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Destroy Boys Band

Destroy Boys

Destroy Boys are a female-fronted garage punk rock band formed in Sacramento, California.

DS Band Spotlight: Meet Sweetie, Chicago’s Local Lipstick-Punk Band

Sweetie is a Chicago-based lipstick-punk band with a femme fatale ferocity and a French influence. Voted a Top 5 Punk Band in the Chicago Reader two years in a row, Sweetie has found a niche in playing shows in the punk scene and drag shows alike, including venues such as the Metro, Green Mill, The […]

Meet Sweetie.

Joe

Bass

Birdy Vee

Guitar and vocals

Ryan

Drums

Sweetie is a Chicago-based lipstick-punk band with a femme fatale ferocity and a French influence. Voted a Top 5 Punk Band in the Chicago Reader two years in a row, Sweetie has found a niche in playing shows in the punk scene and drag shows alike, including venues such as the Metro, Green Mill, The Egyptian Theatre, Reggie’s, Cobra Lounge, Last Rites and Liar’s Club.

Dying Scene is thrilled to interview this local band and talk about drag queens, the queer community, new music releases and some hard-hitting questions that you do not want to miss.


What do you love most about being in Sweetie?

Joe: Honestly, I enjoy the spectacle of our live show. The band is always pushing ourselves to perform our very best and engage with our audience. So many rock songs are pretty simple 3 or 4-chord progressions, but it’s all about the raw power that you play those chords. And raw power is something that Sweetie brings to the table in spades!

Ryan: All the fantastic folks! Making friends with all these incredible bands, venues, and not to mention Birdy and Joe has been an absolute pleasure.

Birdy: I love the wide variety of opportunities to express myself creatively. Writing music is one of my favorite creative outlets, and it is an even bigger high when you take that song you wrote and perform it with your bandmates for the first time. The feeling of that tiny idea turning into such a big sound gives me goosebumps! Also, I ADORE performing. I really love being on stage and interacting with the crowd.

I also love finding new and creative ways for Sweetie to perform. We often perform in spaces that can be considered atypical for a punk band. We’re the house band for the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Dekalb and have performed at countless drag shows. I really like to find ways to take the idea of the typical punk show and elevate it: collaborating with a different variety of artists and performers and giving it that variety show feel.

I also love the connections I have made with people in the scene! I have made some really wonderful friendships with other musicians and performers in the scene, many of whom have been so supportive in so many ways. Sweetie would not exist today without the care and support of these people. AND I LOVE connecting with new people at our shows. I am a huge people-person and love to meet new folks.


How would you describe the music you typically create?

B: If Edith Piaf was reborn as a punk musician, that would be Sweetie. Our music is hyper-emotive, almost to a fault, and is often about love and longing through a female lens, with nods to subculture, queer culture, and the underworld nightlife. All just completely smeared in red lipstick.


Ryan, you were a music major with a heavy background in jazz music…did you ever picture you’d be playing in a glam lipstick punk band?

R: Well, I knew some type of rock band was inevitable, as that’s what came first in my life. I’ve been a jazz guy since high school, and I think that’s really influenced the way I play all styles of music in terms of style, phrasing, improvisation, etc.; so as far as the punk aspect goes, I see the jazz background as an asset to my playing. As far as the “glam lipstick” aspect goes, that’s a new one for me but I’m diggin’ it!



Birdy, you spearheaded the amazing local music fest Hands Off Our Fest (H.O.O.F.), can you tell me more about it, and will we expect it to come back in 2024?

B: Hands Off Our Fest is a music festival celebrating the women, femmes, and thems of the Chicago punk scene, featuring a drag show consisting of some of the area’s finest drag queens, kings, and things. I created this festival to help the women, femmes, thems, and queer folks in the local punk scene to bond with one another, network, and to create space. I have often felt stifled and uncomfortable as a woman in the punk scene, and the feeling can be very isolating. Also, there are so many local femme and queer acts locally that so often get overlooked and replaced with these cis-male fronted bands. I wanted to create a fest to celebrate these amazing talents and voices, while also just having as much fun as possible. The festival was such a success and every time I bump into a fellow HOOF performer when out and about, it’s always such a treat! I’ve definitely made many new friends as a result, and I ABSOLUTELY want to keep this festival going in the years to come. You can DEFINITELY expect HOOF to return in 2024.


Joe, you use an electric bass for your other bands but an upright bass for Sweetie. Any reason why?

J: One of the most important things that I have learned as a hired-gun/studio musician is that you should always serve the song. While there is definitely a level of flash to showing up to a rock gig with an instrument almost matching the size of the drum set, my intention is not to draw away from the songs and compliment them the best I can. I originally joined the group as a “fill in” for a few gigs for the band. When I was sent over demos and videos to learn the songs for these upcoming shows, Birdy was playing a 335/semi-hollow style guitar. This sound instantly brought me back to the classic rockabilly and Elvis records that I loved as a kid, while still being punk rock!

Of course, I showed up to the first band rehearsal/audition with all the songs learned on the electric bass, but I asked about what Birdy thought about me playing upright the next time we got together. I’m pretty sure that her response was, “I’ve never thought about how that would sound, but sure”. I fully believe that she was thinking that I was planning this only for the upcoming show to make it a large surprise spectacle, not that I was dead serious about taking the bass role on this instrument. I also don’t think this instrumental change took too much convincing after hearing it in application and has absolutely shaped some of our own Sweetie sound (even if Birdy changed over to her Flying V guitar).


At your show at The Metro with The Lawrence Arms, you brought out a drag performer (who was fantastic!) and I’ve noticed Sweetie does a lot of stuff related with drag performers. Any reason why?

B: That was my drag mother, Sindy Vicious! Since really early on, Sweetie has been collaborating with drag performers as often as we can. It all started out when we had a residency at a queer comedy variety show called T-Time at the Comedy Shrine (Rest in Peace Comedy Shrine). This was run by Penelope Torres and was a quarterly variety show that featured queer stand-up comedy, drag performances, and music by Sweetie, the resident band for this event. At our very first show, we met drag performer Sindy Vicious, who later approached me with an idea for a music video for our song ‘Devil Girl’. Her and I immediately began working together and this formed a creative collaboration and friendship that has persisted ever since. I am actually in the Haus of Vicious now (a Haus being a drag family in the community) and Vicious is where the Vee in Birdy Vee originates! She directed and edited the video for Devil Girl, Mamma, as well as the music video for our new single, Showgirl. The video also features drag performer and my dear pal, Kai Valentine. I love performing and collaborating with the drag community and hope to continue to do so in the years to come!



You are about to release a new single! What’s the inspiration behind the song?

B: The new single is called ‘Showgirl’, and there is so much inspiration behind this song. Firstly, the title is a nod to the movie Showgirls (1995) which is one of my favorite cult films of all time (after the Rocky Horror Picture Show, of course). At the time that I wrote the song, I was starting to feel the isolation and frustration that can come with being a performer. You are putting your whole heart and all of your energy into this thing, pouring your guts out on stage, and then when it’s all over, what’s left? The song also parallels a relationship that is in the same vein- something that you are pouring your heart into and from which you are getting very little back. But in the song, there’s also that tone of resilience, with a focus on women in the music industry. The stress that women in the music industry are under, and well as the constant criticism that they face can be shattering. The statement of ‘this will not break me’, which a lot of times is easier said than done, helps the song end on a high note. Ultimately, ‘Showgirl’ makes it through and comes out stronger in the end.

When can we expect the next album?

B: The new album is called La Vie en Rouge (which means Life in Red), which is a reference to Edith Piaf’s ‘La Vie en Rose’. The song La Vie en Rose is about being in love and seeing ‘life in pink’. The idea of La Vie en Rouge takes that idea but intensifies it. When you’re seeing life in red, there is passion, there is rage, there is fire. That is what I’m trying to channel in this album. Also, Sweetie’s most recognizable color is red, so the album title is a nod to that as well. We are so proud of this album and it is projected to come out in June 2024.


Now for the hard-hitting questions…would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?

J: While I would ideally not like to cause any harm to these proposed majestical creatures. My gut instinct would be to choose the 100 duck-sized horses to see if we may be able to reach some sort of diplomatic resolution without violence. But on the other hand, a horse-sized duck head would look pretty sweet mounted over a fireplace mantle…

R: Horse-sized duck is out of the question. I’m already afraid of geese and they’re not much larger than ducks. On the other hand, what’s a duck-sized horse gonna do? Kick me? Okay.

B: Do I get some sort of weapon? I’m pretty sure I could fight off 100 duck-sized horses with a broom or a hammer or something. But one horse-sized duck? They’ve got all those little teeth and they can fly and hunt you down… But then the 100 duck-horses could kick you to death with their little hooves. If I get a weapon, I’ll choose the little duck-sized horses.

Lastly, if you went on a national tour, how many pairs of pants would you bring with you?

J: My serious answer would probably be 3 to have a solid rotation, but I would be an advocate for shorts (weather dependent) to require less fabric to dirty up and for a higher level of comfort.

R: We don’t believe in that sort of thing.

B: No.


Anything else you want us to know?

B: Women, femmes, thems, and queer folks in the punk and alternative communities need to take up more space in our scene. Keep punk rock queer.



Check out the gallery below for more live photos of Sweetie and be on the look out for their new song release and album!


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DS Exclusive: Interview with Gina Volpe of Lunachicks and BANTAM

The first full-length solo album by Gina Volpe, of the seminal NYC punk band Lunachicks, is scheduled for release on February 23, 2024. Delete The World was produced by Barb Morrison, and will be available on all streaming platforms. The first single off the record – “Drink Me” – and its accompanying video dropped on […]

The first full-length solo album by Gina Volpe, of the seminal NYC punk band Lunachicks, is scheduled for release on February 23, 2024. Delete The World was produced by Barb Morrison, and will be available on all streaming platforms. The first single off the record – “Drink Me” – and its accompanying video dropped on November 3, 2023. A second single, “The Plan,” follows on December 1, 2023. I caught up with Volpe via email to discuss her new music, her legacy, and more.


DS: What inspired you to do this album at this time?

GV: I had always intended to record a full-length album. It just took a little while to find the time and come up with the funds. I started releasing my solo stuff in 2017 with a 5 song EP followed up by several singles over the past couple of years. An LP was a long time coming so I’m pumped that I’m now finally able to release a full body of work.

DS: How is this album different from the music in Lunachicks?

GV: My solo stuff is different in that it’s more diverse stylistically and not as easily categorized into one particular genre. Sometimes it’s pop, sometimes it’s punk, indie, retro, or rock. Sometimes it’s more singer-songwriter. I have the freedom to shape-shift and experiment. I use synthesizers, acoustic guitars, and samples – along with heavy guitars when called for, so I get to color outside the lines and be as messy as I wanna be.


DS: Will there be more to come from BANTAM?

GV: We got together last year and messed around in the studio for the first time in over a decade. We even released a single entitled “Yo-Yo.” I’m not sure what the future holds for us though. We’re kind of spread out across the country now but none of us would be opposed to playing some shows and putting out more new music. We left the door open so anything is possible.


DS: How did your work with Lunachicks inform you as a musician and prepare you for solo and other work?

GV: I received a hands-on education coming up in the ’90s with Lunachicks. We started very young so I was able to cut my teeth on writing, arranging and recording songs (as well as learn my instrument) throughout our career. Plus, just watching all of the amazing bands we got to play with over the years really brought so much insight and inspiration to me.


DS: The trippy and surreal video for “Drink Me” reminds me of some of the technicolor joy of the 1980’s MTV heyday. Was that intentional?

GV: I came across Stanzii‘s work on Instagram and was immediately drawn to it. It’s very much my same artistic sensibility with all of the bright colors, details, and surrealism she uses. I was so mesmerized by it that I sent her a DM not sure if she would get back to me being that I was a complete stranger. To my surprise, she did get back to me and was totally into making a video for the track. I feel like I hit the jackpot by getting to work with her.

DS: How did the idea come about? Did you approach Stanzii with your own ideas about it or did Stanzii come up with the concept wholecloth? How collaborative was it? 

GV: I trusted her to do whatever she wanted. It was important to me that she have the freedom to create in her style and employ the imagery she envisioned for the song. I would put my two cents in here and there but ultimately, I left it up to her to steer the ship. I helped with some of the editing and grunt work – like wiping the greenscreen from the clips and photos but the creative work was all her genius.

DS: Please describe what the video is trying to say, or the ideas being communicated.

GV: The song is about obsession, addiction, and escapism. It relates to the vices we use to check out. Maybe it’s the use of a substance or maybe it’s an addictive relationship with someone who is no good for you but you can’t let go of. I wanted the video to be a trip down the rabbit hole of self-destruction, then coming out through the other side only to go through the whole process all over again. The secondary reference is to Alice In Wonderland. “Drink Me” is labeled on the bottle she drinks in order to make her small enough to go through the door, which is clearly (to me at least) a metaphor for exiting the world and entering into another portal of being.


DS: What is it about NYC, especially at the time Lunachicks was formed, especially the part of NYC from which you hail, that sprouted so many punk legends?

 GV: I think what makes NYC so special is the pure infusion of ideas and cultures from all over the world. There is always so much happening here. So many creatives are drawn to this city and with them comes all of the contributions to music, art, performance, etc. that they make continually laying a foundation for the next wave of artists coming in to build upon. There seems to be an endless supply of inspiration due to the sheer number of artists packed into this one crowded city.


DS: Do you see the same spirit there now with newer musicians?

GV: I do and it’s always cool to see all the different generational influences the up-and-coming bands are drawing from. Sure, it may look different from an older generation’s perspective but really, the kids are alright.

DS: I first met you at Riot Fest 2022 . From what I heard around the park so many people agreed with me that Lunachicks were one of the highlights of the weekend [I agree. Plus, I found the band members to all be so nice and fun].

GV: Love to hear that. We had a blast playing Riot Fest. Although it was really hot if you remember [I do recall that it was an absolute scorcher all weekend long]. Chip. our drummer had heat stroke during the set and puked so stealthily in the middle of a song that none of us noticed what was happening lols.

DS: That must feel pretty damn good to know that decades on you are still making such an impact and garnering new fans.

GV: It really is an amazing feeling. We didn’t realize that we had so many younger fans that became aware of us well after we had stopped playing. So for a lot of the people in the audience it was the first time they had ever seen us live even though they had been listening to us for a decade or so.

DS: What was writing Fallopian Rhapsody like, and do you feel it was a comprehensive history of Lunachicks or is there still much to say? 

GV: Writing that book was such a great experience. It was hard though and it gave me a newfound respect for authors. It’s a long arduous process and a lesson in patience and grit. In the end though I feel like we got it all in, said what we wanted to say with the expert help of co-author Jeanne Fury and overall I’m super proud of it.

DS: How did you see the response to the book?

GV: We were happy with all of the positive responses we got. People really seemed to enjoy the book whether they knew the band or not. A lot of fans wrote in to say that they identified with a certain story, experience, or feeling and that it impacted them, inspired them, or simply gave them a new perspective to try on.

DS: What has it been like to create an identity outside of Lunachicks with the music you do as a solo artist and with other bands? Of course, even with these questions, there are a lot of references to Lunachicks

GV: Well most people know me because of Lunachicks which is fine because I’m super proud of our band and our history but it can be also tough to get away from that label and just be a solo artist without the qualifying “Gina from Lunachicks” tag. I do understand though that people need reference, they want to know “Who is this person?” and I totally get that. But, my solo music doesn’t always translate over to the Lunachicks’ fanbase, some of my fans don’t even know who the Lunachicks are (most do) but in a perfect world I’d just be able to be me -insert terrible Sammy Davis Jr. impression, “I gotta be me…!” sing-along folks!


DS: How is creating music for a film different from creating music for a more traditional record or band?

GV: It’s certainly a different exercise in that you’re not actually songwriting, there’s no lyrics or any kind of verse/chorus song structure necessarily. It’s also a practice in pairing down and being mindful of where and how you place certain textures and sounds so they don’t step on dialog or feel too intrusive in the scene. I lean towards less happening in a score than more. I’m not a fan of music scores that overdo it.

DS: You played most of the instruments for this record? How is that experience different from playing in a full band or having a full band contribute to an album?

