Posts Tagged ‘Catharsis’

99-10-31 Catharsis - Liar - etc

This show was – again (see also 97-10-12 for ‘Catharsis’ first appearance here) – organised by Lieve Goemaere (Ugly Duckling zine)…

‘Catharsis’ (“starving artists in capitalist countries”) was an anarchist hardcore band from Greensboro, North Carolina, releasing their albums through the CrimethInc. collective. Their singer, Brian, was editor of the political hardcore punk fanzine Inside Front and later went on (with other ex-members of ‘Catharsis’) to form the band ‘Requiem’. Ernie Hayes (bass), Alexei (‘Rasputin’) D. Rodriguez (drums), Brian D. (vocals/guitar) were still in the band. Guitarist Dan(iel) Young had died so guitarist was Matt(hew) Miller (Who was the second guitar-player on that tour?). Wicked Witch recs did a split-LP (Live @ CBGB’s) with ‘Gehenna’ around ’98. The Samsara album was finished late ‘98, I think (with Matt Miller playing bass; and Dan Young taking care of the guitars – Jonathan Raine & Jimmy Chang are referenced for the tracks from the 7” that were include). The Passion album was recorded May ‘99 and Bernd Bohrmann put it our it on his label Scorched Earth Policy (’99).

99-10-31 Catharsis‘Catharsis’

‘Man In The Shadow’, from Solkan / Nova Gorica (Slovenia), played emotional and political HC (“anarcho-emo”). In ’97 they did a self-titled 7” on Dejan Pozegar’s Jay-Walk (label from Maribor) and in ’99 they put out the Pax Americana 7” (their 2nd, on their own Choose Life recs; later also a complete discography on CD). The band consisted of vocalist Marko & guitarist Miran Rusjan (later in ‘Analena’), Nenad Kostadinovski (drums) and Valter Cijan (bass). The brothers did 13.Brat zine…

Valter Cijan’s other band, ‘Entreat’, toured with ‘Man In The Shadow’. That year there was a CD out on Choose Life recs (the label of Miran Rusjan) – entitled City Of… – featuring ‘Entreat’, ‘Low Punch’, ‘Man In The Shadow’ and ‘Straightforward’. ‎The music of ‘Entreat’ was labeled emo-metal. They were: Patrik (vocals), Matjaz (guitar), Milos (guitar) Valter (bass; replaced by Peter) and Rok (drums; replaced by Samo).

The music of ‘Leiah’ (from Gävle, Sweden) was decribed as indie-rock/emo-punk (“clone of the ‘Get Up Kids’…”) by some, others called it pop-music. The band consisted of Annsofie Lundin (bass), Anders Gustavsson (drums; later Gunnar Forsman when Anders moved to bass), David Lehnberg (vocals/guitar) and Klas Joakim Eriksson (guitar; ex ‘Serene’). In 1999 they had 3 releases on Genet recs: a split-7” with (the Belgian) ‘Hebriana’, a 7” & CD entitled Mood Shifting Tones. They ‘d already played on the ‘Ieperfest’.

‘Convinced’ (from Karlstad, Sweden) were: Martin Magnusson (drums), Amir Tehrani (bass), Jessica Johansson-Jern (vocals), Joakim Johansson (guitar) and Johan Gärdt (guitar; replaced Christina ‘Kicki’ Sundqvist). Their early material had a hardcore edge to it and the late material is more heavy metal/hard-rock (references to ‘Iron Maiden’ & ‘Helloween’). They had done a demo (Believe In Yourself) in 1996. In 1999 they released two 7”s on Joakim’s label Words Of Wisdom recs (Silence & A Dream Of Reality.) The album Life Is My Enemy came out on Genet recs (who also did the The Carnival CD in 2000).

99-10-xx Convinced touring‘Convinced’

‘Man vs Humanity’ were Bastian Gaeng (vocals), Hilmar Demant (guitar), Jakob Rupprecht (guitar), Marc-Antonio Hartmann (drums) and Max Hebel (bass). That year they released a split-7” with ‘My Hero Died Today’ on Bernd Bohrmann’s label Scorched Earth Policy (1999) and the Anti Imperialist Culture Sound 7” on Paracelsius. Their music was grindy “extreme hardcore” with metal influences; often compared to ‘His Hero Is Gone’ and ‘Acme’. They did a bunch of shows with ‘Catharsis’ but not this one…

‘Lifecycle’, a ‘new-school’ HC band from the Ieper/Kortijk region (H8000 but not with that typical sound), had done their first gig the previous month. Here the line-up was: Sofie Vantomme (vocals; co-founder Vincent Merveillie soon went on to sing for ‘Spirit Of Youth’), Karel Deweerdt (guitar), Steve Noyelle (guitar), Jan Volckaert (drummer of ‘Resist The Pain’; was stand-in a few times for Jan Verhelst ex ‘Convict’) and Jurgen Degryse (bass; later replaced by Jelle ‘Jay D’ Dobbelaere). There were some more people involved (Steve explains below). Not really sure who did drums and bass here but Lieve Goemaere interviewed the band for her zine Ugly Duckling on 99-08-01; present there were Sofie, Steve, Karel, bassist Peter Leuwers bass & drummer Vincent Tetaert. The band did a demo (There Is Hope Again!; recorded by Michael Maes) and a mini-album (CD) Forever… Until… on SoberMind recs (’97; recorded in Labie’s 195 studio). When Sofie gave up SxE but still wanted to continue ‘Lifecycle’, Steve decided to quit the band… Because of that, the band split-up, they couldn’t continue without him…

Here’s a photo of ‘Liar’ with drummer Bert Guillemont and 2 young kids I didn’t recognise: Ward Dufraimont (ex ‘Firestone’; who kindly provided it) played bass here. He explains a bit of his ‘history’ below.

99-10-31 Liar (Ward Dufraimont)

That is ‘Liar’ on the photo, indeed. If you look carefully, you’ll notice that I play bass. U.J. couldn’t make it for one reason or another. I remember it was kind of a big deal, because it hardly ever happened; but he couldn’t/wouldn’t play… You also see Lennart [Bossu] on guitar. Out of sight is Hans [Verbeke; vocals] and Christophe Herreman on guitar. The night before I had already replaced Christophe for ‘Mainstrike’s last show (Goudvishal in Arnhem). So this was my second time. I was playing in ‘Firestone’ with Lennart; so that’s why. I did a few more replacements, like the second Deathrow Earth European tour in April 2000. Lennart had quit a few days before that tour. After the tour Matthias ‘Empathy’ [Halsberghe] joined and I went on with ‘Firestone’. That ended somewhere in May 2002 (when Lennart started to play for ‘Janez Detd.’) and I joined ‘Liar’ again for a European tour in the summer of 2002 because Christophe couldn’t make it. Halfway the tour Matthias was told to leave the band and I stayed until the last show in October 2006 (at first with Christophe and later with Matthias again). Lennart joined by the end of 1998 if I remember well: he was there during the recordings of Deathrow Earth but didn’t play a note because Joost wanted to take his last ‘Liar’ record completely in his own hands. Joost quit around May 1999 and Christophe (who was in ‘Aborted’) joined. On the pic I’m playing Jan Maelfait’s bass, thé legendary ‘Blindfold’ bass …

I can’t remember anything about the other bands, except for the handsome blonde of ‘Convinced’!

Ward Dufraimont

When I see pictures of us playing that show I see we were all dressed up in our PJ’s (costumes for Halloween). Ward D. was playing bass because UxJx did not want to play that show cause of the pyjama thing… Seems to me now the most obvious explanation. We then just went on with Ward on bass.

Bert Guillemont, ‘Liar’ drummer

At the gig at Vort’n Vis I was ex-member of ‘M.I.T.S.’ but my new band ‘Entreat’ toured together with ‘M.I.T.S.’. ‘Entreat’ was the opening band that night.

Valter Cijan (nowadays in ‘Hellcrawler’)

We never played at the V.V.! We played a few shows with ‘Catharsis’ but not here. We were asked later on but we broke up …

Jakob Rupprecht, guitarist ‘Man vs Humanity’

Indeed I don’t remember seeing ‘Man vs Humanity’ in 1999, though they are on the flyer. We did play in Aalter with them in December of 1998. I have some good shots from when we played Halloween 1999, let me get my stuff together and get back with you.

