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Interviews

The Atom Age

The Atom Age

Asian Man Records
By on October 1st, 2015 at Email

 

 

Oakland’s surf-punk act The Atom Age are currently criss-crossing the States in support of their new Asian Man Records album, Hot Shame. We caught up with them while they had a few minutes of down time in Minneapolis to ask them a few questions over email about the album, the tour, and Star Wars versus Star Trek.

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Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun

Jeff Pezzati

Riot Fest Records
By on August 24, 2015 at Phone

 

 

Last week Long Beach, California was taken over by the first annual Hi Fi Rock Fest, a day of classic punk that will surely become a staple in the Festival circuit for years to come.

Just before the festival began, we caught up with one of the main attractions of the evening: Naked Raygun and discovered just what it is that keeps them going for thirty plus years.

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Good Riddance

Good Riddance

Russ Rankin

Fat Wreck Chords
By on September 18th, 2015 at Phone

 

 

Good Riddance released their long awaited album Peace In Our Time earlier this year. They’re now embarking on a North American tour. We caught up with lead singer, Russ Rankin, to see what the band had been up to since they stopped touring five years ago.

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Pears

Pears

Brian Pretus

Fat Wreck Chords
By on September 9th, 2015 at Phone

 

 

Pears have been non-stop since their inception a year and a half ago, we talk with guitarist Brian Pretus to see what it feels like to be so loved so fast. Read More…

Street Dogs

Street Dogs

Mike McColgan

Pirates Press Records
By on August 7th, 2015 at Phone

 

 

Boston’s The Street Dogs are no strangers to the festival circuit; but this month they’ll be adding a new festival to their list of appearances as they open for The Dead Kennedys on the first annual Hi Fi Rock Fest in Long Beach, California on Sept. 26th.

We catch up with frontman Mike McColgan to discuss his working class ethos, the festival and the future of The Street Dogs.

Also remember to enter to win tickets to the festival here. Read More…

Against Me!

Against Me!

Atom Willard

Total Treble Music
By on September 6th, 2015 at Phone

 

 

Against Me! are almost at the end of a two year tour and have just released a live album, 23 Live Sex Acts. We caught up with drummer Atom Willard to see how the band has been holding up over the course of their never ending tour schedule.

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NoMeansNo

NoMeansNo

John Wright

Alternative Tentacles
By on September 5th, 2015 at Phone

 

 

The 2015 Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame ceremony is taking place on September 20th in Victoria, BC. We spoke with John Wright of Nomeansno on what it is like to be inducted this year, the current state of the music industry and how he started playing in a band full of robots.

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Joey Cape versus KJ Jansen

Joey Cape versus KJ Jansen

Joey Cape (Lagwagon) and KJ Jansen (Chixdiggit)

Fat Wreck Chords
By on September 2nd, 2015 at Email

 

 

Punk rock has it’s fair share of punk rock heroes,one of the biggest of which is none other than the legendary Joey Cape of the equally legendary Lagwagon. He’s about to set off once again on a solo tour, bringing his acoustic guitar to small venues all across North America. Joining him on the tour is Walt Hamburger, Laura Mardon, and fellow Fat Wreck Chords label mate, KJ Jansen of Calgary’s Chixdiggit!.

Before the tour, Joey and KJ figured it would be a good time to get to know one another and took turns in the interviewer chair. Read More…

The Bearcats interview

The Bearcats

Jody White, Andy Boyce, Mark Lyall


By on July 25th, 2015 at The Hop, Sheffield, UK

 

 

Following their set at The Hop as part of the Fringe events running alongside this year’s Tramlines Festival, Rockabilly trio The Bearcats took some time out to talk to us about their influences and future plans.

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The Scaramanga Six interview

The Scaramanga Six

Paul Morricone


By on July 25th, 2015 at Shakespear's, Sheffield, UK

 

 

Following their set at Shakespeare’s in Sheffield as part of the Fringe events running alongside this year’s Tramlines Festival, Paul Morriconne, guitarist and singer for Leeds based post punk band The Scaramanga Six took some time out to talk to us about the band’s varied influences, their DIY ethic and future plans.

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pat anti flag interview

Anti-Flag

Pat Thetic

Spinefarm Records
By on August 7th, 2015 at The Bowery District, Reading UK

 

 

Ahead of one of Anti-Flag’s intimate club shows in Reading, UK we sat down with drummer Pat Thetic to talk about their latest record American Spring, the first Republican TV debate, running their own label, terrible band artwork and a whole lot more.

