Drinking with the swamp krauts: The Young Ones

Despite their band name, the Young Ones are actually in their thirties like all of us. Unlike most of us, they are a band from the Oi capital of Maastricht, which is run by them and their elder peers in Close Combat (who we interviewed before). They have finally started doing some new music after being out the game for some eight years. Their sound is like sped-up Cockney Rejects with a smattering of Hard Skinesque humour. Girth spoke to their bassist Merijn, whose interest in conspiracy theorist David Icke is second only to ours.

YO1Hello mate – what’s the story ‘ere then?

Well, roughly 14 years ago the Young Ones were formed by my little brother Elmer, Marlon, Jasper and Larn. They were only 13-16 years old, so The Young Ones was a very suitable name. Larn and Elmer had developed an appreciation for the classic British Oi Bands through their older brothers and wanted to play that kind of music themselves.

They recorded a mini CD, a full length, two 7-inches and a split 7-inch with East London’s own Bottlejob [the latter are apparently defunct – Editor]. They played a bunch of gigs in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and saw a few line-up changes.

Around 2009, they decided to call it quits for various reasons. However, about two years ago, Elmer played with his other band on a party organized by the Maastricht ultras. The guys in the organization asked if they could do one or two songs from The Young Ones since they apparently played that in their bus whenever there was an away game.
When they played Young Ones songs, the crowd went nuts and then the party got really started.

Marlon had already been voicing an increasing feeling that he missed the band and this show gave Elmer the final boost. Jasper was contacted and was up for it. Lando from Elmer’s other band was asked to join on second guitar, and they asked me, Merijn, to play bass.

So, with this new line up we started writing new songs for a 7-inch which has been released in may by Contra Records. It’s called Our Nose in their Business. Currently, we are playing some really cool shows and writing new material.

 Why the name The Young Ones – big fans of the show? Aren’t you in your forties? 

The name was almost inevitable when TYO started as a bunch of pimpled brats. Influenced, of course, by the series as well. When you see the old album covers, you need but a quick glance to know what kind of music you’re about to hear. They just breathe Oi!

By now you could say that we’ve caught up with the name as far as our age is concerned. However, none of us have yet passed 40, you ill-informed twat! I am the oldest bastard in the band and I am 36, Lando is 32, and the rest are in their late twenties. When we all have reached our forties or more we will change the name into The Young Once.

YO3You and Close Combat are repping Maastricht hard. What’s the scene like there?

Repping hard…? Close Combat played three shows the past 8 years, all three in Maastricht, ha ha! The Young Ones have played a bit more and on a few very cool occasions. We played Contrabash festival in Dresden, Boots United fest in Frankfurt, opened for Noi!se on their first European tour and opened for Street Dogs, just to name a few. But to say we’re putting Maastricht back on the map is exaggerated to the degree of codswallop. Mind you, we do intend to give the scene a tasty boost, but we’ve only been playing shows since April. It’s far too early to say we’re reppin’ more than the empty beer cans in our rehearsal room.

As for the scene in Maastricht, there is none. Apart from Close Combat and us, there is a new hardcore band called The Job, a bunch of older guys called Geezer who play cover songs from bands like The Clash, The Damned, Motörhead, Cockney Rejects, and so on – but they don’t play all that often as far as I know. And there is Sparrow Falls, of course, with Elmer, Lando and me being also active in that band. But there is no pub where people into this music meet up. It’s all very incoherent and consists of just a few individual enthusiasts.

Are you huge MVV Maastricht fans too?

In the past, some band members could often be found on the terraces, mainly because they liked a good row. Personally I don’t give a fuck about the sport itself, but I feel great affection towards MVV and its supporters.

When they were young and foolish

You guys have been going a long time, but have only put out a couple of albums and a split record…

Well, there has been an eight or so year hiatus after the band quit so that explains why not a whole shitload of albums decorate our discography.

Aside from the obvious old influences – what do you listen to outside of Oi? 2pac or Biggie?

