Quite literally, a one question interview. Also known as 1QIs, we post these first to our social media on a near-daily basis, with the archival piece here. Check 'em out.
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An in-depth discussion with a band or artist, generally in the form of a straight Q&A – no editorializing.
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Album streams, our Set List "top five..." features, our year-end "best of" lists and other music-related miscellany.
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Contributions on a range of topics from a range of industry figures: musicians, filmmakers, editors and more.
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A melting pot of mixed content: movie, book and even video game reviews. Updated sporadically, but eclectically.
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A semi-regular column exploring new and rising local bands and artists deserving of attention.
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We post a variety of features in recurring series – click below to browse them.
One-question interviews with artists where we find out about the gear and equipment they use to achieve their sound. Browse 76 features
A collection of items grouped by topic, eg. "Top 5 Worst Beatles Songs" or "Top 10 best '77 punk releases". Browse 20 features
A wide-ranging guest column written by BJ from Ancient Shores, mainly covering film but extending into philosophy and aesthetics too. Check out BJ's work on the A389 podcast. Browse 15 features
Guest column by T of Vegas Browse 13 features
There’s so much music released, whether physically or digitally, that keeping up with what’s going on becomes almost like a full time job. With Only Death Is Real, the aim is to bring you something new. Browse 10 features
How an artist spends their time by day will influence the creative process at night. In Don’t Quit Your Day Job, Scene Point Blank looks at how musicians split their time, and how their careers influence their music – or, alternately &ndash Browse 5 features
Our annual round-up of the best music of the year 2015. Browse 4 features
Our annual round-up of the best music of the year 2016. Browse 4 features
Discussing the state of the music business at the kitchen table Browse 4 features
A roundup of coverage of the annual punk rock festival held in Gainesville, Florida Browse 4 features
A life lived and lessons learned by Eddie Spaghetti of Supersuckers. Browse 4 features
Our annual roundup from Gainesville, FL's famous Fest. Browse 4 features
It's the end of 2013, so here's our best-of roundup for the last twelve months. Browse 4 features
SPB's coverage of the annual festival in Gainesville, Florida. Browse 4 features
Our annual round-up of the best music of the year 2014. Browse 4 features
A brief but englightening chat with an artist who reveals an interesting or unexpected story from their career Browse 4 features
Our summary of the best music (and more) of 2018. Browse 3 features
Our wrap-up of the best music and more from 2019 Browse 3 features
A collection of coverage rounding up the year 2012, covering our favorite albums, shows, bands, and more, as well as asking record labels and bands about their past twelve months in music Browse 3 features
A cookery column by Nick, vocalist with metal band The Famine. Veggie/vegan friendly! Browse 3 features
Our wrap-up of the best music and more for the year we'll all want to otherwise forget, 2020. Browse 3 features
Our annual round-up of the best music of the year 2017. Browse 2 features
A regular series by Robert F. Browse 2 features
Our coverage of the annual Fest extravaganza. Browse 1 features
We survey some of the other music releases out there. Results may vary...may get weird, but hopefully something covered here piques your interest. Browse 1 features
A semi-regular column where we choose a specific area and give a local scene report. Browse 1 features
Jon Lebiecki (Undesirable People) SPB: Winter touring: yes or now (and why/got any stories)? Lebiecki: Yes, absolutely. Simply because we’ve got a sick record coming out on 12” that we need entire world to hear. I’m not quite sure where we are headed yet because we don’t have a booking agent. I think the plan is to head down south. The Midwest sucks in the winter, especially with all of this global warming shit going on. Who knows?! We'll figure it out. By the way, that record is called Eternal Vision of a Blind Future ...
Quite literally, a one question interview. Also known as 1QIs, we post these first to our social media on a near-daily basis, with the archival piece here. Check 'em out.
Brian Nicewander (Han Gan)
SPB: What is the strangest place you’ve slept while on tour?
Nicewander: I think one of my most interesting tour crash experiences was in the back of a 1985 Chevy van during a tornado warning on a lonely road in Kansas.
A storm had made it impossible to see where we were going, so we stopped on the side of the road for quick access in case we needed to jump into a ditch.
That night it felt like we might end up in a punk rock version of the Wizard of Oz.
SPB: What type of bass do you play (and how did you choose it)?
Vern: I am currently playing a Gibson RD bass. I also have an LTD Eclipse bass with EMG active pick-ups but was looking for something classic with passive pick-ups. I stumbled upon the RD at a local guitar shop in town and fell in love with how easy it was to play and how well balanced it was. It has an extra-long neck so the sustain on it is insane.
I play an Ampeg SVT 2 head and two Minnesota-made David Eden 4x10 XLTs. I use one distortion all the time and switch around between a few different ones. My goal for my sound is to add girth to the power chords and bottom end to the melodies of the guitars and/or sometimes harmonize with certain guitar parts. For my picking I always try to stay in rhythm with whatever beat Chad is playing.
Jeff Claxton (New Junk City – drums)
SPB: Walk us through your drum kit, if you don’t mind, explaining how you made the decisions about some of your heads or sizes.
Chad (War//Plague – drums)
SPB: Walk us through your kit and how you chose its various pieces?
Chad: I've always been a huge fan of TAMA DRUMS ever since I was a kid! This hasn't always been my traditional set up, like everyone in War//Plague it has been a series of decisions over time to get my set up to its current placement. Everything has its place, I'm a big fan of a loud, crushing drum sound. One thing you'll notice about my kit is that it's tuned mid-to-low and the cymbals I play are loud and defined. I've been at war with tuning drums for the majority of my time playing them, but have always strived to have a real organic sound. I think I have a good grip on getting the best sounding tone out of each drum finally and that's really all I'm looking for, not how to get the "Slayer" drum sound. To me, the way to finding your sound as a drummer is to really, just spend the time understanding what tension is actually doing to those heads, figure out that specific drum. and the rest is just playing it.
I am currently sitting behind a 6 pc Tama Super Star "Hyperdrive", all maple shells. The snare I'm playing is a 14" Mapex "Black Panther," full maple shell; this thing is loud and punchy! I specifically chose this kit for the shallow rack toms, being able to keep ‘em a bit lower allows for a more versatile set up. My kick pedal is a Pearl "demon drive" double pedal with direct links. Cymbals on this kit L to R are as follows: 16" Meinl MB10 "fat hats," 19" Meinl byzance Medium thin crash, 20" MB20 Heavy Hammered crash, 14" Meinl Classics Medium X hats, 24" Meinl MB20 Pure Metal ride, 22" Wuhan china. To date this is the best sounding kit I've ever put together!
P. Bohner (SPELLS)
SPB: The band name is almost refreshingly simple. How did you choose it?
Bohner: Well first off, I would like to say that I am personally not a fan of being IN bands that contain the article "THE". I love bands that have articles in their name but I personally gravitate to names without it. Band names like DEVO, Drive Like Jehu, !!!, Shellac, etc. just always sound better to my ears. When Charlie and I first started writing songs and decided we were going to do an actual band thing, we had a running list of names on a dry erase board that we would just write stuff down when we got together to play. It was a pretty good list that I wish we had taken a picture of or kept around. I think some of the names revolved around Andrew Ridgeley but remember Charlie saying that we couldn't use that name because he has that in mind for another project. (It was The Andrew Ridgeleys and no, Charlie hasn't used it... yet!)
Around that time I was listening to a Mrs. Magician 7" called The Spells on repeat. I was just obsessed with the sound of the record. The guitar tone to start the song off just screamed a ‘60s beach vibe that just sucked you into the song. I gravitated mostly to the way the drum sound was just "in the pocket". It just really plays well with the song as a whole. Not too flashy and just the right amount of swing to accompany the swaying guitar and vocal melodies. It was and is a drum sound that I tend to try to emulate in SPELLS. WWHBD (What Would Hal Blaine Do?) is my other drumming philosophy, except he wouldn't be in SPELLS, that's for damn sure!
So going back to The Spells, the line in the song: "I've had the chills/ I've had the spells/ I'm 27 now so what the hell/ I can't be this pathetic forever." was just on repeat in my head. The song refers to that feeling you have when someone has left you and you feel so empty, but I can remember my grandmother saying she would have "spells" from time to time when she would get headaches. I thought it was just a cool ambiguous meaning. It can mean a headache, being dizzy, being in love with someone, having someone fall in love with you (shout out to Screamin' Jay Hawkins), falling out of love, or even magic.
So heading into practice later on, I wrote down SPELLS on the band name board. We had just added The Shithead to the mix and he and Charlie were immediately sold on the name and how it was stylized. Yes, we always capitalize it. Why? It just looks better. Lower case "e's" next to lower case "l's" look weird to me. We don't have much we can control in this world, but we can hopefully control the way our name is spelled ;) Did we bother to look up if there were other bands with the same name? Nope. I'm almost sure there was. There always is. In fact, shout out to the band Spells from back in the day! They went on to form bands like The GEDS who fucking rule! Also, big ups to Carrie Brownstein for also having a previous band called The Spells. Do you see how those are spelled? We are so unique and spell it in all caps. S.P.E.L.L.S. spells SPELLS. SPELLS Rules!
*footnote - The Beatles was already taken.
James Woodard (The Grasshopper Lies Heavy – guitar)
SPB: I have two #1 guitars; one for stage; and one that stays home for recording and practice.
Woodward: My old #1 is my 1982 Gibson Les Paul Standard in a tobacco burst finish. It came into a guitar store I worked at about a decade ago and instantly knew I had to have it. When you work in a guitar shop, you get to try out a lot of guitars day to day, and some of them have an intangible quality to them that makes them special. Well, this one's got it. It's such a great instrument, and I've written a ton of music on it and have played countless gigs with it. I've even used it as a weapon once or twice.
It's been gigged and toured with a ton, and I am pretty aggressive when I play live, so this guitar has a lot of scars from being either thrown into the drums or the crowd, or stuck into the ceiling at venues. One of the knobs is missing. It broke off at some point and I never replaced it because no one needs tone knobs. In terms of hardware it's all stock. It just sounds perfect through my old Marshall heads. It's truly The Sound Of Rock And Roll™.
That being said, I don't gig with this guitar anymore. It's become too sentimental to me, and I would hate having it stolen on tour. Plus, the value of these old Gibsons has skyrocketed, so it stays home.
My "new" #1 is an Electric Guitar Company TB1000 I bought from a friend secondhand. It's an aluminum neck-thru design with a clear acrylic body. It's got a woodgrain formica pickguard, which is a nod to the original acrylic Dan Armstrong guitars, but has the classic Travis Bean TB1000 body style. It's heavy and very angry, like me. And because of its materials, it can take a lot of abuse. It's been with me on several US tours and one Japan tour at this point. On the first night of the Japan tour I threw it across the stage and broke two tuning pegs (basically the only parts you can break on the thing). That experience made for a great manic scavenger hunt across Tokyo to find tuning pegs before the gig the next day. All the knobs are long gone, and one of the potentiometers has been snapped off at the base. I purposefully removed the switch tips on both guitars to ensure that I don't accidentally switch pickups while playing.
The EGC is a fantastic instrument; the neck is incredibly thin, the body balances perfectly (because of its absurd weight, which I enjoy), and its voicing is so pissed off. It's like someone took an old Les Paul and turned it up to 11. It has a bit more tonal bandwidth as my LP; more biting highs and deep lows. With a fresh set of strings, it’s chimey, chorus-y, piano-like qualities come through and the tone is very clear and cutting. The ultra-thin neck took a while to get used to, and I found it very hard to see the fret markers on the metal neck on dark stages so I had to put dummy markers on it until I got completely comfortable with the neck, but it's just a magical instrument and I love playing it. It also simply looks amazing; I think it's a gorgeous guitar.
