Thursday, March 31, 2016

Century Palm: Reforming Musical Realms

Photo by Rico Moran

Toronto's Century Palm play a unique style of Post Punk/ New Wave with scads of gusto and charisma.  In a world full of people that seem to have been there and heard all of that, it takes truly exceptional group to stand out among their peers and predecessors and that's exactly what Century Palm does.  Their songs shimmer with melodic vocals that are encased in cold, catchy, sometimes even quirky guitar riffs which build high atop a strong foundation of bass and drums. Swelling saxophones and kindling keyboards, which sometimes take the drivers seat, are also march in succession.  This band takes elements of  Devo, Gary Numan, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Joy Division and Gang of Four and melts them all together to forge a sword that cuts most of today's humdrum lifestyle music into ribbons.

Interview by J Castro

Who is currently in the band and what does everyone do in it?
Andrew Payne writes a lot of the songs and sings them, and plays the rhythm guitar and the Moog.
Paul Lawton plays the bass and sings and writes songs too. His songs remind us that death is approaching.
Jesse Locke plays the drums and is amazing at it.
Alex Hamlyn is lead guitar, saxophonist, and knows the most about music theory of any of us.
Penny Clark is me. I am the synth player. Allow me to tell you the story of the band.

How did you all meet and decide to play music together?
PENNY: I met all those guys in 2013 on my first tour (of my life) with my other band Tough Age. They were playing together on that tour as a conglomerate Ketamines/Zebrassieres band. Ketamines was fronted by Paul and Zebrassieres was fronted by Andrew, so in terms of musicians playing in the band, Century Palm is kind of the fully fused version of that tour, plus me.

I moved to Toronto about a year ago and Paul played their initial recordings for me and I got really excited by the songs and started giving all kinds of commentary that was inappropriate for someone who wasn’t actually in the band. A few months later, they were looking for a new keyboard player and I managed to worm my way in there. We bonded by standing in a snow storm together for three hours.

S/T EP released October 16th, 2014 on Planet of the Tapes

What band or musician first inspired you to want to pick up an instrument and learn to play and/or write music?
PENNY: Mudhoney. Their music is so big sounding. Music is really connected to energy for me and that band has tons of it.

How would you describe your band to your grandparents?
PENNY: I would describe it in this manner: “You probably won’t like it. But you might! We’re playing pretty late. I guess it’s like rock music, basically.”

What sorts of things do you typically enjoy writing songs about? 
PENNY: Century Palm songs are very introspective. A lot about the inner self and that person’s experience with the external world. With my favorite parts, I have scenes that I visualize in my head while I’m playing them, like a beach or crickets at night. Nature stuff like that. 

I’ve heard people say that playing and writing music is therapeutic to them.  Have you ever found this to be true?
PENNY: Definitely.

Photo by Rico Moran

Does it annoy you or distract you at all to see some of your audience members fondling their phones while you’re up on stage performing?
PENNY: Usually I look up or down and not at the audience directly. Direct eye contact… is kind of weird if you don’t know the person and you’re not gonna have a conversation or something. But I would especially look away if it’s a phone-checking kind of crowd, because nothing will take you out of the song faster than seeing people who look like they’re totally disengaged with what you’re doing.

After one of your shows, what sort of feeling or sentiment do you hope your audience walks away with? 
PENNY: I hope they’re happy.

What is your favorite album to listen to from start to finish?
PENNY: Apollo Ghosts - Landmark

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you that you still follow to this day?
PENNY: Be nice to people. Being mean in a “clever way” can be really fun and it is a quality that is generally pretty celebrated in our society but it is so useless for getting anything worthwhile accomplished. Don’t put other people down. Don’t have a power trip, be open to the people around you.

Valley Cyan 7" released August 22nd, 2015 on Deranged Records 

What is the best way people can hear and get a hold of your music?
PENNY: We have a 7” on Deranged, a 7” on Paul’s mysterious label SCI. In the future you can hear our whole album, when it comes out on Deranged, and another 7” when it comes out on Hozac.

