Chimpyfest Preview: Yacøpsæ

By on 2 July 2015

Yacøpsæ, Hamburg, Markthalle, 28.11.2014.

With just over a month to go until UK grind extravaganza Chimpyfest flings open its doors, we’re continuing our countdown with German grindcore legends (and Saturday headliners) Yacøpsæ…

Born out of Hamburg’s squatting scene way back in 1990, German trio Yacøpsæ have gone on to become a seminal part of any self-respecting blastbeat addict’s record collection. Taking the speedy, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it approach of early crossover acts like D.R.I. and fastcore pioneers Lärm and combining it with the razor-sharp fury of bands like Napalm Death and S.O.B., Yacøpsæ’s frantic sound straddles the divide between ultra-fast punk and more traditional grind with aplomb – they even got to release their skin-flaying ‘Einstweilige Vernichtung’ album through Spazz vocalist/bassist Chris Dodge’s revered Slap-a-Ham Records, making them one of the last bands to release anything on the label before it folded.

Whilst the band are regular fixtures on the European gig circuit, having played fests like Obscene Extreme and Bloodshed numerous times, Yacøpsæ (which is just a rather unusual way of spelling the name “Jacobs”, in case you were wondering) haven’t played the UK since 2007, and there’s no guarantee they’ll be back any time soon. So don’t risk it; we’ll see you there!

NAME: Yacøpsæ
ORIGINALLY FROM: Hamburg, Germany
WEBSITES: Facebook, Bandcamp
FIVE WORD DESCRIPTION: Faster than speed of light
MUST-HAVE ALBUM/EP: ‘Einstweilige Vernichtung’ (Slap-a-Ham, 2001)
FOR FANS OF: Agathocles, Magrudergrind, Lärm

Could you tell us briefly how Yacøpsæ came into existence?
Stefan “Stoffel” Jenkel (guitar, vocals): “We started almost 25 years ago in Hamburg, heavily influenced by bands like SATANIC MALFUNCTIONS, ACTIVE MINDS, NEOS, RAPT, NUNFUCKERS, (old) D.R.I., LÄRM, PROTES BENGT, SEPTIC DEATH, ELECTRO HIPPIES, S.O.B., ATAVISTIC, and tons of other bands. We’ve been young and angry kids, so we tried to connect ambitious contents with fast and noisy tunes.”

For the uninitiated, how would you describe your live show?
“We’re a moderate band. Just try to imagine that three friendly guys are playing high-octane punk rock. ;-)”

The Chimpyfest lineup is looking pretty packed this year, who else are you looking forward to seeing over the weekend?
“Indeed, it’s a big package, this year. To be honest, I seriously have my doubts to get the possibility to see every band which I want to see. I love EXTINCTION OF MANKIND, and I was really impressed by WHORESNATION, when we used to share the stage in France, a few years ago. Additionally, I primarily would like to see THE AFTERNOON GENTLEMEN, DEAD INFECTION, SUFFERING MIND, DEVIATED INSTINCT and GETS WORSE. But I have to say – If I could, I would check out every band of the festival, of course.”

If you were planning your own three day festival, which three headliners would you pick?
“I would never ever organize a three day festival! Just check out my survival rules, one question below. But I would run a freaky one day event, instead (with absolutely different bands). Here’s the line-up/ running order:

  4. WEEZER (playing the first album)
  5. SEVEN MINUTES OF NAUSEA (playin’ the “Thrashbora 7” flexi randomly for about one hour)
  6. BLINK 182 and SUICIDAL TENDENCIES (doing a “split show”, playing at the same time on the same stage)
  8. MORTICIAN (headlining)

That followed the public live execution of Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. Afterwards, the audience is allowed to listen to KRAFTWERK unplugged.”

If you could impart three golden rules for festival survival, what would they be?
“Easy going… Rule # 1: Keep it as small as possible! Rule # 2: Invite high-quality bands only! Rule # 3: Keep it diversified! Personally, I fall asleep, if I watch eight grindcore bands in a row, though I like this kind of noise, basically.”

What does the future have in store for Yacøpsæ after Chimpyfest?
“We’ll prepare our 25th anniversary birthday party (November 28th) in Hamburg. Our guests are “old farts”, exclusively: BLOOD, CRIPPLE BASTARDS, RAZZIA, RAZORS, and ZZZ HACKER. It’s a kind of “Grindcore meets old school punk rock” event.”

And finally, in keeping with the chimpy theme, if Yacøpsæ was a primate, which one would it be and why?
“We’re sure everybody will choose the gorilla, so we do the opposite: Each of us would turn into a “Callithrix pygmaea” (Google is your friend)! ;-)”

Chimpyfest is due to take place from August 14th to 16th at T Chances on Tottenham High Road, London. Tickets are available here, and priced at £31 for the whole weekend, or £11 per day.

For more information, you can find the Facebook event page for Chimpyfest here, or follow Chimpyfest on Facebook.


About Kez Whelan

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