1.30.2018

THE DANGERS OF CALL OUT CULTURE

THE DANGERS OF CALL OUT CULTURE

This post should come as no surprise. Call out culture is an increasingly prevalent thing in our society. It is the practice, in social justice circles, of publicly criticizing people for violating accepted behavioral standards. Now, that doesn't sound all that bad. Shame those who need to be shamed and raise awareness of people deemed unfit to function by a culture's standards. A suitable punishment for most offenses. 

However, this simple and effective means of getting a sense of justice from a situation is too often turned into a blank check people can cash in on their enemies. In the beginning, when Tumblr was still a widely used blogging platform, people would "dox" and call out others with irrevocable proof to their actions. Things were clear cut and everyone could gather the information they needed about a person or situation from reading a post someone made. This got the job done.

People being brave enough to out people from their own personal accounts online, not just via word of mouth, is what makes call out culture so effective. We all know how the American criminal justice system works. It does not. So, to get any justice people (especially those in DIY cultures) turn to voicing extremely intimate details of crimes or abuses they've dealt with to get both justice for themselves and some start to closure, because as a survivor I can tell you there is nothing more painful than trying to pretend nothing ever happened.

That brings us to the latest fiasco going on in hardcore. The anonymous "hardcorepredators" instagram page. Let me start off by saying that I've seen better exposé journalism done by children who were tattling on their siblings. The account was ran by two people, whose identities we will get into later. Right now, let's break down what's wrong with this just from the surface level.
The bio. "#victimrights" is not a real movement nor is it ever going to be one. People who have been through sexual abuse are called survivors in all verbiage about them. That's day one stuff. 

"Making the world a better place" ...by drumming up a witch hunt, posting stories from third parties and people even when they asked to not have their accounts posted? Sounds like a great place. 

Notice, there's not one shred of identity to the people running the account in the bio. That's a giant red flag in and of itself. They could have been anyone. They wanted to make this safe for survivors but if you look at your social media you'll see nearly everyone talking about how much this constant barrage of "predator" information did nothing but trigger them. 

Now let's look at the content of the continually updating instagram stories they would post. This may be triggering to some so this is a content warning. 




 Okay, overlooking the poor vocabulary choices here. They say the stories must come from survivors*, not a third party but when reading their posts, it contained a lot of "my friend..." and "I heard..." statements. They weren't vetting the stories the way they claimed to be and that's highly problematic for such a topic. Obviously, they mainly wanted to get the information out there but there's a right and wrong way to do that. The way they kept updating every few minutes turned the page from "raising awareness" to trauma porn very quickly. Repetitive exposure to accounts of assault does nothing for anyone but bring up memories of what had happened in their past or make them recoil in disgust. 

The public records, this is what I find the second biggest problem with this entire thing. They posted the arrest records of several people as some sort of "evidence" against them. Now, with the exception of the guy who was charged with possession of child pornography, they were mostly violent crimes of non-domestic nature. One being a felony charge for destruction of property. My problem with this is that you cannot equate someone having a violent side or being a criminal of one kind to them being a sexual abusive person. That's a false correlation and an extremely dangerous assumption to make. 

Now, we have the this veritable "hit list" that was posted. (Blurred by me to avoid a lawsuit on my end, the unblurred version is out there. Find it yourself.) 
This is the original one, before they started crossing off names and changed the verbiage to "looking for more survivors." This is TMZ journalism at its finest. The sentence "need more victims" invokes anyone who has ever felt remotely victimized to say something pertaining to these people, relevant to the situation at hand or not. Some of the people on this list are well-known abusers who have made their exit from hardcore long ago (adam22) or have been outed for their crimes on a much larger scale multiple times before now (Curtis Lepore). The problem with posting a list and just asking for "stories" is the "blank check" I mentioned earlier. A poorly executed anonymous account that is more concentrated on just generating content than making solid call out posts is a weapon for anyone with an issue with someone else.

