Interviews

Introducing: Chaotic hardcore experimentalists NECK FIRST!

I am delighted to give you more insights and first-hand information on one the brightest music discoveries this year. Baltmore’s NECK FIRST, the heroes behind the killer split with THE HEADS ARE ZEROS, and one of the most interesting progressive hardcore acts to look out this year, sat down with IDIOTEQ to answer a few questions about the band, their future releases, and touring plans. Read the full chit-chat below.

Hey Sean! Thanks a lot for taking some time with IDIOTEQ. What’s up? How are you?

Karol, thanks for having me! I’m going to the post office today to mail the new record out, so I’m feeling great. The response to our new split has been wonderful!

No doubt! The record is amazing and I felt really privileged to have an opportunity to premiere the full stream for you guys. How did you team up with THE HEADS ARE ZEROS for this project?

We’re glad you like it! THE HEADS ARE ZEROS was recording their split with our vocalist, Matt, and we both mentioned that we had other songs that we wanted to put out, so we decided to do a split!

N FIRST

Your reviewers are having some serious problems with naming and labeling this vicious, chaotic energy you brought on this record. Can you tell us more about your writing process. How conscious is it and what are your goals in writing music?

Yea absolutely! Maybe the most important part of this record for us is our change in writing approach. Before, one of us would write a bunch of riffs and we would just stitch them together. But for the split, we determined our structure and individual goals of the tracks before writing the music so that every band member got an equal say, and even though that’s a much lengthier process, it’s incredibly rewarding when it comes to the end product.

Who or what influences you and your work with NECK FIRST?

If it wasn’t obvious, we’re big fans of the really loud, really fast, very complex side of music. THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, DAUGHTERS, and CONVERGE are the obvious ties but we are also influenced by ROBINSON, THE SAWTOOTH GRIN, ROBOTOSAURUS, and COMBATWOUNDEDVETERAN in that realm. Some of us also like weird contemporary music like KAYO DOT. We all really love all kinds of screamo, and I think that shows a bit. Krzysztof Penderecki is in there for me, who’s essentially the grindcore of classical music (and Polish too, right?).

That’s right, Sean. He established his reputation years ago and he’s really amazing. You got it right on the point with that grindcore comparison, haha! Pity I never got to see him performing live with my man Jonny Greenwood of RADIOHEAD.

Ok, but back to NECK FIRST… Lyrically, what are your main areas of interest in terms of themes and why do they appeal to you?

Matt Redenbo: A lot of the lyrics I write are very personal, but thematically many of the songs have been about loneliness, heartache, lies and deceit. The songs on the split, for instance, cover all of these themes. I’ve always been inspired by other bands and lyricists who write on a personal level that I can connect with so this kind of writing has always appealed to me simply because it’s honest and real.

NECK FIRST live band

Ok, so what are your recording plans? When will we get some new tracks from you guys?

We have some new songs that we’re going to play on our Spring Tour and then we’re going to write some more starting in April. You can expect a new record late 2015 or early 2016!

Oh yeah. You’ve booked a string of dates for this coming March. Tell us more about these shows, places, venues, and more stuff you’re looking forward to on this trek. How does it feel to be on the road?

We LOVE touring. It’s so much fun and always an incredible learning experience. We’re going to 10 spots between Baltimore and Miami in mid March and we’re very excited! We’ll be posting more on our facebook as more details become confirmed, but right now the most exciting thing is that we’re playing with Fero Lux in Miami and that’s going to be nuts!

How about Europe? Any chance to see you guys hitting our bumpy roads?

We would love to, but our presence feels pretty thin over there currently. But the eastern Europe extreme music scene is exploding right now, and it would be amazing to see it in person some day.

Ok, so you do pay attention to new hardcore acts. Are there some cool new artists you’d like to promote here? What European acts are you most excited for this year?

We’re really excited about CALVAIIRE, DIRTDRINKER, PLEBIAN GRANDSTAND, HIEROPHANT, REPUBLIC OF DREAMS and THE HOMELESS IS DEAD who are all maybe not new, but new to us haha.

Ok Sean, thanks a lot. Anything you’d like our readers to know about NECK FIRST?

We always set out to make music that isn’t very easy to listen to, so when people connect with that, we are incredibly grateful. We want to thank everyone that supports us: family, friends, bands, venues, and strangers from far away. We wouldn’t be able to do it without you!

Thanks so much! Bye!

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neckfirst@gmail.com
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