The following interview is with Jim, the founding member of the infamous Australian National Socialist band Open Season.
We started back in 88/89, we were all big fans of Skrewdriver, Brutal Attack and No Remorse first it was just Hilly and myself talking about getting a National Socialist band started.
We played our first show at an open mic night at the Lansdowne hotel in Sydney, I think it was a Tuesday or Wednesday night and there were a lot of different types there. A lot of our skinhead mates were there as well. At the time there was not too much focus from the press on white power bands in Sydney, you would occasionally see some thing on the news or current affairs show about Ian and so called racist troublemakers overseas but they were few and far between.
I can't remember all the song s that we played but we did do Frontline Fighters and Solly. After that first show finished we had people who were not skinheads coming up and asking what the lyrics were about. We were actually pretty well received. We only played 1 gig after that with the original line up. This was a party and we played in the back yard of one of our friends houses in the middle of one of the most racially mixed suburbs in Sydney, we had a cross lighting in the yard and had flags flying from the street pole out the front and there was no trouble whatsoever. I think if the same thing was done next weekend it would be world wide headline news.
By this stage Anna was pregnant and could not play any more. Russell (sticks) who we did not know at the time had come to the party to see us, he jumped up and played a couple of covers with us and from then on he was in the band. Soon after that Gary left the band and Dave from England who was then living in Sydney and had been hanging around with us stepped up into the singing spot, He also had a friend Mike who was staying in Australia who had played in a band in Essex who themselves had gotten a few new members and had later become Battle Zone. Later on Mike left and was replaced by Alan who was the lead guitarist on the later stuff that we recorded. We recorded the album over two weekends with the line up being Hilly, Russell, Dave and myself.
The Frontline Fighters album was actually recorded as a demo and it was sent to Rebelles just to let them know what we sounded like. They then released it as the album. The mix that was given to it was average to say the least and I am surprised how many people that I have met who love the album.
Did any of the members play in other bands before or after Open Season?
Back then we didn't have the internet so we were just getting tapes sent to us. We were listening to quite a lot of bands. We found out about a lot of them through fanzines. It was surprising how quick word travelled around about bands. We were hearing about new ones all the time. Everybody was just writing letters every day. Skrewdriver seemed to be bringing out records every other week we loved it. All the bands that we really listened to were very diverse; it was a really good time for R.A.C. bands.
We had a lot of covers that we played, songs from Skrewdriver, No Remorse, 4 skins, combat 84 and others. Some of them we changed the lyrics around to an Open Season style.
How regularly did you guys have gigs and did any other bands used to play with you?
We actually played fairly often, in Sydney we had a pub that loved us, they didn't particularly like the lyrics but they liked the money that was spent on alcohol. The people who came to see us virtually paid for the renovations of the pub. They did not mind even when we started to get in the newspapers. The then immigration minister of Australia said that our band should be stopped immediately, this was in the Sydney Sunday morning paper the morning after one of our gigs and they still let us play there. Open Season played with a couple of bands but
played most often with Phoenix Rising who later turned into Fortress. We played a few shows in Melbourne and played Canberra as well.
These days, finding suitable venues for a gig can be a real pain in the arse. Did you find it difficult to secure venues back in those days?
Back then we actually advertised when and where we were playing, we never had trouble in Sydney but a show we did in Melbourne was changed at the last minute when reds called in a bomb threat. Haha it is probably the same cowardly scumbag who does the same shit today, but now he hides behind his keyboard instead of calling from his closet. The only real trouble that we had at our gigs was guys and girls getting pissed up and fighting. One band that we played with The Bride Wore Boots came down from Queensland to do a show with us. They got lost going back to where they were staying and got beaten up fairly badly when they stopped in some middle eastern slum area.
Left wing losers. These days, their opposition toward us exists in the form tough talk on internet forums, prank phones calls and the like….more of annoyance than anything else. Were they ever able to amount to being a real problem for you back then (don't laugh I have to ask)?
Like I mentioned before, we never really had any trouble, only the one time with the bomb threat and we still ended up playing that night though in a different venue to say the least. As today everybody back then was scared of Skinheads unless they outnumbered us by about 10 to one. They all talked the talk behind our backs but were nowhere to be seen when we were actually about.
Were there any gigs in particular that stand out as memorable for you?
Really, every time that we played in Melbourne it was good. We travelled down quite a few times and the Melbourne crew was always ready to come up to Sydney. We played pubs, scout halls and one night after the pub we were supposed to play at, had a bomb threat that I mentioned before, we played a show at this massive bingo hall in the middle of nowhere. We could not start until after midnight when all the bingo players had left it turned out to be a really funny night.
Open Season recorded the full length album Frontline Fighters which was released on the Rebelles Europeens label and also a split EP with Legion 88 on the White League Australia label. Can you tell us about those releases, the songs on them and how they came about? Also, what would be your favourite song from them?
