January 31, 2011

The Label

Horizons was a label... I did tapes and even one record (kind of - you will see in abit). There were some recordings that never saw the light of day...

It all started out in the early 1990s. I released three live-tapes of friends' bands. Two of 'em, 7 INCH BOOTS and INTRICATE, had studio tracks, that weren't released by then. As for 7 INCH BOOTS, they later would be available on their posthumous second 7". With INTRICATE, I still have to manage to get a grasp on the recording and layout. The third in this era was Swiss band WORNOUT. All three releases were a noble cause, because after expenses paid all money did go to the then well-known "Bundesverband der Tierbefreier" (an animal-liberation group). Of course, that was not a helluva money...

The label got revitalised in the LEBENSREFORM-days to promote some off-label stuff. The first recording we did was not an official HORIZONS-release, but I got it under my wings anyhow. It was more of an attempt to legitimize a real band story. Somehow I was of the impression, that a band "has to do" a Demo. But even more somehow, I knew that recording will be a record pretty soon. Nevertheless, I did some tapes and mostly handed them out at a Fanzine-fair at Neuss. And I made sure, Markus Haas of Per Koro would get one... and so the story goes. It had the song "Was!?" extra to the "Licht, Luft, Leben"-tracks, which later would be used for tape-compilations.
An official release, and Horizons #04, was the "Punkin'" tape. This was a pre-recording of the "Retor" material, which we wanted to get a grasp on ourselves. We used a friends help with his 8-track equipment. For further details, jump over to the Discogs entry.

THIRST was a mystery. You can see above, it is advertised as "lo-fi doom" - but what the hell is that anyway? To get an idea, you might think of a remixed and torn to pieces version of the unnamed last track on "Retor". Maybe some day, you will be able to understand...

Also unreleased are the later two tapes. I would especially recommend you do some research on DREI AMIGOS. It features LEBENSREFORM-early adopter Torsten Hempelt. Maybe I can get him to comment on this with some more knowledge...

What is missing in this ad (run in HORIZONS-zine as well as others, plus flyered out on occassions) is the later record that was flying under the my flag. Some might remember, some might know from recent publications - some might just wait until I can bring it up here (I am afraid, that's also a legal thing, but screw that... I will!)

You guessed it, the following month should hopefully see a digital transformation of some of HORIZONS-labels' legacy...

January 30, 2011

HORIZONS-Fanzine #6 - never happened

My fanzine was a real 1990s story - totally coming from an Emo-kinda angle and just concentrating on almost MYSELF. First issue was born from the pain of a lost relationship, and written mostly during the flights back & forth California. I did include some photos I shot there also: of FUGAZI for example. You see, very 1990s...
The woman depicted here is
Mrs. Cleaver (no pun intended).
I was kinda into the whole
Black Power Movement
back in those days

I would adress a crude mixture of personal articles, bad poems, reviews and bands I like. Some things, it became kinda famous for - among them was a quizzy page that always saw the same people winning. But even that was totally how I wanted it to be.
There were some scene-reports, some shaping of the "Northcore"-movement, LEBENSREFORM included (yeah - I said it was about MY STUFF), and even some art.
It saw guest contributions from people that were, are or would be in LEBENSREFORM, LUZIFER'S MOB, "Intro", "Vengeance", "Stern", "de:bug", VEGAS, and by Dania...

This blog will be host to all published issues, in a C.V.-approved chronological order. From [ LEI ]'s last official statement, touching the Neneh Cherry-side of things, and slowly approaching the very first real Emo-shit (even handwritten).

Issue Number 6 never saw the light of day - I just started preparing it. As you can guess from the picture: it was meant to be a rerun of interviews and already published articles. So, yeah, basically this blog is #6 3.5...

P.S.: I guess there is only one more entry of "what is going to be in this blog" - so you'll finally will be able to just enjoy what is. But hey, "that's me"...

