"They got you selling your reasons to live
Just to pretend that you're not gonna die
This is the great american, the great american goodbye"
-Youngblood by ARKHAM
We're back with another great "ME"TAL 101 exclusive interview. Arkham are an amazing hardcore band hailing from Chicago. Their latest release, THE GREAT AMERICAN GOODBYE, is already a leading candidate for my 2014 album of the year vote. These young dudes have created one of the most important albums I've heard in years. Arkham write next level hardcore music. They tackle social issues like the economy, drug abuse, government and police brutality. The band puts every ounce of their heart & souls into the music. So I'm proud to announce Arkham frontman, Adam Bevel, as our guest. We talked about Arkham's origin, the apocalypse and the band's home state. Stay metal! - Grownman
HMT: I must admit my comic fan boy side was intrigued when I initially read the name "ARKHAM" on bandcamp. Please tell me the origin of the band's name and were you team DC or Marvel?
AB: The name was taken partially from Batman, and partially from the horror writer HP Lovecraft (which is where Batman took it from actually). Growing up I read a lot of comics (mainly batman), and a lot of horror (mainly lovecraft), so when band naming time came around I threw it out there and it just stuck.
As much as I LOVE batman, I'm ultimately team marvel, I just think their roster is better. I just finished the Court of Owls series though, and that may be one of the best Batman arcs ever.
HMT: Chicago has been known for years as having some of the best and original hardcore bands. In your opinion what is it about Chicago that inspires an awesome band like Arkham to play with such an aggressive and next level style? Who did you guys listen to as you began journey as musicians?
AB: Chicago really has it's own vibe and I think based on how closely tied the Hardcore, Punk and Metal scenes are around here the sound just gets more aggressive because of that. I wouldn't say we're more or less aggressive than east coast or west coast hardcore, I just think the aggression is different. I know for me personally a lot of it comes from feelings of suburban isolation and boredom in the shadow of a major cultural hub, which is a vein that runs through a lot of early punk and hardcore like Black Flag and The Germs. I remember finally moving into the city and feeling like this amazing place had been intentionally kept from me and I think that experience is shared by a lot of the bands here, that post isolation anger that something cool was kept secret from you. Also we have a lot of time on our hands to brood and write seeing as from about November to April you can't go outside.
Bands that we were really into when we started (and still are now) were groups like Rage Against The Machine, Gallows, Trash Talk, This Is Hell, Black Flag, Germs, The Ghost of a Thousand, A Wilhelm Scream, Strike Anywhere, Propagandhi, Public Enemy, stuff like that.
AB: I'd like to think there's a way out and I hope smarter people will figure it out. I think the key to it lies in us realizing that all of us have a lot more in common than we do different, that you and a kid in say Afghanistan at the end of the day want the same things for your family and friends, from life. When we stop putting up these superficial boundaries of "us v them" is when I think we can move forward. Not to say that we are all the same, every one of us is different and those differences need to be recognized and respected, but to understand that there are all common hopes we share. I would also say there is a need to reject the self hate and doubt that has been peddled to this generation, especially in this music scene, and understand when we stop hating ourselves, and realize the inherent power in our actions we can truly change the world. There is a vested interest in keeping you hating yourself, keeping you insecure and ultimately docile, you gotta reject, you gotta get mad.
HMT: You offer a single called "Dipset" and proceeds go to benefit drug abuse prevention. Was the track inspired by one particular person, has that person heard the song and has there been an ultimate resolution?
AB: The song was written about a specific person, I am unsure if he has heard the song. I'll lose track of him for years, months at a time unfortunately. Last I heard he had been clean for a while, so that's good.
HMT: Lastly, what are your plans for the rest of the year as far as touring? Any plans for hitting the northeast?
HMT: Thanks for your time AdamAB: We hit the road at the end of this week for our CD release tour around the Midwest. We're all in college so it can be hard to coordinate the large amount of free time it takes to do a proper tour, so we are currently doing little runs. Hopefully over our winter break we will be able to head out if a larger tour doesn't pick us up. We were just up northeast this summer and absolutely loved it and can't wait to be back.
AB: Thank you so much.
For more info about Arkham follow the links below!