No matter where you are in the world, you will discover crusty DIY punk and hardcore. The movement has been quietly growing since Amebix were making noises in the 80s, and now its filthy tendrils stretch from South America to Australia. Poland is no exception, but Herida Profunda – who have their roots there – certainly are an exception. The band embrace the term ‘international’, with members scattered across the UK and Norway as well as their home country. Their latest record – a split with the delightfully named Hellbastard – recently had a CD pressing, so we swapped words with Edi [vocalist]to talk about the ideas behind their sound.
As with many bands starting out, it can be hard to keep a consistent lineup. “After several members coming and going, I think the key line-up was: me on vocals, Jedras on guitar and Rafi on the drums. Unfortunately Rafi decided to leave the band in the beginning of 2016 due to family/personal issues/circumstances and was replaced by Jachu.” The band were lacking a bass player for a long time, “because we just simply couldn’t find one.” Finally, Gavlish joined the band and their current lineup slotted into place.
To explain their international nature – Edi has lived in the UK since 2014, and their drummer Jachu lives in Norway for around 6 months a year. “So we need to arrange all gigs and band rehearsals when he is in Poland. Obviously it’s harder to plan everything, we need to schedule tours and gigs far in advance now, but we are still very passionate about the band and keeping it together.” The situation has been far from a deterrent – “we manage to make new songs, we don’t play gigs so often now but still quite regularly considering the circumstances,” he finishes with a smile.
Generally speaking, it is fairly common for punk and hardcore bands to have their lyrics in the band’s native tongue, and Herida Profunda are no exception. However, this is often a barrier for fans who don’t speak this language to understand a single word of what the hoarse vocals are yelling or screaming or growling about. Mercifully, Edi provides an English translation of every Herida Profunda song – rare from my experience of bands who don’t sing in English.
For those trying to learn Polish, the lyrics are a good opportunity to practise – “I try to write lyrics in quite a simple and straightforward manner.” So is a concept album ever going to be on the cards? “I’m sure a concept idea would have to be something that we all find important and worth to write a whole album about it.” Considering the state of the world in 2017, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine where such inspiration could stem from.
DIY and punk go hand-in-hand. “Even before the band was founded, we existed in the DIY scene. We were involved in antifascism and squatting, we supported animal rights and the anarchist movement, so basically forming the band didn’t change anything from our lifestyle or beliefs.” This goes down even to the shows that they book – all of which are done via the band and on a DIY basis. He relays two highlight gigs that spring to mind: “The gig in a squatted ex-public toilet in Germany was an unique experience. It was so crowded then but we really loved it. Once we have played a secret gig in the middle of a forest. There was an old tank factory from World War II. A very strange place: huge round-shaped concrete bunkers half-buried in the ground. Shitty acoustic but 100% exotic and DIY,” he finishes cheekily.
While the band fall into the crust sound without the shadow of a doubt, they do draw from a bewildering variety of influences. “I’m not sure if we are more on the hardcore/punk, grindcore, crust or metal scene, and to be honest I don’t really care. For sure, we try keeping it rather fast and filthy. I don’t think it’s our job to stick a label or genre name to what we do.” While their dream gig would have been with Motörhead, Edi also is a huge fan of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and promises he’s going to see them tour Europe. They also give a shoutout to their friends Deszcz, who just released their début LP, and it’s extremely promising dark hardcore à la Tragedy. 
We round out discussing vinyl and other physical products. Despite the rise of streaming music, Edi still firmly believes physical albums have a future in experiencing music. “I’m a huge vinyl fan and I collect these. When I was very young I was collecting cassette tapes. I just loved that feeling when you unpack the tape and study all information and lyrics. I learned English by reading those lyrics. I think I’m still for it now with records. My fiancée wants to throw me out cause I spend all my money for records,” he finishes with a laugh.
Edi is under no illusions about making a living off his band – all of their releases are free to download via Bandcamp – but he knows that if someone enjoys Herida Profunda’s music, they will buy a physical release – primarily at shows. “Regarding Spotify or iTunes – I don’t even know how it works exactly. Maybe it’s high time to do some research and upload our songs there.” Sitting right next to the latest pop releases – iTunes users not educated in the ways of crust will be in for a shock if they accidentally click play.
1. Check out Deszcz here.