Posts Tagged ‘Serene’

Introduction => 97-08-15&16&17 HardCore – The Next Generation festival

‘Thumbs Down’ (from Antwerp) played “youth crew hardcore”. If I’m correct the band consisted of Roeland De Keulenaer (bass; later replaced by Andries Beckers of ‘Diablo Blvd’), Ken (drums; since ’99 Benjamin Buschgens – later ‘The Setup’), Raf(aël) Balrak (guitar; later ‘The Setup’) and Steven Tuffin (vocals). They were also signed to Genet recs (Going For Gold 7” – with bassplayer Roeland – in ’97, No Retreat No Surrender 7” and Crossroads LP in ’99).

Barricada #2: “I was baffled by ‘Thumbs Down’ because I thought they resembled ‘Battery’. There was also a black person in the band, reminding of ‘Battery’s Ken Olden (even the guitar was the same). An even bigger surprise was when they played that great old-school ‘Bold’ cover.”

‘Thumbs Down’ (photo by Sergi E. Costa)

‘ODK Crew’ played old-school HC influenced by ‘Judge’, ‘Rise Above’, etc. They were from Oostduinkerke (Belgian coast-town). That year Hans (of Sober Mind recs) released a 7” entitled Old School vs New School. These guys were members of ‘Vitality’ (guitarist Bob Van Lierde & bassist Marc Paccou) and ‘Congress’ (drummer Ilja De Ceuleneire, singer ‘Micha’ Michael Pintelon). They reformed halfway the noughties with Lil’ Wayne (ex roadie of ‘Vitality) on vocals…

Barricada #2: “Boring old fast metal in the vein of ‘One Life Crew’.”

Metroschifter’ – from Louisville, Kentucky – did a first tour of Europe (22 days) with the band ‘Omaha’ (from Toledo, Ohio; with Dirk Hemsath of Doghouse recs) Dec ’96 – Jan ‘97. Drummer Chris(topher) Reinstatler (a.k.a. ‘The Hört’; ex ‘Transcend’) had joined the band because Mario Rubalcaba left. Mark Ritcher filled in on bass as Pat(rick) McClimans (ex ‘Endpoint’) was unable to go on the trip. But it was Brendan Bogosian who played bass on ‘Metroschifter’s August 1997 Euro tour. In June ’97 they recorded the Metroschifter 4 LP – “loud, distorted, mathematical rock”; post-HC – (released on Doghouse recs) and then came over to Europe again. The line-up here was Scott Ritcher (guitar/vocals; Slamdek recs; writer and graphic designer – kcomposite.com), Pat and Chris. Dec ’98 they came to Europe for the 3rd time; and a 4th time Dec ’99 (with Curtis Mead on bass).

Scott Ritcher (photo by Sergi E Costa)

Here’s a few words by Scott (from the zine Love, Sweat & Tears) on this:

Barricada #2: “They cleaned our dark ears and cooled the air in the hall.”

‘Intensity’, from Malmö/Lund (Sweden) played “fast, intense old-school HC à la Minor Threat”: Jonas Nilsson (guitar; later Mathias Blixtberg & Andy Dahlström, both also ‘Satanic Surfers’; works for Bad Taste), Rodrigo Alfaro (vocals; also ‘Satanic Surfers’; founder of the Putrid Filth Conspiracy label), Kristoffer Lind (bass) and Simon Ricci (drums; later Tommas Svendsen). At that time they had 2 albums our on Bad Taste recs (where Jonas & Rordrigo helped out – Bought And Sold (1996) & Wash Off The Lies (1998), and a 7” – Battered Soul – on Rodrigo’s label Putrid Filth Conspiracy. The band came back to the V.V. on 99-06-27 (because Bruno Genet recs had re-released their Bought And Sold album as a 10”)

‘Intensity’ (photographed by Sergi E. Costa)

Barricada #2: “Old school with vocals reminiscent of ‘Ignite’ but the music sounds more punk.”

‘Spirit Of Youth’ (Roeselare/Poperinge area; heart of the H8000 area) had played in there new line-up (their “second phase”, more new-school metal-HC) at the V.V. already (97-06-27). Dominiek ‘Dompi’ Denolf (guitar) & Frederik ‘Fré’ Denolf (drums), bassist Kris Casier of ‘Solid’ (who played on Source, recorded in May) was replaced by Sim Meersseman (of Strike One zine; later ‘Kingpin’) here, guitarist Vincent ‘Vince’ Theeten (a.k.a. ‘Tweet’, also Strike One zine) and Vincent ‘Marvel’ Merveillie (vocals; also ‘Resist In Pain’, ‘Lifecycle’). They would do 3 LPs: Source on Sober Mind recs (1998), a split with ‘One King Down’ ‎on GoodLife recs (1998) & Colors That Bleed on GoodLife recs (1998).

