This band brings everything that's evil in hardcore! I know you all like Clevo sound - now try to mix it with some thrash/punk rock influences and you get Withdrawal, negative people playing negative music.
Can you tell us how did Withdrawal get started ?
Adam: We started in March of last year. We'd all known each other from our previous bands, circle of friends and from going to school together way back when. All our bands kind of fell appart at the same time, which allowed Withdrawal to fall into place. We'd all mutually repsected each other musically, so it seemed to make sense. And here we are a year later.
What’s happening with Withdrawal right now? How is the recording process of your debut 7” going?
Joel: We have very busy between balancing jobs, girlfriends AND poker, while writing and trying to squeeze jams in. As far as recording is going, well, you can never know til it's done. I am very happy with what has been done so far in terms of tones and production so hopefully it all comes together nicely in the end.
Adam: Without the addreneline of a live show I can only sing for an hour or two in the studio a day without getting an intense migrane, so that's certainly slowed the recording down a bit.
What should people expect from this stuff?
Joel: I suppose it sounds like a "stock" answer but the fast songs are faster, the heavy parts and heavier and darker parts are hopelessly dark. We put a fair amount of time into these new songs and they do progress forward without leaving behind what people enjoyed off our demo... Evil lyrics that make you think King Diamond is your lord and savior, riffs that make you wanna swerve your truck at 60 clips into the nearest church and burnt out bass riffs that are so wailing you think cliff burton came back from the dead to shred in your head!
Adam: I think it's going to be polarizing towards the listener. If you enjoyed our old songs, you will enjoy the 7", if you enjoy progressive and frightening agressive music then there is something special for you on this record. I would never, ever want to release the demo over and over again. It would be a nightmare, but at the same time we don't want to stray so far from the path that we've already committed to that we are a different sounding band. So we've brought in more influences but without sacrificing anything.
To the people who don't know you, how would you describe your style and sound?
Adam: Nightmares, Suicide attempts, occult rituals, misery and violence in audio form. Holy Terrorism. Real hardcore. Handsome gentlemen playing ugly music.
In my opinion, your band can be compared to the Clevo sound and acts like Integrity and Ringworm, but I also hear influences from a wider range of bands. What groups would you say were the most influential when developing your sound?
Joel: Well, we do all love the clevo style... It's some of the best no bullshit stuff around. If you trace me down to my roots as a guitarist I would say it's obvious i'm more D.R.I and slayer influenced than say... Iron Maiden.
Me and Adam are huge old Cave in fans (and the later era..) and really loved the spacey metal they did on the first few releases... I listened to a lot of The Mission's(uk) first album... I love how the guitars surround you on the album so I really was looking to get a "wall of guitars" sound on this new stuff... I guess you could say I was going for a "dark side of the moon" space-y meets black album heavy guitar sound/feel...
Having said that, in a sense I draw inspiration from all the shitty poser bands I see/deal with day in day out as a music lover and designated shredder... Gives me the hatred to fuel my desire to rid the world of such douche baggery.
Adam: I think it's a fair enough comparisson to compare us to Ringworm and Integrity, and while I don't discount their influence, I am glad that you don't just dismiss us a clevo worship band because the Clevo bands we enjoy are indeed just part of an imense amount of influences we have. I can only speak for myself but I can say that my lyrics are mostly influenced by Martin Gore of Depeche Mode, H.P Lovecraft, japanese author Shigesato Itoi, and others. Recently all we've been listening to is Trap Them, Cave In and Watain...
How long were some of the songs in the works? Does it take you long to put a song together?
Joel: Depends. Some songs maybe take weeks while some might just com together in a quick jam or two assuming it goes well and me and jeff don't just sit around like lazy sacks of shit when we get together to write...
Adam: A couple of the songs are from last year and have been played live for quite some time now and the others are brand new. It takes a while to get lyrics out of me, I can't rush my words. But when inspiration strikes I'm pretty good.
Is there a message you are sending through your music?
Adam: Well I don't write about one specific topic so we cover alot of bases. Lyrically, we touch on depression and loneliness alot. The 7" is called Unknown Misery and by that I mean the fact that the future is so uncertain and grim and I think most people can identify with that if they open their eyes a bit. Anti-Christian sentement.But there is also a new song on our 7" about astral project, so we're not afraid of writing about esthetoric things like that.
