Ray CarlisleFat Wreck Chords
By Bobby Gorman on June 22nd, 2012 at Email
Just a year after doing their first ever full blown Canadian tour with NOFX, pop-punk superstars Teenage Bottlerocket were back and touring the Great White North. The only difference is that this time they were headlining and bringing The Dopamines and Elway along for the ride.
We had a little e-mail conversation with guitarist Ray Calisle as they prepared for the tour, you can read the interview below.
You guys are in the midst of this tour with Dopamines and Elway – hows that going so far?
Its been great! The Dopamines are cool people. Elway seems to be enjoying themselves. So far so rad!
This is a pretty good pop-punk tour, which doesn’t happen as often anymore – are you glad to be out headlining such a genre specific tour?
Yes we are, We are a pop punk band and we are stoked to be on a pop punk tour.
A few years ago, in like 2008, you guys did 39 shows in 36 days. How did that get set up and would you ever do something that intensive again?
We probably wont be doing anything that crazy ever again, it really took its toll on our vocals. But that tour was tons of fun.
Earlier this month you guys released your fifth studio album, Freak out – can you tell us about that?
Sure, The album is pink and it has 14 songs on it. One of the songs is called Cruising for Chicks.
Originally you were planning on calling it Summertime, what made you switch it over to Freak Out!?
When we finished recording, Summertime really didnt fit the sound and theme of the whole record. We thought that Freak Out! was a better title.
While you do have a specific sound attached to you guys, you also spread out every once in a while with like “Fatso goes Nutzoid” or “Cruisin’ For Chicks” – do you like stretching your writing structure every once in a while?
Yes we do, we dont feel restricted in any way by our sound. If one of us writes a good song, them thats really all that matters.
When you guys play some of your older songs, from Total and Another Way, you often switch up melodies and add some more texture to it live – does that help keep the songs interesting?
We always come up with better sounding melodies after our records are done. So, we get a little mad that we didnt do said awesome melody on the album, we just do it live. It definitely helps to keep things interesting.
You went back to the Blasting Room to record with Andrew Berlin again who has worked on several of your past records, what makes you keep working with him?
He pretty much joins our band every time we go to the studio. He is always stoked on the tunes. It helps to record with someone that actually loves the music. Hes a stoker!
You guys first worked with him on Warning Device for Red Scare if I’m not mistaken. How’d you get to know him?
We first worked with him on the split with Bill The Welder before Kody was in the band. He was just a house engineer at the Blasting Room and we booked time there. We had no idea who he was at the time, now we are really good friends.
Normally you have Jason mix it, what made you get Andrew to mix it this time?
That was definitely intentional. We really like the way Jason mixes our records, but we let Andrew take the drivers seat for the Mutilate Me 7″.
We were amazed with the mix of those two songs and decided to let Berlin Mix Freak Out!
Punk House of Horrors is about several different punk houses, including one in Vincennes Indiana where they lost their snake in their house for two years before it came back. Whats the craziest thing youve ever seen at a punk house?
I saw a pile of dread locks on someones floor that they had just shaved off their head (probably weeks before). For some reason I was creeped out.
Maverick is about Top Gun, a movie which Kody absolutely hates. How did that get a song written about it?
Brandon and I wrote the song. We arent huge fans of the movie, we just quote it alot in the van. Thats sort of the basis for the song.
Your album artwork is always very straight forward – the skull logo with with a different colour. However, your two EPs – Mutilate Me and A-Bomb – have actual pictures on the covers. Why change it up for the EP?
We only use the logo for the full lengths, I guess its because our 1st 7″ came out and we didnt do the logo thing, So we have stuck with that.
How does the colour selection work for the album art? Like why Pink for Freak Out?
Good question, we just spin one of those twister wheels, thats how we pick the color.
Of course, it creates a strong branding for your band. As a punk band – is it important to have a strong branding or logo?
Ive always been stoked when bands have a logo that people can I dentify a band with without even seeing the band name. I like that shit.
There’s some famous punk logos over the years – Black Flag, Bad Religion, Screeching Weasel, Dead Kennedys, Ramones, Strung Out and so on. Whats your favourite punk logo and why?
My favorite one is Alkaline Trios heart and skull, I’ve always been a huge fan of it. I’m not running out of the door to get it tattood to me or anything, but ive always loved that logo.
What makes a good punk logo?
I’m not sure.
Any final thoughts?
Check out our tour dates on teenagebottlerocket.com and come see us if we are around our area, thanks for checking this out. Late.