Wanna listen to some great old school? Then check out Pointing Finger from Portugal on their split CD with In Pieces from Norway on Still Believe Records. What I like about Pointing Finger is the raw power and energy that only old school youth crew bands can deliver along with the (in my opinion) great sXe lyrics. But I've rambled enough, go ahead and read this interview I did via e-mail with David, guitarist in Pointing Finger...
Oh yeah, you can really call me lame as I spent one week in Portugal this summer but I forgot to call Pointing Finger to hang out. Very cute, indeed.
Hey David, please introduce yourself.
Hi, I'm David and I play guitar. I'm at my grandmother's house.
What are the latest news in Pointing Finger? You recently released the split CD with In Pieces, how did that release come to reality? Are you still satisfied with the result of that Split?
I think the latest news are that we made the first European tour. We did some shows in Spain, France, Belgium and Holland. We also recorded 6 brand new songs at Bunt Studios in Utrecht for a 7" on Commitment Records that should come out in October. And we're also releasing another 7" on Still Holding On Records. I guess those are the latest news. About the split CD with In Pieces, yeah we're more than satisfied. It was our first release to come out after the 2 demos so we're really proud of it. It all went by really fast. I've been friends with Lexi Still Believe for some time and we talk almost everyday on the internet. When he told me he and Birte were making a Label I told him we just recorded our new songs. After that I don't really remember how it went, I guess he asked if we wanted to do a split CD and we said yes. Then he did the layout in one weekend and the week after everything was going to the pressing factory. It was all very fast!!!
So who picked out those two bands to share a CD?
I think it was Lexi, because I didn't know In Pieces. We've thought about some bands and we had some names, and he came up with that band. I think it's much better than their previous band, Strikepoint. But the idea of the name of the split came from me and Lexi.
Will you release future records on Still Believe Records and are you satisfied with the job they've done for the Split?
I don't know, so far all our releases are planned and have a label to release them, but I already talked with Lexi saying we would like to work again with them in the future cause if was all handled very fast and good. I don't know, right now we have this two 7"s to come out, plus a split 7" with a Spanish band, but that is still a project. After that we would like to work on a full length and my first choice to release it is Still Believe but I don't know. It's up to them I guess. But that's only for the end of 2003 or something. We still need to make more new songs and we don't want to rush things up.
What about the Hardcore scene in Portugal? Is it like that there's one (big) city where most of the HC bands are located or are there more local scenes? I often have the impression that the HC scene in Germany is divided into many different scenes that often don't get along too well. Did you make a similar experience in Portugal, too?
Well the idea you have of our scene isn't far from the truth. I think the Portuguese scene can be divided in 2 sections. The Lisbon area and the south of Portugal close to Faro. The main bands and most of the shows are held in the Lisbon area but there's also some action in the south. We come from the south of Portugal. But the biggest problem is the lack of venues for the shows. Right now in Lisbon I don't know how it's going to be, because the Squat where the kids used to set up shows got demolished, so there will be a lack of shows for some time, because the other clubs are just too expensive for shows with smaller bands. But I think the scene here is more or less united. Of course some times there's a bit of tension between newschool metal kids and youth crew kids but nothing relevant...
Do you like living in Portugal both musically and personally or would you like to move to another country? Which one would that be?
Yeah I think I like living here. The weather is great, we have sun most of the year and it's warm. On this tour we've visited some countries but what we've seen most were the highways. I really liked Ieper. It's a really nice town. I wouldn't mind living there. From what I've seen of the rest I don't know... the weather doesn't help. I like sunny days. The only bad thing here is that bands don't tour over here and there's not as many vegan food as in Holland, Belgium or Germany hehehe!!! Of course a worker here gets 3 or 4 times less than a worker in Holland or Germany... that's fucked up...
You guys in Pointing Finger consider yourself as being a straight edge band. Well, as I am sXe, too, this question interests me personally a lot: Do you think that someone can be "true till death"? I mean I am 27 years old now and I can't imagine quitting the straight edge, but there are so many bands/people who were very outspoken about sXe in the past and after a while they dropped the edge. What's your opinion about that, do you think you'll stay sXe forever?
Well I'm 19 and I'm sXe. I've never smoked or had a drink in my life and I don't think I'm going to start any soon. I mean, I was already sXe even before I heard about sXe. I've always despised smoke and alcohol. I always thought it was stupid and disgusting. It's really easy to shout those "slogans" of true till death and shit, but people change. It's natural. It's life and there's nothing you can do about it. I think it has more to do with your personal definition of sXe and why you are sXe than anything else. If you’re sXe because it's cool, you won't be sXe forever because something cooler will come along and you'll have to keep that cool. If you see it as a bunch of rules I don't think you'll last long too. I don't know, it's hard but it's a fact... there aren't many sXe people with more than 30 or even 25 years. But if you ask me I don't see myself drinking or smoking... ever...
Lots of bands were totally outspoken about sXe in their lyrics on their first releases, just look at Floorpunch, Bane, etc. Later they were talking about different issues. What about Pointing Finger? I think your lyrics deal with sXe topics, too, so will you continue to sing about sXe in the future?
Well about the lyrics of the band, Diogo is the one that does them. We've decided since the beginning of the band the he would do the lyrics because he feels more comfortable with that. We sometimes help him with ideas for lyrics and to improve them also. We have some lyrics about sXe but I don't know if we're going to have more in the future. We're all sXe but I don't think it's something we should talk about in all our lyrics. I'm a bit fed up with bands having lyrics about the same stuff. I think we in Pointing Finger try to talk about other stuff too. Ok, it's cool to have lyrics about friends, dedication, sXe, but c'mon.... there's a real world out there with real problems that should be focused on and reflected upon. But I think every lyric we have will be somewhat connected with sXe because that's the way we live.
Your discography is a little bit confusing ;-) If I am right you did two demo tapes and you recorded lots of songs for them, right? So I guess you must be pretty fast in writing songs? Please let me know the complete discography of Pointing Finger.
Yes you are right. Our discography is pretty confusing even for us. Ok here it goes:
POINTING FINGER - Fighting for the movement - demo-tape 2000 - 12songs
POINTING FINGER - Get in the way - demotape - 2001 - 8 songs (one song re-recorded from the 1st demo and 1 cover song)
POINTING FINGER – The Illusion of Perfection - 2002 - 6 songs (4 from the “Get in the way” demo + 1 unreleased + 1 cover song)
POINTING FINGER / IN PIECES - Split CD -2002 - 7 songs
One true old school story - CD - 2001 (1 song from the 7" Illusion of perfection)
Breaking the Ice - Tape comp - 2002 (1 song unreleased for the upcoming 7")
Never Break the Spirit - tape-comp - 2002 (1 song from the 7" “Illusion of perfection”)
POINTING FINGER - Reasons not rules - 7" Still Holding On Records
POINTING FINGER - Transcend - 7" Commitment Records
Ok, I think that's more or less it. It's a bit confusing isn't it??? I guess so. Yeah we're pretty fast at writing songs. We don't rehearse that much so we try and make a new song each time we do it so...
You also recorded songs for a 7" that should have come out in early 2001, right? But it didn't come out until today? Will you still release this 7" or do you think that the songs don't represent Pointing Finger anymore?
Yes, that one is the “Illusion of perfection” 7". We had lots of problems with the layout of that one. That's why it took so much time coming out. But it's finally out since a few months now (Oh, I kinda missed that - Stefan). Well I think our sound is a bit different now, but it's still Pointing Finger. And you can still relate to the band. We've had some line-up changes since that recording so that affected the new sound of the band. But hey it's still old school youth crew hehehe!!
You also recorded cover versions from 7 Seconds and Gorilla Biscuits in the past, right? Which songs did you choose and were they released on a record?
In fact we've recorded 4 cover versions. The 7 Seconds song came out on the “Get in the Way” demo-tape and the song is “Young till I die”. We played that song on our first show more than 3 years ago and we haven't stopped playing it until now. We also recorded “High Hopes” from G.B. for the “The illusion of perfection” 7". On that same recording session we also recorded “Backwash” from X-Acto (a Portuguese band that influenced us a lot) and “A time we'll remember” by Youth of Today. The last 2 are unreleased. Maybe we'll put them on a compilation or something.
The vocals of Pointing Finger were compared to Ray of Youth of Today / Better than a 1000 in the past. Would you agree? Would you say that the show of Better than a 1000 in Portugal that you attended had a big effect on the band as well as on you personally?
Yes I agree. On the first demo, Diogo had a cold so his voice was all fucked up and kids said it sounded like Kevinsted. On the second demo it’s much better but not too much Ray Cappo style. The 3rd recording session (the one of the split CD) is the most Ray Cappo style. Hehehe!!! I like it (Me too - Stefan). Better than a 1000 is one of our favourite bands. The 2 Better than a 1000 shows we saw here in Portugal had a huge influence on us all (the ones that are in the band since the start). Since then we were just fooling around with the band but after that show we said, "Fuck, we want to play old school, it's what we love". It was so energetic and powerful. I think those shows started it all... And you know what, we saw Better than a 1000 at a local club here in the south of Portugal in a town called Loule and we all imagined how it would be if it could've been us on stage there. And guess what, we're playing in that venue next week with Highscore and Day of the Dead. It's like a dream come true 3 years after we started the band.
Did you already do a full tour in the past or have there been just single shows? Are there plans for shows outside of Portugal in the near future?
I don't think we can call it a full tour. This summer we did a small tour. The main goal was going to record the new songs at Bunt Studios for a 7" on Commitment so we decided the best way to go there was by van. So we tried to get some shows on our way there and on our way back. I guess we were very lucky with the shows we got. August is the worst time to tour cause everyone is on holidays and there's not many kids to set up shows. But we've managed to play 3 shows in Spain, 3 shows in France (one in Paris with Value Driven, Shelter and Good Clean Fun), the Ieper fest and 2 more shows in Belgium and a show in Holland. I guess for the time of the year it was and us not being a very well known band we did ok. We are planning to do a bigger tour next year in the spring and play in Germany (I hope so! - Stefan), Poland, Austria and other countries we didn't make it this time.
How old are you guys? Are you still going to school? Do you think you can do both, having jobs and playing in a band? What is more important to you?
We're all young. I'm 19, Diogo (vocals) is 20, Rafael (drummer) is 21, Nuno (Guitar) is 19 and Miguel (bass) I think is 19 also but I'm not sure. We all study except Nuno who is looking for a job. Some of us will start to work so it will be hard, but it has been always hard for us to rehearse so I guess we'll make it work somehow. For me the band is one of the most important things I have in my life. It's what I love to do, and one of the things I put more effort in. If you'd ask me if I'd play a show or do an exam at school I'd rather play the show!!!
I guess we're at the end of this interview. Did you like it and do you have anything to add?
Yes I've enjoyed this interview very much. Even though you send all the question at once by e-mail it looked like we were having a conversation and that's great. I think what I have to add is that you can contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org and you also can check out this websites for info about the band and some MP3 www.straightedge.pt.vu ; www.stillbelieverecords.com ; www.straightedge.nu/pointingfinger Thanks for the interview, take care and stay posi....