In late 2000, a young man – called by his friends by the name 'Zack' – frustrated by the current music scene and the limitation of music genres, founded a band that should infect not only the lifes of the people involved. The main aim was easy: to play a kind of music that the band mates had wished other bands to play, but, actually, never did. A music that is beyond all made up borders by the music press, critics and trends. The music should include everything and exclude nothing. From their favourite metal bands (such as Pantera, Slayer or Entombed) to Punkrock (The Ramones, The Clash and NoFx), over Rock´n´Roll (f.ex. Little Richard) and Country (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Dixie Chicks) to Crossover/Hardcore bands (Sick of it all, Downset, Thumb, Ignite, Adjudgement, Biohazard or early (...) Mehr anzeigen H-Blockx). They even stepped into fields of Pop (Peter Gabriel or Genesis) and Hip Hop (NWA, Eazy E, Wutang Clan or Public Enemy), which were also, from day one, a big musical influence for the band.
When coming to the point that band name was needed, they decided to use an uncommon, non-english, name. So the band decided to play under the name MUECA. Translated into english, this spanish word means 'a mask' or 'an ungly face'. The name refers to the hard facts, that most people use a second face in public, changing their persona from situation to situation. This is the mask. The ugly face stands for the bitterness that comes along with life (in case of the band: being juveniles coming from a rural area with a lack of senseful activities and frustration caused by negative anticipations concerning one´s own future in a country which economy is about to go down).
When being not successful in finding a music branch that fit, the group came up with their own definition of their music. “We call what we do 'Urban Crosscore'. We all grew up around this small town Nienburg/Weser. Back then, it was our only room for social participation and so our lifes circled around it. The town itself, with its infrastructure, its economy and its people, was a huge influence on our music. Being a kid in Nienburg means you have to deal with a lot of negativity and boredom. If you want to be entertained, you have to put up everything on your own, using your fantasy and creativity. So our music is urban. You don´t have a lot of opportunities here when you´re young. Wether you play soccer, or run into gyms, start a band or consuming booze or drugs and beat up people. Unfortunately, kids tell us that not much seems to have changed, today. We think that we brought crossover to the next level. Using hard riffings and acoustic ballades, rap vocals, singing and screaming with catchy hooks and powerful grooves. It is more than just simple crossover, so we call it Crosscore. So, it became 'Urban Crosscore'”, states guitarist and founder Zack.
During the next years, lots of band members joined and left the band. “This happened due to the fact that you need a strong will to survive in this band. It is a conglomerate of extreme egocentric perfectionists”, laughes MUECAs drummer, using the artist name 'Mutter' (mother). “Don´t get me wrong, we´re all very close friends and we really love each other, it´s like family. Sometimes, however, it´s more like the 'Adams Family'. This band has its own will. Its like a body and we are only hands, tongue and feet. Let me put it that way: one morning we created a monster and some got eaten alive back in the day. For years, this was an eight headed hydra. After arriving at the venues, a lot of cub owners asked: 'Ah, which bands are you?' and we answered 'We are ONE band'. Haha, eight people plus crew. That was fun.”
In 2004, MUECA released its D.I.Y. debut “The Diary Of Science And Sickness”. This record was blasphemy to all norms in the music business, because it was not able to be settled in one certain category. From the balladesque pop rock of “Thank You” to the not even two minutes long oldschool hardcore song “What!?”, the band worked with every musical source they found appropriate. When touring across Germany, the band became famouse for their intense onstage performance. Guitarist Zack: “Everything can happen when we´re onstage. There´s so much raw energy in the air when we´re playing that we are not able to control our actions and emotions. One night nothing really happens and during the next show we´re breaking each others noses, haha. Sometimes we just can´t deal with some memories which come along with some of the songs that we´re all freaking out, destroying our equipment and bodies. Well, by the time we got older and a bit more under control, but sometimes...well, you can´t control everything,haha, but this is the way we are and play. Even our rehearsals are that chaotic. There´s no choreography or something like that. Just us, the music and a lot of anger.”
Unfortunately, a lot of critics got MUECAs fusion of different musical elements wrong and, obviously not able to break out of their bordered mind, declared the band as being 'just another Nu Metal project'. Singer Linc remembers. “Ah, yeah. That was such a drag! We´ve never been Nu Metal, if, we´d never denied, but we have nothing in common with bands such as Limp Bizkit even if we use rap lyrics, too. You wouldn´t compare Rage Against The Machine with 4Lyn, wouldn´t you? How can we be Nu Metal when not even playing pure metal, at all? Especially 2005 to 2006 was a very hard time for us. We played a lot across the country and we were able to get the hip hop kids, the metal fans, the skaters and the ones who listen to chart music in one pit. No joke! However, some clubs stopped booking us when Metal- and Emocore became a mass medium. I remember even one critic saying, 'This band uses rap. Hip Hop is the enemy and who signs a pact with the enemy, must be shot!” No word about the music, nothing. I mean, what a crap head! This is exactly what this band was about: ignoring boundaries between the different music scenes. We´re all one and the same and at least it´s all Rock´n´Roll! I was never able to get those peoples point. It´s the same with the word “emo”. Today, it seems to be a shame to be emotional, but how can one specific music be 'emo', when music IS always driven by emotions. Its the source of and the driving force behind all music, isn´t it?”
