2008 has been a wild year. Much has been accomplished over the last couple months with this blog. Both Matt and I and lily have worked really hard, and I am excited to do a ton of more interviews in the upcoming 2009 year. Thanks for all the support.
The last W-B Early Birds show will take place Thursday, January 10th at the Black Lodge in Kingston. Force Fed, Cold Snap and Aneurysm Rats are also playing. $5 dollars.
also, make sure you peep the new Bad Seed track, www.myspace.com/badseedpa
1. How did Run For Cover records come about? What other labels did you model RFC after?
I grew up ordering stuff from Bridge9, Deathwish, Revelation, and Dead By 23 as much as I could. It never bothered me that it literally took months for my Dead By 23 stuff to come because whenever it did those records became my new favorite records each time. Not that it was even that long ago, but it was still before paypal, high tech webstores, etc, and I never had a credit card at that age, so I would just send whatever cash I had at the time and hope for the best. I was blown away by so many records I received around the ages of 14 to 16 in the early 2000’s. The Dedication 7”, Horror Show – Our Design, the Frostbite 7”, American Nightmare – Self Titled, all that stuff blew my mind, and because of it grew my fascination with records and record labels.
I had a friend from California named Alex who played in a band called These Days. They wanted to record an EP so I told them I would put it out, and everything went from there. Although that These Days EP will always hold a special spot in my heart as it was the first Run For Cover release, and subsequently the first tour I went on (These Days / Lifelong Tragedy tour 2004), things didn’t really get rolling strong with Run for Cover until the This Is Hell EP came out about 6 months later. We got 200 pre-orders, gave the band a good chunk of them, sold a bunch through Revelation and Interpunk, and before I knew it two months had gone by and we were pretty much sold out of 500 records. That is what made me stop and think, “I wonder if I can keep doing this.”
2. You just recently signed two highly respected up and coming bands, Title Fight from Wilkes-Barre Pa and Transit from Massachusetts. How has it been working with those two bands soo far? What are you looking at in the way of releases from those two bands?
Both Title Fight and Transit are bands I had known about long before I thought about seriously working with them. I first saw Title Fight a few years ago while on tour with Fireworks and Set Your Goals. Title Fight played the Wilkes-Barre show and for days we listened to their side of the split CD they gave us on repeat, and talked about how good they were and how young they were. Fireworks’ friend/roadie Justin literally played the Title Fight songs over and over every time he was driving and would incessantly tell me I needed to sign them. Almost exactly two years later that happened. In December Title Fight will be making their way here to record with Jay Maas at Getaway Studios. If you don’t know Jay Maas he is the best dude ever and records a bunch of awesome records. They will be recording a few songs for new 7” release, which will also be seeing the light of day on CD coupled with their last two releases; Kingston and split with The Erection Kids.
Transit is a band that I had heard, but never really paid a whole lot of attention to. It was obvious to me and many other people that they had a ton of potential, but nothing really grabbed my attention until their full length was released on Barrett Records last year, which is when we started talking. I had no idea they were as young as they were, and I had no idea how good they were going to get. They are a music writing machine, which is great, because that’s how bands get better, and they know that. They recorded a 7 song CDep, also with Jay Maas, called Stay Home this past summer and it will be out in January. It is nothing short of incredible. A huge plus to having them on RFC is that they are the first local band to the label, which makes a lot of things easier. We all hang out pretty frequently and it’s cool to have that sort of relationship and catch their shows.
3. What other fun things does Run For Cover have planned for the new year? Is 2009 the year RFC goes mainstream?
Although we have only put out two records this year, it will be four by the end of the year with the This Is Hell / Nightmare of You split 7” and Agent – Awake in Their World 7”/Digital EP officially being out and in stores by December. As for 2009, January will see the release of Transit - Stay Home CD/Digital EP, as well as our first real full-length release, Death is Not Glamorous – Soft Clicks. I couldn’t be more excited for that record and am glad to have it as our first full length. It only took 13 or so releases. Also the first quarter of 2009 will see the new Title Fight 7”/CD as well as more than one Fireworks release which we will have more news on soon.
