MEMBERS OF D.C. HARDCORE’S PAST CREATE BRIGHT FUTURE WITH DOT DASH

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INTERVIEW BY JOE FITZPATRICK

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY DOT DASH, STEVE ROVERY, AND ROXPLOSION

Washington, D.C. is known for many musical styles, especially punk rock and hardcore. Combining the “in your face” energy and aggression of this genre with the melodic sounds of indie rock, DOT DASH are quickly making their own marks in this historic music market. Singer/guitarist Terry Banks  and bassist Hunter Bennett, teamed up with two of D.C. hardcore’s founders, guitarist Steve Hansgen and drummer Danny Ingram. However, despite their impressive resumes, their music speaks for itself.

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RICHMOND STRAIGHT EDGE BAND BREAK AWAY DISCUSS FESTIVALS AND THE CURRENT STATE OF THE HARDCORE SCENE, AS WELL AS UNITED BLOOD AND THEIR UPCOMING FACE AGGRESSION TOUR

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INTERVIEW BY JOE FITZPATRICK

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY ACE STALLINGS AND MELINE G.

Since the early 2000’s, the City of Richmond, Va. has built a reputation of being one of the best hardcore scenes in America, with an even more diverse music and arts scene than any of the surrounding cities. One of the hardcore bands that have quickly risen through the ranks of fresh faces in the scene are the men of BREAK AWAY, who recently released their latest EP, Face Aggression.

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DESPITE AN INCREASE IN AGE-RESTRICTED SHOWS IN THE HAMPTON ROADS AREA, PAPER TRAIL STILL MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT FOR THE VIRGINIA BEACH HARDCORE SCENE BOTH IN AND OUT OF THE STATE

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INTERVIEW BY JOE FITZPATRICK

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY BUDDY BRYANT AND CHLOE MURO

Virginia is known for many things, but one of the things it is most known for in the hardcore scene is a huge number of quality hardcore bands making a positive impact on the genre across the U.S. One of the bands making the biggest impact is PAPER TRAIL, which currently includes guitarist Devan Albers, drummer Joey Glover, bassist Buddy Bryant, vocalist Lunch Stein, and guitarist Alex Young. Since forming the band in May 2011, the band has made a name for themselves as one of the hardest working bands in the scene. Albers filled us in over email about the band’s recent performances at Shaka’s in Virginia Beach and other age-restricted venues in regards to the impact it has had on the local music scene, as well as their upcoming self-titled album due out later this year.

On February 12, PAPER TRAIL played its first show in a long time at Shaka’s in Virginia Beach. How did that show go?

It went extremely well. We played Shaka’s in November with SICK OF IT ALL and have played Virginia Beach more recently at age-restricted venues.

pt 3From February 26 to March 1, you guys will be hitting the road for shows in Nashville, Dayton, Ohio, Altoona, Pa., and back to Virginia Beach. What are you most looking forward to about this run?

[We are] definitely looking forward to just being out to new places and hanging out with INCITED more. I think it will be a good run in all; they booked it and have hammered out places and made friends and good contacts.

I’ve heard about how there been several bars at the Virginia Beach oceanfront that have been opening their doors to hardcore bands. Do you think that this is a good thing?

I think that is a fantastic thing. I mean, age restrictions suck for sure because kids of all ages, especially under 21 come out and are willing to pay for the show, but the laws at the oceanfront are crazy. The constant [stream] bands coming through [the area], big and small, is really cool no matter where in Hampton Roads.

Your bassist Buddy told me that you guys are currently working on a new album. How much progress have you made on that?

We have five songs down. Two are the Cycle of Light EP, and we’re gonna do 3 or 4 more ASAP. We have album art and a new member too. This full-length is going to be badass.

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Is there anything on the new record that listeners might find unexpected?

It’s pretty straight forward PAPER TRAIL stuff, but I feel like it’s all of our previous releases all put into one and with more BLOOD FOR BLOOD and DEATH THREAT style hardcore too.

