1998: New York's post apocalyptic urban metal warriors All Out War
follow up their 'Truth In The Age Of Lies' LP with their Victory debut,
'For Those Who Were Crucified'. A monumental release and one that
should've blown the doors wide open for the band and the select few who
came before them. But something happened and despite touring in support
of the record the band fell off the face of the earth never to be heard
from again. . . right? Well that's what I thought as well, but I'm glad
I was wrong. 2003 saw the return of All Out War and with them comes
'Condemned To Suffer', the first new album in five years, and the second
you put it on you remember how fucking good this band is and always will
be. I spoke to vocalist Mike Score from his home and here's what he had
MIDWEST METAL: I'd like to start with, where the hell have you been!?! I
mean, the last thing I remember was the record in 1998 and then. . .
MIKE SCORE: Well we actually toured a lot in support of the record. The
initial touring was good and then we got our equipment stolen in
Chicago. I mean, everything was gone, and that really fucked us bad and
took the momentum out of the 'Crucified. . .' album. We weren't able to
tour again until the spring of 1999 because we just didn't have the
money to replace everything. I think Victory paid for one head, but that
was it. It all had to come from us. So we all went back to work and
saved just like every other white-trash scummy metal band. So, we had to
come up with all new equipment. We had to fix the windows in the van
because those got smashed out, which was more money we didn't have. By
the time we got back on our feet, like I said, the momentum was gone,
but we went out anyway. We went out with Buried Alive, then Shadows
Fall, then a Cro-Mags tour and a Dying Fetus tour and a few headlining
runs and that took us until 2001. In 01 we were on our way to the New
England Metal And Hardcore fest and on the ride up I told the guys,
"Fuck this, I'm not doing this shit anymore, that's it." I just couldn't
relate to any of the kids anymore. I hated the bands coming out at the
time and I never wanted be some bullshit trendy fucking nerd, kissing up
to metal or hardcore bands. I was tired of all the games and that shit
was never going to happen and I was just tired. So we played the show,
it was awesome, and after the show I didn't talk to the guys for like
MM: Damn, just like that, huh?
MS: Yeah, pretty much. So what happened was our friend Frank who played
in Confusion passed away last summer in a motorcycle accident and Rich
from Darkside wanted to do a show at CB's like a memorial. So they
wanted all the bands that were around in the Early 90's, that were
friends with Frank, to play. So the show was going to be us, Merauder,
Confusion, Starkweather, Darkside and then Next Step Up was going to
come in from Baltimore and I really wanted to be a part of this. So, I
called up the guys and let them know about it, we got together and did
the show, and it was a lot of fun and great to see a lot of old friends.
Right after that show some guy from Houston heard we were back together
and offered to fly us down there to do one show, which we did. And then
we just started writing. Recently we did a short run with Ringworm which
was cool and we're still writing, trying to finish up writing a new
record because right now everything is really clicking as far as
MM: How about shows?
MS: Well, they're few and far between. I mean, we're not driving to
fucking North Carolina for pizza and gas money, you know? I mean, what
the fuck? We just can't do that. I feel a little bad, but financially I
MM: So what did you do during your two years away?
MS: I went to college, tried to rebuild all the money I lost doing the
band for all these years. . . but I have to say something, no matter
what I sound like I'm not bitter! I had a great time and have been doing
the band for well over ten years, but I'm getting older and I needed
some money in the bank and did what I had to do.
MM: Now I read you're teaching. . .
MS: Yeah, I teach 9th grade history and 12th grade government and it's a
lot of fun, they all know about the band. . .
MM: No shit? Really?
MS: Oh yeah, it's cool, they come to shows and everything.
MM: How weird is that?
MS: It's really weird! (laughing)
MM: I've got to say, that's pretty cool. I mean, if I had a teacher who
walked it liKe he talked it, I could see that being something very cool.
MS: Yeah, I agree and I tell them how it is. I try to tell them what
they need to do and you know what? I was a fucking fuckup in school.
I'll admit it! So I will tell them, it's a lot easier if they don't do
what I did. I mean, it took me forever to get my shit together and now
I'm paying for it. And I know people are going to read this interview
and say, "What a dick, what a sellout" or whatever, but who the fuck
cares! I've lived in the shittiest of places and there's nothing
glamorous or "true" about waking up one day and realizing you're XX
years old and you don't have jack shit!
