bummers for breakfast


so i was about to interview few bands i like and show you the results in the next issue of the zine. and i did, but it turns out that recently i don't have a lot of time for drawing new stuff for the zine, so i don't really know when it's gonna be finished, and that means these interviews may get a little bit outdated. also, i realized that i may not be the best interviewer out there (these were my first ever), so maybe it'll be better to stick to my own thing (which is drawing i guess). but anyway, i thought i could share it with you via almighty internetz, why not? maybe there's anyone who cares, so enjoy!

ps: oh, and i didn't meet any of these guys in person, just asked them questions using e-mail. but it probably shows.

Robby of SEA OF SHIT

How did the whole thing start? Have you always been a pack of friends?

Well I had just moved into an apartment with Josh (our drummer) and through that became friends with Mike (our guitar player).  The idea of starting a band was kicked around for quite some time but didn't really ever get further than a weekly conversation between Mike and I.  We knew we wanted to play hardcore and that we wanted it to be punk in it's approach/deliverance, somewhat thought provoking whether it was through the music itself or the lyrical content, or how we presented ourselves as a band (i.e. the shows we played or didn't play, the show spaces we supported, the aesthetics of how our releases looked, etc).  We wanted to adhere to a traditional power violence formula but at the same do our own thing.  Didn't want anyone to say "oh they sound like this band or that band" but rather "they just sound like them", if that makes any sense.  Anyway, after a few months of conversing here and there I got a call one day from Josh and he told me they were messing around with some song ideas at the practice space and that I should come with next time and do vocals.  Few days later we met up and ended up writing what would end up being the first song on the demo.  It was real sloppy and rough but it was a song nonetheless.  We continued practicing weekly, wrote and recorded a 6 song demo as a three piece (Mike did the bass track on the recording as well), and then played a show.  The kid who recorded our demo overheard us talking about how we needed a bass player to play live and volunteered on the spot to play the show, literally minutes after we finished recording it.  None of us knew him personally but he was very enthusiastic about playing and seemed really nice so we thought why not, fuck it.  He played with us for a year and then had to quit because he was too busy with school and playing in his two other bands (Raw Nerve and The New Yorker), couldn't balance it all anymore.  It was cool though because he initially volunteered to play a few shows with us at the beginning as sort of a temporary thing, but I kept asking him to to practice/play shows all the time and kind of just made him be in our band, i don't think he really even wanted to be in it that long at all, haha.  So that's how Niko joined.  After he left we summoned Mike and Josh's old bandmate/long time friend Aaron to play bass.  They all grew up together and have been friends forever, been playing in bands together forever as well.  I'm really close with them now but up until doing this band I had always just seen them around Chicago at various shows and such, known them in passing.

What are the lyrics of your songs about?

For the most part they deal with my personal depressions and anxieties, the reasoning behind them and the hatred that stems from that.  I occasionally touch on specific topics such as my disgust with religion, animal neglect/abuse, etc but usually they all tie into some sort of personal experience or event that took place in my life.  I like to write songs in a vague and ambiguous manner so they act as sort of a general statement on things.  I'd like to hope that it makes things more accessible to whoever is reading my lyrics, maybe they can relate to what i'm saying with their own experiences and take something away from it.  I guess you could consider it overall a sort of social political commentary on humanity as a whole.

Do you like your city? Does it somehow have an influence on your music?

Chicago is a mean and violent city, it's full of crime and downright awful people.  Racism still seems to be very prevalent as far as I can see, everything is very segregated by location and divided by neighborhoods.  I think we are a heavy contender for being the murder capitol of the US every year.  There are a lot of great things about the city as well but there is definitely a defined ugly underside to it that shapes you into a callous individual if you let it get to you. It's also cold 7 months out of the year here as well, which makes for a depressing and claustrophobic environment to live your daily life in.  I definitely think it has a huge influence on our music, at least on my behalf.  I'm constantly locked indoors with my own thoughts and with that comes a lot of social anxiety and frustration, etc.  It's usually when lyrics are written (i can't write anything in the summertime without it feeling like contrived bullshit).

In terms of the hardcore scene I feel like we are kind of ostracized as a band from "chicago hardcore".  The scene is very clique-y and closed minded.  It seems as though a lot of people are more concerned with "Who" as opposed "What".  It's very status oriented and image consumed, with that comes a lot of people constantly trying to climb some kind of social ladder.  They play dress up and pretend to be punks because they think it's cool or it'll get them laid or something, some kind of fucked up popularity contest.  We've all lived here our whole lives and I still don't really feel like we "fit in", probably why we ended up together in a band.  The hardcore scene predominately consists of mosh oriented beatdown or sXe youth crew revival at the moment.  I guess we don't mesh with their idea of hardcore or something, so with that comes the ostracization.  It sounds kind of absurd but it's just how it is here, probably due to it being such a big city.  I really could give a fuck less about all that nonsense, that just means less closed minded idiots for me to deal with.

Do you feel lost or strangled in modern world? Do you generally hate or love life?

I feel as though I'm in some sort of rut that I'll eventually get out of, but as time goes by it just seems to remain the same, like a constant dull ache.  There are times where I love it but for the most part I'm pretty bummed on the monotony of day to day life.  I'm constantly trying to busy myself with projects as much as i can to provide some sort of distraction.

Who were you in school? Have you been nerds?

