Exclusive

Introducing GUIDANCE, new UK band feat. members of REINFORCED, ABOLITION, VIOLENT REACTION and more

There’s no website, no Facebook profile and no streams not yet available from this band. I am truly honored to give you an exclusive first look into a new London straight edge hardcore band called GUIDANCE. This new pack featured members of lots of amazing punk bands, such as REINFORCED, ABOLITION, VIOLENT REACTION, xREPENTANCEx and a few more (dive into the interview below to learn more).

I caught up with Charlie and Oli for a chat about the break up of REINFORCED, what has built the foundation of GUIDANCE, their local scene, what’s important in hardcore and a lot more. Check it out.

Hey! Glad to have you here. Please shoot me some introduction to GUIDANCE. How do you guys formed? What inspired you to want to start this project?

Charlie:

GUIDANCE came from the ashes of REINFORCED. There were one or two member changes so we decided to just change the name and leave REINFORCED as a project.

Tell me more about it. Why did REINFORCED call it quits? 

Charlie:

The band originally started because I wanted to do a tape that sounded like JUDGE, so I wrote the songs and then went about trying to get a band together and it never really came about. By the time anything could happen, members had moved or gained commitments, so we started a new band which was only half of REINFORCED, as respect to the other members of REINFORCED we just changed the name.

Cool. I respect that move. Who’s in the band?

Charlie:

Me, Charlie on vocals, Oli on drums, Marco on guitar and Ben on bass.

Apart from REINFORCED, what other bands have you played in?

Oli:

I’m lucky enough to be involved in a few new projects mainly out of the London area, I drum in MANKIND, SOCIETYxSUCKERS and xREPENTANCEXx.

Charlie:

I play in ABOLITION, IRON CURTAIN, VIOLENT REACTION and now GUIDANCE.

Very nice set of bands, I’d say. [smiles]

Ok, you are readying your debut 7”, to be released this summer, right? How’s the work going? Who’s responsible for production and mixing duties?

Charlie:

Works going good. Production is much better this time and I think we are all really happy with how it’s come out.

Oli:

We were fortunate enough to go to Nottingham to record at “Stuck on name studios” Can’t say enough good things about Ian, he really knows his music. It’s exciting to be able to record with someone that knows how to really capture a band’s sound.

Who will be releasing this joint?

Charlie:

You’ll find out when it drops.

Ha! Sneaky! [smiles]

Have you played some warm-up shows already?

Oli: 

None so far, our first show is at Mongrel Festival up in Sheffield on the 11th May with some of the best bands UK has to offer. It should be a really good show, there’s a lot of work that has gone into the festival and I hope it shows on the day. We have a load of incredible bands playing, and have tried to extend the day to include food, a load of distros, and a few little added extras we’re trying to sort out.

What about the upcoming months? What are your touring plans?

Charlie:

Not really sure. I think we just spent the time concentrating on this seven inch, it was much less rushed then the reinforced demo.

Oli:

It would be nice to tour, but everyone in the band has pretty strong commitments to work or study that it’s hard to plan too far ahead. Taking it one step at a time, and as Charlie said, we’re pretty much focusing on getting this 7″ as good as possible before we move forward.

Do you find it somewhat liberating playing in this band? Why?

Oli:

I think with the approach we have tried to take with the band makes playing in it that much more rewarding. At the moment there’s a lot going on the UK. A lot of really, really good bands are cropping up. So to be able to be a part of this whole surge of new talent feels liberating that we’re contributing to a scene that’s strengthening band by band. It’s really satisfying to be able to play a style that isn’t really touched upon in the UK at the moment.

Charlie:

I find it quite liberating being able to express myself lyrically, that was one thing I didn’t feel great about with the REINFORCED demo was my lyrics, I spent so long writing guitars and bass riffs that I completely underplayed lyrics and rushed them. With GUIDANCE because Marcos such a good guitarist it allows me to spend less time writing riffs and more time thinking about what I want to say.

Ok, let’s go back to the beginning for a while. How did you get involved in the hardcore scene? Tell me about your rookie hardcore punk years, including gigs and bands that suck you in.

Charlie: 

My parents were punks, so I was listening to punk at a very very early age, RAMONES, PISTOLS, that kinda stuff. I was really into Trojan reggae and some OI and metal and allsorts. Then I kinda just stumbled across a few shows. One of them being JUSTICE, COLD WORLD, AGE OF KALI at the dome. Realized that this was for me. I never really felt like I properly belonged to a subculture before that moment and was kinda drifting between them. I couldn’t turn back since I found hardcore. It was like a religious experience.

Oli:

I can relate to Charlie’s experience of stumbling into hardcore. Nothing else really compared to the music. The lyrics, the way the vocals were delivered, the drums, the guitars. Basically everything about it had me hooked. I tried to go to shows as much as I could in my hometown. If it wasn’t for one of my best friends I wouldn’t be here now, and I can’t thank him enough.  This music means so much to me, I can’t express that.

