Hardcore Music For Hardcore Fans
Heart In Hand PLUS!
-Ghostfest -A389 Records -Bad Brains -Tech Core -Counterparts
“We just wanted to do Dead Harts something a Loving Russia bit lighter and a bit more, Demoraliser fun!” Livin’ Not Givin’ Women In Hardcore Where Are They?
“I want to take it to the edge of a cliff so I August can 2013 push all off 1 ” - Riseit Above
Rise Above - August 2013
Contents (c) Georgia Rawson
Women in hardcore 22 Why are there so
few of them? And what do the females getting involved have to say about it? Rise Above investigate
40 An interview with
52 Ghostfest Review
(c) RAWR. Photography
August 2013 - Rise Above
28 Dead Harts
“Life Goes On” (c) RAWR. Photography
r, for Rise Above Magazine, it starts! What was just a twinkle in one dude’s eye a few months ago is now a fullfledged magazine. But you know that, you’re reading it. Or you were...come back, we promise it gets better! Compiled by one man, expect uses of the ‘Royal we’, elements of hypocrisy and someone willing to take a hundred per cent of the blame. But why? Rise Above aims to cover hardcore music (the metal/punk kind, not dance). Since emerging in the late ‘70s, much like heavy metal the genre has refused to die with a legion of loyal fans and bands keeping it alive. Obviously the sound has evolved over time, with various offshoots such as metalcore popping up. We aim to pick up on these but hardcore is the priority. In recent years, whether it’s due to the global recession or injection of fresh talent, the genre has seen an increase in popularity with new bands appearing all over the place. While there are other publications that give hardcore a bit of air time, none are solely
Rise Above - August 2013
dedicated to it as Rise Above intends to be. With interviews, debates, features and reviews, expect everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the genre to be covered. And if it’s not, then drop us a line to find out why. Rise Above!
Graham Matthews (Editor) Twitter: @RiseAboveMag E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
36 Tech Core
The latest news from the world of hardcore!
We fight out if security is always needed at gigs
12 Fresh Faced New bands from the UK and afar to check out
16 Heart In Hand
16 Heart In Hand Charlie and Sam chat tatoos, music and more
22 Women In Hardcore
Where are they? Rise Above finds out
28 Dead Harts On their Russian adventures and new album
30 Demoraliser Having a good time on their summer break
36 Tech Core Whatâ€™s driving the new(ish) crossover?
(c) Florian Krebes, musikfueruns.de
54 Bad Brains
40 A389 Records Running a DIY hardcore label alone isnâ€™t easy
42 Reviews Counterparts, Integrity, Defeater, Norma Jean...
48 Fashion The best new merch and threads to look fly
52 Live Ghostfest killed it once again (not literally)
54 How To Buy Hardcore/Reggae legends Bad Brains
58 Sonic vs Mario
Asking musicians important questions in life
Would like to thank...
Romina Andrea and RAWR. Photography Florian Krebes, Stephanie Klumpp and Musikfueruns.de (cover image) Georgia Rawson Steph Knight and Hold Tight! PR Steph Van Spronsen and The Noise Cartel Gothestro Radio All the bands, labels and readers who helped Rise Above come into existence. August 2013 - Rise Above
News from the Frontline...
Hevy Fest cancelled completely with a few replacement gigs put on as the organisers look ahead to making 2014’s event better than ever. Hevy Fest 2013 has been cancelled just two weeks before it was due to take place at the re-arranged venue of Brixton Academy, London. The festival organisers originally cancelled the traditional camping and three day music event at Lympne Wild Animal Park, where the past three Hevy Fests have been held, after suffering licensing issues. Having managed to cut down the festival to a one day event at Brixton Academy, set to be headlined by Killswitch Engage with other bands on the bill including Hatebreed, Comeback Kid and Sylosis, on 4 August, that too has been cancelled. The team behind the festival released the following statement:
Last year’s incarnation of Hevy Fest saw three full days of music for the first time with sets from Glassjaw, Converge, Andrew W.K., Madball, Bury Tomorrow and many “It is time to more. This year was due to be headlined by the newly reformed draw a line Black Flag and Killswitch Engage.
under 2013, and look to the future to make sure next year’s festival is everything Hevy should be”
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of this year’s festival. Despite our best efforts to continue without the camping set-up, the change of venue has been more problematic than anticipated. It is time to draw a line under 2013, and look to the future to make sure next year’s festival is everything Hevy should be. This has been a turbulent year 6
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for us, and we are very sorry to have let our audience down. Ticket holders will receive a refund from their ticket agents.”
However, there were early signs of problems after the organisers twice failed to announce bands when they’d previously promised and secondly were unable to confirm where Hevy Fest would be taking place after Lympne Wild Animal Park confirmed it would not be there.
On a bittersweet note, two Hevy replacement gigs will be going ahead instead, with Killswitch Engage and Hatebreed playing The Garage, London on 4 August and Comeback Kid playing Camden Barfly the same night. Horse The Band’s replacement show at The Borderline on 3 August will still be happening too.
News (c) Rama
-Hatebreed: unhappy not to be playing -One of the replacement gigs put on instead -What could have been
Twitter Thoughts The Hell @thehellyoudick: “Guess we can share the secret now - we were booked to play our first show at Brixton Academy @HevyFest Oh well, we’ll party with you soon.”
Hevy Fest cause ticket sales were good but I’m very disappointed that the show is canceled. #sorry”
Tangled Talk Records @tangledtalk: “People talking about how they could have made a festival like @HevyFest work.. Go do it then.”
It’s not all bad though as everyone gets a full refund to reinvest wisely...
Jamey Jasta @jameyjast: “UK Diehards! Not sure what happened w/
Joe Moffitt @SanctityStudio: “Fucking Ace! Ticketmaster refund For Cancelled Hevyfest! Pizza with the lads for last night in the house =D” August 2013 - Rise Above
Frostbite Promotions call it a day
Frostbite Promotions bow out with an intimate all-dayer after nearly two years arranging hardcore gigs in the Cardiff region. Frostbite Promotions have announced their last ever show will be an all day event headlined by Birmingham’s Odessa at the Green Rooms, Treforest. Founded in January 2012, they’ve been putting on all manner of hardcore and metalcore gigs in and around Cardiff, hoping to boost the city’s live music scene. Starting out with a close to sold-out show at Cardiff University for Welsh band Continents, the promoters have organised and put together gigs for the likes of The Catharsis, Napoleon, Brotherhood Of The Lake, With One Last Breath and many, many more in the region. Their final ever show takes place at the intimate Green Rooms and as well as headliners Odessa features support from Carcer City, Monolith, This Concept, Prolong The Agony, Avenge the Heartache, Breathe In Silence and From Her Eyes, with more bands set to be announced soon.
-Tickets are a bargain at £6 in advance or £8 o.t.d.
TRC reveal album launch
Metallic hardcore sextet TRC have released details surrounding the launch show for their brand new album Nation down in London. The follow-up to 2012’s smashing debut Bright Lights comes out on September 23rd with the launch party happening at the Camden Barfly on Thursday 26th September. 8
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Lead single ‘We Bring War’ is available to download from iTunes now. Turn to page 47 to read our review of the video. Support on the night comes from Knuckledust, Astroid Boys and Prowler. Tickets cost £8 in advance (working out at £2 per band) and are on sale now.
Return of the Ninjas
Five years since it was supposedly laid to rest, the London hardcore festival returns. Ninjafest will be taking place at Camden’s Underworld on 26 and 27 October for the first time this decade.
(c) Natalia Balcerska
Having built up a reputation as the UK’s essential hardcore festival after launching in 2002, free of trends and fashionable sponsorships, six years later the organisers decided to call it a day. Three years of hardcore festival drought in the capital seems to have left its mark as this year it’s back. It looks to be better than it was before too, with extra-special headliners, straight edge hardcore mob One Life Crew performing not just a UK but a European exclusive.
-Brutality Will Prevail
If that’s not enough, fellow Americans making UK exclusive appearances will be Lifeless, Steel Nation and Stout as well as British collective BDF giving their first showing anywhere since reforming earlier this year. It’s not all about the US and UK though, as Ninja Fest aims to reach out to Europe with sets from Dutch tribes No Turning Back and Born From Pain as well as German outfits Fallbrawl and Look My Way to name a few. Weekend tickets cost £37.50 and day tickets £25 with only 400 weekend and 100 day tickets available it’s expected to sell out soon.
Free Integrity album
Metallic Hardcore pioneers Integrity have released their brand new album Suicide Black Snake for absolutely free. Technically. The ten-track album is available to download on a ‘name your price’ basis over at A389’s bandcamp page. This means fans can pay as much or, more likely, as little as they like. August 2013 - Rise Above
(c) Modern Creature
Lifesavers or a bloody nuisance? Rise Ab are always needed
Security is always required
ardcore gigs have a reputation for being energetic, bordering on violent affairs. From the high speed, aggressive music to fans at the front bouncing off each other, it’s no real surprise.
audience it’s always security lifting them over the barrier at the front. Take them away and what you’re left with is fans being dropped over the barrier, potentially causing serious injuries. Take away the barrier and security and you give fans free rein of the stage.
This is all well and good for fans in the pit, all The most serious case against removing the who are aware of the risks, with security more barrier is the unpredictability of fans. The maoften than not letting it continue. But when jority would likely not interfere with the band, someone does get injured by a flying elbow or the odd spinning kick, it’s security’s job to step but just look at the tragic events surrounding ex-Pantera guitarist Dimebag in. Whether fans like it or not, they need to be there to keep some sense “Whether fans Darrell, who was shot onstage by a of order. If there’s no security and like it or not crazed fan. a fight breaks out, who’s going to they need to be Even last year former Cro-Mags prevent things getting worse? there to keep bassist Harley Flanagan made it ‘Mosh pit etiquette’ (whereby if some sense of into the band’s dressing room and slashed two of them (not fatally) someone falls down they get picked order” with a knife. If there was no secuup) helps, but at every gig there’s rity imagine the damage he could always at least one moment where things get a bit heated. Usually due to a combi- have inflicted by getting onstage. nation of alcohol and adrenaline someone gets What is needed is a clear understanding bea little nudge, overreacts, and a fight ensues. tween fans and security to create a fun yet safe environment with as few people getting hurt as Security also help, not hinder, crowdsurfers. possible at gigs. When a crowdsurfer reaches the front of the
(c) Da rin Ba rr y s
ighting - August 2013 10 RiseSAbove
listed (c) Un
(c) Andersen Brandon
bove scrap over whether security guards at hardcore shows.
Security is not always required
hile security are there to supposedly keep everyone safe, at some gigs (such as Terror at Ghostfest) they end up causing more trouble.
that popular to gain such crazy fans. Also, at most shows the bands can be seen hanging out at the bar anyway, so any nutty fan could easily stab them then. Most of the bigger bands bring their own security along though.
