Right before their Euro trip with GONE TO WASTE, IDIOTEQ is proud to give you an insightful chat with Lewistown, Pennsylvania’s BENCHPRESS, one of the hardest and most intense metal/hardcore acts on the planet. Formed in 2011, BENCHPRESS have released 2 EPs, one split with MARTYR’S TONGUE, and are on the verge of writing more noxious tunes for their debut full length. Read more about that and a lot more below.
BENCHPRESS is a hardcore band from central Pennsylvania. Pounding grooves and thick, crunchy bass lay the ground work for thrashy riffs and ripping, dive bomb laden solos. Barking, mid-range vocals round out these two to three minute anthems about staying true to yourself and standing up against what is wrong in this world. Fans of HATEBREED, SLAYER and MERAUDER will not be disappointed.
Hey there buds! What’s up? Are you ready to knock out some more goals for 2015 with your upcoming European trek with GONE TO WASTE?
Super excited for Europe. We made some of the best memories of my life on the last one including meeting and becoming buds with GONE TO WASTE. They are awesome.
Cool. Are there some specific places you’re particularly excited for? Did you make a lot of friends during your previous Euro trips?
We’re excited to play Hafenklang in Hamburg because our last show their was insane. We’re also excited to travel to countries we’ve never played before like Switzerland and Poland.
What did you learn while arranging such tours? Do you feel comfortable with preparing for another string of dates overseas? Personally, what are some of the biggest obstacles for you guys?
Tim from Stateless Society / MAD sets up everything for us so we don’t learn much because he does such an amazing job at everything. Our obstacles usually have something to do with money, jobs, working, and having enough money.
Comparing to the US crowd, what do you love and hate about Europeans?
Compared to the US crowd, I think Europeans aren’t as fickle and cliquey and are more excited to see EVERY band which is awesome. They could mosh a little harder though (excluding UK).
Do you have a love affair with some venues, both here in Europe and in the States? Drop us a couple of lines about your favorite spaces.
We mentioned Hafenklang. Cassiopeia in Berlin was awesome last time we played. Any place that cooks for us and can house us and gives us free beer which is most places in my experience. At least compared to touring in the US.
What European bands you have been recently excited for?
GONE TO WASTE every night. WOLF DOWN. BY MY HANDS. SPLITKNUCKLE. SWAN SONG. WAR CHARGE. SURGE OF FURY. COLD HARD TRUTH. FORSAKEN. SENTENCED. STOUT. RETURN TO STRENGTH and CONCRETE FEST are both super stacked.
How about BENCHPRESS? We all loved your 2014 split with MARTYR’S TONGUE. What are your next steps when it comes to writing and recording?
We’ve talked about kind of taking a break from playing after this tour to write and record a full length. We think it’s time. Plus we all need to become financially stable again in order to be able to do things like this.
What is going through your head when you are writing new songs that might (should?) differ from your older work? Do you have a specific approach to writing?
I wouldn’t expect anything too different from our older stuff. We like both of our eps and the split so we are just going to try to build on those ideas and hopefully lay down some super heavy riffs and good lyrics to keep everyone pissed off.
I really like the message you posted a couple of days ago, stating: “We are proud to be a part of a scene where more often than not, women are welcomed, respected, and treated equally among the boys. This is not to say that we don’t have a long way to go in the rest of society. Women are beautiful. Respect and protect. Shout out to all the ladies of hardcore and everywhere else.” Can you expound more on this subject? What do you think of the women in heavy music today?
I remember reading an article on one of those bro sites about going to hardcore and metal shows to pick up girls and the comments were all like “Fuck you. We respect our women and they come to these shows to not be treated this way so please stay the fuck away” and it made me really proud. I just like that hardcore shows and the sub culture that surrounds them is different from the rest of society in that way. Girls are in bands and are participants in the scene. I just think it’s great and I wish there was a lot more of it.
What do you think the legacy of female artists? Do you have your own artists and works worth checking out?
Listen to G.L.O.S.S. from Washington.
Apart from the male-female ratio in hardcore punk music, what else could we put more emphasis on? What’s there that’s still missing in the scene?
I think anyone you ask would have a different answer but I think everything is pretty healthy. People speak out when they see something they don’t like and it usually gets handled. Special interest of any kind kind of rubs me the wrong way. We’re all angry and we all got a problem with one thing or another in our lives so we show up and scream about it. If people jive with what you’re saying you’ll have fans. If people don’t, they won’t support you and they’ll let you know.
Ok guys. Thanks a lot. Tell us what new records keep you going these days and feel free to add you final words! Cheers from Warsaw!
Lately STEEL NATION, DETAIN, GATECREEPER, ROCK BOTTOM, CDC, TEN TON HAMMER, GENOCIDE PACT, OUTER HEAVEN, and FUMING MOUTH. The new STEEL NATION record is full of great songs with catchy hooks and they’re going to Europe with LIFELESS soon who also has an awesome new record coming out. Listen to all of those bands and get ready to have a good time in May and June. See ya soon.