CROSSED by Tim Birkbeck
Interviews

Here’s the Entertainment: 25-artists mega interview on the state of screamo in 2020

CROSSED, by Tim Birkbeck
In another installment of our multi-artist interview series, we have once again teamed up with screamo label Zegema Beach Records, to give you a huge, 25-band feature, comprised of many different takes on the state of various local independent punk / screamo scenes amidst the coronavirus pandemic, predictions on the return of live events, as well as special track-by-track rundown, spiced up with some new music recommendations. Let the cosmic screamo voyage begin!

“ZAMPLER #15 – Here’s the Entertainment” is the newest, 37-song screamo compilation from Zegema Beach Records, released on 100 limited edition CD-R’s, with special artwork from Vanessa Valadez of the band Crowning. The mega-sampler features new tracks from Eyelet, Setsuko, Mouthing, Our Future Is An Absolute Shadow, Komusō, Apostles of Eris, hawak, PIQUE and Youth Novel. Previously released bangers from Loftus, Sine Nomine, Nuvolascura, Lorne Malvo, Poetry of Torch, Stormlight, Mahria, Seyarse, Vi som älskade varandra så mycket, tröpical ice land, Republic of Dreams, blue noise, Euclid C Finder, Mattachine, Drei Affen, Orphan Donor, Crossed, Infant Island, armywives, Boneflower, Marée Noire, Emma Goldman, Oktober Skyline, Amitié, Iwrotehaikusaboutmemesinyouryearbook, Amygdala, In Wolves’ Clothing and Yurodivy.

The state of the independent punk / screamo / hardcore community amidst the coronavirus pandemic through the lenses of your local independent music scene.

Erica of NUVOLASCURA: We’re focused on using our platform to donate to various bail funds, mutual aid and community organizers. I’m a core volunteer at Bridgetown DIY and we’re closed for the foreseeable future. We have a free supply distribution twice a week for curbside pickup. I don’t see Bridgetown opening our doors for shows anytime in the near future, until the virus is completely under control. I’ve seen bands doing live online streaming sets and we were asked to play the first social distance fest (but couldn’t play for many reasons). But we do have some live sets online that don’t sound like total trash if anyone wants to check them out.

APOSTLES OF ERIS: Living on Vancouver Island, there isn’t much of a screamo scene so I’m not really involved. But I did have to cancel Zegema Beach Records Fest 2020 in Vancouver which was a huge bummer. Now I feel like it’s just a waiting game until things get back to semi-normalcy or it all just burns to the ground.

Amitie by Sheri Furneaux

Amitie by Sheri Furneaux

AMITIE: The last show we got to play before the corona virus pandemic took over was at a sweet little sushi/ steak house in downtown Providence called Koto. We got to play with the buddies in Harborlights, they were just finishing up a tour they shared with Frail Body. This was in February. I remember the weekend everything shut down, it was the same weekend I had Hundreds Of AU and Harborlights coming through Pawtucket to play News Cafe. I remember everyone scrutinizing is (Illuminate My Heart Records) for canceling the show but in hindsight it was the only option we really had. With that being said, everything locally as far as music, of every spectrum, was put on pause. More specifically the providence punk/hardcore/screamo scene has really taken this time to be creative in how media and performances are executed. There are online, live streamed, sets that people can tune into and enjoy their favorite band. Social Distance Fest isn’t local to Rhode Island but the concept and the actual instagram live stream, made it seem almost as real as possible. We have visual artists doing drive by projections instead of exposing themselves and leaving a permanent mark on city buildings. I can say with 99% certainty that every musician and band is looking forward to the day that we can all play live again but for now, we wait patiently. 

ARMYWIVES: Obviously we haven’t been immersed in that same P2P intimacy that live shows provide but the large majority of us have been out in the streets demanding change and justice in different ways and in result we feel maybe closer than ever. If there is a bright side we can gather through all this, its the vast increase in the scale and speed that we’ve been able to organize behind our computer/phone screens. Whether its protests, marches, a social media post, petition signings, educational links, bail fund donations, etc… the amount of money and awareness still being raised HAS to be tenfold when compared to the weekly local shows. Uniquely for us, our “local” scene is split into a trifecta of Brooklyn, Philly, and northern NJ/NY, which all seem to be extant for the most part… Great records are still coming out, livestreams are scratching that itch, and I think everyones very anxiously awaiting that first gig they can safely attend.  

BONEFLOWER: The state of the independent punk / screamo / hardcore community amidst the coronavirus pandemic through the lenses of your local independent music scene.

Here in Spain there’s nothing cultural going on except a few shows by bigger bands who are either forcing the situation due to the necessity to keep the attention of the public (and the money) or because the shows were confirmed long ago. However, only shows with seats and 2-metre distance are allowed. This is obviously a decisive condition for punk/diy bands. No movement, no energy, no band-public connection. Not a single punk/diy has taken place since the start of the pandemic. There’s no need to risk it because no diy bands live from music and the venues are usually small and people are sweaty.

BONEFLOWER

Boneflower

This is a debate we have very often: should we play a few shows? Is it worth it? Do we want to play for a small public sitting on a chair? Currently, no.

Meanwhile, bull fighting arenas are full with no limitations, lacking any type of health/protection measures. 

