1.Hello boys. Please introduce the band, and give your actual discography.
We are jan (drums), benjamin (guitar), dalle (bass), marcel (voice), and sven (guitar).
Releases so far: 1. our demotape “waiting for inspiration”, 2. we appeared on the compilation “about life in a dead world” by react with protest, 3. our 7” “wenn wir menschen…”, 4. the split 10” with the apoplexy twist orchestra, 5. another compilation on react with protest “emo armageddon”, 6. the split 10” with la quiete, 7. split 9” with shikari and 8. the follow up compilation to the “emo armageddon” called “emo apocalypse”. Besides that we took part in some more compilations with songs that appeared on one of our other releases.
2.You took part in an « animal rights » benefit compilation. I guess you are
vegetarian or vegan. Is this something important for you? Cause that's kind
of a subject not that much discussed in this tiny screamo DIY scene
Sven: Some of us are vegetarian, some are vegan. And you are right, “animal rights” doesn’t seem to be a number one topic anymore. Maybe it just became a normal thing and nobody feels the need to talk about it. But I have the impression that indeed less people are concerned about it – this and other social and political topics. If all the important contents, that were transported by the different means of the scene, would disappear, it would be a very sad development.
Actually, I don’t really miss lyrics that say “meat is murder”. They are good to rattle at some people’s opinions, but it shouldn’t be the end of the story. There’s much more to be thought and talked about. For example, what could be a possible way of living without exploiting animals. Veganism is an option for a small group of people. But can it be a model for “the perfect world” if everybody would be vegan? Is that possible or desirable at all? Because there are many other things to pay attention to. And in my eyes, living on a vegan diet shouldn’t be seen as the endpoint of a development towards “illumination”.
So communication about animal rights shouldn’t stop, but become more complex.
Benjamin: When I look around these days in our so called “scene” it’s scaring me a little bit to see that style and fashion replaced contents such as Animal Rights or Politics. When I started to go to shows there’s was a lot of things going on like information tables about different political, social topics or about Animal Rights. Such things got rare these days and it’s making me a little bit sad how this punk background of socially and political awareness just turned into a catwalk. This might sound like “it’s all been better back in the days” …of course such things have always been there but nowadays (and somehow especially in this “screamo scene”) it’s just getting more distance from what it once meant. People just barely care about such things anymore. It’s more important to know the newest screamo band or to have various pieces of the same vinyl record in different colours or ten different shirts of the same band to sell some on eBay for a lot of money…fuck that!!!
I’m vegan for over nine years now and it still means a lot me. When I think about it, I also could have done much more, like being more active or whatever. But it’s still the best way for me to live. It’s also about showing respect and TO NOT participate into a machine that’s making profit out of the suffering of other beings. Of course I know that veganism isn’t something that will change the world. It always has to be connected with different important topics. It’s really NOT the endpoint! And just being vegan doesn’t change anything at all. But at least it can be a first step.
3.When reading lyrics and explanations of the song « in the end...everyone
dies alone » I was feeling « fuck! that's my state of mind today ».Bored and
tired of a life where we are imprisoned in a scheme we can't escape. But
still I fight, still I try to make a difference. Are you more pessimist in
general? Or do you still believe that we can make a difference. Whether it
would be through music or any other way.
Sven: I can only talk for myself: In general I would consider myself rather pessimistic. But concerning your question: I don’t think we can make a plan how to change the world. I see the difference that we can make rather on a personal than a systemic level. We can change and develop ourselves (which I consider to be a major opportunity) and we can try to have some influence on our surrounding. Additionally, by political actions and engagement we won’t turn “the system” upside down but we could reach some modifications of it – however small they may be.
Concerning the lyrics of “in the end…everyone dies alone”: they were meant to be more general, more philosophical or existentialistic if you want. The pessimistic feeling is less caused by a certain scheme of life but by life itself, by the fact that finally life is meaningless and absurd. We live, we die, that’s all. And “in the end” we will always be alone with ourselves, cause there’s no way to completely share everything with anybody. To turn your words around: We are imprisoned in ourselves.
Certainly this is very pessimistic. It was a certain situation when I wrote it and I don’t always feel like that. On the contrary, there are situations when I feel that it’s almost possible to share everything with someone else – AND to be understood. Nevertheless, the general problem remains.
Benjamin: Concerning the lyrics, life itself always has been sort of a thing people deal with in order to make themselves an imagination why they’re here. Well, when I think about some sort of “sense” I always come up to the conclusion that we ourselves are the reason why we’re here.
I think changes can happen but only in little steps…work on yourself, change and develop yourself and people will get influenced by it or not.
A so-called revolution can take place by starting with your surroundings…
In the last couple of days there was a sentence I liked a lot:
Live together, die alone!
4.The song « revolver aka schall und rauch » is a song against the people
speaking a lot but not practicing their words in actions. I guess we all know
people like that. I see more and more resignation in people eyes. And
sometimes we would like to make the easy way and follow the crowd. Would you
develop your idea on the song?
