KIND CREW & PUMMEL (BOSTON, MA)
THE LOWDOWN: The low-down here is that Kind Crew and Pummel are 2 new bands out of Boston, Mass that have caught our attention with demos that came out this past August. Kind Crew with their Youth Crew style sound and Pummel with more of a crossover sound are up and coming bands who have also become good friends. With both bands almost synched up with looking and playing shows together, releasing demos within weeks of one another and from the same city we figured why not a joint interview? This interview took place in September, and since, both have added on to their show count total with more on the way with Kind Crew landing an opening spot with Judge this December in Cambridge, MA. Representing Kind Crew was Seth and Fernando and for Pummel we have Matt. LOTS of links within and at the end of this interview so click on them and give both bands some of your time and attention by checking out their new demos!
IE: Please introduce your respective bands. When did each band get their start and what has each band done so far to date as far as releases and the amount of shows you’ve played?
Kind Crew Seth: We are KIND CREW: Fernando (28) voice, Zumi (41) bass, George (27) drums, and me, Seth, (28) guitar. We started a few months ago in May or June of 2017. To date, we have played two shows and released a 4 song demo recorded with Trevor Vaughan (The Rival Mob, xfilesx, Brother).
Pummel Matt: PUMMEL is; Matt (25) vocals, John (25) bass, Steve M. (26) guitar, and Steve F. (26) drums. Pummel started late 2015/early 2016.
It came about as a creative release for myself and a side project of our guitarist Steve’s former band Ritual Blade. We enlisted the help of two of our best friends, John and Steve and have been
playing together ever since! We’ve only played three shows so far but they were all really fun. We have a couple lined up for September and October. As for releases, we put out our first demo last
October and recently released our second demo “Force Of Will” in August.
IE: Each band here has put out a new demo within the last couple of months. Can you each please give a description or mini-review of the other bands new release?
Kind Crew Fernando: The new EP, “Force Of Will” is so good. Currently “Torn” is my favorite song. The message behind that song and all of the tracks is deep, definitely calling out society’s apathy. They have that Power Trip-esque thrashy flavor and really bring it during their live shows.
Pummel Matt: The Kind Crew demo sounds like it’s ripped straight out of the 80’s Youth Crew scene. The passion and urgency struck me
immediately when I heard their songs. The riffs are powerful and catchy, while the lyrics are meaningful and fun to sing along to! My favorite song on the demo is “Rejoice”, it’s super bouncy all the
way through and the lyrics are killer. I’m truly excited to see what they write next.
ALL 8 MEMBERS WHO MAKE UP KIND CREW & PUMMEL AT THEIR SEPT. 24TH SHOW IN SOMERVILLE, MA
IE: Both bands are still fresh faces on the Boston hardcore music scene. What’s currently going on up there in Massachusetts as far as bands to look out for etc? What’s the real deal coming out of your neck of the woods?
Kind Crew Seth: Massachusetts hardcore as a whole is all over the place right now. There really is something for everyone, but at the same time, it’s somewhat divided by locale, subgenre, etc. Vantage Point represents a personally nostalgic vibe of "Holding This Moment" era Bane and has a similar ability to unify by playing to diverse scenes. Tortured Skull from Western Mass is killing it for the punk scene, but interestingly their sound is more akin to 80's thrash. Vaulted is one of the more "musically apt" bands I can think of playing tight as fuck, heavy Dbeat-centric hardcore in the style of Tragedy, etc. Jinx is a new band from Weymouth that does sort of a melodic skate punk thing, reminds me of None More Black or Dillinger Four. Very cool.
Kind Crew Fernando: The scene in Boston to me is pretty weird, like Seth said, all over the place. I think that shows should start mixing different genres or whatever to create a more unified scene, like the way it was when we were young and first starting to go to shows. There’s always a huge turnout for popular touring bands that come through like the recent Trapped Under Ice show at the Middle East, however, the next day three locals, Free, Vantage Point, and Pummel played a show with Praise and Abuse of Power to a much smaller crowd. Unfortunately, there aren’t many places willing to do all ages shows these days. In order to bring out a crowd, there has to be all ages shows for young kids to come through. Who knows, maybe it will spark them to establish new bands, and get something started. As far as newer bands, check out Brother from New Bedford, Massachusetts. A disgustingly aggressive sound made up of the sweetest husband-wife team. For all the power-violence heads.