January 23, 2011

Another ZERO MENTALITY-roadtrip: Festivals of 2006

Further info: https://www.facebook.com/zeromentalityrulesok

The other day, I witnessed something that everybody else & their mother did: myspace sucks nowadays! At least it sucks alot out of your harware... and i saw it crashing quite regularly on webkit-based browsers and in Firefox. So, it's about time...
I really have to "import" all the important blog entries over here, and I am more than willing to. Especially with all these ZERO MENTALITY-tour diaries... Those days were more than just fun, they really were an important time in my life - although I already have been THAT OLD. One might say: on tour, you get older quicker due to all the temptations. But I was more than happy to succumb to.
Bring it one, one more time, my friends!

"it's all about the boo'z
*by Sven, the Merch-Man

First and for all, if you came here to expect anything - i am glad you came at all. This is just about me and how I liked being in this place at that time.. What the fuck, sounds like the cheesy editorial to a 1990s HC-fanzine ...hum, maybe that's why this is it: MY SHIT

ZERO MENTALIY had a whole fuckin' fun festival furiosity going in the past weeks. it all started of on a different level, being a five day trip to Berlin and the far east realms of the former G.D.R. Surprisingly, the first show of that went down really well, although the guys had to take the opening slot on their adventure with AGNOSTIC FRONT - but not just because that was located at the infamous SO36 it turned out to be a good night. I can tell you, you can tell that those folks over there don't tell shit when they know how to crank out well organised shows. Sometimes it pays off really well to be some kinda old (in the business). Real good turnout, good response - medium sales, and some alcoholic experiences that were easy to handle. But with a glimpse into further desasters in that part, having the FINAL PRAYER-guys around.

At least, the shooting was succesful!
Next day saw the adventurous trip to the middle-of-nowhere lake in Saxonia for a underwater photo shooting. Sally CherryMuffins proposed that, and despite this place being a real hot spot for clandestine intentions - I guess she could have bitten her beautiful ass off at the end of the day. Not that the guys acted rude on her, neither did I - of course. Even the most silly routines weren't that disturbing. But - forget all the talk about »hot spot« - that water thing was really cold. Especially if you have to be in there with all five guys for at least 45 minutes, and I mean: one after another. So, if you know her and asked yourself what made her skin gone from ladylike (as she is) white to a red&blue all over for a couple of days - it'll be a good choice to buy the »Invite your Soul« Record. Lucky me took his time of killin' alot Lucky Strikes and being able to see a five-headed Swamp Thing at the end of it all - that about sums it up.

We went straight to Nordhausen for the show next day, where this fine guy Christoph let us invade his space for two days. I am not sure if he regrets it - but I can for sure tell you that ZERO MENTALITY had alot of fun there. Good show, veeeery good people there, exceptionally good food, good Bowling halls (one strike - one strip), as good as being totally stupid Nazis threatening us after the Nite Club visit.. good god, yeah! We got to see alot there, like Mental Hospitals at night and in the woods, like the Black Friday-mates in party routine, like the expected nice girls.
The most interesting thing about the whole day is that I even took my time to do some touristic walkaround and saw almost all the Nordhausen attractrions in about one hour: the Nordhäuser Doppelkorn destillery, the dome (i ran into a wedding,hehe), the neat late-medivial old-town, and André MAROON getting something from a pizza-place (i bet it didn't had cheese, right?).

