INTERVIEW: 1994!

In anticipation of their European tour with Algernon Cawallader, we recently spoke with one half of 1994! (yeah that’s right, they’re a two piece), Michael Kuhn. Catch them all over Europe, between July 19th and August 15th.

Is this your first venture to Europe, are you excited? what are you expecting/hoping to for?

This will be our first time visiting and playing in Europe. We are crazy excited. We aren’t really expecting anything, just trying to play music and meet awesome people. Oh, also to eat food, drink beer, and hang with friends.

Was it necessity or a conscious decision to form as a 2-piece?

Both actually. We knew our bass player was leaving for the navy and we needed to carry on. We started jamming as a 2 piece and it was a lot of fun, so we decided to replace Kyle with a bass amp instead of another bass player. The cover of FCKYRHED is actually Kyle’s head exploding.

FKYRHED is being reissued, can you tell us a little bit about what will feature in the reissue and why you’re adding all this neat stuff?

It will have all new art work and a DVD with music videos for every song on the album. Why not make the repress better than the original?

There’s been talk of a Hip Hop record… Is it actually happening?

There will be a hip hop record. But it won’t be a 1994! Record. Not sure what it’s called yet though. We made the beats and a talented ass dude from Miami, fl named E Grizzly will be rapping his heart out over top thems.

What’s in store for 1994’s future?

Jamming, touring, more records, whatever we feel like doing.

 

The band have just released a 2 song 7″, ‘Most Deaf’ via Kiss Of Death Records, as well as a 4-way split with tour pals, Algernon Cadwallader, Snowing and Boys And Sex.

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INTERVIEW: Algernon Cadwallader

A few weeks ago, just before ‘Parrot Flies’, Algernon Cadwallader’s second album was willingly leaked on to the Internets, Fresh Kills Zine and Peter Helmis of the band exchanged a few emails. Here is the result.

You’ve been recording your second album, when can we get our records!? Who’ll be releasing it? Will it be awesome?
The new album will be out in time for our summer tour our new very own label, Hot Green Records.  We’ve always had a hand in releasing our records but we’re excited to be taking on the full responsibility. If all goes well we will continue to put them out ourselves and also put out some bands we think are excellent.  There’s been a great response to the new material when we play it at shows. Tank is pumped about playing more songs he actually wrote with us. This album will be bigger than  Jesus.

The  Emo scene has been enjoying a resurgence in recent years, how does it feel to be in the middle of it? Was it a ‘right place, right time’ sort of situation for you? Do you consider yourselves an ‘Emo’ band?
We just fell into it.  There wasn’t a big fuss when we first started.  Our friends and peers have always been supportive just because we’re an honest DIY band.  It doesn’t matter what kind of music you’re playing when you’re in a basement.  It’s cool that it’s popular now, it’s given us the opportunity to take it pretty far.  We’ll gladly be the life of any party but, we’d still be kicking out the jams even if it was just us and our friends.  No need to label the band.

What bands are you into/ excited about right now?
We love watching our friend’s bands bloom right here in our home town of Philadelphia.  1994!, Hop Along, Band Name, Snowing, Boyfriends, The Extraordinaires, Dangerous Ponies, Little Black Rainclouds, Spraynard, Dry Feet, The Sniffles.  they are all really fun and always growing as bands.  There’s nothing like watching it all progress.  There’s also a lot of great stuff popping up on the west coast.  Joyce Manor, Koalacaust, Big Kids, and Jason Clackley to name a few.  The brooklyn pop punk scene is rad.  Stuff like Big Soda, Bad Banana, Nude Beach, For Serious This Time, Iron Chic.  We love hearing new stuff and luckily there’s no shortage of it.

You’ve toured Europe before, how does the UK and US scenes compare for you?
The UK definitely had the craziest fans in all of Europe.  They seemed to have more of the party attitude which is prevalent in the us scene.  Still they are different in so many ways.  90% of DIY shows in the us happen in houses in basements and other illegal spaces while, in my experience, there are more DIY friendly bars and venues over (t)here.  Europe in general is just so much more supportive of punk on a civilized level.  Bands are treated like royalty and get paid instead of getting ripped off by greedy bars who don’t give a shit about your music.  Fortunately kids in America are willing to risk being fined for noise violations and having their house thrashed  couple nights a week because they won’t compromise the integrity of the music.  We get by.  It’s nice to be able take a trip over there and do it your way every once in while though.  See you in the summer!

Algernon Cadwallader’s European tour with 1994! starts tomorrow! Check the dates HERE.

