Hardcore spirit with a slight touch of metal - that's the way to describe South Impact. I was pretty impressed by their latest album called Codex with the way they blend old school tunes with some heavier licks and decided it would be cool to ask the band some questions. That's what they had to say...
Let me start with the latest album. What can we expect from this record and tell me about the title; Codex. What exactly does that mean to you?
Codex is a mcd gathering old tunes (some were written back in 1998) and newer ones, mixing oldschool, NYHC and metal. We chose the name Codex because this opus deals with some Hardcore codes. We are drawing the hardcore scene in this cd the way we see it today and the way we live it.
What has been the response so far?
For the moment we have good response, both on the sound quality and on the tracks but most of all we are satisfied with it.
What is your "personal" favorite track on the record?
Of course I like all the tunes but each track is different from an other when you come to the music and the texts but let me tell me you that I have a crush on « We share the Flame » because I love the text and the feat with Vincent (Alea Jacta Est) is simply great. I also love “Don’t Lose Hold” because all our friends sing on it and the lyrics show perfectly our state of mind about the actual scene.
How long have you been playing together? What’s the story behind the band?
South Impact was born in 1995, I am (Ben –drums) the only founding member remaining. We found a stable line up during the writing of Codex and we are today more than ok with the arrival of our new guitarist Mehdi replacing Adri who left us at the beginning of the year.
Is Codex your debut record? What about Play it to the bone and Giving a voice to his thoughts?
Play it to the Bone was our first demo back in 2000 and it is a live demo. Giving a Voice” is a 5 tracks demo we recorded when we were called Initiate and we were playing a more metal sounding hardcore style.
What do you think about the differences between a major and an indie labels. Would you take a deal from a company like Sony or Virgin or you think that hardcore bands should stick to hardcore labels? Do you think that bigger recognition, touring with big metal bands and this kind of hype can help hardcore?
Hardcore is a way of thinking, a way of life before being a music style. I don’t mind of if some hardcore bands are signed on big labels as long as they keep the spirit and it is great to spread the hardcore style better and better.
How is scene in France at the moment? What are the best bands around?
France has a good scene with interesting bands like Danforth, Seekers Of The Truth, Fat Society, Unfit, Purgatory, Out For The Count, Onesta, Alea Jacta Est, Ritsos, Through My Eyes, Shorter Than Fast, A Bridge Too Many and many more but there are much bands which are following the trend and who don’t live the hxc spirit. Theses people will disappear as they have no credibility.
Why do you think there are so few posi hardcore bands from France? Most of the French bands I know play rather negative tunes.
I don’t understand the « posi hxc ». I think the roots of hardcore is anger et each one has its way to express its anger. Some are straight to the wall, some are softer!
You guys played at some not 100% pure hardcore festivals. How does it feel to share a stage with alternative and indie rock bands? What was the crowd response?
I don’t remember us having troubles with bands playing a different style. We are not wild ones and we listen to a lot of different styles (hip hop, rock, metal, ska) so yu can see we are quite open minded. The surprising thing is the reaction of the crowd which is not hxc every time we play and who comes after the show to tell us they had a good time listening to a music they didn’t knew. And this makes us happy to spread our emotions to a new mob.
I’d like to tell you we have much friends playing in non hardcore bands like H-Tray, Nothingness, owngame, Manimal, Psykup, K D Conscience…
Where do you see hardcore movement heading in the next 3 to 5 years?
It’s true hardcore has become open from the mixing of styles. Be it metal, death or rock. But Hardcore stays hardcore.
Do you think there should be anything changed in the current hardcore scene?
I don’t think there are things to change but the scene will evolve as it is evolving from its beginning with bands who are built to last, some coming, some leaving. That’s the principle of existence and that’s everything which makes the hardcore grow.
What is your opinion about politics in hardcore?
We are spreading our opinions on many topics but you’ll never see us defend a political program. But if some bands get political, it’s their business. I respect it but I don’t approve it because in my opinion music has to be universal and non-political.
What do you guys think about SxE? Is anybody in the band SxE?
None of South Impact members are SxE. Straight Edge people are living their own way of life , it is their choice and we respect it as long as they respect our way of life.. I have many SxE friends and everything is ok with that.
What are the plans for the future for South Impact?
We are working on new tracks with our new guitarist in order to record a new album in the coming year.
But we carry on playing live and having fun with people and bands we meet on the road.
Any last words?
Thanks for your interest and the interview. Thanks to all who keep the scene alive and keep up the good work through labels, zines, shows… Thanks to all our friends from the beginning, our friends from Toulouse and most of all a big thank you to Alex from our label who is supporting us and believing in us since the beginning.
South Impact @ Myspace