I've said it before and I'll say it again: Seed Of Pain are awesome, one of my favourite bands blablabla, they recently released a two song 7" on Cobra Records which is kind of a teaser for the new LP that is coming up. In the beginning they played music in the vain of "New School"/Post-Hardcore bands like BURN, 108 etc., from release to release they developed more and more into some kind of Post-Punk-Post-Hardcore-Post-Rock-Wave-Industrial kind of thing, which is very unique and: awesome. So here's an interview I did with Samuel, their guitarist.
Would you describe Seed of Pain as a pessimistic band?
I don't know. I mean, I can understand, if people see us that way. Especially, when they catch us live. We don't feel that it's neccesarily to thank the promoter on stage, speak out for certain values etc. The lyrics are mostly about personal and sociological problems, but they speak for themselves. And yes, we like dark music. Life - at least for me - is pretty boring and most humans I don't like neither. But on the other hand, you can have quite a fun time with us. We're not some Graveyard Goths. I sent some of the unmastered tracks from our upcoming release to some friends to ask them, what they think of it. One of the reviews we got is that the dark aspect of the music sometimes is a bit over-the-top. And even though, I normally couldn't care less about what other people think about our music, I can somehow understand this. Because, after all, it all just has to fit together the right way. And I really don't want to sound like a clichee.
We all know enough bands, trying too hard. Especially in the Hardcore scene. Upside-down crosses, some Illuminati-bullshit as well as one or two "Doom" bands, they came across on some messageboard. This pretty much seems to be all you need to start a new zeitgeisty band. Fuck that. Hopefully, we never get there...
So, bottom line: We may be a pessimistic band, I don't know, but we definitely don't want to force that image in any way.
Do you have an idea where this trend during the last years comes from? I mean, six oder seven years back it was hip to be into Nike Airmax und PMA and all this, now it kind of completely changed to a bunch of middle/upper class kids pretending to be as evil as possible.
I mean, I kinda lost track with a lot of new stuff. So I can't really say what's in and what's out. I just figured out, that playing Belgium or Germany, you almost every time play with the same kind of band, having the same image, topics and shirt designs. But I don't want to judge anyone. Six or seven years back, I've listened to BOLD and JUDGE as well. So, I think to change and evolt is something natural, especially while growing up. The only thing I ask myself is, why so many of them all change towards the same new style at the same time. It could all be a little more diverse.
Since the first time I've seen you, you've always done things different than other bands in that whole Hardcore-context. Your latest recordings can hardly be described as Hardcore anymore. Do you even feel yourself still as a part of the scene? Do you think that there is even anything like that?
Of course there is a scene, a network, a community. I can only speak for myself, but I'm really happy that I got to know some nice people through Punk music. On the other hand, I guess it's just the same with everything in life: You get bored, feel annoyed and begin to realise, that there is "something more". Like other music, other people, different points of view and so on. I don't see Seed of Pain as a Hardcore band. Still, most of the people listening to us, know us because of our Hardcore/Punk background. And it would be ridiculous to deny this. I don't really care, what kind of music people think we play, and I also have no problems if some Oi! Skin likes us. Though, matter of fact is: You will meet a lot of people during life without any clue about music. EVEN IN THE UNDERGROUNDxSCENE (I shit you not!)...
Are there people who are upset by your musical development?
Some! There could be more, though. But, we try our best. I reccently stumbled across a swiss Gothic/Industrial messageboard, where they were arguing about wether "true batcavers" might listen to us or not, since we also have some hard parts and after all, for them we are still a Hardcore band and not "real goths". Same with some Oldschool Hardcore Nerds. In they're eyes we're some sell-out-hipsters and whatnot. There are times, when we are frustrated about it, but mostly we enjoy our status. Or at least, that is what I do. Don't know about the others, since we hardly talk with eachothers about such stuff.
How can I imagine the typical SOP song writing process? Do drugs of any kind influence your song writing?
No drugs. A lot of songs are just ideas we get from listening to other music. All kind of music. Someone comes up with an interesting drum-beat or guitar effect. Mostly the outcome then sounds completely different than the initial idea. Sometimes we just fool around and something good comes to life. In the beginning of the band, it was mostly me who came up with an almost finished song and then tried to explain to everyone what they have to do. Luckily, this isn't the case anymore. By now, we're with six people. And who knows... maybe there are still more members to come. A lot of times, some of us just hang around in the rehearsal room and try out something. Then, it gets recorded on some shitty dictaphone and sent to all the comrades. Some other band member then may think, it sounds like crap, and then we start all over again. There is no classic way of songwriting in Seed of Pain, but most stuff gets put together in a very democratic way.
