Interview: Burnt Cross

I have interviewed Burnt Cross a couple of times. And it's always nice to hear what they think. This interview was made by Jonas who run the blog Eslöv: Kategori A. He published this interview in Swedish at his blog, and gave me the english version. So the questions isn't mine. Don't forget to visit Eslöv: Kategori A

Take a look at the new Burnt Cross webpage

1. How did you get into punk? Was it the politics or the music that made you want to be part of the scene? Also, is it as important for you to make a politically relevant record as it is to make good music?

I was about 13 and into metal when i first heard the Sex Pistols and then i went on to search out more punk and the first LP i brought was Crass "Penis Envy" which led me onto the political punk side of things, this led to finding out about bands like Active Minds, Civilised Society, Conflict ect and that inspired us to start our first band Active Response when we were 15. We got involved in doing benefit gigs,writing for zines and activism from then on for a few years till the 90's when we got more involved in the free party scene. For me punk has always been about the politics, i can listen to The Misfits or Ramones quite happily but a punk song that is angry and has a message hits the spot more because its who i am, its what i feel inside so hearing it in this primitive form with a thumping soundtrack is just great. Punk is only a small amount of the music i listen to but it is the one that speaks to make more than the other genres i like, its the one that dominates my life in a way that its always there even if im not listening to it. No other music does that to me, no where near as much.

2. What made you settle for the name “Burnt Cross”?

I just wanted a less generic political name that doesn't use system/state style thing in it and i love my old school metal, also a nod to our dislike of religion i guess. A couple of people picked up that it has connetations of the KKK and i did think that myself but we are strongly anti fascist and it comes out in our lyrics so no confusion there. As we are just a 2 piece band i didnt have to fight too much to keep the name, its what i like about doing all the music and arrangements myself, you are the boss

3. Are you vegetarians (like me)? A mate of mine and me have an ongoing, neverending discussion on veggie food. He thinks it’s immoral to make veggie food that taste like meat, whereas I think it’s good, cos you can make splendid veggie brekkies with veggie bacon and anyone who wants to be a vegetarian can become one and still it what he or she likes, only now it‘s cruelty-free. What do you think about this question?

Yeah, we are veggies and i never really thought about this too much, i always thought that there was nothing wrong with something that tastes like meat, its an alternative so its what it is meant to be but i can understand why some people would find it offensive and respect thier view. If people give up meat cos they can get the same taste without the cruelty thats great even if it seems a bit of a contradiction, they may not care as much to give up whatever the case but the more numbers the better

4. Media covers up and lies about protest, in the UK as well as where I am, in Sweden, but some news of anger in Britain has made it’s way to the Swedish media. I take it that you lot are part of the fightback, so my question is, what’s the fightback like? What’s it’s strengths and what’s it’s weaknesses? How are ordinary working class people affected by Cameron’s policies?

Yes im involved a fair amount in activism, just this weekend i organised a shutdown of our local starbucks for 3 hours and get involved in local anti war group and on the streets against far right groups like the EDL. Ive been involved in activism for 20 years from hunt sabbing/animal rescue to enviromental and anti fascist protest..i will probably be doing it my whole life. The fightback here is weak to be honest, compared with countries like Italy and Greece. We had a few good protests last year with the students and anti-cuts groups but this year has been quiet. Im hoping that very soon people will start taking to the streets again and show this government of rich wankers that we know what they are up to and we are not going to put up with it. Of course its also up to us to change ourselves, refuse to comply to thier laws that we disagree with and stand against it when you can but also to try to escape the actual system itself by working less or just for yourself, pay less tax, grow your own food, squat, stop consuming so much, do share skills where you trade labour etc.. they are all ways we can ignore thier bullshit and not be a part of it.
Government policy is probably the same as in most countries, fucking up the poor to look after thier rich mates. The national debts are a lie and dont exist, money is made up from a touch of a button and the poor and forced to work like donkeys and witness the better off feeding of thier hardship. Capitalism aint working and the sooner it falls and a more compassionate model is put in place the better. I wont hold my breath.
5. What do you think about the Israel/Palestine conflict and how it‘s reported in western media?

Well our media is more pro Israel but we also get a fair amount of both sides to be honest. I have spent time in Israel and loved it but cant help feeling that it is commiting great grimes against people who are trapped in a prison whilst being bombed. I disagree with all the violence but Israel are at a massive advantage with thier military and weapons. Also the illegal settlements should be stopped and returned (all disputed land returned possibly). Its going to get messy i think but i hope some sort of peace is achieved. I dont know the exact details of all the history of the region either, just the basics so wouldn't want to delve too deep into that debate

6. I promised not to ask you any questions on football, but I’m afraid I must ask you one, namely what you think about the spectacle and multi-billion business modern football has become?

