niedziela, 6 sierpnia 2017

Interview with Teabags/ BOAK!

      BOAK, shortly after formed in Aberdeen in 2013, has become one of Europe’s leading powerviolence group. Don't miss them out if you are looking for fast, angry music with a serious message. All of their releases are lessons from violence. Powerviolence. Teabags was so kind to answer my question, so enjoy our interview with this great band! Zsiga Zoltan.

      It might be a little bit boring for you, but to start the interview, could you please tell us everything about the band's origins, and about how did you get together? What made you want to play this kind of angry, fast, pissed off grinding tunes?
      We're from Aberdeen, Scotland. I knew Ewan from a few of his other bands, but then saw him doing drum covers of Punch and Converge songs so asked if he wanted to do a fast band. Then we got Ben to play bass cos he always wore Weekend Nachos and ACxDC merch. We all liked fast angry music, and were all veggie/ vegan so it made sense.
      Can you please introduce all the members of BOAK, so that we are able to get a picture about their personality and about what they have done before they joined to this band? The only thing I know that one member played in Filthpact, but correct me if I'm wrong.
      Currently we are slightly different as we are just a 2 piece, with Teabags on guitar and vocals and Ewan on drums and vocals. To begin with we originally had a bassist as well, Ben. Teabags was previously in Filthpact, Uncalm, Vomitus and a few bands with stupid names. Ewan was in Dirtdrinker, Absolutist and is still in Clearer the Sky. Ben was in Cleavers.
BOAK live at Temple of Boom, Leeds. Photo credits: Streitmacht fotografie/

       Please explain the choice of your moniker, which is a slang for vomit or feelings of excessive nausea. Why did you choose that one? Who created that band logo? With this double underlines, it seems like a compliment to Infest, so tell us please about your favourite bands which might have inspired you.
      It wasn't the first choice of name. When we first started jamming we used a bunch of different ones, from Megamegadethdeth, Blast Sabbath and Ambulance Armstrong. But then we toyed with using a Scottish slang word which we liked. First idea was Skelpt, which means "slapped". (Coincidentally, a band started about a year later in Kirkcaldy, Scotland called Skelped.) But we went with Boak cos it just sounded right. The "vomit of feelings of excessive nausea" definition is okay, but in Scotland it's used more as a noun, cos you would say "that's giving me the boak" which means it's making you wretch. As for the logo, I guess we were kinda lazy. Was a simple nod to Infest, but we realise it's now totally overused and are trying to move away from printing the bars under the name now.
      Some time ago you've played in my country, Hungary; in october, 2016, together with Lugubrious Children from Leeds. Do you maybe remember for that show, or have you visited the city of Budapest before the gig? What was your opinion about the hungarian supports, Step On It and SxOxTxE?
      Personally it was my 2nd time in Budapest, cos I played there before with Filthpact, which is when we met Step On It. Step On It came to Scotland and we (Filthpact) did a split 7" together. I love Step On It. SxOxTxEx were fucking incredible as well. So fast, so noisy, like old Last Days of Humanity. Sick. Budapest was great, we got there early and got to visit the thermal outdoor baths which was good cos we all needed some rest and a wash at the halfway point of the tour.
      How many gigs and tours did you do up to now? Share with us your best concert memories so far, what were the highlights for you (best venue, best food, most beautiful city, best crowd, etc.)? And what was your worst live experience?
      Proper tours we have only done 2. One in the UK with ACxDC and one in Europe with Lugubrious Children. But we do travel a lot for gigs down to England and the rest of Scotland. Best venue is either Chunk or Temple of Boom in Leeds. Both sick places with sick crowds. Leeds is just a great place to play for fast bands. Best gig is hard to say, there's been loads. Stand out one on the last tour was Vienna. Small venue with a crazy crowd. We did a similar one in Manchester recently that was totally sick with a great lineup. Best food I have to shout out Boulty from Stuck On A Name in Nottingham. He cooked us jackfruit burgers on the ACxDC tour that were amazing. Worst live experience is playing when I'm too drunk. I definitely try and avoid it now. Cos I play like shit which makes me feel like shit and just isn't a good experience.
      How the tour tape with ACxDC came to be?
      ACxDC were coming to the UK to do a tour and wanted a band to tour with. We agreed and helped sort out some of the shows/ van/ driver. So it made sense to do some sort of split and we both had recordings of livesets that we could put on a tape. Ewan released on his label, Black Lake.
      The lyrics are an important part of your music I guess. They are about animal rights, veganism, police brutality, social and political issues, among others. How do you found the inspiration? Is it easy for you to finish the lyrics, or you need a special mood for writing?
      Ewan and I write the lyrics and we're both vegan (I only recently became vegan after being vegetarian for a good number of years). So the animal rights issues were the first thing we agreed to write about. As for other social issues, we just write about things we see in the news that catch our attention. We work kind of differently, as I tend to write lyrics for a song after we have finished writing the music, whereas Ewan tends to write lyrics first then write the music. Both work though. As for inspiration, there is always going to be things that piss us off so we don't have to look too far for that.
      What is the social and political climate like in Scotland, and/or in Aberdeen, your hometown? Do you think, that the environment around you has an influence on your music and lyrics as well?
      The political spectrum in the UK as a whole has more of an influence than Scottish politics in particular, though we did write a song about people's attitudes towards the Scottish independence referendum. While it may affect us slightly, the issues we address tend to be a bit broader than based on Aberdeen, though that may change given the way our local council seems intent on becoming right-wing in order to stay in power going completely against the electorate. All politicians are snakes, and Aberdeen is no exception.
      How does the underground scene of Aberdeen looks like? It is more of a Punk scene, or more of a Metal? Are Metal and Punk scenes indifferent to each other, or they are supportive?
      The scene isn't huge but it's healthy. Punk, Metal, Indie, Doom etc; they all fall into one. People communicate and collaborate based on wether they're good people, rather than their preferred music genre, which benefits us all.
      As far as I know Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland, so are there any kind of healthy competitive spirit among the underground scenes of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, or all the bands are supporting each other?
      As far as I know, no. It's the same as I said above, people collaborate with other good, like-minded people. If people have grievances, it's because of someone's attitude, not just a general sense of competition.
      Tell us please about your recent material, called Movies. This one is available right now only in digital format, but it will be released soon physically as well, right? How the idea was coming to write songs about your favorite movies?
        That was Ewan's idea, cos he wrote 2 songs about movies. So we decided to do a whole concept EP. However, one of the songs is about horses getting shot/ injured during horse races, and the song is named "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" which is the name of the movie, but not what the movie is about. And if that's confusing...sorry.
      Tell us a little bit about your split 7” with Deadbeat too. How did you get in contact with them, and how the idea of the split was coming?
      We had recorded a bunch of songs in one session so wanted to use some for a split 7". Grindpromotion had agreed to release it, so we contacted Deadbeat as we all liked their first EP, and they agreed, and then To Live A Lie agreed to release it in the US, and we went from there.
      "II" was the first 7" from you in my collection, and I was really surprised about the pissed off sound of it. What are your thoughts about this material nowadays? Are you still pleased with it?
      Still very happy with this one. Some of my more pissed off vocals were on this one, for sure. Joe Clayton did a great job with the recording so yeah, still real happy with it.
      Your self-titled debut 7" received many positive reviews. Were you happy with the response to it? Any favorite songs on this EP or perhaps one that you think will remain in the set list for years to come?
      Extremely happy with it. They were some of the earliest songs we wrote but we still play all of them in the set even now. "Who is the animal here?" is still one of my favourite songs to play.

