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A rap-flavoured hardcore talk with BLOOD BY DAYS

Siegen, Germany’s BLOOD BY DAYS have recently revealed a foretaste for their new album entitled “As Thick As Thieves” The teaser video promises 40 minutes of passionate & heavy hardcore punk with a rap twist! We took this chance to ask them a few questions about the outing, their local scene and a lot more. See the teaser, as well as our full chat below.

Hey! What’s up, guys? You’ve just put out your new album. Tell us more about it.

Hey. Yeah we finally did. It was long hard road [laughs]. We had some trouble with the recording and mixing process. A lot of people had to wait a long time for this release to happen. We are really glad it’s finally done and the best thing about it is, that it turned out to be quite good, I think.

What happened?

We finished most of the recording in September 2011 but wanted to add some more vocal parts and some extra guitars. This took way too long, so that Manuel (the guy who mixed and mastered the CD) had other projects to finish. We had to play shows and to fix the artwork in the meantime. Everything got a bit confusing, mistakes happened… same old story. Altogether the songwriting took us about 5 months, the recording and mixing process about 12 months. That’s quite unusual, I think [laughs].

[laughs] Unusual, indeed. But overall, how are you feeling about that record at the moment?

I think we really recorded a great album. These new songs are definitely the best we wrote so far, no doubt. The sound is great and so is the artwork. This was a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but it was worth all the work and all the fuck ups we had. Now we are curious what the kids think about the album. We sold the first 100 copies in the pre order and at our release show and we are currently waiting for new copies to arrive. I can’t wait to get more feedback and start playing all these songs live.

What’s the story behind the artwork? Who made it?

The artwork was made by a friend of ours. He does a lot of artworks for bands and labels. Websites, flyers album artwork, merch… everything. And he is a genius, trust me. Check Pille’s work at http://statexofxmind.tumblr.com/ and you can see for yourself. For the album we wanted to have this typical vintage flavour. The booklet is somehow like an old diary with a lot of pictures from past shows. It’s a bit like the lyrics and pictures are telling “our story”, if you know what I mean. We thought this was a cool idea and Pille really did a great job.

Who’s “As Thick As Thieves”?

We are as a band and I think we all are as kids who love music. The title describes how we grew together as band throughout the years, but you can also see it in a Hardcore/scene context. Although Hardcore may be some part of the mainstream today, I think most of the kids share a lot of passion for what they do. They are very close to each other. Wherever we play, we meet a lot of friends and have good times. And that’s what it is all about. Kids come together for the music, for shows and the hangout. There are bookers, guys who do zines, labels, bands and institutions like the Hardcore Help Foundation. They are all part of this and they keep it up and alive together. The title track has a different message. It is about close friends and about how people change. That’s just the way things go and sometimes you have to accept change without regrets or hard feelings.

Alright. And what’s the story of your cooperation with Clandestine Project?

We worked with Hiro of Clandestine Project before. He sold both our split EP and our DIY demo and he already offered us to release the album a long time before we actually started writing new songs. In the end we chose Clandestine Project because Hiro is very reliable and dedicated. He also gives us the possibility to distribute the album around the globe. The shipping issue may be a bit more complicated but he did a great job and we don’t regret our choice.

Yeah, but why so far, mate? Japan? Come on [smiles]. What channels does he use to distribute it?

[laughs] Yeah you’re right, it’s pretty far. Clandestine Project is part of the Retribution distro – a huge Asian distro shop. Hiro has a lot of connections to distros and labels worldwide and so he can guarantee to spread the album. He distributes the CD to a lot of shops in Asia and to South America, too. That’s a good chance to reach people outside of Europe and the US. But we honestly didn’t think about all that too much. We knew he is a good guy with a good distribution. If we had tried to make as much money as possible or go the easiest way, we maybe would have chosen another label. But that’s not what this was about. Hiro was one of the first who asked and we also wanted to support him – that’s it. And don’t say it ain’t cool to release on a far east label from Tokyo?! (laughs] There are a lot of good labels with hard working guys today. We’ll see where the next release happens. There is nothing cast into stone.

Sounds awesome! Hiro seems to be a real hero [smiles].

Your mateys in Siegen must envy you [smiles]. No, but seriously, tell us more about your local scene.