When one fan decided to dive off the side Yet the main reason for hardcore shows withbalcony (about 10ft high) into the crowd, commonplace throughout most of the day, one out security is to keep the spirit alive. Hardcore was built on a DIY ethos, anti-establishment, security guard grabbed him by the neck after and using controlling security firms seems to landing safely. This of course caused a lot of be submitting to everything the pushing and shoving between fans, security and band, meaning the “When there’s a genre is against. Fans are meant to show was briefly stopped. barrier and wall embrace the energy and aggression of the band, but when there’s a of security be- barrier and wall of security between It’s incidents like this, whereby some of the security are just there tween the fans them a lot of the intimacy gets lost; for the sense of power and opportuand band a lot anyone who saw Converge at Download will realise that. nity to dish out some violence, that leads to lack of trust. When security of the intimacy For the most part anyone worrying interrupt harmless moshing (which gets lost” fans will disrupt shows without has its own unwritten code nearly every fan abides by) or grab crowdsurfers, don’t security need only look at any small or DIY hardcore show video on YouTube to see how they realise it’s ruining the fans’ experience? smoothly they can run. Security may be there to help crowdsurfers over the barrier, but withSecurity’s presence to prevent fans harassing/ out a barrier they would just end up on stage stabbing band members is fair enough, but at with no risk of being dropped. hardcore shows it’s rare for a band to really be Hardcore gigs without security would improve the atmosphere and experience for bands and fans without an increase in injuries or danger.
Vote by using the hashtag #NoHCsecurity or #YesHCsecurity on Twitter. Results published next issue. il Counc tshire (c) Wil
August 2013 - Rise Above
Fresh Faced Storming from the underground and onto your iPod, these new bands on the UK and international scenes deserve your attention NOW!
Sink The City Where: Nottingham, UK Who: Daniel Armstrong –Vocals, Connor Dannheimer – Guitars, Igor Lopes – Guitars, Joe Legge – Bass, Ashley Cleaver – Drums. Label: Unsigned What: 117 (EP) Why: Fans of Martyr Defiled, Suicide Silence and Veil Of Maya will devour them.
ormed in September 2012, Nottingham’s Sink The City don’t hang about, recording and self-releasing their debut EP 117 and introducing the world to their breed of deathly hardcore almost immediately. Spearheaded by vocalist Daniel Armstrong, the guys met through mutual friends while he was looking to start a band. “I first found my passion for music when listening to punk bands like Sum 41 and Simple Plan when I was about 13 years old and started playing guitar,” says Daniel. “I then found myself getting into metal and hardcore when I was about 15, then started practicing vocals and started the band when I was 16 and got the rest of the lads on board.”
“We’re now trying to step aside from general classifications of metal and form something completely new that stands out a mile when placed next to other metal bands “We’re now just something incomparable.”
trying to step 117 certainly is unique, the instruaside from mental ‘Terminus’ a curveball general clas- amongst the deathcore-styled heavsifications of iness that hints at a band much older than they are. For such a young metal and form band with years ahead of them the something future holds endless opportunities. completely “We’re about half way into writing new” [our full-length album] at the mo-
Still only in their teens has caused them a few problems, most recently when they were kicked out of a gig they were supposed to be playing at the Crooked Spire in Chesterfield because three of them were under 18. It hasn’t deterred them though, as they look to further 12 Rise Above - August 2013
develop from their influences and carve something musically innovative.
ment and we’re dead pleased with it so far. One thing’s for sure, it’ll be 100 times better than our EP and most definitely 100 times more unique and distinct,” says Daniel.
“Myself and the rest of the lads do like to take things quite seriously but at the end of the day you’ve got to make sure you’re still having fun. If you’re not having fun, where’s the passion?”
Where: Staffordshire, UK Who: Andy McQueen, Dave McQueen, Luke Davis, Ash Hunt Label: A Wolf At Your Door What: Crook (EP as The Orchard) Why: Mixing Black Sabbath with psychedelia and hardcore, what’s not to love?
At The Grapes, Stafford, on August 29th The Orchard will open up and play their final show before the headliners, you guessed it, Wicked Snakes make their debut live appearance. “We all live in the same shitty town and met through getting drunk on Friday nights and a shared love for the heavier side of music,” explains Luke. “Our demo was fucking terrible but we put out two records and a single ‘Accuser’ [as The Orchard] which did alright.”
ell, funny story mate. We’re about to call it a day with The Orchard as we’re starting a new band,” says Luke Davis, in an unexpected start It’s no surprise to find bands such to interviewing him about, erm, “For me it was a as Black Sabbath, Pantera and most The Orchard. means in which notably Crowbar play a major role in influencing Wicked Snakes. There’s I could vent more to it than just musical inspiraIt turns out that after coming together over a year ago and releasing about the stuff tions though. their Crook EP in November 2012, that grinds The Orchard are moving on. In “For me everyone’s it was a fact all four members have moved on into new band Wicked Snakes means gears” which, according to Luke is: “New in which name, new music, same members basically.” I could vent about the stuff that grinds “Wicked Snakes is a new sound, new tracks everyone’s gears,” Luke and a there should be a debut record this continues. “It’s a great autumn. We’re going to be working with some way in which to chanfantastic people in the coming months and nel creativity, sharing years so we’re all really stoked about that.” your frustrations with others is probably the Some of those ‘fantastic people’ are A Wolf At best way to go about Your Door Records who have announced Wick- repressing them, if ed Snakes as the latest addition to their roster. only for a while.” August 2013 - Rise Above
Where: Birmingham, UK Who: Richard Lardner –Vocals, Conor O’Rourke – Guitar, Tom Stokes – Bass, Simon Hutchings – Drums. Label: Ghost Music What: Carry The Weight (Album) Why: Coming out of the UK’s metal capital they know a thing or two about crafting heavy hardcore.
dessa may not be the newest band on the block, having started life in 2010, but it’s only now they’re starting to really make waves. Having spent two years treading the underground they signed to Ghost Music at the end of 2012, releasing debut album Carry The Weight in January this year. Since then they’ve played plenty of shows in the UK and at the time of writing are on tour supporting The Plot In You. Despite their bump in success, including opening the main
14 Rise Above - August 2013
stage on Ghostfest’s second day, they’re all still working for a living. “I work for a club called UPRAWR doing online stuff,” says vocalist Rich. “Tom’s [bass] a gardener and Conor [guitar] makes parts for cars.” “I’m a gas engineer,” adds drummer Simon. “I do central heating and solar panels and that kind of stuff. I’m self employed so I can take the time off [for gigs/tours].” They’re not the only band from Birmingham breaking out of the hardcore scene, with the likes of Aurora, Oceans Ate Alaska and The Catharsis joining them. “I serviced their drummer’s boiler,” laughs Simon, referring to The Catharsis, “that was the last time I saw him.” As the group’s newest member his initiation into Odessa came thanks to a chance message.
More from offshore Wolves Are Coming Where: Spain Who: Alex – Guitar, Juan – Bass, Marco – Vocals, Michael – Guitar, Nando – Drums Why: Happy hardcore (in a sense) from sunny Spain, ‘full of strength and optimism’
“I was in a band before and took a year out,” says Simon. “Then these guys messaged me on Facebook out of the blue saying ‘do you still play? Do you want to jam with us?’” “It was just a good time because I wanted to get back into really heavy music, I listened to one of their songs and went ‘yeah, it sounds good.’” For Richard his journey into hardcore came the traditional way, moving on from listening to pop-punk and Papa Roach when he was a teenager to deciding to give it a go himself. “I remember I listened to Underoath and thought the screaming sounded sick,” he says. “I tried to do it and then eventually got there. I mean it’s not like singing where you have loads of people going ‘no, no this is how you sing.’ A lot of it you have to work out what works, if you do something wrong you need to recognise that you’re doing it wrong for whatever reason.” The future looks bright with another album due next year and ambitions to go as far as possible and discover the world. “I want to keep playing the music, get it heard by as many people as possible,” says Richard. “[I want to] go out there and go explore the world,” adds Simon. “See things and see people and cultures you wouldn’t normally see. Just reach people that are miles away.”
Having played some of their first gigs on Spanish beaches, unlike a lot of hardcore bands, Wolves Are Coming have a legitimate reason for their merch store to be full of vests. Formed in early 2013 from former members of Mary Read and Twenty Fighters, it’s a new start for a lot of them. So far they’ve released a two-track EP available on a name your price basis at their bandcamp page, which is a good indication of their metalcore intentions, similar to those of Parkway Drive and The Ghost Inside. www.facebook.com/wolvesarecoming
Aveira Skies Where: Perth, Australia Who: Haydn Wood – Vocals, Jason Pantino – Guitars, Sam Powell – Guitars, Justin Bryant – Bass, Dan (Stumpy) Bonhomme – Drums Why: Full of melody, destruction and innovation, future skies look bright. Formed in 2011 in Perth, Australia, five-piece Aveira Skies are building up a growing reputation down under having supported Northlane, The Plot In You and Silent Screams to name a few. After releasing their first EP Longer Than Flesh, Longer Than Ashes work began on their debut album, set to drop anytime soon. First single ‘Mind Maps’ is out now, demonstrating their blend of death metal inspired vocals, massive breakdowns and destructive essence. www.facebook.com/aveiraskiesau August 2013 - Rise Above
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Ahead of their UK tour supporting Bury Tomorrow Graham Matthews catches up with Heart In Handâ€™s frontman Charlie Holmes and drummer Sam Brennan at Ghostfest to talk about their recent album, fans with tattoos of their lyrics and how depressing death metal can be.
(c) Florian Krebes, musikfueruns.de
August 2013 - Rise Above
t’s testament to how far Heart in Hand have gone in only a year when considering their past two appearances at Ghostfest. In 2012 they were headlining the third stage, an impressive achievement but as anyone who has been to the festival can attest, it’s only a small stage with room for no more than 100 fans.
first band on,” he says, still buzzing from being onstage. “So when there are bands on all day and in that small room, the crowd was so ready for it. It was insane, so intimate as well.” He further admits to having a problem when things literally get a bit heated though, which you would think might put him off playing in small, stuffy rooms.