Ernie Hayes, ‘Catharsis’ bassist

I remember wishing we had planned some sort of Halloween thing. Like costumes or a few covers of a band or something. In general, I remember touring with ‘Convinced’ and the men in that band treating the woman singer so badly that she rode in our van many days. Not sure who organised the ‘Convinced’ tour. Maybe Patrick [Federli; Drive To Play], maybe Bruno [Genet recs], maybe us. Maybe some combination…

Matt Miller, ‘Catharsis’ guitarist

I wasn’t in ‘Catharsis’ during those years. I’d left the band to start the band that would become ‘Undying’.

James Chang

My perspective is that we’re both seeking similar goals in different ways… We could bicker for years about which one of us is more pure in our struggle against capitalism but that would be just plain dumb and a waste of our time…

Brian D.; personal communication Sep. ’99 [Brob: This is reference to my questioning their dealings with a commercial label here. To me that didn’t seem to accord with Brian’s anarchist ideology… Below is a pic of ‘Catharsis’ with my correspondent Eric Boehme (editor of After The Revolution; on the left) touring Europe in –supposedly- the summer of ‘98)]

Just a couple quick notes to get the historical details perfect… The Samsara album was recorded in spring 1997, not late 1998 – I think what was released in late 1998 was the vinyl version of it for the US. You know, we made GoodLife put Samsara out of print after that first pressing and never worked with them again. Basically, the whole thing was a result of not understanding the context of the Belgian hardcore scene until we got there. As you know, we were playing a DIY show set up by Lieve.

The photograph of us with Eric Boehme is indeed from our European tour in summer 1998. In fall 1999, on that tour in Europe (which was 3 months long), we had a second guitarist, Jon Ridenour, who was also the guitarist of ‘Zegota’, a band that later toured Europe themselves. The live photo is indeed from the 1999 show (you can tell because we have eyeliner on our faces for Halloween) but Jon and Alexei aren’t visible in it. We were probably at our best as a band with Jon – he was a very expressive guitarist, and balanced out Matt nicely. Today Jon lives in Stockholm.

I remember it being a really intense show. But my only actual clear memories from the night are of meeting ‘Man In The Shadow’. I had already been corresponding with Miran about his zine for some years. Their drummer struck me as one of the warmest, sweetest people I had ever met, and I remember he had a big, dreadlocked beard around his neck.

Brian D.

98-summer Catharsis, Europe (+ Eric Boehme)

This was kind of a Halloween show and I was dressed up in a sparkling, pink dress wearing a Belgian ribbon, as a Miss Belgium candidate (N° 8). It was the first time ever I was wearing high heels, terrible! ;-)

Lieve Goemaere

The gig went really well. I was kinda proud of myself. The Slovenian bands were really good; I was really impressed by ‘Man In The Shadow’. Better than I ever could’ve imagined.

Lieve Goemaere; personal communication Nov. ‘99

The performance of ‘Catharsis’ was very inspiring…

Bart De Geeter; personal communication Nov. ‘99

Halloween… Most bands were dressed up… ‘Convinced’ also played: glam-rock from Sweden, with female vocals. A bit like ‘Purusam’ but less technical.

About ‘Lifecycle’: After Jurgen Degryse had quit, he was replaced by Maarten Kinet (later played for ‘AmenRa’)… When he abandonned the ship we got Peter Leuwers… And after him there was Céline Delqueux and then Jelle Dobbelaere… Concerning drummers: when Jan Verhelst stopped, Vincent Tetaert [‘AmenRa’ guitarist] took his place… And when things got too busy for him (with ‘Firestone’), he quit ‘Lifecycle’… He was replaced by Tim Jult [‘Empathy’, ‘Liar’, ‘Congress’, …]. Yeah, we had ours share of drummers and bassists…

Steve Noyelle, ‘Lifecycle’ guitarist

The first time I played at the V.V. was actually ‘97 with ‘Serene’ and I visited for the first time in ‘96 when I drove ‘Separation’…

Klas Joakim Eriksson, ‘Leiah’ guitarist

I remember seeing ‘Entreat’ and ‘Man In The Shadow’ in Belgium (I drove with them home to Ljubljana)… Actually, all that I remember is that on the way from Ieper to Gent, the rented van went on fire, that is: the engine went on fire! Pretty scary but we were all fine.

Tea Hvala, Pssst zine

I was here at the V.V. with ‘Catharsis’. I did that entire 3 month tour back then, since we (Scorched Earth Policy) put out the vinyl that year. ‘M. Vs H.’ never played there, that’s correct. I recall that ‘Catharsis’ were in a desperate spot prior to the this tour, which would have been their 2nd European tour. As I recall, they had a loose agreement with the guys who worked on their first tour in 1997 (Pat Federli; if I am not mistaken). Apparently, they were not able to get that going. Having met the band two years earlier I was eager to help out. After I had gotten the ball rolling, Bernd Bohrmann and I have then starting booking the tour and also started talks regarding the vinyl version of ‘Catharsis’ Passion album.

Marc Hartmann (Scorched Earth Policy, ‘Man vs Humanity’ drummer)

The band ‘Convinced’ hasn’t been active for almost ten years so it’s easy to forget. However, we did a two week tour in Belgium/Germany with ‘Catharsis’ (US) in the fall of 1999 which took us to Ieper and the Vort’n Vis. I visited the Ieper hardcore fest both 1997 & 1998 (great festival and an awesome vibe) so I remember was excited to play the V.V. But honestly I don’t remember that much more from the show than the fact that it was Halloween and a lot of people in the audience wore costumes and/or make-up. I don’t think that the members in our band wore any costumes though. Probably because Halloween wasn’t a big thing in Sweden back then, so we hadn’t thought about it. I have some pictures somewhere in an album but unfortunately I can’t find them.

Myself & Jessica don’t think that Matt Miller is telling the truth about our tour. Jessica shared the van with ‘Catharsis’ becuse she didn’t want to spend all the time with her brother Joakim (guitar) and her father (who was our driver at the time). Fair enough!

Martin Magnusson, ‘Convinced’ drummmer

additions wellcome!…

97 Catharis - Gehenna Euro tourVort’n Vis last day of the tour ?

97-10-12 Catharsis - Gehenna

I think I organised that show at the Vort’n Vis! Cut, pasted and wrote the poster! I’m still friends with them [‘Catharsis’], met them at Ieperfest 2013. I believe Brian is the one who stuck to the anarchistic roots most – he didn’t feel ‘well’ because the [Ieper]fest was “too manly”. “There are not enough women here”…

Lieve Goemaere

I remember visiting Lieve (Ugly Duckling) at the place where she lived during her studies one sunny day when she said ‘Catharsis’ was playing (98-05-19) at the Frontline (a pub in Gent where Bruno VdV of Genet recs/Pyrrhus often booked bands). I disliked the place (too commercial and a history of extreme-right sympathies) and certainly didn’t want to support Pyrrhus). I knew about the band and of CrimethInc and their publications (Harbinger and Brian’s zine Inside Front)… Lieve (who did an interview with Alexei and Brian for her zine Ugly Duckling #2) said I ought to have a talk with Brian since she knew I was connected with the anarchist scene in Gent, collaborating at the infoshop, and distributing radical literature and pamphlets. So I joined her and had a conversation with Brian in front of the pub. Even though I value his and the collective’s activities, he couldn’t convince me of why they would have to play such a place.

Another reason to go see them that day, was because my pen-pal Eric Boehme (After The Revolution zine) travelled with ‘Catharsis’ and he’d written me to come and say hello…

Because ‘Catharsis’ wasn’t really part of ‘my scene’ (Certain people I knew in the US were shrugging their shoulders when hearing the name ‘Catharsis’: “a jock-band”. I did tape the CDs Lieve borrowed me though so I know what they sounded like), I also didn’t go see them at the V.V. here (they also had connections with the ultra-commercial label GoodLife)…

A few of the guys of ‘Gehenna’ spend some weeks in Gent after the tour…

Some people that were at the gig at the V.V. (I was told): Tom Claus (‘Family Of Dog’), Bjorn Dossche (One Step Down zine); on the pic: Thomas ‘Bieter’ (Bistro distro), ‘Kluze’ (‘Wise Up’ vocalist), ‘Rain’s guitarist, Steve Lammertyn, Carlo Steegen, etc.


