27 May, 2010

who? where? why?

Rain Fest starts tomorrow around 5PM. Show up on time to catch all the bands. Our dudes in GBNF are playing early, so Bubs thinks. Also, Soul Control and Rotting out are playing on Friday, so it's sure to be a good time.

Currently, I'm sitting in my living room, in basset hound pajamas, listening to my new Jesus Jones LP. Yeah, my life is good. I'm awaiting the arrival of Chuck SS and Kelley Maria. Speaking of which Black SS plays on Saturday. You don't want to miss their set. It's sure to be a rager. Other bands to check out on Saturday; Like Wolves (our dudes from back home in NY), Keep It Clear, and Losing Skin. All great bands. Either way, I'm really excited for Chuck and Kelley to be here. They've never been to the NW and it's been 6 months since I've seen them and even then we didn't get to spend all that much time together. This week should be great.

We play on Sunday, along with Mindset, Terror, Power, and Another Breath. It's been quite a while since I've seen AB . . . looking forward to seeing them and hopefully picking up their new LP. Lastly there is a little after party gig going down at the Black Lodge in downtown Seattle after Saturday ends. It's gonna be late, but all Rain Fest attendee's get in for free. The line up consists of CYCLES, FOR THE REJECTS, and WYLD TIMES . . . these may or may not be fake names. We'll let you decide.

This has been kind of a random post, but what the hell. Listen to Jesus Jones, consider the impact of the giant fuck up that is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and make sure to be nice to animals.


- John

19 May, 2010

one step forward, two steps back

I wanted to post 2 pictures real quick.

The first one:
Today's Man with what has to be one of the most commanding mustaches I've ever seen.

The second one:
This is The Nugget. Those of you who knew Adam and I when we were in How We Are may have seen this van. It was our singer, Rory's van. You may also recognize it from recent Soul Control tours, as they adopted it when they adopted Rory.  I received this picture in a text this morning with the letters "RIP" . . . I spent about a year in this van on various trips after my van died in Western Maryland. I felt that a little tribute was due. When my van died on said HWA tour, it was a weird time cause I had spent so many hours and miles in it. Your van sort of becomes a part of you and a part of your band, especially when you've had one for as long as Rory had The Nugget. Those of you who have toured extensively and owned your own vans will know what I'm talking about. So this is for Rory and The Nugget!



14 May, 2010

keepin' it simple . . .

As mentioned, the following is the interview I did with Andy (aka: Today's Man) from Keep It Clear. For those not in the know, these dudes hail from Vancouver, BC and play straight forward hardcore, akin to Floorpunch, Ten Yard Fight, and Right Brigade. It's hard, fast and uncompromisingly straight edge! Now you know the fuckin' deal.

Obligatory first question, who is in Keep It Clear? I know you've got a slightly different line up now than when you started.
We've been through a few members but currently Keep it Clear is Dave on guitar, Aram on guitar, Motor on drums, Carl on bass and I yell into the mic and aim to entertain.

For those out there not familiar with "THE DEAL", could you elaborate a little more?
While it's also the same title as the Brotherhood song, "The Deal"- our deal, is that Keep It Clear is a straight edge band. We take this shit seriously in our approach.

KIC - Viaduct - RainFest '08

I've found as I've gotten older, straight edge actually has become more important to me. Has what straight edge means to you changed at all over time? Now versus when you first got into it, and if so, how?
Well I grew up in the suburbs on skateboarding and punk rock but didn't claim edge till I was 22 probably because I didn't get more into hardcore until I was about 19. I was a victim of the same peer pressures that most kids face. I started smoking cigarettes when I was 13 and didn't quit till I was about 21. I was smoking pot and drinking within my first week of high school and kept those activities up until I was 22. Prior to quitting smoking and drinking I discovered the Vancouver hardcore scene and was influenced by some of the postitive lifestyles I found in some people that i met. I was growing bored of getting drunk and high and a drug free life made so much sense to me. After waking up one morning after a night of heavy drinking I decided that enough was enough, and I decided I was going to quit alcohol and drugs for good. I haven't looked back since. I'm 29 now and coming up on 7 years edge in May. I honestly think its the best decision I've ever made in my life and I feel it only grows with age. I work in construction and there's not too many people I meet that don't drink but then again, outside of hardcore I meet even less people who don't drink. I've found usually people who are off the sauce are recovering alcoholics or religious. I am neither. It's such a social norm to drink, but I'd rather have a clear head 110 percent of the time. What straight edge means to me hasn't changed all that much over time because I made the choice at a mature age after I had experienced enough of life with drinking and drugs. I was at the point in my life where I needed the change and since then I feel like I've always been keen on the edge. If anything its the strongest it's ever been. I am a rock.

