BORN FROM PAIN – Live your life and have no regrets
Egentlig var dette intervjuet ment til en eller annen medarbeider i denne ‘zina, men da det fortsatt var ledig og sjæfen hadde ergret seg grønn, var det ikke annet å gjøre enn å gå til dyst med Born From Pain i ledningen. Den karismatiske Karl, som daglig spiller gitar, var mer skrivefør enn vanlig for metall musikere å være, og det var mye som opptok ham. Jeg blir personlig entusiast for å vite mer om bandet jeg i utgangspunktet kjente kun ved navn når hovedpersonene legger så stort arbeid i hverdagen. Det er slike menn metall verden vil ha.
Eternal Terror – Hi Karl. How are you doing?
Karl – Hey there, I'm doing just fine. It's 11.30 am and I'm in Hamburg after playing a show on «The War Is On Tour» last night and I'm just relaxing with a coffee. Very nice.
Eternal Terror – How would you characterize the type of music that you create? Has your style changed or evolved over time?
Karl – It's quite tough to say what style we play sometimes, because I think we cross quite a lot of boundaries with the music we play. We're a Hardcore band, but we have Metal influences, yet we appeal to all kinds of kids who like all different kinds of Hardcore, Metal, Punk and Alternative music. Some people think we're Hardcore, some Metalcore, some Metal. I think we are a crossover band, since that's what we do. I'd say we're as modern version of the crossover bands that came before us, not necessarily because we sound like them or anything, but because we do appeal to various kinds of genres. Our music has definitely evolved. If you look at the MCD, Immortality, the band's first official release and then take a look at the new CD, War, there are many changes that can be seen, yet still we retain our original blueprint of what we started with. The original influences we had when the band started are still present today, and that's very important to us, we don't want to be unrecognizable to what we were, yet we don't want to stay the same, so we have the best of both worlds and it makes each release different an interesting without losing focus or identity, so we're very happy with where we're at right now musically.
Eternal Terror – Do you think that the sound and style of the type of music you perform express your personal beliefs and identity?
Karl – Hmmm, well I'm not sure if it expresses my identity so much, since I listen to all kinds of music, but just don't play those kinds of music. It's definitely the music that I feel most strongly about, but I'm just as happy listening to the Kaiser Chiefs, Bruce Springsteen or A-ha as I am listening to Hatebreed, Bolt Thrower and Testament. I do however think that Hardcore, Metal, Punk, whatever you want to call it is a great medium to express the way you feel, whether it be on a personal level or whether it is something important that's happening in the world that needs to be addressed, so it is perfect for expressing opinions and that is something pop culture doesn't do so much, although it has to be said, Hardcore is also starting to lose focus in that area to, compared to what it was like when I got involved in the scene in the early 90's and that's a shame because talking about opinions and what's going on in the world is a vital part of what Hardcore is.
Eternal Terror – Do you think that the lyrics in this music are reflective of your personal beliefs? Why or why not?
Karl – Of course, we're not a band that sings about fantasy or horror or something, so our lyrics must have substance. It's a very important aspect of our music and a great way to express our views on what is going on with the world, or a way for us to reach people who might have troubles and give them something to identify with. So the lyrics are personal to us and express the way we feel or the way we see things that turning out in the future.
Eternal Terror – Do you believe that the lyrics of your music serve a particular function? Is there a particular reason to the topics?
Karl – Lyrics definitely serve an important and particular function within the music. They are a way for us to express how we feel about certain topics or personal reflection. On the new album War we try to talk about many subjects that are affecting the world and affecting people on a personal level. In 2007, life is harder than ever, when really it shouldn't be. There are corrupt governments, the environment is in disarray, disease is rife, poverty increases and social issues are growing by the day, so we speak out about these things, as well as things that people can relate to on a personal level. We believe it is very important for our lyrics to be something people can identify with and can relate to, so they don't feel like they are the only one. Hopefully they can find strength in our music and lyrics and that is something we really try to do.
Eternal Terror – What first attracted you to the music scene? What captured and held your interest?
