Posts Tagged ‘Sincerity’

In 1997 the annual Ieper Rally took place June 27-29. Always a good time to stirr up some shit… Friday 97-06-27 there was the release-party of the ‘Spineless’ CD. ‘Satanic Surfers’ had been announced – another Genet recs promotion day … “Skool’s Out” – together with ‘Gwyllions’ for Sunday 97-06-29 but apparently that got changed around…

‘Satanic Surfers’, a melodic punk-rock band from Lund (Sweden), were at that time: Rodrigo Alfaro (drums/vocals; later singer of ‘Intensity’), ‘Tomek’ Tomasz Sokolowski (bass), Fredrik Jakobsen (guitar) & Magnus Blixtberg (guitar; also ‘Intensity’). They did numerous albums on Burning Heart recs & Bad taste recs but in ’97 Genet recs released a split-7” with covers (together with the Belgian band skate-punk band ‘Concrete Cell’). They were described as ‘NoFX’/’Bad Religion’ clones… ‘Intensity’ did a show at the V.V. on 99-06-27…

‘Pridebowl’ were mates of ‘S.S.’ and on the same label (Bad Taste recs). They played speedy, melodic punk-rock. The band consited of the Californian Aaron Goulding (vocals) and Henrik Nilsson (guitar), Stefan Glendell (guitar), Oskar Andersson (bass) & Martin Bodin (drums) who are all from Varberg, Sweden. In 1997 Genet recs released their LP Where You Put Your Trust. They did a one-week tour, playing three shows in France, a skate-festival in Italy and a couple of shows in Belgium.

Unsure’ (from Kontich) played catchy (skate)punk-rock. They were: Sam Van Meirhaeghe (vocals), Kurt Weckhuysen (drums), Hans Van Den Eynde (bass) and David Du Mont (guitar). Genet recs released their recordings: Buckle-Up LP (‘97) & Sunshine Lake CD (’98).

‘Family Of Dog’ from Deinze, had already performed at the V.V. on 96-09-22 and would be back on 97-07-12. They played “metal” (Steve Noyelle’s words). The band was: Bert Walgraeve (bass), Stijn Everaert (drums), Peter Staelens & Wim De Taeye (guitar) and Tom Claus (vocals; also sang for ‘Congress’ on their Angry With The Sun CD). They released a promo-tape in ’96, did a split-7” with ‘Liar’ in ’97 (Genet recs) and a self-titled CD (Midas prods, ’98).

‘Sincerity’ was another band (metal-influenced HC) from Deinze. Members: ‘Sjaab’ Frederic Chaboteau (vocals), Maarten Kinet (bass; later ‘Lifecycle’ & ‘AmenRa’), Bram Walgraeve (guitar; brother of ‘Family of Dog’s Bert Walgraeve), Fré(derick) De Vogelaere (drums) & Thomas Hauttekeete (guitar; also ‘Instinct’). Bram & Fré were later in ‘King Creole’… The band played 2 more times here (97-07-12 & 97-10-12) but they split up somewhere in ‘98…

Brob

‘Family Of Dog’ did indeed open for ‘Satanic Surfers’, together with ‘Sincerity’. Don’t have the flyer anymore…

Tom Claus, ‘Family Of Dog’

Hilarious that guest-book entry!!! That’s us indeed. All I remember is a decrepit, improvised wooden stage where jumping was ‘not done’.

Sam Van Meirhaeghe, ‘Unsure’

‘Sincerity’ was a band that ‘Sjaab’ and I founded with Bram Walgraeve; soon Frederik De Vogelaere & Thomas Hauttekeete joined. I have vague recollections of ‘Sjaab’ writing something in the guestbook but no idea if it was the day we played the Vort’n Vis. I do know that we played there another time [97-10-12] with ‘Catharsis’, ‘Gehenna’, ‘Natural Order’ and some more bands I forgot about. I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Family of Dog’ played then aswell; I saw them so many times that I might mix up some shows. It’s been a while after all. Anyway, we visited the V.V. quite often back then. I also rehearsed there with ‘Lifecycle’ (when I joined them after ‘Sincerity’ split up). Good & bad memories. But I have fond memories of that show with ‘Sincerity’: it was a band that I was proud of.

Maarten Kinet

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

Fredrik Jakobsen: “Fruitcake was more of an internal joke in the band.”

additions wellcome!…

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97-07-12 Lifecycle - SOY - FOD (no tel.)

Most of these (local) bands had played a month earlier on ‘Spineless’ CD release (97-06-27). Steve Lammertyn and ‘Lifecycle’s Steve Noyelle & Sofie Vantomme organised this one here (see flyer). According to the V.V. notes ‘xSchmitterSx’ (Stijn Desmyter from Oostnieuwkerke) was also involved. Michael Maes & Inge Cappoen attented the bar…

‘Family Of Dog’ were not local (from Deinze) and had already performed at the V.V. on 96-09-22. They played “metal” (Steve Noyelle’s words). The band was: Bert Walgraeve (bass), Stijn Everaert (drums), Peter Staelens & Wim De Taeye (guitar) and Tom Claus (vocals; also sang for ‘Congress’ on their Angry With The Sun CD). They released a promo-tape in ’96, did a split-7” with ‘Liar’ in ’97 (Genet recs) and a self-titled CD (Midas prods, ’98).

