Year 1988. Listen to Agathocles for the first time in my life. It was a real shock, i was convulsed, as the first time i listen to Napalm Death, Discharge or Possessed. By that time, i thought that Agathocles was the most rotten band of the planet, the most dirty and noisy. Today, 25 years after have listened for the first time, I think that Agathocles still is one of the bands most rotten, dirty and noisy of the planet. And I'm still a fan of them. So I was thrilled when, first, the great Jan AG agreed to do the interview, and second, when I opened my email box and I found the answers. 25 years ago I listen to Agathocles for first time. 25 years later, interviewed one of the guys that I most admire: Jan AG, the man behind Agathocles. Even I can not believe it.
Puro Ruido: Hello, Greetings from Cordoba , Argentina ! How are things over there? Thank you for accepting the interview
JAN: Cheers amigo. All well over here. It’s 3am at night and I am drinking DEVIL beer, a great Belgian beer and doing this interview and listening to the first NASTY SAVAGE LP.
PR: You just make a tour in Brazil . If I'm not mistaken, did 10 concerts, or am I wrong? How did it go on that tour? You played in any other South American country?
JAN: It was only in Brazil , the tour. We loved it. Our drummer is now still in Brazil , when I make this interview. Yes, was around 10 gigs and we also did a studiosession with the friends of ROT, SOCIAL CHAOS, ARMAGEDOM, CRUEL FACE,… All was perfect! I miss it a lot. So much friendship and support.
PR: What were the motives that drove you and Erwin to create a group like Agathocles? When started, you were aware that you were part of something new, of something that was to be born, the Grindcore? Or just did what wanted to do, without stopping to think about what was happening?
JAN: Erwin and me, we did not fit in the “metal” and “punk” scene of those days (early 80’s). Metals and punks called us losers, hahaha. I like being a loser, it’s different then the rest. The noise we listened to at those days, when we were very young (12 years), just didn’t fit the standards of the metal and punk mainstream. Fuck that shit. We still hate that shit. No, it was not our intention to start something new, it was our intention to stay ourselves, despite the fact that people spitted on us.
PR: I've always related to Agathocles with the DIY punk philosophy. How much influenced this philosophy of work / life when creating your own band, to choose what to do in your life and how to do it?
JAN: First comes your own will to make things in your own life, then you can put that into music (or better said, into noise). Hard personalities are meant to make things on their own, take up own responsibilities instead of relying on others. Never trust no one, especially not the ones who are kind ! Make all on your own to avoid disappointments.
PR: I will not make you stupid questions about "how many splits have recorded?", Or "what is your favorite album/song of all you recorded?". What I want to know is what motivates you to keep going, hence all that fury come broadcasting from 1985, after having recorded so many songs? Really, you should enjoy thoroughly everything you do
JAN: Yes, I enjoy creating things and see and hear the final result. All these releases are like kids for me. I can’t choose one above another, they are all equal and bring up memories of the times when they were recorded. And in every family, you have “problemkids” but you still love them. Same with the AG-releases, I love all of them. And more the “problemkids”, hahaha. Nah, not more, all are equal.
PR: You've always maintained a clearly anti-fascist posture. What feelings and thoughts generate in you when see the fascism emerging in the world, for example, what has happened in Greece with the Golden Dawn? Personally, I think we've seen this story, and we already know the end. But I would like your opinion about it
JAN: What more is to be said about this? They should be educated or eliminated. History has thought us already so many times, like in your country, Argentina , with Allende. Give all back to the people when there’s a big crisis and shit like racism/egoism/elitarism would’n’t exist. The new rise of fascism/nazism is the result of the failure of capitalism. And we all know the true capitalists are just laughing in their fists when ignorant people turn into extreme fanatics. These elite capitalists are the illuminate, the feeders of hatred so they can gain more power.
PR: Jan AG, recently participated in a compilation in support of Pussy Riot. Of who was the idea of make this compilation? You are aware of the disappearance of one of the members of Pussy Riot?
JAN: Some friends asked to participate on the compilation which we did. No more needs be said about this for safety reasons of Pussy Riot members.
PR: Agathocles participated in the first edition of the Obscene Extreme Fest, right? What is your opinion of the festival created by Curby? Think accurately represents what is spirit of the Underground?
JAN: Curby does a great job bringing so many bands from all over the world together. We know he gets a lot of shit now, but fuck, if you don’t like it, don’t go and keep your mouth shut and do something yourself. Curby grew up with us and we know what he stands for. We don’t agree with all, but for fuck sakes, Curby did great things and at least people should show some little respect for that. I am really fed up with all those fuckheads which are always complaining without giving at least a try to make an alternative.
PR: Grind is protest, that is the essence of the genre, the protest?
JAN: Yes, for me it is. Not only in “grind” but in all forms of “art”. I don’t say that what we make is “art”, surely not, hahaha,..but when you reach out to people, at least give people more than just a product to consume. Give people something to think about. Mankind is already too caged by the media and the mainstream. That’s why for me, GRIND MUST BE PROTEST.
PR: Ok, Jan, the last question. Still thinking the perfect line-up of Agathocles does not exist?JAN: No and it will never exist. You know why? Because I don’t wanna play “perfect” and make “perfect” recordings or play “perfect” gigs. If people wanna hear a perfect band, get the fuck away from AG and go listen Simon and Garfucker or YES or TOTO,…they are perfect. Not AG…. What I like in AG is to hang around and have some beers with the people at gigs, all around the world, to get to know them and their ideas, traditions, cultural heritage,….. and that we all can learn from eachothers IM-perfectness………….Oh yes, and maybe play some songs on stage as well, hahahaha.
PR: Jan, thanks a million for your time. I really love Agathocles, so for me it's an honor to interview you. Want to add something?
JAN: The honour is all mine, amigo. Fuck bands and people with an attitude. I really appreciate your interest in and support of AG. Really great to have people being interested in the noise you make. And also in what you have to say. I liked your questions. Sorry if my answers were rude sometimes, but I feel really angry now. Some anger which will never go away, not always positive, but it gives me energy as well to continue kicking the butt of mainstream society and all what is restricting us to be happy and to create our own lives without having to worry about repression. MINCE ON, FEEL STRONG.
Oh yes, the NASTY SAVAGE LP is over, now I am putting on IMPALER “RISE OF THE MUTANTS” 12”EP from 1984. Very underrated record. Check it out. It rules !!!!! Cheeeeeeeeeers.