NJ's SUBURBAN SCUM play straight-up East Coast Hardcore. I was impressed with them when they played at this year's SUMMER OF HATE. Check out the interview w/ vocalist Ryan below, and also be sure to check out a new track form their upcoming EP "Internal War" via the link below!
HARD-ASS: Tell us about SUBURBAN SCUM: how long ago did the band start? What kind of releases have you done? Where the did the name come from
RYAN: Suburban Scum started in July 2007 as a complete joke. Me and my drummer Sam were at a party and said we wanted to start a NYHC influenced band since that's what we are into. He said what should we call it. I said Suburban Scum. It fit perfect being as me and him are complete scumbags for the most part or were and we are from the suburbs. Im sure tons of people confuse us for a street punk band but that's not the case. Suburban Scum. Scumbags from the suburbs. As easy as I can put it haha. We have done one super shitty demo that will never see the light of day. Then we did another 4 song demo that again will never see the light of day. Then in the summer of 2008 we did a 4 song demo that we passed around everywhere. We have went through tons of member changes and a bunch of stuff so honestly I can't even say we were a real band till about a year ago. Once Jeremy stepped in on guitar we started to take things a little more serious.
HARD-ASS: What message do you want to convey to people with your music?
RYAN: I want people to recognize that were not just another heavy band with no meaning behind it. I am a person who struggles deeply with depression and that will convey through our latest EP that is set to come out in the coming months on RTF records entitled "Internal War". I hate when people write stuff off. Maybe its not your cup of tea but it doesn't hurt to taste it. I want people to read the lyrics in the booklet when they get it and feel some sort of connection to it. If I can get even one person to feel what I'm saying then I can honestly say im happy. Everyone in this band is in it for a reason and its all real. Whether people recognize that or not I can't change. Were doing this for us because it gets us through our week.
HARD-ASS: It is difficult to get people these days into substance, esp when playing in a "heavy" band. Why do you think that is?
RYAN: I think it's because of how many bands out there that just write completely senseless shit with no meaning behind it. Just writing music to pass the time. There are a few bands that get over looked because of this and its a shame.
HARD-ASS: Tell us about the scene in NJ. What are some of the best bands? What is going on socially (if anything).
RYAN: New Jersey scene is divided into three parts. Well 4. North, Central, South, and New Brunswick haha let me explain. The cool thing about new jersey is there a ton of local bands and everyone is basically doing something different so there is something there for everyone. It hit a dead spot for a while. South Jersey would stay in south jersey. Central jersey wouldn't travel out of central jersey, and north jersey would stay in north jersey. In the past year tons of things have changed. It seems like a lot of kids are opening their eyes to bands they wouldn't normally open their eyes to. Whether it be mutual friends or whatever the case is it still rules. More and more kids are starting to come out and support almost every show. Jersey has been known to be very very selfish and picky when it comes to shows because of how many bands come through here but lately it seems people are a little more appreciative. The best venue in NJ is the stelton church in Edison which is literally 10 minutes from my house. Always backs out. Shout outs to AV for putting up with everyones bullshit and booking solid shit there. NJ has a lot to offer and it could only get stronger. There are a lot of bands I like here and I don't want to miss and single anyone out so Ill name my top three...Disaster, Black Kites, and Fleshtemple...
HARD-ASS: What kinda fast food joints do you have in your area that are not everywhere else? If I went to NJ... where would you take me to eat to have the best food experience?
RYAN: Well everyone creams their pants over the grease trucks so I would probably take you there. Ill tell you what it consists of. Everything horrible that you should only eat once in a while in one sandwich. Fat night...Cheesesteak, mozarella sticks, fries, grease, marinara, all sorts of shit...At least 3,000 calories in one sandwich and it is filled with greatness. A sandwich you can eat and feel like a piece of shit in a good way if that makes any sense. The Grease Trucks in New Brunswick, NJ. Peep it out if you haven't
HARD-ASS: CDs, Vinyl, or Digital Download: which of these formats do you prefer, and which do you think is going to be relevant in the future as far as HC/punk music goes?
RYAN: I honestly like them all and use them all including tape. I think Vinyl is cool for the collectors. Digital Download is good for the internerds and are super helpful. CDS will never go out of style for me as long as cars are still made with CD players. All of these will most likely be used for ever into the future and beyond. Me personally I think Vinyl is the most personal and is just something awesome to hold onto. I'm not a huge vinylhead but I have a few goodies.
HARD-ASS: if you were not involved w/ or never discovered HC what do you think your life would be like/what would you be doing right now?
RYAN: Jesus Christ I honestly have no clue. its been such a big part of my life since I was about 16 or 17 years old that I honestly really have no clue. I would probably be in a lot of trouble. With what only god knows but I would be in trouble. Hardcore has helped me find myself and become a lot more outgoing and passionate. It's the best therapy and the best outlet for me. If I didn't have hardcore I wouldn't be me. Simple as that and I am so greatful to have it as such a huge part in my life. Now more than ever..
HARD-ASS: What are some of the biggest influances on your band musically?
RYAN: Our biggest influence is the world around us and our own lives. We have all hit rock bottom at some point. Physically and emotionally and this band is that outlet. It sounds corny but life is our biggest influence. I constantly make the worst decisions for myself and I almost can't help but do that. I beat myself up over through this band and its a venting tool. Depression can swallow any human being alive. Our main influences are the ups and down's in life.
HARD-ASS: Would you ever participate in a gang-bang?
RYAN: hahaha wild question. Way out of left field. Siked to answer. I mean you only live once. I'll leave it at that. You only live once. Id probably feel super uncomfortable but I mean I'd try it out. If it was like Me Sam and Jeremy and Fingaz I would absolutely do it. Shit would be an experience. A tale the weird uncle tells when hes like fucking 60 and his nephew is growing hair on his nuts and hiding porn mags under his bed. Long story short. Would I? Yes. Would it be weird? Yup. Would it be a cool story? Yup.
HARD-ASS: What bands do you feel are the most relevent band in HC right now?
RYAN: It's been said a million times before but I really think Trapped Under Ice is doing their thing right now. They are constantly putting flawless releases and standing for something. They write heavy music with tons of meaning behind it. One of the top dogs. I think my favorite band in hardcore is Blacklisted and I have a few reasons. They constantly keep re inventing themselves and progressing. I relate with almost everything George writes and I connect with almost every song. That band does not care what is considered "cool" in hardcore and have made quite a name for themselves in the past 5 years. Blacklisted means a lot to me. I actually saw them last night and they blew me away as usual. "Sometimes I wonder if i'll remember names, of the faces that just went away with age." Keep in mind these are my answers and im sure my opinions are a lot differnt then anyone else in the band
HARD-ASS: if you could go back in time and see ONE band in it's "prime", what band would it be, when, and why?
RYAN: I watch the NYHC documentary pretty frequently and I could only imagine being around when Madball, District 9, and Crown Of Thornz were all sharing the stage. There isn't one band that I would want to see. I wish I could go back in time and be apart of that NYHC period. See all the cb matinees you see videos from. I'm truly jealous and catch chills hard all throughout that documentary. IT was truly something special and was a beautiful thing that they had.
HARD-ASS: if you could change ONE thing about the scene, what would you change
RYAN: The attitudes. Mainly the elitist attitudes. Anyone who thinks that they are someone because of who they know or how long they have been around. Everyone should be in that room for the same reason and I don't feel that with some people. It sucks. Nothings perfect and I truly only worry about myself but in that sense it's something that semi bums me out. I try and talk to everyone. Especially the younger guys. Everyone should feel like they are apart of something special and if they don't then they are missing the fucking point. Straight up
HARD-ASS: Any final words? Anything you'd like to add?
RYAN: Be on the lookout for the internal war EP coming out on RTF records very very soon. Shout outs to all the NJHC heads and bands doing their thing, all our dogs out in Brooklyn, everyone keeping it real. Also my homie Steve Schramm. 1 love. Jah bless.-R.D.T.