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ISKRA INTERVIEW for Crackfix Propaganda

1. Hello to the Northern Wastes. How’s Canada these
days? The blizzards and forest fires treating you well?
How did ISKRA form and what was the original plan?

Canada is all right, weather systems as harsh as
always. although where we live is a lot warmer than
what most people might think. Victoria is on the
southern tip of Vancouver Island, below the 49th, and
has a fairly pleasant micro climate. we rarely get
snow or weather below -5 C. The summers are moderate
with temperatures rarely higher than 32-35 C and there
is always an ocean breeze which keeps things under

Iskra formed in late 2002 when I returned to Victoria
after living in Montreal for a couple of years. I had
been studying classical music composition thereby
taking a break from the anarchist music scene,
although I was still involved with anarchist politics.
Upon my return I decided hunt down some musicians and
start a new band. I had been working on some of the
Iskra material much earlier, around 98, but never
managed to get a band off the ground due to other
projects and the loss of a drummer. My plan for Iskra
was simple: cross black metal with crust. Amebix had
already done a similar thing by taking Venom and
Motorhead and fusing these influences with anarchist
punk. Amebix were part of the first wave of anarchist
punk; what I sometimes refer to as the “Crass
Constellation,” which produced some of the most
diverse and creative anarchist recordings to date. If
anyone disagrees I urge them to listen to the
“Bullshit Detector” series. It was on these comps that
both Napalm Death and the Amebix made their official
debuts. Also included were many other amazing bands
which seem to have slipped out of modern punk
conscience. Bands like Omega Tribe, Molitov Cocktail,
Capital Punishment, Destructors, Normality Complex,
Anthrax, Poison Girls, Passion Killers, etc. etc.
Sorry I’ve digressed from my around 93-94
I had been listening to Dark Throne, Emperor,
Immortal, Satyricon, Enslaved etc. etc. and decided
that this modern form of metal could easily be fused
with the modern underground punk, which of course at
that time was crust. Since both came from Sabbath,
which in turn came from a long line of blues artists
such as Robert Johnson. This raw Delta blues
eventually led to Jimi Hendrix in the 60s. It was
Hendrix who created the first metal sounds with works
like “Machine Gun” as well as the later works found on
records like “Last Rays of the Setting Sun” and “South
Saturn Delta”. I wanted to create a style which fused
my interests as a musician. I wasn’t worried about
losing people, crust had already done that (to this
day most young punks haven't even heard Nausea). I
also wanted to mix in elements of mid nineties
political powerviolence and grind(Capitalist
Casualties, Man Is The Bastard, Slavestate, Assuck,
Hellnation, Lack of Interest, etc.). In addition the
lyrics had to be worth reading. I have never been
satisfied by simply repeating what others have already
said. Ideas can be repeated but the perspective should
be different and more involved than the last,
otherwise I personally feel there is no point. Then
again, I guess its better to have a million bands with
a simple antiwar message than not; newcomers will then
be more likely to run into a record which harbors that
sentiment. However, I prefer to push the boundaries
as much as possible. I see the underground anarchist
punk project as an evolution. Its not just one thing.
I think that the music and art within the punk
underground, that has been produced over the last 30
years, proves that punk has always evolved, right from
the beginning.

2. The band seems to have revolutionized the crust/punk
scene at the moment, especially for the Profane Existence
obsessives. Your sound has been compared to early death
metal, early black metal, and yet your roots are firmly
in the punk scene. How did you come to make such a brutal
yet lively sound?

Well everything we do has been done before, its just
that we’ve consolidated our influences and plugged
them into our own forms. Of course each person in the
band brings their own special talents, which creates a
unique sound. I would say that the diversity of
interest between the six members of Iskra contribute
to the band’s success. We’re not really trying to
“revolutionize” the crust/punk scene, we are simply
trying to do our own thing with respect to the history
of the music and the politics we embrace, I think this
is what punk has always been about. Certain shit bands
have calcified the late 70s-early 80s within the
mainstream, but the real underground had left that
sound behind a long time ago. Luckily the real bands,
like Crass and Rudimentary Peni, cannot be copied!
They were just to creative, to original. I mean the
influence can be heard in groups like Cress, but the
original sound can never be duplicated. One of Crass’
guitarists never even learned to play a chord! He just
played rhythmically with glissandi and noise....and it
sounds great. The Ex were around pretty early as well.
They are one of the original DIY bands that still
makes their own product to this day. We are looking to
preserve the spirit of that anarchist punk scene as
well as make our own contribution to the movement.
That is how we show our respect. At the same time we
can’t deny our metal roots. We all listened to metal
since we were very young. I see metal as being
connected to the working class. That's changed now but
in the beginning all the working class rockers
listened to the great thrash bands of the eighties. It
was my native brothers that turned me onto Slayer,
Kreator, and Destruction when I lived in a small town
called Ucluelet located on he extreme West coast of
the island. The white kids were all listening to
fucking Glass Tiger and shit like that.

3. What is your opinion on black metal as a genre?
Obviously as a political movement they are an
unequaled force (in their anti-Christianity) but do
you think the music is too powerful for its own good?
By that I mean, do you think there is any life left
in that school of thought?

Black metal interests me musically. It was like a
breath of fresh air back in the day(around 93) when
Blackened metal hit hard. Before that it was all
Deicide, Cryptopsy, Pungent Stench, and Cannibal
Corpse, you know, really heavy stuff with low vocals.
Usually quite technical. Then Dark Throne hits the
stage; low fi, raw, simple, no muted chords, high
pitched nasty sounding vocals: it was really amazing!
On the other hand, I find most of the opinions
associated with BM quite backwards. I think their
ideologies are confused and delusionary. The whole
church burning trend is pretty interesting, but I
think the motives behind such activities are
confusing. Are they Satanists? They’re certainly not
Pagan, at least not in the real sense of that
religion. If they are Satanists then they are merely
Christians, since you can’t really believe in one
without the other. Unless of course Satan is only
symbolic for a particular brand of hatred and
confused rebellion. I’m sometimes impressed with
their will to follow through with certain actions:
killing band members, murdering random humans, burning
churches, eating dead creatures, hacking off goat and
pig heads etc. (I’m not sure if this is still going on
in today’s black metal scene but it certainly was in
the beginning). I don’t think such activities are good
in any way, but they are pretty hardcore. Imagine
sticking a knife into your band mates head! I mean
what's going on? What are these people thinking?

