Musicscan: Backfire! has always seemed to me to be an underdog band, always maintaining a high level of respect from their peers, though never quite attaining the “commercial success” that the band was due. Would you agree? Where do you see the reasons for it?
Backfire!: I think the explanation is quite simple. All members of the band have always had a life next to Backfire!, so there was no unlimited time for touring and playing shows. The only way to grow beyond a certain level, is to keep playing as many shows as possible so people see you're out there. Perhaps we could have reached more than we did putting more time in this band, but we're all proud of what we've done and enjoyed it to the fullest. We even might have enjoyed it less if things had become an overkill.
Musicscan: After so many years of playing with Backfire!, after all these trends in hardcore, all these bands coming and going – are there still things left to say and worth singing of? And what fuels your fire to move on? What lessons have you learned from being involved with punk/hardcore for so many years now? What has it done for you? Are there principles you would never give up to?
Backfire!: There are always things worth screaming about. Even if things have been said before, you can always say it your own way. In general our lyrics are fed by personal experiences and situations. Other people might have gone through the same and have written songs about it, but that's no reason to keep yourself from writing the things you need to write about. Through the years we've learned to keep going our own way, like we've done since the beginning. We've never really followed trends, so we've always depended on people who were into our music genuinely. That way you can stick around much longer. Of course it might happen that what you do overlaps with trends, but if it comes from your heart you will always stick out.
Musicscan: Is My Broken World a record you consider to be something special in your career or is it just another Backfire! album?
Backfire!: It is definitely something special. I think you can hear the frustrations of not playing for some time bursting out from the first second to the last. It's a confirmation that the decision to start playing again was the right one. We felt that while we where recording, so that added to the result of this effort.
Musicscan: Why is your world broken? What are the thoughts behind this title?
Backfire!: The album title "My Broken World" and the lyrics on the record mainly refer to bad periods and habits in life that some band members had to deal with. This record symbolizes the beginning of a better life, and writing those lyrics have been a great help to leave bad memories behind.
Musicscan: What stands out in your mind about the chemistry of the recording of My Broken World? How did this contribute to the overall sound and feel of the album?
Backfire!: During the writing and recording process - which went really quick - you could feel that a lot of (unconscious) frustrations were relieved, partly because some of us hadn't played music for a long time. In the first place we wrote this album because we wanted to, just for ourselves, and although we knew we had to live up to certain expectations, we never felt any pressure or fear to fail. Also the fact that this wasn't one of many records in a row, but one after a fresh start, gave the whole process a good workflow. We didn't HAVE to, we WANTED to do this. I'm sure you can hear all of this in the energetic feel of the album.
Musicscan: Hardcore has always been an underground genre, but there has been a surge of more mainstream orientated bands and big success for some of them over the years. How would you classify the state of hardcore right now compared to its early days? Where do you think is it going?
Backfire!: Personally I've only been involved in hardcore since the beginning of the 90's. I started playing in bands when I was 12 and back then already a lot of people were complaining that things where so much better in the 80's. Things change and evolve and so does the hardcore scene or any other music scene. It has it's ups and down, but I don't see a reason to fear the end. Some bands will stay underground, others will break away from that. The bands who grow big often get criticized by some of their original fans. But if a band is good at what they do, I think they deserve to share it with a crowd as big as possible.
Whenever a certain (sub) genre grows big, the people who where the first to explore it feel that their little niche has been taken away from them. Those are the ones who'll start to complain as soon as it seems to become a trend. Of course trends bring along people and bands who don't know exactly where the style they listen to or play comes from, but they'll find out some day. They might stick to that style or they'll drop out and follow the next trend, where they'll walk into the next bunch of people complaining there intruding their territory.
Musicscan: And what's to say about the status of New York-styled Hardcore, you've become known for?
Backfire!: I think people still have a lot of interest for that style of hardcore. It has always been an important part of the hardcore scene, people are still into it and bands keep playing music based on that style. In small clubs and on big festivals.
Musicscan: Speaking about the feeling of community: Do you feel that the sense of unity in hardcore is still as strong as it was – let’s say – a decade ago? Many hardcore-bands claim to not be interested in the hardcore scene as such anymore...
Backfire!: In general hardcore brings people together (that's actually what any kind of music does), so unity is still an important thing to many of the people involved. People were talking about it more 10, 15 years ago, then some people started to get annoyed by all the people singing about it, but it's something that will never disappear.
Musicscan: Do you feel hardcore/punk is losing its edge by having more and more bands with no real political or social stance these days?
Backfire!: I'm sure there have been times that bands had a stronger political message. We've never really had strong political messages with Backfire!, apart from some lyrics about injustice or inequality in the world in general. But there sure still are bands around that do feel the urge to be politically engaged. And I also think there have been times that there were less of those bands around than right now. It all depends on what happens in the world at a certain moment. If there's more bullshit going on people disagree with, then that will feed lyrics about political or social issues. I don't think that's ever gonna disappear.
Musicscan: Hardcore and punk rock are often told to be somehow youth orientated genre. Would you agree to this, and how do you make sure to stay young with what you are doing?
Backfire!: I agree it is, but no one can deny that the people who started this are getting older and some of them are still playing. Same goes for the people visiting shows. Of course there a new bands who draw a young crowd, but bands that have been around for some time, definitely have a very diverse audience. Staying young playing music isn't difficult. Although some people might do things that make them look old really really quick, it keeps your spirit young and that's something you see on the outside as well. I see hardcore and punk veterans jumping around stages in a way my gymnastics teacher from high school could only dream of at that age.
Musicscan: It looks / sounds like you are experienced with tough situations, but could you imagine another (legal) way to get rid of your frustration and aggression besides playing aggressive hardcore music?
Backfire!: In the period between our break-up in 2009 and our encore right now, no one has gotten rid of frustrations or aggression in any illegal or harmful way, so I'm sure there are ways. I think some of us will even go fishing to get rid of frustrations. Pretty harmless I think, apart from the fish hooks. But I must say, playing this music and giving everything on stage is one of the best ways to do so.
Musicscan: Further thoughts you would like to share with us?
Backfire!: We hope see all of you on our shows this year to celebrate our new record. Go with the banana and we'll see where the ship strands.