It's been almost a year since Camp Blood made a sort of history at Great Scott in Allston, bringing professional wrestlers to their show for what we will call a one-of-a-kind smackdown performance. It was the kind of thing you wouldn't expect to see at a local music show, but if you were going to see it at a local music show, it'd be at a Camp Blood show, and it would definitely be at Great Scott.

In May, Great Scott announced it was closing its doors for good. Once named one of America's greatest music venues, the location will soon be repurposed for housing, erasing 40+ years of music history and notable moments, including Camp Blood's infamous wrestling show.

The trend continues as Boston's independent concert venues face bleak futures without financial aid. "I would have put legal protections on the music venues so they wouldn't be closed in the name of building more bland condos," says Camp Blood's Haasan Barclay. "The culture here is being actively extinguished."

The Boston-based industrial/hip-hop duo, made up of Haasan Barclay and Shaka Dendy, dropped a new single this week. "21 Shots" explicitly takes on the homelessness crisis in Boston, which is growing rapidly due to consistently rising home costs. "I wanted to portray the perspective of someone who had been thrown through the system and spit out on the other end," Haasan tells me. "In Boston, a lot of them end up on the street, trapped in a cycle of disenfranchisement."

But it's also about current events, and as Dendy tells me, imagining a world where the state doesn't have a monopoly on violence. "What we're seeing now, in Portland and Missouri, what we saw in Ferguson, is that monopoly being engorged by late-capitalist fascism, emanating from a warm spot in an Oval Office chair," he says. "But what if The People taking back the power was as easy as pickpocketing?"

"21 Shots" wastes no time building a wall of music loud enough to support both themes. And at 1:47, it's a short but transformative piece that skips ornamental production in favor of a raw, more authentic sound. It's a choice that pairs nicely with Camp Blood's commitment to whistleblowing on systemic racism, local politics, and Boston's ongoing dismantling of its culture in favor of gentrification.

More highlights from our conversation are below.

Camp Blood
Georden West

On describing their sound:

Haasan Barclay: I like to describe our music as a combination of the heaviness that weighs on Black people daily and the hardest music I grew up with as a kid up until now. I attribute the same influence on my life, from Nine Inch Nails and Ministry as I do DMX and UGK.

Shaka: Niggaz Wit Attitudes, Intelligence, and No Patience for the BS.

On how their work has been affected by the pandemic:

Haasan: We missed out on a few really big gigs. That was devastating at the time. But we’ve managed to come into some really nice opportunities.

Shaka: It’s very comforting to see that, even without a live ecosystem, fans still support us and want us back as soon as possible. I feel like that confidence was gained through the hardship.

Haasan: I’m itching to get back on stage, and I think when we do it will be better than ever.

What’s next for Camp Blood?

Haasan: We’re working on more music and collaborations with other artists, as well as some more big surprises.

Shaka: World domination.

"21 Shots" is now available on several streaming platforms. Follow Camp Blood on Facebook for updates and more new music.