Ledge (ex-Weekend Nachos) Channel World-Ending Contempt On Their New Album
It’s hard to top one of modern grindcore’s angriest bands in terms of raw fury, but Ledge have certainly gone for it. The band is the project of John Hoffman, frontman for now-defunct Chicago grindcore crew Weekend Nachos; and while John’s previous band was known for its palpable rage, Ledge definitely drips with its own brand of scorn. Between barrages of noisy grind and crust are thick, stomping moments of sludge and doom metal that make the album something a little more menacing that the average goregrind whirlwind.
For John, Ledge’s new album, All I Hope For, is about maturation, both sonically and personally. Now a father, the singer says he wanted Ledge to be a focus for negativity that exists only in relation to all the good in his world. “I think that the happier that I’ve gotten with life — outside of my music obviously — has put it more into perspective that this is where the negative energy needs to go,” he says. “I think, as a younger person, I might have been less happy and less content with what was going on in my personal life and therefore maybe it wasn’t just in my music but affecting my friendships. But as that stuff kind of progressed, it’s put it more in perspective that that’s where the positive energy needs to go, and the negative energy should stay within the art.”
What was the overlap between Ledge and Weekend Nachos? Was Ledge something you were working on when Weekend Nachos was still thriving, or did it come about as you realized Weekend Nachos were going to break up?
John Hoffman: I wouldn’t say I started Ledge because I knew that Weekend Nachos was on its way out, but it did kind of work out. I had started writing these songs independently from the band right around the time that we started to decide that we were gonna call it quits. We had about a year left of being a band when I started writing these songs, but it wasn’t a decision that was made because of that. I think I had always had some kind of desire to kind of branch out on my own and do my own thing.
Are there specific themes or musical styles you can explore that in Ledge you couldn’t do, or didn’t want to dom with Weekend Nachos?
I think that with Weekend Nachos, it started out as completely my project in a similar way, where I was just writing all the music. But as I got a more solidified lineup over the years, I really wanted to share that job with the rest of them and make sure that it wasn’t just a reflection of me. So when you get into later Weekend Nachos records, you start to see that there are other minds at work, and things that played into it that made it more diverse. So, I think that the only difference is that Ledge is intentionally just me.
Do you feel there’s a specific track or moment on the record that you feel like best encapsulates that? Or is it something that you feel is really across the board, a theme across all the songs and all the music?
It’s definitely a theme across the board. This latest album is actually a concept album, and it is a concept album about just like basically ending all beings [laughs]. You know, everything that exists, because you’re just completely fed up. Maybe it’s on you — maybe you’re part of the problem — but the point is being completely not content and dissatisfied with basically everything. It’s a concept album, so all of the songs basically reflect that to some degree and if you pay attention closely to the lyrics and the songs and the themes, you can kind of see where it starts and ends on the album.
Something else I wanted to ask about — if it’s any of my business — I know that you are currently a dad. I was wondering if that has informed or affected your music themes or your writing process and if so, how?
It’s interesting you ask that, because one of my goals for this latest albums was to get it all finished up and sent off to the press before my daughter was born. I was honestly concerned that when my daughter was born, it would completely affect my art and my music, and basically turn it into something I never wanted it to be, which was positive and full of love. Like, honestly, I don’t want to make art like that. I think the world needs art to express the things that people can’t in society. So, I was concerned about that, but truthfully, all that it’s really done is made me focus — kind of what I was mentioning earlier — where it’s like the love that I have to give, that is focused on just my family and my friendships and my life outside of art. It’s actually done the opposite of what I thought it would, and it just made me focus all that negativity more on my art and focus the opposite on just my family.
Listen to our exclusive stream of Ledge’s All I Hope For below:
Ledge’s All I Hope For comes out this Friday, August 30th, via Translation Loss Records, and is available for preorder through the label.
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