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Hokum - Observing the German Tradition

Discussion in 'Unsigned Spotlights' started by circus_brimstone, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. circus_brimstone

    circus_brimstone Forest: Sold Out

    Jul 5, 2003
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    [​IMG]By Jason Jordan

    Introduce yourself to who are you, what instrument(s) do you play, and what band are you in?

    Hey there. My name is Jonas Fischer, but my friends call me JoeC. I’m the bass player in the HeavyDeathThrash band Hokum from Munich, Germany!

    I’ll start with a question regarding location. I believe certain countries are associated with the genre/subgenre of metal they produce most often or the style that’s gained them the most acclaim. For instance, when I think of Sweden, Swedish death metal comes to mind. When I think of Norway, I recall Norwegian black metal. Is this a bad thing, or just a natural occurrence that must be dealt with? Does this trend discourage new, up-and-coming bands?

    I think this has already been the case in the early years of metal, genres like “Bay Area Thrash” or “Floridian Death Metal” will always be in the mouths of the metal listeners, so I don’t think this will change. It’s not a bad thing in my opinion, as it shows the international and multitudinous facets of the metal scene. No young band should be discouraged by this. Moreover, it would really be sad if young bands would always follow the schema: “Ok, we’re from Germany, so we have to do good ol’ thrash.” Would be very boring. Nothing new would develop.

    Germany, your country, has been in league with thrash as evidenced by bands such as Destruction, Kreator, and Sodom. In more recent times, however, Germany is gaining in the metalcore race with Caliban and Heaven Shall Burn leading the pack. What do you think about this development? Even though the thrash legends listed above are still together, will Germany be known for another style in the next few years?

    Metalcore is gaining a lot of publicity at the moment. No one knows how long this will last, perhaps one year or perhaps ten years. But as you said, the thrash bands are still around. You see, a new style doesn’t mean the death of the older one.

    Name one great thing about coffee. Now, what’s bad about it?

    Good thing: You can flavor chocolate with it. Hmm, coffee chocolate.
    Bad thing: Makes you nervous and your teeth yellow.


    Your website has the Oxford definition of “hokum” at the very top. Though that’s probably more reliable, says that “hokum” means the following: “something apparently impressive or legitimate but actually untrue or insincere; nonsense.” Why’d you choose the word for your band’s name if it actually has such a negative connotation?

    We used the name Hokum before we actually knew its real meaning. But we also think that a healthy dose of self-irony is important to make good music. So we did not change it after we found out the real meaning.

    Complete the sentence that follows: “I’d say the thing we most like about playing music is _______, and if we were to be compared to one band and one band only, I think we’d like to be compared to _______.”

    “I’d say the thing we most like about playing music is doing gigs, getting drunk with the fans and having fun, and if we were to be compared to one band and one band only, I think we’d like to be compared to old Metallica

    What are your opinions on the prevalent use of Photoshop in relation to art? Have the “good ‘ol days” – when album artwork was photographed, painted, drawn, etc. – disappeared?

    As long as there are great painters creating great artworks, the handmade covers won’t disappear. Photoshop is nevertheless a powerful tool to further improve artwork. Both things have the right to exist.

    On a similar note, in one of Hokum’s promo photos, you all are standing next to a construction vehicle. If one pays close attention, one can see your logo affixed to the graffiti-laden vehicle. I really have no idea where I’m going with this, so let’s just move on.

    To answer the question you wanted to ask: Yes, Photoshop.


    No Escape is a sizeable EP from unsigned artists – a group that plays death/thrash. In my review, I said that Hokum seem to be a guitarist’s band primarily because I found the guitar performances quite engaging. Do you agree with this assessment?

    Yes, our guitarist Voge is surely the most musical member in our band. He plays all day long. I really like his playing and his style, and we’re happy to have a musician like him.

    You guys definitely have your shit together on every account: the musicianship is professional as well as the art direction and overall presentation. Are you actively pursuing labels at this time? Or are you going to record a full-length and then pitch it to several record companies?

    Hey, thank you! But no, right at the moment we’re not pursuing labels. At first we try to do as many gigs as possible, and we hope the EP opens up some new perspectives for us in this way.

    Would you consider yourself a traveler? Have you been to any other countries? If so, what do you think of them and what entertaining memories did you get from the experience?

    In my early childhood I was in Denmark several times, but later I spent my holidays in countries like Spain. And I participated in a school exchange with a school in Reading, Pennsylvania some years ago, which was a very interesting experience! My host family borrowed a bass guitar for me, nice people!

    How’d you hook up with RPWL mastermind Yogi Lang? All in all, which of the current song lot is your favorite?

    We have had some really highly acclaimed gigs at our area, and Yogi has his studios only some minutes away from our rehearsal room. One led to the other and he and his people have asked us whether we want to participate in a band contest where you could win a day at the studio. We did, and we won, so the rest is history. They are really great and friendly people. It was a pleasure to record there.

    I’m sure everyone reading this Unsigned Spotlight is curious about Hokum’s agenda, so what’s next on the schedule?

    Gigs, gigs, gigs….


    I’m going to put you in the hot seat for a second here. Of each of the pairs below, choose the one you like the most:

    death vs. thrash

    Death. I have always been the most extreme-oriented member of Hokum.

    books vs. films

    Books. You can never get the complexity of a book into two or three hours of film.

    alcohol vs. sex

    My thrash metal side of the brain says alcohol. My death metal side of the brain says sex. I’ll take both.

    Novembre vs. The Old Dead Tree

    Never heard either of them.

    playing live vs. recording in the studio

    Playing live!

    city vs. country


    Any last words for our readers?

    Hey, thanks for reading all this and for the interest in our band! Visit and leave some comments in the guestbook. It would be great to hear something from you guys! Metal up your ass!

    UM’s Review of Hokum – No Escape EP
    Official Hokum Website
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