Poison Ruïn – S/t (2021)

Si può parlare di dungeon punk? Forse, ma prima di tirare conclusioni affrettate proviamo ad andare con ordine.

Un fulmine a ciel sereno. Un ascolto che prende le sembianze di un’escursione in territori musicali che all’apparenza hanno poco da spartire l’un con l’altro. Un viaggio che può apparire a primo avviso confuso, privo di senso o addirittura pretenzioso. Poi, in realtà bastano pochissimi minuti immersi in questo S/t album del progetto Poison Ruïn per accorgersi che le cose stanno diversamente, che a volte l’azzardo ripaga e che ci troviamo al cospetto di un disco estremamente ispirato, profondamente originale e attraverso da una vena sperimentale convincente, come non se ne sentivano da parecchio tempo.  Le dieci tracce che incontriamo su questo omonimo lavoro di Poison Ruin sono caratterizzate da continui saccheggi e incursioni razziatrici in territori musicali completamente diversi, un sound polimorfo in cui differenti anime e influenze si incontrano e trovano terreno comune in un tappeto sonoro e in un mood riconducibile all’universo dungeon synth; proprio quel dungeon synth che sembra poter fagocitare qualsiasi cosa in ambito underground ultimamente e che ha trovato tantissime incarnazioni e declinazioni degne di nota, basti anche solo pensare alle notevoli pubblicazioni dell’italiana Heimat der Katastrophe.

Tornando a capofitto nei meandri e nelle sfumature di questo dungeon targato Poison Ruïn, sono tante le anime diverse che si scontrano, si intrecciano, spesso rendendo difficile comprendere come sia possibile farle convivere in un’unica proposta in una maniera così convincente e addirittura godibile. Mac, mente e braccio dietro il progetto Poison Ruïn, ci riesce in maniera del tutto inaspettata al punto da lasciare sbalorditi e ammaliati come fossimo preda del canto di una sirena in un mare burrascoso. Un lavoro che, come un avventuriero in terra di frontiera, tende in maniera costante alle contaminazioni e alla fuga verso territori nuovi in cui proseguire il proprio viaggio e la propria visione, passando senza inibizioni futili dal punk rock degli albori al post punk variegato da venature deathrock e atmosfere vagamente gotiche. Ma anche incursioni improvvise in territori dominati dal primitivo heavy metal britannico e addirittura veri e propri agguati inaspettati e apparentemente fuori luogo alla ricerca di quella dimensione ritualistica e infernale degna di certo raw black metal degli ultimi anni (Sacrosant). Tutte queste incarnazioni sonore trovano libero sfogo all’interno di un sound a cui fare da filo conduttore appare chiaro essere da una parte certo primitivo punk di scuola britannica così come, dall’altra la costruzione di atmosfere e scenari affidata alla componente dungeon synth, soprattutto per quanto riguarda intro e outro dei vari brani. Lo stesso artwork di copertina, per via della sua dimensione misteriosa e oscura, evoca nelle nostre mente scenari e immaginari tipicamente swords and sorcery tanto cari alla scena dungeon synth.


Si può dunque parlare di dungeon punk, si o no? Forse non esiste una risposta univoca una volta che arriviamo al termine di questo assurdo viaggio accompagnati dalla conclusiva Hell Hounds, dunque lascio a voi decidere se a senso definire il sound di Posion Ruïn con tale fantasiosa etichetta. Forse è presto pure per parlare di dischi dell’anno, ma sicuramente questa prima fatica in studio del progetto Poison Ruïn rimarrà per molti mesi nelle cuffie e nelle orecchie di molti di noi.

“Make punk a way of protest again!” – Interview with War//Plague

This summer I wrote a long article about the Minneapolis hardcore punk scene that was published in the zero issue of Benzine, a punx fanzine created by some individuals from the Milan hardcore punk scene. The idea to write that article was born after the police murder of George Floyd and after the riots that crossed and burned the USA during the summer months. The publication of that article allowed me to get in touch with War//Plague, one of the most interesting crust punk bands in the Minneapolis scene and one of my favorites. I recently asked Leffer and Lutz a series of questions, covering a variety of topics ranging from revolts against racism and police violence, to the idea of punk music as a way of protest and political movement. Right now I can’t find the right words to explain you how happy and proud I am to have interviewed War//Plague, especially because we all share the idea that punk is and must still be a threat, so I’ll just leave you to their answers and wish you a good reading.

This summer, after Floyd’s brutal murder by police and in the wake of the raging riots, I wrote an article titled “Minneapolis Burns, Fragments of the Minneapolis Hardcore Scene,” starting first with the title of the Destroy EP “Burn this Racist System Down.”I wanted to ask, what can you tell us about the current hardcore punk scene in Minneapolis? What differences do you notice between today’s punk scene and that of the past in your city?

