The UK has been a hotbed for hardcore over the past few bands with bands like Abolition, Shrapnel, The Flex and Renounced showing the variety on offer. With bands like xRepentancex, Digress and Gaia Bleeds ushering in a new era of vegan straight edge hardcore, new bands like xServitudex are picking up where those bands have left off and are making a name for themselves very quickly with their Arkangel, Congress and xMaroonx inspired music and strong vegan straight edge stance. We are proud to be working with them on the debut release 'Path To Anmesty' you can read more about that and them here...
Yo! Can you introduce us to the band and how your got introduced to hardcore?
My name is James and I do vocals in xServitudex. I got introduced to UK hardcore through the straight edge scene.
Can you tell us how the band got started? And how it’s been received so far?
The band started after the dissolution of previous band a few of us were involved with. Myself, Ben (guitar) and Ryan (drums) wanted to play and create something different with a tighter knit of friends who were musically capable. Being limited of vegan straight edge musicians in the UK, we thankfully had no issue finding friends to join us, we've been friends with Shaun (guitar) and Dan (bass) for years now so this project gives us all a reason to hang together more, as we're sparsely located around Scotland and England. It's been received great so far. We've had a solid backing from various bands in the UK, labels, those who checked out the release and people who caught us live. We're grateful and it's really appreciated.
Was the intention of the band to always be a vegan straight edge band or did it happen organically?
It was organic, but undeniably the main intention from the beginning. We all had influenced ideas of what we wanted to achieve before we got the band together. First and foremost we wanted a strong vegan straight edge message with a solid foundation based upon our beliefs that was portrayed through the music itself. We needed to hold integrity, ensuring what we speak is aligned individually with each member. With it being our debut release, we all achieved what we set out to create with Path to Amnesty and are in the process pencilling in extensive ideas to cover for our future release.
Photo by Dai Tan Films
Being so close to Europe gives you the opportunity to tour a lot of different countries in a short amount of time, is there any plans to get over to the mainland soon?
We were lucky enough to go over to Belgium with our friends in Transcendence and Revolve back in July, it was before we had released any material and the reception was great. We’d love to return, hopefully early next year!
Your debut release ”Path To Amnesty” also has a distinct H8000 flavour, what made you want to do a band like that?
Personally, for me the early H8000 edge-metal scene is my favourite era of hardcore, it spawned some of the most influential bands and captures a pinnacle of European hardcore in the 90s. It generally comes down to the fact we all have a deep appreciation for this unique style and when it came to writing the release, we were strongly influenced by some highlight bands from that area. I'm unsure if these bands are also from the H8000 area, but in 2017 Belgium is still churning out some of the sickest bands such as Deconsecrate, Minded Fury and xDevourx.
You’re lucky enough to be playing the final CTW fest, what impact do you think CTW had on hardcore in the UK? And who are you more siked for; Integrity or 108?
Carry the Weight has undeniably had a huge impact on hardcore in the UK. For someone who has never experienced a true hardcore setting outside of the UK I am unaware how scenes in the US or even Australia compare, but I believe the bands CTW has put out pushed the scene here to another level. From their inception, putting out bands such as Abolition, Never Again, Breaking Point and Survival... to Renounced, xRepentancex and ending their label career with the Racetraitor repress - they've had a solid run and will be remembered for years to come. We're stoked to be playing the final CTW fest. It's difficult to decide but I'm most excited for Integrity. 108 will be fantastic too.
The United Kingdom has had some insane bands over the years like xCanaanx, Unborn and Slavarc as well as more modern classics like Abolition, Renounced and the gone too soon xRepentancex, what current bands should we check out from the other side of the globe?
Active UK bands with new releases in 2017 you need to check out - the new Nihility record, which is my current favourite UKHC release of the year. Realm of Torment dropped a new EP last month which is their best work to date. Revolve from Glasgow dropped 'Reduced to Ash' which is mad underrated. Chamber from Telford put out 'Void of Hatred' which is a solid release. Check out and follow Rage Records at ragehc.bandcamp.com.
Pick your king;
Arkangel or Kickback?
I'm not a fan of the people who were in either of these bands, but they both released iconic records. Kickback had a consistently solid career but Arkangel are king. Prayers upon Deaf Ears is one of my favourite releases and even after they sold out they controversially created a great album, (IHYDBO). I'm personally not a fan of their 2008 record though.