Have you decided on a title for it?pt 4

It’s just gonna be called Paper Trail.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the Virginia hardcore scene?

My thoughts on the current scene is it’s still alive and just in the slow season, per say. We have a ton of stuff coming up for spring and summer. The Virginia Beach hardcore scene has been and is one of the best because most other scenes rely on venues or bands to make it what it is, but we’ve never had consistent venues or bands. [There is] still a lot of talent and places all over letting hardcore and shows in general happen.

For more updates on PAPER TRAIL, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and Instagram, and check out their most recent EP Cycle of Light on Bandcamp.

WASHINGTON, D.C.’S MOST WELL TRAVELED HARDCORE BAND, COKE BUST, PLAN MONTH LONG TOUR THROUGH SOUTH AMERICA IN 2015 AND FINALIZE SONGS FOR SPLIT WITH DESPISE YOU

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INTERVIEW BY JOE FITZPATRICK

PHOTOS BY BRENO CAROLLO, NUNO FANGUEIRO, AND MATT GILL

Since releasing their demo in 2006, the members of Washington, D.C.’s infamous straight edge hardcore band COKE BUST have been tearing up basements and house shows with reckless abandon, each time playing faster and harder than they had before. The band’s lineup currently includes vocalist Nick Tape, guitarist James Willett, bassist/vocalist Daniel Jubert, and drummer Chris Moore. In November 2013, they released their most recent LP Confined, and they have been touring rigorously all over the globe, including throughout Europe and Brazil. Currently they are in the process of writing songs for their second split, which is expected to be released by the start of the new year. We spoke with Nick Tape regarding the band’s upcoming split and South American tour, as well as their travels to Portugal, and their appreciation for younger bands stepping up in the local hardcore scene.

I saw that you guys have a split in the works with DESPISE YOU and that you have two of the three songs done. Have you set a release date for that split yet?

Not yet. We’re gonna try to record that sometime before the middle of December. So hopefully within a month or so [we’ll get it out]. We’ve got some ideas kicking around for the new song. We just kind of need to get together and throw ‘em all in the pot and see what happens. For that split, we’re gonna try and take a different approach. We’re recording those three songs with one of my roommates, actually. We’re gonna try to get a pretty raw sound for that split. We’ve been recording in the same studio for the past four records that we’ve done. It should be cool. I’m excited for it.

You guys have not released any new music of your own since you put out Confined in November 2013. Do you have another new record of your own in the works as well?

We try not to think too far ahead of ourselves, but we were kicking some ideas around for doing another LP next, which is probably what we’ll do. As far as the timeframe with that, I have no idea because we are all pretty busy with our other bands too. [Daniel] Jubert, the bass player, has his other band MISLED YOUTH, and I think they are trying to do some stuff. Chris, our drummer, has a bunch of other projects going on too. He also plays in a grindcore band called DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, and he also actually just joined the band REPULSION too, the “legendary band” I guess you could say. They are doing some stuff this summer, and then I will be busy with my other band called RED DEATH. We’re gonna be doing a huge tour this summer. When we actually map it all out (laughs), the earliest we could all get together and seriously write for that record would be like, July 2015. So it will definitely take some time, and I guess COKE BUST is gonna chill out for a little bit next year.

Can you tell me about your plans for the South American tour you have coming up?

We’re gonna start in late January, and we’re going to do Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile. We went to Brazil last January, and it was a super sick tour. We didn’t really know what to expect when we went down there. We didn’t really have any expectations at all, and we were completely blown away by how cool it was and how cool everyone else was. We just had such a blast. One of the guys that helped out with the tour ended up living in DC four months after the tour ended, and he was going to go to the fest that we put on called Damaged City Fest. But he ended up liking DC so much that he stayed for six months, and he actually just went home pretty recently. That guy, who is known as Chivero, is gonna be booking the South American tour for us again this time, and it’s gonna be really cool. Last year, we did a tour that only went in Brazil, and we didn’t really cover that much ground. We just mainly did Sao Paulo and a couple of the cities that are within driving distance of it. This time, we’re gonna really span as much of the continent as we can in a way that isn’t complete financial suicide.

