May 10, 2013
Tim the intern sat down with Andy from Tin Horn Prayer and talked about his new solo record, escaping the safe haven of Denver, and how Mike Herrera from Tin Horn Prayer is not Mike Herrera from MXPX. Tin Horn Prayer put out their latest full length Grapple the Rails in November, which you can pick up here. Andy is also about to hit the road for a few solo dates with Arliss Nancy. You can check out the tour dates here.
The other day when I was putting in your tour dates into the website I thought there was a typo in your band name. For the longest time I just assumed the name was Tin Horn Player.
We got that a lot when we first started. We got player a lot and then we turned it into a joke that if we kept doing it we were gonna change it to Tim the Horn Player and just have one of the guys get really drunk and play a trumpet out of tune. They wanna book the horn players? Then here ya go! Go up there and say, “Hey my name’s Tim and I’m gonna play some horn,” but it never came around to that, thankfully.
So, I’m not the first one to be confused by your name.
No, I think there was a radio station that called us Tin Horn Player so it’s a problem.
And as far as the name goes was it just a clever play on words or were you trying to convey something with the name?
It’s a line from a Tom Waits song. From a song called “Sins Of My Father”, which is on Real Gone and the line is, “Don’t send me your tin horn players and don’t sell your roses down the street down here.” For me it kind of means don’t pray to me, don’t talk to me unless you mean it. Don’t send me a shallow plea if you’re gonna talk to me. It needs to be substantial and have some weight to it. When Mikey named the band that, that was kind of in his head and we were all Tom Waits fans in some way or another so it was a line that stuck out for everybody.
As far as your sound goes, it’s a little different from other bands on the Paper and Plastick roster. You play a very traditional bluegrass kind of folk music. How has it been being in a punk scene?
I think pretty positively. We still try to play with loud bands as much as we possibly can. I think the spirit of it is still there. Just because we have banjos and weird things like that I think the structures always been the same and the emotion and the spirit is punk and we’re definitely not trying to shy away from that. We’re guys that have played in loud bands in the past and still play in some loud bands on the side and we fit in pretty seamlessly with a lot of our contemporaries and a lot of our peers are playing our kind of music, but early on when we started we got booked with a lot of quieter bands. They always seemed to book us with these acoustic, kind of soft spoken bluegrassy type people. We wanted to shy away from that and I think people started to figure that out. We weren’t a quiet, little introspective acoustic band. We were a loud band. I mean, we have an electric guitar and an electric bass so at our core we’re a three piece rock band because we have an electric bass and electric guitar and drums, but we add more layers to it. So at it’s core it’s always been punk rock.
What was it like growing up in the Denver punk scene?
It was great. Recently it’s gotten popular because of bands like Lumineers and The Fray and a bunch of bands like that have gotten really popular out of Denver, but that was never the scene that we were really into. Before the national spotlight was on Denver as this place for the next big band to come out of it was always a close-knit community of musicians because it was hard to tour here. Because it was kind of secluded, we’re this kind of bigger city in the middle of nowhere and we kind of held onto that. Any band that was from here we really identified with because they were ours. So that’s the kind of scene that I came into back in the day was those kind of punk bands and it’s a pretty broad scene and we are apart of that. But I’ll always remember the good old days of playing the shitty Climax where there was barbed wire on the stage and it was rowdy. It was fun.
I notice bands like Elway and the Holy Mess and bands like that are getting really popular too. What is that like? Do you see more people coming out to shows now or has it always kind of been the same crowd?
We haven’t been currently active, so I can’t know for sure. We definitely started growing our fanbase more and more as we played and that’s just a product of anything you put some kind of time into. More and more people are gonna find out about it. Elway got popular not because of where they are from, but because of where they went. They’re from Ft. Collins so they are an hour away from here, but locally they still aren’t incredibly popular. We played with Elway a few times and maybe I’m mistaken, I haven’t seen them in a bit, but they are popular now because they toured constantly and they got out. I think that’s what people kind of forget about. If you want your popularity to grow you have to kind of make sure people across the country know that you’re serious and that you’re putting in the work and that you’re touring. I think people forget about that in Denver because it is so kind of secluded. You get spoiled if you live in Denver because there’s so many venues to play here and people here are really excited about music that you can play to 200-300 people some times, but that doesn’t mean in the grand scheme of things that you’re a popular band. I think Elway realized that and they hit the road and their hard work is paying off.
I was on your Facebook page and I realized Mike Herrera is listed as a member of the band. Is that the same Mike Herrera from MXPX?
No, it’s not.
Do you guys get that confusion sometimes?
Early on. We played with Tumbledown once so it was kind of a joke of the battle of Mike Herreras. Yeah, we don’t get it too often. I think people know the separation of the two.
So, you’re about to head out on some solo dates for your new solo record. What was it like writing just for yourself. Are you used to writing by yourself or is it more of a group effort in Tin Horn Prayer?
Even with Tin Horn going on I’ve always played solo shows and written solo music so this is actually my second solo record I’ve come out with. At first, it was a lot different from the songs I would write for myself and the songs I would write for Tin Horn. That line has started to blur a little bit, but Tin Horn was always a specific sound that we were going for. A little more bluegrass based. The stuff I was writing early on solo was a little more “indie” based. With Tin Horn you kind of want it to be a raucous affair that a lot of people can scream along to with Wicked Dark, the new solo album it was kind of intentionally really quiet and kind of dark and a little macabe. I kind of touched on that with Tin Horn but I didn’t want the vastness of the sound. I wanted to strip it away a little more and make it a little more personal and dark.
So for the shows you are playing you aren’t gonna have the full band?
My girlfriend Jen who sang on the record is coming with me and she’s gonna help me sing some of the songs, but on the record there isn’t ever a full band. There’s a couple light percussion and there’s a cello, but I won’t have that on tour. But when I come back and if I start playing shows as Andy Thomas’s Dust Heart, I’ll have some cello parts for local gigs. It’s something I’d like to turn into a full band. I play in two other bands that I play drums in and it’s hard to get people together to play for that, but recently it’s been a little tough. I also think it’s a little bit easier to go out yourself. I’m touring with Arliss Nancy and I’m gonna try and see if they will back me up on some songs. Other than that it will just be stripped down with acoustic guitar and vocals.
Do you feel more comfortable playing by yourself or the bigger band?
I’d much rather have a band. I think it’s a lot more fun to play with a band. I like certain parts about playing by myself. There’s not really anyone there to share it with. Like when a gig goes band and you have a band, at least you have those other guys to kind of share the experience no matter how shitty it is. By yourself it’s kind of tough looking at the audience and they aren’t super into it, but it’s great to find some kind of solace by looking over and seeing someone sharing it with you. I’ve always liked playing with a band, but the solo thing is just something I’ve always wanted to give a go at, but like I said I’ll probably try and build a band around it so I can have other people to share it with.
