Band on Band: Measure [SA]/New Bruises

Welcome to a very special Fest edition of Punknews' Band on Band. Today we feature The Measure [SA] and New Bruises. Both bands are not only playing this year's Fest but also share a split available on Kiss of Death Records. Luckily for us, Lauren of The Measure [SA] and Bryon of New Bruises recently took some time to quiz each other about beavers, drummers and canine behavior.

Part 1: Bryon of New Bruises interviews Lauren of The Measure [SA]

So define the reason for the [sa] and what does it mean, now and when I first meant you it was Strictly Analog, so is this like an MDC thing?
The reason for the [sa] is that there was already a band called the Measure in a totally different music circle than us so we tacked on the [sa] standing for Strictly Analog. Fid didn't have a cell phone back then and coined the term for staying away from crazy technology like that. It also works because we record analog and put everything out on vinyl first. So, it still rings true, but it could really mean whatever you want. I think my personal favorite is, "Sweet Action."

There are Beaver surrounding the band and on tour can you describe your relationship with the beaver?
Well they're Fid's beavers, starting with Beavie, who he's had since childhood. There are a LOT of them but only four travel with us currently. Beavie, Walter, Leroy and Buford. They sit on our amps at shows and are kind of good luck charms. We can't leave home without them!

On the polar opposite end of New Bruises you guys keep cranking out new records, be it singles, splits, or EPs. How do you guys maintain being prolific and keeping up such quality songs?
Well it helps to have two main songwriters in the band. Fid and I wrote most of the songs on our own and then bring them to practice. We work well together songwriting-wise and are able to either get the songs to a point where we're really into them, or we just won't play them. "Quality" or not, we have our own standards for wanting to enjoy playing everything, and to be proud of it, so I think that helps.

So, can you describe the dynamic in your band that get the creative juices flowing to write The Measure songs?
Most of the time Fid and I write songs separately first and we've been pretty busy lately, so it hasn't happened as much since we recorded the new LP. Usually practice just goes that we run through our set and then see who has a new song to write. We're constantly playing new songs or going over old ones we've forgotten because of lineup changes and whatnot. It's a pretty constant process.

With the upcoming departure of another member of the band (something both bands have in common is the rotating door of line up changes) Who was the shortest-lived member of the band and how long why was it so short?
We count band members as anyone who has ever played a show with us. So technically CJ, who was our drummer for half a show. I'll leave it at that, but it was definitely the most short lived. Creative differences?

When we first played with The Measure, Fid was your drummer and he liked to stop the set and talk between songs. Do you ever miss Fid playing drums?
Nope, not at all. He still talks way more than I do on stage but [he] is about 10,000 times happier playing guitar. World of difference! And when he started playing guitar, Mikey Erg started playing drums, so that ruled and worked out better for us as a band in the long run.

Part 2: Lauren of The Measure [SA] interviews Bryon of New Bruises

Our split was supposed to be a 4-way split with a couple bands from the UK, because you know a lot of folks over there. How did that happen? Meet anyone in the UK that folks in the US should tune into?
The Amazing Transatlantic 4 way Split, our split was originally going to include Above Them and Chillerton (rip) but we decided to release it just as a split due to complications of one of the bands breaking up. We both wanted to do splits with Chillerton because they are an amazing band and we decided to force it into a 4 way and I included Above Them because they are an amazing band. I have luckily seen both those UK bands multiple times. There are so many great bands in the UK right now it is kind of scary, If I had to make a suggestion I would say check out The Arteries and Above Them both are amazing

The Measure almost moved to Tampa at your request. Remind me again how you convinced us? Would you ever pick up and move again?
It was not a whole lot of convincing as I remember it. You guys just almost got seduced into our little neighborhood of porch parties and all the hanging out we do in Tampa like at Transitions. Plus we have amazing things like Hockey Games, Taco Bus, Ybor, and the gulf beaches. It is hard to resist all of Tampa temptations but Emily and talk about moving she really wants to be closer to you and Fid. She spent the summer in New York and is convinced we should live there now. I am from Pennsylvania so I have no desire to move back up north for the winters again but stranger things have happened. So, basically I will not rule out any possibilities.

What's with New Bruises as O’ Pioneers!!!? No, seriously.

I am Eric’s Dad. Hahahaha, nah, I don’t know we just have a blast hanging out. I get along with Eric really well and I love his band so we filled in for him at some shows. The guys were stoked because they got paid to play and that does not happen in New Bruises because we are always broke. We met at a house show at Chewie’s and became instant friends and ended putting out The Measure / O’ Pioneers!!! split based on that meeting and playing with you in New Brunswick. Thinking about it now the three bands have a kind of sick love triangle we have now all done splits together. What is the deal?

How has being self-employed while also employing others/friends affected your band and touring recently?
Well I run a small Audio / Visual / Media Integration subcontracting company and Jason and Murray both work for it. We have busy and slow times of the year so it has made it really easy for us to take off work for touring when we need to, but because we travel a lot for work we have not really practiced since July and we have yet to record an album we pretty much finished writing back in March / April. It does look like we will be touring a lot during this coming February / March with a new album if we do record it soon. So, there are definitely some Pros and Cons to it all and I seem to always end up being Uncle Bryon somehow, just ask Jonny C from The Slow Death he works for us too.

I have to ask how your dogs got to be so bonkers. Want to talk about your rambunctious pets and how you got them?
I have the sweetest dogs in the whole world. Bella is a ten year old boxer and Baxter is a four year old pit bull. Emily brought Bella in from a previous relationship and Baxter was found abandoned and scraped up on the side of a highway. Bella tries to scare everyone as they enter our house or yard, it is easy to calm her down she is just trying to figure out her role, if you sternly say her name and tell her to sit and show no fear she is super friendly to you, if you get scared, she’s dominant and does not leave you alone. Baxter on the other hand will bark at the fence and then once you get the yard he gets excited, to the point sometimes he pees a little bit, and the runs around with a sock or toy in his mouth to placate himself and then proceeds to walk on everybody’s lap yearning for attention. Anyone reading this consider your self forewarned if you make your way to my house.