Originally comprised of Scott Vogel (Terror, Buried Alive), Andrew Kline (Strife, Berthold City), Sammy Siegler (Judge, Rival Schools), Joe Garlipp (Fadeaway, Despair), and Arthur Smilios (Gorilla Biscuits, CIV), World Be Free made its debut back in 2016 via The Anti-Circle, the group's debut album.
Writing and executing a melodic strain of hardcore, the band's members' busy schedules has kept World Be Free as a side project affair, but they've managed to play a handful of shows throughout the years.
With Smilios the lone member of World Be Free living on the East Coast, the Southern California-based group and the bassist parted ways since the release of The Anti-Circle.
Welcoming in bassist Alex Barreto (Chain of Strength, Statue), World Be Free will be releasing a new EP entitled One Time for Unity next month through Revelation Records.
No Echo spoke with Scott, Sammy, and Andrew from the band to fill us in on all-things World Be Free in 2020.
Since it’s been 4 years since The Anti-Circle, was there something different you wanted to try on this new EP that you might not have on the first album?
Sammy Siegler (drums): To be honest, I wanted to go in more of a melodic direction, I think Scott can pull it off, similar to how Ian [MacKaye] approached Embrace or elements of Hot Water Music, his voice and style is perfect for that, he touched on it on the first record with songs like "Sammy’s Mirror."
You kind of hear it on the song “One Time for Unity," but I couldn’t get everyone to fully embrace it (no pun intended). In the same way Uniform Choice or BOLD or Dag Nasty flip it from album one to album two, I was up for that. End of the day, it landed where it is meant to be, there’s a few different styles and it came about naturally, through the process, over time, we wrote about 15 songs or so.
How did Alex Barreto come to join World Be Free?
Sammy Siegler (drums): Yes, Arthur is amazing, one of the best bass players I’ve ever played with but he got a somewhat serious job based in NYC where he lives, we had some shows and wanted to write some songs and it wasn’t realistic.
I’ve known Alex for a long time, he’s also really talented, a great energy, so we were able to get him on board. Alex has a more agro gritty approach and you hear it in this music, it’s got a bit more of a bite then The Anti Circle, slightly more pissed.
Scott, what’s your headspace when you’re sitting down and about to write something specifically for World Be Free? Do you approach it differently when you’re working on World Be Free versus Terror material?
Scott Vogel (vocals): Yes and no I would say. It’s not this completely different process or big difference in the big picture, but at the same time I do recognize the two bands come from A different place and aim for different end result.
Terror is all aggression and on 110% all the time. World Be Free for sure allows me to open up myself to new ideas and approach from different angles.
In the end, both bands are hardcore. Both are fast and raw. Both bands have positivity and negativity in the words and overall vibe. They just lean on those sides a touch differently.
How about you, Andrew? Do you dig into different influences with World Be Free that you might not usually do when you’re working on both Strife and Berthold City material?
Andrew Kline (guitars): I definitely am aware which band that I am writing for when I pick up a guitar or bass, as I want all of these bands to have a distinct sound. For the first World Be Free album we were all pretty focused on writing songs that sounded like NYHC from the late '80s with a little bit of a DC influence.
We were all inspired by Gorilla Biscuits, Agnostic Front, Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, Uniform Choice, and others, and really wanted to do our take on this style. With the new record we kind of approached it as what would be these aforementioned band's next steps? The writing got a little more aggressive at times and you may hear some new influences creep in.
With Strife and Berthold City, I know that I can write a complete song and have the finished product sound exactly like what was in my head. World Be Free is a different animal, and is really a sum of all its parts.
I can come with a finished song, but Sammy is going to take it in a different direction at times, and Alex or Joe will add a bass line or lead that really adds another dimension. I think that is what makes the songs on this new EP so interesting and unique.
Scott, in the vocals standpoint, World Be Free is by far the most melodic direction you’ve ever taken your singing throughout your discography.
Scott Vogel (vocals): At least this time I knew I could do the job somewhat correctly. Doing the first record was for sure a big unknown vocally when we started tracking. No one, including me, knew what was going to come out of my mouth and how it would sound.
How much more confident were you this time out in the studio compared to The Anti-Circle?
Scott Vogel (vocals): On the first record, it took some time to discover what was going to be that sweet spot for me and my voice, and for sure [vocal/mix engineer on The Anti Circle] Nick Jett and Sammy were a lot of help getting me dialed in. But from there things went smooth overall.
So, this time, I knew what I could do, and could not do, to be honest. Also, this record is a bit more mean which plays to my favor, but the truth is we really haven’t played many shows or recorded anything in so long that it was sorta going back to square one for me at first when I started doing the vocals.
Tell me a bit about the cover photo (seen above). I feel like there’s probably a story there?
Sammy Siegler (drums): The photo is by my friend Jason Peterson. He's a bad ass photographer, and he’s also a serious creative in advertising world. We met in 1988 when I was on tour with Youth of Today. Jason played in a band called Youth Under Control, which later became Wind of Change.
Later, I would run into him in NYC a bunch, we stayed in touch, he’s talented and we were struggling hard on a cover, Jasons photos really pulled it together for us. His team did the layout as well.
One Time for Unity will be out on November 13 via Revelation Records. Hit the pre-order link.
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