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Interviews: Al Barr (Dropkick Murphys) - Punk Rock Bowling Exclusive

Posted by armando on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Dropkick Murphys The Dropkick Murphys have been playing together for close to 20 years and in that time they've gone from humble beginnings to becoming a massively successful band in the mainstream. As their 20th anniversary approaches the band will be playing their first album, Do or Die, in it's entirety at this year's Punk Rock Bowling Festival.

With a few weeks before the festival (which we're sponsoring!), we were able to score an interview with Dropkick's lead singer Al Barr. Punknews' Contributing Editor and Interviewer Mondo Olivas talked to him about the bands' history with the music festival, why they love playing the event year after year, and what separates Punk Rock Bowling from other festivals.

You can click Read More for the interview.

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Interviews: James Alex (Beach Slang)

Posted by johng on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Beach Slang There's a good reason you've been hearing about Beach Slang as much as you may have: because they're really fucking good. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-derived quartet play songs with an instant, warm air of familiarity, without sticking too derivatively to its influences. Obviously, these guys have played in bands those young and old to the PA punk scenes might be familiar with, from '90s veterans Weston to more recent acts like NONA, Ex Friends and Crybaby. But they've come together here and found quick success with a pair of immediately gratifying, well-received EPs released last year; thankfully, they already have a full-length mapped out to record soon and release not long thereafter for long-running indie Polyvinyl.

Last weekend, towards the end of a month-long tour directly supporting Cursive, who were celebrating their beloved 2003 album The Ugly Organ, Brian Shultz was able to chat with vocalist/guitarist James Alex on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Cambridge, Massachusetts, shortly after the band plowed through a quick headlining gig at at a local gastropub.

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Interviews: The war on the War On Women

Posted by johng on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
War On Women You probably know the band War On Women. They just released the ripping War On Women album. They directly address women’s rights, harassment, abortion and nasty people on the Internet.

With such pressing topics, the band doesn’t waste time with metaphors or ambiguous introspection. Abortion law is messed up in the USA and the band lets you know. Now is not the time for reserved reflection. It’s time for action.

But, the band’s willingness to say exactly what’s on its mind has made it a lightning rod of controversy. A lot of people love the band’s Crass-like attack… and a lot of people hate them because…. Well, no one can seem to say for sure. But, no doubt, the band has received a pretty constant blast of hate via Internet comments and have also been heckled on stage. (They’ve gotten lots of love, too.)

Because this band has ignited such a firestorm, Punknews’ John Gentile has written a piece contemplating the group, followed up by an interview with vocalist Shawna Potter. You can read it below.

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Interviews: Roger Miret (Agnostic Front)

Posted by johng on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Agnostic Front When I call Roger Miret (vocalist of Agnostic Front, leader of the Disasters, hardcore legend), he’s about to get on a school bus to go on a field trip with his kid’s class. That’s right, Mr. Victim in Pain, Mr. CBGB, Mr. Neck Tattoo is now a chaperone.

But, that’s not to say Miret has lightened up. Just by speaking to him, I can tell that were I to piss him off, he could probably tear off my ass and then hand it back to me. He’s a tough dude. But, as he crosses five decades, it seems that in addition to being one of the most important guys in one of the world’s most important hardcore bands, he’s also become a bit of a philosopher.

You see, on Agnostic Front’s upcoming album, The American Dream Died (out April 4 on Nuclear Blast), Miret contemplates how civil rights have eroded, how the police abuse their privileges and how being a Cuban immigrant has affected his place in this world. With that in mind, I called up Miret to talk about coming to America, his punk rock history and the new LP.

You can click read more to read John Gentile’s interview with Miret.

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Interviews: Billy Jeans (Mean Jeans)

Posted by adame on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Mean Jeans You can finally stop hunting for those rare, out-of-print Mean Jeans 7-inches. That’s because the Portland party punks having compiled all of those tracks in the form of Singles, a 20-track collection of early releases, compilation songs and other bits and pieces, which drops on Dirtnap Records on March 21, 2015.

And that’s not all the band has on the agenda " they’re also headed to Europe this spring and are in the process of putting the finishing touches on a brand new album that we’ll hopefully hear before the end of the year. With so much going on, Punknews editor Adam Eisenberg caught up with frontman Billy Jeans to discuss the new singles collection, the band’s humble beginnings and Mean Jeans’ rocky professional relationship with Jägermeister.



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Interviews: Scott Sturgeon (Leftover Crack)

Posted by johng on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Leftover Crack Leftover Crack's second LP, Fuck World Trade, is one of those rare records that is both timely and timeless. When it was released in 2004, it commented directly on the 9/11 tragedy and the War on Terrorism. But now, 14 years removed from the tragedy depicted on the cover, the record doesn't seem anchored to a specific time or place, but rather, seems to be a commentary on global power structures as a whole (shorthand -- mega-rich guys cause war for profit).