This year, after releasing their magnificent second album Almost There they were opening things up on the main stage, attracting at least “After the first song I was sweating away. And I had a fan as well! So I was a bit annoyed, well three times as many people. Taking into acnot that annoyed. It’s just the more count the ‘no pass out’ rule, meaning fans couldn’t leave the sweaty “Last year was I sweat the worse I play. It’s weird.” arena once in, further demonstrates nuts. There the pull Heart In Hand now have. Despite this admission Heart In were kids Hand delivered a blinding set, and “I actually prefer bigger stages coming over if Sam was playing worse than usual myself,” says Charlie, an hour after the top all the it was smoothly covered by the rest of the band’s powerful showing. coming offstage at Ghostfest yet still time, onto the in his trademark cap. “Oh, I don’t know though. I like the freedom of stage and fall- As if it needed any further confirbeing able to move around on a big ing on me and mation Victor Guillet, keyboardist in French deathcore group Betraystage but I guess I like the intimacy. stuff.” ing The Martyrs congratulates them Last year was nuts. There were kids on their set as he passes by, before coming over the top all the time, sincerely apologising for not being able to onto the stage and falling on me and stuff.” hang out with them after the show, but hoping Drummer Sam, even though extra space makes they’ll be able to party together another time. little difference as he’s sat behind a kit unable to move around, prefers the small stage. It’s been a few months since Almost There landed and any mention of the notorious “I find with the bigger rooms they’re slightly ‘difficult second album’ can be quickly shoved more reserved sometimes, especially for the under the carpet. Much like Toy Story 2 and 18 Rise Above - August 2013
(c) Florian Krebes, musikfueruns.de
The Godfather 2, it supersedes its predecessor. It may seem a fairly recent release to fans but for the band it has felt like a long time coming. “We’re very pleased with it,” says Charlie. “We were sat on it for nearly a year because we recorded it last summer and obviously it got put back because of our new label merge [between Siege Of Amida and Century Media]. So to us it doesn’t really feel new because we’ve been listening to it for a year.”
when we were tracking the guitars there were guys around us moving stuff out. “It’s a bit negative really when that sort of thing is going on around you. But it was all good and we’re really, really happy with it and hopefully everyone else is too.”
Negativity isn’t something they like to dwell on too much. Anyone who’s listened to or seen Heart In Hand live may initially think, with Charlie’s tortured, emotionally-charged vocals, another band moaning “That’s frustrating,” continues Sam. “Everyone in they’re about life being crap, but that’s not “Sitting on it for that long when you just want people to hear it, because Heart In Hand the case. Yet before life in Heart In you’ve got all this great new materiwas in death Hand it may have been that way. al but you can’t put any out there.” metal bands “Everyone, even Sam, who’s in before...we Heart In Hand now was in death aking them the whole of August to record and then just wanted to metal bands before we started In Hand,” says Charlie, having it mastered by the do something Heart presumably singling out Sam due end of October meant they were a bit lighter to his upbeat, chatty demeanour; waiting a good six months before anyone outside the band could hear and a bit more, traits not often found in the world of death metal. “We just wanted anything other than lead single ‘Life fun!” to do something a bit lighter and Goes On’, released in December. a bit more, fun! We wanted to do something different so we did.” As well as that they had the added pressure of a limited time scale in the studio, and not just because they couldn’t afford more. In order to blast away a lot of the negativity death metal can encompass, from lyrics about “The studio we recorded it in was actually clos- global destruction, religious evils and “arteries bursting” as Sam describes it, the message ing down while we were recording it,” explains behind their music is a world away from that. Sam. “So we were on this time frame. Literally
August 2013 - Rise Above
(c) Florian Krebes, musikfueruns.de
“There’s a message in every song I guess,” says Charlie, sipping from a free can of Monster. “Just, you know, life’s not that bad,” Sam adds. Life goes on? “Life is fine,” continues Sam. “If you’ve got a problem, ultimately it’s actually fine. As bad as you think stuff is it’s actually fine.
just thought it needed something else. So I messaged Dani, and was like ‘how would you feel about being on this? Would you like to drive up and do it?’ “He just drove up to the studio, literally two days later and we just finished writing it and did it there and then. I wrote most of it and then we wrote the rest of the lyrics together in the studio, so that was really cool.”
The album also features cameos from James “I think as well the kind of melodic side to our music, I hope people take that away musically. Leatherbarrow from Death Of An Artist and members of another band recently making A lot of it has lots of melodies in there and waves and even gaining daytime hopefully that would be picked out.” “It’s nuts. airplay on Radio 1; Mallory Knox. Basically every mongst the swarm of new hardcore bands emerging show we ever “Mallory Knox have been good friends of ours for a long time,” says out of the UK scene it’s that play in EuSam. “Well, even with these guys melodic essence that does help Heart In Hand stand out in a crowd rope, someone before I was in the band as well.” filled with bands whose music is comes up to chock full of the same old breakme with a tat- “They were happy to just come down, do their little bits as well,” downs, gang vocals and jagging too.” adds Charlie. “They came down guitars. Having formed five years for a day and are actually on all the ago, they’ve had time to hone their gang vocals as well. So yeah, they helped out a sound and make friends with other bands lot, massive thanks to those guys.” breaking through the scene, even utilising some of them on Almost There. As their star burns brighter and they reap some of the rewards for their hard work, along with “That song ‘Broken Lights’ [Featuring Dani Winter-Bates from Bury Tomorrow] was just a it comes some of the more bizarre elements of being in a band with hardcore fans, in both heavier song that we wrote,” explains Charlie. senses of the word. “Obviously we’re not the heaviest band, so I
20 Rise Above - August 2013
Features “It’s nuts. Basically every show we ever play in Europe, someone comes up to me with a tattoo,” says Charlie. “For me, that’s mental. I only said these two little words: ‘no regrets.’”
t’s not just the fans though, Charlie has got ‘No Regrets Only Memories’ tattooed on himself too, as he points out.
“I’ve got it down my face haha! I just saw all these kids with it and thought I’m having that, that’s mine. Give it back!” They may have only recently released Almost There but there’s little time for a break as they continue to demonstrate the hard work ethos present in plenty of new bands. “We’re touring ridiculous amounts for the rest of this year and we’ve also started writing the next record already, which we’re about four or five songs into,” says Charlie. “It is quite exciting because it sounds a bit different so it’s a bit of a game changer, hopefully. “We just flipped the script a little bit, so a little bit of changing the vocals and stuff. Hopefully early-ish next year we’d love to try and release something else but I guess that’s not up to us but we’ll see.” They may not have a break planned anytime soon but one could be in order at some point,
especially for Sam, who gets a bit muddled with what’s happening in the near future. “We’re going to try and get a single out soon I think,” he says. “Well not soon! We’re doing another two videos for this album,” corrects Charlie. “Naughty! Don’t listen to him, he doesn’t know anything.” “No, the plan is to go to the studio before the end of this year and record a little two-track, maybe a single with a b-side,” Sam continues. “I think I’m lying also. I think I just made that up so don’t take my word for it. I’m barely in the band, I’m just happy to be here to be honest.”
Heart In Hand by numbers 1 EP (Heart In Hand) 2 Albums (Only Memories and Almost There) 3 Guest vocalists on Almost There 6 Years in action 9 Endorsements 127 Live dates in summer (well, it probably felt like it)
(c) Florian Krebes, musikfueruns.de
August 2013 - Rise Above
Where the ladies at?
(c) Henry Laurisch
22 Rise Above - August 2013
Features In a world edging towards legalising gay marriage, where gender equality is law and high-profile sports presenters can lose their jobs for making sexist remarks, on the surface hardcore music still appears to be very male orientated. But are things changing? And what’s it like for a woman entering such a testosterone-fuelled genre?
f an alien landed on earth and the first woman with ambitions to join or start a hardthing it did was go to a hardcore show there core band, be it as a singer, guitarist, bassist, would probably be two things it noticed drummer or, god forbid, a keyboard player. about the scene. One, almost everyone was the same colour (white) and two, despite “When I first started doing this music, where somewhere between 15 to 25 per cent of the I’m from I’d have people saying ‘Oh that’s gross, audience being female (unofficial I hate it when girls do this. It’s so “I think we’re unattractive,’” she continues. “Now stats), few of the performers are. drawn to people guys all come up to me and give Historically rock music has been me a high-five like ‘that was really we can identify good!’ I feel that guys are now way very male-dominated, but hardwith and I can’t more accepting than they were. I core, with its political interests and sometimes straight edge really identify feel like there’s lots more girls that stance, would be imagined more are embracing the kind of bands with a guy being they like and are proud to like it.’ likely to embrace women. It’s true like ‘I’m going that as bands like Your Demise and Bring Me The Horizon have to fucking kill That’s at least one step forward. grown in popularity and even Courtney adds: “I’ve been in this you and tear out band a year and there’s never been achieved some mainstream your throat’” a single time where a guy in anothsuccess the scene has seen more female fans at shows, but still few er band has looked down upon me up on stage. or been rude to me because I’m a girl. Assholes are insecure dicks who might do that but all “I think the main reason is that women aren’t these guys who are happy with their music are drawn to this genre,” says Courtney LaPlante, like ‘Yeah that’s great.’ They treat me the same vocalist for experimental hardcore/metal band as everyone else.” Iwrestledabearonce. “The speaker is always a white man. I think we’re drawn to people we Hardcore Academics can identify with and I can’t really identify with a guy being like ‘I’m going to fucking kill -In 2012 the Journal of International Women’s you and tear out your throat’, kind of stuff. Studies published an article by Naomi Griffin: ‘Gendered Performance and Performing Gender “I think a lot of girls are just turned off bein the DIY Punk and Hardcore Music Scene’. cause we don’t see anyone that is like us. It’s the same reason why a lot of my black friends -The article found punk and hardcore scenes are like ‘I don’t want to listen to that shit, it’s excellent for resisting oppresive ideologies such as just a bunch of angry white dudes yelling at the defined notions of masculinity and femininity. me. I thought we were over that.’” -However, it soon became clear the scene breeds And for the most part, it is. By being at the many gendered performances but on a whole front of the band though Courtney must be concluded punk/hardcore are more progressive radiating some positive vibes for any young towards gender notions than other walks of life. August 2013 - Rise Above
(c)Bill Ebbesen -Terror, manliest of the macho
“I feel like there’s lots more girls that are embracing the kind of bands they like and are proud to like it” Which is exactly what anyone would hope for in the modern world. However, Iwrestledabearonce have been well established for a few years (recently changing singers) and as Courtney admits, in the early days she did receive some negative comments due to her gender.
Much like Courtney though, she receives plenty of positive feedback from male and female fans alike and the fact that she is one of a handful of women in hardcore doesn’t seem to bother her.
