Germany’s melodic hardcore mob Giver are premiering their debut album Where The Cycle Breaks in full with Metal Hammer. Drawing on bands across the hardcore spectrum – from Comeback Kid to Bastions – the record is bursting with passion, gang-vocals and aggression, as it tackles the topics of depression, consumerism and climate change.
We caught up with vocalist Robert to talk about each track on the record, and what Giver’s music means to him.
Shock Of The Fall
“This is one of the few songs we wrote mainly in our rehearsal space together. We really built it from jamming the intro and adding more and more parts to it that we felt worked to make it feel whole and coherent. Lyrically, it deals with the sense of security and euphoria that always comes before crisis.”
“Regarding the songwriting process, we wanted to have at least one fast and short punk song on the record that is still interesting and not too generic for hardcore. The Other is essentially about creation of identity, which mostly happens by contrasting oneself with supposedly negative or ‘bad’ groups of people and simultaneously by expressing ones affiliation with a ‘better’ one. We can watch this process being employed by the populist right all over the world right now.”
Made It Home
“These are probably the most personal lyrics on the record. I tried to express how it felt to grow up in a repetitive circle of waiting, reuniting and parting. This circle became a routine which I could hold on to. When you are parted with a person who you dearly love and miss, the only thing that keeps you going is the fact that you know you’ll be reunited soon. But all of a sudden this circle comes to an end and you are left without your routine that kept you going.”
No World To Come
“This is basically a song about climate change and our generation being the last one that might still be able to have an impact on how life on this planet will continue. If we don´t change, there really is no world for us to come, and the refugee ‘crisis’ we face right now will be a drop in the ocean against what might happen. We worked on the ending of this song for quite a while and replaced it a few times, but are happy with how it eventually turned out.”
Dancing With The Devils
“We have been playing this song live for a long time already, and it was the first track we wrote for the album. Even though it might be the most metal song on it, it kind of helped us define the direction we wanted to go to sound-wise. We wanted to create a fast hardcore punk record that still has a lot of interesting parts and break out of the double-time beat pattern.”
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What You Don´t Love
“This song is kind of the answer to No World To Come. If we want to change the way we are heading now, we have to start with ourselves and our own consumerist behaviour. Stopping climate change means stopping growth, which means buying less, flying less, eating less meat and generally being happy with less stuff in our homes. The good news is that everybody has a chance to act and should consider using it.”
Heart Of Dark
“Being one of the longest tracks of the record, Heart Of Dark really took us a while to write. It might be the most experimental song of the album with its long gang-vocal intro, the mid-tempo chorus featuring picked chords, and the vocals that are written in an almost storytelling style. The lyrics adapt the narrative of Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart Of Darkness and re-tell the story from the perspective of the river.”
“My thoughts were raging in my head and I couldn’t concentrate or even sleep. I was asking myself if I even wanted to live at all. I searched for a solution to my problems and antidepressants seemed to be the answer. They helped to clear my mind but I felt worse than ever, because I became emotionless and numb. I wasn’t myself so I decided to quit taking these pills and tried to find out how to face the things that trigger my depression. I never felt better in my whole life.”
The Terror Of Perfection
“We liked the idea of having the title of the record appear in a distinctive part of a song, so the words ‘Where The Cycle Breaks’ make the chorus of this track. It deals with the fact that the capitalist world we live in runs on a feeling of incompleteness. One only buys, consumes and works more if he or she feels like becoming more whole in the process. The places and moments we manage to spend outside of this cycle – to us – are those that really count in life.”
“This song describes how I felt after a close person tried to commit suicide. What happened triggered my depression to a maximum, and led to the darkest times I ever went through. I was confused and everything around me just seemed in disharmony, rushing past me while I stood still without any motion. The ‘melody’ was my surrounding that I just realised was a big noise accompanying my life.”
When The Fire Dies
“We are all arriving in our mid-twenties now; feeling the fangs of adulthood and 40 hour/week jobs at our heels. The song is essentially about the fear of losing time and energy to do all the things that happen outside of working and family life that make you who you are.”
Where The Cycle Breaks is out January 26 via Holy Roar Records, and is available to pre-order now.