there's no need for any introduction here... or maybe just a bit of my rant.. so as you know, there were many debates about if Amebix are commercial or not after their reunion, a lot of rumors and controversy about the band, etc.. even I'm one of those who don't really like new Amebix songs and all that "playing big fesativals..." stuff, I appreciate and respect all the things this band has done in the past and also the fact that they're trying to do something new and doing things and playing as they want, not paying much attention on what anybody thinks is right.. also I think that this interview is interesting to read and Stig is saying some really clever stuff.. also from his words is obviously that with this reunion thing they didn't planned to earn money and becoming commercial band so I trust him, at least until they give me a reason to convince myself to the contrary..
okay, interview was made by my comrade J, questions were answered by Stig and it was published in 2nd number of Mentalna Smrt
fanzine.. that's all you need to know.. play the video and enjoy the reading..
J: Introduce yourself:)
Stig: hello everybody ,my name is stig i have been playing in bands since 1978 two of the bands i started
are amebix and zygote i also do acoustic music and other projects when i have
J: So Stig, what are you up to lately, except commenting
videos on youtube?
Stig: well been quite busy really ,we amebix have started putting out our own records on
our own label through easyaction records .and i have started to run our
merchandise store and keep and send out stock
,records tshirts ect we have
taken control of all our stuff .
J: What about any Zygote stuff? Got any plans to make those
available in the future?
Stig: i really started zygote to keep my hand in playing music as
amebix had stopped and i need to be doing something ..we had a wild time with
zygote and began to develop some good
ideas ,i think if we had carried on we could have become really good ,but we
drank a lot and the lifestyle i was living was making it hard to do ,for me
there were some very dark times back then ,but we had some good songs i guess
we were just ahead of our time like amebix ..if we could have developed a way
to record the two guitars properly the records could have been a lot better ..i
think there is still zygote stuff available online .people have offered to put
zygote records out again but unless i could remix and work on them im not
really interested ,but who knows ?
J: After Amebix, and after Zygote...up until Amebix
reunion...what have you been up to all these years?
Stig: erm my life has been a complete disaster really ,i have done
a few different bands like zygote also i have been recording bits and pieces of
a solo project vie been working on acoustic stuff mostly ..trying to make
something atomspheric on my own .and now im teaching myself to use computer
recording studio stuff ,and hopefully building a little studio for my ideas and
those of friends.
J: Are any of those recordings available for listening, or
Stig: what my acoustic stuff ? well there is one track up on you
tube that i recorded after living on the street ,but its different to anything
i have done before just me and an acoustic guitar not heavy
riffs but still kind of emotionally heavy so people say anyway ,hope
fully i will get the chance to finish it someday and put it out ,we will see
J: Amebix released a video for a new song, how are you
satisfied with the feedback you got for the video and the new song?
Stig: i don't really care , i have
always made music that i want to hear , i haven't seen much negative
feedback but if i took notice of what other people thought i would never have
started amebix ,as no one understood us at the time ,and now they are just
starting to get our old stuff and we are moving on doing new stuff so maybe it
will take another 25 years before they like the new stuff ha ha ha
J: Hahaha now days when ever you go to a punk gig, there
isn't a single person in sight without Amebix patch/t-shirt, so it wasn't like
that back in the day?
Stig: no it wasn't like that back in the day although there were a
few people that understood us its taken at least 20 or so years for the rest of
the world to catch up with what we were trying to do ,but its good that people
respect our integrity and that we are not doing this for the money and that we
answer to no one except ourselves .we are exactly what we appear to be.,…
people need honesty in a world full of lies .
J: How come you decided to do a video in the first place?
I'm sure this is going to interest all the evil speakers commenting that soon
we're gonna see Amebix on MTV hahaha
Stig: i really didn't know much about it when it was happening but
i think it was robs idea to use a friend to make a video for the song knights
as we didn't have any money to pay him rob paid with a sword he made ,and we
got a video cheaply done ..so all good just something to look at done by a
friend to go with the song really ,
J: The video was really great, it really works great with
the song, have you considered making the video like that for every song, to
make the new album kinda of a audio-visual experience?
Stig: that would be great to do and i suppose if we were on a big
corporate label maybe we could do things like that ,but how much control would
we have over it all ? you see this is one of the things about doing it
ourselves and keeping it real .we don't have lots of money so we get favours
done by friends but you cant keep asking people to do things forever
for little or no money .to be honest i don't
think we would do another animated thing but who knows ..im interested in film
as a way of getting our ideas across though..
J: New album is about to be released soon, how does it feel
to release a new record after all this time? Are you any nervous how it's gonna
be accepted by people?
Stig: as i said before i
don't worry about it that much ,as long as you are true to yourself and make a
record you can be proud of, who cares if people like it or not ,?amebix were
hated by the press and the public for years ,we are not here to make people
happy or do whats expected .now the world has caught up with us and our music
is acceptable we have to take it further .sonic mass will be released on 20th
of september .i think it is a really good record and even if everyone hates it ,i will still
think that .
J: Knights of the black sun...tell me what's the song about?
My interpretation of the song is something like “we are back on the throne we
long abandoned and we're stronger than ever. Amebix is back!”, am I even close
Stig: yeah i think you are kind of close, atmosphere wise but its
about a lot of things people can make they're own minds up exactly what ..its
more about a feeling really , how it makes you feel not what it means .but yeah
we are back ..he he just when they thought it was safe again and predictable ..
J: Who was involved in songwriting? Was it just Rob and you
or was Roy also
involved with his ideas? Not just for this song, but for the entire album.
Stig: we were all involved in the songwriting as roy is a fully
fledged member of the band and not just a drummer which is good cos he thinks
of stuff i don't think of and vice versa ..he also recorded and produced the
whole album ,which is amazing not many bands have done what we have done with
just three people ..me and rob would bang out ideas with roy who would add his ideas .or come up with a song
on his own and we would try and play it .
J: In the comments of “Those who belive shall die – Darkest
hour” you said that you like the two guitars, have you considered getting
another guitar player in the reformed Amebix? Or any other instruments like
Stig: well the creative process is between three people but there
maybe a time when we might need to get extra people in for some songs
J: After the new album will be released, can we expect some
big tour to promote the album?
Stig: i don't know about 'big' but hopefully we will get a chance
to get out a bit ,if things go well who knows
we are not part of a record company with agents and pr and stuff we just
arrange it ourselves through friends or
whatever ..its just down to money really if we want to put on really good gigs
J: So, if someone would like to do Amebix gig how much would
that cost? What's the usual fee you ask for a gig? If that is not a business
Stig: i have no idea although that is still being decided whether
or not we can tour and when ect
all have to meet up, practice ,hire equipment ect so it costs a fair amount of
money to set up tours and stuff but im not a business person im an artist which
is probably why im always skint
J: Hahahaha so I guess only traveling expenses, free drinks
and food are out of the question?
Stig: yeah free drinks and food are usually left down to how
charming we can be to our host wherever that is
J: After reunion you both played in clubs and big festivals
like Hellfest. Which ones do you prefer?
Stig: hellfest was great but i prefer to play a bit closer to the
crowd and smaller venues ,but i still had a great time at hellfest ,met some
nice people there .
J: Was it strange to play in front of such a big crowd like
there was on Hellfest, during the day and with mostly metal crowd?
Stig: it was very strange to play in daylight and to so many faces but we did ok ..everyone
was there for the music no fighting or moaning or egotistical bollox , the
crowd was ok too, first time seeing us for a lot of them were to young for our
first time round .
J: Do you think it's time for Amebix to make a switch from
mostly playing in smaller clubs and start playing big halls, and huge outdoor
events more often?
Stig: i don't know about huge out door events i don't want to
become some kind of corporate rock act ,with loads of old farts coming along to
sing along before going back to there shitty jobs in there huge cars .i
wouldn't mind playing one or two but i don't want to be accepted by the music
business ,but we want to put on good shows, so its a difficult thing to do
right as there are plenty of people out
there that want to sell amebix .we must be careful .to keep our integrity thats important to me
J: I really wanna hear your opinion on this...crust punk.
People fame Amebix for inventing the genre and the entire crust subculture,
what's your view on the subject?
Stig: ha ..its strange you know these day everything has to be
labeled and genre defined so that people don't have to think or try anything
new .i was 15 in
1977 and i had just been thrown out of
school it was a really good time the early punk days all the bands were different they all sounded
different and we all looked different ,you have to understand how fucking
dangerous it was to be a punk in those days ,just nothing like now where its
acceptable really ,i mean people used to try and kill me for the way i looked
and the things i believed ,it was a
dangerous thing to be .and i come from that scene ,the original punk scene that
was about thinking for yourself and doing something for and by yourself and your
friends d.i.y. so by 79 /80 the second generation started
and i was totally involved in that to .we were poor and we lived on the streets
for years ,we ate what we could find or steal. our clothes were dirty, cos we
had no money ,we only had ourselves and our band to keep us going ,we would
play gigs and after a while we would see people turning up that looked like us
or tried to look like us .very strange .but what does that mean these days ? i
don't know ,we used the word crust to describe something big or heavy or dirty
in bristol ..me
im a punk i believe in being different
and not following .im still poor as shit but that is not a good or cool thing
,being poor is shit being hungry is shit having no home sucks its not glamorous only those with money think it is .i don't
know what a crust punk is supposed to be ,we are not owned by any genre .if you
have an open mind you are welcome however you dress
J: I agree with the part that it's not cool being poor, lots
of people here my age (20-25 for example) are now into acting poor, sleeping on
the streets, stealing food, squatting...and behind all that there are rich
parents who they can come home to anytime this new trends gets boring, is it
the same in UK? What are the punk trends at the moment there hahaha?
