Interview with The Massacre (Terrornoize Industry) — october 2019
Terrornoize Industry’s founder Casa aka The Massacre is tireless. He actively runs his vinyl+digital TNI label, dedicated to the darkest forms of hardcore and releasing material from legendary artists like Stickhead or DJ Freak, only to name a few. He’s also a party promoter, launching events where there’s no chance to hear smoothly comfortable sound. And as an act he will be happy to distort your brain (or whatever stands for) with the typical methods of the most dangerous perverts. This spring he spent a month in Australia, meeting Australian Hardcore legends and playing with them in several parties. Which led to investigate about this trip and so you can read the story in this interview. Don’t expect politically correctness. The feeling went so well with the Australians that Casa helps out this fall an European tour with several parties in different countries — don’t miss the closest party next to you.
DJ Speedloader : You are an experienced soldier of the European Hardcore battlefield. What did you feel when you got off the plane in Australia?
The Massacre : Well, excitement and an overwhelmed feeling. I always wanted to travel to Australia. It’s a great country. Having the chance to meet old friends I don’t see much and become acquainted with some Bloody Fists acts, wow! What more do you want from life?
What does « Hardcore » mean at the other side of the earth?
From what I understood talking to people over there, it’s kind of the same as Europe. A rebellious alternative, provocative music with a fuck off attitude. Against social morality, capitalism and all the other shit going on in the local area. But a lot less fashion and people identifying through a certain type of clothing. Maybe because it’s harder to get, as shipments to Australians are too expensive or perhaps they don’t care about fashion at all.
Two sorts of competition
How was the time in Newcastle? What did you find out about the Bloody Fist cult?
It was special. As a city, Newcastle is kind of bland. There’s nothing much to see. Australia has amazing coasts everywhere so the Newcastle itself isn’t that impressive. Newcastle has an old port and had a strong industrial economy back in the day. The world economy has changed and Australia has close trade links to China. There ain’t much tourism and the Newcastle government is trying to reinvent the place to promote travel to the region. Overall, the economy is going down slowly. A lot of young people seem to leave.
I saw the Fist era fossils. Met Mark N, Hedonist, Xylocaine, Epsilon, Fraughman, Embolism, Drillbit, Netas, the guy who designed the Fist logo, the technician who repairs Mark N’s mixers… Most still live in Newcastle, a few like Mark N moved to Melbourne for example. It’s kind of hard to retell everything in a few words but basically, what I understood from my visit is that Mark N managed it all back then, as the others were the typical disorganised, chaotic, fucked up musicians and he had good organisational skills. A good mix between trustworthy older brother, intelligent manager, visionary and maybe a bit of a tough sergeant type. I didn’t hear anyone speaking badly of Mark either, like between any of the acts or anything. The European scene seems to like gossip, I didn’t feel that in Newcastle.
Overall there are two sorts of competition, the positive and the negative. Your friend makes a successful track, that track attracts attention and others become jealous, start gossip, pointless scene wars etc.
Or, you hear an excellent track and you think to yourself — Fuuuuuck, I need to surpass this. Let me go to the studio right now. His one is soooo fukin’ amazing.
Positive competition can push people to outdo each other. Which is good for music development and hopefully keeping the focus away from politics and bullshit arguments.
For sure, Newcastle was a musical goldmine as much as New York, Rotterdam or Frankfurt was.
After the golden era, people are obviously older, family, kids, work, no drugs anymore… the typical sort of development. Mark N left Newcastle but the cult didn’t break completely. They still do parties once in a while and meet up. I am very happy Mark N didn’t give up on releasing vinyl either. He is still doing a great job.
What do you like in Australia as a tourist?
Obviously for historical and geographical reasons, nature, flora and fauna developed in a different way which is really impressive and very unique. There’s unique trees, plants and animals wherever you look. I remember diving in and trying to learn about it from the age of 16. I love the sea, I drove 100 kilometres of coastline hardly seeing any people at all on these amazing beaches I was passing. You look left, nobody there. You look right, the same thing. Fuckin’ mind blowing! I grew up with Italian parents who went almost every year to Rimini/Riccione as part of the Ombrelloni culture I guess. You know what I mean?
“Promoters, booking agencies and labels are all part of the same big conglomerate”
What do you recall exactly?
Well, go on Google and search “Ombrelloni Rimini” and you’ll see the horrific pics I’m talking about. Millions of deck-chairs, parasols and people squashed together like sardines. I don’t like the mass tourism on the Adria coast at all. You go to Australia and see thousands of beaches without people around, kilometre after kilometre. Paradise, and the perfect place for a misanthrope like me.
