Review of Concrete’s New Record “Everything Ends”

If there’s one facet within hardcore or metal that is unsettling, it is that there is a high degree of selfishness these days as the focus more and more becomes of egotistical wants and needs. The individual craves attention, a desire for recognition and self-worth. Unfortunately, our desires inevitably become cravings stemming from morally depraved actions set forth by disdained beliefs against humanity. A set of convictions that we hold blindly within ourselves in order to find whatever meaning or depth this reality may have. No, we become consumed by how people view us or how our identity plays a role in this dismal existence we call our life. For what it’s worth, this often misconstrued realm is frequently disregarded or abused by many hapless souls. Actions create events while conflictions induce collisions. Pain is spilled from our the hands as to stain the cloth of the bearer who spilled it. Days, weeks, and months can go by but those endless nights awake will still leave you thinking how that stain never ought to be there.

We all have something that keeps us awake at night. When we were children it was about what imperiling entity lurked in the shadows or of some simple displeasure we noticed about the day. It’s not to say anything has changed as nearly as it has become more imposing that this is one big bad world. Death is inevitable and deceit is guaranteed. For many in this society, every day is a fight for survival and as cliche, as that fucking phrase is, there is no doubt that the mind has a tendency to stir our thoughts into a whirlwind of self-loathing and despair. Fuck, I’ve sure as hell spent many a night laying motionlessly in bed while ingested by a state of piercing anxiety. Nothing but harrowing thoughts whilst dwelling on every bad hand that was ever drawn by my part.

If there was ever a band out there right now that was able to sincerely respond towards those feelings and misanthropy? The maliciously impending hardcore unit better known as Concrete, have found one hell of a soundtrack for the demons that keep your peace at bay.

For those who have yet to know, Concrete is a New York based hardcore outfit straight out of Albany, New York; a prominent scene that delivers quite the punishing style of music. The album that I have had the pleasure of spinning has been their second and highly maturing contribution of work titled Everything Ends. A tormenting record that expresses life’s miseries and the strength needed in order to live through it. For what it’s worth, Everything Ends is sure to be a staple point of what will be a healthy discography. Shit, these boys are pumping out music faster than most bands can even get time to practice.

If there is one statement I’d like to open up this review with it would be that the transition from 2013’s Deadlock is one of personal growth and musical progress. Like any project, one’s first delivery of music is often met with inadequacy or control. In better terms, a lack of proper songwriting and fluidity in constructing a record as a whole piece. Now, is this to say that Concrete’s debut should be considered unfavorable or critical to fault or error? Absolutely not. However, when we present their initial work towards a comparison to Everything Ends, we the listener can hear a drastic difference between these compositions. The maturation is inherent within the introductory track, Pure Strength, as it lays the foreground of what is truly a crusading behemoth of a fucking record. Each track plays as a separate and distinct identity with very little room for confusion or similarity against one another. At the same time, this harrowing bit of sound is able to present the listener with an unmistakably pronounced tone. A haunting sound due to none other than the formidable force known better as Concrete. Elements of thrash, power violence, and variants of metal and hardcore are found throughout this record. It is as if the members of this band came together to create something that they themselves could enjoy without a care in the world of what others may or may not think. That mentality alone aided in producing what is undoubtedly a well-crafted hardcore record centered around vengeful riffs and roaring drumming. The influences within this composition are varying so do take the time of day to pick this one apart.

In terms of strings, the riffs are charged with fury and aggression. A down tuned level of bellowing lows and crunching mids that produce various levels and speeds of heaviness throughout this rather ranging record. Out of anything, I am just fucking thankful for a hard hitting record that nailed the recording, mixing, and mastering process for the drums. It fucking hits and I am just glad that there seems to be quite a chemistry between the strings and skins on this project.

There is quite a bit I’d like to break down from this record but due to time and content as restricting factors, we will keep this rather short and to the point. So let’s appease the writer that I am and the please the reader that you are and wrap this up by reflecting quickly on the lyrical outpour of emotional distaste found within Everything Ends. The lyrics are that of Concrete’s frontman Lenny and the dwelling thoughts that consumes his rest. Topics of suicide, animal cruelty and the selfishness of humanity is persistent throughout these songs inspired by what truly keeps us up at night. These aren’t just words, they are both the cries and screams against the throngs and woes of this hellish reality. You can feel the resentment and pain from this record while feeling an enormous amount of strength and perseverance within your heart and soul to take a stand against torment.

Everything Ends is slated to drop on June 30th off of Irish Voodoo Records. From the numerous listens I have given this sophomore release, I can easily say that this mortifying twelve inches of record is one that will separate themselves from the rest of the pack. A distinction of sound and character that lacks in comparison towards the lot of fakes and washed out acts that fail to present something half as authentic than this tough as nails of a record. The interview below will answer questions in regards to touring and the future of what is sure to be a steady rise to the top.

