sobota, 5 listopada 2016

Interview with Gabri/ Terror Firmer!

     Interview with Italian thrashing old school grindcore unit Terror Firmer by Zsiga Zoltán/ Blast fanzine.
     Hello guys, how are you, are you ready for this interview? Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days? As far as I know you’d suffered some line-up changes recently, right?
     Hi! Here’s Gabri from Terror Firmer, old school Grindcore since 2008.
     Yeah, there have been some line-up changes lately: our drummer Borz decided to left recently after kindly recording a last song with us. Since then we went on with a provisory line-up with JESUS AINT IN POLAND members but I will explain it better in the next question.
     What made you want to start Terror Firmer and what do you set out to do with this band? Can you summarize the band’s history so far and introduce the other members?
     Me and Morbid JJ (Bass) started this band during a talk at a gig in 2007 or so, when we both agreed that we would have to form a band that gathered all our extreme influences: old school Grindcore (of course), Extreme HC (bands like LARM, SIEGE, HERESY as well as Japanese, Finnish, Swedish bands from the ‘80s), the faster and rawer Thrashcore bands (CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER above all), Mincecore… then we asked to Jolla and Borz to join (we all already knew each other since at the time we all used to partecipate in the activities of a squat in Modena called LA SCINTILLA… now dead) and they both liked the idea… a couple of months later common friend, boozer and old grinder Simone joined too as a second vocalist… that period was very funny, it seemed a bit like EXTREME NOISE TERROR on stage ahaha. After the first recording in 2009 (for splits with HUMUS, MINKIONS and EATING MACHINE) Simone has been forced to stay on hiatus, even if we still consider him a member of the band.
     Since that, we went on as a four piece. We did another recording in 2012 (for splits with SOCIAL CHAOS and INSOMNIA ISTERICA), another one in 2014 (for splits with AGATHOCLES and ARCHAGATHUS… the latter one is still to be released), did a lot of gigs in Italy and some outside (with our friends from SPOSA IN ALTO MARE in 2012 and REPULSIONE in 2013) and then we come to the latest stuff… our drummer Borz left after recording another exclusive song in 2014 for CRASH MANDOLINO 2.0 : ITALIA VIOLENTA LP compilation, which has been released this year.      Last thing we did was recording in Summer 2015, with a special line up with drummer and singer from our friends and local grinders JESUS AINT IN POLAND, for a split 7” with Japanese band Su19b that will be released next year. Grindfather Productions also released in 2013 “Grind’s not Dead” tape, which is a sort of discography with some unreleased live songs from the mini tour with SPOSA IN ALTO MARE.
     I think it’s all now, aren’t you bored to read all this?

     How can you describe your sound? Which bands have influenced Terror Firmer’s style? Does everyone in the band more or less have the same musical tastes or all of you have different musical background?
     I can describe our sound as: raw and dirty. Nothing like Noisecore, but for sure not hyper produced modern shit ahaha. Just raw and mincing/thrashing Grindcore.
     We all have more or less different tasted but when it comes to Grindcore, Thrash and extreme Punk Hardcore we all know how TF should sound like. We always agreed on that.

     What appeals to you in grindcore? Do you remember what bands or records originally made you want to pick up an instrument and start writing your own music?
     Sure I do: when I was 14 years old I listened to “Peel Sessions” from NAPALM DEATH and “Reek Of Putrefaction” from CARCASS. I have been shocked, I never listened to something so extreme at the time. Of course, being very young, I easily got impressed.
     During the following years I started to discover new bands like TERRORIZER, FEAR OF GOD, REGURGITATE, EXTREME NOISE TERROR, SORE THROAT… was not so easy to find REAL grindcore bands since there was no internet for me… and I almost knew nobody into it… so, it was something very special for me.
     Well, probably the thing that really gave a me clear “view” on it was when I randomly bought Earache’s “GRINDCRUSHER” compilation cd with all early bands on it… I really discovered a new world at the time. And of course, when I started to hang out at Grindcore gigs (mainly in squats at the time) in my town or near that.
     Many years later, finally I’ve found the right people to start my own Grindcore band. That’s the story more or less.

Coverart of the split 7 inch w/ Agathocles.
     Writing songs for Terror Firmer is a collective effort or just one man's job? How is your songwriting process like? How much time is needed to finish a new material in general?
     There isn’t a standard, it always depends. At the beginning we used to go very fast, as the songs were simpler and we had more time to rehearse…
     Nowadays it’s harder, and it’s not also very easy to keep on with our raw Mince/Thrash/Grind trademark sound without repeating ourselves… so, we tend to go slower.
     We all partecipate in the songwriting process somehow, but the ones who bring the riff is mainly our guitarist Jolla and bassist Morbid JJ… probably you can recognize them as Jolla’s riffs are the griding/thrasher ones while JJ’s ones got a more mincecore/punk vibe.
     Many songs are just a mixture of these 2 styles.

