Interview mit Laurens (I Scream)

 

1. Would you first of all like to introduce yourself to our readers? Who
are you and what are you doing?


MY NAME'S LAURENS & I'VE BEEN RUNNING I SCREAM RECORDS SINCE 1993 AND PLAYING
ONE OF THE BANDS (DEVIATE) ON THE LABEL FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS.


2. I Scream Records exists since 1993. How did you start and what has changed
in comparison to the beginning?


MY FATHER HAS BEEN A RECORD PUBLISHER FOR OVER 35 YEARS SO I KINDA GREW UP IN
THE MUSIC BIZZ. WHEN I GOT OUT OF SCHOOL I WAS PLAYING IN DEVIATE FOR A COUPLE
OF YEARS AND WAS LISTENING TO PUNK & OI AND LATER THE EARLY NY HARDCORE. I ALREADY
KNEW WHAT I WANTED TO DO FOR A LONG TIME AND SINCE MY LOVE HAS ALWAYS BEEN PUNK
& HARDCORE THAT'S THE LABEL I WANTED TO START. FOR THE FIRST FEW YEARS IT WAS
LOOKING AND TRYING TO GET I SCREAM RECORDS BIGGER AND A BETTER LABEL. WITH EARLY
PUNKROCK SIGNINGS GOING TO BIGGER AMERICAN BANDS. IT HAS BEEN A HARD LEARNING
PROCESS CAUSE EVERYBODY MIGHT THINK "OOH RUNNING A RECORD COMPANY IS COOL".
SURE IT'S A GREAT JOD BUT IT GOES ON 7 DAYS A WEEK FOR OVER 12 HOURS A DAY.
TODAY I THINK THAT I SCREAM RECORDS HAS BECOME ONE OF THE TOP 3 EUROPEAN HARDCORE
LABELS AND WE ARE STILL GROWING.


3. Until now all bands on I Scream that I know come from the same style;
do you concentrate on a certain style?


WELL I DON'T AGREE WITH THIS. I SCREAM RECORDS HAS RELEASED A LARGE VARIETY
OF BANDS GOING FROM PUNKROCK TO SKA, FROM HARDCORE TO METALCORE AND FROM STREETCORE
TO OI BANDS. WE DON'T WANT TO WORK WITH ONE STYLE ONLY OR ONE STATE OF MIND
ONLY.


4. How do you sign bands for your label? What do you care about the bands
you sign?


USUALLY WE GET TAPES OR CD'S SEND TO THE OFFICE AND THEN IT'S JUST A MATTER
OF THE FEELING. WHEN WE LIKE SOMETHING WE RELEASE IT. I NEED TOP GET A GOOD
FEELING ABOUT THE BAND BOTH MUSICALLY ASWELL AS FOR THE MEMBERS. I SCREAM WILL
NEVER WORK WITH BANDS WE DON'T GET ALONG WITH CAUSE EVEN WHEN IT'S A BUSINESS
WE CONSIDER I SCREAM RECORDS AS A FAMILY AND I CONSIDER ALL THE BANDS WE WORK
WITH AS MY "CHILDREN" WHO NEED TO GROW UP AND BECOME SOMETHING.


5. What was the first band that you have signed?

THE FIRST RELEASE ON I SCREAM RECORDS WAS THE DEBUT EP OF MY OWN BAND DEVIATE.
THE FIRST OFFICIAL SIGNING WAS A BRUSSELS PUNKROCK BAND CALLED DOWN BUT NOT
OUT. AFTER ALL THESE YEARS A BAND WHICH IS STILL RESPECTED IN BELGIUM ALTHOUGH
THEY SPLIT UP A LONG TIME AGO.


6. Which of your bands do you personally like the most?

I LIKE ALL THE I SCREAM BAND CAUSE OTHERWISE THEY WOULD NOT BE ON THE LABEL.
BUT IF I REALLY NEED TO MAKE A CHOISE IT WOULD BE BACKFIRE! & STIGMATA BUT THIS
WOULD NOT BE FARE TOWARDS THE OTHER BANDS CAUSE THEY ALL HAVE THEIR OWN GREAT
MUSIC.


