err 20
Interviews

STUCK IN A RUT interview

On April 13th we had a chance to talk to another great band from Cluj Napoca, Romania. Here’s STUCK IN A RUT – vMishuv (guitar), Vlad XVX (vocals) and Suciu (drums).

Ok, this is getting weird. Our readers may think we have a special deal with Romania’s Department of Foreign Affairs [laughs]. How are you guys?

Vlad:

[laughs] Yeah, Romania’s #1 export is hardcore.
We’re good. We just came back from playing 2 shows with our French friends from I AM A CURSE and NOUS DANSERONS SUR VOS RUINS. One of them was in Deva, and I’ve never been there before and that’s always an experience.

Misu:

Hey! Not bad.. We just had a couple of great shows with NOUS DANSERONS SUR VOS RUINS  and I AM A CURSE  from France.

Are there any more good local bands that weren’t mentioned by your fellows?

Vlad:

COERCION from Bucharest/Constanta. Other than that I think they mentioned them all, at least the ones I like. The Romanian punk/hardcore scene is actually quite small.

Suciu:

Not sure what bands they mentioned, but of course there’s PAVILIONUL 32 and from the metal scene, Spiritual Ravishment are doing a very good job. There are a lot of new bands springing up everywhere, but very few actually pass the test of time.

Don’t you feel alone on your national scene? Is it easy to put out a 100% hardcore punk gig in your area?

Vlad:

I’ve never felt alone. Everywhere we go, we find friends and we always feel like home. This is what hardcore is about. There aren’t a lot of bands that play the same stuff as we do, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get along with other bands. The great thing about being part of a small scene is that people are gathered here around common ideals rather than music genres. So at one show you can find everything from punk to grind to sludge to whatever. It’s not easy to put out a 100% hardcore show, but that has never been a goal of mine, diversity is always good.

Suciu:

Me neither. The scene is small but tight. Everywhere we go we play for friends.

Musically, you’re definitely oriented in a different way than MEDIOCRACY and COINS AS PORTRAITS. What are you inspirations? Was it a process to create this certain sound of yours, or did it come just like that right after you formed the band?

Misu:

Everyone in the band has a different backround, and influences. It was definitely a process to arrive to what we’re playing now. At the beginning we just wanted to play fast, raw, hardcore-punk, like LARM, SEEIN’ RED, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? – that sort of stuff. And over time we began adding certain other elements that we liked from other genres. For me, the biggest influences come from sludge/doom/drone on one side – for the heaviness – 80’s style hardcore-punk – for the simple fast chord changes- and powerviolence – putting the two together. We’re not trying to fit one style or another – if the drummer comes up with something that will fit a crusty guitar part, we’re gonna end up having a crusty song even if not originally intended… It will always be a process – the only thing that matters is that we like what we play no matter what label it fits under. For the No Future album I think that the biggest influence, soundwise, were doom/sludge duos. I took the cue from them for running my guitar through two amps at once, one for guitar and one for bass and mixing them. That had a huge impact on the overall sound.

Vlad:

We never had anything specific in mind. No formula, no nothing. We just do what feels right for the moment. The sound did change a lot since we started. We had a lot of trouble with people not wanting to play anymore or not having the time, but now we finally reached some stability and I believe it shows. This is by far our most productive year yet. As for inspirations, I don’t know, anger and frustration [laughs].

Suciu:

I’ve always tried to find my own sound, not just copy/paste other bands. I think it worked well until now and that we created something different. Of course we each have our own inspirations, but that is inevitable because we all love music so much.

How was your recent show with NAPALM DEATH? We saw the videos and I must admit that all supporting bands kicked ass big time. You really know how to smash a head without a hammer.

Suciu:

From my point of view, it was one of our best shows. I think same goes for every other band that played on that night. It was a good fit that all the Romanian bands were friends and part of the same scene and stood for the same things.

Misu:

I was watching MEDIOCRACY play before us and I thought to myself “No way I’m getting up there on the stage with all the flashy lights and whatnot.” – I hate stages, and especially being in the spotlight – this time literally). But it was fun after all..

Vlad:

Different. Not sure I would like to be part of something like that again. The show was fun and people responded a lot better than I expected but I don’t want to be part of that world. Too much business for my taste. I get that some bands attract a lot of people and have different demands, but from that to selling Brutal Assault panties is a very long way. I still respect them for everything they did and that they still have a clear message, most bands once they get “popular” tend to blur the lines when it comes to politics and certain issues.

What’s the story behind Leave Me Alone Zine? Do you run it?

Vlad:

The Leave Me Alone Zine started out as local project, where we would gather opinions and articles from people involved in the DIY scene in Cluj-Napoca. Now we are at our 5th issue and we have people from countries like Greece and Switzerland contributing. It’s nothing huge, we only print like 30-40 zines per issue due to very limited funds, but it is available online for free. It’s one of the few things that we can still do as a community. We also try not to make just about the music, but more about the ideas and experiences that come from living within the hardcore punk community.

Misu:

We were involved in the DIY scene before we started playing together, and the zine was something we always wanted to do. Just yelling about the ideas we care for, in a 30 minutes show is not enough.

What STUCK IN A RUT releases are already on the market? How do you distribute your music?

Vlad:

We have kind of a demo, called “First Year”, which we never physically released. We were planning on putting some of the songs from it on a split cassette with PAVILIONUL 32 but due to some technical difficulties it got delayed and I don’t know what’s the situation now.
 We recently released our first proper album, “No Future”, which you can download for free on our bandcamp (stuckinarut.bandcamp.com) or you can buy it from our friends from Fading Halo Records.

Are there any new tunes you’re readying right now? Let’s make this interview an exclusive feature and reveal a secret for us [laughs].

Vlad:

[laughs] Yeah actually, we are working on new songs. We’ve been a little busy with shows but now we have a short break from playing so we’re going back to the drawing board. Maybe we’ll do a split, but there is nothing set in stone yet

Suciu:

I’m hoping to record again in autumn and maybe release a split. But there is still a long time until then. We’re taking everything day by day.

Any serious touring plans? Or just single shows?

Vlad:

We are currently booking a tour with I STARED INTO THE FOREST, for this August. It will be around 10-11 days and mostly through Central Europe. Other than that we have some shows in Romania. We would love to tour more, but there’s the money problem and also the fact that none of us owns a car.

Suciu:

If it was up to me we would tour non-stop [laughs].

What does this DIY hardcore punk thing mean to you? Is it a style of your musical appearance, or do you “live by the code”?

Vlad:

It’s not a sect or anything like that [laughs]. For me DIY and hardcore go hand in hand. It’s an extension of all the things hardcore stands for. It’s a way of empowering people to do things outside of mainstream society, outside consumerism and all that bullshit. If hardcore is really a different way of thinking than the next step is to put that thinking into action and not just limit yourself to what you consume. This is where DIY is important in my opinion. The thing is the more the hardcore scene mirrors mainstream society the more it loses its essence. Too many kids come to shows just to buy shit and don’t really care anymore. It’s important not to lose the sense of community, but the way things are going, the rift between bands and the kids is getting bigger and bigger, and it’s no surprise that they see this as just another party or something to do on a free night.

Misu:

For me DIY it’s about turning your back to the mainstream consumer society. It’s about doing things your way as independently as possible – not just about music – but in all aspects of life. We just planted some onions, garlic and radishes on the balcony).

Suciu:

When I joined STUCK IN A RUT I was new to this world and didn’t know much about the Do-It-Yourself world, but now it became a big influence in my life.

What’s the biggest thing going on in your lives right now?

Misu:

Trying to finish my PhD thesis in geology, and still finding time to play (in the broad sense of the word).

Vlad:

Being hardcore is a full time job [laughs]. I try to stay away from the “normal” 9 to 5 life as much as possible. I mostly divide my time between doing shows in Cluj, Stuck In A Rut, scene related activities and my girlfriend and our 3 cats. We’re also trying to get an infoshop/autonomous center going, but it’s still at the beginning.

Suciu:

I’m just glad we’re doing well and we have shows and people are responding well to our message.

Thanks so much. Anything you’d like to add?

Vlad:

Thanks for the interest. Keep supporting the DIY community and if you catch us on tour this august drop by and say hi. Take care!

STUCK IN A RUT live (go here to see more videos from this show):

em

Comments
To Top