Within the last two decades, nobody of us was really into writing down an established biography (to tell the truth, we’d been way too lazy, but Stoffel’s got a very good capacity for remembering, hehe). Nevertheless, just to provide an insight into our history, here’s an extended and edited extract of our interview for the SHORT, FAST & LOUD-fanzine # 25 (2011). Should be very informative, so go for it … If you dislike it – blame Jeff (CAPITALIST CASUALTIES) for the questions and/ or Stoffel for the answers.
TELL US ABOUT THE EARLY YEARS OF YACØPSÆ (HOW YOU GUYS MET, WHAT AREA OF THE COUNTRY, HOW YOU GOT INTO PUNK/ THRASH, MAIN MUSICAL INFLUENCES AT THE TIME, ANYTHING INTERESTING)!
YACØPSÆ has been formed more or less accidentally, back in early Summer 1990 (I suppose, it was in late July or in the beginning of August). We are located in the Eastern parts/ suburbs of Hamburg/ Northern Germany, and at this point of time, some hyper-active parts of our local Punk-/ left wing-scene squatted successfully several houses in this area. One of the squatters was formerly member Pattex, our first drummer. So one fine day, I was visiting some friends in a new-squatted building and they introduced me to him, while he was painting his room. We talked about different things and both of us had no musical activities at this time. Pattex used to play guitar in a shitty band called THE DDL’S, producing really crappy covers of early 80’s Punk Rock from Germany, and my previous band S.D. JESUS (fabricating dark and melancholical Punk, something between early THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN, THE SMARTPILS and XMAL DEUTSCHLAND) broke up a few months before. Actually, it was no big deal, because both of us were unsatisfied with the musical direction of these bands, anyway. So we said: “Let’s try something new!” Pattex and me got into the whole “Punk”-thing in the early 80’s (around 1981/ ’82) and aside of the “classics” such as SEX PISTOLS, RAMONES, BLACK FLAG, THE DICKIES, DEAD KENNEDYS, SUBHUMANS (UK), GENERATION X, 999, ADAM AND THE ANTS, etc., we were totally into the 2nd wave of early 80’s German Punk/ Hardcore like UPRIGHT CITIZENS, TRIEBTÄTER, VORKRIEGSPHASE, MANIACS, WUT, RAZZIA, BETON COMBO, TARGETS, CHAOS Z, STOSSTRUPP, SLIME, THE NIKOTEENS, NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, BOSKOPS, BLUT + EISEN, INFERNO, TOXOPLASMA, CANAL TERROR, NORMAHL, DER K.F.C., BRUTAL VERSCHIMMELT, and tons of other bands. From around 1984 – 1987 we discovered faster bands like BOBWIRE, RAPT, HEART ATTACK, early D.R.I., FEAR ITSELF, LÄRM, ATAVISTIC, early S.O.B., NUNFUCKERS, HEIMAT-LOS, BÉRURIER NOIR, SEPTIC DEATH, ATAQUE FRONTAL, WINTERSWIJK CHAOS FRONT, early HERESY, PROTES BENGT, B.G.K., ZERO BOYS, THE SWANKYS, 3. KATEGORIJA, CONFUSE, SATANIC MALFUNCTIONS, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, CHEETAH CHROME MOTHERFUCKERS, PUKE, UPSET NOISE, OUTO, DAYGLO ABORTIONS, SIEGE, NEOS, DEEP WOUND, SM-70, PANDEMONIUM, REVENGE OF THE WHORES, early GANG GREEN, MOB 47, early CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, SUDDEN IMPACT, early NAPALM DEATH, ZYKLOME A, INTENSE DEGREE, and so on. In addition, we’d been blown away by some early sloppy-played Lo-Fi-Death/ Thrash/ Black Metal-stuff (NECRONOMICON, BLOOD, PARABELLUM, NECROPHAGIA, BULLDOZER, REENCARNACION, DESTRUCTION, BLASFEMIA, NEKROMANTIE, REPULSION, etc.). We used to trade tapes with people from around the globe, so we got almost every week new, interesting and amazing stuff from the world-wide underground. It was fascinating … Well, just not to bore the readers while specifying countless bands, back to the main topic: A short time after we’d met each other, Pattex and I went into the rehearsal-room of THE DDL’S, based in a catholic youth centre. Prior to that, we tried to assure several friends to join the “band”, because we had nobody for the vocals and no one for the bass-guitar, as well. Obviously, we had no success and so I became a “shouter” while shredding the strings at the same time. Actually, from the start of the idea to form a band, I just wanted to play the guitar, nothing more, nothing less, because I hate my voice (even today). Pattex was more blessed, he just needed to play the drums. Nevertheless, somehow it fits and we created our first noisy’n’short tunes without bass-guitar, logical heavily inspired by other (bass-less) two-piece-bands such as SATANIC MALFUNCTIONS (still one of my personal all-time faves) and ACTIVE MINDS, even though the afore mentioned bands had a big impact, too. Within the following months, we continued fabricating more thrashy smashers, but still had no idea for a name. Although somehow, accidentally, a friend of Pattex, the vocalist of THE DDL’S, showed up for a few times, just to watch our rehearsals. While making jokes about using somebody’s name for the band, we’d taken his sur-name (“Jakobs”) – turned into the plural form –, and got it, incidentally: “Jaköbse”. We changed some letters, because it looked more cool, and by the way, it’s a kinda old “tradition” in German Punk, to demonstrate names or words consciously wrong, just to show, you don’t give a fuck about grammar nor some special meanings. Anyway, later I’d drawn the logo, and that’s all, actually. By the way, we were so happy about having a name, eventually, so we used a photography of Jakobs as a cover for our very first demo tape. On the other hand, the first time, when people heard our name, they thought, we would play some “Fun-Punk”, because the pronunciation sounds so “sweet”. But at last, we always were able to prove them that “black” is “white”, hehe. And we never ever had the intention, to have a “brutal” name with a crackbrained signification.
