Broken Vow: Tommy Harte Confronts Generational Doom Head-On With "Sane Mind's End"

(Photo credit: Emily Hartmann)

New England metallic hardcore band Broken Vow just put out their debut EP, Sane Mind’s End, on New Morality Zine and Sunday Drive Records. This follows a two-song promo they put out on NMZ, including the track “Poison Peddling” (which made it onto this EP) and a cover of “What It Meant” by 90’s Connecticut hardcore band Tenfold. 

As you’d expect with a cover like that, Broken Vow takes influence from metallic 90’s hardcore bands like Strain, as well as more current bands that come from similar origins, like Magnitude. The result is a reinvigorated take on a classic sound that is full of thrashy riffs combined with melodic open chords, as well as Tommy’s clearer vocals - the perfect style to make a message heard.

With the band’s members all being in their early twenties to late teens, the lyrical content mostly focuses on the frustration that comes from being stuck with dealing with the world that the generations before them have created. The band expresses this anger while also daring the listener to get off their couch and help make a change. Social commentary is an integral part of hardcore, no doubt - but, in my opinion, it hits even harder when it comes from the generation most affected by the current ills of society.

Vocalist Tommy Harte and I talked about what went into Sane Mind’s End, as well as the band’s roots all over the Northeast, their unexpected love of indie and pop music, and more.

(Photo credit: Emily Hartmann)

AA: Introduce yourself with your name and what you do in Broken Vow.

TH: Hi! My name is Tommy Harte, and I sing in Broken Vow!

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

TH: Knocked Loose! I think they were a lot of people my age’s first hardcore show (I’m 19!). I  honestly don’t think that was my a-ha moment for hardcore, though. I grew up very isolated from any kind of large scene or community within hardcore, so identifying as a hardcore kid was a very solitary revelation that happened more from deep dives on the history of bands, [as well as] how the things they were saying directly impacted the way I aspired (and still aspire) to live my life. Hardcore, and the moral and personal convictions that come with it, are first and foremost very personal to me. The community didn’t come until later, but I’m so very glad it did.

AA: How did Broken Vow come to be?

TH: The members of the original lineup of Broken Vow met at a hardcore show in Hartford, about a week before things shut down. Over the course of the early pandemic, we connected online and talked about starting a band. We eventually did, and the songs we wrote became the demo.

AA: Broken Vow reps Connecticut, but you actually have members across the East Coast - how do you guys go about doing things together as a band?

TH: Broken Vow started off as a strictly Connecticut Hardcore band, but due to member changes, it makes more sense for us to classify ourselves as more broadly “New England Hardcore.” Connecticut is still our base of operations, we have a practice space we rent from the good folks at Brass City Printing, [which] serves as Broken Vow HQ, I suppose. It’s a good middle point for all of our members, being scattered across Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Being in Broken Vow means a lot of driving!

Album art

AA: What are some of your musical influences?

TH: My three way tie for best band of all time is Magnitude, The 1975, and Killswitch Engage. I’d elaborate, but I think that on its own paints the picture.

AA: What kind of things inspired you on Sane Mind’s End?

TH: Musically, I know Harrison was drawing on hardcore bands like Strain, Indecision, and 108, as well as metal bands like Machine Head and Fear Factory. Lyrically, I tried to be way more straight-ahead with the messages I was trying to convey. I think generational doom and anger at being given the burden of our predecessors' mistakes and greed is the main theme of the band. Certain songs were more thought-out, and some weren’t. For example, “Poison Peddling” was written in a stream of consciousness without music written. “Illusion,” however, was written much more methodically, with the instrumental in mind.

AA: Where does the title of the record come from?

TH: It comes from lyrics on the final track, “Your Fate.” In the context of the song, it means something very specific, but when applied to the rest of the record, it speaks more broadly about the subject matter. [The record focuses on] how governments abandon sanity when faced with the dilemma of treating humans or profit with more regard, as well as how humans treat other humans and themselves as a direct result of the backwards culture that those governmental and economic ideals create.

AA: What are some of your favorite releases that have come out in the past year?

TH: Be All End All, Chemical Fix, and Ingrown all put out great chaotic hardcore records this year. Dying Wish, Full Of Hell, and Gatecreeper are my metal records of the year. Shoutout to Since My Beloved and Adrienne too.

(Photo credit: Emily Hartmann)

AA: Your taste in music doesn’t seem to be limited to just hardcore - do you listen to (or take inspiration from) any artists you think Broken Vow fans would find unexpected?

TH: When Broken Vow is hanging out, we are very rarely listening to hardcore. Apart from our hardcore influences, the bands we bond over are mainly indie, post-hardcore or pop acts. Tigers Jaw, Phoebe Bridgers, The 1975, Basement, and 80’s pop rock acts are the main “van music.”

AA: You guys have been playing shows with some awesome bands, including One Step Closer, Inclination, Koyo and more - what are some of your favorite places and/or shows you’ve played so far?

TH: We’re so honored to have been able to play with so many bands we look up to so much, as artists and as people. One of my favorite shows we’ve played was in New Jersey with our good friends in Reaching Out and the legends Death Before Dishonor and Cruel Hand. The scene there is so cool, and even though barely anyone knew us, we got a dope-as-hell reception. Shoutout to Matt and all of Reaching Out.

Midwest tour flyer

AA: Any upcoming plans you’d like to talk about?

TH: We’re going on tour with a band called Take It To Heart in January across the East Coast! Midwest tour plans soon!

AA: Anything else you’d like to add?

TH: Sane Minds End out December 3rd on New Morality Zine and Sunday Drive Records.

Thank you again to Tommy for doing this interview! 

If you’re interested in seeing Broken Vow anytime soon - here’s my shameless plug - you can come to JJ’s Bar and Grill in Franklin, WI, on Thursday, 1/20, to see them with Spaced, Enervate, Payasa, and Instill! This also happens to be the first show I’ve ever booked, and I’m super excited to see it come to fruition. You can find the event page here. Come on out!

Follow Broken Vow on their socials below:

Twitter | Instagram | Bandcamp

Listen to "Sane Mind's End" wherever you stream music!


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