GV: I usually record most of the guitar, bass, and synths in my home studio. Then I bring it all into a professional studio with my producer Barb Morrison and their engineer to finish the track. We do vocals, drums and adding all the cool layers and textures. It’s quite the opposite experience of recording live in the studio with a band. This way I have a lot of room to manipulate the track, try different arrangements etc. and change my mind a hundred times about it all–which is not always a good thing!


DS: Are there newer bands, up-and-coming bands, or artists that excite you at this moment? 

GV: I’m obsessing over the UK’s post-punk explosion that’s been happening in the past couple of years. I love Idles, Shame, and Dry Cleaning. I also love Viagra Boys, and FIDLAR, and Turnstile. This year I’ve been listening to Yves Tumor and Nilüfer Yanya.

DS: Can you see any influence you might have had on them?

GV: Hmmm, doubt any of the bands listed above would have known who we were!

DS: You came up as a musician when there were not as many female-fronted, or mostly female-comprised bands. How much of an improvement has there been in the way such bands are accepted? Is there still a struggle to be known less as a female-fronted punk band and just a punk band. Or is that label something you are ok with?

GV: I’m really glad to see so many more women in bands. It really doesn’t seem to be such a novelty anymore. When we played Riot Fest last year there were some women kicking ass both in mixed-gender bands and all-female bands. But as you mentioned that was one of the things that was the most maddening for us, no matter what music we were making we were always categorized by our gender instead of musical genre. “All girl band music” became the genre we were placed in, what the fuck does that mean?!

Sadly (that) element is present today when I listen to Spotify’s algorithm. If you were to put on a Lunachicks radio on Spotify, the algorithm will mainly stick to suggesting only other female-fronted bands, then conversely, if you were to start a Rancid radio station the algorithm won’t be offering any recommendations for bands with female singers therefore reinforcing this gender separation in rock/punk music.

I am proud to celebrate being a woman and if women and girls (and non-binary people) find inspiration in seeing people up onstage rockin’ out that look more like themselves (as I had when I went to see my she-ros play live) then I am all for it. But we need to do away with thinking that there are two different musical genres solely based on gender.

DS: There is still so much toxicity in the punk scene as we have seen with recent disbandings of decades-old groups. Anti-Flag situation, of course, being the most recent example. How have you tried to confront that? Is it something you have still encountered?

GV: Have to admit that I literally just heard about this, I don’t want to comment until I read more about it. But from what I’ve seen over the years things have gotten better – I mean we wouldn’t even be having this conversation back in the ’90s – or even the ’00’s. And I do believe it will continue to get better and that we will evolve. Sometimes that’s hard to see and there will certainly be setbacks and shitty humans messing it all up but I’m an optimist and I do think eventually we’ll get our shit together, may not be alive to see it, but we’ll get there.


Gina Volpe’s new record will be released in February. A documentary film “Pretty Ugly- The Story of The Lunachicks,” directed by Ilya Chaiken, had its world premiere in NYC in November and just finished an initial online run.

Many thanks and cheers to Gina Volpe!

Photo Credits: featured portrait by Barb Morrison; Dying Scene images at Riot Fest 2022 by Meredith Goldberg; and additional stage images by Hillery Teranzi.

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DS Festival Recap: Riot Fest Day One – Part Two (9/16/22) w/ L.S. Dunes’ Live Debut, Destroy Boys & More!

Did you miss Riot Fest this year? Or want to relive those last days of summer seeing your favorite bands? Good news! Fellow Dying Scene contributor Meredith Goldberg and I have all the photos you’ll need of the three-day music festival held in Chicago from September 16-18th, 2022. We are recapping some of the bands […]

Did you miss Riot Fest this year? Or want to relive those last days of summer seeing your favorite bands? Good news! Fellow Dying Scene contributor Meredith Goldberg and I have all the photos you’ll need of the three-day music festival held in Chicago from September 16-18th, 2022.


We are recapping some of the bands from day one here with the live premiere of supergroup L.S. Dunes, one of my personal favorites Destroy Boys, along with Foxy Shazam, Bob Vylan, Boston Manor and Pale Waves.


The day kicked off with UK pop punk/synth pop band Pale Waves who released their third studio album Unwanted about a month prior. They were the first of several bands that travelled to the fest from the UK. Pretty cool!


Boston Manor is next coming from (you guessed it) the UK (Blackpool, England to be exact). This pop punk/post-hardcore band was featured on Punk Goes Pop Vol. 7 in 2017 for their rendition of Twenty One Pilots’ “Heathens”.


One of the beautiful things about music festivals is discovering new bands you may have never otherwise heard of. The two-piece English band Bob Vylan is exactly that; I never knew I needed them in my life until I saw them at Riot Fest. This gritty-abrasive rap punk duo blew me away with their energy and unapologetic outcries against government oppression and xenophobia. The pair is vocalist Bobby Vylan and drummer Bobbie Vylan, together becoming Bob Vylan!


Glam rock stars Foxy Shazam dominated the fest with their dazzling performance (and attire) and quickly became a crowd favorite. There was so much happening on stage, one minute you see keyboardist Schuyler White jumping into the crowd WITH his keyboard, and the next there’s guitarist Devon Williams balancing his guitar in the air with his mouth. Absolute insanity.


Next up is a band I’ve been digging for the last year. I first saw Destroy Boys in December 2021 at the Cobra Lounge in Chicago and was excited to see they were on the line up for Riot Fest this year. Definitely listen to “Locker Room Bully” and “Crybaby” when you get the chance.


Finally, we have L.S. Dunes! They are the post-hardcore supergroup fronted by Circa Survive and Saosin vocalist Anthony Green, with My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero, Coheed and Cambria guitarist Travis Stever, and Thursday bassist Tim Payne and drummer Tucker Rule. They made their live debut at Riot Fest with heavy riffs and aggressive energy, certainly living up to the hype we were all hoping for. Be sure to check out their album Past Lives when it drops on November 11, 2022.


Check out the rest of the photos below and stay tuned for day two!

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DS Festival Recap: Riot Fest Day Two – Part Two (9/17/22) w/ Sunny Day Real Estate, The Front Bottoms and War on Women

Continuing with our Riot Fest 2022 coverage with a few bands from day two! In case you missed it, click here to see my day one recap. We’re starting off with the hardcore punk band War on Women. This female-fronted band delves heavily into political and feminist issues. Shawna Potter is the very definition of […]

Continuing with our Riot Fest 2022 coverage with a few bands from day two! In case you missed it, click here to see my day one recap.


We’re starting off with the hardcore punk band War on Women. This female-fronted band delves heavily into political and feminist issues. Shawna Potter is the very definition of fierce; definitely see this band live if you get the chance…and, head’s up they will be touring with fellow hardcore punk band Cancer Bats this fall for an East Coast U.S. tour.


Next are The Front Bottoms, an emo/indie rock band from New Jersey. They released their third installment of their popular Grandma EP series titled Theresa on September 2, 2022.


Long-time emo band Sunny Day Real Estate made a stop at Riot Fest for their fourth reunion tour. Their 1994 debut studio album Diary has been considered one of the defining albums of the Midwest emo genre.


Check out the full gallery below and Part One of day two here!


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DS Photo Gallery: Pinkshift w/ Jigsaw Youth & Yasmin Nur – Cobra Lounge, Chicago, IL (10/26/2022)

The rapidly-rising pop punk trio Pinkshift stopped in Chicago for their headlining tour after releasing their debut album Love Me Forever. Accompanied by Jigsaw Youth and Yasmin Nur, the all-ages crowd at Cobra Lounge packed the house and left with an unforgettable night of female-fronted music. Wichita, Kansas native singer/songwriter Yasmin Nur opened the night […]

The rapidly-rising pop punk trio Pinkshift stopped in Chicago for their headlining tour after releasing their debut album Love Me Forever. Accompanied by Jigsaw Youth and Yasmin Nur, the all-ages crowd at Cobra Lounge packed the house and left with an unforgettable night of female-fronted music.


Wichita, Kansas native singer/songwriter Yasmin Nur opened the night with her band and brought along all the dreamy-yet-dark indie rock vibes you can ever ask for.


Jigsaw Youth quickly became one of my favorite bands after seeing them at Cobra Lounge in 2021 with Destroy Boys. The sludge-grunge queens of New York brought the same howling energy as they did last year and introduced the new single “Skin.”


Pinkshift released their debut album Love Me Forever on October 21, 2022 through Hopeless Records. The empowering and emotional album boasts several stellar hits including “i’m not crying you’re crying,” “nothing (in my head)” and “BURN THE WITCH.”

The new wave of pop punk is here and this album deserves to be a part of it!


Check out the full gallery below!


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DS Show Gallery: The Dream Machine Tour! Featuring Jigsaw Youth and Des Rocs in Chicago (Bottom Lounge, 4/26/24)

Chicago got a double-dose of New York bands Jigsaw Youth and Des Rocs who teamed up for a spring North American tour after the release of Des Rocs’ Dream Machine in August 2023 with Sumerian Records. Jigsaw Youth are no strangers to Dying Scene (check out the photos from when they played with Destroy Boys […]

Chicago got a double-dose of New York bands Jigsaw Youth and Des Rocs who teamed up for a spring North American tour after the release of Des Rocs’ Dream Machine in August 2023 with Sumerian Records.


Jigsaw Youth are no strangers to Dying Scene (check out the photos from when they played with Destroy Boys and Pinkshift!) and manage to kick-ass every time they play in Chicago.


After the release of The War Inside Me EP last year, Jigsaw Youth bestowed upon us two new singles: Sit On It and Love Sick.


As of this writing, Jigsaw Youth is currently scheduled for Elsewhere Fest in Wichita, KS on June 22nd, Louder Than Life in Louisville, KY on September 26th and Aftershock Festival in Sacramento, CA on October 11th.

More dates are coming soon, so you better follow Jigsaw Youth and Dying Scene to hear all about it!


Closing out the night with his new brand of rock n’ roll and edgy punk rock Elvis vibes, Des Rocs, aka Danny Rocco, has quickly climbed the charts and becoming known for his unforgettable electrifying performances.

His shows are literal art, from beginning to end, that will have you sweating and dancing to every beat. The amount of energy he brings to the room is no joke!


Des Rocs’ sophomore album Dream Machine is fierce and emotive and certainly worth the time to listen to. You can pick it up via Sumerian Records here! In addition to a few festival dates, Des Rocs recently announced a EU/UK tour happening this fall. Don’t miss it!


Check out photos from both the bands below!



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Dying Scene Exclusive Interview with Drinking Boys and Girls Choir, Thalia Hall, Chicago, Illinois (03/2024).

On 09 March 2024, Otoboke Beaver headlined a sold-out show at Thalia Hall in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, with Drinking Boys and Girls Choir, and Ovef Ow opening the show! Here’s how it looked! Prior to the show, Dying Scene (Fleurette Estes) and Kyle Decker interviewed Drinking Boys and Girls Choir, where they also took some […]

On 09 March 2024, Otoboke Beaver headlined a sold-out show at Thalia Hall in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, with Drinking Boys and Girls Choir, and Ovef Ow opening the show! Here’s how it looked!

Prior to the show, Dying Scene (Fleurette Estes) and Kyle Decker interviewed Drinking Boys and Girls Choir, where they also took some photographs. Check out the interview below and go check them out!!!

Megan, Meena, and MJ at Thalia Hall Lounge Room.

Interview has been shortened for clarity and length.

Dying Scene: Tell me about Drinking Boys and Girls Choir. Introduce yourselves and who you are, where you’re from, and your members.  

Myeong-jin Kim (MJ): Drinking Boys and Girls Choir is from South Korea, and we’re based in Daegu City, South Korea. I’m MJ and I’m from Daegu City. I was born in Pohang but currently live in Daegu City. I play drums and sing. 

Meena Bae (MB): I am Meena, I’m the bassist and I also sing. 

Megan Nisbet (MN): My name’s Megan. I live in South Korea, but I’m from Glasgow, Scotland and I play guitar and sing in the band. 

MB: Yeah, we write our own songs, and every member contributes. 

MJ: Yeah. 

MB: There is no main songwriter. 

DS: So, how did you all meet? And were you friends before joining this band? 

MB: Yes. MJ and I were friends from around 2007. Yeah, she was young, just 20, and she just joined the university. At the time she was in a band named the Odeum Starz and it was a cute pop punk band and they just started making their own songs because they couldn’t play well enough to cover other songs. So, it was really kind of cute, but they ended the group because…  

MJ: Army service in Korea and the job career thing. After that, we started a girl band, Chicken and Mayo ABC. 

MB: Chicken and Mayo ABC. A few years later we decided to do a band again. It is Drinking Boys and Girls Choir.  

MJ: Yes. 

Daegu City is conservative, and my parents are super conservative. Nowadays, almost all young people really just like K-pop music, the K-pop scene, and K-pop culture. And in Korea, as you know, the mainstream doesn’t play punk music. They just stream the K-pop music, K-pop things. So that’s why young people can’t know about their taste in music”.

– Meena Bae

DS: Do you still play and do things with the other band? 

MB: No.  

DS: Do you ever want to try to relive that one? 

MB: No. We’re done. That’s just our memory. We don’t want to make it again. We want to make new things. 

DS: How would you describe your music? And who are your influences? 

MB: We really like Sum 41, NOFX, Blink-182, The Offspring. We went to the Bouncing Souls show in Chicago last night and it was very beautiful. And yeah, Alice in Chains… So, many American punk bands really inspired us. 

MN: We describe the music as being fast, aggressive guitar sound, intense drumming, and a powerful bass tone but with angelic vocals over the top of everything. Three-part harmonies. 

MB: I really like harmony. I just sing by myself, and they just start to make harmonies every time, every time… 

MN: I go low, you go high. 

Kyle Decker (KD): For the choir part… 

Earlier in the afternoon, we ate a really good lunch with Kyle at Bang Bang Pie, and I really liked that quiche and chicken pot pie and the other dessert pie. I really liked that. And maybe tomorrow we have lots of time before the show, so I hope to go to some good place and maybe I believe that he will introduce us to so many good things there”.

-Meena Bae

(L-R: Meena, MJ, Megan, and Kyle)

DS: So, you have been on tour with Otoboke Beaver. Did you know them before the tour? How has it been becoming friends with them on the tour? 

MB: Yeah, we are label mates. We are signed to Damnably with them. The Damnably label is based in London. The first time we met them was in 2019 at South by Southwest and then we started doing tours together.  

MN: Yeah. With this lineup, we’ve done two tours with them. We did the UK last year in May and then this year here in the US for the first time. And we get on very well with them. They’re very friendly, lovely people. 

MB: Yes. We really like each other. 

MB: Yeah, we’ve done more shows with them, we even did a show in Korea with them. Before Megan joined, we went to Japan to celebrate their new album. In 2019 and 2020 we toured together in the UK and the Netherlands. So, we really love our songs and our vibe and really respect ourselves and each other. It’s a really good vibe. 

KD: The scene has shifted since I left Daegu City, I know that, but what is it like being the only punk band in a pretty conservative city? How many people come out to shows? 

MB: Yeah, Daegu City is conservative, and my parents are super conservative. Nowadays, almost all young people really just like K-pop music, the K-pop scene, and K-pop culture. And in Korea, as you know, the mainstream doesn’t play punk music. They just stream the K-pop music, K-pop things. So that’s why young people can’t know about their taste in music. Do you know what I mean? 

MN: They don’t have many options for different types of music to listen to because it’s pretty much K-pop or bust. So, they don’t know how to find new artists to listen to and stuff like that. So, at our shows, the audience is, on average, older, late twenties, early thirties. 

DS: So, I heard you guys are paving the way for K-punk.

MB: Yeah, so we use the “K.” Actually, we really hate the “K” things, but we started to use the K-punk because it makes it easier to find our music. And so, we are trying to reach out to younger audiences. So, when we put on our own shows in Korea, we give free tickets to underage youth. But yeah, it’s hard to get a crowd. We never get a crowd of even 100 people in Daegu.

KD: Do you feel like you’re getting more audience response in the United States and Europe than in Korea? 

