Reaching Forward was started in the beginning of 1997, when four friends from the south-west of North-Brabant and the north of Zuid-Limburg (two provinces in the south of The Netherlands) decided to start a straight edge hardcore-band: Cay on vocals, Emiel on guitar, Harm on bass, Pieter on drums. When the band started, all band members were between the 15-17 years old, making Reaching Forward one of the youngest hardcore-bands from Holland. After playing a few shows, Reaching Forward released their first demo, "Bite The Hand That Feets", in the Summer of 1997 - on it 4 songs that mixed the old and new school sXe-sounds.
The sound of the band developed in the following months more and more in the old school direction, and by the end of 1997, Reaching Forward had dropped most of their old songs, and became a pure youth crew hardcore-band. In the meantime, they also added a second guitarist, Tuur.
In December 1997, some members of Reaching Forward organized a hardcore-festival in BoXmeer, a small village in the south of Holland, and a Dutch national TV-corporation did some interviews and filmed some of the bands that played (among those Reaching Forward) for a program about straight edge, that was broadcasted in February 1998 on Dutch national television.
In the beginning of 1998, Commitment offered them to record for a 7". In March 1998 they recorded in a Nijmegen studio, but both band and label were not totally satisfied with the result and it was decided that all songs should be rerecorded in a different studio. Some of the songs of this recording sessions were used for different compilations.
At the end of April 1998, Cay, the singer, decided to leave the band, because in his opinion the band was taking too much time, and he also didn't want to be sXe anymore. Fortunately, a new vocalist was found in a week: Johnny, the bass player of Mainstrike, who always had wanted to sing in an old school sXe-band and was a good friend of the other guys in the band. At May 29, at the release-party of Vitamin X, Reaching Forward played the first show with Johnny (now also known as Johnny Forward) as their vocalist - and it was a great show!
After playing a second show with the new line-up Reaching Forward went into the studio to record for the 7", with their new vocalist, who also had rewritten all lyrics of the few songs of the first recording session, that would be re-recorded. The 7" was released in October 1998 and on the official release-party, that took place in a pub in Den Bosch, besides Reaching Forward, Spirit 84 and GuidingLine played.
The 7" was very well received, and Sobermind Records from Belgium offered Reaching Forward to release a full length for them, to which they agreed. The band recorded 12 new songs in the Bunt Studios in Utrecht (known for recording bands like Manliftingbanner, Mainstrike and Seein Red). Because Sobermind Records was involved in some legal problems with their former label-partner Genet, Sobermind could not release the record on short term. Reaching Forward didn't want to wait some months before the record finally would be released, so the band decided to ask their friends Johan and Suzanne of Reflections Records if they would be interested to put out the album. Johan and Suzanne were happy to do so. The album was released in October 1999, just before Reaching Forward went on a small European tour, on a show set up by their friends Product X.
The European tour started in the small village of Hilvarenbeek, near Tilburg, and after that they played shows in Belgium, Utrecht (in the afternoon) and Rotterdam (in the evening of the same day - on the release-party of the Oil 12"), the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Germany and again Belgium.
After the tour, Reaching Forward went back into the studio, to record 5 new songs and a cover of 'Donkey Shot' by ManLiftingBanner - 3 songs, including the ManLiftingBanner-cover, were going to appear on a split-7" with Bloodpact from the USA, 2 other songs will end up on a split-7" with Ensign, also from the USA, and the last song was recorded for a compilation on +/- Records - a label that was run by the people of Bloodpact. Both split-7"'s were released on Reflections Records.
In March 2000, two members of Reaching Forward (Johnny and Harm) appeared on Dutch national television, in a program about people that choose not to drink alcohol. Unfortunately, the program did not turn out as expected, and it seemed the makers of the television program were more interested in ridiculizing Straight Edge and hardcore than in really getting into the ideas behind Straight Edge.
After Mainstrike broke up at the end of 1999, Reaching Forward took over the torch as the leading band in the Dutch sXe scene and from the end of 1999, they have played around a lot, mainly in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. They played on the Goodlife New Years fest, at 5 o'clock in the morning on the 1st of January 2000. When Bloodpact toured Europe in May 2000, Reaching Forward accompanied them on some shows. The split-7" with Bloodpact was also released that month. The split-7" with Ensign was released at the end of 2000.
The second full length album of Reaching Forward was released, again by Reflections Records, at the end of 2001. By that time, Reaching Forward managed to gain more and more popularity, which is showed by the fact that almost every weekend they have a show somewhere. After the recording of the second album, Pieter, the drummer, left the band, and was replaced by Ries, the former drummer of Product X and also the drummer of Vitamin X on their first USA tour. With Ries Reaching Forward recorded 5 new songs in the Summer of 2001, of which 4 have appeared on a 7" on Element Records.
Bridge Nine Records from the USA will put out their second full length, just in time for the first Reaching Forward tour of the USA, that happened in the spring of 2002. In 2002, both Refuse Records from Poland and Martyr Records from the USA released discographies, both also including live songs.
After the tour, Reaching Forward, feeling that the band had accomplished everything they could, decided it was time to call it quits. They entered the studio again to record 5 songs (including one cover), of which three were released on a limited edition farewell 7", again on Reflections Records. The last Reaching Forward show will be long remembered, and took place at November, 22nd, 2002 at the Goudvishal in Arnhem.
Johnny Forward, Emiel and Harm started a new old school straight edge band, Downslide, although Emiel and Harm left the band after a few months, to concentrate themselves on their other band Razor Crusade. Harm is also in Nothing Done. Tuur played in various old school straight edge bands like Strip The Threads, Know Your Enemy and Abusive Action. Ries drummed in The Uncontrollable and The Spades, while former drummer Pieter was in Born From Pain. Johnny also does some noise/art-projects, under the flag of Blut Ist Zeit Productions.
Cay - vocals (1997-1998)
Johnny Forward - vocals (1998-2002)
Emiel - guitar (1997-2002)
Tuur - guitar (autumn 1997-2002)
Harm - bass (1997-2002)
Pieter - drums (1997-2001)
Ries - drums (2001-2002)
Bite The Hand That Feeds demo '97 (Geek Ville Records, 1997)
Pride Is Everlasting 7" (Commitment Records, 1998)
For The Cause LP/CD (Reflections Records, 1999)
Bloodpact / Reaching Forward split-7" (Reflections Records, 2000)
Ensign/Reaching Forward split-7" (Reflections Records, 2000)
The Conflict tape (Refuse Records, 2001)
Burning The Lies LP/CD (Reflections Records, 2001)
Complete Discography 1998-2000 (Martyr Records, 2002)
Reaching Forward 7" (Reflections Records, 2002)
Shadows Of... 7" (Element Records, 2002)
What We Share 7" (Reflections Records, 1998)
Return To Heaven tape (Repel Records, 1998)
DP Or Not DP #3 double-tape (DP Records, 2000)
Rats 'n Dikes CD (Out Of Step Records, 2001)
One True Old School Story CD (Fields Of Hope Records, 2001)
Maximaal Onthaal CD (Royal Blood Records, 2002)
In Defense Of Old School 7" (Hopeful Days, 2003)
Forever In Our Hearts 7" (Commitment Records, 2004)