Good day, Stoffel, how are you doing? Hope that this shitty lock down had no effect on you and Yacøpsæ.
Hey-Ho! Thank you, we are doin’ fine. The lock down caused that we had no more rehearsals for a long time and all concerts for 2020 were canceled. So we’ve been in the same situation like many other bands/ artists. In addition, Thore had a dragged problem with his right leg. After all, the lock down was a kinda good point of time healing the leg, eventually. In September we will rehearse regularly again and in December we do some new recordings.
First of all I want to congratulate you on this unbelievable anniversary! What do you think about it? What feelings and thoughts are swarming in your head?
Thank you very much. At the end of August 2020 it will actually be 30 years since Pattex and I entered the rehearsal room in a small church youth center in the east of Hamburg for the very first time. If someone had predicted to me that the band would still exist 30 years later (albeit in a different form) or that we would get around half the world and experience so much, I would have shaken my head. Back then, our ultimate goal was to be able to play a concert in the squats of Hamburg.
You’ve done Yacøpsæ for almost 30 years. Has your conception of it changed during that time?
Our musical approach has never changed over the years. We’re just able to play our instruments properly today (if you compare our skills to the early years). We have also always remained a D.I.Y. band. Until today we have never signed any contract and organized everything ourselves. So there was never any professional management. We also still play concerts in every little shithole, no matter how well known our band is. Yacøpsæ is and will remain a punk band!
When you formed Yacøpsæ in 1990,could you have ever imagined the band would still be around nearly 3 decades later?
Never! Back in the day we thought that the band would exist for two years or so (if we’re lucky) and that we might be able to play a few concerts in the local youth centers. Our first gigs happened in the local area and we were called by some people as amateurs and noisemakers. Interestingly, we are the only band from our part of town that still exists today. But in return for all the other bands in our area, we always tried to get out. I copied and sent our demo weekly. So we quickly came into contact with other like-minded people/ bands and were able to play in other cities.
Your last LP was released half of a year ago, so how has the response been so far toward your last album?
The reactions were generally very good, but there weren’t many reviews in the press. I read maybe four or five reviews so far (though they were very, very good). I hope some more will follow. After all, the album is available through many channels, so the distribution seems to be pretty good.
Was there anything unique about the songwriting process for Timeo Ergo Sum?
The difference to previous albums is that this time we worked on the songs in much more detail. The original versions were made in 2015 and 2016. Back then our first bass player (Frank) was also involved. When Manuel came to us in March 2016, we revised all of the material again. In the end we had 30 songs ready and then selected the best 24 tracks for the album. Otherwise we proceeded as usual. Our influences haven’t changed and we tried to play as fast and brutal as possible, haha.
Can music play a role in helping solve some of the issues facing the world today, or is it simply a diversion or escape?
Yes, I think music can make an impact. Perhaps not directly, but indirectly, waking emotions that give impulses to become active in one or an other way. However, it depends on the individual. Music does something different for everyone. But best of all you can judge it on yourself. And as you already indicated in your question, it can also be an escape – but in a positive sense, in my opinion.
Vinyl has made a big comeback, and your new album is released in that format as well. Could you name yourself as a vinyl collector?
I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a record collector, even though I have a very large collection of records and CDs. This is primarily due to the fact that I’m a little older (51) and discovered punk rock in 1981. I still love buying and discovering music, and I’m not a huge fan of MP3s either. However, I don’t keep bad records just for the sake of owning them. That doesn’t make sense to me. So if I get a record I don’t like, it won’t be sorted into the collection. But I will pass it on to somebody who knows what to do with it.
Right now you have the fastest snail in the world in your band, haha! Please tell us about Thore, does he fit the mold, are you satisfied with his blasting?
As some guy stated after our show at 924 Gilman Street/ Berkeley/ USA: „That dude is not human!“, I just can agree. To ask Thore joining the band after we dropped off Emu, was the best decision we did in the recent past. He’s a perfect drummer and also a great person. Thore fits in perfectly with the band.
Cannot help but notice your hyper fast playing technique. How do you manage to play so fast, are there any special exercises/life hacks?
Thank you very much, but our material is not as technical as it seems. Still, it’s true that we have to practice a lot so that the stop’n’go breaks sound clean. The tempo comes with the years when you’re able to play your instrument properly. In the beginning we weren’t as fast as today. We wanted to be, but we couldn’t because we were too bad on our instruments. A good physical condition is also important/ helpful. That is the reason why we always have called ourselves athletes and not musicians, haha.
Boring but necessary question. Do you have some new tunes in the works? Maybe we will see something new from Yacøpsæ this year?
Don’t worry, the question isn’t boring at all. Yes, we already had enough new material before the current zombie apocalypsæ and even wanted to go to the studio, but the virus slowed everything down. Now the date has been postponed to December 2020. The tracks probably will be used for a split with CAPITALIST CASUALTIES or AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED. If not, we do an own 10” EP with the material. In addition, we will re-record the very first demo from 1991. It’s supposed to come out as an 12“ LP: on the first side the original (for the very first time on vinyl, by the way), on the flipside the re-recordings. Fits perfectly to our anniversary, because the demo was recorded in April 1991.
The worst German beer is?
I’ve got no clue as I don’t drink alcohol at all. Every beer tastes like urine to me, haha. So I can’t recommend anything here, sorry.
Thank you so much for your time, the last words are all yours 😉
Thanks a lot for supporting our little punk rock band. We hope to see all you guys one fine day. Stay clean, stay tuned!