Thursday, July 7, 2011

Posted by Anonymous |
Derrick Hachey is the bassist for the relatively new vegan hardcore band Olde Ghost. Being the red meat 'n cheesy potatoes man that I am, I don't know that much about veganism but I plan on finding out more about it as well as interviewing more vegan hardcore folks. Enjoy the interview. - Andrew Jacobs

How did you get into hardcore?

When I was young, I listened to The Clash, Ramones, Stiff Little Fingers and the like after being introduced to them by a friend’s brother. And then in 1987, I went to see 7 Seconds and Dag Nasty play at the Living Room in Providence, RI. That’s when I really fell in love with hardcore and started to identify with the music and community... the spirit and unity of it. I was fortunate to grow up in Rhode Island at that time. Verbal Assault was in their prime and there were a ton of bands that came through. My friends and I were at shows all the time.

One of the unique things about your band Olde Ghost is there are two singers, a male and a female. How exactly did that come about?

To take that a step back, Olde Ghost (Chris LaPointe, Kirby Johnson, Ego, Sara Russert and myself) started as a band for the sole purpose of friends playing music together that we loved with none of the pretense of "being a band", making music for the fun of it like we all did in high school. No drama, no trying to "make it" or whatever. Early on, we wrote a song that we thought would be much better if we had our good friend Sara sing a back-up on it. It went great, and very soon after that, we thought that the dynamic between Chris and Sara would work really well on more, if not all, of our songs in more of a co-frontperson scenario. Since she was such a good friend and she was interested in our approach to being a band, we asked her if she’d like to join and she was nice enough to say yes.

Discuss Olde Ghost's upcoming recording plans.

We will probably do something by the end of the summer. It sort of goes back to what I said earlier about the pretense of being a band - of being expected to record, tour and play every show you can. We just aren’t interested in doing that. That said, we are very proud of the songs we write and are interested to hear them recorded and to have other people hear them as well.

What are some of your favorite Olde Ghost songs and why?

At the moment, one of my favorites is a newer song called "Serpent’s Maw". It's a song that came together really organically and has an amazing interplay between Chris and Sara. Another favorite is "They Can’t All Be Winners", a song about the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which prohibits any person from using force, violence or threats for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise. Basically, it’s legislative protection for those who choose to enslave animals against those who are trying to end this barbaric practice. It is being used to prosecute people for things like whistleblowing, undercover investigations and disseminating information. No other industrial sector in America has ever been granted such protection and frankly, it unfairly singles out Animal Rights activists. Not only does this song address this important subject, it also features some stellar guitar work from Kirby. I swear, sometimes it takes all that I have to not stop playing a song and just watch him shred.

As a musician, who/what are some of your influences and why?

There are seriously so many! So many bands that have made or continue to make music influence me on a daily basis, both from a musical and personal standpoint. 7 Seconds, Gorilla Biscuits, Terror, Swiz, Descendents, Bad Brains, Another Breath, Unrest and so many more.

From a bass-playing perspective - Arthur Smilios, Doug Carrion, Kim Coletta, Karl Alvarez, Darryl Jenifer, Nate Newton, Kira Roessler and so many others have been and will always be a huge influence on me and my playing.

People from the hardcore community who, through different ways, give back to the community and beyond also influence me tremendously - Greg Bennick, Anika Lehde, Josh Harper, Jake Conroy and Toby Morse to name but a few.

How long have you been vegan and why did you choose veganism?

I’ve been vegan for about 5 years or so. After being vegetarian for almost 20 years prior, I just decided that I should be doing more for the welfare of non-human animals. I want no part of imposing my will on any living being. Animals are not ours to do with as we please.

Even though you live in the Pacific Northwest, is it still somewhat of a challenge to maintain a vegan lifestyle in terms of food costs, restaurant variety, etc.?

No, it’s not a challenge at all. I’m very lucky to live in Seattle. There are enough grocery stores and restaurants here to keep food costs down and to keep competition up in terms of choice. The vegan community here is so strong and so full of amazing people trying to do their part - from people who organize vegan bake sales at shows to raise money for animal sanctuaries and the like, to direct-action warriors who sacrifice their own personal freedoms in the name of animal liberation, to so many other people doing whatever they can.

There are countless Straight Edge hardcore bands whose core members are no longer Straight Edge. Are you aware of any vegan bands whose core members are no longer vegan? If so, what band(s)?

Sure, there are some. I’m not going to call them out. They made a choice, and while I don’t agree with it, it was theirs to make.

You'll be turning 41 in August (the same day as me, in fact). What is it about hardcore that keeps you so involved in it?

Hahaha, I’m sure you get this question yourself all the time! I know hardcore is often thought of as "kid’s music" or something like that but I honestly don’t think that I could ever stop loving it. Hardcore bands new and old continue to amaze me musically. I challenge anyone to listen to Run with the Hunted and not feel more alive after than they did before. Or Trial, or 7 Generations, or Warzone, or so many other bands. The spirit of, and involvement in, community is nourishment that I need to live. The energy of the music keeps me young. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s the truth. Hardcore gave me a family and is responsible for so much of who I am. And as long as Kevin Seconds is still out there rocking like a teenager, I know I’m still doing okay.

Feel free to shamelessly plug any of your other musical or non-musical endeavors here.

I’d just like to encourage everyone to get involved in something. There is a lot that can be done to better our lives and the world around us, get into it! If you’d like to know more about Olde Ghost, you can follow us on Facebook -