Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Being vegan edge is just being myself": An interview with PURIFICATION

Purification is in my opinion one of the most important bands for the vegan straight edge movement. And why, you may ask? Well, simply because they are one of the few who can combine both the important message and the hard music to make the perfect combo. Stalwarts of a scene in which the norm is to come and go, these Italians have stayed the course and now they are here to reap the results. They have been through a lot as a band, and it is definitely nice to see them coming back with such a strong album and the same comviction in veganism and the straight edge!

p.s. Review for A Torch o Pierce the Night coming soon!
1. Hi there and confradulations on the crushing new album! Can you tell us where "A Torch To Pierce the Night" picks up compared to last album? What is the meaning of the album title (please elaborate)?

- Thanks! Well, the new album sounds a little bit more metal than the last one and the major change has been the switch at the vocals, consequently changing the lyrics style as well. The meaning of the title is to carry a positive message in the sense that we still have to be brave and even if few we must carry the torch (our values) that enlightens todays era where you see so few of them.

2. You're a legendary band. What are the pressures of being one of the few vegan edge hc/metal bands left today? Is the message as important as it used to be or do you want to focus on the music?

- Thanks but I'd doubt very much we're legendary! There are no real pressures other than the urgency of putting out a record that has a meaning. Hence the heavy importance of the lyrics, where we try to convey a hard yet compassionate message to whoever interested.

3. The new album has a heavier Slayer influence but also many atmospheric intros and keyboard parts. Do you think metal is a good carrier? What about the hardcore aspect? Where do you feel you belong as a band?

- We've always been more on the metal edge of the core, the album is just another evolution towards that. I believe the hardcore aspect is more in the lyrics and on the message we carry rather than musically.

4. Your lyrics portray a post-apocalyptic/war imagery & notion which hide an environmental/eco message. Can you tell a little more about the lyrics and the use of metaphors in your songs?

- I can tell more about the latest ones, which are the ones I wrote. I've tried to be focused on a slightly more positive and open message but keeping the hard edge on. I want people into this music to be able to identify themselves in the lyrics and the message to be a positive change for the world we live and for the vegan edge ones to keep on going on and try to be the best example, to lead and have people be interested more into veganism rather than pushing them out. I want people to be conscious of their choices.

5. The new album contains a spoken word by all-time hardcore icon, Jon Joseph (Cro-Mags). Can you tell us how that came about? What about other scene pioneers you've met (i.e. Vegan Reich's Sean Muttaqi and Earth Crisis's Karl Buechner): who is the most influential?

- The idea just popped up as I've been following John Joseph in his vegan quests and battles for quite a long time and I thought it could fit perfectly with what we're trying to say with this album.
Hard to say the most influential, every one of them has something special in some way that is worth to get to know and that contributed to veganism.

6. Is it hard to maintain you beliefs in veganism and straight edge while growing up? Have you mellowed out or compromised in any way? Is the scene better now compared to the past?

- Not at all, being vegan edge is just being myself. I think I'm trying more nowadays than yesterday to get more people aware of their choices, to change some lives for the better.
I know almost nothing about today's scene, and to be honest I don't really care anymore. I care about veganism and I care about people with something to say, which is rare today.

7. It seems common for people in vegan/sxe to fade in and out of the public eye (including Purification). Why is that?

- The public eye follows trends, vegan xxx has never been one but for a short time at the end of the 90's.

8. Can you shed some info about your personal life? What are the things you love/hate in everyday life, and what is your typical day?

- I'm just a regular guy who works as a web developer, I like vegan food, traveling and stay with my family :)

9. Militant and hardline scenes seem to arise again in vegan/sxe hc. What are your views on hardline vegan sxe? I am talking about people being pro-life, anti-gay, anti-tattoos, sxe who don't drink coffee or eat tropical fruit and all of that... what is your stance?

- I had no clue about those bands, people who are too hard and pure tend to fade away quickly, we've seen so many already. I don't see many problems in being pro-life, I've plenty of tattoos and I have no problem with people with a different sexual preference than mine. I don't drink coffee because I don't like it, I try to avoid sodas and I love tropical fruits.

9. I hate to ask this, but would you care to clear up the rumors about people in Purification being right wing or racist? I have seen pics with you wearing anti-racist tshirts, so what is the deal with the rumors?

- People love to talk shit when you don't sell out and have strong beliefs, personally I don't give a crap about the losers that are big mouth on the web and when you play don't even have the courage to come up and have a chat about those things they make up while they don't even know you are.

10. Do you have any other music projects? What type of music do you listen daily (both hardcore and non-hardcore)? Do you have any other source of inspiration (books/art/anything else)? Do you have any reading material to recommend to people?

- We don't at the moment, we're quite too busy with life itself! I do listen to quite a lot of regular music, the one that plays on the Italian radios...I also like a lot the indipendent Italian hip-hop as well. Inspiration comes mostly from the regular people we meet on the day-to-day basis, people that dedicate themselves to make this place a better world. People running farm sanctuaries, people doing demos, people doing actions, volunteers, people writing, people not giving up.
I recently read Eating Animals by Safran-Foer and the documentary Forks Over Knives, bot highly recommended to everybody.

11. You've lived this scene from the inside out. What keeps you inspired to do what you do? Is there an ethic or philosophy that you would like to pass on or be remembered for?

- The vegan straight edge.

12. That is all, thank you very much. Please close this interview in any way you want to. Give a message to the still vegan straight edge kids and those who sold out/who will sell out in the future.

- Be who you want to be but think responsibly. Be part of the solution. Peace.

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