Hitting the UK to rip your face off with their vicious, visceral and rage-infused blasts of savage hardcore, Ed Gein think you should be angry. But that doesn't mean you have to use your fists...
If you were to make a visit to your local Tesco and, upon arrival, start whirling your arms and launching yourself at complete strangers, you'd more than likely wind up on the wrong end of an assault charge. Do the same at a hardcore show, however, and it's considered perfectly acceptable behaviour. It's a cause of much frustration for Ed Gein's Aaron Jenkins, prompting him to write the acerbic anti-meathead anthem 'This Ends Now', as featured on last year's savage 'Judas Goats & Dieseleaters' opus.
"I have no problem with people dancing hard and releasing stress and tension from their lives. That's what the dancing started out as. But when it turns into intentionally hitting people and this macho posturing of, 'If you don't like it, then get the hell out of here', I think that's completely counterproductive and has no place in hardcore," opines the bass-toting vocalist.
"Coming from the Northeast, a lot of states have particularly bad scenes as far as that goes," he says. "Things get really rough to the point where it's just absurd. Hardcore is supposed to be a family. It's supposed to be a place where you can go and feel accepted and welcome. I think that got lost somewhere along the way, and it became all about fashion, dancing as hard as you can, and generally being a complete asshole!"
It's not the only topic Ed Gein feel strongly about. Since forming in 01, the politically minded NY three-piece have never shied away from speaking their minds on issues such as religion, smoking, racism, and corrupt government. By Aaron's own admission, the band's anger and frustration at the current state of the world is what spurs them on.
"If you wake up in the morning and read a newspaper, watch TV, or interact with anybody and you don't see things that piss you off, then I think there's something wrong," he says. "You should probably open your eyes a little bit, because there's so much out there to be angry about."
True enough, but what exactly do Ed Gein hope to accomplish? In the grand scheme of things, can penning a song about some great social or political injustice actually make the blindest bit of difference?
Says Aaron: "If enough people take a look at themselves and say, 'Hey, what I'm doing here is a little bit stupid, maybe I shouldn't be doing that', eventually the world would get better. So I don't think lyrics and songs are really going to change anything, but if my lyrics can make somebody think about something in a way they hadn't thought of it before, I think that's a step in the right direction."
Catch Ed Gein on their Rock Sound-sponsored UK tour with Phoenix Bodies and Chronicles Of Adam West; see gig guide for dates.
Know It All
Line-Up: Graham Reynolds (guitar, vocals), Aaron Jenkins (bass, vocals), Jesse Daino (drums, vocals)
From: Syracuse, NY
Sounds Like: Vein-poppingly intense grind-your-face-off hardcore.
Current Release: 'Judas Goats & Dieseleaters' (album, Black Market Activities / Metal Blade. Out now)
Download This: 'Christianity As Foreign Policy'