Reign Supreme – Jay Pepito (vocals)

Fans of bands like Killing Time and NYHC in general should check out Testing the Limits of Infinite, the new album from Reign Supreme. The Philadelphia act have put together the best hardcore record of the year so far and with the folks at Deathwish Inc behind them, it won’t be surprising if they make the year end lists come December. SMNnews spoke with vocalist Jay Pepito about their new album on the eve of its release.

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Reign Supreme’s roots are obviously planted in the hardcore scene but with Testing the Limits of Infinite you embrace a lot of metal  tendencies from a songwriting and sonic standpoint. At this point do you find yourself more inspired by what’s going on in the metal scene?

I don’t really know much about what’s going on in the metal scene, unfortunately.  I think we embraced a lot of heavy tendencies, and I think we sound like a metal band in a lot of ways, but I think we’re essentially still a hardcore band that has metal influences.

As diverse as the underground as become, do you still find resistance from the crowd when you play on more metal leaning bills?

Not really actually, I love playing to metal crowds.  They like our breakdowns.  Hardcore kids have seen that all before.

How did you first get into heavier music?

I got into black flag when I was 11, from listening to Nirvana and skateboarding.  I got into hardcore a little bit later, and I’ve listened to metal the whole time. I’ve had Down’s Nola since I was 11 too, and that’s been a pretty big influence on me sonically.

What bands did you gravitate towards in the beginning?

I was into anything that was angry, melodic, and full of emotion; Pantera, Sepultura, Crowbar, Entombed, Machinehead, etc.  That’s still what I like. I love anything heavy. I absolutely worshipped the new Lamb of God and Slipknot records.  Those two got a lot of play in our van when they dropped.

There’s always been talk of unity within the bands in the hardcore scene. Is that still true today?

No. Unity in hardcore is dumb anyways.  No one is there for you when things get hectic, I promise you that.

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