Karl – Well, I guess the first band that attracted me to hard music was Guns N' Roses. From then on my needs were for heavier music and that grew to the point where I found Hardcore and Metal. The real turning point for me though was the first show I went to which was a Biohazard show in 1994 and that's what really sparked my love for Hardcore and wanting to play in a band. The enthusiasm, positivity, energy, the way the band had something to say really hit me and from then on, my life changed for the better.
Eternal Terror – Because the type of music you perform is quite underground, it is difficult to market it and for a band to come widely known and respected. What was it like to establish a name for yourselves? What sort of efforts did it entail? What setbacks did you suffer, and what obstacles have you overcome through the years?
Karl – Well, first of all, I think most people don't realise how much work, time, effort, energy goes into playing in a band, I think most people just see you up on stage and think it's all rock ‘n' roll lifestyle or whatever you want to call it, but playing in a band is a constant drain on you. Thankfully, the good out weighs the bad. There are times when you wish you weren't on tour, when you miss your girlfriend or family, or when you'd rather be anywhere than in a van for 15 hours straight with no sleep, or when you have no personal time for yourself because you are practicing constantly to write a new album or taking care of the many other band matters that need addressing. It's tough, and I think people who are not in a band will ever realise what has to be done to make a band work. Like anything in life though, the rewards of all that time and effort spent are great and so when you finally start making headway and people know your name wherever you go, it is something that makes it all worthwhile, just like when you play a show to some crazy kids after driving for 15 hours straight, through the night, right after your last show. All the negative stuff comes way behind the positive in the end. There have been a few obstacles or setbacks in the past, the main ones being losing various members at various points of time. That's always the main setback, but fortunately for us, it has never really hindered us because all members know what it takes to be in this band and show the necessary commitment.
Eternal Terror – Please describe your experience of the Metal scene. What has it been like to perform, both when you first began and at present? How has the scene changed? Are the fans different? Are the shows different? Is the music different?
Karl – I think the Metal scene is awesome, I think that kids there are sometimes more open minded than Hardcore kids, which is weird sometimes since Hardcore is supposed to be a very open minded genre and have people like that, but I think some things have changed. We don't really play too many strictly Metal shows though these days, but when we do, they're always fun and the people there are open minded to what we have to say and the music we play. At Born From Pain shows there is a real crossover of Hardcore kids, Metal kids, Punk kids, Alternative kids and so on, and everyone is welcome. We want to play to as many different people as possible, we're not interested in having divisions and that transcends in our live shows. I'm not quite sure how the Metal scene has changed to be honest, and really don't think it has too much. Metal is something that is always a constant. It doesn't bow to huge trends or anything, the people within the scene are fans for life, not just because it's the flavour of the month and that's how it will always be and that's awesome.
Eternal Terror – What are the factors that you like most about the Metal scene?
Karl – I think some of the things above I mentioned are the things I like most, definitely the people within the scene are the best, they're always there, rain or shine – so to speak – and will be fans of your band right until the end. There are no trends involved, just a love for the music and lifestyle and that's something other music scenes seem to have lost along the way. Plus the music is raging, ha.
Eternal Terror – What are the factors that you dislike most or would like to see changed?
Karl – I'm not sure to be honest, I don't see too much wrong with Metal at the moment, nothing huge anyway.
Eternal Terror – What do you think of the «Satanism» that is often attributed to the metal scene?
Karl – I don't really have an opinion on that too much. I don't believe in God, but if someone believes in God and Satan, then that's his or her prerogative, I don't really care either way, it's nothing that is something I have an opinion on really.
Eternal Terror – What sorts of personalities do you encounter most at shows? What are the positive trends and the negative trends that you have noticed?