The biggest problem with this page and any page like this is simple: it does nothing for survivors in the end. Talking to just my friends and seeing their tweets, this event triggered so many people that it won't be remembered for any shred of good it could have caused. The people running it were insensitive to people asking for trigger warnings or to have certain things made private and that makes their intentions sit on a rockier foundation even without all the previous evidence against them. 


The email I was sent says they had nothing but good intentions. That something like this should be ran by a multitude of people who go through training and schooling and are qualified. Meanwhile telling a concerned survivor to "unfollow if you feel triggered." In reality, there should have been content warnings on everything and a slower release of information. The question is, was this a realization or something they knew from the beginning when asking for contributors via an instagram story? This of course will not be the end of holding those who break from the hard rules of society accountable. This account was never a safe haven because it very quickly became a gossip rag trauma porn mess that we all got to experience digitally. Like a catastrophic, first-hand episode of Black Mirror. 

If you take anything at all from this post, it should be that accountability and awareness is important but the safety and comfort of survivors is foremost. Too many people were hurt by this for anyone to call it a victory. Hopefully by writing this I can keep this bleak part of hardcore's history from repeating. 

Also, a personal note: I want to let all the survivors who contributed to this know how brave they are for what they've done. And those of you who have come forward in the past and those of us who have yet to do so, just living our lives is a sign and a symbol. None of us are ever alone and even when things like this occur and make you feel pressure to come forward, know that you're the only one who make that choice and no one should ever tell you otherwise. I love you.

1.26.2018

UNITED BLOOD XII LINEUP

UNITED BLOOD XII LINEUP

It's the dead of winter. Your seasonal depression is beating your ass, college is running your pockets, and you probably have a cold. Life seems bleak... then the United Blood announcement drops.
Look at this beautiful thing. Madball. Death Threat. Race Traitor. Can you believe Count Me Out is on a flyer with Shark Attack in the year 2018? I can't, but leave it to Foster and Braces to make something like this happen.

It's nice to see Higher Power coming back to America and that Fire Burn is making their east coast debut at UB this year. I'm really excited for that set. Dead Heat is playing too, I caught them at FYA a couple weeks ago and let me tell you something about that band – they are truly incredible. Dead Heat is one of those special bands that comes along once in a blue moon. They're definitely going to steal the fest. That's my first prediction for the weekend.

My second prediction for the weekend? Cult behavior during Vein that results in someone else losing their teeth. Didn't a kid bite his lip off during one of their sets recently? Their music makes people do insidious things to friend and foe alike. One of the newer bands that creates that old school feeling of straight up fear in a venue that I know so many of us missed.

Prediction three: Someone (I won't name any names) is gonna get kicked out of the Buffalo Wild Wings up the street for fighting inside... again.

Prediction four: Helen's sees more money this weekend than they will all April.

Prediction five: Omni after-party.

Prediction six: Florida VS Everybody boxing match breaks out during Day By Day's set.

I wonder what the preshow and aftershows look like. Judging by last year, I'd have to guess somewhere between "this is irresponsible of them" and "I'm glad I have health insurance."

How much money will be spent on candy camo pants leading up to this fest? How many nasty people will tweet about eating Cookout like they serve anything edible that isn't ice cream? Will the Sheetz/Wawa beef come to a physical head this year? How many kids will get finessed during dice games? Will I go into a coma during Madball because I ate too many hot wings?

The answers to these questions await you at the fest. Tickets go on sale on the 31st. In the meantime, tweet your predictions with the tag #UB18Predictions and let us all gaze into your crystal ball.


12.28.2017

INTERVIEW AND STREAM: THE BEAUTIFUL ONES - BEAUTIFUL CRÜ

INTERVIEW AND STREAM: THE BEAUTIFUL ONES - BEAUTIFUL CRÜ

An interview with guitarist Anthony Quiroz, Arizona rocker and dad of the year.

How did you find punk music and what made it stick as something important in your life?
I found punk when I was about 12, an older friend of mine that I had gone to school with was a punk. Like, full on psycho mohawk shit. He showed me like Bad Brains and a bunch of other shit. Also my dad was really into metal and shit so I had already had an interest in guitar music but once I heard the Bad Brains it was over.

How has hardcore influenced your approach and take on "normal" every day life?
I mean it's kinda given me more attitude. I don’t take as much shit as the normal spineless human would I guess.

Name your biggest non-musical influences on who you are as a person.
That's kind of hard because I feel like up until I was about 23 i always had someone I was looking up to like “I want to be like THAT guy” but when we started recording our LP Jaded Love, I was trying to make this sound like this record and this sound like that record and then it wasn’t coming together how I wanted it to and it just clicked that we aren’t those bands and we shouldn’t try to emulate those records and those sounds because we are our own band. That kind of also transferred into my life. I stopped being inspired by other people and became more focused on myself and becoming my own person and since then I feel like I’ve accomplished that in my own eyes. The only eyes that matter.

How do you feel about the internet's effects on the subculture?
The internet is the best and worst thing to happen to the subculture. It made the subculture easily accessible and has given us (bands, promoters, blogs, people in general) a bigger platform to get the word out about us and our subculture but also has brought in people who’s intentions aren’t always genuine but it never bothers me too much because they always expose themselves so I never pay too much attention to the nonsense that the internet brings to the subculture.

What are your favorite aspects of Arizona, hardcore or otherwise?
What I like about this state is that it's huge but it's very small. We all might not like each other but we all know each other. Arizona has a lot of great scenery and the food and bars are cool. Drinks are cheap. We have a lot of great bands doing their own thing and that makes me really happy. People used to beef us here in Phoenix because we stuck so close to ourselves but honestly we were just doing our own thing and planting our own seeds and paving our own way and people resented us for not reaching out and helping other bands and people but honestly we were in no place to do that because we were still figuring our own thing out but now it's great, tons of bands doing their own thing and making their own waves and I love to see it. I might not be the most vocal about it but it makes me proud.

Easy Money
Body of Light
Humiliation
Burnout
Blackened
Get A Grip
The almighty Gatecreeper

The list goes on but it's really cool.

What can you tell me about the new TBO record?
Beautiful Ones never wanted to become a band where we felt like we were ‘beating a dead horse’ so once we felt people had enough of us we kind of stepped back and left the band alone. For some reason.. kids started caring about us again and asking us for shows and new music so we kind of just got together and let it happen naturally. These songs are something that came together quickly, we took maybe 4 days to write these songs and they are some of my favorite songs we’ve ever written. I’m not gonna give too much insight because the songs speak for themselves.

Will there be a continuation of the emotional style that you guys are famous for on this new release? More Prince references?
Hahahaha. We are all pretty emotionally revered humans and by that I mean we don’t share too much of what we are going through with other people. We hardly share with each other haha. This is our only way to express ourselves and I feel like that emotional tension just kind of comes out naturally in our music. As far as the Prince thing, he is our god and if there isn’t an obvious reference in the music, it's there in attitude. I wish more people paid attention to that kind of thing because if they understood Prince at all I feel like our band would make more sense to them because I feel like a lot of people don’t understand us and are confused by us which is fine with me.

What have you been doing since TBO's been on hiatus?
I've just been working more. All of us kind of became more invested into our jobs once we slowed down and it's been nice to have the stability. Mentally and financially. I’ve also started a new band with one of my best friends called Divine Hammer.

Who are your favorite bands right now?
I really liked the Red Death LP that came out this year. I'm also really into CANDY. I’m also super into Body of Light. They had an LP come out last year and I’ve been enjoying it since it came out. They are from Arizona.

What or who inspired you to start playing guitar?
Honestly a friend just left a guitar at my house and I just started messing around on it. I had been playing bass already so I had the life in my fingers. I started playing bass because I just wanted to be in a band and bass seemed easy 

Describe a TBO set in one word.
Emotional.

The Beautiful Ones' Beautiful Crü is streaming on Spotify and YouTube.
Listen to the new album below and follow them on Twitter.



11.14.2017

STATE OF THE SCENE ADDRESS

My fellow hardcore denizens... I am pleased to come to you to discuss the current status of the scene as we know it.

In the past few years the scene has been through a lot. That's an understatement. Venues have been shut down, promoters have retired, a lot of influential bands calling it quits, and the loss of a lot of good musicians were affecting the community all at once.

Not to mention that wave of borderline fascist PC culture that had people walking on eggshells. However, we weathered the storm, as usual. We even came out better for it. In the face of such adversity, the spirit of punk survived. Not just survived, no, it thrived.

So, here we are today. Almost at the end of 2017. The scene is the best it's ever been. The amount of active bands is crazy alone but when you look at the fact that the majority of them are making music that's worth a damn it becomes something to write home about. Just the demos that have come out this year have been unreal, the full lengths have been on another level.

There's a rise in independently run spaces, labels, and zines. The resurgence of creative energy and passion is so nice to see. There's defunct fests that have returned and new ones that are actually worthy of the title of "festival" popping up.

Anyone who says "hardcore sucks" it's because they suck. They're boring, probably friendless, clueless, and just downright stupid. It's a great time to be a punk.

This brings me to my next point.

I know the state of this website has been questionable at best this year. A lot has been going on behind the scenes with trying to get other things in my life in order. I announced a hiatus from the blog last month to work on a book. However, a few days ago I got an offer from a friend concerning his band that I couldn't refuse and it made me realize that there's no shortage of things I want to cover with LOD. So expect semi-regular posts again. I know you missed your favorite asshole kicking you the real deal.

Rarely said but always implied, thank you to everyone who makes this publication possible. The artists, the bands, the readers. From the bottom of my itty bitty heart, thank you.

8.31.2017

SPOTLIGHT: EYES OF THE LORD

SPOTLIGHT: EYES OF THE LORD

A breath of fresh air.
That's what first comes to mind when someone says Eyes Of The Lord to me. Weary as I am of the great hype machine that is the internet, I didn't listen to the Call It War EP until a few weeks after seeing them play their first show at This is Hardcore. As I'm sure you know, one of the hallmarks of this band is that it features former 100 Demons singer, Bruce LePage. It's more than likely that his voice is one of the first you heard when you found heavier music. With instrumentals supplied by members of God's Hate, Twitching Tongues, and Midnight Sons, I would venture to call them a super group. This is metal-influenced hardcore done right. I mean, look who's making it. Eyes Of The Lord never even had a chance to sound bad with the lineup they boast.

So, their very first show was in Philadelphia at This is Hardcore Fest this year. Even for them, that's insane. For a band to make it on that stage they had to have hit all the marks. For a band to make it on that stage with no prior shows played? That speaks to an innate ability that few have and even fewer can turn into something well-made. Most bands get on stage and give a little speech before they play. Typical stuff, shout outs, thank-yous, y'know. Bruce's opening speech to the crowd before their set? "Hardcore was never meant to be for everybody so if you don't like it, get the fuck out." A sentiment you know I can get behind. He also said this while wearing a shirt that said "Fuck your GoFundMe" so it's safe to assume some of his views about the current generation of hardcore kids. After that opener, they played the best set of the weekend as far non-reunion bands go. I haven't felt energy in a room like that in a while from a new band. Granted, we are dealing with veterans who are very used to this music but my point stands. Eyes Of The Lord is just music approached as a science. They've been around long enough to know what works and what doesn't. They created one of the most solid EPs I've heard recently and without any blatant rip offs or a cheesy gimmick. If you aren't a fan of this band then I don't think you should be calling yourself a fan of hardcore.

