During their initial run from 2000 to 2005, Love is Red released a handful of records, toured a ton, and played Hellfest, Stillborn Fest, and Furnace Fest. The melodic hardcore outfit seemed to be firing on all cylinders before they abruptly broke up.
Members of Love is Red went on to play in such groups as Evergreen Terrace, Sinking Ships, and Bracewar in the years that followed.
Earlier this month, Love is Red returned with a new EP, Darkness is Waiting, and they're going to be part of the also returning Furnace Fest, which will go down September 24-26 in Birmingham, AL. They will also appearing September 23rd in Nashville with Terror, Comeback Kid, DRAIN, Hollywood, and Mutually Assured Destruction as part of the Furnace Fest weekend.
No Echo recently spoke with Love is Red vocalist Hunter Weeks about their past, present, and future.
What was the Nashville scene like back when Love is Red was originally together, and what inspired the band to relocate there from Florence?
So Love is Red originated in Florence. I am from Atlanta. I had moved to Nashville and was doing shows up there and had put Love is Red on a few shows. When Rob, the original singer quit, they asked me if I wanted to join. Eventually everyone lived in Nashville and that's where we called home for most of the time we toured.
Nashville was just starting to really develop a good hardcore scene at the time. It was pretty small. There was definitely more of a punk and thrash crowd. There was one small record store called Indienet and that's where all the punk and hardcore shows happened. There were some incredible shows there, so many amazing punk bands. Iconic Tennessee bdands like Tragedy, From Ashes Rise, Process is Dead, and every big hardcore band in the early '00s eventually played there.
Throughout the early '00s, the Nashville hardcore scene really blew up. A few other venues popped up like the Muse, and shows got pretty big for a while. It was a really fun time. The scene was super tight, a lot of life long friendships were made in those days.
Why did you guys break up in the first place. From looking back at your first phase together, you definitely were putting in a lot of work.
[Laughs] There were a few reasons as to why we broke up. Honestly, we had toured so much we just got to he point where we burnt ourselves out. We were ready to kill each other from living in a van together for so long. The last few tours we did started to be with bigger bands at bigger venues. Some of the guys just weren't into barricades, security guards, and big metal shows.
The final fight that ended the band was ridiculous. I actually got a call from Roger Miret asking us if we wanted to go to Europe with Agnostic Front. The kicker was they had already booked everything, a band dropped off the tour, and we had to leave in a week or something. None of us had passports, no merch printed or planned, it would have been a huge undertaking, but fuck it.
Going to tour Europe with Agnostic Front is like a hardcore kids dream. Some of the band didn't want to go, some did, we got into a huge fight about it, and just broke up. It was crazy.
What was the impetus that inspired you to get back together? Did you guys remain close in the years after the split?
We always stayed friends. Everyone basically went their separate ways and joined new bands. But throughout the years we always talked, texted. We played Nashville back in 2010 and the show was rad. We were supposed to play Furnace Fest last year, but with Covid pushing it back and everyone having down time, we decided to see if we could write some songs.
Roger, our guitarist went into the studio and demo'd a bunch of stuff and we just took it and ran with it. We did everything virtually, recorded in different cities, but we're really proud of the way the EP came out. This last year and a half has been really tough mentally on a lot of people, myself included. This EP is just basically an outlet to vent. Hopefully inspire people to keep going. Hardcore and metal lost a lot of great people last year due to depression, drugs, mental health, it fucking sucked. A lot of ways this EP is paying tribute to those who couldn't make it through.
In terms of the material you wrote for Darkness is Waiting, did you guys discuss what direction you wanted to try and explore before you even started working on everything? Perhaps it was more of a “let’s see what happens” kind of approach?
We kept it pretty close to what we always were. We were fast, heavy, and had a lot of melodic riffs. We kept that formula for this EP. The vocals are darker on this EP, again, with last year being so fucking difficult in so many ways, I wanted to write lyrics that expressed that darkness.
The album is about death, adversity, pain, loss, mindset, what so many people dealt with in so many ways over the last year. It's really a continuation of themes we talked about on The Hardest Fight 17 years ago. That record was the struggle to be your own person, figure out your own life, questioning things you were born into, etc. This EP is about all that life continuously beating you down, and continuing to fight.
A lot of people gave up on that fight this past year. Covid killed a lot of people, and so did drugs, and depression due to how Covid fucked up so many people's lives. It was a really fucking difficult year, and I just wanted to express that through this EP to hopefully inspire people to keep fucking fighting.
What’s the plan for Love is Red now that the EP is out and shows are coming back?
We are playing an insane show in Nashville with Terror, Comeback Kid, Drain, Misery Signals, Mutually Assured Destruction, and more on Sept 23rd. It's going to be a legendary Nashville show. We're then playing Furnace Fest on Sunday the 26th with a ton of other awesome bands. That's all we have planned now.
We all have jobs, families, kids, etc. So we're not going back to being a full time band or touring. We just feel super-stoked to be able to play these few shows, put out an EP, and hang out with old friends again. September can't come soon enough.
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