INTERVIEW: CHRIS HULL (ANTHROPIC)

Immediately after our December 2022 printed issue went live online, Anthropic announced that they’d been signed to CDN RECORDS! Congrats, boys!

Now back to the original interview, printed in late November 2022:

This year’s METAL CLAUS is none other than CHRIS HULL from Buffalo, New York grindcore kings, ANTHROPIC!! Chris was one of three people who volunteered to be this year’s calendar issue mascot, so I have to give honorable mentions to Robert Becker from Benot Breathing, and Hunter Valentine from BlackVenom Promotions for their courage. In the end, we went with Chris because he’s someone we’ve never really heard from since we started up this publication. Usually, when I interview Anthropic I’m talking to Jim Santillo (drums) or Russ Martin (bass). Obviously, we chatted with Brian Pattison (RIP) a ton in our formative years, but unless I’m mistaken, this is our first real interview with Anthropic’s vocalist, Chris Hull!

We’re excited to let Chris kick off this final WRETCHED SOUND issue of 2022, so without further ado…

1. Where did Chris Hull come from? I remember hearing that you were more a part of the hardcore scene in your earlier days. Talk about the bands that first attracted you to local shows, and the most memorable shows you attended during your early years.

I emerged from the bowels of the City of Tonawanda! Haha. Yeah, I came up in the Buffalo hardcore scene. I went to my first show on my 14th birthday in 1989 at the River Rock Cafe. That one show literally changed my life forever. I’m so lucky to have seen so many great national touring bands back then but the local scene was also going strong. Zero Tolerance was the fucking best. If they played a show by themselves back then it would have been sold out. There were a ton of other locals killing it back then too, Watchmen, Discontent, Against All Hope, Slugfest, Solid State (pre Snapcase), Split Decision. Yeah, the hardcore scene was going strong, much like the metal scene at that time. My most memorable show? Hmmmmm, that’s a tough one. First show that popped in my head was the first time I went to the Skyroom. I saw Agnostic Front, Sick of it All, Biohazard, Zero Tolerance and No Joke. I had gone to a bunch of River Rock shows by then but walking into the Skyroom was like a whole other scene. The place was WAY bigger, the crowd was WAY bigger. I can’t remember specific details about the show but i remember it being fucking crazy. I also met a few of my life long friends that night too. Good times!

2. Without discussing how you came to be in Anthropic, how long had you known the Anthropic guys prior to being introduced as the vocalist?

I honestly didn’t know any of them. I recognized Brian from shows, and going to his shows but I don’t think we ever said anything to eachother other than what’s up in passing. When Brian asked me to join he mentioned Jim was the drummer for Immortal Terror who I’d seen multiple times back in the day. There were a lot of crossover shows back then. Immortal Terror played with Zero Tolerance and the show when Snapcase got signed to Victory Records.

3. Finally, how were you first approached about joining Anthropic, and how did you feel the band was received at the first show?

Brian cam up to me at a hardcore show at Mohawk and handed me a CD and asked me if I wanted to try out. Mike Jeffers mentioned my name to Brian when he was looking for someone to do vocals. I was like why me? Haha. I had always wanted to sing for a band so i said fuck it and went for it. Everyone will agree that our first show was a bit rough lol. But everyone who was there seemed to dig it. I know a lot of people were super hyped to see Brian finally play music he wrote live. If you only saw us at our first show, come back out, we have improved slightly. Haha.

4. Looking back on all the shows Anthropic have played since 2017, talk about your most memorable live experiences with the band so far and what made those shows so special to you?

Opening for Corpse is definitely on top of the list of memorable experiences. It was like an out of body experience for me. I remember standing on the side of the stage looking at the set list and not knowing any one of the songs. We got up and played and I went into auto pilot. Haha. Other than being able to play with Corpse, obviously, we made a bunch of new friends that night. Many who continue to come out to as many of our shows as they can. Other than that the two tours we did. One with Anarchus and the other with Sewage Grinder. There were so many great, crazy, shows on both tours, it’s hard to pick out just one. Just playing and hanging out with the other bands in all of these different cities. Seeing all of the different scenes all over the country. That was the best fucking time. I can’t wait to do another one.

