This young DIY sweaty hardcore band from Siegen, Germany was founded in March 2012 and have been playing shows since summer 2012. BEARDOWN released their first DIY demo in April 2013 and now are in the middle process of creating their debut EP, to be released later this year.
Check out my interview with the band, telling their story, drawing their plans, explaining what “DIY” means to them and why Nazis and the “scene police” is total bullshit :)
Hey, guys! Please introduce the band to IDIOTEQ readers.
Okay, to introduce us: four friends, playing hard music together for years, were looking for a new voice. With a handful straight hardcore songs in our pockets, we found Micha, the guy who just fits in like the missing piece to a puzzle. Together we started to complete the old songs and write new ones. Each of us listens to a huge range of different music but its hardcore our hearts beat most for. The collective creates dirty sweaty East Coast sound that will not fulfill every cliché. Everything is DIY, for the subculture and for ‘a good time. Nazis and scene police fuck off. Our roots are not denied, and our values still held high. For us it’s about fun, friendship and solidarity.
How did you form BEARDOWN?
The guys playing instruments know each other for many years. For example Benny, Peer and I went together to school whenPeer and I already started playing in a band. Over a number of years we played in a hardcore/metal band and some side projects where we also found Matthias for the bass. Since late 2011 we were just the four musicians without a singer. We wrote five/six new songs – straight hardcore – the style we were all longing for after the hardcore/metal thing.
All of a sudden a friend of mine asked if I could help them out on the drums for a rehearsal. This was where I met Micha (he was playing the bass guitar). We talked about hardcore (the band where we met played some garage rock) and he told me that he actually prefers the mic instead of the bass. I told him about us – a bunch of guys playing that music – so we kept in touch. It took some months until it finally worked out that Micha showed up for a session – that was in Feb/March 2012. Pretty quickly we realized that this was the sound we always tried to play and Micha just fit in perfect.
We started working on the old songs again (change some stuff like riffs, drums or the lyrics) and processing the formation of a band name that is short, crisp and pithy. Influenced from the verb “to bear down” since it was like a new beginning for us and we felt like “okay let’s do this – without looking back and without any regrets” – BEARDOWN was born. In June 2012 we played a free DIY rehearsal show just to see if people like what we are doing. For us – just playing for a couple months in that constellation the feedback was overwhelming. With that new motivation we started working harder to get that demo recorded…
Did you set a certain goal to accomplish with BEARDOWN for this or the next year?
Of course! We already got some more new songs and we would love to hit the studio again and record a 5-6 song EP. For that we’re looking for another band who’s interested in a split CD project.
Besides that we’re trying to play as many shows as possible to get more known and a bigger fan base!
If it works out to release the EP in 2013 our goal for 2014 would be to go for a little tour and work on a long player.
You recorded your demo at Schuppen Studio Aachen. Will you come back there to register the EP?
Definitely! Halma and Dennis did a great job! What we did there in just two days – unbelievable. Such cool guys – down to earth. We became good friends, played at their bands (STILL ILL) Release Show and will be playing a couple more shows with them in the future. You should check them out – rough hardcore punk! For our Demo, they did the whole process (recording, mixing and mastering). For the EP, we’re thinking about recording at Schuppen Studio and Mastering somewhere else (but so far we don’t have an specific idea).
Sure thing I’ll check ‘em out, thanks!
You mentioned a double record. Any particular band you’d like to release a split with?
Not really. I mean so far we’re still getting started. With every show we play, we meet more new people – get to know new friends. We already talked to some cool other bands: STILL ILL just released a Split CD with ON THE RUN… Another band SECONDS OF PEACE only released a demo ep so far just like us. So they showed some interest. Let’s see what it looks like at the end of this year ;-)
I’m curious about your local music environment. How big is the punk scene getting over there?
We’re from Siegen. In our area there are a couple bigger hardcore bands (like EMBRACED BY HATRED or BLOOD BY DAYZ) and we got a nice underground club called Vortex. The owner Mike is doing a great job. Always looking for good acts (all kinds of music: Black, Death, Thrash or Heavy Metal / Hardcore / Punk / Indie / …). Bands like EVERGREEN TERRANCE, PRO PAIN, WALLS OF JERICHO, HEATHEN and many more, already played there. Next month they got AGNOSTIC FRONT performing there. So that’s pretty sick. In the “Ruhrpott” Area (that is like 100km from us) there is a pretty big hardcore/punk scene where also The Hardcore Help Foundation is located (I’m sure you heard about them?!).
Definitely. Have you been working with these guys?
Unfortunately, not yet. But we hope to get in touch with them since we really like what they are doing (they are quite busy but in July we’re gonna play a show in Lüdenscheid that’s where they are located and we hope to get to talk to Rico there). Would be awesome to be part of it and support it.
Ok. Tell me more about those previous bands of yours. Do you have any side-projects still running by now?
The one band we had for many years without big results (one demo ep and one long player self recorded and maybe 20-30 gigs in Germany in 10 years). After a long time of unmotivated jamming and not moving forward we broke up. That was the time when we started just as musicians to go for new stuff.
Apart from that, me and Matthias were playing in a punkrock band (mostly cover songs from RAMONES, SOCIAL DISTORTION, THE BONES, MOTÖRHEAD, …). But we felt to short of time for that anymore (it was more for fun). Right now we all got packed lives (studying, working, friends, family – Matthias is married and got 2 kids) so we keep focusing on BEARDOWN and put all our effort and energy into that!
So how many stages have you already played as BEARDOWN?
By now we played seven shows and got a couple more in the future. We’ll be playing with LOOK MY WAY in Siegen in June and with COUNTDOWN and WORLD EATER in July. And we’re always looking for some shows (it’s not always that easy as a new band if you don’t have some connections – but its getting better with every show). From the last three shows we got some sweet videos, the next weeks we’re gonna edit a video and put it online with a song from the demo that people can get an impression of what a BEARDOWN show looks like.
Great! Make sure to let me know! :)
Would you consider going for a proper European trek later this year? Would you have to make major adjustments to life at home in order to pursue touring?
We’d love to go on a tour. If it works out, still this year – of course – why not. But yeah, we have to make some adjustments. As I said before Matthias is married and got two kids. All of us are either working or studying (or both). So we need to clarify this. And since we don’t have any booking agency or something else behind, it’s even harder. That’s why we’re planning this for 2014.
“Everything is DIY”, you say. What does it mean to you personally and as a band?
To me it means we are doing what we wanna do. And we’re working hard for it. Real music, played by a bunch of good friends that wanna have a good time and share their passion with other people.
We started in a basement rehearsal room and so far there is no label, no management, no booking agency or anything else. Our demo for example: besides that Halma and Dennis recorded our stuff and did the mastering, we did the rest by ourselves. We got a good buddy who’s doing the homepage for us and also did the demo design. The video I mentioned before we will be doing it by ourselves. We don’t have money to spend on stuff like that to get it done by someone professional – and we don’t want to. To do something for the scene without trying to make the big money but for a loyal fan base and friendship.
What would you say about the recent THIS ROUTINE IS HELL’s note on Monster Energy and other corporations supporting hardcore punk events? Do you agree with the band?
Okay I think the point is we’re all living in the 21st century and we’re all part of it. Everybody is in a certain way making use of something modern like internet, notebooks, smart phones…whatever and that’s all cool – its just they give us all that stuff and make it bigger, faster, fancier and so on – and we want it and take it – on the other hand we get pissed off that consumption craze while somewhere else people die of hunger! It’s always hard to strike a balance…
In case of the Monster Video: We don’t have a distaste for a cold Monster Drink or some good looking girls at our shows or in general. It should be clear to everybody that Monster is a global playing concern and their goal is not our movement – to be part of it or support it. There have always been people and companies that try to become part of the alternative scene to get a fancy image…
As long as we keep the spirit and heart to do it for each other, for the fans, for the scene that’s the most important. We need to be aware of what their goal is but if we can get a benefit out of it and not get bounded by strict contracts it can be a gain.
But I agree that video is too much.
„Scene police fuck off” – could you please extend the thought? :) It’s a perfct chance to finally define the term on my pages.
Haha, of course let me try ;)!
Let me first share my personal thought on it. I love music. I love a lot of different styles, listening, and playing! But there’s something special about hardcore that makes it very important in my life. For me it is a good way to describe my feelings, my emotions and what my heart longs for. When I had a hard time in my life, the band helped me to get passed it! Just doing something where I can be myself and put everything in I have to give!
So I think I’m not lying, when I say that counts for the whole band! We’re playing music for a good feeling, for a good time and a lot of fun! We want to see people at our shows that come for the same reasons! And not because of sympathy or because to be seen (sometimes it seems its more about “hey look how big my tunnels are, how many tats I got, my new air max…what ever”).
We don’t care about the way you look – just be yourself and live that every day! I feel ashamed when I see people follow every hype & trend….characterless & spineless… and of course fuck off Nazis!
Do you know what I mean?
So how would you define the scene police? :)
The scene police are people that don’t have a clue of what we are doing. People that follow every hype from the internet and try to convert everybody to that bullshit and a year later it’s all over because its not in anymore…
:) Haha, nice one.
Ok, what else, buddies? Any last words you’d like to share with us? Something big I missed?
Thank you Karol for the interview and the chance to share our thoughts with your readers. To all the hardcore kids stay tuned check us out and support the scene! It’s not just about going to the big shows but also go to the small shows and get to see a couple of bands that rip off their ass for the music and you only have to pay a couple of bucks for it. Without some guys that put all their effort and heart into it to get something started there would be no scene at all (think bout the HHF – it all started with one guy trying to do something good!) – appreciate their work! Over and out
BEARDOWN official website