Interview Set

HEAD WALK: Where did the band go to record this monstrous ripping behemoth of a record? Was it an easy process or were there headaches during the recording process? With that, how has Irish Voodoo Records played its part as a record label towards releasing your music?

Jon: We recorded at The Wild Arctic in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with Dean Baltulonis. He recorded Ill Blood and a ton of other iconic hardcore records. I know he just did Cruel Hand and was recording the new Backtrack the week after we were there. Then we had it mastered by Brad Boatright of Audiosiege in Portland, Oregon.

Dean knows what he’s doing, so for us, we really just had to go in there and play our instruments. He’s very laid back and while we have no idea how he does what he does, we couldn’t be happier. With a band like us that can’t spend weeks at a time in the studio, we just have to go in and crush it as quick as possible. It’s always cool hearing what you’ve been working on for months, come together.

As far as Irish Voodoo goes, we put out our split with Hammerfist, through them in 2014. Irish Voodoo isn’t the biggest label in the world but Joey (Irish Voodoo) cares about hardcore and punk. He works hard for his bands and helps them in ways you don’t always get with bigger labels. For instance on a West Coast run, he helped print some merch for us on tour, saving us shipping costs and helping us with what we needed to make it through the tour. He also did the physical release of our last record. It was kind of a no-brainer to go work with him again because he does exactly what he says he’s going to. His roster is also an incredible mix of bigger bands and bands that are on the up and up. He does it because he loves the music and really what else is there? He’s been nothing but supportive of us and he works his ass off.

HW: From hints of power violence to crushing hardcore and blistering metal, Everything Ends has a seemingly fitting mix of combining all of these above-mentioned elements. Who, or what, do you find an influence on how you write, construct, and create this music?

Jon: We all listen to a lot of different types of heavy music. From old NYHC to thrash metal and death metal, we’re fans of it all. A lot of the writing came from Lenny and I sitting in a room in my house listening to different albums and trying to recreate the feelings we got when listening to our favorite records. Other days Derek or Dave would come to practice with their own riffs or even Ryan would have new drum patterns that would just change the entire dynamic of the song.

We spent a lot of time rewriting and evolving the riffs and beats until we got what we wanted. It is definitely a mix but it’s a mix we like. We used to come up with riffs and say “Well that is cool but it isn’t CONCRETE.” Somewhere along the way, we decided “Fuck it, if we like it? Let’s do it.” Why limit ourselves and make it boring?

HW: In comparison to your previous releases, how was the process of choosing a recording studio this time around? Was it the same spot or did you venture elsewhere?

Jon: This was the first time we ever returned to the same studio to record. We were really happy with how the last record (No Dawn) came out and even though this record is completely different, we knew Dean would make it to what it needed to be. He used some new mics on this and I think it worked out well with the heavier sound. He also suggested Brad, of Audiosiege, for mastering. In the past, we had used Alan Douches of West West Side and while he was always incredible for us, it was time to try something new. Brad made it huge and was also easy to work with.

After our van accident last year on tour and trying to get it ready for this year while recording a full length- money was also an issue. Dean and Brad have worked on some of our favorite records by some of our favorite bands and were also super affordable for bands on a budget. Everything they turn out is incredible and they don’t sacrifice anything. Whether they’re doing something for some of the biggest bands in heavy music or a smaller band like us.

HW: Lyrically, this record is rather fucking sound. Every track is but an honest reflection of the writers crushing reality and the pain it inevitably holds. What were the intentions behind writing this record’s lyricism?

Lenny: The majority of the lyrics I write are written at three in the morning or later. My mind goes into this weird place where the lines of emotion and reality are very blurred. Some of the stuff was so strange and violent that the guys had to ask if I was really ok. Tried my best to stick to certain subjects that I really wanted to touch on this time around. For example, “False Master” is about animal abusers, particularly these assholes that partake in dog fighting. I wrote “Mortality” after seeing the horrific video of that very young girl, Kaitlyn, that hung herself on Facebook live. I’ve suffered for many years with a strange form of manic depression, so the words were written as if she and I wrote them together. “Everything Ends Now” symbolizes our disregard of genres or specific sounds & styles. I wanted to have no boundaries and nobody’s desires in mind but our own. The lyrics are very dark and straight to the point of it all.

HW: Graphic Nature put together one hell of a tour package for y’all to jump on. What should people expect as the opener of what will surely be an explosive and high energy ridden tour?

Jon: Absolute Suffering has been friends of ours for a while and they’re fucking heavy. We were hanging out at a show we played together back in October I think, and we talked about touring together. We were already booked in April for a run with Additional Time, from Germany, and Absolute Suffering had a much busier schedule.