I know back when you were in Get The Most, you did a weekend with The First Step. Did anything bizarre or ghostly happen on that trip?
Hahaha. Well John, it is very eerie that you should ask about any bizarre or ghostly activity on that trip because I did indeed see a ghost driving a car in NYC in the early AM. You can ask Bubs, he's my witness. Everyone else was passed out in the van. Anyways, Get The Most was on our way to stay with a friend in Brooklyn and we had just finished playing in Connecticut. I think we had just dropped someone off at the airport and some of us were just delirious. I remember Aram calling our friend in Brooklyn to get directions but the directions must've been pretty shitty because we just kept circling the whole city for like 2 hours. I wasn't driving or too overly concerned about the matter as i was in a back seat enjoying some late night Kyle Deville comedy. If you know him than you know he is just hilarious. Anyways, I think Aram was getting pretty pissed off on the phone with our potential host for the bogus directions, but I just happened to gaze out the window and noticed a car driving beside us but NO ONE WAS DRIVING IT! I told Kyle and he saw it too. We couldn't believe our eyes. The Big Apple is a wild place!

The First Step/Get The Most East Coast Weekend

I think as hardcore ages, there are more people sticking with it further into adulthood. Hardcore and punk has always been a youth oriented style of music, but it seems now more than ever, not only are people sticking around longer, but not feeling as they don't have to compromise their beliefs because their in their late 20's/early 30's. At 29, do you ever feel that you're out of touch with what's going on currently or that it affects your work and social life negatively?
Good question, especially about hardcore affecting my work or social life negatively. I'll get to answering that after though. When youre talking about being out of touch with what's going on currently, are you talking about life outside of hardcore? I mean some of my friends are married, with kids, and have a mortgage or two. I guess I'm not there yet as I'm still collecting old hardcore tees and pre ordering records. still watching items on ebay, contemplating spending stupid amounts....but is this what youre talking about? or do you mean out of touch as far as hardcore goes, being an older dude? Cause I think I'm pretty on my game with new bands I'm into and what not.

As far as hardcore affecting my work or social life negatively, I think it has definitely affected my work life because I don't identify with a lot of people I work with. I mean, I get along with most people and am quite personable, but when it comes to topics like my own personal life choices such as straight edge or vegetarianism, i keep those things to myself. Based on past experience, it seems to me that in too many situations, people I know outside of hardcore get on the defense when they find out I don't drink, do drugs or eat meat. They may want to either debate it or make a joke out of it and try to make me feel like less of a human because they feel awkward that i live my a different way than they do. I don't give these people my time anymore. Some people just aren't worth it.

I was mainly speaking about within hardcore. More so, how being involved in a youth dominated culture affects your adult life too, if at all. Cause like myself, you're in a bizarre place. You're almost 30 years old and you probably don't identify with most norms who are 30, and yet, how much can you identify with the culture you're immersed in that is predominately 17-22 year olds.
I find that I can actually identify with both worlds in different ways. I feel responsible because I have a career, I am getting married this fall, and I have a bright future ahead. On the other hand I am still very much involved in hardcore with playing in bands, going to shows and hanging out with my friends. I can relate just as well to a lot of people my age as I can younger hardcore kids.

