Interviews

Austrian powerviolence act STRAFPLANET discuss politics in punk

STRAFPLANET live band
STRAFPLANET’s debut full length Freizeitstress (March 2018, Constraszt! Records) cemented a creative, fierce, politically infused band with a lot of potential on tap. Their raging brand of fastcore breathed new life into a subgenre and made STRAFPLANET a band to watch live in the DIY touring circuit. After 13 months of asking, pressing and persisting, we finally manage to catch the band and get our little interview ready. We discussed the incentives and influences behind their work, shared views on politics in punk, and more.

STRAFPLANET from Graz / Austria deliver a punishing outburst of female fronted hardcore drenched with noisy feedback and oozing with rage. Fast paced and in-your-face hardcore punk that’s filled with squealing guitars, vicious shrieks, down-tuned bass, and blasting drums. Think of Punch and No Statik to give you a hint. What a fucking rager! / Contraszt! Records

Continued below…

STRAFPLANET live

Hey guys, thanks a lot for joining us! You’ve been quite for the last 12 months and then, all of a ssudden, we have a new record! Your debut full length actually. How are you? How does it feel to be back with new furious, socially conscious material?

Laci: Hey Karol. Thank you for your question. I am doing just fine. The reason for our disappearance (or for the lack of our online presence) is that our personal lives have gone through certain changes and with that the band dynamics have changed too. We don’t live in the same city anymore, so we can’t rehearse or hang out just spontaneously. Some of us have new jobs or/and started their studies which explains why we can’t accept all the gig invitations. Nevertheless, we played a few shows and did even some touring from time to time. It feels deliberating to have the new record finally out and of course the positive feedback motivates us a lot…

Current political and social climate clearly proves capitalism to be a system that generates inequality and does not enable people to live their lives the best way that they can. What’s your view on modern-day way globalization, exploitation and other struggles of modern civilization? Lyrically, what exactly inspired you to write these tracks?

Laci: Sure, it’s all true what you say here. The term itself says it all, those who own big capital (the value of people’s work) own the means of production, the media and also influence the state apparatus. They supply products and provide services and therefore they can create demands or control the behavior and lives of huge masses of people with the sole intention of trying to multiply their invested capital. And however the number of discontent people is most probably also growing still no effective way has been developed to fight and get rid of this evil system.

I think, what we are trying to do here is to present our accumulated knowledge on some of these topics and maybe with that we can motivate some people to further study the correlations we consider important and maybe also indirectly motivate them to do something against it.

Apart from the band, are you politically active? How can people organize and mobilize to make a change?

Laci: We are all involved in with explicitly political or loosely political stuffs. I think that there are shit tons of ways to organize and mobilize, but I guess it should be basically non-hierarchical, horizontal and independent (from governments, firms etc). And probably being up-to-date (using new, lesser known methods), but retrospective (learning from past mistakes, success stories or basic ideas) at the same time would also help. And of course I can only talk about experiences that I have collected in small underground organizations…

How has your project and your involvement in the DIY punk scene shaped the way that you interact with the world, especially in regard to politics and social issues?

Laci: Most of the people I meet in diy punk-communities inspire me and it just feels good to be part of a world-wide movement where the membership requires a certain type of ethical, mutually respectful behavior rather than a yearly fee or something like that. Also, in a way, diy shows an example on how to organize or build a society (in this case a subcultural society) differently, as opposed to the current democratic/dictatoric societies. People are not really born to be part of the scene (as opposed to people born into national states or born to be rich or poor ), rather they choose it and are willing to accept its ideals, philosophy and participate in it rather than just be ruled.

Why is a punk band still one of the best ways to express critical thoughts on issues that might be very inconvenient for certain groups of people? Why is it such an effective way to fight inequalities and injustice?

L: Maybe because for many people it means more than a musical style or rebelling aesthetics…and also the diy philosophy just inspires you to dare to do stuffs.

STRAFPLANET cover art

What do you feel is the role of aesthetics, as it relates to your work and its meaning? How was this considered when you prepared this amazing cover art?

L: I might not be the right person in the band to answer this question. In my, interpretation our cover art somehow represents the playfulness and innocence of our childhood as opposed to the cold reality that our lyrics are dealing with. This contradiction is also present in our personalities since we are a pretty cynical, sarcastic jovial bunch of people, who are able to joke about even our own misery too.

Ok, so both performing and recording wise, what are your next steps and plans for the future? What do you see on the horizon?

L: We just wanna play shows, as much as we can, in spite of all the difficulties. Also, maybe starting to rehearse on a more regular basis wouldn’t hurt us.

STRAFPLANET band

Thanks so much for your time and honest thoughts. The last words are yours.

L. Thanks for the interview and the everlasting patience.

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