Fresh out of Adelaide is latest band LEVEL, featuring a mix of personel who have been involved in hardcore for a very long time. Not concerned with their past, LEVEL remain focused on the Here And Now.
We catch up with frontman Pete Abordi for the lowdown on LEVEL.
At what point did Level form and how did it all come together?
I moved to Adelaide at the end of 2010 and really had no intention of ever doing another band and did nothing until mid 2012 when Weber moved back. We were hanging out and just decided we wanted to do a hardcore band that was inspired by the bands and ethics that we grew up on. We realised we wouldn't be able to do a whole lot with our schedules and commitments but decided we would do what we could, when we could. Fast forward 2 years and we have written a handful of songs and played a handful of shows ha-ha.
Would readers recognize the members from any other bands?
Possibly, but to me that shit means nothing. This is hardcore, no one cares (well no one should care), we are all just as retarded as each other, no one is better than anyone else. When I hear bands called "super groups" I cringe, that is such a ridiculous term. People should acknowledge and respect those that came before them (like in life), but no one should ever be put on a pedestal.
In your own words how would you describe the sound of Level?
We are a hardcore band, but that could mean anything nowadays ha-ha.
What bands are influencing the sound of Level?
When we first sat down to jam the plan was to sound like 90's era Hatebreed, but with my voice that was never really going to happen but we have tried to keep the 90's vibe. I know Weber loves Earth Crisis, Path Of Resistance, The Promise etc. and I have really tried to include a bit of a BURN feel and I guess a bit of a Madball/Biohazard mid tempo/groove tip. But with any band, you can take your influences and talk about them all you want, but in the end it’s you that end up writing your own music and hopefully developing your own sound.
I really love hardcore but the same song played 12 times in a row with lyrics about how tough you are kind of bores me a little now, ha-ha. I’ll take the hardest song you can write with some cool shit going on and some interesting lyrics any day.
What would be a dream line up of bands to play with?
At this point I’ll just be happy to play a show, ha-ha. Weber is away so much it really has been quite tricky to do anything. We have a couple coming up though, which I’m looking forward too.
I’ll have to name drop some bands though and I’m sure I’ll miss some, but Australian hardcore really is so strong right now, we more than hold our own with any bands from overseas. So my show would look something like this.
Survival, Shackles, Manhunt, Post Blue, Parkway Drive, Rain Dogs, 50 Lions, Sumeru, Vigilante, Relentless, Mood Swing, I Exist, Mindsnare, Outsiders Code, Warbrain, Iron Mind, Higher Power, The Weight, Crisis Alert, Paper Arms, Reactions, World View, Miles Away, Blkout and The Others
The four songs that make up your demo have some unique song titling. What language is this exactly and is there a theme running through the four songs?
Its Sanskrit, which is basically a religious language used in Buddhism. I’m definitely not a practicing Buddhist (I wish) but I have read quite a bit of stuff over the years and I do align myself with it.
The song titles on the demo are the four immeasurables, which are
1- Metta - Loving Kindness
2- Karuna- Compassion
3- Mudita- Joy
4- Upekkha- Equanimity
I was reading a book at the time of us writing songs for the demo that was covering them and I thought it would be cool if we wrote four songs and if the lyrics for each song covered each point.
I’m sure 99.9% of people had no idea what the song titles were (the rest of the band included) but I wanted to share something with other people that may change the way they think. Compassion IS NOT weakness and there is nothing wrong with treating people the way you yourself would like to be treated.
You guys recently released a split tape with fellow Adelaide band Reactions. How did that all come about?
Both bands had recorded for another release that never really happened (Footy are you reading this? ha-ha) and I just wanted to use our song. Lachy (singer of Reactions and now guitarist in Level) recorded our song and has started a label (Adelaide Approach Records) and I just hit him up about getting our songs out there and he made it happen. Both bands have stuff coming up so it’s sort of just a cool little "in between" release to let people know we still exist. Reactions are recording a full length at the moment, which I am interested to hear because they are doing some really cool things.
Having relocated from Sydney to Adelaide a few years ago, how are you finding the contrast in hardcore scenes?
It’s not all that different really. Most older guys have either dropped out (unfortunately) or moved away in both places and both suffer from having such splintered scenes but I guess that’s just how it is. I’m no authority though as I’m not at every show myself. I do miss hanging out with Graz and getting burger fuel and standing up the back of a show together though ha-ha.
I know since moving here Adelaide is definitely on the up with a bunch of new faces becoming more involved and putting on shows/doing bands which I think is just starting to make a difference. I had planned on running my fest (Here and Now) annually, but I had trouble putting a strong enough bill together this year so will rest it and run it next year hopefully
What else is in store in the foreseeable future for Level?
As I mentioned Lachy from Reactions is now playing guitar for us and we have been jamming weekly and writing songs that we plan on demoing for a 7". I’m not happy to just slap 6 songs together, record them and just release it, we are really trying to write some good songs and take our time with it. So once the records out the plan is the same, to do what we can when we can. I would like to definitely play more locally as well as hitting all the major cities but we will see what happens
How can people get in touch or keep up with what’s happening in the band?