September 1, 2010
Eddie Sutton is often hailed a legendary frontman when it comes to the pantheon of New York hardcore. All the accolades are well deserved, and right now he's getting more press for his newest band, Truth and Rights, than he's ever had in his career. "It's definitely a good thing, and I am enjoying it," Sutton told us during a late night phone call, adding that he felt blessed by the level of support and interest.
But much energy has been spent asking why Truth and Rights isn't continuing the hardcore thrash Sutton covered in his previous band Leeway. "I really feel, honestly, people are burning their hands and fingers holding a candle to the past," said Sutton, speaking of the scene today and the constant rewind many bands get trapped in. "I've wanted to move on and do other things for the past 20 years."
After Leeway's finale in 2006, Sutton began talking with Rey Fonseca and Zack Thorne of Agents of Man about starting a band. This of course became the inception of Truth and Rights, but the band was still a long way from hitting the stage. Finding the right drummer became a task. "A lot of people always say, 'Let's do this,' but they never follow through. Or they talk a good game and the next day they sober up and forget what the hell what they said. You gotta separate the men from the boys in a situation like that."
In came drummer Dimi Duvous (Crown of Thornz), and they recorded a handful of tracks to never release them. "We scrapped the whole thing. There wasn't enough heart there," says Sutton. "Obviously we weren't ready."
The time it has taken to get the melodic outfit running was never anything Sutton stressed about. "Everything happens for a reason," he said, pointing to past addictions as proof. "If Leeway would have blown up, I probably would be dead because I probably wouldn't have been able to handle -- it getting caught up in the drugs and the luxuries that come with success." But Sutton feels right now is the perfect time for Truth and Rights to be heard.
The stamp of Sutton, aside from the sportsman like energy on stage, has always been his voice, which for the devoted make note. It's changed, and he can really belt out notes. After recovering from a broken neck, he not only had to relearn how to sing, but he had the chance to continue his long goal of progress. "I always try to do more, grow and evolve. That whole process in over 25 years puts me in the position that I am now."
Without progress there can only be death, and Sutton holds a fear of hardcore going that way -- everyone rehashing their favorite bands and not stepping out on their own. "To me, hardcore is a lifestyle, but it's the music that bring us together. It's definitely not defined as a sound, and I think that's necessary.
"That's a lot of the reason I want to try to reach the youth of hardcore this time, because I don't want them to emulate who they look up to or who they want to sound and be like. When this music started over 30 years ago, it was all about individuality. I feel like because it has been tied down to such a similar state, we are going to become tired as doo wop. If there is not growth, there is not evolution, some sort of testing the boundaries. It's gonna get tired."
Truth and Rights are doing their part -- that much can't be denied. 'Green Light,' their first seven-inch, is out now on Six Feet Under Records.