Interview: Sam King (Get Dead) discusses working with Fat Mike, contributing to the Tony Sly tribute and a more

Interview: Sam King (Get Dead) discusses working with Fat Mike, contributing to the Tony Sly tribute and a more

San Francisco act Get Dead are churning out their own specific brand of punk rock that cannot quite be pigeon-holed.  Not long ago the band caught the attention of Fat Mike and in July they released their Fat Wreck Chords debut “Bad News”. On the Philadelphia stop of the current Fat tour we had the chance to sit down with vocalist Sam King to talk about their experiences on their new label, the Tony Sly contribution, whiskey and a whole lot more.

You can check out the full interview below.

DS: What made you decide to re-release “Kerouac’s Teeth”, “Here’s Your Letter” and “This One’s For Johnny” on Bad News?

Sammy: We had that back catalog and we had released it, but never fully released it. The only way you could get it was if you came to a show. Fat Mike listened to those and liked those ones and asked if we wanted to put it on the new album because we never got exposure with it. So it made our job a little easier in the studio.

What was it like working with Fat Mike on the Album?

Good, he’s a strange dude. No, he was really great. His style is that when recording there is not a lot of talking. It’s like “Go, do it, hurry up,” which is good because with us on previous albums there has been a lot of lollygagging around and taking too long. He puts a fire under your ass. Josh Garcia helped out with sound engineering, so it was rad.

From what I see online most publications have all used the words “booze” and “whiskey” while describing your sound. Does that bother you at all?

Yeah, I mean, I drink a lot of whiskey so I don’t take offense to it. It does get kind of old though. It is hard because I don’t project my voice to sound like that. I’ve sounded like this since I was a kid. I’ve always had a raspy voice. I’m not doing it any favors by writing songs about whiskey and shit either. But no, it doesn’t bother us. Nothing bothers us.

So if you could explain your sound to someone, how would you describe it?

I don’t know, I would just say that it is rock and roll. I mean I guess it is punk rock. We’re punk rockers but we don’t have mohawks, or crazy studs and shit, but the ethics are there. I would say…this is a weird question. I would say that if you want to have a couple beers, then wind down, or fucking rage, then Get Dead is probably for you.

 Awesome. If you could put any other band from Fat on this tour, who would it be?

Damn. We partied with NOFX out in Amsterdam. Saw their show, and they are fun dudes to party with. That’s a big thing with us on touring, we have to get along with all the other bands. We stay up every night until 6 in the morning, a lot of people can’t hang. But NOFX could. I really like The Flatliners. I think The Flatliners are fucking awesome.

Yeah, they’re awesome. I just saw them a few weeks ago.

I haven’t seen them live yet, but I hear they’re fucking great. But yeah, Flatliners, NOFX, we’re good friends with everyone on the Fat label. We play with the Swingin’ Utters, I like them. But yeah, all of them. I wish we could do the whole roster.

 Your song “The Process” is highly reminiscent of early Rancid, in my opinion. Were they a heavy influence for you?

I mean yeah. How can Rancid not be an influence on anybody in the punk rock scene? I grew up in San Jose California, and some of those dudes are from Campbell, so we listened to them and stuff. We definitely didn’t set out to be like “We’re fucking trying to be Rancid”.

 No, it just sounds like they influenced it a bit.

Oh yeah! Our previous albums were more hardcore albums, so on “Bad News” it was the first time that we mixed acoustic and electric and kind of went a little more melodic with it.

 You guys covered “Pre-Medicated Murder” on the Tony Sly Comp. What was that experience like?

It was awesome and not awesome at the same time. It is kind of like a downer, but supporting a good cause. It was awesome. Mike hit us up and said “Hey, do you want to be on the comp?” and we hit the studio and tracked it in a day. When we saw the lineup and who was on it we were like “Oh fuck”.

 Yeah, it’s killer.

Yeah, it’s heavy. The actual experience of recording it was great, but the reason we recorded it wasn’t so hot.

 Final question, what is your favorite all time release from Fat Wreck Chords?

Of all time? Woah. The other dudes from my band are going to fucking crucify me, but I’m gonna go with S&M Airlines. It was one of the first punk rock CDs I got when I first started skateboarding. I would listen to it all the time on my little mini-ramp and get down with it.

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