Age of Turmoil: A Politically-Charged Chat with Terminal Nation

“A line in the sand has been drawn, which side will you be on?”

This is the question posed by Little Rock firebrands Terminal Nation, a hardcore/grind act exemplifying the genre’s storied history of heavily politicised music by refusing to  pander to “both sides” and instead using their platform to channel the anger of the masses at the injustices happening all around us. Few bands have encapsulated the rage of post-Trump US with such seething precision or such unbridled passion.

Their debut full-length Holocene Extinction drops this coming August, but look no further than their existing EPs and splits for what to expect. Tracks like ‘ICE Watch’ and ‘Church Of The Gun’ make no mistake in calling out the crimes of their nation in explicit terms – if you’re looking for escapism, you won’t find it here.

Back in January, we spoke to guitarist Dalton about US politics and all things Terminal Nation. This was initially going to be printed in our next zine, but after Covid-related delays on that, the band’s new album is now on the way, and now seems the perfect time to share this chat. We took the opportunity to ask him about…

 

The band’s aims from day one…

Terminal Nation has been and always will be a big ‘fuck you’ to the corporate world, the top 1% who control everything, and the systematic institutions that keep the cogs in motion. 

 

Whether bands can have a role in political discourse…

I think hardcore/punk music (where we derived our roots) has been inherently political from the jump. We have a voice, we should use it to stand up for what we know is right and for those whose voices are muted by the corrupt institutions at play. We’ve had many people come to us and explain that they had never thought about the topics spoken on stage in the way we explain them and it aided them in changing their opinion, and that right there is better than anything.

 

Why they wrote ‘ICE Watch’…

The song speaks for itself; ICE is a crime against humanity, and I will say that until ICE is no longer. Immigrant families have every right to be here. Borders are made up. Their families and cultures have been here for centuries on the American continents. They are hard working people and bring a lot of culture and pride to our communities that we would not have otherwise. Deporting families and separating children from their mothers and fathers is the most despicable crime and should be punished.

 

Their thoughts on Trump and the American political system…

The Trump administration and those who support them are all bootlickers. There’s a reason that he is going through an impeachment trial. The Democratic Party has some great candidates [reminder: this conversation took place in January, before Biden became the clear frontrunner]. If they would stick together and utilise the better of the candidates for the running instead of dividing themselves, it would work out a lot better in their favour. With that being said, I think the two party system in America is a joke because they are two wings of the same bird. For a good majority, they both take money from big pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, and many of the other top 1%. I will always and forever back universal healthcare. It works so well in many of the worlds most successful countries, and rightfully so. But big pharma wouldn’t care for that too much, would they?

 

The current state of the US…

Tension is at an all time high in recent years. I’ve seen so many atrocities committed by so called “patriots” of this country assaulting, killing and degrading the immigrant families of our country and it’s just getting worse. When they allow Trump to say the heinous things he says to the media, it gives the unintelligent lowlife scum of this country the feeling that they can do whatever with no repercussions.

 

The upcoming US election…

I am optimistic, I have to be. I have faith that the American people will come to realise that the Trump administration and the Republican Party has never had our best interest in mind and that they are preying on the hard working middle and lower class people of this nation and pitting them against each other. I sincerely hope that Trump doesn’t have another residency as the president and that someone [reminder 2.0: this conversation took place in January] will take his place that values the hardworking people of our country, regardless of the colour of their skin, their gender, their sexual orientation and preferences or their identity. Respect existence or expect resistance. 

 

Why they wrote ‘Church Of The Gun’… 

It’s a very touchy subject because we are having mass shootings more now than ever. Parents are scared to send their children to school for fear they might not come back alive, how horrifying is that? Gun control is a major issue in the United States and needs reform. It shouldn’t be so easy to acquire a firearm. As a responsible gun owner, I know how easy it is and it’s disgusting to me. There should be mental checks, better criminal history checks, and waiting periods to ensure the safety of our people.

 

Their split with nazi-stomping black metallers Neckbeard Deathcamp…

The Neckbeard Deathcamp split came about in a funny way. We were well aware of what the band was doing, and people kept commenting to us on Twitter and other social media sites about how we should do a split with them. We messaged back and forth for a bit and decided to make it happen. There are plenty of other bands I’d love to work with. I’d love to collaborate with Racetraitor or Regional Justice Center.

 

The recording of their new album…

The process itself was lengthy and time-consuming, but it was well worth the hard work. Some of the songs that are on the LP have been written for years, so we put a lot of effort into what we will be releasing. This time around, compared to other studio sessions, we worked really hard to have our shit together and we knew exactly what we wanted soundwise and that really seemed to make it easier throughout the whole process. 

 

What to expect from Holocene Extinction…

Punishing riffs, against the grain lyrical content, and all out aggression towards the opposition. This release sounds a bit different than anything we’ve put out to date and I am extremely proud of us for being able to put our creative minds together to make this happen.

 

Holocene Extinction is out 7th August on 20 Buck Spin. Order here.

Intro: George Parr

Interview: Nathan Tyler