CROSSED: The Spanish underground hardcore scene is in stundby. There are some new social distancing rules that everybody must respect. this situation is something beyond music and scenes.

Crossed live by Peio Ortube Araluze

Crossed live by Peio Ortube Araluze

EMMA GOLDMAN: As far as the music scene here goes, everything is on hold. There may be some shows popping up here and there, but the general consensus among the punk scene is that those shows are being hosted at the detriment to people’s health, so we haven’t seen any support for them. Of course there are still threads of perseverance: live streams, new albums, and calls for compilation contributions. For us personally, we initially had some hope to find some positives in quarantine and more time spent at home. We thought we could use the time to focus on writing new music and, in general, make more art, but that essentially proved fruitless. While we have managed to do a little writing, our attention has been demanded by more important struggles and stresses of the world. That being said, when shows do start happening again, we can rest assured that it will be a celebration!

EUCLID C FINDER: Adam: Assessing the music scene seems quite difficult when the only visible factors to measure are live streams, or social media posts. The scene is obviously suffering from a diminished ability to meet/practice, and I worry so many bands will atrophy that the local scene will have a negligible number of functioning bands when/if gigs are ever possible again.

Mike: A lot has slowed down since coronavirus hit our area. As far as I know, there are no shows or events happening anytime soon. I know some bands are still meeting and trying to be productive, but many either aren’t or are simply unable to. Many venues are in danger of shutting down, some with a long history in Baltimore. Overall, things are grim.

Sean: The state is not good. Many venues are shutting down, or on the brink of shutting down, even medium-size ones seem on their last legs. It feels as though approximately half of the bands are practicing, and those that hustle are hustling hard, and those that do not are almost on break.

EYELET by Patt Hickey

Eyelet by Patt Hickey

EYELET: As far as we know nothing has been going on, in terms of people really doing anything during the pandemic. It looks like some people started getting back together to practice and stuff but other than that everything is pretty quiet, which is obviously for the best. People seem to be getting antsy to get back to playing music, so hopefully that results in new projects once things get sorted out. Availability of venues is going to be a concern, but hopefully the community will come together and figure out places to have shows.

HAWAK: With the COVID pandemic, I’ve seen parts of the local bay area scene go into heavy political work. I’ve also see a lot of us working on mental and emotional work. These things of course not being mutually exclusive. 

Infant Island

Infant Island

INFANT ISLAND: Currently, shows are pretty much nonexistent. There have never been frequent shows in our city (Fredericksburg, VA) but now that COVID-19 has escalated that further with what seems to be leading to even more uncertainties, live shows just don’t seem rational whatsoever, for the time being. From what I’ve noticed, the pandemic has ultimately demolished a lot of our friends’ and peers’ creative outlets which they used to cope with daily life. It’s been frustrating and difficult to grip with, nonetheless. I’d like to think that instead of playing shows right now, the state of our scene has invested more in getting involved in other facets & community work, trying to help each other grow and evolve from what is most certainly a devastating year to say the least.

LORNE MALVO: In our local independent scene, people are just waiting for a better situation. Venues want to organise shows, people want to watch live concerts but everything is impossible. All we can do is wait until the situation become more safe. We think it’s the same situation everywhere and in any music scene. We need to protect ourselves and the people around us from the covid, so we have to be patient. It’s a very sad time.

Mahria

Mahria

MAHRIA: The local Edmonton scene has been on a big pause, as with most of the world. I’ve felt like a lot of the bands Obroa-skai consider peers have been in the same position as us – having the time to write without the pressure of a busy show schedule. As much as I deeply miss playing shows and the community in person, it’s been nice to have the time to work on new material. A couple bands in Edmonton have switched members around and now every band has at least one member who plays with more than one group. Though we haven’t been able to share our work in person, I feel like the local Edmonton screamo community has gotten closer and will come out stronger when the time comes.

MAREE NOIRE: In regards of the pandemic, Montreal was heavily affected by it. Naturally, all shows were cancelled and everything is on hold until at least the end of 2020. Positively, it seems like the whole lockdown thing created a certain momentum for a political uprising and empowerment, which pushed discussion to the mainstream about systemic racism, political and police violence.

Furthermore, our local scenes have been weeded out by a massive movement against sexual ab*se. It gave survivors a space to speak out and expose how common and insidious toxic masculinity, sexual violence and gaslighting interoperate, even within our scenes.

This whole situation pushed everyone to rethink how we can make spaces safer and more inclusive while actively challenging toxic behaviors.

Mattachine

Mattachine

MATTACHINE: Well, everything is fucked. People are facing evictions, lost jobs, cut hours, medical bills, court dates, police violence (can’t forget the continuing BLM protests here), etc. with little to no government support. Most of the scene here has done its best to raise money for people through crowdfunding emergency needs, which is really wholesome on one level – but on the other hand, the fact that people of lower economic status have to pay for people in even worse positions than them to stay alive is an incredible condemnation of the system we live in and evidence to how fucking broken it is.

ORPHAN DONOR / OKTOBER SKYLINE: The state of the scene around is non existant at this point. The Lehigh Valley used to be a hotbed for many touring bands and had a great local punk/noise scene. We had great underground venues, which have all shut down. Even before Covid it started to slow down but it has now been to a screeching hault.

