Throwdown has long been synonymous with the spirit of the OC hardcore scene. Formed in 1997, the band took a straight up (and straight edge) approach to hardcore music, slowly but surely developing a more modern metal sound.
With a rabid and loyal fan base, many wonder why it has been over four years since the band has released a new record. Vocalist Dave Peters told the Weekly that he and the band were excited to finally let their new album, Intolerance, see the light of day when it was released last Tuesday.
“The record has been a long time coming,” Peters said. “I had a lot of ideas floating around in my head I just wanted to put it together and take an approach that was different and exciting for fans. I am pretty stoked on it, and in a lot of ways it's like out old records from 2003 and 2005; completely raw and stripped down. This is a hardcore record.”
Although they are considered a straight edge band–meaning the members refrain from using drugs, tobacco or alcohol–Peters said that past tours on punk and metal festivals and with bands that might over indulge have never caused problems. “It doesn't make a difference, man,” Peters told the Weekly. “We were touring with Lamb of God in the height of their DVD being filmed and there was all this drunken madness and other things going on. I am who I am and I do what I do. We've been fortunate we've never had an experience where any band or anyone really gave us shit for the way we chose to live it's never been an issue for us.”
Yet, he admits, that at times, staying healthy isn't always the easiest when you live a life on the road. “I was Vegan but that only lasted for one tour. Going into a full time touring band it didn't feel possible, for me it was just too much and wasn't in my heart to keep that diet,” said Peters. “The sleep cycles aren't always the healthiest on tour too. But even the hour we play on stage and are active its more exercise than most people get a day we do days in a row. It's a great way to break a sweat. I do push ups and sit ups but I'm not a workout nut on the road.”
Peters said that he is ultimately proud to be part of the OC hardcore/punk/metal scene but admits that there's no mystery to Orange County. “It's an affluent area, and of course it's not anywhere near people will see on reality TV or scripted shows,” he said. “It's a funny place to be in when it comes to being in a punk hardcore or metal band though, because people always ask why we're so angry. It's a legitimate question. I think a big thing that has driven this kind of music with animosity in it from Orange County, is a backlash against the arrogance and entitlement this affluence can breed.”
Peters said that he has experienced tons of great live music in the OC and IE areas as well. “In terms of playing and seeing shows, some of the most memorable, energetic and amazing shows have been in this area, either at the Observatory or Chain Reaction, Showcase when it was around in Corona or even the Glasshouse.
If you search Throwdown online, the references and comparisons to Pantera are abundant. But, Peters doesn't let it get to him, and actually views it as a compliment. “I'm not bothered by it, I'm used to it,” Peters says. “Pantera is one of my favorite metal bands of all time. I think its kind of funny that people look at Throwdown records as being so hardcore; but the records like Haymaker or Vendetta, were inspired by Sepultura, Pantera, Slayer and Hatebreed: Metal bands. But, hardcore to me is a wide spectrum of hardcore bands out there. I LOVE Pantera they are one of the greats, I never got to see them live, but I'm happy covering their songs and playing music inspired by them.”
When discussing the future of Throwdown, unlike most metal bands that seem to have their next year planned ahead off schedule, Peters admits this is not the case with the band. “We don't know what our year has planned yet to be honest,” he says. “There's always an expectation of when a band has a record they have to go carpet bomb the world with shows and play for eight months come home for two go out for another six, but that kind of lifestyle kind of burnt me out on touring in that capacity. I'm happy the record is seeing the light of day if people have it and hear it than that is all that matters. If there's a place that wants to throw a show with us and its reasonable and we can make it happen we'll play there but its one of those things we play by ear.”
Alex Distefano is an established freelance writer and music blogger from the Los Angeles area. With over a dozen years under his belt as a published Journalist, he covers the worlds of heavy metal music, punk rock, current events, cannabis culture, comedy, radio, food, tattoos, the paranormal, and ‘conspiracy theories.’ He graduated from California State University Long Beach in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Journalism and Ancient History. Aside from his professional writing endeavors, Distefano works as an Educator, and delivery/rideshare driver.