TELL US ABOUT THE EARLY GIGS, BANDS YOU PLAYED WITH AND THE STATE OF THE SCENE IN YOUR AREA AT THE TIME!
We rehearsed almost half a year, and did our very first show at a birthday party in a local youth centre. It was in the middle of January 1991, and two more bands shared the little stage with us. The first one (A-LA-SKA) was a crappy (but even funny) bunch of school kids/ nerds, playing really bad covers of old German New Wave-hits and typical Rock-themes. But everything’s been played more slow and sloppy than the originals, because they were unable to do it better. YACØPSÆ was the 2nd band on the bill and the little crowd (most of them were friends, anyway, hehe) enjoyed it. By today’s view, I would say, it was a really shitty set. We had not that much songs to play for an appropriate time, though it was funny. We just repeated some songs, haha. By the way, I still own it on video and on tape. Perhaps, we will add it to a DVD-release in the future, who knows?! The last band (DERIDER) was a local Hardcore-band, and their singer has been the birthday boy. It’s important to mention, that our current drummer Emu was playing for DERIDER at this time, and while our set, we spontaneously did a cover version of NAPALM DEATH’s “Deceiver” with him on vocals. Needless to say, that it was crap, but as I mentioned before, it was funny, too. Well, the following few shows were nothing special and we played exclusively in our local area, because we had no demo tape, no good contacts, etc. We shared the stage with different bands from our area (only a few of them were “Punk”) and to be honest, not many people enjoyed it. They were impressed by the tempo and the shortness of our songs, but otherwise, they described us just as “Noisemakers”. Our local scene has been very active in doing political things (squatting, anti-fascism, etc.), but all the bands here were absolutely lazy. They played exclusively in the outlying districts, did a demo tape or two, and that’s all. None of them were trying to play outside of Hamburg, getting in touch with bands or fanzines from other cities/ countries, it was strange. I guess, we were the only band in our area, which tried to escape off the Eastern district. We sent tapes to fanzines, traded stuff with bands from other cities to catch up shows, and so on. Nevertheless, good local bands of the mid-/ late 80’s/ early 90’s were SADO BOYS (pre-DIE X-AGENTEN), A.N.E.E.B., DERIDER, STRAFE MUSS SEIN (“Punishment is necessary”), MEANS TO AN END, DIE X-AGENTEN, SIBERIAN GUNS, ASCHE DER ROSEN (“Ash of the roses”), MONDIAL and THORSTEN HALT’S MAUL (“Thorsten, shut the fuck up!”). I’m sure, nobody of the readers is familiar with these bands, but anyway, it doesn’t matter, because they existed just for a short period. Only DIE X-AGENTEN, MONDIAL and A.N.E.E.B. (pre-ASCHE DER ROSEN) made it on vinyl. DIE X-AGENTEN had one 7″ EP, two 12″ LP’s, and they got the uniquely chance to support DEPECHE MODE (!) on their „Broken frame“ tour through Germany, back in 1982. This band was probably the most „successful“ act from our area. MONDIAL contributed one track to a well-known “Hamburg-Punk” 12” LP compilation on WEIRD SYSTEM, called “Waterkant Hits”. Later they turned more into “Post-Punk” and published a selfproduced 12” EP. A.N.E.E.B. appears with one song on the V/A “Bullshit Detector 3” double 12” LP (CRASS RECORDS), and by the way, this one’s including NAPALM DEATH’s very first contribution on a record, too. A 2nd 12” LP compilation, called “Wie lange noch …” on DOUBLE A RECORDS, contains two further tracks of them. At last, as I told before, this was an exceptional case.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST RECORDINGS, EARLY DEMO RECORDINGS, HOW DID YOU RECORD THE DEMOS. HOW DO YOU RECORD YOUR RECORDS NOW, DIFFERENCES IN RECORDING, PLACES YOU LIKE/ DISLIKE TO RECORD, ETC.!