OUR FUTURE IS AN ABSOLUTE SHADOW: I dont know about the other member’s cities, but it’s kinda hard to tell how my local music community in Richmond, VA has been hit. None of my friends are trying to do shows or anything like that thankfully. There probably won’t really be any place to do diy shows once things are okay besides at house spots, but that was kinda how it was beforehand, so we’ll survive. Things are tense in the city in general imo due to how police and local officials have reacted to protests against police brutality, while not really getting coverage nationally we still have some of the highest amounts of documented police brutality since the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Pique by Matthew James

Pique by Matthew James

PIQUE: We recorded 8 new songs this July. This was probably the most social I was in the past 4 months. Punk Rock once again makes me feel alive during a time of personal and worldwide crisis.

POETRY OF TORCH: The band we are involved in has a family, so I think we are avoiding doing shows to prevent the spread of infection.
As for us, we mainly perform studio live, so it is difficult to perform live because we are close to people.

Poetry of torch

Poetry of Torch

SETSUKO: While the obvious fact that you can’t really tour and play live is true here too, I think the lax quarantine rules in Sweden are helping with creating new things. Everyone I know in the scene is less worried about keeping their current main projects afloat, and are way more into the idea of forming new bands, trying new styles etc. When (and if) things return to normal we’ll have a far more musically diverse scene to enjoy here now that people have less responsibilities with touring and more room to just play around and try new things. Also, let’s face it, us people in the scene aren’t the most well off and most of us have been hit economically by the covid crisis, which leaves music as a cheap way to pass the time and to get our frustrations and thoughts out. 

SEYARSE: As someone who lives in a big city (Chicago) and has toured a lot, the line between “local” and “national” scene gets blurred. What’s so appealing to me about punk and hardcore is that as you tour and your network grows the whole fucking planet becomes your playground and while the internet has become a source of contention, it’s keeping us all connected and allowing us to come up with new and interesting ways to interact because we can’t book shows. The circumstances are shitty but I think the possibilities for moving forward can be exciting.

SINE NOMINE: Well honestly i dont think any of us are much involved in the scene these days. Weve become the cliche old guys, with families, jobs, mortgages etc. However if we were still an active band I imagine we wouldve taken this time to write a shit ton of songs…its kind of the perfect condition for an active band as far as song writing goes….(assuming youve quarantined together or worked that out somehow), but I think if sine nomine were still a band we would be minus all the distractions of playing shows, touring, recording etc. And just focused on writing new material…theres no shortage of fucked up things going on right now to inspire creative music.

VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET live by Henrik Hulander

VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET live by Henrik Hulander

VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET: Obviously the pandemic shut down all shows for us and other bands. Even if Sweden has a more liberal approach to how to contain the virus than most countries, there are no shows or local events. It seems that people are more active online. There is a need for community and live music and people are trying to find new ways, be it through live streams or whatever. These are tough times. Culture, music and community are important for our sanity and well-being.

YOUTH NOVEL: Wasn’t super involved in the community at the time it hit mainly because I just didn’t have any active bands and was working, but as far as I can tell everything’s just been put on hold for now in terms of irl stuff. Some bands are releasing music and doing stuff like live streams which are tight, but I imagine a lot of people are just trying to make sure that they can pay their bills right now.

Yurodivy band

Yurodivy

YURODIVY: The state of the independent punk / screamo / hardcore community amidst the coronavirus pandemic through the lenses of your local independent music scene.

As in any scene, everything has been at a standstill for months, the activities of our label have been stopped, even if we continue to try to work with the bands internally, plan the continuation, recording sessions, or video. But generally speaking, the scene survives thanks to live performances. That’s where we share, sell records, merch, and all that is totally blocked.

Continued below…

Zegema Zampler

Perspectives and predictions for the events and live shows for the coming months and 2021.

Erica of NUVOLASCURA: I think it will be necessary for vocalists to BYOM (bring your own mic). I could see small outdoor concerts with social distancing. I think it depends on a lot of factors but I don’t think we’ll have sweaty basement shows again anytime soon, which is a big bummer.

APOSTLES OF ERIS: Being above the U.S. is scary as fuck and as the pandemic continues to multiply exponentially there I see further delays globally due to a horrifying combination of selfishness and stupidity.

Amitie by inskramz, Warsaw

Amitie by inskramz, Warsaw

AMITIE: Here in Providence a lot of venues have started to do outdoor shows with social distancing. For the most part venues that are operating have shut down their inside and brought everything outside. There are sections for 3-4 people to hangout at and they’re all spaced out, about 6ft from each other. With that being said, I understand venues need to stay afloat during these uncertain times, but I have not found myself at a show or restaurant since the week before this all went down in March. Really hoping for some normalcy to come through. Our last show was March 7th, it’s the longest we’ve gone without playing out. Hopefully by spring 2021 the virus will have dissipated and the borders will be opened up again. We have tentative plans to make it back to EU this coming summer. Fingers crossed. 

ARMYWIVES: I have absolutely zero faith that this country will eradicate and/or adapt from the virus on a federal level until at least 2021… Our corrupt politics sit like landmines between civilians and public safety and that cycle must break for us to move forward… Having said that, I am unimaginably excited for the potential to tour and play some fests with our skramily in 2021. 