Is this the year we go mainstream? I guess it depends on what you mean, but the answer is probably “no” either way. Although we have slightly changed paths from the solely hardcore records that make up our first four releases, we will never be releasing shitty makeup wearing, Christian mall rock. It is apparent to me, and anyone that has ever met the dudes in Fireworks / This Time Next Year that they are closer to your average punk/hardcore in mentality, appearance and performance than they are to shitty Warped Tour bands with girl hair, dance moves, and huge sunglasses. If you can’t see the difference between Fireworks and All Time Low, you just don’t get it, and that’s fine.
4. RFC has put out some pretty stellar releases so far, including releases by bands like the Agent and more well known bands like Crime In Stereo, This Is Hell and Nightmare Of You. Was is it your idea from the get go to keep Run For Cover as diverse as possible while maintaining the best roster you possibly could?
It’s funny you mention diversity because for the past few years I have thought the exact opposite. I think if someone likes Crime in Stereo or Fireworks they are pretty much guaranteed to like Title Fight, Agent, and Transit. I think most of our bands appeal to a very specific audience and that’s fine with me. I hope kids check out our new bands and releases simply because they like our old ones.
Back to the idea of diversity, I do see why you would say that. As a whole we have put out a lot of different sounding stuff. What’s funny is that arguably the two most different sounding bands we have worked with are now on a split 7” together. Weird, but awesome.
5. Is there any band that you could have had the chance to work with, but slipped away? Is there any band past or present you would kill to work with?
I think Lie and Wait from TX is one of the best hardcore bands going. I would love to work with them. Lucky for them they have a bunch of releases on my friend Sam’s awesome label, Triple B.
I am happy to say that there aren’t really any bands I have talked to and regretted not working with. It’s awesome to not be kicking myself over anything like that. I have learned that if I am not 100% sold on working with a band, to not do it. Sure I have talked to some bands that ended up doing fairly well and could have been good for the label, but it didn’t feel right at the time.
If I could pick one band to put out a record for, it would probably be Lifetime…or Pantera.
6. Top 5 essential RFC outputs. Your personal top 5 records.
I am going to assume are referring to records we have released. That’s sort of hard because we only have 15 or so releases, but I will give you a top 3.
1. Fireworks – We are Everywhere: The budget for recording and production of this record was about five times more than any other record we had done. Fireworks were a very new band at the time and it was definitely risky to put pretty much all the money I had at the time into them. I was there throughout the recording of the record and the following tours, and it was just cool to see something grow that all of us (the band and I) obviously believed in. I would guess this will always remain as our #1 important record. 2. These Days – Death Sentence 7”: Like I explained earlier this record is infinitely important for many reasons, from the friendships made to the learning experience of putting out my first record, this is where it started. 3. This Is Hell – S/T 7”: This record did better than I ever could have imagined at the time (even if it only sold 500 copies at first), and made me excited to keep putting out records.
7. It seems like there is a pop punk trend going around in the hardcore scene, with what seems like hundreds of new "pop punk" bands springing up everyday. With that being said, it's no secret that RFC has the biggest and best pop punk/melodic hardcore bands going right now. Do you get a lot of bands that want to put stuff out on your label? Has there been any bands that you've heard and just said "fuck i NEED to sign this band"? How do you let the not-so-good bands down?
We get demos in the mail everyday. It sucks because it says on our website “Please do not send us demos,” so people are just wasting their time, and I feel bad. A lot of bands are young and just don’t understand how it works. Tons of bands just send demos to either every label they know of, or the ones that have bands they like. I hate to discourage young kids, but we really don’t listen to the demos we get, and I know a lot of labels would say the same. Even if the demo was incredible, that isn’t good enough reason for me to drop thousands of dollars of my own money into it. There is a ton of other factors that go into a decision like that, and I am not talking about what they look like or how marketable they are. If you want your band to be heard, have good recordings and tour.
8. I know RFC is fairly new label, but has illegal downloading affected you at all? What about the current economic crisis? We are a new label, but even when we first started in 2004, you couldn’t google search the name of a record and download it immediately, or find literally every new release on Waffles or Oink or whatever as soon as it is released. So in that regard things have changed for the worse in the last few years. We are definitely affected by it. How much, I am not sure. I try not to think about it, or get too caught up in it. The current “economic crisis’ on the other hand is hitting as hard as everyone else. Postage costs suck. United Record Pressing are adding 12% surcharges to every order now. It’s ridiculous.
