Trial are one of my favourite bands. Though they were short lived, their music and message was like a kick in the dick, only better. Check this out if you don’t believe me. That outro is one of the best ever. Period. Anyway, I'm not here to talk about them. Greg has a new ball-tearing project called Bystander (who’s new release you can cop here ).
If you dig hardcore like Bane, Battery, Trial etc then you need Bystander in your life. If you want to check out Trial, the only think that’s in print is this. It’s all good, so check them out if you are unfamiliar with them. They had an EP out on New Age too, which is included in that compilation.
If you had to introduce aliens to music with only five records, what do you choose?
Everyone would have such different answers to this. But if it was up to me. 1. Johann Sebastian Bach, "Cello Suites", the Pierre Fournier recordings (many will say that the Pablo Casale’s recordings are better, but these people hate both happiness and music). 2. Pink Floyd “Dark Side of the Moon” LP. 3. Metallica “Master of Puppets” LP. 4. Lou Reed “New York” LP. 5. Youth of Today “Disengage” EP. God I seem to have lost my mind with this list but taking a second look at it, its pretty great. If I was from the planet Xgieiowo:4/Pp, I would be overjoyed if someone handed me these records. Their sounds would fill all seven of my ears with extreme joy.
You guys have been around the scene in various bands, including one of my favourite bands - Trial, for years. "Where Did We Go Wrong?" has that older HC vibe (like Battery, Carry On, Trial, obviously) but sounds way fresher than a lot of the newer bands trying to cop that sound. Was it a natural process or a concerted effort to recreate that whole vibe?
I think the guys in the band really captured that vibe well in writing the music and also inserted aspects of other influences too. The song “The Distance” on the new record for example sort of comes out of nowhere with a radio rock feel. Before it had a name I referred to it as “The Offspring song”. I love a record which has different elements to it. If it only sounded like members’ previous bands, we wouldn’t have made any progress or offered anything new to the world. I think art needs to create more life and in doing so, as it inspires artists, pushes them to create more art that in turn pushes boundaries, even if its just a little. If it doesn’t, then the new music is just mimicry and no one needs that. Hardcore has enough sameness already and new boundaries helps to keep things interesting.
Are there any bands, past or present that you think have not got the recognition they deserve?
There’s a band called Brutally Familiar from Connecticut which was made up of friends of mine from older Connecticut bands…and they were bizarre and excellent and I always knew they wouldnt get very far being weird, but always wished that they did. Before they got good, I played on their demo back when I considered myself a drummer. Another band who has never gotten their due, even after playing 5000 shows all over the planet is Die Young. They sounds like Catharsis but can deadlift more weight in the gym. I also wish Code of Honor, the old school punk band, was more widely known. Their LP “Beware The Savage Jaw” was immensely inspiring for me. That’s another VERY weird record. I like weird.
As far as influences go, what are your main ones? (collectively or separately)
I am influenced by: vegan food, genuinely kind people, the Italian sculptor Bernini, and anyone who creates with passion. When it all comes down, life is about creativity. And those who think as creative revolutionaries, whether as sculptors, singers, graffiti artists (BTM!), dancers, or literally any example of human expression inspire me to keep altering the world as best I can for the better.
What's next for Bystander?
We have a split LP coming out this winter with a band called Old Ghosts on State of Mind Records. Its going to be limited to 100 copies only with all profits going to support One Hundred For Haiti (www.onehundredforhaiti.org) and our efforts to build roofs on rural houses in Haiti. After that: probably more EP’s and tours, and hopefully interaction with our new alien friends with whom we will be listening to Bach and Metallica. People should get in touch! Write us on instagram anytime. @xbystanderx