Search Results for "DS Exclusive"

DS Exclusive: Sicko (Red Scare pop-punk) premiere lyric video for “The Sprinkler”

Do you guys remember Sicko, the pop-punk band from Seattle who had their heyday in the mid 90s? You might if you’re over 35 and the rest of you should get familiar by checking out their back catalog available digitally through Red Scare.

Anyway, for the pre-initiated, you’ll be pleased to know that Red Scare just released an anthology/”best-of” album “In The Alternate Timeline” containing 19 remastered songs, hand-picked by the band, and I couldn’t be more pleased to bring you a lyric video from one of said tunes. Being “old” and into punk for 25 odd years I can proudly say I owned every Sicko record when I was but a youngster. Join me in my fandom by scoping the lyric video for “The Sprinkler” along with some of the band’s rare(!) upcoming gig dates below.

Oh, and here’s a cool little story about the footage from the band themselves:

Once, on a warm spring evening long ago, 3 pop punkers drove their beloved touring van onto the island of Manhattan, through the streets of Greenwich Village, and played a show at a club called Coney Island High (15 St. Mark’s Place?). We had a lot of fun playing to an at-the-time rare enthusiastic audience. Was that Alan Rappaport from Popkid Records swinging from the overhead pipes while we played? Watch the video and you be the judge. That was quite a display of youthful energy and abandon, looking back on it now. The truth is New York scared us: the size of it, the all-hours press of people, the lack of identifiable traffic lanes, movies like Escape from New York… it was all too much for 3 tense provincials just stepping out into the world. In the event, New York held surprises for us and our misconceptions: an 11pm parking ticket, cafes full of happy chatting people at 2am, and some of the friendliest, kindest, warmest punk rockers we would meet in a 10,000 mile tour across America. We’re looking forward to seeing a few of you again, old friends. Come down to Gold Sounds in Brooklyn, hear the sounds of your youth (ours too!), share your old stories and do-you-remember-when with us a bit. This time we’re leaving the van at home! Love, Sicko.



Avoid One Thing’s Joe Gittleman Breaks Down “Right Here Where You Left Me” Track By Track

It’s Friday the 13th, which means that it’s the official release date for the brand new Avoid One Thing album! The album is called Right Here Where You Left Me, and marks the group’s first full-length since 2004’s Chopstick Bridge, and finds the core trio of Joe Gittleman, Amy Griffin and John Lynch joined by a crew of guests that includes original Avoid One Thing guitarist Paul Delano (Mung, Darkbuster), Tim Brennan (Dropkick Murphys), Dave Minehan (The Replacements, The Neighborhoods) and the one-and-only Ted Hutt.

You can pick up a copy of Right Here Where You Left Me wherever you buy music – like here – and you can also head below to catch a track-by-track rundown of the album from the one-and-only Gittleman himself!



DS Exclusive: Suck Brick Kid (Orlando pop punk) – “Get Even” from upcoming album “Salt To Taste”

Happy Friday, boys and girls!

Dying Scene are fired up to bring you the lead single from the debut full-length from Orlando, Florida’s Suck Brick Kid! The track is called “Get Even,” and it appears on the pop-punk sextet’s upcoming album Salt To Taste, which is due out October 25th on Smartpunk Records.

Here’s what the band’s frontman Grant Tchekmeian has to say about the track:

“The song is about wasting your life (or a chunk of it) on a significant other. Anyone who has dealt with a cheating ex that lies constantly can relate with the range of emotions that flood in. I wanted to put myself in a friend’s shoes and write about how they felt while dealing with that shit.”

Check out the video for “Get Even” below. Pre-order Salt To Taste here while you’re at it!



DS Photo Gallery: Avail Make Their Triumphant Return To Boston, w/Angel Du$t and Tied To A Bear

I’ve had a little bit of a difficult time encapsulating the recent run of Avail shows in any sort of meaningful way that wasn’t just endless, rambling gushing. I think that, to a lot of people in the “just-turned-40” age bracket Avail’s extended absence from the scene was for us what the prolonged Jawbreaker hiatus was for people 5-10 years older than us; the untimely “demise” of a band that didn’t fit into it’s own genre, played by its own set of rules, inspired a bit of hope for the underdog, and never really got its due credit until it seemed clear that they weren’t coming back.

