HXC: Interview with Alex McCormick of PartyWolfe

motifpicturePartyWolfe are an unstoppable force making its way slowly into the Providence music scene. These fine gentlemen hail from New Bedford, Fall River and Providence, and share some members with notable bands like Math The Band The Band. PartyWolfe does exactly what their name says: They bring energy to any show they play. All the members have fantastic stage presence, but Mr. Alex McCormick, vocalist, is absolutely insane on stage. You’d think that this man was fueled by that cute energizer bunny. I was lucky enough to steal some time from Alex’s rad life to ask him some questions about PartyWolfe and his thoughts on music and performing live.

Matt Morales (Motif): So, could you name the members in the band and what they do?

Alex McCormick: I’m on vocals and am the whimsical weirdo. Andrew Victorino is Stick flipper/Skin Ripper. Dan Hetu plays what he’s coined  the dumb guitar, aka the bass. Jeff McGowan is our lead guitar/main writer/pedal pusher, and Kyle Sousa likes to party.

MM: How long have you guys been writing music together? Please tell me the guys in the band saw you singing at karaoke one drunken night and recruited you from there!

AM: We’ve been writing together for a year and a half. Kyle re-discovered me making an exchange with my local liquor dealer in Fall River at Sterlings Package Store. We went out, partied in Providence and I drunkenly free-styled vocals over some instrumentals in his car. Rest is history. I’ve done karaoke once. I entered to help myself, my band aaaaaand I lost in the finals. I lost the contest and out on work hours. Fuck me, right? Haha.

MM: What would you say are your main influences for the band? I hear similarities with Everytime I Die, Chiodos and Maylene Sons of Disaster. PartyWolfe seems to revive the metalcore and post hardcore scene that was alive in the early 2000s, but you’re refining it and making it your own.

AM: My influences for the band are hardcore/punk music and culture in general, puns, personal-philosophy, sociology, social experiments, people-watching, “Hood rat”/inner city struggle/behaviors, 2pac, John Lennon, meditation/astral Projection/Vipassana, psychedelic research and my journey for personal peace. Who my vocal influences are, I’ll leave to the listener to speculate.

Jeff’s influences are “Mr Bungle and musicians who are better than him” haha. Drew loves prog music. ETID in terms of all things notable are lyricism, musicianship, longevity. It’s a rarity, I feel, that a band nails all of those things so seemingly casually, especially so consistently. As monumental as they are, we as a band are on our own pathway and are flattered to be muttered, still a newborn band, in the same breath as them. Also “Yo, KB – Stay lucid, homie. I see you though.”

MM: What inspires you guys to do what you do? For you, what is your main drive behind PartyWolfe? Do you have a specific message you’re trying to convey?

AM: I actually had a great dialog with a new-found homie who works at AS220 in Providence about this topic recently! I’ll paraphrase: We’re five dudes bound by the love for music and artistic expression. Life is short. We live in a mad fucking world, a LOUD world and in a country that is collectively very spiritually convoluted, sad and angry. I’m obsessed with, day by day, becoming a better/happier human and overall just leaving my mark on this planet, doing my part. Without being a racist, bigot, sexist or homophobic, I aspire, through our live-show and music, to use vulnerability as a strength, to inspire myself and other humans to be unapologetically expressive for the sake of personal peace and human/psychological/conscious development. It’s a tall fucking order. Music is the only legacy I have to leave behind as a man. All my childhood friends are dead, on drugs, in jail, or even worse … rotting away in their own personal mental-prisons. If I don’t step up and create something bigger than myself or my ego, then I feel my time on this earth will all have been in vain. My message(s)? With out being a racists, sexist, bigot or homophobic, “do what thou wilt,” be kind and have fun, and be unapologetically expressive and true to who you are for the sake of personal peace and human development.

MM: Describe the band’s energy on stage visually and musically. I saw you guys for the first time last Sunday at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston. You guys were tight as fuck; I really enjoyed your set.

AM: Thanks for coming out. Good question! I’ve actually never seen what we look like on stage. I warm up, go out there and just kind of get lost in the moment, like my name was Eckhart Tolle. I think that’s another spectator-sort-of-element that only a witness could testify to. My/Our aim is to just inspire people to take part in the moment happening rather than just spectating and feeling separate from it. We want to get it to the point where there are zero witnesses, but a swarm of people partaking in the moment happening. I think that is the prime directive.

MM: I know you guys just released your latest album, Homeless Romantic, not too long ago at Fete. How was that show? How has the album been received by the public? What’s your favorite track off the album?