A lot of the lyrics are just badly written “poetry”
about trolls and imaginary realms, which of course
certain BM bands claim to control. I think that the
most dangerous movement in Black Metal is the “War
Metal” and “Nazi Skin Black Metal.” Many of the bands
involved within these sub-genres have a fairly clear
right wing politic. Some incorporate the
neo-hedonistic beliefs harbored by the Nazi party back
in the 1920s-40s. Although many of these bands claim
to be apolitical they espouse certain sentiments that
exist within fascist politics such as white pride and
the ascension of europe. Iskra is opposed to such
backwards thought. These are the bands that will
convince youngsters into voting for governments like
the Bush regime, the Canadian Alliance(the right wing
party of Canada), or into committing hate crimes on
the street. These bands prey on the angry youth, who
are often confused about their direction in life.

Some people see it as contradictory for Iskra to be
listening to black metal, and on the surface it may
seem so. But we are strong in our beliefs, enough to
be able to listen to anything and be critical. There
is the old maxim : “Know thy enemy,” or : “keep your
friends close but your enemy closer.” You might also
see it as a type of subversion rather than support.
Many black metal fans get angry when they hear us
being called black metal. Our tape “fucking scum” was
being circulated through the black metal underground
as a trade item by the person who does “Harsh Brutal
Cold”, many were returned with angry letters about it
not being black metal. On another level, what if some
kids, who love black metal, appreciate our efforts? It
could be a turning point to a more positive and active
outlook. I’ve met some pretty stoked metalheads on
tour; stoked that there is a metal band with something
to say. This is a common thing for us. So we’ve moved
beyond the “punk ghetto,” as some people like to call
it. At least to some extent. Perhaps we’ve been
somewhat successful in inviting more people to
participate in a revolutionary culture. Or maybe not!
Its hard to judge really.

4. I was quite surprised to find that your lyrics are
equally as violent and unforgiving as the music,
especially songs like Massacre of the Innocents! Do
your political beliefs stem from a specific group or is
Iskra its own politician?

Iskra is anarchist. Our music is an extremity of our
alienation. That is why we are comfortable
participating in an intimate underground movement. We
don’t need contracts, TV, or Radio Stations. We search
for truth and relay our findings in an indirect way;
in cipher form, if you will. If one wants to hear
Iskra’s message they have to decode our art. The
Musical material becomes the stage for our interaction
with the world. We hope to expose the intentions of
the ruling elite, who are not leaders but jailers. We
hold no claim to finality but try to understand
reality. Revealing problems and connections,
polarities and contradictions. We put no system
forward, only the ethic of the anarchist. At the same
time we critique the present political systems, which
in our opinion do not work.
But we are not politicians ( at least not in the
traditional sense). We are perhaps observers. I think
that most of all we are musicians, artists who have,
in our own individual ways, become aware. We see and
comment, that is our role as anarchist musicians. We
have ideas about alternative modes of organizing, but
we are not political scientists, sociologists, or
economists: these are the types of people who can
conceive of such things. Unfortunately there seems to
be a severe lack of people within those fields willing
to propose radical alternatives. Although they
certainly exist.

We hate wars but understand that the class war is
already raging (as it should be) and that we must do
our part any way we can.

That until there are no longer
First class and second class citizens of any nation
Until the color of a man's skin
Is of no more significance than the color of
his eyes -
Me say war.


As it is those in power who cultivate the class
structure, it is those in power that make this war a
necessity, not the people. The people are defending
themselves against the injustice and ill conceived
distribution of wealth. Millions of people are
literally fighting for their lives against the
capitalist parasites. The vampires. We understand that
the ruling classes will not relinquish power without
first killing those who challenge their self serving
structures. Remember what happened to the Black
Panthers and AIM? They became effective and therefore
targeted and destroyed by the state. We support the
militant revolutionary in our words and imagery. We
wish to open people’s eyes to the existence of such
revolutionaries. In our seemingly secure First World
existence knowledge of such realities can easily slip
away from our consciousness. We help to ensure that
this kind of collective amnesia doesn’t happen.
Isolation from the world means death for revolutionary
movements, that is why the corporate media does not
keep us informed of such activities.

We are frustrated to see children dying in the streets
of wealthy countries, we are sickened by the murderous
methods used by capitalist parasites in order to
ravage the earth’s resources for their own profit
gain. Ward Churchill is correct i when he says that we
must act. Otherwise we are with the enemy. A lot of
people attack Churchill for his comparison of death
tolls and his charge that the people in the towers
were guilty by association. But have we really thought
about what he is saying? He’s saying that anyone who
allows the US state to conduct business as usual are
guilty. I’m sure you’ve all heard the liberals at the
annual Earth Day parade shouting “If you are not part
of the solution, you are part of the problem.”
Chuchill is saying the same thing. His death toll
comparisons are not meant to dehumanize people, or
objectify them. He is simply trying to invite the
average person to put things into perspective. In a
sense, those victims of the trade center bombing were
also victims of the US state, no? Whether it was Bin
Laden or Bush who brought those towers down, it was
the US state that created the situation through its
reckless behavior worldwide. Anyone who really knows
Churchill’s writings and recordings know that he is
fighting for the dignity of the first nations people,
who have a very different perspective than your
average white radical; who of course have the option
of changing his/her clothes and fitting in at any
time. Churchill is also fighting for the freedom of
humanity and the earth. Many radicals I’ve known
through my life have become moderates, liberals who
are ready to attack people like Churchill, people who
put their ass on the line and pay the price. Now for
all his efforts Churchill has been stripped of his job
and dignity as a revolutionary. Even if one does not
agree with everything Churchill says, which is
inevitable anyway, they can at least support him in
his time of need.

5. In Prisoners of Conscience you list a group of
revolutionaries inside the US prison system. One of
these people is Ted Kaczynski, do you agree with
his sentiments and ideology? Some people within the
punk scene think his ideas and actions were as far
from the supposed ‘punk’ ideal as you can get.

I don’t know what the “punk ideal” is or if such a
thing exists. I’ve seen “punks” that rape, I’ve seen
“punks” that kill each other, I’ve seen “punks” get
kids into heroin, I’ve seen “punks” drink themselves
into oblivion, I’ve seen “punks” take their own lives.
Then there are the punks that work against all of the
above. So I don’t really know about any collective
punk project. Kaczynski, on the other hand, is worth
consideration, especially when speaking of political
action. His actions are politically driven, which
makes him a political prisoner. He is an
anti-technology, anti -civilization political activist
and he’s no fool. in fact, I would say he’s quite in
line with the primitivist stance that is happening on
the West coast, although most of those anarchists
probably don’t support Ted. Yet what he says is very
interesting and I urge anarchists to read his
manifesto and articles, they are solid revolutionary
documents even if you don’t agree with his point of
view. He was a successful insurgent. He only got
caught because of his rat brother. Many people are
frightened to support him because he targeted human
beings rather than buildings or equipment. His targets
were diverse: a geneticist, a computer scientist, an
advertising executive, the California Forestry
Association President, etc. etc. I guess its Ok to
be a moderate anti-tech but not a militant? I don’t
really see any other way but to dispose of those who
are killing the earth. We can say “pretty please,” but
I don’t know... Do revolutionaries really believe that
there can be revolution without death? If so I would
say they are fooling themselves. It would be nice if
the rich and powerful suddenly read some anarchist
literature and said “yeah, this makes sense! Lets do
it!” But its not going to happen. As I already
mentioned, they’ll kill if ever you are effective.
If the CEOs and state leaders continue to destroy the
planet, along with the life it supports, then they
should pay the price for their ignorance and
selfishness. Perhaps they should be assassinated. How
long must people beg for change? Do the leaders
listen? No they don’t. It may only be a symbolic
gesture, but I’d love to see Bush catch a bullet, fuck
him and the scum that support his agenda.

