Walking into the narrow storage unit where ADHDOD rehearses, drummer Jordan Rice threw a small plastic case at me from behind his kit. Inside were two foam earplugs.
“You’re going to need those,” he said. The music is as frenetic as the band’s name suggests, with machine-gun drum cadences, arduous guitar riffs clambering up and down the fretboard, and guttural roars screamed full-power into the mic—all the hallmarks of contemporary hardcore. To the unfamiliar, the chaos can be intimidating, and to the snob it could all just be violent noise, but that’s exactly the point.
“The noise is the best part about it,” said Quinton Bunk, the band’s bassist. “That’s pretty much what it is. That wall-of-sound effect, that’s what made me like it in the first place.”
When ADHDOD’s first show was scheduled about a year ago, the band had no name and no vocalist. Rice asked his 17-year-old son, Jack, if he wanted to take the microphone. Jack eagerly accepted.
“I was totally into it,” said Jack. “I didn’t know if it would be a long-term deal. I thought it would just be one. … But that show ended up being awesome.”
With their roster now complete, the members of ADHDOD span a 30-year age difference and a variety of musical influences in their mission to play as fast and loud as possible.
“I just always wanted to stir the guitar fast, and that’s what I do,” said John Lee, guitarist. “I feel like I’m always trying to compete, like, I want to beat every band at being fast and brutal. I don’t know why.”
Underneath the brutality of hardcore music, however, lies a close-knit community of musicians and fans who are drawn to the raw energy of the live performances. In that community, different subgenres abound—grindcore, crust, death rock and power violence—but the goal remains consistent—put on the best show you can with what you’ve got.
For Rice, who has been playing in bands in Reno since the early ’90s, the feeling of community found at hardcore shows was different than the isolation he felt at large stadium concerts watching the likes of Iron Maiden or similar big acts.
“The first gig I saw was D.R.I. [Dirty Rotten Imbeciles] in the old Castle on Kietzke Lane,” Rice said. “I went to that show, and there are these guys putting the amps on stage, putting the drum set together, and I was like, ’Oh, those are the roadies.’ About five seconds later, the guys I thought were the roadies turn on and start playing, and there was no separation between the [band] and the audience. The energy was right there.”
Rice considers the exposure to the DIY music scene at that show a life-changing experience, and after ADHDOD opened for D.R.I. a few months ago, he’s happy to see his influences come full circle.
ADHDOD has become a staple in DIY show houses and venues around the city and expanded its reach, touring the West Coast and even putting out an EP with an Indonesian label, which can be found on Bandcamp.
As a longer-term goal, the band has its sights set on global domination.
“We’re going to Japan,” said Lee, laughing. “They love this stuff in Japan.”