Leffer: Ever since George Floyds murder, life has been a bit unstable, yet the community is strong here in Minneapolis. Life has come to a stand still and a lot of people are in survival mode with the pandemic, etc. So punk life and energy has been redirected to the current state of affairs here. No gigs or gatherings but protests are constantly happening and that’s how many are coming together to give a sense of community and strength.

Lutz: The current state the punk scene here is a bit fragmented, but it’s still going strong. There just aren’t a lot of places to play and with the pandemic, no one is playing out. We’re all still on lock down for the most part, but hopeful things will turn around later this year. However, I think the punk scene is more charged than ever.

When was War//Plague born and where did your name come from?

Lutz: We started in the spring of 2008, still seems like yesterday. The name was kind of the amalgamation of ideas, surprisingly it’s probably a more relevant name now then it was back then!

Leffer: Like Lutz said, it was 2008, right after PROVOKED broke up. Lutz and I wanted to continue playing music so we started writing new material. Finding a name took quite a while as we wanted to really think on our approach and the basic musical theme of the band.

What is your position on the uprisings against police abuse and structural racism in U.S. society and culture that followed Floyd’s murder? How did the hardcore punk scene of your city live those days of revolt?

Lutz: The spring and summer of last year was very intense in the city. Constant protest, helicopters, military presence, etc. Not to mention all the white nationalists and knuckle draggers that came into the city to start more problems. The police in this area have been a menace for decades, many of them are extremely racist and violent. The day the precinct burnt down was very surreal… the turmoil in the air was thick. Police in riot gear on the roof, blockades, smoldering ashes and smoke from surrounding building, protests, people looting for diapers, food, etc.

The city spent millions to fortify downtown prior to the Killer Cop’s trial. After months of promising to dismantle the police and make changes, the city council invested millions to hire more police. People are pissed off and fed up. But one thing I can say, that the media doesn’t cover, is that summer really brought the community together. Not just the punk community, the southside community as a whole. The punk scene is and will always be allies. Systemic racism is real in this country and I believe this fight is far from over.

Leffer: The cops and police union here are incredibly corrupt. The history of racism within the police ranks has been running for far too long and the community has had enough. George Floyd changed the world and especially this area of Minneapolis as people are simply fed up with the constant fear. Floyds wasn’t the first murder to happen under a corrupt and racist system, but his unfortunate death has shed a large spotlight on what needs to change.

We are located quite close to where Floyd was murdered and have spent time at the intersection where he was killed as it is a memorial now. When you go to that spot, the feeling of sorrow and tragedy is overwhelming. However, it also gives a sense of urgency that something must be done and done now.

How is the current social and political situation in Minneapolis?

Leffer: The socio/politcal environment here is very strong and constantly moving. This community thrives on coming together and making sure voices are heard. Protests are frequent and well organized, which spreads far and wide with many people coming together as the urgency to be heard is felt by all.

The down side to it, is having provacateurs from the outside coming in to harm the cause or make things worse. We had random groups of white supremists and other trouble makers travel into town to start burning down parts of the city and trying to blame it on the peaceful protestors. Thankfully some of the media caught wind of this and some were caught, but the forces of evil are persistant with these types of people so the struggle continues.

Lutz: It is still very active. I expect momentum will pick up. Winter here is extremely cold and frigid. Though that has not stopped people from protesting. Not only are there protests against the racist system that has enabled these police to get away with murder, there are protests against the Line 3 pipeline going on. These oil lines break and poison the water. This also breaks treaty with the Anishinaabe peoples and will cause more climate change.

In a thought-provoking interview with DIY Conspiracy in 2019, you define punk as a Way of Protes and Political Movement. Would you care to elaborate on this approach of yours (which I totally agree with)?

Lutz: There are many different ways to protest. It can be throwing a brick through a window, but it can also be writing, music, art, etc. I think punk has always been a political platform for people that want to express themselves and go against the grain. Punk means questioning the norm, not conforming to the mainstream’s ideals and morals, etc. That in and of itself is a form of protest.

Leffer: Punk has been a political movement since its inception. It’s a form of protest and by raising your voice you want to be heard in a world that doesn’t listen. Punk is a also an educational tool. Personally, I learned more from a punk record at a young age than anything else. You learn about animal rights, free thought and working together for a better world.

What does it mean for you to play this kind of music and to be part of the punk scene?

Leffer: For me, it’s means everything. Punk and the punk community are in my blood and I wouldn’t be who I am today without it. I’ve met amazing people, played all over and travled the world all because of our passion for punk. It really is a driving force.

Lutz: Well, for me it’s a way to just let it all out. Scream and yell… get all that noise out of me. Use it as a way to put something out in the world that can inspire someone or change their point of view. Punk has been around for a long time now, some move on, sure, but that doesn’t mean give up the fight. You need to keep that rebellious spirit alive, keep dreaming and keep fighting. Otherwise, you’ve just given in to the system that oppresses so many.

Your last work “Into the Depths”, released a few years ago now, is a great work of riotous and angry crust punk. What can you tell us about that record? What themes did you try to address with that album?

