New Blood: Ghetto Gospel

Photo credit: Lina V.

Ghetto Gospel are the new preachers of fast, attitude laden hardcore outta crisis-stricken Greece. The posse wasted no time and after just few weeks of jamming together in full conspiracy under the new Covid regime, they dropped a bomb in a form of The Price You Pay - nine tracks to check out if early Agnostic Front or SSD is your thing. Read the interview to learn more about the band and Greek hardcore in general.

To my knowledge, the story of Ghetto Gospel is short and straight forward - The Price You Pay is an outcome of just a few rehearsals. Is that correct?
Hey, thanks for the interview and for being interested in GG. Yeah, we started the band in mid December 2020, composed all songs and recorded them in a week or so.Then we sent the songs to Made In Hell studio that took some time to mix them properly. By mid January we had everything ready. It worked out really fast, faster than I expected, to be honest. Actually, we have never rehearsed in a real studio since we are not allowed to due to quarantine restrictions. We did everything at our drummer’s house (except of the drums that were recorded in a studio).

You all play in different bands, is Ghetto Gospel a side project or something more serious?
True, we are all active in various bands, some of us for almost 2 decades now. Our drummer is the youngest one, but he has been (and still is) involved in a dozen bands already! I dare to say that GG is a serious project and hopefully (when all this craziness ends) we’ll be able to reach out to more people with live shows, etc. That said, we don’t wanna set limits, deadlines or boundaries, we are doing this for fun first and foremost and we’ll see where it takes us.

The demo is 80’-styled in-your-face bursts of hardcore with most of the tracks clocking way below one minute mark. Was it the idea from the beginning?
Yeah, the main idea was to play raw and heavy, in your face, old school hardcore / thrash / punk / whatever, so the short songs do well for us. On the other hand, we never said let’s write a song that is 50 seconds or so, it came out kinda naturally. For me, long songs, when it comes to hardcore, are super boring, but that’s a different story.

New Blood: Chaver

>>Leipzig, Germany-based hardcore with style that goes from punk to metal and back
>>New record called Transference is just out via Injustice Records

For those that don’t know you, please introduce yourself and tell us where you’re from?
First, thanks a lot for your interest in Chaver and for asking us these questions. So yeah, we´re Chaver. The 3 of us are chris, winny and willi and we play a mix of heavy hardcore, riffy metal and fast punk. Our base is Leipzig in the eastern part of Germany. We started in 2016 and released a couple records since. First was a Split 7“ with german powerviolence band BATTRA// and a year later in early 2017, we pressed our 1st EP STROKE on a 12“ vinyl. Later that year, we recorded the SWAMP EP tape and very luckily, INJUSTICE records was down to put it out it. In february 2019 we finally released our first album through INJUSTICE on a yellow 12“. It’s called TRANSFERENCE and we´re very glad how it turned out. Between our releases, we´ve been pretty much touring through Europe all the time. Weekenders and tours through small diy clubs as well as festival appearences. We´ve tried to play as much as possible and put heaps of effort into it. We still are.

What’s your goal with this band?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Our Goal with this band? There are a couple. Writing better songs all the time. Bring heavier riffs, have thighter drumpatterns, wich fit the overall song atmosphere better, writing lyrics that display our feelings, yet deliver the message more on point, having better songstructutres… all summed up, becoming better songwriters. Then, we would say, become a better liveband. Play thighter, play a good mix of songs, have the sound as good and as heavy as possible, having the live process more professional technicwise. that last thing goes hand in hand with trying to play more professional concerts and also venues to deliver a better concert (for example when it comes to sound and light). On the other hand, we´ve always supported the diy scene in small squated houses and stuff. We don´t want to miss that and feel very compfy there as well. and if you play good, you can pull a great set in the most primitive (technicwise) places as well, that’s for sure. we would also like to see more places then we´ve had so far. we´re planing to visit at least 8 new places in 2019. lets see how this turnes out. for sure, we want me people to know about Chaver and to listen to our music. That’s for sure. a dream would be playing somewhere overseas. Maybe we get to have this possibility one day.

New blood: Existence

No doubt Into The Furnace by Sweden's Existence is bound for a high place on my best of 2018 list. My body wasn't ready for the amount of anger and fury these 4 tracks deliver. No lie! It has massive groove and spiteful vocals but even though technically everything is spot on, there's a fair layer of dirt all over. I don't want nothing to do with hardcore that's too perfect and polished, I don't like it. If it's not raw it ain't worth my time. I think these dudes think alike cause Furnace is darker and grittier than your average hardcore nowadays. Give'em a chance.

First of all, how did the Euro summer tour go?
The summer tour went very well. The response on all shows was overwhealming, and of course it's always great to be able to hang out with old and new friends.

