Music News

Hardcore Eulogy

The Phoenix hardcore scene just can't seem to get a break. Between bad press about feisty hardcore gangs and more venues refusing to book bands that have a reputation for attracting violent fans, now the scene has taken another hit -- high-profile local posi act Where Eagles Dare is closing down shop after five years of touring and three full-length releases. The band will play its final show this Sunday, April 23, at the Clubhouse Music Venue in Tempe, and will include a guest appearance by original Where Eagles Dare drummer MYK, who will play half the set.

"You get a feel for when something is done," says bassist John O'Hagan. "We all had that feeling, and we went against it for the last couple of months being on tour. Nobody wanted to be the guy to say, 'This is done,' but as soon as it was brought up, everyone said, 'Yep.'"

Made up of O'Hagan, singer JSN Anthony, guitarist Kellen Fortier, and drummer Andrew Hammer, the quartet will continue to work together on an assortment of projects, including a band that all four Eagles will play in. The new project will mark a departure for the guys from the hardcore genre.

"We're not gonna play punk and hardcore anymore," says O'Hagan. "It'll be a little more eclectic, like not so straightforward. Where Eagles Dare was a pretty straightforward band."

In its five years of existence, Where Eagles Dare has not only had a mention on Wikipedia, and shared a name with an obscure Clint Eastwood movie and an old Misfits song, but also spread the gospel of positive thinking through unity and the hardcore lifestyle. Where some hardcore bands tolerate aggression at shows and kids proving how tough they are, Fight Club-style, Where Eagles Dare has always preferred a message that would inspire fans to make something of themselves.

"Hardcore saved my life," says O'Hagan. "There's a ton of positive things about getting involved in a community. We never got the same attention as bands that said, 'Grab the guy next to you and kick him in the face.' But that's not us. We said, 'Let's take care of each other and enjoy life,' you know?"

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Casey Lynch