Keith GRAVE from the SANITY ASSASSINS is back with a bang, his new band's more into an oldschool hardcore vein, and it's good. Check their first CD out - it's worth it. Keith also compiled tons of good stuff in a KBD spirit for DIONYSUS Rds.

QUESTIONS by Raf & ANSWERS by Keith.

1. Some of your members previously played in SANITY ASSASSINS, which was far more on the rockin' edge of punk. Please explain to our readers how that move did happen, and what are the common points and differences to these bands, musically or lyrically wise.

The Assassins were more influenced by garage punk like the Cynics - Hard-Ons - Ramones etc. We had our moments of diving into political punk though. Case in point were the albums we did with Spike on lead vocals for Retch records in England. But for the most part we stayed away from political topics.

That is until we picked up our last vocalist, Phil Swanson who was heavily influenced by the lyrics of Discharge, Conflict,and anti goverment/authority type groups.

As the last incarnation of the Assassins developed we wanted to bring our style into a more New York Hardcore / Agnostic Front musical direction.

2. How is Connecticut nowadays as a punk / hardcore scene ? You used to have great bands...Please name a few of your favourite ones, and let us know about the most important changes in this scene since the mid 80's.

In Connecticut now, you can pick up a show for your band about once a month. Some times we play more but rarely this happens. But our state is sandwiched between new york and boston. so we have the advantage of playing out of state from time to time.

Some old Ct. bands I used to love and play with, or go see were Jack Tragic and the Unfortunates (my all time favorite Ct. punk band) - Lost Generation - 76% Uncertain and the M 80's.

Current Connecticut groups I like are female fronted punk band Elvis McMann -Broken and the Bloodshot Hooligans. But for the most part, too many groups around here are influenced by Slipknot,very boring and unoriginal.

3. Where were the live songs on "1984" recorded ? The sound is very good, by the way.

We recorded those songs at the El N Gee club which has since closed.

4. I guess it's not very fashionable to be a politically inspired band in the US of A right now...Am I wrong ? Any story about that, concerning your gigs or the way people react at your lyrics ?

Americans are pissed. They know the goverment is pulling the wool over their eyes as far as the recent war goes and the real principal behind it. People like to go see bands that still tell it like it is.

5. What did Sept. 11th, 2001 change, within the punk / hardcore scene ?

Not much in retrospective. The memory is fading too quickly.

6. Please let us know about your "Taliban Fight Song".

The Al Qaeta was just another violent religious faction that's ideals were killing in the name of god, to make hatred justified. That song drove home that point.

7. I think many people fell in the hate trap and this led to the Afghanistan & Iraq war. On the other hand, the population starts to question the US government about the chemical weapons that Saddam was supposed to hide, and the real (economical) reasons to start this war ?

Not enough people in this country are speaking out against Bush's goverment. One of the worst "dog and pony" shows America has to suffer under. Watch the idiot get re elected.

8. Do you realize you're collaborating with a FRENCH fanzine ?! Aren't you ashamed ? Do you still call your potatoes 'Freedom fries' ?!?

Who can believe a media that is controled by the country ? Americans will never know the real reason why France did not support us in the last made for t.v. war.

9. I like your song "Seperate Church & State" since it's well thought & an unusual critic of your country's links between the government and the religious lobbies. Most american presidents (these past 30 years) were elected with the help of these lobbies. Are people aware of that, and do they care about it ?

General every day americans would be shocked at the behind the scene "deals" these high ranking politicians make to get their "puppet" in office to fuck things up for four years or longer.

10. There's been a change in line-up last year, after the release of 1984 ; new singer, new lyrics ? are you gonna change of topics and will the way you were considering lyrics be modified ?

Losing Phil was a big loss. Smart guy but exteremely difficult to work with. Our new singer Ryan is more of a street punk, personal issue lyric writer. But a much stronger vocalist than Phil was with better stage presence.

11. What did you release since the start ? Is there any new record planned since "1984" ?

Blastmat's first c.d. was "Theme for a dying world". you can still get it from MCR in Japan. It's other wise sold out. We'll also appear on a c.d. comp. released by riot 77 zine from England. Plus a vinyl l.p. comp. released by Departure Records also from the U.K.  presently we're in the middle of recording a new 6 song demo that we'll release on my "Dagger"label.

12. Are your next records goin to be released on vinyl ?

CD, but Blazing Guns records from California may release a split 7in. with us and another band next year.

13. Are you still interested in vinyl ? Or do you think MP3s, CDs, etc. are the new hype ?

I love vinyl but you can't move vinyl at shows etc., C.D.'s are more accessable to people. We have mp3's people can down load for free at

14.  Keith, you compiled and helped to release several Killed By Death type of compilations. Can you list it and explain a little how you ve been able to do it ? Which release are you the most proud of ?

 Yes my Shielded by death series of old punk and power pop bands will be growing.

 My first volumes appear on Dionysus records from USA - Busted at the Lit club and Guillotined at the Hangar. Dionysus will release a third vol. this year on vinyl and c.d.

Blazing Guns records will release vol.4 which will also be on c.d. and vinyl. that will be a worldwide all hardcore punk collection.

Plus Wizzard in vinyl from Japan will be next year, releasing an all oldies power pop comp. I put together for them on c.d.

15. Is it complicated to release it officially, when so many people do bootlegs ?

Yes it is difficult to track old members of old bands down to get their permission to release their band's music. Lots of detective work is involved.also you have to put up with some flakey ex-members that give you a hard time. They think they should be making millions off their little band's music. But the reality is, their band has been broken up for over 20 years, and no one remembers them.

16. The Assassins had released 7" on a german label. How did that happen ?

I contacted Rudy at Re-core-ds through a magazine ad I saw for his label. I sent him an Assassins tape and he liked it, and offered us a 7 in. e.p. deal. That's an interesting record by the way. But far from my favorite Assassins release.

17. How did you meet ex-Blitzkrieg singer & Retch Rds manager ?

The same goes with Spike at Retch Records. I sent him a tape, he liked it and offered us a split LP deal with his band at the time, the PARASITES, which turned out to be the 'HOPE TO GROW" L.P.



Get in touch with the band : email Keith Grave

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