<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/146419124″>108 – 2016</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/hate5six”>hate5six</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
108, which is definitly one of my all-time favorite bands, will return this year for selected shows in the US. I don’t live in the US, I certainly won’t be there in May 2016 but I definitly can’t wait to see footages or full sets on the Internet. That’s practically what I do since they played Ieper Fest in 2009, back when I was studying sociology at Uni, had no money to travel (or even buy tons of records like today). When they told me they were ok to answer to few questions, I had to choose the more obvious questions within the entire battlefield of interrogations I’ve always had concerning this, in my opinion, legendary band.
Here is a link to an interview The Heat Fanzine did with 108 in 2007, this article is pretty good, the questions were a solid basis to my personal will to ask questions to Robert Fish/Rajasara Dasa: there
– 108 send me back to so much (obvious) things: New York, bands like the CRO-MAGS, CAUSE FOR ALARM, ANTIDOTE, SHELTER, INSIDE OUT, RESURRECTION, THE JUDAS FACTOR, Equal Vision and Lost And Found Records, Krishna Consciousness (and of course, Rob and Vic’s departure from ISKCON*), and – what really pushed me to love 108 – a confirmed will to play a very specific kind of chaotic music, a BLACK FLAG/B’LAST sound mixed up with a strong hardcore avant-gardism…
We are now in 2015, long time (and newer) fans of the band just learned the news of your 2016 reunion shows, how do you feel about what 108 had been throughout the ages, and what 108 could possibly become in a near future?
At this point shows and records are all about when our worlds can come together. We all have careers, families and live in different parts of the world so shows and new records require tremendous amount of sacrifice and coordination. We will play when we can, create when it comes and are happy to enjoy whatever comes down the road.
– Do you still sustain bonds of friendship with the NYHC scene like in the “NYHC Documentary” and do you still carry the same approach about the whole “hardcore thing” in the U.S. like in “Curse Of The Instinct: 108’s Final Tour”?
Much of our childhood and adult lives have happened as a part of the hardcore scene. We still have those connections, both personally and collectively, but the part it plays in our lives is certainly different today than it was when I was 13, 23 and 33.
– It is not your first reunion, why did you decide to tour again?
For us it is simply about timing. We will play when the timing works.
– What will be the line-up?
Same lineup from our last 6 years. Robert/Rasaraja on vocals, Vic/Vraja Kishor on guitar, Tim/Trivikrama on bass and Mike on drums.
– Will you have a special message to deliver to your audience? And maybe new merch ?
No message per say, simply think beyond instinct, be thoughtful about how you treat others and the world around you and strive to meet your inspiration.
There will be some merch and a pretty cool reissue of something from the past.
– Do you think people still see you through the prism of spirituality? In the past years (actually since 2007 when you answered to that The Heat fanzine interview) you never had the rest to tell to your audience that individualities were more important than faith, do you still feel the same thing?
Yes, that is still the case and that is spirituality. No need for the trappings of organization or declarations of faith. Be who you are and follow your inspiration.
– Do you think the “krishnacore thing” still have reasons to exist nowadays? Speaking of myself, my conscious has always been tapped by agnostic feelings and thoughts (not to mention my philosophical interest in Krishna Consciousness) while staring at the disaster of humanity and, after episodic times spent at the hospital struggling against a congenital desease, I’ve found some sort of appeasement reading the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita. But, it has nothing to do with some sort of “trend”. It’s really personal. And SHELTER has nothing to do with my peaceful mind haha. I’ve red things about how pursuing the Bhakti helped you to crush your demons, even if you aren’t a devotee anymore, do you still keep the 108 name and his philosophy to pay homage to the strength it gave you in the past?
Everything we experience, every journey we go on is in innate part of who we are. While I am not a religious person, and never really was, philosophical components as well as sentimental inspirations helped me survive periods that I wouldn’t have survived without them. For that I will always be grateful and embrace that which has brought me to where I m today.
– The introduction of 1997 “One Path For Me Through Destiny” live CD is dedicated to Srila Prabhupada** and deals with the question of “revolution”. No matters what form this ideal takes, do you still believe in “revolution” and do you want to deal with it during your 2016 tour?
I do believe in revolution but it isn’t driven by some specific philosophy or movement. My revolution was defined in the song “The Sad Truth” on our album “A New Beat from a Dead Heart”. That song defines my revolution.
