EP Review :: Frank Turner – Rock & Roll

“Who’d have thought, that after all, something as simple as rock and roll could save us all?”

How Frank found time to make this is beyond me. The man has spent the majority of 2010 on the road (so what else is new?), touring Europe, America and even China, yet he still managed to put out a new record. This five track EP encompasses everything Frank Turner is about. It’s a perfect introduction for the uninitiated, but won’t leave the  hardcore wanting, either.


Rock & Roll is a record full of tributes. It feels like Frank’s way of letting people know how much certain people and things – past or present – mean to him. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some sappy, emo-tinged cry along. This is the Frank Turner we all know and love and these five new tracks are fantastic. The record opens with ‘I Still Believe’, Frank’s tribute to musical greats like Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. It’s a song full of passion and power that can’t be ignored, helped by the fact that it’s catchy as hell too! Anyone who’s seen one Frank’s shows of late will have undoubtedly heard this and chanted along with it’s chorus.  It might take a while, but soon enough you won’t be able to get it out of your head. It’s a real feel good song that follows a tried and true formula. Such a great way to open up a record.

‘Pass It Along’ is a track some will have heard before, and it’s probably my favorite track on here. For me, the whole sentiment of the record was captured in this line: “So here’s to Ragan, and here’s to Marwood. Here’s to Tim, and Jonah too. Here’s to the ones who have to take the stage and sing the truth.” This is a shout out to people just like him. Musicians who go out there and do it, not because they have to, because they want to. It’s a more stripped down track, something that lends itself perfectly to the subject matter. Ben, Matt, Tarrant and Nigel are still there, but they provide more of a subtle backing for Frank more than anything.

Those looking for something completely stripped down will find that in ‘Rock and Roll Romance’. It’s the shortest track on the record, but maybe the most poignant. Perhaps it’s the subject matter? Perhaps it’s Frank’s hushed tones? Maybe it’s a mixture of both? What I do know is that it’s a heartfelt love story told in less than two minutes. Anyone who says Frank can’t write a love song is wrong and this should set them straight.

Considering the tone of the EP thus far, ‘To Absent Friends’ came as quite a surprise. Granted, ‘I Still Believe’ packs a punch, but this one almost knocked me out of my chair. Starting out with just Frank and an acoustic, the track builds into a fast paced crescendo that just made me want to run somewhere (with this in my headphones, of course). As the title suggests, this is about another friend of Frank’s and is a tribute anyone would be proud of. This track in particular shows just how versatile Frank and his band can be, and that fast paced rock tracks can co-exist wonderfully with the regular folk-style stuff fans have come to expect.

Closing the album is ‘The Next Round’, an ode to the bottle and those who drink from it. This is probably the closest to a typical ‘folk’ song as you’re going to get from this EP and it’s calming melody works as a great finish to the record. Simple, subtle instrumentation provides the perfect backing to Frank’s soothing vocal throughout before it, again, rises up to create the perfect feel good ending.

If this is a teaser of what’s to come next from FT, then I can’t wait. Rock & Roll showcases just how great songwriting and production can come together to create a masterpiece. It shows how the range in Frank’s music has broadened, but it retains the simplicity that first drew me and many others in. Disregard Frank Turner at your peril!

Album Review :: Bad Religion – The Dissent Of Man

Bad Religion have been kicking some major dick for the past 30 years and with The Dissent Of Man, their 15th full length studio release. I’m hoping the awesome punk rock has not diminished one iota.

It has to be said, if I went off the general consensus of Bad Religion albums, I could probably write this without even listening. The band themselves have not really adapted their sound much from their initial release How Could Hell Be Any Worse, with the same quote on quote 3 chord punk rock, fast paced drums and politically driven vocals release after release. I’m making them sound like they’ve gone stale, trapped making music for a scene that has long since past, but this for some bizarre reason, is not the case.


Bad Religion, in some incredible way, have managed to keep their same sound without it becoming repetitive or un-inventive, and TDOM is no exception. If it ain’t broke don’t fix, right?

