Mentally Murdered – featuring MxCx, Takatak & Irritum

MM(4)-002

Time to dust the cobwebs off this rotting city’s heavy music scene. Three acts on the bill, names as follow;

Multinational Corporations – Grindcore/Hardcore Punk. Performing new cuts from upcoming splits as well as crowd favorites from last year’s “Jamat-al-Maut” EP, this grindlashkar is poised for another deadly aural assault on the senses.

Takatak – Instrumental Prog/Groove Metal. Veterans of the Lahore music scene by now, and well renowned for their technical abilities, they are on the cusp of releasing their first EP after a great response to the single “Placental.”

Irritum – Funeral Doom Metal. Masters of the almighty riff, conjuring atmospheres equally haunting and majestic. Hear tracks from their upcoming full-length album while they doom you to eternity.

Live at Opositive studio’s (308 Ravi Road, opposite Badshah Mosque NEXT to the Ufone Franchise)

Call for further details
0345-4064728 (Hassan)
0322-5345356 (Sheraz)

Nepal Earthquake Relief

Nepal

 

“SHAKEN BUT STILL STANDING

It has been three weeks since the earth shook us.

25th April 2015 was the fateful day when a massive earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, hit the small Himalayan country of Nepal, flattening entire villages and causing destruction across the nation. The dead bodies piling up have exceeded 8000, with more than 17,000 people injured, around 299,588 houses completely destroyed, and 269,109 houses deemed unlivable. Just when we were trying to understand what had happened, we were struck by another tremor, an aftershock that measured 7.3 on the Richter scale.

Whether living in Nepal or abroad, it would be rare to find a Nepali who has not been shaken to the core by this tragedy. People have lost their loved ones, their homes, and their sense of security. Most of them are left grieving under the open sky, with no roof over their heads.

Though development organizations and local communities have been working tirelessly to rescue and provide immediate relief to the victims, recovery is a long road. Nepal needs as many resources as it can get to start the rehabilitation and rebuilding process for its displaced citizens, while also reconstructing its shattered infrastructure.

Nepal’s rich cultural heritage has influenced its youth to develop a passion for the arts and music; many talented musicians have been bred in this unique culture. The Nepal Earthquake Relief Compilation is a tribute to the resilience and strength of the Nepali people, as well as a collaborative effort by the participating bands to give back to the country that has given them so much.

The funds raised through this album will go to active organizations working on finding long term solutions for shelter and rehabilitation of the communities in the most severely affected districts of Nepal.

The compilation has been hosted on Bandcamp at https://nepal-earthquake-relief.bandcamp.com/

Destroy Cleveland Interview

Among the slew of literature and film coming out about heavy music, Destroy Cleveland interested me due to its focus on a certain scene rather than an entire country or continent. Cleveland Hardcore of the 80s and 90s has gone on to influence bands all over the world, from Belgium to Nepal, Italy to Singapore, and whatnot. I decided to hit up Matt Greenfield, the man behind this project and interview him for the zine.

DestroyClevo

 

– Hey Matt, how’s everything going?

 

Pretty great! Working at my day job and working on movie stuff simultaneously.

 

 

– Tell us a bit about your documentary “Destroy Cleveland.” What did Cleveland Hardcore mean to you and what prompted you to make a film on it?

 

Destroy Cleveland starts around 1987/1988 with the emergence of bands like False Hope, Confront, and Outface. From there it moves forward towards bands like Integrity, Ringworm, Face Value, and One Life Crew. The second half is about the 90s DIY bands like 9 Shocks Terror, Apartment 213, Cider, Puncture Wound, etc. I delve into the early 2000s with Upstab and give props to the new generation at the end but that’s pretty much it. There’s already another documentary floating around that covers earlier Cleveland hardcore.

Cleveland Hardcore means everything to me. This film is my life and so is the music. My world changed the first time I heard 9 Shocks Terror and from that point I just delved in deeper and deeper. Seeing the last Gordon Solie Motherfuckers show at Speak In Tongues was a defining moment for me. I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, so going to shows at Speak in Tongues or checking out 9 Shocks at random places was almost like a mythical experience. I was a young, shy kid so I didn’t talk to people in the bands back then. I just built up mystery around them.

I was at work one day and thinking about how someone should make a documentary on Cleveland Hardcore. The next day it dawned on me that I should be the one to make it. I contacted my friend’s Colby Grimes and Jorge Matthew Delarosa in Kent, Ohio, and asked if they wanted to be involved. That’s how everything started.

 

 

– Can you tell us about a few of the bands featured in this documentary? How receptive were they to the idea?

 

I have members from most of the crucial bands; Integrity, Ringworm, Darvocets, Inmates, etc, etc…I could go on and on. The scene is very incestuous when it comes to bands. I’m not referring to them sleeping with their relatives, I mean they share a lot of the same members! Everybody has been really receptive for the most part. It was hard to get Dwid at first because there was a lot of indirect miscommunication going on. People who were ill informed told him the documentary would be attacking him and was centered around two guys who don’t like him and haven’t for twenty years or something. I’m friends with one of the guys who will remain nameless and he never even mentioned Dwid during his time on camera. The other fellow I have only met one time in my life. Once we talked and cleared the air, he was very interested. Dwid has been a great help and is a really cool guy, not the character I hear in all of these horror stories from people. Some other bands that I think are important that are in the documentary would be Outface (members went on to be in Filter and Sepultura) and H100s, and really just a bunch more. I’m afraid some bands will be left out but I’m doing my best to include most. I was never into Mushroomhead or that kind of stuff. No offense to those dudes or anything. I’m sure they are nice people.

 

 

– How is the funding for the film being achieved?

 

Out of my paychecks and out of Jorge and Colby’s pockets. We raised a few hundred dollars in the beginning which was cool. It covered the cost of one of my many trips from Texas (where I live) to Ohio. This is definitely a labor of love. I have nothing to gain from making this movie. I just want to shine a light on what I feel is one of the most important things to ever happen in the history of music. Cleveland hardcore is like nothing else.

 

 

– What about the Cleveland Hardcore scene made it different back in the day from the other places in the USA, and does that still hold now? Any specific environmental or socio-political reasons that gave Cleveland a distinct atmosphere from say the Bay Area or New York?

