1/ Thanks for sharing your time and letting me do this interview Sam! How are you since you recently played – If I’m right – in Edinburgh and of course during latest Ieperfest Winter 2015 in February? How were these shows? RENOUNCED seems pretty overbooked in England until 4th of July!
Yeah, I’m pretty good, thanks. We played Edinburgh just over a week ago. It was an extremely long drive, but definitely worth it. A lot of people seemed to be really into our set and we played with some great bands, especially our good friends in tongues, who, due to geographical reasons we rarely get to play with. Ieper fest was a totally different experience. We played with much bigger bands and to a much bigger crowd. I think due to the fact crowbar (who, by the way, were incredible) were headlining, we played to a more metal audience than we are used to, but they seemed into it, so it was all good. There is such a good vibe there and if anyone ever gets the chance to go to ieperfest, they should. We have been playing shows practically every weekend lately, but it’s good to get up and down the country more than we were able to in the past and play to new people.
2/ Can you introduce yourself (age/ occupation / how have you been introduced and involved into hardcore…)?
I’m Sam, I play guitar. I am 26 years old. I was recently an English teacher in Japan, but am just doing a bit of art time work at the moment, while I focus on other things, such as studying and writing music for various projects. I was introduced to hardcore at the age of 11 where I attended an offspring concert. AFI were one of the support bands and were one of my favourite bands for years. I got into sick of it all a few years later after a friend made me a video of some stuff they taped off MTV and I guess it went from there…I first got involved properly when I started a band called xnihilox. We only played two gigs, but it got me hooked on playing in hardcore bands.
Now concerning the band: how and when RENOUNCED was born? Why did you chose that name (what does it means to you)?
RENOUNCED was born in the early months of 2013. Me and Danny (Vocals) had been trying to start this band for something like 5 years, but for some reason we could just never get the members together. Me and Martin (bass) were doing a band prior to renounced, that sadly never amounted to anything, so I was after starting something new. I asked Danny about trying again with this band and he asked two of his old school friends (Jack and Rayner) to join. I bought Martin in and renounced was born. We had two names the first was condition, but we did not all agree on it and found out there was already a band going by that name anyway. RENOUNCED was proposed by our vocalist and it just seemed to work. We were surprised that no one had taken it. RENOUNCED means to formally declare your abandonment of something. Love, hate, the system, anything. I think it fits with us trying to keep the band as free from labels as possible.
On RENOUNCED Facebook profile I’ve noticed several details checking the different pictures of the band which drew my attention: you posted a picture of your EP tapes on LIFE.LAIR.REGRET.RECORDS and – attention readers and followers: if you care about a keen eye for detail as much as I do (!) you, of course, noticed a “I support same sex marriage” and also, during UYC in Southampton during summer 2014 you guys (with XREPENTANCEX, IN TONGUES, BLIND AUTHORITY and MANKIND) stood with a “Antifaschistische Aktion” flag. Are you guys involved into these types of struggle? In 2015 is there an important struggle to lead against any sort of discrimination in the UK society? Is this a theme you try to approach in your lyrics?
None of us are really actively involved in these struggles. However, we are very strongly opposed to discrimination of any kind…but I think all decent human beings are anyway. I am from London and you rarely see any discrimination on a day to day basis, as it is a very cosmopolitan area. Unfortunately there is a slight underbelly of people spreading hate though various groups formed since the dispersment of the E D L party, which for those of you reading outside of the UK were an organisation that spread thinly veiled racist propaganda. England is fairly liberal compared to many countries and for that I am grateful. Gay marriage became legal here (almost) exactly a year ago today, so that isn’t a problem. I heard news just yesterday that gay marriage has become legal for the first time in Japan, in a district of Tokyo, so hopefully the rest of the Japan and the world, begins to see sense in regards to this legislation.
What’s the cultural background of RENOUNCED? Do you claim to be followers of particular philosophers, authors, film directors, artists?
We are all actually very different people and are into very different things, so as a band not really, but individually, sure! Personally, my favourite author is Haruki Murakami. There is something about the way he writes that is so unique, interesting and unlike no other, most of his books are real age turners, It’s just a shame that his one book that got made into a film (Norweigan wood) didn’t translate well onto the screen at all in my opinion. It’s probably the obvious option, but I’m a big fan of George Orwell as well, his books are definitely classic for a reason and even years later can still be related to todays society. Two guys who tend to consistently make great films are Darren Aronofsky and David Lynch. All of their films are very different and unique, they literally do whatever they want and don’t care about what anyone else is doing.
