If we think about Hungary and it’s D.I.Y. scene, how can’t we mention Crippled Fox ? A straight forward crossover thrash combo who slowly made its mark though Europe and the world ! Let’s head forward to Budapest for an interview, with the three bois. | By Nino Futur
Hi guys ! How does the punk scene works for a country such as Hungary, is D.I.Y a necessity ?
Speedy Gonzales : Hey ! Thanks a lot man. However, we are not the only one from here, because there were/are other bands who were able to travel around Europe spreading their music. Such bands are Human Error, JACK, my previous band called Motivation, to name a few. These bands played prominent festivals and played a lot in other countries, bringing out records etc. But, yeah, may be we did more, as we reached overseas countries, like America, Brazil, touring all around Europe, and reaching smaller scenes, not just the well-known bigger cities.
Do It Yourself is the key figure within our scene in my opinion. From the beginning we were quite focused on putting out our own records and make as much effort as we can to spread around our music. We did not wait for offers. I created my own label back then, named, Flipped Up Records and i had good connections and stuff. Foreign Record labels found us on the old myspace, and things got moving still.
The D.I.Y. scene in Hungary is on the top right now. Awesome connections in between cities, organizers and friends opened up clubs.
Like the BETON in Gyor city, Terem in Veszprem city, Vegallomas in Szombathely city or Kripta in Budapest… so there are many opportunities to play around the country. Regular festivals like Hell Vill Fest or the Beton fest. All I can say that in the past 5 years or more the scene over here is excellent and I really love to be a part of it
Fox of Grind:Lots of bands have come out of Hungary, I don’t know that others do it like we do. Recently COVID put a damper on touring, but honestly, there and have been a lot of bands that get out and about. there are multiple places to play in Hungary, not just Budapest like in the past few years, and more people are actually coming down to the shows. Thank God for that, fuck the music industry, D.I.Y. or die, son.
What guided you at the beginning to start a thrash band and playing that fast?
Speedy : Back in 2008, I had songs that i couldn’t play with my then band Motivation, thus I thought to create another band. I asked my friend Dontsee Turkey to join and play bass
The concept was to make music what we like, punk, fast short hardcore and thrash and everything under one minute with a lot of fun attitude. You may call it thrashcore/fastcore any kind of core…And why are we playing « that » fast ? because that’s what we like. To us hardcore/thrash whatever, should be fast.
Which place the band has taken in your lives since 2008 ?
Speedy : To me, most importantly that I’m able to travel around the globe and find fantastic friendships from so many places. So whenever we re-visit a city and we see each other again with great joy, that is amazing.
Dontsee : The Fox family is one of the most important part of my life. Touring around the world is the most amazing thing, if you are in a band, especially if you are from mid-eastern europe. Friendships, never ending stories, memories – good and bad ones too.
What’s the reference behind the Crippled Fox name ?
Speedy : In primary school we had this gym exercise called, the « crippled fox », when you had to put both your hands on the ground, then lifting up one of your leg and that’s how you got to move around the gym. Sounds and looks completely ridiculous, i know. So, our first vocalist Willy Fox da Vox attended a hardcore festival back in 2007, where he saw these tough guy hardcore kids showing up these choreographed silly ass kicking and windmill moves and shit. Now, you can imagine when he Crippled Foxed up in the pit , people were staring like, « whatta hell is he doing ?! » (laughs). Crippled Fox, perfect.
You toured the US during 2019, in the minds of many D.I.Y bands, touring there is very taxing and economically destructive if you don’t have good contacts, how did you experience it, how this became possible ?
Speedy : We had our Brazilian tour in 2018, things didn’t happen quite well with this shitty so-called organizer who ruined things for us. Because of that we got so many supportive comments, messages and offers for the future from the Brazil scene.
One of them was the north-east US tour offer by Gary of Rat Milk Collective. Gary was the vocalist of Common Enemy ( a well known skate/thrash band). Back in 2010 I organized their Budapest gig, since then Gary kept following our work and he thought to offer us this tour.
Now, I know what you mean when saying « touring there is very taxing and economically destructive » as I was told by several other Europen bands who went there, experienced that. But, Gary toured Europe couple times and he knows exactly how we do over here. We did not loose any money, but made money, wecovered our costs and had more ! Why I love to do this, because I can have Gary as one of my dearest friend and we are in touch regularly. He sings in a fastcore/punk band, Worser and manages shows around Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.
I enjoy the fact that you are so critical against the so-called scene and its microcosm stupid behaviours. Is it the years of experience that speaks or was it behaviors and appearances that annoy you from the beginning you entered into punk?
Speedy : You mentioned the song « I was there » its actually from one such interview. You always find these « old folks » who knows better and they were THERE back in the day[…]now, to a certain level, it’s okay, I mean that’s the way it is, but it’s a freakin joke, when it turns out that he knows shit about the old scene, because the truth is, he wasn’t there… annoying as hell.
The song « Contradictory » is again another thing that bothered me. These kids having their outlook of a punk, or a clean-cut hardcore kid having their usual uniform and stuff, who know little about anything but they’re knowing it so well. They are in the scene for a few years and they’re gone.
We can see it as a circle of the scene life : it’s just part of the scene and like I said, it’s everywhere.
Your lyrics don’t necessarily convey a very political message.
You are way more into a fun imagery like we used to call « Bandana Thrash », have you ever tried to write more political stuff or it doesn’t really suit to you?
Speedy : As a matter of fact we wrote many lyrics about political, social, environmental and all kinds of serious and important stuff too. But i get it, our fun imagery doesn’t necessarily reflects our serious side, but believe me, it’s there.
We wanna have fun when we are playing live and with those funny lyrics we are showing that side of the Fox. Plus, a serious topic can be written in a funny way aswell.
Fox of Grind : I used to play in Human Error and Diskobra which had a very clear, anarchist message, and although I feel just as strongly about this. Crippled Fox was never really a political band. Back in 2009, when I first started seeing CF, I was immediately a fan because the conveyed only this kind of « fun » thing.
The idea was kind of asking a question from the listener, and not to tell them what to do. « Do youget frustrated at work? Haven’t you had enough of working to get someone else rich? Don’t you think we can be doing better about environmental issues? Can’t you act like a decentfucking human being?? ».
Speedy : I did not pointed out directly about the veganism side of the band, but we have strong feelings about animals rights, and we disgust hunting. If someone goes deep into our lyrics you’ll find it. Our previous singer Willy Fox Da Vox had several lyrics about this issue.
We know that the political climate in Hungary is not the most lenient towards the leftist ideals. How is the anti-fascist scene structured if there is one, have you ever witnessed any fascist violence acts?
Speedy : I’m aware there are fascists and nazis but they don’t do shit. Seriously. In the 90’s indeed there was racial-fascist connected fights, murders on the streets or occasionally fights at shows, but there is nothing like that here in the past 15 years. When there is a Pride procession and you’ll see these bunch youngsters acting as nazis, shouting vulgar stuff, it’s only a joke, people are laughing at them. Right-wing or whatever people are only talking, some even trying to be political, but that’s all.
Dontsee: IThe hungarian political „climate” is far away from ideal, it’s messed up and stinks corruption. The governing party is mostly doing this populist, fake nationalist bullshit. Yeah, it is really annoying, but we are still living in democracy. I think far-right is not so significant in Hungary but there will be always dumb people here.
FoG– There are a few anti-fascist organizations here, like Autonómia, that I am in contact with.
The Hungarian anti-fascist movement has been plagued with extremely ineffective people, but it seems to me like in the past 2-3 years a more serious radical leftist movement has started to form all over Eastern Europe.
There is a nazi march every February to commemorate the Wehrmacht’s last stand, which happened to take place in Budapest, and there is a strengthening protest or counter rally. In 2019 there was some violence around this event, it was pretty awesome. For years, it was just like 30-40 counterprotesters, but that number is changing, hopefully this can spark a confrontation. I think the far-right is very strong in Hungary, it is extremely popular, but it is a toothless dog.
You toured Europe alot though DIY and you also played some punk festivals everywhere, what are your best DIY hotspots in Europe (the best public, welcome, spot) ?
Speedy : Oh ! Oh, there’s a lot. Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, Scotland, Slovakia, Czech Rep. damn, so many awesome cities, clubs… We had some of the best shows in Germany, in Leipzig for instance. I have to name GO! Fest in Rome, run by our dearest friend Pompeo. Grind the Nazi Scum Festival in Torgau… So many awesome places.
Fox of Grind : Greece has the best DIY scene in all of Europe. Compared to those guys, we’re just playing pretend. It’s not so much the shows, but the squats and they are trying to tackle local issues and housing issues. Thessaloniki is fucking awesome, I feel like we can learn a lot from those guys. Lyon in France is also really fucking good.
According to you, who’s the fastest band on earth, and which is not yours ?
Fox of Grind : France got everyone beat this side of the pond, there’s hella grindcore currently coming out of there. Fastest band is probably Whoresnation. Nobody can fuck with those guys
Any Hungarians bands to put a light on ?
Speedy : Absolutely, one of my most favorite local acts are, Unit-731, these young guys playing one of the most intense and super simple raw punk/hc of the early 80’s. Seeing them you feel the rage, which is awesome. There are fastcore bands such as Another Way, Haramia, also another thrashy fast band called, Step On It. Cool grindcore bands in the scene too, like JACK, Apoptosis…
Speaking of diverse bands within the scene, you have punk guys playing black metal such as Hajnalpír (which is my favorite), Havaria, Witchthrone to name a few.
Fox of Grind :Paks 3 is another cool hardcore band. Norms, Berosszulás, Észlelés… I play in a jazz band called Fixateure Externe, a grindcore band called Retorsion, and another one called Amasunzu, and a hardcore band called the Coordinators. Unenslaved which is pretty cool anarcho rock. There is a really cool scene here, and the shows are insanely diverse.