On May 1st, 2012 we conducted an interview with Scranton, Pennsylvania’s hardcore band UNITE RESIST, featuring two members of STRENGTH FOR A REASON.
Hey, guys. You formed this horde about 2 years ago. How are you? Going strong?
We’re doing well, we’ve played pretty steady since our first release, which was a self-titled EP and then through the winter and spring. Now we are keeping our schedule open to finishing up our next release which is titled Divided.
Let’s go back for a while. What other projects have you been involved with?
So how is Scranton for hardcore bands these days? Tell us more about your local scene.
Scranton is an area that has a lot of musicians of different genres, but currently not too many hardcore bands. Concrete reality is the only other active hardcore band that I can think of that is actually from the city of Scranton. But in general the Northeast PA or NEPA region has always had hardcore bands and a venue somewhere that would book shows. The current venue is in Wilkes-Barre which is only about 10 miles away, but if anyone was ever in a pinch someone would book a hall. So I’d say overall Scranton itself does not have a lot of hardcore bands but a lot of kids who support the scene, NEPA (Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Poconos and surrounding area’s) has a huge scene with bands like WISDOM IN CHAINS, COLD WORLD, DEAD END PATH, STRENGTH FOR A REASON just to name a few and a ton of new young blood popping out left and right.
What other parts of the country and its scenes are you excited about?
Chicago is blowing up with bands like NO REGRETS, NOOSE, BITTER THOUGHTS, NO ZODIAC. California also has a strong scene with new bands like Ruckus, Life for a Life, Still Alive and Frostbite.
Massachusetts is on top as well with Rude Awakening, Swamps, Hostage and so many more plus a solid venue called Anchors Up.
How different is your local and national scene than European “kind of hardcore”. How does it look like from a perspective of American hardcore kids? Is there a certain way of thinking about hardcore scenes overseas?
I think that the general feel of the hardcore scene is the same all over the world, or at least I would like to think that. But I think that especially in the US and Europe there are a lot of similarities. The way people dress, act, what sub-genres are popular at the time, etc. and I think that is from the information exchange, with the bands that are traveling and the internet. The one big difference that I can see is that in Europe the crowd stays in the room to see all of the bands from the opener right to the end and only will go outside during breaks between sets. This is something that I admire because I don’t see that here in the US. So to us it seems that the fans in Europe care about the music more and show more respect, and that’s the reputation they have here in the US. You definitely see certain bands get a lot more attention, but no one gets ignored. American kids hear the stories from bands and see video from European fests, and think that Europe is awesome. And the ones that get over to Europe and get to some shows or fests or to sight see and see the nightlife find that they are correct. So I think from the American perspective Europe is definitely looked at in a positive light and rightfully so.
Any friends abroad? Where outside the U.S. have you been traveling so far? What are your plans to conquer Europe?
I have some friends abroad, people I’ve met while over there and some of the bands that have been to the US, and had the pleasure to meet while with Strength for a Reason: Skinny Jay, Bert and John from Belgium. John took Jim and me out for a good night on the town in Duisburg, Amsterdam, etc. Bands that I have had the pleasure to play with such as, NO TURNING BACK, CHEAP THRILLS, NASTY, BLEED INTO ONE, the FWH guys. Can’t forget Thomas from Paris. As for UNITE RESIST touring Europe, we would love to come over following the release of the Divided record. We had a chance to come over recently but unfortunately that fell through. But we would like to travel around the US a little more and then try to get over to Europe in the early spring 2013.
Tell us a bit about labels that help you out spreading your word: Harvcore Records, Universal Warning Records and Marked for Death Records. How did you decide to switch from Universal Warning to Harvcore?
Universal Warning Records has been great to us and Tim gave us our first shot and did our first release and really distro-ed the hell out of it. Vince from Harvcore and his family have been out to a lot of our shows and have always showed us love from day one. As for MFD, Manny really put his neck out and booked a euro tour with us ABLAZE and REBORN TO CONQUER , he was excited about doing the release and getting us over to Europe. Unfortunately we could not do the tour due to our guitarist getting hit by a drunk driver and having no cash. So we didn’t have enough money for airfare, not to mention our old guitar player Jon had to leave the band right around the same time, so it was just not meant to be at that time for us. Manny didn’t take this news so well. But the good news is that our new release will out in Europe on DEMONS RUN AMOK Entertainment so spread the word and be on the lookout
The switch from UWR to Harvcore wasn’t really a decision. Like I said Vince came out to a lot of our shows and even before we had songs written there was talk about him putting out the next release. What actually happened was a nice coincidence. Tim from UWR now is working on Hostile City Distribution which is distributing several different labels and will be working with Harvcore so he will still be involved with distribution of our new release.
You teased us with your collaboration with TROUBLESOME. Any plan to release another spit some time soon?
I really wanted to do that split with those guys. I really like their music and we are all friends from Pennsylvania. I am all about a split release and would hope that would be our next project. I like the idea of having more than one band push a release especially for new bands. And especially bands from different areas. Promotion wise it’s a way to get it to more ears. So if you know anyone that wants to get together we are open to that, and would love a split in the future. As of right now we are getting ready to finish up the Divided record , and we have been talking with bands from Cali and Chicago to maybe do a split with early 2013.
You recorded your music the analog way, which is really old school these days. What are the main differences comparing with modern recording methods?
Some people like analog and some like digital. The main difference for us was that we had to hit the take live rather than having the luxury of punching in on mistakes, which is how it is done when recording digital. Our new release is going to be digital, probably for the same reason we did it analog last time, just to try something different, hopefully make some improvement.