BONEFLOWER live

Boneflower

BONEFLOWER: We have no idea about what will happen, but the situation is getting worse, so we don’t think there will be small shows without limitations in a long time. Maybe one more year? Maybe more?

CROSSED: Also there are rules for the venues as watching the events siting on chairs, that for a band like us there is no point to play. So we rather wait untill the covid situation ends and play a propper show. We can only embrace this situation and take this time to improve as musicians. As long as we can get to our practice space we will be making new stuff. We have no victims in our families so we are positive for now … we had to cancel 2 tours, an european and a spanish one, so we hope to be able to make them both in some point.

Crossed live by Peio Ortube Araluze

Crossed live by Peio Ortube Araluze

EMMA GOLDMAN: We personally don’t think that in-person shows are going to happen anytime soon. Not only do we have to wait for a vaccine, but then we will have to wait until said vaccine can be manufactured on such a scale that it becomes widely available. As people become more comfortable with the situation, we wouldn’t be surprised if we see more livestreams. Our worry is that many DIY bands, due to budgetary constraints, will have less access to the proper equipment to make livestream experiences enjoyable. Hopefully venues and community organizations will work to facilitate spaces where livestreaming can be done with decent equipment–as long as it’s done with the health and safety of the community as a first priority. It will be curious to see if certain scenes and bands around the world come out with more or less material depending on their local situation with the virus.

EUCLID C FINDER: Adam: America is obviously doing a piss poor job of securing the public’s safety against the pandemic. We are doing such a poor job that it feels absolutely unpredictable how we will sabotage our well-being next. As such, I cant guess if gigs will be possible at any point in 2021, and it feels irresponsible to be concerned with that when there are so many more fundamentally pressing and potentially fatal consequences to this worldwide scourge.

Mike: I do not see any events or live shows happening for the foreseeable future. It’s unfortunate, but I am glad to see our community being so responsible during these times.

Sean: I often think that the punk/hardcore community deals in a little too much groupthink, but this is advantageous for pandemic defense. Punk shows in Baltimore stopped BEFORE any city or state laws were passed because we are critically engaged and deeply care about one another. This also means that as soon as it is safe to do shows again, we all will, first slowly, and then all at once. When will that be? Who can say.

EYELET by Den Ise

EYELET by Den Ise

EYELET: It would be surprising if shows started before summer 2021. If people try to do stuff before then, we more than likely won’t be there. Until there is a handle on Covid in the United States everyone should just chill out, the more people try to rush things the worse off we’re gonna be.

HAWAK: I might be projecting, but I feel a lot of angst and energy building up. We’re feeling isolated and we’re ruminating. Again- I am probably just speaking for myself; I think we’re going to see some explosions of heavy music. Heavy music getting heavier. Music getting more intense. Live shows will be that fresh breath we’ve been craving for. psttt let’s do some generator shows y’all~ My specific prediction is we’re going to go numetal. I’m talking Ibanez with heavy strings and hella effects and DJs.

HAWAK by Jonathan Botkin

HAWAK by Jonathan Botkin

INFANT ISLAND: I honestly really am uncertain what lies ahead in 2021 & I think most of the band feels similar. I’d like to hope that the infection of covid dwindles soon, but numbers and statistics seem to say otherwise. It’d be cool to return to that sort of normalcy where everyone can tour again and people can attend shows, safely. We shall have to wait and see.

LORNE MALVO: We hope the situation will be better in the next months but we are not really optimistic… We’ll try to make a tour in Spring 2021 if we can but, to be honest, we don’t know how the situation is going to evolve in a near future and it’s pretty scary.

Mahria by James Grant

Mahria by James Grant

MAHRIA: I personally wouldn’t want to rush things back. I would absolutely love to see friends and bands again, but there is a lot at stake. Health and well-being are paramount. I have seen online events popup, such as “Social Distance Fest”, which I think is great and fills the void as much as possible. Unfortunately, I don’t see live, in-person shows coming back soon. There is still an opportunity to share work among the community. Hopefully, we will all be able to enjoy some amazing music in 2021.

Mahria live

Mahria live

MAREE NOIRE: LMFAO idk. To be honest, we’re pretty hopeless about the shows in the upcoming months because the pandemic in Quebec has no signs of slowing down (hello there, second wave). We had to cancel a European tour, a recording at Sunsetter Studios and New Friends FestI III. Even tho we’re technically still on the Miss the Stars lineup for next year, everything is still on hold.
As of the initatives for alternatives live events such as online live streams and seated shows with social distanciation, we live in different provinces and we honestly feel like it would be out of place for our band. For us, screamo is all about community, connections, parking hangs, and sharing Club Mate.

Marée Noire

Marée Noire

MATTACHINE: No live shows in The States ‘til early 2022 I’d imagine. Not much else to say here.

ORPHAN DONOR / OKTOBER SKYLINE: I don’t really have any predictions, but it seems like outdoors might be the new norm for awhile, but a good thing I’ve seen from this has been all the live online performances. Socialdistancefest was a very cool way to see some incredible acts. Mathcore also did something similar. Very cool.

OUR FUTURE IS AN ABSOLUTE SHADOW: I’m not going to make a prediction, because I really have no clue how long things will be like this, I just hope we can turn diy into something other than a mirror of the mainstream music industry and use it to actually help people with more benefit shows and such.

PIQUE: I imagine shows won’t happen until Spring of 2021. When it’s safe you will definitely find us on the road. 

POETRY OF TORCH: We are planning and preparing for next year.

Setsuko

Setsuko

SETSUKO: I think people are getting bored of not performing, and simultaneously more accustomed to navigating their daily lives with the pandemic restrictions in place. I am sure people will start setting up shows for local/national bands soon, limiting the amount of people in the room and following regulations otherwise but definitely going against the rules that make it impossible to host “legal” shows. The authorities here have been very unclear with what the actual rules for this are, except for a limit of maximum 50 people in attendance. I am sure no one would go over that anyway, both because the scene is so small and because people actually care about each other. But yeah, expecting local shows to be back soon in a smaller format.

SEYARSE: Again, shitty circumstances with the potential for exciting results. I’d love to see a resurgence in shows happening in rented halls. House shows are great and club shows are great but, for me, a well organized show at a rented space is the epitome of punk rock. Everything about it is ideal. It’s something that exists totally in the present, not before and not after. I don’t want ANY clubs to shut down but it’s inevitable and it can be an awesome opportunity to put more shows in the hands of the kids and see a recharged appreciation for how special a punk show can really be and possibly strengthen the sense of community that attracts so many of us to subculture in the first place.

SINE NOMINE: I think bands and venues will figure out live shows in the coming months…theres no shortage of creativity in the different types of indie scenes…. Ican imagine outdoor shows will start popping up….there were quite a few times when we played outdoor type shows….. A couple were at random parks where kids rented pavilions and bands played in there… Of course these would all have to be diy type events where kids were doing all the work themselves…i think if you take out the club owners, promoters etc, you eliminate a lot of the red tape thats going on right now…. People will figure it out..get creative find a field or a back yard to set up shows…keep it low key and boom..bobs your uncle!..as far as normal club type shows coming back….who knows…i think its impossible to predict right now…things seem to change on the daily!

Vi som älskade varandra så mycket-

Vi som älskade varandra så mycket

VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET: One can only hope. I don’t think anything can go back to normal until there is a vaccine or a cure. We need to think about others in everything we do. Your actions have consequences and I cannot justify going to or playing shows before it is safe. Music is important but life is more important.

We are all affected by our choices. When some dip shit decides to go to a Smash Mouth show in 2020 potentially he can spread the virus and cause death among others. That is not All Star behavior.

Youth Novel by Ben Leser

Youth Novel by Ben Leser

YOUTH NOVEL: Honestly who knows at this point. if the US cant pull its shit together and actually try to prevent the spread of disease then we might have other more pressing concerns to think about. i’d like to imagine that we could be playing shows again in 2021 but i’m not optimistic.

YURODIVY: We hope to be able to play in September, in a festival in the south of France, for the moment it’s the only date still confirmed. The venues are all uncertain about the resumption of their activities, and even if it’s legally possible to organize an event, it may be a big a risk for some people. None of the members of the band want to participate in an event that could be the origin of a new cluster of the epidemic, so for the moment we stay in the studio, working on new things. We hope to be able to defend our last album released in February on the road next year, but we can’t stop there. Also we have a new drummer since a few months, and it’s always very exciting to work on new compositions with new people.

Nuvolascura live

Nuvolascura live

Your contribution track to this compilation, your new music for the coming months, and other bands, labels, and projects worth a check in 2020 and beyond.

Erica of NUVOLASCURA: For Ceaseless Memories of Separation, I started seeing a new therapist and was confronting a lot of negative self talk that had formed from past experiences. I was learning how to process those thoughts and combat the voices. That theme is present on a few tracks—combatting shame, fear, guilt, doubt.

We don’t have any new releases planned but we might try to start writing virtually and see how that goes. As always, ZBR, OMSB, Dianacrawls, local mutual aid efforts, labor unions, antifa and anti-racist efforts, tenant unions.

Nuvolascura

Nuvolascura

APOSTLES OF ERIS: This is an unreleased alternate/d.i.y.-master of a song titled “Numbness” that will appear on our Apostles Of Eris/Pique split 12″ releasing whenever the plant sends them to us…so maybe November or December? Our entire side is about the destructive feelings and behaviours inherent in a society meant to render you utterly helpless to change a self-destructive, capitalist/racist foundation. The titles are “Lost”, “Haze”, “Lies”, “Doubt”, “Numbness”, “Isolation”, and “Defeat”. The Pique side is fantastic. We’ll also have a split cassette with our friends in Gossip and an exclusive compilation track on No Funeral. We also play in Our Future Is An Absolute Shadow. We highly recommend Capsule and Cease Upon The Capitol.

AMITIE: We were super stoked when Dave asked use to be part of ZBR’s most recent zampler. Our track “Scam Likely” off our most recent 7” split record with Marée Noire and Empatía is featured on this zampler. This song is a call to all rings you get on your phone that read “no caller ID”, where the caller is badgering about student loan debt relief but you never went to college, where the caller tells you that you have credit card debt looking to be collected but you’re too poor to even afford your next Yoo-hoo Chocolate Milk. “Ruin my card credit score, fuck your mortgage”

As for future releases, we working on a 5 song EP and a split with our wonderful friends in Ryloth. Amitié has undergone some changes in the past few months. We welcomed a new bassist to the group, their name is Ryan and they are fucking fantastic…. shhh we stole them from Dreamwell (check em our they’re really good!). Can definitely say our newer material is not like that of “Don’t//Try//Let//Die” and more on the avenue of our recent split records with Pique, Karloff and Piet Onthel. Not to mention, we will no longer be playing the tracks on D/T/L/D, if you’re lucky maybe one or two.

Amitie live in Warsaw, Poland

Amitie live in Warsaw, Poland

As for things we’ve been listening to! Blind girls, holy crap!! This band is immense! Talk about emoviolence. The lastest Ryloth 12” is so fuego, I make sure to have a fire extinguisher on deck. Not a new band or record, but Fear Before’s ST, their final record before disbanding has finally grown on me and I can’t stop listening. As for wonderful labels in the scene really making a note able imprint… Jean Scene Creamers and Larry Records. We can’t thank Rob and Eric enough for the constant support. Love those gentlemen to death. Recently we have been in touch with Clever Eagle Records (they’re in partnership with Dog Knight Records) and we expect some good things from them!

ARMYWIVES

Armywives

ARMYWIVES: Our track “able” is from our self titled EP, released on Zegema Beach Records and Missed Out Records in late April 2020, its about feeling hopeless and claustrophobic in a world full of ignorance and bigotry, and the strength it takes to be resilient and find positivity. We have 2 new songs coming out on a split 7” with Twins from Germany due out this fall (details tba soon), and a handful of demos in the works we hope to finish up and release in the near future. There were so many screamo bands on the precipice of getting to that next level at the end of 2019 and the pandemic definitely seems to have stunted that growth this year but I can only assume everyones at home writing their hearts out and I can’t wait for all the new music that’s going to erupt in the months to come. I have The Lot Radio streaming all day everyday whether I’m working from home or in the office and its chock full of dope eclectic artists mixing anything from ambient soundscapes, to soul, to house, disco, techno, jazz, yacht rock, you name it… I’m late to the party on Anthology Recordings which is a sub-label of Mexican Summer that releases relatively undiscovered music from the 70s, but everything they’ve put out is fantastic… Obviously keep an eye on all the friends at Zegema, Missed Out, Larry, No Funeral, and Middleman… BUT the most important project of all; saying FOH to the GOP and progressing towards a society that cooperates instead of competes, flourishing through genuine kindness, empathy, equality, and respect for all people, the planet, and everything in between.

BONEFLOWER:  Our track for this compilation is Saltpeter. We have no new music coming soon, since we haven’t been able to practice together for the last 5 months, but we’re meeting again in September, so that’s cool.

Currently listening and recommending: Alaskan Tapes – Views from sixteen stories // Backwards charm – Nevergreen // Addy – Eclipse // Gulch-Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress // Gleemer- Down Through // Stormlight-Natoma

Crossed live! by Peio

Crossed live! by Peio

CROSSED: Our contribution track is Ghost. We highly recomend our friends Viborv from Baque Country, Cuero Negro also from Basque Country (Bandcamp), and one of our classics from Madrid, Adrift, also our mates Lazharus.

EMMA GOLDMAN: Dave asked us if we wanted to contribute a song to a split 7”. We hadn’t put anything on vinyl yet and had an unrecorded song that we were playing live so we jumped on it immediately. The split ended up being with BIGHAND//BIGKNIFE, Almanac Man, and Abandoncy, and our track also ended up on Zampler #15. Our song, Code Produced Comfort, was written out of frustration with the way in which algorithms have a lot of sway in determining our day-to-day experiences and understandings of the world. Think of anything as small as Spotify’s recommended playlists to important political information that can be selectively fed to us through various social media channels. The power of media to shape world-views and opinion has no doubt existed for long before the internet, but we thought it was appropriate that this song was released right now, what with the pandemic and all, as everyone is becoming more and more dependent on digital means to communicate. Without going into too much detail here, we would love to mention that while we are working on our first album, it is currently at the whims of covid. As soon as we feel safe and comfortable, then we will immediately be attending to it. Fingers crossed!

Euclid C Finder by Morgan Wladkowski

Euclid C Finder by Morgan Wladkowski

EUCLID C FINDER: Adam: I’m out of touch with the music of 2020, very sorry to be a fake music enjoyer.

Mike: Our track was recorded in December for another compilation on ZBR and I think is a fair representation of where we were and where we are headed. Our output has slowed down drastically. I and my partner are both high risk, so Euclid C Finder hasn’t been able to get in a room together safely for a while. That said, I have been slowly writing and sending my ideas to the rest of the band. I’m hopeful that we can have a lot of new songs ready to tweak and record when the time is write. I’m a little out of step with new music right now, but I definitely recommend any of our mathcore peers here in Baltimore if you haven’t heard them (Noisays, Under The Pier, and The Wind In The Trees).

Sean: I put out a synth ep last week called “Aoat(12+tet)” and soon I have a record of solo electric guitar music out soonish called “1006 and Resonance”. I am always for cross-pollination on these types of things so check out Another Timbre and Elsewhere for cool record labels for quiet music.

EYELET by Spencer Grundler

Eyelet by Spencer Grundler

EYELET: Inevitability is a new song off our upcoming LP The Devil Shining Out Your Eyes, set to be released before the end of the year. Currently we’re working on songs for various splits with some friends of ours as well as another LP. Other than that Robbie has been doing a podcast, Craig is tattooing, and Matt is mixing stuff until bands can record again. 

HAWAK band

HAWAK

HAWAK: Nuoc -for me(tomm)- is all about in general identity. Specifically, I go through phases of trying to be more Vietnamese. I feel as a first-generation Vietnamese American, I have a responsibility of holding up and continuing tradition and culture. I feel shame that I don’t have the best knowledge of tradition and culture. I ultimately decided to include a line in Vietnamese because it was a step outside of my comfort zone. I also thought it would sound good. We’ve been pushing to get this album out. It’s been tough with the pandemic. We’ve been taking our time to continue writing. I am trying my best to keep my ear on what friends are doing -everything I hear from friends are amazing. Honestly, 2020 is exhausting and the one idea that keeps me going is New Friends Fest 2021.

Infant Island

Infant Island

INFANT ISLAND: David rules so much, & I’m so stoked that we’ve gotten a lot of chances to release stuff via Zegema. This comp RIPS, and we contributed our song “Unspoken”, the 2nd song off our newest mini LP “Sepulcher”.

It’s one of my personal favorites we’ve written as a band so far. Currently we are demoing and in the writing process of our 3rd full length, it’s still in its early phases of development. Other than that, Winston, Kyle, & Austin are also working on a new smallhands release (their shoegazey band); Alex is always writing more material for Mattachine (Austin and his metalcore/homoviolence band) and who knows , maybe I’ll finally start a death metal project for 2021… anyways that’s it for now! I think all of the bands on this new Zegema comp rule and should be checked out if you haven’t done so yet!!! Thanks so much David <3

LORNE MALVO: Our contribution to this compilation is a total surprise for us. We released our first Ep during the lockdown in April only on Bandcamp, we don’t have any website or social network but Dave of Zegema Beach Records found us !

He offered us a very nice deal to make some tapes and to be a part of his compilation among many great bands!

Our song on the compilation is called Noyé (Drowned) and it talks about the fact that you are constantly drowned into rules and principles from the beginning of your life to the end, and it’s always difficult or impossible to express your true feelings and become who you want to be.

With the covid situation, we don’t have so many projects except the release of our Ep on tapes with Zegema Beach Records and our first tour next spring.

A lot of bands or labels worth a check but if we need to choose, here are some very good European bands : Yarostan from France, Drei Affen from Spain, Chalk Hands from UK, Øjne from Italia, Maremarcio from Italia, Okänt from Sweden, Amer from France and the french band Jeanne!

As for great french labels : Seaside Suicide, Bus Stop Press, Voice Of The Unheard and Smart & Confused!

Mahria live by Clean Up Your Act

Mahria live by Clean Up Your Act

MAHRIA: The contribution for this compilation is very special for me. Mahria was a band that I accomplished a lot of personal goals with, and a project I am immensely proud of. This particular track comes off an album that for years was left unfinished. Not only has the album been completed, it is now being shared alongside incredible peers. As far as present projects go, Obroa-skai has been going strong working on our first full-length album with a new guitar player in the mix. Playing as a trio has been a lot of fun, but we all agree that adding another guitarist has really brought the best out of our new material. I also have a poetry and drone collaboration project with Kris Udekwu of Beau Navire/Elle due out soon that I am very excited to share.

I am very excited about the albums Zegema Beach, Twelve Gauge, and Aught\Void have been releasing. Without being able to witness live performances, the music those labels have been distributing and releasing has been very inspiring.

Marée Noire

Marée Noire

MAREE NOIRE: Aller (sans revenir) is the first song we recorded with our new lineup. The song is about realizing that you’re not in a happy place and taking actions on a personal level to move on and find some kind of happiness.

The lockdown gave us a break that ended up being healthy on a creative level. We’ve slowly began writing our first LP and it feels good to be back on a creative process. Otherwise, we just released a split with Amitié__ (US) and Empathia (COL) on a bunch of different extraordinary labels such as ZBR, Larry Records, Illuminate My Heart Records, Jean Scene Cremers, Rabar Joie and 1#2 Story. We’re so happy to share this split with those sick bands. We were also supposed to tour Europe with Massa Nera (US) and Sur l’eau (GER) before the lockdown. Great folks and great music, don’t sleep on them!  

Mattachine

Mattachine

MATTACHINE: Funny how “Isolation as a Form of Torture” became a very topical name in the time between when it was written and released. It’s by no means an anti-science or anti-distancing song, it’s actually about feeling isolated as a gay man in a pretty rural community – and how that social isolation is itself a punishment levied on LGBT people by society at large for the crime of existing.

We’ve gone through numerous lineup changes in the very short time we’ve been a band, but we’re finally settled in and are cooking up new songs slowly, hoping to have an LP ready for 2021. Of course we also have to shout out Infant Island and Mikau both of which we share members with and just put out music. As far as listening suggestions, for this band in 2020 I think we’ve been really taking influence from bands like .gif from god, Celeste, and a ton of 10th grade deathcore.  

Orphan Donor

Orphan Donor

ORPHAN DONOR / OKTOBER SKYLINE: Body on fire was the last track I wrote for Old Patterns. It was sort of an afterthought but I felt I needed more of a blaster track. It makes me tired.

