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Scene Report: France- The Beginning of a New Era!

RIGHT FOR LIFE 1997

The hardcore French scene is now ramping up. Maybe the scourge of health crisis created a particular craze?

Paradoxically, gigs and meetings around music have diminished severely. These last two years were surely an opportunity for hardcore fans to reconnect with the state of mind that reigned in the 1990s.

I grew up with the emergence of the hardcore scene in the south of France. At that time, only word of mouth worked to organize and get to gigs. I remember discovering the warm hardcore atmosphere at Racial Abuse and Right for life gig.

Out for blood, La Gespe, 1997.
Out for blood, La Gespe, 1997.

This band made a huge noise playing with bands like Madball, Sick of it all, Shelter, YOT, or Ensign.

I then understood what the drug-free concept meant. At the same time, we listened to Minor Threat in a loop. Old school bands started to develop and grow until the metal sound came in. Why not mix the speed of old-school riffs and the aggressiveness of metal sounds? Well, Eastern Europe has brought us masters in the field.

Arkangel was the precursor of a radical metal sound and brought a wicked attitude to the stage. They were then the fervent defenders of the animal rights and straight edge movement.

Baldur from Arkangel 

In the 2000s, many bands came to play in Toulouse, Rennes, or Tarbes. Motivated guys allowed the French to see bands like Strife, Madball, and others. I was at Fury Festival in Nantes 2003 when lots of bands came (YOT, SOIT, Hatebreed, 25 ta life, Throwdown, Born from Pain, Most precious blood…) it was a blast. These festivals also gave birth to Hellfest.

But the media and the Internet arrival have surely demolished this hardcore scene. I felt a real slowdown in the desire for bands, in the attitude and everything became weird. My friends were no longer motivated, the groups no longer came and it’s all the French hardcore movement that slowly fell. Unfortunately, only the big known bands continued to tour. Added to this, new metal and punk rock have grown in the minds of the kids.

The flame was rekindled by underground bands who decided to move on. Alea Jacta Est is the prime example of a bunch of unpretentious buddies who broke through in the middle.

They showed that even starting at the bottom anything is possible. They also encouraged new bands to start playing.

By sharing the stage with Sick of it all and others leaders, they revived the hardcore scene in France. Olivier from AJE successfully started Useless Pride records with his own hands and a lot of will. This allowed talented French bands to show.

Today, small bands come to animate the scene with a thirst to learn and to grow enormously. Self Esteem, Iron Deficiency, and XBreakoutX for example are igniting the scene with their communicative energy and their strict guidelines.

However, social media has the advantage of easily building communities and bringing people together. It also allows underground bands to make themselves known or to be able to play where we weren’t expecting them. Thanks to these discussions, our band was able to release a tape on a Russian label. XschlassX on https://makimarecords.bigcartel.com/

The fervor has started again in the countryside, the cities are reorganizing concerts and the movement is gaining momentum.

As proof, a local band, Cold Hope, has just released an album that was born out of a passion for the 90s hardcore and the modern movement:

Many groups and associations are created to continue the hardcore movement.

Hardcore Cares France takes up the torch of the Detroit association (Skarhead, Agnostic Front, Wisdom in chains…) to promote animal rights and make the scene bigger.

The craze of hardcore in France has not stopped, on the contrary, it is only the beginning of a new era!

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