Revolver has DARE's new LP, Against All Odds, available for pre-order in limited-edition "transparent yellow" vinyl — grab yours now!
There are so many bands out there doing so many interesting things, it's hard to know where to turn. That's why we've created Uprising, a recurring feature offering a concise introduction to a band or artist that we think slays, covering their origins, process and vision. Our latest subject is DARE, a rising Orange County hardcore band whose fierce, infectious sound is on display on their new debut album for Revelation Records, Against All Odds.
We recently caught up with vocalist Angel Garcia to find out what make DARE tick: from his straight-edge lifestyle, coffee obsession and social activism to how skateboarding got him through the pandemic, why he's proud to rep O.C. and more.
WHO IS DARE?
ANGEL GARCIA DARE is an Orange County straight-edge band. We were inspired by a lot of things, honestly, but I think New Brigade and Minority Unit were on the top of that list in the beginning. We've gone through a few lineup changes, but ultimately we all met from being at the same shows and becoming friends.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME STRAIGHT EDGE?
I've been straight edge since I was 16, I think. Getting more submerged into hardcore and seeing that I didn't have to drink or anything to have fun with my friends is something that's resonated with me.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO HARDCORE?
I've been into "heavier" music since I was a little kid but didn't really get submerged into hardcore until high school and I've loved it ever since.
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE DARE'S MISSION STATEMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Just have fun and do the shit you like.
YOU MENTIONED SOME OF DARE'S EARLIER INFLUENCES. IN TERMS OF YOUR OWN MUSICAL INSPIRATIONS, WHICH THREE BANDS HAD THE MOST IMPACT ON YOU?
I would say Bad Brains, Inside Out and Strife for me. In terms of lyrics, I look up to those bands a lot but musically Bad Brains is huge for us.
FROM ADOLESCENTS TO SOCIAL DISTORTION TO AVENGED, ORANGE COUNTY HAS A LONG TRADITION OF BREAKOUT BANDS. HOW DOES DARE FIT INTO — OR STAND APART FROM — THE REGION'S HEAVY MUSIC SCENE?
I think we fit as in how it all kinda started, friends having fun and just seeing how far we can take it. I take great pride in being from here and being talked about in the same breath as some of these bands, it means the world.
BEING IN A BAND, WHAT'S THE HARDEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE COME ACROSS SO FAR, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
For me, personally, writing lyrics has not been super easy. A lot of the time I can't really put my brain on paper and hitting up friends and asking for suggestions or seeing what they think always helps put me in a good mindset to actually get that shit done.
THIS PAST YEAR AND A HALF OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC HAS BEEN COLLECTIVELY, AND INDIVIDUALLY, CHALLENGING. WHAT WAS LIFE LIKE FOR YOU — AND DID YOU DEVELOP ANY NEW CREATIVE ROUTINES OR HOBBIES TO HELP YOU COPE WITH LOCKDOWNS AND RESTRICTIONS AND LACK OF LIVE MUSIC?
I lost my job in the beginning and unemployment wasn't working for me, so I was probably the most stressed I've been in my life. But at the same time, it was my first time not having a job since I was 15 so I was able to skate all day, every day and it was amazing. Without skateboarding I don't know how I would've been able to get through it, straight up.
DO YOU MISS LIVE SHOWS?
I miss them more than anything, those 15 minutes on stage, it's something that you can't describe and nothing will ever replace that.
YOU, AND THE BAND IN GENERAL, ARE PRETTY STEEPED IN SKATE CULTURE. WHEN DID YOU FIRST STARTED SKATING, AND HOW, IF AT ALL, DID IT COINCIDE WITH YOUR INTRO TO HARDCORE MUSIC?
I've been skating since I was like 8 years old, and it's something that's always been a huge part of my life. A shop I grew up/worked at in Fullerton called Programme is what helped me get fully submerged into hardcore — so I would say skateboarding and hardcore go hand in hand for me because of them. From working there to them selling our record and even putting a promo tape out for us, it's so sick. Young me would not be able to believe it.
OUTSIDE OF SKATING, AND MUSIC, WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS?
I'm honestly super into coffee, I've been a barista for the last 5 years and that shit is so cool to me. You'll never know everything and you'll always try new things and I feel like that's what keeps me excited about it.
WHAT BAND OR MUSICAL ARTIST ARE YOU THE BIGGEST FAN OF? ANY SUPERFAN STORIES OR TRIBUTE TATTOOS?
I love Bad Brains; I have a small PMA tattoo on my foot.
DARE'S REVELATION RECORDS DEBUT, AGAINST ALL ODDS, IS COMING IN AUGUST. YOU RECENTLY PREVIEWED THE NEW RECORD WITH THE COLLAB FOR TERROR'S SCOTT VOGEL. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT HIS BAND MEANS TO YOU, AND TELL US WHAT IT WAS LIKE TEAMING WITH HIM ON "HARD TO COPE"?
Terror is the sickest hardcore band, straight up. Anyone who disagrees is wrong. That band has been such a big influence on me. Having Scott on a song with us is something that still blows my mind.
YOU ALSO USE YOUR PLATFORM IN DARE TO CONFRONT SOCIAL ISSUES, INCLUDING VIOLENCE AGAINST PEOPLE OF COLOR. HAS THIS ADVOCACY ALWAYS BEEN A PART OF YOUR ART, OR WAS THERE SOMETHING IN PARTICULAR THAT INSPIRED YOU TO ADDRESS IT ON AGAINST ALL ODDS?I'd say it's relatively new. Getting older and just seeing the injustices [against] POC on the daily and people continuing to be locked in cages and killed in cold blood in broad daylight is infuriating. The fact that it's become almost a daily thing is unbelievable. I think at first it was something I internally kind of locked up and didn't like to talk about but now, I feel like with the platform I do have, I'd be disrespecting those who aren't with us anymore due to these injustices.
IF YOU COULD ONLY PLAY ONE OF DARE'S SONGS FOR SOMEONE TO INTROUCE THEM TO YOUR BAND, WHAT SONG WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
"Different Method." It represents what this band is about to the fullest. Straight edge.