IMPACT, interview with Ryan


IMPACT’s a brand new band from Staten Island NY which has already recorded their first demo and EP. These two releases sound really different: they came up as a youth crew band (singing absolutely not posi things though!) and now, they sound a bit rougher, they remind me that 90s vibe of NYHC bands. The kind of shit I love!

by Jean 

– IMPACT’s Facebook page pretty much gives the best description of the kind of hardcore punk you guys play.
Actually when I’ve first listened to your 2015 demo, 1987 “Breakaway” EP from NYC STRAIGHT AHEAD (and maybe REST IN PIECES’s “My Rage” LP too) really came to my mind and I think this is just great because I personally think this is a legendary hardcore record. You guys seem pretty young, how did you come to hardcore punk and start a band which is quite a really good tribute to these bands you describe as influences in your bio?

I personally came into hardcore by luck. I didn’t have any older siblings or even friends that liked hardcore. I somehow stumbled upon HAVE HEART when I was in High School and that was my first introduction to hardcore. As for finding bands I would just go to, type in a band I liked, click similar artists, and just download everything I could. With starting Impact it kind of just happened. Me and Andrew (drummer) would always talk about starting a band where I would sing because I can’t play anything and where he would play drums instead of singing. I just kept bringing it up until we started looking for other members. We all know each other from going to local shows and just wanted to start a new band

– There are two bands I like which come from NYC too and I personally think their records definitly are a tribute to 80/90s NYHC, BACKTRACK and KING NINE, what do you think of them?

Those bands are awesome. I feel like those are for sure the biggest bands from NY right now and with that they help bring attention back to NY. We’ve gotten to play with both bands and they’re just nice, and genuine people who play hardcore cause they love it.

– Do you guys play or have played in other bands?
Speaking of “other” bands, are you guys connected with a lot of new American bands who seem, like IMPACT, definitly down to play really cool songs? What are your favorite current American hardcore bands?

Personally for me this is my first band but everyone else has played/plays in other bands. Everyone at one point played for a local band that I looked up to and helped me fall in love with hardcore called KIDS CARRY GERMS. That might have been the first hardcore band I have ever seen live honestly. Andrew and Dave are in VICE, My whole band minus me are in a band called NERVES END, and Andrew sings in a band called I DISAPPEAR. Being from Staten Island we aren’t really connected with too many bands aside from the ones that the other members of my band play in. As far as my current favorite hardcore bands our friends in BLIND JUSTICE put out my favorite hardcore record of 2015, and our friends in REGULATE are gonna put out the best ep of this year for sure.

– How are the returns from an older part of your audience who might have known the glory days of NYHC and attended to your shows? Do they sometimes talk to you after your shows and give you their feelings about your performances?

The older generation as been surprisingly very supportive of us. I think they just like seeing young kids from NYC playing hardcore music. Which how I stated before doesn’t happen anymore. They tell us stories for sure and we love hearing them. Whether it’s story’s from back in the day at amazing shows they saw at  CBGB’s or just the mischief shit they did as kids it’s something awesome to hear, and it’s awesome to have their support. It personally makes me feel like we’re doing something right.

– You opened for BURN and MINDSET (it was their final show in NYC) a few weeks ago, I guess it was maybe pretty moving to open for such a legendary band like BURN? How was their show? Did you have the opportunity to share a few moments with them?

Getting to open that show was wild. Granted we played first so there weren’t that many people there yet but just getting to be a part of that line up was insane. I got to talk to Chaka when we first got to the venue and he knew who we were and where we are from and was just asking about Staten Island and stuff like that it was awesome. Also just hearing him shout out name out during BURN’s set was wild.

– You also opened for the Eddie LEEWAY Show and BEYOND, I guess both set was a pretty exciting experience too, what can you tell me about these shows?

Yea both very cool shows. Mostly because we’re playing to an older audience at those shows who were around back in the day who I feel we have to do our best to show that hardcore is still alive in 2016. We’ve been lucky enough to meet the guys who run Black N’ Blue productions and they do what they can to help us out and it’s super humbling.

