Interview with Eastwood

“Hi ! One of us just puked out of the driving car and we don’t think he’ll be able to get on stage tonight. Bye!”

First, can you provide us your fav’ playlist at the moment? What people should listen to while reading this interview?

That’s already quite a tough question to begin with. As in most bands, we have some common ground, but still every member listens to quite different stuff. So here’s a pretty random list where each of us picked three records:

Teeth – The Curse of Entropy
Pallbearer – Forgotten Days
Regional Justice Center – Crime and Punishment
Paper Mice – 1-800-MONDAYS
Frequency Eater – Engulf
Creutzfeldt Jakobs – Яркая Tьма
Scorched – Ecliptic Butchery
Skeletal Remains – The Entombment of Chaos
Congress – Blackened Persistence
Not on Tour – Not on Tour
Tørsö – Home Wrecked
War on Women – Capture the Flag

 

Can you please introduce your band : how did you start, what is/was the line-up, your discography, your past tours, highlights ?

André and Domi actually wanted to start a band in the vein of Fall of Efrafa, but they had a hard time finding other musicians who wanted to join them. So they thought “Fuck it, let’s play grindcore instead”, and ten minutes later Simon and Mai (who would later be replaced by Mak) completed the first line up with the first rehearsal happening the very next day. From there on, things just progressed naturally (and very slowly) to where we are now. After releasing a few splits with Entendeu? from Brazil, Lovgun from France, and Captain Caveman from Germany, we decided that the next step would be a full length record – which turned out to take us over six years to complete. In the meantime, we’ve at least been hitting the stage quite regularly with the highlights being our tours in Spain with Lovgun, in Czech Republic with Captain Caveman and Ill Neglect, and in Germany and Austria with Schwache Nerven. Some really cool festivals like Fluff, Bloodshed, Grind the Nazi Scum, Dräschfeschd, and Grinding Delémont should also be mentioned.

Eastwood is a name already taken by an almost unknown actor, are you big fans of western or spaghettis?

Actually no, haha. When we met for the first few rehearsals, we barely even took it seriously and just enjoyed making some noise together. We put very little thought into the name, we just thought of bands like Charles Bronson or Henry Fonda as an inspiration, and Clint Eastwood seemed like a natural completion of this list. Not very original, but that’s really all there is to it. We would never have guessed that the band would still exist ten years later, and if we had, we would probably have chosen a different name. But after a while, band names usually become more attached to the band itself than to their original meaning anyway, so it’s all cool.

We know the recording of the album was quite torturous, could you summarize this epic story?

Maybe not torturous, but it was definitely quite long and at times a bit tedious. We’ve been writing songs for this record since 2014, but even when we arrived at the point where we generally had enough songs to fill a record, we still felt that there were some things we could add to make it more complete and more cohesive, so we kept writing new songs and working on the existing ones. Most of the guitar tracks were finally recorded in the summer of 2018, but then we replaced our drummer and took some time to get restarted. The remaining guitar tracks as well as the bass and the drums were recorded in the winter of 2019/20, and in March we started recording the vocals, but you all know what happened then… Completing vocals during the lock down in Germany was problematic, but we were finally done by autumn. Then of course things like mixing, mastering, searching for labels, doing the artwork and so on also took some time, so by now it’s been almost three years since the first notes were recorded. You can imagine how happy we are that the record is finally completed and released.

You seem to have quite a concept with this album / artwork / song’s titles / videoclip about science (Antibiose, Algorithmus, Subtraktion, Monoperceptose…) could you tell us more about that?

There’s no real thought-out concept behind the band, but for this record, some things just fell into place nicely by coincidence. When we went through the collected lyrics and tried to come up with an album title, we quickly realized that the song title Antibiose would be very fitting. Almost all of our lyrics deal with asymmetric or exploitative relations (between people and other people, between people and their environment, between people and their own minds, …), so the concept of antibiosis (as the antithesis of symbiosis) seemed like a perfect allegory for the themes of the record. The artwork and the videoclip are inspired by a fungal parasite that hijacks the brain of an ant. We obviously took some artistic liberties, so we apologize to any biologist we may have offended.

What is the most memorable moment you had with Eastwood so far?

It’s impossible to pick one, since there have been so many great and memorable moments over the years: Being welcomed into the grindcore family with so much love at our first Grind the Nazi Scum. Playing in front of a setting sun and a crazy crowd at Fluff fest. Hanging out at the pool in Segovia. Sleeping in a restored old night train in Jena. Sleeping in a nuclear shelter in the alps. Raiding the olive paste in the Cuisinhumate at Grinding Delémont at 3am. Giving this interview.

What’s the worst?