I also so that you are touring down to Death to False Hope Fest. Will this be the first time you have played there?
This will be the first time I’ll ever be out there. I saw that Arliss Nancy are playing and they kind of spoke highly of Scotty and I thought it would be cool at this time. I figured it would be a good time to get out there and it seemed like a good route to take knowing that those guys are going out there too. I just knew it would be a fun trip to take and I knew in the end that would be a good place to stop. I don’t know much about Death to False Hope, but I’m excited to meet them all. They definitely have some great bands playing that I’m excited to play with.
Have you thought about The Fest at all?
Always. I’ve only played that once with my old band, which was three years ago and I feel like it’s getting harder and harder to play Fest. There’s so many bands that wanna play it and it’s becoming a pretty big deal. I’d love to play, but it’s getting tougher and tougher to play it. The last I heard, they were only taking alumni bands and that’s why I always think locally, everyone outside of Denver is gonna wanna book me, but with all those great bands that are playing the Fest and in that genre it’s tough for me and Tin Horn to get any heads up. We’re always working and trying to get those festivals or those shows.
So being from a place like Denver, which you mentioned is kind of secluded, how did Vinnie hear of you guys?
That’s a good question. I used to work at Suburban Home Records so we would e-mail back and forth about business stuff and I think I just e-mailed him about Tin Horn one day and I didn’t hear back from him for a long time. Then he contacted us when he was doing that Free Music First website and we put some downloads up from our old record and then Less Than Jake came out to Denver and asked us to play a show with them. That was right before we were done with the record so he saw us play live, which was nice and we finished the record shortly after. I sent it to him and he agreed to put it out, which is very nice of him.
How has the reception been from the record?
It’s been good. We came out with it in November. It was definitely great signing to a label like Paper and Plastick as far as exposure goes. We’ve gotten good responses. It was a record that we weren’t sure how it was gonna turn out, because we had written Get Busy Dying and kind of thought that was the best thing we could do and the sophomore slump is always in the back of your mind. I think at least internally, we all thought we one-up’d the last record and I think a lot of people agree with that. I wish more people would hear it, but again that’s part of the struggle of getting people to pay attention to you.
Is it harder for a band as big as Tin Horn Prayer to tour or are you guys just really busy in your own personal lives?
There’s a lot of personal stuff going on with us right now. It’s tough at any level to tour. I think people forget how difficult it is to be out on the road. Especially when you have mortgages and kids and just a bunch of things going on. I got to a point to where I started to think that a lot of the guys couldn’t devote a lot of time to the road, so after this I definitely wanna try to get myself out on the road as much as possible and play those Tin Horn songs so at least people can hear’em. I’ll have the Tin Horn record out with me on this tour and I’ll try and pass it out to as many people as possible. It’s just a lot easier to tour when you’re by yourself. You don’t have to get five other people’s schedules and if you have a week and you can go and you just go and you don’t have to worry if the van is running. We’re just gonna take the Subaru and you know it’s gonna make it, but I’m always trying to get the band back on the road as much as possible.
May 2, 2013
A few months ago Tim the intern sat down with We Are the Union's Reed Wolcott only a few weeks after their announcement that they were breaking up to discuss hockey, the future and gun rights. We Are the Union put out their final record You Can't Hide the Sun in October of 2012 and you can order it here
So, after 8 years We Are the Union just went on hiatus. What was going through your mind before the band decided to make this announcement?
We sat down after our most recent tour and decided it was just a good time to wind things down. A lot of bands have one or two things that they blame a hiatus on, but for us it really just felt like time to move on - at least for now. It wasn't one or two major events, it was a hundred smaller things all stacked on top of each other. As far as my personal thoughts leading up to it, I was honestly quite ready to turn the page. There wasn't much in the way of anxiety.
Any regrets or are you more excited to take that next step?
We had some great times. My only regret is that we weren't able to make the band financially feasible. You can only empty your bank account so many times with zero return before the realities of your mid to late twenties hit you! I think a lot of people honestly believe being in a full time touring band is all fun and games, but the reality is a lot harsher than the dream - especially when you’re not drawing hundreds of people to your shows. Our fan-base never grew to the point where we could pay our bills. I don’t mean to sound bitter or envious of other bands who have had this success, because it’s totally not like that. I don’t regret the time we all put into the band, not even a little bit.
You have always been an outspoken lyricist/front-man. After losing a close friend to gun violence and the recent outbreak of shootings, what are some of your thoughts on the gun control issue?
The ultimate solution would be to un-invent the gun, but unfortunately we can’t do that. I think a big thing people fail to understand when it comes to guns is that, statistically speaking, guns actually make us less safe. People like to say “more citizens carrying firearms leads to lower violent crime rates,” but the numbers just aren't there to back those claims up.
I don’t think any amount of guns in that house would have saved Mitch’s life. In reality, additional guns would likely have made the situation worse. I think most pro-gun people fail to understand how quickly these scenes play out and how much of a factor chaos plays.
With songs like “Where’d You Go Psycho Boy?” you tend to bring a focus on women in the punk community. How important do you think women’s rights are both inside and outside of the punk scene?
I don’t think there’s any denying that women’s rights are important. People who don’t think women struggle due to a lack of equality in this society are delusional. People who won’t stand up and fight to end that struggle are pathetic.
Are the feelings mutual on LGBT rights as well?
How much of an influence does the economic decay of a city like Detroit have on the band in terms of sound/lyrics?
I’m not sure, honestly. I don’t think WATU really sounded like a “Detroit” band. I don’t even think we sounded all that Midwestern, really. We always felt more at home on the east coast. That said, you only need to look as far as The Suicide Machines or The A-Gang to hear bands that are heavily influenced by Detroit’s collapse.
Detroit is beginning to work its way back up though and I am excited to see what kind of art that inspires.
There’s no hiding the fact that you are an avid hockey fan. How do you feel about the return of NHL? And what are some of your thoughts on the recent lock-out?
I was pretty outraged. For the first time in league history, the commissioners were potentially going to make more money collectively than the players. How’s that for a balance? The people sitting on their asses in a desk chair are getting paid more than the people down on the ice getting their teeth knocked out?
I’m glad it’s back, but I hope Bettman gets canned. He doesn't deserve dollar one of his salary.
Sports are not typically considered very “punk rock”, how do you feel about the negative stereotype of the high school jock?
I totally get that. Sports are directly tied to misogynistic advertising and plenty of homophobic players and fans. Sports culture is very far from the ideals of punk rock. For me, it’s a cultural thing. I was raised on hockey. When I was young, my dad and I used to get season tickets to University of Michigan hockey, so hockey is just part of me. I enjoy the good parts and try my best to not participate in the bad ones.
How has been the reaction to the new record? If this is We Are the Union’s “final” release do you think it was an acceptable final chapter?
I guess I’m not allowed to say this, but I think the record is great. I really think it is an exceptional ska-punk record. I think it’s the strongest material we've ever released and I’m ecstatic about the critical reception it got. We still haven’t seen a bad review for it. If it’s the last one, I think it’s a great way to go out.
April 30, 2013
May 5th- Kansas City, MO @Club Mustache
May 6th- Normal, IL @The Fire House
May 7th- Memphis, TN @ Murphy's
May 8th- Lexington, KY @ The Green Lantern w/Those Crosstown Rivals
May 9th- Knoxville, TN @Long Branch Saloon
May 10th - Durham, NC DTFH FEST III
April 26, 2013
The Braces are a weird band, to say the least. In an attempt to pick Zack from Braces brain for 20 minutes all Tim the intern got out of him was a drawn out conversation about Star Wars and Osker. This is what Tim could salvage. The Braces just put out their newest full length Two Years three weeks ago and you can download it here.
You guys are from Thousand Oaks, California is that correct?
Yes we are!
Being a band from a place where there are thousands, if not millions of bands in that state. What is it like in a scene like that?
There are bands who are friends that play together, but when we play shows there are a certain group of kids, which I guess is considered a scene. It’s not like a close-knit scene of friends, they are just kids who like music. It’s weird, there are a lot of hardcore bands here. There’s a lot of hardcore everywhere, but that’s what's around here. If you can get the hardcore kids to like you, you’ll have a scene of kids to see you, but we don’t. We don’t play hardcore.
Is that how it goes? Because I was listening to the new record today and it was kind of all over the place, like as far as sound goes. Is it hard for you guys in a scene full of hardcore bands to get a crowd?
Well, we get everyone else, because the hardcore kids are very tight knit and have the bands they are into. They will branch out if it’s acceptable. They’ll like a pop punk band if they are on No Sleep or Run For Cover Records. It’s all about credibility of that pop punk band if they’re gonna like you. So yeah, we do get hardcore kids at our shows because maybe they like the music and that’s cool, but it’s not like the whole hardcore scene is super approving of us and comes to all of our shows like they would for say the Wonder Years or something. There’s more hardcore influence there. It’s just interesting. This scene dynamic is weird because we get everyone from like kids in high school who don’t go to see live shows to kids in full crust punk gear with Aus Rotten patches on their backs. It’s kind of just all in between, which is tight as fuck. I like it.
I figure for most bands it’s more of a rewarding thing for lots of different people being into their band.
For me at least it means a lot when I see some older dude who just comes out to our shows and is like, “I grew up with skate punk in the 90s” and that’s really cool to me. That’s my favorite kind of person. We don’t get that too much, but when we do we get stoked. Like when I see some guy with an Osker shirt.
Osker is so good.
Unbelievably good. Like, if I saw someone walking down the street and he was wearing an Osker shirt, and I don’t do this often, I would be like, “Hey you like good music,” because that’s just something you don’t say to people. But yeah the first time we played with the Swellers someone in the band was wearing an Osker shirt and I wasn't going to talk to them even though I liked their music, but because I’m kind of a wuss I was like, “I’m not gonna talk to these guys they are cool and probably wouldn't like me.” So I was like, oh shit he’s wearing an Osker shirt so I have to say something. Osker brings people together.
Now that we fanboyed about Osker enough. In a recent interview you spoke how much Elvis Costello is an influence on you. Besides the typically influences for a band like you guys, what are some that are a little “outlandish” for people who typically listen to pop punk or punk music in general.
It’s more like a broad thing when they influence me. Like Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys wrote this record Smile when he was with the Beach Boys that never got released. It’s super, super experimental and cool. Experimenting with changes in sound and tone and bringing things back from the beginning of the record in the middle. It’s very consistent, but never got finished. This record is the amalgamation of everything they did and the best they came up with because it never got finished so they tried to make it as whole as possible and the record is really cool. The only lyrics in this one song is the title of the song in this crazy harmony and it keeps building in tempo. Stuff like that influence in making our record and going, “I don’t give a fuck what tempo this song started in it’s not gonna end in that tempo because we’re gonna do tempo changes and I think they’re fucking cool.” Like “Reasons to Not Hate Everything” has 18 tempo changes in it. So that’s where I get certain influence and with Elvis Costello it’s all about his lyrics and also I like the way he can only do two string guitar parts. I really like when he does that so I try to copy it. But I mean the Clash are like my favorite band and I guess you’d never really think that from our music, but I try to put Clash things in our songs. The bridge in “Applause” has this Joe Strummer-like chord pattern thing that I was doing. Just stuff like that. Someone will be listening to it and be like, “Yeah I know what the fuck you’re talking about and it sounds nothing like that,” but in my head it does.
The lyrics are very straight-forward. Do you try and go for that a lot? Where they’re like just straight-forward or do you tend to mix it up?
It’s hard to like write a song and not make it personal. I could never write a song and it not mean something to me. So that means when I’m writing a song I have to be straight-forward because that’s the only way I know how to be, which is what has gotten me into trouble before and that’s what that song is about because I have a problem with not stopping talking. People don’t have to hear certain things and yet I say those things. It’s a lesson, but in a song I can say as much as I want for the entire duration of this song and I get to choose how I end it. That’s the best thing about writing a song with lyrics. You get to choose how you end what you say which is so rare, because usually when you’re having a conversation someone will cut you off or agree or take it in a different direction. So instead, I get to have a whole complete thought, but I get to put music to it. What better form of self expression is there? I’ll tell ya, there isn't a better one.
That’s a good way to look at song writing. Sometimes I feel like a lot of people try to bog everything down with metaphors.
I mean, I’ll even use metaphors We have a song called “Siren”. I’m not a siren but that’s a metaphor for a certain thing. When you listen to it, it all makes sense. I even used a sample of a phone ringing to get the idea of the siren as a phone ringing. Put two and two together, but who knows. Some people don’t know how to put two and two together.
How do your fans connect to the straight-forward nature of your lyrics?
Right after this record came out I started getting all these people coming up to me like , “That’s exactly how I felt at the time,” and for me that’s weird because a part of me wants the songs to be straight-forward, but the whole goal is to have someone who relates to you and be like, “Holy shit! That was me on the bench at ten years old and X-Men was on Saturday mornings and I had to go to baseball.” That sucks dude
Speaking of “nerd” culture. I saw your post on reddit with the Star Wars poster.
I tried to make it look like it took place right after the original, but you don’t know how it’s gonna be.
I was having this conversation with a friend a few weeks ago about how punk rock and Star Wars kind of have this weird relationship. Why do you think punk rock kids are really into Star Wars?