9. Are there any advantages to being the dude behind the band instead of the dude IN the band? I am pretty sure there isn’t.
10. Shout Outs? Thank you for asking me to do an interview.
1. What is your name, and what do you do in Polar Bear Club?
My name is Jimmy and I sing.
2.There is something I have always speculated about, but i just want to set the record straight. Everyone knows that "Polar Bear Club" by Silent Majority is the best melodic hardcore song ever, so...is that in fact where you guys came up with the moniker, and if so, how has a band like Silent Majority paved the way for bands like yourselves?
We did in fact get our name from the SM song. That band set the bar high for punk and hardcore bands. For me, it's all about the singer, Tommy. His voice is ideal. A perfect, natural mix of singing and screaming. The vocals aren't black and white and it's a lot more interesting to me.
3. You guys played Fest this past weekend. How was that experience? Is this your first time playing the Fest and if not, how does the response compare to last year?
This was our first time playing the fest and it was the absolute highlight of this tour. Most places we travel to there are at least a couple people there who are really pumped to see us. The fest was a culmination of all those people across the U.S. and even England and Japan. Our show was packed and everyone was really happy to see us. You can't ask for better.
4. It's no secret that you guys tour the fuck out, and it doesn't look like it's going to let up until at least a little bit in January, then back out in February and March. How do you guys sustain so long on the road? Is it liberating being able to jam on a bunch of songs, new and old, as opposed to just an ep's worth of songs?
I am not sure how we sustain on the road. You just make yourself do it I guess. But yeah, it's really nice to have a set that is pretty evenly made up of EP songs and full length songs. Kids seem to be responding to both.
5. I was reading in the Polar Bear blog and there was an entry about when you played Wilkes-Barre (my home town) that the kids were reacting more toward the new songs, which you said was a first for the tour. Have you found that as you've been touring more and more, that that seems to be the case? What's the craziest show you've played this touring cycle. Any duds?
Yeah. Like I said, the response for ep and full length songs has been pretty equal. If anything, kids seem to go off more for the EP songs but they aren't mute for the full length songs. The Fest was definitely the craziest show we played. Columbus, Albany, San Fransisco and Phoenix stick out also as awesome shows. And yes there have been plenty of duds. A lot of the shows leading up to the Fest were duds but even those shows had some people there excited to see us. They may not have been losing their minds but they were happy to be listening to us play and that is awesome.
6. Speaking of your latest record, Sometimes Things Just Disappear, kids and critics alike having being going apeshit over it, some even calling it the "most important" melodic hardcore record of the last decade. Was it your intention to write a classic hardcore record? What do you think the major differences between your Ep (The Redder The Better) and the full length are?
It wasn't our intention to write a classic hardcore record but It was our intention to write an album that we were into. We really just wanted to make something we were proud of. I'm not sure if it is a classic hardcore record or not but I am proud of it. I think the major differences from EP to full length is in the members. We changed drummers and guitarist going into STJD and that had a huge impact on things.
7. Has the PREVIOUS (finally) political administration played any part in the maturing of the sound from ep to album? What else has influenced the sound on the record? Any recording plans for the new year?
I don't think politics has much to do with our sound. We're influenced by music. Not just music though. Movies, books and plays influence me a lot. We are really hoping to record our next full length in April but it is all super tentative so it will probably change.
8. What got you guys into punk and hardcore? How is the scene in Rochester now/how was it growing up? What bands made you realize that you punk and hardcore would be in your life for a long time? Any bands you're currently siked on?
Some of the first bands that got me into punk were like Pennywise, Less Than Jake, NOFX ya know, pretty standard shit. But the scene in Rochester when I was like 15 and 16 was thriving and me making music has so much to do with the local punk bands in Rochester. Just the mere discovery that there were awesome, aggressive DIY bands in my city blew me away. I am really siked on Attack in Black right now and Able Baker Fox. We are playing shows with A Wilhelm Scream right now and holy fuck they're good. Also The Swellers and Broadway Calls and Crime in Stereo.
9. if one day you woke up and Polar Bear Club had never existed, what would you be doing with yourself?
I probably would be Acting. I know that sounds super lame but I am really into theatre so there.