5. Getting into your lyrics, discuss your favorite Anthropic songs, and any standout subjects or themes you bring to the band with your lyrics.

My personal faves? I need to narrow this down from 80 songs. Ha. These are some from our current releases. Unleashed, Forgotten, Gods Profit, Trapped. Songs off of our new album we just finished recording are Antisocial Media, Purity Test, Consumed by Darkness, Demons Inside… so many good ones on the new album I’ll stop there. I can’t wait to get this into everyone’s ear holes! As for the subjects, like I said we have around 80 songs so there is a WIDE range of subjects. Brian and Jim also wrote a bunch of the lyrics. I usually write about fucked up shit happening in the world at the time or shit that is pissing me off. We have songs about working a shitty job, wanting to choke someone out who won’t shut the fuck up, mass shootings, cops killing people, losing your mind, christians being fucking hypocrites…. And I have a thing for serial killers so I wrote one about Ted Bundy and another one about Gary Ridgway.

6. This is a little different for everyone, but describe the rush you get on stage when fronting this band. How is your energy impacted by the energy of the crowd? Do you treat every performance the same, or does it depend on crowd energy?

I always go off as hard as I can regardless if there are hundreds of people in the crowd or if we are playing for 5 people in a disgusting basement. I came up in the Youth Crew hardcore days when everyone was jumping around stage diving and shit. I’m much older and fatter now so my jumping and stage diving days are over, but I always try to put on a good show. If a band looks bored when they are playing the crowd sees that. I always try to get a pit going every show we play. A lot of the time I get in there with them mid song. I love that shit! We played a lot of shows where no one ever heard us before and stood there staring at us for the first half of the set. By the time we finished everyone in the crowd was going off in the pit. That is the BEST feeling seeing a crowd go off for your band!

7. Name some of your favorite vocalists of all-time and talk about what makes them unique.

I have always loved Human Furnace from Ringworm’s voice – yes back to hardcore, sorry. I got a copy of their 1st demo from someone and was blown away on how different it was from all of the other hardcore bands at that time. Raw and fucking gnarly as fuck. The Human fucking Furnace for sure. When I moved to Florida in 1994 I lived with this mentally insane girl for a while and she had an Obituary Cause of Death tape in this box she was unpacking that belonged to a previous boyfriend. I put that in and was blown away from how insanely heavy the music and vocals were. That was kind of the point where i wasn’t just a “Hardcore Kid” anymore and started to listen to more death metal. I love me some Dying Fetus too.

8. Name your favorite genre of music or extreme metal that isn’t grindcore.

“Favorite” is hard to do. My playlist is all over the place. I love 90’s rap – Mobb Deep, Wu Tang, 8 Ball & MJG.I love Sabbath and Pink Floyd. Late 80’s and early 90’s straight edge hardcore which i great drinking music BTW. Haha.

9. What can we expect from the new Anthropic album?

30 Minutes of NON STOP BRUTALITY!!!  I think this is our best yet. Brian wrote me some hardcore’ish riffs and breakdowns which I was not bummed about. Haha. But don’t worry, there are PLENTY of blast beats! It should be out at the beginning of 2023. Grab a copy when it comes out!!!

10. Give a shoutout to anyone you feel has helped you in music and in life in general.

Brian (RIP), Jim, Russ and Matt my Anthropic brothers. Mike Jeffers for dropping my name, my life would have been boring as fuck over the last 6 years without him! My #1 homie Juan “Juanthropic” Guitierrez. He’s the best dude and still thinks he can hang drinking with me. No, he can’t! Haha. My family, Mom, McKenna and Corine – thanks for coming to do merch wearing your fancy work clothes! It’s weird saying “fans” so, every single person who has come out to see us live and supported us! We sincerely appreciate every one of you! And lastly, any person who I have told I was in a band and never asked “So, how much money do you make” And the biggest thanks Mike and Wretched Sound for the interview and supporting Anthropic and HO HO HO!

As always, we did our local band-themed calendar to follow this interview in our December 2022 printed issue. The issue includes a 2023 calendar featuring some sick bands out of Buffalo and Rochester, NY. To snag a copy to hang on your wall, visit this link:

Also, as this interview is a month old, check out Anthropic’s next show, happening in late January at Mohawk Place!

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