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!

Don’t Hang On the Pipes: 30 Years of Legacy at the Meatlocker

Since the turning of the new year, life has seemed to throw out it’s fair share of problems as failures and setbacks have led to nothing more than mishaps and an overall drawback towards living. Illness, pain, suffering, death, and loss as a whole have consumed our minds; a torment that can draw the very spirit of our true selves. From the inherently corrupt exchange of office positions to the plight of war, famine, poverty, and lack of humanity, there has been an ever present level of turmoil. Yes, some of us sitting in front of this god damn screen may be privileged or fortunate to have whatever life it is that is being lived. Still, it’s not to say that we all don’t deserve some bit of fucking happiness or a glimpse of hope on a good future.

However, that’s something that gets fought over with blood and sweat because nothing good is earned with idle hands nor is it considered less than merit. It hasn’t been easy for most of our generation. Trying to get by on a system created by corporate elites and their patriarchal living is enough to derail anyone’s motivation for living. Each breath is taxed and every hour working is towards a debt we never truly accepted. Between a President that lacks decency and a society that harbors a vain self-worth of existence, it’s just how some people make it through the day without wanting to put a fist through a fucking wall. Both the monk and the drunk are yearning towards an escape, the only difference is within the perspective as that is what separates these two paths of existence. Regardless if you’re sitting in the pews or hunching over at the bar, there is a need for escape and pray for help. For the broken trodden, tired, and blue, there is just a place that houses such a person and the concerns towards safeguarding the music, art, and culture of their identity. For those who have never heard or never been, I’d like to introduce you to what we as patrons of abrasive music have known as the Meatlocker.

This is more than just another venue or club as it yearns to present itself with a D.I.Y. based environment free from capitalistic gains or egotistical movements. No, this is more than just “New Jersey’s CBGB’s” or some hole in the wall. For many, this is our fucking home.

Coming home from the military was a difficult time and as cliche, the phrase may be, it was hell coming back to New Jersey at first. Confusion, anger, and a complete feeling of loneliness, the need for something real was rather longing. At the time, my immediate family had moved well down south while others had also either moved away or moved on to the other side. Had it not been for my friends and the music scene that revolved around them, whatever hope of finding peace would’ve been a short-lived attempt at best. Don’t just take my personal sentiment as the only conviction towards safeguarding this establishment as many have recently reflected on the imminent closing of this beloved haven:

“It really gave me a purpose of putting my energy into something that made me feel so good and even at my lowest points really taught me so much about moving forward through life’s challenges. It became a home to me that was safer than my own home.” Lex Alex (Sunrot)

“One of my favorite moments was, when my little brother passed away, all my friends (especially the core group at the locker) just holding me up while I was in a complete state of shock and helping me and my poor ass trash family celebrate the life of my bro and help cope with untimely funeral expenses. Everyone was just like “yo dog, we got you” and that’s the best feeling in the world.” Garrett (The Banner)

“A confusing, shapeshifting temple that I and many others have come to call home. You never really knew what to expect aside from a tight-knit community of artists that looked out for themselves and others.” Nick

“It (Meatlocker) is the base for a community where you can be yourself, lean on others for support, enjoy the best of times, and see really talented artists. It has been my haven for years now, and I am so thankful for that, but I’m also not okay with it ending. I know all good things must come to an end, but not this, at least not yet.” Nicole (Photographer / Concussed)

“I had the opportunity to throw a ton of great shows, bands from overseas, nationally recognized bands and most importantly to me, I got to pay tribute to my bandmate and brother goblin when he passed. It’s no secret that this place means the world to me. DIY forever. We’ve watched VFW’ close. We’ve seen the fall of New Brunswick. We’ve watched the ebbs and flows of Asbury, but we’ve always stayed alive. With your support, we still can. I love you all.” Pete (Super Snake)

“The Meatlocker isn’t some dingy basement where a bunch of crusty punks goes cause problems, it’s an art space, a safe space, and a piece of NJ history. It’s the center of a community, a tight-knit community of artists, musicians, promoters, activists, and working-class heroes.” Dn Sc

“I started going to the Meatlocker sometime in the early-mid 2000s towards the end of my college years. At the time I was doing graphic design work for (the now defunct) Division East Skateshop on Bloomfield Ave. They formed a record label and we had a lot of shows at the Meatlocker. I have friendships that have lasted over a decade with people I met there.” Steve

“I have met people through going to shows, at the meatlocker specifically, that I would have never met anywhere else. People that have helped me to realize standing up for yourself and voicing your thoughts/feelings are important. People that protect each other, keep each other safe and build each other up in a way that is never taught in school or family functions. Whenever you go to a show at the locker you’re safe from whatever else is hurting you daily.” Jeanette (promoter)

“So many fundraising events have happened at the meatlocker including one for the Montclair Animal Shelter after the fire last year, Lex Alex Nihilum ‘s annual Sludge for Suicide awareness, and Ana Dobrian ‘s annual Toys for Tots around the holidays. Bands from all over the world have played here, it’s crazy how many people know about the locker outside of NJ and it has built up a great reputation over the years. Dan and Ana have really cleaned it up and have worked hard to make it what it is today. It would be terrible to lose this place – for locals, touring bands, and the music and art community as a whole.” Steve (Tru)

“From forming quality relationships to sharing the stage with countless amazing bands, it’s quite amazing how many memories can come from one place and for one reason: community. I would love to give back to this place anyway I can, as I’m sure so many other people will.” Cam (Wastelands)

As of right now the details pertaining to this matter are rather sensitive. There has been a dispute between the new tenant above the community center and those who run it. Yes, we are all devastated by the recent move that shut down the Locker but we must not let these transgressions steer us towards the wrong path of action. Let us be vigilant, decisive, and professional with each move we make towards reinstating the Meatlocker as a community center. We must not allow ourselves to be seen as delinquents or as a childish nuisance with the public’s eyes as shit storming the internet only satisfies the ego. Right now the problem now is that since all shows have been canceled, there must be a new way to generate income towards footing the lease. Remember, leases mean a signature and require the signatory to adhere to specific rules and regulations. This is the reason why there is a strict no alcohol policy or why you shouldn’t be so damn loud out front. Simply put, we are going to need the support from the community to help pay the bill for a bit. Think of it as a donation for all of the tireless efforts from the Park Street Crew that work selflessly to keep the doors open for the public. Hell, we as a community that seeks to present our own creative work and admire the efforts of others as well. This is our fucking place away from the baneful ensnarement of life’s misery and society’s standards. A haven nestled in the burrowing depths of a dingy basement that stands to defy the basilicas of the chaotic and corrupt sovereignty we live in. Should we lose this, we lose what’s left of North Jersey and the platform that stands to hold what we hold dear. Kevin Oakley of Mosh 4 Paws is diligently working on a way to have people donate via online so stand by on that news within the coming days on how all of this is going down.
Regardless of death or life, thank you to Dan, Ana, Pete, and Roy for starting something truly awe inspiring and thank you to every person that has ever walked through that basement with an honest heart and open set of ears. Head Walk’s conception began here well over a year ago and because of that, it will always be home for Paul and I. Thirty years of music and a lifetime of legacy. This one’s for us and for anyone that ever felt at home while screaming at a mic with their friends in a dingy basement. Park Street Crew for life.

The following is a list compiled by Aviva and the Meatlocker Community. Thank you to every band that has ever graced or destroyed this beautiful fucking venue and for the thousands of bands that we failed to mention during this 30 year run of showcasing. Long live the dream baby.