Lutz: Thanks, glad you enjoy it! I guess the overarching theme of the record comes down to a few things like revolution, idealism, and internal conflicts. There’s a lot of songs that tackle the struggles with one’s self and the world’s problems constantly pushing its way into our everyday life. From war and capitalism to the mistreatment of others – treating people like they don’t matter or that they are just expendable machines. Basically, coming down to the fact that people can only take so much before everything boils over. The rich have had their time in the sun and really done nothing to contribute or help others, it’s time for everyone to get a piece of light. Yet you’ll regularly hear Conservatives and the rich talk about ‘trickledown economics’ and that the stock market shows a strong economy, blah, blah, blah… It’s all bullshit. Those are the fairy tales they tell people so they can keep making money while other starve.

Leffer: I feel that album is a reflection of our current world. We’ve written more intricate or mid-tempo songs in the past but this latest album was soley derived from the socio/political environment we’re in and it keeps getting uglier. So as long as it continues, we’ll continue the fight and to create rage and protest through our music.

Under what circumstances did the collaboration and split with Warwound come about?

Leffer: I was working closely with Ian Glasper (bass) of Warwound and through years of communication and friendship, it just sort of happened and both bands agreed on it.

Speaking for a moment of the purely musical side, which have been the bands that have influenced your sound since the beginning?

Leffer: We have diverse range of taste, but I could say a lot comes from a mix of UK crust/stench and old school Scandinavian hardcore punk. We do mix up some metal punk style riffs in our music but all in all we just write what feels good.

Lutz: So many, maybe too many to name. But I’ve been influenced by everything from Sepultura, Disfear to Killing Joke. Obviously growing up here, I was also influenced by bands like Misery and State of Fear. The Twin Cities scene over the years has had a big impact on me.

Minneapolis has a long and important history of protests and riots but also a very fertile hardcore punk scene. What do you think have been the most important bands that have kept this scene alive?

Lutz: Misery for sure, they carried that torch for decades. But I think a lot of great bands have come and gone, all of them contributed to the history of this punk community. I think we’re all antsy to get through this pandemic and hear what everyone has been up to.

Leffer: I agree with Lutz, MISERY definitely but there are so many. Minneapolis punk and those involved in the community around here usually are in it for life. It’s never usually been a trend or a fad but something more important in our lives. It also goes beyond the music, in regards to “bands”. There’s record stores, community action and venues to support others forms of politcal events, etc.

On Disastro Sonoro I have from the beginning shared Profane Existence’s famous motto “make punk a threat again”. Profane Existence is undoubtedly one of the most important historical realities of the Minneapolis hardcore punk scene, what is your relationship with this DIY project/collective/label?

Leffer: Most of the bands we’ve been involved with have been released off PE and have usually been a part of the PE collective through shows and other music related festivities.

Lutz: We’ve been involved in some form with PE for the last few decades. Provoked (our old band) put out some records on the label and the first War//Plague LP was on PE. At one point, the PE distro was in our living room at a punk house we all lived at, affectionately called the Shit Haus. We’re still friends with Dan, though he’s not really involved with PE these days, he still drives us on tour sometimes. Right before the pandemic hit, we played the PE anniversary show out in Pittsburgh at Skull Fest. Really fun time, saw a lot of old friends, met some new ones and Aus Rotten even played a few songs! It’s always cool to run into people you haven’t seen in over 20 years and they’re still involved and active in punk.

How are you experiencing the situation regarding the Covid 19 pandemic in the US? How has your life as a punk band changed at a time of such a severe health crisis?

Leffer: It’s been tough, but we’ve been able to keep somewhat sane through this process. We are constantly writing music, even if we’re not at band practice we write at home and even record guitar riffs on our computer and share them, so when we do meet up (once a week) we already have ideas of what’s next song wise. So the pandemic has actually been good for writing a lot of songs and finishing up our next LP.

The bad side of it, besides the vile and depraved system not taking care of it, is that venues and gigs are suffereing which a lot of artists rely on. It was a crushing blow for us when we had to cancel our tour with AXEGRINDER and to also play HAGL fest in Vancouver. We were really looking foward to touring again, but we’ll need postpone that until things are better. It’s always good to make sure people are safe during these times.

Lutz: Well… to put it bluntly, it sucks! But I know there are people struggling more, so you just have to roll with the punches and do your part to keep the disease at bay. There are a lot of conspiracy theorists in this country, not to mention the former orange-cheeto-wannabedictator, he really didn’t help the situation. For the most part, I think we are just trying to stay positive and active. I mean for the first like 6 months, we didn’t jam at all. We’re back to a regular schedule now, which has been great. We mask up and social distance. I think there is a sense of urgency in the new music we’ve been writing. We’re living through some historic times and I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet.

Future projects for War Plague? When will a new album be released?

Lutz: We’re working hard and have a ton of new material. So, I think a new album is definitely in the very near future.

