Mass Movement Magazine

Whoever said today’s ‘playstation-generation’ are up to no good should get in touch with the fellows from Dutch band Said and Done. Everything that hardcore bands did in the 80s, they’re doing today. Playing their hearts out, writing great songs and lyrics, having their say. Not just leaning back and consuming like the rest of us. To keep the momentum going they put out a new EP ‘Endless Roads’ out shortly after their first full length ‘Everyday’. And will be hitting both the studio and road again at every single oortunity. Time to get singer Pim to grab the mic and start spreading the Said and Done gospel. Interview by Martijn

MM: First a small step back in time. When still called Stab Back you released your first CD ‘Break Out’, after which you chose to carry on as Said And Done. How do you look back on the songs on ‘Breaking Out’?

Pim: I have mixed feelings about it, I guess. I don’t have much affection for that particular style anymore. Especially my singing style, which sounds weird now. On the other hand; I can remember how happy we were leaving the studio with this CD, how proud we were of what we had accomplished. I’d rather let that feeling prevail. It’s too easy being condescending about it now, it’s just a snapshot of that time as far as I am concerned.

MM: So you could say, looking at Stab Back in hindsight, that you were looking for a sound to call your own. Do you think that you went into the studio too soon?

Pim: We were indeed searching for our own sound, which we still are in my opinion. We’re still evolving, musically speaking as well as human beings. Were we to quick in recording these songs? I don’t know man… We’ve learned so much recording the songs. People are constantly changing, especially at that age. We’re no exception to that process.

MM: ‘Everyday’ the first CD to carry the name Said and Done, seems to have certain connections to ‘Breaking Out’, in that you’re trying to escape the pressure imposed by school, parents, boss and peers. Would you say your lyrics are just a personal escape or are they also meant to give hope to people who feel trapped in this ratrace?

Pim: I can’t really see that connection. ‘Breaking Out’ was much less about that pressure you’re describing. Although on ‘Everyday’ I can only say ‘Yes’ wholeheartedly. It is a release valve, trying to write about these frustrations. And it’s not just the writing, also the playing and singing of our songs on stage is great therapy.

Simultaneously I thoroughly enjoy it when people get something out of it. These are the biggest compliments I can get as far as our band is concerned. Some time ago a guy in Belgium came up to me, to let me know the lyrics of ‘Everyday’ really helped him through a difficult period. I just didn’t know what to say, that just amazing, isn’t it? I’m just a simple guy from Brabant.

MM: The titletrack on ‘Everyday’ shows us that we’re never to old to learn or experience new things. Then in ‘Day In, Day Out’ you say; “Our Lives Are On Repeat”. Are you trying to escape tradition, which seems to dictate our lives? Are you more interested in self -regulation, maybe even anarchy?

Pim: Contradictions make me who I am. I think that’s inherent in being human. Traditions don’t mean that much to me, something like Christmas is just choking me. That compulsory cozyness, the religious angle. It’s just not for me. Everyone has habits though, and it’s good breaking them every now and then, but we’ll never be free of habits. About anarchy… I can’t relate to that on whatever level. How un-punk is that haha? It would become one giant mess, wouldn’t it? Everybody could do as they pleased, if we didn’t enforce any punishments on murder. Longing for these situations is utterly ridiculous. It’s great having rules, but we tend to take things a bit too far. Just rules for the sake of rules. I don’t think that will ever change though.

MM: What I really like about your lyrics is the fact, that despite being heavily rooted in New York hardcore, you don’t sing about the rough life in the streets. You touch the core of life in the Netherlands… over organized and disciplined, which cause unwanted side effects like loneliness and burning out. Have you made a conscious choice, to look at things more realistically, from a Dutch perspective?

Pim: Would you ever take a Dutch band seriously if they sang about the ‘hard life on the streets’? I wouldn’t, come on… Yes, we all face difficulties in life, which we can write plenty of songs about, just like the examples you mention, but overall we’re living the good life. But yeah, that has been a conscious choice. I want my lyrics to be about something, not just a collection of words. I am not trying to say I’m a talented writer, or a true poet, but I am trying to get the best out of me.

MM: In ‘Into The Distance’ we see that, for you, being on the road with your band is the ultimate feeling of being alive. Which makes me wonder if you feel locked up in your life at times?. Is real life that monotonous? Would you have the guts to let everything go and start wandering the world?

Pim: Interesting reasoning. Yes, life can be rather monotonous. I mean during the weekends we all get involved in ‘other things’, but Monday to Friday are reserved for work or school. Days tend to look very much alike. Don’t get me wrong; I love my work, but calling it exciting? No, not really. Being on the road with our band is an escape at times, you can feel truly free. Not sure whether I could choose for that option; letting everything you can go and taking that leap into the unknown. That’s a rather big step and it also depends on how far you’re willing to take it. Is it still an option in this society? You’ll need money, and have to work in order to get some. Before you know it, you’re back in that same cycle again.

MM: We talked about the traditions and rules which seem to have trapped us. Would you say your lyrics are a description of our lives, and that all who feel trapped by them, can see they are not alone? Or would you say Said and Done as an entity is also an alternative, along the lines of ‘make music, write lyrics’?

Pim: Both! I can only write about what I see happening around me, how I experience this and how it forms my opinion about our society. In that aspect it’s about observing and describing things. I hope people will recognize this, and get something out of this. Or maybe it would even be better if they don’t recognize it… Like I said earlier on, this is an alternative for me. Being busy with Said and Done is giving me the possibility to break out of the daily routine. Doing something constructive with the thoughts and the feelings I might have.

MM: Besides Said and Done you also design sites, write for fanzines and do this networking thing like there’s no tomorrow. Are you restless? Would you like to add something to this abstract thing we tend to call our scene?

Pim: Yeah, I would like to add something, contribute my little thing to the whole. In my opinion that’s what it’s all about. To participate and to create. It’s all too easy in our society to just lean back and consume. That’s also the case in our scene. Playing in a band is good fun, but it just doesn’t stop there. There is just so much more and the beauty of it is that you can learn so much from it. I can use that knowledge every single day and that learning process hasn’t ended yet. As for adding what some would call a message, Said and Done is not just a personal thing. If it were just this personal thing we would never have to climb on stage and we’d be in our rehearsal room all day. The lyrics are from my perspective, which can hardly be done otherwise, as they wouldn’t make any sense. I do think about what others might think about my words. It’s not that I want to enforce a message on them, more like making people think about it. Have people form their own opinions and ask questions when needed. Of course I don’t claim to know it all, let there be no misunderstanding about that.

MM: What drew you into the hardcore scene in the first place? Musically speaking it is, of course, a matter of taste, but in your lyrics it feels like you do feel connected to it all. What’s your opinion on more generic aspects like straight edge, unity and the DIY principle?

Pim: What won me over in the first place has got to be the energy and the fact that the band and audience are on equal footing. It all felt so sincere to me. A bit later I got to know all about doing things DIY and that really convinced me. Hook, line, sinker! Do It Yourself! For me the most beautiful side of hardcore. Do not depend on others, but get of your lazy ass and start things. Although nowadays it is possible doing loads of things still sitting on your lazy ass. Ha,ha! This doesn’t mean this is all exclusively for hardcore, other underground scenes have something similar, with different rules however. I have heard many times metal bands, even when just starting out, are asking ridiculous prices for playing a show. I think it’s cool that there’s some unwritten rule in hardcore you’re not allowed to ask too much. I can’t even count the times my dad asked me “Are you going to drive that far, for that amount of money? You’re out of your mind!” It’s not always easy, and not everyone will understand, but the things you will get in return are amazing. I wouldn’t have missed that for the world.

Staight Edge, what a wonderful idea. A clear head, always under control. It’s just a shame many claim to have the Edge, keep on screaming about it for a few years then turn around and start indulging in life’s vices. Of course a few years of being straight edge won’t hurt… it’s all positive peer pressure. Nothing but respect for the few who remain straight edge for many years. I’m not straight edge, as I do enjoy a beer every now and then. I don’t use any other drugs though!

Unity is a myth; but better not telling Rick Ta Life about that. I do understand where it all came from, and you do feel a certain connection to other people within the hardcore scene. However that’s all just superficial. Only when you get to know people a bit better can you feel a certain bond, or not. Taking in mind all the wars plaguing our earth you will understand unity isn’t possible. “Worldpeace can’t be done”, the Cro-Mags already said it.

MM: You said earlier on, anarchy doesn’t appeal to you, but you seem to be the sort of guy who doesn’t take anything for granted, trying to make people think and ask questions when and where needed. Does it bother you that hardcore has also become a scene driven by flock-mentality? Is that one of the reasons Said and Done is approaching things the ‘old school’ way?

Pim: You have to ask questions! You should NEVER, just follow anyone. We, the people, didn’t get our brains for no reason, so use them. Not for anarchy, as that has just gone too far. Flock-mentality. You just can’t get around that. The bigger something gets, the more ‘polluted’ it will get. However, as long you can stimulate people, so they will start questioning things all will be good. I’ve only been in the scene for a few years, and without that flock mentality I wouldn’t have known about it at all. Besides everybody will be influenced by, to some extent, that flock mentality. I wouldn’t say Said and Done is a counter reaction. I don’t think that we’re truly unique in that aspect. I do think this is the way to approach hardcore, it should be more than playing a nice tune.

MM: The song ‘No Balance’ also struck me because this track has a more global view on things. This time around it’s about the whole world and the balance which has been lost. Is there a specific event which made you write these lyrics? You also seem to ask whether it’s still possible for us to turn the tide…

Pim: I wrote that song after having been confronted with starving children, disaster areas not getting the aid needed and pointless wars yet again. It was just the final straw. I wanted to put my feelings in words, and this was a perfect time to write about that. I don’t think humanity is able to turn the tide. I think we’re just set for self-destruction and are not sociable enough. It’s always; ‘Me, myself and I’. It’s how we survive. I know this all sounds rather grim, and I hope I’ll be proved wrong. That’s probably the reason why I’m asking it as a question, I’m trying to keep that tiny sliver of hope alive…

MM: So when asking questions, do you also dive into more abstract philosophical subjects? I was thinking about your remark on our urge for self destruction. Doesn’t that make things a bit pointless? Or I’m I digging a bit to deep?

Pim: Just dig away, no problem! Why would it be pointless thinking about life, even if humanity is bound for destruction? That doesn’t mean we can’t do something during the time given to us on this earth? There’s a bit of self reflection (like in ‘Rearrange’ and ‘Reflections’), in which I look back on my past and future. I’ve never been much deeper than that, not until now at least. Who knows what might happen someday. If I can find a way of putting it to paper the right way, I would definitely think that’s a great subject. You’re giving me some ideas, Martijn!

MM: You reckon every subject would suit a Said and Done song? Don’t you have to get the songs by the other band members?

Pim: In principle everything can serve as a new song, although it has to be worthwhile turning it into a real song. Sometimes even the smallest things qualify. I always have everything read by the other members, but I can’t recall having to adjust anything or discarding anything. I think, even if do we differ as people, we think very much alike about lyrics. I do have a lot of leeway in that matter. Or maybe it’s just because they can’t write any lyrics, or haven’t mastered English good enough.

MM: What we haven’t talked about yet is the interaction you have with the audience. Hardcore and punk might be the only true genres in which the audience can communicate with the artists. As you said earlier, there’s no barrier. Is there anything a musician can learn from the crowd?

Pim: It’s all about interaction. The opinion of an outsider can have an influence. Not just on my lyrics or music, on everything. We can all be influenced on any level. No matter how independent, alternative or whatever you’d like to think you are. Do you know Derren Brown? Just Youtube or Google his name… He had a nice experiment in which he asked people to drive a certain route before having them to design a logo for a specific company. He made sure he posted certain distinctive features along the way to influence the designs. He could pretty much predict the outcome of the artists. So even free and creative thinkers are being influenced. Hitler might be named as another prime example of manipulation… As far as the learning process goes. Of course you ‘ll notice by the feedback from the audience if you’re doing a good job or not. It’s up to you to use that feedback or not. You can also learn from the reactions you get to the lyrics. I have an opinion, as a writer, but you will hardly ever hear from the opinions of the readers. If you do get to hear these thoughts, you can consider them, and they might even change your thoughts. We can all learn from each other.

MM: To close this interview of on a lighter note. What can we expect from Said and Done in the near future? Can you already shed some light on plans for a second album?

Pim: There’s certainly a second album to be expected. Just before Joost left us for a while, we wrote a few new songs, all of which we’ve recently recorded. We’ll release them on a tape on my own little label Pressure Release records. As for the songs itself… one is a bit more melodic, the other heavier, as usual. Above all it’s just Said and Done. It’s the line we will continue to follow with Henri, with whom we have also recorded and written a few new songs. I just can’t wait to wrap things up and start recording them, or better, start playing these songs live. Writing songs and playing shows is all we do are the moment. Joost will be back in January / February. We’ll see after that. We hope to visit many great countries in the future, always an adventure wherever this band might take us. Anyone interested in us please visit or . Leave a message, communication is the key.