 

Cleveland has had strong music for damn near 70 years! It was also an important place for the birth of punk. You had bands like Devo, The Pagans, Dead Boys/Rocket from the Tombs, Pere Ubu, and The Cramps come from around the area. The early 80s had incredible hardcore such as The Guns and Starvation Army. By the mid 80s, of course there was a new group of weirdoes ready and willing to carry the torch. It’s a blue collar city that was in economic shambles. Cleveland’s a gritty, industrial place that breeds rough, wild characters. The weather sucks and people say there is something in the water.It’s fertile grounds for brilliant, angry music. NYC was a bustling metropolis with many artistic options for young people. The Bay Area is awesome; the weather is nice and there’s a ton of people with money. It still has a radical history though. The Black Panthers did great work in Oakland and Berkley but as for punk and hardcore , I don’t know. I can’t really speak on it besides being a fan of certain bands. I’m sure lots of people had rich parents though. 924 Gilman and all of that stuff is really politically correct. Not many people in Cleveland hardcore make political/politically correct music and surely there are only a handful of vegans from the bands in the documentary. Not to say the people are uneducated by any means. Lots of the dudes and women are well read lefties. The only right wing band is probably One Life Crew. Personally, I am not a Republican but I think One Life Crew is a fun band. This movie isn’t about politics. Cleveland is a fucked up city when it comes to police brutality though.

 

 

– There’s a sudden upsurge of literature written and documentaries made on the smaller local extreme music scenes across the world, in recent years. What do you think has led to this?

 

Probably easier access to technology.

 

 

– Have you worked on any other films prior to this?

 

Never, but I would love to do another one after this one

 

 

– What are your future plans once Destroy Cleveland is wrapped up?

 

I want to find distribution for the movie but right now I really just want to put it out myself. I know I can do a good job. Jorge’s company The Slow Mutants and my own Rust Belt Hammer are the “producers”. I will tour DIY style on weekends and premier the movie all over the country. All over the world if I have the means. It will come out on DVD this summer and no time will be wasted getting it in people’s hands. This is a very grass roots movie and movie campaign. DIY!

 

 

– Any new Clevo bands that you would like to recommend to the readers?

 

Obnox, Fat Vegan, Cruelster, Lucha Eterna, Wetbrain, Party Plates, Fuck You Pay Me, and Real Regular. Now That’s Class is a hub for great music.

 

 

– Cheers Matt. Best of luck.

 

Thanks for the interview. If people want to follow us, it’s “Destroy Cleveland” on Facebook. Thanks to Jorge, Colbster, Earl, Jill, Joseph, Dan, and anyone that has done any sort of work on this movie.

 

Destroy Cleveland on Facebook

Vishal Rai’s Top 5 of 2014

Albums

 

 

Sangharsha1

 

Sangharsha – Bayou

 

Album of the year. When Kshitiz, my old bandmate and current Sangharsha riffmeister, told me they’d be recording with Converge’s Kurt Ballou, I knew something special was brewing. But I didn’t expect the album to be this damn good! For those who came in late, Sangharsha is a New York based hardcore band, with members who all hail from Nepal. Apart from a song or two, all their lyrics are in Nepali.

 

The S/T EP Sangharsha recorded with Kevin Bernsten at Developing Nations in 2012 was great, but this one took it up a few notches. I can’t even describe the sound here. Besides the hardcore/sludge that they’ve made their base, there are elements of death,black, and even post-metal. Heavy, introspective, and peppered with absolutely beautiful moments.

 

The album takes a turn during the second half of the second last song, Aseena. In a way, it brought to mind what Pulling Teeth did with Funerary. Knowing Kshitiz’s love for PT, it might have even been deliberate.

 

AlertaAntifascista Records from Germany released the vinyl version of Bayou a few months ago; you can stream and order a copy at http://bayou1.bandcamp.com

 

ffo – Bands on the Deathwish roster, Russian Circles, etc.

 

 

 

Ringworm2

 

Ringworm – Hammer Of The Witch

 

Ringworm is one of my all-time favorite hardcore bands. Even if HOTWhad sucked, it would still have made it to my top five. But it doesn’t.

 

Stream: http://ringworm.bandcamp.com/album/hammer-of-the-witch-digital-deluxe-version

 

 

 

bane3

 

Bane – Don’t Wait Up

 

Bane is one of two bands (the other being Shai Hulud) that can choke me up. There’s just something about Aaron Bedard’s lyrics and vocal delivery that can transform me into a naive kid, the way I used to be before things went to shit. Haha. Don’t Wait Upwas an even more emotional affair than usual because it’s the last Bane album. It has some terrific guest spots (Calling Hours) and possibly some of Bedard’s darkest lyrics (Wrong Planet). And I must confess, I did get teary eyed when I first heard Final Backward Glance.

 

Stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rENKYdxEByY

 

 

 

CodeOrange4

 

Code Orange – I Am King

 

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from the new Code Orange. I didn’t really understand the hype around them when they still had the Kids suffix, and I wasn’t too fond of their old material. But holy shit, I Am King was something else. Definitely one of the most intense albums of 2014. They even sound like they’d fit right in with the Victory Records roster of the 90s (my favorite era in hardcore) a lot of the time.

 

Stream: http://deathwishinc.bandcamp.com/album/i-am-king

 

 

 

EHG5

 

Eyehategod – Eyehategod

 

I don’t believe I even need to elaborate. It’s no Take As Needed For Pain or Dopesick, but it’s still top stuff.

 

 

 

Other albums that ruled – Today Is The Day – Animal Mother, Skinfather – None Will Mourn, Crowbar – Symmetry In Black, Comeback Kid – Die Knowing, Full Of Hell &Merzbow – Full Of Hell & Merzbow, New Found Glory – Resurrection, Hang The Bastard – Sex In The Seventh Circle, Sumeru – Holy Lands, Homewrecker – Circle Of Death, Hollow Earth – Silent Graves, Generation Of Vipers – Coffin Wisdom, Pharaoh – Negative Everything, Rot In Hell – Ruined Empire, The Banner – Greying, Baptists – Bloodmines, Young And In The Way – When Life Comes To Death, Yautja – Songs Of Descent, Indian – From All Purity, Nothing – Guilty Of Everything

 

 

 

Demos/EPs/Splits

 

 

torn1

 

Torn – Demo 2014

 

Spirit-Filled hardcore fronted by the singer of Advent and other Christian hardcore bands. Catchy and heavy, with lyrics that have a lot of thought put behind them, this demo should appeal to anyone with a love for 90s metallic hardcore. There are parts that sound like Turmoil and others that wouldn’t be out of place on a Buried Alive record. Don’t let the “Spirit-Filled” tag put you off, there’s nothing preachy here.

 

Stream: http://tornhardcore.bandcamp.com/


 

 

gatecreeper2

 

Gatecreeper – Gatecreeper

 

Swedish death metal (or DM influenced hardcore) from Arizona. One listen was all it took to get me hooked, in a manner similar to what Skinfather did with Atheos a few years ago. Members of Gatecreeper also play in Territory.

 

ffo – Dismember, Grave, Entombed, Unleashed, Black Breath, Skinfather

 

Stream: http://gatecreeper.bandcamp.com/

 

 

 

keeper3

 

Keeper – MMXIV

 

So damn heavy!