Ha, well i dont watch it, Paul supports Man United but doesnt go to see them i dont think. It has become an expensive hobby if you wanna see your team play and sadly thats the way most things go but like other things like music for example we can do it ourselves and start our own bands or soccer clubs. There is always someone out to turn a profit so just dont get involved in it just like you wouldnt go to see a £100 a show rock star, i would hate all the commercialisation anyhow and rather watch a game at our local playing field.

7. If your music was a sport and not music, which sport would it be? Something hard and physical like rugby, something elegant and precise like snooker or maybe something completely else?

Boxing..it packs a punch..ha ha. Well its got a punchy rhythm and is full of fighting talk so thats the best i can come up with.
8. Any words to your Swedish supporters? Do you like any Swedish bands and would you like to play here? What do you think of Sweden’s “Punk Illegal” Festival?

Paul met a couple of Swedes at a Mob gig this weekend and they were talking about punk bands and the Swedish guy mentioned Burnt Cross so Paul shocked him by saying he was one half of them. Its really nice to meet people who like our stuff and we have people in Norway,Finland, Sweden and Switzeland who distro our music or who get involved in putting the records out so we know that our music is getting out to such places. I tend to listen to more UK/US styles bands as i like to understand the lyrics of music i listen to so dont listen to hardly any foriegn speaking bands to be honest and i think the punk illegal fest looks cool but i also am not heavily into crust/hardcore too much apart from older bands so havent made it over to that festival. I dont actually go to many gigs these days, maybe once a month. Thats another reason why we are just a home recording project, we didnt want to gig. We did 2 gigs with friends playing the other instruments and they went really well but we are not sure about doing it anytime soon.


New video: The Bristles - Bigger than punk

This is a new video from The Bristles new album - Bigger than punk. The Bristles will be interviewed in Schizo Fanzine #9 which will be out soon. They have a few booked gigs which I really wanna recommend you to visit if you will get the chance, they are just fantastic live.

The Bristles - Bigger than punk

26 Jan 2013 - Punk Illegal Support Gig, kl: 19.00, Härden, Göteborg, Sweden
Avfart 33 / The Bristles / Bombangrepp / Vrak
12-13 Juli 2013 Punk Cooperative Festival, Bromölla, Sweden
26-28 Juli 2013 - Force Attack Festival, Tyskland
2-3 Aug. 2013 - Hygget Festival, Sweden


Gig: Spotlicks, Bad Shermans & Kombatants [Gula Villan, Haninge]

Missa inte den här spelningen. Klassiska Gula Villan bjuder upp till punkrock. Stället blir bara bättre ju mer folk som kommer, så bege er ut till Haninge den 2 Februari. Tyvärr tycker jag själv att priset ligger lite högt, men det kommer bli mycket punk för pengarna.

Info om spelningen @ Facebook
Info om Club Disorder @ Facebook

Spotlicks @ Facebook
Bad Shermans @ Facebook
Kombatants @ Facebook


Review: Provider - Wasteland

For all you macho new york hardcore fans...
Provider - Wasteland


Madball, Agnostic Front, Sick of it all... the list of NY/HC bands is long. And among those great bands will I put Provider from Long Island. It's all about brutal and macho hardcore and they are just as good as the other bands I mentioned. Life to live records continues to relase good hardcore. I like NYHC, but it's a "core"-genre I don't listen to very often. Therefore is it good with just 5 tracks. Justin has a really good voice which fits perfectly to the heavy riffs. Well, you know what you will get, this is high class hardcore and if it seems interesting  just download "Wasteland" for free at their bandcamp site, and buy it if you like what you hear.


Schizo Distro SALE!

Take a look at Schizo Distro, there is a lot of 7" for just 2€ at the moment. Order 5 or more and get a surprise. Just go to Schizo Distro and you'll see what's in stock. There is just 1-2 copys left of each item. I will update the distro in March. I don't have my full distro disposable now, but as fast as I have it back will I update. At Distro & For sale will you also find some 7" from my private collection. Just let me know if you find something interesting and we'll sort something out. 

Review: Projekt Ekan S/t

Projekt Ekan - S/t (Promo Cd)

This is my first real encounter with Projekt Ekan and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I can never get enough of this kind of swedish 3-chord angry punkrock. I like the pure punk lyrics about our fucked up society, bastard cops and life itself. And those topics really fits the music and it all together form a rough streetish sound. 

Projekt Ekan hails from the southern part of Sweden - Skåne, and it's probably the best dialect for punk music because it has a crude and dirty sound. This LP is limited to 250 copys (red vinyl). The first bands that pops up in my mind that I can compare with Projekt Ekan is Antipati, Gatans Lag and Oxymorron. All melodies are fine right through, just listen to "Köpenhamn", "Frihetssång" and "Jag hatar snuten", three tracks perfect for singalong. 

