This Interview was also done last year (2008). In the meantime Frightener has disbanded. The only thing I'm really corious about is if the second full length they talk about will be released sometime.
To start, who's Frightener? Since when are you making noise and what have you released so far? Are there any other bands some of you guys play in?
Rhys: Jack and Sam wanted to start a band that sounded like Integrity, Ringworm (etc). Rhys moved to London from Perth, Western Australia in 2006 and wanted to play music. Rhys started jamming with Sam and Jack. Steve and Dearlove joined later. We released a demo, LP, split 7'' and recorded for a second LP. We’ve disbanded as Rhys has moved back to Australia, Jack has moved to Rio and so on. Steve played in ABANDON SHIP up until a week ago. Sam plays in HELLBENT DIEHARD. Dearlove plays in DIRTY MONEY. Rhys plays in EXTORTION, DEFEAT, GRIEVING MOTHERS, ROCKY SOLAR SYSTEM, FIST & CHIPS,CHRIS MAINWARING IS DEAD and GRANNY BASHERS back in Australia.
I'd like to know how the scene is in England right now and if there are any bands that have similar influences like you.
Rhys: Fuck, I don’t live in England anymore. As someone who existed on the periphery of the scene over there, I would say it's EXACTLY like anywhere else. There are the pro-active people, and then there are the slack cunts that expect shit to be handed to them. The only real difference is, there seems to be a higher population of apathetic people in England, as it is an intrinsic part of their culture as a whole. Not to sound pious or anything, but I moved from the other side of the world, worked 6 days a week in a shitty job, ate bad food, partied 4-5 times a week, took loads of drugs, drunk my body weight in warm beer, paid high rent and still managed to play/practice weekly in 4 bands and tour Europe, the UK and America in under 2 years. Meanwhile most British bands rarely leave their fucking lounge room/computer screen.
You released a split 7" with Pulling Teeth and you were on tour with them only a few days ago. How did this connection come? And how was the tour?
Rhys: Jack met Dom at the god-awful ‘’Ninja-Fest’’. Ninja Fest is a bogus hardcore festival that is nothing more than an attempt by the uncutous promoter and the egregious people running the Camden Underworld to make lots of money. From that initial rendezvous, we have toured the UK and US with Pulling Teets.
The US tour was a fuckin trip brah, as we spent weeks in the midwest and the deep south. What can I say about trailer parks, guns, knives, cocaine, cheap booze, skanks, freaks, crack-whores, records, driving, rats, driving, stitches, driving, the hells angels, nazis, Mexicans, Viagra, Valium, bars, crime, random-hellholes, conspiracy theories, the pentagon, international terrorism, fights, smashed bottles, preservatives, bus trips, squat houses, no sleep, hard floors, headaches, uunatural sex and maximum ass-kickery that has not been said before?
Next questions are about lyrics and stuff, so it would be cool if someone who's into writing those could answer them. Quite a lot of your lyrics deal with topics from the Greek mythology, what is that makes it so fascinating for you? Would you say that those myths can be used as metaphors for today's problems and feelings?
Rhys: Jack is busy climbing trees in Brazil. Maybe this will help him lighten the fuck up and stop him pontificating about magic cards, Ben-Hur, X-Men, Dungeons & Dragons and similar fantasy-related shtick.
Jack: My mum is an archaeologist so I grew up around all that stuff. I love stories, I think that myths and legends by and large are great when you take them at face value and don't go around burning people at the stake for not taking them literally. I used ideas and stories from Classical civilisation as I find that stuff a hell of a lot more interesting than derivitive Biblical twaddle, besides which, Greek myths are harsh as fuck and contain more blood than most other myths and legends. I think a lot of myths from Greek times are still relevant because they deal with almost eternal precepts but at the same time I think they're all open to interpretation. Daedelus is about my opinion of Icarus. At school you get taught that they both went flying, and because Icarus was reckless, he ended up dead, the moral of the story being 'Don't fly too close to the sun' etc. From my perspective, Daedelus grew old and died heartbroken, whereas his son actually did what he wanted, though he died for it. I think I am rambling now so I will stop.
The lyrics in general are very negative and written from an inside perspective, would you call yourself a depressed person? Or do you use writing as an outlet to get rid of those depressing feelings?
Jack: I used to suffer from depression. I hate depression more than anything else in the world. I think that society as a whole revels in depression and unhappy feelings, in fact large segments of our economy are built around making people unhappy, 'curing' them of it and then repeating the process. I think people who revel in being unhappy are by and large utter cunts who have never really had to deal with depression. I originally wrote a lot of songs as a vent for anger at this situation, but in the end I was venting at myself for my own failings and personality flaws. Self criticism works in mysterious ways.
Listening to Frightener is like listening to a Caterpillar which came alive and is slaughtering people, so what I want to say, the music is unbelievable brutal. Could you imagine to play something much much less brutal? Is the intention of Frightener to play as hard as possible or could you imagine that there could be some melodic elements on future releases as well?
Rhys: That is a very interesting analogy. Have you watched Dune recently? The intention of the band is and has always been to be as brutal, heavy and violent sounding as possible. There are some slight hints of melody in 1-2 songs on the next record.
Speaking of releases, are there any planned releases? And when will you tour old Europe again? You did tour Europe already, didn't you?
Rhys: We played Trashfest plus 2-3 other shows in Europe. Dirty Money plays in Europe all zee time. I wish we could have toured Europe more.
What's your favourite track on the Guillotine LP?
Rhys: Daedelus. Very necro.
Who did the artwork for your lp? I think it fits the music perfectly, and it reminds me on early UK and Swedish Hardcore records, so that's pretty cool.
Rhys: Jack did it. I guess he was going for that cold, austere imagery to match the music.
Jack: The cover is one of the makeshift morgues from the Srebrenica massacre.
I guess Frightener is not a fulltime band, so what are you doing for a living besides the band? Oh and, where exactly do you come from? London?
Rhys: The band was based in London. Sam is an audio-engineer and blazes zoots. Jack works in the papers and practices various martial arts. Dearlove works in sales and wears 'clusive garms. Steve works at a production company and combs his hair. Rhys works in an office and works in an office.
Your top ten English Hardcore records?
Rhys: Discharge - Hear nothing..., Rudimentry Peni - Death church, Heresy - 13 Rocking anthems, Voorhees - Spilling Blood..., Disorder - Distortion to deafness, Chaos UK - Chaos UK, Sacrilege - Beyond the realms..., Amebix - Monolith, Sedition - Earth Beat, Warwound - Demos, Antisect - In darkness, fuck, and a million more....
Ok, last one! It's for a survey I'm doing, where's the best place to read a fanzine? What's your favourite fanzine? If you'd like to add anything, come up with that now, thanks a lot for your time and effort!
Jack: We have an LP coming out sometime this year, dunno any details, me and Rhys recorded our parts before we left the sinking ship like the rats we are.
Rhys: Best place to read a fanzine is where you are when you have absolutely nothing else to do of any importance. The best fanzine is Distort fanzine by a mile. Thanks for the time. Chainsaw Safety and A389 have thousands of our records left.