This interview is originally published in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 6 (2018).
“YO CTM! Thanks for the interview when we had our first demo out!
We have a new recording coming soon! We have had a lot of fun recording this. We’ve been trying to just do what we felt like. We have been inspired by the great bands like Sheer Terror, Agnostic front, early Madball just to name a few (maybe the listeners can name more bands haha) but the recording will soon drop on bandcamp and hopefully a physical copy by the summer!” March 01, 2020
CTM – What’s up Rich. Give us a little intro to who Hypocrite is please.
Rich Perusi – Hypocrite is a hardcore band based in Copenhagen made up of myself playing guitar, Matti on drums, Jonas on vocals and Matt aka Parsons on Bass. We’ve been playing together for about a year, after Matti, Jonas and I spent about a year before that trying to put a band together. It finally rounded itself out when we got Matt involved. Him and I had a lot of mutual friends from the US but had never met before – but its been a great fit since.
CTM – How was the record release gig with Burn?
Rich Perusi – The release show was awesome. We were all SUPER excited to get to play with Burn – I am always amazed at how powerful and energetic they are every time I’ve seen them play. We made some record release sleeves for our 7″ that I’m still on the fence if they were cool or corny – but I guess that’s my fault since I do most of the design in the band. Shout out to the Murda Twinz Jeppe & Andreas for hooking us up with the show! They do so much for hardcore in Copenhagen.
CTM – Take us back to when and where Hypocrite started? I know that Hypocrite is comprised of two Danes and two Americans. Sounds like there might be a good story there, how did you find each other? When you first started this band what were your intentions?
Rich Perusi – Honestly I think we found each other through shows. It’s kind of the age old story of hardcore. You see the same faces at shows again and again and eventually you start talking. I think I was lucky moving to a new country and having something like hardcore and skateboarding that allowed me to easily meet people who shared similar interests. After about a year of living here I met Matti and Jonas – and it clicked. Initially when I moved here I didn’t really have any intentions of doing another band – but with Jonas and Matti I found people who were into all the same things I was and had similar ideas about the sound they wanted in a band. We had a few start stops over the years, with different people coming in and out. But like I said, after Matt moved over here to go to school and joined we were able to get really focused and make it work really well.
CTM – Most of the bands say that, their earliest rehearsals are some of their fave memories of the band’s life. Just the overwhelming feeling of making music for the first time, and hearing the first songs come together is the greatest thing. What was the writing and recording process like? What’s the best part of Hypocrite’s composing process?
Rich Perusi – Once we got Matt involved it really came together (I don’t want to blow too much smoke up his ass) but before that it sort of felt like we weren’t making any kind of progress, I had written some songs, but with just drums, guitar, and vocals it needed some rounding out with the bass. Recording was ok – we did it with this guy called Jesper at this place Mayhem here in Copenhagen. It’s a noise venue / space – connected closely to the Posh Isolation scene for a while. Another band Ond Tro from Copenhagen had recorded there – and I liked the sound so I contacted Jesper. I didn’t want it to sound polished, and I’m really happy with the sound on the recording. It was funny because he wanted like 500 danish crowns, a pizza and a 6 pack of beer to record us. But in the end he didn’t want the pizza or the beer – just the money.
CTM – What bands influenced you apart from obvious connections to Negative Approach and Circle Jerks?
Rich Perusi – Agnostic Front, Black Flag, Warzone, Underdog, Redd Kross, SSD.
CTM – Are you satisfied with how the record came out? How do you think it’s been received?
Rich Perusi – Yes I’m really happy with how it turned out – I think the reception has been positive. We are still so new, and the scene here is different than other places I’ve lived, but it has been really warm – and we are steadily getting asked to play shows so that’s a good sign.
CTM – Most of your lyrics are really direct, straightforward and angry. I suppose often the best way, or the easiest way is just that simplicity, and just speaking to the most sincere and easiest way of saying it. What do you think about this?
