It’s time for the second and final part of our interview with Stefan Horn of Jack Slater and the Excrementory Grindfuckers.
Yesterday we mainly talked about ballz and Tooncraft, Horn’s flash cartoon work. Today we’re talking about his work in music.
Without further introduction, make the jump to read part 2 of our interview with Stefan Horn.
Dose of Metal: Let‘s move on to your musical projects. Jack Slater were formed in 1995, and you released four studio albums with them. Extinction Aftermath, your latest album, was very well received by fans and critics alike. Why did you choose to split-up after such a well-received album?
Horn: Jack Slater existed for 16 years. We had some success and attention in the scene and I am proud of everything we accomplished over the years. But the motivation to reach the next level wasn’t present in the band anymore. Without the drive to accomplish bigger things, we could have continued for a few years, but stagnation would have been inevitable. Jack Slater was an important part of my life, I didn’t want it to slowly fade away. I know a lot of bands who had a much bigger standing in the scene as Jack Slater at one time, they still exist today but no one really cares about them any more. They should have stopped while it mattered. That’s what we did with Jack Slater. We released our fourth and best album and that will be the last sound you will hear from the band. A good ending to hundreds of gigs and 16 years of blood, sweat and tears.
DoM: If I remember correctly, you‘ve left and rejoined the band already a couple of years ago, because of a dispute with forming member Alexander “Sobo” Sobocinski. Sobo later left Jack Slater, after the 2008 album Blut / Macht / Frei. How would you describe your relationship with Sobo over the years?
Horn: Sobo and I don’t hold any grudge to each other and we can talk to each other like normal people today. Everything else is in the past.
DoM: Personally I think that one can clearly hear Sobo‘s influence on Jack Slater‘s music. In earlier days, and especially on the Blut / Macht / Frei album, Slater featured lots of Jazz influences, which culminated in the epic album closer ‘Narbe.’ On the follow-up album, without Sobo, these influences were nearly completely absent. Would you say Sobo was a main contributer to the Slater sound, and was it for the better or for worse?
Horn: Well, it is guitar music, the guitarist has the biggest influence on the sound, of course, like in 99% of the death metal bands out there, nothing too special about that. The jazz influences came from Sobo, he studied jazz guitar, loves the music and brought his personal style to the table, like every good musician should. We had a lot of different people as 2nd guitarist over the years, with varying influences on the music, sadly most of them didn’t manage to have a very big impact on the sound, that left Sobo with the guitar work and the base to most of the songs.
My favorite Jack Slater release is without a doubt our fourth and last album “Extinction Aftermath”. I don’t care who writes a song or who has the biggest influence on the music, the finished result is all that counts. Extinction contains the best songs in the best possible sound with the best lyrics and the best artwork. I am very proud of the finished album and will be so for the rest of my life.
DoM: If you had to choose one song to sum-up Jack Slater‘s sound, which one would you choose?
DoM: Would you want a Jack Slater song to be played at your funeral? If so, which one? Or would you rather choose an Excrementory Grindfuckers song? Personally, I‘d go with ‘Das Kuh.’
Horn: Absolutely not. I would wish for Johnny Cash “We’ll meet again”. And I would want the people at my funeral to get their favorite alcoholic beverage, chuck it down and hopefully think with a smile on their face about something good I did to their life.
DoM: In an interview I did with Thomas of Debauchery, he said that there is no real Death Metal scene in Germany. I respectfully disagree with him on that. What‘s your take on the German Death Metal scene? And what do you think about Debauchery?
Horn: I have to disagree, too. I traveled a lot, played hundreds of gigs and met a lot of good people and bands over the years and the internet makes it easy to stay in contact with the people you meet and like. A lot of bands and organizers dedicate a lot of time to the music and form the underground with their actions. That’s the definition of a scene, is it not?
I know Thomas, he is a polite and friendly guy and even though Debauchery isn’t my kind of music, I have a good amount of respect for his dedication and wish him all the best with his music. Personally I’m more into the technical side of Death Metal and would love to see bands like Deadborn or Sinners Bleed rise to the top, but both bands smoke to much weed, so that probably won’t happen, hehe.