      How do you compose in general? Do you have a main songwriter or do you all contribute equally?
      I composed most of the songs in the early days, but Ewan has done more of the newer songs, including (I think) all of the riffs on the Movies EP. Doing it back and forth keeps things interesting I guess. Amazingly, even though we write riffs differently, it always still ends up sounding like Boak.
      You have already reached a great reputation in the scene with your music. Is there anything you would like to develop further in your style (in terms of sound, speed, or whatever)? Is it possible for BOAK to get even heavier?
      More amps. 350bpm. I can dream.
      Any non-musical side projects from the members, like doing a distro, label, zine or website, organizing gigs, or whatever? How do you spend your time when you are not busy with the band?
      Ewan has run a label and put on gigs for years under Black Lake Records: I book gigs under Deeablastminyas, and hope to start releasing records under the same name soon as well. In my spare time I drink and play too many computer games.
      Stupid non-musical question: which one would you say, as the best scottish beer? My favorite is Tennent's Stout, haha.
      Tennent's Stout? Not even sure I've heard of that unless it's the same as Tennent's Velvet, or maybe Tennent's Super. My favourite Scottish beer is probably Fraoch Heather Ale. If you get a chance, try it, ESPECIALLY if you get a rare chance to try it on tap rather than from the bottle. Glorious stuff.
      Finally, what are your plans for the future, and how do you see BOAK in 10 years from now? Thank you for your time and for the answers.
      Movies EP, should be touring with Ghetto from Bordeaux in October, write new songs long distance as Ewan is moving to Sheffield for a year, and then see where it goes. Tour more countries, and hopefully Ewan doesn't write any riffs that make my wrists melt.


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