Over 10 years after its inception, Hanover based old-school hardcore infused pack BULLSEYE are still going strong, dropping heavy riffs and putting out honest and inspiring messages across their punchy jams. Their third album, “Until We Die”, is about to drop on March 1st via Dedication Records, so we caught up to discuss it, remember their earlier days, and what’s important in hardcore.
Hey there guys! So, you’re back! New record, new tracks, and new video! “Keep Me Live” sounds very powerful and promises an amazing record. Tell us a bit about this new record, coming up over 10 years since you started this band.
Hey hey! Thanks a lot. We are very happy with the first Video. The feedback is amazing so far. The new record, called „Until We die“, will be out on March 1st via Dedication records.
We recorded it in our own rehearsal room with our drummer Arne doing the whole thing. We wanted to sound it as authentical as possible and therefore decided to do the whole production on our own. There are no triggers or tricks. We didn´t try to make it sound like beeing from a major studio. We wanted it to sound the way we are, as true as possible.
With the last record „Stronger“ we made the mistake to hurry ourselves to much. So this time we took all the time it needed and are very happy with the result.
For the first time in our now 12 years as a band we worked together with a label. We always wanted to keep hands on everything. Thats why we never worked with a label. But this time we knew, that it was just not possible to get the best result without help. And as we were still discussing what to do, Michael of Dedication came along. We knew his label and met him at a gig in Bremen. The connection was there right away. He is a cool guy with the same attitude as we have. Ist not about money, ist about the music. So we were very happy when he asked us to work together and said yes right away.
The title might sound as a slogan for us as a band beeing there a long time to continue making music until we´re dead. But in fact it is a reference to Sea Shepherd. It is about fighting for the goal, in this case the oceans, and never giving up.
We started working together with them a few years ago and are an official supporter band. The cover and artwork is based on Moby Dick and shows him crushing a boat of whalers. It was done by german Tattoo Artist Chrischi77, a friend of the band. So this could be seen as the central theme.
Looking back at your mid-00s involvement with the scene, what has changed? What remains the same?
Well, thats not that easy to say. Actually i´ve got no idea if so many things changed.
For small bands, venues and promoters it is and was pretty hard to survive. There are so many bands around and its hard to attract a crowd or to get people listening to your music. In the beginning of the 00s the scene was smaller (from what i recall). There weren´t that many gigs and so people were not as fed as they are today. It also was harder for small bands to record tracks and to promote them.
Now you just need a computer, a bit of knowledge and you can spread your stuff. Don´t get me wrong, that is a good thing, but it makes it hard to stay up to date and for bandst or stand out from the masses.
I´ve got the feeling, that the whole thing is pretty devided now. The different styles don´t mix up as they did years ago.
For example an oldschool band has got problems to be accepted by a beatdown crowd and vice versa.
But I don´t know if that was really different in the beginning of the 00es.
If i go back in time, to my beginnings in the 90es, it was common to mix every style. There were Grindcore bands playing with Hardcore, Punk or Ska bands and we enjoyed it. But all in all there weren´t that many gigs and bands back then so maybe thats why we weren´t that picky.
Hardcore is a big business and has been for quite a few years. And there are a lot of people around looking for easy money. But still there is a community sticking to the diy attitude. For us it is very important to help each other. So when there are bands looking for gigs or promotion we always try to help. If we, as bands, don´t stick together, we don´t stand a chance.
But again, I´ve got no idea if i really was different a few years ago. Many people keep saying that the grass was greener then but i think we all were complaining back then as well.
How has the importance of engaging the listener with a message filled lyrics changed over time? What inspires your lyrics these days? Is there overarching message you seek to convey to listeners on your new album?
That attitude never changed. We don´t have an agenda saying „oh, we need five songs about this or that topic now“ it just pops up. Dennis and me write the lyrics with all of us discussing them.
And we always write about topics and things that we deal with every day.
And as we are walking this planet with open eyes we see so many things that bother us that we have to say something about it. Injustice, Racism, the exploitation of nature, the inhuman treatment of animals, war, police violence and so on.
We use our music as a loudspeaker to let out all our anger.
But we also write about personal stuff.
The last Album was definately much more personal but „Until We Die“ is more political. And that was just something that came by itself.
We don´t want to preach, we don´t want to raise a finger saying „do this, do that“ it´s just stuff that has to be let out.
If you see pictures of wars, the suffering of people, animals beeing butchered brutality without any sense, children starving, people drowning while looking for a better future, racism, homophobia and sexism on social media and your daily life, how can you not say something about it?
These things keep our heads spinning and make it impossible to just do party songs. For us Hardcore was always about a message and thats the way we keep it. It doesn´t make us better persons, as singing about something doesn´t make the problems go away, but maybe it rises some awareness.
This sounds pretty grim. We´re not just hanging around beeing miserable every day and discussing political stuff at gigs. Pretty much the opposite we can be very childish (especially for our age, hehe), but for the lyrics it is about message for us.
With your particular stylistic affinity with old school and contemporary punchy hardcore acts, do you feel your taste and influences have changed? What records have you been excited about recently?
Oldschool Hardcore is our basis. The music we always listend to and, so to say, the fundament.
We all love Bands like Sick of it All, Agnostic Front, Gorilla Biscuits, Madball and so on.
And, especially in the beginning, these bands influenced out style. But never tried to sound like other bands and did our own thing. When Markus joined the band he definately brought a new style of riffing with him. He was and is a member of the hardcore legends Adjudgement making him much more experienced. And when Dennis, our second guitarist, joined he brought fresh stuff aswell. He is way younger and listens to other stuff than us old farts. Everyone brings his ideas to the rehearsal room, we start jamming and if we like the result, we take it.
I think you can hear that on „Until We die“ as the songs are pretty variable. They all are pretty unique.
Songs like „Shadows“ or „Make War Not Love“ sound absolutely different to all other stuff we did before. And thats not because we wanted to sound different or to evolve or sound more mature, no, that just happend. Our music is no science in the end its all just punkrock ;-)
And so, as the taste of music changes or is dependent on the mood, influences might change aswell.
We´re all pretty open minded with music which means, we´re not just listening to hardcore. So from Hiphop to black metal everything is played in the van.
A recent record that we all enjoy would definately be „Wasteland“ by Ninetynine from Erfurt. Best guys, best hardcore band in germany at the moment.
And, of course, „X“ by Punishable Act. What a banger!
Tell us a bit about Dedication Records and other local bands and labels worth a check this year.
Dedication is a pretty new label from the area around Bielefeld. Michael loves Hardcore and thats why he started the label to give bands the chance to release their music. Everything is diy, no big business, just music. He released great stuff of bands like Foxglove, Manifestation or, most recently, By A Storm. They are from Oldenburg, not to far away from Hannover, our hometown, and you should definately check them out.
As for local bands Cremations are very good. Featuring Ex-Members of Empty Vision, they sound more metal but are still oldschool. Another very new band would be Chronicles who have got high potential.
As for labels I have to admit I wouldn´t know to much about any local labels doing hardcore stuff. A lot of bands here release their stuff on their own just like we did.
But for other bands you should also check Sic Boy from Kassel, Your Time Use It from Aachen, of course the crazy dudes of Out for Change from Magdeburg and our brothers from Berlin Got Nuthin. From The Heart from Rotterdam have also to be mentioned (sorry, not local at all, but what a damn fine band).
There are so many great bands that support each other and keep the spirit alive. Sorry to everyone we forgot.
Ok, so what are the next steps for BULLSEYE?
The record will be out March 1st. The preorder jsut started, you can get the record at this location.
We still have two videos to be released this year and some pretty cool shows. There will be a short tour with Ninetynine in May and some festivals in Summer. As we all work full time, some of us in shifts, an as we have familys we don´t play that many shows per year. But this year it will be something around 15.
And there´ll be new Merch comming up.
We´ll also start to work on new songs and see what will come.
Thanks so much for the chat guys. The last words are yours!
Thank YOU for giving us the chance to say some words about the band and record. It´s so great and important to have fanzines around that give you the opportunity to talk about your music. And for last words: check out new bands, buy music of underground bands, go to shows, support people and keep this whole thing alive!