Sunday, July 23, 2017

Empty Hands Podcast 005 is up online

New Episode of Empty Hands Podcast is up here

Jay Johnson came through with RI new canning wonder, Tilted Barn; DIPA and Sour. We talk Re-Issues on vinyl. Some new garage, hardcore and a splash of HipHop. Recorded June 6, 2017. Label and release info stated in audio.
Ultra-Violent "Dead Generation", "Where the Angels Dare Not Tread"
Really Red "Too Political", "Teaching You the Fear"
Life's Blood "Not For the Weak" *(not from reissue)
The Cavemen "I Hate Art", "She Ain't My Baby"
Control Freaks "Control Freaks"
Walk the Plank "Sea of Scenes"
Dark Blue "Tired of the Poor"
Alpha Faktion "System Shutdown"
end beat instrumental by hutch.

Loyal Until Death interview for Remain Defiant

Loyal Until Death
Remain Defiant
1732 Records

Greg Lebeau – vocals; Nakia Romero – guitars/vocals; Lance Martin – drums

Interview with Nakia Romero

Loyal Until Death. That’s a bold statement. It is honorable to be able to predict your bonds and values decades down the line. One listen to Remain Defiant and all will be convinced of this trio’s solidified convictions. Enmity is released with tsunami level impact. The dual vocal approach, heavy riffs and blistering drums secure that only the most vicious audience will relate. The Florida based band, which Nakia Romero, vocals/guitars, and Greg LeBeau, vocals, began in 2012, just added their new drummer, Lance Martin. Loyal Until Death brings their second full length, out now. The LP is a heavy, energetic, vital album.

The furious message starts with contempt. “Loyalty in anyone is extremely rare these days. People are really narcissistic these days.” That repulsion spawns the disgust in the opener, starting: “Remain! Defiant!” Fuck the law, fuck the system, fuck the church, fuck your religion.” As Romero’s growl continues, more superficial concepts are decried. As the album moves, the lyrics get deeper and more challenging. Each song has Greg LeBeau, with a screamier voice and condensed lyrical content, bandy with Romero’s lower vocals and succinct phrasing. Romero, handling guitars and bass along with vocals, as he did with their debut, Born of Violence, is a beast juggling his responsibilities well. This focused energy continually pushes and propels the frenetic pulse of Remain Defiant.

Fans of First Blood (especially), Hoods, Hatebreed, 100 Demons, Ramallah and Strife will find familiar ground. But coming from the South, metal definitely is an enormous influence. Romero cites death metal and Crowbar. Crowbar is also a visual inspiration. Romero tapped Eliran Kantor, who did Crowbar’s The Serpent Only Lies; and Hatebreed, Testament, Sodom, Hate Eternal. The Belgian artist paints vivid, saturated images of Roman war and decimated landscapes; illustrating emotion, gravity and depth not usually seen on a hardcore cover. Remain Defiant is on 1732 records, which Romero started just for this album. The transparent vinyl versions are a vibrant companion to the striking cover.

The music embedded in the wax is staggering as well. A continuous flow is present and captivating throughout the eleven tracks. Inspired by NYHC’s crushing weight mixed with bounce, Romero is proud of the organic and dynamic ability of the band to adapt the songs.  - hutch

1. First, I love the art work. (on Born of Violence too) It’s cool to see atypical subject matter on a hardcore record. Tell me about the specific painting and why you chose it.

I have ALWAYS been a fan of actual album cover artwork. You know, real sick oil paintings and things like that. I would just stare at them for hours on end. I wanted to be sure the artwork was really eye-catching and profound for this record; something really special and memorable. I am a huge fan of the older dark Renaissance type oil paintings from long ago, as you can see from our previous releases album covers. I wanted it to be original only to us; not a copied picture from the internet. So, I started doing some research on album cover artists. We really started writing the record around 2015. I had seen the artwork for Hatebreed’s Concrete Confessional album which was done by Eliran Kantor (You can read my 2015 interview with Eliran here! – hutch) and I was like “Damn! That’s sick”. So, I went through his portfolio on his website and knew this was the guy. Then, time passed and we were getting closer to finishing the record. We were at the point where we had working titles and lyrics for most of the songs and the music was already recorded. Then, the artwork for Crowbar’s The Serpent Only Lies came out. I was like, “Holy fucking shit! This is the sickest album cover I've ever seen in my entire life!” I mean, it had the old Greek statue looking guy, the fleur de lis, the snake, and those color tones were out of this world. So, right then and there I (contacted) Eliran. That’s when we started communicating back and forth about our album artwork. I sent him some rough takes of most of the songs without the lyrics. It was just music. We didn't even have the vocals recorded yet. And I emailed him copies of lyrics. And once we set the definitive title as “Remain Defiant”, I sent that to him and kind of described what that meant and what the record was basically about and he took it from there. And the final result is it’s just one of the most amazing paintings I've ever seen. The color scheme that he used on there was a little different from his previous works. He stated that to me and he said he made it a point because he wanted it to really stand out. I mean if you look at the record you have the whole rainbow in there. It's an absolute beautiful piece. So, it was specially made for the record.

2. How have you – as a band, and personally - spent time in between albums?

Well, personally, we spend the time working our jobs like dogs. (Haha) As a band, we've spent the times between records at a warehouse that we used to have in Fort Lauderdale for about 5 or 6 years. Writing more songs and playing local shows. When Lance joined in 2014, we literally lived in that warehouse for 4 - 5 days a week hours and hours and hours at a time. Just jamming and writing riffs and parts of songs. We clicked so well. I mean it was like I could play three chords and he would play 4 different beats and we would have a song. I mean it was ridiculous how fast we were just churning out songs. Some were good, some were just there. Some didn't make it on the record and most of them did. We probably, between us wrote 40+ songs for this record. I think the hardest part was narrowing it down to 11. (Hahaha) But we chose the more aggressive, relentless, unforgivable, and punishing songs to put on this record as with the lyrics. It's a little tough now because I just moved to Franklin Tennessee, so we haven’t gotten together and jammed in a while like we used to.

3. How did recording do? Producer? Duration? Studio?

The recording process went very well. It was smooth and natural. It was our first time recording at Iceman Studios with Daniel Colombo. It was really amazing. We recorded pretty much live. I would play guitar standing in front of Lance, playing in his ear and he would just play. We basically just played 3 - 4 takes on all the songs and just went with the best take. Old school style. We wanted the more natural feel. We didn't want to play to a click track. We didn’t want the quantifying, robotic feel. We wanted the hardcore push/pull energy and emotions felt throughout the record. We recorded drums first and I think it took like a day and a half. We originally recorded thirteen songs and narrowed it down to eleven. And, then, I went in and recorded all the guitars and bass tracks. Then, we sat on that for a while because there were a few songs that we didn't have lyrics to. So, we had to write lyrics. We went back in about 6 or so months later and wrapped it up. There's actually a couple of songs that we're changed right on the spot live. The second track of the record “What Never Dies” which is kind of like the sing-along anthem. The original ending riff was really slow and heavy and sludgy. It sounded good, but to me it just kind of cut your legs out from under you coming from the chorus and to that break. So, I looked at Lance and I'm like “Man this song is so moving but you know, it just, your legs get cut out from under you at the end. We have to write a different riff. We have to write a fucking extreme, old school, fucking New York style sounding, fucking beatdown riff.” We ran through it a few times. The new riff was written right there. Then, we ran with like two or three takes of it and the rest is history. We also changed the ending riff to “The God To Your Repentance”. The original riff kind of almost sounded like the verse part. So, again, me and Lance are like “We got to change that riff”. I actually took an ending riff with the lead guitar parts from one of the songs that didn't make it on the record because I really always liked that riff. So, we played it a couple times to see how it would fit going into it and it fit good. We played like three or four takes of it and that was it. It was kind of weird at first going back listening to those songs and hearing different riffs at the end when you originally wrote it with other riffs. (Hahaha) Daniel really got some killer drum tones in the room that he set it up in. We then dialed in the guitars and bass tones and I mean the production on this record is just to me, it sounds incredible. I mean, we're really happy we went with him. It was very relaxing, easygoing, and we didn't feel rushed.

4. What is the Florida scene like these days?

The Florida scene is pretty damn good. For years South Florida has produced some incredible hardcore bands. Most of your influential early 90s bands like Strongarm, Tension, and Culture (huge fan of all three! – hutch). I mean they used to have killer shows there every weekend. Between metal and hardcore, there endless talent there. I mean Florida is the death metal capital of the world. So just a breeding ground for great bands from metal to hardcore. This day and age the music scenes definitely are different from back in the 90s and early 2000’s. But there's always going to be some kind of scenes in Florida because it just nonstop harvests musician. It's like a hatchery for bands. There’s always going to be something going on. You have Miami. You have Palm Beach. You got Orlando, Tallahassee, Jacksonville. You can literally do a week tour just in Florida with all the different cities and scenes. (hahaha)

