TONIGHT (October 1st) By Any Means support Negative Approach, with local colleagues Spitting Teeth and Defyed in Belfast's Voodoo. It is the first of two significant gigs for By Any Meams?

Why are they significant? It's By Any Means - and their gigs are always significant. In the words of guitarist Paul 'BAM' Anthony "when we play we give it absolute Dixie".

And, come Friday (October 3rd) By Any Means will be giving it "the absolute Dixie" with legends of the hardcore scene when NYHC Madball come to Belfast.

The gig in Belfast's Limelight complex will be a full-on session of the best of hardcore:  and comes at a time when many of the older bands from the 'scene' have in the words of Madball lost relevance:

They say: "There’s something to be said about remaining relevant, when many bands of the same semi-advanced age have been relegated to dinosaur status. The blood, the honor and the truth lives on through the band to this day, and Madball dares to embrace the responsibility of carrying on tradition - the rich NYHC tradition that is understood by few, and imitated by many."

Understanding that relevance in the hardcore and extreme music scene, By Any Means, have an intrinsic ability to make their existence. When our colleague Mark Ashby from Planetmosh caught up with Paul earlier this week spoke about the importance of integrity.

"It's not difficult to have respect for others, but it's very hard to have respect shown," he said.

"A lot of bands in the scene really couldn't give a fuck about these values -honour, loyalty, pride in oneself, respect for others and yourself, integrity and personal responsibility.

"I hold these values above all others, I teach my children these values as the basics of being a good person and I show them the values in the way I act and conduct myself...If someone give me respect I will reflect that back; you wanna talk shit and act like a dick then don't be surprised if you get your comeuppance."

When By Any Means take the stage tonight and on Friday, it is with a line-up that is settled and at ease with themselves - if you can describe their wall of hardcore anthems of discontent as 'ease' then you're probably not getting what they are driving at.

As well as Paul on guitar, there is CC on vocals, Chris on bass and Gavin on drums - with CC performing the role of the mad jester for a dystopian society; on stage like a hyperactive child denied his drugs and pumped full of sweets and caffeine.

CC has brought a different dimension to By Any Means, a fact acknowledged by Paul when he spoke to Planet Mosh:

"CC has definitely brought his own take on things. He’s a bit younger and more active onstage and definitely ‘sells’ it much more than previous incarnations of the band. It gives me more of a chance to step back a little and just play guitar."

"Just play guitar" is a bit of an understatement, as Paul provides a real sense of energy in his riffing, tied in tight to the rhythm section, but also adding a layer of primal power.

"We don’t use triggers or synths or other such things because we wanna keep it simple, heavy, raw and aggressive," said Paul.

As they step on stage on Friday night it will be a fulfillment of a journey that began with Paul "jumping off my bed with a tennis racket in my hand pretending to be them."

"For me it’s the ultimate test of a band to play alongside people I’ve looked up to since being a teenager and for those guys to come up to you after a show and say ‘hey man, that was awesome’.

"To be onstage with these bands is an absolute dream come true."

And, as part of that dream for all fans, never under-estimate the importance of hardcore. Madball take the trouble to explain the songs from, their latest album 'Hardcore Lives' on their Facebook page, and extol their beliefs:

"They let you know with tremendous pride that eventually, people grow up, but that doesn’t mean you should ever abandon the fundamentals of the movement. See your way into it honestly, productively and respectfully, and you might find yourself as a welcome member of the greatest extended family in music."

Words by Jonny
Quotations from Paul reproduced by kind permission of Mark Ashby, Planet Mosh
Read the full interview here.

Authors: Jonny

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