‘Spirit Of Youth’ (pic courtesy of Sergi E. Costa)

‘S.O.Y.’s ‘Marvel’ (+ ‘Lifecycle’s Sofie) (pic kindly donated by Jan Beckers)

Barricada #2: “A mix of metal and old-school. Their new album on SoberMind sounds quite good.”

‘Serene’ (from Gävle, Sweden) – Olle ‘Hård’ Johansson (drums), Petter Karlsson (bass), Fredrik Nygren (guitar), Klas Joakim Eriksson (guitar; later ‘Leiah’) and Anders Nähslund (vocals) – had been at the V.V. earler that year (97-03-30). ‘They did a split-7” with ‘Separation’ on Genet recs that year. Their LP Inward Flowering was released on the same label in ’98. “Melody-driven hardcore and screamo punk.”

Barricada #2: “The surprise of the evening. After some small technical problems, they got started… So we could fly off. A brutal emo band lead by a teenage singer who made considerable effort. Only a shame that the band didn’t talk that much.”

The band with silliest nick-names: ‘Lenny LadyLover’ Wouter Cael (bass), Bert ‘BabyNipples’ Guillemont (drums; also in ‘Liar’), Piet ‘Pete’ Cardoen (a.k.a. ‘Mousti’ or ‘Tripple Nipple’; guitar), Vadim ‘KarateKip’ Vandekerckhove (guitar) and Jeroen Therry (a.k.a. ‘KungFu Mike’ or ‘Morbid Mike’; vocals). Since they were from from “Beseloare”; Beselare, a village close to Ieper, they’d played the Vort’n Vis sevral times already (96-05-12, 96-08-17, 96-09-22). 1997 was the year Hans SoberMind released their 12”/CD Human Spots of Rust.

Barricada #2: “One of the spiritual fathers of the H8000 crew. [Oh irony!] Ultra-fast brutal metal with some aggressive dancing [see video], so we preferred staying outside where we felt safer (but it wasn’t that terrible).”

‘Blindfold’ did NOT play their last ever gig here at the ‘97 V.V. Fest. (see intro) Their set was recorded an released as Live At The Vort’n Vis on SoberMind recs. Mich Decruyenaere (ex ‘Fungus’, later ‘Hitch’) had started as 2nd guitarist; he’d already played on the band’s 1996 German tour. Most in the band were V.V. ‘shitworkers’ and practically the ‘house-band’ so they played their umpteenth set…

Wim ‘Blindfold’ (pic by JanCoert Toerse)

‘Blindfold’ (photo-shoot by Sergi E. Costa)

Barricada #2: “When hell passed away, we quickly returned inside since ‘Blindfold’, pioneers [???] of the hardcore in Belgium, started to play. The atmosphere was excellent: they played their most famous songs; music on the border of melodic HC and metal. Their performance was [NOT just yet] the last of the band’s six-year existence.”

‘Kindred’ was an SxE outfit from Limburg (metallic style of HC, often compared with ‘Unbroken’) with Jan Beckers (guitar) and Maarten Beckers (drums) – Jan was in ‘Acoustic Grinder’ (see: 93-02-27) & both in ‘Strength Of The Will’ (92-09-06 & 93-09-19) and ‘Churn’ (95-08-20); later ‘Enemy Of The Sun’, ‘Kabul Golf Club’) – Eric Sefton (vocals) & Walter Beckers (bass). Their earlier sets here (96-05-12 & 96-08-17) were with Raf Gielen playing 2nd guitar. The recordings for the LP on GoodLife recs (File 01) were done in October ’96 without Raf. The band was touring with the Americans of ‘Culture’ so there was a split out (on GoodLife recs) with tracks from ‘Kindred’s recording-session of March that year. (ad)

Barricada #2: “There were more people on stage than just the band: Belgian fans stood everywhere in-between the band-members. I couldn’t breathe so I went to out to gains some strength for ‘Liar’.”

‘Liar’ (UxJx – bass, Josh – guitar, Bert- drums & Hans – vocals) had recorded the Invictus album in Feb/March at Midas studios. There was also the split-EP with ‘Family Of Dog’ (a freebie with H8Z fanzine #5)…

Barricada #2: “Contrary to last year – when ‘Liar’ seemed to be very intolerant towards people – their performance had changed a lot and there was a new ‘Liar’ in front of us. Even the singer (‘Blindfold’s guitarist) seemed very sympathetic to me. An excellent clear sound and new songs gave the concert dynamics. The hymn Blade was sung along by perhaps all Belgians. I was so excited, the dancing was not so brutal and the band was visible from the back of the hall.”

‘Culture’ was a vegan straight-edge band from Gainesville, Florida that was active from 1992-1998. The line-up changed a number of times over the years. Stephen ‘Steve’ Looker wrote me he was the guitarist of ‘Culture’ when they were on tour with ‘Kindred’ in 1997. The CD entitled Heteronome (“chugga chugga HC”) and the Oath 7” that GoodLife recs marketed in ’97 was recorded with Steve (also ‘Morning Again’), Jason Dooley (drums), Gordon Tarpley (bass; also in ‘As Friends Rust’), Rich Thurston (guitar) and Damien Moyal (vocals; also ‘Shai Halud’, ‘Morning Again’, ‘As Friends Rust’) – the guys who were on this tour.

Damien ‘Culture’ (pic by JanCoert Toerse)

commodification…

Barricada #2: “They started with songs from Born Of You [1995 album on Conquer The World recs], followed by tracks from the split with ‘Kindred’. Towards the end, it got too hot on the stage: dozens of people packed together on a few square meters. They also played new things from the last mCD [Heteronome; which GoodLife released right before the fest] and when the microphone broke (it was astonishing that it lasted so long), they played the last song on this tour (They ended their summer-tour with ‘Kindred’ here in Ieper.): the older song Deforestation – the whole crowd sang and the vocalist could do nothing else than climb the iron girders that supported the roof, and watch the hell below him. Highlight of this Saturday night.”

Brob

I remember playing the Vort’n Vis in 1997 with ‘Culture’ on tour with ‘Kindred’.

Stephen ‘Steve’ Looker, ‘Culture’ guitarist

I didn’t do the first euro tours… I started the band but left shortly after we recorded the ‘Kindred’ split but currently I’m in ‘Culture’ again… Jason Dooley was on the 97/98 tours.

Joshua Williams, ‘Culture’

I played the Vort’n Vis twice with ‘Culture’ in both 1997 and 1998, and it was everything a hardcore punk show should be: sweaty, intense, crowded. I remember the stage being over-run with people singing along, and there was barely room to play. The height of the stage was perfect, the setting was perfect, the era was thriving. I’ll never forget those shows.

Damien Moyal

I remember I had to work and regretted I couldn’t stay. I do recall being very impressed by ‘Abhinanda’ [the day before]. It might be the day when ‘Vinnie’ said someone lost their clock and he’d found it: it was one of those giant clocks hanging on the wall… Vincent wore his giant nerdy specs. At the end of our set, I sang this song… Together In The Sand…? By ‘NoFX’…? No sure if it was then? We did so many gigs. And of course I a lot of had fun… Ah, and I assume there were loads of people sleeping at our house. My mom sometimes couldn’t open the door because our living-room was full of people.

Fred Denolf, ‘S.O.Y.’

Our show here is partly on the H8000 DVD. The venue was packed and loads of people were diving and singing along. The best time we ever played there. The video shows everyone from the scene standing around us really, all colleague’s bands. It’s shot from the rear of the stage, in the direction of the crowd…

Dominiek Denolf, ‘S.O.Y.’

97-08-16 was the first time we met the overly tattooed guys from ‘Endstand’. Great guys! We also hung out with the ‘Serene’ guys. I think we played another gig with them two days later at some small club. Awesome band! I think we were well taken care of at the festival but I don’t remember any details. I do recall that there was a disturbing number of pro-violence vegans everywhere. Guys with tank-tops, lots of muscles and a really bad attitude. And lots of Milk Is Murder shirts. It would surprise me greatly if any of them is still vegan today. They were just bullies looking for a fight, people who could just as easily have been nazi-skins or gay-bashers if they had grown up in a different environment. During our gig there was an extremely violent mosh-pit, where lots of people who had travelled a long way to see us couldn’t get near the stage. It was, of course, the well-muscled guys with shaved heads and tank-tops that were violent. I’m all for a little craziness in the pit but these guys were just nasty. Like entering the pit with a fly kick, hard. Idiots. Rodrigo, our singer, told them to calm down, or we would leave the stage. Anyway, macho assholes aside, the place was cool and I had a good time.

