With 5 digital EPs under their belt and their debut full length just over a month away, Direct Hit! is pumping up (pun intended) for it's release. Guitarist and singer Nick Woods spoke to staff interviewer Justin Dickman about the decision to include already released material, the process of using Kickstarter, Nick's illicit thoughts on the comic adaptation trend in Hollywood; including the beloved and the scorned, as well as his favorites when it comes to the comic world. Not to mention, a genuine authentic Nick Woods comic book idea, subject to copyright.
How can you continue to write such fun and catchy songs?
I dunno man! Not thinking hard about anything I guess. Ripping off the Ramones helps too.
Why did you make the decision to re-record already released songs for the album?
Mainly because we had a different lineup playing on every one of our EPs. Danny didnât join our band until right before we recorded DH#2, and Robbie didnât join until after DH#3 was released, which Danny didnât even play on because for a while we thought we were going to break up. We had a keyboard player for a while. Devon just joined on guitarâ¦ When it comes down to it, Iâm the only member of Direct Hit who played on all five Direct Hit EPs, none of which really got recorded the way we wanted. And none of us were too happy about that. We kind of think those EPs misrepresent our band, and what the songs actually sound like now. So we really wanted a "definitive" release, with versions of the songs we still play that we could all get behind.
Which formats will Domesplitter be released?
A few different colors of 12" vinyl, and on CD, plus the whole iTunes/Amazon treatment.
Why should we, as fans, purchase the record if we already have all 5 EPs on our hard drives?
I donât really consider those the "real" versions of our songs. For one, the older tunes we re-recorded for the full length have totally new parts, pretty much all around - Danny didnât play on DH#1 and DH#3, and Robbie didnât play on anything until DH#4, but both of them are obviously on this album. We had someone playing keys on DH#5 that isnât in the band anymore. So right away, six of the songs on Domesplitter have a totally different rhythm section, playing new parts, which gives all of them a completely new feel, I think. Everything just sounds a lot more cohesive, and a lot more like our band actually sounds. If I were Perry Farrell, and my band was Janeâs Addiction, Iâd tell you itâs a more "mature"-sounding record - "punchy", yet "warm" - but Iâm not into the whole wearing scarves and pretending I like house music thing, so I wonât.
Like I said before, none of us were overjoyed with how any of the previous EPs represented our band. If youâre interested in hearing the songs the way we want them to sound, you should steal it or some shit once it leaks, just like you did with all our other releases.
You used KickStarter to fund the recording. How did that go?
Awesomely! Iâm a total dick though, seriously, and still havenât sent out all of the "prizes" for itâ¦ as much as a videotaped thank-you from our bass player hammered and dressed in a diaper might be considered a prize.
Were you nervous for a second you might not reach your goal?
Fuck yeah I was nervous! We sold out of those cassettes really quick, and there were a few people that seemed legitimately pissed we didnât have more. So I figured a lot of dudes were gonna think we were dicks and boycott the whole thing or something. Iâm probably assuming people care more than they actually do, but whatever. I get to put out an album, so Iâm fucking pumped either way.
What incentives/gifts were you giving out for the donation pledges?
A bunch of shit that has "DIRECT HIT SUCKS" printed on it, and various things to prove it. Thereâs a tape in there that has a song from my high school pop-punk band on it. Itâs not good. Neither is the autographed glamour shot that Danny put up.
Have you yourself contributed to any KickStarter project?
Yeah, a while back, my brother was putting out a 12" record, and used KickStarter to fund the pressing. So I donated $20 or something to get copies of his whole catalogue. Turned out that some label dude ended up hearing about it though, and put the record out for him instead, so the project ended early.
If no, what kind of project would it have to be? What kind of gift would you have to receive?
I donât think itâs really a gift. If I bother to donate money to a KickStarter project, itâs because I feel some kind of personal connection to whatever it is the person or group is promoting.
You also were broadcasting the recording on Ustream. Howâd it feel known people might be watching?
Ah dude, we didnât give a shit. I just wanted to prove to people that we were actually spending the money they gave us on what we said we were gonna do with it, instead of Glenlivet and strippers.
So, I understand youâre a big comic fan. What series are you reading? Favorite writers; artists?
Right now, Iâm pretty into Haunt, which everyone pretends to hate, even though itâs flying off the shelves. Probably because itâs just a more ridiculous version of Spawn, and I have every issue of that book in my apartment, even though it sucks now. I like Greg Capulloâs art a lot, but heâs really the only illustrator that gets me excited for a new book, because itâs usually the concept and the writing that suck me in, not the pictures. Iâm pretty sure Iâve read everything that Garth Ennis has writtenâ¦ To be honest, I think I like his arc from Crossed better than anything Kirkman has done with The Walking Dead. I tell people Crossed is just The Walking Dead on meth. That shit is so brutal, and offensive, and awesome.
Are you looking forward to any of the film adaptations coming out this summer (Thor, X-Men: First Class, Captain America)?
Eh, not really. It seems like every fucking movie that comes out lately is just a comic book put on screen, and directed by Zack Snyder, and I think thatâs totally lame. If directors were doing something different with each property, and adding to the world that comics envision, I think Iâd be a lot more excited. The Walking DeadTV show, for example, has been so awesome so far, because itâs already plowing new ground that the book hasnât, even though that CDC shit is kind of weak. But I havenât seen anything close to that in a movie theater for a long whileâ¦ I was really, really pumped when I heard Darren Aronofsky was directing a Wolverine movie, but he dropped off, and now like, McG, or some music video director is doing it I think, so Iâm pretty sure itâs going to suck donkey balls, just like
Wolverine: Origins Where do you think season 2 of The Walking Dead will go? Will the writers follow the comics [Iâm hoping they find the prison by season 3] or go off on their own?
Iâm pretty certain the TV show is going to go off on its own path, with nods to the comic for those who are following both. How fucking awesome will it be if Merle ends up coming back in Season 4 as the Governor?
My friend Dylan told me about a pretty good theory: Kirkman has done an incredible job with the book keeping you guessing whoâs going to get it next, and the show is going to have to do the same thing if it wants to last for the long-term. But thatâs difficult to do on a TV show when thereâs a book that already tells you whoâs going to get killed. So the prediction is that at some point, the show is going to kill off Rick, and focus on Carl instead. Thatâs the only way theyâre going to be able to keep the tension on the same level.
What did you think if youâve seen any?
I actually thought Watchmen was pretty awesome, if only because the whole movie looked amazing, and because they stuck so closely to the source material, which everyone seemed to think was unfilmable. So Iâm more impressed that one actually made it to theaters. Sin City was good too. Even the first X-Men was alright, and the first scene from the second one, I think, with Nightcrawler going apeshit in the White House. That was the awesome. And I want to see Thor, because everyone tells me it doesnât suck. But this new Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds? Seriously, fuck that. And X-Men: First Class might as well be called X-Men Kids and air on Nick Jr. Maybe itâs good, but Iâm not going to see it so Iâll never know.
So, what about Chris Nolanâs Batman, Iron Man and the upcoming Avengersfilm?
Good point - The Dark Knight was my favorite movie of 2008, and my favorite superhero movie, period. The Dark Knight Rises is going to be awesome too, especially since Nolanâs already said that heâs pulling the plug after this one, and because Tom Hardy is playing fucking Bane. Shitâs gonna go down. If you donât know who Tom Hardy is, you should watch this movie called Bronson. And afterward, if you arenât totally pumped about that casting move, youâre probably on heroin.
I wasnât all that hyped on the first Iron Man movie, to be honest, so I never saw the second one. So Iâm kind of on the fence about the Avengers movie. My guess though is that itâll be the same kind of deal as the first X-Men movie - Pretty OK, but I wonât stab anybody if they opt to just not see it.
Imagine you were a producer in Hollywood. Which comic would you pick to adapt? Film or TV? Who would you hire to be involved? Personally, I would love to see an adaption of DMZ on television, running for at least 5 to 7 seasons.