 

We’re hoping to have the print zine ready in time for Algernon Cadwallader, 1994!, Great Cynics, Cycle Schmeichel’s Southampton gig on July 28th. Cool!

 

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NOFX: Backstage Passport Season 2

NOFX are in the process of recording a new season of Backstage Passport. The First Series saw the band travel the world and play concerts in the more unlikely, obscure and entertaining countries of the World.

Fat Wreck’s Nofx band profile has stated…

”They’re currently in the midst of filming the second season of Backstage Passport, their reality TV show that takes the band all over the world and films them doing all the unspeakable, wackadoo things that you’d expect from these dudes.”

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AGAINST ME!: Reissue White Crosses with Black Crosses

on July 26th Against Me! are to reissue their last album, 2010’s White Crosses, adding a collection of B-sides and alternate versions to be known as ”Black Crosses”.

The album, a 2xCD or 3xLP consisting of 28 songs will be the second release of their newly formed ‘Total Treble Music‘ label and will contain the originally intended packaging from Steak MTN and a 32 page booklet of lyrics and art.

The band recently released the Russian Spies/Occult Enemies 7″ on Total Treble Music as well as Total Clarity, the collection of Searching For A Former Clarity demos, on Fat Wreck Chords.

White Crosses tracklisting:
01. White Crosses
02. I Was A Teenage Anarchist
03. Because Of The Shame
04. Suffocation
05. We’re Breaking Up
06. High Pressure Low
07. Ache With Me
08. Spanish Moss
09. Rapid Decompression
10. Bamboo Bones
11. Lehigh Acres
12. Bob Dylan Dream
13. One By One
14. Bitter Divisions

Black Crosses tracklisting:
01. White Crosses (Goldentone Studio Version)
02. I Was A Teenage Anarchist (Acoustic Version)
03. Because Of The Shame (Acoustic Version)
04. The Western World (Goldentone Studio Version)
05. Strip Mall Parking Lots (Goldentone Studio Version)
06. High Pressure Low (Acoustic Version)
07. Hot Shots (Goldentone Studio Version)
08. Spanish Moss (Goldentone Studio Version)
09. Rapid Decompression (Goldentone Studio Version)
10. Soul Surrender (Goldentone Studio Version)
11. Lehigh Acres (Goldentone Studio Version)
12. David Johansen’s Soul (Acoustic Version)
13. One By One (Acoustic Version)
14. Bitter Divisions (Goldentone Studio Version)

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LESS THAN JAKE: Greetings from EP

Ska-punkers Less Than Jake have today announced their 287th(!?!?!) release, a surprise EP entitled ”Greetings from”.

The band stated that ”with the “Greetings From..” e.p. we wanted to do something different from the lead up marketing bands usually do, make the release a surprise and put it up for sale directly to you, the fans. In this case there’s no middleman – We wrote the music, recorderd the music, and are selling the music. It’s a freedom that we always thought about way back when back and now can actually enjoy doing. If you’d like to supportthis and other releases go on over and purchase the e.p.”

You can purchase the MP3s, directly from the band HERE.

 

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NOFX: Covers EP

Punkrock royalty Nofx will be releasing a covers EP, set to be released August 2nd, 2011 via Fat Mike’s ‘Fat Wreck Chords‘.

The record will consist of 9 covers of little known, obscure, long defunct hardcore bands.

NOFX will embark on a European tour over August. See the confirmed dates HERE.

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Interview: Hail! The Planes

Hail! The Planes make a lovely folky racket down in Cardiff. They’ve got some love from Radio 1, supported British Sea Power and carved out a name as a cracking live act. We asked Dave (guitar) about the past, present and future for H!TP, he tried to respond as seriously as he could. Nice lad.

FKZ: Tell us about the day of the birth of Hail the Planes – was it on a stormy clifftop in the Brecon Beacons, or over espressos in a Cardiff jazz cafe? Details are crucial folks.

I wish it were as romantic as that. Holly IS from Brecon, and Rob does listen to an awful lot of jazz, but in reality it began in an a room above an estate agents. Rob, Lee and I were living together in Cardiff. The three of us had been in other bands so it was unsurprising that we decided to do something new. Holly and I had been together since uni and the rest of us bullied her into picking up her violin after not playing it for 8 years. Things went from there. We didn’t decide on a genre as such, but the folkyness emerged early on – mostly because of the violin, I suppose.

Hail! The Planes

Hail! The Planes. L-R: Dave, Holly, Rob, Mark.

FKZ: Knowing you and Rob from back in Weymouth, you always were in loud/fast/heavy bands – why the folky change of direction?

I think with the later Serena Joy stuff we were already shifting away from the post-hardcore into a more progressive sound. There is a definite thread through all the music that Rob and I have made. The desire to experiment has always been there, even from the very start when we were playing three chord punk songs. We’ve always tried to move forward and do new things. We were fed up of not fitting on any bills, too. We ended up playing shows with metal/hardcore bands because we were too loud to play the indie shows. In the case of Hail! The Planes it was that Holly played violin which the rest of us found exciting. It was good to realise that we didn’t HAVE to play in a loud band.

FKZ: Leading on from that, is the tinnitus a thing of the past? Any heavier side project plans?

The tinnitus is still ringing loud and clear, unfortunately. Things have got louder and more intense than when we formed H!TP, but I don’t think we’ll be inducing ringing in anyone’s ears just yet. We’ve stuck to the stripped down setup – no distortion, no effects, tiny drum kit etc. We’re never going to be the loudest, most epic band out there so it seems there’s little point trying. The parts of our set I enjoy most are the quietest.

As for other projects; Rob isn’t in any other bands at the moment, but Mark plays in a great band called Strange News From Another Star. They play loud and fast and they will give you tinnitus. I’ve just started a band with a work mate and his brother. We’re calling ourselves Comms Book at the moment. It’s a Fugazi/Shellac/Slint style post-hardcore thing. It’s very early days yet, but it’s nice to get back into the heavier side of things and to feel a little more prolific with the songwriting (which can be pretty slow with H!TP).

FKZ: Are you finding it’s a good time to be in a folky band? Do you think the success of Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons etc made it easier to get some recognition?

Folk is certainly on people’s minds at the moment, so maybe we’re receiving more appreciation than if we were playing reggae or thrash or something. But this folk trend will pass and there’ll be a backlash. Perhaps it’s already happening? That’s inevitable when awful corporations start using some twee folk song to sell you things. Besides, I don’t think we’re all that ‘folk’, anyway – we’re coming at the music from a very different place, I think.

FKZ: What’s been the best H!TP moment to date?

That has to be playing Green Man Festival last year. We were so excited to be going at all, let alone playing. It was a real privilege. We were on first on the opening day and it was completely lashing it down. But quite a crowd gathered and as our set progressed the weather eased. That’s the most fun we’ve had playing, and it felt like we were a proper band for the weekend which was great. The sound that day was incredible, too. It makes such a difference when you can hear all the details when you’re playing. We were treated very nicely indeed. It was strange playing in front of so many people – not at all nerve wracking which was a surprise for us all, I think. We’re used to playing to a handful of people which can be quite intimidating and intense.

FKZ: Neil Young’s Harvest Moon or Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks?

Erm…The Beach Boys ‘Pet Sounds’? But if I had to choose, Harvest Moon. Obv.

FKZ: We like your video – any advice for bands looking to get a video shot? Anything you wish you would have done different?

We’re lucky enough to have a friend called Andrew Trace who works on films for a living, so it made it really easy for us. It was a spur of the moment thing, really. Andy had a digital SLR which he’d attached a CCTV camera lens to that he wanted to try out. It was a pretty day so we decided to go to the seaside and see what we could come up with. It was essentially just Holly and I going for a swim, but somehow Andy managed to give the video some sense of plot. The light that day was incredible and he captured it really well.

I’d recommend just doing things yourself. It’s easy enough to do – just shoot it on your iPhone, or whatever. Most people discover new music on YouTube, so videos are pretty important. That’s something we should bear in mind ourselves, actually. It’s easy to become too precious about things, so I’d say just shoot something and get it out there.

FKZ: The old classic – what’s next for you guys? What are you most excited about?

Well we’re writing songs for an album at the moment, so we’ve not been playing too many shows. We supported British Sea Power in Cardiff in February, which was incredible (and terrifying), but there is nothing lined up for the immediate future. It’d be nice to do a mini-tour in spring/summer sometime. There’s a Cardiff band called Among Brothers that we keep meaning to tour with, so that’d be good.

We’re recording another couple of tracks with Charlie Francis at Music Box in the next month or two. Those will probably go towards the album, too. It’s nice to set smaller, shorter term goals – thinking ‘right, let’s write an album’ can be daunting. And recording is my favourite part of being in a band, so that something I always look forward to. The new tracks are a little different to what we’ve done in the past – more vocally oriented and more compact, so it’ll be interesting to see how they turn out.

You can check ‘em out at http://hailtheplanes.tumblr.com/

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