HERE is my review of this record, check also their first record, Four wall freedom, also really good). They now are back with an album called Blank language. I would say screamo / hardcore is the backbone of their music, and it has all its qualities, the emotionnally charged intensity and "always on the edge feeling". but they're far from being just another screamo band because they have some other elements in their music. For exemple the riffs often have something like a black metal vibe (more than in their previous record), but they're not another "blackened hardcore band", their sound is sharper than that and carries something like a post-punk urgency. Blank language is a confirmation of their musical quality and good taste, and I'm also pleased to see that, like in their older songs the lyrics are really worth reading.
check the record on their Bandcamp page
and their Blog
and read this interview I did by mail with Takis of RF (I think it's a good one! interesting band=good interviews!) :
can you present the band for those not knowing you yet ?
Ruined Families is a hardcore punk band from Athens, Greece.
-You just released your second album "Blank language" what can you tell about it? What do you think it is bringing to your sound?
Blank Language is the most definite statement this band has ever made. We consider it a great refusal, first to ourselves and then to everything that surrounds us.
-why did you choose to call it Blank language? and what about the artwork?
Language is the most common medium for communication and is always open to new adaptations. Words are amazing and we create them, we use them, but, on the same time we become slaves of theirs. What is supposed to make us free now enslaves us. We try to leave open space for the listeners to translate the title through his personal spectrum. Same goes for the whole entity of the record.
-how would you describe your music? A mix of screamo, metal and old school noise / post-punk? or just pissed off punk music?
Definitions are for people that want their life put in boxes and their choices easily digestive. We try to avoid characterizing our sound. All of those are valid and are elements that exist in our music, yet, we try to call ourselves a punk band.
-a few words about your previous records?
In our previous records, it was us playing like the bands we would listen to. This LP is us being one of the bands we'd like to listen to.
-on your bandcamp page you present the band as “Punk from Europe's black hole” what do you mean by that? Is Greece, because of the crisis, the point that is revealing the deep failures of European civilization?
Greece is the prime example of a European country collapsing on a financial and social level. Also, it has been used as a scapegoat and an experiment of neoliberalism in Europe. This situation is a global problem presenting in more different countries presenting the lack of unity inside the European Union with whole countries being used as a "bad student". The strongest countries use the weakest ones and under the debt factor they make profit and expand their power.
I think the European Union has failed to become a Union of people and the Euro currency works only as an excuse for this plan. I think we should reconsider the European Union at its current status, equalize the balance and then plan another Union that will work for the people.
-what does “punk” means to you, a kind of music, an attitude? The scene where both meets? The smell of bourgeois culture burning…or a marketing label?
Punk is a way of thinking. Beyond the spikes and the patches, punk was created as an output for rage and reaction to different social models. There is less and less radicalism in the hardcore/punk movement and we can see it getting branded every now and then in order to make new scenes or new markets. People should be in the position to criticize and take everything into consideration and punk is definitely something to be considered as well. Radical thinking and critique is the true nature of punk.
-what is the usual writing process of Ruined families?
The band works on a theoretical level on what we want to do and then it usually bursts into music. We are not a jam band, but, we may turn into one.
-did the riots and protest movement influenced you and your music?
Definitely. The every day transformation of the urban landscape influences our music. The center of the city becoming a war zone, then getting back to be a marketplace, then getting fortified with cops and drowned in teargas then getting back to be a nightlife destination is certainly something unique.
-what can you tell about your lyrics? the impression I have is that express the miseries of daily life, the frustration that goes with trying to catch some intensity and freedom in life in a society which only admits fake intensity and freedom.
We try to criticize the world around us and any institution or tradition. Every rule is created by man, thus, it's open to be reconsidered and used for man's good.
Freedom is definitely an objective matter since freedom can't be defined by any system or way of thinking. Apart from "deodorant" or "motorcycle" fake freedom there's true will hidden in people. Still, from the moment you grow up and you're poisoned with fear, so, it's difficult to distinguish the lines.
-there is a sense of twisted poetry in those lyrics, do you spend a lot of time writing them or is it more a spontaneous process?
I consider the lyrics of "Blank Language" to be the most stripped-down thing i have ever done, still, trying to remain relevant. I didn't try to write in a certain way, but, i'm a reader, so, i suppose it comes naturally.
-do you think the crisis and the struggle resulting from it in Greece (and elsewhere) can be a beginning for some revolutionary changes? An occasion for rebuilding human relations on a different basis?
I'm not really positive about change. I think the crisis helps people to come together on a certain level, but, in the same time to feel more self-centered and egoistic. Not all people are willing to care about the world around them, even when their life gets worse.
-in an interview you mentioned Debord and the Situationist International (among others) as an influence, what do you think is most relevant from the situationists for today? And what attracted you in their theory/practice?
S.I. was a movement that shaped in a big part the temporary left wing/antiauthoritarian activism and a lot of the DIY aesthetics can be found in them,as they had a radical approach on art and politics.As for today, S.I. identified with the mοvements of the past and it would be deferred to point it as a guide for today.These are the problems of today's leftism,remaining stagnant and following dogmas, but, we can't deny that was one of the first (besides Henri Lefebvre) that imported the problem of everyday life in politics. Τhis well educated, but, lost generation without a purpose can find a lot in the IS and how to find weapons and front this political and cultural crisis. Debord and Vaneigem had acute political intuition and stayed out of dogmas making some unique verifications about the modern life and urbanism.As for Jorn, his approach on art is something that had an impact on us.
-which band from your area (or from Greece) would your recommend?
There's a huge scene going on with really great bands. Here are the first that come in mind.
Antimob, Acid Baby Jesus, Sarabante, Despite Everything, My Turn, Dephosphorus, Dirty Wombs, Gomgoma, Alecto, Narcan, Cut Off, KU, Bazooka, The You and What Army Faction.
-what can we expect from Ruined families in the coming months?
Playing shows, writing music, writing bullshit on the Internet, moaning all the time.
-want to add something?
Thanks for the great interview. Open your eyes, they are always closed, especially when you see.