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Dying Scene Radio – Episode 16

Hey there, kiddos! The boys over at Dying Scene Radio have put together another fine episode of our official podcast and we think you should listen to it…even if there is no interview this episode…..slackers! Not to worry though, dear listeners, to make up for their lack of production the lads are gonna be spinnin’ some extra tunes from new and emerging artists that you were probably too lazy to discover! They’re also going to give their shitty opinions of the most noteworthy scene news from the last few weeks that you were probably too lazy to read, so there’s that, too… All of that and more in Episode 16 of Dying Scene Radio! Check it all out, below!



DS Photo Gallery: Frank Iero And The Future Violents w/Reggie And The Full Effect, Boston, MA

I read an interview with Frank Iero the other day in which he talked about his musical career, and in the process of doing so he mentioned – and I’m paraphrasing here because I can’t find the original quote – that he enjoys the honeymoon period of a new project where you don’t really know what it’s going to turn out like and you’re nervous but excited because you get to figure that out together. When Iero brought his newest project, Frank Iero and the Future Violents, through Boston this past Sunday, barely 48 hours after the release of their debut album Barriers, the excitement was palpable and contagious for an obvious reason: Frank Iero and the Future Violents are a goddamn live freight train.

If you haven’t been keeping score at home, The Future Violents feature Iero and his frequent collaborator/guitarist/brother-in-law Evan Nestor joined by a few longtime scene heavyweights: Tucker Rule of Thursday and a bunch of other bands on drums, Murder By Death’s Matt Armstrong on bass and Kayleigh Goldsworthy of Dave Hause’s band The Mermaid and most importantly her own solo career on…well…just about every other instrument you can think of. Formed after the Iero and Nestor’s ill-fated and nearly fatal trip to Australia with their last project, Frank Iero and the Patience, a couple years ago, The Future Violents are rooted in Iero’s power punk songwriting core with some new sonic textures in the mix. In spite of having a comparatively few shows together under their collective belts, the Future Violents rhythm section of Rule and Armstrong is lock-tight and thunderous already. Rule hits hard and heavy, and is comparable maybe only to the great Atom Willard in terms of sheer live force, while Armstrong’s low end rattled SO low that I could quite literally feel my sinuses shaking. Iero and Nestor are simpatico from having played and performed so long together; they seem to have a knack for playing in support of one another without crowding each other’s sonic space. Goldsworthy’s parts, particularly the violin, seemed a little buried in the mix, though that might be just me projecting what I was seeing (with the stage set up, she was kinda buried behind the PA suspended from the ceiling in front of stage right) onto what I was hearing. That said, The Future Violents are hands-down Iero’s best project to date, and the near-capacity crowd seemed to cathartically, energetically eat up every word (well…except the poor kid who lost a tooth).

Support on this leg of Frank Iero and the Future Violents’ run comes from none other than James Dewees playing songs from his brainchild project, Reggie And The Full Effect. Dewees and Iero have been long time buds and collaborators – Iero did a stint in Reggie that coinicided with Dewees’ own stint alongside Iero in My Chemical Romance – and it makes an old emo kid like myself happy to see such longtime vets still supporting and playing with each other. Dewees’ set was essentially “Story Time with James,” as he told tangential tales of creating characters and his history with Iero and the early days of the Emo Night In Brooklyn movement, though he did manage to get to a few full or at least partial songs, accompanied by either a laptop or what I’m 95% sure was a pretty awesome British racing green version of Iero’s custom Epiphone Phant-O-Matic double cutaway guitars. While maybe not the most astute Reggie and the Full Effect fans, the bulk of the crowd was more than good-naturedly engaged with Dewees’ set, breaking out into full supportive chants on more than one occasion.

Head below for a bunch more pictures from the evening!

 



DS Interview and Photo Gallery: Frank Turner’s Lost Evenings III (w/The Hold Steady, Cory Branan, The Penske File and more)

The first of the four or five times that yours truly had the opportunity to chat with Frank Turner for a story here at Dying Scene was almost exactly five years ago. It was prior to his set at the 2014 installment of the Boston Calling Music Festival, and we found a “quiet” spot on the Brutalist concrete and brick steps on the Congress Street side of Boston City Hall to talk about what was, at the time, his 1567 show rise to “overnight” success. Toward the end of our conversation, Turner made a sincere comment about not taking any of his success for granted, because in five years’ time, “nobody is going to give a shit and I’ll be back playing in a pub again.” Flash forward to the Friday before last when Turner took a few minutes out of his scheduled pre-show preparation at a sold-out House of Blues in Boston to talk about some pretty monumental goings-on in his ever-expanding professional career.

Last Friday’s show was more than just a “regular” Frank Turner show, whatever that means at this point. It was more than “just” show #2341 and counting, all though that’s certainly noteworthy in its own right. But it also marked the second proper night of 2019’s installment of what Turner has dubbed Lost Evenings. If you’re not familiar, here’s a quick synopsis: started back in 2017, Lost Evenings is an annual multi-night festival curated by Turner and his team. While the idea of an artist playing multiple nights is certainly not foreign – here in Boston, our own Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Street Dogs and Dropkick Murphys do so on a yearly basis, and a quick check of my notes confirms a four-day run for The Hold Steady and a three-night run for Lucero coming up before the year’s end – Lost Evenings is not your traditional multi-night string of shows that happen to be in the same location. Sure there were the four main shows at the 2500-capacity House Of Blues on Lansdowne Street, each of which sold out months in advance. But there was also a fundraiser event at nearby tattoo shop, Stingray Body Art. There was a weeklong series of open mic events at neighboring Lansdowne Street bars, curated by Derek Zanetti (aka The Homeless Gospel Choir) which found any number of local and national artists popping in for a few impromptu jams. There were a series of panel discussions on everything from mental health awareness to how to build a career in the music industry to a book talk to active bystander training to, or course, a Frank Turner AMA session.

The first two Lost Evenings festivals took place at the Roundhouse Theatre in London. “We did the first one in Camden, in London, and the on the first one, we literally had no idea what we were doing,” explains Turner. “We were completely flying by the seat of our pants. I wasn’t completely sure what it was or how it worked or, indeed, how to put on a festival. We did it, and it was a Hail Mary pass, but it went incredibly well. We did the second one in Camden just to kind of learn the lessons from the first one, and to try to consolidate what we were doing.” 

With two successful runs on their home turf under their collective belts, 2019 brought with it the opportunity to bring the show on the road. If you’ve been paying attention either to Turner’s career or, at least, the early portion of this article it should come as no surprise that the natural first stop would take place across the pond in Boston, Massachusetts. “By design, (Lost Evenings is) a portable concept. In the very beginning, I always had a vision of bringing it around the world . The idea was always to move it, and to be honest, it was always going to be Boston, because that’s been the biggest city in the US in terms of my career and all the rest of it.”

While the individual show lineups for Lost Evenings’ I and II were impressive in their own right, taking the third installment to the States opened up Turner to a wider array of possible openers. “It’s a slightly odd thing trying to get an American band to come all the way to the UK to do a festival show. It can get pretty complicated.”To do so, as he explains it, Turner basically puts together a dream line-up of acts that he’d hope to have join him in some fashion. “I should leave the credit for the organizational logistics to my team. I tend to just come up with ideas that make more people’s lives more difficult!” he jokes. Difficult though it might be, this year, by all accounts, most of those dreams came true. “I’m insanely proud of the lineup this year,” says Turner. “If I had to pick my four favorite acts in the world, it might well come down to Loudon Wainwright, John K. Samson, The Hold Steady and Against Me! And here we are!” 

As we spoke on Friday afternoon, the giddiness in Turner’s voice as he recalled the previous night’s festivities that included not only Wainwright but Micah Schnabel and Jenny Owen Youngs and Hayley Thompson King, amongst others, was not only palpable but contagious. “We had Loudon Wainwright on stage, which is a thing that I never thought I’d be able to say out loud. Not only that, he’s one of my favorite songwriters of all time, and he completely burned the building down he was so good,” Turner exclaims. “I went to sleep content last night, and woke up this morning and remembered that The FUCKING Hold Steady and Cory Branan are playing today! And The Architects! And then when I go to bed tonight, I’m going to wake up tomorrow and think about John K. Motherfucking Samson and War On Women. And AJJ are playing tomorrow! Again, I threw names at my booking agent, but other people did the work to actually pull this together, and I’m extremely…I’m as happy as a pig in shit, and I’m kind of blown away that I get to sit in the middle of all of this!”

The City of Boston itself took note of how meaningful the Lost Evenings experience is, which may not come as a surprise given the ties that current Mayor Marty Walsh has with the local punk rock community. “Dude, I’m from suburban England, do you know what I mean? And I’m in Boston, which as far as my childhood self is concerned was a borderline fictional place. And here we are! The fucking mayor made yesterday Be More Kind Day in Boston. So much of my life is frankly ridiculous to me, in the best possible way. It’s like “wow…that happened?”

