Friday, November 2, 2012

Steve Adamyk Band

Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions?
Steve Adamyk!

Where is the band from?
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
Steve – Guitar, Lead Vox
Davey – Guitar, Vox, Keys
Dave Forcier – Drums, Percussion
Seb – Bass, Vox
Dave Williams – Guitar, Vox and more (studio only)

I had read in previous interviews that the band was primarily a vehicle for solo songs you were writing while in the Sedatives? What was the decision to start the band with two other members from the Sedatives especially after that band broke up? Why not move on to find new members?
Sedatives were not my band, by any means. The group wouldn’t have been complete without all four members participating. Plus, Sedatives had a specific sound in mind, and the songs I was writing didn’t really fit into the spectrum of what we were going for anyway.

When Sedatives and my other band, Million Dollar Marxists broke up, I didn’t really have a place to call home for a while. I never really talked about it, but it was a weird time. I’m the type of person that always needs to be focusing on some form of musical outlet. Once my bands ended, the rest of the guys I was familiar with moved on to other projects. I was homeless, so to speak. So, I started writing on my own. It ended up with me asking a few people to help out in the studio with some songs I had, which is much easier to get someone to commit to, rather than starting a whole new band. My intention was never to turn it into a full-fledged deal; I always assumed this would be short lived and I’d start something else up with new musicians. But, this now band, kind of took over.

It’s a big deal to have your name somewhere in the band name. Can you give a little background info on how you came to this decision?  Do you feel there is more pressure on you because your name is the band name?
As I touched on above, I never really expected the first batch of songs to go anywhere. I didn’t think anyone would care, and I wasn’t planning on expanding on it. So, I called it my own name, because, well… that’s all it was. It was never supposed to be a real band. But, the feedback we began to receive was great. Plus, it turned out that everyone involved was interested in playing some shows and taking it seriously. In the end, that resulted in the Steve Adamyk “Band” name change. None of us ever expected to get the attention we’ve received thus far, and had we known, we might have reconsidered and used an actual band name. But, hindsight’s an asshole, and ultimately I don’t really care. The only thing that concerns me is that some people might take it as some sort of egotistical thing, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I really don’t think I’m that important. On top of that, we’re really a band in every respect. I mean, I write the songs, but otherwise I only have 25% of a say in what happens (other than veto power, of course!). So, I don’t exactly feel any sort of pressure, but I think that the name can have both positive and negative effect, depending on the listener. Either way, a good song is a good song, and a good song will get heard. And, if they’re not good songs, then fuck it. We’ll still be playing and recording tunes, regardless of the reception. 

One thing about this band is that you are very prolific songwriter. 4 singles and an LP in 2010, an LP last year and another are already slated for later this year. A lot of bands choose to release an LP or so every couple of years. Why does this band do the opposite?
Just hitting my earlier thirties, none of us are getting any younger. I like to strike while the irons hot. It’s about making the most of it while we still can. I’d actually like to be putting out even more than we have been, in theory. We don’t tour THAT much (that’s going to change soon though, hopefully), so it’s not terribly difficult to write and record punk songs in our hometown. Also, some of these songs I’ve recorded are actually quite old.

List some bands that you feel have a direct influence on your songwriting?
Our influences are a lot of the same old, same old. Mostly, nothing out the ordinary. Only difference being, I try and bridge a few genres of punk together, specifically 70’s power-pop, modern garage and classic punk. It’s funny to me that a lot of people think we’re a pop-punk band. I suppose we are; but it was never really my intention to sound like that. Yeah, I listened to a lot of Screeching Weasel growing up and maybe that’s why it shows? But, for the most part, I’m trying to write power-pop songs with some attitude. I can’t really help how it comes out. A few obscure influences I could reference are a band called The Dogmatics from the eighties, Metal Mike from Angry Samoans’ solo material, Stiv Bators (solo material) and The Carbonas.
With the exception of Dirtnap, European labels put all of the band’s releases out. Are the European labels offering to put out releases before any US labels or is the band better known in Europe?
Oddly enough, it’s one of first questions we typically get. The answer’s simple: they were the first people offering to put out our songs. I’d just recently dealt with Ptrash, Red Lounge and Taken by Surprise Records with Sedatives, so when I had new recordings of my solo material, it was mainly just me showing friends of mine “Hey, check out these songs I did for fun” with the response being really positive. The first two singles came out before we had even played our first show (opening for OWTH). When Ptrash told me he wanted to do the “Speed it Up” single, he also asked if we’d be into doing an LP after that. Which, actually, was a real game changer. It went from being a side project to having something that we had to get done. Without that LP we agreed to release, we might not have taken the time to get anything out for a while. That LP ended up paving the road for where we are today.

The band toured Europe in April. How did that go?
If it’s not obvious, touring Europe is amazing. It was our second time over in two years, which ended up better way better than the year prior, which was also incredible. It just made sense to go over and help promote some of our releases that came out in those countries. Some of the best people we know.

How was playing SXSW?
I’ve been to SXSW five times. It’s always a blast. But, I think bands have a skewed perspective of what the festival is. It’s important to have it on paper, I guess. But no one’s getting rich and famous, or “discovered” there. You’ll go, play a show or two, party a whole lot and go home. If anything, it’s just a really great party.

How did you get on MTV’s Ridiculousness? Is Rob Drydek a fan of the band?
To be honest, I’m not sure how it came about, other than someone approaching Dirtnap to use a few of our songs at one point. I’ve never really been given an explanation. My old band had a song on Fantasy Factory years back, so maybe there’s a connection? Likely just a fluke.

50 years ago people use buy music and get their water for free, now people pay for water and get their music for free. How do you think this affects music in any way?
The world’s a pretty twisted place; and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that nothing stays the same. I was just telling my wife that I have a hard time watching those doomsday style movies/shows like “The Road”, because I’m freaked out that something like that will actually happen in our lifetime. Point being, I think artists across the board are hurting, and people are generally looking to cut costs wherever they can. Then there’s the over-saturated market of bands, to the point where people just expect you to play and release music for free. I don’t think there’s really a right or wrong answer to that, and frankly I’m a little undecided myself at times. But, just like anything else, it’s about learning to adapt. I don’t think anyone should feel bad for major labels losing money on the CD industry. If they can’t become creative enough to make their shitty products more appealing, they deserve to be run out of town. But, on the flipside, people often take advantage of an artists will to create “for the love of it”. There’s a happy medium in there, somewhere, is my point.

Where can people hear the band?
You can check us out at

What’s next?
We’ve got a new album coming out in February 2013, our 3rd LP, 2nd for Dirtnap, and we think it’s our best yet. More North American dates to follow in 2013, and Europe this time around as well. Other than that, we may kill each other, but who knows.



Three Two Ones

Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions?
Jimmy Moran – Vocals, Guitar

Where is the band from?
Long Beach, CA

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
Jimmy Moran - Vocals and Guitar
Phil Robles – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Billy Parkinson – Drums, Backing Vocals

How did the band start?
I had a few tunes and rounded up some dudes. It’s been kind of a nightmare!

One of the interesting things about Three Two Ones is that you have two different styles blended seamlessly in the songs. At some parts it reminds me of early Psychedelic Furs and other times more power pop. Can you name some bands and LP’s or 45’s that have had an influence or impact on Three Two Ones songwriting and sound?
Ha, yeah I guess Jenny sounds kind of power poppy. We’ve heard that a few times. I hear more of a Replacements feel in that song, yeah right, I wish. The others tunes are influenced by the cool punk, psych, & melodic bands we all grew up on. I think a good recipe for a good song is catchy & melodic music with just the right amount of middle finger in the lyrics which in our case is a lot.

I find it interesting that there a lot of people that have previously played in more aggressive bands that are secret pop lovers. Jimmy, you were in Discontent years ago. Before Three Two Ones had you wanted to start a more pop influenced band?
I played in Discontent from 1998-2004. Good times with good pals! I’ve played in several other punk bands as well. Phil played in Cheap Sex and Billy was in The New Fidelity.

Do you think music can still be a vital force in such a disposable age?
Yeah, I think good music is powerful and timeless. I think it’s all been done as far as innovative rock n’ roll goes. Seems bands are picking bits and pieces from different decades and genres that they like best. Take a look at The Black Lips. They started just playing 60s lo-fi garage and have slowly evolved into a 60s/modern indie kind of thing. But, what drives me nuts are all these bands that want to sound like them and do the whole lo-fi thing. They pull it off, and are a cool band; everyone else is biting a not so good idea. Why the fuck would you want to record in low fidelity? So people can go see you live where you sound big, hopefully, and then listen to your cd, record or whatever, and then you sound like a shit demo. Silly trends in my opinion, but who the fuck am I, right? Maybe I went a bit off course on this question?

In “Jenny,” what made the band think of calling her an asshole. The reason I ask is because asshole is a word more traditionally directed toward a man. Was it simply a case of a lyrical twist? Or was it another reason?
That’s funny. Well, the person who the song is written about is not named Jenny. However, she was an asshole! Jenny sounded good for the song and I didn’t want to be direct with using her real name. Personally, I think anyone can be an asshole, men and women both alike. I wasn’t trying to be creative with it; I just really hated that bitch.

 Currently, is the band a trio or four-piece?
We are a 4-piece band. We recently lost our bass player, we’re still pals though. Moises Arteaga (Discontent & The Savoys) has been filling in with us until we find someone for the long run. We used to be a 3 piece for like 7 months or so. We have had drummer issues over and over again. So we said, “Fuck it.” We had our buddy Sam Gallagher record drum tracks for us for our live set. We put triggers, effects, on the drums to make them sound like a drum machine and kept the drumming simple and not too busy. We played live to the tracks for a few months just to get out and play live. People dug it! However, it did limit us a lot! We couldn’t just go to practice and jam on new shit. All we had were those tracks to play our set. Finally we hit up Billy Parkinson to come play with us. It turned out that he really wanted to anyway. He’s great! Rock solid and just as nuts as we are! It’s rare to find a drummer who is not a prima donna or egomaniac.

Faster and Louder blog has written, “Three Two Ones are a power trio to watch! They've got a new single out that I foresee landing in the year-end top ten lists.”  Vibrator Buzz wrote “for sure this two song eargasm will be featured in my year end’s best list, really it should be featured in everyone’s best list if there is any justice in this rotten piece of music business.  Does the band read any of it’s own press? Do these positive reviews give the band more confidence in what they are doing after reading such reviews for the debut single?
Yeah, for sure! Makes us want to keep moving forward. It’s great to hear that stuff!!! Dirk Le Buzz from Vibrator Buzz rules for writing such a killer review about us. He’s super into supporting bands and independent music!

50 years ago people use to buy music and get their water for free, now people pay for water and get their music for free. How do you think this affects music in any way?
Ha-ha!!! Never thought of it that way. I think it kind of sucks that bands really don’t make money-selling records. On the other hand, the Internet is a beautiful thing! Bands need to adapt and give it away for free digitally. Sell your shirts, vinyl, buttons, stickers, etc… But if you can put your music in the hands of countless amounts of people by giving it away for free on the Internet, it’s a no brainer. It’s not like you’re going to make a ton of money like Green Day, U2, or any of these safe, crap bands.

Where can people hear the band?
All of our music can be downloaded FREE on our Three Two Ones Facebook page, ReverbNation, and Bandcamp. Our Jenny 45 can be purchased on our Bandcamp page.

What’s next?
Keep playing, writing, & having fun! We will be playing in Texas January 3 though 8 via our friend Evan Henry at Dallas Distortion Music. Then we’ll return to Texas in March for SXSW.



Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions?
Nick Faciane

Where is the band from?
The band is originally from Carson, CA. I live in San Pedro and Ryan lives in Wilmington.

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
James Carman - Drums
Ryan Miranda - Bass
Good Looking - Guitar

How did the band get started?
Ryan and James have been playing together since they were kids. When I was in high school I befriended James over the mutual interest of skateboarding. My first band, The Medics, ended up playing a string of shows with Easy Image, Ryan and James, and they later asked me if I could fill in when they kicked out their guitar player. I told them I would fill in until they found another. 7 years later and I’m not sure if I’m still filling in or not.

James, what made you decides to play drums and sing? Originally, were you just singing?
James is the front man. Originally he was up front and singing for the band. But after thousands of drummers spontaneously combusting on stage it got to the point where I just told him, "Look dude, we’re not going to find a drummer better than you. You should just play drums." I feel we made the right choice.

How did you guys originally hook up with the Buzzcocks? I remember seeing Images open for Buzzcocks at House of Blues in 2010 when they were playing Another Music in a Different Kitchen in its entirety. Looks like Images played with Buzzcocks again earlier this year.
This story goes back to those high school days. James comes up to me in the locker room one morning with this look in his eye. He says, "Dude, I met the Buzzcocks last night!" I didn’t believe him for one second. I’m thinking okay, this kid is telling another tale. He’s going on and on about how he kept in contact with Pete Shelley via email. And I’m thinking… "Yeahhh right, Pete Shelley uses MSN!” A few months later James is telling me that Pete had heard our recordings and really liked them and asked us to open for Buzzcocks the next time they would be in Los Angeles. So it’s July 2005 and we are driving to the House of Blues and I’m thinking that we are going to pull up to the venue and they are going to have no clue who we are. Next thing I know I’m playing on stage at the House Of Blues opening for Buzzcocks and shitting my pants. After that night we kept in contact with them and now we are all buddy buddy with them. It’s awesome. We really look up to that band and were glad we have the opportunity to play with them like we do.

How is the Thought Patterns single doing? Water Under The Bridge put that out. Do you guys have a San Pedro connection? I see it was recorded at Calimucho.
I am a San Pedro native, born and raised; I’ll probably end up dying there too. It’s a weird thing about that town. People joke about it being this black hole ghetto by the sea, but everyone who lives there loves it. Even if they won’t admit it. Once you get sucked in there’s no going back out. Anyways, we recorded at Cali Mucho with our buddy Kid Kevin. He also makes our t-shirts! The record is doing well, and I’m just surprised Craig Ibarra wanted to put out our record in the first place. I feel honored.

Any plans for an LP?
Yes. As soon as we get back from England this is first priority. We are working on new material and recording at the moment.

Did any specific bands influence Images sound?
There are tons, and they constantly change with our moods and as the years go on. Right now I have everything from Nick Lowe to Teengenerate on my iPod.
I can’t really speak for the other guys on this, but I’m sure we can agree on the classics like Ramones, Buzzcocks, Clash, The Damned, The Jam, you know, all the good stuff. We are all fans of the Red Onions.

Where can people hear the band?
The best way would be to come out to our shows and buy our records. But you can always find us on Facebook, and
I’ve really been procrastinating on setting up a website, but I promise, it’s coming.

What’s in the future?
Stay tuned for more rock and roll!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mean Jeans

Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions? 
Billy Jeans
Jeans Wilder
Jr. Jeans

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play
BJ: Billy Jeans, guitar and vocals

JW: Jeans Wilder, drums and vocals 

JJ: Jr. Jeans, bass

Where is the band from?
BJ:  We started as a 2-piece in the Washington, DC area, played 1 show in Baltimore with Nobunny, and then moved to Portland, OR. 

How did the band start?
BJ: Late nights in Jeans Wilder's parents' basement, drinking his dad's beer, listening to Ramones and Riverdales, writing really stupid songs.  We made some demos without any intention of "being a band", but the songs were good so we gave it a shot. 

In your bio, which by the way was listed on CMT, it reads “Three punk rock goofballs who deliver fast, loud, and hooky tunes and revel in the pleasures of pizza, sex, and getting wasted.” Would you say this describes both the lyrics and band philosophy?
BJ: I can't say we write any songs about sex or pizza, but if that's what people get out of it, that's cool by me.  The lyrics and "philosophy" of the band center around partying as means of survival in a disappointing world and maximizing fun with a few teardrops in the mix.  Twisted Living, Bonehead Romance, Maturity Refusal, Retard Struggle. 

JW: Yeah I can't see how any of our songs are about sex at all, but it is very cool that our band bio is on I'm cruising the site as we speak. Get country.

What is your favorite Ramones LP?
BJ: Currently, Pleasant Dreams.

JW: Yeah when it comes to which ones I actually listen to the most it is Subterranean Jungle and Pleasant Dreams. I'm probably one of the few that actually likes Adios Amigos too. It was my first Ramones album.

JJ.  The three of us spent two years living in the shittiest house on the planet, where every night was a party till the sun came up whether we wanted that or not.  Pleasant Dreams was the one Ramones record that got played every single night.  We went through some dark times with it as a soundtrack but its probably the one for me too.

How was the tour the band just finished up with Big Eyes?  
BJ:  It was fun! We played Tijuana and Reno for the first times, got to see a lot of buddies, and got to see Big Eyes every night, who I love.   

JW: We went to Sunken City somewhere out near San Pedro. I think SOMEBODY in our crew took a shit in the bushes there.  

JJ:  Thats a no brainer, it fucking ripped! We all had a blast. 

In a previous interview, it was stated that recorded their latest LP, On Mars “at a super shitty house in Portland,” it feels there is a deliberate attempt to capture a more melodic sound this time around. How deliberate was this choice in the songwriting and the recording process for On Mars? 
BJ: Deliberate.  It wouldn't have been very interesting for us as a band to make another 'pop punk' album of 2-minute songs about how partying rules.  The songwriting for On Mars was an attempt to try new ideas; ideas that are consciously stupid as shit like shaking macaroni boxes, hitting hubcaps with Jager bottles, unnecessary key changes, slow jams, etc., but new things nonetheless.  The influences are all from outside the realm of 'modern punk' music.  The recording process is just whatever we are capable of doing before getting bored or passing out. 
JW: In response to questions like this before I've always said that its actually kinda hard to sit down and write a 1.5 minute fast stupid "punk" song when you are deliberately trying to do so. Most of the songs on our first album just sort of ended up being that way, I don't think it was on purpose. 3 years later when we were doing album number two, lots of things had changed and we just sort of went with what we felt like doing. 

Was Dirtnap interested in working with Mean Jeans before the songs for On Mars were written or did they hear the songs and then decide to put out the LP?
BJ:  We've done a bunch of records on Dirtnap, and they were on board before hearing On Mars.  I wonder how bummed Ken was when he heard it!

JW: I think there was a sort of non-spoken agreement that Ken would put out the next album on Dirtnap no matter what. In terms of "signing" us to Dirtnap in the first place, I always like to think that his wife was the one who convinced him to put out our record after seeing us play live a couple times.

Mean Jeans just finished playing Music Fest NW festival and are slated to play both FEST 2012 and the Fall Down Get Down. How exciting is it to mix in these bigger festival shows in with smaller bar/club/all-ages shows? Which type of shows does the band prefer more? 
BJ: I am down to play any kind of show, any time, but a variety is important to us.  We've had offers to play on "real" tours with "real" bands from booking agencies and stuff, but aren't interested in playing only big clubs.  Gotta mix it up.  I also think Mean Jeans have fans in a few different 'scenes' so it's important for me to mix those crowds up as well.  Play pop punk fests, and play rock n roll fests. I like playing shows where everyone is wasted or just generally in it to win it. 
JW: I think we have been pretty lucky with some of the "bigger" festival type shows that we have done in the past. We have always gone over well at Awesomefest, which is pretty much a pop-punk thing, but we also had a really good response when we played at Gonerfest last year, which is more of a rock and roll/garage-rock type thing. We somehow are able to fit in with all sorts of different "rock" bands. Which is nice. I must say though that the idea of playing on a huge stage in front of shitloads of people isn't very appealing to me personally. Soundchecks also suck. So, I probably prefer bar shows.

JJ:  In general, the appeal of where we play or what type of venue we play rests solely on the people coming out to watch us.  It could be a huge stage with tons of people or a basement with 15 people crammed in it.  If everyone else is having fun, then we're going to be having fun.  Mean Jeans is lucky enough to play for people that love to get drunk, get wild, crowd surf, throw beers and act stupid.  That's what we do.  I'm glad that we have had the opportunity to play in such a variety of situations though.  It keeps things from getting stale to play a big club one night and a shitty dive the next.

50 years ago people used to buy music and get their water for free, now people pay for water and get their music for free. How do you think this affects music in any way?
BJ: Music is for fun. I can't say we are really a part of 'the music industry' or that I really care about it. 

