BY AUDREY WILSON
In the past year, the hardcore scene in Greenville, SC (my hometown) has gone from nonexistent to a community full of familiar faces and regular shows. With the help of Jose Ordonez, otherwise known as @Azucar_fix on instagram, we can find multiple hardcore shows every month, not just comprised of locals, but with touring bands as well.
On February 11th, Jose’s biggest and most special show yet will be held to celebrate the release of Your Spirit Dies newest EP titled “Our Saints Drown in Ash”. Along with Your Spirit Dies, we will hear five other bands that have played a huge role in the scene and have become regulars on Jose’s lineups. Keep reading to hear Jose’s thoughts and hear from band members that will be playing on the 12th at the Board Ryder’s Club in Greenville, SC.
A: Reflect on where the hardcore scene in Greenville was before you started booking shows, and how has it progressed since then to what it is now?
J: Man, I didn’t expect such an in-depth question. But hardcore, before I started booking in Greenville was dead. There wasn’t anything before me. I mean, there were heavy bands here and there, but there was never a set hardcore scene. The only people that I would say were really doing anything hardcore was rat poison, but them being the only hardcore band in Greenville, they were just kind of hopping on whatever they could, which isn’t a bad thing, obviously. But up until I started booking, they didn’t really have a proper place to play what they want to play. Since I’ve started, I don’t even know where to start, honestly. It’s exceeded anything I ever thought I could do. If I’m being honest. I always kind of figured I’d max out at maybe 40 people, and now we’re at every other show is at least pushing a hundred for sure. It just continues to grow. That’s the best I can say about it, where it is now, really. It’s just growing.
A: How would you describe the hardcore community that you’ve built here in Greenville to someone that’s not a part of it yet?
J: I’ve been asked this a lot as far as people outside of the community who have seen a video or two on the internet somewhere. A lot of times I lead with the aspect of hardcore shows are violent, and that’s what is to be expected. Not that anyone’s aiming to seriously injure each other, but it comes with the genre. So I always like to lead with that, and people are just like, wait, so you guys are fighting each other? Which, no, obviously, but that’s just how it is. Afterwards though, that’s when I really start to lay into the idea of what hardcore really is and what it is to me and as it is as a whole. It’s a collective of people in general. It’s not just a genre of music. We’re all here for each other. We’re all super supportive of each other. It’s one big family, essentially and I think that’s a good selling point. If I’m trying to talk someone into going, which I usually don’t, but it is part of the appeal in my opinion, because that’s what I’ve gotten out of it since I first discovered it. It’s a place that I was able to come into and it didn’t matter who I was as an individual, being someone of ethnicity I fit in just as much as any other person there.
A: In regards to the Your Spirit Dies EP release show, what are you most looking forward to about that show specifically, and what do you think your takeaways are going to be from it?
J: We’ve had discussions between Brandon and I and mean we’re expecting quite a few people. I just hope, or at least in my mind, I just hope that we get our regulars, because again, I am sharing the date with me booking for a year now, but I want people to understand that it’s not a celebration of me and how long I’ve been booking, but more about our community being formed and just where we started and where we came. I want people to understand how big of a deal this is. Then along with celebrating Your Spirit Dies’ EP release. Just a good mix of everything really. As far as my takeaways from it, I don’t know. I’m not sure how I’m going to feel afterwards. I’ll probably be real sappy, realistically.
YOUR SPIRIT DIES
Guitarist Tyler Dorman: “This scene has done an innumerable amount of things, like helping me grow as an individual and as a musician over the years. For SC specifically, to see it flourish again so quickly is not only exciting, but awe-inspiring and indicative of all the work several folks are putting into it”.
Vocalist Zeb Lane: “In my eyes, hardcore is everything. It’s my family and friends, my mindset and ethics. It is where life’s hardest lessons have been taught to me. There ain’t nothing else to call it but home”.
Guitarist Randall Rainey: “One thing about getting older is that it is hard to maintain and build meaningful connections with anyone outside of a work environment. Being involved in the Greenville hardcore scene allows me to regain the feeling of friendship and connection I had as a teenager in my thirties and it is refreshing to be around a group of people with no other agenda than to support
Drummer Gage Gilbert: “Discovering this scene, let alone being able to contribute as much as I have is still surreal to this day. I’ll always have gratitude for my friends in Your Spirit Dies and my partners in Azucar for allowing me to be a part of something so special so young”.
Guitarist Gordon Tippins: “The hardcore scene that is emerging in Greenville has done so much for me and just learning how to be myself. It means so much to me to see music bring so many people together no matter what you look like or where you are from. It is like one big family and you are accepted from the beginning”.
Guitarist Reece: “The Greenville scene has been nothing short of amazing and welcoming to myself and my band. This scene specifically doesn’t generally embody an aura of superiority or machismo that I often find present in other regional hardcore scenes. The unconditional support that is reciprocated throughout makes it feel much more like a tight knit community than an underground music scene. When shows wind down and it is time to depart, I see plenty more hugs than fist bumps or hand shakes, which I think is a testament to the relationships that are being built here”.
It is safe to say that hardcore in Greenville SC is not slowing down any time soon. Bigger crowds, more bands, and more shows are gonna make 2023 a huge year for the hardcore scene. In the meantime, check out some tracks from each of the bands listened and follow their social media accounts, as they are the epitome of great music and great people. You will not be disappointed!