Archive | start from scratch!

13 September 2010 ~ 21 Comments

New album stream ep. 5: Cut The Ground From Under Our Feet

This is the fastest song on our album. About skate and counter culture. And YES, you heard it right, Chris Hannah (Propagandhi) sings on the last chorus. We asked him to do guest vocals for this song. He said he would try it, but warned us not to be disappointed. He did, and we weren’t. As most of you know Propagandhi is a band we love and enjoyed playing with extremely much. Having this collaboration means a lot to us. I hope you enjoy it too.
Chris was friendly enough to write some words about this song, and so did our most steady pair of extra hands on the road: Thomas. If you saw us play lately and visited our merch stand you must have seen him. If you booked a show for us, he was probably the guy giving you shit about money …
Please read on, enjoy the song and feel free to share it with your friends.

Skip to: Special Guest / Lyrics / Liner Notes

In case you like this, we are streaming more songs from our new album right here

Chris Hannah (Propagandhi) says

I must admit, I’ve only spent about 5 minutes on a skateboard in my entire life, so while I won’t pretend that I’m either familiar or interested in skate culture, I will say that what I understand the message of the song to be — a lament of the brazen commodification of something you love — resonates pretty strongly with me. Of course, as long as we live in a world where we teach young people that making money takes priority over compelling art, principled sport, democratic politics and humane sciences, brazen commodification will be the rule.

Thomas says

Early summer this year I was sitting in a van with some guys you might know. We were driving trough mountains in some country. Was it Italy, was it Austria? I don’t know. Two things I do know about that drive:
It was the first time I heard this song (and the rest of the new album of course) and I was instantly blown away. Not many songs so fast and aggressive will grab you by the throat with it’s melody and feeling like this one. It reminded me a lot of Propagandhi, but I couldn’t really figure out what it was exactly.. Now we all know.
The other thing was that I was once again reminded how cool it was to be on the road all over Europe with these guys. As one of the hardest working punkrock bands in the Netherlands, it’s amazing how nice and down to earth Willem, Tom and Riekus are. Yet these still strife to perfection in their songs and live shows.

That is actually where the meaning of this song comes in. The skateboarding scene has (d)evolved from the underground to the mainstream in the past 10 to 20 years. Where it used to be an extreme sport for people who wanted something exciting and something they could be passionate about, it’s now another object for MTV and big corporations to form to their liking and make money on.
Still there are, and always have been, smaller companies and groups of people that try to keep skateboarding what it’s supposed to be. They still understand that you don’t need those $200 Etnies shoes to be a good skateboarder. That you don’t need to be sponsored by Nike to make your friends think you’re cool.

Antillectual is the punkrock counterpart of those groups. While putting as much effort and time as possible into their music and performance, they still take the DIY approach to everything. This is once again made clear with the release of Start From Scratch. The songs are amazing, the lyrics are once again filled with critical views on important social and political issues and Antillectual are still those great guys. Punkrock how it’s supposed to be!

Lyrics

Nike commercials telling me that skateboarding is not a crime
Maybe not anymore since they bailed it out
From independent and resistant to contracts, million dollar cars
Upgrading culture, conformed to cruise on the mainstream

Graffiti in the galleries, studded belts at the H&M
Tattoos on the playing field, counterculture fully enclosed

Upgrade underground culture if you cannot forbid their domain
Or push them out of the market. If you cannot beat ’em, join ‘em

They try to cut the ground from under our feet and steal our thunder
How are we supposed to distinguish us from them?
And revolt against the mainstream if it keeps on chasing us
Before you know it you will hear this on your radio

Liner Notes

I wrote these lyrics inspired by the series of commercials Nike made for their “What if we treated all athletes … the way we treat skateboarders” campaign and the real life soaps around current skateboard superstars Bam Margera, Ryan Sheckler and Rob Dyrdek. These days, “extreme” sports like skateboarding and snowboarding are completely enclosed by mainstream brands and media. This goes not only for underground sports, but also for more and more forms of underground cultures like punk and hardcore. When mainstream media and corporations see there is enough interest for these sports or cultures they will try to “upgrade” them and conform them into mainstream sports and cultures and accompanying commodities.
You can ask whether this is bad or good. Sure, the attention and appreciation is nice. But it also takes away all the edges and atypical aspects of these phenomenons. There is a reason why these sports and art forms find refuge in underground subcultures. They weren’t accepted or welcome in the mainstream for a long time. Now the edge has worn of, they are welcome to produce a nice profit and make a brand look young, fresh and hip.
As for skateboarding, there is a group of organizations called the “Don’t Do It Army” that tries to keep it an underground culture, away from mainstream media and commercialism. The Dutch brand Severe Skate and Snow Gear is affiliated with the Don’t Do It Army. “Support your local skate shop!”