 

ffo – Burning Witch, Grief, Meth Drinker, Moloch

 

Stream: http://keeperxdoom.bandcamp.com/releases

 

 

 

Forced Order4 GodsHate4

 

Forced Order – Eternal War / God’s Hate – Divine Injustice

 

Forced Order and God’s Hate belong to the vibrant Southern California hardcore scene, and, if I’m not mistaken, both bands recorded at The Pit with Taylor Young. Forced Order features members of Twitching Tongues, Harness, Soul Search and Disgrace; their sound is a throwback to 90s Cleveland hardcore. Think old Integrity and In Cold Blood. God’s Hate has members of Twitching Tongues and Skinfather, and probably a few other bands. Divine Injustice is Troycore-worship at its finest (the band’s even named after a Dying Breed song).

 

Stream: http://forcedorder.bandcamp.com/album/eternal-war-2

Stream: http://godshate.bandcamp.com/

 

 

 

xibalbasuburbanscum5

 

Xibalba/Suburban Scum – Split

 

Nothing much to say.Both bands just keep getting better, although I’m more partial to the Xibalba tracks.

 

http://closedcasketactivities.bandcamp.com/album/split

 

 

 

Others that ruled: New Lows – Abhorrent Endings, Blistered – Soul Erosion, Jagged Visions – Beyond The Serpent’s Touch, Annulment – Celestial Mother Of The Handless Path, Graves At Sea – This Place Is Poison, Of Feather And Bone – Adorned In Decay/False Healer, Incitement – Hyena, Converge – Live At The BBC, Benchpress/Martyr’s Tongue, Soul Search/Minus, Graves At Sea/Sourvein, Primitive Man/Xaphan, Whirr/Nothing

 

 

 

EA

 

 

(we’d like to thank Vishal for this write-up. you can check out Vishal’s own Hardcore/Metal band Jugaa here)

Interview with Mossen Robert (ASSAC!, 24 Ideas, Unabomber, Bacteria Forte)

A lot seems to be said on multiple websites about the same old Punk personalities.. Ian Mackaye, Henry Rollins, Roger Miret, the list goes on. Though no doubt influential and seminal in creating the Punk/DIY culture we know today, what we end up doing when glorifying these personalities is that we lose touch of several more ‘local’ personalities who have helped sow the seeds in their various European, Asian, Sudamerican etc scenes. Mossen Robert is one such character from Barcelona, Catalonia, who has toiled much since the early 90’s in several different bands, touring the world and wreaking havoc everywhere. Today he is still involved in the Hardcore/Punk scenes with his bands ASSAC!, 24 Ideas and the latest addition Bacteria Forte, as well as having a killer now-defunct band called Unabomber along the way. We have a long and lengthy talk about his past and present, essential Catalan Hardcore bands, his touring experiences as well as his favorite Metal and Punk records. The interview is quite lengthy so make sure you have a cup of tea or something with you to keep you company, haha. Enjoy!

 

 

 

mossenjump

 

 

– Hello Mossen. How’s life for you currently?

 

 

My life kinda sucks currently. Ups and downs, too many quarrel around me with close people (feel kinda like the NIN’s song “Hurt” but the Johnny Cash’s version) and of course no money cuz there’s no jobs, not that I like jobs but money helps you out to do things and to move outside the country. I feel kinda trapped.

Luckily I’ve got some kind of creative input and this helps me to keep my mind busy doing new bands, projects and stuff and makes me rise above all problems.

Currently I´m involved too in the new metallic bastard child in town BACTERIA FORTE. I feel quite excited about being now a full member in that band .

 

 

 

– When, where and why was ASSAC formed? Who were the original members and what’s the lineup now? What does ASSAC mean?

 

 

Assac! was formed in late 2011, probably around November. Me and the bass player we´re doing the recording of another band which was a mixture of HC/NeoCrust (Which of course I only liked half of the songs, I felt it lacked punch and aggression). During a coffee break in the recording sessions I said “It would be cool to do a project a Boston HC inspired band but sung in Catalan .” Sergi the bass player and Jaume the guy behind the recording desk (and future guitar player) took me seriously and a few days after the disastrous recording session they urged me to do a first jammin´ session with the new project.

We asked a drummer I know he liked fast/old HC… et voilà! Chemistry worked out so well… that we decided to left our previous band and concentrate on ASSAC! After a month and a half of jammin we recorded the first demo and did our first two shows and even got time to do the infamous photosession of our future 12″

Since then we’ve been the same people in the band:

Sergi (4 strings)

Jaume (6 strings)

Xavi (Darboukas and cymbals )

Me (Human sounds )

Assac! it’s a game with slang works (A sac!: going straight to the point, Without mercy!)

 

 

 

ASSAC bandpic3

 

 

– ASSAC plays in a very old school early 80s style punk/hardcore, reminiscent of old Boston bands. Are there other bands in your region doing that sort of stuff?

 

 

Not so much, maybe a few bands but got buried amongst the thousands of crust/ D-beat bands (I like most of them, my all time fave Human Bastard and old I.A.F), Neo-Crust (I don´t like it), Post-Punk, Iberian punk/Iberian d- beat style, Oi/ Punk.. too many to follow them, each days new bands are created, impossible to being aware of all of them. I get lost!

About HC it´s easier to name the bands:

MIND CRASH are great… they play more California inspired HC with a ‘lil crossover touch, nice people, good band…. Made of foreigner people plus one local and this will give you some clues about Barcelona´s scene:

  1. A) Lots of expatriate people in shows and in a few of bands, maybe not more than local but easily 50 % or close
  2. B) Local people prefer other styles than HC, they ´re into other things.

24 IDEAS, heheh

ZOMBI PUJOL, they mix HC with punk rock, excellent political lyrics dealing with local subjects and with the twisted humour touch like ASSAC! . nice and committed people.

ROT. Raw Punk Rock with HC touches, sung in Catalan

Then there´s that guy from Mallorca, relocated to Barcelona, Juan Carlos Riutort

Who was in NETWEIGHT and he does lots of HC/Powerviolence projects like:

X-TORSIÓN . POLLOS HERMANOS etc… He runs a recording studio and he is a Handcraft Beer fan like me! Cool!

PELIGRO were a unique band mixing HC/ Punk with Sabbathy riffs and some of them played in CESIO 157 which I also liked

ADDENDA play PowerViolence/ HC quite well,

EL PUNTO DEVIL and EXTENSITY, did the fast thing paying homage to HHH, which in my eyes is a very good thing. Sadly both are RIP.

HABITACIÓN 101 and ALATAK…. are good too… they do their RKL´s thing

COL.LAPSE.. plays Dag Nasty/Embrace style and yes they have some ASSAC /24 IDEAS members

And then the S.E. CREW with lotsa bands: APPRAISE, GOLEM, CONSTRICT are the ones who are active now as far I know… But they were a few bands more doing different styles from Youth Crew.. to nineties metallic SE..

Outside Catalonia :

In Mallorca Island we can find a collective of dudes fond of old HC, some of them members of the old HC heroes, Bad Taste.

CRASH and WASTED… are excellent bands with lots of American Hc influences from Negative Approach to Circle Jerks .

CEREBROS EXPRIMIDOS were an awesome punk–rock band with Boston HC, California and Old NY Hc influences. Jaime the main brain behind them has deep musical knowledge. Respect! The band has changed the name a ´lil bit and are like a renewed version but they still kick ass!

TRAU play fast Hc influenced by SSD, RAW POWER, good!

ÚSURA play D-beat but it ´s fair to mention them

In Valencia there is ALTERCADO ESPIRITUAL and PODER ABSOLUTO who share members and play some kind of NYHC youth crew style with Boston influences too. Good bands

In Euskadi/Basque Country doing that old style HC exists DICTADURA, they share members with the great crust band HELL DIVISION .

..And well that´s all I know…

Outside the HC / Punk scene I love ASSOT who play a mixture of ENTOMBED meets DOWN kind of thing, HEAVY stuff I love and sung in Catalan…. there are as well some Death Metal bands doing the old style which I also dig: A TOMBA OBERTA, CRUZ, MORBID FLESH, DISGRACER , etc ….. And some Grindcore, Power Violence, Fastcore acts I like: DISTURBANCE PROJECT, RAGEOUS INTENT, TEETHING, FINAL CUNT, 466 /64, SANG, etc

I also enjoyed a Catalan soul band named THE EXCITEMENTS and in a minor degree THE PEPPER POTS (playing soul too)

 

 

 

ASSAC live

 

 

 

– Catalonia is a very intriguing region with a very unique political history. Does the socio-politics of Catalonia influence the lyrics of ASSAC?  

 

 

Of course they do! We may sing about universal and personal issues but deal a lot with local subjects. We deal with many topics and facts happening here in Catalonia so it kinda fits to talk about them using Catalan .. same as if you sing about “favelas” and you ‘re doing it in Portuguese.

The band works quite good as an outlet for frustration about social and political issues surrounding and affecting us very close.. it works the same way also to talk about inner demons and skeletons in the closet.

Lyrics also got a lot of twisted humour and inner jokes but on the other hand we also speak about some universal subjects . We use Catalan in 90 % of the songs but we also used Arab, Spanish, English, Tagalog, German and Italian (In fact all our releases got a song in Italian)

We also feel inspired by many Old Hc international compilations with bands around the world who didn´t sing in English or Spanish. Some of us love languages, the more the better! We feel using our mother tongue comes very natural and fluent, we love our language and we´re not ashamed of our culture, identity or whatever you want to call it

 

 

 

– You were also in the Hardcore band 24 Ideas from the early 90’s and the Powerviolence band Unabomber in late 90’s. Both bands had substantial releases with their own legacies. Are you proud of what you’ve achieved in the underground DIY punk scene over the last 2 decades? How much has the Punk/Hardcore scene changed since the old days, according to you?

 

 

It ´s kinda 40% /50 % … I just accomplished half of the things or less. I would had love to do more tours outside the Spanish state and I think some of the bands deserved more recognition.

24 IDEAS was the best we can do at the time.. It´ s ok for their time and some songs stand the test of time.. So musically it was ok.. I’d love to tour more across Spain and perhaps Europe.. The band was decent and deserved it .. The band had success at the time .. and perhaps the best of it is knowing some people a few years younger than me that say the band left a mark in them. That´s the best thing! I think the band was a ‘lil bit overrated back in the days… And even knowing there´s hard work and good songs behind the band, we also got a lot of luck with labels, promos, acceptance, etc. A luck all the bands I ´ve been in after lacked.

Now the band is back but younger kids don´t get our stuff… so we´re not a lucky band anymore! I like the band how it sounds now, I like the new songs and above all I like keeping my friendship with the another founder member. Let´s see how much we can enjoy the second coming.

After 24 IDEAS I did a band with VIOLENT HEADACHE/I.A.F ´s members and it was killer one! That band was named UPRISING.

It was a very important band for me along with UNABOMBER I think this is the best stuff I ever done! Sadly the band get very unnoticed .

UPRISING was pushing further the stuff I´ve did with 24 IDEAS.. In 24 IDEAS we all liked different styles of HC however we had our preferences.. I was more the guy into fast HC INFEST, LARM, RIPCORD, CITIZENS ARREST, SIEGE, DEEP WOUND, HHH, SEPTIC DEATH , extreme, Japanese stuff.. and the other 3 guys were more into classic bands and the youth crew thing, 7 SECONDS, YOUTH OF TODAY, GORILLA BISCUITS. We all loved the Boston bands and the NYHC first wave bands.. plus some old good US HC. This made some sort of creative tension, some sort of balance that worked very well in the songs…

In UPRISING all the guys in the band were more into INFEST, DROPDEAD, Japanese stuff.. some grindcore bands, some Swedish bands.. We were more focused about playing extremely wild. So it worked out amazingly!

Imagine the harsh wild fastest japcore combined with INFEST and Swedish killer mid-tempos… A cross of the fast jap band and the best Swedish bands.

We did very wild shows… but only 8 in 2 years and a half… during this few wild shows we gained some diehard fans…two of them became UNABOMBER´s founder members. We recorded a couple of demos during 95 … but UPRISING demo mixing both recordings came out in 99.. when the band was dead and gone . We were a very unfocused, disorganized and lazy band.. We were in other bands at the time and focused in another stuff.. I think I was the first one who could have done way more for the band .. I think this band deserved more. We were alive since Easter 94 to November 96. And that´s all. When UPRISING broke up.. I and my closest friends can concentrate in…

 

 

24 ideas 93

 

 

UNABOMBER !

What can I say about UNABOMBER? It was and still is the band of my life! The best thing I ever did! The band was 50 % a success (We played great music and we still have a beautiful friendship) but 50 % a failure .. we were very underrated , a very few people appreciated our music .. we had some problems about finding labels too we did not find a suitable label for us (the guy running the label is a great person but   the roster of the label was more death / black oriented so their average customers and contacts didn´t work out well for us ).. we also didn´t tour very much.. and   we didn´t managed the band very well when we had to take some steps further…

But in the end the good things are what remain.. We wrote music without screenplay. whether it was Hc , metal or whatever.. We expressed ourselves freely with rage.. the only limitation were our technical skills. I think we were a mix of RORSCHACH, BLACK SABBATH , BRUTAL TRUTH and early ROLLINS BAND drinking together in Japan… If you want to know more and listen to the band read   in the link what our friend Hassan has to say about us:

https://eternalabhorrence.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/unabomber-potemkin-band-sanctioned-download/

The band was active from Easter 97 ´ til July 2005.. with lots of good and some bad moments too…. Due the fact the split up was a friendly one .. we missed each other in the band and by the end of 2006 we talked about burying the band with a tour … and what a tour a South east Asia one!

