Enjoy a new exclusive split interview with Old Wounds drummer Brandon Gallagher and Trenchfoot vocalist Travis Sewalk as the two bands celebrate a forthcoming split release on Melotov Records and prepare for US and European Tours. NJ’s Old Wounds have been making quite a go of it in 2013, having just released their debut LP, From Where We Came Is Where We’ll Rest on Glory Kid, followed by full US Tour with Full Of Hell– this wave has yet to break. Metallic hardcore with a definite nod to the 90s, Old Wounds are currently bringing their trademark sound to the West Coast with a fresh tour and Power of The Riff Fest appearance. Their NY neighbors in Trenchfoot have been making no shortage of waves as the band’s latest 8-song ripper, Endless Disgust, recorded by Kurt Ballou at God City Studios, showcases the band’s moody blend of stark hardcore punk that dabbles in many of the genre’s more finite and niche elements.
You can enjoy two songs from this forthcoming split 7″ between Old Wounds and Trenchfoot below the fold.
Without further ado, lets hear from the bands.
Joshua BTS: Greetings. Thank you for taking a moment to touch base with our readers from around the world for this special split interview. Please introduce yourselves and instrument of choice with with up-and-coming East Coast bands Old Wounds and Trenchfoot.
Brandon OW: Thanks for doing this interview with us! I’m Brandon and I play drums and do all of the visual arts.
Travis TF: My name is Travis Sewalk and I sing for Trenchfoot.
Joshua BTS: Old Wounds and Trenchfoot have teamed up for a split release out August 13th on Melotov Records. How did you two come to link up for this split? Were you familiar with each other’s work beforehand?
Brandon OW: The dudes in Trenchfoot have been our friends for a while now. I think we played our first show with them in Oneonta, NY back in May of 2011? We really hit it off with them when we did a weekend tour back in March of 2012. At this point they’re practically our brother band. We just did a tour with them back in June, have the split coming out, and then a Euro tour in October.
Travis TF: We’re been friends with Old Wounds for a while now. We’ve played a bunch of shows together have toured together. Brandon does a lot of our artwork, he’s very talented. He asked us if we might be into doing a split and we said yes.
Joshua BTS: Both bands’ material for the Melotov split was recorded by Kevin Bernsten at Developing Nations (Pulling Teeth, Full of Hell).
Brandon OW: That is correct.
Joshua BTS: How did you come to link up with Bernsten?
Travis TF: Danny emailed him and he said yes. We’ve had these songs recorded since January.
Brandon OW: On one of the first tours we ever did, we had some shows with Full of Hell. Dylan (their singer) had told me they had just finished recording their LP with Kevin and were ecstatic on how it came out. When it was time for us to start looking into recording our full length, Kevin was first on our list, and haven’t looked back since. He killed it on the LP, and did an even better job with the split.
Joshua BTS: Were your musical contributions to this split recorded during the same sessions as your debut LP From Where We Came Is Where We’ll Rest with Bernsten?
Brandon OW: We recorded the LP in September of 2012, and then went back a few months later and recorded the split in January of 2013. At the time of the LP, I don’t think we had plans for this split yet. If I remember correctly, I’m pretty sure I threw it out there to the TF dudes, they were into it, and then we just booked time again.
Joshua BTS: How did this recording experience compare to that of your previous works with Kurt Ballou at God City Studios?
Travis TF: Kurt sets the bar high, but we couldn’t be happier with how the songs we did with Kevin came out. It’s like comparing Baltimore to Salem, different but at the end of the day there were still homeless people loitering outside the studios.
Joshua BTS: Who crafted the artwork for this release? And did you play an active role in its development?
Travis TF: Brandon from Old Wounds handled the artwork. He asked us if we had anything in mind (we didn’t) so we just let him do whatever he wanted. He put a lot of time into it and we think it came out great.
Brandon OW: Ah I knew this question would be coming. That would be me who did the artwork! The process usually starts off with Kevin having lyrics written, or just coming up with a collaborative idea between all 3 of us. This was honestly the most stressed I’ve ever been creating a visual for Old Wounds. With the LP only being completed maybe 3-4 months prior to beginning on the split, I felt like I was under a lot of pressure. The artwork for From Where We Came… is probably my favorite piece I’ve done ever, so to follow that up was pretty nerve-racking for me. With that being said though, I’m pretty stoked on how the split artwork came out.
Joshua BTS: What are some of the lyrical motifs listeners will find throughout the split?
