Prevention: Drew Kodrich on Bringing Back Straight Edge Hardcore in Springfield

(Photo credit: Shanussy)

The search for true, unadulterated passion in modern-day hardcore continues... And Springfield hardcore comes to answer the call.

Living in a small town, it can feel impossible for a thriving music scene to be in your area - and it can feel even more difficult to create one yourself. The members of Prevention (as well as the numerous other passionate souls in the city) have proved that it’s more than possible. Through Drew and Evan’s booking efforts, as well as their efforts with the band, they have not only made a name for themselves in their area, but they’ve been able to make a name for their small-town scene as well. Countless bands from across the country have played awesome shows in Springfield, and it’s all thanks to the relentless determination of the folks who live there.

Prevention put out their first demo in 2019, picking up in popularity after the ‘21 release of What Do You Say No To?  Fast forward to now, and the band has since signed to Delayed Gratification Records, releasing their two most recent EPs with the Ohio label. Their newest offering, Split the World, is some of their best work yet. The band specializes in straightforward straight edge hardcore punk that truly has something for everyone, from the moshers to the slammers. (It’s all dancin’ anyway!) Vocalist Drew’s lyrics focus on his anger and resentment towards political systems of power, and the energy reflected back from the crowd during the average Prevention set shows that his frustrations speak for many.

Drew and I spoke about Prevention, as well as Springfield hardcore. We discussed the band’s origins, what went into creating Split the World, his feelings on the Springfield scene then and now, his favorite bands from the area, and more.

(Photo credit: Shanussy)

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

DK: I’m Drew, I do vocals in Prevention. I book shows in Springfield, Illinois. That’s about all there is to know. 

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

DK: I can’t say I remember my first show. It was like 14 years ago, and if I’m being honest, I went to shows for years before really getting/understanding the bigger picture of hardcore. Back then everything was much less online, so it was a little easier to be an idiot that couldn’t remember what band you saw last week. One of the first shows I remember attending was Product of Waste here in town.

AA: What made you want to start a band like Prevention?

DK: Well, the original drummer of Prevention came to me and said he wanted to start a straight edge band. The initial idea was we’d pick a couple kids that played in another band [and] bring them further into the fold. Our local scene had kind of stagnated with more punk-sounding bands, and we wanted to bring hardcore back into the mix, wanted to bring straight edge back into the mix.

AA: This past August, you released your newest EP, Split the World, on Delayed Gratification Records. Could you tell us a bit about what inspired you on that release?

DK: Well, I can’t speak too much for the riffs, but lyrically, I’d say just feeling generally alienated by global political systems. Seeing different demographics of people routinely being brutalized, seeing people gain power (in really any context) and seeing it eat them alive, and watching the world burn around me. Paying attention to basically any news source feels like a fever dream, as you watch the worst possible thing continue to happen in basically every way possible. 

Album art

AA: Last month, you had a release show for that EP with Full Stride, Inner Peace, Si Dios Quiere, S.M.I.L.E, and Volition - and it looked absolutely insane. How did you guys feel about the turnout?

DK: The turnout was great! Always good to have people coming out and having a good time. Show is a show though, just happy to be able to participate and provide a space for local people to have a good time. 

AA: Prevention have become a huge cornerstone of the Springfield hardcore scene, and on top of that, you personally book a majority of the shows there. How does it feel to be such an important part of something so big?

DK: Scenes come and go, I think the important thing is to remain grounded and understand your role in the greater conversation. We’re doing it now, but we didn’t always, and eventually won’t again. It’s rewarding to be part of a community, but we are just a part. Everyone here contributed in one way or another, and the success of a scene is something for everyone involved to relish and take pride in equally. 

AA: Though it might not be the first place that comes to mind when bands book their tours, Springfield is a majorly thriving scene, and I’ve gotta ask you some questions about it.

Dumb Records is kind of the Springfield hardcore headquarters in your area, with most of the shows happening there. How’d that come to be?

DK: Well, my friends Brian and Jeff own Dumb Records. Back in the day, Brian, myself, and a few others ran our city’s previous punk venue. We inherited [it] from a previous generation that laid the groundwork for what we have today. It lasted for about 13 years, and when it closed, we moved locations and consolidated the venue with Brian’s record store. Now, Brian and Jeff do all the hard work of keeping the space alive, and we (Prevention) just book the hardcore shows that happen there. 

(Photo credit: Chance Harrolle/Side 2 Side Imagery)

AA: How has the scene changed from the beginning of Prevention’s inception to now?

DK: It’s gotten a lot more active and lot more straight edge. I can’t say that’s a Prevention thing entirely, though. We started just before the pandemic, and came back to a world where hardcore rapidly became incredibly popular. Along with it, straight edge. 

AA: One of the coolest things about Springfield, in my opinion, is that you’ve all managed to include the youth in your scene in a really meaningful way - people feel welcome to start bands, mosh, and really get involved with what’s going on, regardless of how long they’ve been coming around. How does it feel to see this happening?

DK: It feels really rewarding! Springfield has always had a strong youth element throughout the different waves of music that have been here. The current wave of hardcore is just continuing that trend. 

(Photo credit: Shanussy)

AA: What are some of your favorite bands from the area?

DK: I would say Subversion,  Innervision, Fatal Dose, and Sock ‘Em. Subversion is pretty much just Prevention minus a couple people (myself being one of them), but the others are all bands with young people making music that kind of blows my mind with how good it is. I routinely feel very fortunate to not have to suffer through bad local bands at shows. 

AA: If you could book a dream show in Springfield with any artist, living or dead, what’s your ideal 3-5 band lineup? (I usually ask for a location, but I feel like it’s probably gonna be at Dumb… Up to you!)

DK: Product of Waste, because that was one of the first proper hardcore bands I got into, Infest, because they’re good, Left for Dead, because they’re good, and Jerry’s Kids because they’re good. Identity Crisis (from Minneapolis) because they’re good, and also, like, 14. 

AA: Any upcoming plans you’d like to mention?

DK: End It, Outta Pocket, Hold My Own, Bayway, Spaced, Prevention at Dumb Records on January 12th. I didn’t book it, but it will be the show of the year. 

AA: Anything else you’d like to add?

DK: If you live somewhere that sucks, make a hardcore band… Then book shows, then annoy everyone you know to come to them, then get bands to come through that you want to see. Make your town somewhere you think is worth living in. Giant fests and sold-out big stadiums are cool and all, but creating something for you and friends to work towards and cherish will bring you so much more. 

Thank you again to Drew for doing this interview! You can keep up with Prevention via the links below:

Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp

Additionally, you can keep up with what shows are going on in Springfield via the Springfield Hardcore Instagram account, located here.

Listen to Split the World via Spotify below:


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