When talk started to circulate of a new Melbourne hardcore band with members of Sick Machine and Right Mind that was going to be influenced by the likes of Straight Ahead and Warzone, we knew that it'd be a band to watch out for. After a short period of talk, there were snippets of songs during Sick Machine sets and talk of a demo. Not long after that, Life Debt hit the scene with the release of one of the most promising demos of 2016 and early run of shows. We caught up with vocalist Cale to find out more...
Interview by Allan Reid. Photos by Nicole Goodwin.
Life Debt seemed to have formed as a side project for members of Sick Machine. How did the band come about?
Dan and I were keen to do another band that sounded like 80s New York Hardcore and Dan had wrote a couple of things and the rest just played out from there.
Early shows for the band seemed to be split sets with Sick Machine before the bands started booking shows separately. Was the intention for Life Debt to become it's own band, or just a project on the side?
That grew out of Sick Machine doing a Straight Ahead cover where I was on vocals and Dan did bass.
We had a show coming up with Rival Mob and we decided to show a couple of Life Debt songs to some people, at the end of our Sick Machine set.
Life Debt have a sound that seems heavily influenced by late 80's NYHC. What was the plan with the sound of the band when writing the demo?
The idea was to write music that people could dance to whilst having a strong social and political message.
Bands like Agnostic Front, Underdog, Warzone, Youth of Today - that's the sound we're going for.
We also just want people to have fun too!
Chad Lawson (King Nine, Backtrack, Cross Me, Terror) put together some pretty impressive artwork for the Life Debt demo. How did Life Debt end up working with Chad?
Dan was pretty keen on Chad, even before we had recorded anything. We all agreed that Chad's work was intricate but hard hitting and that's exactly what we got when he sent us the final art for the demo.
Life Debt's demo was released by Second Guess Records, a relatively new Melbourne label. How did Life Debt end up working with Second Guess Records on the demo?
Well we know Matt and Isaac from going to shows and having mutual friends. They are 2 of the most genuine people in the hardcore community, so we just pitched it to them and they were psyched.
Pass Your Judgement touches on the difference between personal choices and trying to push views on others. What was the inspiration for the lyrics?
Veganism, Straight Edge, Anarchism, Animal Liberation - I hold these beliefs close.
If your beliefs have a positive impact on humanity and yourself, than no one should be criticizing you for them.
Don't be a bully, god dammit!
Melbourne has a fairly diverse scene which tends to be split into sub-scenes/sub-genres. Where do Life Debt fit into the Melbourne scene and how has the response to the band been on a local level?
Well I guess we fit with the bands that play hardcore! We don't really mind who we play with.
More mixed bills!!!
The response for the band has been excellent and we're so grateful for all the nice words said about our music and we're even more grateful to anyone who picked up our demo, sung along or danced at a show so far!
What are some bands that Life Debt have played with to date that have left an impression? What local bands are grabbing your attention?
Here's a list of bands everyone should check out:
Rebirth, Diploid, Blinded, Melchior, Culture Shock, Unravel, Masochist, xLAIRx, Soulless, Denial, Broken, Year of the Rat, Disspossesed, Plead4Mercy, Miles Away, Society's Chain, Impact Zone, Mt. Zero, Crisis Alert, Primitive Blast, Shackles, Choke, Burning Season, Ill Natured, Outright, Hitlist, U2K, Controlled, Manhunt, Sick People, Culture of Ignorance, Nerve Damage, Crush the Demoniac, the list goes on...
Lastly, where can people get more information about Life Debt?
Search Life Debt or Second Guess records on Facebook or Bandcamp!!!