To the ’core

Credit: Ross Adams

Alex Barnard loves the hardcore scene, its DIY aesthetic and underground culture, but he aspired to play for rooms with more than a dozen people in them. He found like-minded, longtime Oklahoma City musicians in Daniel Weaver, Billy Reid and James Hammontree; together, they formed Chud.

“All of us have played in various hardcore and punk bands. There’s a small pocket of that in Oklahoma, but we started wanting to play music that could draw from a bigger audience here,” said Barnard, who sings and plays guitar. “There isn’t much of that here anymore. We wanted to play stuff that we could tap into that.”

The result is a harsher, heavier take on grunge that lands somewhere in the crosshairs between The Jesus Lizard, At the Drive-In and Nirvana: a gripping, almost combative explosion of choppy guitars, growling vocals and rolling percussion that is all id,
making for a manlier sound than most. “We started playing music in that
avenue, and began to notice that a lot of the current bands in Oklahoma
were kind of sissies, for a lack of a better word,” Barnard said. “To
us, bands like Sonic Youth were some of the softer, milder versions of
what we really liked. It seems like everyone lost the balls.”

For the most part, Oklahomans have been nothing but receptive to Chud, whose name is inspired by the 1984 cult horror flick C.H.U.D.

here are a little less familiar with anything you do, but in a way,
they are more accepting and refreshed by something that is slightly
different,” Barnard said. “You get accepted with open arms here.”

Chud has ridden a steady
wave of momentum since a pair of live music videos spread online late
last year, spawning a split 7-inch with hardcore band Paintscratcher and
a self-titled 7-inch due later this summer, with a Midwest tour
following in August.

videos kicked off a series of fortunate events for us. Things have just
fallen into our laps based off that,” Barnard said. “It’s really

The highlight may be the group’s recent turn at Norman Music Festival.

A healthy crowd chanted the band’s name in unison, both before the set and as it closed. Mission accomplished.

“I don’t think we’ve ever played to so many people,” Barnard said. “People received it well, and we couldn’t ask for more.”

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Paintscratcher interview