     Some of you are involved in Repulsione and Jesus Ain’t In Poland, if I know well. What other bands or side-projects does the members of Terror Firmer have, and which one of them is the main priority?
     Yes, all of us have other bands and projects: I play also in CANCER SPREADING and GRAVESITE. I also sung for a while in REPULSIONE and BLACK TEMPLE BELOW.
     Morbid JJ is the founder of REPULSIONE and used to play also in 2 MINUTA DREKA.
     Jolla, Simo and Lippi all plays in JESUS AINT IN POLAND like I told you.
     Simone (other singer in first 3 eps) used to have a band in the ‘90s called DOGFIGHT.
     Surely TF always been a true band a NOT a side a project, but of course it’s not very easy when all members already play in one or more other bands.

     For those, who aren’t familiar with the low-budget horror-comedy movies, can you explain where is your name from, and why did you choosed that one, even though „Tromeo and Juliet” or „Class Of Nuke'Em High” sounds much better (haha, II’m just joking)?
     We chase that name because, if I remember well, at the end of one of our first rehearsals (if not the really first one) we all watched TERROR FIRMER movie, and we all loved it.
     We thought it sounded good for our band and that’s all.
     For those who don’t know: TROMA is a low-budget movie company which created (or even just re-released) some of the best Horror/Splatter/Apocalyptic etc. movies, most of them with a very demented kind of irony that we all like. Big respect to them. We thought it could someway appeal that what we’re doing with our music, and of course it’s a source of inspiration for me.

Coverart of the split 7 inch w/ Insomnia Isterica.
     Are your lyrics (mostly or partly) also inspired by the Troma movies? What other lyrical themes do you have?
     Actually only the songs “Toxic Mutation” (from split 7” with EATING MACHINE) and “Nuclear Annihilation” (from split 7” with HUMUS) are partially inspired by Troma movies.
     Probably I will do more in the future, but it depends from what happens inside my head at the moment of writing lyrics for TF: some other topics are anger, sociopathy, frustration and anything related with the fucked up world we live in…. sometimes (especially in the first years) lyrics are just about provoking thoughts or non-serious stuff like alcohol and jokes (attitude inspired by bands like SORE THROAT - ELECTRO HIPPIES - O.L.D. and the likes…). For example… MODERN MUSIC SUCKS!

     What is the story behind the song „If You're Grindcore, I'm Not”? What are your likes and dislikes about grindcore scene not just in Italy, but in general?
     Well, there are 2 reasons behind that title: one is a tribute to the FILTHY CHRISTIAN song “If you’re hardcore, I’m not”.
     The other is to express our alienation for what in many cases is considered current “grindcore” scene… a lot of things I dislike… go read those lyrics if you want to know what I think about it!
     I talk about this topic in different TF songs, not just that.

     Till now you only released splits and a compilation material. Why? You prefer better to do splits with friends, than create a full-length album, to keep your grindcore really short, fast and loud? Can we expect a Terror Firmer full-length in the near future?
     I think that 7” splits is one of the best formats for underground Grindcore. I have many in my collection which are very important for me. And yeah, I like to make split with friends and bands that i like.
     But the split with ARCHAGATHUS will be released as a 10”, and our next step is to start working on a full-length.

     How was working with Agathocles in a 7” split? What can you tell us about the creatiive process of this split, how this material came to be? What is your favorite Agathocles material from their discography?
     AGATHOCLES is one all my all time favorite bands, both for their music and for their attitude. Very few bands in Grindcore kept it like this. And apart from that, they’re great people… every time we met is a big alcoholic party haha.
     Working with them has been very easy, they know what they do.
     My favorite AGX stuff? Well, hard to choose…. I have really A LOT of AGX records in my collection. Probably the “Razor Sharp Daggers” LP, the “No Use… Hatred” 7” and, recently, the “From Grey… To Black” cd. Totally fucked up, I love it. You never know what to expect from these guys and it’s simply because they play from the heart and don’t give a fuck. Again, big respect to them.

Coverart of the split 10 inch w/ Archagathus.
     The title „From Paranoia To Mental Obliteration” or the lyrics of your songs refers somehow to Napalm Death’s second album? Is this band a huge influence to you?
     Of course. Like I already told they’re first Grindcore band I’ve ever heard, and everything they did from demos to “Mentally Murdered” is just PERFECT to me.
     That title (and cover drawing as well) is surely a tribute to the old ND, but also adding my own touch to it. It’s called that way because in that recording there are song titled “Paranoid Thoughts” and “Progressive Mental Obliteration”… so, now you get it.

