Goldust and Withers talking about their trip
When I thought about doing interviews, one of the first ideas I had was to interview my friends in GOLDUST. They recently toured with this new band called WITHERS and I was really curious about them. So I thought a double interview with my friends, this new band and their mutual tour would be a cool thing since I wanted to ask the questions anyway. Here we go!
I’m really excited to do this little interview about your last tour because we toured together and know each other since a couple of years (except for Bernd & WITHERS). I really respect you guys.
Christoph: Nah… Even I don’t respect myself, but thank you. And thank you very much for doing this interview. Bernd is the keeper of the Fockchrenbong.
Chris: Respect us for what? Haha.
Bernd: I don’t need many words to explain…I know the nice GOLDUST guys for a couple of years now – we met up at some showcases of our old label I was on with my former band as well. As they were the only sincere people there at all it was not too hard to find and love them at first sight.
Everything was strange, the Heimatfilm-like surrounding, the people, the place we stayed, somehow it was all just weird.
Say “Hello!” to everyone!
Christoph: Good day to you, gentlemen!
Chris: Don’t forget about the ladies! Hello there!
Christoph: Oh, I thought it was just Henry, Bernd, you and me… sorry.
Chris: I really hope it will be not just the four of us reading this.
Bernd: Hi there!
First we need a little introduction. Who are you guys?
Christoph: I’m Christoph Gerhard, I play bass in GOLDUST and I do LIFE AND DEATH Records together with the good looking Chris Noir and one fine young lady called Julia.
Chris: I’m the aforementioned Chris Noir. Besides my contributions to GOLDUST and LIFE AND DEATH Records I spend some time writing for CVLT Nation and looking for some more hours to squeeze out of each day. Life’s short and there’s so much to do…
Bernd: I’m playing guitar in this new band called WITHERS. To cut it short: music + workaholic + Morrissey.
Can somebody explain the Morrissey thing please? He is not so good looking I think.
Bernd: Haha… but he’s not gross at all… huh?
Noir is your real last name? You need to have a dark soul!
Chris: You have no idea.
Bernd: Yeah, he’s the Soulreaper No 1.
What is CVLT Nation? The first time I heard about the thing was when Christoph wrote me that you write for them. Has this page any association with human scarification rituals, is it a web page based on the “Integrity-thing” or… ?
Chris: None of that. It’s a clothing brand as well as a blog about all sorts of heavy, weird, extreme and dark music and art, based in LA with contributors from all over the world. Using V’s instead of U’s has a way longer tradition in music than 16 year old Holy Terror wannabes and tunnel visioned Hardcore kids might assume, although it sort of became hip among those when Integrity started to do it as well just a few years back. However, CVLT Nation is in no way connected to or based upon the whole “Integrity-thing”. Nor human scarification, even though that be cool at least.
Explain it to me, why V’s instead of U’s? We need to know about this very mysterious thing.
Chris: Until the 17th century the usage of V’s instead of U’s was common, since the letter U evolved from the V in the Roman era but wasn’t fully established until then. If you look at (latin) epigraphs in old churches and castles you’ll see this everywhere. Early Metal/Hard Rock bands started to use this outdated spelling around the late 1960ies already, although of course I can’t tell you why exactly. Probably because it looks quite rough and has this somehow ancient aura. So it’s really nothing more but a stylistic device, but definitely one a few decades older than Integrity. Interesting, huh?
Bernd: Chris nailed it.
Soulreaper #1: Chris Noir.
Now that we know who you guys are I just want a little introduction about your bands.
Chris: What can I say about GOLDUST that hasn’t been said before? We started back in 2006, when Hardcore in Europe was again in one of its heydays, at least that’s what I’d say in retrospect. Six years, a few line-up changes, some tours, a lot of shows, countless rehearsal hours, four edge-breaks, a shitload of records and split releases, permanent personal struggles and a steady development of our music later we are still here, still a hardcore band and still not any wiser. Besides Christoph and me there are Lars (vocals), Robert (guitar) and another Christoph (drums). I guess that’s it essentially.
Bernd: We’re a fairly new band, playing together for about 4 months now and had our first shows at all at this tour with GOLDUST. We owe them and LIFE AND DEATH Records the world and even more… They released our three first songs ever written on 7″ with ENJOYMENT Records from the UK last September. Beside me there are Dominik (voc), Roman (bass) and Mike (drums).
Life’s short and there’s so much to do…
Where did you meet each other for the first time?
Chris: Who do you mean? Each band’s members themselves?
