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Terror’s Scott Vogel: “We Will Always Roll With The Punches And Always Find A Way To Be Okay”

Jack Rogers
Jack Rogers 6 May 2022 at 16.26

"Hardcore teaches you not to wait for someone else to do it. It teaches you to figure it out for yourself"

have just released their new album 'Pain Into Power' via Pure Noise Records and shown once more why they are at the very top of the pile. 

20 minutes from start to finish, it is a vicious and volatile look at the most crushing and callous parts of the genre. With two decades under their belt and with no intent to slow down, the band are waving the flag not just for the scene veterans but also serving as a prime example for the bands cutting their teeth now of what happens when you put pride and passion into your work. 

We had a little chat with vocalist Scoot Vogel to find out how this record came together and how he has been reflecting on the band's legacy...

What are your overall feelings at this time as you release this new record?
"I feel like we are in a really good place, and with the band being 20 years old, knowing that is pretty fucking cool. Especially when you consider that we are doing it with a record like this. We're a little older, and it's hard to keep the energy, intensity, and anger up because we set the bar that high early on with Terror being this 100% in-your-face hardcore band. When you get into your 40s, you start to think, 'Do I want to be this mad?' but I guess the world around us has led to us not being so happy."

It feels like other elements within this album wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for this period we have just lived through, would you agree?
"It's an interesting point to consider. The pandemic showed us how evil and dark the world and human beings could be, but it also gave us the time and space to be free from touring. And within all of that, Todd Jones, who was on the first two Terror records, reconnected and produced this record and was very hands-on in other aspects. That gave us the chance to have the time to work with those sorts of things. Terror is usually always on the go. I don't want to speak for Todd too much either, but this also lent him the time to work with us in this way again as well. There was no rush and no time constraint. So the darkness of the world gave us the energy we needed, but it also opened the door for Todd and gave us the time to work with him. It allowed him to really put himself into this record."

And when you consider the things that Todd has been doing since he was in Terror, as in creating some of the heaviest music imaginable, he was the perfect fit for the vibe you wanted…
"Exactly. His songwriting is no frills. From Carrion to Terror to Betrayed to Nails, it's all perfectly written hardcore where you take out all the nonsense. No filler, all intense. So with him really discovering who he is with that and then stepping back into Terror, a band he helped to create, just worked. It was great to be open with him and listen to him, and that doesn't mean everything was always a yes, either. But it was that respect and that belief that fuelled it all."

And how do you feel about knowing that this is what you were able to get out of such an uncertain time?
"It's a bit bittersweet, to be honest. I am really happy with the record, and I feel like we have accomplished exactly what we wanted to do. I feel like we made a really special hardcore record, and maybe Terror's best record to date. But the bittersweetness comes from the fact that we did it last July. So sitting on this thing for so long that you want to get out in the world and tour on, but you know you're not able to. But I feel worse for young bands in that position because Terror is established, and we were able to wait that time out and be ready when the time to tour was there again. But imagine if we had only just put out 'Lowest Of The Low' and had just completed our first couple of tours. We were so energetic around that time and so excited about showing this band to the world, and we can't imagine what it would have been like to have that door totally slammed in our faces. The kids who are doing this for the first time now and getting that initial energy rush, having that taken away made me feel really bad for them."

And to find that motivation again when it has been stripped from you isn't something that comes easy either. When there are so many barriers to your expression, it puts a damper on where you want to go…
"It's a bit scary when you think about bands that are friends of mine - Hatebreed, Madball, Agnostic Front - that live off touring. Then, as I said, the younger bands aren't able to launch themselves in the way they want. Then you have clubs and venues, like the Chain Reaction, that are on the brink of going out of business. The thing is that I know Terror pretty well. We will play in someone's basement. We will play outside without a stage and a PA powered by a generator. We will always roll with the punches and always find a way to be okay. I know that because hardcore may be more business-minded than ever, but it is still built on a DIY ethic. The thing is that hardcore kids will always find a way. They own screen-printing presses. They own tattoo shops. They are all over the place with their own businesses because hardcore teaches you not to wait for someone else to do it. It teaches you to figure it out for yourself."

It's almost like the learning of those lessons have been a means of preparation for when adversity comes knocking at your door. You've been building up to this moment, and your toolbelt is on and ready to be used…
"Knowing what the world was like, we always knew that the negativity and anger would be there in whatever we make, the same with many bands. But we knew that we would still always land on something more positive like we always have and have been taught to find. That's how 'Pain Into Power' became the title. Take all of the terrible stuff around you and find something to hang onto and build upon."

When you consider all of the things that you have been through over the years, how does it feel to be still able to do what you love with such vigour?
"Of course, we have made missteps and done things that we regret. And I have personally done things in life and in music that I would change. But overall, I feel like we have been extremely consistent and hard-working. We have proven that you can be a straight-up hardcore band without having to change your sound or look or add a gimmick. You can be proud of being a 100% hardcore band and still have your place. I think it's pretty cool. And in hardcore now, I believe that it is beautiful that there are so many different branches and taking the sound, look, and style in so many different directions. But because of that, there aren't that many straight-forward hardcore bands coming through, but I'm comfortable staying where we are for better or worse, and I think that is a beautiful thing.

"The thing is that Terror will always be a part of me. The things I have done, the places I have been, the people I met, and if all of this ended tomorrow, those things would still be a part of me. When I pick up my phone, nine of our ten times, there will be a text from somebody I have met because of hardcore or Terror. I'm extremely grateful for all of that, but at the same time, I try not to overthink the past. I think about today and how I can have the best day today."

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