Lionheart – RAT

“A lot of bands today don’t sing about the struggle, about hardships but that was always hardcore to me.” Rob Watson who delivers violently passionate vocals and lyrics for Bay Area based group, Lionheart speaks on the band’s upcoming album. “Built On Struggle is really the theme of a lot of my songs, about my personal demons. It’s about being a Lionheart to go through serious shit and being able to get up and walk away from it.” Set to intensely furious hardcore with weight of downtuned metallic guitars, Built To Struggle is the one of the most introspective albums to set the pit off with. One of the most personal songs on the album is Brother’s Keeper which features Bruce LaPage (original vocalist of 100 Demons) and guitar solo from Dave Nassie (Suicidal Tendencies/Bleeding Through). “The song is about my brother who is going through issues including substance abuse and incarceration and my support for him. We play that song live now and I talk about my inspiration for the song and it’s amazing how many people come up to me after the show with similar stories of supporting someone in their family with similar issues.”

An all star affair this is the band’s second album and features appearances from such high powered friends as those mentioned above and Brandan Schieppati (Bleeding Through), Lord Ezec (Skarhead, Icepick) and Karl Buechner (Earth Crisis). Watson says “We’ve become friends with everyone on this album by being on tour constantly over the past few years. These were people who inspired us and who also gave their all into their appearances on the album.” Hailing from the Bay Area of California, Lionheart apart from Watson is also made up of Jay Scott (drums), Travis Pacheco (bass), Evan Krejci (guitar) and Rob Mccarthy guitar. In 2007 the band released their debut album The Will To Survive in 2007. The album was Initially released on Mike Hood of legendary West Coast hardcore band, The Hoods own West Coast Worldwide label. Selling through it’s initial pressing the album was quickly picked up by Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed who re-released it on Stillborn Records.

From that time until now Lionheart has racked up an impressive amount of shows in this country and Europe touring an average of ten months a year. Some of their touring partners have included Skarhead, Bulldoze Sworn Enemy, Freya, Agnostic Front, Walls Of Jericho, H20, Thick As Blood, For The Fallen Dreams, Living Sacrifice, War Of Ages, Shai Hulud and Donnybrook. Currently Lionheart has just wrapped up a stint supporting NYHC heroes Madball. Watson says of the experience “Touring with Madball is unreal, to share the stage with a band that had such an impact on my life is amazing. The other night Freddy (Madball) was wearing a Lionheart shirt on stage. I had to get a picture to make sure it was real.” This January the band will join Terror and First Blood for a European run with more U.S. dates to follow.