Band on Band: O' Pioneers/Junior Battles

Welcome to our latest band on band. In our elation of (and subsequent over saturation for) their upcoming joint release this edition we feature the remarkably different O' Pioneers!!! and Junior Battles. One comes from sunny Texas, the other from the barren wilderness of Canada. One has four members, the other is an ever changing line up rivaling that of Mexican boy band Menudo (both in number of members and pre-teen sex appeal). Yet, somehow they came together for a split 7" on Kiss of Death Records. Read on to hear the men discuss bad tattoos, good fast food and strange animal dances.

Part 1 - Junior Battles interview Eric Solomon of O Pioneers!!!

Sam: Hey Eric, how many bad band tattoos have you had to cover up with other, less-bad tattoos?

As of right now I can think of two, but it’s more of a guessing game, as I’m not gonna tell. What I will say is at one point I had a Bad Astronaut and Alkaline Trio tattoo. Both of those bands are awesome when you’re 15, not when you’re 24.

Aaron: Dear Eric. If you had to come up with one of your signature super-long and hilarious non-sequitur song titles to describe the relationship between OP!!! and JB, what would it be?

Hmmm. This is a tough one as there are so many jokes to take into account. I mean, we could do anything from Junior Battles collective age, like, "14 and still Canadian", or we could go with the obvious facts, "This band is like The Wrestler, we won’t quit, even though we should", or we could just make fun of Sam, "Sam Sutherland was in a ska band once".

Justin: Dear Eric, what's the strangest animal you have seen performed by a naked show promoter / who is the cutest bass player in OP history?

This honor would belong to the curator of Rad Fest, prancing around to the theme song of Jurassic Park. The best bass player in OP!!!’s history was when we didn’t have one.

Joel: What's been the most memorable stop in Lexington, Kentucky that you've had?

Oh the stories I could tell. Windows being smashed, drugs lying around being smoked in front of 3 year olds, Jack in the Box employees thinking we were stoned and trying to get us to buy 50 tacos. But you wouldn’t be interested in those stories.

Ringer question we requested on Twitter, as posed by @deadtomesf : ask eric if he's ever been arrested during a Smoke Or Fire/Dead to Me/Cobra Skulls house show. Cuz he has!

My only response is, you guys dropped something. I think it was a name.

Part 2 - Eric Solomon, of O’ Pioneers!!!, interviews of Junior Battles

Can you guys describe to me what a typical afternoon in Canada is like? What are the sights and sounds of Toronto?

Justin: As you may already know, daylight typically last 2 hours in the summer this far north. I often spend that time in a spirited game of shinny (pick-up hockey on a frozen pond) then it's back into the tundra for the remainder of the seal hunt.

Sam, you work at Exclaim Magazine, a very big deal in Canada, how many men did you please to get that job?

Sam: Thank you for noticing, Eric. I like to think my work in the field of music journalism pleases many men in Canada. And women. It's hard to really step back and take stock of the number of lives my words have touched; I can only say that it was my pleasure, and I hope the touching was awesome.

What are you guys most looking forward to on tour: driving me around, making me dinner every night, or basically carrying me into the show Egyptian queen style?

Aaron: You forgot to mention the most exciting prospect of this tour: the fact that we get to ruin O Pioneers!!! songs every night with our slick harmonies and pop sensibilities. "Remember When It Meant Something" sounds a lot more like a Queen song now.

What fast food chain are you guys looking forward to eating the most? Chillis? Dennys? Mcdonalds? Whataburger? Sticky Fingers?

Justin: Any touring band knows that eating properly on the road can be tough. I manage my glycemic index by consuming complex carbohydrates (hulled millet, buckwheat, spelt) as opposed to fast burning carbs like the bleached white breads used in most fast food restaurants. As any band will tell you though, transporting the equipment necessary to process said grains (gravity table, vibratory feeder, stone mill) can be quiet cumbersome. Thankfully, word has just traveled north of KFC's "double down," which I'm told is a sandwich featuring two pieces of fried chicken in the place of bread. Please tell me this is true, Eric, because I've already packed away my gravity table. Finally, a healthy way to consume protein without those heart stopping glycemic rich carbs. I have no doubt that this will change how bands tour the states. Colonel, Canadian musicians salute you and look forward to being conscripted into your army of satisfied customers.

What is the best show on Canadian TV that us Yankees won’t know about?

Joel: Without a doubt in my mind, Republic of Doyle. Following in the tradition of Paul Gross' classic Due South series, Republic of Doyle follows a folly-prone father and son private detective agency who often stumble their way into solving various cases, most of which could only conceivably take place in Newfoundland (alcohol smuggling between Canada and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. Look it up!). The show is great for two reasons: first, it provides a fresh take on the culture and scenery of the East Coast in a way that mocks and embraces the stereotypical "Newfie." More importantly, the actual production of the show is single-handedly saving the economy of Newfoundland, employing everyone and their friends as extras in the show.