Byron Bay Hardcore Halloween Special

By Emily Swanson October 17, 2011

With the absence of annual Hardcore & Punk events in the area in recent years, Hardcore Halloween will step it up in 2011 to display some of the finest artists currently on offer in the genre.
Now in it’s 6th year with past line-ups including bands such as Parkway Drive & Carpathian, the event continues to grow confirming itself as a staple in both the Byron & surrounding areas. With a venue upgrade and a boosted line up, this proves to be the most exciting year yet. For the first time Byron Bay Hardcore will work with charity aid organisation ‘100 Shows For Haiti’, pledging $3 from every ticket sold to the cause.
To get into the spirit of things, BLUNT spent some time hanging with Hopeless’ Jason Clarke, 50 Lions frontman Oscar McCall and Fire Of Waco axeman Ryan Sim.

With Jason Clarke (guitar) from HOPELESS

You have just returned from Europe, how was the band received by audiences over there? What comparisons can you draw through touring in Australia and touring in Europe?
We were received really well, it kind of blew us all away. I guess we’re lucky in the sense that the internet has allowed people to listen to us for years, so that’s cool. I can find comparisons in everything from the food to the countryside on both continents, but they are still worlds apart. Europeans are bombarded with shows of incredible bands every day of the year and they still go to every single one in great numbers. It’s something I’m in awe of.

Hardcore Halloween looks like it has a pretty fun mix of bands, who are you looking forward to watching this year?
It’s a sweet line up. I love watching a 50 Lions set, so seeing them in their home town will be great and Relentless are killing it at the moment too. I haven’t seen Ghost Town in what feels like years so that’ll be cool, and it’s always rad catching up with the Fires of Waco guys. I’ll have to suss the other bands on the day.

It’s been a year since your last release, when can we expect something new from the Hopeless camp? What is the band focusing on for the rest of the year?
It has been a long time. We had initial plans on a release early this year but one thing led to another and it’s been a little delayed. We have a new addition to the band on guitar, so the writing has taken a slightly different approach that we’re all really excited about. We’ll hopefully have the record completed by the end of the year with the release being early 2012 and not much for the rest of the year other than a few one-off capital city shows.

What are you most looking forward to about Hardcore Halloween 2011?
After not touring Australia this year, I’ll be checking a fair bit off the list for this one show. Swim at the beach, Lighthouse crew shot, some serious costume wearing, eating some late-night Bakery Crill, hearing Bluey start every sentence with: “Here’s the thing aye” and of course, the ripper show line up.

With Oscar McCall (vocals) from 50 LIONS

Things have been pretty quiet in the 50 Lions camp lately, what’s planned for the rest of 2011?
To a point, we just got back from Europe. We have some shows coming up for the rest of the year but we won’t be doing too much until we sort out what’s happening with our new record.

You last released ‘Where Life Expires’ in 2009, is there any new material in the works?
Yeah, we have the majority of a new record written. It’s going to get recorded at some point but we haven’t given it a date yet. We’re pretty psyched to get something out though so we can get back on the road and do more shows.

How did the recent trip to Europe turn out for 50 Lions? Can you share any highlights from that tour?
It was cool, a little different to what we’re used to with the bigger festivals each weekend but it was good to catch up with some friends from around the world and see some new places. We played in an olive garden outside a restaurant in a small costal town in Italy. It was super sketchy, but awesome at the same time. It was the kind of scenic place you’d see on the side of a pasta packet or something.

What are a few things you are most looking forward to about playing Hardcore Halloween this year?
Seeing Nuz freak out for 5 hours about pointless shit and seeing how crazy some people dress. It’s always a bit of a laugh.

With Ryan Sim (guitar) from FIRES OF WACO

Fires Of Waco have had a busy year, having been out on tour with Miles Away and more recently, Balance and Composure. Can you tell us about those tours and what’s in store for Fires Of Waco for the rest of the year?
The tours were both really different – Balance and Composure was half the length of the Defeater/Miles Away tour, but we hit all the same cities but one. We played really different venues on both tours and obviously they’re really different bands. I think that’s important for us. We don’t really have a sound that will comfortably slot into a predetermined space on the punk/hardcore spectrum, so I think it’s a good experience for us to play as many different types of shows as are slung our way. What’s more important than that, however, is the fact that we get to forge these friendships that exist both across the nation and across the world. As for the rest of the year, we’ll be releasing a 7″ single and a five track EP before 2012, and probably writing and recording if we can. I’m playing guitar now and we have a new bass player – Craig Johnson – so it’ll be cool to figure out that new creative dynamic.

Which bands are you most looking forward to see at Hardcore Halloween this year?
I think most of all, Relentless. I don’t know many of the guys in that band except for Trent and Dennis, but they’re both really nice and it makes me interested to hear their music. I haven’t seen 50 Lions in a really long time, so I’m curious to hear what they’re doing now. Hopeless are always great, and it’ll be good to play with them again. Also, I’m stoked Ghost Town stopped pretending to be broken up.

You released Old Ghosts Never Sleep earlier this year, how has the band progressed musically between Old Ghosts and the EP? How happy are you with how Old Ghosts has turned out?
I really like Old Ghosts. I think it represents a cross section of our influences and it’s cool to hear how all those different songs kind of fit together. In terms of how we’ve progressed, I think we’re looking back a little bit at what actually got us excited about music when we were younger. Bands like Envy and City Of Caterpillar and Funeral Diner have kind of popped up in discussions of what we’re making at the moment. I think we’re combining that with the sound we’ve already established. I’d say the new songs are sadder, heavier and more aggressive.

What are the 5 things you are most looking forward to about playing Hardcore Halloween this year?
– Being in Byron Bay
– Costumes
– The fact I haven’t attended a Halloween show in about five or six years
– Candy
– The mosh part in “Heat” by Hopeless


Hardcore Halloween 2011
Featuring: 50 Lions, In Hearts Wake, Hopeless, Relentless, Ghost Town, Fires Of Waco & Deceiver
Sunday October 30th – Byron Bay High School (Bangalow Rd. Byron Bay)
Tickets $20 available at the door only
Doors open 5pm
All Ages, Drug & Alcohol Free Event
See for more info.

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Posted in: Interviews