“I haven’t yet played a show where someone hasn’t said ‘how does that noise come out of Jesse Calvesbert, singer in Birmingham hardyou? You’re tiny and your noise is so loud and core outfit Aurora knows what it’s like to be low.’ In fact boys are usually the ones coming just starting out as a woman on the scene. She up to me like ‘your lows are lower than some thinks the reason for so few women in hardcore male singers I know,’ which is pretty cool.” bands could be a confidence issue, although thankfully it hasn’t affected her. As well as hoping to be a positive influence and encourage more women to have a go at being in “Sometimes crowds at first can be pretty tough, a band she is seeing it work. “I get a lot of girls especially when you’re doing guy vocals so to messaging me saying such lovely things, asking speak,” says Jesse. for advice on singing and even screaming. A little girl recently started up a band at school “The women doing it at the moment, like Becca after watching us, I was so chuffed.” from Marmozets and Eva Spence of Rolo Tomassi, are the best of the best so it’s hard to be As for some of the guys in hardcore bands their a newcomer and make a good impression.” standpoints differ. After first joking that it’s all 24 Rise Above - August 2013
Features down to women “just not being as good”, Sam Brennan, drummer in Heart In Hand, blames the music’s aggressive, macho nature.
they’re just coming along. But it’s good to see them, I just don’t like seeing them getting moshed out. That’s when it’s bad.”
“I think statistically fewer women go into that Courtney’s fellow band member in Iwressort of thing,” he says. “It’s quite tledabearonce, bassist Mike ‘Ricky’ male dominated and I don’t know also believes it to be more “When you look Martin, what the reason is but it’s quite a of a confidence issue, like Jesse. out now as optestosterone-led genre I’d say. posed to ten “I honestly think that there should “That’s just the way it is,” he adds. more chicks doing this stuff years ago when be “I’m sure that will change though but a lot of chicks aren’t confident because I’m seeing a lot more of it. you’re playing, I in doing it. To be honest I know And you know, good luck to them.” feel like there’s people that want to do it and I’m like ‘well fucking do it’, that’s all it more girls” James Dexter, frontman of takes, just going out and doing it. hardcore mob Demoraliser is also But they’re like ‘no but I’m a girl.’” supportive of women taking the lead in bands but takes a more stereotypical view. This, however, raises the question of whether women are expected to play in a band and if “There’s bands like Walls Of Jericho who’ve got it’s their attitude of ‘this isn’t my place’ that’s chicks taking the lead and that’s big. Mainly holding some women back. If the suffragettes I just think it must be their boyfriends and had accepted that it wasn’t their place to vote -Aurora, new breed of female hardcore
(c) Georgia Rawson
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(c) Gab riele
n Heave chard
(c) Silvia BoBilvia
like society held at the time though, we could be living in a very unequal gender society. “A lot of us feel like we aren’t allowed,” argues Courtney. “I’ll be walking down the hall or something with my guy friends, and a girl will walk by with a Cannibal Corpse t-shirt on and one of them will be like ‘I hate it when girls [wear that], like they’re trying to look cool.’ This is the reason why women don’t feel comfortable doing this because that girl wasn’t trying to look a certain way she just fucking likes Cannibal Corpse so she bought a shirt. “I feel like there’s lots more girls that are embracing the kind of bands they like and are proud to like it but that’s something that’s weird for me, it’s like we’re not supposed to like metal. But then if we do it’s just posing, like we don’t actually like Meshuggah or whoever. We can only like more poppy bands.” Maybe it’s assumptions like this, any female into hardcore/metal is posing, that stop some women living the dream. But things appear to be slowly changing, as Courtney concludes. “When you look out now as opposed to ten years ago I feel like there are more girls and younger people. It’s like metal’s becoming more marketable in a way.” 26 Rise Above - August 2013
Women In The Business -The Distillers
Brody Dalle et al. led the female punk charge in the early 2000s before disbanding and forming the less influential Spinerette
-Walls Of Jericho
One of the first metalcore acts with a woman on vocals, new material is apparently on the way
Snot-nosed punk with hardcore stylings and some extra grind thrown in from the elusive Boston trio
Becca Macintyre injects a bit of mathcore into the UK band’s raucous, hardcore influenced sound
The Sheffield crew with Eva Spence at the forefront mix space-age sonics with hardcore grit to devastating effect
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Harts Still Beating
Dead Harts are gearing up for their highest profile UK tour yet, supporting The Devil Wears Prada when they visit the island in Autumn. Newest recruit, drummer Ant Allen, gives the lowdown on entering the band, touring Russia and why it only being a UK tour is a good thing.
(c) RAWR. Photography
ne of the many bands to emerge from the current breeding ground of quality hardcore that is Sheffield, drummer Anthony Allen joined Dead Harts nearly a year ago and was thrown in at the deep end. “I got asked to audition for Dead Harts,” he says. “I did that then literally the week after we were in Russia. So it was straightaway, there wasn’t any pissing about. I was locked away in a practice room, learning everything then straight on a flight to Moscow and that was it!” Having hooked up with the band in September 2012, when they went out for said tour in sup-
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port of Russian metalcore/hardcore oddballs Sarah Where Is My Tea, it was quite a step up from what Ant had previously been doing. “I did a load of session work for a few years and then I stopped doing that. I got paid but it was really boring. I was working for pop chart artists and stuff, using these electric kits and I didn’t really like it.” Way before that it was Ant’s dad who bought him his first instrument, a drum kit when he was around 12 years old. Since then his taste has developed from Queen through to Mastodon with the pop-punk stage in-between.
Features “The first things you try and play, no matter what anyone says or how cool anyone makes out they are, everyone’s been in that band that does Blink-182 covers and stuff like that. And I was that kid and I fucking loved it. “Then obviously you get more and more into the alternative kind of stuff like New Found Glory and Sum-41 that was all on Kerrang! when I was a kid all the time. Then obviously if you listen to Kerrang! you get into heavier stuff and then it just develops. By the time I was 16 I was listening to stuff like Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Mastodon. It’s all just progress.”
rogress is something Dead Harts have steadily made. For a band who have only been going a few years with a mostly UK fanbase, setting out to tour round the largest country in the world, and one with such a different culture to that at home, may seem like a bold step. However, much like when a lot of American bands come to the UK and there’s always a great fan response due to the distance they’ve travelled, the same is true for British bands travelling that far abroad. “It’s amazing, the kids out there go mental,” explains Ant. “If they’ve found out an English band’s playing they just go mental. It’s amazing to see feedback like that, so far from home. “We got onto that because we toured with Sarah Where Is My Tea in the UK about 18 months ago and this was like a response and it turned out to be amazing. We didn’t really think about it until we showed up. “The Devil Sold His Soul lads have always had a lot of success out there and I’d known Ed [Gibbs, ex-vocalist], who has just left, for quite a while. He was like ‘go out and do it’ so we decided to do it and it was a success.” Since then they’ve been working on the follow-up to their debut album Born Into Rags To Die No Richer (still available on their Bandcamp page for a bargain £2) where they’ll hope to build on the experimental yet passionate
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(c) Gothestro Radio style it introduced. Before that they’ve got one of, if not the most exciting and possibly biggest tours of their career so far in support of The Devil Wears Prada. “Yeah that’s in October, it’s UK and Ireland,” Ant says. “I think they’re touring in Europe starting next week [July] but we weren’t offered that, which is kind of a blessing in disguise because we need to get this album finished.”
“We all write together but it’s a bit hard because two of the lads live in Brighton and the other three of us live up north in Sheffield, but they always travel to Sheffield. We’ve got a nice little unit that’s also a beer cellar haha! So that’s quite well suited. We’ll hide away for a weekend and just write.”
Although whether it’s just writing they do remains to be seen. It’s still less than a year since Born Into Rags To Die No Richer was released but like many bands on the hardcore scene At the moment most of the groundwork is Dead Harts just want to create and done, with Ant explaining parts “We’re lucky share as much top quality music as just need tweaking before they can move onto the final few stages and to be in one of they can. That doesn’t mean careget it out to the fans, hopefully in lessly bashing out as many songs as those bands they can and appearing generous the near future. where we’re in their output with a quantity “You find that if you write a song never short of over quality approach. They’re very and record it straight away, six much quality first. ideas when it months later you’ll listen back comes to writ- “We’re lucky to be in one of those to it and think ‘fuck that, that’s nothing like how I’m playing live bands where we’re never short of ing.” now.’ So you’ve just got to speed ideas when it comes to writing. We that process up by boring yourself always write more than what we out of your mind and going over and over and need, then it’s actually harder to trim it down.” over, because you’re just developing it. It’s like anything; just development work really.” That’s a better position to be in than having to write a lot of filler to meet an allocated quota The writing process that comes before any that some bands find themselves in. development work is slightly complicated for the band due to the locations of some mem“Definitely. You do get a lot of that. If you get bers but it’s just another obstacle Dead Harts a band that’s signed to do so many tracks you manage to overcome. can just tell there’s something that’s added 30 Rise Above - August 2013
Features in there for no reason. We’re quite lucky with that. As a unit we do work well together.”
“I think people have this thing where they think bands feel like they’re in competition with each other and no-one gets on. But the only reason I came a day early [to Ghostfest] is so I could see all my mates. I don’t get to see them that much when we’re touring so much.”
ailing from Sheffield, associated with a great metal and hardcore scene where acts such as Bring Me The Horizon, While She Sleeps and Rolo Tomassi have all burst out of, it could prove harder for new As well as having another Russia tour in the bands considering the reputation Steel City pipeline, Ant hopes one day to be able to take now has. Or others in the scene may on another large country more pop“People have ular with touring bands: America. provide a helping hand. Unsurprisingly it’s the latter. this thing Before that their second album where they should be hitting the shelves (CD “We’re all mates with the Sleeps and Vinyl versions) as well as the obthink bands ligatory online, download versions. lads, I’ve known them years,” says Ant. “Even when While She Sleeps feel like were first starting [Matt] Pask our they’re in com- “This album to be received well, guitarist was in a band called And that’d be amazing. For it to get the petition with coverage it deserves because a lot Their Eyes Were Bloodshot, years ago. They were quite well known on each other and of work’s gone into it. Everyone’s the touring circuit and And Their no-one gets been taken out of comfort zones and Eyes Were Bloodshot took While fucking cut up to shit. on.” She Sleeps to Europe for the first time. So when we went on tour with “We’re hoping that the proof’s in them [WSS] it was like, ‘well you helped us out, the pudding and the business is still genuine we’ll help you out’ kind of thing. We always enough for you to be able to write a good album look out for each other.” with good songs and it get noticed and not it get noticed because you’ve got a press agency As if to further embody the hardcore spirit of pushing it down people’s throats. everyone being in this together, helping each other out and it being one big community, Ant “It would be nice to think that the business is clears the air on some common misconceptions still honest enough to be able to receive a genucertain fans may hold. inely good album.” -Dead Harts current line-up
August 2013 - Rise Above
Livin’ Not Givin’ The Demoraliser Way Demoraliser have had probably the best 12 months of their career yet, signing to Siege Of Amida Records, releasing their debut album and playing at Download in June. But how are they going to top that, especially as some of them are still in University?
orn out of the Yorkshire fishing town of Grimsby, with its uninspiring name, hopeless football team and defining factor being they get a lot of cod there, it’s no real surprise James ‘Dex’ Dexter and the rest of Demoraliser turned to playing hardcore. Now spread all over the North of England, although base camp still seems to be Grimsby, Dex doesn’t really think location had much influence over their choice of music style to pursue in the beginning.
