Gothenburg based straight edge metallized hardcore punks DISAVOW marry an absolutely crushing base with an exploratory feel that diverges in a number of different directions, all of which are at least interesting. Their debut LP is sure to go down as one of the heaviest and hardcore albums of the year, and we’re stoked to give you a proper teaser, with a brand new song called “Abstain”, featuring guest vocals from Andrea Cengic of Swedish band LOSE THE LIFE, and a quick interview on both the band ethics and some of the foundations behind the new record.
Since the beginning DISAVOW has been about a desperate need to express themselves, choosing hardcore as the vehicle for their message. Their debut 7” Half Empty (Epidemic Records, 2017) was followed by an intense live activity, and now they’re back with their first full length, which serves a perfect treat for fans of bands like No Tolerance, Trash Talk, or Rotting Out. Co-released by prolific European labels Epidemic Records, Refuse Records, and Useless Pride Records, the LP was recorded and mixed by Ulf Blomberg at Hobo Rec/The End Studios, and mastered by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios. Artwork was created by Isabell Kirstinä.
Two previously singles “Your To Begin With” and “See Through Me” can be heard below.
Designs and layouts for music are often the very first thing we see before we listen a song, not to mention the full offering. The cover for your new self titled album looks as inviting as it is gloomy and multi themed. Please tell us about this creation, the message behind it and how it’s embedded into the themes of the record.
Anton: The cover came about with not much input from us really. We wanted the album cover to continue the same theme as the one that covered our seven inch so all we did really was to ask the amazing artist Isabell Kirstinä, “Hey, you know that cover art you did for us? What happens in the next frame”. We are all big fans of some sort continuing theme through the band’s art and Isabell really catches something we all love that is beautiful, raw and terrifying.
What other artists have influenced your own artmaking, both in terms of composing new tracks, and giving it a proper package?
Anton: Depending on who you ask in this band I think the answers will vary quite a bit, haha. We’ve never sat down and been like “this band and this band is the best thing we know so let’s do a mixture of that”. Our only common ground when we started this band was that we wanted to play unpretentious hardcore punk. From that we’ve exchanged influences and ideas, which formed what we are today.
How much does straight edge weigh in your lyrical agenda these days? What’s your take on your evolution from straight edge kids to more mature keepers of the faith?
Anton: Straight Edge has kinda become a lense of analysis for me. So even though I rarely write about it as a main subject it’s still something that I connect to dealing constructively with inner demons and taking a step back from harmful ideals. Things we lyrically handle quite a bit.
As for my evolution from straight edge kid to keeper of the faith, hahaha, I claimed straight edge in my early twenties soooo…
Do you have any guidance you’d be comfortable offering to younger listeners and to those who struggle with temptations of the modern world?
Anton: With the risk of sounding like a old fart in a young man’s body: Don’t be a boring passive critic online. There’s nothing more infuriating in hardcore than passive people who treat their opinions like an academic science and at the same time don’t give the community the time of day. Fuck you, you’re boring.
Looking at all the whirlwind of daily struggles of people around the world, as well as various social and political happenings, are there more subjects that you are looking to address more in your lyrics in the future?
Anton: I guess any political lyrics we spit will continue to address the fact that we’re connected by how those in power will always keep suppressing those with less and will seek out ways to pin us against one another. It’s just a fucking shit storm and we should stop trusting powerful people to do “the right thing” cause our world won’t allow that.
What are your best sources of good reads, food for thought, and ideas worth spreading?
Anton: Oh hard question cause I’m the furthest thing from any kind of a scholar haha. I personally listen to a bunch of podcast that are mostly in Swedish. If you’re like me and have a hard time finding facts and books captivating by themselves there’s nothing more rewarding and thought provoking than discussing stuff with people who you feel safe with and who’ll let you talk about stuff and ask ignorant questions cause you and them want to understand.
How much have punk shows changed in terms of being a unique outlet for young people to deal with their difficulties, and share thoughts, concerns and questions?
Anton: I think it still serves that purpose but it’s one of many subcultures people can turn to. It’s still unique though by holding up the idea that we as punks are supposed to be those who don’t just talk the talk but also walk the walk and in that way value the idea behind the music as much as the performance sometimes.
After all these years of involvement, what is hardcore punk for you guys? What and how much does it mean in 2019?
Anton: A way to stay connected to something that you do for pure passion and with complete agency. That means a whole fucking lot.
Would you mind sharing some extraordinary shows and festivals recollections from the last 12 months?
Gig wise, both for the band and you guys as fans and attendees, what are you looking for in the coming months?
Anton: Alive and Well this year haha. Also TTHC fest in Gothenburg this september! And obviously our own tour with Clear Cut, Wake of Humanity and Greg Bennick!
Thanks so much for your time! Best of luck with your new LP and take care! Cheers from Warsaw!
Thanks for having us!!