1.First thanks for accept the interview with you Paul! Greetings from Peru! how are you brother?
I'm fine bro, as an öld punk of 56 i'm doing pretty great. Ofcourse the bones and flesh are not that fit anymore,but the mind is still young hahaha. I'm still working my ass off as a garbageman and in my free time i listen and make a lot of music/noise. Thanks for doing this interview, it still amazes me that after some 35 years, people still want to interview us about LÄRM.
2.Lärm is a complete influence from a lot of bands from fast hardcore,grindcore,powerviolence bands around the world now! please give us a trip by the existence from LÄRM!
Me, Olav & Jos started our very first band in 1980, that band was called THE SEXTONS which was soundwise a punk band with me on guitar, Olav on drums, Jos on vocals & Alex onbass. None of us could actually play or tune an instrument still we wanted to start a band, and so we did! This band was short-lived we did like 2 demo's and 1 gig. After that we had 2 other short-lived bands from 1981 till 1982 : THE DISTURBERS and TOTAL CHAOZ. Total Chaoz was to some extend (soundwise and playing faster stuff) the band that would lead to LÄRM. We already did play some songs with Total Chaoz that would end up in the LÄRM setlist. With both bands we did record some demo's but none of the bands ever played a live show. Around the end of 1982 we started LÄRM and the early line-up was: Dorien-vocals, Menno-vocals, Jos-bass, Olav-drums and Paul-guitar. With this line-up we recorded the songs on the HOLLAND HARDCORE tape, which put us on the hardcore map hahaha. In a pretty short time we got a name and some shows because of that tape! But pretty soon Dorien would leave the band (she couldn't handle the stress of playing live and got often drunk on stage because of that).From then on LÄRM became the classic line-up that everyone knows. We did practice quite a lot and soon had a set list of about 30 songs. Songs that would deal with social and political issues (we were anarcho-communists) and straight edge started to creep in our lyrics as well, we were pretty much the first European bands that embraced the StraightEdge! In the meantime we also played many live shows and some of them in De Buze in Steenwijk (up in the north of the Netherlands). There we became friends with the people of the local bands STANX & GLORIOUS DEATH.We decided to work together on a D.I.Y. split LP with the STANX. In 1984 we recorded 28 songs in the Oktopus studios in Amsterdam. In 1985 the "campaign for musical destruction" / "no secrets" split LP was released. It got good reviews and from then on it went pretty fast. We did a lot of shows and recorded new stuff for the "No one can be that dumb" EP at the Jack Daniels Varkensleasebedrijf studio in Venlo (hometown of our friends from PANDEMONIUM, in fact Mat who did the recordings was also the soundman/driver and engineer of all the PANDEMONIUM stuff!). We still couln't play or tune our instruments in those days, and i think that made the records we recorded sound pretty sloppy and noisy in a charming way hahaha. Anyway people did seem to like the new EP. We even got noticed, and attention, from all over the world. We got many new pen-pals and tape-trade fans (this was pre-computer age!). Mike Rubinstein from ONE STEP AHEAD records USA, offered to do an LP with us. We didn't have enough new material at that time, so that's the reason why one sideof the record was a live recording, and on the studio side there were quite a lot of re-recordings of old LÄRM songs. Again we recorded the songs in Venlo with Mat and the live show was recorded in Venlo as well at the O.O.C. Bauplatz (although at the very first song the mics at the guitar & bass cabinets fall over after our first jumps hahaha, that's why it sounds so distant/ hollow). The "straight on view" LP was released in 1986 and would become our best known and selling record, probably because it was on an American label & distribution. We started to do quite a lot of shows outside of the Netherlands like Belgium and Germany and we did tour in Spain, and a tour in the UK with HERESY & HEIBEL, and Germany againwith HERESY. We almost did a USA tour with STARK RAVING MAD, but at the last minute that was cancelled.... In September 1987 we recorded the " Nothing is hard in this world if youdare to scale the heights" at the Bombastic studios in Hoogland, a village near our hometown Amersfoort. Some say this is musically our best record. You can hear that the tours withHERESY left their mark on our sound, so did STRAIGHT AHEAD! We released this EP all by ourselves on Definte Choice records (we did also run a fanzine by that name) because in the
end working with ONE STEP AHEAD records left a bad taste in our mouths. The "Nothing is hard..." EP would turn out our last EP, because a year later the band would call it quits. Menno moved to Amsterdam to study laws and wasn't that interested in the HC scene anymore (to him it was an end of an era). To some extend we all felt a bit exhausted and bitter about the HC scene because of the 'crossover' thing that was going on at that time. Lots of fucking great Hardcore punk bands started to play lame metal / rock stuff, and on the other side of the punkcoin playing fast became a formula thing... i mean if you play a show and all what people could shout was: "Play Faster, Play Faster!!!" after every fucking song, made it fucking joke. Plus we felt that hardly anyone was listening to the words/message anymore. We were burned up so to speak, so we stopped LÄRM.
