A few months ago, my friend Jon told me about a new band called Youth Attack, that sounded like Crippled Youth and had young kids in the band. After he went on to tell me that he saw a young kid moshing and singing along to the demo that was being played over the PA between bands at a Bane show at the Worcester Palladium, I was intrigued. I gave the demo a listen and, even though it was very raw and the singer sounded like he was 12, I liked it. Now that Youth Attack has played some more shows and released a 7" on Cadmium Sick, I decided to toss the singer of the band, Jeff Hunter, who also happens to be the kid who was going crazy to the songs at the Palladium, a few questions...
How did you get involved in hardcore? What were some of the records that really got you psyched on hardcore when you first got into it?
Well, I first heard hardcore in 7th grade when I was about 13, because I became good friends with our drummer nicky and his brothers were listening to hardcore at the time. I was listening to a lot of greenday, weezer, blink 182, and some other pop punk in 7th grade but over time i just got mainly into hardcore. The first hardcore records i heard were american nightmare (who i couldn't stop listening to), ten yard fight, the hope conspiracy, the dedication, some more.
What were some of the first shows that you can remember going to? What have been some of the best ones you have gone to so far?
My first show was back to school jam 5 which tons of good hardcore bands played the dedication, the hope conspiracy, carry on, reach the sky,etc. The next one i think was a bane, stop and think show which was also amazing. I've been to alot of shows but i've always had fun going to reach the sky shows i think they were an amazing band. The first time i saw the suicide file i was blown away by there sets and still am, all the action taken shows, etc.
How and when did Youth Attack get started? How old is everyone in the band?
Me and Nicky started the band in 02' we didn't really get serious till about two weeks before our first show in August, which during that time we didn't really have a serious line up for the band. We did a really crappy demo where i sounded like a girl i guess a few people liked it though. I sing and i'm 15 years old, Teddy our bassist is 18 years old, Nickys our drummer is 14 years old, and isaac our guitarist is 15 also.
What sound were you guys going for when you started? I hear a lot of people compare you to Crippled Youth...do you think that is because of your age and not really how you sound?
When we started we were just looking for a negative, fast, hardcore band. Some people compare us to crippled youth because we're young i think, and also just because we cover them. I would say that some of our songs have a similar sound to them though.
What exactly is happening after the fourth song on the demo, when it sounds like you guys are going crazy and smashing stuff?
Well we just finished recording I laugh in your face and were doing backups and someone suggest hey lets smash bottles. Nicky goes "hey sweet we can just throw the bottles into a lego box and it will sound like it's breaking but they really aren't!"... we'll they did break all inside the lego box and because nicky is a dumbass he kept breaking them even more. It was all fun though all of us screaming and acting like idiots.
Do kids at your school give you shit for being involved with straight edge?
Well my parents sent me to a catholic school because they thought i wouldn't pass them MCAS but i'm going to a public school next year so it doesn't even matter. I can honestly say i'm the only hardcore kid there, and probably 10 people out of the 5,000 kids know what straight edge is. I was bored in school and wrote XXX in white out and all i hear in the halls is "dude this kids addicted to porn!". There all wiggarios anyway so it doesn't matter.
What do you tell your family and friends that aren't into hardcore about your band and what you're into?
Well most of my friends listen to hardcore, but the ones who don't listen to it really don't understand it at all they think we're slipknot or something. My family thinks the music i listen to is insane, and according to them "Jeff what is this music, your MENTAL! Your just MENTAL!"
You guys just put out a 7" on Cadmium Sick...how did you get hooked up with them and how are kids getting into the songs as compared to the demo stuff?
I once told this kid i used to talk online that i want Youth Attack to put out a 7" someday. Sooner or later his friend Rob Burnett at Cadmium Sick liked us and asked us to do a 7". I think the kids like the 7" songs alot more, considering i think our demo is one of the worst demos on the face of the earth because of my vocals.
What are some cool things that have happened at Youth Attack shows so far? Any shows that stick out in your mind in particular as bad or good?
Youth Attack has only played 10 or so shows, we want to play more so everyone reading this BOOK US! haha anyway our first show with embrace today was just incredible all our friends went off and alot of the people there dug us. It's just amazing seeing kids go off, the speakers there were falling all over the place, it was a day i will never forgot. Our other shows were good some moshing and sing alongs. We've had good and bad shows just like any band. I think our best show was our record release show even though we fucked up on the straight ahead cover.
I know that you guys cover "Positive Scene" on the demo, what other songs do you guys cover?
We've covered project x- straight edge revenge, ssd- glue, we're planning on getting the straight ahead cover down though for our next show.
Are there any bands that you guys haven't had the chance to play with yet, but would like to?
I would really like to play with R'n'R, xfilesx, Death Threat, The suicide file, think i care, etc.
Do you think that your band gets a lot of attention it does because of the fact that you guys are a lot younger than most guys in bands?
Yeah I do think we get more attention because we're younger. I hope everyone likes us as a band musically, and not just because of our age. We're just kids playing the music we love, we can't help our age. word.
What is up next for Youth Attack as far as shows, records, whatever?
We're playing march 30th at the el n gee with The promise, we're still trying to figure out our situation on that though. April 4th with mental, verse, time to pay, and some others in Kingston MA. We're setting up a few more, if anyone wants us to play anywhere just contact me.
What are some of your favorite new bands or records?
My favorite new bands are defanitly mental, blame the victim, sick and tired, so be it, guns up, verse, think again, crunch time, ah theres so many new bands out there that are amazing.
Is there anything that you see going on in the hardcore scene that you just can't stand?
I can't stand metalcore kids who go and fuck up shows, you mainly only see those kids at palladium shows though. Example: Reach the sky last show right after one of the bands a metalcore kid walks right by me and pushes me onto the ground for no reason, apparently it's tough to push kids alot smaller than them. Other than that though theres not to much about hardcore i can't stand.
Who deserves to die more - President Bush or Saddam?
Bush is mad dumb, but Saddam should die. All i can picture is in the south park movie when Sadamm was humping the devil haha.
Any last comments, shout-outs, fuck yous?
I'd like to give a shout out to The Lone Rangers, Mental, Time To Pay, the worcester kids, Missy, Hows your edge, and a big FUCK YOU TO TOM KEEGAN, and also to all the wiggers in worcester. Thanxxx for the intveriew preston!