Established in 1987, the Californian band Freewill melds melodious punk with a hardcore sensibility. Today, they present their latest single, “The Weight,” which delves into the turmoil and sentiments associated with anxiety and depression.
The vibrant guitars and potent percussion collide with impassioned vocals to forge a dynamic punk anthem.
This song is drawn from the band’s forthcoming split with their Californian compatriots, Spark of Life, scheduled for release on New Age Records this summer and currently available for vinyl preorder. You can view the music video for “The Weight” here and discover the track on various streaming platforms.
Speaking on the lyrics, vocalist Paul Cranston states: “The year is 2023. Anxiety, Depression, and substance abuse are at all time highs. This, along with our addiction to social media, has propelled communities to a boiling point. All of this being evident in the societal ills we are witnessing on a daily basis. Is this the new normal? ‘The Weight’ attempts to address this.”
In 1987, a group of friends in Southern California established Freewill, a melodic punk band that fused their affection for DC hardcore, exemplified by Dag Nasty and Embrace, and West Coast punk, as embodied by 7 Seconds and Descendents.
Their inaugural performance was as the opening act for Agnostic Front and the Offspring in 1988. During this period, Wishingwell Records approached the band, leading to the recording of their debut album, engineered and produced by Bill Krodel, known for his work with Dag Nasty, Inside Out, and Chain of Strength. However, Wishingwell Records unexpectedly dissolved without much clarification, leaving the album unreleased. Soon afterward, the band members pursued distinct musical projects and paths.
In a serendipitous turn of events, the long-shelved record, titled Sun Return, saw the light of day in 2015 when it was released by New Age Records, a staggering 28 years after its initial recording.
The original members reconvened for a benefit performance in honor of their late friend Jon Bunch of Sense Field. This reunion rekindled their creative flame, inspiring them to compose new music and resume live performances, sharing the stage with bands such as Dag Nasty, Samiam, and Texas is the Reason. The fruits of their renewed creativity culminated in a brand-new album, All This Time, recorded under the expert guidance of producer and engineer Paul Miner and released on Unity Worldwide Records in 2021.
Since then, the band has continued to perform and create new material, collaborating once more with Paul Miner for two fresh tracks, “The Weight” and “As We Sleep,” featured on their upcoming split with Spark Of Life.
Freewill is composed of Paul Cranston on guitar and vocals, Mike Hartsfield on bass, Charlie Trujillo on drums, and Evan Cranston on guitar.