In an era where the very fibers of community seem to be unraveling at the seams, a new voice emerges from the post-hardcore/noise scene. Ex Everything, with their debut album “Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart”, set to release on 10th November via Neurot Recordings comes as a deeply rooted political manifesto, a frenzied cry against the systematic upheaval of lives and livelihoods, artfully packaged in a raw and unforgiving musical odyssey.
This Bay Area quartet, a conglomeration of artists from esteemed bands like Kowloon Walled City, Early Graves, and Less Art, is forging not just tracks, but battle cries. Each riff, each drumbeat, each lyric is a calculated step in their march against the gentrification that devours their streets and the wildfires that stain their skies with ash. “Hope without action is meaningless,” they declare, not just in words but through the very act of creation that pulsates through their album.
The band’s upcoming release, “Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart“, is more than a collection of songs—it’s the sound of protest, the anthem of those who refuse to be silenced by the grinding wheels of progress. Their music is a complex narrative, capturing the essence of a community disintegrating, yet simultaneously a catalyst for bringing people together in the shared catharsis of their live shows.
In anticipation of the album’s release, we sat down with Ex Everything to peel back the layers of their explosive debut. See the full conversation below.
Your debut album, Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart, is on the horizon. Can you explain the sentiment behind the title and how it encapsulates the album’s ethos?
Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart is about how structural forces like the precarity of late capitalism and environmental devastation are slowing dissolving the things that bind us together.
The track “The Reduction Of Human Life To An Economic Unit” serves as an intense introduction. What compelled you to lead with this song and how does its message resonate with the album’s overarching themes?
“The Reduction Of Human Life To An Economic Unit” is an obvious choice for our first single because it’s the first song we wrote as a new band and provides a template for the rest of the album. Musically, it covers a lot of ground from fast, technical, and pissed to a bulldozing heavy finale which are styles we return to again and again.
Jon, you mentioned wanting to write music that is “fast, chaotic, knotty, messy, and pissed off.” How do you strike a balance between this raw emotion and ensuring the music remains engaging to the listener?
The answer is in the drums. I love weird, dissonant guitar, and when you layer that over catchy rock drumming, you give the listener a rhythmic hook to connect with. Dan (Sneddon – drums) is one of the best drummers out there and has a unique ability to write those hooky parts while also crushing out his performance.
With the raging California fires as a backdrop, how did these environmental catastrophes influence the album’s urgency and tone?
For anyone who has not experienced these fires, what you need to know is that they are terrifying. I watched the start of the Glass Fire in 2020 from 60 miles south and it looked like an immense mushroom cloud. We had the “orange sky day” (also in 2020) where the entire Bay Area glowed a disgusting orange like a set in Blade Runner.
Being exposed to all this means you cannot ignore what’s happening. In Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart, we tried to infuse the music with the same sense of anxiety and urgency that’s become a backdrop to life on the West Coast.
What role do you believe art, and specifically music, should play in socio-political discourse, especially in today’s tumultuous climate?
I am most interested in art that reflects the day-to-day challenges that everybody faces. For me, the role is truly to create understanding or empathy through art rather than give marching orders for how people should act.
Scott Evans played a pivotal role in the album’s production. How did his “clarity and intensity” elevate the recording process and the final product?
Over the last 13 years, I’ve recorded 9 albums with Scott because he is great at translating aggressive music to a finished album.
He’s fairly hands-off during the initial recording process which allows everyone to turn in a performance uncomplicated by ‘studio concerns.” Then, he’s able to identify the most important or interesting parts of those recordings and highlight them in his mix.
Until one of us dies, I’m gonna record everything with Scott.
Artwork often serves as the first visual representation of an album’s essence. Can you shed some light on Demian Johnson’s contribution and how it visually interprets the album’s themes?
Demian’s artwork and bands (everyone stop reading this and go listen to the new Great Falls record) are incredible.
His designs are simple and memorable, and we knew that he could nail the type of 1980s, xeroxed show flyer aesthetic we were looking for. The album’s “subject in flames” art represents the terror we all feel by watching the world catch on fire and is a theme we revisit throughout the album.
The album was recorded in a short span of four days. Can you take us behind the scenes of those intense sessions and the dynamics of recording at Sharkbite Studios?
To make this album sound & feel aggressive, we entered Sharkbite as if we were walking on stage to play a show. That meant we were very well rehearsed, and as a result, nailed every song in a couple of takes. For instance, Dan & Ben (Thorne – bass) finished all the final drum and bass parts in less than a day which left us plenty of time to complete guitar basics and start overdubs.
Given the potent political undertones in your work, what do you hope listeners take away from the album, both musically and ideologically?
All we hope is that people love this album as much as we love it. Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart sounds different than a lot of the hardcore/punk/metal out there and we want it to resonate.
Finally, looking beyond the debut, what aspirations do you hold for Ex Everything, and how do you envision solidifying your space in the post-hardcore/noise genre?
The next thing for us is touring the record. We want to get in front of new listeners and take advantage of whatever opportunities pop up. We’re also starting work on writing the next record though it’s very early in that process. Ultimately, our only real aspiration is to have the ability to keep writing and performing as long as we can.