Love it or loathe it, Industrial metal has its place, and its fans, and sort of bridges the gap between straight up head banger shock and techno-tweaked digital darkness, creating a rough musical landscape that is brutal yet somehow refined and ordered. German aggro-metal band, Testify fall into this niche and have been steadily evolving since their debut in 1993. Now, after unleashing their fifth album on the Van Richter label, "Triviality Beyond Acceptance", Testify show no signs of stopping or softening. Like their contemporaries in KMFDM, Die Krupps and Ministry, Testify bring the noise, tempering their terror with dance floor friendly beats and machine sculpted menace. Fango spoke briefly with Testify vocalist Myk Jung to talk about the project he has dedicated his energies to for so many years.
You've been compared favorably to Ministry, were they - are they still
Hello This is Myk Jung lead vocalist answering your interview questions. When we first arrived on the music scene in the early 1990's we were always compared to the Aggro sound of Ministry. Our first release "01" hit after Psalm 69 so the press always hyped us as Germany's answer to Ministry. To answer your question yes Ministry as well as the entire Aggro metal crossover scene was a big influence on us then as well as now including other bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Die Krupps.
As your music progresses, we see how it has been refined, more elegant in a way....is this a sign of maturation or simply wanting to try something new?
Testify started out as a side project of a dark wave industrial band called "The Fair Sex" that was always praised and compared to Skinny Puppy. TFS was the big name at least in Europe as we toured big festival gigs with bands such as Sisters of Mercy and Project Pitchfork. Testify was a release for myself Rascal and Mathias for a more aggressive crossover metal industrial style which TFS was not interested in pursuing. Our first record was recorded very quickly in time to make tours with such big bands as Die Krupps. As we worked with better engineers and producers over time such as Keith Auerbach, Howie Beno and Adam Grossman of Ministry fame we were able to create a more refined sound.
Is TESTIFY still an outlet for your aggression? When you're not crushing skulls in the band, what sort of music do you listen to? What other media influences you. Are you horror movie fans?
Yes as mentioned Testify started as an outlet for our anger as a side project before becoming the main band now for over a decade. Both Rascal and I are also in The Fair Sex as well as several other projects including Nice Gods Bleed, 1000 Beats and Rotersand. We listen to many electronic as well as metal artists from the old and new guard including Kraftwerk, Swamp Terrorists, Skrew, and Ministry of course among others. Germany unlike the states is not so media driven. We have a big underground sub culture of festival tours. Traditional radio as you may know it in the states is very limited here on the influence of underground music. Clubs also are an important factor. Yes we love old school horror movies by such masters as Clive Barker. One TFS song called Cold Contempt has a Hellraiser sample.
Why doe some of the most brutal strains of pop culture emanate from Germany?
I think our country's storied past and understanding as well as embracing of the dark side of life in our culture has been the direct result of our brutal strains cultural output the rest of the world expects from us. It is part of the fatherland and Germanic culture probably going back to the dark ages. Thank you for the interview and we are big fans of your horror movie magazine.
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