Musicscan: give our readers a short briefing about Congress, please. what's to know
about your band right now?
We are around since 1993, have done several tours and released our fourth
album lately. We had different line-ups over the years
but now it's steady. Tim does vocals, F Double guitars, VEZ is bassplayer,
Ill J drums, and I do guitars too.
Musicscan: does it feel good to be back with a new record after all this time? what
happened after the release of the last
record? did you split up or did you choose to take a longer break?
Shortly after the release of 'Stake through the Heart' our singer had
serious mental problems so we had to decide whether we would
go on with someone else or just quit. We got Tom as a singer (who sang in
Family of Dog) and after a year we decided we didn't
want to go on with him simply because it didnt fit musically. So we found
another guy Tim who was really into it and also
had a similar voice to Pierre's, the rest is history.
Musicscan: receiving the new record i was kind of surprised that you have a new singer?
how did you pick up him?
We did auditions, whow what a word for a new vocalist and Tim came out of
nowhere, he's mainly a drummer you see. But after our
first show we knew he was the right guy for Congress, people love him, he's
crazy on stage and has a more varied voice than Pierre,
he also writes pretty intelligent lyrics as well.
Musicscan: what's your self-understanding of Congress these days? what does your band
stands for in 2004?
Musically we sound more mature than say 8 years ago, we still want to
combine agression with melody, heaviness with catchiness.
Lyrically we try to approach a more personal level, no in-your-face-lyrics
anymore. Symbolic, poetic and thoughtprovoking. Our
main goal or image is not that clear anymore. We started as a straightedge,
vegetarian band but none of us live the sXe lifestyle anymore
so we focus on other aspects. I'd like to see Congress as my outlet for
frustration and my anger towards all that upsets me, I try
to do this by pointing on the evil and ugliness of mankind and question our
position of supreme rulers of this earth. We try to live
in harmony but no one is practising what he preaches and tries to hide
behind some religion or blame the weaknesses of society.
Musicscan: it looks like you are very experienced with tough situations. like "what
doesn't kill you makes you stronger." am i right?
Sure, being around this long, makes you tougher and stronger. I had to deal
with lots of changes during the existence of this band.
Had to cope with the fact that we were 'big' at first and then lots of
people dropped us because we changed. But hey, I'm getting
used to people's stupid behavior and I can cope with a lot of bad reactions.
After all, this gives me inspiration for the band.
Musicscan: reading something about Congress there is sometimes this term: veterans of
h8000-metal. do you feel like being veterans?
what are your thoughts concerning that?
Well, I'm only 30 years of age, so I consider a veteran older than 40!haha!
In fact, most of our members are too young to be called
veterans, since we had so many line-up changes only 2 original members are
still in the band. But the band congress exists since
1993 and so only few bands survived this long time being around. Also, we
never really changed our style, no matter what
the trends are, we will still play the same shit for as long as we exist!
Musicscan: you still play are very hardcore-based metal-style. only a few bands do so
this days, most of them play metal with only some
hc-elements. is this what makes the difference? i mean listening to your
record: for every minute it's for sure that this
is Congress playing...
Thanx! Well, I grew up with '88 HC, oldschool style if you like, so there's
where my roots are. Also lots of trashmetal influenced
me on my style. In the 80's, early '90's metal and hardcore had a lot in
common musically so it's a great combination.
Musicscan: some years ago you have been one of those bands that started this whole
metalcore-genre. how do you judge the development
of this whole metalcore-genre within the last few years?
Well, more bands are concidered beatdown now, the slower moshalong style is
big nowadays with bands like Hatebreed, Born from
Pain, Retaliate... I really like the evolution musically, there was this
trend in the late '90s with all this emo/noisecore stuff
I really can't get into, so I'm glad there's some beatdown bands getting
Musicscan: what are your thoughts on how punk/hardcore is getting more big-time these
I guess all musical genres witness a boom lately, more and more people get
involved in the underground too. I won't state that
extreme hardcore is big, only few bands have the oppurtunity Hatebreed got
but I'd say hiphop and punkrock are way big now.
Every music channel or radiostation is flooded with this music. It's weird
that numetal has lost it's position, only few bands
are still around doing well.
Musicscan: do you feel hardcore/punk is losing it's edge by having more and more bands
with no real political or social stance? is
"more rock, less talk" a real viable idea in the punk movement?
That's a sequence from the hype it's created. The bigger the bands, the less
message and the bigger the image. Fancy videoclips
and goodlooking musicians are what sells, not the message. Some 15-year old
MTV-watcher doesn't care less about political or ethical
issues, he only likes to see almost naked ladies and fancy cars. These
things sell, not social issues.
Musicscan: what lessons have you learned from being involved with punk/hardcore/metal?
what has it done for you?
It's learned to stand up for myself, to believe in myself and to believe in
change. Before I got into this music, I was a shy
and silent guy who never spoke too much, now I'm in touch with almost the
whole world because of this band and my position in the
socalled 'HC'scene. Thats awesome and the biggest reward of all!
Musicscan: are there any principles you would never give up to as a band? What kind of?
I'd never eat meat for the rest of my life, actually I'm born vegetarian.
Otherwise I'm not the guy anymore who says never again.
You'll never know what happens in your life so...
Musicscan: speaking about ressurrection: what are the feelings you get out of the
record? did everything work out the way you have expacted it?
Not everything worked out the way I wanted it to but overall, I'm glad witht
the record.The sound, production, songs...all is pretty
much what I expected and more. Some details like solo-volumes,
bassguitarvolume, vocal-music balance could have been better
but I'm not complaining. If you consider the budget and time we took for
this album, it's been an awesome job!
Musicscan: if you would have to summerise the message and atmosphere of ressurrection
in one sentence. what would it be?
Congress: I think the title speaks for itself.
Musicscan: what's typical for Congress playing metalcore in 2004? where do you see your
Trademarks? Probably the drum/guitar/vocal combination. Also, there haven't
been many congress songs that don't sound like congress.
'Human shield' is the only track off the new record that I was affraid to
record because it sounded different compared to the rest of
our set but I'm glad we recorded it after all, some people consider it one
of the best tracks so it's good to take risks in music, if
the change isn't too big. If a band is repeating itself, they better quit!
Musicscan: what is the song you guys feel especially proud of (whether compositionally,
'Dogma'; 'Fever Rising'; 'Human Shield'; 'Endless Departure', most of the
new songs actually.
Musicscan: how did it happen that dwid did some parts on the record?
Well, Dwid happened to stick around after the Integrity tour and I asked if
he could do some vocals which he did.
He also did our layout for the new record.
Musicscan: for how long do you think that you can tour on the record? i think you
didn't tour that much within the last years...
Well, we have several plans but nothing is sure right now... We didn't tour
since 1998 with All out War, that was for our
'Angry with the Sun' record. We didn't want to tour unless some good deal
and a professional promotor could do it for us, or if
a big band name is taking us with them as a support.
Musicscan: your biggest wish to happen for bands future?
That's already happening: a videoclip for 'Fever Rising' and a tour in a far
continent like Japan, Australia, USA. Tour is not done
yet, video will be soon.
Musicscan: something you would like to mention at the end? just do it.
Come check us on 'Sucksnsummer Festival' in Leisnig on saturday august 7th
with Caliban, Born From Pain, Backfire! and Settle the Score.
Check our new record and video and support your scene!