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Gotta Give It Up by Sweat has been issued as a record to ‘revolutionize hardcore’, a lofty declaration that doesn’t seem to phase singer Tuna Tardugno. Containing the hallmarks of hardcore with a more measured presentation but without losing the genre’s anger and enthusiasm, Sweat offers more nuance within a genre often criticized as being one dimensional. Fiery tempos give way to bridges of dark melody that are seemingly out of place yet ultimately unify the songs.“I don’t give that goal(revolutionizing hardcore) too much weight because our strength lies within our live performances. However, due to the pandemic we haven’t been able to play out as much. It’s a wild thing! We let this ‘animal’(record) out without people being fully able to realize what we’re fully about yet,” stated Tardugno.
Sweat’s power lies within the familiarity of hardcore but without feeling stagnant, a trait that has always hurt the genre’s ability to evolve. Classic groups were at first chided for seeking new directions and creatively evolving, but history has shown the same groups now being hailed as trailblazers.
“For hardcore as a whole, I think people should not worry so much about what fits the mold. The genre’s power lies within its accessibility for people to either support it and become part of it or for people to create and have the ability to be in a band and not be a music snob. On the other side, I do think if a group has the ability to play better and elevate their work, they should but without overplaying just for the sake of. I think that’s part of the beauty, you can do what you want but don’t be a shithead,” laughed Tardugno.
Sweat has already earned some critical acclaim for deviating from the hardcore blueprint but without really alienating fans dedicated to the genre. For Tardugno, she remains flattered the record has earned positive reception without being pigeonholed and having other groups being referenced within reviews.
“We’re in a unique position because people keep saying positive things about the record, which I’m so stoked about this because I have done 7 inches before but never a full-length. It’s something I don’t take for granted! Sometimes if you attend a show with a lot of groups on the bill, things can eventually blend and sound the same. I wanna work to avoid that,” she stated.
Additionally, Tardugno is an active amateur wrestler and applies the same passion she utilizes for hardcore within her training and in the ring. Training with* KnokX Pro Entertainment*, Tardugno proudly stated her interest in wrestling has always been a part of her childhood.
“Growing up I was always so into it! People always undermine wrestling and say it’s all fake. There are some aspects that are scripted but you can’t fake the training and athleticism,” she said.
Asked how she copes with pitfalls such as injury, she stated that it can be a difficult thing to balance passion with health.
“I have gone thru a series of injuries. I always believe that I wanna work to improve wrestling because there are things you can always build upon, that’s a personal goal. With injuries, I have had concussions, tore my biceps and I hurt my shoulder. I have a tolerance for pain but I’m also mindful that I don’t wanna be older and have every inch of my body in some kind of permanent discomfort. When something is your life and you also do it for the business, your body can take a beating. I won’t stop wrestling until I know it’s no longer a passion and I feel I become some cog or pawn in a business system,” affirmed Tardugno.
Additionally, she draws parallels between the DIY ethos of hardcore and wrestling. The financial gains can be minimal at best, but Tardugno confidently states both hardcore and wrestling remain ingrained within her.
“I do music because it’s a passion, it moves me. I also work to contribute to make it better and create something that can be inclusive. Wrestling also challenges me and I’m hopeful my passion for it can make positive contributions to improve it. If I can make connections with people doing both, I know I’m doing something right and will continue because the passion lies within both,” concluded Tardugno.
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