3/ RENOUNCED is in my opinion a great tribute to 90s metalcore. Which bands really motivated you to form RENOUNCED – a part from CHOKEHOLD (we can see several picture of Daniel with a CHOKEHOLD t-shirt) or POISON THE WELL which seems to be, according to RENOUNCED fans (co-author Tieuma will probably agree with that statement) your biggest influence (maybe “The Opposite Of December” LP)?
Yes. You are correct there. CHOKEHOLD and POISON THE WELL are both amazing. Both bands funnily enough are playing reunion shows this summer, that I wish I could attend. Other than that,7 ANGELS 7 PLAGUES, MARTYR AD, CONVERGE, RED ROSES FOR A BLUE LADY, THIS DAY FORWARD, UNBROKEN,AND SKYCAMEFALLING are directly inspiring to us in terms of the style of music we play. I particurlarly am also very inspired by a lot of screamo bands and the emotional impact of their music. We all take a lot of influence from music outside of hardcore as well and it would be very long and boring to list them all! I think the fact that we all like completely different stuff really helps us as a band. Despite these influences, we never go into practice with the intention of sounding like particurlar bands, so we’d like to think we have our own sound to some degree.
4/ A lot of great acts amongst this 90s metalcore revival (if we can deal with that expression) seem to come from England – I mean, of course, RENOUNCED, but also CARRY THE WEIGHT RECORDS, XREPENTANCEX, IN TONGUES, DIGRESS… In your opinion, is that a sort of trend likely to the 2010s or a long-time passion which will never succumb since we can still observe different forms of prejudices or discrimination, or since we haven’t “destroy the machines” yet?
The 90s thing has been going on in the UK for some time now and I think it will continue for many years to come, as it doesn’t really feel like a ‘trend’, so I don’t get the feeling that it will just come and go. I mean, I don’t personally like the term 90s revival when describing renounced, because we’re not really just trying to revive the 90s (or the early 00s), but use that framework to create something newer sounding. I think it is important to always bring new things to the table with what you are doing, as it keeps things from becoming stale, but I digress…….Digress is actually Rayner’s (guitar) and Ben (who was filling in for renounced on guitar while I was away)’s other band. In tongues and xrepentancex are two of the best UK bands and CARRY THE WEIGHT has put a lot of faith into us, so we are lucky.
5/ How do you feel now that A389 Recordings is the US retailer of your first 12″ “The Melancholy We Ache”? Does it feel you want to conquer the world and tour Uncle Sam’s Land in a near future?
Yes, we were all very pleased with that! The more overseas distros that stock our album, the better. From day one we have had Americans complaining about the high postage price of our LP. Unfortunately ever increasing postage rates have been somewhat of a thorn in the side for those wanting to order records from abroad. So it is great that they have somewhere to order it for a reasonable price. We would love to tour America, unfortunately it is extremely expensive to get over there, but who knows what the future holds? I would like to take this opportunity to thank LIFE.LAIR.REGRET RECORDS (Australia), OFF CLOUD NINE RECORDS (USA) and DIORAMA RECORDS (Indonesia) for releasing our records overseas. Unfortunatly, DIORAMA have had endless problems with their release of “The Melancholy We Ache”, but from what I have been told, it is almost done.
6/ Can I ask you what are your all-time favorite hardcore/punk records/bands? What bands did you recently discover, listen to or tour with do you like?
That is an impossible question! There are too many and I can’t choose haha…my two favourite hardcore albums will always be UNBROKEN “Life.Love.Regret” and 7 ANGELS 7 PLAGUES “Jhazmyne’s Lullaby”. Me and Danny (Vocals) saw unbroken a few years ago and it was like the world was about to end – amazing.
Recently discovered bands? DROWN and BLISTERED from America are great. TEEF from Brighton are great, I hadn’t listened to them before we played with them a few weeks ago. Not hardcore, but I’ve been listening to some guy called PLINI a lot lately, he is an amazing guitarist.
7/ I have no further questions Sam! If you wanna add something…!
Yeah, just a thank you to everyone who has supported us in any way at all and to all the great bands we have played with. If anyone wants to contact us about gigs or anything please email email@example.com or message us at http://www.facebook.com/renouncedhc We’ll be recording some new songs this month, so be on the lookout for something new.