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​Up to Spec

Music | November 17th, 2022

By Martin Beckman

beckmanniscool@gmail.com

Spec is a new hardcore band from the Fargo area featuring Josh on guitar, Ethan on vocals, Austin on guitar, Landon on bass and Robby– drummyboy. Spec has been creating waves with their brand of slamming hardcore and intense sweat and dank-bud fueled live performances. Recently I had a chance to sit down with Josh, Ethan,and Landon to bother them with questions about the band.

HPR: So how did y’all come together and why are you so angry?

Josh: I met Ethan through the local music scene and seeing his artwork on his Midwest Mourning page and the work he did with the Homies in MAUL. We used his artwork for my other band Vessels and slowly became friends from attending shows and moshing together. He said he wanted to start a band, so we did. We actually booked our first show without any songs written.

Austin and I wrote a couple riffs and 2 song layouts, we asked Landon to hop on bass and we got lucky when accepted because he’s an incredible musician. Landon helped us finish up 2 more songs worth of writing in my dining room studio. Robby was interested in drums but was goin out on tour with Maul and couldn’t commit until after he was back so we only had 2 weeks to get our first live set together after he got back and we fucking did it

Angry? We are the most laid back, goofy, nonviolent people you could meet but our songs reflect alot of the fucked up backwards corruption that takes place in our society and the political climate perpetuated by those in power, so that’s how it comes out.

Landon: We for sure are the most peaceful dudes but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot to be angry about, both as individuals and in regards to the state of the world on multiple levels. The songs become a part of how you reflect that back and express how you feel about the way these problems effect you and your communities around you.

Ethan: I like to write shit that sounds cool and doesn’t really need to be taken very seriously. We are more so ignorant than we are angry

I met all of the guys in the band through going to shows and from experience with being in the culture. I met both Sanborn and Austin through Vessels and I already knew Landon and Robby through music. We all became homies and started jamming and once it all came together we realized it was the perfect mix. A bunch of dudes who write death metal mixed with some hardcore lyrics made our sound what it is now

HPR: I saw you guys on Swing Low's last Fargo show that ended up being wild as fuck. What was it like playing with them on their last hurrah?

Josh: It was absolutely wild. They were my first introduction to HC shows only a few years ago and I get why they are legendary in the Midwest! Mad respect to all of them for their live shows and their contribution to the scene. The crowd was going hard the whole time, It was an honor to set that shit off!

Ethan: Swing low was the first hardcore band I ever saw and after that first show, I was hooked on going to all sorts of metal shows. It was one of the things that inspired me to become the artist that I turned into. Right after that show I started drawing, and some of the members were my biggest supporters from the beginning. It was an honor to start off the show that would send them off. I hope we reach the level of local influence Swing Low was able to bring

HPR: Spec also got to jam in Dempseys with Phobophilic and Molder. I think that might be the first major metal show that’s ever been down there, did it rule?

Landon: If memory serves me right, that’s definitely one of the only metal shows I can remember seeing down there and I’m going on close to my 10th year of going to shows up in the aquarium. It was definitely a little intimidating. Especially with it being a free show. That definitely opened up to a wider demographic of people who came through, but I definitely think that’s a good thing. Doing shows either down in Dempseys occasionally or just the idea of having an occasional free show is a great idea to remind the rest of the public that we do these kind of things and that we’re here and they’re welcome to join in on the fun as well.

HPR: I was told you recorded some new shit at Signature Tone recently? When should we expect to hear that stuff and what was it like to work at Signature Tone?

Josh: We already have Version one mixes that are crushing and I’d say we should have the completed mix done within the next month and then potentially releasing early 2023.

Adam at signature tone is an absolute master, he captured our sound, tone, and energy perfectly which isn’t easy to do with live tracking sometimes. We can’t wait to go back to record another release with him

HPR: Give me one life lesson you’ve learned from being in the music scene that you would like readers to know and to live by.

Josh: Surround yourself with individuals you love and respect and raise those people up. Put time, love and energy into those people because you never know how much time you have left.

Ethan: Don’t get caught. but seriously, surround yourself with people who support you and do what makes you happy, and even if you have to tough it out through the shit to get there, it all makes it worth it

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