3.Which was the influences from LÄRM in the early years?
Coming from the early punkscene, we were definitely influenced by Punk from 1977...and after :Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, Buzzcocks, Wire, Ramones, Ivy Green, The Dils, Cockney Rejects, Rezillos, Ruts, UK Subs, Crass, The Heartbreakers, Dead Boys, X-Ray Spex, Generation X etc etc. Around the time we played in LÄRM, the big influences were: Discharge, Disorder, Chaos UK ,Kaaos, Riistetyt , Terveet Kädet, Huvutvatt, Mob 47, Bastards, Wretched, Indigesti, Colera, Anti-cimex, Slime, Stromsperre,Siege, Black Flag, DRI, INFEST, MDC, The Dicks, Anti-dogmatikks, RIP, Dead Kennedys, Minor threat, 7 Seconds, SS Decontrol, Crucifix, Stark Raving Mad,Straight Ahead, Neos, Deep Wound, Negative Approach, Negative Fx etc etc.
Ofcourse the Dutch punkscene had a big influence: Pandemonium, Rondos, Jezus and the Gospelfuckers, Bizon Kids, Noxious, Artratz, Lullabies, Molesters, Art In Revolution etc etc.
Basically everything that we listened to in those days was an influence.
4.In the early years how was the fast hardcore scene in your city/country? Tell us about the bands that existed? As were the shows in that time?
When we started LÄRM we were the only punkband in town. So in those early years there was no such thing as fast hardcore scene in Amersfoort. Although some years later ,around1986, some short-lived fast bands would emerge out of our small local scene, bands like Second Siberia, Loud Warning etc. In the Netherlands we had a pretty thriving 'fast' Hardcore scene with bands like Pandemonium, BGK, Jezus and the Gospelfuckers, Agent Orange, WCF, Disgust, Stanx, Glorious Death, Zmiv, Gepopel, Knäx, Blitzkrieg, Echte Boter GVD, Laitz, Bloedbad, Jet$et, Pure Hate, Zwaar Klote, SCA, Funeral Oration, Indirekt, Neo-Pogos, Vultures etc.
The shows were mostly held in squats and or youth clubs. What i remember about those hardcore shows that they were excting, furious, often political but also a lot of fun. It was a great time for hardcore/punk bands, and lots of people would start bands (and fanzines, recordlabels etc) because it was such an inspiring time.
5.Which is your opinion about the actual fast hardcore grindcore scene around the world?
Lots of great stuff going on today i think. I mean a lot of people glorify the old days, and sure tons of fucking great bands were coming from that era, but you have lots of bands today that are as good.I still buy quite a lot of records, and still a lot of 'em are fast hardcore and some grindcore bands. Bands like Drop dead, Exit Unit, Coke Bust, To The Point, Framtid, Assac, Sick/tired, Henry Fonda, Hammerhead, Yacopsae, Looking For An Answer, Gewoon Fucking Raggen, Suss Law, Pillage, Lotus Fucker, Anti you, Haymaker, Protester, Cripple Bastards, S.H.I.T., Impulse,Pig/control, The Lowest Form,Retox, Violent Reaction, Reproach, Sex Dwarf, Wormrot, Sea Of Shit, Pig DNA, Despise You, Chain Rank, Repos, Barge, Scuzz, Haram, Chulo, Shackles, Concealed Blade ... are just a small part of all the good fast hardcore bands that are alive and kicking in 2017!
