New Bruises (02 mai 2006)

NEW BRUISES ont lancé Transmit! Transmit! en avril dernier – la première brique sur une route qui s’annonce prometteuse pour cette nouvelle formation des frères Lippincott (anciennement de MID CARSON JULY). Pour ceux qui recherchent un bon punk rock honnête, n’hésitez surtout pas à vous procurer leur cd! Voici un entretien inspirant réalisé avec Bryon, chanteur et guitariste du groupe, à propos de leur album, Kiss of Death Records, George W. Bush et ce qu’il en est de la scène punk contemporaine (et oui, il y a de l’espoir!).

[CATH] What's behind the name NEW BRUISES?

[BRYON] The name is a SUPERCHUNK reference, check out Indoor Living - great song on the album, although No Pocky For Kitty is still my favorite SUPERCHUNK record.

[CATH] Describe your band in seven words or less.

[BRYON] Punk anthems tempered with sarcastic indie appeal!!

[CATH] Your sound definitely has the same honest feel as that of bands like LATTERMAN. What are some of your influences?

[BRYON] Thanks, we are stoked you sensed the honesty. We have really worked hard to keep the music genuine and not contrived. As for influences there are definitely a lot of bands that are impacting. I would say some bands that directly influence "our sound" are bands such as AMERICAN STEEL, BRAID, DAG NASTY, DILLINGER FOUR, JAWBREAKER, FUGAZI, FUEL, LEATHERFACE, this list could go on too long.

[CATH] What happened with MID CARSON JULY exactly? Is MCJ ever going to be a band again?

[BRYON] MID CARSON JULY was going down a dark and scary path of opening for bands like LESS THAN JAKE and playing Warped Tour. It made a bunch of the guys fell uncomfortable with the direction we were headed. We decided to do a basement tour in 2002. It never happened and we decided to take a short hiatus and that is the last time we talked about doing MCJ as a band. We all still talk and we are all good friends we just live in different places now and we moved on. Eric and I wanted to do a indie-punk band with lots of anthem like parts so we started NEW BRUISES. I am not sure if we will ever play again. I kind of hate all the reunions. We really never broke up but we have not been a band in like four years so it would feel too much like a reunion.

[CATH] You've recently welcomed Chris Murray into NEW BRUISES. What made you want to have a third guitarist? What's it like to be playing with Murray again?

[BRYON] Originally I was going to start a side project band with Murray but just didn't have the free time to do another band. I suggested it to everybody in the band because he is an awesome guitarist. We talked about the line up addition and we were worried that it may be overkill or cheesy but decided to do it regardless. So, we added Murray mostly because he is our friend and we wanted to. We figured we don't make any money as a band so we can have do whatever we want. He has added an awesome unexpected element and thickness to the band. That accompanied with the fact he is fun to be around, so it has been great move for NEW BRUISES.

[CATH] What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment with this band so far?

[BRYON] So far just being a band, getting a record out, playing with some great bands, and playing the Fest in Gainesville have been great accomplishments. I think our real accomplishments are yet to come!

[CATH] Your first record is titled Transmit! Transmit!, and starts off with the line Stand up! Stand up! Now listen... What's the message that NEW BRUISES wishes to send out?

[BRYON] We really wanted to send out a social-political message and we do touch on some personal stuff. It is not like we have any good answers, we just have some general problems with the cultural and political climates in America, for lack of a better way to say it, "It's fucked up!" I feel comfortable saying that we strongly dislike the Bush administration in general. He will be remembered for 9/11 the Iraq war, wars on terror, weapons of mass destruction, educational budget cuts and immigration laws. What dark days. We have some real issues to deal with as community in the US. Maybe the next record will have a plan, who knows?

[CATH] Your lyrics are definitely based around personal experiences, but there is a certain social commentary that creeps in. We definitely can't ignore song titles like Homogenized For Mass Consumption or How My Youth Was Watered Down And Sold For Profit. What are some of the issues that you feel most strongly about?

[BRYON] That song is kind of self-descriptive. It was kind of a hard pill to swallow when we realized that "the scene" we participated in - Eric and Murray and I spent most of our lives going to shows and being punk rock. At least a good fifteen years now and I would have never guessed that it would be so marketable. "Punk"(for lack of better terms) has become easy and pop culture. You can find it in the malls and parents think it is a safe alternative. Football players warm up to "punk" songs to get psyched up before a game and every teen movie have a "punk" band in the soundtrack. This is not what I grew up with. I believe there is still a underground subculture, but this can't be it. You cannot have a subculture unless you have a culture to begin with and it seems like "punk" is the culture. I guess I feel kind of strongly about keeping punk underground, but not as a secret society.

[CATH] Where do you find the motivation to keep on going as musicians and get past the struggles you are faced with on a daily basis, as a band that's trying to keep things real?

[BRYON] Well, I tried to give it up, and that was more miserable than doing it. It is kind of a break from our real life. Most of us have jobs that we work fifty plus hours a week to get by. Playing is like our time to do something we love and enjoy. Plus there are so many great bands and horrible bands that motivate us to try and make an impact. We have no weird delusions about surviving by solely playing music. We are just doing what feels right and trying to get our point across by being ourselves. When someone at a show gets it, that becomes the biggest motivator to play more shows and write more songs.

