Independent Artist of the Week: BACKHAND
May 3rd 2023
The final line of Eora/Sydney hardcore band BACKHAND’s Bandcamp bio reads “We are sick of talk. It’s time to f*cking listen.”
And listen you will. Their bone-shaking, tyre-slashing tracks whip your attention to the deep everyday injustices of so-called Australia. They thrash with a moral fervour that makes you want to run out onto the street and [REDACTED] the nearest cop car. As FBi’s Independent Artist of the Week this week, the band’s bassist Jay Preston sat down with Kate Saap on Up for It! to chat about how the band first got together and recorded their new EP.
The words ‘short’, ‘hard’ and ‘fast’ get tossed around a fair bit when it comes to punk music, but for BACKHAND the descriptor couldn’t be more apt. Their explosive new EP Gentrification is Genocide explores themes of oppression, resistance and rage, with songs touching on important yet often sanitised topics including domestic violence and government oppression of First Nations peoples.
“A lot of people go through these things, you know, and it’s not spoken about.”
On the EP, members K.P, Jay, Trouble, and Macca all share their own stories about the city they call home. The title itself carries a double meaning related to the lived experience of both Jay and frontwoman K.P. For Jay, the genocide in gentrification was informed by his witnessing of the most vulnerable people in society being callously priced out of their homes in the Inner West. For K.P, a proud Kamilaroi woman and mother, the title reflects how the entire land of so-called Australia was taken over by white invaders.
“It sort of became a concept album. All the songs fit within that ethic.”
For BACKHAND, hardcore music is an outlet, an education, a place of activism and a forum for grassroots social organising.
“Back in the 90s, you know, … my father didn’t teach me stuff. I had to learn through the hardcore scene. You learn about politics, about what’s wrong and right.”
As the scene sees an influx of new fans, BACKHAND are excited to build community and fight for what they believe in.
“There’s a lot of people turning up to hardcore shows at the moment… I think bands need to stand up now and really push the agenda, because things are getting tough. It’s time hardcore kids really step it up. Punk rockers and hardcore kids need to get on the street… we need to band together and take it on.”
Want to hear more? Listen to the full interview up top and/or catch BACKHAND live supporting Robber on June 10 at Kelly’s on King (details here). Look out for their ferocious new EP Gentrification is Genocide dropping sometime very soon (keep an eye on BACKHAND’s socials). “It’s a cool cassette … it’s got like a cartoon figure of Christie on the front kicking down the Centrepoint Tower”. In the meantime buy/stream their single ‘ARE THE CHAINS REALLY OFF?” on Bandcamp below.