(Editor’s Notes — The hardcore band Selfish Act has been making a name for itself with its take-no-prisoners live shows. Now, as the band’s debut demo hits today (LISTEN HERE), we caught up with guitarist Griffin Coyne who was generous enough with his time to discuss the band’s origins, plans for the immediate future, and the new ’91 Ford Econoline recently purchased by frontman Owen Jones. Selfish Act is: Owen Jones – vocals; Griffin Coyne – guitar; Josh Link – guitar; David Wagner – drums, and Conor Kennedy – bass. — Photos by Matt Smith)
1120 PRESS: Thanks so much for speaking with us. You guys have only been around a few short months, but already you’ve made some impact on the scene. How did Selfish Act come about and how do you guys feel about the response toward the band so far? GRIFFIN COYNE: Selfish Act was first an idea that Conor and I had while playing in our old band Volt Switch together. We realized that we both loved hardcore and wanted to play it, so we brainstormed some people who may be a good fit. Conor worked with Owen and knew he was a kick-ass vocalist, so that was an easy decision. We had both met David at a show through our mutual friend, Casey, and he was the perfect choice for a drummer. Lead guitar was a more difficult endeavor, as we originally had this guy who had some pretty wild ideas of us doing guitar spins and coordinated kicks while playing some industry-safe, radio-rock/faux metalcore, rather than hardcore. He thankfully ended up being a flake and we reached out to Josh, who had previously filled-in for Volt Switch on bass. Josh really rounded us out, as he is an amazing guitarist and is into much more musically-complex music than most hardcore, so we have a secret weapon for when we need it. As for the reception, we have some really cool people supporting us. MikeUnion Jeffers and Jorden Cudzillo from Juggernaut and G.O.A. got behind us right away, and Jorden added us to a show he put together in August. From there, we met the guys in Hold Out and World on Fire and have continued making a lot of strong connections. Mark Miller of Hold Out has been awesome, from taking pictures of our first show, shouting us out, and putting us on a kickass bill in November. Donny Arthur from Final Declaration and Spaced also got in touch with us early and has been encouraging and supporting us ever since. In addition, this band materialized at a time where a few of us have more stability in our personal lives and are able to make an effort to go to every show that we can. Going to shows and meeting people has been the ultimate way to generate buzz about the band, and more importantly it has exposed us to the amazing and seemingly endless talent of our peers in this scene. We truly appreciate all of the love that we’ve received so far and are extremely excited for what’s to come. 1120: The band just cut its first demo. What can you tell us about it? (SEE & HERE THE FULL DEMO AT BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE)
GC: We recorded all five songs on October 1 with Nathan Boorman. He was my absolute first choice after I worked with him while recording the most recent G.O.A. single. Nathan has a way of capturing exactly what a band sounds like and I feel that this is a very authentic representation of what we are trying to get across with our sound. As for themes and subject matter, the songs are about the fact that no one knows what they’re doing and how we have to make choices while dealing with old wounds and creating new ones. We also touch on some of our social views, addressing hypocrisy in religion and calling out transphobia. With our sound, the song writing comes down to Owen expressing a few ideas he has for a song and then David and I trying to make it happen. We all love hardcore, but our own individual preferences within the genre are at different sides of the spectrum. Owen is much more into the current wave of bands like Sunami and Knocked Loose, where David really likes 90’s and 00’s stuff like Hatebreed and Integrity, and I grew up listening to Sick of it All and Slapshot. Our sound comes from the compromise we all make between these different styles. 1120: You guys have only played a handful of shows but already word is spreading that your gigs are must-see events. You guys leave it all out there, and what’s more, you appear to have a blast playing together. Where’s the chemistry come from? GC: Our chemistry ultimately comes from a love for the music that we’re doing. We love moving around for other bands, so we make music that makes us want to do the same while we’re playing and it appears to be having the same effect on the audience. However, beyond just a love for the music, we’ve become really close friends. Despite only really meeting within the past year, we all spend a lot of time together, whether it’s hanging out before or after practices, going to other shows, or various similar debaucherous endeavors. We see each other several times per week and always have a good time. 1120: What lies ahead for you guys; is there any specific plan in place (i.e. gigs outside the area, more recording, etc…) or are you just riding the tide at the moment, so to speak? GC: Our biggest plan is to just keep pushing while we’re able to. We’re at a stage where we are not only extremely motivated, but we are able to really prioritize music. We have the demo coming out today and hope to record more music before the end of the year, with the aim of a Spring ‘24 release. We want to keep on playing cool shows in WNY, but a longer term plan is to get out and do some weekends in the Northeast and Midwest this winter and spring, leading to longer runs in the Summer. With that being said, Owen recently picked up a 1991 Ford Econoline and we’re all dumb (or ambitious?) enough to go out and pursue as many opportunities as we can. 1120: Is there anything else you’d like to say that we haven’t touched on? GC: We’ve got some cool upcoming shows: Tonight at Empire Board and Bike with Monomaniac, Offbeat Degradations, and Fatal Visions. October 28 at Amy’s Place with Division Rivals, Broken Locker, Belt, and 80hrs. November 17 with Pure Heel, Jeweltone, Hold Out, and Offside. And check out these bands: Jeweltone, Hold Out, Pure Heel, Fatal Visions, Autoignition, Clown Teeth, Monomaniac, Voice in Captivity, World on Fire, Old Ghosts, Science Man, Healer, G.O.A., Juggernaut, K-Hole, Kill Uncle, The Arcane, Smash n Grab, Final Declaration, Spaced, Soul Butchers, Last Night Songs, The Irving Klaws, Exhibition, Big Dog, Violent Way, Radical Operations, Combat Gala, Abandoned Trains, Deluxxe, Gathering Ground, Division Rivals, Shallow Teeth, and so many more. We are also greatly appreciative of all that 1120 Press has done for us in terms of coming out to shows, promoting our stuff, taking photos and videos, and conducting this interview. Thank you!