To most of us, the city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania is but a dot on the map. But Wilkes-Barre is currently home to one of the most flourishing hardcore scenes in the world, and Dead End Path is the future. With a 7" out on Triple B Records and appearances at several US hardcore festivals, the future is looking bright. Vocalist Uriah was kind enough to answer a couple of questions for us.
To get things started, tell us your name, role in Dead End Path, and favourite video game?
Ha, good opening question! I’m Uriah and I sing for Dead End Path. To be honest, neither I nor anyone in my band (at least to my knowledge) is a really avid "gamer". I will say though i do thoroughly enjoy playing God Of War even though i’ve never beaten it. I’m also amazing at every Tony Hawk game that has ever come out. I could seriously play that game for hours. The soundtracks were always slammin and putting in cheat codes made me feel soo cool. Yeah fuck every game that isn’t a Tony Hawk game. I’ve played Skate a couple times and that’s cool too but the Tony Hawk games are the coolest. I’m a terrible person to ask about playing video games, i barely even watch TV!
You just released a new 7” called ‘Death Walks Beside Us’. How has the record been received so far? Are you happy with the way it turned out?
As far as i can tell the people that have heard it, love it. Haven’t really heard any "bad" reviews of the record so thats a great sign. Death Walks Beside Us has been huge for us, a big stepping stone for our band to do bigger things. As far as the way it turned out, I don’t think it could have come out better. We recorded it in two days, which was eye opening to me because every other record i’ve ever done in any band was done in one day. So to take our time recording it and messing it worked to our advantage because i personally think it came out great. I probably sound like a douche saying that about my own bands record, but it’s true. I’ve never been a part of something that sounded that cool before.!
Wilkes-Barre seems to be going mental at the moment. Has your city always had such a strong scene?
Yeah dude, it really has. Even before my day it’s been strong. Like since the early, mid and late 90’s it’s been insane. We used to have these huge music fests called Wilkes-Barre fests in the 90s (like i said before my time) and the line ups for those shows were insane, like think of the craziest punk, hardcore and emo bands you could think of from the time period and they most likely played. Early 2000’s saw the rise of Posi # fest and alot of young kids, including myself, getting stoked on new hardcore. That was a really important time in my life. Hardcore was the only thing that mattered to me. To think the city I lived in housed the biggest hardcore fest in the USAat the time is a crazy thought now but at the time it was just second nature in a sense. Those days are missed but at the same time i feel like right now we’re started to have the same urgency we did back then. There are soo many young kids coming out to shows and starting bands and doing cool shit, and that gets me siked the most. There are alot of great bands from this city as well, we have a great hardcore scene and i’m proud to say i’m from Wilkes-Barre. Make sure to check out the new Disengage record and check out Stick Together and United Youth. Also, the new War Hungry record is going to blow peoples minds.
How has your experience with Triple B Records been?
Working with Sam and Triple B Records has been great, you can tell he really loves the bands he puts out on his label and that is the most important thing. We got offered some other stuff but gratefully turned it down because working with Sam has been such an easy and fun experience. I honestly feel BBB is the best hardcore label going right now. I mean he’s putting out soo many good releases, that new Free Spirit 7" is incredible! Dead End Path is proud to be a BBB band and we’re really happy right now with where we are at with BBB.
How do you guys write your songs? Is there a specific structure you always follow, or do all the tracks come together in different ways?
I’d like to think all the songs come together in different ways. We have a really good practice schedule and I think that’s really important when it comes to writing songs. Specifically though, our guitar player Ryan usually comes to practice with a riff and we just work it from there. Everyone has import on it. Our drummer Jason and Ryan will jam out the riff and our Bass player Foose and I will tell them what we think will sound cool and it usually comes together really easily. I’m not really a musician so sometimes it’s hard for me to articulate how i want something to sound through words but thankfully everyone kind of gets each other and for me it’s actually a really fun process. I feel as if our influences have changed alot since we started this band, i hate to use this douchey cliche but i feel as if our newer songs are alot more "mature". When writing the 7" we were all listening to alot of Alice In Chains, Into Another, Obituary and Mobb Deep. I think all of those influences show on the record in some way or another.
You guys played at the Sound and Fury festival about two weeks ago. I was doing a little research to see exactly how far it would be to get from Pennsylvania to California; Google Maps reckons about 44 hours! Do you guys seriously drive all that way?
Well we did drive out there but we did a full US tour with Backtrack and Fire & Ice. That tour was about 3 weeks all together and it ruled. I know alot of the bands that played didn’t tour out there though, so in that case alot of the east coast bands will fly out for the weekend. Driving out there to just play the fest doesn’t really make sense, but i guess if a band got asked to play wanted to play bad enough, they would make that drive.
Speaking of Sound and Fury, what did you think of the dude hanging out in the pit with his bike? I also saw a video of you guys playing somewhere and there was some drama over a table being thrown across the room; are shows in your scene normally this wild?