Congress or Liar?
Both are supreme but for me, Congress are my favourite band to come out of the H8000 area.
Thanks for the interview! Any last words?
Shout out to Michael and Robert (and team at LLR) for everything they do.
Thanks a lot for the interview!
From the underbelly of Australian punk comes Tirade, bringing a breath of fresh air into the Melbourne scene. With their unique blend of politics, mosh parts and sound-clips à la Chokehold or Haymaker, Tirade only played a handful of shows before their hiatus but left people wanting more. We sent them through a couple of questions to coincide the release of their debut tape AMBUSH YOUR ENEMY and you can read the responses below.
Can you introduce the band and who does what?
- Tirade is a bunch of fuckwits who make half assed music that gets way more credit than it deserves. And we love it.
- Tirade is Nathan, JJ, Hep G, Sam 666 and Stacey. That is to say drums, git, bass, git, vox. There are multiple anonymous answers given to each question, sorry if that's confusing.
Tirade was always going to be a short lived band with members going overseas, what was the catalyst for starting the band?
- I hadn't played music with most of these people before and we're all good mates. Getting to know your friends in a creative and fun context like making music is often refreshing and inspiring for me. This style of hardcore is a sort of guilty pleasure for all of us too, so it was for a laugh but awesome to get together and write serious stuff with a big tongue in the cheek. It was a good way to stay driven toward something for the winter period.
- Peer pressure and bongs. The others were stoned as and rang me up being like 'wouldn't it be crack up...'. I was initially quite resistant to the idea of starting a beatdown type band Nathan, Stacey and JJ lathered it on and I caved. It was tonnes of fun though. Gurney just joined cause he knew we'd be fucked without him.
- I wanted be involved because I like hardcore and I thought it would be fun. It's also been a really long time since I've played guitar in a collaborative project so I figured this would be a good project to use to reacquaint myself.
Tirade playing their last show (to date) at Essendon in September, 2016.
Before you played with Shackles and Magrudergrind you gave you lyrics sheets, why did you feel that was important?
- Ego. Nahbutyeah.
- I don't necessarily think its important. But it sets the tone in a way. If a band is giving out lyric sheets it means that they consider the words to be crucial to the project. I've always liked when bands have gone to that effort so I suppose I enjoy going to that effort myself and it gives people the opportunity to be critical and think about shit
– Agree/disagree – whatever. It also gives you the opportunity to put a visual aesthetic across as well which potentially adds another layer to people's experience of the live show or their expectations or something.
Continuing on from that, what are some issues that are important to Tirade?
- Supporting your friends to live however they want. Deconstructing the privilege and prejudice within ourselves and trying to improve the way we live with others.
- Indigenous struggle, black power, self determination, self organisation and ecology.
- The homogenisation and increasingly desperate blandness of Melbourne youth cultures. We came here to promote juvenile delinquency, public lawlessness, militant fare evasion, risk-taking behaviour, overt criminality and a mildly politicised disregard for the rules of 'fair' street combat. Kick 'em in the fucking nuts and fuck off. Is that a metaphor? No. Two of us are qualified youth workers that can't find or refuse to undertake youth work. Three of us are eligible to receive 'youth services'. Only one of us is both a reluctant youth worker and a youth themselves. We hang out in the inner western and northern suburbs of Melbourne, where the ongoing process of gentrification's rapid disfigurement is starkly obvious. We could be more or less defined as anarchists. Is such a term too simple, too restrictive? No.
- Thinking about decolonisation and indigenous solidarity. Hopefully acting on that. Thinking about community responsibility and hopefully acting on that too. Public disorder, lawlessness and the promotion of behaviour that engages with such concepts.
Tirade openning for Magrudergrind at Phoenix YC in Footscray, August 2016.
Tirade was always an outspoken band about the ever increasing issue of youth detention, would you be able to give us your background in this and tell us about what you believe is the best solution to a broken system?
