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Know Your Enemy

Interview von: Felix Heiduk mit Davy Schmeits, am: 16.02.2003 ]

Know your enemy sind die aktuellste Veröffentlichung des legendären Crucial Response Labels, auf dem so ziemlich alle europäischen Youth Crew SXE-Bands in den letzten 10 oder mehr Jahren zumindest eine Single veröffentlicht haben. Da sich das Label nie wirklich durch eine experimentelle oder genreferne Veröffentlichungspolitik ausgezeichnet hat, machen als logische Konsequenz dieser Veröffentlichungspolitik auch Know Your Enemy straighten Hardcore irgendwo zwischen Chain of Strength und Floorpunch. Und das in keinesfalls antiquierter Form, sondern in einem modernen, gut produzierten Soundgewand. Also Edding raus, X marks the spot und ab geht´s in den Circlepit.


Musicscan: Let´s start with some short introduction. Who´s in the band and how did it all got started ?

Know Your Enemy: Know Your Enemy started as a project somewhere at the beginning of 2002. Mark and me had been thinking about doing a band together for a long time, but it just never happened. We tried several line ups, but when Arthur from Reaching Forward joined us, things really took shape. We wrote songs in no time and recorded them and wanted to put out a demo tape. Those recordings got picked up by Crucial Response and so on. That's basically how it started. The band now consists of Arthur (ex-Reaching Forward) on guitar, Mark (ex-Fairfight) on guitar, Alexander (ex-Faifight) on drums and Jigs (No Denial) on bass. And then there is me (Davy) on vocals.

Musicscan: Why did you guys named the band after a Rage against the machine-song? HeheÂ…

Know Your Enemy: I guess that's the first thing that comes to mind. Know Your Enemy was not named after a RATM machine song, neither was it named after a Manic Street Preachers album. Know Your Enemy stands on it's own. We just liked the name and nobody really thought of changing it or what so ever.

Musicscan:Til now I never heard of you guys before. I guess you haven´t played too many shows in the eastern part of Germany. Seems like you´re a pretty new band. How did you got in touch with Crucial Response rec.?

Know Your Enemy: Actually Â…. we just played a weekend in Eastern Germany. One show was in Hoyerswerda and the other in Leisnig. Both shows were cool, but the one in Leisnig was one of our best shows so far. Other than that we only played 15 shows in our short existence. We'll be doing some gigs in the eastern part of Germany by the end of June. One date is set, which is the 28th of June at a festival in Leisnig. Our friends from No Denial will be playing there as well.

Musicscan: The sound of your EP is very good. From your booklet I got the information that you recorded at the famous Bunts studios with Menno Bakker. How was it there and are you guys satisfied with the sound of the record? Can your EP capture the live-energy of the band, which in my opinion is a proof for a good Hardcore-record.

Know Your Enemy: We chose to record at the BUNT, just to do a demo tape, but our recordings were well received by a lot of people and Peter hooked us up for a signing to Crucial Response. De Bunt has its own sound and we're just really happy with working with Menno. One of the best Hardcore studio's in Europe. For sure. About live performanceÂ… I think we do a pretty good job. It's good to get a reaction from your crowd. Some countries and areas are really spoiled if it comes to hardcore bands, so people don't really get psyched about bands anymore. Only when you're in a small room and some people start the fire. That's my personal opinion. We played some crazy shows lately though. The one at the Crucial Response showcase in Moers was awesome. The one in Amsterdam, where we shot some videomaterial for a compilation on which we will be on. And just some days ago, in Leisnig 200 people went crazy on our set. That's what you do it for in the end anyway. Come and check us out and judge yourself.

Musicscan: After most of the Benelux-Youth Crew Bands split up do you feel like you´re the only band left playing that style of music, or is there a whole new breed of bands coming up.

Know Your Enemy: DonÂ’t know. There are some new bands around and the wave of '97 is defenitely gone, but there are new bands coming up from all over the place. Just be on the lookout from them and make sure you support those local bands. We were lucky that we got a great deal right away. We're probably a bit more experienced, cause we consist of people that are or have been in bands before, so it makes the songwriting, the showbooking and everything much easier. People try to put you down, when you have a band with ex-members, but still you have to prove that you make quality hardcore. If people would just stop posting shit on the internet and went back to their practice space, then it would be a much better world. Hahaha.

Musicscan: I definitely like the artwork of your record. Tell me a bit about the guy who drew it and how you got him to do the artwork.

Know Your Enemy: We contacted Mike Bukowski, cause we were amazed about some of his stuff we saw he drew for other bands. He's a really patient guy to work with, but it really took a long time before we got everything finished. I guess it took us forever to finish little details, etc. etc .. The record is out now, so we're happy. Mike is a cool dude to work with.

Musicscan: Although the cover-artwork seems to be pretty much socio-critical - with all these brainless marionettes obviously conforming to the status quo – your lyrics mostly deal with personal topics. Politics vs. Know your enemy?

Know Your Enemy: I think not all our lyrics deal with personal topics. It's just how you read them. Some of them are about lost friendships, some of them about social critical issues. Know Your Enemy is NOT a political band. I guess Mike just tried to express the name Know Your Enemy with the drawings he did. We liked the idea, so that's where the layout comes from.

Musicscan: What are your plans for the future? In personal life and with the band?

Know Your Enemy: For Know Your Enemy the future will hopelfully be a lot of shows. We want to promote our 7"/MCD as much as we can, so we're always looking for shows. In personal life. I don't know. I just seize the day !!!

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