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What is the route that you have planned for this tour?

We’re gonna start in the north of Brazil and play three shows up there. Then we are going to fly over to Sao Paulo. Then we’ll travel by car for a little while and go up to Rio de Janeiro to Belo Horizonte, which is a another city a little bit more inland. Then we’re gonna travel back to Sao Paulo and go south a little bit. Then we’re gonna abandon the car, and then we’re gonna travel by bus to Uruguay. Then we’re gonna take a ferry from Uruguay to Argentina, but I have no idea how we are going to get inside Argentina (laughs). We’re gonna do three shows there, and then we’re gonna have to fly from Argentina to Chile. We’re gonna play one show in Palco, which is in southern Chile, and then we’re gonna play Santiago, the capital of Chile. Then we’re gonna fly to play one show in the north of Chile. Then we’re gonna fly home. Originally, we were going to try to do Peru too, but we did all the math and it was gonna cost us an extra $3,000 to play one show in Lima, Peru. It just didn’t make sense, so we had to cut it short, but the tour is gonna be awesome. I’m super excited. We don’t really know what to expect, which is kind of the recurring theme in COKE BUST in terms of our adventurous and sometimes overly optimistic (laughs) plans that we create for ourselves.

I also saw that earlier this year you guys played in Portugal. How is the scene there?

Portugal was cool, man. That was another tour that we booked that we didn’t know what to expect because we had done a handful of European tours. Before that, we had been to Europe three times. We kind of hit a lot of the same spots. We played Germany; played England a bunch of times; we hit Belgium, Poland, and Austria. And we were like, we’ve never been further west than Paris, so we booked a tour with the purpose of covering new ground and trying to hit the Iberian Peninsula. We did England; we played one show in Belgium; we went to France; and we did all of Spain and made our way out to Portugal and back up to England. That tour was sick. I had been to Portugal once before with one of my other bands, but this time it was totally different. It was really cool. Also, it was about a month after we had gotten back from Brazil too, so we knew a little bit of Portuguese. We played three shows total in Portugal — Lisbon, Porto, and a small city somewhere in between those two in the mountains of an orange farm (laughs). It was pretty crazy.

How do you guys afford to travel overseas so often?

It’s a priority and a goal for everybody in the band to do it. We try to be smart about money when we’re at home. We made a lot of money on a U.S. tour that we did last year, and we used that money to go to Europe immediately afterwards. Then we did a west coast tour, and that tour ended up funding a different overseas trip. When it came to the Brazilian tour, we lost money doing that. We had some money in the band fund, and we all just really wanted to go, so we did it. I also think we have been really lucky. The tours now are kind of self-sufficient, for the most part. I don’t expect the South American tour to be like that, but when we go to Europe and when we travel in the U.S., we typically do okay. We don’t make money with the band in our “normal lives,” but I guess the best we can hope to do financially is to break even and buy some food for ourselves along the way. That’s kind of how it works for us. We all feel super happy and super appreciative to have all of these wild opportunities, and to not lose a ton of money doing it is the coolest thing in the world.

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As your band has increased in notoriety and fame in the hardcore scene, have the ethics of DIY still remained important to your band?

For sure. We still have the same principles that we had at the beginning. We’re not gonna play a freaking PBR fest, if that’s what you’re asking (laughs). We have always kind of done things ourselves since the start, and even if we were a bigger band than we are now, I’m fairly confident that nothing would be that different. For example, when we go out on tour, we don’t have guarantees that we ask from promoters. Since we do so many shows at home, we have friends pretty much all over the place, and we don’t really have to venture into that territory. We do our own mail order. We don’t put out our own records. I wish we did (laughs), to some extent, but working with Grave Mistake [Records] has been awesome. Alex [DiMattesa] is super cool. There aren’t even that many opportunities for us to “sell out” if we wanted to, and I don’t really know what we could do. We love punk, and we love hardcore. Playing shows in basements is the reason why we do this because that stuff is fun to me. I wouldn’t really want to go on a huge, packaged tour where we have to do sound checks, not even like that’s an option for us, but even if it was, I don’t think it would be as much fun anymore.

