Pro-Pain @ MySpace
The year 2011 was a very special one for the band. You celebrated 20 Years Of Hardcore – a great CD and a wonderful anniversary – congratulations for both!
The album was released in August 2011. Are you satisfied with the feedback from your fans and the press?
Yes, we are very satisfied with the reaction from the fans and from the press. It's not easy to encapsulate 20 Years in one package, but I think it's a tasteful retrospective.
Both, CD and bonus DVD, offer a lot. We can listen to four new songs. One of the tracks is titled Someday Bloody Someday and I immediately thought of U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday. Is this similarity just a coincidence or intentional?
The similarity between the 2 titles was intentional. Someday Bloody Someday is about the comedy show that is called peaceful protesting.
What are the most important inspirations for you when you are writing songs? Do you need a special mood to be creative?
Generally, I'm very "up to the minute" when it comes to current events, so it doesn't take much for me to be inspired to write a Pro-Pain song. My only requirements are that the writing be done in a quiet place with no outside distractions.
Does it take long for you to write songs, to come up with ideas for a song?
A song sometimes can develop within minutes, and others can take quite a long time. I take different approaches to writing songs. Speaking for approx. 80% of our catalog, the music is generally written first followed by the lyrics although there have been some occasions to which the order was reversed. I write most of my music on guitar, although a handful of our songs were written on bass. Interestingly enough, the melodic structure for the four tracks which are featured on 20 Years Of Hardcore were written without any instruments at all. It was a bit of an experiment that I had wanted to try for a while, so the riffs were spontaneously thought of and recorded while "humming them" and later transcribed on guitar. The objective being to capture "an idea" at its birth. Sort of a cool concept, I think.
Four Pro-Pain classics have been edited and re-recorded. Why did you record new versions of these songs, and why did you choose these four tracks?
To me, Pro-Pain is more than just the sum of it's current parts. Each member (past and present) played a vital role in the history of the band and so we thought it would be a good idea to include as many of our alumni as possible. The question then became "how?".
After much thought, we settled on the idea of re-recording some classic Pro-Pain tracks with those ex-members. In retrospect, I think it was an essential part of the "20 Years" project.
You've covered Keine Amnestie Für MTV from the German band Böse Onkelz. By the way> you sound great singing German ;-) Why did you decide to especially cover this song?
Onkelz fans have been very supportive of Pro-Pain throughout the course of much of our career, and covering Keine Amnestie Für MTV was our way of saying "thanks" to them.
Although my mother is from Germany, I don't speak as much Deutsch as I should. However, when I do speak it (or in this case sing it), I think I do at least a fair job at representing it with a certain amount of authenticity. Perhaps because it's in my blood.
14 live songs complement this CD. You sound absolutely great und your fans are celebrating the songs with you. Do you use social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to stay in contact with your fans?
Thanks for the compliments regarding the live portion of the CD. Our fans in Czech are very enthusiastic, so we thought it would be cool to record a gig there and capture as many of its raw elements as possible. As for "social networking", I'm not as ambitious in that regard as I should probably be, although the band tries to reach out to the fans (via Facebook, MySpace, etc..) who reach out to us. One could argue that I'm of the world's worst self promoters, but mainly because I do this more for my mental well being than anything else. I'd like to think of myself as more of an artist than salesman, and so I don't care much for the commercial aspect of music. For me, it's mostly about the creative process, and via being onstage and being "in the moment".
I know you have pretty good managed fanclubs. Is it important for you to support these fanclubs as well as possible with infos and news?
Yes, we are very fortunate to have great fan clubs such as French Taste Of Freedom, Slovak Fan Zone, and various others on Facebook and via other mediums. The fan clubs are as passionate about the band as we are, and we are very supportive of their efforts.
Relating to the atmosphere on and in front of the stage (audience, etc), what's your favorite type of venue - do you prefer to play in large halls or in tiny clubs?
For me personally, the large halls can sometimes be a bit sterile. They tend to have a greater distance between the band and audience, and that can come across as being more impersonal. I think Pro-Pain can be seen in the "right light" at a smaller venue. Then there are also Open Air Festivals, which can be quite fun, although they provide the audience with a completely different perspective.
When you look back - can you tell us 1-2-3 very special or important moments in your career?
There have been so many important moments that it's difficult to narrow it down to 3, but I'll try. 1 - Writing and releasing Foul Taste Of Freedom at the right time. It's safe to say that our journey would perhaps have been different if we were not in the right place at the right time. 2 - Finding the collective strength to continue past Round 6, as there were some potentially life and band changing occurrences that took place around that time which almost forced us out of the game. 3 - 20 Years Of Hardcore, which is a great milestone and testament to our fortitude.
Even after 20 years you sound great and fresh – am I right that you still have a lot of fun to make music and that you will rock on for a long time?
Thanks, and it depends on your definition of "long time" : ) The "fun factor" is still the main ingredient when it comes to a bands longevity. Generally speaking, when the fun leaves, the band leaves with it. Despite the perception of Pro-Pain (which is often misunderstood), we've always had a lot of fun, on and off stage. Camaraderie and lighter moments are two of our main ingredients. The creative process is also very rewarding.
As to how long we'll stay together, time will tell I suppose.
Every fan has its own Top 3 Pro-Pain songs, but what are your Top 3?
Top 3 songs: Foul Taste Of Freedom, Make War Not Love, Time Will Tell.
What is on your plan for the rest of 2012?
We plan to release a new album in early fall of 2012, and we begin recording in June at Little Creek Studio (with producer V.O. Pulver). We also have a handful of live appearances scheduled this summer, including some Open Air Festivals. A longer tour will commence on August 30th in support of the new album!!
Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?
Thank you very much for this interview!! Your support is very much appreciated. See you all on tour, and look for the new album later this year!!
\m/ Gary \m/
Thanks for your time. We wish you all the best - rock on!
A big thanks goes to Greg Dauny, manager from French Taste Of Freedom!!!