5. Growing up, what bands got you fired up and influenced you?

It’s funny. Growing up I was the biggest KISS freak when I was like five or six years old. My mom bought me all the records. My sister used to dress me up like them on Halloween. My first concert was Kiss in 1979 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My mom brought me. I was like 5 or 6. I was always into music. Growing up in Louisiana, there’s always some Zydeco playing at the fair or on the weekends somewhere. My parents always had some kind of music on the radio. I used to go spend the weekend at my grandparents’ house out in the country where my two cousins used to live and they had a record player with some vinyl records. I must have been around 7 or 8. Something like that. They had Ozzy and Sabbath records. Some Skynard. They were a little older than me. Like teenagers. I would just sit there and listen to the records and stare at the album artwork. The one that really captured me was Black Sabbath Mob Rules. To this day it is my all-time favorite album. I think that album has definitely changed my life. I used to just play that record over and over and over again, ironically, and stare at the artwork. Once, we move to Florida. I started getting into band like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth. I was into skateboarding. So, I started getting into the punk and crossover bands like The Exploited, Misfits, and DRI, things like that. I really got into death metal once I heard Death’s Leprosy. Death was one of my favorite bands. Chuck Shculdiner was huge influence on me. Obituary. Massacre. All the good Florida death metal bands. And then my buddy gave me a cassette tape and that tape pointed me in the direction more of the street style hardcore. That tape was the first Biohazard. That's when I heard the mixture between hardcore and metal. I was playing guitar since I was 13. Heavily into Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, and Sabbath. So, hearing that NYHC style for the first time was eye opening. The groove and aggression was undeniable. Then, through skateboarding and hanging out, I met Greg. We would go to his house and his sister was a little older. She had a bunch of Old School hardcore vinyl. He would play those records. That's when I first heard Agnostic Front and Judge. We would go to each others’ houses and all we would listen to would be either Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All, or Biohazard. When Agnostic Front One Voice came out - it blew me away. Hearing Matt Henderson mixing those stylish leads over the music was amazing. That to me is their best record. It can't be matched. Then, from there, I got into Madball and most of the old New York style hardcore bands and the straight bands. Bands like Strife. Being from Louisiana. I have always been into Crowbar. They have been one of my all-time favorite bands ever since their first record. Loyal Until Death tunes in B standard basically because of Crowbar. I got that from just jamming along with Crowbar songs. So, that's also another band that has a huge influence on me and you can hear in some of the riffs. Especially, the last riff in “The Molding Of A Man”. As far as noticeable influences in the music writing, I would have to say that Crowbar, Agnostic Front, and Strife are the most prevalent.

6. What does rest of 2017 hold?

Now, that I live in Tennessee it's going to be a little tougher for us to get together. But, I'm communicating with a killer hardcore band from the UK who is supposed to do a US tour early next year. We're trying to see if maybe we could jump on that for 10 to 12 days and possibly follow them into Europe. I would like to book a small tour for the South East U.S. for this fall/winter to support the new record. I have started communications to try and put that together.

7. The digital is on Spotify. Have you gotten good feedback (album is sick!). And then vinyl is coming out 7/7. 150 gm virgin vinyl, limited colors. Did you guys or label push for this (or both)? Are you guys vinyl dudes?

Unbelievably, we have been getting more feedback than I ever expected. It's really starting to catch some traction. We've done a few different interviews with other magazines and there's a lot of sites out there that have reviewed the album. And so far all the reviews have been very positive. We knew it was going to be kind of a special record because of the focus that we took in the album, the songs, the lyrics, and the direction we took with the music as far as the emotional standpoint and just really putting everything into this. And it's really amazing to hear some of the comments that we get from the record. Hearing that from other people on the outside looking in really means a lot because it’s hard to look at it that way and judge and comment on your own creation because you've played the song hundreds of times and you’ve heard lyrics a million times. So, you know, I really respect and take to heart people's opinion when they hear it hitting them in the face for the first time. Because that's the way I do as a music lover and a fan of a ton of bands out there. When I hear their record for the first time hit me in the face and it's good, it's just an unbelievable feeling. As far as the vinyl, that was something that I brought up to the guys and I really pushed for. Because the label is my label that I started specifically for this record. So, I really pushed to get the vinyl and even though it's so fucking expensive to make these days. (hahaha) We decided to do it just to have it. Especially with the killer artwork and how good the recording came out I thought it was only fitting to just go the extra mile spend a few bucks and get some vinyl and some killer colors to offer to people that would appreciate it. And I’m glad I did. They are moving fast! I just started collecting vinyl again. When I was younger, I had bunch of records but just over the course of my life moving thousands of times you know, they got lost somewhere along the way. So, I started back collecting a couple years back. Greg has a killer collection that he inherited from his older sister passed away a couple years back. I'm talking priceless 7” pieces from the old school New York hardcore days that are probably irreplaceable. If I were him, I would take out an insurance policy on them. (hahaha)

8. Being a band in 2017 with Social media, merch sales dependent, and less big label support – more left to the band’s hustle. Would you agree? How is it compared to when you started?

