Bruised But Not Broken – The Highwire Daze Legacy Interviews
Hitting the Highway with Bruised But Not Broken
Based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Bruised But Not Broken present their own inspiring brand of metalcore that is sure to gain the collective a good deal of attention. Combining electro beats with intensive musicians and impassioned lyrics, Bruised But Not Broken’s adventurous compositions will surely inspire all who give a good listen. About to hit the highways of America with Onward To Olympas, Bruised But Not Broken is ready to gain a new amount of fans above and beyond their North Carolina home state.
Editor’s Note in 2020: Bruised But Not Broken was a massively underrated metalcore band in the grand tradition of Underoath and The Devil Wears Prada. This interview took place when they released their debut EP Just(Defied) on Standby Records in 2013. Two more excellent full lengths would follow – Fragment (2014) and Relevant Letters (2015). Those who discovered Bruised But Not Broken during their brief yet dynamic run knew they had encountered a band very passionate about their music. All of their recordings are available on Spotify and well worth rediscovering. Here is an interview I conducted with vocalist Hudson Hower right after the Standby release of Just(defied)…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Bruised But Not Broken, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Hudson Hower, and I do vocals for the band. The band has been together for about 4 years now, going on a strong number 5.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
We are based out of Charlotte , North Carolina . The local scene is very much so hardcore based. There are a few more “technical” bands, and some more structurally influenced bands around here, but out of all of the Charlotte bands I would suggest Syopsis. A super fast paced death-metal band whom put on a crazy live show. Their vocalist is all over the place, definitely worth checking out.
How did you wind up signing to Standby Records?
Well, we at first had the idea to make a rough recording of our full-length (which was being written at the time,) and then shop it out to some labels. Our management at The Artery Foundation was super helpful in the process, but then an offer from a label called Standby Records popped up. We started looking into the possibility and the specifics, as well as the vision of the label. I think what really sold us was the vision that we had with Standby. Standby has been a silent, armor-piercing bullet for quite some time. They have been putting out bands that we have all heard the name of but have not paid a lot of attention to the label itself. With the bands that Standby is lining up for the future, it is about to be a powerhouse within this industry, and relating industries. There will soon be an explosion of landmark music hitting this century, and Standby will be at the forefront. Count on it.
What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming tour with Onward To Olympas?
It’s our first tour, so it’s really hard to pick one thing! I would say we are all excited to connect with friends and fans in the states we are going to. We’re always conversing with people on social media in concern with Bruised But Not Broken, so it will be incredible to finally get on a face-to-face basis with them. I know all of us are excited to make friends out of what we used to call “fans.”
What could one expect from a live Bruised But Not Broken show?
You can expect Zac to be running around the entire freaking venue. Haha, on a serious note, we are told that we throw out a lot of energy. In my opinion, it’s really hard not to do so. All of us get so into the music, and we just do our best to not simply “play” a show, but put on a show in the finest way we can. You can also expect a killer light show. Although it is constantly being added to, Matt (drums) is a genius with all of the light stuff. We just added 15 LED lights to the family, so we will see how many people show up to the shows with sunglasses.
Is there any story or concept behind the EP title Just(Defied)?
Not as much of a concept rather than an overall theme. We chose the name “Just(Defied)” after we named the song “Just(Defied) Sin“. We never meant for it to be a “title track” exactly. The idea behind the title puts a focus on the actions and behaviors that we bring forth toward the entity that is “sin.” More than too often, sin is something that we try to back up. No one likes to be told they are wrong; nobody likes to be confronted with their mistakes. Far too many times have I individually, and countless others I know and see decide to embrace their sin. It becomes something we justify. This is where the pun comes in; the wording “Just(Defied)” is a spin off of “Justified.” I’m sure most have noticed this by now, but the polarity between the words are so relatable. We can justify our wrongdoing, or we can just defy them. That is the idea behind the title. The songs themselves have several different concepts and meanings behind them.
Select two songs from Just (Defied) and what inspired the lyrics.
Oh man, you’re dabbling in a dangerous field asking me about lyrics. Haha, the writing portion is definitely what I take the most serious. If I were to pick two, I’d pick “The Master & His Daughter” and “Starving Clock.” The idea behind Master is awesome to me. The song itself was actually named before any lyrics were placed to the music. The entire reasoning behind the song name was due to a synth lead we had during one of the verses, which we actually never ended up using. We thought it sounded super olden-southern, so we called it The Master & His Daughter. The amazing thing about it though, is that the night I started to put the lyrics to it, I had no idea what the Lord wanted me to put on paper. I honestly just asked him to put something in my mind that he wanted to be written about. My chorus teacher came into my head. A little bit of background, she had recently had a son. To condense the story, her husband left her shortly after. So many people fall victim to this form of cowardice. I began to write about the happening. The song itself has a few different focuses. Some on her outlook, fears and struggles. Some on that of her “husband,” and some concerning her newborn son. Once you read the lyrics themselves, it will make much more sense. It had all joined together after I had finally finished what needed to be written. I re-read over the work, and solemnly wept once I saw the product. Without a clue, the ending phrases follow one more outlook; the point of view from God to my chorus teacher. “Daughter, I plead your urgency. Blessed you believe in selfless cause like Me.” I had no idea that the song would actually turn into a dialogue between the true Master, & His Daughter.
The song “A Starving Clock Comes Back For Seconds” has a few different points. The song was written shortly after a classmate and friend of mine passed away. He lived through a pretty rough social life. He was made fun of a lot and not naturally gifted at most of his interests. It was funny because he had such a light about his heart once you dug underneath all of the darkness that was thrown at him… He truly was a kind soul. The song itself is structured to see his death attributed to our lives in relation to how we are living ours, due to how we should be living them. Part of the song is directed at people in his life whom didn’t have much encouragement as they did hate to pass around for the young man. “My Son, My Son, come let’s prepare you for greatness. My Son, your streets are paved with gold.” This is directly related to his death. Then with lines like “Bound by denial, hatred and love-” are to connect us all. These are three emotions that hit our hearts and minds harder than most. To make it end quickly, the ending of the song has a proclamation of “Don’t let your past and useless details define and choke your existence.” I could explain more, but I’m sure the readers are either asleep or back on Twitter by now.
How close are you to recording and releasing a full length?
Recording we are super close. Close enough to be done. Actually, we’re completely done. Haha, we’re so happy with how it turned out…. It makes me shiver thinking about it sometimes. Anyways, it will probably be released earlier next year. We can expect a single even earlier.
If you could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Just out of respect for the U-S of A, I’d say Dale. However, Dale is not a band, so I’d probably say The Devil Wears Prada. I feel like that has always been a bucketlist point. If I were to guess Matt’s, it would be August Burns Red or Justin Timberlake. Josh would be Underoath or some underground rapper. Trevor would be Explosions In The Sky or My Epic, and Zac’s would be Big Time Rush. Either them or something grindcore. Same thing really.
If your music was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
Our donut would be well-rounded.
Get it? Like our musical tastes? Terrible joke, but it was basically the icing on the cake. Or the donut. Man, I’m going to stop now. I apologize.
What’s up next for the band after the Onward To Olympas tour?
Hopefully a tour in November with who knows? We just want to get out there and start playing and meeting more and more people. We’re so stoked to just have the most quality of hangout sessions with everyone. Meet the people, the bands, the other people we will end up running into…. We’re very humbled by the opportunity. We’ll do our best to make it worth giving us.
Any final words of wisdom?
You’re worth more than you’ve been told.
Hudson Hower (vocals, lyrics)
Matt Bentley (drums)
Josh Rhodes “J-Ro” (guitar)
Trevor Floyd (guitar)
Zac Johnson (bass)
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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