With two EP’s under their belts, The Detained have been killing it so far! No need to say that they quickly became one of my favorite, ‘newer’ bands out there and that I couldn’t wait for their first full-length to drop. Well, I’ve had to wait for a while anyway, but “The Beast” is finally out through Contra Records, Longshot Music and Tape Or Die! So time for a little Q&A with frontman Basti!
Hi Basti, how are you? Thanks for taking the time to do this interview! How are things going at the moment?
Hi Mano, I'm still recovering from our record release show which was insane and I’m really excited. Things are going pretty well right now, the record is coming out in two days and so far we have received only positive reviews.
Let’s talk about history first, because The Detained’s members combined have quite a background in the German hardcore(-punk) scene. Can you tell a bit about the pre-The Detained days first?
That’s right, we all played in different bands before. Felix (bass) started Disrespect in the mid-90s, and later played in Battle Royale and Final Prayer till he moved to England in the late 2000s. Mac (guitar) also played in Final Prayer and Make it Count. Gert (drums), who originally is from Belgium and played in several bands/projects there, was playing guitars in Deadlock and Myra. I was singing in the d-beat hardcore band Skräck from 2002 till 2010.
And then in 2014 The Detained was formed, how did you guys got together?
Felix moved back to Berlin from Birmingham and met Dave, our first guitar player, at the birthday party of Stephan, Final Prayer´s singer. Both came up with the idea of starting an Oi! band. I had told Dave a few weeks before, that I would like to start a band too. So Dave asked me if I wanna join and if I knew of a drummer who would fit in. I asked Gert and he instantly said yes. We started rehearsing a few days later and because of our hardcore background the songs we wrote weren’t really traditional Oi!, but hardcore with a street punk twist. Dave left the band in summer 2016 and Mac took over the guitar.
Early 2015 you released your first (and only) demo, which Lionheart Records picked up quite quickly – resulting in the “Aghet” EP. When you recorded those first tracks, did you ever thought they would end up on vinyl so fast?
I knew Christian Lionheart before because I really liked all the Lionheart releases and we started chatting regularly. When I told him that I had started singing in a band he was constantly asking for recordings and when I showed him the first songs we recorded, he told me that he was willing to release them straightaway. Of course we were and still are stoked and happy about such an offer, we didn’t expect that a label would release our stuff so quick.
The artwork of the pre-release version of this EP was violent, while the artwork of the regular version was serene, quite a difference! Was there an idea behind this?
The EP is dedicated to the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire. Both artworks represent parts of this systematic extermination of the Armenian people: torture and imprisonment on the pre-release version; emptiness, despair and death on the regular version.
Shortly after Contra Records was knocking on your door and the next EP – “Iron & Blood” – was there only a few months later, the second EP within a year. Quite fast right?
You’re right, it was only five months later that we went to the studio again. We wrote the songs really quick and we were like „why wait?“. So we recorded the second EP in two days and since Lionheart Records went out of business we had to find another label. We asked Ecke and Hechti from Contra and thankfully they said yes.
Now people had to wait nearly two years for a follow-up on “Iron & Blood”, but luckily the wait is almost over with the release of “The Beast”! Are you excited for The Detained’s first full-length release?
Yes, of course! It’s actually the first time I’m really satisfied with a record that I’m involved in. I like the songs, the sound and the artwork. We did put lots of work into this record and I think you can hear and see that.
Some were mentioning that the sound has ‘changed’, I think that is rather exaggerated. What is your opinion on this matter?
Well, to me it’s more that our sound has evolved. The songs are a bit more melodic than on the EPs and so are the vocals. I dig it, maybe some people like the rougher stuff more, I don’t care.
Could you describe in your own words what people can expect from the album?
A mix of hardcore and Oi! played by old farts who think they have a say.
The period between recording and mixing and the actual release date has been quite long, but are you happy with the final result? Aside of the music, the artwork and that tri-colored slab of wax look are pretty fuckin’ sick as well! But that is just my opinion of course. Your thoughts?
Yes, it took a while, but only compared to our previous releases. There was some stuff which had to be sorted sound-wise, and we wanted to have an American label to co-release the record. Add to this that it takes ages these days to have vinyl pressed. Bloody major labels clogging up the few remaining pressing plants in Europe! We are really happy that Longshot Music jumped in and now our American friends can save on some shipping costs, haha. Like I said before, I’m really satisfied with the record and so is the whole band.
What does this ‘waiting period’ do regarding the process of writing new songs etc...? Is everything on hold or do you carry on with writing new music?- So when can we expect something new? Haha.
Hahaha, you can’t get enough, right?! Of course we keep on writing new stuff, since we enjoy hanging out together in the rehearsal room and playing music. But now it’s more important to play a few shows and see how the people respond to the record and the new songs.
Anyway, congratulations on this killer of a record, you guys are definitely one of my ‘newer’ favorite bands around. What are your favorite new/newer/new-ish bands at the moment?
Thanks a lot! I like lots of newer stuff, No Time, Concrete Elite, Legion 76, Thunder & Glory, No Parole, Junto, Lower Orders are great bands from the States. I’m happy about Bromure since they carry on the legacy of the mighty Maraboots. I can’t wait for that new Live by the Sword record! Have you heard the Masterless Dogs EP and the Faceless Offenders EP yet? Killer! And in April we’ll share the stage with Battle Ruins, Hammer and the Nails, Urban Savage, Fuerza Bruta, Complete Loss, Foreseen and Shipwrecked which are all top bands.
What are The Detained’s future plans? Shows abroad, a split release with one of those bands maybe? What do you want to achieve in the coming years?
We definitely wanna play more shows, abroad would be cool, but here in Germany too. What do we want to achieve…well, we’re a punk band, we just want to have fun together and with our friends! That involves lots of beer and lots of shittalk. Hahaha.
Okay, I think that is about it for now. Thanks again for taking the time and if there is anything you’d like to add, feel free to do so!
Thank you Mano for your support! We really appreciate that. We also want to thank Contra Records, Longshot Music and Tape or Die for releasing „the beast“! And thanks to the readers and everyone who supported us somehow, is it by visiting our shows, buying our records or just downloading it somewhere for free.