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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Interviews: Pat Kennedy (Light Years)

Posted by xan on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Light Years Light Years keeps moving and growing, slowly and steadily. But, maybe that's the best way to do it. Blowing up overnight brings fame, but rarely does it bring longevity. Pat Kennedy, the frontman of Light Years, has been pushing his band forward and evolving the sound at a rate that keeps fans comfortable without boring them with an identical release as their last one. This past summer, they got a little heavier and rougher on their EP, Temporary, while retaining the pop sensibility that defines Light Years. The trajectory will most likely stay consistent, and with perseverance so will growth.

Kennedy spoke with contributing editor Xan Mandell while the band was out on tour with Turnover.

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Interviews: Johnny Bonnel (Swingin' Utters)

Posted by adame on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Swingin’ Utters The Swingin' Utters aren’t getting any younger, says frontman Johnny Bonnel, but that doesn’t mean the band is looking to call it a day. In fact, if anything, the band is ramping up its output, the latest of which is a new full-length on Fat Wreck Chords called Fistful of Hollow. Across 15 tracks, the band continues to maintain its signature sound, with a few new elements thrown into the mix. In advance of the record’s release, Punknews editor Adam Eisenberg caught up with Bonnel to talk about the new album, learn about the band’s songwriting process and discuss the Swingin’ Utters/Lagwagon double bill that’s coming to a town near you.

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Interviews: Big Awesome

Posted by xan on Monday, November 10, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Big Awesome Big Awesome is most likely isn't name you've come across much, if at all. But, the South Carolina kids have a massive sound worth giving a shot. Their last EP, Birdfeeder, was a touch rock, a touch math and a touch emo. According to them, their upcoming release will see the band honing on their strengths in those sonic elements to further distill their sound, and will show off exactly why they are talented.

Punknews contributing editor Xan Mandell was a big fan of Birdfeeder, so he decided to sit guitarist Colin Czerwiński and bassist/vocalist John Blackman down to see what was the next for the band.

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Interviews: Reed Michael Wolcott (We Are The Union)

Posted by xan on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)
We Are the Union Sometimes when bands say they're going on hiatus, it really just means they're breaking up, but aren't ready to accept it. But, that was not the case with ska/pop punk band We Are The Union. After announcing a hiatus and two years of silence, it was back to the grindstone of being a full-time band. And not only will they be touring again, they're going into the studio to record an EP, with the hopes to do a full length soon afterwards. This time around though, it won't be the band we're used to: They've dropped their horn section. It's a little confusing, seeing as how the ska aspect was what set them apart from the over-saturated pop-punk scene, but as frontman Reed Michael Wolcott explains, they may actually be more ska then ever.

During their stop in Chicago, contributing editor Xan Mandell took some time to speak with Wolcott about becoming a band again and what the future holds for We Are The Union.

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Interviews: Peter Hook (Joy Division/New Order)

Posted by johng on Monday, November 3, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Image Peter Hook, the bassist of Joy Division and New Order, is about to start one hell of a gambit. On his Fall tour of the states, Hook, along with his band The Light, are going to play the entirety of New Order’s Low-Life and Brotherhood albums in addition to a Joy Division set.

It’s a particularly daring maneuver because while Joy Division’s catalog is some of the world’s most heralded music, and New Order’s Power, Corruption, and Lies was where the band hit it big, both Low-Life and Brotherhood are trickier releases. Those LPs found Hook merging his trademark low, rumbling, dread-bass with lighter, gossamer sounds. The result is some of New Order’s most cherished, and most obscure, songs. After years in suspension, the tunes are finally getting a live workout.

To learn about the new tour, features editor John Gentile spoke to Hook about the LPs, hanging out with Quincy Jones and the ever-brittle band member relations of New Order.

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Interviews: Jack Terricloth (World/Inferno Friendship Society)

Posted by johng on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Image Jack Terricloth of The World/Inferno Friendship Society is contemplating death. You see, when he first moved to New York he became infatuated with the band-du-jour, The Paranoid Style. Fronted by the lovely Grace Talicious, The Paranoid Style perfected the difficult combination of sophisticated elegance and radical art.

