Restraining Order (with members from CT and Western Mass) are one of my favorite current day hardcore bands. They came out in early 2017 and have steadily put out new releases and have more recently ramped up their touring to the point where it seems like they could be playing anywhere at any time. Their latest release came out back in July, a 12 song full length titled “Locked In Time” on Triple B Records. The band consists of (from left to right above): Jake Miller- guitar, Will Hirst- drums, Dylan Tobia- guitar, Patrick Cozens- vocals, Keith Freeman- bass, with Kyle Beaudreault (not pictured above) also pulling guitar duties at select shows. We caught up with bassist Keith Freeman in early October with an eye on focusing in on their touring and that killer new album that came out a few months back. Lead photo by: Darren Nanos. Graphics by: Paul Turano.
IE: Hey Keith. Where exactly are you right now and what would you usually be doing on tour at this point of your day?
Keith: Right now we’re somewhere in Indiana about to head out to the next show in Toledo. Usually at this time I’m getting coffee or with the band about to leave for the next destination.
IE: Can you tell us about the current tour you are on at the moment? Any highlights that stand out?
Keith: We just did like two weeks with a hardcore band from Chattanooga Tennessee called Gumm. That was an awesome time and a highlight was all the time we spent in Colorado doing nature stuff when we had free time! Colorado is such a beautiful state! Now we’re helping support Fiddlehead’s Midwest record release weekend!
IE: Over the past couple of years I can't think of many hardcore bands who have done the DIY tour blueprint better than Restraining Order. Can you even take a guess as to how many shows the band has played in total? Do you or does anyone in the band keep some kind of record or journal of any kind?
Keith: We actually have a website www.restrainingorder.me and yeah we have a list of every single show we’ve played since starting as a band! Since I’ve been on tour I haven’t updated it in a few weeks so I’ll have to count but If I had to guess I’d say a few hundred at this point.
IE: Can you take us through the early stages of Restraining Order tours till now? Did you have like a mentor type of band or particular person that gave advice on the do's and dont's of life on the road?
Keith: Definitely a learn from mistakes experience. I know post pandemic our friend Lumpy filled in on guitar for a few tours and that dudes an experienced tour guy so if anyone then definitely him.
IE: In general have you seen bigger turnouts to cities that you have returned to?
Keith: For sure. Just played Chicago for the second time in a month and it was incredible! For the record, we typically don’t play the same city that soon but this was necessary.
RESTRAINING ORDER @ THE CAVERN, PORTLAND, ME AUGUST 20, 2023. PHOTO BY: SHAWN ROBBINS
IE: In 2023 how many weeks would you say Restraining Order has been out on the road and when the band is at home what kind of jobs does everyone in the band have to make ends meet?
Keith: We were mostly weekend warriors until about June or so and then we were just gone most of the summer. Did a week with Drain, then Europe for two and a half weeks, then did The Rumble, then Sound & Fury, then record release weekend shows, then a weekend with Mindforce, and now this tour. It’s been pretty insane to think about. When I’m home I work a retail job that somehow lets me get away with this shit. We all have jobs that let us leave to tour like this so we are very fortunate.
IE: When you are packing for a tour what are some things that you absolutely cannot forget?
Keith: I’d say my toiletries bag for sure. Ironically left it at a hotel yesterday and I’m devastated but that’s usually my biggest thing. I guess wallet is the most important because anything else you forget you can just buy if you have to.
IE: Some of the things you really miss from home when out for any extended period of time?
Keith: Sleeping in my own bed and watching TV. That’s about it. When I’m home though after a few days I wanna tour again… Haha.
IE: Most bands I have interviewed have said the driver or the person in the shotgun seat gets to be the DJ while driving. Does this hold true for Restraining Order and can you give us an idea on to what kinds of non-hardcore music is being played when that time arises? Who would you say has the best and worst taste in music within the band?
Keith: We all have the best taste ever. Will usually drives and the driver always DJ’s. We’re a very eclectic band so we play everything from Nirvana to MF Doom to Napalm Death.
RESTRAINING ORDER @ FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH, PHILADELPHIA, PA. NOVEMBER 19, 2021
PHOTO BY: CARL GUNHOUSE
IE: Is there a specific Restraining Order van/vehicle that you always use or have used the most?
Keith: Right now we have like a Ford E350 or some shit. I don’t know a lot about car models but it’s been good to us so far. Got it sometime last year. Before that we rented which is what I feel a lot of bands do? Not sure.
IE: Can you offer up any touring advice for younger bands who may not have gone out yet but are thinking about it?
Keith: I’d say bring minimal stuff aside from underwear and socks unless you plan on doing laundry or buying underwear. Be prepared to eat like shit unless you’re very very disciplined. Remember you’re just out with the homies having fun. Don’t make it weird for everyone if you’re in a bad mood or something.
IE: What are some of your favorite towns or cities that you have played that are favorites not because the shows have been good but because you really like the area or things to do there.
