Ross Hostage (Allout Helter) talks about new album, Denver music scene and more

Denver melodic hardcore group Allout Helter released their debut full-length album “Sinking, We Regress” last month on Dang! Records. I caught up with their singer Ross Hostage to talk about the album, the Denver music scene and more. You can read the interview here.

DS: Could you give the readers a little background on how the band came to be?

Ross: Fred (guitar), Chad (bass) and The Shook (drums) used to play in a band together called Every Last Word that dissolved and morphed into Allout Helter. Cameron showed up in Denver from Albuquerque and joined in the fun. Allout Helter existed with that lineup for a couple years, with Fred and Cam sharing vocal duties.

I used to sing for a band called Suburban Hostage. We played with the Helter a few times and I was always super impressed. We even tried to poach Fred when we needed a new guitarist haha. Fast forward to the Suburban Hostage breakup, after which I put an anonymous ad on Craigslist to create a new band. Fred hit me up that Allout Helter was looking to add a lead vocalist and I jumped at the chance to work with such amazing musicians.

DS: So you recently released your debut full-length album “Sinking, We Regress.” What was the recording / song writing process like for the album?

Ross: The songs on this album get Allout Helter fans up to date with our total catalog up to this point. Half the songs existed before I joined the band and are finally being put out on a record and the rest were written since I joined the roster. We recorded everything ourselves in our practice space. We have a small ProTools setup and I was able to borrow some decent mics from my day job as an A/V guy. We originally set out to demo the songs but, once we had the drum tracks, we decided they sounded solid so we just kept doing it ourselves from there and, luckily, we ended up with something we’re all really proud of.

DS: Did you put more pressure on yourselves because this is a full-length instead of an EP?

Ross: We didn’t feel any external pressure, because we’re a pretty small band in the scheme of things, but we certainly wanted to make a stellar first impression with our biggest endeavor yet. Our EPs and singles have given people a small taste of our sound but this is definitely the first collection that REALLY shows what we’re capable of and we encouraged each other to push the limits in our individual performances to try and exceed the bar we set for ourselves.

DS:How is the music scene in Denver, Colorado? As an outsider looking in, it seems to be a city that’s pretty supportive of DIY musicians. Is that the case?

Ross: Denver is a phenomenal place to play music right now. I have my choice of great venues to work with, an endless roster of amazing bands to book and a fan community that is always active. I think the fact that Riot Fest is coming here in September proves that Denver is getting recognized as a national destination because of the tireless efforts of all of us here to cultivate a vibrant and diverse music scene.

DS: The new album is chock full of fast paced, socially aware punk rock. What song are you most proud of, lyrically, off “Sinking, We Regress” and what inspired it?

Ross: Of the lyrics I wrote for the record, I think I’m most proud of “Danny’s Gone AWOL”. I don’t often write 3rd person stories but I wanted to exercise my abilities and delve into new territory for myself as a writer. I was inspired by my own dissatisfaction with my work life at the time and I took those frustrations and juxtaposed them in the context of a depressed and suffering veteran who has returned to “regular life” and can’t cope. I did my best to imagine how magnified those feelings must be to a person in that situation and how helpless they must feel, which, unfortunately, leads to a high suicide rate amongst our vets.

DS: Will you guys be touring in support of the new album? What’s next for Allout Helter?

Ross: Touring is tough for us because half the guys have young kids. We’re trying to do small regional trips as much as possible to help make any larger trips possible in the future. Honestly, the music is more important than our ability to play shows. We’d love to play anywhere and everywhere but it means more to me that people listen to our tunes. If fans help us spread the music, it’ll make it easier to do small tours because people will have heard us before we get to their town. In the meantime, we’ve got a killer summer schedule here in Colorado. We’re playing a couple festivals, shows with Yankee Brutal, DC Fallout & The Shell Corporation, and we’re going to keep pushing this album until every punk rocker in the world has heard it.

DS: Who are some unsigned bands that you think more people should know of?

Ross: How much server space do you have at Dying Scene? I could crash the site with how long that list could be. Just follow Allout Helter on the Facebook and we’ll help you keep up with all things that are good.

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