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Foundation Interview

November 1, 2009

This is a combination of two interviews that i did with Andrew, the first was back in the winter of 08 and the follow up was done in June. Since then they have released a 7”EP on Six Feet Under Records and have been promoting that on tour with Title Fight, Mother of Mercy and are currently touring the states with Bane. This is a band that you should not be sleeping on.

So to start off how have things been with you guys since last time we’ve talked?
A: Things have been great. We’re finishing up recording this week and then getting ready for tour. We’re all getting pretty anxious to hit the road.

Since the last interview I did with you guys you went through a little bit of a line up change, who all is in the band now, and what do they play?
Since the last interview, we’ve gone through a bass player and a guitar player. Sexy Tim plays bass for us now. He’s been involved with the Atlanta hardcore scene since before I was coming around and we’re happy to have him. Plus, he’s got some sick gear. And then we added Hank “Five Subs” as our second guitar player. He’s the youngest member of the band so we give him a lot of shit, but we love him. Everything else is the same. Champ still plays drums, Tomas is still doing vocals, and I still play guitar.

Who all was active in other bands before Foundation?
Every member in our band was in another band before Foundation. That’s just sorta how Atlanta is and has always been. We tend to recycle members from bands that end. Matt was in the Atlanta straight edge band Overdose. Champ also played for them towards the end. Everyone else in Foundation moshed for them.

Speaking of Champ, he played in the band Instilled. They were great. They were the last Atlanta band to tour the country so we decided that we originally wanted to do this band so that we could continue doing what Instilled was doing: putting Atlanta on the map again. Instilled eventually formed into Depression. They were cool too, but very short-lived. Tomas did vocals in the band Final Expression. Sick Unbroken reference, I know. And I played in a band called Cold Stare. They were probably one of the best and most underrated Atlanta bands if you ask me.

How did you guys get together and how long have you been a band?
We got together so that there would be another awesome band to the city of Atlanta. At the time we started playing, Depression and Overdose were doing their thing and we wanted to do something a little different than them. We formed in August of 2006 and didn’t play our first show until December 2006, I believe.

I see that you guys have some tours coming up this summer and into the fall, who will you be touring with and where about is the tour routing?
We’re doing around two months worth of touring this summer. On July 20th we meet up with Mother of Mercy and Title Fight in Massachusetts and then caravan out to Sound and Fury. That part of the tour hits some of the Northeast, goes over through Michigan and the Midwest, then hits the Northeast and down to Sound and Fury. After the fest we part ways with Title Fight and pick up Alpha & Omega. From there, the three of us make our way through the southern U.S. and up to This Is Hardcore Fest. That’s the end of the first bit of our touring. After that, we have about a two week break until we meet up with the last Have Heart tour in Texas. We’re gonna be with that tour for about two weeks until it ends in New York. And to wrap up our touring, we’re playing the Great American Hardcore Fest in Boston the day after the tour stops.

Last summer you guys went on a first full U.S. tour with Forfeit, what would you say were the best moments and the worst moments on the road?
This past summer was definitely one of the best times of my life. I’m sure this was also the case for most of the other members in the band. Forfeit rules and touring with them was no different. Night Moves rules.
Best Moments: any time we ate Chick-Fil-A, going to Tijuana, reaching the other coast, driving through the mountains in Colorado, going to a Braves game back in Atlanta, playing with Killing Time in Philly (before we met up with Forfeit), moshing for Forfeit, playing Columbia, Missouri and hanging out with some great dudes, walking around Chicago, stopping at a roadside attraction in the middle of nowhere called “The Thing” and spraying our guitar player Matt with a fire extinguisher, stealing everything, wearing a du rag for a couple days straight, starting shit with shady promoters and “getting the cops called on us” in Texas, losing money in Vegas…this list could go on forever. Touring the country with Forfeit was everything a hardcore tour could have been plus some.
Worst Moments: a few cancelled shows or a few shows where we got fucked over. Also, when Forfeit had a little van trouble for a minute. That sucked. It happens though. After all, it was both our first full U.S. tour.

