Portland, Maine’s Cruel Hand have proved to be a favourite amongst the Australian hardcore scene. First touring the country in 2009 and being a part of the Hardcore 2009 fesival, the band followed that up with another highly talked about tour in June 2011 with Sydney’s Phantoms. Now, just 17 months later, the band will be tearing the country apart once again, touring with Miles Away and The Others to celebrate Miles Away’s 10th anniversary as a band. We caught up with the band’s vocalist Chris Linkovich to discuss the upcoming tour, as well as the band’s choice to leave Bridge Nine Records and do things on their own.
Start off by stating your name, your role in Cruel Hand, and your favourite record released so far in 2012?
Chris Linkovich, vocalist. That Gypsy record on Six Feet Under Records.
You guys were last here in Australia back in June 2011, when you toured with Sydney’s Phantoms. How was that tour for you?
That tour was fucking awesome, so happy to be back soon.
You’ll be back here in December, touring with Miles Away for their 10th anniversary tour. What is it that keeps you coming back to Australia so often?
We’ve made some amazing friends in Australia over the years and Australia has an amazing hardcore scene that shouldn’t be neglected.
What are you looking forward to the most about these shows?
Hanging with the boys in Miles Away.
Is there any show in particular on the tour that you think will be a stand out?
Byron Bay. STREET YOUTH.
What kind of set list can we expect from you this time around? Any surprises that you might be thinking about throwing in?
Two brand spanking new songs and "The Crowd" by Operation Ivy.
Recently you were a part of The Acacia Strain’s record release tour with I Declare War, Fit For An Autopsy and No Bragging Rights, which is a different bunch of bands for you to be playing with. How did you find that tour?
The Acacia Strain took us out once before and we did well. We took them up on the offer once again and played in front of some great mixed crowds. Respect.
Back in July you announced that you would be releasing your next record on your own, instead of Bridge Nine as per your last few releases. What inspired you to do this?
The DIY ethics of hardcore were the main inspiration. Fuck everybody, do it yourself.
Where are you currently at in regards to that record? Can we expect to see it being released at some stage in 2013?
Yes for sure. We just released a promo tape that contains two brand new CH songs that will appear on a 7 inch. We have our heads in the game for sure.
Are any of you guys playing in any other bands other than Cruel Hand at the moment? I believe some of you are playing in DNA?
Pretty much everyone in the band has a musical side project of some kind, both hardcore and not. Nate, Cam and Seger play in DNA.
Who are some bands you have heard lately that have impressed you?
Strong Along from Maine is great hardcore band. http://strungalong.bandcamp.com
What are some of your favourite memories that you have with the band?
The one year with Austin Lemieux on bass was hysterical.
Do you have a favourite song that you enjoy playing live?
We used to play “Not One Truth” by Hatebreed. Kids would wreck the clubs and we wouldn’t get paid so we had to stop.
Is there anything that you haven’t done yet with the band that you would still like to accomplish?
We’d love to be able to continuously be on tour, there’s always some down time involved but I guess being able to tour places that we’ve never been. There’s still a few places left. So I would say hitting the places we’ve never been, especially the spots within South America and Asia that bands rarely visit.
Once this tour is all wrapped up, what are the band’s plans for the future?
Whatever the future has planned for us.
Thanks for doing the interview, any last words or shout outs?
Thanks for the interview. Australia, see you when I see you.