AGE OF SELF: A New Ensemble of Some Old Vets' Return to and Deviation from Hardcore Punk.
A NEW BAND FEAT. FAMILIAR FACES TO ANYONE WHO’S DABBLED IN THE LOCAL HARDCORE PUNK OR METAL OR EXPERIMENTAL NOISE SCENES, THESE BRAVE SONIC EXPLORERS HAVE BASICALLY DIPPED THEIR TOES INTO OR BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING AND CURATING QUITE A LOT ON THE FREAKY WEIRDO MUSIC FRONT OVER HERE IN THE LAST DECADE PLUS. THE LINE UP IS A NO BRAINER, THE EVENTUALITY OF THIS COLLABORATION FEELS PREDESTINED…
SO THE TIME HAS FINALLY COME TO CHECK THEM OUT THIS SEPT 3 AT THE GOOD WILL SOCIAL CLUB WITH HOME FRONT (EDMONTON), THE SORELS AND FELLOW FRESH LATECOMERS NEGATIVE CHARGE, PRESENTED BY DISCO NEEDS A SQUEEZE, DEMOLITION RECORDS AND THE GOOD WILL SOCIAL CLUB.
I TEXTED SOME QUESTIONS THAT ZOË WROTE AND TOOK SOME BAD BAND PHOTOS KINDA HIJACKED THIS WHOLE INTERVIEW.
Who is AGE OF SELF anyways?:
CAM: My name is Cam, oral emissions and moral emotions.
joel: i’m joel. my role is on guitar.
MEF: I play bass.
When was the band formed?
joel: i don’t know if there is a specific moment to refer to here, but it was recently, in the past couple years.
MEF: October 2021.
How has the band evolved since its inception?
joel: there is more cohesion all around. sonically, i feel we’re heading in a darker direction from where we started.
MEF: Yeah, I agree— the newer songs sound more ominous and faster paced. We’re a fairly new band as well, so our evolution is in its early stages. Most of our songs were written in Spring.
What is the meaning behind the name of your band?
CAM: It’s a reference to a song by Robert Wyatt: "They say the working class is dead, we’re all consumers now; they say that we have moved ahead, we’re all just people now.” So it’s a little ambiguous, but we’re not announcing a season of self-actualization or manifestation; Wyatt names the kind of corrosive individualism that follows from the commodification of all social activity. This is the world we live in today, and I think that our collective chances as a class, or even as a species, require that we overcome this state of false or imposed isolation. Or hey, try this: the Age of Self is the Age of Quarrel from the standpoint of the absolute individual.
The genre you play:
SAM: Don’t make us answer this one Mike (UHHH YOU MEAN ZOË)
Describe your sound in your own words:
joel: modern energy
MEF: “Loud band”
CAM: I told so many people that we were a pop punk band, they’re going to be very confused when they discover what that means to me.
SAM: Mature punk
joel: don’t be woe, bee wow!
What influences your sound?
CAM: I think a lot of the inputs are probably from other contexts than punk. Personally I’m interested in the experimental writing scenes contemporary of early punk and hardcore that either brush up against the music or miss it entirely, but share some values; New Narrative and a lot of queer art of the 70s and 80s. Otherwise I think the wide variety of music that we’re into actually helps to focus this band. When writing punk songs I think of the holiest only, Life’s Blood, Judgement, Jawbreaker demo, Live ’84; but all of that falls away pretty quickly when we start playing, and I mostly take energy and direction from the actual sounds we’re making in a room.
joel: I’m drawn to doing new things within the limits that present themselves in being a part of this band… having an openness to the future, what’s currently happening in this or that moment—that’s exciting to me.
SAM: Joel captures it perfectly for me as well. I try to focus on what others are bringing to practice, and match it in the most organic way I can. I hear similarities in other music, but I don’t necessarily feel a conscious influence when I recognize it.
MEF: We all know each other through going to punk shows, and are also involved in experimental music to varying degrees. So that as a cross-section of interests within a band is exciting to me, and something I think about a lot.
What do you think your scene/genre needs more of?
CAM: All-ages shows, agitprop, woodwinds, flowers. Maybe a dental plan.
joel: attentive energy in place of escapism is what comes to mind for me personally.
What do you think your scene/genre needs less of?
CAM: I’m immodest enough to bite. The gritting of teeth during the gig just to get to the after-party. Easy nihilism. Lateral nastiness. Guitar chauvinism.
joel: …less irony and insularity… but those feelings extend beyond this question.
What’s next for the band?
MEF: We just recorded some songs for a tape. We hope to put it out within the next few months.
SAM: We have a short run of shows in BC coming up this October—mostly on the island with a couple days in Vancouver.
joel: a lot of firsts for us: new music, new places. looking forward to where that leads us to.