Luckily, there aren’t too many things that come to mind when thinking about bad moments in Eastwood. We think the worst story we can tell is about the last day of our tour with Schwache Nerven in 2019. In the afternoon, the promoter received a voice mail from us saying something like “Hi, you know, we’ll be two or three hours late because we overslept, sorry for that. Also one of us just puked out of the driving car and we don’t think he’ll be able to get on stage tonight. Bye!”. Turns out we caught some kind of virus, so the last show had to be only us and not Schwache Nerven, and in the end almost everyone in either band was sick for several days. At least, this happened on the last day of the tour and not on the first day…

Do you have side projects? Old bands of yours we must know about?

Mak has been in Warfuck for many years already before he joined Eastwood. Domi also sings for Zerbirst who play melodic blackened deathgrind or something. Simon doesn’t have another band, but he sometimes releases harsh noise under the name [,[,]]. André is not involved in any other project at the moment, but he used to be in a hardcore band called Cremations until recently.

How do you see the future of the band after the release of the album with this pandemic? Any plans/hope for tours? Do you see any improvements in Germany or bordering country about gigs?

First of all, we’re already collecting ideas for new songs and we’re preparing future releases. We can say with some conviction that you won’t nearly have to wait another seven years for our next release. We’ll also be a part of a compilation of grindcore/powerviolence covers of German punk rock songs called Blastrufe BRD (an hommage to the legendary Schlachtrufe BRD) that will hopefully be released this year. About touring, we really don’t know. It sucks big time that we cannot play a release show or a tour in support of the record release, but we guess in the grand scheme of things, this is among the least important consequences of this pandemic. If the situation develops in such a way that concerts under reasonable and responsible conditions will be possible again, we won’t hesitate a second before hitting the stage again. But right now, there’s simply no way of telling with any kind of certainty what the future may bring.

What’s your point of view on the grind scene these days?

Grindcore has never been huge, so popularity and fame are simply not a relevant variable. Therefore, there is no competitiveness or any such bullshit like for example in some parts of the metal scene, and we almost exclusively meet genuinely nice and supportive people. We love being a part of this relatively small but closely connected international scene with almost no hierarchy. It contains plenty of passionate and dedicated people who keep it alive by setting up shows and releasing records all DIY and with no regard to money. The powerviolence hype from a few years ago certainly gave the genre a push of popularity, but even as this phase has been fading away and maybe less people have been coming to smaller concerts (before corona), there is no question that the scene will stay alive. We cannot overstate the importance of DIY bookers/promoters and labels, they deserve much more credit than us bands, and they rarely get that acknowledgment. If we have to mention one negative thing about the scene, then it would be that sadly there is still not enough sensitivity and too much tolerance for porngrind. When trivializing or even glorifying sexualized violence seems okay to you, something is seriously wrong with you.

How is the fast scene more specifically in Germany?

Everything we just said about grind/powerviolence in general also applies to the German scene. Maybe we should add that Germany is lucky to have many very cool squats (even though conservative forces are doing their best to close them) that are great places to meet like-minded people, discuss music and politics, and set up concerts. Good examples of dedicated and passionate DIY labels from Germany are Knochentapes, Puzzle Records, and Coxinha Records, awesome concert crews include Grind Here Right Now Concerts, D.I.Die Booking, Flowerviolence and Crustpunx in Love. And we should definitely mention Antifa Gourmet TM – they are the best and nicest cooks in the world and we even wrote a song for them.

 

Do you have bands in mind in your area we should know about that you’re not playing in? Do you have any German bands in mind that we should listen to?

There are many great bands in Germany at the moment: Our long time friends in Captain Caveman are the benchmark for grindy drum’n’bass powerviolence, their singer is among the craziest and nicest people in the scene, and you should also check out his other band 1st Class Collapse. If you like Captain Caveman but wish they were even grindier, check out Trigger. If you’re into the American powerviolence sound, Sickmark and Arno X Duebel are probably the best bands this side of the atlantic ocean. We should also mention Gæs, a mincy grindcore band from Frankfurt – their singer also lent us her voice for the song Lochfraß on Antibiose. If you want to know what the fusion of powerviolence and classic German punk rock sounds like, you should check out Schwache Nerven who accompanied us on our last tour before corona. If you’re into the noisy end of grindcore, you must immediately listen to GALL. Their latest record 17:21 MIN is fantastic, but their live performances are even more intense and insane. Definitely go see them if you ever get the chance. Anthropocide are straight-forward grindcore for anyone who dislikes slowing down even a bit. And of course there’s Yacøpsæ, by far the most well-known German band in this scene. They hate being labelled as grindcore and prefer fastcore or simply punk rock, but if you’re into grindcore you should love them anyway.

Do you have any last words?

Thank you for this interview. Thank you for being such awesome people and such passionate and dedicated supporters of the grindcore scene. Thank you for being the greatest label a grindcore band could ever wish for. <3

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