Richie Birkenhead of Into Another & Underdog Interview

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“From the start, people either loved or hated us. I never let that fact affect me. We weren’t trying to conform to anything.”

Most musicians are primarily known and associated with one particular band or project. While artists often do multiple creative projects, it’s rare that there is any question as to what their supreme achievement is musically. Richie Birkenhead is an anomaly in this regard. Birkenhead lent his unique vocal skills to two incredibly influential and extremely different projects stylistically – Into Another and Underdog. This is not even to mention the fact that he played guitar for probably the most renowned straight edge hardcore band not named Minor Threat when he spent time in Youth of Today. Once Richie got behind the mic with Underdog, his vocals were a game changer to say the least. Underdog played a hardcore punk style that had an aesthetic that reflected their strong roots in skateboarding and even added elements of reggae later which few punk bands aside from Bad Brains had experimented with at the time. Chuck Treece, professional skateboarder and Bad Brains collaborator would even play with the band towards the end of their existence.

After a relatively brief time in Underdog (1986-1989), Birkenhead decided to it was time to change things up and formed Into Another in 1990 with former Youth of Today/Bold drummer Drew Thomas and two other members who were unknown to the hardcore world in guitarist Peter Moses and the late bassist Tony Bono. The sound that the band would create saw Richie going even further out there and exploring his vocal range than he did in Underdog to say the least. The label, Revelation Records, was the same but the music was not…at all. Into Another is usually categorized as “post hardcore” for simplicity’s sake but elements of prog rock, and metal are also extremely present. The band’s foray into a new musical universe would alienate many Underdog fans but gain them enough acclaim after two full lengths to sign to a major label, Hollywood Records, in 1995 where they would release one full length and never officially release their last LP. Their song “T.A.I.L.” would hit #39 on the mainstream rock chart in 1996 but they would break up in 1997 leaving Soul Control as an unreleased LP. They reunited in 2012 for the Revelation Records 25th Anniversary fest in Pomona, CA and have become an active band once again playing shows occasionally and releasing an EP titled Omens in 2015 which is actually quite great.

Many may not know that you played in a “neo-rockabilly” band called the Bel-Airs in your teens that played with The Cramps and The Gun Club. Tell me about your involvement in that band and how it gave you a foundation for future projects.

From a very early age, I had an extremely broad scope of musical tastes. While attending high school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a close friend of mine named Harry Powell and I discovered that we shared a love of early rock ’n’ roll/rockabilly artists like Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Elvis, Johnny Burnette, Billy Lee Riley, etc.; and we also loved the Cramps and other contemporary “psychobilly” bands. I wrote a bunch of songs, he and I found a bassist and drummer, then we played our first show opening for Modern English somewhere in New Jersey. After that, we played a bunch of shows in places like the Peppermint Lounge, Mudd Club, CBGB, the Ritz… as well as parties and the Stuyvesant High School gym.

It seems as though Underdog was one of the earlier bands to incorporate a skateboarding aesthetic into their music. Is that accurate and were there any other bands around that time that were doing it that influenced you? What were your the most influential skaters and bands to you at that point when the band was starting?

Well, the band that morphed into Underdog – The Numskuls – started in ’84 and at that time there were quite a few “skate punk” bands, such as JFA, Aggression, The Faction, etc. in existence. When the Numskuls formed, I was into Negative Approach, Minor Threat, SSD, Murphy’s Law, AF, The Misfits, Black Flag, Circle Jerks… Way too many bands to name. Favorite skaters included Alva, Duane Peters and Neil Blender.

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Please tell me about some of the craziest/most memorable hardcore (or even non hc) shows you saw in New York back in the day. That time is truly something that people my age and younger can only dream about experiencing.

Even though they’re two very different bands, every Cro-Mags show and every Murphy’s law show back then was memorable, to say the least. My very first hardcore show was Bad Brains in ’81. That, obviously, was life-changing.

Every era has bands that were quite a big deal in the moment but become forgotten over time. Are there any NYHC bands of the 80s that you would like to share that fall into this category?

I loved Reagan Youth, The Young & the Useless, the Nihilistics and the Mob.

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Take me through the thought process of ending Underdog to start Into Another. Was it out of boredom with the limitations of hardcore punk (even though you added elements of reggae to switch it up) or was it something else?

Not really boredom as much as stagnation. I just felt as if I couldn’t express myself as wholly or as honestly as I needed to. It was just time to explore.

When Into Another starting releasing music/playing shows, I’m sure there was a lot of backlash from Underdog fans who didn’t comprehend the new sound. What was that like? Did you see it more at the beginning or when you took the Into Another sound even further away from hardcore punk on later releases? I imagine it was a shock for an Underdog fan to hear “For Lack of a Better World” for the first time.  

From the start, people either loved or hated us. I never let that fact affect me. We weren’t trying to conform to anything.

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What were the major influences for Into Another? You guys have to be one of the most unique sounding bands ever. Was there a moment that really sparked you to do some different than what Underdog was doing?

There weren’t conscious influences. I grew up voraciously devouring the best of pretty much every musical genre. Drew and I loved a few artists in common — punk, obviously – but also Bowie, Queen, Pink Floyd and many others.

How did your expectations match up to reality as Into Another signed to a major label?

I’ve never entertained expectations. I just created and forged ahead. Obviously, I would have loved some things to have gone further and gotten bigger. C’est la vie.

What were the coolest moments looking back on Into Another’s major label time? Any people you met, bands you played with, things you did that just seem crazy to think about now?

I don’t really separate the “major label period” from the indie. It was all great. They were most artistically rewarding and cathartic years of my life, those Into Another years. Coolest moments include every Wetlands show and every Salt Lake City show.

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Tell me about how the “Splinters” video came about and what the inspiration for it was. Such a 90s video in all aspects!

Well, it was semi-tongue-in-cheek, really. My friend Noah and I conceived of it, and did some laughing in the process. Some of the camera movements were inspired by the Evil Dead movies.

You wrote some solo material after Into Another. Any plans to do more shows and/or release new music? That EP (never officially released) is great and I really am moved by some of those songs.

Well, I’ve yet to actually release any solo music. When life allows, I certainly will. The plan is to do a full-length Into Another release, and a solo album or EP.

Compare and contrast the reasons why you decided to bring back Underdog versus Into Another and how you feel about both existing once again in the present.

They’re such different beasts. Both reunions were inspired by loyal followers of each asking us to do it. With Into Another, it was also a burning desire in me to say/sing/scream a few more things.

You seem like you have a strong sense of pride for your hometown of New York City so how would you describe a perfect day in the city?

Other than simply walking around the greatest city on Earth… Central Park and one of the museums with my kids, then later either a concert at Lincoln Center or a Knicks, Mets or Jets home game.

What current music are you into?

I’m shamefully ignorant of new music. Today, while working, I’ve listened to Joan Baez, Black Sabbath, Bowie, Floyd, Slade, Stooges and Vladimir Horowitz (among a bunch of other stuff).

What are your plans for the future as far as new music and shows?

More of each!

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Thanks for doing this interview Richie. It’s an honor and thank you for “Two Snowflakes” because that is the most beautiful song ever!

Thank YOU, Kris!

Please follow Ice and I Zine on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook  to be updated when new posts occur. Interviews with Globelamp, Jane Pain, Mark Palm, Part Time Punks, Annex , Body of Light and Fear of Men are up now. Click Here to order issue #1 with the initial 6 interviews.

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Late Top Records of 2016 List / New Things Soon

So, I have been completely inactive on here for the past 6 months but think now is a good time to pick things back up…just maybe at a more leisurely pace this time. Anyway, I wanted to share my top 10 records of 2016 briefly and say that I’m working on some new things to come soon.

I now present to you my top records of 2016 a few months delayed but better late than never.

1. Marie Davidson – Adieux Au Dancefloor (Cititrax)

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Favorite Track – “Good Vibes (Mocking Birds)”

My favorite record of 2016 turned out to be one I didn’t even hear until early in 2017. Marie’s earlier releases were good in my book but really this one shatters everything she had done previously and takes her sound to new heights. I first heard the track “Naïve to the Bone” on a DJ set from her Cititrax label boss Veronica Vasicka and was instantly hooked when I figured out what it was. I would say she has just developed and honed her sound which combines spoken and sung words (sometimes in French as Davidson hails from Montreal) along with a heavily intricate mix of synthesizers and sequencers that could loosely be described as “synth pop” at times but much of the songs are quite different and more experimental in nature. She is a must see live as well. I only had to go to two shows that she wasn’t able to play in the end and drive 100 miles to a third show in San Diego to make it happen but it was entirely worth it.

2. Globelamp –  The Orange Glow (Wichita Recordings)

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Favorite Track – “The Negative”

This is a really powerful album for someone to create fully on their own. Haunting, dark, frantic, folky songs made by captivating solo performer Elizabeth le Fey. Her vocal qualities remind me of Kate Bush at times, which is not something I can say about many others. This record went largely unnoticed and that is a shame because it deserves so much more attention.

3. Andy Stott – Too Many Voices (Modern Love Records)

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Favorite Track – “Too Many Voices”

Well, this is the 2nd of the top 3 records of the year that I actually didn’t hear until 2017. Stott’s 2014 full length “Faith in Strangers” was quite a masterpiece that I wasn’t sure he could top but he easily did with “Too Many Voices.” Andy’s former piano teacher Alison Skidmore shines on vocals once again and he creates a similar reality to the previous record but it somehow feels more developed to me here.

4. Belgrado- Obraz (La Vida Es Un Mus)

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Favorite Track – “Raz Dwa”

Belgrado has done something that very few bands successfully achieve in my book – three great full lengths. They’ve definitely evolved their sound that could be loosely classified as post punk influenced by earlier Xmal Deustchland in a very perfect way. It seems as though they venture away from a more traditional post punk sound with each record and experiment with more minimalistic sounds but keep their signature sound intact overall. Belgrado is the best cohesive band going in the world in my book and they reinforce it with this record.

5. Puce Mary – The Spiral (Posh Isolation)

Favorite Track – “Night is a Trap II”

Power electronics perfected right here. Puce Mary is easily the most entertaining live performer right now if you are looking for intensity and pure anger. Fans of Maria Zerfall should not overlook this one.

6. Dunes – Bitter Charm (Negative Space)

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Favorite Track – “Sir Lady Java”

One of the best records of the year so far comes from a band who hasn’t even played shows outside of Southern California. Dunes has been making records I’ve enjoyed for a few years now but this one blew me away and is leaps and bounds above their past releases. Definite Siouxsie and the Banshees vibes on this record.

7. Powell – Sport (XL)

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Favorite Track – “Plastic”

London’s Oscar Powell makes music that is techno yet punk at the same time. After sampling Big Black on his earlier track “Insomniac,” it is clear that Powell isn’t solely influenced by synthesizer music. “Sport” is a record that really runs the gamut of vibes and has a little something for anyone that enjoys electronic music. He even enlists Jonnine Standish of HTRK to do some vocals on this record so how can it realistically not be awesome?

8. Puro Instinct – Autodrama (Manifesto Records)

Favorite Track – “Six of Swords”

The Kaplan sisters went five years between LP’s and changed quite dramatically in that period but this album was well worth the wait. Puro Instinct used to perform with as many as six members live playing traditional dream pop and have evolved more into a duo with stronger synth pop leanings.

9. Liebestod – Beta Male (Chondritic Sound)

Favorite Track – “Alpha Male”

Jesse Sanes is at it again with another gem of a release. Pure anger and insane industrial rhythms shine through on this concept album about a lone gunman driven to act by intense grief.

10. Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat to Earth (Mexican Summer)

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Favorite Track – “Can’t Go Home”

On the “Cardamom Times” EP, Natalie Mering blew me away with a moving, powerful solo record that sounded 50x larger than just one person primarily playing an acoustic guitar. She has expanded her sound to include more instrumentation on the new record but still kept things minimal and lets her voice be the prominent piece. Her vocals exudes so much raw emotion and it has a unique quality so that is a wise choice. This is the only record on this list that appeared on big blogs top records of the year and it was rightfully included.

Honorable Mentions:

Beverly – The Blue Swell (Kanine Records)

Favorite Track – “Crooked Cop”

NYC indie pop band Beverly’s second LP is just as good if not better the first one which I also loved. I first saw Beverly’s Drew Cintron performing with Frankie Rose a few years back and have been following her work ever since.

Fear of Men – Fall Forever (Kanine Records)

Favorite Track – “Sane”

A complete change in style from the more upbeat and fast-paced first full length “Loom” to a more dramatic vibe but it totally worked. Epic album from one of my favorites and the best current band from the UK.

Stay tuned for new stuff soon!

Fear of Men Interview with Jessica Weiss

 

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“We wanted this record to be more personal and thought more about the live dimension- the newer songs feel very powerful to perform.”

While picking a favorite band from England in the 80s or 90s would be quite challenging, Brighton’s Fear of Men are far and above the most impressive band from the nation since 2010 in my opinion. The indie pop trio formed in 2011 in a sort of unusual way while vocalist Jessica Weiss was creating soundtracks as part of her art degree program and a fellow art student and guitarist Daniel Falvey heard and was impressed with the recordings enough to ask her to form a band. They began by releasing a cassette and single in 2011 and added their current drummer Michael Miles in 2012. This trio has remained the consistent core of the band ever since. In February 2013, Kanine Records decided to compile three singles and the then unreleased “Seer” for a release called Early Fragments. They would travel to the US for the first time that summer to play FYF Fest. Their debut LP Loom came out in May 2014 and they followed it up with a US tour with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. After some down time while the band would rework their sound to add a more electronic element, the band released Fall Forever on June 3, 2016. The LP features a much more dramatic, serious vibe in slight contrast to the slightly poppier, more upbeat sounding songs (not necessarily lyrically) of Loom. This evolution makes for quite an interesting juxtaposition of vibes live when they switch back and forth from new songs to old ones and vice versa. Earlier this month they completed their first headlining North American tour with Puro Instinct and have a plethora of European dates scheduled for September and October.

I know you said you used to suffer from stage fright. Did you do anything in particular to overcome this? Do you still have bouts of anxiety when performing or are you fairly comfortable now? You have shed your guitar to perform the new songs live and just focus on singing (still playing guitar on the old songs) and I was curious if you feel that is something that demonstrates how you have settled in as a performer.  

I think the new songs feel a lot braver, which in turn allows me to adopt a more confident pose while performing them. I can still be pretty anxious, but I think it’s getting better. Part of this is learning to feel more ‘in the moment’ on stage, rather than getting caught up in my head, part of it is the supportive reactions we’ve had to the new record, part of it is probably just getting older?

How did you link up with Puro Instinct for your recent American tour? How did it go overall and was it different to play all these US cities for the first time as a headliner?

We liked their record and the music made sense, so we got in touch with them about touring. They’re very sweet and were fun to tour with. Doing our first headline tour was a dream. It was amazing to play the Bowery Ballroom and the Echo, and everywhere in between.

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You toured with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart on your previous US tour so you clearly know how to pick great bands to join you on the road. What are a few bands/artists that you would tour with in an ideal world?

We would love to play some shows with Japanese Breakfast at some point, also The National, Deerhunter, PJ Harvey. Angel Olsen.

Fear of Men essentially started as a result of soundtracks you created to accompany your short films in art school. Please tell me about your favorite film that you created and what types of emotions you wanted to convey with the music to it. Do you still work on films at times?

Not really… I write a lot and draw/paint more these days. I’d love to come back to it at some point. The films I was making were kind of abstract, almost hypnotic; I wanted to convey things very intuitively to create a world rather than tell a narrative.

It seems as though you are a big fan of museums based on some of your artwork and random social media posts. What is your favorite museum that you have visited and is there one you particularly still want to visit that you haven’t been able to yet?

I love the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford- it’s a very idiosyncratic collection of strange ethnographic finds. There’s a witch in a silver bottle, shrunken heads, a totem pole… I am very proud of the free museums in London too- the Tate and the British Museum in particular. All museums should be free and they are really wonderful ones. I always try to visit the Egyptian temple at the Met when I’m in New York, and I’d love to return to Egypt one day to see more things first hand in Situ.

You have basically had a revolving door of musicians fill out the live sound on bass/synth. Is that an intentional choice or just something that has happened out of necessity?

Fourth members have never written or recorded with us- they’ve always been talented people who have wanted to pursue their own projects at some point.

How would you personally describe the progression from the first record to the second both in terms of sound and lyrics? It creates an interesting live contrast to hear songs from both albums side by side since they have quite different vibes.

I’d describe it as naturally growing older, progressing, learning about ourselves and our instruments. It felt very organic. We wanted this record to be more personal and thought more about the live dimension- the newer songs feel very powerful to perform.

What is the process for a Fear of Men song coming together? Is it always the same or does it vary? 

It definitely varies- we try to put the song first, and just do whatever it takes to get it to a place we’re happy with. This often means lots of really different demo treatments, but the general way that we work is I write a skeleton song on my own, then we come together and work out what to do with it.  

Is there a song on Fall Forever that you are particularly proud of and why? 

I’m proud of the whole record, but I particularly love “Ruins” because it was one that felt very simple but very right and sincere, so we resisted the urge to add too much to it.

I’ve never been to Brighton, England so how would you recommend I spend one day in the city? 

I love it there so much. You should start with a Small Batch Coffee on the beach, having picked up a book to read from one of the second hand stores. Sit in the sun for a bit watching the dog walkers, then maybe go to the Booth Museum to see some strange Victorian taxidermy, then make some demos in a hotel room looking over the sea (I’ve never done this but I imagine it would be nice. Turner used to paint in a house overlooking Hove beach), meet some friends at the Bee’s Mouth for drinks and life drawing in the evening and maybe see who’s playing at the Green Door Store to finish your night.

What is something exclusively American that you wish you had over in England? 

The weather extremes- I love the climate in New York, for example, where the summer is so hot, and then you still get a lot of snow in the winter. The open personalities, maybe? On the whole, the British are a lot more stand offish. I’m the same, but sometimes it’s nice to experience the opposite.

What’s next for Fear of Men coming on the heels of the record’s release and first headlining American tour? Please tell me you plan to come back to the US soon!

We’ve got our UK and European tour coming up and then we’ll probably get back to writing, but we’ll be touring the States again with someone I’m really excited about in November.

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Check out Fear of Men’s website for updated tour dates: http://www.fearofmen.co.uk/

Please follow Ice and I Zine on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook  to be updated when new posts occur. I am updating regularly and the first print issue comprising the interviews with Globelamp, Jane Pain, Mark Palm, Part Time Punks, Annex and Body of Light is available now here.

Print Zine #1 Out Now!

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Well after about two months of work compiling the first six interviews, my zine is now available in printed format in addition to it being housed here at this url electronically.

You can purchase it here!

The zine is all in black and white and created copy and paste punx style. It is 50 pages so a ton of content essentially. I am charging just enough to cover costs.

Interviews with:

Globelamp’s Elizabeth le Fey
Jane “Pain” Chardiet of Appetite
Mark Palm of Supercrush/Devotion/Go It Alone
Part Time Punks’ Michael Stock
Annex’s Nikole and Migas
Body of Light’s Alex Jarson

I will start posting content from the 2nd issue later this week with my Fear of Men one. Stay tuned for more information on that and thanks for reading!

– Kris

 

Body of Light Interview with Alex Jarson

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“The world is a dark place. It’s falling apart, or so it seems. Fear has really done us in. The mythology we’ve built is growing, and leaders are running wild with half-truths. People want to believe in something other than themselves.”

Body of Light should be a name familiar to most who keep track of the synth pop music scene these days. The duo comprised of brothers Alex and Andrew Jarson hail from Tempe, Arizona and are strongly associated with the Ascetic House community of artists. While there are quite a few great music projects coming out of the barren desert wasteland, Body of Light are my personal favorites. I first saw Body of Light at the actual Church on York venue at the Pacific Pop Festival in 2014 and was blown away by them. That show seemed to usher in an era with a great deal of interest in both the Ascetic House and Posh Isolation collectives. Some have described them as an evil Pet Shop Boys (I can’t take credit for that) and I would be inclined to agree. They began in 2011 and have progressed towards a more pop-based structure over that time. Volunta Di Amore (2013 – Chondritic Sound) and Limits of Reason (2014 – Ascetic House) brought that sound to the forefront and they released their debut LP Let Me Go on Dais Records on July 29th. They recently did a good deal of touring in North American playing new material for the first time. Alex also does a solo project called Somali Extract which sees him experiment in different ways than with Body of Light.

Please tell me a little more about the Ascetic House community and how it came to be. What were the reasons behind forming it and how has it evolved over the years? Any new projects we should keep an eye out for? 

For me, it was boredom, the need for growth… self-loathing and learning, and experiencing a slew of coincidences that brought us all together. We’re all friends with a long history, and we’re all heavily into many different art forms. New stuff is continually coming out. Please stop by wherever we’re at next and grab something you haven’t heard or seen before.

It seems like Ascetic House and Posh Isolation are two tight knit communities. Would you say that is an accurate statement? 

Definitely. True allies til the end.

Do you think growing up in a small music community impacted your development as a musician differently than it would have if you had grown up in a place like Los Angeles or New York?

Well, it’s hard to say because I don’t really have the context of growing up and going to shows in LA and New York. The scenes around the globe are so intertwined now. In Arizona, going to shows, spaces, and having friends who wanted to try new shit was so important and is 100% why I’m doing what I’m doing now.

I remember reading that you played in hc/punk bands earlier on in your youth just like everyone else basically. When did you start experimenting with electronics? Did you learn on your own or did you have a mentor?

It was in college when I first starting experimenting with electronics, but only minimally. But then I bought a synthesizer and a sampler, and some pedals. I started slow and made loops with my voice and some minimal synth drones. I banged on pieces of metal and recorded it. Pots and pans. I jumped into everything that pushed the boundaries of my perception at the time and I tried to mimic others’ techniques. I sold some tapes and got some confidence. I just kept recording until I started to really learn everything. The mentors were everywhere, all around me.

Was there one artist in particular that inspired you to start creating music as Body of Light?

There’s been so many. Coil is one of those bands that continually blow my mind. But all experimental movements that push the boundaries of their culture are inspiring to me. Henry Miller… A lot of the people that pushed me and inspired me are my friends and family.

Tell me about Somali Extract and how you are able to express yourself differently with that project. Are you working on a new record? Any tours planned?

I wanted something that really helped me push the idea of song structure and sound. Something not quite techno, not quite dance floor, like off kilter kind of stuff. You’re not going to grow as an artist if you don’t take some risks. Every record is a different entity and that’s what makes me so fond of keeping it going. Even playing live, it’s always different. Nothing is heavily structured. I have three or four records that I’ve finished. They should be out soon and then I’ll do a tour or two.

How do you and your brother Andrew contribute differently to Body of Light as a project?

It depends. Usually, it’s one of us who writes a drum part or bass line and we contribute until it’s finished. A lot of the core of the songs are written by ourselves and then we bring it back in together and work on it as a band.

Please tell me about how you got connected with Dais Records and your opinions on shifting to a label that can maybe give you slightly more exposure than past ones?

I’ve been listening to the Dais artists since the beginning. Like, I’ve been listening to Gibby and Ryan’s music since high school and college. It was just the right decision. They’re the best, the absolute best. There are so many incredible people involved with them too, so it felt like the obvious choice.

Outside of the artists that you are friends with, what have you been listening to as far as newer stuff goes?

YKO, Andy Stott, Burial. Anohni, The Pen Test, Field Agent, Draa, and Din. Posh, NON, PAN, Halcyon Veil. Too many good things out there to name.

What should those who haven’t heard the new LP yet expect? A progression of Limits of Reason or something quite different?

It’s definitely a progression. We’ve really pushed our songwriting skills. This was easily my favorite record to write and record, and totally eye opening. It’s heavier, darker, but poppier on some fronts. It’s got a unique sound to it and for that, I’m really proud of it.

The artwork for the new record is really great. Who created it?

Yeah, our good friend Collin Fletcher did the design and art for the record. It’s beautiful. He’s a genius and I’m excited to have him be a part of the record.

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Would you like to make Body of Light a full-time project or do you feel that would make it into more a job and lose some of its appeal?

At this point, it is full time. I mean, it is a job. It’s work. But it’s work I love doing so I’m willing to spend most of my life doing it.

Do you feel there is an overarching theme for your lyrical style or all over the place? Any areas you’d like to explore more lyrically?

Maybe. For this record, I think the message is try and have some hope. The world is a dark place. It’s falling apart, or so it seems. Fear has really done us in. The mythology we’ve built is growing, and leaders are running wild with half-truths. People want to believe in something other than themselves. But I really do think you have to find some sort optimism out of this whole experience. Even if it’s hard, like, we have to come together and make the most of it.

What are your passions outside of music?

I like movement and exploration. Film, sound, and visual art of all kinds. Anything that focuses on the truth.

Order Body of Light’s debut LP “Let Me Go” here and check them out August 21 at Complex in Glendale with a very sick lineup including Jock Club and Oil Thief!

Please follow Ice and I Zine on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook  to be updated when new posts occur. I am updating almost regularly and the first print issue comprising the interviews with Globelamp, Jane Pain, Mark Palm, Part Time Punks, Annex and Body of Light is up now for order!

Annex Interview with Nikole and Migas

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“We’ve lived our lives in notoriously cartel related areas, where music is really an escape for us. ANNEX play with a lot of emotion and our music and lyrics define that. One of our goals has been to get our message across to people who can relate to our settings or to just expose people to this part of the U.S. which is sometimes overlooked.”

Annex is a band that I initially heard because they released a record on Mass Media Records, a highly underrated label specializing in post punk, deathrock and the like, out of Southern California. Since that label’s catalog is typically solid, I checked out Annex’s Despues de VI  LP that was released in May of 2015 and was blown away instantly. The record is easily one of the best post punk records of any kind of the past five years in my opinion. Imminent Destruction Records handled the release in Europe. They followed the LP with a 7″ single titled “Silencio” on Occult Whispers in November 2015. The band hails from McAllen, Texas, a city on the southern tip of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley that is only a 15 minute drive to the US/Mexico border to the south and a four hour drive to San Antonio to the north. They play a style that combines post punk, deathrock and early 80s UK peace punk among other varied influences to create a sound all their own. This March they made it to California on their first West Coast tour and I was able to catch a flawless, intense set at Five Star Bar in Downtown LA. In early August, they will play the third annual San La Muerte Fest in San Antonio that features some of the absolute best bands going playing post punk including Brazil’s Rakta, Rhythm of Cruelty from Canada and Denmark’s Moth to name a few.

What five bands shape the Annex sound most strongly? There are certain influences that seem obvious but it would be great to get your take on it.       

Migas – Hey Kris! Thanks for inviting us to be in your zine. Our influences have always been our favorite bands in this genre since the beginning. We are influenced by many post-punk, gothic rock bands from around the world. Our top influences are Killing Joke, Xmal Deutschland, Musta Paraati, The Skeletal Family and Siekiera or Vex if it’s only 5 I can list. We try to capture that sound and make it our own with a modern twist. Everything we do and everything we love comes from the late 70’s early 80’s.

Nikole– As you can tell, we are definitely influenced by the harder sounding post-punk, gothic rock. That kind of sound just attracts us more. We all come from hc punk so a harder style is something that comes naturally to us. When Migas and I started ANNEX, we knew from the beginning that we wanted to be a little rougher and more punk sounding than other bands currently doing post-punk because we wanted to differentiate ourselves and create our own sound. I really like getting influences and turning them into our own. In a way, ANNEX is in honor to the pioneers who started it all.

Does being from McAllen, Texas influence your music in any particular way? Tell me a little bit about the city. Do you have to travel 4 hours to San Antonio to plays shows usually or are there are neighboring cities in Texas or Mexico that are conducive to that?         

Migas – Being born and raised in this segment of the South Texas (the Rio Grande Valley) area has had a lot of impact on our band as we are literally a 15 minute drive to the U.S./Mexico border. We’ve lived our lives in notoriously cartel related areas, where music is really an escape for us. ANNEX play with a lot of emotion and our music and lyrics define that. One of our goals has been to get our message across to people who can relate to our settings or to just expose people to this part of the U.S. which is sometimes overlooked. San Antonio, TX is about 4 hours from here and, yes of course, we need to do a little traveling to play shows outside of the South Texas because Texas is so big. Neighboring cities to play are Brownsville (still part of the Rio Grande Valley) and heading north is Corpus Christi, followed by San Antonio then Austin, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, etc. But all in all, we love to meet new people and travel as a band. It’s about being humble and being able to be successful no matter where you are from.

Nikole – One of my goals as a female that’s been part of the punk scene in the Rio Grande Valley for many years is to be an influence to other females in this area to go out and create music, regardless of the adversity we face being from a strong Latino/Tejano culture where we still face oppression on many levels. Now that I get to front a band, I hope I have made some sort of impact to other chicas in the area throughout the Rio Grande Valley, not just in McAllen, to make art in one way or another. Being from way down in South Texas has definitely created more of a challenge for ANNEX as opposed to other bands from larger, more well-known areas of the U.S. I think this type of difficulty has pushed us even harder and has made us closer in ANNEX. Every type of success is much more appreciated and, as Migas mentioned, we really don’t mind traveling and we realize we have to get out of our comfort zone in order to grow ANNEX. Also, South Texas has a beautifully distinct border culture and we sometimes joke that we just have that “flavor” other bands don’t!

Are there any other bands from McAllen or surrounding areas that people should take note of going these days?

Nikole – A personal favorite regional and relevant band of mine is Vivent Les Morts. They’re a 3 piece electronic darkwave band influenced by the likes of Skinny Puppy and Ministry. The guys in Vivent Les Morts have done so much for the darkwave/goth scene in the Rio Grande Valley and have really pushed to keep the scene going. They’ve always supported us and we always loves performing on the same bill with them. They even performed at last year’s San La Muerte Fest which was so rad for us to see them get some recognition that was way overdue.

It’s been about a year since you released your first LP. How do you feel about it now that it has had a chance to settle in and you’ve played a bunch of shows to support it?   

Migas – It’s been fun since our LP came out.  Lots of new faces always coming up and telling us how they really enjoy the record. Touring has really been great to us. I haven’t heard the LP in a while but when I do it always brings great memories. We are currently writing a 2nd LP that will hopefully be as successful.

Nikole– Hearing people’s reactions to the LP has been very positive for us. Although we do write for ourselves, it’s been fun to go out and perform our songs for people from all over the U.S. One of my favorite parts about performing the LP is the feedback we get after we get off stage! I think we are just very different from a lot of bands in the U.S. post-punk/gothic rock scene and bring a bit of diversity to the table. I still love performing every single song because they are all near and dear to me, yet I know we are all ready to move forward and keep writing new material which will be a continuation of the sound from our 7″ “Silencio” which followed our LP.      

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Migas

Did you learn anything in the process of recording the first LP, and even subsequent EP, that you’ll take with you when it comes time to write/record the next record?

Migas – We learned quite a bit on how to deal with gathering our thoughts as a band. Basically what happened with our 7″ is that we started playing those 2 tracks live and people started saying that they wished they were on the LP. We went into the studio in August 2015 and recorded for a second release on vinyl which resulted in our 7″ “Silencio”. It’s been hectic touring, throwing shows and recording all at once. But I know when we start recording for our 2nd LP later this year, we will all have a clearer mindset as whole because we’ll have more time to concentrate on the next release. We will be taking a break from touring and playing after August to focus on writing and getting into the studio. I have written 7 of the 10 songs that will be on the new record, so everything will come together as time gets closer.

What is your favorite song lyrically on the full length and what does it mean to you?

Nikole – Ever since the music for the first track off our LP, “Nostalgia”, was written, I knew it was going to be my top track. The music is just so dark, powerful and it sounds like it creeps into your soul, where memories are suppressed but linger and never really disappear. I speak for myself when I say that even when we perform Nostalgia live, I feel like it truly kicks off our set. It just sets off that emotion in me that makes me sing with a passion that I don’t really expose to many people. I wrote the lyrics in reference to letting go of the past and allowing some things die in order for one to move one.  “Assure yourself your war has passed / New comfort exists & this will last…& this will last / Forgotten those days, recollection spent, deprive your mind ‘cause you’ll never regret the ties we share – the lies – the air – death’s sometimes fair – the cross we bear.” This is really just about subduing feelings and memories…we move on, but do we ever really forget?

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Mass Media is a great label. How did you get to know and start working with them and how has that gone so far?

Migas – Mass Media Records is part of our family. They’ve been a great deal of support to me and the rest of the band. We goy into contact with them because of our Tribute song of Joy Division’s  “Day of the Lords”. We were featured on a compilation for CVLT Nation featuring many amazing, current bands that we all love and consider friends. Shortly after CVLT Nation released the compilation, we reached out to Mass Media Records and they really were interested in a full release for ANNEX.  We were in a good spot from then on. They have pushed our LP all across the country to many record stores and different labels. It’s hard for a d.i.y. band to do that alone. Being on a record label really gets all that pressure off of you. And we knew at that point we were on the verge of doing awesome things.  Nikole and Tricia (MMR) talk frequently, almost every day. Everyone in our band and the MMR family have a good relationship with one another.

Nikole – I really cannot think of a better label than Mass Media Records to work with. They worked with us really well on our LP which was a split release with Imminent Destruction Records from the U.K. I was literally overjoyed when we got the “O.K.” from Mass Media Records to move forward with an LP. MMR is just so on point with their releases, being focused on darkwave, peace punk, goth rock, post-punk bands. I feel like Migas and I relate to Cameron and Trisha on many levels and we just get along really well so we’ve just always been really thankful they gave us the opportunity that they did!

Did anything notably funny or ridiculous happen on your recent West Coast tour? I love a good tour story.

Migas – Yes! Well, on the last day of our tour, which was our 2nd time playing Portland on that leg, we had a drive to make from there all the way down to Las Vegas. The scenery was so beautiful and unlike anything we had really ever seen before. So, being that there is obviously a lot of desert in Nevada, we found ourselves on a quarter tank of gas and had a 60 mile drive to the nearest gas station. We were freaking out because it was 3am, almost pitch black outside with strange animal noises in the distance… and to top it off no one could get reception on their phones! By this time everyone who was asleep was well aware and ready to find shelter somewhere, or life, anything! We stopped at a gas station that was, of course, closed but had a house in the back yard. Everyone was trying to see if we could make noise so we could pump or ask for help. No one answered, so we knew we were going to have to make that 60 mile drive work. I don’t know how we did it, but it was crazy. We were on a race against time to fly out of Las Vegas at 12pm and we were still 10 hours out. We finally reached the gas station 60 miles out and pumped and loaded up on coffee. From that point on, it was 100 miles before the next gas station. That was insane, and I hope we don’t have to go through that again! Haha

You recently played with Modern English. How was that show and what are some bands from the 80s that you would love to play with, either realistic or unrealistic? 

Migas – It was a great show with Modern English. Very good, solid people. They put on a great show, their Mesh and Lace material is always the best for me personally. So to hear it in its entirety was beyond rad! Oh gosh, bands that I would definitely want to play with would be Paralisis Permanente with Eduardo in the band. Musta Paraati with Jore in the band and def Killing Joke 1979-1982 era. Those are dream shows that would be the best for me!

Nikole – Opening for Modern English was a pivotal moment for me in ANNEX being in the post-punk revival genre that we are in. It really opened my eyes and even though we had toured and had releases, things just got a lot more serious for me at that moment. Needless to say, Modern English was really, really amazing. One of the best memories from the Modern English show was watching their guitar player manipulate his guitar sound with his pedal board. Main reason being is that it really reminded me of Migas and his own pedal board which I know intrigues people when we perform live. Haha, while opening for Modern English, the power went out mid-song during out set! It was hilarious. The show went on and Modern was perfect that night. If had to choose a band to perform on the same stage with, it would definitely be Xmal Deutschland. Anja is my girl for life!

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What are some places you would love to place that you haven’t been able to yet?

Migas – There are many people from around the world that have offered to host us if we play in their countries. Right now we are still trying to figure that out. However, Puerto Rico, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile are areas we are planning on this coming year 2017. We are already in talks. It’s so hard to try and do everything all at once. We will eventually play other areas but as Latinos, we do want to visit other people who feel and love what we do and share our similarities. We want to give back to the people in countries that don’t have the resources to come out and see us play over here. We are grateful for anywhere we are able to perform and, to me in d.i.y., that is one of the things that keeps me writing and going in this band.

If you had to start a music project completely different than Annex, what influences would you like to explore?

Migas – Nikole and I have talked about doing a Synth wave/Dark wave project together as a duo. I am also a producer so a lot of my writing ranges from everything to Killing Joke to dance-y music. I’ve written a song or 2 as melodies for different stuff. For now, our main focus is to continue with this band and once we finish doing what we need to do with ANNEX, I’m sure Nikole and I will do something that is just about us.

Nikole – As musicians in the punk scene, we have kind of already done it all collectively so starting ANNEX was that next project and next influence we decided to delve into. I guess we’ll see what the upcoming years bring us.

I know you said you have a new drummer. Has the lineup of Annex remained fairly consistent since inception or has there been many member changes?

Migas – We do have a new addition to the band with Omar on drums now! There hasn’t been many line-up changes but basically, Arnold, our drummer for our LP and EP didn’t really have time to tour. And we knew it was going to be an issue, especially with the plans we see later this year—recording a new LP then touring in 2017 to promote. We felt like Omar was the right decision because he has been a longtime friend of ours, he already knew the songs and he’s a talented, dedicated musician. Having Omar in the band has made it much simpler for all of us. We are all on good terms with Arnold and he does wish us the best.

San La Muerte Fest is coming up soon and has a killer lineup. Who are you most excited to see and do you expect that to be one of the best shows you play this year?

Migas – San La Muerte does have a great line-up full of talent. I am most excited so see and finally meet MOTH (Denmark)! We are record label mates on Mass Media Records, so we have talked about meeting and performing together before. And not to mention, San La Muerte Fest will be their last show ever. I also want to see Masses (Australia) which is another band on Mass Media Records. They had asked us to tour together for this summer leading up to SLM Fest but plans fell through due to scheduling. Overall, there are a lot of good bands on SLM and should be a fun night to party and hangout

Nikole – This year’s San La Muerte Fest lineup is so amazing that is it kind of overwhelming! I feel like I could list every band as a band that I am anticipating to see but I will narrow down my list to Dead Cult (looong time fan), MOTH of course, Cold Complex, Rhythm of Cruelty, Masses, Otzi, and Slimy Member (TX represent!). & I REALLY want to dance to DJ Goth Mommy’s set… SLM 2016 will for sure be one for the books.

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Nikole

Do you have any new releases or tours planned at this point? What’s next for Annex?

Nikole & Migas – After SLM, we will take a break to continue writing and record our 2nd LP this year. We don’t plan on touring again until after we record and hope for our new LP to be out before we go to Puerto Rico in Spring/Summer of 2017. It’s really hard to play long distance places without merch especially since we keep selling out of everything. We might have another label re-press our first LP but that might take some time. We look forward to an even better year in 2017 and can’t wait to see how everything plays out! Thanks again for chatting with us, cheers Kris!

Follow Annex on Instagram and Facebook for updates.

Please follow Ice and I Zine on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook  to be updated when new posts occur. I am updating almost regularly and the first print issue comprising the interviews with Globelamp, Jane Pain, Mark Palm, Part Time Punks, Annex and Body of Light is up now for order!

Part Time Punks Interview with Michael Stock

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Photo by Dirty Snapshots

“And to this day one of the highest compliments I can receive is when someone says something like ‘omigod, I can’t believe THEY are playing!! I can’t fucking believe it! I thought it was impossible!!’…Because growing up, I really DID think it was impossible”

If a music community is to thrive and live up to its full potential, legitimate promoters/bookers are quite vital and sometimes underrated in importance. For those into post punk/shoegaze/dream pop/synth pop/etc in Los Angeles, there is no one who contributes more and has done so more consistently than Michael Stock who has been booking shows under the name Part Time Punks since 2005.

Every Sunday, Stock takes over the Echo, a 350-person capacity venue (occasionally the larger downstairs 800-person venue Echoplex) in Echo Park. The shows typically don’t start until 10-11pm and end between 1-2am but it is worth losing sleep and coming in to work groggy on Monday morning just about every time. Each show typically consists of three bands perfectly united by a genre theme for which Michael also provides a soundtrack to by DJing relevant music in between bands. Whether it is minimal snyth night, Krautrock night or twee pop night, you are sure to see bands making often rare LA appearances that will blow your mind. Part Time Punks also does themed dance nights such as The Smiths/Morrissey/The Cure/Depeche Mode and special events for New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day. Michael is also a professor by day, books Punk Reggae Party, where he DJ’s a soundtrack of punk, post punk and reggae, every Friday at La Cita in Downtown Los Angeles. Oh, he also does a radio show on KXLU, makes comic books and records band sessions. Michael Stock may book under the moniker “Part Time” Punks but he surely has been contributing “full time” to the Los Angeles music scene for the last 11 years.

You were born in the Midwest, correct? When did you move to LA and how did your upbringing impact your decision to contribute to the music scene of the big city?

I moved to LA in the late 90s — to go to film school at UCLA; specifically, grad school in Critical Studies and Film History, as the original plan was for me to dive right into a career of academia…  But yeah, I was born and raised in a tiny farming community in Eastern Nebraska. A dairy farm, actually, run by my father and his father and, uh, well me (as my father never gave me much choice in the matter).  Which of course was a life of misery for me, and starting at a very early age music was my only real escape (with comic books a close 2nd actually).  The farm I grew up on was about half hour from Lincoln — which is the capital, and home to the University Of Nebraska (and about 220,000 Husker Football fans).  HOWEVER it also meant there were a couple great record stores there and pretty much the entire handful of weirdos in Lincoln all worked there — including most notably Jeff Runnings (from For Against) who really set my tastes on the right (and very British path): 4ad, Factory Records, Creation… These record stores would get vinyl from all the great labels in that era AND even more importantly perhaps copies of Melody Maker and N.M.E., which I always inherited and was able to take back to the farm with me (after all the other weirdos at the store had read them).  This was my window to a world  of music that was changing every week, and would help guide me to which imports I absolutely MUST buy (using the money my father gave me working on the farm, and YES, milking those cows.)

In that era very very FEW bands ever came through Nebraska to play shows. The few that would dare swoop through the great barren plains of the Middle West would tend to play in Lawrence…or worse yet…play Chicago then Denver…and/or Minneapolis.  So to me seeing my favorite bands LIVE was always this great impossible thing. I mean I read about it; I saw in those British weeklies how many amazing gigs they were playing in the UK, but in Nebraska….very, very rare.  Looking back of course it’s easy to see how then booking my favorite bands to play would become such…well…such a fucking MISSION really. And to this day one of the highest compliments I can receive (and the sweetest) is when someone says something like ‘omigod, I can’t believe THEY are playing!! I can’t fucking believe it! I thought it was impossible!!’ That sort of thing.  Because growing up, I really DID think it was impossible — unless you got in the car and drove the 6 hours to Minneapolis or the 8 hours to Denver or the 10 hours to Chicago…which I did as a young lad, and managed to see bands like My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Slowdive, Lush, Cocteau Twins, Galaxie 500…even Oasis’ 1st US show  (at this restaurant in Minneapolis where Greg Norton aka the bass player from Husker Du was rumored to be working in the kitchen).

When you started Part Time Punks, did you set out to book a show every single week or did it sort of morph into that? Most promoters don’t book that consistently aside from those who do it as more of a job than a passion.

Originally it was just gonna be a night where me and my friend Ben White were gonna spin all these crazy post-punk records we were both recently obsessed with. Ostensibly a dance party…maybe. Though I’d never DJ’d a dance party before & had no real idea how the hell that even worked. (I’d spent about a year before this DJing in-between bands at places like Silverlake Lounge and Spaceland and The Echo — at a time when such a thing was unheard of; like, I would hafta explain how much cooler a show could be with music between bands that would actually connect with the bands playing — how it would be part of the nite; conceptually and creatively contributing to make the whole thing more of an event.  I remember explaining this to various promoters & club owners & them sitting there listening to me but looking at me like I was crazy until it came time for them to speak & the first question was always: ‘Uh…ok…but how much do you need to be paid???’ And I of course was like, ‘well just let me come to other shows when I want to & you don’t need to pay me in anything other than whiskey.  So THEN of course they were like ‘great! love the idea!’

Anyway…so the very 1st nite of PTP there were about 30 people there & I had to get into a yelling match with the bartender to let us stay open til 2am.  (He’s turned into a longtime pal now, this guy Joaquin, who owns/runs Little Joy; check with him & he will verify the story.)  Anyway, the next day it was Liz Garo (who books the venue the other 6 nites a week since it opened) suggested to me — hey, why don’t you try having a band or two play since you know so many of them, that way they will bring their fans too, and hopefully their friends will become your fans & that’s how the whole thing can grow.  This was of course a REVOLUTIONARY IDEA to me…and also at the same time like ‘duh, why the hell didn’t i think of that???’  So yeah, definitely quickly morphed into that.

And very quickly the booking part of it became my absolute favorite part of it. It’s like a constantly changing conceptual art piece, every Sunday. Piecing together 2 or 3 bands playing live along with a vinyl soundtrack to augment these bands before/between/after they’re done…plus projections…plus of course all the amazing and magical HUMANS who happen to show up that particular nite.

The only thing I love as much is of course the Part Time Punks radio show, which I’ve been doing every Thursday afternoon 3-6pm PST for over a decade now.  (With making all the poster/flyers for PTP coming in a close 3rd actually…which I make all myself in oldschool punk/collage style aka cut/paste/Xerox and NO fucking photoshop FYI.)

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You’ve booked some insane bands from Modern English to Clan of Xymox to Wire to Mark Gardener of Ride doing their songs before they reunited. What band are you most proud to be able to say that you booked? The most surprising one you pulled off?

Well, all the above of course. And I guess the most surprising ones to pull off were the shows that almost killed me — literally — ie, the bigger shows, the Fests or I suppose Mini-Fests is more accurate: the PTP Festivals of 2008 & 2009, the Frontier Records Nite, Dangerhouse Nite, Shoegaze Fest.

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I’m also very proud of the fact that I’ve booked the 1st-ever LA shows with most of my favorite contemporary bands –Nothing, Beach Fossils, Diiv, Wild Nothing, Mac Demarco, Craft Spells,Veronica Falls, Toy, Pity Sex, The Soft Moon, Ice Age, HTRK, Xeno & Oaklander, The KVB, Black Marble, Lebanon Hanover, Be Forest…..and the list goes on…(and almost all of whom have also done Part Time Punks Radio Sessions as well!)

Were there any bands that you attempted to book that fell through that would’ve been insane?

Yes…and sorry to be evasive here…but I’d rather not say because I STILL have my fingers crossed on these!!!!

Most interesting experience for you that has occurred at a Part Time Punks event?

That answer changes every few months actually! For 11+ years now! Constantly changing!

Have you ever attempted to play your own music?

When I was in grad school, I made a bit of noise with my best pals from UCLA, Slater & Jay….but it was very out there & mostly cathartic. Probably sounded more like The Fucking Champs or Slint/Unwound but with bad math skills.  I very quickly realized that I would rather enjoy other people’s music than try to make my own…

How many records do you have in your collection approximately? What are your most prized ones? 

Yeesh…uh…I really don’t know! Maybe 30,000? Maybe more? I’ve pretty much NEVER sold anything…so, uh, of course, these things pile up… Most prized ones? Um…..well most RARE ones would be the first singles by Orange Juice, Sea Urchins, Go-Betweens, Felt, Beyond The Implode, the Factory Sampler double 7″, Durutti Column 1st LP in sandpaper sleeve w/flexi, Lilys 1st LP, MBV ‘Loveless’ LP… But to be honest, the answer to that question probably changes every few months actually, whenever some sweet new score rolls in….

What is your best piece of advice for someone looking to get into booking shows?

Stay the fuck away from Sundays.

Were there any promoters who inspired you to get started? Are there any other promoters today that you admire today?

Well, of course my main inspirations and heroes are John Peel, Malcolm McClaren, Tony Wilson, Alan McGee (and I only got to meet the last 2 on the list there). But my other 2 main inspirations — who also continue to inspire me — are both based here in LA: Jim Smith from The Smell AND Tom Chasteen from Dub Club.  Dub Club, of course, has been going for 15 years now or something, and Tom books all the bands for that — all these crazy legendary acts & artists from Jamaica and the UK; bands who fans are constantly saying ‘omigod I can’t believe this is even happening!’  So I was very consciously trying to do my version of that with PTP starting very early on, booking a lot of these original post-punk bands.  And of course The Smell, which has been going for even longer, which has long been known for hosting all these amazing bands before anyone ever heard of them.  And I am very proud to say that is something that Part Time Punks has always done…and that part of course works very well in conjunction with the PTP Radio show which has been on KXLU 88.9FM every Thursday afternoon for over a decade now.

On a related note, I should give a nod here to David Orlando, who of course is the other guy from Dub Club.  He’s one of my best pals in LA, and we’ve been doing Punky Reggae Party every Friday nite at La Cita for a decade now.  David is the guy who pretty much has taught me most everything I know as a DJ.  He grew up in LA, has been DJing since he was a teenager, and literally blows me away every Friday with his mixes…. RESPECT!

Give us some current bands to check out that we may not be aware of.

Well…of course all you gotta do is tune into the Part Time Punks radio show to find out that answer!  But here’s a few of my current new faves: Dilly Dally, Exploded View, Lake Ruth, The Goon Sax, Leave The Planet, Gold Class, Leatherneck, Downers, Choreography, Sextile, Odonis Odonis, Wray, Forevr, Them Are Us Too, The World…..and list very literally goes on & on, growing every week…. Such a rich time for new music! Unprecedented!

11-16-08 Part Time Punks Festival

Tell us more about your comic book series. Are there any other creative projects you would like to attempt? (Michael suggested reading the 3 interviews at the links listed for more in-depth information on that project)

http://herocomplex.latimes.com/comics/penny-dora-michael-stock-sina-grace-realize-a-wish-at-image-comics/#/0

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=55353

http://comicsalliance.com/penny-dora-wishing-box-hope-larson-sina-grace-michael-stock-image-comics/

I will say that I’m working on the script for a new book now…and it actually is deeply connected to music…but its still in the works, so it’s still hush-hush.  I started teaching at Sci-Arc last fall (a course on Comic Book History and the History Of Punk), and they have asked me to teach Core Classes there on Film next year, so my time for writing has been severely cut & looks to be for the near future. Gonna try and finish the script this summer then tho!

Some say being a promoter is thankless, agree or disagree?

Disagree. Mostly.

But ask me that question on a slow Sunday night around midnite when I am lying on the floor behind the stage or in the soundbooth, utterly crushed, and I may have a different answer.  Oh, but can you buy me a drink first?

Most ridiculous request a band has had for their rider?

Ummmmmmm…at this point I’m still holding out on dishing dirt and naming names.  But maybe some day….

Do you love booking today as much as ever and do you see any end in sight?

Absolutely YES I do!!!!  That still remains one of my absolute favorite aspects of Part Time Punks….and of course something I knew absolutely ZERO about when PTP started back in May of 2005.  People do ask me from time to time ‘how long do you intend to keep going?’ Sometimes it’s haters asking with sneer, but mostly it’s rad supportive music loving people who want it to keep going, and I always say the same thing — ‘I’ll keep doing it until I keel over dead at the controls some Sunday nite.’ (With sneer or without, my answer is always the same.)

You have one last PTP to book and can book any 5 bands, who would you book?

Ah…the dream…

That one is easy:

(1) Cocteau Twins

(2) The Durutti Column

(3) The Wake

(4) The Pale Saints

(5) Felt

Part Time Punks books amazing band every Sunday at the Echo, sometimes Echoplex, (Clan of Xymox, Them Us Are Us Too and The Names are a few he has coming up) and Punky Reggae is a fun time every Friday at La Cita in Downtown LA. Always keep an eye out for what Michael is working on and follow him on all social media for updates.

PTP Festival updated flier

Please follow Ice and I Zine on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook  to be updated when new posts occur. I am updating almost regularly and the first print issue comprising the interviews with Globelamp, Jane Pain, Mark Palm, Part Time Punks, Annex and Body of Light is up now for order!