Interview: Burning Streets discuss latest album and Boston vs. New York punk scenes

On October 13th, 2009 Burning Streets released their first LP, Is it in Black and White? on Sailor’s Grave Records.  Backed by the release and a few Canada and US tours, the band’s popularity grew amongst the street punk scene and a few weeks ago Lyz Manikas cornered the fellas in their van outside the “Home for the Troops” show for a few questions.

Check out the interview here.

LM: What was the driving force behind the title for the LP?

Drew: Remember when you were a kid in grade school and you just assumed that black and white movies were boring but then you realized that things aren’t always what they seem? You have to give everything a chance! Everything is worth a try!

Jewlz: Like The Wizard of Oz. That movie opened your eyes to black and white movies! Just think, if it didn’t turn to color as a kid you would have lost interest, but after it was over you were like, “damn that’s a great flick,” leading you to watch other great black and white movies like Casablanca.

LM: Is there a certain reason the cover art references Paul Revere? Is that to show your Boston Roots?”

Drew: No it’s not for Paul Revere. He always gets all the credit. It represents all of the forgotten underdog minutemen that rode to action to carry the alarm and risked their lives to give us our freedom.

Chris chiming in: We are so into our area and what it has become (so badass) plus we love coming home, that’s one of the reasons we wrote Tea Party. It was a one and done deal, like our name.

Steve: Plus most Boston punk rock bands are Irish based; their covers are all shamrocks and pint glasses. None of us are Irish. We are all Italian-we eat spaghetti and have pubes!

Jewlz [to Steve]: Just you!

LM: How has the response been to the record and touring so far?

BS: (Replying in unison) It’s great!

Chris: Even if it ends up being a small show, at least one person comes up to us and tells us something positive. We always get a great response after the show; we even have a photo of one of our fans who got a tattoo of our lyrics.

Steve: We have been in a city of people we don’t know and we look down and there they are singing our lyrics. It is such an amazing feeling.

LM: How did the relationship with Sailor’s Grave Records come about?

Steve: I got this one! Well growing up some of our favorite bands like the Ducky Boys and The Welch Boys were on Sailor’s Grave Records. Luckily enough, our buddy Earl introduced us to TJ Welch. He was down for our sound and he emailed Andy King, and Big Duane owners of SGR. He liked our sound as well, and liked how much we were touring, so he signed us up. We were also super lucky because he had well known Boston producer Jim Siegel, who has also recorded bands such as the Dropkick Murphys, record us at The Outpost.

LM: Are there any Boston venues that New York punks must check out?

BS: their list of names start coming hard and fast. (like their music) : Middle East Upstairs, Harper’s Ferry, TT and the Bears, and Day’s Basement. Suddenly Drew breaks out his harmonica and starts doing impressions of different artists.

LM: How is the punk scene in Boston compared to NYC?

BS: whooo-ooo ohhhhh!

Drew: I think the New York punk scene is alive and healthy! The only reason that Boston might have an edge is because the Boston punk scene is like a family. Everyone knows everyone; each show is like a party at a friend’s house, not a concert. There is always that one dedicated person that shows up to every show. Or the people who will book you on a Tuesday night; that’s why we love our punk rock angels.

Sitting with guys, we discussed everything from guilty pleasures, alter egos, first shows, music, comfortable things, and touring. They all share the same goal… (From The Reason) “The world‘s a little brighter when you have something to hold on to…You’re alive today, what’s tomorrow what’s yesterday?” Their sound and attitude truly capture the spirit and camaraderie of Boston punk rock. No matter what, they believe in their music, and in each other; what they play is who they are. Along with their amazing music and lyrics, their funny and true personalities drive you to become their friend.

Burning Streets is kicking off an 8 week, US tour in June.  Check out their MySpace page for dates and locations.


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