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HUMAN ISSUE (members of The Adolescents, Dwarves, Corrupted Youth, Christian Death, Decent Criminal, and more) discuss punk collective concept, share new music

Photo by Becky Digiglio
HUMAN ISSUE’s first offering ‘Faceless.Nameless’ is raw and impactful; guttural vocals deliver lyrics that resonate, backed by fast, punchy riffs that make this debut hard to ignore. Drawing inspiration from fast-paced punk and hardcore, expressing an accumulation of pent-up frustration and anger, this release is honest, gritty and gripping.

In its infancy, Human Issue was a solo project with Martinez utilizing his strength on drums and challenging himself vocally. As time went on the project evolved and formed into a concept of artist collaboration, each making their mark on the tracks, becoming a collective and complimenting each other’s contribution.

This concept gives the project fluidity, each release going forward will feature different artists lending their talents as well as returning guests. This approach puts everyone involved front and center, delivering from their core.

Faceless.Nameless EP features; Crow Jane – Vocals (Egrets Of Ergot, Prissy Whip, Dead Beats 77’); Hunter Martinez – Drums, Vocals, Rhythm Guitars, lyrics (Decent Criminal, Dwarves, Slaughterboys; Rikk Agnew – Lead Guitars (Detours, Adolescents, Christian Death); Tristan Martinez – Bass (Violation, Decent Criminal); Bryan Lothian- Vocals (A Global Threat); Brian Gellman – Backup Vocals (Snag, M Section, Decent Criminal); Ricky Schmidt – Bass (Western Settings, Hey Chels);  Jacque Mendez – Piano, Vocals (Hey Chels); Raul Cuellar – Vocals/Producer (Corrupted Youth); Riff Cuellar – Backup Vocals, Producer (Corrupted Youth).

Faceless. Nameless. comes out February 18th via Rad Girlfriend Records.

Interview conducted by Josh Goldman of Rad Girlfriend Records. 

Who is in the Human Issue Music Collective and can you give a little background on how each member came to be in the band?

Well, there’s a bunch of different musicians playing on this EP. Nine total. This project started as the pandemic started. So, it’s one of those “quarantine projects.” I knew I wanted to record some songs I had written/ been working on and I had an idea of who I wanted to jam on the songs with me, but I didn’t really have a plan to bring this to a live setting until after we finished the recording sessions. Then it was like “Oh, ok I like how this came out. Let’s build an actual band”.

First, as I was writing pages of lyrics – I really wanted Heather Galipo’s opinion on what I had written. I knew if I were to start a new project, I wanted her to be a part of it. I have always been a fan of her other bands (Egrets On Ergot, Crow Jane, Prissy Whip).I showed up to her house with my notebook and opened up to her like she was Barbara Walters. I wanted to have more than one voice on these songs, and I had a feeling we’d mesh well on these songs by trading off vocal lines.

Then I went down the line of friends and people whose music I’ve been a fan of for years. Jacque Mendez( Hey Chels), Ricky Schmidt(Western Settings, Hey Chels), Raul Cuellar from Corrupted Youth(who also recorded and produced the EP) , Brian Gellman (Snag, M Section, Decent Criminal), My brother Tristan(Violation, Decent Criminal) and through mutual friends I got in touch with Rikk Agnew (one of my favorite guitar players of all time), and Bryan Lothian of A Global Threat. I’m happy these musicians wanted to record on this album. There’s a few pals who couldn’t make it happen.

Human Issue

Is the touring/live line up different from the line up on the record? If so, why?

Yes, it’s different. I don’t know if all of us who recorded parts on the album could make it all in one place at the same time haha. Even with the recordings, we all recorded from our separate homes/studios. Everyone has their own projects going on. I never really thought we’d take this to a live setting, but it’s been really fun playing live with this line up – Ryan Marino – Bass (Melted) Ricky Martinez – Guitar (Matt Caskitt and The Breaks) Bee Wright – Guitar (Smirk) Samson Mankinen (Melted) Crow Jane & I. But who knows, it could always change and I’m open to that. I’m just happy to play music with these people. Just like on the album – the people in the live band play in bands I am a fan of.

What is the ultimate goal of Human Issue Music Collective?

To exist. Everything else is the cherry on top.

The style of music is pretty different in terms of genre than some of the other bands that you play in. Was this something that you decided to do when you started the band or was it something that just happened when you started writing the songs?

It really came out naturally. Punk and hardcore were the first kind of styles of music I listened to growing up. Once I started writing, all these hardcore style songs kept coming. I’d wake up at 5am with songs like “Curtains” in my head. I’d drive to the studio immediately and start demoing the track. Drums, guitar and all. I don’t like long songs, I keep them all short. I like pop tunes and love a lot of different styles of music, but this stuff felt right. Plus it fit right with the lyrics I was writing.

Human Issue

You’ve got your debut EP called “Faceless. Nameless.” Coming out soon on Rad Girlfriend Records. Do you have plans for a full length? What’s next for Human Issue and when can we expect some new music?

Yeah of course, putting out a full length is ideal. I’m always writing, and I know others in the group are too. So I’m sure we will get that going soon. I had 12 songs ready for this release, but we kicked it down to these six songs for FACELESS.NAMELESS. Picking the songs we did – seemed most appropriate for an introduction for this band. We have a couple shows coming up in Southern California in February with Skull Crack and Overexposure. Planning on doing some East Coast dates in April as well.

Is there anything that you think people should know about the band or the record that we haven’t discussed?

This band is called a “collective” for a reason. Members will come and go, and all recordings will most likely have different musicians on it. I don’t wanna hold anyone to anything. If they can make it happen, then that’s great. It makes it interesting with each recording session.

The live show will always be a toss up too. Don’t get married to the idea that you’ll see the same people on the stage/the basement/the floor. I’d say this band is very “on the spot”.

Human Issue

I don’t like taking a lot of time on recordings or songs. I feel like in music, it should always be a natural thing. Whatever ideas come, just record it and don’t think about it. I think it’s an important thing to put out there. We aren’t perfect, we will never be perfect, and we are never gonna sit around trying to make something perfect if it’s not meant to be. People really trip on that sort of thing, and I think it’s a waste of time trying to fix mistakes. Mistakes are meant to be. And if this recording sounds perfect to you, then I had nothing to do with that.

I don’t wanna dig too far into the meaning of the lyrics and songs for FACELESS.NAMELESS. Because, I want to leave it up to interpretation for the listener. But, most songs touch on the feelings of Loss, Sadness, Mental and Physical abuse and personal growth getting out of these situations/feelings. Making a positive out of a negative I guess you’d say. Putting this out in the world for me, is something I feel positive about.

HUMAN ISSUE (members of The Adolescents, Dwarves, Corrupted Youth, Christian Death, Decent Criminal, and more) discuss punk collective concept, share new music
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