Welcome to the second installment of Hardcore Explorer… In Effect’s attempt to show the global reach of hardcore punk. Last time around we brought you three bands from India, Sweden and Idaho who played varying styles of hardcore. This time around we have Hamilton New Zealand’s Drop Off Point and Albany, NY’s Male Patterns who should appeal to the NYHC fans out there with comparisons having already been made to Sick Of It All and Sheer Terror. Both bands put out new music this year and both were eager to take part in this article. Drop Off Point is: Garreth Steiner- bass, Bones Carter- guitar, Mike Walker- vocals, and Facundo Ferreira- drums. Male Patterns is: KC- bass, Brendan- vocals, Mike-guitar and Dan- drums. Answers were provided by Garreth and KC. Photos by: Sak Or Die and Luke Manson. Graphics by: Paul Turano. “Mosh Unit Dude” art by: Sven Gjurcek. Links to more info including each band’s music is at the end of this feature. Check both of them out, you won’t be disappointed!
IE: Please tell our readers who may have never heard of your band what your band is all about?
Garreth: Drop Off Point is a New Zealand hardcore band formed in 2021. We play an older style of mid 90’s NY influenced hardcore. Although I must add that songs not featured on our EP have more of a fast hardcore punk/with street punk influenced lyrics as well as the odd melodic hardcore song. We chose this stripped back style as when we were teens back in the mid-90’s New Zealand had a healthy scene where bands such as Balance and Vendetta would get amazing pile on/sing-a-longs as well as circle pits and stage dives. Our objective was to bring back catchy hooks to NZHC and bring back this vibe.
KC: Hey all! Male Patterns is a hardcore/punk band hailing from Albany, NY. Our lyrical content is mostly about the struggles of daily life and the state of the world we live in. We play a furious crossover style of hardcore and punk that everybody can rage to. Our style has been compared to the sounds of Poison Idea, Black Flag, and early Sheer Terror with some more modern influences too. We’ve all played in a handful of other bands with similar styles and put in our time on the road.
IE: When did your band get started and what have you put out to date?
Garreth: We formed in 2021 in the middle of the Covid lockdowns. It was a bit tricky so a lot of our networking was online. Our first few songs were written by Bones Carter (guitars) who helped get Drop Off Point handed to us. We have a 5 song EP that came out this past June.
KC: Male Patterns started with Dan and Moak and we played our first show in December of 2014. Things got rolling and they put out the first 7” in 2015, I joined in place of Jamie on bass that same year. 2018 was the “Headaches” LP, 2020 we did a split 7” with Execütors from NJ, and our newest release is a split 7” with Under Attack from Virginia.
IE: Before we pitched the idea of this interview to you had you ever even heard of the other band you are paired up with and now that you have what can you tell us about them?
Garreth: This was the first time listening to Male Patterns and they are really good. I listened to them on Spotify so the first thing I did was scroll down to the “fans also like” section and was happy to see Australian street punk band No Class in the list. That band consists of New Zealander’s. I was happy to see that and from there I went up and clicked on Male Patterns latest EP. I enjoyed it a lot and from there I went on to the “Headaches” album. I would say they remind me of bands such as SSD, Negative Approach, Cutdown and The Casualties. Male Patterns would be loved here in New Zealand as a lot of bands in Wellington and Auckland play fast hardcore punk that is similar. If you are reading this and are fans of Male Patterns make sure to Google and find Rogernomix, Gravelpit and No Brainers from New Zealand!
KC: I had never heard of Drop Off Point until this interview came about, but they sound awesome. I hear influences from Sick Of It All, American Nightmare, and Blacklisted…all killer hardcore acts in my opinion. These guys are doing it right, and I particularly enjoy the EP cover art… the whole tough guy/vicious street dog look replaced with that absolute snuggle bug Frenchie… I’m sure he can throw down with any street dog but he looks like a good boy to me and he probably deserves a treat.
DROP OFF POINT. PHOTO BY: LUKE MANSON
MALE PATTERNS. PHOTO BY: SAK OR DIE... LEFT TO RIGHT: BRENDAN, KC, MIKE, DAN
IE: Can you name a few of the biggest influences on your band whether it is within the realm of hardcore punk or “other” and also in a lyrical or fashion type of sense.