‘Sincerity’ was another band (metal-influenced HC) from Deinze. Members: ‘Sjaab’ Frederic Chaboteau (vocals), Maarten Kinet (bass; later ‘Lifecycle’ & ‘AmenRa’), Bram Walgraeve (guitar; brother of ‘Family of Dog’s Bert Walgraeve), Fré(derick) De Vogelaere (drums) & Thomas Hauttekeete (guitar; also ‘Instinct’). Bram & Fré were later in ‘King Creole’… The band played another show a few months later (97-10-12) but they split up somewhere in ‘98…

‘Spirit Of Youth’ had done a show at the V.V. in their new line-up (more new-school metal-HC) already. Guitarist Dominiek ‘Dompi’ Denolf, drummer Frederik ‘Fré’ Denolf and bassist Kris Casier (who had been in ‘Solid’ with the bros), recruited Vincent ‘Vince’ Theeten (also Strike One zine) on second guitar and Vincent ‘Marvel’ Merveillie (also ‘Resist In Pain’, ‘Lifecycle’) on vocals. ‘Dompie’ had tried to reform ‘S.O.Y.’ with originals Hans Verbeke & Jan Maelfait in ’96 but that didn’t work out.

D.S.A.’ were playing old-school NY Hardcore. Nico ‘Sientje’ Sinnaeve (drums; later ‘Retaliate’), Frederik Vanhee (bass; later ‘Retaliate’), Pieter-Jan ‘PJ’ Vandenberghe (guitar) and the singer was Davy Verhoye (on the 1st demo) or Maarten Verschaeve (2nd demo). They did a few more shows at the V.V. (97-10-25, 97-12-26 & 98-04-11)…

‘Fanta’s Farm’ was with Korneel Barbry (bass), Sim Meerseman (guitar; ex ‘Voices At The Front’), Stijn Dequidt (drums) & Jeroen Beyens (vocals). Steve Noyelle labeled them as “melodic pop/rock”. They played again on 97-09-19.

‘Sorehead’, another local (Ieper) band, had also been at the V.V. already (96-12-30 plus the one mentioned above) and would be here again 97-10-25. They were: Laurent ‘Lorre’ Peene (vocals; R.I.P.), Dries Verclyte (bass), Pieter Desmyter (guitar) and Pieter Derycke (drums). According to Steve N. their music resembled that of ‘Sektor’. The music on their demo sounded metal-influenced and the vocals were raw & aggressive. Jan Lazeure (guitar) might’ve quit for half a year… But according to Dries he’s always been in the band

‘Instinct’ already did V.V. shows on 97-03-01 & the one mentioned in the intro, and they would be back for 15/16/17 aug ’97: Hardcore – the Next Generation festival. Alex Dierickx & Thomas Hauttekeete (also ‘Sincerity’) played guitar (both were also playing in the new-school metal band ‘Eulogy’ with Tom of ‘Family Of Dog’), Vincent ‘Pit’ Maes sang (he was also in ‘Hundred Years Of Forgetting’, later ‘Rise And Fall’), Pedro Tallieu did the bass and the drummer was Tuur Delodder.

‘Lifecycle’, a ‘new-school’ HC band from the Ieper/Kortijk region (H8000 but not with that typical sound), had done their first gig at the V.V. a bit before this (97-06-27, the release-party of the ‘Spineless’ CD) and may more would follow. I believe at that time the band consisted of Sofie Vantomme (vocals), Karel Deweerdt (guitar), Steve Noyelle (guitar), Jan Volckaert (drummer of ‘Resist The Pain’; was stand-in a few times for Jan ‘Relle’ Verhelst ex ‘Convict’) and Jurgen Degryse (bass; later there were a few others).

Lifecycle logo

No idea who/what ‘Cult-T’ was…

Brob

I have vague recollections of ‘Sjaab’ writing something in the V.V. guestbook but don’t know if it was this day… We also played there with ‘Catharsis’, ‘Gehenna’, ‘Natural Order’ and some more bands. It’s been a while… We also used to visit the Vort’n Vis quite often. I also rehearsed there with ‘Lifecycle’ when ‘Sincerity’ disbanded. I certainly like to reminisce that show with ‘Sincerity’, a band that I was proud of.

Maarten Kinet, ‘Sincerity’ bassist

I believe that our singer Tom tooted along on a dilapidated clarion during a song and that our bassist put on a blond wig for the occasion… The usual ‘F.O.D.’ silliness.

Peter Staelens, ‘F.O.D.’ guitarist

I’m almost certain that we [Fanta’s Farm] didn’t play…

Korneel Barbry

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 97-07-12 - (book C) Family Of DogVV 97-07-12 - (book C) Family Of Dog'

VV 97-07-12 - (book C) Sincerity

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.

Brob

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: www.crimethinc.com

‘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.

Brob

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!…