Keith: Denver is one of my favorites. Top favorite city for me. Love the naturey environment. Chicago is a big one too. Just a cool ass city minus the traffic. Montreal because that city rocks too. Seattle is a spot everyone in the band loves too because we love the Pacific Northwest so much.
IE: Does the recurring cycle of touring and coming home, then going back out a short time later still bring about the same feelings as it did when you first started doing it maybe 5 years ago? Is this something you discuss amongst yourselves?
Keith: It’s been cool in the sense that every tour we’ve done has involved people we’re friends with in one way or another. That or we end up easily being friends with whatever bands. With that said for me it doesn’t get old. Can’t really speak for everyone else. It’s not something we really talk about. But we’ve been fortunate enough to do some really cool shit and it’s seemingly been nonstop especially the past few years, but for me it doesn’t get old. I could do this over and over as long as I get to be home for a short amount of time in between.
CLICK BELOW TO STREAM/DOWNLOAD OR BUY RESTRAINING ORDER'S "LOCKED IN TIME"
IE: Can you talk a little about your new album which came out in July? To me it still undoubtedly has that Restraining Order feel to it but there are some added layers this time around. I think the bio that came with my presser said it "dabbles with garage, psychedelia and other classic rock influences". The closer "Painted World" immediately comes to mind right now.
Keith: It’s been fun playing and recording these songs and I feel like we’re still us, it’s just we’ve added more of a kick to the new record. I think we balance the fast and mid-tempo songs and it’s just the mid-tempo ones push the boundaries a little bit more but in a way that still feels natural if that makes sense.
IE: Does the music you are listening to leading up to writing/recording have a big impact on what ultimately gets put out by the band? If so, what has your ear right now?
Keith: I’d say so. I think that’s probably true to any band who writes songs for the most part. I didn’t have much to do with the writing process on this record but I do add in some cool bass parts I think. Will, Kyle, and Pat get the props for this one. Been really into bands like Wipers and also bands like Red Alert and Camera Silens so those bands have probably influenced my bass on the record for sure.
IE: Your drummer Will produced the new album and also has a growing resume of bands he has worked with recently. How big of a commodity is it to have someone like that within your band who is truly going all out to make your record sound the best it can?
Keith: Will has done all of our recordings and it’s been fortunate because he has a great ear for music in general. He knows what we wanna go for sound/production wise and we can take our time with it without “bothering” anyone since we’re the ones doing it ourselves. If we forget a part or think a certain guitar lead will sound cool somewhere, he goes and puts it in. Helps that he can play every instrument. What I’m saying is Will is the man.
RESTRAINING ORDER @ THE CAVERN, PORTLAND, ME AUGUST 20, 2023. PHOTO BY: SHAWN ROBBINS
IE: Can you tell us about the “Locked In Time” cover art? Did you just give the artist full reign to do what they want or was there any discussion as to what you wanted on the cover?
Keith: A guy from New Zealand named Callum Rooney did it for us. We commissioned him with basically creative control. We just wanted something kinda abstract and when he hit us with that art we just all agreed to use it. I think it’s pretty dope.
IE: You made a music video for “Another Better Day” off the new record. Can you tell us when/where it was shot and how that day went? Do you plan on making videos for any of the other songs from the new album?
Keith: We did one for “Misled” too. Both of them were filmed by our friend Ben and we did it in our area of Western Mass. Holyoke and West Springfield. We did both in a day and it was very fun to do. Can’t see us doing another anytime soon but who knows! (Click HERE to watch "Another Better Day").
IE: You always seem to be involved with multiple bands. What other bands are you currently in and in those bands would you say you are less hands on as you are with Restraining Order?
Keith: I’m in way too many bands but 85% of them are inactive so it’s fine. My most active band aside from Restraining Order is probably Intimidation. We’re an Oi! band and I play with them when I can otherwise they get a fill in. I’m also in a band called All Due Respect which doesn’t play often but we have a show coming up. I’m in Maniac, Near Dark, Ammunation and a new band that will have a demo coming soon.
IE: Back in our 2018 interview you and your singer Patrick told me that the goal of the band was to basically play anywhere. A few years and many tours later where have you not played yet that you would realistically love to get to soon?
Keith: Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia. Those are places we’d definitely like to hit soon. I’d like to hit like Norway and Denmark and stuff next time we go to Europe. And I wanna go to Wales next time we’re in England because I need to see Stone Henge. (Click HERE to watch the 2018 interview In Effect did with Restraining Order).
IE: What's the rest of 2023 have in store for Restraining Order?
Keith: We play The Fest in Gainesville, FL at the end of October, Flyover Fest in Tulsa, OK in the middle of November, a tour with Angel Du$t and Candy shortly after that for a couple weeks and finally we’re playing the last America’s Hardcore Fest in Boston the first weekend of December! Can’t stop won’t stop!
RESTRAINING ORDER @ PROGRAMME SKATE SHOP, FULLERTON, CA AUGUST 24, 2028
PHOTO BY: JEFF LAISCH
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