Pushed Too Far

Pushed Too Far from Belgium have just released their third album, Up For Grabs, and if you like hardcore done raw, check it out! Here's something on new album, hardcore, band's plans for the future and life!
Pushed Too Far from Belgium have just released their third album, Up For Grabs, and if you like hardcore done raw, check it out! Here's something on new album, hardcore, band's plans for the future and life!
I’ve heard the new tracks from the upcoming record and I am most definitely digging them. Could you tell us how representative are these songs for the rest of the material?

They are very much representative, though some songs on the album will be a little bit darker, slower or faster, there's a pretty good variation on the CD. Two more tracks have been posted up our myspace, so go check them out and let us know what you think of them!

What would you say is the biggest difference between the your previous releases and "Up For Grabs"? What’s the direction you’re going with for the album?

For most people the biggest difference will probably be the change of vocals. But nevertheless the rest of the music has changed too, the easy "beatdown"-parts have made way for another way of releasing the anger, more in the breakdown direction. I guess we simply matured...

What are some musical influences that have shaped the band over the years? Who are some hardcore bands that you look up to?

Different bands will come to mind, ask any of us this question and you will hear 5 different answers, but if you ask me, I'd say Madball, Bulldoze, Judge, Ryker's and a slice of Skarhead! As for bands I look up to, that's a hard one, since there's so many to mention, but I'll try to keep it brief. Madball & Biohazard, for getting me into Hardcore, Krutch & Judge, for the aggression, Neglect, Blood For Blood & Sheer Terror, for the nihilism, and Next Step Up, just for being Next Step Up. Also mad props to No Turning Back for doing what they do, haven't seen much bands living it like they do!

What about the lyrical content? Is there an underlying theme you’re trying to stick with?

Well, not really, though some things do come back. It's about what we see & do, what/who we love & don't, it's about Hardcore, about being betrayed by friends, it's the way we see the world...

Do you get political in your songs? How important do you feel it is for hardcore bands to speak out about political movements and ideas?

The only song a little bit about politics would be "Bread & Circuses", and it's mainly about how it doesn't do a lot for us, and tries to keep us blind from the real problems in the world. I mean, we are from Belgium, and our federal government just fell, because they couldn't agree what language people need to speak in an area around Brussels about 20KM2... We have a worldwide crisis, growing poverty and unemployment, racial problems... You'd get disappointed in politics pretty fast then. The newest scandal here is about religious people molesting little children, and they don't even get prosecuted for it, they even get to keep their pensions, because it happened more than 5 years ago... But still, even without a government worthy of the name, this country has been going on for 3 years, with the rich getting richer, and the poor just trying to get by... I don't think Hardcore should be (only) about politics, but it's not a bad thing to see the bigger picture every once in a while, and getting your views out.

The guest list on the album is pretty impressive. Who you got on the album and how did these collaborations come about?

Well, it's a long list for sure, and we all choose them because they have been friends of us for years. Tito from Surge of Fury sings on two songs, and he mainly is one of my best friends, the same goes for Buske from One Step Beyond, when friends become family there's really nothing much more you need. We also have BartV from For My Enemies (RIP), who we did a tour with last year, Andrew from True Valiance (UK) because he became a very good friend, Maarten Trail of Hope, who has been supporting us for years, and Joeri from Enough Said & Gebo from Strike With Vengeance, the new blood! Nicho (our guitar-player) does a few lines too, and the backing-vocals have been done by 30 people I guess, just because it was fun to all hang out at High Lake Hill Studio!

What’s your label situation? Who will release "Up For Grabs"?

The album will be released on our own label, Clenched Fist Records, which has already put out all our previous Cd's, as well as a few others. We discussed looking out for another label, to maybe get a bit more exposure or something alike, but in the end Hardcore still is, and always should stay, DIY. Most of the new bands try to get on a label as fast as possible and think they will conquer the world because of it, but when you do it yourself, the satisfaction is much bigger.

What are your expectations for the CD when it comes out?

