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The Derry High School Killing Team Zine

Symbiosis

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This interview was not at all involved with The derry high killing team zine. It was done around 2000 with my friend Adam (who now sings in The Legacy) as we wanted to do a zine but never got around to finishing it. anyway I found this out and thought i shouldn't let it go to waste. Symbiosis were from Manchester I believe and only ever recorded a demo (the government.religion.economics demo) so for those of you who knew of the band read on...

*For people who haven't heard you yet how would you describe your music to them?

Steve: Heavy, soft, melodic, chaotic discordent rock, baby!
Gareth: Heavy, chaotic music that no-one likes.
Matt: The fire that burns in my arse.
J.: Tight panted, dyed black hair music, carefully engineered to ruin everything.

*How long have you been together and how did you get your name?

We've been together since about April '98. The current line-up since April '99.

M: The name? That was my idea... the usual method of people brainstorming in rehearsal and having ideas rejected eventually left with one sensible option... which may be argued by others.

J.: Nothing to do with me.

S: I didn't contribute, I just dismissed eveyone else's suggestions. I quite like what we ended up with though-it's grown on me.

*What are your views on the current U.K.H.C scene?

M: U.K.H.C? A lot of OK bands musically I guess. I think beyond that the average hardcore show contains an awesome network of people who still manage to inspire me, in spite of the issues that drives us to be involved with punk rock in the first place.

G: Within the U.K hardcore and DIY scenes there are loads of excellent bands. Of those that I like however, not many of them would be catagorised as U.K.H.C. The majority of bands that get lumped in as 'U.K.H.C' I don't find particularly inspiring-it's just not my bag, baby! I personally feel that U.K.H.C is a label which divides people in the DIY scene. Some people like it and what it stands for and discount other bands which fall outside that label, while others just see all the bands that fall within that label as tough-guy nonsense.

j.: I think that a few years ago "U.K.H.C" was a convenient rallying call for a lot of people just getting into the scene. I know, because I was one of those kids, but it seems that now the bands that fall into that whole scene do little for me musically or lyrically and so I do not feel a part of that whole crowd. "U.K.H.C" seems unchallenging and very superficial, with little substance, but as with life, to each his own.

*Is there a good scene in Manchester?

M: No, not really. You can count the kids who live and breathe for the music, the vision, and the desire for something more on two hands. At least that's my experience, but i'm not the best person when it comes to meeting new people of similar mindsets.

G: I feel really put out sometimes when we're putting a gig on because you have to put in an incredible amount of effort in to get half decent turnouts. I flyer the local rock clubs and local indie, metal and punk gigs, as well as giving out flyers out at hardcore shows in the surrounding areas, such as Leeds and Liverpool. I personally give out somewhere in the region of 500+ flyers (not including those given out by the other people involved in the collective) which will result in turnouts ranging between 40 and 100, which doesn't seem like a good return sometimes. I feel at the moment that my whole social life revolves around potential flyering oppertunities and i'm feeling a little jaded. However, some new people have recently moved to Manchester and are beginning to get involved in the local scene and I feel that some local kids are finally starting to take notice. We'll see whether this positive trend can be sustained or not.

S: We're somewhat jaded after a run of gigs that us and our friends organised that were very poorly attended, despite serious publicity drives. For instance, 12 people paid to get into the My Hero Died Today gig, I put on Cameran, Engrave, Red Lights Flash and Rocketfield-all very good bands who played a great gig (Cameran undoubtedly being in my top 3 live bands) and about 35 people came. It's frustrating to see amazing bands play to very few people, and it happens far to often. Then again, some gigs do really well, mainly bigger emo bands and well known H.C bands like Knuckledust, Good Clean Fun etc.
As for bands in Manchester, there's a few good one's like The Propagumbhis, Profane, Grover and a couple more currently starting to get their shit together in rehearsal. More would be good though.

*Do you have any plans for any more demos, or any 7" ep's or a full length?

S: We really want to release something more, but have nothing confirmed, and indeed offers are very thin on the ground. I'm trying to get an 8-track set up together, and if I do we can at our leisure, to a reasonable standard. We may do a cheap, simple CD-R. I'd really like to make an album-i like the thought of a substantial, cohesive body of music and ideas.

*Can you tell us some of Symbiosis' main influences?

M: Catharsis, thrash metal, anything that rocks, anything with a kick ass guitar sound.

S: Interesting, passionate music, Anthrax, Jazz and my "Progressive Guitar Chords" book.

G: I'm inspired by music which vocally is done better than myself or where the vocalist does things which I don't do. I therefore consider myself influenced by Marilyn Manson, Chris Cornell, Basement Jaxx, Coldplay, Canvas, Atari, Burnside, etc. The list grows all the time.

J.: A lot of stuff. Blues, metal (not new metal-G'n'R, Metallica, etc.) 50's Rock 'n' Roll, but mainly emo-I'm an emo addict I guess. Any political, challenging music that rocks.

*Do you enjoy playing big venues or small clubs like the grapes?

M: I'll play anywhere me.

S: I tend to not notice whats going on around me when i'm playing-I get all introverted and concentrate on what i'm playing, so it doesn't really matter to me, though smaller venues often have better atmospheres.

J.: Anywhere that you feel part of the whole show. I like closenes to the crowd, so larger venues suck in my opinion, 'cos they're not usually full.

G: I'm also for playing practically anywhwere, but prefer smallish venues with a decent amount of people and a reasonable sound.

*Have you had a good reception live from your demo?

M: I think the Fenton in Leeds is the best reception we've ever had whenever we've played there.

S: The reception we get is generally positive, and getting more so, but maybe that's just because only the people that like us talk to us, and those that don't like us don't bother to tell us.

*You've supported 25 ta LIFE right? Have you supported any other biggish U.K/U.S bands?

G: We've played with a few big bands like Stampin' Ground, Knuckledust, Arkangel and Blood For Blood, but the gigs that stick in the memory are those with bands we find inspiring such as Kneejerk, Leiah, Catharsis, Driven, Endstand, Outlast.

Derry High Killing Team