KIC - Gilman - React Showcase

What does KIC have planned for 2010? You've obviously got the straight edge on lock? I would like to think you're writing new songs, anything you're trying to tackle lyrically?
For 2010 Keep It Clear plans to record a new EP, songs which are written and we've started working on as a band. I'm really amped on the new songs. More short, fast and hard. You know you don't fuck with a good recipe. I've barely started with the lyrics and don't want to talk to much about topics I'm trying to tackle lyrically in case I change my mind and scrap the idea. I do however have some ideas in mind that I'd like to try out. It's just the whole lyrics process is something that takes a bit for me to really get into before I start producing material I'm happy with. As far as touring, we don't have a lot planned other than the REACT! Showcase but I'd like to do another west coast trip. We'll see.

Two records people would be surprised such a crucial edgeman as yourself gets down with on the reg?
Um. Besides hardcore and listening to top 40's pop stations in my car, one band I'm really into is the Byrds. Everybody knows the song Turn, Turn, Turn, but I checked them out beyond that song about a year ago when I picked up their 20 essential hits cd. I was first inspired to check them out because I'm also a fan of Ride, who's Carnival of Light record has a heavy sixties psych rock feel to it. I will also say that while Carnival of Light may not be as celebrated as Ride's earlier material, I think it's a great record and very underrated. Anyways, back to the Byrds. What else is there to say? I think they're great and I can see myself digging deeper into this genre/era. I also just realized that I already named two records. The Byrds, who may be unusual to some and Ride, who I feel is not that obscure among hardcore kids.

You're vegan correct? What's your main motivation to keep up with it and do you see a point where you'd no longer live that lifestyle?
Okay. I'm not vegan. I've been Vegetarian for about 8 years and Vegan on and off. I believe in being Vegan but am currently eating eggs and cheese. I know its bullshit and contradictory to my beliefs but this is where I'm at right now. I will likely go vegan again but I don't see a reason why I will ever feel the need to start eating meat again.

Honestly I see nothing bad about only being vegetarian. In fact, if you are healthy about it, it's probably better than being a junk food vegan. This is something I think about regularly and really take issue with. A lot of time I think peoples only criteria for what they eat is just that it doesn't have animal products, with no concern about all the horrible chemicals it does have. Do you think that veganism should be more about what you ARE eating rather than just what you're NOT eating?
Veganism should definitely be about what you are eating. Being vegan, you should not only be concerned with not consuming using animal products but you should also be concerned with the environment and especially your own health.  I know that when I was vegan I was a single dude living with other roommates who were dudes. Lets just say that there was a lot of veggie dogs, burgs, rice and pasta consumed. Of course I also ate fruit and some greens too. It was super easy to be vegan but really boring and not all that healthy at the same time. I didn't enjoy cooking or really care to try my hand at it, and I was feeling pretty weak and low energy so I started eating organic eggs and cheese. I've been vegetarian for over two years since then and I feel great health wise but I battle with conviction all the time. In my heart I know I should be vegan and I am striving to be a more righteous dude. I think another conscious vegan effort is due. This time around I'm going to be more concerned with overall health and well being as well as not consuming animal products.

KIC - Gilman - React Showcase

The React showcase came and went, it was a wild time, especially the drive down there and back. What were some of your highlights of the weekend?
Man, the React! Showcase weekend was so much fun. Not only was I in total vacation mode and chillin' hard in the Bay Area with friends both old and new, but the showcase itself exceeded all expectations. I wasn't sure how many people would show up because the bill was comprised of mainly youth crew type bands, but having 7 Seconds on the bill really helped the draw of people. When they played, Gilman was jam packed with punks, skins and core kids. Every single band that played killed it. I'm not just saying this. Anyone who attended the showcase will tell you the same. Mindset were Incredible. Definitely at the top of their game and one of the best bands going in hardcore right now. True Colors were one of the greatest live acts I've ever witnessed by a hardcore band. So much energy and crowd interaction plus their frontman had all the Cappo moves to boot. ON was great and surprised everyone with 3 consecutive Bad Brains covers. The place ignited more and more with every BB song they played and bodies were diving everywhere! They played Right Brigade and the place just exploded. I love being a part of hardcore with weekends like these. I got to hang out with the Common Cause dudes and talk about Oslo and places that I've been when I was there to visit several years back. I also enjoyed the van ride with all the top Seattle/Vancouver band dudes. It's always a great time when I can hang with and enjoy the comedy of my good friend Kyle Deville.

