Testify - 1st they take Manhattan - Then they take Berlin

Interview by Gabriella

(Part one of a two-part interview with German band Testify)

A sad, but inevitable, certainty in life is the fact that the prophet never counts for anything in his homeland, an old saying proved right by countless artists. The Brits shun Bush while the Americans and the rest of the world welcomes them with open arms. The Americans and Australians had enough taste not to buy David Hasselhof CDs while in Europe he used to be hot property. Testify is one of the many bands that originates from Germany and went overseas because at home everything just seemed to go wrong.
The Fair Sex used to be hailed as the new Gothic band in the early 90's but as lead singer Myk Jung explains "It got boring after a while and we decided to form a side project called Testify. The whole Gothic thing is alright, I still like it but it wasn't satisfying enough. I still like what we did with the Fair Sex and we're thinking about a reunion, but I just wanted something louder, noisier, and the combination of industrial and metal looked more than tempting. We tossed the idea around and all of a sudden there was another band with the same members but a completely different sound and that was Testify then! Our side industrial side project, a little baby that started to grow and all of a sudden had a life of its own!"
Founded in England it was almost inevitable that a lot of the typical sounds found their way into the Testify sound "We used to hear a lot of London sounds and I started to sample them on my keyboard, the line up changed but Testify was still there. It's almost the same story as with NIN - not that I want to compare myself with Trent Reznor - but there also seems to be a forever changing line up but the band just goes on!
"Anyway, as I said the musicians changed a lot, we returned to Germany, started to hunt for a contract, got a contract but it wasn't quite what we expected. Maybe it wasn't the right company, maybe the chemistry was wrong, but I heard a lot of the same complaints from other musicians. Nothing happened with our promotion and after the contract ran out we looked around somewhere else. We already had Van Richter Records as our distributor in the US and they offered us a label contract so we took it because we were pretty happy with them. We have another company in Germany but they're just hopeless! After we signed with them they started to get into the Goa/Trance thing and we just don't fit in there, so I guess we're not going to stay with them!"
Myk confirms that he and the whole band are far happier with an American label than they ever were with a German label, "Americans have a completely different mentality, of course due to the distance and sometimes due to the different mentality, there are some slight complications, but nothing that couldn't be solved so far. The audience in the States is great, a lot better than in Europe and I definitely look forward to tour a bit more in the States, even if I had a very frightening and curious experience there!
"I was in LA for some interviews and crossed the street where I wasn't supposed to cross it and just my luck that a cop saw me. He started to yell and lecture me, I tried to explain that I checked that there wasn't a car coming and that I'm German and we just do things differently. He simply didn't believe me and we argued some more because I wanted to avoid the arrest he threatened me with by all means. He wanted to see my ID or passport and I tried to fish it out of the inside pocket of my jacket. Being right handed I used my right hand, and all I heard was a yell 'USE THE LEFT HAND" and I had a gun on my head. As you can imagine I fished my passport out very, very carefully, using the left hand to grope in the LEFT inside pocket of my jacket, but yeah, when he realized that I really was German he finally let me go! And I can tell you by that time I was sweating bullets! One thing I know for sure: If we're going to tour the US I won't cross streets in the wrong places!"