2 montths after the White Russian Records‘ release of their full length album ‘Seven’, we sit down with Dutch hardcore band TARANTINO to talk about their cool name, old school inspirations, positive message, national music scene, religion, recommend some independent artists worth your time, and provide some entertainment in the process. Read the full interview below.
After a self-titled 7″ in 2013 and splits with Angstgegner and A Million Squeeks Will Do You No Harm, TARANTINO released their first full length album on August 28th. Clocking in just over 26 minutes, it showcases exactly that what TARANTINO stands for. Energetic, fast and unscrupulous hardcore punk sharing a positive message – making the band a perfect fit and addition to the record collection of fans of NegativeApproach, BlackFlag, TrashTalk and Ceremony.
Photo by Ted Gijsman.
Hey guys! Congrats on your debut full length! How are you? Please tell us a bit about your very beginnings and what led you to this moment.
Hey, thanks a lot! Joep here, guitar player in TARANTINO. Doing very well at the moment.
Alright, so TARANTINO started out in the beginning of 2012 when the old punk band of our singer Randy and drummer Jacinho called it quits. Me and the other guitarist Daan used to play together in a couple bands which had all quit around that time. We all knew each other from the local ‘scene’ I guess, and talked a lot about starting our own hardcore punk band. So we got long-time friend Paul involved on bass and started playing together.
We did some shows around the country and released a self-titled EP. Some time after that we wrote and recorded more songs, which came out on a split 7″ with ANGSTGEGNER and a split tape with A MILLION SQUEEKS WILL DO YOU NO HARM. We continuously played the Netherlands and a couple of other countries during all this, we’re not really a “taking a break from playing shows to write more music”-kinda band.
After these releases we wanted to work on a bigger and more cohesive project, so we tried our hand at all full-length. The end result of that just came out last August on LP on White Russian Records, and we’re super excited to share it with the world!
Where exactly are you based out of? How do you balance between your various locations?
We all live in the south of the Netherlands: Tilburg, Breda, Eindhoven, and currently Zeeland. But that’s all pretty close together and two of us even live in the same house! So I guess location has never really been an issue for us.
How did your local punk scene react to your new project? Tell us a bit about your relationship with the Dutch hardcore, related bands and support you’ve received so far.
The reaction to our first album has definitely been positive overall! We got some good reviews coming in, and our friends and the people we care about seem to like it a lot.
There’s a lot of cool bands in the Netherlands, and some amazing people putting up shows that have helped us out a lot over the years. Some bands that immediately spring to mind are our split buddies I mentioned earlier and bands like SCREW HOUSTON, OTIS (RIP), MAAGZUUR, BACKBREAKER (RIP), PANTAH & MARCH.
There are quite some bands in our ‘hardcore scene’ that we can’t really relate to, so we often like to think that we’re part of something a little bigger than just that. But on the other hand there’s so many bands and people coming to mind right now, so I guess it’s not all too bad!
Back to the record, how did you guys hook up with White Russian Records to put out this record?
Alright! So we’ve known Roelof from White Russian for quite some time because we played some shows with his band SCREW HOUSTON. We played a little show that he set up (he does that too!) and got to talking about our new album that we just recorded. For some reason we didn’t even get the idea to talk about White Russian releasing it, but we did ask him to give us some tips on distribution and such. We sent him the recordings and the conversation pretty much escalated a couple of days later into White Russian offering to just release the record altogether. So that talk definitely worked out in our favor.
Have you played a lot of show in support of this release? Tell us about your record release party and possible future gigs you have planned.
We did a release show in Eindhoven with IRON REAGAN headlining and our friends from MAAGZUUR playing as well. We kinda have a bad track record with release parties and not having the actual release with us yet, but this time our record arrived a full two days(!) before the show. So it was just a fun evening with the album itself actually there, and a lot of friends attending. IRON REAGAN played a great show too.