Success this day and age definitely depends on how hard you grind and hustle. DIY can't be any truer of a statement. I mean it's hard enough trying to book your own shows and get on shows with other bands in other cities. It's not like the old days where you have a huge label behind you who has booking and promoter connections. But hardcore has always been about the harder paths of life you know, so. Definitely depending on how hard you hustle. Social media can definitely work into your favor. It's thousands of hours of ass-time sitting in front of the computer, but it's endless. There's endless possibilities. Through Facebook. Through online marketing. I mean if you have a great product and you market it the right way through social media, you never know. People could get behind it and next thing you know you’re somebody. It happens every day.

9. What does it mean to remain defiant in 2017? What can one do?

The title for us means that we haven’t changed throughout our life. We are all still the same mother fuckers that listen to the same music and are brothers to the same people since we met and started this shit in 1991. We don’t change with progression. We don’t participate in fads or trends. We fucking hate that shit and that’s what we write about. Our way of life and thinking in this day to younger kids is incomprehensible. We don’t buy into the social justice bullshit. We don’t need fucking safe spaces. We are grown men that can handle our fucking business anytime, anywhere, with anyone. We don’t call the fucking police. We don’t film crimes with our phones and post that shit on Fuckbook and try to snitch on a mother fucker. We mind our own fucking business. We carry a sense of pride and we don’t give a rats ass what people think of us. As far as what one can do to remain defiant, one first has to know what to defy.

10. How common or rare is Loyalty to find in others?

Loyalty in anyone is extremely rare these days. In family. In friends. People are really narcissistic these days. They think they’re the most important piece of shit on the planet. I’m fortunate to have some pretty solid brothers that I’ve known since high school. We’re all friends with the same group since back in the day. But I think the most important thing is to be true and loyal to yourself. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

MIRACLE DRUG interview

Miracle Drug
How Much Is Enough
WAR Records
Interview by hutch for new noise
With: Matt Wieder (guitar) and Bricks Avalon (vox)

Release Date: 07.21.17

Bricks Avalon – Vocals
Matt Wieder – Guitar
Jeremy Holehan – Bass
Thommy Browne – Drums

Miracle Drug is a recent Louisville, KY hardcore band. Comprised of elder statesmen, Miracle Drug boasts members of CR, By The Grace Of God, Supertouch and Mouthpiece. This incendiary quartet has sparked an intense discussion as they release How Much is Enough on WAR Records. This EP, a follow up to their demo, drips palpable passion through speakers among guitarists’ Matt Wieder’s chaotic chords and furious rhythms of Jeremy Holehan, bass, and Thommy Browne, drums, as lead singer, Bricks Avalon, warns and critiques modern society.

Miracle Drug’s sound is a throwback to a mix of the members’ ‘90s sound, DC hardcore, and a vibrant contemporary feel. After a decade of trying to start a band with Browne, Wieder explains the anticipation of their first rehearsal. “We sent Bricks a practice tape of what we had written and he showed up to the first rehearsal with what seemed like a million scraps of paper with lyrics scrawled on them. He didn't really say much. He just laid the papers out all over the floor and said he was ready to try one. We counted off the first song and it felt like a bomb went off in the room. The dude brought full intensity from the very first note. What he did on that very first run through of the song is pretty much exactly what ended up on our demo.”

Miracle Drug went to Will Allard and his basement studio, DotComplex to record How Much Is Enough. Allard’s job was to capture the six tracks of potent hardcore as he has with bands Xerxes, Whips/Chains, and Coliseum. Wieder, content with their demo, explains this was another casual approach. But the product was undeniable to all involved. Wieder reveals, “We originally went in with the idea of just doing demos of a couple of songs to send around to labels.” To harness Miracle Drug’s full energy and emotion for How Much Is Enough’s ardent commitment to off-time rhythms and sonic explosions, the band blasted through their tracks. Wieder adds, “When we got in there and started working with Will, we had so much fun that we ended up just recording all the new songs we had. We're not really a band that dives deep into the recording process. So, I don't think we spent more than a few days total making the record.” Mixing Shawn Brown style hardcore (Swiz, Dag Nasty, and even Jesuseater), Miracle Drug weave in ‘90s metallic sparsity from bands like 108 and Threadbare. “I don't think we had any specific intention in regards to sound other than playing aggressive, energetic hardcore. We're all products of the 90's hardcore scene so I think that just sort of naturally creeps into the music we write,” concludes Wieder.

After two April hometown live shows, the internet is erupting with fiery praise. Bricks speaks humbly regarding the hardcore scene’s enthusiastic embrace. But he also knows it is earned. “We always go hard in the paint. We do this because we love to do it. The reaction has been more than we could have expected. We are so grateful.” Miracle Drug, comprised of road dogs and scene vets has apparent sincerity. Back by Strife’s Andrew Kline and his label, WAR, word of mouth is roiling about the new EP. Miracle Drug have used this and some savvy to get the word spread. It’s slightly easier now. “Obviously, the major difference is the internet and specifically social media. 20 years ago, you had to really get out there and play shows for anyone to really take notice. These days, everyone has access to a worldwide audience through the internet. You can post a song online and reach a huge audience with a few clicks of a button. Honestly though, in some regards it may have been a little bit easier back in the day. It seems like there are so many choices and things are happening at such a rapid pace that it's pretty easy to fall by the wayside if you don't remain active and in the front of people's minds,” states Wieder.

Later this year, Miracle Drug will return to recording more songs. For now they will continue their dominance of stages. The final weekend of July sees them playing This Is Hardcore on the 30th. The day before, they play with Kill Your Idols and Violent Society; both in Philly. August sees them play another fest in Kentucky, For The Kids, and Matter Fest in Indiana. After that, the plan is to run down the West Coast.

While Miracle Drug has fun – this is not just for fun. Bricks is venting his frustration and documentations of attained by viewing this world of greed and self-driven purpose. Avoiding total cynicism, the current social climate, however bleak, leaves a trace of hope. “There is always hope. I see struggle, and speed, and growing pains, and confusion and greatness and total expansion,” says Bricks, narrating his mindset when peering onto the new generation and their antecedents. Check the lyrics of “Liars”:
“Liars and hypocrites. Aren’t We? Well, aren’t you? Everyone is…Everyone. All this truth is slightly twisted We can all find facts to prove any opinion.”

Evaluating the debates – or bandied tirades to be frank, Bricks admits a pessimism. “There are always frustrating moments, where heated, opinionated debate and/or disagreement take place. Times that you feel like the absolute speaker of truth. Then you realize that most of your truths are faiths/opinions, beliefs steeped in your own conscience. Even The Unabomber relied on outside sources.” That stark example echoes nations of consumers vying for material items and touting competition.

As the younger hardcore crowds flock to become envelope in Miracle Drug’s sweat and piercing conventions, they must surely seek advice on getting their own bands moving. Brick shirks any paternal role and basks in the punk ethos of one level ground. He states, “We don't advise. We share. We give and we take in the same vein that any active band or person in a community would. We utilize our strengths and experience and continue to learn and grow from our new experiences, whether it be through youth, new venues, new bands, current issues, etc.”

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Satanarchist stream new LP at Noisey

I recently interviewed Portland, OR. I'll post that next. Before you read, open up Soundcloud in another tab and press play. Noisey is streaming their new LP, Fire Against the Wall for y'all's enjoyment.

They thrash metal crust punk barrage is belligerent and bountiful. The duo crush as the blaze through their pugnacious opinions on politics and religion.

give a listen and check out my interview:
this is the original email Q&A form. To find the extracted, written interview by me - look for New Noise Magazine Issue 33 in print. cheers.

Satanarchist Interview

First Against the Wall
drummer/lyricist, Mark Nunziata; guitarist/vocalist, John Edwards

Interview by hutch for New Noise magazine

Is the duo thing out of necessity or choice? What does Satanarchist bring as a duo that differs from if you added a bass?

Mark: We started playing together in 4-piece black metal band Spectral Tombs almost 7 years ago, and Satanarchist was simply born from all the times that we were the only two available to practice. If the other dudes couldn’t make it, the two of us would still get together and mess around. That’s how most of the first record was written, as a casual side project. When the other members of Spectral Tombs both stepped out of the band, coincidentally at the same time but for unrelated reasons and on good terms, we just decided to keep going and focus on this. We considered finding other members for a while but settled on remaining a two-piece for a number of reasons. I’d been in a few duos before and always appreciated how easy it was to make decisions, schedule shows and practices and all that, one line of communication and no dead weight.

John: As far as what being a two-piece brings, we get a lot of feedback after our live shows that we make a shit ton of noise for two people. People are like “holy shit I can’t believe how full your sound is,” or “I had no idea there were only two of you until I got a view of the stage.” Sometimes people say we need a bass player, but those people are usually bass players.

Mark: The only drawback to being in a two-piece is that we always have to load and unload the like five people’s worth of gear we use.

How is atheism/Satanism important in 2017’s society?

Mark: As the institution of religion gains traction in politics and society, it becomes increasingly important to resist it and support systems of belief based in radical ideas such as ‘facts.’ People can believe whatever they want but not if those beliefs start creeping into policy or affecting other people’s rights. With so many people and politicians using religious arguments to push oppressive attitudes and defend oppressive actions, we have a responsibility to stand up and call bullshit. I am disgusted by the injection of religious ideals into politics and our personal lives, things like health care, science, education and equal rights for people who aren’t straight cis white men.
What strengths do you derive from these beliefs?

