Today marks the 14th year that Brokenheadphones has been in existence. It is kind of a cool milestone, so to celebrate I am letting someone else post some content.
Recently I reviewed the bad ass SACK album and Matt from The Witzard reached out saying he recently interviewed Kody and was hoping I could share their conversation on my site. Well of course I said yes.
It was a good read so I hope y’all enjoy it! I can confirm now that I share something with Kody now – getting Covid during the tour. haha.
Take it away Matt:
Straight outta the slums of Northwest Denver, Colorado, SACK is a mysterious band of Party Punks complete with songs about bongs, bikers, and brothels. Like any disreputable gang, they’ve had a series of rotating members over the years, but on Ripper!, it’s Bruzzy (Teenage Bottlerocket, The Lillingtons, The Hybrids,) a couple shredders from Peru (Father Fil & Joe Camel,) a gym teacher, and the neighborhood electrician (which comes in handy, believe it or not!)
They recorded 12 songs at Descendents/Black Flag drummer Bill Stevenson’s The Blasting Room and now these headbangers plan on touring (read: crashing house parties) across the land. SACK’s Ripper! Is now available on Red Scare Industries and is recommended Ffr fans of Turbonegro, FEAR & Lee Ving, The Dwarves, Iggy & The Stooges, and Motörhead.
We got a chance to send some questions over to and conduct a completely wild interview with SACK’s resident dipshit Bruzzy (aka Kody Templeman). Check it out below, if you dare!
Witzard – Who are the various members of SACK and what is each member’s role within the band?
Bruzzy – Dipshit, Joe Camel – Weed, Father Fil – Ears, Chuck Steak – Punctuality, Coach – Motivational Speaker, It – Compassion, Davey Crocket – Smokes, [and] Crash – Hype Man
Aside from SACK, what other note-worthy bands are each of you part of currently or previously played with?
Bricheros, Sleights, Teenage Bottlerockets.
Who or what would you readily cite as of some of your major sources of inspiration and influence while creating your aptly-titled sophomore album, Ripper!?
Alcohol, weed, Dayglo Abortions.
How did you come up with the band name, SACK, and album name, Ripper!, and what do each signify and/or mean?
We used our imagination. Neither stand for shit
What did your writing, recording, production, creation, etc. processes behind Ripper! typically entail?
Bruzzy wrote a good chunk. Fil wrote the music on a few. Bruzzy wrote the lyrics. And the rest of SACK helped tweak the songs. In the studio Coach gave pep talks and pushed the performances further.
How did you guys end up linking up with Tobias “Toby” Jeg, Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms) and Red Scare Industries to ultimately release Ripper!?
They were the only suckers dumb enough to put it out.
Why do you “Hate” The Beach Boys, one of America’s most beloved bands, so much?
We love The Beach Boys! Honest!
How did the headlining SACK tour you guys just recently wrapped up end up going?
We broke down, Bruzzy fucked up his ankle, two of us got Covid. Support band (Flamingo Nosebleed) broke down, singer lost his voice, one dude got Covid, shredded a brand new pair of front tires… I’d call it a win!
When not Ripping! it up as part of SACK, what do each of you guys do for day jobs?
None of your fucking business! Oh, Fil has a recording studio called Green Door in Denver. It’s the best. Your band should record there.
How would you say SACK’s overall sound, style, musical mindset, and approach has changed and evolved since your 2005 debut, Get Wrecked?
Who gives a shit?
Matt Horowitz is a D.I.Y. writer and life-long music lover. He runs his own site, The Witzard and has written for NO ECHO, IDIOTEQ, The Find Mag, post-trash, GrownUpRap, and The Punk Site.
Matt enjoys attending Punk/Hardcore & Hip-Hop shows with his friends and beautiful wife, Caroline. His favorite pastimes include writing, discovering new bands, re-discovering his favorite Punk, Hardcore, Emo, and, yes, Pop-punk bands from high, school, drinking iced coffee, craft beer, and fine wines, and hanging out with his energy-filled 2-year-old son, Peter.
Give Matt a Follow on Twitter (@SharpCheddar856) and Instagram (sharpcheddar856) and check out his website, TheWitzard.com.
For well over half my life, I have appreciated all things punk rock. This blogsite here really has stuck around because of that notion. I love listening to the genre, I love talking about it, and specifically I love being part of the community.
