Some of you may question what it takes to be a true HXC Diehard. While the answers to that inquiry may be varied, one trait we look for is entrepreneurial spirit. No, we’re not talking about stiffs in suits walking down Wall Street. We’re talking DIY. The term ‘DIY’ is significant enough in the hardcore scene historically, and when applied to bands conjures forth a few well-known facts: Zero label support, hard work, and relentless pursuit of passion. But what about when it’s applied to one person? Meet Leonel Salcedo, founder, manager, and contributor for CrossHeart Industry. We interviewed him for our Diehards section because he had an idea that he chose to follow, and it led him to be not only a participator in his local scene, but an active shaper thereof. Read the interview below to find out more about him, CrossHeart, and what makes the New York hardcore scene worth investing in.
Christopher Tito from Zoumé named you an HXC Diehard—someone who really goes above and beyond for the hardcore scene. Why do you think you deserve this nomination?
[Laughs] I’ve been attending [local] shows for three years. I’ve never missed a show, and I have a bunch of local friends in local bands and I support them. Not only that, but I’m creating a social media platform that help bands promote themselves around the world, and also helps fans connect with every band they wish to.
You’re talking about CrossHeart Industry. How did the idea for that come about?
To be honest, I was just sitting at home and I was just like, ‘Fuck it.’ It was just random, one of those random ideas that just happen and you’re just like, ‘Okay, let me see what I can do with it.’ Things just happened and it ended up shaping up on its own.
So you say it’s a way to help bands promote themselves. How does it work?
So, if you have a new single coming out, you’ll be able to preview it to a few thousand people, depending how much you pay and how much [exposure] you wish. Not only that, let’s say you have an album coming out, you can stream it for free, you could play your whole album on the website. For the fan part, if you attend shows, if you purchase merch, tickets, albums, if you take pictures with the bands you can also earn rewards for doing basic stuff like that. In return you get [more of] the band’s merch, new albums that are coming out, and more.
“They don’t even know your whole history, they just easily become your friends. Just saying ‘hello,’ it automatically sets something off.”
What is your role?
I’m just the founder and manager. I keep the whole team in tact. I’m also a photographer. That’s it for me. We have three other photographers, we have another manager, and we have someone who writes reviews on albums and upcoming events, someone to run our social media websites, and a graphic designer.
Is that how you know Zoumé or did you hang out with those guys before you launched CrossHeart?
That was before we launched CrossHeart. I met Christopher Tito when he was really in his scene phase. I don’t really recall how I met Jeff (Freedman, bass/vocals). One day he just came to one of my parties I threw. Brean (Holguin, drums), I just randomly met. Farhan (Tanvir, guitar) was just from hanging out with the guys.
Where are you from?
I’m Dominican. I was technically born there, but I came to America when I was one year old, so I’m kind of an American in my own way.
Where in the New York area do you live?
I live in the Bronx.
Why has the local NYC scene become so important to you?
Damn, that’s a tough question. I guess one of the main reasons is because I see a lot of my friends struggle with their own bands. A lot of them, their dream is to make it out there and tour the world. I see a lot of these other mainstream bands that really don’t deserve it. So it’s like damn, these guys are really struggling to make it out there and these other bands are like, ‘Oh my god, I’m so beautiful. Sign me.’ It’s kind of hard to explain. It’s just something you grow up with. I’ve been going to shows for three years. I don’t want to say I grew up with those kids, but they became family. When you go to shows, all these kids have their own life but when you chill with them and you hang with them and you actually spend some time with them, it’s so easy off the bat. They don’t even know your whole history, they just easily become your friends. Just saying ‘hello,’ it automatically sets something off. It’s really weird, but cool.
How long have you been working for CrossHeart? Where do you see it heading?
It’s been six months since we’ve started. For the future, we’re planning to launch our beta by this summer. If it goes well, then we’ll become a full website by next year. That’s what I have scheduled for now. But if everything does go well, I’d see us becoming one of the major milestones in the music industry.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I guess it would be Samuel L. Jackson, Dave Chappelle, Lelouch.
Why those figures?
Because Samuel L. Jackson is one badass motherfucker. If I could be any motherfucking badass in this world, it would be him, and I just have to say ‘fuck’ a lot because that’s his character. Dave Chappelle because he’s one of the funniest men on this planet. It’s something great to make people laugh a lot and if you have that talent, fantastic. Lelouch, because he pushed the boundaries of himself and he did anything possible to make his dream true.
Stick To Your Guns, Fit For A King, Scary Kids Scaring Kids.
Why are those your favorite bands?
Honestly, I really don’t know. I’m not a person who listens to music lyric-wise. When I hear it, it’s just something my body is very accustomed to. I can’t explain it.
Who would you name the next HXC Diehard?
Oh, crap. I’ll go with Marquis Green, Hector Sabino, and Tyler Andrew.