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DS Exclusive: Ray Rocket on his solo debut, and continuing Teenage Bottlerocket after Brandon’s death

Teenage Bottlerocket founding member and co-frontman Ray Carlisle is the latest and greatest member of this little scene of ours to dip his Chuck Taylor-adorned toes into the ‘solo acoustic punk’ waters. Performing under the Ray Rocket moniker, Carlisle’s debut solo album, Do You Wanna Go To Tijuana? is due out April 1st on Rise Records, and features a dozen tracks, two of which are new, and the remainder of which are reworked (sometimes almost unrecognizably reworked) versions of Teenage Bottlerocket classics. News of the album just dropped officially last week, and brought with it the title track’s music video that will undoubtedly go down as one of the best damn ways to spend three minutes that you’ll have this year (get your minds out of the gutter, you filthy animals).

By now, you’ve all seen it, probably way more than once. The clip for “Do You Wanna Go To Tijuana?,” the lead single and title track from Teenage Bottlerocket’s Ray Carlisle, features Ray and his nine-year-old son Milo hanging out and doing all the rad stuff that dads and their kids get to do when it’s just them hanging out: practicing karate, snowboarding, dance parties, and just sorta generally spending time together being awesome. (Haven’t seen it or need a refresher? Go here.). It’s all of the adjectives that we’re not supposed to use when describing things on a website with its roots planted in the punk rock community: funny, sweet, adorable, inspiring, heart-melting… You get the idea. “I really just wanted it to be sort of a Saturday with me and Milo,” Carlisle tells me over the phone. “Even though we filmed it on a Thursday! I took him out of school for the day, that’s why we were the only people at the ski area; that’s the local ski area near Laramie. I think that we totally captured that. I love the feel for the video.

That sort of positive, uplifting feel is a pretty recurring theme on Do You Wanna Go To Tijuana?, as you would probably expect given Ray’s typical wheelhouse. After some demoing and fine-tuning, Carlisle holed up at his recording studio home-away-from-home, the legendary Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado, to lay down the dozen tracks that appear on the album. The bulk of what you hear comes from Ray and his recording partner/engineer Andrew Berlin, with the exception of backing vocals from fellow Bottlerocket Kody Templeman, an appearance from the Spastic Hearts’ Angi Phalangee, and drums on “First Time,” the album’s final track, from Carlisle’s late brother, Brandon. “That’s Brandon on drums,” says Carlisle, sounding about as choked up as I felt upon hearing those words. “That’s the last song Brandon ever played drums on before he died.

As it turns out, production on …Tijuana would wrap on October 27th of last year; Brandon fell into a coma on November 3rd before eventually succumbing four days later. The track, which the Carlisle brothers penned together following the death of a loved one, takes on particularly heaviness given Brandon’s death. “It’s not conventional the way that he plays drums (on “First Time”)” says Carlisle. “It really shows off everything that Brandon was capable of with his drumming. He was spectacular.

Though the Ray Rocket album was obviously planned and recorded while Brandon was still alive, the project seems to carry his spirit throughout. “Brandon was into it,” says Carlisle, before half-jokingly noting that “(his) number one concern was that it was going to suck!” Fans of TBR and the Carlisle brothers can undoubtedly rest assured that Ray’s solo project, and the album itself, do not, in fact, suck. Carlisle notes, and yours truly agrees, that “it just turned out so cool and I hope that people don’t judge it (based on it being interpreted as strictly an acoustic TBR album). Everything does have its own personality, and I changed it up enough that the excitement is there!

While it might, on the surface, appear to the outsider to be on the early side for Carlisle and his Bottlerocket brothers in arms to get back on the active side of the music circuit, Ray is careful to run most decisions through a “what would Brandon want” filter, particularly as Brandon served as chief decision-maker in Teenage Bottlerocket. He “was always such a huge decision maker with our music, as far as every aspect of it goes. I mean, the songwriting, the production, the T-shirt design. Brandon was always driving the boat, you know? So things are gonna change, and we’re all gonna miss him, especially this first handful of shows.” The coming year will prove to be a busy one for Ray and company. Teenage Bottlerocket will shake the rust off in mid-March with a few local shows before Ray hits the road for his first solo tour, opening for the likes of The Copyrights for the bulk of the month of May. “I think that it’s cool that I get to get out there and get my mind off of stuff,” says Carlisle.