What was your favorite place you guys hit up on tour? Favorite show played?
There wasn’t really one favorite so I’ll name a few:
-Columbia, Missouri: the people there really know what’s up.
-I think it was Indianapolis, IN when we played a sick basement show
-Tijuana, Mexico was the show that made us an international touring band haha.
-When we jumped on a show with The Millionaires in Omaha, NE
-The Atlanta show towards the end of tour. I guess we’ll call it our actual record release show. Atlanta truly has one of the best scenes in the country and people have started to recognize that.

What were your ambitions or goals for the band when you guys first started?
We started the band because playing music with your friends is fun. Plain and simple. We originally wanted to play music in the vein of a lot of our favorite hardcore acts from the mid-90s. Some of these included Unbroken, Mean Season, Strife, Outspoken. We wanted to emulate a real stripped-down sound such as some of these bands I mentioned.

What are your goals now for the band? Has anything changed?
It seems like so much has changed since the beginning. We have parted ways with a lot of members since the beginning and right now Champ, Tomas, and I remain to be the only original members. I’m pretty sure that the band would end if one of us had to stop playing for some reason. We are kind of like the foundation to Foundation… Our goals now for the band are to continue to progress as musicians and to not write any more bad parts. I would love to eventually write enough songs to release on an LP. We have full intentions to continue with the band and gradually become more serious (as far as touring goes) as I get closer to graduating college. I’m the reason why we’re moving slow like a turtle walks, but I’m so close to finishing that it wouldn’t be worth it for me to go full force until I get that piece of paper that says I’m done.

You guys have a very strong impact on Atlanta and the straight edge hardcore scene there, what are your thoughts on seeing new kids and faces coming to your shows and getting into hardcore and straight edge?
Well, I certainly appreciate anyone who supports our band, but I don’t really think too much about the new faces coming to shows and/or getting into straight edge. Here in Atlanta we really have an attitude to uphold and as shitty as it sounds, I would like to uphold this attitude. I mean, hardcore isn’t for everyone and I don’t really like to befriend a lot of these new faces that start coming around until they stick around long enough to show that hardcore and punk is really something that they give a shit about. For all I know, the main reason these new faces are coming around is because they have found this year’s new hobby or they have found a new place to meet people of the opposite sex. That’s not to say that I don’t believe that I can’t learn anything from these people. I just don’t go out of my way to introduce myself to people at shows. Besides, knowing everyone at the shows isn’t really the main reason you should be going to shows anyways. I think it’s cooler to be a part of something together as individuals.  As far as straight edge goes, I fully support anyone who decides to make the decision to be straight edge as long as they have honestly put enough time into thinking about whether or not it’s right for them. Sadly enough, this isn’t typically the case, which is why there are so many edge breakers out there haha.

Last summer you put out a 7” on Triple B Records titled “Never Stops Raining”, how did you guys get together with Sam and Triple-B? How is the relationship been since releasing the record?
Sam showed interest in our band after the first 7” came out and he moshed for us when we played Edge Day ’07 in Boston. That was a defining moment for Triple-B. Sam moshes with finesse, I must say. He had previously put out Matt’s other band Overdose so we sorta got to talking from there. The relationship since releasing the record has been amazing. I mean, more than we could have ever asked for. Sam really knows how to treat bands well. Don’t sleep on this label because he’s got some sick upcoming releases. Check out Free Spirit, The Rival Mob, Downpresser, those are just a few.

How did you guys go about writing the “Never Stops Raining” 7” and did you find a significant difference in writing from this record than you did the previous 7” out on eightfold path records?
We definitely had a better idea of what kind of sound we wanted to go for when writing for this 7”. Sure, we wanted to keep drawing influence from a lot of the bands we originally intended to sound like, but naturally all of our tastes had matured a little at this point. With the Never Stops Raining 7” we really wanted to start writing a little more intense music. I guess we are trying to modernize our band a little bit and the new material will be picking up where this 7” leaves off.

Six Feet Under just recently re-released your guy’s first 7” with new artwork. Who’s idea was it behind the cover art?
Well, we all really love Chick-fil-A and we eat there several times a week. So, it only made sense involve them with our 7 inch artwork. We told Dave at Six Feet Under about the idea; he created the image and ran with it. Chick-fil-A couldn’t be happier that we used their company to promote our music.