You might wonder, what so festivalistic about all that, but to me that already was some kinda festival for the soul, being the first fucking few days in a long time that i actually laughed and enjoyed life as it is. But now onto something completely different - well not that much. The next day started with a fuckin' rain onslaught on our way to the Sucks'N'Summer. Yeah, damn right, that sucks in Summer. Arriving in Leisnig, I found out that the Merch-tent also had alot of liquid to offer. At the early stage of the day, it just wet my shoes - but setting up next to Herald and the BORN FROM PAIN-busload of stuff made me suspicious if people would ever be able to buy again at least the five layers of stuff at the bottom of their boxes. More liquidity turned out to be oh-so-fuckin' true after recognizing that we were surrounded by most of the bands that usually can be called our heavy-drinking buddies. B.F.P. of course now graced with Dominik to the left, HATESPHERE to the right, that one band with that one member in opposite, and next to them the always filled FINAL PRAYER - who did stay over, which was sadly not true for the missing company of THE SETUP. Anyway, it was a full night of beverages, officially topped by the legendary Pfeffy (or how they spell it). ZERO MENTALITY seemed to be the only band that not got hassled by rain for any song, which did good for the crowd - but after Nordhausen experience they weren't in their best shape. But most people did not seem to care and came up to me with alot of interest and made CD sales a big positive surprise at this point of time.
Me, Conny, Fink, Jacob
Somewhere at this early stage, i witnessed how Jacob of HATESPHERE got keys for their Hotel room - something I should have remembered later that night. Because after the whole craze had came to an end somewhere around sunset, we would have killed for taking over their spot once they decided to head back to Denmark. The funny thing is, Fink actually had to carry Jacob all thru' the mud and into their van. You just can't help it sometimes, I guess. But even that was not the highlight of Fink's actions at this day. I officially announce one of his moves to being THE BEST STAGEDIVE I EVER SAW. When MAROON really rocked that shit (this band has gone a long way from me making fun of them at a show still settled back in Hamburg, reciting their lyrics, to looking forward to each of their sets I can catch). Well, Fink did some headwalks there, which is a typical routine and doesn't thrill me that much. BUT(T): there was this one girl up on stage at a point of time. She was about to jump but somehow took a long time to be ready. With pushing her ass in a good starting position and bending over, she was almost done. Bam! - Fink hit the right spot from behind and suddenly the crowd was succesful in catching both of the main characters in this play. Me being enganged in a real nice conversation had to laugh out loud right in the middle of a sentence. Yeah, sure, you just should have witnessed that - this might be convincing as telling you a »palimm palimm« in sad mood.
The most interesting thing about the whole night is that I got a very good company after recognizing that I already am drunk. That saved alot of the rest of the night - or me falling over on my back and just rest. So I even catched the After Party, a flu, and an official record for talking to the most people about LEBENSREFORM in a long while.
And yes, the girl also had the good idea in driving the both of us around town to get more cigarettes. Awesome..

I spare you details about the rest of the waste, and get right into the adventure of this years Ieper festival. For the one time being there earlier than expected, we were ready for another party craze. Of course there was like 45 minutes hard work for both the band and me. But after them getting a real good response for a early afternoon band, I really got my selling routine into an undisturbed fun - which also might be due to the fact that this must have been one of the best selling shows I can remember for ZERO MENTALITY. To tell you the truth, the rest of this days bands did not interest me too much, being most of them ones I saw alot and knew are good, or ones I already experienced as so-lala. I thought the sunday had more to offer in that manner - not in quantity, but me looking forward to. So I took my chance and said yes to the opportunity to get home the other day and stay for the night at this reaaaaaaally impressing new Toxic Merch-building. Thanks to Hans for that, and of course, LIAR has to be mentioned here with their second-to-last gig. You wait for the booze to come in? We didn't, we just did it right from the spot and got joined by cool people again, like the infamous May and other British lads. Plus later on, cups were pilled up until almost 1,50m - especially after Fink and that one guy from that one band started battling on Ex-en.
May and me...
I wonder where are the drinks?!
ZERO MENTALITY only stayed longer for that reason, I figure, as they planned to - and I got told that André helped Fink in punch-lining the way back to the Ruhrpott. After me waking up with a headache (don't cry for me, Aspirin) I found out that the guys forgot to get their payment - a text message told the story of another wasted night. So, after a real good breakfast in Kortrijk, and free entrance due to Marco's help, I got that money shit done and prepared myself for that day to come. That started at surprising Jens Vegas behind the CLOBBERIN' TIME-table with my presence, and May with my knowledge about her »dancing on tables« at the after show last night.
It was a lazy sunday afternoon at first, with some much needed water and juice - even the sun got out. But just before I watched SIX FEET DIIIIIIIITCH, I thought I'd better had to get back into the beer thing. After that I was told that this Australian boys from PARKWAY DRIVE really crank out some good shit - and, hell, they did! To make you convinced, just listen to the facts that after their spirited energetic Metalcore-Set, their Merch tabled was occupied for about an hour and they sold at least 200 shirts that day. You know - that's the way I look at those kinda things, that's my profession. I than had to kill time again and decided to take a walk to that fucking awesome town center and get myself ready for the best attraction they have: pommes, chips, french fries - whatever you wanna call this feast. After gettin' back to the festival ground, I found out that it was a wise decision, because I ran into the CORE OF ANGER-company and suddenly were in drinking routine again.

Lucky me, I were able to finish this early enough to be ready for the one band I was looking for the most: RISE AND FALL. Haven't seen them in quite some time, I was curious how the »Into Oblivion« material translates onto stage. And boyeeeeeeeeeeeee: it rocked! The four-piece really took over the whole fuckin' place, especially alot of the younger kids were really into them. That came to me as abit of surprise, since I bet that not many of them really have this in-vein-feeling for ENTOMBED and INTEGRITY as I and RISE AND FALL obviously share. Even more, I bet the PENTAGRAM-shirt worn by R.A.F.-guitarist afterwards wasn't a big attraction. But anyway, I don't think that's uncool - I totally like the fact that kids are into one band that cranks out shit that really is that good, powerful, mayhemic, overwhelming and on-the-point as on this gig at Ieper.

Another year at Ieperfest, but also great!
The funny thing is to me, this not only was the highlight to the whole fucking festival, it was simply the best Hardcore-set I saw this year, at least! Call me a wimp, but when they finished it all of with »Bottom Feeder«, I almost got tears in my eyes - recognizing that after 20 years in this, HC still can move me that much. I even had to buy my first band shirt in years...
And smoke a cigarette as with all real good orgasms.

I had to take a rest and spent most of the rest of the night with accompanying May in gettin' wasted again. With the exception of the infurious MAROON-set, for at least the part where it did not have rain pounding in once again. But, as I told you, they deserve this more and more to get witnessed and experienced - which seemed true for alot of folks out there who kick-boxed, slamdanced, circle-pitted and stagedived alot. Alot more than I have seen in quite some time, again.

That wraps this all up: Simply The Best - in quite some time!"

January 22, 2011

Show-Flyer for CATHARSIS / GEHENNA / [ LEI ]

I somehow managed to do this flyer right before LEBENSREFORM (which is basically the advertised [ LEI ] here - for those who don't know*) left on tour with the infamous GEHENNA and the epic CATHARIS.
As far as I remember, I also was able to copy that thing at my job, and left with people advised to do the dirty work...
Anyway, this is from a whole series of shows I was taking care of with other people. The "Borstelmannsweg" was the shared practice room of LEBENSREFORM, LINSAY, later LOXIRAN, KINDLE, and TOMTE. We put on a good amount of shows there, with memorable gigs by HIS HERO IS GONE, SEEIN' RED, ACHEBORN, and some more (apart from the hosting bands).

I also was kinda involved in some of the shows that Thomas Lengefeld and Taade managed to set up in the then famous "Marquee"-club in St.Pauli.
With Lars "Audiolith" Lewerenz, we also did some cool things at the "Golden Pudel Klub", plus there are some great stories that could be told from hosting bands at Lars & mine appartment in the late 1990s. All of that will be adressed later on...

Some crazyness at that show -
guitarist Mark being carried away
by the crowd - and Brian Dingledine
somehow enjoying it
For this Flyer - it's a lie. Somehow. GEHENNA never played - the circumstances of them leaving the tour might be clarified in a more elborate entry. Also, [lei] actually never really worked for LEBENSREFORM. Of course, there was a big change, but just not-being a Straigth Edge-band anymore does not change that awful lot about a set or stage-presence. In retrospect... This whole tour did alot - and the show was a real good conclusio of it.

*LEBENSREFORM changed its name to [ lei ] to stay away from possible accusations of adressing a Straight Edge-agenda when not being a full-on S.E.-band anymore. Actually, it was something I really wanted the band to do, the other people were of different opinions...
I guess, it was four people - four standpoints

January 8, 2011

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