“For fans of”…the classic line that is thrown around in hopes of getting plays, new fans, or especially “likes” in this day and age. I usually tend to overlook things like this, but this particular one I couldn’t ignore. After reading “FFO: Unborn, Arkangel, and Morning Again,” I felt the need to immediately check out the band that was being advertised. That band is xRepentancex, a seemingly random breath of fresh air in the hardcore scene that truly impressed me. When listening to the band’s 2013 demo, entitled “In Violation of Aša,” I couldn’t help but think that it sounded like something straight off the Good Life Recordings “The Way It Is” compilation that came out in 1996. They play a perfect blend of 90s vegan straight edge metalcore that we all know and love. I was able to get a quick interview with Pat, their guitar player, to talk about the band.
Introduce yourself and the band, and explain how xRepentancex came to be.
My name is Pat, I play guitar in xRepentancex. The band consists of myself, Oli on drums, John on vocals, and Robb also on guitar. We are yet to get a solid bassist. I basically wanted to do this band for a number of years. I wrote some songs but couldn't find that many vegan Straight Edge people in the UK scene, especially who could play metal. After searching for a while, my friend Charlie of Abolition introduced me to Oli and we started jamming. The original plan was that I was going to do vocals, but we soon realized we would never be able to play live if so due to the lack of xvx guitarists in the UK. So we got John involved, who does a way better job than I could ever do anyway. We recorded in Nottingham in January just the three of us, then later recruited in Robb and he is great.
Does the name hold a certain significance to you or the message you’re trying to convey?
In a way, yes. Without sounding to cliche, I take it to be uncontroversial that human 'civilization' is in crisis in many significant ways. One of these ways is our arrogant and disrespectful treatment of the planet and the creatures which inhabit it. Until we kill our anthropocentric views, I cannot see anything improving. So in some ways, the name Repentance is relevant in that sense.
I hear fragments of bands known to have a militant stance on veganism and straight edge, like Chokehold and Unborn for example, in your music. Do you think it’s necessary to take this stand when talking about that subject matter? If so, why?
I do not think it is absolutely necessary to always hold a militant stance on these issues. It depends what a band's approach is. Moreover, I do not think Straight Edge and Veganism should be treated in the same ideological manner. Both can be seen as forms of rebellion or valuable in some comparable way, but there are significant differences with regard to their moral and practical interpretation. But with xRepentancex, this band is a chance for all of us to vent our anger and rage at issues in the most precise way. In the UK, there are almost no bands who talk about veganism, so in a reactionary sense, we retain an overt and hard stance on it. A lot of this is done through religious metaphor, using lyrical themes from the Abrahamic and Zoroastrian traditions. None of us are religious, but we find value in conveying our message in these metaphorical terms in order to emphasize its importance.
Recently, there has been an obvious increase in popularity when it comes to 90s influenced hardcore bands, especially here in the States. How is the scene overseas as far as that style goes? Who are some of your favorite current bands playing that style?
I totally agree and it is awesome! It is great to see. Firstly I would say the UK is pretty good for that style right now. Abolition, Natural Order and the recently revived Ark of The Covenant are all great bands. The US has such a huge scene that there is always going to be something awesome going on which is cool.
I noticed that the cassettes sold out very quickly online soon after the demo was released. Were you all surprised at how well received the demo was? Are any still available?
Man, we are all taken back by how fast they went. I knew they were going to sell eventually as people seemed to really like the song we posted and there were only 60 made at first. But to have the first and second press go in a matter of minutes was unreal. We are all so grateful people who want to check us out. I believe they have all gone, but there will be a vinyl version coming shortly.
What do you guys have planned for the future? Any tours coming up?
We have a bunch of shows planned over the next few months. We are all fairly busy with work and/or university so we don't get a lot of time. But we just want to play when we can and maybe do a tour sometime this year. Once the vinyl version of the demo comes out, we will be working on a full length LP.
Thanks a lot for the interview, Geoff!
Check out the band and the recently posted demo here: http://xrepentancex.bandcamp.com/