One of those legendary shows one remembers in full detail… I recall that all of us in ‘Spineless’ were big fans of ‘Catharsis’. The persona of front-man Brian will have played a big role in that. Brian was active on many levels and was one of those people that seemed to fill a room with his presence. The fact that they were from ‘Clevo’, the area where ‘Integrity’ originates from, did the rest. [Brob: Cleveland, Ohio is pretty far away from Greensboro or Atlanta]

This was the first appearance of ‘Catharsis’. ‘Gehenna’ was still unknown to me… I met the band at Pyrrhus in Gent [record-store ran by Bruno of Genet recs], the favourite hang-out for H8000 sect-members [sic]… To be honest they didn’t really make the impression that I had hoped (says maybe more about myself in that period than about ‘Catharsis’ & ‘Gehenna’. Internet didn’t take the form yet that we know today. We had to get by with vague, photocopied pics from fanzines.

That night my preconception disappeared radically. Even more: I can ‘t remember a thing about ‘Sektor’ & ‘Facedown’; something that is significant when you know that H8000 bands were almost worshipped by the audience at that time. ‘Gehenna’ played with so much energy and power that Tsjernobyl seemed like a commonplace. The singer [Mike ‘Cheese’] seemed to come straight out of a prehistoric cave, wielding a big bottle of water as a club, furiously swaying it among the crowd. [Supposedly he has Tourette’s Syndrome…] We were all doomed! And then… Booooom! With a hard blow he slammed the bottle amidst the spectators… Such a smack hadn’t been witnessed in Ieper for over 80 years. The audience went beserk. We moshed on the glass; the day after I could still pich the pieces from my sole. After their show – I remember it vividly – Lieve Goemaere [editor of Ugly Duckling zine] was reprimanding the Neanderthal about how irresponsible it is to smash a bottle of water on the ground in and how disrespectful it was towards the collaborators of the Vort’n Vis. As fierce as he was during the show, as quiet afterwards. The man apologised over 10 times and promised to clean things up (not so sure about that anymore ;-) …).

97-10-12 Gehenna (by Vincent Maes)‘Gehenna’ (photo courtesy of Vincent Maes, ‘Instinct’ singer)

And then ‘Catharsis’ still had to take off… Well, what can I say. The show was fantastic. I still don’t understand how a band can play so tight and solid at the same time. And above all, it was so real, no rehearsed ‘Biohazard’ moves or breakdance-steps; pure power, pure emotion. Like a demonic preacher Brian strung the songs together with power-speeches, confronted us with the capitalist robbery; visionary, thinking back. The impression was overwhelming.

I saw ‘Catharsis’ back in Ieper in 2013, Brian still hasn’t lost any of his youthful anger against a system that is rotten to the core. The band played tighter than ever, still blowing an entire Roman legion out of their sandals.

Pedro ‘Fifi’ Fioen (guitarist of ‘Resist The Pain’, ‘Spineless’, ‘Congress’, etc.)

I don’t remember any of that! But it would’ve been my 2nd run-in with the singer of ‘Gehenna’ ‘cause I lashed out at him at the Pyrrhus store for treating me like his dog…

Lieve Goemaere

‘Catharsis’ was an “anarchist” hardcore band (metallic with heavy riffs and raw vocals) originating from Greensboro, North Carolina, releasing their albums through the CrimethInc. Collective (Atlanta, Georgia). Their singer, Brian, was editor of the political hardcore punk fanzine Inside Front and later went on (with other ex-members of ‘Catharsis’) to form the band ‘Requiem’. The 7” released in 1996 (by Endless Fight recs) featured Brian ‘Diablodein’ Dingledine (vocals/guitar), Jonathan Raine (bass), Alexei ‘Rasputin’ Rodriguez (drums; later ‘Walls Of Jericho’, ‘Prong’, etc.) and James ‘Jimmy’ Chang (guitar). The same on their 1st CD (CrimethInc ‘96). According to Lieve the band here was Brian, bassist Ernie Hayes, drummer Alexei and guitarists Matt Miller & Dan Young. The band came back on 99-10-31. They still exist/play…

>>The ‘Catharsis’ guitar-player died after they released the Samsara album. He had psychological problems and took drugs to die says Brian D. (Inside Front #11 mentions Dan Young’s problems).<<

Visit the CrimethInc Ex-Workers’ Collective website:

‘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 this tour the band consisted of Jensen Ward (drums; later ‘Iron Lung’), ‘Reno’ Dean C*** ‘DC’ (guitar), Mike ‘Apocalypse’ Cheese (vocals; apocalypsewestcoast.blogspot), Mike Rhodes a.k.a. ‘Mickey Featherstone’ (bass) and original guitarist Justin Holbo.

In 1997 the band was offered to release the War Of The Sons Of Light And The Sons Of Darkness CD (first full-length release; a compilation of the band’s early discography in chronological order, all recorded ‘94-‘96: a 3-song cassette, The Pain Of Life split-7” with ‘Apartment 213’ and The Birth Of Vengeance 7”) on CrimethInc recs. They also did a split-LP (‘Gehenna’ live at CBGB’s) on Wicked Witch recs with ‘Catharsis’ (Live In The Land Of The Dead / Eat, Fight, Fuck). The new drummer (on the Negotium Perambulans In Tenebris album) couldn’t go to Europe so they got a friend from to fill in on drums.

‘Sektor’ was a H8000 veg(etari)an straight-edge metalcore band (from the Ieper area). Heavy stuff! They did 2 7”s on Hans Verbeke’s Sober Mind recs: Ultimate Threat (1995) and a split with Vitality (1996); later there was also a 12”/CD (Human Spots of Rust, ’97). The band consisted of ‘Lenny LadyLover’ (bass), Bert ‘BabyNipples’ Guillemont (drums, also ‘Liar’), Piet ‘Pete’ Cardoen (a.k.a. Mousti; guitar), Vadim ‘KarateKip’ Vandekerckhove (guitar) and Jeroen Therry (a.k.a. KungFu Mike; vocals). See also 96-05-12.

‘Facedown’ (who had already played on the fest 96-08) was a socalled ‘new-school’ (metal-influenced) vegan SE-HC band from Kontich: Thomas Baeken (bass), Youri Baeken (drums), Daniel Mies (vocals), Niko Poortmans (guitar) and Geert Ceuppens (guitar). The Ferket brothers released the Friendship Is Everything 7” (Evil Twin recs in 1996) and Bruno re-released it (with some additional tracks) on Genet recs in 1997). They did also a split with ‘Earthmover‎’ (7” on Moo Cow recs in 1997) and Beyond All Horizons got out on Genet recs in 1998. Some of them formed ‘.Calibre’ (and got a record-deal with a major label)…

‘Lebensreform’ (from Hamburg), a “straight edge thrash/ hardcore / screamo outfit”. At that time they had 2 7”s out on Per Koro (Licht + Luft + Leben & Retor) recorded with his line-up: Christian Wruck (drums), Mark Wehrmann (guitar), Niels Abele (bass; didn’t play Vort’n Vis ‘cause he quit the band before that and was replaced by Dennis Becker) and Sven Christiansen (vocals).

97-10-12 Lebensreform''''' (met Mike Gehenna)The ‘Lebensreform’ guys (and Patrick Federli) with met Mike ‘Gehenna’ (courtesy of Sven Christiansen)

According to Ernie Hayes, at the 1997 show also ‘Sincerity’ and ‘Natural Order’ played. While the German ‘Sincerity’s vocalist says they didn’t. The poster indicates the band was from Deinze (Belgium). Members were: ‘Sjaab’ (vocals), Maarten Kinet (bass; later ‘Lifecycle’ & ‘AmenRa’), Bram Walgraeve (guitar), Fré(derick) De Vogelaere (drums) & Thomas Hauttekeete (guitar; also ‘Instinct’). They had already played the V.V. on 97-07-12.

The German ‘Sincerity’ were a youth-crew / old-school band from Werne (Germany); they had a tape out entitled Positive Hardcore. (A whole bunch of stuff followed in the new century.) The band consisted of: Birte (drums), Salat (bass), Olli (guitar; later Daniel) & Björn ‘Lexi’ Lexius (vocals).

