Out of the simmering cauldron of sonic ferocity of Toronto’s heavy scene, arrives the latest blistering release from CHOICES MADE. Reason for Conflict adds four new tracks of equally hard-hitting and calculated hardcore to their anthology that will be sure to make you want to scream along and ask for more!
Josh – the man behind the distinct and memorable voice at the forefront of the Choices Made sound and the cradle of the band’s lyrical narrative infused with an unrelentingly positive message of hope, guides us through the band’s history and the new tracks.
How did Choices Made come together?
Like many bands these days, the lineup came to be via Craigslist. How else could you manage to pull a South African, an American, a Portuguese and an out of shape Canadian into a room together to create something so wonderful? It has been a core solid group that started off with Steve and Andrew even before I joined. Mike was our second drummer, but when he joined, we just knew he was the perfect fit.
What can people expect from Choices Made?
“The Choices Made sound is often compared to that ‘tough guy’ New York hardcore sound. But let me tell you, my cat would beg to differ. We all sort of have mutually agree on influences like – Sick of it All and Good Riddance for that heavy, short, fast energy we give every time we hit the stage or even the jam space.”
“From a vocal standpoint, I draw from Kid Dynamite and The Bronx. I love trying to give the music a bit more melody in our vocals and I would like to think that is what helps cement our sound. But it really is everything we bring together as a group.”
What is the Choices Made name about? Any specific meaning behind it?
Honestly, no major meaning behind this name. It was between two names… HEADS! You Lose. Which I definitely still love till this day, and Choices Made. We just felt like Choices Made would be easier to work with, easy to say, easy to remember, so that was that. Hopefully we made the right choice 😉
You recently dropped a 7’’ called Reason for Conflict – can you tell me about your new release?
This release showcases the best of what we have to offer. These were our first new songs when Mike joined on drums, we had been a band long enough to understand each other more and how we operate, and we worked at our own pace recording it ourselves to make sure the songs were as solid as we wanted them to be. I think for anyone hearing us for the first time, this record best represents what we are all about and what we are going to give lyrically and passionately.
We got it mixed and mastered by Steve Rizun at Drive Studios and Al Nolan of Almighty Trigger Happy was impressed enough to want to release it on his new Toronto label Cursed Blessings Records. So, I would say the word Proud is something we feel about it when this is all said and done.
I am quite interested in how the creative process works for bands… How does it work for you guys? Is it a team approach? Do you have different members focus on certain tracks or parts of individual tracks?
In all honesty, our guitar player Steve is a writing machine. We all contribute, Andrew has written a few songs, myself included too, but Steve keeps us busy throwing new songs our way every chance he gets. He also encourages us to make changes to anything he sends our way, though we are usually pretty satisfied with the result presented forward. I think when we start to put our focus on a full length, it will open up even more to a full collaboration. But there is no one person leading the charge, we all throw in our own little flavours.
Aside from getting on stage as soon as possible, do you have any concrete plans for the rest of this year? Anything we can look forward to?
Our focus really is going to be just about keeping ourselves as active as possible. Demoing new songs, focusing on the future, promoting this album, possibly recording a live set to stream for the few who would catch it. We do this band for the love of music. It sucks being a musician and feeling like you are being kept away from your passion. If a hundred people are listening or even just 1… it is Woodstock in the jam room whenever we pick up our instruments and blast through a 30-minute set.
Can you walk us through the four new tracks on the new release? What inspired you to write the lyrics? Is there a specific message behind them?
REASON FOR CONFLICT:
In my youth I was so proud to be an individual. I loved being my own person and I loved standing up for what I felt was right. These days my focus is more on, why are we creating even more divide? Why are we trying to separate ourselves and define ourselves? Be proud of the individual you are, believe in what YOU want to believe, stand up for what you believe is right, but try to find that compassion, that empathy and that ability to remember we are all human and we are all just trying to be happy. I often find that even I need to remind myself sometimes. So that is what this song is about.
Do you take more than you need? Or do you live modestly within your means? Greed is a slippery slope from desire. Most people can walk a fine line without tipping too far over the scale. I truly try to be optimistic and say that there is always a chance for redemption. But more often then not, for the ones that fall off, there is no turning back. I’ve seen it in people I used to know, and you see it all over the world.
DON’T WASTE MY TIME:
This is a pretty straight forward song about falling out of step with a friend. Learning the truth about who the person they really is and wanting to distance yourself from the pain. We all deal with things a certain way. This is just my feelings.
This song is just about trying to hold on and stay strong. Life is not always easy, and there will be plenty of times that it will remind us about it. But if we can take everything we have fought through and persevered even in the darkest times, there is no telling what we can accomplish. That fight and passion deep inside should never be ignored or repressed. Let it out and let it take over.