Jacob McClanahan of Homebound
all photos by Meredith Szturm
If you think hardcore isn’t as prominent as it used to be and you’re losing hope in the scene, all you have to do is drive down to Newport, Kentucky one weekend and go to a show at The Thompson House. Last Sunday, eight different bands from all over the area got together there to play a show. Heavy hitters Denihilist and Juggernaut headlined, and Homebound, Underestimate, Grave Friends, Under Everything, and Dressed in Disaster played as well. 7 Years Dead also played a bittersweet set, as it was their last ever show.
This show with a packed bill of quality bands wasn’t a one time thing. The hardcore bands in this area are always hustling, working hard to put out new material, playing their hearts out at shows, and taking care of each other like family. Cincinnati and the surrounding areas are home to a thriving hardcore scene, and I’m proud to be able to take pictures of and document just a little bit of it. Rather than listen to me ramble on about last Sunday’s show, I thought it would be more fitting to ask some of the guys from each band what local music and hardcore mean to them. Check out their responses, as well as some pictures from the show, below!
“Getting into local music has probably been one of the best things I’ve ever done to develop who I am as a person. I’ve made several friends, developed my work ethic, discovered a passion, and made a great pastime for myself. I’m not sure who I would be if I never involved myself in it.”
-Jacob Wallace, vocalist of Juggernaut.
“The local scene is a blessing. The shows honestly just make the weekends worth living for. Everyone is so cool, not to mention talented, and is just so down to Earth. I love how everyone is just so supportive and open to new amazing upcoming bands in the scene, it really made me and my bandmates feel so welcomed when we first started getting into everything. I’d say to any upcoming bands that are in our area to get ready to become friends with some of the most talented, craziest motherfuckers you’ll ever meet.”
-Jake Jensen, vocalist of Underestimate.
“We choose to play hardcore music because it feels like home to us. There’s not that many honest things that people can have in common these days, and yet all these homies still get together in a room and express loud and angry feels together. No matter how we may all differ, we have this one common goal of building up an energy and love for the music. Not to mention, our own local scene consists of some of the hardest working and nicest guys and gals you could hope to find. We have the time of our lives hanging out with the bands and fans from our backyard. Shout out to Underestimate, Denihilist, Dressed in Disaster, Spirit and the Bride, Seven Years Dead, Under Everything, The Earth Laid Bare, Deadbeat, Avanti, Ocean Grid, Eternal Void, Homebound, Softspoken, Among Giants, Juggernaut, Harbour, The Dugongs, and Lifegiver!”
-Zack Prost, drummer for Homebound and guitar/vocals in Grave Friends.
“I’d say it’s just a bunch of people attempting the same goal and that’s just to play music. It’s fun going to a show where you’re hanging out with the bands you play with all the time and right now we have a ton of those!”
-Drew Dawson, guitar in Homebound and Grave Friends.
“Playing shows is like a small vacation for me. It’s a time and a place where I can be myself without the fear that someone is going to judge me for being different. I’ve met so many new people who are all completely different but who have the same intentions to make friends and enjoy good music!”
-Alex Rose, bassist for Underestimate.
“The local scene for me coming from Columbus, growing up it was the place to be every weekend. No matter who was playing, you would just go, but things do change over time. Although the local scene is still going strong, you have your heavy hitters in any town in any state you go to. The local scene would be nothing without the heavy hitters because that’s what keeps the ones trying to get to that level to keep going. So without a local scene and local bands you have nothing. As for heavy aggressive music, it’s a good release for me. I get to talk about things of my personal interest and feelings that I don’t really get to in real life. Everyone I feel has aggression and anger and different ways of showing it so for me that’s through lyrical content and heavy music that me and my band write. Without being able to do that, I would probably be a pretty angry person a majority of the time, so it helps to say the least. Music in general just means a lot to me, heavy or not. As for the local scene goes, it’s a part of me, even though I don’t attend as much as I would like recently, it’s still something I grew up with and have met many friends doing so. I could say the same for them as well.”
-Jordan Melsop, vocalist of Denihillist.
“The local music scene to me is a community. I like that all the bands support each other and it seems like one big circle of friends. But music in general to me helps me to vent my emotions. I play deathcore music because that is a comfortable outlet for my emotions and it helps me to be a more positive person off the stage. I also love being able to play music that other people can release their emotions to as well (moshing). There’s this nonverbal communication between being on stage playing music and the crowd. We feed off of each other’s energy and at the end of the night we thank each other for what we do. I think that’s what a music scene and music in general is all about.”
-Josh Hansen, guitarist in Juggernaut.
“This music, this band, my friends I don’t know what I would do without it all, and quite frankly I think without any of it I would be nothing at all. It’s my life, my dream, my passion, and my motivation. It is the one thing that makes me who I am and most of all helps me escape from all else. This is where I belong.”
-Jackson Medlock, guitarist in Underestimate.
“What I love about the local music scene is the immense amount of support from each band they give each other. I’m really touched by the friendship and love I feel from everyone.”
-Johnny Vance, guitarist in Homebound.
“Local music to me is a family. We are all here to play music and support each other. Whether you are the big dogs that have been around for awhile like Grave Friends or the newbies like Under Everything you are still part of the family. I think what makes our group of bands so special is that we aren’t competing to be better than each other, we each individually respect one another. What drew me to hardcore music was the raw emotion behind the music; it’s about as real subject matter as you can get in any music. I do wish the hardcore scene and our group of bands could mesh more and become more of one scene rather than two separate scenes but that’s what people like Q and Chris are helping to make happen. We just go out and play music and love the bands we play with no matter what scene or group or genre they are in.”
-Jacob McClanahan, vocalist for Homebound.
“Local music to me is a journey. As a kid I’ve always been about the arts and I loved music with a passion. I’ve always dreamt of playing music and writing music. Metalcore was my weapon of choice. This path was so hard to get on but if you’re really dedicated and passionate the struggle will all be worth it. To me local music is the journey to reaching great heights and getting to the same level as some of the bands I’ve always looked up to.”
-Gabe McQueen, vocalist in Underestimate.