Interview with Finisterre
I knew Finisterre was a hardcore/crust band from Germany for years, but finally saw them live last year at the Sandcreek Massacre farewell show in Nijmegen (the Netherlands). I was blown away. It was dark, angry, intens. It was one of the best punk shows i had seen that year. I bought their record Bitter Songs that same night. I loved it to pieces. Not just musicwise, but also because of the themes they choose to write and sing about. So when i started up this blog i just HAD to interview them. As you can see i got it my way, ha! The first band interview for my blog is with them! So without further ado, here is the interview:
Chaotik: For the people who don’t know Finisterre please introduce yourselfs and tell how Finisterre came together?
Lukas: Finisterre is a political hardcore band from Köln/Hannover
(Germany). We lived all together on a trailer squat and decided to start a d-beat
band. For most of us it was the first band. Only me, Robin and Hütte played
in other bands this time. We`re around till 5 years, released some records
and toured a lot. Actually we love to visit new places and play in
countries where the scene is not so spoiled and still enthusiastic.
Chaotik: Finisterre just released a new record called ”Hexis”’. Are you happywith the outcome and how has the reactions from others been so far?
Lukas: Yo, this record was originally just a demo recording for our last
tour but „Twisted Chords“ was super into it and talked us into releasing
the recordings on vinyl.
I think we`re pretty happy with the whole record especially cause we did
everything by ourselfs (beside the pressing). We recorded the music in our
rehearsal room, did the coverdesign by ourselfs, printed the covers +
b-side and so on…
We are pretty slow with writing new songs and it took us almost three
years to write 4 new songs. But yes! The record came out good! There are no
reviews yet but the UK tour we played right now was awesome and we got good
Hütte: Like Lukas already said, everybody in the band is pretty busy with
other stuff or other bands and i also live a few hundred kilometers away
from cologne. We met for weekends or a few more days to rehearse but there
is nothing like a one rehearsal per week situation. But its working like
that for about 4 years now und we are still doing fine and play a lot of
Chaotik: I can’t help but notice that the lay-out is way more colourfull than the previous artwork. Is this done by accident or was in intentional?
Lukas: Maybe it`s because the music changed a bit, it`s not so dark &
midtempo like the previous LP and we`re all kind of bored of this gloomy
crust style… Going fancy…
Hütte: Manuela did the artwork of the new lp and also everything is done
diy by the people of us living in Köln. There is a short but really cool
video on our blog where you can see how its done. Actually i really like
the change from ”gloomy crusty war whatever style” to a more open minded
artwork that is kind of happening in the ”scene” at the moment.
Chaotik: I really like that Finisterre has social themes as lyrics. When i read ”Me, on wire” it sounds so recognizable. How do you deal with the expecations others have of the band? Or how you deal with it in your personal life?
Lukas: I can just speak for myself, but i`m so often fucking disappointed
of the dogmatic behaviour and stupidness of people i have to deal with
(this does not exclude the Punk/Hc scene). This makes me sometimes fucking
cynical and i can`t take all this stuff serious anymore. I`m also not
really interested about what other people expect from the band. If hardcore
comes to the point where it`s all about fullfilling expectations please
leave me alone… Whole life circles around expectations and what to do and
what decision is right/wrong. I don`t give a shit.
Hütte: Actually i don’t think so much about expectation but for example, i
know a lot of people that actually like us as persons but don’t really want
to listen to our music (this does also not exclude the Punk/Hc scene Haha).
But thats cool because I don’t really like the way that every band or show
is called ”awesome’ or ”amazing”. Doesn’t seems really honest to me,
just my personal feeling. It’s great to tell the bands if we really like
what they are doing but we should not feel like we have to…
Chaotik: ”The unspeakable” is, in my opinion a important topic to speak about in our scene, because also in our scene there is a sexism, even rape… Wasn’t it difficuilt to sing about this topic and how have the reactions been on the song? (I, for one, am very happy with this song, because it makes me feel i’m not alone!)
