Cured Of Life: Ten questions with Guilt Ritual


I discovered Guilt Ritual by accident earlier this year when I got talking to frontman Stephen Hupfer about some other nerd shit. Guilt Ritual are cool and sound like all the good bits of 90’s metallic hardcore with none of the bullshit. This interview is taken from my zine Harder They Fall issue 4 which will be up for pre-order in January. That issue also features interviews with Tom Pimlott, Ill Natured, Payday, Firm Standing Law, Insist plus loads of the mad shit that I write at 3 am when I’m deprived of rational thought and sifting through the rubble of my existence to determine exactly where where my life went wrong. Cool. Anyway, here’s Stephen….

Tell our readers about Stephen Hupfer’s secret origin…how did you find hardcore?

When I was younger I listened to a lot of Ramones, Korn and Eminem and had no idea what hardcore was. When I got to high school (2005) I became friends with this kid Jordan who was a year older than me. We were linked up due to our mutual hobby Magic: The Gathering and him wearing goth chain pants that I thought were so sick. One day he gave me a couple CD’s (Set Your Goals – Reset, The Warriors – War is Hell, & Bane – The Note) and told me about these concerts that’d happen every Friday in our town. I thought Bane sucked and The Warriors were the sickest thing I’d ever heard. I went with my new found pal down to this bar and saw 100 Demons & Since the Flood. I was really surprised to see a bunch of kids that were older than me that I went to school with moshing and just beating the shit out of people. For whatever reason hardcore was like the cool thing at my high school.

You definitely seem like a dude with whom I share a lot of common interests, were you always a nerd growing up? You ever catch much heat for being a dweeb?

I’ve always been into collecting and painting models and playing Magic. My older brothers had cards and played Necromunda every weekend. Eventually my mom caved from me bothering the shit out of her and bought me a box of my own Necromunda models. My mom was actually really good at painting and she would paint all of our minis for us. Over time I just continued collecting models, mostly 40K, and didn’t really understand the rules because I was a little kid and couldn’t be bothered to read the rulebook. By the time I got to 7th grade I had gotten into skateboarding, and I also had a crazy gaming table that took up 3/4 of my bedroom. At the time my older brother and I were really into playing the Lord of the Rings game that GW put out. I’ll never forget the day my skateboard friends came over for the first time and saw the table. They made fun of me so bad that i threw all the stuff in a cardboard box in my closet and threw the table in the back yard behind our shed. A couple years later when I got into high school I got back into the hobby and also beat one of those kids who made fun of me up at the skatepark. Vengeance.

Growing up in Mass whats the weirdest thing you’ve seen. Tell me about a cool monster or a ghost story or a serial killer from your area.

I live in western Massachusetts, so all the spooky Salem witch stuff is on the opposite side of the state. But I grew up down the street from a house where a wealthy family man pulled a murder-suicide killing his whole family and their dog with a .38 pistol.

Lets talk about one of our shared obsessions… The Crow. Why do you dig so much? Movies or comics, how do you feel about the expanded cinematic universe?

The Crow. Easily a top 5 of all time. I don’t think there are many characters cooler than Brandon Lee as Eric Draven. But everything about it really draws me in. From the dark aesthetic, the characters like Top Dollar and Fun Boy, the grim as fuck story, to the soundtrack, & the sick one liners really roped me in when I was a kid. A+ all around. I have only just recently read the comic, but I still prefer the movie. As far as the other films go, I thought City of Angels was almost as cool as the original, especially because of the weird choice of villains. I never saw Salvation though, mostly because I think Kirstin Dunst is a dumb ass and can’t be bothered with that.

You fuck with Straight Edge or no?

I don’t, but I could care less about what other people do. I don’t fuck with drugs or anything like that though. But Brandon (drums) Zach (bass) & Tyson (guitar) are all straight edge.

As far as Guilt Ritual’s Influences are concerned I can’t determine a specific band that you’ve attempted to strip mine…what inspires the rage?

I don’t have much influence in the writing process for the songs. Tyson is a madman and wrote just about everything himself and we all add bits and pieces here and there or give ideas of what direction a riff should go. I asked him this question and his response was “mostly old Converge, Turmoil, 108, and Unbroken”. As far as my end writing lyrics, I just kind of let loose with what I’m feeling at a given time.

Who all else is in Guilt Ritual these days and whom is the current hardest member of the band?

Right now Guilt Ritual is me on vocals, Tyson and Travis on guitar, Zach on bass, and Brandon on drums. We use to have this school shooter looking kid on drums but he fell off. Jared Jenkins is the hardest member of the band.

I seen you guys get out for weekenders with Maniac, tell me about some wild shit that happened on those shows

Maniac is the sickest band. Tyson and Brandon are both in Maniac and I’ve known Will, Keith and Mike forever. We did that weekender not really knowing what to expect for turnouts because the first show had all these weird metal bands which turned out to be Sleep/Electric Wizard worship bands.

The second night was at the Crunch House in Connecticut and had half the bands drop off the week of the show but it worked out and this wild band Kidnapped jumped on. And the last night was in Binghamton, New York at a sick taco place. Coolest story from that weekend was the first night we played this bar in Worcester, Massachusetts called Hotel Vernon. The show was suppose to start at around 7, and we got there at 6. Guilt Ritual was going on first and I dont think we actually played until 9. Was tame as fuck due to not many people being there. Then the two Sleep/Electric Wizard cover bands played for what felt like the next 6 hours but the room got absolutely packed during this time from bar crowd and late arrivals. Maniac goes on and I have no idea what time it even is, but the second they started playing the room went OFF! I still think to this day thats one of my favorite sets I’ve ever gotten to see. People were jumping off tables, beer glasses were being thrown full force across the room, there was a Sheer Terror cover, people were just getting their ass beat. The energy was high as fuck and not one fight broke out. Was probably the most fun I’ve had at a show in years. The end of the weekend fucking sucked though, driving home packed into a mini van for 4+ hour with our drummer being sick as fuck and getting the rest of us sick for the next few days. True hell

You just recorded some new songs..whats in the Future?

We just dropped our last release “Lapse in Sanity” in November. As for the future we started writing some new songs and are trying to play shows after being silent for a bit. HIT US UP

Talk to us about your podcast Under The Dice?

Man Under the Dice is a pipe dream. I am the biggest slacker and I want to do so much more than I have with it. The two guys that I’d have come and work on it are just not fully into it and difficult to sit down and do content with. I need to find someone in the same mindset to really lay down things the way I want to. Gonna try to bring 2018 in with some new blood and really do some work with it. I was talking to Brendan over at FMRPG and I’m gonna get him on and talk a few cool things we have on the chopping block. So I guess be on the lookout for us next year


You have the final word

I’d like to say thanks to Nate for taking the time to check us out and do this interview and for doing one of my favorite podcasts DUNGEONPUNX even though you sold out and handed the reigns over.

Shoutouts to Off the Wall games, Uncle Tony’s, Perverse Homage, Gate 4 Studio, Berkshire County, The Sector, Slugger AKA Dirty Work, Jared’s Dreams, Crunch House, Marianna’s Bakery, Project 99, & anyone whos bothered listening to us, booked us or bought any of our stuff.

Listen to; Ammunation, Ore Miner, Recycled Earth, Maniac, Kidnapped, Piece of Mind, Restraining Order, Jessica Alba, Pinfinger, Default Browser, Upright