We conducted an interview with THE HOAX PROGRAM, a band mixing rock’n’roll, post hardcore with stoner and southern rock, on February 5, 2012.
Hey guys, thank for your time. Please introduce yourself.
Hey there, I’m Ivo, a bass player in five-piece hardcore/rock’n’roll band The Hoax Program from Ajdovscina, Slovenia. We have been together for the last five years or so.
How’s the Ajdovscina music scene and Slovenian hardcore punk scene looks like today? Is it flourishing?
Ajdovscina is a small town in the western part of Slovenia. Obviously the scene here isn’t big and it never was, but the advantage about that is that we all know and help each other. The town used to be notorious for a good deal of hc/punk concerts in the late 90s, while these days gigs are mainly centralized in our capital. Generally speaking, I think that Slovene hc scene is quite scattered and unconnected, but regarding the number of new great bands, webzines and enviable number of all kinds of concerts, I guess the scene is sort of flourishing.
Tell us about your cooperation with Ivo Lozej, who did the artwork for your “II” album.
Over the years I experienced all kinds of nuisances when it came to the artwork for my bands’ records: searching for the right guy, extensive waiting for the final artwork, and not to mention unfulfilled expectations and some hard feelings that came with it. For those very reasons I started drawing about two years ago. So, in The Hoax Program case the artwork wasn’t an outcome of any cooperation with some outside guy like we did it in the past, but it was done inside the band, in the good old do-it-yourself spirit.
What was the main idea behind changing your direction back in 2007? Were you bored with hardcore punk? What does hardcore mean for you personally?
You need to understand that after LOW PUNCH split back in 2001, five years have passed before we started playing again. At first, the whole idea was to continue from where we stopped, but our musical preferences were already somewhere else by then and it didn’t take long when we suddenly felt stuck in the past. Therefore it was best for us to change the name and start from zero. I wouldn’t say we got bored with hardcore/punk. If you listen to the record it’s still very much present, but we definitely longed for something more, something a bit more challenging music-wise. To me hardcore music signifies intensity, sincerity, emotion charge and a strong message. The latter didn’t really change the world as we believed back in the 90s, but it definitely can have a potentially strong impact on individual. For some people it’s just another music style but I always saw it as something more than just noise and screaming.
Can you give us a quick tour of your pre-2007 releases?
In the short four-year existence of our previous band Low Punch, which was formed in 1997, we managed to put out a demo tape, a 4-way split CD with local hardcore bands MAN IN THE SHADOW, ENTREAT and STRAIGHTFORWARD, and a full length album Act.Revolt.Live, which was our last output.
I can’t talk on the behalf of Jani, who also plays guitar and sings in REAL LIFE VERSION (they are touring over the Europe right now), but I consider my other two bands ELODEA and IAMDISEASE as equal to THE HOAX PROGRAM. Sometimes I give more attention to one, sometimes to another. But it’s true Elodea has been pretty much dead for the last two years, which is probably for the best, cause I would have probably burnt out very fast if all the three bands worked simultaneously.
What subjects do you write mostly about and why?
Our vocalist Dean would probably answer this question better, as he wrote all the lyrics. But I can say we have always tried to distinct ourselves, musically and lyrically, as far as possible from what popular radio and TV channels feed us day by day. We took example from classic hardcore/punk records we had grown up on and created something with message and meaning. Back in the Low Punch days it was more like unleashing anger and disagreement towards all kinds of ideologies, events, scene and relationships, whereas now, with The Hoax Program we are a bit older and like it or not pressed down into the wells of routine repression of capitalistic mechanism. Most of our lyrics come right from that very point.
How often do you rehearse? Is playing live better for your band than a practice room?
We all have jobs, some have kids, and others are in different bands, so at the moment we can’t really afford spending together more than two hours per week in the rehearsal room. Being on the stage can be one of the best sensations there is. If somebody asks us to play, we will happily accept the offer, but if not, we will also have fun and just as good time for those two hours in our rehearsal room.
So what’s next for the band? Any big touring plans for upcoming months?
My brother Radovan, our guitar player, became a father a few days after the record release so we kind of had to slow down with band plans, even though now would be the best time to play like crazy while the record is still hot and all. I guess we will try to fix that in the following months, plus we already have some new song material to work on. But regarding the mentioned circumstances, I don’t really see any big touring plans anytime soon. It’s just not possible at the moment.
What are your plans after THE HOAX PROGRAM? Enough stoner rock?
You mean after we split? Who knows? It might be we will all be grey, deaf and bold by then. I guess only the time will tell.
Would you like to add something else?
Thanks a lot for the interview and all the best with Idioteq.