SETTLE THE SCORE: Fashion trends ruin hardcore

I get around talking to Settle the Score’s vocalist and guitarist in between the other bands playing at their second Sofia show. Bud and Andre have nothing against talking about their impressions from the Bulgarian scene, how different it is from the German one, and of course – what the hell do they eat.

- First – how did the show in Athens go?
Bud: It was super.

- I was told you travelled from there to Sofia by train. How was it?
Bud: Yeah, we had to do it by train. It was somewhat of an adventure. We were in a sleeper car but it was ridiculously tight. We couldn’t move trough the whole trip. We usually don’t travel like that, but for these two dates we had no tourbus with us. We flew from Germany to Athens for the show and we are flying back after the show from Sofia. That’s why we took the train. When it is not just two separate shows we use a rented van.

We believe that the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) company’ trains are the worst in the world. What did they look like to you?
Andre: Well, trains are pretty much the same in Europe as well. We use them pretty rarely, though.

- OK. This is your second time in Bulgaria. What do you remember from the first show?
Bud: It was cool. I remember that towards the end of the show we pulled out these inflatable hammers which was really fun.

- Two bands from the current show have already played Dan Koloff and Melekh. What are your impressions from the Bulgarian scene?
Bud: I really like how people support the bands and the local scene. From the very beginning everyone was upfront and dancing.
Andre: And the bands themselves were really cool!
Bud: I was trying to say it is not always like that in Germany. Some of the shows turn out like that. But usually people just stand there in a circle around the stage watching from distance, waiting for the band from the USA to come out.

BDZ’s small and tight cars almost caused Settle the Score series of hernias.

- We’re out on the street right now and your last album is called exactly “Back to the Streets”. What is the meaning behind the title?
Andre: The basic idea was to get back to our roots. We have a contract with a record label but in reality we finance everything ourselves. We recorded our album ourselves, we promoted it, we organized our shows ourselves. Just like we did when the band was starting. And this is what hardcore means to us. This is what this scene is about. And this is the feeling we want to bring back with our music.
Bud: There were a lot of people who came to the scene because metalcore kind of turned into a fashion. When I look around here I don’t see many emo people, thank God, but in Germany this thing is really big. Absolute poser crap. We have been friends with Walls of Jericho for ten years now. Like five years ago they started getting bigger and everyone was like “oh, ah, they have a woman singing, how cool”. Well the band was there and they were awesome for years before that but no one really paid attention.

- Well, I guess that having a lot of people listen to them now is quite good for the band themselves, isn’t it?
Bud: yeah, for them – yes. But we kind of miss the hardcore side of this whole fashion. At the beginning no one came to their shows and now all of a sudden everyone realized the band is awesome.

- You said you finance the album yourselves and everything. I was wondering if you manage to make a profit from all of that?
Bud: No, we don’t. No money comes out of the band. We do tours – people cover our travelling expenses, find us a place to sleep and that is it. Sometimes we have trouble with money. Like for example in Greece where food is more expensive. More expensive than Germany. But we are in this game for fun.

- And what do you work for a living?
Andre: I work as a merchant.
Bud: I work at a social home. I help people with disabilities and old people. Besides Andre the others also work like merchants.

And last – I am making an investigation about secret government plans to breed super soldiers, so I can’t help asking you what you have been eating. All of you in the band are huge!
Bud: We eat strong German food.
Andre: Besides our drummer who is Greek. He is smaller.
Bud: I swear that he can eat amounts of food that even I can’t imagine. And he eats more frequently too.
Andre: And then he goes to the toilet quite often too…

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