Interview with Madball: Flying The Flag For NYC Hardcore

MadballFor more than two decades, Madball have championed the chugging grooves and straightforward sincerity that helped to lay the foundation of NY hardcore.

These legendary kings of the genre continue their anthemic mix of old and new school styles on their sixth full- length album, Infiltrate The System, released on Aug. 21, through Ferret Records. While never faltering to represent the spirit of the NYC streets, this sophomore release with the seminal Jersey hard rock label marks the band’s heaviest and most aggressive to date.

Coming off their June run with Terror and 100 Demons, Madball are now set for an international tour that will stretch throughout the fall. Packing things up for the European leg of their upcoming tour, vocalist Freddy Cricien spoke about his fury on the mic, touring the globe and what hardcore means to the big apple.

It’s coming up on 20 years that you released Ball Of Destruction. Being one of the pillars of NY hardcore, could you give me your take on the scene now compared to back in the day when you were just starting out?

When I was first introduced to the hardcore scene (I was like 7 or 8 years old) by my brother (Roger Miret of Agnostic Front), everyone knows that story; I mean, it was a different world back then to where it is now. It was a small thing, now it’s on such an international level I would have never thought that back then when I was introduced to it. I thought it was just this select group of people that had their own kind of thing going. It was small and intimate and like, crazy. It was really on a street level and that’s where it was born, but it has definitely changed throughout the years. The ’90s was a good time period and then we were out of the game for a couple of minutes, but since we’ve been back in action and doing our thing it’s been really good for us. So I think it’s changed, but for the better. For there to be a scene in South America and Russia it’s a sign of growth and evolution.

What does the evolution of hardcore music mean in terms of New York, having lost some of the local spots you guys used to play?

Yeah definitely, there used to be a lot more options to play throughout the years. Now there’s a lack of good venues, but we got some major players that still carry the torch for NY, like Agnostic Front and Sick Of It All, and I guess we could include ourselves somewhere in there. We still fly the flag for NY hardcore and try to keep things out there. It will all come back around, it happens, we’re just going through a hard time as far as venues and stuff goes.

On your latest record you have the track ‘Stand Up NY’ that pays respect to the five boroughs. What’s your favorite thing about the city?

I mean, shit, there’s so much. From the atmosphere to the food to all the different cultures, it’s the Mecca for so many things. Music wise, food wise, it’s a trend setting city, a city that gave birth to the NY scene and gave birth to our band and everything. I got to always give props to that.