New Heart Interview

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unnamedI had the chance to interview the vocalist of New Heart, Matt Green. Matt was one of the first people I met when I moved to Connecticut from Chicago. He is the person who took my love of punk music and showed me hardcore and straight edge. Since then, he has moved to Indiana and started a youth crew band that has been gaining ground in the scene.

What was your first hardcore show like?

Imagine just being super into rugby. Walking around every day in rugby gear, listening to old rugby tapes, genuinely investing in the game ’cause it’s the only thing that really makes sense to you. People think you’re really off for being that into anything, especially something most people don’t fully understand. Parents don’t like you around because of it, kids pick on you for it and most girls either avoid you or use you to rebel against their parents. Then one day you’re walking around town and meet someone with the same weird rugby infatuation and become instant friends. You find out there’s actually a local rugby scene with no tryouts or qualifications, and suddenly you feel less alone. Those rugby meetups end up becoming like home. That’s kind of what going to my first shows was like.

What have been the most influential albums for you over the years?

Ramones – Leave Home

Rancid – …And Out Come The Wolves

Gorilla Biscuits – S/T

Discharge – Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing

Aus Rotten – The Rotten Agenda

Youth of Today – Break Down the Walls

Have Heart – What Counts

Champion – Promises Kept

Dead Boys – Young, Loud and Snotty

The Clash – London Calling

The first Punk & Disorderly Comp

The Strength Thru Oi! Comp

Cock Sparrer – Shock Troops

XfilesX – Excruciation

unnamedYou recently moved from CT/PA to Indiana. What is the hardcore scene like in Indiana?

Given I’ve only been here for about three years, but I’ve found it really depends where you’re at in the state. South Bend has a lot of old straight edge dudes who start powerviolence and post rock bands at the same time. Marion and Ft. Wayne got a lot of beatdown stuff. I live in Indianapolis, which has a more punk/DIY oriented scene. Pretty much all the hardcore shows are. I’ll be a hundred percent honest and say our scene’s a little closed off to people they aren’t already friends with, and that frustrated me when I first moved here. It didn’t make much sense to me, and I found myself going to shows I wouldn’t normally enjoy musically because of the welcoming atmosphere at a time when I really needed support in a new city. I couldn’t keep myself from hardcore shows for long so I started going back a couple months later and never really stopped, people started to open up more eventually. In retrospect I completely understand why some of the people our scene are like that. About the time I came to town, a lot of kids who mostly listened to mallcore stuff started treating hardcore like trying out for varsity, and the kids who had been around for a while weren’t buying it. Either way I think our scene rules and consistently cracks out good bands.

How would you describe your band’s sound?

With the bands combined influences, we’re just an all around hardcore band. Some more youth crew sounding stuff, some more Oi influenced stuff, some D-Beat.

You just got back from your East Coast tour. How did that go and what was your favorite show from it?

It was awesome, we had a lot of fun playing with the two bands we shared the road with for that month. Blackhole (MO) quickly became some of our best friends, and Days of Struggle (Tijuana) are dudes we’ll never forget. Some opportunities we were given were very humbling, and pretty much every town is one we wanna play again. We got to play with a lot of awesome bands (Intent/Demolition/MethxDealer/Black X/Cheech/Modern Problems/Space Waste/Rebound were some). I think my two favorite shows were Blackhole’s tape release in Springfield, MO, the TiHC pre show with Shitlist and Days of Struggle.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

I know there’s real kids at these shows with real problems who need real love, and I need to rid myself of any expectations before I play a set. Prayer does that for me.

What advice would you give someone who is trying to get into hardcore?

Don’t expect a radically different environment than you’re used to in your every day life, and don’t expect to be loved immediately. Unity sounds great on paper, but unfortunately hardcore/punk is no longer a place you will indefinitely be embraced. A lot of kids go there looking for an escape from their painful family/school/social lives, and a lot of kids go there as an overflow of the places they already cause pain. It’s 2014 and the bullies and the kids who get bullied now go to the same shows. Don’t buy into what other people are doing there. If you want to to go to shows to be hip or cool, it’s better to stay home. It’s not too late to make changes, but know if you’re gonna stick around it’s gotta be for the love of the game.

When can we expect new music from New Heart?

We’re preparing to record an EP before 2014 is over.

Shout outs?

Blackhole, Days of Struggle, Social Damage, Indianapolis hardcore, Cincinnati hardcore, Louisville hardcore, Rebound, MethxDealer, Straight & Alert Records, React! Records, Strengthen What Remains, Unified Underground (Specifically Rochester, Louisville and Maryland), Take Hold Church

 



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