Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Prisoner 639 Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Yeah sure, we formed back in 2014 when we were both wanting to do more gigging and the bands we were involved with weren't really active (or as active as we'd have liked). I'd mentioned offhand that I was planning on starting a new band, and Brame offered his drumming services, hahah. I hadn't planned on cooperating with someone living in another country, but his interests musically were perfect and we had been friends for a while anyway so we figured yeah, may as well give it a shot. Since then we've done quite a few tours, festivals, recordings, all the stuff you'd expect a band to do really.

2.How would you describe your musical sound?

Pretty much a rip off of bands like Godstomper or Sordo, but more recently the sound has been a lot more stoner/sludge like as well.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

All the generic stuff really, I mean anti-war, social issues, nothing groundbreaking. The lyrics aren't massively important, one of our songs is about Rutger Hauer. I just write about whatever I feel, and of course we have some lyrics about animal rights too. Veganism is important to me, as it is to a lot of people within the punk scene. If you've ever listened to a crust or power violence band before you know the deal.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Prisoner 639'?

Hahah, all I'll say is that it's from a certain Japanese cult film. I remember before being asked "what's your prison?" A prison for me is netflix.com, it may have no walls or a lock and key, but once you get settled into watching Attack on Titan there's simply no escape.

5.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you chose to remain a duo?

No, no, the band was always supposed to be a duo and will always remain a duo.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Mmm... That's hard to say... We've had a lot of really great shows, one of the stand out ones being back in 2014 when we played Forced System festival (sadly now RIP). All of our gigs in Prague have been fantastic, we did a really sweet couple of shows at a skate park in Lublin (thanks to Olga and of course the guys at the 'Umea' vegan burger place!!). It's really hard to pick a favourite show, we had an amazing response in Palencia too with Brutologos Fest, and yeah the list just goes on and on. Sometimes gigs come up last minute and stick in your mind, for example a show we did in Brezno ages ago. There are loads of things that have happened with Prisoner which remain highlights of my life. Our stage performance is best described as 'loud.' I'm not sure what else to say about it, hah... 'Brief' might be another good word.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

Our next show is going to be Chimpyfest in London, this August. For those reading who haven't been, it's an amazing festival which I've attended every year since it started up, and it's run by a really great team of people. It's well worth supporting and they have an awesome line up this year with bands like Birdflesh, Hellbastard, Six Brew Bantha, Pulmonary Fibrosis, it's going to be really cool.

8.Recently you where a part of a split with 'Throw Me in The Crater', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?

Ah, those guys are really good, we gigged with them at Bloodshed festival last October, and yeah they really play a good set. Super loud, super heavy, both Brame and I really like that kind of sludgy sound. I don't know how exactly the split came about, I think Luuk or Roel asked us about it. Honestly their side of the split is recorded way better than our side, hahah, so yeah, really worth checking out. We've known them for years, stretching way back before Prisoner ever formed.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of power violence?

Yeah I mean, we're not a really well known band so I don't really know how people view us the world over, but certainly within Europe I'd say people have been really supportive and in general we've had a fantastic response from everyone. We've been lucky enough to play some great shows and meet some really special people, many of whom we've been able to stay in touch with which I think makes all the time we've put into the band worthwhile. I've made great friends through touring, people like Sally from Gewoon Fucking Raggen or Herbert from Ostrava, Giorgio from Punti Scene Records or Hazree from Shitnoise Bastards, ah, the list just goes on and on, I can't name everyone but there are many really great people who I've only been fortunate enough to meet thanks to touring in the punk scene.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Musically speaking I'm not sure... I mean we're at a point where we're slowing down now so I really can't say. We're both busy with other projects currently, there are songs that we haven't released yet (including a seemingly ancient, well overdue cassette with Grinder Bueno and Corporeal Abuse, as well as a tape with Hooked on Christ from the UK). We'll see what happens, only time will tell.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Other than the aforementioned bands, we draw influence from who you'd typically expect, stuff like Spazz, Sex Prisoner, old ENT, Cave State, mmm... A lot of people assume we were heavily influenced by MitB but to be honest they were never a band I listened to much before forming Prisoner 639, same with Crossed Out. Bands like Primitive Man and Bongripper also influence my writing quite a lot, I love anything dark and doomy sounding.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

I'm into a lot of stuff really, I mean music is a big part of my life but I'm also doing Judo when I can, visiting the gym with my younger brother, and I try to get to the cinema as often as I can. Not the usual trash that's being pumped out film after film which are generally speaking remakes of older (better) films, but I try to see screenings of more interesting films or documentaries when I can. For example a couple of days ago I went to an event organised by the Bristol Radical History Group and Bristol Antifa where they showed three different films in support of the people of Kurdistan, highlighting the efforts of groups like the PKK, YPJ, YPG. These kind of events are really important to keep people informed, but also of course I'm also going to see random stuff like old horror films or low-budget stuff. Both Brame and I are big into horror films, cannibal films, anything kind of 'nasty' I guess. I also have a site where I'm uploading my sketches, if anyone wants to see my art or animations they can look it up at: sniffingdogart.weebly.com

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Well, of course thanks to you are in order, and also an apology for my tardiness!! The answers for this interview are long, looong overdue!! Of course as well I should thank anyone who's battled through my long, rambling answers, and to all the people who have supported Prisoner 639 over the years we've been active. I'll be touring more with my other bands, Dzhumagaliev and CxBxFxIxHxFxLxFxRxE, so if you're into grindcore/noise/gore (not rubbish tupa-tupa stuff) then come check us out. Big thanks to Every Day Hate and DoomedToDarkness!! Take care, cheers.

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