Abolition, April 2011

Who is in the band? How did everything started? Do you have any concept or set of goals or ideas behind?

Ok so the band is:
Nick (me) — vocals, Dan — guitar, Sam — guitar, Jimmy — bass and Charlie on drums. If my memory serves me correctly the band started properly in winter 2008, from the ashes of a band Dan and I used to do called Waste Away, kind of a melodic youth crew thing. When we first got the band together it became apparent that the line up was all straight edge, and that immediately became a message we wanted to have at the forefront of the band. Apart from that I would say that everyone in the band, while not unanimously in concurrence about all our political ideas, would label themselves as being VERY far left. At least 3 of us would refer to ourselves as Anarchists, and a deep mistrust and loathing for the patriarchal-capitalist state under which we are governed definitely shines through in our music.

Tell a bit about labels that put out your records. How did you get in touch with them? What do you plan on future recordings and tours maybe?

Thus far we’ve done releases with two labels: Disposable Culture Records, Sam’s label, who put out our split with our good friends Hang the Bastard from London, and Carry The Weight Records who put out our 7″ and our split with our buddies in Ark of the Covenant from Cardiff. The Hang the Bastard split and our 7″ are both sold out now but a re-press of the split is going to be available from Disposable Culture.

Apart from that we have an LP coming out this summer, which we’re super excited about, and we’re going to be touring Europe to support it. We can’t wait for Europe, and the tour will include Ukraine, which we are seriously stoked to play.

Does anybody have other bands or projects?

Yes! Dan and Charlie play in the excellent Iron Curtain, who have a hard youth crew sound going on. Sam plays in Bird Calls, who sound like late DC hardcore ala Rites of Spring etc. Jimmy plays in 10 Speed Bicycle, who play emo in the vein of American football, and I play drums in Stab who are going for a Heresy/Ripcord 80s UK hardcore vibe.

What about some artistic stuff? Anybody into drawing, photographing, writing & etc?

As far as art goes we’re not too productive, Jimmy is really good at drawing, and Sam writes some awesome Dr Zeus style poems, but that’s about it hahahaha. I guess music is our artistic outlet.

Tell about shows and activity in your area. How often do shows happen and where usually? Do you have some significant places, venues or art-spaces?

I guess shows happen on a semi-regular basis. There are some noteworthy bars, which although not my favorite places to play (for obvious reasons) are run by cool people like the Bird’s nest in Deptford. The Grosvenor in Stockwell also holds shows regularly and is a cool place to play, but the problem with London, and most of the UK for that matter is the serious lack of DIY spaces. In London we had an awesome squat called the Rampart centre for a while but sadly that got shut down. Other than that there were squats in Camberwell, South London, and Arsenal, North London that shows were happening at but sadly that’s no longer the case. However, up North, in Liverpool they have an awesome art space, which we played recently on our mini tour with Stab and Iron Curtain, which was so much fun.

How did you make your way into punk? How was you introduced to straight edge and was it idea that you accepted at once or you had to rethink and rearrange a lot of things to dig your way?

I guess I found hardcore through Metal, probably around the age of 14. I turned Straight Edge when I was 15. It just struck me as a way of living my life that I was far more comfortable with. In the UK we have a very young drinking culture, so alcohol and substances were definitely something I was partaking in prior to going straight edge, but never felt right for me, not that it was ever a particularly large part of my life. I’d say it was probably a year or so later when I began to fully appreciate the political implications of my decision, and recognize what a manipulative and destructive forces drugs and alcohol are, and what a potentially liberating life style choice straight edge can be.

Same question about vegetarianism/veganism, anarchism or whatever you would like to tell!

My first real introduction to Anarchism was at the age of 16, through the writing of Bakunin, which Dan from Abolition actually got me on to. Before that I’d read some stuff via pamphlets at shows, which immediately grabbed my attention. From there I started to get into the work of Kropotkin, Berkman and others.

Do you feel like your way of living is differ from most people’s way of living? How do you bear with pressure that people might cause on you? Do you ever feel alienated?

As far as my beliefs, ideals and values go I would like to believe so, and in terms of my actions that is true in some respects; We are straight edge, and as such avoid, in part, the culture of escapism with which this society seeks to cripple us. Several of us are members of groups such as the IWW and can thus in this sense be seen as more politically active/conscious than most. However we are also all students, or working, and in this regard we lead extremely normal lives. I can only speak for my self in this respect, but I’m sure the others would agree too, that I often feel alienated from those around me. For me punk is deeply rooted in that very feeling of alienation, a kind of outsider mentality, which drives us to seek an alternative to the status quo through our small community. This is a positive in many respects, for one it gives us the ability to vent our frustrations and deal with those feelings you were talking about, but on the other hand it can sometimes mean that we lose focus of the world beyond those we associate ourselves with.

Did you ever notice any kind of impact of your ideas on people around you?

There have been a few times when people have remarked on our lyrical content, or stuff we might have said between songs positively, and personally that’s one of the most rewarding feelings in doing the band. For the most part though I don’t think we have affected too many people, and the majority of the UK hardcore scene is fairly apolitical. However, if we have even affected one-person’s opinion, or caused them to reconsider their own ideas and formulate their own, new ones, then doing this band has been more than worth it.

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