Starting as a side project TESTIFY became noticed for their experimental electronic/industrial technique. One listen to their album Mmmyaoooo, will dispel any idea that they are a side project now. They are at present signed to Van Richter Records. TESTIFY's sound is unique, solid and extremely enjoyable. We'll be hearing more from them. Recently I had the opportunity to interview Myk Jung of TESTIFY, with the greatly appreciated assistance of Paul Abramson of Van Richter Records and email.
Black Moon: Who makes up TESTIFY?
Myk: Okay let me start with Moses W. He's the chief guitarman in TESTIFY '96 and boss for this year. He's also Catholic, a songwriter and arranger and wearer of Mickey Mouse Shirts. There's also Mathias Black, TESTIFY's guiding ear and chief sound man. Then there is Myk (that's me), songwriter, vocals and wearer of Satanic shirts (har!). New to our scene is ULF. He joined the band quite recently and is the new second guitar player. I would also like to mention two of the '93 original members who left TESTIFY recently: Rascal, boss for '94 and bass guitarist; and L'O boss for '93 and first guitarist. We three, Rascal, L'O and myself were originally members of THE FAIR SEX band.
Black Moon: How would you describe the TESTIFY sound?
Myk: It is Harsh Wrath music. Of course, this is a definition of my own. It is some where between industrial-metal-and alternative. It's angry!
Black Moon: I really enjoyed MMMYAOOOO. How does this CD differ from the previous TESTIFY music?
Myk: Well compared with the early stuff from 1993 and 1994, the TESTIFY sound has grown from the more alternative-punk-industrial sound to have more of the metal sound. I would say this is definately due to the influence of Moses and Adam Grossman (Skrew) who help us compile and make this album.
Black Moon: Where did the name MMMYAOOOO come from? Does it have a special meaning?
Myk: That's a good one. MMMMYAOOOO is a quotation from a fantasy book of Terry Pruchard. It means something like a scream of enthusiasm.
Black Moon: I know that TESTIFY started as a side project while you were still in THE FAIR SEX. Is THE FAIR SEX still active?
Myk: THE FAIR SEX had some difficulties throughout the last two years. I'm not quite sure if I will ever meet Blonder again. He was a TFS member for more than ten years. For me this is quite a sad fact. But someday I think that Rascal and myself with the help of L'O will create another TFS album.
Black Moon: How does TESTIFY's music differ from THE FAIR SEX's?
Myk: THE FAIR SEX's music is not as harsh as TESTIFY's although it started as a very brutal sounding band in the mid eighties. TESTIFY as with all bands has gone through quite a development - more in the electronic field than the crazy TFS thing. TESTIFY is not that guitar dominated.
Black Moon: What was the driving force to start TESTIFY?
Myk: Yeah that was THE FAIR SEX. By 1992 were were not happy or satisfied with what had become of TFS. It had become so mild, so soft. So much so that even we were astonished. Remember "Spell of Joy" album? Well that's the sound that was TFS in 1992. We wanted to go back to our roots - to go back to angry, loud and aggressive music! So, we created TESTIFY.
Black Moon: Who writes the music for TESTIFY?
Myk: I guess you can say we all have input at times. But for this album MMMYAOOOO, most of the writing as well as arrangements were done by Moses and myself.
Black Moon: Any particular theme/themes that you would like to get across in your music?
Myk: Always the same! Depressing themes-anger!...dissatisfaction!...insane weird tales like Pink Goblin!
Black Moon: How long have you been on the Van Richter Records label?
Myk: We released our first record on the Van Richter label in April 1994. On that same day, I think that they released the first TESTIFY album, they also released the TFS album - Machine Bites, which is a compilation of the early and greatest hits(har!) for the American market.
Black Moon: Any tours in the near future? How many cities? Any on the east coast?
Myk: We are still trying to put together plans for a US tour. It will probably begin in Germany. I'll give you more details at a later date.
Black Moon: What are your favorite venues?
Myk: I think most American readers would not be interested in my 'personal' favorite venues since most of them concern small European cities, especially ones which they have never heard the names of. Please! get us to United States so we can play there...then we will be able to tell you more.
Black Moon: What music do you listen to?
Myk: At the moment I'm listening to Drown...their '94 album, where you can find classics like "What it is to Burn". I have to admit that I listen to this album very often. I think it's very beautiful. I also have been listening to Garbage, especially during the latter days of July '96. And, the new Killing Joke album. These are three of my favorites nowadays.
Black Moon: What's next for TESTIFY?
Myk: Our next step?...hum...dominate the world!
Black Moon: Thanks for the interview. Any final statements you would like to make? Any upcoming plans you would like to share with us?
Myk: Now, I know what it is to burn...
Black Moon: Okay?! (I hope he means that figuratively)
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