Old Wounds

Old Wounds
The youth of metallic hardcore band Old Wounds belies their name; all their members, including drummer Brandon Gallagher, are under 21. Taking influences from genre innovators like Deadguy, Indecision, Turmoil and Disembodied, Old Wounds are remaking the metallic hardcore scene in their own image.

I know you've done some of Old Wounds' artwork in the past. What do you guys get out of doing that instead of having someone else's creative input?
Drummer Brandon Gallagher: I feel like creating visuals for the music we write and play is almost as important as the music itself. To me there's nothing better than sitting down to listen to an LP you've been waiting to come out, looking through the booklet, and reading the lyrics. Also, when it's kept within the band, I feel like the cohesiveness is much stronger because that artwork and style is specific to your band.

Did you do the artwork for From Where We Came Is Where We'll Rest? What was the inspiration for the artwork and why did you go the direction you did with it? How does it match the music?
Yes, I did do the artwork for it. The inspiration was to create something iconic that also meant something to the lyrics and overall sound we wanted to achieve with this LP. The title of our album is From Where We Came Is Where We'll Rest. The artwork is essentially a girl laying in a bed of flowers (the cover) and a bed of worms (the insert). I tried to create a meaning that regardless of how aesthetically pleasing something looks — which in this sense is the bed of flowers — that underneath all of that is something not so aesthetically pleasing, which are the worms. While we were writing this LP, we were all collectively going through some dark times in our life and had to kind of grow up a little bit, so it ended up being more fitting then I initially had planned.

Speaking of the music, your band plays a metallic hardcore style similar to Disembodied, Turmoil, Indecision, Deadguy: bands that have broken up. What are Old Wounds doing to revitalize this sound? Where does the metal stop and the hardcore start?
Well prior to Kevin joining the band, we were playing a thrashier/"darker" style of hardcore. When Kevin had joined, he and I connected on the fact that we both love all of the bands you had mentioned. We pretty much decided that we wanted to start taking influence from those bands and writing more metalcore-influenced hardcore. I grew up on that early 2000s scene that Ferret and Trustkill Records made so popular, and with both of those labels now being defunct, we figured it was time to bring it back.

In a promo shot (seen on oldwoundsnj.tumblr.com), you're wearing a Cure shirt. Do you guys manage to keep your appreciation for softer music like that to your side project, Sex Cross? What's going on with that, and is there ever a chance of some Old Wounds music with a softer side?
I mean, we all collectively listen to a lot of different genres and don't really limit ourselves. With hardcore, it's very easy to burn yourself out. As a band we listen to anything from '90s hip-hop to psych/stoner rock to '80s new wave and goth. We started Sex Cross as a band that we could do something completely different with, and to not burn ourselves out with Old Wounds. Sex Cross actually just sent out our first seven-inch to press, and that should be out in late May/early June on Mayfly Records. They're some of the best songs we've written for that band, so I'm definitely excited.

From Where We Came Is Where We'll Rest is your first full-length. How would you describe the music and how would you compare it to your previous output?
We'll FWWC is definitely all over the place with genres and influences, but at the same time I think it's extremely cohesive in that sense. We try to keep things fresh because, like I said earlier, it's very easy to burn yourself out playing hardcore, and we want to do this for as long as we can. Anything that we released prior to this LP, I'm honestly over. It was a completely different band with a completely different mindset. This LP is a thousand times better in my opinion, for sure.

You've been a three-piece for over a year now. How has that changed things for you guys regarding writing and performing?
We had a pretty intense line-up change in September 2011, and since then I've been playing drums; Kevin plays bass and sings, and Zak still plays guitar. Now that it's less people, the writing process is even easier. Zak will come to practice with riff ideas, or Kevin will come with song ideas, and we pretty much just jam them out until something starts to make sense.

Three-pieces are rare in heavy music like this, perhaps because of the dynamics a front man can add to a performance. How does your band make up for this, and how do you think Old Wounds' live shows compare to other bands?
I honestly love being a three-piece. There aren't many bands playing the kind of music we play as a three-piece, so I think that allows us to stand out a little bit. Especially when we play live, people are taken back a little bit because they're expecting a front man, or another guitarist. Ed Gein were one of my favourite bands growing up, so hell, if they could do it, why can't we?

You're starting a month-long U.S. tour soon. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Old Wounds have done a tour that extensive yet. What are your favourite and least favourite parts of tour and what are you expecting from this particular tour?
This is definitely the most extensive tour we've ever done, for sure. Last summer we did a 17-day tour with Pray for Teeth, but this tour is 37 days, so yeah nowhere close. My favourite part of tour is definitely traveling and going to new places. Plus meeting and hanging out with people who are just as stoked about music as we are is also really cool, and sometimes you get to play with some pretty cool bands. My least favourite part of tour is just having to be on edge at all times because I have no idea when Kevin and his plethora of alter egos are going to come out. Let's just say things get weird.

You're touring with some great heavy bands such as Homewrecker, Full of Hell and Snakes. How do the bands you tour with affect you?
Touring with bands that kill it every night is definitely a good thing because it inspires us to go all out and play as hard as we can. The last tour we did was with a band called Bone Dance, and those dudes gave 110 percent every night. It gets you stoked and ready to play. It's inspiring for sure, because when you're on tour with a band that kills it and people come out to the shows, you want them to leave saying "Wow the show tonight ruled."

What does the future hold for Old Wounds?
The only thing that we have locked in for sure is that we're doing a weekend with our friends Manalive from New Jersey down to Treasure Fest in Charlotte, North Carolina and then shortly after, a couple dates in the Northeast with Vilipend from Toronto. It's hard to really plan too far ahead when you're about to leave for a 40-day tour because who knows how things are going to play out.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Check out the following bands: Eddie Brock, Pray for Teeth, Trenchfoot, Caust, Bone Dance, Heartless and Damaged Goods.

Thank you so much for your time, Brandon!
Thank you for taking the time to interview me, this ruled!