Karl – Just like anywhere you go in life you encounter all kinds of different people at shows, whether it be the quiet person standing at the back just enjoying it all nice and peacefully or the crazy kid up front screaming along and banging his head. There are different people everywhere and that's the way it should be. Not everyone is the same and that's a good thing. I don't really think Metal has any really negative trends to be honest, nothing that I notice too easily. Hardcore on the other hand has changed a lot since I was involved. Style seems to have become more important than substance, whether it be the t-shirt you wear or the haircut you have. Liking of certain bands or musical styles goes in and out of fashion quickly and there is sometimes a lot of shit talking going on, sometimes I wonder how it has not ended up destroying itself. I still love Hardcore though and to me, it still remains special in my heart and I have many friends that I met via Hardcore and remain friends to this day and will do always.
Eternal Terror – Is there a «metal philosophy»?
Karl – I have no idea if there is a metal philosophy. One thing that is great about Metal and that to me shows what Metal is for most people, is that you can be yourself and not be given shit for it within the Metal community. Everyone is themselves on their own terms and everyone respects that. That is the thing that stands out as being the main philosophy if you want to call it that. Acceptance and respect are something you'll always find within Metal and you can be Metal kids from thousands of miles away and even if you don't know someone who is on the other side of the world, you will know that they have the same kind of ideals as you if they're into metal.
Eternal Terror – Do you have a personal philosophy? How would you describe it?
Karl – Live your life and have no regrets, it's as simple as that. Do as much as you want to, don't be afraid of chasing your goals or dreams, never be afraid to take risks. I'd rather do something and have it blow up in my face than regret never doing it. Just don't be afraid of actually living your life, after all, you only have one life to live.
Eternal Terror – Is there a relationship between the Metal scene and society as a whole? How would you describe that relationship? Hostile? Friendly? Indifferent?
Karl – I'm not really sure what kind of relationship there is to be honest, I think normal society if you want to call it that, probably has no idea just how big the Metal scene is and how many people or bands are involved. And most of those people probably ridicule the music or the look and just don't understand it all. And to be honest, I think Metal has to be something that you feel and runs through your blood in order to understand it. Just like dance music is to me. I just don't get it, and never will. Metal will always be an underground scene and that's the way it should be, although just how underground festivals are with 60,000+ people like Wacken are, is debatable when you think of the numbers involved.
Eternal Terror – What do you think makes your band's music something unique?
Karl – No music these days is unique, at least in my eyes anyway. Everything has already been done before, to me it's whether you do a style well and I think we play the music we play, very well, I think we blend various styles without it being too disjointed. We have a very individual style that isn't really new, but I don't think anyone quite has our sound and that's something that's quite hard to attain. The new album War has it's own identity and yet is typical Born From Pain. It's very focused and diverse, yet really individual, which is something we were looking to achieve when we wrote it. I definitely think we are a pretty individual band and there isn't really anybody that sounds like us right now.
Eternal Terror – What is your perception of the current political battles over «violent» entertainment forms or films, music etc., which are believed to promote violent behaviour?
Karl – It's all bullshit. It's kinda stupid that people think that movies or music promote violent behaviour. Of course, some forms of entertainment do contain a lot of violence, but blaming situations on a movie or a song is pretty stupid, If somebody does some shit, it's probably because they're mentally unstable. Watching the news or reading a newspaper these days has more violence on or in there than what you would see in a movie or in a song. If you want violence, just take a look at the world we live in.
Eternal Terror – Would you want Metal to go mainstream so it would be more prevalent and easier to access?
Karl – Ha, I think metal already is pretty mainstream if you look at how many records some band sell or how easy it is to get hold of. You can find a good Metal section in any music store in the world these days and buy just about anything you want in most places you want. Bands are constantly touring all over the world, hitting major cities as well as smaller places, there are huge festivals and big tours. Music is all over the web and there are TV stations dedicated to Metal, so in my eyes, Metal is already mainstream, it's just not considered to be mainstream by most people and by society. Who cares, as long as it's here, that's all that matters.
Eternal Terror – Thank you so much for participating in this interview. Please add any additional comments, reflections, or impressions that you might have.
Karl – Thanks a lot for the interview too, it's most appreciated, thanks for the support and to those for reading. If you get the chance and you like hard and aggressive music, pick up our new album titled War, I'm sure you won't regret it. Thanks and take care.