Yet, neither of us knew what summer was going to bring. In January I hit up Luke (Absolute Suffering) and asked him if they were down to do this run and that was it. We’re really excited to be on the road with so many good bands every night and it’s definitely going to be an intense string of shows. We’ll be playing mostly songs from the new record and we’re excited to be setting it off. We like being the opener cause it’s like being the underdog. We’re going to go hard every night and hopefully leave people asking “What the fuck was that?” In a good way (laughs)!

HW: What’s the plan for Concrete after the summer? Any plans to tour off of the new material a bit or do you have anything else in the works?

Jon: We’ve got some other shows which are currently unannounced. We were supposed to be playing a fest with Cold As Life, King Nine, and Absolute Suffering in Puerto Rico, but the promoter ran into some trouble so that was just recently canceled. We’ll be playing a couple fests and seeing how the record takes off. Then be back touring in the winter/spring and summer again. We’ll also be writing again ASAP.

HW: Any last words or shout outs before we wrap this up?

Jon: For the people that have supported us or checked us out, thank you. I think a lot of times people complain about all the fakes and issues in hardcore but forget to look at the good shit.

There are so many good people and good bands out there that you might not know of because they aren’t playing the huge shows. Support your locals because they may end up being something bigger. Too many bands to name everyone here, but again, thank you.

New Music Premiere: Empty Medicine by Franchise

For those who once frequented the New Jersey music scene and all of the halls, stages, and theaters it presented, there was just something about our scene and the energy it presented that was unlike any other. From the Garfield American Legion to Archer Hall, bands such as Senses Fail, Madison, Folly, Houston Calls, and dozens of other acts once graced us with their impeccable taste in music. An era that filled our hearts with passion and a decade that will forever grest in our hearts.

Time has passed and the days have changed since we once logged onto Myspace or Pure Volume in hopes of finding a new listen or gig to attend. People have grown, faces have aged, and these hearts of ours have bled and pumped for quite some time.
The band we are presenting here today is one that seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Franchise, an impassioned style of music comprised of several veteran musicians that yearn to present something that we as listeners have longed for over the years.

For those that remember, this act is made up of members from such bands as Yours Truly, The Murder & The Harlot, Ender (active), and Lady Radiator. Yes, a diverse and eclectic range of music but nonetheless a phenomenal production of music that sways between post-hardcore and melodic driven music.

Empty Medicine is an enticing trance of self-affliction; a poetic prose of validating one’s self-worth and the pain that weighs heavily from existing. Life presents moments where we must decide to put ourselves first or before others. Regardless of whatever personal sentiments we may or may not have towards any given thought. Sometimes our decisions leave us filled with regret or left with a sense of uneasiness. Fuck, we are only human and for what it’s worth? We are but just another creature destined to fail and tire in a world that is both beautiful and relentless.

As of now, Ghost Light is slated to drop on July 14th without any label support. Jesse Cannon of the Cannon Sound Foundation, a prominent and published sound engineer, has led the tireless job alongside Mike Oettinger of recording what is sure to be a nostalgic five track record.

Interview Set

HEAD WALK: Since the days of Lady Radiator, you have displayed an eloquent style of lyricism within your writing. Often, the melodies that are crooned from your warm voice leaves many in awe and mystery. What is it about this project that separates itself from past endeavors? More importantly, what message, if any, are you trying to convene to the listener off of this new Ghost Light?

Kenny: Through my experiences, these past several years after being in Lady Radiator and transitioning into Franchise, I matured a lot with my overall outlook on life and through my lyrical content. I think what separates itself from my past endeavors is that I’m able to articulate my experiences and I’m able to allow myself to be more vulnerable through my words allowing the listener to really get a chance in knowing me more.

With our new track Empty Medicine, I wanted to write something that told a side of me that I wasn’t able to express in my early years. I think the reason being is because I was still growing up. So with this song, it tells the journey of learning from my past mistakes and allowing them to break me down and to define my character. I think sometimes in order to learn certain life lessons you need to experience the consequences of the mistakes you make.

HEAD WALK: Franchise is still a rather young outfit comprised of some seriously well-aged talent. How did this project come to light and how has everything been since the release of Santa Muerte back in 2015?

Mark: So Franchise actually started in the winter of 2013. I was in a weird place in my music career, my band, Ender kind of dissolved after being on the road for about two years or so. I had temporarily thrown in the towel to pursue a career in advertising and to settle down with my long time girlfriend (now wife). Once things calmed down I realized how much I missed playing shows and writing music. Not playing music regularly was really making me go crazy. I wanted to do something new, something fresh and experiment creating music with some of the friends I have made over the years in the Jersey scene.

Before Ender started we were a band called Yours Truly. When I joined YT in 2007, Mush was the guitarist in the band and we had always clicked. I loved the way he would write riffs. During YT he was creating some really interesting pieces in his down time under the moniker “The Girls.” He had left YT around 2008 to concentrate on that new project which unfortunately never got off the ground. Didn’t hear from Mush for about five years but, I never forgot how unique his playing was and obviously always considered him a good friend. I knew that I wanted Mush to be a part of this new venture.

The next piece of the puzzle was Corrado Rizzi, our drummer and one of my best friends. His project, Drift Division was also beginning to dissolve and timing just worked out, as we have been talking about doing a new project together. Corrado and I grew up together in Nutley and played in a project called Bears and Balconies. Corrado is one of the best drummers I have seen play around our area. I knew that he would pair really well with Mush’s unique style. Franchise evolved over many G-Chat conversations that Corrado and I have had over the past four or five years. As far as vocalists go, our first singer, Tony Cincotta (Ex: Throw the Heat) wrote & sang on our debut self-titled release which came out in September of 2014. A few months after the self-title dropped, Tony moved out to California to fulfill his dreams of living on the West Coast. We completely supported his decision but, didn’t want to put an end to Franchise. Being in bands is all about timing and it was actually on our side this time around. Kenny, formerly of Lady Radiator was actually moving back up to Jersey after living down in Baltimore for a few years. Kenny and I had reconnected a few months prior to Tony’s departure. Corrado, Kenny, and I actually all went to high school together in Nutley and were all very familiar with each other’s skillsets. During a conversation, I had told Kenny about Tony leaving and he was all about filling the role. We really didn’t have any downtime while switching up our vocalists, we knew what Kenny could do and he was a shoe in. We got right to work in creating material for what would become Santa Muerte.

The recording process of Santa Muerte turned out to be crucial to the future of Franchise. After the release of Santa Muerte, we played a hefty amount of shows in support of it. A lot of things have changed with us since Santa Muerte was released in 2015 and the team behind that record is the same team behind Ghost Light. Without them, this new version of the band would not exist.

HEAD WALK: What are the plans for Franchise this summer and is there anything slated to drop in terms of a record release show next month?

Mark: So as mentioned in the previous question, the state of the band is pretty unique right now. Unfortunately, at this time there are no immediate plans for any release shows for Ghost Light. Kenny lives in Tallahassee, Florida and is also expecting his first child in September. He does come back up north here and there and when that happens we’ll give Ghost Light a proper celebration. In the meantime, the goal is to start demoing new material. We all are itching to get some fresh ideas demoed for the next release.

Do keep a close eye on our social media accounts though because you never know when a Franchise show is going to pop up. I promise they will happen and they will be very sporadic in terms of when they will be released.

HEAD WALK: Any last words, shout outs, or plugs before we send you off?

Mark: Well most importantly, thank you to everyone for still giving a shit about Franchise. We hit some bumps in the road over the past year but, everyone who has supported this band from the beginning is still there and are just as excited about this new release as we are. We do apologize that it took so long but, I feel like we have found some crucial firm ground to stand on given our situations, which will allow us to continue as a band and to continue to make records. Speaking of which, a HUGE shoutout to our producers and engineers, Jesse Cannon and Mike Oettinger. These are two of the most professional and knowledgeable dudes in the business. I promise all of you that this band would not exist without these two guys behind the scenes. So if you are looking to make a solid record and want to learn from some of the legends from the NJ scene? Hit these guys up.

The members of this band come from different corners of the North Jersey scene and our styles have clashed in a really cool way. If you listen to each record you can hear us formulating our sound and growing as a unit. Since the beginning we made a pact that we wanted to use Franchise as a unit to never stop making music, to never give up the dream. We’re going to continue our growth and get cracking on another record. In the meantime, keep an eye out for some new videos & tracks off of Ghost Light!

Ghost Light drops on July 14th and since we don’t have any shows planned right now, we can use all the help we can get from people who dig it by sharing these songs with their friends.

Controversy & Conversation: PWR BTTM’s Rape Scandal – By Donea Gomez

Credits: Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Concerns discussing the emergence of the recent rape allegations directed at a Brooklyn-based queer punk band, PWR BTTM’s Ben Hopkins has been reported on by a slew of popular alternative culture correspondents, a few of the more prominent reports coming from NPR, Brooklyn Vegan, Jezebel, and Pitchfork.

Their contributions vary in the discussion of objectivity because of the basis these articles expand on. This has left readers in a sort of cloudy area searching for more information that can help them better cultivate an opinion of their own. The extreme one-sidedness of the discussion is due to the lack of available information. Many of the reports consist of accounts from individuals who claim witness of Hopkins’ history of sexual predation but also reported is the anonymous report from the victim of the instance of rape that is being discussed.