You can listen to Call It War on the Closed Casket Activities Bandcamp.

8.25.2017

AN INTERVIEW WITH DUSTON ANDERSON

AN INTERVIEW WITH DUSTON ANDERSON

Bassist of Piece of Mind and the genius behind Flyover Fest.

How did you find punk music and what made it stick as something important in your life?
I grew up on a farm, outside of a small rural town, in Oklahoma. I am the oldest child in my family, so punk and hardcore were not readily available. However, in the late 90's, I discovered Punk-O-Rama compilations and bought as many as I could. I would go thru those over and over and that's really where I discovered punk. It stuck with me because it was different from anything else I had ever heard. It had an actual message, and really spoke to me as a young, fairly directionless kid.

How has punk influenced your take on everyday life?
The first thing I noticed when I started going to local hardcore shows was the sense of community that existed between everyone there. Within that community, I have found the real power of hard work and dedication. I have found the power of teamwork and common goals, and I have found the best and most reliable friends I have ever come across, in my life.

How long have you been booking shows?
I've only been booking and promoting shows for a year and a half.

What made you want to book a fest?
The venue I manage, The Vanguard in Tulsa, has hosted a street punk festival called "Fuck You We Rule OK!" for the past 5 years. It is my favorite event every year and sells out annually. That definitely helps build confidence that it is absolutely feasible to hold a hardcore fest at that same level, especially with the team I have at The Vanguard.

I also play bass in 2 hardcore bands, Iron Born and Piece of Mind, and we play regional festivals throughout the year. Hard Times in Laredo, TX, Snow and Flurry in Fargo, ND, and Midwest Blood in Louisville, KY are obvious favorites and put on by some great people. Playing these festivals and getting to hang out with friends from all  over the country made me think, "Hey, I run an all ages venue, and no one is doing a hardcore festival within a few hundred miles of us. We can definitely make this happen."

What are your goals for this year's fest?
My goals are for people to come listen to some great music and have a killer time. It's really that simple. I want this to be a huge party. I am seeing some shows pop up in other cities as bands route to Flyover and I think that is incredible. I am very excited to see other regional hardcore scenes, that get missed with tours too often, catch some of these bands on their way to and from Tulsa.

Do you see Flyover becoming a regular in the fest circuit if this year goes well?
Absolutely. That was part of the plan from day 1. Even if this year bombs, which I can't imagine happening, we will learn from our mistakes and take new actions. We only move forward, never backward.

What was your formula for picking this year's lineup?
When it comes down to it, I just booked a bunch of bands that I wanted to see. Haha. I was particular about booking bands that I know to be hard working and focused on their goals. With the exception of All Out War, 100 Demons, Integrity, and Harley Flanagan, most of the bands are friends of mine that I have met through touring over the past 4 years, so those were easy picks.

With there being so many fests these days, what do you think makes Flyover stand out?
The biggest fests, that usually book bands at the level of the headliners I chose, really only happen on the coasts. Holding this festival in the center of the country makes it stand out for sure. The other thing I would note, is that this festival is being held in a relatively small room, with a capacity of 500. There are not a lot of opportunities to see a band like Integrity in a room this intimate.

What are some "must see" spots near the venue and in the city that everyone should visit?
The "Outsider's" house, The Golden Driller, and Center of the Universe all come to mind. If you like huge statues of praying hands, we have that too, but I prefer to think of them as the world's largest high-five.

So, when I saw you last, you brought up the idea of having a dunk tank at the fest... Tell me more about that.
This idea actually came from my close friend and vocalist of Iron Born, Cash. I love the idea of having a dunk tank at the festival and recruiting the best shit talkers we can find to sit in it and inspire people to dunk them. I'm thinking we'll give you 3 balls for $5 and all proceeds will go to a charity to be announced very soon. I think it's important we leave the world a better place than we found it, and I think this a fun way to bond and move toward that goal.

