Can you introduce yourself, and shortly tell us how you got introduced to the hardcore scene?
My name is Iggy, I´m 30 years old and singer for the hardcore band Never Let Go (Germany). I’m also the main founder of HeartandPassion. I was introduced to hardcore, punk and metal at a young age, as my parents always listened to rock music and my sister was into german punk bands. Around 1989 and 1990 bands like Metallica and Faith No More were also played on the radio often. Then in 1991 my first concert was Meat Loaf. A few years later some friends of mine started listening to hardcore bands like Agnostic Front, Sick of it All, Snapcase, Gorrila Biscuits, and Ryker (German hardcore band). Also crossover bands like Rage Against The Machine, and metal bands like Pantera and Fear Factory got my attention. It was around 1994 when I got into punk and hardcore.
What urged you to start Heart&Passion?
Since a few years I have noticed that small bands never really get the attention they used to get, just because they don’t get pushed by a big label, or get supported by an energy drink. I felt that a lot of bands and people in the scene lost “the message”. Like H2O sings: “What happened to the passion”… I decided to give hardcore something back. Hardcore taught me not to give up on life, to not look away. It taught me to live your dreams, and that we still have to try to change to world, no matter how impossible it seems. I want to help small bands to play shows outside their rehearsal rooms, and to use the proceeds of these shows, and the t-shirts we sell, to support people or animals in need.
Your main task is to book shows, but can you tell us a bit more behind the philosophy and other side-tasks?
Yes, the main focus is booking shows, so kids get the chance to see passionate hardcore bands that matter, for little money. The main philosophy is to bring back the passion in our hearts. We encourage to stand up for the things we believe in, or what is important to you, and to fight for it. Each show is a benefit show; all the money we earn goes to the bands, and sometimes we are able to donate it to help an organization. We book shows in different cities, and support different organizations in each city. All the money we earn off the t-shirts will be donated to help good causes, or to help pay for the organization of shows. We also distribute information flyers for cancer aid, the Hardcore Help Foundation, and animal/human rights.
The t-shirt (NO PLACE FOR HOMOPHOBIA, FASCISM, SEXISM, RACISM, HATE) you have put out has made a strong debut. Can you tell a little bit more about the idea behind the shirt, and the reactions you got when you put it out?
We put out the t-shirts for two reasons. The first one is to promote H&P, so people can represent our vision and name. The second reason is financial security. We use the profit of the t-shirt to pay bills (clubs, gas money, food – all costs that come along with organizing shows), or we pay bands when not enough visitors attend our shows to cover all costs.
The reactions so far are 99% positive. It’s great that a lot of my friends help me at the moment, so H&P has evolved to an actual family. However, some people don’t understand why the shirt says that there is “no place for hate”. I have to confess that I feel and express hate too, but is it always right to do so? I hate people because they hate others because of their gender, sexual orientation, color, or religion. The word “hate” stands for people that support racism, fascism, and hate towards other people just because they are different.
What are your ambitions regarding future plans for Heart&Passion? Is there a perfect picture you have in mind?
I never even dreamed that H&P would get this kind of attention. My ambition is to do more benefit shows, and to educate people with information that can use to make a useful change in their lives. I hope H&P can grow a little bigger, so we can make a bigger impact, but for now I’m happy with the current donations we can make. At the same time it would be a dream come true to start a small hardcore/punk label as well.
Who or what inspires you to reach your goals, as I can imagine that this must be hard at times?
Friends, family, and of course music! There are a lot of hard times, but music, and the love for my parents and good friends help me to stand on my own two feet. Never give up!
Can you name your top 5 records that translate your vision through their songs?
That’s a really hard questions, there are so many good bands who’ve put out great records and songs, and good new stuff comes out every day. I can list five records that I’ve listened to the most in the past few years, that have inspired me.
Have Heart – The Things We Carry
Champion – Promises Kept
No Turning Back – Damage Done
With Honor – Our Revenge
The Golden Age – Unlock Yourself
Any last words?
Thank you for the interview and your support. Try to live your dreams and be yourself! PMA.
To support Heart&Passion, we are giving away two black t-shirts (size M and L). Head over to our Facebook-page, find the a picture of the t-shirt in our “photos” album, tag yourself, and win! This competition runs until October 8th.