AGATHOCLES INTERVIEW – 1999

Well ,first of all I want to say that it was difficult for me to make some questions for AGATHOCLES because most of you want to know about AGATHOCLES you allready know. So I made up some questions and sent them to Jan AG. The reason I wanted to interview AGATHOCLES is because I know Jan AG for a couple of years and AGX have taken a great part in creating the grindcore-movement!

1) Why did you choose the name AGATHOCLES for the band?
AGATHOCLES is the name of an ancient Greek tyrant. He lived about 300 years before Christ. This tyrant had sacrificed his own children to the gods to get more power for his kingdom. For us, it symbolizes the people who sacrifice their own ideals, their own personality, just to be accepted by the system, just to blindly conform with the grey mass of society. So may people follow blindly like sheep, throwing away their own creativity and capacity to make a change. It’s a pity. When we started, we wanted a name which had a meaning. That’s why we took the name AGATHOCLES.

2) As everybody will know, the lyrics of AGATHOCLES are full of critics on society and pessimism. Can you tell us something about the topics your lyrics deal with?
Our lyrics deal with things that are important for us, such as ecology, human and animal rights, the fighting against oppression and discrimination…all that stuff, you know. Our lyrics are ment to give people some information about the things we care about. With our lyrics, we surely CANNOT change people the way they think. But we can give them some infos on things they they would never think about. And getting information from different corners, is always a good thing to make up your own opinion about something.

3) AGATHOCLES had also a deal with MORBID RECORDS that is known as a big label. In your lyrics you are writing about do it yourselves ethics and autonomy. Perhaps you can tell me whi did AGATHOCLES choose for MORBID RECORDS? Did you also have a lot of criticism form the so-called “scene” on your cooperation with MORBID RECORDS?
I know and have heard that some people don’t like MORBID RECORDS, but for us, they have always been really fair. I mean, AGATHOCLES is a band based upon autonomy and DIY and we don’t wanna be puppets on a string from some recordlabel. The deal we had (because at the moment we don’t have any deal with them) with MORBID RECORDS was to release two studioalbums for their label. These CD’s were “Thanx for your hostility””and “Humarrogance”. We know MORBID RECORDS for a very long time. The first record that MORBID RECORDS released was the AGATHOCLES/LUNATIC INVASION split-LP, quite some while ago. And we always kep in touch. Our cooperation with MORBID RECORDS is working fine for us because they DO NOT own us, you know. We don’t have exclusivity contracts and shit like that. We are free to do what we want, to release other records wherever and when we want. We see MORBID RECORDS as friends in the network which is creating a DIY/undergroundscene. We like to work with them and they will be doing our next full studio album after the “To serve…to protect” studio-album is released on VACATION HOUSE RECORDS from Italy. MORBID RECORDS is also trading with people who cannot afford huge Western-europe recordprices and this is one of the things I really respect. I think that people are judging very fast without knowing all the facts, really sad. Anyway, I consider them as friends who really care about the underground and DIY. But we will always continue to put out our own records and work with other labels besides MORBID RECORDS.

4) How is it going with the Belgium underground/DIY scene? In the Netherlands there is a kind of rise of DIY/underground bands. How is it in Belgium?
I think that Belgium had always had great bands in the past and present. Some great bands in the past are: Black shepherd, Sponky business, War risk 3, Koyaanisquatsi, Huble Buble, Zyklome A, No numbers, De jeugd van tegenwoordig, The rogers, Killer, Hiatus, Disgorge, Violent Mosquitos…they have all split up. A pity. Some killer bands to check out which are still playing today are: INTESTINAL DISEASE, KID KARATE, ABORTED, LOGGERHEAD, BLOODSUCKERS, UNHINGED, PUNISHED EARTH, PENTACLE, ROD, INQUEST…and many more. A lot of bands sem to be starting each day but a lot of them are splitting soon!

5) Further I want to ask you something about the political situation in Belgium. The last few years there has been a lot of criticism and protest in Belgium against the justicesystem. I’m not totally aware of these happenings, so I want you if you can tell me more about it and what’s your opinion about it?
This justiceproblem here in Belgium will always be there. The jusiticesystem will always be a closed book for us. And it is not only here in Belgium, it is everywhere in the world. Belgium has been put in the spotlights, that’s why everybody knows about these justiceproblems that are happening everywhere. Another thing is that people who do not live in Belgium, think that there are big problems between Flemish and French speaking Belgian people. This whole thing abot the conflicts between Flemish and French speaking people in Belgium is blown up by the media, I think. I see no problems between the civilians of Belgium who speak different languages bt the problems and division is being created by the fucking politicians from both sides, who try to divide people. Also radical nationalist movements are trying to divide people and for what? Just to have more power for their own. It’s all fucking bullshit, this thing. If Belgium is being seperated into two parts, it will be a very bad thing for both parts. I am sre of that. These politicians who preach the separation of Flemish and French speaking part in Belgium are only trying to destroy the solidarity between working class people in Belgium, so that the governments will have more power.

6) How is it going with AGATHOCLES at the moment? (releases, concerts)
At the moment, we are rehearsing new songs for the new full studio CD/LP. We hope to record this one soon, but we have not set a date yet. In march, we have a mini-tour coming up in East-Germany and we also got some new records coming out such as: AGATHOCLES/DENAK split-EP, AGATHOCLES/UNHOLY GRAVE split-LP, AGATHOCLES/ABORTION split-EP, AGATHOCLES/DISCULPA split-LP and the “To serve…to protect”CD…all these records contain new unreleased studiostuff. If you wanna have more information, just get in touch with me. Thanx!

7) At last I want to keep some space free for remarks. So if you still have to say something, be my guest!
Koen, thanx so much for your interest in AGATHOCLES and giving us a place in your zine. I really appreciate your support. Thanx friend, for the interview. It was really pleasant for me to answer your questions. Good luck with your zine in the future. Thanx to all the people who have taken the time to read this interview. I hope it was a little bit interesting. I would like to say to all people out there: please try to be a little bit more tolerant to eachother. I know that in the underground, a lot of groups are divided because of different tastes of music, little differences in views (why arguments between veggies and vegetarians? We are all fighting for the same cause)…I know it sounds cliché and sloganesk, but we should stick together, forget about our little differences and create a big united front against the main enemies like fascists, racists, capitalists, homophobes,….This is also a big problem in organisations and movements which fight for the same cause, but do not want to work together because they have little differences of views. With this attitude, we will surely not win. We have to stick together, organise ourselves and focus on our mutual goals and interests. This is the only way we can win. I know from myself I do not always act like this, but I try! And if everybody tries a little harder, maybe we could have some bigger results and who knows, maybe new and more efficient methods and views can be built! Any way, I wish you all the best, keep being active and creative, support DIY and underground. Thanx again for the nice interview. MINCECORE FOR PASSION, NOT FOR FASHION!

This interview was done for COMPREHENSION issue #1 some years ago and as you can read there were some inspiring words from JAN AG. Later on (2001) Jan came over to record some songs of ANGRY MINDED in Ulft for a 3WAY-CD. I was totally estonished by the things were going back then and inspired me to get addicted to the CORE and it’s undergroundscene. AGATHOCLES has done several releases after this interview. For one, Jan took a card from my flyerboard as the cover-art for the new CD “Superiority overdose”. Furthermore, AGATHOCLES had a great impact on me and I see them as one of the greatest grindcorebands ever! You can line them up with NASUM, NAPALM DEATH or even TERRORIZER!