Wednesday, September 2, 2015

FORCE FED - Longtime Austin Crossover Metal still on the Attack

Starting in 1990, it is great that long running band such as Force Fed is still active. You’ve had a history of many different line-ups with the unfortunate passing of an original member. What drives you to keep the flame lit?
 (Matt/Bass) Well, we certainly haven't kept it lit all this time. We had reunited several times in the past couple of decades; sometimes for a few shows and sometimes for a couple of years. At the beginning of this year we all decided to do another reunion show, but something about this time was different - maybe all the stars and planets aligned, maybe it's just that we're all in a place in our lives where we really want to do this again and do it right. This time, we didn't have to do anything to keep the flame lit - it seemed to flare up on its own, brighter than ever. (Scott) I think when I left to join deadhorse we were on the verge of something... getting a record deal, killing each other, imploding, something... We were getting all these offers to open for touring acts, so I felt like we were getting close. We only played Austin and Killeen, we hadn’t even played San Antonio or Dallas or Houston. We were very green and didn’t know how to take the next step. Anyhow, I left deadhorse in 96 and tried to get the original Force Fed lineup back together, but Lance bailed for whatever reasons, Matt was playing in Rubberhead or I got my cousin Jason Feeney to play bass, and Leroy Pitman to play guitar and that was another version of Force Fed.. then we stopped around 2000 and got back together around 2004 still without Lance, and we played until I formed P.N.D. with Ronny, Greg and Kurt. Then we got back together again in 2012 with Lance, and played 3 shows...Then I approached Lance about playing the Austin RED7 show and it being our final show. He agreed. But something happened about 4 or 5 rehearsals in and we decided to keep playing and write a new album. (Matt) One of the things that helps is that we all feel like these songs sound as good now as they did years ago, and people seem to respond to them better than ever. Another thing is that we have a lot of material that we really want to record and put out there. All that makes it so that we almost feel compelled to keep this going.

I read that your name is derived from the Prong album Force Fed. I also saw that you received blessing using that name from Tommy Victor and company. How did you come in contact with them? 
(Scott) Yes, that's true. I started seeing Prong at the Backroom in 1990 during their Beg to differ tours. I went back and found their Primitive Origins and Force Fed albums and just loved the rawness, speed, gang vocals, short songs, short solos etc. We got to meet Prong in 1994 at the Austin Coliseum on their Cleansing tour when they were opening for White Zombie. We all got to go hang out backstage while White Zombie was on stage. Then we all went to the Backroom and hung out and had drinks for several more hours. We opened for Prong in 2004 i think. Over the years, Tommy Victor and I have become pretty good friends. We talk all the time, when he comes to town we usually go have dinner or drinks, He's always been super supportive of us and is just really an all around good guy, a great guitarist, songwriter... I love the guy and am happy he's still writing albums and touring with Prong and Danzig.

Your music is definitely an amalgamation of many extreme styles (thrash, hardcore and punk). You said in the early nineties people were somewhat confused about your mix of styles. These days that is no big deal, but back then the shows were definitely more separated regarding genres. Can you elaborate more on those experiences you had early on?
(Matt) In '93 and '94, when we were playing out a lot in Austin, all the bands in our scene were either Testament/Sepultura clones, shitty Orange County punk wannabes, lame pussy versions of LA glam/cock rock, or some sort of generic hardcore where every song sounded the same. Those bands all seemed (for better or for worse) to have a clear idea about what they wanted to be, and they stuck to their guns trying to sound like it. Our tastes in music were all diverse, from thrash and crossover to NY hardcore to skater punk to classic hard rock/metal to country, and I think that really came out in our songs. We didn't try to sound like anyone. Of course, at the time we weren't good enough to actually sound like anyone other than ourselves...  
The main credit for our sound and musical direction really needs to go to Scott, who was and is our chief songwriter. It would have been easy for us to write Testament songs and sound like everyone else, and we probably would have had a better reception at first, but Scott was adamant about not doing that. It took a little longer for people to get us - people generally don't like things that they don't quite understand - but once they got it, people really responded. I think we all like the fact that we can't be pigeonholed like other bands - we pretty much sound like us, and that's it. 
(Scott) I think Matt nailed a lot of it on the head. The punk crowd thought we sounded too metal and the metal crowd thought we sounded too punk. I personally drew a lot of inspiration and influence from East coast bands, especially early Prong, S.O.D. and Carnivore. I also started getting into more grindcore and death metal like Carcass and Coroner. Lance and I both loved the Venice beach bands such as Suicidal Tendencies and especially Excel. and of course Crowbar and DRI...and AC/DC, Sabbath etc...