96 * 23 Missed Calls * 25 Ta Life * A Boy Named John * A Film in Color * A.P.P.L.E * A1ok * Abacinate * Abacus * Across Tundras * Agnathia * Agree to Disagree * Aguirre * All the Hours You Wait * Allegedly * Melham * Altered Cross * Ambary Lake * American Weird Beers * An Aborted Memory * Angel Dust * Anguish * Animal Blood * Annoying Customer * Anticitizen * Antwon * Aneurysm * Arch Ives * Arch-Vile * Archie Alone * Arrows in Her * Art Homework * Artificial Brain * As Glory Fades * Ash Borer * Assemble * At Rest * Au Revoir * Autolatry * Ava Marie * Aviator * Baba Yaga * Backyard Superheroes * Bad Dinner * Bad Whoremoans * Barbaric * Barcode Youth * Basement Beers * Batillus * BDFM * Be Like Max * Beach Feet * Bedtime Stories * Beefrot * Between Your Mind and Tongue * Beyond Dishonor * Big Werm * Binary Code * Birds in Row * Black Plains * Blank * Blanks 77 * Blithedale Romance * Bloodreds * Blood Zone * Bloody Phoenix * Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son * Bobby Meader Music (Stocksmile) * Bomb Scare * Bombay * Boo Facility * Boosegumps * Born of Osiris * Borzoi * Bottomfed * Boy vs. Ghost * Brain Cavity * Breaking Wheel * Bristles * Broken Heroes * Broken Youth * Brooke Pridemore * Brunettes * Brutal Youth * Bubbles * Buckshot Facelift * Budd Dwyer * Bus Buddies * Business Fairy * Buttonup * Cabbage Platter * California Cousins * Callout * Caltrop * Cancerslug * Candy Hearts * Cannabis Corpse * Capacities * Captain Geech * Captives * Cartoon Violence * Cary Goldberg * Caseracer * Catching Moons * Caust
* CDC* Cephalopods and Their Allies * Cerebral Ballzy * Chained to the Dead * Champ * Change Today * Chase Huglin * Chasing Down Sunset * Chiefs * Chives * Chocolate Bread * Choke * Citizen Blast Kane * Citycop * Clam Jam * Clean Teeth * Clearview * Cockpunch! * Code Orange Kids * Cognitive * Coma Regalia * Community * Condemned * Condition Critical * Connor Larkin * Convulsants * Coolshark * Corinna, Corinna * County Mike * Cowboy Hardbop * Cross Me * Crosshead * Culture Killer * Curious Volume * Daido Loori * Dangers * Daggers * Dank Wolf * Danni May * Darkness Descents * Darkwing * Days n Daze * Dead and Dreaming * Dead Infection * Dead Ringer * Dead Wurm * Death Vacation * Decide Today * Deer Carcass * Dejagravy * Delicate Flowers * Detriment * Devoidov * Devon Goods * Diallelus * Die Choking * Dikembe * Dirtbag * Distances * Disposable * Divine Lorraine * Divtech * Dizzy Bats * Dope Rider * Down On It * Dr. Acula * DUSTERS! * Dutch Boys * Dutchguts * Dying Whale * Eat the Turnbuckle * Effair * Ego Kill * Electric Sensei * Electric Trip * Emetic * Ender * Endless Bummer * Entia * Entropy * Epilude * Eric Funn * Ernston * Eternal Sleep * Ether * Evan King * Everything and Between * Everything Ever * Evergreen * Explaining Death To A Child * Eyelet * Eyes Wide * Facility *False Accusations * Faking * Far From Finished * Far Out Live * Fat Chance * Feelin’good * Fellgrimm * Fellowship of the Bling * Feudalism * Fight Amp * Fire is Motion * FISH NUTS * Fit For an Autopsy * Flesh Mother * Flesh Temple * Footage of a Yeti * For Everest * Forced Asphyxiation * Forever Losing Sleep * Found Vegas * Four Fingers * Fox Reactions * Foxtails * Fractured * Franchise * Free Throw * Frogg Party * From Disaster * Fuck Saddam in the Mouth * Fucking Invincible * Full of Hell * Furnace Creek * Furnace Head * Futures * Gabe Zander * Galare * Garbage Brain * Garland Greene * Garroted * Gas Up Your Hearse * Gates * GDP * Genre Fiction * Get Ignorant * Gifts * Gillian Carter * Gin War * Girl Nowhere * Gladiators of 2037 * Glazer * Gnar Life * Godroot * Goo Lagoon * Gorematory * Gorgatron * Gouge Away * GOVT * Greasy Hearts * Grimus * Ground * Grunt * Gypsy Wig * Halicarnassus * Halogens * Hammer Fight * Handguns * Harpoon Thrower * Harvard on the Hill * Hate Face * Hate for State * Hatred Embraced * Have a Good Season * Haverford * Heavy Coughing * Heavy Flow * Heavy Temple * Heeney * Heavens Die * Hell Mary * Help Me Help You * Here to Stay * Ho99o9 * Hodera * Hold On, Caulfield * Hollenlarmm * Hollow-Eyed * Homewrecker * Hoolaganism * Hotel Metamorphosis * HOUNDS * Huge Pupils * Huldra * Hull * Hurricane Season * Husbandry * I did some bomb * I Kill Giant * I Love Your Lifestyle * Ides * Illearth * Ilsa * In the Shit * Incendiary * Inception * Inertia * Infernal Revulsion * Inside the Beehive * Insinnerator * Insouciant * Intercourse * Iron Reagan * Ishmael * Itsalongshot. * Jacobus * Jamface * Japanther * Jean Pool * Jerusalem * Jesus Piece * Jewel Thief * Jigsaw Youth * Joe Billy * Johnny-Cab Suicide* Josie McQueen * Kay Roman * KDC * Keep Flying * Kids Having Kids * Killer Waves * Killin’ It * Killing the Dream * Kinsinera * Klozapin * Knife Band * KNUCKLE UP! * Kodiak Bear Regiment * Koji * Kooked Out * Krokodil * Kult of Mary * Lager * Laid 2 Rest * Lana Lana * LastLetters * Latenightbeers * Lawnchairs * Leche * Legs Like Tree Trunks * Lethal Candle * Lethal Entity * Lethal Strike * Lionel Pryor * Little Pirouettes * Living Tradition * Lock * Lock Response * Les Doux * Lockjaw * Logan * Loma Prieta * Lord Almighty * Lorg * Lost Souls * Lovespread * Lower Lifes * Lowlife * Lucid * Groove * Lunchladies * Lunglust * LVL Up * Lyed * Mad Conductor * Mad Diesel * Madison Turner * Magrudergrind * Malfunction * Mallard * Man vs Wild * Marloneisha * Maruta * Mary Todd * Massa Nera * Maya’s Ruin * McKinley Dixon * Men With Ears * Mental Decay * Mezling * Michael and the Jordans * Microwave Death * MIDIAN *Mikey Erg! * Milkmen * Milkshakes * Milo Ikari * Misanthropic Noise * Misdirect * Modern Baseball * Mom Fight * Mommy Issues * Mongooch * Monster Truck Fan Club * Monument of a Memory * Moontooth * Moot Point * Morningside Lane * Mortum * Mothpuppy * Mountain Mover * Mouth Off * Mr. Pink * Mr. Proxxxy * Ms. America * Mudbeard * Multiverse * Murder Junkies * MVA * My Chemical Romance * My Pizza My World * Nacht * Necroptic Engorgemen * New Jersey Fun Squad * nevershoutnever * Nightmare In Wonderland * Nihilanth * Ninjasonik * NJDOTS * No Gender * No Holds Barred * No Reason to Live * No Service Project * Noisem * Not the Bees! * Nothing Matters * Nowhere * Now Here * Nuclear Hatred * Null & Void * Oathbreaker * Ocean of Illusions * Occult 45 * Off Camber! * Ogima *Old Wounds * Olde York * Omegalith * Organ Dealer * Osier Bed * Ostraca Caust * Oswald * Other Things * Otto Mann * Our Moms Drove Us Here * Our Sunday Affairs * Our Wits That Make Us Men * Oxblood * Ozama * Pa Angelo * Paper Trail * Parallel * Paralysis * Party Cops * Part Time Chef * Paste * Pecota * People in Charge * Permanent Tension * Pheller * Pilgrim * Pill Bomb * Pistol Pete * Please Exist * Polyphony * Poor Lenore * Postmodern * Posture & the Grizzly * Prince Daddy & The Hyena * Projections * Prospect * Prototype: AT * Psychodynamic * Public Welfare * Puta de Cava * Putrid Pile * Qixoni * Quantum Peruvian * Queensway * Rabbit Troupe * Radio Control * Rare Beasts * Ratnip * Razorblade Handgrenade * React * Real Dom * Rebel Scum * Refinement * Renounced * Renovations * Response * Rewind the Crisis * Rita Fishbone * Roachlord * Robby Bloodshed * Robots and Monsters * Rockstar Racecar * Roman Love * Roswell Debacle * Roy Orbitron * Ruiner * Ruminate * Sad Lips * Sadgiqacea * Salo * Sangharsha * Save Face * Scary Stories * Scott Stapp aka Creed * Seaside Caves * Secret Mountain * Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe * Secret Stuff * Seismic Thrust * SENTIENCE * Separated * September Stories * Serious Matters * Setback Season * Setsuna * Sewercide * Shallow Waters * Shifty Tricks * Shoal * Short Leash * Show Me the Body * Shred Flintstone * Sick Shit * Silence Equals Death * Skateboard Kyle * Skip Monday * Skunk Daze *Skuz * Skull Kids * Slingshot Dakota * Solace of Requiem * Something Cool * Soul * Truck * Sounds Like a Cop To Me * Space Cadette * Spanish Bombs * Spanish Louisiana * Speed Trials * Spoonful of Vicodin * Spowder * Spur * Star Fucking Hipsters * Staten * Statuette * Stinger * Stone * Street Feet * Suburban Scum * Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky * Sun Body * Sunburster * Sunflower * Sunning * Sunrot * Super FM * Super Snake * Surfs Up Nebraska * Survay Says! * Suspect * SVU * Swinging for Dear Life * Tawny Peaks * Ted Leo * Teenager Halloween * Telaride * Ten Ton Hammer * Terrorist * Terveet Kadet * That of a Lion * The Accelerators * The Albatross * The Azrail Noir * The Banner * The Best of the Worst * The Big Dangerous * The Big Easy * The Black Sox Scandal * The Carousers * The Carrier * The Chuck Norris Roundhouse Kick of Death Experience * The Communion * The Company Kept * The Dark Matters * The Double Negatives * The Doomsday Prophecy * The Dundees * The Front Bottoms * The Kill * The Last Slice * The Mad Doctor * The Menagerie * The Murderburgers * The Music Industry * The Nondenoms * The Planet You * The Ramparts Rebel * The Rival Mob * The Rupert Selection * The Schwam * The Shrimp Shack Shooters * The S’ods * The Smoking Triples * The Stupid Stupid Henchmen * The Subcultures * The Sun The Moon The Stars * The Uncommonly Good * The Vowel * The world is a beautiful place and I am no longer afraid to die * Thee Volatiles * Thera Roya * These Branches * Things Fall Apart *This is Hell * This is Me Looking Dangerous * Those Mocking Birds * Thou * Threat 2 Society * Threads * Tiny Moving Parts * Toke * Tom Blacklung * Tomato Dodgers * Tomoreux * TORSO * Tourneforte * Tourniquet * Toxicology * Transient in Barcelona * Trip the Light Fantastic * Tripple Cripple
* Trophy Scars * Truman * Tula Vera * Tyrannosaurus Sex * Ubasute * Ultra Deluxe * Uncle Mark * Unkempt Herald
* Unmen * Upheavel * Valerian * Vanilla Summit * Vantafrost * Velnias * Vestiges * Vice * Video Tractor * Vitamin Lead * Volume III * Waiting Mortuary * Waking the Cadaver * Warehouse Horrors * Wastelands * Wavves * We Were Skeletons * We’re Ghosts Now * Weak Wrists * Weather Lore * Weatherbox * Weirdface * Werebears * What of Us
* What the Fuck Does Zernof Mean? * Whiner * Whisper Wars * Whittled Down * Will Wood and the Tapeworms
* Windfaerer * Without * Witness * WolfCloak * Wormed * Worst Case Scenario * Wretched Ones * X Pug * Xenophile
* Yautja * Year of the Knife * Yes Yes A Thousand Times Yes * You Blew It! * Young Legs * ZVI