In February 2007 UNABOMBER started to jam again.. this time with a second guitar, Mike from the almighty ALL ILL.. the band was sounding incredible and we did a few awesome comeback shows in Spain… and then August 2007 the tour in Singapore and Indonesia. IT WAS A BLAST! We did two shows in Singapore… And I can assure that the second show we did in Singapore was one OF THE BEST in our career! And one of the bests in my life! We tried to play in Malaysia but it failed.. and then we did about 7 shows in Indonesia. Great people and friends we met along the way. Very humble and nice people there. We have those times carved in our hearts. A priceless trip.. :). Some awesome shows others not, great people, lots of adventure and funny situations. It was highlight for the band SURE!

After a tour.. bands usually sound in shape, with trained muscles .. and after the tour we sounded brutal as ever … So no wonder people called us for more shows in 2008/2009.. we wanted to quit after the tour.. but the tour went so good.. we decided to do a few shows more… .As a result one of the shows we did was an amazing one with BRUTAL TRUTH .. one of the highlights in band´s history, everyone who was there remembers the show for sure! Finally in January 2009 we did our last show with LOOKING FOR AN ANSWER and MAGRUDERGRIND… And that´s all ´til now.

UNABOMBER was a great experience and I´m proud of being part of it. Maybe not a successful band but each time a year.. when we the UNABOMBER´s friend meet.. I think “Yes, it was a success. and still is “ .. So now I´m waiting for my drinking x-mas sessions with my UNABOMBER´s mates …

 

 

 

24 ideas

 

 

 

– Have there been attempts to reunite the old bands for new shows?

 

 

Well, 24 IDEAS is back again.. we just reunited for a couple of shows with new blood… but the chemistry worked out good… and we´re keeping with it. I want to keep with it due to big friendship with the original guitar player… Bandmates should be friends too.. at least in my humble opinion ..Working this way is the best way.

We´ve recorded a new album, a 12 “ called “Fragments of a broken faith“ and we´re happy with it. It shows some evolution but still is loyal to the band ´s roots. And yes it ´s going to be released by H-Records next year.

UNABOMBER, you know bro, it’s the band of my life! My most beloved one… All UNABOMBER ´s members live in different cities and it´s quite difficult to organize to jam and doing some shows, also due to work and families. Many people is asking us to come back .. or at least to do some reunion shows. We can do it in any moment ´cuz we´re all still good friends after all these years. So expect one day a few shows.. and perhaps, re-recording some old stuff with better quality. Not to keep on with the band again writing new songs and doing new stuff… But a few shows.. Why not?

UPRISING, was an important band to me too, however a reunion is impossible.

 

 

 

– Back to ASSAC. So far you’ve done a series of EP’s and demos and some compilation appearances. Anything new coming soon?

 

 

Yes, a new record is coming soon.. The new 12 “ is already done, it ´s named “Suïcidi Social “ and it’s very catchy and has a few good surprises this time. We slowed down a lil bit in some songs and add some early Cro-Mags type parts… but I think the songs are catchier and few will become anthems! You’ll love the cover for sure!

Everything’s is almost done…. We´re only waiting for the final mix to send it to pressing plant!

After that we´ve planned a couple of splits:

A split tape with a local death metal band A TOMBA OBERTA, both bands will cover RIPCORD…

And a split EP with the masters of ZOMBI PUJOL

We also must enter the studio to record an HHH´s cover for a tribute compilation .. and that´s all….

 

 

records

 

 

 

– Are you planning to tour Europe or any place this year?

 

 

I´D LOVE TO! but due to lack of money it´s being a very hard thing to do!

A UK tour was semi- arranged… but lack of equipment, and lack of our own van… made it hard to play in UK.. with the few money we got from our thin savings.. Some of us didn´t have a job for years.. So we’ve got to make sure we can get the money we need to survive back… We just wanted to get the money from the airfares back.. but for a relatively unknown band like us it was very difficult.

Now we´re thinking in Norway and Sweden.. ´cuz a close friend of the band and longtime fan want to book us some shows in Norway.. plus one of the labels investing money in the new record is a Swedish one.. so we´ll try Sweden too.. We´re in the works, hope this time we can manage to do the thing without being a financial disaster.

We also talked about visiting Italy . And think also in another places during weekends   using low cost flights.. So if you ´re interested in us.. Don´t hesitate to contact us! We´ll love to play in your town.

24 IDEAS, ASSAC!, BACTERIA FORTE… we´re all available to hit the lights!

 

 

 

– Your all time favorite records? Name 5 only.

 

 

HAHAHAHAHA, only five! Impossible!

  1. RORSCHACH “Protestant “. A unique band that inspired some friends and me to do our own band.
  2. HERESY “Face up to it!“ Awful production, one of the worst sounding records ever… But one of my faves too! Great and clever songwriting.. and awesome explanations on lyrics. These kind of records made me want to know more about the Ultra fast Hc than with Death Metal.. and I started to investigate with LARM, SIEGE, Boston Bands, Japanese bands.. (same I can say with NAPALM DEATH´S   “ Scum “ When reading the Thanklist)
  3. RIPCORD. Any.. HERESY´s brother band
  4. BATHORY “Under the sign of a black mark“ Pure atmosphere, very evil recording.. nobody sounded like them in the day. I´m not a black metaller… but this record made a mark on me.. Even when listening HC bands I was looking for this atmosphere.
  5. CELTIC FROST “Morbid Tales“ Less is more! Perfect from start to finish!
  6. D.R.I “Dirty rotten LP /Violent Pacification EP“.. There´s one before and after this record found my turntable…. yeah !
  7. BLACK SABBATH, first 6 LP´s … BLACKS SABBATH it´s everything.. Apha-omega. And yes I love them with Dio and Guillan…. Mandatory ones!
  8. SLAYER.. From “Show no mercy“ to “Decade of Agression“…. Mandatory ones!
  9. INFEST “Slave“/CITIZENS ARREST everything/GO! everything —– I see it as pack of records that restored my faith in Hardcore in the youth crew, melodic hc and death metal era.
  10. CATHEDRAL “Forest of equilibrium “ this record made me to appreciate again the slow sounds.. it was a before and after this record… learned a lot about doom bands in the thanklist.
  11. 13 anything, GRIEF, CORRUPTED, early EYEHATEGOD, IRON MONKEY “Our Problem “ the whole sludge pack from the 90´s made a huge impact on me
  12. JUDAS PRIEST “Unleashed in the east“ It ´s fair to name a classic heavy metal band.. I liked them and MOTÓRHEAD since I was a kid… JUDAS PRIEST´S 70´s records were ahead of their time.