Pummel Matt: I’d say the Boston scene is in a bit of a lull compared to the past. Kids still show up to all
the big tour packages that come through but the local scene is not as active as it could be. However, I don’t think it is because of the quality or quantity of bands here. It’s more the lack of
all-ages venues in Boston. Right now two of the best spots are the legendary Hardcore Stadium in Cambridge and the Once Ballroom in Somerville. There are not any venues in particular I’d shy away
from but there are still promoters in Mass that pull the “pay to play” ticket selling bullshit.
KIND CREW IN ALLSTON, MA 10/9/17. PHOTO BY: @zanacallahan
IE: What are some of the bands with more time together that people in the area get behind that may not be as well known outside of Massachusetts?
Kind Crew Seth: Los Bungalitos! This band has been doing their thing for over 10 years. They’ve toured internationally, have many releases, and have completely avoided the hype train. We love these guys. They are the real deal. Their singer Enrique is bilingual and they have lyrics in English and Spanish. He’s also one of the smartest dudes I’ve met. Violence to Fade needs to be heard. We love that band. You’ll see them on any good show around here, but they haven’t done a ton of touring. They’re not completely unknown outside of Mass, but definitely deserve more attention. VTF’s time is now. Check out “Unstoppable Force” out now on Triple B Records.
Kind Crew Fernando: Check out Distressor, straight up probably one of the finest heavy hardcore bands in Massachusetts right now. Made up of scene veterans and in the true North Shore style, heavy as fuck. Shrink has been holding it down in the South Shore for years now. They don’t get nearly the recognition they deserve. They don’t play out a ton, but there shows are notorious around here and well-documented on YouTube.
Pummel Matt: As for bands, there’s something for everyone. Vein and Buried Dreams are crushing it all over the country with their brands of
metallic hardcore. Free might be the best hardcore band in the world right now. There are lesser known bands like Restraining Order and Vantage Point that are keeping the classic Boston sound
PUMMEL IN ALLSTON, MA 10/9/17. PHOTO BY: @zanacallahan
IE: What about venues that are “in” and support the bands? Any other places to mention like record shops or anything along those lines?
Kind Crew Fernando: Hardcore Stadium in Cambridge, MA will always be the ‘in” place to host shows, The Middle East Up and Downstairs, The Democracy Center – one of the few always all ages venues left. There are plenty of bars and restaurants booking shows in greater Boston. Allston has always been the “hip” spot but lately it’s been lacking in DIY spaces that will book hardcore shows. O’Brien’s Pub is filling the gap a bit. Koto in Salem, MA is legit. A sushi/Asian cuisine restaurant that books hardcore, punk, metal, hip-hop and everything else. Salem also has a great punk scene at the moment. Sammy's Patio in Revere, MA, is a dive bar right on the beach. The cool thing about this place is the tight knit crew of people that support their scene and will go to any show that’s booked there. It’s good to see decent venues coming back on the North Shore.
Pummel Matt: If you're coming to a show in Boston and have some downtime, you absolutely need to check out The Armageddon Shop in Harvard
Square. They have the best selection of records, tapes, shirts, zines, patches, etc.
IE: Slapshot or SSD?
Kind Crew Seth: Gotta go with SSD. Why can’t they jump on the reunion train?
Kind Crew Fernando: I love both bands, I can’t make that choice.
Pummel Matt: I’m going with SSD. “The Kids Will Have Their Say” is one of the most important albums ever. Our guitarist Steve might have a different answer but I’m sticking with SSD.
IE: What's the first hardcore/punk demo, 7" or album that you remember hearing and thinking... this music is for me?
Kind Crew Seth: I grew up on Cape Cod. Despite being somewhat of a cultural desert, there was always a small oasis of punk and hardcore bands and all ages venues, which I was fortunate enough to be aware of from a young age. I started going to local shows in 7th grade for lack of anything else to do. It was my gateway. I went to an exceptionally shitty prep school at the time (on academic scholarship) and these punk shows became an escape. I can't point to a specific album, but a local band called Dumpster Junkies were involved with Rodent Popsicle records, which in turn introduced me to bands like MDC, Toxic Narcotic, and For the Worse. Gotta also shout out a Cape Cod record store called Spinnakers. The Falmouth location’s (RIP) employees were nice enough to point a young kid in the right direction. The Bane album “It All Comes Down to This” was the first that really spoke to me lyrically, but I was aware of punk and hardcore before then, I just liked it because it was fast and angry rather than being lyrically meaningful to me at the time.
Kind Crew Fernando: In Middle School, I was into Korn, and Limp Bizkit, then comes High School, I met kids that were into metalcore, I was listening at the time to local metalcore like, Pillar Of Autumn, Prior To Burial, Fall To None, Yours In Murder, bands that are not around anymore, but because of MySpace, that’s where I tuned into Blood For Blood, and it took me away! Susie, the singer for Distressor, turned me on to Madball, Agnostic Front, and then I got into Guns Up! I tore my ACL the first time I saw Guns Up and Righteous Jams. Good times!
Pummel Matt: Growing up, I was introduced to the Descendents and the Replacements very early and have loved them ever since. After being mainly
into metal, a friend of mine in our junior year of High School, introduced me to “Holding This Moment” by Bane and my mind was blown. “Superhero” was my favorite song and I’d play it over and over.
There was no looking back!
IE: How did the names KIND CREW and PUMMEL come to be?
Kind Crew Fernando: Originally I wanted the band to be called “KIND”. The hardcore scene lately has leaned towards the heavy, violent side and we wanted to come out of left field and just be that random positive band – just do our own thing. We became Kind Crew because there was already a stoner metal band in Boston called “KIND”. I don’t
know how active they are now, but they have members in some bigger bands (of that genre). They fussed and there was about a five minute internet beef before we settled on this. We had written our song “Kind Crew” before the name change, and so we thought it would be an easy transition. And it has been! Our music is meant to uplift people, honestly we are still Kind, and anyone who gets down with us is welcome to our crew. Simple as that.
Pummel Matt: Steve M. came up with the name years ago and had it sitting on his notes in his IPhone waiting for the day he could use it for one
of his bands. He said it was a strong simple word that was easy to remember, but stood out enough for people to give us a listen.
IE: Both bands are part of the “Ending Silence” cassette compilation put out to benefit the Trevor Project by Wide Eyed Noise. Can you tell us more about this effort?
Kind Crew Seth: Eric Pocock (Wide Eyed Noise) is responsible for putting it together. Eric has a really great passion for hardcore and finding ways this community can come together to be a force of positivity and societal change. That’s really what Kind Crew is about so we were thrilled to be a part of it. The majority of the songs on it are unreleased and the styles represented are diverse. 100% of the proceeds go to benefit the Trevor Project, an organization that supports suicide awareness and prevention in our LGBTQ youth. Learn more HERE.
CLICK BELOW TO STREAM/BUY THE "ENDING SILENCE" COMP.
Pummel Matt: Eric from WEN helped us press our “Force Of Will” demo to cassette and asked if we would like to be a part of the compilation. I
couldn’t say no. As someone who has struggled with depression my whole life and with many LGBTQ friends and family members, I recognized this was a great cause. Everyone needs someone to talk to
because life is too beautiful to end prematurely and I'm proud to be able to spread awareness and help LBGTQ youth get whatever help they need.
IE: What's next for each band? Can people expect to see each band outside of the Boston area anytime soon and what would be a guess as to when your band will have new music out again?
Kind Crew Seth: Definitely playing as much as we can locally, but we’d love to tour with the Pummel dudes too at some point! Hopefully we can make that happen. We hope to record a few more songs by the end of the year maybe for a second demo or split. In the meantime, our demo tape is out now on Wide Eyed Noise, and also overseas soon by Set The Fire, a label based out of Indonesia that our bass player is involved with. Speaking of our bass player, his name is Zumi and he has to return to his native Japan at the end of November. We’re keeping this thing going for him after he leaves but the search for a permanent bassist is on the near horizon for us as well.
Pummel Matt: We have two local shows upcoming both with Kind Crew and we are beyond stoked to get to share the stage with them! Nothing is
booked, but we would like to play a few dates outside of Massachusetts before the year ends. We hope to have a 6-8 song EP out sometime in 2018 and maybe even something small before that too.
PUMMEL. PHOTO BY: TODD POLLOCK
CONTACT: KIND CREW
CONTACT: WIDE EYED NOISE LABEL: