How Convulse Records became a haven for hardcore’s weirdos

The Convulse story begins with Adam as a teenager in Sundance, Wyoming, a rural town of 1,000 people or so. “I was into bands that could reach a kid in the middle of nowhere,” he says. “I was obsessed with AFI, and they can actually get you to hardcore, right? Davey Havok’s in interviews talking about vegan straight-edge. The first time I heard Modern Life Is War was because they had mentioned them.”

Soon, Adam was mailing cash earned mowing lawns to music store Interpunk in exchange for records. His interest in DIY began to grow thanks to scenes in towns an hour either side of Sundance – Gillette, Wyoming and Rapid City, South Dakota – that proved to be eye-opening. Along with local bands, major players would come through on off-days from bigger tours. He saw Bane and Terror. Touché Amoré played a garage. On the day he got his licence, he skipped school and drove to see Axe To Fall-era Converge at a Knights Of Columbus hall. “That was a life-changing show,” he says. “20 people paid in and no-one was there, but that was huge.”

By the time Adam went to college in Laramie, Wyoming, DIY had become the prevailing wind in his life. All he wanted to do was put on shows and play in bands, which he’d started doing in Denver, a couple of hours down the road. Eventually, he became incensed by seeing groups flame out before their sound could be properly documented. “Around 2015, 2016 there was this great wave of hardcore and punk in Denver,” he says. “But it was very demo-core in the sense that these bands would write amazing songs, they would go on tour once, they’d have a really crappy home-dubbed tape, and then they would break up. I would get so frustrated.”