While mid-80’s hardcore is usually thought of as a time when hardcore grew, spreading into the straight-edge movement or morphing into the first wave of emo, the fact is, Boston had a small pocket of hardcore bands that, while sounding traditionally hardcore with fierce instrumentation, fell outside the stereotypical hardcore box. In lieu of rules, the bands were humorously self-destructive, echoing the early LA punk bands.
Recently, Glen Stilphen, who was in a number of hardcore punk bands in Boston, including Gang Green, discovered several different demos, outtakes and b-sides by several notable Boston bands that were linked together and has just released the set as Drop the Needle: Boston Punk Anthology. Perhaps most interestingly, the set includes the first ever release of Smegma and the Nunz, a wild, chaotic, nihilistic band (that had a sense of humor) that after breaking up, would reform as the second incarnation of Gang Green.
To learn about the history of these intertwined bands, Punknews Features Editor John Genitle recently spoke to Stilphen about Smegma (the band), his time in Gang Green and how awesome Elton John is.
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Posted by johng on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 8:00 PM (EST)
The Knapsack reunion might not be completely finished, but don’t hold your breath.
After 15 years of being broken up, Knapsack reunited for a short stint of shows. The reunion was completely out of the blue. One day in May, a picture of a hummingbird superimposed with Knapsack and 2013 appeared on their Facebook wall. There were no rumors floating around message boards, no “exclusive breaking news form a verified source,” just a quiet, “Hi, we’re back.” It was a fitting re-introduction for the cherished emo band whose aesthetic and sound was always pretty minimal.
After the reunion was announced, the internet was abuzz with rumors and speculations. New music? Full US tour? Vinyl re-presses? Nope, just a handful of shows in major cities and a FEST appearance. It was perplexing to say the least, but in the end, it was a wonderful reunion celebrating the highly influential band and their legacy.
Though the band might not be putting out any new music, or doing anything over the top, Punknews sent interviewer Xan Mandell to get a well-rounded view of why they were reuniting, what it meant, and why Knapsack wasn’t going to stick around past the announced dates. When he sat down with Blair Shehan (Guitar, Vocals), Sergie Loobkoff (Guitar), Colby Mancasola (Drums) and Edward Breckenridge (Bass), he got some information he might not have been supposed to get…
Sometimes the best things you could do are what you could do yourself. These are some of the lessons The Swellers have learned over the past several years. They have learned that some things aren’t what they are always cracked up to be, and their newest release The Light Under Closed Doors reflects that. The Swellers sat down with Punknews interviewer Christopher Barrett to talk about the highs and lows of band life, and transitioning from being on a major label to finding their way to good friends including No Sleep Records.
With their first album in over five years out, Less Than Jake is fired up and touring their asses off once again, playing choice cuts from the new album, See the Light, and other favorites for fans all over. Staff interviewer Jason Epstein went to Manhattan and sat down with Chris DeMakes and Roger Lima on their tour bus to talk See The Light, touring and Punknews commenters.
Posted by johng on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Tonight we continue our series called Rad Women Who Make Rad Art, a string of interviews with some of the most exciting female visual artists that have connections with music, today. This segment features the delightfully dark, Mackie Osborne.
Mackie Osborne is a living legend when it comes to designing art for music projects. She’s done art for Jello Biafra, Tool, Melvins, Wayne Kramer, The Offspring, All, The Vandals, Melt-Banana, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas and more. Her art shows both adherence to convention as well as a reckless disregard for it. She makes pictures of rabbits doing stick-ups, round headed beasties, and cute little field animals slicing off their own hands. Oh yeah, she made the famous Social Distortion skeleton.
Lately, she’s been making some rad pieces for the Melvins, created by using an 1800’s letterpress. Due to the nature of the machine, each piece is unique and looks awesome. You can click read more to see features editor John Gentile’s conversation with the inimitable Mackie.
