Backswing – one of this years hardcore newcomers? And quite possibly because their debut EP received worldwide attention. The German based label Demons Run Amok Entertainment has signed the hardcore band from Detroit and will release the debut SOS on vinyl now. We interviewed vocalist Marissa War, to find out more about Backswing and their future plans.

Interview with Marissa of Backswing

To create more equal ground for everyone involved in hardcore, i feel like should start with the acceptance that women and LGBTQ and POC have a definitive place in hardcore.

AFL: Hey, how are you? First thank you for taking time for the interview! Can you short introduce yourself and your band to everybody who don’t know you so far?

Marissa: Hey! I’m great. My names Marissa, I’m the vocalist of Backswing. My husband Brandon plays guitar, Rabbit also plays guitar and does vocals, Keith plays bass, and Cody is our newest member and the drummer.

AFL: In the beginning of the year you’ve released you debut EP SOS. In my opinion you sound quite similar like bands how CODE ORANGE or KNOCKED LOOSE. Would you agree? Which bands would you count personally to your influences?

We are definitely fans of Code Orange and Knocked Loose. We’ve played with Knocked Loose and listened to them a lot more when we started. Now, we’ve definitely tried to expand and find our own sound. We’ve recently taken more influence from bands like Gatecreeper, Black Breath, the Banner, and Warhound.

AFL: What are you top 3 hardcore-punk front men / women? And is there a person who has influenced you especially in hardcore-punk?

Vocalist wise, I personally am a fan of Larissa from Venom Prison/ex-Wolf Down, Devin from Yüth Forever, and Lee from Trash Talk. And honestly, I wasn’t inspired by any sort of hardcore vocalist. I was inspired by Gerard from MCR. I always loved the theatrics and how real, frantic, and genuine his voice sounded.

AFL: SOS will be released on Vinyl by the German based label DEMONS RUN AMOK ENTERTAINMENT. How came the contact between you and the label?

DEMONS RUN AMOK contacted us not too long ago, and they just seemed to fit. We had a couple different offers from other labels, but DEMONS RUN AMOK showed an actual interest in what we want to do and wanted to get us going in the right direction.

AFL: There are a lot more men than women in the hardcore-punk scene. The scene is extremely male dominated with relatively less women who go to shows and are involved in the scene. In your opinion where lies cause for this fact?

Where we’re from in the Detroit scene, women are extremely active and proud of what it represents. Whether it’s being in a band, booking shows, writing zines, hosting events, etc the women around here are very involved. I can see how in other areas that would be an issue. I was intimidated at first when I first started going to shows 10 years ago, seeing all these guys run everything. But I realized women have a place as well that isn’t just „that one guys girlfriend“ and I got more involved.

AFL: In your opinion what could be done to equalize the status quo?

To create more equal ground for everyone involved in hardcore, i feel like should start with the acceptance that women and LGBTQ and POC have a definitive place in hardcore. Stop with the slurs, stop with the unnecessary sexualization, the unwarranted violence, and making everyone who isn’t a straight white man feel out of place and less important. That we’re not a prop or a selling point or the focal point of music. There has to be an acceptance across the board.

AFL: Have you ever had negative incidents during a show, because you are women? Do you feel generally well received by the audience and do you feel differently treated?

I can only think of one negative experience to happen at a show. I kept hearing „no clit in the pit“ directed at multiple girls who were just trying to throw down. Really bummed me out. I mostly just get the standard „wow you’re pretty good for a girl“ which may not be intended to be backhanded, but it always comes across that way. I don’t tell people „you’re pretty good for a boy“. I feel as though we’re received fairly well. We’re not treated any differently, we worked hard to get where we are and are treated as such.

AFL: Have you plans to touring Europe this year? If yes can you give us some more details?

We would LOVE to go to Europe. It’s been talked about, and we’re hoping to go there once we release a full length. We have two US tours we’re doing, and in October we’re releasing a split with an awesome band we’ve been close with and doing a run for that as well.

AFL: I hear that you’re currently working again on a new release. So you have plans for a split and your debut full-length? Can you give us some more details about it? What is your split partner? When and where will you release the planned full-length and split?

We can’t disclose on who we’re doing that with, but keep your eyes peeled, it will be announced soon. Our full length has only just begun. We are in the writing process currently, and are getting ready to head back into the studio within the next couple months. We’re hoping for a release around early next year.


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