From the get go, it’s business as usual. Opener, ‘The Day The Earth Stalled’ is a minute and a half slice of glory, with lyrics that denounce that the band are “looking back”; with opening lines: “Do you remember when? We were young, adventure had no end? Those were the days, my friend. But I’m not talking about that at all.” This is Bad Religion at their best, as much intensity as can be fit into the 1:27 royal rumble of punk rock chaos. The vocal harmonies on the chorus aren’t anything new to old BR fans, but I’ll be damned if they still don’t please me immensely.

The lyrical content has not been put on a back burner for this album.  ‘Won’t Somebody’, a personal favorite, really put this album on a level with the best of Bad Religion as far as word play goes. Lines like: Won’t somebody please come up with something , ‘cuz Jesus just don’t seem to be impartially working” and “Just a moment of bliss amid all of the waste. The despair and oblivion of our precarious race. It’s ours to face now,” shows that the intellectual outspoken views on society the band hold so dear are still prominent in their minds and souls. The first single, ‘The Devil in Stitches’, is no different. Other than being from the slightly more popped up spectrum of the BR scale, which makes it an obvious choice for being the single, it is still a hard hitting sing-a-long anthem with an awesome array of vocal melodies.

The musicality of this album gets a good dose of insanity with the track ‘Meeting of the Minds’ – a song which follows in a similar vein as ‘1,000 More Fools’ from, legendary album, Suffer – has a very raw stripped down sound which, even though the production values of Bad Religion albums have increased a whole lot since 1988. The listener finds themselves transported back to an era where Greg Graffin had a full head of hair and Epitaph was just there to sell Bad Religion records.

If I had to pick a weak track on the album, I guess it would be ‘Cyanide’. It’s my least favourite, but not a weak track in any sense, in fact, it’s pretty good. That’s all I have to say about that!

Throughout the album it is clear that the many years of singing in a band has done nothing but good for the vocal talents of Greg Graffin and the rest of the band. At a number of different points throughout the album a surprising shock of vocalism is injected into the mix, with Graffin pushing the vocal octaves higher than any previous Bad Religion effort.

The album seems to slow in tempo nearer to the end, but the heavy sound is not lost. With the exception of ‘I Won’t Say Anything’, which features an acoustic guitar, its nothing but distortion all the way. The Dissent Of Man is an album that truly does not stop. Oh wait, it just did. Luckily I can just hit play and listen all over again.

Promo :: Frank Turner – ‘I Still Believe’

Hello, and welcome to the Frank Turner Minute

Touring the UK, Europe, the States, China and wherever else wants him has taken up the majority of Frank Turner’s time this year. The Winchester-born singer/songwriter never stops. Even when he’s got time to rest, he’s still busy doing covers, helping charities and recording a new EP. Rock & Roll – Frank’s new five-track stopgap – doesn’t come out until December, but here’s a taste of what’s to come.

Debuted sometime this year, ‘I Still Believe’ is Frank’s homage to his heroes. Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash all get a mention in this catchy new single. In true Turner fashion it’s a real crowd pleaser. Even before release swathes of people were singing the words back to him (good old YouTube), so I can only imagine what’ll happen now. This track will feature alongside ‘Pass It Along’, ‘Rock & Roll Romance’ and others on the new EP, as well as being included on his new album.

Watch the video, watch it again and then buy it off iTunes.

Rock & Roll is released on December 6th on Xtra Mile Recordings and Epitaph Records. Pre-order your copy here.

Germs Of Perfection :: Cobra Skulls Feat. Fat Mike

It goes without saying that Bad Religion had a big influence on punk rock. Scratch that, they had a big influence on music in general. No band were more influenced by them than Cobra Skulls, something that’s evident as soon as you hear one of their tracks. To leave these guys off a Bad Religion tribute album would be criminal.

They’ve brought their A-game with this track and brought in a familiar face to help. Fat Wreck head honcho and NOFX frontman, Fat Mike joins the Skulls to collaborate on this cover of ‘Give You Nothing’ originally featured on their 1998 album Suffer, the title track having already been covered by Tegan & Sara.