AM: The show was great. My expectations were blown. The EP has been received pretty well, locally. Spreading it farther than New England is a focus. Favorite track? Gun to my head, it’s “What a Time to Be A-Live Band.” That song really sets a jaded-tone for where I currently am as a musician and perhaps where we are as a young band with everything to prove to the rest of the world.

MM: Is PartyWolfe currently writing new material? Do you have any plans to tour for 2017?

AM: A whole new batch of songs are nearly ready to be recorded.  Finding the means to branch out for out-of-state weekend runs is a goal at the moment. I’d sleep on broken glass and rusty nails every night if it would constitute the means to become a national act and have the privilege to connect with and meet new humans every day.

MM: As the vocalist of PartyWolfe, what are some of the toughest parts of fronting the band? I’m sure it’s no walk in the park preforming live. Your vocal range is pretty insane, from super angelic to some brutal and burly screams.

AM: 1) Breath control 2) Not fumbling over my words, when feeling vulnerable, while talking to a crowd of strangers 3) Not letting nay-sayers or heckler types dictate the vibe I’m trying to create or set.

MM: What are the best and worst parts about being in PartyWolfe?

AM: Best part for me: I have a popular outlet/platform to express myself and connect with my fellow man. Worst part: I’m a fucking alien to some of my band mates and sometimes our listeners. Some of my band mates and our listeners have “way more chill” than I do, when it comes to approaching life and art. Sometimes I feel like I live/write/play/express myself with a particular and manic urgency that is not always met with loving understanding. Disclaimer: That’s not a jab. It’s okay to be misunderstood by my band mates and peers. That’s part of MY process. I love my band mates and am grateful for anyone who takes time to observe us or listen to us.

MM: Do you guys have any shows coming up soon? If so, when and where?

AM: We do! Some we can’t announce. Some our listed on our Facebook. Thank you for your time, Matt. Much love to you and your own, dog. Stay UP, stay lucid. Shalom.

Find PartyWolfe here:

Partywolfe.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/partywolfe

instagram.com/party_wolfe

Itunes/youtube/spotify 




HxC: Make Punk and Hardcore Great Again

If you thought that the Providence punk and hardcore scene wasn’t already brutal enough, well, you can expect to see an up-tick in aggressive and pissed-off jams produced in response to the recently elected Donald Trump. No villain, no matter how strong, frightening or tangerine-hued, can succeed for very long. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself ever since Trump announced that he would be running for President of The United States of America. The amount of shit that this man allows to come out of his mouth is beyond comprehensible and acceptable. He is a bigot, a xenophobe and a misogynist. It hurts me to realize that millions of individuals with whom I share this country are exactly like him. If punk is good for anything, it’s good for smashing the corrupt capitalist society in which we live, it’s good for telling all individuals against equality to fuck right off, and it’s supremely good for preaching what’s on your mind. I’ve gathered a couple of songs by some local bands that speak against corrupt governments and political officials.

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The Effort//Iconoclasm// “Born Again Presidency”

Drop Dead//Split w/Crossed Out// “New World Slaughter”

Downtown Boys//Full Communism// “Wave of History”

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Upcoming Events

Nov 18: News Cafe — The Saddest Landscape, Field Trip, Agapé & Mind/Res

Nov 18: Machines With Magnets — Uniform, Timeghost, Finished, Trim

Nov 19: Fete — Deafheaven, Carcass, Interarma

Nov 26: Psychic Readings — Hurt Ensemble, Disavow, Bonefolder, High Command

Nov 30: Columbus Theater — Andrew W.K.




HxC: NoiseNoiseNoise — An Interview with Nick Sadler of Daughters

 

One of PVD’s most notorious noise bands recently got back together to melt your face off. Daughters started off in 2002 and called it quits in 2009. They briefly reunited for a couple local shows in 2013, but now they are full steam ahead with an already completed East Coast tour and a soon to come West Coast tour to revive all noise punks with their shrill guitar riffs and Elvis Presley style vocals.

I was lucky enough to catch Nick Sadler, guitarist of Daughters, to ask him a couple of questions about the band and his thoughts on the band’s revival.

Matt Morales: How does it feel to have Daughters back together? Is it like old times? Does the band have any new members or does it consist of the original line-up?

