Punknews.org
Karate High School

Karate High School








Hometown: San Francisco, CA (USA)

About:

Secret underground societies. Battles between super–powered heroes and villains. Metaphorical and literal deals with the Devil. Buried time capsules filled with ancient wisdom. All of these things, along with a hundred–year curse and one man's struggle to find meaning and hope, play a role in The League Of Tomorrow, the epic new album by San Francisco's Karate High School. The disc serves as a follow–up to the group's 2006 full–length indie–label debut, Arcade Rock, which most notably featured the underground fan favorites "Good News And Bad News" and "Sweep The Leg."

As singer/songwriter Paul McGuire explains, The League Of Tomorrow is "one complete story told over the course of eleven songs," chronicling the adventures of characters he created in his graphic novel of the same name. "I'm a huge comic book nerd, and I firmly believe that comics are modern American mythology. I wanted to write a record that told a specific story with themes of love, self–discovery, and destiny, and I found that super–powered beings are perfect for that sorta thing."

Writing an over–the–top graphic novel is one thing, but turning a comic book adventure into a rock record comes with it's own unique set of challenges. The writing process took months to complete and contained a few unexpected twists.

Upon returning home from extensive touring, Karate High School underwent some line–up changes, and McGuire, with his bandmates in a state of flux, opted to write, record and perform the band's next album, The League of Tomorrow, in its entirety. But having complete control over the album making process didn't make for an easy ride.

"This album was a huge challenge to complete for a number of reasons," he says. "I wrote and recorded the last KHS record as well, but this time, I had to write, record and play all the instruments. I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to not only write songs that I thought were cool, but also to make sure the performances of all the instruments were as solid as possible. I also had to produce the record properly and not only make sure it sounded good, but also that it was completed on time. Being your own boss is always difficult, especially in a creative environment where sometimes you're not sure if something is working or not." To top it all off, The League of Tomorrow was created without spending a single penny in a recording studio. The entire project was recorded with McGuire's own gear in his old bedroom at his mother's house. "No money, no expensive producer, no other musicians or anyone giving me a strict deadline or telling me what I could or couldn't do," he adds.

As a result, The League Of Tomorrow is an incredibly diverse record. On the album's first single "Burning Up For You," McGuire says, "Taken literally, the song is about going to Hell for someone that you love. I wanted to take a standard phrase like 'I'm burning up for you,' and use it in a literal, I'm–actually–going–to–Hell–and–my–flesh–is–melting–off context. I've always liked it when artists take a 'happy' sounding song and slip in dark lyrics, or at least lyrics that could be interpreted multiple ways." Thrashy album cuts "…And Then You Die!" and "Three Strikes And You're In" feature crushing guitars and unique keyboard melodies, while upbeat rock tunes "The Secret Handshake" and "Sometimes When You Lose, You Win (We'll Never Give Up)" traverse the musical landscape to explore a dizzying array of musical styles from punk to danceable hip hop. On the other side of the musical spectrum, "What Are Those Scientists Up To–" and "The Empire State" ("lyrically and thematically, it might be the most important song on the record," McGuire adds) alternate between huge anthemic choruses and soft, vulnerable moments.

Karate High School is as self–sufficient as it gets in producing their own albums, managing themselves, and exercising complete creative control in all aspects of their career. "I pretty much handle all the business for the band. From setting up our own national tours, hustling to get sponsorships and endorsements, and cold–calling countless labels and managers, I've always done everything I could to get the band off the ground regardless of how many times The Man said 'no,'" says keyboardist Ray Bautista.

"We've never sat back and waited for anything to happen, or for that 'magic show' to come along where the Big Label Man would sign us and make our wildest dreams come true," says McGuire. We're just down to earth dudes that simply love expressing ourselves through playing music and connecting with our fans. If a little 'success' comes along with that, then it's a bonus."

With the new record completed and scheduled for release September 4th, 2007, the members of Karate High School are ready to take their new material on the road. In closing, McGuire adds, "In all honesty, I couldn't be more excited about the final result, and I'm not ashamed to say that I want all of you to hear the record. Come see us on tour this spring and summer –– we'll be trying out songs from the new album to see how they sound live, and we'd love to see all of your faces. And sleep on your couch. And use your shower. And have you cook dinner for us. You get the picture."

Karate High School will be touring indefinitely to support the new disc, and will be playing select Vans Warped Tour dates this summer. Fear not, good citizens, this is a job for The League Of Tomorrow.


Reviews

Karate High School Arcade Rock

Karate High School

Arcade Rock (2006)

EVO

Related News

Related Stories

Media: Karate High School:"Zombies Everywhere"
Karate High School have posted a new song from their forthcoming Eyeball Records debut. The record is titled Invaders and is due out May 19, 2009. It is the follow-up to Arcade Rock which was released in 2006. Check out "Zombies Everywhere" on their myspace…
April 14, 2009
Media: Karate High School sign to Eyeball
Eyeball has signed San Francisco's Karate High School. The keyboard driven post-hardcore act released their last album, The League Of Tomorrow in 2006 via EVO Recordings. The band wrote a lengthy "Thank You" letter which can be found here. You can find music on their…
November 13, 2008
Tours: Karate High School / Foxy Shazam / Peachcake
Dates have been announced by Karate High School, Foxy Shazam and Peachcake for a tour in early 2008. You can click Read More for the…
December 08, 2007

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go