Friday, November 8, 2019

Moral Panic Interview

A much more revered music publication put out a piece on what bands they feel are "keeping punk alive." For me, Moral Panic is on that short and distinguished list.  For uncompromising, no frills, sledgehammer swinging punk rock, few bands are doing it better right now than this New York City trio. With only two LP's under their belt, these guys sound as seasoned as if they've put out 10.  For those saying that punk music peaked decades ago: I  give you Moral Panic as my prime piece of evidence that it's still very much alive and and writhing in the gutters.

Interview by Jay Castro

Who’s answering the questions: Daniel Kelley

Let’s start off by telling me who’s in Moral Panic and what everyone does in the band: 
Moral Panic consists of Daniel Kelley on guitar/vox, Shane “Brown” Kerton on drums and Dale Nixon on bass.

How did you all meet and decide to play music together?  
Moral Panic started after my old band Livids spontaneously combusted due to the classic tale of inner band turmoil. Me and the drummer of Livids decided to keep at it and start something new. Initially we were gonna get someone else to sing and be a four piece. Unfortunately the guy who we thought would be a good singer decided to show up to rehearse after he had taken a muscle relaxer and who knows how many drinks. After spending a few hours watching this dude trying to figure out how to plug in his guitar and not fall over, I decided that I should just sing. At first I wasn't all that comfortable both singing and guitar duty but it turned out to be pretty fun! We recruited a friend to help out on bass and viola Moral Panic was born. We've never really had a permanent bassist in this band for a wide variety of reasons, people have always filled in for some time and then they go off to pasture. We kind of go through bass players like Spinal Tap does drummers. The original drummer eventually left a few years back to pursue other things and a friend of mine got me in touch with Shane. Shane came aboard and immediately was such a breath of fresh air, he really brought new life to the songs. Shane has been in the band for a few years now and plays on the latest record. 

You guys have been compared to bands like The Carbonas, The Pagans, and The Dead Boys. Comparisons aside, how would you describe your band to someone who’s never heard you before?  
We get compared to Carbonas a lot and I don’t really hear it. I really love the Carbonas but I would say we are more along the lines of sounding like The Dead Boys and The Pagans. This is always a hard question trying to describe what your band sounds like. I guess I would say we sound like a band who is on a steady diet of listening to Killed By Death comps, Dangerhouse and Rodney on The Roq comps. I realize that might go over the heads of most people so yeah…we sound like The Dead Boys but faster!

You guys released your self-titled debut LP in 2017 on Slovenly Recordings.  You released your second LP earlier in 2019, also self-titled.  What led to the decision to keep this one untitled as well?
I think a lot goes into naming an album, maybe sometimes too much thought. Someone once told me this band is “caveman rock”, and that was possibly one of the highest compliments we have ever received. It felt right to just keep it self-titled, because we just didn’t really care!

And speaking of your second record, you released this one Alien Snatch Records from Germany. How did you guys end up releasing the album with them? 
Daniel from Alien Snatch got in touch with me kind of out of the blue. He wrote me an email telling me how much he liked our record on Slovenly and that he really wished he had put it out, and from there I just told him...put out the second one!  It was really refreshing to hear from someone be so genuine and let you know how much they like what you’re doing and want to help you keep making music. I think at the time I had about half the songs written and knowing that someone wanted to put out a record really gave me the spark to finish it and write more songs. Daniel has been great and I was personally really honored as I am such a fan of the label and the bands that he puts out.

I feel your second record has a more organic sound to it. No doubt due to Jeff Burke (The Reds, Marked Men, and Radioactivity) mixing and mastering it.  How did you guys hook up with him and how do you feel it turned out?
The reason this record sounds so organic is definitely in part to Jeff's style, but also due to our Friend Phil Palazzolo who recorded the record. I know Phil because he recorded Livids and we kept in touch ever since. Phil, in addition to being a great engineer, does front of house sound for lots of very cool bands. Our first record, which Phil also recorded, was done in about 4 hours in a studio in the Dumbo neighborhood in Brooklyn. Initially we meant to record like 4 songs for a demo but ended up doing 10 songs. We literally did every bit of production in 4 hours. Guitars, bass, drums, vocals, overdubs, etc were all done at rapid speed. At the time we were rehearsing A LOT and it just happened really fast, and I thought it came out great! This time we went to a better studio and did the entire thing over a whole weekend. So taking our time and doing things at a slower pace made a huge difference. Daniel from Alien Snatch suggested that Jeff do the mixing and mastering and got us in touch. I'm a big fan of all of Jeff's bands so it was really cool to have him help us. Working with Jeff was great experience because he totally gets what kind of band we are and what sound we were going for. I spent an afternoon at his apartment drinking beer and going over the mixing with him. Jeff is knob twisting master and I am super stoked how it turned out.

The second song in on your new record is called “Flower Violence.” What’s the inspiration behind this tune?  
Initially when I wrote this song I was getting really tired of this growing trend of bands that I would label “flower punk”. Bands that have jangly guitars, vocals drenched in reverb, write about that one bong rip where they say Harambe spoke to them, or about I dunno eating so much pizza they had to write a song about it. Don’t get me wrong, these are real life struggles that I may or may not have some real life experience dealing with. However I thought it was getting really stale. So I wrote a garage/punk tune about power violence smashing flower violence, I am sure that somewhere out there there is a “Man is the Bastard” fan who is extremely confused and annoyed by this song.

I noticed some similarities between the cover photo of your new album and the Dictators classic LP Bloodbrothers. You guys living in New York City and all, was this done as an homage to Handsome Dick and the boys?  
This was 100% an homage. I adore the dictators. I have been fortunate enough to open for them twice and both times were extremely memorable because each time I attempted to strike up a conversation with Ross the Boss and proceeded to drunkly punish him. Also the last time Moral Panic opened for them it was us and Liquor Store. My band and LS managed to drink every bit of beer and wine given to us backstage before the Dictators even got there, turned out it was not for us and was all meant for the Dictators. Whoops! Certain members of The Dictators were not impressed, not impressed at all.

What’s the best way for people to connect with Moral Panic and where can people go (either online or in person) to hear or buy your music? 

What’s in store for the band in the near future?  Any more new music coming down the pipe or tour plans in the works? 
More shows on the way, more tunes on the way and hopefully we will stop threatening and make our way over to Europe to melt some faces.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Audio Ammunition Podcast Episode 5: Bomb City, Music Festivals and Green Day!

1. The boys talk about Bomb City. A movie based on the true-life story of Brian Deneke.

2. We ask the question, have Big Time Festivals killed the dive bar show scene?

3. And a new segment called Smash or Trash: this time around we talk the new Green Day song: 

4. And our featured song is "Right On" by one of our favorite bands Faz Waltz!  Available on their new LP titled Double Decker. Available from Spaghetty Town Records, Contra Records, and God's Candy Records.  

  Check out this episode!

HI! First and foremost we'd like to thank you so very much for visiting our blog!  We greatly appreciate it.

If you like what you've heard, we'd like to ask if you'd please give us a like on Facebook (, follow us on Twitter (@AAmmunition),  Instagram (audio_ammunition_punk) or simply just tell your friends about us. 

Also please give our podcast a quick review, rating or hit the subscribe button! That way you'll be sure never to miss an episode. We're on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify etc. 

Again, thank you so much!  - The Audio Ammunition Staff