Dutch Speed/Thrash Metal band Mysto Dysto is as strangely named (after a guitar pedal) as it is cult. They started as early as 1983 and, with two demos and their only LP, ‘The Rules Have Been Disturbed’, have a solid underground status in the Netherlands. And, very slowly, outside it too. With the recent re-release of the album, for the first time on CD, there is more than enough reason to have a chat with the band. Bassist/guitarist Luit de Jong was kind enough to answer my questions …
Hello there, first of all congratulations with the re-release of “The Rules Have Been Disturbed”! How do you think it came out?
Listening to everything like this, I think expectations have been far exceeded. The folks at Rusty Cage have done a great job!
In my review for this re-release I already wrote the history of the band, so I won’t let you answer this dull introduction question. Yet, I would like to know how you look back to the whole Mysto Dysto era.
Mysto Dysto was a great experience. As a couple of young dogs, we embarked on the adventure and had a lot of fun during that period. In the beginning, we rehearsed every Saturday, but rehearsals soon turned into disguised gigs so many fans always turned up. A great time. The gigs in the country were always great too. Making music is great and at first you do it for yourself, but if it turns out that you amuse people with it, that gives you a great kick.
Mysto Dysto never got its breakthrough in the eighties when the band was active, do you think things would’ve been different when you had the internet tool for instance? And do you think you have done enough to get the band on the road?
I don’t know if the internet would have helped, but there is a chance of that. The internet offers very many opportunities. Especially internationally. But with the advent of the internet, many shit bands are also active on the web, this makes the choice more difficult and murky.
Did we do enough to become known with Mysto Dysto? We weren’t so concerned with becoming known. We made music simply because we thought it was cool, not to pocket a well-filled wallet. In this day and age, things are very different. We live in a consumer society. What is a trend today is outdated and discarded tomorrow. Everything has to be fast. If investments are made, the money has to be recouped immediately and preferably at a big profit. This offers opportunities, but it also creates expectations that do not always turn out to be achievable.
The original “The Rules Have Been Disturbed” vinyl release is pretty hard to find these days and a true collectors item. How does that feel after you couldn’t get the recognition you were striving for? And what does it mean to you that the original album is very expensive these days?
The LP was pressed in an edition of 500 copies. In the music business, this is terribly little and therefore a priori an item for collectors. The record in perfect condition represents a value of around 200 euros. Personally, I still have a few unplayed flawless copies. Who knows, maybe one day they will be offered for sale at auction. For now, they are well stored in the safe.
Yet, it must be flattering that there is still a high demand for the album you recorded decades back and that it will was re-released. What do you think is the reason that the band still has a following?
When Remco and Manfred of Rusty Cage Records visited me in Emmen early this year, I certainly could not have guessed that Mysto Dysto was still proving so popular. You could call it progressive insight from both gentlemen! I consider it an honour that Mysto has been re-released and it makes me feel good that so many people still enjoy this music. It’s great to get a piece of recognition for what you have created. Besides, our music has been able to serve as inspiration for today’s rockers and that is of course cool!
On the re-release there are two extra tracks added from the “No AIDS In Hell”-demo from 1987, which led to a record deal for Mandator. Why weren’t all four tracks from that demo added to the tracklist of the re-release and why these two tracks? Are they any more special than the others?
Ha, a good question! No, the tracks that are missing are not more special than the others. The answer is actually more of a legal nature; both missing tracks from the demo were released on Mandator’s first LP, Initial Velocity. This first Mandator LP was released under Disaster’s label, and re-releasing these two songs under the Mysto Dysto name could lead to misunderstandings and malpractices.
After the aforementioned “No AIDS In Hell”-demo you changed the bandname to Mandator. Why the change? And what was the meaning of ‘Mandator’? Mysto Dysto was some kind of a guitar pedal, why did you choose that name in the very first place?
The name Mysto Dysto had to be changed by order of the record company. Eventually after several radio broadcasts of Vara’s Vuurwerk with Henk Westbroek, it became Mandator, which means something like tease. The name Mysto Dysto comes from the Loco Box distortion effect pedal. The pedal got very bad reviews in the trade magazines. The sound was said to be lousy, the quality of the pedal poor. This prompted me to start using the name Mysto Dysto as a band name.
With Mandator you guys recorded two more records and a demo in 1993. What was the reason for you guys to split up? In the Mandator years there were some line-up changes too, what were the reasons for them to quit?
You can think of a band as a relationship. Relationships break down for various reasons. It became clear to me during the recording of Perfect Progeny that we had developed in different directions. With the departure of drummer Claus van den Berg and later singer Peter Meijering, the atmosphere in the band also changed and, for me, a break-up was inevitable.
If you look back? What were the best things you remember? And what was a big mistake you made or a big chance you’ve missed?
Performing around the country especially in the early days was my most enjoyable time. By early days, I mean the Mysto Dysto time. The open-mindedness, the great atmosphere, the thrill of performing, writing songs, everything contributed to a wonderful time and a learning experience. In hindsight, I definitely would have done things differently. For instance, I wouldn’t have accepted that we had to change our name. The name Mandator never appealed to me. Very important is to keep standing up for what you stand for. In this, it doesn’t matter what you do. I would never sell my soul for a deal again. Never!
We all know that Marcel Verdurmen went on with other bands like Altar and Orphanage, what have you been doing? And what about the rest of the guys? Have you been doing other things in metal or music in general?
I studied publicity design at art school. In 1992, I wrote a manifesto for a new style in art that I called Toyism. There are currently 9 artists, worldwide, working within this movement. Being creative is a high good for me and I am happy and proud to use my creativity to interest and convince people of what we do and make. In music, you have to be realistic but also idealistic. In art, it is no different. By the way, the inside of the Mysto Dysto CD cover was designed by me.
One of the other bands from the Dutch underground from the eighties, Defender are coming back with an album with all kinds of songs they were never able to record back in the days. Is there any chance of Mysto Dysto returning with new material?
Six months ago, I said this was out of the question. Under that line-up, I would still rule it out now. If I were to start recording new material with Mysto Dysto now, the line-up would be different from before. How and who? There must always be something to wish for, right…….. :-))
Ok Luit, do you think I forget to cover something? Feel free to add anything you like as you last words for this interview!
Thanks for the interview, Felix. I hope a lot more metal fans will enjoy this re-release from Rusty Cage Records.
- Country: Netherlands
- Style: Thrash Metal