Over the years you have played shows with some real heavy weights in the music scene (Motorhead, Prong, Crowbar, Carcass, Napalm Death, Obituary, etc). What was your most memorable show? I’m sure you have some interesting stories.
(Matt)Back around '97 we opened for Obituary at a club in Houston. After our set we were hanging out by our van drinking beer while Obituary was on stage playing their set. Suddenly, in the middle of a song, the side doors of the club burst open and the bass player, still playing the song through a wireless, comes running out with a roadie right behind him. He turned around and faced the wall (still playing), and suddenly hands the bass back to the roadie (mind you, he still has the strap on, so the roadie has to kinda reach around in front of him to grab it), who proceeds to start pounding on the strings like crazy to keep the song going. Then, while the roadie is playing, the bass player whips it out and takes a piss on the side of the building! He finishes up, shakes and puts it away, then grabs the bass, jumps back into playing the song without skipping a beat, and they both run back into the club. Needless to say, he got a standing ovation from all of us. Quite possibly the most entertaining part of the night. 
(Scott) For me and Lance it was definitely opening for Motorhead at Sneakers for their 1916 tour. It was just Motorhead and us! Lance was shooting pool with Lemmy while we were waiting on more PA to arrive from San Antonio. Motorhead’s tour manager brings Lemmy a bottle of Jack Daniels. He opens it and draws a slug of it. Then takes a shot. While he’s shooting, Lance picks up the bottle and draws back a long slug. Their tour manager comes over to me and says "does Lemmy know him? Cause he never lets anyone drink out of his bottle!” I say, well he knows him now. That single show changed everything for us. People were coming up to us and asking us what it was like to tour with Motorhead. They had no idea who we were. I'm telling people we're from Austin, we've been playing for three years!!! After that show we started getting weekend slots and started getting to open for all those touring bands you mentioned.

You stated that a new album is in the works. Can you give more details of when it will be released and what the listeners can expect?
(Matt) Right now we're in the process of deciding on the songs, arranging, thinking about the overall concept for the album, etc. If things go as planned, it will sound like us, only better. We've got a lot of material to work with (including a few covers that we do better than the originals), and we are all expecting this to be the best recording that we've ever done. We are hoping for a release before the end of the year. 
(Scott) I think you'll hear a lot of our early influences, like Sabbath, some of the slower trippy stuff. At this point we have about 8 or 9 originals were trying to button up. I think it'll blow some peoples minds when they hear it. And yes, hopefully it'll be done this year.

Do you ever have any difficulty balancing Force Fed with your other musical endeavors?
Force Fed is the only music that I’m doing right now, so it’s no problem for me. Practice time does make it hard for me to keep up with the new “My Little Pony” episodes, so there’s that…
(Scott) Not really. PND is on hiatus since DRI is always playing. Deadhorse is pretty relaxed. Greg, Argo, and Allen all have separate bands away from deadhorse too.

Thanks for the interview. Please take the final word.
It's been 25 years and Austin still can't kill us! We're like the cockroaches of metal, consistently rising from the nuclear fallout of the dead music capital of the world. Oh, and feel free to use "Cockroaches of Metal" for the name of your new band. 
(Scott) What Matt said. Thank you for taking the time to interview us.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

DEAD TO THE WORLD - Anthem Punk Rock like a Power Punch to the Face

Beginning in 2007, Dead to the World has had a long history with its share of line-up changes. Here in 2015 the band is not showing any signs of slowing down. After all this time, what has kept the fire burning?
DTTW has been around since 2007 with the core foundation of the brother Brandon and Blake. They were writing catchy songs and building a solid fan base in their circles.  Where the band really gets going is in the last 2 years or so when they added a second vocalist/guitarist(Steve), then Brandon putting down the bass and bringing in me(Floyd) and filling out the sound with lead guitar(Mikey).  These changes to the sound and live performances really made people take notice and couple that with some friends in the industry, we've been able to really build something.  Trust me, DTTW is just getting started.

Your live performance is definitely energetic with every member giving their all. Can you please give the readers some behind the scenes info of how you approach the live setting (mentally and physically)?
Being a band that does everything themselves, we don't have anyone pushing our music to the masses and so we have to make an impression with our live shows. If we don't leave it all on the stage, then what are we doing? That's why we make every practice like a show, whether we have one coming up or not. We setup the same and we play the set, and during these 100 degree days, that's just endurance training for us.

While on the live topic, DTTW has played many great shows with national acts. What was your absolute favorite and why?
As a band the biggest show was Bad Religion, we sold more merch there than all my shows combined. We had a line just to hang out at the table all the way through BR's set. My personal favorite, I'd say 30FootFall X-Mas 2014. It meant a lot personally to me as someone who came up going to their shows and becoming friends with them.

To me your music is the perfect mixture of melodic punk, Oi and hardcore. What really caught my attention are those catchy sing-a-long choruses. What are your influences and also is song writing a collaborative effort?
Thanks, that's exactly what we are going for in our sound.  As far as influences, everyone has their own, but the crossover for us all are definitely bands that have those sounds.
We want everyone to be a part of the music, so please sing along, and join us on stage.
The songwriting process is always evolving, Brandon likes a collaboration where he has a general idea for a song and we build it in the studio. Sometimes Steve will bring a song put together and we finish it off. I'll come in with a couple of parts and we build a song out of that.