We also just released a song as part of the Pentagon Black compilations that were released in the form of a poster. Get songs and decorate your house!

If you want to listen to Century Palm songs in a digital manner, you can use our Bandcamp. Our tape of the first four songs is sold out except for one copy at June Records, which as far as I know, is still there,

What lies ahead for the band in 2016?
PENNY: Mostly recordinnnggg and a few shows. In Toronto, we’re playing with Nap Eyes on April 7, and in Ottawa with Tough Age, BB Cream on April 22, and with Tough Age in Toronto on April 23rd. 

Be sure to follow Century Palm on their sonic adventures on social media!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Flesh Rag: A Celebration of Sweat and Volume

Photo by Jenn Emily

If you long for the glory days of punk rock, back when it made you feel unsafe and uneasy.  You wanted to run from it yet you were magnetically drawn to it. It gave you that same feeling in the pit of your stomach similar to driving a '69 Camaro ZL1 100 MPH and suddenly realizing the breaks don’t work.  You try to explain this feeling to others but you see in their eyes that within the first five seconds of the conversation that they either get what you're saying or they never will.  Flesh Rag bottles this mixture of adrenaline, rage, anxiety and despair in a similar way Radio Birdman, The Stooges, and The Dead Boys once did years ago.  Only thing is, Flesh Rag have a couple key ingredients those bands now lack: piss and vinegar.

Interview by J Castro

Who is currently in Flesh Rag and what does everyone do in the band?
Eric Felgner - bass, cigarettes, and driving home at the end of the night.
Nathan Burger - Drums, greens, and homemade pizza maker.
Matt Ellis - Vocals, guitar, and general bullshit.

How did you all meet and decide to play music together?
MATT: Burger and I (Ellis) had played in a number of bands together. The only one worth noting was Rocket Reducers. We’ve been friends for a real long time and decided we should get together write some songs and see what happens. After a fun night working on some tunes we decided to recruit our old Friend Eric who we knew from his time spent in The Vapids; a long running Hamilton band.

What band or musician first inspired you to want to pick up an instrument and learn to play and/or write music?
MATT: I had always been into classic punk like the Dead Boys or Stooges and all the proto 70’s stuff, but the turning point for myself was when I found out about the garage punk heyday in the 90’s. Shit like New bomb Turks, Teengenerate and the Candy Snatchers. Its bands like those that bridged the gap between older punk and more modern stuff and really pushed me to start to play and record music.

How would you describe you band to your grandparents?
MATT: I’ve always told them we were like Chuck Berry on speed. A comparison I’m fairly sure my parents never appreciated.

What sorts of things do you typically enjoy writing songs about?  
MATT: All the classic Rock n Roll topics like women, drugs, getting messed up, and the constant pressures and stresses of trying to survive in the modern world.

S/T debut LP released July 28th 2015 on Surfin' Ki records

I’ve heard people say that playing and writing music is therapeutic to them.  Have you ever found this to be true?
MATT: Absolutely. I’ve always used music to push out my negative emotions and expel them out of my body. The last few years of my life I went through some changes and I used Flesh Rag to push out those bad thoughts and work through some things. If the band sounds negative to people that’s because its a vessel for depravity. The bands name itself is about feeling as low as you can be, down and out and useless. But its also a celebration about moving upward and beyond that.

Does it annoy you or distract you at all to see some of your audience members fondling their phones while you’re up on stage performing?
MATT: Honestly I could care less. I believe people spend too much time in front of screens so it doesn't surprise me when I see it. It’s too easy for people to get a hold of you these days, everyone is so connected it impairs our ability to spend real face to face time together and live life in the moment.  Do I get bummed out when somebody snaps a photo to post later? No. Is it a bummer to go to a bar and hang out with your friend and he/she spends the whole night on a cell phone? Yes.

