Grand Collapse

Grand Collapse - Calvin Sewell

  • 14th November 2021
  • Online
  • Phinky
  • Epidemic Records / TNSrecords / Don’t Trust The Hype Records / Mass Prod / Urinal Vinyl

Bristol hardcore punk band Grand Collapse recently released their new album, Empty Plinths. Their signature hardcore punk sounds are enriched and enhanced with some thrash, mosh and rock influences, which create, along with their direct and smart politically and socially charged lyrics, an explosive mix for all fans of bands such as PropagandhiConflict and Bane. The album title refers to recent historical facts that happened in their hometown Bristol, which resonated and still keep resonating across the World. Grand Collapse have taken some time out to update The Punk Site on the new album, the pandemic, police and punk and being back on the road

  1. Your new album “Empty Plinths” just came out. If you were to review it yourself, what would you stress and underline to make it appealing to a reader? What bands would be listed in the “For Fans Of” part?

It’s fast and heavy with a few twists and turns along the way. We’ve turned the metal up on this one but that raw intensity is still there. Not sure on similar bands; a few names that pop up in write ups are From Ashes Rise, Propagandhi, Conflict… We’re not as good as any of these. 

  1. Was the songwriting and recording process affected by the pandemic?

Just as the first lockdown hit was right when we were about to do into hibernation and concentrate on these songs before the studio so from a band perspective it didn’t hurt at all. It probably helped if anything as there were no distractions. The odd thing was after wrapping everything up, not being able to release it for almost a year because of pressing delays. 

  1. The title of the album is an outspoken criticism towards the aftermaths of historical colonialism in today’s society. Is punk still capable of delivering an anti-racist message inside its community? What about outside? Do you think a person that doesn’t listen to punk could relate with your approach to lyrics on this specific matter?

Punk as a subculture is inherently anti-prejudice. I realize there are factions within that are a little more than sinister but that tends to fly over my head most of the time. I’m not interested in nostalgia fares with bigots at corporate venues. The real punk movement continues to innovate and rebel against injustice. It’s transient by nature and there’s always youth coming through with plenty of enthusiasm and ideas driving things forward. A lot of ideas that are prevalent within the punk scene eventually bleed into general society. The protest in question here was part of the global BLM movement which captured the attention of the general public and not just hardcore activists. The flash point that day was the toppling of Colton’s statue and that sparked a debate which can only be a good thing because it forces the issue into the public consciousness. Attitudes around fluid gender roles and veganism that have been prevalent within the punk movement for decades are now seeping into general society too. 

  1. There always high expectations when it comes to punk and hardcore music from the UK. Do you think it makes it easier or harder for a UK band to be creative in a free and independent way or you feel any pressure to conform to a specific group of musical references?

There’s no pressure to sound a certain way or anything like that. We just write whatever we want which usually derives from what we’re blasting at the time. Jon and Glenn listen to a lot of US hardcore and metal so that’s an influence too. We try to mix it up a bit. 

  1. What are the UK punk acts we should all check out? Do you know any punk acts from other European Countries that sing in their native language? You are originally from Wales, but now located in Bristol, England, as a band. Can you tell us any good punk band that sings in Welsh?

We did one song in Welsh on the last record called Llygaid Gwyrdd (Green Eyes) and I expect we’ll revisit that soon. I speak fluent Welsh but living in England now means I don’t get to practice much! There’s an 80’s punk band called Anrhefn who’s songs are all in Welsh but beyond that I can’t think of any. Our friend Efa Supertramp writes acoustic protest songs in Welsh which are really cool. This is a lot more prevalent across Europe though, every country will have bands that sing in their native language as opposed to English, or perhaps a mixture of the two. 

  1. What was your release tour like? How was the situation with health and safety restrictions at your shows?

It was just great to be back out there again after being couped up at home for 18 months. Blasting these new songs live was awesome too. Hopefully everyone felt safe and took the necessary precautions before attending.  

  1. What’s the perfect recipe for a hardcore punk song that doesn’t sound like any other before, in your opinion?

If you find out, let me know. 

  1. What’s in the future of Grand Collapse?

Tour this record to shit then think about writing another when we’re worn out. 

Empty Plinths is released by Epidemic Records, TNSrecords, Don’t Trust The Hype RecordsMass Prod and Urinal Vinyl on vinyl and is now available on Bandcamp as a name your price download and through streaming platforms worldwide.