Unite.Resist Interview

Here’s a quick background info on the band: Unite.Resist is a new and upcoming hardcore band hailing from Scranton, Pennsylvania. The band started out in 2010, has released their self-titled debut Ep in January 2011 on Universal Warning Records and if that’s important for you, there’s Tom from Strength For A Reason playing bass there. Unite.Resist is currently working on the upcoming split with Troublesome on Marked For Death which should be available in the upcoming months. If you like real, honest, down to earth hardcore that tell it like it is, here’s something for you. Hell, every band that mentions Mushmouth as one of their influences should immediately make to every hardcore kid’s ‘to listen’ list!
Here’s a quick background info on the band: Unite.Resist is a new and upcoming hardcore band hailing from Scranton, Pennsylvania. The band started out in 2010, has released their self-titled debut Ep in January 2011 on Universal Warning Records and if that’s important for you, there’s Tom from Strength For A Reason playing bass there. Unite.Resist is currently working on the upcoming split with Troublesome on Marked For Death which should be available in the upcoming months. If you like real, honest, down to earth hardcore that tell it like it is, here’s something for you. Hell, every band that mentions Mushmouth as one of their influences should immediately make to every hardcore kid’s ‘to listen’ list!

Can you give us a brief history of the band? What prompted you to start Unite.Resist and who is in the present line up? What prompted you to start Unite. Resist and who is in the present line up ?

Tom: The band started through a few different line-ups, but came together with the band Myriad in 2003, which was ERIC(vocals), Jim( Drums), Tom (bass), Vic(guitar) and Dom(guitar). In the evolution of that band, Jon (guitar) eventually joined to give the band a second guitar when Dom left. This band played mostly in PA through 2003-2006 During these years Tom joined SFAR and started to tour with them. A few years later when Strength’s drummer decided to step back from the reigns, Jim took on the job of drumming with them for obvious reasons including schedules. We then mulled around with some ideas and decided to get a new project together, topics for lyrics, type of sound, etc., then decided to come out strong in 2010. We recorded our songs before playing live and then started looking for a label. After recording we played a few shows and then released the self titled EP on Universal Warning Records in the first week of January. Lou joined the band in January shortly after the release, playing his first two shows solo , but that’s the way it always seems to go when you have to work a full time job. The present line-up is ERIC(vocals) JIM (drums) Jon (guitar) LOU (guitar) TOM (bass) .

How would you describe your playing sound to those who still haven’t heard your music? Is it something people are going to be able to compare to Strength For A Reason?

Eric: If you’re a fan of mid 90s hardcore you will enjoy us, it’s a break from all the breakdown bands that seem to be coming out , if you have V.O.D , Mushmouth , Madball on your ipod pick up a cd . If your a fan of Strength for a Reason I’m sure you would enjoy Unite Resist, but to compare us to them I would say no we have a different sound and style of writing.

Tell us something about your debut album. What do you hope people make of it?

Tom: The aspect that I liked about this recording is that we recorded totally analog, and with all live takes, so when a mistake was made we had to re-do the entire song. On a side note it just so happened that when ideas for the artwork on our Universal Warning EP were completed we used pictures from Ireland, Greece, etc. By the time the discs were printed and released, these countries were having protests in the streets over the economics situations and bailouts.

As for what I would like people to make of it, I would hope that something on the record would strike a chord with a listener, whether it be the music or one of the topics in the lyrics. I wouldn’t want to downplay the music because that is a huge part of a band, but I personally would hope that one of some of the lyrics could possibly start a conversation (especially in the states). The U.S. has taken a turn since 9/11. Whether it be the new attitude the country has taken, surveillance of citizens, erosion of civil liberties and our constitution (which the average person in this country seems to want to give away freely). I think these topics are in need of some serious discussion. I feel this can also strike a chord around the world, not only in the states, due to some of the events that we have seen in the past year. Bailouts in Europe and unrest in the middle-east, N. Africa and Eastern Europe. When it comes to the payment of a country’s debt, the people have to realize that they do not owe the debt, monetary practices are the cause of the troubles. The people have a right to be upset.

