Search Results for "Strung Out"

DS Photo Gallery: Strung Out and The Casualties – Boston, MA

Strung Out brought the US leg of tour in support of their ninth studio full-length, Songs Of Armor And Devotion, through Boston’s Brighton Music Hall last Sunday night. Boston circa 2019 can be a bit of a notoriously fickle market when it comes to punk rock, particularly when it comes to bands who stem from the Fat Wreck/Epitaph glory days. Those that were present at the what I’d call “respectably attended” and dimly-lit gig were in for a treat, because Strung Out circa 2019 still slay.

The Simi Valley icons kicked off their set with “Rebels And Saints,” the first track from Songs Of Armor And Devotion. As an ode to not only the band’s longevity but to the legion of fans that’ve stuck by them through the course of the last three decades, it seemed a pitch-perfect way to set a tone for the evening. What followed was a few dozen tracks from across the band’s storied career. Of course genre-defining albums like Twisted By Design and Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues were well represented, but so to were (my personal favorite) Transmission.Alpha.Delta and the 2016 stand-alone single “Crows.” The encore even included their cover of the Ozzy classic “Bark At The Moon” that I think dates back to one of those Punk Goes Metal compilations from like twenty years ago. It was yours truly’s first time seeing Strung Out with new drummer RJ Shankle in the fold, and I can attest to the fact that he’s a rock-steady breath of high-energy fresh air in the mix, peppering the band’s set with blistering fill after blistering fill. Frontman Jason Cruz’s voice seemed a little strained, the result of leaving it all on stage for the last couple weeks of East Coast dates – and the last few decades if we’re being honest. The two-headed guitar monster that is Rob Ramos and Jake Kiley still shred just as heavily as ever, and Ramos’ harmonies serve as a great balance that smooths out Cruz’s rougher, visceral vocal edges. And bassist Chris Aiken…well, he’s become one of my favorite artists in this little scene for a reason; he was battling a few technical difficulties on this particular night, but still provided his steady, heavy undertones while bounding side-to-side the length of the stage for the duration of the band’s set.

Support on the duration of this run comes from none other than New York City street punk vets The Casualties. I don’t profess to be the biggest Casualties-style fan in the scene. That said, the band are just as earnest as ever, and it’s always good to see the leather jackets and liberty spikes come out for a night of revelry that’s becoming fewer and farther between in one of the most expensive (read as: least street punk) and gentrified places in the country.

Check out our photo rundown below. And mea culpa to local openers D-Sagawa; pre-show burrito run ran a little long, so we missed all but the last notes!



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!

 



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!



Jason Cruz announces Fine Art Exhibition in Los Angeles

The great Jason Cruz

Legendary Strung Out front man Jason Cruz recently announced a free all-ages artist reception on October 25th at the Copro Nason Gallery in Los Angeles.  The event is being held to celebrate the release of Jason’s new children’s book, “There Are Such Things As In Your Dreams.”

The event will also feature pro skateboarder Steve Caballero and an acoustic performance from Strung Out.  For more information, and to RSVP to the event, head over here!



Full Album Stream: Strung Out – “Songs Of Armor And Devotion”

Happy Wednesday, boys and girls!

In case you didn’t know by now, Strung Out have a brand-new full length due out Friday on Fat Wreck Chords. It’s called Songs Of Armor And Devotion, and it’s now available to stream in its entirety right here! Check it out!

Songs Of Armor And Devotion is Strung Out’s first full-length since 2015’s Transmission.Alpha.Delta, and follow up last year’s acoustic Black Out The Sky EP in fully-plugged-in, blistering fashion!



Strung Out announce fall tour with support from The Casualties

Strung Out’s new album Songs of Armor and Devotion will be released August 9 on Fat Wreck Chords, and the band will be extensively touring the US in the fall so fans can hear and experience the new songs live. Support for the tour will be provided by The Casualties, and you can find the dates below. Tickets can be purchased here.



Strung Out stream new single, “Daggers”; announce new album, “Songs of Armor and Devotion”

The much-anticipated new album from Strung Out finally has a title and a release date. It is called Songs of Armor and Devotion and will be released by Fat Wreck Chords on August 9, 2019. The album can be pre-ordered here.

Singer Jason Cruz says of the album, “Some songs can be armor: they can repel and they can guard you,” explains Cruz. “And they can also bring you comfort and speak of love and belonging to something. To be a good and gentle person, you have to put up a little bit of armor, but that armor never works, because you’re so caring and sensitive and vulnerable that your heart is going to be displayed on that armor anyway. There are so many thoughts and feelings in my head that I just opened up and let it go so I could explore the duality of having to defend and protect what’s inside, and at the same time make it available for the world.”

