Retribution caught my attention with their superb Consumed 7". That record was pure fire - pissed off vocals, massive breakdowns and powerful riffs combined for a definitely dark and negative output. The new stuff that the band dropped at the end of 2013 definitely lives up to the previous material so make sure you check it out. You can grab it on tape from Lost Time Records. Check out the interview I did with band's vocalist Kenneth.
Retribution caught my attention with their superb Consumed 7". That record was pure fire - pissed off vocals, massive breakdowns and powerful riffs combined for a definitely dark and negative output. The new stuff that the band dropped at the end of 2013 definitely lives up to the previous material so make sure you check it out. You can grab it on tape from Lost Time Records. Check out the interview I did with band's vocalist Kenneth..For the kids who are not familiar with the band, can you give a little bit of background about Retribution?
The idea for Retribution started in late 2009. I did a Judge cover set for fun with a few of my friends from other bands around the area, and having so much fun with that and being comfortable with becoming a front man, I asked a few of them if they would be down to do a real band with original material. They were into it and around Spring 2010 we started writing and recording our 1st demo. In June we had our first show. After a couple shows that summer I had a small breakdown and quit the band/the band broke up. Six months later, I realized i was being dumb and was able to get most of the band together to start playing shows again. During that earlier part of the band, we werent actually an Edge band. Our bass player liked to party a little bit which was ok til it effected one of our shows pretty badly, so he got the boot. Our next bassist ended up being Edge so we said "Fuck it, lets just be a Straight Edge band now". With the new retooled Retribution, we did a 7 inch titled "Consumed", had a lineup change, did a 2nd demo, had another lineup change, and have an song on the Lost Time Records comp, "Fair Warning". In between all of that we've gotten to play a bunch of shows with a bunch of cool bands.
As far as the music goes I think that might have been a case of Nick, our guitar player and Derrick, our drummer having a more shared responsibilty writing and arranging the music. Whereas the case with "Consumed" was mainly written and arranged by Nick, the 2nd demo was definitely more of a band oriented project, and also I think a lot of is was just trying to blend our influences a bit more while adding a thicker layer to the whole thing.
Are there any specific musical influences in particular that you had in mind when writing the songs on the demo?
The influences for Retribution have stayed mostly the same since the beginning of the band: Detroit bands like Cold As Life and Earthmover, Cleveland bands Integrity, Ringworm, and In Cold Blood. Hatebreed to a point. I think on the 2nd demo there was a bit more NYHC influence. Shit like Breakdown, Outburst, Killing Time. Stuff like that. People are gonna listen to our stuff and think none of our stuff sounds like any of that, but beleive me its there.
When it comes to lyrics, is there any type of message in your music that you want to send to the listeners?
I've always have tried my best to keep Retribution an issue oriented band, something I feel is lacking big time in Hardcore these days. A lot of bands are angry but dont seem angry about anything in paticular. I would never want my band to be like that. We have songs about capital punishment, gay rights, losing friends to drug overdoses and addiction, drunk driving. On the more personal side we also have a song about me having Ezcema and how having the skin condition has effected me my entire life.
I know Lost In Time records released the demo on cassette. Considering these tracks are really dope, why you didn’t choose to drop it as a regular record instead?
Haha, honestly I'm not sure why we went with doing a tape instead of another 7 inch. I think it just sounded cool to us and it sounded cool to Mike from Lost Time, so we just went with it. Hopefully if enough kids demand, we'll put those tunes on wax someday.
What have been some stand out gigs you played recently?
Things have been a little slow for Retribution show wise recently, due to band members other obligations with other bands (support Freedom, True Love, From Hell, and xTyrantx) and all of us working a lot. The last few shows we've played with have actually been with mostly other bands in Michigan like our pals in Hollow Earth, Traitor, Breaking Wheel, Detain, Great Reversals, Left Of The Dial and Sunlight Ascending. We had a really rad show back in November with Incendiary, that was one of the best shows to happen in Metro Detroit in all of 2013. Freedom just put out a new record and True Love just finished recording their 7 inch for React Records, so hopefully it'll be Retribution's time to be a little bit more busier bandwise.
How did you guys get involved in hardcore?
I cant speak for everybody in the band for this question but as far as myself I got into Hardcore from seeing Hatebreed opening for huge metal bands like Slayer and Slipknot, then I would go see Hatebreed on their headline tours and they would bring bands like Etown Concrete and Sworn Enemy with them, and they would all be wearing shirts of bands like Earth Crisis, All Out War, Integrity or Madball and it kinda snowballled from there.
Do you think the tradition of Detroit hardcore has had any impact on your band?
Yes defiintely, Negative Approach, Cold As Life, Earthmover, Pitbull, early Walls of Jericho. All of that stuff has had some kind of influence on our band. The one thing thats shocking though is that a lot of those bands are more revered outside of our area than by a lot of younger kids in our area. If theres once thing I would want younger Detroit kids to do, its to dig deeper on the old stuff from around here instead of trying to just collect all of the stufff from LA or NY bands. Detroit has a great history in Hardcore even if it isnt as popular as the NY or LA or Boston stuff.
Tell us what’s the scene like out there in Detroit at the moment? In terms of music and kids’ attitude, do you feel like it is in a good place today?
For the most part I think recent times in Detroit Hardcore have been great. We have a lot of really good young bands come up. Freedom and True Love are starting to get big. As attitudes go, there arent nowhere near as many fights at shows as there was ten years ago. The only thing that there seems to be is a slight divide between kids that like "mosh" bands and some kids that are about the more traditional, punk/youth crew side of Hardcore, but I see that gap becoming smaller and smaller which is awesome. Kids are being more open minded. But also I think that gap is a younger person thing. You dont really have that divide with most of the people that come to shows who are 25+
Have the problems that Detroit is facing right now impacted the scene in any way?
I dont really think the problems Detroit is facing has impacted the scene as much as it should have, very few bands have addresed those issues in lyrics or anything. Thats something I could blame myself for as well, but maybe Retribution will have a song about that stuff in the future. I think a lot of also is so many kids are apathetic to whats happening in Detroit. Even though the city is clearly in bad times, a lot of kids dont talk about that stuff because it hasnt directly effected them yet. Its a lot more "cooler" to talk about record collections, Nike Air Max, and iPhones than to talk about real issues these days.
What’s your opinion on this new Robocop movie?
Still havent seen it yet. When I first heard it was being made my first thought was "Dont fix what isnt broken" but after the trailer it at least looks good, plus a good potion of it was actually filmed in Detroit, unlike the original which was filmed in Dallas, California and Pittsburgh. Fuck that poser shit.
Any words of wisdom to wrap this up?
Jam the new Freedom record "Pay The Price". Bands: Please stop talking about meaningless shit and start talking about social issues again. Check out the best two young bands in Michigan: Breaking Wheel and Detain. Go Wings!