LOS ANGELES, January 20, 2014 — In May, the Albany, NY hardore band Concrete released their debut E.P., Deadlock, on Innerstrength Records. Shortly before the release, Concrete answered some questions about they formed, as well as touring and writing the Deadlock E.P.
Scroll below video to read the interview.
Kevin Wells: What bands inspired you to want to start your own band?
Concrete: I think we all kind of wanted to be in bands as soon as we went to our first show. It was kind of, “that’s awesome! I want to do that too!” We’ve all been in bands since we were in our early to mid-teens and the ages of the members currently range from 26-32.
KW: How did Concrete form?
Concrete: We started with the idea in 2009 and finally got a lineup together in 2010. The idea was to play what we had always liked to listen to as opposed to what was cool at the moment in hardcore. We’ve gone through some restructuring but it’s still the same idea and we’re having fun with it.
KW: What made you go with Concrete as your name?
Lenny: Honestly it just kinda came to me, I knew there were a few bands that had the word Concrete in it such as E. Town Concrete, but I am a fan of band names that are just one solid word. Thinking of it that way, Concrete just came to me. Now there is a clothing line and like two other bands called Concrete, so maybe I should have gone with “A feather in the bloody red palms of August” as the name. Then at least it wouldn’t have been too common and we wouldn’t get Google + requests from a Pakistani engineer that wants to pitch us his idea of a new formula of actual concrete.
KW: You have a new EP due out on May 14. How did your deal with Innerstrength Records come about?
Concrete: Jason from Innerstrength actually caught us at our third show, which was with Blood for Blood, in Poughkeepsie, NY and came and talked to us at a show in Albany with Shai Hulud. He’s a pretty laid back guy and basically was just offering to help us get our stuff out to more people, which is all we want, more people to come out to shows so we can play the most fun shows we can. His lineup at the time was a little metal, but he had put out Billy Club Sandwich records in the past and said he was looking to get back to hardcore roots.
Since then he’s been taking on some awesome bands including The Insurgence, Dead Channels and some other stuff that isn’t announced yet, but some really great just straight up hardcore bands. Unfortunately, we ran into some issues with recording and then lineup changes, illness, school, etc. So the EP that’s coming out are songs we’ve had a while. We’re stoked to finally get it out there and we’ve been playing shows again, which is the ultimate goal. So we’re pretty excited.
KW: Can you tell me a little bit about the writing and recording process for that?
Jon: Initially, the idea was to re-record this quick little demo we put out, but we didn’t want to just release the same stuff we had already put out, even if not a lot of people had gotten to hear it. Instead, we took a few songs that we wanted to redo and got them sounding the way they were intended to and threw on new jams that we had been working on as well. I think we’ve honed in on our sound a bit more and the music got a bit heavier. Like I said before though, we had issues with illness, studios shutting down or moving, school, and even a couple lineup changes so it was a really long process. Can’t believe it’s finally coming out!
Lenny: Honestly, writing for this record couldn’t have come at a better time. I was at the lowest point of my life and had a lot going on I needed to get off my chest. I was being f**ked over in the worst possible way by those closest to me and you can tell in the lyrics. Being able to write it down and be pissed off about it helped. Releasing it this way was better than drinking a bottle of Jameson and driving my car into the Hudson river. Negativity equals productivity!
KW: Will you be doing a lot of touring this summer to support the Deadlock EP?
Concrete: We started booking shows up very quickly around the Northeast and are getting to play with some incredible bands. Hopefully, people like the new stuff and spread it around and it amounts to even more shows! We’ll be doing a Midwest / East coast tour (Bad Dudes Tour) with our friends in Bad Terms from West Virginia in July so we’re pretty excited about that. We’ll be playing Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis where we hadn’t gotten to go previously, and then heading back over towards the coast to play for friends we made while on tour with GHOSTxSHIP in 2012. Right now, summer is looking pretty full.
KW: Any plans for some west coast dates, specifically Los Angeles?
Concrete: We really wanted to head out there this summer but we had to get a new van and reinvest in a lot of stuff so, financially, it just wasn’t possible. We have a lot of friends and family on the west coast so hopefully we can get out there this winter or spring.
KW: Do you plan to record a full length album?
Concrete: We do, but the next step is most likely going to be either a three or four song split or 7”. We’ve started writing and playing new songs already and they are, by far, the heaviest stuff we’ve done to date. Since this record took so long to record, though, we wanted to make sure we got something else out there fairly quickly so we aren’t just putting out something new every year and a half to two years when we’re so new. Once we get these new ones out there we’ll probably start working on something a little longer.
KW: Is there anything else you would like people to know?
Concrete: Check out our stuff, share it with friends, go out to a show and see some bands you haven’t seen before. Support local music and the little guys and have fun. Thank you to everyone that has been supportive from day 1 and, as always, f**k you to fair weather friends and people who only support when they need something or it’s cool. Also, we would like them to know that pitting and head banging are good for the soul. Straight up. Shout out to DMS Valente, Bad Terms, GHOSTxSHIP and proud wiggers! BAD DUDES TOUR 2013.
Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music. Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball