Monday, August 22, 2011

My Rifle - "This is my Gun."

When former members of Life's Blood (Jason O'Toole), Our Gang (Hobi Klapuri and Lewis Dimmick) got together to start My Rifle it inspired Freddy Alva (The New Breed Compilation) to restart his Hardcore label Wardance Records. 
Needless to say, the possibilities for something incredibly special were pretty high. Add drummer/engineer Andy Guida (Supertouch, Altercation and currently Absolution) 
to the mix and  you've got all the elements for something Epic.
With a record on the way and the return of Wardance records on the horizon I asked Jason and Lewis a few questions about the band and the upcoming release. I greatly appreciate their feedback.  James Damion

James: Give me a little background on the band?
What brought you together and what was it that made things click for you as a unit?

Lewis: Facebook brought us together. Hobi and I hung out at a couple of 
Life's Blood rehearsals. (Back in the day.)
We thought they were a great band but weren't close friends with them or anything like that. All these years later we started talking to Jason on Facebook and the idea of doing a record came up.
We went through two drummers before finally having Andy from 

Altercation / Supertouch / Absolution get the job done. Things clicked with him, I think, because he has the same point of view. He's from the same scene, influenced by the same bands.

James: What made you decide to add different elements and sounds as opposed to doing a straight up Hardcore band?

Jason: My voice has changed considerably over the years, as I have lived in Texas, 
Louisiana, and here in Georgia for many years. There’s an unmistakable twang in my vocals now. It’s funny how one’s ear changes over time. New Yorkers now sound nasal and gruff to me, and I don’t notice the softer, Georgia accent at all, as it’s what I’m accustomed to in my home. I plum disremembered how to speak Yankee. So, you have my country and blues influence on the music – which is subtle on the EP but the careful listener will notice elements of Old Hank, Jerry Lee, and Leadbelly in my lyrics and vocals.
Then you have the more obvious metal influences, which one should expect from men who grew up listening to Iron Maiden. The LP we have planned will be more musically diverse. It’s still going to be very much hardcore, but we hope to record a really amazing song Hobi wrote which is nothing short of his masterpiece, more of Lew’s metal-worshipping bass, and I may even play guitar on the punk-blues-blasphemous-gospel songs that seem to come to me in my dreams down here.

Lew: We're just trying to play music that we'd like to hear, drawing on all the music that's influenced us throughout our lives, in this case mostly hardcore and metal. We're all experienced musicians and we set out to do something that was absolutely not half-assed.

James: What led you to choosing Freddy Alva's resurrected label Wardance? What are some of the bands future plans?

Lew: Freddy made the offer and we accepted immediately because he's not only an old friend, but one that has made a lot of value contributions to the NYHC scene.

Jason: The rebirth of Freddy Alva’s NYC based Wardance Records and the formation of MyRifle are really one and the same. Freddy is as much as part of the band as any of us. One of the reasons it has taken us so long to deliver this EP is that we knew it would take a lot of work to be worthy of being a Wardance record.
The cover artwork for our EP, which will be reproduced for t-shirts available from Wardance, is by none other than Sean Taggart. Wes Harvey, who illustrated the Life’s Blood “Defiance” cover has been drafted to come up with something amazing for the LP. Friends of ours who work in film and television are at work on videos for our songs, which should manifest in the usual places, YouTube, Facebook, and possibly this new Google +.

James: Jason, you mentioned an LP. How far down the line are we talking?

Jason: We have never stopped working on songs and easily have enough material for an LP. It is just a matter of everyone finding the time to rehearse and record. 

I am planning on recording with the band for the LP and may play some backing guitar as well.

Lewis: We've got some music we'd like to work on at some point but it's impossible to predict if or when we'll ever complete an LP. We might work on some new tunes with Andy in the fall / winter.

James: It's been years since you've recorded. The digital age has brought a lot of changes to how we record. How is Andy helping to bring it all together?

Lew: I'm no expert on recording analog vs digital. But Andy, as I mentioned before, has the same influences, the same point of view, so we were pretty comfortable with him right away, and that allowed us to not settle for anything with which we were not completely happy. For a bunch of stuff that Hobi and I play on the record, we weren't even in the studio on the same day. Jason wasn't even in the same state when he did his vocals. He did them later in Georgia. But that kind of thing can be done with either analog or digital, so like I said I'm no expert.

James: What have been some of the stumbling blocks you've faced along the way? The cancellation of your show with Agnostic Front comes to mind.

Lew: Things not working with our first drummer. Things not working with our second drummer.
Being older, having more responsibilities, struggling to find time that each person could dedicate to the music, rehearsing, recording. We got booked on that AF show without truly realizing how long it would take, when the band lived in NY and our singer lived in Georgia, to get songs together. We weren't able to play that show and feel we were ready to make a strong impression.

James: In closing, is there a date on the release? How will you be distributing it and in what format will it be available?

Lew: The EP shouldn't be too far away. Test presses will arrive soon. Shouldn't be terribly long after that. Freddy, aka the mack daddy, will be taking care of distribution. It's gonna be a 7" EP.

MyRifle - Bandcamp

Wardance  Label

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