Mark: We don’t reference satanic imagery or atheism because it’s the metal thing to do; we do it as a means to communicate our revulsion toward the influence of religion in society. There’s a very real overlap between radical left politics and freedom from religion, and the relationship between them runs far deeper than just our name.

John: Hail Satan.

Mark: And fuck homophobia, fuck transphobia, fuck “pro-life” Christian assholes who cut food and healthcare for the poor.

In the promo – specific amps are listed, Is gear, or are specific brands, important to Satanarchist’s sound?

John: I don’t particularly care about brands and, like, boutique or vintage gear, but Engl makes the best sounding amps for the kind of metal we play… so I use two. The Ampeg SVT is pretty much industry standard and fills out the low end.

Mark: What’s almost more important than what we list is what we don’t list. We wanted to just write fun, fast, heavy shit that doesn’t rely on effect pedals or bells or whistles to make it sound good, just amps and riffs. When we started writing for Satanarchist we set a couple ground rules. 1: No doom. 2: No Pedals.
Is it a tough decision to not shop this around to labels and just release independently?

Mark: It was mostly a matter of circumstance. We wanted to have this album ready to go before our Canada tour, and we knew that if we took the time to shop it out to labels then the timeline probably wouldn’t work out. We reached out to a couple Canadian labels early on but never heard back so just decided to slam it out ourselves.

John: We’d be open to working with labels for our LP release of First Against The Wall though.

In 2017, what are the pros and cons of releasing a record yourselves?

Mark: We did our first CD and LP independently as well, gives us a lot of control and flexibility over timelines and whatnot but it is pretty expensive.  Of course it would be cool to have the distro and promotions power of a solid label behind us but we’ve just kept everything as DIY as possible from booking tours to finding floors to crash on to putting our music out. I’ve never worked with a label before so I can’t really speak to the comparisons.

John: From the get go, one of our main goals was to tour as much as possible and releasing our own stuff is just easy. We just make it happen. No one’s going to do it for us so we do it ourselves.

How did recording go?

Mark: By the time this prints I will have recorded drums at Haywire studios with Fester five times between four bands so I pretty much knew what I was getting in to.  The dude’s a wizard, he has a way of hearing your music better than you do, he’s a skilled engineer but always ends up lending invaluable input as a producer as well. We also booked more studio time than we usually do for this record so I didn’t feel as much pressure to nail everything on the first take.

John: Fester is pretty much the shit for recording metal in Portland. There are other people to go to… but why?
With production or mastering, ever a worry it would be too clean or polished? How much dialogue was there between you and Fester/Boatright along the way?

Mark: Brad at Audiosiege does amazing work so we pretty much just let him do his magic. Our only specifications we gave for this were a) make sure you can hear everything and b) make sure it has balls. We wanted it to sound good without compromising weight, and be heavy without compromising clarity. We feel like he came through pretty solid on both points. With Fester we spent far more time mixing it than I ever had on anything before so I’m pretty fucking stoked on how you can hear every little goddamn snare roll.  We worked on the mix over a half dozen sessions over a few weeks.

How do things look for your Canada tour?

Mark: We’re psyched to reunite with our brothers in Hard Charger. We met those guys last summer when we played four shows together on the east coast of the US and have kept in touch. They did all the legwork to book the shows and we’re grateful for the opportunity to play metal with them north of the wall. I think we’re covering like five provinces and playing in some really cool towns. I grew up in Vermont and loved Montreal when I was a kid so it’ll be rad to get to play there.

John: Hard Charger borrowed my backline for a west coast tour last fall and all I got was a bottle of whiskey so basically they owed me one. Best buds tour 2017.
What is it about the TVZ cover that stirs you enough to cover it?

John: We’d been talking about it for years. Have you heard Silver Ships of Andilar? The form and content, It’s basically asking to be a metal song. It’s a story about going to war on a boat, getting lost at sea and everyone starving and killing each other. Plus I’ve been listening to Townes Van Zandt my whole life, I was raised on it. My mom introduced me to his music as long ago as I can remember. When I told her we were covering one of his songs she was like “You’re going to ruin Townes.”  But he’s been one of my musical idols since I was young, so we did our best to do it justice.

Amended explanation of the title of the album:

First Against The Wall or "First against the wall when the revolution comes" is an echo of radical left sentiment toward members of the elite who will face firing squad after being deposed by popular uprising. References to the phrase or variants of it can be found scattered throughout radical and popular culture back to the 60's and 70's. We use it as an imagining of retributive violence against police, heads of state, businessmen and agents of the church who've committed injustices and atrocities against the people. It also invokes images of violence by the police which we find appalling and stand firmly against. In today's political environment, it is also intended as a a reference to Trump's border wall. Imagine Trump, Sessions, Ryan, Bannon, Spencer, McConnell et. al. facing a firing squad with their backs to a wall on the southern border. A band can dream.