You can listen to the new track here.

Germs Of Perfection :: Frank Turner

Yesterday I told you guys about the new Bad Religion tribute album that’s being streamed on MySpace. I’ve now decided I’ll do a daily post for each new cover, just to make sure you check out some very cool songs, covered by some very cool artists. Today we have one from a very familiar face.

Polar Bear Club’s cover of ‘Better Off Dead’ was streaming yesterday and they took the typical punk rock route with their cover. Today it’s Frank Turner’s turn and, as per usual, Britain’s premier punk rock troubadour put his own spin on his version of a classic Bad Religion track. It’s a much slower take on the song, and reminded me of his cover of Black Flag’s ‘Fix Me’. It’s different, and probably not to the taste of most hardcore Bad Religion fans, but I prefer my covers this way. If it was the same you’d just listen to the original, right?

‘My Poor Friend Me’ comes from Bad Religion’s, 1993 album, Recepie For Hate. An album which features one of the band’s most iconic songs ‘American Jesus’. If you’re not a punk fan or not really into Bad Religion, be sure to give this album a go anyway. I guarantee there’ll be something on here you like.

You can listen to the track as well as tracks from Polar Bear Club and Tegan & Sara here.

Frank Turner, Tegan & Sara, Fake Problems Featured On Bad Religion Tribute Album

Germs Of Perfection

The words “tribute album” might send shivers down your spine, as you think about all those terrible CDs sold in infomercials. Fear not, you won’t be getting anything like that here. I’ve talked a little about this on Under The Bridge, but haven’t had any solid details until now. To celebrate their 30 years as a band, Epitaph – with partners MySpace and Spin Magazine – are putting out a Bad Religion tribute album.

Germs Of Perfection: A Tribute To Bad Religion will feature artists like Polar Bear Club, Fake Problems, Tegan & Sara, Frank Turner and Ted Leo covering some of Bad Religion’s most famous songs. The album will be available to stream online, with a new track being debuted each day, before being compiled and available to download. The best thing about all of this is that it’ll be free of charge. You can’t argue with that, can you?

You can listen to the tracks here. Polar Bear Club’s cover of ‘Better Of Dead’ is streaming now.

Bad Religion’s latest album The Dissent Of Man was released on Monday (27th) and you can buy it from the official Epitaph Records store.

Gig Review :: Bad Religion – Academy 2, Manchester – 24/08/10

The Only Religion I Can Get Behind

©Emma Stone 2010

It’s hard to review a band that have been around as long as Bad Religion. In their 30 years they’ve influenced countless musicians, released 15 studio albums and helped revive the punk rock genre. It was always going to be special to see these guys play, but I didn’t think it’d turn out to be one of my favorite gigs of 2010. Some might consider them amongst the ‘dads army’ of punk but if this gig showed anything, it’s that they’re far from past it.


With a new album on the horizon, some bands would choose to play their more recent stuff. Not Bad Religion. The setlist was fantastic. It was like being at a greatest hits show. Anything a Bad Religion fan would’ve wanted played was.

Greg Graffin was in fine voice as he blasted his way through songs like ‘Suffer’, ‘New Dark Ages’ and, a personal favorite, ‘Los Angeles Is Burning’. I have so much respect for him – even more now I’ve seen the guy do what he does best with my own eyes. He’s not only a great singer, but a great showman too. He commanded the stage (and the attention of the crowd) better than I’ve seen anyone do it before.

The audience isn’t usually an element of a gig I’d comment on, but I really feel the need to here. Given who these people were watching, you’d have thought there’d have been a bit of energy about them. The crowd may have been the most inanimate I’ve ever seen a group of people at Academy 2. There were definitely small pockets really going for it, as they should be, but the majority of people were stood perfectly still throughout the gig. I’m sure some of that was down to the amount of people packed into one of the smaller venues in Manchester, but my point still stands. This is a punk gig people, a bit of movement would be nice.

