Holy Goat Records and Fear Of Heights from Germany, Cosmic Note from Japan and Boslevan Records from the UK are about to release a great 7″ record by Cologne based post hardcore band I RECOVER, a new band with members of PUNCH, KUMULUS, BLANK and SCHMUTZSTAFFEL. Having launched the project in 2013, they might not be the busiest band around, but they definitely play some great tunes. Their debut 7′ was produced by Christoph Scheidel, mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley at the Atomic Garden in San Francisco, and delivers a qulity set of emotive hardcore in the vein of 90s DC energy, combining the energy of hardcore with more finesse melodies of the mid-80s Revolution Summer period (think EMBRACE, DAG NASTY, RITES OF SPRING). IDIOTEQ is very proud to have an opportunity to present this record, as well as give you a chance to learn a bit more about its creators. Launch the full stream below and scroll down to read the full interview with I RECOVER!
I RECOVER is a Hardcore/Punk outfit from Cologne/Germany. They started jamming in early 2013 and played a few local shows. After finally getting their act together they entered the ’79 Sound studio in Cologne to record their first 7″ with Christoph Scheidel and got it mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley at the Atomic Garden in San Francisco. Their six songs sound like a pretty Hardcore take on Emo/DC stuff, combining the energy of classical Hardcore with the chaotic melodies of the Revolution Summer. Even though these guys are all involved in other projects of varying fame (in alphabetical order: BLANK, KUMULUS, PUNCH, SCHMUTZSTAFFEL) I RECOVER stands on its own, as it gives each member the chance to do things differently than in their other bands.
Hey there guys! So, I RECOVER is not entirely a rookie band. You formed this band more than 2 years ago, yet somehow managed to lock your ideas for potential record for so long. How come? Tell us about how you started I RECOVER and how it related to your other projects.
I RECOVER initially started in early 2013 when our Drummer Flo asked our bass player Tobi if he wanted to start a band. Tobi’s other band had a practice space two blocks away from Flo’s place, so he figured out they’d just get together and jam some tunes now and then. Tobi knew Dan and asked him if he wanted to play guitar.
In the beginning we played fast HC/Punk songs as a three-piece with Dan and Tobi screaming. We jammed once or twice a month, sometimes took longer breaks because some of us were busy with other projects or private matters and eventually wrote enough songs to play some shows. We recorded these songs in the summer of 2014, still with the harsh vocals. Thing is, our stuff had become increasingly melodic at that point. It had that 80s and 90s DC vibe, with a looser approach to song-writing that gave each instrument more room to breathe. The vocals we recorded just didn’t fit that anymore. So we made the rather bold decision to scrap the vocals tracks in the middle of the recordings and find a singer who could actually sing.
Again, this took some time and in early 2015 we met Daniel. We clicked immediately, he was super into it and after a few months of practicing we could finally re-record the vocals in the summer of 2015. From there on it was the usual grind: mix/master, pressing plant, artwork, screen-printing all the covers and here we are!
It was a bumpy road, but we’re really happy with the way I RECOVER turned out. In hindsight it was the right thing to give it some time, even though it took a lot of patience from everyone involved, especially the labels!
Can you tell us about your new 7’’ release, the background and inspirations behind it?
Given how long it took it feels really great to finally hold the 7” in our hands. We’re super satisfied with how it turned out! We also did as much as we could ourselves: we organized everything, dealt with the pressing plant, screen-printed covers and inlays, put all the records together and so on. It feels like a really personal record to us. And it looks pretty good, too! Dan runs a screen-printing shop, so we could go all out on the artwork while stilling being able to sell the 7” at a reasonable price.
The lyrics mostly deal with social and political issues on a very personal level. Daniel wrote most of them, so they reflect his thoughts and experiences: growing up in German middle-class boredom, the pressure of every day’s routine, questioning your own privileges, identity and the social demands you’re confronted with. The overall message: Stay positive and start with yourself if you want to make a change!
All the lyrics are available in the 7” and on our Bandcamp-page anyway, so feel free to read them yourself if you’re interested.
What labels are involved and how did you decide to work with them?
The 7” is out on Fear of Heights and Holy Goat Records from Germany, Boslevan Records from the UK and Cosmic Note from Japan. We just asked a couple of friends who run labels if they were interested in helping us out and these guys were into it. It’s a classical DIY thing: small pressing (323 in total), distributed among several labels from different countries. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
You played only a handful of shows so far. Will there be more touring from I RECOVER in 2016?
We’re definitely planning on playing live more often! We did a few shows with the new line-up last summer, and then Daniel left to study in London for half a year. We already have a couple of shows scheduled for 2016 and we’re looking to play more. Touring would be great, but we’re a rather small band, so we’ll just have to see how well booking goes for us. We’re probably never going to be that band that tours three months a year, but we’ll be busier than we were in the past.
Record-wise, what are you next steps? Will there be more releases for fans of your sound and composing skills?
We already have a bunch of new songs in our live set and are working on more material at the moment. We’ll most likely record again this year, at least for a second 7”. Maybe some other opportunities will arise as well. The new songs have mostly been written as a four-piece, so they sound more coherent and are definitely tailored to Daniel’s vocals. It’s basically the same style as the 7”, just a little less fast Hardcore and a little more Emo/DC-stuff.
Ok guys, so lastly, what were you thankful for in 2015 and what are your hopes for this year?
We’re super thankful for our band finally coming together and getting that 7” done. Our hopes for 2016 are playing as many shows as possible and successfully recording and releasing our new songs, hopefully with fewer delays.
How would you comment on modern punk rock and hardcore music? Socially and politically, what kind of impact do you feel it has nowadays? Can we say there are still artists and records that can achieve a lot more than lots of fun on shows?
That’s a pretty complex and difficult question! We’re rather diverse as a band regarding our personal backgrounds, attitude towards diet and intoxicating substances, and there’s an age difference of 15 years between the youngest and the oldest member, so each of us feels differently feeling about this. The thing is: Hardcore and Punk is probably just as diverse as our band, with so many different styles, ideas and values established over the past decades. But that’s alright, because in the end it comes down to respecting each other.
We’re glad to be part of a very vital scene where there are still a lot of kids around who keep it DIY, set up non-commercial shows, buy or even release records or connect with this music and its ideas in any way imaginable. That already sounds like a lot more than just ‘fun shows’, right?
Haha, indeed. Do you have any advice for young people looking to push their efforts within local DIY landscapes?
Go to local shows, even if you don’t know the band. If you like what you hear, buy records or shirts. If the bands you dig are never playing in your hometown, start setting up shows yourself. Buy an instrument and start a band. If you can’t play an instrument, help your friends’ band release their stuff. Come up with your own ideas and speak your mind. And whatever you do, always try hard to make it as good as you can. Do your thing seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.
And for those who are already involved in the scene for a little longer: support younger kids and help them make a right start! This is maybe the most important thing because as empowering as Hardcore can be, it’s really tough to gain acceptance and to understand the ‘rules’ and ‘ideas’ within a scene that is often unbearably elitist and exclusive. Especially the German scene these days is far too old for a so called youth-movement.
Ok guys. Thanks a lot for your time! Any last thoughts you’d like to share before we say goodbye?
Thanks so much for helping us out with the stream! Hope some of the people you’re reaching like what we do.
Thanks! Cheers for your time and take care!