All photography is courtesy of Paul and Eddie from HEAD WALK.

On Sight Review

Where the fuck do we begin with this article? Seriously, the mental block right now is absolutely unreal as this review is not typical in comparison to any of our previous articles. We didn’t just hear about this from a friend or receive a demo in the mailbox from some kid, this was a group of friends that I have personally known since we were just stupid fucking kids with no care in the world. On Sight is not just a collection of long standing friendships but a culmination of feelings derivative of passion, will, and a relentless ambition that is expressed genuinely through their music. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to hear this project from its most infant beginnings to a time when the band was nearly named after a construction material and was nothing more than a few good riffs and an idea or two away from becoming reality. Arguments, problems, setbacks, broken bones, and every other roadblock all led to detours and setbacks. Still, had these issues never happened, could you ever say this project would be what it is at this current time?

What this band has managed to do is deliver a high-gain punch of intimidating noise that is matched with a pairing taste of aggressive timbres and tone for their listeners. Pissed off is an understatement because this self-titled debut release is more than just any cliche adjective preceded by the ever simplistic and overused expression of “very.”

No, this record is but every literal split drop of blood and every cried tear of pain that these young men have had. It is the echoes of self-worth and the fight against this crushing reality’s whole-hearted attempt in issuing torment, A suffering that seeks to eat away at the heart, mind, and soul. More importantly, On Sight has been an outlet of expression and a voice for their convictions on morality as the face of oppression is both varying and obscure.

Backroom Studios is responsible for this six track banger as Mikhail Marinas was the man behind the board while overseeing the recording, mixing, and overall production behind this first release from On Sight. Of course, let’s not forget the ever talented Kevin Antreassian (TDEP) and his work mastering this fine piece of hardcore.

Between the ass beater that is Face the Facts or the thrash infused jawn that is Insane or even the politically charged track that voices concerns of police brutality in Public Enemy, this record has a bit of everything. Regardless of your preference with hardcore, metal, or punk as this self-titled is able to demo all of these genre’s elements. Notably, in a manner that is neither corny or saturated in production. It contains a well-balanced mix of rawness and modern engineering. An incorporation that only produces a sound that is equally modern and respective towards this music’s roots.

Going to close this one up right now because I truly feel that this demo speaks for itself and that anything said is but arbitrary bullshit. Still, this is everything we need in hardcore from New Jersey, especially North Jersey. The attitude, the style, and the intent of this project are but an honest and relentless attempt against life’s struggle. This release shall act as a solid first strike towards achieving a sound that will inevitably be something unmistakable and undoubtedly understood as On Sight.


HW: Let’s kick this off with something easy, how did On Sight come to be?

JT: Well, I would definitely say we all come from quite a differing music background. Doug loves anything from Crowbar or Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and especially Metallica. He’s responsible for where we get the thrashier metal side of On Sight while Dante and Edgar (both ex: Knuckle Up!) maintain our hardcore sensibility. We all have roots within hardcore but these guys just know how to express that in such an amazing manner.

Collectively, we are starting to take a new direction with the writing process. Personally, I’d say this first E.P. was us trying to find our sound. Public Enemy and Insane sound like they are two completely different bands but, who’s following the rules in hardcore?

HW: How was the production and engineering process like over at Backroom Studios?

JT: Backroom was sick. Working with Mikhail to get this release done properly was a cool time. There was a lot of equipment at Backroom to get our hands on so between finding what head to use for reamping or deciding what snare sounds best, it was a cool learning experience. Especially for someone like me who’s never been in a band or ever even recorded an album.

Darren killed it on the recording. Drums are the hardest thing to get done in my opinion but he knocked the songs out at like 4 am on top of everything. I guess that was the only downside of recording Backroom is it’s always full it’s a busy place so only time slot we could get was like 11 at night until the next morning.

HW: What are your feelings in regards to how the EP turned out and with Mikhail Marina behind the overall production?

Doug: Almost all these songs on this EP are actually pretty old. We’ve been sitting on most of these songs for a really long time and I want to say almost a year now. I’m incredibly happy with how they came out on the EP and I’m glad it’s finally out there yah know? It just felt like it took forever to do so. We’ve been playing these songs for so long now and we’re just really eager to start writing new material, especially with this current line up.

We love these songs though and we worked really hard to get them out there but, I think everyone in the band would agree that we’re excited to just finally start writing some new jams.
Recording these songs with Mikhail Marina’s at Backroom was great. It was a lot of fun working with him and I really love how the production came out.

Just really relieved to have them out there finally for people to check out so they can interact with us better at our shows.

HW: Can you give us a glimpse into the future of On Sight and as to what the direction will be with the new music?

D: The future looks really bright so far. The new songs we’ve started to write is quite a bit more organized and closer to what we want to sound as a band in general. There is a lot of stuff we’re working on this year. From new music to merch, and playing different shows.

Despite all the bumps, we’ve finally started to get things to roll smoother in motion and honestly it is only moving forward from here on out. So yeah, we’re really excited for what’s to come and I can promise you one thing; these new songs are gonna hit way harder, have a ton of more riffs, and a shit load of energy than this current release.

We’re here to make you move and that’s absolutely what we’re gonna fucking do. Nonstop energy all the time. This is just the beginning.

HW: Personally, what track would you say stands out the most on this debut release?

JT: Favorite song on the album would have to be Shameless. The lyrics I wrote are self-explanatory to this song’s message and intent. It is the song with the most meaning I’d say, and it’s pit as fuck.

HW: What can we expect from On Sight this summer?

JT: Expect a lot more music to be coming out because we’re already writing new shit. Love seeing people come out to our shows and screaming into that mic so keep that shit up!

