WORLD BE FR EE
very aggressive, metallic, moshy, negative hardcore and so along the years I thought I would just like to do something different. Instead of the goal at the show being that everyone got punched in the face, the goal is everyone laughing and having fun and leaving with a smile on their face. Eventually I just put it in motion and those two, Arthur and Sammy, were the last two pieces of the puzzle. “My friend Joe, who’s the other guitarist in the band, he’s from Buffalo too and I was in bands with him in the mid-’90s and I just knew that he was going to be perfect for this style. I got him to start writing and then me and Andrew live close to each other and he heard it and he was like, ‘I wanna do it’. I had this little idea in my head, like if we could get Sammy that would give this a whole different dimension, and it all came together and here we are.” Was he nervous calling Sammy and Arthur up? The guys were in all his favourite bands from being a kid, you know. He must be blown away that they agreed.
“Oh man,” he laughs, as if that’s the understatement of the year. “On that level it’s really cool but there’s another level to it. Sammy and Arthur are musicians you, know. They can play their instruments and I don’t wanna take away anything from Terror because everyone in Terror is very talented and very dedicated, but they’re also on a different level. Nick Jett, the drummer of Terror, is amazing and I could say million good things about him but he doesn’t even like playing drums. He would rather play guitar than drums, so to have someone like Sammy, who is an actual musician and then to hear Arthur play the bass, it’s like a different level of musicianship for me, which is kind of scary because then you put me in the mix and I’m supposed to hit some notes in this band. That’s a whole new thing for me, so you take me doing something totally new to me, playing with guys that are totally better than me, it’s a scary combination. “Of course, the goal of a hardcore band, or at least World Be Free, isn’t to play the prettiest, the most perfect music, it’s to get the result that we got – raw, angry, melodic hardcore – and you know when all’s said and done and that record was finished, I would listen to it every day. After seven Terror records I don’t wanna say anything bad, but you don’t get the same feel from something so fresh and new to me. I was listening to the World Be Free record as a fan.” We wish we could’ve been a fly on the wall. Scott’s this larger-than-life character, a confident, brash frontman who doesn’t take any bullshit, but we wish we could have hard him calling up Sammy, all nervous, to ask him to join his new band. “I didn’t do it,” he laughs. “Andrew did. I knew Sammy from a ‘Hey, what’s up?’ level. Sammy knows I love all his bands. I’ve never really spent any time with Sammy more than me probably telling him ‘I love all your bands’, so Andrew actually reached out to him. I got the text from Andrew that said Sammy was down and it was really cool what he brought to the table because before he was in the band, in my head, this was going to be a 7”. And it would probably have not been anywhere near as good because Sammy’s whole attitude was ‘I wanna do this but if I’m doing it, we’re gonna do it 100 percent’. Now thinking about that, if you’re gonna make music, you shouldn’t have the attitude of ‘Oh, let’s just see how it goes’. Sammy’s attitude of ‘Let’s do this all the way!’ really was something I needed to hear and really helped.”
t some point we have to mention the elephant in the room. If there is one word that makes any musician cringe it’s this, but we have to drop the ‘S’ bomb. Scott from Terror, Joe from Envy, Andrew from Strife, Arthur from Gorilla Biscuits, Sammy from, well, every important NYHC band ever... Is World Be Free a hardcore supergroup? Scott sighs. “This supergroup thing, we really try to avoid or denounce that. That’s something we would never say and if you see a journalist say that about someone, it’s almost negative. People don’t say supergroup and get
super excited, they’re like ‘Oh, who thinks they’re fucking cool’. That’s the way I look at it so the first song we released on the internet we put no names, no ex-members of, no Scott, no Sammy. We just put the song out and of course some people knew a little bit but for the most part we just wanted to the song to be judged as a new hardcore band. No matter who it is, there are people who love Terror, there are people who hate Terror, people have so many preconceived notions and opinions, positive or negative so we just wanted to try and avoid it and say ‘Here’s a song, check it out’. Then of course people started talking so those preconceived notions come back one way or another, like ‘Why is the guy from Terror in a band with the guy from the Gorilla Biscuits, that makes no sense’. Well, it has to make sense because it’s happening. You can’t please everybody.” Hardcore levels the playing field, it’s a scene where you will see the frontman from the band selling merch after the show. There’s a true DIY vein running throughout everything Scott and Andrew and Joe, Sammy and Arthur have done. Even Arthur, as soon as our interview is done in London, is out there chatting to friends and people who admire his bands (he hates the word “fans”). “That’s almost having a rock attitude attached to a new band before the band’s even done anything,” he agrees. “Whenever I see the word supergroup, like that thing Walter did with the guys from Rise Against and Thursday, I can’t speak for them, but I can only guess they’d be like ‘We don’t wanna be a supergroup, we’re just some dudes making some music’.” World Be Free are a shot in the arm for hardcore. One foot in the past but with a modern message that can bring about the “rebirth of hardcore pride”, to quote Señor Civarelli. But with its members so busy with their other bands, will World Be Free be able to spread their message far and wide on the live scene? “That’s a tough one,” Scott ponders. “I went to a show the other night, and the booking agent for Cruel Hand was saying that he wants to do a US tour. I didn’t give him a total no but in my head I’m like, we can’t do that. I don’t think the plan is to jump into a van and tour for a month. I think it will be more like weekends or festivals. With Terror it’s go, go, go, we gotta play, we gotta stay on the road, we gotta keep putting records out, we gotta keep relevant, we gotta stay on top of everything so it’s almost nice for me to be in a band where it’s like, well, we’ll play when we want. Hardcore has become so professional, everything is so full speed ahead. Terror’s been that way for 13 years straight so it’s nice for me to just be ‘whatever happens, happens’. There’s no rules, no rush. If we, I don’t think this is true, but if we never played again it wouldn’t be the end of the world, it is what it is and let the pieces fall where they fall.” ‘The Anti-Circle’ is out now on Revelation Records
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