 

Other records that have been with me.. and influenced me deeply: VERBAL ASSAULT “Trial“ , BURN EP, SIEGE demo, LARM everything, MANLIFTINGBANNER 10 “, ACME EP, BLACK FLAG “My war “, BAD BRAINS “Rock for light “, ”I against I “, ANTIDOTE “Thou shall not kill“ EP, Cleanse the bacteria comp, POISON IDEA Any!, GISM “Detestation “ , GRAVE Any! But “You´ll never see“ it’s my fave one. UNLEASHED first 3 lp´s. DISMEMBER first 3 lp´s , ENTOMBED first 3 lp´s … NIHILIST demos.. ASPHYX every fuckin thing but “Last one on earth“ it ´s my fave. CIANIDE “Rage´s war“ demo and “Hell´s rebirth“ , OBITUARY “Cause of death“, AT THE GATES any but “The red in the Sky“ won me, the whole DNA of early death metal from late 80´s to early nineties. PARADISE LOST “Gothic“, JUDGE anything, CRO- MAGS “Age of quarrel“, INTEGRITY “Those who fear tomorrow“ and “Systems overload“, RINGWORM “The promise“ , G-ANX any, COLD WORLD any, EXTORTION “Loose screws “ , ANTI CIMEX any, DOOM lots of records, D.E.Z “Suck your soul“, WARHEAD “Cry of truth“, GAUZE any, SOB Any, OUTO any, STALIN “Stop jap“, COMES “Panic“ , SPAZZTIC BLURR “Befow“ that crazy record made an impact on me… NAKED CITY “torture garden“, NEGAZIONE “Condonatti“ “Lo spirit continua“, SAINT VITUS any, TROUBLE “Psalm 9“, PENTAGRAM any , CANDLEMASS first 3 records, CIRITH UNGOL “King of the dead“, MERCYFUL FATE “Nuns have no fun “ “Mellissa“, VOIVOD “Rrroooaaarrr“ “Killing Technology“, THIN LIZZY “Jailbreak “ “Fighting “ “Live and dangerous“, AC/DC.. Bon Scott´s era , MOTÓRHEAD, ANY ´til “Rocknroll “, MSG “Live at Budokan“, UFO any record with Michale schenker, SCORPIONS “Tokyo tapes “ , IRON MAIDEN “Soundhouse Tapes “ “Killers“ any from Dianno´s era, HELLACOPTERS, ORANGE GOBLIN, TURBONEGRO “ass Cobra “ “Scandinavian leather“, PORTISHEAD any, DENGGUE FEVER ANY, TERRIBLE FEELINGS any , BARON ROJO First 5 records, ANGELES DEL INFIERNO “Diabolicca“ , RUIDO DE RABIA any, HHH any, VENOM classic era , ETC, ETC ETC ETC

 

 

 

mossen2

 

 

 

– Thanks for this interview Mossen. Best of luck for the future and thanks for the great music! .

 

 

Thanks to you and for your patience, and reading all the answers ehehheh.

Last day I’ve found a Indian/Pakistani store and I´ve bought a box of sweets.. AWESOME! And yes they had the best ANGRY SAMOSAS I´ve ever seen! Yeah!

If you want to contact me try my FB:

https://www.facebook.com/robert.beltran.566

or better my bands :

https://www.facebook.com/BacteriaForte

https://www.facebook.com/24IdeasOficial?ref=profile

https://www.facebook.com/Assachardcore

https://eternalabhorrence.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/unabomber-potemkin-band-sanctioned-download/

See you all!

 

24 ideas mossen

King Ly Chee Interview

King Ly Chee is a Hong Kong based Chinese Hardcore band fronted by a lead vocalist of Pakistani origin. They’ve been around since 1999, and are considered one of the pioneering acts of Hardcore in Chinese speaking regions. They’ve played alongside a lot of big acts, and their vocalist Riz has helped pave the way for a lot of hardcore bands since initiating the band. I got in touch with him after seeing a flyer for a Chinese HC festival and decided to interview him. We talk about how he got into the music, his VISA problems because of his ethnicity, as well as juggling being a father with his musical responsibilities.

 

KLC1

 

 

– Hey Riz! Hope everything’s going great with King Ly Chee.

 

Yo – thanks so much for interviewing us man! Means a lot that finally after 15 years of doing this shit that we’ve got some interest from my fellow Desi brethren from the motherland! Hahaha…

Things are going well right now – in our 15th year we’re about to release our 4th record and we’re finishing up all the recording now and trying to plan out the first music video and record release shows. It’s all super exciting because we’re not a full-time band at all…we’re still just doing it for the love of the music we play and what we do. So it’s not a job, but a very serious and passionate part of our lives. It’s still exciting this many years into the game…

 

 

 

 

– Your band has been around since 1999. 15 years of spreading Hardcore Punk in Hong Kong/China, can’t have been easy? How’s the journey been thus far?

 

Hmmmm…don’t know how PMA I can be in answering this! Hahahaha…it’s been hell to say the least. We started this in ’99 when nu-metal was king and kids out here were labeling anything heavy with a screamer as “hardcore”. It was a confusing time and for me to come out and be like “dude – you’re so wrong” and be totally in people’s faces about hardcore in a city like Hong Kong steeped in Chinese culture, let’s just say that my band nor I were met with open arms. Hahahaha…we rubbed people the wrong way from the getgo and still do.

Having said that though, the first few years of this band in Hong Kong was actually always on an upward trajectory. Little did I know that there was going to be such a tragic death of our popularity years later. For the first few years it was a lot of educating people about what punk/hardcore actually stood for and introducing the culture/sound/bands/ideals to a huge non-English speaking public hence the need for my bilingual zine called Start From Scratch. I to this day do not consider myself “Mr. Hardcore” and am still continuing to learn about the history of the earliest bands and how similar our paths have been that led us and brought us to this little underground world. But because I feel the cliché statement “hardcore saved my life” is so true in my case, giving back is the only thing that has made sense. Giving back in the way that by promoting this shit to 100 kids, maybe ONE kid will find something in it that connects with them.

Anyway, like any trendy/commercial city Hong Kong is all about what’s the “in” thing. Our “in” time was in 2003 and since then we’ve never gotten back to that level again. 2003 was a crazy time for us in Hong Kong and had I known that all those who supported us were also going to quickly drop us a year or two later, I would’ve figured out other ways to get them to re-think what hardcore meant to them. Did it actually mean anything? Or was it because their peers seemed psyched on it so they jumped on the bandwagon? Clearly, it was the latter.

 

 

klc3

 

 

It hasn’t all been bad though man…we’ve had some accomplishments that I never even considered would’ve been possible. Playing in front of 32,000 people at Philippines’ biggest music festival two years in a row, and countless other music festivals throughout Asia – Baybeats in Singapore being one of our all time favorites. Having people all over the world buy our merch and wear it proudly even though we’re just a small Asian hardcore band. Touring with NOFX for two weeks in 2007 and being featured in their Backstage Passport DVD. Putting on shows in Hong Kong for so many hardcore bands and befriending them all…Bane, Comeback Kid, Backtrack, Wolf Down, Born From Pain, No Turning Back, the list goes on and on…building some Asian hardcore pride throughout this time by bridging scenes in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia…

My most fondest memory of this band will be how our relationship with my all time hardcore heroes Sick of it All transpired.

