Philadelphia-based melodic hardcore band Crossed Keys will be releasing their new SAVIORS EP imminently; on October 4th to be exact, and through Hellminded Records.
Crossed Keys is comprised of vocalist Joshua Alvarez (Halo of Snakes), drummer Dave Wagenschutz (Kid Dynamite, Good Riddance), bassist Andrew Wellbrock (Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer), and guitarists Beau Brendley (The Curse, Kill The Man Who Questions, R.A.M.B.O.) and Dave Adoff (Step Ahead, Jackie Thousand).
This powerhouse line-up of veteran punk/hardcore musicians speed through the 7 lyrically-pointed tracks on SAVIORS with assured ease and high-octane energy. The EP was recorded in May of this year at Noisy Little Critter in Downington, PA by Mike Bardzik (Joyce Manor, Kill Your Idols, Spraynard) and mastered at West West Side Music (The Misfits, Converge).
Andrew Wellbrock graciously took some time to craft his direct and perceptive responses to our on-going socio-political Protest Interview series.
Hello! Please introduce yourself/yourselves and give a description of your sound/musical vision.
My name’s Andrew and I play bass in Crossed Keys. We’re a band of friends from Philly ranging in age from Pete Buttigieg to Elizabeth Warren, who all played in a bunch of bands before and figured it was time to do that together. Basically the American Dream. Our sound often gets compared to ‘90s melodic punk/hardcore bands, but we just try and make music we’d be pumped to hear.
What is/are the main personal, national, and/or international issue(s) concerning you the most these days?
The general theme of this band is caring about other people (including the ones you don’t know, the ones you don’t like, and the ones that society has disenfranchised). If you have a platform and you’re not using it to make this world a better place, you’re missing the point. This country’s response to gun violence illustrates that point.
Depending on how you define it, we have “mass shootings” with alarming frequency, but very little time is spent discussing the root causes and how to address the problem, whether that be through recognizing mental health issues or access to guns generally. Unfortunately, individuals in positions to act on these issues generally use mass shootings as an opportunity to be seen and heard, rather than help.
What song, video, or lyrics quote of yours best represents your current viewpoint on this/these important topic(s)?
The title track off of our forthcoming 12” EP, SAVIORS, addresses that futility and uselessness of saying “wishing thoughts and prayers” to victims and communities that suffer from gun violence. Sometimes it feels like politicians who are missing the point race to the internet to offer their thoughts and prayers rather than their action. Josh captured the inaction of those leaders perfectly with his sarcastic lyrics.
SAVIORS is available on October 4th via Hellminded Records: https://www.hellmindedrecords.com/shop
What’s your favorite song, video, or lyrics quote by another act or artist that best exemplifies, or at least partly relates to, your current viewpoint?
“Words Without Actions” by Kill Your Idols has always been a song I’ve tried to live by. I first heard it on the GoKart Records comp Punk Uprisings Vol. 2 in 1997. “Words without action / will quickly be ignored / If you’re only in it for the fun / then there’s the fucking door” basically embodies how I feel at all times.
What other forms of protest, besides through your music, are you involved with to get your message across?
This is a tough question to answer because I don’t think of protest in terms of any specific action. Gandhi once said “We but mirror the world.” If you want to see a change happen, you need to be that change yourself and not be afraid of the judgment of those who haven’t caught up.
Speaking of that, It’s easy to judge and criticize others, especially in these unsettling times of overt intolerance, ignorance, and insults, but the fact remains that we need to work together “for the good of the people”, as a family friend so succinctly put it. Objecting to and protesting against, but then working on a solution to the problem is critical in ensuring that positive change occurs. Name an action to take, or a campaign/charity that would be worthwhile to contribute to, for your cause.
Check out Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary’s website: https://www.easternstate.org/support.There’s a powerful exhibit there on mass incarceration in the US and the damaging effects it has had on society.
What gives you hope for the future?
Watching more and more young people get involved in our scene and support bands that have a message. Youth engagement in our electoral process is on the rise and it’s the only way we can take our country back from the damaging path we’ve been going down.
Where can we purchase/stream your music and find out more about you?
[As previously mentioned] we have SAVIORS coming out October 4th on Hellminded Records. You can hear us at Bandcamp: https://crossedkeys.bandcamp.com/
or wherever you listen to music on the internet. Come to our record release show on October 12th at Creep Records in Philly with Sunstroke, Goddamnit, Brackish, and Rusty Pigeon.