But then, after a dozen years, they came back; first with a couple of rapidly-sold-out shows in their hometown of Richmond, VA, then with a small handful of club shows and festival appearances throughout the late summer. When the Boston date, September 8th, was announced, it seemed at first too good to be true; yours truly turned “the big 4-0” the day before the show. In fact, it was too good to be true for a little while; tickets to the gig at the 1000-ish capacity Royale sold out quickly, though where there’s a will, there’s always a way (thanks, Naim!). The days and weeks leading up to this run of shows led to more than a few “wait, is this really happening?!?” conversations with friends who were lucky enough to secure their spots at some of the small handful of shows on this run.

Even from the time doors opened for last Sunday’s Boston gig, there was still a bit of a surreal feel in the air, though admittedly the tone had shifted from “wait, is this really happening?!?” to “wait, this is really happening!!!”. By the time I got in to the venue, about ten/fifteen minutes after doors, a line had already formed at the merch stand that, well, included the majority of the people that were inside. And honestly, throughout the majority of the night, the line never really died down; a seemingly endless stream of revelers hoping to claim their little piece of memorabilia to mark the noteworthy occasion (shout-out to Angie Cooper for handling that merch line solo and like a boss all night).

Local openers Tied To A Bear kicked off the evening’s festivities, and I immediately began kicking myself for not having seen them sooner. They’ve been around for a hot minute, and while I’ve caught a handful of the TTAB-adjacent groups like Choke Up and Jeff Rowe on occasion, this was somehow the first time I’d had the opportunity to catch them live. Holy hell, they’re a great band: tight, uptempo, angular, melodic, anthemic singalongs in spades. If you haven’t heard their latest, True Places, yet do yourself the favor.

Angel Du$t provided direct support on this show as they did on each of the four dates of this brief Northeast run. I’d seen the Baltimore-based quintet a number of years ago opening a run of H2O shows and, well, I’m not the biggest hardcore fan in the world. I remember it seeming like they played 45 songs in their 30 minute set that night. This was different. Stylistically there are still some hardcore elements in their sound, especially in the last half of their set, but the first half was much more…I think “approachable” is the right word. Fun, melodic, engaging (read as: longer) songs with more room for textures and layers than previously heard.

And then…Avail. Like I said, it’s really a bit difficult to put their set into words. Technically, we were celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Over The James album, so that was played in full, but it was really as much of a “greatest hits” night as it was anything. It was cathartic from the word “go.” There were requisite technical difficulties, strained voices, endless crowd-surfers — not to mention a few unexpected stage divers from the wings during “Simple Song” — props, singing from the front row, a wedding proposal (she said “yes!”) and seemingly endless energy. It had the feel of a religious revival meeting that took the shape of a punk rock show. By the end of 75 minutes, “wait, this is really happening!!!” had morphed seamlessly into “Oh my god…that really happened!!!”

Avail meant a lot of things to a lot of people, particularly people who’ve been through and understood the struggles that come along with being on the margins or on the receiving end of some of the heavier things that life can throw your way. So on nights like these, when people who’ve made it through are able to come together for the first time in forever and celebrate and revel like the old days, sometimes the feeling defies words. Hopefully, the pictures below will do justice. Thanks to Tim and Beau and Gwomper and Erik and Joe for doing this.



DS Exclusive: Avoid One Thing debut “Better Left Alone” from upcoming album, “Right Here Where You Left Me”

We’ve got a real, genuine treat for you today that, as a lifelong Boston-area resident and scene-adjacent member, I’m fired up to be able to…new music from Avoid One Thing!

We last heard from the highly-regarded side project featuring Joe Gittleman (Mighty Mighty Bosstones), Amy Griffin (The Raging Teens, Darkbuster, Jittery Jack) and John Lynch (The Neighborhoods) all the way back in 2004 with the release of their sophomore album, Chopstick Bridge. After more than a decade-and-a-half of good times and bad times and all things in between, the band’s long-awaited third album is finally upon us. It’s called Right Here Where You Left Me, and it’s due out a mere two days from now (Friday the 13th) on Big Rig Records.

