EGG RAID interview - done by D-Fekt - cheers mate! – I should point out that this interview is way out of date and EGG RAID actually split up a year and a bit ago… and a lot of thought went into whether I should print it or not, but d-fekt went to the trouble of thinking questions and Alex took the time to answer, there’s some good points made and some good quotes, and Alex (along with Dan) now plays in Fuck Hate Propaganda…. So in the end I decided to include it…. Read on……….
1/ Instead of the usual irrelevant band history which will be brought out later lets find out more about the band members, their ideas, hopes and dreams and what makes a band like Egg Raid come to a god forsaken place like Stoke on Trent? Well the initial idea for moving was to free ourselves from our day-to-day common problem that is WORK!!! Unfortunately this is only the first step towards solving this major problem, we decided that there is no way to get out of the rat race by doing things alone but working as a group you stand a much better chance. At the end of the day we all want to pursue what is important to each of us, artistically or otherwise without having to sell 8hrs a day of our time, time that we will never get back. I would like to say that in the future the band will operate more and more like a functional collective where we can all support each other and hopefully start to fulfil our personal dreams as well as being able to make the band a lifestyle as opposed to a ‘hobby’. At the end of the day being in this band has allowed us to develop personally as well as musically by having four different people with four different points of view and using the band as an open forum for every ones ideas and views. As for why we chose Stoke, well, it’s cheap!!! It’s also within easy reach of Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Derby, Manchester etc… so we get to go to loadsa gigs.
2/ From your current sound there seems to be a heavy European/ Italian Hardcore feel to it, so how does a band whose name comes from an early Beastie Boys record come to be playing raging music? If you listen to that Beastie Boys 7” it was pretty raging thrash for the time, I dunno why we sound like we do, we’ve not always been that raging just listen to the first CD and the songs we wrote after that were soft as shit, but that was more down to having a drummer that decided that he had ‘done playing fast’, but those songs were good, they started to allow us to be able to pull together our musical influences a little bit better. When that drummer left we started playing fast again did some recordings that came out as the split CD with Flyboy and things just got progressively faster from then on. The sound we have now is a natural progression of us constantly pushing back our own musical boundaries, discovering and redefining what we can do all the time, if there is a European/ Italian Hardcore feel to our music it is unintentional, sure I love stuff like Raw Power, Wretched etc… and loads of other European HC past and present and I can’t say that we’re not influenced by that stuff but we’re not influenced solely by one style of music either. I think pretty much we are a combination of everything each one of us has heard and every ones part in the song writing process is equal so the resulting product is our sound.
3/ There seems to be a new wave of people in the hardcore movement that strive for music perfection / professional quality recordings and graphics that contradicts the do it yourself ethos that built the hardcore punk community, what are your views on this? I don’t really know about musical perfection that’s a difficult one really, it’s very subjective it’s also very difficult to criticize the way another band chooses to express themselves, personally I always prefer listening to stuff on the rawer side of things where it is just pure emotion and performance. I think that most of the time the emotional side of things gets lost when you’re playing the same riff or singing the same line 50 times in a row. I think too much emphasis is placed on the recording quality nowadays, the production seems to matter as much as the songs which should never be the case and as far as bands / labels getting professional graphics companies to hone their image well I don’t think I even need to answer that one!! All this does is takes the scene away from the people, everything becomes unobtainable and highbrow, this scene is supposed to involve everyone who wants to be involved, if you want to be in a band start your own band, it doesn’t matter if you are crap (our first demo was terrible but we were having fun), you can do zines, distros, put gigs on, go to gigs with bands you’ve never heard of. Participation is the key but if you’ve got to have a pro recording, be a virtuoso on your instrument and have your image sorted out by someone else then you are not going to get that many people participating at grass roots levels.
4/ At the end of the day what does Hardcore punk mean to you apart from the lack of space in your home because of all the records, CDs and zines cluttering up the place? Punk / Hardcore to me was and still is about being able to express yourself in whatever way you want to. An expression of music, art and ideas with complete freedom, to be able to take on other ideas take what is relevant to yourself and form your own opinion. I think there is proof that this works by the very fact that Punk / Hardcore is such a diverse musical category, irrespective of all the stupid subdivisions that seem to be ruining things now. Aside from that I’ve got all the memories of all the great bands I’ve seen through the years, I’ve got friends everywhere, all my records, CD’s that no-ones ever heard of, all my zines cluttering up my house, my life actually seems to have some direction and 10 years of work hasn’t sucked all my dreams out of me yet, vive la resistance!!!!
5/ Still on the subject of Hardcore records / products etc are we really making an alternative to societies norm or are we just keeping record/CD pressing plants in a healthy trade. What are your views on zines like Max R’n’R and Fracture dissing CDR releases. In a digital world is not the quality just as high as a plant that burns two thousand CDs as one quality home burner? As to creating an alternative that depends on the individual product, a lot of bands have no interest in creating or offering an alternative to societies norm, which is a shame when they are involved in the punk scene. Keeping pressing plants in trade well that’s just a bi-product of releasing anything, unless we could get the entire punk community world wide to buy a pressing plant but then you’d still have to buy the raw materials from somewhere. I think people see CDR releases like tapes, I don’t agree with Max R’n’R policy on CDR’s, surely it’s the music that counts and I’m sure a lot of bands can’t afford to get 500 CD’s pressed at a time, as I said before all this does is take the scene away from the people stopping the underground scene getting exposure in it’s own press. I wasn’t aware that Fracture had a problem with CDR’s, we’ve sent in CDR’s before and they’ve always ‘reviewed’ them. CDR’s as far as I can tell are just as good quality as pressed CD’s I have heard that they only last for 100 plays, I dunno whether this is true or not, time will tell.
6/ After two thousand years of convention are we just doomed to make the same mistakes that other rebellious cults have in the past and anyway aren’t parts of our society worth fighting for i.e. local community spirit and racial harmony? Two thousand years of convention or Christianity? I think that as it stands at the moment nothing will happen or is likely to happen until we can offer a viable alternative to the masses. Everyone’s been told for so long that they need a new TV, Car, Washing Machine that people have become apathetic and comfortable with the idea that they need to work every day for the rest of their lives to achieve these goals. How can you educate people who don’t want to be educated? I think that parts of our society are worth fighting for, Local Community Spirit and Racial Harmony would be great but it all comes down to the same thing, changing the way the general public views things. Unfortunately the Government is very good at giving people just enough to keep them happy, making people feel that there is always someone worse off than themselves, someone poorer than them, always someone to ridicule, so they divide us up get us fighting amongst ourselves and then do what ever they want and no one notices because someone told us politics is boring.
7/ Was George Orwell correct, is there a Big Brother watching us, are we controlled by the state or is it just self-induced paranoia to give the kids something to sing about and to angst their anger in a world gone mad? To a certain extent George Orwell was correct, I don’t think people are being controlled to the same level as 1984 but we are being controlled. It’s much more subliminal, it seems we are sold ideas and because we seem to crave acceptance we just blindly follow. It will be interesting to see what will change after the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, will they bring out more draconian laws, will we move even closer to a police state. The American Government has announced it’s ‘war’ on ‘terrorism’ but as far as I can see this is a war on anyone who doesn’t agree with them. The media seem intent on stirring up nationalist pride and people seem intent on killing the ‘terrorist scum’ without even understanding why anyone might want to destroy the trade centre. World gone mad, Yeah!!!! Maybe 1984’s gonna happen 20 years late. Maybe a better George Orwell reference to today’s society is ‘Keep the aspidistra flying’ where one man tries to live a creative life outside the boundaries of normal society and fails. Check it out!
8/ OK, ten years down the line what do you expect to be doing, have any of the band members got a game plan or is it pretty much a case of what happens, happens? Ten years is a long time, anything could happen, I can’t see that we won’t still be involved in some way but you never know do you.
9/ There seems to be a couple of band whores in Egg Raid, does this cause problems or is it a good thing and have you any more plans to explore future projects? Band whore? I play in one other band, its not like I’m standing on some dodgy street corner in Stoke flashing my guitar to seedy looking businessmen (although it has been known!). I think it is a good thing to have a different perspective, especially playing a different instrument. I think it helps you understand how things are for other members of the band. It is also great to have other creative outputs musically. It keeps your ideas fresh and your creativity turning over. We also have an understanding that Egg Raid is always prioritised so there is no problem with booking and playing gigs, as long as I remember not to piss anyone off things are just fine!
10/ Obvious question but a must for the people who haven’t heard you. You do a Terveet Kadet cover (insert song title?) why, and what made you pick TK for your cover band song, every band has a cover song reason? In fact we do two Terveet Kadet songs ‘Vapaa Pohjola’ and ‘Ei Enaa Koskaan Sotaa’ / ‘Moottori’ from the first two 7”s. I just like the idea of a band from a small town in northern Finland in complete isolation putting out the rawest most extreme music anyone could possibly comprehend in 1980. I’ve read interviews where they said they just wanted to sound like Discharge but the first 3 7” go beyond just wanting to sound like anyone, I just found them totally inspiring, the music still sounds fresh today and the songs are easy to play, I think the riffs are the same but played backwards Ha Ha Ha……!!!!!!!!!
The end… as I remember this was the start of an interview and more questions were going to be asked, including some from myself but then the band split up so that was that.. maybe a FHP int will be done at some point to continue the trilogy …….?