But the mechanism works the other way around as well. When subcultures are unable to generate some extra money or simply resist to cooperate or fit in, mainstream media, companies and other institutions try to “downgrade” those subcultures so they can not be of any harm. The best example of this mechanism is the current anti-squatting law the dutch government has implemented in the constitution. Since squatting is a threat to the economy, healthy living conditions and simply stealing people’s property (not my words!) it should be forbidden. Since squatting is one of the most effective ways to create affordable living and working space for students and artists, a fertile home for underground culture and recycle ugly empty office spaces (my words!) it is not a crime! Kraken Gaat Door! (Dutch slogan meaning “squatting continues”).

If those liner notes don’t spoil enough … Next week the sequel to this siren song of the counterculture, with comments from your mom.

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06 September 2010 ~ 10 Comments

New Album Stream ep. 4: America’s Worst Role Model

The fourth song of our new record deals with subjects such as sex, guns, god and fashion. Morality in combination with hypocrisy; it turns out to be an awesome mix. As said we’ve never played this song live because it is rather calm yet weirdly structured. We were really curious for how it would turn out when recorded. And it turned out even better than we expected on forehand.
This week’s guest writer is Fieke from Shield Recordings. Shield Recordings has put out almost everything we ever recorded, helped selling our merch on tour and through their webshop and helped us book shows. Without them we’d be a couple steps down the ladder. Please read on, enjoy the song and feel free to share it with your friends.

Skip to: Special Guest / Lyrics / Liner Notes

Fieke Shield says

3 years ago we released our first Antillectual record “Testimony”. Back then we couldn’t believe they wanted to be on our label. We had just released the first record of The Real Danger and now we could sign the next great European Punkrock band. For us this was the beginning of a new era in which we focused on Punkrock more and more and grew bigger and bigger. In these last few years Antillectual supported us in our growth and we supported them in theirs. They inspired us to expand our services to our bands. My first tour ever was with them and this made me want to do more for the label than just help out with the distro. I got inspired to become a part of the whole Punkrock machine and I wanted to make a difference for our bands. I started writing to festivals to try to get our bands on their playlists. This worked out pretty well and this is for example how Antillectual will play the Incubate festival this year. Besides writing to festivals I even started booking tours and selling merch from our bands. This way we get the names of our bands out in the maximum possible way.

Most people get inspired by the political message Antillectual has, but to be honest I get the most inspiration from their personalities and the way they manage the band. I’m writing this on Skatefest Olen and I realize it is exactly one year ago on this festival the guys told us Yvo would be leaving the band. Even though we were kind of expecting it, it came as a shock to us. We both love Yvo and for us he was such a vital part of the whole band that we were afraid this was going to be the end. The way the band let go of Yvo and took in Tom as their new bass player is truly admirable and should be an example for other people how to treat and respect each other and the decisions others make.

This new record shows how well the band is doing as a whole right know and how much potential they got in their new formation. Even though we are a different label with bigger bands than three years ago we still let ourselves be inspired by Antillectual and we keep pushing the limits of what we can achieve as a label together with our bands.

Lyrics

Why the hell should we follow you?
What kind of example is this?
America’s worst role model
Reconcile, “shock and awe”

Why the hell should we follow you?
For the example you set at home?
The government allows the industry
To tease us with what they forbid

Selling you sex when it’s “oh, so wrong”
Having a gun is your right
A sweet and sour taste is all that’s left
Once you have tasted forbidden fruit

Only god can judge you, you say
Only god can judge the USA and its policy
What do you think his verdict will be?
Is god still on your side?

But thank god I’m not religious
All these omens would be threatening me
Scared to death I’d reconsider
And regret that everything is a reaction

Two-faced ethics, fond of scandals and hypocrisy, we say
Impose morality from above
Media bombing us with “wardrobe malfunctions” from below

Liner Notes

One of the things the current and the former president of the USA have in common is their mission to maintain the USA as a “leading nation”. Setting the standards in the world, giving a good example. Too bad then, that they are not really a good example when it comes to morality on a national level. Past and current events like “nipple-gate”, hurricane Katrina, Medicare, and the double standard concerning sexuality show that copying the American morals worldwide will not result in a better world. It is hard to point out a popular American role model that I would want to see inspire the rest of the world. Paris Hilton, Dr. Phil, Martha Stewart, Jerry Springer, Tipper Gore, Tiger Woods, Joe the Plumber?
Being a role model is something you should earn, be appointed to. Not something you can enforce.

That’s it for this week’s song. We’ll be back next week with a fast one, a guest singer that will truly AMAZE you and commentary from him and the Dutch “I’m gonna manage the shit out of this punkrock show” Kent.

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30 August 2010 ~ 11 Comments

New Album Stream ep. 3: The Hunt Is On!

The third song on our new album is a song some of you might already know. We played it a lot live, recorded a demo version of it (featured on Shield and No Reason Records’ label samplers) and it appeared on our (in)famous acoustic “Pull the Plug” EP. The lyrics could have been inspired by current affairs like the Wikileaks scandal, if it weren’t written before that time.
This week’s guest writer is Nab, our friend from Madrid Toulouse who runs “Just Say Yo Fanzine“. We met him years ago when he booked a show for us in Nice, we stayed at his mom’s house and ate oranges from the tree. This year he took us to a Hare Krishna temple to feed us; interesting!

Please read on, enjoy the song and feel free to share it with your friends.

Skip to: Special Guest / Lyrics / Liner Notes

Nab Ortega says

Growing up, my favorite bands were always the ones with a socio-political message; bands like Pennywise, Minor Threat, Good Riddance, Anti-Flag… Even though I was like 13/14 years old and probably didn’t have a clue about politics, I felt there were a lot of wrongs out there and that punk-rock had to be something rebellious, speaking out against all the injustices going on in society. I met Antillectual when I was around 18, at that time I was feeling doubtful and lost, wondering if any of what I believed in made sense. We talked a lot, about our lives, about music, their music; and I could relate to almost everything they were about. I had never felt such a connection with anybody before.

They have this ability to communicate their passion and opinions in a sincere, genuine and always-friendly way, without being this overbearingly political band. I can safely say meeting them changed me. They have been a great deal of inspiration in my life so far and I owe them a lot more than they probably know.

Antillectual is about to release this great record called “Start From Scratch!”. I can’t wait for the world to hear it as this is some relevant music I’m very excited about. To me, their previous album, “Testimony”,  is a masterpiece; both lyrically and musically. I thought it showcased the band at its peak, but listening to their new full length proved me to be oh so wrong!

“Start from Scratch!” is a much more melodic record and yet still intense and angry. The songwriting got sharper and more on point, with thoughtful lyrics constantly challenging the listener, raising awareness, almost forcing you to pay attention.

Raising awareness is exactly what they’re doing on “The Hunt is On!”. To me, what they basically mean with this song is “WE WON’T BE FOOLED!”. It lists all theses morally wrong institutions that are engaged in crooked operations. Wrong according to our morals,  those of “all of us on the losing end”. We’re always telling ourselves that what we’re seeing might only be the tip of the iceberg. So this song essentially pays tribute to those who dare to break the ice, speak out and reveal the truth in an attempt to bring more justice and equality to this world. The “whistle-blowers” as they put.

I like this song because it’s a very straight-forward tune with these intense melodic guitars. The chorus is insanely good, and I love the way they built that second verse. One more thing I appreciate in “The hunt is on!” is that it’s one of their songs where everyone in the band sings at some point. Anyway, I guess you know you’re listening to a good song when you find yourself mumbling the words with your fists clenched.

Lyrics

The hunt is on! The gloves are off!
Another attempt to protect your own self interest
Another attempt to corrupt our moral principles
Denying rights to those who blow their whistle

Corruption, fraud and dirty linen
Whistle-blowers outlawed by established authorities
Losing the battle but hopefully winning the war

Sexual abuse among the abstinent
Selling us cigarettes for medicines
Price-fixing pushing the prices
Illegal weapon trade and export

Corporate, clerical and political arrogance
Exuberance, I hope it will fall
And push up those who have been pushed down before
Never asked for this role but they’ll play it

The church in all its manifestations
The political arena and all its participants
The corporate community and those who rule it
All scared to death their crooked secrets will come out

Liner Notes

This accusation is an ode to so called “bell-ringers” or “whistle-blowers”. People that without regards for their own benefit or well-being stand up to rectify hidden wrongs and abuses in society. Bell-ringers are characterized by the fact that because of their action in favor of a community or society, their own lives get ruined. The authority they stand up to tries to destroy the bell-ringers’ reputation, or even their complete lives. Usually bell-ringers signal wrongs among traditional authorities as governments, religious institutions or corporations. Recent examples are the worldwide reports on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church coming to light after both bell ringers and victims open up about this case. May the truth come out.

