Barcode

author PP date 14/12/06

Considering how scattered and small the Danish hardcore scene is, a new release by a band like Barcode is always cherished by the hardcore lovers in the country. Therefore we decided to get a hold of the band around the release of their new album "Ahead Of The Game" to ask them some questions about the new album, the collaboration with Lou Keller of Sick Of It All, as well as some questions about the state of the hardcore and music scene in Denmark. It is too bad Jacob wasn't as interested in some of the questions as we were, but he still had some good answers with shaky written English to our questionnaire. Read on to find out what he had to say.

As strange as it may seem, there are a lot of readers who will not be familiar with Barcode. Please introduce yourself and tell a little bit about the band.
My name is Jacob aka Dr. J, and I play guitar in Barcode.

Our first 3 albums were released on the Danish label, Hardboiled (Diehard Records).

Then after the 3rd we wanted to try something new - and since the contract with Diehard was over, then we started to find someone else to bother ha ha.... We shopped for a long time and by some weird reason we ended up with Nuclear Blast. That was really cool to be on a big label with good promotion and all.

But it all also ended pretty fast again. "Showdown" didn’t sell enough to stay on Nuclear Blast. We kind of knew that. Hey, a Danish hardcore band on a big metal label...no way... But it was good as long a it lasted - no bad vibes between us and them.

Then on the hunt for a new label again. We actually almost made a deal with a good hardcore label, but they didn’t want to release the new album before April or May 2007. We didn’t want to wait that long for release of the album.

I knew that Scarlet really likes Barcode, so I asked them if they should be interested in a deal with Barcode, and they said yes - so we are happy!

You have just released “Ahead Of The Game”. Describe the album to the readers in your own words, how did you write it etc.
I think that this album is the next logic step in the history of Barcode. Well, as allways when a band puts out a new album, the band thinks that it is the best they ever did. And in this case it is the same old story. I think that "Ahead of the Game" is a damn good album! Not that I didn't like "Showdown" or "Hardcore" or any of the other releases, but "Ahead of the Game" is just really new and fresh to me.

On the new album there is more rock and punkrock somehow. It is still hardcore, but just with a twist of something new. NO metalcore. On "Showdown" we really spent alot of time on getting everything fuckin' tight. This time we focused more on 1 good take with lots of balls and attitude. Energy! It was also easier to get energy into the songs this time because the songs were really new to us all. We did the 8 of the 13 songs in a really short period of time -very fast. Our drummer and me put it all together really fast this time. We had good teamwork. And I guess that we became better songwriters during the years too.

What kind of expectations do you have for the album in and outside of Denmark?
So far we are getting good reviews from the press, so it seems like people like the album. I don´t know what to expect really… There are so many releases nowadays, so it will probably just drown in the sea of useless shit.

On “Course Of Action”, you are collaborating with Lou Keller of Sick Of It All. How did this come about, and how was it work with such a legend in the hardcore scene?
I am so happy that Lou Koller is on the new cd! He is one of the most charismatic persons in the hardcore scene + he has got a really unique voice. When he opens his mouth you have no doubt that it is him singing.

Tue Madsen is a good friend of mine, and since he produced and mixed the newest Sick Of It All album, I made him ask Lou if he wanted to sing on a song.

We had this song which I knew he would fit perfect to. And lucky for us he said yes to do it. I met up with him when they played in Copenhagen on their recent tour, and I had arranged to borrow a studio over there we could use for a couple of hours. So we went there and we did it really fast - and it just sounds great!

On “Emo Nation”, you launch quite a harsh attack on the emo culture. Can you please elaborate on this a little bit.
It's not an attack at all! It's just about how we see people behave in that specific culture. We just find it very funny. They can do whatever they want.

What inspired “Ahead Of The Game”?
I guess I inspired it ha ha…

Denmark has long been known as “the promised land of chart music” with the Boogey and all. Rock bands that play nearly arena-sized venues in the US and the UK come over here and play in venues like Stengade 30 (Alexisonfire for instance). Why do you think the Danish public is so rock-resistant even with the recent success of bands like Panic! At The Disco here (with rock we are referring to all ‘harder’ genres, including hardcore)?
I really don´t care much about it.

Denmark isn’t exactly most known for its flourishing hardcore scene. What is your opinion on its current status? Who’s hot and who’s not? Do you see there being a rivalry between you and the more metallic hardcore act As We Fight?
Don´t really care much about that either. But Søren from As We Fight is damn hot!

Europe neither has too many renowned hardcore acts. Why do you think the scene is so imbalanced between North America and Europe, with the prior having a large majority of the bands in the genre?
Hardcore was born over there – and thay are better at it over there too. Maybe that's the reason.

If we take a quick look at who you’ve toured with in the past (Bouncing Souls, Snuff, Madball etc), the list is impressive. What have you taken home from these tours, and will we see you making a larger headlining tour in the near future?
Oh yeah, the Madball tour we did in 1999 was great! Also the tour with Skarhead was a blast. Everytime we toured we have learned new stuff – I mean we get better every time we play live of course. And we have learned that the catering in East Germany still sucks after all these years. Right now we have shows here in Denmark, but in April we are going for another headlining tour in Europe. We've done that almost every year the last few years.

What has been your favourite Barcode show and why? + Describe what “an awesome” Barcode show is like.
That's a hard one… But I think the greatest experience we had was when we played the With Full Force Festival in 2000. A completely packed Hardbowl tent. 5000 people going crazy. That was great.

What have you guys been listening to recently?
I am not sure what the other guys have listened to recently – probably Pro-Pain and Slayer.

When it comes to myself, then I really dig the new Sick Of It All- The new Suffocation.

And then AC/DC, COC, Nine and so on as always.

We tend to ask this question from every band we interview: What is your opinion on music downloading? What about albums leaking weeks if not months in advance, which is a major problem especially in the scene you are in.
I don't download albums. I buy them or get them. I download songs that are free to download when bands are releasing new albums. It's bad when the albums are out on the net before release date. Pretty much sucks. But that´s how it is today. I stopped worrying and thinking about it….don't know what to think anymore…

You’re featuring on guitar on “Ahead Of The Game” and as the producer of the album. Yet at the same time you are also in Hatesphere, Allhelluja and do a lot of production work. How are you able to do all this simultaneously?
Ha ha! Yeah I am pretty busy. The last years have been hectic. But I like what I do – and feel lucky that I can make a living out of what I like doing. I guess it's all about timing and about sacrifices.

And finally, what does the future hold in the bag for Barcode?
Play as many shows as possible. And then we will record a new album next summer.

Thanks for the interview. Feel free to leave any last comments to the readers & your fans:
Thanks you right back! Check out the new album and play it loud! J

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