To give you a taste of what’s in store, we’re bringing you the brand new track, “Better Left Alone.” Here’s how Gittleman himself sums up the song’s theme: I don’t know if this song’s apology will ever reach its target or be accepted. I hope so.” Check it out below!

Pre-order’s for Right Here Where You Left Me are available here; you can also check out the album’s title track right here! You can also snag tickets to the album release show coming up November 16th at Boston’s Great Scott right here on Friday!



Festival Review: Catching 350 Fest and Catching Up with The Punk Rock Doc

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

350 Fest V took place a couple of weeks back, August 23-25, 2019 at the Tinley Park Convention Center. Headliners included Me First and The Gimme Gimmes, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones; and Naked Raygun. Included amongst the many others playing, were Suicide Machines, The Eclectics, Airstream Futures, The Repellants, Tight Night, 88 Fingers Louie, an acoustic set by Anthony Reneri of Bayside, Zebrahead, The Menzingers, Lucky Boy Confusion; and The Bollweevils.

Relive it or find out what you missed by checking out the pics and a full write up below!



DS Exclusive: Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers Reflects on his Journey from Belfast to Chicago; and the role of Political Punk in the Era of Trump

Stiff Little Fingers, out of Belfast, Northern Ireland was amongst the first wave punk bands, and among those with a lasting impact. Their debut album, the seminal Inflammable Material celebrated its 40th Anniversary earlier this year.  The album features a trilogy of angry, political songs. S.L.F. founder and lead singer Jake Burns still has a bit of that same early anger in him and is hitting the road again as Stiff Little Fingers readies itself for another tour. The tour, entitled “40 Years of Inflammable Material,” celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the band’s debut album of the same title and they will be playing said record in its entirety. The first leg, well the US leg, takes them across the nation from October 1st in Phoenix, AZ and ending on the Flogging Molly Cruise with Burns’ friends and fellow Chicago residents in Pegboy.

Speaking of Chicago, Burns’ journey from his youth in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland to his adopted home, the Windy City, was one of the subjects we recently discussed. Read the entire interview below.



DS Exclusive: Jason Cruz on Strung Out’s triumphant “Songs Of Armor And Devotion” and his Upcoming Children’s Book, “There Are Such Things As In Your Dreams”

When last we spoke with Strung Out frontman Jason Cruz, it was a couple of days prior to the release of his iconic band’s acoustic EP, Black Out The Sky. The album marked a bit of a departure, a change of pace album more than two decades into the band’s history of pioneering a blistering punk/metal hybrid. The album had been a bit delayed – its predecessor, Transmission.Alpha.Delta was already three years old and was, itself, the band’s first new album in six years at the time – and came at the end of a tumultuous two-year period that found long-time drummer Jordan Burns exiting the band, replaced by Runaway Kids’ RJ Shankle.

Fast-forward a less than eighteen months, and we caught up with Cruz again, this time on the heels of a new, fully-plugged-in full-length. On August 9th, the band released their ninth studio album, Songs Of Armor And Devotion, on Fat Wreck Chords, and from the first moments of the album’s opening track, “Rebels & Saints,” the new music finds the quintet firmly, aggressively, planting their battle flag as an ongoing force to be reckoned with nearly three decades into their career. That’s a concept that is certainly not lost on Cruz. “I think that we’re all still working class dudes. We’re still hungry. I feel like we still have to fight for every little thing that we’ve got and everything that we do. Nothing is easy for us, so I think that that in and of itself adds to the gravity and the sincerity of what we do,” he explains. “We earned the right to still be here. I think that if you’re going to do this – to do anything – you have to earn the right to keep doing it.”

Cruz notes that even with so many releases under their studded belts, the band experiences collective anxiety in the last period of time before an album officially drops, and the tone of that anxiety has shifted as much as anything else over the course of their career. “Up until the time it gets released, you’re wondering, especially with social media and everything that’s going on these days, everyone’s got an opinion and everyone feels their opinion needs to be heard, and they start throwing around how they think you should write the songs.” This forces the band – somewhat less-than-reluctantly – to pull back moreso than usual from social media outlets and to let their own collective consciousness steer the ship. It’s the quality that’s lead the band to continue producing material that’s as hungry and vital as ever. “I think that if you believe and something, do it or act it or live your life around it or just be it, and if people are inspired by it, good, if they’re not…I don’t worry about it.

