This one originally appeared in Talk Is Cheap Fanzine.
Can you give us a history of Onward, and what have you been up to lately?
Onward were formed in late 1990. In spite of lack of members, equipment, and time we put out a demo in May 1991 that got us a deal with Crucial Response. We got some equipment and a steady lineup after recording our 7”. We toured Europe with Blindfold in August 1992, and in April 1993 we recorded our debut album which is finally out now (also on Crucial Response). The album is 1000 times better than our 7”, to say the least. I’m proud of it. Right now I am searching for a new singer and drummer for the band.
Do you classify Onward as a straight edge band?
Yes, we are a straight edge band and I back the straight edge scene 110%
How would you personally define straight edge? Is it an important aspect to your life?
Straight edge is very important to me. It is the abstinence from the use of drugs and alcohol, a subtle rejection of very established and obvious behavior. It develops a sense of independence, which is good. I love straight edge and that whole scene, X’s on the hands etc, etc, is brilliant.
Europe seems to have problems with racists and the return of the white power mentality in the face of growing social problems. How is the situation in Norway?
Luckily it isn’t a major problem in Norway unlike other countries. I don’t sit with any ho-hey solutions to the racist problem, but the stupidity of their philosophy needs to be exposed in a civilized way, and racist aggressors should get punished more harshly.
Onward have been quiet for awhile, but can you tell us about the bands you’ve played with and the European straight edge scene?
For the moment we don’t play out. We’ve played with Blindfold, Feeding The Fire, Spirit of Youth, Contention, Shelter, and more. I don’t know much about the European hardcore scene. The straight edge scene is what counts. The straight edge scene is hardcore. The European straight edge scene, from what I’ve experienced, is very friendly and committed. A lot of effort is being put into it. The Swedish straight edge scene is building and it is huge.
Have you done any tours that are of significance?
As I said above. We did a nine day tour of Germany and Belgium with Blindfold. We were supposed to tour the United Kingdom as well but we had to cancel due to problems beyond my control.
Tell us some of your views on some of the factions in straight edge, such as hardline, left wing views, and Krishna consciousness.
I don’t care much about hard-line. It’s overexposed. Krishna has many good sides, although I don’t go for all of them. The Vaishava philosophy has a lot of beauty to it and it is at times very, very profound and mystic. Some of the ways it has been presented, and debated, in hardcore has been uninteresting, boring, and embarrassing at times. It’s too cool. I have a good friend who is a devotee (our drummer actually), he’s a good guy and I will stand up for him. I am into left wing stuff, definitely, but I do not like the Trotzkist movement much, or the organization called International Socialists. I don’t like the I.S. at all; too bad they are recruiting so many hardcore kids.
Are animal rights an issue of concern for Onward?
Everyone in Onward is a vegetarian. It is an important issue for all of us. The killing of innocent creatures is horrible; it cannot be justified. Eating meat is pretty sick if you think about it.
Tell us about your new album. How long until its release?
Our CD is out now. It is called In A Different Place. It has ten songs on it and none of them have ever been released before. The recording, production, music, lyrics, etc, are a lot better than what we have put out before. It is still high energy hardcore in the vein of Chain of Strength, Unit Pride, and Mouthpiece.
Final comments Peter!
Thanks for the interview, buy our CD, everyone of you. And Dolce & Gabbana shorts are my hot fashion tip for the hip straight edger.