This New Dawn contributes to Kent hardcore scene

Beth Rankin

You can make your dishes happier with Dawn dish soap, but you can also make your ears happier by listening to This New Dawn.

Members are Joseph Angerstien on vocals; drummer Michael Mansfield on percussion; guitarist/vocalist Robert Snyder; Gabriel Swarts on vocals, bass and keys; and Jason Venner also as a guitarist.

They recently released their first EP, Falling Down is the Easy Part, with the help of Ceerius Records. Now that This New Dawn has an EP down on the table, they are packing their bags for a nationwide tour, which kicks off May 27.

Erika Kreider: If you had to describe your genre or sound to someone, how would you describe it?

Gabriel Swarts: Melodic hardcore. On our tour posters it says East Coast melodic hardcore.

Collectively as a band who are your influences?

Old Metallica and Bleeding Through. All of our friends’ bands — like Falling Stars Burn Bright, Skies Bleed Black and Annabel — play around here, and we listen to them.

Who have you been compared to?

When the Cleveland Free Times reviewed our CD, they said Taking Back Sunday or GlassJaw. We’re heavier than both of those, though.

What sets This New Dawn apart from other local bands?

We’re just doing it. We’re going on tour, making CDs and making T-shirts. We’re just getting it done.

Can you explain the energy at your shows?

Sometimes we do shows and there’s 150 people there. There are pits and hardcore dancing. Sometimes we play in front of 10 people and they just sit there like this (folds arms and bobs head). It wasn’t our fault, though. We were booked at a poppy-punk place. We always try to give 100 percent either way, though, it sounds cliché.

For your national tour, are you guys going to be taking someone’s rundown van and asking fans to sleep at their houses?

Yep, you got it. We have a ’91, seven passenger van. We take out the three seater-backrow, and put in a futon mattress there. We have one person sleep on the roof of the trailer and one on the roof of the van.

What is your favorite song of yours and why?

“Eight Hours Away.” We went on tour and we were in New York City, which is eight hours away. We were walking through Manhattan at 4 a.m. It just brings back memories being there. It was a turning point for the band. It was the first tour out of state other than Pennsylvania and Indiana.

Have you had any offers from any record companies, besides Ceeruis Records, to sign with?

We’ve talked to a couple indie labels but it doesn’t work out. Most indie labels are guys who start it to sign their band, and their friends’ bands. Ceeruis is a real record company. We’re not officially on their label, but we’re in talks right now. They’re putting out this record with us with negotiations for signing in June.

How did you figure out you could scream and make it sound good?

One day someone told me to just try it and pretend like I was falling off a building. At first it hurt, but the more and more I did it, it didn’t hurt, and it sounded good.

If you would like to check out This New Dawn, their CD is available at The Exchange in Kent for $6.

— Portions of this interview have been paraphrased for clarity.

Contact Pop Arts reporter Erika Kreider at [email protected].