Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions?
Terminal Gagger

Where is the band from?

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
Terminal Gagger: Vocals
Dagger Gagger: Guitar & Vocals
Rudy Retch: Bass & Vocals
Bushy Signal: Drums & Vocals

How did the band start?
Me and Dagger started it a few years ago after knowing each other for while and being in different bands and stuff so we decided to start a band together and initially there was my cousin Chris (Busy Signal) on drums and I played bass as well as singing. Then after a bunch of 7”s and our first LP Rip You Apart, Chris left to study medicine. He’s pretty handy with a knife.

What bands did you have in mind when starting this band?
Definitely early GG / Jabbers, Dead Boys, Pagans, Eater…snotty, straightforward punk rock.

Why the decision to move from a three piece to a four piece?
That was because Chris left. So we found a new drummer, Bushy, who had already been in loads of bands with Dagger, and I gave up the bass to just sing, and we recruited Rudy.

According to the band’s bio, The Gaggers got together through a staunch hatred of everything new and polished. This motto is definitely evident in the band’s decision to record in such a raw fashion. Is this hatred a comment on your local scene or music in general?
We just all like real punk rock which, to us, needs to have that rawness and urgency otherwise it loses the ‘punk’ and just becomes ‘rock’. Nothing wrong with that but that’s not what we’re going for. There needs to be energy and bile.

Judging by how fast Gaggers singles sell out seems like you have a fan base that supports “out with the new and in with the old!” motto. One of the YouTube comments on your Hostage video is “the return of true punk in the UK after 20 years of total embarrassment.” Vibrator Buzz called “The Gaggers . . . the new 100 Club, [and] the new Roxy.” Does this have any effect on what the band does or the band operates? I would think the band would have to be happy with generating such a supportive fan base. Most bands are lucky to have one single sell out. Does that band have any thoughts on this?
We are definitely happy with compliments like that! People like Dirk at Vibrator Buzz know the score! I’ve always said that there’s nowhere to go in punk except backwards. We’re nearly 40 years behind the times and proud of it! The whole London punk scene at the moment has a very genuine late ‘70’s feel – the sound, the look, everything. The No Front Teeth connection helps to sell the records fast but I truly believe this is what people have been waiting for from London punk rock and there are a bunch of us doing it – The Ten-0-Sevens, The Ricky C. Quartet, Johnny Throttle, The Unreleasables, Thee Spivs, all the other bands we’re involved with…

Considering members of Gaggers also play in Teenage Tricks, Disco Lepers, Botox Rats, Black List Brigade, The Blowouts, The Seminals, The Troubadours, The Hateful, Needle Automatics, Dagger Dicks, and The London Guns; how do you find time for Gaggers with the members in all these other bands? Also seems like you guys are creating a scene in London with all these bands. How is the punk scene in London?
We are all workaholics!! We also all have full-time jobs too. Some of those bands are now defunct like the Disco Lepers, Blacklist Brigade, The Blowouts, Seminals, Hateful and Dagger Dicks. As I said earlier, the London punk is great – but very small so a lot of the scene is made up of bands! I think a lot of foreign punks think that when they come to London they will see the scene of 1977…unfortunately not, it’s not really that vibrant a scene. It’s cool, but small.

Explain the connection with No Front Teeth records.
I started No Front Teeth over ten years ago with my friend Jon and we still both run it to this day. There was a time when there were loads of people involved but we stripped it right back down to the two of us. We originally started as a zine but then started to put out records by our own bands and also to put out music by bands that we loved especially in the form of compilations. We really wanted to get a lot of those Hostage and Disaster bands more coverage in Europe.

Do you think music can still be a vital force in such a disposable age?
Definitely. The power of music will never die. I actually think music is more powerful now than ever even with the digital age supposedly killing it. Also, punks are traditionalists and will keep vinyl alive forever. No Front Teeth is a 7” label and the 7” is perhaps the most obsolete format of music, apart from the eight track! But it also holds a really powerful position – people respect the 7” and really chase it.

How is the new record entitled Blame You coming along?  Any scheduled release date?
It’s taking a while longer than expected but it’s coming along really well. All the drums are recorded. The bass and rhythm guitars are done and some of the vocals. So we still need to record the lead guitars, finish the vocals and also the backing vocals. Then there’s the mixing…so I think we’re looking at a late Summer release hopefully.
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?
I’m glad that people are downloading music for free – it was about time that the music industry suffered. I know that’s a strange thing to say being in a band and running a record label but I think that the greed had to stop. As I said, punks are traditionalists so we’re not really affected by that at all. I see a lot of Gaggers stuff available for download on blogs and I take it as a compliment. Someone took the time to upload the music so that others could download it – that’s fine. Also, so much of our stuff is now out of print so how else are people supposed to hear it?

Where can people hear the band?
On blogs! Maybe iTunes at some point…or come see us live.

What’s next?
We are on the soundtrack for a new horror movie called ‘Bath Salt Zombies’ that has just been released and some other bands are the Murder Junkies, Antiseen, Dwarves, Meatmen…so we’re in good company! I guess we’ll start writing record number three. More shows. More 7”s, some splits…all good shit to get you gagging. Cheers.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The CRY!

Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions? 
Ray Nelsen

Where is the band from? 
Eastside of Portland, Oregon

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
I play guitar and sing, and Brian Crace plays Lead Guitar and sings, Dave Berkham plays Bass and sings, Evan “Maus” Mersky holds down the drums.

How did the band start? 
Brian Crace and I were hanging out in the garage at my folk’s house. We were writing pop tunes with big background vocals.  I think that I wrote most of the songs on our first LP in that garage.  We started recording the tracks at Fetish Pop Studios in late 2010. Originally, Johnny Martinez was going to play drums (and did for the first half of the record) but that didn’t work out. So we prowled the streets for kids to play with!  We started checking out local bands looking for mates. First we recruited Dave from The Midnight Callers (lead singer/guitarist) to play bass. Quickly the word got out around town that we were looking for a solid drummer. Maus was drumming for a punk band called “Ripper” when he asked to meet us. I was looking for kids who had the chops but also had the style and swagger that all great rock n roll bands need (as a bonus, Maus was starting a new analog/digital recording business called “Red Lantern Studios”).  From the start there has been magic when the four of us play together.

What is the story behind the “Never Suck” motto?  
It’s just something we live by! It’s simple really; most bands that play these days suck. Yeah they are having fun (most of the time) but they don’t put enough time into their craft.  We didn’t and don’t want that; we make sure to do things to prevent us from sucking which sometimes means all night practices and a longer time in the studio.

What bands did you have in mind when starting this band?  
There was a lot of 60’s records spinning and lot of just classic pop! We really didn’t have bands in mind when we started. We knew we wanted the sound to be fast and fun. We know we wanted to be great musicians. We knew we wanted to put on great shows. We knew we had to work our asses off to do any of it. We do love The Nice Boys, The Exploding Hearts, The Ramones, the Booze, etc… but, our music does also reflect all the pop oldies our parents made us listen too in the family mini-van.  

Maximum Rock N’Roll stated that “The Cry have both crucial aspects of power pop: Style and substance” and “[t]heir songs have all the hooks . . . impressive instrumental flourishes [that] solidifies The CRY somewhere in the grand lineage . . . of quality power pop music.” Faster and Louder described the LP as “this long player could pass for a greatest hits collection!” A review like that is very impressive after the release of a debut LP. How does this make the band feel? Does this put any pressure on the band moving forward? Was the marriage of style and substance a predetermined choice for the band?
Nothing we do is predetermined. The “style and substance” just seem to be there. We look the way we have always looked. As for “pressure” for the next album: yeah, a lot cool shit was said about our first record. I guess there may be a bit of pressure to have our next LP better the first one but that is self-imposed pressure. At this point we know the material slated for the next record is fun and fasts. We know we are better musicians today than two years ago. We know we have better recording facilities and we know that what we have so far kicks serious asshole. We just want to be done with it and hit the road!

Do you think music can still be a vital force in such a disposable age?
Seriously? Man’s natural inclination towards rhythm, story-telling, and melody has never changed. Popularity of specific “genres” will always be in flux but “music” (in some form) will always be a painfully accurate mirror on society (read: Justin Bieber).  

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?
I don’t know. We still see lots of kids picking up guitars. The Internet and digital technology have hurt the music industry (economically) but also have provided much broader access to music and potential fans for bands like The CRY!. Shit, we just play songs. The other stuff is above our pay grade…

According to the band’s website, the band is currently recording the second album. Can you tell us how that is going? Any idea when the release date will be? Any labels offer to put it out especially after the universal praise the band received from the first album?
Its going great the songs are great and the tones and sounds were getting are killer.
The songs I have been writing for the second record are a little different (as they should be). They have more balls then the tracks on first record and fans will see more of a 70’s influence (as opposed to the 60’s feel of the first LP). We were trying for a spring release but realistically it looks more like Fall 2013. We will begin reaching out to labels once we have some good mixes of the new stuff.

Where can people hear the band?  
We post all our shows and links at “thecrypdx.com”. Folks can go from there to our Facebook, Reverbnation, MySpace, etc..

What’s next for The CRY?  
Same plan as always: Tonight We Take Over The WORLD!