I’ve been working on another full length for ORPHAN DONOR as well as finishing up tracking for my other bands third lp SECRET CUTTER. They should all drop by fall or early next year! Chris Pandolfo, who did all the vocals on Old Patterns has an amazing solo project called CLOUDS COLLIDE. It’s a shoegaze black metal project and it’s georgous.

OUR FUTURE IS AN ABSOLUTE SHADOW: Our song “Ghostknife” was the last song that came together from our current material, and is the only one that has all 3 of us doing vocals. The project started with Adrian sending me 10 tracks of drums, and I wrote guitar and bass parts for them. This song I initially couldn’t write anything for and gave up, only to come back to it randomly and write something almost immediately. Since it was recorded a bit after the others the guitar tones came out pretty different, which is why we chose to have it be on the comp and separate from the rest of the songs. We have a 7 song ep coming out soon, and a split 7″ coming out fall/winter. Other labels to check out are Middle Man, React With Protest, No Funeral, Larry Records, Moment of Collapse, and Listen to Aylin/Kakusan Records. Pretty much any other band I would mention are on one of those labels, but I personally am looking forward to hearing the new Pettersson album that’s supposed to come out this year. 

Pique band

Pique band

PIQUE: This track is an unmixed/unmastered version of a new song which will be on a 12 inch split record with our boys in Apostles of Eris which will come out hopefully in November. Stay safe out there y’all! XOXOXO  

POETRY OF TORCH: We are participating in the Call Me With Your Bell on track 10.
The bands we are looking for in the future are Daighila in Malaysia, who co-starred in the band of its predecessor, NOISEGOTE, EAT, and young sano EX Machina, who are also actively active during the Corona virus pandemic. 

SETSUKO by August Eriksson

SETSUKO by August Eriksson

SETSUKO: Our track “Ghost Money” is actually pretty old. The entirety of our songs from the spilt were recorded over two years ago, and we played them all live on tour in 2018 as well. It just took a while to get them out, and we’re really happy to be sharing the record with our good friends in Komuso.

The song is very fast and riffy, and I love the part at the end with the chords echoing out over the blast beats. Definitely more of that to come in the future! We’ve started writing new things again after two years of nothing due to us living in different cities and countries, and hopefully we can record something soon. Other musical projects? I play drums for Baby, a new metalcore band, Jakob and Indra play in a noise rock band that’s sick but doesn’t have a name as of yet, and Jakob makes dance music under various aliases. We’ll update you more on all of this as time goes! 

SEYARSE: It’s definitely comforting to know that there are independent labels still doing physical releases. Seeing the Zegema Beach dudes doing their thing out of love and passion is super inspiring. Here in Chicago I pay attention to Forge Again Records, Underground Communique and the Cassette Deck Media guys organizing “Ian’s Party” every year. My new band, Fresh Hell, just formed before the pandemic, we’re recording at the end of August but outside of that we are just brainstorming ways to interact with people until we can play shows. 

SINE NOMINE: I believe our contribution to this sampler is the song september….this song is old as fuck,….and it actually sounds different on the recording than it did when we were playing it live, later in our “career”…. We tended to slow it down live, and it became almost a sludge/doom type song…. As far as new stuff goes, we got none……we done!! Although as I said earlier if we were still a band, I think these last five months wouldve produced a really great sine nomine album…..as far as bands in 2020….im stuck mostly in the past as far as bands I currently listen to…there are a few newer bands or albums that i like, but mostly im into older stuff…… Go listen to coalesce youngster!! But newer stuff im into : Birds In Row, Oathbreaker, Deafheaven, Amenra….all on the metal side…ive also gotten into folk punk…the new days n daze album is pretty cool… I dunno……I like Guns n Roses! 

Vi som älskade varandra så mycket live

Vi som älskade varandra så mycket live

VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET: Our track Dumskallarnas Sammansvärjning is named after the Swedish translation of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces. We are not really a political band, but it is hard not to comment on what is happening in the world. The rise of right-wing populism, racism, extreme capitalism and stupidity spearheaded by Donald Trump and his lackeys is scary. These assholes are winning right now. They cheat, have no scruples and will do anything to get their way. We need to take this seriously and change the story.

We released our record last November and due to Covid we are kind of taking a break. We were really hoping to come out to play more this year but that is not happening. I am hoping we can start working on a new record soon but our process is usually really long. We will see.

YOUTH NOVEL: “XX” is from our upcoming full-length album and is the only song that we’ve played live from it. There is another new song on our bandcamp. I’ve got a couple of albums that need to be finished and might come out eventually. Listen to Nuvolascura.

Youth Novel

Youth Novel

YURODIVY: We’re so glad we got invited on the zampler by Zegema Beach Records.

This track is one of the first ones we composed for the album, it’s one of the most arranged songs on the record, we wanted to be in an anxious and heavy atmosphere right away, so some singer friends came to put their voices, which gives a dissonant and anguishing side to the intro of the track.

For the moment we don’t have a fixed project for our next releases, we give ourselves time to compose, and to work as best as we can in the current context. We’ll probably record some demos by the end of the year, but we’ll definitely wait for the resumption of the concerts to come out with something.

Here’s the Entertainment: 25-artists mega interview on the state of screamo in 2020
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