I did this interview for the now disfunct German skateboard magazine Boardstein, but since I don't know if the interview got really released in the last issue they did, and if so it was a very shortened version anyway, I decided to post the unshortened version here. Of course they haven't released a new record until now, and the split with my band is still on hold, but they recently did a Europe tour with At Half Mast, which was cool, as far as I've heard.
Chris: OK, I’m sitting here with Daniel and Benni, may you please introduce yourself, who you are and what are you guys doing in Even Worse.
Daniel: (laughs) That’s so fucking stupid!
C: Do it!
D: I am Daniel… hmmm… (laughs again)
C: And you do the vocals.
D: …am 22 and do the vocals.
Benni: I’m Benni and I play the guitar.
D: Delete that with the age if Benni isn’t doing it as well.
C: It was planned to have Brandon here with us, too, but he’s at work right now. And you (to Daniel) and Brandon are the two guys who are left from the very first line-up, if I got that right. But now you’ve been playing with the current line-up quite a long time, so who’s in and do you still like each other?
D: In the band’s also Danny on drums.
C: Who’s sticking drum sticks in his eyes.
D: Who’s sticking drum sticks in his eyes, but we’ll come back on that issue later if you like. Next to me is Benni and Brandon is playing bass. Should I start to list ex-members? Wouldn’t make much sense I guess…
C: No, that would take too long. But the line-up’s solid the way it is?
D: The foundation’s done, yeah.
C: If I compare your first Demo to the recordings for the split LP (with The F.A.) I realize sound-wise quite a big progression. How would you describe that progression?
D: I’d say, from shitty to awesome. The demo - we still were quite young at that time and more influenced by trashy Hardcore stuff. We just thought the main thing is playing fast, nagging vocals and stuff like that. And now, well, you grow older and we wanted to carry other influences in, not only speed. That’s it basically. We wanted to stay fast, but at the same time progress, because everybody listens to more than fast stuff only.
B: But of course we’re still fast.
C: And which new influences came?
D: (thinks for a while) Vader!
B: Our music definitely became darker. And harder.
D: Yeah definitely. During the song writing process for the split we found ourselves in a real development phase, and brought a little bit of everything into those new songs. The new songs have more breaks, and are more pissed. I think “pissed” fits better than “dark”, because “dark” is more this cry-baby-hardcore-stuff, we’re more like “no, everything sucks”.
C: Would you say that your motivation to create music and go on tour has changed over the last years?
B: I feel way more motivated in general. Also at rehearsals for example, there’s just much more going on now. When we write a new song now, it just flows faster than earlier on.
D: Yeah definitely. Earlier on we often fucked around on one single riff without getting a song.
B: A riff with three chords!
D: Haha, yeah exactly. But now we’re all totally productive. I think, because of motivation and playing shows and stuff like that, that’s a thing that has definitely changed. In the past we played just everywhere, it didn’t matter where, and were completely fine with it. I mean, basically we’re still fine with that, but when you start to compare yourself to other bands, which are up for maybe a year, and those bands can play where there want and get hyped everywhere, and we’re still creeping around and still have to really work hard to get our tour dates complete and fixed, that’s when I realise that I really do care about it all, and that it is more than just “well, whatever, I don’t care”. I mean we’re putting time and money in it as well.
C: Well, there will always be bands that get quite a big dose of hype, primarily due to the internet. The question remains, if you like that or not.
D: So so. Most of the time it’s justified I guess, sometimes not, I don’t want to name any bands now.
C: What do you think about the fact that there are bands, mostly from the USA, that just have a demo out, and go on a full Europe tour with that? Do you think that this is a good thing, that also small bands get the chance to play big tours, or do you think that the quality of touring bands suffers because of that?
B: I think it fucking sucks. Big time. We, as a band, haven’t had the chance until now to see a lot of Europe, only Germany. But those bands… I don’t even know where they get the money from, do you know that Daniel?!
D: (laughs) No, I don’t know that.
B: Do they pay everything themselves? I think it sucks.
D: I think it’s mainly because of hype. A lot of bands only play standard music, there are copies of copies of copies, and those bands still get hyped, that’s so fucking lame to some extend. Then there are these kids who say “yeah, that’s the new shit”, and you just think that all this stuff was already done in the 80ies or 90ies, and get bored by everything.
B: Of course it also depends on how long you’re into that certain type of music. Because the kids that start to get into that shit by now really get into it by listening to the current bands. And only because of that many of those bands are successful.
D: So, to get back to your question, it all depends on the band. There are some where I think it’s really justified, and others where you just get turned off by.
B: But there’s definitely more bullshit coming over that sucks, then bands I like.
D: It’s all a question of taste.
B: Yeah, of course.
D: If it would be a new Death Metal band you’d like it.
B: No, probably not. The scene’s getting completely polluted by all that myspace crap.
D: When you start to occupy yourself with all that stuff you start to realise how meaningless most of it is. Most of the new bands are done by young kids, they hop on a rolling train and do exactly the same, write some songs with “positive” and “yeah” and “we have this and that inside”, I mean that gets boring pretty fast.
C: I think it’s even worse (ha-ha) if a band is always doing what’s hip at the moment, always hop onto the latest trend and modifies its sound that way.
B: (enraged) That’s the reason why I hate Schweinfurt! Because of that I hate all the local kids here, I mean, those kind of kids are probably in other cities as well, probably even more than here, but that’s exactly their thing. They only rip others off, have no own opinion about nothing, they don’t deserve to live, no shit.
C: Another thing that totally sucks these days is that there are rarely US-bands touring Europe on their own and maybe take a smaller European band as support with them. Most of the time there are packages now with three or even more bands that nobody can pay anymore. The only ones who can afford those packages are bigger promoters, who also have to raise the entrance. In addition to that, I don’t want to watch five “main acts” at a show.
D: Yeah and the bad thing about this is for example what happened at the Have Heart/Bane/Ceremony tour last year. Have Heart was the shit on that tour, and although Bane is doing that shit for whatever more years, they got kinda ignored on most dates, as far as I’ve heard, and everybody was just sucking Have Heart’s asses. And basically it’s just lame when you have to pay 15 Euros for a show with three US-bands, when you only want to see one of them.
C: On many of your shirts, stickers and stuff like that you have the slogan “the strongest of the strange”, is there any connection to that skate video?
D: Yeah, for sure. Basically, there is this skate video called “The strongest of the strange” by Pontus Alv, that guy’s just incredible, and the video is maybe one of the best I’ve ever seen. And at the end of that video there are spoken words by Charles Bukowski, which are sooo good. And we just took it from that, because it fits so well. We even called a song after that, and after the release people kept telling us how good that song is, and the intro of it (where there are some of the spoken words as well). So I begun to use that phrase everywhere in designs and stuff like that. And it just fits. I mean, it fits us especially.
C: Topic skateboarding, are there any further connections to skateboarding?
D: Three of us still skate. Danny has tried it, but he always tries everything and stops soon afterwards. Brandon is the one who skates the most and hardest of us. He’s our mini ramp ripper, who destroys everybody and himself. When we’re on tour we’re always afraid because of him, ‘cause he always tries new tricks, and of course he slams from time to time. But he just keeps skating all the time, until he’s just a bloody mess, but he keeps skating anyway. He’s pretty tough.
C: So when you’re on tour you always have your decks with you?
D: Yes, definitely. Everybody except Danny.
B: Yeah he always “forgets” it.
D: Exactly, he always “forgets” it. He’s more into sticking drum sticks in his eye.
C: Daniel you have designed skate decks for Little Wheels, haven’t you?
