Interview with Myk and Kullf of Testify

Interview by Jacek

COC: How did the band start and when?

Myk: Testify was founded in autumn 1992, and although band-newcomers like Kullf do not like to be reminded of this: It started as a side-project of The Fair Sex, this bunch of not at all relaxed black-mooded old guys. In those 92-days these wretched Dark Wavers had to realize that they had grown fluffy and soft, and despite their gloriously unique sound they felt something missing in this sound: the bite of aggression, or so. And so they planned to make something new, hot with boiling anger.
Kullf: Myk, your old phrases! Nobody's really interested in those early days. You Fair Sexers took a Ministry-album, because that was the only group in that direction that you used to know, and then you tried to copy it...
Myk: A vain attempt! But it comes intoo my mind that you were not supposed to give away our well hidden secret...

COC: Since your beginnings are connected to the band THE FAIR SEX, what happened to that outfit after its members joined TESTIFY? Why did they join it in the first place?

Myk: In 1993, The Fair Sex made a little break, at least recordingwise, to have time for their fresh project, for almost all TFS'ler were involved in Testify those times, as well as Mathias Black, the old TFS-engineer. On stage they tried to disguise themselves, so that nobody knew who really was acting: nobody wanted The Fair Sex then, exactly like in the following years.
Kullf: As I perhaps mentioned before: this is far from being interesting

COC: Nearly every review compares to guys to Ministry. Does it piss you off or you couldn't care less?

Kullf: Har! The old Testify-crew is proud beyond compare! That's what they prayed for in 1992! The "German Ministry"! Ha!
Myk: Nobody should forget that I do not care about any comparisions.
Kullf: And you should not forget that nobody believes this.

COC: I remember that after hearing your very first release I wasn't too impressed. By the time I heard "MMMYYYAAAOOO" it was like you had totally changed into a new (and much better) band. What happened that caused this impressive transformation?

Kullf: The first album was done in haste... Done in haste by Dark Wavers who did not know how to handle guitar-sounds and proper song-writing, you mean
Myk: Indeed I have to confess that the influence of Moses, mainly, and perhaps a little bit of Kullf changed the Testify sound to better results...
Kullf: You should be free to admit that during recording the first Testify-album you old TFS'lers had not the slightest idea of the more metal-bound Industrial regions. You only knew Front 242 and this kinda shit
Myk: And Ministry!
Kullf: Moses introduced Myk to bands he had never heard before, in 1995 or so, and then Myk had to realize that not only The Fair Sex-sound was somehow paltry, but the first Testify-album as well!
Myk: I don't really like how you state thinx

COC: Some of your lyrics have a political twist to them, but I believe this is mostly the playground of Myk. What would the rest of the band prefer to sing about?

Kullf: Aah! Myk! Lyric questions! Tell them that I would like more lyrics about German beer, and little wicked nasty girls and...
Myk: The band stands thoroughly behind the lyrics that I burden the Testify-construct with!
Kullf: It's still the good avenger with his just anger, eh!? Very smart, Myk.

COC: Industrial/metal is the genre you are classified into most of the time. Which of these two (i.e. industrial or metal) is really closer to you. If you could only have 1 CD and you would have to choose between Neubauten's "Kollaps" and Bolt Thrower's "The IVth Crusade", which one would you select?

Kullf: I know what Myk will say to this! Don't ask him! He even does not know Bolt Thrower, I bet!
Myk: That... uh might be right
Kullf: Testify is torn apart. The new members coming from the more Metal-or-whatever-you-might call-this-scene will kick Myk out, I foretell!

COC: Compared to early 1980s industrial (Neubauten, SPK, Test Department, SWANS, Laibach, etc.), do you think today's industrial scene manages to maintain the same level of extremity, brutality and experimentation?

Myk: Do you know Cabaret Voltaire or Art Of Noise? Things like that represented the 80's definition of Industrial here in Germany. In my opinion the somewhat mutated 90's-version of Industrial, for example Ministry and Testify, only to name two of the most important...
Kullf: Myk, what is it that you wanted to say?
Myk: Brutality, extremity... for me are reached by the nowadays-version of Industrial. Not experimentation, if you want to know my personal view. Many somehow more traditional features have taken over the reign... The Metal guitars, the more natural-sounding drums, less electronic-games...
Kullf: So Industrial has become better. That' s what you wanted to say, eh?!
Myk: Ah yes. Of course. Rory Gallagher probably would prefer Ministry to Art Of Noise

COC: I think LAIBACH is possibly the most brilliant industrial band ever. How come there's no Laibach influences in your music and when do you plan to incorporate them, dammit?

Kullf: We incorporate Skinny Puppy-features, because Myk thinks THEY were the most brilliant Industrial band ever...
Myk: I really don't know why Moses didn't tell you before doing this interview not to give away the wellst hidden secrecies!
Kullf: Moreover Myk brings somehow Laibach-elements into his other project Nice Gods Bleed, another very poor - but funny- project.
Myk: What might be the next question?

