I’ve been waiting a long time to publish this interview. Lleida, Catalonia’s MEMENTO MORI is a group of Spanish hardcore punk veterans, who have just regrouped and are gearing up to release their new honest and passionate record!
Here’s their official update issued in a form of an interview I conducted a few days ago. Let it speak for itself.
Hello, hello, gentlemen. Please introduce yourself.
Hi and thank you for the interview. Memento Mori Hardcore (MMHC) are from Lleida: Miki (Vocals), Tarro (drums), Coli (guitars), Arnau (bass).
Tell us about Lleida and your national hardcore scene. How’s its shape these days? What’s your place in it?
Lleida it’s a little city. The truth is that there is no very much Hardcore. But they have played great bands as THIS IS A STANDOFF, SUBTERRANEAN KIDS, NO TURNING BACK… With the last one we played in February.
How did you first fall in love with hardcore punk? How did you get introduced to it, and then begin playing it?
Wow…it depends of each of us. Miki started playing Hardcore in the 80’s with DISKORDIA, he was 15 years old. Coli started with TOTUS PUS in the 80’s too. Arnau and Tarro are a little younger jeje Arnau started with BANANA JUMBO DESTRUCTION (Metal versions) and Tarro with SILKGARDEN (Melodic Hardcore).
Like everybody, we began for listening to different bands. Start going to concerts. Make friends. And then you don’t want to leave it. You are inside. But we love it.
Catalonia, known as Generalitat de Catalunya, is an autonomous community within Spain. How does it affect you as Catalonia’s inhabitants? Do you claim yourself as a citizen of Spain and Catalonia or just Catalonia?
Unfortunately, the history of the humanity is a sometimes unjust history, full of imperialisms, of winners and of conquered. A history written with the blood of the peoples. This question that you rise to us, does that we try to put oneself in the necessary historical perspective so that it is possible to understand the response in his correct context and without polemics.
Catalonia is so or more old than Spain, in this link from Generalitat de Catalunya they can know each other more about our history. And to understand because Catalonia is a nation without state and the current situation, the British journalist Gary Gibson realized not partisan to try to understand it, we recommend them see it in this link.
The Catalan culture is very ancient and the Catalan parliament is one of the most ancient of the world (s.X y XI). The Catalan language is our mother language it is the language with which better we express ourselves.
From 1714 the use of our language has been prohibited continuously and during the dictatorship that existed in Spain also it was chased and prohibited systematically. And it was not up 1977 that with the new Spanish democracy the Catalan institutions and culture settled again with the statute of autonomy of 1979. But our language and culture is not fully recognized nowadays on a global scale, has still many limitations to be accepted, not even in the European parliament it is an official language.
That’s why we sing in Catalan the majority of our songs.
We want a free Catalonia. We want our own State.
Do you take some actions to make this dream come true?
The last 11 September 2012 (The national day of Catalonia) more than 1.5 Million of people around of Catalonia go out and step on Barcelona to say at world that we want to be free an independent.
We were in this march. With our songs we are defending a language, culture, identity.
The dream of today as a possibility for tomorrow. We are in a hurry. In a big hurry. And we want it all.
As mentioned, you’ve been around, playing in different bands since 1988. That’s one hell of a period of time. Tell us more about MEMENTO MORI and your other project’s history (NAUSEA PAUSE, DISKORDIA, TOTUS PUS, and more). Let’s enhance the knowledge and the comprehension of your ex-projects. How does MEMENTO MORI differ from your past projects?
All the previous projects are those that have taken us to this current point, they are different stages of personal evolution, where of joint form or separately the members of MEMENTO MORI we have been maturing. Especially has taught us that the important thing is to enjoy the way. Now the band is with this idea, to enjoy doing hardcore this is what more we are interested in. And with MMHC, we go to the direct hardcore, to the root of the concept, look for the purity of the energy and the message. The previous bands died when they began with the merger of styles, MMHC born with a clear idea. Pure and direct Hardcore.
Do you remember what your first show ever was? Both playing a band and the first show you have attended?
