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DS Interview: Caitlin Edwards on Punk The Burbs, Bumsy & The Moochers, and her debut solo record

Caitlin Edwards, the singer of suburban punk ska band, Bumsy & The Moochers, and founder of local music fest, Punk The Burbs, just released her debut solo record. We caught up with her to discuss how her new project and to reflect on past milestones, her creative process, and what’s coming up next. Caitlin Edwards […]

Caitlin Edwards, the singer of suburban punk ska band, Bumsy & The Moochers, and founder of local music fest, Punk The Burbs, just released her debut solo record. We caught up with her to discuss how her new project and to reflect on past milestones, her creative process, and what’s coming up next.


Caitlin Edwards is having a moment. Actually, it is just the latest moment she is having. As lead singer for the popular suburban Chicago ska band Bumsy & The Moochers (BATM), Edwards founded the area punk fest, Punk the Burbs, almost a decade ago. On February 25, 2023, Edwards introduced her tunes from debut solo record Pluto Party during her release show at Cobra Lounge in Chicago, IL. The first single off the independently released album is the infectiously fun “Unlucky Charm.” In addition to her vocals, Edwards played the guitar, bass, and violin. John Perrin, noted below as well, played the drums. For her live band, pictured below in this piece, it’s Tim Flynn (L) on bass, and drummer Andrew Cielo (R). Oh, and Bruce, her friend’s pup and also pictured below, is the musical mascot to them all.


MG: How did you get your start in music?

CE: “I started playing violin when I was ten. My dad always played guitar and of course I listened to a lot of rock bands then so I picked up the guitar at thirteen. I taught myself how to play guitar, but having that experience playing on the violin helped. Callous already on the fingers and all that.


MG: Who are some of your musical influences?

CE: “Most recently The Muffs, Beabadoobee, The Beths, Best Coast. Of course Green Day, Weezer, Oasis, and The Copyrights will always be bands that influence me throughout my life.”


MG: Did you have a writing partner for your solo work and is the songwriting with BATM collaborative?

CE:“Typically songs just come to me at random or just waking up from a dream. Sometimes when I’m walking around or in the shower. This goes for both projects. I could never just sit down and be like ok, gonna write a song. It just doesn’t work that way for me. Sometimes in BATM, other members will bring song ideas, chords, lyrics to the table and we’ll collaboratively write.”


MG: What’s the best show or tour you’ve ever played and why was it so special to you?

CE: “Probably Bumsy and the Moochers playing at FEST 20 last year. I’ve always wanted to play FEST. We put on our best set and the crowd was wild. So much love. For my solo project I had a ton of fun playing this recent album release show at Cobra Lounge. Once again, so much love and just having people come up to me saying they loved the album. Such an amazing feeling.


MG: Do you have any funny or interesting stories from being on the road that you can share with us?

CE: “One time Bumsy and the Moochers played in St. Louis. We stayed at the coolest Airbnb that was a loft. Had a ping-pong table, fancy showers and beds. Then we played at this tiny hole-in-the-wall bar where there was Street Fighter 2 that people could play. I must’ve played everyone in that bar and kicked their ass. Of course I was Blanka, that’s my guy. Lol. Then we played this show with mostly pop punk bands, but everyone dug us. Even one dude said, I hate ska, but I love you guys. Not really an interesting story, just a fun time on tour.”


MG: What are some of your favorite songs to play live?

CE: “In my solo project I love playing “No Kids” and “All That Fun.” They’re songs that aren’t the typical pop punk songs that I’m used to playing so I enjoy doing something different. But I also love playing “Guess Again.” Just love the energy that song brings.”


MG: How does your creative process differ from album to album?

CE: “For my solo band, I take a lot of time writing songs, adding new parts or lyrics, seeing which songs would fit in an album because it’s just me. No input from others encourages me to make sure I’m doing everything I can to make sure my songs sound good. With Bumsy and the Moochers, even when I just write a song, I’m still getting input from everyone else. At times it’s easier because you’re getting so many ideas, but at times it’s harder. Sometimes it’s hard for us to agree on something, too many cooks in the kitchen so to speak.


MG: How did you found Punk the Burbs and how has it been?

CE: “I created the Punk The Burbs Facebook group in 2014. Just wanted a Facebook for people to post shows, ads, events in the burbs since there was mostly groups for shows happening in the city. Doing Punk The Burbs every year is a lot of hard work, but I’m glad I’ve helped create more of a music community in the burbs. I’m also glad that we’ve introduced a lot of people to new bands they may have never heard before.”


MG: How much of the year is occupied organizing the fest each year? Do you have a team to help?

CE: “It really takes up most of the year to organize the fest. So much goes into it, even more when it’s Jason [Fein of The Run Around] and myself doing most of the work. We’ve had volunteers help at the fest before in the past, but that’s it. We’d love to have more help and actual employees next time around.


MG: How did you decide to do a solo record at this point?

CE: “I’ve actually been wanting to do a solo record since I was a teenager. Just never got around to it because other things were happening in life, school, other bands, you know how it goes. I finally started to get serious about a solo project in 2017. Up until 2019, I never had enough songs to do an album. With everything that happened to me from 2019-2022, I suddenly had a ton of material that would be perfect for an album.


MG: Tell us about the musicians who backed you on the record? Who produced it?

CE: “I played the guitar, violin, bass, and vocals on this record. My friend John Perrin did the drums. I knew he could do the drums exactly how I imagined them and he did! I did the production work as well. Dan Precision [Dan Wleklinski of 88 Fingers Louie and formerly of Rise Against] mixed and mastered the album. There was a few things he put in that weren’t there before. For example, the orchestral part in “Lip”, Dan came up with that. Definitely gave that song more emotion.


MG: How do you balance Bumsy, PTB and new solo work, along with your day job/life?

CE: “I actually balance it all pretty easy these days. I’ve been doing it for such a long time, it just comes naturally. If I wasn’t doing all that stuff, I’d probably get bored. Though a nice break from Punk The Burbs Fest I wouldn’t mind. I’d much rather be creating music than being on the business side of it.


MG: Along with that band release, do you have plans to our solo or will you play solo work on the same bill as BATM?

CE: ”I like to keep Bumsy and my solo project pretty separate. I’d get exhausted playing the same show together or doing a tour back-to-back. I am trying to piece together a solo weekender tour at the moment for 2023.”


MG: How did the song “Unlucky Charm” come about and was it about anything personally?

CE:  Like most people, I experience anxiety from time to time. When I was younger, it was a lot worse. I used to get panic attacks. Nowadays, I have my anxiety way more under control. Music, therapy, and loved ones helped me no doubt. That’s what “Unlucky Charm” is about. Having anxiety around you for a long time and finally not letting it hang around in your life anymore.


MG: Who directed the video for it and what was the inspiration for the video?

CE: “Justin Sostre directed the video. He’s also Bumsy and the Moochers trumpet player. Amazing musician and super cool dude. I came up with the idea. Anxiety is something that can feel like it’s always lurking, or sometimes sneaks up on you. I figured why don’t we have anxiety literally doing that, but as a creepy masked person? I always loved music videos with humor and a message. So that’s why if anything it’s meant to be a really funny video on something serious.


MG: What do you have upcoming, both as a solo artist, with the band and with Punk the Burbs?

CE: ”My solo project has two shows coming up. We’re playing at Programme Skate and sound in Fullerton, CA April 15th. [Spoke with Edwards prior to the Fullerton, CA date]. We’re also playing at the Village Theater in Davenport, IA April 28th.  


It’s a good time for Caitlin Edwards and she’s grabbing hold of the momentum via her talent, her work, and ability to have fun as well. Check out Pluto Party, as soon as you can and get yourself to a show when she hits your town, solo or leading Bumsy and the Moochers!

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DS Interview: Fire Sale’s Matt Riddle & Chris Swinney on Band Chemistry, Recording During the Pandemic & a Whole Lot More

Fire Sale can serve as the very definition for the term ‘supergroup’. Matt Riddle has cemented himself as a household name among even novice punk fans thanks to being a founding member of Face to Face, as well as playing with No Use for a Name, Implants, Pulley and 22 Jacks. Chris Swinney most notably […]

Fire Sale can serve as the very definition for the term ‘supergroup’. Matt Riddle has cemented himself as a household name among even novice punk fans thanks to being a founding member of Face to Face, as well as playing with No Use for a Name, Implants, Pulley and 22 Jacks. Chris Swinney most notably played guitar in The Ataris for close to 3 years, but also formed a band I happened across years ago called Chronic Chaos. Lead singer Pedro Aida (who as of writing this is on tour in Europe with Nathan Gray and the Iron Roses) currently plays with Ann Beretta and formerly played with Fun Size. And drummer Matt Morris has become well-known in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for his time playing with Darlington and Weaver Street. Not to mention cover art was done by Mark DeSalvo (NOFX‘s Heavy Petting Zoo, NUFAN’s Making Friends, Lagwagon’s Let’s Talk About Feelings, etc.) and recording was done at The Blasting Room with Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore. So basically, that extremely lengthy and unnecessarily long opening paragraph was all to emphasize the lengthy resumes these guys have built and just how much talent this band has.

And although, Swinney and Riddle are all for embracing the ‘supergroup’ title, as we later discuss, I think these guys have something that most groups, no matter members’ past resumes, struggle to find. These guys have a unique chemistry and one-of-a-kind sound that makes me ecstatic as to where these guys are headed.

In talking with Swinney and Riddle, it quickly emerged to me how complementary each member was to the other three during the songwriting process. Swinney and Riddle each brought they’re own brands of songwriting expertise, Swinney with a very technical grasp on songwriting and performing through going to school for music theory, while Riddle described having a more sloppy, punk rock-esque playing and writing style. Then add in the more pop-punk influenced Aida who writes perfectly melodic vocals, and Morris whose able to tie everything in with his hard-hitting yet perfectly executed percussion, and you have a band that should be given far more thought and consideration than the shallow term ‘supergroup’ often entails.

After talking with these guys, I can’t wait to hear what releases and show announcements come next (hint: we talk about that). It was an absolute pleasure talking to two guys who were members of bands that significantly shaped my childhood. Check out their newest EP A Fool’s Errand and keep up with these guys for soon-to-be-announced show dates and more new music.

(Editor’s note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity’s sake because a good chunk of this interview was just three guys shooting the shit.)

Dying Scene (Nathan Kernell NastyNate): I really appreciate you guys sitting down with me. Where are you guys calling from?

Chris Swinney: I am in Muncie, Indiana, and if you ask enough questions you’ll realize that we started this during the pandemic. We all live in different states so we do things a little differently than everybody else.

Matt Riddle: Yeah has band-demic already been used?

Swinney: I think I’ve seen it tag on Instagram.

Riddle: I’m not original anymore. There’s too many people.

Swinney: Yeah Muncie, Indiana and Moore, Oklahoma.

DS: So I wanted to start off with like how you guys originated. I know you said it was during Covid and I was reading an interview, Matt, you did with Punknormal Activity where you talk about you hadn’t met any of the guys. So I wanted to see how Fire Sale kind of came about?

Swinney: I’ll let you take that one Matt, I wanna hear your take on it.