In regards to bands and stuff “rookie years” so to speak, I can’t remember too much. I went to a lot of local shows, saw a variety of bands, and listened to everything b9 had to offer at that time.

What has changed since then? How did you and your local hardcore scene evolve?

Charlie:

When I first started knocking about there wasn’t really a straight edge scene in London. Now it’s probably the most productive straight edge scene in Europe. I think the UK scene has become much more together as well, things like Outbreak Fest have allowed for all the scenes to merge as one.

Oli: 

Since then I’ve become part of something bigger. I try to go to as many shows as possible, and since I’m a bit older, that extends outside of my local area. I’ve met a lot of people from all over the UK thanks to the fact I can travel more, and festivals such as Outbreak Fest, or big all dayers has allowed everyone to get to know each other and move in unison. To be part of one of the strongest scenes in Europe really pushes me to try and do more wherever I can.

Yup. There are so many great projects in London nowadays. How’s the straight edge hardcore scene in your city look like from your perspective?

Charlie:

It’s very strong, we get a lot of flak, doesn’t mean shit to us though. We have a lot of cool projects and bands coming out, kids are coming to shows, edge day is doing good. It’s really beautiful.

How long have you been sXe?

Charlie:

7 years

Oli:

2 years

How about zines? Any cool reads you’d like to recommend? 

Charlie:

Max Mitchell’s back of the bins is a masterpiece, law and order is good. Finishing move zine, Six Feet Under and Desant Zine from Poland.

Oli:

There’s some cool photography zines that are coming out like leeds 4, kids are shit, and my war to name a few.

What’s the Mongrel crew? [smiles]

Charlie:

A group of friends who do mongrel fest, nothing more nothing less.

What would you like to change in the hardcore scene?

Charlie:

Less of an internet presence, it’s embarrassing seeing everyone’s opinion. Unless you do something within hardcore your opinion is invalid to me. I also would like less of an ego in hardcore. You’re not a rock star and even if you were you have no right to use our scene to benefit yourself. You should be doing things because you love hardcore.

Oli:

I’d love to see people going out of their comfort zone. The internet is partially down to complacency to do anything. A lot of people are trying to big themselves up, or cause problems online. I guess people who want to do something may see this and feel disheartened. As soon as you realize that these people do nothing for the scene except cause problems, that’s when you can push yourself and do more. Start that band, record an LP, write that zine, start up a website that looks into the aesthetic of records. Do whatever you want, it all benefits us.  Just don’t take away from this culture by selling it off, or use it as a stepping stone to “bigger things”.

Such as?

Oli:

I mean, it’s really down to the integrity of the band or individual. There are hundreds and thousands of people, young and old who listen to this music. As individuals they all feel differently about this subculture, some may love the music, but hate the lyrics. Some may even love the friendship, but hate the pit. People take what they want from this whole thing. So for me to condemn people for doing something they may see as completely correct is wrong.

Personally, I would never try to profit off a band  for my own gain, or build a fan base as a band, then switch around styles and become the next pop sensation because I believe that I should stay true to the music, and do whatever I can to positively influence it.

 

Alright, GUIDANCE. Let’s wrap it up, shall we? Where will you be guiding your listeners? [smiles]

Oli:

Hopefully towards our influences; JUDGE, CHAIN OF STRENGTH, DRIFT AGAIN, 108.

Charlie: 

OUTSPOKEN, UNDERTOW, THIS WORLD REJECTED, SHELTER, AGAINST THE WALL, PITTBULL, ELEVEN THIRTY FOUR, TURNING POINT.

Oli:

We feel it’s really important to introduce these new bands to younger people attending shows and just getting into hardcore. They have played a big part in building our sound, and an even bigger part in helping us find ourselves as people. These bands as a collective touched upon pretty deep stuff in regards to personal issues or struggles, something that isn’t really talked about lyrically in the UK. Its cathartic and it can be put across to people who may be struggling with their own lives and need that guidance.

And don’t you feel sucked in because some of these bands’ members not sticking up to their early values? Some of the kids out there get really pissed off, you know? [smiles] It’s kind of funny, but I wonder what are your thoughts on that.

Oli:

Straight Edge is a very personal thing to me. It’s also a personal thing to others. If I grew up on the ideals of “true till death” or if chain got me into being edge and they pretty much pop up and say “WE ARE DOING REUNION SHOWS but we’re not a straight edge band” I’d be pretty pissed off.

Fact of the matter is, the music stays the same and so does the message.

Fair enough.

Thanks for your time, boys! Feel free to shout out or add whatever you want, guys. Cheers!

Shout out to European hardcore, Poland, Ratel Crew, INCITEMENT, LAST DAYZ, OUTBOUND, IRON TO GOLD, WATAHA. SIKE, BLUESBREAKER, OBSTRUCT, THE FLEX. There’s lots of cool shit local to you, don’t overlook it.

This music is alive because of the people in it and your own actions. Make sure those actions are nothing but positive towards hardcore.

Yup, big up for all of them! Good to know our scenes are really close to each other.

Take care!

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