After one of your shows, what sort of feeling or sentiment do you hope your audience walks away with?  
MATT: That Rock n Roll is still here. There are still people who care about music and self-expression. I'm not trying to change the world, I just want likeminded people to know that there are some of us who care enough to keep doing this. Every once in a while something happens and I feel like all the bullshit we gotta put up with in life is worth it. A night out and a good laugh with friends, seeing a band that’s having fun and cares. That’s fairly simple and it’s what I’m looking for when I go to see a show and it’s what I try to deliver.

Photo by Jenn Emily

What is your favorite album to listen to from start to finish?
MATT: Stooges - Fun House. It’s got everything. Its raw, ripping, pummeling three chord punk rock. Primal as fuck but can still make your mind melt with all Ron’s psychedelic guitars blazing, with Iggy howling and a relentless rhythm section. And that sax? C’mon man! That album is 40 fucking years old and it’s still ahead of the curve. Honestly it’s untouchable. “T.V Eye” might be the greatest song of all time. I’ve been listening to Fun House since I was a little high school stoner punk and it never gets old.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you that you still follow to this day?
MATT: Don't take yourself too seriously. Obviously it’s important to be sincere and honest about everything you do but if you can’t have a laugh you end up an uptight, out of touch buzzkill and nobody likes a buzzkill man.

S/T 7" released November 10th 2015 on Loose Lips records and It's Trash records

What is the best way people can hear and get a hold of your music? to get in direct contact with the band. If you wanna check out our tunes you can order records from us or the labels.

What lies ahead for Flesh Rag in 2016?
MATT: As of this moment we are waiting on our second 7” record to arrive. It’s coming out on Schizophrenic Records and will be out sometime in the spring. There is the possibility of us working on an LP. We would love to get out to a few cities around Ontario this spring/summer if all goes well. Mainly I just wanna keep working on songs and having a good time writing music and putting out records.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Space Raft: A Sonic Odyssey Through the Astral Plane

Milwaukee's Space Raft released one of the most enchanting records of 2014.  At first listen I barley caught my jaw from hitting the floor more than once. Now, how to describe this band to you, that is a tough one. Closest thing I can come to that is to ask that you try to imagine an alternate reality where Alex Chilton fronts for Hawkwind.   Space Raft's music is a swirling sonic landscape filled with heavy 70's rock guitars coated in 1960's Mersey Beat melodies.  The perfect summer sounds for sunbathing on the sand dunes of Mars.

Interview by J Castro

Who is currently in the band and what does everyone do in it?
Tjay Christensen: Keyboards, Vocals
Tyler Chicorel: Drums, Vocals
Jon Heibler: Bass
Jordan Davis: Guitar, Vocals

How did you all meet and decide to play music together?
JORDAN: Tjay and I met through a mutual friend, I had been writing songs for a monster movie my friend Brian Perkins was developing and I needed a solid keyboard player that could play the stuff I had been writing at the piano.  We got together and worked on it a bit and thought it would be cool to form a band around some of that material,  so we started looking at finding some other musicians we’d like to hang out with. Tjay introduced me to his friend Tyler and I introduced them to my friend Colin Swinney and immediately we had chemistry and knew it would be a fun band to pursue. Colin moved to California shortly after our initial practices so I introduced the band to Srini Radhakrishna, who played with us through recording our 1st album then subsequently moved to California as well.  After temporarily having Justin Perkins fill in on bass duties we settled on my old friend Jon Heibler and that line up has remained solid ever since. The band has really grown a lot together from being my sort of brainchild or pet project into a very organic band. The upcoming sophomore LP is testament to that as it contains many influences brought to the band from the other guys.

What band or musician first inspired you to want to pick up an instrument and learn to play and/or write music?
JORDAN: The Beach Boys, I was obsessive about surf music as a kid. Between Carl Wilson’s Chuck Berry riffs or the Ventures instrumentals I knew that I absolutely wanted to play guitar. I don’t think I knew I wanted to write until I heard Nirvana in middle school, that might be cliché, but it was a big moment in my life.  I can’t speak for the other guys, but I imagine that was a watershed moment for them as well. I was raised in Green Bay Wisconsin, there was an all ages club there run by Timebomb Tom called the Concert Cafe, and later the Rock and Roll High School.  Jon and I met there as kids, often playing together in similar bands. I know Tjay spent a lot of time there as well, he is a little older though we never bumped into him at that time. That place was special to a lot of people, we got to see all sorts of great punk and hard rock touring bands, definitely setting the course for many people’s lives in the area in getting them involved with music, including our own.

S/T LP released May 10th 2014 on Dusty Medical Records

How would you describe your band to your grandparents?
JORDAN: My Grandpa refers to it as an orchestra for some reason, He likes old time jazz, country, and polka, and so I am not too sure what frame of reference I would have to use explaining it to him. I’d maybe tell him it sounds like Count Basie through a distorted radio, But Hell, he’s probably heard the Beatles by now. I think either of my Grandmothers wouldn’t really be concerned with what it sounds like, only that it makes me happy and that I feel compelled to do it.

What sorts of things do you typically enjoy writing songs about? 
JORDAN: It changes too often to pin down, there are common themes present, but it’s mostly subconscious. The songs off of Space Raft’s upcoming sophomore LP “Rubicon” seem to deal mostly with mortality, self control, destiny, and existential questions regarding reality.  It was a hard year in my life I suppose.  I try not to write too literally and leave it open for interpretation by the listener. I could explain what every song I write means to me, but would rather people form their own conclusions. If I were to sit down next to Bob Dylan and he were to explain Visions of Johanna to me, there is a chance I might not care for that song anymore, I suppose I prefer to live with the imagery I have already created for that song in my head.  

I’ve heard people say that playing and writing music is therapeutic to them.  Have you ever found this to be true?
JORDAN: It is, but I think any creative endeavor can be. To labor on something that doesn’t exist in the physical world can help to process some of the weight of being. It swings both ways though, I used to really obsess about music, to a point where it was unhealthy. Really beat myself up over what I thought I was capable of, I got to the point were it never was any fun because nothing was ever good enough. I have learned to relax lately, and only concentrate on the kinds of ideas that work and therefore have more fun at it. I think overall the quality of my work benefited from that outlook.  It’s easy to have fun in Space Raft, there is a very natural chemistry that keeps the atmosphere very light and jovial, even when we have lots of work to do we are still joking around. I feel very fortunate to be a part of it really. Everybody brings something to the table.

Does it annoy you or distract you at all to see some of your audience members fondling their phones while you’re up on stage performing?
JORDAN: It really doesn’t bother me, people enjoy themselves any numbers of ways. Who am I to judge?  

After one of your shows, what sort of feeling or sentiment do you hope your audience walks away with? 
JORDAN: I hope they understand that we work really hard at what we do, and that we are having a really good time doing it. Our 1st S/t LP was seemingly very well received in many different circles, and I hope our audience understands how much work went into making it.  Above all else, I hope they know that we appreciate them listening.

What is your favorite album to listen to from start to finish?
JORDAN: There are far too many albums to choose from. I could narrow down a few, but I tend to only really listen to music on my own time that I am currently inspired by, meaning, that one record would literally change week to week. Maybe this week it’s Neil Young’s Zuma, maybe next week it’ll be Big Star’s #1 record. Last Week it was The Saints Eternally Yours or Bowie’s Hunky Dory, Last year  it was Serge Gainsbourg’s soundtrack to Cannabis, then it was the Easybeat’s Vigil and then the Beach Boys Today or Velvet Undergrounds 3rd. Who knows, I could list a hundred more but it wouldn’t help me pick one.  We all have different area’s of interest in music and all bring our personalities to the band. The one record we really all flipped out on as a band was a reissue of a 1970 Liverpool band called Rockin Horse “Yes it is”. Fabulous record, and very close to Space Raft oeuvre.   