What problems do you see in the world today?
Don’t get us started how much time you got? It all comes down to profit and shareholders, and that is with everything from the food we eat and grow, to the health care system, products we can buy, employment, housing, and education/funding. What profit is being made and are the shareholders stocks rising? And who pays? US. I think for a while some of the big players in these areas and some that cross over to multiple areas were content with leaving the small businesses, shops, farms, people in general alone and now they are just intruding into every area of one’s life. And that includes governments and militaries. Think about the massive size of all our governments, presidents with staff, aides, secretaries, PMs, etc. What product do they make? What money do they bring in? They live off the taxpayer and still expect us to pay. And soon we’re all to pay a lot more. But the biggest problem currently, especially in the US, is that no one is resisting any of it. They sell it to us in packaging that’s real appealing to us and we love it.
How did you become so aware of so many problems all around the world? I mean, there are thousands of ignorants out there. I’m sorry, but the US, in particular, is known as the home for narrow-minded people. What do you think about it? Is this a myth? Oh, and don’t hesitate to tell our readers how to become aware of the world around you.
I became aware of problems in the world because I was always a reader of history. When you read history a lot you learn about areas of study that come into play and are relevant such as economics, monetary policy, manufacturing, public relations, social attitudes of the time and place, to name a few. And you read it as if it happened in the past, but those problems and situations were always there. When I read about the rise of the National Socialists in Germany, I thought why that couldn’t happen here in the US. This was from the age of 10 at least and that never left my mind, and continues to cross my mind daily since 9/11. I did use the term socialist on purpose. They sell us socialism as the savior and the young and the poor gravitate to it, but how did it turn out in Germany in the 30s and 40s, USSR, China under Mao. All success stories, right?
The thing with the US is that since World War 1 propaganda has become a science, and back then they just said that other countries used it. It’s always the other countries, keep the attention there and no one notices it here, and why would you want to? Then you’d have to do something about it. Sometimes you can’t blame people if they just go about their everyday business and don’t look up. And then they only realize something is wrong if it only directly affects them. First they have to realize that there is something wrong before they even question, well why is that? We are kept so busy working to pay bills and taxes and the television, media and entertainment helps to keep it that way while it also shows us all the great things we need to buy like a carrot on a string. Then the new thing is ridicule. The worst thing that can happen to a person is to be ridiculed so the propaganda mechanics use this and divide people through media. When someone talks about something other than the weather or sports they are somewhat ridiculed. The morning news and morning “programming” sets the topics of conversation for the day and if someone is not on those stories others sometimes won’t talk with them. In the US today politicians only have to win over the US population before they take can take action. They don’t care about other countries opinions, as long as it doesn’t affect the short-term plan and as long as they are re-elected. So that is why the US citizen gets the label as narrow-minded. Take Syria and Iran, some of the powers in the west want to attack. So right now they are running a PR campaign in the US, as soon as 53% or 60% of the population thinks it’s Ok to go we will be bombing Iranian nuke facilities and setting up No-fly zones over Syria. That’s it just get us to take the bait. That’s why we look so bad to the rest of the world. We just sit back passively and root it on like a television show. Other countries wonder what’s wrong with the citizens in the US, it’s that we are only given the news and info we are supposed to get in order for us to go along with the agenda of the day and sheltered from the rest. And the majority of the population never looks any deeper and just believes media as fact, and allows that to control and divide. That’s why our new album is titled DIVIDED. They have everyone broken up into groups this one believes these ideals or likes that band/sub-genre, and that one believes in other ideals.You’re allowed to believe this if you consider yourself part of this political party, but can’t believe this or you’re a not one of them.And then people that like certain aspects of each of the parties are left out of the mix. Ridicule is used to control along with race, class, and every other thing , to the point that if anyone wanted to get together they couldn’t even if they tried because they can’t get enough people together that agree on the same thing. Divide and conquer; we’ve all heard it before. Our scene is the same way, we have to all stand up for it continue to help each other, and not fight amongst one another to keep it alive. Realize that although people are here for different reasons, we are all here for this music. Hardcore started as an escape from narrow minded people a way out of the groups, a place that people did not make fun of your ideas. Now you see it all the time for example promoters making bands sell tickets in order to play, or only booking there friends bands , kids standing outside when bands play and glowing cell phone faces while bands play . Stop the criticism, just support your local hardcore band and realize at least it has a culture and isn’t the same shit we hear on the radio constantly. Hardcore needs to get back to its roots wild shows, and open minded people, support by all kids and bands no matter who they are.
Will you be voting later this year?
I’ve already voted, for the president I went with Ron Paul, and did my part to get a delegate from my district elected to go to the RNC.
Thanks so much guys. Feel free to add anything you want.
We all need to just look at Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, and realize that if our area is having problems its going to look like that soon. What are you going to do? Now is the time to get ready, whatever way that may be whether it’s just reading up on how this happened in these countries or whether it’s how to keep yourself, friends and family safe. Whether it’s getting out and running for local elections or opposing taxes in your area.
Don’t grow up miserable letting people tell you how to live life just because they have a boring one, get out explore and find shit out for yourself, if you listen to everyone else how can you stand up for what you believe in ? Be kind to your neighbors, spend as much time as you can with people you enjoy, turn off the TV and news get outside plant a garden, go for a walk or long drive, build something and think. Life is too short to spend half of it just to fit in and make everyone else happy and please don’t regret your past mistake’s fix them to make a better tomorrow.