Simon Ricci, ‘Intensity’

That show is etched in my memory as the most intense show ever. The response and the commitment grabbed me by the throat. I still know that I looked at Vadim who was going berserk. Our sets weren’t ever quite long but I always gave myself completely. That time it was as if I could keep going, purely on adrenalin. I will never forget this! Thanks to the Vort’n Vis and everyone that was there that day.

Jeroen Therry, ‘Sektor’

That ‘Triple Nipple’ thing in the guestbook doesn’t ring a bell but it could be about me…

Piet Cardoen, ‘Sektor’

I remember the HC fest quite well; it was still in the ‘barn’. There’s a live LP from our show there. The shack was packed to the top of the roof, 35 degrees, people piled together and on top of these more people :-) Good times. I recall being mega-psyched about the fact that ‘Metroschifter’ was playing; I was already a big fan of that band.

Mich Decruyenaere, ‘Blindfold’

It was really super-hot that day, my lower lip was slightly lacerated because someone from the audience accidentally jumped against my mic. It was really wild in front and on stage. After the show I immediately got of the stage ‘cause I felt like passing out. Dead tired! It was also the lasts show of the ‘Culture’/’Kindred’ tour.

Eric Sefton, ‘Kindred’ vocalist

August ’97 was the only time I went out with ‘Metroschifter’; 5 weeks: Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic and England (but the dates in England got cancelled so we just hung out). The bassist at the time (I don’t recall who it was; Pat maybe?) had a family-emergency and could not go on that tour. I was friends with Chris (‘The Hört’) and he asked me a few weeks before they were leaving if I would like to jump on bass! I had to learn a bunch of songs real quick, and rush to get a passport!

Brendan Bogosian

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

 

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From the www… >>The Vort’n Vis Festival is one of the biggest underground fests in Europe and can be found in Ieper. It exists a long time already, I think from the eighties. It used to be in the club called Vort’n Vis but since two years it has become an open-air festival at the music-school. The fest offers us a lot of styles of hardcore like old school, NYHC, emo, more metal stuff; and combines big names with lesser known names. The big names this year were Ensign, Good Clean Fun, Stigmata, Grade and As Friends Rust. Convinced, Walls Of Jericho, Out For Blood and Shai Hulud were bands listed on the bill but who couldn’t show up in the end, pity… The weather on this year’s fest really sucked, lotsa rain… But that couldn’t stop the fun. The atmosphere on the fest was good but not as good as last years. There were no fights or something but some people seemed to enjoy fucking things up at the camping. A lot of people showed up. They told me almost 1.500 people on Friday, about 1.700 on Saturday and the same for Sunday. Also a lot of people decided to stay on the camping.<< (author unknown)

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Programme (full posts with photos of some bands playing are planned…):

Friday 18 August: Ensign (USA), Voorhees (UK), Reiziger (Bel), Out For Blood (Bel), Serene (Swe), Cast In Fire (USA), Building (Bel), January Star (Ger), Cataract (Swi), Lvmen (Cze), With Love (Ita), With Love (Ita), Ariel Kill Him (Swe), AmenRa (Bel)

Saturday 19 August: Grade (Can), Good Clean Fun (USA), Leiah (Swe) Sad Origin (Bel), Firestone (Bel), Withdrawn/Evanesce (UK), Knut (Swi), Born From Pain (Nl), Point Of No Return (Bra), Negate (Bel), Dawncore (Hun), Circle (Bel), Posession (Spa), 5 Day Get Away (Bel)

Sunday 20 August: As Friends Rust (USA), Walls Of Jericho (USA), Stigmata (USA), Length Of Time (Bel), Reveal (Nl), Standing Tall (USA), One Fine Day (Ita), Children Of Fall (Swe), Purification (Ita), Chispa (Ger), Inane (Ger), Course Of Action (Bel), Oil (Nl), Bobby Peru (Ger), Severance (Bel)

2000-08-18&19&20 rockstar badge

VV 2000-08-18&19&20 (book D) visiterAt least one critical visiter… “What are we all doing ???” ;-)

Some shots of the crowd & distro-stalls (source unknown):

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The ‘shit-workers’ in the shadow:

2000-08 kitchen-crew2000-08 catering

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‘Blindfold’ was supposed to play their “last show ever” but they still did shows, even toured during the summer, in ’98, their drummer Chatn informs. According to Hans their last gig was at ‘t Molentje in Kuurne. They recorded their live-LP (with 2 new songs only to be heard there) at the V.V.