Drugs are bad. Stop the madness. Okay, maybe there were certain sessions....
Have some of you ever considered to play certain musical preferences in side projects/bands? Why did you choose to incorporate all these influences into one band, SOP?
Actually, there are other projects with Seed of Pain members like Evje, Youth+Laughter or Hollow Bone. As well as some more without names. The point with SOP is, once we started, we said to ourselves, that we would like to make constant progress. Even though, we didn't know in what way we would drift, it was an unspoken rule, that everything is allowed. Maybe we would have gotten more attention, if we would have changed the name with every release. There are people around who might like our new stuff but they won't even give it a try, since they think, we're a common Hardcore band. Or maybe we should have stuck with "new school 90ies hardcore", so at least we could get some shows... But nevermind, we like messing around with all this. I'm proud of my fellows, that we're still enthusiastic about music and that nobody of us is stuck in his niche. I'm pretty sure, that we will continue to make music for a long time. Without anyone noticing us. Just because we can, haha!
Why is it so hip these days to be into Joy Division?
Because, "classics never go out of style". I'm too young to say this, but still: Thinking of it, I can imagine, that the late seventies/early eighties had a similiar vibe in society comparing to the times we're living in. But yeah, it's obviously chic nowadays. I'm a big fan of Joy Division, and I think everyone who is interested in Punk music should at least know about the band. So, I don't think it's a bad thing. All those fancy boys and girls claiming to be huge fans probably don't even own records of 'em. They also won't know about other bands in the same vein. But that's okay. I don't exept people to be as enthusiastic about music as I am.
When did your enthusiasm about music start? Could you describe your personal musical development? What do you think is the reason that some people like you and me are kind of obsessed with music and everything behind and around, and others are just happy with listeing to the radio?
How should I know, why other people (don't) listen to music? I for example don't care about Soccer or video games. Why? I don't know and don't care. Music has just always been the biggest fascination in life for me. My father let me know about good music when I was still fairly young. A bit later I got to know some older dudes here in the area, who told me a lot about Punk, Hardcore and Metal music. I came in touch with bands such as SxTx, BL'AST or 7 Seconds. Later on I discovered all the good Revelation Records bands as well as the at the time almost dead New School Florida Mosh stuff. Besides that, I always had an open ear for other music styles, though most of the music didn't have an impact nearly as big as Hardcore and Punk music did.
The most music I listen to mostly today I still relate to the Punk-movement somehow (considering it's attitude and ethics). But some might see this different.
We got two records planned. One will be our second full length called "Red Suns". Two of the songs you can already listen to on our bandcamp page or on our 7" "Ruins of Men" out on Cobra Records. We recorded 10 songs for the album in January and are now busy with mixing/mastering as well as the artwork.
Then there will most likely be another - yet untitled - record with five songs we recorded just a week ago. However, we will have to rearrange some of the tracks, so we're yet far from finished. The five Songs definitely don't have anything to do with Hardcore or guitar music at all. I'd say it has a Industrial/Ambient feel to it. Personally, I've never been as exited about any of my own music as with this. Hopefully, it'll turn out the way we want it to sound.
We're currently without any record label and we're not really sure about this whole issue. Maybe we are going to release the new stuff on our own, since we're no "good selling" or touring band. Besides that, we have tons of ideas for the layout and most labels don't want to pay for all those great ideas we have, haha. I don't blame them.
And then, last but not least we might try to tour Europe, once the records are done.
What's the best thing about being in a band for you?
There are two things about it. For one, I just enjoy making music. There is no other thing in life that I've yet discovered, which gives me the same feeling. Currently, I pretty much work the least I need to, so I can spend the rest of the days and nights for jamming, recording or rehearsing with different projects and people. I know, this is basically a pretty hopeless cause and I don't feel like I may once earn a living off it, but I don't care.
Then second: I just have the best people around me for a band like Seed of Pain. I couldn't imagine anyone better. It's a pack of six idiots, all middlefingers up in the air and that's pretty much it.