Michigan based metallized, grinding hardcore act ASK released their recent EP “Severed Self” back in March, and today, with the American nation on the verge of a presidential election and and a bunch of crazy stuff going on in the world today, their message stays relevant to the social context. The anti-racist, pro-consent, pro-queer quartet have teamed up with us to give you a wider perspective on their project, the new EP, as well as their local music scene in Michigan.
“We’ve all played in bands for years and have known each other through the scene.” – comments the band. “We’ve been a band just shy of two years. It has turned out to be a good fit musically and personally.”
𝐴𝑆𝐾 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝐶𝑜𝑛𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑒 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑠ℎ𝑖𝑝 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑤𝑒’𝑣𝑒 𝑒𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑣𝑒𝑑 𝑛𝑖𝑐𝑒𝑙𝑦 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑎 ℎ𝑦𝑏𝑟𝑖𝑑 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑠𝑡𝑦𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑏𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑝𝑢𝑛𝑘, ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑙.
“We’re anti-racist, pro-gay, pro-consent. We aim to celebrate diversity in music and culture. We had a lot of fun stuff lined up during the spring and summer of 2020 which of course had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.”
Asked about their perspective on touring and live shows, they add: “We look forward to playing shows again when it’s safe and responsible to do so. Our main focus right now is practicing and writing an LP.”
The “Severed Self” EP
“We chose the name Severed Self for this EP because it fit well with the lyrical themes.” – explains the band.
𝑆𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑚𝑒𝑎𝑛 𝑑𝑦𝑠𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑝ℎ𝑖𝑎, 𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑖𝑛 𝑎𝑛 𝑢𝑛𝑏𝑎𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑑 𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑦, 𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑜-𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑜𝑚𝑖𝑐 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑙 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑡ℎ, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑎𝑐𝑐𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑆𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑦 𝑑𝑢𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐶𝑂𝑉𝐼𝐷 𝑝𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑚𝑖𝑐.
“On a more positive note it can mean severing yourself from harmful behavior, people, or situations which is an important part of personal growth. It was important to have social commentary in the lyrics as well. “An artist must disturb the peace” as James Baldwin says. We wanted to show growth as a band musically and lyrically from what we did previously.
We also took a little more time in the recording process. We worked with JC Griffin at Lakebottom recording house in Toledo, OH USA. We love JC and his cats.”
This is about standing your ground and following your own path through this systematic racist society. The clip is from the audio book ‘White Fragility’ by Robin DiAngelo and we felt it capped the song off nicely.
This song is about dealing with negative self worth and how it can be related to dealing with negative people in your life. Which then relates back to the lack of self worth.
This song is about dealing with any form of abuse and the anxiety that comes with.
This one deals with society’s downfall, prominently for people of color, and a general lack of empathy toward them but being able to appreciate life and push through. The audio clip is by Henry Rollins who reminds us to think positively even when all seems lost.
Michigan hardcore scene
“Pre COVID-19 the whole southeast Michigan scene was good. We’re a major U.S. city so we get international and national bands that come through regularly. Two of our favorite venues are the Trumbullplex (an anarchist collective formed in 1993) and The Sanctuary (which started out as a basement venue and is now a full fledged club). We’re lucky to have these two spots. There’s a slew of other venues, bars, basements that host bands as well.
Get inspired: Spotify recommendations, by ASK:
Extra: donation links worth checking out:
- Comp benefiting the movement for black lives
- Black Women and LGBTQ Healing & Arts Co-Op in Detroit
- Sphinx org celebrating diversity in music
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