Marcel: I´m neither a teacher nor a preacher...and i really dont want to be.
I wrote this song after i changed my life and after i had to make a hard decision.
At this point i had to choose if i want to keep on living, like my parents told me it would be the best way, keep on doing the job i learnt because my parents told me it would be better to have this one than to have none and and if i want to live in a ghosttown forever.
At this point i cancelled my job and moved over to another town, later i started another kind of education....and this time i am learning something i am really interested to.
I think i am able to say im happy today and thats where iam always wanted to be.
It started inside of my head and now its real......or better its almost real....it may sound not that special for someone else but for me it is.......and its was hard to get here.......
Thats all i want to say with the revolver lyrics.......its just like a conversation with myself....i said and im still saying .....stop talking start walking....stop talking..start...blabla
this song is not a song against these people or that people...its just the "everydaykick in the ass" i sometimes need....and would be nice if it could also be yours...but it dont have to :)
5.You have a sound particularly fast and heavy. Like a grind band with emo
melodies on distortions and political lyrics. Something hard, but with
complexities and a lot of stuff behind! From where comes your inspiration to
create such music and texts?
Sven: Inspiration can come from anything that touches you in one way or another. Those things keep you moving, keep you thinking, keep you living. Also our musical influences are widespread and can cover more or less the whole range of music that we actually listen to. Altogether, our music certainly still is “screamo”. In former times there were bands like orchid and jeromes dream that inspired us musically. Now I wouldn’t say it like that anymore. Instead, I think we found the way we want to sound, so things are just going their way… ah, I just don’t know how to put it in better words.
6.Germany is a big country but still you seem to be a couple of bands,
friends, and labels doing stuff together. Like you, Danse Macabre,
Trainwreck, React With Protest Records and many others. What's the relation
between all of you?
Sven: Plain and simple: it’s friendship. And we don’t get tired of stating that, haha. We love to meet those other bands and people at shows and to share time and music with them. Sometimes it feels like a better world that we are part of and that we create by being part of it. That doesn’t mean that this “scene” is so perfect. It’s just that there are some people like the Ulbrich family, where we feel good.
But there are also many other bands we don’t know yet, that share the same feeling with other people. Or well … yes, certainly it’s a network. More or less anyone is directly or indirectly connected to anyone else. And with some bands, labels and people we are closer and with others not - whatever the reason may be. But the important point is, that there is the possibility of a different way, of a community that is based on trust, sincerity and positivity. For us it seems to work so far.
Benjamin: I used to get to know a lot of people through setting up shows in different towns I used to live or through bands I used to play in. As Sven already said, it’s all about friendship but also about the diy-network…to help other bands out and to keep this whole diy thing going. In Cologne, where I live, it’s pretty hard to go to a show that cost less than 8 euro. We already did set up some shows here too but unfortunately it’s pretty hard to get a venue that doesn’t cost you a lot of money. But somehow we always find some alternatives which is great. It’s just so weird that a city like cologne doesn’t have an autonomous lead youth centre or something similar. But that’s actually a problem that exists for years. Fortunately, there are some nice people who also set up diy-shows here like Timo and Thomas from denovali records (be sure to drop them a line and/or check out they’re label…they’re both great guys: http://www.denovali.com).
Personally, I still enjoy setting up shows and help bands from different countries. I know how hard it can be to get some shows when you’re a probably not well-known band, so…but yeah, when you’re doing this for a while you can see all the connections: everyone and everything is connected in the one or other way. And it’s just good to know that you gonna meet so many people you already know when you’re on tour!
7.What are the next releases to come for the band. Tours, or whatever else?
Unfortunately it’s getting harder and harder to get the five of us together. We have less time for the band than before. But now we really want to start writing new songs. We’ll try to get enough material for a bigger release on our own, that means no split-record this time. But we don’t really feel like talking about it at this moment because so far we don’t have any song ready. Let’s first see how things develop.
A tour would be great too, though nothing is planned right now.
8.We find a lot of samples in your records which you don't use live. Are you
some passionate people about movies, picking up here and there some samples?
How do you do? It was even funny to hear a sample of « The Great Dictator »
by Charlie Chaplin, where he kind of speak German, even if he doesn't. It was
funny from a Germany band!
Sven: Why is it funny from a german band? I think it’s normal that we look critically at our history. This movie and this scene has a unique approach to Hitler and the “3rd Reich”. Certainly there’s nothing funny in this part of history, but Chaplin shows how ridiculous and pathetic Hitler and his way of acting seems from a certain point of view. After that we have to ask ourselves, why did people follow him? What mechanisms are shown in this fact? And how can we avoid making the same mistakes, using the same mechanisms, etc.?
Besides that, indeed I do like using samples. They can make a recording more complete, more varied. Also they can work as a mean to put a highlight on a certain topic. As lyrics they’ll never be complex enough to show the whole truth, but they are a way to catch attention in an entertaining way.
9.Louise Cyphre is part of those bands who like to play on the ground close to the crowd. What's the reason? The better connection with people or is it some
Sven: Hahaha, dizziness!! No, we’re not afraid of heights actually. But most of the times it just feels so much more intense to play closer to those watching. Music is a bigger pleasure if you share the fun with others. A one meter stage is like a border between the band and the audience. It makes sense when there are too many people watching, so that most of them wouldn’t see the band playing on the floor. But still it’s just more fun to be closer. I made exactly this experience at the last “cry me a river” festival (first day). It was hard to play with so little space, but it felt so intense to me …
Benjamin: That’s a thing I grew into when I started playing music or going to hardcore/punk-shows. It’s just amazing to play in a small room connected straight to the people. Playing on huge stages doesn’t let me feel comfortable to be honest. I just don’t like this “separated from the people”-feeling. Sven already mentioned this sort of “border” between the band and the audience and that’s exactly what I really don’t like. The whole atmosphere is just gone when you’re like five meters away from the people. Everyone should be able to take part when we play in whatever he/she wants…everything can happen during such an intense live show close to the people and that’s what I really enjoy! The band and the audience should get a unit and there shouldn’t be a separation…if you know what I mean.
I guess the best shows I’ve attended have been shows that didn’t have (at least) a huge stage or stage at all.
10.Do you often answer to interviews? Cause it seems that there're less zines
than before. Yes webzines have risen but they're less zines than what it used
to be. Did you read a lot of zines now and before? Are zines important for
you in the scene?
Benjamin: Since I play in Louise Cyphre (it’s almost three years now) we didn’t have to answer any interview as far as I remember. But before the others did answer some…
Well, to me it’s actually a little bit sad that there aren’t so many zines around in the hardcore scene nowadays. I used to and still read zines. But it sort of disappeared here in Europe at least. When I look over to the US, there’s a huge zinester scene going on and they’re doing a lot of things over there which I actually miss here and/or would like to see here too! But my friend Elena is doing a zines-mailorder and will open a new recordstore/vegan cafè/arts and craft-store here in cologne with nikita, britta and felix (CRAFTISTA, don’t miss this one when you’ll take a visit in cologne!) so there’s still something going on here…
Zines are a good platform to discuss, communicate or being a release for people who can easier write about things than putting things into words.
11. What's your opinion and feelings on the actual hardcore scene (whatever to sub scenes) compared to your opinion on it in the past ?
Benjamin: I have the feeling that everything is more separated…like there is no hardcore/punk scene in general but you find all these subscenes like emo, hardcore, screamo, punk, indie or whatever. I used to have the feeling that everything was more hold together once and there were more different people attending a hardcore or indie show for example than just the average “indie” or “hardcore” people, whatever that should mean…anyhow, it’s a sad development.
I couldn’t imagine to limit myself to a certain kind of music…
12.The band exist now for a while. Do you think you'll go on for years and
years again? Do you think you'll stay close and active in the scene while
Sven: I don’t expect “louise cyphre” to exist forever. Though, at the moment I feel very much how I love to be in this band. And we still have ideas for songs. So from that point, we could go on for a while. But we realize more and more how hard it is to find the time for the band. We grow out of being students and we all have our own lives and we live in quite different regions. It’s hard to get all of us together at the same time and the same place. We’ll have to see how things will be going in the future.
Besides that I also often feel how much I need this “scene”. I need to go to shows and meet friends that share this small world with me. I need to feel that there is this community, etc. (It’s mostly about what I said in question no.3.)
Benjamin: I really hope we can manage to let louise cyphre go on as long as possible. But it’s just really hard due to distances and time problems…but as long as we manage to write new songs and can play shows every now and then it’s great!
I’m just doing my practical year in a residential home for disabled people which is taking up a lot of time. I also have two other bands here in cologne, one with my roommate and a friend (PATTERNS) and the other band is with Stefan and Daniel from Yage as well as Marc and Jürgen from Reno Kid…but we still don’t have a name yet. So, having three bands is also taking up some time but it’s possible to manage it somehow.
Furthermore, as I already said, we’re also setting up shows here in cologne (feel free to take a look: http://www.myspace.com/caffeinekids) and this is something I really enjoy a lot too! And at the moment I can’t imagine not going to shows anymore or set up shows due to getting older. To me, age is just a number…
13.To conclude, and before leaving you with the final question, I would like
to thank the band for the interview and being on « Viva La Vie #4 »
compilation CDR I release on Heart On Fire Records. Hope to meet you soon
again in « Cry Me A River Fest » in Germany. Hope to see you in Liège next
year...When i'll make you play? Bye and have the final word.
Thank you! Haha, and we needed long enough to answer the interview, so that we actually already met at the “cry me a river”. We look forward to meet you again in Liége!!!
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