15 dic 2014

The Nuts - 2014 - The Nuts


Con il consueto ritardo, oggi parleremo dell'esordio discografico dei Nuts, band attiva solo da qualche mese divisa tra Piacenza e Milano e composta da facce più o meno note del circuito tricolore. Chi segue questo blog e in particolare le I Buy Records Nights che organizziamo, saprà che stiamo dando molto spazio a questi ragazzi, perchè oltre ad essere ottimi amici, riteniamo che abbiano molto potenziale. Fanculo chi parla di presunte raccomandazioni. Scollatevi dal divano, fate meno polemiche e divertitevi di più ai concerti! D'altra parte se la Monster Zero ha messo gli occhi sopra direttamente all'esordio un motivo ci sarà, oppure no? 4 Pezzi super-catchy che ti prendono al primo ascolto. La ricetta è sempre quella: i soliti 3/4 accordi supportati da ottime melodie, belle voci, cori, cori e ancora cori. Formula (27 o 37?) collaudata e semplice, lontana dal voler essere innovativa... (punto a favore!) e su questo siamo tutti d'accordo...ma mi chiedo, quanti riescono a farlo cosi piacevolmente? Direi in pochi e per quanto mi riguarda i Nuts rientrano tra le piacevolissime sorprese di quest'anno. Because of You (me ne innamorai già con la demo) e Magical Mistery Day  sono i pezzi che impreziosiscono un 7'' già gradevolissimo. Insomma, sapete che fare (qui e qui).

» ENGLISH VERSION «

TRACKLIST:
01 - Mental Case
02 - Because Of You
03 - Bad Dream
04 - Magical Mistery Day



BAND:
Vale  - vocals/bass
Molby  - guitar/back vocals
Palmi  - drums/back vocals

08 nov 2014

CJ Ramone - 2014 - Understand Me?


A distanza di qualche anno dallo stupendo Reconquista, torna CJ Ramone con un 7'', semplice anteprima del nuovo album Last Chance to Dance in uscita per Fat Wreck il 25 Novembre.
Accompagnato da una backing band di tutto rispetto, CJ ci regala due bei pezzi, un inedito (ascolta qui) e una cover dei Black Flag sufficienti per farmi gioire. Che lo vogliamo accettare o no, l'ultimo vero Ramone è lui e anche in questi nuovi pezzi le intenzioni sono abbastanza chiare: omaggiare i fratellini, poche chiacchiere e buona musica.
La prima stampa è andata ormai esaurita (meno di 500 copie, ma è quasi pronta la prima ristampa), il nostro spacciatore ufficiale ha ormai finito le copie,  ma con un po' di culo sono riuscito a trovare una copia qui, affrettatevi che non credo ne siano rimaste molte, magari fra qualche anno vi potrete bullare su Discogs di avere la prima edizione.

» ENGLISH VERSION «


TRACKLIST
SIDE A
01 - Understand Me?
SIDE B
02 - Rise Above

BAND
CJ Ramone - voice, bass
Dan Root - guitar
Steve Soto - guitar
David Hidalgo Jr. - drums

Special Guest:
Dez Cadena - guitar, backing vocals on Rise Above

27 ott 2014

The Thirtysevens - 2014 - Time Travel Math

 
Prima di iniziare a leggere, premere play nel link giù in fondo.
Molti amici sostengono che qualsiasi cosa dica, produca o faccia Ben Weasel a me piace (cit. Markez). Anche le cazzate. Ed effettivamente è vero. Considerando che il mio raggio di gusti musicali varia tra i Ramones e tutto quello che riguarda i Ramones quando mi capita tra le mani un disco come questo dei Thirtysevens i miei occhi brillano di gioia, mi viene da pensare che a volte c'è speranza per un mondo migliore e che in Toscana esiste un piccolo Ben Weasel e una band che Wiggle e Anthem for a New Tomorrow li ha ascoltati fino alla noia. E io godo. Avevo avuto modo di apprezzarli qualche mese fa nel mega-split La Massoneria Ramonica e i Suoi Adepti Vol​.​1 e mi colpirono tanto, tantissimo. Li aspettavo al varco per un full length e non appena il buon Pulce della Monkeyrite Records  mi ha mandato Time Travel Math sono rimasto subito affascinato da questo disco dal sapore sicuramente casalingo/lo-fi (presa diretta?) ma che ritengo sia una dei dischi più interessanti usciti in Italia nel 2014.
11 tracce che scorrono via come un bel sorso di Jameson rigorosamente senza ghiaccio. Dritti, diretti e fottutamente affascinanti con dei testi sopra la media e arrangiamenti di chiara scuola weaseliana - con tante citazioni, a volte palesemente volute (Becky Ramone vi dice qualcosa?) -  ad accompagnare una voce che rimanda tremendamente a zio Ben. Sinceramente non riuscirei a scartare nemmeno un pezzo visto che ho tenuto il tempo sulla coscia così tante volte fino a deformarla. Ma ragazzi, Not a Kid Anymore, Social e Time Travel Equation sono delle autentiche gemme che metterei nella compilation da regalare alla ragazza da conquistare.
Ora resta da capire che faranno nel futuro questi ragazzacci. Non mi pare stiano suonando tantissimo, anzi. Resteranno una fantastica meteora oppure avremo occasione di sentire nuovo materiale? Nel frattempo mostrategli un po' d'amore su facebook e compratevi 'sto disco dalla Monkeyrite Records o da Striped Music.
Secondo passo: riascoltare ancora il cd, fino alla noia.

» ENGLISH VERSION «


TRACKLIST:
01 - Agent 13 Is Dead
02 - Not A Kid Anymore
03 - Trying To Fix You
04 - Becky Ramone
05 - Social
06 - Two Times Table
07 - Not Better Now
08 - Bad Bad Dream
09 - Time Travel Equation
10 - Screw You
11 - She Rides The Rainbow



BAND:
Paolo "Fonne" : voice
Adriano "Cecche" : guitar, backing vocals
Marco "Marky" : guitar
Federico "Fro": bass, backing vocals
Fabio "Bara" : drums

23 ott 2014

The Menzingers + Smith Street Band + The Holy Mess - 8.10.2014 - Live @ Paradiso (Amsterdam)


Escono le date del tour europeo dei Menzingers. Niente Italia. Urge una soluzione, e la meta più papabile sotto molti punti di vista è Amsterdam, per me #1 city in the world e, tra le tante mete raggiunte dai Menzingers non ho avuto particolari dubbi nell'effettuare la scelta.
Travelling crew composta dal sottoscritto + Paolino e Matteo, livornesi doc e grandissimi amici. Avrebbe dovuto essere della partita anche la mia ragazza, che però a causa di un volo annullato all'ultimo ha dovuto tristemente rinunciare.
Il viaggio per arrivare ad Amsterdam via Ryanair è eterno e riusciamo a raggiungere l'hotel per le 18.30, giusto il tempo per prepararci e avviarci a piedi (ben quattro minuti di strada) verso il Cafè Paradiso, locale di cui ho sempre sentito parlare ma che non avevo mai avuto modo di testare di persona. Per quanto momentaneamente avvolto nei ponteggi, il Paradiso è in linea con l'architettura cittadina, da fuori potrebbe tranquillamente essere scambiato per un museo o un edificio storico. Dentro è uno spettacolo, le aree comuni (ci sono più sale e più eventi in contemporanea) sembrano hall di hotel di lusso, con lampadari e scalinate con tappeto rosso. Lasciamo giacche e felpe al guardaroba e per le 19.20 (inizio previsto del concerto alle 19.45, l'alba praticamente) siamo al bar per la prima Heineken e per la prima foto sotto il palco. Tutta la stanchezza della giornata viene dimenticata e iniziamo a sentire l'emozione pre-concerto. Nel giro di mezz'ora il locale è stipato (sold out, la sala contiene circa 200 persone, per dare un'idea come l'area concerti dell'Honky Tonky).
Alle 19.45 attaccano gli Holy Mess, da Philadelphia. Non sono ancora riuscito ad ascoltare il loro ultimo album, Comfort in the dischord, per cui per me sono una novità assoluta. Si presentano con cantante/bassista del tipo Matt Skiba meets il cantante dei Placebo, con tanto di Rayban da vista cerchiati in bianco e unghie smaltate nere. I due compari di band sono in smanicato nero e barba. Spaccano davvero il culo, musicalmente e stilisticamente ricordano gli Alkaline Trio più aggressivi. I pezzi sono immediati e molto orecchiabili, davvero una bomba! (Ho ascoltato con attenzione i dischi una volta a casa, confermo la mia opinione).
Chiudono dopo mezz'ora e lasciano il palco agli australiani Smith Street Band, che mi ero colpevolmente perso al GroezRock. Band molto originale e particolare, chitarre pulite, tempi dispari, voce urlata e testi chilometrici. Attaccano con Sigourney Weaver, dal penultimo lavoro No one gets lost anymore, poi si procede con Don't fuck with our dreams, I can't feel my face, un paio di pezzi nuovi. Da quando li conosco, i loro dischi accompagnano i miei momenti di relax casalingo (colonna sonora perfetta per lavare i piatti), ma qui l'atmosfera è tutt'altro che tranquilla, anche i pezzi più lenti sono suonati con grande precisione e cattiveria. Il cantante è uno spettacolo nello spettacolo, gesticola un sacco e con l'accento australiano fortissimo non può che risultare simpatico. Unica pecca, forse, i pezzi un po' troppo lunghi (ne suonano 8 in 35 minuti di scaletta), ma pazienza. Chiudono con la doppietta When I was a boy I thought I was a fish e Young Drunk.
Cambio palco di circa dieci minuti dove guadagnamo la frontline e ci prepariamo, spiando le scalette. Parte la intro, i Menzingers salgono sul palco e il pubblico impazzisce. Paolino tira fuori dalla tasca una bandiera tricolore con il logo dei Menzingers fatto con lo scotch nero in centro, la sventola qualche secondo e lo appoggia sul palco. Puntuale arriva il roadie a tirarlo via, pensiamo che la trovata sia durata poco, invece la bandiera viene fissata sulla cassa della chitarra di Tom May e lì rimarrà, risistemata all'occorrenza.
I Menzingers giustificano in pieno il viaggio fatto per vederli; attaccano con I don't wanna be an asshole anymore, dall'ultimo Rented World, poi pescano qua e là dagli ultimi tre dischi, vanno avanti con Burn after writing e I was born. Subito dopo si prosegue con The obituaries, The talk, Ava House e Where your heartache exists, quest'ultima attesissima dal sottoscritto. Su questo pezzo, durante il momento di silenzio post-ritornello, Paolino inizia nel silenzio più assoluto a fare con la bocca il giro di basso introduttivo del bridge; il bassista non lo segue e si perde via, ridendo insieme al pubblico.
La band non perde colpi e continua ad infilare pezzoni, Gates, My friend Kyle, Hearts Unknown, Time Tables, Nice Things, per concludere con la fantastica In Remission.
Stop di un paio di minuti poi la band rientra per gli encore; chiedono: “Who are the Italians?”, noi alziamo le mani, loro ringraziano e ci dedicano Rodent, seguita a ruota da Casey e da una Roots Radicals che parte così a sorpresa che quasi non ce ne rendiamo conto. Concerto incredibile, più i pezzi sono depressi e disperati più la band riesce a proporli in una dimensione live né depressa né disperata, davvero ottimi.

