Usually, when I buy merch or records (or whatever) through the internet, I like to send a little cheer to say what’s up about the package, because the postal service sometime just fuck it up, and pardon my french for that but it kinda upset me when my order is lost somewhere in the depths of the world.
Anyway, one day I sent this foretold message and this is where our interview started, basically, when we talked about european soccers team with Vigilante’ singer, David Immerz.
David : “I’m great, just returned from a holiday through the northern Indian state of Rajasthan with my wife. We’ve travelled through most of Southeast Asia but India’s a different beast! It was mostly through regional areas via a vegetarian/vegan tour company who organised everything and were amazing. I think my prasadam holds up!”
The first time I’ve heard this Australian band was when I was browsering the Control Records webstore and saw the Quality Of Life LP and wondered what could this be.
D:”I’ve known Jake since about 2004 but had seen him at shows in the late 90s before he went travelling. Dean and Coyle I’ve known from Sydney shows in the late 90s, I think we just got talking outside a show one day and somehow kept in touch, especially with their other band Ill Brigade. Jim, our first bass player, I can’t really remember but I’m sure we’ve known each other from the early 2000’s from when I was in Last Nerve. Felipe who left at the end of 2013 grew up not far from me and I knew him from his previous band Persist. And Luke, our other current guitarist we’ve known from when Jake and my previous band Bad Blood played with his other band Mark My Words in the mid 2000’s. There’s not much to the back story, we’ve had three line up changes and there were never any issues, we just move slow as a band because we all have kinda busy lives.”
Okay, I was way late on the train but I caught it back, and it’s really nice stuff. With this NYHC 80-90’s book popping out, it’s a nice time for this kind of sound. But what held my attention was the lyrics, a bit political, as in the forementioned style, about how much modern white society is crooked.
D:”We don’t have a common stance on anything, we just enjoy hardcore punk, especially late 80s NYHC. Our lyrics have a social justice theme and we contribute regularly to a homelessness service in Sydney called The Station so we try and raise some awareness about that issue. I try and get the point across that everyone’s equal, even if you’re an ice addict or addicted to heroin. There are so many sad stories out there and different people deal with it in different ways or are led astray in negative ways. We all make mistakes of different sizes relative to our own lives. I have no idea how I’d handle some of these issues so I try and show some empathy.
At the moment there’s a lot of racial tension, significant social problems and the divide is growing between those with and without money. I don’t know how to solve it, it overwhelms my little brain but I know that raising awareness about it via a hardcore punk band the way we do has made a small difference so we’ll keep running with it.”
What disapointed me the most on this interview was the fact it was done through e-mail. Even though I don’t think I could have seen them once in my life or anything, I’d appreciate a little face-to-face chat with the guy, who seemed pretty humble and wise.
D:”I’ve worked for the State Government for the past 13 years with different departments in communications and now marketing, mostly design and digital. Part of me likes the security of it but I personally think working for the government is an important responsibility because I want to do the best job I can for the community. I’m a tax payer as well and have a strong sense of social justice which I always consider, no matter how big a difference I can make. I guess we hang out kinda near Resist Records around Sydney’s Inner West. Resist used to always be a meeting place or central location for all bands I’ve been in and it works for Vigilante as well.
Life for me in Sydney is good, I consider myself fortunate. It seems like everything is getting more expensive, from food to travel to rent and house prices. I’m not sure how long it can last and noticed there are so many more homeless people around the city now. The staff at The Station recently told me some other support services recently had to close so there’s more strain on everyone it seems.”
DxR :”How did you end up dealing with Control records? Did it went well?”
D:”I think via Dave Six Feet Under was how Control contacted us. When Blacklisted first toured Australia, Jake and I played some shows with them with our old band Bad Blood and Dave used some of my bass gear. They returned in 2012 with Defeater and I went to the all age show to give out some Vigilante demos because we rarely play all ages shows. I picked up some Blacklisted records and Dave asked what I was giving out and took one. The funny part was I had just been to the dentist and half my face was numb, so my speech was slurred and there was definitely some dribble! Maybe he felt sorry for us?”
As I said on my top ten records list for this year, I’ve been surrounded lately by a lot of people taling about how hardcore was way better before and how too old they were (or too young I am, you choose) and I don’t exactly know old is David but it’s just great to have people just enjoy hardcore, you know, plain and simple.
D:”I’ve been listening to the new Boston Strangler a lot, just got Give’s ‘Electric Flower Circus’ which I need to listen to again and the new Boneless LP ‘Gratitude’ sounds great. According to my iTunes I’ve recently been listening to 411 (in anticipation of their discography), Kill Holiday, Praise ‘Lights Went Out’, No Tolerance, Violent Reaction, Red Hare, Sportswear, Verbal Assault. I blasted a lot 108 through India!
A while ago I had a lot of t-shirts but nothing too rare, maybe a couple of Cro-Mags shirts and an In My Eyes shirt from their last show in 2000. I used to kinda collect records in the early 2000’s but sold a lot to fund a trip to Europe a few years ago. I still have some favourites I’d never sell including Warzone DFTS DFTS, some Youth of Today LPs, In My Eyes LP collection, nothing too crazy but they mean a lot to me.”
A bit cliché to blast 108 while traveling India I would say, but still cool. At the end of this interview we talked about soccer, because I love soccer and because when we first got in touch, we basically went on that subject nearly imediatly. And his father’s family is in Europe since 1600’s !
D:”I’m a HUGE football fan, my dad’s family are from Augsburg in Germany so I’m a devoted FC Augsburg fan, even flew over for their return to the 2.Bundesliga & first 1.Bundesliga games in 2011. Growing up I followed most European leagues in the late 80s & 90s, France included but never had a favourite team.”
Thank you David for the interview, for your time and patience. And maybe catch you on a possible Vigilante tour, who knows !
And for every Quality Of Life records bought, some money is given to The Station, a homeless shelter they’re helping out.