JW: I'm hopelessly out of the loop when it comes to the current state of affairs in the music industry. I just found out who Nicki Minaj is. I'm basically still reeling from the shock of Michael Jackson's death.

JJ:  That’s pretty deep.  Too deep for the Jeans.

Where can people hear the band?
BJ: Touring around.  On the Internet.  We have a bunch of music videos! 
We have lots of records.  On Dirtnap, Trouble In Mind, Burger, Gnar Tapes, Big Neck, Portland Mutant Party, Goner, P. Trash and more. 

JW: You can get our latest MiniDisc at Sam Goody. At the mall. 

What’s next?
BJ: Shooting a new music video now.  Then flying to South America and Florida for the first time.  We have a new split 7 inch with Big Eyes that is recorded and about to be pressed.  I want to tour Europe again and I want to lose my mind. 

JW: Look for a job.

JJ:  Take it to the limit.



Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions?
Tuk, aka the artificial kid

Where is the band from?
Atlanta ‘where everybody can be somebody’

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
Tuk - guitar, voice
Travis - bass, voice
Matt aka "AL''- guitar, beer
Joey Boloney aka "Chuck"- drums, weed, black outs

How did the band start?
I was in a previous band called Poison Arrows and a few idiots kept overdosing, going to jail, going to rehab, relapsing etc…so I got away from them and started a new band. wrote, “[If] the Biters weren’t the biggest band in the world real soon [that] we’d all be doomed, and I believe that now more than ever.” How does it make you guys feel when reading this kind of review? Does it add any pressure to the songwriting, live performance, etc.?
I think that’s a great statement, and hope it comes true. I work my ass off either way.
When you’re in a band like ours and barely scrape by, a quote like that gives you a little hope and energy too keep going for a little while longer.

I have seen younger bands and new labels releasing cassette only releases, but I hadn’t seen the 8-track release since the 70’s. What was the big idea behind the 8-track release of All Chewed Up?
The 8-track is a "kiss my ass" to the whole garage rock tape revival trend. Tapes are one of the shittiest formats for music but some how they're popular again.
We thought we'd put out something even shittier than cassette tape, an 8-track.

How did you guys hook up with Social Distortion? I see Biters is touring with them this fall.
We submitted the band and they liked us. They picked us to open. It’s pretty awesome.

Last year you played shows with D Generation. How did those shows go?
Those shows were bad to the bone. They’re one of my favorite bands, always a dream of mine to play with them.

Why now, the desire to add a permanent keyboard player?
The new stuff that isn't released yet has a lot more backing vocals and harmonies. We can’t achieve what we've recorded with the current line up. Also, we have piano/synth in previous recordings. I've always wanted one and can’t find ANYONE!

50 years ago people use buy music and get their water for free, now people pay for water and get their music for free. Do you think this affects music in any way?
Since people don't pay for music any more artists cant survive like they used too. They can’t concentrate on being a musician because there’s no income. This has allowed for terrible quality of song writing and musicianship to flood the market. It also has taken the budget out from under record labels. The labels are too scared to take a chance on signing a band or artist that isn't a sure thing for fear of losing money. Henceforth you get a million copycats. You have music made strictly for money. Any art made specifically for money isn't art. The direct reaction to the artificial, robotic mainstream music is an underground scene filled with talentless turkeys, apathy, shitty recordings, poor songwriting, and entire movement based off irony and ignorance.

Since Biters has been compared to Cheap Trick, T. Rex, Thin Lizzy and The Boys (just to name a few) in reviews, can you name a few influential LP’s that have had an effect on both the band members individually and the overall songwriting process?
For me personally:
Bon Scott era AC/DC
Tom Petty
- 1st album all the way to Wild Flowers
Nick Gilder - City Nights
Slaughter and The Dogs - Do It Dog Style
Sweet - Desolation Blvd.
Alice Cooper - Love It To Death, Killers, Billion Dollar Babies
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars

Since I see the band is described as Electric Playboys in the Disposable Age. Do you think music can still be a vital force in such a disposable age?
At this point, not really. I’m waiting for a few anti-establishment demi gods to grace our presence once again.

Where can people hear the band?
On tour this fall with Social Distortion!

What’s next for Biters?
Hopefully finding someone to put out our new record and a lot of touring!