Interviews: James Graham (The Twilight Sad)

Posted by johng on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EST)
The Twilight Sad The Twilight Sad have been plugging away for about a decade seeming almost autonomous in sound and aesthetic, progressing from the wistful, strained anthems of their first album, 2007's Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, through to their latest, Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, a masterstroke amalgamation of dark indie rock and cathartic post-punk. Plastering the covers of their releases with intricately drawn, morose scenes and sounding emotionally weathered and honest, they've been a model of consistency while developing their unique style. The band wrapped up a North American tour supporting fellow Scottish indie rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks last month. Brian Shultz sat down with the Twilight Sad frontman James Graham just after their set at the Boston, Massachusetts stop to chat about the record and more.

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Interviews: Gustav Burn (Atlas Losing Grip)

Posted by sam on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Image Hailing from the land of Sweden, Atlas Losing Grip is at it again in creating a new set of melodic, metal-inspired tunes for our listening pleasure. They released their fourth full-length album titled Currents on Jan. 16, four years after their previous release, State of Unrest. Contributing editor Samantha Barrett met up with guitarist Gustav Burn in The Cake Shop in New York City to chat about the new album.

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Interviews: Chris Urban (Crazy and the Brains)

Posted by johng on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Image Crazy and the Brains are talking about God and sex. Their new EP, Good Lord (Baldy Longhair), finds the band dissecting concept of religion, but never being exactly clear with their motive. At times, they seem to appreciate the great tradition of Catholic art, and at others, they seem to be pissing on the same exact thing. Also, there are sex jams on the EP… a lot of sex jams.

The band somewhat puzzled the punk scene with their debut from a few years ago: Here was a revved up, garage rock-influenced band that played at 100 miles per hour, that had a front man who perpetually wore a skipper's hat, that had xylophone on every track. They were weird, confusing and totally rocking. Well now, they’ve increased the juice. Good Lord kicks harder than their earlier stuff, indulges in soul swinging more than ever before and has a song about how great “ice cream” is.

To try to get a handle on what is going on with this quartet, features editor John Gentile spoke to front man Chris Urban about the church, getting expelled from school and why Vampire Weekend sucks.

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Interviews: Witch Mountain

Posted by johng on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Witch Mountain Witch Mountain's newest LP, Mobile of Angels, is heavy as hell, baby. It lumbers, it twists, it rumbles. In fact, a lot of people think it's the doom metal band's best release to date, aided in part by the band's more existential musings and how they just completely submerge themselves in the tenets of doom metal. But, there's more here than just riffage -- though there is a lot of that. There's psychedelic wandering, experimental production and hella bad ass solos. Also, vocalist Uta Plotkin wails like a banshee. Think Ozzy meets Janis.

But just before the band released what might be their crowning achievement (so far), Plotkin informed the band that she was leaving soon after the album's touring cycle. The result is Plotkin's swan song and the last chance to observe the band in this incarnation.

But founding members Nathan Carson and Rob Wrong are going forward, evolving the band once again. To get the scoop about the new album, Plotkin's departure and how far out Hawkwind's Nik Turner really is, Features Editor John Gentile called up the band and talked about all things heavy.

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Interviews: Bad Canoes

Posted by johng on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Bad Canoes Bad Canoes is the berserk new band featuring Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females on vocals. Sounding sort of like a cross between The Slits, The Screamers, and X-Ray Spex, the band has songs about Satan, marshmallows and good radio stations. They also frequently post information about Polar Seltzer on their Facebook for no apparent reason.

The band recently released the fantastic Sisterhood is Powerful EP and have begun recording a follow-up release. To see what this group was all about, features Editor John Gentile met up with them after a gig to talk about how they formed, their tunes and what the deal is with Polar Seltzer.

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Interviews: Such Gold

Posted by xan on Monday, December 8, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Such Gold Such Gold had to make some re-arrangements recently. Their longtime guitarist Skylar Sarkis left the band a little while back, and afterwards people were pretty sure Such Gold was over. But, that wasn't the case at all. In fact, they took it in stride and moved forward. Rather than searching for a replacement, they looked at what they already had inside the band and decided to have vocalist Ben Kontin take over as the second guitarist. Then they went quiet. For a second it seemed like Such Gold wasn't doing anything at all. The truth is they were working harder than ever on a new record that would, and now has, introduce us to the new Such Gold. While not exactly a departure, their latest record, The New Sidewalk, shows a band who've taken the core elements of their sound and had it grow with them as people, rather than grow with the changing trends. Some people weren't stoked on it, some people were more satisfied with Sidewalk than any other of Such Gold's previous releases.