The whole bike incident got blown way out of proportion. It was a bet a friend of ours from Santa Barbara made with another friend from Santa Barbara saying that he wouldn’t ride his motorcycle into the fest. I mean it was pretty surreal to see while i was moshing for Backtrack but for some reason I honestly didn’t even think twice about it. Security handled that situation, and other situations that weekend pretty terribly. That whole incident could have been avoided but security took it too far, and in retaliation the kids took it too far. Adrenaline was flowing and things got out of hand for a second. It all could have been avoided. As far as the whole "table throwing incident" goes, we as a band DO NOT promote violence at our shows or any shows for that matter and were actually really bummed about the whole thing. I got hit with that table and my friends got hit with that table, it was soo stupid and actually really bummed me out. I also think someone put a hole in the wall at that show and because of it Long Island kids can’t do shows there anymore. It sucks dude, i love being in this band but in all honesty I hate the attitudes and actions of SOME of people that "like" my band. If you’re coming to a show just to start fights, hit people, and put people down for the way another person choses to live their life, then go the fuck home, because we honestly don’t want "you" here. That’s how i feel about that. And to answer the last part of your question, it CAN be pretty wild but usually not in a bad or violent way. UNITY
Best show you’ve played this year, and best show you’ve seen this year?
We’re played alot of cool shows this year but let me try and think of the best one hmmmm. I’m gonna have to go with getting to play United Blood fest, kids went crazy. Louisville was alot of fun and kids went nuts and bought a ton of merch. We played a show this past sunday in Wilkes-Barre that was actually one of the most fun Wilkes-Barre HC shows i’ve been to in years. Every show we’ve played this year has been fun. We’re at a good point right now, it’s all about FUN!
Am I right in assuming the band name comes from the Merauder song? Is Merauder a big influence on the band? Who else influences your music?
Yeah I stole the name from the Merauder song. Initially Merauder had a pretty big influence on the band, like on the demo but I feel as if now we’re moving away from that whole thing. When we initially started
the band, we were striving for a "harder" sound but as time went on we all kind of grew out of that. We still have a heavy sound but I feel as if our sound has gotten smarter and well as our influences. Underdog, Straight Ahead, Supertouch, and Burn. All of those bands have an influence on us. Metallica, Obituary, Into Another, Mobb Deep, GZA, Raekwon, Leeway, Cro-Mags, Crowbar and Alice In Chains are all influences on Death Walks Beside Us. We’re all discovering new things every day so i can’t really say what the influences to the new record are going to be but it’s still going to be Dead End Path tried and
true that i can say for certain.
What have you got in the works for the future? I know it’s a little early, but have you started planning another release?
Actually we have, we’re currently writing a new record. I’m assuming it’s going to be an LP but at this point we’re just writing and seeing what we like and what we don’t like. I do know that whatever it is,whether it be another 7" or an LP it’s going to be coming out on BBB. If we do an LP, i’d like to a single on Lockin’ Out before hand. I’ve always wanted to do something with them and I think a single with Lockin Out would be awesome and would create alot of hype for the record. We’ll see what happens.
Would you guys ever want to visit Australia and play some shows?
Dude honestly, Australia is one place I, and I’m pretty sure i speak for the rest of the band when i say this, desperately want to play shows and tour. It seems like the coolest place in the world. I really hope we get offered something in Australia while i’m in this band because that would be a dream come true.
What is the best story you have from playing in Dead End Path so far?
A cool story would be how we got to play a quick set before TITLE FIGHT at United Blood 2010 and how kids went insane for it. As far as funny stories go, on this past summer tour we did, we brought our friend Hoodrack aka the vocalist for War Hungry and Stick Together. The funny thing about Hoodrack is, he only eats fried chicken. So every day we’d end up eating fried chicken, which some of the other dudes in the band didn’t mind too much but after the second week of just eating fried chicken, i wanted to jump off a building. I will say this though, i’m not sure if you have them in Australia but if you’re ever in the states and you’re not a vegetarian, you NEED to check out Chik-Fil-A. Literally the best "fast" food i’ve ever eaten. Shit is soo ill. A tip for Australian bands touring the states: ask an american who plays in a hardcore band about Chipotle and their policy about hooking up bands. That will save you lots of money while touring over here. With all that being said, every day being in Dead End Path is a funny/cool story, being in a band that tours and plays shows is the most fun thing in the world.
Thanks dude! Anything else?
YO! Thank you SOO much for the interview dude! Check out Ned, Shane and Ben from Title Fight’s hardcore band DISENGAGE (especially if you like Youth Of Today and Straight Ahead). Check out Stick Together, Times Up, Free Spirit and Rival Mob. Check out Chik-Fil-A if you’re in the states and if for some reason you’re in Wilkes-Barre, check out ANGELOS PIZZA! Thanks again, hopefully we’ll see your beautiful country side soon!