Inosuke, a project birthed from the seasoned minds of Jason Kallicragas (of Locktender) and Erik Anderson (of Lord Snow and Stormlight fame) is bound by a history traced back to a chance encounter in a Baltimore basement in 2007. It has culminated in an audacious venture that bridges the gap between the raw energy of screamo and the thoughtful introspection of post-hardcore, and today we’re pleased to give you a special insight into their visceral craft.
In addition, Jason took some time to list a few of the most oustanding screamo 2023 releases that resonated with him. Check out the full list below.
The inception of Inosuke is a tale of rekindled acquaintances but a narrative steeped in the evolution of two artists drawn together by a shared affinity for the heavier spectrum of music.
“I first met Erik back in 2007, we were both on our first tours (me with Men as Trees, him with Lautrec) and we played together at this really crazy basement in Baltimore.” – says Jason.
“After that we saw each other and played shows whenever we went through Chicago where he lived, then later Locktender and lord snow played I think a fest together and that was maybe the last time we hung out.”
“Fast forward to 2022 where Locktender started to play again after about a 5 year break, we were at ZBR fest in Chicago and I was talking with James from Crowning about where all our old friends from the scene were and he mentioned that Erik had moved to Cleveland where I’ve been living for about 10 years. I sent him a message and we actually met at a park so our daughters could play and we joked about being screamo dads, we saw each other a few more times and he suggested we tried playing together!”
Jason’s switch from bass to a baritone guitar, seeking a darker, heavier sound, aligns with Erik’s distinctive drumming style, resulting in a synergy that defies conventional duo dynamics. Their songs, as Jason describes, are an exploration of range, with each chord carrying a weighty bass note, augmented in live performances by dual amplification.
“Erik suggested trying a two person band like he had done for Stormlight and it actually works out really well for us. When I am writing songs I try to cover a wide range and play chords that always have a bass note and live I play through guitar and bass amps to fill out the sound. Erik’s drumming is so distinctive and creative that it totally transforms the songs I show him in a way that is cool and unexpected for me.” – explains Jason.
Amidst the backdrop of rebuilding and rebirth post-2022, a year marked by personal challenges and the overarching shadows of a global pandemic, the duo channeled their experiences into their debut album. This period of turmoil and resilience echoes in their music, with Jason revealing that the album’s lyrics are his most direct and personal to date. The record, a self-reflection during a time of adversity, encapsulates themes of vulnerability, existential dread, and a nuanced understanding of the world.
“We finished writing this album over the winter, played our first show in March and then immediately started to record ourselves as Erik was building a studio in our practice space.” – continues Jason.
“We finished the record in the spring then sent it to Jack Shirley at Atomic Garden who did a really amazing job with the songs. Since then we got everything ready for the release with the Dave’s at Zegema Beach, we played some more and now are finishing writing for our next release!”
“Locktender also took a break for writing and had a lineup change and are about to record new material in January. We also released the Men as Trees reissue DLP with our longtime friend Ingo from I.Corrupt which was a really cool project to put together.”
Each track on the inosuke album offers a unique narrative.
“So these are probably the most direct and personal lyrics I’d ever performed, without really meaning to consciously.” – admits Jason.
Asked about the lyrical significance and the overall meaning of this release, he contiues: “When we played our first show I realized how vulnerable I was feeling screaming and had to take stock afterwards. So 2022 was a rough year, I had a back injury at work that caused me almost a full year of non stop pain and anxiety that made every aspect of life frustrating and difficult. All of these songs were written from kind of a negative and bleak space as I was trying to cope with while also coming out of the pandemic. I’m glad I wrote them and I’m doing better now. I try to stay positive day to day but my overall feelings about the world and the future can be hopeless and scary and I think all of that is on this album.”
In Men as Trees, Jason had a very allusive approach to lyrics where he was constantly referencing literature, philosophy and other art and while it was very personal to him and he admit that most of the content was difficult to understand.
“In Locktender because that band uses artists for a lyrical basis, while we were writing personally and emotionally it was always conveyed from narrative distance.” – he contunues. “With inosuke, at least for this first record, I tried to be as transparent as I can while still retaining some poetry but it’s very much my voice and my life.”
Asked about the full track by track commentary, Jason gave us a brief and insightful rundown:
The album’s visual narrative, crafted by Sean Leary of Loma Prieta, mirrors the moody, introspective themes of the music. The imagery, a reflection of the album’s essence, adds another layer of depth to ‘inosuke’s debut.
In a year overflowing with remarkable releases in the screamo genre, Jason highlights a few that resonate with him.
“There was a ridiculous amount of music released this year, I try to keep up with new stuff but sometimes there’s too much to listen to! I’ll list some favorites.”
Massa Nera – Derramar Querer Borrar
“This band is just getting better and better. This album is unique and creative and well thought out. I’ve seen them twice now and they are great live as well as really nice people.”
See the influences behind the album HERE.
Celeste – Epilogue(s)
Celeste are one of the best bands in heavy music and I really like the more melodic direction they are doing in this EP as well as the record from last year.
Ostraca – Disaster
“Locktender was winding down as Ostraca was coming up so we never crossed paths but I’ve been listening and I think this is my favorite release of theirs so far. The elevated production quality really shows how heavy they can be. I think we may get a chance to play with them next year which is exciting.”
New Forms – As Dust Collects
“I love the immediacy and fury of this record, it drives really hard and fast and accomplishes a lot in a short amount of time.”
Chalk Hands – Don’t Think About Death
This is a 2022 release but it’s been on heavy rotation for me and I think one of the best new screamo records. Fantastic song writing and sound and very memorable and unique.
“There’s more I’m missing and lots of stuff that’s awesome and I need to dig into more like the new Loma Prieta, Øjne, Capsule and Jerome’s Dream. There were some great post-rock releases too like Eluvium and Explosions in the Sky. I think 2024 is also gonna be a crazy music year and I already have a bunch of music I can’t wait to hear.”