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An Interview With Oklahoma Hardcore Band Free 4 All

From touring with Identity Crisis, Anklebiter, Prevention, and Sledge to the release of their Promo ‘23 record, OKC-based band Free 4 All has had one heck of a year so far. Most recently, the band dropped their newest release, a collaboration titled Blood 4 All, recorded with Out 4 Blood.

Later this year, Free 4 All will help open up the first day of this year’s Flyover Fest—formerly Act Like You Know and Promcore—in Tulsa. We had a chance to sit down with Ty Everett of Free 4 All to talk about their new release, Flyover Fest, and much, much more.

How old were you when you started playing guitar and singing? What’s your background when it comes to music?

I started taking piano lessons before I ever touched the guitar. I was like four or five, but I never got that good at piano. I just kind of learned how to read music, you know, and just very basic stuff. I don’t know, music just didn’t really capture my attention, but I always loved music. Specifically—this is really nerdy and goofy—I loved video game soundtracks as a kid. I’m twenty-eight, so the first game I ever played was “Pokemon Red and Blue.” I remember memorizing all the songs for all of the areas. Whenever I remember when I was like ten, my dad bought “Halo” for me, and it literally exploded my ten year old mind—not just for the game itself but also the music. So I just remember sitting at the start screen, not even playing the game. I think that’s where I first started noticing that music was really cool, because it just gave me those kinds of emotions I didn’t know that I had as a young kid.

I moved to Oklahoma when I was almost twelve. We were from Florida originally, but we moved to a small town in Oklahoma. My uncle set me up with guitar lessons. I would just learn basic chords, and I remember being like, “Dude, I can’t do this.I suck at this.” Then, I just kept doing it until I could maintain a certain rhythm. It just kind of clicked from there.

How did Free 4 All come about?

I moved away from Oklahoma, but came back in July of 202, so like right in the thick of it, and I reconnected with some of my friends who were in bands from OKC. Some of my friends were still in the same bands, like the Tooth. And there was this band before Free 4 All called Death Trap that has a lot of the same members right now. I was invited to join Death Trap when things with the pandemic slowed down. I really wanted to but it had been a few years since I had been in a band.

We started writing random stuff, and were trying to kind of get an idea of what the vision of the sound will be for Death Trap. So, we wanted to tackle like where our influences lie—where mine lie as well. We wanted to capture a kind of New York hardcore element, like a 2000s feel, but that didn’t end up being the main influences for this band. We started writing and what we ended up with was very different from what Death Trap used to be, but not too different, but different enough to where we were like why don’t we just scrap the Death Trap name and just make this a new band. Everybody was into the idea.

How did your newest release, Blood 4 All, with Out 4 Blood come about?

Well, we had some material that we were trying to figure out what we wanted to do with it, because we are all really into the idea of releasing multiple drops a year.

We had just released our Promo ‘23 or we had just recorded it, like it was somewhere around there, which would have been like February or March of this year. LDB Fest was going on and a lot of my friends were there. Someone texted me, and they were like, “You need to check out this band.” It was Out 4 Blood. I really liked their sound because they had a kind of lower tuned, just hardcore vibe. I was like, “Oh, dude, this is sick.”

We had some material that we were trying to figure out what to do with. One song was finished, and we didn’t know where it was gonna go. We were in the middle of writing another song when our friend Ronnie from OKC was like, “Free 4 All Out For Blood split when?” I was like, “Oh my God, we have to do this.” I DMed them immediately, asking what their plans were for the year. I told them about the idea and they were super into it. I thought they might have been apprehensive just because we’re just a random band from Oklahoma, but they were just like, “Yo, let’s do it.” I really think that all of these songs on the split are some of both bands’ coolest songs so far. So, I think people are gonna enjoy them.

I loved how you recorded the split as well with each singer taking turns performing with the other band.

Thank you! I really like that too. It’s always fun to hear other recognizable voices on different bands’ songs and when they’re side by side on the same split like that, you immediately know who it is. That was Jordan’s idea to have both bands kind of be featured on each other’s tracks. I love it too. I think it’s super cool, and I’m glad that we were able to make it work, because I had never done a split in any of my other bands. I’m super excited to see everyone’s reactions to it.

Then, switching over to Flyover Fest. So, the line up for this year is absolutely insane.

Oh my God. I’m so excited for it. It’s insane, for real.

So I guess my question is, who are you most excited to see?

Rabbit. That band is really cool! They’re just like, really grimy. I love their sound like no one really sounds like them. I’m interested to see No Cure. I haven’t gotten a chance to actually see them yet, so that’ll be really cool. I’m really excited to see Spine too. Spine rocks! I haven’t seen them play Oklahoma. So, to see them at Flyover, I think it’s just gonna be really fucking cool. World I Hate, oh my God. World I Hate has put out probably the coolest record so far this year, in my opinion—one of the most insane sounding vocal styles.

Also, like all the bands that I asked to play as well, like Gagging Order and Soledad. I’m super excited to have them play this as well! I wanna see like a good chunk of Texas fans there cause Texas is like right there you know what I’m saying? Also, every single Oklahoma band, like the Tooth, Sledge, Inside You, and Caustic.

I just want to talk about the headliners too, holy shit. All the headliners are absolute bangers. Like, I had never listened to Initiate until I saw they were gonna be on the lineup. They’re one of the coolest blends of super aggressive, fast-pace hardcore, mixed with a melodic element. Not many other bands could pull off very well. Jivebomb as well. Like, I’m super stoked to see them on that stage. We were fortunate enough to play with them literally, like a month after we became a band. So it’s just really cool to have them in Tulsa. It’s just kind of like a full circle moment, too, for real.

It’s funny. I tweeted it the other day: I get to see “The Canine Intro” in the same city where I first started going to hardcore shows. That’s just really fucking cool to me, because Canine is one of our biggest influences for sure.

With so many amazing bands playing the festival, do you have any other dream collaborations that you would love to try and work on?

As far as splits go, it’s hard to say. Years ago, whenever Wrong Ones Records was still around they put out these Oklahoma Hardcore splits that were like several OK-based bands. One of my old bands is on there. As far as a compilation type of thing, that would be something that I would want to work on collaboratively next over just like a two band split.

I would wanna be putting on some kind of comp, whether that’s like in Oklahoma or some kind of regional comp—like heartland hardcore. I think something like that would be really cool. It would showcase the diverse sound of the Oklahoma hardcore scene, because we definitely have a much more diverse sound than we used to in the state.

So then what’s next? Is there a promo 24 in the works already?

And ‘25 and 26.’ [He laughs]

You never really know how timelines go. But, as of right now, our projected idea is we’re gonna go hard through November. We have some stuff lined up, basically all the way through the fall, into Flyover. We may take a short break from shows, just so we can give ourselves a chance to write together. I have several songs I’ve been working on myself that I wanna bring to everybody to kind of fully flush out.

We’re thinking of leading this into an EP next, because we haven’t done a four to six track EP. So, that’ll be the next thing we work on.

By August 8, we’ll have like three separate releases within a year, which is really cool.

Also, I’d love to talk a little bit about Hive Minded Records. They’re based out of OKC. They’re the ones that are helping a lot with the physical side of this split like making tapes and shirts for us. Recently, they went out and bought a tape deck, so they can make tapes in house.

So shoutout to Hive Minded Records. They’re gonna do a lot of really cool things with Oklahoma bands. It’s just cool to have a label like basically dedicated to Oklahoma artists. I think they’re gonna do some really fucking cool shit. They really want to uplift a lot of the young bands out of Oklahoma City, because we have a ton. I’m very, very honored to be their first release. And I’m excited to see what they do.

Blood 4 All is now available where you get music, listen to it on Bandcamp below!

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