Where you from and what are brings you to London? How do you like it?
Hi, I’m Amy and I am from Germany and have been living in London for 10 years now. Coming from a small town in Germany, I always wanted to live in a big city like London. Having visited the UK several times before I made the decision to come and I have stayed ever since. I like the fact that London has people from different cultures, countries and different ways of life.
Could you introduce your band Hello Bastards, how did you end up singing? What are you trying to express with your band? Have you been in a band before?
Hello Bastards are a multinational thrash/powerviolence band from London. Although we are based in London, we come from Brazil, Argentina, Poland, Germany and Israel. I was friends with Max (the other singer) and Jef (guitarist) before I joined the band and they told me that their previous second singer Gabriel had to move back to Brazil because of personal issues and asked if I wanted to join in his place.
We are all very close friends and share more or less the same views about things. It was clear to me from the beginning that Hello Bastards was going to be an overtly political band as there were so many issues that we felt needed to be addressed. I have never been in a band before Hello Bastards, although I currently sing in a vegan hip-hop project called Kurohata www.myspace.com/xkurohatax
Hello Bastards is a political band, I was wondering what formed your political awareness when you were growing up? Are you politically active in any other way, are you involved in any other activism?
I was brought up in a politically leftist family; we would have regular discussions about politics and social issues as I was growing up, and this, I guess, was my main introduction into politics. Then, when I was 15 I came across hardcore and punk and soon became vegan straight edge, which I still follow to this day. I try to stay active in any way I can such as going to demonstrations, organising benefit gigs and whatnot.
Hello Bastards is one of a few bands that had an opportunity to tour Israel, could you tell me more about your experience? How's the scene over there?
Our bassist Santiago is from Israel and had to go back there due to visa issues, so we decided to show support to Santiago by going over to Israel and playing some shows. The hardcore/ punk scene, although quite small is amazing and it was a great experience to play shows there. We played with some amazing bands such as Mondo Gecko, Mi’tan and Mess. We got the sense that the scene there is a real community, something, which I feel is missing from many of the punk scenes in Europe. Moreover, many of the kids we met were active in the Palestinian struggle which I found very inspiring.
We used the opportunity while we were there to visit Palestine and to see with our own eyes how the conflict impacts on both the Israelis and the Palestinians. We had the pleasure of staying with people from Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW) who were essentially our guides as well as educating us about the conflict from their anarchist perspective. I guess our main experiences came from visiting the villages of Umm al-Fahm and Nil’in in the Occupied Territories where AATW would join Palestinians in their weekly demonstrations against the building of the separation wall and illegal settlements. I can honestly say that we were definitely unprepared for what we witnessed; some of these experiences were very profound. The daily oppression, humiliation and hatred that the Palestinian people face from the Israeli army and settlers were shocking. I will not go into too much detail here as I could seriously write a book on this subject, but i would urge anybody who is even slightly interested in this issue to go out there and show solidarity and support to the Palestinian people. They truly appreciate the fact that Westerners show an interest in their struggle. If you would like to read further about our experiences there is a pretty in-depth report on our myspace profile and of course please support AATW and check their website for regular updates http://www.awalls.org/.
The people (except maybe the rich minority) and the planet are oppressed by the capitalist system. I was wondering how this oppression manifests in your day to day life and if you have found a way to escape it?
I wish I knew the answer. Unfortunately, I feel it is almost impossible to completely avoid capitalism and the horrors which I feel civilisation brings to the planet. Capitalism is all encompassing and pretty much covers the whole globe. All i can do is try to avoid as much as possible in the partaking of violence on the planet, the people and the animals. However, I am not naive enough to think that I am some sort of saint and that my lifestyle of being anti-capitalist and vegan is violence free, it isn’t. My daily actions have a deep and damaging affect on the earth, but I feel that change essentially starts from within, and it is from this perspective that I find strength and a hope that maybe I am doing the right thing.
My friend asserts that: "Feminism is Anarchism in practice". Do you agree? What's your experience on that?
I like the song “Straight edge is dead, you're next". As a straight edge band what made you write a song like that?
The song deals with apathy within the hardcore / punk scene. The straight edge scene has become really lazy when it comes to speaking about politics and activism. Growing up and being involved in the scene for many years made me realise that people that label themselves straight edge don’t really have much in common with the things we believe in. We wanted to remind people that being straight edge is more than just abstaining from drugs and alcohol; it’s a lifestyle that should go way beyond the walls of the hardcore /punk scene.
What are your plans with the band and where can we get your record from?
We are currently in the process of setting up a European tour for the end of August until mid September, then we are planning to record for a new 7’ hopefully at the end of this year. You can get our first 7” directly from us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
you can have a last few lines if you want, you can mention whatever you want like what pisses you off or your fave movies, books, records or bands people should know about or demos/direct actions whatever you think is important.
I don’t really know what to say but thanks for this interview and I love your website. If anyone wants to check us out, then here is our myspace address myspace.com/hellobastardsxxx