We had the chance to speak with Jordan Moten, frontman of Chicago hardcore band Kharma.
At the end of 2016 you released the “Midwest Young And Restless” EP
with yourself, Delinquents, and Backbone, how do you feel the response
has been for that since release? What also made you go into making a 3
way split EP with both those bands as well?
JM : The response to that split has been awesome. I think it’s done a lot
of good for all three bands. The response for us, to SOL specifically,
has been sick. A lot of kids already knew the words when we played the
songs right after the split was released and I love seeing that. It’s
good to see people are feeling what we’re doing. The idea for the
split originally stemmed a very long time ago. Before we put out
Survival and before Backbone put out ADAD, we were going to do a split
that just never happened. Those are some of my favorite people in the
whole world so I definitely wanted to make that happen. So we did.
Delinquents being added to the mix was Brandon Santos’ idea, I
believe, and I’m glad he brought it up. I love Delinquents’ two songs
on the split.
What can we expect from Kharma on the music side for 2017? Possibly
another full length or more EPs?
JM : I’m currently in the process of writing for a full length. I write
almost the entirety of our instrumentals, as well as the lyrics, and I
already have a ton of stuff written. I think I have 8+ songs lyrically
and 10 instrumentally. It’s just a matter of going through the songs
and making sure they’re 100% what we want. I’m striving to have this
record be 110% all killer, no filler.
With an upcoming tour with Backbone and Guttersnipe as well as
opening for Knocked Loose in Chicago and playing Midwest Blood Fest
what else is in the works? Can we expect this is only the beginning of
touring for the band this year and fans can hope to see you in new
places you haven’t played before?
JM : We’re planning on hitting 2017 hard. MWBF and the Knocked show are
going to be awesome. I love the Midwest so much, but I’m really
excited to hit new places on the tour with Backbone and Guttersnipe.
After that tour, we’re planning on hitting the road even harder than
we have before. I plan on hitting almost every state that has a
thriving hardcore scene. I don’t want there to be many states that can
say “man Kharma has never been anywhere near us”. Of course we’re not
going to hit every single state, but I definitely want to spread our
name as much as possible.
Kharma is a band that speaks its mind and thoughts in its lyrics,
do you feel this is something that not only the music scene but people
in general aren’t doing enough of? Do you feel like people have become
too PC or afraid to speak their mind about what they believe in or are
JM : I just try to write about what I’m feeling and thinking. I look around
me at what I see in the world and the people I see around me, and I
try to put how I feel into lyrics. I feel like there is a fair amount
of people who don’t truly speak their mind and instead just say what
they think people want to hear, and that’s pretty whack to me. I feel
like the point of hardcore and aggressive music in general is to give
yourself an outlet to speak your mind in a way that you might not get
to in everyday life. So if speaking your mind and stepping up against
shit that you disagree with is non-PC, so be it. Empty words hold no
weight so I think it’s important to say something worth hearing.
How do you feel the current state of IL and Midwest hardcore is?
JM : I love Midwest hardcore more than anything in the world. The Chicago
scene is awesome right now. It seems like I see new kids almost every
show and that’s so awesome. I’m only 19, but I’ve been going to shows
since I was like 14/15 so generally, I’ve been seeing the same people
for a long time. Recently, a lot of faces I have never seen have been
showing up and I love seeing it. Jon Ortiz, Shane Merrill, and Taylor
Wadley have consistently brought awesome shows to Chicago. They’ve
helped keep the Chicago scene thriving and I appreciate them tons.
Chicago and Indiana are one big scene right now it seems like. The NWI
scene and Chicago scene go hand in hand. All the NWI people show up to
Chicago shows and vice versa. I consider INHC to be a second home.
Some of my closest friends in hardcore are apart of Indiana Hardcore.
Derick Goodson and Emilio Rodriguez put on for Gary, Indiana harder
than I’ve ever seen anyone represent where they’re from. They
constantly book awesome shows in Gary and are constantly spreading the
word about Indiana Hardcore. Two very hardworking dudes. I love going
to shows in Indiana and I love playing there. Wisconsin is thriving
right now, too. JJ Kaiser is holding it down with all the shows
happening at his house (aka JJ’s Bar & Grill), Zach Dear and Lenny
Janiszewski just opened a new DIY venue called Triple Zero, and Tom
Hively and Michael Sokolowski are constantly bringing in awesome shows
to MKE. All of those dudes are putting in tons of work for the
Milwaukee scene. The IL/IN/WI clique is killing it right now. Midwest
hardcore is killing it right now.
Having played a great deal of shows around the Midwest what are
other bands you would encourage others to check out that are pushing
out some great music and keeping the scene strong?
JM : There’s so many awesome Midwest bands. There’s too many to name just a
few so I’ll give you a long list of my favorites:
No Victory, Purgatory, Mal Intent, Bitter Thoughts, Breaking Wheel,
Spitback, Jig, Bruise, Backbone, Source Of Hate, Nine Eyes, Stone,
Infamy, Penitentiary, BIB, Capitol Offense, Inferno, Silverhammer,
Life After Death, and so many I’m probably forgetting off the top of
my head. Midwest hardcore is thriving right now.
Similar to the last question but what are some bands you haven’t
gotten to play with yet that in 2017 you’d like to cross off the list?
JM : Oh man there’s so many bands I’d love to play with. I’ll give you my
top 5 right now. King Nine and Twitching Tongues are my favorite
current hardcore bands so I’d love to get to gig with them. The other
three I’d want to play with soon would probably be Queensway,
Judiciary, and Bind.
Any other news or anything you’d like to throw out to the fans?
JM : Keep an eye out for new music and new tours. Planning on big things for 2017.
Just like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview.
Where can fans find you online, buy merch, and check out your music
You can also find everything our music on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, etc.