Alle 22.30, tutto è finito. Stiamo in giro un po' nel locale per fare qualche foto e chiacchierare con le band e fare acquisti al banchetto. Poi è tempo di uscire e lasciarci guidare dalle strade di Amsterdam (in cui continuo a perdermi come uno stronzo, nonostante ci sia stato un milione di volte). Grazie a Paolino e Matte, vi voglio davvero bene ma cambiate squadra!

13 ott 2014

Teenage Gluesniffers - 2014 - Frames


Partendo dal presupposto che da queste parti manteniamo un'atteggiamento anni-luce dalla professionalità, questa volta il disco che mi ritrovo tra le mani è Frames, il nuovo EP dei Teenage Gluesniffers, band del mio socio di IBR e di altri due ottimi amici. Tutti potrebbero pensare a una mancanza di obiettività nel parlare di questo disco, ma visto che "non è ancora il momento di cominciare a farci i pompini a vicenda", cercheró di essere onesto... nonostante la voglia di inveire contro Paolo ( tu sai perchè!) è davvero tanta....
In ogni caso, Frames é uscito da qualche mese per la Infested Records (label americana...) ed è un EP composto da 6 pezzi più una bonus tracks che rappresentano a mio avviso il miglior lavoro dei ragazzi, vuoi per il sound più elaborato, vuoi per il livello compositivo decisamente più maturo. A differenza dei lavori precedenti, nonostante i testi piuttosto cupi e paranoici (Oh Paolo...) , le canzoni suonano più "poppettose" e orecchiabili, caratteristiche forse non così marcate nei precedenti lavori. Ascoltate Back From Pasalaqua o The Raven, probabilmente il pezzo migliore di sempre dei ragazzi, per capire. Menzione speciale per la bonus track, una coraggiosa reinterpretazione di Something To Believe In (giá presente sul tributo italiano ai Ramones) che mi é piaciuta tantissimo. Adesso, via con il solito sermone, potete comprare il disco dai ragazzi oppure tramite la Infested Records che merita il massimo rispetto per il sostegno che sta dando a tante band italiane.

» ENGLISH VERSION «

TRACKLIST

01 - Brand New Day
02 - Notes of a Thirsty Young Man
03 - The Raven
04 - Back from Pasalacqua
05 - My Armageddon
06 - Peabody Award Shithead Trophy



BAND
Paolo - guitar, voice
Fra - bass, backing vocals
Enri  - drums

15 set 2014

The Manges - 2014 - All Is Well



Mea Culpa. Vorrei inginocchiarmi sui ceci e prendermi a schiaffi da solo per aver fatto passare così tanto tempo prima di scrivere questa recensione. All Is Well è uscito da un sacco di mesi.. e..ho aspettato tanto prima di scrivere due righe. Un po' per impegni, un po' perchè fondamentalmente sono un cazzaro.
All Is Well è l'ennesima fatica dei Manges, uscita per Monstero Zero, It's Alive e Dumb Records. Insomma le migliori label nel panorama. Di questo disco ormai se ne è parlato già abbastanza, e di sicuro la mia recensione non sarà una sorpresa. In ogni caso, ci tenevo a dire la mia.
Il nuovo disco dei Manges, spacca. I Manges si sono re-inventati. Potevano fare un nuovo album uguale a Go Down oppure Bad Juju e fare contenti tutti a prescindere, invece hanno cercato una via nuova ( per divertimento o stimoli non importa) e se il campo dell'innovazione nel punk-rock è seminato di mine anti-uomo, affidandosi ad Hervè dei Peawees il quartetto spezzino ha trovato probabilmente l'unica strada percorribile per essere "promossi" dalla "scena punk-rock", che sappiamo tutti essere molto aperta alle novità.
Non nascondo che già al primo accordo, sono rimasto un po' spiazzato da questo sound un po' sixties Pre-Ramones (o proto-punk o come cazzo si chiama) che non suona proprio "alla Manges"... ma già al secondo ascolto All Is Well mi ha conquistato, perchè suona spontaneo, perchè suona fresco e soprattutto perchè è divertente.
I Manges riescono a colpirci ancora una volta coverizzando I Tried To Die Young (oh, io Melanie Safka non la conoscevo affatto) e infilando una serie di pezzi fantastici come My Bad, Plan Honululu, Don't Screw Up The Formula, Lone Commando (All is Well)  destinati a finire tra i classici della band, spiazzano tutti ancora una volta e conquistano i nostri cuori.
E se siete tra quelli preoccupati per il gain delle chitarre, state tranquilli che dal vivo come al solito ci fanno il culo in quattro.
Se ancora non hai comprato All is Well, rimedia, sei ancora in tempo. Adios.

» ENGLISH VERSION «

TRACKLIST

01 - Crocodile In My Head
02 - My Bad
03 - Plan Honolulu
04 - Love Is A Disease
05 - Panic At The Ice Rink
06 - Don’t Screw Up The Formula
07 - Don't Bet On Me
08 - I Tried To Die Young
09 - Topolinia
10 - Secret Agent Super Dragon
11 - I Just Wanna Make You Cry
12 - Lone Commando (All Is Well)



BAND

Andrea: lead vocals, rhythm guitars, lead guitar on “Topolinia”
Mass: bass, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Secret Agent Super Dragon”
Manuel: drums
Mayo: lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals

Hervé Peroncini: additional guitars, percussions, backing vocals
Pierluigi Ballari: organ, piano
Bruno Barcella: percussions

06 set 2014

Blondie + Carnabys - 03.09.2014 - Live @ Circolo Magnolia (MI)


L'estate è ormai finita, e dopo aver mandato anche IBR in vacanza per oltre un mese inauguriamo la  nuova stagione con un concerto bomba: BLONDIE.
Vi risparmiamo chi sono e cosa hanno rappresentato, ma soprattutto eviterò banali commenti su quanto possa essere ancora fottutamente sexy a quasi 70 anni la nostra Debbie Harry. Ok, mi sento tipo quelli che stanno fissa per la categoria di youporn milf/mature ma chi è stato al concerto ieri sera, sono certo che concorderà con me.
Si preannuncia il pienone, quindi con il soldato Pvt Rehab di SNAFU riteniamo opportuno andare al Magnolia presto per evitare fila all'ingresso e scambiare qualche chiacchiera in tranquillità.
Photo Credit: Francesco Prandoni
Una volta dentro, è bellissimo notare il "contrasto generazionale": molti giovanotti, ma soprattutto tanti ultra 50enni (sono quasi certo che il signore al mio lato per tutto il concerto ne aveva almeno 60.. ) che probabilmente conservano ancora con affetto Penthouse del febbraio 1980.
Ad aprire la serata sono stati i Carnabys. Non mi piace affatto l'indie o comunque quel rock che suonano loro... non me ne vogliate, ma non mi sono piaciuti affatto. Stendiamo un velo pietoso sulla giacca del cantante. Manco mio padre ne metterebbe una così brutta. Comunque ho notato che qualcuno tra le prime file ha apprezzato 'sti inglesi. Meglio per loro. Le 22:25 sono il momento tanto atteso, si alzano mille telefonini al cielo e un po' alla volta fanno l'ingresso tutti e 6 i musicisti...ovviamente tutti i flash sono diretti verso Debbie Harry, ma non mi vergogno a dire che i miei occhi erano puntati anche verso Elvis Ramone o se preferite Clem Burke. Ok, suonò solo 2 concerti con i Ramones.. ma è sempre stato un Ramone e sfoggiava  anche la maglietta del CBGB giusto per mettere in chiaro le origini.
I pezzi scelti per la scaletta sono praticamente i super-classici della band come One Way Or Another, Call Me, Maria, Atomic, Dreaming, ecc.., qualche pezzo nuovo (Debbie perdonami ma sono orribili ) più la classica cover dei Nerves di Hanging on The Telephone e una inaspettata dei Beastie Boys di (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party).
In generale è stato un concerto molto divertente, la band era in ottima forma e la bella Debbie riesce a scaldare gli animi e gli ormoni nonostante non sia più così giovane. Nonostante qualche battuta a vuoto, nel complesso concerto promosso a pieni voti.
» ENGLISH VERSION «

31 lug 2014

Interview with Joe Queer - PART 1

I don't know how to introduce Joe Queer. There's no need, because if you need it means you're in the wrong place. But I can tell how this interview was born. A few days before the Queers' show in Milan during their last European tour, I got an email from Joe Queer asking if he could be interviewed because he needed to clarify some things said by B-Face in his interview through these pages. 
I read it and I said "Okay, some asshole is making fun of me".  I asked to a couple of friends if that e-mail address was the right one and they confirmed. 
Of course I couldn't say no (who would?) so I met Joe at Arci Tambourine before the show. With an old iPod in my hands,  few notes for the interview and a little fear we did this interview. I have no doubt to say that it was one of the most beautiful afternoons of my life. He told us many, many stories even outside the take. I decided to split the interview in two parts because it's very long and I would like that all readers read everything until the end. The second part will be published after the summer, and the best is yet to come. Trust me.
A special thanks to my pal Enri for giving me a hand and the guys from Otis Tour  for being so kind to us. 
Enjoy!



