Tuesday, June 3, 2008

ON : Seattle Hardcore

This new Seattle band caught our attention, so we thought we'd do their first interview, firing off a few questions to singer Jim Hesketh. Check them out on MySpace.com/ONHC


Who is ON? Where are you guys from and how might we know you?

ON is Eric, Ben, Adam, Aaron and myself. We all played in bands before, just a few of them were Lights Out, Champion, Go it Alone, and Blue Monday. We are a band based out of Seattle and we play hardcore/punk music.

This band is pretty new, when did things kick off, and why? Any specific inspiration to do it? Any specific musical influences you think come out most in ON?

Eric, Ben, and Adam played in a band with a different singer. That wasn't really working out. I had tried to do a band with a couple different groups of people that also didn't turn out. They asked me to sing. I really liked the songs they had written for the previous band and I had been feeling like I had a lot more to say and a lot more to give so I immediately agreed. Aaron moved up from SF and jumped on drums and it was perfect. We've been jamming for, like, six months or so. We've just been writing tons of material. I guess after Champion broke up, things didn't really go how I had planned. At the time I felt like I had gotten the whole thing out of my system and it was time to "grow up" and move on with my life. I got a really good job that I love and for the normal guy, my life is great.

The problem is that all I had ever wanted to do since I was a kid was to play in a punk band. That was my dream I guess. At 26 years old I had accomplished that. For the last 2 years I've been thinking about all of things that are wrong today. I live day by day and don't do anything about it, beyond how I change my personal life. ON, for me, is my outlet, to say the things that I need to say, so I don't feel like I'm sitting around and doing nothing about it. Our influences change every week and range all across the board. We have no sound we are going for and we don't have any constraints.

It looks like you have an EP that is ready to go, so it seems like you aren't wasting any time. Can you tell us about the record? Why did you decide to do it yourself?

I think the first reason why we decided to do this record ourselves, was because we thought it would be fun. We had never done it before. Also with the internet, you don't really need record stores, distribution, advertisements and whatever else a record label is trying to do, unless you are trying to tour and sell lots of records. This was our first record and we weren't trying to shove it down anyone's throat. We wanted the people who wanted it, to have it. This record is the first 4 songs we wrote together.

Can you tell us about the lyrics? These do not seem like lyrics that were written in the studio ten minutes before it was time to do vocals simply because you needed lyrics. Am I wrong? Who would you cite as a lyrical influence as far as hardcore lyricists, or even non-hardcore lyricists?

All of the topics on this record were things that had been eating me up inside for the last couple years. These are things I didn't get a chance to touch on in Champion. I put a lot of passion into writing those songs. That was one of the really cool things about doing the record ourselves was that there was no pressure of dead lines, so we got to really take our time and work out the kinks. It's been a really good experience working with these guys. If you pick up the record please take the time to read the words. It's the most important part of this band to me, and I feel it's holding hardcore back as a whole. The lack of substance and the neglect of the kids to demand more. My influences have changed a bit since champion. Right now I really look up to Cappo and JJ.

What is going on in Seattle right now, and how is this different from it was, say, 5 years ago? Will ON be hitting the road non-stop as Champion had seemed to do all the time?

Seattle has been pretty quiet. There is a scene but it has died down a lot. There isn't as much effort as there was 5 years ago to get things going. Kids are too concerned on being exclusive and super cool, too concerned with tearing other kids down. We have some tour plans in the works; we will be heading down to California in June/July. As far as going full time? It's not in the cards this year but we will see what happens when we record the LP.

Doing a hardcore band in 2008 can be easier said than done. Lots of critics and lots of obstacles, especially as you get older. What is gonna make it worth it to you, and what would you like young kids getting into hardcore to get out of checking out your band?

I think kids are starting bands for the wrong reasons. There is the fame aspect that has completely overshadowed the reality of being in a hardcore band. I hate being the old guy saying "kids these days" but I just don't feel anything real coming out of their mouths. Our planet is dying, our country is at war, people are starving, and you still don't have anything to fucking say? Give me a fucking break. Doing this band is natural. Everything so far just flows and works out or it doesn't. I just want the people to get what I'm trying to say. Read the lyrics and if you don't get it, ask me. In person or online, I don't fucking care.

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