What can be identified as the most crucial aspect of the case of PWR BTTM, is that the gender non-binary duo has created the entire culture of their band under the guise that the LGBTQ community should be celebrated, embraced, and respected, and that they should find the utmost safety and support especially from those who identify themselves within such marginalized groups. Coming from the band that fought for gender-neutral bathrooms for the comfort of their trans and gender-nonconforming attendees, the hypocrisy presented by the surfaced allegations fuel the discussion as to why these accusations are imminently ruinous to the band’s integrity.

NPR’s May 15, report described the immediate effects the allegations have had on PWR BTTM’s operations citing their former label, Polyvinyl’s decisions to terminate their contract and refund customers who have purchased the band’s second album that was released just two days after Hopkins’ accusations began to circulate on social media. Along with the coverage of the domino effect of artists and management cutting ties, and shows one by one cancelling PWR BTTM’s appearances, NPR featured a screenshot of the initial Facebook post by user Kitty Cordero-Kolin that accuses Hopkins of committing multiple sexual misconducts.

One of the first publications to comprehensively discuss Hopkins’ rape allegations was Brooklyn Vegan as they list direct accounts of PWR BTTM’s touring members, Cameron West and Nicholas Cummins, in which they confirm acknowledgment of Hopkins’ inappropriate behavior while announcing their decisions to no longer work with the band.

While it seems the majority of their listeners accept and are abhorred by the accusations toward Hopkins, found in the comments section of the online publication, Gothamist’s report on the allegations, exists a perspective that should be considered and examined. Disqus user, “bedazzled”, raised the adverse speculation that false accusations are an enduring issue and that the momentum and accessibility of social media posts are what increases the potency of false claims. The user then recalls the late case of Conor Oberst’s false rape allegations. Oberst of Bright Eyes was successful in clearing his name after weeks of a legal pursuit of the accused victim who recanted her accusations in a legal statement publically notarized by Durham County, North Carolina.

There are some defining points to be considered here when examining each case of Hopkins and Oberst. First, by default, Hopkins is held to a higher standard by his followers because of the queer acceptance and tolerance that PWR BTTM preaches. This in itself is a point where one would assume that a band that capitalizes on its values of queer love and respect would be conscious in presenting themselves in ways they can be depicted as sexually hypocritical or insensitive. Yet, as provided by Gothamist, there are an increasing number of alleged witnesses of Hopkin’s frequent aggressive sexual behavior that have been surfaced.

A Flavorwire report from July 2014 details the aftermath of the Oberst scandal and reminds readers that rape accusations are cited as only 2-8% false and that all allegations should be treated seriously until the truth is reached. The Oberst example proves that there are no wholly nondestructive approaches when trying to defend your name in this situation. The journey through disproving allegations is as capricious as trying to balance a brick on the head of a nail, as the accused may appear overly defensive if their approaches are too aggressive but if not aggressive enough can be perceived as either apologist or suspicious but even more scary is to seem like the accused is trying to silence the victim.

Since the controversy currently appears inconclusive, some argue that the media has prematurely chosen sides and unofficially declared Hopkins a sexual predator. What should be recognized is that a large portion of these reports focuses on publishing the accounts of those allegedly affected and those who have chosen to publicly denounce their affiliation with the band. However, there are articles that do take a more forward approach in their reports as shown in Pitchfork’s editorial entitled, “Queer Kids Deserve Better Than PWR BTTM.” An article that expresses the calamitous profound hypocrisy that isolates PWR BTTM’s case “from other sexual assault allegations within the music industry.”

At this point in time, PWR BTTM’s return to the stage seems unlikely amidst the wreckage of their reputation regardless of whether Hopkins is found guilty of this allegation or not. Anticipation to see how the duo further handles their situation is high but for now, it seems like the queer community could utilize the down time to search for inspiration elsewhere.

Editor’s Note & Update

In the days of having this solid piece of journalism sent in by Donea Gomez, there have already been some updates concerning the matter. As of now, PWR BTTM has enlisted the help of senior music manager and label executive Lisa Barbaris in helping curtail the current political and legal setback of their band. Furthermore, Attorney Jeffrey Koenig of Serling Rooks Hunter McKoy & Worob LLP has also shown interest in defending the inherent allegations of rape that stand before Ben Hopkins. The press release states that the recent release of Pageant was “pulled from stores and streaming services last month when the band’s current and past record labels dropped them as a result of an anonymous allegation of sexual misconduct.” The intention here isn’t necessarily suing Polyvinyl / Fathers & Daughters, but to ensure that PWR BTTM receives back pay from a deal that was wrongly dropped and a record that may never see the light of day.

It is safe to say that there is a move to eradicate whatever notion of rape that has labeled Ben Hopkins and this oddly eccentric band. Now, is this because they have a solid case without any opposition or contestation? Is there something else that we don’t know? Or, do they know they can get away with it?

