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The Agitators

You formed 4 years ago. How did you all meet in the first place and why did you decide to form the band?

Bart (guitar) and I (Marc, vocals) are brothers and we've been playign together in bands (Wheeping Shitheads, Double U.S. and now The Agitators) for about 15 years now. Markus (drums) has been playing in bands (Zyklome A, Eardamage, Eightball) for more than 20 years and we met eachother a lot at gigs, Dave is an old-time friend of mine who has also been playing in bands for ages and also played in Double U.S. for a short period.

So how did we get together to form the Agitators, Markus and Bart frequented the same pub ('t Hemeltje) in Antwerp , they were talking about getting together to play some streetpunk for quite some time and one fine day they decided to give it a try to see what it would bring. The bands we played in before were hardcore-bands, but we didn't want to play hardcore anymore because we were a little fed up with the "seriousness" in that scene, and all we wanted to do was have fun in playing music and enjoy some beers while doing so. The music (streetpunk, oi, or whatever you want to name it) we play now is a lot more fun to do.

What is the scene like in your area, and how has it changed over the past few years.

We have a great scene in Belgium. There are lot's of good bands (Funeral Dress, Unite Against Society, The Jesters, Sweet Poison, The Heartaches, ...). How has it changed over the past few years, I've got the impression more and more youngsters have the guts to start a band, which is great. Another change is the influence of the internet and its messageboards, it makes it easier to find out if there are any gigs. It's also quite interesting to visit some messageboards to know more about what's living in the scene, what people like and also what's bothering them, although I've got to admit it's sometimes funny how people that hardly dare to speak to someone in person, have the biggest mouth on the internet.

If you were writing a review about The Agitators how would you describe the band?

The Agitators are a non-political singalong oi-streetpunk-band, but first of all they are an energetic live-band who enjoy playing and watching gigs. They are in it for the fun and hope they can share their joy with others.

Do you get mainly punks or skins at your gigs as you have played with bands from both genres. And do both halves of the audience get on?

It's hard to say what crowd we mainly for as we see all kinds of people at our gigs. Mostly it's a mixture of punks and skins but we have also played on specific skinhead-gigs. I think we can say that are as well punks as skins that like our music, as we get good comments from both sides. But of course not every skin and not every punk likes us.

Has any band member played in other bands, if so what?

Bart : Wheeping Shitheads, Double U.S. (Guitar)
Dave : Abattis (Lead Guitar)
Markus : Zyklome A, Eardamage (bass and vocals), Eightball (Drums)
Marc : Wheeping Shitheads, Double U.S. (vocals)

What inspires your lyrics? And do you ever run into problems writing lyrics in a foreign language (English)?

Personally I find inspiration in things I experienced or something I heard or read about. It's definitely not my goal to try and shove my opinion in everyone's throat. It would be easier if English were my native language, as you might have noticed there are some odd phrasings in our lyrics (some reviews mentioned it). But I think with some goodwill people can understand what the lyrics are about.

What is the first gig each member of the band ever went to?

Marc : The Kids (Belgian legendary punk-band, it must have been spring 1983)

Markus : The Kids (Mechelen winter 1979)

Bart : Sunsplash (Reggae-festival with Black Uhuru, The Wailers, ... spring 1986)

What are the best 5 albums you have have heard in the last 12 months?

Marc : Beerzone-Against the flow, Deadline-Back for more, Funeral Dress-come on follow, Argy Bargy-Songs from the street

Markus : Motorhead - Inferno , Lars Fredericksen & the bastards - Viking , Agnostic Front - Another Voice , Rancid - Indestructible , Hazen Street - Hazen Street

Bart : On File - Birds don't like the skinheads, Beerzone - Against The Flow, Cock Sparrer - Back Home, Greenland Whalefishers - Streets of Salvation, Tiger Army: III

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2005.

We have just finished the recordings for our new CD "Salute to all". In march there's an 18-day-tour in the States where we will be supporting Funeral Dress. We're also looking forward to play at the Wasted-festival at Morecambe (We love that festival). Later this year we hope to see a little more of Europe and hope to do a little UK-tour.

Any final comments?

If anyone feels the unresistable need to buy me a beer at the Wasted-festival in may, please feel free to do so, I will drink it with much pleasure!!

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Please note that the opinions expressed by band members does not necessarily reflect the views of this website. Punk & Oi in the UK Limited are in no way liable for comments made by interviewees.