Posts Tagged ‘Born Against’

No Sense drawingartist’s impression of ‘No Sense’

‘Feeding The Fire’ were a political straight-edge band from Dutch Limburg (Kerkrade). Burt & Michiel of ‘Man Lifting Banner’ released their No Submission 7” on their label, Red Wax recs (in 1993). The line-up was (I think) Rob Franssen (vocals), Roger (bass), Dennis ‘Crustbus’ Niesing ? (drums; René Natzel played on the 7″), and guitarists Illona Stephan & Har(ald) Brosselt. (see 91-12-21)

92-04-18 FTF No Submission cover

Also ‘No Sense’ were from The Netherlands’ ‘deep south’… Eric Hellebrand’s (bass) favourite bands are ‘No Means No’ & ‘Victims Family’ so you get an idea of how they sounded… Also in the band: Har(ald) Brosselt (vocals; guitar for ‘F.T.F.’), Roy Moonen (drums) and Léon Kleikers (guitar). A few months after this they would record their 7” Ruminating Small Fry.

A month after their 1st passage ‘Born Against’ was here again… Saying goodbye to their tour-mates (‘Nations On Fire’) and us…. (92-03-08)

‘A.M.D.’ (‘Anti Military Demonstration’) from Budapest, Hungary were (at that time) Sotar (vocals), Lörke (Sandor Fuleki; guitar), Kiskovacs (Zoltan Kovacs; drums) and Sik Endre (bass)… Their music was metal-influenced HC/thrash and the lyrics were in Hungarian. The guys hardly spoke English, only the bassist… I’d gotten to know them via their Sucking Stalin tape in 1988 but they also had an LP out called The Horrors Of War, And Worse! (1991)… (For those who speak Hungarian go to

92-04-18 AMD tape cover

I was really sick and had a fever before the show which was gone afterwards. Bands like ‘Born Against’ and that whole scene marked the beginning for a lot of people (including us). We were being too politically correct for a while, unrealistic and very black and white about things. Obviously not saying people shouldn’t be political but it was a scene being against almost everything. We grew out of it fast luckily. It was a really good show and ‘Born Against’ were at their height back then.

Rob Franssen, ‘F.T.F.’

The second time I was at the V.V. I think for ‘Born Against’ this was the last one of their tour. I don’t recall much of the gig other than ‘B.A.’ were pretty intense. I didn’t know their records until then but was immediately blown away.

Cartsen Pötter, visiter from Frankfurt

The kick-pedal of the drum-kit was totally double-folded by ‘Born Against’s drummer…

Léon Kleikers, ‘No Sense’ guitarist

‘Born Against’ was an emotional wreck on that tour but looking back on most of the videos on YouTube, we played pretty well. And I do think we had a (hypocritical) point about the U.S. musical/style imperialism in Europe at the time that allowed us to tour [Brob: In my view ‘Born Against’ was totally different from the ‘imperialists’…], but also rewarded so many American bands who came over just for being American.

I am still in touch with Sam, saw Jon at a ‘Rorschach’ reunion show and I hear Bret’s doing AOK right now. I am happily living in Richmond, Virginia with my two daughters and wife Alyssa (she sang in ‘Disrupt’ for awhile). I run a jail education-program here and teach adult literacy and English as a Second Language.

Adam Nathanson, ‘Born Against’ guitarist

First of all, many thanks to Brob for persistently inviting us to stroll down memory-lane, a.k.a. harshly confronting us with a long-gone past, which we’ve been carefully moulding and polishing into semi-self-critical historical bliss. If you have young children, you know how often Lightning McQueen says: “Master, this did not happen”… Which leads me to quote Rob Franssen, who said in this blog: “… We grew out of it (being against almost everything) pretty fast”… Oh dear, how I envy your good memory. Mine must be totally distorted. Just like I seem to remember how ‘F.T.F.’ got the VortnVis gig in the first place. After years of lobbying, Bruno VdV and I had signed a contract in triplicate that ‘No Sense’ were going to play at the V.V., together with a German band we knew (seriously, I can’t remember their name right now but they were not straight-edge, they were not well known at all; they were amazing musicians and very nice people though). When Rob F. found out, he insisted that ‘F.T.F.’ deserved to play instead (picture Boris Becker with a tantrum and you get the idea); so that’s what happened. The German band didn’t seem to object very much. They were not political and felt that ‘Born Against’ would tear them to bits because of their apparent lack of political commitment. For those who know German, the phrase he used was “Die werden uns in der Luft zerreissen.”. I think he captured well how ‘B.A.’ were perceived and respected by many at the time. What impressed me most was their explosive sadness-driven (rather than the index-finger-we-know-what’s-good-for-you-lecturing attempts from the imperialist fleet) story-telling. It seemed very real at the time, certainly not hypocritical as Adam Nathanson seems to think. For our band ‘No Sense’, this gig was the absolute pinnacle in terms of crowd-intensity and joy-while-playing. I have fondly accessible rock-star memory snippets of being carried-by-the-crowd-while-playing but according to my V.V. guestbook-entry, I was more concerned with the quality of the sanitary facilities. ‘No Sense’ continued until early 2000s but gradually started to dissolve after I moved to grad school in ‘97. We all have successful careers, abandoned the ideals we never pretended to have and continue to have different opinions about whether ‘Kreator’s Pleasure To Kill is better than ‘Metallica’s Master Of Puppets.

Eric Hellebrand, ‘No Sense’ bassist

From Reminder zine (done by Wim & Chat’n ‘Blindfold’): >>‘Feeding The Fire’ is a communist band and they carry that out on stage. Rumour is they will get a new drummer. They should. The slow parts are heavy and moving, but the fast bits are too fast. ‘No Sense’ is fun-HC. Yes! The music is silly but (most) lyrics are serious. This made us go wild. We’d never heard of ‘A.M.D.’ before. They were good, musically. Social lyrics. Listening-music. But they played too long. ‘Born Against’ played the V.V. for the second time and it was the best. Last show of their Euro-tour and they gave everything they had left. A short but good set. The drummer let out his frustrations on the drum-set in a negative way; the only negative aspect of the show…<<

At first I couldn’t remember where the V.V. was and what happened at the gig; we did so many concerts those days and we did drugs… Later a few things came to my mind because we had only one concert in Belgium during that tour. That whole tour was managed by Esteban [brother of Macario (Alternativnoise)], a friend from France. We came from somewhere Germany and teased him on the way, because we got lost a lot of the time and arrived late, so tired and hungry. Sotar, the singer was disappointed because of the vegetarian food. He was mad about meat. I have good memories of the concert, the place and response. How can I forget playing with ‘Born Against’!? They did a very intensive concert – I listened to it with an open mouth. It was great( By the way, thanks for organising this, it was a real experience for an Eastern-European band that time. In ’87, when we started to play, we got no passports, so we couldn’t play abroad. Two years later things had changed here in Hungary, the borders opened, so we did lots of concerts between ’89 and ’94. Then in 1994 Sotar died, what overwhelmed us. With a new singer (Cséb) we did a new album (Túlélők, meaning Survivers) but it was somehow different than before. My drug-addiction also progressed and ‘A.M.D.’ started to fall apart. The band-members changed a lot. In 2005 – when I had been clean for a while – I was asked to play again. Until that time we just played concerts in our country. The members of ‘A.M.D.’ are the same: Kiskovács (drums), Sík (bass), Lörke (guitar); we asked our old friend Fido to play guitar as well. And we found a good singer: Seza. In 2012 we finished our new album. But because of families and work we have little time to play music. One of us is printer, the other is driver and I’m a social-worker, making music- and theatre-therapy. All ‘A.M.D.’ albums can be downloaded from our blog:

Lőrke, AMD’s guitar-player

92-04-18 Born Against (reviwe Reminder #1)gig-review (Reminder #1)

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 92-04-18 - (book A) No Sense Eric

VV 92-04-18 - (book A) FTF Illona

VV 92-04-18 - (book A) AMD

additions wellcome!…

92-03-08 Born Against – One By One – Nations On Fire – Pertotal

92-03-08 Born Against - 1x1 - NOF (VV)

The ‘N.O.F.’ lp got out with some delay (due to the accident Jaak had) in March 1992. There wasn’t a real ‘presentation’ as was intended at first (91-09-01). We went on a 10 day tour with ‘Born Against’. Ute [X-Mist] was driving and our leader Bruno VDV was the aid.