HW: Any last words or shout outs?

JT: Shout out to Mosh for Paws for giving us our first couple shows, to our homies in Bliss (expect some shit from those boys), Drawn Out, Threat 2 Society, Wastelands, and of course Head Walk for supporting us from the start.

D: Really like to thank all the hardworking New Jersey & New York based bands out there such as Wastelands, Threat 2 Society, The Machinist, Gladiators, Grievance, This Curse, MOAM (Monument of a Memory), That of a Lion, Inverted Earth, Give Up the Goods, Reborn Divided, my dudes in Trench, and Minor Morals in Arizona.

Make sure you check all them out. Shout out to Kevin Oakley (Mosh 4 Paws), Matt Rochford, and Eddie Trefurt. You guys are the bomb. Also to my family and friends for all the never-ending love and support, you’re all amazing. And everyone in general who has ever supported us since the start of this new adventure. I love you all so very much, thank you.

Locals Only: Jukai

Hardcore is a wild concept that very few people rarely ever grasp. Typically, this genre’s viciously driven music and the general sentiments against reality is more than enough to stray the common listener. Who’s to blame though? Fuck, the first hardcore matinee I ever went to resulted in one’s fist fist sending my face well into next week. Oddly enough, that feeling was enjoyable in such a sadistic manner. Pain is but a gift of our humanity. Yes, torment and enduring misery may contest against that notion but without it, how could one ever feel joy, happiness, or love?

That four point blow only solidified my decision to keep pushing towards a selfless acceptance based on my own individualism while developing an understanding of what is often a mysterious and clouded genre. Respect, integrity, and free expression are common attributes within hardcore and because of those simple beliefs, it has housed generations of artists, musicians, writers, and people to openly express themselves. An expression that liberates the individual from the negative implication of one’s own existentialism. This is an outlet that allows both an escape and solution to much of our world’s problems.

For those that frequent dingy basements, commutative halls, and even the occasional theater or venue, this is a place where one can seek both asylum and peace from life’s woeful misery.

There is no age gap or requirement in order to be a part of such a community. As cliche the notion may be, a person’s gender, race, nationality, religion or political affiliation is of no concern within this impassioned taste of music. In fact, it acts genuinely as a haven or sanctuary for those that have a difficult time in accepting or conforming with society’s constantly depraving standards. So long of course, that an individual’s affiliations or character is not aligned with opinions of hate or indifference against others. The point here is this; there is no age restriction or prerequisite to get into hardcore so long as your interest and involvement is purely an honest attempt that only betters you and the ones around you. This is hardcore baby, and there ain’t no fucking winners here.

Take for example, the Long Island based hardcore unit, Jukai. A prominent act within the New York circuit that has toured extensively while developing a prodigious fan base through their sinister style. Each one of these members has to balance both the demanding aspects of their day to day life and a hardcore project that requires everything from their heart and soul.

These are but young men starting their adult lives as teachers, engineers, civil leaders, and hard working, boots and nails members of society. They are all dedicated to their professional roles and personal devotions that lead in prospering the community around them. At the same damn time, these gents sacrifice their spare time to write, record, and tour on the unremorsefully subsumed music better known as Jukai.

Devoid of Hope was their latest release and pays true testament to their influences of Long Island hardcore such as Cipher or Silent Majority. The darkened sensibility and nefariously gritty tone is what should stand out the most upon first listen. Jukai is in itself its own entity that plays as an easily identifiable sound that leaves very little room of confusing.

This is a band that knows how to perform a set that captivates the viewer in believing they are a goddamn train hell bent on ruination. Why not? Speaking that is of course the resentful anger inherent with any one person that sees humanity for what it is truly worth. War, famine, genocide, and the overall sense of destruction, death, and despair is the very evil nature of our species. Yes, we are all capable of producing communities based on morally sound and ethically well built ideologies. The only problem is that it seems we leave more of a stain on this world than we do cleaning it up. Shit, the fact that we are playing clean up verus maintaining or even preventing is beyond comprehension. These facets of humanity’s wicked presence is congenital within Jukai as their vocalized demeanor but only proclaims life’s tragedies towards its audience.

Right now you can stream or download their latest endeavor which is a split record with Recycled Earth that was dropped thanks to Reconsider Records, a L.I. based record label focused on hardcore, punk, and metal bangers from bands such as High Card and Separated have been dropped by this label. Anyway, we had the chance to grab a few words from Zach Barnett (frontman) on the nature, status, and overall future of Jukai in an intimate interview below. Check it out and be mindful of the stream of gigs they will be performing this summer.

Interview with Frontman, Zach Barnett

HW: Jukai has been on one hell of a run within the last year. Since Devoid of Hope was released, how has the project grown?

Zach Barnett: Since Devoid of Hope has dropped, we’ve been lucky enough to play many different places and some really cool fests. Thanks to Mass Movement and Reconsider Records, our music has been exposed to more people. It really baffles me that we get to play out more and experience new opportunities as a band. We’ve played with bands that I’ve never imagined playing with and have been to places I’ve never thought we’d go to as a band.

We started in 2012 just to play music and have fun. We’ve all been going to shows for probably ten or more years now so we never pictured being able to do any of this stuff. Being able to do all of this with your best friends is the most amazing feeling in the world. We’d love to tour more often, but unfortunately we all work a lot. I’m the only person who gets long breaks from work because I teach in NYC. Steve is in a labor union and always works nights, Fee is a social worker, Beshaw is a mechanic, and Ian works and goes to school doing some crazy engineering shit. I have no clue what he’s explaining to me half the time. He’s a superhuman. Kind of scary.

HW: On a personal level, the lyrical and musical pairment of One Life Not Wasted, a blistering track off of the Recycled Earth split, rings as an emotionally conquering jam. The lyrics upon a fan’s impression is that of comprehending loss and love. Death is but an uphill battle between hope and the will to continue on without. Would you care to explain this track’s meaning?

ZB: One Life Not Wasted is about Danny from Cipher, a Long Island hardcore band that’s been together since the late 90s. He was a karate instructor, surfer, and teacher. He was edge and a great role model. We both lived in Long Beach, NY, which is a city that is south of Nassau County towns on Long Island. He was my math teacher and growing up, I’ve always listened to Cipher.

He asked me to join the band in 2009 and we did a bunch of shows with a tour in 2010. He took me under his wing and was a real role model to me. Getting to the point, the song is about losing someone who had a real impact on the world. I think real wealth and happiness derives from being able to make the world a better place and influence others in a positive way. That’s something that Danny did. Amazing people die all the time, but somehow the shittiest of the shit people wind up living until they are 100 years old. So the song is a mixture of emotions. It’s an ode to him and a fuck you to all the garbage humans in the world.

HW: This Long Island based outfit has had the opportunity to grace various
festivals and scenes throughout the country. What has been one of the more memorable experiences for you while fronting Jukai?

ZB: There’s been so many amazing experiences we’ve had in such a short period time. It’s really difficult to choose one. We played FYA twice and it was amazing each time. Bob Wilson is the man for getting us down there. Being able to play with Indecision, Merauder, and Billy Club was insane.

Blistered took us on a tour last summer and every show was a blast. Playing in a 300 degree room on top of a tire shop in Miami with them and Drawing Last Breath was pretty memorable.

We just got back from UB and that was crazy. So we’re really grateful for that as well. I guess if I had to choose one experience that really struck me I’d say it would be going out to California to play. We got to play at the Program, which is a sick skate shop/record store. We also played For the Kids Fest, which was incredible. I think just the fact that we got to play on the other end of the country and people actually seemed to enjoy our music enough to watch us was memorable enough. We played a library in Ventura with Dead Heat, Vamachara, Iron Curtain, Hands of God, and Year of the Knife. It got pretty wild. I think that was the best gig we had out there!

HW: Long Island has consistently delivered phenomenal acts throughout nearly every range of music. What is it about your scene that just separates itself from other walks of life?

ZB: Three of us grew up in Long Beach, NY, which is a barrier island off the coast of Nassau County. There was nothing in our city, except for a really small punk scene. Other than Cipher, the only other hardcore band from Long Beach was Blood on the Horizon. In middle school we’d play in basements and firehouses with bands like The Ergs!, John Stamos Project, and Solidarity Pact.

When we first started going to shows, we didn’t really know anyone other than each other for the most part. I think that after going to shows for a while, people warm up to each other from seeing one another around all the time and knowing that they aren’t bullshit kids who attend shows for a year and then fall off the face of the earth. I think that Long Island has an amazing scene as it stemmed from bands that played years ago and kids have been carrying the torch ever since.

