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Mean Pete (XBishopX, Until the End, Remembering Never)...

Interviewed by: Alex DiVincenzo (05/06/11)
Vocalist "Mean Pete" Kowalsky will be performing three different bands next weekend at Bringin It Back For the Kids Fest in Florida: the last ever show by XBishopX, the final Until the End reunion, and a set with Remembering Never. In one of his last interviews representing the former two bands, he spoke about each respective group, his other musical endeavors and the hardcore scene in general.

We're less than two weeks away from Bringing It Back For The Kids Fest, where XBishopX will play their final show and you will also play a reunion set with Until the End, plus a set with Remembering Never. How does it feel?

It feels like closure finally. The reunion is kind of a continuation of what we did last year and never set a final UTE show from there, so I'm putting both bands to bed. The only way either of these two will do anything in the future is if there is lots of money involved or an opportunity to go to some crazy far away land (ahem... Africa). Otherwise it isn't worth it for me.

What made you decide to have both of these occasions at one show?

I figured it'd a good idea to just be done with it all at once. Lots of people will be there, a lot of our friends, so I just want it to go out with a bang and lots of smiles.

What is the reasoning behind XBishopX being laid to rest?

The lack of the straight edge in south Florida. We have had a revolving door of bass players once Aldo moved to Indy. The real answer is because I'm tired of babysitting. I'm a grown ass man, and I don't want to wipe anyone's ass anymore.

Why did you drop the X's from XBishopX's name?

The X's were never supposed to be part of the name, but back when Myspace was active, there was another band called Bishop so we changed it on the Space for the Space's sake, then it kind of just stuck.

This is not the first Until the End reunion. Have you guys discussed the possibility of coming back full time?

We have discussed it, but Dan, who started the band, wasn't too excited on that, and Jesse lives five hours away, so it wouldn't be too practical. It would have been a totally different band altogether, but it goddamn would've been better than the last two pieces of shit UTE put out. Actually, the first 7" and half the first full length by Bishop consisted of songs I wrote for UTE's follow up to Let The World Burn, but got scrapped.

What's the status of Remember Never? I know you're working on a new album, This Hell Is Home. Any idea when it will see the light of day?

I was hoping for a 2011 release, but me being in school has botched that idea. We've been throwing out songs when we aren't completely happy with them. The semester ends this week, so I will be back at it, with a whole new lyrical arsenal. The only show we have this year is this fest, then we're just back to writing. We're trying to record sometime this year though.

Will the new album be accompanied by touring?

We will do some minimal touring to support the record. As much as we would like to do a full U.S., we all have grownup responsibilities. We will be going to Costa Rica and hopefully Japan and Australia once the record is released, but that's in the air right now.

You also play guitar in Ether. How did that come about?

The idea started when Remembering Never were on tour with My Amends this last summer. Me and My Amends' guitar player, Devin, wanted to start the heaviest, doom-iest, most ridiculous band, chock full of riffs and depression, so the following couple months we threw ideas back and forth and wrote a couple songs with Danny (RN drummer), and everything snowballed from there. Its a nice mix found somewhere between Neurosis, Eyehategod, Crowbar, Isis, Melvins and Pink Floyd. We are recording for a full length in June. It is by far the easiest band I've been a part of. I attribute that by surrounding myself with goal-orientated and self-sufficient players.

You run Dead Truth Recordings as well. Tell us about the label.

Dead Truth Recordings started by just a one off, releasing the RN God Save Us LP with no intention of releasing other records. 6 years and 12 releases later, we've released records from Bishop, Alarmed, The Red Baron, Hivemind, and we have new debut full lengths from Make It Reign (Tony from AFB's new band) and Forty Winters, as well as a new Kingdom 7". We have some non-hardcore/metal releases coming later this year but that's on the DL for now. We are really excited to get all this stuff out by hardworking bands, that are good at what they do.

Will Dead Truth be putting out the new Remembering Never record?

Yes. I was reluctant to put out the record via DTR, but I think both parties will benefit from DTR releasing it.

You've been part of the hardcore scene for over a decade at this point. From an insider's perspective, what are your feelings on hardcore in general?

I'm the wrong person to ask. I am now that typical jaded, old hardcore asshole. I listen to mostly metal, but when I do listen to hardcore it's usually from bands before 2006. It's hard for me to get into new bands these days because it sounds like copies of copies. There are very few excellent new bands coming out: Alpha & Omega, Harm's Way, All Pigs Must Die, Nails, Foundation, etc. There are lots of hype bands, but not many that deserve the hype. It feels like hardcore is a big recycling bin.

Aside from that, not many bands have politics - social or otherwise - in their songs. I miss when bands had something worth saying. I don't care about your loyalty or your straight edge; I want to hear shit people can learn something from, something they can use in life to fight the outside world. Unfortunately, the majority of bands want to save face and not ruffle any feathers.

One thing I can say I'm happy with seeing is less Christian bands. Christianity has no place in hardcore or its oppressive agenda; unless its a joke band, of course, since the stories and ideals of Christianity are heavily "borrowed" (or stolen) from an ancient African religion.

As far as scene politics, I want to see less fights and more communication. How much sense does it make to fight the people around you when there are actually problems in the real world? If all the tough guys put as much effort into doing something positive in the real world as they do fighting at shows, the world would be a better place.

Where do you see the scene going from here?

I see the same 7-year cycles in style. I have a feeling the shit machine will be breaking down soon and a good amount of quality acts will resurface soon. Ahh fuck, who am I kidding?

What else do you have in store in the future?

Musically, working on getting This Hell Is Home out and recording and playing shows with Ether. Label wise, we have some fun releases coming up, a little different from what we are used to, but very fun and interesting stuff, as well as the new RN record. Life shit, I'm trying to get a degree in English education, but I may switch my major to history, and hang out with my dog. And hopefully buy a house.

Do you have any final words?

I never have final words, but lets go with... educate yourself. Knowledge is power. I'm not talking about school-book knowledge, just knowledge in general. There are too many people walking around like mental zombies, with no opinions on important issues, no stance on anything, and just generally don't care. Also, get a fucking job. I know too many people on public assistance. This is disgusting. Get off your ass and do something. Have pride in your life and worth and earn your keep.
Thanks!
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12.
11:56 AM on 05/06/11
#2
downrightamazed
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Interesting.
Nice to see him still be so brutally honest.
02:19 PM on 05/06/11
#3
Rodeo
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Mean Pete: rock solid ethos to 'until the end.' Well done!
05:09 PM on 05/06/11
#4
totzine
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awesome dude. stoked to see/shoot all of his bands at bringin it back for the kids fest.
05:57 PM on 05/06/11
#5
AdamChildress
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I love Pete to death.
07:45 PM on 05/06/11
#6
thefearinlove
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Jesus, more people comment on that Austin mice fucker or all the other crap that goes on and most people don't even care to read this or learn from it. Nice interview. Love Pete and everything he does. Hopefully we can see more material like this.
11:51 PM on 05/06/11
#7
hoods
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"I never have final words, but lets go with... educate yourself. Knowledge is power. I'm not talking about school-book knowledge, just knowledge in general. There are too many people walking around like mental zombies, with no opinions on important issues, no stance on anything, and just generally don't care. Also, get a fucking job. I know too many people on public assistance. This is disgusting. Get off your ass and do something. Have pride in your life and worth and earn your keep."

I wonder who he surrounds himself with...
05:43 AM on 05/07/11
#8
Alex DiVincenzo
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Jesus, more people comment on that Austin mice fucker or all the other crap that goes on and most people don't even care to read this or learn from it. Nice interview. Love Pete and everything he does. Hopefully we can see more material like this.
The more demand for material like this, the more you will get
09:01 AM on 05/07/11
#9
shika
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Hardcore is about freedom of expression and unity no matter what color, race or religion you believe in so wtf are all these narrow minded christian "hardcore" bands doing; profiting off Christians and ever worst us none Christians.
06:32 PM on 05/07/11
thisisryan
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this guy really earned that tag "mean pete"
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