Bent Life – Interview

Vielleicht hattet ihr ja dieses Jahr das Glück  die Jungs von Bent Life live und in voller Pracht auf ihrer Europa Tour zu erleben. Ich hatte die Ehre mit Bassist Nick über die Tour, sowie die Band zu sprechen. Wem die fünf Jungs aus Nebraska noch kein Begriff sind, der sollte sie unbedingt mal auschecken. Ihr könt euch die kommende 7″ „Cheat Death“ bei Bad Teeth Recordings vorbestellen. Vertraut mir, das wird ein Brett!

Hey Nick, Thank you so much for taking your time to do this interview. Let’s start with an introduction about your band. Please tell us something about the history, the name and the current lineup.

What’s up Jacob! I’m always down to talk to a good friend. My name is Nick Miller and I play bass in Bent Life. We’re a hardcore band from the states – Lincoln, Nebraska to be exact. We’re from the Midwest which is smack-dab in the middle of the country, full of farmland and shit but we live in a decent sized rural area so it’s not like we’re all a bunch of cowboys riding horses everywhere like some people on the coasts think we are. We’ve been a band for about 4 years, about to release our third 7″, and have pretty much just spent our time trying to tour as much as possible. Our band name comes from an old Aesop Rock song. Chris was sitting on it for a while and we decided to use it. It’s kinda weird but after a while it grew on us. Our current line up is my brother Chris on guitar, our other guitarist Brock Stephens, our singer Andy Voorhees, our new drummer Aaron Broveak, and myself.

You had a big Europe tour this summer. Can you give us some impressions ? How was it ? Wich countries and shows enjoyed you the most ? Anything worth to mention?

Yeah we did a month long European tour in June, it was crazy. Definitely one of the wildest things I’ve been apart of. I had been wanting to tour Europe since we started the band so it was so cool to finally do it and it was so fun. We played something like 7 different countries which was sick because until then I hadn’t left the country at all. We were lucky enough to tour with you guys (Light It Up) and War Charge from Scotland. Both bands were fucking sick and really fun to be around. I personally loved being in Germany and Switzerland the most, but it was a trip just wandering around another side of the world. I think some of the highlights were playing a couple wild fests in Germany, playing Ieper Fest and seeing the No Warning reunion, all the free beer you could imagine, and all the cool shows. the UK was sick minus the rain and expensive food. We went to a castle on a mountain at 1 am, ate kebab every day, got chased out of a venue by a Russian mob dude, experienced 3 day long wifi blackouts, went to an underground club in Austria at 4 am, made good friends all over the place. It was awesome.

Maybe you heard this question a few times, but what do you think are the main differences between the hardcore scene in Europe and America? What do you think especially about the European scene?

First of all it’s such a trip to be on tour in a place where you usually don’t speak the same language as everyone around you. I felt so lost most of the time but it was fun. But I think the main difference is hardcore kids in Europe are a little more open about being appreciative. Almost everyone we came across was extremely generous and helpful. We were fed every day, most of which were meals made for us, and given a place to sleep every night. It was a tour of about 12 people at all times and I think I only slept on the floor maybe 2 nights out of the whole month. Promoters would either help us with hostels or a place to stay with a lot of beds. It was crazy, but it takes a lot of stress out of the equation. Touring is expensive and can be rough sometimes, being taken care of like that goes a long way. You don’t always get treated like that touring in America. I think that’s what makes Europe so cool. Kids are siked that you’re there, it isn’t a popularity contest or something, and they’re trying to make sure you have a good time. It’s sick. That and being in a different country every day, haha.

Are there any European Bands you would like to see on a US Tour?

Hell yeah, no bullshit I would love to see Light It Up and War Charge tour over here. I think both bands would do so well. You guys are the shit. It’s weird because the only European bands American hc kids really jock are generally Belgian bands because of Justice and True Colors and all that, and now UK bands like The Flex and shit. I honestly didn’t know what to expect to see going to a German hc fest but a bunch of bands blew me away. It’s a shame more of the bands from Germany don’t get much hype over here because you guys blow some American bands out of the water. Definitely you two, and Gone To Waste for sure. What a gnarly band. Maybe even the weirdo crust punk that rapped over noise at our Poland show, hahaha. Nah just kidding we got enough of that crap here already.

