Interviews
The Damned

Dave Vanian on The Damned's new album, the human race, and cool clothes

As it turns out, Dave Vanian, the guy who is perennially dressed like he's about to go to a funeral, the guy who is often credited with inventing (or at least advancing) goth culture, the guy who co-wrote "I just can't be happy today," is a really upbeat guy. As vocalist for first wave punkers The Damned, Vanian and crew embraced the true ethos of punk more than almost any other band and, instead of running headfirst into three chords, leather jackets, and studs, have spent the last 42 years twisting, turning, and flipping their sound- sometimes it's a garage rock blowout, sometimes it's a gothic nocturne, and sometimes it's an 18-minute avant garde mind warper produced by Hans Zimmerman.

Their brand new album, Evil Spirits finds the band wrapping goth and garage rock melody around a classic punk charge, and the result is an album like only the Damned can do and it is goooood. But despite, the perhaps, heavy nature of some of the tunes, Vanian himself seems downright jovial. In order to understand Vanian's convival nature, Punknews' John Gentile spoke to the singer about the new LP, his fashion sense, and romance.

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Interviews
Natterers

Thomas Witty of Natterers on the band's first full-length

With the release of each EP over the passed couple of years, the UK’s Natterers have made quite the splash within the contemporary hardcore scene. 2018 is a very different year for the band though. The surf and 80’s hardcore-influenced band has totally outdone themselves with the release of their first full-length Head In Threatening Attitude , which was released on October 5, 2018 through Boss Tuneage Records. They took their sound to a whole different level. Fans of the Punknews Podcast may recall that core members Emma and Thomas made a brief appearance on episode 350 along with other notable punk musicians. But with the release of such an outstanding record, it is time for Natterers to get a proper interview. Contributing editor Ricky Frankel spoke with the band’s guitarist Thomas Witty about some of the songs on Head In Threatening Attitude, the band’s recent line up change, the punk icon that mastered the album, and more. Read or listen to their conversation below or on iTunes.

Photo Credit: Meg Manley

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Interviews
Chumbawamba's Danbert Nobacon on his new LP, his history, and a certain mysterious record...

Chumbawamba's Danbert Nobacon on his new LP, his history, and a certain mysterious record…

Danbert Nobacon once dumped a pitcher of ice water on the head of the Deputy Prime minister, wrote a fairy tale about environmental cataclysm, and was one of the first guys to dis the Clash… and, oh yeah, he's also a founding member of Chumbawamba and is one of the most influential anarcho-punks of all time… and oh, yeah, he's still doing his thing.

Nobacon recently released Stardust to Darwinstuff, under the name Danbert Nobacon & The Axis of Dissent. The record finds Nobacon in classic form, cranking out jams about how the environment is being plundered and polluted just so a few rich people can get a few more bucks. But despite the heavy subject matter, Nobacon keeps that wry Chumba sing-songy humor in the cracks as he calls out people on their bullshit. Punknews' John Gentile spoke to Nobacon about the new release, the ice water incident, and a top secret record that only the most hardcore Chumba fans have in their collection…

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Interviews
Gareth Liddiard of Tropical Fuck Storm

Gareth Liddiard of Tropical Fuck Storm

Tropical Fuck Storm isn't just a whacked out name- it's a whacked out band. Formed by Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin after taking a hiatus from the art-punk psych band The Drones, the Australian band takes hard edged punk and adds an experimental electronic edge. Their newest album, A Laughing Death in Meatspace is their trippiest and meanest release to date, with songs about CIA secret opps, slashing people's tires, and multiple songs that feel like bad acid trips.

That's out next Friday, so Punknews' John Gentile spoke to Liddiard about the new LP, being mean on the Internet, and Men at Work.

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Interviews
Mike Haliechuk on Fucked Up's new LP, dreams, and the sax

Mike Haliechuk on Fucked Up's new LP, dreams, and the sax

After Fucked Up released their last record, the compact Glass Boys in 2014, the band had nothing left to lose. The record didn't get a huge reception, people liked it, but didn't love it's relatively understated texture, and it sort of came and went. So, with the freedom of "no future expectations," the band recharged, and went for it with a double disc, cosmic traveling, genre warping, whacked out, concept twisitng, meta-ficitonal melting, mind blasting, weirdo punk rock album. It also has a saxophone on it.

The Canadian band started out a basically a straight up hardcore band that kept people guessing with their use of sigils and references to their guru, a mysterious figure named "David Eliade." Over the years, they got weirder with multiple 20 minute Hawkwindian opuses based on the Chinese zodiac, albums about David himself bombing factories, and eventually, they morphed into their Glass Boys selves- a *gasp* single disc album wherein they contemplated themselves.