Cruz’s songwriting has never been the type to shy away from sociopolitical issues, and that’s certainly no different on Songs Of Armor And Devotion given that the period we find ourselves in is ripe for commentary. However, Cruz’s songwriting is also the type that’s not going to beat you over the head with on-the-nose references. Instead, he opts for more of a storyteller’s role, allowing the listener to make her or his own connection with the music. That, of course, is by design. “I think music is more intimate than that, and the way it affects you when you first listen to something, or you first put on a CD or you have a moment…music is something so personal and intimate,” he explains.I think a problem with our generation, or just this time, is a lack of intimacy with all things, you know? Everything is so fast and mass-produced and gamma rays in your face and radiation in your face and instant gratification, but there’s no intimacy with anything anymore.

2019 finds Cruz not only assuming his storyteller’s role for Strung Out again by way of writing lyrics and creating artwork, as he’s now done for the bulk of the band’s releases; he’s now branching out into the world of author of children’s books! October 25th at the Copro Nason Gallery in Los Angeles, Cruz will be throwing an art show that serves as the launch for his debut book, There Are Such Things As In Your Dreams. The title was developed by one of Cruz’s daughters and inspired the central theme of the book. “It’s a simple children’s poem with some cool pictures. It’s trying to explain to a kid what dreams are.” In fact, There Are Such Things As In Your Dreams is the first of three books that Cruz has lined up. “The first one is basically a nursery rhyme or a kids’ poem with pictures. The second one is a little bit darker. The third one is a motherfucker…but that’ll wait ’til (his daughter is) a little older!

*excerpted artwork from There Are Such Things As In Your Dreams courtesy of Cruz himself*

As a songwriter, Cruz has not shied away from digging around in some dark places and exploring themes that might be awkward or strange or uncomfortable, and that won’t be different when it comes to his career as an author of kids’ books. “I am who I am in front of my daughter; sometimes I write about dark stuff, but I think at the core of everything I do is love,” Cruz notes. “I think if you read anything I write, it’s about love. I’m not a hateful person, I don’t write about hateful things. Everything I do comes from love, so naturally this book comes from love and dreams.” To that end, Cruz approached the process of creating the art and storyline for a children’s book in much the same manner that he approaches creating music, be it for Strung Out or another project like Jason Cruz and Howl. “To me, a children’s book is just like a song,” he explains. “They’ve both got rhythm, they’ve got imagery. It’s a simplified, poetic approach to telling a sorry or a thought or a theme, you know?

Head below to check out our full Q&A with Jason Cruz…or at least the first 22 minutes of our conversation before my recorder miraculously shat the proverbial bed. If you’re going to be in Southern California the last week of October, you can RSVP to the above-mentioned art show/book launch here; it’s free, and it will also feature guest artist and skateboarding icon Steve Caballero and an acoustic performance by Strung Out!

 



DS Exclusive: The Restarts debut “Black Dog” from upcoming album, “Uprising”

Happy Friday, gang!

Dying Scene are stoked to bring you some brand new music from English hardcore vets The Restarts! The East London-based trio has got a brand new LP, Uprising, due out on Pirates Press Records on October 25th. BUT because they love you, the Pirates are bringing you the debut single, “Black Dog,” today!

Here’s what Kieran Plunkett, who mans bass and vocal duties for The Restarts, has to say about the song:

The song Black Dog touches on the awareness of mental health and how it has been stigmatised. We all know people (some quite near and dear to us) who struggle with depression or other forms of mental health. With a little understanding people (who suffer manic depression and bipolar disorder) can quite easily live productive lives. It is the stigmatisation and shame that worsens the illness and increases likelihood of suicide. We have lost friends over the years to suicide and conversely know others who manage to cope with it. So the more we understand it the better chance we have to fight this.”

The term “Black Dog” was coined by the English writer Samuel Johnson and later popularised by Winston Churchill. Here’s a video explaining that analogy.

