Year of Confession Guitarist Dan Buckley on the Early ‘00s Long Island Band’s Return

The Year of Confession story began on Long Island, New York in the early '00s when a group of high school friends decided to start a band. "We discovered a lot of new music together and once we started going to local hardcore shows here on Long Island, it would shape our sound as a band forever," guitarist Dan Buckley tells No Echo via email.

"After playing live under various names, we eventually started to take things a bit more seriously. We came up with our current name, and released a self-recorded demo in 2004. That was followed by an EP in 2005 (Cycles of Man), a single in 2006, and a second EP in 2007 (A Blood Decree). We had more songs written after that but they were never recorded. We started performing them live in the years that followed but more recently they have been reworked into our future plans."

While that was a great start with momentum in their favor, Year of Confession went on a long hiatus that only more recently came to an end. "Towards the tail end of our initial run, life took us in different directions," wrote Buckley. "A couple of us moved away and it just wasn’t the same afterwards. We took that time to focus on other aspects of our lives. Aside from a couple of reunion shows over the years, we weren’t sure that we could do much else.

"However in 2022 an old acquaintance of ours was putting a show together so I jokingly asked the band if we could do it. Our original singer John was unable to attend but much to our surprise we actually found a way to do it. Luckily, my younger brother Jonathan was able to fill in on vocals. Jonathan, who was partially influenced by us, started his own band during our hiatus.

"During rehearsals for that show, we realized what sort of options we have nowadays. What once stopped us completely is now only an inconvenience when it comes to doing the most important thing to us, which is writing music together. Once we came to grips with that idea, it inspired us to aim much further."

Back together now, Year of Confession recently got their aforementioned Cycles of Man and A Blood Decree EPs up on streaming outlets:

"I would say there are elements from several different sub-genres of hardcore and metal but there is also a brashness that spurs from our taste in rock music," Buckley wrote about Year of Confession's sound. "It took some experimentation and self reflection over time to whittle things down into a more streamlined sound that we are happy with. 

"In terms of influences, there are so many but I will try to narrow it down. Bands like Sepultura, Biohazard, Sick of It All, and Pantera all played a part when we were younger. Once we experienced Candiria and Vision Of Disorder in a close live setting though, everything changed. From there we got into bands like Coalesce, Isis, Converge, etc. Attending, and playing, Hardcore shows on Long Island really made such a huge impact on us. Several local bands from our area were influential to us as well."

Photo: Luke McAfee

So, what's the plan for Year of Confession now that they're back in action? "In 2023, we started writing music again and are happy to share that we have a full-length album written. We are now starting the recording process for those songs. We also announced on our Instagram page that we are a five piece band now. This is due to my brother officially joining us and taking on vocal duties in addition to John. This is pretty exciting for us because it means that whatever we need to cover, musically or physically, we should be able to do so much easier.

"We’ll have it worked out so that at any given time we could play live with one, the other, or possibly even both singers. They will also both appear on the new album (our first full length). We still have to get some things in order but 2024 should be a fairly exciting year for YOC and supporters of ours. We are trying to hold off on live performances until we start releasing new music but it is on our radar."

Long Island obviously has had a rich hardcore music tradition. What’s Buckley's take on it and the state of it today? "I have a lot of respect for our home scene here on Long Island and the history that paved the way for future generations. Being a musician is not always easy but being understood is arguably harder sometimes. I listen to all kinds of music, always have, but the type of music YOC plays is what comes out naturally when we write. I doubt I’m the only person that found themselves saying 'read the lyrics' as if to defend the legitimacy of this style of music in general.

"It’s easy to forget that most people don’t understand the concept of heavier music altogether. The LIHC scene bypassed all of that for us and gave a sense of community we didn’t think even existed when we were kids. It was bustling around the time we were getting involved. That can be attributed to the raw artistic expression and passion displayed by the many talented bands from this area, as well as the supporters who help keep the scene alive. We’re a very proud scene that has had to say goodbye to far too many venues over the years but are always welcoming new ones.

"For a while, things seemed to dwindle a bit. I think when the pandemic started easing up though, all sorts of people came out and embraced it again in a bigger way. From my perspective, I would say the music is much more mixed up and grouped together, in terms of genre, then it was in the past. It does seem to be going in the direction of how things were though with a lot more older style hardcore-sounding bands doing their thing. Year of Confession always leaned both ways with our music, kind of floating in the middle.

"No matter, though, to borrow a song title from one of my favorite Long Island bands, Overthrow, we are 'All One Blood' in my book. Here’s the bottom line: the traffic here is insane, the taxes are unbelievable, and the seasonal weather can be brutal. However, the LIHC scene is amazing and I’m thankful to be a part of it."


Year of Confession on social media: Instagram


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