FLYER Q&A: Obliviate leads Fayetteville’s hardcore revival at AMMPlify Fest

Obliviate (Courtesy photo)

For a long while now, Fayetteville has had an excellent and enduring heavy music scene.

Vore and Deadbird are just a few examples of heavy Fayetteville bands that have existed for decades as flagship NWA groups. Currently, there is a revitalized interest in metal and hardcore that’s happening at DIY venues and anywhere else it can all over Northwest Arkansas.

Among these newer bands, Obliviate stands out as the most likely to explode.

Obliviate sound equally indebted to first and second wave hardcore punk and thrash metal. Their new EP “Dumpster Fire” is a clinic of swift brutality and still somehow a fun and driving listen if you’re not into hardcore. Have a listen to their song “Gutter.”

Obliviate will be headlining AMMPlify Fest this Saturday, April 27 at The Dining Hall at Mount Sequoyah Center. This is a free and all ages show that also features Mud Lung, The Salesman, Chrono Wizard, Always Tired and Pyrocratic. Doors open at 6 p.m. and music starts at 6:30 p.m.
Drinks and food will be provided by Flyway Fayetteville.

Organized by Holy Anvil Recording Co. and AMMPlify NWA, this show is sponsored by Walmart through their Bridging and Belonging Grant, along with Experience Fayetteville, Block Street Records, Flyway Fayetteville, Fossil Cove, Gar Hole Records, KXUA, KUAF, The Sound Collaborative, Arkansas Creates, NWAMC, The Dead Party, Hi-Fin, Madhouse Merch, Cousins Music Guitar Shop, and Valkyrie Barbershop.

This is a great chance to see a variety of hardcore, metal and punk from Fayetteville.

I talked to Michael of Obliviate about the band and new record and here it goes…

How would you describe your sound to a stranger?

The short answer is heavy. But compared to our contemporaries, we aren’t the heaviest band out there. In that regard, I think we are very digestible for a listener who merely dabs their toes into hard rock. We have many southern elements that give us a swing to our music. A nice push/pull to get your hips shaking and your head banging.

Can you give us a brief history of the band? How did you all meet?

We all met organically through the music scene and have played in various projects together for the last decade. This particular project started two years ago after a few failed projects. Some of us splintered into other bands, and into different, softer genres of bands. Life and the pandemic put a stall on – or in general killed our bands we had going on. We all really missed playing shows, playing with each other and wanted to write fun heavy music again.

You just released an EP. How did the songs on that come together?

We actually attempted to put out a full-length record a year ago, but our original vocalist injured his vocal cords during that process and resigned. It took us a few months to find our current vocalist, Jasmine. Once she was established, we decided to move forward with a more DIY approach and record ourselves with the help of our great friends Jeff Feast, Chap Huskison and Tory Erb.

Obliviate (Courtesy photo)

What are you working on right now?

We are currently writing new music, and gearing up to record another 5-song EP. We are getting in way over our skis, but we plan to press this new EP on vinyl as well as coordinate a release in December for it.

What non-musical influences affect your songs?

The band name, Obliviate, is actually a spell in the Harry Potter universe, and reference that in our song, “Sink or Swim.” Other than that, we adapt a lot of our energy and tenacity in the sonics of our sound from the intensity of the greatest basketball player of all time, Patrick Ewing. Attempting to exude the same energy in which he played every night.

Every band creates their own language. Are there any words or phrases that only exist to you that you’d like to release to the general public?

PFR…. Power For Real

Are there any musical guilty pleasures you’d like to admit for the first time?

We are pretty open about our guilty pleasures. Savage Garden, Enigma, Limp Bizkit, Natalie Imbruglia, Machine Head, Right Said Fred….. today’s listener is more mature. People are way less gate-keepy and tend to be more involved with how much variety they ingest with their ears. At this point in life, the listener would be doing themselves a huge disservice to restrict their ears of all the different flavors.

What local hangouts get the Obliviate seal of approval? Are there any local spots that make it easier for you all to exist?

Old Wolf Barber Shop, Fossil Cove, Ballistic Power and Kettle Bell Gym, Charley’s Taqueria, Arcadia, Arkansas Music Works… these are a few of our favorite things. Along with Pointless Promotions bringing us great shows to see. These are local places that have invested in us as a band or simply given us a space to be a band or sit and chew on band related topics. We owe so much to these places and are always glad to get an opportunity to champion them whenever we get the chance.

You’re playing AMMPlify Fest on Saturday, April 27 – What can we expect at the show?

Heavy riffs, and circle pits, sweat and some scooby-doo laughs from our always bubbly singer.

What are your plans for summer and the rest of 2024?

We will be taking a bit of a hiatus for a few months while our guitar player welcomes a new child to his family. So, while he’s pretending to be father of the year, the rest of us will be grinding out recording this new EP, while writing for the third EP. At some point we will also discuss putting out another music video and outline a hopefully very productive fall/winter.