I remember the first LEGIT hardcore show I ever saw was in 1994 when I just arrived in Massachusetts for university and watched Black Train Jack and Sick of it All at this tiny venue near my university where the stage was like a foot high. Sick of it All was THE band that got me into hardcore and by that point I had already heard them for a couple years in Hong Kong. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that one day I would be on stage watching them. The crowd was so intense that I just got caught up and I ended up on stage like 2 inches away from Lou (their singer)’s screaming face. It was SO surreal…one second I’m staring at this dude’s face on the back cover of a CD booklet in Hong Kong and the next here I am on stage with the band and the dude’s face was right there. Fast forward to 2013 and I’m putting on their first ever show in China. Not only that, but I hit it off with them so well that they allowed me to come on their tour bus for almost two weeks while they toured through Europe. They treated me totally like one of the guys and all I could think the entire time was – “Holy fuck, I’m hanging out with Sick of it All EVERY SINGLE DAY and watching them play every single day…” I don’t even know how to express how insane that entire experience was.

On our new record, Lou even sings on one of our songs…the song that we’re going to launch the new album with. THAT to me is the craziest shit ever…as a teenager I listened to them on my discman here in Hong Kong, now I’m friends with the band and they’re singing on OUR record. Crazy…

Sick of it All is the definition of hardcore to me. Don’t argue with me on this. Hahahaha…I’m a SOIA kid through and through.

 

 

– You’ve been through a lot of lineup changes since the inception of the band, with you remaining the sole original member. How does the vision of the band remain the same throughout the various changes?

 

The vision has always stayed the same regardless who is in the band. We’re a hardcore band and we’re about promoting this shit to people throughout Hong Kong and China especially. So when people come in I tell them straight up what we’re about. We don’t make money from this nor is it a fulltime job. If you’re coming in, you should expect to work hard, we go out and play as much as possible and tour at least once or twice a year. We throw our own money into making merch, printing records, going on tour – luckily, anyone new that comes into the band is coming into a pretty nice situation since myself and the members before have laid down TONS of groundwork for where we are now in terms of recognition (at least in the world of Asian hardcore). I will say straight up – that it’s MUCH easier being in this band now then it was over 10 years ago.

So no…from day one we have never strayed from this path that we’ve chosen. We’re certainly much older now  – I started the band when I was 22 and I’m 38 this year…the way we handle things have certainly matured over time! Hahahaha…I’m much less a time bomb when shit doesn’t go right, and am more into taking the time to figure out how to make the band work for band members so it also becomes part of their lives like it has been for the past 15 years of mine.

 

 

– I’ve always been a fair big ignorant about the music of China unfortunately, so how’s the Hardcore community in Hong Kong/Chinese speaking areas in general? I’m sure a lot of our readers don’t know much either, haha!

 

There’s no hardcore “scene” in Hong Kong. There is certainly a beautiful “underground” scene with huge support for metal and metalcore especially. Hong Kong is just a strange little place where anything related to the arts really is built upon people with a lot of passion for what they do. I don’t know many people involved in the arts here that do it for a living. Everyone has a full-time job. But after awhile of banging your head against a wall, even that passion gets tested and filters away. Slowly but surely most people leave this world of underground music which is understandable when you consider HK is one of the most expensive places in the world to live and work. People have to manage their basic living necessities and work 10-12 hours a day and even on weekends sometimes, so what time do they have left to pursue music? It’s just the cards we’ve been dealt in terms of music and the arts.

China on the other hand is where hardcore has EXPLODED. And of course it would explode there when you consider all the suppression of personal freedoms. Kids are always on the edge ready to explode to get their voices heard because everything is so controlled and censored. When we play in China, it is SUCH a visceral reaction in the crowd. “People losing their minds” is not an understatement and as a hardcore band, THAT is the type of reaction you want. We’ll do soundcheckwith a general E-chord chug riff and kids are already moshing and stagediving! Hahahaha…we haven’t even started our set and kids are going off. THAT’S our type of crowd and we love that about China.

Beijing has the biggest scene with a lot of great hardcore bands: Unregenerate Blood, Return the Truth, Fanzuixiangfa, Own Up, It Never Happened, and so many others. Shanghai has the next biggest scene with awesome bands like Spill Your Guts, The Loudspeaker.

 

 

klc4

 

– I’ve always felt Hardcore as a music genre and lifestyle, transcends racial/religious/linguistic barriers. The music and message is something everyone can get into. A testament to that fact is Hong Kong based band have a Pakistani/Desi guy as a founding member and vocalist, singing in both English and Chinese. Apart from the VISA issues in Taiwain, has your Pakistani ancestry caused any problems for you?

 

I fucking gave up my Pakistani passport the moment I could bro. The amount of traveling that I did with my band and having to get a fucking visa for EVERY single country, and show my bank statements over and over again, or have to find someone to “sponsor” me in those countries, and then to stand at immigration at those countries while the immigration officer held my passport like it was diseased, was too fucking much. It was pure hell – anyone that travels a lot on a Pakistani passport knows how much it sucks.

Other then that and the typical racist stereotypical bullshit that the color of my skin may cause in public, it really hasn’t been a big deal at all.

I would like to think that because I’m a desi that kids from India, Pakistan, Nepal would be into checking out our band more – but we RARELY get any contact from those areas. Which is a huge bummer to me because I am proud of being Pakistani and proud that in a fully Chinese-speaking environment I was able to start a band that made a huge impact on the local underground music scene. But if you came to our shows in Hong Kong – you would see that our audience is 100% Chinese. Which is AWESOME – but where are my fellow South Asians? If I saw a desi dude/girl on stage playing in a heavy band – man, I’d be at every show supporting that person for stepping out of the box and creating something for themselves in a tough climate. My parents have never been supportive of my band, Hong Kong is not necessarily that supportive of ethnic minorities, so the walls are stacked against us so it’s ridiculous that “we” don’t come together in that regards.

So if you’re reading this – PLEASE do us a favor and spread the word! There’s a Chinese hardcore band with a Pakistani singer! Hahaha…

 

 

– We talked for a bit before about Backtrack’s new album. What other EP’s/LP’s from this year have managed to get your attention?

 

2014 has certainly had some sick records come out in terms of hardcore…Bane, Madball, Conqueror (South African hardcore), A Strength Within, Comeback Kid, Spill Your Guts…off the top of my head though I’d still say Backtrack has been my favorite record. It just hits me in the right places to get me psyched to blast that shit on my way to work. I’m not into bands that have a million parts – I’m into music that feels like songs. Backtrack does that well and I think the newest record is their best shit yet. And it also helps that they’re really really cool humble dudes.

