Monday, October 27, 2008
DOWN SYNDROME interview
Here's one with Down Syndrome, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Another one conducted through the mail. This may have ran in the second to last zine I did in Oklahoma called Schizo. At the time I didn't give it much thought, but for Jan to even take the time to answer five questions was pretty cool. Most bands or people could have told me to fuck off. Maybe these days, but I think back then was very different. This was done in early 1986. I have no idea if they ever released the LP mentioned in the interview. I do have the EP they put out themselves on Black Sun in 1984. The band name had nothing to do with the genetic disorder. Instead, the meaning of their name, as they state in the EP cover fold out, "is derived from the direct definitions of the words in reference to humanity's condition. DOWN - to a lower or worse condition. SYNDROME - a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality."
Who are the members of the band, and how did you get the name?
A brief history: Sjor (drums & vocals) and Bob (bass, vocals) coined that troublesome moniker in late '82. After a few short lived guitarists came and went, Laurie and Dave came into it, around May '83. That line-up released the now unavailable "Dark Age" cassette. Then Dave went and Jan came in for guitar and vocals, around May '84, then the EP was released. In the spring of '86 Bob moved out of the house and distances set us so decided we needed a new bass player. In June '86 we began working with Scott, whom we'd known personally for a while and seen in some recent local bands; Fetish, Primitive Ballet, and Ghost Shirt Society.
Eight months down the road, we've done a lot of road 'round these parts (Vancouver, Portland, Winnipeg, etc), are currently working on a demo that is preparation for an LP that we've been longing to do - and which we need to tour.
Our sound has changed a lot since the EP. We play with lots of power and emotion still, but it is a lot less narrow of a genre than the EP's material was in. To me, it sounds much like a hard rocking HC band, with heavy tribal rhythms and jazzier / funkier / pop melodies...
Who writes the songs, and where do you al get the ideas for the songs?
Musically, our riffs for one song may be entirely individual, at times riffs are reworked by the band. However, our parts are distinctive and individually created and, for example, Sjor's rhythm will ulitmately affect the result of a riff made by one of the guitarists. It's equal musically. Lyrically, it's left up to the vocalist, either Jan, Scott, or Sjor.
Do you all think drugs are ruining the scene?
Excessive use, habit, and dependance is harmful in whatever "scene" you're in. You wanna get free right? Letting others tell me what to do or don't (like drugs do), ruins my scene! Think for yourself.
If you could say anything to the world today what would it be?
After thinking about all I could say... (Vivisections is another inhumanity, .... is my favorite beer, Reagan is wrong, unite, etc) I realize it would be just garbage. Give this world a few seconds of silence.
Do you have anything to say to the people of Oklahoma?
How about to the people of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba? That's my home town and I miss it bad, the mess of a hole it was. I love my family there. Hey, Laurie's from there too. I'm playing in a band up in Edmonton. We've got a good crowd, and they're a blast to play for, bands from Oklahoma should see them! We sell some records and T-shirts too. Well, I got to go, kettle's boiling.