The Interrupters ‘Live in Tokyo!’ Out Now + Documentary Film Premiere June 24

Hellcat Records

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2021
Contact: michele@epitaph.com

THE INTERRUPTERS
LIVE IN TOKYO!
OUT NOW DIGITALLY & ON VINYL
CD AVAILABLE JULY 9


LIVE IN TOKYO – THIS IS MY FAMILY!
FILM PREMIERE
6/24 @ 6PM PT/9PM ET

BAND ON THE HELLA MEGA TOUR THIS SUMMER
Supporting Green Day, Fall Out Boy, & Weezer

PHOTO CREDIT: MITCH IKEDA

Los Angeles-based band The Interrupters have just released Live In Tokyo! via Hellcat Records. The live record, produced by guitarist Kevin Bivona, is taken from the band’s 2019 performance at Tokyo’s Summer Sonic Festivalin support of their latest album, Fight the Good Fight(2018).

CHECK OUT LIVE IN TOKYO! NOW

The past few years have been pivotal for The Interrupters. Fight the Good Fightdebuted #1 Heatseekers, #5 Current Rock, and #5 Current Alternative Album on the Billboard charts. The lead single, “She’s Kerosene” charted #5 at Alternative Radio in US, #1 Alternative in Canada, and #1 Rock in Canada making The Interrupters the first female-fronted band with an Alternative Radio hit since No Doubt. The follow-up single, “Gave You Everything”charted #19 at Alternative Radio in US, and #2 Rock in Canada. In addition, the band made their US TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and were featured as iHeartRadio’s On The Verge Artist (Fall 2018).

On top of this success, The Interrupters toured extensively worldwide including sold out headlining dates as well as appearances at Coachella, Punk Rock Bowling, Warped Tour (Main Stage), Hang Out, Epicenter, Sonic Temple, Aftershock Festival, Slam Dunk, Download, Hellfest, and support runs with 311 & The Dirty Heads, and Rancid to name a few.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to attend an Interrupters show, you know that it is not just your typical concert, it is an event. It is a big energy sing-a-long where everyone feels like family. “You want to go to a show to feel better, put your arm around your friend, and dance, and sing, and have a release,” notes Aimee Interrupter. “Celebrate life and forget about your problems. We want to participate in that whole exchange”

In celebration of the release, the band will premiere their documentary film Live in Tokyo – This Is My Family! on June 24 for North & South America at 6pm PT/9pm ET. The film features the live performance from Summer Sonic, behind the scenes footage, and exclusive interviews. The film will rebroadcast twice on June 25; the first being 6pm JST/7pm UTC for Asia & Australia and the second at 6pm BST/7pm CEST for UK, Europe, and Africa. Tickets will be $10 and can be purchased
via https://www.momenthouse.com/theinterrupters. During the premiere and rebroadcasts, fans will have a chance to purchase exclusive merch items.

LIVE IN TOKYO TRACK LISTING
1.    Intro / A Friend Like Me (Live)
2.    By My Side (Live) 
3.    Take Back The Power (Live) 
4.    Title Holder (Live) 
5.    She Got Arrested (Live) 
6.    Bad Guy (Live) 
7.    Gave You Everything (Live) 
8.    On A Turntable (Live) 
9.    She’s Kerosene (Live) 
10.  Family (Live) 

The Interrupters will appear as special guests on the Hella Mega stadium tour supporting Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and Weezer. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit www.hellamegatour.com.

THE HELLA MEGA TOUR NORTH AMERICAN DATES:
7/29          Houston, TX                Minute Maid Park
7/31          Jacksonville, FL          TIAA Bank Field
8/1            Miami, FL                    Hard Rock Stadium
8/4            Flushing, NY               Citi Field
8/5            Boston, MA                 Fenway Park
8/8            Washington, DC         Nationals Park
8/10          Detroit, MI                   Comerica Park
8/13          Hershey, PA               Hersheypark Stadium
8/15          Chicago, IL                  Wrigley Field
8/17          Columbus, OH            Historic Crew Stadium
8/19          Pittsburgh, PA             PNC Park
8/20          Philadelphia, PA         Citizen’s Bank Park
8/23          Minneapolis, MN         Target Field
8/25          Denver, CO                 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
8/27          San Francisco, CA     Oracle Park
8/29          San Diego, CA            PetCo Park
9/1            Milwaukee, WI            Summerfest
9/3            Los Angeles, CA         Dodger Stadium
9/6            Seattle, WA                 T Mobile Park

The Interrupters are Aimee Interrupter (vocals) and the Bivona brothers (guitarist Kevin Bivona, bassist Justin Bivona, drummer Jesse Bivona).

ARTWORK

For More Information on The Interrupters, visit:
 WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

Ska, I got your back!

I have been reading a book for the last month. It’s a good book. It’s well researched and thorough.It’s not just good. It is a great book.

My initial plan was to tell you about that book. I changed my mind.

I woke up this morning and realized that I don’t want to tell you about the book. I do want you to read the book though, so here’s a little story about how I stumbled into a love of Ska.

I grew up in the midwest in the late 70s and early 80s. Life was easy. We loved Night Ranger and Loverboy. It’s what you loved if you didn’t pledge allegiance to Conway Twitty each and every night. We turned the radio on. We turned the radio up.

Maybe I had it easy on my path to Ska, but I grew up in a reasonably diverse household, musically speaking. My dad loved a wide blend of hippy music and acid rock, and my mom was way into Motown. I started to climb a mountain. That mountain’s name was  Rock and Roll.  

I will do you a favor and fast forward you a bit through the horrors of later 80s rock radio. It was a lot more bad than good. Let’s leave it at that.

Radio rock aside, I wasn’t really much into music. My older brother was. He was my gateway into other music. It was hit or miss for a while, but when he played Appetite for Destruction for me, I started to come around. When a friend of his was over and played the new Suicidal (How Will I Laugh Tomorrow) I was hooked. I can still feel my hair growing. That’s how metal I was.

New forms of music became my thing. I liked to be on the forward front, all “Have you heard this?” This continued when I went away to college. New Pantera, cool, but “Have you heard the new Voivod?” “Hey what if we listen to Ween?” In that  quest for “new”, I found new. New to me anyway. In 1993 I heard “Don’t Know How To Party” for the first time. The Bosstones had me hooked on a new thing. 

Later that year I was in a music store (Big Don’s Music City) in Joplin, MO. There was a message board near the front. (For the post-internet crowd, physical message boards were a place to connect with like-minded individuals to sell used appliances and find bass players.) That message board had a “take-a-number” sheet on it looking for members to start a Ska band. Influences including: Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Let’s Go Bowling, Toasters. Welp, I had heard the one, Let’s hear more. 

I liked this Ska stuff. It had horns. (was a trombone player once) It was opinionated, but at the same time, friendly. 

About a year later, MU330 rolled through the college town I was living in. I don’t even think they had an opening act. Just them doing a solid hour set. Afterward the sat down to chill and talk to the fans. I remember sitting with Dan and Jason (who was on lead vocals at the time). Jason shook my hand with the kind of handshake where you cover the entire handshake with your other hand, and don’t let go until you know the other person’s hand is fully shook. … if you know what I mean. It’s the handshake of long lost friends; the hug of handshakes. We chatted a bit, Jason, Dan and myself. I asked Dan, “how do you get those guitar sounds? I like it, but everything I try comes out sounding like Black Sabbath.” Dan said, “There’s nothing wrong with that. Keep Trying.” Better words were never said. 

I was in love with Ska. I tried to tell my brother, to share a bit of what he had given to me. He wasn’t into it. I think maybe the first stuff I played for him wasn’t quite aggressive enough. He was still pretty much a metalhead then. … but things change. Something stuck and he was asking me if I knew of more Ska bands, and where I could get more CDs.

I was living in Portland at the time and my brother came to visit. I took him to Ozone Records and he bought every Ska CD they had in the store. If I have my chronology right, later that year, maybe early the next, I went back home to visit. My brother picked me up in Kansas City and we went to Lawrence for a show at The Grenada. Less Than Jake, Skavoovie and the Epitones, and Chris Murray. IT WAS AMAZING. 

Special shout out to Chris. Skavoovie’s keyboard player had decided mid-tour to go back to college (I think that’s the story) So Chris played his opening “Campfire Ska” set, then went backstage, jumped into a suit, and proceeded to rock the full Skavoovie set on the keys. (Many years later Chris played my 20th wedding anniversary party.)

I bought my first Asian Man Records shirt at that show. It was magic. Later that night we went to the record store next to The Grenada. My brother bought me Mepheskapheles “God Bless Satan”, and Spring Heeled Jack (usa) “Static World View”. 

Life was a whirlwind back then. I was young, living in a city. Bands were playing all the time. So many. It was hard to keep up. I saw the Pietasters for the first time then. I was enamoured. Cool jazz guys almost, in wrinkled suits, with a couple of drinks in them. Good times. I bought a CD copy of OoLooLoo. I was blasting it in the apartment and one of my neighbors was all “Pietasters? Fuck Yeah!” She was from DC and totally on board with hometown music hitting the West Coast

A little anecdote here, but while I was living in Portland, my rather concervative grandmother came to visit. She wasn’t happy about a lot of the music I listened to, but she loved The Pietasters. She said it reminded her of big bands from back in the day. 

Nothing ever changed for me after that, as it pertains to Ska. I mean, one time I couldn’t get tickets to Less Than Jack and Reel Big Fish because the show was sold out. Life goes on though. I didn’t turn my back because of that. I just found new stuff. I’m like, “Up yours Reel Big Fish! I’ll listen to Thumper instead.”

I suppose I could ramble on more about the bands that bent my ear (Suicide Machines) and all the great shows I saw, but it would all be driving to the same destination. Ska is awesome. There is, not now, never once, a reason to be ashamed. 

I stand In Defense of Ska. But, as they say, the best defense is a good offense. (I think people say that) So to that end, I say, “GO OUT THERE AND BUY THIS MUTHAFUCKING BOOK AND LISTEN TO SKA!”

Cheers!

-Jerry Actually

THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM

THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES
ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM

WHEN GOD WAS GREAT
OUT MAY 7

SHARE “I DON’T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING”

Ska-punk pioneers The Mighty Mighty BossToneS will release their 11th studio record When God Was Great on May 7 via Hellcat Records.

Co-produced by longtime collaborator Ted Hutt (The Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys) and Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong (Transplants, Jimmy Cliff), When God Was Great is the culmination of their extensive and all-embracing career and sees the band bringing back friends, tourmates, and bandmates from the past for a sonic celebration that stresses the power of perseverance and human connection during tumultuous times. The album features 15-tracks that initially arose out of a collective sense of loss.

“We were lightly writing songs before the insanity without any sort of timeline in mind. All of a sudden, the world changed and benchmark events in a very long career that we were looking forward to, such as playing with the Madness at the Greek Theatre, were taken away from us,” explains frontman Dicky Barrett. “With all of this time on our hands, we started writing at a quickened pace and we were really inspired. As grim as everything around us was in the outside world, this was the most fun we ever had making a record.

Today, the band shares their new single “I DON’T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING”.

CHECK OUT “I DON’T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING NOW

WHEN GOD WAS GREAT TRACK LISTING
1.     DECIDE
2.     M O V E
3.     I DON’T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING
4.     CERTAIN THINGS
5.     BRUISED
6.     LONELY BOY
7.     THE KILLING OF GEORGIE (PART III)
8.     YOU HAD TO BE THERE
9.     WHEN GOD WAS GREAT
10.  WHAT IT TAKES
11.  LONG AS I CAN SEE THE LIGHT
12.  THE TRUTH HURTS
13.  IT WENT WELL
14.  I DON’T WANT TO BE YOU
15.  THE FINAL PARADE

Since their formation in 1983, the BossToneS have been credited as one of the forefathers of ska punk and the creators of its subgenre, ska-core. With a career spanning over 30-years Boston’s best dressed band has built and continued to build a devoted following with their unique brass-infused brand of punk rock. To date they have released ten studio records; Devil’s Night Out (1989), More Noise and Other Disturbances (1992), Don’t Know How to Party (1993), Question the Answers (1994), Let’s Face It (1997), Pay Attention (2000), A Jackknife to a Swan (2002), Pin Points and Gin Joints (2009), The Magic of Youth (2011), and While We’re at It (2018).

CREDIT: YOYO YOSEF

THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES SIGN WITH HELLCAT RECORDS SHARE “THE FINAL PARADE”

FEATURING MEMBERS OF
RANCID, THE INTERRUPTERS, FISHBONE,
THE PIETASTERS, THE SPECIALS AND MORE

Hellcat Records is pleased to welcome the progenitors of ska, The Mighty Mighty BossToneS to the family.

Today, the band shares their new track “The Final Parade.” The track heralds the ups and downs of the band’s journey, the history of ska, and features vocal cameos and guest appearances from many ska-punk luminaries. At nearly 8-mintues, the track has been referred as “The Ska Summit” by Tim Armstrong, who co-produced the track with fellow Grammy award winner Ted Hutt. “It’s a love letter to Ska music and the people that make Ska music and it’s a whole lot of fun,” says vocalist Dicky Barrett.

The features on the track include Tim Armstrong (Rancid), Aimee Interrupter & The Interrupters, Stranger Cole, Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers), Jay Navarro (Suicide Machines), Chris DeMakes, Pete Wesilewski, Roger Lima (Less Than Jake), Jimmy G (Murphy’s Law), Toby Morse, Rusty Pistachio (H2O), John Feldman (Goldfinger), Laila Khan (Sonic Boom Six), Robert Hingley (Toasters), Dan Vitale (Bim Skala Bim), Dave McWane (Big D and The Kids Table), Sirae Richardson, Erin Mackenzie, Brie McWane (The Doped Up Dollys), Jesse Wagner (Aggrolites), Karina Denike (The Dance Hall Crashers), Christian Jaccobs (The Aquabats), Jon Pebsworth (Buck O Nine), Peter Porker (The Porkers), Steve Jackson (The Pietasters), Felipe Galvan (Los Skanarles), Jet Baker (Buster Shuffle), Fumio Ito (Kemuri), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka  (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy), and Roddy Radiation (The Specials).

CHECK OUT “THE FINAL PARADE” NOW
WATCH | LISTEN

Since their formation in 1983, the BossToneS have been credited as one of the forefathers of ska punk and the creators of its subgenre, ska-core. With a career spanning over 30-years Boston’s best dressed band has built and continued to build a devoted following with their unique brass-infused brand of punk rock. To date they have released ten studio records; Devil’s Night Out (1989), More Noise and Other Disturbances (1992), Don’t Know How to Party (1993), Question the Answers (1994), Let’s Face It (1997), Pay Attention (2000), A Jackknife to a Swan (2002), Pin Points and Gin Joints (2009), The Magic of Youth (2011), and While We’re at It (2018).

The Mighty Mighty BossToneS are vocalist Dicky Barrett, bassist Joe Gittleman, saxophonists Tim “Johnny Vegas” Burton and Leon Silva, Bosstone Ben Carr, drummer Joe Sirois, guitarists Nate Albert and Lawrence Katz, keyboardist John Goetchius, and trombonist Chris Rhodes.

CREDIT: YOYO YOSEF

For More Information on The Mighty Mighty BossToneS, visit:
WEBSITE | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

The Slackers VS The Aggrolites

Fresh from the Badasonic Records as part of the Badasonic Sound Clash series Vol.1 is an always fun split 45. This one in the “bands cover bands” format.

The two track split features The Slackers take on “Countryman Fiddle” from Aggrolites, and the Aggrolites spin on The Slacker’s “Wasted Days.“

Grab a copy if you can and freshen up your sound system with a fresh take on some classic tracks. The split is currently sold out, but there’s always hope for another pressing, right?

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

In Defense of Ska – Pre-order

IN DEFENSE OF SKA

By AARON CARNES

OFFICIAL RELEASE MAY 4

Print ISBN: 978-1-944866-78-5

Price: $18.95

Page Count: 330

Pre-Order the book at: Clash Books

“I DECLARE THIS THE BOOK OF THE YEAR”
-Josh Fernandez (Hard Times)

“Aaron Carnes knows that ska needs defending, and he’s highly equipped to defend it. Aaron wanted to set out to change the public’s perception of this unfairly-maligned genre.”
-Andrew Sacher (Brooklyn Vegan)

“Honestly, I wasn’t a giant fan of ska. But the stories he gives snippets, I’m definitely getting this book. It’s fucking great.”
-Mike Doyle (This Was The Scene podcast)

“I love In Defense of Ska and I can’t wait until it’s officially released.”
-Cam Brio (Cam Brio Music)

Photo by Cam Evans

Why doesn’t ska get its due as a rich, diverse genre the way punk, metal, hip-hop and electronic music does? Or more to the point, why are ska fans so embarrassed of this music they love? The era of ska shame is officially over. In Defense of Ska is the much-needed response to years of ska-mockery. No longer do ska fans need to hide in the basement, skanking alone in their sharp suits, slim ties and porkpie hats. Now the time to take to the streets and fight music snobbery, or at least crank up the ska without being teased ruthlessly.

In a mix of interviews, essays, personal stories, historical snapshots, obscure anecdotes, and think pieces, In Defense of Ska dissects, analyzes and celebrates ska in exactly the way fans have been craving for decades. This book will enlist ska-lovers as soldiers in the ska army, and challenge ska-haters’ prejudices to the core.

Author Aaron Carnes. Photo by Amy Bee

Since hardly anyone takes ska seriously, author Aaron Carnes, has uncovered a bunch of untold stories. Geoffrey Hales, the “music and surf consultant” for the film Back To The Beach speaks on why he chose Fishbone to appear in the film. His decision was in part because Walt Disney was a racist and pro-Nazi; having his darling Annette Funicello backed by a black band would make him “roll in his grave.”

There’s also the story of Fresno ska band Let’s Go Bowling who, in 1998, had their touring van shot up on the freeway as they were heading home after a show. The only injury was a bullet fragment the keyboardist found in his hand. And how about Riverside skacore legends Voodoo Glow Skulls, who abandoned their first “Fat Randy” video shoot. They cast the real-life Fat Randy—a weird Polish kid they went to school with—and a bunch of old high school friends. These old buddies got drunk and dogpiled on Randy, hurting him, shutting down the video, wasting 10,000 dollars of Epitaph’s money in production costs.

Since ska is a global phenomenon, Aaron flew to Mexico to report on biggest, and most political, ska scene in the world. Many of these bands rose from the most impoverished neighborhoods in Mexico City. Few musicians in Mexico speak on political and social issues, but the ska bands do, and they’re incredibly popular with the kids from these same poor neighborhoods. Today these bands play all-ska festivals that draw 25,000 people and more.

After the ’90s, when ska was considered dead, the music continued to have a cult audience. Current-day Pitchfork darling Jeff Rosenstock used to fronted ska-core band Arrogant Sons of Bitches in the early 2000s. They traversed the country vehemently and defiantly defending ska amidst the ska-hating early 2000s musical landscape. They played to small but devoted crowds that loved that they didn’t abandon ska in the name of “rock with horn” like so many of the 90s ska bands did. It was such an arduous task, defending ska, they ended many shows injured, usually self-inflicted.

In Defense of Ska takes readers on a journey through the last several decades of music to illustrate how important ska has always been, and highlights hundreds of great, underrated bands, completely destroying the popular narrative that ska was just a zany trend in the ’90s. It’s a way of life. It’ll never die.

Flat Planet – Somewhere in TX, 1996. Photo courtesy of Aaron Carnes

The Fauxriginals – … If You Believe It

Got another banger here from PDX Punk-Ska-Rockers, the Fauxriginals. …If You Believe It is out today and you’re locked down with nothing better to do, so listen to this and buy a copy or something.

The new EP drops eight fresh tracks of well polished pop punk with ska hooks and a great rock and roll swagger. Aside from previous mentions to Orangetree, this new release kinda reminds me a bit of Johnny Socko, and that ain’t a bad thing, kids.

The songs run the gamut of the laments of not being “Punk Enough” to the spiritual lifestyle coaching of “Beeritual Advisor” A strong range if you ask me. Tracks are largely rapid paced interspersed with more pedestrian speeds on tracks such as “Spelling Lessons”

Everything has a solid polish to it, musicianship and recording are full on quality, nothing to report by goodness there. If you enjoy pop punk that straddles the late tail of 3rd Wave Ska, then this is totally up your alley.

Cheers and stay safe!

-Jerry Actually

The Suicide Machines announce first album in 15 years! New Song! Pre-order!

THE SUICIDE MACHINES TO RELEASE FIRST ALBUM IN 15 YEARS, REVOLUTION SPRING, ON FRIDAY,
MARCH 27th  WITH PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE NOW

LISTEN TO THEIR LEAD SINGLE, “AWKWARD ALWAYS,” VIA YOUTUBE

EUROPEAN DATES ANNOUNCED INCLUDING PUNK IN DRUBLIC STAGE AT SLAM DUNK FESTIVAL

STREAM: “AWKWARD ALWAYS” VIASPOTIFY


  In December 2019, Fat Mike dropped a list of albums that were coming out in 2020. One of them was The Suicide Machines, and today we finally get to unveil the details! Their debut FAT full-length, Revolution Spring, streets on March 27th, and is available for pre-order now! What’s more, this new album is filled to the brim with blistering, rousing songs that combine hardcore, ska, and anthemic punk rock. Recorded in “about 12 days” at Rancho Recordo, and produced by Less Than Jake’s bassist Roger Lima, you can get your first contagious kiss of their lead track, “Awkward Always,” below.  

Vocalist, Jason Navarro, had this to share about joining the FAT family: We all felt we wrote such a good record that there could be no home for us other than FAT. It’s an honor to be in the DIY house they built and be included with so many Legendary bands. Feels like we are finally home.

STREAM: “AWKWARD ALWAYS” ON YOUTUBE AND SPOTIFY

Photo: Mark Marfa Capodanno
It was in 2006 that Detroit punks The Suicide Machines called it a day after 15 years and six full-throttle, super-charged and confrontational albums. The break didn’t last too long – in 2009, the four-piece crew reconvened to play the occasional local shows and embarked on some even less frequent tours. There was no sign of new material – until now! 

Revolution Spring, the band’s seventh album, and first new material since 2005’s War Profiteering Is Killing Us All, will be released March 27th, 2020. What’s more, this new album full of blistering, rousing songs finds the band on truly explosive and energetic form.  So why now you may ask?  “Everyone just kind of got inspired,” chuckles vocalist Jason Navarro, about the band’s decision to begin making music again. “That’s all. I think we were watching all these other bands ride a wave of nostalgia and we didn’t want to be lumped into that, so we started writing a couple of songs and it went from there.”

Over the course of a couple of years, the band – completed by drummer Ryan Vandeberghe, bassist Rich Tschirhart and guitarist Justin Malek (who is also the drummer in Navarro’s post Suicide Machines outfit Hellmouth) – wrote a total 30 songs. With the help of both Less Than Jake’s bassist Roger Lima, who produced Revolution Spring, and The Code’s frontman Marc Code, who is their longtime friend and now manager, The Suicide Machines whittled those 30 songs down to the 16 that make up this record. While on the one hand, these songs serve as an overview of the band’s career and the different permutations of punk they’ve dabbled in over the years, it also possess the energy, spontaneity and enthusiasm of a band many years their junior – albeit with the wisdom that comes from being alive for a few decades.

Recorded in “about 12 days” at Rancho Recordo – the studio run by Marc Jacob Hudson, who also plays bass for Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers – Revolution Spring is a powerful and cohesive combination of hardcore, ska and anthemic punk rock. That, says Navarro, was all fueled by “Awkward Always”, “Black Tar Halo” and “Impossible Possibilities”, the first three songs that the band wrote, all of which made the cut for the record.
“We did those three right off the bat,” says Navarro, “and we were like ‘Wow, these are better than most of the songs Suicide Machines have ever written in any form. That was the start of the spark. It was a long process after that because we were very picky about it, because we wanted to put out the record we wanted to put out and nothing else.”

While Revolution Spring harnesses the belligerent energy that has defined The Suicide Machines since their inception, there are, Navarro says, two marked differences this time around. The first is that these songs are particularly personal. 


“This album is legitimately pretty autobiographical,” he says. “A lot of it is very personal – about how I am and where I am now and how I got where I am now mentally. I kind of wanted to leave my children with an understanding of who I am as an older person. Maybe years from now when I’ve passed away, they can pick up the record and look at the lyrics and listen to it and, if they didn’t already know exactly, go ‘Okay, so this is what dad is about.’” 
The personal component is especially obvious on “Trapped in A Bomb”, a poignant ode to a close friend Navarro lost to suicide that made the singer open up lyrically, perhaps more than he ever had before. 

“I completely burst into tears the first time I had to sing that one,” he admits. “It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to sing. I’ve definitely tried to kill myself, but my friend did it. He called me, and an hour later he was dead. This is me saying ‘I’ve made it to this point, and I wish you could have, too.’” 

The second overriding difference on this album is the (relatively) newfound optimism possessed by the singer. He started becoming aware of this when he made Oblivion, Hellmouth’s 2016 third full-length.  “You wouldn’t think this would be the case with the way the world is looking now,” he admits, “but I’ve become a lot more positive about things. And I stopped pointing fingers and started doing things instead – I feed the homeless a couple of times a week with a bunch of friends of mine, I’ve protested against ICE here in Detroit, I’ve done things locally like water drives for Flint – and I feel like doing these things has created more positivity in my head, whereas before I was being pissed off and not doing anything.”

That’s not to say The Suicide Machines aren’t pissed off on this record, let’s be clear on that point. Opener “Bully In Blue” is a breakneck anthem that rallies against police brutality; the jaunty, ska-punk tones of “Babylon of Ours” overlay a harsh indictment of capitalism and American imperialism, and “Flint Hostage Crisis” is a brutal takedown that addresses the lack of clean water in that city – and the fact that nothing has been done to address it. ‘This is what class war really looks like’ snarls Navarro viciously at the end of the brief, belligerent track. Still, he insists, he’s just writing about things close to him, and that he stopped far short of where he otherwise would have done in the past. 

“I’m from here,” he says, “so I feel like it’s something we know. My best friend works for the water department there. He’s sold merch for us, so I know a lot about it. I didn’t say ‘Hey, we should hang our governor and kill him’, whereas, maybe 10 years ago I would have. I’m just saying that this is fucked, and this is how these things work and if you think that’s a surprise, it’s not.”

Yet despite all that, and despite the messed-up world these songs reflect so well… and despite this record’s provocative, insurrectionary title – Revolution Spring, is not, first and foremost, a political record. Although it reasserts The Suicide Machines as one of the most formidable and relevant punk bands around, more importantly for Navarro, it documents his personal growth as a human being and where he is at this very moment in time. 

“It represents the change inside of me,” he explains. “People might think it’s political, but really it’s me thinking about springtime as rebirth. There’s change inside of me at 46 years old that’s strangely positive somehow. That’s not something I ever expected, because I’ve been a pretty angry person. And I think the other guys are in the same boat. But I could be dead tomorrow – and I’d be absolutely alright with leaving the world with this record.”

Old and new fans alike will find Revolution Spring an energetic homage to the band’s past anthemic, hardcore, ska-punk roots, mixed with the newfound optimism and raw personal life experiences of the band. It’s good to have them back.

Revolution Spring track listing:

1 Bully in Blue
2 Awkward Always
3 Babylon of Ours
4 Flint Hostage Crisis
5 To Play Caesar (Is to Be Stabbed to Death)
6 Trapped in a Bomb
7 Detroit Is the New Miami
8 Eternal Contrarian
9 Well Whiskey Wishes
10 Black Tar Halo
11 Empty Time
12 Impossible Possibilities
13 Potter’s Song
14 Simple
15 Anarchist Wedding
16 Cheers to Ya



The Suicide Machines Tour Dates:

28 Mar in McKees Rocks, PA, US @ Roxian Theatre w/ Anti-Flag
04 Apr in Atlantic City, NJ, US @ Atlantic City Beer Festival
09 May in Wels, Austria @ Sbam Fest 2020
23 May in Leeds, UK @ Slam Dunk Festival North
24 May in Hatfield, UK @ Slam Dunk Festival South

Victims of Circumstance – Five

It’s a new year. It’s a new decade. It’s friday and it’s time to let loose. So pry your head from your desk and read about some Florida punk ska courtesy of Victims of Circumstance.

Five is the brand new album from Clearwater-based VOC. It throws down 12 rowdy rock-n-ska tracks. Pop sensibility, rock hooks, horns, and a punk attitude all line up for a fairly contagious release.

The bands decade and a half together is evident in the songcraft and musicianship. The sound isn’t overproduced however, merely polished. It is reminiscent of the transition that Mustard Plug made over the years. Bands grow and learn as they do and eventually gel in a way that doesn’t often manifest in the nascent years. I’m hearing that here is what I’m saying.

You’ve heard ska and punk combined before. If you like how that made you feel, I can’t imagine how you’re not going to dig this album. Absolutely for fans of Bosstons, Mustard Plug, Buck-0-Nine, and tbh, vocally I keep picking up hints of Dropkick. I certainly don’t want to typecast though, so for fans of, and the fans to be, get on up and check out a copy of Five

Cheers,

Jerry Actually  

Tracks

01 Sober 3:36
02 Tonight We’re Getting Loud 2:34
03 The X 4:25
04 Involuntary 2:48
05 Aggravated 3:38
06 Obey The Rules 4:51
07 Enemy 3:23
08 Quit Looking for the Win (Vinnie Owes us a S… 3:40
09 Never Have I Ever 3:47
10 Roll the Dice 3:42
11 The Edge 3:21
12 Ready to Go 2:25

Bio

Founded in 2005 in Clearwater, Florida, Victims of Circumstance is a punk and ska band known for blending pop-hooks with a unique style of ska. The current line-up includes band members: Michael Smyth (vocals & guitar), Glenn Stewart (drums), Lindsey Pittard (bass), Jason Atheney (saxophone), and Devin Johnson (trumpet).

The VOC, as they are known by fans, built a loyal following while playing around their home state of Florida before setting out on a tour that ended with an invitation to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones tenth Hometown Throwdown in Boston, MA in 2007. Victims of Circumstance has performed with numerous national acts including Less Than Jake, Big D & the Kids Table, The Pietasters, The Aquabats, Mustard Plug, Whole Wheat Bread, The Toasters and many, many others.

In 2007 they tapped The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ saxophone player and skacore veteran Tim “Johnny Vegas” Burton to produce their first full-length album, Do It Yourself. At the end of 2008, Steve Foote of Big D and the Kids Table produced their second album, Roll the Dice, released in 2009.

In early 2011, the VOC flew to Japan and recorded their first live album, 2011’s Live in Japan.

After returning from their first 3 week European Tour in the summer of 2011, The VOC released their self produced album Acupunkture and received rave reviews such as – “This album is Great!. It stands up with the best in the genre.” – Tim “Johnny Vegas” Burton of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

In July and August 2012 the VOC completed another successful 3 week European tour which included playing at the world’s biggest Punk Rock Festival, “Rebellion”, in Blackpool UK. The VOC also provided support on their tour for bands such as MXPX, Snuff and The Creepshow.

In the fall of 2012 the band recorded a six song EP of cover tunes. The album, titled Decades, featured one song from each decade from the ’50s through the 2000’s. Including an all out Punk and Ska version of UK Boy Band One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”.  Following that release, VOC returned to the studio to write and record their fourth studio album, No More Heroes.

In the summer of 2014 Victims of Circumstance released their fourth studio album No More Heroes and provided support for bands such as Streetlight Manifesto and The Dropkick Murphys.  Online punk news organization, Dying Scene, selected No More Heroes as their top pick for best punk-ska album of 2014.

During 2015, VOC continued to tour in support of the new album.  During the summer they completed their third – 3 week European tour to help celebrate their 10th anniversary.  Tour dates included several festivals such as “The Boom Town Fair” and playing an all out killer set on the main stage during the final day of “Rebellion”.

2016 had the band continuing to play in support of  No More Heroes as well as re-entering the studio to record the follow up to Decades, “Decades Volume #2”, which was released in the   spring of 2017 receiving heavy play across college and internet radio.  

While VOC continued to play numerous shows and festivals across the southeast for the next few years, they also re-entered the studio in 2018 – 2019 to record their 5th full length all original studio album “FIVE”.  The album stretches the boundaries of their Punk and Ska roots and launches them into their 15th year as a band. “FIVE” will be released in January 2020.

The Fauxriginals – It’s Not a Lie…

the Fauxriginals album cover for It's Not a Lie...

Pop/Ska/Punk/Northwest/Rockandroll/Hellzyeah!

A couple days late, as per my usual, I’m just now checking out the new EP “It’s Not a Lie”, from Portland, Oregon based The Fauxriginals. You know what? I like ska. I like punk. Let’s go!

The EP pops out seven fresh tracks of punky ska. It’s diggable. Very reminiscent of LTJ, but it also reminds me of an unsung band, Orangetree. (If you’re not familiar w/ Orangetree, they were a band fronted by Jason Nelson of MU330)

Damn, as I listen to this, especially “Being Alive in the 21st Century”, I’m really feeling the Orangetree vibe. Not in a copped sort of way mind you, just compellingly similar.

Sonically I would pin this more in the rock vein than punk, per se. It’s peppy, and bouncy. Not overly aggressive with respect to the punk portion. I’d venture that it’s damn near friendly. That’s not a bad thing. Sometimes you need a little bit more friendly in the world.

Don’t let the friendly fool you though, just based on the song titles, I’d say the band is at least almost entirely jaded.

Bottom line, it’s a fun release. I wouldn’t hesitate to go see them live either. So, yeah, listen at your leisure and support local bands!

-Jerry Actually

Tracks:

  1. My, Myself, and Idioms
  2. Bfff’s
  3. Painted on My Spine
  4. Level of Malevolence
  5. Being Alive in the 21st Century 
  6. Some of a Kind
  7. Rsvp

Portland, Oregon-based three piece The Fauxriginals dropped their debut EP “It’s Not a Lie…” on 9/29/19. This EP will be the first of a two-part set, with the second drop “…If You Believe It” coming shortly thereafter. Both will be streamable everywhere you get music.

After releasing a steady stream of demos and playing a year’s worth of punk and ska shows in the Pacific Northwest, the band created a two-part release filled with the definitive versions of these songs.

Featuring songs written by Tyler Rothe (Lead Vox/Guitar), the band’s focus is to combine elements of pop-punk, skate punk, ska, and punk rock while focusing on hooks and technical chops.

The Fauxriginals are playing regular shows in the PNW and have music videos available on YouTube. Music streaming everywhere you stream music.

For fans of: Less Than Jake, Blink-182, Descendents, Offspring, Green Day, and Queen.