From: Greenfield, Massachusetts
Their formation story:
(Ben Delozier, vocalist): "Ironically, Bent is a band that was birthed in stillness. The entire world had suddenly and universally stopped. Our lives had come to a screeching halt. All the distractions gone. All business of our lives ceased. There was nothing to race to keep up with anymore. Like everyone else, what we found ourselves in was just wide open, deafening space with no one else but ourselves. The kind of space for the flood of thoughts and feelings long ignored came crashing in to reveal themselves.
"This band started as our guitarist, Dustin Yager, turning to what he knew, which is music, to find his way through the prolonged discomfort of that isolation. It was a way of trying to hold onto something that still felt human at a time when the days of isolation became weeks became months of collectively feeling like our humanity was being drained from us. Dustin never expected these songs to see anything more than a folder of his google drive until he shared them with a friend who told him that these songs needed to be heard in the world. Then a chance meeting working sound at a show got Dustin connected with our drummer Monte Arnstan, who invited Dustin over to jam on his 'COVID songs.' From there it was a matter of months before a full band was formed.
"Three years later, and those songs, plus a couple post quarantine newbies are now our first full length, Imaginal, which was just released on July 21st."
Their sound in their own words:
"Our music is rock and roll-drenched hardcore, with a few dashes of thrash and a healthy smidge of cathartic melody.
"We like to think there is something in it for everyone who is a fan of heavy music. But, it’ll definitely tickle the ears of peeps who dig Every Time I Die, Converge, Comeback Kid, Norma Jean, and The Chariot."
Latest release info:
"Imaginal is a meditation hidden within bombast and commotion. It is a sonic journey of sounds building and decaying. And, in the spaces in between it is a reflection on the idea that in order for anything to become, something that already is must fall apart.
"Part of my story is that, a year prior to the pandemic, the person I was married to for eight years died by suicide. That was a prolonged moment in life where I felt like all that I knew, all that I was, all that I was living for… it was all just suddenly gone. I felt like I had lost everything. Like I was just trying to make it through the motions of each day while feeling trapped worlds away from the very people that were right there walking by me. Sometimes we feel ourselves desperately clinging to anything that feels like it might still resemble us and a life we lived, because without those remaining shreds, we feel terrified that we might really lose all sense of ourselves.
"And, when I look past the world we have constructed - the one that distances us from the world we actually came from - I see this truth everywhere. Everything is falling apart to be remade into something else. And, in that process, nothing is lost. Nothing is ever created or destroyed. The things that are falling apart in this moment are simply doing so so that they can return to the soils and become the next moment’s surge of life. The very life that our hearts ache to feel, but can’t find when we are desperately clinging to the parts that need to be released to the soils in order for that life to become. Our hearts know this. I found out that my heart knows this. They know how to do this. That is the world they come from. We’ve just created enough distance from that world that we have forgotten how to entrust ourselves to this.
"The 'imaginal discs' are the parts inside a caterpillar that hold all the mapping and additional pieces that lie dormant within the caterpillar until it’s time. And, when it is time, the caterpillar forms a chrysalis, made of its own body, and it sits in the stillness, waiting for everything that it is to literally fall apart into goo. That is when the imaginal discs go to work, rearranging and reorienting everything, so that an entirely new being that is also the same being surging with a whole new aliveness can emerge.
"This idea of falling apart... I experienced it first hand. And, we all have as humans. The world as we knew it fell apart in a big way that we all experienced together. The question is, will we entrust ourselves to our own falling apart? Can we sit in the deep discomfort and even grief and pain, long enough to see what longs to emerge. To sit long enough to feel what our hearts ache for in the world? To recognize what is being clarified in the deafening stillness? What is longing to be returned to us in its new form, if only we could release it first? What are we being reminded of that was forgotten? About being human together. About holding and receiving each other. About being the soils that catch each other in the falling apart. How are we going to use what has become clear to us to, together, build a world that surges with new life?
"We all hold the blueprints and capacity for our own transformation within us. Sometimes we just could never know that until it is happening. The question is, will we entrustourselves to something that our hearts know far better than our fear does. Something about what we ache to become. And how that ache is the knowing of parts within us speaking their readiness to emerge.
"These songs are a reflection on what emerges when things become painfully still long enough to understand their motion. To come face to face with what is ready to come undone, so that it can be made into what aches to become. We wrote this album as a reminder to ourselves. A reminder from the parts of us that came completely undone to become the aliveness that we feel today. A reminder to the parts that are alive today, that might feel completely undone tomorrow. A reminder of what we can be past the point that we didn’t think we would survive. A reminder that the surge of new life can only come when the old things are allowed to decay and return to the soils. That sometimes letting something die is the only way to live again. We hope this album can be that reminder to anyone who listens.
"Big thanks to every person who has been a part of that reminder for us."
"We have some upcoming local shows, and we are super stoked to be playing RPM Festival on September 1st in Montague, Massachusetts. From there, our plan is to hustle, hustle, hustle. Play shows, organize shows, get on a tour, organize our own tour, meet as many people as we can after a show, hear every story that folks want to share with us about who they are and what they have lived, and get every baby we know into a Bent onesie!"
What other bands from their region should we check out?
"Big shout out to our boys in Pwrup, a thrash ska band, who have been so supportive of us from day one. Folks in our neck of the woods should also check out Dishpit out of UMass, our boys in Choke Out down in Westfield, and our friends in Film and Gender, who are the raddest and most sincere two-piece punk band you’ll meet."