Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bitter End Interview

This one appeared in the final issue of TheSharpEndZine.  It was written around the time that the bands debut LP 'Climate Of Fear' was released I believe. After all was said and done, I don't think that the band was really able live up to all the hype that was generated around that album. This years latest 7" is far superior in every aspect, and I hope that they continue in a similar direction with future material.

Something that I have noticed down here in Aus, is that hardcore has without any doubt really picked up momentum in the last 4 years. Is it the same there is the states? Are shows getting bigger? Or has it always been the same? How would you say hardcore is different now as opposed to maybe a decade ago? Were you involved that long ago?

I am only 22, and my first “hardcore” show was Sick Of It All in October of 1999. As far as real hardcore goes, I think it has gotten a little bigger, but when I watch videos from shows in the late 1990s the turnout seems about the same. The difference now is there are a lot of bands like Bury Your Dead and Hatebreed who have some roots in hardcore, but their fans don’t really go to the smaller shows. Of course you there are some kids who start out listening to the bigger bands and eventually find out about underground hardcore scene that isn’t quite on the radar of your normal heavy music fan. . For better or worse, hardcore has become more mainstream than it was 10 years ago. I’m sure it is the same in Australia. When I was younger I don’t ever remembering hearing about hardcore bands in Australia, but now there seems to be quite a few. 

What is it like growing up in an environment with such a rich and extensive history? So many influential bands have come out of that country.

Even though I live in the United States, growing up in Texas is a little different than growing up in New York City, Boston, or Philadelphia, but I still live in the United States so I am sure I get to see a lot more bands than kids in Australia get to. I think no matter where you live, you are going to wish you could live somewhere else for a little while just to experience what that place has to offer. I would love to have seen some of the awesome Australian bands from the 1980s like Massappeal, Death Sentence, or Vicious Circle. I don’t know how in touch Australian kids are with their history, but if you haven’t done so, check out the bands I just mentioned. 

So many good bands seem to be coming out of the US as of late, but with that comes plenty of shit. It’s almost as if you can do a band and get a demo out, you can get signed and do an Ep. Where do you feel that Bitter End fits in amongst the scene, good and bad?

The United States has a lot of good bands, but there are a TON of terrible and cheesy hardcore bands too. Luckily we have been able to make friends and do some tours with bands I consider to be some of the better hardcore bands the United States has to offer. Shipwreck, Bracewar, Blacklisted, Have Heart, Down To Nothing, The Mongoloids, Reign Supreme, Meltdown, Violation, War Hungry, Iron Age, etc… are some of our favorite bands and playing shows with bands like those keeps me excited about hardcore. It is real easy to get bummed out on some of the dumb bands/kids in the United States hardcore scene if you pay attention to that stuff.

Do you feel that any band putting out an Ep or something is worthy of said release? If you know what I mean? Do you believe that the scene is flooded with a lot of unnecessary bullshit?

One of the best things about hardcore/punk is diy ethics, and any band can get together a record, and put out a demo/7”/Lp or whatever. Of course with the ability for any band or person to start a label and release something, unfortunately you are going to have a lot of unnecessary bullshit getting released. On tour I’ve seen some great bands, but I’ve also come across a lot of unknown bands who have put out one demo, and want to do a United States tour. That is fine if people actually care about your band, but a lot of time these bands aren’t very good and no one likes them yet they feel the need to book a U.S. tour after only being a band for 6 months.

The new album was released on CD format by Malfunction/Deathwish, and the wax version on Blacklisted bass dude, Dave’s label Six Feet Under Records. Why use Dave to press the wax?

When we were in the process for writing “Climate of Fear” Tru who used to run Malfunction decided he was going to let Dave do the vinyl for all the upcoming Malfunction releases. Dave is a friend of mine, and does a good job with his label so we didn’t mind at all. 

Will you guys be sticking around with Deathwish for future releases? With pretty much every band they do these days, they press the wax. As far off as it may be, can you see that happening with Bitter End?

I can’t say at this point what is in the future label wise, right now we are happy with Deathwish, but have no contractual obligations for another record. I doubt we will be leaving Deathwish/Malfunction anytime soon unless we get some insane offer from someone else. The vinyl for “Climate of Fear” was already at the pressing plant when Deathwish bought Malfunction so they never had the opportunity to press the vinyl. 

A general course that I see a lot of bands taking these days is to release the demo, and maybe throughout the life of the band maybe an LP, and at least one split 7”. Ever see Bitter End doing a split with anyone? If so who would you love to do a split record with? I think Iron Age would be perfect?!

We don’t have any plans to do a split 7” anytime soon, but who knows? A split with Iron Age would probably be pretty cool. To be honest, I doubt we will ever release a split 7”, but as they say, never say never. 

And with that said, what older hardcore band, from any time before 1990 would you love to get to do a split with?

The best band of all time: Cro Mags.

So yeah, I know quite well that BE do have quite a loyal following dow here in Aus. Does it surprise you at all to know that there is a fan base for the band this far away?

I had no idea that we had a good amount of people in Australia that like Bitter End. You would know better than I would if what you are saying is true, so I believe you. It is crazy to think that someone so far away listens to Bitter End. Hopefully we can play shows in Australia someday.

So what is in the immediate future for Bitter End?

Right now we are just playing some shows in Texas, and concentrating of some of our responsibilities at home. We will be doing the tours this winter I mentioned earlier in the interview. After that, I don’t know what will happen. If anyone wants to help us put together a tour of Australia, get in touch. or

And the more distant future?

I know we are going to Europe this summer, and after that we have no set plans. We are going to do the band as long as it is fun and worthwhile. Maybe we’ll break up in 6 months; maybe we’ll still be touring in 2020. Time will tell.

Any thanks etc?

Thank you for caring enough to send over these questions, and if anyone in Australia actually likes Bitter End that is awesome. Shipwreck has a record coming out at the end of the month called Abyss. If you can find it in Australia, be sure and get a copy. The album is incredible.

1 comment:

Lucky U said...

Nice interview, thanks for typing it up.