Manuela: In the beginning, when i decided to sing a song about sexual assault, i got influenced by a lot of zines about it where people (in all the cases it has been women) wrote about their experiences and how hard it is to speak
about it. one reason they mentioned was the shame and kind of fault they
felt, although they theoretically know, that they have no fault at all that
it came to rapel – but realized what it did to their expressions and
feelings. the other reason was the fact to treat a topic like this in the
circle of close friends around you without overburdening them and also not
to get reduced on this what happened to them.
i realize that there are a lot of people in the scene who really wanna
built up awareness structures, which is totally important and they do good
and this is really important, but i also had the feeling that this is
nothing exclusive which has to be done by a certain group of “experts”, but
more a thing everybody is responsible for and i wanna take this fear away
from people who are afraid to react in a “wrong” way, when close friends or
people tell them that they faced sexual assault. i wanna encourage people
to dare, because sometimes it’ s okay if you feel kind of insecure in
which way to react and give support, because it opens the chance to start a
communication about it which is good to do and to be aware of in this case,
which is important in another case and so on, because there is not only one
solution! it’s also more involving the survivor in which way she*he ever
The song is called “the unspeakable” because a lot of people feel not
being able to commit it to somebody else and this song shall give the voice
to all the voiceless!
Most reactions on concerts to this song are pretty compassionate and
supportive and i’m doing allmost every time a short introduction on what’s
it about. i wanna make this topic more transparent, because it still happens so
fucking often! But i also wanna make sure not to trigger people on concerts with it, because there is always a possibility of re-traumatisation…so please, if
people ever felt that – tell me!!!
Chaotik: So, Manuela, as a woman in a punkband, do you exprience a lot of sexism when your on stage?
Manuela: i’m pretty convinced that there are structures of sexism in anybody of us and that the only way to overcome this is to accept this and to reflect our
own behaviour and turn it into anti-sexist-practise! That contains that
there is also sexism in the polticial hc-scene. and yes i was also faced by sexism many times, because sexism has many ways of appaerance and most of the poeple would probably deny, that this has been a sexistic act. people often think, that, if they don’t do it on purpose it’s not sexistic, i was actually quite often confronted with this type of sexism.
Some examples: A lot of people come to me and tell me how surprised they
are when they see, that i am a women, because in their opinion, i have such
a strong “male” voice, and this is the reason why they like it?! One guy
some years ago said it like this: I like your band because you are a chic!
(i’m not sure about the spelling, sorry!) another guy complains that i said something on stage about the inequality of men playing in bands often take off their shirts, while it’s not as easy for women – instead of reflecting what i said to his own incitements he felt insulted by me saying that?! (of course he was the singer of the band before taking off his shirt and showing his great tattoo…)
Chaotik: What do you think we can do to get sexism out of our bands, communities, hell, out of our scene!
Lukas: I doubt it but i`m always pretty pessimistic… Get active to make
it at least a little bit less shitty. Confront people with the shit they
are doing and reflect your own behaviour. It`s often the small things in
daily life that can make the difference.
Hütte: Just playing in a band or being part of a political scene doesn’t
make us a ”better person”. Like Lukas says, its still about reflecting
and work on your own shit.
Chaotik: Well we all know the world is shit, but what is it that get’s you up in the morning? (Besides coffee ;)) What makes you laugh, feel good?
Lukas: My housemates in our housing project, good weather, my dog &
Hütte: Definitely good weather and things and people that make this shitty
world a little better…
Chaotik: Well i’m out of questions, so here the last one and than i finish: What makes Finisterre such cool band to play in? And do you have any dreams still to fullfill with the band?
Lukas: I love to be on the road with close friends. not fullfilled dream
yet: a tour with maximum driving distances of 2hrs per day, haha.
Hütte: On my oppinion it’s cool because we are doing this for more than 5
years now, have seen and meet so much places and people that wouldn’t
really have happened without the band. Playing in a band and going on tour
is, for me, also a kind of privilege and a nice way to escape the boredom
and shit of everyday life. A Dream to fullffil with the band? Get my
drivers license and driving the van without anybody in it feeling unsafe!