Riddle: Oh, it was actually because I haven’t been really doing much musically after Tony [Sly] passed. I kind of dropped out of the scene a little bit or a lot. I didn’t wanna do it anymore, I was just kind of over it. I got sick too you know, so like touring is really hard for me and all that but I really like recording at home. So Chris got ahold of me and asked if I wanna be a guest on [That One Time On Tour Podcast]. I’m like sure, so we talked for like an hour, it’s really a good time and we didn’t really talk about much what I’m doing now musically, which is, at the time, nothing. I just had some songs I recorded you know through my Mac and I’m super like, budget when it comes to recording stuff, I don’t really care about it. And this guy Mikey, you know Mikey and his Uke, he asked me to do a NOFX song with, uh, oh God it was Roger from Less Than Jake. Yeah it was really good and then Chris [Swinney] wrote me not long after and said ‘dude, I didn’t know you were still playing’ and I’m like ‘well I kind of don’t’. He’s like ‘would you mind playing bass on some stuff’.

Swinney: Well, what I said was, I said ‘I’m gonna send you a couple songs’. I’ve haven’t written any songs in like 10 years. ‘I’m gonna send you a couple of songs and if you like them let me know what you think’ and then you’re like ‘dude, I’m gonna play on these fuckin’ songs!’

Riddle: Oh yeah.

Swinney: …and it blew my mind because, even though we’ve become like friends, you’re [Matt] like my favorite bass player ever; so well it blew me away because they were just like little shit songs that I wrote in my bedroom and I sent them to you and then all of a sudden now I have to start a band because Matt Riddle played on my fuckin’ songs. Yeah that was the catalyst for me because I was bored in the pandemic, I hadn’t worked for like however many months, and Matt and I had become decent friends. We met back in the late 90s on the road but he doesn’t remember that; I remember because I love what you do on the bass, I was just the fifth guitarist for The Ataris. You probably had no idea who I was; so now like in my mind when I was trying to find people from the podcast I was like ‘well I don’t really know Matt but I have friends that know Matt I can get his information’. Yeah once he was on the podcast we just got to be really good friends and we were like texting, and then I sent him the songs, and he played on the songs, and then in my mind I’m like ‘I haven’t done anything for so long because of the pandemic, how cool would it be if we started like a real band … and not like just doing covers and shit, but like really do it.’ So when Fire Sale kicked off, you know, we got our singer Pedro, who I’d worked with in the past. Tim, from Protest The Hero, was initially a big part of it, but when Protest started kicking back up, it had to take a back seat and it kind of made more sense anyway because the rest of us were kind of gelling and writing songs, and Tim was a big part of that at the beginning. But then he just didn’t have the time. We had a hard time finding a drummer, but when we finally found Matt Morris it took off there.

DS: So then, where did your guys’ name come from, Fire Sale?

Swinney: So, *laughs* I don’t think Matt’s ever really liked it, and that’s cool, I mean I don’t think it’s like the best name ever.

Riddle: Wasn’t it originally Southern Gothic or something?

Swinney: Yeah Pedro and I had done a collaboration, the song that we have online right now called “Long Overdue”, that was a song that I wrote and I programmed the drums, and it was just like this goofy thing I was doing on the podcast and Pedro sang on that. That’s how Pedro and I came to be close and we needed a song for a compilation after we released our first two songs and we didn’t have time to like write something and get it going. So I was like, you know, let’s just use that and I’ll have Matt play bass on it, Pedro could redo the vocals because he wasn’t happy with the first take, and then we’ll have Tim play on it too and that song, the project was called Southern Gothic. But I didn’t wanna use that because I’d already kind of used it for a goofy side project, so we’ve actually got a song called Southern Gothic that’s still not done yet; it’s a little bit more poppier kind of, that should come out at some point. But yeah, the name Fire Sale. I got to be fairly close with Sam King from Get Dead, he’s been on the program a few times. The night I was trying to think of names, I had like nine, ten names written on a piece of paper; like the band was kind of gelling, we were figuring out what we were gonna do and they [Get Dead] had just dropped their new video for their song called ‘Fire Sale’. And I was watching, I saw something on some punk site about it and I was checking it out, the songs really cool and I was like ‘Fire Sale, that’s a cool name I wonder if there’s any bands named Fire Sale.’ And there was one band from like 2008 that played one show somewhere in Kansas, they were like teenagers and they hadn’t done anything in forever; so I’m like ‘fuck it, I’m picking that name’ and I told everybody and it’s not the best name but no band name is. You [Matt] were in a band called No Use for a Name.

Riddle: …and Pulley

Swinney: I mean Face to Face is a cool ass name man.

Riddle: That was actually from our guitar player at the time, Mark, he came up with it. He said like ‘vis a vis’ which I think is a rough translation.

Swinney: But that was the thing with the name, I mean on some of the like press when we first came out it talked about that and yeah I’m not gonna say it had much to do with Get Dead, it’s just the fact that I was watching their video and I’m kind of friends with Sam. And I was like ‘well that’s a cool name’, so that night I got all the socials for @firesaleisaband, because fire sale’s like a clothing company so you can’t just have @firesale.

Riddle: Isn’t a fire sale like everything must go kind of thing?

Swinney: Yeah it’s like if you’re going out of business and you need to get rid of everything, they call it a fire sale.

Riddle: I only know fire sale from Davis Cross from Arrested Development, *laughs*.

Swinney: So yeah, I just thought it was kind of cool because my favorite names, they mean a couple different things, like if nobody knows what fire sale actually is, it sounds kind of dark or ominous. But it’s not dark or ominous, and I remember Matt at one point, he had this picture of a burning ship. He wanted it to be like Fire Sail, and for a while we were thinking about that.

Riddle: Yeah for a while we were thinking about even changing the name but I kind of dig it and its grown on me. I don’t know, it’s hard to pick a name man, I mean in this day and age it’s just it’s really fuckin’ hard.

DS: It was funny actually this week I’m in this band, we actually have a group message and one of the guys has been sending you guys’ singles I hadn’t heard you guys. Then I saw he posted something where it’s like ‘super group’ and I’m like ‘oh damn, I gotta start listening these guys’.

Swinney: We’ve been leaning pretty hard into that, like I felt weird about it at first, but the label that we’re with now, which I’m sure we’ll talk about, he was kinda like, we had this meeting and he’s like ‘well listen you, guys have all been in bigger bands, you know you guys should lean into what’s gonna get people to check you out, your past resumes.’ That’s why we decided to go with Mark DeSalvo and the artwork.

DS: So, it sounds like you’re kind of embracing the term ‘super group’ because I’ve kind of seen that label thrown around quite a bit with you guys.

Swinney: We don’t claim to be a supergroup, but I don’t mind people saying it because it gets people in the door you know.

DS: Yeah so moving on kind of to songwriting, is there one main songwriter or with all of you guys coming in from different groups and different backgrounds, is everybody kind of contributing?

Swinney: We’ll kind of both take that one. I’ll give my thoughts and I’ll let Matt speak on it. The first couple songs, it was like I would just send complete songs to Matt and Pedro and it would go that way. Now it’s got to be a lot more collaborative, like I’ll still send full songs that I write, but Matt’s sending full songs that he writes and then I’ll redo the guitars and maybe have an idea here or there. Like that solo on “A Fool’s Errand’,”I kind of mimicked what you did with the horns on there. But it’s become a real collaborative thing, writing with Matt and kind of going through and really producing it you know, just talking over Zoom or FaceTime. There was one part on the second verse of “A Fool’s Errand” we just couldn’t figure out the sound that we wanted because the first verse just has big chords and then the second verse we wanted this like 70s drony kind of sound. There was a single note and then they flew on top and, I swear to God, it was like a month or two before we finally got it.

Riddle: It was one of those things where, so you know the bassline that is pretty gnarly, it’s like a banjo. Well I kept that through like both verses all the time and I wanted the second verse to be brought way back but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. And me and Chris went back and forth for like a month like what the fuck are we doing wrong?

Swinney: I recorded literally like 40 guitar parts over that verse.

Riddle: Yeah it ended up all we needed to do is let the bass just stay on one note the whole time, the guitars stay the same and that’s exactly what we needed. It’s so stupid, it’s so simple.

Swinney: But see the songwriting thing you were asking about, yeah I’ve always had a collaborator, no matter what. Like when I was in the Ataris some of the songs we did Roe and I would mess with stuff. In any band I’ve ever been in, I’ve never been the guy like ‘here’s all the stuff’. It’s always been like back and forth. At the beginning, I felt like it was like ‘hey Matt, here’s something I wrote, play whatever you want on it.’ And it’s still sometimes it’s like that because we all have ideas. But working with Matt and tearing these songs apart and figuring out everything, it’s been a really really good experience and I’ve felt like the songs are stronger because we’ve collaborated so much and then we send it to Pedro and then he tears it apart.

Riddle: That’s one thing that I like is if Chris comes up with something, I’ll get it and then he’s like do that ‘classic Matt Riddle’ that a lot of bands don’t know how to do. So I do that which I basically learned how to do, something like playing Steve Harris songs, Iron Maiden. But I learned that style, so he’s like put that stuff on it. So I do that and then it gets sent to Pedro and Pedro’s like ‘you know what, I think this should be a verse, this should be a chorus’ and he’ll change things up, send it back and it immediately sounds like pretty much done.

Swinney: And it’s great because like I don’t think we think a lot about vocals when we’re writing, we think about parts, like here’s a verse, here’s a chorus, and because we all live on opposite sides of the country, we played to a click track and as long as we do that we can kind of puzzle piece everything together. So when Pedro gets it and he writes the lyrics and the melodies and the harmonies, he’ll be like ‘hey your verse is a better chorus, maybe that chorus doesn’t need to be done two times, it needs to be done one time’ and he’ll cut it up and send it back and then I can manipulate my master session to what he wants. It always comes out better. He’s a vocalist and you know we just think about this is gonna be a cool guitar or bass part right and everybody’s got input. Like even the new guy, Matt Morris, when he was cutting the drums for these new songs, coming up with fill ideas. And like there’s that part on the second verse of “A Fools Errand” where he goes into the floor tom thing. Like we want it to be a band, we don’t want it to be one person.

Riddle: Right yeah, like him asking what to do on drums on the songs, I told him, I go ‘you know what dude, be you, just do you on all these songs’ and he came up with some really rad stuff. And then we would go over it, make sure it all fit right in the song. And so it’s rad, we’re all inputting now as far as the songs go.

Swinney: We’ve all been in situations too where we’ve kind of been a team player with a guy who’s like ‘the guy’. And I don’t want that to be the case because when this first started, a lot of people were like ‘are you writing all the songs’. I’m like well they’re not songs until everybody gets them because the songs that I do won’t be right if Matt doesn’t play the Matt thing on the song. It’s not a Fire Sale song if Pedro doesn’t put it together the way he wants for his vocals. Like I love the fact that everything is equal, even down to the royalties and everything is equal. Like I don’t want this to ever become anything other than fun. Like yeah everybody’s equal and I love the guys I’m making music with and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

DS: Right, so there’s been a lot of ‘super groups’ that I’ve listened to where you can obviously tell who’s writing the songs. It’s just a carryover from whatever other band, they sound the same. With you guys I kind of have trouble pinpointing, like you can’t tell who wrote what, probably because like you said it’s kind of a collaborative effort.

