Hello, first of all, thank you for your time! For all those unlucky people who don’t know you yet, could you please introduce yourself in a few words. Who is Mortality Rate and for what do you stand for?
My name is Jess and I sing in Mortality Rate. We are all strong advocates for equality for all people and inclusion in the scene, no matter your age/skin colour/gender identity/ sexual preference/etc.
Since when are you active in this constellation?
I started this band with Cody (drums) in the later months of 2013. We have had a few member changes, but Jake has been in it since basically the start as well and now that we have Dereck, I feel that we have the perfect group of people.
How would you describe your music? What are you your influences?
I never know how to answer this question. We are a hardcore band, so I guess that means we play abrasive music? We don’t have any specific influences, and we are all very involved in the writing process so there’s always lots of ideas floating around. I would say the guys influence me more than any bands that I listen to.
In about two weeks you will be heading off to Europe, which will be your first European tour as far as I know? Are you already excited? What do you expect from this tour?
We are so excited for this tour! It is our first tour outside of North America and we have no idea what to expect, but we are looking forward to meeting new people and seeing new places.
Are there any cities / venues, which you are most looking forward to?
I can’t pick a certain place. Everywhere is going to be amazing! Maybe next time I’ll be able to pick a certain city, once I know what their scenes are like.
With Bochum you will also play in a German city. You recently signed for Isolation Rec., a German label. How did you get in touch with them and what were the reasons, that you signed for them?
Pascal from Isolation reached out to us and said that he was interested in pressing the newest release after we put in out digitally, and we just felt like it was the right fit! He’s so kind and was excited to work with us, and it feels good to be working with a label that is just as passionate as we are.
Isolation Rec. will also release your new EP You Were The Gasoline on 13th September. I already listened to it countless times and must admit that I really like it a lot! Can you tell us something about the creation process. What are the topics, with which you are dealing on this record? Who wrote the lyrics?
Thank you so much! There isn’t really an exciting story about writing the record. We wrote music and then I wrote lyrics and we recorded it! I write about personal things that I like to keep to myself, everything that I want to share is in the lyrics so I don’t feel a need to expand on them.
The records also has to deal with the loss of a loved person. It is dedicated to Evan Cole Show. Can you tell us who Evan was and how he influenced Mortality Rate?
Evan Shaw was the most selfless and inspiring person we have ever met. He was close friends with all of us, and his passing has made a huge impact on our lives and on the Calgary hardcore scene. One thing that I know is that he will never be forgotten, and that makes coping with his passing a little easier.
I hope I don’t got it wrong, but when I read through the lyrics, I see that they are full of anger. Also on the cover you see a burned down house, which is not very optimistic. Despite of this anger and desperation, what makes you happy and gives you hope in this world?
They definitely are pretty angry, but with the current state of the world, can you blame me? I think the artwork perfectly summarizes the feeling of the record. There are lots of things that make me happy. My friends, my relationship, the amazing hardcore scene I’m involved in, being capable to work and take care of myself. I’m pretty lucky. But I don’t have much hope for this world. We are on a fast track to this planet being uninhabitable and it’s our fault, and there’s not enough people actually trying to correct our wrongs.
Although the records really kicks ass, the playtime of the EP is quite short. Are you already working on new material? I hope we can expect a full length record very soon!
We like to keep it short and sweet. We’d rather release 5 songs that we love to play than a record that is longer, just for the sake of a longer record. That being said, we will be releasing a longer release one day! But we haven’t started writing anything.
Jess, I saw the outtake from the Wild Rose Hardcore Fest, which was posted by Sunny from hate5six. There you say, that „Female Fronted Hardcore“ shouldn’t be considered as an own genre. For those who didn’t see the video, could you please summarize your point of view? What were the reactions to your „speech“?
People have this idea in their head that by pointing out that a woman sings in a band, it means that they’re being supportive of us and including us in the scene. But people tend to group us all together as one thing and say we all sound the same, which is just not correct. I’m not saying that any band is better than another, but there will be 5 bands with a female singer that people will list off as if they’re the same genre, and by doing that they are putting us all in a group and separating us from the rest of hardcore. It’s not being inclusive, it’s removing us from the genres that we actually belong in.
A lot of people were somehow offended by what I said, even though I made a point to not attack anyone or be aggressive. I didn’t even accuse men of doing this, but there were countless comments on the video from men saying that I was attacking them. At the same time, a ton of people were being very supportive and fighting along beside me. I didn’t read many of the comments or reply to anyone, as I felt that I said what needed to be said and didn’t need to validate myself. But I was told about things that were happening in the comments by my friends.
So before we come to an end, as you guys are from Canada, could you please tell us a little bit about the Hardcore scene in Canada, and Calgaray escpecially?
I think that the Western Canadian scene is really special. There are small scenes spread out through cities between BC and MB, but they’re all very connected. I think we all feel like it’s all one hardcore scene, instead of JUST the Calgary scene, or just another city.
Are there any upcoming Canadian bands, which our followers should check out?
Serration, Fuze, Trench.
Ok, that’s it for the moment.. thank you again for your time! I am looking forward to hearing from you and I hope I can make it to one of your shows!