Brob

97-08-16 Blindfold live @ VV cover97-08-16 Blindfold live @ VV back

We released our CD [Redeem The Monsters] at this fest but we didn’t actually play… Our singer Mark arrived with the first 500 copies, straight from the prsssing-plant and they were practically all gone in a day (sold to people attending and on consignment to various distros. We had to order a second pressing immediately. Crazy!

Sven Leys, ‘Rain’s guitarist

I ended up there with some SxE friends from Vienna (Daniel Eberharter of Eloquence zine), from Vienna (Austria), that were going to the fest. I was also friends with ‘By The Grace Of God’ (ex-members of the Louisville band ‘Endpoint’ [BTGOG had been touring earlier. They were already back in the states by August.]) who I think played the fest. They were on tour in Europe and I dragged along as van-duty, slacker, bad jokester for some shows. I toured with them on and off throughout the tour. We had a blast at Ieper and met great people. It was a nice meet-up of us all. I slept in the ‘loft’-area on an old couch. I had a giant necklace with a cock-ring on it. Good times! The venue was pretty unique in what I’ve seen around the world. It was impressive seeing the show set-up and so successful, especially with so many bands. The diversity in the punk-styles was evident and it was great to be apart of. There were New York style harcore, crust-punk and metal bands; and kids all hanging out.

Kevin Zelko; Wellfair? zine (also helped putting out ‘The Get Up Kids’ record)

97-08 Zelko & EberharterKevin Zelko & friends (Daniel Eberharter and Henrik from Stockholm)

I was at the Vort’n Vis with ‘Acheborn’… I have very good memories of sleeping in the park nearby in the festival. It was only us and another two people the first time The next year it was pretty full in there. The groundkeeper was actually so friendly that he almost didn’t let us go. A bit like in the movie Misery ;-) (Where a nurse takes care of an author that had a car-accident, in her house; and at the beginning she is all caring but then becomes this psycho who doesn’t let him leave her house, etc. We thought maybe he is all nice and then he won’t let us leave anymore…)

Here’s a few random memories:

There were 2 guys sleeping in the middle of the main square close to the venue because it was super-packed with people occupying every inch on the floor. We were walking past the main square when they were waking up and they were surrounded by market-stalls and people shopping. I guess they were too polite to wake them up to tell them that there is a market going on in their new bedroom….

There was this guy selling rare test-pressings of ‘Infest’, etc. for big bucks and American bands were spending a lot of money on it. I was sleeping at this guy’s house once on tour and he had hundreds of sleeves left and was making a test-pressing every once in a while. Power-violence hardcore capitalism…

And once I hitchhiked half way and was picked up by two guys from Munich at a highway-stop along the way but didn’t have a seat to get back. I didn’t really find anyone and at the last night there were four guys with a tiny car from Frankfurt that didn’t have any space as it was loaded with records that they were selling… Either way they squeezed me in and we all had records literally up to our nose driving for 6 hours or so. I think that was in the top 10 of the worst car-drives I ever had. but I guess that was the price to pay for going to the Vort’n Vis.

Christian Mix-Linzer (Outlet recs)

I was here aswell: I drove ‘Acheborn’. That was my first time at the V.V.

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

The persons (Jan & Jakub ‘Kuba’ Dušek of the sXe band ‘Balaclava’) that wrote a report in the Czech zine Barricada #2 mentioned that they got a discount on the admission-fee (a ticket for all three days costed 40 DM [20 Euro] – which was too much for them). The first day “of the three-day marathon” started about half past three. They spent the first (hot) night on the sand near the shore, and in the morning went skipping in the sea. They came back to the city and after lunch got ready for “the next round”. After day 2 they they left the hall “soaking in sweat and with torn earrings”, looking for a place to sleep in town. But there was hardly a place to lie down? “It’s not easy at all in this part of Belgium: there’s either cow-pastures and corn-fields surrounded by wire, or villages everywhere; but no forests where one can lay down one’s head.” After straying around for a long time, they found that single one place in the whole state and “slept the sleep of the righteous”. The last day started early right after lunch to get everything finished by nine o’clock… “Compared to the year before, there were fewer bands that took our breath. We probably also knew what was coming and the Belgian bands weren’t that big of a risk. But where else can you see so many wonderful bands and people together, find things you don’t know about, and especially to meet new friends and learn about European scenes. Beautiful memories…”