Siegen is a small city with about 100 000 people. Some kids here are totally into Hardcore and travel from town to town to see bands, some are not that dedicated but they nevertheless always show up at local shows. There is no bullshit attitude and no fighting at shows. We are all basically friends and know each other. I always hear from everyone from outside Siegen how much fun these shows are. I’m honestly proud of it. I visit shows for about 10 years now and I book a lot of shows with a friend of mine since 2008. Over the past years I witnessed how more and more kids here got into Hardcore. This is up to bands like EMBRACED BY HATRED and to venues like the Vortex Music Club. And I hope that we play our part in this, too [laughs]. We also have a couple of great young bands coming up. I really, really love the scene here.

Tell us more about particular bands from your area. Is your city often included in punk bands’ treks?

First of all there’s EMBRACED BY HATRED, as I said before. They somehow paved the way for this slightly metallic Hardcore sound here. They play hard as nails 90’s stuff in the vein of MERAUDER with some Mosh/Beatdown. They will release there new album next year. Great band and good friends. We have a lot more younger bands like GODBREAKER, DONE and SHEPHERD, too, which play different kinds of Hardcore. It’s a good music scene here in general. The shows are ranging from Hardcore & Punk up to Metal, Rock, Stoner/Psychedellic, Rap… whatever. There’s something going on each week. A lot of small underground bands, but also some classic shit such as CRO-MAGS, MYRPHY’S LAW, LEATHERFACE, THE CASUALTIES, OBITUARY, DOG EAT DOG or NAPALM DEATH. And all these shows take place in small clubs with a lot of sweat [laughs]. It’s pretty DIY and underground. Anybody into passionate music really can’t complain, no matter what genre he is into. It took some time but now our city is included in a lot of tour schedules. Of course, it still is different from bigger cities in Germany like Berlin or Cologne, but it’s great to have the possibility to see all these bands in a more intimate venue.

Are kids active at shows or just  sitting pat? There are lots of cheesed off people at shows nowadays, ya know?

Our local shows are quite good. People move, jump around, dance hard, sing along. Nothing to complain. At least most of the time. But I know what you mean. We play a lot of shows and it’s different from city to city. Some kids are totally bored all the time. Some others are constantly standing in the back just waiting for the next breakdown to show their retarded ninja ultimate fighting moves and shit. This whole violent dancing thing is difficult. I’m cool with kids dancing hard and letting themselves go to the music. Some people cry about this all the time, but after all it still is a Hardcore show and not a PHIL COLLINS concert. On the other hand it can be really annoying and stupid. For some kids this is just some kind of tough guy thing to act hard and look cool. And this has nothing to do with passion. Actually it’s kind of weird that some people don’t know how to have fun at a show anymore. I always enjoy shows with crazy people jumping off the stage, singing along and having a good time.

So what were the best shows you’ve been to this year?

The best show we played was definitely our release show this November in our hometown. 180 people and a crazy show with a lot of friends. The best shows I’ve been to… that’s a hard one. I saw OBITUARY and DOG EAT DOG and that was crazy. I love both bands and had a good time seeing them live for the first time. I’ve also been at the Roadburn Fest in the Netherlands. That’s more 70’s, Sludge & Stoner music, no Hardcore at all. I never heard such an amazing sound on a show before. We also played with Euro Hardcore legends CRAWLSPACE last week and they are an amazing live band. And, of course, there were a lot of smaller Hardcore shows and I had good times with our friends in ABLAZE, REBORN TO CONQUER and COUNTDOWN. Actually each show you meet friends and hang out is a good one.

Any cool shows left till the end of 2012?

Maybe the SOSF Xmas Mosh, maybe some local shows. But only as a visitor. This year’s Christmas season is Holiday season for BLOOD BY DAYS [laughs]. One of us got a little boy this November and all these album release issues were pretty stressful. We all want to take some time for our girls and families. We’ll be playing shows in January again.

Local shows?

Yeah, I don’t know what’s happening here this December but I’m pretty sure there will be some hardcore/metal/punk show. There always is one [laughs].

How about hitting the road?

You mean with BLOOD BY DAYS?! A tour?

Damn right.