Garreth: I would say outside of the band we listen to a wide variety of music genres related to hardcore, metal/hardcore, street punk and early beatdown. We grew up on Cleveland, NY, Boston and LA hardcore but also grew up on early metal influenced hardcore such as the h8000 hardcore and early beatdown hardcore. Our EP is definitely influenced by bands such as Sick Of It All, Madball and Northside Kings. The way we dress is probably mostly influenced by New York hardcore in regards to us wearing caps, hoodies, camo shorts, sneakers, tattoos. It's hard to pin point exactly what is our main influences because our 5 new songs we have written for our 2nd EP have street punk lyrics with fast hardcore punk riffs, as well as NYHC influenced songs.
KC: Style and fashion has never been a contributor for us, but our musical influences include Born Against, RKL, Negative Approach, Poison Idea, SPAZZ, Cut The Shit, Career Suicide, Showcaseshowdown, and Black Flag. We try to hold that 80’s hardcore vibe while adding some more current influences. I think we’ve progressively become heavier, and definitely have shown more of our NYHC heritage in more recent releases.
IE: Can you name 3 things that you would categorize as “awesome” about living where you are from?
Garreth: We live at the bottom of the world in one of New Zealand’s bigger cities called Hamilton which we nicknamed Bridge City. There is a big river running through it so I would say that is one attraction about living here. I am a graffiti writer and there has always been a strong graffiti scene here. Lots of places to paint and if in doubt there's always the abandoned subway under our city to explore and paint. Raglan is close to Hamilton. It has one of the best point breaks in the world as well as some good local restaurants.
KC: I would say geographically Albany is in an awesome spot. We are about 3 hours away from NYC, Boston, Philly, and Montreal. All major metropolitan spots every touring band wants to hit. We can get to all these cities and make it back that same night so that’s always fun. Plenty of good bands and bigger acts stop here too. Albany also has a killer history as far as cool local bands and the overall scene size. For being just a little over 20 square miles, Albany has made the most of being a small city and some notable hometown bands include Wolf Pack, One King Down, and The Disenchanted. Albany always has a wave of fresh blood coming in from all the schools, so a lot of new bands, venues, and sounds are popping up which keeps things interesting. Albany is also home to The Egg. The Egg sits atop the plaza downtown and you can go inside it. They have concerts, show movies, and do all kinds of cool things there. And yes, it's shaped like an egg.
IE: Name 3 things that suck about living in the area you are from?
Garreth: I would say firstly that it is very hard to get international bands over here. Unless they tour Australia and pop over they don't tend to visit our country much but we have some good bands here so we make due and support local bands. Living is very expensive here… houses are overpriced, food is expensive, and gas prices are ridiculous. I love living in Hamilton but I must say bringing up teenagers in this city is hard. There have been at least 4 times in the past 3 years where I had to approach local gangs to get my children's items back.
KC: So to kinda follow up that previous sentiment, Albany has a huge college scene, and that often brings a fair amount of assholes around too. Some college twats just don’t give a shit about the area and make it a mission to be shitty… so that totally sucks (check out “Greek Life” on the new split). Another follow up to my previous thought is that being so close to all those major cities, a lot of cool tours skip Albany and go to those places, so that sucks too. And my last complaint about Albany is that the weather blows. Hot as hell summers, brutal winters… don’t know why we choose to dwell in such a place.
IE: Do you feel being where you are from makes it a lot harder to get noticed outside of your hometowns?
Garreth: Yes, I think it is very hard to “make it” if that's what you are wanting out of your band. In New Zealand there isn't much of a population and we are spread out. One good thing is it's easy to stand out as there isn't much competition here in New Zealand versus say… America ,or Europe where there are so many bands and it would be hard to stand out. But there are some amazing bands here and I know if they were in a different country they would blow up. Stalker is a good example. They play 80’s influenced speed metal and although I have high hopes for them they would have to work two times as hard as say a band where they had a bigger scene. We are lucky for platforms such as In Effect Hardcore who give bands like ours an opportunity to get some exposure overseas and for that we thank you.
KC: Yeah, we can absolutely relate to that. Bands have to really stand out to do well being from Albany. I think people would be surprised how little attention some great bands from this area get. Bands being from NYC makes people pay more attention right out the gate, and the overall scene size there makes a big difference too. A lot of band people end up moving downstate and their bands do ten times better than they would staying north. Albany is cool for what it is, but it does not compare to the Big Apple for music opportunities.
IE: Can you talk a little about your band name and how you came up with it?
Garreth: Although I would like to make up something great and have some story to go with it, the truth is our guitarist had a friend in a rock band whose name was Drop Off Point and he always loved the name. They were short lived and didn't really do anything in regards to shows so he asked if we could steal the name. As they hadn't been around for ages he said “sure” and that is how we got the name.
KC: We’re all balding men. Well except for Brendan, but his day will come. Male Patterns is just a play on male pattern baldness, getting older, and a way for us to cope with being grown ass adults and still playing hardcore punk.
GARRETH STEINER OF DROP OFF POINT
IE: Both of your latest records have pretty cool covers to them. Can you talk about them?
Garreth: We have a dog on the cover of our EP named Banjo. Our drummer at the time had a photo we all liked of his dog. We wanted it to be a slight piss take as it is easy to mistake some hardcore bands as tough guys and have the whole thug image. And because we probably already look like that with face tattoos and most of us are heavily tattooed we wanted to have a bit of fun and thought a Frenchie with his tongue out behind a fence was a perfect semi piss take cover photo.
KC: So bats are awesome. People have a new hatred for bats after all the Covid shit so it seemed fitting to use something unsettling like a giant vampire bat and some hard as fuck chains to remind us the uncertainty of it all. Sean Pryor did the art and he absolutely killed it.
IE: What does everyone in your band do for an occupation/work?
Garreth: I own a tattoo studio in Hamilton and work as a full time tattooist but also do commission art jobs on big and small scales. Our guitarist Bones Carter works in the funeral industry filming and live streaming funerals as well as other funeral related jobs. His car of choice is an awesome hearse with NZHC on the number plate. We nicknamed it the DOP mobile. Our singer Mike Walker is a builder. I met him on a building site many years ago and we would listen to hardcore, punk, Oi and metal at work daily. We became friends and eventually years later he became the singer of DOP. Our drummer Facundo Ferreira works for Frontera working in a factory with milk products.
KC: I am a nurse, Brendan is an administrative assistant to the director for a mental health department, Mike is a cold blooded gangster, shred dog for hire. A mercenary of the strings if you will. Dan is the historian of the town of Altamont, and a librarian. He doesn’t leave the shire too much unless it’s to murder his drum kit or go on a McDonald’s bender.
IE: Craziest shit you have ever seen at a hardcore show?
Garreth: Craziest shit… I have two things to add. The first thing would be Balance’s last show in 1998 where someone was hanging from the rafters and dived on the massive crowd on stage singing along to the lyrics and collapsed the pit. The second would be the annual Hamilton hardcore punk fest called Hamtown Smakdown.in 2007. Some Australian got naked and was throwing down, kicking his legs and getting his dance on. That's one way to clear a pit that’s for sure!
KC: I'm sure everyone has seen fireworks, crazy circle pits, and things like that at shows. I always love playing/going to shows around Halloween when people are dressed up. There was one show here at a place called Valentines a few years ago where someone dressed as Mr. Peanut. This costume was spectacular. It looked just like Mr. Peanut. I have no idea who was inside. For all intents and purposes, this was Mr. Peanut. I don't even remember what band was playing because this costume was THAT good. Everyone started to go wild and Mr. Peanut (cane in hand) just starts casually strutting into the circle pit. Everyone else is moshing like an animal and Mr. Peanut is unfazed and walking around the pit like he's taking his morning stroll. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen.
DROP OFF POINT'S BONES CARTER WITH HIS NZHC CHEVY HEARSE
IE: Now that both bands have new releases out what is up next for the rest of this year and into 2023?
Garreth: We just played some big shows back to back with friends but we have been writing new songs for our next EP and are looking to hit the studio this year and release a new 5 song EP by 2023 backed by a little tour in our country. Who knows we may make it to Australia for some shows.
KC: Not sure when this will come out but we're really excited to play our record release show to celebrate this latest release in our hometown and we have a few other shows lined up around NY. We're playing The Fest down in Gainesville, FL in October and we're really excited for that too. We'd really like to try and play more down south. From there we'll go home to our million dollar mansions and count our money and take a few laps in our giant money bins filled with gold coins.
DROP OFF POINT: INSTAGRAM
DROP OFF POINT: SPOTIFY
NEW ZEALAND HC PAST & PRESENT: WEBSITE
MALE PATTERNS: INSTAGRAM
MALE PATTERNS: SPOTIFY
MALE PATTERNS: BANDCAMP