Check out The Restarts’ “Black Dog” below!

The Restarts’ recent split with SUBHUMANS was released recently via Pirates Press; get yours here. While you’re at it, pre-save “Black Dog” right here!



DS Exclusive: Miguel Chen on his new book, “The Death Of You: A Book For Anyone Who Might Not Live Forever”

One of my favorite — and also I think one of the most important — lines in Miguel Chen’s new book, The Death Of You: A Book For Anyone Who Might Not Live Forever, comes right within the first small handful of pages. Chen, is obviously best known for his role as bass player for long-running punk band Teenage Bottlerocket but is also increasingly well-known for his yoga and meditation teachings and practices, and wrote a pretty successful book, I Wanna Be Well: How A Punk Found Peace And You Can Too that came out last year. Anyway, early on in The Death Of You, page eight to be exact, Chen asks and answers the question that you might be asking out loud when you hear that the bass player of a hard-working punk rock band has written a book on essentially how to come to terms with the concept of death in a way that allows you to lead a fulfilling life. That question, as you’ve probably deciphered by now, is “why is Miguel Chen qualified to write this book?” Chen’s answer? “I’m not. Well, at least not more than anyone else.”

It’s that tone of self-deprecation, of not taking himself all that seriously, that weaves its way through all of Chen’s written work – and all of Bottlerocket’s music for that matter – that makes it so compelling and relatable. However, it’s also, frankly, not exactly true. Chen, you see, has experienced what some might believe is more than his fair share of painful and untimely deaths in his life. As you probably know, Chen lost his mother to cancer when he was sixteen years old and lost his sister in a tragic car accident less than a year later. Then, as you definitely know, he lost his best friend and Teenage Bottlerocket brother-in-arms Brandon Carlisle four years ago. The bakers’ dozen years in between found checking most of the boxes on Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance; sex, drugs, rebellion and rock and roll, followed by intense periods of yoga and meditation that have found him in a much, much different place by the time Carlisle’s death came around than he was in as a teenage.

And now with The Death Of You, Chen is trying to impart some of his immense and profound wisdom on the rest of us. The book finds Chen teaming up with the same writing partner (Rod Meade Sperry) and publisher (Wisdom Publications) as the first go around, which resulted in a much quicker turnaround this time than the few years that went in to I Wanna Be Well, even if he had this idea kicking around far in advance. “(Writing a book about death) was actually in the back of my mind for years and years,” explains Chen. “Before I came to these practices and this connection with myself, I really kind of felt like a victim of death, of these losses that I had faced. My mom died, my sister died, life was fucked, why was this happening to me?” Eventually, as chronicled in I Wanna Be Well and previously discussed in our last conversation here, Chen began practicing and ultimately instructing in both yoga and meditation, offering him a deeper perspective not only on death as a concept. “As I got to the other end of it through these practices and saw how different my life was because of those events,  I had to be honest with myself that it wasn’t all bad,” he says, adding “I mean yeah, it was heart-breaking and tragic and I wish I had those people back in my life, but because of what happened and when it happened, I was able to live a more free existence. It freed me up to be like, “well, this happened, and this is real, so what am I going to do with the time that I do have?” It really drove me to pursue the band and music, and to make a life for myself that I was happy with, you know?

Like with I Wanna Be Well before it, The Death Of You contains a mixture of first-person storytelling, education of the reader about certain concepts, and a handful of practices aimed at getting you and I to learn by doing. For it’s not just the idea of death that Chen wants us to be comfortable accepting; it’s how to deal with all varieties of deaths we might be presented with, up to and including our own eventual shuffling from off this mortal coil. This includes a meditation practice toward the end of the book that implores the reader to envision just what’ll happen to them when their time is up. “The status quo is to just never think about death at all, and just kind of move forward,” says Chen. “You counteract that with the extreme on the opposite end, right? So, we’re going to do the exact opposite. We’re going to fucking not only think about death, we’re going to think about our death and we’re going to think about it in explicit detail. And I think by then having explored both ends of the extreme, we come to find where our spot in the middle is.” It’s not for the faint of heart, but it can prove a fruitful experience nonetheless.