I personally don’t agree with a lot of what Ted has to
say, but he’s still a political prisoner. Fuck, we
mentioned a bunch of marxists to, but nobody gave us
shit for that! If people are willing to really make
that kind of a life decision, to go underground, to
live in self-imposed exile, don’t they deserve some
consideration? I think so.

6. Do you support political violence? Would you
support and be actively involved in an unorganized
violent revolt against the state? It seems strange
that so many people still oppose the destruction of the
governments even now, so close to WW3.

Its not so much that we support political violence,
its that political violence is inevitable if we are to
take revolution seriously. That said I think that the
rest of your question is answered. The problem is
access to real training. Of course we will never have
a force large enough to take a government out but, if
people were taught specific skills, I think the
system could be destabilized. If its destabilized at
home then they will have to deal with internal
conflict rather than slaughtering people all over the
planet. They’ve built a house of cards really. If the
electrical systems are taken out, computer systems,
train tracks, highways etc. There would be major
problems for state leaders. Such targets could be
taken out by small numbers of trained insurgents. It
would have to be hit and run tactics compounded with
long range sniper techniques. There would have to be
both rural and urban systems of support, safe-spots,
food supplies, weapons and explosives etc. Such a
movement would take a lot of work to organize, but is
possible. The third world resistance movements can
provide guidance.

7. What is Iskra’s utopian dream? Obviously everyone
has a realistic idea of how this will end up (war,
revolution, mass death, nuclear winter) but everyone
usually also has some idea of how they would like it
to turn out (forest cities, solar power, equality, unity).

I can’t really predict the future. I don’t want to be
to negative here, so I won’t get into what I see
happening in the future. Utopian dreams? I’m not much
into the idea of utopia, that is I don’t see that
there could be a “perfect” state. This doesn’t mean we
can’t try. The word ‘utopia’ (which means “no place”)
was coined by Sir Thomas More in his book ‘Utopia,’
from 1516. In the book, he basically wreaks havoc on
christian beliefs by exposing religious hypocrisy.
More and the philosopher Erasus were both Catholic
Humanists, an idea which, in its basic form, combines
faith with reason. More, in his depiction of Utopia,
indicates areas of Christian society that are in need
of improvement. He also asks the basic question: is an
ideal state possible?

We deal with the now. I see positive pockets of
alternative existence within the general society in
which we live. Right now that's all we can hope for.
There is no mass movement which will lead us away from
these miserable death systems that run our world now.
The last great anarchist movements were destroyed by
Marxists (Russia and Spain). At best we can keep the
idea of anarchist alternatives alive for future
generations. We can do whatever we can in order to to
aid and abet the progression of anarchism. We can make
small steps forward, and perhaps one day humanity will
step beyond this dark age.

That said, I can envisage a breakdown of the
nation-state into regional districts. The people who
live in such regional district will make decisions in
a collective manner. Work places are broken down into
collectives. Representatives from trade based
collectives would meet in order to discuss the issues
of the day and make decisions based upon need and
function. In turn a representative from that meeting
could go to a regional meeting to propose actions
depending on what the previous collective meeting
deemed important. All representatives would be
accountable and such positions would be rotational.
This kind of organization would largely depend upon
the ecology of the region, therefore ecological
considerations would be of the utmost importance. I
don’t envision a ‘primitivist’ society or a
‘syndicalist’ society, I envision a variety of
coexisting possibilities depending upon how people
want to live. The underlying basic anarchist
principles of mutual aid, non-oppression and respect
would be the common thread between such diverse modes
of living. Of course these qualities exist without
being called ‘anarchist.’ I say anarchist because such
ideas have become synonymous with that particular mode
of thought. Anarchists would respect non-anarchist
modes of organizing that are willing to coexist.
Native sovereigntists, for example, have their own
vision of how things can be organized.

Those who claim anarchism is about chaos are false,
although chaos has its place in revolutionary
movement. I would say that the present systems are
‘chaotic,’ that is they lack any kind of logic or
reason (in the true sense of those words). It doesn’t
make sense to me that a society should be organized in
such a way as to destroy itself along with the planet
that supports its existence.

I suggest that anyone interested in preexisting
anarchist modes of organization read about the Spanish
Civil War, where real anarchist organization took
place on quite a large scale. I also suggest picking
up any literature concerning anarchist thought; it is
a diverse body of work unified by the universal
anarchist theme of non oppressive politics. Much of
the classical anarchism is outdated but still very
interesting to read. The great thing about anarchism
is that it is not a “closed” system, like Marxism. It
is open to changing perspectives and coexistent
variants. Anyone who understands the basic theory can
implement his/her own visionary anarchist projects.

8. Is Iskra nihilist? Have you noticed the inherent
nihilism of the modern westernized societies? By that
I mean, the way that most humans accept certain trains
of thought without even thinking about it being a political
idea. For example, a lot of people openly believe there
is nothing after death, this is your one shot, so fuck it
all up and have fun before you die. Yet they don’t know
this is a pretty defeatist way of thinking. Opinions again?

"A nihilist is a person who does not bow down to any
authority, who does not accept any principle on faith,
however much that principle may be revered."

Turgenev's 1861 novel Fathers And Sons

Nihilist theory is multifaceted. It is certainly not a
“belief in nothing,” as many people think. If we are
to go by Turgenev’s definition, stated above, then the
answer to your question would be “yes”. But its not
quite that simple. Nihilism is a complex of
associations and ideas. There is what some would call
“passive” nihilism, which is sort of the Postmodern
thing of just letting the world swirl around you. You
are an observer, nothing more. Its like an Existential
state. One can still be critical but ultimately
ineffective. I think we all lapse into this sort of
fatalistic frame of mind once and a while, for some
maybe all the time. I always thought that workers who
think, which seems rare, often lapse into this passive
state. I’m from the worker class so I know first hand
that this subgroup is purposely kept in a state of
perpetual ignorance. Its these folks who have been
bred to not trust education and who will ultimately
put the right-wing into full power. Like Kafka’s
anti-heroes who are condemned to mindless work.
Characters who are sentenced to death when they refuse
to conform. Or the psychotic alienation of a
Dostoievski character. Both authors are forerunners of
the later Existential philosophy, if I remember

Another form of nihilism is ‘political,’ in the
revolutionary sense. This type of Nihilist might say :
“Bring on revolution with all of its deadly
destructive force so that we may transcend beyond the
authoritarian hell that has been created. To what end?
Know one knows because there is no such thing as
teleology ( the belief in a collective final
purpose)”. So you can see that nihilism can work with
anarchism. Many forms of Anarchism, like Nihilism,
reject absolutes, unproved faiths etc. and instead
build from what already exists around us in a
non-authoritarian way. Nihilists would probably reject
anarchism, but there are grounds for elision. Are we
nihilists? There are elements for sure.

