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The Path Of Resistance interview

By Alex
Fri, January 26, 2007 11:17 AM PT9,563 views

Kirby Unrest had a few questions for Path Of Resistance vocalist, Karl Buechner.


Surely there haven't been many three vocalist bands in hardcore, let alone most other forms of music; what was the initial reaction like when you let people know about the Path and this approach? Were kids into it or like "what the hell?" A long the same lines, how are the vocal arrangements created/decided and then balanced out with the gang vocal portions?

Our goal was to do a band that had sort of a traditional straight edge sound, and we wanted to make it original and I think that a good way to do that was to bring in three vocalists and kind of change things up. It made things different on stage too, having three guys run around (laughs). On the first record, there were a ton of trade offs in regard to vocals, people starting and finishing others lines and it was kind of random, but I also felt it had a nice, chaotic feel to it as well. With "Can't Stop The Truth," I think things definitely have more of a pattern but when it comes to the choruses, everyone sings, bass players, guitarists, everyone.

I know you and D.J. (Rose, vocals) penned all the lyrics for "Who Dares Wins" and "Can't Stop The Truth." Did Bulldog (Ian Edwards, one time Path guitarist, currently on vocals) contribute any lyrics or will he on future records? Also, what is the general writing process like in the Path, musically and lyrically?

For the Path, D.J. and I have been writing all the lyrics and had most of our stuff done before we hit the studio. I'm sure Bulldog's lyrics would be amazing and he has a lot of strong views, but with these two records, it was just D.J. and me. As far as what the lyrics are about, "Who Dares Wins" was definitely about straight edge; it wasn't terror tactics or anything like that. We basically just saw things happening to people we knew or cared about, getting out of control, self destruction and every song on that album is real and true to life. With the new album, the topic of straight edge is still there but there are also songs about things like cloning and genetic engineering, the surveillance society/police state that seems well on it's way, compassion towards animals/promoting veganism, and environmentalism as well.

I was especially interested in asking about two tracks: "Haunted" and "Occulted Hand." The former seems to cover a lot of ground regarding consumerism while the later appears to address the connection between government organizations and "secret" societies (Skull&Bones, Freemasons, Illumnati, AMORC.) What are your thoughts on our cultures quick fixes and scientific answers for anything? How do you think the aforementioned groups subvert and/or damage the populous?

I mean I don't know necessarily know all the names of the cabals that are essentially the puppeteers of that are pulling the strings on a worldwide scale when it comes to the government, finances, the military and the media, who is all at the top of it but we all know who the middle men are; the people who run corporations, the politicians, the ones we see. The general message of those songs, when you boil it all down, the middle class and the opportunities to attain a middle class status is being dismantled. It's pretty scary to think of how, in a couple generations, it won't be there anymore. I don't think it's just in the United States or Europe either; it's definitely on a global scale. Did that answer your question?

Yeah, definitely man. I mean it's kind of where I was going with my next question. You guys have been around for 10 years, started when most of you were in your mid to late twenties; now in your thirties, married with children, how has your view on the vegan straight edge, hardcore and general paradigm been altered or expanded? I know the Path is a vehicle to discuss such matters, but you can only fit so much into a 2-3 minute track, so I suppose I was just looking for some more elaboration if possible. I mean people always have and always will ask a lot about the meaning behind lyrics.

That's the thing and you know about this, all these lyrics are a starting point for people to learn.

True.

And that's where hardcore has to stay, an open forum. I think the 90's are one the things that everyone got right. It really was an open forum where there was diversity and thought, a lot of bands were different musically and lyrically, but it worked. I mean I remember we toured with bands like Shelter, Agnostic Front, Warzone, Bad Brains, Turmoil, Sick of it All, Damnation AD...

You guys played with everyone, man...

(both laughing)

Seriously. I remember Vision of Disorder, Sepultara, One King Down, Madball, Hatebreed, Candiria...pretty much every band that was out there at the time.I don't know. I'm 27 now, I miss the 90's a lot myself. Not the JNCO's or anything, but I agree there was a lot more open discussion, exchange and solidarity then.

Yeah, I know what you're saying. I guess it's just awkward to me, where there is some factions within a scene; "we only like this one style…" or whatever. I remember it being a lot more unity oriented. It worked. As for the vegan straight edge nowadays, I'm amazed by the bands out there pushing it like Maroon, Purification, Sunrise, Statement, Unborn, Purified in Blood, Sacred Pledge.

Seven Generations, Gather, To Kill, Cast From Eden, pretty much the whole New Eden, Storm of Justice and xCatalystx rosters…

Yeah, there are a lot of bands now all over. It's incredible for us to see how huge the worldwide vegan straight edge scene has become. Things have definitely grown, and it's great because a lot of those bands are on major independent labels or on their way there, like Century Media, etc. It's just amazing.

What happened with the former members of Path, Kris (Weichmann, vocals), Shane (Durgee, bass) and Mike (Riccardi, drums)? Was Kris kicked out of the Path when he was booted from Earth Crisis? I heard Mike moved overseas, and I have no idea what Shane is up to these days.

Yeah, I mean Shane is still our friend; as I know he is still basically drug free and vegan; the other dudes I have no idea. I know they both bailed on the edge and our friendship. That's pretty much the end of that question. Things just change sometimes you know? I consider myself lucky that I remain close with a lot of the kids I grew up skating with, that we're all down, into hardcore and the vegan straight edge. Only difference is we're older now. (laughs)

So, that obviously leads into asking about the new blood in the Path. I mean, Erick (Edwards, guitar, formerly of EC) and Dennis (Merrick, drums, formerly of EC, currently in Isolated and Freya) seem like real logical choices, as does Jonathan Dennison (bass, formerly of Another Victim, Santa Sangre, The Promise, currently with Unholy and When Tigers Fight) but I was curious if there were any other individuals you had thought about adding to the ranks? Was Bulldog always going to assume vocal duties once the spot was open or were other names kicked around? I've heard Anderson Bradshaw (Another Victim, The Promise) was considered as well as members of A Perfect Murder and a few other bands.

No, not really. I mean there are always people, friends of ours that we'd love to have guest on our records, and as for Internet rumors as of who those people might be, like dudes from A Perfect Murder and some of the vegan straight edge bands we were talking about earlier and maybe they will have guest spots on the next record but the line up we have now is set.

I remember reading interview back in I think '98 in Full Contact Magazine with EC, Scott (Crouse, EC/Path guitarist, also in Isolated) was answering the questions and he was asked if another Path record was on the way and he said an EP would drop soon. Was this ever produced and if so, will it be released? Or were those songs recorded again for "Can't Stop The Truth." I guess I'm curious because I have a version of "What Propaganda Hides" that is not the same as the version on "Can't Stop The Truth" and sounds like only you on vocals. Was that originally an EC cut or something?

(laughing) That's actually a pre-production track. I don't know you got a hold of it. We were just working on tracks via email where Scott would send something to Erick and then Erick and me would work on it here, and then Bulldog got it in South Carolina to do his parts. It's not always the easiest or most conventional way to put an album together but I think we are all very happy and a little surprised at how it all came out. (laughs) There is no "lost" EP though.

One thing I personally really like about "Can't Stop The Truth" is here we are ten years later from "Who Dares Wins" dropped and while the two records aren't exactly the same, the style is similar though, but it's definitely not a carbon copy of what's going on today. It's not melodic metal, nor youth crew revival or the whole power violence worship everyone is all into; it's just straightforward straight edge hardcore. I respect that. You guys just do your own thing. I know you mentioned something like that earlier, that being the sound you wanted, but was that a goal from the beginning or between the respective records to just pretty much ignore what was going on and do what you wanted?

Well the way we've always written our music is solely for our own taste, our own enjoyment, and our own expression. Honestly, we just get lucky with our music in that a lot of other people seem into it and support us. We don't set out with any particular template ever, more of a basic idea. That basic idea is to retain to some of the elements of the bands that we grew up listening to and love, but to add our own take on it.

On the issue of the extended time the Path has pretty much been inactive, when you were busy with other projects, whether it be Earth Crisis, Freya, Isolated and the ten thousand bands JD was/is in, what did you do to keep the spirit of the Path from getting stagnant? Did you ever think about letting go and/or starting over with something new?