‘Natural Order’ was a vegan sXe hardcore / hardline band (“violent dancers and pro-life” as someone described them once) with Cindy Frey’s brother as singer, hence their track on Animal Truth’s Animal Rights Benefit Sampler (out on Sober Mind recs in 1998). There’s also a live tape recorded in Poperinge 97-11-15.


We didn’t play the Vort’n Vis.

Björn Lexius, ‘Sincerity’

We played here with ‘Catharsis’, ‘Gehenna’, ‘Sektor’ and a bunch of others. There is a famous photo (amongst others) of me lying under the stage while our bassist kept screaming into the crowd. It was printed in some fanzines, on internet-platforms and in the German music-magazine Visions (which did a feature on the 1990s emo/screamo scene in Germany). Just for the record: we weren’t a Straight Edge band by then anymore; only half of us were and we didn’t play those two/three songs anymore that had ‘those’ lyrics… As for the line-up: Niels wasn’t with us anymore, it was Dennis Becker (also in ‘Loxiran’ at that time) on bass. Myself, I married afterwards and took my (ex-)wife’s name, so to be correct in timeline I was Sven Chojnicki by then…

Sven Christiansen, ‘Lebensreform’ singer (horizonsinc.blogspot)

97-10-12 Lebensreform'97-10-12 Lebensreform''''

(pics courtesy of Sven Christiansen)

 A lot of the 1997 tour was done with ‘Lebensreform’.

I have some pictures from ‘97, including a group-shot with ‘Catharsis’ & ‘Gehenna’ and some of you local guys, and some good shots from when we played on Halloween 1999 [99-10-31]…

Ernie Hayes

I remember playing there a few times. Seemed like a great place.

I remember ‘Gehenna’ being upset about money. They didn’t know ‘Lebensreform’ was going to play shows with us (we didn’t either)… Three bands on tour means the money gets split three ways instead of two…

Matt Miller

I didn’t play in ‘Catharsis’ in those years.

James Chang

Members of ‘Catharsis’ & ‘Gehenna’ stayed at my place in Gent after their gig at the Pits in Kortrijk. They asked me if there were people who could offer them a place to sleep for a few days. I’d heard that records got stolen from earlier hospitable concert-visiters that had put them up. I told both bands what I’d heard but they promised me that this was absolutely untrue. Anyway, few days after they’d left I discovered 10 of my LPs were stolen, some very rare. Still they continued to claim it wasn’t them but perhaps a few crusty Americans that toured with them and also stayed at my place (& others). Assholes!

One of the guitarists of ‘Catharsis’ and myself jammed quite a bit. (Dan Young also played my Gibson because his was broken I believe.) Shortly after their tour in Europe he started going totally crazy and committed suicide. The others must’ve been aware of the thefts because those crusties were driving along in their van. So, fuck those ‘scene’ guys if they steal from people who wanna help and support them.

Steve W. (‘Neuthrone’)

I seem to remember that Brian ‘Catharsis’ behaved like the king of the ‘anarchistic realm’ and that Alexei was their damn good drummer. About ‘Gehenna’: the singer was a twisted fuck but the music was reasonable. ‘Facedown’: can’t remember (played together many times)…

Bert Guillemont, ‘Sektor’ drummer

It was October. We drove through the night and slept in the van in the cold. I’d pulled a muscle in my lower back a few days before and couldn’t stand up straight. Our tour was screeching to a halt within the next few days. We were upset with the booking-agents (Drive To Play [Markus Große]; they set up the whole tour through Brian D. of ‘Catharsis’.), for not having a backline, doing nothing to promote the tour and adding a band from their label which cut into the already non-existent guarantees. We were upset with our driver, Patrick F***, who took every opportunity to explain how a hardcore band should be on stage and what we should listen to off stage. We were upset with Brian D. for making us carry his pseudo-political newspaper around and his unending need to use sign-language to preserve his delicate voice for his half hour speeches between songs. We were upset with the double-talk and horse-shit of the music-industry sneaking into punk and hardcore. So we said “fuck it”. We loaded our stuff into the Vort’n Vis while hearing Patrick tell tales of the legends that walked there before us and how lucky we were to stand in a rotted building. He told us the names of bands who had graced the world with a performance on the Vort’n Vis stage (oddly enough all of the bands contained Damien Moyal [‘Culture’, ‘Shai Hulud’, ‘Morning Again’, etc.]. We were underwhelmed to say the least. The ‘magic’ of this room seemed to be another set of typically embellished and fabricated suburban straight-edge lore. I made my mind up that this place was just another shitty club.

