BYSTANDER and OLD GHOSTS have teamed up up to release an extremely limited split LP with all proceeds benefiting humanitarian non-profit organization One Hundred For Haiti. To celebrate and get you a bit more engaged in this help project, we sat down with Greg Bennick to give you some more details about the release, future projects from BYSTANDER, and his charity work at One Hundred For Haiti.
One Hundred For Haiti is a nonprofit dedicated to long-term, sustainable relief in Haiti through clean water projects and anti-violence education. Founded after the earthquake in 2010, the group is active year-round.
The new split record features unreleased and live songs from Bystander and all new songs from Old Ghosts. All proceeds go to 100 for Haiti and will directly support human rights initiatives in Haiti over the next few months. This LP with be limited to 100 copies in the USA on State of Mind Recordings and 100 copies in Europe on Goodwill Records. Tape version, limited to 50 copies, is available via Ugly & Proud Records. The LP is 20 ($ in the States and EUR in Europe), with a limited number of test pressings available for $50 each.
Listen to BYSTANDER’s cover of “In Your Face” by 7 SECONDS and “Prey” from OLD GHOSTS:
Words by Greg Bennick:
𝐹𝑙𝑢𝑓𝑓 𝐹𝑒𝑠𝑡 2019 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐶𝑧𝑒𝑐ℎ 𝑅𝑒𝑝𝑢𝑏𝑙𝑖𝑐 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑐𝑟𝑎𝑧𝑦 𝑑𝑎𝑦 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝐵𝑦𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟.
We had not seen one another since the studio six months before when we had recorded our second record “Where Did We Go Wrong?” for Safe Inside Records.
And in the studio that winter, we recorded our parts individually. And the tracks we recorded individually we had never played together as a band before. Ever. Not even once. We are a logistical nightmare of as band. Two members live in Chicago. One in LA. One in Cincinatti. One in Seattle. So we basically practice never. And what this meant for Fluff Fest was that the very first time we had played these songs live was on that stage in front of a thousand people. The word “terrified” is in the zone of how that felt. I remember being backstage ten minutes before we went on, and I overheard Marky our bassist ask Shariq who plays guitar, “How does that one part go in that one song?” And I thought, “We are doomed.” I thought for sure the band would end in total disaster within 30 seconds of our set starting. It didn’t. And I am thankful for that.
Especially because it meant that we could keep going, play more shows, have Dave from State of Mind offer us this split LP, connect with Old Ghosts, have them contribute a great half of the record, and have it all come out as a benefit for One Hundred For Haiti. Had we crashed and burned onstage in the Czech Republic, none of this would have happened.
𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑐𝑒𝑒𝑑𝑠 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑑 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑔𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑔𝑜 𝑡𝑜𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑠 𝑏𝑢𝑖𝑙𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑟𝑜𝑜𝑓𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝐻𝑎𝑖𝑡𝑖, 𝑜𝑛 𝑟𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑙 ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑠𝑒𝑠 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑐ℎ 𝑐𝑢𝑟𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑙𝑦 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑑 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑎𝑝𝑠𝑒
The rainy season means vulnerability for people with thatched roofs on mud-walled structures, so as of this moment the plan is to take the proceeds from this record, and build tin roofs for as many houses as we can with the money. I say “as of this moment” because One Hundred For Haiti works for the Haitian people. They don’t work for us. And if the need is greater in another area by the time funds come in and they let us know, then we will focus where they want efforts placed.
The Bystander songs on the record (and readers please seek out Old Ghosts for their thoughts on their half!) are a combination of four live tracks from Fluff Fest in the Czech Republic in 2019, an unreleased track, a previously comp-only track, and a 7 Seconds cover which was originally intended for another project which never saw the light of day.
𝐹𝑢𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑂𝑛𝑒 𝐻𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝐹𝑜𝑟 𝐻𝑎𝑖𝑡𝑖
First of all, they include putting more roofs on rural houses, as many as we can afford (they range from $100 to $350 each depending on size, condition of the structure – if wall repairs need to be done, location). We also want to be working with local people to establish consistency in food production but this is more long term. Checking onehundredforhaiti.org and our social media (@onehundredforhaiti on Instagram) will always give the latest news and updates. We are a small organization. But we do what we can, with whatever resources we have to do it.
𝑊𝑒 𝑔𝑒𝑡 𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑤𝑒 𝑐𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑒𝑟𝑣𝑒. 𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝑤𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑛𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑝.
𝑆𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑜𝑛 𝑏𝑒ℎ𝑎𝑙𝑓 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑠, 𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑟𝑢𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑎𝑛 𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑏𝑙𝑒 𝑜𝑝𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑢𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎 𝑛𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡𝑚𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑠ℎ 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑖𝑛 𝑤𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑘 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑖𝑛 𝑜𝑛𝑒.
In terms of it being an opportunity, its extracted from all of us, as creatives, the answer to a call. The universe has called to creatives and asked if they are going to step up or stand down. There’s no right answer, and neither response makes one better or worse. But for us, as a band, we decided that we would answer the call by producing new material. We decided to do collaboration songs with other bands, from targeted geographic locations, about coronavirus.
Our first, with the brilliantly political and super intense band Dagger from Hong Kong, is called “Guillotine” and it came out two weeks ago.
The next is with the band Galeforce, made up of international activists and one devoted academic, many of whom work with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. This track is tentatively titled “Crying Out” and it is from an Italian experience perspective about the pandemic. The lyrics are finished and final music tracks are being recorded now.
The third is a collaboration between Bystander and Chaka Malik (Burn, Orange 9mm, Ghost Decibels) and looks at the effect that the pandemic has on our psyche. That one is almost finished musically and sounds like Burn on their best day with Bystander getting into a groove, with lyrics being finished soon. So creativity has been on point throughout this time, even if the mental challenges and personal challenges of living in a world in crisis have made day to day life difficult.
Thoughts on the current situation in the United States involving race and how it is now part of the national conversation
Race is the entire conversation currently, finally. Watch the documentary “13th”. Its available for free (as of June 10th 2020) here.
𝐼𝑡’𝑠 𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑡𝑜 ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑝 𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑦𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑜𝑝𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑣𝑖𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑎𝑔𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑡 𝑏𝑙𝑎𝑐𝑘 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑈𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑆𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑏𝑢𝑖𝑙𝑡 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒, ℎ𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑦, 𝑙𝑎𝑤𝑠, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑡.
I have been in Portland Oregon for the last two weeks and there has been incredible support for protests on two fronts: marches, and direct confrontation with the police. As one of the Black Lives Matter speakers said last night “In the 1960’s it was Malcolm AND Martin!” He meant we need to be marching, and we need to be in direct confrontation as well.
𝐶𝑜𝑛𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑖𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝑎𝑢𝑡𝑖𝑓𝑢𝑙. 𝑊𝑒 𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑢𝑟𝑛 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑏𝑟𝑖𝑑𝑔𝑒𝑠. 𝑊𝑒 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑏𝑢𝑖𝑙𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚 𝑏𝑎𝑐𝑘 𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑖𝑓 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑠𝑖𝑑𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑡ℎ 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔.
Other bands and projects worth your time
Young kids with immense hearts out of Burlington Vermont. Skaters, graffiti artists, hardcore kids all in one and totally getting traction currently.
Incredible news, music, information site.
I don’t even know how to describe them, other than that they are basically all I listened to this winter. Nick, formerly drummer of Trial’s newest metal hardcore endeavor.
Essential political hardcore from Hong Kong.
Heartfelt environmental/animal-rights based hardcore from a global perspective.
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