Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Posted by xCHIPxSEM | File under : , , ,
It's no secret that I'm a big supporter of all things foreign (non-US) hardcore. My first exposure to European hardcore was Desperate Fight Records in late 1995. I got a hold of "Senseless" by Abhinanda and was blown away. I tracked down Jose (owner of DFR and vocalist for Abhinanda) and asked him to look back on the DFR catalog and give his opinion on his favorite releases. After so many great releases, it's hard to pick but here's Jose's take.

My favorite Desperate Fight releases:

Wow, this is a hard one! I don't even think I own all the releases anymore! Some of them have been lost along the way, but I'll try. Here are my 5 favorite (and why). Not in order of preference but catalog number:

DFR4: Abhinanda – Senseless
Well, my own band. This record is not included for the music but for everything it meant to me, to us, the scene, etc. For some reason the record sold. A lot! I ripped off the band pretty, pretty, pretty good... They did not get to see any money at all! Everything went to buy a super-computer and fix a real Desperate Fight office. But dont tell the other dudes in the band about it! Well actually, the band never got paid any royalties at all for any record. Everything went back to the label and the other releases. So when sales took off for this record, I realized we had a real label. Thats why this release is so important. It's the one that financed Desperate Fight and helped us to get good distribution deals and set up a “real” label.

DFR6: Final Exit – Teg
Final Exit was supposed to be the Project X of the Umeå hardcore scene. This record is amazing but I kind of like the story behind the recording even better. Refused was doing really well around this time and their record label sent them away to record 2 songs for a cover EP (Refused loves Randy). They did but what their record company never got to know is that after Refused recorded their songs, Final Exit took over the studio and recorded a whole album in just one night. Of course, the bill for the studio went to Refuseds' record company... But shhh dont tell anyone!

DFR9: Straight Edge As Fuck II
We just had so much fun putting together the SXEAF compilations. Everyone singing backups for everyone or just trying to put together the layout for the record (fuck, the cover is awful) was always fun. I never came closer to all this stuff we always sang about, like - unity, pride, or whatever lame cliché you want to come up with, I felt all that when putting together these comps. Everyone working together and for each other.

DFR10: Shield – Vampire songs
Another special one for me. I was so involved in the making of this record. Helped out with lyrics, I was there in the studio everyday, etc. I was young, around my 20´s but I still felt like a father to these kids. Another thing not many people know about is that the singers father helped me and the label out a lot. He had his own company/business as a graphic designer (I think) and he taught me how to run a company, use a computer, etc. I still remember taking the bus during cold Umeå winters to the other side of town and walking all the way to his house/office so he could show me how to handle VAT and taxes while we where doing cd covers for Refused... I guess people (parents) like him and like David Refused parents should get a lot of cred for making everything possible back in the days. I'm not sure the scene would have been the same without their help.

DFR23: Abhinanda – Rumble
I actually have pretty good memories from all the releases. They all took time and hard work to get them done and out there. I could tell you stories about all of them. I would love to include the Purusam albums in this list, or Separation, or the Step Forward comp, or... yeah you get it. But you asked for 5. So the 5th one is another one with my own band. The most important one. The last release on the label. In one way or another the one that broke up the band, made me move from Umeå and closed down Desperate Fight. Well of course it's not just the records fault. There was a lot of other stuff going on. In the band, with the members, in the scene, in town, with the label, etc. Time to use another cliché: Nothing last forever...
I think I wasn't into it anymore. At least not the running a label part of it. Everything had grown so big, so fast. The budget for this record was like for all the other records I had ever released so far, together... (not really, but just so you get an idea). I remember just walking around filled with anguish when making the album. Back then I really hated most of the songs on the record as well (nowadays I appreciate it in a whole different way!). So I felt really bad putting everything at risk on an album that I wasnt that much into with a band that probably was going to break up any second. At the same time we had a couple of releases with other bands that werent doing well sales wise so yeah, I guess I was under more pressure that I could handle. But today, I cant regret anything. I'm really proud of what we did and it's something I'll carry with me for the rest of my life!


Anonymous said...

Awesome post! But come on José, where is Saidiwas (all punk cons) and Plastic Pride (daredevil i lost)? :D

//Lasse Vegan, Class Pride Ålidhem

Anonymous said...

...Lasse Vegan, here: "At the same time we had a couple of releases with other bands that werent doing well sales wise "

Anonymous said...

do you know where I can get info about desperate fight bands like saidiwas, shield, purusam and separation or other bands that didn't get some recognition they deserve.

xGabex said...

i LOVED "The Rumble" album. I listen to it frequently still!
I wish Abihinanda would have made it to the US. Chip, make that shit happen!

Anonymous said...

More memories/storys from Umea :) please !!

Martin said...

Nice! Sweet memories from the mid 90's.

Anonymous said...

nobody knows where i can find the Separation album 5:th songs? Thanks Tony

xCHIPxSEM said...

Tony: I have the Separation record. Leave a comment in the requests box so I can remind myself to upload it

Anonymous said...

xCHIPxSEM i dont want to be a pain i your as. Maybe i wrote in the wrong place? Thanks

Luch said...

i'm still a huge fan of PURUSAM releases héhéhé...
I asked to Jose if a Rumble LP release would interest him but he never came back.