Let’s cut to the chase here; Employed To Serve are THE most underrated band on the planet, bar none. For those who have never heard of them (have you been living in a cave?), the abrasive, early 2000’s style hardcore band from Woking have been pumping out riffs since 2012, and they’re only getting better.
The name Employed To Serve has a certain political implication, but the band tries to avoid political topics in their lyric writing process. “We’re either asked if we’re a Christian or a political band… we’re actually neither! We try and stay away from politics, not because we don’t think it’s important but because it doesn’t inspire us to make music as much as our own experiences and the people around us do”, explains vocalist Justine Jones.
“I guess I feel the same as I would feel if I were a guy, there are so many women in hardcore/heavy music in general it’s gradually moving out of the realm of being a unique selling point”
The band occasionally shows off a more tech-metal aspect of their music, influenced by “a combination of how we feel at the time and what comes out at practice. We definitely have a few staple bands that will always be our main influence, like Botch, Norma Jean, Converge, etc.” Tech metal giants like The Dillinger Escape Plan and metalcore legends The Chariot were leading the genres of music which inspire Employed To Serve. However, all good things, including these iconic bands, must come to an end, but with any luck Employed To Serve will grace the music industry with their cutting sound for a long time to come. “The general vibe of the band is that we want to release as many albums and tour as much as possible, I think the only time we’d ever think of calling it a day is if we felt like we were no longer having fun.” Employed To Serve are perhaps already beginning to outlive the idea that a female fronted hardcore band is a rare occurrence, and we hope that they stick around to prove that women can be just as influential in the music scene as men. “I guess I feel the same as I would feel if I were a guy, there are so many women in hardcore/heavy music in general it’s gradually moving out of the realm of being a unique selling point”, explains Justine.
The band describes themselves as “nasty hardcore”, but resents the idea that the hardcore scene is supportive of violence at shows. “Violence in hardcore has always been present unfortunately, we use the term ‘nasty’ in the non violent sense, i.e we’re an ‘unpleasant hardcore’ band”. The hardcore genre has been at the centre point of a lot of controversies for the last few years due to bands promoting ‘crowd killing’, culminating in a Code Orange fan being left with a jaw broken in four places and an internal bleed on the brain, but “I think it’s just a few bad people spoiling it for the rest. It’s unfortunate that they’re detracting from all the great things the hardcore scene has done, from raising money for various charities to inspiring the next generation of musicians. At the end of the day you can’t be under any illusion that you’ll be a monumentally famous band when you’re playing the niche music we do, but that’s what we love so it doesn’t matter”, explains Justine.
“it’s unfortunate that they’re detracting from all the great things the hardcore scene has done, from raising money for various charities to inspiring the next generation of musicians.”
Employed To Serve are also popular amongst mathcore fans, and have toured with the likes of Rolo Tomassi, highlighting the importance of cornerstone bands supporting new music. “The tours that Rolo took us on have helped us grow massively. We’re always watching supports and looking for the next wave of bands to tour with – at the end of the day we all have to start somewhere.”
After finding out what it’s like to tour with well-established artists, Employed To Serve have picked up one or two tricks of the trade. “The general thing I have learnt is to keep doing what you love and keep working hard and you’ll eventually get somewhere.”
The band are set to release their new album The Warmth Of A Dying Sun in May via Holy Roar Records. “We’re very grateful to be a part of such a prestigious label. We were so happy the day Holy Roar agreed to put us out. If it wasn’t for Alex (the label’s owner) taking a chance on us I highly doubt we would have experienced as much as we have and met so many great people along the way…Expect many more albums, more tours and more broken strings”
Employed To Serve are currently on tour with Milk Teeth, make sure to check them out!
01 – NOTTINGHAM Bodega
02 – NORWICH Epic Studios
03 – SOUTHAMPTON Joiners
04 – LONDON Borderline