It must have been around 1988 when LÄRM called its quits and Paul,Olav, Jos and Menno decided to call their new band SEEIN'RED. Menno did not stay long in SEEIN'RED because he moved to Amsterdam to complete his lawstudy and another reason to quit the band was the fact that he felt that belonging to the punkscene wasn't that much fun anymore, the scene he used to know had changed too much, for Menno it was an end to an era.
After Menno had left we asked Burt to join on Bas-guitar and Jos became the singer,
Olav stayed on drums and Paul on guitar. In this early line-up we recorded our very first 4 songs, including "System”, a RONDOS cover song, who ended up on the INTIFADAH compilation LP. Soon after we had recorded this stuff Jos wanted to get back on bas because he didn't feel Comfortable as a singer/frontman. We more or less made the decision to continue as a trio: Paul guitar & vocals, Olav drums and Jos bas & vocals, and that's what the band still is nowadays.
After leaving SEEIN RED, Burt moved on and would start his own bands: PROFOUND, MANLIFTINGBANNER, COLT TURKEY & DEAD STOOL PIGEON.
Jos, Paul & Olav have been playing in various punk bands together since 1979: THE SEXTONS. DISTURBERS, TOTAL CHAOZ, LÄRM & SEEIN'RED. And beside those bands Paul & Olav used to play in: PROFOUND, MANLIFTINGBANNER and COLT TURKEY.
Jos did spend some weeks in PROFOUND as well and played in ORWELL NATION and KRIEGSTANZ (both bands did split up), currently he's in a new band called STAATHAAT.
Musically SEEIN'RED was more or less a counter-reaction on LÄRM. At the time we were sick and tired of just playing short and fast hardcore songs and we wanted to go in a somewhat other direction.
The initial stage of SEEIN'RED was an attempt to play a different style of punk-hardcore. Influenced by bands like the MINUTEMEN, FAITH, IGNITION, FUEL, FUGAZI etc, we tried to mix those influences with our own style, and some of that can be heard on our first records. But looking back at it, we never could play this sort of music really well.
It became clear to us that with our limited musical abilities we should have sticked to what we were good at. We slowly drifted back to the fast and short style of raging punk thrash. And around the same time we were fucking blown away by bands like DROP DEAD and STACK, both bands had a big impact on us. It made us realize again, that this uncompromising style of punk was more our "cup of tea" and a far better way to express our frustration, boredom, oppression and anger!
It doesn't mean that SEEIN'RED is now about "bringing back the sound of LÄRM ", we think we do sound different nowadays and musically there are different punk styles we address. In fact we are influenced by all kinds of music, because there's more music out there than just punk and hardcore. We also listen to 60's beat & punk, jazz, blues, hip/hop, rock'n'roll, soul, indie-stuff, folk, country …etc. It's all stuff we listen to and therefore an influence but you probably never heard it through all the fucking noise we make.
We see ourselves as a political D.I.Y. punk band. The band is our vehicle for outrage, and a way to voice our political beliefs. And although it's Paul who writes most of the lyrics, the band agrees on the content.
We are also told that our lyrics are simple/sloganistic , and o.k. our writing skills are maybe not our strongest part, but it's not a reason for us to not speak out.
In fact the 'simplicity' of our lyrics is some way also our strength: The power of simplicity! It makes our lyrics really direct so you cannot mistake it for bullshit!
Without going over the top, it's important for a band to take themselves serious. It's also because we are a punk band, and good punk bands do have a social conscience. That doesn't mean that we don't have fun, without our sense of humor we wouldn't have survived the past fucking 26 years as a band. In fact humor is essential and punk should be fun, but we should not promote stupidity.
To some extend our lyrics are a social commentary which reflect our vision on society and the world as we experience it . This sometimes is pessimistic, and often loaded with frustration and rage, but never without hope for some sort of political and revolutionary change.
SEEIN'RED is not a human juke-box, we like to explain our lyrics. We pretty much hate it when the only reaction we get at our concerts is people shouting shit like: "Shut up and play!". We won't shut up or become silent in order to not preach to the converted , the "preaching" between our songs is an essential part of an SEEIN RED concert .there's a lot of things that make us angry and we're just trying to explain where this anger is coming from and what we are about.
Punk is more than music to us and we try to bring our message to the soapbox that is our community. We hope that our songs make people think and we hope that we get our point across. We're just trying to provide a spark for something.