But despite the album's bleak overtones, the band was able to slip in ghoulish humor between the horrors. The band, quite deftly, abutted N.W.A. references against commentary on privately run prisons, songs about getting wasted were snapped next to the timeless tale of getting kicked out of the house by your parents. And of course, the entire concept of a satanic, crust-influenced, crack smoking band is pretty hilarious (and clever).

Because Fat Wreck Chords just re-released the album, Punknews' John Gentile and Ricky Frankel spoke to LoC frontman Scott Sturgeon about Fuck World Trade's significance, tacos and the upcoming LP.

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Interviews: Derek Grant(Alkaline Trio/The Suicide Machines)

Posted by armando on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Derek Grant Derek Grant has been an essential member of the punk rock community for over 20 years being behind the drum kit for Alkaline Trio since 2001 as well as being involved with the likes of The Suicide Machines, The Vandals and Face to Face. Earlier this year Derek released his first solo album on Red Scare and played a short run of dates in support of the full length.

With his warm up out of the way Derek is ready to take on the world as he embarks on what looks to be his busiest year yet. He currently has dates set with Alkaline Trio, The Suicide Machines and The Vandals, not to mention more solo dates in the works. With such a stacked year ahead of him we were lucky enough to score a chat with the man. Derek was willing to talk about anything and everything we could throw at him. You can read our interview after the jump.

You can click Read More for the details.

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Interviews: James Carroll (Make Do And Mend)

Posted by sam on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Make Do and MendSometimes relocation becomes an issue for bands who want to continue producing music. Make Do and Mend has proven that wrong.

While each band member is now living in a different place, they have quietly recorded and will release their third studio album, titled Don’t Be Long, on Rise Records on February 24, 2015. Contributing editor Samantha Barrett spoke with guitarist/vocalist James Carroll about the new record.



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Interviews: Franz Nicolay

Posted by johng on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Franz Nicolay Franz Nicolay has had it with the stress. His previous records were massive, time consuming endeavors where he fretted over every note, every lyric and every nuance -- and yet, he still had trouble finding a label. Well, screw that. On his brand new album, To Us, The Beautiful!, he assembled the A-Team of NYC musicians and just banged out a record.

It’s guitar based. It references Neo-Nazis, Van Halen and Egyptian curses. It rocks man, and frankly, Nicolay seems conflicted about it. He might love the subtle, intricate ballad, but people just want to kick out the jams. So then, what does this new, accessible record represent? Is it Nicolay expressing the range of his talent, or is it it him giving the people what they want?

To get the scoop behind the new LP, features Editor John Gentile spoke to Nicolay about the new tunes, Keith Richards and whether or not its ok to ask God to kill on your behalf.

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Interviews: Scotty Heath of Tankcrimes Records (Part 2 of 2)

Posted by johng on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Image Scotty Heath is the CEO of circle pits, the supervisor of stage dives, the head honcho of headbanging. As the owner of Oakland’s Tankcrimes Records, Heath has made it his mission to noise up the punk scene by putting out metal records for tru-punx pogoers and to nasty up the metal scene by putting out punk records for trve-kvlt thrashers. He brought heavy metal cannibals Ghoul to the vegan bake sale. He brought political peace punks Dystopia to the heavy metal parking lot kegger. He also put out what might be Fucked Up’s best release ever.

Well, Heath is continuing his mission. On February 13, 2015, he’s bringing his legion of punk and metal warriors to the kids and staging the “Tankcrimes Takeover” of 924 Gilman where Ghoul, The Shrine, Born/Dead, Brainoil and Connoisseur will all share the same stage -- that is, if it isn’t wrecked during the night.

To learn about the label’s storied history, features editor John Gentile had an extended discussion with Heath. In this second of two parts, Heath talks about digital downloading, bands on the label and why you should say who you are when you are playing a show.

[Ed: You can find part one here.]

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Interviews: Scotty Heath of Tankcrimes Records (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by johng on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Image Scotty Heath is the master of mosh, the prince of pogo, the sovereign of slam dance. As the owner of Oakland’s Tankcrimes Records, Heath has been bringing metal to the punks and punk to the metalheads for ten years. He’s put out records by Cannabis Corpse, Ghoul, ANS, Iron Regan, Night Birds and more. On top of that, he put out the amazing Year of the Dragon 12-inch by Fucked Up. And, even more, he blessed us all with the resplendent, jaw dropping, fun-as-hell Kicker LP.

Well, Heath is continuing his mission. On February 13, 2015, he’s bringing his legion of punk and metal warriors to the kids and staging the “Tankcrimes Takeover” of 924 Gilman where Ghoul, The Shrine, Born/Dead, Brainoil and Connoisseur will all share the same stage -- that is, if it isn’t wrecked during the night.

To learn about the label’s storied history, features editor John Gentile had an extended discussion with Heath. In this first of two parts, Heath talks about the origins of Tankcrimes, physical music and Van Halen.

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