Huge bands like Brand New, Glassjaw, and Taking Back Sunday came from LI, but I think it’s all stems from hardcore. Bands that have been playing when I was still shitting my pants and watching Barney are responsible for making this place what it is today in terms of music. We’re blessed to have a rich history of musical acts like Gorilla Biscuits, VOD, and Kill Your Idols.

I’d say that the one band that really embodies Long Island is Silent Majority. They are my favorite band to ever come out of Long Island and one of my favorite bands ever. I was lucky enough to catch their reunions last summer that they did for Rob from Capital (another amazing Long Island band). I never thought I’d ever get to see them. I may be dramatic but I think it was nothing short of magical and anyone who attended would agree. But honestly, I think what the real underlying cause for Long Island having amazing bands is the water. New York has some of the best tap water in the United States.

HW: How would you say Jukai views humanity? Is this a negative or positive reflection upon our world?

ZB: I don’t think we all have one agreeable view of humanity. We can’t even agree on when to practice or what the set list will be without yelling at each other. We’re all best friends and I think that’s what makes it tough. The lyrical content varies in terms of experiences I’ve had and how I feel about certain issues. I guess our view of humanity would be more negative than anything.

HW: Where can people catch you this spring and summer? Plans to tour or just going to keep it local?

ZB: April 29th in Wallingford, Connecticut with Laid 2 Rest, Trail of Lies, Recycled Earth, Forced Out, and Mourned. That’s gonna be a wild show. Connecticut gets pretty crazy.

May 9th in Farmingdale at Theatre 294 with King Nine, Regulate, God’s Hate, and The Fight. It’s a pretty awesome, new venue that Paba was able to lock down.

May 20th: The Bowery Electric with CRO MAGS, Retaliation (a Carnivore tribute), Lion’s Cage, Egodestroys, and Sid Da Kid. It’s a pre show for BNB. We’re stoked.

May 27th: Wild Fest, a benefit for Rob from Capital’s family. It’s gonna be a blast. We get to play with Somerset Thrower, which is one of my favorite Long Island bands out right now.

July 28th: THIS IS HARDCORE at the Electric Factory. The whole day is packed with amazing bands like Racetraitor and Martyr AD. That whole weekend is going to be bananas. As friends, we’d travel to Philly during the summers to watch the bands and party. We never thought we’d have the chance to actually play this fest. It’s unreal and we’re beyond grateful to Joe and everyone who is putting it together.

Also, the Thursday of TIHC, catch the Cipher reunion and all of Long Island, Pittsburgh, Albany, and other random older gentlemen flipping their shit.

HW: Last words before we close this one up?

ZB: Shout out to Long Island Hardcore, pizza, bagels, that big ass Duck, Scanlon, Christopher Albin, and H8B

Threat 2 Society Premier Music Video for “Merchants of Death”

Upon returning home from the military, Threat 2 Society was one of the first local acts that I have had the privilege of becoming both a fan and friend with. All possible bias opinions aside, Threat is a band that is quite underappreciated within hardcore as of late. This is an impressive act that centralizes its philosophies on life towards the social and political injustices that are inherent throughout our country. Instead of vocalizing individualistic concerns through their music, they yearn to help liberate their listeners perspectives from all the clout and misinformation that our society produces.

The featured song, Merchants of Death, is the very essence of claiming the title of being a “punk hardcore” band. It addresses varying concerns through our problematic society, as much of what we are told is both inherently used as oppressive gains by the elite and clouded by a veil of harrowing mystery. We are living in turbulent times and because of that, only specific groups within our overall population will ever see their rights fully upheld. This society has placed us within a specific social contact where one either has signatory rights or beneficiary privileges. Should neither of those be inherent within your life, than you’d be thrown to the wayside due to marginalized contentions.

If you haven’t already, check out T2$’s latest record, Ground Zero, over at their Bandcamp. Once, again thank you to the boys in Threat and be sure to catch them live this spring!. Until next time…

Interview with Frontman, Chris Russo

HW: This video is filled with symbolism and meaningful thought about our inherently corrupt society. Generally speaking, on the governmental level. Would you care to explain the nature of Threat’s first music video?

We decided to do a video for Merchants of Death, and I was trying to show a story of how shit really started to change after 9/11. Everyone is so quick to brush it under the rug, or believe the official story. That’s why in the video I am walking around observing people being in a state of slumber, so to say. I went to a bunch of places in the city to get shots including the stock exchange, Trump Tower, and the 1 World Trade Center. Then we had live footage, and incorporated war footage into the video. The song is about politicians and people in power starting wars based on lies. I wanted to show that no matter who is, or was going to get in office, the same tyranny was going to continue.

No matter if it was a republican or a democrat, there’s always going to be false flag attacks and fabrications to try and gain control, cause that is the endgame for these evil people that are responsible for all this chaos around the world.

At the end of the video I rip the blindfold off to represent an awakening to all the bullshit.

HW: What’s on the agenda for Threat this spring and summer?

CR: As far as the spring goes we have a few shows lined up. April 19th we are playing with Incited, Dismal Dream, Bruise, and Push. We have a short tour in the works for memorial day so as far as summer goes, we are looking to do a week or two either down to Florida or over to Texas.

Other than that, we have been writing. We will be incorporating a new song into our set list at our next few shows.

We take our time writing so nothing sounds forced, and we put out stuff that we think is good, so as far as any new recordings? Look for something mid-summer.

HW: Anything else before we let you go?

CR: Thanks as always!

Locals Only: Grievance

The New Jersey hardcore scene is in a prolific state these days. Everyone and their mother wants to start a project and to hit the circuit with everything they have. All in hopes that they have some talent that either breaks the mold or leads to cheap popularity. As much as I’d love to sit here and say the artistic expression people cultivate into creating music is a great thing, it is also bares a fair share of annoyances. This can be due to a plethora of reasons. For one, the egotistical and “rock star” driven need for fame, money, and cheap popularity that some people desire could easily ruin what ever talent or credit they deserved or had. Especially when it comes to hardcore, there’s no winners in this game baby.

Furthermore, there is nothing more frustrating than seeing bands rush or half ass their projects. Don’t get it twisted, get in the basement and start whatever the fuck it is you wish to do. Just take the time and due diligence to create something worthy of your true self. Dig deep through the heartaches and pleasure within your soul in order to give it what you have. These convictions were exactly what the boys in Grievance had in mind when forming this project.

Grievance is a four piece hardcore unit out of New Jersey that features members of several long standing acts including; Hold Your Ground, Existence, and even Depreciator, which is currently active and slated to tour this spring. This project isn’t here to change the game so don’t expect these guys to give a damn about your expectations. However, should you happen to expect violently discharging riffs and hauntingly passionate lyricism? You’ll be pleased to know those prerequisites have been properly met.

Let Grievance’s first demo stand as a promising first release filled with aggressive timbres and vengeful themes of self loathing and social distaste of one’s environment. It’s not easy living where we are from. This is not to take away from other walks of life that may be subjected to worse standards of living but it is to say that New Jersey most definitely has the capability to chew you up and swallow you whole.

Grievance is but a collection of lives that have all been through torment and despair. Only through listening to this demo can one have a chance to understand or relate to these guys.
If you haven’t already clicked play or took the time of day to listen, than do it. Especially when life feels meaningless or in ruins.

All photography is courtesy & all rights reserved: Trevor Novatin

Interview with Charlie (Bassist)

HEAD WALK: This heavy hitting act has not one, but two well seasoned vocalists. When it comes to writing lyricism, is this a joint task between Ryan and you? Furthermore, can we expect a bigger dynamic of you two screaming on Grievance?

Charlie: First and foremost thank you for reaching out to ask if you questions. Anytime you have even a small group of people interested in what you have to say, it’s always a good feeling. As far as the lyrical content goes,I really wanted to let Ryan breathe on this. At least for this first EP. Really wanted the lyrical content to be his own brain child. Throughout the recording process I tweaked words and played with vocal placement, but that was about it.

Everyone has a lot to say so I was excited to hear what Ryan had to say. As far as the future, you can 150% expect more of a dynamic between the two of us…shit, even the three of us. If anyone knows me they know I dabble with vocals a little so it would be a blast.

HW: The beatdown style of hardcore is making a swift resurgence as its popularity is high on the rise. Why would this be and how does this project separate itself from the others?

C: Oh God, the dreaded genre question. This is the type a question you can answer and you are going to piss off at least 50% of the people reading it. If anyone has listened to my previous band Existence, they would know that we were well-rounded as far as styles when it wasn’t a matter of trying to come out in a specific genre. We wrote music on how we liked the chord progression or the riff, we went with it and if we didn’t, we kept writing until we did. This project follows the same math.

