Tyler Phillips is part of the next generation of Salt Lake Hardcore and is carrying on the time-honored tradition of playing in multiple bands at the same time. Gotta stay busy somehow. He used to do vocals for the band Speak Out before they disbanded, and currently plays bass in both Chained Down and No Sun.
How were you introduced to Salt Lake Hardcore scene?
There were two kids I went to high school with that were very involved with the scene. So this was like 2007-08ish and I was into Warped Tour Metalcore shit that was/is popular (don’t ask) and these two kids would see me sporting these terrible bands shirts and encourage me to come out to a show. I finally caved and went to a show at Boing! House. Over the next year I saw the Better Youth Underground bands (Drug Shit, Ritual Fuck, Active Aggressive) and other bands like Collapse and Reviver a number of times. After the BYU bands stopped playing, I rarely came out to shows. Getting back into the groove of things was weird. In 2009-10ish I started to roll around with Will Palicte and he showed me all the old Salt Lake Hardcore bands from Lifeless to Reflect, he then told me that all those old bands don’t really play shows anymore and it was, for the most part, gone. He and Dominic Ayala had been working on starting a hardcore band and they asked me to do vocals. Control was born which turned into Speak Out and we eventually added Blake Foard on bass. Without each of those guys or that band I don’t think I would’ve found a home here in this scene.
What are some of your greatest SLHC memories?
My absolute favorite memories are playing shows. If I had to narrow it down, I can think of two shows that were really sweet. First, the Cool Your Jets reunion/comeback whatever you want to call it show. They were the first older band to play again since I started getting involved with the scene. I remember later that year a picture from one of the CYJ shows was published in SLUG and it was during the pile-on part in For A Friend and I was dead center. I don’t give shit, being pictured in a magazine acting like a fool is sick. That article in SLUG was actually a preview for my second favorite memory which is the 2013 Sub For Santa show. Two nights of the best of Salt Lake’s old and new. I finally got to see Reflect, Cherem and Tamerlane. Not being around when those bands were in their prime bums me out more than you know but I’m glad I’m here now. Speak Out also was fortunate enough to play Day 1 of Sub For Santa with all the regular locals at the time (Hitchhiker and Prime Oppressor) and all for a good cause. It always amazes me to see how much the hardcore community is able and willing to give, whether it’s a charity or a benefit for one of our own.
Who are your favorite SLHC bands?
This a tough question. So much talent over such a long period of time. I’m going to split this into three categories; older, old and new. Older: If we’re talking the really old bands I’m going to go with The Lazarus Project but it’d be wrong not to mention how amazing Lifeless or Clear is. Climb is another band that I absolutely love. Old: City To City is my favorite for sure. But Tamerlane and Reflect are right up there too. Cherem is a very important band. There are so many good bands in this era and if you are in these bands and reading this then yo play shows again :) New: No Empire was the best newer band but I guess they aren’t really a band anymore. Their members have two new bands coming together so hopefully those bands are cool. Close Grip was and still is doing cool things. Not to toot my own horn but Chained Down has new album coming out this year. Fever Dreams just put out an amazing album. A message to all old guys and dropouts, Salt Lake Hardcore is still alive, roll out every once in awhile.
How has hardcore and the Salt Lake scene impacted your life?
First off, The Straight Edge. Secondly, when I first started going to and playing shows I had no idea how important it was going to be to me. Everyone has their shit, bad relationships, school, work, parents or whatever it is and hardcore is, at least for me, an escape from all that stuff. Is it corny or cliché to say it saved my life? Yeah, definitely but I’m sure fucking glad that it did. I think about it every day, try to listen to it every day, wear it every day, have it tattooed on my body, it’s taken me all over the west coast and hopefully one day the country. God, I’m corny. I don’t care though, hardcore is fucking sick and I don’t know what the fuck I’d do without it.
What are your thoughts on the state of hardcore today and its future?
On the national level, hardcore is gaining a lot of popularity and starting to dive into other markets exposing kids who normally wouldn’t see bands like Expire or Rotting Out because they are doing different things like going out on tour with big alternative bands like Senses Fail or jumping on Warped Tour. I think that kind of stuff is great. That helps the local scene grow too. More kids into bigger hardcore bands means more kids getting involved locally and that is something I will always back. Seeing the scene grow from when I started going to shows to right now is insane. Last month I was at the Cruel Hand, Angel Du$t, The Beautiful Ones show and it was jam packed and that shit rules. If you were there you know. As for Salt Lake City right now, we are having venue problems. We haven’t had a solid hardcore spot for a year or two now but I guess that’s how it always been. As long as kids give a shit about hardcore then shows will happen, bands will roll through, we’ll find some basement or garage to slam into each other in. The only thing it’s missing is more of you guys so roll out to a show or two this year.
Thanks for reading. If you see me at show or wherever and want to talk about hardcore or anything, I’m about it, so let’s have a conversation. RIP Brad. XXX.