You guys got a new 2-Song 7″ on Bad Teeth Records called „Cheat Death“. It’s your fourth release after 2 EPs and a demo . What can we expect from „Cheat Death“?

We do, we do, I’m siked on it. We’d been wanting to release something to get away from our old record label and our good friend John Caution approached us about doing something with his label, Bad Teeth Recordings. He straight up said, „I wanna put out a 7″ with a Bent Life song on it, one good song. I don’t care what else you guys put on it, it could be a Miley Cyrus cover for all I care“, haha. And we were down right away. We wrote two songs for it and they’re honestly two of the coolest songs I think we’ve written. We just tried to turn up the ignorance. Recently recorded them in Chicago and it’s getting mixed right now by Taylor Young (Nails, Twitching Tongues). Should be out by February and I’m pumped. The 7″ is one giant middle finger in the form of a record. No Miley Cyrus cover though, unfortunately. Saving that for the LP.

Lets talk about your lyrics. What is the general meaning of them?  Are you all involved in the writing process?

I am, I actually write the lyrics. our guitarist Brock helps sometimes as well. Just something we decided to do at the beginning because Andy didn’t have much experience writing. Each song is about a different subject but they do share similar themes at times because we’re a hardcore band. Anything from relationship issues with a friend or significant other, struggling with anxiety or self loathing. I’ve always written from personal experience but since I’m writing for someone else I try to speak from other members of our band’s perspectives as well as a general perspective so anyone could relate to them. It’s cool because as cliche as it might sound, writing for these songs has helped me deal with my own shit and other shit our entire band has dealt with. The last 4 years of our lives are in these songs. Like „Love To Lose“ is about getting dragged through the mud repeatedly just to keep doing what you want to do with your life. Our song „Bricks“ is about those loud mouth kids on the internet that fake their way through a years worth of hardcore then disappear. A new song off „Cheat Death“ is about realizing that you shouldn’t let record labels or booking agents or whoever try to tell you what you HAVE to do with your punk/hardcore band. Idk, maybe I was listening to a lot of Biohazard when we were writing that one.

Are there any Bands that influenced Bent Life ?I mean you got a real hard sound wich reminds me of some oldschool stuff.

I think any groove comes from NYHC, but we’ve always really wanted to push the band and see how ignorant we could get without sounding too metal or something. We take a lot of influence from Pantera, Dimebag’s riffs are unparalleled and Phil Anselmo was a machine back then. Definitely Leeway, Cro Mags, Metallica, Breakdown. But we listen to a bunch of shit that somehow gets into the music. Lyrically there are nods to Phil Collins, Drake, Oasis, little things nobody really catches. A new song has a part basically biting a Juicy J song. We just try to have fun and do whatever we feel like doing

Lets take a short look at the future. What are your plans for 2015?

We’ve got some cool shit in the works. „Cheat Death“ will be out early next year, I’m real siked on that. We’re playing Midwest Blood Fest in February, which is one of the coolest newer fests going right now. Just a ton of Midwest bands and other bands from all over, it’s pretty much a 2 day party. Got a crazy tour lined up in march, I think a run to California, and it’s looking like we might be going to Japan in the summer which will be insane. Some other stuff for sure but it’s still early. Maybe an LP.

Thats it! Again thank you so much for doing the interview with me! The last words are yours.

Thank you man, this was fun. Shout out to all the boys in Light It Up for being the sickest, mwb, Bad Teeth Records, Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A, War Charg, Gone To Waste and the movie Interstellar, that shit fucked me up. Keep hardcore hard. Listen to Ill Intent. The Beautiful Ones are about to fuck you up with their upcoming LP. „Cheat Death“ will be out soon so keep your ears to the ground. Peace!

Jacob Friedermann Jurk

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