As stated above, to Turner, the ability to use his public position as a platform for some causes that are near and dear to his – and the community’s – part is vital. “So much of my career – so much of any musician’s career – involves standing on a stage shouting “please buy my new CD! Pay attention to me!” And that’s fine! That’s part of the fucking deal! But if you can find time within your busy day of shouting about yourself to shout about things that are objectively more important, than I think that’s a no-brainer, you know what I mean? You’ve got to do it.”

Yours truly got to the venue on Friday a little later than intended, but still arrived in plenty of time to watch The Architects kick off the main stage at House Of Blues. It was a meaningful opener for Turner, as both his band and the Kansas City rockers appeared as support for Flogging Molly on Turner’s first stop in Boston proper a handful of years ago. From there, the evening consisted of bouncing back and forth between the main stage and the “Nick Alexander Stage.” Named for the young man killed while working for Eagles of Death Metal during the terror attack at Bataclan in Paris several years back, the Nick Alexander stage was located at the complete opposite end of the venue, in a space normally reserved as the House Of Blues’ restaurant. This resulted in a series of energetic performances on the intimate stage, set no more than six inches off the ground. The immensely talented Kayleigh Goldsworthy was first up for me. After a few years of seeing her as a master-of-all-trades accompanying the likes of Dave Hause and Frank Iero, it was nice to see Goldsworthy solo playing her own powerful music.

It’s worth including that the main stage’s action was emceed all night, and all weekend, by Koo Koo Kangaroo. Turner’s labelmates and frequent tour partners led the crowd in a variety of different activities throughout the course of the night, from games to singalongs to Twinkie-eating contest between two members of The Architects (with the grand prize coming as a box of Target-brand fruit snacks). Next up in the big room was Cory Branan. I’ve been a fan of Branan for a long time and seen him close to a dozen times, but when he makes his way to the northeast, it’s almost exclusively as a solo act, never as leader of a band, but the latter is exactly how he appeared on this night. Trading in the acoustic that normally accompanies him on solo shows for a Telecaster, Branan led his three piece through a high-energy half-hour set that highlighted his guitar playing virtuosity while providing some different textures and tempos than he normally attempts solo.

Branan was followed by The Hold Steady. Like Turner said above, The Hold Steady have been on my very, very short list of favorite bands and songwriters for as long as I can remember. For a variety of reasons, they’re also a band that I’d never had the ability to shoot from the photo pit before. I’d also never seen them as a full-on six-piece band, the way they’ve been appearing since the inimitable Franz Nicolay rejoined the band a couple of years ago. Frontman Craig Finn led the three guitar attack (joined by Tad Kubler and Steve Selvidge, the latter of whom played with the above-mentioned Branan on his performance on Letterman well over a decade ago) with the rock-solid-as-ever rhythm section of Galen Polivka and Bobby Drake, who, unfortunately, didn’t actually appear in pictures. Trust me, he was there. Anyway, this was a pretty meaningful set for me – haven’t really gotten misty-eyed in a photo pit in a while – but I’ll let the pictures say the rest.

From there, it was back out to the front for the last Nick Alexander Stage set of the night, featuring none other than The Penske File. The Canadian trio burned through a blistering half-hour set that occurred, sadly, less than forty-eight hours before having their van and all of their gear stolen while in Montreal for Pouzza Fest. You can still kick in to their GoFundMe here, and really, you won’t find a trio of nicer, more deserving dudes to help out.

Last but obviously not least, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls took the main stage in the big room. This particular show was Poetry Of The Deed night, in honor of the pending tenth anniversary of Turner’s often-overlooked third studio album of the same name. Coincidentally, POTD was released on my thirtieth birthday, and so it doesn’t take an advanced mathematics degree to realize that means I’m turning forty in a few months, and so that’s got me feeling some type of way. Anyway, for an album that maybe doesn’t get the same kind of attention as Love, Ire and Song or certainly than the quartet of albums that have followed it, Poetry Of The Deed night was incredibly well-received, with trademark singalong after singalong after harmonica-playalong peppering the evening.

 

On more than one occasion, Turner seemed genuinely humbled by the scene playing out not just on this particular night, but over the course of the weekend in general. As he told me before the gig, “when I was a kid, the biggest fucking shows I ever went to were 2000-cap shows. I’m not trying to sound like a scene kid for saying that, but I’d never been to an arena show before I headlined one. You know? The thing is, I reached the point in my career a long time ago where somebody said “hey, do you want to play an arena show now? Because, you can.” And instead of tying myself up in punk rock purist knots about it, I decided to just laugh and say “fuck it, man, why not!” This shit is ridiculous, but yes, okay!

Plans for Lost Evenings IV were also announced during the course of this night’s set. In case you missed it, next year’s festivities will take place in Berlin, Germany. Oh, and they’re also, already sold out. But fret not, Turner faithful’ 2021 will mark the tenth anniversary of his breakthrough album England, Keep My Bones, and so you can guess what might serve as the centerpiece for Lost Evenings V!

Check out our full photo gallery from the evening’s festivities below.

 



Stanis (ffo: Propagandhi, Satanic Surfers) premiere video for new single, “Ready Reply”

Italian melodic HC/skate punk band, Stanis, recently announced their debut full-length, Tales From A Modern Society, to be self-released by the band on June 20. They previously wet everyone’s beaks with the first single “Society” (listen here), and today are premiering a new video for “Ready Reply”, the second teaser single off the upcoming release. It’s directed by the band’s own bass player Claudio Stanghelleni, who has done previous video work with such notable groups as Petrol Girls, Antillectual, Such Gold, Astpai, Darko and Strike Anywhere.

Stanis relates: “Ready Reply is about the discouragement you feel when you find the right words to say or the right things to do just when everything has already gone wrong… For this reason it kind of felt right to pick it as a topic for our first video! We love this production and we are proud of it especially because we created, directed and developed [it] all together, the three of us!”

Stream that fun and creative little video below, and look for Stanis on tour this coming summer with scheduled stops at both Punk Rock Holiday and Fest. Cheers!



DS Exclusive: Lovesick Bombs – “Breakfast Of Champions”

This one is a little out of the ordinary for the pages of Dying Scene, and I think that’s what makes it pretty cool. Allow us to draw your attention to a project called “Drawing Music.” It’s billed as a “unique art and music series that brings together a collection of visual artists and high spirited rock and roll musicians” toward the shared goal of creating a song and an art project that visually represents that song, resulting in a “fun listen and interesting look that combine to tell familiar stories to those who grew up pursuing rock n roll or art as their passion in live.”

The collective of contributors has been bestowed the name Lovesick Bombs by the project’s curator, John Redmond, himself a veteran of early 2000’s Bay Area skate punk band Secondshot. The third installment of the Lovesick Bombs project is available right here for the first time today. It’s called “Breakfast of Champions,” and it’s described by its creators as telling the story of “an attempt to patch things up with one’s significant other after drinking too much and saying all the wrong things. The partner in the dog house hopes that maybe the thing that caused the problem could also help be the solution. So a plea is made to have a “Breakfast of Champions” (booze brunch) together in order to have some laughs and get over last night’s train wreck behavior.”

Check out the video for Lovesick Bombs’ “Breakfast of Champions” below!



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!



DS Exclusive: Give You Nothing stream upcoming self-titled full-length debut

Happy Monday, gang!

We’re pretty stoked to bring you a killer new album today. It’s the self-titled debut release from Santa Cruz’s Give You Nothing. The quintet cut their teeth playing in other bands like Downpresser, Uzi Suicide, At Risk, and No Truce in and around the Santa Cruz area, and formed came together as a sort of skate punk Voltron back in 2016. 

The band holed up at Oakland’s Sharkbite Studio recently, and the result is their kick-ass debut, self-titled full-length. It’s due out this Wednesday, May 1st, via Snubbed Records in the US and Umlaut Records in the UK, but you can check it out below right now! Astute listeners will notice the likes of the inimitable Russ Rankin on the track “Clean Slate,” and Fury 66’s Joe Clements on “An Unwritten Chapter.” Pretty rad way to get you back into your weekly grind. Check it out!

 



DS Exclusive: Assembly of Arsonists Releases Video For ‘What Lies in Ashes’

I wish I could say I “like” The Assembly of Arsonists new video for their track “What Lies In Ashes” but that would be far too simple of a statement for such a dense subject. The video, like its architect Travis James, is frightening, clever, original, disgusting, comical, theatrical, and above all intelligent.

“What Lies in Ashes” is the second single off of The Assembly of Arsonists upcoming LP The End is Dear due for release on May 24. The album’s first single “Learning At Both Ends” dropped on April 14,

Check out the video for “What Lies In Ashes” below.



Music Video Premiere: Project Revise (pop-punk) stream “Time Will Carry You”

Worchestershire punks, Project Revise are unveiling a new music video via Dying Scene today. “Time Will Carry You” is a goofball rendition of the timeless tale of man’s ambition gone mad, and playing God with punk rock forces we can’t even begin to comprehend… hell, I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on this hilarious new video. Whatever it is, we’re all pretty excited about it… like, jumping-up-and-down-and-flailing-our-hands-around excited.

Project Revise goes well with Goldfinger and New Found Glory, so long as they are “completely operational and all of [their] circuits are functioning perfectly.”

“Time Will Carry You” was originally released on their EP, Songs That Sound Like Songs, in December of 2017. Since that time, they’ve sold out of the original, put out a video for every track on the album and re-issued an extended edition. This band likes to be in front of the camera, and I’m sure there will be plenty more of this awesome wholesome goodness coming our way in the near future. So stay tuned – and don’t worry crusties, I’m not talking about your instruments.

This is a good video for pop-punk and sci-fi junkies alike. Stream “Time Will Carry You” below.



DS Exclusive: Harrington Saints debut title track from upcoming album, “1000 Pounds of Oi!”

Happy Friday, boys and girls! We’ve got a pretty cool debut to get you fired up for the weekend!

We’re stoked to bring you the new video from California street punks Harrington Saints. It’s for the track “1000 Pounds of Oi!” which also serves as the title track from their brand new full length, which is due out May 10th on Pirates Press. Here’s what the band’s frontman Darrel Wojick had to say about the song, and the video:

The song has to do with the early days when we first started playing shows, and then bigger shows. Many of the comments we like “they’re like as big as poison idea” or “Poison Idea plays Oi!” Also, we used to joke how the drummer could never see the crowd cause he said there was a wall of fuckers in front of him! That became thousand lbs. of motherfucker, then turned into thousand pounds of Oi!. We wanted to do a video with Forry’s 64 impala SS before he sold it. Thought it’d be fun driving it blasting the song with a Go-Pro. Luckily we all fit in it.

Check out the video below! You can pre-save 1000 Pounds of Oi! right here.

1000 Pounds of Oi! marks Harrington Saints’ first album since 2015’s Fish & Chips.



Dying Scene Radio – Episode 14

Well, how about that! The guys took a break from their “busy” lives and graced us with a new episode of Dying Scene Radio! Guess they couldn’t be bothered to find an awesome band to interview but they’re back nonetheless. Not only are they back, they brought a ton of music from new and emerging artists that you were probably too lazy to discover with ’em! But, but, but, wait it gets better (or worse depending on how you look at it) they’re also covering some of the most noteworthy scene news from the last few weeks so you don’t have to scour the internets. ‘Tis a dark and dangerous place, that internet. All of that and more in Episode 14 of Dying Scene Radio! Check it out, below!



Exclusive Interview: Success is never realized with Houston and The Dirty Rats, Confessions of a DIY band with world record aspirations

Houston and The Dirty Rats is out to set a record. They’ve recently applied to Guinness for the category of “Longest Documented DIY Tour” – or something like that :) – in reference to their current tour, of which they should be right around the halfway mark, dubbed “The Dirty 100” or “100 shows in 100 days” tour.  I stopped by and spoke with the band as they came through Dallas, at the only place left for a cheap drink in Deep Ellum, Reno’s Chop Shop. We all met up and decided to chat it up for a bit in the bed of my truck parked right out back. It was a beautiful night with a near-howling wind that spoke just enough to rustle up the sensors in my phones microphone a bit, The city was wide awake on a Thursday and there were plenty of folks that took interest in our little motley anomaly in the bed of a truck in back of Renos.

A bit more than halfway through we breaked for their set, and I was thrilled with the band’s performance, and stage presence. I mentioned to Houston that he was lucky to have such a great rhythm section, and that the Dirty Rats throughout the night had expressed a level of brotherhood and comraderie that made me extremely excited to write about them. We talked about the usual stuff: DIY ethics, running your own label, dreams of being signed, ungodly amounts of malt-liquor consumption, and of course the 100 shows in 100 days. It’s a bit of a read but I’ll be damned if we didn’t just make the most adorable little punker quartet you ever did see. Also, if you or any of your friends are in a band, there’s about a 50% chance that it gets a shout in this piece as a bunch of our favorites get a mention.

This conversation was a blast and I’m stoked I got to relive it again in transcription. From my table to yours young scenesters. Here’s a band that’s going places. Read the interview below.



DS Exclusive: Dave Hause on fatherhood, family, and his suicidally optimistic new album “Kick”

The journey of a career songwriter is one filled with a seemingly endless series of what can rightly be called “pivotal” moments that can alter the arc of one’s professional career; the death of a loved one, the dissolution of a band, divorce, the misuse of alcohol and other drugs, marriage, worsening societal ills. Even if you’ve got your head screwed on in a manner we’d call straight, each and every one of those areas can seem daunting. When you couple any of them with the growing senses of fear and doubt and insecurity that can come, frankly, with being alive and even remotely paying attention to the world around you, it can prove enough to bring an otherwise strong individual to their respective knees.

In one form or another, Dave Hause has tackled all of those issues — sometimes individually, sometimes collectively — generally in a manner that can be poignant and heart-achingly personal. On his upcoming album, Kick, due April 12th on Rise Records, Hause has yet another filter to approach his life, and his craft, through: fatherhood. When we caught up with the now California-based Hause over the phone last week, he was out for a walk with his twin two-month-old sons napping quietly away in their stroller, affording his wife a much-deserved breather. Lest those who might be afraid that turning 40 and establishing roots on the sun-soaked west coast and becoming a dad would have dulled the daggers that Hause spent the better part of two decades sharpening, fear not; Kick is very much a return to form from the more positive, upbeat themes of its predecessor, Bury Me In Philly. “I think that Kick and Devour are a lot closer to one another than Bury Me In Philly,” Hause explains. Bury Me In Philly was me moving to California and figuring out what that was going to look like and figuring out happiness. I didn’t want to write a bummed record if I wasn’t bummed. Little did I know that we were going to have one of the biggest heartbreaks as a society that I could have ever predicted.”

There are some weighty questions posited over the course of the ten songs that make up Kick. Many of them, like “Weathervane” and “Civil Lies” and lead single “The Ditch” tangle the wires between the personal and the political and reveal the obviously delicate balances that come with managing one’s own anxieties within the context of tides that are literally rising and a social climate that seems hellbent on allowing it to happen. The ride culminates in the album’s closing track, “Bearing Down,” a track which…well, let’s put it this way: if the Devour track “Autism Vaccine Blues” and its narrator outwardly considering whether or not they’d be better off dead tugged on your heartstrings, “Bearing Down” will use two hands and rip those heartstrings straight from your chest. The song finds Hause not only name-checking Hunter Thompson and Robin Williams (and insanely talented Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison, who provided backing vocal duties on the Devour track “The Shine,” in the liner notes), all of whom died from suicide after lengthy and sometimes public struggles with their own demons, but contemplating his own oblivion and weighing swan diving off the Golden Gate Bridge.

But then comes the pivot, that moment that the narrative shifts from being bleak to being heavy yet hopeful by way of our narrator finding that he’s got a newfound responsibility to be around for a while, and to help those that he’s close to through these difficult times. “What I was betting on with that final verse,” he explains, “was really like the old Buddhist philosophy that life is pain. “Hallelujah, we’re alive, and it’s bearing down. It is brutal. And if I can lighten that load for someone else, then I’m serving some grander purpose more than just my own selfish whims.” If you’re lucking, the act of older and going through some of your own trials and tribulations allows you the experience and perspective needed to learn from past mistakes. “I’ve got to stick around and not put my people through hell,” Hause notes, adding “in looking at the patterns of addiction and stuff, you start to realize that ‘wow…I’ve made some messes that I wouldn’t mind not repeating, so I’m going to stay in better touch!’ I look at it as more of a human responsibility.”

If there’s a central theme to Kick, it’s that yeah, the current might be strengthening around us or the ditch we’re in may be getting deeper, but that focusing on that isn’t going to fix it. “It’s a very dangerous proposition to look at the glass as either half-empty or filled with piss! Maybe that could be true, but I can’t really afford to ruminate on that. I have to come up with a reason to look toward the shore despite feeling I or we, collectively, are drowning. I have to. At this point, it’s a job as I have as a dad,” Hause notes, quickly adding that, upon reflection, his new duties aren’t necessarily “new” at all, though they’re certainly more intense. “To some degree, I’ve always had that job. I’ve been a brother and a husband and a friend and a songwriter. I’m supposed to try to be of some good use to people.”

There’s a genuine art to being able to write a song that uses your own uniquely human experiences and resonates with other people in such a way that not only can the listener relate to your stories, but use them in a way that can move the needle in their own lives. You know the Leonard Cohen quote “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in?” Hause asks, knowing full well what the answer is. “A lot of times what’s compelling to me is trying to look at the piece of pottery and trying to recognize that it is indeed cracked — and we cracked it! We fucked it up!  — But then trying to find that light, because what else are you going to do? A joking alternate title for the record was “Suicidally Optimistic,” and I know that can kinda make the skin crawl, but a lot of times, I think that that’s my outlook.”

As was the case with Bury Me In Philly a few years ago, Hause was joined by his brother Tim for the creation of Kick. The latter might be sixteen years younger than his big brother, but make no mistake; he is not, by any stretch (and to paraphrase a line from the track “Civil Lies”) a kid anymore, displaying songwriting chops that match his previously-established guitar abilities. Having Tim as my partner now is clutch. His whole theory is that you make a ten song record, and then, long-term, if you end up with three of them in your “greatest hits” set that we’ll play for the remainder of our careers as musicians, we did something right.” Tim not only collaborated on music and lyrics this time out, he takes on lead vocal duties on “Civil Lies,” providing an effect that’s familiar while still adding a layer we haven’t heard on a Hause “solo” album before. I use solo in quotes there, because it may not be that way for long. “I didn’t really want to be a solo guy (at first),” Hause the elder explains. “The financial collapse happened and I grabbed a guitar and just went. I didn’t realize (it would happen this way), I thought I’d be back with The Loved Ones after a record or two, but the cookie crumbled differently. I brought my brother in and assumed he’d be with me for a year or two and then go back to college.” Instead, Tim has turned himself into a vital cog in the process. “I think we’re just continuing to set the table for us combining streams and using both of our songwriting output and both of our talents toward the same end. Ultimately, we may just go completely under the last name so that it encompasses all of our writing,” a trend that’s started already, as evidenced by Kick‘s cover art. 

While Hause will have Tim alongside him as he gears up to hit the road with a full band, The Mermaid, for the first Kick support shows later this week and through the remainder of the year, he obviously won’t have his family’s two newest members alongside. In order to gear up for life on the road as a dad, Hause has called on some old friends like Dan Andriano, Pete Steinkopf, Brian Fallon and Cory Branan not just for songwriting input, but for advice on how to best navigate these previously (for him) uncharted waters. While being away from his wife and two little fellas is obviously going to suck, Hause is hoping to use that as inspiration to dig a little deeper – as though that were possible – in his live performances. I’m going to miss my family. I’m going to feel to some degree like a heel for not being there for first steps or things. I’m going to miss stuff if I continue to tour to support my life. But I’m trying to look at it like a two-pronged approach: 1 – what I do is cool and the kids will be psyched on that and 2- more importantly, if I can lean into that experience and be like ‘well, I’m in Berlin, and I don’t get to do this just willy-nilly; I can’t just pick up and go, it takes a tremendous amount of planning and effort and heartache to be away from my family, I’m going to really dig in on this Berlin show…or these two Boston shows.’ I think maybe it’ll make things shine up a little brighter.”

The new tour kicks off tomorrow (March 27th) in Hause’s hometown of Santa Barbara and takes a baby-steps approach through places like Boston, Philly, New York and Toronto before making its way overseas for three weeks later next month. Tour dates are available here. Kick is due out April 12th, and you can still pre-order it here.

More importantly, you can check out our full chat below; Hause and I have done these a few times, so as usual, we range pretty far and wide.



DS Exclusive: Reason/Define release video for “Inferno” off recently released album “In Memory…”

Charlotte post-hardcore act Reason/Define are out to smash stereotypes in the hardcore scene. The all female post-hardcore act looks to break into the male dominated genre and take it by storm. Since being named Carolina’s 2016 Rock Band of the Year, Reason/Define has released their sophomore album In Memory… 

Comprised of lead vocalist Paolina Massaro, bassist, and vocalist Caitlin Rutkowski, guitarist and vocalist Sav Ruff, drummer Syd McVicker, and guitarist Shelby McVicker. They draw inspiration from a range of different rock groups, including Tonight Alive, Every Time I Die, State Champs, Beartooth, A Day to Remember, and Phinehas.

Reason/Define released their debut album Far From Strangers in March of 2017, and have since been playing shows in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Iowa, Kentucky, and Indiana.

