KJM: Well RDS220 is a project where me (KJM) and MPH come together and try put our anger (with the world as it is) in riffs. Yeah, anger with the world, I guess you could say politics has a tendency of touching us in many ways.
MPS: I don’t really see this as a ‘band’ in the classic sense of the word. The core is KJM and myself, we put together the tracks as they present themselves to us. The whole project is very impulsive and primal in it’s heart. When the song is ready, a guestsinger steps in and does the vocals. We try not to interfere in that process. We invite the vocalist to do his or her thing with the song.
2.You label your music as being 'black punk metal, can you tell us a little bit more about this term?
KJM: Well our starting point is black metal, obviously, but we can’t hide our hardcore punk background. More so we don’t want to hide it! We think that merging punk and bm has been done a lot over the years, Watain has a lot of punk riffs, Utzalu uses riffs you can find with all those dirty ‘Youth Attack’ hardcore bands.
Punk also equals a political view on things, and that’s what we have, a (political) view on things, a meaning of our own. So yeah black punk metal, heavy metal, heavy hardcore, … what’s in a name, right?
MPS: I don’t care for terminology to be honest. It’s heavy music, heavy on the stomach, heavy on the nerves, that’s sufficient to me…
3.You released an ep in 4 different chapter and on 4 separate cassettes, what was the decision behind going into this direction instead of releasing the music as a single album?
KJM: Well we started off with 4-5 songs and went like “hey we should do this like back in the days (where most of our influences lay) and start with a demo cassette”. So yeah we started looking into things, got into a talk with friends that run a label and suddenly we’re releasing 4 different tapes in 2 boxes. Another factor that helped form this idea is that RDS is just two people, with no one of us having a decent voice to put in vocals. So instead of adding a vocalist to the project we suddenly came to the idea we should write songs and send them over to ‘vocalist’ friends. So we started talking to vocalists and gave them two songs each. a song on the a-side and one on the b-side. Each vocalist being a chapter. There you have it, our 4 cassette 2 box sets project was born and named ‘Hell Is Truth Seen Too Late’.
MPS: Like KJM says, this grew organically. There was never a clear plan in the sense of: ‘let’s start this and release 4 cassettes’. It just came as it is now.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
KJM: Well as stated above, we’re working with guest vocalists and thus we’re not writing lyrics. We give the vocalists the freedom cowrite their lyrics, but off course they know what RDS stands for and we choose our vocalists also based on their ideas lyrically.
MPS: I added some vocals on the second chapter. ‘Find it and get a free bonus’ 😉 The lyrics are all written by our guests, so it’s kind of their brainchild. The lyrics fit in the the whole era of darkness the world and society is in now. The rise of totallitarian regimes, eco-destruction, humanity as the devil if you want. It’s not the kind of lyrics that cheer you up.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'RDS 220'?
MPS: Look it up, RDS 220 was the code name of a Russian nuclear bomb that set of the biggest explosion known to mankind at the time. It was humongous.
KJM: And like that name we want our music to have an impact as well. A kick in the teeth with every riff we fire…
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the cassette covers?
KJM: Well we wanted the artwork for these cassette releases to be harsh and analog as well. Thematically it needed to be war and politics. So I used images from world war I and II, Erdogan, KKK members, Korean and IS soldiers, etc…
Then I first made a lot of collages (like real magazines, real scissors and real glue) and then ad some harshness in photoshop. We found a font, and then re-drew everything by hand. All was brought together to confront the viewer and make him/her think…
MPS: The artwork and layout was basically done by hand. You can also see it as an homage to the DIY ethics of the hardcore/punk scene.
7.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding the line up or do you prefer to remain a duo?
KJM: We’re not expanding, that’s for sure. We like this way of working, just the two of us, we know and understand each other, that makes the song writing process pretty easy.
MPS: We’ll remain a duo. This seems to be the best way for us to channel everything as impulsive as possible. Extra people bring extra democracy, and that is not always the better thing in musical situations. We’ve been in bands since the fuck I know, to consider everyone’s opinion is a painful and unproductive way to work in many cases. It’s KJM and myself, we throw ideas around and paste everything together. Once we agree on the structures, I program the drums in detail, record a shitload of guitars, KJM records his bass parts and we call the singer. Done. Works like a charm!
8.Both of the cassettes where released on Svart Blod', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
KJM: Well Svart Blod is a small label run by 2 very cool guys. Their releases are not only musically, they also put a lot of effort in the look and feel of their releases. It was their idea to work with 2x cassette boxes, it was our idea to screen print the sleeves, thus it was a perfect match! :-)�MPS: I can only concur.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal and crust?
KJM: Well the orders (for cassette boxes and shirts) came from all over the world so that was cool. Box I is totally sold out, Box II only has like 8 copies left available. And a lot of people are waiting on a vinyl release.Reviews were very positive, Belgian metal press gave us a score of 80/100. Yeah we’re pleased.
MPS: This is a small scale project, and really specific. I am pleased to see that the people who got their hands on it were digging our output. RDS220 is pretty uncut and un-edited. So I can only cheer to the fact that people still like honest music.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
KJM: Well we’ll keep writing songs in the genre we love. We have 3 new songs (title still undefined) almost ready. These are even faster than ‘Hell Is Truth Seen Too Late’ and at the same time also heavier. Drums are really intense on these. Vocalists have been chosen, we’re finalizing everything, maybe these will see a release early next year.�MPS: Yes. Winter is coming…
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
KJM: As for influences, I listen to a lot. A lot of new stuff like Utzalu and Triumvir Foul. A lot of new releases from Funeral Mist, Mare and Marduk (skip the first song though). But also some alder stuff from Marduk and Mayhem and some Death off course… Next to those bands I also listen to a lot of hardcore punk like Vile Gash and Extended Hell…�MPS: I discovered most of my crucial bands in the 90’s, so a lot of Emperor, Nemesis Divina, Death, Dissection. Surprisingly, most of my favourite bands from that time are focusing a lot on melody. I’ve always been a sucker for melody. Iron Maiden, Priest…
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
KJM: Family, Art, skateboarding and soccer. And those last three needs I try to fulfill with the first…�MPS: Family life, drawing, photography, my job…
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
KJM: Well thank you for this interview, keep supporting music.
Get your hands on one of the last cassette boxes and shirts: https://rds220.bigcartel.com
Or buy our music digitally: https://rds220.bandcamp.com�MPS: Hell yes!