Featuring current and former members of Cutting Through, Blue Monday, Dying For It, and XCauterizeX, Portland straight edge hardcore band ENACT draws influence from 80’s hardcore such as Youth of Today and Bold and blend it with more melodic elements found in bands like Supertouch and Turning Point. Integral to their sound are Rikki’s lyrics, which are centered around her lived experience and identity as Chicana. One of their debut singles “Hear My Voice” tackles issues of representation within the hardcore scene, while the second track “Rose” is a lament for the loss of a loved one.
The 2 song promo was recorded by Jason McGhee (Dying Wish, WithxWar), mixed by Aaron Jamili (Berthold City, World Be Free) and mastered by Wyatt Oberholzer (Year of the Knife, Fixation, Ecostrike).
Enact believes that amplifying the voices of BIPOC is essential to hardcore and punk and is dedicated to the work of forging a safe and inclusive community. Having recently partnered with Andrew Kline’s WAR Records, Promo 2021 will be followed up with their debut full-length in 2022. Out now on all digital platforms with a limited edition cassette available through WAR Records.
We sat down with the band to dive a bit deeper into their craft, ideas their highlight through engaging and socially conscious lyrics, and give us an insider’s view of their local hardcore scene in Portland!
The band just announced their first show, slated for Decemebr 3rd alongside FAIM, CHANGE and PUNITIVE DAMAGE at MANO OCULTA (1420 SE Powell Blvd Portland, OR 97202) in Portland! Get your tickets HERE.
Tell us a bit more about your experience, memory and identity as Chicana and what led you to channel it and share your views through lyrics to a hardcord record?
Since I’ve been involved in the punk and hardcore scene, it’s always been predominantly white, so I always felt that my cultural identity and that subculture were always two separate parts of me.
In order to fit in best I adopted the same ideals as my white peers and that was always steeped in lots of privileges that I didn’t have, but was able to overlook for the sake of fitting in, and now that I’m older and have grown into my own self-acceptance, part of that is acknowledging my lived identity and experiences as a Chicana and not having that be a separate part of me.
I tried to align myself with whiteness as much as I could when I was a teenager, I now only realize that it was my own internalized racism that led me to feel like I was split in two. Since working through that I have been able to fully embrace my identity and mi gente. My own unique lived experiences are different from others and in order for me to live into who I really am, it’s just natural for me to share that in every facet of my life, including music.
What do you want listeners to take away from your lyrics?
Hear My Voice is a call to action for representation within hardcore. The result of that would be more diverse show and fest lineups and record label rosters. Underrepresented folks’ chances of being able to start a band, let alone being provided with an opportunity to share the message of that band on the same level as a band of all men, or exclusively white folks is low.
Rose was written for me as a way to process the grief of my Nana passing from COVID this year. She lived for 94 years and I got to experience one third of that, which was not nearly enough. This was my best attempt to capture those feelings.
On a positive note, what are some of the things that brought you the most joy to write about?
My family brings me the most joy. It felt really cathartic to be able to share something so personal to me, which are the lyrics to Rose. Even though this question is about what brings me joy to write about, and those lyrics are so sad, it was still joyful to be able to share my feelings about losing someone I’ve loved so deeply. On the other side of that is also writing about my son, Igby. He motivates me to be better and that really comes through in my lyric writing for Enact. It’s not just about me and living in my head anymore. I’m inspired by my family—the ones that have passed and the ones who are growing. I’m really just trying to find joy in the natural ebbs and flow of life.
ENACT is a new offering to the hardcore scene in Portland. What other bands and new initiatives from the community would you recommend for us to check out?
Moonkisser – loud, dreamy Quicksand inspired post-hardcore:
Blu Blaz – mosh heavy anarcho straight edge:
Furnace – sad emo jams, featuring members of WithxWar:
Dry Socket – fast hardcore with a socio political lens
- Portland Mutual Aid
- Don’t Shoot PDX (black-led social justice organization that uses art, education, and community engagement to create social change)
- Free Lunch Collective (anarchist mutual aid collective that provides food to the houseless community)
- Stroll PDX (mutual aid community providing education and resources by and for sex workers)
- Snack Bloc (community resource that provides support for rallies, protests, vigils)
Great, thanks! So what are your next steps? Can we expect some more tracks later this year?
We will be releasing our debut LP with WAR Records sometime in 2022. It’s hard to say when exactly that will be with the global vinyl crisis, but we are really looking forward to sharing this new batch of tracks with everybody. From top to bottom, it’s a record that we’re really proud of. From the lyrics, to the songwriting, and the incredible artwork, we hope that the passion and excitement we have for this band will be well received and will resonate with listeners.
Awesome. How about live shows?
Our first show is scheduled for December 3, 2021 with FAIM, Change, and Punitive Damage. We are really looking forward to this awesome time with friends and are blown away to be on such a stacked bill for our first show! Here’s the flyer – see below.
We are currently planning a weekend of shows in Southern California in February 2022 with our label mates, Bent Blue from San Diego, CA. Hoping to visit some other spots in the Pacific Northwest at the start of the year as well. Navigating the logistics of touring in the age of COVID-19 and with three of us being new parents has presented a unique set of challenges. That being said, we are thrilled to be able to play these songs live for people.