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No Other Way: RVA Straight Edge Unit Dig Into Serious Subject Matter on Debut Release

Photo: nickcapturesrva

"Pretty much the backstory of No Other Way is me hitting up Dewey who sings in the band to see if if he wanted to start a vegan straight edge band that sounded like Carry On and American Nightmare," drummer Jamie Davis tells No Echo. No Other Way recently dropped Slow Violence, the group's 4-song debut, and we wanted to help spread the word. "I think collectively speaking, that’s our lane of a hardcore and no one around here was doing anything like it, on top of there not really being any straight edge bands from here at the moment other than Down to Nothing."

Astute hardcore fans should have already figured out that No Other Way is based out of Richmond, VA, a hotbed for the scene, especially in the last few years. "Locally. I think we’ve gotten a positive amount of feedback, but I’m personally super stoked with the reception online," Jamie says. "Hearing about people reaching out to mutual friends asking about us and people messaging us themselves has been awesome. It’s always great to hear your music means something to someone you’ve never met and you can share that connection."

No Other Way's vocalist, Dewey, chatted a bit about the lyrics on Slow Violence: "With the lyrics we wanted to cast as wide of a net as we could with a demo in terms of subject. The song 'Slow Violence' is about the harm we as a people inflict on the earth with deforestation, animal agriculture, greenhouse emissions, and how it’s a slow process, but will catch up to us and the time to go vegan to do your part to save the planet is now.

"'Crisis' was written about Big Pharma, how it ruins people’s lives, and how the people effected by it are maligned by some people who are straight edge when those people don’t know the first thing about their problems/situation. It’s not a subject that’s black and white and more people need to remember that a lot of factors lead to the opioid epidemic were in and learn to hate the big companies and the drug itself rather than the actual person who was taken advantage of."

Dewey continued: "'Unfamiliar Ceiling' is super-personal as I started writing it when I was going through a lot of mental health issues, but by the end I was working through things and was able to come out of it with a better understanding of myself, the ones I love, and found a positive ending which is literally reflected in the song. It’s kind of another side to 'Cross My Heart' from Break Away that I wrote and a message to the people going through these types of problems that, as corny as it might sound, you wouldn’t know depression or anxiety if you didn’t have happiness and calm before. 'The darkest shadows are cast by the brightest lights,' and I hope everyone knows you aren’t alone in those negative feelings and to keep fighting. 

Photo: Karalyn Hope

Before closing his thoughts out on the lyrical side of No Other Way's new material, Dewey offered the following: 'Remember?' is probably the most surface level, but it’s about when people break edge they always has some excuse to why they do it and I don’t really care. I’m not losing sleep over your personal decision and don’t care to hear about why you broke."

I asked Jamie what other hardcore bands he and his No Other Way bandmates feel a close connection to. "Personally, I feel a kinship with all the other straight edge bands our right now. I’m not particularly good friends with any of the bands, but in a time where it seems everyone is selling out or dropping veganism, it’s bands like Envision, Magnitude, Inclination, and Point of Contact that keep me stoked on hardcore music with a positive and meaningful message.

"In Richmond, we have a bunch of amazing bands constantly putting out heat we’re friends with including (but not limited to) Mutually Assured Destruction, Red Vision, Division of Mind, Downfall, Nosebleed, Outsider, and way too many more to list."

No Other Way on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp

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