Our very first rehearsals date from the end of 2005, early 2006. Unlike most bands though, we took our time before we started playing shows. We didn't want to jump the gun, a rule of thumb we've maintained throughout the existence of this band.Fast forward to August of 2006, when we played our first show and the ball really started rolling. We all live in the Eastern part of Belgium, in the province of Limburg.
What releases do you guys have available and where can kids get them?
At this point, Unbreakable released a demotape (early 2007) and a 7" (spring of 2008). Eventhough our demo's long sold out, you can still get those songs, if you buy the 11-song cd we've put out at the same time as the 7". Both the 7" and the cd are still available in our online webstore @ http://xunbreakablex.bigcartel.com/ or through Seventh Dagger, who are kind enough to distribute our stuff in the States. New shirtdesigns are being made as we speak, so keep an eye on our webstore.
While most bands in hardcore are impersonating garbage mosh metal looking to be the next band to "make it" you guys have a totally different sound going. What bands have inspired UNBREAKABLE?
Quite a few, to be honest. Our influences range from obvious, classic bands such as Youth Of Today, Turning Point, Insted, Bold, Uniform Choice and Unity to typical '90s outfits, such as Outspoken, Earth Crisis (especially lyrically), Floorpunch, Ten Yard Fight, Hands Tied to more 'modern' bands such as The First Step, Betrayed, Champion, Have Heart & Verse. It's pretty safe to say each of the above-mentioned bands inspired or motivated us in one way or another. However, the sound of this band is not something we've mapped out. The only thing that mattered to us, was that we'd create a die-hard straight edge band that wasn't afraid to take a stand in certain issues.
Since UNBREAKABLE is a band with a message what are some of the topics you address in your songs?
Although it's pretty obvious that a lot of our songs deal with straight edge, or the abuse of substances such as drugs and alcohol, there are also other issues that I really wanted to talk about. Indifference, for instance. We're living in a society that just doesn't care anymore. Sure, we all want to hear the juicy gossip from celebrities, but turn the other way when important issues such as the situation in Iraq, the unrest in Somalia and the civil war in Darfur are mentioned in the evening news. A carbomb killing civilians & allied soldiers in downtown Baghdad doesn't shock 'us' anymore. I have a hard time understanding that. And yet, it's pretty simple: we take our freedom for granted in the Western world. Last week, I visited the US Memorial at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. An experience that surely puts things in perspective. For me, at least. Other topics I want to address in our songs are rather personal, but something most people can relate to, such as overcoming depression, dealing with self-doubt, the untimely loss of a loved one.
UNBREAKABLE is obviously a straightedge band. What inspired you personally to become straightedge, how did you find out about it, what led to making this decision?
The first time I heard about straightedge must have been a conversation with my brother, who read about it in some metalmagazine or something. I was 16 years old at the time and knew bands such as Madball, Life Of Agony and Biohazard. But together with my brother, I soon discovered the Belgian hardcorescene. Straight Edge bands such as Liar, Congress, Spirit Of Youth, Regression, Sektor, Vitality, Kindred and Facedown opened my eyes for a way of life that emcompassed values, that focused on the positive side of being an 'outsider', instead of the negative. Those bands also steered me towards a wide spectrum of American bands, such as Earth Crisis, Path Of Resistance, Morning Again, Slapshot, Unbroken, Day Of Suffering, Birthright, etc. Discovering straightedge & vegetarianism kinda felt like coming home to me. I can't really put it into words, it just felt like the right path to pursue in life. I've seen the consequences of a addiction in my own family and I never really liked alcohol anyway, so it wasn't that hard to give it up. And to this day, 13 years later, I still consider that decision to be the best I ever made.
How do you think your life would be different if you had never discovered straightedge?
That's really hard to say since I can't imagine not being straightedge. I mean, straightedge is such a big part of who I am and what I stand for in life. It's as much a part of my identity as my last name, my date of birth and my bloodtype. This is who I am. This is who I want to be for the rest of my life. I could care less about what other people think about me, the choices I make or the life I lead. I didn't fall for peer-pressure when I was 16-17, I'm surely not falling for it now. Selling out is and never will be an option. How could I ever turn my back on something that has given me so much in life? I'm fully aware of the fact that I'm stating some very serious words, but I will never betray my true nature.
Since there are a so many terrible bands in hardcore lets accentuate the positive, what are some bands properly representing straightedge and hardcore?
As far as straightedge goes, it's pretty obvious that Seventh Dagger is a label that I feel very much connected to. Some of its current (and former) bands, such as xTyrantx, xRepresentx, Earth Crisis, Barcadia & xAFBx are a part of my day-to-day playlist. Over the years, somewhere along the way, most hardcorebands stopped being outspoken and proud about their edge, and that's a pity, since I think young kids just getting into hardcore should get the same chance of discovering this incredibly positive 'lifestyle'. They won't get to know about straightedge if bands continue to keep their mouths shut, fearing to lose potential 'fans'. Words like 'lifestyle' and 'fans' feel very awkward to me, by the way. But anyway, a label like Seventh Dagger fuels my straightedge pride. Other than that, I also love React Records and their roster of bands and labels who sticked to their guns, such as Catalyst Records & Crucial Response Records from Germany. Closer to home, I have the utmost respect for Powered Records, who seem to release one classic record after the other. Belgium's True Colors latest record 'Rush Of Hope' is the perfect example of that. Check it!
What plans for the near future do you guys have? Touring? Shows? Releases?
Normally, we would have toured Eastern Europe with our buddies from Blade this summer, but due to some logistic issues, we had to post-phone this tour. But we're definitely not breaking up anytime soon, so we'll surely get our chance to go on the road across Europe. As a matter of fact, we'll be playing a show in the UK in August and open up for Earth Crisis & Sworn Enemy when they bring the Hell On Earth Tour to Belgium. Needless to say, we're very psyched for those two shows. Hopefully, we'll also get the chance to arrange a few weekendtours with our Dutch friends in Birds Of A Feather later this year. As far as our next release goes, we're currently writing new songs. We recently recorded two of them as a demo at a friend's basement-studio. With some luck, we'll find a label who's willing to put our new stuff out around New Years. Whether that'll be a 7", a split-cd or a full-length is not quite sure yet, we'll have to wait and see what that label feels like the right thing to do. We're up for anything!
Thanks for doing this interview!
Thanks a million for this opportunity & the support! Keep fighting the good fight. And thanks to anyone who took the time to read this interview. Feel free to check us out at www.myspace.com/xunbreakablehcx Straight Edge. The Few. The Proud
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