One of the brightest lights of the new US hardcore scene, The Saddest Landscape will blow your mind
That hardcore is going through something of a purple patch - both domestically and internationally - is something of a given. What's most interesting is that while the bigger bands of the scene are getting recognition that interest is cascading down to the less prominent: The Saddest Landscape aren't going to hit hipster crossover paydirt any time soon but they're still utterly bastard awesome.
We're streaming three songs below, and check out this extensive interview about Back To The Future, vinyl and Nirvana.
First up, easy one - how did the band start? And what was the point you went from playing in practice spaces to going on tour, and subsequently getting your music heard worldwide?
Says singer / guitarist Andy Maddox: “We started almost 10 years ago, when I met our original second guitarist, Si, who knew our first bassist, who knew Aaron, then we just got together and started playing. It happened very gradually – we would just get together in very short bursts of time and do as much as we could as we all lived rather far apart from each other. Now it is many years later and Aaron and I are still playing together, and have Mike and Eric along for the ride as well.
As for at what point did we start touring, that happened rather quickly. I had already done a fair amount of touring in bands before The Saddest Landscape so I knew it was something we were going to. I think within the first four months we already had done our first short tour. As far as being heard worldwide, that really didn't start happening to any noticeable degree until ‘The Sound Of The Spectacle’ came out, which I think had a lot to do with being our first record being pressed outside of the States.”
How do you describe your music to, for example, family members who aren't particularly up on the DIY punk scene?
“Very awkwardly, usually trying to avoid the question. When pressed, though, usually it is along the lines of ‘We play loud, screamy punk rock, that sounds rather bi-polar with its quiet melodic parts bursting into aggressively loud ones.’ This is of course followed by the person I am speaking to trying to seem into it, usually referencing some ‘heavy’ band they like (I have gotten the ‘Oh, like Metallica mixed with Green Day?’ thing a few times, at which point I try to change the topic instantly).”
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Which bands, when you were a kid, inspired you to pick up an instrument? And which ones inspire you in the day-to-day aspect of being in a band?
“When I first started it was a mixture of 80s metal and bands like The Cure, but the band that really inspired me more directly to start playing this type of music was Fugazi. Everything about them seemed to inspire and challenge me in some profound way; to this day I still swear by them as the greatest live band.
“Lately Pianos Become The Teeth and Touche Amore are the two biggest influences, not even necessarily sound-wise, just more with the passion and drive both bands have. Also Laura Stevenson and Sleep Bellum Sonno come to mind, both have just put out amazing records that I have been listening to a lot lately.”
There are too many bands nowadays: discuss.
“Are there? I hadn't realised, to me there are simply bands I listen to and care about, then the rest is just this mass of noise I don't have time for. There are too many amazing bands out there to take up my time, so I am not even worried about hating on the ones I don't care about.”
Rate these movies in order of preference, from favourite to least favourite: Back To The Future, Back To The Future II, Back To The Future III - and why?
"Easy at the top:
1. Back To The Future - this is classic, the story is set in motion, it also made Michael J Fox seem cool, made me want to learn how to play 'Johnny B Goode' (which i still know), and Lea Thompson was kind of hot as the young Lorraine.
2. Back To The Future II - not as good as the first one, but it did have the hover boards. Everyone wanted those, in all this time still no one can invent them? Seriously a shame.
3. Back To The Future III - yeah they go to the old west, but not nearly as cool. I would not trust anyone who says this is the best of the three.
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Do you like vinyl because it's a way of listening to music in the manner you like or is it symbolic of something deeper?
“I love vinyl. All of us in the band do, the symbolism is of course there, but that really is just secondary. Mainly it just sounds closer to me, I just feel connected to an LP in a way that an MP3 can never replicate. Of course there is also the obvious aspect of the packaging, a well thought-out packaged record is awesome, just holding it in my hands and reading the liner notes while it spins around me is one of my favorite feelings. When it comes right down to it we are just fans of music, we spend so much time just listening/collecting/absorbing songs that actually playing music seems almost incidental.”
If you could do a split with one band from history who doesn't exist any more and one contemporary band, who would they be?
“Great question. Any band from history, I would have to say Nirvana. It would rule. That band, despite being so massive still had a great attitude and did not care if they alienated anyone in their fan base, and they constantly put out great records.
“As for a contemporary band, I would love to do a split with either Murder By Death (10 years in and they are still getting better, plus they get what it takes to put out quality vinyl releases) or Thursday would be cool as well. Can Rock Sound make either happen? Arrange an exclusive seven-inch for your readers…?”
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