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you that you still follow to this day?
JORDAN: Haha, I have never been very good at taking advice. My girlfriend Michelle reminds me I should slow down and live in the present. I think that is good general advice to follow. I can be quite the space cadet if left to wander amongst my daydreams.

What is the best way people can hear and get a hold of your music?
JORDAN: You can hear our self titled album on Bandcamp and Spotify
You can hear the new single from our upcoming Rubicon LP at our website:
Stream our New Single on DMR from
Or you can buy our self titled debut and 7” (and our follow up April 15th) by from Dusty Medical Records:
Or, if you are in Europe you can buy Our S/T or our upcoming LP at Bachelor records:

What lies ahead for Space Raft in 2016?
JORDAN: Our sophomore album Rubicon will be out on Dusty Medical Records (US) and Bachelor Records (Europe) on April 15th and we have our Milwaukee release show booked on May 7th with some of our favorite Milwaukee Dusty Medical affiliated bands: Phylums, Midnight Reruns, and Platinum Boys. We are trying to book as many weekends we can for the summer and currently are in the early process of booking a European tour for later this year.  So things are coming together and we are looking forward to the adventure.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Get to know The No Marks!

UK’s The No Marks play unbelievably catchy, undeniably loud punk rock.  The No Marks are heavily influenced by 90’s punk.  This isn’t your artsy highbrow Fugazi type band though.  The No Marks play everyman style punk rock for the working class, the way it was meant to be. Try to imagine what it would sound like if The Swingin’ Utters covered the first Face to Face record and you get an idea of the kinds of sounds The No Marks blast out.  They have a few EP’s and an LP under their belt, all are most certainly worth checking out. 

Interview by J Castro

Let’s start out by telling us who is currently in the band and what instrument does everyone play:
Mark Murphy plays guitar and sings, another Mark Magill plays bass and sings, Andy Mason plays guitar and Marc Maitland plays drums on the records and Morgan Brown is kind enough to play drums when we've played live.

Light of One LP released Sept 29th on Brassneck Records 

How did you all meet and decide to play music together?
MARK MAGILL: We've known each other for a long time, through playing in bands and all that kind of stuff. We came together via Marc, who wanted to do a song for a Chopper compilation album and we all did our bits remotely, via email and the like. It was a fun process so we decided to send each other some songs and ideas and before we knew it we had to draw a line under that as we had so many songs. This turned into some people wanting to put records out by us, which is crazy.

What band or musician first inspired you to want to pick up an instrument and learn how to play and/or write music?
MARK MURPHY: Buddy Holly. My Dad was a huge fan and that’s what I grew up listening to. They were the first songs I ever leaned on the guitar.

MARK MAGILL:  Debbie Gibson, the 80s singer. I liked her first album and she wrote songs. I started writing songs and thinking about arrangements before I could play an instrument or had any way of figuring things out, apart from in my head.

What sorts of things typically inspire your song lyrics?  Are there any subjects you purposely try to stay away from?
MARK MURPHY: Mine are either personal things that have happened to me, or they are characters which I like to make up stories for. You’ll have to work out which ones are real for yourself though!!!

MARK MAGILL: Either very specific stuff to me, or sometimes I'll make it vague so the listener can fill in the blanks.

I’ve heard from some people that playing music is therapeutic to them.  Have you ever found this to be true for yourselves?
MARK MAGILL: Yes. It's a good way to relax or get angry, depending on what music you're playing. Either way, it's good to express yourself in some way. It can have an effect on other things too, as I have been really ill at times, but as soon as I get on stage, the pain and discomfort can disappear.

