"I also think that this is what makes HC so different and unique compared to any other scene I know ... there was never a blueprint for the core. No set of rules to belong to. HC is what YOU make of it!"
First of all, what is it about the NYC hardcore scene that had such an impact on you and the music you play?
I don´t really know... I think it might be the raw energy and heaviness that somehow comes across stronger in the typical NYC sound than in the sound of most other scenes. Plus, they wrote some really good songs that stood the test of time. Some of the bands also played their instruments damn well and came up with recordings that even to this day sound very good. ( Cro-Mags, Leeway, Killing Time) but by the way, each one of us also listens to a ton of other stuff... :-)
What is your favorite NYHC band?
oh man, impossible to answer! Of course, everyone in the band likes the cro-mags, killing time, breakdown, ect... For me personally I might be the Cro-Mags. But I think youth of today had the biggest influence on my life!
Your debut 7” is out now and I gotta say that from what I’ve heard it’s some really powerful stuff. To the people who don't know you, how would you describe the style and sound of your songs?
Thank you! We really wanted to capture that raw feeling of bands like breakdown and killing time! We didn´t start AI to come up with a new sound. We just wanted to play
hard and simple hardcore the way we like it and the way only few bands play nowadays. We wanted to show everyone that there´s nothing wrong with being a traditional hardcore band. If you do it well and with heart, people will appreciate it.
You've called your band Animal Instinct. What does that mean to you? How do you think it’s reflected in the music you create?
It reflects the raw feeling that I mentioned before! We just thought it fits really well to the way we see the band and the music we want to play. There´s no deep meaning behind that name. I think it´s just a good name for a hardcore band. That´s it.
When you're writing new songs, where do you get your inspiration from?
We get our inspirations from other hardcore bands! I’ve been listening to hardcore for many years now. And it still gets me pumped. I listen to a song and might think that I want to write songs just as good as that one. So I sit down and try it. I really can´t see myself playing any other kind of music right now.
What would you say is the main message you try to send through your music?
We are not really a "massage band". We all have our own ways to go through life. But if there is one common thing we try to say, than it would be "be yourself, don´t fake anything" that´s basically it. We didn´t start AI to change the world or make big promises we can´t keep. Focus on your own life and live it as good as you can.
How and when did you guys decided to form a band? Which bands influenced you when you first got together?
Roman, Raphael and myself already played in solid ground together and know each other for many, many years. So when we decided to break up with solid ground (we didn´t have enough time to keep touring, and our other guitar player, David, is now a dad) it was clear that we still wanted to do a band together. So we started AI and asked André to sing. He´s also been going to shows since the early nineties and we already knew that he is an awesome singer. To complete the line up, we asked our friend TC from VALE TUDO to play bass. Basically the initial idea to start AI was in summer ´08. Roman and I were listening to breakdowns "sick people" at my place and we thought that it is about time to start a new band with that same feeling and the same kind of sound like breakdown ca. ´87. I think we did a good job:-)!
What aspect of hardcore makes the scene attractive for you and is the reason you are still involved in it?
I always try to focus on the good side of hardcore. That means, I just try to stay away from all that kindergarden crap on the internet, the message boards, and all that. I don´t really care about the latest trends and which band is the latest hype. I try to ignore all the rumors and just hang out with my friends and listen to that bands I like.
What are your thoughts on hardcore scene nowadays - do you think it’s moving in the right direction? Are there any things that you’d like to change about it?
To be honest. I really don´t care much about it. I know what HC means to me. but I see so many different "sounds" and "lifestyles" that are considered HC that I really lost sight and interest to care about what you might consider HC or what some guy in Germany or in the states might considers HC. I also think that this is what makes HC so different and unique compared to any other scene I know ... there was never a blueprint for the core. No set of rules to belong to. HC is what YOU make of it!
What about the scene in Switzerland? What are some good bands from there that we should know?
The scene over here has always been pretty small but decent. I really like that it is all mixed up and never just metal kids, punk kids, or core kids! You see pretty much the same kind of people at every show. So that´s cool. For example, the last SOLID GROUND show was together with our friends in CATARACT. some bands you might want to check out are : VALE TUDO, FALL APART, DEADVERSE, LIFERIDE, PLAY TO DESTROY, BEGGERS AND GENTRY, SEED OF PAIN, CATARACT, LIFE AS WAR, ECT... they all sound totally different but you should definitely check them out!
How would you describe the hardcore community over there? What style of hardcore is most popular?
I think I just answered this one! There is no typical sound that everyone plays... and that´s good!
Do you remember the first hardcore song you ever heard? If so what was it?
Hmmm ... I’m not quite sure. It might have been the Cro-Mags "alpha omega" record when it just came out. Around ´92 or so. I remember roman and I were still into metal. To this day, it is one of my favorite records!
Nowadays kids seem to want bands to expand the boundaries of the genre more and more and sometimes it feels like nobody can appreciate the good, simple and straight in your face hardcore song. How do you feel about it? What's more important in hardcore to you: musical skills or feel?
It´s all about the feeling man! 100% ! But I totally don´t mind bands that like to experiment a little more than we do:-)! I mean, it´s not that I just listen to BREAKDOWN every day, all day! We all listened to all kind of music and styles. If you start a band, you should just play whatever you like. If it is HC, cool! But if it has a different approach to it, cool too!
What's next for the band? Are there any tours in works or plans for a full length?
Well, we just released our debut ep called "stick like glue". It is out now on TAKE IT BACK records. It´s a new label a good friend of mine and myself are running. Now we just play some shows and see how it goes. I don´t think that we have the time to tour. Since we all have full time jobs, other bands, and stuff. But we´ll see... we already wrote some new songs the we plan to record sometime next winter / spring 2010. But I think it´s going to be another 7" ep.
Than for the interview. Anything you would like to add?
Thank you for your support! Check out some of the other stuff I’m involved in: http://www.myspace.com/takeitbackrec and http://www.myspace.com/liferidehc. LIFERIDE is a brand new band and we will release our debut 12" this winter on our own label, TAKE IT BACK RECORDS. We will have some songs up on our MySpace site soon! It´s Roman (Animal Instinct, Solid Ground) on drums, and Emile (State Of Mind) on vocals ... and ohh yeah. While talking about STATE OF MIND. You should check them out. They are sooooo good!
Check out Animal Instinct at Myspace.