No Warning: Making Hardcore Great Again
BY DAVID DeROCCO
In a musical landscape ruled by media darlings like Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Imagine Dragons, it’s good to know there are still bands like NO WARNING to provide musical balance and perspective to the universe.
Now, if you’re expecting to hear No Warning on your local rock station, think again; there’s about as much appetite for this Toronto hardcore band’s music on commercial radio as there is for – well, anything hardcore on commercial radio. But don’t despair, because they sure as hell don’t. Since releasing their 2002 landmark debut Ill Blood, No Warning have helped reignite a genre that had being showing signs of progressive stagnation. Their blazing hybrid of street punk, hardcore and metal quickly established the band as the Toronto kingpins of the sound, earning them spots on such prestigious tours as Projekt Revolution (Korn, Snoop Dogg, Ghostface Killer and M.O.P.)
More recently, the band treated fans to a surprise full-length release, Torture Culture, with standout tracks including the title and the brilliant “In The City.” Frontman Ben Cook and his bandmates took to the road, traversing Europe earlier this year in support of their first album in a decade. With an upcoming show date at The Warehouse scheduled for September 18th, Cook accepted the challenge presented by GoBeWeekly to tell us “10 Things To Learn From Ben Cook.”
GoBe: What was the most “torturous” thing you had to endure in the making of the album Torture Culture?
BEN: Myself. Shout outs to our engineer, Chris Creglia, for putting up with me. Haha.
GoBe: How many times have you been asked why it took 10 years to produce No Warning’s third album, Torture Culture, and how many times has the answer changed?
BEN: I've blocked out most of the monotony from shitty music journalism, so I really couldn't tell you. But 10 years felt like 10 minutes, so it was pretty chill to get back into the studio and crush bangers.
Gobe: What do you think is better in the video for “In The City”: the great guitar work, or the great graffiti work?
BEN: While Matty (Delong) busking at Vic Park station for 1000$ is a pretty legendary scene, I have to shout out all the homies from Aussie, NY, Calgary and Toronto for contributing such masterful work. We are blessed to know such legends. GW 4ever, eh.
GoBe: What do you think the future holds for hardcore music. What will ensure its survival?
BEN: I think HC will get even more profitable and watered down by social media until it reaches the shittiest place it's ever been, and then when the even younger generations come up and have completely wiped social media out of their minds and figured out their own ways to connect... it’s going to be really fuckin' cool.
GoBe: Do you ever get a headache from singing?
BEN: Yes, my jaws hurt all the time.
GoBe: Were there any times during your recent European tour where you felt you were in a crowd that might actually be dangerous
BEN: Not even for a single milli-second have I felt any sort of danger from any crowds in a very long time. The days of actual murderers moshing around the dance floor with machetes are long over. I guess that’s a good thing. In terms of crowd response, though, there has def been sometimes where I thought I might be crushed to death, fo sho. After the last song of our first set on that Euro tour, I walked out of the room quietly vomiting on people’s legs and shoes because it was just so hot and gnarly, and I couldn’t get out of the venue fast enough, cuz it was too packed.
GoBE: If No Warning had to do a cover of some lame pop track (think Weezer doing Toto), what song would you cover?
BEN: Damn, I f*** wit Toto. I'd do "Dark Star" by CSN. Look it up, it’s butter. Wait, that’s not a lame pop song…I dunno, we'd probably do a Pat Benatar song, cuz Jordie is obsessed with her.
GoBe: Is there ever such a thing as "too much success" for a band?
BEN: If you end up ruining your lives with drugs, and your friends start dying or the band starts to suck from it.. yeah, that’s too much "success". I also think a bit of success can really inflate one’s ego, especially if they are such fragile beings like musicians. A massive ego can spur one to create some pretty amazing things, but also become VERY LAME.
GoBe: What can fans expect from NO WARNING at the upcoming show at THE WAREHOUSE in St. Catharines?
BEN: I'm gonna go for dinner at 06 Chengdu Noodle place, because I've been to Cheng Du, China and I'm obsessed with all that food. I just read about it. Meet me there before the show. You can expect me to vomit the entire meal up on stage around song #3, and then put on a pretty decent performance, as my second wind after a good solid heave is pretty nice, not gonna lie. Haha. Just kidding. Sorry, this interview has been mostly about vomit. I'm not this gross IRL. You can expect good vibes from stage, and hopefully people are stoked to rock.
GoBe: Pick a lyric from a No Warning song for a) your attitude toward life and, B) the epitaph for your headstone?
BEN: A) "Suffer, Survive" and B) "...this whole time, he was just an asshole"
Watch the video for “In The City” here: https://vimeo.com/256373610