Leffer: Yes, we’re working very hard to get this next album out. We were able to record a secret song for a future international compilation coming out later this year. Besides that, more touring and always more albums!

We have reached the end of the interview, so this space I leave completely to you, feel free to tell anecdotes or talk about anything you want! Thank you again for the time you spent answering my questions! Let’s continue to keep punk a way of protest and a movement of revolt!

Leffer: Yes, stay punk and stay active! Now is more important than ever to use what we have, and if that’s using your voice to scream, then so be it. Everything adds up and the more voices we have the louder we get. Thank you for the chance to have this interview and hope you and everyone else are staying safe in these uncertain times.

Lutz: Thank you for the interview, we really appreciate the support! I guess all I want to say is just keep up the good fight. Times are dark and they’ll probably get darker, but keep your head up, talk to your community, get involved, even if it’s just something small. Like I said, there are many different forms of protest, so do what you can. As much as it seems like the world in coming apart, remember there are tons of other people out there fighting hard to make a change. Depression during Covid is another pandemic I’m sure many are dealing with. Don’t bottle it up. Reach out and talk to people. There are a lot of assholes in the world, but there’s only one you and there’s a community out there willing to help. Cheers!


“Dis means war, Noise means friendship!” – Interview with Just a Nightmare Zine

Nightmare o reality? Dis means war! If you need your monthly ration of d-beat raw punk, Just a Nightmare Zine is the one for you, a real d-beat raw punk assault without mercy! This time I had a some long and in-depht chats with Alex (formerly active in Disease), the mastermind behind Just a Nightmare Zine, nothing better than a fanzine totally faithful to Do It Yourself and focused on d-beat and raw punk. In the past few months he has already published ten issues of the fanzine filled with interesting interviews with bands like Giftgasattack, Besthoven, Warvictims, Framtid and many, many more. Long live fanzines, long live Just a Nightmare Zine and let’s not forget that Noise means friendship!

Hi just a Nightmare Zine! I stumbled across your project recently and I must admit I was immediately fascinated by this zine. Can you tell us how, when and why you decided to start writing and printing a fanzine like this?

Hey, thanx for showing interest in this small D.I.Y zine.

Just A Nightmare wasn’t intentional. At one point in 2018, i decided to do a talk with a friend of mine, Per,  but in something like a more formal format like an interview. Although it was just a friendly talk. There was no intention this to be the start of something that’s called Just A Nightmare these days.
That’s why that conversation took 2 years till we are done. We would’ve done few questions, then totally forgot about it, then do few more and again forget about it. There’s a lot of different moods in that issue cause it was done slowly in 2 years time.
This will become the 1st issue of the zine that came out in June 2020 and will include the bands Per have taken part in, Giftgasattack, Warvictims, Martyrdod, Agrimonia, Kirai, Honnor SS etc..

As far as why i started, i’m not really sure, i think i’ve had on mind that every punk bands interviews are just a scratch at the surface. The same questions asked over and over again, kinda qeneric. I do love that as well, but i just wanted to dive a bit deeper and to get a glimpse of peoples lives.
Why  they do what they do, what was their life path, their struggles, the things they love and hate to do, and just their daily life.
So, it was never cause of the Corona, it was just the time to do it.

Why i decided to do it in a physical form and not digital? I’m also not sure.
Maybe as most of the things i do in life, if i can chose the easier or harder way, i’m always a fuckup and go with the harder one and put myself into more shit ha!

The name you chose immediately gave me the impression that it was meant to be a sort of homage to Disclose, but maybe I’m wrong. Can you tell us about the choice of the name of your zine?

Disclose and Kawakami are without a doubt an endless inspiration for me, no matter if it’s zine or some other project. The name came out spontanious as everything else in the beggining of this zine. I think its a nice reflective vision of the content that’s inside of it.

From what I could read and understand you define Just a Nightmare as a fanzine dedicated to d-beat/Raw punk in all its forms and incarnations. How come the choice to dedicate and focus on this specific genre of punk music? What were your first approaches with this genre?

When i was a kid the internet was not a thing back then, and in a thrid world countries it came even later then in the most of the rest of the world.
So when i was around 9 years old a heard Nirvana from a friend of mine older sister.
One day i went to a CD store with my dad and saw a Nirvana CD at the shell, i don’t know why i decided to buy it.
And thats how it started, the story with the music. After that, i kept searching for more and new ‘extreme’ music. I discovered bands like Exploited, Dead Kennedys, Disorder, Chaos Uk. As well as bands like Ramones and Clash, but i never liked them, although all the local punks were crazy bout em.
One day, one of my older punk friends called Savo gave me a Discharge tape. I can say that this was my first real encounter ever with D-beat. Then i bought the Final Blood Bath CD from a local record  strore. After that, the descovery of new dbeat badns just continued and i got more and more into it.
So i think this is the answer as well for  why the dedication of the zine for raw punk.