Now, about that the resurgence you were talking about, I think there’s one giant misconception about the beatdown/slam resurgence that people are talking about. Mostly being that the bands they are referring to as beatdown/slam aren’t actually either of those. Just because you use “” in a “breakdown”, does not make you beatdown nor does riding the bell make you slam.

But, I do appreciate that vibe of music coming back. I think it has a lot to do with other bands doing reunions while allowing younger cats in being introduced to music they normally wouldn’t. I would NOT, let me repeat, NOT consider us a “beatdown band.” Those elements might show up in our songs simply because the main creator of our music (Moke) tends to listen to that stuff on the regular. As far as what separates us, I don’t necessarily think we are trying to separate ourselves. There is a vibe to our songs that touches base on a few different genres. We want it to flow. That’s about as much thought pertaining to how we sound..

HW: At best, hardcore houses a controlled state of chaos. Violence is inevitable and pain is expected. There was a time when nearly every venue would either get shut down or end up refusing to host hardcore gigs. Now that we are older and have seen the best and worst outcomes of shows, where do you see the line being drawn? Or should there even be one?

C: I’m going to speak for myself here and by no means am I condoning someone going into a venue with a chainsaw or doing windmills cutting off people’s limbs. But hardcore was about no lines, except obviously things like racism and homophobia and ignorant things of that nature. Yet, it was a place that you could come and go as you please. Like you have a really shitty work week or a really shitty week at school so you just show up to a venue and let loose.

Be yourself, breathe deep, let it out, go home, and do it all over again. Are there people who take it too far? I’m sure. So, instead of making a shitty Facebook post about it or a lame tweet, pull the person aside and have an adult conversation. In my years of doing this I have seen some wild shit (laughs). “Hardcore” is for anyone but at the same time it’s not for everyone.

HW: The five track self titled EP is a solid demo that seems to captivate the overall idea of Grievance. How was the production of this record?

C: This is the easiest question to answer, our guitarist Moke is an animal. Besides dealing with the real life and day-to-day stuff, he balances multiple bands alongside this project. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that music is saving this dude’s life. I could only imagine what not being able to get these thoughts out must feel like and the fact he is able to balance three bands while having enough material that sounds different between the three of them shows to me he’s got a lot going on. I’m glad that I can be a part of one third of his creative and liberating process.

HW: What’s on the plate for the rest of the year? Any plans for a full length and if so, what studios are you looking at?

C: Hell yeah music, music, music. That’s really what this project is all about. We are all getting a little older so it’s just nice to have an outlet. I always joke about being like a hip-hop artist for the fact Moke is constantly writing and sending new material. It’s almost as if he has an endless well of material.

The last part of this question is a tricky one as it’s kind a hard to justify going to a studio when you have members who have the capability of delivering an end result of solid quality. But, with that being said, we definitely have friends in the industry that put out amazing work as well and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in taking some roughs and letting them polish those up.

Locals Only: Sunny Gang

We often look at the world through a lense of transgression influenced by both anger and rage. Yes, these words may be synonymous in nature but they do in fact draw parallels. Anger is a feeling that is only instigated when frustration, confusion, or stress is presented. Rage on the other hand is but a passionate cry of burning resentment towards the one particular that threatened the existence of what you loved or held dear. Regretfully to say the least, much of the world we live in is nothing more than despair and melancholy. To stay hopeful when nothing but doubt is present would be quite the tasking task. Still, the ability to have all of our senses succumb to depressive states is to mean that a level of goodness must have first been present at one point within our lives. To say that one has truly reached nirvana without feeling misery, trouble, or any form of badness. For with only one is to know nothing and to know nothing means to neither understand the difference between pain and pleasure.

The fine city of Newark has been founded on the need of a strong central community and as so, through the ever diverse and cultured population it houses, it has survived. Survival more than thriving or any other form of existing as this long standing community has dealt with varying woes. Crime, poverty, and the overall state of Brick City’s fatiguing infrastructure only serves to perspectives of survival than one of prospering and harmonizing community. Like survival and harmony, rage and anger are quite distinctive. However, unlike the popular opinion of those who look from afar, Brick City is not as bad as one would come to find. In fact, through recent years, parts of Newark have been on the rise. Of course, no matter where you travel, it is keen to always have your head on a swivel while maintaining situational awareness. Instead of concerning this fine standing city with notions of fear or doubt we should view it for what it truly is; a city invested in art, music, and culture that is being harvested by the youth. Such is the role of the very band we are focusing this article on, Sunny Gang.

Sunny Gang is an infusion of genres rather than a mixture of influences. I remain specific on this wordplay because this band of misfits has infused styles of punk, blues, jazz, and even hip hop within the construction of this inherently hardcore outfit. Elements of music that only the rich and longstanding city of Newark could ever produce.

Yes, the anticipated outcome of incorporating hip hop with hardcore or metal and vice versa can be a sensitive matter. This is the thin line of being regarded as E-Town Concrete or being known as Korn. Fortunately, neither of those references are the case here. Sunny Gang is but a union of musicians who first familiarized themselves as friends first and inhabitants of a historic city second. Because of these preconceived notions, the end product of this unique project would inevitably become a congregation of blues, jazz, hip-hop, and punk.

As of now, you can stream their most current full length, Party Animal, via their SoundCloud channel. They are currently slated to hit the studio this spring, so any and all questions can be read below. Really stoked to see what these young men are able to achieve within the coming years, so keep those eyes focused and ears peeled y’all. Until next time.

Interview with Sunny Gang

HW: How did this project come to be? Is Sunny Gang named after group the musicians that collectively make up this project or is there another meaning?

Chris Bacchus: The name Sunny Gang started about a year before we actually started making music as a collective. We all went to Rutgers of Newark and partied a lot. The crew we’d party with would call themselves Sunny Gang. Our homies, Chris Harrison and Klaine Gazze started the movement. It’s based off of the gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

HW. It’s not the first time someone decided to mix elements of hip hop and punk rock together in order to make something unique. A process that can be tricky as there is a grey line in either sounding like Limp Bizkit or E-Town. What influences from hip hop and punk did you find yourself deriving from to make Sunny Gang’s sound?

CB: Without a doubt, the fusion of hip hop and punk has been going down since the 80s. Shout out to the Beastie Boys. We definitely tried to stay far away from sounding like Limp Bizkit, E. Town, and any other band that fuses these two genres. Although I love a lot of the Nu-Metal I grew up on, we really try to stay far away from that as well. Plus, Nasty Nate has bars, not a lot of the fusion bands can say that.

From a Punk/Hardcore perspective, I draw a lot of guitar influences from Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Kennedys, and Bad Brains. From a Hip Hop perspective, I draw a lot of influence from The Roots and Beastie Boys. We don’t limit ourselves to punk and hip hop though. Our sound takes elements from the blues, reggae, grunge, metal, and pretty much all of these genres we listen to. We take these different elements and combine them to make something that I believe is somewhat unique.

Marshal: To add to what Bacchus was saying, I think a lot of your proto-typical rap/rock groups really try as hard as possible to jam the two genres together, often taking the best aspects of the genre but forgetting to include the subtleties of the genre and/or the culture that often make the genres so brilliant. With us, we have this amazing opportunity of having a lyricist who is firmly planted in hip hop and musicians who grew up almost exclusively on rock, so when we make a song we can keep each other in check. It’s very often that Bacchus, Sap, and I will come up with a song and Nate will ask “how do you realistically expect me to rap on this?” Or he’ll write some bars and we’ll be like “C’mon man, we’re a rock band, get aggressive.” Truly understanding the foundations of our roots enables us to pioneer our own comprehensive but unique genre.

Sap: The back and forth that Marsh is describing is what’s making work on the new records so exciting. Our previous records saw us trying a lot of very disparate things, and in doing that we’ve learned a lot about what we do best. So the new material all sounds much more focused, without sacrificing our ability to play with different influences and genres.

Nate: Rage Against the Machine, One Day as a Lion, and Badbadnotgood’s collaborations with artists like Ghostface Killa and Black Rock, just to name a few.

HW: How does hailing from Newark help define this project? People are quick to judge a city or place they have never lived in so what is it about your city that you’re proud of or think people have no clue about?

