Punk from Malta havenエt I have heard before but this group Rage Against Society do that. So here we goSeptember 2014

 

Please tell me a little bit history of the group?

Rage Against Society history goes back to 1995.  Although i started listening to Punk from 1982, I joined the Punk band ABSTRASS around 1987.   In 1995 I formed R.A.S and year after year the band members changed and the music evolved another bit. Then there was a period of time when I was gigging with many punk bands like Spirit of '77, Subculture, Disobedience, Underground Sect, Abstrass, Publikwaste, and RAGE AGAINST SOCIETY.

During all these years R.A.S done 2 d.i.y demos called Jingle bells  and Shamless music .They will not be found anywhere cos only a handful were distributed among our friends.  Than in 2010 my friend Patti Pattex from Berlin punks CUT MY SKIN, wished to make a song or two with us. It took me around a weekend to write new songs and together with others that we used to do, I came with the idea to record the cd 15 YEARS OF KAOS with Patti and me and Denis on vocals.  The recording was done in around 14 hours at HELL NEXT DOOR studio which is run by our drummer Steve Lombardo. Afterwards we started doing more gigs to promote the cd till it became sold out. Again we only made a very limited edition of around 250 cds.  You must take in consideration that we live in a very small island consisting of around 400,000 people which of whom a very small fracture listen to punk rock. Later the band went into hibernation and the interest was lost till I found Genzora Riot who wanted to play bass and Selene who wanted to try some vocals. And till this day we managed to make a good song list and had some gigs and we're looking forward to record new material.

 

Please tell me a little about every member in the group right now, age, family, work, interests and something bad about everyone?

-Well what can I say about our band members?  Believe me there's nothing bad to say. They are very committed and I知 mostly grateful to Steve our long time drummer for his never ending commitment due to his loaded work days. Steve is 35 years old and he's an audio engineer, he's into philosophy travelling (when he have free time) and he's into many music styles.

Deby (Genzora Riot) is our bassist and she's really into adventures and travelling to exotic places. She is 27 years old and works at the telecom. She likes very much foreign culture and general folklore. She studied theology and is also a teacher.

Selene is the youngest member. Our front girl vocalist is still 21 years old, been into punk since the age of 15. She's unemployed but graduated in psychology. She's into sports (martial arts) and she like also to travel abroad and hear music.

I'm Ray the guitarist of the band and share the vocals with Delene.  I'm the oldest .50 fucking years of kaos and disorder.

I work as a marble/tile layer, very hard work indeed. I'm into noise, fireworks (the maltese style),football Ultras (antiracist of course). I知 into anarchism and protests, I知 against the corrupting systems that tries to nail us down. I try as much as possible to help new musicians who ask about Punk.

 

Rage against Society? Is it important with a good bandname? Which is the best name you know?

-For Steve ,a good band name is not so important cos he says that you can judge the band from their music.  For me, Selene and Deby , we think that certain names reflects the bands direction. For instance  when I came with our band's name I was already thinking about song titles as well cos I knew what I wanted to do in the future.  And about the best band's name we choose Maltese punk duo VIXAW.

 

Your influences goes way back in time, am I right? I can hear both Crass and Vice Squad am I right?

-The members who contributed to the making of 15 years of kaos are all into old school punkrock. Yes I知 influenced very much by C.R.A.S.S and Conflict lyrics.  I also like Vice Squad music and Beki's voice, but to tell you the truth we really don't see any resemblance to those bands in our music.

 

Whatエs the best thing with playing live?

-We always play live. In my music career since 1983 I always played live .It is the norm for us. The best thing to happen is when you see the crowd reacting to what you say. For example once we where in a festival  and the crowd were after the barricades. And I urged them to have the balls and push down the barriers so they could come under the stage and instantly they done so creating panic with the stage stuff.

 

And where is best to play?

-The best gigs for me are indoors with small venues where the crowd mix with the band and the musician pogo with the punks.

 

How is it to play this sort of music in Malta?

-I played many types of music here in Malta with my other band X-VANDALS. We started into speedmetal and continued to climb the stairs of thrash,hardcore grind and death metal. With my punk bands I played from punk rock to anarchopunk, street punk and Oi !  So what I知 trying to say is that you can play what you want here.  Back in my 80's early days it was weird to play speedmetal cos almost all the crowd will be stoned and we were too fast for their brains.