Where did you meet your band mates the first time and where did you experience the other band for the first time!
Chris: I got to know Robert and Lars when I moved to Münster in 2004. After a while we wanted to do a hardcore band, Lars sort of knew Christoph, Robert knew the other Christoph because they played in a Death Metal band before, and those are the people in GOLDUST. We met WITHERS for the first time as a band when we picked them up in Linz at the first day of our mutual tour haha.
Christoph: Yeah, but we already knew at least 3/4 of WITHERS as we had played some amazingly huge festivals with their former band called THE CASSIDY SCENARIO. I remember the guys falling out of their van (where they “slept”) totally wasted after we spend a night together at this hellhole “Biertümpel” in Würzburg.
Bernd: As Linz, the city we come from, is quite small it wasn’t a big surprise that we ended up in a band together. We all know each other for several years now and also played in some bands together before. HAHA… yeah, the “Biertümpel” sums it up.
It was amazing spending every day and night together with these amazing people and watch them play.
Why did you choose WITHERS to tour with? Bernd, why didn’t you guys say no to their offer? I mean those guys are tremendous aggressive, self-destructive and truly not the nicest persons on earth.
Christoph: We did not “choose” WITHERS, but we already knew Bernd, Roman and Mike as they had another band we played some shows with and they are really great people. I mean they stink and snore as hell, but we get along with them really well and totally dig their music (of course). This may sound like the typical post-tour-best-friends-now-so-awesome-talk, but the only other band we got along this well before is DEATHRITE from Ostdeutschland. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to spend time with people I like this much. We’ve always been lucky when it comes to bands we tour with I guess. I also remember your old band, Henry – THE REALNESS (R.I.P.!) – and ATTITUDE (USA, R.I.P., too!).
Chris: I think the initial idea of touring together came when I was on a brief visit in Linz during the summer. LIFE AND DEATH Records was just about to release WITHERS’ debut 7”, and while having a few drinks with them I mentioned that we (GOLDUST) are planning to tour in October and were looking for a band to come along with us. The rest was countless emails.
Bernd: We had a lot of talks in the band how to start playing live with WITHERS – there was an idea about doing one or two week enders and then just see what happens. As the whole thing with LIFE AND DEATH Records came up Chris visited us in Linz and it was as amazing hanging out with him as some years ago when we met each other for the first time… I guess at this evening we decided we have to tour together ASAP. It was amazing spending every day and night together with these amazing people and watch them play.
Who organized the tour and was it difficult to find shows?
Christoph: Bernd booked some shows, I booked some shows myself… There were a lot of people who wanted to set up shows for our tour immediately after we announced our idea of doing a GOLDUST | WITHERS trip. A lot of them already did shows for / with us in the past. I was pretty moved when I realized how quickly and easy it all came together. Especially when friends and people you already know set up something for you.
Bernd: Christoph did the better part of the whole tour and organisation – he booked pretty much every show except one or two and also organised everything and was our tour manager, dad and Jägermeister terminator. Yeah, that’s right… I never saw a DIY tour coming together this quickly – nearly all shows were booked 10 days after the announcing, he did a great job.
How long was the tour? Could you give us a little summary about cities you played in, about bands you played with, promoters, food, beds, etc. etc?
Chris: We played ten shows. That may sound not too much, but in all honesty, I doubt everyone would have survived a longer tour haha. We played Vienna, which is always a huge pleasure, next day it was Sulzbach-Rosenberg, which is a small town in upper Bavaria. DEATHRITE joined our trek there for the next three shows. Afterwards we hit the road towards Görlitz, a town situated directly next to the Polish border with an amazing club to play. On the forth day we played in Dresden, basically in DEATHRITE’s rehearsal room (Christoph: w/ VOWELS, they were amazing – everybody check out VOWELS, do it now!), and after that the legendary Koma F in Berlin. Cottbus was up next, and on the following day we played the (in)famous AZ Mülheim. We’re still very thankful we could play there, since the original plan was to play Hannover on this day, but that show got cancelled last-minute. But Mülheim was more than a worthy alternative in every aspect. Next show was Wiesbaden, which was awesome as well, thanks to our friend Henning! The next day we drove to Berchtesgaden and played probably the strangest show on the tour. Everything was strange, the Heimatfilm-like surrounding, the people, the place we stayed, somehow it was all just weird. I cut my hand while partying afterwards (in, of course, the weirdest “club” ever), so I couldn’t play the last show in Passau the next day. But I enjoyed the hell out of watching my own band play as a four piece, it was so fucking intense and I sweated as much as I do when I play the guitar on stage. After the show we brought WITHERS to Linz and drove straight through the foggy night back to Münster.
Accommodation and food have all been at least appropriate, most of the time way more than that. You have to be thankful for anyone putting up a show and being crazy enough to let nine drunk, sweaty sons of bitches crash in his/her apartment. We really are, for every single one of them.
Bernd: 10 days – 10 shows. The three days together with our new friends in DEATHRITE were mental and we had an unbelievably funny night in Mülheim. This night was so much fun – we met some familiar faces at this show, the set was sick, we jammed all mixed together hours after the show and then there was a party I haven’t seen that often. People flew through the room, Christoph was the best bar tender and Lars the best DJ ever. I will remember this night for a long time.
I mean they stink and snore as hell, but we get along with them really well and totally dig their music.
Please tell us more about the first night together!
Christoph: I don’t remember that much, so it must’ve been good. The show in Vienna was truly awesome, the venue was packed and so was I. Sahri (?), Florin and all the other girls and boys whose names I don’t remember (SORRY!) set up a really good show, thank you. Venster 99, real nice venue. Chris and I met two of the IRON HEEL guys, which was nice. Listen to their tunes if you are into really good sludgy stoner-rock’ish music. Later that night I was pretty close to pee over Bernd and Mike who were blocking the way to the toilet with their bed. I wish I would have done this.
Chris: It definitely was a good tour kick-off. The show was amazing, the beer as well, the people really, really nice (as always in Vienna) and I had a crazy cat jumping repeatedly over my face that night while I was asleep, which brought me close to a heart attack every time. The morning after we all were a bit sour haha.
Bernd: We were all a bit nervous as it was our first show ever. Altogether it was a solid show and the people were amazing, looking forward coming back to Vienna next year. I just remember seeing GOLDUST for the first time in years live and it was brilliant… oh and this cat…
What was the ‘sound’ of the tour? Every tour has his special music, tell us what it was in those days.
Bernd: Definitely Carly Ray Jepsen – Call me maybe.
Christoph: That’s it, definitely.
LIFE AND DEATH Records released the first WITHERS EP recently. How are the reactions so far?
Christoph: Both ENJOYMENT Records (UK) and us sold all our copies. There’s a hand full left available though the band itself and 2 or 3 distros – that’s it. So I guess I may say that the reactions so far are really good. We already talked about doing a 2nd press during our tour. We didn’t ask Dale (ENJOYMENT Records) yet… Hey Dale, what do you think?
Bernd: We’re all pretty humbled about the reactions. We don’t care much about reviews or anything like that – opinions from friends and people we appreciate is way more important to us and as nobody really hates these songs from our EP we’re happy as fuck.
You have to be thankful for anyone putting up a show and being crazy enough to let nine drunk, sweaty sons of bitches crash in his/her apartment. We really are, for every single one of them.
What brings the future for GOLDUST and WITHERS? Are there plans for new releases?
Christoph: A new 12 song GOLDUST LP is being recorded at the moment. It will be released by PER KORO Records and LIFE AND DEATH Records in Germany & the EU and by STATE OF MIND Recordings in the USA. We are more than excited.
Bernd: We’ll record 6 new songs in January. How and where we going to release it isn’t set in stone yet but it would be great to be working with LIFE AND DEATH Records. It will be a 12″ and we’re pretty excited about this one. Also some shows are planned for January and/or February and we will be on tour in Germany with MNMNTS in March. We just played some shows with THE LONG HAUL from the UK which was a lot of fun as well and they’re also a fantastic band and people, maybe we’ll also come to the UK playing some shows in 2013.
That’s pretty exciting news. PER KORO is one of the longest running labels for heavy music in Germany and Europe I think. How did the contact come together?
Christoph: To be honest, I don’t even really remember when and where I met Markus (PER KORO) for the first time in person. Probably at some show. Maybe in Münster or Bielefeld. But everybody knows PER KORO Records, be it the label, the record store or the online store. Concerning the music I buy on vinyl, PER KORO is – besides xSENTIENTx from Bremen – the only distro I order from on a (way too) regular basis. Besides that, it’s impossible to not get along with Markus and concerning the history of his store/distro/label, we felt very, very happy when he asked us if we wanted to do a release with him.
Okay, our time is over. We need to cut the interview because the world will die in 24 hours. Time for last words!
Chris: Obviously the world didn’t end. Bummer.
Christoph: Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe!? Thank you.
Bernd: Fuck, Christoph just took our last words – so just a big thank you from all of us.