"We’re definitely a straight-forward hardcore band, but if we wanted to be specific, we’re trying to put the hardcore and punk back into melodic hardcore," says Prospect vocalist Sean. The new band got on my radar last week after asking for some new music recommendations via No Echo's Twitter account. Their No Other Way EP has been out for just about a month now.
Since I just learned the NJHC band even existed, I reached out to the vocalist to get the skinny on all-things Prospect. "The band started with [guitarist] Mike and myself meeting at Ramapo College. I saw him wearing a band shirt and asked if he played guitar and if he’d want to play in a band and he just said "yeah" and that was our entire first interaction. It took a while to figure out how we wanted to do this and that solidified with the more concrete lineup we have now when [bassist] Bryan and [drummer] Cole joined. Bryan is the only person in the band that has been in a band before this (at least one that actually played shows). He played in a band called Bear Affair before joining up with us.
"We might be the only New Jersey hardcore band that doesn’t share members with any other band."
Though Sean touched upon it already, I wanted to get his thoughts on the state of melodic hardcore, and where he thinks Prospect fits into that. "That term has been bastardized throughout the years with a lot of bands that have no hardcore or punk ethos claiming it, so much so that I’m almost wary to call ourselves that. Maybe that term has been so muddied, in the same way that 'emo' did in the early '00s, that it's beyond the point of no return. I would love to reclaim that term as long as we don’t get mixed up with some whiney dorks yelling poetry over clean guitars at pay-to-play shows. I still love heavy stuff and even some metallic hardcore, but straight-forward fast hardcore is definitely my lane, and if I can get some interesting chords and melodies in there I’m gonna do it.
"I would say our main influences are Have Heart, Bane, Inside Out, Turning Point, and Count Me Out. We absolutely take influence from even more melodic punk bands though, like Adolescents, Descendents, and early AFI. We also have influences from heavier stuff like Foundation, punk influence from MDC, and The Trouble, and even have taken musical ideas from way outside the genre like Silversun Pickups, although that’s much more hidden."
You know I had to ask Sean what was popping in the Garden State! "New Jersey is the best I have ever experienced right now. There is so much going on, so many bands putting out great records, and so many good shows happening. We’ve got something from all angles of hardcore. You want to mosh? We’ve got Fence Cutter, Shackled, and Ambush. Want more punk? We have Dusters, School Drugs, and Night Birds. Fast hardcore? Shore Style has you there with Blind Justice, Krust, and Stag Party. I could go on all day about bands from our area; there are a lot of great people doing stuff here and I couldn’t be more excited for the future. The vibe is really good and people seem much more open minded than it has in certain points in the past. Pretty much every band has released material in the past year."
The No Other Way EP just came out this summer, but Sean told me that Prospect is keeping shit moving. "We’re already writing songs, whether or not the next release is a full-length, split, EP, or whatever, is still up in the air but we are already working on whatever comes next. The record has only been out a month and we have been getting great feedback so we’re going with the flow and seeing where it leads us."
When it comes to touring, Sean and company are hungry to hit the road. "I’m looking to play everywhere and to do anything and everything we can with this. Let’s keep it moving. The new wave."