COC: OK, enough of these pleasantries. Let's get down to the music. Let's start off with "MMMYYYAAAOOO". How did the guys from Skrew manage to help you with the overall quality of that album. Without them behind the console, do you think it would still have been as good?

Myk: It was Adam Grossman himself of Skrew, and only him, who was involved in the process. And I would like to know his opinion about the whole thing. He didnot seem to be too satisfied when he left Germany, because we had not finished half of the mixes when he flew back...
Kullf: Yeah, but you orientated the rest of the mixes on the ones you had done with him, Myk!
Myk: I have not in mind to diminish the influence he had! He did some great arrangement-work, he gave important instruction during the guitar-recording-sessions...
Kullf: He told you how to HOLD a guitar, more likely!
Myk: I am not content with how you think about the Testify-phases before you became a REAL member in early 1996. Nevertheless- I fear I think the album would have not been as good as it is, if he had not been involved...
Kullf: You don't like to admit things like that, eh? I grow to be proud of you!

COC: If you had to re-do that album today, is there anything you would change?

Myk: I would change thinxs on any album I have ever released, with one exception. And that is MMMYAOOOO.
Kullf: Again in the theatrical phase, Myk? What about mentioning that you, old grey crow, with all your silly projects have released more than twelve albums or so?
Myk: I was just about to mention that.

COC: Coming to your new release "Crack The Mind", how did the idea arise to make an album split between new songs and remixes of old ones? It's not such a common concept...

Myk: This is no full-length-release as the Testifylers would have preferred it. We had enough material to make a real successor of MMMYAOOOO. But the budget was too small. So we agreed with the label to make a mini-album, with one remix or so. The remix-sector grew during the centuries.

COC: I heard rumours that Justin Broadrick was supposed to be doing one of the remixes? Was that a possibility at any point?

Myk: Indeed, and perhaps I should call him and ask why this idea was not realized... To some phase of the planning Drown, for example, who I adore, were in the ring of remixers, as well as Swamp Terrorists... Don't know what became of these plans... You ought to ask the label Van Richter

COC: I was surprised by the fact that most of the remixes actually take away some of the intensity of your music (mostly by removing or thinning out the guitar sound). Was that what you expected or you expected something more extreme from the artists that remixed you?

Kullf: Yeah, not enough guitars! Didn't I tell you, Myk?
Myk: We only concrentrated on the new stuff, the new Testfy-titles, the rest was up to the label - to do the connection to other artists, and so on... Some of the remixes we heard only after releasing the whole thing. But they are astonishing, because all of them concentrated on the more electronical features... So we have a very amazing result: While Testify itself is strengthening the guitar-side of their sound, the remixers built a second, totally new half of the mini-album: the side we did not know
Kullf: The Quest Of Nothing-remix is sooo great!

COC: If you had a chance to remix a song by some other artist yourself, who would you choose?

Kullf: Hey, Myk, now you must say Jumping Jack Flash. Contact Keith Richards for the master-tapes!
Myk: I think Kullf has already the Soundgarden-numbers, to ask them for a remix of Black Hole Sun, eh!?

COC: How would you describ Testify live? Is it more intense on the record or the same?

Myk: How should I know? I never experience Testify only from the middle of the stage...
Kullf: You don't watch the videos, eh? Too dissapointing, what?
Myk: Testify has grown thru-out the years, the live-intensity has improved - probably indeed due to the capabilities of Kullf and Bull (bass) and Sven (drums), I have to admit.
Kullf: Only the microphone-holder remains the weak point.

COC: Germany is one of the most metal-crazed place on this planet. Does that translate into a larger level of support for you in good old Deutschland versus other countries?

Myk: I'm not interested in Germany. I think it's pure random where you were born into. Where you were thrown on this planet of punishment.
Kullf: Ah, the dark philosopher, again, Myk? Meine Verehrung!

COC: What is the long-term direction of Testify? What do you expect to sound like in 5 years?

Kullf: FIVE YEARS? You don't expect me to stay that long in that circle of cretins?
Myk: All of us have already watched out for new activities. Testify has not become as big as Ministry, if you want to know. So probably we will quit and split.
Kullf: I bet that comes as a surprise to the Corridors of Cells, as well as the rest of the world, that Testify is a little less popular than Ministry!

COC: Any last words to the readers?

Myk: Please notice the phenomenon Testify, unless we have to make true our plans of new activities!
Kullf: Sounds like a real pathetic request to buy a Testify-album, eh?
Myk: I have the weird feeling that Moses is more loyal to the interview-schemes of Testify. He should be the second interview-partner next time.
Kullf: Which makes clear you consider yourself as the first partner. You live in dreams, Myk.
Myk and Kullf: Thank you very much, Jacek of COC. These were indeed real plearurable questions, and due to that the whole has become quite long. Hopefully not too long. Thanks and good bye.