Bufffff…jajajaja We were 15 years old. Miki began with DISKORDIA, Coli began with TOTUS PUS, Arnau with PEZKILLANDO and Tarro with SILKGARDEN.
We do not remember almost…
You are working on recording new songs. What are they like? When are you planning to release them?
We are working on new songs. Since we have already said previously they are songs of pure and direct. The lettering speaks of every day and the situation that surrounds us. In this moment we are polishing details and looking at song for song the arrangements that we want to introduce. Doing a little of pre-production. We want to do the things well and we will not go with hurries. The songs will be of free distribution and don’t worry that you will be the first ones in knowing it.
Now we have 7 songs recorded in own local (DIY). In April we enter in the studio Mevah in Benavent (Lleida) to record new stuff and to re-record old stuff. And extract a EP.
Your demo represents bad ass tunes you guys are capable of writing. Powerful hardcore punk with punk rock roots and catchy, energetic rhythms. What inspires you to play such killer tracks?
Normally any report of a few riff that any of us composes, from there we enjoy it until the definitive form of song stays. About the lettering we try to take shape every day, it is a way of doing a critique or a social denunciation, where more and more people are tired of the situation in which we live, the development in the work, the consumerism or everything what oppresses the working class and the normal people, come already from the society in yes or of the political class. We are in war!!!! and our ammunition is HARDCORE!!!
Armed with a mind, huh? [smiles] Do you feel you’re really capable of changing the world for the better?
The people has the power. If we has done this world, we can change it. We need a better world and of course we can change it. We have the key. But we know to use it?
So… what’s your understanding of hardcore?
The Hardcore is our form of expression, our form of life. It has been, it is and it will be our way of understanding the life and the art.
How do you think hardcore punk has been evolving through all these years? How your music and approach has changed along the way.
Everything evolves although not always we like the evolution, maybe now it’s more powerful, although in the scene hardcore not everything has evolved of a coherent form. Unfortunately the ‘showbusiness’ also taken to many bands that have spoilt more his aesthetics and his staging that not his content and message. We when we start touching are the same that then, with the same illusion and clear message!
How do you think hardcore is doing worldwide? Are you into different foreign hardcore scenes?
The scene Hardcore is still alive. The new generations continue with the essence of the Hardcore and keep on listening and going to concerts of mythical bands like SICK OF IT ALL, MADBALL or AGNOSTIC FRONT. Very good music is doing and it is seen that this has no limit. We’ve got bands like THE GHOST INSIDE, DEEZ NUTS, NO TURNING BACK… and In Galicia there’s Resurrection Fest that’s a very important Hardcore festival. So the Hardcore has life for many years more.
Zines have been always a part of it and a perfect mean to share your ideas. What zines do you read and would like to recommend?
There are interesting projects underground, both in the scene of Catalunya and in the whole Iberian peninsula, for example In Radio: ” Ciutat podrida ” …. streaming at ciutatpodrida.blogspot.com. “2 hostias y pa casa” from Madrid in radio Carcoma and streaming at 2hostiasypacasa.blogspot.com, “Balades per a sords” from Tarrega. To read the magazine RockZone, the UHPFanzine from Galicia…
Alright, before we finish off, tell me about your recent line-up changes? What happened?
Well, for personal reasons Jordi could not continue. Then we found Arnau. We proposed to him play with MMHC and he accepted. Now it’s a full member of the band. He plays awesome and we are very happy.
What’s coming next? What are guys up to? What are your upcoming tour plans? Any surprises?
Well, We don’t know if there will be surprises, probably yes, they always surprise these things, it’s known when they begin but never like not when they finish. What we’re interested in is recorer our own way. Live through every minute of our music, and enjoy with the band. This is the plan: simply play hardcore and enjoy doing it.
Thanks! Feel free to shout out or add anything you want! Many thanks for your time!
Thank you very much. It has been a pleasure. We appreciate that.
In Mai we posted the new EP. Stay tuned!
Salut i HxC!