INTERVIEWS OF FEAR MY THOUGHTS

01. www.caraacaraunderground.com | 2004-01-04

www.caraacaraunderground.com

Date: 2004-01-04

I’m really glad Cara A Cara started anno 2004 with a band like Fear My Thoughts, and it makes me even gladder and I consider myself lucky to have had the possibility of knowing a guy like Mathias, the vocalist of the band. The German combo slides at first as the typical “At the Gates goes Hardcore” band, but as the songs pass by you’ll notice that bands like Converge, Give Up The Ghost and even Radiohead have something to say about the music of one of the most promising hardcore bands of the moment. Read what Matt has to say about Christmas, about his musical roots and his way of life. About the upcoming album on Lifefore Records and the depressive darkness of the European winter...

Hallo Mathias, wie geht’s dir?


Wow! You seem to be kind of a multi lingual person. I’m doing relatively fine, though I don’t like winter too much since it’s too cold and dark. But apart from that I’m really fine.


No no no! That German greeting is just courtesy of the Internet, aber ich spreche Spanisch und Schwedisch. How many languages do you speak?


I know a few words in English, French, a very tiny bit of Spanish and Polish since our bass player is polish. Unfortunately I can only remember the swearing.


Darkness did you say, I hate it!
Here in Sweden around 4 o’clock PM the sky is completely dark without even a dim of light. I still can’t get used to it so I get all depressed. Do you experience something similar?


— Totally!
It’s always the same with me in winter I try to fight it but so far I haven’t found the right way to cope with it, as soon as the days get shorter and colder I’m getting really sad and only see the bad sides about life.
I know that we have to experience the dark season as well since we wouldn’t be able to enjoy spring and summer that much. And we need the time to concentrate more on our own issues and what really concerns us but… well I do like the warm weather since the girls don’t wear so much unnecessary clothes, hahaha!


I totally agree with that, hahaha!


On the other hand it’s positive for Fear My Thoughts. I write most of the lyrics during winter. Maybe that’s the reason why most of the lyrics are kind of depressive I should think about writing some in spring.


By the way, I just read those of ‘6 Billions Mirrors’. Why do you question the fact that you hate or dislike some attitudes or qualities of other people? I mean if I take an extreme example, what do you’ve in common with a paedophile?


I do like kids very much, that’s why I became a kindergarten teacher (directly on the source, if you know what I mean…hahaha) This is really an extreme thing you’re talking about. It might be hard to find points for that. Basically I wrote about feelings like hate, jealousy, selfishness or other things, maybe with a paedophile there might be some unfulfilled desires in your sexual life?
I don’t know! You’re really giving me a hard time.


That’s the idea Mathias, hahaha! No, but seriously thought, you’re completely right! That was an extremely hard situation. What I’m trying to point out here was some- thing you said at the Goodlife Summer party 2003. I don’t know if both issues are related but there, being on stage, you said something like “we weren’t different than a man like G. Bush”. Can you go deeper on that matter please?


What I meant was, that George Bush is just a product of our society. He was elected (well, more or less…) by the majority of a very big country and with that, I assume that a lot of people agree with what he represents and what he is. So he is just a product of our modern wealth and norms. We (every single one of us) are the ones that live these rules. It’s on us to change them. But actually this statement was for the song ‘As I Bleed’.


There are men like Bush that are the responsible for many Latin American’s (and other people around the globe) death. I’m not an American and I didn’t elect him. How can Bush be the product of my society, when to me everything indicates that the most influenced country in the world is the USA, the country that wanted him as president?


We’re responsible for people like him, as our own politicians are more or less the same as him. Well, not that evil but they’re getting close. Since we accept an economical system that is so very dependent on powerful countries, like America is. Because of that and the fact that you mentioned the U$ as an influential country, it is hard for our politicians and for ourselves to criticise him.
First of all, we’re not really better, we, meaning our countries/our economy, do the same crap, although we’re not following our goals as open and clearly as the Americans do.
Secondly, we’re afraid of the consequences and the impact that criticism would have, especially in a time with a stagnating economy. You know, politicians that want to be re-elected and therefore have to offer jobs to the people. So they can’t take the risk to throw over with such an important country. We can take the simple example: Europe (well some countries) criticized the war on Iraq. Meanwhile, after the Iraqi people are freed (hahaha!) it comes to the reconstruction, which means jobs e.g., so the countries that dared to open their mouths will be punished by not getting any of the jobs.
In fact the whole process is way more complex of course, but you wanted me to keep it short…hopefully you know what I mean. It wasn’t an easy task you gave me.


Before we go any further with this interview. Year 2003 is almost gone so please give me your five favourites CDs and gigs of the year.


- The new Hot Water Music cd “Caution”
They are my all time favourite band. Listening to their old CDs and reading the lyrics helped me through very bad times, so it’s no wonder I do adore them.

- Dark Tranquillity “Damage Done”
Well it’s not really a new cd, but hell they’re really awesome. I like Scandinavian music. You’re all very good musicians. I once thought that it might be your long winters where you have nothing else to do than practising. I might be wrong? Maybe you can tell me why it is like this?


Well, to start with I’m not Swedish I’m Latin American. And secondly, I think a combination of resources and talent is the reason why so many Swedes are good musicians. Which are the other three releases of the year?


Knowing that you’re Latin American it must be even worse for you to experience the dark and cold season. Jesus Christ! You poor little fella…


You can’t even imagine…


Ok, the others three are:

- Hatebreed “The Rise of Brutality”
I just like it! Mosh it up baby! Maybe there’s a little (wanna be) tough guy somewhere in me… hahaha!

- Radiohead “Hail to the Thief”
I think, that I don’t have to lose any more words; they’re just so very godly.

- Devil Ate my Son “Where Ghosts Roam”
They’re friends of us and we toured Europe earlier this year. It’s just so very amazing to play with these guys and hang out with them. So it’s no wonder the CD reminds me of these times, apart from that I do like the music very much.


What kind of name is that and what kind of music do they play?


I guess the name is just as weird and funny as these guys are. This is the only explanation that might be true. I don’t know. What kind of music? Well it’s always hard to describe music, think of converge mixed with even more metal (the drummer is so very ass kicking!). It’s not the typical mosh craziness. It’s something special; at least for me since they’re my friends and great guys to hang out with.


… and the show are?


- Good shows… well there where some shows during our tour, especially the one we played in Budapest Hungary. Amazing people that went totally crazy! It was so wicked (some even knew the lyrics, this was one of the most amazing moments…)

- Muse (well I don’t really now whether you meant our gigs or just shows I went to…) what can I say? It’s basically the same as it is with Radiohead: They’re great!

- I liked our gig in Belgium this year very much at the Goodlife fest. It’s cool to meet so many people from all over Europe. Apart from that it’s always funny to be on big hardcore shows to see what’s in at the moment (it’s more like a big fashion show) and of course Shai Hulud played, which again made the fest a very good one.

- We played some nice shows in Switzerland. The kids over there are always so very nice to us, so we really like playing there.
I guess that’s it, unfortunately I can’t remember all the shows we played… really… I’m sorry!


Christmas is near, do you like this time of the year?


Well Christmas, what can I say?
Of course I do hate it so very much to go into the shops sometime in October and see all the bleedin´ decoration, but apart from that there are some nice aspects about it. Like the whole family gathering and lighting lights, which is a nice thing in the dark season… but again I do hate this flashy lightcrap that looks so very American. All that kitsch, I do hope this word exists in English… I’m not sure?
What I don’t like about it, too, is the way everybody stairs in the streets. I don’t know whether you have noticed that empty, but at the same time very fixed look in the faces, “I have to get the perfect present!” you know what I mean? Sad, very sad… people rushing through the streets not caring about anyone, because they only care about their presents. The funniest thing about it, in the evening in front of the tree they pretend to care for everybody. That’s sad as well! Another thing that is very sad is that self-made things aren’t considered to be very special.
The worst thing about it is that there are some old people in Germany (actually there’re quite a lot of ‘em) that save their whole money. And instead of spending it on food or heating, they buy the most expensive goods for their grandchildren so they consider them as cool grandparents. That’s so very odd, don’t you think?
But in the end the original meaning of the fest is a really nice one, although it’s fading away to give light, warmth and love in a time where these things are very rare… so in the end it’s on everybody to decide how to celebrate. Of course I’m happy if I get a nice present. I’d lie if I’d say I wouldn’t. But it doesn’t need to be a very expensive one… for example I painted a picture for my girlfriend. I made the frame and everything by myself. So it wasn’t very expensive. But I think that she’ll like it… if not I beat the shit out of her! Hahaha!


In case she doesn’t like it, put the new Hatebreed album and practise some kickboxing mosh moves on her, hahaha!


This is a really good idea, cheers mate!
But on the other hand I want her to like hardcore and metal music. It would be negative conditioning if I’d combine it with punches… so I’d better don’t!


No, but seriously thought!
I don’t find very odd the fact that an expensive gift gives some sort of better grandparents status. Everything is just settled, like a silent conspiracy. And the companies are just being smart. They’re attacking the mind of the children. Just look at McDonald and its Happy Meals, they’re feeding tomorrow’s consumer. And the same goes for toys, dolls, etc. The advertising are being broadcasted in between the cartoons so the kids are powerless and so are the grandparents, the uncles, the godparents, etc. Maybe they just want to please the most precious child for ‘em. Who knows?


The conspiracy idea is somehow too easy if you ask me. We would deny the free will if we just blame some faceless huge company. But I do see your point. Somehow I can agree to certain points.
What I wonder about is the fact where the desire to posses comes from. It’s so easy for advertisement to implant a wish into us, because we’re always looking for happiness. So if we’re feeling sad, we’re used to go to a shop and buy something nice for us or we drink, or smoke or do other “funny” things. The bad thing is, that this high feeling doesn’t last too long. So we have to consume again… and again and again. The worst thing is that I already reflected on this behaviour in myself and still it’s so very hard to not act like this. I think that we’re used to live an easy life. We’re not thinking about our real problems. We’re used to run away from ourselves, we care about fictive people in soap operas and stars, since they seem to lead a more interesting life that we do. Every form of consumption is just a way to flee from our inner voice that tries to tell us what we’re really looking for, the bad thing is it’s talking very, very quiet and it’s so very hard for us to listen to it, as our modern world is very loud.
The one thing one has to understand (and I really mean understand) is that happiness and luck can never be bought. It’s hard work to achieve this (maybe we never will) and it will take a lot of time, meanwhile we’re used to get things in the blink of an eye. If it takes too long it’s crap, it’s bad, it’s old fashioned… accelerate or die… we seem to be heading exactly the wrong way. But if a single person finds out what really counts for his life and lives after it. He’s (or she...) weird. Because this person doesn’t live after our societies rules… wait this is turning out to be some kind of conspiracy thing as well… damn it!
Another point might be, that our whole economy is based on consumption/production of goods. Most of them are unnecessary, but who cares? If we would return to the basic needs, or even worse, produce everything we need autonomous-ly, this whole system would collapse. On the other hand maybe are we too civilized to turn around? I don’t know. But what concerns me most is the fact that we live in a world in which maybe only five to ten percent have thoughts like these, it’s always very complicated.
First of all my English is not as good as it should be to express in a clear way how I’m feeling and thinking.
Secondly with this topic I get from one point to the next so very quickly. Our world is so complicated that I normally shouldn’t dare to feel like I understand it. I can only just tell how I feel and since it’s winter at the moment it might be too negative… I don’t know?
I feel like I manoeuvred myself into some sort of dead end now…
What was the next question?


This is actually not a question it’s a quote taken from the movie ‘the Boondock Saints’.
"We must all fear evil men, but there is another king of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men”
What do you’ve to say about that?


I don’t know the movie. But I think I can agree with that (If I got it right…).
Maybe this is the point why we have so much unnecessary bloodshed going on among the religions. They’re all basically the same but still every single one claims to be better and right. Tell me if I misunderstood the quote. But I think this fits to it.


It fits, but not only as a religious matter.
The idea, I think (?) is to point out that good people are just minding their own business. Despite the fact that they’re aware of some ugly things that are going on around the globe, in their neighbourhood or houses they don’t do much about it. I reminded of that quote when you previously said, “But what concerns me most is the fact that we live in a world in which maybe only five to ten percent have thoughts like these”.
What do you’ve to say about that now?


Ok, I think I see the point now… when I did my-apprentice-ship, my teacher once said something that might fit in here as well. Think global act local.
According to your quote most of the “good men” don’t even do that… well. This is kind of tricky, as I said; I’m concerned that so many people don’t even think like this. I believe that there have to be thoughts before there’s any action. First there’s got to be an idea. And then… maybe the quote is very right.
I think that so many people have found out that so many things aren’t going the right way but they’re afraid to change the situation because they fear the consequences… as I said; as soon as you’re not functioning like our society thinks you should, you’re weird.
For example, as soon as one would say… our prosperity is only found on the exploitation of others (which we all know is true…) and I don’t want to be part of it any more, he/she is something like a total weirdo. It’s very hard to put such complex thoughts into English… I hope you know what I mean. What I wanted to say is, that one could compare our society with a ladder. Every person tries to climb as high as possible. We kick on the ones below and are nice to ones above us so we might get even higher. But just imagine if anyone would criticize this whole system. He’d fall down the whole ladder and everyone would kick him. No one wants that. And this is the tricky thing about society. It forces every member to stick to the rules. If not… well
So this circumstance might be a reason for the “good men”…


I read that your first demo was basically pure old school hardcore. How come your current sound is a blend of bands like At the Gates, Converge, Give Up The Ghost and Radiohead? Just to name a few.


We found Fear My Thoughts a long time ago. It was back in ’97 during that time we were very much in oldschool. I was one of the biggest Sick Of It All and Slapshot fans one can imagine. Apart from that everyone, except for Patrick (the guitar man), wasn’t too skilled. So it was the easiest thing for us to play old school. After some time we felt that we should combine more of the music that we liked; old school is really nice but you can’t be really creative with it. A point that changed our music as well was Markus (the other guitar man) joining us. He had and still has great ideas and so we kept pushing the limits and the style… well and we still try to do it so.
By the way, I have to admit that I didn’t really accept anything besides the old school hardcore as being hardcore when I was at that age. It was all about being tattooed and playing fast music, well this was my definition about hardcore. This all changed when Pat took me to a Boy Sets Fire show in Switzerland. It was so amazing, because these people really had something to say. With this experience my horizon spread and widened.


It enlarged your horizon in order to understand that hardcore is not just a music style?


Yes definitely!
Before that it was just music, of course music that had a message, but I wasn’t so aware of the fact that there’s so much more. Well, that there should be so much more… unfortunately not everyone has been to a Boy Sets Fire concert, if you know what I mean. I really like going to shows that inspire whether it’s musical wise, thoughts, or just a certain feeling. That’s what it’s all about… I think


Besides Boy Sets Fire, which other bands has inspired you?


As I already mentioned Hot water music! Great music, great lyrics…what more can you say?
If it comes to deeper thoughts and how to share them I definitely have to mention Reversal of Man, Refused, International Noise Conspiracy, Catharsis, Creation is Crucifixion… just to name a few.
Musical wise? hmm… In Flames, Soilwork, Death, Iron Maiden, although I’ll never be able to sing like Brucie boy…


I know you signed to Lifeforce Records, will we see something new from you this year?


Yes you will. Actually we’re already finished with everything. The whole record is complete. Ok, there’s still some mastering work to be done, but it won’t be released until some time around April/May (meanwhile we know that it will be on the 10th of April). They are about to put out a lot of bands before us, so we’ll have to wait. I do hope you’ll enjoy it. I for myself am the first time really content with it!


What? What is wrong with ‘Vitriol’, ‘23’ and the split with Fear is the Path to the Dark Side? I’ve your two latest releases (not ‘23’) and I think there are really good! Any surprise with the new album?


I think it’s always like this, you record a new album and while you listen to the finished CD there are some things that could have been done better, or the sound could have been better e.g. This time I don’t feel like this.
We had eight days to record our stuff. And I feel that one can really hear that. Furthermore we went to a different studio this time, the last one was great as well but the recording- guy wasn’t really “metal”. So he really didn’t have a clue what we wanted the sound to be like… you know?
This time we had two real metal-heads doing the recording and you can really hear it. It’s just great! These guys forced me to record my voice over and over again until they we’re satisfied. So they really pushed my limits. But I’m glad they did it! A friend of mine said that he had always really enjoyed Fear My Thoughts but he did never really like my voice. This time he’s totally convinced.

This new album is more metal, definitely. But it wouldn’t be Fear my Thoughts if there weren’t any crazy “emo-rock-what-do-I-know” parts in it. Hard to explain! Just listen to it and find out for yourself.
In a way I’m afraid that I’m getting the expectations too high now… damn it! Hopefully I’m not getting any complaints about this later, so I’d better stop now!


Thank you Mathias for sharing your thoughts I think Cara A Cara couldn’t have started 2004 in a better way. Last thoughts ‘cause the end has come!


Thank you very much for your interest in Fear My Thoughts. I really enjoyed doing the interview!


Any last thoughts…


First of all I really want a lot of people to check out Devil Ate My Son. These guys really rock and I feel that they should get more attention, since I consider them to be very, very good. Check out their stuff!
Take care and thanks again. It was a pleasure!
Hopefully we’ll meet each other someday.
Cheers!


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