Can you tell us more about this new european tour,
the reunion's shows?
OK ah were all here in Europe for the first time since year 2000
and were playing I think about 10 shows in Germany, France, Belgium
and England and tonight it was our first show here at the Hellfest in
You already did some reunions shows in the US right?
We had 2 festival dates in the US. One was the Maryland Metal Fest,
the other one was in California.
So you're back now. Are the things that made you split 5 years ago are
Well, these are basically just reunion shows for you know the fans who
wanted to see us again and the younger kids that had been listening
to the music that didnt have the chance to see us yet
Like a Trial
Greg Bennick's band...
Yeah yeah right.
Weve been working on other bands?
Weve been working with Path of Resistance and we put out a new
cd called "Cant Stop The Truth" a year ago and we played
throughout the US and we played in Europe and we have another band called
Freya and we are on our third cd with that. I think were gonna
be coming to Europe in November.
To stop the suspens, is there a new Earth Crisis
record coming out soon?
Theres no plan as of right now. Id like to, but like you
said earlier you know
the reasons why we stopped doing Earth Crisis
was because that band was a full time touring band but, as were
getting older, and having families of our own, we wanted to make sure
that wed devoted our time and energy to our families and worked
on more like low intensity band like Path Of Resistance and Freya when
we arent on the road months at a time, you know
try and balance it out. But this is a good point in time, a good window
of opportunity for us to be out playing these shows you see.
Even if Earth Crisis split a few years ago, it
seems that the influence and shadow of the band grew even more those
last year. Have you felt that?
Definitely! It is amazing to think how big the vegan-straight edge scene
is world widld now and how many bands and labels
I mean theres
vegan straight-edge bands in Metal Blade, New Eden Records and in the
US, South America, Europe, Australia, its
to see how its growing.
Your influence in the straight edge worldwide
scene has been huge. Most of the people who heard about straight edge
first was through Earth Crisis lyrics. Have you ever felt or suffered
of any pression about people who was considering you as « The
Voice» of the straight edge movement?
Well, you know
were just.. ah
continuing on with what
bands like 7 Seconds, DIS and Minor Threat inspires to become a part
of and that was the hardcore scenes and playing music and keeping those
ideals alive. But you are right, I mean, over the last 15 years EC introduced
a lot of people to the concepts of animal rights and veganism, to the
benefits of the drug-free straight-edge life style, probably because
of the music that we play, you know? I think its not just kids,
it's not just underground hardcore. People taken notice of what we are
Have you seen any evolution on the philosophy?
I think that, you know, what started with vegetarianism progressed to
veganism and what started with you know, a kinda of low moderation is
now the lifetime commitment that straight edge should be to completely
abstain from things that are poisonous and self destructive. So, things
have changed for the better. And nowadays there are straight edge bands
that I think can be relied on like lets say Tyrant, Death Star,
Maroon. Theres lots of bands whove been around for a while,
and, their members are in their 20s or in their 30s you know, so they
kind of proved that they can stand the test of time.
You've done stuff for Peta right?
Yeah, weve done stuff for Peta too. Erik and I have a recording
studio; thats pretty much what we do.
How can you explain that Syracuse has been a very
important place for hardcore music and sxe for more than 20 years now?
I think because
because our scene came out of a punk rock scene,
we wanted something more than the kind of life and the kind of example
that the people that came before us were showing. They were alcoholics,
they were strung out because of chemical drugs, you know, there were
suicides and overdoses and we liked that high energy music of punk rock
and of hardcore but we, you know, detested that life style. And I think
that is why guys like myself, DJ, Guav, and Mackagan and you know some
of the older guys took things so seriously was because we saw people
die that chose the other path.
And I think the other thing that made Syracuse Hardcore a success is
that its very inclusive, people are welcome into the scene and
they are encouraged to participate on whatever level they can, whether
it is doing the scene or a label or a band putting on a show
think we have a very positive vibe there and in other scenes theres
to say that it doesnt have its shares of problems, but in other
scenes theres a lot of more internal violence and ego clashes
and things like that and it tears things apart.
We also heard that Syracuse was one of the most
violent hardcore scene in the US with Boston for exemple...
But it wasnt violent against other hardcore kids. It was violent
against people that were brutalising animals or selling drugs, things
like that. The violences never against other hardcore people,
rarely. You know?
Yeah but in Boston it's violence against anybody at any time, with the
Im not exactly sure but
I have heard it has a reputation.
I am not sure. I mean, the FSU guys we know are edge and are straight
edge guys. A lot of them are vegan straight so I dont necessarily
think them but maybe it could be the case with the newer guys. But the
guys that we knew are the guys in 454 Big Block and Berzerker
they are good people.
What do you think about the international Bushs
politics, inside and outside the USA?
I am not sure I understand what the motivations are, you know what I
mean? Its hard to know whats true, like is the war about
oil, or is it to stop terror? Your government might be telling you one
thing or our government might be telling us something else and we dont
really know what the truth is. And thats the thing: there is no
real way to know what the truth is, so its like I try I stay focused
on things that I know are true like: the reason why I am vegan, the
reason why I am straight edge, the reasons why Im involved in
hardcore, you know what I mean? Its like, we can save peoples
lives if we steer them away from drugs, we can save animals life
if we steer people towards vegetarianism and veganism, you know? And
we can help people succeed with a work ethic and a discipline if we
keep our hardcore scene vital, you know what I mean? We will never really
know what a lot of these conflicts are about.
Or it could be to stop terrorism, we dont really know, you know
what I mean? Because we are not there and we have friends who are in
the military and, you know, they say one thing, the news says another
Its very hard to determine, you know?, what the actual
Thats the thing. All I can be is honest and the truth is I dont
know what really is the reason behind the Invasion of Iraq
and the occupation of Iraq. It could be to prevent
it could be that Saddam Hussein was getting older and his sons were
as blood-thirsty as weve heard and they didnt want him to
have a heart attack and then have his sons lets say fire missiles
into Israel again or invade Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. Iraq waged a very
long and bloody war against Iran you know. Its definitely an unstable
region and from what I have come to understand at this point in time,
he really did gas the Kurds in the North, he really did have rape rooms,
he really did have torture chambers and his people did live in a state
of fear, you know? But maybe that was done to prevent the war between
the Shias and the Sunnis now. Well, thats the thing: we dont
really know because were not from that part of the world.
What is your vision of the world in 2007 ?
I see a lot of hope for change. I mean, Ive seen things change
for the better when it comes to the amount of look, lets say vegan
food that there is in grocery stores, how a lot of those ideas have
become mainstream how it seems like at least in the US right now a lot
more people are becoming concerned with small global warming, things
of that type, so I think things can change hmm its just
people will just have to be better educated. And thats one of
the good things about hardcore too: all different kinds of ideas are
brought to the table if you are hardcore: you get Krishna-core from
like 108 or Shelter or Both Worlds, you get Rastafarianism with Bad
Brains, you get more of a political perspective with like Agnostic Front
or you know what I mean? Or straight edge bands, so all different kinds
of ideas are being presented.
Recently there was the governments at the G8 talking about the air,
the atmosphere, the polution. That's something you talked about a long
time ago in your lyrics...
I will say this : I definitely think that there is something under way
by the powers-that-be, to take the middle class apart and to turn the
West into a two-class society or system, where theres people that
are very poor and people that are very wealthy. I think thats
happening. When you ask me how I see the world, and I also see the world
as in some ways becoming more destabilised when you look at the amount
of wars that are out there right now. There are now wars now than when
I was a teen-ager, there are more unresolvable conflicts, whether they
are over resources, religion or territorial disputes, you know what
I mean? India and Pakistan, lets say Hamas and Lebanon versus
Israel, even jihads in this country, you know? I am sure they are here,
right? Or, or other conflicts in other parts of the world. Although
there are a lot of horrible problems right now but I think they can
be fixed, because Ive seen, I have seen progress in other ways
when attention has been focused, so I have hope.
Ok! Well, Can you tell us more about Freya?
You've just release Lift The Curse in January...Freya has
been around when Earth Crisis broke up, Scott and Dennis moved to California
and they worked on a band called Isolated. Bulldog, Erick and myself
started a band called Freya and we said well come back together
and we will have our vegan-straight edge band Path of Resistance and
thats exactly what weve done! Hm, with Freya we wanted to
set it up so that wed have the freedom to be very experimental
musically and the new album is, ah, like the tempos are a lot faster,
the structures are a lot more simplified which I think makes it more
fun to listen to coz weve done some very technical albums in the
past like "Gomorrahs Season Ends" or even some of the
songs on "Breed The Killers", so we just really streamlines
the sound and make it simple I think was a fun project for "Lift
the Curse", and lyrically, actually, its about a lot of things
we just discussed, with the conflicts in the world...
Do you think that record is more directed for
the people in a way?
Its for our taste, you know what I mean? We write for our taste
and if people like it then, then we get lucky, you know what I mean?
And what about Path Of Resistance? Do we have
to expect a new record soon?
Well, not soon, it takes a while to work on those because as I mentioned,
different band members live in different parts of the country right
now. Scott is I think on his way to California again, Bulldog lives
in North Carolina, Dennis lives in Buffalo, DJ has three children and
two tattoo shops, JD does another band called Unholy they just
got signed and are around touring the US, so it takes a while to get
the Path records together, like we actually have home studios where
we record songs and email them to each other
thats how we
wrote the last one, which was fun!
We've just seen Machine Head on stage and you
talked about "Breed the Killer" in which you had Robb as guest
on "One Against All". You love Machine Head?
love Machine Head! Yeah! And that was actually his idea so we are really
flattered that he wanted to sing with us.
I thought that was strange to see Robb as guest,
as he has a completly different life style than yours...
Hes not an alcoholic or drug addict, you know what I mean? Hes
obviously a very successful musician so he has his life in order. He
cares about things and a lot of his albums are political, he had songs
on "The More Things Change" I think that were about the war
in Yougoslavia so he cares about things that are happening in the world
too. Its not a fantasy based band by any means, you know, his
band is about things that are real.
both bands were on Roadrunner at that time, I thought that was the label
Noooo! We wouldnt do that. Thats not really our style, you
know? And Roadrunner too. I mean, to their credit they let us do the
album that we wanted. I mean, "Breed The Killers" is a full
force from start to finish a vegan-straight edge album, you know? And
we even add a big essay when you lifted the cd out of the tray about
veganism. So even if someone wasnt inclined to read through the
lyrics sheet, they might have looked at that when they took the cd out
oh hey whats all this? And I dont know if you
guys have read that or not, but it was very specific as to like
the main reasons are for being vegan in regards to environmentalism
and being kind towards animals and nutrition...
they let us be ourselves and then they dissolved
their hardcore division coz I think they wanted to put money into Slipknot,
So Vision Of Disorder, Earth Crisis, Madball, Both Worlds, we all went
to different labels, which was shame coz I thought Roadrunner had a
really solid roster of, you know, high quality hardcore bands.
So what's your plans for the next month?
For the next month we are spending I think another maybe 9 shows here
and then we go back to the US and I think were gonna play two
weeks with Damnation and in the East Coast with Freya and Damnation.
Oh yeah, that make me think you did a guest appearence
the last Damnation A.D record!
Yeah, I sang with Mike. It was good. Hes awesome. Earth Crisis
used to tour with Damnation, we always had a great time.It's good to
see old Victory bands back!
Yeah, and theres a new 1o8 coming too, yeah, so
To finish, do you have anything to say to the
Theres a lot of bands out there and a lot of things in general
that could in some ways make a person have a negative world view or
negative thoughts on the future, and I think we have to
be really careful to see that things can change when attention is paid
to them and energy is focused on being active. Being active might mean
being vegan or being vegetarian or being straight edge or not necessarily
being straight edge but not doing drugs, you know what I mean? Theres
all kinds of things people can do. Ah, and when imagination is used
and when strategies are implemented, things can totally change for the
better. Think about that, this is an example: four years after Earth
Crisis started, there was a lot of people going into grocery stores
near us called Wagments, it was like a big chain of grocery stores,
looking for vegan food. They ended up having whole food sections that
had, like, isles full of vegan food you know? So its like right
there, like.. People voiced an interest in a cruelty-free alternative
and companies filled that void, you know what I mean? And that can be
done with all kind of things, it could be done with cars, you know
could be run on chargeable batteries or fuel cells or corn ethanol.
Theres all kind of things we can do to protect the environment
and save animals and you know, and make, you know, life more peaceful
for humans to interacts with each other
Manu & O.S
Translation Milla Z