MM: So before regrouping, were you missing the band, missing the release
MS: Oh yeah, totally, which is why we're back. Plus this has been the
most fun I've had doing the band in a very long time - kind of like when
we first started - and do you know what I owe it all to? It's because we
truly don't give a fuck. We write what we want to write, we do what we
want when we want, and I'll get up on stage and say exactly what I want
to say. If these kids don't like it, they can fuck off, because I don't
care what they think. The scene that exists is not the scene I was ever
involved in. This is nothing like the scene I grew up in. This is all
spoiled brat shit - like the "in crowd" that existed in High School now
exist in the hardcore scene and that's why the scene sucks. I mean, when
I got involved, it was like the land of misfit toys - where all the
fuckups went and belonged, where you either couldn't or wouldn't relate
to anything else. And if you were this type of person you were either in
the metal scene or the hardcore scene and now it's kids who relate to
the mainstream life and choose to be involved with this.
MM: When you were away doing your own thing, were you still going to
MS: I went and saw Kreator or Destruction or any older metal or hardcore
band like Blood For Blood or Madball, but I stayed away for the most
MM: How do you see the business side of things now - the label and all
MS: The label is fine. They're into the band and they really want us to
tour, but the problem we have is the same problem we had when everything
shut down, which is this: everyone we deal with, from the label to the
booking agents, they're both supposed to be "looking out for us," right?
Well neither one is understanding what we want. Neither is listening to
us, and it just pisses us off. I mean, do we want to be a working band?
Yes. Do we want to tour eleven months per year? No. What we want to do
is play weekend shows, and when I'm off of work, tour as much as we can,
but not go on indefinite tours. This is for a few reasons. One, it's not
economically feasible, and second, we don't really think it does
anything for the band - well not as much. Put it this way, we did
non-stop touring and we didn't feel it was worthwhile for the band.
MM: I think that's being totally realistic. Some bands tour forever and
something good happens - a band like Shadows Fall. Then again, there's
other bands that never stop touring and don't achieve shit.
MS: There's "good" for certain bands and that depends on what they want
their off time to be like - are they married? do they want to get
married or something like that? - because that's a huge difference - or
do they need to have an apartment or are they homeowners?
MM: Do you think a band like All Out War is just too abrasive to achieve
something like Shadows Fall, tons of road work or not?
MS: I agree with you there. We and tons of other bands are just too
extreme for that to happen.
MM: Well, let's move on to the new record 'Condemned To Suffer'. Reading
through the credits, it's like a who's who of ex-members with writing
credits. So, besides the All Out War staple "Destined To Burn", is this
all new material?
MS: (laughing) We put that song on here because Jesse, who's been the
drummer of the band for the longest amount of time, but who's the only
All Out War drummer never to record the song. . .
MM: How about on the. . .
MS: No, on the 7" it appears on, Jesse is credited for it, but it was
Joe from Darkside who recorded it. But the rest of the songs, for
instance, "Hypocrites of the Revolution" was written right about the
time 'For Those. . .' was released. Now it was written by Andy who plays
bass on this album, he was our guitarist for all the touring we did on
the '. . .Crucified' album. Andy's been in the band for years. So yeah,
there's a lot of names on the record, and, to be honest, I was always
planning on putting out this record, regardless of who was going to be
on it! I just had so many ideas that I had a lot of people help with
these ideas. Lou Medina from Breakdown - anything that sounds
hardcore-ish is stuff Lou wrote.
MM: How important was it to come out with a classic All Out War sounding
album? I mean, a few years on, some bands evolve or de-evolve and it can
be disappointing. 'Condemned To Suffer' is 100% All Out War.
MS: Very important! We've been a band since 1991 and when I hear people
say we ripped off some crappy band I've never even heard of, I get
pissed off. All this talk that goes on about bands ripping off other
bands, I need to get this off my chest, Starkweather is the foundation
for all the shit these people are listening to.
MM: Do these bands even have the balls to admit it?
MS: No, not at all, even the bands that know they're ripping
Starkweather off left and right get out and say they're influenced by
them. There are a lot of phonies who take credit for that sound and it
sucks. I just think it's a shame. Starkweather did all that work for all
those years and get absolutely no credit for it.
MM: Now that the record is out, do you feel the need to go out and show
bands what All Out War is all about again? Is there any bitterness to
the legions of shitty metalcore bands?
MS: The only bitterness is I don't give a fuck. . . We wrote a record we
like. We hung out and wrote it and didn't bend it one bit to appeal to
anyone. We don't fit in, we never fit in, and we'll just continue to do
what we do. I mean, if you like what we do, great - if not, that's even
review of All Out War 'Condemned To Suffer'
ALL OUT WAR
MIDWEST METAL MAGAZINE #27
MIDWEST METAL MAGAZINE
Post Office Box 183
Brookfield, IL 60513
Interview: Tom T. Vader [firstname.lastname@example.org ]
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