The recently released War EP is an aggressive 3 song attack. It seems each song stands on its own in quality. Had they been in your set list for a while before recording them? Currently it’s a digital release, do you plan on doing a physical release?
The songs had been in the set for a little while. As we are growing, we are trying to move towards writing and recording before we play the songs live, or at least less time in the set before putting them out.
The digital release is an experiment based on the state of music sales.  It didn't make sense to spend a ton of money on records when we could only sell them for a couple of bucks, we'd be losing money.  We are planning on writing songs and getting back in the studio ASAP which I'd like to see on vinyl.

Besides the War EP, what else does DTTW have in store for the future?

The next step for DTTW is venturing outside of Houston.  I'll put our live show against anyone's, and I expect to have Texas in our fold very soon.  We are also talkin
g to a director for a video for "War" and hope to have that out soon as well.

Friday, August 14, 2015

THE BLOODY VON ERICHS: An Iron Claw - Punk Rock Style

I love your band name. Please tell me it is a tribute to the legendary Texas wrestling family.
Yes the Band name is a Tribute to the entire Von Erich Family. Loved wrestling as kids and I believe it would be our former guitarist Bird (Brent) that should get credit for the name. Although when the original crew broke up I demanded that we keep the name. The guys put it on me to establish it and that's exactly what I did.
The web site, the domain, the Name and any Logo. (Note: I've ripped off a few Logos obviously and do not own rights- it's just for test purposes only for set up.) I've worked hard for that name and to keep it.

Your style is definitely an early 80s West Coast punk rock sound. How would you describe your style?
Holy cow man, umm we are definitely West Coast oriented -at least I am. I grew up with NOFX, LagWagon and a bunch of other bands that played shows with Bad Religion and Suicidal Tends in little tiny venues like the Lompoc Theater and recreation halls in Santa Barbara, Ventura and SanLuisObispo Ca. Jake Hard leans more towards east coast hard core. Lando is deep down the hole in whatever may influence him and I actually have no idea what he listens to and will not add nor take away the recipe that he cooks with. He has an amazing way of coming up with riffs, arrangements and usually a good melody or chant as you'd have in our genre.

Please tell us a little bit about your lyrics. What topics do you cover?
Another “crap are you really asking ME that” kinda question.
Totally all heart felt songs. Ha! Most of em are and a few are just for fun. We don't care if no one likes some of those songs as long as we have fun playing em. We all write! We all contribute! It is the best way and only way for us. Multifaceted we are; I play a few different instruments and Jake is a better guitar player than a drummer by far!
Don't print that! Jk
We like to keep him banging away. As for the other guys, they are talented more than most at cranking out songs. As it is though for every 8-12 songs written only one will get a green light from us to continue with to completion. The others sit on simmer.
Topics are non conformist to non conformist.. Just being stupid... Umm we write about the same shit everybody writes about. It's all in just how you say it..
Relationships, Government, Sitting at a Bar, Sex... Whatever.

Is the 2013 EP No Holds Barred your only release? I must say it is a very smooth sounding work. The clear vocals and music complement each other well. I really like it.
We have done a Demo. (Oh the stories to tell about during those days)- Then there's the No Holds Barred which isn't even in production so we decided to do the best thing- burn the shit out of it ourselves and hand em out. And I'll probably do the free download card idea as well. We will go Self Sustained for as long as possible.
The songs are fast and end quickly on most of them you ask me but it makes no difference just ask DRI. We love the sound that we come up with and the tempos and the changes- all just for our kicks and it's amazing that other people really dig us because we just play or do whatever we want to. Like take a blues song and tear it up or recently I did a cover of an acoustic song that is sort of rockabilly but was written by a singer songwriter named D. Kensrue called “Blood and Wine.” He's a worship leader at a big church somewhere.
About the vocals, thanks I do not deem myself a vocalist. Also I would like to thank the extra voices out there donated from PRP as back ups.

What do you have planned next? I know you have to be ready for a new release.
We are working on long anticipated new material- nuff said. Just gotta wait.

I’ve been hearing quite a bit lately about your band on the live scene. Do you plan on doing any touring outside Texas?
Most likely be only Texas for another year then my West Coast buddies would like us to head that way... Let's just get past the end of 2015 and we'll change our minds like we always do.

You recently played the Houston Underground Punk Fest. What fond memories do you have from it?
So there I was b/s'n with my good friend Greg Dodson and talking about doing a big show, and it needs to be all of us playing together and bring all of our people to do it and do it all ourselves. He says to me "well why don't we just do it?" So I stood there blank and said I guess we just need a venue. So next thing I know is people contacted me and I made some calls and nailed down the venue. I was specific that it had to be a smoking allowed place because although people come out to shows; they are usually outside socializing while a band is spilling the blood on stage and nobody's watching. It made me sick. So all of a sudden we had the venue and my homie Greg got peppered with bands willing and he made some calls and then we brought in Jojo S. to help arrange things and bring it all together... So in what may have been my idea / I take no credit for what Greg and Jojo contributed. So my fond memory is a living thing because that ball is rolling and it's gonna stay that way because Houston Punk is Alive and Well! CHAOS PUNKS RULE! 

