GET WISE from Belgium started in 2010, comprised of Kristof Dekort : Vocals, Colin Celis : Guitar, Steven Vandezande : Bass, Stef Houdmeyers : Drum. That same year a 7 song Demo was released by Stef’s own label OPEN UP and in 2012 their debut EP “Clock’s Ticking” on Reality Records, now a new EP is recently out “THE NIGHTLIFE” also through Reality Records. I contacted Kristof with some questions and here is the result:
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR “HARDCORE BACKGROUND”. DID THE H8000 SCENE INFLUENCED YOU ANYHOW OR THE MORE RECENT BANDS THAT HELPED BRING ATTENTION BACK TO BELGIUM (JUSTICE, RHYTHM TO THE MADNESS, LOUD AND CLEAR,...)?
For me, personally, I think it must have been my stepdad who got me into hardcore. He was blasting Bad Brains, DRI, Rollins Band… in the car the whole time. From there I started to look for bands myself and came across Agnostic Front. The rest is history as they say.
As a band we started out wanting to sound like later Mental (planet mental-era) but yeah, of course the Belgian scene had a big influence on us too with Justice as the most important band for Get Wise soundwise (didn’t really work out that good for us if you’d ask me). Don’t think the H8000 scene had a big influence on us. I mean, bands like Blindfold, Spirit of Youth and Regression were great bands but apart from early SOY I don’t think there are any similarities.
CLOCK’S TICKING CAME OUT PRETTY SWEET, ANY RELEVANT DIFFERENCE WAS MADE TO PRODUCE THE NEW RECORD? THE NEW FANCY COOL ARTWORK SHOWS MATURITY IF COMPARED TO PREVIOUS ONES, IT GOES ALONG WITH THE REST (MUSIC & LYRICS)?
We’ve had some line-up changes which kinda changed the whole sound around (in my opinion a change for the better). We worked quite long on the songs to get details right and to make sure this was the way we wanted to go. Plus, and I can’t stress this enough, we had a sound-engineer who knew what we wanted to sound like and actually was able to make us sound like it.
I’m proud of how the new record turned out. It’s our best work to date and definitly leans more towards the sound I’ve always been aiming for. (it’ll probably never be exactly like I want it to though) If I’d have to namedrop a few bands I’d say it sounds like something between Supertouch and Snapcase. I’m not comparing ourselves to those bands mind you, it’s just to give you an idea where we’re at as as band at the moment.
As for the maturity-part; I know what you mean saying that the new artwork shows growth but I don’t really like that word ‘maturity’ in music. Usually that’s a synonym for boring. But yeah, I like to think the new record shows off our growth as songwriters and my growth as a lyricist too touching upon a topic I wasn’t able writing about before.
I ATTENDED IEPER LAST YEAR BUT ARRIVED ON THE SECOND DAY OF THE FESTIVAL AND MISSED GET WISE’S SET :( IT SEEMS THAT ANY CHANCE YOU GUYS HAVE YOU GO ON TOUR, FROM SMALL TRIPS TO BIGGER ONES. FOR ME, ONE OF THE BEST FEELINGS OF BEING IN A HARDCORE BAND. ANY SPECIAL PLACES YOU WANT TO NAME? DO YOU PREFER SMALL VENUES LIKE MYSELF?
We’ve done a few trips here and there. One more bigger than the other but it’s not like we’re touring 11 out of 12 months or something. The best place for me to play would probably be the UK because of nostalgic reasons. It was our first foreign trip as a band and I got to know so many people whom I still call my friends today. (while I’m usually quite shy and don’t talk to too many people) I’d also like to give a shout out to the kids at Kosice hardcore. Kids overthere are still stoked as fuck about hardcore and it always gives a good feeling going there! Plus, they have these ‘cheesburgers’ which are actually just buns with fried cheese. They rule!
As the matter a fact, I tend to lean more towards venues where they have stages. Don’t know why but the feel on a stage is just better for me as opposed to ‘groundshows’.
