One of our newest features here at Scene Point Blank is our semi-daily quickie Q&A: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook or twitter and we'll post one interview every Monday-Thursday. Well, sometimes we miss a day, but it will be four each week regardless.
After our social media followers get the first word, we'll later post a wrap-up here at the site and archive 'em here. This week check out Q&As with The Devil, Druglords of the Avenues, Yankee Brutal and Signals Midwest.
SPB: In your debut album you are using a wide variety of vocal samples from famous speeches. Do you believe that a vocal performance can be adequately replaced by such samples? Or, do you believe that there is something else that attracts people within those famous words?
The Devil: Seeing we are technically an instrumental band that uses historic and conspiracy inspired voice samples in place of traditional vocals, we never actually had any intention of enlisting a vocalist. Sure, we could of just had lyrics sung about all these controversial subject matters, but we felt strongly that when dealing with serious matters surround government conspiracies & hidden esoteric knowledge. Using the actual real samples relating to the event(s) was a much more powerful and thought-provoking way of getting our audience to think about the message we intended to convey.
Johnny Bonnel (Druglords of the Avenues, Swingin’ Utters, Filthy Thieving Bastards)
SPB: Where does your band name for Druglords of the Avenues come from?
Johnny: I was watching a documentary on a Jewish community in Alphabet City, New York and the narrator mentioned "Druglords of the Avenues" more than a couple times. I thought it sounded like a cool band name, but I was already in two: Swingin' Utters and Filthy Thieving Bastards. It ended up being a song title for FTB. I'm constantly grabbing phrases and words from other forms of art. Anything that immediately conjures images of human dysfunction. When we first formed DLOTA we were called Bay of Pigs, but that was taken. I mentioned the song as a band name and the rest of the fellers said okay. It has an ironic, heroic quality to it and I kind of dig it.
Wesley Henderson (Yankee Brutal)
SPB: What's your favorite band you discovered on your most recent tour?
Wesley: That question is not one I can answer outright. In the span of a 3-month US tour, you'd hope to play with a lot of awesome bands. And we absolutely did! I can only break it down to a top 5 in no particular order, mind you.
1. Kill Lincoln. This band was beyond energetic! Native to the DC area, they play ska-core along the likes of Less than Jake meets Mad Caddies. Totally rad dudes who partied hard, talked a ton of shit, and forced us (ha ha, right?) to take the remainder of the beer that was left behind. Those guys are A-okay in my book!
2. Chilled Monkey Brains. This Florida-based band is bad ass. You'd have to imagine something to the extent of older Strung Out, blended with some Mad Caddies and Iron Maiden thrown in for good measure. Can't really pinpoint them into a single genre. Ska-Metal-Punk. Great musicianship, and they know how to party.
3. A Dying Regime. Our first encounter with our labelmates (before they signed) and, man, were they a bitch to follow. They have a similar melodic hardcore sound to our own, but with a much cleaner vocalist. Kind of a NoFx/Death by Stereo musical vibe, with melodies reminiscent of early Bayside.
4. Still Alive. These motherfuckers…were awesome! We jumped on a show last minute with these guys following a show at the same venue with Michael Graves. This Chicago hardcore quartet were not only fast ‘n’ heavy like I dig, but they had in inspiring blend of what I personally like about punk (real) and hardcore (breakdown stuff).
5. Allout Helter. Although I had heard of them previous to playing with them, I had not listened to more than a handful of songs. These guys shred so hard!! And seeing them live, is a totally inspirational event for any shreddy guitarist. I kept thinking, "Motherfucker, I wanna shred like that" only to realize that I do shred like that! Or at least I think I do...
I can't decide between those bands who I enjoyed more, and the good thing is I don't fuckin' have to, and I'm even going to throw some awesome honorable mentions in:
And, Your Mom (I'll be honest, these guys suck a lot, but they know it, and love it, and so do I! Some truly funny shit between the likes of Guttermouth humor, with GG Allin’s antics)
Loren Shumaker-Chupp (Signals Midwest, bass)
SPB: What do your parents think of your music?
Loren: My parents have always appreciated that I play music and what I get out of it. It was something that they encouraged me to learn when I was younger and supported throughout grade school when I began to draw serious interest into music. Now I think there is probably more of a disconnect in how well they understand what it is that we do. I tell them stories about tour, and give them updates of how we are progressing and that’s great, but it’s hard to explain to your parents why the best week you had this year was largely fueled by PBR tall boys and a town in Florida filled with sweaty black t-shirts. Another musician friend’s dad recently wrote an article in the New York Times about why he was proud of his son for something that many parents might see as wasting time in a van, and I think the perspective there is similar to my parents. My mom did want to make sure I remembered that it’s largely possible due to white privilege however.
As far as the music itself goes, I know my dad listens to all of our recordings, and I think he genuinely likes some of the songs. My mom has never really been one to sit down and listen to any music, so our sound is not something she can easily approach. They did both come to our Cleveland record release show last month, and I was pretty surprised my mom made it through the whole night. So the appreciation of what it means to me is still there, despite how well they can relate to it. Maybe it’s harder for me to gauge their opinions of it than it is for them to understand what playing music means for me.
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