Interviewed by Donnacha DeLong

German band Testify came about in 1993 as a side-project to the EBM band The Fair Sex. At the time, industrial music was reaching an unprecedented level of popularity, with Ministry and NIN getting heavy MTV rotation and bands like the Young Gods and KMFDM receiving more attention as a result. The scene was set for new European bands like Testify to actually have a chance at worldwide fame. As a result, Rascal Nikov and Myk Jung, who were in The Fair Sex, decided to focus fully on Testify, for the simple reason that Myk thought Testify were better than the older band.
At first, it seemed as if everything was going fine. With their first release, "01", they were dubbed the "next Ministry", leading to the Ministry associates Keith "Fluffy" Auerbach and Howie Beno mixing the follow-up, "Ballroom Killer". Their third, "Mmmyaooo", which was produced by Skrew, established Testify as a cohesive unit, banishing all remaining perceptions of the band as simply a side project.
However, despite the collaborations with a few big names, no-one could have failed to notice that their latest album, "Crack the Mind", hasn't exactly set the world alight. The band has learnt, to their displeasure, that the "next Ministry" accolade they held dear ranks alongside the "new Nirvana" and the "next U2" as the industrial world's own meaningless and overused clichi. Myk was very disappointed to discover that they were not the only band to be dubbed the "next Ministry".

Hello here are Myk (vox) and Sven Stone (drums) giving the answers to your questions:

The band started as side-project, what motivated you to push it forwards as a seperate unit?

Myk: Testify was better than The Fair Sex out off which Testify off-sprang - that alone was reason enough to end the side-project-being and build up a band of its own.

Your sound is very European, how well does it go down in other countries?

Sven: Our sound is really European?!? It's the first time I hear something like this. Overhere in Germany they tell us that we ought to go to the US - we would sound as if we rather belonged to the New World's scene

Do you feel that coming from Germany puts you at a disadvantage compared to American bands when it comes to selling records in the States?

Myk: Yeah, that's what we feel

Van Richter is a small label, do you have an interest in trying to get a bigger deal?

Myk: Fact is that we need a kind of improvement throughout the near future. Whether this will be brought about by a small label or a big one is not important. To be on a big label may be grandious - and may be your desaster: Forgotten and lost between many more-known groups.

How do you feel about the dubious accolade "the next Ministry", which has been applied to nearly every new industrial/metal band since "Psalm 69" came out?

Myk: We are now very dissapointed to get to learn that this accolade has been given too numerous bands. We thought nobody else would be compared in this way to Ministry. We thought we were the best Ministry ever. And we never thought of it being dubious. We were so proud. But this is over now.
Sven: Myk, you always told us the we were celebrated as new Ministry! You promised us fame and wealth! And now this. I ought to think about leaving this band.

Extreme industrial reached its popularity peak before Ministry sabotaged it by releasing "Filth Pig" and has dropped in popularity since. Do you think there's likely to be a revival?

Myk: I don't understand all this nonsense and shit about the album Filth Pig. This fine piece of work has been under-estimated ever since it came out. Ministry used a three-year-intervall to create something new. And they had to choose between copying the Psalm 69-album - which would have been the easier task - or creating something astonishing. And they did. But that ought to be enough about Ministry. That the industrial scene is already on the decline - well I don't know it. It might be. I would regret it and wait for the revival in fifteen years. More terrifying to me is that Testify seems to be on the decline.

With the lowering costs of the technology needed to record industrial, more and more bands are coming out. Do you think that makes it more difficult to get noticed?

Sven: Thru Myk and The Fair Sex we have names reaching into the dark past where the market was not so over-flowed with bands and names as nowadays. That may help - On the other hand: So far I've never noticed that this might help...

Less big label interest in industrial bands has led to a lowering of production standards in a lot of the material that's released. Do you think that's a bad thing?

Sven: Myk, shall we be arrogant again? We could answer: This is not a bad thing! Testify will always keep the quality - and so we will be out-standing in the crowd of inferiour stuff!?
Myk: This is no good! We will not say anything like this! We will not walk again the path of arrogance!
Sven: Tis OK.

How did you manage to get to work with the bands on your new CD (Die Krupps, etc), did you ask them, or did they come to you?

Sven: Already in 93/94 Testify supported Die Krupps on Germany-tour. But most of the contacts to the remixers were handled by the label.

Where do you plan to take your music from here?

Myk: I have so many plans and even material in the head that for the time being I'm too bewildered and dazed and confused. I have to bring all the plans in due order to be able to know what the next step might be.
Sven: Perhaps you are so bewildered because of your drug-problem and your growing age and the fact that since May 1979 you have been drunken each day?
Myk: That may turn out to be the very foundation of our misery----