The type of nihilist you are describing should perhaps
try a little harder to understand what the word
actually means. Nihilism can be about living life to
the fullest, not necessarily in a destructive manner.
Even if you believe destruction is necessary, it
doesn’t mean it should include self destruction or a
disrespect for life.

To believe that there is “nothing after death” is not
in tune with the nihilist skeptic because one simply
does not know what is after death. Does that make
sense? What is meant by “nothing” anyway? A nihilist
would honestly say “I can’t believe in anything put
forth as truth (concerning after death, or anything
else for that matter) because we quite simply do not

9. What level of extremity would you support in the
eco/animal rights war? Assassination, homicide, arson,
suicide bombing?

I would say that the present system needs to be
destabilized in order to break the “business as usual”
destruction it promotes. I see eco and animal rights
actions as promoting this. I think that these people
promote awareness and have, in certain places,
achieved great success through their actions. But in
order to have complete success, if that is even
possible, the Capitalist system must be destroyed.
I’m not sure if suicide bombing is necessary in the
eco/animal rights struggle. It may come to this
eventually. Such tactics are more often used in
situations like Palestine where choice of action is
relatively low. I can’t really imagine what it would
be like to be driven to such measures because I’ve
never lived in that kind of a desperate situation, so
I can’t really discuss it.

10. Do you have any big plans for spreading your
message far and wide to the political underground?
Do you see the potential Iskra has to spread these
ideas to the wider populace? I mean, metal and punk
are quite huge genres of music and everyone from
every background I have played Iskra to, loves
it. Be it grindcore, black metal, death, oi, punk,
all of them can see where you are coming from and
appreciate it.

Personally I want to put out more material and tour as
much of the world as possible. The music will always
have something to say. I can’t do it any other way
really. Why write lyrics about fantasy or gore? or
worse offensive crap like sexism or killing or
whatever. You can have all the fun of performing in a
band and also say something intelligent. I think it
is more powerful that way. But then again, most people
don’t want to think do they? It seems many bands love
to revel in their ignorance and their will to be
offensive. These people are the true consumers,
perfect fodder for the capitalist project.

I don’t really care how far we get. There is no real
goal, we just live day to day. Iskra may last ten
years or it may end tomorrow. If we’ve reached one
person (that is we’ve promoted thought) then we have
been successful. The band was started due to the
severe lack of revolutionary culture in this
city(Victoria). I think political bands, in the
anarchist sense, need to exist. Otherwise the only
entertainment for the young will be mindless consumer
trash. There always needs to be an alternative, even
if the scene is small.

I think the people who are into the genres you
described below understand us because collectively we
listen to all of that music, plus much more. Our
approach is not false because we live that music

Obviously I hope that our music has impact, but how
and to what extent is out of my hands. Who can

11. End this sordid discussion however you want

I think I’ve already said to much.......thanks!


1. Let’s start with a “classic” question : tell us
about the history of your band.

Iskra started in early 2003. Devin and I(Wolf) started
the group and were soon joined by Scott(vocals),and
Nick(guitar). We’ve went through 3 drummers:
Calvert(Demos), Jasper(LP), and Jesse(7” and Montreal
Demos); and 3 second vocalists: Sean(LP), Mel(7”), and
Megan(nothing recorded). Iskra has toured Canada,
Mexico, the US, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and
Italy. We have an LP out on Profane Existence(USA) and
a 7” coming out on Unrest Records(Can). We were
supposed to have a 2nd LP released on PE but they
decided that we were not the “right type of music for
the label,” and that we “didn’t sell enough records,”
quoting Dan of the Profane Existence collective, which
is unfortunate since Iskra is a pure anarchist band.
In any case, we are doing a split LP with Against
Empire of the USA on Rodent Popsicle Records(USA)
soon. The line up for Iskra on that record will be
Wolf-guitar, Devin-bass, Scott-vocals, and Brad-drums.

2. Judging by the name of your band ( and your lyrics
as well) – you’re not only interested in Russian
political history but also in communist movement.
Could you comment on that ? Do you relate yourself to
anarcho-punk movement ?

Yes, Iskra is an anarchist band. Although the name of
the band is the same as the Lenninist paper, we have
no affiliation with Marxist movements. In fact we are
against Marxist organizations. We opt for open
anarchist systems which are contingent upon that which
exists within local environments. In other words not
one anarchist vision, we believe in a multitude of
possibilities without hierarchical pressures. Anyone
who is not familiar with anarchism may want to check
it out online. Wikipedia has a lot of information as
does Ainfo.

3.Your lyrics are really “in depth” and play a very
important part in your band. Who writes your lyrics?
What do you think about those people who listen to
hardcore/crust just because of the music and don’t pay
any attention to the message?

We all pay attention to the lyrics, there are a couple
of us who do most of the writing but to single them
out would create hierarchies within people’s minds. We
all discuss the lyrics, make changes when necessary,
and decide upon topics so, in a sense, we are all
involved. Iskra will not use a song unless we have
agreement from all members.

It is very unfortunate when people in the scene do not
pay attention to the message because they would be
missing the point. At the same time we are providing
alternative entertainment so not all the observers
will be interested in the message but only in the
driving angry rhythms of the music. I don’t want to
put anyone down because we all have our own pace of
intellectual absorption. Although it may seem that
people are not paying attention it doesn’t mean they
won’t check it out later, its hard to judge. There are
those folks who have been into it a long time but
don’t seem to be interested in progressive politics
but only destroy themselves and people around them.
This is unfortunate but there is nothing we can do
about it since the choice is obviously up to them.

