Tommy T.: Give us a brief history of "Testify".
Myk: It was in 1992 that we started to get bored by "The Fair Sex". We had a compilation out in the States on Machine Bites, but we were not that satisfied then. We were thinking that it had become a little too soft, too melodic, and we needed a new project for letting out the aggression and the original anger. So we had in mind to start a very loud, aggressive, angry project. And that's why Rascal (former Fair Sex guitar player) and me started this "Testify" project.
Tommy T.: How and when did you hook up with Paul of Van Richter Records?
Myk: He asked our former label "Rough Trade" in Germany where "Die Krupps" and "Enstr. Newb." are from if they had several bands for him to license in the States and they offered him "The Fair Sex" and "Testify", and he took both bands. And I even think he released both bands on the very same day in April, 1994.
Tommy T.: How has the purpose and goal of "Testify" changed since the beginning. Has it become more of a serious thing now?
Myk: It was a side project back in the old days, but nowadays it's even more important than "The Fair Sex". Now it's a chance for us to create some new stuff but nowadays, "Testify" is a real band. It started as a side project with three of "The Fair Sex" members. Now I'm the only former member left in "Testify".
Tommy T.: Why don't you tell us a little bit about some of the songs on the CD "Mmmyaaooo".
Myk: Yes, "Mmmyaaooo" is a very strange word from a science fiction book by Terry Pruchard and it means something like shout of enthusiasm or amazement.
Tommy T.: Why don't you tell us about some of the songs on the album? What are they about?
Myk: Lyric wise there are many themes on this album. Some weird fantasy stories like "Pink Goblins" and "Lethal Viper" working with strange metaphors. Some themes even come into my mind from pure intuition. You know you have some words in your head like pink goblins, pink goblins and then you start thinking about strange words.
Tommy T.: How about "Under Queen Whore's Protection"?
Myk: It was very strange, it was funny how it was created because I had to record this title in the studio and in the morning I had not a single word for the lyrics and I started three hours before I had to go to the studio. And then two hours before I had to be there this story came into being. It's a funny story, not serious, of course. How very bad evil people like "Daglord called humiliation or mastermind of investigation tormentor Ian Grief" who get suddenly very good, very pure, very Christian like. And so they start to praise the light and forget their old life of evilness. And so the Queen Whore of course is very wicked. She's the Queen in a land where crude, sexual games have to be played. And all of the sudden the virgin style becomes popular in the land of Queen Whore. And that's the story of under "Queen Whore's Protection".
Tommy T.: That's excellent! Do you guys play a lot of shows in Germany and with who?
Myk: Not recently. We're going to play in autumn. I hope there will be gigs in the States as well. We are talking to Adam of Skrew. We hope perhaps that something live will happen, but I'm not quite sure. In Germany, we play gigs, of course. The last tour was in 1994, I think. There were several activities with support for "Die Krupps" and then some festivals with "Cubanate". But that was two years back and we're going to start with a new live tour. In 1995 we had "The Fair Sex" album and tour. So we're going to start again after two years with "Testify" and hopefully in the states as well - later this year or early next year.
Tommy T.: That would be great. Have you guys ever been in the States before for anything?
Myk: We have not played there yet. I was there in L.A. with Paul.
Tommy T.: Did you like California?
Myk: Yeah, it was cool.
Tommy T.: Tell us about some of the bands you've liked and admired from the beginning to now.
Myk: Most times I don't give them away because all at once, you see, my influence is all pumped into one project. In the mid- 80's when "The Fair Sex" started it was more of the electronic field. For example, one of my all-time favorite bands was "Skinny Puppy" - the most genius bands of all. They were never reached by any other band. Here in Europe we always had a guitar player in our band. "Sisters of Mercy" and "Front 242" were important in the old days. Nowadays, "Ministry" (even the new album) is great and Nine Inch Nails of course. But I even like things that are not so near to the fields that we are working in. Garbage is the album I've listened to the last week. I must mention "Drown", last year when I was in L.A. Paul gave me this "Drown" record from last year with "What It Is To Burn".
Tommy T.: Yeah, they're excellent live, too.
Myk: They are a very, very great band for me.
Tommy T.: Did you know they got dropped from their label? Maybe we can get them to go to Van Richter.
Myk: I know that, and it's always a pity for me because bands like "The Fair Sex" and "Drown" are not famous.
Tommy T.: Dude, I can't believe that "Labyrinth" album got overlooked out here. It's a fucking great album.
Myk: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Have you ever received the "Labyrinth" cyber-bite story?
Tommy T.: Yeah, it's a really great futuristic story. Did you write it?
Myk: Yeah (he laughs).
Tommy T.: I've heard that you draw a lot of your Iyrics from fantasy and science fiction short stories. Tell us some of your favorite pieces of literature.
Myk: Let's see. Some of my ideas are drawn from comic books. When I was a little younger "Marvel Comics" were one of my total favorites; and some from the late 60's. Nowadays, the greatest comic I think that was ever written is a "DC" comic "The Sand Man". It's totally great - you must check it out.
Tommy T.: What are some of your favorite tracks on the new album?
Myk: My personal favorite tracks are "Lethal Viper", "Dumb", "Under Queen Whore's Protection", and the dark ballad "Quest of Nothing".
Tommy T.: Is "Lethal Viper" the one with the weird science fiction sample - the flesh simulating sample?
Myk: Yeah, it's from an old science fiction movie called "The Blob".
Tommy T.: Yeah, I thought that sounded familiar. "The Blob" was a great movie. I want to state in this interview that you are one of my favorite vocalists because of the diversity between "The Fair Sex" and "Testify". Are there any vocalists that you feel that way about, any favorites?
Myk: As I mentioned earlier, one vocalist I really like is Nivek Ogre from "Skinny Puppy".
Tommy T.: Any metal?
Myk: Metal? No, I'm not into that metal direction too far. I appreciate "Pantera" for example and "White Zombie" - who is not quite real metal bands. "Fear Factory" of course is amazing. Those three bands I like the vocalizations from, but I don't like the 80's metal.
Tommy T.: None of that high vocalist stuff.
Myk: I think that's the reason I was never into metal in the 80's, but nowadays there's a new direction like "Pantera" and so on. I can get more into that.
Tommy T.: Yeah, most of the people I've found that like "Testify" are a cross between the people you'd find in the pit and open-minded lovers of music. Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this interview. Great chatting with you and getting to know more about you and your bands.
Myk: Yes, it's good for my tormented soul hearing some stuff of enthusiasm.
Tommy T.: Yeah, I think your music is deserving of attention and we're trying to spread the word as much as we can on your new album.
Myk: In this wave of enthusiasm, I want to play there of course. So I hope it will happen in the near future.
Tommy T.: I look forward to seeing you live!
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