Cities have always been the main draw for any band playing gigs for the obvious reason of more people in a city equals more fans likely to turn out. Plenty of places like Grimsby are now struggling to hold onto more than one venue, especially with O2 Academies popping up everywhere. So if living in a town that saw very few bands pass through on tour and not seeing a band play live every week didn’t influence Dex to get into hardcore, what did?
“Most of us have been in bands, well all of us have been in bands for years and years,” he “Four of us are from Grimsby, one’s says. “I think I started when I was “I’d rather play about 16, just playing in little shit from Hull,” confirms Dex. “We originally had a line-up where we metal bands and then listening to Leeds than were all from Grimsby and then Grimsby any day different genres of music, bringing Matt, our [current] drummer, was in that in, growing up a bit, maturing a of the week. I’d bit, writing, getting better on guitar a band and he left that band as our drummer quit, so him joining was rather do a 200 and stuff like that.” just a natural progression. He’s only mile round trip like half an hour across the water so hen they were writing than that.” it’s not too bad.” debut album A Living Nightmare he nameBeing out on a limb on the East coast and sepa- checks Bury Tomorrow and The Acacia Strain rated from the nearest city, Hull, by a river does as two influences, showing just how up to date mean Demoraliser spend a lot of time travelDemoraliser are in their listening taste and the ling to play just a one-off gig, let alone a tour. audience they want to reach. They’re also two examples of modern hardcore, whose popular“I’d rather do that though,” says Dex. “I’d rather ity continues to rise and threatens to break the play Leeds than play Grimsby any day of the mainstream at any moment. week. I’d rather do a 200 mile round trip than that any day. Razor our bassist will put on one “I think that sort of metal/hardcore vibe’s quite popular because you can just pick it up so gig a year [in Grimsby] now and try and just easily. If you like metal, if you like tech-metal pack it out. There’s only like one venue left or anything, you can pick up metal/hardcore now,” he adds.
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“It’s just straightforward, no messing about, you know what you’re getting. If you don’t like it then you don’t listen to it.”
(c) RAWR. Photography
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(c) Mark Kidsley
so easily from it. It’s just straightforward, no messing about, you know what you’re getting. If you don’t like it then you don’t listen to it. But you don’t have to!” That said, Dex surely would love everyone to check out their music before making a decision. And they don’t hang about, with work on their next full-length already on the go.
come to us whereas if it’s in a shop they could just see it. If they dig it they’ll pick it up.” Plenty of people must have if they’ve been given the green light for a second album. Still, like a lot of bands in the scene they’ve all got side projects, or in Demoraliser’s case most of them are University students. Along with drummer Matt and guitarist Sam, Dex hopes to be heading back to Manchester to study Photography in September.
“We’ve started writing for the next album now, I think we’ve got about two or three tunes on the go at the minute. We’ve got “I’d just like a single, I think it’s going to be ‘Suffer Your Existence’, which is a everyone to have new tune that’s going to be out at a good laugh, some point soon. We’ve just got to do whatever you get it mixed.”
want. Don’t stab anyone though because that’s shit.”
eing signed to Siege Of Amida as they merged with Century Media (home to TRC, Heart In Hand and Martyr Defiled) not only gave them a boost financially but also in terms of reaching more potential fans, not just through a larger physical distribution area but online as well.
“It was just a way of getting the links to get it into shops. We could have self released it but you wouldn’t get it in HMV or Amazon or Spotify or anything like that. It was just natural progression to try get it out to more people that wouldn’t listen to it, because they’d have to 34 Rise Above - August 2013
“I’m going back to do a PGCE, so I’m going to be a teacher while being in the band. I’m sure I’ll make it work,” he laughs. This explains why their summers are full of festivals and European dates, as it’s the only long period they can all commit to.
“In term time it’s just when we can but we normally try and get like a week off every couple of months if we can, or do a tour. It’s mainly going to be weekenders and the odd evening if we can get some shit in Sheffield or Leeds or Doncaster but we can’t go much further than that on an evening.” Unlike the political edge artists such as Architects and Martyr Defiled take with their music, Demoraliser are all about having fun. They’re not quite as party-central as Andrew W.K and
Features do take their performance seriously, wanting to put on the best show possible every time.
get put back though, it depends what Century Media are saying.
“I’d just like everyone to have a good laugh, do whatever you want. Don’t stab anyone though because that’s shit. Have a laugh and if we’re tight let us know we’re a tight-knit group. We like to hear that as we always self-criticise.
“Keep touring. We’re in it now, this is our third year here so the second album’s going to be difficult, it always is for every band. We’ll step it up and carry on though.”
“Every time I go onstage I’ll just turn around and go ‘fucking crap’ even if it’s not. We’re just self-critical so, one thing they should come away with is ‘damn they were tight.’” After all the playing they’ve done at their numerous summer shows, from Download to Summer Jam, Ghostfest, Preston Rocks and more, they should be pretty tight. Tight enough to make their next album a success, which is their next step. “Just keep writing, bring out the next album hopefully early next year although it might - A Living Nightmare
(c) Mark Kidsley
August 2013 - Rise Above
Tech It Out A new breed of hardcore that’s emerged in recent years is tech core. Mixing the complexities of technical metal with the aggressive vocals and attitude of hardcore, how far can it go and why is it here? We ask the UK sub-genre’s finest in No Consequence and Chronographs.
he world of music is littered with sub-genres, often invented by critics to make their job easier. From the main genres of rock, metal and punk to crossovers such as metalcore, thrashcore, in fact anything with ‘core’ on the end, things do get a bit ridiculous when bands are tagged with things like ‘post-punk black metal’.
No Consequence. Starting out leaning more towards the technical side, the last few years have seen a shift more into hardcore territory, evident on their second album IO released in April this year.
“I think the change going from two vocals down to one vocal [helped],” says Kaan “Melding tech Tasan, vocalist in No Consequence. But, like a lot of things, as long as metal with the “Before we started writing the album we tried to develop a sound because they’re used sensibly and within counterbal- we were quite deathcore-y before but reason sub-genres do have their merits, mainly to easily inform fans ancing hard- I can’t do those sort of vocals, so we spoke about just trying to develop the of a band’s style they are unfamiliar core” things that I was good at in a way. with. This is where tech core comes in handy to describe a growing “So like, the melodic parts and then I kind of number of bands melding technical metal, with all its complexity, together with the coun- am the hardcore side of it in that sense just because of the way my voice sounds. And it was terbalancing, more simplistic hardcore. just kind of something that, it didn’t happen, it just developed as we wrote more. It was just One band who have been doing this for a something that felt right.” number of years now, eight to be precise, are -Veil Of Maya
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(c) Jerad Hill
“The riffs that feel good to write, feel good to play and just have a bit more groove to them than just pure tech,” adds guitarist Dan Reid. So rather than it being a wholly conscious decision to mix hardcore and tech metal for No Consequence it all worked its course naturally. They may have dropped the deathcore element but bands such as After The Burial, The Faceless and Veil Of Maya, have kept it, all mixing death and tech metal with hardcore to great effect. Veil Of Maya even managed to headline Tech-Fest (the UK’s only festival dedicated to technical metal) and play at the predominantly hardcore orientated Ghostfest, proving bands can be popular in both camps. Still, there will always be elitists.
-Three of Chronographs
ike Veil Of Maya, the only other band that managed to rack up performances at both Ghostfest and Tech-Fest were Chronographs. Having signed to Ghost Music at the end of 2012 the band released their debut EP Nausea in January this year, full of obscure rhythms, off-beat guitars and topped with a hardcore edge. All this and the fact they’re respected by fans on both hardcore and tech-metal sides (not that you can’t be a fan of both genres, you can!) makes them tricky to describe. While they’re along the same line as No Consequence there are clear differences.
“I guess it is becoming more popular, it’s just sort of a progression”
“The thing is it’s a crossover,” continues Kaan. “There are quite a few bands out there that are doing a similar sort of thing. If you were to look at the US bands you’ve got Volumes, Structures and then Northlane from Australia and stuff. That entire sort of thing is techy-hardcore and I guess it is becoming more popular, it’s just sort of a progression.” “It just feels right because right now we write what we enjoy I guess,” Dan adds again. “It’s a good balance.”
“We don’t know what we call it either,” says lead guitarist Tom Ridley, describing their sound. “It’s obviously a mixture of stuff we’ve grown up on but we’re diverse music listeners, I mean we don’t really listen to metal these days, except for Benson [bass].” However, they are still huge fans of another band tagged with one of the more ridiculous yet kind of understandable labels: mathcore. “Obviously we still love Dillinger [Escape Plan] and I think even their new album’s amazing,” Tom continues. “They keep inspiring us. I mean, we don’t really copy them but we want to capture some of their energy and then mix that with the more melodic stuff we like, like August 2013 - Rise Above
-And three of No Consequence Thrice and Circa Survive that gets in there. Just whatever we think sounds cool.” Regarding the popularity of tech core, Chronographs drummer Finn Mclean isn’t sure it can go much further.
Suggestions to start wearing a full suit rather than just the shirts they currently wear onstage aside, those tagged by the tech core label will surely find new ways to keep things from getting stale.
“I feel like it’s peaked a little bit though,” he says, before adding: “I just like it because it’s challenging to play. I don’t know, there’s something about it though.”
As long as they don’t go the way of nu-metal with its 15 minutes of fame before being derided by everyone and his dog, they should be alright.
While it’s true there have been plenty of bands creating this kind of tech-hardcore for a few years now there are still new ones popping up all the time. When artists such as the aforementioned Veil Of Maya can successfully headline festivals, albeit small ones, outside of their homeland they must be doing something right. “It’s getting more exposure, isn’t it? Definitely,” agrees Tom. “There’s some bands that are pushing through though as well. “I feel like we’ve been doing this for a long time although people don’t necessarily know we have. We were playing tech-metal when we were 15 and I’m now 22, so we’ve been doing this a while and we’ve finally learnt enough to know how to get...big. “I don’t know what the next step is to reach the next level. A lot of bands have been doing it a long time and not necessarily going anywhere.” 38 Rise Above - August 2013
Tech-cellent American Cuts -Veil Of Maya Fusing technical guitar intricacies with vicious deathcore -After The Burial A metalcore edge alongside carving out some spaced-out sounds -Born Of Osiris Like a lighter version of Veil Of Maya but still room-shakingly heavy
August 2013 - Rise Above
Flying Solo With
D.I.Y label A389 Records have been releasing some of the finest American hardcore for the past nine years. Their sole employee, founder and all-seeing overlord Dom Romeo explains the trials and tribulations of running it and what it takes to get snapped up by him.
aving pushed out over 100 releases in nine years (the latest being Integrity’s Suicide Black Snake) A389 Records have built up quite a roster. Sludge heroes Eyehategod aside, it’s a mostly hardcore collection that includes Trapped Under Ice, Ringworm and Homewrecker to name a few. Based in Baltimore, USA, it’s even more impressive considering it’s run by one man, former Pulling Teeth guitarist Dom Romeo.