- I don't have any real solutions in mind as my understanding of the system is pretty shallow but when I was young I had a few friends get taken by 'youth justice' motherfuckers. When I was 15 my first band was recording and Child Youth and Family Services came and abducted our vocalist Emmanuel (rip bro) and it took us over a year to track him down as he got biffed around from place to place. Not so much detention but he was stripped of his autonomy and childhood by a bureaucracy that didn't give a fuck. Such an amazing person. Miss him heaps. Anyway, fuck the pigs and their meddling in young peoples lives removing them from the people they love and who love them.
- I don't believe that it is up to us to make decisions for other people. But all I can say is that putting kids in cages for reacting to an environment that works against them is definitely not the solution. If I were in a position to propose a new way then I'd at-least start with re-evaluating societies values, listening to those kids and trying to understand them in order to work with them and help them find themselves as well as what they need materially. It's sounds more philosophical than practical, that is because it is a starting point and I think that solutions or results only come through engagement. Engagement is hard work that involves meeting others face to face as unique human beings. Prison is mere containment, not engagement that leads to transformation.
- Could you really say the youth detention system is broken? It depends if you see it's aim as really being 'rehabilitation'. I think the current system fully satisfies it's real purpose - feeding the ever growing prison industrial complex that sees Australia equal with the UK for the highest percentage of prisoners held in private prisons in the world. We currently sit at 18.3, the UK at 18.4 percent. That doesn't take into account the vast amount of privately-run immigration detention centres Australia operates at home and elsewhere. This is not to say that most youth detention facilities in Australia are privately run, but that their inmates' experiences inside these often unforgiving and overcrowded gaols are more than likely to set them on a course for 're-offending' resulting in repeated incarceration through adulthood. The multi-national corporations (Serco, Geo Group, G4S) who build and run detention facilities in Australia and all around the world have a vested interest in repeat offending and extended incarceration. It would not be a stretch to assert that they also profit massively therefore, from the continued displacement and genocide of Australia's indigenous population. As of 2016, roughly 54 percent of children in youth detention were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. As if this figure isn't absurd enough, they make up less than 3 percent of the population. It seems obvious to me that the government's interest in the incarceration and general displacement of indigenous Australians stems from their desire to mine the ground in these peoples' traditional homelands for the purposes of exporting uranium and other valuable minerals. You may say that I've strayed off topic here, but the picture I'm trying paint basically shows the link between economic expansion of Australia and it's mining industry, the voracious appetite of the prison industrial complex here, and the crucial role that juvenile detention plays in feeding it, and sustaining it's growth. Aside from this particular set of circumstances, I find the notion of prison overall to be entirely repugnant and inhumane. I advocate for the complete and total dismantling of the prison system. If another sector of society is adversely effected by this then the "problem" can most likely be solved by the subsequent dismantling of another part - if not the whole - of society. We are not reformists.
- The recent events and ongoing situation in the areas of youth detention and juvenile “justice” have, for me, been incredibly inspiring. The riots that occurred multiple times (and are continuing) in both the Parkville and Malmsberry facilities have caused so much damage that they've effectively forced the government to abandon the (Parkville) facility whilst constantly applying running repairs to both. The 50 or so young people who did that (to the Parkville prison) achieved what many youth workers and human rights advocates have actually been trying to do for years – they fucked the place up and rendered it a historical artefact. Since the largest riot multiple wings were deemed unfit for their intended purpose and the continuing escapes and riots show the young people have exposed the weaknesses and continue to exploit them. Thus forcing the government to plan to abandon the facility outright (eventually, they gotta build a new one first).
The outcomes for the kids themselves I'd imagine to be quite difficult. Repressive tactics that punish and intimidate have led to many of these young people being locked up in Barwon adult prison (for 'lack of space') or, one could imagine, be having a pretty shit time where ever they've ended up either way. More recently when seven or so young people escaped from the Malmsberry facility they were sent directly to Barwon with no double speak in tow regarding bed availability due to damage done – its purely punitive. Just to be clear on this, human rights advocates went boontah when the government put kids in an adult prison, so they ran a new legislation through re defining the Grevelia wing of Barwon as a youth facility, fucked ay.
