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Monday Photo Blog: Sergey Seregin

Sergey Seregin submitted some pictures from this summer's Raw Fest in Moscow for this week's ...

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MINOR THREAT!

MRR Radio #1468 • 8/30/15

This week MRR Radio and Rob bring you a covers-versus-originals battle, a label spotlight, '60s ...

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Create to Destroy! Loud Punk

I met Chris when I was with Perdition on a small Montreal/Albany tour in 2010.  ...

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Record of the Week: C.C.T.V

Record of the Week: C.C.T.V

C.C.T.V – “Quiet” EP The coolest record of the year so far at least to these ...

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2 METRIC TONS OF STEEL, 100 KILOMETERS AN HOUR: Permanent Ruin on Tour in Europe

San Jose's Permanent Ruin recently went on tour in Europe. Drummer Rich Gutierez wrote an ...

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Blast From the Past: The Younger Lovers


June 28th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #317, October 2009, that issue is sold out but you can download it here

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The Younger Lovers is Brontez Purnell’s solo project. Me, Brontez and Ramdasha sat together in Central Park to do this interview while the Younger Lovers played shows in NYC this past May. That was me & Ramdasha’s first time hanging out even though we’d had our eyes on each other for at least a couple years cuz you always wanna know who the other black punk kids are when you see them around. Feeling super connected, like old friends, we both talked to Brontez about his newest band, his writing and about the experiences that made him who he is today. He’s added so much personality to every band he’s ever been in and now he’s pouring every ounce of it into his own project and it is de-lic-ious.
Interview by Osa & Ramdasha

 

MRR: When did the Younger Lovers start?
Brontez: It started in 2003. I was in Panty Raid and then we broke up, but there was this song I’d already written for that band, “Sha-Boo-Lee.” I was really into that song and I just told myself that I should still record it by myself. Then I was like, “Why don’t I record a bunch of songs?” I have this friend Vice who was/is in XBXRX. We moved from Alabama to California together. He was recording stuff at this place called Club Short and I was like, “Can you record my EP for free?” and he was like, “Sure!” and so it kicked off then.

 

MRR: The thing I like about the Younger Lovers is that there’s so much of your personality in all of those songs. So when you first wrote “Sha-Boo-Lee” did you have a concept for the kind of music you wanted to make or did that happen naturally?
Brontez: In this weird, metaphysical way, I say both. I knew I wanted to hear cute pop shit again, and I knew I wanted it to be lo-fi because you don’t hear stuff that sounds raw anymore. So intentionally, I wanted it to sound like… I dunno, fucking Motown but on my terms.

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Blast From the Past: The Homostupids


June 24th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #307, December 2008, this issue is sold out

In the few years the Homostupids have been around, they’ve grabbed the harrowing task of deconstructing rock ’n’ roll by the balls, diving head first into a tiff with our venerated verse/chorus/verse conservatism, asserting themselves as perhaps the best purveyors of an entirely counterintuitive brand of aggressive music that they haven’t even gotten their heads around yet—in the process paving their way to leaving a pretty significant stain on underground punk of the ’00s. This interview was conducted at Steve’s marvelous summer home after a night of burgers and bowling in the mistake by the lake. Tape recorder in one hand and mixed drink in the other, this is what became of our discussion of Cleveland’s finest. Now go out and buy all their fuckin’ records. Intro and interview by Brandon Gaffney.

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MRR: So, the Homostupids. A lot of people like you guys, despite your always insisting that you’re a real shitty act. Any thoughts? Are we a bunch of retards?

Steve: I think you are a retard. How do you like that? Our band is great. Of course a lot of people like our band, our band is very good. All of our records are better than most other bands’ records.

MRR: Last time I was in Cleveland you told me that your band’s forte is the dialectic of simplicity and complexity, that they’re one and the same. Fingers connected to the same palm—you know, all that LSD bullshit. You think it’s people’s ability to paint their own understanding of such simple, caveman music?

Steve: Hang on there, I was supposed to call our guitar player Josh when we started the interview. Hang on a sec and I’ll put him on speakerphone so we can all talk. [speaking into phone] Hi, Josh?

Josh: Lemme call you back.

Steve: Alright, forget that for now. What were you asking? Something about LSD, right? Stay away from the stuff. Bad for your body. How does the song go? “Don’t do drugs, be a hero not a zero, drugs are no good, get ’em out the neighborhood.” Is that what you’re talking about? ‘Cause that other shit you said doesn’t make any sense.

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Blast From the Past: The UV Race


June 22nd, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR 329, Oct 2010, which is now sold out.

The UV Race is a punk band from Melbourne, Australia. This September they are going to the United States of America to play some shows, including Goner Fest in Memphis, Tennessee with a shitload of other bands like fellow Melbournians Super Wild Horses and Total Control. If you like going to punk shows, dancing, partying, and having fun, I guarantee you will dig UV Race. If you like going to punk shows and standing around the merch table and then spending all night taking photos of the band on your iPhone, I guarantee you are a fucking loser.