I think it’s an appreciation of things that are good. Star Wars is very good. Punk rock is very good. I think it comes down to how the entire fucking plot of Star Wars is rebelling against an empire. That’s punk. That’s a pretty punk thing. Punk started rebelling against an empire I guess. It makes sense and I think Star Wars in terms of story is the best story ever told. Punk rock has some of the best songs ever played so it makes perfect sense together.
Do you think collecting all the books and other stuff is like spending money on records?
It’s worse than spending money on records. It’s way more expensive. For example, if I love a band they’ll put out a record and someone will say, “Oh, that record sucks,” and I’ll listen to that record online and I’ll listen to a few songs and be like ,”Oh yeah I don’t like that record.” But if someone says ,”Oh that Star Wars book sucks,” I’m still gonna buy it because it’s a Star Wars book.
Even though Star Wars is now owned by Disney, which isn't very punk rock. Do you still think it will be the same?
Hey man, Disney is gonna put the money that needs to be put into Star Wars to make it what it needs to be. Disney isn't exactly the most punk rock thing obviously, but Star Wars is pretty punk rock.
Have you ever thought about writing songs strictly about Star Wars or have you written a song about Star Wars?
We have a song on our last EP called “I Wanna Be A Corellian Smuggler” and it’s basically about how I wanna be Han Solo, but the reason I say that in the song title because I think he’s cool and didn't have to deal with all this bullshit like the bullshit I was going through in this relationship. That’s where I was kind of going with that song because that song is about how my ex-girlfriend was shitty.
I think it’s interesting when people write songs like that.
Well dude, it’s Han Solo. He drives the Millenium Falcon. He pilots the fastest ship. He made that Kessel Run.
I noticed that a lot of these other bands are jumping on all these big tours, but I don’t see any tour dates posted.
No we don’t. We kind of fucked up on planning the whole touring thing, because we weren’t expecting the record to be put out so fast. We really wanted it to, but we didn't know how to be able to get the record out that fast because we were thinking about putting it out ourselves before Paper + Plastick got involved and we had to save up the money to do it. At the same time though we were like, “Oh shit Paper + Plastick is putting out our record we should try and get on a tour with every cool band and go on the road and make a bunch of money.” Instead we thought about a last minute tour in small places that we hadn't played in awhile, but that might not be so beneficial if we didn't have a physical copy of our new record to sell. We’re gonna do some cool stuff in the future tour wise. We’re planning right now and it will be nice. It definitely sucks when I see my friends on the road and they are like, “Van broken down on the road,” and they can’t even afford a hotel to hang out in. That’s a fuckin’ bummer and we could totally do that if we wanna do that, but at the same time we all graduated college with student loan debt that’s unbelievable so weren't not gonna go on tour and not earn any income and lose all our money for a decent amount of time. That would really fuck us up if we could come home to nothing. So, we’re doing it smart.
So the record just came out a few weeks ago?
Yeah, three weeks ago. It’s been slowly getting people’s attention. It’s fucking awesome. Every time someone hits me up and they’re like, “I like your record,” I’m shocked. Like I can’t believe it. It’s cool to see those things. The things Paper + Plastick has done have been awesome. Everything is great. It’s cool to see bands like Pentimento doing so well with their vinyl and Paper + Plastick skulls. I get stoked for them. I've never met them, but I just get stoked for them. It makes me excited that we’re associated with these people who really like music and are getting into it. I think that’s awesome.
So the reaction has been pretty positive from the fans and what not?
Yeah dude. It’s funny. Like every review has been really good.
Well it’s good that you’re getting such a great reaction, I’m sure you guys are anxious to take it out on the road.
Dude, that’s all we wanna do. Every time I take a shitty job that I don’t wanna do I think that this is just for touring. It’s never anything else. Everything is just put away in a fund I have for touring, which is cool. It’s also cool because when we go on tour our record will have already been out so the kids will be able to know the words to our new songs and it will be rad to see anyone singing along. It’s the best. We've been playing the new songs a little bit and it sucks because we've been out. When we play live, we really want the same reaction, which is hard when no one knows the words or know how they go. I don’t wanna play old songs anymore, I wanna play new ones. You know the struggle? I mean, I love playing the older songs. Don’t get me wrong. I wanna play our older songs, but doing a whole set of old songs when we know all these new songs we wanna play because they are better, it’s hard. I don’t mean to say our new shit is better than our old shit, because everyone says that, but I’d be the first one to admit that if it wasn't better than the other stuff that it still wasn't good. I think our other stuff is cool. I’m a fan of our band. So I think it’s all OK. I think our first record may be not so great, but you live and learn.
April 18, 2013
Tim the intern sat down with singer/guitarist Patrick Kennedy of Kent, Ohio's very own Light Years to discuss the pop punk scene, getting old and getting kicked out of venues in Richmond. You can download their newest EP Parking Lots here.
Pop punk bands have been making a name for themselves these last couple of years. With bands like the Wonder Years and Man Overboard, these bands are playing huge tours and getting a lot of attention from the kids and as far as Light Years is concerned how do you guys think you fit into that scene or how you set yourself apart from that scene?
Just by looking at a band like The Wonder Years, who is almost like a mainstream band. They are humongous now and Man Overboard, playing these big tours and are super big. Obviously, Light Years is nowhere near that level, but we’ve been touring and working just as hard. I saw The Wonder Years in a garage. My friend booked them in his house three or four years ago and now they’re playing sold out shows all over the world and it kind of gives me hope in a way. Its like, “Damn they played in my friend’s basement for 10 people and no one cared”, and now they’re doing that. I wouldn’t say we musical sound like the Wonder Years or Man Overboard. We definitely fall under this big pop punk umbrella and I think we are setting ourselves apart from a band at our level. I try to take cues from the bands I grew up listening to, which is what The Wonder Years and Man Overboard did instead of trying to copy the bigger bands of the scene now. I see a lot of bands doing that now, which is kind of disheartening but I think that’s what's gonna set us apart. We might not be as popular as we could be now because we don’t sound anything like The Wonder Years, but I think down the road it might pay off. If not, who knows.
I noticed you guys have a more, faster Fat Wreck/Epitaph-era band kind of sound. How much of an influence does that kind of sound have on you guys?
NOFX was one of my favorite bands growing up and I still listen to them regularly and I think was a big influence on how fast we play. Also the way NOFX kind of did their harmonies, because Fat Mike couldn’t sing at all and it was kind of cool that he used a lower harmony and I thought that was always cool and a trademark of theirs. I kind of try to do that because I’m also not the best singer and that era of punk was kind of what opened my eyes to this faster pop punk that could be played. I’m a big fan of Lifetime and The Movielife, you know more melodic, but that’s kind of what we aim to honor.
So, you guys are from Kent, Ohio, correct?
