Testify: interview with Myk, Bull and Kulf

Interview by Terry

Okay, I know you guys hate answering this question but I figured I'd get it out of the way in the beginning and then you can ENJOY the rest of the interview (hopefully). You've been dubbed "The next Ministry". Does Testify regard this as positive or negative? Do you think that being stereotyped like this is good as it leads to more media interest and record sales?

It will seem to us that this does not lead to more record sales or whatsoever... And we did not make it out by ourselves, this comparison - and ever we are torn between feeling honoured and feeling nerved... But what should writers do? We pity them, almost what other choice may they have to introduce an unknown band - unless they compare their sound to a kind of similiar well-known act?

I understand that Testify began as a side-project of The Fair Sex. How did Testify become a band in its own right?

In the beginning all Testify-members were in truth Fair Sexers. But the line-up changed thru-out the years; and nowadays only Myk is left in the line-up of both bands. Testify grew by getting new personnel - most of them from the Metal/Rock-regions - and a real good live-band developed.

How does Testify compare to The Fair Sex in terms of music, attitude and audience?

Testify is more metal-bound, and The Fair Sex is more electronic Industrial. The Fair Sex sound is softer than the rage of Testify. Testify is fresher and louder. The Fair Sex is more diligent and less spectacular, har.

Your latest album on Van Richter Records is entitled Crack the Mind. Can you tell Revelations readers about it?

This is a sort of mini-album consisting of five new Testify-titles and four remixes of older stuff - remixes by Die Krupps, Die Warzau and Plastic Noise Experience. The remixers revealed the more electronic side of Testify which is kind of hidden in the new material of the band. Beside these facts it's typical Testify-sound: noisy and noisome, and brutal and ugly and wretched. And superflous, regretably.

How did you go about getting legends in the industrial scene like Die Krupps and Die Warzau to remix songs on the album?

Die Krupps we know for quite some time; we supported them on tour some years back - and they come from Dusseldorf in Western Germany, from where some of the Testifylers come as well. The contact to Die Warzau was being brought about by Van Richter, our label.

Are there any other artists/bands who are confirmed to remix your material at a later date? Who would you like to work with in terms of remixing?

We had contacts to Swamp Terrorists which might prove an interesting cooperation, and there are some more contacts but for the time being there's no need to do remixing work for Testify. Trent Raznor we telephone each day discussing this matter with him (OK - that was a lie).

Your music is obviously evolving and the latest release (what I've heard of it I've really enjoyed by the way) is much more in the elektro vein than the previous releases which were more metal influenced. How would you say Crack the Mind compare to Testify's earlier material and do you see this as a natural progression?

This is due to what I have mentioned before: the remixers stressed the electronic side of Testify - so that the impression is aroused that the whole phenomenon Testify progresses intoo more electronic fields . But if you listen to the first five tracks - the real new band-stuff - you'll notice the opposite truth: Testify is going more the metal-direction. But nevertheless we are very satisfied with the remixes. They have done what we did not dare: to lay bare the electronics.

In Australia Industrial bands can only dream of being in the Top 100 for record sales and even an established international act like Front 242 or Front Line Assembly would never make the Top 100. How does this compare to the industrial scene in Germany? What is the popularity of industrial bands in Germany and what kind of media attention do they receive?

In fact there are some German bans that have gained big media interest recently - Lacrimosa, Wolfsheim, Deine Lakeien, Project Pitchfork, Die Krupps for example - and all of them went to high positions in the Top 100. You see their videos on VIVA, the German pendant to MTV (on which you see them as well, sometimes).

How does a German band find itself on an American label like Van Richter Records?

This is very easy to answer, and moreover the sad truth: Nobody else wanted us.

Since joining the label has your exposure in America grown? How many times have you toured the States?

Here in Germany we don't feel so much of a growth. The only US-events so far was live-interview-touring done by Myk, har.

How is the audience reaction to you in America different to Europe?

We can only compare the review-audience, as you may understand now and in this matter it will seem to us that the US press is much more well disposed than the German audience. The reactions in ths States are much more enthusiastic. In Germany they always compare us with this band - what was the name? - Mimikry or something.

It is obvious, both from your previous interviews and albums that the members of Testify have a great sense of humor. The industrial scene, like the gothic scene, is thought to be quite serious and angst-ridden. Is your sense of humor ever misinterpreted and thought to be arrogance or an overly-high opinion of yourselves?

In fact we have read some articles lately that seem to have misinterpreted our statements: we would ever over-estimate ourselves, we would have the touch of arrogance ba ba ba -- even would present ourselves as the better version of Mimikry and alike stuff - and all that nonsense. As if the band would have ever invented the ridiculous slogans by which the labels think to may persuade the audience to buy our records: This the REAL Mimikry - you must buy them! They are harder and louder and less homoerotical! Statements like that are ever embarrassing for us. We are quite aware of this fact and all we are doing is cultivating a tiny bit of humourous weird shit.

What Australian bands, be they industrial or other do you like/listen to/have you heard of?

What comes from Australia? The ones with the bed burning... quite nice. And we know INXS, that some of the Testifylers appriciate as well. And Kullf loves Hard-Ons; and Sven mentioned Johnny Diesel and Celibate Riffles. And there were Mad Max And Pat Cash - what about them? Yeah MMAPC! Our favourites! So, now we've made it. This last statement will manifesture our arrogance image. The only truth is most Germans do not know from which country all the bands in the world come - They come from the US, of course. Or is that an English band? is the only question that occurs sometimes.

What is your favourite German beer?

Myk (vox): Stauder Pils, Moses (gits): Veltins, Kullf (git): Stern Pils Sven: (drums): Krombacher Pils, Bull (bass): Kwstritzer Schwarzbier Mathias (sound-chief): Hannen Alt

Anything you'd like to add?

After mentioning these our favourites we would like to stop the interview and wet our throats.