Rise up Together With The ‘Pungrunk’ Songs of Freeborn Rising…It’s A Mind Revolution

Freeborn Rising Big Issue Foundation Charity A Crisis of Conscience

Matt Broom and Thorin make up Freeborn Rising, a band that has practically come crashing into Hereford from everywhere..so they say, and have even landed a gig as promoters for The Underground Revolution helping to put their own personal stamp on the music scene. Although these guys don a “devil-may-care” attitude, their souls run as deep as the tectonic plates. 

Photo and Editing by Michelle Cuadra


What is the inspiration behind the name Freeborn Rising? It sounds like a movement to me.

Thorin: I’d like it to be one! Something people can rally behind and support. A name that people feel akin to. A family. Something that inspires passion and action. A mouthpiece for a growing number of people who have grown disillusioned with societies current state of affairs. I wanted the name of the band to have some sort of meaning. To inspire.

The ‘Freeborn’ movement is something I am highly passionate about. Renouncing the false right of the state to govern you and undermine your common rights… Although I’ll try to restrain myself from going full ‘Ranter’.

Basically, the idea is for people who listen to our songs and hear what we say to realise that you’re not the only one who thinks that way. There is a lot going on in the world right now, our own back yards are being invaded.

We can and should stand together. Regardless of class or creed, colour or persuasion, the depth of your pocket or the mold on your bedsit walls. As it was once said by a great man – “The future is unwritten”. So let’s grab those pens and get creative – Rise up together.

Where are you both from and how did the band form? How long have you been going?

Thorin: As I’ve always said, it’s not where I’m from that matters – it’s where I’m going. I’ve lived all over this island, seen many sights and taken in many cultures… As well as accents.

As for us, we met via a band forming website called joinmyband.co.uk I had recently moved to the area and wanted to get a band together so I placed an ad on there and after a few months, a random accidental meeting relating to a lost dog and some luck – we eventually got together and started doing our thang. It’s been roughly a year and a bit in the making now. We seemed to go from naught to 100 in a small space of time and hope to continue on that trend.

Matt: What he said…

Freeborn Rising Folk Punk Band- The Levellers inspired

Listen to Freeborn Rising on Reverbnation Here

What type of music do you play? What are the main influences behind Freeborn Rising’s music?

Thorin: I hate this question… It’s too difficult to answer. Can I have a different one..?

My main influence growing up was punk and practically everything 70s/80s. It wasn’t until I became a teenager however I actually started to take notice of what I was listening to. I became obsessed with bands like The Levellers and New Model Army. The politics and passion stirred some deep rooted emotion in me. I then discovered punk for myself… safe to say I never looked back. I can’t just put it specifically down to such a small genre though. I’m a massive grunge fan. I love ska, reggae. I’m also a fervent secret lover of 80’s electronica… (but don’t tell anyone).

I think if I had to pigeonhole our sound it would be a mix between all of the above with added emphasis on political punk and grunge. Protest music. Folk/Punk. I have no idea. Pungrunk… hahaha.

A question many bands fear. Ah well…Pungrunk works…let’s roll with it. What band would be your ideal band to tour with?

Thorin: The Clash. Without hesitation. Unfortunately due to the oppressive nature of time I’m pretty certain they’re not touring anymore. The obvious choice would be The Levellers. They are pretty much my all time favourite band. I’ve seen them live more times than I’ve lived in a house with hot water (cue sad fiddles). It would be a pretty flippin’ awesome experience! To say the very least.

Thorin of Freeborn Rising Photography By Nick Vidal-Hall
Thorin right at home at The Booth Hall music venue in Hereford city centre. Photography by Nick Vidal-Hall

Freeborn Rising seems to have broken into the Hereford music scene, and receiving plenty of appreciation and support form Hereford locals and music promoters such as John Steven Hales. What is next for the band in 2017?

Thorin: Absolutely everything and anything that is thrown at us. Although we have made the executive decision to begin a unrelenting campaign of pestering in a broader area to expand our audience. There may also be some radical change to our line up in the near future so… watch this space. Or don’t.. Personally, I recommend doing something more productive but it’s completely your choice.