Check out the interview below.

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NOFX

NOFX

El Hefe / Jen Abeyta

Fat Wreck Chords
By on August 5th, 2015 at Bovine Sex Club - Toronto, ON

 

 

To finish our week covering the 25th Anniversary of Fat Wreck Chords, we cap off with our third interview with one of the biggest bands on the label: the one, the only NOFX.

Chatting with their guitarist El Hefe and his wife Jen Abeyta (who together co-own their own label Cyber Tracks), we talk about the rise in popularity for both NOFX and Fat Wreck over the years, and his undying love for Taylor Swift.

Also remember to read our interviews with Masked Intruder and Chixdiggit too!


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Chixdiggit!

Chixdiggit!

KJ Jansen

Fat Wreck Chords
By on August 5th, 2015 at Bovine Sex Club - Toronto, ON

 

 

Continuing our coverage of Fat Wreck Chords‘ 25th Anniversary tour, we bring you our second interview with some Fat Wreck alumni: Chixdiggit!. Originally signing on to Fat Wreck‘s sister label Honest Don’s for their 1998 album Born On The First Of July, the Calgary four piece have carried their pop-punk tunes well into the new century.

We catch up with KJ at the Bovince Sex Club in Toronto at the kick-off party for the anniversary tour and talk about the label and the band known as Bum.

Also don’t forget to read our interview with Masked Intruder. Read More…

   
Masked Intruder

Masked Intruder

Blue

Fat Wreck Chords
By on August 5th, 2015 at Bovine Sex Club - Toronto, Ontario

 

 

This summer Fat Wreck Chords are celebrating 25 years of bringing punk fans some of the best albums in our record collections. To show their love they are taking the label on the road with a career spading roster of bands to 10 different cities across North America. Their first stop was Toronto where we got to chat with some of the bands on tour. First on the list, Blue Intruder from Masked Intruder. Read More…

Against Me! - Laura Jane Grace

Against Me!

Laura Jane Grace

Total Treble Music
By on July 3rd, 2015 at Phone

 

 

It’s surprising to think that this is our eighth interview with Against Me!. Over the decade since we interviewed former-former-former drummer Warren Oakes back in 2005Against Me! has been in a constant state of evolution. Line-up changes, record label swaps, arrests, coming out as transgender, several albums and so much more. 

For our latest conversation with the polarizing and popular punk band, we called up front-woman Laura Jane Grace in the middle of their tour with Frank Iero & The Celebration and Annie Girl and the Flight and talked to her about what she’s been up to lately. We cover a wide range of topics including everything from their new live album, 23 Live Sex Acts (scheduled to come out September 4th), to whether or not they consider themselves a Florida band to playing with Miley Cyrus for her Happy Hippie Foundation and the importance of educating people about transgender issues. 

As always, Grace gave honest and open answers with a level of detail many overlook and gave an eye-opening look into the inner workings of Against Me! – a band made up of four friends from around the globe.

Unfortunately, before we could get into the some anticipated questions about their new album that Grace hinted at, her upcoming book and some long last recordings, we got disconnected. Instead of dragging the interview out for too much longer and trying to reconnect, we figured we’ll save the questions for interview number nine with Against Me!

Don’t forget to catch the band on their current tour.

All photos by Kaitlyn Laurel McGann.

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toyGuitar

ToyGuitar

Jack Dalrymple

Fat Wreck Chords
By on June 11th, 2015 at Email

 

 

Jack Dalrymple has been pushing music through speakers since 1996 – first in One Man Army, then Dead To Me with stints in The Swingin’ Utters and Re-Volts between them. But we’re not here to talk about any of those. No. Dalrymple’s focus is now entirely directed towards his latest endeavor: toyGuitar. With his signature vocals still in track, the band has delivered a much more summery, fuzzy, pop-punk record with In This Mess released earlier this year on Fat Wreck Chords.

Now the four piece is set to do a West Coast tour and we exchanged emails with Dalrymple to discuss his legacy, the album, the tour and the North Dakota governor of the same name.

Questions by Bobby Gorman and Blake Florian.

 

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Teenage Bottlerocket

Teenage Bottlerocket

Miguel Chen

Rise Records
By on March 17th, 2015 at E-Mail

 

 

Wyoming’s pop-punk superstars Teenage Bottlerocket have been busy. Constantly touring the world over, this Ramones-core foursome has been delivering constant three chord punk rock for almost fifteen years now. With a recent move to Rise Records, the band is set to release their 6th studio album, Tales from Wyoming, on March 31st.