In the last years there seems to be a sort of fashion/revival of raw punk/d-beat around the world and often you end up getting lost among the many releases that crowd the scene. Which are your opinions about this explosion of bands dedicated to play “raw punk”? What do you think are the best recent bands playing d-beat?

D-beart raw punk was never a trend and will never be. Occasionaly there’s a wave of new bands every now and then which i think it’s great.The more bands the better no?  Time will prove which bands will last and leave a mark.
I think it’s really good when there are new bands making new noise.
I just don’t like when some make it out of joke and boredom and it’s not serious. Which can be noticed in their music most of the time. I do respect dedication and being sensire in what you do. Todays world gives opportunities for everyone to make their own part. So sometimes punk is made by people that are not punks and do not live it.
The more recent bands i like, some that comes on my mind right now are –  Physique, Zodiak, Hellish View, Kritik, Temor, Löckheed, Affect, Progress, GLÜ, Anti-Metafor, Detesto, Collapsed from Indonesia,  Burning//World, Better Reality, the one man project Forclose is great, End Result, PissSniffers,just to mention a few, i am also looking forward for a debut release of the Japanese ‘No’, and of course-the amazing Heavy fucking Nukes with Earth Crust Displacement!

You’ve already published ten issues of Just a Nightmare full of interviews with a lot of extremely good bands, how do you choose the bands to interview?

Yes, i decided to make it as a monthly zine. Since most of the zines comes out on every few months, why not to do something that will come out every 1st day of the month.
I wasn’t sure if that’s possible but time proved it is.
The goal that i made to myself as a challenge was to do 10 issues. So, that mission now is complete.
I do interviews with people/bands that i love. Everyone that i have done interview with have played in more then 1 band. So the zine covers every band that the person has been involeved with.

What aspects do you prefer to dwell on when you find yourself interviewing bands? Do you prefer to deal with more political issues or with more personal issues related to the more musical side?

I consider it all. Although the main aspect is the persons life i do the interview with . Since the kid days to very present today. So yeah, all aspects are involved, more or less, depend on that persons life. Obviously since we cover every band that the persons has been part in, music aspect in the zine is mostly covered.

What band do you dream of interviewing and publishing on Just a Nightmare? And why?

The one bend and person that i will never be able to do an interview with and i love to, is of course Kawakami and Disclose.

If you had to choose your favorite issue of the zine from those published to date, which one would you choose and why? And which interview are you most proud of?

Every issue is special cause every person that i have talked to is different. All of these people are different in their own unique way. No life story can be a bad or borring, quite opposite, they are all very interesting and challenging for me to do. That’s why i do it.
I don’t want to look at this zine in a way of achievement, cause for the people that have taken part in it is very personal. I just wanna look at it as a sensire punk work, those people have influenced me in one way or another.
I am just the one asking the questions. It’s the people that do the zine. It’s their story. I just put it on paper.
And they all have one thing in common and that’s punk. They are all true raw punk warriors!

When you decided to start writing and publishing the fanzine, were you inspired by any other punk fanzines in particular?

I was inspired to do this in a physical zine format cause that is the thing that i can most connect with. Punk has always had a connection and sharing through the zines.
But what really inspired me to do this in the very essence and the core of its meaning was the peoples life stories.

What does it mean for Just a Nightmare Zine to be part of the global hardcore punk scene? What does punk mean to you?

I would like to think that when I do something I love, I really put dedication and focus in it, and im really  glad that the small cyrcle of punks that know this zine, like it.  This zine is not a big one, it’s pretty much isolated and small.
But considering the content in it, maybe that’s just the way it should be. As the years go by, people has been changing and life gets different. Generations grow old and new younger ones come. It is the cycle. Everyone have their own opinion on what punk is for themselves. Some are here to stay, other just come and go.
Punk is sacred, it has always been and will always be. That’s the way I want to perceive it.
It’s the way I live, the things I do and why and how I do them, it’s freedom and understanding. It’s friendship, sharing, caring and unity.

What are the biggest challenges and greatest satisfactions you’re encountering in keeping alive a project that is certainly as challenging as Just a Nightmare Zine?

The possitive exciting challenge is to catch and do every issue on time ha!
I do understand that the talk we do in the interview is very personal, so i’m serious when we talk about delicate subjects or periods in these peoples lifes. The bad challenge is to cover expences the for printing it, post mail these days is fucked up even more then usual cause of Covid, but it’s not a reason to stop till i can meet end to end.


Point-blank question: what are your five favorite punk/hardcore records of all time? And what bands are currently out there that you think are really good?

For this talk that we have now these are the top 5 records:
Disclose-Nightmare Or Reality/A Mass of raw sound assault/Neverending war/Once the war started
Framtid-Under the ashes
Disaster-War Cry
No Fucker-Conquer the innocent.
Decontron S/TWait!? Is that already more then 5?!
Some bands that are great and i haven’t mentioned already, D-Sagawa, Dispose & Kajsajuntti, Disable, Absolut, Svaveldioxid, Ambush, Besthoven, Contrast Attitude, Cønditiøn, Singe & Tortur, B.E.T.O.E, Avslag, Hellish Inferno, Bipolar from Greenland(the only punk band from that country that i know off), Final Slum War.

