Mourning: Metallic Hardcore Band Explore New Influences on "Disenlightenment"

If you’ve been sleeping on hardcore in the UK, just know one thing - you’ve been missing out on a lot. In fact, look up the Northern Unrest roster, pick an album, and meet me back here in five minutes. … Okay, now we can continue.

Glasgow's Mourning put out their first demo in October 2017. With intentions of finding an emotional outlet to grieve his brother, vocalist Connor Hehir recruited drummer Seb to form metallic hardcore band Mourning. Eventually, the pair linked up with Sweep (bass) and Rayner (guitar). With a lineup locked in, they put out another demo, ready to play their first shows as a full band.

With a handful of releases under their belt, Mourning released their second full-length, Disenlightenment, on Northern Unrest and Streets of Hate this past November. Lyrically, the album focuses on collapse of empires - the lead-up to the final event, and the rubble left behind.

With their influences being rooted in 90’s Upstate NYHC and UK death metal, Disenlightenment sees the band advance through the genres they take inspiration from - taking influence from Scandinavian black metal as well. The result is dark, evil-sounding hardcore with colossal riffs and breakdowns that meets Connor’s goal of sounding like a perfect “midway point” between the two genres. 

Connor and I spoke about the writing and recording process for Disenlightenment, Glasgow hardcore, his work with Deep Cutz Fanzine, and more.

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

CH: I’m Connor, vocalist in Mourning, and I spend way too much time staring at Discogs.

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

CH: Technically, I had seen hardcore bands play metalcore shows before, but my first proper hardcore show was in April 2009. Lineup was Dirty Money, Cold Snap, Headcase, Losing Sight, Life Alone and Harold Shipman & The Masters of Confusion. It was earth-shattering to me. I couldn’t believe bands would play and then come and stand and watch the other bands, talk to people who had just come to watch, couldn’t believe the moshing, couldn’t believe I could buy merch and demos directly from bands I had read about on messageboards. Ruined going to normal gigs for many years.

(Photo credit: Essex Hardcore Zine)

AA: What made you want to start a band that sounds like Mourning?

CH: A combination of watching the videos of All Out War, Merauder, and Darkside NYC playing Peekskill Hardcore Fest ‘94 way too many times, and getting annoyed at seeing so many bands advertise themselves as “FFO: All Out War, Kickback” and sounding like a Hardcore WorldWide YouTube band, so I thought I’d give it a go.

AA: You formed Mourning in 2017 as a means of processing grief. Do you still focus on similar themes, or has the band progressed as an emotional release for you in other areas of life?

CH: Kind of, depends on what sort of topic is motivating me to write when I put pen to paper. I can still write about grief, but the themes have definitely progressed from the demos. The LP, thematically, is about empires collapsing - and the social, cultural, and political indicators of that.

AA: You recorded Disenlightenment independently, with some outside help for mixing and mastering. How was the experience? Would you do it again for the next release?

CH: It was a great learning experience, if not a little hard, just because we did it on a shoestring budget over [the] few weekends we were able to commit to. Sometimes we had to wait for the studios to be free before we could record. and then we’d record with amps we had borrowed that were busted. So next time, if we had the resources, I’d rent out a place for a week and have all the gear we need bought and ready to be used.

Album art

AA: What did you aim to do on this record?

CH: Songwriting-wise, I think we threw caution to the wind and tried mixing influences not typically associated with hardcore and tried to make them work within a hardcore context. We tried to break out of the “exercise in genre”-type writing and just mixed about 20 influences together, and made it make sense.

AA: The album art for Disenlightenment is awesome - one of the coolest album covers I’ve seen in recent times. How exactly did that artwork come together?

CH: Thanks, I commissioned an artist in Tokyo that specialized in medieval illumination illustrations to do a piece based on the Book of Revelation. Brodie [bass] and I then edited it afterwards to make it into what is now. The original version was available as an alternative cover for the LP through Streets of Hate.

AA: How did you link up with Streets of Hate to release the record?

CH: I linked up with Alex Streets Of Hate through doing my fanzine and sending Dropbox links for H8 Inc. Records. Alex was always interested in what the band was doing and hit me up at the start of 2022, asking if we were going to record another record. He told us Streets of Hate would be interested in releasing it, so that motivated us to finish writing the record and get our arses into gear getting it done.

(Photo credit: @matouxn)

AA: What’s the scene like in Glasgow? What are some of your favorite bands from the area?

CH: The scene in Glasgow is class.  Plenty of class bands, multiple venues willing to have HC shows on, good turnouts, a great cheap recording studio, great local label putting out local and international bands. I think all the Northern Unrest bands are great; Hellbound, Demonstration of Power, Nothin But Enemies, Despize, etc. - they all deserve everyone's attention.

AA: You also run Deep Cutz Fanzine, which I’m a big fan of. Can you explain a little bit about how the zine started and what you set out to do with it?

CH: I started Deep Cutz in the middle of the pandemic lockdown just as a way to preoccupy myself, and in tribute to bands I either thought hadn’t had a lot written about them, or just seemed to get overlooked by people who did zines. Didn’t really expect much from it other than a few pats on the back from fellow nerds, but sold way more than I anticipated and have people hitting me up asking when the next issue will be - so turned out pretty cool!

FYA Aftershow Flyer #1

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

CH: We are playing Sheffield on 3rd January, and the FYA fest aftershow 7th January -  that’s about it at the moment, from the looks of it.

AA: Anything else you’d like to add?

CH: Anthony Burke was right.

Thank you to Connor for letting me pick his brain! You can keep up with Mourning via the links below:

Twitter | Instagram | Bandcamp

Listen to Disenlightenment via Spotify below:


No comments

Post a Comment