In keeping with the tsunami of straight edge bands that have been releasing new music this year, New Heart joins the ranks of this wave with their upcoming release, Feel the Change, on Blood & Ink Records. Today, they debut a song with an age-old theme of anti-racism entitled "No More Hate." I had spoken to Nathan of New Heart previously to hearing the song and he said the track was inspired by the events that occurred at the alt-right demonstration in Charlottesville, VA last year. Being as I reside about an hour from where this occurred, I found it fitting that I ask him some questions about this particular offering.
Describe the process of how this song came to be. Did you hear the news about the riot and immediately feel compelled to write this or did it come later in somewhat of a retrospective way?
The topic of racism is something we’d been wanting to write about for quite awhile, but we just didn’t have the right ideas of how to go about it. Not that writing about racism is cliché in any way whatsoever, but we wanted this song to be somehow different than other songs we’ve grown to love on this topic. However, when the events in Charlottesville happened, everything just fell into place. The lyrics to this song were written within 72 hours of the event happening. Hayden, our new vocalist, and I put our heads together, and we came up with a song that we’re extremely proud of. We feel like it describes the band’s stance on the topic very well. We even threw in a little Easter egg into the song as a shout out to another song that inspired us to write it.
Do you witness any kind of behavior or views like this where you live? In the community you live in or at shows? I recently read about the debacle concerning the leaders of the Traditionlist Workers Party that occurred in Illinois near y'all and found the "schadenfreude" very entertaining.
I didn’t personally witness any behavior like the riot in Charlottesville. The thing I saw that baffled me was friends, family, or people I knew on social media backing up what they were doing, or saying that the other party was at fault for standing up against them. Straight up, if you back up anyone who spouts racial garbage like they were, you have no place in this scene or community that most of hold very close to our hearts. I couldn’t believe all of these people coming out of the woodwork to support such hate. It was that very moment that I knew this song had to be written. As far as the TWP, I read about that last week. The irony of the entire situation killed me. For those that haven’t heard or read about it, look up what happened to the two co-founders of the TWP and how the entire organization has been magically erased. One of the leaders was cheating on his wife with the other leader’s wife, then beat his own wife when she caught him. It seems like it’s always those that preach the loudest that are the ones that have something to hide, or are over-compensating for something in their own lives.
New Heart is a straight edge band and a Christian band, do you feel your beliefs with each go hand in hand or are they completely separate?
New Heart is definitely a straight edge band. As far as a Christian band goes, all of us do believe in the Christian faith, and occasionally that comes out in our lyrics…but I’d like to think we’re pretty different than most that have done the “Christian band” thing in the past. A lot has changed over the years with us. We aren’t preachy. We aren’t judgmental. We don’t necessarily fit into the “Christian” market. We just live our lives believing deep down in what we believe, and we encourage everyone else to do just the same. If people prefer to call us a Christian band because of these things, that’s okay with us. But when the album comes out, listen to “No Remorse II." I think it’s the most important song we’ve ever written and very much explains our stance on spirituality. That being said, we think straight edge and faith are completely separate ideas. We don’t think that having a drink or a smoke is against our faith at all…it’s just something that we all choose to stay away from.
What would you say your ultimate goal with New Heart was when you started? Has that goal changed?
It’s funny you ask that, because I haven’t always been in New Heart. I joined on the first tour in summer of 2014. Prior to that, they had just been a local Indianapolis band, and had already experienced a few member changes. In the past four years, various member changes have also occurred, including the addition of our new vocalist, Hayden, last summer. So, I’d say yes, the ultimate goal has definitely changed. This new record is unlike anything we’ve released in the past. I’d say we’ve taken a much different approach to song writing now that multiple members in the band assist with song ideas and lyrics. Themes have shifted focus towards dealing with issues people deal with in their everyday lives, whether it be political, social, or spiritual. Our goal is to inspire those that hear our music to better themselves and to critically think about some of the issues that we bring up. Never settle for what you currently are when there’s always room for improvement, and be a voice for those whose voice isn’t heard in this world. I’d say that’s our MO.
If there's one thing you want someone to get from seeing and hearing New Heart, what would you say it is? What is a band you saw in your upbringing that brought this same feeling to yourself that you want to share with others now?
I’d say the most important takeaway from seeing or hearing us would be to not feel pressured from anyone else to decide how to live your own life. Think for yourself and decide what’s best for you, and don’t look down on others for the choices they’ve made. That’s at the core of who we are. We also believe that hardcore can be for anyone who decides it’s for them (obviously besides a few rare exceptions like bigotry or those who make others feel unsafe). I’d hope that people would hear our music and feel like they don’t have to reach a certain level of “cool” to enjoy it.
As far as a band goes, I know it’s super cliché being a youth crew band, but I’d have to say Youth of Today. They are one of all of our favorite bands and the positive energy I feel after listening to a Youth of Today record is forever inspirational. I didn’t see them until 2011, but their message is timeless. I will give a shout out to Hit the Deck though. They’re the first youth crew band I ever got into back in 2005. I still listen to that record over and over again, and I can remember exactly how it made me feel the very first time I put it in my stereo in my room.
Feel the Change will hit stores on May 4 via Blood & Ink Records and can pre-ordered now.
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