4.Your style of music is somewhat “black metal
influenced” – that leads to many discussions among
metal and hardcore scenes because your lyrics are very
far from usual black metal stuff and as far as we
understand you’re not one of those “grim and
frostbitten” misanthropes who dance in the woods and
sacrifice cats, however unlike more crust influenced
“Diskra” your “Iskra” lp really sounds like a black
metal record. I’m not an expert but I’d compare some
songs from Iskra lp to “heavier” Marduk with vocals
sung as if they are distorted by wind, like a giant
hair-dryer is blowing at vocalist’s face. So what’s
with all this black metal stuff ? Is it just a
coincidence or you really decided to cross BM with
metallic crust, thus creating quite an original

All members of Iskra listen to metal. Slayer, Bathory,
Marduk, Immortal, name it, so it makes
sense that this would be an influence on our music. I
began writing blackened crust riffs as early as 95 in
my old band Black Kronstadt(see “Paranoid Delusions”
from the Free Spirit LP). Since Amebix could cross
punk with early black metal it made sense to cross
more modern black metal with crust. crust came from
the thrash metal scene of the eighties so it is
aligned with metal. Many of the old thrash bands such
as Sodom, Detente, Nuclear Assault, Kreator, or
Destruction had political lyrics so politics and metal
already exists, perhaps not as “in depth” as ours but
the seed was sown a long time ago. Therefore, although
people reproach us for mixing brutal metal with
anarchist lyrics, we see no contradiction. As for
listening to metal with fucked up or questionable
lyrics we obviously are unaffected since we are quite
firm in our beliefs and convictions. Having a wide
variety of music to listen to makes life much more
tolerable. In my opinion anarchist metal is
important. It creates an alternative within the metal
scene. We get a lot of “metalheads” out to our shows,
and we are glad of it since that is where we came from
as well.

5. What you can tell us about Canadian crust-scene?
Does it exist?

Yes, there is a crust scene in Canada! Quebec has a
great history with old bands such as Apathetic
Nations, Shitfit, Hellbound and Human Greed. It’s
still rockin with Inepsy, Born Dead Icons, Ballast,
Hands of Death, ManKillsMan, After the Bomb, Bludgeon
etc.. British C Columbia is a little slower, back in
the day there was Black Kronstadt(91-96) which,
unfortunately, was the only crust band from the West
Coast. There were political punk bands though such as
Ninth Hour, Ultravires, and Offal Consumption etc. Now
in BC we have, Mass Grave, Meat of Mankind, Limb From
Limb, Mechanical Separation and Iskra. There are also
some bands from the prairie provinces such as Self
Rule and I’m sure Ontario has some great bands as
well. Canada is of course an immense country with very
little population (only 30 million whereas the states
has 300 million), so the scenes might as well be in
different countries! We rarely receive news from
distant provinces. The scenes are therefore very
provincial in nature.

6. Did you ever play in some other countries?

see question one

7. What members of the band do for living? What are
your hobbies? What books you read? What bands you
listen to? Are members of Iskra friends or just people
who play together and have little in common?

Iskra are friends for sure, we help each other out and
spend time with one another. We do different things
from caregiving people with disabilities to
construction to computer programming to whatever we
can get! Wolf is trained as a classical music
composer, so he gets some work writing music for new
music groups etc. Books: check out “Pacifism as
Pathology” by Ward Churchill, one of us is currently
reading “Gramci is Dead” by Richard Day. “Only a
Beginning; an Anarchist Anthology of Canada” by Allan
Antliff is an interesting read. Ron Sakolsky’s
“Creating Anarchy” is also a good book. We listen to a
lot of bands collectively. Common favorites include:
Protestera, Protess, Container Crusties From Hell,
Toxic Waste, Destruction, Bathory, Terrorizer, Bob
Dylan, the Pogues, Sacrilege, Buffy Saint Marie, Hank
Williams, Boney M, Kreator, Slayer, Crass, Amebix,
Nausea, Disaffect, Battle of Disarm, Rattus, Marduk,
Satyricon, After the Bomb, Self Rule, Sanctum,
Consume, Born Dead, Dirty Power Game, Oi Polloi,
Conflict, Doom, Johney Cash, Cecil Taylor, Sore
Throat, Detente, Resist and Exist, Diaspora, Phobia,
Flux of Pink Indians, Gorgoroth, Dark Throne,
Hellbastard, Health Hazard, Axegrinder, Hellshock,
Immortal(especially “Battles in the North!”), In
Haste, Migra Violenta, Beyond Description...etc. etc.
ha ha, could keep going...we love a lot of music!

Hope you enjoy the interview. You can download most of
our music for free from:


We hope to visit Russia some time. Anyone with any
information about touring Russia feel free to get in
touch with us. All the best and remember the great
Russian anarchists, we do!


1. One of the most common reactions to your record has
been that Iskra play death/black metal with
anarcho-punk lyrics. Where did you come up with the
idea of fusing such political lyrics with music that
is generally reserved for songs about sacrificing
virgins on the altar of satan?

Scott: I think our collective musical influences have
a lot to do with how Iskra’s songs sound since the
song-writing process is shared between members. The
lyrical content is definitely a departure from the
traditional metal themes, but we are hardly the first
metal-influenced band with political lyrics. I listen
to a lot of grindcore, which has many long-standing
acts who have socially conscious messages and arguably
strong musical ties with old-school metal.

Devin: Anarchism and politics should be fused with
everything, not just punk.

Nick: I think that for along time crust has relied
heavily on the sounds and styles of great pioneering
bands like doom, amebix, venom and others. But to keep
a musical genre alive, and relevant, new things need
to be introduced, be it instruments or styles of
music, and worked into the perameters, if you will, of
that type of music. I think that the cold, harsh sound
that black metal often employs in it’s music lends
itself quite well to the bleak imagery of crust and
the political lyrics we have.

Wolf: It seems that whenever one tries something a
little different there are a multitude of reactions.
Of course the first thing people do is to try and
corner the style and attach labels. I suppose that, in
a society where everything is based upon consumerism
and conformity, this is a “normal” reaction. As a band
we certainly have debates about which style a group
falls under. This activity can be pretty pointless at
times. On the other hand it helps to develop a sense
of history as well as a trajectory of evolution within
your own music. The great Russian composer Stravinsky
once said that “good composers don’t copy, they
steal,” and what he meant by that statement is that we
can only develop what we know and the more we
understand the more effect we are at building upon
rather than simply replicating. This dynamic is
important to understand since it is through mimetic
response that we absorb and process information. Once
this understanding is established it is possible to
create a new perspective. There is nothing that “drops
from the sky,” so to speak, everything has an origin
and I think its important to know where you come from
and where you are going.

