Giver are one of the brightest lights currently updating the hardcore sound for this era. Part of the reason for that is the way they take elements from across the wide-ranging hardcore universe and apply it to their sound in unique and absolutely aggressive ways. When the band lets you look under the hood at the pieces to their engine you begin to understand precisely what makes their latest album, Sculpture of Violence, tick. Spoiler: it’s outrage over the world’s state of affairs but let’s allow the men of Giver to tell you about that in their own words.
Gallows (Frank Carter Era)
Robert (vocals): When I was around 14 years old, I had already been into metal for two years. I was looking around last.fm and somehow stumbled across “Rolling With The Punches” and “In the Belly Of A Shark” by Gallows. At that time I was listening to Korn and Slipknot 24/7 and never had I ever heard a similar voice like Frank Carter‘s before. I was instantly captivated by the sheer anger and frustration in his singing which gave me goosebumps. I couldn’t believe how much tension and aggression just simple rock’n’roll-ish punk riffs could convey. Then Grey Britain came out and their sound became darker though the atmosphere was drenched in encouragement. I’d read the lyrics and listen to that album uncountable times, because I felt like my feelings and thoughts, that kept me awake at night, got sorted. I started to question the things that made me angry at the world and myself. Also, Frank’s attitude and performance inspired me in many ways and still does so today. Grey Britain definitely got me into hardcore-punk and paved the way to where I am now with Giver.
Julian (Guitar): Muro is a raw punk band from Bogota, Colombia. It’s not the kind of band that influenced me “back in the day” or got me into punk, hardcore, or heavy music in the first place. I tried to think more of a band that inspired me lately and that’s definitely Muro. Their fast, ripping and political style of hardcore-punk is one thing I really like about them; they’ve only released one record called Ataque Hardcore Punk so far. However, another thing that amazed me about them is how these guys understand and practice punk as a means of social and cultural activism within a scene and a counter-cultural surrounding, that is so different from what we are used to here in Europe. Muro formed maybe five years ago out of a bigger punk-collective called Rat Trap. They established a social-centre in the heart of Bogota that offers rehearsal-spaces, a little studio, workshop rooms for all kind of artists, a gallery, a small shop, and a great screen-printing-space. When I visited these guys in 2019, I experienced this particular punk-community as a real D.I.Y.-scene and in this case D.I.Y. really means Do It Yourself at every single step of production. Great band, great scene, great people! If you want to know more about them, read this issue of Maximum Rock n’ Roll.
Benedikt (Guitar): When thinking about what band or bands lead me to the heavy music I enjoy these days, Orchid is always the first that comes to mind. When saying Orchid, I speak of the American hardcore-punk/screamo band, founded in 1997. I vividly remember hanging around on YouTube in my late teens one night, stumbling across their second record Dance tonight! Revolution tomorrow! after being into punk and metalcore for a while. I remember being totally struck by this fast, chaotic, aggressive and dissonant sounding music and how I couldn’t stop listening to it for weeks. I think their approach to song-writing and structure really stuck with me and even to this day, I can’t seem to shake that kind of preference. Orchid had a way of “using” chaos and dissonance, structuring it, making it their own only to burst out of it in the exactly right moment. I mean, just listen to “I am Nietzsche” once again and try not to smile ear to ear when THAT part kicks in. Also, the clean guitar-tone on that record is just 10/10 perfect. I can always come back to Orchid and enjoy them for a while without ever getting tired of it, which is a really rare thing in my opinion.
Timo (Drums): If I really had to pick out of all the bands that have influenced me and my drumming over the years, I couldn’t really fix my opinion on a single one. However, if there is one band that always catches and amazes me again and again, record after record, I end up with Deftones pretty quickly. Eight studio albums and one cover record and none of them are bad or half-hearted – hits only! The connection of heavy riffs, melancholy, clever song-writing and nerdy, cunning rhythms have expanded my horizon and influenced me behind and in front of the drum kit. Abe Cunningham is definitely one of the most important drummers for me. Through “Prince,” “Digital Bath,” or “My Own Summer,” I was able to learn that it’s neither fast double bass, nor nifty fills that matter most, but rather carefully thought out and at times tricky rhythms that don’t force themselves upon your ears, but nevertheless manage to blow you away. And raw power of course! If I listen to the first chords of their self-titled album today, I still get goosebumps. It still reminds me of my early twenties, friends I haven’t seen in a while and loads of great moments.
Christopher (Bass/Vocals): Verse were among the bands that got me into heavy music and have remained one of my absolute faves until today. Aggression is still their masterpiece to me and feels more like a punk record than a typical hardcore album. I love the easy, fluent pace of the songs and how they manage to keep up such a high level of energy and diversity throughout the record without losing focus. The album is built upon on a wide scope of beats, subtle guitar melodies and, first and foremost, the intelligent and stirring lyrics of singer Sean Murphy. It’s bands like them that actually got me interested in politics beyond political parties and election programs, and had me questioning what I took for granted and as unchangeable in this world. When listening to their songs, it’s clear that the lyricist isn’t just talking in platitudes but has a distinct idea and analysis of how the system we live in functions, and what can be done to change it. Perfectly striking a nerve between imagery and urgent explicitness, Verse always get their point across on several levels – emotionally, factually and ideologically. Besides, I still think that Sean Murphy has one of the best voices in the genre.