So now we welcome new guitarist Lando Valley who's live debut was a little bit rough as we did the third song into an already rough opening set & he comes in late- oops / derail! We immediately start it again no biggie... Oops derail.. I won't explain what happened next but there was broken cords a broken mic I believe and broken glass-disarray, but managed to hack our way through the rest of the set as tempers arose and embarrassment set in and a calm eye of the storm that was yet to happen in the green room. I had heard that the venue didn't want us back ever. (We trashed the green room- blood and broken glass everywhere!) Now to my surprise the owners said it was ok and did not charge us for any damages... We were so hot that night because it was a meltdown and a gross display of unprofessionalism. The next morning we hashed it out as well and by the following night we were acting like brothers once again. What people may not know is that we are working class and struggle like all of you out there. My boys donated (blood) plasma for money to get gas and make it to practice and pay the rent for studio space. Jake also had a bad back ache that night and we had not played in over a year. That all said there was mass anticipation from all around us and we crashed and burned...
Days later we are praised for one of the best punk shows and memories attached and the page likes went up and we are booking shows left and right / so much as I can no longer keep up with what the guys are doing anymore. I can only chime in and guess at what I should put on my calendar.

Final words please.
I believe I said enough- I said good day!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

BARON VON BOMBLAST - A Breath of Fresh Heaviness from some Old Souls

First off, I must applaud you for a cool, catchy band name. Is it a play on the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang character Baron Bomburst or maybe a reference to the old wrestler Baron Von Raschke? Please give more details.
ALLISON: Well back in the early 90's there used to be a men's strip club called LaBare. I frequented the joint and eventually came across a young up and comer named Gregory von Bare-it-all. Well I quickly realized that Greg was never ever gonna make it as a stripper but I saw potential in him somehow and we decided to team up. I was going to become his manager but neither one of us had any talent to either manage or maintain, so we decided to form a heavy metal band. We played the Cirque du Soleil tours for a few years until we decided 2 was kinda small for a metal act and we needed a bigger sound. There were a few more discarded strippers that worked the alley behind LaBare that were so bad the club wouldn't give them any real stage time. They were basically there to take care of the horned up old ladies walking to their cars after the real men had finished their performances for the evening. Well, we figured HELL, these guys would be perfect to finish out our group! It's been 20 years now and none of us has learned to play a damn thing ....and I definitely can't sing so we have decided for sure that we are gonna go places in the world of heavy metal. I mean, we all own old ripped up denim jeans and faded concert shirts...and we've all collected a bunch of really awful black ink I’m pretty sure we DO have what it takes to be successful.
GREG: What is this zine bullshit??? I should be getting interviewed by the fuckin Rolling Stone! I'm way too cool for this garage band kiddy shit. (Gets up and walks out slamming the door…can be heard cussing and mumbling down the hall)

Although your band is somewhat new, your line-up consists of music veterans from other classic groups. Can you tell the readers how this super group came about?
JOEL: Josh told me he was starting a Menudo cover band! I’m sure you could imagine my excitement! Then I get here & it was this bullshit....but I said "Whatever man, I'm here now so let get on with it." He totally conned into doing this, but I guess it turned out pretty cool......I guess....

With the many varied influences in the band, I am sure the possibilities were limitless. When starting, did you have a specific sound you were trying to create or did the music just fall into place doing early rehearsals?
JOSH: With this gaggle of dorks, the possibilities were vast. Greg had strict "No Palm muting" policy. Bullshit. But jokes aside, we've all been in projects in the past where writing fell into a habit of over complicating songs. The first time we jammed together we wrote 2 songs in one night. We are writing songs that are aurally pleasing. When you hear it, the music sounds familiar. Something that I'm sure inspired all of us in the beginning. Playing something that you hear and some kid say "I can do that." Sure, these dudes can play syncopated weird time shit. But who's ever gonna be impressed by that? Other musicians? Fuck that. We write and play because it's fun. We have jobs. Playing music shouldn't be a job. Whether I'm watching or playing. It makes no difference. I just have the chance to play with some of my best friends. And we like to share. We are very far from believing we are something unique. This is drunk rock for the people, by the people.