Why did you decide to set up A389 Records? I started in 2004 as a way to put out friends bands and get them out there when my bands were on the road. Now that my touring years are behind me it’s a way for an older, balder and fatter me to stay involved and put out awesome records and help cool bands do their thing. How did you get started? Back then there was a local band I liked called Bring It On. They were an awesome late 80’s Blackout Records, NYHC style band. They were hard like Breakdown and Sheer Terror. I got them to record, got someone to do the art/ layout, sent it to the plant and it all began. From there I did a couple more friends bands before it caught on to working with friends in established bands. I still try to keep a good ratio of known/unknown going. I love seeing (c) Andersen Brandon
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(c) Solid Bond
old bands get the respect they deserve and new bands being given a chance. What does a band have to do to get picked up by you? I always find e-mails where they forget to erase the previously solicited label’s name in the message before heaping praise on A389 to be the best/quickest way to my heart.
to stay true to your vision and ignore the fads. Good music is good music. How’s that for a nugget of truth? How far do you hope to take it? To the edge of a cliff so I can push it all off. A free sampler is available over at: www.a389recordings.bandcamp.com
I also love boasts of high Facebook likes, Youtube views and especially direct contact with managers or agents who believe we can take them to the ‘next level’. Everyone else needs to stay in the basement and learn how to play the game from these guys. Do you make more money from selling music or other merchandise (t-shirts etc)? Yes but it always gets rolled over into the next project. I suppose when it’s all said and done and there are no more projects to fund I’ll see some sort of glorious payday. But with my luck I’ll get hit with a bunch of returns/chargebacks that same day. Thanks for playing. What challenges does running an independent hardcore label pose? Keeping up with an audience whose tastes, interests and loyalties change every five minutes. I like to think we offer a stable alternative to that. You’re always going to get cool records from A389 and you’ll never be able to pigeonhole the style or genre. Best advice I can give is August 2013 - Rise Above
Album of the Issue
The Difference Between Hell And Home 8/10
ust under two years since releasing The Current Will Carry Us, Counterparts’ second album that proved their debut was no mere fluke, they’re back again; older, wiser and most definitely better on this, their third full-length. First appearances can be deceiving and for the five-piece from Ontario, Canada, initially they may seem to be just another band tagging onto the melodic hardcore trend as it continues to rise. But look a little bit deeper (ie: actually give The Difference Between Hell And Home a listen) and it becomes clear they’re not just another band looking for overnight popularity by succumbing to all the trademarks (good and bad) of the scene. Lacking in the predictable, momentous breakdowns that some trendy hardcore bands rely on, instead Counterparts stick to true grit and pure emotion as they hurtle through tracks filled with anger, regret but with the counteracting hint of melody running alongside it all. The throaty, barked vocals courtesy of Brendan Murphy complement everything, showing the strength of his voice as it never lets up. Starting with the short, sharp and punchy ‘Lost’, it’s on the following ‘Ghost’ and ‘Debris’, where things start to hot up. Both songs bring the melody and provide unrelenting bursts of top-notch fury interjected by some mini-breakdowns before kicking out again. ‘Debris’ with its echoed vocals adds a real vibe to proceedings that’s often repeated throughout, really drawing the listener in. 42 Rise Above - August 2013
Around the midway point ‘Decay’ slows down to let everyone catch their breath with a more mellow edge that works a charm. The spoken vocals give an eerie effect which soon breaks into a more powerful one as the flowing guitars gain in volume and distortion. The impassioned ‘Wither’, with its lyrics about being set free, can, and will, be interpreted however the listener sees fit. Whether it can be personally related to or not, one thing that’s certain is the arresting way it builds up before really striking home with spiky guitars and cymbal-crashing drums overflowing with the strong hardcore attitude. Sure, The Difference Between Hell And Home may not be a game changer but it is a splendid chunk of modern hardcore that relies neither on gimmicks, stupid lyrics or endless big breakdowns. It shows all that’s required is determination, real passion and the ability to get across exactly what’s needed with some encapsulating musicianship. Everything from the band’s name to each individual song title (barring the album name) may only be one word and there can only be one word to describe this album: fantastic. Or super. Or great. Or any positive adjective.
All Pigs Must Die Nothing Violates This Nature
Alpha & Omega No Rest, No Peace
Arcite The Escape Key
An exhilarating second album from the pig haters
No peace but plenty of groove from LA’s new ones
Newcastle metalcore outfit finally unleash their debut
With Kurt Ballou (Converge) at the production helm and Ben Koller (also Converge) on drums, All Pigs Must Die’s second album was never going to be anything less than great, was it? Packing some ferocious heat, it’s a pummelling journey that shifts tempo whenever it pleases, seamlessly switching from the drawn out ‘Faith Eater’ to relentless album closer ‘Articles Of Human Weakness’ with ease. The fast, grinding noise of ‘Silencer’ contrasted with the chugging ‘Primitive Fear’ show that whatever pace they’re going at APMD are in total control of their vehement hardcore. A fierce, frenetic yet thoroughly enjoyable ride.
Three years since their debut Life Swallower, Alpha & Omega’s groove-laden, metallic hardcore hasn’t changed much. But that’s a good thing! They may have cut down on the guitar solos but overall it’s a more polished affair, the macho stomp complemented by a fuller sound. ‘Counterfeit’ demonstrates this, embracing their metal influences and proving great hardcore can be done without constant, clichéd breakdowns. As expected, few songs break the three-minute mark, only ‘Burning Rope’ thanks to its fade-in intro. The whole thing clocks in at less than 30 minutes of superb, fist-pumping hardcore.
After years treading the North East music scene, Arcite finally signed with Transcend Music in 2012. This, their debut album, is full of what anyone who’s seen them live will expect; huge riffs, clean/distorted vocals and those scaling harmonies that made them worthy of being signed. The epic title track with its ringing intro, roaring chorus and raging undercurrent takes some beating, but the following ‘Perfect’ is nearly that, packed with beautiful melody above their metalcore leanings. One or two tracks are overly long, such as ‘Sanctuary’, making them easily forgettable, but on the whole a promising start.
Circle Of Rage Rage In D-Minor
fuelled, throaty vocals come in. With song titles like ‘Ftse Fetish’ and ‘Food For Thought’, Politically charged hardcore there’s a clear message it aims attempting new things to spread: Deez Nuts this is not. Intelligent and unique, it’s 7/10 a new take on traditional hardAt times the jagged hardcore core that won’t be for everyof Circle Of Rage brings to one, but those it does ensnare mind the alt-rock of At The won’t be able to get enough. Drive-In, until the hateAugust 2013 - Rise Above
Reviews going to be easy. Creating three albums and an EP all based around the same concept is even more ambitious, but that’s what Defeater have been doing since the beginning; following various characters from a WWII family and their experiences (mainly struggles). Letters Home is the fourth chapter (their third album), and though the band Defeater try to, and do, challenge the Letters Home boundaries of being labelled Part 4 of the WWII based a hardcore band, that is what saga is as good as parts 1-3 they are at their, erm, core. Proof of this arrives imme8/10 diately on opener ‘Bastards’, reating one concept album with its sharp intro and that has a strong narrative vocalist Derek Archambault’s and wins listeners over is never breathless assault with the
constant chant of “still all I see is the bastard in me.” Derek’s vocal style may not be anything special, tortured and raw, but everything comes across as sincere, heartfelt and masterful; much like the album as a whole. As tracks run into each other and with four of the ten song titles starting with ‘No’ eg: ‘No Relief’, this truly is an album to be heard as that and in the right order for the best effect. Defeater have developed and again pushed hardcore to the edge, especially on closer ‘Bled Out’ with its haunting guitar lines, repetition and infiniteness that wonderfully ties everything together.
One of the first bands to fuse metal and hardcore, forming the primitive stages of metalcore, this is Integrity’s ninth album in over 20 years of being in the business. They may have had more members than the Chinese Olympic team but the one constant driving force behind the band, frontman Dwid Centuries Integrity Hellion, is still in charge, his gravelly vocals holding on to Taedium Vitae Suicide Black Snake the standard Integrity sound. Southern Lord’s new boys Metalcore pioneers continWith whizzing guitar solos do them more than proud ue to fight on and some Iron Maiden-esque harmonies on the likes of 8/10 6/10 ‘+Orrchida’ their metal edge is What is fast becoming the go bands, with vocals bordering intact, but the hardcore chaos on death metal atop chainto place for heavy American still bleeds through, especially saw guitars with a punishing hardcore (All Pigs Must Die, on ‘Detonate VVorlds Plague’ Nails), Southern Lord Records rhythm, all compacted into and its machine-gun intro. At one short, crushing package. snapped up Floridians Centimes it’s all a bit mismatched One constant, almost droning though, seeming slightly turies earlier this year. After releasing a spattering of short guitar tone rings through all 20 schizophrenic until a soaring EPs and the odd split, Taedium odd minutes of Taedium Vitae, guitar solo pulls it back on creating an atmospheric back- track. Not as influential as Vitae is their impressive full length debut. It’s easily compa- drop for Centuries magnificent their other work but Integrity rable to those aforementioned introduction to the world. prove they’ve still got fight. 44 Rise Above - August 2013
Iwrestledabearonce Late For Nothing
letlive. The Blackest Beautiful
Misery Signals Absent Light
Round three of their batshit metal/hardcore/jazz
More politics, catchiness and splendour from letlive.
Wisconsin’s finest make a long-awaited re-appearance
Smashing alt-rock into hardcore and pop-punk, letlive. once again find a winning formula on their third album. ‘Banshee – Ghost Frame’ kicks things off in an emphatic fashion with some industrial guitars that soon let rip alongside gang vocals and Jason Butler’s fast-paced rasp that eventually splits into an all out scream. ‘White America’s Beautiful Black Market’ displays their political leanings as well as their melodic side, but it’s their blend of speed, catchy choruses and sincerity that will win most listeners over. This is most evident on the monumental closer ‘27 Club’, it’s topic plain to see from the title. Beautiful stuff indeed.
