Prague Post Ank√ľndigung/ Interview/ Review

The Prague post:

When classical met punk
A German hardcore duo finds inspiration in Mozart and Mahler

By Darrell Jónsson
For The Prague Post
July 2nd, 2008 issue


With a decidedly punk band name like Guts Pie Earshot, and a touring legacy that leans heavily on what can be called the squat-and-warehouse circuit, audiences are often surprised to find the confluence of hardcore-meets-Bach-and-Mahler in the music of this unique duet.

Yet for Patrick Cybinski, the band’s cellist and co-founder, the emotions and dynamics of music found in classical concert halls and mosh pits have a lot in common. Specifically, Cybinski says he takes inspiration from “the deep and grave music of J. S. Bach, the flying piano concerts of Mozart and Mendelssohn, with their power and velocity.

As well the nostalgia and desire for death in the music of Gustav Mahler, how he wrote for brass and woodwinds in combination with drums. With Mahler, the emotion is never this heroic thing, like with Bruckner and especially Wagner. For me, it is a music of one wonderful being in the context of a big, fascinating but also confusing world.”

One response to that confusing world was the peaceful vegetarian punk European anarchist realm that gave birth to Guts Pie Earshot in the ’90s.
Although many of the grass-roots community venues where they began their career no longer exist, Guts Pie Earshot drummer Jean Jacobi explains, “One thing that is still there is our political attitude. I think music is a mirror of feelings, and if my feelings are motivated by a political conscience, everybody can hear and feel it in the music. I believe music can open minds for political feelings, and is in the end a political action.”
guts pie earshot at cross club in prague
And Jacobi says he can see the results. “For me, one wonderful thing is to see when the music gives the power to women to defend their place against aggressive men at concerts, and start to show and to live their strength. Or to see homophobic men starting to dance in a dreamy, soft way, letting themselves float in the music in a way they would not have imagined before.”

Touring extensively from their Cologne base since 1993, Guts Pie Earshot has constantly adapted to the changing European musical and social landscape. Beginning as a full five-piece assault that included bass, vocals and guitar, the band has evolved into a minimalist duet who have absorbed lessons from the electronic dance and techno culture. The full spectrum of their vocabulary, which is anything but sparse, can be heard on the 2005 CD/LP Volume One Chapter Two, on Germany’s Bighouse/Major Label Records.

As a live act, the duo further distances themselves from the classical rock style with what Jacobi calls “more of a DJ style — without the same technical tools, but the choreography is more similar to a DJ set. We have our songs, but the interpretation, the song length and the spirit depend totally on the context of the audience, the atmosphere and ourselves.”

In terms of atmosphere, what could be a better fit than the sci-fi interiors of Prague’s Cross Club, where Guts Pie Earshot will be playing Friday night? Looking like the progeny of a wild, arc-welding orgy between Luc Besson and Antonio Gaudi, the Cross Club’s mechanical chandeliers and space-cockpit booths and benches should be a great match for the band’s futuristic punk sound. The club has a punk aesthetic of its own, mirroring the sort of integrity Jacobi talks about when he says, “In every case, our goal is to be authentic.”

Darrell Jónsson can be reached at features@praguepost.com
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