The media's impact on people's perception of this issue, and therefore perceptions of these young people involved is omnipotent. So I feel for the participants and hope that they are ok and have no regrets despite what they're up against. The cries for law and order and punitive responses are all we hear. More gaol, more time, more laws, more criminalisation, more prisons, 'idiot thugs,' is the ever ready response from outlets like the herald sun (and the rest, really). Its never that simple though, this version is blind and has only a single narrative for these young people – that they're criminal, they don't have the right to have demands, they don't have the right to speak up, that you forfeit all of your dignity once you become a prisoner, lock em up, they're obvs fucked people. However as both a 'qualified' youth worker and crime advocate, which are not mutually exclusive in the slightest, I encourage folks to recognise the rage and action of these young people firstly as a natural reaction to their circumstance and position in this society and secondly as fucking brave.
So what's the solution to this “broken” system? Fuck knows. Community development? On the ground work with communities of young people by diverse groups of people that don't care primarily about the continuation of capitalism but the improvement of people's quality of life? Open minds towards concepts of “criminality,” maybe we can call aspects of it survival, maybe, just maybe, some laws are fuckin stupid and reinforce power relationships. Transformative justice approaches. Asking young people what they want, what they hate and how we can work broadly toward a liberatory process together? Solidarity and the dismantling of the prison system. Reforms will again be reformed, so we need to remove the problem, rather than try change it.
Can you tell us about your upcoming tape 'Ambush Your Enemy'?
- It's sick. The five songs we managed to write played in the same order we played them in at our only 5 or 6 shows. Al authentico 90s HC bass tone. Thankfully being released by Life Lair Regret (that's you, mate), a label that likes this sort of music, rather than our crusty mates who think we're 'good dudes'.
- Give it a go if you like aggressive riffage with the beatdown effect tainted with some overly righteous diatribes...or tirades if you will.
- It sounds surprisingly good haha. Adam did a mean as job and when we got the mastered tracks back we were all blown away! So huge. Churr to those who made it possible.
Will Tirade ever play again?
Tirade playing at Esso in August, 2016.
What is next for it's members?
- I'm doing a few projects and tossing up what to do with my life.
- Finishing off the next set of live shows in my other bands then I'm taking a break from live music indefinitely.
- A carton.
- I was thinking about finding a reliable cult leader for whom to dedicate the rest of my days.
- Esso: home
Taxes: paid for the northern territory intervention
Ticket inspectors: come at me cunt
Masking up: good for the herald sun
- Esso - the suburb
Footscray - the hood
Taxes - who cares
Ticket inspectors - scumbags
Masking up - is funny as fuck
Social war - is constant.
- Esso – burnt the fuck down. Home of many of the best GC's over the years and some ripper gigs.
Footscray - home for the past 5 years and getting the shit buffed out of it.
Taxes – off the books thanks, mate.
Ticket inspectors – total jobbers. As in jobronis like the Rock used to call people.
Masking up – a safety measure, a provocative image to sell and funny as fuck.
Social war – reality.
Thanks for the interview, any final words?
- Yes, please note that this interview was done via correspondence, and the members had time to think over their answers before typing them out. Actual conversations with said musicians may be far more irrational and less relevant on the whole.
- Pay the rent to mob. Show full respect to mob, show full respect to this land and have respect for yourself. Peace and love.
- Engage in risk taking behaviour. Tonight.
Hailing from the most isolated city in the world & rising from the ashes of Never Settle, Denial formed with a vengeance & a purpose; to bring thought back to Perth’s budding hardcore scene. Dropping the ‘Condemned to Repeat’ EP and recently releasing a split with Melbourne’s Blinded, Denial have demonstrated their musical strengths & determination. Taking inspirations from 90’s hardcore definers like Buried Alive, Indecision and Turmoil, the band have had opportunities to play along- side international acts such as Foundation as well as some of Australia’s biggest up and comers like Cursed Earth, Rebirth and Burning Season to name a few. With their first year being so bright we quizzed them on what the future holds for them.
Tell us who you are and who else is in the band?
My name is James and I play guitar in Denial with my friends Joel on vocals, Sean on bass, Declan on drums and Danny on guitar.
Did Denial form while Never Settle was still around or who initiated it all?
Denial came around because we were all sick of playing as Never Settle but didn’t want to stop writing music together, so we just ditched it all and started writing better things.
What were the main influences for the sound of Denial? And what’s your favourite comparison you’ve heard so far?
Without a doubt Buried Alive and Foundation are probably our biggest influences, but we draw influence from from lots of different aspects of heavy music.