I mean, the people in this band have different lives, ones that have changed, with marriages, moving away to other states, new bands, but during the last six months of Earth Crisis we really started talking about getting a new Path record together but we're also going to keep up with Freya, Isolated, Bulldog started a band with dudes from Merauder, Skarhead, Madball, Hatebreed called Rag Men on Eulogy Recordings, though we wanted to put a lot more focus on doing live shows with the Path. We thought it was a good point so that kids who'd been listening to "Who Dares Wins" would finally get a chance to see us, and we really wanted to get another record out there, keep going.

With "Can't Stop The Truth" you had portions recorded in Syracuse and Scott doing stuff at his studio, Sweatshop out in Fresno, CA. How did that approach compare to "Who Dares Win" with individuals outside of the band involved in the process and everything done at home in Upstate NY?

It was actually really easy overall. I remember about this time last year me, Bulldog and DJ would go in and bust out 2-3 songs a night; it went by fast.

On the new record, there is a memento mori inscription to two individuals who died recently and far too young, Joey Struggle and Shaun Luu. Something that I feel is very important in life is to remember the dead; to speak about them, to never forget so that they never die in the hearts and souls of those who loved them. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to hear some remembrances of how either or both of these individuals touched your life personally?

Both of those guys were quality human beings, first and foremost. One thing I want to say about Shaun is that I remember after a Freya show, we are outside of 505 on the sidewalk and I mentioned to him that we were going to be bring Path back and he was really stoked, which was awesome because at the time we knew the record was going to sound a lot like the old one and we weren't sure how that was going to fly these days. (chuckles softly) So I asked if he thought kids would still be into it and he smiled and said, "I think you'll be really surprised." Once we got everything up and running, started playing shows and the album came out, he was right and he definitely encouraged us, as individuals and a band. I remember when we all went to his funeral and at the parlor there were playing his music inside and all these kids he grew up were there and you could tell he was more than their friend, that he really impacted their lives.

Thank you for sharing that, Karl. I really appreciate it.
Switching up things a bit, getting back to the more standard line of questions, I noticed Deathwish Inc. seems to be handling all Path merch; what happened with Victory on that end? Also, who will be releasing the vinyl for "Can't Stop The Truth?"

On the vinyl, I'm not sure if it's going to be Reaper Records of XSeventh DaggerX but it should be one or the other. As far as the rest of those things, it's pretty much up to Dennis. He handles the business aspects of the band, which is nice because I don't want to. (laughs)

How can kids get in touch with the Path as I'm sure DJ's address in "Who Dares Wins" is likely invalid these days?

Truthfully, the best way is to mail a letter to Halo, DJ's tattoo shop or email freya315@hotmail.com. We tour with Path and Freya and kids are always welcome to come up and talk to us, we'll be in your neck of the woods at some point.

Most underrated Syracuse band in your opinion: Green Rage, Beta Minus Mechanic, Soulstice, The Funeral, Gatekeeper (or fill in your own if you want):

I would say Catatonic or Gatekeeper because both of their 7"s were awesome. I mean the cover of the Gatekeeper 7" had BigFoot killing a hunter; that says it all.

(both laughing)

The most important question of all; essential/recommended vegan eats in Syracuse?

(laughing) The tofu chicken at Syrajuice, seafood at Red Bamboo in NY in general. I'd say a new place in Syracuse, China Road is the one to go to; they hold the crown now.

Last words?

Thanks to all the bands we played with in Europe and the US and all the kids that came out to see us. We'll be back soon.


4 comments

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Hitler_ 1/26/2007 1:53:47 PM

white power band with the same name> Path of Resistance


Keinegnade_ 1/29/2007 9:47:09 AM

yes, karl's band sucks, who dares wins was a piece of shit and karl is a gay. PATH OF RESISTANCE FROM GERMANY>3KARLS GAY BAND


anonymous 1/29/2007 1:32:32 PM

hardcore is dumb and all the gays who go to those shows...FU is completely homo.........gays!!! WHITE POWER PATH OF RESISTANCE > gotta be better then this crap


adambomb_ 2/1/2007 3:42:31 PM

A well done interview. Good job.