Blackwire Feb 2 13 22 of 22

CRISIS ALERT Interview With Frontman, Matt "Footy" Horvath.

Adelaide’s Crisis Alert have but only a short history, less than 12 months in fact. Yet in that time, they’ve managed to release a 10 song 7 inch on Resist Records and helped put the city of churches back on the hardcore map. Frontman Matt “Footy” Horvath , talks about all things Crisis Alert.

In your own words how would you describe the sound of Crisis Alert?

Crisis Alert’s sound is in best described as an early 80s sounding, fast, energetic hardcore band. The sound we try to capture is similar to one from the first wave of hardcore that was coming out of DC at the time.

How did the band come together, what prompted the formation and the name?

I have been wanting to do a band like Crisis Alert for a long time now and at the start of 2012 I figured that I should just stop thinking about it and just do it. I already had heaps of ideas for songs, so I sat down and put it all down and the 10 songs came out relatively quickly and smoothly. I had always wanted to do a band with our drummer Shaun, so we had two jams where I showed him the songs and booked some recording time with our mate Jono.

I have been playing in bands with Tom for over 10 years and we understand each other really well musically, so it was natural to ask him to play guitar.

We recorded the music for the 7” in half a day in a jam room. Originally I was playing guitar on the recording and Tom was going to play bass, however due to time restrictions I ended up doing both guitar and bass.

I always had this crazy idea of using my shower cube as a vocal booth, because of the way it is built, so the next day Jono and I set up my shower/bathroom as a vocal booth and smashed the vocals in a day.

If the recording process went well and it sounded good enough to release, Crisis Alert was to become a band. After mixing the recording, it turned out way better than expected. I asked Shannon if she would be interested in playing bass. She is such a rad bass player and shreds more than other bass players I know, she was keen and Crisis Alert was born.

To be honest, the name has no deeper meaning behind it. I thought of it as I was trying to think of suitable band names and I liked the sound of it. I played around with drawing some logos for the band and I was happy with what I was coming up with and so I ran with it.

By the time our first show came about we had only had one jam as a full band. We had tabs by our feet, still learning the songs. In a way it is the nature of how I wanted to do the band, and that is to just get out there and just play and go hard, no messing around.

What sort of bands influenced the sound of Crisis Alert?

The main bands that influenced Crisis Alert are Minor Threat, Jerry’s Kids, SS Decontrol, Void, S.O.A, Gang Green and more of that early DC/Boston hardcore sound. Other people have told me that some songs remind them of bands like Antidote, Uniform Choice, 7 Seconds and Straight Ahead. Not my original intentions, but I can see how people would think that.

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Would readers recognize members from any other bands?

A huge number of bands. I play in Stolen Youth, Starvation and have played in God So Loved The World and a couple other short lived bands. Tom’s bands include Stolen Youth, Sex Wizard and Jungle Fever. Shannon plays in Kamikaze, Ricochet Pete, Shit Magnet and has played in many bands in the past. Shaun plays in Stuff Box and has played in Newtonheath and Before It All Ends.

There seems to be a trend that you can’t be in just one band in Adelaide, you have to be in at least two?

I guess it is partly because of how small Adelaide is. I don’t think it is a bad thing, but it certainly makes it hard putting on shows when one member, who plays in multiple bands, goes away and it automatically rules out 2 or 3 bands.

Adelaide has always had shows with diverse line ups and people tend to support different sub-genres of hardcore & punk. Through this I have found people who play in hardcore bands, might also play in a punk band, or a post-hardcore band, or an emo band, etc or vice versa. I think its really cool that people in Adelaide do this and its not a city where you only support one type of hardcore, one type of punk or whatever the latest trend is. I believe that is one reason why Adelaide has a strong local scene.

Is this your first foray into the world of being a frontman? How did you find it to playing bass?

I will say yes. I used to sing in a Misfits cover band every Halloween, but that doesn’t really count. Seriously, singing in a band is one of the hardest things I have ever done musically. Originally, I had no idea how my vocals would even come out. The first time I tried it was when I was standing in my shower recording booth screaming into the mic to record the 7”. I am happy with how it came out, but it was a struggle.

Live, you will find we play most of our songs straight into each other, so it is 15 minutes of constant screaming into a mic and jumping around like an idiot. By the end of it I feel like I am going to die, can barely talk and I sweat like I have never sweated before. Funny enough it’s a good feeling and I really enjoy the different experience I get compared to playing bass.

Also for some reason when I sing the whole set just turns into a blank memory, I can never remember any of it. I have found things getting easier each show we play.

Your debut release just happened to be a 7inch on Resist Records. How did that all come about?

We got the 7” mastered by JJ Golden, I have liked the stuff he did with OFF!, Fucked Up, Sonic Youth and more, and I think he did a good job with our 7” so I wanted to see what others thought of it. We were just going to do it ourselves, but before I sent it off to press I sent it up to Graham to check out, mainly just to let him know that this band is happening and that we are keen to play if he had any shows coming through town. The next day he called me up to ask about the band and mentioned that he was keen to release it. I love everyone at Resist and I think it is one of the best labels in Australia and to be on the label would be a huge honour, so we said yes. I am definitely happy with the reaction it has had so far.

Dream lineup of bands to play with? Past or present?

Minor Threat, Fugazi and Dag Nasty (Can I say era)

Adelaide seems to go through a lot of up and down cycles as a scene. Right now it seems really tight knit with a lot of intimate shows at the Animal House. How would you say things are at the moment?

Things are great in Adelaide at the moment and the strongest the scene has been in a very long time. A lot of really good stuff happened a couple of years ago; Clarity Records opening, Animal House starting and a lot of new bands starting up. All these stable factors have now grown to help create the Adelaide Hardcore / Punk community for what it is at the moment. Animal House provides an easy place for bands to play regularly, its cheap, all ages and community run. It reminds me of when I first started going to shows with distro’s and vegan food stalls at a lot of shows. I also believe Clarity has played its role with helping bands promote shows outside of facebook, sell their music in a store and a hub for people to meet, talk about and buy music and find out about what shows are happening. There is nowhere else in Adelaide that you can really do this. Also with bands like The Weight, Search And Destroy and other local hardcore bands killing it at the moment, it certainly gets people excited to go to shows. I believe all these factors encourages people to start new bands, put on shows and get involved in some way with whats going on. Its all pretty exciting.

Any other bands from the Adelaide area people really should know about?

Weightless, The Weight, Search And Destroy, SXWZD, Nebraska, Patriarchal Death Machine, I.I., Featherweight, Night Hag, Raccoon City Police Department. Look up these bands and check them out. They are all rad bands who are constantly doing good stuff in Adelaide.

What’s coming up for Crisis Alert in the near future. Any touring plans in support of the release?

I am going to kick off the new year by starting to write a new record, hopefully get something out next year some time. What it will be, I don’t know just yet.

I am itching to tour and can’t wait to get out there, but being a business owner it’s hard to do towards the end of the year, with Christmas and all. So in 2013 I definitely want to hit the road with the band and play more outside of Adelaide.

How can people find out more about Crisis Alert or get a hold of some of your music?

People can check us out on tumblr – crisisalerthardcore.tumblr.com

If people want our music, you can buy it. It’s a 7”, it will cost about $10 for 10 songs and it comes with a digital download. If your local record store doesn’t have it, then order it. If that’s an issue, then buy it online from the Resist webstore or other webstores that you like to order from.

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