I caught the band’s surprise first show at the White Swan. Although a short set, the songs were very strong. Can we expect more live outings? What do you have planned?
JOSH: Expect it for sure. We have no lack of opportunities for live shows coming up. Some are even on the hush, so to speak. Expect a few Deadhorse opening gigs, naturally. Choke. The horse family is broad and us southern boys keep it in the family. I also know of this brutal noodle band named Khobretti that we will be doing a few shows with. CARDIO CORE! Hogs of War are good friends as well, and we share the same rehearsal space. Playing music with friends is where it's at. It’s a much more gratifying and fun night when you all love music and the people you choose to make and play it with. So yeah, we love to play live, so expect it.
BRIAN: Yes, more live shows with hostile takeovers by sword and submission.

This may be a premature question, but what is on the horizon for releases? I saw a video on your Facebook page of some studio tracking. Do you plan on digital only releases or doing something tangible?
BRIAN: The recording process is underway and per our agreement with the United States Government, we cannot discuss the specifics but we will advise on a need to know basis....all we can say is, it's coming.

I really like Joel’s band Skeletal Baron artwork. It definitely gives the group a face and certain style. Artistically, what else does he have planned for the band?
JOEL: The Baron Skull came about with Greg's idea of a bullet hole. I thought the idea was pretty cheesy, but I just threw together some crap around his idea and tried to come up with something fairly cool, and what you see is what happened. I promise the next piece of art will be a lot cooler, as long as I stop listening to his nonsense.

Last words. Let them rip.
JOEL: In all seriousness, I do feel honored to be playing with such a great line up (although, we have yet to do one single Menudo cover, as Josh promised)!

Sunday, August 9, 2015


We just released a full color book featuring interviews from this blog. Here is the promo video:

Here are ordering details:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

HEAVENS FINAL WAR - Lubbock Crossover Hardcore Igniting the Flames

First off, the typical, please tell the readers how and when the band came about.
A few of us were jamming in a couple of other bands from Lubbock and we wanted to start something new so we just all came together and started writing.

The band name sounds as if you are a religious band. Can you go into more detail regarding the name?
The name comes from an Integrity song off the To Die For record. We're all fans of Integrity and we were having trouble trying to think of a name. It was tossed out as a suggestion and we all just decided to go with it. Lyrically we write a lot about religion amongst other things but we are in no way a religious band.

Although you are a hardcore band, there are some definite thrash metal/crossover influences. Parts of your songs bring me back to 1989. Tell us more about your song writing and influences.
When we start writing a new song we usually just go into it not knowing what we're gonna do with it. Israel starts with a riff, Eli starts putting drums to it and we go from there. We take influence from a lot of different bands from the 80's, 90's and today. Probably our biggest influences though are everything Sepultura Chaos AD and before and All Out War.

Coming from Lubbock, what is the music scene like there? What other bands reside in your area?
Lubbock has a really small hardcore scene currently. It's been all over the place. The people that are still here and contributing work hard and give a shit about what happens within our scene and it's awesome. It's overlooked a lot but that just makes us work harder for what we have and it's something we don't take for granted. We're all proud to be from here. There's not a whole lot of bands going at the moment. Judiciary is from here and Israel plays guitar in that as well. We have another band we jam in called Dirtnap with a couple other friends which is just slayer and sabbath worship. We have some other bands that we've started working on but nothing ready to start playing yet. This is all most of us have so we just try to occupy our time with it as much as we can.

Your debut release, Demo 2015, has a powerful sound. Currently, to my knowledge, it is a digital only release. Do you plan on doing a physical release?
We're going to have tapes here fairly soon. The tape is coming out through Wrong Ones Records from Oklahoma. We'll have them for sale on line and at shows. They'll also be available through the wrong ones webstore. Digitally you can listen to it at

What future goals do you have for the band?

We plan on writing more songs and getting them out as quick as we can. Probably write a 7 inch and see where it goes from there. Touring wise we're going to try to do as much as we can when we can. We all have full time jobs or a family so we're pretty limited to when we can go on the road. If we could we'd be out all year but that's just not in the cards for us currently.

Thanks for the interview. Please have the last word.
Thanks for asking us to do this interview. I've never done one before so it was pretty cool haha. We'll be playing a lot around Texas and surrounding states throughout the rest of the year. If we're in your area come check it out and chill with us. You can check us out on Facebook under Heavens Final War and Twitter under @HFWtx.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

SUPREMACY - The Brutal Soundtrack of a Long Journey

Formed in 2007, your band has quite a history. Has it been a challenge keeping the group together all these years?
Steven: The first year we started, we hit the ground running. We all had some extensive background in other local bands and when we got in that room and wrote those first five songs for the J.I.O. EP everything just clicked. After a year, more or less, supporting the EP, life just hit us hard, It was like a freight train from hell. We suffered everything from job layoffs to losing those close to us. The five years that we took the hiatus were some of the roughest years for all of us collectively. But we always knew there would come a day to bring Supremacy back and unleash all these demons that had built up for so many years. Ultimately I would say that although we were separated as a band during that time, our heart was always there for Supremacy. And after adding Ron to the mix we are the strongest we've been since 2008.

Going back to 2008, the Justice is Obsolete EP sounds slightly different from what newer fans would expect. That release had a definite hardcore sound but included more extreme metal elements, including blast beats. Tell more about the changes and evolutions that have brought you to this point.

Ken:  There are so many layers to our music and we fit with all sorts of genres, so it’s hard to just say we’re a hardcore band. We have many diverse flavors of musical influence. In the beginning we wanted to meld our love for hardcore and grindcore, but as time progressed we saw our selves leaning more towards our hardcore roots and our love for sludge metal. We feel like the metal aspect to the new album really helped to elevate the emotions of the lyrics, and you're able to truly immerse yourself into each and every song on the album.

Besides having a great sound, another reason I really like your band is that you seem to be willing to play with any bands regardless of genre. I know the reasoning is breaking down scene barriers, but tell in your own words what you are trying to achieve.
David: We are trying to get people to ultimately realize that there are a lot of other like minded individuals who are not seeing so much in the Hardcore community, but share a common goal of bringing people together to raise awareness, to bring up discussions about certain actions within our city, state, country, or world for that matter. Addressing issues of poverty, hunger, misfortune, less fortune...misguidance of our youth, but the right family on your side to direct you to a righteous path. If we (as a music community) could see past the labels of genres, and start to realize who is in it for right reason and whose in it for the wrong...I believe we can achieve much more when it comes to acting upon the topics/problems I just mentioned. Someone once told me something awhile back that broadened my perception of what Hardcore is....This person once told me he received countless amounts of backlash as to why he liked to play with bands that weren't "Hardcore".....he simply told them that their music didn't have to be Hardcore, their state of mind was all he needed to know about giving him clarity to who he was befriending. (Thanks for those words RTL, Brother)

Your debut full-length, 12 Years, seems to be gaining some momentum around Texas . The recording sounds great with a heavy, loud volume. Origin Sounds did a stellar job on it. Do you have any interesting stories from the sessions?
Ron: I remember us sitting down and saying "we got two songs that are written but we've never practiced before" We were worried about how they would come out, and we had no idea those two songs would become two of the most popular songs on the album. Those songs are “Straight From the Heart” and “Southpaw.”
Ken: Yeah the studio was just chill, no craziness or BS, just work.... Lots of conversation and creative input from Craig. We have all known Craig Douglas for years from previous bands we recorded with at Origin Sounds, so there was no real pressure when it came time to jump in the studio. And I have to point out that he is one of the best recording engineers in Texas.
Steven: I was so ecstatic when it came time for us to record. Craig had such great input for our music and we were able to build on what we had created already. We all had a great time just talking about music in general as well in between sessions.
David: We've always been a group of guys that take our time writing and analyzing each aspect of any particular song instead of just mashing together what we think sounds good at the time. We all know too well that when you've played or practiced something for so long, you tend to start changing the pattern or tempo of its original state, or small little pieces that help the development of a song. Luckily we had the support from Craig Douglas reassuring us to go with the flow and to run through parts a few times to get a solid outcome. To add, I was especially amazed on how fast we were able to track record everything we did for the album. I'd want to say 4 to 5 days collectively

I have read that the record is about pain and suffering, but can you go into more detail? Are there lots of biographical topics? Also what is the meaning of the title 12 Years?
Steven: 12 Years has several meanings for all of us, and I would say that the most distinct meaning is life after death. But we also see it as us finally coming out from the shadows with all our weaknesses and just letting the songs tell our story. And to put it bluntly, it is literally a recounting of events starting from the year 2003 until now. We chronicle life for us in a 12 year span and also touch on some other subjects like the unnatural violence of humanity, substance abuse within impoverished families, and the legacies we leave behind for our youth.

Keeping with your full length, can you give some insight of the album cover? The photo creates a grim image, but can you elaborate more on it?
Steven: In the beginning we had a totally different vision in mind for the cover but then David convinced me to go in a different direction. We ultimately chose to use someone who was close in our life and shared our journey, so we chose our older brother Eugene Garza. The cover represents all the pain, struggle, and sacrifice that has been made over the years. And is also a sort of amalgamation of death incarnate, like we are saying we are stronger even after death. The lyrics for every song on the album are splayed out around him and bottles of alcohol, something our families have struggled with in the past. We love how it all came out in the end, and if anyone is interested in seeing how the process for the cover unfolded we have the video on our Facebook page. 

Thanks for your time. I’ll leave the last words to you.
It’s been our pleasure. And we would like everyone to know that the train doesn't stop at this release. We are already hard at work on a second record for a possible early 2016 release. From what we have written so far you can expect the music to be much heavier and to have a natural evolution from 12 Years. We are also excited for the second half of this year which have so many great shows in store not just for us but for some of our fellow hardcore brethren here in Houston. 
To check out some of the other hardcore bands Houston has to offer head on over to for a free download of Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 

Special thanks to Daniel Austin of Die Young for keeping the scene organized and alive, and for bringing some awesome bands to Houston for weekday beast sessions.

