INTERVIEW | The Tracy Lords
FROM | Hong Kong
GENRE | Hardcore Punk
CONTACT | https://www.facebook.com/TheTracyLords/
When a new hardcore punk band has been birthed in a city that bleeds metal, it is pretty exciting for the few of us hardcore punks who call Hong Kong home. Check out the straight up no bullshit punk rock created by the dudes behind the band The Tracy Lords in their first few demos that they released on bandcamp in December of 2016. We recently caught up with two of their members (Owen and Arthur) to talk about the background of the band and what they’re up to. Look out for a few releases coming out this year.
Pretty stoked that there’s a new hardcore punk band in Hong Kong! Tell us how this came to be.
Arthur: Hey man! Basically when Owen and I started playing together last year I think it just felt natural to play what we both grew up listening to.
Since both of you grew up in HK – what were the types of bands that you guys grew up listening to that you feel come across in the songs you’re creating?
A: I think hardcore punk, particularly from the 80’s, is kind of the main thing. It just feels natural and unforced to create.
Also I think growing up here a lot of the Japanese hardcore bands that came through…You can’t not be inspired by how blown out that music and their live shows were.
Owen:Initially we were quite influenced by more metal oriented bands like Coalesce and SUMAC. After we recorded a few early demos, I think we both wanted to play just fast, abrasive, short punk rock songs. So for me, I was thinking of bands like F-minus, Los Crudos, Orchid when we made the switch to play faster and shorter songs.
That’s pretty interesting that you guys went from wanting to do something Coalesce sounding to pretty much straight up hardcore punk. What makes it more interesting is that in Hong Kong it’s pretty much metal that gets all the love. What is it about hardcore punk or punk in general that resonates less with HK?
A: I think it’s just so underground for the most part. I don’t know for sure, but I have a feeling that bands in general are something that happen less in high schools here. Whereas in our case punk rock was such a big part of growing up.
Metal’s pretty broad as well. It goes from Metallica to real extreme underground stuff and even that has a pretty passionate fanbase.
In my experience what I know about more “punk” sounding hardcore bands, kids here are mostly not into the rawness in the music and production, and the “simplicity” in the music. Production and sound is very important to people here. Which makes you guys and the rawness of your recordings even more poignant.
A: I think that’s an extension of the music itself. The songs are short, pure expressions and rarely overthought. An honest document would have to follow a similar route of really just getting it done and not worrying about it sounding “pro” necessarily.
O: The rawness/diy aspect of punk rock has always been a big part of what drew me to the culture in the first place.
A: Yeah, I think the general feeling among us is that the closer to how we sound live the recording sounds, the better.
Totally. Without that sense of emergency it just doesn’t sound right…something polished doesn’t have that similar characteristic at all. It’s almost like when you over focus on production you’re taking the grit/soil out of the music. Once the record is out what’s next for the band? You guys should definitely get out of HK and play in areas where hardcore punk is more prevalent.
A: For sure. For the recording we’re planning a split 7″ with The Squawk. We’ve been talking with Struggle Session about doing shows together. That was initially planned for this month. Now we’re looking at later in the year which actually worked out great. We ended up writing newer songs which I think sound stronger. It’s worth mentioning that our bassist Dave who moved here from the UK last year comes from a different background, his tastes lean more towards Motorhead and Poison Idea and Punk Rock n’ Roll and now we’re writing with him.
O: Yeah besides shows, I think we will just keep writing new material and let the band grow organically and see where it takes us.