One of the best parts of this job is coming across great punk bands who I probably wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to listen to. The latest band to get added to the list are Stolen Bikes; a band hailing from Rochester playing that fast style of pop-punk that the 90’s were so well known for. The band is giving away their new record “Glory” for free and you can get that here.
We jumped into bed with Jay and Shawn from the band for a quickie to get to know what makes them tick. Check out the interview here.
Dying Scene: Firstly, and most importantly, who are we speaking to?
Jay and Shawn from Stolen Bikes.
Tell us a little bit about your bands history.
Jay: We’ve been playing in this band for 3 or 4 years now….One of our friends started the band and then moved. We kept it going. Not much better to than play some punk rock in spare time.
Shawn: Four dudes playing punk rock.
As a small band, with limited time, funds and real lives, what is the most difficult part of being in a band?
Jay: Just having time to jam and play shows and get into the studio. We all lead totally different lives.
Shawn: Our work schedules are horrendous making touring almost impossible.
On the flip side, what’s the best part about being in your band?
Jay: Knowing all guys like brothers. It makes us very comfortable and honest with each other through good and bad.
Shawn: Being super comfortable with these guys. We’re brother from different mothers making writing super easy.
Describe your live show in 3 words.
Jay: We make recordings but then there is the live show. We are like a punk rock jam band. Always tight and full of energy but there is always a remix or curveball to throw… We like to have fun with the people watching us… wait…that wasn’t three words…sorry Brittles.
What made you want to place this genre of music in the first place?
Jay: Well…I’m 31 now…In 1994, I was 14. So, I would have to say Rancid’s Out Come The Wolves was the first thing that made me know that I liked punk rock(even though I liked mostly punk bands before I even knew what punk rock was).
Shawn: We play music that we were all into in high school. Maybe we refuse to grow up.
Tell us a bit about your latest release?
Jay: Well, it’s a lot different than our first album. Not sure what to say here….I hope people like it. We feel like it is an evolution toward what we liked in the 90’s…Maybe that’s a de-evolution or something….
Shawn: It’s a bit slower, lyrics are more thought out, a bit depressing at times which could be from listening to The Dopamines a little too much.
Who did you record this with?
Jay: Doug White at Watchmen Studios in Lockport NY.
Shawn: Doug White from Watchmen Studio, we’ll never use anyone else he treats us well and polishes the proverbial turds that we make.
Jay: Because he makes the best shit around hands down. Punk or not…He fucking rules!!! Kidding aside, he cares about making a great recording and being involved in the production. He’s not a shithead engineer that will hit play and stop then take your money and hand you crap.
How does the song writing process work for your band?
Shawn: Jay or Jerry writes the music and lyrics and I get to add the beats which is usually the same beat as the last one haha.
Jay: He got that one right…..
What inspired the album name?
Jay: Our favorite from the recording. We just picked the song we liked the most as the title track. We just got another member…increased to a four piece from three. Our new guitar player had an influence in that choice. You should feature his other band, Anchorage Nebraska. They are fun and awesome and 90’s!!!
What is different about this album compared to your last?
Shawn: As I said before it’s slower and a bit gloomier; at least the 2nd half of the album is.
Jay: Not sure what he is saying there…I forfeit but don’t recognize defeat. It’s way better.
How many songs did you write and how many made the album?
Shawn: 10 songs all of them made the album, turds and all.
Jay: Shawn’s still winning!!!
Is there one song you guys have recorded that hasn’t made it to an album that you really thought should have?
Shawn: Yes, there’s one song we have that we could never get right or agree on how it should be played so we canned it.
Jay: There have been many…He has a bad memory.
In reverse, is there a song on your album that, in hindsight, you think really shouldn’t be there?
Shawn: The others guys wouldn’t agree with me but Humble is my least favorite. I think there’s a level of cheese factor in there somewhere.
Jay: We all have our opinions. I like all the songs. I sometimes get sick of playing old songs (the first album).
What/who are your biggest influences when writing?
Shawn: Face to face, Jawbreaker, Hot Water Music, The Bouncing Souls.
Jay: Rancid, Social Distortion, Alkaline Trio.
If you could share a stage with any band, from any point in time, who would that be and why?
Shawn: Face To Face, no reason besides they have been a personal favorite and Jawbreaker broke up.
Jay: Social Distortion because Mike Ness is the fucking man and I love old country music just as much as punk rock.
If you had to do a cover album of any one artist, who would it be?
Shawn: We do a mean Rancid cover set but I would say Alkaline Trio.
Jay: Yeah we did a sick Rancid set note for note even bass last Halloween. Our bass player did a great job on the Freeman chops. I don’t know…I would do something weird and left field like Talking Heads or The Cars.
What band, from any point in history, would you pick to cover one of your songs?
Shawn: Bouncing Souls.
Jay: He has a great answer. Shawn’s still winning. I’m gonna say something stupid right now like Agent M from Tsunami Bomb or Mark Adkins from Guttermouth.
If you could collaborate with any musician, from any point in time, who would that be and why?
Jay: Don’t hate this answer but Bradley Knowell from Sublime or Jesse Micheals or just playing guitar for Fear would have been sweet.
Favorite “punk”/”non-punk” album?
Shawn: Jawbreaker – 24 Hour Revenge Therapy / Non Punk : Johnny Cash – All Aboard The Blues Train.
Jay: My favorite punk album has to be, but I might be confused, Out Come the Wolves or Let’s Go by Rancid! Non Punk would have to be Pink Floyd’s the Wall!
What is each band member’s drink of choice?
Shawn: Rum and coke.
Jay: The rest of us like beer.
What are you guys currently working on?
Shawn: Getting ready to play a bunch of shows coming up one being a Ramones tribute show.
Jay: So far, we do some faster amped up versions of Sheens and the KKK took my baby away…Gonna be a fun tribute show!!!
Outside of the band what can you be found doing?
Shawn: Printing t-shirts for my printing company, check us out www.endlessinkprinting.com & chillin’ with my kids.
Jay: I’m the executive chef at a resort called Bristol Harbour. I spend my time expanding my love for the culinary world.
What are three things the world should know about your band?
Shawn: We kill it at band practice. We are all the most humble dudes on the planet. We don’t care what’s popular.
Jay: We like to play loud!!!!
What are your thoughts on the current state of punk rock?
Shawn: I think it’s starting to pick back up, maybe not in our city but there are ton of great bands popping up all over the place.
Jay: He’s right I think… We have played with the Dopamines and The Flatliners which are some cool ass bands keeping it real. We have a show coming up with the Fake Boys, the Scarred and the Pinkerton Thugs. All cool bands. If you haven’t featured them , I would strongly recommend all of them.
Any final words to the readers of Dying Scene?
Shawn: Stay true! Stay Punx!
Jay: Thank you again for taking the time to feature us. We hope our next release will make the cut! You Rule!