Punk rock, hardcore and good times to come in Belgium

I know most of you folks come here to read up on all things “roots”, but if you know me, you know I’m a hardcore and punk rock fan as well. Oh, and don’t forget about metal!

Most musicians I know that now play “roots” music (for some reason, from time to time, the roots word leaves a foul taste in my mouth) were active in punk, hardcore, metal, whatever bands… And when listening to lets say, The Calamity Cubes, I hear and feel a lot more punk, then when listening to all these so-called punk rock/metal core/whatevercore hipster good-for-nothing idiots I get to see in magazines nowadays!

As a kid I grew up listening to all things heavy, I don’t think I heard a good country song before my mid-teens. Hey, we’re from Belgium, you don’t want to know what my parents listened to…
For years and years the small town of Meerhout in Belgium has been the host for the biggest festival all things hardcore and punk rock in Europe. It grew from a small gathering with a few bands to a dangerous monster that eats you up and spits you out two days later with a huge hangover, bruises, new best friends and favorite bands! I remember my first time, 1997, my now brother-in-law Sweetboy from Black Cat Bone Squad took me. He was playing in hardcore bands for years and he was the perfect tour guide. He got me drunk, I lost a shoe, I slamdanced with a bunch of cool people to Ryker’s and I think I fell in love a couple of times with some other bands that I can’t remember.

After that first time, it took me some years to get back to the festival. I got deep into the black and death metal scene and we all know that in the nineties, it was not done to cross-over scenes… At least not where I lived. But I had my guilty pleasures, alone in my room listening to Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Disorder, Conflict, Madball… Growing up I did not care about scenes anymore and I spread my wings again and just went to see whatever I wanted!

So I returned to the festival, it changed, it changed a lot! It became popular, it became a little commercial, it was not the same. But it was still GOOD! You can’t blame the fine folks at the Groezrock office to work with big sponsors and corporate companies. This whole set up costs a lot of money… It’s not a squat show… But you can still feel the love and passion for the music. It also got a little expensive, but if you check out that line-up you forget about that in a minute. But the beer is still cheap for a festival!

When I took a look at this years line-up I giggled like a little girl. The Dwarves, Social Distortion, OFF!, Agnostic Front, Iron Reagan, Bane, Cancer Bats, Comeback Kid and about 70 more bands I think, check it for yourself in the link below. The fact that people are still complaining about why this or that band is not on the bill I can’t understand. Hey if you want to do it, do it yourself! Don’t bitch about it. What I’m trying to say here, is to keep an open mind. Enjoy the music you want to enjoy, let nobody tell you what you should listen to. That’s also the reason I book bands that I want to hear and pair them up with a band in a completely different genre…

If we are lucky we will be doing a big Groezrock 2015 report. Inny would love to shoot pictures here, and I would love to interview a couple of those bands… So folks, keep your fingers crossed, not so much for my rambling, but I really want to see those pictures (and do some interviews).

For all your Groezrock info check the link, and we’ll see you in the field, come say hello, buy us a beer and do a little dance with us.


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