Serbia’s EVA RAS, Providence’s gloomy screamo act TERROR EYES, Chile’s emotional screamo band NEPUGIA, Portland’s emoviolence/screamo duo TU DICIS and Chicago’s experimental hardcore duo DESTINED have joined their forces to put out an early candidate for one of the best DIY hardcore collaborations of the year. Being co-released via Home Poet Records (7”) and Confusion Specialist Records (tapes), the record marries overwhleming screamo discord and propulsive rhythms with more delicate moments that deepen emotional resonance through smart sonic experiments. We sat down with all 5 bands to learn more about the project, reveal some details on their bands, wrap up the last year and see what they’re up to in 2017.
This brutally emotional split, released by the amazing Home Poet Records, opens with serbia’s Eva Ras showcasing their ability to make their own effort of demonstration against their oppressive system, followed by Providence’s Terror Eyes’s frantic booming spleen with sounds of nostalgia and interluded and short, fast, messy songs by Chile’s Nepugia and Portland’s tu dicis then the split makes its closure with Chicago’s Destined doing their job to finish this part with the final touch on emotions with spoken words and empowering musical patterns. / Confusion Specialist Records
Hey there guys! How are you? How many people do we have onboard?
Filip: Hello, I am fine thanks! There’s just me (EVA RAS), Tim (TU DICIS), Matthew (TERROR EYES), Fernando (NEPUGIA) and Chris (DESTINED).
Tim: I’m great!
Matthew: Hello Karol! I’m currently on my way to see Rogue One, so I am fantastic!
Chris: Doing well!
Fernando: Hey there! Everything fine, a little bit busy because of work.
Chris: It’s okay!
Awesome! Ok, so let’s start off with an obvious question. How was this release organized? Was it ever-busy Philip (EVA RAS) who came up with the idea? :)
Filip: well, this song was actually supposed to be on the other 6-way summer split (w/ YUBARI GOGO, YURI, BACKYARD CAMPING and DATTERO) but there were complications and they decided to cut me off and cult of pythagoras took place. Thanks to Tim, he added me to his 5 way split.
Tim: Yeah, I had the idea for a five way split in the summer a few months after I met Filip and it didn’t start to come together until autumn, but it’s been one of my favorite releases of this year and I hope I can do another next year as well. The TU DICIS was really rushed, because my other band dropped off the split last minute, but I think it turned out way better than I expected.
Matt: TERROR EYES has been on hiatus for quite sometime now. With only playing 2 shows in the past two years, this split gave us the chance to regain our confidence as a band. Filip invited TERROR EYES to be apart of the release and I’m super grateful for the invitation.
Chris: Destined had been on life support for some time for personal reasons, but JC (my drummer) and I decided to at least release something this year. Filip has always been a good friend of ours, and after we released Over Fed, he suggested we submit it to this wonderful Split!
Fernando: I was approached by Tim in October 2016, we began to talk about releasing NEPUGIA’s EP debut on HP Records. After that, we talked occasionally about some plans for the future in his label and he told me about some compilations and splits that could come out eventually. Just a couple of weeks ago he asked me to include “El emperador de la nieve siempre viste a la moda” in a five way split and I thought it was an amazing idea. I wish I could record something new, but I am currently with no equipment to record.
Please drop us a couple of lines about your own tracks. Were they produced specifically for this split record?
Filip: My black wave #2 track is about 3 minutes long. I think its one of the more emotional songs of EVA RAS and i am kinda happy how it turned out. As an opener, it outdid itself so well. It’s about the systematic oppression from the government and how they don’t show any mercy towards civilians of their own country, such as north korea. So, many people are trying their best to flee the country to safety to avoid severe punishments.
Matthew: “Blame it on Constantine” by TERROR EYES was originally written to be released on a 4-way split with NOUS ETIONS, DISTRICTS, and MONOLITHS. Unfortunately, the split never came to fruition. The idea behind this song is pure heartache and personifies the disassembly of love and trust in seemly perfect relationship.
Fernando: Like I said before, Tim choose the song from our first EP. Sadly, I wasn’t able to record anything new, but I think that “El emperador de la nieve siempre viste a la moda” mixes well between the other tracks. Another aspect to note about the song, is that is one of the less emotional tracks from the EP, it’s about being uncomfortable with people who use drugs.
Tim: The tu dicis song was sort of a last minute thing, so I didn’t spend a long time really fleshing it out, but I think that’s what gives it a kind of messy chaotic charm.
Chris: Over Fed may be a bit encrypted in terms of lyrics, but the song was written about drug addiction, namely relying on psychedelics to learn about myself and the world. It takes on a few forms, first talking to my addiction as if it were a person, and then switching to talking to myself in third person. The spoken word section is a first person narrative that ebbs with pain, but cries with hope. This song was originally created for an EP, but that release has since been replaced by another project.