6.The members from LÄRM have another proyects in this time? you have some new proyect?
Me and Olav are still doing duty in MANLIFTINGBANNER (although this band is not really active these days because the other members have families and busy jobs/agenda's). Me and Olav are still practicing and from that came a project called MARXBROS. We recorded drums & guitar for 17 songs in our practice room, and Chris Doge recorded the bass tracks in the USA. Those 17 songs will end up on a split record with TRAVOLTA from belgium hopefully this year.
7.How be the reunion from LÄRM in the year 2010? some great experiencie?
Well the reunion shows of LÄRM started in 2005, that was actually the first one at the Trash fest in Hoogeveen. After that we pretty much played 1 or 2 shows every year. Those shows were really
fun to do and a great experience. In fact more people came to these shows than way back in the '80's. We became "legends" after we split up hahaha. Some of our best reunion shows were in Barcelona and Cromona (italy) really big turn outs and great responses! But overall, all the reunion shows were fucking great! Sadly enough in 2012 we had to play our last show because of Jos his hearing problems.
8.LÄRM have stuff avaliable now? How is possible find that?
The recent years we did re-release most of our stuff on WAY BACK WHEN records (the netherlands)...i don't know if that stuff is sold out or not. FAREWELL RECORDS (germany) did re-release the "extreme noise" double LP with all our studio stuff... probably you can still find that in distro's or on the internet. Maybe in the future there will be another re-release of LÄRM stuff, and we might release an LP with our practice/ demo stuff.
9.You know the fast hardcore grindcore scene from Southamerica? maybe Peru?
Knowing is a big word, but i own records from Discarga, Olho Seco, Sistemas de aniquilacion, Hinfamy, Chulo, Leuzemia, Ratos de Parao, I shot cyrus, Guerrilla Urbana, Abuso Sonoro, Amor Protesto Y odio, etc. Some of these bands are from Peru...i think. And while surfing on the internet and you tube i always come across stuff from all over the world, including South America. In that way fast hardcore & grind has become more accesible because of internet.
10. your top 5 into HC,Crust, Grindcore, powerviolence?
Ouch! a top 5 ...what are you asking hahaha. Really i like tons of bands and some of my favourites are: Dropdead, Pandemonium, Wretched, Disorder, Kaaos, Deathtreat, Charles Bronson, E-150, MK-Ultra,Hammerhead (german band!), Nuclear Cult, The Now Denial, Minor Threat, His Hero Is Gone, SS DEcontrol, Warcry, Mörser, Napalm Death, Heresy, Ripcord, INFEST, Los Crudos, Deep Wound, Negative FX,Straight Ahead, Discharge, Chaos UK, Jezus and the Gospelfuckers, BGK, RIP, Anti-dogmatikks, Framtid, Gauze, Systematic Death etc etc etc. Anyway my top 5 is constanly changing...day to day. Today my top 5 would be:
2 MOTHERCOUNTRY MOTHERFUCKER
3 CHEETAH CHROME MOTHERFUCKERS
4 EXIT UNIT
...but tomorrow my top 5 will be different hahaha.
11.Something you want to add to this interview? and thanks Paul!
Thanks for doing this interview... it's still crazy that people after all these years are still interested in a band like LÄRM, when we started the band we never knew that it would still ring a bell 35 years later. I'm 56 now but still enjoying fast hardcore and other extreme noises hahaha. But i have to say that i also listen to jazz, garage, 60's beat/mod/soul and all kinds of other stuff which keeps it interesting to keep listening to extreme stuff. I also wanna add that all the bands i played and play in always had a political message, and right now we live in heavy political times and that should have a reflection in the music you make. Anyway TAKE A STAND! Fight back and take care!