Interview – Ricky Singh of Backtrack

 

Backtrack has a new LP coming out in 2017, any idea of a release date or album name yet?

RS : To be completely honest I don’t have a clue about release date or album title just yet.  We’re taking things at a steady pace in order to make sure we pay as much attention to the writing and recording process as possible.

How has the writing and recording of this album been so far? Different than the previous ones?

RS : We’ve spent a ton of time writing for this record.  Some of these songs I wrote as far back as 2014.  We had a ton of extra material and cut it down to around 10-12 songs in December.  The approach to recording this album is a bit different.  In the past we’ve done some prepro rough demos but this time around we’re getting these demos as far along as possible with finished vocals and all.  It will make everything easier in the long run once we hit the actual studio and know exactly what we’re looking to do.  We’re still getting vocals done for the demos right now but all the music is pretty much finalized from a writing perspective.

Can we expect a different sound coming off of this new album?

RS : This LP like our past LP’s definitely sounds like a NYHC record.  That’s what Backtrack is as a band and will always be.  I do see some slight differences in this LP then our others on the music side.  It’s a bit more primal and raw to me and reminds me of a lot of the records I was getting into when I was first discovering Hardcore music.

Backtrack’s last full tour was last year with Turnstile, how did that go?

RS : Touring with Turnstile is always awesome.  We have a great connection and have been friends with the members of the band for close to 9 or 10 years.  It was a great time playing some crazy festivals with our friends and getting to spend time with each other overseas.  Hell Fest was insane and one of the biggest shows I think both of our bands have played to date.  We also did some really fun shows in the UK where we haven’t hit in a while with one of my favorite HC bands out right now, Higher Power.

Can we hopefully expect more US shows in 2017? Hopefully even a full tour since it has been some time since Backtrack has traveled the US.

RS : We got something up our sleeves that we were discussing today for a potential tour in 2017.  We also have some random one-off shows throughout the year.  We’ll be playing Power Trips Record Release and So What Festival this month in Dallas among some other things in the works.

At the end of 2016, Backtrack played the “For The Children” Toy Drive Festival in California, how did that festival go? Let others who are unaware of it know what the festival is all about.

RS : That festival was an incredible time.  Southern California has always treated Backtrack with more love then maybe anywhere else.  “For The Children” is run by some of our close friends and they’ve been doing it for a while now.  It is a chance to get Hardcore and Punk kids together and give back to the community and some of the less fortunate.  There was a mountain of toys by the end of the festival to be distributed to kids during the holiday season whose families may be struggling.

From your years of touring; how do you feel the current state of hardcore is?

RS : I’m still very excited about it.  There’s still a ton of great bands creating music and lots of new bands popping up.  For example, every time I’m at a show on Long Island now there’s a whole new batch of younger kids at the shows and I really don’t know most of them.  That’s a positive in that there’s a new generation of kids holding it down right now for LI but negative for me in the fact that I’m realizing I’m an old fuck!  But seriously the only things that I see in a negative light are that I don’t see as many bands speaking out as openly due to internet backlash.  I feel like people are walking on eggshells sometimes and it’s disappointing to me.  The internet is an incredibly helpful tool to discover music and bands etc but it’s also such a wasteland of people complaining and whining and never taking any real life action on said things.

Expanding from the last question in comparison to the US, how do you feel the US scene compares to the overseas scene.

RS : The US Hardcore scene is great and we’ve always had a very strong scene out here.  I do feel as if Europe is a bit more diehard with it in the sense that they’re not as close-minded or trendy with what bands they like.  At least in main-land Europe.  There’s really strong scenes all throughout the world that no-one would ever expect.  Malaysian and Indonesian shows are insane and I wasn’t expecting that.  

Since Lost In Life has been out for awhile now, did the huge positive response you got from the record surprise you?

RS : The response we got was cool.  Like most people I’ll pick apart a record over time and wish we did this or that and spent more time on it.  We’re taking that into consideration with this new LP.  The fact that anyone listens to a band we started at 20 years old for fun is still crazy to me.

What bands are you currently listening to that you’d recommend?

RS : Higher Power, Culture Abuse, Oso Oso, Gatecreeper, Eternal Champion, Turnover, Power Trip, Dave East

Any bands you haven’t had the chance to play or tour with that is still on your bucket list?

RS : Play a show with: Bad Brains – Tour with: Agnostic Front

Any favorite tour shows you’d care to share?

RS : One time we played a house show in Perth, Australia that was insane.  People diving off the staircase, the whole room was pitting and I was crashing into my equipment every few minutes.  A crackhead was going crazy in the pit losing his mind.  And that time that someone rode a motorcycle into the show during our set.

Lastly anything you’d like to say or throw out there before we end this?

RS : New Backtrack LP in 2017 on B9.  Check out Flatspot Records.  Get off your computer and go outside.

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