Just like countless other examples on No Echo, Seed of Pain is comprised of musicians who also play in several other bands. But my take on that has always been that if it means that more great music gets made, then who the fuck cares? "Seed of Pain scratches a different itch for us than our other bands," drummer Lennon Livesay told me via email earlier this week. In the case of Seed of Pain, the members might look familiar from Ecostrike, Moment of Truth, and Envision, among other acts.
Lennon continued to break the group down:
"We aren’t a straight edge band or a vegan band or anything, we’re just a band that wants to just play shows and represent hardcore and have fun writing and playing the kind of stuff we wanna listen to. It’s a very very different type of creative outlet from some of the other bands we play in."
Seed of Pain is the topic of discussion since the South Florida metallic hardcore outfit has just dropped their second album, Flesh, Steel, Victory... You can hear it in all its glory below:
In an earlier email, Lennon had mentioned that with this new record, the band tried really hard to spin their influences into something more their own. So, I asked if that meant he thought some of the past Seed of Pain releases were a bit too close to the bands/sound/era that inspired them.
"Our earlier material was definitely extremely derivative of a few very decided influences, and that’s okay for those releases because that’s exactly what we set out to do with them. But for our more recent stuff, we intentionally made it less so. When we first started the band we wanted to just do a Ringworm rip-off band because that’s something we would have fun doing. That’s okay for a demo and maybe a follow-up release, but to be on our second LP and not grow our sound would be kind of redundant.
"Our new record still has those Clevo-influences very front and center but we tried to incorporate other stuff. Some of the guys in the band are really into death metal and there’s way more classic Florida death metal influence on this record as well as a lot of late '90s East Coast hardcore. The kind of stuff you’d find on CD-only comps."
In terms of lyrics on Flesh, Steel, Victory..., I wanted to know what the overall spirit of what they wrote about in Seed of Pain versus what Ecostrike might do. "Seed of Pain couldn’t be more different from Ecostrike lyrically. Ecostrike has an obvious heavy focus on straight edge, veganism, introspection, etc. Seed of Pain lyrics are just about whatever we wanna make them about. There are songs about Warhammer and there are songs about the current state of American politics and everything in between. It’s just whatever is in our worldview when we sit down to hammer out the lyrics for that particular song."
Since I'm really loving the look of Flesh, Steel, Victory..., I asked Lennon about working with artist Kyle Niland. "Beyond the fact that Kyle has sort of become the go-to design guy for a lot of Plead Your Case Records stuff, particularly Seed of Pain, he’s someone who understood what we wanted with this record. We’ve talked at length about how a great hardcore record isnt just the music, it’s the total package with a cool layout and design. It didn’t seem like he was just doing a job for someone, he legitimately was invested in it himself and out a lot of time into it hammering out tiny details with us. I love Kyle’s designs and I think he’s quickly becoming someone who’s work will be the aesthetic for a lot of hardcore stuff for this generation that people look back on."
The aforementioned Plead Your Case Records is owned and operated by Lennon, so before we finished our email correspondence, I tried to get the lowdown on his future plans for the label. "Just continuing to try to represent awesome new hardcore. I’m always on the look out for new bands to work with, and we’ve got a few new things cooking up right now, but this Seed of Pain LP is definitely the biggest thing we’ve done as a label in terms of the time and effort we’re putting into the release."