Thursday, August 11, 2011

Drew Meier- (Focused X Minds)

What's does FxM have coming up?

Well we just finished up a bunch of touring. We did a month long east coast and southeast tour with our buddies in Bent Life, came home for a few weeks, then headed out west and back with Venia and Hardside. Both tours were amazing and beyond fun. Unfortunately we're home and doing real life stuff for a while. We're all pretty broke and had to get back to work and stuff.

We're starting to work on writing new stuff. Nothing is set in stone, but we're hoping to be doing a split in the Fall or Winter, maybe a full length sometime next year. As for touring, we'll be trying to hit the road again by late October and hopefully do some cool stuff through the rest of the year. We can't wait to get back on the road.

What is your mind focused on outside of the band?

Well me girlfriend, trying to stay out of debt, hanging out, video games, kickin it in Milwaukee. I try to stay up on certain vegan organizations, and world events and stuff. Everyone in the band is into a lot of different things. Collectively...well we all love Dungeons & Dragons and focus on that every Wednesday hahaha.

What is the story on you guys getting through a disaster on a weekend with Swamp Thing?

Hahahaha. What a wild time. Let's see...we flew out to California to do 4 days with Swamp Thing, Twitching Tongues, and Downpresser. Joey from 6131 rented a 15 passenger van to drive us and Swamp Thing around in all weekend. The second day we were there, we went to LAX to pick up Swamp Thing's 2nd guitar player. We got a few minutes outside the airport and Robert from Swamp Thing knocked some exposed wires with his foot beneath the passenger side dashboard area...we didn't know they were there. The wires sparked and started smoking bad so we pulled over and waited it out. The smoke went away and we thought we were fine to get on the highway. Two minutes down the road the van fills with the worst smelling smoke and we were all choking so we pulled over and piled out of the van.

There was 12 of us, plus merch and some gear, and by the time we were all out of the van the entire front was up in flames. We grabbed very little on the way out, assuming the cop on site with the damn fire extinguisher would help...of course he didn't. Idiot. A few guitars were saved, but a lot of clothes were lost, personal items, computers, drum stuff, and both bands merch...all burned. We just sat and watched as the van fully went up in flames and we held up traffic on one of the busiest highways in the US hahaha.

As much as it sucked it sure made the trip interesting, brought us all closer together in that group of 12, and, well, who else can say they held up tons of traffic right outside Los Angeles International Airport with an exploding van???

How has coming out of the Midwest been challenging?

We've been lucky enough to receive tons of support since we became a band, and it's been awesome. That doesn't mean we haven't worked and struggled to get where we are. We have tried to hit the road hard, DIY book tours, all that stuff.

In a general sense though, I believe the Midwest is definitely a harder area to come out of as far as hardcore goes. People have always loved giving all the attention to the coasts, and the Midwest is often forgotten about. Don't get me wrong, both coasts are constantly producing amazing bands. However, so is the Midwest. The lack of exposure combined with Midwest touring being rough to some bands makes getting noticed harder for Midwest bands than it seems on the coasts, at least from what I've noticed. It's cool though, because it seems to drive those here that really care about hardcore to really work hard to accomplish stuff for their bands or scenes, and show a lot pride in where they're from.

Midwest hardcore is steadily rising though, and it's amazing to see. Bigger bands like Expire, Venia, and Harm's Way are blowing up and it's so awesome to see. There are also a ton of newer bands putting out great music, and hopefully people outside the Midwest wise up and start listening. Check out Bent Life, Agress, Written Off, Relentless, Kicked In, War Hound, Big Mouth, Out of Time, Steppin Stone...MWHC.

It seems like there is a bit of a youth crew revival going on with Disengage, Mindset, Stick Together and you guys. Are you excited about where that's going?

I personally think it's awesome. I love heavy hardcore a lot, from old 90's stuff to cheesy beatdown bands, it's fun. The issue now is that every band that comes out seems to want to only play NYHC style, or rip on No Warning, or try to be Crown of Thornz. A lot of these bands are great, and are amazing at what they do. It just get's kinda old to see so many bands doing the same thing over and over.

Youth crew style hardcore isn't exactly inventive or original either, but it's really cool to see bands that want to play fast, or bands that care more about what they have to say lyrically than heavy mosh parts.

What band has had the most personal impact with you and why?

Well me personally, I would probably say AFI and Carry On. AFI has been my absolute favorite band since like 6th grade. "Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes" opened me up to hardcore. I found about straight edge and veganism through Davey Havok, and obviously that had a huge effect on my life. Everything about that band is great, never a bad record in my opinion.

Carry On was basically the first good hardcore band I got heavily into, and I'm forever bummed I never got to see them. I just always thought "A Life Less Plagued" was a perfect record, and they have always influenced me musically with any hardcore band I've been in.

What is something that's really been on your chest lately?

People need to stop complaining so much, and I'm just as guilty as anyone else on this. Hardcore is an amazing thing that should be full of aggression, shared views and ideas, and a sense of community. It seems like so many people have forgotten what hardcore should be about, and what's really important. So many would rather sit and bad mouth bands on the internet, complain about shows, and just generally offer nothing constructive at all. If you don't like something, make an effort to change it. Start booking your own shows, start your own band, start a zine, do anything but become a basement dwelling internet dork.

Also, remember to have fun. So many people seem to think acting hard is more important than having a good time. No one's impressed by how hard you pit or by your awesome shitty attitude. A lot of people need to get over themselves and remember to have fun, party, and not take everything so seriously. Life is short, why waste it being angry all the time.

Pay attention to your world. Local politics, global economy, worldwide issues, there's so many terrible things going on right now, stay informed. Get away from the TV and make an effort to educate yourself about what's happening in the world around you.

Listen to Expire, Bent Life, Out of Time, support 6131 Records, eat pizza, party. XXX

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