SLEEPING BY THE RIVERSIDE
This is an interview with Adam Warshowsky, the vocalist for Florida's melodic
hardcore kings Sleeeping By The Riverside; a band that's back in full effect
after a very quiet period... Interview done by Gabriel Arnold, June 2001.
Gabriel: Adam,you are the vocalist in American hXc band Sleeping By The Riverside; please tell me what the other guys in the band play ?
Adam: I'm Adam and I do the vocals and write the lyrics, Scott plays 1st guitar, Joe plays 2nd guitar, Todd plays bass, and Matt plays percussions.
Gabriel: How long have you been together ?
Adam: SBTR has been together off and on for 5 years. Before that we were in the bands : Overthrow, Shroud Of Turin and Punchbuggyred.
Gabriel: How would you describe your music ?
Adam: South Florida Melodic Hardcore. Our main influences are ... Morning Again, Shai Hulud, Strongarm and XCultureX. I am personally a big fan of just about any project Damian Moyel is involved in. And of course bands like Radiohead and Sunny Day Real Estate have a hand in it too.
Gabriel: Do you play music just for fun, or does it serve a purpose ?
Adam: Lets put it this way, I have fun serving my purpose. The music is a vessel for me to describe how my life has been spared. And because I know that what I do has a positive impact on the kids who listen to our music, it makes my work for Jesus Christ fulfilling AND fun.
Gabriel: Please tell us about Takehold Records and your connections with them?
Adam: Chad Takehold is the nicest guy in the America. Hands down. We did four releases with him. A split cd with Carry The Dead, a four song 7" vinyl, the Takehold Compilation, and a split cd with Sward: a release that came out primarily in Japan but we got a few hundred over here. That was with a label called Foreland Records that helped with the release. We never actually signed with Takehold. He does things differently now (which I think is smart) so, as for our future with Takehold Records I really don't know if we will be working with him on our full length. We are limited with our touring abilities, and he likes his bands to really push their releases. So, if there are any labels who are interested in doing our full length, get in contact with us. Of course we are looking for a label that has wide distro and has been around for a while. We want to have it done by October of this year.
Gabriel: Do you plan to tour in Europe in the future ?
Adam: Oh my gosh, WE WOULD LOVE TO GO OVER THERE ! Two of us are married (NOT to each other!) so we would need to bring them. It would cost alot of money I think. But if my dream were to come true; then YES! The question is... would you want us to come over there ?
Gabriel: I heard that you had a side project called Gunwale Under during the hiatus of SBTR. Can you tell us about this ?
Adam: That band was in the vein of Dropkick Murphy's and Social Distortion. I had alot of fun with that. Me and my friend Adam Stephanson wanted to do something to minister to the punk rock kids for a while so we did GU. We played at Cornerstone Fest with The Deal and Headnoise and performed with bands locally like The Huntingtons , U.S.Bombs and the Ducky Boys. If you want copies of that you would send email to firstname.lastname@example.org , and speak with Adam Stephanson.
Gabriel: Could you tell us about the Christian Hardcore scene in the U.S., and how big it has become ?
Adam: Christian Hardcore has been around since approximately 1986 with The Crucified's "Take Up Your Cross" Demo. It took a stab at sounding like Minor Threat. It was great. Since then there have been hundred's of bands starting with the most popular Spirit Filled HxC bands like N.I.V., Focused and Unashamed in 1992-3. They really got the ball rolling. At Cornerstone you see the largest SFHC crowd at about 3000 kids. In the cities it can range anywhere from 10 to 500 kids. My first serious band was Overthrow in 1994. Locally, in the year 2001 we can have on average of about 200-300 kids come out to show. In the Tampa Bay area we have these bands to play with..... Underoath, Seventh Star,Yeti, AsIsawLove, The September Engagement, Southern Most, Chalice(r.i.p.),Stronghold, Mack The Knife, and soon, the mighty Norcom Basics.
Gabriel: So there are many HxC crews in The United States... Please tell us about the one you are involved in called "The Long Suffering Crew".
Adam: It started back in 1994 with me and Octavio from Underoath. Back then it was called ChiXRho Brotherhood. It was something that was suppose to shine positive in the face of violent and trendy hardline crews. It worked. I really think we have changed the thinking of our scene in the past 8 years. Since then we have developed Chapters of the LSC in all of Florida from Ft. Lauderdale to Ocala (where the largest number of us are). This year we added a Chapter in Germany. It is being headed up by a kid named Gabe. So, what we promote is healthy living, straight thinking, abstinence, and a steady dose of Bible study and prayer. We are accountable to each other for our actions and we encourage each other in the name of Christ.
Gabriel: What are your 10 favorite Christian Hardcore albums ?
Adam: In no particular order.... 1. Strongarm-Atonement 2. Strongarm-Advent Of A Miracle 3. Seventh Star-Lifeblood 4. Clay- Serum Seed Demo 5. XdiscipleX- No Blood, No Altar Now 6. Downset- Do We Speak A Dead language? 7. Chalice- Deathmask Grin 8. The Blamed- Forever 9. Underoath- Act Of Depression 10. .hopesfall.- The frailty Of Words
Gabriel: What do think of straightedge? Do you have to be sXe to be involved in Hardcore? And are there many who are Christain AND straightedge in America?
Adam: I will try to answer all three of these in one paragraph. Hardcore and punk rock in general is all about making a change for the better. Taking responsability for your own actions. Some people may disagree with me, but in 10 years that is what I've gotten out of it. I think being sXe is a powerful and sacrificial way to live your life. I have nothing but love and respect for the kids who last the longest. It makes a difference in everything you do and everyone around you. BUT IT WILL NOT SAVE YOUR SOUL. You dont go to heaven just for being a "Boy Scout"(I dont know how that would translate there). Anyway, it makes this huge improvement in your life, but it can't help you when you die. Non-Christian sXe kids don't believe in having a "crutch". Well, Jesus Christ is my crutch. I lean on Him. I NEED Him. So, if I cant have a crutch and be sXe; then I wont be sXe. It's as simple as that. I could NEVER turn my back on a friend who was willing to lay down His life for me, just so that I could be in His company later on. There would be NO integrity in that. Of course there are the opinions of others who are Christian AND straightedge, they have thier own reasons. I won't judge them, but I was sXe years ago, and I believe there must be a progression. From mind and body; to mind, body and SOUL. You must tend to them like a gardener.
Gabriel: Yeah, you're right. Thanx for your words to the Spirit Filled European HC folks. Well, is there something left that you wanna say ?
Adam: A thousand blessings to you and your readers !