by Doug Moore; interview by Jonathan Dick

Integrity at MDF 2013 (more by Fred Pessaro)

When metallic hardcore institution Integrity released their seminal sophomore album Systems Overload back in 1995, the band weren't entirely happy with the final mix & master -- it was slicker and more modern-sounding than they'd intended. Last year, members of their S/O-era lineup got back together to tweak the album's original masters for a limited Record Store Day release. Now that Integrity have announced that the same lineup will be getting back together for the Invisible Oranges co-presented A389 Records 10th Anniversary Bash, they're also releasing a CD version of the S/O revamp via Magic Bullet Records.

We're streaming the updated version of the album over at Invisible Oranges, plus an extensive interview with perennial vocalist Dwid Hellion and guitarist Aaron Melnick. Here are some excerpts:

What was the creative process like for you guys with Systems Overload? Was there a specific mindset or goal you guys had when you initially began writing the songs.

DH: At that time, we had just undergone one of our many band metamorphoses. Our first album, Those Who Fear Tomorrow, was initially met with great opposition from the underground music scene. Critics declared it was a virus that would "ruin hardcore." If the rumors are true that we had unknowingly helped create the genre known as metalcore, our critics may have experienced a momentary spell of clairvoyance. A year after TWFT was released, the critics changed their opinion, and as is common in human nature, they began to love that which they once despised. So, in turn, we changed our formula. We did not want to pander to expectations. We preferred to agitate the complacent. And this contempt helped to give life to what would become Systems Overload.

A2: We kind of went more towards '80s hardcore for Systems. I personally still listened to a lot of metal, but I was getting into a lot of foreign and old American hardcore. You know, not your typical youth crew stuff.

You've got a label like A389 celebrating its ten year anniversary, and it's interesting to think about how much has changed in the realm of music in that timeframe, especially with regards to independent music. What changes, good and bad, have you guys seen within heavy music from when Integrity first formed or from when you each joined?

DH: In general, the ability to listen to music before you decide to purchase it has raised the bar. I think that is a positive result of our modern technology within the music community.

A2: Well, things seem a lot more separate, with separate scenes for all these different types of music, but I guess that had already started in the late '80s. I think it is cool that everyone can record more easily with computers, but at the same time, I usually prefer the sound of 2-inch analogue tape. Of course, the internet is great for finding out about music. When I was a kid, it was much harder to procure music. Now you can just go to YouTube and type in anything.

Check out the rest of the interview over at IO. Don't forget that much of Integrity's catalog is available for free download via the band.

Listen to the Systems Overload remix/remaster below...

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