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Interview: Introducing melodic punk act City Limits, stream “Homebodies” EP

New Brunswick, New Jersey is not an unfamiliar town to anyone in the pop punk scene. It has seen the manifestation of The Bouncing Souls, Gaslight Anthem, and The Ergs!, and has been home to the legendary Court Tavern (RIP). The suburbs may appear to be quiet, but they won’t give up spewing melodic anthems just yet.

Meet City Limits, a melodic punk act in the same vain as Dear Landlord, Off With Their Heads, and The Lawrence Arms. The quartet released their sophomore EP “Homebodies” through Death To False Hope Records today, July 28th.

You can give it a listen here.

We also caught up with vocalist/bassist Allon Levin, and guitarist Dave Lopez to discuss the difficulties of analog recording, the songwriting process, and their upcoming tour. You can read the full interview and check out their tour dates below.

Mike Ness wants Rick Rubin to produce new Social Distortion album

Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness recently spoke to AZ Central about the status of their long-awaited follow-up to 2011′s Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, and mentioned that he wants Rick Rubin (known for his work with The Beastie Boys, Run-D.M.C., Slayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Johnny Cash, Weezer, System of a Down, Danzig, The Cult and many other artists) to produce it because of his production on Tom Petty’s 1994 album Wildflowers. He explains:

“I think Rick Rubin. But I go back far. I listen to Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” record. The production value on that is just amazing. It’s such a broad spectrum of sounds and tones. Obviously, that was still in the era of analog. The last record I did, I did that. It cost me three times as much to record it analog (laughs). But since then, I have worked with people who have showed me that you can use Pro Tools and still achieve a pretty accurate thing, but you have to be careful. It’s a slippery slope.”

We’ll keep you posted as more details on the new Social D record come to light. The band recently wrapped up a European tour by celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of their 1990 classic self-titled album. They will continue to celebrate this anniversary when they tour the U.S. this fall.

The Offspring guitarist talks about new album, says there may be another single

The Offspring guitarist Noodles recently spoke to OC Register about the band’s plans for 2016, and revealed that it’s possible that there will be another new single before the end of the year. On why it’s taking so long to make a new album, Noodles explains:

“We definitely want to put out a whole record and we wanted to have it done by the end of the year, but we’ve been redoing our studio and going out on weekend gigs. It’s a different day and age in terms of making records, but with the Internet, you can put stuff out whenever you want. Our feeling with putting out ‘Coming for You’ was, why make the fans wait for two years. If we feel like we have something that we feel is good, let’s put it out now.”

The Offspring’s latest full-length studio album, Days Go By, was released in 2012 on Columbia Records. Earlier this year, they released a new single called “Coming for You“, which may appear on the new album.

Social Distortion eyeing 2016 release for new album

Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness recently gave Rolling Stone an update on the band’s long-awaited new album, which will be their first since 2011′s Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes. Mike said that he has been writing a lot of songs, and the band will begin work on the album after their upcoming U.S. tour, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of their 1990 classic self-titled album. He states:

“I’ve written a lot of songs, and I’ve got a lot of songs for another solo record. Once the summer tour is done, I can start figuring out the direction for the next record. It’s not as far along as I’d like it to be. Unfortunately, for us to do a new record, we have to stop touring because it’s pretty hard for me to write on the road.”

Asked when the album is expected for release, Mike replied, “We’re banking on 2016. It’s funny because I have the songs in my head but then I forget about them, and a couple came to mind the other day in rehearsal. These were songs I thought might be like filler songs. I showed them to the band, and they were just like, “Dude, that song’s fucking awesome, man.” So that made me think, “Maybe I’m further along than I realized.” So that was cool.”

Interview: Todd Congelliere talks about Toys That Kill, Recess Records and more

Recess Records owner Todd Congelliere, was interviewed the Discuss and Disregard Podcast. During the interview he discussed  Toy That Kill, his label and more.

You can check it out here.

Toys That Kill last released a split with Joyce Manor in December.

