George Rager (Neighborhood Brats)
1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2014? (In order 1-5)
- No Problem - Already Dead
- Long Knife - Possession 7"
- Institute - s/t
- #1s - s/t
- Sonic Avenues - Mistakes
2. What band did you discover in 2014 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?
Jet Staxx. Overall, I think this kind of punk got overlooked for a long time. It's somewhere between Chiswick-type pub rock/glam and '70s Cafe Racer-inspired Euro-punk. Jet Staxx was the stage name of the engineer who worked on a bunch of the Elton Motello material. Staxx (aka Mike Butcher) released two 7"s, and that's it. It's quirky, but you can see where the Motello sound came from, especially on the fast songs. It's weird, it's rad.
3. How will you remember 2014? (In terms of music)
Here's the bullet points, because this year was fucked:
- Learning an album in 3 days and hitting the studio: not for the faint of heart.
- Rollercoaster of bullshit...ups and downs are a bitch.
- Don't trust anyone to do a job you could do better yourself.
- Your records will be delayed.
- Late night dance parties at Zoro with my favorite Leipzig friends--best time, ever.
- Someone needs to backwards engineer a record press.
- Your tour is cancelled and now you have 3 weeks to kill.
- Touring in the US is bullshit anyway, just listen to Pentagram and go on a road trip.
- Your records are still delayed.
- You can't go back in time.
- Nice punk gear.... do you have an H&M card?
- "Punks" can be worse than jocks, and just as shallow.
4. What can we look forward to from you in 2015?
I have a new album written... maybe for NB, maybe for something else... We'll see where my personal life picks up after the new year. I don't think I can handle writing/recording/producing/mixing another record akin to how I made Recovery...which is a crazy story in its own right. It would probably be a suicide mission.
The next thing I do might be my swan song, who knows? I don't want to stop playing or anything, but at the same time, I'm totally drained. I landed upright in my personal life after a bunch of stuff went down. That comes first now. The best music that I have written always trails low points in my life, so I've got that going for me, which is nice...but I just can't put myself in a vulnerable situation anymore.
5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2015?
I don't know. That's a tough question.
The big money being poured into US pressing plants has further fucked independent artists' ability to survive via releasing vinyl. Vinyl sales are at an all-time high, but it's not the DIY scene that has fueled the resurgence. Who's gonna get pressed first? your band or the fucking Beatles (true story)? Despite some cash infusion from a few well-off rock stars, there still isn't a new class of industrial machinery to pick up the slack for the current vinyl demand. It's literally the only viable physical media left, and it's being turned into a souvenir trade. We'll see who can get their records released. I'm just gonna try and find some rad demos and go from there.
6. What trend will you forever associate with 2014 in music?
Endless blockades of posers. Every one of them. Self-righteous, egotistical...posers. Often with trust funds. Beware.