It’s one thing to say you believe in an ideal, put your name to it and form a band based around that message but another thing altogether to take that concept and make it an integral part of the bands name. I could ask so many questions based on your chosen name but first I’ll ask the simplest first, where did the idea for ‘Birth Of A Hero’ stem from?
Honestly, there’s no cool story there. I was doing some design work one day and came across Birth of a Hero font and thought it sounded like a cool name for a band. Originally, it was going to be the name of another band that Ben, Bret, and I were starting around the same time as the un-named hardcore band that would become BOAH was starting. When the other band fell through, we decided we liked the name and that we should use it for this band. I like to leave the interpretation of the name’s meaning up to each individual person.
Tell us a bit about the history of the band also, I normally ask people to introduce themselves at the startJ Who are you all? How did you all meet?
I (Joel) play guitar, Bryan plays guitar, Bret does vocals, Ben plays bass, and Tyler drums. Bret, Ben, and I got together in the fall of 2007 with another guitar player and drummer and played with them for close to a year. We came from some pretty diverse musical backgrounds but were able to play well together. We decided to part ways with our drummer and guitarist in July of 2008, one week before our CD release show. We were scrambling to find replacements in time for the show, so I called up two former band mates of mine and asked if they wanted to play our CD release show as fill-ins. After the show was a success, we asked them to join as permanent members.
I’d like to ask you about your own personal self-discovery of the straight edge movement, when did you first hear about it and did it impact on you straight away?
I first heard about straight edge when I was about 14. I had never drank or smoked or done anything like that and was introduced to the world of straight edge by a friend that showed me Champion. After looking into the culture and lifestyle of straight edge, I decided that it was right for me and decided to claim. I started going to hardcore shows several times a week and it opened me up to a whole new world. I gained many new friends, ideals, and whole closet full of band/straight edge merch hahaha.
Now being in a straight edge band and one which is gaining some acclaim what does it feel like to realize ambitions of being able to promote this healthy lifestyle?
It feels great. I love being able to talk to people about my choices and our choices as a band. At almost every show we play, there is at least one kid that comes up and talks to us that is new to straight edge and wants to know more about it. We encourage these encounters and love when they happen so that we can inform kids about what straight edge is actually about so that they don’t get all of their facts from the negative way that the media portrays it.
Can you remember you first show? What it felt like? and now being able to play alongside other bands that possibly influence you and be in the position to influence others what would you say to kids that want to get involved with hardcore?
Our first show was amazing. It was primarily with punk bands from the Minneapolis area, which was awesome because it allowed us to reach out to that crowd right off the bat without having any sort of following. By integrating ourselves into both the hardcore scene and the punk scene in our area it opens us up to a huge audience. The first show that we played with the current line-up was our CD release show. This was also an amazing show in that we had the chance to play with a couple of pop bands that normally wouldn’t be put on the same bill as us. We are all about integrating ourselves into all different scenes. We are all heavily influenced by many different genres of music and like to show our support for all of our local scenes.
What is the band currently doing and planning? Do you have aspirations to tour through Europe for example and how is the new album coming along?
Currently, we have been writing a new album and just booked some recording time for the end of July. We will be recording this new record with our good friend Kyle, who recorded We Are the New Breed and we could not be happier about it. He has a very DIY work ethic and definitely knows his way around a studio. For this album, we will also again be teaming up with Tommy Rehbein to produce it. Tommy played in the band Small Towns Burn A Little Slower and has an excellent ear for music of all genres. The difference between this album and the last one is that Tommy has been there all through the writing process with this album, which will definitely make for a much solid release.
Are you able to either give me a sneak look at some of the new lyrics or talk about a couple of the new songs and what they mean to you?
I’ll just say that with writing this album Bret has gone through some life changing events and it shows in his lyrics. This will be a much more personal album for not only Bret, but for all of us.
Does writing new material come easy to all of you and how does being in a studio compare to the rigors of a touring lifestyle? Could you imagine touring for months and months (or if you have done that how did you adapt to life on the road?)
It comes easy to us when we actually have time to get together and write. All five of us have very contradicting work and school schedules so making time to get together can definitely be a challenge, which is why it has been taking so long for this new album to get finished. We feel that it will be worth the wait though and that people won’t be disappointed.
If you weren’t in a band what would you all likely be doing instead? Did any of you hold down or are holding down jobs or going through college at the moment?
4 out of 5 of us are currently in school. Ben works full time, as does Bret and I. Bryan and I both go to the same college. Bret just started college in January and Tyler still has a year of high school left. We are all way too busy for our own good but it all works out in the end.
Recent years I’ve noticed here in the UK less and less bands coming through or kids at shows X’in up, have always been a stickler for tradition but understand some kids don’t want to get a bit of marker pen on them, god forbid it should rub against the latest crucial t-shirt lol, do you still X up at shows and is that important to you?
As a band, we don’t usually X up. I think part of the reason people are doing it less and less is because more and more people are getting straight edge tattoos and don’t need the X on their hands to show that they are straight edge. I think the X is still a prominent sign of the movement but is just used in different ways (tattoos, clothing, etc.)
Whats sorts of hopes do you have for not only the band but your own future?
We hope that with this new album, we will be able to reach out to new crowds and play some amazing shows, all while spreading knowledge and values of straight edge to kids.
Any final words you’d like to impart?
I just want to stress to people again to approach us at shows. We love meeting people!
Take care and thank you for doing this!