We exchanged some e-mails with bassist Miguel Chen about the new album, working with Bill Stevenson as producer, professional wrestling and Metallica’s Jason Newstad.

All photos by Johnny and Dawn Wilson.

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Amnesia Rockfest - Alex Martel

Amnesia Rockfest

Alex Martel


By on March 2nd, 2015 at Email

 

 

The 10th edition of Amnesia Rockfest is set to take over Montebello, Quebect this summer from June 18th to 21st. The massive festival completely overtakes the 900 person town as bands as diverse as Snoop Dog, Gogol Bordello, System Of A Down, Tenacious D, Refused, Randy, Real McKenzies, Coheed & Cambria, The Melvins, Buzzcocks, Ten Foot Pole, Buzzcocks, No Fun At All, Bouncing Souls Bigwig and Planet Smashers. Not to mention Rancid doing … And Out Come The WolvesOffspring performing Americana and The Deftones doing Around The Fur.

Suffice to say, the festival is going to be pretty damn epic.

We caught up with Rockfest found Alex Martel to discuss this year’s lineup, the festival’s growth and their famed logistical problems of having 200,000 people in a town of 900.

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Louise Distras


By on January 16th 2015 at Email

 

 

LDBandLouise Distras is a northern UK punk rock singer songwriter who’s debut album Dreams From The Factory Floor dropped back in 2013 and recently she played a gig at the iconic 100 Club in London. After that gig she took some time out to give us some insight into how her new touring band came together and her 2015 plans.

Check out the full interview below.

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Chuck Ragan  interview

Chuck Ragan

Chuck Ragan

SideOneDummy Records
By on Dec 10th, 2014 at Phone

 

 

Ahead of his pre-Christmas shows in Canada, Chuck Ragan took time out to speak to us about being back in Canada, his latest album, Till Midnight and the future of the Revival Tour.

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Less Than Jake

Less Than Jake

Chris Demakes

Fat Wreck Chords
By on October 3rd, 2014 at E-mail

 

 

In anticipation of their upcoming Canadian tour that kicks off October 9th in Vancouver, BC – Chris Demake of Gainesville’s famed ska-punk band Less Than Jake did a quick little e-mail interview with us telling us exactly what it is about Canada that gets him excited for the tour.

Plus, he easily gives the best description of The Fest I’ve seen for a while.

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Frank Turner  interview

Frank Turner

Xtra Mile Recordings
By on September 13th, 2014 at Salisbury, UK

 

 

Ahead of his show in Salisbury, UK acoustic punk favourite (and all round very nice chap) Frank Turner was kind enough to sit down with us, during his pre show meal no less, to talk about his latest tour, writing new material, his upcoming book of tour diaries and a shared love of two W’s – Winnipeg and UK rock band The Wildhearts. Plus word games!

Check out the interview below. 

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SlimInterview

Slim Cessna's Auto Club

Slim Cessna

Alternative Tentacles
By on September 15, 2014 at E-mail

 

 

Slim Cessna is one of the frontmen for Denver’s Slim Cessna’s Auto Club.

Formed in 1992, Slim is one of the few remaining original members of the unique band that infuses elements of country blues, Southern gospel, gothabilly and other forms loosely grouped as “American”. The band is sometimes labeled “country Gothic” due to the juxtaposition of apocalyptic religious imagery with stories of alcohol, violence, and relationships gone awry. In 2013, the band released SCAC 102: An Introduction For Young And Old Europe and scheduled to tour this coming October. Slim talked with us about such topics including religion, alcohol, words he lives by, and Jello Biafra.

  Read More…

Invasives

Invasives

Bummer Records
By on September 01, 2014 at Email

 

 

Invasives are a long running Vancouver group who exemplify DIY ideals in regards to their music. Vocalist Byron Slack recently spoke with us about the group’s End of Summer Bummer Tour, which travels throughout Western Canada alongside War Baby. 

Photos by Martin Messner.


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Andrew Jackson Jihad

Andrew Jackson Jihad

Sean Bonnette

SideOneDummy Records
By on August 19th, 2014 at E-Mail

 

 

Nearing the end of their Canadian tour last year, we were supposed to sit down with Andrew Jackson Jihad during their Vancouver stop at the Biltmore Cabaret. A series of unfortunate events made our plans fall through – its the risk that comes with driving through the rockies. The band battled through, borrowing Hard Girls‘ equipment, placing the keyboard on an ironing board, and putting on a bouncy, energetic show of folk punk goodness.

Not wanting to forgo the interview completely, we quickly did an email interview after they returned back to the States where frontman Sean Bonnette discussed the tour, their new Christmas Island album and Salad Gloves.

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Direct Hit!

Direct Hit

Nick Woods

Red Scare Industries
By on June 7th, 2014 at Biltmore Cabaret - Vancouver, BC

 

 

As the crowd gathered around the sole television screen at the Biltmore Cabaret to watch the Stanley Cup finals between the Rangers and the Kings before the punk show began, Direct Hit‘s Nick Woods and I headed outside to have a little conversation. It was a moment of reprieve before the chaos of the night was set to begin with both them and A Wilhelm Scream tearing the venue apart.

Sitting on the street curb, with traffic barreling by on Kingsway, Woods recalled the ups and downs of 2013, the innovative writing process behind the behemoth that is Brainless Gods and successfully built up some anticipation for the deluxe box set release of the album. 

Live photos by Chris Wedman.

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Old Man Markley

Old Man Markley

Joey Balls

Fat Wreck Chords
By on 04/05/2014 at Email

 

 

Old Man Markley are a relatively new band on the Fat Wreck Chords roster, but they quickly became one of the most recognizable with their unique blend of punk rock and bluegrass music. They have toured extensively around the world, covering North America multiple times, rising from openers (for legendary groups like NOFX, Reverend Horton Heat, The Descendents…) to become a sought after headlining act.

The band are currently on the road, working their way up the west coast into Canada and across. The group recently released their 4th 7″, the exciting Stupid Today. Thepunksite.com took some time to speak with Joey Balls (Garibaldi), bassist and vocalist with Old Man Markley as he begins the latest road trip. Read More…

Rockfest

Amnesia Rockfest 2014

Alex Martel


By on May 15th, 2014 at Phone

 

 

Twenty five days from now, thousands of punk and rock fans will take over the tiny town of Montebello, Quebec for the ninth annual Amnesia Rockfest.

Taking place on June 20th and 21st, the festival will host the likes of Blink 182 and Motley Crue alongside Weezer, Billy Talent, A Day To Remember, NOFX, The Gaslight Anthem, Streetlight Manifesto, Danzig with Doyle, Goldfinger, Face to Face, Black Flag, Fear, Joan Jett, Dead Kennedys, Raised Fist, Gob, The Vandals, New Found Glory and many, many more.

We spoke with founder Alex Martel about the festival, it’s growth and the surreal nature of seeing his town of 900 people overrun by music fans every year.


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hugo mudie interview

Pouzza Fest Founder

Hugo Mundie


By on May 2014 at Via Phone

 

 

Former vocalist for The Saint Catherines and founder of Montréal’s première punk festival Pouzza Fest kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about running Pouzza, who he’s looking forward to seeing the most this time around and why children and punk rock go together. 


th7FFJ84INSo this year is Pouzza Fest IV, when did the idea of it first start forming in your head..ie was it something you had thought about for a long time before it actually became a reality?

Yeah, the idea really came from going to the Fest in Gainsville, I was still with my band The Sainte Catherines went for the 2nd and 3rd editions and then later on but we thought it was a super cool idea we likes that it was just over a weekend with venues close to each other and people partying everywhere and then we took that idea and wanted to do it in Montreal,  you know the punk scene is pretty strong here and there are good venues in the downtown area but at the time I was still doing my band and wasn’t really working in the ‘music business’ per se. Then about 5 years ago we stopped touring so much and it was one of the things that we really wanted to do so that was kind of based on the Fest in Gainsville and then 4 years ago we just decided to do it, so yeah it was basically based on that, kind of our version of it.

 

Its interesting though, Gainsville is obviously a city in its own right, but its not Montreal sized so are there logistical challenges to get that same type of atmosphere that is related to the fest?

That’s the big difference with us, its obviously based on the Fest but it’s a totally different experience (in Montreal), being in the downtown area, in a real city of 2 million people and yeah it has a city feel to it and obviously its not in states, its here in Canada which makes it different but especially in Quebec with the French culture mixed with the English culture, you know? And that’s what makes it cool, I think it’s a different setup. That’s why we tried to do something based on it, but with the added atmosphere Montreal adds.

I read in a previous interview that using bikes is the easiest way to get around from venue to venue, and is that something you guys champion?

I actually think walking is the best way to get around, the furthest venues are probably no more than 15 minute walk apart, so a bike is a super cool idea especially if you need fast transport to another venue but I think the best way to get around is definitely to walk.

I noticed too on the Pouzza Fest website that Pabst Blue Ribbon is a partner and too much of that mixed with cycling is never a good combination!

Yeah, definitely! But we were happy when Pabst got involved, it just makes sense as everybody involved, that’s the kind of beer they drink. You know you have to .see this as a party so you drink, you eat and you see good bands

So just going back to the beginning of Pouzza for a second, obviously you were still involved with the Saint Catherines, but how did you go about getting bands and the lineup arranged for the first time, was it just about finding you liked and building the dream lineup and working down the list from there or was it getting bands that you know from the scene, so how did that first lineup come together?

Yeah, the first year was more about the connections I had built up over the years with The Sainte Catherines so the first year we went more for bands that we knew and we didn’t have to explain everything and they knew and trusted us not to do a shitty job or try and steal money from them or something.

And then pretty fast after that, even the 2nd year bands started contacting us directly about playing and that was down to us doing a  good job the first time and having a good reputation and then that spread through word of mouth and now we pretty much do have a dream list and work down from there based on who’s available.

The lineup this year has got to be pretty close to a dream lineup, its so eclectic and you guys cover so much of the spectrum within the punk scene, was that a deliberate or did it just come together like that?

pouzza (2)

Yeah it was always the goal for us, but like I said there’s a lot of luck involved on who’s available but every year what we want to do is cover as much ground as possible as far as the spectrym  of the punk genre. Me personally I don’t really mind about the sub genres and shit like that, I like bands that play music I don’t care if they’re considered a post hardcore or indie or whatever it just pretty much what we want to do. I like some crust bands, I like some pop punk bands, I like some folk/country dudes so we try and incorporate all those into the festival and try to be open minded about it and we want the fans coming to be open minded about it as well. That was pretty much our goal as we’ve always been against the divisions in the punk scene so its one of our ways to go against that.

Just in terms of the fans and audience, there’s a lot of people that travel down to the fest, do you find the same with Pouzza?

Its actually more out of town fans than the locals, more than 50% of the audience comes from outside Quebec, a lot of people from Ontario, New York, Jersey and Philly as well as people from Europe, Japan, Australia. Its been like that since the first year, we’ve had people travel from everywhere to come to Pouzza, which is really cool. Its cool for us to know that people get to know the city too.

Like you say, if you build up such a solid reputation from the first iteration of Pouzza to where you are now the groundswell of support will only grow which is absolutely fantastic. One of the other things I read was that there’s a real child friendly vibe about Pouzza, was that a personal mission based on your own family experiences and an attempt to make it as inclusive as possible?

Yeah definitely, its really from my own family and my friends who also have kids, you know you want to take your kids to cool stuff, but there’s not a lot of them that are child friendly so we really thought we could do something. At first it was just one show in a venue for the kids, but last year we had this big outdoor thing, and this year its even bigger, more games and other stuff for them and yeah it was just something that we really wanted to incorporate and it makes Pouzza unique as you don’t necessarily associate punk rock with families but it was definitely something we wanted to try and its worked out, especially for the local fans!

With so many festivals popping up and then often not happening again as they struggle financially, how do you strike that balance between the financial side of running a festival and the more fun, musical and social aspects?

Its definitely harder, the financial side isn’t fun but is necessary and you know we’ve been running it for some time now and you just expect people to buy tickets! We did get into some trouble financially one year just because we tried some things that didn’t work, but people don’t see that because the festival still goes on, but ultimately it is a business and has to make money. And that’s one of, well I don’t want to say bad things but its just not something that you like to think about. But every year we get better partners, this year like you said with Pabst Blue Ribbon and Sailor Jerry and we try and get grants from the government and its getting better and better but its definitely not an ideal situation, but its something you always have to keep in mind as you don’t want to stop after the first year.

So just a couple of final questions then, so who is the one band that you are most looking forward to seeing, and secondly, who is the one ‘do not miss’ band of Pouzza Fest IV?