I spoke to DX, Snake and Alex Microwave next to a swamp in a park where the mighty Pisschrist were playing their last ever show. It was freezing cold and I hadn’t prepared any questions. The band ganged up and nearly threw me in the swamp, but you couldn’t really blame them.

Interview by Tim Scott

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MRR: Alex, you are an interview virgin so I will start with you. Is the UV Race the best band you have ever played in?

Alex: Yep.

 

MRR: What is the second best band?

Alex: The Penetrating Stares (the only other one).

 

MRR: And why is UV better than Penetrating Stare?

Alex: Because that Johnny from Extortion is not in it.

 

MRR: Do people in the US know Extortion?

Snake: Yeah they’re popular there.

 

MRR: More popular than UV Race?

Snake: You’d hope so. They hope so.

Alex: We don’t wanna hope so.

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Blast From the Past: Red Dons


June 17th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #301, June 2008 which you can pick up here

Interview by Paco La Vida en Mus
MRR: Red Dons is the continuation of The Observers. Doug wrote most songs for The Observers and now does in Red Dons. Can you explain how The Observers came to an end and how Red Dons got together?

Douglas: All I can decipher about the demise of The Observers is that our friendships simply fell apart and so the band quickly followed. Sadly, I don’t know all the specific events that lead to the end of the band because I was never included in discussions about breaking up the group. A few days after the guys quit, I asked if they would record two final songs that Kashani and I wrote together. They voted not to and that made it difficult for me to find closure with the project.

It put me in a unique and unfortunate situation. Being the main songwriter and lead singer of the group, I was encouraged by a large number of people to find new members and continue on with the band. The Observers were my life, and I was caught off guard by the others leaving, so I seriously considered reforming the group. I just wasn’t ready for the band to end.

Hajji and I started practicing Observers songs with our first drummer, and Justin came along later after we had worked a little with other guitarists like Adam Becker of Autistic Youth and Defect Defect. Ultimately, we changed the name because after practicing together and discussing ideas for future recordings, we realized the group had taken on an identity of its own. Coming to that point was a yearlong process where we endured defamation and were ostracized in the punk scene. It wasn’t a fun time.

What’s interesting is that the Red Dons are a project that in theory predates The Observers. Hajji and I had been discussing and planning this ever since 2000 when we lived together in college housing. Back then, the Red Dons were intended to be a side project that would only release 7″s. Each 7″ would feature different musicians from various backgrounds making each record diverse in sound and style. We even had a power pop 7″ written and ready to go. For example, in 2002, after I moved back to Portland from Germany and Hajji from Jordan, we started working on Escaping Amman. The design of the record, its artwork, and the song “West Bank” are all products of that time period before The Observers even formed.

With that said, however, the Red Dons identity has changed because of The Observers. Now, the Red Dons aren’t a conceptual side project because they do act as a continuation of The Observers. Some of the original ideas we had for the project have remained, though. One of our main objectives is that the band acts as a sort of collective much like Crass did. With people free to come and go as they please, the band can still collaborate with musicians we admire as well as play whatever we’d like to. It is a way to destroy the rules of punk and frees us up to do many different things.

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Blast From the Past: Ooga Boogas


June 9th, 2015 by

It would be too easy to compare the simple yet melodic rock of the Ooga Boogas to that of a blunt blow of a Caveman’s club—or its modern day equivalent—a meth-head’s steering wheel lock, but the truth is their steady drum snare and guitar does eek out a loose primal feel. With a rich pedigree in the Melbourne garage rock scene—The Sailors, The Onyas, and current knockouts, Eddy Current Suppression Ring—The Oogas aren’t here to win you over with new sounds. They describe their debut album Romance and Adventure, released on their own Aarght! label, as a “rollicking concept album filled to the brim with tales of gash and hijinks.”
It’s true. The album is good, especially accompanied by a few Aldi beers, but like watching Farm Aid on DVD you miss out on the realness of the heartland and what the Ooga Boogas are all about unless you are front and center at one of their live shows singing along to, “I’m an Ooga Booga and my cocks made of wood and though it drags on the ground it still tastes good.” Old school Mellencamp type stuff. Having just taken the heartland back to its heart—the USA—on a tour that included their return to Memphis’ Gonerfest, a four-day rock brouhaha now into its fifth year.
This interview was conducted in two parts. The first over pizza in the Tote band room, the second next to a cigarette machine in the poolroom of what was once Melbourne’s notorious Nazi punk haunt, the Birmingham Hotel.
Interview by Tim Scott
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MRR: OK, the beginning?
Richard: I was sitting at Per’s house, listening to records, and mentioned that I wanted to start a new band. At the time, I didn’t even know that he played drums, but we talked about it for a couple of weeks, then at an Eddy Current Suppression gig, he suggested that we ask Mikey to play. I thought it would sound too much like Eddy Current, but we ended up asking him anyway, and he said he wanted to be in the band if it didn’t sound like Eddy Current.
 

MRR: So, Mikey is like your…
Richard: If Mikey wasn’t in the band you wouldn’t even be here.

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