When i started this i planned on doing only hardcore bands but this band put out probably my favorite record of 2008 so i thought id make an acception. Check them out (myspace.com/tigersjaw)
First, what is your name and what do you do in the band? How did you get into punk music?
Adam McIlwee, and I play guitar and sing. I got into punk music in sixth grade after going to my middle school's talent show and seeing a band (which Tom May from the Menzingers was in) cover "Roots Radicals" by Rancid. Later, I started going to the library and taking out dozens of CDs at a time, which exposed me to music that wasn't the same punk rock to which everyone else was listening. How did the band start?
I had met Ben a few months before we started tigers jaw, but the band actually started around the Winter of 2005. I played one of the last Conor-run Test Pattern shows with the Minor White, and Ben was there for that. A few days later, we began recording with Ben playing drums, and me singing and playing guitar. After a few quick lineup changes, Brianna joined, making tigers jaw a three-piece. We played a show with Three Man Cannon at Dennis's house before he was in the band, and shortly after that Dennis joined the band. Mike May drummed for us a bit before Pat joined last year, and we've kept the same lineup since. What are some of your guys influences? both lyrically and musically?
We've been heavily influenced by local music ever since we started, particularly those on Prison Jazz Records at the time, which included Okay Paddy, The Sw!ms, and The Green Chair. We also love Mount Eerie, Sonic Youth, Eric's Trip, Dinosaur Jr., and Archers of Loaf, although I don't know how much that comes through in our own songs. I can't speak for Ben, but I know that it's hard for me to try and write lyrics or sing like any particular artist, so I guess I gave up on that and attempted (and still attempt) to avoid trying to sound like or write like anyone else. You guys just put out a record on Prison Jazz, how has the reaction been? Do you have any other upcoming plans(records/tour)?
We haven't played too many shows since we released the CD, but so far the reaction has been positive. We are currently working on a 10" split with Rainbow Crow that Embassy Vinyl is putting out, as well as a possible 7", although we don't have anybody lined up to release that yet.
If you could play any show with any band past or present what would it be?
We have played with them before, but being able to do another show with Okay Paddy would be great, if only for the fact that it would mean being able to see them one more time.
What is your favorite show you have played so far?
This is a tough one, and I had to call Ben for help. We agreed that every show at Dennis's house was incredible. We played a ton of awesome shows at Test Pattern, but we can't really remember any specifics. The Paul D. Benefit at Mark's house was really great, as was our CD release show. Also, early on we played a show at Test Pattern with The Sw!ms, Okay Paddy, and The Explorers Club that was incredible.
Top 3 records/books?
I'm only going to speak for myself, but...
Favorite Records (ever) 1. "The Glow Pt. 2" by The Microphones 2. "Hunk" by Okay Paddy 3. "...and Out Come the Wolves" by Rancid
Favorite Records (current) 1. "Crystal Castles" by Crystal Castles 2. "New Cornucopia" by And The Moneynotes 3. "Blood Loss" by These Elk Forever
Election day is on Tuesday, what are your thoughts on the election?
Again, I can't speak for the rest of the band, but I personally will be voting for Barack Obama, and I have a hard time understanding any young person that isn't.
We'll be playing in Philadelphia for the first time on November 22nd at Titan House, and in Doylestown for the first time on December 5th at The Moose Lodge. For more information, check out www. myspace. com/titanhouse and www. myspace. com/swphiladelphia respectively. Oh, and thanks for the interview. You're the best.
First, What is your name and what do you do in Cloak/Dagger?
I am Jason Mazzola and I scream for the Dagger.
You guys have been a band for a couple years now, how have the bands personal influences changed since the start of the band? How has the punk and hardcore scene changed (in your opinion) since the start of the band?
When we first started we were big on Circle Jerks, D.I., Black Flag without Henry and some garage rock. Now I'm big into The Stooges and Black Flag with Henry. Punk and the Core is at a real good time right now where people don't follow the rules of being "punk" or "hardcore" as much. There are a lot of bands just playing what they want to play and drawing from a bunch of different influences that don't worry about fitting into a category. I am proud to say we are a part of that.
It's not every day you come across punk and hardcore bands getting comparisons to bands like Hot Snakes, was it the bands intention to write songs that didn't fit the usual hardcore mold?