 I'm so far removed from that part of my life. I wasn't a nerd per se. Just a skate rat in a school full of jocks.  No torment or ridicule though, I just kept to myself.

Do you think punk/hardcore helped you in your lives?

It has completely shaped me into a better person than I probably would have ended up being had I not discovered it.  I can't speak on the behalf of the other members since they aren't here right now, but I'm gonna go ahead and say that it has helped them in their lives as well.  They are some of the realest people I know.

Does someone in the band skate?

Yes.  I do.  Been doing so for 14 years.  Started when I was 12 and am now 26.  It's slowed down a bit these days but I still go out once a week, lots of indoor spots/parks here for the winters.  Good skate scene.

What are your plans and hopes for the future - musically and in general?

Musically we are going to record an 8 song ep we have written, it's a little further removed from what we did on the split with Socially Retarded, but it's still obviously us.  That'll be put out on a 7" on Prgnt Records.  We are also going to have a song on some 7" comp that To Live a Lie is doing in the future, possibly tour this summer if we can.  Future plans in general?  Just continue to live and stay motivated/involved.

Do you think farts are funny?

Sure.  I'm only human.

(february/march 2011)



What things scared you when you were a kid?


Which horror movies are your favourite?


Imagine a movie with Trencher music used as a soundtrack - what would it be about?


What was the first band you played in?


What do you do in your free time apart from playing in trencher? Any other projects?


What are you recently listening to?


Would you share some guilty pleasures of bands members?


Is there something that really pisses you off about today's world?


Why does the track titled "mouth to anus" have such a video?


What's your favourite way to get drunk?


Will we hear about Trencher in the near future? What are your plans?


(april 2011)



On Enemies List page we can read that Giles Corey is: "a search through any and every piece of written word that he could find to determine if life were worth living.". So did you find out yet?

That's what the record, and the book that accompanies it, are about. It's probably not a surprise that there isn't a conclusive answer, though the book deals fairly extensively with the relationship between those readings, my life, and my thoughts on suicide and the after-life.

What things about world or human existence make you so sick that you were thinking about leaving this place for good?

I've always had a feeling that "real life" was an illusion - like the things I said, and did, and felt didn't really matter in any profound sense. Meaning is something we project onto the universe, not something that comes from it.

If you don't accept that, if you struggle against it, life is a very tough go. If you can move on from that, however, it's actually liberating. We literally create our own universe every day, by projecting our values and desires on to the blank canvas of the world. If meaninglessness is what there is, than any meaning, even false meaning, becomes important by contrast.

Does making music works for you as a some kind of katharsis, or distraction from shittiness of human existence?

I think that's true of any musician. Personally, I make music when I am upset, or depressed; I don't feel any need to share, or express my positive feelings. For others, it's the opposite. In both cases, music is a release, a way of announcing your existence. It makes me feel good.

Do you consider creation process as something that is inseparable from ones worldview/personality/emotional and mental state/life experience/etc.? Do you think you would be able to make upbeat music and write lyrics filled with positivity, a total contradiction of your current musical projects?

I could certainly do that, but I'm not sure it would be any good. There are different levels of aesthetic appreciation, and I can really enjoy and appreciate a well-crafted yet meaningless song - I just don't connect with it emotionally. There is music for all times, and sometimes easily enjoyable, meaningless music is what is called for. I'm just not personally interested in writing that music. Likewise, I can completely understand why some people would not feel like listening to anything I write. I've got a long list of depressing movies in my Netflix queue I just haven't gotten around to watch yet, for the same reason.

What’s the most depressing book that you’ve ever read or movie you've seen?

I've been reading a lot on the Congolese civil war, and the current problems in the Congo. That is easily more depressing than any art I've ever seen - depressing in a profound, world-altering way. It's changed the way I think about my place in the world, and my participation in society.

Have you ever tried to wrote something beside song lyrics, i.e. novel or short stories?

I've tried my hand at a few long-form narrative things, and the Giles Corey book is quite long. I'll be doing more of that in the future, but only because it's fun. I don't think I have any innate talent for it, it's just an enjoyable way of exploring some of the weirder ideas that pop into my brain now and then.

What’s your current favourite band (or bands)?

We just released a Mamaleek record, and I really, really love that band. I've been listening to a lot of medieval choral music in preparation for a new project, and it's very moving. I really like Anonymous 4, who perform that kind of music.

Do you believe in ghosts? What’s your view on afterlife? Do you think that our existence ends with death of physical bodies, or that there is something more, beyond this five-sense-perceived universe?

I wrote a lot on this subject for Giles Corey. But, No. There isn't anything after this. That's what makes our lives important. To suppose that there is existence after our physical lives presupposes the existence of some super-physical thing, and I have yet to see anyone point to any evidence that suggests that. It's a nice idea, and it's one I'm very powerfully pulled towards, aesthetically. I just don't see any reason to believe in it, and as with all supernatural hypotheses, I think disbelief should be the default.

Can you reveal what can we expect from Have a Nice Life and Enemies List Records in the nearest future?

Giles Corey is the next ELHR release; that should be out in a month or so. After that, Tim Macuga, the other half of HAVE A NICE LIFE, will begin releasing a series of process-oriented audio experiments under the name The Flowers of Saint Francis. After that? We'll be repressing HAVE A NICE LIFE's "Deathconsciousness," and we're currently working on a new HAVE A NICE LIFE record, tentatively slated for the end of the year. 

(april 2011)
(thanks Piotrovitz!)

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