Agathocles interview

Originally published in ‘zine issue #9, 1993

Agathocles is a Belgian grindcore band that has been around since the mid-‘80s and has put out a ton of stuff. AG has intelligent things to say in its lyrics, as well. The band has some things on sale: the Theatric Symbolization of Life compilation CD of its past releases ($15), the AG/Kompost 7” ($5), and black t-shirts with white designs ($10). Write Jan Frederickx. Here Jan answers some questions about his killer band.

D.U.: Each time you release something, it sounds different from the last one. Does that have to do with the lineup changes and the switching of instruments by bandmembers?

Jan: All our stuff sounds different because of the new bandmembers and because we want to sound different.

Your bio says you’ve reached your own style. Does that mean the newer stuff sounds fundamentally different than the older stuff?

For us, grindcore is a lifestyle, and the music is just a part of this lifestyle. By saying that we’ve reached our own style, we wanna say that we think we are doing the things we wanna do by not following the next fucked-up trend which this whole fucked-up scene (can we still speak about a scene when people are being blinded by mass consumption?) has bred.

Would you say that your band has a death metal influence musically? For example, I thought the new stuff at the beginning of the comp. CD sounded similar to Death’s Leprosy. Or is the whole death metal thing something you’d rather avoid?

Yes, I say we got some death metal touches musically, but not lyrically. You are right to mention Death as one of the influences on the CD. I did like that band in the early days. Anyway, we don’t have anything against “true metal,” but as you see, nowadays all these young crap metal bands start jumping on the bandwagon of death metal and black metal, saying they are “true” without even knowing such old, godly bands as Hellhammer, Arsenic, Poison, Venom. The same thing goes for all these hardcore trendies. What a shame!

“If a label is only interested in sucking dry the people who are buying the records, then this label can fuck off.”

Where does Belgium stand on the European Community? Did it and will it vote yes or no for the E.C.?

Maybe you already know it, Belgium has got the “leadership” of the European Community, and hell yes, these Belgian politicians are fuckin’ proud of it.

Where do you stand on this issue and why?

I think this whole thing stinks. In Belgium, there are lots of troubles concerning the social security, but those Belgian political dicks only wanna have more power in the E.C. By the way, I also think that this E.C. is a big fuckin’ joke. The only reason of this E.C. is an economical one, which means more money in the wallets of the rich.

Why does the band mostly go with split releases? Just because it’s good to split costs and exposure is higher, or is there another reason?

It mostly turns out this way, and we like it very much. You see, with a split release, you get the chance of knowing the ideas of two bands, which is very interesting if you are not only in it for the music (like we are).

And why mostly 7”es? Do you make a point to go with a different label each time you release something?

We don’t wanna get hooked on one label which is making big bucks on our backs and reduces us to puppets on string. If a label is only interested in sucking dry the people who are buying the records, then this label can fuck off. For us, the do it yourself spirit is still alive, and we plan to keep it alive.

What’s on the Use Your Anger live album?

The Use Your Anger live LP contains old and new songs recorded at four different gigs (all unreleased), and it has about 50 minutes of play time with booklet enclosed.

Are you happy with it?

I quite like this album, because it reminds me of the first grindcore bands like Lärm, Revenge Of The Whores, old Napalm Death. The sound is really killer for a live album.

How is the scene in Mol, anyway, or is there one in the first place?

Back in 1985-1989 it was a lot better. More active people back then. Right now, there are only a few bands, mostly death metal (understandable because of the big death metal boom). In Diest, the area where the other members come from, there’s a big scene, lots of active people (grindcore punks) into anti-fascist organizations, animal liberation, vegetarianism. Bands to check out are Intestinal Disease, NOF, Hiatus, Mindfart, Splif, Acoustic Grinder.

What’s next for Agathocles?

Our latest release was the AG/Kompost EP. Hopefully this summer our new studio EP/mini CD will be released. We also plan to do a new split LP, some more split EPs, and a new full 75-minute CD. But right now, we got a tour coming up in Germany, Slovakia, Tschechia, and Belgium with MVD and FH-763. Should be cool.

Okay, I guess that’s all. Any last comments?

Richard, thanx a lot for your interest in the band and thanx for doing the interview with me. The things I have said here are my views, and they are not those of the other members. If there’s anything that I have said that might have upset you, just get in touch and let me hear your views, okay? Communication is the only way. Cheers. ■

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