Interview Dave Mullins.
Queensland hardcore band Against have been around since the early 2000s, which in hardcore is a huge effort. Considered amongst some of the greats with the likes of Mindsnare, Day of Contempt and Miles Away they have a following all around the country. The recently announced a 4 show tour of Western Australia playing with the likes of Worst Possible Outcome (who will be playing their final run of shows), Scalphunter, Chainsaw Hookers and Beerfridge. This would be their first tour in 5 years. I caught up with vocalist Greg Appleby to discuss the tour, hardcore music and what the future holds for Against.
Dave: So you guys are touring Western Australia, have you been there before?
Greg: Yeah we’ve been a few times, we were there with Mindsnare, a couple of shows with Strung Out, and early on, about 2007 we did a Left for Dead tour. We did about 35 dates in a month, back when you used to be able to tour and land with a couple of bucks
Dave: That’s incredible
Greg: Yeah, so I think this is our fourth time there. We’ve got two guys in the band who have never been to Perth, and the east coast is just same shit different day, same people, same shows. So Adam from Worst Possible Outcome, we did some shows with them and Toe to Toe, Throwdown – the original Throwdown – from Cronulla. They were just good dudes, and Adam wanted to get us over to Perth and two of the guys hadn’t been there before, so we thought “let’s lose some money and go to Perth on holidays”.
Dave: Adam (Worst Possible Outcome) tells me that you have a funny story about when you guys first met.
Greg: Oh yeah, that would have been around 2004, 2007? We played with his old band Shotgun Wedding. We were playing a bar in the middle of nowhere and we turned up, I think they opened the show, and we saw this big dude screaming, he had a megaphone in his hand, and were like “who is this asshole? It’s too early in the evening for this, it’s brutal” And he sung most of the set like this, and screamed and jumped around. I remember that he screamed so hard that he had a bucket on the side of the stage that he threw up in, and we’ve been mates ever since.
Dave: That’s just epic.
Greg: Yeah it was good, it was a little bit inspiring to see someone put so much effort into it that they actually threw up on stage.
Dave: So you guys have been doing the rounds for a pretty long time, how do you keep it going for such a long time?
Greg: After the record Left for Dead came out we did another called Loyalty and Betrayal, we wrote the songs at home and we thought they were amazing, but when we recorded, we had a lot of band things going on, they didn’t come out how we wanted and the record itself came out a little negative. We’ve always been an aggressive but positive band. We kept touring, and shows started to drop off, and American bands started coming out every other weekend. Then local shows dropped off because people wanted to buy shirts of trendy bands and not support locals. It sorta goes in circles.
We sort of just said “we don’t give a fuck what anyone else is doing and whether they like it or not” we’ll keep writing songs and keep playing them. We’ve been losing money on shows since Left for Dead. I just thought we’d do it for fun. And these days it’s the only way. You can go on holidays, spend a couple of nights in Melbourne, a night in Sydney and then go down to Adelaide. It’s good fun.
Dave: I think that’s a great attitude to have. So what do you think about the state of hardcore right now? There’s a lot going on in Australia since you guys started out.
Greg: I think the more the merrier. I don’t give a shit what you play, I don’t even really care why you play it. You could be in the shittest band on Earth and some kid will hear it and go out and start his own band. I remember when all the bands start coming out, early 2000s, and the ’90s. Most of the hardcore bands were white trash, middle class kids, and it’s the same all over the world. You go somewhere and you meet some guy who has the exact same outlook on life as you do. Instead of going to school and learning that sort of stuff you learn about life through hardcore.
But there’s so many bands coming out now, most of the bands over the last 5 years are just copying whatever American bands are doing. You’ve got labels like Reaper Records who I think are putting out the best hardcore records in the country, over there you got bands like Terror who blow up the whole world and put out some of the most important records you’ve ever heard. It’s just par for the course that kids are gonna copy this stuff. People say hardcore is dead, and everyone is disillusioned by it, but there’s some kid in a basement somewhere, or in his room, and he may not want to listen to my band, but it’s still strong.
Dave: Once again that’s a great attitude to have. So what does the future hold for Against?
Greg: We’re loosely working on a 7 inch for now, and we’re kind of at a point where we don’t know what direction we’re gonna go. A lot of us have always been into a lot of older stuff, a lot of metal and a lot of real punk. Not your Hot Water Music, but your Discharge and GBH and bands that have blown up recently like Crowbars and that. We just like mean, heavy music, but we don’t wanna talk about killing yourself and breaking up with girls. So yeah we’re probably gonna write a 7 inch in the next few months and it will probably dictate where we’re gonna go for the next few years. We’re just playing around, if people like it they like it, if they don’t, we’ll just keep playing it anyway.
Dave: Are there any bands that you’d really like to tour with?
Greg: To be honest, really early on in the band we were really proactive, and you have to say this as an Australian band, but for us it was always Mindsnare. They were the one band. We did a lot of shows with Day of Contempt early on and they were one the most important bands in Australian hardcore, Mindsnare would be number one, but they took us under their wing early on and we did so many tours with them. They played record launches for us, and we toured records with them. There’s a lot of new bands that are awesome, but we’re happy to play with anyone. You can play with the shittest band in the world and have a beer with them after and they’re great guys, and you can play with the best bands and they’re fuckwits after the show. But yeah, we’ve been lucky to play with most of the greats, but we also like to play with young bands.
Dave: So W.A. isn’t far off, is there anything you’re looking forward to, going to the beach, hitting the pubs?
Greg: Well we haven’t been there for a long time, I mean you guys have got beaches, but I’m from Queensland, our beaches are better, no big deal. I’m keen to see the guys from Beerfridge, hopefully see a couple of the Miles Away guys. It’s been such a long time since we’ve been there, we had such a good time the last few times we were there. We’re just keen to meet nice people and have a beer.
Presented by NEW ORDER ALLIANCE and Boddington Tyres catch Against at these shows:
Thurs 19th March @ Boddington Hotel, Boddington with Brent Jones (solo) and Sweet Leaf. 7pm Free Entry
Fri 20th March @ Babushka, Leederville
With Dead Set Dead, Blind Spot, Scalphunter and Chainsaw Hookers. 7pm $12
Sat 21st March @ Prince Of Wales Bunbury with Longshore and Beerfridge
8pm free entry
Sun 22nd March @ 459 Bar
2pm Matinee Show with Sweet Leaf, TRS, Bounty Hunter, Idle Eyes, Losing Grip, Circle One, Cursed Earth, Longshore & The Reptilians $15