Interviews: James Williamson (The Stooges)

Posted by johng on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Image Get this. James Williamson of the Stooges is a nerd. Like, he's a huge, colossal, gigantic nerd. The man who resurrected the Stooges, the man who wrote the nasty, nasty licks for Raw Power, the man who ran with the wildest, most drugged-out band ever, the man who plays riffs that can cut a car in half, is a Pointdexter.

Do you know why Williamson's music record is blank from about 1980 through 2009? It's because after the colossal drug trips and catastrophes that were Raw Power and Kill City, Williamson did a little production work for Iggy and then moved to California, went to college, and got a job right away at a computer company in the Silicon Valley.

And then, do you know what he did after that? He was so good at computers that he worked his way up to being Vice President of Technical Standards for Sony. That's right, the man who stood next to Iggy as he got his ass kicked by rednecks on Metallic K.O. eventually became one of the most important guys in the tech field, meaning that not only is he perhaps rock's most important guitarist, but he's also one of the computer industry's most important computer guys. Because Williamson mastered both the rock and computers field, making us all look like lazy slackers, features editor John Gentile called up Williamson for the story on how he transitioned from the stage to the computer age.

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Interviews: Dwid Hellion (Psywarfare/Integrity)

Posted by johng on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Image In 1993, the Federal Government blasted high volume, cacophonous, screeching noises at a compound in Waco, Texas in order to drive gun toting Branch Davidians out from their barricade. Dwid Hellion heard a clip of those wretched, painful, abject sounds on CNN and thought to himself, "I could do better than that."

Despite also fronting metal legends Integrity, Hellion immediately created the Psywarfare project, a mostly studio affair which found Hellion pushing sound to oppressive extremes for the purpose of selling the recordings to the government to use as psychological weapons against fortified targets. Although Hellion didn't end up making a sale, he continued with Psywarfare and every so few years, massive, bizarre sound recordings would appear in the underground trading circuit.

This Record Store Day, Hellion is releasing The Exotic Sounds of Psywarfare on A389 records, which finds him merging his own dark, ominous sounds with the organic music of the Pacific rim. Recently, features editor John Gentile spoke with Hellion about Psywarfare, the abstract attributes of homemade instruments and "how" to listen to noise music.

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Interviews: Brody Dalle

Contributed by Shogun. Posted by kira on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Image Unbeknownst to many fans, this interviewer included, there was a point when The Distillers almost recorded new music.

"I love The Distillers – I grew up in that band," says lead singer Brody Dalle. "But I also tried to resurrect it and I got Greg Ginn from Black Flag to try and produce some songs with me and Andy (Granelli, drummer) and Tony (Bevilacqua, guitarist) and it just...it just didn't work."

What do you mean it didn't work?

"There wasn't anything there," she recalls. "It didn't feel right…it was like putting a used condom on or something. That's a really crass thing for me to say, but it felt done. There wasn't really anymore for us to do or anymore ideas to share."

And so the band continued to be no more and Dalle continued to create and sing, eventually resulting in her upcoming solo album Diploid Love, coming out on April 28.

Just before rehearsal at an L.A. studio, Dalle spoke to Punknews interviewer Gen Handley about the reunion that almost was, her diverse new album and what's changed with motherhood.

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Interviews: Tom May (Menzingers)

Contributed by Shogun. Posted by kira on Monday, April 14, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
The Menzingers How you interpret the title of the new Menzingers album, Rented World, is something co-vocalist and guitarist Tom May hopes will be vary from ear to ear.

I'm going to leave the onerous responsibility to the receiver on that one," he says with a nervous laugh, a month before the big release. "I hope they take from it what they want to take from it and I hope it's different.

But to me, it speaks a lot to the socioeconomic state we've been in for several years. I can't speak for everybody in the band about the meaning of the title, but it speaks a lot to the idea of being born into the world that already exists and you don't own any of it.

He might not feel that he has true ownership of the world around him, but his band has certainly made its mark on it with three reputable albums released and a very solid fourth coming out on April 22, 2014 via Epitaph Records.

While at home in Philadelphia, enjoying the "calm before the storm," (the storm in this case being the intense, full-on touring that May says he loves), the 27-year-old Menzinger spoke to Punknews interviewer Gen Handley about the new record and the impact that unavoidable adulthood had on its songs.

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Interviews: Russ Rankin (Only Crime)

Contributed by Shogun. Posted by kira on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Only Crime Just over a month away from the release of Only Crime's third album, Pursuance, lead singer Russ Rankin sounds really happy with a record that wasn't the easiest to make.

"Some of the best albums, I think, are sort of complete thoughts and we somehow managed to pull that off with this Only Crime record even though what a gnarly experience it was trying to get it done," Rankin says. "When somebody listens to it, they're not going to have any idea that was the case – the record's going to hit them in the face repeatedly and they're going to be stoked to go back for more."

During his 30-minute drive to work ("I'm on hands-free so it's legit"), Rankin spoke to Punknews interviewer Gen Handley about the new album, Bill Stevenson's surprising vocal range, and recording a new Good Riddance record in the fall.

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Interviews: George Hirsch (Blacklisted)

Contributed by xfayex. Posted by kira on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Blacklisted Without trying to sound like a Terror record, Blacklisted frontman George Hirsch has overcome a great amount of personal struggle over the years. While followers of the band will be familiar with their defeated and hopeless lyrics - it was all a very dark reality for George, as things recently took a turn for the worse.