I think one of the bands that I am most looking forward to, personally that I like the most are a band called the So So Glos. I didn’t really know them until probably last year when I heard their new record and really liked it. We then asked them if they were interest in playing Pouzza and they said yes which was really great. And the one do not miss show I would say is Dillinger Four, they are the perfect Pouzza band. They don’t play a lot anymore, so hoping it will be the highlight.

Ok, great – last question, where does the name come from?

Well it’s a combination of Poutine and Pizza that I created maybe 15 years ago and now you can buy it in like local Burger King and stuff!

Hugo, its been a pleasure speaking to you thanks for taking the time and good luck with Pouzza Fest IV

Thanks!

 

So So Glos

So So Glos

Shea Stadium Records / Votiv Records
By on April 2014 at Phone

 

 

Brooklyn alternative punks So So Glos are champions of the DIY ethic, putting out their latest album Blowout independently and touring relentlessly. As Votiv Records gear up to release the album in Europe and the UK and drop a full vinyl release in the US, singer Alex Levine took some time out to speak to us about the record, influences and filming their latest video at a porn studio.


 

thB9QC28BASo how are you? A big tour starting with the Front Bottoms, Say Anything and You Blew It! Starts in June, so what’s going on with you guys at the moment?

Yeah, we’ve got a little time, we’re just working on some new songs and doing a couple of shows here and there around New York, you know just always working on new songs and just relaxing while we’re home for a quick second.

I heard a vague rumour that you guys may be coming back to the UK at some point this year?

Uh huh, well yeah, we may! That rumour may or may not be true!

You were over here back in February playing some shows with Ezra Furman, how did that go?

It was really fun, being on the road with Ezra was a blast, I mean it was just good to be out there playing rock and roll in good company. With somebody who’s helping to carry that torch of rock and roll and it was really surprising how many people still come out and care about this kind of music in 2014.

That wasn’t your first time in the UK?

No, we’ve been over a couple of times, once with (…And They Will Know Us By The) Trail Of The Dead and once with a band called The Virgins and they were all super great!

On your recent UK tour you guys played some different, more underground venues, was that a deliberate choice or were you just going with what Ezra had setup?

That tour was booked and we were just added to it, but we’re always championing alternative and strange venues. We’ve played in kitchens, bathrooms and basements, everywhere they have an outlet.

Is that kind of what started you guys to start the Shea Stadium Arts Space and Venue and putting stuff on there?

Well the Shea Stadium thing came about after a long time touring in the states and we came back to New York and established a place called the market hotel. In America its very different than over there (in Europe) with the really stringent drinking laws that exist which are really contrary to my beliefs as bout how rock and roll should be for all ages. Whether or not you’re drinking shouldn’t exclude people from coming into a club just because they’re not of legal drinking age so these things, in a city like New York just needed to exist. It’s a lot of sticking your neck out on the line for those types of places and just creating a fun environment. So these alternative arts spaces kind of go hand in hand with the whole ethos of all ages punk rock.

Yeah, I totally agree you’ve got to be inclusive and make sure that your stuff gets out to the widest possible audience that it can.

Yeah, first and foremost protest music belongs to the youth you know and you’re not going to start a riot with a bunch of older people!

 thCZGPVHP1

So your last album, Blowout came out last year and was the first one you guys did with Votiv, after your split with green owl, how did you end up connecting with them?

Well we put out the record completely independently about a year ago in the states actually and it’s only now just coming out over there (Europe) a year later. I mean we just printed it out, burned it on CD’s and just put the record out there because we were not really into going with the classic music industry model that had really done us wrong in the past. So we were kinda fed up with that bullshit and just put the shit out on our own and then Votiv came to us a couple of months after. We played David Letterman and the record had gotten all this good press which we were super grateful for. They saw that and then wanted to put it out for real so we were like alright, put it out for real. It had been out digitally and via ourselves at shows, but they helped us press the vinyl and sort some monetary stuff out and they’ve been really good to us, but ultimately it was a self release that got picked up by them.

And I guess that’s the best way to do it because you already created the buzz and you have control as they’re approaching you wanting to work with you based on that buzz?

Yeah, I mean we’re not the kind of band that’s sitting in a room waiting for a record executive telling us what to do and trying to be the next strokes or whatever, we really are a band of brothers and we don’t do it because someone is telling us what to do or how to do it, this is just the natural thing that we do. We couldn’t really do it any other way! It’s not that we’re trying to, we just don’t know any other way!