Personally, I like to put things into some kind of
historical perspective. I have listened to the punk
trajectory and see anarchist punk music as being
authentic. That is, it stays relatively true to what
punk originally stood for, i.e. against the control
mechanisms of society, governments and such. Not to be
confused with what is sometimes referred to as “mall
punk” and you know who those bands are. In fact there
are now many streams of so-called “punk” which exist
in a multitude of environments, most of which serve
capitalism. The old sound of the original punk style
was dead a long time ago when it fell into the claws
of the mainstream music industry. The members of Crass
saw this as far back as 1979 and outlined their
opinion in the song “Punk Is Dead.” Probably due to
the vast amount of documentation on bands such as The
Sex Pistols and the Clash (roughly 90% of mainstream
literature is on these two bands, the other 10% is a
mishmash of New York and California documentation, as
well as the one on DC Hardcore), many young people
encounter the “old school” sound first. The result is
the unfortunate transition to the many mainstream
bands that now sound punk but are “ just another cheap
product for the consumer’s head.” There are the
anomalies, the odd person who finds the mainstream and
then the underground, but I think its safe to say that
most people will stick to the more mainstream sound.

That said, I’ve followed the evolution of the
anarchist punk underground and found that the UK crust
bands, by crossing 80s black and thrash metal with
punk, had saved the genre from sudden death simply by
allowing it to evolve. Many people were against this
metal influence because it was “not punk.” In fact
this argument is weak since punk and metal both came
from the same place, which of course was rock n’ roll.
Rock came from blues men and women such as Bessie
Smith and Robert Johnson, and that stuff came from
gospel churches of the Southern U.S. where the kids
learned how to play the European classical music.
Everything is really just watered down tonal music
(common practice classical from Bach to Mahler) with
various levels of complexity, i.e. jazz is more
complex than rock because its closer to its classical
roots then basic rock,(until people like Cecil Taylor
came along!). So there is no real argument, metal is
just as legitimate. Both metal and rock are rooted in
working class angst and challenge the status quo, just
like punk. There are certainly no “righteous” reasons
for choosing one over the other. Again the phobia is
probably the result of the will to conform.

In any case, metal had come to punk and created
utterly new directions. It was because of this fusing
that we have Crust, Grind, Anarcho-Thrash,
Powerviolence, Hardcore, Black Crust, Crustcore, etc.
etc. Punk has become as diverse as its original
anti-conformity stance would have wanted it to. So why
say its either “this” or “that?” There are periods
and trends of conformity within the movement. Without
attaching to much baggage to it, we just wanted to do
something different. We are simply taking elements of
all the music we have listened to over the years and
revamped it into our own style. Having style, original
style, is very important to me as a musician. I can’t
play something that is a clone of something else. I
see no point in rewriting a style, especially if
someone has already done a brilliant job. I don’t
think we have to list a bunch of bands here, Anyone
who knows music will hear our influences directly, we
make reference to them constantly, both musically and

2. What are the roots of the highly political nature
of the band? Where do your ideas come from?

Scott: I try and stay informed about current events
through various forms of media, and I feel it is
important to address issues that face individuals in a
local and global community today rather than making
generic statements. A portion of the time is
definitely spent researching facts and supporting
information so we are not making vapid assertions and
just using emotive language. If someone has an
opportunity to spread positive messages and vital
information they should take it.

Wolf: Our ideas come from what we see going on around
us. In this respect we’re not really any different
from other topical song writers. We do differ, I
think, in the delivery of the message. Again it comes
down to having an original style. As a song writer I
try to create something worth reading. I consider the
reader at all times and try to ensure there will be
something of interest from an alternative perspective.
Our lyrics can be pretty dense at times. Its not that
we want them to be “essays” its just that in order to
complete a thought on something complex, say US
foreign policy in the middle east, you have say more
than “war sucks.” That is if you are at all serious
about encouraging thoughtful insight. We all know war
sucks and we all know that there are charred corpses
and starving children, but do we really understand the
situation? Since the systems which create wars, be
they capital structures, marxist structures,
democratic, liberal etc., are never going to give us
the real story, its up to us to empower ourselves. I
think, by writing lyrics which have some depth, we are
doing our small part, as musicians, in discovering the
truth and making that truth known. We’re not
politicians, nor are we historians but that doesn’t
mean we shouldn’t make an attempt at knowing what's
going on around us and what we, as part of society,
are contributing to. Our main purpose is to provide
music for, and to build, a conscious counterculture. I
don’t really need to state how powerful music is as a
way of communicating ideas. Its a very effective tool
and especially useful in reaching the growing pool of
dispossessed youth, which is where most punks,
including ourselves, come from. I think we should take
it seriously and not abuse this power. We are not
interested in recruiting people for the revolution or
whatever, we’re not a vanguard. We simply want to
provide truth, and it is through this process that we
can perhaps convince people to search out their own
understanding and to make their own choices. This is
the beginning to discovering useful alternatives.

Nick: Today’s political climate has created a
polarization of ethics. It is no longer enough to
simply stand by and hope for the best. I have seen
friends and family sued by developers who had
politicians in their back pocket, paid for by drug
money. When this type of thing is allowed, you have to
say something.

3. You recently added a female singer changing the
dynamic of the band. How has this lineup change worked
for the band as a whole? How has the sound changed
with a newer singer?

Devin: I don’t think the dynamic has changed much. Mel
lives in a different town, which makes rehearsal a
little difficult, but otherwise its great a far as I’m
concerned. Stylistically, Mel has a deeper voice.

Nick: Mel is a great singer and a fantastic person. I
think her voice adds a new dimension to our sound. The
lower more gruff voice she has meshes quite well with
scott’s black metal shriek, resulting in pure vokill

Scott: Originally the band started with only 1
vocalist, I think musically having two singers is
much more interesting and makes room for a lot more
diverse songwriting. That being said, its gone really
well redoing old songs with Mel and preparing new
songs for future releases.

4. What other projects have you been involved with?
How do you feel Iskra is a progression from Black

Wolf: Besides Iskra, I’ve been involved with
Contempt, Black Kronstadt, and I played second guitar
for Destestation on their ‘96 Westcoast tour. I also
write music for orchestral instruments as one of my
occupations. I recently completed a tour of Canada
with the Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal, a
francophone new music group, who performed a work I’d
written for ten instrumentalists. Within the
contemporary music scene I keep pretty busy
fullfilling a number of comittments which include
commissions and composition workshops.

Personally I don’t see or hear Iskra as a progression
of Black Kronstadt. Black Kronstadt was simply a
different band with different musical sensibilities,
interests and personalities. There are similarities
and/or differences, but these are obvious. One could
compare and contrast as they would any other two bands
I guess, but I don’t really see the benefit in this
activity. I mean, don’t we have anything better to do?

Scott: I spend almost every day making music, I play
drums and guitars as well and I am involved in various
local grind and blackmetal projects. I try to work as
little as possible and concentrate on strategies for
living cooperatively with other local like-minded

Concerning Black Kronstadt, I really like their
recorded material but honestly had not heard them
until I met Wolf, after I joined Iskra. I think its
great when people who were into Black Kronstadt come
out to see what their former members are up to these

Devin: I’ve played in bands with Scott, Nick, and
Jesse before Iskra. I’ve was never in Black Kronstadt
so I can’t really speak for them.