You can catch us at our next show July 29th at Walters on Naylor St. where we will be jamming with Primitive Man, Krvshr, Death Motif, Bummer, and Stress33.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Austin Music Buying Journey

Every few months I take a trip up to Austin to visit friends and to hit record stores. This past weekend’s trip was a successful one. End of an Ear Records was loaded with many items I wanted to get. $200 could have easily been spent.
As seen in the photo, I got some great books covering two of the most influential hardcore scenes, Why Be Something That You’re Not: Detroit Hardcore 1979-1985 and Making a Scene: New York Hardcore 1985-1988. I haven’t had to time to read them, but just skimming through the pages was a great treat. Filled with lots of great photos and commentary, I already know they will be winners.
Not pictured is Godflesh Streetcleaner. I owned this classic industrial heaviness on a recorded cassette years ago but have procrastinated many, many years in buying this on CD. Luckily I found a used copy for $5. Also a big plus is that it’s a double disc version with live, demo and alternate mixes. The wait was well worth it.
The other CD purchased was the latest by Ceremony, The L-Shaped Man. That is a fantastic release! I had been a fan, but since seeing them with the Cro-Mags a few years ago I was really  won over. The band does get some crap from long time listeners hating their style changes. However, I like all their material, hardcore to post punk.
All that is great, but the highlight purchase was The Class of Nukem High soundtrack. For years I searched for those songs. I couldn’t even find a bootleg of them. So finally, last year, The Ship to Shore Phonograph Company and Troma gave it a proper vinyl release with download card. It features new artwork that looks great; but I would have preferred the original movie poster art. The download version also has some commentary tracks from Lloyd Kaufman. I expected to hear some interesting details but to my disappointment it was just babbling.

In 1986, I remember being an 11 year old renting Nukem High from the long dead Video Club. The punk rock look of the film, high school partying and graphic violence went hand in hand. Although the music is more straight 80s rock than punk, it still thrives in rebellious leather. The most recognizable bands on the record are The Smithereens and Stratus (featuring Iron Maiden’s Clive Burr, RIP).
Even listening to it now totally brings me back to the feeling of growing up in the 80s. With no exaggeration, the listening experience mentally threw me back to those school halls. It was a magical time discovering punk, hardcore and metal.


Monday, June 29, 2015

KRVSHER - Church Burner 12” Review

This genital chewing LP was recently picked up at a Krvsher gig. “Six dudes from Texas playing evil shit” is the band’s self described moniker. I have to say that is a pretty accurate tag. Every piece of music always brings forth some sort of image when listening. For Krvsher, when listening I imagine opening a door and finding people being slowly raped and tortured with sharp objects.
In some ways the music is similar to Eyehategod’s first record, but not totally. The album consists of 4 tracks ranging from 4 to 10 minutes. The best description is that of a painful, mood inducing, droning beat down. Not to rip off Phil Spector, but Krvsher truly is a “Wall of Sound.” This record is equipped with all the brutality filled characteristics: sludgy down-tuned guitars, thudding slow drums, shredding noise samples and drunken, throat ripping yells.
“Hill People” is probably the most upbeat cut of the record…and it is still moves at a pedestrian pace. From start to finish, Church Burner creates a doomsday atmosphere and never lets up. I really like this record a lot, but it does not replicate the sheer force and power of seeing the band in a live environment. Live is the only way to experience the Krvsher onslaught. Earplugs are needed!!
The band is consisted of veteran musicians that have partaken in a variety of projects in the past. With Krvster, all members continue their legacy. The album is available on vinyl (200 grain extra thick black vinyl) and limited edition cassette. Go check it out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

NO SOLUTION 1992-1993 Review

I am glad this was put to CD. It would handsomely fit on a piece of vinyl. This collection was released a few years back but listening to it the other day urged my realization that it needed a plug. This totally brings me back to that time period of the early 90s. Back then, most of the HC gigs always included a combination of bands No Solution, Tread and End Result. That was a magical time of venues such as The Axiom and The Vatican. Shows were much more violent back then, but that is a whole other story.
These NS tracks definitely sound dated, and for that reason they sound even more special. The vocals have quite a bit of reverb, which was somewhat common back then. The music most definitely fits into the description of hardcore punk. There are no metal influences, just pure hardcore with punk rock influences. 
Also during these times, not many bands had a quality recording. It was a big deal for a group to actually have a studio produced demo. Recording technology was not readily available to the average person.
This DIY release features new and exclusive artwork. Also there is a nice array of throwback photos included. Definitely a must have as a piece of Houston history. I am not sure of its availability these days. However on a positive note, I have been told that some modern NS recordings are in the works. So that is definitely something to look forward to.


Friday, June 19, 2015

KHOBRETTI - Interview taken from Violence Now Zine

*Republished with permission. Interview was originally printed in Violence Now.
Interview with drummer Donnie and bassist Mark.