Five years is a long time for a band not to release any music. So much so that when Misery Signals announced they would be crowdsourcing to help pay for the recording, marketing and pressing of their fourth album (despite still being signed to Basick Records) it appeared any interest in the once exciting metalcore outfit had disappeared. But it got funded! And Absent Light will undoubtedly bring fans back. Tinkling melodies rise above Karl Schubach’s roar, often interspersed by mellow parts such as on ‘Two Solitudes’ as they meld metal and hardcore superbly, reminding everyone why the metalcore genre exploded ten years ago.
We Butter The Bread With Butter Goldkinder
by some miracle it did it would sound a lot like Goldkinder. Gothic overtones mashed with grunts, growls and chugging hardcore rhythms with dashes of industrial guitars and everything ‘sung’ in German: unlikely to breach the charts. Funnily enough it all gets a bit confused and disjointed.
Over a year since they parted ways with singer Krysta Cameron and ushered in Courtney LaPlante, this is her, and the rest of the band’s, first test together. She passes with flying colours on what is the band’s most accomplished album to date. Courtney’s voice is clearly different, with a lower tone that radiates more power on the clean sections, of which there are more than ever before. Never ones to submit to predictability though, for the most part Late For Nothing is still as experimental, obscure and just plain mad as ever. From the speed metal of ‘Carnage Asada’ to the soulful ‘The Map’, it’s a glorious embodiment of music.
As mental as their name suggests from the Germans
If Rammstein, Nightwish and Hatebreed formed a supergroup, it would never work. If
August 2013 - Rise Above
Reviews is no different, with guitarist Jeff Hickley, drummer Clayton Holyoak and bassist Josh Finnegan all making their debut appearances with the band (guitarist Chris Day the only original member left). That doesn’t mean they’ve had a radical shift in sound though, it’s still your standard metalcore affair with a dose of pop-punk thrown in. Norma Jean Moving on from previWrongdoers ous album Meridional the Heavy progression for a 60% progressive elements are still new Norma Jean there as they seek to expand, the likes of the drawn out 7/10 intro to ‘Sword In Mouth, ith most new Norma Fire Eyes’ and the spoken Jean albums comes a word, meditational ‘Afterhour new line-up, and Wrongdoers Animals’. That’s not to say it’s
edging into more experimental territory though, for the most part this is Norma Jean’s heaviest output in ages. From 67 second whirlwind ‘The Lash Whistled Like A Singing Wind’ and chaotic attack that is ‘Neck In The Hemp’, the new line-up seems to have studied the Norma Jean of old and tweaked bits. Everything comes to a head on the 14-minute closer ‘Sun Dies, Blood Moon’ which is easily comparable to Converge’s classic ‘Jane Doe’ and not just because it breaks the ten minute barrier. Like the rest of the album it’s heavy, well-executed and not afraid to be itself.
Pelon Juuret’s grisly cover art has more in line with grindcore (think skeletons, corpses and all manner of nasty things) than hardcore punk, and it’s not the only thing Finland’s Unkind borrow from the sub-genre. Combining the two genres is nothing new but adding a splash of d-beat drumming (very, very fast) The Hell Unkind and switching between short and intense tracks and longer, You’re Listening To THE Pelon Juuret more complex varieties helps HELL Unkind stand out, in a good Free shit from this sweary, Dark, grinding and gloomy. way. The dark theme throughcatchy and mysterious lot But it is from Finland out provides bleak atmospher8/10 7/10 ics as it all slots together, erm, You know a band’s probably Chock-full of shits, fucks and nicely. There are breakdowns, doing something right when the rest, the stripped back, ag- but not the trendy kind, more their first ever gig’s set to be gressive bursts of simple yet ef- literal as one’s body feels the supporting Gallows. No-one fective English hardcore (that’s full force of the pained picture knows who The Hell are, not definitely a London accent painted. ‘Viallinen’ has an even their Grans, but it’s either yelling ‘Shit just got real’) is a almost hypnotic edge with a side project for someone with refreshing blast in a genre that recurring riffs and tortured connections or Gallows just can sometimes get a bit stale. lyrics forming a marvellous picked up on how catchy and If that’s not good enough (it is) effect while ‘Laki’ is blunt and fresh the band are. Speaking it can be downloaded for free to the point. It’s an exhausting of Grans, this ain’t for them. from their bandcamp page! yet rewarding listen. 46 Rise Above - August 2013
From the best to worst of recent releases
Black Flag Wallow In Despair
Weathered Hands For Sharks
The hardcore legends return, but not as anyone wants them: in two separate camps with Henry Rollins nowhere in sight. As Greg Ginn sues his former bandmates he still has time to release this half-assed track. Using the same riff from their other new song ‘Down In The Dirt’ this is just lazy.
Also taking a lighter approach, but with a bit more grit, Weathered Hands are unlikely to upset anyone, let alone any sea predators. With guitar harmonies galore ‘For Sharks’ is strained, heartfelt and yet a captivating affair. It doesn’t do anything particularly new but then again, it doesn’t need to.
Blessthefall See You On The Outside Taken from the upcoming new album Hollow Bodies, this slice of emotionally driven music shows Blessthefall in a lighter vein. There are piano parts and operatic choruses with more in common with You Me At Six than Underoath. It’s solid and kind of catchy but could prove a shock to faithful fans when it lands.
Videos TRC We Bring War
Despite the song title, not a single tank, weapon or North Korean Dictator appears in the video. Instead it’s set on what looks like a badminton court as some purposeful shaky camera work conveys the action-packed music well. It gets even shakier halfway through as TRC step it up and both vocalists’ eyebrows narrow. That is until Chris ‘whitest teeth in Wicked Snakes hardcore’ Robson starts grinCold Heart ning again, showing they’re not actually going to start a The first slab of music released war, it’s just a bit of fun. Other under their new moniker than that not much happens. isn’t a world away from The Nice building though. Orchard but has an added crunch. Guitar solos and Martyr Defiled compelling riffs all underlay the hardcore vocals, blending Lifeless classic rock/metal with the aggression of the former. Crisp Ah, drugs. Plenty of musicians and raw it should appeal to have endorsed them, plenty fans of both genres. have distanced themselves from them. Now the politically and socially concious Martyr Defiled have their say, and if the song title wasn’t enough of a clue, the woman shooting up then passing out says it all. The band are present, thrashing it out in a darkened room, which adds to the grim atmosphere, but this was never going to be an episode of the Care Bears, was it? Talk To Frank could do with getting Martyr Defiled to give them a hand, their harrowing sound alone would put plenty off. August 2013 - Rise Above
Fashion Introducing new brands, their products and the ethos behind them that are about to be ever-present at gigs, festivals and on the street.
ounded nearly a year ago in October 2012, Headless Cat Clothing was set up by one man: David Willmore. Running the brand out of his flat down on the South Coast in Bournemouth, it has steadily branched out from a few t-shirt designs to hats, sunglasses, vests and more. At first many of the designs were just ideas floating around in Davidâ€™s head until, having some free time he taught himself how to use Photoshop and got them out of his head and onto his laptop. Then it was just a matter of time before they were in print. As well as selling his designs online, David can be found every year with a stall at his local Burn Out Festival in Bournemouth and has received support from bands such as Heart In Hand and Yearbook. Headless Cat Clothing are still on the lookout for any bands wanting an endorsement or needing tour merchandise too. 48 Rise Above - August 2013
Be sure to check out the online store and Facebook pages as every so often he runs competitions with the chance to win a bundle of items or posts a discount code for a limited time only: headlesscatclothing.bigcartel.com www.facebook.com/headlesscatclothing
-Simple yet effective ladies vest
-There seems to be a nautical theme going on
-Wanting to hide at a festival? This is perfect
-The cat may have no head but will still make hats
August 2013 - Rise Above
Merchandise With so many bands bringing out new t-shirts, hoodies, crewnecks, vests, shorts and beanies all the time, it’s a tough job keeping on top of it all. But don’t fear, Rise Above have picked out some of the newest and best from your favourite bands, whatever the budget.
Price: £5 each Where: odessa. bigcartel.com Why: Already got Odessa’s debut album? Then continue to support upcoming UKHC by picking up a shirt or two. They won’t be around for long at this price.
Price: Tote bag £7, Screenprinted poster - £15 Where: marmozets. bigcartel.com Why: Going to Uni? Moving house? Redecorating? Then you’ll need something jazzy to put on your wall and a bag to carry it in. (Warning: poster may not fit in bag) 50 Rise Above - August 2013
u o h s Spla
Price: £12 each or £35 for all three including It’s Called The Easy Life EP and their debut album Meet Me Halfway At Least Where: www.wolfatyourdoor.com Why: Pretend you were there at the beginning with their early releases and retro inspired t-shirts.
Price: £15 Where: architects.firebrandstore.com Why: Winter is coming so get ready now while the price has been slashed in half. Looks cool too!
