Cowardice are the proof that Tacoma hardcore scene is going strong! Pounding grooves and real life lyrics, that's what you can expect when picking up their newly released split with A Better Hope Foundation. We spoke about this and some other topics with Jeremy, the voice behind the band.
Name: My name is Jeremy.I sing in Cowardice
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Active since: December 2008
How do you define your overall style?
We just play pretty straight forward hardcore. I am horrible at answering that.
What’s your goal with this band?
Hopefully that someone can get out of one of our songs what I have gotten out of others. Show that hardcore can be more than just kids being angry. Being angry and having reasons behind it and trying to do something about it.
What do you have recorded so far?
We have a demo that is free for download on our myspace(myspace.com/cowardicewa). We also just put out a spit 7" with A Better Hope Foundation on Anthropogenic Records.
To the readers out there who aren’t familiar with Cowardice, give us some run down on the band’s history and some basic info.
We are a hardcore band from Tacoma, WA. We started around December 2008. The band already existed under another name. But when my old band broke up Josh(who sang at the time) switched to bass and I took over vocals. We changed the name and wrote some new songs and became Cowardice.
The split with A Better Hope Foundation should be out some time soon. Give us some details – what should we be expecting to find there and how does your music differ from the demo days?
The split just came out on Anthropogenic Records. It is a split with A Better Hope Foundation from California. We have three songs on it. The songs are just stronger than the demo songs in my opinion. The songs on the demo were more personal and about me lyric wise. This one varies more on topics. A song about dealing with alcoholism in my family, one about the music thse days not having much substance, one about people taking more personal accountability in the actions they take.
How did you hook up with Anthropogenic Records? What are your thoughts on the stuff they’ve been putting out so far? I’m hyped how good Wreak Havoc 7” is!
We put on a show for A Better Hope Foundation last fall and they had a show fall through the day after. So we put together a last minute free show for them at our venue and a bunch of kids showed up and went nuts. They were excited that people cared enough to help out a touring band. In the past my old band and ABHF talked about doing a split but it never came worked out. So they approached Cowardice and asked if we wanted to. They said they had a label that wanted to do it already and it was Anthropogenic. So we said, hell yeah.
You’re serious about your lyrics. Care to tell us where do you find your inspiration? What are some of the songs that feel most personal to you?
To me, lyrics are just as important as the music. Lyrics can make or break a band or a song for me. I remember my earliest experiences with music sitting in my room listening to a CD for the first time and reading the lyrics along with it. I have learned so much from the music I listen to. I feel that not enough bands these days take what they say with enough importance as they should. There are very few times in your life you can say something and have it have a chance to change or affect what the person listening thinks or feels. Playing music and singing in a band is one of those times. I have seen what the power of your words can do. I have felt what they can do. I find the inspiration in everything around me. People ask me why I am so angry. My response is always, why are you not? Or, why do you hide your anger. My words may not be happy, but who is happy all the time? Because I have this outlet I am able to release that and not hold it in. If you met me in real life and only knew my music you'd be surprised. I am one of the most laid back people you will meet. But I just take those moments when you hurt, are angry, are sad and put them to paper. Every single person has those moments. Whether it is being unsatisfied with your life, losing a relationship, a death of someone close, seeing the horrible things that surround us every day and wanting to do something about it. Those are things that every single person will experience at one point in your life. Hardcore is just an outlet to not forget those moments and to deal with them. Your chance to have a voice and maybe say something someone will relate to and realize they aren't alone when they feel what they are feeling.
For me, the song Grandfather off of our 7" means the most to me. Mainly because what it is about is still going on. My grandfather was an alcoholic and drank himself to Alzheimers. The last time I went to see him he shook my hand when I left and said "it was nice to meet you." I've known him since I was born. To see someone spend their entire life just to forget it in the end is hard. An entire life to wake up in a world with no family and no friends, honestly and truely alone is terrifying to me.
I really like the story behind Shadow lyrics. In these economically unstable times it seems like more and more people are hitting hard time. Since you’ve been there and done that, what would be your advice for them?
First, here are the lyrics and my explanation off of our myspace to the song Shadow.
"I saw the light turn into darkness. Put out the fire and choked on the ashes. I struggled to catch my breath and almost lost my life. There is failure in the shadows. It's all I've ever known. Losing faith in everything makes you find yourself.
I got to a point in my life where I had given up on everything. I had lost my job, my own place to live, my relationship and I was left with nothing but myself. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Losing everything forces you to find yourself, who you are and what you want to be."
I wrote those lyrics after I had lost what felt like everything. So all I had was myself living back at my parents house at the age of 24. I spent time with just me. I thought about giving up on life. But realized that everything I thought I lost wasn't really much at all. I was so caught up in the idea that I needed all these other things to survive when all I really needed was myself. When you have faith in nothing else all you have is yourself. Which is the first thing you need to have faith in to survive.
Many of the songs you wrote speak about hardcore scene. What does it mean to you to be a part of it? What’s the essence of hardcore for you?
For me, hardcore isn't a scene. It is so much more, as cheese as that sounds. Hardcore is something you can be not only a part of but you can make a difference with it. You can start bands, put on your own shows, write your own zine, you can go to shows, you can sing along, you can talk to the members of the bands. The kids writing the songs are the same kids going to the shows. The kids jumping on your head are the same kids putting on the shows. As cliche as it is, it is who I am. What I have gotten from it I will take with me the rest of my life.
When it comes to hardcore-punk, who is your favourite lyricist today?
One of my favorite of all time is Greg Bennick from the band Trial/Beneath Earth & Sky. The words he put out on the CD "Are these our lives?" changed how I thought about music and the power of what you say can have. To me, the best lyrics can stand alone without the music.
How is the state of hardcore scene in Tacoma ,what are some other bands from your hometown we should pay attention to?
Tacoma is awesome. We have built something that blows my mind. The hardcore kids here have gotten together and built something great. We have our own venue(VIADUCT), our own fest(RAINFEST), kids that print shirts for bands, kids still putting out zines, a lot of kids that volunteer and make this all work. Not just in Tacoma, but the surrounding areas are just as good. Dangers wrote a song about a house in Bremerton that put on shows. Within an hour in different ways there is Olympia, Bremerton and Seattle. All have there own little communities that have a lot of kids and kids doing things.
How does the near future look for the band?
We just lost our original Guitar play, Donny. So we are getting a new guitar player, Caleb and getting him up to speed. We are working on writing and recording by June. Hopefully a full length. Just taking time and writing and making something we are proud of. I have a lot I want to say and am putting a lot into the new songs.
Anything you would like to add?
Thanks for doing this. Check out these websites for more info on what is going on in our area.