Monday, March 29, 2010
Integrity & Holy Terror HC bands?
Question: Im wondering about this as I saw it noted in a coment about one of your questions, What did you think of The holy terror hardcore bands back in the day? I thought they would be your thing because of the japanease punk influence bands like Integrity, Ringworm, VVEGAS, GEHENNA and from manchester Rot In Hell. Im just curious to your opinion of that scene as i thought something influenced by SOB and GISM would be your thing. From:
Answer: There are a lot of bands and scenes around which barely flick onto my radar, and I only had a fleeting interest in bands like Integrity, Ringworm etc. By the way, I don't recall the scene being called 'Holy Terror Hardcore' at the time, even though that is Integrity's own label name.
Looking back, I reckon Integrity and others were'nt metallised enough for my tastes. After a certain point, straight-up hardcore bands, even if they were super speedy and sang about serious pissed-off themes, they just weren't doing it for me as a listener, fan or as a label. They lacked heaviness and power- and that downtuning of guitars and crushing riff-power was what made the grindcore/DM bands so different to anything else around.
By the mid-late 90's, straight-up, straight-edge US Hardcore had veered way off my listening radar and Victory Records was the one label who to their credit, had stuck with it, and that label eventually popularised the earliest form of metal-core with the staggering sales acheivments of the debut Hatebreed album.That album sold over a 100,000 copies which was seriously insane amount of records at the time. Needless to say, the band showed their gratitude to the Indie label by immediately taking measures to wriggle out of their deal, and go sign for big money elsewhere. Happens all the time in this Industry.
I loved Hatebreed from the minute I heard them, also around that time I was pretty much into Snapcase aswell, although both sounded different, both bands brought an extra something to their hardcore. Hatebreed brought the metal and growly vocals, Snapcase the off-kilter,Fugazi elements, later to be identified as "Emo".
You could argue that Victory invented the Metal-core and Emo-core scenes in the mid-late 90s with those bands, and you'd be exactly right.
European labels played their part too- Good Life Records out of Belgium put straight-edge metalcore on the EU map in the late 90s with bands like Congress and Arkangel (who I loved).
I really don't hear much SOB or GISM influence on the bands you mention. And both of those Japanese legends were far from straight edge bands. GISM were notable because they were playing a form of hybrid metallised hardcore punk at least 5 years before it became widely acceptable, and mainman Sakevi is notorious for being an extremely violent character in the Japanese scene.
Bit of trivia for ya- GISM logo is seen on the leather jacket worn by Lady Gaga in the video for Telephone (100 Million views and counting)
Another bit of trivia: Totsuan, singer of SOB, committed suicide in 1995 because he had been caught by Police smoking weed. Unlike in UK/USA where a caution and maybe small fine is the only outcome, any drug use is an immensely serious crime in Japan which has strict laws governing illicit drugs. I believe he was overcome with shame and anxiety because of the impending court case, and was worried about the disrespect it would bring to his family, because the drug-trade in Japan is closely allied to the gangster-infested underworld. He threw himself under a train.
When I met Totsuan during the first Japanese tours of Cathedral and Brutal Truth, he was an incredibly sweet dude, who hardly even drank, never mind do any drugs. Looking back, its obvious he had been influenced by, and perhaps tried too hard to ape his heroes Lee Dorrian and Kevin Sharp, who were both serious pot-heads during that period.
Another bit of trivia: Integrity mainman Dwid had a hardcore electronic side project called Psywarfare in the 90s, which is a fact I find fascinating.
INTEGRITY - Bloodlust
GISM- Endless Blockades for the Pussyfooter (Live)