Joel: I just hope when people hear our stuff they genuinely feel our anger and resentment towards our sick world.
How the non-musical influences had an effect on your sound?
Adam: As a holy terror affiliated band we're lucky enough to be part of a collective of really inspiring artists like Stepehen kasner, Joey Southside, GIVE UP, and others. I just like presentation and I don't believe in half assing anything with our band so it's important that we have a strong visual representation that matches the sound of the music we play. I think the music we play affects us more non-musically than the other way around if that makes any sense at all.
You have been doing a lot shows? How important is it to Withdrawal to have a top notch performance?
Joel: I always try to put on a good show for people that come to see us. The bottom line is they came for a show, not a stand around and deedle practice. Fuck that, give your all when playing live. Having said that, everyone has off nights and SHIT HAPPENS. I don't cry when i fuck up, or my guitar breaks mid song. Deal with it and try and keep going.
Adam: WIthdrawal live is a cathartic and violent experience and there is no way to practice for what happens when we play live. you just kind of let it happen. I personally just black out for the most part and come to after the song or set is done. If that aggression and release is top notch to someone, so be it. We'd do it in front of 200 kids or 2 of them. That's a page from Black Flag's rule book and it's very important in the primadona hardcore world of today.
What's your favorite part of being in a band, writing new music or performing in front of the audience? Why?
Joel: I would say it's both. I love the feeling of having a wild ass new song to bang out live. Just knowing your friends will be tearing up the joint when the "circle pit" part sneaks it's way into a new song. Love writing and playing.
Adam: I just like being in a band in general. If I'm not playing in a band I just feel lazy, after a few months of that I'd probably hang myself out of sheer boredom.
Can you remember what made you want to be a part of hardcore? The song or the whole album and the feeling you had then?
Joel: Sick of it all was the first legit HC band I fell in love with. I was a pretty punk kid in high school. Dead kennedys shirt, ripped army shorts and shit. SNFU live was the show that really got me loving punk/hc.
Adam: I got into SSDecontrol when I was 15, Project X, alot of the early Boston bands like Slapshot and Impact Unit. It just went from there, I always liked metal and I always liked punk so when the two managed to combine. One of the few songs I can remember instantly hitting me hard was SSD - Police Beat. That bassline and Springa's anguished screaming. You immediately get the feeling that it's real, and I would love to get that feeling over and over again, but it's hard to find those kind of bands nowadays.
What do you think of hardcore these days - is there anything you think is missing in the scene?
There needs to be more straightened hair posers at our shows filling my gas tank and providing cushioning for my hard moshing friends. Hardcore, these days, is wishy washy. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE real in your face angry hardcore but I hate the molestation of it the last 10 years. With uninspired "woa, sick bro!" hc bands selling 20, 000 copies of thier new slab of shit cd in it's first week and real heavy bands like Ringworm and Napalm death barely selling 2,000 of thier new cd happening, why wouldn't I be wishy washy on music in general.
So who are you feeling in the hardcore scene at the moment? Is there anyone you ain't feeling?
Joel: Me, personally, I love Grave Maker in terms of thier live show and incredible touring ethic. I like Crucified a lot. Trap them are great? hmm, not a whole lot lately that gets me going. Rise and Fall rip. Locally there is First Strike and Born Bad. Two bands that are in "keep it real" mode non-stop. I won't name names but there is a whole slew of shit prairie metal weiner bands in Canada. Wannabe dangerous posers who would go running back to thier lush god fearing homes if they were in our shoes for a tour. I straight up hate poser bands. Always have.
Adam: Crucified, Set Foot, Pulling Teeth, Trapped Under Ice, Invasion, Grave Maker, The Banner, Moutheater, Shoot To Kill...all of these bands are immensely inspiring and I suggest that anyone who is losing faith in hardcore check them out for a renewed sense of hope.
What are your plans and wishes for the near future?
Joel: Load up our stanky van, and get the fuck out of this awful city if only for any period of time. If we don't tour more soon? I'll down a bottle of pills.
Adam: Narrowly avoid suicide attempts. Tour as much as we can, hopefully put out an LP if some sort of record label feels like working as hard as we do. Struggle with misery.
Anything you'd like to say before we close out?
Joel: Thank you to anyone who is into our band. We may be barely approachable pricks but I'd shake your hand if I could. See you in hell!
Adam: Listen to Crucified.
Withdrawal @ Myspace