Among the five of us, there is hardly a musical genre no one ever enjoys listening to, be it occasionally, depending on the specific genre. Marlon is our R&B enthusiast and according to him, Biggie is da shit. Jasper doesn’t really have a specific taste, so he listens to whatever is playing on the radio or in the bus. Elmer has a very broad taste in music, his most peculiar interest is in the area of techno. Lando also listens to a lot of different music varying between delicate folk and brutal metal.

Personally, I listen a lot of 20s jazz and ragtime music, bluegrass, 60s reggae and ska, but when I really want to relax I listen to classical music and Gregorian chants. That is because I work in a tattoo shop where we play punk, Oi and rock n roll all day. By the time I get home, I want some peace and quiet. I think the fact that all of us listen to so many different kinds of music is partly reason why the Young Ones sound so fresh and rejuvenating despite doing nothing groundbreaking.

You’re playing the ‘Sound of the revolution’ pre-party and buying me lots of beer… how did this come about?

Well, the Netherlands is a very small country of course, so when dabbling in the same kind of music you quickly become acquainted with one another. I played the actual fest last year with Discipline, so when the first names of the new line-up were announced, I contacted organizer Martijn and he offered us a spot on the pre-party. That’s awesome, and we can spend coming year promoting TYO and take it to a level where we deserve a spot on the actual event next year. We’re really looking forward to that gig and hanging around at the festival next day, checking all those awesome bands and meeting friends from all the world.

yo 6
The Young Ones circa 2004

What do you think of David Icke and his shape shifting lizard conspiracy theories?

The first time I saw a video of David Icke, I thought he was bonkers. I bumped into his videos on YouTube when I started to look for the truth about the totally insane system in which banks operate. As I tumbled deeper down the rabbit hole, I came across Icke’s videos. I don’t want to believe his theories about shape shifting reptilians, and I just can’t envision this being true. But, as I went along the path of educating myself on what is actually going on in the world, I learned that stories about reptilian ‘rulers’ pop up in the ancient history of cultures and societies all over the world.

I have come to more or less understand the theory about how this can be explained, and I have to say that I’m afraid he is right… Believe me, I have seen hundreds of hours of lectures by a wide range of people, all with their individual approach on the topic. And I hope for fuck’s sake that I am mistaken, but I fear and am pretty much totally convinced that the world is ruled by a small elite that engages in paedophilia, satanic rituals and other disgusting practises.

Committing these atrocities invokes emotions that are manifestations of a certain frequency which enable these malevolent creatures to enter the domain of what we Adamic peoples perceive as our reality. I can go on for hours about this, but I will refrain from doing so, even though you brought it on yourself with this question, ha ha ha.

YO4Why haven’t you played in the UK yet? 

Are you taking the piss? Your goddamn queen is the highest priestess of this global cabal, and all the leaders of the western world crawl before her feet. She drinks the blood of aborted babies. If you think I set one foot on that scary island of yours, you’re very much mistaken. Ha ha ha, kidding of course. We just haven’t yet been invited to cross the pond. But believe you me, we are dying to come to the UK to play. London is one of my favorite cities, and it’s where it all began, so it would be a dream come true.

A big discussion point on Creases Like Knives is clobber. How important do you feel this is in the skinhead scene – do you wear 69 hole boots to bed each night?

It’s not important at all. People should wear whatever they feel comfortable with. All of us dress in a way that can be recognised by insiders as originating from the skinhead image. But that’s just because we like this kind of clothing. I am the only one in the band that dresses in traditional skinhead gear. Not always, of course, sometimes I just can’t be bothered with the fuss of deciding which socks go with what shirt and what braces go with the socks as well as the shirt, polishing my boots, and dusting down my crombie… so I just wear casual clothes.

However, I have to say, when I do take the trouble of dressing fancy, I feel ten feet tall. To me, the traditional skinhead look is the ultimate expression of class and style. But that’s my personal opinion, what others wear or don’t wear is of zero importance to me [agreed. If people want to be scruffy punks, let them  – Editor].

Any final words of wisdom?

Well, thanks for these surprising questions. We will get you stinkin’ drunk if you can get us a gig in London, Colchester, or wherever.

Uncovering the lizard conspiracy: David Icke

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