     How the Insomnia Isterica split came to be? How many bottles of beers were destroyed during the recording of Alcoholocaust?
     We are friends with those guys and we both like what the other band is doing. So, it was obvious to make a split. We also share the same alcoholic attitude and that’s a good thing.
     Recording at Mara’s Studio (where we recorded 90% of TF stuff) is always a lot of fun, you wouldn’t believe which kind of fucked up things can happen. Hail to Marà, the guy who helped us shaping our sound and always treated us like brothers!!! if you can distinguish what we do in our recording, it’s thank to him haha.

     Do you have a favorite recording/release from your own discography? If you should choose only one Terror Firmer material as your best (in terms of songwriting, sound, etc.), which one would it be? Are you pleased with all of your materials?
     Yes, I’m pleased with all our material (except maybe the recording for LO-FI OR DIE compilation tape… many good bands but our recording just really sucked, being made during a rehearsal in a very rough way) but of course I’m really bond to our first recording… so much fun and spontaneity those times, I miss that.
     For latest stuff, surely the split with AGX.

     Can you mention some bands you'd really wish to do splits with in the future?
     There would be many… for sure I would say ROT from Brasil, they’ve just reformed and they rule. A big influence for some of us.
     But there are many good underground Grindcore bands nowadays, the list would be really endless. It’s just a pity that we had to decline some offers lately because we want to concentrate on the full lenght.

     You’ve collaborated with a couple of bands in a compilation cassette, entitled "Lo-Fi Or Die". What makes a good sound according to you? Grindcore should sounding always raw and dirty? What about grindcore bands using the Boss HM-2 / Entombed / Dismember metallic guitar-sound? Do you like them?
     I think that attitude is more important than sound in Grindcore, that was probably why Semih of SAKATAT decided to release that compilation… and that’s great if you ask me, even if our recording for that one really sucks like I told you haha.
     About Grindcore mixed with Metal: that’s an hard topic, in the past we have many masterpiece of these two things mixed… just think of REPULSION, TERRORIZER, CARCASS, DEFECATION and 1000 more. But I think that is something that 90% of todays bands do not get… and especially in late 90’s/early 2000’s, with all that RELAPSE shit, a lot of CRAP that had nothing to do with Grindcore has been released under that name. And it’s still happening… well, it’s up to you to use your ears and brain and decide.

     Grind’s Not Dead is a compilation tape with all of your songs from the splits, right? Do you plan to release this on CD also, or you like only the analog formats?
     Yeah, all ones previous the 2014 recording since it’s been released in 2013. One side of the tape features all our 7”s, the other one some unreleased live songs with a decent recording.
     About format, you should ask Jacek from Grindfather Productions since he had the idea of that compilation and he released it out, distributed it and so on…

     Is grindcore popular in Italy? How often can you play live and how many people visit the shows? What do you think, how the grindcore scene is developed over the years in Italy?
     No it’s not. Few places, few people, few bands. And a lot of bands which call themselves “grindcore”, simply they are not. But I guess it’s the same in other countries, and could be even worst. I don’t have so much more to say about this.
Coverart of the split 7 inch w/ Su19b.
     Cripple Bastards are a well known band from your country, are you in a good relationship with them? What other bands can you recommend to us from your country?
     We don’t have any connection with Cripple Bastards.
     I liked everything they did until “Misantropo a Senso Unico” but I’m not interested at all in what they’re doing nowadays.
     Some good bands from Italy: check out the aforementioned new compilation LP “Crash Mandolino 2.0: Italia Violenta”, you can find a lot of good Italian bands in it.

     What is your current playlist? And what are the most impactfull and important releases in the history of grindcore to you?
     Hard question, I try to give you the first ones which I recall:
NAPALM DEATH: everything until “Mentally Murdered”
CARCASS: first two LPs
REPULSION: “Horrified”
TERRORIZER: “World Downfall”
DEFECATION: “Purity Dilution”
SOB: everything until “What’s The Truth!
UNSEEN TERROR: “Human Error”
SORE THROAT: “Unhindered by Talent”
AGATHOCLES: “Razor Sharp Daggers” , “Theatric Symbolization…”
ASSUCK: “Necro Salvation”
FEAR OF GOD: first 7”
IMPETIGO: “Ultimo Mondo Cannibale”
and probably more, but this list is becoming too long…
     About my current playlist: I don’t know dude, I listen to a lot of different genres beside Grindcore and I buy a lot of records at month… so this would be literally endless.
     While doing this interview I’m listening to some ‘80s Swedish raw punk bands such as DISACCORD, SVART PARAD and ASOCIAL.

     Is there any upcoming material in progress? What are your next steps and releases in the near future?
     We are working on the release of the split 10” with ARCHAGATHUS and the split 7” with Su19B. Both of them will be out for 2016.
     Next step will surely be the full length.

     Finally, thank you for this interview, hope you enjoyed it. Any last words you would like to add?
     Thanks to you, I enjoyed doing this while smoking some joints.
     Keep on grinding! Alcoholic Terror!!!

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