Since your band started in 2006, the hardcore scene in DC, VA, and MD has really exploded with a ton of awesome bands. Why do you think that is the case?

There has been an explosion of younger bands in the past couple years, and I think it’s because younger kids feel more welcome now, which is a cool thing. I’m not sure that was the case a couple years ago, but I actually give a lot of credit to Chris, our drummer, because he books a ton of shows. He always makes it a point to put younger bands on shows and to keep younger kids involved. I think a lot of his dedication to doing that in conjunction with us just being lucky that there were a bunch of kids being interested and coming out to hardcore shows, have led to a prosperous hardcore scene in D.C. Now there’s a ton of sick bands. I can’t even name them all, there’s so many, and they’re all with kids between the ages of 15 and 22. So it’s insane right now, but it’s a cool situation that the older people are being accepting and welcoming to the younger kids.

You mentioned earlier about Damaged City Fest in DC in April. Are plans already underway for the 2015 fest?

Everything is on as planned. Chris and I do that together, and this will be the third year in a row we are doing it. Right now, we are working on getting a preliminary update together to get the word out there. It’s gonna be the weekend of April 11, most likely at St. Stephen’s Church in Washington, D.C. — the same venue as the last two years. We’re working on ironing out all the details, but it should be cool and it’s definitely still happening.

For more updates on COKE BUST, be sure to visit their website, “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and check out their music on Bandcamp, Also, be on the lookout for more details about Damaged City Fest 2015.

TRUE WORTH USE VARIOUS INFLUENCES FROM HARDCORE TO SOUTHERN METAL TO COME INTO THEIR OWN IDENTITY FOR THEIR LATEST RECORD, FLEETING LIVES

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INTERVIEW BY FRANK VENZOR

PHOTOS BY DAVID JEFFREY AND CHLOE MURO

If you’re into hardcore and you live in Virginia, you probably only ever hear Richmond or Virginia Beach bands, but Virginia is full of awesome hardcore bands from every region. For example, there’s TIEBREAKER and STEP OFF from Roanoke, REFINER from Front Royal, WIRETAP from Winchester, and last but not least, Harrisonburg’s TRUE WORTH, a real up-and-coming hardcore band. Their sound combines the speed of thrash metal, the anger of hardcore punk, and the crushing pit riffs of PANTERA. I am lucky to be able to call these guys my friends. I’ve decided to interview each of them separately, to get a more in-depth look into the workings of this proud Virginia band.

Zach Lantz (vocals)

Your lyrics have a certain feeling of loss and anger behind them; do you consider yourself an angry person? And who do you think of for inspiration when writing your lyrics?

Well Chris and I usually write the lyrics together. We have been best friends since 2009, so we share a lot of memories together. We think the same way, and that puts a lot of emphasis on what we write about. As for being an angry person, I don’t think I am. I imagine that a lot of people close to me would say that I am, but I’m actually just a hot head at times. I have a problem with not thinking before I speak, and that usually leads to trouble (laughs). Chris and I have both lost a lot of people close to us. We actually share a few friends that have passed away in the past few years, and it really helps cope with the loss by writing about them.

Who are your favorite hardcore and metal vocalists?

Hmmm…that’s a tough one. I guess I would say David Wood from DOWN TO NOTHING for hardcore because he’s from Virginia, and DOWN TO NOTHING rules. Phil Anselmo for metal because PANTERA. 

Hahaha, “Because Pantera,” I agree.  How often do you find yourself listening to VA hardcore? Who would you say is your favorite VA band?