[CATH] You guys are not originally from the area, but have been based in Florida for a while, a place that has produced lots of great bands from HOT WATER MUSIC to AGAINST ME! to FIYA to NEW MEXICAN DISASTER SQUAD and so many more. What made you move out there? What is it that makes this place so alive? What are some great up and coming bands from the area that we should check out?

[BRYON] We moved to Florida in 2000 kind of by accident. MID CARSON JULY (Eric and My last band) wanted to get out of Pennsylvania and move down south for the warm weather and laid back atmosphere. We settled on Florida because friends of ours offered a floor to sleep on for a few months. We fell in love with Tampa and stayed even after we stopped playing. I never could figure out what breeds such great and identifiable music here, but it has been that way forever. Maybe it is the humidity. I am not sure, but it works. Lately, bands we have been totally amped on are J PAGE, SIR PRIZE FIGHTER, THE TIMVERSION, THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, DUKES OF HILLSBOROUGH, VAGINA SORE JR., GUILTMAKER, LIGHT YOURSELF ON FIRE, STRANDED and MONIKERS.

[CATH] "I learned my lessons, I learned them well" is a quote from the song Hell Is A Highway (Connecting Tampa and Orlando). What's the most important lesson music has taught you? What's the worst thing you lost because of this band?

[BRYON] The most important lesson music has taught us is how to be realistic. We try not to get caught up believing that just because we play in band that we deserve respect or recognition. Success in music largely based on luck, but also on hard work. We focus and hard work and set up own basis for success not on other people's basis of success. We have luckily lost nothing yet in this band but we will probably lose our jobs if we tour as much as we want to.

[CATH] There is a well-penned statement in your cd jacket that ends with "punk rock is an idea more than it was ever a sound." What is your definition of punk rock? Do you believe that it is a movement/ideology that will forever remain relevant regardless of the era or the social context?

[BRYON] Punk rock to me is an ideology or a movement of rebellion and challenging the norm or basic values passed out to you by society or church or whatever. It is like self-discovery, trying to figure out what you think is right, what your values are. I think people stick to punk because they find they are in a small percentage of people that have a hard time accepting the norms of society. Naturally, people find others in a similar situation and band together. I believe it’s the basis of punk culture. The music has always played a role of purveying some message about these ideas and differences. I believe that it will always be relevant as long as people are into the ideology of punk. The problem I have stated earlier is that right now it is recognized in the mainstream as a sound. So for now, "punk" is marketable and has little impact socially, except for how kids are dressing! The great thing about punk is it will find a way to rebel against itself and make it relevant again.

[CATH] Transmit! Transmit! is the first record to come out on Kiss of Death. Can you tell us a bit more about the label, who's running it, what bands are on it and any upcoming plans/releases?

[BRYON] Kiss of Death Records was my idea. Instead of putting out records with another label, I wanted to put it out. The band backed the idea because they know what I am about and we felt like we would not get misrepresented. My original intention was to put out Florida bands that I respect and think play great music. I have releases coming out for MONIKERS, GUILTMAKER and LIGHT YOURSELF ON FIRE. Depending on how they go and how our tour goes, I may branch out and do records for bands from other areas. Right now it is important for me to hang out with a band and seem them play live to want to put out a record. It may sound unimportant, but if I put out a band on only a demo it would feel like it was all business. I want to know people and think they are an amazing live band.

[CATH] Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with New Ends Skateboard Co. and Glas Clothing?

[BRYON] New Ends are the coolest. Almost everybody in our band skateboards and we sent them a copy of our CD and they hooked us up with boards. I talk to Dre often and is super supportive of our band. He works hard to try and get us opportunities and on skate video soundtracks. Glas is a buddy of Marcus, and he has also been super cool to us. He sends us clothes and uses songs in surf videos. We feel really lucky so far.

[CATH] What's in the works for the upcoming year for this band?

[BRYON] Hopefully a whole lot! We are recording some new stuff for some splits a 7" and a UK record. We are touring the East coast this spring and hopefully the West coast by fall. We are supposed to do a UK tour this summer. So hopefully we will make it up to Canada before the winter and immigration laws make it harder to cross the border.

[CATH] Last CD you bought?


[CATH] Last time you woke up having no idea where you were?

[BRYON] Mexico, in a hotel room in Riviera Maya (boring story, I was there for work).

[CATH] The first band that completely changed your life?

[BRYON] THE RAMONES in fifth grade was a start, but I think I would have to say that THE MISFITS were hugely impacting in early high school (sad but true). Eric and I both sported the horror look way back in the day. Later it was posi-hardcore, indie, and punk stuff.

[CATH] When you die, people will remember you for...

[BRYON] Something, I hope.

[CATH] When I think of Canada, I think of...

[BRYON] Brawls outside of clubs in Burlington, and spending a snowstorm in the basement apartment of Mike and Jodie Wessel from Workshop Records.

Merci à Bryon d’avoir pris le temps de répondre à nos questions, ainsi qu’à Sean chez Invisible Youth sans qui cet entretien ne se serait pas materialisé.

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