7. Would you label yourself and your label as being political orientated?
How do you think about this topic?


I SCREAM RECORDS IS NO POLITICAL LABEL WHATSOEVER !!!!! WE WORK WITH MANY BANDS
WHO ALL HAVE THEIR OWN OPINION BUT THESE OPINIONS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE
MUSIC THEY MAKE. AS LONG AS THE LYRICS ARE REALISTIQUE AND THERE'S PROPOGANDA
FOR ANY POLITICAL DIRECTION WE WORK WITH A BAND. I THINK THE POLITICAL MATTER
OF EACH BAND MEMBER IS A PERSONEL MATTER, JUST LIKE BEING STRAIGHT EDGE OR KRISHNA
IS A PERSONEL MATTER, AND LIKE I SAID AS LONG AS THIS DOES NOT INTERFEAR WITH
THE MUSIC IT'S ALL COOL WITH ME.


8. What do you think about patriotism in Europe and the USA?

I THINK THAT ANYBODY CAN BE PATRIOTIQUE AS LONG AS THEY DON'T HARM OTHER PEOPLE
WITH IT. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH LOVING YOUR COUNTRY. THIS HAPPENS ALL OVER
THE WORLD IN ALL CLASSES OF THE POPULATION AND IN ALL THE MANY RACES.


9. Most people will propably as you this question, but I have to know, he
he ! Pitboss2000 are on your label in Europe! Some of the members were in One
Life Crew. That was a fact why lot's of kids turned their backs away from PB2k!
OLC have a very bad reputation because of well known reasons. How do you feel
about the attitude of the band, are there any paralells? What's true?


I THINK THAT THIS WHOLE MATTER IS BLOWN OUT OF PROPORTION. IN MY OPINION PITBOSS
2000 ARE THERE TO HAVE FUN AND THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT EVERYBODY TO UNDERSTAND.
THE REASON JOHN STARTED PITBOSS 2000 IS THAT FOR HIM ONE LIFE CREW IS DEAD &
THAT HE WANTS TO STEP AWAY FROM THAT. WHEN THEY CAME OVER TO EUROPE SOME BAND
MEMBERS WHERE WALKING AROUND WITH T-SHIRTS FROM THE ANTI RACIST FRONT THIS SHOULD
SAY ENOUGH. HERE'S A VERY IMPORTANT QUOTE FROM PITBOSS 2000 "Life is short,
you gotta have fun, Ball Bust on Everyone, Fuck em if they can't take a joke,
When Hardcore's done where will they go. Everyone in the world falls into this,
we bust on ourselves, we bust on others, you have to stop taking yourselves
and your problems so damn serious. For those of you who want to be entertained
and have a good time, come on out and check us out, for those of you who live
hardcore everyday like a religion, disregard this and keep talking smack". WHEN
SOD RELEASED SPEAK ENGLISH OR DIE PEOPLE DID NOT APPRECIATE THIS EITHER. IT'S
A JOKE AND I RESPECT PEOPLE WHO DON'T LIKE IT, EVERYBODY HAS A RIGHT TO CHOOSE
IN LIFE. THE MAIN REASON I SCREAM RECORDS RELEASED PITBOSS 2000 IS THAT THE
RECORD IS MUSICALLY A GREAT OLD SCHOOL HARDCORE RECORD, THAT'S IT.


10. What was the most sucessful band on I Scream?

AT THIS MOMENT THERE ARE 4 VERY IMPORTANT BANDS: DISCIPLINE, BACKFIRE!, STIGMATA
& DEVIATE. THESE BANDS ARE THE BIGGEST SELLERS.


11. In the Belgium/Netherlands area there are more people that come from
your direction like Onne Cromag, Alain Herzhaft (Alain RPP), or Theo Coumans
(Theo the Noizz)! Are you guys working together or is anybody just doing his
own thing?


ONNO CROMAG IS JOURNALIST AT THE WELL KNOWN AARDSCHOK MAGAZINES AND SINCE 4
YEARS THE CO-OPERATION BETWEEN ONNO & MYSELF IS VERY CLOSE. THEO FROM THE NOIZZ
IS A GUY WE WORK WITH A LOT. THERE EUROPEAN HARDCORE PARTIES ORGANISED IN HOLLAND
(TWICE PER YEAR) IS DONE BY ONNO CROMAG IN CO-OPERATION WITH I SCREAM RECORD
AND THE NOIZZ. ALAIN FROM RPP IS TOTALLY SEPERATED FROM THIS MATTER. HE DOES
HIS LABEL AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US.


