|HISTORY ARTISTS SUB-LABELS|
Hi everyone! You probably all know we used to be on DTRASH. And you all know we're not on DTRASH anymore. I would like to say that this is the true story of what happened, but alas: it is the only story. Nonetheless, it's true. Believe it or not.
In the beginning of 1999 we weren't ready for DTRASH. DTRASH wasn't even ready for DTRASH. We had just been asked to join CPUWAR and Cdatakill (AK-47 at the time) on the basis of a mp3 poorly recorded in a 32-track amateur recording studio. The guy who produced it was a guy one of the band members had met in our local coffeeshop (Holland. No coffee there). Really. He claimed to be a professional although he didn't have a compressor, which is weird, but we didn't care at the time because the mic looked cool and we didn't even know what a compressor was. Back in the day everything was cool. We didn't have a clue, and nobody cared.
The demo actually became DTRASH004 if I remember it well. It was extremely limited. I remember sending tape copies to CPUWAR and AK-47. We had a couple of cd-r's of which I still own two. The other band members each own one. There is one copy that made it to New York and it was not only the only disc to make it across the Atlantic: it's also the only cdr-copy that made it anywhere. I dubbed about fifty copies on tape which I sent out for free to everyone who was interested. You must understand: we had no cd-recorder, nor the money to buy one. Burning cd-r's consisted out of going to a friend who could borrow one from his friend at irregular intervals, so we never did.
At the time we did what we did. Gijs and Erik both produced music, which I edited (by cutting half of the track away) and wrote lyrics to. It was all Fasttracker2 and later on we mixed it in Cool Edit Pro, but I didn't know a thing about mixing so I just threw the volume open and let the volume clip. It sounded insane, which was what I wanted, but was useless for everything else. Because of this our full-length DTRASH release is a tough apple to bite into, sort to say, and is therefore appreciated only by some. Gijs and Erik were both geniuses at writing and producing songs, the lyrics were brave and thoughtful, but I was bad at doing the mix. I didn't have a clue. But none of the others could do any better, so I just went ahead and kept doing it. Do you understand what I'm going at kids? Don't Do-It-Yourself, unless you know how to do it yourself.
In the DTRASH days our shows consisted out of four guys with up to four mics, a laptop computer and two to ten people in the audience. The laptop loyally played the mixed-down clipped waves. The clipping was a big problem actually. If one turned up the music too loud, the block frequencies would blow up the PA. We didn't know. We didn't have a clue. And after we did know, we didn't tell anyone. Really. We also didn't have enough stamina to last a whole show and at odd intervals and at painful moments everyone would either forget their lines or wouldn't have the breath to sing them. Erik and Gijs proved to be disastrous with a mic in their hand and we figured they would be better off twiddling the knobs even though we didn't have any.
At a certain point there had to come a turning point. I had actually become good at doing mixes. We had done a decent show. It was the PlanetArt Noise Festival 1999 with Ec8or. There must have been a hundred to two hundred people there and we were the most accessible act of the whole day. Lots of people went absolutely mad. We went mad. The girls loved us. It was great. This was not the turning point.
Listen. This was the turning point: One month later we did a show in front of four people and we knew: this wasn't going to get us anywhere. There were four people on stage and four people on the floor of whom two we knew. But for the money, we played. We weren't ashamed, but we felt alienated. Our record on DTRASH didn't get us anywhere.
We had gotten one review which was actually quite positive, but were ignored by the rest. We had sold five copies. We realized the poor state of the production and the poor state of our live-act. So we made a decision. We put down a loan and bought equipment. We attracted a phat guitar player. We changed direction completely. Commercially viable, electronic nu-metal we would make, with a thrilling live-act and decent production. One of the singers got kicked out. As you probably understand: this was a good decision for us.
DTRASH on the other hand, disagreed. They had gotten sick of the cd-r releases and they wanted the real shit: vinyl, cd's. The real thing. As much as we wanted to step out of our kiddie shoes, they wanted to step out of their kiddie shoes. The decision to invest in equipment rather than a 12" or a cd, wasn't taken lightly. And they were right. We had no business to be on DTRASH anymore. We had business with working on new material and shaping the band rather than promoting and publishing it. We could have separated maturely, I suppose. You all know how it goes: you've had enough of an old friend or a relative, so you stop calling and ignore them when they pass by, not willing to lay it out in the open. After three months of deliberate non-communication I logged in on the DTRASH site and found out we had been silently removed from the website. We didn't care. Our mind was set on the future: a commercially viable future. With girlfriends, and facial hair. Yes ... especially the facial hair."
-Rene Kneyber/BASTARDS UNITED