We are most certainly on the look out for this radical change to your line up. Do you have an album out or in the works?

Thorin: We are currently in the process of gathering coin for an album. Unfortunately, we don’t really have much to fall back on so it’s a slow process. We do have an offer on the table however so once we hit our target you can rest assured we’ll be here and there subliminally demanding that you buy it. I take begging to a whole new level.

Find Freeborn Rising on Twitter Here

Looking forward to the day. What would be the ultimate moment of success for the band?

Thorin: A signing..? A decent slot on a big festival stage. I’m not sure to be honest. I got emotional when our band page on Facebook reached 100 likes. Supporting Under A Banner was another up there moment for me. I think I’ve waited so long to get anywhere within a music arena that even the small stuff blows me away. Any support is fantastic and I thank all of you from the tip of my soul who have done so far. We can’t get anywhere without you. Please keep it up.

Matt: For me an ideal tour would be with Flogging Molly & Dropkick Murphys. Absolutely adore the music and you know there’s gonna be a party.

Thorin poetry seems to come naturally to you, when did you discover you have this talent and do you think a background in poetry makes a good songwriter? I guess I am saying you have written some brilliant lyrics that put you in a thoughtful place.

Thorin: I started off writing songs. It began when I was 15 and some lads I knew where I lived asked me to write something for a demo. So I did. Unfortunately we all fell out soon after but I kept the lyrics. I guess it awoke something in me.

I carried on writing – mostly teenage boy stuff about girls and pain, and mostly bloody awful! It didn’t go far after that. It wasn’t until a few years later after a lot of hardship that I decided to revisit the first song I wrote for the demo – ‘Cut My String’. Originally about a girl tormenting my emotionally distraught teenage brain.

Later on, I decided to completely deconstruct it. I changed the emphasis of an individual holding me back to a society. It’s inability to admire something different. It’s disdain for individuality. That was my first attempt at writing in that way. It felt more natural, more real. It helped me deal with life and the world around me.

I’ve been writing ever since. I’ve written roughly 130+ songs since then and have no desire to stop. My latest song, ‘Don’t Shoot’ was written only a few days ago. I’m sure anyone who takes any notice of the world around them can make a guess as to its subject matter.

There is always that girl/boy. Blood seems to be a popular song with the fans, such as myself, what is the song about?

Thorin: It’s about blood. The blood of the innocent. The blood of the guilty. The blood of war. The inspiration for this song came from a single image. That of a small child lain face down, washed up on a Turkish beach. I remember crying at the sight. Not only for what was in front of me but also knowing the fact that, it wouldn’t change anything.

The world will continue to be a hateful place where the rights of the ignorant outweigh the lives of the innocent. The song Blood was written to highlight that not only is blood being spilled for undeniably, unjustifiable reasons but – as long as you keep allowing it to happen. Then the blood not only stains the shores of foreign lands – but also your hands.

That song gets me every time. Matt do you contribute to the song writing? How long have you been playing the 12-string guitar? You are a pretty skilled guitarist, do you play any other instruments?

Matt: I contribute very little in the way of songwriting to be honest, Thor is a lyrical genius, I come in mainly on the musical side of it, working out chord progressions and guitar harmonies.

I bought my first 12 string last chistmas as a present to myself when I was going through a particularly rough patch and needed cheering up, but I’ve played guitar on and off for the best part of 16 years. I also played bass for a long period amidst that.


You definitely are a harmonious team. Have either of you played in other bands?

Thorin: I’ve played around with other musicians. I have been trying to get a band together for as long as I can remember. The only band I can say I actually played with properly was while I was studying music technology. Part of the course was to form a band and perform at the end of the year. We were ‘The Bad and The Ugly’. It was my first time on stage singing to people. One of the best moments of my life. Ever since then it’s been a constant drive to do it again. Think it’s safe to say I got what I wanted.