How do you feel about the rest of tracks? Do you mind sharing your mini reviews of your fellow acts’ contributions? Feel free to be brutally honest :)
Tim: I really dig all of the other songs. They all flow really nicely together. Which is odd, because they’re all from different people in different places.
Matthew: All the tracks on this split are awesome! Some are definitely recorded with better quality and some of them are more composed than others but all in all, just like Kurt Cobain said, punk is good as long as it has passion. I’d have to say my favorite track on the split is definitely NEPUGIA’s. So much so, I’ve contacted them about doing a split with my other band WORST DAYS.
Filip: TERROR EYES and destined are my total favs. NEPUGIA and TU DICIS are way too short to be loved, but are good nonetheless. as i said in my mini review, destined’s song fits so much as a closure and that’s why it ended up in my best 2016 releases
Chris: I hate picking favorites! I really enjoyed everyone’s work. I can appreciate songs with both long and short durations, as long as they use that time wisely and creatively. That’s exactly what happened here, anyone can listen to the split and know that there are no dull moments!
Fernando: I think DESTINED and TERROR EYES tracks are my favorites. I definitely loved the agonizing sensation that gives “Over fed”. On the other hand, “Blame it on Constantine” feels like an accurate song to represent why I like screamo. It will be an honor to share a release with Matthew’s (from TERROR EYES) band WORST DAYS.
The thing that I most admire about Tim (TU DICIS) is that he’s so passionate about what he does. I wish he wouldn’t have the same problems I had some time ago, I think he knows what I mean haha. I have listened to EVA RAS before, they’re brutal and intense and I’m absolutely pleased by their track. I’m looking forward to their future releases.
Alright, so what’s up next for each and every one of you? What can we expect from EVA RAS, TERROR EYES, NEPUGIA, TU DICIS, and DESTINED in 2017?
Photo: TERROR EYES
Filip: I’ve been thinking of writing songs for an EP when i wrote one last night. I’ve been thinking of going to some different direction.
Fernando: I really want to release a conceptual LP for this late 2017 or early 2018, I’ve been working on new songs but I want it to be as emotive as possible, so not every idea has been considered into it. This is all tentative as long as I don’t have a tracklist or a finished concept written. The only concrete plan for this year are two splits for early 2017 and I’m really excited to start recording soon.
Tim: TU DICIS has a 4song EP coming out super soon called Swingset Math Problems. Other than that, I have a few other songs we’ve been working on, but no other releases planned.
Matthew: TERROR EYES is currently inactive. But I have tons of unreleased songs that I am working on recording and releasing. But we have no major plans.
Chris: although we don’t have a particular date or deadline to work with, I have been writing an unbelievable amount of new material, and DESTINED will most likely be the means of expression. I have been writing a few different concept albums, all of them drastically different in the sense that all of the stories are separate, but all of them portray a sense of pain and suffering within one’s perception or environment. At least one of these will be released this year, so keep your eyes and ears open.
How would you sum up 2016 in just one sentence: “2016 was the year of…”? Please make it 2 versions (“for me/us/the band” and “for the world”)
Filip: For me, 2016 was a year of my journey into adulthood, as well as encountering problems, facing struggles, both emotionally and financially and also knowing your friends and enemies. It is also a year where i just got started with EVA RAS and my progress with Confusion Specialist Records, thanks to my discovery of tape making.
For the world, 2016 was a year of never-ending nightmare, just like every previous years. People still suffer from poverty, greed, hunger and classism. Some changes happened for good, but the bad things are still alive and well. The division within ideologies is getting stronger and more anti-social. We must treat each other with real understanding and real respect upon each other.
Tim: For me, 2016 was the year of finding myself. As cliche as it sounds I started the year not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life and I ended the year knowing almost exactly what I wanted to do with my life.
For the world, 2016 was the year of strange things, especially in the US. I didn’t expect a lot of the stuff that happened in the world to happen and it was a really weird year.
Fernando: For me, 2016 was the year of acknowledge my limits, what I can do and what I can’t do. I never thought I would be able to write some songs and release an EP, I’m grateful that my friend (NEPUGIA’s drummer) was there to help me. Also, I’ve been able to recognize my weakness as a person and I think that is the most important thing to accept before taking a step in life.
For the world, 2016 was a year of closing cycles, a lot of important figures that marked an era died. Probably, we don’t feel as old as other people do, but their deaths make us see that we are constantly being part of a generation change.
Chris: For me, 2016 was a year of self discovery, self destruction, and finally growth. I was homeless for 4 months of the year living out of my car, for the entire year I could barely put food on my plate, and I ended up losing an unhealthy amount of weight from it. But it also has been the year that has gotten me motivated more than any other, and I have my own apartment and a decent job.
