Driving the Salt is a really great young band from Germany which really surprised me with their fine debut album "The ghosts stopped watching". Even though this record already came out last year, it was the latest release from this band - a split EP with Static 84 - that finally made me send out some questions to these guys. Here we go...

Hey there, let's start with the usual introduction: Who is answering my questions, what is you "role" in Driving the Salt and would you do at the moment if you wouldn't answer these questions?

Hi, my name is Patrick. I'm the singer in DTS. I also write the lyrics. At the moment I watch the Confederations Cup and answer your question 'cause the match is kinda boring!
First off, let me tell you that I like your debut full length "The ghosts stopped watching" a lot, because it's so full of energy and I really like the mixture of fast Hardcore and the underlying rather melancholic melodies so much. What's your opinion about the full length after over a year since you recorded the songs? Did you expect that it would get so good reviews (at least that's my perception)?

Thanx for the appreciation, man! The album almost got good reviews everywhere except for some zines. Some reviews were quite average and some were excellent. We can't complain. We kinda expected realistic reviews, what most are. Looking back at the recordings of "the ghosts..." I would do some vocal arrangements different and would give myself more time for the vocals to record. If you'd ask the other ones in the band I guess everyone would do some things different / better.

Let's talk a little bit more about the full length first: On the back of the booklet there's this Headfirst quote, so I was wondering if that's where you took your name from. I know it's always kinda stupid to ask a band how the came up with the band name, but in this case I hope it's ok, 'cause you printed that quote, hehe... So what does that quote and the name mean to you?

Headfirst was / is one of my favourite bands. Especially the first 7 inch is a classic. We were looking for a band name and I came up with the song title "driving the salt". It's on their album called "the enemy".  We thought it would sound good. The meaning also fits because it means to hurt someone that has open wounds and you extra hurt him by dropping salt inside! Kinda cruel, isn't it?

Where does that sample at the beginning of "Aftertaste" come from? I imagine it's some kind of movie, but I don't recognize it. Why did you choose that particular sample? Talking about movies, one of my favourite movies is "Boondock Saints" (which bears the really stupid German title "Der blutige Pfad Gottes", do you know that movie and what do you think about it?

Is there a sample at the beginning of "aftertaste"? I don't think so (I was thinking of that speech before that song or am I mixing up the sing titles? - Stefan). But the rest of the samples are from Lord of the Rings and 25th hour. Some guys in the band are big fans of those films! We thought those quotes would fit well and I think they do, don't you (I think that, too - Stefan)? But I guess, almost every other movie has at least a quote that would fit, too. That movie you mentioned I don't know. Should I? (Yes, it's a really great movie in my opinion - Stefan)

There are two more "quotes" in the booklet of "The ghosts...". One is inspired by Xchorus of disapprovalX and the other one's "stolen" from Everything Falls Apart, so what do these two mean to you and why did you use them?

Those are simply two of my favourite hardcore bands! EFA was my first real Hardcore record back in the eighties! And what's so special about them is that they were Germans. And I guess everyone knows XChorusX. If not go away and keep up listening to Slayer!

On "The ghosts..." one can also find a cover song by S.O.A. ("I hate kids"). Who came up with that band/song? Are these your favourite recordings by Henry Rollins and what do you think about Black Flag and the Rollins band?

It was originally recorded for the "a tribute to Dischord records" Compilation. We were looking for a Hardcore Song on Dischord and didn't want to cover Dag Nasty or Minor Threat or other well - known stuff. So we picked that song. I never could stand the Rollins Band and I never was a big fan of Black Flag. I like the recordings before Rollins joined better.

I think the latest news concerning DTS is your split EP with the reformed Static 84. How did that split come into being? Who had the idea of doing that split? Did you know these guys before personally and are they around permanently again or just for this EP and a few shows?

Static 84 are friends and buddies of us. They come from the same area. They wanted to reunite to support a My Hero Died Today Reunion (don't know what happened to that) and Markus, one of our guitar players asked them if they would record their unrecorded songs to release a split with us. Static 84 played a show with us in Zwiesel and will play a show today in Regensburg. I think there are no further shows planned. But never say never!

Who came up with the title of the split which is lifted from Public Enemy? What do these words mean to you?

This was the idea of Oise, bassplayer for Static 84. I think he describes best what it means to him in his satement on it in the booklet of the cd.

Between "The ghosts..." and the split EP lies almost one year, so would you say that your songwriting has changed in this time? Do you think the new songs are different from the old ones from the full length?

They are a bit more rocking. I 'd say they are more relaxed! But they are still Hardcore and mainly fast. I like that better. Our songwriting is still the same: Arguing and being slow! HaHa.

Talking about live shows: I saw that you're doing some shows this summer together with the almighty Insted!! I could imagine that this is a dream come true for you? I mean I am so psyched about Insted coming over here and (hopefully) I will make it to the shows in Hengelo and Stuttgart, and I could imagine that sharing the stage with this amazing band must be even better?

Hm. They are one of my favourites from back then, of course. But I don't know what to expect from them in 2005. I'm totally looking forward to those shows and after those I can tell you more! Hope to meet you there! By the way I like anachronisms! Everything was much better in former times!

Now that we're talking about Insted and positive Hardcore, what's your opinion about sXe? Anyone in DTS sXe?

Ralf, our bass player doesn't do any kind of drugs, yes. We, the others drink and smoke. SXE is totally overrated and I don't care about it especially not in these days. Hey man, does anybody ask me how I feel today because of my grandpa's death in 1984? That's the same relation to me. My brother doesn't drink and smoke and has no one - night stands because he's sitting in front of his computer the whole day and night! Better get out drink and meet nice, hot girls ;-) (Well I think it's possible to go out and meet nice girls without drinking, but then again, that's just my humble opinion - Stefan)

What do you guys do besides the band? Are you studying (what?), working (as what?) or what else? By the way, how old are you guys?

I'll be 30 this year and finish University these days (Social Sciences). The other ones are in their twenties and become teachers, economy engineers or whatever.

Are you satisfied with the work of Markus and Striving For Togetherness Records so far when it comes to the promotion of the record(s), tours, etc.? What could be better in your opinion?

Markus is great. He does an excellent job! Without him we'd be nothing! What could be better? We need a booking agency! Get in touch!

I wonder how smaller labels pay their bands? Do you get some CDs for free and apart from that make some money by selling shirts at shows? And what about the costs for recording, does the label pay for the studio?

Exactly! We get free CDs and get some money by selling merchandise. The money from the shows is almost not enough for the gas we need! The band has the studio costs to bear.

Please give short comments on the following topics:

Bold or Youth of Today

Both! But YOT are carved in my heart! Especially "we're not in this alone"! Matt Warnke was cool talking to! (but Ray also)

Livewire Message Board or Bridge 9 Message Board

No Message Boards! But I prefer the label Livewire and don't like Bridge 9 stuff. Stupid Mosh and Youth Crew bullshit!

(Hardcore) Message boards in general

I leave my shit on vegan.de Join me!

Paris Hilton :-)

The same as the Straight Edge Topic: OVERRATED!!! I prefer Nicky ;-)


Young 'till I die!

Being a lawyer and running a Hardcore zine (be careful with what you're about to say because you're judging me, haha...)

Haha. I used to study law for two years, too. I didn't like it at all. How could you manage to concentrate on that boring stuff? Are you straight edge? I guess you have to be (Haha, that's true, I actually am sXe. And I became sXe during my studies at university, but I'm not sure if there's a connection between the two of them, hehe... - Stefan). During that time I became an alcoholic, haha! But I don't think being a lawyer is in contrast to Hardcore. Being a slaughter is! And being a drug - dealer is and being a businessman is!

That's it, we're at the end of this interview. Did you like it and do you have any final words?

I had much fun answering your questions! Thanks a lot! Hope to see you soon!