Ever since they released their 2022 demo, I've been paying attention to Doubt. They're one of the more recent bands helping to establish Baltimore as one of the most fertile and exciting hardcore scenes in the world right now (see End It, Jivebomb, and Gasket to start).
The story of the group started a few years ago when Claire (vocals), Nijol (drums), and Pocholo (bass) all found themselves working at the same place. "Nijol and Pocholo had gotten together only once to play before Nijol asked me to do vocals because he knew I had already had history and background, in that area," Claire told me via email a few days ago.
"Nijol knew Logan (guitars) from playing at his house with his other band, and Logan had been on Twitter posting videos of him playing Exodus riffs during quarantine, [laughs]. Jon (guitars) came last and he knew Nijol from playing in other bands together."
Claire told me about Doubt's sound and how its taken shape during its intial stages. "Nijol and I specifically knew we wanted to start a hardcore band when we first started out. After that, I would say our sound came organically as we continued to write. Our sound continues to evolve even now. Our demo sounds different than the rest of our songs we perform live, and continue to write."
Doubt's latest offering came out last month via two tracks on a split with Philadelphia's Harm Assist:
"Our tastes are a little all over the place and I think that definitely shows in our music. I don't know how obscure our influences actually are. We love '80s NYHC, and revenge lyrics, thats for sure. We're also influenced by genres outside of hardcore like funk, (Nijol loves drummer Clyde Stubblefield), drum and bass, all things that have a groove that you can move to and get into."
As far as those influences, Doubt chose to cover "Mind Over Matter," a track from Boston hardcore legends The Rival Mob, on their new split.
"We covered The Rival Mob on the split because we also cover it during our set, live. They're one of my favorite bands and it was my idea originally to work it into the set. It's a song people know and love, and it really gets the crowd involved and engaged, which was the intention behind it!"
Baltimore has been ripping with great new hardcore bands in the last few years. I asked Claire how it all felt from Doubt's standpoint. "I firmly believe that Baltimore has something in the water. That has never been lost on me. We are so incredibly lucky to have the scene that we have. That's all in part to people being involved.
"We wouldn't have the thriving scene that we do without people booking shows, people coming out to shows, people starting bands, making zines, designing merch and flyers, and everything else that comes with a scene being vibrant and successful. Some up and coming bands to check out are Gasket, Labrys, Sinister Feeling, Erode, Tripper, and Polarview."
With the Harm Assist split out now, and a new year coming up, Claire is clearly ready for the next chapter of Doubt to unfold. "We will be releasing our first EP in the near future, and we are in talks with labels about putting that out into the world, which is really exciting!"
The Doubt x Harm Assist split is available on cassette via Julia's War Records.