The band is currently based in Liverpool is that correct?  What is it like playing in a punk band there these days?  Is there a supportive “scene” out there?
MARK MURPHY: The Liverpool scene is great. Like any town or city’s punk scene its popularity goes up and down with certain trends, but there is always a hardcore of people who regularly attend gigs. Sometimes there are too many gigs for people to go to, and sometimes two gigs on the same night which is really frustrating for me, but the logistics of putting on a touring band are sometimes out of a promoter’s hands. Sometimes I can flip from gig to gig depending on what band is on at what time.

MARK MAGILL: It's good here, although we could do with some more venues. Technically, we're not based anywhere, as our drummer Marc lives on the Isle of White, and we write and record via the magic of the internet. It's like War Games, but with music not thermonuclear war.

A lot of the press you guys have been getting describes No Marks “sound” as being very heavily influenced by 90’s melodic punk.  Do you guys agree with that?
MARK MURPHY: Yeah that is definitely true. The main reason for that is that every single member of the band was in a punk band in the 90’s.

MARK MAGILL: And we all look like we're in our 90's.

Tell me about the most unforgettable No Marks show, good or bad and what about it made it so memorable to you guys:
MARK MAGILL: We haven't played many gigs. As I said, we formed and mainly exist over email, but we thought we should play a few gigs when our album came out. They've all been fun, even when there's not been many people there or stuff like that. We played a couple of gigs with The Spoilers, who we've now gone on to do a split single with and they're good lads and it's great to watch them play.

Tell me about a record that you own and love that you feel a lot of No Marks fans may be surprised you like:
MARK MURPHY: I love classical music. I’m a big Prokofiev fan. I also love musicals!!!

MARK MAGILL: I listen to a lot of jazz, mainly Sonny Rollins and Paul Chambers at the moment. Lots of other stuff too, like Kanye West, Morbid Angel, Ice-T, The Streets, Insect Warfare. Anything!

If your band could tour with any other band from any era of rock n roll history (either supporting or headlining) who would you guys play with and why?
MARK MAGILL: Poison Idea for the rider.

Where are the best places for people to go or log on to hear No Marks music?
MARK MAGILL: go to the Brassneck Records Bandcamp page and you can hear some of our stuff there. There's also stuff on Spotify and iTunes and all that kind of stuff. If you've got the internet I'm sure you can find it somewhere.
Our album is here -

What lies in the future for the band?  Any recording or touring plans in the works?

MARK MAGILL: No touring plans as of yet, but a few gigs here and there. We're currently recording a few songs for a split single we're doing with a really good band and we have a lot of ideas and demos for the next album, which we will start recording at some point soon!

Friday, March 4, 2016

A candid conversation with Bay Area's Long Knives!

Causing a ruckus in the Bay Area since 2013, sunny California’s Long Knives are a trio inspired by bands like Jimmy Eat World, Discount and Jets to Brazil.  Long Knives take bold melodic guitars, booming drums and encase them with resounding, heartfelt vocals.  The band just released their debut EP last year and I was immediately entranced by it upon first listen.  Call it “indie rock”, call it “emo” but this band transcends musical genres. Long Knives play from the heart and that’s what makes their music so genuine and captivating.   

Interview by J Castro

Let’s start out with some introductions, who’s in Long Knives and what does everyone do in the band?
I’m Robert and I play bass. Thanks Audio Ammunition for having us.

I’m Kris- I play guitar and sing

I’m Connor, I play drums and handle the backing vocals

What band or musician has been the biggest influence in your life?  Tell me about the first time you heard them and how it changed you from that moment on:
KRIS: I'm influenced by so many bands and musicians and it constantly changes, but I am going to go with a band that made me want to start playing guitar and another band that made me want to start writing my own music, those two bands are Coheed & Cambria and Dashboard Confessional. I remember when I was 12 years old, I heard Coheed & Cambria's Second Stage Turbine Switch Blade for the first time, and I was sold on wanting to play guitar. I started off with a classical guitar, but it wasn't long until I switched over to an electric guitar (Epiphone Les Paul special) and channeled my inner Claudio Sanchez. Not too long after, I came across Dashboard Confessional's unplugged CD at a Coconuts store. Chris Carrabba just has a way of singing heartfelt lyrics and strumming his guitar in weird tunings that made me curious about the whole singer-songwriter thing. Since then, I would write acoustic songs and upload them on Myspace so friends and strangers could listen(I was playing in horrible metal/hardcore bands over the years so it was a nice to have that as well.). It wasn't until I was 19 that I started singing in a full band.

