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Interview

Zero Point
30/06/2002 (interview with Steen)



Please give a brief history of the band, including current line up.

We started up in 1979 as a part of the early Danish punk scene and we did our first gig on the 13th. of November that year. During the first years we went through some line up changes, but always with a steady backbone consisting of Henrik and me (Steen).

In 1982 Dennis joined the band on drums. He had been a great follower/fan and friend for quiet a long time and it turned out to be the right decision. We then played as a 3-piece band for quiet a while (and recorded the 5 track "HA!!" EP). We where always on the outlook for a second guitarist, but it had to be the exactly right one. Well, along came this other old punk rock band, with this "new guitarist". We thought "he is good and a nice guy", so we sort of highjacked him! That was 1984 and the guitarist was Jens.

In 1987 we decided to call it a day. We where at that point the oldest and longest living Danish punk rock band.

Well, now it is 2002 and WE ARE BACK. We are no longer "bored teenagers" but bored middle-aged old men!!The new line up is:

JENS MÜLLER: GUITAR
DENNIS JENSEN: DRUMS
ANDERZ NIELSEN : BASS
STEEN THOMSEN: VOCAL AND GUITAR


Discography.

-THE ZERO POINT: T.Z.P. : Tape 1981. 10 songs.
-LORTELAND: Comp. Tape 1983. Boston Tea Party (Hø-Hø 01) 3 songs.
-HA!!: 7" EP 1983. Spån Records (Spån-sor) 5 songs.
-THE MURMUR: 7" EP 1986. Spån Records (Garn) 3 songs.

And then we got some tracks on different compilation records and tapes. Best known of them are properly ROIR tapes "WORLD CLASS PUNK" release (original issued in 1984 and in 1998 as a CD).


Where did the inspiration come from when the band was formed?

I was so lucky to spend the summer of `77 in England. I was Only 14 years old, and already heavily into music (glam and early Kiss). Before I left for England I had only read about this "punk thing", so I was very eager to check it out. It turned out to be just the thing I had been looking for. I brought home some of the first punk records and had this weird feeling "something big and very exceeding are happening and I want to be a part of it".

Henrik, Peter (our first bass player) and me went to the same public school and they where into loud rock music as well. In 1978 we attended the first Danish punk festival. And that was it, we where out looking for a rehearsal room and trying to look up some cheap gear.

So the main inspiration for the band came from the very early British punk scene.

What is the highlight and what is the lowest point in the bands history?

I think there have been many highlights. Some of them have been:

- Playing at an outdoor festival in our hometown Aarhus, in front of approx. 10.000 people. We were the only punk band invited to play the big stage.

-Our gigs in Spain 1986. Especially the one in San Sebastian was fantastic.

-For me the first gig we did in England where very special. It was sort of "bringing punk rock back home!" It was a "dream come true".

But the real highlight must be all the people we have met, worked with and have become friends with. Well, now we hope that there are a few more highlights to come.


The lowest point, the absolute zero point. I think that was the gig we where going to do together with DISORDER here in Aarhus. Not because of Disorder, `cos they never managed to show up (why is a completely different story. Just ask Taff, he still remembers and tells the story). But the Danish promoter had taken a train ride to pick up Disorder by the ferry. When he found out that they didn't show up, he called us and told it. We thought "right, the gig is off". Felt a bit depressed and started consuming large amounts of alcohol (I mean LARGE amounts). When the promoter was back in town he phoned us up again and asked us what was going on? And what we where up to? Because he had contacted 2 or 3 other Danish punk bands and the where going to play instead of Disorder that night. So the gig was on. But at that point we have had far too much to even considering stop drinking and when we hit the stage we where complete shit faced! I guess that was the worst Zero Point gig ever. Funny enough, the audience seemed to like and enjoy it, they where properly as drunk as us. The weird thing is that I think that the promoter actually have released a couple of tracks from that night on a compilation tape. I have not got a copy of it and it is properly best that way!


Do Zero Point do any covers in the set, if so what and why?

Our upcoming CD will feature a recording of CHELSEA`s "Government". We don't know if it will be a part of our live set yet. I still think it is a great song and Chelsea is a great band. Unfortunately I have never had the chance to se them live.

Over the years we have done a few covers. I think this is a complete list:

"Ghost Rider" by Suicide. Early `79 cover. Not much to cover at the time. Still thinks it is a great song.

"Never Trust A Man (with egg on his face)" by Adam And The Antz.

"C.I.D" by U.K. Subs. We have always loved the Subs. First time they came around Denmark We where scheduled to do a "Rock against Racism" gig in Aarhus. We cancelled and instead we travelled to Copenhagen to se Charlie and the boys. Never had no regrets about it, they where great!

"California Sun" by Ramones. O.K. they did not write it, but it was their version we stole. The Ramones are absolute one of the best and most important bands in punk rock.

"No Fun" by Stooges/Pistols. More a Pistols cover version we did. For me, the Pistols are the greatest band that has ever walked this earth.

"Love and a Molotov Cocktail" by The Fly's. We love that song. I think we where the only people in Denmark who knew The Fly's existed.

"Headbanger" by Cockney Rejects. When the new wave of punk hit the streets, it hit so hard that we just had to pay our tribute. The early Rejects are now classics!

If you could take a vocalist, guitarist(s), bassist and drummer from different bands to make your perfect band who would you choose (can be deceased)?

Actually, we don't want to replace anyone. But there are a lot of people that we would enjoy working with or being joint by on stage or recording (guess the "cover track list" leaves a clue).
All four of us will have our personal favourites. But I think all of us would like to back up Poly Styrene through a handful of X-Ray Spex classics. Be joint by Mick Rossi or Mick Jones and play some old fashioned punk rock with David Vanian and Jimmy Pursey.

What bands would you recommend checking out?

THE GUV`NORS, my absolute favourite newcomer band from around here are. They are an Oi/ glam/ kickass rock`n`roll band. They are very well playing and always a laugh. Their singer was Aarhus first Skin and one of my really old mates. They have just been signed by a new American label, so look out for their debut release. This band rocks!

THE OUTFIT is another great band. They should soon have a CD release on "Step-1 Music". They are a great Oi! band in the traditional way. Check them out!

BARCODE is hardcore in the Agnostic Front style. Worth a check if you are into that sort of stuff. Their new CD is simply called "Hardcore".

SKALOOT are Denmark's no. 1 band if you like Ska . They have not have a proper release yet, but they have made a brilliant promo CD. I am sure they will sell a copy on the Internet.

WAR OF DESTRUCTION, classic hardcore punk from Denmark. Will soon have a CD re-release on GTA records. How cut I nearly forget them? I play the drums on that CD!

What is the Punk/Oi scene like in your area?

Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark. It only got 287.000 citizens. So it is quiet a small scene.

Over the last couple of years the scene have been growing again. A lot of new faces have showed up and some of us old timers are starting to show up again. I think the standard of the bands are very high and a lot of the people who are into the scene are very committed. Punks, Skins, Rude boys and Psychos all hang out together and attend the same gigs.

Last year one of the local skins sat up a 2 days Oi! Festival with bands from around Europe (and Aarhus) and as a brand new thing some of the local punks and Skins have started a Punk, Skin, Rude boy and Psychobilly club, booking gigs on a monthly basic. Beside that we got two good venues here there, from time to time, are veiling to set up Punk and Oi! gigs. We are still talking small crowds, but things are started happening...........again!

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2002.

We have just signed a deal with American based record label "Grand Theft Audio" for the release of a CD containing all our old releases; some never released studio tracks and a few rehearsal tracks, all in all more than 70 minutes of music. The CD is set to have a release date in November and will properly be called "LIFE BELOW THE ZERO POINT".

We will be promoting the CD release with some live gigs and we strongly hope that we will be given the opportunity to make some "HITS" appearances.

After that I would like to start working on some new material for a CD single or EP release.

Any final comments?

It is great to be back and taking part in it all again. I have been longing for this too long. We can hardly wait to do the first gig!

Thanks to you Rebecca for giving us this opportunity, you are doing a great job for the scene. A special thank to Brian from GTA and Marcus from FOREIGN LEGION for the fantastic backup.

HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL OUT THERE!


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