Search Results for "Swingin' Utters"

Dying Scene Radio Special Edition: Albums of the Year 2018

It’s that time of year again! To kick off 2019, we’re taking a look back at our favorite albums from 2018! We’ll tell you why they were our favorites and play some of the best tracks from those albums. Sound good? Alrighty then! Check out our special 2018 Albums of the Year Episode, below!



DS Photo Gallery: Bouncing Souls and Swingin Utters from Webster Underground, Hartford, CT

If you’re like me and “of a certain age” and grew up embedded in the Epitaph/Fat Wreck Chords sound of the early 1990’s, you’ve no doubt got a special place in your heart for the Bouncing Souls and the Swingin’ Utters. And though both bands have been rather steadily plying their respective wears for thirty-ish years, unless you caught them opening for Descendents together back in 1996 or maybe at a handful of festival one-offs, you probably never got the chance to see them together. And so it was with great anticipation that the Souls announced that the Utters would be the sole opener on a quick three-day run of dates in the greater NYC area. The second of those three shows was at the tiny Webster Underground in Hartford last Saturday, and yours truly was one of the lucky ones crammed into the dimly lit glorified hallway of a black-painted-plywood walled venue for the festivities.

The Utters took the stage first promptly at 8:30pm. This three-show run opening for the Souls served as a break roughly at the halfway point of the legendary Santa Cruz band’s own eastern US headlining tour, and because there were only two bands on the bill — shoutout to two-band show bills, by the way — the Utters were afforded a longer-than-average slot. This resulted in a stellar eighteen-song (by my count) set that spanned the bulk of the band’s three-decade career. I had seen the Utters headline in New Hampshire earlier in the week and left just about as thoroughly impressed by the quartet (longtime partners Johnny Bonnel and Darius Koski joined by newest bassist Tony Teixeira and fill-in drummer Max Katz) as I had been at any time I’d seen them in the past. This show raised the bar to even loftier heights, with a varied setlist that found traditional favorites like “Windspitting Punk” and “The Librarians Are Hiding Something” joined by some of the more recent odd-tempo Bonnel-penned tracks like personal highlight “Dubstep.” Every handful of years, it seems like the Utters go through a particularly productive writing and touring phase, and based on their recent album, Peace And Love, and the two shows I caught last week, here’s hoping we’re in one of those cycles.

By the time the Souls hit the stage, the sold-out crowd had packed sardine style into the venue, and remained a frenetic ball of energy from the opening notes of “Hopeless Romantic” to the closing notes of “Night On Earth” more than an hour later. The Hartford area has been starved for good punk shows for a while – the Webster tends to draw a more metal-influenced crowd – and even though the average age was…well…clearly Souls fans from back in the day, that didn’t stop the constant whirling dervish and barrage of crowd surfers from matching the band’s energy. If you closed or eyes or at least just squinted, you’d have sworn it was 1998 all over again. “Monday Morning Ant Brigade” and “These Are The Quotes From Our Favorite ’80s Movies” and “I Like Your Mom” were fun additions to a set, and are proof that the band still maintain their goofy sense of humor amidst a set that is also chock full of anthemic rallying cries. Oh, and speaking of the band’s energy; it is not hyperbole or said with any malice to previous drummers to state that the addition of George Rebelo behind the kit equates to the most steady, rock solid lineup of the band’s three-decade career. There was obviously early scuttlebutt that they might throw in the towel when Michael McDermott left back in 2013 after a 14 year run, and boy would that have been a mistake.

Head below for our photo rundown from a night that was truly one for the books.



DS Photo Gallery: Swingin’ Utters with Gallows Bound and Michael Kane & The Morning Afters, Dover, NH

With any luck, some of you have been paying attention while something truly remarkable has been happening on the eastern half of the US and Canada for the last couple weeks. That something, specifically, is the Swingin’ Utters tour in support of their solid new album, Peace And Love.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Even for a master of hyperbole such as yourself, this is a new level, Stone!” You’d be correct about the first half of that statement, but dead wrong about the last. At least, that’s the overwhelming feeling I had in watching the Bay Area punk legends as they took the owned the stage at the Dover Brickhouse in Dover, New Hampshire. It was a cold, drizzly Wednesday night that saw a small crowd that gathered upstairs in the brick-and-dark-wood adorned venue that creates a vibe that’s equal parts brew pub and sports bar (especially because the flat screens showing Game Four of the American League Championship Series remained on throughout). The Utters took the stage as a four-piece, with longtime partners-in-crime Johnny Bonnel and Darius Koski joined by their newest bassist, Tony Teixeira, and by Gabe Katz, filling in on drums for Luke Ray who was away at a family reunion. In spite of the latest in what’s become a series of line-up changes, the band totally delivered from note one, in a way that’s at the very least inspiring. It might stand to reason that a setlist in such a situation would be scaled down or overly reliant on material from the new album, but that wasn’t the case. Sure Peace And Love tracks were well-represented, but tunes like “No Eager Man” and “Windspitting Punk” and “The Next In Line” and “The Librarians Are Hiding Something” were as vibrant, vital, and well-received as ever.

Support on this run (aside from three dates that find the Utters playing alongside Bouncing Souls in the greater NYC area – more on that later) came from Gallows Bound, and Michael Kane And The Morning Afters served as local opener, venturing up from Worcester, MA, for the mid-week opportunity to play alongside a venerated and influential band like the Utters. Gallows Bound, if you’re not familiar, are a five-piece from Winchester, Virginia, whose sound is delightfully hard to pin down. “Appalachian Punk Bluegrass” is what they’re billed as and is a fairly accurate description, with the acoustic-driven instrumentation and dueling vocalists (Jordan Joyes and Jesse Markle) trading duties and allowing elements of country and punk and folk and gothic undertones to meld in a unique way. Michael Kane and crew, who you may recognize as among our local favorites, are a working-class rock-and-roll band with influences that are equal parts The Clash, Tom Petty and, as evidenced by their set-closing rendition of “Born To Run,” Bruce Springsteen.

Head below to scroll through our photo gallery from the evening!

 



DS Exclusive: Johnny Bonnel and Jack Dalrymple talk Swingin’ Utters talk “Peace And Love”

(L-R: Dalrymple, Bonnel, Koski, Ray and Teixeira)

As I write these words, we’re less than thirty-six hours away from the release of Peace And Love, yet another killer release from seminal Bay Area punk band Swingin’ Utters. The album is due out this Friday (August 31st) on Fat Wreck Chords – naturally – and as is par for the course with the Utters, there are an awful lot of modifiers we can use to describe the album: the ninth studio album in the band’s thirty-plus year career; their first album in four years; the first album since the departures of both bassist Miles Peck and founding drummer Greg McEntee; the most overtly-political album in the Swingin’ Utters library; et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Perhaps the most appropriate descriptor, though, is that the album is really, really great.

We caught up over the phone with both frontman Johnny Bonnel and guitarist/occasional vocalist Jack Dalrymple to discuss all things Peace And Love, and what was readily apparent from the outset of both conversations is just how excited the band and its members are to have people hear the new material. “This was a really fun one,” says Dalrymple. “Every album I’ve done with those guys has been a weird process, but this was a fun one, man.” Bonnel, for his part, is even more emphatic. “This is probably the most excited I’ve been about a record by the Swingin’ Utters,” he explains, that excitement clearly evident in his voice.

Now, it’s a given that most band members are going to be excited about new material, particularly in the promotional run-up to an album’s debut; that’s the whole point, obviously. But the Utters – Bonnel specifically but more on that later – have a lot to be proud of this time up. As alluded to above, there are a handful of new faces among the ranks of the Swingin’ Utters. Greg McEntee departed from the bands ranks after the release of Fistful of Hollow and was replaced by Luke Ray, probably best known here from his days playing drums for Cobra Skulls. Miles Peck, who himself took over for longtime bassist Spike Slawson in 2012 and had taken on a more active songwriting role recently left last year. Peck was replaced by Tony Teixeira, Ray’s rhythm section sidekick in Cobra Skulls and, more recently, Sciatic Nerve.

While they didn’t factor into the meat of the songwriting process, Ray and Teixeira’s presences are very much an integral part of the sound of Peace And Love. “I think they’re amazing musicians and they’re great dudes, so we’re super stoked on that,” explains Bonnel, who himself is no stranger to having a long-time partner in the music-making process as he and Utters’ guitarist Darius Koski are nearing the three-decade mark as a team. Dalrymple elaborates, relating the connection between Ray and Teixeira to his own connection with Peck (whom he also appears in toyGuitar with): “They’re awesome! They’ve been playing together since they were kids, dude. Me and Miles were kind of locked in, because Miles is my buddy, and you get to this weird spot where you’re in each other’s heads. I know what he’s playing and what he’s thinking and what he’s going to do, and that’s the same way with Tony and Luke. They make this solid rhythm section, man.”

If you put your Swingin’ Utters discography playlist on “shuffle,” you don’t have to wait too long to encounter a few songs that sound nothing like the songs that come before or after them in the queue. That’s readily apparent on Peace And Love of course — see the Koski-penned Ramones ode “ECT,” or the surf-goth-Beatles-esque “Seeds Of Satisfaction” for proof — though more than in the recent past, some of those new directions and sounds come from Bonnel himself. While he’s always been an idea man, Bonnel wrote more on guitar than he has in the past. “I like that he’s WRITING writing now,” says Dalrymple. “It’s awesome, man. He comes in and he’s got these crazy, weird guitar riffs and we kinda work around those. It’s so awesome, man. (The Bonnel-penned “Louise And Her Spider”) is my favorite song by the Swingin’ Utters in a long time.

Hearing his songs in their end form on the album is a source of pride for Bonnel, leading to his greater-than-normal sense of excitement leading up to Peace And Love‘s release. “A lot of the songs I wrote are all me,” he explains. “I didn’t collaborate as much on the writing process necessarily; I played them for the band and then the band took off with them. So yeah, (that excitement is) probably because it was more of a solo writing process for me.” That increased focus on solo songwriting from Bonnel also brought with it some nervous moments, especially when it came time to bring some of his more atypical ideas – see the appropriately-titled “Dubstep” – to the group. “I thought they’d think they were stupid,” says Bonnel half-jokingly. “Your brain kinda goes crazy worrying about that stuff, but as soon as I showed it to them and explained that I wanted (“Dubstep”) to be fairly tribal and dance-able on the drums and bass.” All the anxiety was, of course, for not. “They went for it. I really love what they did. They changed the songs from what I thought they would be and escalated them to something that I thought would never happen. I’m super pleased with the end product, and Luke and Tony had a lot to do with that.” Dalrymple, who shares co-writing credits with Bonnel on a few of the album’s tracks for the first time, glows about his partner’s input. “He’s the most artistic out of everybody. That dude is a real artist in all senses of the word. He’s quick, and he’s got this weird awesome vision that’s just different, man.”

Dalrymple, for his part, not only sings lead vocals but also has solo writing credit’s on Peace And Love‘s closing track, “H.L.S.” As you might imagine given the title, the song shares an influence with another Dalrymple-fronted track, albeit by a different project: toyGuitar’s “Turn It Around.” That, of course, is the 2015 passing of Dalrymple’s former One Man Army bandmate Heiko Schrepel. Dalrymple was gun-shy about including the song. “I think I was kinda nervous, man,” he explains, with some hesitation apparent. “It felt too raw, and maybe like it was too much. I didn’t really want to release it.” After playing an early version of the track for a few people, it was Koski who convinced him to give it a go. “He was like “I’ve got this idea. Hear me out! Hear me out!” And I didn’t even want to fucking do the song. In my world, that song would have been like after the record ended and two minutes of silence go by, then maybe that song starts. And Darius was like “no, fuck that, we gotta do it this way!”

The end result is a sweet, haunting, largely acoustic track, that provides a poignant, meaningful endnote to an album that’s pretty important album both within the band’s ranks and in the scene in general. Not only were Bonnel, Koski and Dalrymple able to overcome the loss of a few important contributors inside and outside the band, they were able to do so in a way that’s as charged-up and inspired as ever. In penning a few of their most outspokenly political songs to date in “Yes I Hope He Dies” and “Imitation Of Silence,” the Utters also plant their flag firmly in the camp that’s emphatically critical of what’s going on in the White House and at large. “Racism in the White House is a pretty serious thing,” states Bonnel. “I mean, racism is a thing that’s gone on since the beginning of time, but it’s at the point where something needs to be said. Things need to change, and we’re not the only ones doing this, for sure. It’s got to be a group effort.”

Head below to check out our conversations with both Bonnel and Dalrymple. Make sure you pick up Peace And Love on Friday!



Swingin’ Utters stream “Undertaker, Undertake”

West coast punk stalwarts Swingin’ Utters are to release new album, “Peace and Love“, on August 31 via long time home Fat Wreck Chords.Following first advance track “Human Potential“, the band are streaming “Undertaker, Undertake”.

You can have a listen to below – and pre-order the album from the label.



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!



Swingin Utters announce Canadian/Midwest U.S. tour

San Francisco punk band Swingin Utters have the announced the dates for a tour of eastern Canada and the Midwestern U.S. this fall. They will be supported on this tour by L.A.’s The Last Gang. See the dates below.

The Utters are touring in suport of a new album they are releasing on August 31 via Fat Wreck Chords titled Peace and Love



Swingin’ Utters stream “Human Potential” off upcoming album ‘Peace and Love’

West coast punk stalwarts Swingin’ Utters have announced that they are releasing a new album titled Peace and Love on August 31 via long time home Fat Wreck Chords. To get you pumped you can check out the first single “Human Potential” below.

Peace and Love is Swingin’ Utters first release since last year’s compilation album Drowning in the Sea, Rising with the Sun and their first studio album since 2014s Fistful of Hollow.



DS Photo Galley: Swingin’ Utters with Western Settings, Darius Koski and Duck & Cover (Boston, MA)

For the first time in what I think was about five years, Swingin’ Utters played a headline show in Boston this past Sunday evening (their last two trips through this area were on a tour with Lagwagon three years ago and as part of the massive Fat Wreck 25th Anniversary tour the following summer). Though the lineup has changed AND it was an unseasonably cold mid-November night AND the Patriots were throttling the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football at the time, the old school punks came out in droves for the occasion and met the band with what seemed like a throwback vibe.

It was announced just prior to this tour that the Utters are putting out a sort of double-album greatest hits compilation, Drowning In The Sea, Rising With The Sun, on December 8th through Fat Wreck Chords, and the setlist on this particular night seemed to be culled from some of the earlier half of the band’s career. Sure “The Librarians Are Hiding Something” and “Alice” from their most recent couple of post-hiatus albums made welcome appearances, but this seemed like a night for the old guard. Luke Ray has served as a steady breath of fresh air behind the drum kit for the last couple years, and he’s now got his Sciatic Nerve bandmate Tony Teixeira (Nothington/Western Addiction/Cobra Skulls) as his rhythm section counterpart, having taken over for Miles Peck earlier this year. Jack Dalrymple also sat this particular run out, meaning longtime Utters partners Johnny Bonnel and Darius Koski and the new recruits are playing aggressive and lean as a four-piece. In spite of the moving parts throughout the years, the Bonnel and Koski and company remain one of the most esteemed bands in the scene and, truthfully, songs like “No Eager Men” and “Five Lessons Learned” and “Pills And Smoke” and, of course, “”Windspitting Punk” sound just as earnest as ever.

Western Settings are providing direct support on this run. The band have been on a steady climb over the last few years, and with good reason. Their 2015 album, Yes It Is, released digitally here at Dying Scene, remains high on my personal favorites list, and the band has only gotten better in the two years since. Boston can be a bit of a finicky place for out-of-town bands to play, but the four-piece San Diego-based Jawbreaker-meets-Replacements outfit did an admirable job on their first trip through the Bay State. If a band can obviously play with passion and intensity and works up a sweat on their own, dimes to dollars says they’ll win over a crowd that is obviously interested in the headliners, and that seemed the case on this night, as they were increasingly well-received as their 45-minute set moved forward.

Doing double duty on this tour, Swingin’ Utters guitarist and principal songwriter Darius Koski is also serving as support. It’s the first time he’s really hit the road as a solo artist, especially outside California, and he enlisted the help of fellow Utters Luke Ray on drums and Tony Teixeira on bass to fill out some of the instrumentation that appears on his two solo albums, 2015’s Sisu and this month’s stellar What Was Once Is By And Gone (both released on Fat Wreck) and that would have been missed were he playing strictly solo and acoustic. A personal highlight was the short set’s closer, “Another Man,” which appears as the last song on the newest album in stripped down acoustic format, but was given a revved up, electric reworking for this tour.

Boston’s own Duck & Cover were well-deserved local openers for this particular show. There’s been a bit of a garage rock undercurrent in the local scene for the last handful of years that bands like Duck & Cover and The Warning Shots and Michael Kane and the Morning Afters and even Continental and others have been a part of, and that’s been a welcome addition to a seen that has obviously had its fair share of ska-punk and “working class” Celtic punk bands over the last two decades. Made up of members that might look familiar from bands like The Black Cheers and the Acrobrats and Bang Camaro, bands like D&C show that mixing a little Guns & Roses with your Clash and Ramones records is not bad thing.

Head below for our full photo gallery from the evening!



Swingin’ Utters announce best of album “Drowning In The Sea, Rising With The Sun”

San Francisco punk legends Swingin’ Utters have jsut announced that via Fat Wreck Chords, they will be releasing a thirty three song album titled Drowning In The Sea, Rising With The Sun as a ‘best of’ hurrah on December 8th.

Available for pre-order today, this anthology touches on the Swingin’ Utters from birth to the their most recent material. Their 1995 debut album The Streets of San Francisco, through 2014’s Fistful of Hollow offers a taste of these guys through their evolution and sums up their identity.

The guys also will be hitting the road starting tomorrow to celebrate, so make sure to pick up your tickets here and check out the dates below.



DS Interview: Darius Koski (Swingin Utters) on his new solo album, “What Was Once Is By And Gone,” and hitting the road with a new Utters linuep

If you rewind the punk rock history tape back a couple of years, you’ll come across the release of Sisu, the debut solo release from Darius Koski. The album was very much rooted in Americana and marked a bit of a sonic departure for the longtime Swingin’ Utters and Filthy Thieving Bastards guitarist and principle songwriter, though it still fit within the more diverse end of the Utters spectrum at the very least. Next Friday, Koski will release his sophomore solo album, What Was Once Is By And Gone, again via his lifelong label home, Fat Wreck Chords. This time out, Koski pushes the genre-bending element to new heights; while there is still a thread of Americana that pops up, also present are very heavy rockabilly and Johnny Cash and Nick Cave and Tom Waits-inspired sounds that each create a very different, very real mood. And that’s all by design.

I don’t want to play one style of music; I like too many things,” says Koski, who spent a dozen of his most formative years playing solely violin before eventually moving on to guitar and finding punk rock. “I just wanted to write songs, that’s basically what it came down to. I wasn’t really interested in being a virtuoso, which is all that’s about. And that’s great, but I would rather write songs than be a ripping violin player.” Still, that early experience with incredibly broad musical horizons created an early, lasting influence. “Too many things influence me and I’m interested in too many things to be a one note kind of dude, you know? So yeah, I think this one is even more all-over-the-place than the last one, for sure.”

Many of the tracks on Sisu were culled from years and years of songs that Koski has stored up, forming a catalog consisting of many dozens of tracks that date back close to three decades. It should go without saying that technological advances in the audio recording world have advanced many times over in the years since Koski began writing and recording, creating an interesting set of challenges when it comes time to revisit old tracks. “For a while, I was recording on – I don’t know if you remember, but those little cassette tapes? What do you do with those?” he asks, half-jokingly. As it turns out, what you do is press play on a microcassette player and record on a regular cassette tape, creating a lo-fidelity, hiss-heavy mix to try to decipher. “For the most part, I’m pretty anal about cataloging stuff because I’m just afraid of losing things. I’m totally that guy that spends a month being a month being obsessed with transferring his vinyl!”

The process was much the same on What Was Once Is By And Gone. Some of the tracks began simply as hummed notes into his iPhone, while some date as far back as the mid-1990s. Of particular note is the track “Fresh Glass of Nothing,” a song that was coincidentally written by his wife, herself an avid poet with whom he’s actually collaborated many times through out his songwriting career; the bulk of the Utters’ classic album Five Lessons Learned, for example, was culled primarily from her old poetry books. “Fresh Glass of Nothing” went a little differently, however. Back in the mid-90s, Koski had been in the market for a 4-track cassette recorder, and his wife purchased one while he was away on tour. “She was messing around with it at home to figure out how it worked,” he explains. One thing lead to another, and by the time Koski had returned from tour, his wife “had recorded two songs! Like, fully done songs, with her playing guitar, her lyrics, and her singing the melody! She’s not  a songwriter, but she had these two songs, and the other one is great too, but (“Fresh Glass of Nothing”) was, like, phenomenal!” Koski added the solo that appears on the song, but the rest of what you hear on the album is completely his wife’s brainchild.

Speaking of touring; Koski is putting down the day job plumber’s wrenches and gearing up to head out on the road as a solo artist for the first real time, as he’ll be doing double duty by opening up the Swingin’ Utters upcoming November dates. While he’s played a handful of dates acoustic and by himself, this time out he’ll have a small band backing him up, helping to fill out the added instrumentation that is so important to the sound on What Was Once Is By And Gone. While it can be hard to afford a full band to go on the road with, it is ultimately a goal of Koski’s to make touring with a backing band more of a part of his regular routine. I really, really want to try to make that happen,” he explains, “because the majority of the stuff on both of these records really has a lot of instrumentation and drums.” On the upcoming run, Koski has enlisted the help of some of his Utters brethren: “for this tour, Luke (Ray) is going to play drums and Tony who’s playing bass for the Utters is going to play bass, so we’ll be a three-piece.” The Tony in question is none other than Tony Teixiera, whom you probably know from his time in Cobra Skulls, Western Addiction, and most recently with alongside Luke Ray in Sciatic Nerve. Teixiera filled in for Utters bassist Miles Peck on their most recent tour and will be doing so again from here on out. “He’s pretty much our bass player now,” adding that Peck “just didn’t want to fucking tour any more. It’s not in him. It’s hard, man. It’s not for everybody.

Head here to see where you can catch Koski and the newly-retooled Swingin’ Utters lineup on the road, beginning next week in Arizona. Pre-orders for What Was Once Is By And Gone, which is due out November 3rd on Fat Wreck, are available at the same link. Meanwhile, you can head below to check out our full Q&A with Koski!



Darius Koski (Swingin’ Utters) streams new song “Black Sheep”

Swingin’ Utters guitarist Darius Koski has premiered another song off his upcoming solo album What Was Once Is By And Gone. Give “Black Sheep” a listen below.

What Was Once Is By And Gone is set to release on November 3rd through Fat Wreck Chords. Koski will also be the opening act on the Utters’ upcoming US tour (dates below).



Sciatic Nerve (Swingin’ Utters, Nothington, etc.) release video for “Buy a Horse”

Sciatic Nerve (ft. members of Swingin’ UttersNothingtonWestern Addiction and Cobra Skulls) continue to pump out music videos for songs off their upcoming debut album. Today’s video is for a new track titled “Buy a Horse”, and you can check it out below.

The band’s self-titled debut album is due out on October 13th through Anxious and Angry Records. You can pre-order the LP here.



Sciatic Nerve (Swingin’ Utters, Nothington, etc.) release “Bright Lights” music video

Sciatic Nerve, a new punk band featuring members of Swingin’ UttersNothingtonWestern Addiction and Cobra Skulls, have released a music video for a new song titled “Bright Lights”.

The track’s taken from the band’s self-titled debut album, due out on October 13th through Anxious and Angry Records. Check out the video below and pre-order the LP here.



DS Photo Gallery & Show Review: Musink Fest 2017 – Day Three (Costa Mesa, CA 3/19)

Day Three was reserved for the most “mature” roster of the weekend with stalwarts like Unwritten Law and Swingin’ Utters sharing the stage alongside genre defining bands like Pennywise and Bad Religion. 125 cumulative years of punk rock history performing on the same day, all in one place equated to an enormous turnout. So for the last time, we dragged Anarchopunk, kicking and screaming, back across the county line to Costa Mesa to cover this, the final day of Musink 2017. Check it out below!