Posted by adame on Monday, November 18, 2013 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Western Addiction is back, but the truth is, the band never really went away. There was never a break-up statement or a farewell tour, just shifting priorities and personal obligations that led to one very long hiatus. But now that hiatus is over, as the band is playing shows again and recently released Pines, a 7-inch that picks up right where the band left off with their last release, 2005’s Cognicide. Punknews Copy Editor Adam Eisenberg caught up with frontman Jason Hall to talk about the return of Western Addiction, discuss the nerves that come with playing your first show in years and learn how fantasy football influenced his decision to get the band going again.
Long before Matt Skiba helped found Alkaline Trio or became the pensive, prolific artist he is today, the 37-year-old, like many of us, was conscripted into the childhood duty of piano lessons.
“My mom forced me and my sister to play piano for three years when we were like six or seven years old, maybe a little older,” he says. “Yeah, I played piano before guitar. But I first started playing guitar because my mom would play acoustic and I’d try to bang around and play on her guitar a little.”
As the seed of punk rock was just starting to germinate in the young Skiba, he learned that guitar lessons weren’t for him either.
“I took one-and-a-half guitar lessons and my music teacher was this total dick,” he recalls, “And he was trying to show me scales and all this technical stuff and I was like, ‘I don’t need this to play "Richard Hung Himself" by D.I.’ I just wanted to learn how to play punk songs, which you can do at home and figure out on your own so I opted for that.”
After flying back home to L.A. from New York where he had collaborated on an art exhibition with friend and artist Heather Gabel (who designed the Alkaline Trio heart-and-skull logo), Skiba spoke to Punknews interviewer Gen Handley about his musical roots, as well as the story behind the song “Radio” and how Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 lost its virginity to the HELL.
Posted by armando on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 8:00 PM (EST)
This past September Touché Amoré released their third record, Is Survived By via Deathwish Inc. That same month the band also embarked on a tour supporting AFI that ended at the beginning of this month. With a new record and a major tour on their plate the band has been busier than ever the past two months.However, drummer Elliot Babin was still able to find some time to sit and chat with contributing editor Armando Olivas before their LA show a few weeks ago.
The two had a rather pleasant conversation about movies, recording the new record, their European tour that starts tomorrow and Elliot's love of Sandra Bullock. Elliot also went into detail about his side projects and future plans for both Dad Punchers as well as DNF.
Meet Deep Pockets. This four-piece alt-rock band from Long Island, NY released You Feel Shame via Iron Pier this past September. Punknews Interviewer Christopher Barrett sat and spoke with the band at their record release show in the basement of Saint Vitus. The band was able to touch on an array of subjects from Ramones covers, self-recording a music video and dream concerts to Dyson vacuums and love for water parks.
Recently picked as one of Punknews' '12 Under the Radar Bands to Watch at Fest 12,' Save Ends’ sweet tunes have been catching the ear of many since their release of last year's Strength Vs. Will EP. This Boston band has already made a such a mark in this scene that they were picked up by the ever growing and always awesome Tiny Engines, with whom they will be releasing their debut LP, Warm Hearts, Cold Hands in November. Save Endss co-vocalist and guitarist, Christine Atturio, chatted with Punknews staff writer Adam Sever about their new album, her astronaut uncle, Dungeons & Dragons, and their plans for this year's Fest.
Posted by johng on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 8:00 PM (EST)
This week we resume our series Rad Women Who Make Rad Art. The series is a string of interviews with some of the most exciting female visual artists that have connections with music today.
Cristy Road is not scared to draw hair on women’s legs. She’s not scared to draw gay people making out. And even more, she’s not scared to draw utility knives with eyeballs hanging from them. DAMN!
Road has made a name for herself by focusing on issues in the gay community, releasing the autobiographical Indestructible and making bold-as-hell pictures that reference cartoons, classic art, and everything in between. On top of that, she’s in the band The Homewreckers and does all their art AND just released her newest book, Spit and Passion!
Click more to read John Gentile’s conversation with Road.
Managing EditorAdam White
Contributing EditorsBryne Yancey Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Andrew Waterfield Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile
Copy EditorAdam Eisenberg Britt Reiser
Podcast ProducerNariman Shariat
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