[A] - Ciao Joe, It's a big honor for me and for I Buy Records to interview you tonight. How are you?  How is going the tour so far?
[J] - Ciao Ragazzi! Great, Great as usual!

[A] - Like the past year, you are touring Europe without Dangerous Dave and Lurch Nobody. What's goin on? Who are the guys playing with you during this tour?
[J] - We gotta give Lurch a little time out, he is the first guy we call but I think he needs to have a tour off. Dave got some family stuff with his girlfriend. We have a friend from a band from Boston, The Pity Whores,  he was all excited because he's never been to  Europe before. And Duende the drummer is from Barcelona, he filled in for The Queers on our tour with Marky Ramone when we toured around the Europe. We have other regular guys Lurch or Bear on drums or Chris Fields he plays bass for The Dwarves, he played drums on Punk Rock Confidential. He's been doing lots of shows with us. He is from John Cougar Concentration Camp with Dave. Anyways those guys are playing with us, that's what is going on.


[A] - Right now doesn't come up to my mind a band that tour as long as you do. I think you play around 130 shows every year. How do you do? Where do you find the energies to play with the same passion of the beginnings? Of course touring so much gave you the opportunity to meet many people and have tons of cool moments around the world. What's  the funniest story you can tell us about?
[J] - I don't know how many shows we play. In the early days of The Queers, I owned a restaurant, I worked  construction jobs and for a long time I worked on a commercial fishing boat that my brother owns. To me touring is like a day at the Playboy Mansion! I go play a show, kids cheer, you got hot chicks there, it's great! So I never looked at this as work, I look it as fun really. I mean not every minute is great, some things suck but mostly it's great. Matter of fact most of my days are great. I really don't have bad days whether I'm on tour or home. After playing so long whether it's Japan or Italy or Spain or whatever through 20 years almost, now it's like "yeah I make money" but it's about seeing my friends and fans wherever I am. I made  a ton of friends thru the years. To see my friends in Japan or in Italy or wherever they're like family now. Or going to Spain it's like WOW! I've been really lucky so I always look forward to seeing my friends I've seen almost every year for many years, it's been pretty fun but it gets me off my ass to go out and tour. You can't put a price on being able to travel around and meet people all over the world. Early on when I was touring I just wanted to do drugs and meet chicks and party but you gotta grow up as you go and things change.


[A] - Since my bandmates are old dudes, they were both present at first Queers show ever in Italy. You could find it on Youtube. They both agree that that show changed their life forever and it's still one of the main reason why they love and still play punk rock. Do you remember it? 
[J] - Oh yeah I remember that show. I remember we showed up, we got to Genova and there was a record store, we were kind of bored we didn't what's going on we never played Italy before so it was all new to us.
I remember being in a record store looking around, we were just bored we didn't know anything about Italy. There were a few kids looking at us whispering and looking us kind of weird. We didn't know what they were doing 'till we realised they were into the band. It was kind of crazy and there were all those kids....I remember seeing someone taking shit they had the squat thing whatever you called it - not the regular sit down toilet- the turkish,we never saw one before and laughed our asses off till we had to use one. When we were playing, and Paul the roadie was with us and I remember an asshole guy was in the front row ass causing this.  Paul was standing in front of me while we played cos there were a ton of kids there so we didn't get crushed. So the guy was causing trouble and I stopped playing and said stop fucking with our roadie. He started yelling back that he was in the mafia. I mean it was retarded. If you're in the mafia you don't run around saying you are in the mafia! Come on that's the first rule to be in the mafia-deny you're in it!  It was pretty funny! So then there was a big argument fight and I kept saying throw this cocksucker out. Apparently he was friends with the guy who owned the club. Instead of booting me out they made me leave the club! Our road manager at the time Bobby said "You know, we better get you outta here Joe".  I don't why this guy was allowed to stay at the club but they hustled me out of the door.
My friend, Andrea Carraro from Genova met that guy in a bar, he knows who that guy is...the guy was just a wiseass you know, but Andrea kinda talked to him about it..the guy was probably just drunk and excited, I used to hate people when do that but then I realized if they weren't drunk, they wouldn't create any trouble. It's been a while I remember the whole thing in Genova very well.

[A] - You waved the best moments of the punk rock and you are still here now that the things are goin so down year by year. What do you think went wrong? The young kids now listen emo-shit stuff, do you think there is any chance to back to the good moments of the past? What is missing? Is it really over?
[J] - Who knows..I think lot of it comes down to us being lucky we were on Lookout in the early 90's. MTX was there with Screeching Weasel, The Hi Fives, Green Day, Op Ivy, The Smugglers etc. They were all kickass bands. There were a lot of good bands on Lookout and in the whole pop-punk scene back then. Nowadays most of the pop punk bands suck. I mean come on who is any good out there playing pop punk? Seriously. Besides the Manges and Riptides who's writing any good songs? Masked Intruder is the only decent band out there nowadays that could have done something on Lookout Records back in the day.
I watch some of these allegedly 'good' pop punk bands now and they suck. I don't even know how they can get into playing their crap songs. I'm a Ramones fan and us Ramones' fans only love the Ramones. I love other stuff like the Beach Boys and Black Flag etc but with the pop-punk stuff when it's great it's great and when it's not it sucks. There are a lotta mediocre bands. I just don't see that big great pop-punk band that could run with any of the great Lookout bands. I don't wanna start to name bands but some of the biggest pop punk bands now wouldn't have been on Lookout because the other bands were so much better and the fans back then wouldn't accept bullshit.
Joey Ramone told me "you gotta be your own worst critic". In other words don't believe what people write or say about you but listen to your heart. He asked me to work on songs for his solo album. He said he had plenty of songs but needed stronger ones. He knew people would say his solo album was amazing and the best album since Leave Home or Road to Ruin or whatever but deep down he told me he knew it could be better. And this was Joey Ramone. He was honest with himself unlike so many bands nowadays. You can't believe your own bullshit.
I don't need some music critic to tell me if my album is any good-I know if it is or if it sucks. Our Move Back Home and Beat Off albums sold great but to us they both sucked. We knew we could do way better. They got great reviews most of the time but to me they sucked then and do now. I see some bands these days playing absolute crap songs but since they have some people showing up to see them they think they're great. I watch these bands and don't understand why they can't see that they suck. It's insane. You have The Riverdales-Screeching Weasel-Manges-Riptides-Masked Intruder and The Queers all making kickass songs still. After that eh.......Nothing excites me cos it sucks.


[A] - The Queers don't need presentation but let's make a step backward and let's talk about your beginnings. How was born your passion for music and punk rock in particular? How and why The Queers started? What's your memories related about the early days? Rehearsal room, first gigs and so on...

[J] - I'm not that much younger than the Ramones they are about 10 years older than me so I grew up with stuff like they did. David Bowie Ziggy Stardust I loved when it came out. Mott The Hoople, Stooges, T Rex, Velvet Underground and Lou Reed. Loved all that stuff as well as The Monkees and Turtles and Del Shannon. All that poppy stuff from the 50's and 60's I loved. That was one of the first connections I had with GG Allin - we both loved bubblegum pop and the Ramones.
So when I heard the first Ramones album I was like "that's fucking awesome, man! It all makes sense to me. I love it". I think the first Ramones song I heard was Loudmouth (speaking of which last Sunday night we played a live show in Los Angeles at The Roxy and Richie Ramone came on stage with us and we did a little tribute set to Tommy Ramone and covered Loudmouth. Richie sang. It was awesome).
I just really connected with the Ramones. Me and my friends couldn't believe that there was a band singing about all the shit we felt: "I don't care", "I just wanna have something to do". I couldn't believe when Joey did "Rock 'n Roll Radio" : "Do you remember lying in bed with your covers pulled up over your head?"  I couldn't believe that because I thought I was the only person in the world that did that when I was young. I told that to Joey one time actually. I used to have my little AM radio glued to my head. I shared a room with my little brother so I had it on really low under the covers so no one could hear. Radio was great back then - there was the Rolling Stones-Beach Boys-Dick Dale-Monkees-Lesley Gore etc and all that great soul stuff. Just a great time for music.
I grew up with the Beach Boys and that old stuff that's why I love the Ramones. We were also really influenced by Black Flag TV Party. That was us-sitting around the house drinking Budweiser from the can and watching Family Feud. Wimpy played drums and I played guitar and Tulu played both so we started a band. We had nothing else to do. We were really inspired by the Meatmen who were more on our level and they'd put out an album. We were lucky to live near Boston so we got to see tons of cool shows down there. I saw The Police at The Rat in front of about 43 people. I smoked a joint with Andy Summers and Stuart Copeland in front of The Rat haha! They were super nice guys. Syl Sylvain and The Criminals were great too. We'd see all the good NY bands-The Dictators kicked ass. DK's at The Rat were wild too I remember. It was pretty cool to see all that. Then I moved to Manhattan Beach, California - that's next to Hermosa Beach where Black Flag started in 1978. I was in Boston and I could see all the great Boston and New York bands and then when I was out west for the summer I could see Black Flag, Flipper, The DK's, Circle Jerks, Plimsouls, X, The Blasters, Social D etc. It was really cool.
I listened to Rodney on the Roq every Sunday night. Heard tons of great songs for the first time there. My Old Man's a Fatso. Just Wanna Live Like Yogi Bear by Stukas over Bedrock. Haha loved that songs. It was a great time.....Some of the first gigs The Queers played we used to be called The Bugs and we played with GG Allin because he was from New Hampshire too.  First time he was pretty straight laced. Very normal guy. Friendly and knowledgable about music too. I liked him a lot. He hadn't done all that crazy shit yet. GG and The Jabbers were always looking for musicians. He always had an ad in the paper every fucking week. We played with GG just as a side project where I played guitar, my pal Don played bass and GG played drums. GG was a good drummer. We called him The GeeG. I remember we picked him up in Manchester,NH to bring him back to Hampton Beach so we could rehearse there. So we picked up GG, I was driving, and we had a little cassette-player to listen to music. GG said "Hey listen to the new song I just did called Cherry Love Affair". He played the song for us and asked "What do you guys think?" Don was drinking a beer and he said:"Let's face it GG, this shit sucks!" and GG was fucking crushed, it was funny as hell. GG was terrified of Don.
Anyway we went to a Ramones show and GG showed up. It was about February in 1978 in New Hampshire. GG was dressed in fishnet stockings and a mini dress with lipstick on. Lemme tell ya that took some balls back then. At that show I brought my Mosrite up for Johnny to check out and he told me about Mosrites and let me play his white Mosrite. He was always super nice about gear. He took me onstage a few times to show me about his setup and how his amps worked. Even way back then we knew the Ramones quite well and would always be backstage at shows. They really loved their fans and always remembered us. Instead of being rock star dicks they were down to earth and we could always ask questions of them or their roadies or Monty. I sucked all that up cos I was from New Hampshire and didn't know shit about how to tour or about amps and guitars really. I kept my mouth shut and listened and learned a lot. Nowadays you get young bands who act like they know everything. They're too stupid to listen. Learn to listen and listen to learn.

[A] - Since the beginnings the story of The Queers is really related with the Lookout Records: you released many records through this label and then you broke up the partnership, what really went wrong with the label?
[J] - At that point tho we were doing very well and way better than we probably deserved to be we were fighting all the time. Me, Hugh and B-Face were all fucked up on either drugs or booze so we couldn't agree on anything. I mean we were on Lookout Records and making money. We'd been in Rolling Stone magazine.
We were able to tour around the world and make money. We were getting big royalty checks from Lookout Records from record sales but B-Face wanted to run the band it seemed. To this day he talks about how he had to put up with so much of my bullshit but I don't understand how much better it could have gotten for us. He wasn't writing the songs I was. When we broke up he said all sorts of bullshit about me which was untrue but kids believed it. Without ever talking to me to hear my side of things. It was a real mess thanks to him. Of course B-Face  has no one but himself to thank for not being in The Queers.
The very last time we ever played together we went to Chicago to play 3 shows on a weekend. All the way there B-Face was yelling at me cos I wanted to go to Epitaph Records. He said I was delusional - I was making things up. I was stupid and an idiot. For saying we should sign a 3 album deal with Epitaph!! He didn't know what the fuck he was talking about. He'd never talked to anyone at Epitaph or anyone signed to Epitaph. But he said I was an idiot for wanting to go there. That ride out was when I first thought I was gonna have to get new guys. No one would want to be in a band with a person treating them like that. I told him Epitaph was sending us a contract for a 3 album deal and he kept saying that wasn't how band signed to a label. To this day I don't know how he thought a band signed to a label. You meet with the label-they give you a contract-you have a lawyer look at it and if you like it you sign it and send it back which was what we were going to do. You wouldn't have believed the shit he was saying that whole trip to Chicago. Bands would have given their left ball to be in our position but all he could say is I was an idiot.
This is right after we did Don't Back Down and we were doing great too. There were a ton of musicians and bands that would have loved putting up with my bullshit to be where we were but he just kept saying I was stupid and didn't know what I was doing. Insane.  Epitaph had flown me and Hugh out to Los Angeles for three days to meet with them because they really wanted to sign us. It was right after Don't Back Down and we were doing really well. I knew Matt from Rancid well.  I talked to Matt and he was the one who talked to Mr. Brett from Epitaph about signing us. Matt and Tim were in Op Ivy and knew Lookout very well and then went to Epitaph. So I listened to what they said cos they'd done exactly what I wanted to. We'd already conquered the Lookout Records crowd so I wanted to go after the Epitaph/Fat Records crowd next.
In retrospect it shows what an idiot B-Face was at the time. He was saying all this shit about what I wanted to do and he didn't know what the fuck he was talking about. In the light of subsequent developments history has shows us it would have been a great move going to Epitaph. It was just a mess with the band cos ofB-Face's attitude. Then Hugh got brain cancer. Without Hugh I knew there was no way I was staying with B-Face.
To be honest I never kicked B-Face out of the Queers. He just stopped calling me. Admittedly I didn't call him either but I never once said fuck you you're out of the band. I never fired Hugh either. Hugh just couldn't play anymore cos of the cancer. I would have stayed playing with Hugh for sure. Him and I would argue but we were really solid pals. B-Face was just an adequate bass player but nothing special and he barely sang backup vocals. So musically to lose him was nothing I was concerned about. We did the first tour without Hugh and B-Face and the band sounded amazing. Dangerous Dave on rhythm guitar - Chris Fields on bass and some idiot on drums. Man those guys sang harmonies and played their asses off and I remember walking offstage on that tour and thinking man this is how I want the band to sound. We never sounded very good with Hugh and B-Face. Very few times we did cos we were usually fucked up. Once those guys left I didn't wanna be on Lookout cos I wanted a new start. The whole Epitaph thing fell thru cos Mr. Brett just disappeared from Epitaph for a whole year. He just took off and when I talked to them they said they couldn't sign any bands cos Brett was gone. They were really freaked out. I finally just moved on to Hopeless Records. I hated that label and hate them now but it was a new start at least. New lineup and then we did Punk Rock Confidential. I was so psyched to do an album without B-Face just to prove I didn't need that idiot in my band. Hey we haven't stopped yet and we've done a lot more great songs! The last thing Hugh ever said to me was keep the band going and don't quit. He said we had done so much great stuff and to keep it going. That meant a lot to me. Good old Hugh. I still miss that fucker. He was born exactly one day before I was. Same year. Haha man he was something else. I hated him at times but he was great to be with most of the time. B-Face I've seen only once or twice since those days. I guess he's doing ok. He always said he had to put up with my bullshit so much but never mentioned all the bullshit i had to deal with cos of him. Eh water under the bridge. I hope he's doing ok I really do but I don't regret moving on from him one bit.


[A] - The Queers strongly contributed to create that kind of punk rock sound we usually call "Lookout-sound" and after so many years still sounds modern and so loved. How came up to your mind to mix the sound of the Ramones with Beach Boys and Black Flag? Now could seems obviously, but 25-30 years was a real revolution....

[J] - When I heard the Ramones, they were the Punk Rock Beach Boys, you know, so I just thought there was like a little unexplored area there musically. Between the Ramones and Beach Boys. I remember B-Face came up with the idea to do "Don't Back Down" which was a good find for us.  Then I wanted to have Lisa Marr sing on "Don't Back Down" which B-Face was deadset against. I was really into the Beach Boys' Today album at the time so I was really psyched to get Lisa on there and do some great poppy songs like I Always Knew and Janelle Janelle and Sidewalk Surfer Girl. Hugh and B-Face didn't care for some of the pop-stuff on that album. I knew it would go over great tho with Lisa and that Punk Rock Girls would be an awesome song. That's one of our best known albums to this day and has some great songs on it. It was really ballsy to have Lisa sing lead vocals on it instead of just doing straight ahead Ramones-style songs like so many bands. B-Face didn't want Lisa to sing at all and he also called me a fag for singing Yummy Yummy on Punk Rock Girls haha! I didn't listen to him at all. He had no clue about writing songs............
I talked to Joey Ramone after that, we were doing quite well, to see if he would do a 4-songs EP with The Queers where Joey sings and we were the band. I called Andy Paley (he is like Brian Wilson's best friend, he's from a pop band from Boston called The Paley Brothers he's a big producer now) "Listen, I think we can do this thing with Joey singing and Joey said he's in".  Andy said: "If Joey is in, I'm in". And then I called Joey: "Hey Joey, Andy says he's in" And Joey says: "If Andy says is in, I'm in" and I was like "These guys are fuckin'doing this!!!". It would have been amazing but then Joey got sick and Andy went off to work, I think, and it never happened. We were gonna do it though-that's a fact.
Joey once told me: "I listened to "Don't Back Down" and a thing I always wanted and I really wished we could have done with the Ramones was have more backup vocal harmonies". He told me he always wanted to do more Beach Boys-type vocals with the Ramones. He said he wanted to do that "and on "Don't Back Down" you guys really really did it" and he thought it was really cool. And that's where we were talking about him singing and I said "Dude, I wanna write a song like "In My Room" by the Beach Boys and you sing that lead vocals and I'll do harmonies and we'll get a chick singer to do the other harmony". He was excited to try it with those back vocal harmonies. Unfortunately it never have happened but If I knew what I know now I would said "Ok, we will start in two weeks" but back then I didn't realise how shit worked. If you have a cool project you gotta jump on it cos everyone's so busy and gets distracted. Then Joey got cancer and Andy was producing and busy so it didn't happen. I was very grateful when Joey said nice things about "Don't Back Down", he understood where we were coming from unlike my bandmates for the most part. He wanted to do the vocal harmonies but knew he couldn't with the Ramones cos the only backup singer he had was DeeDee or CJ. It was pretty interesting how insightful he could be with punk music in general. He really loved it right to the end.

[A] - One thing I always loved about The Queers is the way you have choosen the cover on all your records through the years. Thanks to you I discovered many american pop/powerpop songs totally unknown to me before. How do you usually choose the songs to cover?

TO BE CONTINUED!


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