The next record that I cannot wait for of course is the new Sick of it All record. The first two songs they’ve put up our outstanding…

 

 

KLC2

 

 

– You’re also a parent. How do you manage to strike a balance between being a touring and recording musician, and being a father?

 

I’m also a first grade teacher by profession! Don’t forget to throw that in there…hahahaha…

It hasn’t been hard at all. I think it is all about what kind of person you are. Some people are built to handle and be able to handle a lot of things on their plates. Some people just aren’t. I’m not a partier at all – I’m straight edge and so I don’t drink or do drugs and really haven’t enjoyed going to bars and hanging out in many many years. My job also requires that I get to work at about 7:15am every morning and so I’m up at like 5:30am and in bed by like 10pm every day. So when I had my daughter I was already in that early-to-bed early-to-rise routine, so seriously, my daughter hasn’t taken anything away from my life before her. She has totally enriched it…but I also have a wife that is the most amazing person on the planet who has never ONCE asked me to curtail my music, band, touring, or anything like that. She has always been like “This is who you are – be you”.

Striking a balance is of course important and to be in a band with other people who understand that is key. My guitar player just had a baby last week so we know that he’s going to be out of commission for this month so we know not to book anything around this time. Our drummer may go off and do some volunteer work and will be out of commission for like 6 months maybe, so we won’t do any shows during that period. That’s just life man – if “hardcore is for life” then you gotta accept the fact that sometimes hardcore has to take a back seat while you handle your business. When shit’s under control, you’re always back 100%.

 

 

– What’s next for King Ly Chee? Any new recordings/releases?

 

New album called CNHC (China Hardcore) will be out this December. To celebrate this double record (since 2007 we release all music in English and Chinese versions) that will be out on vinyl and digital format from us and on CD format by Clenched Fist Records in Europe. That’s very exciting to us that we finally have a person/label outside of Asia who is interested in working with us – it’s been a long time coming and nice to see someone actually do something for us.

Once the record’s out we’re touring and playing everywhere for the next couple years until we hit the big 20 year anniversary!

We want to come out to India, Nepal and Pakistan! If anyone can make that happen then hit us up!

 

 

– Thanks for your time Riz! Hope to see you soon!

 

Thank you Hassan for taking the time to check out my band and wanting to do something to help get the word out! SHUKRIYAH BAHUT BAHUT! Pakistan meh ek din milenge!

 

 

KLC5

King Ly Chee on Facebook

Being A Hardcore Punk Band In Bombay: The Riot Peddlers

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.16.40 pm

 

 

India almost never saw the words “Hardcore” and “Punk” being used in the same sentence, let alone a clause or phrase. The term “Hardcore” became synonymous with metalcore bands that did not enjoy the Devil Wears Prada or any other metal band that associated themselves with tight pants. Hardcore, for the average Indian metalhead was, put bluntly, an impure form of metal that they found too light. “Punk” in India was an even bigger joke than “Hardcore”. If you knew two chord progressions and your drummer hated playing anything fast or creative, you could form a punk band and state the Ramones as your primary influence. Soon enough, punk rock in India became about not wanting to go school and pseudo-political songs about how politicians are limitlessly greedy and evil (I know, so original and not thought of before). Any previous ideals that Henry Rollins and Ian Macaye spoke about for hours on end were made terribly obsolete as Indian punk band turned to the extreme right and complained against immigration (in a city made of immigrants). During this time, I was your average Indian teenager, hoping to do his post-grad outside India just so that he could be part of a legitimate scene.

 

 

It was around this time that the Riot Peddlers began to appear on Ennui.bomb compilations and show line-ups. I remember my excessively condescending metalhead friend (considerable older) telling me that he saw “my type of folk playing fast and complaining” at some show he was at. I followed this claim by explaining to him my disillusionment with both “Hardcore” and “Punk” music in the country, to which he replied, “I don’t know, one of them has a Mohawk”.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.18.05 pm

 

 

Soon enough, I discovered the Riot Peddlers for myself. They played old school hardcore punk and consisted mainly of Arun Ravi on guitar and vocals and Ashwin Dutt on drums, whom we remember from the days of Kinky Ski Munkys and Pin Drop Violence. They had more than one bassists, including Frank Pawar, currently of Atmosfear, whose sheer muscle mass was more than the combined weight of other two members plus their equipment combined.

 

 

The music that the Riot Peddlers played was perhaps too stripped down and away from the convention you spotted in and around the city for them too gain an outstanding support. With just a hint of New York Metallic Hardcore, the Riot Peddlers played a raw take on 80’s hardcore, complete with angry D-beats and even angrier guitars. But perhaps the angriest things about the Riot Peddlers were Arun’s vocals and lyrics. The Riot Peddlers were pissed at everything from begging to Bollywood. At the risk of romanticizing too much, the Riot Peddlers became the musical equivalent of that lonely kid at the show, who stood outside when the next band was coming on and told the closest person he could find about how pissed he was about all the bullshit everywhere. If an unsuspecting non-Indian listener stumbles upon the Riot Peddlers, he/she will basically understand what Bombay is all about, cutting out all the preachy, cheesy crap.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.17.28 pm

 

 

What the Peddlers were to the scene was another thing. After initially playing a bunch of college fest, they went on to play Control Alt Delete, Independence Rock and make a mark, being the first truly punk band in a scene of musicians who sold their souls to hipsters and corporate backing. Unfortunately, while their impact was substantial, it never enough to stir up a specialized punk scene. However, what the band did do was lay a foundation for musical and lyrical freedom, something musicians in the coming years would unknowingly benefit. At least, this is what the band did for me.

 

 

“We shouted about a few issues. And got back to our day jobs like every other Indian. Nothing much” says drummer Ashwin Dutt, “If you aren’t playing anything close to Green Day or Blink 182, you don’t have an audience. The bigger issue was we were too noisy for the alternative / electro crowd and too mellow for the metalheads. I remember a bassist asking me, ‘How is your comedy band doing? I really like the way you address issues using humour’. That’s the Indian scene for you.”

 

 

Things continued in this sense for the Riot Peddlers in this manner for a while. They played in Delhi twice and played around in Bombay. And suddenly they were gone. Erased from our scene that just wanted to see electro bands do the same thing time and again. Perhaps we’ll look back in the future and throw around a few compliments about how great the Peddlers were. Arun didn’t get enough time cause of work and Ashwin reflects on what happened. “I guess the bigger challenge is to do something about the issues you talk about. Not just sit there playing your guitar and moaning about issues. You can’t change the situation. Everyone is sitting in front of their computers and tweeting and updating status messages. There is no one when it comes to helping someone or being part of movement. I guess punk musicians are pretty shallow” says the man who only appears scary till you actually speak to him, “And that’s the reason I resigned from playing punk. Or at least the Peddlers.”

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.14.04 pm

 

 

 

 

– Vrishank Menon