DoM: Another topic I would like to resurrect from that very interview with Thomas is music piracy. Would you say that piracy is destroying the independent scene? Especially Death Metal musicians are known not to be able to live off of their music. Is piracy directly responsible for that nowadays?
Horn: Counter question: At which point in time have subculture musicians been able to live off of their extreme music? Yeah, there are a few professional extreme bands out there, but the more extreme, the more underground your music gets, the less potential listeners you have. Less potential listeners equals less potential customers equals less potential money. That has nothing to do with music piracy, which exists since the tape recorder, that has to do with your choice of music you want to perform.
You want to earn the big money with music? Fine, dedicate your life to music, do mainstream stuff and be happy with the dollars. You want to do ultra brutal guttural pig squeal noise core with remixed dishwasher sounds? Fine with me, too, but don’t cry about how you are not able sell 100000 copies, because I hate to break it to you: there probably aren’t 100000 people on the world who would even potentially listen to such a kind of music.
The word mainstream is there for a reason, it has no negative meaning or anything per se, it is just a simple expression for nothing too extreme, nothing too extravagant, nothing too experimental, that appeals to the biggest possible mass of people. There is a reason why bands like Amon Amarth headline the biggest festivals. Not because they are the best musicians ever or something, no, it’s because they appeal to the biggest mass of people with their “not too extreme, not too extravagant” music. For me it is boring standard metal stuff, but I don’t really care, nobody is forcing me to listen to it.
So is music piracy the downfall of the music industry? Let’s see. Yeah, it is easier nowadays with downloading best quality mp3′s via the internet, yeah, the main income has shifted from album sales to merch and ticket sales revenue, but who cares? The benefits of the internet for independent musicians outweigh online piracy by a very big margin. Never before in time has it been so easy to gain listeners worldwide (!), communicate with your fans worldwide (!) and sell stuff to people worldwide (!) with a few keystrokes on your keyboard. That is amazing technology at your fingertips, embrace it, use it to your advantage and if you want to be a professional musician, try to monetize on that. But don’t cry about it like the fat and greedy bosses of international music corporations.
DoM: On to the next topic. You‘ve recently joined the Excrementory Grindfuckers. Tell us a bit about how that came to be.
Horn: I was quite surprised, Him (vocals, keyboard, trumpet, dirty sex, flute) called nearly a year ago and told me that Rufus had quit the band and they wanted me to replace him. I knew the guys for many years, Slater and Grindfuckers shared a lot of stages together in the past, so I had a good idea what I would get myself into. I didn’t know about the end of Jack Slater at that time and two active bands at once is quite time consuming, especially when one band is 300km away, but I really wanted it and told him directly “I’m in!”. I didn’t regret my decision once, because we had an amazing time at the different club and festival gigs this year. The others show a form of dedication to the music I have always missed a little bit in Jack Slater. Really looking forward to 2012 right now, to share the stage with the guys again on some pretty cool gigs.
DoM: You‘ve recently been announced to be playing at the Summer Breeze and With Full Force festivals. Does the show of the Grindfuckers translate well to the big stages at festivals, or do you personally prefer smaller club gigs?
Horn: I would say they don’t need to translate at all, we are made for the festival stage! Grindfuckers is about having a good time, one hour of music, beer and party with fun people, the summer festivals are perfect for us. Everyone is in a good mood and having fun with other freaks is the main reason to go to an open air festival, right? We give the people a good reason to dance and get crazy and wasted. We don’t have a big stage show with crazy stuff on stage, we are just five normal guys, giving 100% on stage, having fun doing music and playing in front of thousands of crazy like minded metal fans. People love us for that and we love them, especially the ladies, best! Personally I indeed prefer Open Air Stages. I need my space to walk and jump around without hitting my fellow band members and the more people are in front of me, the better I get.
DoM: When can we expect the first Hornfuckers album?
Horn: Hopefully 2012. We are working on a 10 years Grindfuckers worst of album right now, after that, we gonna start recording stuff for our fifth regular studio album, which will be my album debut. We recently recorded a song for the Japanische Kampfhörspiele tribute album, which should be out by now, you can hear me on that track, too, but the star of that song is our drummer Christus, who gave the song something special with his angelic voice. I love him a bit for that. But only in a strictly sexual way. With dicks and stuff.
DoM: What else are you up to nowadays?
Horn: Not much really, with the start of the new year I will dedicate most of my time to Tooncraft to try and push it over the limit, we will see how that works out. In February we gonna start preparing the Grindfuckers live set for 2012 and like I said, really looking forward to the guys and the shows.
DoM: How does being an extreme metal musician effect your comedy cartoon work? Personally I‘m a fan of extreme metal but also enjoy comedy quite a lot, but do you ever get weird looks by fans of your comedy work when they find out about your music or vice versa?
Horn: Not really, I make comedy far from mainstream, I do music far from mainstream, I guess that works quite well together. But I don’t do metal comedy or anything, I do use extreme metal music sometimes, but I use hiphop or electronic music, too, so I am not really limited to one specific scene. People with a little bit of a weird humor will appreciate my work, normal guys probably wont, but that’s fine for me. There is entertainment for every taste on the internet, no need to try and please everyone.
DoM: Tell us a joke!
Horn: Your dick is rather small.
DoM: Tell us another joke!
Horn:There was this family of circus artists who went to see a talent agent. The father said “Listen, we have this awesome act we would like to present to you!”. The talent agent said “Sure, go ahead!”. The father started to slowly unbutton his shirt and laid it carefully on a table. He went over to his wife, kissed her on the lips and punched her in the head with his fist. The mother started bleeding and fell to the ground. Grandpa started laughing. The daughter went crying over to her mother, stood over her and started peeing on her stomach. Grandpa laughed harder. The son took out a spoon, stuck it in his own anus and started singing the national anthem, while Grandpa cuts of his little fingers one by one with an old scissor. Grandma went over to the father and started kissing him. They both got undressed and started fucking each other in every hole on the ground.
The mother came back to consciousness and punched her now shitting daughter into the vagina. The father finally came on the back of grandma and in the second he was finished he kicked grandma in the butt so hard, she started shitting all over the place. Grandpa was still sitting on his chair laughing and pulled out a cigar. The son was finished with the national anthem, took a canister of fuel and spilled it over grandpa. Grandpa said “Does anyone of you fine chaps care to light my fire, please?” The father came over to grandpa, spat in his face and pulled out a zip lighter and set grandpa on fire. The whole family stood around Grandpas chair yelling and peed the fire out again. Grandpa had terrible burning wounds and started laughing again. Father then took his daughter, laid her over grandpas knees and started fucking her in the ass. The son started fucking his sister from the front. Meanwhile the mother started fingering with Grandma. Grandpa started rubbing his burnt dick. They all came at the same second, cum, shit, blood and screaming all over the place. Suddenly everyone was spreading their arms and stopped moving. The mother performed a split on the ground, threw glitter in the air and said “Tada!!!”. The shocked talent agent asked “What the heck is this act called!?”. The whole family proudly answered simultaneously “The Aristocrats!”
(In case you wonder about the “joke” above, google or search on YouTube for “the aristocrats joke”, there are some awesome interpretations of this old comedy insider.)
DoM: How about a third joke?
Horn: I really dislike premade jokes. I can laugh my ass off in different spontaneous situations, but 9 out of 10 times someone tells me a joke, I do a polite smile and move on. 1 in 10 times I laugh really hard, mostly not because of the joke itself, but because of the delivery.
DoM: That‘s all the questions I have. Would you like to add anything for your readers at doseofmetal.com?
Horn: Thanks for the interview, if people want to check out my music or cartoon stuff, feel free to drop by and say hi at www.tooncraft.de or www.excrementory.de. Hope to see some of you guys at the shows this year, it’s gonna be awesome! Take care!
DoM: Thank you for your time!