Yeah, that’s kind of where we all started. We’ve kind of moved to various cities around there. It’s like Akron/Kent, Ohio is what we call home.
I’ve never really heard of any bands from that area. What is the scene like there? If there is one.
It’s cool because we have Cleveland, which is like 45 minutes away and that’s a great scene for every style of music, but it’s cool because Kent and Akron are more like college towns so there’s a lot of house shows. There’s a big band out here called Anabelle who are our friends and we play shows together and play shows with pop punk bands. It’s a pretty open community of people who just like to go to shows. Like, our friend is having a party or a house show and there are three different bands on one show.
Growing up in the scene, did you see yourself going more to the outside cities, like Cleveland?
Yeah, Cleveland was where I would always go to shows. That was the big stop, which is cool because in our area it’s only a 45 minute straight drive down the highway and you’re there. As I got older I found the house shows in Akron around the corner from me, but when I was young I didn’t know about those shows. I was like “What? You can have a show in a house?”
How much of an influence does where you are from have on your writing or your music in general?
I think lyrically, especially on the new record, I wrote a lot about growing up in the city where we are from. We just put out a video for a song and we actually went to some of the spots that I referenced in it. It’s really cool, especially since it’s so nostalgic when I go back there. So I guess lyrically it definitely has influenced me and all the people that I used to know that moved away. Musically I don’t think was really a sound of Cleveland. There aren’t a lot of big bands from Cleveland, besides metal bands and Integrity, but definitely lyrically I wanted to write about my hometown without being too cheesy.
I saw in May there you guys are playing three days with Boysetsfire. How did that tour come about?
Phil who runs Black Numbers, who is gonna do the CD version of our new record, hit up our booking agent and said he was gonna try and get us those shows and I was like, “Oh I doubt we would get on that,” I mean, it’s Boysetsfire! That would be crazy, but then we got the offer and we were like, “Holy crap!” That’s gonna be really cool. I’m actually really excited for those shows and getting to play alongside that band. No Trigger is playing too and I really like them and playing cool, legit venues and not some random bar. Like every time we play in New York City it’s at a bar and nobody cares, but now we’re playing Webster Hall, so that’s pretty cool. I’m really excited for that.
Has Boysetsfire had any influence on you guys at all? Are you a big fan or just a casual fan?
The band isn’t a huge influence musically, but as a band that was a main force of the scene in the early 2000s. I respect them, but musically we aren’t a melodic hardcore band or anything. I do remember them being in a Tony Hawk game or something like that and I was like, “Damn, this is cool.” So just to get to play with a band, who I think is almost at a legendary status, is an honor.
Also, on that tour Pentimento is playing a few of the dates. Have you played with them before? Do you know them personally?
Oh yeah. We spent a lot of time with Pentimento. We did a full U.S. tour with them and then had a week off and did two months in with Europe with them. We spent two months with just Pentimento, so we know them pretty well.
Last week, I interviewed Mike from Pentimento and we were talking about the whole controversy with their record label. Were you guys around them when this was all going down?
That happened right after. They put out that split on Panic right when we went on tour with them so they were still cool with Panic. Tim came out to a show, he was kind of a weird guy, but whatever and after we got home all that stuff went down. They were telling us they didn’t wanna be with Panic and he’s not doing this and whatnot. After that it blew up. Honestly, I think it almost helped them. Putting out their record their own way and on their own terms. I thought it was really cool. That must have been a hard time for sure. Having a record and not being able to put it out.
What do you think you could learn or any band out there could learn from the situation that Pentimento was in?
I know through their contract they had to put out multiple releases and for us Paper and Plastick is like our first real deal record label. We had a friend put out our record with his label out of Cleveland called Escapist for our last EP. It was great and he did a great job. And with Paper and Plastick they wanna work with us one record at a time and you gotta think about it like a business. You really gotta think about your future, like “Am I gonna stuck in a Panic Records like deal?” Almost like someone is gonna try and trap you per se. I guess it’s fine to do, but not at that level. It was like their first release. I don’t know, I’m not really good on that end of the band. I like giving out everything for free, but only if I could somehow go out on tour too. It’s a bad situation when you don’t really trust the other person, because like we had a handshake deal with our last guy and it worked out fine. He’s our good friend and then we met everyone at Paper and Plastick and were they cool. I think you have to like the person who’s doing it. If money is too big of a factor, you might get screwed.
So I guess the lesson to learn after Pentimento is just be aware of what’s going on?
Yeah even if you’re a small punk band you can still fall into the lawsuits. You’re not safe.
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you guys live. You seem to come to Orlando a lot. What is it about Florida that you guys like so much? Have you had a good experience here?
Since our first tour we’ve always ended up making Orlando a stop or Tampa and Jacksonville. Like those three cities have really good scenes and promoters there that have always been willing to help. We aren’t a popular band, but they have always been like,”Yeah, we’ll try and get you as much money as we can.” They’ve always been pretty good and it definitely makes it worth the drive. There’s always a good show and we made some really good friends in Orlando that we talk to all the time. Jacksonville too and some good bands down there. We Still Dream is one of the bands we play with a lot and this newer band Old Again are pretty cool. It just seems like a good scene throughout the state. We definitely always try to make Orlando a place to play. Pembroke Pines is a really cool place down there too.
South Florida is an interesting place, because they have like a pop punk scene and then a hardcore scene and there’s a screamo revival post-hardcore thing going down there. It’s a supportive scene and the people are just really nice.
Yeah, that’s what we found. The first time we played Pembroke Pines we were on the bill with a straight up youth crew hardcore band and like a screamo band and everyone watched the bands. The hardcore band was playing and I was like, “Well, no one is gonna care about us,” but then they stuck around and picked up merch, which definitely doesn’t happen everywhere so Florida is doing pretty good.
So in regards to the next release is there an underlying theme to the new record?
Well, I’m in my mid-twenties and I was kind of having a quarter life crisis when we were writing this and I was really juggling wanting to be in a band, but I also might have to start having a quote unquote real life. How much longer can I have shitty jobs and go on tour for months and find a way to pay the rent. Am I just messing up my entire life? I’ve had a lot of bouts with that and growing up. Lyrically it’s more about wishing I might have not taken my youth for granted. You know, just an old guy whining about being old. At the same time I was like, “Can I still do the band?”, which is something I love to do, but also survive? We all live on our own and luckily I have a job that’s cool with me leaving and giving me a job when I come back. But I work at a pizza place. It’s not glamorous. I was scrubbing a floor last night, but it lets me go on tour. The record is about that and being old. And when I say being old, I mean like being 25 is old. Like when I was in high school 25 seemed so old.
Yeah, I just turned 26 so I know how you feel. I’m going through exactly what you’re going through.
Damn dude, you know. It’s horrible.