ROBERT: The Clash has always inspired me to listen to other styles of music, keep me open minded not just in music but everyday living. It’s hard to describe, all I can do is tap my chest. I first saw The Clash’s “Rock The Casbah” music video on an old black and white television as a kid. My other influences are the Ramones, The Jam, Jawbreaker, Dead To Me, Rainer Maria too.

CONNOR: I would be lying if I didn’t say that the Ramones and Rancid got me interested in punk rock and playing music in general. Those are certainly some of my earliest influences. As a drummer- some life/style/choice changing bands for me are Thin Lizzy, Alkaline Trio and Braid. Damon Atkinson, Glen Porter and Brian Downey are my drum gods.

Your song lyrics seem so personal, I’d be really surprised if you told me they weren’t autobiographical.  Have you ever written a song that’s just a bit too personal to share? 
KRIS: Everything I write may be too personal, but writing is my outlet and I have no shame of exposing it even if it makes me seem vulnerable. That's never going to change. 

When you play your songs live, can you disassociate yourself from the places you were in when you first wrote them or do those feelings sometimes comeback?
KRIS: Every song I write is important to me. It's weird that before we begin to play a song, the memory and reason of why I wrote that particular song will pop up in my head and then we start playing. It's like I have to prepare myself and get that feeling out so that every time I play it, it's just as pure as the first time I played it. 

I was reading an interview with Nick Cave once and he said that music has the power to affect people’s mood the strongest.  Do you agree with that at all?
KRIS: Oh, yeah, and any mood, too. I can put on Carry On's A Life Less Plagued and be angry due to pissed off lyrics and pumped at the same time because of how much I love the guitar tone and drums that compliment it. Then there's Slingshot Dakota's Their Dreams Are Dead, But Ours is the Golden Ghost! - that record will make me feel nostalgic and reminisce of the time when I first started attending shows in Brooklyn. It always puts a smile on my face. I could go on and on about this, but you get the idea. 

ROBERT: I agree, music is a part of our daily lives. There’s a rhythm to life and music breaks the silence.

CONNOR: Most assuredly. Music will always be a lifeline, an inspiration a motivator and a detractor.

Long Knives just came off of an East Coast Tour with the band Divorce.  Have you ever played this part of the country before, and how do you feel it went?
ROBERT: The East Coast Tour was the longest tour I’ve ever been on. Three weeks on the road with Divorce is something I’ll never forget. We played through 14 states in 20 days and drove 5,200 miles and that’s not counting the miles flying out to the East Coast.

CONNOR: Kris is from NJ originally so I know she’s had plenty of experience in those parts and I did a short East Coast run with my old project Know Your Saints a few years back. It was my first time playing anywhere in the South, and in parts of the Midwest. I don’t think any of us really had expectations other than to play the shows and enjoy our time away from work/monotony. I had the pleasure of bringing along one of my dearest friends Chris Elizaga to fill in second guitar/ vocal duties and our deepest gratitude goes out to him for learning our set with two weeks and one practice under his belt. Check out Young Go Hards, Smooth Sailing or Hellgod for some of his sweet sounds. The gentlemen in Divorce were a blast. Fest was amazing. I must say, Columbus, Akron & Pittsburgh REALLY know how to treat a touring band.