- RECORDS OF YOUR COLLECTION - Cro Mags - Best Wishes
- Supertouch - the earth is flat - World Collapse - Deutchland, Deutchland into the night - the crimininally underrated SOS 7” (the Boston band whose tape was on lockin’ out) - Turning Point - It’s always darkest before the dawn
- BAND T-SHIRTS YOU WISH YOU HAD - OG Agnostic Front ‘cause for alarm’ shirt - Cro Mags ‘down but not out ‘89 tour’ shirt
- OG Uniform Choice ‘A wish to dream’ shirt
- Any Biohazard longsleeve from the 90’s
- Any White Devil shirt
- BELGIAN chips with hot currysauce
- Pizza Bella Italia from San George in Tessenderlo
- Bacon-cheese burger from burgerlich in Cologne, Germany
- 3-in-1 from any foodmaking Chinese in Dublin, Ireland
- Shoarmaschotel from Mama’s Garden in Antwerp
- ANIMATED TV-SERIES
- Family Guy
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Bikermice from Mars
WAS RAYBEEZ THE COOLEST INDIVIDUAL THAT WALKED ON EARTH?
I prefer Harley, Timmy Simons and ‘den Hens’ actually.
THANKS FOR MAKING THIS HAPPEN AND HOPE TO BUST SOME MOVES ON A GET WISE SHOW SOMEDAY! ANY LAST WORDS?
Thanks for the interview! Check out Bad Brains’ God Of love. That riff on ‘Justice Keepers’! Give thanks and praises.
Stream a new song from THE NIGHTLIFE, released last May 31th:
Ambicious post here, spent weeks trying to accomplish it. Im talking about complete (or almost) label discography. IMPORTANT: The idea is not to cause prejudice of any kind to the ones involved - labels and bands, these records are long out of print and the goal here is to promote the music and the message in its content.
AMBASSADOR was a californian label that was active between '95 and '99 whose titles were distributed by Revelation Records. At start, it was about putting out CHAIN OF STRENGTH's side projects: Statue and Circle Storm. Here's some enlightenment:
STATUE made its way to Revelation (REV029) but before that they did a demo Something To Say.., recorded in 1990 and it still shows a few traces of Alex signature vocals he used to do in Chain but with an early post-hardcore twist. The 7" has 3 songs and the CD has 2 extras and 3 live ones, 8 in total.
Then CIRCLE STORM's recordings emerged. Simply put? It feels as Chain has put 2 more records out with Curt on vocals. The Spirit EP is 10 out of 10 and were meant to be Chain songs (as 2 others in Character Assassin)! They only played live twice and in the last one, guess with what song they finished off? (...has the edge gone dull?) Video uploaded by guitar player - Steve Hertz, who also played bass in COLLISION.
HALFMAST from Buffalo recorded 3 albums, the last one from 1996 Deny Their Vision is featured here and was played constantly amongst my friends back in the days. They played energetic sxe hardcore and disbanded right before the late 90's revival and for that reason fell into oblivion to many kids out there (even though Halfmast featured 2 exclusive songs in the international hardcore comp. For The Sake Of Dedication, Crucial Response 1997). Also, Nick Baran (vocals) runs Thind x Party Records and now sings in POISON PLANET.
I*WHISH*I is here to complete the label's discography, its not that bad its just not my cup of tea, early indie emo. Last month they did a reunion show w/ KILL HOLIDAY.
ONE SIDED WAR first and only album was quite a bitch to find, super rare! All the info that I found was from a flyer, they come from New York and has Matt Warnke (BOLD) and Citizen Arrest dudes in it. 6 hardcore tunes with melodic hints and gang vocals.
COLLISION was another short lived youth crew group yet they got some recognition at the time, both their releases are featured here. Later they went to play on other SoCal acts such as Built To Last, Stand & Fight and xONE CHOICEx! In a wild guess, I think the singer is the man behind Ambassador. Found a demo done 2 years after the 1999's Without Self Doubt EP, but Im unsure if its the same band because they sound way to different, check it here.
And last but not least COUNT ME OUT's first record Few And Far Between, Richmond sxe that needs no introduction. The copy I own is a CD and has 6 tracks on it, for some reason Malfunction Records (co)released it on 7" with 4 tracks and Crap Chords another 7" with similar tracklist.
MOSH! Debut EP with 6 songs clocking around 1:30 minutes each, so sweetly executed you gotta hear thrice. CD version carried by their own label and 7" by italian Slaughterhouse Records. There's a diehard version that comes with a tape that includes their 2012 Demo, where they cover Run To The Hills in a brilliant way. A 15-song full-length is about to pop up through belgian Empire Records, again produced by The Hand of Doom. FFO: wreckage, circle pit and tons of glorious thrash