Forewarned are a new straightedge band out of Melbourne with a powerful debut 7" that has been turning some heads. Robert Fitzsimmons caught up with singer Jake for the lowdown... Photos by Nicole Goodwin

Jake, first things first, how are you doing? Introduce yourself and where of the eight million places and bands people might know you from?

Hey there, my name is Jake I’ve been playing in bands for a while now mostly as a drummer. I’ve played for Broken, Imprisoned and Caged Existence. Now I have a new project called Forewarned.

Alright, I’ve got a bit I want to cover in this with you but let’s start with Kingpin records. All hail the kingpin, tell us when you decided you wanted to jump into the label game, what people should expect and what you think the role of labels in the modern era are and finally what it’s like to give yourself a nickname?

I’ve had the idea of doing a record label in my mind for awhile now but I just never really got the ball rolling for the idea. When I was doing Caged Existence, I was doing a lot of the work behind the scenes. I actually kind of enjoyed the business side of it. I felt like it was cool to bring my ideas to life and I’ve always had the idea of a DIY ethic. I kinda like the idea of being in full control of the creation that I am trying to achieve. I feel like with Caged I was almost there, but with future projects, I feel like it is going to be more achievable. In terms of what people should be expecting for the label to be doing, I would say expect all types of alternative forms of music. I think that there is so much room to do things differently in my own way. Both inside and outside of hardcore, but maintaining that ethic. To be honest, I think the labels and bands should be able to discuss between each other of what they would like out of the arrangement. Personally, I only want to work with friends and bounce cool ideas off one another. I’m not trying to stand in the way of peoples visions, only to enhance it Hahaha, I didn’t mean to give myself the nickname but people are just running with it. I just got the name from a Leeway track off one of my favourite hardcore records. I thought it sounded cool, nothing too special behind that one haha.

Kingpin records 001 is the Forewarned 7”, a band that is very exciting and has got a lot of tongues wagging. Bringing sounds similar to Excessive Force, Lifeless and even bits of Unbroken. Tell us the story of the band as I know it’s a project you’ve been working on for a long time?

Yeah so this band is something I wanted to do for a very long time. There has been a lot of bumps along the way which has stopped me from progressing it further at an earlier stage. But I’m so grateful of the line up I currently have and love everyone who has been involved with bringing it to life. I really just wanted to recreate the sound that I was in love with from life sentence records earliest roster as well as other metallic hardcore bands from the mid 90s. Victory records was definitely a big inspiration as well, but I would say life sentence roster has deeper influence in my song writing. I also just wanted to do a hardcore band that didn’t have too many slow down bits. We have so many bands that do the whole slow mosh thing and it’s so oversaturated and boring. Shit is so predictable for real. I personally have always liked fast mosh parts anyway.

Forewarned isn’t just a new band out of Melbourne but a straight edge band, this was a very conscious decision by you so walk us through that?

Yep, Forewarned being a straight edge band was definitely a conscious decision. Australia as a whole at this current stage lacks a lot of that. I feel like for people, straight edge was this trendy thing to do a while back. So it sucks so see a lot of people who have broken over the years. There is like 2 handfuls of people I can name in Melbourne that are still edge off the top of my head. That’s kinda embarrassing and I don’t want the people who break to represent the shit that literally means everything to me. It’s an insult honestly. Throwing away your code especially for no real reason shows the persons true intentions that they did it to fit in in the first place. I knew I wanted to be straight edge before I even understood what it meant, or even before I knew hardcore as a whole honestly. On another note, a lot of the bands that I reference in terms of the writing style of the music has heavily been lifted from straight edge bands of the time period. They talk about real shit in their music, not fairy tales. I feel like in recent times a lot of bands that have started up, have nothing of substance to say in their lyrics. I think that they should take a good look at what they are trying to do. Shit is boring, hardcore is supposed to have a real message.

You’ve famously been a drummer for a long time across many bands, culminating in your starring role in the xLairx final show. With Forewarned you’re taking the mic, what prompted this swap and how are you feeling about not having anything to hide behind?

Honestly, since I first started drumming in between playing lots of different bands I wanted to try something different. When I played drums, I never necessarily felt like I was hiding behind anything, so for me, it hasn’t been too drastic of a change.


I wanted to ask about photography and videography. Lately you’ve been documenting shows more and taking some killer shots. This prompts two questions for me, 1. Is there anything you can’t do? 2. What made you decide to pick up more hobbies?

Hahaha a ton, I can’t play guitar to save my life, but I can write. I think I just wanted to get my hands on different types of art. I always wanted to take photos and shoot videos. I remember when I was a little kid, I used to make these crappy stop motion animations on this old tape camera that my parents had. So I would say that is a big part of my enjoyment for it. I’ve kind of had it in me hahaha

I recently spoke to Oisin in Sydney about photography and asked a question for the camera nerds, so I’ll ask you as well. Run us through your set up both for stills and video?

I only started shooting at the start of this year, so I’m not really some great camera guy by any means I mainly enjoy shooting on my Contax G1. And I also enjoy using shorter lenses I think because when you’re shooting hardcore music you kinda have to be all up in it. I actually don’t know what video camera I use! I think it’s some Panasonic thing, it’s nothing special honestly it’s probably just from the early 2000s.


Alright now, tell us about the next twelve months. What should we expect, tease us a bit?

I’d seen the next 12 months probably doing new bands, releasing new bands on the label, and I’m also planning on starting up a business that correlates with music. So I guess we’ll see where it goes. Nothing is cemented really. I really like to go with the flow and not put expectations on myself too much.

Finally, when you’re not up front tearing it up to a band, you’re singing along camera in hand ready to rush off and get your photos developed at lightspeed. What shines through is how much love you have for the core, tell us about what drew you to hardcore and what you think maintains that level of engagement for you?

I think the thing that hardcore has that other styles of music don’t is a lot of meaning which is mixed along with the energy. The energy was the big drawing factor for me to getting involved with in the scene. I really fuck with the idea of breathing in the lifestyle and embracing as much of it as you can. For me, I know this is a lifelong thing and not just a small thing that I have dipped my toes in. But just like any other community, there has been people I’ve come across that aren’t in this shit for the right reasons. Honestly, people like that can go fuck themselves. Hardcore is for the outcasts. The people felt like they don’t belong, and not for a bunch of people who are trying to act too cool or above others. Some stupid ass hierarchy mentality type shit. When I see people like that, you know that it’s like a ticking time bomb waiting for them to exit the scene and discount for the culture as a whole showing hardcore meant nothing to them. Fuck that.

I’m still here because I am a part of this community and I’m not gonna take shit from others who try to make me feel otherwise. I go to shows because I love it, I play music because I love it and it’s a simple as that if anyone tries to stand on my way I won’t allow it. This is my release. I’m still straight edge and I’m still pissed off. And as long I have that, hardcore will be a part of me.


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