Central Coast hardcore punk band CHOKE recently released their debut 7" 'War of the Suburbs'. Drawing influences from Boston hardcore punk, US Powerviolence and early Newcastle Hardcore, CHOKE are proudly flying the Newcastle / Central Coast hardcore flag and are not afraid to wave it with reckless abandon.
At what point did CHOKE form and how did it all come together?
Choke had its first jam in January 2013 but the idea of a band with this line up had been in the works for at least a year before we started jamming. I met both Josh (bass) and Dan (vocals) at a local house show on the Central Coast on the same day and kept in touch with both of them over time as we were into the same sort of bands and we didn’t really have any other band things going on at the time. Eventually Josh and I decided just to start kicking the band into gear with the hopes of coming off as a Slapshot worship band and we pestered Blake until he agreed to playing drums with us then Dan came in and started singing, a few drummers later and we’ve now got Nathan on drums and Blake is playing guitar with us.
Would readers recognize the members from any other bands?
We’ve all had a couple little local Central Coast bands but nothing that would be recognized probably, Josh used to play in a heavier hardcore band called Last Chance that played around the Central Coast a fair bit and Dan played in a couple Grindish/Pv/Punk bands.
In your own words how would you describe the sound of CHOKE?
I like to think we’re just a hardcore band but with hints of fast/powerviolence influences and a tinge of Newcastle worship.
What bands are influencing the sound of CHOKE?
Australian stuff like Spray, Street Youth, Taipan, Deadstare, Found My Direction, all the Luke Dolan bands, US Powerviolence, Boston hardcore, we all like the early Ceremony and Trash Talk records but also we take influence and we get inspired by a bunch of current Australian bands like Extortion, Manhunt, Mindsnare and Shackles.
What would be a dream line up of bands to play with?
Cro-Mags/Infest/Mindsnare/Arms Reach/Extortion but it would have to take place somewhere in Newcastle.
You guys have a 5 song self released 7inch “War of The Suburbs”. How did the recording and pressing come together and how can people grab a copy?
We did the recording ourselves, Blake is currently studying sound engineering and we put our faith in him to pull it all together, which he did pretty well. We recorded it all in a jam room and in between takes we watched old Royal Rumbles on YouTube and talked a bunch of rubbish so it was a fun way to do it. We sent it off to Al Smith who is one of our favourite hardcore producers in Australia and he mixed and mastered it. Pressing wise our friend David decided to pursue a small DIY label and offered to help us put out our record and we took him up on it. The records were pressed in America and have come out great. The 7” can currently be ordered from our bandcamp, the Resist Records store and can be bought at our upcoming shows.
What does the song/ record title refer too? What exactly are the suburbs warring over?
The ‘war’ is the war inside families and households of the Central Coast, it basically takes aim at people who have no interest in the raising of their children, those who are too selfish to care, people that drown their issues with alcohol and also domestic abuse and the unfortunate reality that children are brought into such horrible situations worldwide who are brought into a vicious cycle of abuse and ‘war’.
You’ve been booking shows in the Central Coast for a few years now. How would you describe the health of the scene there?
The Central Coast is a weird scene, most of the people that get involved eventually grow up and move on and become nightclub fiends. I’m sure it’s a common thing in hardcore and not just on the Coast, the people around when I was younger and getting into the scene are all gone and are just uninterested in the scene now. It doesn’t help that there are very few venues on the Central Coast which makes shows pretty rare these days. Pubs here aren’t willing to take a risk on a hardcore show, but every few months we get to have Hardcore shows at our local pub the Beachcomber Hotel which are run by a promoter interested in heavy music, these shows get pretty wild and is always a great collection of mates, on the other end of the spectrum our mate Dylan works pretty hard on DIY all ages shows here on the Coast and thanks to him the Coast has been able to host a bunch of interstate and international bands which is awesome.
What other bands from the Central Coast or surrounds you’ve come across, that people need to check out?
The Central Coast has Mark My Words, Blind Sight, Mindshank, and Brain Freeze. Newcastle has Downside, Hazards, Ill Natured, HurtxUnit, Tired Minds and Guilt Trip who are actually a bit further away in Nelson’s Bay. We also really dig Controlled and Deadly Visions from Sydney.
What’s in store in the foreseeable future for CHOKE?
We’ve finally got our 7” physically out so hopefully we will book a few launch shows in the next few months, a Melbourne trip is possibly on the cards for later this year and it looks like we’ll be recording a new track for an upcoming Australian Hardcore Compilation 7” pretty soon.
How can people get in touch or keep up with what’s happening in the band?