Do you guys make a living from music? I recently read an interview with Doyle von Frankenstein from the Misfits and he was ranting (unsurprisingly) about the digital age and how so many well known musicians have “day jobs”. How do you feel about that? It sounds like you guys just do it because you love it?

I think it is hard to be an artist in a rock and roll band now, because that infrastructure, that middle man, for better or for worse is gone so yeah, I don’t really know what else to add! We just do it because it’s fun travelling, play music and do it as long as we possibly can to support ourselves.

When I first heard your stuff it really some across as almost instantly familiar in a kind of nostalgic alt-punk kind of way but with a really cool fresh twist. With almost a pavement-y vibe about it. Can you tell us a bit about music that influenced you and drove you to do the kind of stuff you do today?

Oh yeah, I mean we’ve been into all types of music since we were kids, I mean there was even a Darlene Love sample on the record which got pulled off because of Phil Spector’s clearance issues. Yeah, there’s always a good head nod to the past but when we were making this record we tried to think about making the music of the future you know? Push it a little bit farther and embracing the melodic structure of what we were listening to. When we were making this album I was listening to a lot of hip hop, lyrically I was pretty much exclusively listening to Notorious B.I.G and the Wu Tang Clan and so there was a lot of that coming through and it’s just all about this idea of being caught up in the modern world, this ‘me against the world’ type in a city that’s crumbling and that kind of post apocalyptic world, or maybe just a straight up apocalypse. So I don’t know, maybe musically we have elements of the past caught up in a whirlwind of explosion that looks something nlike the future.

That’s a very cool way of putting it! One of the first things I saw from you guys was the video for My Block, which had a real effortlessly cool vibe about it but you guys always seem to come up with interesting concepts for videos, I know the most recent one for Speakeasy you’ve taken on the role of a cyber cop trying to rouse people from a technology induced coma. Where does that creative come from, is it all from the band?

Oh no, that was just my idea! The Speakeasy thing we put that together in one day with Chris Elia, we went to high school with him and he works in this building in san Francisco called the aArmoury which is basically a porn studio and I came up with the concept so we could use all these things in the space, but I don’t really know where it came from, somewhere deep in our minds, teenage angst hangover maybe! Or angry discontent with the world. 

It comes across really cool, it’s an excellent video, really good fun!

Well thank you, we tried to make something fun for the kids so they can break their computers! Its about going out and having fun – go outside! 

Totally – there’s a whole world out there if you just open the door.

Yeah, close the computer and open the door!

That sounds like a mantra for the youth of tomorrow!

That’s the So So Glos Mantra! Before you go out you’ve got to do the So So Glos pledge and channel the spirit of rock and roll!

Well I hope that when you guys come back to the UK I hope to see that mantra at your shows! So just a couple of final questions, with the album being over a year old now and you said at the beginning that you guys are always writing and jamming out new music so what are the plans for the next record?

 We’ll have to see when logistically we can get a break from touring to put together the pieces of what we got planned. We have a lot of pieces, I can say that! A lot of demos, so whenever we can get a couple of months off, and we haven’t had that in a long time, but when we can, we will definitely put the record together. We’re excited for it.

A couple of non musical questions if you don’t mind, with the arts/venue space being called Shea Stadium, I assume that means you’re Mets fans?

Yeah, well moreso fans of the underdogs and of the losing teams. Fans of the failing optimist. And uh fans of the little guy you know.

With the islanders moving into Brooklyn next year, do you guys cross the line into the hockey underdog as well? 

We’re not really hockey fans, but if they’re losing then yeah, sign me up! And I think just picking up a guitar and forming a band and using that medium as an artist as opposed to maybe the drum and bass or techno scene, I think that qualifies as a major underdog as well you know. Writing a pop song without electronic backbeat..its a metaphor, you get it!

I totally get where you were going with that! I really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us today, and I really hope to see you guys back in the UK soon and can’t wait to hear some new music.

No problem, thank you!

Teenage Bottlerocket

Teenage Bottlerocket

Ray Carlisle

Fat Wreck Chords
By on April 9, 2014 at Phone

 

 

Wyoming twin brothers Ray and Brandon Carlisle formed Teenage Bottlerocket in 2001. They’ve built a loyal fan base, joined up with infamous punk label Fat Wreck Chords and toured Europe with metal group Volbeat. Ray Carlisle took some time to discuss what the group has been doing lately as they get ready to hit the road with Pennywise and gear up for a summer on Warped Tour.  Read More…