I listen to Virginia hardcore every day. Not even on purpose. There are just so many good bands from Virginia. Does LAMB OF GOD count for my favorite band? DOWN TO NOTHING is probably my favorite [hardcore] band in Virginia, though. 

Your new EP is different than your prior release. What prompted the change, and was there a different process in writing and recording this release?

When we started to write Fleeting Lives, we decided that what we used to play was just boring and not fun. As each of us is into different kinds of hardcore, we decided that we just wanted to play stuff that we enjoyed. We just wanted to play music that we all enjoy and can head bang to, to be honest. Plus, I don’t know if any of us enjoy much of what we used to write

What do you hope to accomplish within the VA hardcore scene?

I just want to write music that everyone enjoys and make Virginia hardcore even more well-known than it already is. I’m so happy to be a part of Virginia hardcore. Virginia hardcore is already on the map, and to me it’s the best scene in the country. From NOVA to Roanoke and from RVA to Virginia Beach.

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Zach Jeffrey (guitar)

I know most bands rely heavily on the guitarists to write the music, but some combine their efforts.  How does the writing process go?

For TRUE WORTH, writing has always been a group effort. Someone will say, “Hey, I have this sweet riff idea,” and the next person will say, “Hey, we could do this after or this.” The closer we get as a band and the better we get as a band definitely helps our writing as well. People in the band kind of have their own specialties and what they are good at writing, which also helps each member not get burned out on playing certain songs live.

What prompted you to change the writing of this new EP from your previous work?

On our last album Dark Days it was kind of a darker, slower album. We each had some stuff going on in our personal lives that helped write a lot of the songs and lyrics. Going into this new album, we kind of got all that stuff off our chests and decided to write something fast and fun. It’s definitely easier for us to write, and it comes a lot more natural.

There’s a definite southern feel to this new EP; where did that come from? When writing riffs, who do you look to for inspiration from? 

Southern rock and southern metal has always been an influence. Chris and I started our first band when we were 14 or so and it was named after a MOLLY HATCHET song, so go figure. As we got older, we got into early NORMA JEAN and MAYLENE [AND THE SON’S OF DISASTER] and stuff like that. With this new album we really wanted it to be a mix of all the stuff we like: fast, heavy, and groovy.  Personally, I listen to a lot of thrash and old school rock and metal. Most of the fast riffs that I’ve wrote were based on obviously PANTERA and CRO-MAGS type riffs.  We all listen to some pretty weird stuff.

How did Party Foul Records approach you guys? And what are they doing for you all?

Party Foul found us after Chris sent out a ton of demos to random labels and people. We had a few hits, but no one that serious. Party Foul was really into our new album and also our older stuff. We talked and planned [with them], and now we have a 7” up for presale and a few shirt packages. It’s pretty crazy being at this stage; it’s taken a long time to get here.

What do you hope to accomplish within the VA hardcore scene?

I think True Worth’s main goal within the VA hardcore scene is just to have fun. Live life and don’t take yourself too seriously. If we can sell a shirt here and there and have kids tell us they really enjoyed our set, I think that’s enough. We just love making music, playing shows, and seeing friends. It would be amazing to continue to grow and become more and more popular in the scene. We all really want to tour and experience that life, but even if that doesn’t happen, we will keep playing shows with the same 40 kids until we are too old or too shitty to continue.

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Chris Mueller (bass)

You used to be the vocalist of this band; what prompted the switch with Zach? How is being the bassist of a band differ from being the vocalist of a band?

I was the vocalist for about a year before I made the personal decision to leave the band. I was going through a lot of personal stuff and felt that I couldn’t contribute in a positive way, so I decided to step away. My leave only lasted for a few months, and when I came back Zach had already taken over as vocalist. I’ve been playing bass for like 12 years, so it was a natural move. Playing bass is cool because I get to contribute musically to the general sound and direction of our songs. There are things I miss about singing, but being a bassist comes much more naturally. I also think Zach fills the role well. People say he’s intimidating, which I guess is cool.

