The members of the fierce Los Angeles-area hardcore band Rotting Out grew up embedded in the city’s heavy music community. On their new album, Ronin, they’ve catapulted these sounds into a new era. Out now via Pure Noise Records, Rotting Out’s new album features ferociously punching hardcore, with the band wheeling out fierce riffing designed to leave a mark – literally, if you’re lucky enough to catch the band live. Vocalist Walter Delgado explains that the band kept the live experience in mind when developing their new record.
“Writing this record, there were these two rules that I had in my head,” Delgado explains. “Would a punk kid still listen to this song? Or, would this be boring live? So, I made sure that these songs, once they’re portrayed live, still kind of carry that energy, that aggression, and that same essence that they do on the CD, or on the record. Because hardcore is all about the live shows, personally. I think you can’t be a hardcore kid just being stuck in your room and listening to records all the time. If you’re not going to shows and kind of getting your hands in it, you’re not really a part of the scene, personally. So, when it comes to what we write, we want it to translate to live shows and have that same energy, like punches in the face.”
That sought-after energy is abundantly clear on Ronin, although Rotting Out ground their relentless onslaught in a carefully strengthened, melodic backbone. The meaty guitar riffing, super heavy bass, and cacophony from the drums all feel grounded in endless forward propulsion. In other words, the band don’t just pack pure chaos, although there’s certainly plenty of raw energy to go around.
Delgado explains the band’s modus operandi as “a very traditional, L.A. street punk approach, complemented by heavier riffs that are kind of derived from New York hardcore.”
The band’s background also informs their songwriting big time.
“When it comes to writing music, we already kind of have an idea of what we want to represent, and what we want to sound like, which is very, you know, at home, and very traditional,” Delgado explains. “We try to be very much rooted to the history of hardcore and hardcore punk.”
In developing the sound for Rotting Out’s first full-length album in seven years, Delgado shares that the group took cues from L.A.-area luminaries like Black Flag and Pennywise. Delgado also adds that he often looked beyond the hardcore scene for inspiration for his own performances.
“I usually try to think outside the box a little more, outside of traditional hardcore,” he explains. “So maybe I’ll be listening to something like the Deftones, or even Nirvana, things like that, which I grew up listening to, and I’d want to incorporate little by little. Or even Rage Against the Machine, where it’s a different kind of approach to writing music, or just the vibe of the song specifically. We’d add these little toppings of other aspects of music.”
Ultimately, setting the stage for memorably gripping shows isn’t the only aspect that weighed on Rotting Out while developing Ronin. Delgado explains that the band also hoped to showcase the personally gripping core that helped fierce hardcore catch on in the first place.
“I’m very stoked for people to hear it, and for it to finally be out,” he shares, explaining that he’s looking forward to hearing other people’s reactions.
“Even if it’s negative, I want to know why. I even like offending people, in that sense, where people are almost mad that they don’t like our record, where it’s like getting under people’s skin – I like it. But also, it’s for the kid that goes to that hardcore show and is going to be stoked to see these new songs live. It’s meant to speak to that new fan on a different platform, more than just punching each other in the face, and moshing, and whatnot.”
Pick up a copy of Ronin here
Photo credit: Dan Rawe