Swinney: Here put this in your article, that me and Matt are the Lennon and McCartney of punk rock, *laughs*.

DS: Damn right, *laughs*.

Swinney: Yeah somebody said that in a review when we released dark hearts I thought it was hilarious

Riddle: Really funny, Lennon McCartney, that’s funny. Chris wrote like most of everything on all the songs and we’ve put our stuff into it but I’ve had songs from back in the day that I brought over and actually “A Fool’s Errand” is one of those songs. I wrote that a long time ago when I was kind of relearning how to play bass after I got sick. I was having a hard time playing and that’s why the riff is so gnarly in that song, because it was more of just for practicing. But I got done, I’m like ‘oh that could be a song’ and I just wrote it and its been 10 years and I send it to Chris, he redid the guitar, reprogrammed some drums before matt joined and so then I redid the bass on it and it was an amazing melody. I’m like ‘dude this is a song, what the hell just happened.’

One thing funny is that Chris you know likes my playing style. So one night my wife is out of town, went out to some party thing, and Chris had wrote me and he’s like ‘hey dude I don’t know if you’re in a songwriting mood or what, but how about one of those those Matt bass intro. So I was like playing like playing Elden Ring or something, I was gaming. So I got my bass, I’m sitting there messing around and I came up with this riff and went to the computer put in the click track, play the riff and next thing I knew, I had a whole song written, remember that.

Swinney: Are you talking about “Albatross”?

Riddle: “Albatross,” yeah really really fast, but the riff is killer. I think I just came up with it and then I ended up writing the entire song around that riff, sent it to Chris and then he changed parts here and there, put the guitars on it.

Swinney: I stayed up till 6:00 in the morning redoing all guitar parts and everything.

Riddle: Yeah because I can’t play guitar so I just kind of ripped through it and said ‘here’s something like this’ and then he put the guitar line. I think that’s great.

Swinney: That’s gonna be one for the next couple that are coming out. We literally on our SoundCloud page and in our Google Drive, we have like 14, 15 more songs and they’re gonna like, I mean I know you haven’t asked yet, but I’ll go ahead and say like the plan now, we wanted to do a full length but it’s hard working the way that we work. Everybody’s got different things going on and our label, the idea from Negative Progression was like hey, let’s put out a series of two-song EP’s and then eventually we’ll release a full vinyl like 12 inch. So in the next few months we’ll probably have two more come out and then in the next couple months a couple more. We’re gonna keep leaking out singles.

DS: I know Matt you talked about “A Fool’s Errand,” the writing behind that. I wanted to talk to Chris, with “We Dance for Sorrow,” that’s your song, right?

Swinney: Yeah, the first verse, the thing I really really liked, it’s got that kind of clean, single note thing on the verse with Matt’s bass too. I always kind of thought that sounded like one of the darker Blink 182 songs, but not like cheesy. I had that forever, I think I might have even sent you [Matt] like a voice memo of it at some point and you’re like ‘yeah that’s cool’. I finally one day was able to kind of figure out how that song fit together and even like the intro part, a couple people said it reminds them of “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” which it’s similar it’s not the same thing.

Riddle: It used to sound more like it and you changed one thing.

Swinney: I changed it yeah, things like one or two notes from the last little piece and now it doesn’t sound like “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” That one of those songs where once I figured out the direction of what was gonna happen, it just came out. And people talk about inspiration, people talk about you know the hit songs they write or the best songs they write take 5 minutes. Once I figured out what that verse was that I’d written two years ago or whatever, that song did just kind of fly out. And I sent it to Pedro and the only thing he did I think he shortened one of the choruses or something like it was very much the way I sent it was the way it came back. And so I just felt really good about that and I don’t look at it as Matt wrote “A Fools Errand” and I wrote that because we all put our stuff on it. I kind of feel connected to that song. I don’t know, I love both songs, I love every song we’ve ever done, but that song, I feel real connected to it just because of how it came together.

DS: Right and it was those two in particular, I just I really couldn’t pinpoint who wrote them, and it took me reading some interview with you guys that said Matt you kind of wrote this, one Chris you wrote this one. But I was listening to them, I really couldn’t tell so that’s why I asked you earlier about if it’s kind of collaborative.

Riddle: Well you know what it is I think that makes it indistinguishable is Pedro’s vocals. Like he sings what he wants to sing and that’s what makes the songs sound like us immediately. Like he writes these really great melodies, I never would have came up with that melody for “A Fools Errand,” no way. Like I can write the music all day, but that’s how it was when I was in Face To Face and that’s why that song probably sounds kind of reminiscent of early Face To Face, because when I would write like with Trever, those are the kind of songs we wrote, real quick, fast, painless, done. And Pedro comes up with these melodies that makes it sound like a Fire Sale song instead which I think is super killer, you know.

Swinney: I’ll also say, working with Matt, the thing that’s really been beneficial for me is that, like I was in The Ataris, but I’ve also been in a bunch of like metal bands and like hardcore bands, so I’m not a good editor. I try to make things like hard, I try to like ‘oh I’m gonna throw 4 harmonies on this’ and ‘I’m gonna shred’ and ‘I’m gonna do 64th notes’ and ‘I’m gonna tap’ and I don’t need to do that because I feel like my whole life I’ve been trying to show off for other musicians instead of just write good songs. And so working with Matt, sometimes I’ll send him something and he’s like ‘just do something simple, it’s like you don’t have to do Propagandi shit on everything’.

Riddle: I’ll like crack up because you’ll do these things. I’m like ‘dude like just play sloppier on “Albatross”.’ There’s these chord changes he does and I’m like ‘dude that sounds like a robot’. That’s how Dave Nassie was.

Swinney: That’s the thing that I think Dave and I have in common. Because when I was in The Ataris, Chris Roe would always be like ‘dude you play like you’re a computer, you need to chill and just like slop it up a little bit’. Like man when I was growing up and I was learning guitar, I would sit in my bedroom after school for four or five hours and play scales to a metronome. So it’s hard for me to do that. But there are some parts and songs that haven’t come out yet where Matt kind of said that to me and I did loosen up and it was better like if it breathed more and it had more soul.

Riddle: I just like the songs to sound real.

Swinney: Yeah I mean I do too, I just didn’t know how to do that.

Riddle: It’s funny because it is real, like when you play, it is real, but it’s just that you play like I said, so meticulous and so tight and he still, to this day will sit down and just over and over like he’s so good. And that’s how you play, like real clean and right to the point and I like sloppy metal, I like sloppy punk, I like sloppy. I like real musicians doing real stuff

Swinney: The thing I love about Matt’s playing is that like when I’ll get the stuff back and I’ll try to like edit or quantize stuff, if I fix anything wrong with Matt’s playing, it doesn’t sound like Matt Riddle, you know what I mean. Like we talked to Jason at the Blasting Room, I’m like ‘you know, make sure it lines up, edit it the way you wanna edit it, but if you do too much it’s gonna take away the cool factor.’ I’m starting to kind of feel the same way with my playing, like yeah, maybe I didn’t hit it exactly on the grid, maybe I could be a little left or right of center. I think he’s right, I think it does make you sound a little bit more like humans are playing it you know.

DS: How’s the reception been so far for you guys’ releases?

Riddle: I don’t know, I don’t know how that works. Chris?

Swinney: It was really really good. We first came out with the first two singles last year, but I am astonished at the amount of feedback we’re getting on these two new songs. It’s crazy man like the amount of people that are emailing and commenting on the socials. I’ve had texts from people I haven’t talked to in 10 years that someone sent them the song, like it’s been crazy. And I don’t know what good streaming is and what bad streaming is but we’ve done, you know, a couple thousand in less than two days so for a small band like us it’s pretty good. I’m really really excited that people seem to be connecting with it as much as we did when we were writing it.

Riddle: I kind of drop out of conversations sometimes, like there’s a whole group text that went on, but I was driving, it was a 19-hour drive to get out here to Oklahoma. So I couldn’t really write anybody back, but they were sending the stream numbers and all that and I’m like ‘damn that seems pretty rad for something I recorded in my bedroom’.

Swinney: *laughs*, something we recorded in our bedroom, but then Jason [Livermore] and Bill [Stevenson] took it to the Blasting Room and made it sound really good.

Riddle: I was nervous, I didn’t know how that was gonna go over because you’re producing our stuff and I was like that sounds good and then when Jason got hold of it I couldn’t believe what we got back, I was like that’s really fuckin amazing.

Swinney: And I had a couple of conversations with Jason about like making sure that the original spirit of the demo I produced was still there, but it just sounded really really good so he kind of knew what we were going for.

DS: Yeah, next thing, let’s talk about like future. So you guys said you had a completed record, well basically a completed record worth of material, right?

Swinney: Yeah the thing is, it’s expensive, like we could mix and master and we could put it out and people would probably like it, but now that we’ve gotten that taste of working with Jason and Bill, man I don’t wanna go down in quality.

Riddle: Right yeah, they kind of next leveled it.

Swinney: Yeah and with the label we’re working with, Seth, the guy that owns Negative Progression, he’s been amazing ever since we signed and you know if we need funds for something, he makes them available. And I don’t know how financially good of a decision that is on his part, but he’s doing it, we’re gonna put these out, wait awhile, put some more out. And there are gonna be physicals for everything we release, there’s gonna be a 7-inch colored vinyl for these two songs [A Fool’s Errand] and then we’re also gonna have CD singles and cassette singles, which I think are kind of fun. And we’re just gonna keep going that way. As far as the future, uh, we’re in talks with a couple booking agents, and they know that we all have jobs and families and we’re not gonna be on the road all the time, but there’s been a lot of talk of festivals and there’s some overseas stuff that’s been spoken about. Nothing’s concrete yet but there’s definitely gonna be some shows in our future, just probably no crazy tours.

Riddle: For me, it’s a little bit hard to tour after I got sick, like trying to keep up with my medication and stuff on the road is really really hard to do, it’s hard for insulin and all my pills. Like I run out of stuff. I got really sick doing that, and then I got sick again because we had shows with NOFX just through California, right by my home. Still my sugar would drop, and I’m not good at the diabetes thing at all, it’s like type one, it’s really bad.

Swinney: I think the thing that we’re gonna do is we wanna do things that’re gonna be beneficial for the band. So you know Pedro lives on the East Coast, Matt lives on the West Coast, the other Matt lives in Texas, I live in the Midwest. So there’s been talks about you know doing five or six days on the West Coast and maybe five or six days on the East Coast, playing markets that make sense for the band. And then like maybe like Riot Fest or Punk Rock Bowling, like things that are not super taxing, like just the weekend away, play a gig, go home back to normal life, kids, wife, whatever. And then the overseas stuff, I mean it’s been talked about and there’s some good opportunities, but it’s gonna have to work for everyone in the band. I’ve got a 6-year-old and a 5-year-old and I can’t be gone for more than a week or two. I love playing live and I miss being on the road because we used to do it all like 24/7, but I would much rather sit and watch Peppa Pig with my daughter than be in Germany playing some shitty club that’s freezing.

Riddle: Yeah we end up in Germany at some shitty club, those kids are gonna know that you don’t wanna be there, *laughs*.

Swinney: So ok I’ll take that back, I’ll go play a shitty freezing club in Germany as long as a week or two later I can come see my kids.

Riddle: Yeah I love shitty clubs in Germany.

Swinney: Germans love us, look at our Spotify numbers. We’re gonna probably end up there at some point next year.

DS: Okay so how would you describe your music style? Kind of how would you describe it and where your influences lie? Like I know with Matt, if you write a song you’ve got your personal influences, but more as a whole do you guys have influences and just how you would describe your music as a whole?

Swinney: Well I will say, I’m gonna let Matt give his, there are a lot of differences between Matt and I, but there is kind of a Venn diagram of things we agree on. I am a little bit younger than Matt.

Riddle: Hey *laughs*…

Swinney: So like when I was growing up, it was all the 90s punk stuff that Matt was involved in. Like he’s 55, I just turned 44, so my thing is like when I first started hanging out talking to Matt, I thought ‘oh we’re gonna have all this stuff in common, we’re gonna talk about Pennywise and blah blah blah’ and it wasn’t like that. But then I realized that I’m also a metal head, so I didn’t realize how deep into some of the metal stuff Matt went. So I think we’ve bonded a little bit more over Maiden and some of the weird kind of Scandinavian stuff than we have over punk rock. But when I’m writing, the influences that I’m drawing from are 90s skate punk and 80s thrash metal. That’s me and then Matt’s a little bit different I think.

Riddle: It’s actually kind of weird. I’m not really influenced musically by bands as much as I am influenced by what they did. How do I explain this, like it doesn’t make me write a certain way, I write how I write. I can’t help that, that happened with Trever in Face to Face, it’s just what it was. But what I listened to, yeah my picking style is reminiscent of a lot of like Steve Harris and that kind of stuff. I’m very metal that way as well, but I don’t write like that. I write my own stuff. Like when I first got into punk rock, it wasn’t any of that stuff, it wasn’t 90’s stuff. I got into like Rudimentary Peni, Antisect, all this like real dark, weird shit that wasn’t really even hard. It was hard to find, but I just loved how dark and weird it was. I grew up on Maiden, that was my thing, but like when I got into punk rock, I started to drift into the darker side of music altogether. There’s of course like the Cure and Joy Division and stuff like that, but then my metal taste got into like Mayhem. And I like the Viking side of it, I like the black metal stuff. I like a lot of that kind of like weird stuff.

Swinney: He likes the bands that burn down churches, *laughs*… and that has been a thing that Matt and I thought, because I’m a music theory geek, like I went to college for theory and performance guitar. And we’ll start talking about a song and I’ll be like ‘yeah that augmented 4th blah blah blah’, and he’s like ‘it’s an A I don’t know.’

Riddle: Yeah I don’t know what I played.

Swinney: But I love that because sometimes having the theory knowledge hinders me. I won’t try something that might be outside of the box because theoretically it shouldn’t work and it could be this really cool dissonant thing. So I like the push and pull between Matt and I with our influences and with how we both play and how I’m a little bit more robotic or whatever, by the book, and he’s a little not so. When that pushes and like rubs together I think it’s better musically for what we’re putting out.

Riddle: Yeah it took me a little bit of time to subscribe to that like when it comes to actually writing. I kind of had to fall into that place because, again, I’m more loose and whatever and I’m not really used to like major minor and all that kind of stuff because what I listen to is so different than that. But I also do know that when something sounds cool, it sounds cool. Like if it’s sonically correct, that’s killer. And if it’s not, well it sounds good to my ears.

Swinney: That’s why it’s called a theory because it’s not a proof.

Riddle: *laughs* but yeah I think you can be influenced by anything, doesn’t have to be like music. Like I never thought to myself ‘oh I wanna play a song that sounds like that,’ like that was never my thing. It was what just came out.

Swinney: No that makes total sense because like I guess I don’t like base a reference point when I’m writing this song. Like the way that the stuff comes out that I send you [Matt] that I’m writing, it’s just off the top of my head. And then I put it together the way that I think it should go together. But for me growing up and being like obsessed with two bands you [Matt] were in, those bands kind of inspired me. And I’ll start playing a song and I’ll be like ‘Oh, well what if on this part, I don’t really know what I’m supposed to do, what if I did this thing that Tony did or what if I did this thing that Trever did.’ That’s a theory kind of thing, maybe they didn’t know it was a theory thing. The Maiden influence, I’ve always been a Maiden guy. But then NOFX and No Use, Good Riddance and Strung Out and Propagandhi and 88 Fingers Louie and like these bands from when I was in junior high and high school that if I didn’t have them, I don’t think I would be doing this right now. And Matt was a big part of that. Yeah, even though we’re buddies and we’re in the same band together, but thank you for helping mold my shit you know.

Riddle: But I mean like I know how to get from point a to point b, but I’m again not a theory guy. I learned how to play bass, learning how to tune my bass by listening to records. I didn’t have tuner. I put a record on and I just hit a note and go ‘that doesn’t sound right’ and turn my tuning peg until my string makes sense. That’s how I learned how to tune. Yeah it’s ridiculous, I practiced everything you know like Maiden, Fleetwood Mac, like I’m all over the place. And nowadays I just practice the bands like Mayhem and stuff like that because I like to be really really fast. But I mean I’m not that loose when it comes to writing, but I guess I’m a lot less structured.

Swinney: And I would like to be less structured than I am because it hinders me sometimes.

Riddle: Yeah many times I’ve sent something to Chris and you’ll change something and go ‘how about this’ and I’ll go ‘Oh my God dude, I never would have thought of that’ and then Pedro comes up with this vocal line where I’m like ‘well fuck that, finish that song.’ It’s weird, it’s kind of a weird thing.

Swinney: I’m just really really happy. I mean I’ll tie this up by just saying that we all have different people, like influences. Pedro’s get a lot more pop punk type stuff. Like I was more skate punky whatever, metal whatever. And Pedro, he does listen to a lot I think more pop type stuff that informs what he does. I mean I’m not saying like he has a reference like I said earlier, but I think it informs his style and you know it’s very melodic. The one thing that a lot of people have said to me since we’ve released this is just how are there these like mid tempo or fast punk songs. They’re so melodic and there’s actually like pretty parts. And I think a lot of that comes from his influences and what informs that is the pop stuff he listens to, the pop punk stuff. I don’t know, I look at this band and everything we’re doing. We’re all in our 40s or 50s and we’re putting out new music that people really seem to connect to and like and I think that is a rare thing to be able to do. I’m just so grateful that people are giving us a chance man.

Riddle: Yeah that’s really cool, kind of dusted off the cobwebs for me.

Swinney: I hadn’t done anything in 10 years man. And I mean like Matt was kind of in that same boat almost. And I wrote a couple songs, sent them to Matt and shit started kicking off. And now it’s a real thing. Yeah, ideally we want people to like it, but also it’s just been such a good, fun experience to write songs with these guys that I really respect and admire like it’s a bonus.

DS: It seems like everybody’s kind of complimenting each other. Where you [Chris] said you’re very mechanical whereas Matt, a little looser. It seems like that kind of complements each other, and then with Pedro tying everything in at the end.

Swinney: Matt Morris, I don’t wanna leave out Matt Morris. The band has been doing stuff and been writing and been an entity since the pandemic started almost, when we locked in Matt Morris, this band turned a corner. Now it’s me, Matt and Matt and Pedro and it’s a band and it feels better than it’s felt ever.

Riddle: It’s cool because I know he was a fan of mine and yours Chris and so for him to do this, he’s totally digging it. It was cool because he sent that text like ‘well what about this, what about this, and that’s when I told him ‘no dude, just be you and do what you want’ and he did. Yeah he’s really solid, a really really good drummer.

Swinney: I feel really really good about the lineup of guys we have. I mean we’re all busy, Pedro’s in a bunch of bands, he’s getting ready to go to Europe with Nathan Gray and Iron Roses. So I mean that’s the thing, like of course when we do tour, when we do play shows, it’s a logistical thing figuring out how to get everybody somewhere. But I mean a lot of festivals are fly-in dates and stuff like that, I mean it’s gonna happen and everybody’s on board 100%. It just feels really really good now that we have this core unit of guys that everybody cares about the band, everybody wants it to happen. The band’s been this kind of slithering weird like project up until Morris got in and now it’s like ‘ok the four of us are Fire Sale and we’re gonna kick everyone’s ass.’ *laughs* that’s how I feel.

DS: That’s awesome man. Yeah I really appreciate you guys talking. When I saw you guys were interested in an interview, I jumped on it immediately because both of you guys were in bands that were very influential to me as a kid with The Ataris and then yeah Face to Face and No Use for a Name. Yeah all three of those were hugely influential for me growing up. It’s really cool getting to talk to you guys now so I really appreciate you taking the time.

Swinney: Yeah we appreciate you too man because, like I said you know, I was the 5th guitarist in The Ataris, like that moniker works and helps get some people in the door, but it’s the fact of like Matt Riddle is one of my favorite bass players in the entire world, but he’s I think maybe felt like I felt in my past bands where I was always a supporting cast member for somebody else. And in this band I don’t want there to be any supporting cast members, we’re all equal in the same and we all do interviews. Fire Sale is the most inclusive band you can find.

Riddle: Don’t let me be your favorite bass player, that title should go to Scott Shiflett because that should be everybody’s favorite bass player.

Swinney: Well my favorite bass player is Cliff Burton then you and Scott Shiflett right in there too.

DS: Yeah I’ll try not to take anymore your guys time, I appreciate talking to you. It was really cool meeting you guys.

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DS Interview: Getting precise with Dan Precision (Dan Wleklinski)

Dan Wleklinski, aka “Dan Precision,” is one of the Chicago area punk scene’s top-level multi-hyphenates. As a musician, Wleklinksi was a founding member of 88 Fingers Louie; Rise Against; Soulscape; Break the Silence, and now The Iron Spiders.  He is also a prolific record producer. I recently spent a few hours documenting his production work, […]


Dan Wleklinski, aka “Dan Precision,” is one of the Chicago area punk scene’s top-level multi-hyphenates. As a musician, Wleklinksi was a founding member of 88 Fingers Louie; Rise Against; Soulscape; Break the Silence, and now The Iron Spiders.  He is also a prolific record producer. I recently spent a few hours documenting his production work, on the upcoming Bumsy and the Moochers record, at The Bombshelter Recording Studio. He founded the studio in the basement of his suburban childhood home in 1999. Later, in a wide-ranging interview, in which we discussed his work as a musician and as a producer, he recalled some of his wildest experiences, his love of road trips on his motorcycle, and more.


MerGold (Dying Scene)How did you get into music to start with? 

Dan Wleklinksi:  My parents had a very slight musical background, and my dad started to teach me some basic piano playing when I was around 5 years old. I started taking actual piano lessons at the age of 10, but I really wanted to play guitar. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t have enough money to buy a guitar for me and said that I couldn’t take guitar lessons. I told them that I would quit piano out of spite if I couldn’t take guitar lessons, and being the little a**hole kid that I was, I quit piano a few days later. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t done that because I would have been a much better and learned musician at this age. Luckily I started learning guitar at the age of 13.


Were there any shows or events you find particularly memorable?  Good or bad? 

