Hello my dear friend! First of all I want to congratulate you! 35 years of mincing, it’s a huge date! How do you feel about this milestone?
JAN: Thanks, my friend. Yes, 35 years, quite a long time. What I feel about it? I am happy with all these years and the things we were able to do during all these years. And I am looking forward to make some more noise in the upcoming years.
You played in so many countries, how many countries are still not minced? Which of them are in your “to visit” list?
JAN: Yes, we have played in many countries, we have done tours on different continents… I still have many countries/places in mind to play, but time is a problem and also, I am getting older and need more time to recover after a tour. Last tours we did were in Patagonia, Chile and one in the north of Spain. I would like to make a tour in Central America, countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica…
Back in the day you had your own festival “Wee Lawaat Fest”, could you tell us a bit about it?
JAN: Uff, that’s a long time ago. That fest was done from 1990 until 2000, I think, always in the summer. It was in a small town called Zichem and was actually in the backyard of the grandparents of Burt, the drummer of AGATHOCLES at that time. It was an open-air festival where people could put their tents. We had very nice times there.
For this super anniversary, German Animate Records is preparing a special edition of your old material. Jan we need more info about these releases))
JAN: Yes, Animate Records will release a series of 8 x 12”LPs and each LP will have complete recording sessions of the many AG (split) 7”Eps we have done during the years. The LPs will have recording sessions from 1990 until 2003. The first one, the ANNO 1990 LP, is already released and the next one, the ANNO 1993 LP will be released soon. Each LP has a part of a painting of H. Bosch, and when you put all the LPs together, you have the whole painting.
John Peel is/was one of the people who inspired me to write reviews. I know that you worked with him. Could you tell us a bit about that experience?
JAN: John was playing our first records back in 1989 at his radioshows. He then asked if we would like to record at the BBC studios in London, but in the beginning, we refused that offer because we did not want to record “for a commercial radiostation”, hahaha. Later, someone from Belgian national radiostation heard that we refused a PEEL-session and asked us to record for Belgian national radio station, and we did that. John Peel heard this session and called me again saying “Hey you hypocrite, do you wanna record now for my commercial BBC radioshow, because you recorded for commercial Belgian radio station”, hahaha. So we were very happy to record a John Peel-session in spring 1997.
Stupid but necessary question. How many official releases does AG have, and you have all of them in your collection?
JAN: I really don’t know how many records we have released, surely not if you count all the different colours, covers, artwork,….. If you count all different versions as well, I think it’s around 1000 releases. And no, I don’t have all Agathocles-releases myself.
There was a time when you started your own projects. Can we get more info about Jan Ag and Bloodred Bacterial?
JAN: With JAN AG, I make all stuff that I like, going from extreme analogue noise-scapes, to raw chaos punk to minimalistic grindnoisecore to cold/new wave. BLOODRED BACTERIA was a powerviolence/grind band with friends from Germany. BB split up long time ago. Drummer Christian is now playing drums in metalcore band HEAVEN SHALL BURN and guitarplayer Jens is still doing his melodic death metal band NIGHT IN GALES.
Is there a genre of music which you refuse to do a split with?
JAN: No, because in all genres, there are good bands/people. It’s not about the genre, it’s about the people doing the music. That is what’s important.
Do you have any regrets in choosing this way of life (I mean ideologies and music)?
JAN: No, not at all. I am really pleased with the choices I have made. They perfectly fit with my personality and with the things that give me energy and that make me happy and give me satisfaction.
Any planned releases for this year? I bet there are a few 🙂
JAN: Oh yes, many. Besides the 8 x LPs on ANIMATE RECORDS, we still have to finish many new studio recordings, by adding guitars and vocals. But we need to find time for that. One of the next releases will be AG/PARASOMNIA split 7”EP.
I heard an interesting rumor that when you arrive to play in the country that you have never been to before. The rumor is that you ask for some time in the local studio to record some stuff. Is that true?
JAN: Yes, that’s true. For me, it is important to make recordings in other countries, live-recordings or in studio. For me, that’s a real souvenir of being in that country, much better than just photos and memories. That brings to my mind, that I still have to work on the recordings that we have done in Patagonia, Chile, in early 2019. Also now, the AG “Baltimore Mince Massacre” 12”LP is released on POWER IT UP RECORDS. It was recorded on a free afternoon in a small studio in Baltimore, USA, when we were on tour there. I love that album. That album is recorded with Joe from ARCHAGATHUS/SKUNK.
Let’s talk about music culture in general. What does it mean to you? Are you a music collector, do you love to visit different gigs/festivals and so on?
JAN: I have quite a few records, but I don’t consider myself as a collector. Ofcourse music is very important for me as well as the stories/histories of many bands and music genres. Besides listening to bands, it’s also very interesting to read about their histories. I don’t go to gigs as often as in the early days…I guess my age has to do with that. I need more time to recover.
The strangest LP on your shelf is?
JAN: I have many strange records on my shelf, hahaha. One strange record is one of PASZTOROZOTT, a great German noisecore band from the 1990’s. They released a 7” and this 7” is not vinyl, but SANDPAPER cut in the shape of a 7”. A real needle destroyer, hahaha. Crazy stuff, don’t play it because you will destroy your recordplayer. The true essence of NOISECORE. I love it.
Thank you for answering my questions, see ya on the road my friend!
JAN: Cheers Alex, thanks so much for this interview and for giving us space on your website. Good luck with all your work and thanks for your help and friendship. To all readers, keep on supporting DIY-bands and create an alternative for mainstream commercial music business. I know we all can do that, if we keep on creating networks of friends and like minded all over the world. MINCECORE FOR PASSION, NOT FOR FASHION ! UP THE RAW NOISE PUNKS!
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