Jeroen Lauwers; ‘N.O.F.’ bassplayer

‘Born Against’ – on their ‘92 Euro tour – were vocalist Sam McPheeters (Dear Jesus zine, Vermiform recs, etc.), guitarist Adam Nathanson (zinester & ex ‘Life’s Blood’), bassist Bret Blue (nót Javier) and drummer Jo(h)n Hiltz. After the Euro tour Tonie Joy (ex ‘Moss Icon’) and Brooks Headly (‘Universal Order of Armageddon’) joined on bass and drums, respectively; the band moved from New York to Richmond. They broke up in the summer of 1993. I’d started a correspondence with Sam when I discovered and distributed his zine (Dear Jesus; and later records from his label Vermiform). I admire(d) his intelligent, provocative, thought-provoking, articulate, eloquent writing… Adam I’d gotten to know when Freddy Alva (I think) sent me a tape with music of Adam’s band ‘Life’s Blood’. It was real nice to be able to talk with them in person for a while. And they even came back a few weeks later (92-04-18)…

‘One By One’ members Sned, Micky; Alec had been here before (91-08-18). Karin joined the band in early 1992 but it wasn’t her first visit at the Vort’n Vis (in- or outside a band) ‘cause she’d visited (here e.g.: 90-08-25) already when she was still living in Brugge…

In 1993 ‘N.O.F.’ toured with Jamie Owen (from the UK band ‘Jailcell Recipes’) on drums but here Jaak was still in the band; David doing the vocals, Jeroen on bass and Ward playing guitar.


‘Born Against’ photos kindly donated by Jeroen L. (taken by Roger ‘F.T.F.’)

I have been the driver for ‘Nations On Fire’ on the tour with ‘Born Against’. I still have some memory of that: the somehow bizarre and uncomfortable feeling staying at the house of Edward’s parents: Getting excellent food in a sort of conservative and authoritarian family-atmosphere…

Tina? [see excerpts] We used to be friends with a girl named Tina from Tübingen [Brob: I think she was booking shows at Epplehaus there…]. She got into booking tours and driving bands when ‘Toxic Reasons’ got stranded for a few days on their first European tour and needed some help. Armin met them in Freiburg and told them to contact her, and then they stayed for a few days off on the tour at the squat where she was living. That’s when Tina and her friend got into this band-touring thing; I guess…?

Peter [Carstens, from Flensburg] was the driver of ‘Born Against’ and many other bands [tours organised by Steffen Rose – Navigator productions] during those days, since he owned a huge van. Nowadays he’s the drummer for the massively popular and mainstream-accepted punk-band ‘Turbostaat’.

Ute, X-Mist recs

I thought Tina was Adam’s girlfriend. I remember that ‘Born Against’ took of with a male driver that got replaced halfway by 1 or 2 female ‘roadies’…

I didn’t really like this show as it was too crowded and, as Sling states [below], the atmosphere was a little tense but from both sides. The Liège and Brugge ‘crust’ crew was as negative about the (socalled) SxE crew as they were about them, negative vibes came from both, a bunch of posers on both sides of the fence. I don’t remember ‘One By One’ playing as we came in late from a long drive from Bremen the day before. I liked this band, Sned was always a nice person and I get on well with Karin who I started talking to by accident when she was studying in Kortrijk shortly before.

