If It Rains Vocalist Evan Stein on Their Killer Debut Release, the Importance of Local Bands

Photo: Todd Follett

If you’re anywhere near New England, or keep up with the Northeast hardcore scene online, you may have noticed an unfamiliar name popping up on flyers for some of the best shows being put on lately, a new band called If It Rains. 

Described as “melodic hardcore for the moshers," the new group is (another) brainchild of Evan Stein, already known most notably for his guitar skills in other successful projects: Broken Vow  (who recently released an LP on Triple B Records, and in this writer’s humble opinion easily one of the best hardcore bands to emerge in the last decade) and Anklebiter, and multiple other projects because the dude seemingly can’t stop starting new bands every week and somehow they’re all good. 

If It Rains caught my ear when Evan shared the demo with me earlier this year because it pays homage to the era of hardcore that I came up in originally in the early-2000s. It takes heavy influence from the changes in hardcore that were brought about by American Nightmare, and all of their contemporaries and spiritual descendants, in the following roughly decade plus. 

I remember when I first discovered hardcore and checking out the Bridge 9 Boards (RIP), seeing at-the-time oldheads who were actively complaining about and shitting on melodic hardcore, making absurd claims like it was ruining the genre and spelling out the doom of the culture as we knew it. Which is hilarious in hindsight, and not unlike the almost carbon copy belly-aching you hear from current oldheads about some of the new evolutionary directions in which hardcore is developing in 2024 and beyond. 

Now, having seen the cycle come full circle, as it always seems to do, and younger folks like Evan and his contemporaries revisiting this sound and truly doing it justice, it’s hilarious to think back to those tired ass complaints being levied at a sound that is clearly now a tried and true part of the DNA chain of the overall genre of hardcore. You love to see it.

I was able to catch up with Evan to chat about the new project for a few minutes, and the following is what he had to say.

So, how long has If It Rains been going? 

I wrote "Distance and Luck," the first song on the demo, around September 2022 and just didn't touch it for a while. I had the idea for a band that sounded like if Carry On had Step Forward 2000s Boston-style mosh parts and ran with it. I knew I wanted to front it but the idea kinda fell apart.

I had people I wanted to be in the band with but it was always people who were too busy. After a while, I revisited that song, wrote lyrics to it, then wrote the rest of the demo around it. I recruited the current lineup and here we are! We played our first show on 2/2/24.

How did the lineup come into being? 

So, Nick plays bass. Nick plays in almost every band I'm in (Anklebiter, Ultimatum, Attrition Rate, and thousands more bands that are in the works) and is my right-hand man musically. One might say we're like Batman and Robin (he's Robin). Nick usually plays drums in our bands but he had been itching to get out from behind the kit and asked if he could play in this band. I was stoked to get him in it.

Changhwan plays guitar and is in a band called No Model. I love No Model but I knew Changhwan from when they played in Pummel. I hung around with the Pummel folks a ton at practices and shows and we had talked about doing a band together for a minute. 

Manny (guitar) and Josh (drums) I met from going to shows around Boston. They're both college kids who just love hardcore. We met because we were trying to do a No Tolerance-type band that fell apart but I'm glad I grabbed them and asked them to do this. They've got a ton of bands in the works but they should be releasing their metalcore project xInfidelx soon enough.

I sing in the band but also play in Broken Vow, Anklebiter, Ultimatum, Attrition Rate, My Problem (soon to come), and xAnobrainx (manifesting it will be soon to come). 

Read more: New Hardcore Band Spotlights

What lyrical themes do you feel are pertinent enough that they made you want to jump from guitar over to vocals for the first time (except for when we covered Earth Crisis that one time on tour in Europe)?

(The) first song (on the demo) is about when you end a friendship or relationship and think, "Fuck. I wish I had been meaner." Second song is about how touring has stunted my ability to grow as a person. Third song is complicated but it ultimately boils down to wanting to kill someone who hurt someone I love and how that reflects on me; and the last song is about my feelings. Nothing interesting.

Which bands/vocalists most inspire what y’all do? 

To name a few: American Nightmare, (early) Have Heart, Count Me Out, Carry On, Swamp Thing, What Feeds the Fire, Turning Point, and Bane but we all like a very eclectic range of hardcore bands so a ton of other stuff seeps in there.

What are If It Rains’ release and tour plans are for the future?

The demo is out now on DGR Records. I don't think we have touring plans as of right now.

I want to be a really good local band and if we feel like a tour, we'll do it. Not enough bands just want to be good local bands anymore. 

Thanks so much for taking a sec to chat with me about the new project, my friend! I’m sure I’m not alone in being very stoked to see where it goes! Anything you’d like to add to close us out? 

Start more new bands. Talk to more new faces at shows. You can complain all you want about the new generation of kids but if you’re not guiding them even a little bit, then you’re partially to blame. Book your tour through Providence and let me book you.

Listen to Prevention. Blacklisted > the demo. Listen to Jivebomb. Be your own person. Tell your friends you love them. Listen to the Wrecking Crew demo. Listen to Product of Waste. 


If It Rains on social media: Instagram

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