GREEN RIVER BURIAL caught my attention just by the name alone. With such a name this gotta be something special. And special enough it turned for me to wanting to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
I gotta admit that you have one of the better band names that I’ve come upon in months. What was the idea behind the choice of moniker?
-The basic idea our first line-up pursued was to musically and lyrically unravel und understand the mind and deeds of the American serial killer Gary Leon Ridgway (also known as The Green River Killer) who brutally murdered over 48 women and buried their bodies at the infamous Green River. We started out analyzing police reports and psychograms to be able to picture the intentions and feelings behind such horrible actions, but due to numerous line-up changes we more and more lost track of the initial concept, changed the direction but kept the name.
I haven’t got the best clue about German cities and their scenes. Are there any difference in scenes between cities in Germany?
-It’s not only a difference of cities but as well a difference of regions. For example, the Ruhrpott-area in the far west of Germany is well known for its Hardcore/Beatdown-scene. Definitely, Berlin has also been a magnet for lots of bands and clubs ever since. We as a band fell a little in love with Eastern (cities like Riesa, Rosswein etc.) and Southwest Germany (Stuttgart, Kaiserslauten etc.) to be honest. The people there are some of the best we ever met and we always are excited about shows in these areas.
What is Frankfurt like to be a hardcore band in? Do you interact a lot with other bands? How big is the DIY scene?
-When we started out in late 2008 there was not that much of a hardcore-scene in Frankfurt. There were a couple of DIY-promoters in the surrounding cities and two small clubs in Frankfurt itself but people of our age usually just went to Electro-parties and huge Rock-concerts. Luckily, over the last years and probably due to the easier connection of hardcore-kids via Facebook, there has been a great development in the local scene and at least one hardcore-show in Frankfurt per week thanks to two local promoters that risk their private funds by booking great bands.
I often wonder why fans into a specific sound look down on people into a totally different sound, like hardcore fans think less of emo fans. Why is that? When does great music become bad music?
-The quality of music always is a matter of perspective and as such people should just start respecting other people’s taste and accept what they can’t change. We ourselves have a huge variety of different tastes and musical influences in our band and that’s what helps us keeping our songs fresh and avoiding to repeat generic genre patterns. Our singer came from the Punk-scene, our drummer played in various Screamo-bands, our guitarist is an ex-Big Band-Member and has the broadest Hardcore-record collection of us all and our bass player likes to listen to black metal as well as free jazz. Still on the way home from a show we enjoy 90’s Hip Hop and our general overlap and differences in tastes are what makes writing with this band such a joyful experience.
Is it necessary to put labels on what you do in order for people to pick up your music? How would you like your music to be described as in a perfect world?
-We worked completely DIY for almost three years before we got signed, and still we are doing a huge amount of tasks on our own. It can work out both ways, in the end it just depends on you as a band. As we can see there actually are some bands that get really big without any label at all – just take a look on Breakdown Of Sanity for example. But of course, in most cases labels just will offer you the support no one else could do and push you three steps forwards. Still, the most important thing is the band and the music. In the end, that’s all what counts.
I’ve been into punk since the 70s and one thing that always bothered me has been that punks are no more enlightened than the average Joe. Why do you think that people within a certain click become so protective of their territory?
-Maybe this is part of the natural isolation process a sub-culture is inevidantly going through while coexisting with a completely opposite mainstream. General belief (and fact) is that most “normal” people don’t get how one can enjoy loud music, screaming and shouting singers and violent dancing or pogo at a concert. Based on this lack of understanding punks probably tend to act on the maxime of “If I’m not welcome in your society, you’re not welcome in mine as well” because they fear for their last bastion.
Another thing that always has bothered me is that there isn’t enough equality within punk/hc. You don’t see as many females as males playing music. Why is that?
-Maybe because when boys start to throw matchbox-cars at their friends girls play with loving barbie and ken?
When you play live how conscious are you of the bands you play with? Are there any bands, apart from the obvious ones, that you wouldn’t play with?
-We as a band really appreciate it when the other musicians on shows also come out and – at least – have a glimpse on the rest of the bands instead of just hanging around and being cool at the backstage area. It’s a sign of interest and open-mindedness, therefore we are pretty thrilled about getting to know other bands, different music and basically new people. You can only tell that you don’t like a certain thing after you checked it out, therefore we want to play with as much new bands as possible.
What kind of live scene is there these days around Europe for a band like The Green River Burial?
-Basically, a growing scene. Hardcore/Metal is being comercialized in these times, just image what a business the guys at Impericon just built up. Or the big tours like Never Say Die! etc., that’s all about some real big deals out there. Of course, this is not only a good thing for everyone. But still if there are lots of guys saying that the scene is losing their integrity and so on… this development also brings a lot attention to extreme music and more kids get connected. They might start by buying Parkway Drive-Merch, but they also might end up going to underground concerts and supporting their local scene.
What plans for the future do you have?
-This November (2nd) we are going to release our full length debut “Separate & Coalesce” worldwide via Bastardized Recordings and there will also be a new music video coming out two weeks earlier. So we are actually very excited about the future and have lots of stuff in mind. There will be a release-tour for the album as well as some more for the next year are already in planning stage. It’s just about pouring and growing, from day to day.