The album was recorded for a demo tape, we wanted to send it to Europe to see if they would be interested, we were totally amazed when Rebelles Europeens put it straight out as a record, we had mucked around while we were recording it and drank a lot of beers as you can hear between some of the tracks on the cd version. We had been playing for a while and wanted to see how we would be received, we were all stoked when we got the record as it was quite different back then to get something actually released on vinyl. It's hard to believe that we did not even have cds back then, they might have just been coming out but I know none of us had a cd player at the time. I don't really know how the Legion 88 split came about and neither does Hilly as we were speaking about this the other night. But we were starting to get a bit better at playing when we recorded Devil's Guard, Who Dares Wins and R.I.P. these I think were the best quality songs that we did, we recorded them in the same studio as we did the Frontline Fighters Album. We had to tell the mixer that the lyrics would not be as extreme as the Frontline Fighter album as his studio was in his house and he had not stopped getting complaints from his neighbours about all the sieg heils and racial abuse coming from his house while we recorded the album.
Devils Guard was written about a book called the same. It is about a group of SS soldiers who refused to surrender to the Russians at the end of the Second World War. They made there way back to Germay and found out that they were being wrongly accused of war crimes they then made there way to France and enlisted in the Foreign Legion and were sent to Indo China to fight the communists. If you can get a copy of it to read I recommend it.
Who Dares Wins the motto of the S.A.S. This is about an S.A.S trooper who goes to Ulster to sort out the murdering IRA terrorist scumbags. R.I.P. speaks for itself, this is about the one and only Adolf Hitler and his rise to power until the end of WW2, all be it a shortened version.
My favourite songs off the album would be Frontline Fighters and Apeman, everybody loves Apeman, the guys from White Wash did a great cover of it as well. Both those songs I wrote in about 5 minutes they just came to me really easily.
Do you have any previously unreleased recordings lying around? If so, can we expect to see them available in the not so distant future?
I have a few tapes with rehearsals that we recorded and the quality is pretty good, actually it is as good as the quality of the album. There are songs on there that were written after we did the album but were never recorded in a studio. We are talking about some things at the moment as it is nearly twenty years since we did the album. There maybe something coming out, we are seriously looking into it. We have a lot of tapes, video and pictures that we would like people to get a look at and listen to and I get a lot of people asking me about new stuff.
How does the scene/movement today compare with how it was when Open Season were still playing?
The scene today is a lot better organised then back then. It was good then, but now with the internet it makes it a lot easier to organise and promote shows with the right people. Gigs are occurring right around Australia
We are looking at getting a show happening in Queensland and that will hopefully occur in 2010. With the size of our country it makes it difficult to get gigs happening as regular as people would like, there's usually a few months between shows. The people who are in the scene are all good at managing to travel thousands of kilometres to go to gigs in different states. However there is still a lot of infighting which destabilises everything. Our enemies must love seeing all the splits that have occurred within White groups across the world. We seem to do more harm to ourselves then the scum could do to us if we were all united. We all have the same goal, just seems that we have different paths of achieving it.
Rumour has it that Open Season will be making a come back possibly sometime this year. What inspired you to get the band back together?
Will it be the original line up or new members? Who will be involved?
As an Australian who lived in Britain for a number of years, what did you think of the multi-racial situation there? How did it compare to Australia?
I spent most of the nineties living in London, I loved both the city of London and the country of England and still do but the multi racial situation there is unbelievable. Everywhere you look there is a sea of mud. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of great white people there, but the traitors in the government have let the country go to pot. Out of the cities it wasn't as bad but it is only a matter of time before the muds invade out there as well. The Tower of London should be reopened for its original purpose and get rid of a lot of the people who have made it so easy for non white immigrants to settle in Britain. I worked in an estate in Somers town in north London and it was like India or one of those dodgy countries I could not tell them apart but they were different nationalities, sri lankans, pakis the like, they seemed to hate each other as much as they hated the White British people. It is a disgrace that they have gotten so much power and have managed to make so many influential changes to the detriment of the white race.
What do you think are some of the biggest problems facing Australia and the White Race at the moment?
Undoubtedly the Zionist controlled media, they force this ghetto hood rap music shit down our children's throats, they inundate the tv with shows that always show the blacks as cool and trendy and they show the white kid as the nerdy stupid one, or the nasty ones. The blacks in these shows never hate whitey they never are violent, rob or do drugs, they are the clean cut cool kids. They all talk and you can actually understand what they say unlike real life where they just mumble out some kind of crap before they want to mug you or steal from you.
Also every other show promotes homosexuality as being a naturally accepted way of life. They are digging away at the moral fibre of our society and god help you if you say something about it.
Do you have any advice for young Nationalist musicians wanting to get involved in the scene?
Learn to play drums, no just keep plugging away eventually you will find people who will like the same style of music that you like. Be open to playing in as many nationalists/ns bands as you can. Get your music to as many people as possible and as they say don't let the bastards grind ya down.
If anyone is after any Open Season recordings or T-shirts can you recommend anywhere we can get them from?
You will be able to get t-shirts and CD's from 9% Productions. The Open Season web page is currently being finalised but if you would like to contact us before then, you can contact us through the Blood and Honour Queensland email.
Any final words for the readers of B&H Magazine?
I would like to thank Blood and Honour especially for the interview and all the people who have come up and talked to me about Open Season. Also special thanks to Ruben, Justin, Pete, Jesse and Rob.
Hail ISD! 828
Ok Jim, thanks for the interview and your support for Blood & Honour. We will all be looking forward to the triumphant return of Open Season.