INTERVIEW BY: MEG
Your band name - Belligerence - is very close to the title of the song “Belligerent” by another Texas-based hardcore band, Kublai Khan. Did that song inspire the band name, is Kublai Khan an influence of yours, or is there no correlation between the band name and that song/band at all?
Gabriel: Yes, actually! Not many people are aware of it. It’s my second favorite song of theirs behind “True Fear”. I had an NCO in the Army screw me on some administrative stuff and I was really pissed off about it and that song came on while I was driving to my unit. I already wanted to make a hardcore band so the song title with some minor changes became our name.
Speaking of influences, what bands/artists would you consider to be your primary influences and how would you personally describe the band’s overall sound?
Gabriel: So, each of the guys have their own independent takes on who influenced them musically but at the end of the day we all came from either metal or scene kid music. So for me personally I would say 1st wave scene “whitebelt” metalcore mixed with 2000’s moshcore. Our biggest influences are probably Disembodied, Antagonist A.D., This Day Forward, Recon, early Eighteen Visions, and old Foxy Shazam.
You released your debut EP “Suicide & Sobriety,” towards the end of 2020. How has this release cycle been so far and what have been some of the highlights of it from the past several months?
Gabriel: It’s been pretty good! Honestly, we didn’t expect the EP to gain this much traction at all. Once we started getting messages and notifications from people outside of the U.S. that we were being played on public radio or being featured on playlists with bands way cooler than ourselves, we began to be like, “Oh shit, we might be on to something.” We get random burst of people hyping us up out of nowhere and it’s been pretty cool and it’s been driving our streams up pretty quickly.
What are some of the lyrical themes/topics discussed on this EP, and do the words in the title hint at any of those themes/topics?
Gabriel: So, the themes of the album are dealing with the feelings of inadequacy and the suicidal self-loathing that come along with getting sober and having to reconstruct yourself physically and psychologically. So, yeah, the song titles typically reflect the story or themes of a song.
Do you guys currently have any new music in the works? If so, how is it coming along and how would you compare it to your debut?
Gabriel: Yeah! So. we actually have about 5 songs written right now and we just need to do vocal recordings and production to get it up to par. We will be putting one song out as part of a teaser split EP that will be getting pressed on vinyl. Comparatively, it’s a lower tuning and will have more “scene” influence to it but the breakdowns will be more reminiscent of 2000’s straight edge moshcore bands like Recon or xTYRANTx. So heavier but also sassier.
What can people expect from Belligerence next?
Gabriel: More vinyl, hoodies, a song featuring Luke Manson of Xile, an east coast tour going up north, and maybe some international shows once COVID fucks off and the rest of the band gets vaccinated.
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BELLIGERENCE’s DEBUT EP, “SUICIDE & SOBRIETY,” IS AVAILABLE NOW. LISTEN TO IT HERE: