Blackened Crust D.I.Y Powerhouse Iskra Interview is up ... ( Women in Extreme music edition)
1.So it seems like Iskra has been through many line up changes and ideals since 2002 but 2008 forward has been much more stable tell a bit about 2008 forward with Iskra
Yes, aside from bass players, and the addition of Anatol on guitar, iskra has had the same line up since 2006/7. That is Danni, Wolf, and Cody. Anatol has been playing since 2009. J.P., who recently just quit in order to concentrate on his other projects, was with us for four or five years and actually brought the bass playing to a much higher level. So, there is a fairly stable core line-up what makes a line-up work each member has to write. This gives them an avenue for expression and a feeling of belonging to the project. People who have just joined to tour, having nothing to bring to the table artistically, generally leave within a year or two. We require writers. Right now everyone writes. Lyrics are a little more troublesome since not everyone is willing to take a stab at the complexity, or poetic drive, necessary to write about anti-authoritarian ideas. Wolf and Danni generally take care of that part, thus far. We were hoping our last bassist, Kate, would give lyrics a try and she is good with words, but she quit after one tour.
The ideas of our lyrics are fluid. They always change, or try different angles on modern anarchist ideas stemming from philosophy, poetry, history, and practice. Presently we are attacking the foundation of politics and religion, i.e. law.
2. I read your Blackened Crust .. I hear At the Gates, Marduk and Darkthrone element riffing through your music .. Were would you say the crust element is sound comes from? I hear so much dark melodies in Iskra too.
The Crust is in the attitude. Most of us come from Anarcho-Punk, and Crust-Punk roots. Its not so much in the sound these days. The band is mostly sounding like a mix of Black Metal, Australian Speed Metal(without the goofy politics), and Swedish Death Metal. Of course there is much of our own sound as well.
3. Your Signed with Southern Lord for Ruins how did that come about?
We did not "sign" with SL. We had a verbal agreement with them to release 'RUINS' on CD for our Canadian tour last summer. Greg Anderson, who is a fan of the band, asked us if he could release the CD for 'RUINS' since no one had yet done so. The verbal agreement was the same as we've done with DIY labels. The press helped us out, so we thank Greg for that.
4. I know you have your own label/book publisher Black Raven tell us about that?
Black Raven Records is our DIY label(we have 12 or so releases/co-releases)of Crust-Punk music from around the world. It is also our record shop. The shop was public for seven years, but is now run out of our house. We have the largest selection of Punk and Metal in Canada. People travelling to Victoria may get in touch with us if they want to check it out. The shop is for Punks, Metal-Heads, and musicians only.
5. What was is like working with Profane Existence a legendary zine and label?
It was good. Dan really helped us out by releasing and distributing our first LP. We were instantly hated world-wide! We had a little falling out around 2005/6. We patched it up before Dan moved on. Later we got in touch with Chris, who we've known for many years. Our bands have played together many times. He agreed to co-release(along with many other labels)the 'RUINS' LP. So we are working with PE again here and there.
6. What is a Iskra live show like? how does it differ from the albums?
The shows vary. Sometimes they can be very energetic and chaotic, especially at house shows, and in centers where we are well liked; Berlin, for example. Sometimes we end up at some dead club show(sometimes its all you can get on tour)and you end up playing a very boring show. The band, however, always puts on a solid show. It is very seldom that we don't play well, although it does happen here and there due to bad sound technicians, or gear failure.
A person who sees us live will know that there is much more energy live than on the records. We still need to have better recordings. They are getting better, but we need top notch in order to hear what we are doing. That will come for the next LP, which we are presently working on.
7. Your Based out of Victoria BC in Canada what is the extreme music scene like there?
Its very provincial. The Metal scene is very self absorbed, having little scope, or interest in the international situation. Bands care more about being popular in their home town then hacking it out on the road. Still, there some good bands. Infantile Descension, Storm of Sedition, Six Brew Bantha, Not-A-Cost, and Altered Dead are a few local acts worth paying attention to.
8. What are the member of Iskra listening too and reading currently?
To much to list.
9. If you could tour with any one that you have not who would it be and why?
We don't think like that. We want to tour more countries and see more things. The only thing stopping us is money and gear. Otherwise we'd tour South America Japan, South East Asia, Russia, Australia etc etc. We've been invited numerous times, but can't afford it. We are wanted, but can't get there. Our goal is to figure out ways to make these tours happen.
10. Whats the bands thoughts on Digital and Social media. Is it a blessing or curse for Underground music?
We are critical of social media. Everyone uses it, but that does not mean it is a good thing. There will be more observation, more control, more manipulation due to its mass use. It is a curse, period. The infrastructure required to keep computers running is problematic, as is people's reliance upon it.
11. As I listen to the album I hear two worlds The hardcore and metal you do mix the two very well but were do you see the fans most from or is it truly a mix?
We play mostly for Punks because the Metal world is generally a drap to perform within. To many goofy bands, no thinking, and everyone wants to be a rock-star. We prefer to play in the anarchist houses of the world. Although it is not always where we perform, it is primarily where we belong. The shows are much better, and they are un-pretentious. We love to play in the anarchist international scene. Our music, however, is Metal, not Hardcore. The attitude and milieu is Punk.
12. If a Major extreme label like Century Media or Nuke Blast came along would you want to work with them or is the more DIY way what Iskra is ?
Currently its DIY. As long as people still care about DIY, which is sometimes questionable, we will continue to perform at DIY spaces etc. At the same time, it is expensive to play in the DIY scene since the pay is generally jpretty low, making things difficult to maintain. But that could change. Anything can change at any time. We are not hell-bent on one way of doing things. The anarchists must be fluid. We certainly don't need to profit, but we also don't want to lose everything for a tour. The latter is the general case. People forget that while on tour we have to continue paying for our lives at home. Rent, bills, etc. Touring does not cover any of that and so the band has to save money for years in order to tour.
If we were ever to work with labels lie Nuclear Blast, or Century Media it would have to be on our terms. We would never allow them to own our name or music. Also, big label stuff probably wouldn't work out since we like to have control over every aspect of our art regardless of how many "units" will move.
13. Thank you for the time any closing thoughts here
Thanks for the interview. Sorry it took so long!