Testify: interview with Myk (vocals) and Sven Stone (drums)

Interview by Rick Hinkson

Give us a brief history of the band.

Testify was founded in late 1992 in Essen, Germany. First German releases were in 1993; first US release in 1994. The original line-up started to split before recording the "Mmmyaooo0" album in 1995. Between 1995 and 1998 there were exclusively releases in the States. Since 1996 with new six-men-live-crew playing gigs in Germany. 1998: release of "Crack The Mind" - to which this interview refers to, if we understand this right.

The new album is great, what kind of goals did you set before recording?

Thanks for the compliment. What kinda goals it might have been? It's so long past that our memories scarcely reach back. Our goals were nothing spectacular however we fear. We wanted to reach the standard and quality of the predecessor album "Mmmyaoooo". We wanted to create some more pieces of weird shit, done properly, that's all. We already had given up the idea of ruling the world, in the mean time.

What are you basic methods during the recording process?

We usually start to record some guitar riffs, around which the whole song constructions then are built. In rare occasions drum loops or noise patterns stand at the very beginning. Much of the stuff is already sampled before the real recording process starts - so it's way of being surprising, the way we handle all that stuff. Boring phases are our recording sessions.

Do you have a lot of songs before you start?

Mostly numerous songs and ideas have to be thrown out of the program before the final session takes place. Some of them might end up on the following album; most of them however vanish into total oblivion; and that's not a pity, probably. The stronger ones remain in the choice - at least that's what we think.

How did you break them down, and onto the album?

The computerized arrangements are fixed together before we go into the real studio - where somehow live elements are being set onto this skeleton.

Have you ever played in the US before?


Where do you get the best response, besides in your hometown?

We get nowhere responses, especially not in our hometown. And if that's not the truth, it is one of our slogans to gain pity - a new method of trying to persuade people to buy our stuff.

What kind of festivals have you played over there?

We have played some tours, sometimes in packages with other bands - and indeed there were some festival activities - but none of them would mean anything to you, likely.

Is the Dynamo Festival as crazy as the press makes it out to be?

The press makes it out to be extraordinary crazy? I can't follow that... but perhaps my drunkenness used to be too strong at Dynamo...

Now that you're going on the road, how long will you stay out?

1999 might become a good live year for Testify - but the final time tables and plans are yet to be finished. I don't know why all things concerning Testify need such a long time to develop - as if we had lives of centuries, we fucked up Testifylers.

Are you hoping to reach an American audience?

Not in this year we will reach the American audience, as far as we are informed, even not in this century, not even in this millenium.

Do you feel heavy music is more mainstream in Europe?

Ey, we must visit the States again in the near future, at best - the only way not to fail in comparisions like the one you asked for... Europe is soft and old and grey; perhaps heavy music is more mainstream over here.

What do you think about the whole Space Rock genre, ie: Kyuss, Beaver, Orange Goblin?

The opinions concerning Space Rock differ from Testify member to member. Kullf is really into that bit, but Mathias hates it that much... It is impossible to give a general Testify statement. There is an abyss between us.

How would you classify yourself versus other aggro/industrial bands?

OK - recently we read an article in which we were said to always exaggerate our own importance; and that we use to express ourselves with cliches etc. Which is funny - we should exaggerate our importance?? We are the less important band in the world, and this is true, and we ever and ever repeat that. That is how we classify ourselves against other aggro/Industrial bands: They can't be the last - that's Testify

Any plans for the millenium?

Yes. To live the whole of the thousand years.

Do you think the Y2K phobia is being blown out of proportion?

We all should be curious about that day. There are always - and in that question as well - two kinds of people: those who can never be shaken by any doubts - an those who are naught but anxious all the time. Most times the careless gain the victory, and no real catastrophies happen. We would like the anxious ones to have the victory in that matter - and mankind pays the price for being to lazy to write down two digits. What a joke.

Do you have anything to add to those who don't know but should?

Those who don't know the gnawling dissatisfaction, those who are complacent nuts, beware! One day you will awake and you'll know the GNAWING ITCH - and if you then will have no Testify-CD close at hand to heal yourself, your misery will be unending. (Har - you know what we did just? We exaggerated our own importance.)