12. How did you get into the Hardcore Scene? Since when are you active?

LIKE I SAID IN THE BEGINNING I'VE BEEN PLAYING IN A HARDCORE BAND FOR OVER TEN
YEARS AND GREW UP WITH THE PUNK AND EARLY NY HARDCORE SCENE (BAD BRAINS, CRO-MAGS,
LEEWAY,.....)


13. How do you feel about the current hardcore scene in europe? Do you think
that lot's of things have changed?


I THINK THE BIGGEST CHANGE IS THAT THERE ARE 4 TIMES MORE BANDS SINCE 1996.
THE EUROPEAN HARDCORE IS A VERY HEALTHY AND GREAT SCENE WITH MANY GREAT BANDS
FROM BELGIUM, HOLLAND, FRANCE, GERMANY AND I'M GLAD TO SEE THAT THE EUROPEAN
KIDS SUPPORT THE EUORPEAN BANDS TOO.


14. Are there any other things you are doing in the scene except for I Scream?
Like a fanzine or a band?


YEAH LIKE I SAID I PLAY IN DEVIATE AND WE ORGANISE FESTIVALS AND WE WORK FOR
OTHER FESTIVALS IN BELGIUM TO BOOK HARDCORE BANDS.


15. How were the reactions on the I Scream Fest in Maastricht? Be it from
the crowd and the bands?


THE I SCREAM/GANG STYLE FESTIVAL WAS AMAZING. 8 I SCREAM BANDS ON ONE STAGE
AND ABOUT 1.000 KIDS SHOWED UP THAT DAY. IT GIVES ME A GREAT FEELING TO SEE
ALL THESE KIDS GO CRAZY ON BANDS THAT WE RELEASE. I THINK THAT FOR BOTH THE
BANDS AS FOR THE CROWD IT WAS A GREAT DAY AND WE CAN TELL YOU THAT THIS IS NOT
THE LAST TIME WE WILL DO THIS.


16. Will there be a second Fest? When?

HOPEFULLY NEXT SUMMER.


17. What do you personally think about the Backfire! Reunion?

YOU HAVE TO KNOW THAT BESIDES THE FACT I'M A BIG BACKFIRE FAN THEY ARE ALSO
SOME OF MY CLOSED FRIENDS. WHEN RICHIE PASSED AWAY THE GUYS HAD A REAL HARD
TIME CAUSE THE M-TOWN REBELS ARE ALL VERY TIGHT TOGETHER AND THEY GREW UP WITH
EACHOTHER. I DON'TT KNOW IF YOU SHOULD CALL IT A REUNION CAUSE I DID THINK THAT
BACKFIRE EVER WANTED TO STOP. THEY HAVE REPLACED RICHIE AS A DRUMMER BY IGOR
WHICH OF COURSE WAS REALLY HARD. NOT FOR THE INSTRUMENT BUT AS A PERSON RICHIE
IS NOT REPLACEBLE. THE NEW RECORD "STILL DEDICATED" IS AN AMAZING RECORD AND
IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORIE OF RICHIE. HE'LL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.


18. As we are an online Fanzine I'd like to know what you think about the
internet? how do you use it be it private and business wise? What about some
linkexchange? especially with our zine :-)?!?


I THINK THE INTERNET IS AN AMAZING MEDIUM AND IT HAS OPENED A WHOLE NEW WORLD
TO EVERYBODY. NOWADAYS YOU CAN PROMOTE THE BANDS THROUGH THE INTERNET WHERE
BEFORE EVRYTHING WAS BY MAIL. THIS INTERVIEW YOU SEND ME IS ONLY A SMALL EXAMPLE
OF HOW IMPORTANT THE INTERNET IS.