I've never read DMZ to be honest, but I think that could be a pretty awesome cop show*. I don't know why that genre hasn't been updated on TV in a while - It just seems like the same old CSI/Wire-ripoff shit now everywhere you go. The Wire is maybe my favorite series of all time though. So at least everyone isn't trying to copy like, Thunder In Paradise or something. Although to be honest, I'd probably watch at least one episode of a Thunder In Paradise reboot if they got The Rock to play Hulk Hogan's part. The Rock's underrated. He was incredible in Reno 911. Man, that's a tough one though… To be honest, a Wolverine movie with Aronofsky directing would've been the shit. And Ron Howard had what sounded like a super-awesome plan to turn The Dark Tower into a film trilogy, with a TV series in between each, with Javier Bardem playing The Gunslinger. But it sounds like that's getting fucked up now too, which totally sucks. I'd say Chew, with the dude who played Miles from Lost in the lead, but I guess HBO already has the exact same idea in production, or something. Any of those would be more exciting than what I could come up with. It might be cool if someone would do a massively-budgeted, hard-R, 3D version of The Sword though, in two or three parts, and get someone from overseas to direct… like, maybe Xavier Gens, who did Frontier(s) and Hitman, but we won't talk about that - or Park Chan Wook. Or Alexandre Aja! Mirrors totally sucked, but High Tension and Piranha 3D were both incredible. Dude could use a straight-up action movie on his resume. Or Takashi Miike. Any of those four I'd be psyched about. I dunno who I'd cast though… All of the characters in that book were drawn pretty non-descript, just like all of the Luna Brothers' stuff. And all of my favorite female action stars are getting too old to play Dara Brighton anyway. Maybe Abbie Breslin or Emma Stone? They were both pretty awesome in Zombieland. Mila Jovovich would have to be involved somehow though, because she'd kick the entire world's ass with one leg. And I'd probably hit up Monica Belucci to play Malia.
If you were to write your own comic, what would it be about?
Oh dude. Hereâs my idea: Iâd rip off The Road, World War Z, Crossed, and Mad Max, all at the same time, and write a semi-post-apocalypse book with an awesome dude-versus-mutants plot. Like, Iâm just riffing here, but what if it starts with the U.S. dropping a hydrogen bomb on Pakistan, which obliterates most of the country, and leaves behind a handful of totally pissed-off mutant people. And letâs suppose that some special ops soldier was in the country when it happened, and for some reason didnât get shipped out before the bomb went off. Like, maybe heâs in some operation deep below the Earth going after some terrorist, when the mission goes wrong, and his whole team is killed and heâs knocked unconscious. So he wakes up, knowing the bombâs gone off, but not whatâs waiting for him on the surface. So first off, dude knows he has radiation poisoning, and needs to get to a hospital to get that shit sorted out. Second, heâs trapped in a country full of mutants, and has to figure out how to get home, all over the backdrop of an impending nuclear war. I could figure out a way to make that series last forever. And Iâd make it super brutal and awesome. Thereâs a crisp $5 bill if you can get Todd Macfarlane on the phone for me. Copyright 2011, Nick Woods.
Please tell me you guys will be touring soon, and out west.
Weâre going out east for a few days in August. And weâve been talking about going out to Vegas and California basically since we started traveling. I fucking love everything out west, but itâs a long-ass drive, gas is $4 a gallon right now, and weâre all broke. It sucks. The first chance we get to make it out that way though, weâll take. Just have to wait for the right time.
I know when I travel I like to grab a big bag of jerky. Do you have any favorite road snacks?
To tell you the truth, I donât get to snackinâ much when Iâm in the van. We eat Subway a lot. I ate McDonaldâs dollar menu and gas station food twice a day, every day, for two months while on tour with my last band, so that stuff makes me sick now. There was a point after that trip where smelling McDonaldâs from the highway made me lose my appetite.
If Iâm indulging though, Hostess Fruit Pies are the shit. Blueberry bitch. Nothing else even compares.
Whatâs your sandwich at the ole Subway?
Wheat bread, turkey, banana peppers, green peppers, red onions, lettuce, easy on the mayo.
Are any of you cheese-heads, fans of cheese, the Packers or other?
If thereâs no football next year, and I donât get to watch Clay Matthews personally decapitate at least eight quarterbacks on the field, Iâm going to decapitate at least eight quarterbacks myself, in front of their wives and children.
Where do you stand when it comes to the actions of Governor Walker?
I donât really have a stance one way or another. The way I see it, government is best when it leaves me the fuck alone. By that standard, Walker sucks, because his bullshit is crowding up my fucking Facebook wall.
So, what do you want to see on your facebook wall?
Cool shit, like new tunes, and awesome movie trailers, and weird stuff from the internet. Anything doesnât remind me how ignorant, greedy, and insane most of the worldâs population can be. I use Facebook for entertainment. Not to discuss global politics in 200-character blurbs.
*At the time of the interview, Nick did not quite understand the whole concept of DMZ