World on Fire: Buffalo Hardcore Band Brings Forth Politically-Minded Lyrics on Latest Release

Photo: Bill Bellottie

World on Fire are one of a new crop of hardcore bands emerging from the Buffalo, New York scene. They are a seasoned group of hardcore veterans that have been in numerous bands throughout the years and have now come together for this new project. 

The quintet released a demo a couple of years and have recently completed a full length that has an undetermined release date.

You can check out a couple of the songs from the forthcoming album, along with a cover of Integrity’s "Hollow," on World of Fire's Bandcamp player below. The following interview was conducted with their lead vocalist, Dan Cross-Viola.

So who is in the band and what do they do?
Jon Morgan and Matt Kuzmierz play guitar, Tim Fletcher plays bass, Christian Newman plays drums, and I (Dan Cross-Viola) sings.
When and how did World on Fire get together?
I formerly sang in Wreckage and Jon formerly sang in Teamster. We met when our bands did a long weekend together like a decade ago and we’ve wanted to do a band ever since. When Jon moved back to the Buffalo area, we started putting the pieces together.

Newman, Matt and I had played in a short-lived band previously, and I’d always wanted to play with Fletcher, and it all just clicked. We started jamming in 2019, but really didn’t get any momentum until the world opened back up after the pandemic.

Normally I like to hear the story behind a band name but I think it’s safe to say we know what your's means. However did you expect to be putting out new music and being so active with a band when so much of the planet is literally on fire?
Actually, we decided on the name when a good chunk of Australia was burning uncontrollably. So even though the name is a strong metaphorical fit for our lyrics, it’s literal too. And sadly, given the role climate change is playing in the uptick of forest fires, I’m not surprised every “fire season” seems to be longer and more severe than the last.  

There is always a lot of debate about immigrants and refugees in America. It is really coming to a head locally. I know you live in an area with a larger immigrant population and I lived there too. I never had any problems but the local suburbs are expectantly losing their minds. What are your thought about that?
It’s really unfortunate. I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences with people who’ve immigrated to Buffalo. There are so many amazing organizations and businesses that wouldn’t exist in Buffalo without the contributions of our city’s New American communities.

The Somali Bantu Community Organization, WEDI’s Downtown Bazaar, and the Providence Farm Collective are just a few I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know.
The recent local drama centers around two individuals seeking asylum who are being housed in an area hotel. These two individuals were arrested in separate incidents. Honestly, I don’t know much about the cases against them, and I have no interest in excusing any wrongdoing.

However, the outpouring of opposition to asylum seekers in our community that’s resulted reeks of xenophobia. It ignores all the incredible contributions thousands and thousands of New Americans are making to the greater Buffalo region every day, instead focusing on a few bad actions. It’s really sad.

Over the last couple years a lot of new bands have popping up in Buffalo. I know you’ve been around for awhile so who are some of your favorite Buffalo bands that are currently active?

Buffalo is oozing with great hardcore bands right now. Some of my personal favorites are Smash N’ Grab, Exhibition, Old Ghosts, and Fatal Visions. There are some good up and coming ones too like Jeweltone and Selfish Act. And while they’re not from Buffalo (just down the road in Rochester), our whole band loves Hard to Know.

You’ve always had a lot to say. What are some of the messages you are trying to get out on the upcoming album?

For me, hardcore has always been a release, something that’s helped me keep my head above water. This band is no different. My lyrics are always a blend of the personal and the political. They’re a mechanism for me to grapple with the ugliness of this world, my fears about the future, and the glimmers of hope I can sometimes conjure. I know that’s abstract.

Some specific themes I hit upon in our newest songs are white racist terror, the many ways we’re failing young people, the trepidation I feel raising children in this hate-filled world, and the damage addiction does to the ones we love most.

How did you hook up with Rick Jimenez from Extinction A.D./This Is Hell to do vocal on your cover of Intergrity's "Hollow"?
In addition to the guest vocals on that track, Rick also does the dive bomb solo at the end. Rick and Fletcher go way back. Fletcher actually asked Rick to do those parts before he even pitched covering Hollow to the rest of us lol. Amazingly, Rick recorded those parts in his van when Extinction A.D. was on tour. Dude is a beast!

So a new EP with 2 originals and the Integrity cover is now steaming. When can we expect the full length to be released?
We’re hoping to release the full length called Ad Nauseam by the end of the year. We’re currently talking with labels, seeing if someone’s interesting in pressing the vinyl. In the meantime, we dropped two of the songs and the Integrity cover as a digital promo. That’s up on our Bandcamp and streaming on Spotify, YouTube Music, and elsewhere. Check it out!

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Thanks so much for doing this interview! We really appreciate it!


World on Fire on social media: Instagram


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