The Dillinger Escape Plan to begin recording new album in November

The Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Ben Weinman told The Rock Pit that the band has begun writing new material for their next album, and will enter the studio around November to begin recording it for an early 2016 release. Asked if he felt any pressure to outdo the band’s last record, Ben replied:

“I don’t think we really try to think about it too much. We just start moving and start making stuff. It’s, like, just take what you’ve got and get to work, and at some point you’ve just got to write the first riff and not look back. We just want to make sure it always moves us, We’re proud of pretty much every single thing we ever put out. We’ve always put 110 percent into it and we’ve always been the kind of band where some of our music may seem clever, but that’s not the most important part. The most important part is that it has emotion and energy, so I like to think what differentiates us from some of the technical bands is that everything we do has to feel like it can’t just be interesting, it actually has to move us. We have to be able to picture us playing it live and feeling it, and so the carthartic nature of our music is the most important thing. So, with that in mind, it’s not about beating something or topping it, it’s about maintaining that level of emotion and really feeling or believing that we’re creating something honest. And that’s the challenge — we have to be in the right state of mind to do it, we can’t just force it.”

The Dillinger Escape Plan’s last studio album, One of Us Is the Killer, was released in May 2013 on their own label Party Smasher Inc. in partnership with Sumerian Records in North America (and BMG worldwide).

Noodles offers update on new Offspring album

The Offspring guitarist Noodles recently gave The Aspen Times an update on the band’s new album, which will be their first since 2012′s Days Go By, and is expected to be released next year. He explains:

“We want to do a record, that’s the plan. But it’s taking forever. We released this song because we felt good about it immediately. It was one of the first one or two songs we finished, so we were like, ‘If we wait on this it might be another year, year-and-a-half. Why don’t we just put it out and see what happens?’”

Of course, that “new song” Noodles is referring to is The Offspring’s latest single “Coming for You”, which was released in January. The band last released the Summer Nationals EP in August 2014, which featured covers of songs originally by Bad Religion and Pennywise.

Against Me!‘s Laura Jane Grace featured on WTF with Marc Maron

Against Me!‘s Laura Jane Grace was the latest guest on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron.

You can give it a listen here.

Against Me! released their latest album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, back in January of last year on their own Total Treble Music.

Brie McWane, Dave McWane, Erin MacKenzie dish on The Doped Up Dollies

The lovely Brie McWane, Dave McWane, and Erin MacKenzie (all of Big D & The Kids Table) were kind enough to share some insider info and answer a few questions about their new project The Doped Up Dollies for us Dying Scenesters!

Front-lady Brie had this to say about her hopes for the music:

“We want our listeners to take a positive outlook from this record. The world can be a dark and negative place sometimes and we wanted to present an outlet to our listeners and find strength within themselves. You need to make your own sunshine sometimes and put out that PMA!”

Stay in the loop and check out the full scoop on The Doped Up Dollies recording process, musical influences, and aspirations below!

You can stream their first single “Make Your Own Sunshine” here.

DS Interview: Versus The World on new album “Homesick/Roadsick” and the perils of maintaining ‘supergroup’ status

The internet, including Wikipedia (which we are STILL banned from), will tell you that supergroups never work out. However, that fact falters in the face of Versus The World. Featuring members of the Ataris and Lagwagon, the California act churns out melodic anthems and serves as a reminder that heavy songs can still sound fun. The band exemplifies this in their third studio effort Homesick/Roadsick, a sucker-punch of an album that gets catchier with every listen. We were able to catch up with frontman Donald Spence before he embarks on an extensive European tour with the rest of our crew.

You can read the full interview below.

Ice-T talks about Body Count’s remake of Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized”

Body Count frontman Ice-T talked to Team Rock Radio about their remake of the Suicidal Tendencies classic ”Institutionalized”, explaining:

“We did Institutionalized to pay homage to Suicidal because they were the first band out of the west coast rocking the Dickies, the bandanas and having that west coast look. When we first came out, most of our fans were Suicidal fans. They migrated to our shows. So we did their song and we were happy that they liked it. Nothing but respect for Suicidal.

I liked the record because it was more of a rant than a song. With a lot of punk rock back in the day, you always tried to get some kind of point across. Michael was kind of just saying, ‘I’m just going through it as a kid. Mom is telling me I’m on drugs, all I want is a Pepsi.’”

Body Count’s version of ”Institutionalized” is taken from their latest album Manslaughter, which was released over exactly a year ago. The original version is taken from Suicidal Tendencies’ iconic self-titled debut album from 1983.

DS Exclusive: Sal Medrano of Rebuilder on “Rock And Roll In America,” and building a band in the current punk scene

There comes a time in the life of many a local band when the inevitable “shit-or-get-off-the-pot” decision presents itself. There are seemingly limitless potential catalysts for such a decision: excessive drinking and drugs, fights over who wasn’t pulling their weight at load in/load out, band members getting married, band members having kids, people bring unable to tour due to day jobs or unwilling to tour due to lack of motivation, and on and on and on. For now-defunct Boston punk band Dead Ellington, that moment came by way of a principle member moving across country. Says former frontman Sal “Ellington” Medrano: “In a nutshell, my best friend at the time and band member Jason (Caira) wanted to move to California… We we made the band right after high school together. He gave me a date that he was leaving and said I could not book anymore shows past that. I was thinking that, well, if we can’t be a band past then, then I guess I don’t really have much of a choice.”

In fact, Medrano did have a choice, albeit a bit of an imperfect one. “I could try to start another band, or I could just not be in a band at all,” says Medrano. The latter seems a tad unrealistic for someone who has been in and around the Boston scene for as long as Medrano. But the fracturing of a band, of any relationship really, can force one to contemplate some rather existential issues.  ”Not being in a band anymore was, at the time, a very strong option,” Medrano comments rather directly. “I could just not throw my money into this anymore and not stress myself out with everything that comes along with it. But I kind of enjoyed it too much to just not do that.”

Medrano had already had a batch of songs written that were a little different than his previous Dead Ellington efforts. Committed to seeing his ideas through, Medrano contacted some of the various one-time members of Dead Ellington for his new project. But while many of the names and faces would be the same, their roles, and ultimately the vibe, would be very different. In addition to tackling vocal duties as he had in Ellington, Medrano, a drummer by trade, decided to pick up a guitar. “I said I’d suck it up and play guitar in this band,” Medrano says, only half-jokingly. “There’s plenty of people who are awful at guitar who are in bigger bands, so I can be awful at guitar and be in a band as well!” He enlisted the help of one-time Dead Ellington drummer Craig Stanton, though Stanton had no real desire to man the drumkit in the new project. Instead, Stanton, who’d been writing ideas of his own on guitar for a while, joined as essentially a co-guitarist and dual vocalist. Bass playing duties would be handled by Dan Carswell, who’d learned bass specifically to join Dead Ellington on their last tour dates. Still in need of a drummer, for their first batch of songs, Medrano and company turned to Rick Smith who, while a drum instructor, was perhaps best known in Dead Ellington circles for his keyboarding duties. However, Smith had no lingering desire to join as a full-time drummer. Who was left to turn to? Former Dead Ellington bass player and admittedly, says Medrano, “the best guitar player any of us know,” Brandon Phillips.

And so it was that Rebuilder was born.

Many of the parts may be pre-existing, and they may have taken a bit of a circuitous route in coming together, but the reception Rebuilder (with Smith providing keyboard duties whenever possible) has already been different than the reception to Dead Ellington’s seven-ish year run ever was. How different? “It’s night and day,” says Medrano (pictured above in the American flag shirt alongside his Rebuilder bandmates at the Rock And Roll In America release show). So different, in fact, that “it’s really one of those things where I wish that I stopped doing Dead Ellington a long time ago. I think I was not able to look at the band and see that it wasn’t working.” Now in their third year as a band, Rebuilder have already put out an EP (plus a bonus Christmas EP), opened for the likes of Dropkick Murphys, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Frank Turner, booked a few of their own tours, made appearances at the Pouzza and Skate & Surf Fests, and booked shows at this year’s Fest in Gainesville. Their debut full length, Rock and Roll In America, was just released via New Jersey’s Panic State Records, and strong enough that it can only serve to propel the band forward.

It takes less than one full listen to realize that RNRIA was written and recorded as an album, rather than as merely a collection of a dozen-or-so songs that sound okay together. One of the bigger differences between Dead Ellington and Rebuilder are the the lyrics themselves. Frequently one for being nothing if not honest, Medrano admits that in Dead Ellington, the goal was to write more for what it was assumed people wanted to hear. In Rebuilder, that level of pretense has disappeared, finding Medrano and Stanton writing their lyrics more for themselves, as a way to process their own issues. Though the two wrote their respective lyrics separately, you’d never really know it by listening to the album, as the words and their voices blend seamlessly.

