Rising hardcore band DARE talk debut album ‘Against All Odds’ (Q&A + new track)
Pre-order Dare's new album on limited yellow vinyl in our store.
Fullerton, California band DARE's debut LP Against All Odds is one of the most anticipated albums in hardcore right now, and it finally arrives this Friday (8/20) via Revelation Records (get it on limited yellow vinyl). They already released two great singles -- "Different Method" (ft. Movements' Patrick Miranda) and "Hard To Cope" (ft. Terror's Scott Vogel) -- and we're now premiering a third song ahead of the album's release, "Violation of Trust."
"'Violation of Trust' is a song about betrayal," vocalist Angel Garcia tells us. "Giving someone the benefit of the doubt over and over again only to be disrespected once again. Watching someone burn many bridges with no regard." It's a rager with a great groove and a nice underlying sense of melody, and you can hear it below.
We also caught up with Angel and bassist Aaron McQueen over email to talk about the new album, and you can read on for our chat...
Against All Odds is a big step up from the "Welcome to the OC" single. What was different about how you approached this? What were some of your main goals with this album?
Aaron: When writing the LP I just wanted everything to simply be better than the previous stuff we’ve released. I wanted the music to back up some of the hype we’ve received in the past, and just make an objectively good hardcore record.
To what extent did the pandemic influence the writing and/or recording of this album?
Aaron: Going into the pandemic we didn’t have many of the songs done at all. We were getting into the writing process and then everything got shut down. So it was this stressful span of months where I would write a riff and send it over to [drummer] Anaiah [Lei] via text who would then put his electric drums to it and send it back and we’d discuss how we felt about it. Extremely time consuming and pretty defeating at times cause I felt like nothing I was writing was translating well, but once we eventually met up in person it all started coming together pretty quickly.
The album has two big guests: Patrick Miranda from Movements and Scott Vogel from Terror. How'd you link up with them, and what do you feel they brought to the LP?
Aaron: Patrick is a fan of Dare and a fellow edgeman who Angel has known for quite a while. We’ve played a few gigs with Movements that were both super fun where he did a guest spot during the set and we thought it would be sick if he did one on the record which worked out well.
Scott has backed Dare since day one and is the reason for a lot of the initial success and the Reaper Records connection. He’s always putting on for younger bands and has given us the opportunity to tour with Terror numerous times which has opened us up to bigger crowds right from the jump.
You've mentioned much of the album is about racial injustice and violence against people of color. Can you elaborate a bit on the messages in these songs? What do you most hope people take away from listening to them?
Angel: I wouldn’t say most of the album is about it, but we have a song on there called “All I See” and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Everyday all I see is another person dead at the hands of police, or some bullshit that’s happened against a POC. A lot of it swept under the rug, a lot of casual racism that happens that people sometimes don’t even notice. What I hope people take away from it, is that they just think a little more, and see the bullshit around them. Use your voice for those who can’t, support each other as much as possible. If we aren’t united, nothings gonna change.
Hardcore can be a very strict genre of music, but Dare sound like a band who aren't afraid to branch out from the traditional formula. What would you say were some of the big musical influences on the direction of these songs?
Aaron: I was listening to so much different stuff when writing and I think the record reflects that. A lot of the songs are pretty different from one another but can still be put under the umbrella of “hardcore” and make sense. I try to steer away from what I think the current hyped HC sound is and just make it fun and groovy rather than try to be something that we’re not in order to appeal to a certain crowd.
Can you tell the story behind the album artwork?
Aaron: We had the idea of somehow combining a lot of different Southern California lifestyle stuff in one piece, and reached out to a local muralist in L.A. who was hyped to do it. We just wanted something a little different and colorful and I think he really killed it.
The album's out on the legendary Revelation Records. How'd the signing come about and how has the experience with Rev been so far?
Aaron: The experience with Rev has been great so far and I think it just kinda made the most sense. We met up at RevHQ and spoke with all those guys and just talked about hardcore and it was so natural I kinda forgot we were there to discuss the future of the band. Here we are just nerding out over OG inserts and cover art to some of our favorite bands while a member of my favorite band compliments the music I make. It was surreal. And I remember Adam mentioning “Yo, if you don’t like something in the contract or you have any questions about anything whatsoever, seriously just show up and we’ll hang out and discuss it” which felt nice. It’s super important to have a solid connection/friendship with the people who are putting in a lot of time to help you achieve whatever it is you’re ultimately trying to achieve.
Three favorite Revelation Records releases?
Aaron: Gorilla Biscuits - Start Today
Youth of Today - Can’t Close My Eyes (even tho it’s a reissue I’ll count it)
Inside Out - No Spiritual Surrender
Who are some of your current favorite hardcore bands? Who should people be listening to?
Aaron: Stuff I’ve been listening to a lot lately: Urban Sprawl, Torso, Heavy Discipline, Protocol, Public Acid, Goodbye World, Big Laugh, Zig Zag.
Pre-order the limited yellow vinyl variant of Against All Odds here.