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Melodic hardcore vets FREEWILL release new split with youth crew sXe act ZERO EIGHT ONE; new song streaming!

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You can trace FREEWILL from California back to mid and late 80s, sharing the stage with Youth Of Today, Agnostic Front, No For An Answer, Reason To Believe, etc. On their brand new split with Italian straight edge hardcore punks ZERO EIGHT ONE, they offer 2 brand new songs reminiscent  of Wig Out era Dag Nasty or early Farside with a modern touch. Today, we’re thrilled to give you their tuneful new track “Letting Go”, along with a bunch of details about their work and 

Two bands from two different west coasts share this 7″. FREEWILL (ex-members of Outspoken, Strife, A-18, Done Dying), who hail from California, started out in mid 80s and, after a 1987 demo, they recorded an album for Wishingwell Records (ran by Uniform Choice members). Just as the test pressing was made, the label folded and the record never came out until a few years later Lost & Found records bought the rights and released it. The band had already split up by then. Some years ago they reunited and started putting music out again. melodic hardcore punk in the vein of mid period Dag Nasty, Farside, Sensefield, Shades Apart, etc.

Zero Eight One who come from Naples have an album out on Irish Voodoo records in California as well as a split 7″ with Spirits on Goodwill and soon another 7″. Three oldschool HC tracks in the vein of Betrayed, Insted, Battery, Sinking Ships, Ignite and Youth Of Today.

Freewill hardcore

The cover features amazing artwork by Bill Hauser (Antiseen, Our Turn, In Defence, Energy, Open Wounds,…).

“The Adventures Of Johnny Six” split 7” ships on 10.09.2020 via Goodwill Records and New Age Records.

Freewill by Evan Cranston
Freewill by Evan Cranston

Freewill formed in mid 1987 when friends came together to share their love for playing music. The bands first show came opening for Agnostic Front, the Offspring & No For An Answer in 1988. A recording date was set and between numerous local shows, a demo tape was recorded. The band began traveling to Arizona with their friends in Instead as well as northern California shows with Uniform Choice. It was a round this time, the bands was approached by Wishingwell Records owner Pat Dubar about the band signing to the label.

The band had heard Dag Nasty’s “Field Day” record and loved the sound of the studio and booked recording time enlisting the services of engineer/producer Bill Krodel (Inside Out, Chain of Strength, Reason to Believe). Once the recording was finished the band turned in the master tapes to Dubar & partner Patrick Longre awaiting the release date of the album.

In 1989, after receiving test pressings for the record, from what was explained to the band in bits and pieces, Dubar and Longre got into an argument about something label related and ended up dissolving Wishingwell Records prior to the Freewill album being released. The band was under assumption that there were two other bands also in the “test pressing phase” who’s records were also abandoned during the dissolving of the company as well as Bold leaving Wishingwell around that same time.

Freewill band

Shortly after the band parted ways with bass player Mike Hartsfield and changed their name to Stonetelling. The band rerecorded and remixed parts on the Freewill LP and released the record on Network Sound records. By the time of the release, the members were all involved in different music projects and going their own directions.

The original Freewill LP in the test pressing stage had been sitting for years until Dubar in the midst of a cash grab, took the original reels along with other Wishingwell alumni, sold off the rights to some of the labels releases to Lost & Found records in Europe. The record was then released on cd without the consent of the band containing a layout including images the band had never event seen before.

Fast forward to 2015. All 4 original members begin chatting and talking about the idea of playing again. Around that same time, the idea for finally having an authorized version of the original recording to see the light of day. The band, the now pretty spread out around southern and central California began prancing in Reseda CA regularly. The Freewill “Sun Return” LP was released on New Age Records in the Spring of 2016, 28 years after it was recorded. Around the same time, the original demo also recorded in 1988 was released as a self titled 7” through Mankind Records.

Close & dear friend of the band, Jon Bunch passed away in early 2016 and the band played together for the first time in 27 years at a memorial show in his honor. Freewill began writing new material shortly after and are currently recording demo versions of new songs in 2020.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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