As I mentioned in my review of Sects new lp on Southern Lord “The band carry a straight edge message that resonates with me. As someone involved in the punk scene for over 30 years I still get asked about my choice of liquid. It still seems to mean something to people that I don’t drink alcohol….Sect proudly exclaim their lifestyle choices and these include a choice of no alcohol. They also are proud to be vegan and wear this on their sleeves outside the band as there’s two vegan businesses to run. Living the life they sing about.”
With that in mind I felt more people need to know about this band. Theirs is a punk rock sound that brings back memories of Hardcore in the 90’s It’s fast and aggressive, raw and passionate – songs to waken you from a slumber if you are in one. I sent some questions off to guitarist Scott Crouse and in through community spirit got the answers after a couple of days
How important is to to exclaim
Backin Our Human & Animal Friends, and Punching Hamburgers Out of Peoples’ Hands…NO MORE!
I think it’s very important to be vocal about these things. Vegan Straight Edge is more than just abstaining from animal products and drugs, it’s a counter culture way of life that holds a mirror up to the ills of society, human, animal and environmental. We don’t punch hamburgers out of peoples hands obviously, but we do proudly claim vegan straight edge and heavily promote the lifestyle.
Has music been the medium for change you hoped it would be when you started playing in bands?
It’s been so much more than what I expected. When I was 15 years old and started doing this I never expected the world would be where it is today. Animal Welfare is openly being address and having legislation passed in it’s favor, environmental concerns are finally being addressed and human rights struggles like LGBTQ rights and women’s rights have made tremendous strides since then. Of course, all these things still have a long way to go, but some of these issues were radical underground ideals in the 90’s, now they receive mainstream attention. I have to say that drug and alcohol abuse is the only place I don’t see a positive improvement. That may be getting worse actually.
With band members spread over 2 countries how does the song writing / rehearsal process work? Why not just jam with some friends who live nearby?
Jimmy and I do the majority of the writing here in North Carolina, then we demo the songs and send them to everyone for their input. When it comes close to recording time, we all get together and fine tune things and there you have it. It’s really a pretty simple process, that’s actually a lot easier than the way we used to do things. We all chose to work together because we all have a like minded approach to music and what the political message for SECT is.
You mention in your bio that you are “conveying an urgency that transcends age, credentials or scene politics”. What is the urgency that you refer to?
Well, I’m not exactly sure who wrote that, so I don’t want to speak for them, but my take on that would be we are trying to alert people that the time is now to speak up and act out. In our country an egomaniacal moron who opposes any and all social progress was elected because enough people didn’t speak up and act out. We actually have people who oppose an underprivileged race of people saying “Hey, we matter too!’ This is not the time to keep your opinions to yourself, it’s the time to call people out and hopefully change some minds when you do.
Is the connection with Southern Lord all down to previous bands? What workes better for you, bringing out your own record or having a label do it?
Chris’s band Burning Love was also on Southern Lord, and Greg did reach out to Chris expressing interest, but the reason we chose to work with them was based mainly on our respect for the label. Greg releases bands he loves and that’s it. He’s not in it for the money, and just signing bands he thinks will get him rich. I can’t say yet as to if we prefer self released or working with a label as the record hasn’t come out yet, but so far Southern Lord has been great and we are happy to have them release No Cure For Death.
What does Punk Rock mean to you?
I think Punk Rock is going against the grain, not conforming to the rules of society and maintaining and open mind throughout adult hood.
I want to ask about #metoo and recent empowerment of women to speak out against unwanted attentino. I know you want the world to be a better place and believe in equality for all but straight edge hardcore seems a very male orientated and dominated scene. Why do you think that is?
I don’t think there’s anything specifically in the hardcore scene that makes it male dominated, not anymore than mainstream society. There are these unspoken rules that we’ve all lived by for generations, men are allowed to be aggressive but women are strictly nurturing, and I think hardcore followed that model. That is changing for the better with more and more women attending shows and starting bands. I think overall the hardcore scene has been a fairly open minded place, not perfect by any means, but more open minded than most other music scenes.
You have been given an unlimited budget from southern lord to promote Not Dead Yet 2018 – what 5 bands do you need to get on that bill?
Fall Out Boy
Day Of Suffering