So our record just came out and we’re already doing this new thing where we collaborate with noise/ambient outfit A MILLION SQUEEKS WILL DO YOU NO HARM and it’s turning out to be really cool and interesting. We have a couple of ‘normal’ shows planned as well, but we’re really getting into this collab at the moment. We’re currently writing new songs with him, and want to release those at some point. We’re playing some shows together such as last September at the Incubate Festival, and next January at the Paradiso in Amsterdam.
So a lot of stuff is happening, but we’re not super focused on promoting ‘Seven’.
Yup, back to the record, could you give us some insight on your approach to wiritng lyrics? Content wise, what TARANTINO is about?
Our singer Randy writes pretty much all our lyrics. I would say they are mostly about voicing discontent and frustrations. About turning negative feelings into something positive. This can range from personal stuff to bigger, social issues.
On the new album, we took a bit of a different approach to the lyrics. We had been toying with the idea of writing songs based on the sayings of Jesus Christ on the cross for a long time, so we just decided to go for it with our first album. We took these seven last words from Jesus as an overarching theme, with the lyrics directly adressing more contemporary issues. So it’s not really a concept album, but there is some sort of thematic cohesiveness to it.
TARANTINO singing about Jesus. Sounds like a lot of fun :) Why would you name a band TARANTINO?
Haha, right! We’re definitely not a religious band, but we’ve seen so many hardcore bands blindly stating oversimplified crap like ‘religion is cancer’ that we wanted to offer some kind of counterpart to that. Even if it’s merely using the bible in a literary way.
I don’t even fully remember how we got our name. Let’s just say that ‘Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy’ was a bit too long and this was our second contender. We just thought it sounded good, and we still think that. And we obviously like the movies.
In the wake of various terrorist attacks with lots of religious backgrounds, how seriously should modern religions be taken? Should we feel threatened by them?
It’s not really religion itself that’s the issue, it’s the way someone interprets it. Some people use religion as a crutch to lean on, while others use it as a stick to beat people with. The people in the latter category are definitely in the minority. But these people are also the ones who are given the most attention in any form of media, so everyone thinks that terorrists are hiding around every corner nowadays.
Religious extremism should obviously not be condoned, but that has more to do with extremism than with religion. Also: we should not feel threatened.
Photo by Nous Daovise
Ok guys, lastly, running a band in current fast moving digital times and more and more spoiled youth can be quite challenging. How do you handle this? What’s your view on the digital transformation of music business and other facets of modern life?
We have a very positive outlook on the digital world. There’s an endless supply of great music online. There are countless bands who put all their stuff on Bandcamp, Youtube or Spotify or whatever, and we’re one of those bands. You can download our album for free. I think it’s most important that people have access to music, whether or not they have money. Even Dischord Records recently put their entire catalog on Bandcamp, and I couldn’t be more happy about that. And if it’s a money thing: if your album is good than people will buy it anyway.
In short: free music for the crusties! If hardcore bands start whining about money than they should just play a different style of music.
Ok, so I guess we’re pretty much done here.
One last thing though, what are some of the biggest challenges and plans for you in the upcoming months?
Our current plans mostly revolve around this ‘Tarantino X Squeeks’ collab we’re doing. We’re working pretty hard at reworking our and his old songs to fit this new project, and we’re busy writing new work with this extra layer of noise and ambient sounds incorporated into our hardcore punk sound. We’re also gonna keep playing shows in the Netherlands and probably some other European countries as well, with a lot of ‘Seven’ thrown in the setlist. Also, there’s this huge BLACK FLAG tribute mixtape coming out on Black Death Records to which we contributed some songs. So we’re definitely not sitting still!
Awesome! Can’t wait to hear that!
Thanks so much for the chat. Feel free to add your final thoughts and take care!
Thank you for the nice conversation and the support! Everyone should definitely check out all the bands that were mentioned during this interview alongside our friends in BAD ATTITUDE, LOTUS, SCHELLES, PIGTEETH, RITES, AGGRAVATION, RUN LIKE HELL and SCALLYWAGS for a wide variety of Dutch (and Belgian) goodness! All these bands are on Bandcamp. Oi!