Hutch would like to thank John and Mark for their time. Also Lisa Root at New Noise. Dave and Liz Brenner at Earsplit PR

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

New FREE EP review and preorder

Ex Tenebris
Triple B

This is an explosive, dark hardcore record. The chaotic energy gathers influence from Fugazi's  feedback presence to Burn's bounce. But more correlative would be Outspoken, Mouthpiece, Battery, etc; a good mash of DC meets NYHC. "Equity Head" is the standout track for me, maybe even because it is the most straight ahead hardcore song. "Sisyphus" is the opener almost venturing into Cro-Mags territory - dark and menacing, fast and angry. "Out of Darkness" has a great bounce.

Being Pat Flynn, hell, 4/5 of Have Heart, there is certainly that vibe. But only the closer, "May I Be I", really capture that spread out sweeping vibe (which, to be honest i grew weary of). 3/4 of this EP move forward with urgency and spite. The vocals are furious and commanding without being self-righteous or pretentious. The mix is great, utitilizing the band's raw presence, nothing grandiose.Recommended.



preorder manalive new track vinyl

droppingbombshc, out of Detroit, has released some killer metallic hardcore records (check bandcamp or buy vinyl here) The latest happens to hit me right in the chest, Manalive, from New Jersey. They have one track up, "Constant Coverage". Featuring ex-members of Milhouse, Ensign, and Kill Your Idols. It definitely reverberates some Milhouse/Indecison and Burn vibes. Heavy and dark. New vocalist, Kwame Korkor screams delightfully with vengeance and condemnation.

FROM droppingbombshc:
"This record will be a white one-sided lathe cut 7" with two songs and a screen printed B side.

Lathe cuts are hand cut records that come in small runs to create unique releases with some sacrifice to fidelity and volume while maintaining the features and gratification of a traditional vinyl release. All records will come with a high-quality download code.

Pre-orders should ship late June."

no echo Jonah Jenkins interview

In 1993, having played extensive strings of local shows in Boston and New England, Only Living Witness dropped Prone Mortal Form. And it was on Century Media, to boot. It should have been an earthquake. It wasn't; but it gave us from Boston and Massachusetts extreme pride. The power, oh the the emotional vocals, the intelligent lyrics, the thick ass riffs, the musicianship! We knew we had something special. Now, in retrospect, metalheads and hardcore kids revisit, whether due to vocalist, Jonah Jenkins' other bands like Milligram, Miltown, or Raw Radar War, or Prone Mortal Form's placement in Decibel's Hall of Fame (landing on the 23rd installment!), or it's huge doom influence, people no adhere proper reverence to the album. I could continue extrapolating on that album's repercussions and influence. And someday I will. Following his other projects were cool. I still love my Miltown 7". "No Matter" remains a top5 song; and the "Jumping Someone Else's Train" cover kills it. Milytown for me beyond that, despite the great guitars of Brian McTernan, wasn't quite my thing. But Milligram brought the punch back (check This is Class War!). Raw Radar War continues that feel and will be recording again soon. But here the focus is a link to that greats at and their recent interview with Jonah.

Check out the interview with Jonah here: interview by Carlos Ramirez (Black Army Jacket, Deny the Cross - Hey, I interviewed them! here )

Pictured her with milligram; Zeph Courtney (Stompbox, Drug War) and Darryl Sheppard (so many boston bands. look him up). Photo from The Boston Globe 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Night Birds and Western Addiction announce East Coast shows

Night Birds, one my favorite bands, have announced some east coast shows with Western Addiction in July. Night B
Birds have been quiet recently since Mutiny at Muscle Beach in 2015 via Fat Wreck Chords. Hopefully this will trigger new music. Their fiery blend of dark tones, horror surf, and classic chaotic hardcore mesmerize. They are joined by Western Addiciton. Their 2005 LP, Cognicide, was a sleeper. However their new LP,  Tremulous shows growth and sustained fury.

Read my review here at New Noise Mag.

Date City Venue
07/27/17 Jersey City, NJ Monty Hall
07/28/17 Philadelphia, PA Boot & Saddle
07/29/17 Cambridge, MA 55 Bishop Allen Drive

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Bloodclot LP Art and USA Negative Approach tour

Luckily, I have been listening to the Metal Blade Records promo fro the new Bloodclot album, Up in Arms. First, you may ask: that John Joseph project? with Biohazard, Spudmonsters, and Pro-Pain dudes? again? Unfortunately, many people disparage that self-released 2008 record, Burn Babylon Burn! I, on the other hand, love that record and blast it loudly as I scream along to revolutionary tirades with heavy crunching breakdowns. 