D: Yeah, Little Wheels, that’s a skate shop ran by Bernhard Küppel, he also has a homepage http://www.litte-wheels.com. And he just asked me to do a few designs for him. And I just agreed with him, I didn’t like the old designs anyway, so I just thought about doing some good ones. I asked him what he wanted to have, and he was into skulls and some crazy shit, and since I can draw skulls while sleeping, I did it. And now there’s a series out, limited to 250 pieces, and it looks awesome.
C: Yeah, that’s true.
D: And of course it’s good wood as well.
C: Are there any cool spots in Schweinfurt you should check out when you come here?
D: Well, we got a new skate park last year. Actually it’s a funny story; all the kids permanently complained at the mayor’s office that there is no proper skate park. And the city was complaining all the time about skating kids, because they would destroy everything and shit like that. Then all the kids started to get active, collecting signatures and so on. Finally, a skate park was built by IOU Ramps under the Max-bridge. The problem is, and I am not the only one who’s saying that, that the park is really boring. I mean, there are enough kids riding it anyway, but a lot of kids keep their distance. There are mainly banks, and a mini ramp. The mini ramp is pretty good, actually. It’s quite a street park, quite smooth, but it gets boring pretty fast. Besides that we have a Plaza here, which is quite cool for street skating, with a lot of flat, a small set of stairs, really cool. And for some people the Stattbahnhof is still the spot to skate. It’s really small, just a small quarter and a real lousy funbox, but people like to skate it anyway. And around the city, in all those small suburb towns, there are loads of parks, but nobody rides them, besides maybe some small rollerblading kids who fall on their asses and can’t breathe afterwards.
C: What are your upcoming plans with the band?
D: We had planned to prerecord a full album this summer.
B: Of course we haven’t done that until now.
D: Right now we’re writing the songs for an album, maybe around 14 songs, and we’ll try to get at least the prerecording done until winter. And then we want to get it released as soon as possible.
C: Do you already know who’s going to release it?
D: No. We’re looking for labels. Good labels. Not those kind of slacker-labels. So if anybody… (stops talking for a while)
B: Just shut up.
D: No, we don’t have a label yet. This time we definitely want CD and vinyl, because a lot of people keep asking us for CD’s. Besides that we plan to release a split EP with Goldust. Like I said, if there are labels that like us just drop us a line, we’re nice.
C: Ok, so would you please tell the story of Danny and the drum stick?
D: One second, I’ll just get the bag. (Leaves the room and comes back with a brown paper bag). This is the “Bag of Dullness”. We played with our side project DetöNation in Nuremberg and in the backstage area there was this brown paper bag lying around. And that fit the head really good. But of course there weren’t holes for the eyes. And usually, if you are a normal thinking human, you would mark the spots for the eyes, pull the bag off your head, put in some holes and put it up on your head again. Danny had a different opinion about that, he just left the bag on his head and applied a drum stick, right where one of his eyes was beneath. And we just watched that, completely fascinated and just thought, “no, he wouldn’t do that”. But he sat there, with the drum stick, applied it to his eye, and rams it in. You could see how the stick dipped in the bag, than dipped even a little bit deeper, and a hundredth of a second later you’d see the head yielding and jerking back. Of course everybody laughed his ass off, Danny lifts the bag from his head, and his eyeball was blood red, because the idiot just rammed a drum stick in his eye without even thinking about it. I kept the bag, just as memorial for humanity. That’s just “the strongest of the strange”. Although you could say “strongest of the lame” as well.
C: Ok, is there anything left you want to tell us?
B: Yeah, lock Niederwern (a small town near Schweinfurt) up, surround it with a wall!
D: Niederwern must burn!
(Now there’s a 5 minute monologue from Benni about the coffee drinking kids from Niederwern and why they deserve to die)
D: Well, thanks for the interview, check out the bands Goldust from Münster, Grace from Kassel, Tackleberry from Kiel and Deny Everything from Cologne, Germany has good bands, check them out, they’re good.
C: And Vader.
B: Vader from Poland dude…
Even Worse on myspace.com
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