Japanische Kamphörspiele interview

Japanische Kamphörspiele band logo

Originally published in ‘zine issue #30, 2004

One of the things that differentiates Japanische Kamphörspiele (Jaka for short) from other bands that have their sights set on the international scene is that their songs are sung in German and their lyrics are printed in German.

Bony says that although the band hasn’t discussed the topic yet, “as lots of people are really amazed or at least interested in our lyrics and their meaning we might think of a translation sheet for the upcoming releases.”

Perhaps it’s more of a test of the band’s audience, but there is the question of whether non-German speaking music fans will still appreciate and enjoy Jaka even though they can’t read the lyrics.

“I think that most of the response we get outside of German-speaking countries is based upon the German lyrics. German is quite a good language to sing over grindcore songs ‘cause makes the music sound somewhat more aggressive and weird. It just doesn’t sound like the 258,671st death metal band from Germany trying to create scary gory lyrics in English. And it also might have an exotical and unusual touch,” responds Bony.

Bastardized Recordings has released Jaka’s two CDs.

“We’re very content. We’re a small band and they’re a small label so we can grow together. Though they don’t have the opportunities that labels like Earache or Relapse have, they are very busy and really believe in the band. If they keep up their good work, they’ll be quite big metal label in the future. By now all I can say is that Bastardized is the best that could happen to a band like Jaka.”

Japanische Kamphörspiele performing live

The full-length Jaka record sounds to be more, shall we say, polished in terms of production and clean in terms of performance than the Jaka EP. “When I joined Jaka, they were already in the studio to do the EP so I couldn’t contribute anything to the songs like I did on the new album. I’m not really from the grindcore scene but was heavily influenced by ’80s thrash metal, which you’ll probably notice when you hear the new album,” reveals Bony, adding, “but I promise the next regular longplayer will be a more extreme one.”

Bony expands on the way the German thrash wave affects the way Jaka writes music. “I was heavily influenced by bands like Slayer, Dark Angel, and of course Kreator. Though I am only the singer in Jaka, I still play guitar very often and the other members liked the riffs, so they ended up being on the album. My first band rehearsed next to Kreator’s rehearsal room back in the ’80s. No matter how hard you try, you cannot wash away that influence.”

“How much more stupid can things get?”

Jaka is from Eastern Germany and this impacts the band as well. Bony explains, “The eastern part of Germany is a very good platform for extreme music. The economy there is going down the drain, unemployment everywhere. So the people there are really, really pissed off and therefore in a mood for ‘pissed off’ music.”

In addition to his thoughts on music and his band, Bony has something of interest to say on the subject of the German Chancellor.

“It doesn’t really matter for whom you vote. You have the choice between warm shit and cold. No matter if the recent chancellor is Labour or Conservative. He has to sail the ship through a sea of shit. The only thing you can do is not vote anyone from the right wing or any other radical party. Give your vote to some democratic party, sit down and wait for the shit to disappear by itself.”

Someone fairly recently said that citizens of foreign nations, in addition to the Americans themselves, should vote for the American president. How much does American foreign policy affect Germany? Bony has a response.

“I don’t like the way American foreign politics affect other countries in general. I was really pissed of how the American government tried to make France stoop low. Fortunately it didn’t work so the Americans may now call their french fries “freedom fries.” Congratulations. How much more stupid can things get? My only hope is that the upcoming president’s name is not George W. Bush.”

The new album Hardcore Aus Der Ersten Welt is out now.

www.japanische-kampfhorspiele.de ■

Photo: Japanische Kamphörspiele (courtesy the band)


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