19. What's your opinion on Napster?

I THINK NAPSTER IS A TOTAL RIP OFF. BY DOWNLOADING MUSIC FROM NAPSTER IT'S IMPORTANT
THE UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE KILLING THE ARTISTS. THIS MIGHT NOT BE SO IMPORTANT
FOR BIG BANDS LIKE METALLICA OR MULTINATIONALS BUT FOR THE SMALLER BANDS AND
INDEPENDENT RECORD COMPANIES THIS COULD KILL OUR SCENE. WE NEED THE SUPPORT
FROM THE KIDS TO KEEP THIS SCENE ALIVE. EVEN AT I SCREAM RECORDS WE FEEL THE
DIFFERENCE OF SALES SINCE THE MP3 AND FOR OUR BANDS AND OUR COMPANY THESE EXTRA
SALES ARE IMPORTANT. WE TRY TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR RECORDS GET SOLD FOR A CHEAP
PRICE IN THE STORES AND AT THE SHOWS SO THE KIDS CAN EFFORT OUR RECORDS. I JUST
HOPE THAT THE HARDCORE SCENE STILL ALL ARE VINYL OR CD LOVERS LIKE MYSELF. I
WOULD NOT WANT TO HAVE A CD WITHOUT THE BOOKLET CAUSE FOR ME THIS IS THE WAY
IT'S SUPPOSED TO BY.


20. Most Labels I know have their own distro because they change their new
releases with each other. Do also do this or where do your CDs go? I have never
seen a Distro list from I Scream.


I SCREAM RECORDS IS A RECORD COMPANY AND NOT A DISTRO. WE GET DISTRIBUTED BY
VARIOUS PARTNERS ALL OVER THE WORLD. YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT BESIDES THE
KIDS SHOWING UP AT THE SHOWS THERE ARE A LOT OF KIDS WHO BUY RECORDS IN THE
STORE OUR BY MAILORDER CATALOGUES LIKE EMP AND OTHERS. WE WANT THEM TO BE ABLE
TO BUY THE RECORDS TOO. THERE ARE SOME COMPANIES WE WORK WITH HOW RUN DISTROS.
THE NOIZZ IS ONE OF THESE COMPANIES BUT WE DON'T TRADE WITH THEM FOR THE SIMPLE
REASON THAT OUR BANDS GET ROYALITES FOR THE RECORDS SOLD AND WE CAN PAY THEM
WITH RECORD FROM OTHER LABELS.


21. What's your current playlist? (Best five Bands!)

5 BANDS DON'T EVEN COME CLOSE TO MY CURRENT PLAYLIST SO HERE ARE TEN:

Ignite "A Place Called Home"

Madball "Hold It Down"

Various "The Worldwide Tribute To The Real Oi"

Stigmata "Do Unto Others..."

Good Clean Fun "On The Streets"

Creep Division "Creep Division"

Mike Ness "Cheating At Solitair"

Backfire! "Still Dedicated"

Crumbsuckers "Beast On My Back"

Hatebreed "Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire"


22. I Scream got pretty big now in Europe! What is your success recipe?

I DON'T KNOW. WE JUST DO OUR THING AND HOPE THAT THE KIDS LIKE TO RECORDS WE
RELEASE. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO US THAT OUR BANDS ARE PLEASED WITH THE WORK
WITH DO FOR THEM. WE WANT TO RUN A HONEST RECORD COMPANY CAUSE THIS IS ONLY
WAY FOR A LABEL TO SURVIVE.


23. What about your plans for the future? New Bands? Tours?

WE ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ONE SOME GREAT SIGNING FOR THE NEXT YEAR (ONE OF THEM
IS A VERY BIG NY BAND - THTA'S ALL I CAN SAY FOR NOW) AND WE ARE SETTING UP
SOME I SCREAM RECORD TOUR PACKAGES FOR NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER OF 2000. THESE
ARE THE BANDS WHO'LL TOUR EUROPE. DISCIPLINE BACKFIRE! DEVIATE RIGHT DIRECTION
BEANS RUN DEVIL RUN


24. Final Words?

THANKS FOR THE INTERVIEW AND TO THE KIDS WHO BUY OUR RECORDS CAUSE KIT'S BECAUSE
OF YOU GUYS WE ARE HERE. REMEBER IF ANY OF YOU HAVE A HARD TIME FINDING OUR
RECORDS JUST LET US KNOW AND FOR GREAT NEWS UPDATES AND GOODIES GET SUBSCRIBED
AT WWW.ISCREAMRECORDS.COM