Do you feel like that’s just a common thing for people in their mid-twenties that anyone could pick up that record and be like, “That’s exactly how I feel right now.”
I hope. When I was writing it my friends on Facebook were like, “Just got a new job! Moving to Columbus! Can’t wait to start my career! Getting Married!” and I’m like, this is not in the cards for me. Sometimes I wonder, “Am I the only one that’s messed up?” It’s weird because most of my friends who are in the punk or hardcore community are like me. The kids who never listened to NOFX or Bane are like, “Yes, I am so happy with my 9 to 5 job!” You know? I would kill myself! I’m 25! I don’t know, it’s weird.
How has it been working with Paper and Plastick so far for this record?
It’s been great. They approached us about doing this and they were a legit label that I respected. Last time we were in Gainesville we went to the warehouse and one of my dreams was always to go to a label’s warehouse and pick out stuff and take it. It was the greatest feeling and just the support we’ve received. They are good people have a good track record, but it’s really cool and I think they’re doing really cool stuff. It’s a good fit for us too.
How has the reaction to the new songs been?
So far so good. I’m always nervous putting our new stuff up but our music video got a decent amount of plays and people were telling me that they liked it. There was only one bad Youtube comment and I was like “Wow!” I don’t know if that’s good though. I’ve always heard that if you don’t have haters you’re doing it wrong, so we’ll see.
How has been the reaction live?
We played it for the first time at Stay Sweet at Richmond and there’s a couple of kids who knew that song and it’s only been out for like a week. I can’t wait to start playing the new songs live.
How was Stay Sweet?
We kind of had a bad planning. We couldn’t play anything on the way so we just drove eight hours down to Richmond to play and then had to drive home This is the second time we’ve played and Stay Sweet is awesome. A lot of our friends bands play and a lot of the people there are really nice. The dude who runs it, Alex is the man and I’m glad he lets us play. This year though we got in a little trouble. The venue is very cool and in the basement they have a keg of beer and food for the band. Next to the beer though were two cases of Red Bull and our guitar player just assumed it was for the bands and took four of them and gave them us. Five hours later a guy comes up and is like, “You took all the Red Bulls!” and we’re like, “What? We thought they were for the bands,” and he’s like, “No, you gotta pack up your shit and leave!” We tried paying for them but he was like, “Nope, you’re gone.” So I don’t know if that was punk or rude, but we honestly didn’t know. There were some bands we wanted to see on Sunday, but we had to leave. I wish it happened later in the weekend, but we were there for like 6 hours and got kicked out. Fuck it, bad boys dude. I was kind of embarrassed.
April 11, 2013
Pentimento have been through a lot these last few months. Between legal disputes and tours with Candy Hearts they still managed to release their self titled full length on their own in November and still managed to remain resilient. Tim the intern sat down with drummer Mike to discuss the ups and downs. Their self titled LP is still up for pre-order here.
You guys just got back from the March Radness Tour with Candy Hearts and Allison Weiss. How did that tour go for you guys?
Actually, this was a great tour for us. It was an interesting opportunity considering the stylistic differences between us. So, the range of genre all across the board was the opposite end of the spectrum. Normally, I don’t think this would make any sort of sense. It was a great opportunity to have a diverse line-up, which was really nice and and everyone who came out got to enjoy a lot of different styles, as opposed to bands that are on a tour package that all sound exactly alike. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but this is a great opportunity for us to kind of branch out and we learned a lot from watching those bands every night. Candy Hearts absolutely killed it every single show so that was really cool. It was just a great opportunity to open ourselves to their fans and vice-versa for the kids who were coming out to see us to be exposed to those bands, because they are both excellent bands.
Overall, the tour was awesome. This was the best tour we’ve been on so far. We got a chance to do a lot of cool things and see a bunch of cool places and meet a lot of great people. We got to go to Disney when we were in Florida, which was really nice and it was an excellent tour for sure from top to bottom.
How did you guys get hooked up with that tour?
Allison Weiss and Candy Hearts had been planning on doing this tour and Candy Hearts and us have been close for awhile and have tried to plan tours together for awhile, but it just never worked out. So, when the opportunity arose for this tour, their manager gave us a call.
Was it a diverse crowd as far as the fans go?
Allison Weiss and Candy Hearts both have a heavy female draw which was really cool. So, we got to play to other people who might have not been able to check us out. That would be the point of tour at all. You get to meet new faces and people who enjoy your music that might have not heard it before.
How was the reaction to female-fronted bands like that? Did you see a positive reaction to it or more of a negative reaction to it?
I would definitely say the reaction is positive. I don’t think there was anyone that would have came out and ignored Allison Weiss or Candy Hearts on-stage just because they were female. If anything, I feel like that would have generated an interest. As unfortunate as it is, it’s not that common to see bands with a girl singer playing guitar. So I would say it definitely spiked interest. I was certainly interested in seeing what it was gonna be like. It wasn’t a deterrent at all and it was a benefit for people who have never seen those bands before. It’s just cool and it’s attractive. It was interesting.
Especially for someone like Allison. I’m sure you are aware of when she was posting on that band For Today’s Facebook page. Was Allison confrontational about that kind of thing on stage?
No, I don’t think I noticed anything like that. Allison is a very strong minded and outspoken individual, which is something we all appreciate about her and her opinions, as personal as they may be, they certainly matter in the world of punk rock or indie music or whatever you wanna call it and just in general. What she has to say is not only important for people like herself, but for everyone to hear no matter what background or gender you identify with or what your sexual orientation is. Her choice to do something like that and speak out against something she thinks is wrong is totally her decision and whether or not we agree with it is totally irrelevant. I don’t think she’s ignorant or confrontational about it and she’s entitled to her opinion and as a band and as individuals we respect that of course. It was never weird on tour, Allison is great. She’s extremely normal and very friendly and very sweet. So, whatever was said about For Today was probably brash because of the comment that they have come under fire for was something she didn’t like so she was standing up for that and that’s great and I wouldn’t call it confrontational at all.
So, no one came to the shows all mad at her or anything?
No, of course not. That shit doesn’t happen man.
So, you guys are from Buffalo, New York. What is the scene like in Buffalo?
We’re very lucky. We have a lush punk rock scene now, especially now that we’ve seen a resurgence of the amount of kids who are attending shows just for the sake of going to a show. New venues spring up here and there. We took a blow by losing the Mohawk Place, which is a legendary punk rock venue around here and it’s great to see everyone working hard despite losing a cornerstone like that. We’ve been going to shows since we were kids. So, it’s really great to see so many new bands popping up all the time and so many kids are really going for it and asking questions and being involved by not only playing in bands, but also going to shows and supporting. That’s one of those things we’ve enjoyed as a band in our time together is a very healthy support system from our friends and family here at home and seeing a lot of new faces at shows singing along with us makes us feel special because in recent years Buffalo has been a very fickle town, especially when it comes to local bands so to have the support at home is a great feeling.
When I think of Buffalo, I think of bands like Lemuria and stuff like that. How much of an influence is a band like that on you guys?
Growing up in Buffalo we got Every Time I Die and their level of success is incredible. We watched the Goo Goo Dolls grow and still see a couple of those guys around the city. We recorded in a studio that Robby from Goo Goo Dolls owns and operates, so we see him quite often. He’s still involved in the Buffalo arts and they go to shows when they can, which is really cool and he’s very involved. We see Andy Williams at shows and we see Lemuria as well, who just continue to grow right before our eyes, which is really cool. Polar Bear Club is from a town 45 minutes away, which is another band that enjoyed the fruits of going to a band that brings out 200 kids a night. It’s inspiring and we take note and we are influenced by everything around us. Buffalo is a great town for music and we are certainly lucky to live in a place that’s so healthy. It’s thriving. There’s definitely a heartbeat here, which we got to keep in mind because if we didn’t use it as an influence then we may not be where we are at. Not that we are a huge band or anything, but it’s definitely helped our band grow around us. Just fucking do it and go for it and that’s a special thing to be from a town where so much of that has gone on. It’s really beautiful man.
Would you consider Buffalo a smaller town?
Yeah, Buffalo is definitely a big little city. Everywhere takes 15 minutes to go get to. It’s nothing crazy, but we do have here is special. There’s a lot of history here, a lot of architecture. A lot of things going on, especially in the arts. There is definitely a lot to appreciate about Buffalo.
It’s no surprise there’s been a big controversy with your last album that came out in November with all the legal troubles, so for the people who may not be aware of what happened, could you maybe give a little summary of what exactly happened?
What it came down to in the end was, our band wanted to release a record that we felt very strong about. Our former label was not on the same page with us and there was a lot of miscommunication and a lot of shady things that we thought were happening and we were not comfortable. My short answer to as why this album rolled out the way we did is because we had to do what was right for Pentimento, period. And we are so lucky to have a label like Paper and Plastick, a label like Black Numbers, Ice Grills in Japan and Coffeebreath and Heartache over in Europe to help us with this release even though it came out in a really unconventional way. The important thing to us was to get the music out. So as cheesy and cliche as that may sound, that’s exactly what we did. Posting it for free and paying the studio bill off was something we were proud and happy to do because we were making the right choice for us. So despite what legal trouble has arisen or may come about in the future, we can rest easy knowing that we made the right choice for Pentimento at that time.
How was the initial reaction to the announcement of releasing the album yourself?
Without exaggerating the way that it was at all I can tell you that when we posted the announcement and I posted the record and people started to take note of what was happening and sending us messages and donating I was in my office at the time at work and I put my head in my hands and cried. I couldn’t believe a small band like us was receiving that sort of attention. All the news sources and all the bands and everything that posted about it and tried to make people aware of the situation and let everyone know what was going on. That was really something and with that statement we certainly weren’t trying to attract attention as a PR move. We just wanted people to know exactly what the deal was and why there was so much mystery behind the release of the record and why dates kept changing for the release of the record and shit like that. We then made an announcement with Paper and Plastick and then of course it had to be retracted because of the legal issue we had in the first place so it was an incredible experience. I think this whole time I’ve been a musician or been in bands, the only thing I ever wanted to do was somehow make my mark on this whole punk rock thing and it was like with that we were able to do something real. We did something that we can look back on and tell our grandkids. Holy fuck, this one time we pulled a move and we decided to be punk as fuck about it and do something that was gonna make a difference and we actually had a chance to do that. We still have kids that say,”Oh hey, I downloaded your record for free, but I didn’t wanna just take it. I feel like I need to pay for it,” and things like that that blow me down. Of course other people donated generously to the cause and that helps out a ton, but we would get messages from people who donated $2 or $3 and would just say, “Look, this is all I had in my bank account and I wanted you to have it because I believe in this band and I believe in this record.” That’s the sort of thing that sort of made us beside ourselves at that point. That’s something that you look at and realize these things don’t happen everyday. This is real life unfolding before your eyes. This is someone who literally emptied their bank account just so your stupid fucking band can feel better about it’s shit situation. That was definitely heavy and my heart is very full to this day and not just from all the positive reviews we got from the record. We got a lot of people saying it was in the running for album of the year. We made a lot of year-end lists and everything and that’s really special because we didn’t want it to be so much about the drama surrounding the record. We wanted to be about the record and people enjoying the content of the record and people really did and that’s an incredible feeling.
After going through all of this, do you have any advice for bands who wanna sign to labels and what not?
I would actually lift some advice from Vinnie. We were in the warehouse during the weekend of Fest and he told us to always be smart, articulate and passionate about what we do with every endeavour. Make sure we are doing what is right for our band and that stuck with us and resonated with us deeply, because it’s really easy to get ahead of yourself and try and please everyone when you’re in a band that’s trying to grow. You want to make sure everyone is happy. Everyone that likes your band is happy, everybody who supports your band is happy, every booking agent, every promoter, every label, every PR guy, every manager, etc. But you can’t forget that you started a band for a reason. You started a band to have a good time and a lot of the time it’s very short lived. So my advice to anybody that’s in a band or wants to start a band or is experiencing growth in a band is just to do what’s right for you. Go with your gut because 99 percent of the time that’s exactly the right decision and like Vinnie said, always be smart, articulate and passionate because that’s the the thing that’s gonna help you get ahead. It’s gonna keep your feet on the ground and keep your head in the right spot especially if you have to deal with anything like we did. To go through something like that as a very young band was an eye opening experience, but I’m not gonna sit here and tell you, “Oh, don’t ever sign with a record label and don’t ever do this or another thing,” because that’s the situation. It happened and we’re over it and whatever is gonna happen in the future because of it, well that’s kind of out of our hands, but what’s important is to remember that right now is the only thing that really truly matters and no one’s gonna be able to give you a right answer about anything and it’s just what’s right for you as an individual and as a band. That would be my advice for sure.
The record is about to come out on Paper and Plastick very soon. How have the pre-orders been so far?
We’re really lucky to have sold so many copies. I don’t know what the exact number is, but I know Vinnie and Thomas are very happy so that makes us happy as well. The numbers aren’t what really matters. The important thing is that the record was able to come to life and it’s just exciting.
Have you seen the little skulls they have for the packaging?
Yeah, that’s such a cool idea. It’s a really interesting thing to have as a collectors item, not only because it’s identifiable with the little skull and the P’s and everything, but they also coincide with the colors of the record and that’s just awesome.
April 4, 2013
Tim the intern sat down with Albany, NY's own After the Fall to discuss the Albany punk rock scene, their newest record Unkind and being a band for well over a decade. You can stream and order the full album here.