Next week a song that is impossible to know since we’ve never played it live to date. Doubtful if we ever will … Next week’s guest writer is someone “from behind the scenes of the Dutch scene”. Stay! Tuned!

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23 August 2010 ~ 23 Comments

New Album Stream ep. 2: Buyer’s Remorse

In this second episode we present (surprise surprise!) the second song of our new album: Buyer’s Remorse, a bittersweet song about consumerism. The song features a good friend of ours doing guest vocals. People who saw us at the Groezrock fest will know who. This weeks Special Guest is David Finke. He runs Fairtademerch.com, prints all of our merch and is the designer of the artwork for our album. Curious to know what he has to say about this song? Please read on, enjoy the song and feel free to share it with your friends.

Skip to: Special Guest / Lyrics / Liner Notes

David Finke says

Could there be a better time to drop some lines on this song? Well I guess any time is right, but this song kinda sums it all up. These days BP are the lucky ones to have their s**t in the public focus, but the list of these companies is long. Outsourcing for cheap labor & less restrictions on their ways of operating, massive environmental pollution, private armed security services to protect their profitable factories in the world’s poorest countries. These people indeed put their hunger for benefit above others’ lives & get away with it.

Everybody knows & in the end it only takes one well-done shiny commercial campaign plus a friendly image and we’re most likely to continue buying their stuff. I guess it’s all thanks to our lame asses and our comfort in indifference that circumstances like these even exist…

I’m really beginning to sound desperate here, eh? The bottom line is I truly believe that even a small difference IS a difference! Don’t let yourself get too depressed when you’re thrown back to the fact that this planet is inhabited by 1% greedy opinion-making hate mongers and 99% careless population (okay, now I’m desperate). It’s all about using our heads and being aware of how and what we consume, what we believe in and what we’d better reject.

I got to know Tom, Willem and Riekus (and Yvo, even though only through some mails) as an outstandingly active band with a whole lot to say and to convey to their audiences. Their live shows kick ass and Tom doesn’t even need a mic to burst your eardrums! And just in case you got a little skeptic about consuming things, buying this LP definitely is a good thing to do, please trust me on that one. I’m really grateful to be given the opportunity to do the artwork for this record. Support these guys & go see ’em live!

Lyrics

Stop calling me sick
This is not the disease I meant
Healthcare for all
This is not the cure I need
Swallow it whole
Who doesn’t want to become a doctor
I will tongue your pills
Don’t want to be a healthy consumer

Built to resist
Challenge everything
I can’t believe it’s not out yet, how come we buy it, time after time
Maybe we’re born with it, maybe it’s make-believe, but I’m lovin’ it

I object, practically and principally
Supported by overpriced products and underpaid temp jobs
I hope our backs didn’t hurt your knives

On your profit crusade
Selling the biggest dwarf alive
Despise the converted
Selling the smallest giant alive
Where is our money?
Bailing out all the sinners
Where is our lobby?
What happened to our voice, our vote?

Where dreams begin
Let’s make things better
The best a man can get
Make the most of now
Impossible is nothing
Just do it, yes we can
Because you’re worth it
Be all that you can be

Liner Notes

Have you ever regret a purchase? Maybe you didn’t appreciate the quality of what you bought, or you were tricked into buying something you didn’t really need after all? The media (unconsciously) persuade us to become “healthy consumers”, maintaining a vibrant economy. But healthy for who and what? Us, or the economy?
When you buy a product you support the company that produces it, its methods of production, its distribution and marketing. This support is not only financial support, but also moral approval. And not only for that one company: the whole process of commercial production, distribution and promotion exists because of our support. We keep them healthy, even though they like to make us believe it’s the other way around.
Are light cigarettes healthy? No, not smoking is better. Are “sales” good for your wallet? No, not buying stuff you don’t need is better. Are “sustainable products” good for the environment? No, not buying stuff you don’t need is still better.
Without our support as buyers and workers this process would not be able to persist. Would that be a revolution? Yes. Would that require revolutionary actions? Not really: just don’t buy things from companies or brands that you think don’t have the right policies when it comes to the environment, the treatment of workers or animals. Just think about what you buy, from whom. It will make a difference.