Matt: I played in a lot of different bands at school with friends, which all amounted to nothing despite our rock god dreams. Also, a few years ago I played in a Hereford based Glam Metal band called Wet Cherry. It was basically Spinal Tap meets Steel Panther playing a lot of the old 80’s glam rock cheese. It was such good fun though, even in the spandex.

Find Freeborn Rising on Facebook Here

Spandex..haha…Oh dear. You are both now promoting with the Underground Revolution, what are the bands you found most memorable at the shows so far?

Thorin: There’s a few. The obvious would be Under a Banner. They are a fantastic band. I love their sound and I really hope they get to where they deserve, and a lot bigger. I know I’ll support them all the way – and you should too…

Next I’d have to say Terminal Rage. I am a massive fan boy for these auld buggers. Watching them play always puts a smile on my face and stokes that fire in my heart. I highly recommend giving them a listen one day soon… either that or imagine something terrible might happen to your trousers..

Another band to mention has to be… well – Another Band! I love the passion of these guys. John Mason has to be one of the more enigmatic front men in town. They are well worth a trip out next time they hit the throttle.

There are many more brilliant bands this town and the surrounding areas has to offer. I’m happy to be involved in the Herefordshire music scene and I hope to watch it grow into something beautiful. Venues such as the Booth Hall and De Koffie Pot are incredible in helping bands, big or small onto that stage and providing the opportunity to play.

We all need to be there to inspire the next generation of live music. Although remember, we only thrive when you support us. Please keep coming along to local gigs. When you prop up the community the community will be strong enough to prop you up too!

Hereford band Another Band Plays BBC introducing
Another Band as the guys say is one to watch. Photograph off of Another Band Facebook

Matt: Like Thor said, Under A Banner are an obvious choice, We love you guys! Other than that its really hard to pick, We’ve seen some amazing bands coming through.

Off the top of my head one of my favourites has got to be A Hundred Suns. Really gutted that they’ve gone their seperate ways but wish them all the best, they’re a great bunch. The other obvious one is Terminal Rage, for all out punk that gets the fires burning they never let the side down

Matt Broom Photography By Nickie Bates The Booth Hall Hereford
Matt Broom Photography By Nickie Bates The Booth Hall Hereford

Now for some random questions as you do….

Lady Gaga or J-Lo?

Thorin: I would sooner pull my own eyeballs out then pick between either. Yes, I’m a stunted individual.

Matt: Lady Gaga, Strictly to find out if the rumours are true (you know what i mean)

Your best pick up line for the ladies?

Thorin: “Lend me a tenner and I’ll buy you a drink”.

Matt: “Hi”

Matt I am going to guess that line actually never got you anywhere. What is your favourite pizza topping?

Thorin: Ham and pineapple… Do they still do baked bean pizzas these days?

Matt: As long as there is jalapeños I’m happy.

Thorin how long have you had those extremely long dreads of yours?

Thorin: I dreaded may hair in the winter of 2010. I was squatting in York without heat, inches of ice on the inside of the windows, living in 2 sleeping bags and several thick blankets and eating porridge. Oh and I had a frozen toilet. So nearly 7 years… Haha

I don’t how to say this..but I’m sad. Boxers or Briefs?

Thorin: Knickers. Although I am partial to suspenders.. oosh.

Matt: Freeballin’

Well thank you gentlemen..ok maybe not gentlemen. Thank you lads for the most curious interview. Actually, it is nice to hear people from your generation addressing issues putting a damper on humanity whether expressed through song or participating in activism. It is your world now…take care of it.

You can catch Freeborn Rising as they host the next Underground Revolution Open Mic at The Booth Hall on October 26, at The Underground Revolution shows and supporting Mexicola November 4th at The Booth Hall.

The Underground Revolution Hereford The Booth Hall 2016

Many Thanks To Slap Mag For Their Support

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Author: M Cuadra

LA transplant living in England with 23 years experience in the fashion and makeup industry. As a Beauty, Fashion and Culture Blogger who loves punk, indie, grunge and live music in general, it's important to engross oneself and co-exist in these mediums to keep a cutting edge perspecitve that produces inspiring work for generations to come.

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