After the Fall is a rather popular band name, what made you guys choose it?
We were 15 and two of us had been in a band called Downfall (also a popular band name) before ATF so that held some meaning. We also had met each other at the Saratoga Warped Tour in 2000 where we saw an amazing band from Arizona called Bueno and they had a song titled “After the Fall.” When we started, to my knowledge there was only one other punk band with the same name and they were from Corpus Christi, Texas and that band broke up. We later found out about the Australian ATF, which didn't really matter to us since we were on opposite sides of the planet. We should have picked a more unique or more original name in retrospect but After the Fall stuck and we're cool with that.
You recently toured with Anchors from Australia down to the Fest in Gainesville, how was your experience at Fest? Was this the first time you guys have played down there or was it something you were familiar with?
That was ATF's fifth year in a row playing Fest and we always have a blast. We sent Cam our record Fort Orange, he liked what he heard and he got us on Fest 7 last minute which was amazing and Tony has been nice enough to welcome us back each year since. Tony also had us play Harvest of Hope Fest which was a great time as well.
Our tour with Anchors last October was a blast. They toured with us around Australia the year before so we were more than happy to have them tour with us here. Those guys are some of the best people we have ever met.
Over the last ten years, how much has the Albany punk scene changed or stayed the same? Is it an ever evolving scene or is it more stagnant?
It always changes. There are great people and bands that come and go, as well as venues and promoters. However, it's a cool small city with a lot of history. It was more active in the 90's and early 00's but I also think punk scene's everywhere have changed a little. Internet, iTunes, and social media have changed the game for those of us who used to make a demo or mix tapes and go to record stores on Tuesdays to get a new release, or make print flyers for shows and pass them out everywhere. I'm not saying people don't still do these things but it happens a lot less. And people are a little over saturated with bands now being shoved in your face. I used to get excited to read the new Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll or Thrasher and discover new bands. I can’t say I feel the same way on Facebook or Punknews and I think our scene has lost a little integrity over the years. We had a thriving punk scene with bands like Devoid of Faith, Disenchanted, Monster x, and Police Line. Gloom Records from Albany did a lot of amazing records. Then we had Rockets and Blue Lights who brought everyone together from all sides. In the 80's bands like Black Flag and Dag Nasty and Descendents played here. In the early 00's we opened shows for bands like Rise Against and Hot Water Music. Now we’re a little stagnant but there's a few good bands now and Loud Punk Records who are holding it down.
According to Wikipedia, Albany has been “ruled” by the Democratic Party since the 1920s. Do the “progressive” ideas of the DNC have an influence on the music in the scene? Or perhaps your own song writing?
They may, I never really noticed. Albany is a political city and I do think that affects the attitude and ideas of everyone around.
Speaking of “progressive” music, you recently got to play with Propagandhi for a few shows. How was it playing with such an influential band? How much of an influence is that band for you guys?
It was a great show. Todd is a great guy and friend of mine. He reached out to us and we were honored. They are a huge influence to us in every way. We strive to live better lifestyles and play better music every time they release a new record. Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes came out right before ATF started and I'd be lying if I said it didn't have a HUGE impact on our band.
On the new record there is a song called “Decade” and in it you talk about being a band for over ten years. For many bands today ten years is a long time to keep the band together. What have you learned from spending that time together in this band?
Well we have learned a few things, I guess. We never changed our sound to fit with our peers, locally or globally. We always just played the kind of music we listen to, but I think doing it for yourself and sticking with your friends is the only way. We could have been in other bands who had big labels or went on package tours or Warped Tours, but we cared more about our friendship and making music we like. I have friends who tour the world playing in horrible big bands and I can honestly say I'd rather be in a basement with my friends. We've been through so much together; car accidents, jobs and health problems have almost kept us down, but we seem to keep it going. And we've never been happier. We met at Saratoga Warped Tour in 2000 waiting in line. And going to see Good Riddance at noon when they opened the gates and then seeing NOFX, AFI and Millencolin. I suppose that day changed our lives and shaped our friendship.
How was writing for the new album as a four piece rather than a three piece?
Back to the way it was. Our regular formula, we loved it and our bass player Will wrote a lot for the record which was rad.
Is there a theme to the new record?
There is not a theme, but it's a pretty angry and dark record. While writing and recording my dog Tilburg had just died and I had just gotten out of a six year relationship. So there's a little less politics and a little more emotion on this LP.
Why did you guys choose to go with Paper + Plastick for this release? What about the label attracted you to it?
P+P is a great label with all types of artists. We are honored to be part of it. We had spoken with Vinnie years ago about our prior release Eradication and when our older label stopped being a label, we met with Vinnie at Fest 10 and he was into the idea of working together, so we made it happen. I was extremely excited to do our next record with someone who has been doing a band and label for years and years and he knows the in's and out's and has seen all the changes over the years. It really felt right. We couldn't be happier. I think we always had a dream of being on Fat Wreck Chords as kids but as time passes we realized that wouldn't happen and that this is a better fit for us.
February 18, 2013
March 21 // Hoosier Dome // Indianapolis, IN
March 22 // Fubar // St. Louis, MO
March 23 // Moe’s Original // Englewood, CO
March 24 // The Salt Haus // Salt Lake City, UT
March 25 // Liquid Lounge // Boise, ID
March 26 // Red room // Portland, OR
March 27 // The Two-Bit Saloon // Seattle, WA
March 28 // Musichead // Medford, OR
March 29 // Gilman Street Theatre // Berkley, CA
March 30 // Slide Bar // Los Angeles,CA (free show)
March 31 // The Yard // San Diego, CA
April 1 // Tempe Tavern // Tempe,AZ
April 3 // Township // Chicago, IL
February 4, 2013
Check out Aspiga on their upcoming tour. Here are the dates:
-February 9th at Wilder Zang - Lowell, MA w/ Heartwell
-February 10th at The Stood at SUNY - Purchase, NY w/ Heartwell
-February 22nd at Church of Abraham - Richmond, VA w/ Heartwell
-February 23rd at That's How I Beat Shaq - Virginia Beach, VA w/ Heartwell, Trustfall
-February 24th at Casa Fiesta - Washington D.C. w/ Heartwell
-March 2nd at Cooler Ranch - New Brunswick, NJ w/ The Young Leaves and Brick Mower
-Stay Sweet Fest: Part III
The Camel - 1621 W. Broad St.
-Pouzza Fest 2013
October 12, 2012
This is We Are The Union's newest full-length record, it's out on October 16 (this Tuesday!!) but the vinyl is shipping later on. However if you>preorder the album, you'll get an immediate digital download of the entire record right away!
First, check out the full album stream on AltPress.com!
Then, if you like it, preorder the album! You have three different vinyl variants you can choose from!