But that was before the crowd got there. As kids started to gather and get together inside and outside the club something different happened. It seemed as if everyone who came into contact with one another stopped to say ‘hello’ and exchange some conversation. Between bands it was the same and after the show the same thing. It was then that I realized the Vort’n Vis wasn’t just a venue (because in the end the building didn’t matter). It was a community of folks who did everything and anything they could to help touring bands.

I felt like the truth of the matter is that we were having a shitty tour but in cities like Ieper, Gent and Amsterdam the punk community made things great. What I wrote is all fact. The Vort’n Vis wasn’t just a building where some bands played. It was a community of people that got together to support touring bands. Long after the doors of Vort’n Vis are closed, the bands and the building will never be as important as the community of people who made it all possible.

Mike ‘Apokalypse’

We played the Vort’n Vis on October 12, 1997, and then again on October 31, 1999. Traveling in Europe and being exposed to independent, collectively organized spaces like the Vort’n Vis was tremendously important to my development as a person. As Lieve says about me, that the most lasting result of my involvement with the DIY underground is a lifelong commitment to anarchism, and if I hadn’t seen spaces like that all around the world, it would have been much harder to imagine that a world without capitalism and authority could be possible. I still remember the drink-tickets, a pirate currency proclaiming “Independent Republic of Vort’n Vis”.

Looking back, the main thing that strikes me is how much gratitude I owe to so many people. Lieve, who set up that show, Patrick, who booked our tour, Bruno, who housed us, the members of the bands who made us welcome, everyone whose volunteer efforts kept the spaces open and made the shows happen – most of those people had no particular ideological affinities with us, and none of them ever made any money off us (not even the ones who were trying to make money from hardcore). They helped us out of the kindness of their hearts. In return, we had only our poverty, confusion and self-destructive emotional problems to offer, loosely translated into an obscure form of art. I hope that life has been as kind to all those people as they were to us.

Seeing the entry in the Vort’n Vis guestbook from Dan, my old bandmate and best friend, stops me in my tracks. Please understand, Dan didn’t kill himself because he had psychological problems – he was struggling with depression because he was a beautiful, sensitive and sincere individual in a society that crushes beauty and sincerity. What happened to him could have happened to any of the members of our band, and the rest of us owe our survival to others’ generosity. Let’s make a world that no one would ever want to leave.

There’s a lot more to say but I’ll stop there for now. Thank you, friends.

Brian D., ‘Catharsis’

Those were some hard, depressing times back then. We lived on people’s couches, office-spaces with no running water, squatting at some kid’s grandma’s house while they were gone… but somehow we scrambled and got the cash to roll bare bones. I remember feeling pretty bummed on a lot of shit… It’s no ones fault I suppose but things didn’t go as planned.

As for this show… I remember people coming up to us after our set being confused and happy or confused and bummed out. Asking “Why would you do this?…punching your face?”… “Why did you not play off the stage?”, “Why did you brake this glass?” Apparently my jumping from the stage to the floor at any given time – people didn’t understand how we feel our music and go with it I guess. But everyone was friendly and we enjoyed the DIY atmosphere.

Pretty sad we are still accused of theft. Our reputation for living free and being black sheep bring many false accusations. Ha, too bad thats the life of a ‘Gehenna’ boy – LOL.

It’s very cool and caring you have put this together. Thank you

‘Reno’ Dean, ‘Gehenna’

Catharsis Gehenna VV‘Catharsis’ & ‘Gehenna’ at the Vort’n Vis (photo courtesy of ‘Reno’ Dean)

 excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 97-10-12 - (book C) Catharsis

VV 97-10-12 - (book C) Gehenna DeanVV 97-10-12 - (book C) Gehenna Mike

VV 97-10-12 - (book C) Facedown

VV 97-10-12 - (book C) Sektor

VV 97-10-12 - (book C) Sjaab‘Sjaab’ of ‘Sincerity’ (Deinze)

additions wellcome!…