Guest vocals by Heleen Tichelaar of Midnight Menace – check them out!

That’s it for this week, folks. Next week we’ll be back with a song some of you may already know. And a new Special Guest from the sunny South. Stay tuned!

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16 August 2010 ~ 20 Comments

New Album Stream ep. 1: Every Crisis Is a Moral Crisis

In this first one of 12 weekly episodes, we present the first song off our new record “Start From Scratch!”: Every Crisis Is a Moral Crisis, with lyrics, liner notes and a sneak peek of the artwork. Greg Rekus, singer and guitarist of Winnipeg Canada’s High Five Drive and day job sound engineer, is our guest this week. The first time I (Riekus) met him was a midnight encounter in a Paris gay bar, don’t ask! We got to know each other better when High Five Drive and Antillectual toured the UK, Belgium, France and our home country this April. In this week’s episode, Greg talks about the sound of our record, veggie beef and Uma Thurman. Confusing, isn’t it? Read on, figure out what Greg is about, enjoy the song and give us your feedback.

Skip to: Special Guest / Lyrics / Liner Notes / Artwork preview / Confirmed labels

Greg Rekus says

One of my favourite elements of Antillectual is the guitar work. This song is packed with tasty little riffs and guitar parts that ignite the impulse to reach for a guitar and attempt to decode the combination of fingering, palm muting, picking and other assorted tricks Willem hides up his frayed hoodie sleeves. The lyrics hit you right away like an anthem you had on the tip of your tongue but just couldn’t spit it out. “Bring it on! Let’s start from scratch!”. Hear it once and you are singing it immediately. The recording is big. Huge guitar tones, gritty, beefy (veggie beef of course) bass sounds, nice crack to the snare. Riekus’ drum sounds are killer. They don’t have the super triggered, robotic sound that some people were sure was the key to good records several years ago.

High five drive played with them live a bunch this past April. Many bands just aren’t the same live as on record or vice versa. Either the record is lacking the energy of a band losing their shit on stage or the live show is missing the precision and polish of a good recording. Antillectual is one of those rare bands that straddle that line of energetic live performance while maintaining the tightness usually reserved exclusively for wet knots and Uma Thurman costumes. I’m super pumped on this recording and can’t wait to share the stage with them again!

Lyrics

Bring it on
Let’s start from scratch

We need a reality check
Armed with second opinions
Not afraid to use them
Now it is time, time for plan B

My First Crisis
This is not a drill
Too true to be good
Think outside the box, it’s time for plan B

Every crisis is a moral crisis
Now we can become what we want to be
Let’s start from scratch

The system broke
Repairing is not possible
Replacing the only option
Recycling what is useful

Now the dust has settled
It’s up to us
We want regime change

Let’s start from scratch

Liner Notes

We have reached another breaking point in history. The current financial crisis has made an enormous impact on so many people that it seems things are going to change. If things are going to change, we have to make sure they change for the better. Political and financial systems are extremely slow when it comes to change. People, on the other hand, can change their ideas and behavior overnight.
Whether a crisis is about the financial world, immigration, the role of the media and youth culture, how to treat whistle blowers, animals, political themes in general, or the upcoming influence of “new” powers like China and India; all crises should lead to an evaluation of how we deal with these topics in the future. What we think is right and wrong about it. What moral standards should apply for any of these topics. Every crisis is a moral crisis.
Now that the old balance is unstable it is time to tip it over and install a new balance. This is the time where people are up for trying new, better ideas. Now we can be the architects of our own world. For real change to occur, we need more than just a new messiah. We need people to believe in themselves and each (each!) other instead of a new president or a new financial system to improve the quality of life.
We should not be afraid to take a closer look at things when it gets hot under our feet. There is a lot to improve in the world. If we want this crisis, and more importantly the reaction to this crisis, to be fruitful, it is up to us to give directions. So bring on these crises and take those chances. Let’s start over, let’s start from scratch.

Artwork preview

cover-SFS-front
Artwork by David Finke of FairTradeMerch

Confirmed Labels so far:

Discos Rayados Records (Spain)
Effervescence Records (France)
Infected Records (Portugal)
Lockjaw Records (United Kingdom)
Shield Recordings (Benelux)
Square of Opposition Records (USA)
No Reason Records (Italy)
5 Feet Under Records (Scandinavia)

That’s it for this week’s album preview. We’ll be back next Monday with the second song: Buyer’s Remorse. Expect some candy-sweet guest vocals and another Special Guest.

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