Reign Supreme is hardcore band from Philadelphia, PA. The band most recently released Testing the Limits of Infinite on Deathwish, Inc. and will be embarking on a US tour with Shai Hulud and The Carrier starting July 18 in Haverill, MA. They will be making their second appearance at Sound and Fury, which runs from July 31-August 2. This interview is between Scott Brown and Reigh Supreme vocalist, Jay Pepito.
You guys have a very focused and accessible sound for a heavy hardcore band. How purposeful are you towards gaining a bigger fanbase in the music you write?
We don't care about that kind of stuff. If you think there's any sort of financial stability or serious career/future in hardcore music, you're fucking high.
What influences do you have that would surprise people or aren't immediately apparent in your songwriting?
The breakdown to "Mother Superior" is a ripoff of a Jawbox song called "Savory". Many of our lyrics are taken from the Smiths and Joy Division. I listen to music that Greg Dulli makes more than I listen to any NYHC. The best punk band of all time was Nirvana.
What are some lesser-known or local bands you've played without around the country that have impressed you?
Advent from North Carolina, A Loss for Words from Massachusetts, and Unholy from Syracuse are all worth mentioning. Advent and Unholy are heavy and metallic, A Loss for Words is sort of pop punk/hardcore.
A lot of readers of this website, Punknews.org, have a very negative image of hardcore bands like Terror, Madball, etc. Why do you think that is and what misconceptions do you think you can clear up?
A lot of readers of your website are probably pussies. Kidding. No, I have no idea. I don't care either. Different strokes you know? I've always found that people tend to write stuff off that is actually pretty similar to the stuff they love based purely off of slight, aesthetic, presentational differences. But it just depends on what people like. Some people probably find their lyrics one-dimensional or find the tough guy hardcore posturing thing a bit contrived. I don't care about that stuff. I just like music, and i don't like a lot of bands that are very well-received, and I like a lot of bands that nobody is into. Everybody is sick of mosh parts in 2009. I get that. I don't care, that's what I like. I am also a 26 year old man who listens to Fall Out Boy on a daily basis. Sue me.
What initially attracted you to hardcore and is that still the reason you are involved in it?
The anger and purity of its delivery. It was kids like me, without poser mohawks or fashion punkers writing heavy and angry music about things that pissed me off. How could I not get into it? It just has always seemed to me to be this ironic dichotomy between the most insanely laughable and phony crap, and the most honest and pure expression of emotion and anger I've ever seen. Hardcore, at it's best, still makes my blood boil.
Best tour story. Go.
One time, we got pulled over by a cop, for going 70 in a 40, or something like that. Our guitarist, Dave, told the officer that "that's literally impossible". The cop then let us go. It was awesome.
You're involved in muay thai. Martial arts is something most people do for a year or two as a kid and then drop away from. Why have you stayed with it and does it inform what you do with Reign Supreme in any way?
I don't know why I do it. It just makes sense to me. I'm good at it. I'm a muay thai teacher, so I guess i've just made it a part of my lifestyle. I don't really think it's got much to do with Reign Supreme; muay thai is an outlet for me, as is music, but one doesn't inform the other.
This is your second year on Sound and Fury. What's the best and worst parts of playing Sound and Fury and other fests like it?
Best part is the amazing set that results in hundreds of kids who like your band seeing you at once, worst part is finding a place to crash after. This year, I got a hotel. Yeah, that's right, baller.