If I understand correctly, Just a Nightmare Zine is a project intimately tied to the raw punk/d-beat band Disease. Can you tell us about what the Macedonian hardcore/punk scene is like?

Yes, you got it correct, I also take part in a band called Disease, and all of the members together with the vocalist of Born for slaughter are also the ones behind the band Angza.
Marce the drummer, also plays in Arlekin, and he and the vocalist Fixa both take part in Stagnator.
Spagi takes part in Transhunter and Goli Deca.

The punk scene in Macedonia at the moment is very small. No punk bands around. But at different points in time the scene was better or worse, so I guess these last few years we are in the worse period. Or the worst ha!
There’s been some really good punk bands in the past like New Police State, Tank Warning Net, Bloody George, FxPxOx, Disclass.
Today is different, there are separations between the crews which devided the scene even more, caused by some specific people.
But it is what it is.
I keep myself focused on the things we do, trying not put too much thoughts on the bad things in the local scene.

We have come to the end of the interview, this space is completely free and you can use it to write anything you think is valid.Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions. Long live Just a Nightmare Zine, make punk a threat again!

Thank you too Stefano for taking your time to do this.
Life is sometimes better sometimes worse, at the moment these are some fucked up times that we go through and none really know when or will this will end.
Take care for each other and stary safe.
Noise is friendship!
Stay Punk!

Disease, the d-beat raw punk band in which Alex plays!



Avamposti prima dell’ignoto

Ennesima notte di coprifuoco, ormai ho perso il conto di giorni che si somigliano tutti, come un lento cammino verso il patibolo. Il quartiere è deserto. Non che in tempi di “normalità e quiete” sia poi molto diverso. Ma più i giorni passano più questo silenzio spettrale si fa assordante, come fosse un vortice di voci che parlano un milione di lingue sconosciute. Nell’aria c’è qualcosa di angosciante ma stranamente confortevole, forse un sapore di sconfitta a cui sono già abituato. Siedo su un marciapiede freddo ad osservare la notte, riesco a sentire i miei mostri ancora intorpiditi che si risvegliano. Mi parlano, ma hanno ancora paura a mostrarsi completamente, a mettersi a nudo in mia presenza. Chissà dove si celano quando chiudo gli occhi, chissà in quali meandri della mia testa si coricano per riposare e darmi tregua. Eppure sono solo qui ora, fatevi avanti, nessuno vi potrà fare del male adesso. Mostratemi i vostri volti insofferenti, non dovete avere paura di me, forse in fondo sono anche io un mostro. 

Mi sento come se fossi l’ultimo uomo in questo fottuto paese di provincia uguale identico a mille altri paesi di provincia che prendono le sembianze di avamposti di frontiera prima dell’ignoto abitato da fameliche creature selvagge senza nomi. C’è ancora un ignoto da esplorare? Ci sono ancora creature libere e selvagge sconosciute ai nostri occhi mortali? Divago… Abbandonato senza nessuna casa a cui fare ritorno, senza nessuna meta da raggiungere, solo abissi in cui tuffarsi e annegare, solo incubi da interrogare ma che non hanno più risposte da darmi. Mostri fatemi compagnia in questa notte solitaria, la mia carne fresca è pronta per accogliervi e farvi banchettare senza opporre alcuna resistenza. Vi tendo la mano in segno di resa.

Ho appena intravisto una pattuglia all’angolo della strada, credo abbia finto di non vedermi, oppure questa tenue nebbia e la fedele oscurità che mi nasconde sono state abbastanza complici in questa fredda notte di marzo da evitarmi un incontro ravvicinato non gradito con questi cani da guardia di un mondo in cui anche le macerie son divenute merce. Il tempo scorre sempre più lento al punto che sembrerebbe non scorrere affatto. Nell’aria un vago quanto acre sapore di malinconia, mentre le mie mani tradiscono una paura a cui non sono mai stato in grado di dare un nome. Mi avvio verso le solite strade deserte in cui spero inutilmente di perdermi per sempre, a rincorrere ombre cangianti che percorrono sentieri che conoscono a memoria, con una domanda che mi rimbomba nella testa senza darmi tregua: <<Quante volte può uccidersi un uomo prima di non provare più alcun dolore?>>.


Ascolti che hanno accompagnato la genesi di questi pensieri e dunque consigliati per accompagnare la lettura:

Altar of Eden – Chimeras

Poison Ruïn – S/t

Zero Again – Out of the Crooked Timber of Humanity (2021)

Sarà il nome che evoca in maniera ingombrante e volutamente mal celata lo spettro dei miei amatissimi Rudimentary Peni, ma devo ammettere che gli Zero Again hanno esercitato un certo fascino su di me fin dal primo momento in cui mi sono imbattuto in questo Out of the Crooked Timber of Humanity, seppur non avessi la minima idea di quali potessero essere le sonorità in cui mi sarei imbattuto. Cerchiamo però di andare con ordine, partendo da inutili note biografiche. Gli Zero Again vengono da Bristol e tra le loro fila troviamo gente già attiva in altre band come Warwound, Grand Collapse e Regret. Passando al lato musicale, l’hardcore punk proposto dagli Zero Again è estremamente ricco di sfumature e influenze e le cinque tracce che ci vengono date in pasto senza scrupoli vivono di un’alternanza costante tra momenti furiosi e veloci e altri più lenti e cadenzati capaci di evocare sensazioni e atmosfere dominate da paranoia, impotenza e desolazione. Anzitutto lo spettro degli immortali Rudimentary Peni emerge non solo nella scelta del nome ma soprattutto nelle linee del basso (e più in generale in quasi tutta la sezione ritmica) che mi hanno riportato alla memoria in più momenti dischi del calibro di Archaic o Cacophony. Proseguendo nella vivisezione di questo breve quanto affascinante Out of the Crooked Timber of Humanity, ci imbattiamo presto in una serie di  rallentamenti che contribuiscono a creare quell’atmosfera apocalittica in cui desolazione, smarrimento e impotenza la fanno da padroni assoluti, così come nelle vocals dense di sofferenza e lamento che si insinuano nelle nostre teste fin dall’iniziale Tragedy.Death.Pain; la combinazione di questi due elementi riesce ad evocare in maniera sincera le primitive sonorità (post)hardcore dei Neurosis di lavori seminali ma ancora acerbi come Pain of Mind così come le atmosfere che chiamano in causa, anche se alla lontana, addirittura il fondamentale Souls at Zero.

Inoltre, se in certi momenti il sound degli Zero Again presenta alcune melodie (No One to Mourn) e accenni di riff che sembrano voler manifestare apertamente una sorta di riconoscimento nei confronti del post punk dei maestri Killing Joke o delle visioni apocalittiche di certi Amebix, in altri passaggi caratterizzati da toni più aggressivi e tirati si possono sentire perfino echi dell’hardcore dalle tonalità scure suonato da certi Tragedy. Come se non bastasse tutto questo spettro di influenze, ispirazioni e sonorità che convivono nelle cinque tracce di questa prima fatica in studio targata Zero Again, non manca nemmeno quel sapore tipico di certo anarcho-crust britannico che accompagna una traccia come la conclusiva Hope You’re Proud? e che in fin dei contri attraversa, in maniera latente, tutto il disco. Aspettando di poter ascoltare il nuovo Revert to Nothing, altro ep di cinque tracce che il gruppo di Bristol ha già annunciato uscirà a breve, godiamoci l’aggressività e la furia annichilente che ci travolgono senza pietà durante l’ascolto di Out of the Crooked Timber of Humanity, lasciandoci stesi al suolo, impotenti e inermi come la figura rappresentata sulla copertina.

Feastem – Graveyard Earth (2020)

Dagli anni 90 ad oggi la Finlandia è stata la culla di tanta musica estrema che ancora oggi fa parte dei miei ascolti e di tanti gruppi che hanno contribuito a  formare i miei gusti musicali. Da una parte il death metal col suo sound iconico, opprimento e oscuro, di band assurde come Convulse, Rippikoulu, Demilich, Sentenced (da cui ho preso il titolo di una rubrica presente su queste pagine), dall’altra certe band black metal di ieri e di oggi come i maestri infernali Beherit e i selvaggi quanto pagani Havukruunu. Ma oggi non si parlerà di tutto ciò, perchè la nostra attenzione sarà posta su Graveyard Earth, ultimo brutale disco pubblicato in casa Feastem, un vero fulmine a ciel sereno totalmente inaspettato visto che l’ultima fatica del gruppo finlandese era datata 2015! Con Graveyard Earth siamo infatti nei territori del grindcore più devastante e furioso, un grindcore feroce e spietato che affonda le proprie radici nella tradizione scandinava del genere, risentendo profondamente delle influenze dei Nasum e dei connazionali Rotten Sound, ma sempre con una buona dose di personalità e intensità che fa emergere il marchio di fabbrica proprio dei Feastem. Quindici schegge di grindcore impazzite e tritaossa che non recidono mai del tutto il cordone ombelicale che le lega all’hardcore punk vecchia scuola, soprattutto nell’attitudine riottosa, nello spessore lirico e nelle tematiche trattate; un sound quello proposto dai Feastem che al contempo non disdegna incursioni razziatrici in territori tipici di certo black metal, saccheggiando atmosfere oscure e glaciali (Spreading Darkness) e riffing (Terror Balance) che potrebbero riportare  alla mente il sound del metallo nero scandinavo, tanto di tradizione finlandese quanto svedese. Tracce come I Will Never Kill, Varta Ja Lihaa, In Isolation We Die o Mouth of Others spazzano via ogni dubbio sull’intensità, la brutalità e la furia devastatrice che porta con sè il grindcore dei nostri finlandesi, un sound robusto che sintetizza al meglio la seminale lezione della vecchia scuola del genere e le pulsioni più moderne. Il grindcore senza compromessi suonato dai Feastem in queste quindici tracce impazzite e brutali appare implacabile nella sua cieca ferocia distruttrice e avanza senza lasciarsi alcuna possibilità di salvezza e senza risparmiare niente e nessuno!

