Interview: The Hope Conspiracy

The Hope Conspiracy have arisen from a near fourteen year silence to release their first LP in almost twenty years, Tools of Oppression/Rule By Deception, available NOW from Deathwish Records and now streaming on all platforms. Perhaps some of the most confrontational material of their career, Tools of Oppression/Rule By Deception sees the band returning in apex form, hitting harder than ever before with a contemptuous commentary on a world that seems to be burning before our eyes. As the band prepared for the album release and an upcoming run of shows, vocalist Kevin Baker took the time to answer a few questions about the band’s new music, the upcoming tour (links to tickets), and what compelled them to write the soundtrack to the end of time.  

Abridged excerpt from Kevin Baker’s recent interview with Nikki for Today Forever Issue 03.  Full text of the interview appears in the print copy, available for order on our store – Today Forever Issue 03.

**All text copyright Today Forever 2024, please do not duplicate without express editorial permission.

***Photos taken by Danielle Dombrowski @danielledombrowskiphotography

Nikki: After nearly fourteen years of silence, The Hope Conspiracy arose to release Confusion/Chaos/Misery, a four song EP that confronts head on the late stage capitalist dystopia the world has become and the oppressive regimes that fill their own pockets while fueling our collective downfall. When did you make the decision that the time is right for The Hope Conspiracy to return and what was the impetus to write new music after such a long period of silence?

Kevin: I believe Spring, 2022, was when we collectively decided to get serious and book time at God City Studios for the following Fall. Jonas, Jared, and Neeraj had been getting together, on and off, to write new material when they could fit it into their schedule for about 10 years, at that point. Between careers, family, other bands, and side projects, etc., it kept getting put on the back burner again and again, unfortunately. Before you knew it, 12-14 years went by and the reality of that sort of hit us. If it was going to happen, then we needed to commit 100% or forget about the whole thing, because, let’s face it, we aren’t getting any younger… We are all like brothers at this point, so making the commitment meant that we were forced to focus all our creative energy towards it with the added benefit of everyone being together in one place for the first time in years. It was a great way to be able to catch up as friends and work on something meaningful together. As far as the subject matter of the lyrics, it is pretty bleak, but I am just being honest about what I see and feel about the current state of the world and this country. More and more people are seeing and feeling it, as well. The music was a perfect backdrop for that expression of disgust.

Full of rage and palpable contempt, are your lyrics a call to action or simply a form of cathartic commentary on a world that is burning before your eyes? When you wrote the lyrics for the new material, did you set out to directly address the sociopolitical nightmare before us or was that just what came out when you put pen to paper?

Basically, the lyrics are about noticing things with the utmost objectivity. Not being swayed by some “hate this person or that person” ideology, which is being spoon fed to us by the ones at the top that own everything and want more. I’m not telling anyone how they should think, feel, or act. Other people’s minds are theirs to fill with whatever useless garbage they want. I think that if people stop focusing on identity, and start focusing on what we have in common, which is getting completely fucked over left, right, and center, that would go a long way toward making things better. Stop thinking the world needs to be tailored to you. You are not special. When the most powerful people on the planet go on record stating their agenda, you should listen to them. They mean what they say. The last thing they would want is all of us out here truly united and holding them accountable for their crimes. That would be bad for their bottom line. No matter how much you hate the establishment, it’s never enough, in my opinion. I guess, if people want some positive self help bullshit, there are plenty of bands out there that can provide that. We aren’t one of them. That’s not what this is about.

The Hope Conspiracy has always been an incredible live band with a stage presence as relentless and aggressive as the music you make. As you prepare to head back out on the road and play shows in support of the new music, are you excited to get back to it? What preparation goes into bringing on the all-out assault audiences expect from a Hope Conspiracy set? Do you have any more plans for shows or touring beyond the twelve dates that have been announced so far?

We are just trying to get as much practice in as possible whether it is together or individually on our own time. We are putting in the work so that it doesn’t suck live. I’m sure the day of the first show the usual jitters will be there, especially after not having played live since January 2010, which is crazy to think about. Hopefully once the initial 30 seconds of the first song passes, and everyone is getting into it, those feelings will fade away, and it will be like it was where we last left off. As for right now, the announced dates are the only ones we are focused on. Whatever happens after that is anyone’s guess.


Check out the official music videos for “The West Is Dead” and “Live in Fear” from the album Tools of Oppression/Rule By Deception on Deathwish Records

To order the album, visit Deathwish and be sure to check out their tour dates below:

Jun 7 Fri
Sonia Live Music Venue @ 7:00pm
Cambridge, MA, United States

Jun 8 Sat
The Meadows @ 7:00pm
Brooklyn, NY, United States

Jun 9 Sun
First Unitarian Church @ 7:00pm
Philadelphia, PA, United States

Jul 20 Sat
Cobra Lounge @ 7:00pm
Weekend Nachos
Modern Life Is War
Hold My Own
Gates Of Hell
Conservative Military Image
Chicago, IL, United States

Sep 6 Fri
1720™ @ 8:00pm
Los Angeles, CA, United States

Sep 7 Sat
924 Gilman St. @ 8:00pm
Northwest Berkeley, CA, United States

Sep 8 Sun
Chain Reaction @ 8:00pm
Anaheim, CA, United States

Sep 9 Mon
Ask A Punk @ 8:00pm
Giant, CA, United States

Sep 12 Thu
Soda Bar @ 8:00pm
San Diego, CA, United States

Sep 13 Fri
The Vera Project @ 8:00pm
Seattle, WA, United States

Sep 14 Sat
Dante’s @ 8:00pm
Portland, OR, United States

Sep 15 Sun
Real Art Tacoma @ 8:00pm
Tacoma, WA, United States

Author: Nikki
Former editor at Inked Magazine and contributor to a wide variety of art and media publications over the years, Nikki founded Today Forever in 2022 as a love letter to the music and scene she has been fortunate to be involved in for the better part of a lifetime.