It is very dynamic and a perfect mix with some fast songs ("Virkat motstånd" and "Hipster"), although most songs are relatively soft. Hm, I think Projekt Ekan might be my new favorite band. The song "I shot the sheriff" is of course a Bob Marley cover, but the Projekt Ekans melancholic version with swedish lyrics is better than the orginal song if you ask me. This album contains 14 tracks at almost 40 minutes and everything is perfect balanced.


Review: Losin' It - Danger Zone

Losin' It - Danger Zone

Fucking hell, this is good stuff. Losin' It from Florida probably listen more to old hardcore acts from NY like Gorilla Biscuits and Youth of today mixed with the great Boston bands Slapshot and Blood for blood, than eating oranges from Florida. This is really high class hardcore, just as good as the classic oldschool HC bands. I think this EP is sold out, but their first album "No apology" is just released by Life to Live records. And I really wanna recommend Losin' It for all you lovers of oldschool hardcore. It is 5 tracks on this 7", the total play time is just 7 minutes, therefore is it nice that they have made a full album because I want more. The lyrics are about how stupid people act, like homophobia and my favorite song "Glory Days" - this line got stucked in my head "Your glory days are bullshit, Don't waste our fucking time, You threw in the towel years ago, but we're still busting our asses to keep this shit alive". 

Review: Libyan Hit Squad / Round Eye split-Cd

LHS / Round Eye (Split CD)

What would you've said back in the 80.s if I would have told you that LHS is from America and Round Eye is from China? Americanism vs. Communism. LHS - Libyan Hit Squad has 6 tracks on this split and the music is similar to Black Flag, Greg Grinn who used to write songs and play in Black Flag contributes on one of the tracks (Full circle) Black Flag is a band everyone should love, but I can't really see their greatness. And that's what I feel for LHS as well. It's not bad but I can't find any charm at all in LHS. Well, let's take on Round Eye. And charm is something they have loads of. Their intensive garage punk n roll is really lovely and the saxophones make a lot for the sound, and even if it is some Stooges feelings in their sound is the sound their own which I think depends of that it's a bit fuzzy. Round Eye wins this battle for sure with their 5 tracks.


A few "Best of 2012"

Well, I asked you to send your "best of 2012 top-5" lists. And one of the contributors had a chance to win a 7" from the distro. I got 4 lists, and it was Andreas who won the record. He choosed the brilliant Burnt Cross 7" "Break the law, not the poor". Very good choice. Thanx for the contributions. I hope to get more response next time. You can still send your top-5 2012 related stuff to schizodistro@gmail.com (but the competition is over)

5 Best gigs 2012  (Andreas, Umeå)

Frankie Flame
På Pretty Shitty Kjell... Kul! Bra fart i gubben!

På Pretty Shitty Kjell, återförening av Umeås bästa band!
Fru Dörr
På Verket i Umeå, gillar egentligen inte de på skiva, men de var tillräckligt bra live för att orsaka kraschade revben!
Agent Bulldogg

I Norrköping med Pretty Shitty Town, bra stämning och bra gig!
Condemned 84
I Norrköping med Pretty Shitty Town, bra och kul att se gamlingarna igen!
Fru Dörr


5 Best releases 2012 (Pontus, PPP Records)

1. Anger Burning - When 12"
2. Electric Wizard - Legalise Drugs And Murder 7"
3. Graveyard - Lights Out LP
4. Dead Lord - ST 7"
5. Bäddat För Trubbel - Värdighet 12"

Anger Burning

5 Best of 2012 related (Jarek, Meinhof)

1. Martyrdod - Paranoia
2. Martyrdod - Paranoia
3. Martyrdod - Paranoia
4. Wolfbrigade -Damned
5. Ceaseless Desolation - demo


5 best songs by swedish bands 2012 (Bucka-Hans Arthur)

1. Antipati - Antipati
2. Derby STHLM - Lönsam?
3. Oldfashioned Ideas - Home Alive
4. Rännstensorkestern - Tony 2Ton
5. Trubbel - Gamla Hundar



Review: Runnamucks - Deficit of dreams (CD)

Runnamucks - Deficit of dreams

Release date: January 8.th 2013

The Mucks have so many elements in their music. The first element is american old school hc/punk like T.S.O.L and The Germs. The second element is what they call themself - "Panic pop", but don't be afraid for the word "pop" because in this case does it hail from their melody influences and bands such as The Cure and The Kinks mixed with messy The Stooges punk. Another element is that the vocals sound much like Blanks 77, and according to me has Mike Blank one of the best punk rock voices. And the last element is that even if they are influenced by a lot of old bands is the sound pretty modern, far from boring and drowsy. This release from Ripping Records will probably be one of the most interesting in 2013 despite that I don't even use to listen much to similar bands, so that's a good compliment. There is 12 tracks on this CD and my favorites is: Projection Screen, Demystify and Don't cry about me.