Check out our extensive interview below, and head here to pre-order Do You Wanna Go To Tijuana?.



Jonathan Diener (The Swellers/Baggage) opens up about body image issues

Jonathan Diener of The Swellers and Baggage opened up about his body image problems and it’s a moving read.

You can check it out here.

Baggage’s debut EP Cheaper Than Therapy was released on December 18th. The Swellers released their final album, The Light Under Closed Doors, in October 2013 through No Sleep Records.



Show Review & Interview: Mischief Brew @ Sunnyvale Brooklyn (1.30.16)

When you hear that Mischief Brew will perform in your town, you make sure you get your ass to that show, even if you were riding in the back of an ambulance that same morning. I spent the better part of that Saturday getting my mom to the hospital, who came down with some severe viral infection, and waiting around as doctors and nurses performed tests and ultrasounds. It didn’t stop me from seeing one of my favorite bands, and I decided I was taking up too much space in the emergency room. I knew I had to go and see Mischief Brew, just to simply get me out of those hospital blues.

You can keep reading after the cut.



Fully Video Interview – John Holmstrom, founding editor of Punk Magazine

In case you missed it, Bobby Pickles interviewed John Holmstrom, founding editor of Punk magazine, last week on Dying Scene Radio. You can check out that episode here.

Or, watch the full video interview below.

Dying Scene Radio will return next week with a brand new episode.



Deryck Whibley talks about new Sum 41 album, recovery and the music industry

Sum 41 vocalist and guitarist Deryck Whibley recently spoke to Fuse about his recovery process, touring, record labels, and the band’s long-awaited new album, which will be their first since 2011′s Screaming Bloody Murder. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

“The difference is that you don’t have people to argue with as much. On our last record [2011's Screaming Bloody Murder], being on a major label in a time where most music is just pop when I want to make a rock record, you have people to argue with about why they think you should be making a pop record, ruining your career, trying to convince you of that. I have to say, ‘No, wrong, and I’m going to do this anyway.’ And they say, ‘Fine, you can do that but we’re not going to put any money into it,’ and I say, ‘Okay, fine.’ It’s that kind of shit. That’s our last experience. When that last record was done, and I really love that record but it was record that was put out and didn’t have any promo because it’s a rock record. We said, ‘Can you just let us f—-g go at this point?’ So we got off the label and we’re in this position and it’s been great.”

The new album, which is said to be almost finished, will be the band’s first album with Dave “Brownsound” Baksh on guitar since 2004′s Chuck, and their first release with Darrin Pfeiffer from Goldfinger on drums. Sum 41 recently announced they will be headlining the “Kerrang Tour”.



New Episode of Dying Scene Radio – Pickles speaks with John Holmstrom (founder/Punk magazine) at Howl! Arts, NYC during the zine’s 40th anniversary exhibit

On this 40th episode of Dying Scene RadioBobby Pickles speaks with John Holmstrom (founding editor/Punk magazine) at Howl! Happening: An Arturo Vega Project (located on the Lower East Side, NYC) during the 40th anniversary exhibition of his pioneering publication. Watch the full video interview HERE! Also, Elena Venetia is back after a bit of a hiatus as she joins Bobby “in-studio” to co-host this week’s show. TONE LO-KI joins the conversation, too. FUN FACT: Don’t step on PEARS or your shoes’ll turn to apple sauce!

DISCLAIMER: Dying Scene Radio is not for the overly sensitive. If you’re easily offended by political incorrectness, curse words or sarcasm, then what are you doing listening to a punk rock podcast anyway?! All of the tracks spun and headlines reported on herein are sourced from Dying Scene, but not all of the views and opinions expressed by Bobby Pickles or guests are shared by Dying Scene.

With special commentary from Pittsburgh, PA’s No Person, and Italian punks LATTE+.

Hear all the incessant blathering and latest new music and headlines, below.

THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST
Violent Femmes – Memory
No Person – The Cleavers Go Cutthroat
Safe and Sound – Dream
Silver Snakes- Glass
Weezer – King of the World
LATTE+ – It’s OK for Us
The Casualties – Chaos Sound
Ship Thieves – Born into This
Basement – Aquasun
King Prawn – Smoke That Shit
Interview w/ John Holmstrom (founder/Punk magazine)
Megadeth – Dystopia
River Oaks – Let You Down
Love Is a Fist – We Want Justice
Piffbreak Arcade – Road Rage
The Lucky Eejits- East Bay Ratz
Ignite- You Saved Me
Gameday Regulars – Pale Reflections
The Phenomenauts – I’m With Neil
Lionheart – Pain
Letdown- I’m Not Complex, I’m Just From One
Cables and Arms- Hang the Moon
FORGETABOUTIT – Compete Or Die



Mike Muir says he hopes Suicidal Tendencies will release new album soon

It’s been almost three years since Suicidal Tendencies released their most recent record 13. Earlier this week, Suicidal Tendencies frontman Mike Muir was interviewed by Finland’s KaaosTV, where he briefly talked about the band’s next record, which he hopes will be released soon. You can watch the interview below.

We’ll keep you posted as more details on the new Suicidal record come to light. The band is currently on tour with Slipknot in Europe, and will tour the U.S. with Megadeth, Children of Bodom and Havok next month.



Chris Fox (Vampirates, Boss’ Daughter) co-hosts this week’s episode of Dying Scene Radio; R.I.P. David Bowie

This week on Dying Scene RadioBobby Pickles welcomes Chris Fox (VampiratesBoss’ Daughter, and four other bands) “in-studio” (straight from Reno, NV via the interwebs) to guest co-host the show. Recorded on Saturday, January 9th 2016, one day prior to post-punk provocateur David Bowie losing his 18-month battle with cancer, this week’s episode should remind us why it’s so important to do what we love. This may be a punk rock podcast, but Bowie paved the way for punks like Laura Jane Grace, only, Bowie’s androgynous, don’t-give-a-fuck persona was propelled in a time when Bruce Gender wasn’t Glamour Magazine’s “Woman of Year”. Another one bites the Stardust. Our thoughts and prayers are also with Long Island musician Rob McCallister, best known as the guitarist for Iron Chic. He passed away on January 10th, as well, from undisclosed causes. He leaves behind a daughter. News of his untimely demise will most probably be overshadowed by the news of Bowie’s. Now, I’m gonna do what I love – I’m gonna podcast. And, in the words of GG – “LIVE FAST DIE!”

R.I.P. David Bowie and Rob McAllister

With special commentary from Brazilian progressive punk act Malvina, windy Wyoming punkers Shocktroopers, Bay area punk band Sarchasm, and hardcore supergroup World Be Free.

Hear all the incessant blathering and latest new music and headlines, below.

THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST
Vampirates – Holding on to Thought
Shocktroopers – Punk Rock Body
The Dirty Nil – Provisional (Fugazi Cover)
Tartar Control – A Whole New World
Adrift – Adeus
Malvina – Nankeen
Sarchasm – Mt. Rainier
Resolutions – Machine
Western Settings – Kicking And Screaming (Live)
Western Daughter – My Room is a Mess
Irish Handcuffs – Grindstone
World Be Free – Shake the Ghost
Mutiny Abroad – The Devil Is A Lonely Guy Named Stan
Wisdom In Chains – Violent Americans
Judiciary – Justice Decays
Still Alive – Ransom Note
The Cult – Hinterland
The Thermals – Hey You
Todd Beene – Keeping It On
David Bowie – Lazarus
Boss’ Daughter – Something About Nothing



Watch Bill Stevenson talk about coffee & music at Amnesia Rockfest 2015

The fine folks over at Raw Cut Media have just posted their full interview with Bill Stevens (Black Flag, All, Descendants) at Amnesia Rockfest, back in June. You might have seen a clip a little while back of Stevenson singing Propagandhi‘s “Without You” a little while back. Well, now you can watch the interview in full, wherein Stevenson talks about coffee, what bands he listens and interacts with and, of course, his love of Propagandhi. Check it out below.



Mike Muir on the possibility of new music from Suicidal Tendencies

It’s been more than two years since Suicidal Tendencies released their most recent record 13. Frontman Mike Muir was recently interviewed by Loudwire, where he spoke about the possibility of new music from the iconic crossover band or any of his other musical projects. He states:

“One of the good things or bad things nowadays is that, in the old days studios were so expensive and you had to plan everything out and now everybody’s got their own little ProTools so you don’t have to worry about the time aspect. The good side is that you can always create music and write music, the bad side is that music really doesn’t sell and you sit there and go, “I love this song, why do I have to try and sell it?” I think it’s changed in a way where I got three kids and I don’t parade my kids like other people and I just want them to do their own thing. My dad didn’t want to push us to any particular thing, he just wanted to expose us to different things and find something we felt comfortable with. With my kids they have to have their own journey and that’s what life should be about and making sure that they don’t fall off the cliff while they’re experimenting.”

When new music from Suicidal Tendencies will be released is unknown, but we’ll keep you posted as more details come to light. Next month, the band is going on tour with Slipknot in Europe, and then tour the U.S. with Megadeth, Children of Bodom and Havok.



Joyce Manor perform “Chumped” live at Guitar Center

Joyce Manor recently sat down with Nic Harcourt at Guitar Center for another edition of At: Guitar Center. The podcast and video series features an in depth audio interview from the band as well as a live performance video of their song “Chumped”. You can find the video below and the interview here.

Joyce Manor last released Never Hungover Again on July 22, 2014 through Epitaph Records.



Noodles talks about new Offspring album, reveals Dexter Holland is getting his PhD done

The Offspring guitarist Noodles was interviewed on KROQ’s “The Kevin and Bean Show” last week, where he talked about a stagnant Badfinger cover band, the death of former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland and offered an update on the band’s long-awaited new record, which Noodles hopes will be released next year. He also revealed that Offspring frontman Dexter Holland is expected to complete his PhD by may.

You can watch the interview below.

Other than one new song (“Coming for You“) last January, The Offspring haven’t released an album with new material since 2012′s Days Go By. The band recently sold their catalog on Columbia Records.



Brooks Wackerman talks about joining Avenged Sevenfold

Just two weeks after leaving Bad Religion and exactly a week after joining Avenged Sevenfold, drummer Brooks Wackerman talked about Metal Hammer magazine about what led to him becoming a member of the latter band. He explains:

“The first thing I did was go and tell my wife, and she gave me a kiss and we hugged. It was quite a poignant moment. And she said, ‘Go get ‘em, tiger!’ [Laughs] Then I called my father and told him, who’s a music educator but wasn’t familiar with the band. So I showed him and few of the videos and he’s just my biggest supporter. I think just telling my family of what I was about to do was an exciting element.”

Avenged Sevenfold last released Hail to the King in 2013 via Warner Bros. Records, and have reportedly been working on a new album. As for Bad Religion, they have not yet announced a replacement for Wackerman, but they are still planning to tour South America in March and record a new album.



Jared Hart (The Scandals) looks back and branches out on solo debut, “Past Lives + Pass Lines”

There comes a point in the life of many a songwriter where the pull to move outside the comfort and familiarity of their “day job” band becomes too strong to ignore. It seems increasingly as the music industry continues to change in the post-Napster era that we find ourselves in that this occurs now more than ever as working class artists, especially in the traditionally DIY corners of the scene, continue to try to eke out a consistent living in spite of ever-dwindling record sales.

The latest to throw his hat into the solo singer-songwriter ring is Jared Hart, frontman for long-running New Jersey street punk band The Scandals. Though the band’s output of recorded music has waned a bit in recent years for one reason or another, the band have kept busy on the road, finding themselves regular touring companions of their fellow New Jersey brethren in The Gaslight Anthem. The last several years have also found Hart taking to the solo act thing, lumping his acoustic guitar and some Scandals merch into a car and playing shows primarily across the Eastern half of the country. “That’s one of the most fun parts about the whole thing,” explains Hart, speaking specifically of a group of New Hampshire natives that made the trip to a recent Hart gig in Boston. “On one of my first acoustic tours, I played in their living room. There were maybe 30 or 40 kids there, and it was crazy. It was one of those experiences where you realize there’s no other way you’d be hanging out with these people unless you were on tour with your guitar in their fucking living room. I would have never been friends with them, let alone would they have heard my music, if I didn’t just grab an acoustic and hop in a car.”

While many of these were of the one-off or “long weekend tour” variety, Hart is presently in the midst of a nationwide tour opening for another Jersey rocker turned solo artist, My Chemical Romance’s Frank Iero. The present tour kicked off at the above-mentioned Boston show on November 1st, with Hart taking the stage solo less than 24 hours after playing a rousing full-band Scandals show at FEST 14 in Gainesville. Cutting ones teeth in sweaty, dingy punk rock bars comprises a vastly different audience than playing for the MCR faithful, who continue to come out in droves and who still tend to trend younger and more evenly split along gender lines than one’s normal punk rock show. “It’s a different kind of crowd, and it’s been a different experience from the shows I’m used to playing, but it’s all positive,” says Hart.

While much of Hart’s solo live set is still peppered with time-tested Scandals staples (“Avalanche,” “Four Seventeen,” etc.), he’s touring now primarily in support of his forthcoming debut full length. Entitled “Past Lives & Pass Lines,) the album is culled from a  series of tracks written over the last several years that didn’t quite fit as Scandals tracks, but that were worthy of seeing the light of day nonetheless. “Every song on the record can kind of be related to a point in my life where something fucked up happened,” Hart explains.  What started as a couple songs recorded for a split 7-inch release turned into ten of the more personal songs from Hart’s songwriting catalog. “I didn’t want to have a downer song on a Scandals record, so I’d save them. And then I started pocketing them and pocketing them and pocketing them and all of a sudden I had all these songs…”

As more solo shows lined themselves up as the months continued, Hart found his stockpile of songs not only growing, but trending in a particular direction allowing closure for some of the above-mentioned “fucked up” events. The songs, says Hart, are “kind of bookmarks. I think that as things happened and progressed and things happened, I realized there’s a common theme with all of them. They were very cathartic to write in the sense of “I’m saying this, I have this point in time, and I can put this here and leave it here.” Though some of the tracks date back to 2010, thematically, they began to “lump together as a whole and become an entity together instead of just one song.”

If you’re worried “Past Lives & Pass Lines” finds Hart wandering down the road-more-traveled that is typical for the punk-frontman-goes-solo set, fret not. While certainly centered around the acoustic, there’s more than enough experimentation to keep things sounding newer and different.  “My buddy Frank (Marra, the album’s producer) was super experimental,” explains Hart. “From day one, he said “I want to get weird on this. I want to throw some stuff out there.”  So we just did that and we’d layer it and look at each other when it sounded bad and delete it right away!”

It can be a bit of a tenuous decision to announce to one’s bandmates that you’re going to put out an album of material that doesn’t include them. A great many people who’ve come before opted for the solo direction when things had blown up, or just dried up, with the bands that they cut their teeth with.  Luckily for Hart, and for fans and friends of The Scandals, things are presently all good on both fronts. “They’ve seen me working on this for a year-and-a-half and they’ve been super supportive. So there wasn’t a need for a sitdown where I had to break to them that I was putting (The Scandals) on hold. So I’m lucky in that sense. They’ve all been pretty stoked about it,” says Hart with a sense of relief and happiness in his voice. “So if the Scandals can do six months and I can do six months, it’s perfect. If the Scandals can do ten months and I can do two months with this, that’s great!”

More than a decade into plowing ahead a decision to make a living as a working musician, Hart continues to be about as busy as he’s ever been, a sign that a long-shot gamble might become closer to paying off. The EP that The Scandals recorded with Brian Fallon close to a year ago is finally, hopefully, about to see the light of day early next year, which will hopefully parlay into another Scandals full-length. In the mix, hopefully, will be solo and full-band trips across the pond. “The Scandals and the solo thing definitely have to get out there,” says Hart hopefully. “I have some friends that are going to be releasing the solo record over there, so that’s big on the radar right now, trying to plan the year around that, because those are big chunks of time. Hopefully it’s another busy one; that’s all I’m asking for!”

Past Lives & Pass Lines is due out November 27th on Say-10 Records. Pre-orders are available here. In the meantime, you can stream the album here, and read our full conversation below.



Ezra Kire (Morning Glory, Leftover Crack) plays new solo track on “Anxious and Angry” Podcast

Ezra Kire from Morning Glory and Leftover Crack, among others, recently sat down with Ryan Young on his “Anxious and Angry” podcast where he played his new song “Let It Go” from a solo project he apparently has in the works. You can check out the whole interview here; the song starts at 1:33:36.