Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Off the Record with Ache Frontman Ryan Bland (Part I)

Whenever choosing an interview subject for this blog or any other outlet.
My approach has nothing to do with the agenda of a band, release date or approaching event. Honestly, it's never had anything to do with any deadline or time frame.
In doing United By Rocket Science, I've been given the chance to reach out and connect with people on a level that my own shyness or insecurities might not allow otherwise. Approaching Ryan was easy though. Having fronted bands such as The Bushmon, Home 33, Dead Serious and most recently Ache. Ryans aggressive stage presence and vocal approach are intimidating and downright animalistic. In person, it would be hard to find a more approachable, personable and real person. I originally approached Ryan about an interview shortly after I caught his band Dead Serious back in July 2013. For reasons unknown, I just never got around to it. In retrospect, I'm glad I waited. It's given me time to get to know him a bit. Time to step back, observe and learn. In Part 1 of what hopes to be a three part interview. I reached out to learn a bit about the music he's created both past and present. Here's what he had to offer. Thanks Ryan, James Damion

James: My first memories of you was your hanging from the ceiling pipes at The Pyramid Club with Home 33.
Can you tell me about how you became involved with New York City's underground music scene?

Ryan: I became involved with NYC Punk underground around 1988. My first real band was called Bushmon. We were basically a hardcore & Ska band. We were CBGB regulars from late 1991 until we played our last ever show at CB's in 1993 to a sold out crowd.
One band that always played with Bushmon was a Brilliant hardcore band called Opposition. When Opposition & Bushmon broke up some members from each band formed Home 33. Home 33 was where I really cut my teeth in NYHC. Sharing stages at early shows for bands like H2O, Earth Crisis, Candiria, V.O.D., 108, Downset, Madball, napalm death, NRSV, Fahrenheit 451 & many other greats! It was the 90's and the NYC underground was killing it!!!

James: There's been talk of a reissue of Jody's Coterie. How did the opportunity come about? Will there be bonus material or fun surprises?

Ryan: Yes!! Roger Lian
(who was the original guy who mastered the Home 33
"Jody's Coterie" album in 1995) & Me got into a conversation on Facebook. He told me my old band Home 33 was his first job. He got a lot of work after working on that record. He went on to mastering albums for Slayer, Candiria, Joan Jett, Pantera & countless crazy dope albums. I told him I wanted to make Jody's available as a free download to any one who would want it or remember it. So Roger offered to remaster The album. It's done & it sounds better than ever.
I'm super busy with my current band ACHE so the Jody's Coterie project is slowly but surely going to bleed some ears in the future. I also plan on a few other Home 33 recorded surprises when I get the time.

James: I remember how floored I was the few times I saw Dead Serious live.
The band seemed to have a lot of potential. What led to the demise of the band?

Ryan: Thank you very Much!! I was floored by Dead Serious too! I mean bloody on the floor in the pit!! Lol That was a blast! Raw & Punx as fuck. After the Guitar player Mark had to leave the band & eventually he moved from NYC. It wasn't really the same after that in my opinion. Mark took some of the fun with him. I also think after he left the remaining members started moving in different directions Musically. So we decided to do other bands.

James: While the demise of Dead Serious seemed a bit premature. It was the quick rise of Ache that seemed to take a lot of people by surprise. Can you tell me how the bands personnel came together and how quickly you were able to build the chemistry you seem to share?

Ryan: The Dead Serious drummer Ryan Seit & I wanted to stick together. Mattakins, my Ache guitar player was playing in NYHC band Abject! Matt & I were friends from hanging at his shows. He offered to help out Ryan & I until we found members for a new band. It just so happens Abject! breaks up soon after and Matt decided to stay with us & we all started ACHE. Rey Brutal our bass player has another band. He is the lead singer & guitarist for NYC Thrash band Bomb Scare. Rey & I became friends at Bomb Scare shows. I'm a huge fan of those dudes. So I feel super lucky to be playing with all these dudes in Ache.
All of us are real friends & it's nothing like making music with your real friends.

James: The demo received it's fair share of praise from numerous outlets. How do you feel about the bands official entry into the fray?

Ryan:  I think it's solid.
Stoked some people liked it! Hands down any credit for the demo goes to our Drummer Ryan Seit. He recorded & Mixed the demo. Not only is he a bad ass drummer but he's the man in the studio too.
He's currently preparing to record other bands so tell your friends and all that stuff. Word.

James: Is there a chance we'll see an Ache EP or album in early to mid 2015?

Ryan: Yes! We are writing an album & as of right now plan on tracking in January & February of 2015.

James: Unlike a lot of younger bands on the scene. Ache got out of their area code early on and played out of state with some pretty impressive bands. How did those opportunities come about?

Ryan: Mattakins, our guitar player booked us out of state. hands down my Favorite thing out of town so far was Boston for two shows. We played Boston Wreck center with
Opposition Rising & Foulmouth. They were all super nice dudes & everybody danced hard there. I appreciate the energy of the pit. It was a crazy bloody pit at one point. Females too, fucking shit up in the pit. I'm positive this one girl broke her nose. There was a lot of blood on the dance floor. Sick show.

James: Whenever the term Hardcore gets put into use.  The talk of family soon comes into play. Can you better explain that dynamic and how it's formed?

Ryan: Hardcore is absolutely my family. They excepted me as family. I was able to grab a Mic say anything on my mind. I had The chance to see other people express themselves in the same way. All the people I met in NYHC early on most of us didn't have a real home or a place that felt like home. We were truly angry outsiders making a home together.
These people became my sisters, Brothers so It's a feeling that you get in the community in the hardcore scene. It feels like family or blood relatives. I think if you haven't had that feeling at least once. I question you being a punk!!! Lol


Cicada Radio - Crime Waves EP

On Crime Waves, the bands third release to date. Kearny New Jersey's Cicada Radio continue to grow and evolve musically. The band, featuring brothers Patrick and
Michael Keefe, (Guitar/Vocals) Brandon Barren (Bass) and Josh Bartsch (Drums) have built a foothold in the New Jersey indie scene since 2010.

The EP features six songs that offer rewarding melodies and textures that sweepingly compliment and shape atmospheric, dreamlike vocal landscapes. There's a certain vulnerable urgency about Keefe's voice that makes Cicada Radio feel vital, yet easily accessible. Giving these songs a sense of intimacy while still remaining accessible to the listener. In each of the times I've listened to
Crime Waves. I've found myself drawn to a different song. While Carcosa opens the set with promise. The EP's fourth track Tomorrow is an absolute joy that brings together some of the bands best songwriting qualities.  The closer Mercenaries, which clocks in at a lofty 4:46 is as beautiful as it is boundless.

While the bands name and EP title might remind you of some of the punker leanings of many of the current Jersey acts. Cicada Radio seem to offer so much more. Being that this blog just around the time of Cicada Radio's first release Imposter. I feel as if i've grown up alongside of the band's sound and overall development. Looking back, it's easy to say they've taken a major step forward with each release. James Damion

Get it Here Killing Horse Records

Life Eaters - S/T (Killing Horse Records)

On Life Eaters impressive debut. The Jersey based five piece take the bull by the horns with hard rock bombast and punk rock intensity. The bands personnel, which reads like a who's who of the Jersey indie and underground music scene, forge a tight alliance that, from the outside, seem to possess great chemistry. Featuring Michael Sylvia (Killinghorse Records)
– Vocals, Romel Espinel ('¡No pasarán!')  – Guitar, John Gonnelli (The Rye Coalition,
The Black Hollies) – Guitar John Feuerbach –  (Décir Decir)  - Bass/Vocals and
Gregg Leto (The Rye Coalition) Drums/Vocals. These guys come to the table making a lot of fucking noise.

While the bands sound, approach and delivery can easily be traced to 60's/70's
heroes such as The Stooges, The Dead Boys and even The MC5.
More current acts such as
The Rye Coalition and Cold Fur seem to have heavily influenced the bands overall blueprint.

The twelve song banger opens with the screamer
I'm the one you Wanted. A song that enforces the Loud Fast Rules ethos of Punk Rock.
Searing vocals accompany relentless guitars and savage rhythms. The Life Eaters impress on all levels.
The pummeling continues throughout delivery scorching favorites such as Salt City, Lock it in, Atom Bomb and Government Kids. Overall Life Eaters deliver a perfect debut that stands as one of 2014's best, brightest and downright hardest. Lets hope they stick around for a long time. James Damion

Get it Here Killing Horse Records

Stuyvesant - Shmyvesant

Is it me, or do bands these days seem to take themselves way too serious. With all the competition, grabbing for press and campaigning for votes. The indie scene is beginning to look like it forgot to have fun.  Lucky for us we have Stuyvesant to balance things out by reminding everyone that making music is supposed to be a fun, creative outlet that makes everyone involved feel good and not worry about the daily pressures and bullshit life sends our way on a fairly daily basis. Like a reliable friend or a good, stiff drink. Stuyvesant never seem to let us down. Their music sticks with us through both the good times and the bad. They're always there to remind us of the good things. The simple pleasures. Whether it's through their hook laden melodies, their uplifting singalong choruses or maybe their incredible ability to allow us to be silly and just have fun, even it it's at their own expense. Each one of these qualities go a long way towards making Stuyvesant so accessible and endearing to those to us.

The bands latest, Shmyvesant marks Stuyvesants third full length release and the debut release for Al (Dromedary) Crisafulli's new label, Sugarblast Records. The record opens with Baby Bear.  A song that immediately puts the spotlight on those aforementioned hooks and melodies. More than ever before, I'm instantly reminded of how vital the combination of Sean Adams and Ralph Malanga's are to what makes this band so loved. As much as I've come to love their former bands Friends, Romans, Countrymen and Footstone.
It's nearly impossible to measure the improvement made when bringing the two together.
To say that they compliment one another would be, at the very least, an understatement.
The album seamlessly flows from one song to another, with tracks like Hellbent for Heather, Oatmeal Song, Shhh and Until You Came Around leading the way. Stuyvesant's effortless ability to create punk infused power pop melodies, hooks and sing along choruses make even the most jaded old curmudgeon sing along and dance with uncoordinated, wild abandon. Overall, Shmyvesant closes out a tough year on a high not and reminds us we we shouldn't rush to deliver those "Best of" lists. The more I listen and experience Stuyvesant. The more I realize how they are to the present what bands like Superchunk, Big Drill Car and ALL were to me in the 90's. Not a bad class to be included in if you ask me.
James Damion

Sugarblast Music  Get it Here

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Twas the Night After Christmas and Archie Alone was in the House. (AKA) A Show Review

I got to the Meatlocker just before 10:00 and as usual was greeted with a big hug from Ana. Talk about a good way to start the night. Since beginning this blog with Dave in 2011.
I've often questioned whether what I was doing was in anyway fruitful and whether what I was doing was... in any way, making a contribution. Thanks to people like Ana and many others. I've learned to never again feel that I'm not. I also feel that my being there lets the people who put on shows and the bands who play shows know how far their hard work goes towards fueling my passion.

This was my second time back at the Meatlocker since they've reopened and I think it's easy to say, I really missed it. While my initial feelings about Montclair's cavernous haunt were less than warm and fuzzy. I've come to realize how vital it is to bands both local and touring. Add to it the music scene that has thrived within it's concrete walls and you'll get nothing but praise from me. While the invitation had the show marked as 9:00 pm. I knew damn well that getting there any time before ten would be fruitless. By ten o'clock, the opening band was just beginning to set up. I couldn't help but notice the monstrosity being built before me.
By far, the biggest cabinets and amps I've seen outside of any club smaller than Irving Plaza. While I had never before heard Forever Losing Sleep. I was quickly wondering if leaving my ear plugs home was an epic mistake. By 10:40 the band finally realized they were actually there to open a show and things got started.

Judging from the time to prepare and rather colossal size of their gear. I guess I was expecting some ear shattering Motorhead meets
The Melvins ear drum torture. The truth however, would be found elsewhere. To say my first taste of Forever Losing Sleep left a lot to be desired would be the understatement of 2014. A forty minute set up time for three or four songs seemed to be incredibly unnecessary. And while a lot of people there seemed to like them. I myself, was underwhelmed. Being an old fucking man.  Chances are I won't have the same musical tastes as the teenage girls in the room.
To each their own. What seemed to lessen my appreciation for the band was the fact that the lead singer often kept his back to the crowd while the rest of the band seemed to face the walls.
As their set came to an early end. I quickly reminded myself it could have been a lot worse.

Thank God for Control, because they were the wake up call I needed most at the time.
Another band I had no prior knowledge of.
This one, however, took things to another level. Bombastic, kick out the jams music with a lot of energy, intensity and stage (okay, dirty concrete floor) presence. The Jefferson, New Jersey play chaotic, yet still melodic post core with efficiency and a great deal of energy. Mike and Michelle do a great job sharing both guitar and vocal duties.
While Paul and Kathleen steer the bands rhythms with a certain fierceness that kept everyone in attendance happy they showed up.
Though this was my first taste of Control. I wholeheartedly hope it's not my last.

Next up was Philadelphia's Glassgrade. To watch them setting up on stage you would think they had taken the wrong exit on the garden state and somehow decided to stop in at the Meatlocker for directions.
To say these kids didn't look the part of your average Punk band would be an understatement. Chess club? Yes. Yearbook staff? Yes. Insanely good Punk band? Not a chance. Lucky for myself and  everyone involved, My assumptions and prejudgements were about to become historic buffoonery.  The band almost immediately put the crowd on notice. Like the band Control and Forever Losing Sleep before them.
The band stepped off the stage and into the crowd. The whole scene made me feel as if I was in a DC basement in the mid to late 80's watching the Revolution Summer being born. Though most attending might have little to no idea of just what the fuck I'm talking about. Let's just say it's was special, real and tight knit. Much like Amhurst's Shakusky sparked something special in me earlier this year. Glassgrade wrapped up my years end in a big fat bow. The energy this band gave mixed with the crowds reaction was pure gold.
The kind of thing that takes you from the bottom of your heals to the tip of your toes.
Great stuff.

Closing the night was the newly reconfigured Archie Alone. The Sussex County Punk act has been a solid favorite since the Spring of 2013 when they played alongside the band
Moon Tooth at Clifton's Dinbatz. Since then Archie Alone has become a permanent feature on this blog due to countless shows and  emotive, high energy sets that fuel and passion to get off the couch and feel alive. When I originally heard the phrase
"This will be our last show in a long time." a while back. I couldn't help but wonder if the band was about to call it quits. Imagine my glee when I learned that the break would not translate in to a break up. Instead, the band is moving towards a more defined sound.
Perhaps the most notable change sees the departure of rhythm guitarist Pete Lapore.
The band will move forward with the bands singer
Nicole Mesce becoming
singer/ guitarist Nicole Mesce. Often time, when a band changes personnel or it's singer suddenly gets straddled with an instrument. The change can take time to coalesce.
Often time failing to do so.
On this particular night.
The band didn't seem to miss a step. While their set followed the somewhat abbreviated nature of the bands it followed. Things sounded great on these ears and those in attendance. Things are looking good for Archie Alone. One can only hope that enough people take notice and make an album a top priority for early 2015. Here's to looking forward to good things. Until then. James Damion

Friday, December 26, 2014

United By Images; Chambers (Old Love)

I was standing outside of ABC No Rio when I managed to start a conversation with Jim Testa of Jersey Beat. For whatever reason Jim seemed to know me. So when I enquired about the possibility of becoming a contributor. His response,
"We'll, I don't really cover much Hardcore."
though predictable, irked me. Looking back, I felt that somehow, a lot of people saw me as this one dimensional "Joe Hardcore" character more than twenty years after I last produced an issue of my short lived fanzine. One who was still referred to by many as James Unite. 

Regardless of any preconceived notions Jim might have had. I assured him that my interests in music lay far beyond that of any genre or sub genre labeling. Before long, my pestering paid off and Jim handed me my first assignment.
An interview with New Jersey Hardcore Metal act Chambers. While I had no prior knowledge of the band. I had their brand new album "Old Love" and two consecutive shows to help me get familiar. The first night I headed to Clifton's Dingbatz to see the band perform with the mind blowing
Tiger Flowers and a host of others.
What impressed me most about Chambers and singer Dan Pelic in particular, was how they took on the lazy son of a bitches who were too busy to leave the comfort zone of the bar. Chambers were one of the rare acts there, or anywhere else for that matter, to bring it to the crowd. Dan leaped from the comfort of the stage and got in the face of everyone while challenging those at the bar to make the price of admission worth a damn.
Before the end of the night. I had two new bands to cheer for and an interview set up for the next at Maxwells.

Aside from getting to experience some new music. The guys in Chambers were aces and the interview turned out to be the first of many collaborations with Jersey Beat and Jim Testa.
I also look at my interview with the band as a moment where my exposure to music and in particular, the NJ music scene began to broaden. Great thanks to Dan Pelic, Gregg Kautz and Vinnie Fiore for making my first assignment so enjoyable.
James Damion

Friday, December 19, 2014

United By Images; Thursday (Geoff Rickly)

I was heading towards the cashier when "Understanding in a Car Crash" came over the speakers. I remember mentioning to the cashier how it reminded me if The Smiths had gotten together with Quicksand to make a baby.  Though I don't remember the cashiers response. I picture the counter persons eyes rolling to the back of his head as he thought 
"Why me God? Why me?" I added  Full Collapse to a stack that included Johnny Cash
and Tupac Shakur and headed home.

A few weeks later I was asked by Karen at Define the Meaning (RIP) to cover Thursday,
Rise Against and Circa Survive at Atlantic City's House of Blues. That night my wife and I had a huge dinner, hit the slot machines and watched a bunch of kids go nuts over Thursday. It was a great show and our first trip to Atlantic City since moving to New Jersey.
We've since returned for weekend jaunts, music and good food. While Rise Against continues to shape and inspire me till this day. Bands like Thursday and Circa Survive quickly greyed and faded from memory. Geoff Rickly has since formed the band
United Nations while co-founding the independent record label Collect Records.

Looking back, I was just grateful to be given the opportunity to,  not only cover the show, but to test my skills at one of the larger venues. 
James Damion

Friday, December 12, 2014

United By Images; Vision (Up Close)

Though New Jersey's contributions to Hardcore often lie in the shadows of
New York's storied history. The garden state's contributions to the genre are just as colorful and numerous as that of their neighbor to the east.  While bands like Adrenalin O.D., Underdog, Hogans Heroes, Supertouch, Turning Point, Lifetime and The Bouncing Souls immediately come to mind. Vision was one of the first that connected with me on more than one level. While the band would rightfully find it's place amongst the many NY/NJ Hardcore matinee in the 80's,  90's and beyond.. It was their D.C. / Dag Nasty hooks and melodies that I found inspiring. Decades after I got my first taste of Vision at a CBGB's Sunday matinee. I'm still stuck on those hooks, break and rhythms. In the handful of times I've seen them in recent years. They've never made me regret gassing up the car and making the trip south.
A band that, without a doubt, has stood the test of time.


Debuting the new feature "United By Images" with Vision makes a lot of sense to me.
Having grown up in New York and eventually moving to New Jersey. In some weird way,
I feel I've come full circle. James Damion

"You never thought about the consequences. You never thought at all. I never thought you'd be the one to ever take the fall." Falling Apart

Dave Franklin
Nathan Gluck
Peter Tabbot
Vin Villanueva

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

United By Rocket Science Announces A New Weekly Feature; "United By Images"

Welcome to the blogs new addition, installment, feature United By... Images.
Each week I plan of featuring images from a specific artist or band I've photographed over the years. After weeks, months and even years of trying to decide what to do with the endless array of music I've shot over the years... Each week these pictures will be highlighted by band profiles, background stories and anecdotes. In the spirit of community, I'm more than willing to feature the work of fellow photographers and show goers.
Those interested in contributing can leave a reply here or email me at
Until then, stay focused. 
James Damion

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Looking Back; An Interview with Drummer Samantha Maloney

Samantha Maloney is just plain Bad Ass. A graduate of the New York School for Performing Arts, she first earned praise as the drummer for New York Post Hardcore favorites Shift. 
She was later invited to fly out to the West Coast to play with Courtney Love and Hole. 
Since moving to California she's kept the beat for rock legends Motley Crue and one of my favorites The Eagles of Death Metal. Since this interview she has become the host for 
Mania TV's All Access where's she's interviewing some of the biggest names in the Rock World. Be sure to tune in every chance you get. JD.

James : How old were you when you first started drumming? 

Photo; Stephano Galli
Samantha :
I Think I was about 12 or 13 when I first became interested in drumming.
I know It was after I heard a cassette tape of "Appetite for Destruction" on my friends boom box on a porch in Queens one summer night.
I remember that as clear as day. At the same time my parents took a chance and invested in a little thing known as cable TV. It was then that I became a MTV Headbangers Ball addict on Saturday nights.
My life had changed as I had known It. 

James : What was your first band? 

Samantha : I am horrible. I don't remember the name. I was in Sam Ash in Queens buying some drum gear when I was 14 or 15 and was approached by some boys from the neighborhood who were starting a rock band. They asked me to jam with them.
We rehearsed in my basement. I wish I could remember what we called ourselves. I am sure it was a fantastic first. I am proud to say that, when I get recognized as the drummer for Shift. I grin from ear to ear.

James : Shift was one of my favorite bands. I still listen to them regularly. I've even included "Best Song I Ever Wrote" in my DJ set. Can you tell me about some of the bands finer moments? 

Samantha : Thank You! It is so interesting that Shift keeps getting brought up lately in my life . Maybe it is time for a lil reunion? Ha!. I am proud to say that when I get recognized as the drummer from Shift, I grin from ear to ear. It means more to me than any other band I have ever been a part of. Shift was my first "real" band. Finer moments.. Um.. There were so many moments.. For us it was so great to play shows with bands we had at the time looked up to like Burn, Quicksand, Into Another, 108, and even the Foo Fighters. I remember when our Bass player Brandon stuck his finger in an industrial sized fan at the Tune Inn in Connecticut and was cancelled.. He is lucky to have that finger today . Or when Brandon would randomly jump out of our van while it was moving.. he still has his legs.. those were Brandon's less than finer moments. 

James : You went to New York's School for the Performing Arts. I can imagine that was an amazing experience. I was wondering if you ever had a moment when you spontaneously burst into song and dance on the streets of NY like in the movie or the TV show. 

Samantha: I found myself doing more of a Mary Tyler Moore thing of flinging my hat in the air into oncoming traffic on Amsterdam Avenue everyday when school was over.
Actually.. Fame it is also known as.. Is an incredible high school and I am very proud to say I went there. 

James : How did the opportunity to play with Hole come about? 

Samantha :
Shift had some downtime in May of 1998 . We had just got off the road and had another album to make with Columbia records. I got a call one night from my rep at Zildjian, my cymbal sponsors. They said that in 3 days Hole was auditioning drummers and asked if I would like to audition for the gig. If I did, I would have to fly to LA . and learn the first 3 songs off of their album "Live Through This". Problem was I had never heard that album. (Side-note: To this day I don't even own a Nirvana album! .. anyway..)
I ran to tower records on West 4th in the village that night.. bought the album to see if I even liked the music.. and was blown away at how good the album was. I thought ..
"Well.. let me just audition.. what do I have to lose besides 600 bucks on airfare."
So I flew to LA 2 days later. And I got the gig that night. They had auditioned over 20 girls and chose me.. took me to lunch the next day, and asked me to fly out the next week
(on their dime this time of course) to be in their video for their first single off of Celebrity Skin. Problem was .. I was still in Shift. So I had to decide what to do. And at that time I thought it was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. And and as bittersweet as it was, the boys in Shift ultimately agreed. 

James: I really like Courtney for some reason. It's like slowing down the car to see Is she really as crazy as she seems to be? 

Samantha : Do I really have to answer that? I think you probably know the answer. 

James : What about Motley Crue. That seems like an insane situation. 
Did you get the feeling you were joining the circus? 

Samantha : Motley Crue was my childhood fantasy come true. I used to play along to their albums in my basement in Queens and 10 years later I was onstage.. in the band! It was an awesome experience. I was 24 and living in a dream. 

 James : You stepped into some big shoes. how long did it take before you felt you were accepted by both the band and the fans? 

Samantha :
You know what they say about big shoes........ big socks.
What is so funny is that I met Tommy when I was playing in Hole. He came up to me at a Howard Stern Penthouse party in NYC I was at one crazy night after a
Depeche Mode concert at The Garden and told me that I had beat out his sister in the Hole Audition.
I had no idea his sis played drums. And to be recognized by Tommy Lee... I was floored...
he knew MY name! Motley and Tommy were completely accepting of me being in the band.. They asked me to play for them.. And as for the crowd.. well it took one or two songs before they realized.. holy shit.. this girl CAN play. VH1 did some documentary about it.. and to see the fans reactions before and after the show was hilarious. Fans were skeptical that a girl could pull off Tommy's parts. 

James : Eagles of Death Metal are so amazing live. I saw the band with Joan Jett in New York City and recently in California with Queens of the Stone Age. I love his interaction with the crowd and how he makes the audience feel so special. I was wondering how much of that stage persona is a show and what's real. 

Samantha : EODM is such a fun band to be a part of. Their nickname for me is
"Hot Damn Sweet Sam". I played with them for about a year. As far as lead singer Jesse's stage persona.. that is all him. ALL THE TIME. 

 James : You moved from NYC to L.A. not so long ago. Is that working out for you? 

Samantha : So far so good. I miss my family dearly and miss pizza and bagels extremely.... but other than that.. I am living the good life out here. (Jokes) You know: the basics.....
Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll.. fast cars, fast men, fast money.. fun in the sun. California gets a bad wrap. But I tell people .. its all about your friends.. your friends are your family out here.. so choose wisely. And they say that out here it is all who you know. But some also say...
It's all about who knows you. 

James : What do you miss most about N.Y.C.? 

Samantha : Family, Friends, My peeps from the hood, Bagels, Pizza, Century 21 (the store) ,The four seasons (not the hotel), the train, WKTU.. Freestyle music, NYC street style .(I am generalizing.. but...seriously.. California girls spend shit tons of money on bullshit clothes and have the worst style.) Blimpie, Chinese Food, Zeppoles, Manny from Glassjaw, Josh Swank from E Circuit, Leeway, Hardcore, Sick of it All and The good ol'e days. 

James : Any advice for musicians looking to get into the ugly business of rock n roll? 

Samantha : Don't do it!!! Unless there is nothing in the world you can imagine yourself doing. And you better have the chops and skills to back it up. This is unlike any other profession. There are NO guarantees. There is no money unless you hit it big and work your ass off. You must learn everything about the business. You need to surround yourselves with people that are in it that are already successful . Then you learn from their success as well as their mistakes and failures. Believe me.. I'VE LEARNED FROM THE BEST. What to do.. and more importantly what NOT to do.. And only the strong survive. (didn't biohazard say that?) And you need a bit of luck too. But you only get lucky when you've worked very hard.

Samantha Maloney

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bratmobile - Pottymouth

Inspired by it's cover, my recently awakened love for Kathleen Hannah's Bikini Kill and the opportunity to hear a long forgotten 90's band for the first time. I ordered a copy of Bratmobile's Pottymouth.

Pottymouth features that all promising cover I mentioned, is pressed on pink vinyl and includes a download card for the album which offers four digital only bonus tracks you won't find elsewhere.

Originally released in 1993 on Kill Rock Stars. Bratmobile were major players on the
North West indie scene and an important part of the Riot Grrrl movement. Influenced by both Punk and Grunge. They took their influences and made a name for themselves. Though a number of steps behind on the musicianship skill level. Bratmobile's sound and message can easily be compared to acts such as  Bikini Kill, Sleater Kinney, L7 and Babes in Toyland. Now, twenty plus years after it's initial release. Pottymouth gets the reissue treatment.

While I'm probably in the minority here. I found Pottymouth to be one of the least rewarding and most disappointing listens in recent memory. Wolfe's vocals are so grating and out of tune, they almost welcome the sound of nails on a chalkboard. Add to it the rudimentary musicianship the band displays, a gag enducing cover of the Runaways Cherry Bomb and you have a reissue that time should have long forgotten. As one song led to the next, I found it's bitterness harder and harder to swallow.
Honestly, I can't imagine recommending this to anyone aside from the most die hard fan or tin eared listener.
If I can take anything positive out of my experience. It would note that listening to Pottymouth made me very angry. And if that was the initial intention, I'd declare it a success.
James Damion

Kill Rock Stars Get it Here