Bystander: Veterans from the Hardcore Community Come Together in New Band

Greg Bennick with Trial in 2012. (Photo: Matt Gill)

One of the most rewarding aspect of being a fan of hardcore music is the communal aspect of it. I've met some of my best friends through either playing in bands, or being part of the scene around it. That brings me to Bystander.

Comprised of musicians and friends from the hardcore movement, Bystander features vocalist Greg Bennick (Trial), drummer Chad Rapper (Decline), and bassist Shariq Ibriham (Decline). The band's sound is a straight-up, no-nonsense attack of fast-paced guitar riffs, and crystal-clear vocals.

Greg breaks down the inspiration behind Bystander's band moniker and the song of the same name which I'm honored to premiere here for you today:

"To be a Bystander is to not take part, rather than to engage. The name of the band — and the song — has some irony attached to it. So many bands have names which talk about their own pain, their own struggle, their own problems. That honestly has begun to bore me, even when I do it myself. So in thinking about a band name and the lyrics to a first song, I thought about a different approach: what is the experience of others and what is my role in that experience? 

"I think this is the current place where each of us could be if we rethink our approach to being a citizen of the world. What have we done, what are we doing to help now that we’ve done it, and what changes can we make in our own lives so that we don’t inflict more pain on others through our action or through our inaction. We can’t kill ourselves for the past, or for the present, but we can make changes in the present to help create a better future."

"For those who suffer more than me, this broken heart is finally breaking free…"

bystander: noun - a person who is present at an event or incident but doesnot take part; an onlooker.

am I alone?
that's how it feels to me
I hear a deafening echo when I scream

but I'm with you and I know you're with me
together we'll take on the fucking world...

...but if we look no further than that
each of us will only ever be a bystander

I can't see who's right in front of me calling my name
what's it going to take
how long are we going to wait
or will we do anything?

no more
there's a wounded world out there
being self-absorbed helps it bleed
for those who suffer more than me
this broken heart is finally breaking free

I can't hear you...

I can't hear anything with my voice obscuring my mind
laying blame
absorbed with shame
there's got to be another way

this is just where we start, not where we end

feeding off ourselves while leaving those in need to fate
cannibalize and ostracize
well good things will never just come to those who wait

there's a wounded world out there
self-righteousness helps it bleed
for those who suffer more than me
this broken heart is finally breaking free

I've had enough
I can't stand still given what's at stake
under the weight of the world
we'll all bend...then break

how can we just talk ourselves up
in the middle of a world which is completely breaking down?


Bystander's debut 7" will be out soon via Safe Inside Records in the States, Goodwill Records in Europe, and Life.Lair.Regret. Records in Australia. 

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