BORN FROM PAIN: Political ideas definitely have a place in the scene

Having been a Born From Pain fan ever since “Reclaiming the Crown” was “the new one” I can’t help being very excited about their upcoming show here. Even though I’ve already seen the band three times. Not long before the show, we get in touch with guitarist Karl and we talk “Survival”, Zeitgeist, conspiracy theories and pretty much everything the band stands for today.

- So… this will be the band’s fourth show in Bulgaria – are you excited? What do you remember from the previous ones?
- I'm always excited about coming to Eastern Europe and particularly Bulgaria. Yeah, we've played a few times now and it's always a lot of fun. The shows are always great, lots of craziness and people seem to dig what we do and have a good time and that's really important. I also love just seeing the city and some different culture. I mean, we've only played in Sofia and Varna, but it's always been good and I'm looking forward to playing in Sofia again this time round and now there is the added bonus that we'll have our good friends The Setup with us so it's going to be a good time for sure. What I remember about previous shows is just good times. The first time I played in Sofia was in a club that I think has been shut down now and I remember it was sweaty and hot as hell. Last Hope played and destroyed the place. It was good times and that's how all shows are in Bulgaria.

- Comparing the crowds at shows in Bulgaria and western countries like your own Holland and like Germany or France – is there a difference?
- I guess there really aren't too many differences in some ways because there are enthusiastic crowds everywhere, although i do have to say, Bulgarian kids might be a bit crazier, but it can get pretty crazy in the countries you mentioned and that's just how we like it.

- At the last Born From Pain show here, Ché had already left and Rob had taken vocal duties. To be honest, Ché’s stage presence was one of Born From Pain’s trademark things. So, how do fans react to Rob singing now?
- Che did have a strong presence, but I think Rob's is stronger. He moves around a lot more and he is definitely more into the audience participation thing than Che was, which is something that I love, but that's not taking anything away from Che. I think at first it was a shock for a few fans, but now everybody loves Rob on the mic and they definitely appreciate that he has something to say as well as his vocal style. And since Rob always wrote all the lyrics, it definitely has a more personal feel to it, which is cool.

Bird hunting season in the Netherlands is open!

- “Survival” came out like a year ago and it is probably Born From Pain’s most message-heavy release to date. How did the band go from songs about perseverance like “Immortality” to this album about current global events staging the coming of a World Government?
- Well, there has been a message building ever since "In Love With The End" and a lot of that just comes from self education, from looking for truth in what's going on in the world and not just taking corporate news as the truth and looking into different explanations for certain things happening and that is something that is important for everyone to do. There are alternative news sources to get information from and concerning what the government tells you, well, that’s always mostly lies and their interest is to serve the corporations and people that put them in power, not to serve the millions of people that need help and so we felt it was important to write about these things and try and affect people as best we can. We're not saying that you should believe everything we talk about, we're saying that you should look into things for yourself and make up your own minds, but once you do, you should be aware that you might start thinking differently about certain global events and situations.

- Someone not so good intentioned towards the band might say you tried to sneak in every conspiracy theory cliché in the album cover – Ouroboros, the all seeing eye, skull and bones… Seriously though – what is the meaning behind it?
- Well, obviously there are references to all those conspiracy theories, but are they really only a theory or are they truth? That side of things represents a side of what "Surival" is about and people consider conspiracy theories to be ludicrous, until you start learning about them and the more you learn, the more your reasoning and what the so-called normal viewpoints are will be challenged.

- I had read a shitload of books about the World Government years ago, but I have the impression that most people were unaware of any info for such topics until the movie Zeitgeist came out. Did it have influence on you as well?
- I'll be honest, Zeitgeist, had a huge effect on me personally. I hadn't really looked into a lot of things like that before seeing that movie and it really hit home with some of its points, especially about 9/11 and the economy and Federal Reserve in the US. I'm not saying everything there is correct (and it is not – see here - the author), but it makes more sense to me than what explanations were offered. From seeing that movie I've gone on to research more things and look into alternative news sources and watch more documentaries etc and I don't take mainstream media as being an absolute, after all, it's self serving or there to serve others.

- When can we expect the next Born From Pain album? Any new songs that you are going to play here?
- That's a good question, ha! I'm not sure when there will be a new record, but probably somewhere near the back end of 2010. We won't be playing any new songs apart from those off of "Survival", mainly because we haven't started writing. I am in the process of gathering a few ideas here and there, but it's always a slow process writing new songs, at least for me ha-ha!

- Talking of the setlist I was thinking, because I have already seen the band play three times, why is it that I’m left with the impression that you avoid playing the biggest classics like “Day of the Scorpio” and “Immortality”? At least at the more recent shows the band tends to do so…
- The thing is, it's always hard to have a setlist of around 12 - 15 songs when you have 5 albums and 2 EPs, so some things are going to get left out. “Day of the Scorpio” is a song we bust out every now and again and maybe we'll play it this time. As for “Immortality”, well, that is an awesome song, but at the end of the day, most people just don't know that song, so we generally don't play it, unless we're playing a show where people really do know it or some kind of special show, so it gets played very rarely. When we travel and tour, people just wouldn't know that song like they know others and so it's often not a good idea to play it, although we all do love it.

Midfuck, when you see it you will shit bricks!
Photo by Face The Show OMG! the guy touching his weener in front of Rob is just adorable!
- Now with the global economic crisis and all – how do you manage to still maintain a busy touring schedule? Many bands face problems now that it is easier for their members to lose their jobs for taking too many days off…
- Well, I can't speak for the rest of the band, but I work in a call centre that allows me to be as flexible as I want and when I'm home I work and work hard. They know I'm good at my job and so no matter what time I need to take off, there is always work for me when I get back. The other guys probably have similar relationships with their employers too.

- There seen to be many hardcore bands today that have some really radical political ideas. To what extent do you think that political extremes have a place in this scene, and to what extent is this becoming a stupid race between kids who is the most extreme and most anti-the-system?
- Hmmm, I think political ideas definitely have a place in the scene, after all, the whole idea that you could discuss issues is something that attracted me to hardcore 17 years ago and I think it's become somewhat lost since 2000. I think music should be an outlet for opinions and views, because it's a great way to challenge the mainstream and discuss ideas in which we can make the world a better place. I always remember watching the band Catharsis and how half their show was Brian talking about different issues. I always thought it was great that they did that. I'm not saying I agreed with everything he said, but it's great that he put their ideas out there open for discussion in attempt to create some change. As for races between kids being the most extreme or most anti-the-system, well, I’m not too aware of that and don't much care about people trying to out-do each other.

- Like a week or two before you play here, your fellow countrymen from No Turning Back will also headline a show in Bulgaria. What do you think about them?
- Awesome band, awesome dudes, people will have a good time at their show (and so we did! – the author), I know I do when I see them.

- You have a song named “Endgame” on your last album. So Dave Mustaine obviously stole the name from you, ha-ha. But what do you think about the new Megadeth album anyway?
- Ha-ha, obviously he stole the title from us ha-ha-ha, but it's not a coincidence that more and more bands or people in general are becoming more switched on and interested in global events and looking for their own version of events rather than trusting corporate media or the government, especially given what people are told often end up being lies. As for the new Megadeth album, well, it's ok, it's nothing special to me. I've never been a big Megadeth fan to be honest, although “Countdown To Extinction” is a great album, I've always preferred Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Anthrax and Exodus when it comes to the classic thrash bands, but yeah, catchy title ha-ha-ha.

* The images are taken from the band's official MySpace page.
Born From Pain are playing in Sofia for the 4th time on December 5th in The Box club, alongside The Setup, A-Moral and B.F.D.M.

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