5. Are you all excited to play CLITfest next year?
What does a festival like this mean to you?

Scott: Personally I am always excited to play shows,
and I am looking forward to CLITFest especially
because I feel so strongly about women’s rights. We
are always looking for ways to support and involve
ourselves in any way we can, and this festival
signifies a lot of effort and scene solidarity over
issues surrounding sexism.

Devin: I find it interesting that anarchists run such
large scale events. Things like Clitfest just don’t
happen where we’re from.

Wolf: I’m sure it will be a great time. Its an unique
opportunity to support our sisters in music and see
some great bands. I think the main idea of the
festival, supporting women performers in the scene, is
wonderful and I look forward to participating.

Mel: Events like Clitfest also help to educate people.
There are workshops on sexism and rape, which makes
this more than just a musical event, it attempts to
negotiate real problems within our society. It will be
great for me to meet more women actually involved in
the scene and that are playing in bands.

6. Who writes the lyrics? Are they primarily written
by one member, or is it a collective effort?

Devin: Iskra is a collective effort.

7. What do you do to uphold your beliefs in every day
life outside of your band? What other projects and
collectives are you involved with?

Devin: I boycott capitalism by being unemployed! I’m
involved in anarchist groups and are in the process of
opening an anarchist book/record/info shop.

Scott: I try to exist with as much disregard for
lawful authority and government interference as
possible. There are many strategies to not support the
systems we are ideologically opposed to.

Nick: i try to be conscience of how and where I
support myself, and what and who i’m supporting when i
buy things. I just basically try to not take part ina
society that is fucked and doesn’t seem very concerned
with fixing itself unless it provides a nice photo op.

Mel: I am currently working for a place called the
Portland Hotel Society who are involved and work with
the homeless, prostitution, drug problems in the lower
east side of Vancouver. The cafe I work at is a
complex that includes a dentist office, laundromat,
and permanent housing for the poor. This project
offers extremely cheap deals for the workers of the
Portland Society and free service for some of the
people in the neighborhood. the Society actually gives
a shit about their staff. All and all I really enjoy
my job, which is rare, and hope to get more involved
with helping out the prostitutes and the women
shelters which, thanx to Gordon Campbell (the BC
premiere) are few and far between. Also In the past
years I have organized food and clothing drives for
the homeless.

Wolf: I don’t feel that anarchists should feel
pressure to have to do “anarchist activity.” At the
same time there is a lot of positive anarchism that
goes unnoticed or is not recognized as revolutionary.

Iskra are just regular people; we go to work, buy
food, pay our bills and live the same mundane
existence within our “safe” society as anyone else.
The difference is that we’re, perhaps, a little more
sensible, as are most conscious people, when it comes
to everyday interaction with “the world.” As a result
we become deviated from the status quo. We’re not
going to be one of those workers who gets off saying
sexist shit to or about women, rather we’ll be the
ones who condemn such stupidities. Within various
social contexts we’re conscious of what we do and say
because we know that language and social behavior is
carefully constructed and taught by the system we
hate. This sort of everyday approach is important.
That's not to say we’re angels or anything! We all say
stupid shit occasionally or get fed up. The important
thing is that we make an attempt to be aware.

We try, in our small way, to know and understand how
things work,i.e. who makes decisions and why, the
effects of issues such as Free Trade, the differences
between what the leaders tell us and what really
happens on the street, what privatization really
means, etc. etc. We relay our findings to friends,
acquaintances, and loved ones by using our voices. We
present our findings to people beyond our immediate
reach through our band. We rarely “preach,” as it
were, but like to look for truths and voice our
opinions. This is done for no other reason then the
hope that other people might also begin seeing the
truth and thinking for themselves. This is how
alternatives begin to take form.

Its important to give yourself credit. Know what you
do. What makes you active? We play music which
discusses alternative possibilities, we distribute
radical information within a cultural context, some of
us are involved in various anarchist organizations (we
are currently participating in the creation of a West
Coast Anarchist Federation), some of us are are
currently involved, as Devin already pointed out, in
the opening of an anarchist info shop (the first one
to appear in Victoria since Sabat! in the nineties),
some of us do art, we all set up shows etc. etc. The
same type of activity anyone else does really. At the
same time we don’t feel pressure to do anything!
Simply being anarchistic involves much activity
because you have to constantly negotiate a society
which, although on the surface appears well, is
wrought with anxiety, corruption, and sickness. A
society hellbent on destroying the itself as well as
the environment it is dependent upon, or so it seems.
Often we are tired and basically just live to get by.
I totally support anyone who goes underground and
attempts to destabilize the system through militant
direct action. I hold such life sacrifices in high

8. The struggle for Aboriginal rights is very strong
in the Pacific Northwest. Is there any chance for this
struggle to be joined by and with the nonnative
anarchist community?

Wolf: Yes there is. For reasons of security it cannot
really be discussed openly, nor do I know everything
that is going on. Lets just say that there is activity
and communication between anarchists and natives in
the area. Some members of the West Coast Warriors
Society, for example, have a knowledge of anarchism
and anarchist history. Some see it as a possible
solution to coexistence. I believe the indigenous
writer and historian Taiaiake
( is currently
writing a book on the subject of indigenous anarchism
(that is native people involved with anarchism), which
should be a real eye-opener. Of course there is a
strong history of cooperation between anarchists and
indigenous people.

A major point of contention is the 2010 winter
olympics scheduled to happen here in BC. BC is unceded
territory, that is the land was never negotiated
through treaty process and therefore still belongs, by
international law, to the first nations. The 2010
olympic agenda particularly effects the Lil’wat,
Squamish, and Shuswap nations who will have to deal
first hand with all the capitalist bullshit and
oppression that such an event promotes. Its very
complex, but important to keep in mind, since there
will not doubt be some major events taking place over
the next five years (and beyond) due to the constant
tension between indigenous peoples and the capitalist
white agenda. For more information you may want to
check this site out:

I urge anyone who is interested to help anyway that
they can. There is plenty of information on the web
and any support would be greatly appreciated. At least
let your neighbor know or something! Keeping
indigenous struggle in the forefront or our
consciousness is important because when the shit goes
down we will want to know the real story. It is only
through knowing the truth that we can provide
effective support. Media demonization is immediate and
punishing. Often there are collaborators within the
native ranks (sellout chiefs and band councils) which
often causes a lot of confusion amongst people who are
not on the ball. Be alert.