Final thoughts, words, ideas
The new Get the Most LP is really great, you can pick it up at Revhq or from React! Records. I play guitar in a new band called Narrow View, a New York Hardcore style band out of Vancouver, BC. You can hear most of the demo on our myspace. Demo tapes are at the plant and will be available really soon. Thanks a lot for the interview. It was pretty fun. Live the life that makes you happy.

09 May, 2010

look what we've been up to

It's been a minute since we've posted anything. We're going to have a Keep It Clear interview up soon. Just waiting on the last few questions to be answered. Stay tuned!

A little recap, we rolled down to the Bay Area to play the React Showcase a month ago now . . . doesn't seem that long ago . . . anyway, it was most of the Seattle/Vancouver bands along with Common Cause in two 15 passenger vans and one cargo van. We left around 9:45pm the night of the 8th. The ride down was wild, we listened to a fair amount of Bon Jovi, where Ace and Russel were truly amped. They're pretty reserved dudes, so to see them get ragin' like this was a sight. Met up with CC in Portland, OR where we hit up Voodoo Donuts. A good amount of sitting around waiting for the 3rd van to arrive so we could spread people out a bit more. The sitting arrangements weren't much better, so the next 3 hours were pretty uncomfortable. All in the name of a good time though, right? We did some rearranging somewhere in southern OR and I got to sleep on the floor between some bench seats. Seriously. Better than sitting upright.

Rolled into Redding CA around 9am. Some dudes hit up Denny's, others hit up Del Taco, the rest of us with a sense of rationale went to Jamba Juice. I got a pomegranate smoothie and some organic steal cut oats. Killer. I drove the rest of the way to the Bay area, where we arrived around 1:30pm. Not a bad drive overall. We kicked it at a hotel most of the crew was staying at until we went to Gilman. We arrived, ate pizza, put together records and box sets and just hung out. Show started on time, Damages opened and killed it, bands raged, tons of people showed up, and fun was had. The Not Sorry Crew met up with our friend Karen, went and got some burrito's, then went to sleep. We lucked out and got to stay either in beds or on couches. Not a bad deal. Day 2 started with a top notch breakfast at this place called Herbivore. Pretty earthy vibe which I dug. Good food, good coffee. Walked around a bit, met some dudes at the Ben Sherman store, bought some choice polo's, then headed to the gig. Secret People opened and were awesome. Total Minor Threat vibe. We played 2nd and got a great reaction. We were all psyched. The rest of the show went off like clock work. 7 Seconds got there early, hung out and watched all the bands. It was very legit. They got up on stage and had a blast. Sounded awesome and played everything you'd want to hear. It was a great ending to a great weekend. We went and got more burrito's and did more chillin'. Very cool and very sleepy.

We (read: my lady and I) lucked out and got to roll back to Seattle the next morning with Jim from ON and his lady friend. The rest of the bands packed up and drove back right after the gig. Harsh toke. We stayed with Karen again, then went and got breakfast. Just north of SF, we stopped at a Best Buy, bought some movies and a portable DVD player. We watched some movies on the way back, which allowed the time to pass pretty quickly. Made it home safely around 2am or so? Not a bad drive really and we got to return the DVD player the next day. Our plan worked perfectly. Best Buy didn't suspect a thing!

Overall, the showcase was a smashing success from my perspective. All the bands did great, the crowd was awesome and there was a true sense of community and sharing of ideas, as well as moshing and stage diving. A great mix of all of it. Really exemplified what hardcore could and should be like. I was glad we got to be a part of it. Here's hoping there will be a showcase in 2011.

Up next we're playing Rain Fest, Memorial Day weekend. Tons of great bands are playing. Black SS being the ONE band I'm most excited to see. Not much else is happening in June, then in July we have a show with Mourningside AD and Envision, Sound & Fury, then a weekend with Police & Thieves from DC.

Outside of shows, our record should be done soon. Will hopefully have all the vocals finished up by Rain Fest weekend. Fingers crossed.


ps: If anyone has pictures of us from the React Showcase, please contact us here: notsorryxxx@gmail.com. We're working on the layout for the new record and could use some new photos. Thanks.