|You released this
spring the Rituals Of Life album through Solid State Records. I was pleasantly surprised
by the energy and the good sounds on this album. What do you think of the recording?
We were really pleased with the
recording. We spent 15 days in
December recording the entire thing. Overall, we were pretty confident that we had a
pretty good record. We have gotten a positive response from most of the kids who
bought the record. I believe we captured the energy and emotion of our live
performance on the record. As with everything, you find little things that you wish
you would have done better or differently. That is always the case. No use in
beating yourself up over it. The finished product came out
pretty nicely and we are pleased.
You said 'most of the kids'. What other responses do you get to the record then?
Well, everybody has
their own idea or opinion about what makes a great record. It would be impossible
for us to sit down and write a record that everyone loved. In most cases, people
seem to enjoy the record. But, there have been a few who really do not care for the
type of hardcore that we play. That's fine with us. We know we will not appeal
Personally I think it's refreshing to hear some good hardcore from Tooth & Nail/Solid
State again. How did you get signed?
We sent them a little
package of stuff we had compiled. Our first CD, a video of some of our live stuff,
reviews, and a general history of the band. After that, they contacted and we went
from there. We did a lot of phone tag type stuff. We would call them...they
would call us. Finally, we were able to get everything nailed down and start putting
things in order. Also, our friend Chad from Strongarm (Further Seems Forever) had
originally told Tooth & Nail about us. When Strongarm broke up there would kind
of be a hardcore band missing from the Solid State line up. I think we kind of were
the band Tooth & Nail selected to help "fill the gap" so to speak.
Were there other labels interested that you could choose between?
We had talked to a few
labels. At one time there was a strong
possibility that we would have signed to Victory. Things just were not
really clicking and so we abandoned negotiations with them at the same time we had
been going back and forth with T&N . We eventually got things in order and
settled on a deal. It all worked out for the best.
How is it to be on Solid State now? You know, that label has a lot of
metalcore like Spitfire, Embodyment and Zao. Your band is closer to the essence of
hardcore then other bands on the roster. Do you feel it's the right label for the band?
I feel T&N is the right
label for the band, right now. Who knows what the future might bring. It's
hard to speculate how things may go. We like being the only (one of the only) band
on the roster that still plays traditional style hardcore. I love the other bands on
the label, but I like that we stick out. We never really got into the screamy,
chaotic style that seems to dominate the genre. It just was not part of our growing
up in the scene. So, we definitely like sounding different than the other bands. It
is refreshing for us.
You're not a Christian band or something while Solid State is known for it's bands
originating from the so-called Christian scene. How is that?
We are not a Christian band. Some
of us in the band are Christian. some of us are Straightedge, but we are not a
Straightedge band. We are simply a hardcore band. I believe in GOD 100%.
I just do not believe all the things I was taught growing up. My ideals/perceptions
have changed since I was a pre teen/teenager. The thing we never wanted to do was
try to be something we were not. We told T&N from the start that we were not
Christian. They were total cool with that. It poses a problem sometimes.
Kids form an opinion of us and then when we do not live up to their preconceived notions
they get mad or real turned off. It's kind of sad actually. Some people are
really close-minded about things like that.
How have your
ideals/perceptions changed then?
I am not sure how much my
ideals have changed. Of course with age we all change. The world appears
different than it does when you are young. Now, I am married and we own our own
home. We both teach in the public school system, and we have all the stress that
goes with being in a relationship, paying bills, keeping things in order, etc. I certainly
see things differently than when I was fourteen and living with my parents. I can
experience things for myself and form my own opinions. Its up to me to decide how I
want to do things. In that way things have changed. Therefore, my ideals have
certainly changed in the process.
Maybe this is a weird question, but I saw in the booklet of Rituals Of
Life where you thanked dozens of bands and the first one mentioned there is Strongarm.
Stretch Arm Strong sounds similar. So, why is Strongarm mentioned there because that band
split up in 1998?
Strongarm are long time
friends of ours. We have always loved their band and the guys in the band. We
toured with them several times. They have helped us out so much. The name
thing is totally coincidental. We started about the same time as each other.
We get that a lot, though. People sometimes think we are the same band. It's
strange. The guys from strongarm have formed a new band now. They are called
Further Seems Forever. They are such an amazing band. Check them out.
They will be touring soon.
I'm told you're going to tour through Europe in June 2000. Can you give a sneak peak into
We are planning on a European
tour in June 2000. We are not sure where we will be heading, so please check our
website for all the updates. www.stretcharmstrong.net
We plan to be over there for at least 15-20 shows. We are
gonna try and play as many places as possible. The whole band is so excited about
the whole thing. We have never been before. We hear so many great things about
the kids and the scene in Europe. Please come out if you can. Thanks for the
interview. Stay positive. Take care.