There’s no doubt that Greg was on top form, but the rest of the band were too. After a little bit of a shaky start, they really got into it and were really tight through to the end. It has to be said, that this was Bad Religion sans-Brett Gurewitz. I overheard some fans outside who sounded disappointed that he wasn’t there. Admittedly, it would’ve been awesome had he been, but the show was great regardless.

‘American Jesus’ closed out the main part of the show and, at last, the crowd finally seemed in good spirits. The band left stage and it seemed the encore everyone wanted wasn’t going to happen. After a little while, the guys came back out and played more fan favorites. This was the highlight of the show for me. Stranger Than Fiction is my favorite Bad Religion album, so to hear ’21st Century (Digital Boy)’ live was a great thing to behold. It was a great show and I don’t think anyone was doubting it would be. 30 Years and still going strong. I think some up and coming bands out there need to take notice.


Setlist:

  • Do What You Want
  • Overture/Sinister Rouge
  • We’re Only Gonna Die
  • Recipe For Hate
  • Flat Earth Society
  • Before You Die
  • A Walk
  • How Much Is Enough
  • No Control
  • Requiem For Dissent
  • Sanity
  • Atomic Garden
  • New Dark Ages
  • Dearly Beloved
  • Suffer
  • Germs Of Perfection
  • No Direction
  • Los Angeles Is Burning
  • Along The Way
  • Fuck Armageddon…This Is Hell
  • You
  • Infected
  • American Jesus

Encore:

  • Generator
  • 21st Century (Digital Boy)
  • Sorrow

Podcast :: Under The Bridge – Episode 4: If We Don’t See You Through The Week, We’ll See You Through The Window

“Hey look, that’s Marilyn Manson. He’s got shit loads of money. Let’s suck on his dick” – Ian Critchley

This is episode 4 of Under The Bridge and after we’ve solved one problem, we run into another. The sound quality is better, but Anthony had his microphone too close to his mouth. Apologies for the perverted heavy breathing. This week we talk a lot about Epitaph’s bands, Anthony talks about Real Ghosts Caught On Tape and we attempt to further beat the dead horse that is illegal downloading.

Music this week comes from Monster-0. The tracklist is as follows:

  • ‘Terminator Vs. Robocop’
  • ‘Ryan Writes Plays’
  • ‘Never You Mind’
  • ‘Burt Bacharach Was Right’
  • ‘Keep Me Informed’
  • ‘Doubt It’
Thanks to Matt Volp for the wonderful False Conundrums artwork.

Go on, have a listen:

Under The Bridge – Episode 4: If We Don’t See You Through The Week, We’ll See You Through The Window


Under The Bridge Podcast  – Episode 4: If We Don’t See You Through The Week, We’ll See You Through The Window
With: Anthony Barlow & Ian Critchley
Guests: N/A

