us work. Marsta is a gardener and Marek is a worker at a recycling factory. Both of them also do "Express Your Feelings" zine. Ciko is an employed, he also plays drums in S.O.K. (grind . thrash) and guitar in PANGS OF REMORSE (extreme HC), and occasionally organizes some gigs in his hometown. Rosi is doing civil service and tries to start another band: I study politology / social work, make a zine called "Hluboka Orba", and help with our local environmental / animal rights group. Also me, Rosi and our ex-singer Korda are sometimes doing gigs under the name of HARDCORE HELL CREW. Except for Rosi we are all fanatical record collectors with a special obsession about U.S. power violence and HC and Scandinavian / Japanese crust. Listening to records is probably what we enjoy most of all. By the way, we are 5 people from 4 different places, so we don't hang out together too often, and also we can't rehearse too much, what makes things sometimes a bit difficult.

As for the styles, we call it "extreme hardcore." I think, it's the best description. We play short and fast songs with screaming vocals. Sometimes people complain that it's too fast and noisy music for them, but we don't care. We just play what we like.

Are there straight edge people in the band? Do you drink / smoke marijuana? Do you play after drinking? Are all the members of the band vegetarians / vegans?

I am the only SxE in the band. I became SxE around 5-6 years ago, both for personal and ideological reasons. I figured out, that I started to srink only to be "cool" (and, admit it, most od you started with it exactly for the same reason) and that it's just a waste of time. I have seen friends turning from nice people into apathetic morons, concerned only about dope and beer. I think, that alcohol and drugs are very successful tool of the system to keep people (especially young people) complacent and inactive, it's a kind of social control. And there are more reasons why I don't what to support it. But it's free choice of eveyone to use what he ot she wants, incluing drugs. It's pretty fucked up, that in Czech Republic these assholes in the pariament passed a new law, which allows to prosecute people for the possession of any kind and amount of drugs for your personal use. I'm totally for legalization of "soft" drugs. It's funny that this system feeds people with its own legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco, which may have a really distructive effect on people's health, and at the same time prosecutes people for using illegal drugs like cannabis, which is, in fact, safer. I think, that eben hard drugs aren't so horrible like they (mass-media, police, politicians and othe bastards) paint them. Each year in Czech Republic around 20.000 people die because of smoking-related diseases, while the number of those who die of hard drugs is far below 100.

The rest of the band members smoke marijuana and drink, some them even do "magic mushrooms" sometimes. But they don't play too drunk or stoned.

Yes, we are all vegetarians for amy years already.

Seems like a lot of crust bands oversimplify important topics writing haiku type of lyrics. What do you think about it? Sometimes it is difficult to hear the lyrics of your songs (it is necessary to read them). What can you say about that? Who writes the lyrics in your band?

Yes, you are right. Some crust lyrics sound a bit stupid. It's the problem of a band. I think that too often people want to play music they like, but they don't have abilities to write interesting lyrics. Also many bands use English language, because it's trendy to sing in this language. These people end up throwing together some stupid English words stolen from other bands hoping that it will sound cool. I know that it's almost impossible to understand what we sing, but do this intentionally. We use the voice more as another instrument. But here, in Czech republic, on the concerts we always hand out our lyrics. Almost all our releases contain English translation of our texts, so anyone who's intersted can read what we scream.

Do you support the actions organized by ALF? we know, that you are in contact with JPMuikku, who is against veganism and against ALF. What do you think about his views? Do you collaborate with animals' rights groups? (NOTE: we know that you were interviews by JPMuikku for Angelheart #10, but unfortunately we haven't seen this issue of this great zine).

I support 90% of A.L.F. actions. There is need for both peaceful and radical resistance against animal abusers. I can understand J-P's views, as I also don't like fanatical tendencies in animal rights movement. In this case, as in other cases as well, hard line is one of the examples of brainless fanaticism. There should be always room for healthy intelligent discussion without prejudices. Sadly enough, J-P often has tendencies to generalize and simplify things too much and I definitely disagree with lots of his opinions. I just don't want to go into details and discuss each article written him, that would be pointless. Let me just that I'm for A.L.F., for animal rights and for vegetarianism / veganism.

I frequently help in out local econ-animal rights organization. We are doing things like photo exhibitions, info stalls, printing leaflets / posters, etc. We have been existing in different forms since '93 and, I think, that we influenced some people and helped to change their views on animal abuse, animal rights and similar topics.

