The Last Stand
Interview with Mike Scondotto
By hutch13

I was an outsider,” Mike Scondotto explains. “And (hardcore) spoke to me in the same way that metal spoke to me. Only (hardcore) was a lot cooler because you got to hang out with the band after they got off stage. They were just like you.”

Mike is known for being the front man of NYHC Brooklyn bastards, Inhuman. As Inhuman sat idle, he got a call from Dion DeNardo of Shutdown. Dion had been writing songs and the other two musicians of Shutdown were down to play some hardcore. Would the singer of Shutdown be bitter? Well, that ex-singer is Mark Scondotto, Mike’s brother.

Mark was like ‘Sure. Absolutely.’ He had no issue with it whatsoever. At the first rehearsal, I knew it would work. We did our first show in October 2010. We rehearsed a lot.” Mike joined three men who have been playing together for over thirteen years. He adds, “Had it not been with people that knew each other so well, musically and personally, it might’ve taken a little more work.”

The Last Stand - The Time Is Now artwork

The Last Stand signed to Eulogy Recordings. “We did definitely want an American label that could have it on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, all the places that a modern release should. …It was up to us to be our own A&R and send our record to people. But we knew we had a good record. We knew someone was going to put this out. I don’t really say shit like that; but that’s how strong we felt about the record.”

The other guiding factor towards a label is it being accessible to fans. “This is my most available thing I’ve ever done. The other guys, they had a career on Victory and you can still find all those records. Once Inhuman records are out of print, you can’t get them anymore. I was very happy to be on something that’s tangible.”

This isn’t some ‘super group’ side project or a flash in the pan that seem to appear like whack-a-mole. “They break up in a week. It’s just like they go on to form their horrible hipster band. How does that hold a candle to anything Sick of It All has ever done? Really? It doesn’t. How can you put a Victim in Pain against that? You can’t. “

Scondotto still listens to new hardcore, proving his dedication to the spirit of the scene, not just what he experienced twenty years ago. “There are great newer bands out there that are totally legit and sincere. That’s the one complaint I hear of the older people is that newer bands aren’t good. They’re just not paying attention. There are great bands out there: Wisdom in Chains, Trapped Under Ice… They have legs. These are bands that I think will be remembered.”

The music, which DeNardo had mostly written, is straight NYHC with that Brooklyn groove. “Why write a boring song?” Mike ponders. “We sat down. I don’t have to write hardcore hits.” He elaborates, “while the record is primarily traditional hardcore; it is 90s meets current style with a little bit of late 80s. It’s not as metallic as Inhuman; not as fast as Shutdown. It’s more groove based. There are some fast songs on there. One of my favorite songs on there, “Samurai,” just reminds me of something off of like an earlier [Inhuman] record. That’s completely different than anything (Dion’s) has done. I helped with the structure of that song and some of the lyrics. (The Time is Now) covers a lot of bases. It’s not metalcore, (but) not super retro either. I think it’s a modern hardcore record.”

Scondotto contemplates what has kept him in this for over twenty- five years. “I think the big factor is that I didn’t look to it to make a living. I’ve worked regular jobs my whole life. I still worked during the time I was touring. Worked after the tour, worked before the tour. I think had I chosen a different route where music was the only thing, I would have probably burnt out.”

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