This year they released their second full lenght, a grinder bomb called "Degenerate". Even if you did not listen it yet, I say this: you are missing an album destined to be one of the best albums of the year. They are Ass To Mouth, are Polish, plays Grindcore, and their bassist Jarek Wysocki (AKA Vanilla Jarek ) is responding to our questions.
Puro Ruido: Hello, how are you? First of all, congratulations on "Degenerate". It's a great album!
Jarek: Hello to all Puro Ruido readers!!! We’re pretty fine and we’re really excited that our new album will be finally out just in a few days. Thank you very much for a good word about it!!! It’s cool that You like it ;)))
PR: Required question: why the delay between the publication of the first full lenght (2008) and "Degenerate"? The wait was worth it, i must say it!
J: Yes…it’s been a long time since our last release. After our last album we have decided that we do not want to work under time pressure anymore. We just wanted to make this album really good in all aspects - starting with guitar riffs, arranges, lyrics, ending with layout & label that will release it. If you want me to be honest “Degenerate” was ready after all recording, mixes etc already in 2012, but during last two years we couldn’t find appropriate label to release it, label that would fulfil our expectations and needs. Of course, as this is not pop music, the thing is not about money or something like this. We just wanted label that would take honest and reliable care about good underground promotion and stuff like that. We all have regular jobs and we all do many different non-music activities in our lives and that means that we don’t have a lot of free time. So sometimes some issues with the band run really slow…but not because we’re lazy … it’s all about lack of enough time to deal with everything concerned with the band. And as mentioned above, we really wanted to be 100% satisfied with the final result concerned with this record and releasing it. And now we are, although it took us so much time hahahaha
PR: From what I read, ATM is a very active live band. Since the band was born, have played at many festivals, have shared the stage with many bands. Have scheduled a tour to present the new record? Have played live so far this year?
J: Yes, we have always tried to play as much shows as we could. We really love doing it. That’s the essence of Grindcore. Unfortunately 2013 wasn’t too good for us. Because of many different reasons we have only played 4 or 5 shows but all of them were really great. Every year, as we’re getting older, it’s more difficult to bear with all the touring stuff. But we’re not surrendering. I hope we will return to 20-30 shows per year mode just like we did in our “best” years ;)) We’ll see… For the moment we have 3 shows scheduled for this year...anyway I think that everything goes in right direction. “Degenerate” is getting really great reviews, so probably we will get some more proposals soon. I also hope that we will do at least one short tour this year. We’ll see…;)
PR: What are differences between "Degenerate" and other recordings of ATM? Personally, I think every album (including the split with Jig-Ai) shows an increasingly powerful, strong and violent group. I dare even say that today ATM sounds more punks than ever. But I'd like to read your opinion.
J: You’re right. I have the same feeling. We always try to make every next record better than the previous one. And finally we have recorded an album that we are really satisfied with. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think about things that could have been done better here and about what can we do to make them better on the next release. It’s all about progress in a right direction, making everything better…
I know that “Degenerate” is a really good album,but I already have many ideas how to make next one even better.
About the difference between “Degenerate” and previous releases… Yes, I also think that “Degenerate” is much better then all them. In all aspects. And yes, the sound is the most punk influenced ever, but from the very beginning of the band we have always mixed different kinds of Grindcore - beginning with oldschool and ending up with Goregrind – and we were also always very inspired by Punk and Hardcore. At the beginning we were more into gore grind and now there is less gore grind and more oldschool GC, hardcore and punk. But it’s still the same band. “Degenerate” is a really big step forward in our evolution, but it’s not revolution. I don’t want any “revolution” in ATM. I like the music that we play. I just want to make everything better – on the way of progress but in the frames of genre.
PR: "Degenerate" will be released on CD through Selfmadegod Records, right? But as I read on the website of the group, there will be a vinyl edition. This edition will have a bonus track? There will be differences between the CD and the vinyl? What label will release the vinyl?
J: Yes, “Degenerate” will be out on CD through Selfmadegod Records. Vinyl edition we be released as an co-operation between Fat Ass Records, Grindfather Productions, Grindpromotion Records & Addiction To War Records. Grindfather Productions will also release a tape, that’s for real oldschool fans ;)) Unfortunately vinyl edition won’t have any bonus tracks. We were thinking about it but we finally decided that for us “Degenerate” is a kind of concept album. And we do not won’t to break it by adding something that won’t fit to the album. And we didn’t really have anything additional that would fit it hahahah There will be a little bit different layout for vinyl version, but there are no differences in music content.
PR: Let's make a little history. Why ATM is born? Were there any particular reason that made you decide to create this band?
J: There was no particular reason. This was an accident ;) I’ve met Maciek for the first time back in 2004, we were supposed to play together in some Hardcore / Punk band with our common friend. But finally that band just didn’t work out. We were both a lot into Grindcore and we decided to create Grindcore band and play together still. We have asked Pablo to join us on the drums. At first he has refused, but after few weeks he has decided to try. As far as I remember well we have played our first rehearsal as a 3 piece and on the second one Pablo came with his friend Sandro. And here we are with the first ATM line-up ;))) At the beginning we were not really serious band ( and we’re still not somtimes;)))), it was suppose to be kind of fun side project and in general we were just getting drunk all the time on rehearsals at the time as most of the young bands do ;)) But after some time everything started to become a little bit more serious and we have decided to play some good and maybe more serious music. Me, Maciek & Pablo play in the band from the very beginning. Kuba has joined us in 2010. We knew him from couple of years already as he was singing with some other bands that we have played shows with, and when we started to look after the new vocalist back in 2010 we have asked him to come to our rehearsal and then to go on “afterparty” with us. Good voice – good drinking skills – that’s the guy for us!;) And that’s the whole story ;)))
PR: Change the subject. On your website can be read an image with a slogan that says "GRIND DOWN WHITE PRIDE", which makes clear your an antifascist band. What do you feel when you see that fascism is growing worldwide, and the overall situation is exploited by those who, through his speeches, intended to convince people that fascism is the solution to all problems?
J: Well, since one year or something I do not watch TV, don’t read any newspapers and so on…. I was too tired of watching and reading how stupid people are. Really, my head would explode if I would still watch mainstream media. So, I’m not completely sure how does the situation with growing fascism looks like worldwide right now. Anyway, what I can say - mostly based on situation in my home country - Poland … after a global crisis, many people get poorer, many young people have no perspectives for their lives and all the “political class” is really completely shitty and they do nothing to fix the important problems of society - the situation still gets worse etc etc. And these are just perfect conditions for all the fascist movements, as they can say – “we are solution for your problems, we know what we have to do to make everything better”. Unfortunately, there are so many stupid people, who believe them, and that’s the reason why the fascist movements are growing every day…. I really don’t even want to imagine a situation when they would come to power within authorities. I’m not really sure how strong the right-wing movements are in other countries, but in Poland, fortunately they are still marginal. They’re active, but still marginal.
What do I feel? I can say that I’m completely disappointed how stupid people are when they believe in their lies….but If You want me to be honest – I’m aware what people are, so that’s nothing new for me. I’m really pissed off and I just hope that the things we see are just a “short spark” of fascist movements and after few years they all gonna die.
PR: This we already talked in another interview with Jan AG, but also ask to you too, because I’m really interested in your opinion. The Grindcore is more than music, it is a antifascist movement? It is a form of struggle and protest for freedom?
J: For some Grindcore fans for sure, but some others are more ignorant in that cases. Grindcore music mostly comes out of Punk and Hardcore, so that’s natural, that it took also punk and hardcore “view on society”. But on the other side, You have many Grind bands that are more “metal related” and many of them represent more “ignorant” point of view or they never even reflect on this…. I’m not judging them – I have some friends, that have more of less awareness in these things and I’m OK with that. But for sure I do not have any friends who are “extremely right-winged”. I’m sure about one thing – if You are nationalist, racist, fascist etc etc, you can’t be into grindcore. You’re shithead not grindhead. Fortunately, there are maybe a few bands all over the world, who have this attitude, and try to call themselves “grind”. So once again – THEY'RE SHIT - NOT GRIND.
I was an antifascist from my young years, before I even knew what “grindcore” was. Even if I was more in metal music some days, I hanged out mostly with punks, and that’s completely natural attitude for me.
PR: I want to know who did the album cover. It's really violent! What is the idea behind this image?
J: Album cover was made by Qras of mentalporn.com . He’s our good friend and a professional graphic designer. We sent him music, lyrics and asked to come up with something, which would fit to the album. So… whole this cover was really his idea. After we got the first, unfinished project, we just sent him our ideas, how to make it even more violent than it was in his idea. But the main theme was still the same – and it comes from Qras mind. I think that I don’t really want to explain the idea:))) If You look at this cover, read the name of the album and all lyrics, then there’s nothing more to explain ;))))
PR: There are different positions on the free online music, copyright, and other issues. For you, what are the pros and cons of free music on the Internet? You feel favored or harmed in something?
J: I don’t have any problem with MP3, and stuff like this. If people want to get the music for free – OK, that’s no problem for me. So… I won’t be one of this guys who would tell, that they burgle me etc etc. Really, I don’t have problem with this. About pros and cons…internet is a great place to promote Your band, everything became easier with the internet era. That’s great… but on the other side, sometimes I feel that everything is too easy in some aspects. If a music You play is completely crap, but You promote it online really hard and “offensively”, probably You will get a lot of fans. As if You’re still telling people “we’re great”, finally they would believe this, even if You’re crap hahahahaah There are so much completely crappy “internet stars”, really…. sometimes I miss the times of tape trading, xero zines, and writing letters (not emails;))), but on the other side, I’m happy that everything is more simple right now haahaha
PR: Last question. Which are the goals in ATM's life? What try to provoke in the listener when this one listens to an ATM’s album, or when someone see an ATM’s concert?
J: Well, I don’t have some precise point of view on that things. We just try to play good music, that we lik and have a good time with people who has the same “grindcore” passion as we do. Let’s be honest – we don’t have any secret message. We won’t change the world with our music, but I’m really happy, when people come to our shows and at least for a few hours can forget about the shit that is surrounding us everyday.
PR: Ok, I think that’s all. Again I congratulate and thank you for released an album as great as "Degenerate". Want to send a message to your Latino fans?
J: Thank You very much for this interview. The questions were really interesting, and I had a good time replying to them! Message to our Latino fans? I HOPE THAT ONE DAY WE CAN COME ON THE TOUR TO THE SOUTH AMERICA, AND PLAY A SHOWS FOR YOU GUYS & GIRLS!!! IT WOULD BE JUST PERFECT!!!!! Thanx a lot for Your attention. Good bye… and please, don’t cry for me Argentina ;))))))))))))