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Out of the ashes from the German streetpunk band Guts & Glory arised Cracks & Scars. Cracks & Scars combines hardcore like Agnostic Front during their Epitaph years with streetpunk not unlike the US Bombs. Energetic and aggressive music, combined with a willingness to work hard create a good foundation for the band’s future. All questions were answered by Frank (vocals).
december 2011 – band website
Can you shortly introduce the band and the members?
Here we go! Cracks & Scars were founded in 2009 shortly after Guts ‘n’ Glory, the old band of Tomek, Wörmi and me broke up. We never thought about quitting to play this type of music, so it was just naturally to form Cracks & Scars. We are based in Hannover and the band exists out of Basti on guitar, Thomas on bass, Wörmi on guitar, Tomek on drums and I’m pretending to handle a microphone and beeing the frontman.
Your music can’t be filed under streetpunk nor under hardcore. How would you describe your music?
Good question! I love this one! Well, I would consider it as streetpunk somehow, just because it’s the label which fits the most. But you’re right, we may not sound so typical! If you take a look at our influences, it’s a variety that may just can bring up a ‘musical bastard’, hahaha – i don’t know.
To speak for myself, music had a huge impact on my life since I’m eight years old. First, there were the biggest band in the world, then came The Ramones, followed by Neue Deutsche Welle (german punk & wave genre) and metal in the early eighties! Through a friend who was part of the first punk scene in my area and eleven years older than me, i got records on tape like Agnostic Front’s ‘Victim in Pain’, the first Suicidal Tendencies record, Negativ Approach’s ‘Tied down’ or ‘The wacky high jinks of’ by A.O.D., G.B.H… and so on!
In 1987 i saw the Circle Jerks/Gang Green tour and Gang Green just blew off my mind. That was the point when I decided “someday I wanna jump and go crazy on stage just like these guys…” It took me three more years before I first picked up a bass-guitar…
Through the drummer of my first band i got my hands on the old Oi! Sampler in the early ninetees. And last but not least the American streetpunk bands like Bonecruher, The Forgotten or US Bombs also had a big impact. So these are just mine ‘main’ influences! Then we have traditional skinhead sounds, 77 punkrock, psychobilly, R’n’R, Jonny Cash and lot’s of other handmade music for the other guys.
When you take the song ‘power’ by Agnostic Front, most people would call it classic old school hardcore punk. When you compare that song to ‘One law for them’ of the 4 Skins, which most people would call classic Oi! The diffrences are not so huge. Ad a proper production and a little speed to the 4 Skins song and you have a perfect hardcore song. The 4 Skins were a few years earlier, so it’s obvious who inspired who. But all in all those are two awesome songs. No matter how you call it!!! Sure, it’s easier to have a label to describe music. But punkrock/ hardcore/ Oi!/ streetpunk in my book was never meant to be the easy way. But anyway, before I decide to write a book about it, how about (hope that’s not a mistake) Poi!nkcore??? Nanah, just a fuckin joke!!!
Frank, if i’m correct you were in the hardcore band Miozän before. Do you notice much differences in audiance between a punk and a hardcore show?
Yeah, that’s right! Well, the people in the hardcore scene change like every 3-5 years. You have lots of ‘hardcore for life dedicated to the bone’ activists who are raising hell, but after a couple of years most of them decide it’s not so cool anymore and get ‘absent without official leave’ in society’s big grey sea. There are just a few of every generation who remain… and if you look at it now, all the guys in the the big fanzines/magazines or booking agencies, all those are mostly old farts. And that’s just because dedication meant a little more back in the days and they’re still like doing what the’re doing.
So, at the harcore audience, there is always a little trendy/hipster kind of style involved, while a Punk/Oi! Audience is more down to earth. Ttrends are not so important and it’s no big deal to see 40+ guys on shows and you still meet people on shows you first saw ten years ago. But on the other side, you can’t compare the energy level on a good hardcore show with a punkrock show.
There are a huge load of bands from Germany who all sing in German, yet you choose to sing in another language. can you tell why?
Well, mainly it’s because we think it sounds a lot better in english. Somehow it has also been easier for me to write lyrics in english. I guess, I’m too critical about my german lyrics! On the other side, you can understand our stuff worldwide! I have a few german lyrics in my desk, but I’m not sure about it, maybe I get them out when I’m old as a Billy Bragg kind of thing, but don’t take me for granted on this one!
The band was founded in 2009 yet it took two years for your first release to come. Why did it took so long to record the Hold Fast demo? Are you slow songwriters or are you so critical about your own work?
Well, the demo was done in 2010. But you’re right, we take our time! For Basti and Thomas it’s their first band ever. Thomas even never touched a bass before Cracks &Scars! He was the merchguy for Guts & Glory. It was obvious that he always wanted to try it, so we asked him after Guts & Glory broke up. I gave him my bass to take home for a few weeks to see if it makes any sense for him to start playing bass… and here we are!
I don’t think we’re too critical about our own stuff and if you take a closer look at our songs, you will know what i mean, haha! But punk/ Oi!/ hardcore was never meant to be about perfect musicians anyway. Take a look at the early days! It was more about a “fuck you, rockstar wankers, no matter how it sounds, we are doin’ it anyway” kind of attitude than perfect music. And that was exactly what made it so brillant! You were able to hear the energy and spirit! Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Turner brothers (Cockney Rejects. ed) had a record deal before they had a real band, right? We can do anything! And they were right!
As far as slow songwriting goes… the best songs just pop out in like fifteen minutes and then it’s completly done, but songs like that just come out every day or week. For me, it got a lot to do with the personal mood. Hassle at work helps a lot! Sometimes I can write two-five songs a day or week and then there’re times were nothing comes out for a couple of months. Sure you can sit down and say allright, now i’m writing a song just like Band X, but it’s pretty hard to add some heart to it if it’s all well thought out. I prefer the ’emotions right to the fretboard without thinking’-method!
You were recently featered at the Cashing in on Christmas compilation with the song ‘Fake Beard Bastard’. It’s x-mas, so can you tell me what’s your favourite christmas song and where does your deep rooted anger about santa comes from?
I never had a favorite christmas song, so it was about time i had to write ‘Fake Beard Bastard’. Even in my childhood memories about christmas had not so much to do with ‘Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen’ (‘love, peace & happiness. ed) as we would say in german, you shouldn’t take me too serious on the lyrics! Just because it says “rudolph and Santa tonight i’m gonna make you pay” doesn’t mean that I will be out in the streets on the 24th and ambush those wankers with a baseball bat. Well, I simply won’t do it cause they both know the lyrics now from watching our video and don’t have the balls to come out. So, why should I freeze mine off, waiting for them out in the cold? The serious side about it is, that you get told as kid to behave and when you behave well you get the presents, if not you get the birch. In other words: You follow the line society smoothed for you and everything will be fine, just do what yo’ve been told! Well, that’s what punk/hardcore means to me, just to say fuck that!!!
You are working on a full-length. can you tell a bit more about it yet?
Yeah, we’re going to record all our stuff in march/april 2012! I guess it will be enough material for a full length and a 7″ at least. It’s not fixed a 100%, but if everything works out, we should have a release out in july/august. There will be a vinyl and a CD-Version and I guess, I can already say that the CD will be nót released by a german label. Musicwise the demo gives a good overview on what to expect.
Do you have any closing comments?
Paul, thanx for your interest in Cracks & Scars! Don’t waste your time waitin’ for santa and happy new year, everybody! Cheers!
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