But erase that image. Despite being named the same, minus an exclamation point, Bloodclot is based on vicious, speedy, old-school NYHC riffs from Todd Youth. Youth, of course played in Agnostic Front, Murphy's Law, and Warzone. He then went off to D-Generation and then, Danzig. But back to NYHC sounds, Youth brought veteran rockers, Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, QOTSA, Vista Chino - love that record!- BL'AST! and Dwarves) and Joey Castillo (LA's Wasted Youth, QOTSA and Danzig/Son of Sam with Todd Youth). I will admit as a non-QOTSA fan, I was nervous when i saw this line-up. But that is my small mind being stubborn. This album is a triumph.

Since 2008, I have lamented, as much as I rampage to Cro-Mags' current vibrant energetic live line-up when they play, John Joseph's reluctance to create new music and simply thrive on Cro-Mags' legacy. Bloodclot! was brilliant. Certainly, he could have some magic left. He sure as fuck does. On Metal Blade will afford them opportunities.

The April release date has been delayed until July 17th, 2017. And Metal Blade does not want the music played or really even discussed. All I will say is that it moves like fire.

Here are dates announced today for a tour with the mighty champs of cynicism and raging old school hardcore (which these days sound like grind), speaking of killing it in the 2000's live, and needing new material, ha ha ha.... Negative Approach! Can you imagine that show?!? Going to be severe.

But if you missed the title track being released, it is on:

Bloodclot tour dates
w/ Negative Approach
July 14 - Amityville, NY - Revolution Bar and Music Hall
July 15 - Philadelphia, PA - Underground Arts
July 16 - Washington DC - DC9
July 18 - Virginia Beach, VA - Shaka's
July 19 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
July 20 - Belmar, NJ - Paul's Tavern
July 21 - Brooklyn, NY - Saint Vitus
July 23 - Buffalo, NY - Studio at the Waiting Room
July 25 - Pittsburgh, PA - Cattivo
July 26 - Cleveland, OH - Now That's Class
July 27 - Cincinnati, OH - Northside Yacht Club
July 28 - Detroit, MI - The Magic Stick
July 29 - Chicago, IL - Cobra Lounge
July 30 - St. Louis, MO - Blueberry Hill
Aug. 1 - Denver, CO - Marquis Theater
Aug. 3 - San Francisco, CA - Thee Parkside
Aug. 4 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echoplex w/ Nails, Final Conflict
Aug. 5 - Santa Ana, CA - The Constellation Room w/ Nails, Final Conflict
Aug. 6 - San Diego, CA - Brick by Brick w/ Nails, Final Conflict

Metal Blade released this John Joseph quote:
"In this band, we're doing what each of us have always done: give it our all," John Joseph states plainly. "We work hard, and we have a lot to say. Look around the planet - people are fed up with the corrupt ruling class. They destroy the planet and kill millions for profit, and the formula for our response is simple: Anger + applied knowledge = results. Don't just bitch. Change it."


My new Toxpack Review up at New Noise Mag

Schall & Rausch(Napalm Records)

To read my review of Schall & Rausch, Go Here

Blazing new LP from Berlin's metallic Oi band. Superb writing and production push this beyond the average streetpunk.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

New Integrity Music and Tour Schedule

Integrity Website

We only get a sample, but it is something. Dwid and Orr are back and dangling the carrot. Finding a new home on Relapse Records is tantalizing.

Integrity's new album will see a summer 2017 release on Relapse Records. It contains 11 tracks recorded and mixed at Developing Nations Studio in Baltimore with mastering handled by Brad Boatright (Obituary, Toxic Holocaust, Full Of Hell). More details on the album will be announced shortly.

Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume, coming this Summer via Relapse. The featured song is the album's opening track "Fallen To Destroy."

INTEGRITY 2017 Tour Dates:

Apr 07                 Richmond, VA      United Blood Festival

Apr 21                 Tilburg, NLD        Roadburn 2017
Apr 22                 London, UK          Birthdays Dalston

Jun 09                  Berlin, DE            Jugendkulturzentrum Linse
Jun 10                  Poznan, PL           Klub U Bazyla
Jun 11                  Prague, CZ            007
Jun 12                  Schweinfurt, DE   Alter Stattbahnhof
Jun 13                  Cologne, DE         MTC Cologne
Jun 14                  Arnhem, NL          Willemeen
Jun 15                  Brugge, BE           JH Comma
Jun 16                  Stadtmitte, DE      Stadmitte
Jun 17                  Ulm, DE               Eden
Jun 18                  Clisson, FR           Hellfest 2017

--- All Dates Oct 06 - 09 With Creepout ---

Oct 06                 Tokyo, JP            Antiknock
Oct 07                 Mie, JP                Chaos
Oct 08                 Osaka, JP             Hokage
Oct 09                 Tokyo, JP            Earthdom