Let’s talk about the new ep. The musical and lyrical tone and feeling of Into The Furnace is rather intense and bleak, how do the lyrics reflect the way that you view life and things?
The world is a cruel and unforgiving place. I’m just calling things as I see them. I’m not necessarily a negative person, quite the opposite actually. Writing lyrics and music is my sole outlet and it’s a key note in my way of dealing with difficult emotions and thoughts. Writing something, even just a word can spark a whole process of thoughts that may have been buried somewhere far in the back of my head. Other lyrics that comes across as more direct, still have some sort of sentimental line of thought that lead up to the finished product.

New Blood: Last Wishes

The promo tracks Last Wishes dropped earlier this year couldn't hit me harder. Ruthless hardcore with levels of energy that could be only a result of having to deal with some serious struggles in your life. The fact they're from Belfast makes me believe this could be true cause god knows this city has its shady side. Irish hardcore tends to be overlooked which could be working against them but these dudes could easily kick their feet up with European hardcore's elite. I hope Last Wishes get the credit they deserve and can’t wait to see what’s next for the band.

For those who don’t know - tell the history of the band. How and when it all started?
When we started in 2015 there wasn't really any active heavier sounding bands around apart from Stronghold & Frustration(one of the best modern bands ever) and not to leave out older bands like Crowd Control/2000 Strong etc. We just wanted to play straight up hardcore for the moshers. Our first show was actually Frustrations last one with Risk It from Germany playing too, abut 200 people showed up for them , it was nuts and was sick seeing them go out with such a bang cuz they deserved it! Originally we started with a different line up as well but didn't do much so really the band only started in 2016/17.

New Blood: Combust!

Who runs NYC?

Make sure you check out Demo 7" out on Straight & Alert!

All answers by Andrew

Congrats on the upcoming 7” ep. But before we get to that, tell me more about Combust. How it all began? How long has the band been around?
Thank you man! Combust began because I (Andrew) and the drummer Dave just always had this desire to play in a straight up NYHC band. Something that was in the vain of our favorite bands we grew up on. The band has been around since the beginning of August just about.

When starting the band, did you had any idea how you wanted it to sound or what type of lyrics to write, or did it just came naturally?
Yea, like I said before I literally came to our drummer Dave with the exact idea of just wanting to be a straight up New York hardcore band. This has been an idea in my brain for years but I’ve always been in different bands so I’m glad it finally came to life. I’m really proud of the demo and the way it sounds. As for the lyrics, that’s just something that comes more naturally I guess.

New Blood: Fuse

Fuse is a killer all-female hardcore from Singapure whose recent demo was a massive display of force and strength. This band definitely deserves attention.

There are 2 aspects that people first notice when they learn of Fuse. First, it’s all female band. Second, you’re from Singapur. Let’s start with the first one, was it an idea from the start to have only girls in the band?
At first, yes, we only wanted girls in the band. This is because we feel that they aren't many females who are given the chance to be included in something that they love. Some females can't seem to find a place where they can have an outlet to showcase their talent and express themselves. But we then realised, we wanted to expand not only to females but those males who were outcasted in some way. So, we kept our options very open. The vocalist went around to find a second guitarist that was male who was interested in joining the band as the rest were all already girls. However, we found our current guitarist now, that happens to be a female and is one of the best guitarist we can find!

Do you get any funny reactions because of that? Does the local scene show proper support?
Funny reactions? Not really. We aren't the first female band in Singapore after all. Before us, especially the pioneers, have already established some form of female empowerment in the music scene. The Singapore scene has showed us more love than we ever expected! And we are eternally grateful for our friends who helped us a lot in the preparation of shaping Fuse. Not all of us have much experience in music and thus took us quite a long time to actually decide that we were ready to record. With many supportive friends who advice us on tone, what kind of gears to get, giving us their opinions etc, has helped us a lot.

New Blood: La Guadana

Give us some background about the band? Who are the members, when was it formed and where your're based?
Basically La Guadaña is only 3 old friends who had the idea for so long to play together and record something before our guitar player moved to Israel for a few months.

The members are Samuel, the drumer , Ofer ( guitar ) and myself, Josue ( voice, bass and some guitars) We all live in a small town near Barcelona called El Masnou.

Samuel and me have played together for almost 20 years in the band Anal Hard, Samuel plays aswell in a punk rock band called Guspira and I have a rock band Called Destierro. Ofer also has a Stoner rock band called Grass and played many years in the hardcore band Fresh Thrash.

What have you released so far?
So far all we have is the demo cassette with 6 tracks on it, released on backside records a while ago.

New Blood: Life Abuse

I'm a sucker for every new shit from the Crowd Deterrent camp and this is another project done by Rob (vocals of CD) and it's quality as always. Music-wise this is something between Crowd and Race Riot, both in music and attitude. Listen to the demo below and read Rob giving some more insights into LxA.

