It's only 2 days into 2019 and we already have a suprise release in the hardcore world. This time out, Wide Eyed Noise has unleashed power in the form of Haven, a 7-track cassette EP from Kind!, a Boston band some of you might already be familiar with (they used to be known as "Kind! Crew"). In a chat with Kind! guitarist Changwan Kim, No Echo asked what the inspiration behind the EP's title. "As we were writing the songs for this release, I think most of us in the band were going through a pretty rough time, individually, dealing with all of the challenges life can throw at you," said the guitarist.
"Ever since we started, we have been given this 'positive hardcore' label as a band. That is not incorrect, but on a personal note, I’m not into positivity for the sake of being positive. The name Haven is acknowledging that even with all of these internal and external factors bent on bringing us down, we can still find peace in the things that make us happy; this band, friendships, nature, hardcore shows, etc. The title is asking where do you find hope in your darkest times: 'What’s your haven?'"
Included with the Kind! tape release is a zine that chronicle’s the band’s life to date, as well as some other cool content. "The zine is a labor of love. It’s cut and paste, photo collage bullshit, hand numbered, etc. I wanted to go old school. Originally, I just wanted to do something cool with the lyric insert that would go with the tape but it sort of blossomed into its own thing. I wanted to capture the lifespan of this band thus far. We played our first show just over a year ago and have played close to 50 since then. We’ve had several tape releases and shirt designs, as well as our own personal reflections on being part of Kind!"
Changwan further explained the inspiration behind the zine: "Attending hardcore shows for literally half of my life at this point, I think one thing that’s always stuck out for me is that the personality of a band is often trapped behind the lyrics of one person. The music can always speak for itself but I also appreciate a band that is transparent and allows everyone to have a voice. Like hey, we’re individuals. We’re valid. Each of us has our own voice and experiences. Some of us are straight edge, some are vegan, some are queer, some are POC, some of us consider ourselves 'activists,' some of us don’t but even with those differences, Kind! is equally important to all of us. With that intent, the zine became a space where we could lay it all out on table."
Before the chat closed out, Changwan offered up some of Kind!'s plans for 2019. "First up, we’re doing a run of four shows in Northern and Southern Florida Jan. 31-Feb. 3 with our friends in Night Witch. Check them out if you haven’t. They’ve got a real F-Minus vibe and have something to say. Sonically, it’s a slightly odd partnership, but I couldn’t be more excited for these shows. There’s a really awesome compilation being put out in early 2019 by a long-running label in the area. I’m not sure if I can say any more than that but we’re very excited to be included alongside some of our favorite area bands.
"Our work schedules have prevented us from stringing a longer tour schedule together, but we have all committed to doing as many weekend runs as possible. Near and far. I think our upcoming Florida shows are a pretty good example of what we’re able and willing to do. I’m sure we’ll plan more in the near future and of course, as many driving distance shows as possible."
Haven is available via the Wide Eyed Noise Bandcamp page, and the cassette will up for sale on the label's site on Feb. 1. Follow Kind! on Instagram.