How can this rebellious state of mind still exist when most of the Hardcore events are Dutch festivals?
That’s a complex question to answer in an interview. Let me point out a few examples:
All the people involved (promoters, sound system companies, artists, local media and more) are doing a professional and successful job in NL. Those events attract people from all over the world. Humans need to be in groups and feel part of a community. Enjoying festivals with your friends or the same passionate music lovers works and will always work.
In general the flight prices are insanely low. Until you can fly to another country for 50–100eur, people will continue to go to NL. I can only talk from a Swiss perspective. Most people here go 1–2 times per month to an NL party. They see several acts they like per event. Invest their money in flights, hotels, drugs, merchandise and the other two non-festival weekends they do something non-musical or they save money for the next NL trip coming up. In a way, this can have the effect of damaging the local clubbing/party scene.
3. Foreign competitors:
Years ago the festival period was like July/August. These days the festival season goes from April/May till Sept/Oct. Clubs had their musical Sabbath during July/Aug. Now they have bigger international competition, non-stop for 4–6months. There are a few local exceptions but owning a club isn’t as attractive as it was years ago. On the clubber side, there is an excessive supply of events where you have the chance to listen to your favourite artists. Why should I go to my local club to see one artist if I can see him next week abroad with my other favourite acts on the same night?
4. Artist Brands
These days it seems like promoters, booking agencies and labels are all part of the same big conglomerate. At their own festivals, they naturally push their own artists and brands. This has advantages in terms of money and is obviously good for banding and marketing reasons but what’s the logical consequence? They start to build up their own musicians with their own individual brand like commercial companies do. This can lead to monopolising the scene and the largest companies getting the biggest part of the pie.
Also, some have the attitude of saving money and not booking international acts. This way they don’t have to deal with the hassle of transfers costs, hotels, drivers etc but this can lead to the whole thing being a bit more predictable and homogenised. Some party people complain the line-up looks the same everywhere ? Well, maybe that’s why.
What surprised you most when you played your first party in Australia?
That I didn’t piss in my pants xD, after so many gigs it’s not like I’m nervous anymore, but playing the first party with acts like Hedonist was very special for me. I’m not the youngest anymore, since the 90’s, I look at all the Bloody Fist musician like demigods and now I find myself playing at the same parties. You talk to them, have fun, there’s a mutual respect. Times change of course, but most of them are still heroes for me like back when I was a teenager.
Did you take selfies or ask for autographs when you met your Australian Hardcore heroes? Do you have a Bloody Fist logo tattooed on your testicles now?
Tattoo? Nah, haha. I ain’t that much of a groupie. Selfie? Nope, can’t stand that extreme narcissism and I’m no attention whore. I don’t do it for myself, why should I do it for another guy? Never liked the selfie attitude. Not my world. But I guess something worse than selfies is tattooing your own artist name on your body. Fuck that. A yeah, masks such as well.
“2019 music just sounds like a copy and paste version of someone else’s ideas”
Did you feel like you are in the sacred land that gave Bloody Fist to the world?
These days the way the music and musician develop is very different compared to 25 years ago. In the 90’s you didn’t have such powerful internet with millions of fast possibilities. The best chance was to discover music at parties or your local record shop. Because of that you saw different musical style emerge in the various European countries. Germany had acts such as Gabba Nation, PCP, Kotzaak etc and its own distinctive style. France with the Industrial Hardcore à la Épitèth, Dead End Rec, in Italy you had Traxtorm, Headfuck and in the UK Deathchant.
Regardless of names, what I mean is each country had their own musical style develop and that’s what made music more unique, local, varied, interesting and exciting. These days a person goes online, checks social media and Youtube and researches what party people like. They can share files/loops in two minutes thanks to the internet.
Most 2019 music just sounds like a copy and paste version of someone else’s ideas. I don’t like it anymore because it’s harder for label owners to get away from the masses. Back in the day, the artists had more of a unique identity too, I mean, you entered the dancefloor and you knew Nasenbluten, DJ Freak or PCP were playing. These days everything sounds the same. If you didn’t know the timetable you wouldn’t know who the fuck is playing.
Alright. But let’s say we are in the worst phase of a cycle. What could be the next cycle? I mean, we won’t get stuck in this dead end for so many years. Or Hardcore will die, despite of all the “Hardcore will never die” tracks.