(full posts with photos of some bands playing are planned…)

[‘Natural Order’ & ‘Timebomb’ were not listed on the poster but they signed the guestbook. They didn’t play… Some bands got switched around… ‘Lifecycle’ was added to the bill last-minute.]

97-08-15: Instinct (Bel), Purification (Ita), Clouded (Bel), Endstand (Fin), Reiziger (Bel), Spineless (Bel), Facedown (Bel), Abhinanda (Swe), Veil (Ger)

97-08-16: Thumbs Down (Bel), ODK Crew (Bel), Metroschifter (USA), Intensity (Swe), Spirit Of Youth (Bel), Serene (Swe), Sektor (Bel), Blindfold (Bel), Kindred (Bel), Liar (Bel), Culture (USA)

97-08-17: Lifecycle (Bel), Acheborn (Ger), Starmarket (Swe), Deformity (Bel), Mainstrike (Nl), Rubbish Heap (Bel), Vitality (Bel), Congress (Bel), Morning Again (USA)

97-08 crowd-shot97-08 crowd-shot'crowdshots by Sergi E. Costa

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 97-08 - (book C) visiters Czechvisiters from the Czech republic; some of them wrote a review in Barricada #2

‘Roman vegan sXe legion’

militant… or hardline…?

VV 97-08 - (book C) visitersall sorts of visiters…

additions wellcome!…

 

97-xx-xx Locust & Jenny Piccolo (Vique)‘The Locust’ & ‘Jenny Piccolo’ touring-party (L => R: Al – Bobby – Chris – James – Jimmy – Justin – Vique – Steven); pic from the Swedish zine Handbook For Revolutionaries (taken by Axel Stattin)

This gig was organised by Joeri Hoste…

‘The Locust’ (from San Diego) played power-violence (“crazy, fast, noisy parts combined with ‘moshy’ bits; and screamy vocals”) with synthesizer-bits. Others described their music as “a mix of grindcore and mathcore” or “weirdo hype fastcore”. In the band at that time were: Justin Pearson (bass & vocals; ex ‘Struggle’, ex ‘Swing Kids’; founder & owner of the label Three One G), Dave Astor (drums; couldn’t tour Europe, one of the guitarists of ‘Unbroken’ – Steven Andrew Miller – replaced him), Jimmy LaValle (guitar/keyboards/vocals) and Robert ‘Bobby’ Bray (guitar/vocals). Their first release was a split-10” with ‘Man Is The Bastard’ (’95). Then there was a 5” split with ‘Jenny Piccolo’ on Three One G (‘96) and a 7” on Gold Standard Laboratories (’97)…

97-03-30 Locust (by Cathy B)‘The Locust’ (Bobby & Justin) live; pic courtesy of Cathy Bennett (photographer: Rudy Penando)

‘Jenny Piccolo’ was an “emo-violence” band from Santa Cruz (California) “cobbled together from the ashes of the band ‘Mohinder’…”. The guys touring were: Al Ruel (drums), James Fuhring (bass) and Chris Story (guitar/vocals). After the split with ‘The Locust’, they released the LP Information Battle To Denounce The Genocide (also on Three One G, ’97). They toured together with ‘The Locust’. Some of them later went on to play in ‘Yaphet Koto’.

97-03-30 Jenny Piccolo (by Axel Stattin)‘Jenny Piccolo’, photo courtesy of Axel Stattin (a young Björn Dossche looking surprised behind them)

97-03-30 Jenny Piccolo - James & Chris (by Petter Karlsson)‘Jenny Piccolo’ live (James & Chris), photo by Petter Karlsson (Erwin Van Looveren – R)

‘Serene’ (from Gävle) were Olle ‘Hård’ Johansson (drums), Petter Karlsson (bass), Fredrik Nygren (guitar), Klas Joakim Eriksson (guitar; later ‘Leiah’) and Anders Nähslund (vocals). They did a split-7” with ‘Separation’ on Genet recs in 1997. Their LP Inward Flowering was released on the same label in ’98. “Melody-driven hardcore and screamo punk.” They were back a few months later for the yearly fest (97-08).