Not at all. We just decided to do a faster more traditional hardcore band and the songs just turned out the way they did. We all like a lot of different bands and I think that combined things just ended up the way they did. Me and Collin Barth love Hot Snakes and you can hear a bit of their influence in his guitar playing but you can also hear Greg Ginn and obscure jazz musicians I don't know that he plays in the van in his playing.
Your debut record, We Are was released on September 11th 2007, was that intentional or coincidence? Do you guys consider yourselves a political band? What are your views on the current state of America?
We just happened to be released on 9/11. It was a high terror alert. I don't know if I would call us a political band because the lyrics we have aren't over the top political but we have played a war protest show in DC and a free show to get people to register to vote here in Richmond. I think that world wide the U.S. does not have a good reputation right now and that if all goes well the next president can turn that around. People need a different face to associate with the U.S. Bush is not doing anything for them.
Do you think the Reagan era is comparable to the Bush era? Does it seem that people, more specifically people in punk/hardcore, are caring less about their political environment?
Definitely. Bush is the new Reagan, 10 years from now when we look at fliers with W. on them it's going to be the same as seeing Black Flag fliers with Ronnie on them. I think people involved in this music are still political and it shows. I just think people choose a time and a place for it and not every show has to have that underlying theme there. Sometimes people just want to go to shows and hang out. Hardcore doesn't seem as political as it was in the 90's to me but I am also older and different view points on politics don't seem so extreme to me. The first time I heard a band speak against the government I was shocked.
Cloak/Dagger has a couple shows coming up in Europe, is this the bands first time to Europe? Any cool stories? What are the bands plans after you return from Europe?
This is our 2nd time going over but this time it's just to the UK. Last time we were there I broke my foot on stage and had to finish the 2 and a half weeks of the tour with a plaster cast. It was awful, the food was good, we lost a lot of money but we can't wait to go back. We have 9 new songs written and keep writing more. We are releasing a 2 song 7" on Jade Tree that is in the works now.
Speaking of shows, you guys are also playing the Fest in Gainsville this year. Is this the first time playing the Fest? What bands are you siked to see?
This is going to be our 3rd year playing The Fest and it's always a good show to be on and to go to. I'm looking forward to seeing Paint It Black, Municipal Waste and New Mexican Disaster Squad's last show. Sad to say there's no Marked Men this year.
Is punk/hardcore a young mans game?
Definitely. The older you get the harder it is to go on tour and come back home to bills and debt. It is also hard to drive hours to a show and not even make gas money back after playing. All that aside I love it but it takes it's toll on you when you get older. Rent and gas add up.
Finish the sentence: If I wasn't in a hardcore band, I would be...
How did seasick start? How have your influences changed from the bandsstart to your latest record?
Mark: When seasick began there was no permanent drummer. There was one dude who played on the very first demo to help out, then another dude who played one show which I had attended at 120 Hamilton st in New Brunswick. I believe I went to the show with Beneath the Street who were also playing. A few months later I saw Nick and Matt at another BTS show and asked them about seasick, they told me they needed a drummer. At the time I was trying to learn but didn't own a kit, but that didn't seem to matter and we had our first practice with me on drums a few weeks later. At the time we were really into pretty much straight up thrash and old hardcore, which is reflected on our split with Don't Wake Up, with influences like DS 13, Limp Wrist, Das Oath, Tear It Up, Down in Flames, Kamikaze and of course Negative Approach, Black flag, Ramones, Minor Threat Etc. After that record and tour I switched over to guitar and our style began to develop, our Bad Brains, Bl'ast and Infest influences began to come out. We have always tried to develop and push ourselves forward, maybe because we get bored playing the same old thing really fast. We still play fast hardcore but now we are much more open to developing our own thing outside of some preconceived established sound. We hope the LP we are currently writing reflects all of our interests, from Inside Out to Lungfish to Spazz to Sun Ra, in a cohesive but heavy and brutal manor.
Nick: I think our progression as a band is fairly typical, in that our sound is heavily influenced by whatever we're predominately listening to. Since our musical interests aren't static, neither is the music we produce. In other words, ROIR..
Finish the sentence: America has fucked me because...
Mark: Of capitalist and state interest over that of the autonomy of people and their desires, needs and ability to think.
Nick: ...it has convinced the vast majority of my contemporaries that civilization, as it is organized today, represents the apex of human progress. As such, no one gives a fuck about anything beyond their parochial, bastardized ideas of the good life. Though, of course, America is not the sole proprietor of this particular form of "fucking."
Matt: I've been spoiled by great savings everyday at Wal-Mart! Now when I go into a normal department store, say Macy's, I am disappointed by the lack of low prices. - Hide quoted text -
Do you think current hardcore lacks responsibility? Do you think thathardcore kids have more of a responsibility to be open minded?
Mark: I think in a lot of ways yes. Some kids just don't get that when there is a mic in your hand or you are playing your set the things you say and the way you conduct yourself have different if not greater influence on those around them. Years and years of "big business" ethics in hardcore have driven the scene to a point of complete apathy and sometimes it can be easy to be dragged down with it. Hardcore is something that is not a business and will thrive or fail based on the choices we make, therefore collectively the scene is what we make of it and our responsibility. Holding exclusive attitudes like ones that are overly chauvinistic or spitting out homophobic language is damaging to all of us because these actions limit us to a narrow white hetero male stereotype that I got into this music to get away from. Hardcore is not a locker room or a football field but in some places it can be hard tell the difference.
Nick: This question is a can of worms. There is both a descriptive and normative aspect to this question, but I take it you're more interested in the later, which is whether hardcore SHOULD be responsible, not whether it currently is or not. The answer to this question depends on whether you think hardcore is more than a mere music sub-genre. Since I view hardcore as a collection of values antithetical to those predominately espoused in mainstream culture, which includes the value of compassion (as opposed to that of competition), my answer is yes, hardcore should be responsible. Snotty self-destruction, macho-jock posturing, and excessive edge pretentiousness are all fucking lame selfish tendencies that don't belong in hardcore.
Matt: A middleground must be found where one can both "up the punx," but do so in a manner that is sensitive to social political problems.
What was your first memory of someone elses artistic ventures changingyour life?
Mark: Probably when I was a baby or young toddler, I can't remember the exact age or an exact moment, when my father would play me the Beatles, Stones, Supremes, Cream, Hendrix, James Brown, Springsteen… Even though I could hardly understand what it was as soon as I heard music I was never the same, and hearing it is probably one of my first ever feelings.
Nick: No clue. I don't think I've experienced an artistic epiphany, or what have you.
Matt: Mark your answer is lame. Answer: Age - 12 Album - Significant Other Band - Limp Bizkit. Response: I didn't know bands could play this fast, and to this day I have yet to hear a band that could.
What is your favorite era of hardcore/past hardcore trend?
Mark: Being that I am a giant nerd Im into lots of "eras" and regions of hardcore. Its almost funny to think of it in that way, maybe because sometimes harecore can be so cheesey and awesome at the same time. You could also look at the different "eras" of hardcore and see how hardcore is always changing and evolving just like any other art form, and there can be a great deal of significance in regional difference. I really like "two thousand era thrash" aka the thrash revival, the youth crew (and post youth crew) era, early DC, early SoCal and of course New York Hardcore. But whats most important to me and my favorite era is whats going on right now and the bands and people involved currently, because that's whos really doing something. The past is done, retro is poison. Also my favorite hardcore trend is vegan straight edge kids wearing Jnco's, earth crisis jerseys and jester hats. And don't forget devil sticks. MOSH.
Nick: Favorite era, like every other hardcore kid, is probably early 80s hardcore. I can't pick a specific region though, because between 81 - 85 America was producing incredible bands that were all insanely diverse. What I like most about that era is bands like the Big Boys, Minutemen, Husker Du, played really weird shit and it was still considered hardcore. Today, hardcore is defined much more narrowly.
Matt: My favorite trend is the acceptance of Jocks and Nikes.
Do you find it, as you get old, harder to balance hardcore and adulthood?
Mark: Well Im 23 years old now and it seems that most drop out around the age of 22, so at this point I guess Im starting to be a bit of an older dude at local shows which I have never encountered before. Going to work early totally sucks when you have to drive an hour to see a show and get home really late, but I still get the feeling when I see an awesome band that Im really living my life and it makes me not care that I will be tired and shitty all day at work, and fuck that place anyway. I guess when I was a bit younger some would say hardcore and DIY is just a phase but to me this is my lifestyle and Im still having fun, probably more than ever because of how great it is here in New Brunswick. HCHC!
Nick: Not really. I'm 23 years old and more involved now than I ever was. I know hardcore is generally a youth oriented genre, but I actually think it's getting more fun as I get older, because I'm no longer some awkward 16 year old.
Matt: Not really, even with band, I still find the time to browse myspace for hours, which after talking to most of my friends with office jobs is pretty much all the adult world is anyway.
You guys are from New Jersey, is it a blessing or a curse to be from astate with a long and highly respected list of awesome bands?
Mark: I think its great that we are known for having so many good bands. I tend to think that there are even more incredible bands than more people know about or give credit to. Also, Dramarama (you know, that "anything, anything" song) is from NJ, so think about that.
Nick: I don't think it matters either way. What is important though, is that we currently have more incredible bands than any other state. There is no better place to play than "America", New Brunswick on a Saturday night.
Matt: Well, it certainly isn't a blessing, because regardless of how many bands come out of this state, people still think it's a shithole.
Your new record, "Ouroboros" is out now on Soulrebel Records. What wasit like writing and recording the record?
Mark: The writing of the record was very meticulous. We wrote probably about eleven songs and dropped many of them completely and re wrote several of them at least five times. There is lots of pre writing, discussion and arguing that goes into our writing process because when we write that's really all we care about. We try to make each record better than the last and Im very happy with how Ouroboros turned out. The actual recording session was great. It was recorded in our old shed that we threw shows in called Fuck Mountain in New Brunswick. Our engineer was, as usual, Ryan Jones who is responsible for our "sound" and he was great like always. Craig from Soulrebel was there for a lot of the session to show his support and insight, and lots of our friends came and did guest vocals (or guest violin in Erin's case). When we finally got the vinyl and it looked great it was such a relief because of all of the hard work, and now we are back in that mode writing our first LP.
Nick: We are by no means a prolific band. We release very few songs, because we put a lot of time into each one of them.
Matt: Writing and recording for Seasick is pretty much like pulling teeth for months, only to have a record that our drummer hates about 6 months later. - Hide quoted text -
What was the coolest show you guys have played to date?
Mark: This summer at the house in New Brunswick called "America" we played a show with Reproach, ANS, Killin It and Thriller and it was the most fun ever. There were about 200 kids at that basement show, which is probably some kind of record for New Brunswick basements because no one around here can remember a basement show bigger than that. Everyone seemed to have a great time, too. No fights, no cops, great bands, no bullshit. The first time we played Seattle was awesome too. We played with Said Radio, Sunset Riders, Ceremony and Shipwreck and it was really positive vibes all night, and a lot of great literature was there too. We covered Cro Mags and the kids threw Nick around like the 50 pound twig he is and it was hilarious and totally sweet.Also any show we ever played at the Treehouse (RIP) in Georgia was great. It sucks that it had to be closed down, it was a really cool place. The kids who went there and put the shows on really gave all of themselves to that place, especially Spanish Nick. It will be missed.
Nick: Those that Mark mentioned were all great. Two more come to my mind. We play Rochester fairly regularly, but one time we played at this bar with The State and Dead Tired. Rochester kids are crazy about hardcore, and the show was absolutely nuts. When we played the HCHC fest a few months back it was wild.
Given the opportunity, what show line up would you like to be apart of?
Mark: Even though I doubt they would care that much and it really doesn't have to do anything with DIY, I would LOVE for us to play with the Bad Brains at least once. Playing with Propagandhi would be totally rad too. So I guess my dream show is Bad Brains, Propagandhi, Seasick, and lets throw Killin' It on the show and have a fuckin party.
Nick: Seasick, Tragedy, and Propa-fucking-gandhi. Good call on that one.
Matt: I would like to be apart of one of those sweet heavenly jam sessions I've heard so much about. You know, where like Hendrix and Janis Joplin are playing and shit. It would be even sweeter now because most of the Ramones are dead and could get like Keith Moon or John Bonham to fill in.
Anything you want to add/shoutouts?
Nick: Hub City Hardcore. If you're not from NJ and you get the HCHC skull and cross bones tattoo I will pay you and buy you a fat sandwich.
Matt: My band. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to, once again, embarrass myself.