With the ambition to bring people together and share pain, love, and inspiration, Portland vocal-splitting raw hardcore / screamo trio PRETENDING stings and brims with the same ingenuity and lust for extremity that has informed the majority of your favorite classic blends of grindcore, hardcore and emoviolence. COming with an onslaught of the short, blistering cuts that the genre is known and praised for, PRETENDING serve a perfect treat for fans of raw, powerful and primal blasts from across a number of extreme punk and metal genres.
PRETENDING have been playing with their current line up since May, although the band has been active since 2019. “Changing up members is what really put us on our current trajectory.” – admits the band.
Touring wise, PRETENDING have already done two mini tours with a third coming before the end of year, and are planning a 3 week tour for this coming spring. All of their treks are self booked and the same thing goes with their merch.
“We have released a transitionary EP with 3 new songs played by our current line up, and one farewell song featuring our original bassist/guitarist.” – comments PRETENDING. “Promptly after that, we released a split with our grindier songs. All recorded at and released by Worm Town Tapes.”
Currently, the band is writing a new full length album which will be released next year.
“We are aiming to make a 41 minute banger which pushes ourselves musically and will also feature no left over works from previous eras. Truly and uniquely us.”
Since all three members share vocal duties equally and write together, we asked them to give us their take on breaking down the messages behind the music and the so popular ‘preaching’ among the hardcore scene. Starting with a political statement which evolves into their kind of a mission statement, their interesting take and thought-provoking commentary is available below.
Words by Tom Wyka and PRETENDING
There is a lot of dissonance in the world in the form of opposing ideologies and cultures.
We as citizens of the world, and the United States, obviously have our side of the fence. I have noticed that a lot of local bands love to shout their viewpoints and use their shows as a platform for preaching them. Most times very violently and aggressively. Which is fine, it is everyone’s freedom.
But I believe that this is ultimately fruitless, and actually rather foolish. Being in a punk band, we all obviously are extremely liberal and want the world to change to be in line with our views of freedom and prosperity. I of course do too. However, the echo chamber effect gets us nowhere, and scares off people in the middle wanting to be convinced to change their minds.
There is no point preaching to those you already agree with. This behavior is exactly as divisive. Coming out guns blazing is only going to make middle dwellers run away.
To my shock there is actually an anti-woke movement in existence. I don’t understand why anyone would be opposed to facing the truth about things, but people are. Every story I have read or been told in person, as to why someone would go in an anti woke direction, is because of the radical, obnoxious, and accusatory behaviors of “woke” people. There is a danger in this.
Human arrogance and pride is washing out the purity of what “woke” is supposed to mean and be about. It is a false high horse which is making some of us look down on those not like us and berating them. It is like trying to rescue a stray cat by yelling at it about what a nice life it could have if it listened and came with. This crude behavior is not truly being “woke” and it is not helpful.
As such, it should have no place in shows eithers. Put these things into your songs and let the music do the talking. That should be the point of our music.
𝑇𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑎𝑟𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑢𝑟 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑠.
As such, we in PRETENDING, don’t believe in virtue signaling and the culture around it.
Regardless of whether we agree or not. We are not politicians or public figures. We are musicians.
𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑐 𝑖𝑠 𝑎 𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑢𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝑟𝑒𝑔𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑙𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑢𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑜𝑟 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑐𝑒. 𝐼𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑡𝑜𝑛𝑒𝑠, 𝑚𝑒𝑙𝑜𝑑𝑖𝑒𝑠, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑟ℎ𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑚𝑠.
There are so many sources everyday trying to tell everyone what to think. Constantly putting up walls and barriers and establishing differences.
𝑊𝑒 𝑑𝑜𝑛’𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑎 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡. 𝑊𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑎𝑛 𝑒𝑠𝑐𝑎𝑝𝑒 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡. 𝑊𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑎 𝑢𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑐𝑒. 𝑊𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑎 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑐𝑒 𝑜𝑓 ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑚𝑜𝑛𝑦.
We want all people, especially those different from us, to resonate with us and understand that at some point, we all feel the same.
We have all felt the hurt, the sorrow, the disappointment, the forlorn, the loneliness, the anger, and on and on. All any person wants is to be loved and understood. But to do that, it requires effort.
When we start our shows, we tell people: “There are a lot of bad things happening in the world. People may hurt us every day. People we know and are close to. Strangers too. A lot of people we disagree with. Maybe people standing right next to you. But for the next 25 minutes we want you all to forget that. We want you all to be a part of us, a part of this experience together. Ignore all the bad and forget all the wrong. At least for the next 25 minutes. Because while we are PRETENDING, we want you to be PRETENDING too.”