The memorable events and shows are beyond count…both good and bad…like having 13 cop cars called on us in 2004 [in Fresno, CA when a member of Break The Silence] after we threatened a venue owner for not paying up. We were on tour with A Wilhelm Scream and Much the Same. Or in 1999, [with 88 Fingers Louie], almost fighting some Germans in Hamburg for accusing us of trashing their van. The dudes in At The Drive-In were going to back us up if that fight ever happened, but we got out of that one.

One of my favorite times was the weekend in 2014 [again, with 88 Fingers Louie] where we played Rock Fest in Montebello, Canada. There were so many cool bands that we shared the stage with, including Blink-182, Primus, Motley Crue, Megadeth, Danzig, Weezer, Cypress Hill, and so many more. Most of the bands stayed in the same 5-story hotel on the site of the festival, so we got to hang out and talk with so many cool musicians. We also had a view of several stages from our hotel rooms, so if we didn’t feel like going down, we could watch the bands from the comfort of our own rooms.


Favorite venues and events in Chicago; the same question for other locations?

I have played quite a few great venues in Chicago, including the Fireside Bowl, Bottom Lounge, The Metro, Livewire, House of Blues, and The Vic, but I’ve always loved playing Reggies.

There are many events that have been a blast to play, including Riot Fest in Chicago (we also played the Denver dates), Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas (and we played the New Jersey version as well), both Groezrock and Brakrock in Belgium, Music 4 Cancer and Rockfest in Canada, Rebellion Fest in the United Kingdom, and Punk Rock Holiday in Slovenia.


How do you decide which projects, bands, or musicians with whom to work?

As a musician, I really enjoy working with other players who share the same long-term vision and talent. I’ve been lucky to have started bands such as 88 Fingers Louie, Rise Against, Break the Silence, Soulscape, and now The Iron Spiders. At this point in my life, if I were going to consider being in a professional band, they would need to be a touring band. One of the most difficult things to deal with is the fact that I have the freedom to tour while several bands I’ve been a part of have lost that ability over time.


How did you then get into producing records? What was your first record?

My first real band, 88 Fingers Louie, recorded multiple times starting in 1993 with the esteemed producer, Mass Giorgini, at his studio, Sonic Iguana in Lafayette, Indiana. We recorded a bunch of EPs and 2 full albums there, including “Behind Bars” and “Back on the Streets.” During the “Back on the Streets” sessions, Mass commented that I had a very good ear for music and asked if I wanted to learn how to be an audio engineer. I agreed. I started by comping vocal tracks on “Back on the Streets” so that was technically the first record I ever worked on.

I opened my studio, The Bombshelter Recording Studio, in 1999, and the first band I recorded was The Poonanies. The singer, Tony, went on to form Chicago’s very own, Shot Baker.


How do you decide which musicians to work with?  Are there parameters for which you will turn down bands or projects?

Typically, bands ask to work with me from word-of-mouth of past clients, or seeing my name in the credits of albums I’ve recorded. I feel that with the rise in streaming over the last decade, the latter has been increasingly difficult to achieve visibility. I believe Spotify recently has started showing recording/producing/mixing credits if you click on the release, but the bands still need to input that information.

Most bands are great with sharing the recording credits to streaming platforms, and I feel it’s in their best interest to do so. Not only could it possibly open up other avenues of listeners, but it also helps the engineers and producers get their names out to other musicians who might like their production. 

I don’t really turn down bands or projects. I’ve worked with bands who were 13 and 14 years old who were eager to learn. I’ve also worked with seasoned musicians in their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s…and everything in between.

I have suggested bands to possibly go to a different producer if I feel we wouldn’t be a good fit. For example, I feel that bands and producers need to take time in the studio to make their recording the best it can be. If a band wants to record 10 songs in 2 days, I let them know that I don’t work that quickly as I believe the process and the quality suffers. 


How collaborative is the process? Do you want the bands to come in with specific ideas, or do you take the lead?

The recording process can be very collaborative, and that’s one of my favorite parts in producing bands. I enjoy when bands have specific ideas and together, we can combine all of our musical experience and hone each song. However, there are many times when the band would like me to take the lead, and I am happy to do so.

That can be a little more difficult when I work with a band for the first time, but luckily, I have a lot of repeat clients, and each subsequent time, the collaboration becomes easier and more fruitful. It really is a beautiful thing to be creative with other musicians who may have different musical styles and backgrounds.


Have you worked on some musician’s debut albums? As in the musician has never been in a studio? What is that experience like?

Yes, I’ve worked with a few bands’ with it being their first time in the studio. Typically, those are teenaged bands looking to cut their first EP. I’ve also worked with guest musicians who are singing backing vocals or playing an accompanying part on an established band’s recording. Sometimes they are young…like a band member’s son or daughter. Other times they are talented mothers and fathers of the band currently in the studio. Either way, it’s always an enjoyable experience as they leave having learned something. I think I’m a bit like my father, who was a great teacher. It’s an awesome feeling to have bands return and to see the progress they have achieved since their last recording with me.


Related to being a producer, what are the best parts of owning your own studio? Are there challenges you were not fully aware of before owning your own studio?

As you may have gathered from my earlier answers, I love being in the studio, working with musicians, and also mixing and mastering on my own…basically, I love the audio portion of running the business. One of the more difficult parts for me is the advertising aspect. While I’m proud of the work I do, and I enjoy promoting bands’ releases, I don’t really like “talking myself up.” When I first started, I think I was lucky because people heard about the Bombshelter through the bands I was in. Over the years, word-of-mouth from happy clients has helped me continue to do what I love…for 25 years! I’m still slightly shocked that the month of September 2024 will be the 25th anniversary of The Bombshelter Recording Studio. “Thank you” to all of my past and especially return clients who have helped me do what I love for so long!


 Last year you left the studio and the stages for a really cool reason. You embarked on a solo motorcycle road trip across part of the country, and brought your friends and fans with you via photos and video. How and when did you start riding?  What does riding do for you?

Although I started riding 30 years ago, my first solo motorcycle tour was in 2022.  Riding is usually very relaxing for me, and I believe the joy I experience on longer tours are an extension of my time touring with bands. There are so many memorable moments I’ve experienced the last few years, like riding the “Million Dollar Highway” in Colorado and through the “Needles Eye Tunnel” in South Dakota.


What was the journey like? Were there any particularly memorable moments good or bad? Any hair-raising moments? 

I ask that last question recalling some of my own hair-raising moments riding in vans through Southeast Asia, and buses when I lived in Guatemala. Some of those steeply curved mountainsides were pretty scary. I can’t imagine how nerve-wracking it might be on a motorcycle. 

I try not to think back too much on the “bad” or “hair-raising” moments like when animals jump in front of you, or trying to stay awake during the last hour of your Saddlesore 1000 (traveling 1000 miles in under 24 hours).  However, I will always remember last year’s 10-hour ride from Fort Collins to Montrose, Colorado over Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park. It was both hair-raising and memorable to cross the highest point of 12,183 feet in 34 degree (1 degree Celsius) weather with snow on the sides of the road. Luckily the roads were mostly clear of snow and ice due to the warmth of the rising sun.

One of the more difficult things when touring in a band is having the time to enjoy the cities, environments, and scenery along the way. I get to enjoy all of those things while on my motorcycle trips. It is a goal of mine to combine both touring in a band while riding a motorcycle. The late Neil Peart wrote about his time doing that exact thing on several Rush tours, and it sounds heavenly to me!


Wleklinski is one of the most genuine, humble, and all-around nicest people I’ve met, not just in the punk scene, but anywhere.  And of course, he has one of the best heads of hair in this scene as well.  His long silver mane makes for some amazing on-stage images as he rocks it all over the place.  

Those of us photographers who have had the pleasure to shoot him in concert will rue the day he ever decides to cut it off.  However, that’s one move I don’t see Wleklinski making. 

I do look forward to the future moves he makes in music, in record producing, as well as documenting further two-wheel adventures.

Thanks Dan, safe travels on your next road trip, and cheers!


Road trip images courtesy of Dan Wleklinski. All other photography by MGold for Dying Scene.

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DS Record Radar: This Week in Punk Vinyl (Against All Authority “24 Hour Roadside Resistance” reissue, Eat Defeat, Mustard Plug & More!)

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold […]

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold one, and break out those wallets, because it’s go time. Let’s get into it!

Check out the video edition of this week’s Record Radar, presented by our friends at Punk Rock Radar:

Last year, we loyal Against All Authority fans were graced with the long awaited All Fall Down Reissue. The year of our lord 2024 brings more gifts for the AAA faithful with the equally long awaited reissue of 24 Hour Roadside Resistance. Due out June 28th on Red w/ Black Splatter colored vinyl, pre-order this MF here and say a prayer for a Destroy What Destroys You reissue.

UK ska-punks Eat Defeat’s new record My Money’s One Me is due out May 10th on Uncle Style Records. Check out the lead single “Slip Through the Cracks” below and go pre-order the green vinyl variant here and/or the red vinyl variant here.

Fun fact: the Dying Scene Record Radar is contractually obligated to talk about a new NOFX record every week! This week’s NOFX record is Clay Pigeon, which is a collection of demos from the recording of Coaster (also known as Frisbee). This is the first in a new series of releases from Mr. Burkett’s Punk Rock Museum and apparently similar demo collections from RKL and Get Dead are coming soon. Very cool! There are three color variants available to pre-order here and a splatter variant that will only be available in person at the Punk Rock Museum gift shop.

These guys commented on last week’s Instagram post about the Record Radar saying we didn’t include their “new” record, so here ya go fuckers. Long Birds are a skate punk band from Elgin, Illinois (wherever the fuck that is). They released their latest record On Speed last October, so it’s not really new, but it’s probably new to you. It reminds me of early Millencolin – there’s even a ska-ish song! Get it out and consider purchasing the blue polyvinyl chloride disc, cassette, compact disc, or digital music files from their Bandcamp.

Did your band release a bad ass record that you want me to talk about and tell people to buy? Drop me a line and I’ll include it in the next Record Radar

Fat Wreck’s 25th Anniversary series rolls on with this reissue of Sick of It All‘s Call to Arms. What color is it? Nobody knows! Order it and find out I guess. All copies come with a free tub of creatine and 30 day Gold’s Gym membership.

A few weeks ago I told you about Rancid‘s B Sides and C Sides seemingly being reissued after listings popped up on Amazon and a few other stores. Right after that Pirate’s Press made the official announcement, revealing the Neon Magenta and Neon Green w/ Black Splatter (try saying that 5x fast) color variant, confirming it’s a 2xLP, and also confirming the cover art’s pink for some reason.

This is limited to 1,000 copies – Pirate’s Press has already sold out and most other retailers have as well. Merchbar still has it available for pre-order but buyer beware: I’ve had them switch stuff from “In Stock” to “Backordered” after ordering and then hold my money for a literal year before the order ended up being canceled. Absolute clown show.

Some more reissues from Hopeless in addition to that AAA record: Volume 1 of the Hopelessly Devoted to You comps is back in print on red vinyl (500 copies). With songs by Guttermouth, Falling Sickness, 88 Fingers Louie, the Bollweevils & more how can you go wrong? This one’s due out on May 22nd. You can pre-order it here.

