Interviews

Inclination Vocalist Tyler Short on Straight Edge, Louisville Hardcore + More

Photo: Krissy Marie

Based out of Louisville, KY, Inclination is a straight edge hardcore band on the rise as of late. Newly signed to Pure Noise Records (Terror, Year of the Knife), the group just dropped an EP called When Fear Turns to Confidence and they'll be part of the Sound & Fury festival this summer in Los Angeles. I recently spoke with Inclination vocalist Tyler Short about the EP and the first thing I wanted to know was about the title track. In the press release for the EP, he said that the song was partly inspired by the confidence he's gained as he's gotten older around being straight edge and not worrying about the pressure that comes along with it. 

"I just feel like some kids claim edge out of a sort of fear of drugs and alcohol, which is fine but as you get older determining the source of that fear is important," the frontman told me. "The fear could be irrational or it could be a fear of being around it you may partake. I think a lot of kids on the road to selling out demonstrate an innate fear of drugs that they can’t be around them because they may do them. But as you get older, that fear kinda washes away if you are straight edge for your own reasons. 'When Fear Turns to Confidence' is about that shift when you find yourself dedicated to the X. I hope that makes sense," laughed Tyler.

Speaking of lyrics, there's a song called “Vagrant” on the EP that includes the line "setting your whole life ablaze between a drugged out haze or alcohol fueled rage," which seems too pointed to not be about someone specific. Tyler was more than happy to elloborate on that one. "'Vagrant' is absolutely about a person in particular and I got in trouble for saying it live recently, but it’s a fucking hardcore song, so if people are really that hur, I don’t know what to say because I’m not apologizing for writing about something real. It’s about this kid Mike who moves around a lot and stirs up trouble everywhere he goes. He's a habitual line-stepper and just overall bad person.

"I’m not gonna get into details because I’m not out here trying to ruin his life. I just don’t want him in mine. I believe that some people use addiction as a cop out for bad behavior and have no real will to ever make a change for the better and I believe him to be one of those people. There’s a difference between being an addict and being an asshole."

Photo: Errick Easterday

Tyler offered up some of his favorite lyricists, while we were on the topic. "Tomas from Foundation, Pat Flynn (Have Heart, Fiddlehead), Russell from Magnitude. Aside from individuals that I know by name, I would also include bands like the Suicide File, Dillinger Four, Strife, and One King Down."

With bands like Miracle Drug and LDB Fest happening every year, Louisville seems to be really thriving right now when it comes to hardcore. I wanted Tyler's take on the scene/community there? "Louisville is fantastic. I feel so proud leaving every show. We have so many great kids who care so much. It means the world to me that our city and fest put on so hard so often. As far as bands to check out other than Miracle Drug, everyone needs to look out for Love & Trust. They should have recordings soon and they are currently my favorite new band in town.

"But Louisville has a vibrant local basket of bands like Wicked Garden, Time 2 Shine, Full Zenith, Transgression, and I’ve got another band called Constraint with members from my old band and we stumble through a set now and then."

Photo: Krissy Marie

Regular readers of the site know how much I love asking these kinds of questions, so it won't surprise them that I made Tyler pick one record that changed his life. "One is hard but if I had to pick one without thinking too hard, I’d say Latterman's Turn Up the Punk, We’ll Be Singing. That record really changed the way I looked at the world when I was 17. I guess nowadays people describe it as being 'woke,' but in 2005, when I connected with that record, I’d say it made me aware of a lot of issues that never crossed my mind as a juvenile delinquent skateboarder. There are tons of hardcore bands that come close like Supertouch, Mental, Count Me Out, and the Cro-Mags, but that first Latterman record truly shook my view of everything."

Inclination's When Fear Turns to Confidence is available now via Pure Noise Records. Follow the band on their social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to keep up with their upcoming show schedule.

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