News

  • Weezer sign to Epitaph
    • New album ‘Hurley’ coming soon
    • What an awesome album cover
  • Bad Religion compilation on the way
    • Very few details
    • Fake Problems on the record
  • Greg Graffin to release new book
    • Anarchy Evolution
    • Out Sept. 28th
    • Coming out alongside new BR album ‘The Dissent Of Man’
  • Set Your Goals headline dates – more to be announced
    • Liverpool Academy – Dec 8th
    • Leeds Cockpit – Dec 11th
    • Northampton Soundhouse – Dec 14th
  • Jimmy Eat World announce UK dates – more dates to come. No Manc date!
    • Nov 13 – Norwich UEA
    • Nov 14 – Bristol Academy
    • Nov 17 – Belfast TBC
    • Nov 18 – Dublin TBC
    • Nov 19 – Glasgow Barrowlands
    • Nov 23 – Brixton Academy
  • Guns N Roses cancel Leeds/Reading?
    • Afraid not. What a piss take.
  • Jay-Z is the highest earning man in hip-hop
    • Made $63million in the last year according to Forbes
      • New album, tour, clothing line and investments
    • Top 20:
      • 1. Jay-Z: $63 million
      • 2. P. Diddy: $30 million
      • 3. Akon, $21 million
      • 4. Lil Wayne, $20 million
      • 5. Dr. Dre, $17 million
      • 6. Ludacris, $16 million
      • 7. Snoop Dogg, $15 million
      • 8. Timbaland, $14 million
      • 9. Pharrell Williams, $13 million
      • 10. Kanye West, $12 million
      • 11. Drake, $10 million
      • 12. T.I., $9 million
      • 13. Swizz Beatz, $9 million
      • 14. Eminem, $8 million
      • 15. 50 Cent, $8 million
      • 16 Young Jeezy, $8 million
      • 17. Common, $7 million
      • 18. Soulja Boy, $6 million
      • 19. T-Pain, $6 million
      • 20. Lil Jon, $5 million
  • Katie Price to launch iPod range
    • Sold through her website
    • Who buys this shit?
  • Marilyn Manson splits with fiancee Rachael Evan Wood
    • Seemed amicable
    • He went and got smashed the night after
      • Well done
  • Katie Perry Gatecrashes, all male, high school prom in Australia
    • Heard her song playing and went to investigate
    • Did a bit of karaoke
    • Apparently she was smashed
  • Smell like the Sex Pistols
    • Sex Pistols launch new perfume
    • What the fuck?
  • Bono’s started smoking again
    • Hopefully he’ll die quicker this way

Main Topic

  • Illegal downloading: A discussion.

What Anthony’s Been Listening To:

  • Fake Problems – Real Ghosts Caught On Tape
  • Monster-0
  • Rise Against

What Ian’s Been Listening To:

  • Joy Division
  • Charles Manson
  • Our Podcast
  • Fu Manchu

Emails

  • Hahahaha John Berna is amazing – Pete Sk
  • How do you guys get all of these interviews – Danielle via Formspring
  • Why did you put “Scoop!” at the end of your Monster-0 review. It really didn’t make any sense – Anon.

John Berna’s Ian Critchley’s Words Of Wisdom:

  • “Act like a ho, you get smacked like a ho”

Where Can We Find You On The Internet?

Housekeeping

Gig Review :: Hot Water Music – Irish Centre, Leeds – 22/06/10

Here’s one, of time passed…

We thought it would never happen, after break ups and semi-make ups, Hot Water Music have finally touched U.K shores and are blasting the hell out of some, or what seems like, some old mans social club in the middle of fuck knows where known only as, the Irish Centre. Okay, I’ll do a little run down first, because it’s me writing this and it’s never a straight forward day is it?


We started the day, met in Manchester, got the train to Leeds. My heart was broke at one point when a 5 or 6 year old girl on the train turns to her mother and says, “Mummy, I love you.” I’m such a sucker.

In Leeds, we meet up with the fourth member of our usually 2 strong team, Mr Joe Brownridge. So far we have Anthony Barlow, Danny Rayner, Mr. Joe and myself. Being the ultimate arsehole I am, I decide it’ll be a good idea to walk to the Irish Centre, with not an ounce of knowledge of where it is, after an hour or so of walking through Leeds council estates (big fun) we decide to rely on the bullshit technology that is the iPhone.

So we get to the Centre, eventually get an interview with the lovely Jason Black and as we return to the venue Milloy are part way through their set. They play with such intensity I have to take a moment to think back to when I saw a support band play so well, can’t think of any right now. Next up is the Magnificent, who supported the Lawrence Arms on their Leeds venture, the crowd do not seem interested in the bands songs or on stage banter, but I do not think they played bad. At the end of their set, Chuck Ragan joins them for a full band cover of Alkaline Trio’s “Bleeder” which frankly, was the perfect start to what everyone had been waiting for…

Hot Water Music take to the stage and the crowd, frankly, go ape shit. A brief introduction and we’re straight in there. They open with ‘A Flight And A Crash’ (check the title duh!) and the place explodes. Before anyone can take a breath we’re followed by ‘Remedy’, a fan favourite and the last single (to my knowledge) to be released by the boys. The set continues with other well known songs such as ‘Wayfarer’, ‘Giver’ and the song that gave the album ‘Caution’ it’s title ‘I Was On A Mountain’ (such a tune).