Terricloth pined after Talicious for years, only building up the courage to finally contact her last year, just before World/Inferno’s annual Hallowmas concert. But, just as Terricloth was about to reach out to Talicious, she was struck dead. Instead of Hallowmas being a celebration, it was quickly converted to a wake for Talicious (although, it was still a big party).

Now World/Inferno is on the verge of releasing This Packed Funeral out November 11 via Alternative Tentacles Records. The album features Terricloth and the rest of the band, speaking at Talicious’ wake, reflecting on what was, and what could have been. Days before the band’s annual Hallowmas show (the details of which the band is keeping hush-hush, though surely, it will play into the album somehow) features editor John Gentile spoke to Terricloth about life, death, and pagan gods.

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Interviews: Joey Cape (Lagwagon)

Posted by xan on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Lagwagon Hang dropped yesterday and is Lagwagon's first full-length in almost a decade, and everyone is really excited. It's for a good reason, considering that Lagwagon is such a renowned band in the punk scene. But, the question remains: Why was it such a long time between full-lengths? When you are a band as loved as Lagwagon, you would think that you'd feel the need to satiate your fans constant hunger for new music. But, Joey Cape thinks differently, and his reasoning may be part of why Lagwagon has released solid albums for the 20 years they've been around, and this is the first time he's been able to say that the band is 99 percent excited for Hang.

It seemed prudent to speak with Joey and get a full understanding of Hang, so contributing editor Xan Mandell called him up. What followed was a detailed conversation on not only just the writing and recording of Hang and the length of time between full-lengths, but his thoughts on Lagwagon in general, the various themes on Hang, creativity and embracing being a "bitter old man."

You can click Read More for the interview.

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Interviews: Steve Souza (Exodus)

Posted by johng on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Image Exodus is an explosive band. One of the very creators of thrash metal, the band has had more than 28 people tear through their ranks. No doubt, the vicious, berserk music itself played a part in blasting people into, and out of, the band. Plus, the members’ huge personalities certainly exacerbated the band’s volatility.

To that point, vocalist Steve Souza is back in the band after ten years in exile. (He also had a previous decade-long split from the band starting in 1993!) Fittingly, the band’s brand new record is called Blood In, Blood Out, where the band jostles back together and tries not to blast apart all while cutting out fierce thrash metal.

To see how the bonding is going, features editor John Gentile spoke to Souza about making amends, the new LP and that time he smoked weed and saw AC/DC and Van Halen… at the same show!

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Interviews: Chris Farren (Antarctigo Vespucci)

Contributed by gapostrophera. Posted by kira on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Image If you can’t find something to love out of all of Chris Farren’s different projects between his solo work, Antarctigo Vespucci and Fake Problems, then chances are that you have real ones. The punk frontman turned acoustic troubadour turned power pop maestro wears a variety of hats, and recently added t-shirt impresario and Lost podcast host to his impressive array of titles. Staff interviewer G’Ra Asim caught up with Farren to get the lowdown on making a Fest appearance with a brand new band, his estrangement from once-dear friend Mr. Yucky and the unlikely role the Fresh Prince played in the making of Antarctigo Vespucci’s debut EP, Soulmate Stuff.

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Interviews: Jade Puget (XTRMST)

Contributed by shogun. Posted by kira on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Image For at least five albums now, the scene's most divisive band has abandoned its punk sound, venturing off into more mainstream areas, becoming more and more distant from their hardcore roots. But now AFI's Davey Havok and Jade Puget are making a return to form with their new band.

XTRMST is a straight-edge hardcore band that is louder and heavier than anything the creative duo has ever done before. On a day off in Baton Rouge, Louisiana during the never-ending Burials tour, guitarist and songwriter Jade Puget spoke to Punknews interviewer Gen Handley about why they started a straight-edge hardcore band now, how they ended up on Steve Aoki's label and if he still considers AFI a punk rock band.

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