And last up from Hopeless is this 25th Anniversary reissue of Mustard Plug‘s Pray for Mojo. There are three variants: the very tastefully named Hopeless Records webstore exclusive Blue w/ Monkey Poo Splatter (1,000 copies), the Smartpunk exclusive Blue w/ Yellow Splatter (200 hand numbered copies), and the blue retail variant (1,000 copies) which you can probably get at most record stores. All three variants come with updated cover art and the following bonus track:

Iron Chic’s debut album Not Like This is back in print for the first time in a while. This is the 10th pressing and it’s limited to 435 copies on black wax (purchase here), 226 copies on Clear Blood Smoke (purchase here), and 122 copies on Hyacinth (google tells me this is “a small genus of bulbous herbs, spring-blooming perennials” which is a pretty purple-ish color) colored vinyl (SOLD OUT!).

What do you get when you take Grath Madden (House Boat, the Steinways, Robot Bachelor, etc. etc. etc.), Michelle Shirelle (also from the Steinways), Mike Erg (from every band on the planet), Fraser Murderburger (The Murderburgers, Wrong Life, FUCK! (It’s Pronounced SHIT!), etc. etc. etc.), and Kieron Jordan (Don Blake) and put them in a rural barn-turned-recording studio in Belgium? A extremely long sentence, apparently – but also an unsurprisingly bad ass pop-punk record!

That’s what Scrapped Plans’ new record Buddy Buddy Belgium is, a simply splendid 16 minute long 10 song album out now on Bloated Kat Records. If you like any of the affiliated acts, you’ll 100% like this record. I highly recommend checking it out below and pre-ordering it on random colored vinyl here. Also, cassette enjoyers, I should have some exciting news to share relating to this very soon! Stay tuned.

Also out now from our friends at Bloated Kat Records: the new Split LP from Brooklyn’s Heavy Lag and Milwaukee’s Bad Crime. Recommended if you like fuzzy lo-fi-ish shit. Check it out and add it to your cart while you’re picking up that Scrapped Plans record!

Here’s a band that’s been around 20+ years that I’ve somehow never heard of. I found out about Budapest, Hungary’s The Idoru when their new record Undertow went up for pre-order on the Blackstar Foundation’s Bandcamp, which I’m apparently still on the mailing list for after buying some Atlas Losing Grip records like 10 years ago. Anyway, the first few singles from this record are bad ass, and kinda remind me of the last two ALG albums which I loved. Undertow is due out April 26th and is available to pre-order on a bunch of awesome color variants right here.

Back by popular demand, Illinois Ramonescore newcomers Ghost Party‘s critically acclaimed 2023 debut album Afterlife of the Party has been repressed by our friends at Mom’s Basement Records. They did a bunch of very limited screen printed versions of the jacket with mixed color variants, but all of those sold out already. The good news is you can still get it on mixed blue colored vinyl with the normal jacket (limited to 100 copies). Head on over to the Mom’s Basement store before those are gone, too! If you’re in the UK you can get the first pressing from our friends at the Punk Rock Vinyl distro.

Asian Man Records‘ latest release is from Raleigh, North Carolina’s Teens in Trouble. Their debut LP What’s Mine is out now and you can get it on random colored vinyl (limited to 600 copies) right here. My favorite song on the record’s “Autopilot” – check that shit out:

Cock Sparrer just released their new album Hand on Heart (I already told you about that) but they also just released a 7″ single for the album’s closing track “Here We Stand (I’m telling you about that now!). The 7” features a B-Side called “We’re Alright Now” and is available on these three color variants:

Blood Red w/ Black Splatter – Pirate’s Press Records (1,000 copies)

Gold Vinyl – Randale Records (500 copies)

Beer w/ Blood Red Splatter – Captain Oi! Records (500 copies, btw their store is dogshit and I can’t find this thing on there lmao)

Sounds Rad Records fully committed to April Fool’s this year, pressing two new variants of The Mr. T Experience‘s Revenge Is Sweet and So Are You with Dr. Frank and co. being bumped from the front cover in favor of a stunning portrait of some feline friends. They pressed 100 copies of Revenge Is Sweet and So Are Miaou on Orange, White, and Black Cat Splatter (sold out! womp womp) and 4000 copies on Cat Scratch Fever Green colored vinyl. The latter is still in stock and can be purchased here.

London (UK, not Ontario) indie/punk solo artist James Sullivan is releasing his sophomore album Vital Signs on April 19th via Stardumb Records. If I had to describe it in a concise manner, I’d say it’s a mix of The Cure, Oasis, and Joe Strummer’s later output with The Mescaleros. If that sounds interesting to you, I recommend picking this record up! You can get it on Van Gogh Green and/or black wax here (US), here (UK), or here (EU).

The last two Atom and His Package LPs, 2001’s Redefining Music and 2003’s Attention! Blah Blah Blah, are both back in print for the first time since their original release. These are limited to 500 copies each – you can get them from Asbestos Records in the US and Le Noise in Canada.

And last but certainly not least on this week’s gargantuan Record Radar, we have a new pressing of beloved Chicago punk band The Arrivals‘ debut album Goodbye New World. It’s limited to 270 copies spread across four variants and you can get it here.

Well, that’s all, folks. Another Record Radar in the books. As always, thank you for tuning in. If there’s anything we missed (highly likely), or if you want to let everyone know about a new/upcoming vinyl release you’re excited about, leave us a comment below, or send us a message on Facebook or Instagram, and we’ll look into it. Enjoy your weekend, and don’t blow too much money on spinny discs (or do, I’m not your father). See ya next time!

Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Click here and you’ll be taken to a page with all the past entries in the column. Magic!

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DS Record Radar: This Week in Punk Vinyl (Against All Authority “All Fall Down” 25th Anniversary Reissue, Good Riddance, 88 Fingers Louie & More)

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold […]

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold one, and break out those wallets, because it’s go time. Let’s get into it!

Check out the video edition of this week’s Record Radar, presented by our friends at Punk Rock Radar:

The almighty Against All Authority‘s 1998 album All Fall Down is being reissued in honor of its 25th anniversary. I haven’t seen any official announcement from the band, but it’s available to pre-order on red colored vinyl with a listed release date of October 27th. Get it here and save 10% with code THANKS10.

Another record turning 25 this year is Good Riddance‘s Ballads from the Revolution. Fat Wreck has repressed the album on yellow w/ blue splatter colored vinyl and the same silver accents on the cover art as their other 25th Anniversary reissues. Get it here.

And that’s not the only anniversary reissue from Fat this week, because apparently The FlatlinersDead Language was released a decade ago. Time flies! Fat has a variant exclusive to their webstore, and Dine Alone Records has additional colors on their store as well.

And because you can never have enough Fat Wreck releases on the Record Radar, here’s another one! The label has some copies of No Use For A Name‘s Incognito on clear colored vinyl up on their store; these are leftovers from the No Use Black Box that was released last year. So if you somehow missed out on the box set or just want a copy of this specific record, you’re in luck!

Keeping with this week’s theme of anniversary reissues, Social Distortion‘s debut album Mommy’s Little Monster is getting a 40th anniversary reissue. There are a handful of retailer exclusive color variants for this one, including Brooklyn Vegan (500 copies, grey), Craft Recordings (black & white marble), and a clear smoke variant you can find at most independent record stores, to name a few.

Here’s a cool Replacements tribute album featuring Mikey Erg, Timeshares, Jon Snodgrass, Sammy Kay and a bunch of other cool people/bands. It comes out October 27th on Creep Records; you can get it on three color variants here.

Newbury Comics (aka the home of the $35 LP) has a new exclusive variant of Ignition by The Offspring, limited to 500 copies on gold colored vinyl. If you want to buy it, have at it. I refuse to pay $35 for a single record. Fuck that.

Tooth & Nail one ups Newbury Comics with a $40 LP! What is happening??? Anyway, it’s a Ninety Pound Wuss compilation album. It’s $40. If that sounds good to you, you can buy it here.

A mystery color variant of 88 Fingers Louie‘s Back on the Streets recently popped up on Revelation Records’ distro. They don’t specify if it’s a new 25th anniversary pressing or just someone leftover copies of the 2019 reissue someone found in a box… at the very least, it’s way cheaper than any of the Discogs listings, so why not roll the dice?

Well, that’s all, folks. Another Record Radar in the books. As always, thank you for tuning in. If there’s anything we missed (highly likely), or if you want to let everyone know about a new/upcoming vinyl release you’re excited about, leave us a comment below, or send us a message on Facebook or Instagram, and we’ll look into it. Enjoy your weekend, and don’t blow too much money on spinny discs (or do, I’m not your father). See ya next week!

Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Click here and you’ll be taken to a page with all the past entries in the column. Magic!

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DS Record Radar: This Week in Punk Vinyl (Frenzal Rhomb, Strung Out, Link 80, Alkaline Trio & More)

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold […]

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold one, and break out those wallets, because it’s go time. Let’s get into it!

Check out the video edition of this week’s Record Radar, presented by our friends at Punk Rock Radar:

17 years after its original release on CD, Frenzal Rhomb‘s Forever Malcolm Young is getting its first ever vinyl release. SBÄM Records has three snazzy splatter variants on their US and EU webstores. Our Australian readers (or anyone willing to pay a slight premium for shipping) can get the record on “Goon Wolf Red” colored vinyl from Artist First and/or very cleverly marketed “Johnny Ramone Punk Rock Black” vinyl from JB Hi-Fi.

Strung Out‘s Twisted By Design is the latest record in Fat Wreck’s 25th Anniversary reissue series. The original mix/master of this album has been out of print since 2010, so that’s notable as well. As always, Fat divulges absolutely nothing about the color variant because they know we’ll buy it regardless. So head on over to their webstore to grab a copy and find out what color the rekkid is when it shows up in the mail.

Needless to say, there were a lot of awesome reissues announced this week. Next up to bat is Asian Man Records with new pressings of both Link 80 albums, 17 Reasons and The Struggle Continues. Both are limited to 800 copies; the latter is back in print for the first time since its original release 20+ years ago. Get ’em here.

New release! Yes, we sometimes have those on the Record Radar. Matt Skiba attempts to steal the spotlight from his ex-Blink 182 bandmates with an announcement of his own. Alkaline Trio will release their 10th album Blood, Hair, and Eyeballs on January 26th, 2024. They’re pressing like 30 color variants for this fuckin’ thing and they’re all exclusive to different retailers… someone on Reddit was nice enough to make a post aggregating links to all the places you can buy each variant, so check that out.

Here’s another new release I’m really excited about; one of my most anticipated records of 2023, actually. Bri’ish skate punks Making Friends just launched pre-orders for their new album Fine Dying, which is due out November 3rd. Check out the new single “Broken” below and pre-order the record at one of these places: Punk Rock Radar (US), High End Denim Records (CA), Cat’s Claw Records (UK), Pee Records (AUS), Waterslide Records (JP).

Known for their recent reissues of some classic Pulley records, DustyWax Records adds another feather in their cap with a first ever vinyl release of 88 Fingers Louie‘s 88 Fingers Up Your Ass. Not much more to share on this right now; stay tuned for pre-orders coming soon on the label’s webstore.

Real Gone Music adds to their recent run of Donnas reissues with new pressings of Get Skintight and Turn 21. Each has an Indie variant (not so limited) and a webstore exclusive variant (very limited). These join the recently reissued self titled LP and American Teenage Rock ‘N’ Roll Machine, bringing all of The Donnas’ Lookout! Records catalog back in print for the first time in over a decade. All of the records are available here.

