Guitarist Brian Kemsley (Outbreak) and drummer James Philips (Sea Haven, Final Fight) wrote 6 songs in November 2021 before recruiting bassist Cornell Ward and vocalist Chad Leddy for the recording of their EP Perpetuate this past summer. When its members aren’t providing public services in New York City (Chad working as an NYFD firefighter, Brian Kemsley stopping kidnappers), Roll Call is making fresh and uncompromising New York hardcore that you absolutely can’t miss.
With its first signing in a couple years, Bridge Nine has shared the band’s debut tracks through streaming services and a special cassette tape release (HERE). The 12″ EP version will follow in 2023, and today we’re thrilled to give you some more details about the project, its backgrounds and its lyrical content, shared by guitarist Brian Kemsley.
Roll Call will be playing their first show in Brooklyn on October 26th to celebrate the digital release of their album.
“The band is from New York City. Chad (vocals), Cornell (bass) and I all moved here within a year of each other in 2009.” – comments Brian.
“I had just quit Gravemaker at the time, and relocated to the east coast to play in Outbreak. James (drums) finally moved his ass up here a few years ago. Now thinking about it, I find it kinda funny that we’re all in a band together right now. Chad’s old band and Gravemaker toured together in the late 2000s, he also roadied for Outbreak. I was (still am) a big fan of James’ old band, Final Fight.”
“Lyrics from that band were written on the walls of my apartment with permanent marker.back in the day. Cornell and I are both in the Muaythai scene here in NYC. Our first few years of friendship was based more around that than our love for hardcore. So we all had this connection with each other through the years and it took a pandemic for us to realize we wanted to do a band. And here we are.”
“During the pandemic, I was trying my best to stay busy, so I busted out the guitar and started writing again. I think in times of desperation, or during periods of my life where I’m yearning for more, it’s much easier to create, to write.”
“From a lyrical standpoint, this album addresses our distaste for religion (“Target on my back, label me an extremist, while your brothers burn crosses in the name of Jesus.”), the fact that our society prioritizes law and order over justice (“You want order, order over justice. Fuck your creed, fuck your blue allegience.”), and questioning whether participating in society really just means perpetuating all things bad.”
“What’s worse, being ignorant to the fact that we are easily persuaded into consuming all things new marketed to the masses with the money we make from a job that contributes nothing of worth nor substance to this world, OR, knowing full well that’s what we’re doing but choosing to participate anyways (“Huddle up behind closed doors and define our wants and needs. We won’t question anything, we’ll feed your greed if youre the hand that feeds.”). By the way, spoiler alert, we do not come to a conclusion in regards to this issue by the end of the record… The search for truth continues.”
“Thanks for letting us share some thoughts. We appreciate everyone’s time. If you’re into collectibles, pre-orders for our EP in cassette is currently up on bridge9.com. Vinyl to come in 2023.” – concludes Brian.