How did you guys hook up with Six Feet Under, and what made you decide to work with that label?
Well, I think that we initially met Dave from playing shows with Blacklisted. They were one of the bands we were fortunate enough to play out-of-town shows with when we were first starting out. Our drummer, Champ, kept close contact with him over time and eventually Dave told us that he wanted to put our record out. We decided to do our record with him because he runs an awesome label and we’re all friends.

Last time we spoke you mentioned that Six Feet Under will be doing a discography on an LP, is that still in the works?
Not quite. Instead of the discography, we’re gonna be releasing a new 5-song EP. This will also be released in cd format including re-mastered versions of our first EP and split songs.

What are your plans for future releases? Is there an LP in the works?
Aside from the 5-song EP, we don’t know what our plans are for future releases. We’re gonna be touring a good bit for a while since none of us really have any major obligations in life right now. When we get back we’re gonna start writing again, but we have yet to decide what we want to do with our new material.

How has the sound changed from your new material as compared to your previous releases?
I feel that every release of ours has been a progression from the previous release. This has a lot to do with us starting to really find our sound. I feel that Hank, our other guitar player, and I really mesh well together with our writing styles and that has led to us writing what I feel is our best material yet. Our music has definitely become a little heavier since we started, but it has just been a natural progression for us.

What local bands have you been into lately? Any other bands from the Atlanta area that people should check out?
Check out The Holy Crows, Roam Alone, Hard Luck, Bukkake Boys, and I play in another band called Dealbreaker that’s pretty alright. There are always new bands popping up in Atlanta that are usually pretty sick.

Favorite hardcore record(s) of 2008?
I can’t remember all that came out this past year so I’ll name a few memorable releases for me:
Cruel Hand – Prying Eyes (hard)
Have Heart – Songs to Scream At the Sun
Blacklisted – Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God
Bitter End – s/t
Thought Crusade – Common Man
Lie and Wait – Awakening
…fuck I know there were so many more but my mind is at a loss right now.

I know you guys are real big fans of 90’s hardcore and your music and lyrics show that to an extent, what are some of the bands from the 90’s that you have gained most of your influence from? Who do you think the most important band is that came out of the 90’s?
We’re all big fans of 90’s hardcore. That’s not to say that our intentions of this band are to be a mid-90s worship band, it’s just where we draw a lot influence. Each member definitely brings in separate influences, but if I had to pick a few bands from that era that we all listen to I would go with bands like Indecision, Turmoil, Unbroken, Buried Alive, Converge, Snapcase, Outspoken, and Earth Crisis. As far as the most important band from that era, that’s tough to say. I guess if I were to pick one band that was truly unique and significantly different from the rest of the scene at the time, I would give it to Unbroken. I think that the rest of my band will agree with me on this as well. They were just on another level from the rest.

I know a bunch of you guys and other Atlanta Heads went out to Burning Fight in Chicago, thoughts on the show?
The whole band plus a few others recently drove up to Burning Fight in Chicago and it was nothing short of amazing. There were not many bands I didn’t watch and there was a good vibe the whole show. Unbroken definitely took the cake followed by Trial as a close second. Some other sets that were personal favorites of mine were Reach The Sky, Bane, and Killing Time. It was a good time.

What are your thoughts on the book, have you gotten a chance to skim through and read it?
I actually haven’t had a chance to read much of it because I’ve been so overwhelmed with reading for school, but I did skim trough it and it looks like a pretty good read. I’m probably just gonna bring it on tour with me so that I can actually check it out. I know Tomas has read a good bit of it so far and it sounds awesome.

Alright here is the big question, favorite Syracuse Hardcore Band?
I’ve thought long and hard about this question and I have to go with The Promise. They were the only band from that area that I got to see live and they had the most impact on my life. I saw them and Bane together as one of my earlier Atlanta shows and I just remember my mind being blown. I guess one of their guitar players got lost in the city before their set so they had to play without him. They sounded good either way. I’ll never forget that show.

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