I guess you already purchased JUDGE “Bringin’ It Down” and TURNING POINT “1988-1991” reissues. If so, please check this online demo (and download it for 1£) I discovered like a week ago. REFLECT hails from Manchester and their 4 songs demo is just great, in the vein of the two bands I was previously dealing with, I mean angry and melancholic straight edge tracks. Paolo (vocals) agreed to answer to a few question for DROIDxRAGE. Enjoy!
– You guys just shared your demo on bandcamp, I guess you’re a pretty young band. When did you form and what was the main purpose of REFLECT?
I’ve (Paolo) had the songs written for a while but was just waiting for a chance to record them because we’ve been busy with other bands this year. I wrote Reflect because I wanted to have a platform to voice my opinion and also do a straight edge band that varied from everything else we have done.
– Who plays In REFLECT and what do you do?
I wrote the songs but wanted to do vocals so I got Roger and Jack to play guitar. I also got Ross to play drums for the band and Mikes gonna learn bass for it.
– I believe you guys play In different several bands coming from Manchester, which band are they and for what reason(s) REFLECT is/sounds different?
Between us we play in Insist, UNJUST and SURVIVAL. Reflect sounds different because I’ve always liked the more melodic side of late 80’s hardcore and wanted to start a band that had a more personal perspective and a less aggressive message. The rest of the bands we have provide a different perspective on straight edge and I wanted to voice my own opinion.
– Speaking of Manchester, how is life and the scene here? Are they a lot of hardcore bands coming from Manchester? What are your different occupations here?
There’s quite a young scene in Manchester right now. There’s not many shows but when there is they have a good turnout. There’s not many bands though, we play in a few bands between us but that’s mostly it for Manchester. Roger is a graphic designer, Ross is an audio technician in a high school, Mike is a graduate, Jack is a music student and I’m currently applying for teacher training.
– When I first heard the demo, I thought the sound was really “mature”. Did you have a really specific idea about the sound the four songs must approach? It reminds me some early 00s melodic straight edge bands like HAVE HEART/VERSE whereas you guys mentionned more 90s bands (JUDGE, TURNING POINT, OUTSPOKEN) to describe your music. What is your feeling about that? What is your idea about that current 90s fascination In hardcore and indie music In general?
I was never really into metal so I initially got into hardcore through the more melodic side. Bands like HAVE HEART and VERSE were the biggest and most active bands then and that definitely impacted my taste. When writing REFLECT though it was the bands that influenced them that really inspired me to do it such as TURNING POINT and OUTSPOKEN. As for the current 90’s trend in hardcore we made sure that when Roger did the artwork for Reflect that it didn’t have a 90’s aesthetic because it’s not exactly what we were aiming for with this band.
– The demo was mixed and mastered by Ross Pritchard, who is he? Why did you let him work on your first release? Do you like the final result?
Ross plays in the band and pretty much every band I’ve been in for the past 3 years so I trust him with anything we do. He recorded the UNJUST demo and understands exactly how we want the music to sound. We recorded at Jacks uni and did it all ourselves so we had full control. Get at Jack and Ross if you want your band recording.
– Right now, how is the reception of the demo on social networks?
Pretty good I guess but it’s quite early still
– What about the lyrics. Who wrote them? While rehearsing did you all discuss about their meaning? What is the global message of REFLECT?
I wrote all the lyrics myself but consulted Roger before we recorded them to get feedback and make sure it all makes sense. Roger sings in Insist and I respect his opinion when because I back everything he says on the Insist demo. The message for reflect is making a conscious effort to consider the broader consequences of your actions that are not always so immediately obvious. Some of the lyrics tend to be more straight edge than others but I want it to be relatable to people regardless of their personal choices.
What’s your point about straight edge? Can you tell is the meaning of “Indifference” and “Down The Line”?
To me straight edge is an entirely personal choice. I choose to be straight edge because I don’t want to be involved with that lifestyle and it’s not something I want to force on others. Indifference is about how I’m in my early 20’s yet I’m still feeling directionless with my life. However, by being straight edge I feel insulated from self destructive lifestyles and I know that I’m in control of my own actions. Down the line is aimed more at people that I’ve seen lose their grip on their life through abusing alcohol. The end of the song reiterates that I’m removed from that and it won’t affect me.
– 2015 is almost done and this year we were able to listen to a shitload of great bands and releases, from both UK and worldwide hardcore scene. What are your 2015 favorite records?
TRUE VISION, LINE OF SIGHT, FREE and UNION OF FAITH have released great demos this year. The NO TOLERANCE LP and “Loss of Blood” by OBSTRUCT are my favourite LPs by far.
– What have you planned concerning REFLECT’s near future?
Not really got a thing planned as of yet. We will probably record a 7 inch next year and start playing some shows.
– I have no further questions, if you wanna add something to conclude the interview be my guest!
Cheers for checking us out also there’s some great new bands coming out of the UK next year so keep an eye out for CULPRIT and PAYDAY.