MJ: So, we’re getting bigger in US, Europe, and the UK but not in Korea. 

MB: So, sometimes we get invited to the (Asia Cultural Center) World Music Festival in Korea and so many members from the audience have told me, “Oh, I didn’t know you are from Daegu. I live in Daegu, but I don’t know you.” So, every crowd has told me that. I don’t know how we can grow our audience in Daegu. Yeah, I don’t know. 

MJ killing it on the drums!!!

DS: I’ve been following you on social media and so many of the shows are sold out. What does that feel like?  

MN: It feels like a huge opportunity really for us. And so far, the audience response has been positive. They come to the merch table, and they tell us how much they enjoyed the show and it’s really encouraging. So, I think we’ve done the right thing coming here.

DS: I absolutely love the fact that every time I look on my Instagram page you’ve had another sold-out show. I just think that’s lovely. 

MJ: Yeah. 

DS: Tours can be busy. Have you had time to do any sightseeing while you’re in any of the cities? 

MJ: Actually, we drive ourselves so we can see a lot. 

DS: At night? 

MN: Actually, during the day. So, when we were driving through Salt Lake City and places like that, we got the full view of everything. Beautiful, snowy mountains and everything like that. So, it’s been lovely. As for sightseeing, we had time in Seattle because we started the tour there and we visited pretty much most of the tourist spots in Seattle, like the Space Needle and MoPOP museum and everything.  

MJ: The Sub Pop store. 

MN: The Sub Pop clothing store. 

MJ: And KEXP. 

MJ: And the market.  

MN: The seafood markets. Pike Place. 

MB: Pike Place Market. Chicago is really the second city we’ve been able to stay in for a few days. Earlier in the afternoon, we ate a really good lunch with Kyle at Bang Bang Pie, and I really liked that quiche and chicken pot pie and the other dessert pie. I really liked that. And maybe tomorrow we have lots of time before the show, so I hope to go to some good place and maybe I believe that he will introduce us to so many good things there. 

DS: There are so many amazing places to eat and to see. Besides playing amazing shows with great crowds, what else do you want to accomplish while you’re in the States? 

MJ: Maybe work on our next tour… 

MN: While we’re here now, I want to have a good bond with the four people in our party…make some close relationships. I want to make some fans in every city and make a good impression on people by being very kind and friendly and open. That’s what I want to do. 

DS: Being from South Korea, do you feel responsible for representing your country?  

MB: Yes. 

DS: What do you want your audience to know about South Korea? 

MB: Yeah, Korea is not just K-pop. Yeah, I hope for them to know about that. We have so many subcultures. And really everything is small because Korea is small, but I hope the audience knows there’s more to Korea than just K-pop. I want the audience to think about Korea a little bit positively. 

MJ: Yeah.

DS: If anyone were to visit your hometown of Daegu City, what are the top three recommendations you have for them to do or see? 

MB: Yeah, like our song that we call the “BIG NINE, Let’s Go,” we introduced three locations. The first one is Daemyeong-dong…it’s really a music neighborhood…in the music scene. There is Club Led Zeppelin. And there is a famous beautiful university there called Keimyung University. Even New Jeans’s music video (for the song “Ditto”) was filmed there. And so many famous Korean dramas were filmed there. So, I want to introduce Club Heavy. They remodeled it and the rooftop is beautiful. Sometimes we have acoustic shows on the roof when the weather is good. Because we have the four seasons and the summer is extremely hot and winter is extremely cold, so we cannot do anything outside in the summer or winter. So, we have just a few days we can do rooftop shows. So, I want to recommend it. And second location is downtown Daegu – Dongseong-ro. And the third one, if you want to go to Suseongmot (Suseong Lake) you can take the monorail. It’s a beautiful lake with many restaurants, but it is a little bit expensive.

Actually, I say in the song (“BIG NINE, Let’s Go”), “makchang, soondae, joonghwa bibimbap.” It is really famous food in Daegu. It’s not vegan but… yeah. And so nowadays I’m trying to say the vegan food in the middle of singing. So sometimes I say different foods. 

MN: Changing the lyrics of the song on the fly.  

DS:  Tell me about your favorite performance as a group so far

MN: Why don’t we talk about the performance from this tour that we liked?  

MJ: As for our performance, I choose LA. 

MN: Me too. 

MB: Me too. 

MJ: And for enjoyability, Pioneertown.  

MN: Yeah. 

MB: Yeah. 

MJ: For perfection level, LA. For enjoyment level, Pioneertown. 

MN: We played well in LA. We just were on the same wavelength. 

MB: The zone! 

MN: We were in the zone, and everybody had a really good time. We felt nervous before the show, but as soon as we got up there, we just really locked in.  

MJ: So much fun! So much fun! So much fun!  

MN: Pioneertown was like this little cowboy-themed town in the desert somewhere in California. We liked that show because it was a smaller, more intimate venue, but it was packed. And, we’re used to playing in a smaller club setting, so it was more comfortable for us, and we could let go and just have a good time. 

MB: Yeah! 

DS: What’s next for you? Are you working on new music? Do you have any tours planned? 

MB: Yeah, during this tour we have had a good response from the audience and really every city’s promoter has been really impressed by us. So, they’re really starting to focus on us. So, maybe we could headline our own U.S. tour later this year. And I hope we could also tour the UK and Europe. We are also planning an Asian tour, so maybe we will visit Taiwan and Japan this year. And we really tried to make a new album, our third album, last year. We’ve already recorded eight songs, so we must finish our third album this year. 