The Death Of You has an official release date of September 17th. You can pre-order it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Indiebound, or if you’re luck enough to live in one of these fine cities, you can pick it up at the Teenage Bottlerocket’s merch table on the Fat Wreck tour that’s going on now. Head below to check out our full Q&A!



Dying Scene Radio – Episode 17 feat. Special Co-Host Jenna Enemy from The Von Tramps

Heeeeeeey! We were just starting to wonder about the guys over at Dying Scene Radio and here they come, sauntering along…and with a friend, no less! On Episode 17 of the official podcast of Dying Scene, the lads somehow managed to get the endlessly talented Jenna Enemy (The Von Tramps / #femaletomdelong) to join them for some rootin’, tootin’ shit shootin’! But just because the boys have a guest doesn’t mean they’re gonna forget about the totally tubular tunes from new and emerging artists that you were probably too lazy to discover and the noteworthy scene news that you were probably too lazy too read! They’re just going to have a third person giving their shitty opinions on stuff!! You can never have too many shitty opinions, right!??!? Check it all out below!



DS Photo Gallery: Benny and The No-Goods and The Mizzerables Host Joint Record Release Show

Reggie’s, a popular near Southside venue on S. State St. in Chicago, has two performance rooms: The Music Joint and the Rock Club. On Thursday August 27th, both sides of the venue were rocking with terrific punk music. Many of the attendees — including many of the performers it seemed — went from room to room and back. I was able to document both, as fortunately, the timing was such that there was not much overlap. Set up in one room occurred whilst performances occurred in the other.

The Music Joint, the smaller of the performance rooms, on this night hosted a two-in-one record release show. Benny and the No-Goods recently released its sophomore album, Nothing’s Cool, while The Mizzerables’ newest release is entitled, Whatever…This Sucks. In addition to a similar attitude, at least in terms of record names, the two groups have Joe Mizzi in common. Joe is, of course, the founder of The Mizzerables, as if that was not apparent by its name. He also plays guitar for Benny and the No-goods shows because in the studio, it is a one-man band. Shortly after their sets at Reggie’s, both Benny and Joe discussed with me how they felt the show went, their new: albums; and upcoming projects.

Meredith Goldberg (Dying Scene): How did you feel the show went? Joe pulled double duty of course. Both as frontman of his own band The Mizzerables and as second guitarist for Benny and the No-Goods live band.

Joe Mizzi: Aside from getting a scolding from afar by the Reggie’s staff for somewhat mockingly requesting the crowd to do some damage to the tables that were left surrounding the stage, I’d say it all went pretty well! I mean, Damian May, the singer of The Exceptions, one of my favorite ska bands from Detroit was there… so ya know. We got in and got out quick so people could go next door and see some little band called The Lillingtons, my wife tells me they’re a whole thing haha.

Benny NoGood: “This show was a great time. Joe (second guitarist in BATNG) had a record release for his main band, The Mizzerables, so we were a natural addition to the show. We opened the night to a solid crowd, and almost immediately, I broke a string, Justin had a problem with the DI box, Dom broke a bass drum pedal, and I knocked my mic stand over, so it was definitely a punk rock show. We had a great time, and the other bands on the bill were all amazing across both shows. Butchered (Chicago) just blew me away. Their intensity is just through the roof, and they’re a bunch of nice dudes. Saw tons of great friends who I don’t often get to hang with, too, so the vibe all night was just outstanding.

 


MG: Were you able to catch any of the bands playing on the other side of Reggie’s, in the Rock Club?
BNG: I’ve been friends with Mike from Amuse for a bit over a decade now, and I just love those guys. The Lillingtons were, of course, a big reason a lot of people were there, and they didn’t (do they ever?) disappoint.

JM: I didn’t watch that Lillingtons that night was selling records but saw them the next night haha.


MG: Is it true Benny that Benny and the No-Goods is a one-man band?

BNG: Yes, as far as recording goes, it’s a one-man show. both albums were just me, that may change on the next one, as the lineups seem to be pretty solidified at this point.

MG: Benny, please tell us how it came about that Joe joined the band as a live player at second guitar; as well as the other live band members

BNG: I put word out that I was trying to put together a Chicago-based lineup, and Joe was the first to volunteer. We’ve been friends for several years, and this was a good opportunity to hang out more and finally play music together. Justin was next and came with the recommendation of Mike Muse from Amuse. I’ve known Mike forever, so I trust his opinion, and it’s worked out great. Dom came on-board immediately following, and it’s just been great playing with these guys. They’re all such outstanding players and people.

MG: Joe, was it hard to pull double duty?
JM: Not hard and of course it’s fun to play on stage more!

MG: And Joe, please tell me about making The Mizzerables new record, “Whatever…This Sucks.”

JM: The album itself came together really quick. I’m a “bursty” writer where I’ll get a bunch of songs and then break for a while rather than write every day like a Tim Armstrong says he does. With this album I went back to basics and focused more on melody than fancy guitar parts or riffs and listened to a lot of music I grew up listening to while writing it. Some comparisons we’ve heard are Methadones, Green Day and Descendents which pretty much nails on the head what I was listening to.

We recorded the album with Dan from 88 Fingers Louie last year. Recording the album was with Dan was great and this record would not be what it is without him. However, we did it in January/February and it was brutally cold. When we started vocals, it was pretty rough on my voice with how dry it was. I was literally bringing gallon jugs of water to the studio and I would tear through at least one each day. Somewhat smartly though, we recorded different songs at different times of the day to take advantage of the added rasp from the dryness as the day went on and I think that really played well.

MG: Benny have you always been political as a musician and in your life? “Nothing’s Cool,” features a song called “Donnie” about Donald Trump.

BNG: With Donnie, I just really fucking hate that guy and what he’s done to decency, discourse, the environment, women, the LGBTQA community, standards of governance, our standing in the world, and so much more. Honestly, just fuck him. There’s not even a nice way to talk about him without speaking the vulgar truth, so fuck it I don’t hold back, and didn’t in the song, either. It’s basically a rundown of his disgusting proclivities.

Beyond that, I feel like the arts and music community has a responsibility to use our voice and platform, however small, to speak to power. I get, and appreciate, that some bands are just focused on making fun music, and I do that with this band, for the most part… that said, there is still the drive to speak out I also tend to include an environmental message on all of my releases, and this one is no different. I hide it in the context of our bombs and pollution and destruction of the environment waking Godzilla in my song “Gojira”, but the message is there, and is delivered pretty plainly.

MG: What’s up next for you both?

BNG: Just to continue playing shows and supporting the latest album. I will probably, if pattern follows, release another project in the spring/early summer of 2020. We’ll see where things stand then.Re

JM: Winter is upon us again so we will be playing shows locally and around the Midwest for the next few months.
We’ve done the winter tour before and boy, we don’t have luck with vehicles in the cold. And let’s just say we aren’t the most mechanical bunch. In the meantime, I’ve been posting a bunch of cover songs that inspired the album and I plan to do more with those over the winter. In the spring next year we plan to spread our wings so to speak. No details yet, but I’m sure we’ll blast dates all over the interwebs when we have them. And some breaking news, we have already started discussions about recording 2 or 3 more songs in the coming months. I think what we are going to do is pretty exciting and we’ll have more on it soon!

Please check out photos from both shows at Reggie’s on this evening below!



DS Interview and Photo Gallery: CJ Ramone Brings His Last US Tour To Quincy, MA

On September 4, 1989, Christopher Joseph Ward would don a black leather jacket and a black-and-white bandana, throw the wide, studded strap of a cream-colored Fender Precision over his left shoulder, and play his very first show under the moniker that would come to endear him to a legion of fans and followers over the next three decades: CJ Ramone. It was during the legendary Ramones‘ appearance on that year’s Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and it was a few days before my tenth birthday, which is a thing I remember because my birthday always brought with it two things that I always tried to find forgettable: the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and the first day of school. In just a hair over five minutes, the band blazed through “I Believe In Miracles” and “I Wanna Be Sedated” and provided a pretty awesome and unexpected change of pace from the standard pledge pitches and Don Rickles jokes and WWF wrestler appearances.

