counting cracks - the die kreuzen archive

                             1982/3? Flesh & Bones Fanzine Interview

Die Kreuzen interview from Flesh and Bones fanzine. Interview probably conducted in mid-to-late 1982 or early 1983.

F+B: Cows and Beer...does that about sum up Wisconsin?

DAN: Well, a lot of people say, "Wisconsin? What the phuck is in Wisconsin? Cows and phuckin' beer!!"

HERMAN: Ya, alot of people joke about Milwaukee and Wisconsin in general, but we have a good scene around here. Madison has lots of great bands like Mecht Mensch, West World, NFOD, Tar Babies and some others...Madison has some good zines too, Reagan Death, Catholic Guilt, West World...

DAN: Milwaukee has a few bands like Distain, GFO, Sacred Order, INRI and the Shemps are cool too.

F+B: Where do you play?

ERIC: In Madison we've played in people's basements, like with the Crucifucks, that was really cool!

DAN: We also play this place called the Wilmar Center (in Madison). Bone Air is bringing Minor Threat. We played a skate park in Milwaukee a few times, it was cool. One time these hippies came and they got all mad when they found out that the cover was $3 for 3 bands. So one of them spit in a girl's face and she threw soda on him. Then the guy says, "Let's get outta here, we didn't want to hear any of that punk rock shit anyways." Within two seconds the hippies were thrown out the door, but that wasn't enough, they kept calling names so everybody surrounded them and beat them bloody, and the cops came and broke it up and sent the hippies home. So we went back inside and started our set. Man, everybody was skanking and jumping all over the place. That was one of our best shows we ever did!

HERMAN: Those assholes shouldn't have messed with all those skaters and Madtowners, because those guys don't take any shit!

KEITH: But Milwaukee's been really bad lately, no bands coming through at all, local bands aren't playing out much either. We're all searching for halls so we can do more all age shows.

ERIC: Ya, every place has a bar. Only a few don't, and they are real expensive.

F+B: What's the history of the band?

DAN: Not much really, me and Herman and Beezer moved up to Milwaukee from Rockford, Illinois because we had a band and wanted to play where there was some kind of music scene. Rockford didn't have a scene, it has a small scene now.

HERMAN: We called ourselves the Stellas. We were the only punk band in Milwaukee.

ERIC: Ya, we played with Black Flag, Dead Kennedys and lots of others because we were the only band that would fit the bill.

DAN: We changed our name to die Kreuzen about a year and a half ago, when we got Keith on bass and Beezer split to get his own band going, which turned into Sacred Order.

KEITH: Sacred Order has a pretty big following around here...the cassette the put out, "Cranking on a Straight Edge," is really popular.

DAN: Anyways, when Keith joined we got a lot faster and we started playing out of town. The Effigies helped us out with gigs in Chicago and they got us our first gig in Minneapolis too!

ERIC: Those guys are cool. So are the Huskers, they helped us alot too.

KEITH: That was about the time we answered the ad for Charred Remains. Bob Moore liked our sound enough to put two of our songs on the tape and also do a record with us. We split the costs with Version Sound.

F+B: What does die Kreuzen mean?

DAN: We've had a lot of people say it means "the crosses." Somebody told me it means two people meeting on the street in front of a church or something stupid like that. We know that it's German.

ERIC: We don't really know what it means. You'd have to ask our old room mate, Dianne. She's the one that thought it up.

(It's dee Kroitzen, not die Krewzin)

F+B: What music do you listen to?

ERIC: We all have our own taste in music. We listen to a lot of different things.

DAN: I listen to mostly thrash and some older punk. Tar Babies are my favorite band. Crucifix are hot. MDC, Misfits!

KEITH: I'll listen to anything at least once.

ERIC: I still listen to Black Sabbath once in a while. Crucifucks are cool.

F+B: Do you work boring jobs?

ERIC: Ya, pretty much. I sit and answer a phone and watch meters for an alarm company all day.

HERMAN: Me and Dan sling pizzas.

DAN: I don't mind cooking pizza. At least I eat OK.

KEITH: I'm not even gonna talk about the tuna boat I work in!

HERMAN: Keith is a cook in a fast fish place, pure grease, man!

KEITH: It sucks, but at least it's a job.

DAN: At least we have some kind of personal income so that we can use the money that the band makes on stuff that the band needs, like our record, our van, new equipment...

F+B: Some of your songs have a really aggressive attack, not only with the music, but with the words too. What are some of those songs about?

DAN: Well, "All White" is kind of like a scary song...

EVERYBODY: laughter

DAN: It's about being locked in a room with rubber walls. I saw this old movie where they tried to make this guy go crazy by locking him up in a room with a white bright light. Our other songs are about stupid people and what goes on around you every day. Don't be fooled by the plastic wrapper, there are a lot of sick people. It's not that people are idiots, it's just that they don't realize that you can do what you want and not what your friends or boss or family wants. Everybody says it over and over, "Think for yourself," but what else can you say?

KEITH: We're not saying just, "YouYouYou!" and nobody else. We're saying everybody is free to do what they want so don't let anyone dictate to you.

F+B: Are you basically optimistic of pessimistic?

DAN: Some of our songs are very pessimistic, but I wouldn't say we're either in our outlook.

F+B: What's your opinion of ultra-political bands who sing about nothing but nuclear war and Reagan and WW3?

HERMAN: Well, it's cool that they're trying to open other people's eyes and warn them of the danger we are in, but it gets very boring and it all starts to sound the same. I don't want to sound like every other band that comes along singing about that stuff. Sure we have some songs like that, but we write about lots of different things. It's not all, "We're gonna die in nuclear war!"

DAN: Ya, we have songs about just hanging out on a street corner to making love to a mannequin...

F+B: What are your future plans?

DAN: We plan on doing a west coast tour in mid-summer and the east coast in the fall. After we get back from the west we're recording new stuff.

KEITH: We're re-recording everything we know except for the stuff on the single and press a 12 inch.

DAN: One track (no name) is going to appear on Version Sound's compilation album, "Choke Raven, Kill Puppy." We'll also have 2 or 3 songs on a local band compilate tape being put out by local band GFO. It will feature all Wisconsin bands, Mecht Mensch, Tar Babies, Distain, NFOD, West World, INRI, Suburban Mutilation, etc.

F+B: Where have you played outside of Wisconsin?

ERIC: We played Minneapolis a bunch of times. Chicago was lots of fun, we played there a lots of times.

KEITH: We played Indianapolis at an old Catholic Girls' School with the Zero Boys and Moto X. It was cool.

DAN: We also played in Columbus, Indiana with the Pattern and the Repellents and 2 other bands from Tennesee, Malignant Growth and the Modern Jews. We played in church there. It seems like the only places willing to let us do shows are run-down halls and churches.