Eric: I hope people from 15 to 50 enjoy what we are doing on this release, and see how much work we put into it plus its all analog so the sound of the cd is nice and crisp not a lot of bands do analog anymore . We will also be putting out a split CD with the band Troublesome this summer on Marked For Death Records which will be released in Europe. So be on the lookout.

What are you be singing about on the record?

Tom: If you take a song like “Weaponless” the song is saying that people have a voice to speak out or address their grievances or change their world. But possibly someone who is in the lower or middle class may not be able to flex an economic muscle or pull some political “strings” like someone in a higher class would. So that’s why you hear people say, “that’s the way it is. What am I going to do about it? We can’t change it.” If everyone would change that mindset things could change tomorrow. My favorite part of the song is the MLK excerpt which refers to the U.S. staying true to its constitution, which is the solution to the many problems our country is facing currently. And of course there are other weapons that can be used, but the song is saying that non-violently the only weapon we’ve been left with is our voice and it can be powerful. Now would be a time to speak up in America, because you would rather see a problem solved peacefully than to have to resort to violence. But I am 100% behind the people of Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Egypt, Etc. The song “Pain in Change” is a play on the Obama presidential campaign slogan. Although the U.S. voted the man into office and the world seemed to justify him by giving him the Nobel Peace Prize. He never really had desire to change any of the Bush policies, as the people of the U.S. assumed.

Eric: I agree with what Tom said on the songs and also to let people know its not how cool you are b/c of the way you dress or went to a hardcore show. Its about knowing the people around you and knowing yourself that this is the place. Most people go to get away or to hang out with friends. Due to this current emphasis on fashion or text messaging and facebook you may not always see and to hear what some of the bands are saying open your ears people.

Where do your lyrics come from? What are your main inspirations?

Tom: When I first started seeing hardcore bands it was more the atmosphere of the show that I admired. It gave me the feeling that these people were here for a reason and had a very important message to convey to the audience. For some of the bands it was in their message, but for others it was in what they spoke about between songs. To me it always had a positive message,(or that’s what I heard or gravitated towards). Messages about believing in yourself, standing up for one another, and not being afraid to speak out against what grievances were around at the time socially, etc. I know that there are bands that currently have a something to say, and along with them we hope to contribute to more of a message brought back to hardcore. Currently my inspirations are found in the news. Europe is having economic problems in Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Spain. Problems that other countries will soon see. What happened in Egypt with the internet shutdown and use of the military against citizens in Libya could happen in any country. Europe and the U.S. are not an exception.

Eric: I remember when hardcore had a message, and has seemed to have lost some of that message. We are here because we love the music and the people and I really wanted to say a lot to the kids who just wanted to be cool at shows or to go outside and txt and tell people, “hey I’m at a show “. The kids who start bands who want to just say I’m in a hardcore band but really have no message and no heart they just want the look. We come to this place to get away its our high and we must keep the people with open minds in it that stay true to what's real.

PA bands are recognized for their strong, heavy hitting brand of hardcore . How does coming from there shape your attitude to the music and hardcore culture?

Tom: I’m very proud to come from the PA hardcore scene, and the Northeast area in general. I would like to think that with any band the attitude and sound comes from the regions we were raised. The area we are from, which is an older industrial region, we are people of the same socio-economic backgrounds, all working class families. In the 90s our area was fortunate enough to have a stable club that brought in hardcore bands from other areas and allowed local bands to develop their music, Strength for a Reason was one of these bands. Our proximity to New York (2 hr) also helped. These bands that came up in that time period in turn passed that hardcore ethic along. Some people get it and some people don’t. I feel that the area that we come from is similar to the parts of Europe that have the same brands of music, such as the Ruhrpott in Germany ,England, or Poland. Especially Pennsylvania which produced coal, iron, steel and agriculture. I also feel we also get our work ethic from parents and especially our grandparents, who were hard workers, and I feel that this influences our attitudes.

And what do you think of the hardcore scene right now? What are some other bands you’re down with?

Tom, Eric : I think that the scene has a healthy influx of new bands. Some good fests going on in the U.S. like the new Tsunami Fest, This is Hardcore, Long Island Fest, etc. Some great new bands that have come out at the same time as us are: Troublesome , Lifeless ,Ready to Die , Rock Bottom , Born Low and Wrong Answer who we are really into presently. Right now I am liking the band Carrying the Fire from Baltimore, I like the message and I feel all around the band is amazing. Mother of Mercy is also very good. Steel Nation, who we all agree on, is another PA band who we happen to know personally, as well as Strength for a Reason, Cold World, Wisdom in Chains, Not til Death , and Concrete Reality . And these are bands that are more or less from our "area".So yeah I think there is a lot of potential right now to keep it moving in the right direction.The scene is strong the real bands keep it moving along and keep it alive thank god. The venues are sometimes tough to keep, but everyone will usually work together to find a hall, other location, or basement, which we have played over the last weekend. Its great to see people and the bands come together and put shows on no matter if your from one part of town or another, we should all be working together and pushing for each other. We are all the same, we love this thing called hardcore we love the feeling of being at a show together thats what its about, not doing presales for someone or to get the most facebook likes.

How do you rate paper fanzines, and do you think they still have a part to play in the hardcore scene?

Tom:I think that it is great that people communicate and share ideas through paper zines. It has contributed to the attitude and the drive that made hardcore what it is and we have to preserve that tradition. The internet can’t be the only form of communication within the scene. Whenever I’m at a show and see a zine or a paper pamphlet I will take one to read. While answering these questions I was looking at the Thinking Cap fanzine that I picked up at a show in Philadelphia.

What's your impression of the European hardcore scene?

Tom: I love going on trips to Europe, not only for the sights but for the friends I’ve met in several countries. Having been over to Europe a few times I can say that the fans are very appreciative to the bands from the US, and that the clubs and promoters are better organized that those in the U.S.. I appreciate the honesty European fans will give when it comes to opinions on performances or certain songs. I’ve had the opportunity to play with and befriend the guys in No Turning Back, Cheap Thrills, Bleed Into One, New Morality, For The Glory, Nasty, BOLT , Fallbrawl, Black Friday '29 . And others like Look My Way, World Eater, The Ice and I also happen to be fans of all of these bands. And as in the U.S. I see that when bands dissolve or break up the members usually end up staying in the scene and starting new bands, labels, and zines. This year SFAR had the opportunity to play in Katowice Poland this year and the thing I will remember was that Poland dances HARD. It was a show that I will remember, as well as the ice cold vodka shots, which I crave from time to time now that I’m home.

Five books everyone should read?

I’m sorry that I didn’t keep it to five books, but pick any of these five and you should enjoy

1. Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited by Auldous Huxley

( A similar book is 1984 by George Orwell, but I feel that Huxley realizes that the government will use a different form of control (through media and entertainment) rather that just brute force.

2. Inside the third Reich by Albert Speer

( As you should know our band does not condone fascism or national socialism, but stands for the opposite. I feel that everyone should at some point in their lives read a book about how a system like that can be built up around a population when the right circumstances permit. If one realizes how this happens, we would possibly not repeat the same mistake. Other books in this same vein could be The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn or The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard Evans)

3. Media Control : The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda by Noam Chomsky (also, the book that started it all: Propaganda by Edward Bernays or you could watch the documentary about Bernays “The Century of the Self” that can be found on youtube. Byernays was the nephew of Freud and the man who invented propaganda)

4. Slaughter House Five by kurt Vonnegut

(any of his books are a good read, Blackbeard, Cat’s Cradle, etc.)

5. The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

(which gets me into other books like War and Peace by Tolstoy)

Also you can not go wrong with the classics

Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Republic by Plato

The Iliad of The Odyssey by Homer

The Gallic War and othe Writings of Julius Ceasar by Julius Ceasar

The Prince by Machiavelli

The Trial and The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka

The Grapes of Wrath By John Steinbeck

Three mistakes everyone should do before they die?

Eric: I have no clue im only 27 find me when im 60 if im still alive and ask me .

What are some future plans for the band? What should we expect from Unite.Resist in the 2011?

Eric : we are writing for our Europe release as of right now, taking it easy on shows it should be out this July on Marked For Death Records .we all have a lot more time in the summer's soon as we are done recording that we will be playing out as much as we can .

Any last words ?

Eric : Thanks to all who support us we are thankful for how far we have come in just a few months and we plan to keep moving with our message as far as we can go .