I remember a couple of months ago, you tweeted about carpal tunnel. I tweeted back at you with some tips since I struggle with it too, and I hope they helped.  How’s your wrist feeling now, man?

I’ve been struggling with carpal tunnel for a little while now. I’m a bassist, a hockey player, and I work in an office, so I have a lot of factors working against me. I did take your advice, and I’ve definitely seen improvement. I sleep with a brace on most nights, and I’m careful to take better care of my hands. Nothing sucks more than having to drop my pick during a song because my hand completely quits on me. 

Do you miss the old sound or are you content with the new sound you guys have going?

While I did enjoy playing our old stuff, I feel like we finally came into our own. We struggled to find our identity for a long time, but I think we’ve reached it with our latest record. We all have such varied influences, so it sometimes makes it difficult to truly focus on one sound. I think we’re in a place now where we’re all happy and excited about the music we’re writing.

What are some things you want to accomplish with TRUE WORTH?

Honestly, I’m happy just playing shows, writing music, and having a good time with my friends. I’ve made 90% of my friends through hardcore, so getting to see everyone and playing shows with friends is always refreshing. I feel like I’m getting old and I’m doing the “adult” 9 to 5 thing at work, so being able to release a lot of energy at shows and just have a good time is definitely necessary for my sanity. For the future, I just want to keep playing shows and writing records we’re proud of. 

Where is your favorite place to play in VA? 

My favorite places to play in VA are The Big Gay Shanty in Roanoke and The Hank Haus in Winchester. I don’t think anything comes close. Roanoke treats us like family, and we always get a great reaction when we play there. It’s also one of the coolest DIY scenes in the state. All of the kids down there have put a ton of hard work into their scene, and it shows. To see a scene come together like that with a lot of cooperation between a lot of people is amazing, and it makes me jealous that we can’t recreate that in our hometown. As for Hank Haus, it’s just pure insanity. It’s always packed full of the homies, and something crazy always happens. Never fails to give me a hardcore hard on. 

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Kienan Willard (drums)

After the show this weekend, I found out that both you and Zach Jeffery write for the band; where do you find your influences when writing? 

Most of my inspiration comes from whatever I’m currently listening to and when I write it’s typically a riff that comes to my head and I just bang it out.

I gotta say man, I love that new EP. What is your favorite part about it? 

My favorite part of the EP is that gnarly dive bomb in “Warpath”. It was kind of a joint effort from Zach J and I, and it turned out rad.

How often do you find yourself listening to VA hardcore? Who would you say is your favorite VA band?

I listen to VA hardcore a lot. I’d have to say that my favorite overall VA band is DOWN TO NOTHING, but I spin the UPPERHAND EP pretty regularly.

Where is your favorite place to play in VA? 

Winchester, VA saw quite possibly our craziest set, but I also have to give a shout out to Roanoke purely for how often we play there.

TRUE WORTH put out a new EP on October 11th, 2013, called Fleeting Lives and it rips.  You can download it for free on their Bandcamp and you can pre-order a 7’’ record here. Also catch them in Williamsburg with REALITY CHECK and more April 26th. For more updates on TRUE WORTH, be sure to “like” their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.

REALITY CHECK PREPARE TO RELEASE NEW RECORD AND HOPE TO STRENGTHEN THE NOVA HARDCORE SCENE

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INTERVIEW AND PHOTOS BY JOE FITZPATRICK

Though they have only been together for a little longer than a year, the members of REALITY CHECK are quickly becoming one of the most popular hardcore bands in the Northern Virginia region. Though the area is not as inundated with hardcore bands as more populated areas in Southern Virginia, the band is hoping that will change soon. I had the chance to visit their band practice to talk to the band, which consists of the guitarists Frank and Jeremy, their vocalist Keenan, their fill-in drummer Andy (not actually in the band), and their bassist Brandon. We talked about how fans have been responding to their music, what people can expect from their new record, and some of the most underrated bands in the Virginia hardcore scene.

Earlier this year you released your debut demo. What has the response been to it in the local hardcore scene?

