The last time Negative Frame was featured on No Echo, the UKHC band had just dropped their Disarming EP. Since then, the combo dropped the Small World EP, and now they're back with a new EP, Mercy Killing.
A few days ago, I spoke with Negative Frame guitarist Olly Coyne and my first request was for him to talk to me a bit about the band’s progression throughout these records and the one-off tracks they've released. "Small World was written during the bleakness of COVID—bunking trains and hitting graffiti on our way to practice. Pissed off being young and not able to rock shows anymore.
"We spent days on end jamming out and having a mid-sesh smoke when writing Small World. We naturally progressed to having more violent parts during this time, whilst keeping the bounce elements and power of a strong riff basis. Negative Frame has always been about the punch of live music, pure passion to rock—the band started when we were 16-year-old skaters, many years ago.
"We joined The Coming Strife Records after Frazer from Cauldron had us stay following a Birmingham show. We took a photo together with our pizza slices in front of their big TCS banner, which made its way to Oli Strife. History."
Yes, it's impossible to talk about Negative Frame without mentioning The Coming Strife, the UK-based label that championed the group from the start. "The Mercy Killing EP continues the evolution of Negative Frame. A darker death metal sound emerges throughout, whilst the iconic emotional NF breakdowns and bounce vibe is further pronounced."
Though their new material definitely brings in more metal influences into the mix, I asked Olly about their connection to the UK hardcore scene. "We grew up and became friends through death metals and thrash when we were younger.
"We found hardcore through going to college with Seb (Mourning, Stages in Faith) shortly before starting Negative Frame. We’d go to shows and throw ourselves off the stage to bands like The Flex, Big Cheese, Cold Hard Truth, Arms Race… The power of the scene was always a part of the Negative Frame sound."
Olly also said the band is getting some help on the touring front. "After booking our own DIY tours and (literally) blowing fire across the UK for years, we partnered with Matt from Avocado Booking/Funeral For A Friend in late 2022. We worked hard to get here. It was always our dream to tour harder.
"During our last No Echo write-up, we mentioned the cancelled Disarming release show at The Underworld (2020/COVID) and our mission to play there. Last month, we played one of our best shows ever with Kublai Khan, sold out at the historic Underworld. Another recent endeavour includes our show with Thy Art Is Murder at The Dome. Seeing long-time homies moshing alongside a whole new audience was incredible for us."
So, what's next for Negative Frame now that they have a new EP out? "Last March, we went to Portugal for the first time, we headlined a day fest in Porto and played Lisbon with Bas Rotten which sold out. Walls were kicked in and demolished at our first overseas show, I’m stoked to announce that we’ll be returning for some Halloween chaos, alongside a show in Spain! We have many plans for Europe next year too, with festivals and a 20-day tour with a US band confirmed."
In addition to Negative Frame, Olly and company keep busy with other projects. "I play guitar in Lawful Killing, and we just came back from Fluff Fest. Mark is the vocalist of Churchgoers who have a release coming out on 11pm/Static Shock Records. Luke plays in a blackened metallic hardcore band, Graven Image, with our producer Charlie Wilson (ex-Bundemout, TRC, Counting Days).
"However, Negative Frame is the band. We all enjoy playing Negative Frame shows so much and this was our first ever band, so it takes priority most of the time. We’re all about having good times, we’d love to come over to America soon and we’re already working on our next release."
The Mercy Killing 12” is available for pre-order on The Coming Strife Records. The Small World EP is on the B-side. CDs are available from Death Farm Records and new merch is available Negative Frame's Bandcamp.
UK Release Tour with Street Soldier and No Relief:
13/08 - Norwich - Waterfront
14/08 - Leicester - The Big Difference
15/08 - Liverpool - EBGB’s
16/08 - Glasgow - Audio
17/08 - Leeds - Boom
18/08 - Newport - The Cab
19/08 - Southampton - Joiners
20/08 - London - New Cross Inn
Halloween Madness - Negative Frame headline with Clericbeast:
27/10 - A Coruña - Spain
28/10 - Freamunde - Portugal
29/10 - Porto - Portugal
31/10 - Lisbon - Portugal
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