Change can be a process that some find difficult, but to some, it comes naturally. So natural that it takes absolutely no effort to blend and mold yourself with the current scene and countless peers that come and go as the year's pass. Terror has successfully been a longstanding force in the worldwide Hardcore scene since 2002 and always managed to find the perfect balance of making authentic music that is true to themselves while at the same time being able to adapt to multiple different demographics and changes year after year. Vocalist and Hardcore legend Scott Vogel spoke to Faultline about the band's experiences over the years and how his perspective is always being challenged while at the same time remaining humble and loyal to his ethics and the message within the music that made him so captivated with Hardcore so many years ago.
Terror has been active during many generations of the hardcore genre. Why do you feel you guys have always won over new fans year after year and always overtaken the new competition?
I would not call it a competition. More like peers. We just try to stay active and relevant with the current state of the scene as well as keep some of the older heads drawn in and excited. I love seeing new bands with a pulse and energy so it’s easy for me to lock-in. There are so many bands now and a lot of small subsections of Hardcore so it is a challenge at times to keep up with all the moving parts
Have you ever felt you needed to write for the relevant times? With heavy music changing so much through each record during your career has your music has ever been molded almost to adapt to the climate the record is being released in?
Yes of course. All the lyrics and tone of the music reflects where we are in life as individuals as well as the state of the world we are living in. Also the state of Hardcore and how it is affecting us. All of this combined makes up the mental directions for our music and words.
How was it playing to a pop-punk crowd, on the story so far tour for example? Was this a risk or do you value the fact that Terrors music is so versatile?
We have always been open to playing with any type of kids in any environment for the most part. It’s great and beautiful to play to a packed room of Harcore kids that know and support Terror. It’s a whole different beast to step out of that comfort zone and play to fresh eyes and ears. But this can be also the most rewarding.
Why do you think Hardcore has had a huge resurgence in the last seven years or so? What is it about the sub-genre is so appealing to so many generations over time?
I think the scene always has had and will go thru ups and downs. Changing faces and ideas. Older people will fall out and new blood comes in. It’s just the ways it is and I think that is ok. You can’t lose sight of what this is about, when only 40 kids in your city make up most of the shows. You cant take for granted the venues that allow true hardcore to happen or local bands from your area that need that first push to get off the ground. It’s all cycles that we have to ride and enjoy for better or for worse.
In the modern age do you feel it is harder than ever to stand out from the crowd for a new band?
Yeah for sure. There are so many bands now and so much stuff being thrown in your face constantly. It is really hard to make an actual dent. Easier to create but harder to create something fresh.
How do you also feel the digital age has affected how people listen to music in general? Does songwriting have to be more structured and specific? Has People’s attention spans reduced due to so much music being so easily available?
Yes, this is a tough one because I am guilty of it. I have always been that guy with the tv remote flipping from channel to channel and I do it now with music. Attention to detail may be down to the listener as well. I think the keys are to make the best music you can that has energy and emotion that you feel and put it out to the world with some conviction and know you can’t control what happens from there.
How was it joining Pure Noise Records?
Great. It’s the label we wanted to be on after we were free from old commitments and luckily they wanted to bring us into the label. It’s was all pretty simple for the most part. Terror is Terror and I don’t think too much is going to change with the band so there’s not a ton of “what ifs “and “maybes “if that makes any sense.
Did Hardcore and Punk have to die and become unpopular to return after a few years to see another era and more success than the previous chapter?
I don’t think hardcore ever came close to death since it started. At all. Right now maybe is the closest it’s been with no shows or road trips and the stuff that comes along with all that. But of course, it’s still alive thru bands making music and fanzines and people being creative. Also Hardcore is a way of thinking and living to me. How you view the world and navigate yourself through it. That can never be broken, you have to follow your heart, always.
Do you feel the Hardcore genres’ growth and development boils down to the genres of further acceptance decade by decade?
Like I said there are always highs and lows. I don’t think Hardcore is so much bigger now then it was in the past at all. You can see videos of bands playing the Country Club in Reseda Ca in the late 80s and there were 1000 kids there for just an average Hardcore show. There are always some bands that draw good and push the limits but for the most part, Hardcore shows are a few hundred kids these days which is a great thing but not this crazy high number.
Hardcore Punk remains a mostly D.I.Y approached genre these days. Do you think it will remain this way or will history repeat itself and there will be a mainstream interference like in the ’90s?
There are lots of bigger labels Hardcore bands are currently signed to. Roadrunner, century media, and so on. Hc bands play fests and shows and do tours under the live nation umbrella and lots of large companies, booking agents are used by many many bands. Of course, there is so much DIY going on always but there is also that other side of bands working with much bigger entities outside the Hardcore box. Past present and I’m sure in the future This will all continue.
How much do your new releases affect how you think about the past; are you constantly re-imaging and updating how you think about your older songs when you perform them live?
Nah. Not at all. I’m happy with Terrors catalog . Of course there are things I would change or make better if I really dig into it but for the most parts it’s there and a piece of the puzzle and moving forward is the goal.
Finally, what is your biggest problem with the music industry?
I would say from my viewpoint that the way money splits are much more favored to the “ suits “ direction and the artist get a much less percentage. It’s really unfair, but the artists continuing to agree to these rates and splits makes the unfair cycle continue. So who’s to blame?
Interview by Rob Kent