Again, this doesn’t mean we have to take sides of either party or develop an opinion without having a substantial amount of evidence and truth. More importantly, it does not mean that we shouldn’t treat a rape victim with the proper medical treatment and attention because of it simply being an allegation. Not everyone that goes through such a horrific event has the strength to physically and mentally walk through the doors of a hospital or loved one to drop their walls and ask for help. Especially when someone physically tore those walls we all dearly hold down. To walk into a courtroom and stare their oppressor down in the eyes of the public requires a feat of strength and courage that not many may have. Fuck, who’s to blame?

We are neither choosing sides or telling you how to think about this subject. All I could personally ask is that I hope you do not believe this person guilty based on a predetermined hatred that you may or may not have. Yes, there are most certainly murderers, thieves, and rapists out there causing our life and the lives of others harm. Still, we must be vigilant and determined to ensure that our judgments are both fair and informed before we slam our gavel of morality towards them. Should this be but an elaborate and tasteless attempt to dethrone a promising band? Then it will be handled as such and in a manner that is best suited. Should a court ruling determine a guilty verdict of Ben Hopkins for raping a young woman? Well, I’d recommend the rope as a cost efficient way in removing a cancerous cell from our society but that’s a personal sentiment.

Until then we will be keeping “eyes and ears” on the subject. Questions, comments, or concerns? Please, and in a professionally mature manner, send them to us here.

– Donea Gomez

Behind the Lens: Eddie Trefurt Photography

Bias as this diminutive introduction may be or may not be, the first photographer we are pleased to present out of this series is most definitely a hell of an artist. From detailed images that present a sense of awe and horror to his impassioned live shots that depict the honest reality of hardcore shows, this kid has one hell of a trigger finger. Anyway, I am going to keep this short and towards its purpose; a presentation of solid images that resonate the true meaning of music, art, and the culture it engulfs.

My name is..

Eddie Trefurt. I’m from Little Falls (New Jersey), and I’ve been going to shows since I was about 14, I’d say. Absolutely loved the energy that was produced from going to shows and pretty much everything about the music scene really resonated with me. Every weekend, I’d be at a local show to see what the area or touring bands were all about. At the time, it was hard since not every show was all ages so I stuck with going to any venue I could get to at that age. Recently, I have decided to take a shot with shooting local music and have been hooked ever since. Captioning that emotion from a fan or that energy from a musician performing is what I want to show people. All in hopes that unfamiliar people can understand the scene a bit better.

Now at 26, I’ve combined my two passions of photography and live music on the basis of my artistic expression. From horror based shoots in abandon buildings to capturing beautiful scenic overlooks, this camera has shot just about anything that caught my eye. Speaking of which, currently, I am shooting with a Canon T5 alongside a Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens.

As of now, I work with HEAD WALK when it comes to live music photography. It’s been an awesome time covering what have been some truly unforgettable shows so do expect some bigger and better stuff! In fact, Mosh for Paws is one I’m really looking forward to covering and that’ll be going down this fall with Madball, The Banner, and the homies in Wastelands. Before that, I’ll be covering Warped Tour to shoot Hatebreed, Sick of it All, and Stick to Your Guns. 2017 will surely be a fun year so come out and get in frame!

The following shots are all owned & courtesy of Eddie Trefurt Photography. We present the following:
Expire at the Meatlocker (Montclair, 2017), Old Wounds at the Bomb Shelter (New Brunswick, 2016), New Found Glory at Warped Tour (Scranton, 2016), Life of Agony at Gramercy Theater (New York City, 2017), Cruel Hand at Warped Tour (Scranton, 2016), Wastelands at the Meatlocker (Montclair, 2016), Death Before Dishonor at the Blue Room (Secaucus, 2017), & Phantom Pain at the Meatlocker (Montclair, 2017).

All inquiries for service shall be requested here.

Scary Stories Premiere “White Plague”

Scary Stories is a chaotic behemoth of distorted proportions hailing from none other than the dark dismal abyss that is New Jersey. Although the name and this band may be unfamiliar to some, their impeccable taste for disorder and the commotion that defines this maelstrom of an act should be enough to grab your ears.

Rope is the highly anticipated second EP that is slated to be dropped on July 7th off of Black Numbers. As always, the ever formidable and talented Scot Moriarty was the madman behind the engineering of this lawless record of self-loathing and distaste over at Backroom Studios. Especially so is the track we are presenting to your godforsaken ears, White Plague.

One can easily obtain pre-orders here and for just five bucks? The hell are you waiting for kid? Otherwise, the record release show will surely be quite an interesting night because of the direct support from Ides, What of Us, Devoidov, and the newly formed Concussed. This gig will be going down on a Friday evening at seven o’clock sharp so do plan ahead for what will be a righteous time my friends.