Scott: I think ultimately the Aboriginal rights
movement in the Pacific Northwest and all of Canada
share many common goals with the anarchists that live
in the same areas: a simple example would be
self-sufficiency and autonomy. Its seems logical to
cooperate to achieve these same ends and I hope, as
opportunities arise to resist our racist government’s
initiatives of theft from and exploitation of
Aboriginals, there will be support from many nonnative

9. Your song “acceptance not tolerance” off your first
LP addresses homophobia in the US and the differences
between laws regarding same sex marriages in the US
and Canada. How do most people in Canada view the
blatant homophobia and discrimination occurring now in
the US? Does this exist in Canada as well? How do we
deal, as activists, punks, concerned humans, with this

Devin: 54% of Canadians support gay-marriage. I think
the blatant homophobia/discrimination in the US and
Canada is fucking sick! I would assume that at least
54% of Canadians would agree. Its important to note
that a high percentage of such statistics are drawn
from an older population, one which generally opposes
queer. So such statistics will change dramatically
within the next ten to twenty years. In others words
the population will be younger and perhaps more

Mel: All of our larger centers (Vancouver, Toronto,
and Montreal in particular) are extremely accepting
and have large queer sections within the city (gay
villages). The province of Alberta, on the other hand,
seems to be a bit more backwards in regards to such
issues. Ralph Kline, the premiere, has outlawed gay
marriage provincially. Don’t forget that Canada has
both a provincial law and a federal law, which don’t
always coincide.

Wolf: The United States is sort of like looking
through a crystal ball; whatever happens there
eventually happens here. At least in terms of social
adjustment, mostly negative. There is immense economic
and even military threats imposed by the US which
affects our political structure. Sellout scumbag
politicians (are there any other?) like Paul Martin,
Ralph Kline, Gordon Campbell, etc. are more than happy
to stick their greasy paws into that proverbial shit
pie and collect their chunk. To the detriment of us
all. With this in mind such things as the “back to
creation” movement happening in the US, spearheaded by
Education Secretary Rod Paige, is frightening (it is a
major debate among many states to replace the
scientific theories of evolution with christian
theories of creation, within the public school
system). Rod has said that he “prefers schools that
have a strong appreciation for the values of the
Christian community.” The laws against queer folks,
which of course stem from the twisted morality of
faith based institutions, is, in most Canadian minds,
absolutely insane. But lets not get ahead of
ourselves, these views exist here. They are not as
noticeable, perhaps due to the extreme difference of
population (our population is around 30 million, yours
is around 300 million). Most of our christian fanatics
live in the province of Alberta, collectively
understood as being more “advanced” in its right wing
agenda, although this filth has now spread to the
other provinces in a big way. Such is the trend right
now with the neo-liberal takeover of the country. For
those of you who don’t know, the neo-liberals work
pretty closely with the neo-cons of the US. We do have
a more right wing party, The Canadian Alliance, who
push for complete US/Canada integration and are pretty
much identical to the pigs running your country right

To even consider a law which dictates sexual
orientation is absurd. We are against laws, preferring
a system of morals and ethics, without authoritarian
structures but with a high level of individual
responsibility. Our state system supports same-sex
unions, but the very idea of applying laws to such
choice is backwards. That people have the choice, in
our minds, is a given. Obviously if I had to choose
one law over the other, in our present situation,
there would be no question as to which I would
support. But the root of the problem is that we have
politicians and business men dictating how we live our
lives, and this should not be. I think your question
is answered by the first lines of the song really:

‘Canada has taken steps to redefine the laws of marriage
Same sex unions are now possible throughout the nation
Yet antigay sentiment exists on the streets to this day
One third of lesbians and gays are victims of violent aggression.’

In other words the problems that we try to hide still
exist. We may have gay pride parades (complete with
corporate sponsorship) but beatings and murders are
still prevalent. The real tragedy with antigay
legislation, such as that proposed by Bush and his
gang, is that the average ignorant populace believes,
since the ruling system openly considers queer to be
“deviant,” and “criminal” behavior, that its ok to
torture and kill gays and lesbians. Bush obviously
wants queers dead, it shows in his decision making
process. For example, one third of the prevention
funds in the $15 billion AIDS bill signed by Bush are
earmarked for abstinence education. Again, what's
happens on the streets and what happens in the minds
of politicians is almost the exact opposite. Bush’s
belief that sexual abstinence, which will never
happen, will solve the AIDS problem is a figment of
his imagination, as are most of his ideas.

Scott: I think homophobes are fucked, and am disgusted
when I encounter them in the metal and punk

11. How is the punk community in Victoria? Is it
separated from the punk community in Vancouver? How
closely is it tied with the punk circles in Seattle
and Portland, or does the border create a barrier for

Mel: There has been more bands, from the neighboring
cities, coming together, performing and generally
hanging out. Bands such as Bury Whats Dead, Neckbeerd,
Massgrave, Meat of Mankind, Chuck Norris, Limb from
Limb, the Arrested etc. There are others I’m sure. The
scenes in both Victoria and Vancouver are growing
quite rapidly with people moving here from other parts
of Canada. The weather has a lot to do with
this....pussies! Note that we get very little snow and
the weather doesn’t have the extremes that other parts
of the country do. Unfortunately there are not a lot
of women actively involved in the punk scenes here,
hopefully this will change.

Wolf: We have a lot more connection with Vancouver
than Seattle or Portland, although we are aware of
what bands exist in those cities. We play Vancouver
regularly so we know what's going on there, generally.
There is a lot of interaction with shows and such, not
so much politically.

The border is a concern but it seems that most US
bands, and anarchists (Victoria is a regular stop for
anarchist artists and lecturers) generally make it to
their shows and vice-versa.

Devin: The Victoria punk is small, but sometimes also
really cool. Being on an island, we are pretty
isolated. Going back and forth between the neighboring
cities can be pretty expensive. We generally lose a
fair bit of cash playing shows over the water. Seattle
and Portland are pretty disconnected, we’ve been a
band for two years and have yet to perform in these
cities. Our premieres will be in January during our
Westcoast tour. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of
interest from bands from those cities to play here. I
hate big city folk and Americans any ways! Ha Ha, just

12. What does ISKRA mean?

Wolf: Iskra is a Russian word meaning ‘spark’ or
‘light.’ For me, its a nice sounding word with
wonderful connotations. Of course it also conjures up
associations with certain Marxist organizations, the
famous Leninist paper, which shares this title,
immediately comes to mind. Its sort of a humorous
nudge to those people, since we are obviously opposed
to any Marxist ideologies.

13. Any future projects / release s / tours in the

We have a tour down the Westcoast in January, check
the Profane site for details; we have three splits
coming out over the next year, one with More Bad News
(Czech), Masseperation (Malaysia), and a 4 way split
from Vancouver with us, Massgrave, Limb From Limb, and
Bury Whats Dead. We are also working towards a Europe
tour within the next year. Hopefully most of these
projects will materialize as planned. Thanks to
Profane Existence for the interview.