After consuming quite some decent red wine and quite some decent Iron Maiden records I've finally decided to do the world's first and only special about an infamous and notorious band called: The Facts. The Facts were a Hardcore band from Münster/Oelde (Germany), which only released a demo and split 7". So you may ask, there are thousands of bands that only release a demo and 7", what's the fucking deal? To explain that, I have to tell you a little bit about myself. After graduating from school I moved from the small village I grew up and lived in to Münster, which is about 800kms from where my parents still live. Of course Münster isn't a huge city, but it had (and still has) a quite vivid Hardcore (or more general: music) scene going on, mainly due to the fact that a lot of students live here. So one of the first bands I could get in touch with on a personal level was The Facts. Another interesting fact (LOL) about The Facts is, that the other band on the split 7" was a band called The Swords, which featured members of Ritual, a band every single Hardcore kid on the planet knows, or should, at least. The Facts basically broke up after their first real tour; their bass player Lars left the band shortly before, one of their guitarists, Manuel, during that tour. They finished that tour with Ritual's guitar player on bass if I remember that right. The bass player went to sing in my band, Goldust, The Facts' singer Marc had (and maybe has) various Hardcore bands, Manuel became a roadie for German's transitory indie band Madsen and later played a short time in a band called The FA, but that's already years ago. Ebbing and Waddim (drums and guitar) are still around, chances are good you've already saw them when they where on the road with Ritual.
What can I tell you about The Facts' music? Obviously it was heavily influenced by Some Girls and Unbroken; further influences probably were American Nightmare and Daughters. Their style of Hardcore definitely was fast. I mean, really fast, fucking pissed and it had that weirdo attitude bands like Some Girls had. But I'd say you download the one and only The Facts discography to get the picture yourself. Contained are the demo tracks, the songs from the split 7" with The Swords, five unreleased songs from the same recording session and the promo recordings they did 2006 after their disastrous tour, which weren't released as well. I'm not sure about the line up they had then, I guess Mark, Ebbing and Waddim still were in the band, but I don't know anything in detail. Thanks to Christoph for giving me those promo recordings, I think those are the best songs The Facts ever did. Another interesting fact about the pictures in this post: they were taken by Robert, who later played (and still plays) guitar in Goldust. The interview posted here was done for Final Expression Fanzine #2 by myself after the show where the pictures were taken, which took place at 3/11/05 at a show where The Facts supported Sex Positions at the Baracke in Münster.
Who still doesn’t know The Facts from Münster/Oelde should remedy this ASAP. At least if you’re into fast, true, emotional and modern Hardcore. I’m into it, how couldn’t you like a band that covers Limp Wrist?! So we did this interview after a Sex Positions show in the Baracke in Münster where The Facts were opening. The interview was done with Mark (M), Lars (L) and Manuel (MA) by Robert (R) and me (C). Shit talking galore, check it out:
C: Ok, what do you think of Sex Positions that played just before? (laughing)
L: I think we have the same opinion.
M: Well, I enjoyed watching them, but it didn’t knock me out or something.
R: Perhaps they still were a little bit tired.
M: Yeah they had a long flight and everything. (Manuel’s joining)
L: Hey dude, what do think of the Sex Positions show?
MA: Quite alright, but not like on the records. But I guess it’s hard to play it live like on the records.
R: The sound was a little thin I think.
M: Usually they have two guitarists, but one of them stayed at home.
L: I think there’s only one founding member left.
M: Who’s that?
L: The singer… no the guitar player… I don’t know. Well two days before the tour the second guitar player said he wouldn’t do it, he wouldn’t be into it anymore or something like that. Anyway, we wanted to talk about the show. I thought the dancing style of the singer was quite funny.
R: Would have fit to Righteous Jams as well.
L: Yeah but also to…
M: David Bowie. (laughing)
MA: David Bowie is cool!
M: He’s awesome!
L: Well, it was ok, but they’ll have to come up with little bit more.
M: They have another chance in Bremen; there they’ll play as well. I’ll check them out there for sure, too.
C: Ok, so if you’d tell me who everybody is and what he’s doing in The Facts?
L: I’m Lars, I play the bass and… I’m into the thoughts of the band as well.
MA: Manuel, guitar.
M: I’m Mark, the singer.
C: Manuel, you haven’t played in the band from the beginning, have you?
MA: No we started to rehearse together around January the first, because they needed a second guitar player. Because the song writing should evolve.
L: I think we’ve done that quite well. And we played our first show with you in Münster as well I think.
MA: No our first show was in Recklinghausen.
L: Yeah with the complete new line-up with Sidetracked and The Swords. Anyway, Manuel is a very good addition to the band… no, he’s even more, he’s really doing much more for the band.
M: And he looks good doing this.
C: That’s important as well.
R: For the appearance of the band at least.
L: A little bit of slutiness is definitely ok… (laughing)
C: And how have The Facts been running before Manuel joined?
M: At the very beginning The Facts only were two people, me and Waddim, I also played drums on the demo. Of course we needed someone to play the drums live, so Ebbing joined us, because he also plays in my other band Dead Man Walking, then I asked Lars if he’d be into it, and later Manuel joined us as well. Now we’re a complete band, we want to rock this year [he really said that…], get something done.
C: Yeah you’ve mentioned a 7”…?
L: We’re going to release a split 7” with The Swords, which is basically people of Lotus [which was pre-Ritual] playing some kind of Swing Kids–vegan mosh you could say, the record should be released by the end of April.
MA: More like May.
L: Yeah May, on Goodboys Records.
C: Who’s writing the lyrics, you? (to Mark)
M: Yes I wrote all the lyrics for the new 7”, at least of the three new ones, I wrote all the demo songs and five new lyrics have been written by Lars.
L: Basically we’re sharing that. If one of us has a cool idea we’re looking at it together, work on it, add something or erase something. I think Mark and I complement pretty good. I guess what we put down to the paper is worth a look.
C: The lyrics are quite emotional and personal, is that something you do intentional, that you want to write about stuff like that exclusively, or could you imagine to write about different things as well, politics for example?
M: We even have a political song on the new record; I think it’s really important to have political content in the lyrics. One song always has to be a little bit different.
L: The basic ideals are anti-homophobia, so you could say we’re homophile, go veg, v-e-g, vegetarianism definitely, the opinion about straight edge differs a little bit. Oh and although it’s no part of the lyrics we’re definitely anti-sexism. But the question was about emotions. It’s like that, I deliver a big part of the lyrics and… I couldn’t write about something else but things that affect me. I always try to keep it as complex and abstract as possible, so everybody can get something out of it, and I hint things pretty often. You wouldn’t find that latest suicide-chic trend openly in our lyrics. That’s nothing we want to support as a band. But in general the mood we want to get across is quite desperate.
MA: But I think we’re always getting put into that pigeonhole, suicide-scarify-core or something like that.
L: Yeah I even read the definition lately “…at the next arterial-cutting club” or something like that. I think that was in the latest Green Hell catalogue, for the new Suicide File record, “if you don’t have all the 7”s you can buy the LP and impress everybody at the next arterial-cutting club”, something like that. But that’s really not cool. Suicide isn’t something cool and shouldn’t be glorified.
C: Another question, your influences are quite obvious, you can tell by listening, the cover songs you’re playing are speaking for themselves I guess?
MA: What do you think our influences are?
C: Well stuff like American Nightmare, Some Girls definitely, Unbroken, bands like that. Am I right or completely wrong?
MA: Waddim and I are writing most of the music now, before that there also was a lot of Trash influences. The new songs are heavily influenced by American Nightmare and Frostbite, Some Girls, too, but good Rock music as well. I also listen to good Rock music and that influences me, too.
C: Ok, now a quite generic question, what bands have been the most important for you the last few years?
MA: I’ve been waiting for that question my whole fucking life!
C: Ok, go on then!
R: In the last five to ten years maybe.
L: I’m about to say Atomic Kitten, their break-up hit me quite hard…
(nobody’s talking anymore for a while)
MA: I won‘t begin, you’ll have to, I’m still thinking.
M: Should we do a top 5?
MA: Everybody a top 5.
L: Top 5… dude how long will that tape keep running?
C: Like half an hour or something.
L: Ok, let’s think about it some more…
MA: American Nightmare is definitely on top, I listened to a lot of Refused, hm, now I have to think again… Foo Fighters were quite influential, and besides that… at the moment I’d say… no I won’t say that. Please, you should go on, I’ll name two more afterwards.
M: Straight on top Guns’n’Roses, no contest. I grew up on their music.
L: Within the last five years?!
M: Oh, the last five years? Come on, let it be a little longer. Then, AN definitely, but to be honest that didn’t hit me that hard, I mean, was about time wasn’t it?
MA: It’s not about breaking up, isn’t it? Just about bands in general.
M: Anyway… Suicide File was hard, Panic… I don’t know. Got the records too late to see them live. Whereas Panic never even were here. [I don’t think Mark really got the question]
M: Yeah they’re coming, so I can check them out. And besides that Some Girls most definitely, awesome.
L: So it’s my turn I guess, first: Genesis. I love Phil Collins, Phil Collins is God.
R: You know you’re about getting stigmatised as a yuppie?
L: I don’t care! Phil Collins because Genesis was my very first CD on my very first CD-player. Second, pretty cliché, American Nightmare. Unbroken really blew me away when I first heard Absentee Debate around 2000 or something. Count Me Out was very influential for me, at least the last two years. And Texas Is The Reason.
MA: Ok, I still have Highscore to mention, I can’t forget them, because I love Highscore. And… hm…, I want something really old… it’s between Chain Of Strength and Judge, can I take both?
MA: Fits anyway.
C: OK, last question, what do you want to reach with The Facts?
L: We’ve been to the studio lately to record nine songs, three of them will appear on the split 7”, three or four, that’s not so sure yet, we don’t know yet what will happen with the rest of them.
MA: We’re also on a sampler on Horrorbiz records.
L: Oh yeah, three songs right? [I don’t think that sampler ever got released. If so nobody bought it]
MA: Exactly. And then we want to release all those songs including the demo on a proper release. We’re looking for a label to do that right now.[Never happened]
L: Then we want to play lots of shows, not only regional ones, and to go on tour.
MA: Yeah, touring, I’ve got nothing else to do anyway.
M: We really wish to play a lot, to do a small tour for 10 to 14 days this winter, and we hope to get support from labels or booking stuff.
L: Hey we have a myspace profile, that will happen all on its own.
MA: Yeah, the world goes myspace. [those were the times…]
C: How did your connection to The Swords happen by the way? Because you’ve also shared the stage here in Münster a while ago.
MA: And before that in Recklinghausen. Well, they’re cool guys, we talked with them, Mark spoke to their singer in the parking lot, we said we’ll do a split 7” and that’s the way it was.
L: I know the guys from The Swords a little bit longer because of their other band Lotus, which is pretty cool, in the meantime they’ve become really good. The new songs are sooo good. I’m in contact with Phillip, their drummer, and he told me he had a new band, sent me a demo, and I think it’s incredible.
MA: The demo’s amazing. I’m curious about the 7” songs, they’ll be hard, those guys are amazing.
C: OK, if you have any shout outs, go!
MA: Be sure to check out Some Came Running [another breeding ground; their guitar player is now Goldust’s bass player, their bass player Nico did Blacktop Records and now plays bass in Storm and Stress, just to give you two examples], check out Short Fuse from Münster, who else needs to get checked out… November 13th from Hannover, cool guys definitely.
L: I think you always should take a close look at a band, what kind of people you have there.
MA: Support your own scene, not only US bands. Although we’ve just played for an US band haha. Support local bands not only hyped ones.
L: A little less Metalcore would be good, too.
MA: More Old School and Punkrock. More Reggae haha.
C: You’ve just mentioned hyped bands, which bands are overrated in your opinion?
MA: Justice. Just can’t understand that. Righteous Jams as well. I can understand the hype around Dead Stop and Restless Youth, they’re really good. And Short Fuse is good as well.
C: Ok, thanks a lot for the interview!
M: We have to thank you! L: How did you like the show today?
C: I think it was really good, no shit, one of the best shows the last months.
L: I was afraid nobody would show up because of Converge.
MA: I don’t know Converge, I only listen to Hardcore… THE BEATLES! I FORGOT THE FUCKING BEATLES!!! Fucking shit man, I’m waiting my whole life for that chance…
L: Just erase Chain of Strength. Or better, Chain Of Strength-Slash-Beatles.
MA: There’s no band that’s better than the Beatles, everybody who says something against the Beatles can fuck off out of my whatever fucking something.
C: So we’re done? Thanks, good night!