Sometime around late 2016 CARRY THE WEIGHT records posted the ECOSTRIKE demo online. Because I know how solid CTW is I thought I’d give a try. Boom ! What a blast. It felt like listening to the ALL OUT WAR / FIRESTORM records by EARTH CRISIS mixed with some old INTEGRITY. I wasn’t supprised when a couple weeks later CTW announced they were putting out their new 7’’’. To go along the release of this new record I thought it’d be cool to ask them a few questions.
Can you introduce yourself, who’s playing in the band, your occupations, other bands etc?
My name is Lennon, I sing in Ecostrike, play guitar in Drawing Last Breath, and play Drums in SANDMAN and Secondsight. Other members of Ecostrike are Bobby J and Schultz 305 on guitar, LukeStrike on Bass, and Mario on drums.
I discovered ECOSTRIKE when Carry The Weight records posted the demo online, out of nowhere. How did you end up putting out records on CTW from England, all the way across the ocean?
When xRepentancex came over to Florida to play FYA fest a couple years back, I met Pat who is one of the minds behind CTW. Drawing Last Breath played an aftershow with them, and he ended up wanting to put out a 7″ for us. My friendship with Pat grew from there and when our demo came out he wanted to put it out. Pat and Tom who run CTW are the best. It’s my favorite label and they are awesome, humble people who truly get it. I am a CTW head for life!
You can’t hide your love for Earth Crisis, Strife or early Integrity. Any other essential influences to name ?
Earth Crisis and Strife are definitely huge influences for us. I am not a big Integrity fan and don’t really see them as an influence for us but it’s cool that people are able to take things from listening to our band for themselves. There has been a bit of a lineup change from the demo to the new 7″ and I think our new record is exactly where we want to be with our sound. I would say our sound is a result of taking cues from a few different influences…
Strife – One Truth
Earth Crisis – All Out War
Spawn – Adrift
Tension – The Sickness Of Our Age
Snapcase – Lookinglasself
Judge – Where It Went
Slugfest – Discography
What was your first exposure to these bands and the whole (vegan) edge metal movement? And how did you feel about it all (pretty hard lyrics / message / music / commitment etc)?
I absolutely love the “edgemetal” style. Bands like Arkangel, State Craft, Day Of Suffering, Reprisal, From The Dying Sky, Congress, etc. all play such a cool combination of Metal and Hardcore, and I love how hard-stanced the lyrics were, even if the majority of those bands sold out. I would say I even like a lot of the goofier/cornier records those bands put out later such as Sentence – War and some songs of Reprisal – Mail Order Knife Set.
Let’s talk about a bit about veganism. First of all, how is veganism seen in the USA? Here in France we are a bit late compared to countries such as Germany or England, but things are finally starting to change. You can find more and more vegan alternatives at restaurants / grocery stores, people talking about veganism on mainstream media reports, either on TV or in magazines.
Veganism is becoming more and more mainstream and accessible today in the US, which I think is a great thing. Some people act like it’s a problem and that veganism should be underground and that it’s less “punk” now but I think if your vision for veganism is some movement for the sake of being subversive you’ve missed the point completely.
Is it hard and/or expensive to get some decent healthy vegan food in the US, not just vegan junk food?
I guess it depends on where exactly you live, but typically it’s pretty easy. Here in South Florida there are a ton of grocery stores that have entire vegan alternative sections!
You have a song called « Act Of Militance ». Are you guys taking part in some militant groups or actions? Either if you do or don’t, can you explain why?
Nobody in the band is taking part in any militant acts in the traditional sense. The lyrics for that song were written by our previous singer, but we continued to play it because, although the title itself doesn’t necessarily reflect the actions of any of the current members of the bands, we felt it was still important to have a song with lyrics that shed light on the atrocities that take place as a result of people’s refusal to acknowledge what goes in to feed their craving for convenience.
In the song ECOSTRIKE you shout « With just one step, this world can see total liberation ». When I started to be vegan I was optimistic and enthusiastic, but when I realize things changed just a little bit and it’s already been a decade, my optimism dropped. Do you have faith in deep changes from western societies? What in your opinion could help to speed these changes up?
Again, this lyric is from the demo which was sang by someone else and I didn’t write the lyrics. I don’t personally see this lyric as violent or militant, if anything I see it as encouragement. When someone takes the simple step of cutting animal products out of their life, it is one more step towards a world where non-human animals are treated with dignity and respect. Veganism becomes easier for me every single day and the changes that I see in American society with how accessible and regular veganism is becoming definitely serve as positive reinforcement and a reminder that we’re really making a difference.
In your opinion, can « Violence against violence » be legitimate in some cases?
I think it can be. It all depends on context. I would typically consider myself a pretty nonviolent person. I think most conflicts can be reasoned, and I do think that most violent situations are unnecessary, but I do understand that sometimes it comes to a point where there are no other options.
If I’m correct « Amongst The Few » talks about Edge breakers and / or people who can’t stick to their words; right? Would the fact friends of yours break or change their views about such things affects your relation with them and how?
It’s less about the people who can’t stick to their words and more about the way that those people selling out effects, or doesn’t effect in this case, those of us who are still straight edge. When my friends sell out, more than angry, I feel sad. This song is a a strengthening of my resolve. When those around me sell out, I know that I won’t. Even if I’m the last one here that’s fine, I know that I’ll always be straight edge.
What are the plans for ECOSTRIKE? Any Euro tour in the pipeline?
We’re heading out to California soon for our first west coast tour. Hopefully going to play some more places that we haven’t yet after that. I’m sure we’ll make it to europe eventually, but unfortunately right now there are no immediate plans to make that happen.
Lennon, you also run Please Your Case Fanzine / records. Can you tell us more about that? History, plans etc.
I do! It started as a fanzine in 2012, and I’ve done 16 issues of the zine. I started the label side of it by putting out tapes for my friends bands, but eventually wanted to take it to the next level. I’ve done 7″ releases for Bind and Invoke, two of my favorite new hardcore bands, and I’m doing the American release for the Firm Standing Law 7″ which is an absolutely incredible record. Next release on the horizon is a Compilation 7″ which more news will be available about soon! the zine and the label both are a fun and rewarding way for me to give back
Thanks for your answers. Time has come for your opinion column; if you feel like adding anything or talking about something you care about we didn’t discuss yet just do it:
Thank you! Some bands everyone should check out:
You can get the new ECOSTRIKE record on the store.