Punknews interviewer Faye Turnbull took a trip to Helsinki, Finland, where Blacklisted conveniently stopped by during their European tour and talked to George about the events leading up to his suicidal state, how This Is Hardcore promoter Joe Hardcore stepped up to help, and explained that it's ok to dislike 'banana bands'.

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Interviews: Annabella Lwin (Bow Wow Wow)

Posted by johng on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Image What you might not know is that Annabella Lwin and Bow Wow Wow were sort of the most punk rock band ever. They were managed by the Sex Pistols' Malcolm McLaren. They took members from Adam and the Ants. Their first single was banned from the radio because it promoted illegal home audiotaping.

Of course, they came with controversy. Lead singer Annabella triggered a Scotland Yard child pornography investigation when she appeared nude on the band's first album cover. In the notoriously heterogeneous early English punk scene, Annabella was a 14-year-old female of Southeast Asian descent. She sang about rape, urban warfare and killing one's parents. So, yeah, she was pretty punk.

Because I saw Annabella live in New Jersey a little while ago where she completely killed it, I had to talk to her about Bow Wow Wow, her conflict with her mom, and about how there is a battle going on between her and Bow Wow Wow's old bassist.

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Interviews: Zac Little (Saintseneca)

Contributed by matt_b. Posted by kira on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Image When I meet Zac Little, de facto leader of Saintseneca, at the appropriately themed (for Portland, Oregon, at least) Doug Fir Lounge, his dress is uniform and antiquated: black shirt, black vest, black pants, black boots. The wardrobe hints of a time his orange, greased, pseudo-crew cut hair and brighter orange mustache, hanging abundantly over both lips, confirms. The style ostensibly fits the type of folk music the Columbus, Ohio outfit aspires to, but it suits him.

To call Saintseneca a band is a bit of a misnomer. Veterans of the DIY circuit, their members vary and switch, come and go, but never completely disappear. Over they years they've picked up All Dogs' Maryn Jones and the Sidekicks' Steve Ciolek (both fellow Columbus musicians). Their sound has grown, and with it their popularity. They've taken their once exclusively basement/living room show to bigger stages, and now find themselves on the road supporting their latest full length for Anti-, Dark Arc.

Punknews' Matthew Bentel sat down with Little after a particularly humorous sound check to talk about the group's new approach, the differences between DIY and club shows, and not giving a fuck (especially about bands like this and this).

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Interviews: Rad People Who Make Rad Art: Christopher Norris (Stk Mtn.)

Posted by johng on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Image Christopher Norris, or Stk Mtn as he is sometimes known, once drew a boob growing out of a piece of meat. That boob would go onto become one of the most famous boobs in punk rock, gracing the cover of Against Me!'s landmark Transgender Dysphoria Blues album.

But long before he was designing famous mammaries, Norris spent time in the Florida punk and metal scenes, playing in Combatwoundedveteran and, eventually, designing album covers for bands including Fake Problems, Holy Mountain and Armalite. Norris' work shows the influence of the original anarcho bands, often referencing those famous black and white images from the early '80s. But, whereas so many other bands copy verbatim, Norris switches up the punk rock template, injecting bright neon colors into horrid images, creating a contrast between the gruesome and the gleeful.

Because Norris is on a roll with his recent Against Me! collaborations, features editor John Gentile spoke to him about the cover of Transgender Dysphoria Blues , his early history and whether he hates everyone on earth, or just almost everyone.

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Interviews: Dale Nixon (Black Flag)

Posted by johng on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 1:30 PM (EDT)
Image Update: APRIL FOOLS! The jig is up. This article is not a real article. We will now resume regular content. Thanks for reading!

Dale Nixon is unquestionably one of the most important figures in punk rock. Nixon made his debut on what Henry Rollins called "the greatest song ever written" -- playing bass for Black Flag's "My War." After playing with Black Flag on the My War album, Nixon moved onto other projects, including playing on The Melvins' Buzz Osborne's solo project and Dag Nasty's Four on the Floor album..

But, Nixon has also been part of controversy, playing at the Black Flag 2003 reunion in lieu of the band's other lauded bassists. Still, at that show, Nixon was mechanically precise, playing his bass lines so well that they sounded almost exactly like the ones on the record.

Recently, former editor Bryne Yancey spotted Nixon at a used electronics store. He immediately called us up and Punknews rushed down to the store to conduct the interview. With a bit of luck, Punknews was able to conduct the FIRST EVER interview with Dale Nixon of Black Flag.

You can click read more to read the conversation which covers the Black Flag reunion, tensions in the band and what's next for Nixon.

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Interviews: John Campbell (Lamb of God)

Posted by johng on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Image Few bands have been through the gauntlet like Lamb of God. In 2012, they landed in the Czech Republic for a concert. But, just as they were stepping off the plane, their lead singer, Randy Blythe, was arrested for murder stemming from the death of a young man who died shortly after attending a concert of theirs two years previously.

What followed was a nearly year long ordeal with Blythe being kept in prison, flying back and forth to the US and the Czech Republic, and the band themselves trying to help their fellow musician while knowing quite well that there was a good chance that their band would be destroyed in the chaos.

Thankfully, the court acquitted Blythe. To document their difficult year, the band has just released As the Palaces Burn, a documentary about the preceding tour, the trial and its aftermath. Punknews Features Editor John Gentile spoke to co-founding member and bassist John Campbell about the whole thing.

You can click Read More for the conversation.

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