NOTE: The views expressed by people other than me are THEIR OWN and do NOT necessarily reflect my opinions or views on life. Also, if you are the author or holder of rights to any of this material posted here and want your stuff taken off here, just let me know and I will do it. I am not doing this because I want to rip somebody off but just wanting to share informantion I see as interesting. Contact: kpt.laine(AT)gmail.com
Since I first started to lean towards hardcore, it has been pretty clear to me that the subculture in question is about more than just music.
Hardcore, to me, isn´t a certain musical style for if it were it would be very hard to define.
For example, most of the metal fans would see a band like Point of No Return as straight up from their alley musicwise and yes, maybe they are. Besides that, though, PoNR are probably more about what hardcore really is than many of the western bands who fetish on using more strict definitions of that term.
Also, one can copy all the riffs from bands like Discharge or Conflict and still not be anywhere close to the urgency of those two groups. The urgency, that at least in great part, probably came from them feeling strongly about what they were singing about.
If I am being subjective and provocative about the whole labelling-thing here, be it for the cause of the message.
Point of No Return is a hardcore band all the way and they tackle with some very important issues over strong and energetic music. Sure, I differ with some finer and even larger points with this band as opinions go, but I feel we share a common yearning for JUSTICE and LIBERATION. Our beliefs may be different in some areas, but we are likely to share many views on practical implications, such as our interest for building active small communities and the respect for people who do not necessary own huge amounts of money or land but who have the inspiration for change.
We may have very different backgrounds in life; me coming from a very priviledged north European country and those guys probably having to face more concrete injustice in their own lives
day by day than I ever will. Still, I feel we share the common need to get dignity for our lives. Dignity that does not come from material circumstances (though we fight to better them for all of us), but from higher values.
It is because of feeling this common bond to these guys, that I want to thank them for inspiring me in my own struggle.
Below you can download an essay that came with the vinyl version of the Point of No Return-album “Imposed freedom…conquered freedom” that was released by the german label Scorched Earth Policy. The essay is called “Bending to stay straight” and it offers inspiring views on Straight Edge as a tool for social change, all coming from a perspective of a woman from Southern America.
Get the album and also get their other full length “Sparks” that has been released by Liberation in Brazil and Catalyst records on US and the self-titled 7” they released on Catalyst records.
And no, I do not know what hardcore is about. Go and define it yourself.
A nice little zine from UK done by a guy called Martin. Contains interviews from bands like DAY OF SUFFERING, ANOTHER VICTIM and SET-UP as well as record- and zine-reviews and some other stuff. Worth checking out. The text is a bit hard to read from time to time and that sucks. Anyway; enjoy.
Far be it from me to be even close to worshipping Crimethinc. like some seem to be doing, but with this zine, their so called "mastermind" Brian did some good stuff. Sure, I disargee with some points but that´s how it can be when a person strives to "think for themselves" :) I especially like Brian´s critical approach on hardcore-scene and I like how he refuses to go with the flow within the trends of this genre.
If anyone has other old Inside Front-issues for sale, I would be very much interested in buying them! Photocopies and PDF´s are also welcome.
This magazine came with a seven inch sampler hosting Good Life recordings-bands CONGRESS, SHORTSIGHT, LIAR and REGRESSION. I am not going to upload it here, however, cos according to my knowledge those songs are pretty easy to pick up and I havent got into ripping stuff from vinyl yet.
This issue has interviews with TIMEBOMB and CONGRESS, scene reports, reviews and lots of other stuff. Check it.
Clear perception was a zine done by the vocalist of the british vegan hardcore band Slavearc . Lots of good interviews inside. If anyone has other editions of this zine, I would like to buy or have copies/PDF´s of them.
This interview was made for the coming Lieka zine (www.myspace.com/liekazine), but since the zine is in finnish, I thought I would post the original version for all you international readers to enjoy. It is quite a short one, but as you can see from previous posts, I have already interviewed Kurt about his band and his personal life. This is more of an insight to his record label, Catalyst records. As always; enjoy!
How did Catalyst records start? I understood that you had a zine named Catalyst at first?
Yes, everything started with a zine I had, also called “Catalyst”. There were three issues in total, and some material from the fourth issue (which was never printed) was published in the last issue of What We Have.
What has been the signing or releasing policy of your label? Has that changed over the years?
I think the policy has basically stayed the same for the most part. I like to work with bands that I like musically, and that have a message similar to the overall message of the label – promoting a drug-free lifestyle, veganism, feminism, social justice, and political awareness.
Do you have any favourites in the release catalogue of your label? Are there any releases you would have rather not done?
Some of my personal favorites have been Day of Suffering, Extinction, Point of No Return, and Gather. But honestly it is really hard to choose favorites, I have good feelings about most of the releases I have done, sometimes for different reasons. There are a few that I wasn’t as into, or that weren’t that good for the label as a whole (possibly Contempt or Horizon), but nothing that I really regret.
How do you manage running the label and getting money to survive? Do you have to work several jobs or does the label pay itself? Has the situation gone better?
Including the label I basically have three jobs. The label does support itself on paper, but of course maintaining a steady cash-flow is always a problem for a business like this. For example, I have to pay for everything the label produces up-front (CDs, shirts, etc) but if things don’t sell fast it can take a long time to get the money back to use for another release.
I live pretty simply, so most of the money I make just goes back into the label or towards my rent and other expenses. It’s not always easy, but I like keeping things as DIY as possible and maintaining as much control as I can. Vegan Straight Edge is more or less the common denominator with all the bands you have released. Do you feel that you have had chance to reach people with this positive message? Have you heard stories of people changing their eating or drinking habits because of the bands you have released?
I think there have been quite a few people that have been influenced by the label, or by the bands I have released. Not nearly as many as I would like, but I think it is necessary to grow organically, and not to force things. I have definitely heard from many people who have told me that the label had some impact on their lives. That is really what keeps me motivated. As for the hot topic-issues; do you think the ongoing financial crisis will have an effect on DIY hardcore distribution and releasing as well?
I think it will to some extent, but I’m sure it won’t be as much as it will affect larger entities. I don’t think most of the DIY labels and bands are big enough to see a huge difference. Of course it does affect me to some extent because it has become a lot harder to find good paying jobs here, which end up funding the record label. Hopefully it will turn around a bit soon.
What does the future hold for Catalyst, do you have plans for upcoming releases?
The next planned releases are a new CD by Eye of Judgment, and the Catalyst Records DVD collection. Also in the works is the latest Risen CD, and possibly a Day of Suffering LP. Hopefully more bands to be released in 2009 as well!