Now, some four years removed from their calmer statement, they are back with Dose Your Dreams, a house smasher if there ever was one, that is just the kind of thing that their spaciest fans want. So, because they are about to release an album that certainly will be a landmark in their career, Punknews' John Gentile spoke to Haliechuk about dreams themselves, Buddhist thought, and why the saxophone is cool.

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Interviews
Night Birds

Brian Gorsegner of Night Birds on 'Roll Credits,' record collecting, and death

Ask not for whom the bells tolls, for it tolls for thee… Brian Gorsegner of Night Birds knows this truism well, so he's set his sights to making the most of the moment. The singer and his band just released their fourth album, the strategically compact Roll Credits , and the whole crew is punking it up as much as they can while facing that other golden ideal- raising a happy and healthy family.

That is to say, Gorsegner might be a standard bearer of neo-hardcore, belting out lyrics about insanity, insidious government oppression and serial killers, but he's also a dad and a husband, and trying to make these two forces work in conjunction instead of opposition. And if that's not difficult enough, while he's trying to complete that juggling act, the grim reaper, the foul grinning fiend, looms permanently in the back of his mind. So, to see what brews under that furrowed brow, Punknews' John Gentile spoke to Gorsegner about the new Night Birds platter, how to collect records, and Thanatos himself.

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Interviews
An overview of Gearhead Records

An overview of Gearhead Records

Sometimes you come across a story that deserves telling. That's the case with the rise and fall and rise of Gearhead Records. Tom Trauma caught up with founder Rev. Michelle Haunold Lorenz to talk about the highs and lows, and challenges of being a woman running an indie punk label. He also gets the scoop on the upcoming Gearfest in Sacramento on Saturday, September 29th.

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Interviews
Terror on their new LP, the importance of hardcore, and cool new bands

Terror on their new LP, the importance of hardcore, and cool new bands

Few bands in hardcore manage to have staying power enough for more than one or two full-lengths. And then there’s Terror. Terror have steadily become one of the most prolific bands in hardcore, and of any era. As they prepare to release their seventh full-length, Total Retaliation, on Pure Noise Records, the band finds themselves still brimming with energy and anger. They are, simply, one of the most dependable and valuable bands in the hardcore underground. Punknews' Mike Musilli got a chance to catch up with Scott Vogel, their vocalist, as the band gets ready for the release of the record and yet another lengthy touring schedule.

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Interviews
Anti-Flag

Anti-Flag on their new album, empathy, and Pittsburgh

On September 28th, Anti-Flag are set to release American Reckoning. The album will bring together acoustic versions of songs from American Spring and American Fall along with covers by Buffalo Springfield, John Lennon, and Cheap Trick. In the age of immediacy, the band felt it was important to revisit songs and ideas who may have been overlooked in our neverending news cycle. As Chris #2 put it, “How do we not let our art get lost in the shuffle?”

In the lead up to American Reckoning, the band has been in the midst of an amphitheatre tour across North America with fellow punk rock luminaries Rise Against and A.F.I. Punknews’ Eric Rosso spoke with Chris #2 about this and much more including the music industry, organizing, and the recent socialist resurgence in Pittsburgh, Anti-Flag’s hometown.

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Interviews
Hiroki Osawa of The Sensations on Japanese ska, running a label, and Mustard Plug

Hiroki Osawa of The Sensations on Japanese ska, running a label, and Mustard Plug

There's something beautiful about ending up at a show on accident. A quick post, a flyer on the street, word from a friend, realizing hey that's not too far from me maybe I should go. And that's more or less how I came to know The Sensations, a Tokyo ska band who deliver an amazing set of doo-wop, pop, and soul influenced ska that truly lives up to the name. After stumbling upon them in a basement in Shinjuku, and witnessing the raw, frantic, barely contained energy that they bring to the stage, they quickly became one of my favorite acts. And now they're coming to the US, to hopefully impress you just as they did me.

Jake Cooley spoke to their frontman Hiroki about the band, the scene in Tokyo, and their upcoming shows with Mustard Plug, including playing The Fest.

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Interviews
The Stand GT

Chris Page gets The Stand GT back together for Beau's Oktoberfest

Long dormant since their heyday in the 90s, garage-rock act The Stand GT have returned. The band, who originally hailed from the farming community of Glengarry, Ontario, has only played a handful of shows since going quiet in 2001. Their next will see them take the Black Forest stage at Beau's Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 22. I had the pleasure of chatting with frontman Chris Page on what it's been like getting the band back together after all these years.

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