For the world, I couldn’t tell you. Most of the year I didn’t have any way to watch the news or know what was going on, I just think that every year that passes makes this earth a less beautiful, natural place. There aren’t many places in the world now that are untouched by humans, and that’s sad.
Matthew: For me, 2016 was uncomfortable, yet a good year for me to stabilize my self financially and emotionally.
2016, for the world seemed, to me, to be an ordinary year. Disappointingly so, nothing has changed.
Any chance we could get some recommendations for your favorite discoveries in independent music in 2016?
Filip: I wasn’t really keen on anything new coming from 2016, but i do have discovered a few interesting releases, like Todo Va A Empeorar by LOS QUE PERDONAN, S/t ep by TERRIFYING GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL, S/t by URGE, Isle of Flowers by CADY, Guilt by GOODTHINK and a three way split featuring I HATE SEX, BLACK KNIGHT SATELLITE and ALGAE BLOOM.
Tim: FEI LUNG released a great EP last year, and I really enjoyed the second full length, dork soul, by MEET ME IN MONTAUK. And not to kiss up to Filip, but I enjoyed a lot of the releases on CSR. Other than that, I was into a lot of older screamo/emo records. I discovered PAGENINTEYNINE and SAETIA, haha, way too late.
Matthew: I didn’t really explore newer bands in 2016. A couple bands that I really enjoyed this year were: LESSENER (ex- DISTRICTS), ELLE, and LEVELESS.
Fernando: This year I came across with “5000”, a chaotic japanese emoviolence band, found them in the section Short but Sweet from Form und Leere blog. They were part in a four way split with other japanese band and 2 Singapore bands. “DREI AFFEN” a screamo power trio from Spain. I’m glad I was lurking on reddit the day they posted a teaser song, because their debut EP is awesome. JOLIETTE, a post-hardcore/screamo-esque band from Mexico, damn, this band is just amazing, their last work Ataxico is so powerful and chaotic. They have several releases, but because the promotional video for Ataxico’s song “Verdadero por accidente” was made by a youtube channel that I’m subscribed (Arak Bernal/KarasProductions), I checked their entire discography.
Chris: 2016 was a hard year for me, so a lot of the music I’ve been listening to has helped me stay on track, either through empowering instrumentals or incredibly intelligent vocals. I have been really digging THE HOTELIER’s “Goodness”, it’s a really fantastic album. I released a solo ep which describes my reliance on hallucinogenic drugs called “When A Frown Met A Smile” under my project A DARK YEAR. 3 out of four of those songs were written in psychadelic stupor while I encased myself in THE HOTELIER‘s “Piano Player”. There aren’t any similarities between my music and theirs, I just wanted to express the significance of their music on my creative mind. Another release I thoroughly enjoyed was SIANVAR‘s full length “Stay Lost”. A more technical work, but also one that accompanied my journeys of 2016. Finally, one of my huge musical influences HOTEL BOOKS released “Run Wild, Stay Alive”. It honestly didn’t grip me as much as I’d hoped, but that does not mean in any way that it wasn’t one of my favorite releases.
Finally, what resolutions for 2017 are you contemplating?
Filip: I want to upgrade my studio by buying my guitar and a mixer. To do that, however i need to get a job. I also want to keep progressing with my label, especially with physical releases that i just started a few months ago. I also want to do the driving test because i’m 21 and i haven’t even taken one yet!
Tim: I want to have a good amount of releases for Home Poet Records. Hopefully around 15-20 over the year. Besides that, I want to get a job and get my license and everything that has to do with being an adult, haha.
Chris: I really want to quit smoking. It’s been a habit for far too long, and I’m always coughing up a bunch of nasty stuff, I can’t run, exercise, etc. Musically, I really want to record one of my conceptual albums and have it succeed, Destined is hoping to start playing shows soon as well.
Fernando: I’m not sure, I want to buy new equipment to keep recording whenever I need to. I wish I could make a name on the hardcore scene, I guess I must be constant with NEPUGIA, but more than that, I want to grow up, because I tend to be very immature when making decisions.
Matt: For 2017, I’ve been contemplating living the American dream, finding a 9-5, 40 hour work week job. Sleep, wake up, work, sleep, wake up, work, sleep, wake up, work.
Thanks so much for your time and interesting answers :) Cheers from Warsaw!
The last words are yours.
Tim: Thank you for doing this interview!
Fernando: I just want to thank you for giving us the chance to spread our music and thank Tim for let NEPUGIA be part of this.
Chris: Thank you for a wonderful opportunity to let us all share our thoughts! It’s been a pleasure!
Filip: Thank you for calling us to be a part of this interview!
Matthew: O’Doyle rules.