Jonas – I think that hardcore songs in general should be straight forward songs, I like songs with a lot of messages that are hidden but for me it seems the best way to get my ideas out, is to be in some way more direct.
CTM – “Destroy” is a song that really sticks out. It feels like a take on reclaiming your own humanity and fighting against a homogenized way of thinking.
What was the inspiration behind that song?
Jonas – The song is about my thoughts on danish society, we are supposed to be the happiest country in the world, but really it’s all fake, who cares about who is the happiest country when a lot of the people are tired of it. I don’t like the politicians in this country, we have some good stuff, like high taxes that I’m proud of.. but I’m not proud of corporations not paying taxes, and I’m not happy with the racism that is growing in the country, and that has always been there. When I sing, “we’re are never accepted, by the color of our skin, and by the way we dress…” that is because of how it was when I was younger, I was frustrated with everyone asking me where I was from (My mom is danish and my dad is from Iran but I don’t speak farsi or Arabic since he’s an arabic minority) I would say to everyone I was Danish and people would say… “but where are you really from?” That shit makes me angry – and it’s not only danes who would say it – people of different cultural backgrounds would ask the same question, so why can’t one be accepted for who they are as a person? I’m not happy with the hyporcracy that there is in this country, most people don’t know that there are 3 phases in an asylum seeker, and in the first phase it says you can’t work.. still people the politicians are feeding this lie that asylum seekers don’t wan’t to work.. that is what makes me angry and what the song is about.
Hypocrite Demo recording 2020.
CTM – How has hardcore affected your life choices?
Rich Perusi – Well I found straight edge through hardcore, and I made a lot of choices because of straight edge in my life. I found the Bad Brains and trying to keep the PMA through hardcore, and that has affected how I live my life even beyond straight edge. It made me realise the power of a community and an attitude about doing things yourself.
CTM – Let’s talk about “What’s Wrong With Me”. What are you trying to present with the song?
Jonas – Most of the lyrics are my thoughts on my life and specifically about how I try to battle the thoughts inside my own head, in the first verse im saying “…I keep telling myself to man the fuck up” is the stereotypical macho man image, that I think every boy in the world, at one point has been told… man up! Fuck that shit! But still that thing is stuck in my head, in everything that I do… I try to battle it but it’s hard when that thing has been implemented in your head. And when I say “frustration I keep in the back of my mind” that’s another thing I do, I don’t talk about my frustrations, I’m really bad at it… and some times it all boils over. It’s not a macho thing, I am actually trying to deal with this stuff. I wish I could tell people around me when I’m having a bad time, more often than I do, but it’s a work in progress like life itself.
CTM – I saw that Hypocrite covered “Backfire” by Side By Side, which is an interesting choice to me. The message of this song is really similar to your song called “Waste of Time.”…
Jonas – Simple answer Backfire is just a good song – but to be honest I think that the similarities is that’s it’s about something you see in other people that you don’t want to be. My message is that I’ve seen a lot of people in my life acting like they’re something that they’re not. I never want to be like them, they’re wasting their time trying to satisfy their own egos.
CTM – Earlier today I watched Agnostic Front’s brilliant performance on The Uncle Floyd Show! If you could only appear on one late-night television show, which would it be and why?
Rich Perusi – Saturday Night Live. #1 Because of FEAR #2 Because of Beastie Boys that shit was so inspirational to me (the Beastie Boys performance).
CTM – What was your most listened to hardcore demo in high school?
Rich Perusi – I went to high school in Connecticut – there was a band from there called Sum of All Fears that I loved – I wore their demo out tape out.
CTM – What is the best thing about K-town?
Rich Perusi – Well every year they do the fest – it’s amazing to see how many people come together for hardcore and punk on a DIY level. It’s literally a 4 day party with like 2,000 smiling people – all different but sharing a love for DIY hardcore and punk. The city itself is beautiful, and it’s really easy to live here.
CTM – Thanks for the interview! Anything else you want to say?
Rich Perusi – Thank you for the support and doing the interview! I’m psyched to be part of Chiller than Most!