Sunday, June 14, 2009

INTERVIEW: Open Season

This is an interview with legandary Aussie rockers Open Season courtesy of United & Pissed zine. We will continue to try and bring you interviews every Sunday here at Uprise Direct. Some of the interviews lined up for the near future include: Arghoslent, PC records, Blood Order Co. and others, so keep checking back. The original version of this interview as well as other great ones, with United & Pissed, are available HERE.

Open Season, in my eyes, is one of the classic bands. There is not a lot of documentation about your band’s history. Normally the “give your band history question” is typical and boring. In this situation I think it is appropriate. Introduce yourself and your role in the band. What years was OS active and when did you officially disband?
My name is Jim and I play bass and now sing as well in the band, Open Season were formed at the end of 88 early 89 and stopped playing 91. Frontline Fighters was the only album that we recorded, though we did record an ep worth of extra songs and appeared on several compilations and a split single with Legion 88, Who knows there could be other bootlegs out there hahaha. The band had several members over it's time together and now there are only 2 remaining original members Hilly and myself. The original line up was Hilly, Anna and myself, Later our friend Gary joined the band on vocals, he was replaced after one show by Dave and Anna left and was replaced by Russell (sticks) Scouse and Allan both played guitar in the band at different times. Our main influence at the time was Skrewdriver and Brutal Attack.We also listened to a lot of oi and metal. A lot of other R.A.C. bands were starting around the same time as us who we really liked Bound for Glory, Mid Town Boot Boys, No Remorse and Squadron. We had quite a few originals and did covers by Skrewdriver, No remorse, 4 skins, combat 84 etc. There was probably enough original songs for 2 albums by the time that we disbanded.

I understand that Kommando was an Open Season band. Please give us some details about that band. The only songs I have from that band were released as a split CD with Macht & Ehre. Is that the band’s only release?
Kommando was a side project that I started with some other guys. We recorded a couple of songs in the studio and some in my friends lounge room. I gave this tape to a few friends when I was living in England and I have no idea how this was released as a cd, I have never even heard the CD. The songs war and sick woman were recorded with one of my friends Tottenham Mark singing, the other tracks as I said were recorded in my friends lounge room with a drum machine, the vocals were recorded in the toilet for more echo and a lot of beer was consumed hahaha.. The songs were never really finished properly. Funnily enough the best songs that we recorded properly in the studio are not on that split cd, I think I am the only person with a copy of them. I'm sure if i gave them to anyone they would be released on a cd somewhere. Kommando only played one gig which was supporting Open Season.

Could you give us some history on the recording of the “Frontline Fighters” LP? How was that experience? Any interesting stories?
The recording of Frontline Fighters was only supposed to be a demo. This was recorded in a studio that a guy had built in his house in a posh sydney suburb. I don’t think he expected what we were going to play. At the time he had no problem with us, and we recorded the tracks over 2 Saturdays. However when we went back there a few months later to record the songs R.I.P. Devils Guard and Who Dares Wins, he let us know that he wouldn't record any sieg heiling as this had upset his neighbours terribly. Luckily the 3 songs mentioned didn't have any sieg heiling in them when they were written. It was good recording the songs and at the time we were really excited as we had never recorded anything properly before. But like I said this was recorded only as a demo, we thought we would go back in again and record them and spend a bit more time doing each song. We were stoked when we heard that Rebelles wanted to put it straight out as an album. At the time none of us had any experience in recording, we barely knew how to play our instruments haha. It's a pity because the album would have been a lot better. The tapes would have been finalized here and the opportunity to adjust them would not have happened..
Upon the first listen of “Frontline Fighters”, the lyrics immediately pop out as being extremely “in your face”. Was that the goal at that time?
Our plan when we started the group was to be a true White Power Skinhead band that we would like to see. I was writing the lyrics from things that we were noticing were happening around us at the time. We were quite open and in your face in our beliefs back then, wherever we went people knew we were NS skinheads. We were the first extreme right wing skinhead band in sydney. At the time no one out side of the skinhead / punk scene had heard of R.A.C. but every now and then there would be news reports on racist skinheads running amok through Europe and the US. The press then got onto us as well and we started getting some mention on TV and in the newspapers.
Also could you tell us about the difference between the vinyl version Rebelles Europeens released and NS Records’ ( Denmark ) CD version? On the vinyl, only the vocals and drums can be heard. On the CD you can actually hear the guitars. Was there a mistake in the studio mix or was it an error by the record label?
Haha you have noticed, when we received the albums from Rebelles and put them on we could not believe what they had done to the mix, we still have our copies of our original mixes and they were really good. Apparently though when the tapes were going for pressing in europe the people who were doing it were appalled at the lyrics and did not want to be associated with it at all. The mix was sabotaged and the result is the vinyl version of the album.