New Orleans ska-punks Joystick have a new record coming out November 14th on Bad Time Records. It’s a 12″ EP with four new songs on Side A and a “20 minute mystery side” on the flipside. Check out one of the new songs down there and get the record here.

Minneapolis’ Partial Traces (members of Banner Pilot, the Soviettes, Dead Landlord, Riverhead, etc.) just released a new record. It’s called Stay Dreaming and it sounds absolutely nothing like any of those other bands. Listen below, buy the record here.

Cal-gary, Alberta’s Territories have a new record out now on Pirates Press Records. Check out the latest single below and get it on neon orange (700 copies) and/or neon violet (300 copies) here. Only $18! (that’s USD, not CAD).

Revelation Records has an exclusive variant of the new Youth Brigade – Sound and Fury reissue from Trust Records. 1,000 copies on yellow colored vinyl; get it here.

Joyce Manor covered a Tigers Jaw song. Tigers Jaw covered a Joyce Manor song. Hopeless Records released a 7″ containing both of these cover songs and you can buy it here. There’s a tour variant, too, so if you’re one of the rich MFs at that When We Were Young Fest this weekend you can probably pay $20 for it at either band’s merch tent.

Speaking of When We Were Young Fest, during their performance at that very Las Vegas festival yesterday, New Found Glory allegedly announced their 2004 album Catalyst will be getting its first ever vinyl release, with pre-orders going live this coming Friday. These NFG reissues always sell out fast as hell, so keep your eyes on the band’s social media for an official announcement.

In a last minute addition to this week’s column, Chase the Glory Records has announced a big time repressing of SNFU’s 1996 FYULABA LP. There are 1,000 copies spread across four beautiful color variants. Pre-order just went up today; get your copy here.

Last order of business this week, I wanna give a quick shoutout to a longtime supporter of the Record Radar, Dan Jones aka @punkrock_vinyl on Instagram. Dan’s account was actually one of the main sources of inspiration for me starting this column. He recently launched his own distro with a bunch of awesome records (such as Love Equals Death‘s Nightmerica, which I snatched up with no hesitation, alongside the new Contra Code record Friday Junior). The prices are great and even though he’s based in the UK, shipping to the states is very reasonable. Head over there and check it out!

Well, that’s all, folks. Another Record Radar in the books. As always, thank you for tuning in. If there’s anything we missed (highly likely), or if you want to let everyone know about a new/upcoming vinyl release you’re excited about, leave us a comment below, or send us a message on Facebook or Instagram, and we’ll look into it. Enjoy your weekend, and don’t blow too much money on spinny discs (or do, I’m not your father). See ya next week!

Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Click here and you’ll be taken to a page with all the past entries in the column. Magic!

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DS Record Radar: This Week in Punk Vinyl (NOFX, 88 Fingers Louie & an exclusive first look at the Manarovs’ new record “Callsign:Proton”)

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold […]

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold one, and break out those wallets, because it’s go time. Let’s get into it!

Check out the video edition of this week’s Record Radar, presented by our friends at Punk Rock Radar:

This week’s Record Radar starts with a bang! We’re pleased to bring you this exclusive first look at Savannah, Georgia Ramonescore troupe the Manarovs‘ brand new record Callsign:Proton. Mom’s Basement Records is releasing the LP on two sweet color variants (just look at ’em!), as well as black vinyl, and Memorable But Not Honorable will be releasing the album cassette.

Pre-orders go live Friday, March 15th. Mom’s Basement will have an exclusive T-Shirt bundle available on their webstore. Stardumb Records will have copies in Europe and Brassneck Records has our British friends covered. Here’s a few tracks from Callsign:Proton to tide you over:

You probably already heard about the new NOFX EP, but in case you didn’t already hear about the new NOFX EP, I’m here to tell you about the new NOFX EP! Did I mention there’s a new NOFX EP? Half Album follows Single Album and Double Album, featuring 5 songs that didn’t make the cut for either of those albums (which doesn’t inspire much confidence if I’m being frank). fatwreck.com and Fat’s EU/UK store are sold out of colored vinyl, but their Australian store still has some copies in stock. Black wax is still available everywhere. The lead single “I’m a Rat” is a song Fat Mike wrote, Hi-Standard covered(?), and now can be heard as performed by NOFX:

Smartpunk Records has brand new exclusive variants of Chicago punk legends 88 Fingers Louie‘s Behind Bars and Back on the Streets up for pre-order. Both are limited to 300 hand numbered copies and should ship in mid-May. I suppose it’s also worth noting these are the 2019 remix/remastered versions of these records. Grab your copies here and use code SPMAILINGLIST for 10% off your order. Also if anyone with the means to repress Thank You For Being a Friend happens to be reading this, I’d like to take a moment to let you know you should do that! No clue why I didn’t buy that fucking record before Bird Attack kicked the bucket.

Belgian melodic punks For I Am will be releasing their fourth album The Righteous & The Wicked on April 19th. The color variants for this one are bad ass and we like bad ass variants here on the Record Radar. The spiral variant is exclusive to Pee Records down undah, the multi-color splatter and bone color variants are available from Double Helix in the US and SBAM in Europe, and the green marble colored wax is for sale on the For I Am Bandcamp.

Speaking of SBAM, they’ve got some other cool shit on their store, so let’s talk about that! New variants of Guttermouth‘s Covered With Ants have popped up, seemingly unannounced. Click here to get it on purple and/or teal colored vinyl. Or wait a few weeks for SBAM’s next 60% off fire sale! lol

And completing the SBAM Records triple play is Orange County pop-punk band Taken Days, who just released their brand new album Any Minute. Get it on “sun” and/or “moon” colored vinyl (limited to 150 copies each) riiiiight here.

Canadian skate punks Handheld are celebrating their 25th Anniversary with a new live album! Live At 25 was recorded last October at The Revive in Waterloo, Ontario and is due out on May 10th. Thousand Islands Records has the “Candyland” color variant up for pre-order on their store. If you want the “Sassy Salmon Slap” color variant, that one’s only gonna be available at shows.

Ink Bomb is a cool-ass punk band from the Netherlands and they’ve got a new record coming very soon! Saudade is due out on April 3rd and you can grab it on blue colored wax here. Check out the latest single “Pressure Cooker” and head over to Bandcamp for more. These guys (and girl) are great! Highly recommended listening for those who share my appreciation of No Fun At All.

Italy’s Hey Suburbia Records is releasing San Francisco hardcore punk band Spitboy’s 1994 compilation album on vinyl for the first time, with 500 copies on red colored wax. This one’s due out April 15th and you can pre-order it here. The Forced Exposure distro carries all of Hey Suburbia’s releases in the US, so if you wanna save on shipping wait til they get some copies in stock.

South Carolina hardcore veterans Stretch Arm Strong surprise-released a new EP this week. The Revealing is the band’s first new music since 2005. There’s a grand total of 9 variants for this one (not quite as many as the new Green Day record, but still a fuckload). Usually bands / labels make it easy to find all the places to buy retailer exclusive variants by setting up a Linktree or some shit, but they did not do that. Lucky for you, I like wasting my time on pointless shit, so I’ve collected links to where you can buy all these variants. Here ya go:

Available from Iodine Recordings / Deathwish Inc:
– Cornetto (400)
– Illuminating (200) – SOLD OUT
– Blood Red (500)

Misc. Retailer Exclusives:
– Green Cloudy (100) – Trustkill Records
– Orange (100) – Bridge Nine
– Cobalt Cloudy (100) – Thirty Something Records
– Rev Yellow (100) – Revelation Records
– Cloudy White w/ Green/Orange Splatter (250) – Revolver Magazine
– Half Green / Half Orange (200) – Evil Greed Records

Well, that’s all, folks. Another Record Radar in the books. As always, thank you for tuning in. If there’s anything we missed (highly likely), or if you want to let everyone know about a new/upcoming vinyl release you’re excited about, leave us a comment below, or send us a message on Facebook or Instagram, and we’ll look into it. Enjoy your weekend, and don’t blow too much money on spinny discs (or do, I’m not your father). See ya next time!

Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Click here and you’ll be taken to a page with all the past entries in the column. Magic!

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DS Record Radar: This Week in Punk Vinyl (Rancid – “B Sides and C Sides” repress, The Ergs, Hilltop Rats, The Yum Yums & More!)

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold […]

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold one, and break out those wallets, because it’s go time. Let’s get into it!

Check out the video edition of this week’s Record Radar, presented by our friends at Punk Rock Radar:

This week’s first record is from The Yum Yums, a great bubblegum pop-punk band from Norway. They have a new record called Poppin’ Up Again due out next month on Screaming Apple Records. It’s available to pre-order on black wax (limited to 500 copies) right here, and shiny red vinyl (100 copies) right here. Unfortunately, no tracks are streaming yet, but if you haven’t already heard of the Yum Yums just know that they have my ringing endorsement. If you don’t trust my opinion, just check out their last record:

2 hours down I-4 from yours truly, Orlando, Florida’s Suck Brick Kid are releasing a new record on local label Smartpunk Records. If you enjoy newer pop-punk, you’ll wanna pick up a copy of The End is What I Want on one of these pleasantly named color variants: Urinal Cake Vinyl (ltd. 100), and/or Shit ‘n Piss Vinyl (ltd. 400). Check out a few tracks below and pre-order the record here – it’s due out May 17th.

New Jersey pop-punk veterans The Ergs have announced a 2xLP 20th Anniversary reissue of the cult favorite dorkrockcorkrod. LP1 is the original mix, remastered by Justin Perkins (Screeching Weasel, the Riverdales, the Manges, etc.) at Mystery Room Mastering. LP2 is a brand new 20th Anniversary remix of the album, completed by Steve Albini using the original master tapes. This one’s due out June 5th on Don Giovanni Records; not sure how many copies were pressed but the splatter variant looks pretty sweet. Get it here.

Rancid‘s B Sides and C Sides compilation LP seems to be getting its first official repress in a decade, as a random pre-order has popped up on Amazon with a listed street date of May 3rd. Details are nebulous at the moment; aside from the cover art looking pink instead of red, I’ve seen some conflicting information. Amazon and this store both list Pirates Press as the label, but one says its a Double LP and the other does not. There also seems to be some debate about the release date. I rolled the dice and pre-ordered it, surely Bezos won’t disappoint.

The Circle Jerks and Descendents are on tour with the Adolescents right now (no, you did not just step out of a time machine in the mid-80’s). They celebrated the tour’s kickoff with a 7″ on which they cover a few of each others’ classic songs. The Descendents take on “Red Tape”, “I Want Some Skank”, and “Beverly Hills”; the Circle Jerks put their spin on “Kabuki Girl” and “Hope”.

Like a lot of the shows on the tour, literally every variant of this 7″ sold out fast as hell. The (potentially) good new is, you can (potentially) get a copy from the bands’ merch tables on tour. There’s a tour exclusive splatter variant, limited to 500 copies and signed by both bands (it seems these are limited to 20 per show), and it sounds like they’ll both have the red color variant as well. Peep the dates here.

Denver punks SPELLS have a new record coming out on April 11th on Rad Girlfriend, Shield Recordings, and a few other venerable labels. Check out the lead single from Past Our Prime below and pre-order the record on “Snowy White” and/or “Blade Bullet” colored vinyl right here. The first 80 people to pre-order will get a hand numbered alternate cover art print. Cool!

Another leak from big dawg Bezos at Amazon.com – looks like The Dwarves are releasing a new “mini LP” not even 6 months after their latest record Concept Album. Keep It Reel features 7 new songs, 2 remixes, and “All for You” from the band’s aforementioned 2023 LP. Here’s the tracklist:

1. One Musketeer
2. Voodoo
3. Kinda Konsensual
4. Nobody Fucked You
5. I Had a Dream
6. Blast Off
7. Parasite
8. Invisible People
9. We Won’t Skate
10. All For You

Pop-punk supergruppe The Phase Problem‘s lineup includes members of SquirtgunThe Murderburgers, City Mouse, and a bunch of other great bands. Their 2023 debut album was 10 years in the making. Luckily the wait for album #2 was not nearly as long; The Power of Positive Thinking is due out next month on Lavasocks Records (US), Brassneck Records (UK), and Stardumb Records (EU). The record features guest appearances from Heather Tabor from the Teen Idols and original Squirtgun frontman Matt Hart, among others. It’s limited to 250 copies on red w/ yellow splatter colored vinyl. Pre-order this shit!

One of the marquee releases featured on the last Record Radar was NOFX‘s new EP Half Album. At the time, all the color variants were sold out, but since then a new variant on “green-gold” colored vinyl (whatever that means) has popped up on some European distros including Green Hell Records, Coretex Records, and Cruise Records. Supposedly this is limited to 500 copies and exclusive to German indie stores. I guess if you missed out on all the others (or you’re sick in the head and collect every NOFX variant) this is a good option for you to import.

Israeli punks Free Sergio new record The Nail in the Coffee is being released on vinyl by our friends at Punk Rock Radar, Cat’s Claw Records and High End Demin Records. Limited to 100 copies on yellow wax, this is a highly recommended pickup for fans of melodic punk with a harder edge (No Fun At All, Satanic Surfers, Belvedere, etc.). There’s even some ska-core sprinkled in here and there. Check the record out below and pre-order it here (US), here (Canada), or here (UK).

Washington State melodic punks Hilltop Rats are back with a new record for the first time in a long time. I’m about halfway through my first listen as I’m typing this and can confidently proclaim this is a god damn banger. Life You Lead is out now on Felony Records, with three bitchin’ color variants; one of those already sold out so quit fucking around and get your copy.

Everyone’s favorite Green Day album Warning is back in print on colored vinyl for the first time in a decade. The new Florescent Green color variant is up for pre-order everywhere but ol’ reliable Amazon is probably the cheapest place you can get it.

Dutch pop-punks Jetlag Jenny have a new 3-song EP called Animal Escapades due out April 19th on White Russian Records. Check out one of the tracks below and click this link to grab the 7″ on green and/or blue colored vinyl (each limited to 125 copies).

Days N Daze are releasing an LP of demos from recording session for their latest album Show Me the Blueprints. That includes five (5) never-before-heard songs. Very cool! The record is streaming now but the physical release won’t be out on SBÄM Records ’til May 31st. Get it here on one (or all three) of the following color variants: Dopamine, Cosmic Green, Dirty Orange. Limited to 200 copies each.

German punks Resolutions are releasing their sophomore album Monster Mirror on May 24th via End Hits Records. The lead single “Drop Dead” is great and the record comes in a pretty sweet looking reflective silver jacket. 3 variants: 50x lobster red, 200x black / white swirl (get both of those here), and 50x dewdrop (get it at the band’s shows).

New York pop-punk band Egghead (whose existence I’m just now being alerted to) released a compilation album called Dumb Songs for Smart People on Mutant Pop Records in 1999. 25 years later, it’s being released on vinyl for the first time thanks to the friendly people at Dead Broke Rekerds and Mom’s Basement Records. And as I finished writing this and went to look for links to pre-order I realized this shit is not up for pre-order lmaooooo. Well, when it is, it’ll be available on red and white color variants. Also probably worth noting these guys are playing some shows with the Ergs and Boris the Sprinkler in July.

Well, that’s all, folks. Another Record Radar in the books. As always, thank you for tuning in. If there’s anything we missed (highly likely), or if you want to let everyone know about a new/upcoming vinyl release you’re excited about, leave us a comment below, or send us a message on Facebook or Instagram, and we’ll look into it. Enjoy your weekend, and don’t blow too much money on spinny discs (or do, I’m not your father). See ya next time!

Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Click here and you’ll be taken to a page with all the past entries in the column. Magic!

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DS Record Radar: This Week in Punk Vinyl (RKL, Sum 41, The Shivvies, Goldenboy, Misfits & More!)

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold […]

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold one, and break out those wallets, because it’s go time. Let’s get into it!

Check out the video edition of this week’s Record Radar, presented by our friends at Punk Rock Radar:

As you’ve probably already heard by now, RKL has risen from the ashes! They just wrapped up a quick run of reunion shows with Tony from Municipal Waste on vocals and now a reissue of Rock N Roll Nightmare has popped up. It’s limited to 500 copies on Green / Orange Swirl colored vinyl, due out in June, and right now the only places you can get it from are both in Europe: Green Hell Records and Rough Trade.

That Descendents / Circle Jerks split 7″ that was released for their co-headlining tour a few weeks ago (and promptly sold out online) is back in stock! So if you missed out the first time around, you can get the red color variant (limited to 500 copies) from the Descendents store once again. Someone was kind enough to rip the whole 7″ and upload to youtube, too, so that’s cool. Enjoy!

Dutch pop-punks The Shivvies took the Ramonescore world by storm with their self-titled debut album in 2021, and now they’re following that up in grand fashion with the announcement of not one, but two brand new records! The band’s sophomore LP Punk Boys will be released on May 31st and an accompanying 10″ EP titled Take on the Night precedes that on May 15th. If you’re in Europe, Shield Recordings is the place to buy. My fellow Americans can save a few chunk of change on shipping by buying from Mom’s Basement Records. PHYSICAL STREET DAY IS JULY 1ST. Check out the lead single to see what all the fuss is about:

Speaking of Mom’s Basement Records, did you catch our exclusive premiere of their latest release last week? If you didn’t, I highly recommend checking out Pool Party, the debut album from The Bacarrudas, a fun new surfy power pop / garage rock band fronted by Dirt Bike Annie‘s Adam Rabuck. Give ‘er a listen and add the shiny compact disc to your cart before you check out with those new Shivvies records!

Sum 41 just released their final album Heaven :x: Hell, but they’re continuing to keep 2019’s Order in Decline in print. I got an email from Spotify imploring me to buy this new pressing, limited to 500 copies on Pink & Blue Swirl colored vinyl. Apparently this is a “Spotify Fans First” release and you need a code to buy it. Go here and use the code OID! if you’d like to do that.

The MisfitsEarth A.D. is getting its 5 trillionth repress, but this one’s special! It’s a Record Store Day Essential release (whatever that means), due out July 26th and limited to I don’t fucking know how many copies on a pretty fucking sweet looking Purple Swirl color variant. You can probably buy this from any record store day in the continental US but I’ll direct you to Lunchbox Records because they’re pretty cool.

Some awesome new records have hit the Punk Rock Radar webstore! Up first is Norwegian punk band Goldenboy‘s new album Qualmbum, available on Blue w/ Splatter (125 copies) and Yellow (also 125 copies) colored wax. This is a highly recommended pickup for fans of mid period No Use For A Name (More Betterness!, Hard Rock Bottom, etc.). Check out the first single below and you’ll get what I mean. Once you’ve done that, click this link and buy the record if you’re in the US. If you live elsewhere, links to a bunch of other labels you can get it from can be found here.

Due out May 24th and also up for pre-order on the Punk Rock Radar store, it’s A Bolt from the Blue, the debut LP from Modern Shakes. These guys are an awesome punk band from London, England (not to be confused with London, Ontario) that also come highly recommended from yours truly. The vinyl release is limited to 125 copies on Electric Blue and another 125 copies on Shocking Pink(!!!) colored wax. You can get the record from Punk Rock Radar (as I previously mentioned), as well as Double Helix (US), Disconnect Disconnect (UK), and Fond of Life + Keep it a Secret Records in Europe.

But wait, there’s more! Cassette appreciators, I have good news for you as well. Our mates at Cat’s Claw Records are releasing this wonderful album on cassette tape, limited to 50 copies total; half of which come in Turquoise colored shells, and the other half housed in Transparent Pink shells. You can purchase each of them for 9 pounds sterling (or get both for the unbeatable value of £17!) riiiiiight here.

Buffalo punks On The Cinder just released their new album Heavy-Handed. Check out the opening track “Smells Like American Spirit” below and go here to get the record. You’ve got five(!) color variants to choose from: Opaque Red, Blue, Violet, Translucent Green and Clear. Or you can save yourself the hassle of choosing and just buy all five perhaps.

DustyWax Records is releasing 88 Fingers Louie‘s 1997 compilation album 88 Fingers Up Your Ass on vinyl for the very first time! It’s a double LP housed in a gatefold sleeve sporting some brand new art all over it. They’ve got two variants available to pre-order on their Canadian webstore: Galaxy Splatter / Red-Blue (320 copies) and the DustyWax exclusive 88 Eye Ball / Chicago Flag (208 copies). Meanwhile, Chicago’s own Loud Pizza Records has their own exclusive “Rocket Pop” color variant, limited to 125 copies; you can get that one right here.

Galaxy Splatter / Red-Blue is the “Indie variant” and can also be purchased from these fine labels all over the world: Bearded Punk Records (EU), TMom-Merch (EU), Revelation Records (US), Thousand Islands (NA), Le Noise (Canada), and Disconnect Disconnect (UK).

Pop-punk troubadour and The Prozacs frontman J Prozac has a new record called Obsession due out June 14th on Rum Bar Records. Check out a few tracks from the record below and pre-order it here on one or more of the color variants: Clear / Orange Splatter (40 copies), Black / White Splatter (40 copies), Opaque Orange (100 copies), Black Wax (100 copies). They’re $22 each or you can get a 4 LP bundle for $70 by ordering directly from Mr. Prozac himself.

And last up on this week’s Record Radar we’ve got Authority Zero frontman Jason DeVore with his brand new solo album Til the Voice Goes Out, due out June 7th and available to pre-order from these fine labels: Double Helix Records (USA! USA! USA!), SBAM Rekkids (Europe, UK… and most importantly also the USA!), Caffeine Bomb Records (Japan!), and People of Punk Rock Records (Canada, eh?). Check out the simply delightful new single “Turn it Off!”:

Well, that’s all, folks. Another Record Radar in the books. As always, thank you for tuning in. If there’s anything we missed (highly likely), or if you want to let everyone know about a new/upcoming vinyl release you’re excited about, leave us a comment below, or send us a message on Facebook or Instagram, and we’ll look into it. Enjoy your weekend, and don’t blow too much money on spinny discs (or do, I’m not your father). See ya next week!

Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Click here and you’ll be taken to a page with all the past entries in the column. Magic!

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