– Don’t you feel pretty lucky as a rather young band to have the opportunity to share stages with great bands? Do you think your work totally deserves it?

Looking back on our first year as a band and the shows we’ve gotten to play it’s just insane. Like our 5th show was with BANE, BACKTRACK, and MALFUNCTION. Shows like that don’t happen for bands from Staten Island. And it’s crazy that they do for the band I’m in. As far as deserving the shows. There were times within the first 6 months as a band where I felt bad because I knew people were saying stuff like “why are they playing these shows they are a new band blah blah blah” but I came to realize that no matter what you do there are going to be people who hate on it. That’s just life. We still play small shows that are sometimes poorly attended, but once every few months we get the opportunity to play a wild line up and I like it like that. It helps us appreciate the good shows while we’re putting our work in as a new band.

– Let’s talk about your different releases: 2015 was a pretty productive year for the band because you guys released your demo and “World’s Apart” EP.
First things first, I think these two releases are pretty different: “World’s Apart” has a more heavy/thrash sound which really reminds me “Brightside”, KILLING TIME’s first LP on In-Effect. Were you in a different mood when you entered your rehearsing room after recording your demo and then the studio to work on “World’s Apart”?

When it came to Worlds Apart we just started writing and those songs came out. About halfway through we realized we weren’t as youth crew sounding as we were on the demo and we were fine with it. I think it’s just natural progression as band to change at least a little bit between releases.

I like how the demo lyrics seem written just like that, in response to an urge to put the current hardcore punk scene into context (for example in “Jaded Manner”). What can you say about the lyrical process of the demo?

I had never written lyrics before our demo. So I just kind of looked at our local scene and wrote what I didn’t like about it, a ex friend of mine who fucked me over bad, and clearly Jaded Manor was my response to the whole Joyce Manor beef that happened last year. I was super nervous and rushed so I don’t like playing those songs anymore based on the fact that some of the lyrics make me cringe haha.

Your debut EP’s lyrics definitly seem to blame several specific people or habits, can you sum up what pushed you to wrote these tracks? By the way, what’s funny is that in my mind, the Youth Crew aspect of hardcore means positive things, and your lyrics aren’t at all! What can you tell me about that?

When it came to “Worlds Apart” I knew I wanted to write about myself a little bit more and stray away from the topics I talked about on the demo. Within the year leading up to the band I went through a bad break up so a song talks about that. I got threatened to get beat up because someone didn’t like that I wrote about them on the demo haha so there’s a song about that. A lot of the songs  talk about how I’ve dealt with depression and how I don’t have things figured out and it pushes people away since this is around the age where everyone starts to get a career and I don’t have a clue. There’s just a lot of stuff I went through that I never really got to talk about with anyone just because I’m generally a shy person so I used Worlds Apart to just get everything I had inside me for a year out.    As far as not having positive lyrics I feel as if the whole positivity thing is like beating a dead horse. There’s nothing that I can say that Ray Cappo, or CIV hasn’t said already. I’m also not really a positive person so I feel like that would be me faking it just so that my lyrics would fit a sound. As much as I love the positive hardcore movement I take a lot of lyrical inspiration from vocalists who took the more sad tone with their lyrics such as AMERICAN NIGHTMARE, THINK I CARE, earlier HAVE HEART, mostly just Boston bands Haha. My vision for IMPACT is NYHC meets Boston hardcore.

– What have your planned for IMPACT for the next few months?

We are currently in works with Not Like You records who’s pressing “Worlds Apart” on vinyl. Our plan is to just play as many shows as possible. We’re gonna try to plan our first tour for the summer, and that’s basically it. Just trying to get our name out there

– Got no further questions! If you wanna add something be my guest!

Just wanted to say thanks for the interview and for asking great questions. If anyone wants check us out our bandcamp is impacthc.bandcamp.con thanks!


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Filed under Hardcore, NYHC, Youth Crew

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