Speaking of Rebelles Europeens, how was it working with them?
We didn't really have much contact with them. I do thank them for the support that they did give us by releasing our album.

On your cover of No Remorse’s “Blood Sucker” it is said “one day the world will know that Bruce Ruxton was right”. For those who are not familiar, could you give some insight on him?
Bruce Ruxton was the president of the RSL (Returned Sevices League) this is a nation wide club that supports veterans. They do a lot of good for ex servicemen. At the time of recording the album was when Mandella was released from gaol. Desmond Tutu was very outspoken at the time and was coming to Australia, Bruce was the only person that publicly spoke out against this black terrorist coming to Australia and openly called him a witch doctor. Bruce was massacred by the press for his views as one is who has the balls to speak out openly about non whites or the chosen race.
The last material I bought from your band was around 1998. It was the split 7” with Legion 88. To my knowledge, OS was already broken up during that time. Were you aware of that record or was it a bootleg? Also, the songs that appear, are they from the same recording session as “Frontline Fighters”?
Hilly and myself were speaking about this not that long ago, we have no idea how this was released, same as the kommando songs someone got hold of them and released them. As per an earlier question these songs were recorded at a later session and not the ff recordings. A friend of mine in England actually sent me the single. It seems that if somebody has a tape that they can now turn it into a cd/album whatever.

What about your gig history? Back in the band’s previous history did you play often in your native Australia ? Did you ever have a chance to play elsewhere?
We used to play fairly often back then at least probably once a month. We only played in Australia but played gigs in Sydeney, Melbourne and Canberra regularly. There was a small scene then and was gradually building, we used to play quite often with Phoenix Rising and White Lightning. In Sydney we had no trouble getting gigs, however in Melbourne it was slightly more difficult, however only the one time a venue cancelled us and that was when they threatened to be blown up if we played. We still played that night but in another venue.

So what have you been up to all these years? Are you still in contact with any of the original members of OS?
I still am in contact with Hilly and Anna but no one else, I lived in London for several years and played in some other bands that were not NS but they were nationalistic. We have got jobs and families that do take up a lot of our time, however we are hoping though now to play a couple of shows a year. Where we live there are a lot of old boys from the days when we used to play in Sydney, we all seem to have moved to the same area, with all these people the movement here could get rather large hopefully. We are looking at getting an annual show here.

With the band reformed, do you have some gigs lined up?
Oh yes we are playing the ISD (Australia) this year which will be fantastic, we are really looking forward to this. It was by going to ISD last year that the question was put to us to see if we would reform, We consider it an honour to be invited to play.

Do you plan on recording some new material? If so, can we expect the same straight forward lyrical approach?
Definitely I have been writing a lot of new music and lyrics and it is definitely in the same style. It would not be Open Seasom if it was not straight in your face. Hopefully we will have some new material available by the time of ISD and we are looking into recording that show properly.

I am glad your band is back playing music. Thanks for doing this interview. Final thoughts?
Yes thank you very much for giving us the time for this interview and we would like to thank all the people who have listened too and enjoyed the music over the years. Everyone who has talked to us about the band, sincerely it has been great. We also want to give a plug to 9% productions you can check them on the Blood and Honour Australia page. Keep an eye out on myspace for any new info on Open Season and when we are playing, If anyone has not heard us or does not have the album go to the page and we will give you the songs.
Also we are all aware of what is happening to our race, we all have to do something, As Ian Stuart said join something find what is best for you, but just do something. We can all sit back and do nothing but think of our children and there children and what they will have to face in the future. Thanks WPWW. OS88

No comments:

Post a Comment