I haven’t really experienced many different comparisons, I have gotten a couple “Holy f*ck you’s guys are heavy” from a handful drunk guys at 18+ shows
Denial playing Day 1 of Lairapalooza 2016 in Melbourne - July 2016
There’s quite a bit of a sound influence between Never Settle and Denial, what inspired the change?
When we were Never Settle we didn’t really know what we wanted to do, we didn’t have a style in mind and by the time we found a style we wanted to pursue we were ready to call it quits. I guess the change came about because we didn’t want to be associated with that past.
Perth seems to be booming at the moment after years of laying dormant, what if anything has caused the change? And what do you think can be done to preserve it?
Better bands and more people/locals to care about those bands and support them. We need to keep pumping out better releases, have parts in putting shows on and have other things, aside the music, to draw people to the shows (bake sales/merch swaps/etc). I really do feel like we need more younger kids that play instruments or want to play.
If Denial were stuck on a desert island and could only have 3 records to listen to for the rest of eternity, what would they be?
This is a tough one and I think we could agree on these though:
Foundation - When The Smoke Clears
Parkway Drive - Killing With A Smile
Buried Alive - The Death Of Your Perfect World
Over the course of 12 months you’ve been able to release a demo and a split with Blinded, how did the split come about?
We all knew James Hutchins from Blinded for a few years now from a (failed) split that we did with his old band Stuck Below. We had already planned on doing the split before we released our demo, after a few hiccups it finally happened.
Denial supporting The Others at Flyrite in Perth - April 2016. Photo by Liam Allomes.
Grave of Compassion talks about the evils of the traditions of modern society, what are some of the evils that Denial would want to see changed the most?
Without coming across like we’re looking to change the world, we all hold strong views on animal rights and believe that the enslavement and suffering of animals should be eradicated. Among other topics as well. Obviously it can’t be done just by 5 people, but that’s why we write about positive change so that it is heard by those who choose to listen.
Of all the songs that have been written so far, what’s your favourite so far? And why?
Probably Persecution because it’s heavy as hell and the crowd participation is amazing in that song! But we did just write a new song with possibly one of the heaviest breakdowns we’ve ever written.
After years of dumbing down do you think hardcore is finally growing a social consciousness again?
Yes definitely! It’s great that there are so many more bands hitting important subjects like feminism, transphobia and veganism more!
Denial supporting Foundation in Melbourne at The Rev - March 2016. Photo by Blake Baric.
Denial shares members with other Perth bands, does it even get difficult to juggle them around?
Yeah, without a doubt, it’s pretty tough for me trying to juggle around 2 bands, a job and a social life. Especially now that Unravel and Denial are both writing so much and so often!
What’s coming up next for Denial? What does the future hold?
We’re currently writing for out next release and are going to be taking, after our next show, a few months off to work on finishing it and recording it.
Denial's last show for 2016 - Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/353528288319006/
What’s your favourite show that you’ve played as a band so far?
Has to be the Rebirth Perth weekender, lots of good times were had with lots of good friends, lots of good bands were playing and Baking Point were there!
If you could compare each member of the band to any musician throughout time, who would they be?
Joel would be Peter Garrett from Midnight Oil because he has some real hectic dance moves. Declan would be Dave Grohl because he can riff for days and drums like a madman. Sean would be Ned from Title Fight because he slap da ba$$ and is always nice and easy to talk to. Danny would be Mark Palm because like Devotion he can drop off the grid for a while but has so many riffs up his sleeves that he has to wear XXL shirts to fit them all.
Blinded/Denial split 7-inch out via us and Second Guess Records.
How can people hear or get in touch with the band?
People can get in touch with us by direct messaging our Facebook page or emailing us
As for listening, you can stream our stuff on Spotify or via band camp
What are some current local and international bands you think people should take out?
Listen to Foundation, Rebirth, Blinded, Unravel, Turmoil, The Others, Buried Alive, Mindsnare, Facile, Apollo Zen, Bikini Cops, Territory, Bounty Hunter, Cursed Earth, Self Harm, Hierophant, Forstora and support Life.Lair.Regret Records, Second Guess Record and your local charity bake sales!
Pick up a copy of the new Denial/Blinded 7" from our store or through one of the stores or distros listed below.