Have you participated in any actions against Temelin nuclear plant? What other protest actions (like "Global Street Party" in Prague in May '98) did you take part in? Are you, guys, members of any anarchist groups?

Shit: It's amazing that you know so much about the things happening over here! We organized HC / punk concert against Temelin back in '96. The concert had taken place a day before the blockade started. I and our bassist participated in the blockade. I also went on the blockade organized in '97. It was excellent time, as there were lots of people from punk / HC scene too. You could feel the atmosphere of resistance. Of course our blockades didn't stop the construction of nuclear plants as they were always quickly crashed by cops (they tried to fine me 2 times, but I never payed anything). But the feeling of protest was great, and the actions always got a massive response in media. There were always discussions if the construction of the plant should be stopped or not. The decision is still not clear as there is now a new government in Czech Republic (social democratic one). They wait for some experts' opinions. Then they will make the final decision. But it's absolutely clear now, as it has been clear for a long time already, that Temelin is totally unnecessary and much more expensive than it was expected to be. Obviously, it is extremely dangerous. I think, that in the end it will never be finished just because of ecnomic reasons. The blockades are not organized anymore, as the leading ecological movement ("Hnuti Duha") which used to put thing together decided to change their strategy. They became a part of the system. They even did some internal "cleansing" which resulted in kicking the whole Brno branch out. They said that we (I used to be a part of it too) are too radical and anarchist and we are ruining the good name of the organization. And they also kicked MRTVA BUDOUCNOST out of our old rehearsal room which used to be in their office!

We were didn't go to "Global Street Party," but we attended "Local Street Party," which took place 2 months after in Prague again. There was around 4.000 or 5.000 people, and it was cool, although maybe too peaceful. There will be another two street parties next year, in March here in Brno and in June in Prague again.

No we aren't members of any anarchist groups. A few years ago there used to be "Anarchist Federation" in Brno, but it split up when almost everyone grew up of the tears of youth rebellion: Now there are 2 anarchist organizations based in Prague ("Czech Anarchist Federation" and "Federation of Social Anarchists"). Both of them make their own magazines and spit at each other. I would be definitely interested to take part in some anarchist actions, but not with these two organizations.

What are your latest releases after split tape with ACTIVE MINDS? Is the split ep with ARGUE DAMNATION finally out? Why do you have so many slit releases instead of solo ones? What can you tell about the bands you made splits with?

  • 2 songs on "Speed Freaks 3" comp. EP (Knot Music)
  • 1 song on "More Noise.." comp. EP (Insane Society)
  • 1 song on "Europe in Decline" comp. LP (Six Weeks Recs.)
  • 1 song on "Scan of Czech Scene" comp. EP (SOT Recs).
  • split EP with ARGUE DAMNATION (Recalcitrant Noise recs.)
  • 3 way live split tape with SUPPRESSION and ENEMY SOIL (Psychotherapy Recs.)
  • split tape with DISLIKE (Fecal Forces Prods.)
  • split LP with LEFT IN RUINS (Six Weeks Recs.)

In future we plan to record a split EP with GRIDE (international collaboration of around 10 labels), 8'' flexi on some U.S. label, 3 way split tape with DROPDEAD and PRIMITIV BUNKO (Hogo Fogo Recs.), 4 way split tape with SELFISH, YACOPSAE, ANITRUST (It's Pathetic Recs.) and some compilation LP's and EP's in Belgium, USA, Italy, Japan, Germany:

If you are intersted in our stuff, then you can send a tape + 2 I.R.C. or 1 dollar for postage and covers and I can record you everything (also some other Czech bands). We would like to find someone from Russia who would be interested in distributing some our tapes, especially split tapes with DISLIKE and ACTIVE MINDS and out "Worst of 94-96" tape. So anyone interested can get in touch. Please, don't send your stuff without writing me first. Thanx.

Why do we have some many split releases? Well, we like split releases. it's often a bit difficult for a band to fill a whole tape or a record and we don't rehearse much, as I have said already, so we don't have many songs anyway for solo releases.

