Intrview mit Downset (Juni 2004)

So DOWNSET is back after four long years! What did you guys spent your time with after the release of “Check Your People” in 2000?

CL: Well, a few big tours after the release followed by more turbulence. We did some 9/11 ben efits in 2001, toured the uk ans Europe in 2002 ans started work on the new album in 2003.

With “Universal” you recently released your fourth album. What is to say about the record itself and especially the working process ?

CL: I believe that we went back to our roots with this album. We decided that it was best for us to go back to basics and give the fans what they’ve always loved. I think this latest album was a great learning experience. We did this album without Roy Z, and left all the work to ourselves.

“Check Your People” was released through “Epitaph”. What were the reasons for joining “Epitaph” and why did you change the label for “Universal” again ?

CL: There were no real underlined intentions for joining Epitaph. Downset was just looking to find a label to release the latest effort at the time. There was no intentions with the latest signing to Hawino either. Hawino and downset have a great working relationship and the newest effort proves our effort.

Your self-titled debut album and the following record “Do We Speak A Dead Language” are without any doubts Hardcore/Rap classics. How hard to please were your own ambitions referring to your work on “Universal” ?

CL: I think we went back to the basics and classics on these 11 new tracks. These were created and recorded for the fans with all our interestes set aside. We wanted to show the world and the fans that we are the originals at this and can do this for as long as we breathe.

What are your lyrics dealing with in 2004 ?

CL: This time around Rey is talking about a lot of subjects that hit home on a more personal level and less political stance. This does not mean in any way that we have lost our motives. We still have an arsenal of topics to crush.

The booklet says “Twin Trade Towers of Babel”. Do you think the incidents of September 11th were the logical consequence of the American foreign policy ?

CL: Well I think all instances are a sign from the supreme power. We as humanity have forsaken the resources given us, we have abused the tools of our ancestors, yet we feel the need for more power and the hunger for more wealth. I think the similarities are uncanny, and yet on a daily basis we go on with our falsely perceptive lives and continue on the road to plight. I think the daily happenings are a sign that we need to check ourselves and those around us…

Your songs are frequently based on political motivated topics. How important is a statement behind the music ?

CL: As musicians the music is the statement. But as humanitarians and for Rey especially as the vocal point of the band, the message is equally important. This music, and our messages are timeless, and important. We hope to reach all that we can with what we have to offer.

Do your songs reflect the political attitude of each band member ?

CL: No, Rey is given ful freedom in his lyrics, and we respect that. The opinions expressed in our lyrics is solely that of Rey’s. We all hve our own opinions of politics, foreign policies, war, etc. Rey, Rico, Ares, myself, we all have different views and opinions on various topics. But rest assured we have them.

In times like these it seems to be very easy to stand for political ideas. How do you judge this development? Does it raise the whole independent music sector onto a higher level of meaning or is it just reopened terrain for some bands to give themselves a personal image or even only follow the common voices and behaviour ?

CL: I try not to judge persay. People can be soapbox callers, or they can do something about it. I think it’s great to incorporate politics if you really have something to put a light on or have a solution for. The rest is simply arrogance.

How have the reactions on “Universal” been so far ?

CL: Very good reactions here and abroad. We look forward to this album blossoming.

How would you define the style of DOWNSET ?

CL: A classic blend of old punk, classic hip hop, and heavy 70’s metal rolled into a politically and socially aware package.

Are there concrete plans for hitting the roads in the USA and Europe to promote “Universal” ?

CL: YES! We are going on Projekt Revolution this summer with Linkin Park, and Snoop. We are trying to get back to Europe and the UK by late summer to give everyone their required dose!

What comes next for DOWNSET ?

CL: Hopefully more great tour opportunities. We would love to tour as much as possible and make sure that the latest release hits worldwide.

Any last words for your fans in Europe ?

CL: Thank you for your patience and lasting support. We look forward to playing for you again, and making new fans and friends along the way. YOU rock!

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