At this time - yet - unknown inner conflicts started to tear MUECA apart. Bassist Miche explains. “We were all very unsatisfied with the whole situation. When we started this group, there was no pressure laying on our shoulders. We were just thinking about our own and that we have fun with what we do. However, back in those days, some of us began blaming the band and its music that a lot of things weren´t running that good anymore. We started reasoning what we, as we thought, had to change to get back in line. That led to a lot of inner conflicts, especially between certain band members that were blinded by their own egos and not willing to give in. It wasn´t just about music anymore, but about what a single person wants to achieve with this band and how. It was disgusting! Unfortunately, we were not able to get outta this. We were stuck too deep in all that crap and some band members even stopped talking with each other for years, if it wasn´t necessary. In the end we had ruined it all. Side projects were started, people moved away and put their focus on other things, jobs, studies etc., but the band. When people asked, “Hey, when are you going to release the next record?” or “Did you guys broke up?” none of us had an answer, because no one really knew. For some of us this whole thing was already history, others, however, wanted to go on and others simply just didn´t care, anymore. There was an immense lack of communication. In the following four years we recorded dozens of songs and threw´em away, again. We were talking about breaking up, about a reunion, but back in the day everybody went different ways and the whole cycle repeated, again and again. Right now I think, that we just needed a break. A time out was necessary, but we all never dared to talk about that, straight.”
Dared to or not, some things just take their time and from 2007 till 2009, with some few exceptions, it became very silent about and in MUECA. After pronouncing MUECA´s going to break up during a gig at december 2008 by singers Jones and Linc, both, fans and the other band members were shocked. Looking back, Jones explains: “Linc and I felt that it was about time to make it an end. We thought “Let´s close this chapter of our life in a way, it deserves it. You know, we grew up with this band. It was our heart and soul for years. MUECA was the first thought at dawn and the last at dusk and we lived for this band, but all these fightings teared us apart and we lost confidence in this band and patience to deal with the others egos. And we felt misunderstood, because they didn´t want to deal with ours. For me, Linc and Thees there was nothing left to say, but 'Goodbye'. We were through with this band and we were fed up with seeing this band crippled and creeping towards death. So we decided, spontanously, that this night should be the last we´d spend together on the same stage. I still think, this was the best decision, because it was sad, but on the hand it was some kind of relief.”
After months had passed and the fire of MUECA seemed to be blown out, a little flame was still burning. “After Linc and Jones said it was over, it suddenly fet very strange. It is something different, when you have a band that is somehow on stand-by or one that does not exist anymore! I knew it was right, but somehow it didn´t feel like that. I mean, so many years, so many tears, sweat and blood. You can´t erase your past and so the band was always a part of it and I guess, it will always be! Suddenly, we had contact again. I don´t know who wrote the first mail, but we, immediately, agreed that we just must finish that record which we were promising to come out since 2005. For us, the fans and for MUECA as an own fictive persona.” So the band startet to re-arrange some old material, some was already recorded in 2007, and compose new tracks to write a record that was worthy to represent the band the way it is today. “It´s just awesome”, says singer Linc. “It´s not like recording an album in a couple of months. These tracks are like a sequence of pictures shot during the last YEARS. This record was and still is like a cartharsis for us. All our negative emotions were molded in sound.” So the band decided to entitle their new full length “The Idosyncrasy of Collapsing”. “This record is a biest. It contains the deepest, darkest, fastest and hardest stuff we´ve ever written. It also has this wonderful melodies and silent moments. For us, it is a master piece”, states Zack. The band worked together with long time friend and producer Cy from CIC Productions, who also joins the band´s live set as a DJ and sampler. Mutter: “Electronics were always a very important layer in our music. Without it, it simply doesn´t work. Period! Cy is such a gift as a friend, musician and producer. His work was very important to make this record such a bad ass piece of music. We are very proud on this collaboration and, soon, you will be able to hear why.”
However, before the band was ready to get back on the track, one thing had to be done. In a meeting in september 2009 the band took a break of two days from all their current responsibilities in all day life and came together to rehearsal, to jam and to work out all personal problems they had. “That was bad ass and, probably, one of most intimate moments we have ever shared in our band´s history,” says rap vocalist Jones. “A lot of drinking, a lot crying, accusing and forgiveness, listening to the new material and to old stuff, as well as watching shoots of older gigs. We recognized what we have lost, what we had done to us and the band and had missed. It was like a reunion, renewing our friendships. A wonderful moment, I will always remember.” “We still don´t know where this is going to end. Maybe, “The Idiosyncrasy of Collapsing” will be MUECAs last record. Maybe, it won´t. We´ll see. We do not really think about it. We don´t wanna endure all that self-made pressure again. At this very moment, we are as free, as were back at the beginning, when we were all in our late teens or early twens”, says Thees. “We do not wanna make the same mistakes again. So no one knows what the future holds for us, but that doesn´t matter. All that counts is we have our new record coming out, we´re a band again and the most important thing: we´re, finally, friends again.” Drummer Mutter adds: “I don´t give a damn about what people will say or think about us and this record. We are happy the way things are, right now, because the record sounds the way we wanted it to do.” Weniger anzeigen
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