‘Separation, a straight-edge hardcorepunk band from Umeå, were Axel Stattin (bass), Jonas Lyxzén (drums; ex ‘Abinanda’, later ‘Demon System 13’) and Lars Johan Strömberg (guitar/vocals). Before the above mentioned split-7” (recorded right before this gig), they also did a demo, and 2 releases on Desperate Fight recs: the EP/mCD entitled 5th Song (recorded Dec ’95 with José Saxlund from ‘Abhinanda’ on vocals) and a self-titled CD (recorded in ‘97 after this). José had quit ‘Separation’ to focus on ‘Abhinanda’ and his label Desperate Fight after the recordings for the mCD. This was their second time here (see 96-08-18).

97-03-30 Separation - Lars (by Petter Karlsson)Lars ‘Separation’, photo by Petter Karlsson

Brob

>> [‘Jenny Piccolo’] was comprised of some of the coolest and funniest people I have ever met, great touring comrades musically and personally. ‘Locust’ and ‘Jenny Piccolo’ were booked to tour Europe together. In retrospect the booker was crazy to bring us over. Both bands were unknown and were doing stuff that wasn’t really well-known or successful at the time. In Europe, people were heckling us for having synthesizers, odd haircuts and clothing that fit. At that time, a plethora of rehashed hardcore bands were touring there successfully. At our shows in Europe, we had old burn-outs, crusties, a shit-ton of hardcore jock-types and one night, some guy of ‘Doom’ who posted up right in front of the stage, shouting insults right until the first song smacked his old ass in the face. […] <<

Justin Pearson; in his book From The Graveyard Of The Arousal Industry

My band ‘Serene’ went on our first tour on Easter holiday of 1997. Up to this we had only done a couple of shows in the close surroundings of my hometown Gävle and it felt surreal to go playing in places I knew very little about. One could say that the Swedish punk/hardcore community in that particular time was held together by a consensus on a few political positions: Beat up racists, eat vegan, denounce sexism and be gay-positive. My band lived up to these premises. In retrospect, I can see something problematic in this. We were a band consisting of young heterosexual males, to some extent posturing as gays with the objective of showing solidarity with the gay movement. When we got to Belgium our reputation of being anti-racists, vegan, anti-sexists and gay-positive had travelled before us. The first three positions was a good door-opener. The fourth was… Well, the people we met weren’t gay-friendly at all, to say the least. We got threatened with violence and people confronted us with an attitude of “I’m OK with your band being gay and all that but you can’t sleep at my place because I don’t like guys butt-fucking all across my moms basement.”. This, of course, just made us push the gay-positive position further. Almost 20 years later I find it interesting to think about the processes that shape our identities and our communities. Political awareness is often raised experimentally, by trying things out and ‘taking a stand’ by appropriating other peoples struggles. And even though this support is done with good intentions, it is problematic since it is a very patronizing kind of support. The hardcore scene in Sweden in those days was full of what you could call privileged people taking a stand on issues that was outside of their own sphere of experiences. On March 30th 1997 we played the Vort’n Vis. I had listened to some stories from Axel from ‘Separation’ about the place being really awesome and had high expectations of visiting. I also knew that we were playing with people that had a history of playing in the band ‘Swing Kids’, who I highly appreciated. ‘Jenny Piccolo’ and ‘Separation’ played first. Our gig went down the drain since the drummer – out of some kind of defiance against those homophobic people we had met the days before – decided to play naked and therefore slipped his sweaty ass off the drum-chair all the time. It was fun. We ended with playing a cover of ‘Born Against’s Mary & Child and left the stage for ‘The Locust’. They were good! They did a quick set and I remember catching one of the syntheziser-keys that flipped off the keyboard. After the gig was done I remember taking off with the guitarist in ‘Serene’ to drink beer with two women that offered the band sleeping-places. I have trouble recalling their names but I think one of them was named Susanna. Their house was just outside a big field with remnants of trenches from WW1 and I remember sitting there in under the spring sun in their small garden getting the first experience in my life of feeling truly free.

Petter Karlsson, ‘Serene’ bassist

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 97-03-30 - (book C) Locust & Jenny Piccolo

VV 97-03-30 - (book C) Separation

VV 97-03-30 - (book C) Serene

additions wellcome!…