DS Exclusive Interview: Nick Woods (Direct Hit!) talks revamping songs, paying/not paying for music and the future of the band,

DS Exclusive Interview: Nick Woods (Direct Hit!) talks revamping songs, paying/not paying for music and the future of the band,

Direct Hit! have been shooting punk music out of Milwaukee and Chicago since 2007. Their debut full-length “Domesplitter” was released this summer on Kind Of Like Records.

The band has been busy lately, having attracted the attention of punk and pop-punk fans across the country. Singer/guitarist Nick Woods recently talked with Dying Scene to discuss revamping songs, paying/not paying for music, the future of the band, and more.  Read the full interview here.

For our readers who aren’t aware, your debut full-length “Domesplitter” was released this summer and is essentially a collection of your first five EP’s. How was the process of re-recording and in some cases re-writing these songs that you’ve written as many as four years ago?

It was fun dude! I’ve sort of beat this explanation into the ground over the last few months, but it was just really great to have an album that actually sounded like our band. There had been so many different line-ups on Direct Hit releases previously – I think it was great for all of us to get a real, cohesive-sounding album out of our systems so we’d be able to focus on writing new stuff, instead of rehashing old material.

You guys are sure getting around the Midwest this year, so to speak, with shows with Nothington, Cobra Skulls, The Flatliners, The Queers, Living With Lions, Mixtapes, Broadway Calls, and more. You obviously have a strong friendship with Mixtapes and have worked with them in the past. Are there any other bands you’ve developed good relationships with lately, either business, friendship, or otherwise?

Well, we did the split wit Mixtapes, and we did another with our friends in Tit Patrol. We also have one coming out later this month or early next with The Jetty Boys. So those dudes are all awesome. I’d feel like a dickhead just name-dropping everyone we like to hang with though, because there have been a lot of people that have helped us out over the past few years and deserve our gratitude. None of us are into making “band friends” and “networking” and shit like that. People get paid money to do that kind of thing at their jobs, because nobody wants to do that unless they’re getting paid for it. I’m certainly not getting rich playing tunes. So the minute Direct Hit even resembles a job for any of us is the minute we all quit and go do something else. When any of us says we’re friends with somebody, we actually mean that. We don’t hang out with people we don’t like.

After being together only four years, it’s safe to say you’ve developed an admirable reputation, specifically in Milwaukee and the Midwest in general. What do you like/dislike about touring outside of that area?

I’d say we have a reputation in the Midwest, but we’ve never really been a part of the scene in Milwaukee, even though this is where Danny and Robbie and I live. We’ll play here every once in a while because our friends from out of town sometimes want to come hang and see the city, but that’s pretty much it. So in terms of shows and stuff, we feel way more at home when we’re away from home. Especially out East, it really sucks having to come back to Wisconsin – We have so many really good, genuine friends in that area now that we only get to see one, maybe two nights a year. Not to disregard any of our dudes in Madison, Chicago, or Minneapolis. But we really do like touring a lot. If gas wasn’t so fucking expensive we’d be out all the time.

You have three words to describe your feelings as a band about the current state of punk rock and pop punk. Go.

Fucked Up rules.

Any absolutely insane onstage incidents happen to you guys, or have your shows ran pretty smoothly?

Nah dude, it’s sort of boring that Direct Hit has existed without incident as long as we have. The power went out at our last show in Chicago. Is that exciting? Some old woman took my pants off and refused to give them back once too while we were playing. I guess that’s insane?

You’re one of the few bands who offer absolutely free music on your Bandcamp page. How do you describe the differences between releasing albums for free vs. paying for a download/CD?

Well, it’s certainly a lot easier to get people to listen to your shit when they don’t have to pay for it. I’m of the opinion that there is no money to be made in recorded music anymore. None. When most people buy a copy of a song these days, they’re not doing it because they think the music itself is worth any money, but because they don’t feel like typing “(insert band name here) mediafire” into Google. It’s just more convenient to pay the iTunes Store $.99 for a song and have it right away. But it’s not the music that’s worth $.99 to them, it’s the convenience of the delivery. Most of the people that buy a record from us do so because they like having a Direct Hit record in their collection, not because they want to listen to it. I’m totally cool with all of that, for the record – It puts gas in our tank, and it supports a lot of cool music that wouldn’t be made otherwise. And it also puts a lot more focus on live music, which I think is good in an era where robots are singing to us on the radio.

Was the decision to not have a keyboard player in the band anymore a preference of sound, or was it just the usual filtering in-and-out of band members?

Nah, it was just the usual filtering in-and-out. We still have keyboard on our recordings, but haven’t found anyone we get along with well enough, who also has good equipment, can play well, and can put in the time.

What’s each member’s drink of choice? Or is there an official/unofficial Direct Hit! beverage?

Robbie drinks Powerade constantly, but the rest of us kind of switch it up when it comes to non-alcoholic consumables. Water, juice, and Arnold Palmer Lite, mostly. When it comes to booze, Robbie drinks whiskey sours, Danny drinks vodka tonics, I drink whiskey ginger-and-lime, Devon drinks Chocolatinis and Boone’s Farm almost exclusively. We all drink beer. Liquor is cool.

Any exciting/groundbreaking/bizarre plans for the future, near or distant?

Oh we’ve got a ton of ’em. We have some stuff happening around Christmas that’s gonna be super weird. And I have a bunch of ideas for our next album that are still really half-baked and embarrassing to speak aloud. The next one is gonna be way more ambitious though, I think. If I don’t end up getting lazy and half-assing it, that is.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Any final remarks/words of wisdom/warnings for our readers? Other than “Fuck you, get pumped.”

Dying Scene should chip in a few G’s and get Prince Fielder to sign with the Brewers for another season. That would make my day.

Nick, we’ve got about $3 in the kitty and it’s all yours.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.