Death Token : Post Apocalyptic K-Town Visions!

Interview by Jens Hellroute

Once in awhile along comes a band that keeps on blowing one's mind from show to show. I've seen my share of young acts that start out great and then slowly begin to lose their rawness and energy, K-Town speedfreekz Death Token ain't such a band. Nope, they just keep getting better and more lethal with each gig. Mixing the power of 80's hardcore with the speed of grindcore, but still managing to inflict their tunes with some crushing doomy slow parts and some quirky echo vocal FX, this trio is one of the top 5 live acts in Denmark right now. At their recent Loppen show with Grief (who were excellent) they smoked everybody!

Tue (vox/guitar), Steffen (drums) and bassist Kasper aka Death Token have released four killer EPs since 2003, appeared on several comps, toured Germany, and been in bands like Snipers, Asbest, Hul, No Hope For The Kids, Leathervein, Frank Silva, Love Potion, Arrigt Antræk, Cystem, Broken Hallux etc

...but anyhoo, here's Steffen to tell the story:

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Your recent show with Grief was pretty intense, and you played with Wolf Eyes earlier this year. Who do you prefer to play with, bands similar to your music or bands like them?

Steffen: To be perfectly honest, I don't care who or what kind of band we play with as long I can enjoy it to some extent. Death Token isn't and has never really been a touring band, so when we do choose to play live once in a while, I'd at least like to be able to enjoy the band we're playing with. We've been playing for some time now, someone just told me we're the longest running Copenhagen hardcore punk band, and we've played with so many bad bands that I'd like to reserve the right to say "no thank you" to offers that don't seem interesting. Maybe this sounds arrogant, I don't know, but that's not the point. The band as it is now, at low activity, needs some good reason to get out of its cave. Everybody is really fucking busy doing their own thing now, we hardly ever see each other. That said, Grief was probably one of the best bands we've ever played with, goddamn crushing show, and cool dudes to boot! Right now, the band I'd like to play a show with the most has to be either Homopolice, No Talk, or Secret Prostitutes from Texas.

WC: Secret Prostitutes, I saw them in Houston with Cola Freaks, great band. Tell me about that horror story with
records falling out of your tour van somewhere in Germany.

S: Haha, this story is from our last tour, which was our third real tour I guess. We were touring Europe with Ripping Headache, and everybody had been talking shit and doing pranks and shit all tour long. So we were driving in our van on some autobahn somewhere in Germany in a crowded road construction strip, on our way to the last show of the tour in Hamburg. I was sitting in the middle of the three row seater, and Jonas (Ripping Headache drummer) was sitting in the front of me. The van was packed with records people had picked up on the way and everybody had been drinking for a while at this point, so I thought it would be funny to do a little joke on Jonas. I rolled down my window and knocked on Jonas' from the outside, he then told me to come in, so I opened the door, not realizing that records were leaning against the door. So I was giving Jonas a stupid grin as he was struggling to close the door while we were driving. He then turned to me a couple of seconds later with an expression of panic on his face and started yelling at me. We just dropped a big bag of records on the highway! I thought at first he was taking the piss on me, but realised as he became more insisting that we had actually dropped a big pile of records...

Me feeling fucking guilty as shit, and fearing for my own records, let alone the money I'd have to put out to get people their shit back, told our driver to pull over into the emergency lane (and what an emergency it was), so I could go back and pick them up. We pulled over and I ran as fast as I could back to where I could see the records, lying in the middle of the road and truckers zooming towards them...Unable to reach the bag of records in time ,I saw one car and one fucking huge truck run over the bag of records until I was able to run unto the highway and get them without getting run over myself. I went back to the van, sure to myself that none of the records had survived but as a surprise to us all, the records were all intact and looking fine, except for the covers which had slight marks from the cover being pressed down over the vinyl. The only record that has slight trouble playing is Venom's Black Metal (Oh God no, how could you?-->
WC: Okay. Who's the baddest motherfucker: King Diamond, Boyd Rice or Mrs Miller?

S: Well, seeing you haven't mentioned Sakevi, I would go for Mr. Rice, thru whom I learned of Mrs Miller. I mean, both King Diamond and Boyd Rice are aging satanists, where Mrs Miller is just an old and probably deceased woman with an amazing fucking voice. But I think Rice's amazing taste in music and ability to fuck with basically everyone makes him a bit more unpredictable if you had to do the Mexican standoff. Did you know, by the way, there is a picture of a young Boyd Rice in Pulp Fiction?

WC: Nope. Death Token seems more disciplined than your other band, Love Potion. Control vs. chaos?

S: Both are good, but recently I have been getting so sick of control and tightness. As I said earlier, I've seen so many boring bands, who do nothing but stand still on stage and look like they're doing something they really dislike. For me, live presence is really important, punk and hardcore music is supposed to be live music, and I want to see a band struggle for their fucking life on stage. That's what a good live showis all about for me. I mean a band like Defector, who inspired me a great deal, by their manic stage presence. They basically doesn't seem to give a fuck on how the shit sounds, instead they go totally apeshit and create some weird space for chaos, which is what I turned to punk to find back in the first place...Things had been starting to go really stale in Copenhagen, the bands were boring the shows were boring, but thankfully things have started to change a bit this last year!!! Yeah, you can also check out the old pictures of Hanatarash fucking up a concert hall with bulldozer and concrete drill...All I want is destruction! Hahaha.

WC: So the K-town scene 2008 compared to 1998?

S: Like I said...Things have been really really boring, safe, conformist and totally uninspiring the last couple of years for me here in Copenhagen. More interesting things were happening on the noise scene for me...But yeah, things have started for the better, cool new bands that don't give a fuck about singing, saying, doing the right things have started playing. REAL punk bands, not some conformist activists who think of activism as the only true punk. And also bands that are not worried about wearing 80s fashion and looking like something shat out of Suburbia. hahaha. I'm a fucking old angry asshole. But yeah, I totally dig the new vibe with bands like Dead Instrument, Pruneface, Night Fever and Ripping Headache (who sometimes try too hard, hahahahah!)

WC: Favorite revenge movie, and why?

S: Ugh, hard one...well, I really like Combat Shock, Falling Down and obviously Taxi Driver. They're all good movies. I have some weird fascination with Michael Douglas in Falling Down, I don't know why, sitting in the bus on my way back home from University, or standing in the supermarket sometimes makes me feel like I just wanted to strangle someone. But obviously the milk drinking psycho in Combat Shock is also amazing.

WC: Finnish or Japanese hardcore?

S: Probably Japanese. But both styles have similarities. I'm not that much up on what's going on in Japan right now, but old bands like Gism, Bitousha, The Sexual, LSD, The Execute, The Stalin, etc. made Tue and I form Death Token. However, today Finland has some of the best goddamn punk bands in the world. Like Kyklooppien Sukupuutto, Kieltolaki, Selfish and Kylmä Sota...All great bands!

WC: What does Tue sing about, and why does he smile so much in between songs?

S: Tue sings about all sorts of weird shit. Topics range from insanity to war, fuckheads you meet, etc. I guess he smiles when he feels inadequate or maybe someone in the front flashed their tits?

WC: We just had our first real earthquake in Denmark. What would the perfect way to die?

S: Perfect way to die...I don't know, sex overdose. Hahahahahahah. Or by being mounted to a nuclear warhead and fired straight into the asshole of the world(in other words, downtown Rockford, Illinois--Dr. Mality). What a weird fucking question, Jens.

WC: Well, you guys sing about death all the time, haha. You saw a Negative Approach reunion show earlier this year. One of Death Token's inspirations?

S: Of course. John Brannon has the most fucking evil voice in rocknroll, screw that weak black metal shit...If you've ever seen or heard this dude live, you know what I'm talking about...Inhuman.

WC: N.A. fuckin' rocked! Plans for 2009?

S: No clue. We've been asked to play a festival in Stuttgart during the summer time. Other than that, we have no shows lined up. People have been asking when we start doing our first full length. My answer is the same every time, its up to the other assholes in the band. I would just like to put out a cd with our EP's and some live material.

Photos: Mette Huus Christensen

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