Check out “Daggers” below for the first taste of what is to come from this quintessential punk band.



Dying Scene Radio – Episode 15 – Band Spotlight: Strung Out

The boys are back with Episode 15 of Dying Scene Radiooooo! In this installment, AP snags a whopper of an interview with legendary Simi Valley thrashers Strung Out down at Sabroso Craft Beer and Taco Fest as it rolled its way through Denver. If you’re excited about the seminal punk band’s upcoming album, you’re really going to want to give this one a listen as Jason and Chris spill the frijoles on the name of the upcoming LP! EXCLUSIVE NEWS! LOOK AT US! As always the lads are also gonna be spinnin’ a ton of music from new and emerging artists that you were probably too lazy to discover and giving their shitty opinions on some of the most noteworthy scene news from the last few weeks that you were probably too lazy to read. Check it all out below!



Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival (Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater, Denver)

It seems like there’s more and more beer/music festivals popping up these days. Sabroso Craft Beer & music Festival sets itself apart from the herd by adding a pinch of Latin flair to the mix. Not only are there taco and burrito trucks, there’s full on luchador wrestling matches boot! If that’s not enough, there’s also a ton of rad bands who take the stage once everyone’s bellies have been filled with comida y cerveza! At the Denver stop, we were treated to quite a few heavyweight acts including Bad Religion, |Strung Out Black Flag and The Offspring and none of them disappointed. Check out the full write up and gallery, below!



Strung Out finish new album

California punk legends Strung Out announced on their Instragram profile that they are on the last week of tracking their new album at Maple Sound Studios.

When the record will be released is unknown, but we’ll keep you posted as more details on it come to light.

Strung Out last released the acoustic EP Black Out the Sky about a year ago on Fat Wreck Chords, while their most recent full-length record Transmission.Alpha.Delta came out in 2015.



Dying Scene Radio – Episode 9

Well, well, well…look who’s back with another episode! We almost gave the lads over at DSR credit for a quicker than usual turn around. Then we realized that they didn’t get a god damn interview…. Lucky for you dear listeners, the guys made up for it by adding more news stories and a plethora of new music from some kick ass, emerging punk acts that you probably haven’t heard of yet! In summation: AP and Bob are lazy pieces of human garbage who suck major ass and this episode has TONS of great music and scene news! So, stream it, in all of it’s glory, below!



Strung Out announce east coast “Twisted By Design” tour

Strung Out is hitting the east coast this August and September to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their classic album, “Twisted By Design.” They will be playing the album in its entirety, in addition to other popular songs. After the Fall and MakeWar will be joining them on tour. You can find the dates below.

Strung Out’s newest release is the acoustic EP, “Black Out the Sky,” released back in May of this year.



Strung Out announce Craft Beer Partnership with Lucky Luke Brewing

New from Strung Out, the band has announced they have teamed up with Lucky Luke Brewing out of Antelope Valley in Northern Los Angeles County.

From The Toadies’ Rubbernecker Red to Hanson’s MMMhops and… what was that other group again? Strung Out is the latest in the trend of bands and musicians to team up with breweries to try and bring beer-drinking fans a little something special.

Astrolux Golden Ale is expected to be “light, refreshing, crisp, and clean, but pack more punch than your daily drinking beer,” describes Brian Shmitz, the breweries founder, and at 6.1% ABV with Strung Out’s track record for putting out superb tunes, we are all sure hoping it satisfies… Oh, and science is involved in the beer-making as well.

Astrolux is already available in the breweries taproom and select bars and restaurants, with an official release party set for July 21 including a special guest acoustic set by… Can you guess who? It’s Strung Out.

…NOFX! It was NOFX with the other beer. Well, let’s hope we get to enjoy Astrolux Golden Ale a little bit longer. Check out the commercial below.



Strung Out Stream Acoustic EP “Black Out The Sky”

Strung Out have gone considerably more chilled than we’re used to for their latest release. Black Out The Sky features eight acoustic tracks from the legendary Fat Wreck Chords band. The release is also the first from Strung Out since the departure of their long serving drummer Jordan Burns.

You can listen to Black Out The Sky below. The previous full release from Strung Out was their 2015 effort Transmission.​Alpha​.​Delta.



Music Video: Strung Out – “Requiem”

California punk legends Strung Out have released a music video for “Requiem”, which can be viewed below.

“Requiem” is taken from the band’s acoustic record Black Out the Sky, which was released yesterday.