|Release Date:||7th of July, 2022|
|Cover Artwork||Teresa M.|
Next year, we already know that there is gonna be at least one huge show by Shogun Konzerte that is going to take place at the JunkYard in Dortmund on the 6th of February. Singapore Grind masters Wormrot are going to be back in Germany on their Season of Violence Tour 2023 with their latest full-length that once again surpassed all expectations. At their show in Dortmund, the support act will be covered by Crust outfit Menschenstaub, which already captured our attention prior to their current release. With their new album FÄULE having been released this July, we were keen to find out more about the band, its history, their latest release and the Untier Collective that they are part of.
Interview with menschenstaub.
Hello Menschenstaub! Glad to have you at TMB, especially regarding your most recent release “FÄULE” that came out in July. First things first – how are y’all doing recently?
Right back to you, we are excited to talk to you guys. As the combined amalgamation of Menschenstaub, I would say we are doing really good right now. Still high on the feeling of having dropped our latest record and to play our biggest show yet with Wormrot.
When trying to get closer to musicians of a band you recently got into it is obviously interesting to find out if those artists had been active in projects before. Feel free to introduce yourselves and – if desired – tell about previous / active other projects.
Here to answer your questions are: Lucian the Bass player and Marco the vocalist. Missing are Robin on drums aswell as Moritz and Thorsten on Guitar. In my late teens (Marco) I was involved in a few hardcore and beatdown bands, the last one was called „still the enemy“. Besides Menschenstaub there are other projects in the works but nothing to really reveal at this point. I (lucian) was involved with „Greed Killing“ for example,a grind punk band, before Menschenstaub to name one here. Robin our drummer is also in a grunge band called „MAUL“ and is his own sound engeneering entity under the name Rombonaut.
Going by the fact that your initiation was probably located within the situation of the still ongoing pandemic, the question arises – how did you guys find together and what sparked the thought to start off with Menschenstaub?
Menschenstaub was formed in 2019 by Lucian and former vocalist Burk as just an idea and when it slowly revealed itself to be something greater, we step by step added the rest of the bunch.
The spheres of Punk and Extreme Metal are vast, yet I often feel as if especially when feeling drawn towards the framework of Crust (and Sludge), a more personal dedication can be found. What is it that draws you towards this genre and the adjacent ones that find and echo in your output?
The majority of us are rooted in the hardcore or punk scene but nowadays listen to a whole lot of different music and genres. As soon as the idea for this project sparked it was clear we want to be as aggressive and in your face as possible. The German Punk would say „ballern muss dat!“ so we use crust as a baseline and just grab whatever we feel like from different genres to get that point across.
Especially when listening closer into your recent release “FÄULE,” it becomes evident that it is not only Crust as a genre that deals as the basis of your music but also other styles that are close to this one (which is, of course, basically everything). Are there any major influences musically or lyrically in your music?
For the lyrics we are just as widespread with our inspirations. Sometimes you just need it simple and to the point to get aggressions out of your head like on „way of the knife“ which is nothing but a bloody fever dream. Other times we try to get a point across we care about as with „Whale War III“ but the over arching theme that holds it all together is the misery of living in this post modern hell we call reality.
Recapturing the question of inspiration – is there any shared political conviction that serves as a major influence for your music as well as specifically writing your lyrics?
Not sure if you could call us or our lyrics politically driven but it’s obvious that we‘re pissed at how things are, monetarily driven zombies running this shit show and screaming at people over distorted noise is our way to cope with that.
Last year, you informed about the sad passing of your friend and vocalist Burk. I am deeply sorry about that. It must have been difficult to decide whether to continue with Menschenstaub as a band after such a tragic loss. He has surely found a way to eternalize his voice with your debut EP 001. Can his legacy be found on “FÄULE” as well in some way?
Thank you, that means a lot. Giving up or ending this thing he created was never an option but it took some time to mourn and to figure out how to continue. Konstantin from our friends at „Lifetaker“ introduced the band and Marco. It took just one meeting and band rehearsal together and it was clear this fits! All the songs for this record were already done and recorded before Burk passed away and Marco used some of his lyrics or already thought up themes and went with it. Burk was also an artist, he made drawings and collage work that inspired the way we approach all the visuals of the band.
The title of your album – “FÄULE” (translated: putrefaction) – bears certain overt images. What is the aspect that had you decide to choose this specific word in order to interconnect all of the tracks on this release by naming the album as such?
In fact the title was the last thing we picked, after the artwork was made by our friend Teresa and everything else was done. Fäule just somehow encapsulates the themes of this record, the artwork and the kind of air we breath in our practice space.
On “FÄULE,” there is only one German track called “Schattenkreise.” Why did you decide to switch from English to German on especially this track?
As with the pool of music we pick and choose from we felt like this pure punk piece just worked better in German. The song „Interzone“ is half German half English, it deals with destructive drug use and the switch between languages is used here as different voices in your head. Going forward we will use this more often in our song writing process.
In 2021, you also proudly announced having become part of the Dortmund-based Untier Collective. How did this collaboration find its initiation?
Menschenstaub and Cendre are close friends and rehearsal space neighbors and we already thought about forming some kind of collective and through research came across the already existing Untier Collective in an early stage. After some shared beers and thoughts it was very soon clear that we all want the same thing and think alike so we put it all together under one banner.
This collective is composed by several bands (Cendre – Godmorgon – Hosianna – Amimia – Hjortgurd) as well as e.g. tattoo artist and illustrator Sushi (IG: @yog__soltho_th). What is the overarching theme that serves as the framework bringing together the different artists within the collective?
There is an aesthetic that connects us all. The platform or way of expression does not really matter. It’s all about the connection of the underground, to collect a lot of voices and let them be heard louder together.
So far, the Untier Collective brings together bands as well as illustrators. Are there any plans to cover additional branches in the future by collaborating with other artists?
We don’t look for a specific form of artistry or musician, so far everybody who joined just really loved the ideas,the aesthetics and wanted to bring there own take on it to the table. This is all just in it’s infant state and we ourselves don’t know how this untier keeps unfolding in the future but we are ambitious and ready to tame it.
In your announcement, you mentioned that becoming a member of the collective will be a possibility to go beyond the capabilities of you as a band alone – forming the underground. What exactly do you mean when you talk about “forming” the underground?
It’s all about connecting. We got an idea about creating a pool of musicians and artist, bookers and venues can pick from. Easier excess to an already existing platform to promote your art. All of these are big ideas and dreams but so far it just feels good to bring a bunch of hungry artist together and do shit!
It is more than clear that the DIY spirit marks one of the major driving forces of Menschenstaub as well as the Untier Collective. What benefit do you see by deciding to take matters into your own hand by actively choosing to fully rely on yourself?
It just feels right and close to the music we make. From the way we record our music to how it ends up in the hand of the listener, authenticity is just part of the punk spirit. Through the people in the collective we learned how to print our own patches, filmed our own music videos or build our own stage props. With every new mind, there are new ideas that make it easier and frankly less scary to be ambitious with your new band or project.
Thanks a damn lot for taking your time answering the questions. As usual – the last words will belong to you.
Thank you for having us! We are very thankful for the oppertunity! Check out our new record „Fäule“ on our Bandcamp, stream it, share it, buy it on tape! Check out the Untier Collective and don’t be shy, if anything we talked about resonates with you than please feel free to reach out. Keep being loud about the shit that pisses you off in this world and hope to see you let loose at one of our shows. Cheers.