Obviously we are 3 different people who share a lot of common ground, many goals political beliefs and aspirations, that we hope to achieve through our collective efforts.
Our political roots lie in the anarchist movement. When we got into punk in 1977, we also got interested in the politics of punk : Anarchy. We became active in a local anarchist-squat & action group and with some of our best mates we made an anarcho-communist zine called ALARM 84. But after a few years we got disillusioned with the anarchist collective and drifted more towards Communism. It can't be denied that we were taking a lot of influences from the Dutch punk band RONDOS from Rotterdam, their records, lyrics and ideas had a big influence on us, and the way how they handled things with the Red Rock collective, their label: King Kong records, their fanzine: Raket and the Red Rat comic books etc, etc was a big inspiration .
Halfway the 80's we were definitely on the red side of the political spectrum. In fact Menno, the singer of LÄRM, was a member of the Communist Party and Paul & Olav have been members of the New Communist Party. Right now none of us are members of any political party but we support a few. We learn from many revolutionaries and we idolize none.
LÄRM, SEEIN RED, MANLIFTINGBANNER etc did put red politics on the Dutch punk/HC map, still we are not just a commie band. SEEIN RED are a collective of punks who may describe themselves as Communist/Socialists/Anarchist but more important than these labels is what we really think, and what bring us together. We believe that the ideas and politics you have are more important than what you call them. Anyway to us Communism stands for the struggle of the working class and oppressed people against its oppressors, it's the future society where the means of production, the world's environment and the intellectual and scientific knowledge of humanity will no longer be the private property of a few, but the heritage of all. Communism -the human community, the collective being, the classless society-free of racism, sexism and homophobia remains the perspective for which we fight. We are part of a struggle that goes back thousands of years. Conditions change and some of the theory and strategy of communism has also changed, but we defend the basis of that struggle and see ourselves a part of that struggle.
SEEIN RED is about anti-capitalism , we believe that the capitalist system breeds most, if not all, ills in this world. The competition for markets produces devastating wars and environmental destruction. The profit motive of capitalism is a major cause of the problems we face in today's society like: inequality, poverty, alienation, crime, discrimination, homelessness, etc etc. Each day we witness that we live in a world full of greed, injustice, oppression, wage-slavery, class distinctions, racism, sexism, hate, homophobia, exploitation, military madness, religious fundamentalism etc. And in this current world Capitalism is the dominant ideology and therefore our main enemy.
Now some people will say: "Keep your politics out of the punk/HC community!". Or may not be interested in politics because they feel you can't do anything to bring about change. But maybe you should be interested. Politics, after all, is very much interested in you because you are component of what is called the labor market, you are part of the current political system. They admit that one of their roles is to manage the economy, and most important component of the economy is YOU! You are an absolutely essential part of the power and wealth of your fucking bosses and political rulers. Only as long as you accept this inequality, which has so many destructive consequences, can it remain!
As said before SEEIN RED is a PUNK band, but what does that mean? Punk means a thousand different things to a thousand different people, but all that really matters is what it means to you. There is this D. Boon sticker that says: PUNK IS WHATEVER WE MADE IT TO BE and that's right on!
Punk to us is more than just the music, we don't want it to be just another music scene, a youth subculture, a fashion parade or another fucking trend.
We want to be part of something that stresses the importance of political thought and action in the punk/hardcore community. It sometimes seems like speaking one's mind or expressing yourself at shows has become an issue to fight about. The calls to ''Shut up and play!" , and "leave your politics at the door!", or "You're PC nazi's!" etc, are becoming more regular. These people don't want to hear us talk in between songs, they just want to hear the music, they want to be fucking entertained. Well we do entertain but at the same time we use the fucking microphones, and the space we are playing in, to SPEAK OUT! No matter if there are assholes trying to shut us down.
We try to keep punk from becoming pre-dominantly contentless and superficial.
The punk-community is one of the last places where we can still voice our opinions and concerns. We don't want that to change. We believe punk/hardcore should be an political underground movement, independent from the mainstream music industry.
To quote Tim Yohannan:
"What's important about punk rock is its independence of government and corporations and its network that exist outside of that. That is, what is political, not the words, not the music as much as the independence!
all credit to seein' red's Biography on their home page.
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