Sunday, 20 July 2008

Interview with HF from RINGWORM (2005/2006)...

I've been gone for a week, but now I'm back... I went on holiday to North Wales, whereupon I walked up a lot of mountains, chased some wild mountain goats and stumbled into a river. A great time was had. I'm glad to see in my absence the 'favourite Midwest hardcore band' poll got a fair few votes. I'll post up the results soon (you can see on the right who won).

To get things going again, here is an old-ish interview I did with Human Furnace, from Clevo legends RINGWORM, done in late 2005 or maybe early 2006 for a zine I never printed... It was carried out via email and isn't the best interview ever, but I thought I'd share it anyway. I wasn't that keen on their last few records, although I did really like 'Birth is Pain'... CLEARLY nothing will ever beat 'The Promise' (one of the best LPs from the 90s), or the equally perfect demo.

EDIT: As requested in the comments section, here is the 'Voice Of Thousands' compilation on Conversion Records, I got it from Coregasm blog but the link was expired so I uploaded it again. Or, you can just download the FORCE OF HABIT song from it here. FORCE OF HABIT was HF and 3 Gun's band prior to RINGWORM.

Q) 1. You're all older (wiser?) than when Ringworm first started. Do you think you've calmed down at all over the years?

HF: ABSOLUTELY NOT. If anything, we're crazier than ever, for all sorts of reasons. Well first of all you have to be crazy as fuck to be in a band for this long, when you aren't rich and still drive all over the fuckin globe in a smelly van.

Q) 2. Compare the day you released 'the Promise' to the day you released 'Justice...'. What has changed in the band, and in hardcore generally (in your eyes), over the years?

HF: "Hardcore" is a different animal nowadays. There are still bands and kids that still "get it" but there are way to many kids and bands that have no idea what things are all about. It's not about getting laid and Myspace bullshit. Its not about yer haircut, and whats "in" or "cool". It's not about making money (but that is nice). Hardcore used to be about having and open mind and not caring what you wore. It was never about make-up and girls pants. It's so commercialized now that everybody thinks they can get famous and "big" easily by just copying whatever the cool thing is. There is hardly any musical integrity anymore and it's a shame. Hardcore for me is the way you deliver, the honesty, the rawness, your conviction in what you are doing. Not your willingness to be influeneced by stupid trends.

Q) 3. Why are all the bands from Cleveland so 'dysfunctional'? What is it about Cleveland?

HF: Well i dont think ALL bands from cleveland are dysfunctional. At a certain point we were, but we were young and didnt really care. We just wanted to have fun. Plus "real life shit" comes for everybody and sometimes you have to put priorites first. We are a little older know and have a great deal of focus now. Cleveland can be a tough place to live. Besides, some of the best bands EVER have been dysfunctional.

Q) 4. Are you proud of your influence on hardcore (the "Holy Terror" style has been gaining in popularity recently etc)?

HF: I guess so. We just do what we do, always have, always will. we are proud of that.

Q) 5. Ringworm seemed to go quiet after the first album. Did you ever actually split up any time in the 90s?

HF: Yeah, we actually disbanded from 1994 up until 1998.

Q) 6. What other bands have members of Ringworm been involved with in the past, and at present?

HF: Wow, well thats a long answer. Here goes... myself- I do a band called GLUTTONS, I play guitar and sing, it's a mixture of Misfits and Motorhead, punk rockish type thing. I also do HOLYGHOST, which is a band that i started in '97 while Ringworm was defunct. That band also included former members of Ringworm, Aaron Ramirez and Chris Dora. That band is together once again with a diferent sound and it consists of myself and current Ringworm guitarist Aaron Dallison. Aaron Dallison also is well known for his other band KEELHAUL, in which he plays bass guitar. It's a nice extention for me to be able to do different things, expand some horizons. Matt Sorg has also resurrected an old band of his called DECREPIT, awesome old school death metal.. Mike Lare also does a band called KRUSH EFFECT and THE COAST, as does our drummer Danny Zink. Other original member, Frank "3 gun" Novinec is well known for his tenure in TERROR and is now a permanent member of HATEBREED.

Q) 7. How differently do you see hardcore today compared to, say, the mid 90's? Are you glad to see the back of chug-metal? What current hardcore bands do you like?

HF: Well im not sure what you mean by "the back of" chuga-chuga stuff etc. Im actually just tired of anything thats watered down and generic, or shit that sounds exactly like everything you've heard before, which is a lot. I like good metal and shit that has drive to it and has some personality to it. As for current bands I'm into, that's hard to say... I suppose I'm still into alot of the same shit that I always liked, alot of old classic thrash, and rock, and alot of avantgard music. I do like a new band called UNHOLY from syracuse, the new ACCUSED, DEMERICOUS (GREAT FRIENDS, GREAT BAND).

Q) 8. Being contemporaries with Clevo bands like CONFRONT and FACE VALUE, were you ever tempted to play in a youth crew-influenced hardcore band?