A friend of mine referred your band to me and I was impressed. I became an immediate fan of your old school hardcore influence. Do you draw from the classic model for inspiration?
DONNIE: Yeah, I would say so.  We definitely are inspired by the classics from Joy Division to The CroMags. I like to think we incorporate our influences into our music as well.  
MARK: I think we all draw inspiration from different aspects of our lives, but we were all influenced those old punk and hardcore classics.  For me personally, skateboarding was a big influence in my music growing up, and I have been getting back to my roots.

Let’s start at the beginning since a lot of our readers might not know you guys. How did the band come together?
DONNIE: I woke up one day and said to myself that I wanted to start an old school NY style hardcore band but wasn't sure how to get the ball rolling on that one since I live in Houston. Kind of unheard "round these parts". I said, what the hell and posted on my FB page to my local friends to see if anyone was interested and then J.R. messaged me and that was the start of Khobretti.
MARK: It's funny how things come together. J.R. and I had been talking about trying to get something going after a layoff from a previous project.  One day he told me he had an old friend (Donnie) that had posted a message about wanting to start a band and that pretty much got things going.

Your demo has an absolute vintage sound. It sounds like it could be a 7” released in the 80s. Please elaborate more about the recording.
DONNIE: Right On.  Yeah, well I don't think that is what we were going for only because we wanted something as a reference to our new songs.  We recorded live in JR's studio and a lot of what you heard was really only one take of each song too. It came out really well and we were happy to have it as a demo and have it sound like those recordings we grew up listening to. 
MARK: It is interesting how well that demo came out.  As Donnie mentioned, the recording was really more for us to get something down for our own reference.  But everything really has clicked since the beginning, and I think those recordings reflect that. 

I see that you have an upcoming 7” release. Is it being done through a label? Can you give more details of what to expect?
DONNIE: Yeah we have a split coming out with Hogs of War very soon and are stoked to have them on it.  We are releasing it ourselves and trying to be as self sufficient as we can.  The recording process has been easy for us because we rehearse in a recording studio and that makes things really easy and laid back for us.  
MARK: Since we are able to take our time recording, we don't have to settle for anything less than what we really want to put out there.  All the recordings came out really awesome, and I think people will really like what they hear.

What future plans do you have? Are there any other releases planned?
DONNIE: We have recorded a whole album worth of songs and will be releasing more of those on splits with other bands and an EP.  Not sure about a full length.  Full albums from HC bands tend to get redundant after 4 or 5 songs in IMO, but whatever the band decides overall is what will happen. So, who knows? 
MARK: We are always talking about future recordings and what we want to do. There will probably be a few surprises along the way. 

There in Texas how is the music scene? Are there lots of opportunities for gigs?
DONNIE: Yeah, the HC scene as of lately has had an awesome resurgence.  There are so many bands that we can play with and actually be billed as a HC show.  I have noticed a lot of young kids (I say that because I am 41yrs. old) keeping the torch lit with HC and bringing out punk and hc kids to the shows.  It's great to feel young again playing along side all of these great Houston HC bands. It's definitely a work out too.  
MARK: Things have definitely seemed to be picking up.  It seems that more and more opportunities are popping up to play with different bands.

What kind of stuff did you grow up listening to?
DONNIE: I personally grew up listening to all types of music.  I have to say that The Smiths and Joy Division are probably the two bands I listened to most growing up to this point.  I still listen to them once a day.  I got into punk and HC in jr. high with Bad Brains and Suicidal Tendencies and from there a flood gate of music poured in. JR and I used to frequent punk shows when we were in our teens and saw some great shows but nothing more memorable than GG Allin at the Axiom.  That was punk at its finest/worst.  I think we both strive for that in our live show when we perform.  HaHa, J/K.
MARK: Skate punk and hardcore punk was really my core music base growing up, but all sorts of fast heavy music made its way into the play list at the old half-pipe during skate sessions.  If you could skate to it, it got played.

What was the first album you ever bought and the first concert you ever saw?
DONNIE: I want to say it was Quiet Riot's Metal Health.  The first concert I saw was New Order in 88 and that was an amazing show.  
MARK: That's a good question.  I'm not sure about the first album I bought.  I do remember getting cassette tapes of the Clash and the Police for Christmas one year from my parents.  The first punk album I ever heard was the Dead Milkmen Big Lizard in My Backyard.  A friend in Junior High brought it to school one day and told be to go home and listen to it.  After hearing that I knew punk rock was for me.  My first show was D.R.I.  That had to have been around 1988.

Anything you would like to add?
DONNIE: Yes thanks for the interview. Be on the lookout for our upcoming 7” with Hogs of War. That should be out in the fall. Also we have a planned split CD with Black Coffee in the works. I’ll finish with a plug for some of the great bands around our area: Mind Kill, Shut Out, Sketch//Driven, Blunt, God Fearing Fuck, Supremacy, Forced Fem, Action Frank…honestly there are so many that I can’t remember them all. Go give us a "like" at