ASW: “Hey guys, here you have Light It Up from Weißwasser, Germany. A young and hardworking hardcore band with a lot of groove and tempo changes in their songs. They are one of the upcoming hardcore bands from the fast growing scene in Germany. They’ve released three EP’s during the last three years. I really love what they are doing and can’t wait to hang out with them.”
LIU: “Okay, let me introduce you to A Strength Within. They are a young 4-piece hardcore band from Leuven, Belgium. They recorded a full-length album this summer and they will release it in 2014. Founded in 2009, they are around quite a while and are known as a hard working band with lots of touring experience and releases.”
Who is the main musical influence of the other band?
ASW: “They listened a lot to bands like No Warning, Guns Up! and the current wave of bands like Expire, Backtrack. And combined that into there own mix of hardcore. GROOVY!!”
LIU: “The main influence for A Strength Within are obviously Guns Up, Terror and of course No Turning Back.”
Name the main non-musical influence of the other band…
LIU: “Their main non-musical influence seems to be friendship. A band who is playing that many shows is built on a strong foundation. They seem to be driven by the idea of connecting with people from all over the world, make new experiences and travel new countries.”
What’s your best tour experience till date?
ASW: “To this day, A Strength Within played in thirty countries, spread over six tours (Europe, UK, Russia, SE-Asia). Every tour had its highlights and bad experiences. I will have to pick two: Our first tour. We had no tour experience at all, everything was new. We just booked ourselves a tour, o matter how long the drives were, and just got into the van and hit the road. We learned a lot about how to manage the band. The result was four shows with Carpathian/Ruiner, shows with Evergreen Terrace, No Turning Back, First Blood, Hang The Bastard and more. In 2011 we flew over to SE-Asia to play some shows in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. The preparations were not always that easy (transportation, domestic flights, gear, merch). But it was all worth it since we got an amazing response, and in the end we made some friends for life when we met the guys in Overthrown (Singapore). This resulted in an OT/ASW European tour in October 2012.”
LIU: “Our best tour experience is by far the trip to Kaliningrad, Russia. The emotins we felt the two days we spent with our new friends there will last forever. We absolutly didn’t know what to expect there, but everything worked out better than we could ever imagine. It was an unbelievable crowd and the atmosphere at the venue was just great.”
Can you describe some memories of your first show?
ASW: “This was at the second edition of Underground Fest, it took place at JH Metteko in Mechelen, Belgium. The show was booked by our friend Fabian (Countdown/Underground Bookings). No Turning Back and Down To Nothing were headlining that show, since this was the Belgium leg of their 2008 European Tour. Other bands on the bill were True Colors, Payback, Losing Streak, One Voice, One Ethic. I remember that we were extremely siked to play our first show and share the stage with some of our favorite bands. Flyer: http://www.noxa.net/_agenda/53628-1208444533.jpeg”
LIU: “I don’t know too much about our first show. But we all have been very nervous and we were more than excited. Our first show we played with Ritual, Miles To Go, Built On Trust and Times Up in our hometown Weißwasser, Germany in 2008. Actually we weren’t too bad for a first show and in the end everything worked out well for us.”
What does an ideal show look like on the True Spirit Tour?
ASW: “First of all, we personally think that it’s an honor to be invited for this tour and represent Belgium hardcore. Ideal would be that kids will check out and show some respect to every band on the bill. Even if they are not part of the True Spirit tour.”
LIU: “I guess an ideal show on the True Spirit Tour looks like this: A great chemistry between all touring bands, a positive and relaxed atmosphere in the crowd, good live shows, kids who are going nuts and just to have fun enjoy the time and make some experinces that will last forever.”
Name your top 5 releases of 2013…
ASW: “In random order:
The Setup – This Thing Of Ours
Down To Nothing – Life On The James
Terror – Live By The Code
Relentless – Turn The Curse
Alpha & Omega – No Rest, No Peace”
Risk It! – The Only Thing
Alpha & Omega – No Rest, No Peace
Downpresser – Don’t need a Reason
Take Offense – United States of Mind
War Charge – New World Justice
Why should kids come out to the True Spirit Tour?
ASW: “If you love, live and breath hardcore then this will be your cup of tea. This tour represents everything that I love about hardcore. PASSION, ENERGY, DIY, UNDERGROUND and the TRUE SPIRIT.”
LIU: “Kids should come out to the True Spirit Tour because it is a great opportunity to see some of the best European hardcore bands in one night. They will get a large variety in different sounds and also ideas and thoughts. It is also a chance to catch up with old and new friends, to get in touch with people from different countries and they will feel the True Spirit.”
Interview by Tim van Reyswoud