If you’re of a certain age and thus grew up in the modern Golden Age of American punk music, you’ll no doubt recognize some familiar themes. Depression. Anxiety. Alienation. Being an outcast. The same energy that launched legions of Lookout Records and Fat Wreck Chords bands a generation ago. “I wasn’t really a popular kid growing up, I kinda just stayed home and played drums all day,” says Medrano in a sentiment that’s been echoed by millions. “You find music that speaks to you, really,” he continues. “I remember when I first listened to NOFX, they were the first punk band I ever heard. And for as goofy as it is, there are themes in there that are just about growing up and being alienated. I think that’s why I gravitated towards punk rock. And I think that’s always been why I wanted to play music.”

And yet, somewhere along the line, the themes that essentially fed the punk movement for so long seem to have gotten lost in the crowd somewhere. “I don’t see a bunch of teenage kids starting bands anymore,” says Medrano. “When I walk in to a Guitar Center, they’re selling either more towards EDM or just not selling really cool shit at all. A lot of teenagers that aren’t starting a lot of bands and that aren’t putting their heart and effort into it because there isn’t any real role model.” Rebuilder in general, and Rock And Roll In America specifically, are a big step in the direction of taking some of that back. While there’s an earnest, at times startling, amount of sincerity in the vocals both on record and particularly in live performances, Medrano and company are careful to not take themselves too seriously, as evidenced by even the quickest of looks at their Bill Murray (formerly Bill Cosby) -adorned merch, or Medrano’s Instagram page. “I do think we’re really lucky to do what we’re doing, even though we’re definitely not making a living doing it,” says Medrano.” “Just the fact that this record is out and that people like it is a big deal to us. It’s a big deal to me because I’m always, like, ‘if I die tomorrow, will I leave anything behind that’s having any lasting effect?’ The fact that this is out and will always be out makes me very happy.”

Head below to check out our discussion in full. We cover a lot of ground, from the Dead Ellington years to the state of the Warped Tour, to singing a song with a chorus that includes “anything’s better than New Jersey” to a bunch of kids in Asbury Park, to a virtual how-to on getting involved in bands and making connections in your scene, even if your own scene doesn’t have its own Dropkick Murphys or Mighty Mighty Bosstones to guide the way.

Rock And Roll In America was released June 2nd on Panic State Records. Get it here.

Noodles talks about new Offspring album and “Coming for You”

In a recent interviewThe Offspring guitarist Noodles offered updates on the band’s long-awaited new album, revealing that the making of their follow-up to 2012′s Days Go By is slowly coming together. He states:

“We’re kind of in and out of the studio infrequently, actually, right now. We’re hoping to get back in, but we’re doing a lot of one-off (performances).”

Noodles also said that their new single “Coming for You”, which was released last January, is expected to be on the new album. We’ll keep you posted as more details on the new Offspring album come to light. The band last released the Summer Nationals EP in August 2014, which featured covers of songs originally by Bad Religion and Pennywise.

Bad Brains’ Dr. Know talks about Woodstock sessions

Washington, D.C. hardcore icons Bad Brains entered a studio in Woodstock, New York yesterday to record a new EP in front of an audience of 60-70 people, with Jamaican singer Jesse Royal filling in for H.R. The EP will be part of a series of similar recording sessions called The Woodstock Sessions. About these sessions, guitarist Dr. Know told Fuse:

“It’s gonna be like a gig, but a recording gig. It’s great to have participation with the audience, to get a little feedback. “Did you like that solo guys?” [Laughs]“

Dr. Know was also asked if he plans to work with H.R. in the future, he simply responded, “Only Jah know.”

Bad Brains have not released a statement whether H.R. is out of the band, or will be involved in the recording of their next studio album, which will be their first since 2012′s Into the Future. We’ll keep you posted as more details on H.R.’s status with Bad Brains come to light.

Social Distortion to release new album next year?

Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness apparently told the German website Krone that their long-awaited new album should be ready for a 2016 release, which will be their first since 2011′s Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes. Ness also said that the record might be a sequel to their 1992 classic album Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell.

We’ll keep you posted as more details on the new Social D record come to light. The band recently wrapped up a European tour by celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of their iconic self-titled album. They continue to celebrate this anniversary when they tour the U.S. this fall.