Yeah that still is on our to do list. We already talked about this and we will figure out if this could work for 2013. We all got job and family issues, you know. But we’d LOVE to tour! There are so many cities and countries we haven’t been to. Of course, we’d love to play overseas, too. But I think a tour around Europe/Germany is more realistic. We’ll try our best. So if anyone wants to book a tour for us or to do weekenders/shows for us: just hook us up! We really appreciate it.

Cool. Keep it up and don’t give up, guys. It’s not so difficult to book a mini tour in countries around you and it’s one of the core ideas behind punk – to play shows (!) and share your message anywhere you can.

Anyway, let’s move on. Tell me, where does this rap / hip-hop flavor of yours come from? [smiles]

True words. That’s why we do what we do. It’s all about the shows, at least that’s the most important and most exciting part of being in a band.

About the “rap flavour”: To be honest I never really was into that whole HipHop thing. I always was and always will be a Hardcore, Punk and Metal kid haha. But at some point I started to like Rap music. I started to rap shortly after we founded BLOOD BY DAYS. I think we started mixing it in our sound because of bands like E.Town Concrete. They’ve always been a huge influence for us. Throughout the years that whole Rap twist became some kind of BLOOD BY DAYS  trademark and I think it’s a vital part of our sound now.

Did you have a chance to attend a “Hardcore vs. Hip Hop” gig? I think there’s a way too few parties like this. There will be Diablo fest in NYC in a few days, I remember one amazing gig in Warsaw with Danny, SKARHEAD and various Polish hip hop and hardcore punk bands. Great stuff and lots of fun.

We played several times with a friend of us called Jephza. He’s a very cool dude and makes Rap with cool lyrics and a cool attitude. We were supposed to play a show like that this December but had to cancel because of personal reasons. I like that idea about “crossover” shows but there’s not much like that going on here.

Okay, let’s go back to your discography for a while. How do you remember you 2009 split adventure?

This was a pretty spontaneous release. We actually planned to release an EP that year on Warcity Records, but they had some troubles, canceled releases and in the end the label was shut down. Spook Records were interested in releasing our new songs and they were already working on the 4-way split. We were cool with that and got the last slot on the CD. We recorded all the songs DIY in our rehearsal room. I think the CD helped us to get some attention worldwide. I especially liked the MTG and BORN INTO SUFFERING parts on the CD. It was a good thing because all the bands supported and promoted each other due to the fact they sold their CD to their fans in their own country. It was some kind of “win win” situation for everyone and I liked the idea about it. But I’m not too much of a fan of split EP’s in general.

Have you played some gigs together to promote the release?

That unfortunately never happened. Both MTG and BORN INTO SUFFERING never made it to Europe and we didn’t have the chance to play overseas yet. We planned to do some shows with DOWN TO CONCRETE from Poland but for some reason this never worked either.

What other bands you’d like to release a split with? Are there any plans on the horizon?

No, not yet. We’ll start writing new songs with Tobi (second vocals) as soon as possible. He joined BLOOD BY DAYS after the recording process and so he couldn’t participate in the record. To have a complete line up again feels good and it’s quite good motivation, too. But there are no further plans and nothing cast into stone yet. I’m not sure if we wanna do a split again, I think we’ll be focusing on some kind of EP or 7’’ but I really can’t tell right now. We’ll see!

Ok, buddies. Do you feel that we have covered everything? What else would you like to add?

Yeah, thanks for your questions! For everyone who’s interested in BLOOD BY DAYS just check the album teaser here and listen to the new songs at our bandcamp If you wanna know something, book us for a show, whatever… drop us a line!

Cool! Thanks! Have a good one, dudes! Best regards from Warsaw!

BLOOD BY DAYS Discography (December 2012):
2006 – Familia EP (self-released)
2007 – No Justice, No Peace compilation “No More Regrets” (Warcity Records / Germany)
2008 – Hardcore 4 Life Clothing compilation “Tiger-Day” (Hardcore 4 Life Clothing / Germany)
2008 – 57’HC Demo (self-released)
2009 – Global Beatdown 4way Split EP (Spook Records / Poland)
2011 – Hardcore Help Foundation compilation “Fire Walk With Me” (Hardcore Help Foundation / Germany)
2012 – Fire Walk With Me 7’’ vinyl (Southwest Hardcore Records / Germany)
2012 – As Thick As Thieves (Clandestine Project / Japan)

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