(Lyrics: I dream of a world where flags are nothing but cloth and the only thing that matters is love, life and freedom. Where the bottom line doesn’t determine life and we aren’t defined by income bracket, a pretty house, faith, a lack thereof or a fucking degree. Where we think before we act and act before we critique. Where we think about who is next and make it cleaner than how we found it. Where we mean what we say and only say what we mean and where ideals are meant to better ourselves and where we aren’t afraid to say I can’t. Where sorry is a liberating word and thank you comes from the heart and where we don’t just watch but we decide to act. Where we refuse to live only until its time to die. Where we refuse to live only until its time to die. Where feelings and desires mean more than quotas, expectations and disappointed stares. where we have a right to hurt, scream, cry, live, die and sit in silence just because we fucking can. I dream of a world where I can love you in spite of what keeps us apart and where second best is as good as first or a millionth. Where we don’t over analyze every breathe or under appreciate what our words mean to another. Where we find comfort in silence and a place of peace in all of the noise and where everything that is thrown at us makes us better, stronger and more appreciative. where we celebrate life, death and all that comes in between. Where songs sing to us and a loved ones words make us dance. Where what we see in a mirror is a happy, satisfied and fulfilled individual and where we feel bad about how we look at others and not just because of how others look at us.
I dream of a world where i can love you, where i can feel you and where i can know you without having to own you, without having to hate you or without having to fuck you. a world where i can love you, where i can feel you, where i can know you. Know you without having to own you, without having to hate you, without having to fuck you. Without having to fuck you in more ways than one. Without having to own you, without having to hate you, without having to fuck you in more ways than one. Where a smile isn’t a rare gift and where sadness isn’t a curse and where the two together make life worth living. Where media doesn’t define friend or foe and doesn’t tell me how to look, how to feel, how to act and how to live. Where a flower, a smile, a thought, a touch, a smell makes it all worth it and the hardest words are nothing but poetry that spills from our mouth.”)
– If I’m right, the last time you guys toured was in 2011 in South America?
No, South America was in 2008. After that we toured around the US in 2009 and have played another 20 shows or so.
– What memories remain from that time? It was just after the release of “18.61” on Deathwish Inc. What was the reception of the record?
We have only played a few shows since the release of that record. The bulk of our touring happened around “A New Beat from a Dead Heart” which included 2 US tours, 2 European Tours, South America Tour. From our limited experience 18.61 was well received.
– I come from a “second generation” of 108 fans who just lived the releases of this record and the previous one on Deathwish Inc. “A New Beat From A Dead Heart” (2007 – I was born in 1988) and I guess I can say that European guys like me who never had a chance to see you on stage expect so much from the upcoming footages we’ll see from that 2016 tour. Have you ever feel any differences within your audience: like people who had followed 108 from the early days and saw the “obsolescence” of your Krishna Consciousness, those who had always been uncomfortable with mixing music and spirituality, and the younger fans who actually don’t care about faith and just focuse on how good your music is?
Not really. While we had strong philosophical focuses in our initial stages we were a band that people tended to connect with on an emotional level more than anything else. That hasn’t changed.
– Here is a selection of the different songs I love from your different albums (for different reasons), what can you tell me about these tracks: like the different feelings each song reminds you, the mood of the time, how hardcore was going back then, the meaning of the lyrics, how do you feel about each song right now…?
1/ “Hopeless” (1993) on “Holyname” (Equal Vision Records): I’ve always figured this song was one the best 108 songs dealing with karma.
Less about karma and more about self-absorption which leads us to make shallow, greedy and sometimes harmful decisions. It was about the feeling that while that is an almost innate instinct in each of us that with focus one can transcend motivations driven purely by a self serving mindset.
2/ “Hostage: I” (1994) on “Songs Of Separation” (Equal Vision, Lost And Found Records): there are many anthems featuring in this record (“Deathbed”, “Woman”, “Solitary”, “Pale”…), I guess you’ve been interrogated about the meaning of the different lyrics of the entire record tons of times but this very special track really heads me, maybe it’s because of the melancholy of the riff following the introduction of the song – I can repeat this song dozens of times…
I always really loved this song. Similar to Hopless in respect to inspiration.
3/ “Killer Of The Soul” (1996) on “Threefold Misery” (Lost And Found Records): is that 108 best vegan/straight edge song?
Every action has a reaction. Simply put. Make choices by considering what those choices mean to yourself and the world around you.
4/ “Resurrect To Destroy” (2007) on “A New Beat From A Dead Heart” (Deathwish Inc.): I guess this song is the hit song of this LP and one of the most representative work with Deathwish Inc. and Kurt Ballou (with the following song “Martyr Complex”)?
Interesting take. Not sure if we have ever played this song live. I enjoyed making it and, politically speaking, it still rings true to me.
5/ “Early Funeral” (2010) on “18:61” (Deathwish Inc.): I’ve always figured the ending song of your last record was a way to bid farewell to your audience, like “you will never listen to a new song from 108″… Am I right?
No, it had no significant meaning in that context.
– Which record of 108 discography is your favorite? Why?
My favorites would be A New Beat From A Dead Heart and Threefold Misery/Curse of Instinct.
*International Society for Krishna Consciousness