CB: The Newark music scene is a very diverse place. A Newark show can consist of rappers like the NJ Rebels, Jersey Club DJ’s like Nadus or Uniiqu3 and even soul bands like The Jack Moves. You can find a little bit of everything in this music scene. I believe our musical peers influence our creativity. The Newark scene is free from barriers and I believe that’s what defines Party/Animal. Too many people have the wrong impression of Newark. It’s not New Jersey Drive, it’s not the car-jacking capital of the world. It’s a city full of people that are willing to bust their ass to leave their mark in history. Sure it has its dangerous spots, but when you stay out of this city because of fear, you are really doing a disservice to yourself. Newark has a rich history full of culture, food, and jazz music. We truly care about this city. Fuck New York City, Newark is where it’s at.

M: You know that saying any press is good press? Well with Newark it’s like any identity is a good identity. None of us are originally from Newark, but we adopted the city’s culture and subsequently the city embraced us. I may [begrudgingly] not live in Newark anymore, but it will always feel like home away from home to me.

S: Nork, good yeh.

N: People forget that Newark has a long history of jazz and blues music so I don’t feel pressured to sound like anything because this city has such an eclectic past. Currently, Newark really has a lot of artists that have unique sounds so we fit in as far as bucking the mainstream stuff.

HW: What’s the skate culture like over in Newark and Essex county? Think I heard something about Shorty’s closing down not too long ago actually.

CB: The skate culture in Newark and Essex county has given me purpose since I was about 18 or so. It’s comprised of skaters of all different ages and ethnicities. Everyone knows each other and pushes each other to be the best skater they can be. There’s an incredible amount of street spots like the Peach Ledges and NJPAC. Some of the best days of my life were spent drinking 40s, puffing some spliffs and shredding with the homies till we physically couldn’t skate anymore. Shorty’s is an awesome DIY spot and is right up my alley because I love cruising on tranny. Apparently, there was an illegal demolition at Shorty’s and those dickheads tore the walls down. Most of the ramps are still intact. Shout out to those dudes who built that park from the ground up. They pushed for what they believed in and were able to stop the demolition.

Shorty’s is here to stay. Shorty’s is teaming up with Vans for a fundraiser on April 22nd. Go out and support those dudes, their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed!

S: One time we saw a fiend ride a shopping cart down the giant hill on Central Ave.

HW: How was the recording process for Party/Animal and what was the intention behind that record?

CB: Party/Animal is basically the first 3-4 years of Sunny Gang. It’s a sonic culmination of all our musical, social and political influences. We really tried to be as unrestrained as possible in order to say what we wanted to say. The majority of these songs are based off of riffs that I came up with from more or less noodling around on the guitar. We’d pick a topic, pick a mood then we’d pick a message we were trying to convey. Next thing we knew? We had a full album.

This was the first scenario where I felt comfortable recording. We worked with our bro Jeremy Eger at Rojo Sound Studios in Kenilworth. Jeremy does a lot of audio work for This Is Hardcore, alongside my dude Len Carmichael who plays in Dissent, Bottomfeeder, and a bunch of other bands. We recorded Party/Animal during the Summer of 2015. Our intentions with this record were to break free from genre boundaries. We wanted to play what we wanted, when we wanted. Some of the songs were rushed in my opinion but you know, recording and writing is a learning experience. As cliche as this sounds, there’s a lesson in everything. Everything is about forward progression. As Jacob Miller would say, Forward Ever/ Backward Never.

N: The message behind the album was that we love to party and fuck around but, we also have a socially conscious side. The flip side to that is that we aren’t preachers so we try to keep the social commentary light.

HW: What’s on the plate for the band this summer?

CB: We have a bunch of new material that I’m really excited about. We’re planning to record two EPs this summer. The first EP is called Ball Drop and the second one is called American Carnage. I think we have totally found our sound and I am stoked to share this with those who support our movement.

S: Besides working on the record, we’ll also be looking to get out and gig as much as possible, especially once the first one (Ball Drop) is done and out. We’re all super excited about the new material and can’t wait to get up and play it for everyone

HW: Last words before we finish this conversation?

CB: Music and Skateboarding is about being an individual. Don’t let others dictate your creativity. Push for what you believe in. Don’t settle and never tailor your creativity to appeal to everyone.

Hardcore shouldn’t play the games other music scenes play. It’s about standing up for what you believe in and not taking shit from anyone. It’s not about your vintage Earth Crisis shirt or those new Air Maxes you have. I gotta give a major shout out to Joey Bottino who runs a zine called Breaking The Common Era. Shout out to Nadus who has supported us since day one. Shout out to all my homies in hardcore who are making great music like Dissent, Time Spent, Threat 2 Society, Garland Greene.. I can go on for days. Keep it real, keep it raw. PLAYER HATER!

M: Shout out WallyHood. Shout out day-ones. Shout out Seagrams. Shout out Family.

S: Big ups to the boy Shandy Lam. No particular reason.

N: Shoutout to all the true fans that support us. You motivate us to put out quality music.


Interview with Brendan Garrone of Incendiary

Photo Courtesy & All Rights Reserved: Becca Lader

We are living in tiring times. Times that have demanded more from humanity’s instinctive goodness and less of society’s inherent baneful disregard of its people. The good citizens of our county have been torn, misled, and hurt due to a government that claims to have the best interest of our vast and endlessly diverse nation. Our government continues to focus its interests towards selfish gains that only limit the freedom of our country. All while further empowering the so called great leaders of this seemingly tired and blue nation.

Oppression is a word that gets thrown out quite a bit within the subjective headlines of various media outlets. Now, some may simply be allegations or hearsay or a platform to stir the pot. However, peer closely into the socioeconomic and political ideologies that make up this “once great nation” and you will see that the apparent freedoms of our people is marked by both injustice and hypocrisy.

From police brutality to corrupt political figures that decide the betterment of our communities, we must not be blind to the travesties that are committed. The marginalized, the poor, and the weak have been continually subdued through fear and power from the high classed elite. In the recent weeks under the new administration, we as a country have seen nothing but uncertainty and left with nothing but fear. It is during this tiring times that a voice of reasoning towards justice must be prevalent. A voice of conviction fueled by anger in hopes that hope itself is not yet forgotten is what is needed during such tiring times.

Incendiary is just that voice of concern and its sound is the alarm.

Incendiary is a household name at this point in regards to those who frequent the hardcore, punk, and even metal scene throughout the world. I mean, why the fuck not though? Seeing as this Brooklyn based hardcore outfit has produced some of the most passionate and threatening sounds against life’s injustice.

Now, after nearly three years, this band has finally debuted what is nothing more than a well waited track that houses but maturity and musicianship. Perfection is a tall order to request but with this taste of Thousand Mile Stare, it is safe to say Incendiary has outdone itself once again. Give the track The Product Is You a quick listen while you continue to read.

Thousand Mile Stare is the junior full length release from New York’s decade old act. This is not a quiet group of musicians. They tend to know the best way to voice a thought of concern through viciously embracing lyrics while matching it with an equally pissed off sound of aggression. Arguably, this is the highly anticipated hardcore record of the year and is slated to drop on May 5th through none other than Closed Casket Activities. This promising record was recorded by the ever talented Will Putney, head of Graphic Nature recording and master of all that is heavy. Click here for pre orders.

For those fortunate to live within City of New York or its surrounding areas, we highly recommend you cop tickets now to see their record release performance. This gig will feature Crime In Stereo, King Nine, & Trail of Lies over at Brooklyn Bazaar for just $12 in advance so hop the hell on that guys and gals. Tickets at the door, if any, shall be severely limited. Don’t be a leach and resell those admittances at higher price either.

Until then enjoy a brief yet informative interview between Michael “Mort” Howard (Wastelands) and Incendiary’s very own, Brendan Garrone. What better conversation than two hardcore frontmen innant with fervent beliefs of humanity. Enjoy y’all…

Interview with Brendan Garrone

Michael: It has been quite a few years since Incendiary put out Cost of Living. Why the wait? Was this a deliberate move or did the band have to take a backseat from life for a while?

Brendan: I think it was a combination of being focused on playing as many places as we could on a limited time schedule combined with the fact that it sort of takes us a long time in general to write.

We had been slowly working on material for the better part of a year before we went in to record. More broadly, we don’t really feel much pressure to adhere to any kind of schedule. I think we all collectively felt we were overdue for new music.

M: What was different this time around with the writing and recording process versus your previous releases? Was this an effortless process or were there roadblocks in making Thousand Mile Stare?

B: Writing was a little more fluid this time around only because 4/5ths of us are all living in Brooklyn so it made practicing easier.

Working with Will Putney was probably the best recording experience we’ve had. It was a really collaborative environment in the studio and made things more fun and less stressful.

M: It’s no secret that Incendiary is a band of purpose that carries both a message and opinion on various social and ethical subjects. How has the current state of political affairs in our country affect your writing for this record?