“I don’t want to give anyone the wrong impression, I always try to choose my words wisely and let my actions speak for themselves. There’s no denying that the next four years will see us through some difficult times…some more than others. I’ll never truly understand what a lot of people endure on a daily basis. Blatant racism is a thing of the past, and unfortunately, the present as well. Fortunately, our local “scene” is more progressive.The world outside of the scene, however, is not.

This regression will be more out in the open, as certain supporters make proclamations in the name of the current “thing” at the helm of our country. I’m willing to bet we’re going to see a lot more bigoted flags being raised, which being unfortunate as it may, it also lets people’s true colors shine allowing us to individually thin out the herd – while also opening up a dialogue to those willing to have a reasonable conversation. Let the light shine in. There is no more “letting it slide” or “turning a blind eye.” There is no neutral. You can’t just get away with saying “I hate politics.” Everything is politics.This is coming from someone who has claimed not to write political lyrics. This is my way of speaking up in the only way I know how. There’s no more shelter in silence.”

– Paul Alan (frontman) on “Nature & Intent” from the lyrical standpoint of White Plague

All photography courtesy of Nicole Spangenburg Photography

TRÜ Drop Debut Self Titled 7” & Interview

If there is one piece of advice that I’d ever feel comfortable in giving to anyone, it would be this; never rush the completion of your art and secondly, never regret doing it. This goes for anyone that thirsts or aches to present something towards an audience to consume. Art, and the various modes it fashions itself with is both a symbolic and intrinsic depiction of one’s humanity. An expression and individualistic representation of the identity it attempts to mirror. Music is but one of the best manners in approaching such a human construct for it pairs quite fucking well with enjoying the fine arts.

Often times, however, music is also the most difficult artistry of them all to conquer or express. I’ll argue this because it generally takes more than one person to perfect the art of musical harmony and the melody it holds. For those that have no idea of what being in a band is like then imagine it as a relationship with three or more people. Yeah, you thought dealing with one person could be a headache? Work around a schedule and a drummer who’s in five other bands and then the actual relationships and life behind it. Struggle through missed practices, come down to crunch time at the studio, and then work your personal life into the mix as to ensure there are no conflictions. You need both chemistry and opportunity for any relationship to work out properly. The connection has to be real, the timing needs to be right, and the sex has to be on fucking point. Granted, we would just swap the later with righteous jams but you get the point.

TRÜ is such a band that possesses every positive quality of musicianship and the relationship that is required when being in a band. The chemistry alone is rather inherent as this music is laden with emotion, energy, and passion while the opportunity as ever just seemed to pan out. Every track is but an honest representation of these musicians and the impassioned nature they yearn to present towards their listeners. More personally, these intimately engaging songs are inspired by that of their loved ones and the adoration they give all so well. It is also about the disengagements of previous loves and how those came to cease.

Out of any recording studio, these fine young kids could have gone to, only Nada Recording Studios seemed to feel right for this record. Considering the fact that they produced Armor for Sleep, Brand New, and My Chemical Romance’s first records? Well, why the hell not because it only seems fitting for such a young and talented act to begin their discography.

Tomorrow night is the big gig so for those unsure of what’s going on or where to be Head over to Sharkey’s Campus Inn to see TRÜ, Whiner, No Honeymoon, & Young House rip it up all evening.

A ten dollar entry gets you admission, a free copy of the new 7”, and a goodie bag for the first 50 heads. After listening to this demo for the last couple of weeks I would have to insist that any indie loving fan influenced by the sweet sound of 90’s reverberation and the crooning calls of rock n’ roll to come out and support what would inevitably be your new favorite act. Let us not forget to give thanks to Destroy All Monsters, an imaginatively new record label based out of Montclair, for issuing their first album. A release to what will surely be a healthy discography of both label and artist.

Fair winds and traveling sea’s to you all that attend and special heartfelt thanks to Steve, Pat, Keith, and Cindy for believing in this website and for blessing these often falling ears on what will surely be my favorite release thus far!

Lastly, let me part with these solemn yet sanguine words of love and the aspiration it strives to hold. If there is someone out there that just gets to the inner being of your heart and soul? A being of beauty and grace that only shatters any preconceived notion of apprehension or confusion? Someone that just makes you believe in more than yourself or the seemingly dismal world around you? Someone that just smiles and breaks the mold of pain and heartache? The fact that, that someone has a goddamn name and a fairer face? Then go after them and give it your all because TRÜ is here to provide a soundtrack to that love and the hopeful union that follows with.

Track by Track

“Take a Peek”

From the fuzz ridden bass lines and the bright sounding guitars to the harmonizing vocalizing of Pat and Keith, this track alone qualifies as a college radio banger. A promising introductory track reminiscent of emo influence that proclaims both the promise and bane of love itself. It “oohs and ahhs” in all the right ways baby so welcome to your first bit of taste to what is certainly a TRÜ song.


