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    [ Strife ]

    An Interview with Strife

    California's Strife became one of the most popular hardcore bands of the mid/late 90's with two blistering releases -"One Truth" and "In This Defiance", both on Victory Records...with a European tour with Sepultura, and members of Deftones ,Fear Factory, and Sepultura appearing on their album, they seemed poised for even greater things, when suddenly they called it quits, leaving the hardcore world without one of its centerpieces. They resurfaced briefly under the name Angermeans, but that didn't go far. Now in 2002,they are back, with a fresh new sound, and a new album("Angermeans"),and plan on bringing things back to where they were and even further. Chris X had the chance to chat it up with guitarist Andrew Kline about the new album, new sound, and how things came to be from where they were to where they are now.

    What is the lineup now?
    The lineup is: Andrew Kline- Guitar, Chad Peterson - Bass, Rick Rodney- Vocals, Sid Niesen - Drums, Arron Rossi - Touring Drummer.

    What lead to the reformation?
    Basically, we all kind of decided that we love playing music, but more importantly we all enjoy making music together... We never intended to reform Strife... Gradually we all fell back together and started playing music together again... it has never felt better.

    Strife was widely known as a SXE band(lyrics,merchandise,interviews,etc).Now that some of you no longer "walk the path of true change"(your own words),how do you justify keeping the name Strife? Perhaps you should have remained as Angermeans--or did you revert to Strife for the recognition factor,since Strife was a "big" band in the hardcore scene,and on the brink of making the crossover that Earth Crisis,Snapcase,and especially Hatebreed have so successfully navigated--you did put out a couple songs on that comp. as Angermeans a couple years back--did you feel they weren't recieved well,and maybe would have been had they been Strife songs--and went back to the Strife name,as opposed to Angermeans?
    Sid and I started Angermeans as the two of us... Sid was playing drums, and I was playing guitar, bass, and doing the vocals... when it came time to record I felt that my voice wasn't strong enough, so we asked Rick to do it... Franklin from Shelter and 108 was playing bass, and when he moved back to NY, Chad asked us if he could play. Strife was reformed without us planning it... I think the four of us playing togehter under any name is still Strife... I understand that we were a straight edge band, but above all we are friends...

    Does Rick shave or wax for the baldie look?
    He shaves his head...

    Where does the sound of the new material lie as compared to the old stuff?
    When writing the new album, we didnt want to write another "One Truth" or "In This Defiance", we wanted to write a new album with different influences that shows the progression of the band. There is an obvious progression between the first two albums, and "Angermeans" continues this... It is still definitely Strife, but there is a more metallic influence.

    What are your expectations for the new album?
    I think the record is great... I just want to get out and start touring...

    Are you EVER going to play Philly? Everytime you ever had a show scheduled here,it always got cancelled..
    I think we have played there once or twice, but if not, we will definitely play there this year... Philly has always had a good hardcore scene, and there is no reason for us not to play there...

    Before the breakup,it seemed as if you were trying to appeal to the "nu-metal" crowd(appearances by members of Deftones,Fear Factory,Sepultura on "In This Defiance"),and the new record features a member of Cypress Hill.Are these things done as "marketing crossover appeal",so to speak?
    I never think of marketing... the people that appear on our albums are people that I respect as musicians, and are people from some of my all time favorite bands. If were doing it from a marketing perspective, their names would have appeared on a sticker on the outside of the album, and they may have been in a video with us... this is not the case. We feature people who we feel can add something to our music... I love collaborating with other artists... besides, if we were trying to appeal to the Nu-metal crowd, we would probably paint our faces and change our sound...

    Any more acting gigs for Rick?
    Rick appeared in a few movies and a few videos... Godmoney was the first movie he ever did ,with no previous acting experience, I feel he did a great job.

    Favorite metal band?
    Sepultura and Slayer!

    What does the future hold for Strife?
    We want to tour as much as possible, and cover new ground. We already have plans to tour South America in February... We also want to continue putting out music for as long as we can... we are back!

    I went through all the lyrics, and came up with 5,possibly 6 songs Straightedge related("Force of Change", most notably).I'm gonna assume you won't play these live anymore. In fact, I'd actually hope, as much as I love the songs, that you wouldn't, out of respect for those of us who still ARE still Straightedge. How could you justify playing them, you know? This also sort of relates back to what I was saying earlier with the band name situation...it must suck not being able to play Strife songs, being that you ARE Strife. Doesn't this then logically present motivation to go with the Angermeans moniker?
    No, we no longer play the Straightedge songs... Honestly, if we were called any other name, if the four of us are playing together, people would want to hear Strife songs... I love our older songs, and we will continue to play them...

    If there is only one truth...what, in your opinion, is it?
    There is not a defintive truth for everyone... It just means find the thing in your life that makes you feel good... be it love, friendship, or religious beliefs... For me it is friendship.

    Let's say you are President of the USA. How do YOU handle the current terrorist/Middle East situation?
    This type of terrorist action must be brought to an end... I think September 11th should serve as a wake up call to the U.S. government. How many different countries can we abuse, exploit, and shit on before someone has enough?

    That's all I've got...any final comments/shoutouts/plugs/shittalking?

    Thanks so much! Thanks for the interview... Check out our new album "Angermeans"... out now, and listen to it with an open mind. See you on tour!

    Written By: Chris X