Take It In Blood Vocalist Tonio on Their New Roadmap of Pain EP & Love for '90s Hardcore

Photo: Charles Bedel

"Those who love CD-only '90s heavy hardcore will recognize the vibe instantly, carrying that distinctive sound where the drums and bass lead the charge."

That's one of the lines in the bio for Take It In Blood, a French hardcore band that I first profiled on No Echo in 2022 around the time they released their demo. Usually, label marketing materials are full of hot air, but in this case, it's a spot-on description. The label that wrote that is Quality Control HQ, the UK-based operation responsible for tasty releases by everyone from Existence, Foreseen, and Blow Your Brains Out, the band behind my favorite hardcore album of last year.

"So, Ola [Herbich] is friend with our bassist, Fredo, for years and if im not wrong, he told us that she really liked our band and wanted to do something with us," says Take It In Blood vocalist Tonio.

"We were all excited about the interest she showed us because she used to play in bands we all loved and Quality Control is a label we follow for years. Its more punk hardcore-oriented than a lot of hardcore labels and we thought it was perfect for us because even if we are a kind of '90s hardcore-influenced band, we all grew up listening to punk and more classical hardcore too like Negative Approach, Last Rights, Antidote, and Siege, not only tough-guy hardcore so it was the right place to feel good."

The first project behind the new partnership is Roadmap of Pain, Take It In Blood's debut EP. It just hit streaming outlets today:

A big influence on Take It In Blood is rap music, especially from the '90s. "Personally speaking, I'm into hip-hop as much as I'm into hardcore and metal. Anto, our drummer, is a huge rap fan too, Jaro loves some classics, same thing for Fredo so it was logical to bring that vibe into the band.

"Since day one, I wanted the band to sound hardcore but to be visually seen like a hip-hop band. I'm a huge fan of Mobb Deep and Nas—"Take it in Blood" is a song by both of them, for those who dont know. I'm also a fan of bands/rappers like Geto Boys, Three Six Mafia, Koopsta Knicca, Gravediggaz, and Flatlinerz. These last two bands are our mains influences for our lyrics and our image too, mixed with hardcore bands like Disciplinary Action."

Photo: Meline Gharibyan

When I spoke with Tonio in 2022, here's what he said about his songwriting approach: "We are hardcore guys from the Paris skinhead scene who play negative hardcore. When I say 'negative,' it's all in our lyrics.”

Outside of hardcore/punk and metal, you would have to look at hip-hop for lyrics like that. After hearing the new EP, and reading the lyrics, I asked the vocalist if he ever draws inspiration for his lyrics from movies/books, or was everything based around his real-life experiences.

"I also draw inspiration from what I live everyday, what I went through when I was younger, what my friends went through, all the hatred I feel when I watch the news, and all the hatred I have had since I've been a kid, even though I feel glad to be alive. I'm a tense guy, and I'm a human dealing with my own demons everyday. I try to stay positive even if its really hard for me, so instead of doing things I might regret, I write songs with shitty grammar (sorry, je suis français ).  

"Thats why my all-time favorite band is Neglect. I deeply feel what Zoid was singing. Same for early Blood for Blood. Their lyrics give me goosebumps. I told you it was all in our lyrics because i think we are cool dudes, we dont wanna act tough like, 'OK, we sing about bad things so we have to act bad in real life." We're not posers, we stay humble and true, enjoying our lives and playing music, trying to be kind people."

Photo: Meline Gharibyan

The conversation then shifted towards the Big Screen: "We're into movies too, thats why we added some samples into our projects, even in the new one, it brings a dark atmosphere. I wont tell you what movie we used for Roadmap of Pain, y'all have to guess [laughs]. Some of my favorite movies are American Beauty, American Psycho, Sleepers, Taxi Driver, Good Will Hunting, and The Shawshank Redemption, all differents but all about deep topics.

"In addition to all that, life is a fucking horror movie that daily gives us a lot inspiration. Sorry for sounding like a bad poet [laughs], it's just what I really feel. Somedays I'm like, 'We all need a fucking reset,' or at least many people deserve to disappear from the face of earth."

Roadmap of Pain is available now via Quality Control HQ (US | UK | EU).

Tagged: take it in blood