This is more of an emotional post so bear with us…and I will for the first time use first-person as I type this.
Many years ago we had the blessing of traveling to Singapore to watch one of our all-time favorite Asian hardcore bands Straight Forward play their last ever show. The entire lineup was jacked with some of the best Singapore bands…one after another every band ruled…and what was even more inspiring, is that one after another, each band got the best welcome from their hometown crowd.
But there was one band that purposely made it a point to set themselves apart from the rest. They weren’t going to be easily pigeonholed – not with their sound, stage presence, musicality, and stage set up.
This band was Singapore band HRVST.
I was mesmerized.
I don’t remember how long the band played but everything about that performance was like them grabbing me by my collar and forcing me on this immense journey from start to finish. There was something about their bassist’s performance, in particular, that spoke to me. From in front of a wall of sound, he often had his eyes closed, throwing his body and bass around 100% losing himself in his music, and then when he screamed into the mic – it was all coming from a dark personal place making me grapple with my own dark, painful thoughts. When they ended, that was probably the first time I took a breath that entire set. No, their music may not force you to two-step, throwdown in the pit, or stagedive…their music leads you to do something much deeper than all that as you engage with it – reflect.
After that performance, I spoke to the band about trying to do something, some sort of project with their band and my band Dagger. One by one each band member directed me to their bassist Mel hahahahaha…and that’s how it all began. We later went on to release a split 7″ (with the help of Dangerous Goods) and is one of my proudest musical projects because of how vastly different both our bands are from each other, and how we both are not playing by any particular rulebook when it comes to creating our art. I would humbly acknowledge, HRVST does it much better than we do, and it has to do with the way this incredible human being Mel thinks and views the world and expresses it all through his art. He holds nothing back…HRVST is the real deal.
Then in mid-July of 2019 news broke out that Mel suffered a horrible accident at a show. Mel has been a quadriplegic ever since.
Last night, on his birthday, Mel continued to show the world that he doesn’t play by anyone’s rulebooks. He launched a brand new apparel line called Green Spell. How fucking DOPE is that.
We are here to encourage you to check out the line, drop some cash down to support him, and blow his apparel line up.
From Mel himself:
“As some of you might know, on the 21st July 2019, I got into a really serious accident, I fractured my c3 & c4 of my spinal cord which has led me to be quadriplegic. To be honest, doctors and nurses actually said that I shouldn’t be here in the first place, it was supposed to be instant death or instant paralysis, but I’m glad I am because I’m given a chance to fulfill and do the things I wanna do despite my condition. I started my own apparel business, Green Spell. It’s focused on diversity and working with artists to get their work on physical form. Follow @greenspellmerch and visit www.greenspell.store, thank you and God bless.”
Go support Green Spell at the following links and go buy merch.
Love you Mel.
Let’s do this: