Strike Hard Interview

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XQk74D2yThis past weekend, I sat down with Joe T., Joe M., Ray and Chauncey from Strike Hard, a melodic hardcore band from Stratford, CT. We were hanging out in their van outside of a show in Milford, avoiding mosquitoes, gnats and scene girls, and breathing deep the van farts.

Ray: Yo, crack the winders.

Let’s start this off by talking about your new album. You recorded it with Eric from Vanna, how was it working with him?

Joe M.: It was pretty great. He’s definitely the nicest dude ever. He’s a great drummer, he banged out the drum tracks in a few hours.

You did two cover songs for the album. For the Deftones cover, you had Joel from Vanna come sing on it. How was working with him?

Chauncey: He recorded it at his own studio.

Joe M.: Yeah, we sent him the track and I think he did a great job. The internet seemed to hate it a lot.

Chancey: We had some people back it, though, saying how it’s their favorite Deftones song and that covers aren’t supposed to be the exact same thing as the original. It was good.

Joe T.: Either way, Joel killed it and he was really nice, too. Those dudes were the nicest guys.

unnamedYou guys have had some member changes and definitely some sound changes since OG Strike Hard. How do you think you’ve changed and is it where you want to be musically?

Joe M.: OG Strike Hard was butt.

Joe T.: Our old shit was bad; it was like a mix of recon and a full toilet [laughs].

Joe M.: I think we were at a spot where we were progressively heading. Our last album, we sped it up a little, it was a little more melodic. Then on this record, it’s a lot faster and way more melodic.

Chauncey: Yeah, there’s a lot more melody on this CD.

Joe T.: What we’re aiming for is a mix of all the dfferent styles of hardcore, melodic hardcore. There’s some beatdown in there. It’s really fast paced, really energetic.

Joe M.: Now that we have Chauncey in the band, it just made everything fit better. Our last vocalist didn’t give a shit at the end. We didn’t want to kick him out, but we had to. He wasn’t going to quit because he’s a nice guy, but we had to.

Chauncey: We’re definitely heading in the right direction. It’s something that we can even continue on into the next CD. Right after I joined, our other guitarist quit.

Joe M.: In a really shitty way, right before we went into the studio.

Chauncey: Yeah, so Joe T. recorded all the guitars. Then right after we finished recording, Ray joined. You can’t see by audio, but he’s black.

Ray: Yee-up.

Chauncey: So, naturally, he has a good singing voice, so we have him singing on some tracks.

Joe M.: That’s where all the hardcore kids might be like, “fuck this band.”

Chauncey: But you can’t help but evolve. You can’t stay the same forever. We’d be lying to ourselves if we tried. No one’s going to want to hear or buy the next CD if it’s the same.

Joe M.: No one wanted to buy the last CD!

Chauncey: Well, this one they’re going to want to buy.

Joe M.: Good, because we’re still sitting on a bunch of the old CD. I’m going to start throwing them at people.

No merch deals? Buy two shirts, get a CD free?

Joe M.: Hell, buy one shirt – no, just take the CD! Come look at our merch, get a free CD.

So, Chauncey, I heard you were trying to break into the hip-hop world and now you’re back in the hardcore scene?

Chauncey: What it was, after my last band, Hoods Up, broke up, I needed a break from everything for awhile. Get away from the drama but keep doing music. So fuck it, I built a studio and recorded a CD. I did a couple shows, it was fun, but it really wasn’t something I wanted to do. After that, I felt like it was time to get back into this shit, try a few different things until I heard Strike Hard needed a singer and here we are.

Joe M.: Yeah, sitting in a van, shitting ourselves.

Ray: Shitting our pants.

Joe T.: I would, but I’m sitting the wrong way.

Anything else you want to say to our readers?

Joe M.: If you haven’t heard us, give us a chance. If you like us, come down to shows. Buy some merch. Help support our record.

Ray: Yeah, come hang out. We’re cool guys.

Joe T.: I’ll keep playing music ‘til the day I die as long as people still come out to shows and hang out, tell us what they think. That’s what makes it worth it.

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Strike Hard Bandcamp



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