Right now I don’t see any kind of new musical wave. Music is all industry these days. And most of the artists are focussed on money/attention rather than being creative and experimenting with new ideas. Originally, a track was the most important and nearly the only argument an artist had. These days “commercial” artists produce music mostly to be “present in the market”. They publish 1–2 tracks every second week. Not because of creativity but for “hey look social media, dear community, I still exist, you remember? See what I can do” It’s marketing. You don’t make much money with digital releases these days and that “lost money” has to be compensated for with higher musician fees. Music is virtually free thanks to illegal downloading and due to this, fees have exploded.
Can we consider the fees explosion as an opportunity? As headliners and even middle-range (in terms of fame) artists are out of sight considering the financial aspects, may be local promotors will consider local artists as a resource?
They should. Australia mostly does it like that because the European continent is so far away. A well-known economic slogan is “think global, act local”. Europe is different. The problem is that people want to see the original. What is better for you? A skilled AC/DC tribute band or the original? We live in a time of oversupply. You can’t see the music act today? Let’s wait until we have the opportunity in few months.
The reality is that most promoters spend a big part of budget for acts on foreigners/headliners and locals are there to fill up the timetable. For example, the first two and last two acts of the night are locals and in between you get the headliners. Doesn’t matter how super skilled the local acts are. I am not saying this is the same for every promoter but most behave like that.
Pretty good vibe
So what did happen in Australia that made you decide to promote this Australian tour in Europe ?
It’s not really a promotion. I know Rage Reset from their first Switzerland gig in the 90’s. I booked them for my Unapologetic tour in 2018 in CH but unfortunately they couldn’t make it. They’ve been away for 22 years. The HC scene can be pretty transparent and word spreads quickly. A Dutch promoter saw they were back in business and booked them for a party in october. Hedonist has family in EU and was over here at the same time, so we thought… Why not combine these two opportunities? But there’s got to be a third wheel.
A few promoters wanted to book me anyway and I suggested they combine us all into the same tour. Simple as that. On the personal side, there’s a pretty good vibe between the three of us. I’m looking forward to the tour… It will be a pretty strange and memorable experience with three totally different characters on the road together. Gonna be so much fun!
What went on in your mind? — Can you give details about dates, cities and line-ups of this amazing Australian tour ?
For working reasons, the guys can only come to EU for 3 weeks. I’ve tried to get them as many gigs as possible without asking a cent from them. That’s what friends are for, right?
3 weeks, 3 acts. 5 bookings. 5 exclusive countries. They start in Rotterdam NL, then Dublin IRL, Jena DE, Vienna AT and Milan IT. We’ll play in some occupied buildings, Antifa spots, small underground parties, in cities where the Gabba scene is thought by some, to be nearly dead.
The way we see the HC world, it’s not about masses of people or pyrotechnics, no ‘I am cooler and better than you’ attitude… No colourful stages, no acting like a VIP, no fake artificial worlds, no assholes with the opinion ‘we’re REAL HARDCORE you’re not’. We prefer dark fucked up locations surrounded by unhappy people who might need to forget their unfair, painful lives for few hours of fog, stroboscope and distorted kick drums. No judgemental cunts on the dancefloor or from the scene at all.
So, what can you tell people who read this about what they can expect from these parties? What is the main insight?
They can expect 8-bit Lo-Fi Industrial Hardcore, Gabba, Dnb, Breakcore, Speedcore, Terror and Noize. Rage Reset and Hedonist wrote HC history. I don’t think I need to introduce them. We want to tour like metal bands. Just us with few locals acts. Each act can play longer sets that way. Show up, have a beer with us and let your black soul be swallowed by their shitty music.
“Love music. Hate people. I don’t need to explain myself”
So you seem very perspicuous or even disappointed by the scene but at the same time you are a fully dedicated label promotor and musician. This is a paradox isn’t it?
For me, there ain’t a scene or community anymore. It’s all about personal interests or microeconomics. Is hard to find good trustworthy people. Especially online. But there are. Many. And I have the best around.
On one side you have many new generation kiddies. Some of them act like they invented Hardcore. They think to know everything/everyone, judgments without being asked, they comment everything, spread hate, lies/negativity and try to build walls between people instead to invest their energy/time to contribute to a better music scene. Divide et impera. Macchiavelli knew the shit.
Unfortunately we live in a period where the political right wing becomes stronger and stronger again. Music is also a fingerprint of the society. You need to be careful with which human scumbag you get in contact with. For me right people are a disease and diseases need to be extinct.
On the other side it’s business dominated by companies who are booking agencies/promoters and label owners the same time. They dominate their area and can cut off smaller promoters. If you fuck with such big players they can cut you everywhere and also put pressure on their partners not to collaborate with you. I am not talking about me but I know a few stories. Without being connected, you can’t spread your music, you will rarely reach a certain status, no money, no honey.
The best argument for a musician is the music. If you can’t spread it you are screwed. That’s why you need to collaborate with such companies whether you like them or not. And the companies know, you need them to breath. They have the upper hand.
Yeah you are right, I am disappointed. I know a lot of good people in the scene and I know also that this anti-capitalist, anti-system, rebel fuck off image is just for show. Ask all these anti-capitalist acts who play regularly at big events how much they ask for a booking? Compare their monthly earnings with the average salary of your hard working locals. Anti-capitalist and underground my ass. Obviously they deserve to earn money and everybody should have the right to make money much as possible. But as much as not all Black Metal bands members are Satanic, drinking blood, burning churches, smashing machines, the real life core acts aren’t anti-capitalist. I run TNI since 2001. The more I age the more I become a misanthrope. Love music. Hate people. I don’t need to explain myself. I do it on my own way. Like it or hate. Who cares.
It’s like you are the last lonesome real punk of this scene, aren’t you?
Me a punk ? Nah…. Maybe just strong enough that most bullshit doesn’t affect me.
Hardcore and especially Oldschool Gabber seem to have become trendy again in the last couple of years. Dior organized a fashion show with some Hardcore beats. 20 year old Techno kids like becoming freaky on Oldschool sets. How do you see this?
Don’t know if that’s trendy or just a vacuum. Some people have listened to Oldschool Gabber since forever. Music goes in waves. Too much Crossbreed, Uptempo and “Frenchcore” these days. Probably some people have had enough and want to go back or rediscover Oldschool Gabber until the next music development/trend follows. I was never a friend of trends. I press vinyls of music that I like. I am anti-fashion. Nearly all of my label records are sold out, so it seems as though I must be doing something right.
So, which year did the whole thing collapse? Or what it a slow process?
I can’t say the year. Perhaps it’s linked to DJ’s/Musicians becoming more aware or dependent on marketing themselves, becoming wannabe models, or social media experts designing their own artist logo like a company rather than getting better or experimenting with producing music.
Let me ask a personal question. I am 45. Until when should have I an interest for the Hardcore stuff (going to parties, promote a label, produce tracks…)? What is the age limit for Hardcore heads?
No way there is an age limit. Music passion is eternal! Do it until your ears, body and heart force you to do it. And yeah, I remember you requested “Stickhead — I Piss On Your Grave” at your funeral. Btw good chance a remix will come out on TNI ;)
Your own fucking thing
At the end, and however misanthropic you may feel, how would you welcome a teenager who would make his first steps in Hardcore Techno?
Do your own fucking thing, whether people like your stuff or not. Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. Don’t copy and paste people’s style. Avoid people who talk too much about other people (one day they will put a knife in your back as well). You don’t need to be the centre of attention, let your music speak for you. Work with other producers but not to increase your reputation, just to have the chance to learn how they work and learn different methods of music production… Discover new sounds, new equipment and new working methods. Avoid social media as much as possible, it’s toxic. It’s almost a strange manifestation of Hardcore or underground characteristics, namely the urge towards self-destruction, a mania for taking an idea, a project, an artist or whatever it is and driving it into the ground. Ridiculous.
Last question: For how long planet Earth will have to deal with The Massacre?
Forever. One day I’m gonna be reborn as a tree in a Norwegian Forrest (insiders know).
I have new tracks coming out on various label and other collabs too. We’re making plans for artists like Sonic Overkill, Producer Snafu, DJ Freak, Lord Nord / Nordcore G.M.B.H., Xylocaine, Pressurehead, Akira and numerous others to have their own EP’s on TNI.
My baby is running well again. The label relaunch tour was successful. I have projected releases for the next 2 years. Those involved are currently working on these projects. First in, first served. Some people will love it for sure. After the tour I plan to travel the globe on a bit of an extended holiday — Cuba, Japan, Palau and Hong Kong. Enjoying life before I EU tour with Xylocaine (33% of Nasenbluten) may/june 2020.
So yeah, haters gonna hate. The key of TNI is disobedience. We don’t fit in your stereotypical scene mindset. Fuck you.
Interview between The Massacre and DJ Speedloader, october 2019