by Marcus Pan
The Internet taking its toll once again, an electronic
conversation ensues with German goth-industrial artists Testify to provide the
following answers to some of my questions. Testify's most recent release is
"Crack the Mind" and is reviewed by Dan Century following this interview. Myk
and Bull from the band return my volley of questions, trading taunts and
insults as they go!
1) Who is the current line-up of Testify and what are the
Testify consists of a studio - and a live-crew, but both are
increasingly growing together. All in all there are:
Mathias whose function is captain of the sound/the
engineering/the basic station-holder
Sven (drums & begrudger of
Kullf's blood-swollen prick)
Bull (bass guitar & good mood &
Kullf (guitars fat & girlies thin - and Raps)
Myk (vox - and sampling and arranging and the creator of the big vision and
of all the lyrics and the whole conception; moreover chieftain and powerful and
attractive figure on stage and...
Bull: You should stop now, Myk. It might become quite
obvious that it is you giving the answers - and this kind of self-praise will
seem to me embarrassing. We have already such a lousy image, especially
2) What equipment do you use to create your sounds and
Bull: I use a very uncommon mixture of self-compiled
amp-machinery. Moses uses the usual Marshall equipment, while Kullf makes all
greedy with his numerous Mesa-Boogies and his countless expensive guitars and
Myk: His blood-swollen prick.
Bull: I fear that's right. In studio the main-factor
- and the only machine that Myk understands a little bit - is the old S1000
Akai which takes over all the played guitar and bass-lines and drums and noises
3) Do you consider yourself more of a studio or live
outfit? If the latter, what tour or play date information do you have available
for those who might be interested?
Bull: The studio-job mostly has been done by Mathias,
Myk and Moses - and Kullf recently. And Sven and me, we are waiting to be
invited... So for me Testify consists mostly of the live-jobs.
Myk: Which urgently needs to get more. We had some
live activities some weeks back; but that was not enough for this capable
live-crew. Hopefully in autumn there will be more shows - but only in Germany I
4) Have you done any work with video?
Bull: The video for A.N.G.E.R. from the first album
is still the only real/professional and good video-production.
5) What messages do you incorporate in the music you
Bull: Ah, Myk! Again the messages-question! Now you
go again with the boiling-rage-and-hate-theme, the scream against this bitter
and unjust world, eh?!
Myk: Ah, no. Only because I'm tired of it. And as you
see, dear Legends, I even do not find the back-up within the band for my
earnest theme of social wrath and so on. We will construct a new big
Testify-message. But that needs time to build up a new one. In 2002 we will
have found it, I guess.
6) What experiences have been most influential in the
development of your music?
Myk: The big dissatisfaction with everything.
Bull: Especially with what you've done so far - your
Myk: That might be some aspect to go on and make the
next album - to make it better than the previous release....
7) Electric guitar is Testify's obvious "main weapon" so
to speak when writing and recording. Do you have any plans to begin using more
of an electronic sound or do you intend on keeping to the current style with
Myk: For the more electronic sides of Industrial
underground we have established other projects - Testify will remain on the
Bull: Probably only because they are kind of
stubborn, the Testifylers.
8) Is the latest CD release, "Crack the Mind," an example
of your heaviest industrial metal or are previous releases just as
Myk: The predecessor-album MMMYAOOOO is as strong as
our latest one - the two old ones seem to be weaker, in the retrospective
Bull: For me - though I was not involved in the
making of it - MMMYAOOOO is the strongest Testify work.
Myk: OK - MMMYAOOOO was a full-length-album, whereas
Crack The Mind is more sort of a EP with four remixes. Full-length-things are
always stronger, or ought to be.
9) "Crack the Mind" has remixes by such well-known names
as Die Warzau and Die Krupps. How did this come about?
Myk: Our label Van Richter has done most of the
connection between remixers and band. Die Krupps we know from our past, where
we have met them on several occasions.
10) On "I Am the Gas to Burn," admittedly one of my
favorite tracks on "Crack the Mind," you start off with samples from the Wizard
of Oz. It struck me completely off-guard
how did that come about? Is there
a sordid munchkin fascination hidden somewhere in Testify? ;)
Myk: We have no ideology concerning the collection of
our samples. We sample everything. Randomly we press them into the musical
construct. We don't care. The Wizard Of Oz-samples were in the S1000 when we
started writing "I Am The Gas To Burn" - I fear that's all.
11) Have plans been laid concerning the next release? Any
dates or information you can offer on new things happening for Testify?
Myk: No plans. We have enough material to release a
full-length-work each year. But never it comes to this wonderful vision: to
release a real album every year. Don't know why. Probably the previous ones
don't sell enough and nobody is urging us for a fast successor.
12) Since the late '80's, differentiation in
"underground" music have resulted in distinctions such as "gothic,"
"industrial," "electronica," "darkwave" and others not as trend-setting. Where
do you believe these distinctions in darker music are headed?
Bull: I think the underground scene will be polarized
in the near future: The more pop-orientated league with less guitars will get
stronger. At least here in Germany. On the other side there will be more noise
pure - living a shadow-existence. And traditional metal will live on, of
Myk: Not the best prospects for Testify.
13) The Internet has caused an amazing boom in indie
labels and bands - long overdue in my opinion. With the World Wide Web and
other media, bands are able to promote themselves when necessary. Has this
effected you at all? Do you rely on electronic promotion or moreso still on
Bull: The Internet has some possibilities that we
with our projects ought to use better, in the future.
Myk: I'm more for paper - and this past-bound
characteristic is probably one of my fundamental faults.
Bull: Of which you have countless more.
14) How did you hook up with Van Richter in California
considering you're in Germany?
Myk: The activity came from Van Richter's side. They
were looking for bands they could license from Europe; and they started to
negotiate with Rough Trade, our former company.
15) In an interview with Dachar some years ago, his
question regarding the future of Testify was left partially unanswered, waiting
on the reaction of America to your music. We're in the future now
America, as a whole, reacted to the sounds of Testify and are you pleased or
not with this reaction?
Myk: We are pleased about many of the media interest
we were confronted with - for example this question that proves that we are
making this interview with someone who has background knowledge about us.
Something like that is always refreshing.
Bull: All in all we are not satisfied with the
Testify-development. We could do much more - more live activities, more albums.
But I will not complain. When I read some of the old interviews done by Myk and
Rascal and Moses - they are always complaining.
16) How would a fan contact Testify to arrange a purchase
or otherwise get in touch with the band?
Bull: If you want to get in touch with the band -
call Myk! He's lonely and unhappy, betrayed and turned down by all his
Myk: Thank you, Bull, for helping me to get out of my
solitude. And thanx to Legends for the whole interview!
[Contact information is included in the review of their
latest release, "Crack the Mind," following this