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Heros & Zeros (Netherlands - Oi!)


Not all streetpunk bands hail from the UK or Germany. The dutch representative is Heros & Zeros. Started as a hardcore orientated punkband, their style moved on to streetpunk/Oi!...

Somewhere in 2005 - Author: Paul Benschop - band website
First published: Smashed Images issue 3 - november 2005
russian Click here for a Russian translation (new window)

Heros & Zeros

Who are the band members and how does your daily life look like?
Here we go: Marko is our singer, Anna plays bass, RC drums, Boban plays trumpet and Mali and I play guitar. We all got jobs: RC is fireman, Mali works in a library and Boban is sound engineer. Marko is, besides his job also busy with his other band Vitamin X.

Can you tell something more about the band s history?
It started in 1998 as a side project next to the bands some of us where involved back then. RC and Mali played in Soberesponse and Marko in Vitamin X. Their roots are hardcore, but Oi! Was also something they were into, so they started Heros & Zeros. Just before the recordings of a demo they decided to add a trumpet player to the band and it worked out well. Mad Butcher released the demo as a 7 and soon after it I joined the band as second guitar-player and then we were complete.

Some of the band members have a SxE background. Isn’t it a big swerve to form a streetpunk band?
It isn’t really possible is it? But actually Marko is the only one who still keeps his hands of alcohol, for the rest of the band it s already history. Also for Marko there will be no help, also he had to start, but right now he doesn’t make headway.
When it comes to the music it s for sure something different, but everyone in the band has a different taste, different influences and a different background. I think this all comes back into our sound. You can still here the hardcore-influences. We re not really a band who shouts Oi! in every song or only sings about beer. But in the end we re still just herberts.

Within the dutch Oi!/streetpunk scene you can be considered as an outcast. Isn't it very frustrating for you? For what sort of audience do you mostly play?
Tss, we're no outcatst, we create trends you know! Soon every Oi! Band has a SxE singer, a trumpeter and left-wing bullshit in between the songs. But yes, you re right, but frustrating& no, not really. We don t want to be restricted by a scene and for us it isn’t really important if we are part of some scene. We play were we got invited. In Holland we mainly play for punks and less for skins, there aren’t that many in Holland anyway. In other countries this is different. Then the audience more often exists of skins mixed with punks. We attract all sort of people, it just depends on where we play.

Your CD Wake Up Call has been released last year, how are the reactions so far?
The CD was released a bit more than a half year ago. The reactions were positive and most of the reviews were positive as well. Most people think it s original and they like it, but there re also people who don t know how to label us and then don t know what to do with our music, but for us that doesn’t really matter. As a band we re happy with the result, but still it was our debut and our first recording with the current line-up. We still learn a lot and we surely think some things can be improved, so our next record will be better for sure.

Heros & Zeros

To promote your CD you did a tour through other European countries. Are there big differences in between playing in Holland and other countries? I hear from several bands that Holland has a boring and indulged audience...
Sometimes I hear this as well and first I could agree with this as well. During that European tour we had a good time. Especially in the East and South-east of Europe people go wild. There re quite a lot of bands who forget these countries, so then an audience is much more enthusiastic when a foreign band comes. I think we did more gigs in Germany than in Holland and the beginning we for sure noticed this, because across the border people react with more enthusiasm. But during the last few gigs we had in Amsterdam showed us something else than the prejudices about Amsterdam and Holland and its so-called boring/indulged audience. Some people were dancing and others sang along, something I haven t seen for a while, so its getting better.

For your 7" you recorded some songs which deal with the subject of the situation in the former Yugoslavia and the changes after the fall of Milosovic. Can you describe the impact of the last years and the war on the Serb society?
By the war and of course the political and economic situation lots of things have changed, and not everything has improved. But the fact that Milosovic was deposed by a revolution from below by common people gives us hope. That students and workers realised to depose a leader is just wonderful. But the new government is also full of shit with very less concrete plans for economical improvements. Herewith comes that there re more laws created to protect the rich and there are unions who became illegal. But the most important is the fact there s hope under the people and that is a good sign.

Some of the band members are active within the International Socialists, can you tell a bit more about this organisation and your involvement?
It s a worldwide leftwing political organisation who organises meetings, discussions and demonstrations. The organisation was important in all big demonstrations the last few years against the war(s), G8, nazi s, Balkenende (the Dutch prime-minister) and other things which aren’t cool as well. Some of us are active members, but Heros & Zeros isn’t a band who will be attached to a political party. When you read our lyrics people will see what sort of things we piss us off.

Is there anything you like to add to this interview and when can we expect a new CD/LP?
This year we will come with something new in the format of a single, compilation or a new album or maybe all of them! We already wrote some new material and it sounds a bit different then our debut, so be aware! Thanks for the interview! Keep on!