- It’s Called The Easy Life EP and Meet Me Halfway At Least included in the package
August 2013 - Rise Above
y tograph R. Pho (c) RAW
R. Pho tograph y
Leeds University, 29 and 30 June
Now the UK’s largest hardcore based festival, after the sad cancellation of Hevy Fest, this was Ghostfest’s 8th year. Once again it proved why it’s starting to gain status as the Mecca of UK hardcore. Saturday hird stage headliners last year, Heart In Hand opened the main stage this time. Their melodic hardcore provided a rousing start as an impressive turnout took in every soaring guitar line atop their lighter brand of hardcore and Charlie Holmes’ emotion-packed vocals. With punk influences and in a similar line to Refused, Heights gave a fierce performance full of bravado. However, the band seemed to get a little carried away in the moment and after several attempts to destroy the stage, left a tad early. British hardcore act I Exist were a surprise on the day. Their old-school presence and determination were impressive but the poor crowd attendance and ear bleeding volume did them no favours. Betraying The Martyrs had been moved up the bill and the French troop were clear fan favourites. They delivered their unique blend of deathcore well, singer Aaron Matts absolutely superb, holding the crowd in the palm of his hands throughout. Fellow deathcore outfit, with a more technical leaning, Veil Of Maya followed. The sound was quite unbalanced though, with a lot of it getting lost. Despite
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this ‘Punisher’ and ‘Unbreakable’ were still powerful slabs of noise from the heaviest band of the day. On the second stage good fun, excellent banter and supreme stage presence from frontman Dex arrived along with the rest of Demoraliser. A few ‘old’ tracks like ‘Early Years’ received an airing from one of Yorkshire’s most consistent hardcore groups. Later on the second stage Polar put in a solid performance. Singer Adam Woodford tried his hardest to get the crowd going, but it looked like it was the time of day when everyone was taking a break, but they did the best they could with what was available. Bury Your Dead hadn’t played the UK in ages, but it was worth the wait. Treated to hilarious stories from frontman Matt Bruso, the tunes were catchy, bouncy and really got people going. It was all topped off by a chaos-inducing version of ‘Mosh And Roll’. Initially sounding more punk than hardcore it soon transpired that Continents had a lot in common with Brutality Will Prevail. There were plenty of build-ups to drops that never happened and the extreme loudness didn’t really help. Legends of the game and headliners for the first time, Terror certainly brought the ruckus. Constant-
(c) RAWR. Photography ly proclaiming “we’re a hardcore band who bring a hardcore show” they certainly did, with everything being stopped as a near riot broke out between fans, security and the band. Things calmed a bit and ending with ‘Keepers Of The Faith’, as close to a hardcore anthem as there is, was a defining moment. Sunday nyone still feeling delicate by 1.30pm was given the first test of who was going to make it to the end (not everybody) as opening act (c) RAWR Odessa woke everyone with their straightforward . Photogra phy hardcore laced with epic sounding choruses. On the second stage straight edge crew Survival provided a refreshing blast of punkier noise. They proved one of Sunday’s highlights. were already causing chaos as crowdsurfer after The unknown Bar School 101 (a side project of crowdsurfer toppled over the barrier, the perfect way Your Demise members) unsurprisingly turned out to to experience their 80s throwback sound, reminisbe a ‘secret’ Your Demise set. Needless to say they cent of hardcore’s early years. Things took a turn towards the heavier end as Mar- gave it their all, guitarist Oz probably too much as he dislocated his knee after jumping offstage near the tyr Defiled bounded out. Kicking off the brutality start. The final carnage that greeted ‘The Kids We with ‘Isolate’ this would be one of the last times Used To Be...’ proved a wonderful send-off for a band they played a set like this, and they were “As a near riot that will be sorely missed. joined at one point by CJ from Thy Art Is Before the headliners there was still time Murder, adding to the deathly atmosbroke out for Scottish five-piece Azriel on the third phere in a magnificent, crushing set. between fans, stage. The band ploughed through some There was less of a turnout for Dead savage riffs with a sprinkling of melody Harts than others who’d graced the security and but again a lot got lost in the sheer volume second stage but that didn’t slow them the band” rebounding off the walls and low ceiling. down. Bringing to mind Converge with Headliners The Devil Wears Prada hints of originality thrown in, the Shefcame out onto a dark stage, the only light shining field outfit’s raucous showing was a great indication from two Apple laptops, and burst into an emphatof what’s to come from them in the future. ic ‘Mammoth’. They may not be as big as previous Heart Of A Coward opened Ghostfest in 2012 but headliners but there was still little room to move for this time their tech-metal with a hardcore attitude anyone on the floor. Their well-executed metalcore had been bumped up and they went down a storm. held up strongly as they successfully delivered an From dazzling fretwork, an intense atmosphere and exciting set of catchy, tortured songs. getting Malevolence’s Alex onstage for a song, they
August 2013 - Rise Above
How To Buy
How To Buy...
ew bands have been more influential across hardcore and heavy music as a whole than Bad Brains. Whether it’s leading the pack of Washington D.C. hardcore bands in the late ‘70s, being the first all-black band playing punk/hardcore or not being afraid to mix reggae and other influences into their sound, everyone from Living Colour to the Beastie Boys and Vision Of Disorder have paid homage to them. Starting out in 1978 after their first incarnation as the fusion band Mind Power came to an end, Bad Brains have managed to keep a pretty stable line-up from the beginning. Guitarist Dr. Know (Gary Miller) and bassist Darryl Jenifer have been present throughout the band’s 35 years of existence, with drummer Earl Hudson and vocalist H.R. (Paul Hudson) occasionally being replaced but never for more than a year or two. It is this original line-up that is still together today and appears on their most famous albums, the debut Bad Brains and third release I Against I.
Initially influenced by the punk movement going on with bands like the Sex Pistols and the Ramones (whose song ‘Bad Brain’ is where their name derives from), Bob Marley and the Rastafari ideology also played a part in forming the band’s beginnings. They quickly developed a reputation (sadly at first for the novelty of being the only black band playing punk) but it soon grew due to their wild live shows and the fact they could actually play. It was these shows and the reputation the band dragged with them that led to them being 54 Rise Above - August 2013
banned from various venues in Washington D.C. and relocating to New York, although it also inspired one of their most popular songs ‘Banned In The D.C.’ They underwent a few changes of singer and drummer in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, but H.R. and his brother Earl kept returning despite beliefs they wanted the band to head in a more reggae direction. Since 1995 however, the original band has been together, albeit with a few quiet periods and three years where they toured under the name Soul Brains. They may not have been the most prolific of songwriters (nine albums in 35 years isn’t amazing) or held in the same regard as Black Flag or Cro-Mags, and it may sound clichéd, but without Bad Brains not just hardcore but rock music and the acceptance of other cultures in the music would probably be a whole different story. Bad Brains broke down barriers both societal and musical, for which they will always be remembered and respected.
Top 5 Singles 1. Banned In The D.C. (Bad Brains, 1982) 2. House Of Suffering (I Against I, 1986) 3. Right Brigade (Bad Brains, 1982) 4. I Against I (I Against I, 1986) 5. Come Down (Into the Future, 2012)
How To Buy
Fusing reggae and early hardcore forms an outstanding debut
A more alternative sound but for many a fan favourite
A return to their roots proves a good move on their latest release
Reggae-heavy and turbulent times tarnish this mid-90s effort
Originally available only on cassette (Google them) Bad Brains was later re-released on CD and Vinyl due to its well-deserved popularity. Furious and fast for the most part, like a lot of modern bands use mellow interludes, they stuck in reggae tracks like ‘Jah Calling’ to break things up before the brash ‘Supertouch/Shitfit’ that follows. With 15 tracks in just under 34 minutes it’s heavily indebted to the punk era. Considering standouts such like ‘Pay To Cum’, ‘Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Attitude’ need less than 90 seconds each to do their business, this is hardcore at its very finest.
After their second album Rock For Light featured lots of rerecorded tracks from their debut, I Against I was only Bad Brains’ second album of wholly new material. It came after the band had broken up for a while and features a more alternative sound but with the hardcore essence still running through on the likes of ‘House Of Suffering’. Bestknown for including the track ‘Sacred Love’ whereby vocalist H.R. recorded the vocals down a phone line from prison while serving time for marijuana distribution, it’s alt-rock leanings and funk inspirations paved the way for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and others.
Their ninth and latest release, Into The Future could easily have been entitled ‘Looking Back’ as it features some of their punchiest music since the ‘80s ended. Dedicated to MCA of the Beastie Boys, it may not be as essential as some of their earlier work but is by far their greatest output since the turn of the millennium. A few sub two-minute tunes, ‘Come Down’ and ‘We Belong Together’, show even though they’ve all passed 50 now none of the ferociousness of old is gone, it was just maturing in the 90s. The reggae influence is present on ‘Jah Love’ but it’s a fast, and crunchy return to form.
After being signed to Maverick Records by none other than Madonna, Bad Brains’ sixth studio album was the first since 1989 to feature the original line-up. With more attention paid to the reggae side a lot of fans were left wondering if this was the end of the band as a hardcore outfit. It’s also not the most inspiring of reggae, but there is the odd faster track like ‘Tongue Tee Tie’. If that wasn’t enough the band broke up again after the release. Despite the pleasant title H.R. was arrested after a number of violent incidents meaning the band missed playing at Madison Square Gardens. Let’s just blame Madonna.
Download: ‘Banned In The D.C.’
Download: ‘House Of Suffering’
Download: ‘Come Down’
Download: ‘Tongue Tee Tie’
Bad Brains (1982)
I Against I (1986)
Into The Future (2012)
God Of Love (1995)
August 2013 - Rise Above
How To Buy
s well as the classic album t-shirts, hoodies, beanies and even tote bags, after the release of Into The Future Bad Brains brought out their own brand of hot sauce. They’re not the first, with heavy metal group Black Label Society also having their own variety. But Bad Brains’ comes in two different flavours, ‘Hardcore Hot Sauce’ and ‘F.V.K. Extreme Hot Sauce.’
‘Hardcore’ is apparently a ‘Punky Reggae party in every bottle’ and ‘the perfect combination of heat and sweet’ made with a secret recipe only Darryl and Dr. Know, erm, know! ‘F.V.K. Extreme’ on the other hand is ‘a royal blend of the seven pod pepper” with “a champion heat.’ For an extra $20 there’s the option to buy a signed bottle by the chefs Dr. Know and Darryl Jenifer, but only of the ‘Hardcore’ edition. Or if that’s too much sauce for your liking for only $90 a limited edition print featuring the Bad Brains lightning bolt logo striking a fiery pepper can also be purchased. But be quick, there’s only 200 in existence.
Head over to the band’s official website: www.badbrains.com/merch
56 Rise Above - August 2013
-Bad Brains in the early days
August 2013 - Rise Above
Question! Asking musicians in the issue the important questions in life. This time: who is better Super Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog?
Heart In Hand
Sam Brennan: I think Mario’s pretty chumpy. “Oh I’m a plumber.” Well mate, go and fix pipes then rather than saving princesses. Charlie Holmes: Yeah but hedgehogs are pretty chumpy aren’t they? Sam: Yeah but he’s pretty fast for a hedgehog. I like Sonic, he’s a good lad. Mainly because I was a Megadrive kid back in the day, I wasn’t really a Nintendo kid.
James Dexter: That’s going to kill me. [20 second pause] I ain’t got a clue. Sonic’s got wicked hair but Mario can grow and he jumps, but then Sonic does as well. I reckon Sonic.
Iwrestledabearonce (c) The Leet Geeks
Courtney: Our first gaming console was a Sega Genesis so I was Sonic, You know how you play two-player and one of you’s Sonic and they’re the leader? I was probably seven and my brother was four, and there was this transition time where he’s like “Bitch I’m Sonic. You’re Tails.” He got better than me and I was like “Oh my God! My brother’s Sonic now, shit!”
58 Rise Above - August 2013
Finn Mclean: I’ve never really liked Sonic, he was a bit of a dick. Plumbers can fix your sink, all Sonic could do was run fast past your sink, while it’s still leaking. And he’s a money grabbing asshole. I guess Mario is as well, isn’t he? Tom Benson: He’s a plumber though so he deserves to get the money for his work. Finn: I guess plumbers are well paid. Sonic just runs about, he’s a freeloader.
Ant Allen: I was a Super Mario guy when I was a kid so definitely Super Mario.
Ricky: I was Mario bro. I’m still Mario. See, I think Sonic’s a cool guy, he’s just really fickle and simple. And Mario just keeps changing you know. He’s grown up.
Simon Hutchings: Mario. Hands down. Sonic’s a fast hedgehog, it makes no sense. Mario’s Italian with a moustache, it makes perfect sense. It’s clearly based on a true story haha!
August 2013 - Rise Above
60 Rise Above - August 2013