Andy Lutz (War//Plague-vocals and guitar)
SPB: Do you use any special equipment to emphasize your vocals when playing live?
Lutz: Generally, I just use a Shure SM58 microphone. I like to throw some subtle effects on vocals, like maybe a little delay, and then have some bourbon to warm them up, but that's about it. My vocal style has been an ever-evolving process over the years, but I'm influenced by people like Tom G. Warrior, Max Cavalera and Jaz Coleman, just to name a few. I try to focus on attack, range and see where I can push myself.
For my guitar rig, I play a Gibson SG Gothic with a modified Mesa Triple Rectifier and a Mesa cab. No pedals. That's it, keep it loud, simple and aggressive.
Dan (By Surprise)
SPB: Do you have any vinyl that you own strictly for collector’s purposes and never listen to?
Dan: I don't really have any records that I own strictly for collecting purposes and never play. I play all of my records, because I feel that they're meant to be played and enjoyed.
André Foisy (Locrian)
SPB: From when you were starting Locrian until the present, what parts of your setup have really helped voice your sound over the years?
Foisy: That’s a compliment to say that I have a sound so thank you.
My rig has remained fairly consistent over the years. Primarily I have used the same guitar and amplifier, which I purchased when I was 15-16, aka 20+ years ago. Growing up watching punk and hardcore bands made me realize that the gear doesn’t matter as much as what you do with it. There are certain creative opportunities which can arise from limitations.
My guitar has seven strings and I tune the lowest string down an entire octave to a low E. This has helped me to have a really nice dynamic range.
Around the time that Locrian recorded Return to Annihilation, I started using capos. I haven’t found many heavy musicians to use these. When I capo my guitar, it allows me to more easily get these chime-y sounds from it while at the same time that I can play some lower drones.
I tend to switch between heavy distorted tones on my amp and cleaner ones. I like to combine elements which might not normally go together, such as prettier tones and blast beats. What would metal sound like if you removed many of its characteristic elements like loud guitars and rapid song changes?
Lately, my playing has been incorporating more of my whammy bar. I haven’t used this element in a long time and I’m trying to use this part of my setup to hear some different things from my playing. I can’t tell you where my playing with go with this, but I feel like I’m getting somewhere that’s interesting to me.
In my own development, I’ve tried to play less over the years. How can I be more deliberate about my use of any of my equipment? How can I use what I have to make the musicians around me sound bigger and more dynamic? Steve Hackett from Genesis is one of my favorite guitar players and his playing was almost always his best, in my opinion, when it was difficult to tell what he was doing or if he was even playing at all. That’s what I want from my own playing!
Tristan Shone (Author & Punisher)
SPB: You are well known for building your own instruments in Drone Machines, and they have been part of your music since the beginning. How has your process for creating or modifying these instruments changed through the years?
Shone: In the beginning of A&P, I was in art school and my machines were my attempt to combine sculpture, music-making and engineering. I knew I wanted to make heavy music but I was playing with guitars and drum machines and the whole live performance did not feel physical enough to match the force of the music live. I was playing slower doom/drone and the first instruments were very heavy and slow moving so the dissonance and heaviness all synced up.
As I developed these machines from 2007-2010, I started to build more intricate devices that were a bit lighter and more dynamic so that I could play faster stuff and hit pitches better. Also, as I started touring more, I was racking up baggage fees for flights, so I started to use the Pelican case dimensions and airline baggage limits as a starting point for some of the devices and also started storing some gear in Europe and on the East Coast of the US.
Fast forward to 2020. I have found a happy medium of gear that is heavy enough to feel powerful on stage but also under the limits of weight for flights. Finally, I have realized that I am more into playing my music well than having all the exact gear needed on stage...basically, you need much less on stage than you think you do. I try to use as little as possibly...the less gear I have, the better the sound. I think this has to do with being mentally overwhelmed and less focused on playing well, singing well, and performing to my fullest ability. \m/ :)
Dennis Jagard (Ten Foot Pole-vocals/rhythm guitar/songwriter)
SPB: What was the most striking or memorable moment of your first practice when you reunited?
Jagard: It sounds silly, but my strongest memory is of us all pulling our cars up to the rehearsal area and seeing baby seats in nearly every car. We were no longer punk rock kids, we were now punk rock dads!
Chris Murphy (Seven Crows)
SPB: Coming from the band’s perspective, how does it feel in 2020 to release a new record (as compared to releasing a record under different circumstances with live shows etc)?
Murphy: 2020 has been a challenge from all perspectives but I’m trying to make the best of it.
My music background is in jazz and improvisation so I think that’s taught me how to adapt and pivot fairly gracefully. One of the positive sides of quarantine is that it’s allowed me to create new music including SECRETS OF NAVIGATION and many people have been listening to and needing new
Music, so I think there is a demand – Especially, I think, for music that is calming and reassuring and has a positive message, which is what SEVEN CROWS is about.
My orientation with music is live performance so it has been frustrating but getting past this pandemic is more important. I’m looking forward to gigs returning , until then, let’s support each other and wear our masks!
Mike Novak (Holler House – drums)
SPB: You released the split earlier this year. How different is it to release new music but not play live shows (do you expect the new songs to feel fresh when live music resumes)?
Novak: Yes, we did release a split earlier this year. It was an odd roll-out of an album... We technically released it on June 5, 2020 but it was complete way back in March. Ironically, the last show we played was March 5th in Minneapolis with BUSEY (the band on the other side of the split), and The Smokes. That show has just become our "release party" in my head, even though it wasn't.
Things got shut down with the pandemic shortly after that show, and things continued to spiral here in Minneapolis. With the murder of George Floyd in May, and the civil uprising shortly after, it really felt stupid to have anyone focus on our record. We did formally release the album on a Bandcamp Friday in June and donated 100% of sales along with our label Jetsam-Flotsam to Reclaim the Block, and Black Visions here in Minnesota. I'm glad we raised some cash for those entities, but it still felt a little weird to promote music at that time. We haven't really touched our instruments since that show, but we're still a band and we still hang out when we can. I know this whole shutdown has been a magical creative time for some, but not for us. I've personally been stressed, overwhelmed, and frustrated. Some of us have new jobs, no jobs, kids learning at home, and new ventures at various stages. A silver lining to all of this could be that it'll serve as some sort of giant reset for everyone, and everything. I've personally tried to take some time to think about what really matters, and what I can do to change things for the better. Maybe, that'll all bleed out in some form of new music when we can get back together.
To answer your question though... I think the "new" songs will feel fresh, if we can remember them! Recently, we all got together for a bonfire and we joked that it'd be funny when that first show happens... when it's safe... if all the bands are just super shitty because they haven't practiced at all. That'd be funny, but also who cares... it'll feel so good to get all sweaty in a crappy rock club again. Right?
Tired of Everything
SPB: Who is your favorite 1970s artist?
Matt: The Cure
Dylan: The Doors
Markus (Van Dammes)
SPB: Do you listen to any Christmas or holiday music?
Markus: Christmas time particularly is very important to us because Santa Claus comes from our home country Finland. Then we usually listen only to Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight) by Ramones, except sometimes, when we listen to Weezer's Christmas EP or Joulusydän by Timo T.A. Mikkonen and Mervi Hiltunen which is Finnish version of Wham's Last Christmas.
One of our Christmas traditions is to organise a Christmas night party & concert in the only good bar of Lahti, a small town where we were born, about 100 kilometres north from the capital Helsinki. We have organised this party now for 15 years especially for people, like ourselves, who don't live in that town anymore, but who go to see their families there at Christmas. Surprise surprise, this year the bash is cancelled thanks to COVID-19.
Also, the holidays continuing after Christmas are very meaningful to us because the Four Hills tournament of ski jumping takes place around the New Year. We're hardcore fans of japanese ski jumper Noriaki Kasai so we even have a song dedicated to him.
Moreover, leap day every fourth year means a lot to us even though it's not a public holiday. You would think that our song ''Every Fourth Year'' talks about that but it doesn't. Finally, Midsummer is in the hearts of all northern Europeans such as us Finns. Our latest single ''Tax Free World'' describes the preparation for this celebration.
Eric Quach (Thisquietarmy)
SPB: In recording your new record, did any particular piece of gear (or combination) stand out for how it captured or delivered the final tone that you were seeking for the album?
Quach: Not anything in particular per se. Though to further elaborate that answer, here are some photos of our setup at Méduse Audio's studio for the making of "Thisquietarmy x Away - The Singularity, Phase I", which happened during the winter of 2019 when we were both back in Montreal from our respective European tours with Voivod and Thisquietarmy (full band).
We spent one whole day recording without having any written material nor proper ideas -- the only reference we had was a 15-minute improvised jam that we did for the Suoni Per Il Popolo festival in June 2018. Basically, our recording engineer Marc-Olivier Germain (who also played and mixed Thisquietarmy's "The Body and the Earth" album) prepped the studio for us to jam all day and was on stand-by to capture literally every sound we made.
Away (Michel Langevin) usually likes to play on Pearl drums but it was just easier to use Marco's Mapex drums that were already set up, which consisted of a 22"x20" kick, 12" tom, 16" floor tom and hi-hats. He brought his signature Away Drum Shop USA snare, DW 9000 kick pedal, Sabian cymbals and Vic Firth sticks.
I had my Fender Blacktop Jaguar HH and was set up to play through a Roland JC-120 guitar amp, and a Traynor monoblock bass amp, and I also had my stereo signal plugged in directly from my mixer. For the pedals, I had my semi-usual setup of effects that I use for my solo live sets, plus some additional ones off the board that I wanted to integrate. At times, I also had a Realistic Moog MG-1 synth which also went into a few other pedals, before going through the whole aforementioned pedal setup.
As you can imagine, the final "tone" of the record was basically an amalgamation of all these elements. What made the record was having a comfortable time and space to focus on playing music the way we would usually play, and have it captured as best as possible without us having to worry about the technical details. We owe that to Marco's engineering skills and the vibe of that dreaded February day, which I remember was very cold, most likely in the minus-20s Celcius. The session turned out to be really fun -- it was basically just a matter of trying out different things, playing and reacting against each other, building up the mood with various atmospheric loops then trying to play some structured riffs to the drums, locking it down, then layering some more textures and melodies over the whole thing, until it became cacophonous enough to break it down and work with what's left in the underlayers of noise remnants...then start something again, but differently.
We jammed about 4 times for approximately an hour, with breaks in between and ended up with more than 4 hours of material that later upon re-listening turned out to be surprisingly impressive. "Phase I" consists almost entirely of the first part of the recording session, subsequent phases are likely to include most of the rest, almost in the order that we played it. Can't wait to unveil the whole session!
Matt Bernard (Coach’s Son)
SPB: What is your favorite record store, locally or one that you’ve found while on tour?
Bernard: By far our favorite record store is Princeton Record Exchange (PREX) in Princeton, New Jersey. We have been going there since we were kids. They are a small store located off the main drag of downtown Princeton, where they have everything from metal and hardcore to hip-hop and R&B. The atmosphere is laid back and their stock is constantly changing week to week. Not only do they carry mainstream artists, but they have a vast collection of underground and local musicians. If you're ever in the Princeton area, this place is a must see!
SPB: Wet Cassettes released your latest so we think you may be biased. Anyway, rank your preference of music media formats for listening: cd, vinyl, cassette, digital, (other?)
Big Chungus: As a former subterranean creature, I, like so many of you human Americans, prefer things that taste good versus what's good for me. And yeah, I tend to like tapes because my dad (Nick)'s label put out my album, but I'm my own mutant damnit! SO, I would have to say this is my current ranking of medias:
1) Cassette: tastiest format by far. You can just pull the guts out and munch on it, if your tape player doesn't get to it first. Since there are different types (Chrome, Ferric, etc.) there are different flavors that make your regular-length pees smell funny. The last one I ate was a Rod Stewart tape from the thrift shop, gave me a little mellow spice that coated the palette. Glitter in the paint of the shell makes your poop shine, so I like that too.
2) Vinyl: like tapes, vinyls (come at me nerds) have different flavor profiles based upon what they made with. I'm not the biggest mutant around, though I'm growing, so I usually tend to snack on one of my dad's all black (tastes like licorice) Lumpy Records 7'' versus some 12'' by a bunch of guys crying about their real estate and sunny days and diaries or whatever.
3) Digital: we put my last album LOCKDOWN out digitally cuz sometimes humans don't appreciate tapes. Most my dad's clients don't even listen to or eat their cassettes! That's just wild to me. I guess if it's a lean week, and i'm bloated, or it's easier to get my songs out to more people and it costs less moneys- digital is good for your diet. I been told my Spotify royalties are paying the mortgage.
4) CDs: yeah, some noise labels (Troniks, Helicopter) are putting out sick CDs this quarantine, but they get stuck in your teeth! Digipaks make a nice sandwich bun. Overall- hardest to eat, bloody gums for weeks. Hardest to shit out. So they come last!
Nick Hertzberg (Wet Cassettes-owner)
SPB: What band has the best logo of all time?
Hertzberg: This is a tough one. First of all, as someone who grew up a metal-head, my mind goes THERE first. Most "ordinary bands" change fonts and imagery and don't have a logo that sticks with them during their tenure, right? But, when I consider logos, not just album covers, you think of a brand. Something recurring and iconic. I think of bands like Metallica or Mayhem, where you see their logo and can already pretty much know what you're going to get even before listening. The fonts and flourishes transcend sound. Most places you go in the world, when music folks see the shirt you are wearing with their logo, they get it.
One of those more widely-known metal bands is instinctually a good answer. BUT as someone who does some professional design work myself now, my final answer has to be: Black Flag. Not only the 4 bars, but the font, and yeah--even the name, which is part of the logo I would argue.
The Misfits fiend skull could be high up there too, but as a kid scribbling anarchy symbols in sharpie markers on my food store paper bags turned into book covers, I could get "The Bars" drawn a bit easier than the skull, Metallica, etc. How many people have good looking Black Flag tattoos versus mediocre Misfits or Metallica tattoos?
Simplicity. A bold visual statement. Recurring across several albums and merchandise. Iconic. Letting the logo speak for the music itself.
If that doesn't describe an ultimate band logo, and doesn't describe Black Flag, I don't know what else does.
Chase D. Spruiell (Big Loser)
SPB: What is the largest crowd you’ve played to (back when people did that)? Did you approach the set differently than a “normal” show?
1. One time I was opening up for this famous K-Pop singer in San Francisco. I can’t remember her name, but she was playing a sold-out show and I somehow managed to get on the bill to open up. I was touring at the time, separately. I knew it would be sold-out so I wanted to do something weird. I had this killer mustache at the time (with the curls and everything), so I brought my electric razor to the show and I had a random person volunteer to come up on stage and shave my mustache off while the crowd sang “Happy Birthday.” It wasn’t anybody’s birthday. Everyone was so confused. It was great.
2. We opened up for Jeff Rosenstock in Austin a few years back, and we are all huge fans of his. The show ended up selling out, so it was a packed house. The only thing we did different was probably play with more energy -- we were all so happy to be playing alongside some of our heroes that we weren’t stressed about playing at all, just amped.
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