What’s the story behind Life Abuse and why start another band when you already have Crowd and Race Riot?
I wanted to do a new band with guys that live closer to me in the Youngstown Ohio area. Crowd Deterrent barely plays anymore unless it's something we really want to do and race riot only practices if we have shows coming up . I wanted to do an actual band that practices and plays whatever local shows we want . Steve from cd/rr plays drums so I wrote two songs in one day and we tried em out . They came out pretty cool so we decided to go with it .

How does Life Abuse compares to your other bands?
I'd say it's somewhere in between cd and rr. The newer cd stuff is heavy metallic hc and race riot is straight 80s punk hc stuff , life abuse is kind of fast crossover hc almost in the middle of the other bands I do.

Life Abuse is a dope name for a band and lyrics are spot on. What you want for people to get from listening to ‘How can death be any worse?'
Thank u ! I always have names for bands layin around just in case I start something new haha. The bands lyrics are pretty bleak and really just represent how trapped and shackled I've always felt in everyday life. The world is built to keep people in line and keep the machine going at all costs, there's no room to stray from your designated path . I always hated laws and rules that we are forced to live under day by day and the thought that there's zero you can do to change it . People can get what they want out of it ,but it's just my personal thoughts on modern life .

Have you done any shows so far? How are kids reacting to these songs?
We played our bass players house for his bday party and it was a great time. It was all friends and they're biased so the show was pretty good for our first haha. Our next show is end of feb in Cleveland so we will see how kids react. All the songs are fun to play so no matter what reaction it'll still be a good time .

What the future holds for the band?
We are gonna start playing as much as work allows all of us to. The other bands I do are playing some really cool shows/fests this year so I'm trying to do Life Abuse shows in between all of that. Especially house party shows .

New Blood: Kingpin (UK)

New blood from Glasgow, Scotland with influences from hardcore and crossover sound like Cro-Mags, Leeway, Merauder or Hatebreed.

To those not familiar with Kingpin, give us a rundown on the band.
Kingpin is currently a 5-piece Glasgow HardCore band drawing influences from thrash, hardcore and metal. Long story short, we are all about dem riffz. We self-released a cassette tape demo in 2013, a 7" vinyl titled "They Serve Themselves" via Germany's Demons Run Amok label in 2014, and just recently self-released a 4-track digital EP titled "TRUTH". We've toured up and down the UK and over in Ireland several times and played with so many of our favourite bigger touring bands like Sick Of It All, Iron Reagan, M.O.D., Negative Approach, Toxic Holocaust, Bane, Twitching Tongues, Exhumed, Code Orange and more and we fucking love every minute of the cool opportunities we've been blessed with as a band.

Who are your strongest musical influences and why?
We're named after the Leeway song "Kingpin". I sure as hell don't sing like Eddie Sutton - I wish I could! - but I think it's fair to say the Leeway mix of fast thrashy bits and hard breakdowns is pretty much the template we work from. In terms of more recent bands we like, soon after Kingpin formed we all went to see Power Trip supporting Bane and we all agreed that Power Trip were doing what we wished we could do, haha. We really chuck a lot of the classic thrash, metal and NYHC influences into our sound... Sepultura, SIck Of It All, SOD, Suicidal Tendencies, Merauder, Crowbar, yada yada yada. Every band says this, but we really just try to make the kind of music we'd like to listen to.

New blood: Rhythm Of Fear

Stomping crossover from Florida for fans of classic sound along the lines of Born to Expire, Ride The Lighting, Victim in Pain or Life of Dreams. Their Mass Illusion EP is a feast for both hardcore kids and metal dudes I cannot pinpoint anything that is wrong with it, an essential listening if you're want to give new band a chance. Head to their bandcamp if you don't take my word for it, and let the band do the talking now...

Give us an introduction of Rhythm Of Fear. What was happening with the band between 2011 Demo and Mass Illusion?
The Mass Illusion EP is actually 4 songs from our full length record entitled "Maze Of Confusion", which should be released sometime in early 2016. We started recording the full length record in mid 2014 with our good friend Bob Presson who has played in many bands such as: Kids Like Us, Boys No Good and is now a tattoo artist at Shrunken Head Tattoo in Jacksonville, FL. While the tracks where still in the process of mixing and mastering, we we're approached by a guy by the name of John Howard who really wanted to record a Thrash Metal band. So we decided to just start over with John. After mastering the first 4 tracks, we released them as Mass Illusion EP in January 2015. Our demo was recorded by Bob Presson and after it's release we decided to take our time and write as much material we can and pass out as many demos at other shows we weren't playing and try to promote the band around Florida. This is why we had such a long gap between releases.

How do you feel musically you’ve progressed over the course of these two releases?
We have all progressed tremendously since we started in 2010. Looking back at our shows in early 2011-2013 we we're a little sloppy on stage. We didn't rehearse as much as we should have before shows. Now we practice several times a week and are constantly correcting each other to make sure we make fewer mistakes as possible. Also our musical influences have molded us to be a better band I feel. Always pushing ourselves to strive to be more "professional".