B: Well there is no shortage of content, that’s for sure, but the current political client is so depressing that it’s almost overwhelming. There are still socio-politically driven songs like Front Toward Enemy and No Purity but they focus more on specific topics and less of a broad, general perspective like on Cost of Living.

Ironically enough, this is the most personal record lyrically for me. There is a theme of perspective on the past and future of my life now that I’m older and out of my 20’s. It’s a lot more inward looking than outward, if that makes sense.

M: Thousand Mile Stare comes out May 5th 2017 on Closed Casket Activities. Besides the few dates that are booked right now, do you have any plans to tour on the record this year?

B: We’ll be doing some shows this summer on the East Coast to support the new record as well as a really exciting tour in a new place we’ve never been to. All which will be announced soon. Besides that just playing as often as schedules allow, we will never tour heavily.

M: It seems that most people end up getting into hardcore through either punk or metal first. Should this statement be true, which genre for you was the one that got you into hardcore?

B: It was punk for me, specifically skate punk stuff like Pennywise, Nofx, etc. I grew up playing the drums and was obsessed with Byron’s drumming on those early Pennywise records so it got me really into fast stuff like them. After that I got really into going to see local bands at a young age and that, combined with hearing Strife, led to me getting into hardcore.

M: What are some newer bands in hardcore that you guys have been digging?

B: That band Vein rules, it reminds me of more straightforward As The Sun Sets. I also love all of the metal influenced hardcore coming out of Long Island now with bands like Separated, Jukai, and Sanction. They aren’t as new but I also dig Breakaway and Lost Souls from Richmond.

M: Hardcore has no definitive line of definition yet is concise with sharing similar attitudes, philosophies, and notions of morality among different scenes . It’s almost impossible to define at times since everyone has their own definition. As cliche the question may be, what does hardcore mean to you? How did you end up getting involved in all of this?

B: Two things that initially resonated with me in hardcore was the energy of the live shows and the focus on lyrical content and message. As I get older, the community and friendship that I’ve gained has become more and more important to myself. For people who have played and toured in bands or traveled to see shows, the fact that many of us have friends all over the world is really such a unique benefit and opportunity. I don’t know if people realize how lucky we are to have such a great network of people with a similar mindset and ethos, the vast majority of people don’t have anything like that.

M: Well, that just about wraps everything up. Is there anything you would like to say or plug before we wrap this up?

B: Thousand Mile Stare comes out May 5th on Closed Casket Activities. Pre order the record here.

This is the best record we’ve ever done and i’m so excited for people to hear it. Thanks to everyone who’s stuck with us and thanks Matt and Michael for the interview.

Interview with Cemeteries Frontman Nick Shedlock

Lately, the New Jersey music scene has been booming with fresh talent across the board. Especially so is with the ever looming and darkened culture of New Jersey’s hardcore and metal scene. It’s almost as if these scenes have had a renaissance of sorts within the last year due to all of the recent records being dropped from both aspiring and veteran acts. Better yet, these musicians and artists have been keeping in touch with the long standing history of our state’s ability to manufacture the heaviest, violently impacting, and most deafening noise that we have all come to be known for harboring.

Again, we are known for our darkened sensibility, our aggressive demeanor, and housing a scene based off of a tormenting environment that engulfs all of us in its wake. Cemeteries, is the latest example of this notion as this band is able to feel inspired from life’s woes and constant miseries in order to produce one of the most gut wrenching sounds we’ve heard in a minute.

A unique blend of hardcore laced with black metal attributes and an overall attitude of belligerence is what one would hear at first listen. The self titled release is raw, yet, that factor only contributes to the acceptance of this act as one should greatly appreciate when a band prohibits artificialness from their music. Cemeteries is capable of displacing a room into chaotic shambles through this wall of noise while leaving only a energy of dismal dismay in its path.

As of now, you can stream their debut Self Titled EP over at their Bandcamp. A mixture of black metal and hardcore is a phenomenal blend of music that very few bands can ever attempt to pull off. Cemeteries has proven that they understand the formula and but need to craft this harrowing sound into something whole on their full length. A sound that I feel will be executed quite well on Filth Ritual. The wait won’t be long for they are slated to drop their sophomore release on April 6th (digital only) via bandcamp with a record release show in the works.

Interview with Nick Shedlock

HEAD WALK: Cemeteries is a rather new act so quite simply, how’d this all get put together?

Nick Shedlock: Cemeteries was originally a small side project that was started by myself, Mike Lafalce (drummer), and John Sell (bassist and ex An Aborted Memory), back in 2012. It was intended to be more of a doom inspired band but nothing really came of it. Then in 2016, nearly four years later, as things were coming to an end with my old band (An Aborted Memory) I decided to reach out to current Departed guitarist Frederick Hare, and Mike Lafalce to begin working on the project again.

This time around, instead of focusing on being a doom worship band, we began gathering influence from Pig Destroyer, Trap Them, Weekend Nachos, and various other hardcore and grind bands, in order to create what is now Cemeteries. We later enlisted Fred’s friend Tim Krieger on bass so we could fill the roster and begin writing. The intention was to make a band that was an all out assault on its listeners. A mix between abrasive noise with added elements of hardcore and crossover to make our music moveable, you know?

HW: Cemeteries’ self titled debut was recorded nearly a year ago over at Landmine Studios and serves a fine hardcore demo influenced by elements of grind and black metal. With the approach of your latest release, Filth Ritual (unsigned), how would you say this EP differs from the previous self titled EP?

NS: This time around, we went to a different producer, which is a long time friend of mine and has recorded previous acts I’ve been in, whom is Bobby Torres at Frightbox Studios in Clifton, New Jersey..

With the original EP, we were still testing the waters of what we wanted to do musically, and with defining our sound. On Filth Ritual, I think we really nailed the direction we wanted to go in.

Mike, Tim, Fred, and myself have come a long way as far as writing, so it’s now becoming a lot easier to produce music now.

HW: Let’s talk about themes and topics within the lyricism of this project. You’re debut self titled EP focused on various subject matters including: self loathing fear (night Creep), corruption within the political sphere (New World Gluttony), and an overall image of violent and horrific proportions. What influences your lyricism and where can we expect to see your writing take us on Filth Ritual?

NS: Filth Ritual, to me, is the state of the world as of now. Everyone is up in arms. Everyone is doubting and unsure of the future. If you’re not scared? You’re naive. It tackles subjects of depression, mankind’s constant motive to choose profit over humanity, the digital age of conspirators and internet trolls, and etc.

We are living in dark times. The uncertainty of where the country and the world will be in the next year has caused unrest.

HW: From what I hear, you are quite the horror fan in terms of movies and literature. What was one of the earliest works of film or book in your life that sucked you into that wormhole of fear? Is it relevant within your music?

NS: To be honest, it was George A Romero’s film Dawn of the Dead, that sucked me into the horror genre. Romero has a message in every film, and in Dawn of the Dead, he showcased a group of survivors fighting another group of survivors over the shelter of a shopping mall, rather than inviting them in and helping them survive. I think horror films can paint a picture of how ugly mankind can be. Whether it’s the depiction of a serial killer, a war atrocity, or something like Dawn of the Dead, it’s effective than something on the lines of a 9th Saw film, or another found footage ghost movie.

HW: What are the intentions of Cemeteries this year and where do you plan to push Filth Ritual?

NS: We would love to do more out of state shows. Trying to do a few weekend outings, fests (if possible), and just continue to play out and bring people our sound. Would love to get to the west coast eventually.

HW: Who is responsible for the artwork behind Cemeteries or is this a revolving door of artists contributing?

That would be me (laughs)!. So far, I’ve designed one t shirt and have done the artwork for Filth Ritual. If you want to view more of my art, you can go on Instagram and look up @NickShedlockArt. I recently just did art for the hardcore band All Out War.

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

NS: On the behalf of Cemeteries, I would like to thank you for this opportunity chat. As for shout outs, I would like to commend all the promoters who have booked us thus far: Joe Stanley (Departed and owner at Nameless Prints), Hounds, Kevin Oakley, Skuz, Pink Mass, Gloves Off, Gabe Romero, Dissent, Joe Anastasio (owner of LoneWolf Audio), Len Carmichael (Landmine Studios), Bobby Torres (Frightbox Studios), Gutterchrist, Replicant, Head Walk for giving us this interview, and everyone who has either downloaded our songs off of Bandcamp, made it to a show, or have given us a general shout out. Thank you.

Photography courtesy of Last Light Photo & Video and Adam Leota of Prophecy 21 Photography.