By Sara Mohan
CALGARY — If you talk to an older hardcore crowd, they will probably grumpily declare, “things in 2003 were way better than they are now.” As far as “things” go, the hardcore scene has seen considerable decline in available venues, fan attendance and new bands being formed. In 2003, hundreds of kids at a show and a number of touring bands from across Western Canada were the norm; we are now in a period we could dub “the great depression.”
Despite the decade-long lull, recently the scene seems to be rebounding. There are emerging new bands, in newly opening venues, and once more younger kids are coming out to shows. It’s a small change, but a noticeable one.
One of the newest additions to the Alberta hardcore scene is Edmonton’s Failgiver, who have been together for just under a year. They originally began thanks to a ‘Bands as Bands’ Halloween show in 2013, playing tracks by Californian “extremely pissed off hardcore band” Dangers. They then became Failgiver, an original metallic hardcore act. Despite their short time together, they are already working on their second release.
“This release won’t be a full-length but it will be heavier, both lyrically and musically. I feel like we’ve made a lot of progress since we wrote our demo, these new songs will definitely be more cohesive and crushing,” describes bassist Jace Thibault.
The seven-inch, currently being recorded by Nick Rozka at The Audio Department in Edmonton, is scheduled for release in early 2015. The boys plan to take the release on a small spring/summer tour to visit some cities outside their own.
“Our music is essentially a mixture of blast beats, D-beats and dissonance. I think we all have a different set of influences that we draw from and that shows in our music,” states Thibault. The drummer delivering a chunk of the aforementioned elements is Jordan Decker.
Drawing musical influence from bands like Gaza, Converge and Celeste, the self-titled EP packs a chaotic, yet dark take on hardcore. However, much like their influences, a band like Failgiver can’t be boxed into such a broad genre. The release spans several styles both musically and lyrically, including powerviolence, punk and emo.
“As far as influences go, it’s always changing. I write the majority of the music, but there’s always a common goal with it, which is more apparent with the new songs we’re working on. I feel like a lot of bands that focus on sticking to a certain sound kind of box themselves in, so I try to incorporate anything I feel fits the music,” explains guitarist Quintin Kohlruss.
Lyrically, the band mostly writes about their personal experience and issues that are close to them including flaws in religion, upbringing, sexuality and combating emotions.
“Growing up, I spent a lot of time going to church and youth groups where I saw a lot of corruption and deception. As I grew a bit older, I was able to think for myself and realize how backwards a lot of the things they taught us really were,” explains vocalist Jon Maheswaran.
It’s impressive to see how far a band can come in under a year. Though many of the members have been in fairly popular (contextually speaking) bands in the hardcore scene, to start again from scratch and succeed as a heavy band, especially in Alberta, is admirable.
“Edmonton has always been a very welcoming musical community. We have a lot of mixed genre shows here, so people get exposed to bands that they might not regularly listen to, which rules. I think there are some bands here that are similar to us in a sense, but what splits all of us apart is the styles of other music we incorporate,” concludes Kohlruss.
Catch Failgiver at Tubby Dog on December 5th with Calgary’s Prepared and Mortality Rate.AB, Alberta, Failgiver, Tubby Dog