May it crush everybody! Seriously, we hope a lot of people pick it up, and like it as well. We've put our heart in this, and we feel like this is the best one yet, so we sure are proud. As far as downloads go, because it's a soft spot in the current music industry, we certainly prefer people buying our CD, though we realize it might be hard for some people. But still, nothing compares to having the CD in your hand, seeing the artwork (done by Joe Glorybound Tattoos & BSK_NMC) and putting it in your radio. I personally take a lot of pride in my ever-growing Hardcore collection (+1200 Cd's, records & tapes).

You’ve gone through some line-up changes lately. Who are the new people in the band?

Since the last CD the only change has been on the vocals. Our previous singer decided is was time to take a turn in his life, and DMZ filled in the spot! But this is also the first CD written with all of us together, since Nicho only joined the band right before the previous CD was written.

And how did Pushed Too Far get together in the first place?

It started out in 2003 as just a few kids that needed to let some steam off, and after 1 year and a half a demo-tape got released, ever since Pushed Too Far have started and kept playing shows all around. A half year later a mini-cd got recorded, but things only started to go the way they were supposed to after the release of "The Anger" full length. In the beginning there wasn't a very big scene at this part of Belgium, certainly not in the "Beatdown"-style, so we played the H8000-area regularaly (had some of the best shows with Retaliate RIP and Die My Demon RIP), it was only after "The Anger" got out and a few other bands started (like Johnny Unstoppable) that things over here got going. After that, we took a second guitarplayer, which did a great deal to our sound, and released a split-cd with Point Of View, shortly followed by another full-cd called "Fools Never Move On". Now last year the original vocalist left the band because of issues with his girlfiend, and we replaced him by DMZ, who had been following PTF since the beginning. We released another demo, and now this year we got our newest full-cd out, entitled "Up For Grabs"!

When you look at the scene, what do you think hardcore is lacking?

Dedication, respect & history. People tend to forget what has happened in the past, and what people have sacrificed to get the "scene" to where it is now. With more respect, downloading wouldn't be such an issue, since you would simply buy what you like, knowing the band didn't make it for free either. People wouldn't trash the venues, leaving their garbage at the door and harassing neighbors. And dedication, because a lot of people just get into it, and drop out a year later, when they hop on the newest trend. It takes dedication to be in a band, ask anybody that is about his girlfriend and you will already know why. And I might even add passion and unity, because fighting each other is a stupid thing, when we should be fighting the system.

What are your favorite current hardcore bands from Belgium?

We got a pretty vivid scene over here, with a bunch of new bands, and old ones picking up again. Without having to pick my favorites, you should definitely check out Surge Of Fury, Strike With Vengeance, One Step Beyond, Trail Of Hope & Enough Said, just because they helped us out with the vocals on the album, and because they all are great in what they do. Other bands and friends of ours would include Angelskin, Saviour (new CD coming out!), Headshot, The Setup, Johnny Unstoppable, Tear It Down (new CD on the way), Murderhorn (just released the CD), Point Of View, Crossed The Line (just released the CD) & Accept the Change. And of course there's the well-known ones like Arkangel, Length Of Time, Out For Blood who recently reformed... really, things are good over here! Sorry for those I missed, but there's always too many to mention!

What can we expect from you guys in the near future? Are you have any goals set for the band or are happy to just go with the flow?

Well, the release-party was last week, and we're playing with Hoods in Holland this week, followed a bunch of other shows. We'll be going through Europe with our friends in Headshot (looking for a show on the 3rd and 7th of July, hit us up!). After that we just continue to play shows, and will start working on new material again, for a release somewhere next year... We'll pretty much go with the flow, so hit us up if you'd like to book us!

Closing comments for readers?

Check out the new album and come out to one of our shows of course! Check out all the bands mentioned, support your local scene, because you need it more than you think. Buy music if you can, go out to shows, dance and sing along! Thanks go out to everyone that supported us in any way, Bart at High Lake Hill Studio and Nicolas Decleve for doing an amazing job on the recording, and ofcourse to the Hardboiled Blogspot for letting us do this interview! Bring back stagedives! Pushed Too Far 2010

Check out band's Myspace.