Brandon OW: The 2 songs on the split are definitely love songs. Which I think was a good 180 from the topics we touched upon on the LP, which was a lot more direct and pissed off. These songs are a lot more about the poetic and metaphorical aspect.
Travis TF: Each song is different. To generalize I guess they would be love, confidence, sleeping, and mindset issues. In that order.
Joshua BTS: How did you come to link up with Melotov?
Travis TF: Mel and I had spoken through email a few times. Brandon came to us with the idea and said she was on board so we just rolled with it, I’m happy to be working with her. She’s been unbelievably supportive. You can tell she actually gives a shit and we’re extremely thankful for that.
Brandon OW: Mel has been an Old Wounds supporter pretty much since day one. We had talked to her around the time that we were looking to release our LP, and due to timing on both of our ends it ended up not working out. Shortly after the LP, I had texted Mel that we (TF & OW) had toyed around the idea of doing a split, and her response was “Where do I sign up?”. Mel is great, and her label rules, so I’m glad we got to do this for sure.
Joshua BTS: When tracking your individual contributions did you try anything that saw you step out of your comfort zone or push any previous boundaries? Any special, unique, or favorite pieces of gear you worked into the mix for these sessions?
Brandon OW: This split is definitely a huge step out of our comfort zone for Old Wounds. The LP was us putting our foot down saying “hey this is what/who we are as a band”. The split was us saying “Ok so we have our first big release out of the way, let’s not be afraid to expand on parts/themes from the LP”. The first song “An Ode To Love” was insane for me on the drums. It’s the fastest song Old Wounds has EVER written. “The Sharpest Knife” was something different for us too. We followed a more structured verse/chorus/verse element for the song, including a singing part, which has also NEVER happened on an OW track.
Travis TF: No I just go in the booth and try to yell on time. I get really sweaty too. Kevin did a guest dive-bomb using a screwdriver instead of a whammy bar on the last song but he cut it out during mixing, I was bummed.
Joshua BTS: With both bands hailing from the NJ/NYC area- What’s your take on the current music scene and who’s exciting you these days on a local and global level?
Brandon OW: I will never understand the NJ scene. There are so many great bands to consistently come out of NJ but never reach national or global levels because our scene is so clique-y and drama filled. Theres probably at least 25 different “scenes” spread all throughout NJ, and guaranteed one “scene” has a problem with another allowing little to no cross over at shows. It’s a bummer for sure because the amount of great bands (past and present) that have come out of New Jersey is unreal. Thursday, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Deadguy, Nora, Tear it Up, The Banner, Night Birds… the list goes on.
As far as favorite local bands, I’m gonna go with Damaged Goods, Night Birds (I guess they count?), Ugly Parts, and Razorheads. My favorite non local current bands are Baptists, Creative Adult, Heartless, and Bone Dance.
Travis TF: HVHC (Hudson Valley Hardcore) has a bunch of really great bands going right. Immediately listen to Living Laser, they are the best band in the HV right now. Our drummer Andrew plays in Recycled Earth, they rule. Zeddmore, Afterhours, Wet Petals, and Sex Dream are also some of my favorite local bands. My favorite current band is EAST BEAST from Massachusetts.
Joshua BTS: When you are not active touring and creating music- What do your daily lives look like? Do you dabble in any other arts?
Brandon OW: When we’re not playing music we’re constantly berating and making fun of each other into submission. After we kiss and make up we eat an obnoxious amount of snacks and vegan treats.
Travis TF: I’ll be entering my last semester of college this fall. I also work part-time at bookstore. I’ve been booking all age DIY shows in the Hudson Valley since high school. I also enjoy writing poetry and drawing.
Joshua BTS: What’s coming down the pipeline for Old Wounds and Trenchfoot as we head into the latter part of 2013.
Brandon OW: We’re about to head out on another Full US tour from August 1st – 21st including The Power of the Riff Fest, dates with Every Time I Die, Terror, Territory, Baptists, and Of Feather and Bone. After that we come home for a little bit, and then embark on our first European tour with Trenchfoot in October.
Travis TF: We’ll be touring Europe with Old Wounds in October. Various weekends before and after that are in the works. We want to keep playing consistently. We’ve also been writing new songs and one sounds like Black Sabbath so I’m happy about that.
Joshua BTS: Thank you for taking a few moments to touch base with our readers from around the world- Any final thoughts as we sign off?
Brandon OW: Thanks for doing this interview with us! Blow The Scene is a great site, so it’s always great to be a part of it! Shout out to Andy from Glory Kid, Mel from Melotov, and everyone who reads this!
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Old Wounds photos by BTS’s Dante Torrieri
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