MN: We just released a new single and I think that it showcases the new direction of the band, the new influence maybe that I’m bringing to the table, and we are pulling out of each other. So, you can hear that in the new single. Three-part harmonies. Really fast, aggressive but angelic vocals over the top. The song is called History. And then we’re working on the new album, hopefully.  

MJ: Yeah, and we have a live album soon to be released, maybe in the summer. 

MB: We just recorded the live album in January.  

DS: Oh, that would be exciting.

KD: Megan, how did you become involved in the band? Because I’ve known Drinking Boys and Girls Choir for a while, and I’ve known them to have a rotating cast, so to speak. How did you join the band and what new directions and influences are you bringing to it? 

MN: Right. So, I really love indie music and I’m a huge music fan and I’ve always played guitar. But since I was like 14. And, so, I was just watching KEXP at home in South Korea one night by myself with a bottle of wine. And, so, I’m scrolling through, and I saw Drinking Boys and Girls Choir and I look at the band name and the thumbnail and I’m thinking they look Korean. I think maybe they’re Korean, so let’s check it out. So, I clicked it, it was their session that they did in 2021.  

MN: I totally fell in love with the band, their appearance, the energy, and everything. So, okay, I followed them on Instagram and everything like that.  

MB: We put up a notice that we were looking for new guitarist.

MN: I thought I don’t have anything to lose, I might as well. So, I sent them an email and the rest is history. 

We describe the music as being fast, aggressive guitar sound, intense drumming, and a powerful bass tone but with angelic vocals over the top of everything. Three-part harmonies”.

– Megan Nesbit

DS: So, have you guys toured Scotland, yet? 

MN: Yes, we did. 

MB: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yes. 

DS: How was that experience? 

MJ: We met Megan’s parents, cousins, aunties, everyone… 

MB: I feel like every town was Megan’s town because people came to see her.  

MN: They were happy to meet the girls. They were kissing and hugging them. I was delighted to introduce them to my family as well. 

MB: Yeah, it was. And because we were born in Daegu and we’ve lived in Daegu our whole lives. So, our parents or family culture is not close to each other in Daegu, and I felt the love from her family. So, I was so happy to be there. 

MN: It was great.  

MJ: Yeah. Maybe more than my parents. 

MB: Yes, exactly. 

MJ: They loved me more than my parents. 

MB: Yes, exactly. Yeah, she calls her father often and every time he asks about how the girls are doing.  

MJ: Yeah, it’s like a family now.  

MB: And he bought lots of beers for us. Yeah, we had a really good time. Maybe if we can arrange our schedule for the next tour, I want to make Glasgow our last city. I want to spend more time in Glasgow after the tour. Yeah, I hope.  

MN: I would love to show them not just Glasgow but other cities and other more rural northern areas in Scotland because it’s a beautiful country. I think they would love it. 

DS: What advice do you have for musicians who are starting out? And those who are touring other countries? 

MJ: Workout.  

MB: Yes. It’s important.  

MJ: Yeah, physical workout is important. It makes you healthier, physically, and mentally. 

MB: Yeah. 

MN: What do you think? 

MB: Don’t think about it, just do it. 

MN: This is where you get the personalities of each of us, right? She says work out is a good and logical answer. Don’t think about it, just do it. Okay. And then for me I would say be personable, be friendly, be honest. Wear your heart on your sleeve and go for it. 

DS: Great. Thank you. What five bands are you guys listening to while on tour? 

MJ: For me, I like Jacob de Haan, a composer from the Netherlands. I love that man. 

MN: In the van, we listen to music mostly in the van because that’s the best time for it. So, I guess I’ve been listening to Bouncing Souls a lot. Hot Water Music… 

MB: On this tour… Smoking Goose

MN: Smoking Goose. I love that band. That’s a Korean band. Okay. They’re from a city called Daejeon and they play skate punk music. They’re a three-piece. They also play fast, have catchy hooks, and play three-part harmonies as well. So, I guess I love that band. And we are three girls. They’re three boys and they’re cool.  

MN. Jaurim. Good, classic Korean rock band. They’re still active today. Very kind. Nice people. 

MB: Yeah, they’re super rock stars in Korea. 

MN: Super rock stars. 

MB: We did we say five? Alice in Chains, The Offspring, Bouncing Souls…Tyler Langley

MJ: NOFX

MB: So, I’d like to introduce some of our friends in Korea. We really like Billy Carter. They are really…blues… 

KD: They’re like psychedelic blues, but they’re rooted in the punk scene, too. 

MN: They have a punk vibe as well. But it is like bluesy. 

MB: Yeah. A really good band. My friends Ohchill and they released a new album last year. And I want to recommend Smoking Goose as well. Who else? 

MJ: We’d like to introduce some other Daegu bands named Sindosi. They’re a post-punk band. There’s a legendary band from Daegu called March Kings. They’re not a punk band but we recommend them. There are female-fronted bands called Igloo and Honz.  

DS: What else would you like to share with Dying Scene’s readers? 

MB: Yeah, just come to our show when we come back here again. And please buy our merch. 

MN: Please check out our music here. Come to the show. And then if you do come to the show, come, and say hi. Because we are selling the merch personally ourselves. We love to talk to people and sign things and take pictures and everything. So, don’t be shy and just come say hello. That’s it.  

MB: Thank you so much.  

DS: Thank you. 

Check out the Otoboke Beaver, Drinking Boys and Girls Choir, and Ovef Ow Photo Galleries below and check out the link for The Korean Times collab with Fleurette Estes and Kyle Decker.

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