I find myself fascinated with 80s and 90s punk mostly perhaps as it was what I was solely focused on as a teen and just is a comforting reminder where I came from. I love learning of side-acts and projects from many of the members of these bands that have helped fuel my life.
A couple months back I was given an opportunity to chat with someone who I have always been a fan of since my early days of becoming obsessed with punk rock. It is no lie, she’s played in one of my favorite bands that I never was able to see back in their heyday.
Thanks to her releasing a debut solo album, Kira Roessler was available for an interview and I made sure I jumped on this opportunity.
If you have no idea who Kira is, then I will give you the high-level recap. She once was the bassist for Black Flag, but that isn’t the only think you should know. Her punk roots go pretty far back to the point Pat Smear and her were in a band called Twisted Roots.
She actually was asked to join Black Flag while she played with DC3 – Mind you, DC3 was fronted by Dez Cadena, formerly of Black Flag,.. – Anyways, she later formed a dual bass band called dos with Mike Watt soon after and dropped a few albums before moving on to other avenues in the film industry. Where not completely removing herself from music, her priorities shifted.
Throughout her musical career, she matured into a more prolific bassist which in turn just continued to impress me. Her solo album is no exception and where it has been years in the making, it is everything I would have expected to come from her.
I had a million questions I wanted to ask Kira, but also did not want to be a nuisance so toned it down some which in turn became quite a great conversation.
Check it out:
BHP: Hey Kira, not going to lie, slightly freaking out over here given your musical history and the the impact your music had on me growing up. I must say I am so stoked to have a moment of your time and promise I am not going to just ask about Black Flag from the get go.
Instead, I’ll start off asking about MinuteFlag. I love that EP so much although hate that the music essentially was released because of Boon’s untimely passing. I am just curious though, how did this collaboration come together in the first place?
Kira: Wow – not many dig this deep. Well Minutemen and Black Flag were obviously label-mates on SST. For a while Mike worked at the office at SST. I am not sure what the deciding factors were, I know the Minutemen often felt a little competitive with the other bands – they did a double album because Husker Du did one. But Black Flag was jamming pretty regularly in practice, and playing instrumental material regularly. But I do not know who suggested the joint recording. Mike and I hadn’t done the two-bass thing yet and I felt like it was hard to find space during the jams with another bass wailing away. It didn’t really come out as well as he hoped and I think that was part of why they agreed to wait until one of the bands no longer existed to release it. But I like it, it’s pretty weird.
BHP: Ok, now that I got that out of the way, what took you this long do something on your own terms? Given people you have surrounded yourself with throughout your life, many who have done solo projects themselves, I’d have thought you would have done something decades ago.
K: Well I have been recording my own music in my room for many years. Building songs virtually by sending ideas to other people who then would add their parts just became a good way to operate. Since I work a lot of hours sometimes, most of my bass work happens early in the morning which is not necessarily when others want to play. So I have had a body of work (so to speak) for a while. The intention was never really to release any of it. But Kitten Robot had a label and my brother Paul approached me and said they wanted to release a record. I turned 60 this year and it was somehow the right time. It doesn’t hurt to have someone ask. I will always be making music, though, whether it is released or not. That is where the joy comes, in the creation.
BHP: In a day and age of global pandemics, I assume a lot of what was recently recorded came from constant solitude. What was differed this time for you about recording music?
K: Actually much of the music was recorded before the pandemic. Working alone in my room made sense to me long before 2020. The actual final phase of polishing and mastering happened in 2021, so very little of this record had it roots in the pandemic. I did write some songs during that time… and I actually mixed and mastered a record for my favorite guitar player Glenn Brown of his songs, that I had written bass lines. This material was created virtually as well. I just tried my hand at mixing and mastering since I needed an extra project during the pandemic.
BHP: Your debut is very intimate and carries experimental vibes throughout. When you started recording this did you have an idea of where you were headed, or was this more of a “let’s see where this takes me?”
K: My music always tends to be very personal. I am moved to write from a feeling or idea that comes from inside, and I try to capture it with my bass and then my voice. This particular group of songs tells a story – it is chronological – so I did not know exactly where I was heading because it was written across time as things were happening.
BHP: Who was “The Ghosts” about? I really enjoyed that one and figured I would at least ask.
K: “The Ghosts” captures the story of the record the best in a way. It is a story about love and loss. “The Ghosts” was written at a time when I was facing a loss and all the losses that had come before in my life came into my head and heart like ghosts… appearing to torment me just as I was facing this new pain …
BHP: Your brother helped with producing this release and dropped it on his label, Kitten Robot Studios. It absolutely kills me by the way that he more or less hung out with Darby Crash and Pat Smear in high school by the way. Anyways, what was it like to work so closely with him when putting things together?
K: Paul and I have a very close relationship. We have been in bands together and gone through this long journey together. But working on my songs at Kitten Robot Studio I feel that our collaboration has grown a great deal. Paul’s music tends to be very lush and layered and it doesn’t necessarily come naturally to him to leave the spaces. I am quite the opposite. So he will help me with ideas of layers to add, and I will strip away things I feel are using up too much space. It’s a dance. On my songs, he gives me ultimate decision making so in a way – he just works hard to facilitate what I am trying to do. He is an excellent producer in that way. His goal is to help people achieve their vision.
BHP: Do you think you’ll do a small tour to support this release?
K: I do not have any plans to tour. I do not have any plans to play live. I will say that I am trying to find a way to share something, some kind of event, but I have not but a vague concept so far.
BHP: One thing I really have admired about you is once you parted ways from the L.A. punk scene, you started experimenting with sound in dos first from a far and then in person, contributed to some of the most essential releases in various ways. and then managed to become a dialogue editor and sound editor. How were you able to accomplish off of this? Did you make any sacrifices to take leaps towards any goals you may have had?
K: Of course it can feel, at times, like it is a sacrifice having to put my musical life to the side in order to make a living… but the truth is that I have been nothing but lucky.
When Mike and I thought about having a two bass band – we were very clear that for us to have the space we needed, there needed to be no other instruments. I learned a lot during dos about leaving holes and spaces and also how to find the spaces in order to add something. It became my preferred sound or style, not to have everything on top of each other. My tastes became stripped down, because I could hear the emotion better. And after all, I love music when the people playing are felling something and then I get to feel it too. That became the goal.
In terms of work, I studied computers at UCLA and then became a computer programmer to support myself after college. But working in the corporate world was kind of miserable for me. I am a non-conformist and the corporate world insists on conformity. I felt like an oddball the whole time. Then I met a guy by chance through Paul who was doing sound for a USC student film. Paul was composing for it and I played some bass. I became enamored with the idea of using my musical background and my computer background to work in sound editing for television or film. I twisted the guy’s arm to hire me and answered phones and did admin work until I could learn the skills I needed to contribute in sound. Just lucky – because it is work that suits me very well.
BHP: Luck or not, I am sure it was not easy, can you tell me about some challenges you overcame?
K: Well of course the biggest challenge is to achieve some kind of balance. To make a lot of music, work on a lot of great projects – but there are only so many hours in the day. I go through times when it is very hard to find time to create music because work is challenging. And I am not a prolific song writer. I go through very dry periods when the ideas just don’t come, or the ability to translate the ideas feels stuck. But I try very hard to just appreciate what I have – recognize how lucky I am, and not focus on what isn’t happening at any given time.
BHP: Clearly you have so many stories about your life from the mid-80s onward. Have you ever thought about maybe writing an auto-biography?
K: I find writing to be a pretty challenging type of work. It does not feel natural, especially to blather on about myself. Then there is the problem of having to remember all those fascinating details that I should remember. And actually my life before the 80s had some pretty cool stuff too!!
BHP: If you could regroup with one band you played with in the past, which would be be and why?
K: Interesting question. Like go back in time? Or like the re-hash thing where groups re-form after years off and do a record or tour? The truth is that for me, the idea of re-creating something years after the fact is less appealing than doing new music and moving forward. I do not regret any of the time I spent in any band … but that doesn’t mean I want to revisit them. For me there is always the journey forward, with new things to say, and potentially new people to say them with. So … I got nothing.
BHP: You know, I wanted to follow-up here and just say regroup with any band you ever played with and for the sake of nostalgic purposes, but I get what you are saying and understand sometimes dripping back isn’t as purposeful as looking ahead.
Finally, probably one of the more important questions. You said in your bio you are a dog mom. Tell me about your pups.
K: I currently have 3 rescued dogs … all seniors 14, 12, and 10 years old. They are 20 pounds and under, as I live in a 2 bedroom condo. For them, there is room to run if the mood strikes them. The oldest, Jim is in some ways the most active. But he has gone almost completely deaf … which is hard for him.
Hank, the middle child, is the problem child. He has bitten my husband and I on more than one occasion. Generally speaking he feels that he is under attack at times and those are dangerous times indeed. He is 15 pounds of fury in those moments. Luckily they are relatively rare.
Our youngest is our female, nicknamed Stinky … the reason is probably self-evident. She is a sweetheart, very calm and loving… she just prefers to wear a layer of yuck if she is able to find one. But we (my husband and I) love them all dearly. I never had kids – so my dogs give me that opportunity to nurture and care for a being who loves me unconditionally (most of the time).
BHP: Thanks for your time. I enjoyed the release a lot!
K: Thank you, and I am glad you enjoyed the listen.
Kira, the debut solo album by Kira was released on 19-OCT-2021 on Kitten Robot Records. Check out the video below for the song “The Ghosts”:
Growing up in Canton, Ohio in the pre-internet 1990’s wasn’t exactly a bustling hub of counter-culture for a young kid. Sure, I had cool parents and an older brother who passed down the foundations of my musical interests- The Ramones, The Replacements, Dead Milkmen, and so on- but I had yet to find “my thing”.
Then, I found Beavis and Butthead. Suddenly the world opened up in front of me. Archers of Loaf, Seaweed, and Sonic Youth all hit me like a ton of bricks. All of these bands were rooted in the world that I knew, but they were decidedly original and a bit more unpredictable. I was hooked. Superchunk’s song and video for Package Thief was what rattled me, though. It was my lightbulb moment for what I wanted out of music- frantic energy, bright fuzzy chords, catchy melodies, and weird lyrics. I knew instantly that they were my band.
They became a frequent presence on my annual Christmas lists, but I don’t think their records were the easiest to find where I lived. I wouldn’t really find “my band” until 2004 or so, when I walked into what was then known as The Record Exchange in Canton and bought almost their entire discography in one go- minus Here’s Where the Strings Come In and Indoor Living.
It wasn’t an entirely joyous outing, though- even though I loved every album I picked up. On The Mouth was everything I hoped for after being hooked by Package Thief. Foolish was a classic that laid a blueprint that younger bands had followed for the last decade. Come Pick Me Up was off-the-wall and intoxicating. And then there was Here’s to Shutting Up– slower, somber, and ominously titled. Based on its name, I assumed the worst about the band’s fate- and their lack of internet presence in that era all but confirmed it for me. Scattershot shows would pop up in major markets once or twice a year, and front man Mac McCaughan would pop in on the now-defunct Superchunk/Merge message boards from time to time but it seemed like the title of their 2001 full-length said it all. I missed the window of my favorite band’s full-time existence.
Fast-forward just a few years after that and the band would thankfully reemerge, comfortably settled into their classic sound, more frequently releasing music and heading back out for brief clusters of shows. But the interim time would also reveal that even though the title of the record was unintentional, or subconscious at worst, the writing was on the wall for Superchunk as they were in 2001. It was a tough time for the band in 2001- the indie rock scene favored up-and-coming bands rather than those who had been at it for a decade-plus. Superchunk was caught in the middle of a fanbase that didn’t particularly want them to change their formula and critics who would drag them for staying the same. On top of that- thanks to inner turmoil and exhaustive tours with a steep decline in attendance post-9/11, the band did ultimately shut up for nine years or so. (To hear it from the band in their own words, check out the book Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, and the Peyton Reed-directed documentary DVD Crowding Up Your Visual Field)
Twenty years later, Here’s to Shutting Up has been rereleased along with a CD of acoustic demos from the writing sessions. It’s a record that went largely unheard at the time of it’s release due to unavoidable bad timing- the album came out on September 18th, 2001- along with a refrain in the pedal-steel guitar-led acoustic ballad Phone Sex that includes the lyrics “Plane crash footage on TV- I know that could be me.” Unfortunate timing and coincidences aside, it’s a beautiful, haunting record that finds Superchunk engaging in some of their most ambitous songwriting- from the eerie, meandering What Do You Look Forward To, to the more-upbeat entries such as Art Class (Song for Yayoi Kusama) and Rainy Streets– the album is more than worth a look back or an introduction if you missed it the first time around.
Last week, I caught up with drummer Jon Wurster via email to see how he feels looking back at the album:
JU: Here’s to Shutting Up caps off a trio of Superchunk’s most experimental records. Do you recall any discussions the band was having leading up to the writing of this record? Any interesting stories worth sharing from the writing/demo sessions at your house?
JW: This whole conversation is tough because this is the Superchunk album I have the most difficult relationship with. I honestly can’t recall the names of most of the songs on the album and we only play one of them live at this point (“Art Class”). We worked very diligently for months on “HTSU” in Jim’s garage. I still have the snare drum head I used for the rehearsals/writing and it’s got about 30 funny working titles for the songs, like, “There’s Something About Marvin” and “New Asics” (I’d just bought a pair) scrawled on it. Just speaking for myself, I didn’t really love the direction we were going for this record.
We were really good at the punky, catchy, slightly weird music we’d been doing for over ten years and it was only natural that we branch out and try new things. I just didn’t feel like we were particularly suited for the Yo La Tengo-inspired music we were coming up with for HTSU. I WILL say that it’s one of our best-sounding records. I’d finally gotten a snare drum I liked (a Ludwig Black Beauty) and used it on that and just about everything I’ve played on since. So, sonically, I think it’s really good.
JU: Was there ever any talk or possibility of working with Jim O’Rourke again after Come Pick Me Up? I’ve always been a big fan of the string and horn arrangements he brought to that record. I could be wrong, but I feel like the production on that record isn’t given its due.
JW: CPMU is difficult too. I thought the songs were really good but we lost it in the mix. The drums are too buried for my tastes on “Indoor Living” and CPMU in particular. Jim was so much fun to work with, but I don’t think he was really a drum guy. We had to overdub cymbals on a few songs because they weren’t really mic’d for some of the basic tracks. He wrote the horn arrangements and did a fantastic job all around. The problem was he was running on fumes and going home each night to finish work on another record he was producing. He was really burning the candle at both ends, not with substances, just work and lack of sleep. But Jim was really great to work with.
JU: It’s pretty well documented that 2000-2002 was a stressful time for the band- and many touring bands in the wake of 9/11. Did any of those circumstances alter your opinion of the album at the time?
JW: That was such a difficult time. I’m really painting an uplifting picture of the band in the late-’90s and early 2000s, aren’t I? The record was released on September 18th and we immediately hit the road, going to Japan, Europe and then doing a full US tour. Attendances were down, I didn’t feel like the new songs were connecting with people, I didn’t really enjoy playing them, and it felt like other bands were passing us by. Like, we’d hit the glass ceiling. I just wasn’t excited about Superchunk anymore. The final show of the HTSU tour was at the Black Cat in D.C. and I remember thinking that was the end of the line for me.
JU: How do you feel looking back on it now?
JW: I honestly never think about HTSU. That said, I was in a coffee shop in NYC about four years after it came out and one of the songs from it came on the in-house playlist. I knew it was us but I didn’t recognize the song. I thought, “wow, this sounds really good, surprisingly tight for us.” Then I realized it was the last song we recorded for the album and the only one where we played to a click track: “Out On The Wing.”
JU: Brian Paulson co-produced Here’s to Shutting Up with the band. This is the first (maybe only, as far as I can tell?) time you used the same producer for a full-length record since 1994’s Foolish. What went into that decision?
JW: I honestly don’t recall. We were still very friendly with Brian and we’d see him all the time because he also lived in Chapel Hill. I think it just felt right.
JU: Art Class has remained a steady presence in live sets ever since the album’s release. Revisiting it now, and barring any logistical/additional personnel challenges, are there any songs from HTSU you think would be fun to bring back into live rotation?
JW: One song we recorded for HTSU that I really liked, but didn’t make it on the album is “Becoming a Speck.” I think that song would have given the album a little more of what we were really good at, but someone must’ve decided it didn’t fit. It’s on the “Cup of Sand” comp. That would be a fun one to play, as would “Rainy Streets.” I’m now looking at the track listing and remembering that we ended the shows with “What Do You Look Forward To” and “Drool Collection.” Let’s just say I didn’t look forward to playing those songs every night.
JU: Here’s to Shutting Up holds the distinction of having some of Superchunk’s longest songs- namely with What Do You Look Forward To? coming in at 7:42. Was it strange to play outside of (generally speaking) standard pop-rock parameters Superchunk had typically held to or did it feel like a natural progression for everyone?
JW: To me it felt a little false. Maybe not false, because we WANTED to play this new music well, but to my ears it sounds like us trying to be another band, specifically Yo La Tengo. I don’t want to hear a seven-minute song by anyone, so, as I said above, that particular tune was not a favorite to play.
JU: Since the band got back into semi-regular output in the 2010’s, the sound has returned to what some would say is Superchunk’s more traditional hyper-energetic output (What a Time to Be Alive is arguably the band’s hardest-hitting record at times), give or take a few slower numbers. Are there ever any band discussions about revisiting any of the more experimental, long-form ideas from this era, or do you think those concepts are mostly content to live on in the bands’ various other projects?
JW: I think we got the “writing as a band” thing out of our system. Sometimes that yields some great results, but often you end up with music that’s a little unfocused. The first four or five albums were pretty much written by Mac. We’d all throw our two cents in but he pretty much wrote the songs. He was incredibly generous to make the publishing a four-way split. “Indoor Living,” “Come Pick Me Up” and “HTSU” were all written, musically, by committee and Mac would go off and write the lyrics. There’s a lot of good stuff on those records, for sure, but since we regrouped, it’s gone back to Mac writing and doing rough demos of the songs and then presenting them to us. I really like it this way because the songs just sound more focused and concise. He’s written so many great songs for these last few albums.
JU I recently saw an interview with Mac where he discussed the band working on an album during quarantine, written and recorded remotely. Are you able to give any details on the process behind that or any upcoming plans?
JW: Not yet 😉
JU: Finally- followers of your Instagram account are treated to regular doses of Rock ‘n Roll Weirdness. Outside of the band supposedly surviving largely off of Long John Silver’s, do you have any tales of Rock ‘n Roll Weirdness to share as relates to the writing/recording/release of Here’s to Shutting Up?
JW: The only thing that comes to mind is that there was nowhere to sit in the studio! I don’t know why that was. There WAS a row of very uncomfortable wooden seats from a classroom or something, but nobody wanted to sit on them. Maybe we should’ve called it “Here’s to Standing Up.”
It’s been a hot minute since I have been to a show, so when I learned that Brenden Kelly‘s Here Goes Nothing Tour was making a stop in Cleveland, I knew I had to be there.
The fact the “venue” was a mere 1.3 miles away from BHP HQ sealed the deal for me. The quotes, by the way, were purposely put there as he played at a BBQ joint called Hatfield’s Goode Grub in a strip mall in the Cleveland suburb West Park.
I may have questioned the choice, but honestly, it was perfect for an acoustic set as well as a ton of hangs with some great folk.
For a Sunday night show, it was pretty packed and I have zero complaints. I got to see Brenden play a slightly extended set and even hung out with Sir Toby of Red Scare as well as some of the Heart & Lung crew.
Where I could have done a full review of the show and probably taken much better photos, I honestly went as a fan. I slammed some beers, sang along, and didn’t worry about taking notes or building a set list.
Honestly, I really needed that night. I missed live music and the interaction so much. I had fun and I know I was not the only one. That is what mattered most.
Still, when I got home that night, I couldn’t help but tell myself how I should at least do something where I could talk about the show or maybe do more.
I decided maybe an interview was in order.
I caught up with Brenden exactly one day after the tour ended just to mostly talk about the month-long series of shows and whatnot. I guess the timing was right.
Check it out:
BHP: You just finished up your Here Goes Nothing Tour with your homeboy Toby from Red Scare. For those who may have missed out on seeing you play, can you tell me about some of the highlights other than the Four Seasons Total Landscaping show everyone is still talking about?
BK: Well, the big highlights for me mostly involved seeing friends and just getting to be out there with everyone doing what I’ve (for better or for worse) dedicated my life to doing, ya know?
A real highlight was at a brewery in Green Bay where Jack from Arms Aloft and I were just sitting there listening to the sounds of the brewery but we thought we were listening to a super ambient Godspeed! track. After about a minute and a half (an embarrassingly long time) I was like, “Did you put that record on?” to the promoter who was just hanging out and he said “No, couldn’t get it to work.” We had a good chuckle at that shit.
We got a bag full of Krystal, Southern White Castle, but they also serve chili cheese “pups”…fifty bucks worth in Georgia, and Tane called his girlfriend and said, “I just got fifty bucks worth of Krystal!” and she replied, “Tane, I thought you weren’t into hard drugs?” and we had a chuckle at that shit too.
The shows were all fun. Some were sold out and some were barely attended at all and some were private backyard situations. In every instance it was really just great to be back out there again.
I was lucky enough to hit the final show in Cleveland and it was packed and even a couple of alcoholic Browns fans who were looking to keep damaging their liver some more after a pre-season win showed up.
Was the turnout about the same at all the other places you hit up?
If you looked at the routing, you could almost certainly guess within 10 people how many people were there just based on location and whether it was a private party or not.
There was one that was weird because I got the distinct feeling that the guy who booked the show (this was a private party) didn’t like my music. He left while I was on stage. He was perfectly nice and accommodating, but it seemed like a weird move to pay to have me come to your house and not watch. Right? But the shows in places where I tend to do well, big cities in the north (also Tampa) were jammed for sure. It was great.
Your initial special guest did not quite pan out as planned. I saw there were a handful of openers who took that slot including Tane Graves who played about half of the shows. Who were some of your favs?
Well at first we had Seth from Arms Aloft, then Tane, who rode with us and did most of the tour, and at the end we had Steveo from the Crippling Addiction, formerly of The Holy Mess, so there were only 3 guests. I would say those three were probably my faves.
You forgot to mention Heart & Lung playing as Munford & Lungs! Seriously I hope you’re as excited for this Cleveland band’s Red Scare debut as I am. I love those dudes.
Oh yeah. They’re awesome and the ability those three have to not only be a great punk band but also an amazing bluegrass band is pretty astounding. I have heard the record and can confirm it’s radical. What do you kids say these days? It fucks? It slaps? It does all that stuff.
I have to admit, I was curious about how you playing at Hatfield’s Goode Grub was going to pan out, but it worked out well. What did you think?
That dude is a trip and the place is awesome and the food is amazing. I had a great time and I can’t say enough good things about it. Was it a little odd? Sure. All shows right now are a little odd but that place was probably the coolest BBQ bar in a strip mall run by a real live member of a blood feud family that I’ve ever been to.
Your retort to the “fan” who screamed “Free Bird” when you were asking for requests was classic. Were there any other folk throughout the tour that made comments where you just took a moment to educate?
Oh, I dunno. I kind of have stage brain, which is to say that no matter what is going on in my life, if I’m sad or angry or whatever, I can get up there and think with an entirely different part of my mind and do the show the way it’s supposed to be done.
The other side of this is that I don’t tend to remember the shows particularly well. I know what you’re all thinking but NO, mother, it’s not from boozing. Even when I’m stone sober this happens. Also, even when I’m stone sober everyone thinks I’m wasted so whatever. Throw your stones.
The fact you proved to the crowd playing “Shitty Margarita” was not a good idea by playing some of it was probably one of my favorite moments of the night. Did you get any other requests throughout tour that you just had to skip the idea on?
That one came up a lot. So did some of the faster or just generally screamier TLA songs, like “Cut it Up”, for example. Some things just aren’t that good acoustic. People think they don’t care, but then they have to sit through it and it really sucks for everyone, especially me. So I try to take requests but I know what works and what doesn’t and I try to be a good steward in that regard for everyone involved.
Toby told me to ask you about the new Guardians logo and how you loved it. I love the team name, but if I am thinking of the same logo as you are, it is rough. What do you like about it so much? I can tell you the ‘G’ that obstructs the baseball just looks off.
Oh, I was referring to the Guardians fastball (I think that’s what it’s called) and I think it’s just dope looking. It’s totally got being a tattoo first and foremost in its design and I just think they nailed it. The G evokes a super classic rust belt factory industry logo which is very, very cool to me.
That’s what I was talking about! I’m not really sure why it bugs me. Maybe I’ll tattoo it on me and replace the “G” with “Beex” and while I’m at it change the baseball into a garbage pail lid. Cool?
I think this is an excellent idea.
Tour’s over, now what? We were lucky to have you play an extended set of sorts on the last night of tour, thanks for that. I could tell you were not really looking forward to it to end.
Yeah. I don’t know what to do now. My family has passed down this uh…I guess it’s our family motto (even though that sounds weird to say) which is you need 3 things: someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to. Right now I am 1 for 3, so maybe I’ll just get a beer and see how that works out. For real though, I just wrote a page of lyrics I don’t hate. This tour reignited my love for everything from my family to playing to exercising and on and on so I’m optimistic. Also, Toby is talking about doing more runs, and I’d be into that for sure. But for now I’m gonna call the insurance company and then go get my car washed. The dizzying highs of rock and roll, am I right?