Steve is also the drummer of another punk band called B.N.I.  He was also with me in spirit of 77 and the first Subculture line up. Steve is also session drummer with many other bands who require his drumming skills.  Deby played street punk with RIOTOUS FUTURE.  And Selene is still starting her career.

 

How would you describe your music in three words?

-Our music is IYF ( in your face).  It痴 an english phrase  which means that we are direct, straight to the point .

 

What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?

-For Steve punk means to do what you want to do. For Selene and Deby it means their attitude. For me PUNK means everything, my life. Without PUNK I知 nothing. Punk made me what I am today. I learned from past mistakes, I知 still doing some and will continue to do, but PUNK always have the right answers to guide me in a better life.

 

How do you see on downloading, mp3 and that stuff?

-About downloading we think it's cool cos everyone can hear your music irrespective if he have money or not. For major bands it is a problem cos it affects their profit.  But for us it means nothing. We play many charity gigs and give away cds. The only profit we make, we use it for our recordings expenses. 

 

How is it to live in Malta now? Politically?

-About living in Malta depends if you come as a tourist or you are a resident.  For tourists it is very nice relax and you will find anything to buy that all countries have. We have a great history and many ancient archaeological sites that dates back to 5000 b.c. We lack green fields cos our summer is severe and hot with load of humidity.  We have very nice small crowded beaches.  The political climate is good (which means many people obey the government and all they do is moan.)The political system in Malta is divided between the Labour party (which used to be left wing till late 80's), the nationalist party (whom used to be great collaborators of the catholic church), Alternativa Demokratika (green party made by ex-members of Labour and Nationals), and the nazi/fascist scum Imperium Europa( who exploit people who fear that the immigrants will take over Malta).  Then there is another large group of people who are made of hunters /birdkillers who participated in the E.U elections but not the national elections.

 

Is there any good bands from Malta now? Is the punkscene big?

-Yes we have many good bands here in Malta. Many of them have been touring Europe.   Obviously that the most popular are the mainstream bands that gets free promos on the media music programmes and are invited to appear live or playback in big events.

The punk scene used to be very good for this tiny island with such limited venues and gig goers. Sadly nowadays there are some bands flirting with punk and only R.A.S  and B.N.I stayed loyal to our punk scene.

 

What do you know about Sweden?

-I don't know nothing about Sweden. 

 

Have you heard any good bands from Sweden?

-I don't think that I have heard bands from Sweden or if I did I don't remember who. 

 

Your lyrics, who does them and what influences you? You said you will sing on Maltese the next time?

The band lyrics are written by me. Many things influence me to write. Mostly political or religious. I知 influenced by negativity. The more sad and frustrated the better songs will come out. I don't feel the urge to write about something which is already good or nice. I like to write about animal rights as well.  Hopefully our next R.A.S cd will be all in Maltese language. It will be titled REZISTENZA (resistance). My experience shows me that the songs we do in Maltese goes better with our crowd cos they feel more related to them.

 

Is there any subject that you never will write anything about?

-I will write about subjects that interests me.  This year I been writing an album for my thrash band x-vandals . It is called The truth exhumed. It is questioning our human existence ,who we are, where did we come from, and for what purpose we are here. I think that we are bred from an alien race thousands of years ago. I think about this because we have many history showing us events and things that should not have existed thousands of years ago.

 

Politics and music, does it goes hand in hand?

-Politics and music do not go hand in hand. Music is either art or entertainment... BUT, for me music is the medium I use to promote my anarchist ideas ,with. So I知 like contradicting what I said that music and politics don't mix. In our case and in lots of other bands, YES , they will go hand in hand. You can attack politics with music, some could change some politics with their music/lyrics and sometimes Politics uses music to get nearer to the people.

 

Best political band/artist?

-For me the best political bands are C.R.A.S.S and Conflict.   I like also the political lyrics of Roger Waters /Pink Floyd, and lyrics from Paul Marriot (Burnt Cross u.k anarcho band).

 

Do you think that music(lyrics and so on) can change anyones life, I mean people who listens to music?

-I don't know if music and lyrics can change one's life.  In my case the anarcho punk movement helped me a lot and opened the gates for me to explore what I wasn't interested in before.

 

You have two other girls on vocals now, have your musicstyle changed a lot or how?

-Now we have two girls in the band. Only Selene is the vocalists beside me. Deby is playing bass. Our music style is still the same I think. 

 

Please tell me about the first, last and most expensive record ever bought?

-i don't buy records cos don't have a player and I知 not into it. I buy cds .Last I bought when I was in Kreuzberg,Berlin. I think I bought something from CRESS, OMEGA TRIBE, BUZZCOCKS LIVE and some German punk bands.

 

Please tell me a funny thing which have happened during your career and under some gig?

-The funniest that i remember right now is that I had a gig with a side project band. We were in the punkfestival called FESTAHWEED  (which means kaosfest). And we were closing the festival with the last song and i saw that the bassists was not feeling well. He looked strange. All of a sudden about a dozen punks jumped on staged and done a pile up over the bassist.  After the gig ended he told me that he had shit in his pants half way thru the gig. Can you imagine the mess!!

 

How does your audience look like? Which people do you miss on your concerts?

-Our audience is a mixture of people from all walks of life. there are some punks that you know who they are cos of their wear, there are drunkards wearing nice fashion clothes, there are the animal lovers, those who organize protests, those who are into punk, ska and reggae, our friends who come for the buzz and some who are musicians from other bands, some bikers, a very good mixture i say. But I miss those people who helped me regenerate the punk scene here in Malta. Most of them are into parties and other things.

 

Please rank your five favoriterecords, five favoriteconcerts and five most important things in life?

-In no particular order: Troops for tomorrow (Exploited), Bleach (Nirvana), Nevermind the bullocks (Sex Pistols),  Reign in blood (Slayer)   Ungovernable force (Conflict).  Well I have too many favorite gigs and concerts to mention. Most of the time they are great.

 

Is it boring with interviews? Which is the most stupid question you ever have got?

-No it's not boring doing interviews because it means that someone is interested to hear what we have to say. I done many interviews. Some are more interesting than others. I can't say there was stupid questions but when someone asked me what's your favorite food or film or that kind of shit ...I can't stand that.

 

Do you understand that reviewers always compare bands to other bands? Is that disturbing when you try to do something own?

-I think to compere bands is so natural. Even myself I do it lots of time. When I hear new bands I try to picture them in a style and compare them with bands that I like or I know. I don't find it disturbing at all. Honestly I think that it's not easy nowadays to come up with something new and original and in the same time stay loyal to the music style that you associate yourself with. Most of the music is recycled and done in different methods, but the basic idea was created long ago. I even recycle our own old material and come up with something different, but the roots will stay there from where it first started.

 

Futureplans for the band?

-Ah future plans !! We don't really plan very much because we change according to the situations at the time being. What we are planning now is to finish a demo before we enter studio to record REZISTENZA our new cd in Maltese language. Than we start working on and English language cd. We already have two songs for that.  Sometimes we have enough time to practice so we learn fast, but then comes a time that we slow down due to other priorities, but on the whole I'm really happy how we are doing with this line up. The girls brought the energy and will, with them so I and Steve have to give them songs to learn so they won't fall into apathy like what had happened with the other line up.

 

For yourself?

-About my future I really don't fucking care . I知 50 years old and I try to keep on going doing what I知 doing now as long as possible. PUNK is everything for me so I will be FOREVER PUNK.

 

Wisdomword?

-I don't care about wisdom words. I just do what my brain tells me to do. 

 

Something to add?

-My last words goes to the readers of Skrutt magazine. Keep the flame burning? Promote PUNK to the new generation of kids. We can't just keep PUNK for ourselves. PUNK IS NOT DEAD. It managed to survive after the first wave of the late 70's. Ok it didn't stay exactly punk rock, but the roots are still there. Support your local bands, and try to form new bands. We have to keep it going. PUNK is still relevant. We still rebel against the establishment, we still have to protest with our songs and with our music.  The world is again in turmoil because of mindless fools who have the power. Our war is not with weapons. We have to use our brains to think, our pens to write and our hands to play PUNK and turn our ANGER into ENERGY.

 

Thanks very much Peter for giving us the space in Skrutt magazine.  Feel free to check about us on Facebook, in the RAGE AGAINST SOCIETY page and MALTAPUNK bands page.