Milwaukee Hardcore Veterans Expire Are Ready to Do Just That
I’m sure Expire never intended to go to Europe, or Australia or Japan when they first started playing shows in bars and basements eight years ago. I’m sure they never thought they would be able to tour or play festivals with some of the bands they grew up listening to. I’m sure Expire never thought they would be able to play sold out shows in large amphitheaters with fans shouting along to every word of their songs. But they were able to do that, and accomplish much more.
Expire began their journey in Milwaukee as a four piece band in 2009, playing aggressive, and fast punk and hardcore music. Just three years later they released their most acclaimed release, with their first full length album Pendulum Swings, featuring a constant barrage of fast and meaningful songs that showcased the bands ability to get a room full of fans moving. Ever since Pendulum Swings Expire has been touring constantly, all while releasing two more albums that also received critical acclaim from the punk community.
Last summer however, Expire decided to break up. They are currently on their last full U.S. tour with bands from the Midwest and Milwaukee that they have been playing with and supporting for the past few years. Their last show is in Milwaukee fittingly, this Saturday, March 11. Unlike other bands who might chose to make it all about themselves, Expire chose to play a small intimate show at a community center with bands who they have been playing with for years.
Zach Dear, Expire’s guitarist, has always been enthusiastic about the music Expire is playing. “Hardcore is who I am. It's what I think about when I wake up, and it’s what I think about throughout my entire day,” Dear said. “There's nothing in my life that has affected me more positively then being involved in this music.”
Hardcore is more than just a genre of music for Expire. It’s a lifestyle that the members have been maintaining since day one of the band. It is evident in their lyrics, their ethics, and their choices. The band writes songs that are honest and real and they chose to take young and newer bands from the area on tour.
This mindset remains with all the members of Expire to this day. They have all remained active in the punk and hardcore scene, even while touring almost full time at points in their career. “Milwaukee is in a good spot right now,” Dear says. “Lots of young kids are coming around and making the hardcore scene their own.”
Expire has always tried to be active in Milwaukee, opening up for bigger bands when they first started, and headlining shows at spaces like The Borg Ward in years past alongside younger bands from the surrounding area. Dear was also heavily influential in the opening up of a new venue on Milwaukee’s West Side that has already brought bands from Chicago and Ohio to play it.
Expire remained humble throughout their existence as well. When they had the chance to headline tours, they didn’t skip the Midwest, like so many other artists do. They didn’t chose to veer off and make music that would reach a larger audience just so they could sell more records. “I loved that we were able to expose new people to hardcore on almost every tour that we did,” Dear said. Even when Expire wasn’t touring full-time, Dear and other members played in local bands and promoted shows in the area. Expire chose to remain what they have been since day one: a hardcore band.
Expire’s final show is in Milwaukee on Saturday, March 11 at the Kosciuszko Community Center on 7th Street. Tickets are sold out.