Frank: I haven’t heard much, but people seem to like it. It makes my friends want to punch other people in the face.

Jeremy: Yeah, it’s fun to watch my friends beat up each other. At least they have heard it (laughs).

Andy: I lost part of my tooth at the show we played with AGITATOR in Winchester.

Frank: Were you hurt during just our band’s set?

Andy: No, I was hurt during every band (laughs).

Why did you decide to name your band REALITY CHECK?

Jeremy: It’s from XZIBIT lyrics (laughs).

Frank: It’s not from the WARHOUND album. Everyone thinks we used it because of that.

Andy: We stole it from this band from New York, and now we got beef with them (laughs).

I know you all have played in other bands before this, but why do you feel like this band has been more successful?

Frank: All my old bands suck (laughs).

Jeremy: We got the right people, and more people show up to support us.

Brandon: Some people have even told me that they come out to shows just to see us play.

Frank: I just found out today that our buddy Matty Breen lost his virginity while wearing a REALITY CHECK shirt (laughs).

Andy: This band sucks, and I’m not in the band (laughs).

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What can fans expect from your upcoming record?

Frank: Heaviness and better sounding songs.

Jeremy: A lot faster stuff too.

Frank: I am really proud of what we have written so far. We have five new songs that we are going to release on a 7 inch.

Brandon: Does the intro count as a song?

Keenan: Well four and a half songs (laughs).

What is your favorite song to play live, and why?

Jeremy: “Time Erased” is really fun to play.

Frank: I really like “Day After Day” mainly because everyone moshes so hard for the riff and then stops when the drum part comes in (laughs). They’re like, ‘Aww yeah! That riff!’ and then nothing. It’s really funny to me.

Brandon: I really like “Day After Day” too because I can relate to it.

What is “Day After Day” about?

Frank: Working.

Brandon: It’s about putting in the hours to get by and to pay your bills.

Keenan: But no matter how much you work, you are still broke.

Do you have any plans to tour in 2014?

Frank: I would love to.

Brandon: Fingers crossed.

Jeremy: Yeah that would be cool, but I think we would want to do weekend tours and start slow.

Frank: I just want to play Pennsylvania, especially in York and Philly. AGITATOR, MENACE, ROCK BOTTOM, and BENCHPRESS have all offered to put us on shows up there, but there hasn’t been much follow through with that. Hopefully we can set something up soon.

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What are your thoughts on the local hardcore scene?

Jeremy: There are bands everywhere, but you may have to travel to see them.

Frank: There isn’t much of a Nova hardcore scene.

Brandon: Also, bands in other cities don’t get as much recognition as bands in bigger areas like Richmond or Virginia Beach.

Frank: We usually have to travel at least an hour to go play shows, but Hank Haus in Winchester is the shit!

Jeremy: Yeah, also Roanoke is cool, and no one should overlook it. Touring bands have to be invited out to play there because it’s not somewhere they would normally stop, but it’s a great scene and everyone there is really cool.

Frank: All the venues there are DIY, but it’s tight, and we have never seen one fight at a show there. Everyone is there for the music and to have fun.

Who are some underrated bands from Virginia that you guys think more people need to hear?  

Jeremy: TIEBREAKER and TRUE WORTH.

Andy: RANDOM HOLIDAY!

Keenan: WAR BORN has a new record coming out soon. WIRETAP has new shit coming out too.

Frank: STRANGLEHOLD from Virginia Beach is underrated only because they are young, but their music is tight as shit.

Keenan: Also, IN SEARCH OF REASON. They are a metalcore band, and their drummer has filled in for us many times.

Do you guys have any upcoming shows?

Frank: This Saturday [November 2nd], we are playing with EARTH CRISIS at Café 611 in Frederick, MD. Come out and punch somebody in the face (laughs).

For more updates on REALITY CHECK and their upcoming record, follow them on Twitter, “like” their Facebook page, and listen to their demo on Bandcamp.