Andrew Seward is your host and captain on the journey known as Sound Off!, a new series examining punk, hardcore and the spaces in between. The former Against Me bassist launches the show TOMORROW ON NOISEY (3/5) with California post-hardcore crew Touche Amore (who are currently on a Noisey sponsored jaunt, that included an NYC stop). Future episodes will see Seward team with Youth Code, Deafheaven, Torche and many many more. If you missed it, get stoked on the trailer below and check out a short interview conducted with Seward.
What is Sound Off? Where did the concept come from and what are you looking to do with the series?
Sound Off is a music show that aims to show how band members truly are. An honest representation if you will. No riders, no managers if we can help it (ha), and no bullshit. We also buy the bands a free meal, so that is a definite incentive for them to expose themselves to the camera. Ha. The concept came from a conversation between Jake B., Trevor S., and myself. We just wanted to do a real music show that didn’t candy coat anything. This is who these bands are. It’s also a great chance for the bands to show off their hometown dives, restaurants,workplace, parent’s house, etc. We would love to take the series as far as we can. Let’s go abroad, let’s go set up generator shows in the desert, let’s go work the line with a band member who works in a kitchen, etc, etc……
Hardcore is such a wide-term now as opposed to 30 years ago when it represented a specific aesthetic. Clean vocals and bands with very present melodic punk parts are lumped in with bands that feature grind-style blasting and guttural vocals. What does hardcore mean to you? How has that changed over the years?
Hardcore has always encompassed everything for me. From a gorgeous songwriter like Sharon Van Etten to the screams of Deafheaven to the anthems of The Menzingers. That’s all hardcore to me. People doing what they want to do. People can argue ’til their blue in the face about “what is” and “what isn’t” hardcore. It’s all great music. Quit wasting your time with shit that doesn’t matter.
Touche Amore, why do you think they are the best band to lead off the series?
I feel like a kid again when I listen to Touche Amore. You search for that feeling your whole life and when you find it….Goddamn…..you get stoked. That’s why Touche is the perfect way to roll out Sound Off!.
The bands chosen for Sound Off, what were some of the reasons behind them? I am particularly interested at the inclusion of Youth Code, which some might argue is essentially an EBM band and not punk rock/hardcore.
All of us associated with Sound Off! have some love or connection with the bands that agreed to do this with us. I’ve always wanted to go fishing with Chuck Ragan. Why? I don’t really know. I don’t even fish. It’s just fun to hang out and do new things. Youth Code was a blast to hang out with. I had them walk me through how they make music and their whole gear set up. I grew up with plugging in, turning way up, and just going for it. EBM fascinates me musically and technically. I would have no idea how to use all that gear! To me Hardcore is D.I.Y.. Youth Code is recording their music in their apartment, pissing off their neighbors, and doing it how they want to do it. That’s hardcore. You don’t need a “full band" to prove anything.
Where would you like to take the series next?
Would love to take it everywhere. From Oklahoma to Japan. There is a scene in every country, every state, and every part of the world. We want to see it, and we hope you do to.