Shawn Bates has been an integral part of the Indianapolis music scene for the past seven years, fronting the hardcore band ASD and starting the independent record label Haunted Records. We were lucky enough to catch up with Shawn to discuss his band, his passion for hardcore music, and the ins and outs of running a record label.
Indy Metal Shows: First off thank you for doing this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about ASD and how you guys got together?
Shawn Bates: I’m the vocalist, Jeff is the bass player, Rico is the guitar player, and Ray is the drummer. The four of us met through the Indy music scene, but Rico and Ray also knew each other in high school and have done a band together in the past. ASD has gone through a lot of transformation over the last year with a greater focus on playing traditional hardcore.
IMS: Who came up with the name All Suckas Die? Is there a story behind it?
SB: Rico came up with the name. We let it speak for itself.
IMS: Who writes the lyrics for ASD and and where does the inspiration come from?
SB: I write the lyrics for our songs and they have a wide variety of content such as self determination, not comprising on one’s values and beliefs, activism and human rights, political issues, and religious brainwashing.
IMS: Can you describe a typical show for the hardcore fans who haven’t seen you perform before?
SB: Fast, loud, and full of energy. Our shows are a lot of fun.
IMS: Hardcore. What does it mean to you personally and how would you define it?
SB: Hardcore is a way of life! There’s no more rawer or iller music than hardcore music. It’s from the streets. Hardcore is who I am and who I’ve been since I was at least 16yo. I embrace it because to me it means a lot of things like friendship, a genuine love of music, a “fuck the world” attitude, and a DIY ethic.
IMS: Do you remember the first hardcore gig you went to? How was the experience?
SB: Yeah, I’d say it was around 1993 when I was about 12yo. I saw an old buddy’s show and it solidified my wanting to be in a band and I thought if they could do it then I could also do it.
IMS: What were some of the first hardcore records you bought?
SB: Some of my first hardcore records were Earth Crises’ Destroy the Machines, Dead Kennedys’ In God We Trust Inc, Minor Threat’s Out of Step, WarZone’s Dont Forget The Struggle, Dont Forget The Streets and Madball’s Demonstrating My Style. I still love them and listen to them all the time.
IMS: Who are some of your all time favorite hardcore bands? Are there any new hardcore bands that you like?
SB: As far as new I’d say Terror, Danny Greene, Shut the Fuck Up, Nailed Shut, Backtrack, Words of Truth, and Heavyweights. As far as old I’d say Gorilla Biscuits, Buried Alive, Cro-Mags, Bad Brains, 100 Demons, All Out War, Earth Mover, Cold As Life, Ons Life Crew, Underdogs… I gotta stop there because I could go on forever. There’s so many good old hardcore bands but not so many new ones.
IMS: You also run Haunted Records. What prompted you to start a label?
SB: Hardcore did. Hardcore to me has always been about DIY so it just made sense. I’ve been doing it ever since and don’t plan on stopping.
IMS: What was the first release for Haunted Records?
SB: Our first release was a split with ASD, my homies from Ohio in Hate Riot 513, and two other bands.
IMS: What is your best selling release at the moment?
SB: Our top three are ASD’s Die Hard, Danny Greene’s 10 Blocks for the Irish, and the Brick by Brick split with Danny Greene, Shut the Fuck Up and Forever a Vendetta.
IMS: What are the pros and cons of running a label?
SB: There’s a couple of annoying things, but the most annoying thing is when people let their ego start taking over and corrupting them musically. But the way we operate, we try to keep things simple and drive down those annoyances to keep them at a minimum. First and foremost it should always be fun and driven by passion. If there no joy in working with a band or on a specific project, we want no part in that.
IMS: How do you choose what bands would be a good fit for your label? What makes a band a Haunted Records band?
SB: Above all else, we gotta like their music. Secondly, we try to build relationship with the guys in the band to better the working relationship because if we don’t vibe together, we don’t work together.
Dedication, a love for the scene, and no rock star personalities make a Haunted Record band. We like down-to-earth people. Musically, we try to connect with bands who have integrity in their music, bands that don’t follow the popular trend or try to change it up solely to sell more albums, bands that don’t try to use sex or other bullshit to sell their music. We want bands that allow their music to speak for itself without any gimmicks because that can sell.
IMS: What’s next for ASD? Any plans for a new album? Are there any new releases on Haunted Records you’d like to plug?
As far as for ASD, we are in the process of recording a new EP and we are hoping it will be out at the beginning / middle of winter. Haunted records just had a few new releases come out I wouldn’t mind plugging, One Less Scumbag and Three Round Burst
(split album). That just came out a few months ago. LaPorte, Indiana’s own Shut the Fuck Up’s album Hell to Pay and Damn City and Prayer for Desolation (Neanderthal/Pariah) came out right before summer and are available for purchase on our big cartel site.
ASD’s next show will be at the 5th Quarter Lounge on October 21st. Check out the event page here.