Due to the lack of possibilities, we recorded our first demo tape, the first 7” EP (“Krank ist normal”) and the split 7” EP with ACTIVE MINDS in the same room of the youth centre, where we played our very first show. We even had no real engineer, we just placed the social worker of the venue behind the mixing desk and kept it simple: some microphones had been placed and all the stuff was recorded – completely live – straight to the tape (even the vocals). Ok, on both 7” EP’s, the vocals were done extra, but apart from that, during the first recording sessions, we never used any overdubs or stuff like that. And actually, that’s still the way, how we do our recordings, nowadays: we play the basic tracks live (guitar, bass and drums), I add the 2nd guitar and the vocals, and that’s all, no big deal. We like the spontaneous feeling/ vibes in general, but I have to admit, that 90 percent of our early recordings are really really bad, in my opinion. But anyway, it seems to be the natural progress for each band, and by the way, I would like to hear the very first recordings of CAPITALIST CASUALTIES, hehe.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST RECORD, HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT THE RECORD, HOW DID YOU RECORD THE 7″. RELATIONSHIP WITH LABEL, ETC.!
We met Keule/ RØDEL RECORDS at one of our first “out-of-town”-shows, somewhere around Berlin. We played in a squat with W.B.I. and PINK FLAMINGOS, and if I remember right, Ade, the drummer of SATANIC MALFUNCTIONS, who contemporaneous was visiting Jens, the bass-player of PINK FLAMINGOS, introduced us to each other. Accordingly, we had a long talk and he offered us, to release our first 7” EP. Back in Hamburg, we soon entered the afore mentioned and well-known youth centre with some lent equipment and started to re-record most of the material, which had been already known from the first demo tape. We added some new and unreleased tracks and did the whole session (23 tracks total) within one day. Again in the unprofessional way, without any overdubs, sloppy-played and a huge pressure of time. We finished the recordings with the vocals, and they are the main reason why I still hate this record so much. The youth centre was going to close its doors soon, and there was just one hour left to end it all. So I did the vocals within one hour under pressure, in a crampy way, and I had no opportunities to change anything, afterwards. Personally, I’m still satisfied with the roughness and the spontaneity of the record, the songs in general, and even with the lyrics, but the vocals and the bad sound are responsible therefor that I really dislike this shitty piece of plastic.
So far, so bad, so what? Hehe … Check out the „Interviews“-section, there you can read the whole talk.
„YACØPSÆ is a german Hardcore-Punk/ Thrashcore band, formed in 1990. Band members: Stoffel (guitar/ voKills, since August 1990), Frank (bass, since January 1996) and Emu (drums, since May 1992).
Still active, they have played a total of 284 shows in Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and USA …
The band was formed in August 1990 in Hamburg when Stoffel (guitar/ vocals) met Pattex (drums), painting his room in a squad. After a small talk, both decided to start an ultrafast Hardcore-Punk band, because their old bands had been split up. YACØPSÆ are inspired and influenced by bands such as LÄRM, ELECTRO HIPPIES, NUNFUCKERS, and SEPTIC DEATH, among many others.
After a couple of months they decided to choose the name „Yacøpsæ“, which means the plural of the name „Jakob“ with an unusual way of writing, because they didn’t want to have a „brutal“ name like most of the so-called „Grindcore/ Thrash“ bands.
After many intense rehearsals, they entered the stage for the first time in January 1991. By the band’s own account, it was „horrible, but the crowd liked it.“ In April 1991, they recorded their first demotape with 21 songs on it. To support the demo, they made some gigs in the area of Hamburg during the next months. By the end of 1991, the drummer had declared he was „too busy with his job and he didn’t like that style of music too much anymore, because the music became faster and more brutal“, and he departed in February 1992. Stoffel asked his friend Emu, who played in a local Hardcore band called DERIDER to join, an offer to which Emu agreed. Following many months of practicing 25 songs, YACØPSÆ embarked upon their premier gig with the new line-up in September 1992.
YACØPSÆ finished two tours in Germany with ACTIVE MINDS in May 1995, following gigs in Austria, Belgium, and Holland in January 1995. By January 1996, bassist Frank (ex-SARGNAGEL) had joined YACØPSÆ. They liked the change and found that it expanded their musical possibilties. After more shows they recorded their debut CD/ LP in October 1997, called „Fuck Punk Rock … This is Turbo-Speed-Violence!!!“, which was released by the end of 1998.“
To be continued …