Still the best ‘N.O.F.’ line-up in retrospect but already with crackles in the foundation. Ed and me couldn’t decide about doing the band fulltime or taking a job; Jaak was too busy doing his health-food store to be 100% in the band and David always gave this feeling of ‘N.O.F.’ being his second choice band to ‘Scraps’. It also didn’t help him moving to Germany shortly after and rarely coming over to rehearse or work on new stuff. When Burn Again came out a year later, with a long tour ahead the atmosphere really wasn’t that good.

Jeroen Lauwers; ‘N.O.F.’ bassplayer

92-03 NOF ready to leave for tour with Born Against‘N.O.F.’ ready to leave on tour (1993!). L=>R: Edward V. a.k.a. ‘Judge No One’, stand-in drummer Jamie, roadie Whitey, Goofy’s mom, David D., Jeroen ‘Goofy’ Lauwers. (pic by driver Willy)

I never visited the Vort’n Vis. I had already left ‘Born Against’ by that time so it was Bret Blue who was the bassist after me.

Javier Villegas, ex ‘Born Against’ bassist

I had returned from New-Zealand the day before, arrived in London and ‘One By One’ picked me up from a junction on the motorway and drove me to Ieper! Sling played drums, at least for some of the set…

Sned, ‘One By One’ drummer

This gig resulted in my exit from the HC scene. I recall pushing over the drum-kit because so many straight-edge kids were very negative about the non-sXe. bands… Bunch of posers… [Brob: according to Leffe, this happened during ‘Pertotal’s set, who played here aswell… – see comment.]


This gig with ‘Born Against’ was part of a mini-tour of Belgium to celebrate Sned’s return from New-Zealand: we picked him up somewhere in London and then drove down to Dover… We had to wait a couple of hours for the ferry in the cold rain on the sea-front for our early crossing. Can’t remember the exact course of events but Karin and I stopped at her parents in Oostkamp and Alec stopped with Spatje at his mums… Not sure where Sned went. We had a couple of practices in the back-room of the Tivoli [pub in Brugge] where ‘P.J.D.’ & ‘Chronic Disease’ rehearsed. Sned hadn’t drummed for over 6 months and I think Sling offered to help lighten the load by helping out. It soon became clear that he knew the songs better than we did!!! We played definitely played 2 gigs with Sling and Sned drumming parts of the set each… As well as the Vort’n Vis there was another at La Zone… [7 mar ’92 (‘La Zone’): One By One (UK), Private Jesus Detector (Bel), Pertotal (Bel)] Karin and I also think there might have been a 3rd gig at the Democrazy in Gent with ‘Nation of Ulysses’… [Jeroen L.: ‘Nation Of Ulysses’ played the same day at Democrazy.] Karin is pretty certain that she wasn’t in the band at the time but she had certainly joined by the time we played with ‘Rorschach’ at the 1 in 12 in June 1992…

Micky McGuinness, ‘One By One’ guitarist

The Vort’n Vis was the perfect size to pack in a show; the walls and windows were sweating with condensation. The vibe was definitely good and D.I.Y. The moisture resulted in some electrical problems with the guitar-amp. I was excited to play with ‘One by One’ because they had a former member of ‘Ripcord’ or ‘Heresy’ (?). [Generic] ‘Nations on Fire’ made us feel right at home since it was their home-turf and we were doing the tour with them. Edward created these funny ‘Born Against’/’Nations on Fire’ all-access passes that said “sponsored by Stussy and Budweiser”. Bruno put us up in his little place in the beautiful city of Liège. [Bruno had a room in Gent at that time I think; definitely not Liège.] He had a pet mouse that he allowed to run free around the apartment, and it kept waking us up.

The crowd was full of U.S. straight-edge fashion. It made me wonder that day, and throughout the whole European tour, “Doesn’t anybody remember ‘B.G.K.’, ‘N.V. Le Anderen’, ‘Lärm’, ‘Pandemonium’, ‘Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers’, ‘Porno Patrol’, ‘Upright Citizens’, ‘Raw Power’, ‘Wretched’, ‘Scraps’, ‘Negazione’, etc., etc.?”.

Adam Nathanson; ‘Born Against’ guitarist

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…