Interview with Mathias (sound) and Sven (drums) and Myk (vocals)
by Heide Castaneda

Where are you guys from?

Mathias: We all are from the most Western areas of Germany. Industrial area of the Ruhrgebiet.

How long have you been playing together? Was Testify your first project?

Mathias: Testify was formed in winter 92/93 with their first crew - of which only me and Myk are still in the Testify-circle. And before Testify were several projects from the EBM-scene and from the Rock-scene.

How would you describe yourselves and your music?

Sven: The music is very raw, harsh and aggressive - but the guys from Testify are funny and quiet and almost sweet - I always have to laugh when they stumble into the rehearsal-room, with Myk and Kullf carrying their beers in their hands. I know that Myk has been drunk every evening since May 1979 - right, Myk?
Myk: Njjghh

How did you all meet?

Mathias: Myk and me and Rascal and Lo, the first Testify line-up, met in 1990 on tour, when I mixed Tommy Stumpff, and they were on the road with their initial band The Fair Sex. Moses (git.) came into the group in summer of 1993. Sven: Myk and Kullf met each other drunk in the night in some strange city they cannot remember - round about 1994, as it was said. And in 96 Bull came replacing Rascal - and me, as new drummer.

How would you describe your musical development from "01" through "Crack The Mind?"

Sven: From more punk-orientated noise to the more thick atmospheric Rock-styled beauty of nowadays Testify
Myk: And then - soon - the other way back again. Har.

We've heard you described as "industrial metal." Do you feel comfortable with that label? How do you compare to others like Ministry or NIN?

Mathias: NIN and Ministry! I can't hear it no more! I can't stand it no more! I really can not endure this no longer! Ever since we put out our first stuff in 1993...
Myk: On the 24th of May in 1993, to be precise...
Mathias: Ever since I must live with these comparisions! Really - I freak out.
Sven: It's better to go on with the next question...

Comparing your music to the vocals, its obvious that they convey a fitting harshness with speed and a staccato style ... Which develops first, music or lyrics? Do you have any particular methods?

Myk: We start with the music. Guitar-riffs are being sampled; and bass-licks, and noises and drum-patterns - and out of this we create arrangements
Sven: That in the end are being destroyed with the fuzz-vocals, as Kullf always says

It's almost like a damaged soul speaking through "Crack the Mind", hovering between optimism and resignation. In "Guevara", for example, there are the conflicting sentiments of "it looks like we'll lose the fight" and Ches "hasta la victoria siempre". Does this reflect a general ambivalence in your lyrics?

Mathias: Myk, lyric-questions! Ey, you damaged soul! Stop suckling on your bottle!
Myk: Ahh. Ambivalence? Sounds like an academic word to me. The torn-asunder-and-worn out wholly-with-frust-and-wrath is what I name the principle that stands behind the lyrics...And it will seem that in the Testify-project the darker matters with the tendency to the resignation-pole might be dominant...
Sven: Myk, go on with suckling on your bottle

Do your lyrics reflect any particular political intentions?

Myk: In Guevara which you mentioned there is the demand/wish for again more of the left-wing-anger that would do as all good if we cultivated it a bit more. This work you may see as example of Testify's political course.
Mathias: This is more an example for Myk's anachronistic views

It seems as if a certain amount of irony is typical to your music, is that correct?

Sven: It is a humourous event to see Myk and Kullf stumbling into the rehearsal-room...
Mathias: You have already mentioned that.
Sven: Have I? Perhaps because this seems to me the only phenomenon going into irony/humour/joke-direction. The only funny thing about Testify.