Today Reason/Define release their captivating music video for their remarkable single “Inferno”. They recently released their album In Memory… which included eleven personally crafted and polished songs that don’t lack personality, heart, or quality. Reason/Define is thrilled to début their video for the song “Inferno”. Which you can check out below. Reason/Define pour who they are and what they stand for into their music, and it is authentically represented in visual form with this video.



Behind The Label: Dying Scene chats with Pirates Press’s Eric “Skippy” Mueller

News of the dramatic upswing in the sales of vinyl albums over the course of the last decade – to levels not seen since prior to the digital age – should come as no surprise to faithful Dying Scene readers. While reissues of classic albums from the 1970s and ’80s tend to rule the popular charts, the punk and hardcore and metal and indie scenes are well represented in the area of sheer volume of new releases and options and variants being cranked out week after week.

Leading the charge in the vinyl revolution has been none other than dyed-in-the-wool punk rock label Pirates Press Records. Founded by Eric “Skippy” Mueller back in 2005 as the advertising arm of the vinyl manufacturer that shares its name and was started a year prior, Pirates Press has built a name and reputation as putting out some of the more special and innovative releases available, particularly under the street punk umbrella. Cock Sparrer “Essentials “boxed set? That was Pirates Press. 46-album Rancid 7-inch boxed set? Pirates Press. Noi!se 12-inch single featuring three-dozen assault rifle-style bullets milled out of the vinyl itself as a fundraiser to tackle gun violence and school shootings? Pirates Press. Playable The Ratchets hologram vinyl (yes…effing playable hologram vinyl!)? Pirates Press, of course. New The Old Firm Casuals full-length that allowed me the opportunity to chat for like an hour with the great Lars Frederiksen a few weeks ago (okay, maybe that one’s not necessarily cutting edge, but it’s my story, dammit)? You guessed it: Pirates Press.

We caught up with the one-and-only Mueller over the phone from his Bay Area, California, office a little while back and found in him a kindred spirit right from jump street; despite living in and operating Pirates Press from the Bay Area, Mueller is a native of Massachusetts and, as such, a diehard – and we mean DIEHARD – card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation. Yet his level of passion for the Red Sox is surpassed by leaps and bounds for his level of passion for the punk rock community and for giving back to a scene that’s given him so much. Case in point: his loves of punk rock and his label and his manufacturing business and his two hometowns collided last weekend when Mueller attended the San Francisco record release show for The Old Firm Casuals’ Holger Danske, left early, caught a red eye flight to Boston in time for Lenny Lashley’s gig at the in-the-shadow-of-Fenway-Park House Of Blues supporting Dropkick Murphys, complete with a hockey bag full of Lenny Lashley’s Gang Of One-themed merch…then flew right back home to San Francisco.

Mueller is endlessly positive and energetic (perhaps more accurately “shot out of a proverbial cannon”), equal parts ultra-confident salesman for his cutting-edge business and, in many ways, quintessentially proud papa for a label that he literally grew out of his old bedroom. In a nutshell, it kinda works like this: Pirates Press, the manufacturer, presses products – mostly vinyl albums and mostly in the Czech Republic – for labels and products of all shapes and sizes. Revenue from the manufacturing side gets infused into Pirates Press Records, the label, offering the opportunity to put out albums for bands and projects that they personally support. And if they come up with a cool new idea or technology or color variant in the manufacturing side, they can use that first on Pirates Press Records releases, allowing an album from The Ratchets or Noi!se or Bar Stool Preachers or Lenny Lashley to effectively become a real-life business card, showing the world via the label the things that the manufacturer is able to do, thereby drawing more labels and artists and brands into the fold on the manufacturing side, and so on and so on. Mueller remains vigorously committed to putting out new and unique and innovative products on the manufacturing side of the business, using the label to showcase some of the things they’re able to pull off, and reinvesting the money earned from larger manufacturing projects into the label, helping bands he loves and respects to put out new, vital music. It’s a fascinating win-win cycle that should continue to provide constant wind into the sails of the good ship Pirates Press for many years to come

Head below to check out our chat with Skippy to find out just what goes in to pulling off some of the seemingly endless options that Pirates Press’ manufacturing arm is able to pull off, particularly their recent run on flexi vinyl and how they were able to reverse engineer new presses to expand their line, and how the label offers Mueller and his fellow Pirates to invest in a record label that offers a home for projects that they – and we – love and support!