top of page
  • Writer's pictureJodie Brough

Interview with Down With Rent

Photo Credit - Emma Wink

Connecticut hardcore punk band ‘Down With Rent’ releases their latest single ‘2008 Again’ taken from their upcoming EP ‘Shithead Americana’, which outlines the political and sociological issues facing the US through a barrage of distorted guitars and dissenting commentary.

We were lucky enough to have a chat with Glenden from the band about all things 'Down With Rent'

Introduce yourself and tell us what you do in the band?

My name is Glenden, I play bass and do the occasional backup screech in a hardcore punk band called Down With Rent.

Tell us a little about your band and how you got together.

We have been writing music since 2013 and playing shows since 2015. It started I believe with a FB group at CCSU(Central Connecticut State University). Crow, our guitarist, was looking to start a punk band that was in the same vein as Dead Kennedys. Fast, short songs with political lyrics and a bad attitude. Our drummer Tristan responded to this and they met for a few practices in his dorm room with shitty amps and an electronic drum kit. Trevor, our vocalist, knew Crow from high school and had an equally bad attitude and a giant lung capacity. Their first bass player was the classic “drafted guitarist” who didn’t really want to play bass but was just filling a role. He got caught up with his other band and never had time to practice so they found me because I happened to play in a band with Tristan in high school and I actually enjoy playing bass. We started practicing in Tristan’s parents basement in 2014, wrote and recorded our first terrible EP which has hopefully been expunged from internet records, and the rest is history.

Tell us a bit about your latest single, what’s the story behind the song?

“2008 Again” is about living in a society that’s bereft of new ideas. Everything is a reboot, a sequel, or a remaster. Our actors are digitally de-aged, our leaders are elderly, and all we have is the comfort of nostalgia because no one is optimistic about the future anymore, between climate change, war, and capitalist crises. The same frame of mind that keeps us rewatching the same familiar media is what keeps us voting for the same familiar leaders who create and allow for the scary sociopolitical conditions we are in now.

What is your writing process like? Do you start with lyrics and then come up with a melody or is it the other way round?

Generally it starts with a riff, it could be something small or something bigger, but usually Crow or myself will show up to practice with something we think is cool and we’ll work together to turn it into something we think will get kids moving. We have a pretty solid artistic relationship where there is very little ego attached to the material. If one of us has a negative opinion of a riff, it is usually shelved with no hard feelings. Lyrics are spread fairly evenly between myself, Trev, and Crow depending on the release. Sometimes one of us will get a huge spike of inspiration and have a full song complete in one night, other times it’s more collaborative. I think we’ve been spending enough time creating with one another that multiple approaches to music making have worked for us. Typically if one of us has an idea that they are passionate about, a riff, a lyric, or concept it will get turned into a song eventually. Being in a band this long means we are no longer friends, we are artistic partners and more importantly brothers. This means we annoy one another and we step on each other's toes but when we love one another and when we are all on the same page we consistently churn out material that we are all very proud of. Long may it stay that way.

What bands were you listening to when you were writing this release? Do you think it had an effect on the end sound?

We all have very eclectic tastes in music and very strong opinions but where all four of our musical lives intersect is probably Sum 41, early Rise Against, Everytime I Die, and Irish rebel music. There’s always some pop punk, some powerviolence, some beatdown hardcore, some folk being played when we’re hanging out. As far as its impact on the music we release I think it’s less of an amalgamation of influences and more of a natural progression for the music we’ve already released. This EP is more complex, better produced, and more streamlined than anything we’ve released thus far. We feel that we have matured as artists, musicians, and bandmates and the music reflects that. We care a lot less about what others think of us now that we’re not 19 years old anymore and we’re just making the music we want to make.

What can you tell us about the release that the song has come from?

“Shithead Americana” is meant to be a concise summation of our feelings about the country we live in as four broke lefties who have zero hope for a better future. It’s meant to be a response to the rightwing nationalist wave of horrendous “culture war” legislation currently being proposed to actively make marginalized communities’ lives worse. It’s a release about the Marjorie Taylor Greenes and the Ron DeSantises of the world distracting a fearful, angry, and uneducated populace with false claims of “cultural marxism” and “replacement”. It’s about you going to visit your racist uncle or aunt’s house and having to quietly listen to them tacitly approving trans genocide or police brutality. It’s about the terror and frustration of living in a country that genuinely does not care if you live or die, let alone having a chance at a future or the “american dream”. It’s about people fighting for their lives. “Bathroom bills, and banning books, white misogynist pseudo-culture, colonizer ethnostate…you will be replaced”

What would people be surprised to know about you?

Probably that two out of four of us are really into larping. I won’t tell you which ones.

Do you have any shows coming up that we should get ourselves along to?

We just got back from a little run down south with our brothers in Betty Grey. Other than that we have a few coming up at some of our local haunts(shoutout Cherry Street Station, and the WAMLEG). We’ve got plans for tours in May and June, but nothing confirmed yet. Until then we’re always practicing, writing and looking for shows. Stay tuned friends.

Thanks for chatting with us Glenden!

Down with Rent Online:

77 views0 comments


bottom of page