Pain Principle – Interview

Fernando met up with Wim from Pain Principle and talked about their debut EP, his connection to Hardcore and the scene in Poland.

Pain Principle
Pain Principle

Hey Wim, thanks again for your time, really appreciate that. How is life?

Thank you for the interview. Life is ok I guess.

Good to hear, let’s talk a little bit about your taste of music and how you got into the Hardcore scene. How did you discover the passion for Hardcore music?

I got involved in Hardcore in the late 90s. Alternative music was huge back then, bands like Sepultura and Machine Head got regular airplay, the punk rock scene was really big, at the same time nu-metal blew up. But more in the underground more interesting stuff was going on.

I am from Belgium, and we always had a strong scene. Back then we had different labels like Goodlife, Released Power, Sober Mind, Genet, and a lot of great bands: Arkangel, Length Of Time, Congress, Liar, Facedown, Crawlspace, Building, … just to name a few. We literally had shows every weekend. Moreover, all the touring bands would have at least one show in Belgium.

I really got involved into hardcore when I was 15 years old. What I love about it is the fact that it is REAL, down to earth. Everyone can start a band, do a zine, to this day, there is no difference between the bands and the crowd. I love the intensity of the music and the lyrics, in no other genre the intensity and emotions are so real. 

My music taste mainly centers around that heavy 90s NYHC sound. It’s not only the sound, but also the lyrical focus on negative emotions, anger, strength and survival. Some of my favorite NY bands are Sheer Terror, Neglect, Merauder, Sub Zero, Breakdown, Killing Time, Crown of Thornz, Madball. I also love bands like Cold As Life, 100 Demons, Blood For Blood

Next to hardcore I listen a lot to hip hop, black metal and soul music. In general, music is on my mind 24/7.

While we’re talking about Neglect – let’s get a little closer to your band Pain Principle! It’s obvious that you’ve named your band after the 1993 EP from Neglect. I definitely like the idea cause for myself I’m a huge Neglect fan and this will never change, but what was the reason for you to choose this name, what do you associate with it?

Pain Principle is a strong name, and even without the Neglect reference expresses how we feel about life. The band is an expression of strength, anger and discontent. The lyrics deal with internal conflict, being stuck in this life, depression, drug abuse, guilt, and the strength to overcome our struggles day by day. Pain gives us the feeling that we are still alive, pain makes us stronger, I am sometimes afraid to become completely apathetic in this life, so as long as I feel pain, I will embrace it. 

Even though, the „Pain Principle“ is not my favorite Neglect song, it misses the typical groove for it, I really like the following line in the original lyrics:

I look at this life and I piss in it’s face,
It did no good for me,
I can’t decide if I want to die,
Or live this life blood thirsty“ 

And that’s what this band is about. Do you want to give up, or do you want to become stronger?

Do you think that your life setting is in general more negative, or is it the world with its sins that makes you feel this way?

Look around, the world is a fucked up place. I’m not pretending to be better than anyone else, what is sin? It’s very relative. I don’t believe in the general concept of ’sin‘ or ‚good‘ and ‚bad‘. What you call bad, can be a good thing for me.

I try to avoid doing anything that I know will deliberately hurt someone. I could talk in a general way and talk about war or how whole communities are starving, but even in our own cities people are starving and dying, people who hate each other are living together, people are too busy at work to raise their own kids, …

I am not trying to improve the world I live in, but I am aware it’s a shit, and I do my best to not hurt too many people myself. I don’t think that makes me a negative person. At the end of the day, we are born, we try to make the best out of it, and we are gone again.

I can back this Wim. Let’s get back to your band, you said that you are from Belgium, is everyone in Pain Principle from Belgium? How did you found together and how came it up to start a band?

I am from Belgium, the other guys are from Poland.

I was trying to get a band together back in Belgium. At a certain moment I was rehearsing with guys from Redemption Denied, State of Mind and Cornered, a lot of talent in one room. But living too far apart, having other bands and jobs, meant we never really got the band to continue. We made a couple of raw songs, but never finished them, maybe one day. Those songs were hard.

