Melbourne’s Rebirth is one band flying the flag for the Australian straight edge movement. With a lyrical focus on social injustice, the hardcore lads won’t shy away from promoting their beliefs. Through touring with hardcore’s biggest international acts such as Foundation, Harms Way and Code Orange, Rebirth has established a cult following across the country and internationally. Their debut LP Crucible is their most refined release to date; giving fans everything that they might expect from the five-piece, and even surprising a few with their mature sound for an act that has been together for only two years. We chat with drummer James Hutchins about the Australian hardcore community and the political and social injustices in the world.
Your debut LP Crucible has just dropped. What can we expect from your first full length release?
Well the way we like to put it is 13 tracks of socially conscious fury, exploring themes of oppression, prejudice and ignorance within Australia and the modern world. You can expect a much tighter, more abrasive and overall conscious body of work with our Crucible.
You recorded Crucible at Black Lodge in Brunswick. How was that experience?
Personally it was definitely the best recording experience I have ever had. Joel Taylor is a great producer and engineer. He’s a drummer also, so Joel and I had many long discussions over the drumming on the record. We really broke down a lot of the fills and parts on the record to make sure the drums complimented each track as well as stood out. He really pushed me in every take, and it was a great learning experience.
Rebirth don’t shy away from having their political and lifestyle opinions voiced. Do you think it is important for a band to speak out about their beliefs?
100%. Hardcore is the best and most important genre of music because it’s, in my opinion, the only genre of music that has anything to say anymore. Our vocalist Tyronne writes practically all of the lyrics and we all back the message of the band 100%. Personally I do feel it is highly important for a band to speak about their beliefs and thoughts. That’s why myself, and the rest of the band, are so invested in our music, because we feel like we’re actually doing something. We’re not just trying to get on festival circuits or use this as a holiday tool or anything like that. We’re just pushing our message and our music in a productive and positive way and hoping people catch on.
Your record release show even donated a portion of the door fee to the charity Homeground. Do you think the music industry should be doing more to combat many world issues and can we be doing more to spread awareness on these issues?
We always try and donate to charity using profits for places such as the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and Homeground, as well as Tryonne running Food Of Today, which is where he sets up a station at shows for people to donate canned goods and non-perishable food that will be donated to deserving charities and organisations. I think the hardcore scene is a very positive environment, where bands and people use their music, art and other skills to help raise money for charities and organisations. But there can always be more done. At the moment it’s very positive to see so many people support and give what they can to charities and organisations through hardcore and punk rock music.
Straight edge culture is a big part of this band. Do you think the Melbourne straight edge scene is still prominent and what role has it played in the success of the band so far?
It’s definitely alive and well. Even though there is a shortage of straight edge bands at the moment in Australia, there are many individuals in the country apart of the straight edge movement that use it as a positive part of their lives. There are many straight edge bands both in Australia and over the world that have paved the way for us and so many other current bands. Although we are a straight edge band, we don’t exclude anyone that isn’t straight edge from participating at shows or getting involved and hearing the message of the band. Straight edge is about not conforming to drugs, alcohol, smoke and the addictive culture, but it is also about becoming your own person and paving your own way in life.
What about overseas? It seems your music has spread pretty far through the hardcore community. Do you have any plans on touring international soon?
It’s amazing. We appreciate every bit of support we get and to have interest and support from people and labels in Japan, US and Europe as well as other countries; it’s truly amazing. We’re hoping to hit New Zealand in the coming months. Then after that focus on getting over to Japan and Europe at the end of this year/early next year and the US is definitely on the cards to. We are all very determined to take this band to as many places as we can and for people to hear our music.
Crucible is out now via Life. Lair. Regret. Records. For more details, head to rebirthxhc.bandcamp.com.