Hate to hear about the 33% family motto standing, but I’m stoked to see what those lyrics pan out into. Was most of the writing done when traveling from place to place or just when it hit ya?
No, I just wrote one page this morning when I woke up in my bed for the first time in a month. It’s time to dust off my dick and start working again, as the old maxim goes.
Thanks for giving me some of your time today, enjoy that phoner with the insurance company!
Now check out a video I found on my phone from that night:
I have to admit, I was a little stoked when Doug Carrion emailed me the other day asking me to check out his new band called Field Day.
In case you were not aware, Carrion has been in some of the greatest punk bands out there including Dag Nasty and Descendents. So yeah, I might have geeked out slightly.
Field Day formed in 2019 after Carrion and other Dag OGs Brian Baker and Peter Cortner tossed around the idea of performing Dag Nasty’s Wig Out At Denko’s (Dischord Records) and Field Day (Giant Records) live. The discussion turned over a new leaf in terms of a band and Carrion and Cortner decided to start the band.
The band has a 7″ titled 2.0 coming out this summer and the one track I heard called “Searching For Answers” is just solid. They were supposed to play Now That’s Class in support of the release, but that stupid virus had to go and ruin that for now.
Seeing how we are all stuck indoors, I thought I’d ask Carrion a few questions about the new band:
BHP: So whose idea was it to even talk about getting Dag Nasty back together?
DC: The idea of a reboot was mostly driven by the fans asking where Peter was hiding and if we would ever perform the Wig Out at Denko’s material live. Just to be super clear, Field Day is the band with me and Peter Cortner who sang on Wig Out at Denko’s and Field Day (Giant Records), Kevin Avery, and Shay Mehrdad.
Between the fans asking, and a few conversations with the members, we agreed that Peter and I would call this project Field Day in order to avoid confusion with the fans and promoters. Now, when you see a flyer with Field Day on it, you know it’s Peter and Doug and if you see a flyer with Dag on it, that’s gonna be Shawn and Brian.
What was the turning point in the discussion to where you decided that maybe it was best to just try something new?
Peter and I talked about Field Day being an extension of where we left off with Dag Nasty, so I’d say maybe that was right at the beginning of the conversation in Nov 2018. Our initial goal was to have fun, start doing shows, start writing and to start recording. We gave ourselves around 9 months to work on the live show and then set our minds on having new music done and released within the first year. Well, our first show as Field Day was July 12th, 2019 and we have new music recorded and coming out June 5th, 2020…that’s 11 months from the first show!!!
Prior to me hearing “Searching For Answers” and getting ever so pumped for more material, I noticed y’all were supposed to play a Cleveland show. Sadly this pandemic prevented that from happening. How’s the band handling all of this and will the tour happen in time?
Glad you like it!! Yep, we have a new 7” coming out on Unity Worldwide in Germany, distributed by Cortex in Europe and RevHQ here in the states. I produced it, Cameron Webb (Pennywise, Ignite, Motorhead) mixed it. If you’re a vinyl fan, you can preorder a few different colors from the distributors and if you just want to download the songs, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc. will have music June 5th.
Cleveland, along with a bunch of other shows, had to be postponed which was frustrating, but had to be done. We’re hoping to get back to Cleveland in late July but that really depends if the local and state governments are allowing concerts. For the states it’s up in the air at the moment.
Separately, we are scheduled to go to Europe [from] October 31st to November 8th and we’re hoping that comes together. It’s also out of our hands and up in the air, but a possibility. Although we haven’t been playing live shows because of the virus, during the downtime, we’ve stayed really busy doing press, a lyric video, interviews, and etc to set up this 7”. Also we’ve been writing new songs for our next release possibly later this year. On our end we’re ready to jump right back into the studio as soon as we get the OK.
What can Dag Nasty and Descendents fans expect from Field Day?Positive vibes and singalongs for sure!! We play almost everything from Wig Out at Denko’s and Can I Say with a few select tracks from the Field Day recording. Expect to have fun and be projected into a time warp because Field Day play the recorded songs true to form.
Our motto in the band is “Be Humble and Don’t Suck.” Over the past 10 months of shows, we’ve met lots of new faces, reconnected with old friends and everyone is having a blast!!
Another thing people can expect is the informal hangout with the band after the show. Usually two weeks before a show, we start getting requests from people who want to get photos or have stuff signed when we come into their town, so we started building in time after the shows to hangout with fans. It’s really cool!!