Stig: i think it was like
that in the uk too back then yeah people
always want to be what they are not there is nothing glamourous about lying in
a squat freezing and hungry while all
your mates have gone home to mummy to have there christmass dinner at home
that happened a lot to me and that’s how i realised that a lot of people
didn't have to live like we did it was just a passing thing for them until
there inheritance came through or whatever
,for some of us there was no choice ,but there will always be fakers .i
have no idea what the punk trends are at the moment ,im an old fart just doing
what i do .
J: You have been living on the streets, sleeping in squats
and eating what you could find...because of that I'm really interested in your
views on vegeterianism/veganism. Are you maybe vegetarian/vegan? And what do
you think...where would be the line between chosing vegetarianism/veganism and
your own survival(when living on the streets)?
Stig: basically im not against
eating meat but i don't eat a lot of meat thats factory prepared as i
believe that an animal that dies in fear and misery transmits fear and misery
into the meat which in turn makes people aggressive and or full of bad hormones
.but i was raised to kill and prepare my
own food but thats difficultt in the
city unless you are a cannibal of course
ha ha .
J: On the “Risen” documentary, I've seen what looks like to
be a pretty big record collection behind you, was that taken in your home?
Stig: i don't have a home of my own that was filmed at my friend s
house but i left there some time ago he had some good records and one day if i
get my own place ill start collecting records again but its not worth it until
i do cos i cant carry them around with
me they would just get fucked up so i
mostly put stuff on my puter mp3s and wav files of songs and mixes ,but im
living at my girlfriends house now so who knows ?
J: While we're on the subject...what are you mostly
listening to these days?
Stig: im listening to all kinds of music i don't let fashion
dictate what i like, classical /hard /soft all kinds ..i really like
neurosis great band making good art .i
get ideas from any kind of music as long as it makes me feel something .i think
as you get older being part of something becomes less important
J: Earlier you mentioned words “safe and
predictable”...would that be your description of the punk music today?
Stig: yeah i guess its a description of most forms of music and
the genre label thing; if you like that then you will like this kind of thing '
no one has to try anything different or look outside there own little scene for
inspiration or new ideas , people are so
afraid of being different and that to me
is not punk rock ..a lot of the so called punk
bands these days seem to have looked back at people that came before them
and tried to take certain aspects and then make a blueprint and not deviate
from it at all so they never really do anything dangerous or really
different but that is the case with all
forms of music these days especially the
harder metal stuff where everyone sounds just about the same growling shouting
vocals that all sound the same ,it gets boring ..another case of the big record
labels desperately trying to be down with the kids and sell them back there own
J: Since you mentioned people who came before in the
scene...in the last few years many of the old bands got back together and
started doing gigs and recording new stuff. There's Amebix, of course, Doom,
Deviated Instinct... to name a few...and those reunions worked out great, then
there were some like Hellbastard(blah) which didn't work out so great(at least
that's my opinion)...I've even heard rumors that Antisect are back
together...what's your opinion on the subject of reunions?
Stig: on the whole i find reunions deepressing and personally i really
wouldn't want to go and watch bands that i grew up playing with or liked anyway
especially if they are doing nothing new or just playing stuff that doesn't
mean anything anymore but this thing that we are doing with amebix is not some
lazy moneymaking rip off this is a real progression in our whole style and
having roy in the band hads made us a more powerful band ,taken it up a step ,i
think without being bigheaded we amebix are one of the most powerful three
pieces out there musically and philosophically ..but as i personally know all
those bands you mentioned it would be unwise of me to say which of them suck ha
J: Recently there were some riots in England
provoked by the death of Mark Duggan...are things back in normal now?
Stig: well it depends what you mean by normal i sat up watching the riot helicopters all
night cos some of it happened less than a minutes walk from where i live,but i
didn't feel like getting involved as there was no real reason for it people
were using it as excuse to loot the little local shops which sucks.
J: Now for the end let's get to more relaxed themes...you
are from England,
the land of football, are you a football fan? If you are, which team do you
Stig: football ?no not really ive never been interested in sports
at all but as a little kid i used to
like chelsea but history repeats itself, in the roman empire when the people
were getting restless, caesar would
spend more money on putting on gladiatorial battles to channel they're
aggression and take they're minds off the true facts ,each to they're own but i
find it difficult to get excited about watching a group of overpaid snooty
little pricks kick a ball around but
thats just me
J: Straight edge or drunk haha?
Stig: ha ha straight edge? i believe all these things are personal
and entirely up to the individual ..when it comes to drugs anyone that knows me
will tell you that i have taken more than most people but its not a lifestyle i would recommend to
anyone ,i seen my share of madness and death enough for plenty of lifetimes .i
also used to drink a lot but not so much now just a little i cant handle
hangovers anymore .
J: What's your favourite type of beer/alcoholic beverage?
Stig: if i have a drink its usually white wine it doesn't make me
feel so bad the next day .
J: Thank you for doing the interview! Would you like to say
something for the end to our readers?
Stig: yeah my fingers are hurting ow
im gunna stop now all the best
to find out more about the band, its history and members lives go watch a documentary called "Risen: a history of Amebix" here: