Interview: From Within Records Founder Carter Holmes on One Scene Unity and What Makes a Hardcore Compilation


With bands at the forefront, it can be easy to forget how many ways to contribute to hardcore are out there. There’s booking shows, doing a zine, designing art... The list is endless. One of the most important methods, in my opinion, is starting a label.

From Within Records is a one-man owned-and-operated label, run out of Pensacola, Florida, by Carter Holmes. He also runs From Within Fanzine. When he’s not listening to demos or packing orders, he also plays in the bands Payback, Off the Tracks, and Beskar. Safe to say, Carter is a busy man.

Recently, From Within came out with their second comp - One Scene Unity: A Hardcore Compilation, Vol II. Carter focuses on bringing together bands with all different sounds, from all over the world, with each bringing one totally new song to the table. The result is a well-rounded record that contains something for every listener, no matter what subgenre they typically prefer. I always walk away from every comp with an awesome new song from several bands I’ve been a fan of, as well as a couple new bands I’ve never heard of. 

Most importantly, amazingly, each time From Within puts out a new comp, it causes a lot of people to shut up about hardcore Twitter drama and start talking about hardcore music for once. On a serious note, these comps are a positive force in the scene, and I hope that never goes unappreciated.

Carter and I spoke about his beginnings in hardcore, keeping up with new bands, the meaning of “One Scene Unity,” putting together a comp, new releases, and more. Read on!

One Scene Unity: A Hardcore Compilation Vol. I

AA: Introduce yourself with your name, what you do, and a random fact about yourself.

CH: What’s up, my name is Carter, I live in Florida and run From Within Records and play drums in a few bands  (Payback, Off the Tracks, Beskar). 

Random fact: I’ve never had coffee before.

AA: Who played your first hardcore show? What impact did that have on keeping you involved in hardcore?

CH: I’d say one of the first hardcore bands I saw was Terror, in either 2008 or 2009. Right away, I could tell it was different than other shit I had listened to before - way more energy, and people danced in a way I’d never seen before. Terror is still, to this day, one of my favorite bands of all time.

AA: How did you end up starting From Within Records?

CH: I started From Within in 2018, basically because I just wanted to do something more to contribute to hardcore other than just going to shows. At the time, I was living in Nashville, away from all my friends and family so I had a lot of extra time on my hands, and figured it was the perfect time to finally start a label.

AA: As a label, From Within represents bands from all over the country (and even the world). How do you typically end up finding new bands to put on the comps - do they come to you, or do you tend to hit them up more often?

CH: I’m really good about listening to new shit. I love hardcore, and I think hardcore will always be about current bands coming up, so I pretty much check out any new demo or release there is. I also have friends who are the same way, so we just text each other demos and shit when they come out. As far as the comp goes, I pretty much pick all the bands, and I definitely try to pick bands from all over the world like you mentioned. I feel like there’s a lot of great hardcore that goes under the radar from other countries that kids in the U.S. don’t check out.

AA: What does the term “One Scene Unity” mean to you?

CH: One Scene Unity, to me, basically just means less drama in the scene. People always want to talk shit or look down to other kids because they think they’re not “hardcore” enough or don’t listen to the right bands. There’s plenty of bands I don’t care about, but, ultimately, who gives a shit? Just let people enjoy what they enjoy.

AA: What made you choose that name for the comp?

CH: Payback, a band I play in, has a song called “The One Scene.” There’s also an album by Comin’ Correct called One Scene Unity, and, ultimately, it just summarized the whole point of the comp - just showcasing all the different sounds in hardcore.

AA: The first comp was wildly successful - did you try to do anything different with the Vol. II, or was it a pretty similar process?

CH: Nah, I did pretty much the same thing, just pick current bands I’m into to do all new songs. The first one was way bigger than I ever imagined it would be, so I did consciously try to make it top Volume 1.

AA: Is there anything you’d want to try to do differently for future comps?

CH: The only thing I plan to do differently is getting all the songs mastered by someone, instead of the bands handling it.

AA: Where do you typically get inspiration for the cover art?

CH: I originally got the idea from the Call for Unity comp art. I’ve also been into MMA and have been doing jiu jitsu for a long time now, so I thought it’d be a cool way to tie in my own personal interest.

AA: What are some of your favorite things you’ve put out on From Within so far?

CH: The comp for sure, but besides that, I’d say definitely Human Work by Worn, the Gridiron/Despize split, and definitely the few older demos I got the chance to re-release - Krutch demo, Mushmouth demo, and Xessive Force - Vengeance is Mine.

One Scene Unity: A Hardcore Compilation Vol. II

AA: What is something you’d like to see more of in hardcore in the future?

CH: I’d like everyone who goes to hardcore shows to stop using Twitter and Krate.

AA: Do you have any upcoming plans you’d like to talk about?

CH: Got the Shackled LP coming out hopefully around November, Payback LP at the end of September, and I’m sure I’ll be doing a few tape releases this year. I’m also already starting to plan Volume 3 of the comp.

AA: Any last words?

CH: Thanks for the interview, if anyone wants to follow the label for updates and shit, it’s @fromwithinrecords on instagram, ONE SCENE!!!!!!!

I can’t say it enough - Carter is the man, make sure you’re supporting what he does.

As he mentioned, you can catch news on From Within Records via the links below:

Twitter | Instagram | Bandcamp | Online store

You can also find his bands here:

Payback | Off the Tracks

Last but certainly not least, check out One Scene Unity: A Hardcore Compilation, Vol. II via Spotify below.


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