Speaking of your live shows, what sort of feelings or sentiments do you want your audience members to walk away with after seeing one of your performances?
KRIS: This question has always been weird to me, ha! I play music because it is my outlet and makes me happy. So I guess the only feeling that I'd want to get across to an audience is that what I do is sincere and pure. I don't ever expect anything after a set, though. Honestly, a high five or "that was cool" is more than enough.

ROBERT: I’d like to think that they saw us at our strongest and most vulnerable and that we play hard since we don’t know of any other way.

This is Your Life EP released April 7th, 2015 on Count Your Lucky Stars records

You came out with your debut EP This Is Your Life on the Count Your Lucky Stars label last year.  Can you tell me a bit about the release?  The white and red splatter vinyl looks great by the way! 
CONNOR: This recording was actually intended to be our demo. We recorded it with Patrick Hills at Earthtone Studios in Sacramento, CA in July of 2014 and threw it up on bandcamp shortly after. We opened for Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) the following October and Keith & Kathy approached us about doing a release with them at the show. Needless to say we were ecstatic. We couldn’t be happier with our CYLS family. Dave Downham mastered the record and it was released on that gorgeous slab of wax shortly there after.  Lucas Andrews of A Flight Of Yesterdays Graphic Design did all the amazing artwork and layout. The White and Red combination worked out perfectly, we’re glad you noticed!

ROBERT: This EP is the first recording I’ve ever been on! I learned a lot about all the work that goes on behind the scenes too. I thought the white and red splatter would’ve had more contrast.  Pirates Press did a great job and I love how the colors matched the artwork perfectly. It makes me think of strawberry ice cream with actual fruit.

On your Facebook page, you describe the band as “emo”.  It’s been a long time since I heard a band define themselves as that.  It’s a term that seems to have fallen out of favor with a lot of folks.  Why do you think the word “emo” became so “uncool” with people?
CONNOR: I personally feel like it’s a pretty lazy, all encompassing way of categorizing a pretty large, vastly diverse, sub-sect of bands. A large portion of the bands that I love & identify with use the word to categorize their music, so I don’t have any apprehension about using the same descriptor. There is a large resurgence of bands being released by Tiny Engines, CYLS, Topshelf and Polyvinyl that describe themselves as such and I think it’s great. When we use it, we’re giving a nod to the purveyors of the genre, ala the Promise Ring, The Anniversary, Knapsack, Rainer Maria, Jimmy Eat World even Rites of Spring…but I would be lying if I said we weren’t influenced by some of the more contemporary pieces to the puzzle as well (Into It. Over It., Taking Back Sunday, Tancred etc.) In all honesty- I feel like “emo” became a dirty word simply due to its heavy association with the early 2000’s and its inherent obsession with eyeliner and flat irons & more power to those who loved that version all the same. We are all subject to our own personal taste and while Thursday and Brand New may not be your cup of tea, a seminal “emo” band like Cap’n Jazz or American Football might be your favorite. The word “emo” describes both of the aforementioned whether you like it or not. I guess what I’m saying is “emo” is dead, long live “emo”…? I just said it so many times that it sounds weird now.

What’s the best piece of advice someone told you or that you read somewhere that you still follow to this day?
KRIS: The last thing my grandmother said to me was to never stop playing music and 7 years later, I'm still doing what she told me to do. 

ROBERT: The best advice I’ve ever been given is to live life “a day at a time.” That way life won’t feel so overwhelming.

CONNOR: Always trust yourself. Treat the ones you love like they matter. First impressions hold more weight than you’d expect!

Where are the best places to go or log on to hear or buy your music?
CONNOR: You can listen/purchase our stuff at:
You can also find us on itunes and Spotify.

What lies ahead in 2016 for Long Knives?
CONNOR: Right now we’re working on getting our first full length written so we can get into the studio sooner than later. That’s priority number one. We’ve got some really fun shows coming up including supporting the impeccable Slingshot Dakota on April 23rd. Hopefully we’ll be out on the road a little bit as well. Thanks for having us Audio Ammunition. Thanks for listening everybody.

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