The intensity of the band cannot, or has not been matched by any band I have ever seen. Chuck Ragan’s hard rocking antics, Chris Wollard’s borderline cocky crowd smiles and the deep concentration of the face of one of punk rocks best bassists, Jason Black. I’d say it is unfortunate, and I guess it is, but due to joining Against Me! George Rebelo is not on the drum kit tonight, luckily, Lagwagon drummer Dave Raun, who does exceedingly well (Oh Mr. Kipling!), playing songs that he didn’t write.

The set is a brilliant blend of new and old, featuring old classics such as ‘Free Radio Gainesville’, ‘Just Don’t Say You Lost It’ and ‘Alachua’. After and intense non stop perpetual boner of a setlist, the band retire, leaving the crowd anxious and almost riot bent on just a few more songs, and like fuck they’re not gonna give them to us! The band return to stage, and give a shout out to their good friends, a band called “The Bouncing Souls,”  they tear into a rendition of “True Believers” (much to Sarah Hadfields regret as she was not there) which rivals the original in a way that I’m sure shocked a few BS fans.

A couple more songs, Kerrang! favorite, ‘Choked And Seperated’ and finally ‘Turnstyles’ and the best night of my life comes to a close. Well kind of….

We ring a taxi under the pseudonym  Sebastian DeBlanc, and head towards Santiago’s, the best pub in the world. A lot of Against Me!, Nofx and Black Flag and then a lovely train ride home. Fuck yeah!

Video Interview :: Derek Grant (Alkaline Trio)

One out of three ain’t bad.

After a day spent out in the sun, watching and waiting we (“we” being about nine of us at the time of this interview) and not getting anywhere we were greeted by the presence of, Alkaline Trio drummer, Derek Grant. The plan had originally been to speak to all three of the guys (a plan that may still go ahead), but due to some last minute scheduling issues it wasn’t to be. Thankfully, Derek obliged and we have something special for you, dear reader.

Courtesy of, our friend, Jodie Weatherley’s new production company, Trust No One Productions, we have a video interview. That’s right, you don’t have to read a wall of text. Although, if you want to, it’s been transcribed anyway.

This was in Derek’s own time, hence why it’s only a quick one. Massive thanks to him.



Ian Critchley: On your new album you’ve returned to your roots. Was that a conscious decision, or did you just start jamming out and it just kind of happened?

Derek Grant: It just happened, it was more coincidental. We knew that we wanted to work with the producer that the band used to work with and record at the studio, do something in Chicago, and I think it was just a matter of those elements and where we were at as people and, like, the songs that we were writing. So it just came out that way.

IC: On the Heart & Skull Records front, it’s a partnership with Epitaph, what was the decision behind that entire thing?

DG: Well, we were gonna self release the record, so we started our own label, and then Epitaph, basically, we’ve been friends with them for a long time and they said: ‘we know a lot about the business, we can help you out with some of the details’, so we licensed the record to Epitaph.

IC: Good for that, Epitaph, aren’t they? Do you think there’ll ever be a Dan-fronted single?

DG: You never know.

IC: There never has been though.

DG: Yeah, I mean, there hasn’t been and it’s a mystery to me why that hasn’t happened. A lot of times, the singles are picked by the record label.

IC: Right.

Anthony Barlow: I really like the horn section in ‘Lead Poisoning’, but it’s somewhat of a point of contention with fans.

DG: Sure.

AB: What do you personally think of it?

DG: I think it suits the song just fine. When I first heard the idea, I was a little surprised but…

IC: Did you not write the horn section?

DG: No. It was all Matt.

IC: I thought you did, because you did the orchestral thing on ‘Sadie’

DG: Yeah, it was all Matt’s idea.

IC: No way.

DG: Blame Matt.

IC: You and Matt, apparently, bought each other Church Of Satan memberships and then, kinda, went back on it.

DG: A long time ago. I didn’t.

IC: Did Matt?

DG: Maybe a little bit, but I think he shy’s away from talking about it.

IC: It’s nothing like…

DG: It wasn’t the most serious decision to begin with. You know, in my opinion, being a part of any sort of organisation is kinda foolish.

IC: Yeah, yeah definitely.

DG: Especially an organisation that preaches free thought. To be part of a group mentality doesn’t make a lot of sense. So it was more of a, I don’t want to say it was a joke, but it was more of something that was a bonding experience for us. It was pretty early on, once I’d joined the band, and one of the first things Matt and I bonded over was Satanism. Like, I grew up, my mother was a follower of Anton LaVey and LaVey and Satanism, and Matt was into it from an early age as well. So, when we first started hanging out, we didn’t know each other that well and we were trying to find things in common and that was one of the the most outstanding things.

IC: On that same level, you have a pentagram on your nipple. Could you show that to the camera?

DG: No.

IC: No. Are you not gonna do that?

DG: That’s a tattoo for my mom.

IC: Oh right, ok.

AB: You’ve done some pretty surprising covers over the years you’ve been going, is there anything like that coming in the future? *

DG: Yeah, we’ve been talking about doing a covers album for some time so…

IC: Is that Those Crooked Vulva’s?

DG: No, that’s a totally different project, but maybe some of the same songs.

AB: You’ve been playing Ramones covers as well

DG: Yeah, we haven’t played any Ramones covers in a while. We’ve been doing some Misfits songs lately.

IC: Is any of that gonna be played tonight?

DG: Probably.

AB: Nice.

IC: Good stuff, yeah. What’s your favorite Trio album as a drummer? What album do you feel you’ve played best on as such?

DG: Well that’s interesting actually, because my favorite Trio records are the ones I didn’t play on. Which is, maybe, becuase I’m a fan of those records and it’s a little bit easier to be objective about things. As far as records I’ve played on, I’d have to say this one.

IC: Oh yeah, right. If Chuck Ragan, this is kind of a joke question, if Chuck Ragan, Henry Rollins and a shark had a fight, who do you think would win?

DG: Oh man, I would say Chuck. Chuck’s pretty tough.

IC: Everyone goes for Chuck.

AB: It’s four nil!

DG: I like Henry Rollins just fine, and he seems tough enough. To be honest, I’ve never seen Chuck in a fight, but I know what lies beneath. Henry Rollins seems like kind of a nice guy. As is Chuck, but Henry seems like, I don’t know, like he wouldn’t fare well in that situation.

IC: *laughs* he’d kinda separate himself.

AB: We talked a bit about the setlist, is there any songs you refuse to play?

DG: No.

IC: None that are boycotted, as such.

DG: No. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll play anything. The other guys might have different opinions.

IC: Do you find it hard choosing a setlist, because you’ve got seven albums out now and a load of other stuff as well?

DG: Yeah, it’s impossible. You can never please everybody.

IC: Finally, is there anything you’d like to recommend: music, film or literature? Because there’s a lot of stuff I’ve gotten into through Alkaline Trio.

DG: Oh man, so much stuff. House Of Leaves, the book is amazing. That was very influential for all of us actually. House Of Leaves is an amazing book. I’m trying to think of, as far as films are concerned. There’s a film called Martyrs that’s pretty interesting. We just watched that one. Bronson, you’ve probably seen, I think it did pretty good over here. Musically, I listen to, mainly, older stuff. I don’t listen to a whole lot of new music.

IC: Is there not any new bands you’re into at the moment?

DG: Not really. I mean, I’m always looking for new stuff, but I tend to be disappointed.

IC: Have you heard a band called Crazy Arm?

DG: No.

IC: They’re from round here, and they’re really good.

DG: Ok, I’ll check them out. I appreciate the suggestion.

IC: Right, thank you very much.

DG: Sorry it took me so long to get out here.