Ahead of the UK hard­core fest, head­lin­ers Code Orange, Turn­stile and more ex­plain why they’re part of a rev­o­lu­tion.

As UK hard­core fes­ti­val out­break cel­e­brates its 10th event, we talk to head­lin­ers code orange, turn­stile and more about why to­day’s scene is the most ex­cit­ing it’s ever been

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents - WORDS: TOM CON­NICK

Jan­uary 28, 2018. as the top-tier stars of stage and screen flock to the Grammy awards, that all-too-sac­cha­rine, plas­tic ex­cite­ment of ‘awards sea­son’ is in full ef­fect. But rush­ing the red car­pet, code orange couldn’t be fur­ther from the fancy ball­go­wns and thou­sand-dol­lar hair­cuts of their sur­round­ings. Gui­tarist and elec­tron­ics wiz­ard eric ‘Shade’ Balderose is sport­ing a leather trench coat, fel­low gui­tarist Do­minic lan­dolina is wear­ing a type o Neg­a­tive t-shirt, and lead vo­cal­ist, drum­mer and fig­ure­head of the group, Jami mor­gan, is clad in a pur­pose-made, jet-black fur coat. their scowls are the an­tithe­sis of a hol­ly­wood grin. they im­me­di­ately turn heads and grab head­lines across the globe. like every­thing code orange do, it makes an in­stant im­pact.

the Pitts­burgh pun­ish­ers’ ap­pear­ance at the Gram­mys capped off a year that’s seen them spear­head a new wave of hard­core. From high­pro­file awards cer­e­monies, to sta­dium shows in sup­port of Sys­tem of a Down, last year’s For­ever LP saw them shrug off the sweaty base­ment gigs of hard­core’s past. through fus­ing the en­ergy of those 80s punk ori­gins with the power of metal, code orange and their peers hit upon a win­ning for­mula – one that’s also been picked up by turn­stile, whose sec­ond record,

Time & Space, sees them push hard­core’s bound­aries fur­ther still. It’s safe to say the scene is evolv­ing rapidly.

this sum­mer, code orange and turn­stile top the bill at leeds’ out­break Fes­ti­val, a run­down of all that’s ex­cit­ing in hard­core and be­yond. this year marks out­break’s 10th edi­tion – an­other land­mark mo­ment for an un­der­ground genre that’s surg­ing for­ward, and not bad for a fest that started out from the hum­blest DIY ori­gins back in 2011. “the first one was in a com­mu­nity cen­tre in Sh­effield, and there was a yoga ses­sion on be­fore,” laughs fes­ti­val co-founder Jor­dan cou­p­land, who was just 14 when he put on the first out­break. “When we ar­rived at the venue there were 15-20 women there, all do­ing yoga. It was so weird.”

With zen-seek­ers re­placed by a swelling mosh­pit, out­break’s only grown in stature. Now based in leeds’ canal mills event space, and draw­ing a 1,000-strong crowd, it’s be­come an es­sen­tial pit­stop on any dis­cern­ing heavy mu­sic fan’s sum­mer cir­cuit. In 2013, out­break was re­spon­si­ble for bring­ing turn­stile over to the UK for the first time, and has pro­vided a plat­form for the likes of ter­ror, Go­rilla Bis­cuits, turn­ing Point, Dead Swans and more, quickly evolv­ing from a show­case of lo­cal Bri­tish tal­ent to a world­wide go-to for hard­core’s finest. eight years in, they’ve built a name for them­selves in­ter­na­tion­ally. “It’s al­ways been re­ally cool,” en­thuses turn­stile front­man Bren­dan Yates, him­self a Bal­ti­more na­tive, born some three­and-a-half thou­sand miles from out­break’s leeds home, and yet aware of its im­pact. “It’s di­verse, and there’s a good en­ergy in the room.”

“We have peo­ple com­ing from amer­ica, and places like aus­tralia, and even Ja­pan,” says Jor­dan. “So yeah, this is quite a big mile­stone.”

Though son­i­cally sep­a­rate, hard­core’s his­tory is in­ex­orably in­ter­twined with metal’s. From newer bands – and code orange tour bud­dies – like trivium and Go­jira, to an­thrax, Slip­knot and me­tal­lica (“…And Jus­tice For All is named af­ter the ag­nos­tic Front record!” Jami mor­gan notes), the mo­men­tum that drives metal’s best is fu­elled by the pas­sion of the hard­core scene – and of­ten a youth spent at lo­cal shows. the two go hand-in-hand when it comes to driv­ing heavy mu­sic for­ward.

“I can’t think of one cul­tur­ally im­por­tant metal band that doesn’t have a con­nec­tion to hard­core,” Jami says. “It’s what makes most of those metal bands as good as they are.”

It’s that cross­over po­ten­tial that saw Je­sus Piece gui­tarist Dave Updike make the jump from black metal ob­ses­sive to hard­core head back at the turn of the decade. one of the newer acts on out­break 2018’s line-up, Je­sus Piece’s fu­sion of black metal at­mo­spher­ics and fren­zied hard­core feels fresh, de­spite its grimy de­meanour – an­other twist in the hard­core tale that could only oc­cur given the re­cent leaps the scene’s made.

“We came from all walks of heav­ier mu­sic and I think that’s why what we do works out so well,” Dave says. “We kind of started as a bru­tal death metal band, su­per-ex­treme stuff. But just from our back­grounds and be­ing into hard­core and punk, Je­sus Piece is evolv­ing ev­ery sin­gle day.” Now, they’re prep­ping a de­but al­bum, and read­ily heap­ing praise on code orange for set­ting the scene: “We did a week­ender with them and we have noth­ing but re­spect for those dudes,” he says. “they’ve al­ways pushed the lim­its and have def­i­nitely opened a lot of doors for bands like us.”

that back-pat­ting, sup­port­ive ethos is key to hard­core’s stay­ing power. “Be­cause it’s a closeknit com­mu­nity, and quite un­usual, when a fest hap­pens, peo­ple make the ef­fort to come to it and ev­ery­one knows ev­ery­one,” says Jor­dan. “a lot of stuff hap­pens through word of mouth.”

a tight-knit crowd of fans, bands, pro­mot­ers and be­yond keep things run­ning through thick and thin, while near-iconic in­di­vid­u­als like


the hard­core com­mu­nity is one big, in­clu­sive fam­ily

mosh­ing is ut­break. re­sult Well, if the fans can in­vade the stage, fair’s fair…

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