Nick Sadler: There have been some line-changes since 2002, but Sam, Jon, Lex and I form the core of the group going as far back as 2004 or 2005. It feels good to be spending time with Daughters. Some things are like old times, but it mostly feels like an entirely different band, almost entirely different people. In some ways, I feel confident that we are a better band. The other members really impressed me these past few weeks. There was a lot to take care of, to do ourselves. Everyone worked together in meaningful ways and we were able to accomplish many things in a short period of time. I thought the live show was chaotic and unhinged musically in a powerful way, with Lex really stepping into new exciting territory as a vocalist and performer. I am excited to see how we progress.

MM: You guys just finished up your first leg of your reunion tour with Jaye Jayle. How was that?

NS: We love Jaye Jayle. They are a very adept live band and group of musical thinkers. The song writing reflects a deeper understanding of sonic organization that is truly tasteful and impressive. Their music isn’t just great songwriting, it shows great compositional skill as well — patient, controlled, understated. The singer of Jaye Jayle is Evan Patterson, who has lead several bands Daughters toured with over the years. I can speak for all of us when I say it is not a surprise that Jaye Jayle is so great live. All of Evan’s projects have exemplified a strong sense of mindfulness and intent, even though each project comes from a different place, projecting different mood and tone. Having known Evan for so long now, having created some stand-out, important, memories, I found our time together to be a bit poignant, and all too short.

MM: How long were you guys out on the East Coast and how far did you go? Did any cities stand out especially? What was that one show that was just too much fun?

NS: We just finished five sold-out shows beginning with two nights in NYC at St Vitus bar, which were the first two shows we have played since 2013 (seven shows in total since 2009), one night at Johnny Brendas in Philadelphia, and two nights at Great Scott in Boston. We fly out for nine West Coast shows with The Body and Loma Prieta on November 4, after which we play a single show in Houston, Texas, at Day for Night festival, which boasts performers such as Apex Twin, Bjork, John Carpenter, Blood Orange, Run the Jewels, Blonde Redhead, Oneohtrix Point Never and lots of other great musicians.

The East Coast shows were wild with folks climbing all over the stage, screaming the lyrics to our songs. There were a few concussions that I know of, a split lip and copious amounts of sweat and spit. My favorite show was at Johnny Brendas in Philadelphia. The venue was just right, the sound just right, the perfect amount of intimacy and distance. The audience was fun, but that show felt right as a performer. I was able to jump right into the headspace necessary to both take in the experience and be fully present in the moment, while also exorcising myself as someone else. With Daughters, it’s important for me to feel physically aware, to wring myself out and break apart. This was a good night for that.

MM: How did it feel going into this East Coast tour knowing that all the dates were sold out? I’m assuming that must have been an overwhelmingly pleasant feeling. Did the attention catch your nerves at all?

NS: It did. Now that there is a certain amount of attention on Daughters that we did not have before, part of me wants to see how far this thing could go. I am optimistic about how the band will manifest itself creatively. Another part of me believes in and enjoys the idea that we are not meant to be a much bigger band. To connect with an audience in the places we perform has been an important part of what we do, but the music can be alienating — pushing you away just as much as drawing you in. Subsequently, I do feel a little pressure to be both ideas. I want us to fail as much as I want us to “succeed.” If we are to continue playing to larger audiences, I want, simply, to be a good live band technically and in our performances. On the other hand, there are lots of great bands out there. I take pride in knowing we are not meticulously designed and pre-meditated.

MM: Heard you had some issues with your gear during tour. What was up with that? Curse Of The Haunted Gear Tour 2016?

NS: It’s ironic. I have spent almost all of my time in Daughters ignoring learning about gear, guitar and how to polish the band up. This time around I thought it would be wise to make us sound as large as possible and make some effort to split the difference between aurally chaotic and something controlled. I did a little research, picked up reasonably nice amps, borrowed some famously nice amps from friends, purchased pedals we didn’t use before to help streamline the playability of certain songs. There was a keyboard, a sampler, a drum pad and a BR-1180 8-track in my pedal chain. It was a large, crazy sound and it could’ve worked, but starting back in June, the gear began to die off one-by-one, leaving me scrambling to find replacements. Then the shows started and heads were blowing, pedals dying, the performance being too caustic to realistically think I was going to turn around and start playing keyboards properly, and so we begin to shuck off the unnecessary components, making things a little smaller. Even picking some things up off of Craigslist as we went. I have never had a more frustrating and unlucky time with gear in all of the many years and bands I have traveled with. It was literally every day that something would break or cut out, right down to the strap button on my guitar somehow being sheared off in PA. That was an entirely new, subtle torture. However, that frustration and tension channeled itself right into the performance, and I had a satisfying time solving problems on the spot during our set. Sonically, we were able to hold our own despite the setbacks, or maybe not — I don’t know.

MM: Whats next for Daughters? Any plans for future tours or a new album?

NS: We are going to write, record and release something new in 2017. There is a “lost” 6-song recording we made in 2015 that is being shelved at the moment. We want to start from scratch in order to experiment with new ideas. Daughters will also be touring periodically throughout 2017. In short, we plan to be a band again. It might be a little slower going than we used to be, but that’s the plan.




HxC: Heady Chugs and Heavy Nugs — An Interview with Chris Carrera of Disavow

a4271888360_16Hardcore and punk is well and alive in PVD. Alongside hometown heroes, such as DROPDEAD, Lightening Bolt, Daughters and many others, punk veterans Weak Teeth have collaborated with members of The Hurt Ensemble to create a band that measures up to epic proportions. Disavow is a D-beat/hardcore/screamo band that is slowly making a name for themselves in the local scene and beyond. I was lucky enough to catch Chris Carrera, guitarist of Disavow, and ask him a couple questions about the band.

Mathew Gilbert (Motif): Disavow is a relatively new band, correct? Could you name the members and what they play in the band?

Chris Carrera: Disavow has been a band since April 2016. We starting writing what would become our demo in April and played our first show in May with 10 minutes of material. Dylan plays drums, Chris plays guitar, Michael does vocals and Jon plays bass.

MG: I’ve seen Disavow play a couple times at As220, and your set completely blew me away. It reminded me a lot of late ’90s and early 2000s punk and hardcore-influenced screamo. Are there any bands from that era that you guys are influenced by? I heard a lot of Joshua Fit For Battle and Orchid-esque riffs, which is awesome!

CC: We draw a lot of influence from bands like His Hero is Gone and Converge, but other bands we have played in have been influenced by screamo bands like Orchid and Circle Takes the Square, so I think inevitably those are going to be apparent in any project we start.

MG: I know that Disavow is composed of members from some well known PVD bands like Weak Teeth, Blood Pheasant, and The Hurt Ensemble; is Disavow just a side project or are you guys taking this band as seriously as your others?

CC: With some members of those projects pursuing other goals, this band is allowing those of us who want to continue touring to do so. Weak Teeth and Bloodpheasant will always hold places of incredible importance to us, but it seems like the full-time touring chapter of those bands may have come to a close. Also, The Hurt Ensemble is on tour as we speak.

MG: Any plans to tour anytime soon?

CC: Indeed we do. We will be going out on a week-long maiden voyage at the end of November. We’ll be heading down the east coast to Richmond, Virginia and back up. Joining us will be The Hurt Ensemble. Disavow/Lyra reunion tour this spring … I’m just kidding. That van still needs an inspection.

MG: You guys just recorded your first EP, Suffer. Slave. Expire., at Converse Rubber Tracks, correct? How was that? I saw you released those recordings at the beginning of September. Are the recordings receiving good feedback?

CC: Yeah! We had a blast at Rubber Tracks. An old buddy of mine, Sean, engineered and mixed the session so that definitely made us more comfortable recording our demo in a studio that was way too nice for us to be in. We tracked the 8-song demo in 52 minutes which was apparently a record for the studio. But we had a great time outside of recording trying to forge conspiracy theories between Harambe the gorilla and Smooth by Santana featuring Rob Thomas with the engineers (a lot more evidence than you may think), plus free shoes are always nice. But Suffer. Slave. Expire. is getting great feedback. It’s been covered by sites and blogs that just found us on a whim, so that’s very humbling.

MG: Is Disavow playing any shows locally or out of state any time soon? If so could you give me some dates?

CC: We’re playing Psychic Readings on October 8 for Hurt’s come-home show, but nothing else until the east coast tour at the end of November. We’ll be doing a tour kick-off show, also at Psychic Readings, on November 26 with Bonefolder and High Command from Worcester.

You can check out Disavow’s latest release Suffer. Slave. Expire. on their bandcamp. disavowpvd.bandcamp.com/releases

Upcoming Shows

October 6 @ Firehouse 13// Menace, Ratstab, Laughing Stock, The Clap
October 7 @ The Parlor// Black Pussy and Sweet Heat
October 13 @ The Fete// The Dillinger Escape Plan, O’ Brother, Cult Leader, Bent Knee
October 14 @ The Met// Mewithoutyou, Into It Over It, Needle Points
October 23 @ Great Scott// Daughters, Savage Blind God, Jay Jayle