A band with a name like False Confession might not be the easiest to believe when it comes to interviews — but at this point in the Nardcore original’s 35-year-long career, there’s not much left for the members to hide anymore. The band (drummer Harry Drumdini, bassist Ismael Hernandez, vocalist Israel Madlangbayan, guitarist Fred Matatquin) currently finds itself on the cusp of new material and new performances, the vitality and focus of which are somehow stronger than ever before.
Guitarist Matatquin holds forth on what it takes to keep a band together for almost 40 years.
Is there one particular performance that stands out for you?
There are two shows that are memorable: One of our first shows, when we were kids, was playing in Los Angeles with one of our favorite bands, Minor Threat. This was during their Out of Step tour — that was insane! The other one was the first Nardfest at the Ventura Theater. We had just started playing together again after many years of not being a band, and it was great playing with old friends and alongside the newer bands in the Nardcore scene.
What do you have to do as individuals to keep going as a band together?
We all have pretty hectic lives these days, but our passion for this band, our friendship and especially the young fans that are just discovering us are what keep us going. Because we live in different cities, Ventura and L.A., there’s definitely a lot of planning involved, even just to rehearse! But we make it happen.
Tell me about the new record.
Our new record, with all-new material, is coming out in late fall. It’ll be released digitally, as well as on a limited 12-inch, which will have a bonus track. It’ll still be true to our hardcore/deathrock roots!
What lessons did you learn from the making of the Left to Burn EP?
Listen to the final mix before pressing the record! That EP was made in haste — but we think it captured the spirit and honesty of what we were trying to do. We learned that you shouldn’t be rushed into making important decisions when making a record.
How do you think you yourself have changed since you were the person who made that first EP?
It’s been a very long time since that EP was made, but we’ve never stopped playing music. It’s our passion. If anything, we’ve become better at playing our instruments than we started out, when we hardly knew how to play them at all.
Can you see the band having changed over the years?
We definitely appreciate each other more, and we appreciate how well we work together as a band. That’s something you don’t appreciate until you’ve played with people that have been your friends for many years. It’s a different dynamic. We try not to get caught up or distracted with drama or bullshit politics, like some bands have to deal with once in a while.
Are there people from the Nardcore scene who aren’t making music anymore that you wish were still around making music?
I wish Henry Knowles were still around. Also, Beer Guts — and Ape Sex!
Do you think you would’ve have had that level of perspective of appreciating those around you as a younger person?
Definitely not. We were pretty crazy when we were younger — playing in bands and hanging out all night in clubs, getting caught up with partying and abusing ourselves recklessly. When you see people you know dying around you, you can either keep going down that path, or change your ways to be able to keep doing what you love most: playing in a band.
What personal vice do you miss least of all?
I don’t miss any of my personal vices at all!
They almost killed me
So you’re saying that this is a true confession!
Of which False Confession song are you proudest so far, and why?
We’re proud of them all! They were written by all of us when they really meant something — good or bad — to all of us.
Which song resonates most for you personally?
At this moment? “Kill for Fun” [from Out of the Basement Demo 1983 LP] because it’s still so relevant with all the crazy mass shootings in the country. It’s one of the first songs we wrote when we were kids, and I am pretty sure it was inspired by watching the news on the TV.
Is there something you’ve learned from being in False Confession that you could have never learned otherwise?
Don’t name your band “Disorder.” That was the first idea we had for a name, but there was already a band called that. Also, be true to yourself, without compromise, and have fun doing it, without it ending in fatalities!
False Confession performs with 3 Day Holocaust, Civil Conflict, DFMK, Fist Fight on Ecstacy and Stalag 13 at the Nardcore Lager Release Show on Friday, June 28, at 7 p.m. at Los Compadres Restaurant and Bar, 3712 Saviers Rd., Oxnard. For more information, visit the band’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/falseconfessionoxnard/.