Cruel Hand interview


Cruel Hand is a hardcore band coming straight out of Maine with ex-Outbreak members. They played Perspective fest in Leuven (Belgium) past July and I had the opportunity to have a chat with vocalist Chris.

OOS: “Cruel Hand started out as a side project, you were in Outbreak, when did you decide to go full time with the band?”

Chris: “Its so long ago … things were kinda going in different directions with Outbreak so we started Cruel Hand as a side project but we parted ways with Outbreak and decided to go for Cruel Hand.”

OOS: “Still good friends with the band?”

Chris: “The band are different people … we are civil people but you will not catch us hanging out together.”

OOS: “Your new album ‘Lock & Key’ is released on Bridge Nine Records. On ‘Prying Eyes’ I hear a lot of NYHC influences, definitely some Madball, you can hear it in the sound. Are you big fans of Madball?”

Chris: “We have been huge fans of Madball since … forever. For me since I was 13 years old or so, I’m 26 now. We had the opportunity to go out with them, tour with them … it was amazing. It was like a dream coming true. We love their music and I can’t wait for ‘Empire’ to come out this fall.

Before ‘Cruel Hand’ existed, Nate and I were in side projects, even when we were in Outbreak we were in a band called ‘Sledge’, we were playing heavier hardcore music. We were in a band called ‘On the Outside’ that put out a record on Thorp. Unfortunately non of those bands went anywhere. I was always on guitar; we had a non-devoted singer so I decided to write the songs, teach them to Nate and go for it as a singer. It was hard at first going from a guitarist to a singer; it’s two different things. As a guitarist you don’t have to interact with the crowd but as a vocalist you kinda have something good to say and know what you are talking about.”

OOS: “Comparing to ‘Prying Eyes’ how does the new album sound, is it different?”

Chris:”Its a little different, its a natural progression. From the demo to now, each new release is like a natural progression. If you compare the demo to Lock & Key they are completely two different records. Musically and vocally it’s different but it’s a progression. We definitely added some different elements to the music. With ‘Prying Eyes’ we wanted to write that NYHC record that we wanted to hear. We did that and now we are ready to work on our on own style and bringing in influences from everywhere.”

OOS:”You’re on Bridge Nine Records, that must be a dream coming true?”

Chris: “We couldn’t be happier with them, they always helped us out with the band … so … I can’t complain. The have some cool bands, there’s something for everyone on that label.”

OOS: “I talked to H2O in April and what do you think about all the importance fashion is getting into the hardcore scene?”

Chris: “Well, fashion sucks. They said it best on their latest record: “passion before fashion”. There is a lot of that bullshit going on. Hardcore is more than fashion, its a lifestyle, it got roots. People should focus more on the roots of the music, where it came from and show respect to the bands from way back that are still doing it today instead of what is the next fashion trend.”

Check the band out at


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