Phoenix Hardcore Band Lilith Wants to Get Homophobia and Sexism Out of Music Scene

lilith.jpeg
David Accomazzo
Sarah McCann of Lilith readies a mighty scream at a May show at Mesa's Nile Theater.

On a sweltering Sunday night in early May, a young-skewing crowd of roughly 50 black-clad hardcore fans packed around the tiny stage in the sweaty basement of the Nile Theater in Mesa. The main attraction of the evening was Georgia screamo band Circle Takes the Square, but this crowd was currently interested in Lilith, a Phoenix band formed in November that was about to start its set.

The stage in the Underground is only a foot off the ground, making the space between crowd and band almost nonexistent. Sarah McCann, the short, 18-year-old singer with bangs, red glasses, and a tattoo of a tarot card on the inside of her left bicep, stands with one foot on the stage and one in the crowd, facing her bandmates. The band starts a slow-building, atmosphere-setting intro.

"When this starts, you might want to be careful with your camera," McCann says with a smile to a photographer standing next to her.

It quickly becomes clear why. The intro ends and the band launches into its first song, one so new it remains unnamed. Without warning, McCann launches onto the stage and spins around, unleashing a guttural scream and pounding back and forth onto the stage and off, shouting lyrics into the mic. Heads and bodies start moving in time to the music, and the band begins a short and furious set.

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David Accomazzo
Andrew Raffield of Lilith

For a band just seven months old, Lilith has a lot going for it. Its music is dark, aggressive hardcore, capsaicin-laced bursts of rage that recede unpredictably into swampy, sludge-mired breakdowns. McCann's lyrics are both deeply personal and ferociously confrontational, calling out everything from her own personal pain to the boys-only mentality she's encountered as a woman making her way in the local hardcore scene.

Lilith is a band with a message. All five members (joining McCann are drummer Matt Hawkins, 24; guitarist Samad Agwani, 21; bassist Mike Hyde, 24; and guitarist Andrew Raffield, 26) have witnessed homophobia, transphobia, and sexism within the hardcore community, locally and nationally, and they want to spread the opposite point of view.

That message immediately resonated. On March 5, the band released a five-song EP, Bloom, on its Bandcamp page. The next morning, they had a Facebook message from 6131 Records, a hardcore label in Los Angeles that had signed bands like Touché Amoré and Harm's Way Cruel Hand.

"We hadn't even played our first show," Agwani says. "We released it at 10:30 on Wednesday night, and [on Thursday morning] we just had a message in our inbox saying, 'Hey, this is Sean from 6131, I'd like to get in touch.' It was that fast."



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24 comments
baltazar.ryan
baltazar.ryan

Ok message and stuff aside the song was god awful. The "singing" was the worst part. Please at least get a new singer if your gonna do that horrible constipation metal.

Emanuel Gonzalez
Emanuel Gonzalez

Just an FYI for those of you who might care about these things... The name Lilith derives from a very perverse demonic teaching.

Jack Krebs
Jack Krebs

I'm confused. Were there bands in the phoenix hardcore punk scene that are FOR sexism and homophobia?? I thought punk and HC in particular were against that sorta shit.

Doug Cleland
Doug Cleland

Beazer homes, built to live in. Dead or alive.

Doug Cleland
Doug Cleland

buy in west Phoenix Arizona, by a house built on an Indian burial ground courtesy of Beazer homes.

Nho Em Nhoc
Nho Em Nhoc

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darby
darby

HA! Back in the day when hardcore was real, we'd bash a couple of fags, have a circle jerk onto some slut's face and then we'd start our night. My balls itch, anybody have some crab cream?

theLOD
theLOD

politically correct "hardcore." lol.

msturdivant8
msturdivant8

 Way to put yourselves on a pedestal guys! "lets be against a problem that doesnt even exist in the Arizona hardcore scene!" bunch of self righteous cry babies.

lippyrat
lippyrat

OF COURSE a band named "Lilith" wants to rid the scene of homophobia and sexism. #predictable

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