Describe Flyover in one word.
Exciting!

When are you announcing the winner of the ticket contest?
September 1st!

And finally, do you have a message for the attendees of the fest and my readers?
I want everyone to come ready to make new friends, hang with old ones, and mosh hard. I hate drama, so leave it at home. This is supposed to be fun. Let's make that happen.

You can buy tickets to Flyover Fest here and keep up with the announcements and contest on Twitter.
 

8.09.2017

AN INTERVIEW WITH MATT ANDERSON

AN INTERVIEW WITH MATT ANDERSON

Singer of Purgatory and nature enthusiast.
(Photo by Errick Easterday)
How did you find punk music and what made it stick as something important in your life?
Definitely through my dad. Him and his brothers and friends all used to go to a decent amount of concerts and some local shows when they were younger back home in Sioux Falls, SD where I'm from and some of the surrounding cities. There was a place called The Pomp Room that used to bring a lot of cool shit through. He saw Metallica when they were first going, saw the band that was pre-Guns N' Roses, etc, etc. Mainly classic rock. But he had this brief case full of tapes and I used to listen to them constantly before he started buying me my own and CD's too. I remember him buying me the Danzig ST and the Slipknot ST and saying "don't tell your mom" haha. Aside from that, he was my introduction to Black Flag and Suicidal and of course, The Clash and The Sex Pistols, but also KoRn and all that too. But in 5th grade a friends older brother showed me Helmet, Type O, Deicide, Agnostic Front, and Manson. All in one sitting, I remember thinking the whole time "what the fuck is this?" in the best way you can think of. Life changing, I understood there was something else out there besides the average shit on the radio we all listened to. Being from where I'm from, HC wasn't real accessible but luckily some friends listened to Hatebreed, Integrity, 25 Ta Life, Judge and whatnot. Reading lyrics I could get my hands on and thinking "these guys must have psycho lives, they don't like anything and they don't want to belong" and myself being a little hellion just embraced it. It was like I was holding something secret and dangerous and that's what made it stick.

How has hardcore influenced your approach and take on "normal" every day life?
Hardcore, real true hardcore, is a gigantic middle finger to a modern society and their way of thinking. It taught me to think twice before trusting everyone, the government and the police and all religious figures are lying to you. The media is brainwashing you. It gave me a blueprint to learn how to think for my fucking self and it's a clear reminder the grass isn't always greener on the other side. My opinions and attitude clash with people all the time, why? Because I form my own, they aren't force fed to me and I'm not afraid to not fit in or argue or have some fucking loser who doesn't wanna be forgotten in a week so he or she hops on every single wave that comes through, wake up in the morning and feel like dog shit about themselves because of how truly hollow and empty and fake they really are, try and tell me what I can and cannot do and what I can and cannot say.  I see people trying so hard to fit a mold for acceptance and validation and it's disgusting to me. It makes me strive to never want to be like another person. Granted that's hard cause we all have similarities, I can wake up everyday and live my life for me. People trying to live their socially acceptable lives so that their neighbors will like them and admire them, so that their families will accept them, their friends will think they're cool and familiar with current trends. It's like they started 7th grade and never left. Now "normal" society has infiltrated hardcore and it pisses me off. A bunch of dumb fucking kids who have been spoon fed everything, had the world at their fingertips, and never fought or struggled a day in their lives are objecting to everything already set in place with their opinions and their views without ever having had to earn their keep or put in their time. Thankfully there are still a lot of bands and a lot of people holding true to certain values and ideals that created this sub-genre in the first place. But for all you dime a dozen, here today gone tomorrow kids who don't truly give a shit... Hurry up and drop out already. Please.

So, Purgatory is working on a new record. What are some of the themes we can expect in the lyrics?
We are! We hit the studio in early/mid October. Every single release that we've done I've steered away from theatrical, fantasized lyrics and have been putting my thoughts and feelings down how I want. I've seen, been through, and done some fucked up things so some of the songs touch base on personal experiences of the "darker side of life." The world is a very unforgiving place, it plays favorites to nobody, and you play the hand you're dealt. Sometimes you deal with things you wish you hadn't but that's life. Sometimes you do things because you have too, that's life. Depression is a real and existing thing, I deal with it but I rarely talk about it but it's easy for me to put down on paper. It's a romanticized thing for Tumblr kids these days and it's sad to see. I've had a lot of people come and go and show their true colors and I wish nothing but the worst for most of them. Not all. But if I could know some of them are in pain and their lives aren't shit, it would please me and I would feel certain scores are settled. The grit, grime, and cold side of life is what this record is about. It's not fun (well, not always) and it's not pretty but that's just the way it goes.

Name your biggest non-musical influences on who you are as a person.
My dad again, he taught me to be a fucking man. To deal with my problems and take care of the ones close to me, he would call me on my shit and it made me value things over time. Vikings and Samurai, their dedication to their craft and heritage and their willingness to protect those or the things they love at any cost is truly amazing to me. Pure discipline and focus, and unmatched strength.

How do you feel about the internet's effects on the subculture?
The internet is a perfect source for finding music, researching its history and the purpose behind the culture. Who started it, why, and how it's still existing in today's world. There has always been drama and there has always been conflict. However, in today's age, kids - even myself to a degree, have no fucking idea how much easier it is to exist in the HC scene. There was a real, actual Nazi/White Power problem for a long time. If you showed up to a show wearing any sort of fascist support you were stabbed, beat with tire irons, bricks, pipes, chains, any fucking thing someone could grab that could cause any sort of damage at all. Until eventually that movement was flushed out of the scene for good. If you were a rapist or sexually abused someone you were dealt with in similar ways. Like goddamn, if you had beef you beat the fuck out of someone and either a lesson was learned or you went at it again. You didn't have 200 little fucks spouting off on a social media page never setting foot outside to handle anything at all. A story that comes to mind, in Minnesota there was a band in the early 2000's whose singer got ousted for being a scumbag. He was a sexually abusive piece of trash. I wanna say it was Death To Your King. Anyways, this was before social media was as dominant as it is now. That dude ended up getting drug into a room, held on the ground and had a wrench or a tire iron, can't remember for sure, shoved up his ass. Needless to say, things got handled. Now you have people who cry wolf over  abuse and other incredibly traumatizing things that not only can ruin someones life forever but it 100% discredits people who are true victims of these crimes. I swear every kid on the internet is suffering from "depression" or compares anything to abuse. Like I said, these Tumblr kids are romanticizing things people struggle with and suffer from everyday of their lives. It's fucked. The internet in some ways has desensitized kids to the dangerous, adrenaline driven, aggressive form of music that ended up having some of us find our way here for a reason. You got kicked in the face at a show? Congrats, so have 4 million other people who didn't feel special and entitled and need to set up a gofundme because they understand certain things come with the territory.

You and your band are constantly at the center of some kind of Twitter fiasco. The funny thing about that, however, is that each time someone tries to start a digital witch hunt for you, they end up being exposed as some kind of piece of shit. What's it like being in a band that's always thrown into controversy? 
In dealing with us? I've been called every single "ist" word you can think of by a bunch of wack ass internet warriors who wont ever, ever, ever set foot at a show and stick up for their beliefs. Funny, referring to Minnesota again, a tirade of kids had me painted out to be a homophobic, ableist, abusive terrible person but none of them came out to our show to confront me about it. I guest listed half of those fuckers, one kid agreed to meet me and then blocked me anyways. THAT'S the problem. Stand up for your beliefs and I'll at least respect you. But know this, you think you're safe behind the internet because 400 people favorite some uneducated stupid fucking tweet you made so you can get your gold star for the day. But if you get caught slipping 'cause you can't separate fantasy from reality, do not be shocked or surprised when you get your ass beat for running your mouth. You are basically signing a guest book saying "I'm so and so from here, I said this and now I'm going to get beat up." I get discouraged by the younger generations all the time, but like I said above... I remember some kids and some bands are still sticking strong to true ideals and values and it calms my nerves. As for most of you running your mouths or hopping on this bullshit PC train, you don't amount to shit. Outside of the internet you're nothing. You will hold no legacy for your "activism" and low and behold most of you hold yourself to such a high standard you forget you're actually pieces of shit and are being exposed and dropping like flies. If being myself and not backing down from my beliefs and calling people on their wack ass bullshit means I'll continue to be involved in controversy, that's fine. I know my worth.

Do you have any goals for the next Purgatory tour?
Hmmm, goal is just to do our thing. Play how we play, say what we want to say, and just give 200% every night. We never have a goal to "impress" anyone, we do what we do and you either like it or you don't.

Describe a Purgatory set in one word.
BEASTMODE. 

Who are your favorite bands right now?
I'm gonna list some newer bands that are in rotation: Eyes of The Lord, Trail of Lies (not new necessarily but were MIA for too long), Vein, Queensway, Vicious Embrace, Stone, Inclination, Atonement, Time Walk, Hands of God, Human Garbage, Counterattack, Jukai, Absolute Suffering.

Any final remarks/a message to the youth?
If you firmly believe something, then stand by your beliefs. Have a little respect for yourself and others will as well. Hardcore was created for us, by us. Protect your scenes and dismiss kids who want to speak poorly about it or try and bring you or your scene down because they truly have no place. Don't break edge. Don't fit in. Fuck 12. Be yourself and be happy with who you are. Start a band, don't take anybodies shit, don't be an idiot. Make mistakes and learn from 'em. If you are struggling with mental illness, please reach out. Somebody will listen. If a friend is struggling and they reach out to you, do not offer them advice unless they ask for it, lend your ear and just listen. Be a friend not a fucking therapist.

You can listen to Purgatory on Bandcamp and keep up with them on Twitter.

6.20.2017

SPOTLIGHT: CONSTRAINT

SPOTLIGHT: CONSTRAINT

As I'm sure you've noticed, people like to sleep on the Midwest. When they aren't sleeping on it, they love to slander it and pretend it isn't worth a damn. This offends me for several reasons. The first being that the Midwest is a very special place. They make hardcore happen in a place that most bands never want to venture to on tour. It's all entirely DIY and their work ethic is unparalleled. The things we take for granted on the east and west coasts they have to work for all the time.
The second is that the energy of the scene is so much different. I've never been to any other place where the egos of people around me weren't palpable. The Midwest has no ego, no grand designs on taking over the world. They just want to make great music. Which explains why the caliber of bands they produce is also on another level entirely, which brings me to Constraint.

Constraint is a band from Louisville, Kentucky. They put out a demo in May that  has six tracks of fast-paced hardcore on it. Lyrically, it's nothing short of genius. On "Protest Vote" singer Tyler Short states his exact feelings towards that tangerine in the White House.
With "False Flag" he muses on the state of hardcore and how it is now a trend to be "weird" with lyrics like It's gotten way too common for everyone to be uncommon/When every single person feels the need to be different differences tend to lose their intent/when you fly a false flag just to appear to be woke you turn everything it represents into a fucking joke. A powerful sentiment in a time where it seems you can't meet anyone who doesn't claim to fly to a freak flag.
That being said, I think "HXT" is my personal favorite because of these lines right here: this is not for mass appeal/it's for a demographic of youth who can't seem to deal/so if you think some stupid subtweet makes any real difference/then I'm fucking sorry charlie you are here for the wrong reasons.  It touches on subculture tourism, because while hardcore is accepting of everyone, it is not for everyone.

Constraint has their sights set on what plagues our scene, better hope it's not you that's down range.

You can listen to the Constraint demo on their bandcamp