HF: Youth-crew? not my style. Im not very positive and i dont care about unity.

Q) 9. Why are you called Human Furnace? Is there a story behind it (like the origins of 'Dwid')?

HF: There is but i never talk about it.

Q) 10. Do you ever see/speak to Dwid? In retrospect, what do you think about his infamous 'persona'?

HF: I speak to him occasionally, and see hiim when we travel through Belgium. Dwid is an extremely creative person who helped shape the way things are today. I've known him and been friends for many years, at times he can a bit eccentric, but most influencial and ground breaking people are. Never afraid to take chances.

Q) 11. What were you favourite bands from Clevo in the late 80's/early 90's? Any funny stories from 'back in the day'?

HF: There was quite a few great bands from cleveland back "in the day". FALSE HOPE, HYPER AS HELL, of course INTEGRITY, DIE HARD, CONFRONT. More currently BOULDER. I remember the day before the grand opening of the ROCK-N-ROLL HALL OF FAME in Cleveland, BOULDER took a generater down to the front steps and in the middle of the daytime set up and played the song "Cleveland Rocks" (for those of you who are familar with you classic rock) over and over again, for no-one but the construction workers and a few police officers, who enjoyed the set for quite awhile before telling them to pack it up, therefore making them the first official band to play at the hall of fame. I can go on about a shit load of stories, I have a million of them, but I won't. haha

Q) 12. Tell us about your troubles with Incision records with the first album.

HF: Well, we felt ripped off about getting our share of the pressings and having the album not get the proper promotion. Some things never change.

Q) 13. Whats the funniest thing to ever happen on tour?

HF: There's an awesome story about a "chick" we like to call "47 yyeeaarrssss". If anybody wants to know about that ask our bass player. hahahahahahahaha

Q) 14. Straight edge, what are your thoughts? Was there ever any antagonism between straight edge and non-straight edge kids in Cleveland?

HF: I dont have a problem with straight people whatsoever. I dont care what people wanna do. I'm too old to care about what anybody else wants to do, I have enough problems of my own. Problems? Perhaps in the early days. It was usually an issue with the straight edgers, the real hardliners, but that was brief and mostly had to do with individuals not "scene" shit. I never had any difficulties getting along with anybody that is straight edge. I am not.

Q) 15. Tell us a bit about the choice to use the quote "there is no god" on The Promise....There is a fascination with religion/satanism/christianity in your lyrics and imagery. Where does it all stem from?

HF: I find it an extremely interesting subject matter. It's called almost every world war in recorded history, for starters. I write about all aspects that effect my life, I just have a tendency to put a dark twist in things. If I was happy about something I wouldn't sing about it, that's not what this band is about for me.

Q) 16. What are your 3 favourite hardcore punk records? What are your 3 favourite heavy metal records?

HF: Punk records - hmmmm. MISFITS - Earth AD, DEAD BOYS - Night Of The Living Deadboys, CIRCLE JERKS - Group Sec, plus a shit load of others, I hate doing these kinds of lists... Metal records -MERCYFUL FATE - Don't Break The Oath, VENOM - Black Metal, TROUBLE - Trouble, plus tons of others...

Q) 17. Is any member of the band into collecting vinyl at all?

HF: Ah not so much anymore, maybe if there's something I really need to have.

Q) 18. Do you like any Japanese hardcore bands, like Gism or Gauze etc? Have you ever played in Japan?

HF: Yeah I like and respect alot of those bands, we haven't been there YET but it's definetely on our TO DO list.

Q) 19. It's obvious that horror movies have been a big influence on Ringworm. Name some of your favourites.


Q) 20. Remake of Hills Have Eyes. Yay or Nay? Horror remakes in general?

HF: Haven't seen it yet, I never make re-makes a priority to see, the originals are almost always better. The movie industry is completely out of ideas so all they do is make remakes of everything. Hopefully this trend will end soon. I enjoyed the remake of Dawn Of The Dead, I must say.

Q) 21. Who are some of your favourite authors?


Q) 22. Are you looking forward to coming to the UK soon? Do you like any hardcore punk bands from the UK, old or new?

HF: We are excited as hell to get back to the UK. Can't wait to destroy every town we play in! Uk bands!? Are you serious? Fuck, MOTORHEAD, SABBATH, VENOM... about a zillion others. Thanks a million for the interview, can't wait to rage with everyone. Stay sick bastards!!!


Anonymous said...

its a bummer HFs interview responses are always so boring, i guess he doesnt wanna give to much away. Do you have the voice of thousands comp? w/ the FORCE OF HABIT track? im dying to hear it!

RobxT said...

Anonymous: here is the VOICE OF THOUSANDS comp, I got it from CORECASM blog but the link was expired so I uploaded it:

Or you can just download the FORCE OF HABIT song from it here:

Anonymous said...

killer, cheers! Your next poll should be best clevo band, just exclude INTEGRITY from it ala NA in yer MIDWEST poll...