Graveyard Earth dei Feastem rientra senza ombra di dubbio nei miei dischi preferiti del 2020 e finalmente son riuscito a trovare il tempo per parlarvene. Una gran bella lezione di grindcore senza pietà ne compromessi, moderno, intenso e assolutamente devastante! Born to be Grind!

“Are We Not a Plague On Our Own?” – Interview with Plague Thirteen

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of asking a few questions to Plague Thirteen, authors of one of the most intense, dark and devastating crust/d-beat records I’ve heard in the last year. A record that I reviewed a month ago on these pages defining it “the perfect soundtrack of the pandemic nightmare“. An interview in which, talking about climate change, pollution, war and environmental devastation, Plague Thirteen ask us two fundamental questions, perhaps rhetorical but extremely relevant: are we not a plague on our own? Are we doomed?


We formed the band around 2019, myself and Geoffrey played in another band called LINK, unfortunately we split up after more than 20 years of playing due to various reasons, we had already the idea to start a new band and it was the right time to do so, Bjorn and Arthur completed the lineup, Bjorn used to be a former member of LINK a few years back, and he and Arthur were playing in a band called SORE who split up as well , we locked ourselves up in the rehearsal room and the result is PLAGUE THIRTEEN

The name PLAGUE THIRTEEN has different meanings, who are we as individuals? Who are we to judge one another? Are we humans so superior in our kinds that due to our selfishness we ignore what is happening to our lovely planet and environment? War, poverty the hate wave that’s spreading, are we not a plague on our own?


The recordings of the album already took place before the whole covid  situation, we first brought it out on a cd version as we went on a small tour at the end of 2019, we wanted to bring it out on vinyl and our good and long time friend Nico from Loner cult records was willing to help us out with it together with deviance records, phobia records,shove records and up the punks records.

The songs of that album are packed with emotions and struggles we all faced during a certain period. the split of the bands , the losses we encounterd , for me personal , it  was a hard and emotional period that i have  been in for a while and this translated in writing the music together with the rest of the band.


We are not an outspoken band who writes political songs, most of the songs deal with the everyday struggle we have in this life we are living, some personal and some have a political touch in them, and we try to put as much of our emotions in them, bring them with no compromise, say what you mean, mean what you say…..


There are a few songs that i am attached to musicaly and lyricely.

EYES WIDE OPEN  is one of them, the song talks about how we stand in this society , controlled by our goverment , no matter what you do or not , we are being watched 24/7. Or MOURN who talks about loosing your loved ones , when this song was writing , we lost a very close family member at a young age


There is a big scene in Belgium and a lot of new bands are rising from the ground up, bands like HETZE, SILENCE MEANS DEATH, GAGGED, RAW PEACE FRUSTRERAD, ARROGANT….and many more, from the region we are from there is also a big hardcore scene called the H8000 scene, too bad that there has always been a gap between different scene’s here in Belgium, but it is what it is, few active squats here.


It is very important, punk means revolt , if you are angry about something, speak your mind out  don’t just stand there and act like you are a victim of society, it is easy to claim yourself a punk or hc kid ,rebelling from behind your computer screen, go out on the streets, get involved in a good cause.


It means a whole lot to me, it has been a part of my life for more than 30 years, it is a network of friends, a world within the world we are living, I can’t express myself enough how great it has been to visit all the nice places we were able to go and play all around Europe, see how people live, sharing stages with great bands, people inviting you to their homes, made delicious food, give us a place to sleep.


Our main influences are bands like HIS HERO IS GONE, TRAGEDY, FROM ASHES RISE, NEUROSIS…. but also older stuff like NAUSEA, CELTIC FROST, GRIEF,DISCHARGE,MOTORHEAD,….


We are currently working on writing a new album, and hoping this pandemic will be over soon as we did not play any live gigs for more than a year now, as soon as this blows over we are going to tour Europe again and play as many gigs as possible.


It represents what mother nature gives us and sometimes we need to stand still and look at its beauty, but it is also a reminder of what we can lose if we keep exploiting this earth , how long can we live this life, this rat race ? Pollution, climate change…..are we doomed ?


First of all, thank you so much for this interview and giving us the opportunity to present ourselves

We hope to share the stage again very soon!

Stay safe and take care of each other