Stampin’ Ground

Stampin’ Ground are a hardcore/metalcore/metal from England – however you want to describe them, they are one of the best and heaviest bands around…..we had an email with Ian who plays bass and also runs Blackfish Recs. which you can find on the Stampin’ Ground site.

For the unlikely event of someone never hearing of SG before, give them a run down on the band!
Well, we formed in 1995, and since then we’ve done 2 7″s, a MCD, 3 full albums, appeared on over 20 compilation albums, and played over 300 shows all across England, Europe, and America… we basically play heavy aggressive metalcore… with the emphasis on heavy, haha! The current line-up is Adam – vocals, Mobs – guitar, Scott – guitar, Ian – bass, and Ade – drums.

Stampin’ Ground are at the forefront of the UKHC scene (along with a ton of other great bands), what’s the state of UKHC in 2001?

It’s very happening right now, with a lot of very cool bands coming through. Watch out for Underule, Decimate, Spine, Primate, Divide, Unite, Special Move, Ignoramus, Bluntside, Co-Exist, and of course, the already established names like Knuckledust and Freebase. The scene has never been better really, with lotsa cool places to play… we could do with a few more decent zines though… UKHC is actually making an impact overseas now too, which is great to see – we just got back from Europe again, and so many people were asking me about the scene here, it was untrue.

A lot of people would consider Century Media a ‘metal’ label, even though they carry a bunch of great (hardcore) bands- do you think a bands label really matters, be it CM, Victory, RPP, Blackfish, whatever……
Well, obviously if a band are on Blackfish, they’re gonna get ripped off something terrible, but the other labels you mentioned are all cool, haha!!
To be honest, the label doesn’t matter really – it might help draw the hardcore fans in if you’re on Victory, but a good album is a good album at the end of the day. A prime example – the new Ignite record is not on an established hardcore label, but is an absolute classic hardcore record… yeah, Century Media are a metal label… but there are a lot of people who would say we were a metal band!!

A lot of metal and hardcore sounds have merged together in recent times, how would you describe the difference between a hardcore and metal band, or hardcore and metal scene.
The difference is that, a hardcore band has a symbiotic relationship with the audience, whereas a metal band has a parastic relationship. A HC audience are as important to the energy of a show as the band themselves, wheras metal kids tend to just consume without REALLY interacting with their favourite bands. The attitudes prevalent at a hardcore show are also VERY different to those on display at a metal show – thank god!! We like to be in the thick of it all, meeting everybody before and after we play – not jerking off backstage in the dressing room…

Are there currently any problems you see with the hardcore scene? (like the shit talking on your website message board that pops up now and then)
Yeah, well, there are obviously problems within the scene, but there are problems inherent in everything, y’know? Wherever you get gatherings of
people you will inevitably have misunderstandings and conflicts of interest, so why should hardcore be any different? There are aspects – and people – within the scene who suck, but I don’t wanna paint it up to be worse than it is.

What keeps you motivated to stay involved with the hardcore scene?
The other day I had an e-mail from a guy in Bulgaria saying that we were his favourite band ever… knowing that you’ve managed to touch someone so far away so profoundly means a lot to all of us, and isn’t something we take for granted. Whenever we get mail, or meet people, like that, we find it humbling and inspirational. Plus we get to travel a helluva lot – only last week we flew to Greece for a 1-off show in Athens, all expenses paid – and the show was mazing, the kids went fucking nuts. What could be better than that?

What was the first record you ever bought – what do you think of it today?
Oh shit, I can’t remember. It might have been something by Adam and the Ants – maybe ‘Young Parisians’? If it was, well, I still love that band – esp. the really early stuff. I still think ‘Dirk Wears White Sox’ is one of the greatest albums EVER… but actually, it might have been some 7″ by Iron Maiden, or quite possibly some New Romantic record…? Who knows!

What does being in the band / hardcore mean to you?
Oops, think I nearly answered that already! Basically, hardcore is just like one big network of friends playing noisy music. We all do our best to help each other – I love working foreign tours as trades, where we get a foreign band here, and then they get us out there in return; it’s great to hook each other up like that. Being in this band is such a great way to vent my emotions in a positive way, and like I said, travel a lot and make a lot of new friends…

What has been your most memorable show/tour?
There’s been so many, but that one I mentioned in Athens was a definite highlight for me. Also the Evolution tour we did with Earthtone 9 – I don’t think any of us were expecting 4 English bands to sell out 4 such big venues!! It was a great thing to be involved in… as was the tour we did with One Minute Silence – that opened a ot of doors for us too. Obviously playing with Slayer in Belgium was pretty amazing too!

Running Balckfish and being in Stampin’ Ground must take up alot of your time, how do you fit in your free/family time?
With great difficulty! But I manage – just!

What has hardcores biggest loss been?
Well, I assume you mean someone who has died, right? Um, the death of Richie Bruinen saddened me greatly, ‘cos he was one of the first guys who helped SG out in Europe, and he was always so cool to us. We toured with him when he was standing in for Comin’ Correct on drums in Dec’ 98, right before he took his own life, and I was shocked when I heard the news. Hopefully he’s found some peace now.

Your 3 favourite albums?
Cro-Mags ‘Age of Quarrel’, Dead Kennedys ‘Fresh Fruit…’, Slayer ‘Reign In Blood’

How is your Website doing for you?
Okay, I think. I have no idea how many hits it gets or anything; you’d have to ask Scott really. We get a lot of positive feedback to it.

Upcoming plans for Stampin’ Ground?
Well, we have a lot of touring plans for the first half of 2001, inc. another visit to the US, another trip to Greece, a mini-tour of Spain, several of the big European festivals too… we’ll also do the Evolution tour Part 3 in late March, with ET9 and the Lost Prophetz, which takes in Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin and Wrexham… so see you there! We’ll then be going out on tour in May with a band that many wouldn’t expect us to play with, and then we’ll do our own headlining tour in June… we’ll be getting a US metalcore band over to support us, so watch out for that… after that we’ll be taking the rest of the year away from playing live, whilst we write and record our fourth album…

Anything to add…
Just thanks! To everyone who’s helped us out and stood by us over the last six years…

~~~And just a quick one on Blackfish…..You’ve realeased 10 amazing CD’s – did you ever imagine the label would do so well and release so many good bands?
That first Unite MCD was always gonna be a 1-off release to start with, but I’m a fairly obsessive person, and once I started, I wanted to take it a bit further… and before you know it – I’m now working on my 14th release!!! It seemed a shame to stop after one release when there were so many other great bands who needed to get something out, y’know? Everyone go check out my two latest releases – the debut albums by Knuckledust and Underule…

Thanks to Ian for the interview, don’t forget to check SG out on the Evolution tour, and buy CD’s from Blackfish Recs.!!

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