The only bit of criticism that lays within the confines of what I hope to be a solid article is this: I personally would have preferred the boys and gals of TRÜ to have re-recorded Fool’s Gold instead. With that being said, the intoxicating bass lines produced by Cindy and the euphony of harmony by both Pat and Keith’s guitar has undoubtedly engineered a wholehearted masterpiece. So please do not mistake my preference as a sign of distaste because I am not looking for trouble with this one.


This song nearly drove tears from these often dry eyes upon the initial listen to this moving love song of a guy and his gal. A heart-rending love song aimed towards lead guitarists Keith Williams’s lovely girlfriend. Reminiscent of early 90’s college rock with an influence of Seattle sound that only an early Weezer fan would be stoked to hear. Think this generation’s “Susanne” but a bit groovier and much more copacetic in terms of musical structure. Think of a warm summer evening with the girl of your dreams at the helm of the driver side; a navigator of both road and the heart it has placed within. This song is most certainly the only one for me to get hooked on so please roll the windows down, play at full volume, and hold her goddamn hand the whole way home to this.

“Hand In Hand”

The first impression of this track is the apparent attention to detail of expressing emotion as a driving factor of a song. Feelings of melancholy and all of this life’s somber loneliness seem to take hold of my own emotions. It isn’t until the second listen that the TRÜ nature of this punching hit of a jam intends to present. This is the defenseless side of Keith Williams as he displays an innate ability to drop his guard by crooning this solicitous inch of vinyl. As of late, there has seemed to be a resurgence of shoegaze, a genre that expresses a blurred sound due to the reverb gaze it fabricates. Bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and my personal fucking favorite, Ride, have played an impacting role on modern acts such as Turnover, Nothing, and especially the talk of this article, TRÜ.

Should this genre happen to be unbeknown genre or your first instance of listen, TRÜ displays a proper definition of shoegaze with this bit. All without being constricted to a singular identity or limited by genre specifics. By this point, you the listener should notice that each of these tracks are disparate to a degree from one another. This one being a somber realization of love and the hopeful decree of admiration it is directed towards.

Interview with Guitarist Patrick DeFrancisci

HW: What’s the story behind the conception of this indie rock love band? How did this all get put together and with what intentions?

P: I wrote a few of these songs after a shitty breakup but couldn’t find anyone to flesh them out with so they were just random ideas that lived in my voice memos. Then, Keith and I were a few deep at a friends wedding and I showed him some of the songs. He said he’d like to jam with them and although I didn’t believe him, we met up and wrote our first demos. Shortly after, I called Steve, who I’ve always vibed with to add his particular styling to the tracks and then finally we finalized the lineup with Cindy.

There was no real goal when we started the band but we all love these songs so much it’s motivated us to put in the work to be a regular thing.

HW: Tru is a rather talented outfit comprised of various acts that make up the New Jersey music scene. From hardcore (96/T2$) to indie pop punk (Archie Alone) and the dozens of bands that Steve manages to be in. How do you find the time to get this band into gear and on the stage?

P: At first we just got together when we could and being that writing with everyone came so naturally, that sufficed at the time. As we got more songs and more shows we carved out a night to practice every week. The great thing about everyone involved is we’re all equally motivated to take this to another level so it never seems like we’re truly “working.”

HW: The song Hand in Hand is goddamn beautiful. An enticing shoegaze jam worthy of ears that praise MBV and Slowdive. What is this song in regards to if you don’t mind me asking?

P: I wrote this song about someone I was dating awhile back. It was how I was feeling at a particular high point in our relationship because we had gone back and forth for so long. It was kind of one of those caught in a moment type songs.

HW: How was the production on the new record like over at Nada Studios?

P: Nada was amazing. John (Naclerio) really brought out the best version of the songs we gave to him. He’s worked with so many amazing bands that we just really put our trust in him and the things he added to the mix were truly incredible.

HW: Where can we see Trü in the future and with that, what plans do y’all have for this summer?

P: You can catch us at our 7-inch release show Saturday 6/10 at Sharkey’s Campus Inn over in Union with our pals in No Honeymoon, Whiner, and Young House. After that, we’ll be playing a benefit for our favorite venue the Meatlocker at Mexicali Live over in Teaneck with Ted Leo, Whiner, and Sunshine and the Rain. We are still writing like crazy so expect new(er) jams sooner rather than later.

HW: If you could collectively explain why one should give TRÜ a spin, what would you tell to these potential new fans?

P: At this point in my music “career,” I’m just writing the best songs I can and if you like them? Cool. If not? Then fuck it! (laughs) because we’ll still be playing shows and jamming with our friends.

HW: Any last words or shout outs buddy?

P: Pick up our debut 7-inch dropping today! You can pick it up here on Destroy All Monsters Records or at our record release this Saturday. Thanks for having me Matt, you rule!