My printed zine Ploppy Pants officially came to an end after 13 issues and nearly 9 years of activity in 2012. Since then I've thought very little about the zine and its content, walking away from it fully to work on fresh projects, in fact I almost gave up on all my punk activities in 2012, but when Thisclose started snowball I realised I had once last horse to take over the finish line. Anyway my recent post South East Asia bout of salmonella got me thinking about Ploppy Pants and all the interviews I did over the years, some very much relevant to the time, but others, like the one below, which i think could be appreciated by a wider audience. As part of my plan to revive this blog I'm hoping to go through the Ploppy Pants archive and dig out some of the more interesting interviews and articles for a new audience of readers, as a first serving i have got me dirty mits on an Unholy Grave interview from 2008.
Unholy Grave for those not in the know are about as cult as it comes. An underground powerhouse of the highest order they have been relentlessly releasing records since the early 90's and will most certainly have one of the most impressive back-catalogs in grindcore, second only to Belgian legends Agathocles. my first introduction to Unholy Grave was in a Leeds record shop whilst on tour early 2005, I had pulled their 'Aussie Disorder' double 7" out the rack and was taking in the fantastic art and luxurious packaging when the guitarist from The Process lent over and said something along the lines of "Great band, buy that record, they all sound the same." The record was purchased, my head was smashed and over the following years a modest collection of Unholy Grave 7"s began to gather under my bed. My collection was nothing compared to the likes of Stuart Bartlet, but when I sold off my record collection I was very sad to see the UG stuff go, especially the 'Aussie Disorder' 7" I had bought so many years earlier and which had, in it's own way, changed the way I thought about and approached my own music.
Anyway, its 2014 and if an artist ever farted, chances are its on Youtube, so here is that life changing record for your digital enjoyment - prob not as cool without the lengthy sleeve notes come tour diary that came with the original!
And here is the interview from Ploppy Pants zine, enjoy!
Ok Takaho can you tell us whats up with Unholy Grave right now, I guess your back from your summer tour in the US, how was that and whats happening next with the band?
" well, i am just home from Tokyo . we played with die you bastard,little bastards,hazard,etc....it was an awesome gig !
yeah,our west coast usa tour 2007 with INSECT WARFARE was great !we played at a radio show ,too .it was our 1st experience. insect warfare dudes were great on live and very nice guys,too. because of this,tour was lots of fan !!! i will organize insect warfare japan tour in may 2008. it should be fun !!"
UG are well known for having released a lot of releases especialy split 7"s so my first questions are can you remember every band you have made a split with, have you done every split you've been offered and are there any split releases which stand out for you for any special reasons (the agathocles splits for example?)
" no , i can not remember every bands ....i know it sounds little silly, but i just can not remember....i sometimes say "no "to release offer. i wanna say every release is "special" for me ........ "
I've interviewed Jan from Agathocles for this issue of my zine as well and he has hinted that there might be a 4th UG?AG split coming, can you tell us anything about this or is it still top secret?
" only i can say is there is possibilities of "agathograve #2 " split cd......
let's wait and see...... "
since so many of your releases are extremely limited do you have any plans to re-release them in discography format?
" no . we do not have any plans to re-release our old records.....but who knows our future ?....."
at lot of the lyrics of UG talk about how we never seem to learn from mistakes of the past such as war atrocities/crimes and racism. Do you think we as humans are trapped in a cycle of repetition or do you think we can bring peace to the planet?
" what can i say...... we should keep trying to bring peace to the planet..."
Another big lyrical theme of UG is terrorism so I wondered what the situation is like in Japan since we hear so little about it on our news, have there many 'terrorist' attacks there and how is your government since the twin tower bombings, have they introduced any new anti-freedom laws in the name of the 'war on terror'?
" i would like to say everyday,anywhere,the-bomb-blast could happen !!you know any new laws can not stop terrorist attacks. coz it depends on their "moral "......terrorism sucks!!"
ok back to the band, you've done quite a few European and US tours now as well as South East Asia and Australia so can you tell us a little about what you've thought of the different places you've been, how they've differed to Japan? How has Unholy Grave been accepted worldwide? Have you experienced any big cultural differences on your travels?
" it is difficult to explain but,every country has their own culture ...so it is always fun to feel the difference.....it seems people liked/enjoyed our live show. i really appreciate that.....anyway i like tour !!...."
what's been the strangest thing you've been offered to eat whilst on tour? I know a lot of European bands hate the beans on toast that we eat over here everyday, did you get offered them on the uk tour?
" beans on toast are ok !"
I'm guessing your a metal are a metalhead as well as a dirty punk rocker with your choices of cover songs and splits with Nunslaughter and Sabbat so can you pick a few metal albums that perhaps are not so well known that us grind freaks should be checking out?
" ok, ACID (belgium) "acid "lp, BACKWATER (germany) "revelation"lp , FLATBACKER ( japan ) "accident "lp & "esa " lp ,and.....ENGLISH DOGS (uk )"forward into battle "lp......."
When was the first and last times you felt like you were watching your heroes when you saw a band play live?
" not really......"
Unholy Grave seems to have a record appearing at least once a month these days, since you do all the artwork your self as well as recording and writing for all these releases I wondered how much of your life Unholy Grave takes up, do you have any other interests outside the band or is Unholy Grave pretty much your life?
" UG takes big part of my life....and i am enjoying to handle/manage lots of things by myself though i have a full time job......( i am a "mover"over 20 years ) besides ug, i like watching movies & watching bands in the weekend at my favorite clubs.......oh,well,one more thing...i am a big RAMONES fan. so i formed a Ramones-cover-band called UG. RAMONE .it is really fun !!"
since this is Ploppy Pants fan zine Takaho we gotta ask, do you have any funny stories about someone from the band shitting in their pants on tour??
" yes, actually,there are some stories ...but i can not tell you who's got that problem....it should be "secret"ha ha!! "
right final question from my mate Dave, what makes a grave unholy??????
" hummmmmmnnnn....it sounds better if it was "graves of the unholy "......make sense ?? "
ok any last words or coments please write them here, what releases are upcoming, where can people get your releases etc.
" thanx for this interview. check out our "revoltage"new cd/lp which just came out from agromosh records.... some splits are coming soon. split 7"with mind of asian,split 7"ep with flash gordon ,and split 7" with total fucking destruction....and split lp with insect warfare ....if you want to buy something,just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. thanx a million for all our funs/labels for your support!stay happy and stay positive!!i hope to see you on the road!!so grind on !!cheers!!"