I moved to Poland back in 2015. I already knew some Polish guys from before. One day I was having lunch in Wroclaw, before going to a show in Germany, where we met Karol by accident actually. I knew him from Last Dayz, but I had no idea he moved to Krakow, the city where I am currently living. We got in touch, and soon it became obvious we would do a band.

He wanted to do something new after Last Dayz, and already had some riffs ready.  As it wasn’t sure when I was moving back to Belgium, the band really started as a project. Snake and me. We found Pawel for the drums, and we got the band going. Pawel is a metalhead who plays drums in different metal bands. We never really thought about the future, we just wanted to make music.

But that’s one of the reasons I like hardcore so much too. We got this special bond that connects us, thanks to hc I met those guys, and even if I am living abroad, we are doing a band together. 

Pain Principle Live
Pain Principle Live

I’ve not been able to go to a show in Poland yet, so I can’t tell much about the scene over there. But maybe you can tell us what the scene is about, what is happening right now in Poland?

Poland’s good. The dancefloors are always mad, they got their own style, but they dance HARD. Whenever I was on tour with other bands, we always had a great welcome in Poland.

Most touring bands visit Poland, but if not, you will typically see some Polish cats showing up at the shows in Germany.
The Krakow scene is pretty much dead, most of the shows are in Wroclaw or Warsaw, which are both about 3 hours away. Heavy Runner is hard, they got that E.Town flavor. Embitter just released a 7″, a lot of 90s metalcore love on that 7″. Next to HC, Poland has a great metal scene.

In any case, I will definitely turn up at a show in Poland pretty soon! You released a really tight five song demo tape which we also can find online at your bandcamp account.  What are your plans for the future?

Thanks man! We are stoked about the demo too. It came out really well. 

We never really thought about the future, we just wanted to make music. We always did rehearsals with just the three of us, and we also recorded the demo as a 3-piece. Snake did both the rhythm and lead guitars and bass, Pawel on drums, I wrote all the lyrics and did the vocals.

We did one show in January in Warsaw, for which we had Kuba on bass. Kuba was playing in a band with Pawel before.

In the meantime Pawel and Karol changed jobs, and both left Krakow. So the band now has members in Warsaw, Krakow and the UK. Karol should be back from the UK early summer. Then we plan to play shows again. We receive a lot of good response to the demo, and our show in January was wild, so I would love to get out there and play, but at the moment it is what it is. 

I got nothing but respect for the hardworking, touring bands, bands like Terror, Madball, No Turning Back, Turnstile, Wisdom In Chains, AF, TUI, SOIA,  … who are always on the road, they are the back bone of hardcore. These are guys that gave up their regular lifes, to keep this thing of ours alive every day.

Could you imagine such a life like the guys in Terror doing? Touring the world every year, give up your job and stuff?

No, I love going to shows, being on the road with bands, traveling is a passion of mine, I am currently living abroad, I don’t have a family, but these guys are fucking nomads. I love what they do, but I couldn’t. I am not someone that functions well in a group, so I’d end up in a fight pretty soon, and I do like my life next to hardcore too.

It’s no surprise that band members continuously change to keep up with the rhythm of that life, or that most bands only have a limited life span. And don’t forget, there is no such thing as hardcore retirement. But it’s all good, some of my favorite records are bands that didn’t do a lot, never toured outside their home country, or even project bands. To each their own.

I really hope to see you guys on tour in the future, would be amazing! Is there a band out there you would love to tour with?

With any band that has down to earth persons in it.

I’ve to thank you again for your time, wish you and your band all the best for the future. The last words are up to you!

Thanks for the interview, Fernando! To everyone reading this: Whatever happens in life, keep your head up. Stay true to yourself. That’s all that matters. 

Shout out to Heavy Runner, Poland’s hardest! My boys in Redemption Denied, Absolve, The Setup, Overlord, Cornered, Embitter. Hardcore lives!

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