Fast forward the tape thirty years, and yours truly had the opportunity to sit down with CJ Ramone back stage at Maggy’s Lounge in Quincy, Massachusetts. The venue is essentially a mid-century single-family house with a 125-capacity ballroom jutting out from what probably used to be the living room, and it marks the only New England stop on his US tour supporting his fourth full-length album, The Holy Spell, released last month on Fat Wreck Chords. But what’s more than the fact that it’s the tour for what’s probably his best album to date is that it also marks only local stop on his last North American tour as CJ Ramone. A fairly lengthy Australia tour next month will be followed by stops in South America and Japan next year, and then it’ll be on to what comes next. Sure, there’ll still be music made and the occasional show played, but the years of getting in the van for months at a time will have come to a successful close.

Ramone and I chatted for just about half an hour in the venue’s outdoor green room area (basically a 15×15 pop-up tent and a few food-and-beer filled folding tables on the gravel lot behind the old house) as his band members for this run — Street Dogs/The New Darkbuster colleagues Lenny Lashley and Pete Sosa and jack-of-all-trades Nate Sander — prepared and the sisters of tour-opener Dog Party geared up. In hindsight, it was a remarkably quick half hour that found Ramone perhaps a little tired from a late arrival on this particular night but more realistically from what has been roughly three straight months on the road, but introspective and engaged and thoughtful in his reflections on his own place in rock and roll history, and about what else he wants to do while, at fifty-three years old, he’s still got the opportunity. The appreciation that Ramone shows for the opportunities he’s had over the last three decades is palpable, as is the reverence for both the Ramones as an entity and his bass playing predecessor Dee Dee specifically.

I thought about different ways to format this piece, and different ways to turn it into a story. Who knows, maybe there’ll be a time and a place for a longer career retrospective piece in the future. Maybe this is a bit self-serving, but I decided to just let our conversation be the story. We covered a lot of ground, most of it involving family and music of course. Ramone has stories in spades, and it’s admittedly a bit surreal to know that when he talks about Lemmy or Johnny or Pearl Jam or Soundgarden, he’s talking about HIS experiences with THAT Lemmy and THAT Johnny and THAT Pearl Jam/Soundgarden. But then again, though his thirty-year run on the road is coming to an end and life as Christopher Ward will be resuming, he’ll always be THAT CJ.

Head below to read our conversation, and keep on scrolling to see our pictures from the night, featuring CJ and his band of luminaries and Dog Party accompanied by kick-ass local openers Duck & Cover and COB. Ramones forever.



DS Exclusive: Breaklights unveil music video for “Second To None”

Happy Hump Day, boys and girls!

Dying Scene are fired up to be able to bring you the brand new video from Austin, TX-based melodic punks Breaklights. It’s for a track called “Second To None,” and you can check it out below!

“Second To None” is a standalone track, and marks the first new music from Breaklights since their “Don’t Try So Hard” EP was released on Wiretap Records early last year. The new single is due out Friday; pre-save it on Spotify here!



DS Exclusive: Rough Dreams premiere new music video, “The Cold Sweat Shakes”

Ya’ll like music, right? And new music videos? I mean, why else would you come to a music news website, am I right?

Today we’ve got something special for ya’ – straight from the heartland, well the south I suppose, but Rough Dreams is a “Midwest-style” punk band out of Tennessee infused with a personal, and intimate sound which if nothing else, you can be sure is coming straight from the heart. Mason-Dixon be damned! Today they are premiering a music video dedicated to the songs that move us, “The Cold Sweat Shakes”. You can stream “The Cold Sweat Shakes” below.

Rough Dreams is a self-described “indie band with roots in punk rock [who] take their name from Otis Redding’s ‘I’ve got Dreams to Remember'”, and draw heavily on inspiration from bands like Hot Water Music, Jawbreaker, and The Swellers. Their self-titled debut EP was released earlier this year via Coffin Curse Records, and recorded jointly “in Knoxville by Zach Householder (Whitechapel) and Miah Lajeunesse (The Sound Lair) as well as in Saginaw, MI with Nick Diener (The Swellers) at Oneder Studios.” It was mixed and mastered by Nick Diener and is available for streaming and name your price purchase on Rough Dreams’ bandcamp.

Enjoy the premiere!