We’ve been big fans of Robots and Monsters for a while now, as they’re good, but also they’re from Jersey, and we’ve gotta rally around heavy bands from the Garden State (Dillinger Escape Plan, Monster Magnet, hell the list goes on and on). Although the band’s been in existence since fall of 2013, the old school might remember rhythm section Bill Bergmann and Kevin Powers from Mucky Pup. The band’s debut album, Down To Ash, put them on our radar pretty instantly, but they’ve already returned with a follow-up EP, Nothing To Fear Nothing To Fight.
This is a more than worthy follow-up. The seven-song EP, out on Friday (2), has actually been in the works for a while, and we’re psyched to bring you the exclusive stream of Nothing to Fear Nothing To Fight. We caught up with vocalist Dylan Gadino to talk about how the New Jersey metal scene has (or hasn’t) evolved, why they’re releasing an EP one year after their debut album, and their lyrical content on the EP.
On the New Jersey metal scene:
I think the metal scene in North Jersey – honestly not sure what’s happening south of, say, New Brunswick – is still flourishing. There are a lot of supremely talented bands that really seem to have their shit together. That said, things are a lot different than they were in the 90s when we were relatively young. The internet has made music so much more accessible, which is great for bands that are doing this independently. This is our second release and we’re still not working with a label, but digitally our music is right alongside all the heavy hitters in metal and hardcore. But because of the relatively easy distribution process there’s also a lot of noise. It’s more difficult to stand out. And I think that’s the case everywhere—not just in New Jersey.
There are venues and promoters here that are fairly supportive of unsigned metal and hardcore bands—some more supportive than others, but it’s still a struggle to get people out to shows. I think music fans are so accustomed to listening to full albums on streaming services and watching live clips on YouTube that subconsciously it sometimes doesn’t even occur to them to actually set aside a few bucks to go to a local show or actually buy music.
Why they’re releasing music just one year after their debut album:
The fans demanded more music and we didn’t want to let them down! And also it’s not as soon after as you think. Our first album Down To Ash was recorded and released in 2014. But since we did everything ourselves it took a long time to actually promote it. About a year after we released it, we came out with our video for the title track and sent it to radio (it premiered at #23 on CMJ’s Loud Rock chart) and all that good stuff. So it may feel like that album has been out for a year, it’s actually been kicking around for two.
On the lyrical/conceptual concept of Nothing To Fear Nothing To Fight:
Although the EP came together as conceptual, in that there are obvious lyrical similarities on each song, I didn’t originally plan on it. I tried forcing myself to write about politics or religion. But it was crap. I have strong opinions about those things, but it just didn’t seem like the right time to express those things in song. I have trouble getting out of my own head and so this new set of songs tells the story of someone dealing with depression and anxiety and what happens when that all comes to a head. It was cathartic for me. And hopefully there’s some hardcore and metal fans out there who find some comfort in the lyrics and music. And if not, well, it’s still loud, aggressive music with lots of screaming. So if you’re into that, you’ll be good.
Nothing to Fear Nothing To Fight will be out on September 2. You’ll be able to pick it up here.