When Such Gold stopped through Chicago, Punknews contributing editor Xan Mandell decided to treat guitarist Nate Derby and bassist Jon Markson to Korean BBQ to chat about the record. Their conversation over dinner hit various topics, and we got the inside story on why Skylar left and how awesome eating Pho will Bill Stevenson is. At this point, we're pretty sure the term Such Gold is really just their way of describing great food, "Man, those dumplings were Such Gold, they hit the spot." No word from the band if this is true or not though...

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Interviews: Andrew Low (The Jazz June)

Contributed by maxq333. Posted by kira on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)
The Jazz June The Jazz June are an influential emo band, active in the late '90s and early 2000s. Now, a decade later, after a couple of shows here and there, the band are finally back as a full-fledged band.

New record After the Earthquake has recently been released via Topshelf Records and shows the band picking up where it left off. Punknews staff writer Max Qayyum had a chat with lead singer/guitarist Andrew Low about the reunion, their views on the so-called “emo revival” and their plans now that they’re back together.

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Interviews: Domenic Romeo (A389 Records)

Posted by johng on Monday, December 1, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Image Domenic Romeo is a dealer of the dark arts. As the head of A389 Records, he puts out the heaviest, blackest, meanest, nastiest, most brutal hardcore and metal. In fact, he’s put out pitch-black tunes by bands including Integrity, Full of Hell, Haymaker, Bloodlet, Iron Reagan, Weekend Nachos, as well as his own band, Pulling Teeth.

And every year, he convenes his dark accomplices and organizes the annual A389 bash, which features the baddest of the brand new bands and returning legends. Last year featured the insane reunion of the Dwid Hellion/Melnick version of Integrity. Before that, mighty weightlifter/musician Thor played a set backed by Pulling Teeth.

To learn about the label and the 2015 bash, which starts on January 15 in Baltimore, features editor John Gentile spoke to Romeo about running a label in the download age, this year’s shindig and moshing.

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Interviews: Edward Colver

Contributed by DesertBurst92. Posted by kira on Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Image If you don’t know who Edward Colver is, chances are you’ve seen his pictures of the LA hardcore scene, some of the iconic punk album covers that he took the pictures for, or maybe you even saw him in the documentary American Hardcore.

Edward Colver is a self-taught photographer who documented punk rock history. Between 1978-1984 he went to shows five nights a week to take pictures of the LA hardcore scene. What he documented is absolutely fascinating and is an essential part of punk rock and even American music history.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Jello Biafra said about his photography in Edward Colver’s book Blight at the End of the Funnel: “Anyone even slightly interested in LA’s underground has seen it through an Edward Colver photo. Edward shined a light on the underlying darkness in a way that would make Weegee proud. The menace, the alienated kids, they’re on again off again camaraderie, and the fright behind macho eyes. The threads of disturbance in Edward’s work stitches together live fast die young no hope suburbia with hardcore homeless of dying downtown Los Angeles; before their ranks mushroomed as Reagan-Clinton America abandoned its misfits and disadvantaged. Edward brings out the Fellini in almost anything that steps into his lens.”

Punknews staffer Ricky Frankel met Edward at his gallery showing in Los Angeles, which you can read a review of here, and interviewed him about a week after first meeting him.

His exhibit ran from September 20, 2014 to November 21, 2014 in downtown Los Angeles. There’s more information about it here. And you can check out some of Edward Colver’s work here, or you can buy his awesome book Blight at the End of the Funnel.

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Interviews: Scott Ian (Anthrax)

Posted by johng on Monday, November 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Image Scott Ian of Anthrax is spilling his guts. On his new spoken word disc, Swearing Words in Glasgow, he covers his first time partying in the UK, getting wasted with Lemmy and hanging out with Dimebag Darrell.

In order to get the scoop behind some of Ian’s exploits, features editor John Gentile spoke to him about Lemmy, being a young dude on a UK tour and The Sex Pistols.

Photo by Andy Buchanan

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Interviews: Jesse Michaels

Posted by johng on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Image Jesse Michaels is a man whose creativity knows no boundaries. He’s created some of the very greatest punk rock ever recorded with Operation Ivy and Classics of Love. He expanded his vision to the canvas, creating visual art using classic noir imagery as tools for looking into the human psyche. He put pen to paper and wrote a novel that examines relations and paranoia. And now, he has expanded his vision to filmmaking.

Michaels’ two new short films, Horizon Bastard and Strikeforce: Condor are weird and hilarious. Starring a misfit named Yunkie, the films follow the poor man as he struggles with day-to-day tasks all while trying to conceal his secret power -- the ability to projectile vomit neon-colored slime. The films also have a break out star -- a hairless cat named Patti Smith.

To learn about the films features editor John Gentile spoke to Michaels, the new king of all media, about the movies, Nickelback and how to properly care for a hairless cat.

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