About the bands on our splits. I don't like COEXIST too much (for various reasons which I won't discuss here). PANGS OF REMORSE are great friends of us and surely used to be one of my favourite Czech abnds. Now they are inactive, but our drummer recently started to play guitar with them, so maybe they'll be back after almost 2 years of silence - nice people and killer music! ARGUE DAMNATION are also very good, totally insane Japanese filth punk keeping tradition of their great ancestors KURO and REFUSE. LEFT IN RUINS from Sweden are playing crushing crust violence, which is fucking good too. Croatian DISLIKE play primitive raw crust / grind, SUPPRESSION are noisy U.S. power violence and ENEMY SOIL (also for the U.S.) play grindcore, fast as fuck. I like all these bands. And ACTIVE MINDS too, of course. It's one of the most intelligent and influential hardcore bands in Europe!

Are there any squats in Brno? Does the club "Seda Litina" still exist? Once you wrote about bands playing in garages. How often does this happen?

There used to be squat in Brno, but it was evicted by cops around 3 months ago of existence. One night cops armed with guns broke inside. They beat up all the squatters and then they pushed everyone in one room, threw a tear-gas projectile inside and then locked the doors. Next day the squat was finally evicted. This happened back in November '97 and since that time there wasn't any new squats in Brno. In Prague there are now two squats - "Ladronka," which is already well established and exist for more than 5 years, and a new squat called "Milada," which is facing an eviction, but I think they are still doing fine.

About "Seda Litina" - the club existed back in '96 for around 10 months. We used to have lots of good concerts there (DISKONTO, AUS ROTTEN, TUOMIOPAIVAN LAPSET, LOS CRUDOS, FINAL WARNING, FLEAS AND LICE, DOOM, etc.). The club was situated in an old iron factory, but the problems with nazi skins, local authorities and police finally resulted in its closure. Nazis attacked it several times, but luckily they lost each time. Now we have here some other paces for gigs, but they are not as good. From time to time we can do concerts in a local youth center or in THC club, but only rarely. In other towns it the same deal (except Prague, where are good places for gigs like LADRONKA or 007 Club): There aren't many nice and stable places to play, gigs are organized mostly in pubs. In Bratislava during the summer they do gigs in front of garages. It's great fin to play there. We played there several times and I was there to see some other bands like HOMOMILITIA, VOORHEES and others too.

Tell us a bit about your zines ("Hluboka Orba," "No Heart") and Czech / Slovak zines in general. Are there any zines in English?

Sorry, but our zines are only in Czech. NO HEART is the zine done by our ex-singer Korda, but he hasn't made a new issue for 2 years already. So I don't know if he'll continue with it. It was a cool sarcastical emo / SxE zine with lots of humorous shit inside. Marek and Marsta make "Express Your Feelings" (EYF) zine together. It's one of the best Czech zines, handwritten with very good layout. They focus mostly on Scandinavian and Japanese crust music. They make this zine sine 1994. A new issue will be out very soon. Our drummer, Ciko, made one issue of "Hogo Fogo" zine. It was only about Swedish crust bands. I think he isn't making it anymore. As for me, I make "Hluboka Orba" zine - till now 16 issues out. It's a cocktail of extereme music and extereme politics. Last issue had SPAZZ, EBOLA, MALIGNANT TUMOR in it. Plus interviews, anti-smoking article, Brno report, tons of reviews, anti-CD discussion and other stuff inside. I think there's no point in making a zine in English, because not many people here understand this language, and we can better express ourselves in our native language, that is in Czech.

Have you ever met Russian people (maybe soldiers of the Soviet troops)? Did you study Russian at school? Would you like to come to Russia?

Yes, I met some Russian people from ecological group "Khraniteli radugi" during the Temelin blockade, but I didn't talk with them, since my Russian speaking ability is too fucked up. Yep, I had Russian language in my school til '89 (I was 15 back then). Then, after the "revolution" Russian was not compulsory, so I decided to drop it and study German instead of it. But my girlfriend speak Russian pretty well, she studied it in the university too. I'm not sure, if I would like to visit Russia. To be honest, I'm not very much fond of travelling. I prefer to stay at home listening to records or reading zines. But I surely like a lot to play with MRTVA BUDOUCNOST in other countries. We've had concerts in Denmark, Slovenija and Italy, and it was quite interesting. So, with M.B. I'd certainly like to come to your country.

Final words, some messages for Russian readers, etc.

Thank you very much for this interview. We really appreciate you help and interest. Good luck with your zine and with all the other things you do. Strength and solidarity to all Russian d.i.y. punx!

Contact me at: Filip Fuchs, Grohova 39, Brno 602 00, Czech Republic.


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