Archiv des Autors: Milo Schärer

Spanish Love Songs (USA) Interview

Spanish Love Songs are a melodic punk band from Los Angeles, USA consisting of (photo FLTR) Kyle McAulay (guitar), Meredith Van Woert (keyboard), Gabe Mayeshiro (bass), Ruben Duarte (drums) and Dylan Slocum (vocals/guitar). Milo from Radio Radius spoke to frontman Dylan Slocum after their performance in the Hafenkneipe at Obenuse Fest IV on May 5, 2018. In this interview, he talks about their new album Schmaltz and more.

Milo Schärer: Thank you so much for doing this interview with Radio Radius!

Dylan Slocum: Of course!

How has your European Tour been this far?

It’s been great! We are a week and a half in, we have three shows left. It’s been a blast, there’s been a lot of people at a lot of shows in places that we didn’t expect to necessarily have a ton. So, it’s been a lot of fun!

Alright. And what has your favorite venue been so far?

Hmm… In terms of the show, the one we just played for Obenuse Fest was great because that was insane. In terms of the venue itself, we played a farmhouse in Austria that was very cool. Basically, it was a barn that they had converted into a venue. So yeah, it was a lot of fun.

Alright. For people who aren’t familiar with Spanish Love Songs, which there will certainly be less of after Obenuse, how would you describe your band in five words?

In five words? Sad. I don’t need five words, I think one is enough. Sad and honest. That’s three words. We’ll give you that.

Fair Enough. A lot of other people, such as reviewers, have described your band as being similar to The Menzingers. How do you feel about that comparison?

I mean, it’s great to be compared to one of the biggest bands in our scene, so that doesn’t annoy us. We don’t hear the comparison anymore, but if it’s an easy way to get people to access the music, then by all means, you can compare us to whoever you want because at the end of the day it’s still our band and our songs. Some people feel that we’re rehashing what they did, and we don’t feel we are. I don’t think we are, so it’s fine. Really, we don’t care.

I think especially your lyrics are very different from those of The Menzingers. They’re very personal and detailed, and they often include specific references to places or family members. Why do you choose this kind of lyrical approach for your songs?

I think it’s the only way I really know how to do it. I tried to be metaphorical and vague before, and it just didn’t work. I like being specific, because I think by creating something so specific, it can actually lead more people to recognize and relate to it, even though it’s about me. I think everyone lives their lives in such specific terms that it becomes almost universal. Me writing about the death of my family member, even though it’s my experience, is the same as anybody’s, not the same, but it’s similar to anybody else’s loss of family members. I think people are able to find some comfort in that fact. I like to be so specific so nobody feels that they’re alone because as alone as I feel, I know I’m not the only one.

That makes a lot of sense. How did you get together as a band?

Our other bassist, Gabe, who’s at home right now, Ruben and I played in an old band, and that band broke up. We met Kyle on Craigslist because he had just moved to L.A. and was looking for people to go to shows with and he also mentioned that he played music, so we just started jamming together. Our other keyboardist Meredith is really good friends with my girlfriend so we hang out a lot and we knew that she played piano, so when it was time to add a piano player, I thought of her right away.

Why aren’t Gabe and Meredith on this tour right now?

Gabe was on the first half of this tour with us but he has a child on the way, so he went home to be with his wife and the child he already has. Meredith had some family obligations that unfortunately lined up exactly with our European tour.

Alright, so now let’s talk about your new album Schmaltz, which I really enjoyed. And it appeared to be a popular seller at the merch table…

I think so. We’re just about sold out of our first run, so that’s good. Yeah, it seems to be popular. We’re happy with it.

So yeah, about the album: you included a lot more layered and full-bodied instrumentation compared to your debut Giant Sings the Blues. Did you approach this album differently as a band?

Yeah. We’d been a band for a few more years and we were better musicians. We added the keyboards, which certainly helped. And I think we took a more methodical approach to recording it. The first one we just wanted to get done, so I came with these songs and we just kind of cranked them out and put them out. It was an organic process. With this one, we spent the time together writing and getting every part right. It’s still not perfect in our heads, but it’s as close as we could have hoped to getting it.

Now about the instrumentation: what inspired you to include an organ, not necessarily a typical punk instrument, in the album opener Nuevo?

There’s a Frank Ocean song called Forrest Gump. We love that song, and we already had the keyboards. That song was originally written on guitar, but we were in the studio, and I said: “What if we just switched it to organ?” Then we kind of referenced that song and did it. So, it wasn’t anything deeply thought out, we just thought it sounded cool.

Buffalo Buffalo is a very interesting song lyrically in my opinion. Could you tell us the story behind it?

Yeah. I was in Atlanta for work and I had to move away from my girlfriend, with whom I’d pretty much just fallen in love. I was really sad, so I wrote a love song. A lot of the stuff in that is very specific actually: she was visiting Portland to see her family and two days before she went there was a shooting in a mall there where three kids died. And I was literally lost in the south, wandering through these Civil War cemeteries. I just had this overwhelming feeling of wanting to run away from everything. I don’t know why I thought of “North of Buffalo”, but I did. I was thinking of Canada for some reason, and just wanting to get away from it all. I think as an American going to Canada is kind of a classical escape: going to the land of free healthcare, stuff like that. So, it just kind of happened and I wrote it in an afternoon. I was off from work, I wrote it on a Saturday and I sent it to the guys on a Sunday. It was the second song off the album that we wrote.

Alright. Now let’s talk aboutThe Boy Considers His Haircut. It’s kind of a meta song because you sing about your music and what other people think about it. So, my question is: do you think you’d have more fans if you sang about some happier shit or do you think the sad lyrics are part of the appeal of your band?

I think we’d have more fans if we were 10 years younger, more handsome and sang about very generic, fun things. That being said, I think that our lyrics fit our band. It’s kind of a running joke, but I don’t know, it’s hard to say, but I think we’ve found the place where we need to be. And I don’t know, people like sad lyrics, so we’ll deal with it and we won’t worry about the number of fans we have. Or we’ll try not to worry about it because I’m sure we will at the end of the day?

Now Beer & NyQuil (Hold It Together)is one such sad song. Could you tell us the story behind that?

Yeah. I was it Atlanta, still, and it was Thanksgiving in 2015. I was off of work, and I dropped my boss off at the airport so he could see his wife in L.A. I went back to my apartment and got bronchitis, so I was super sick, had a lot of dark thoughts and wanted to give up on everything because I didn’t know anybody and everyone else was home with their families and I wasn’t seeing my family or my girlfriend. I was super sick, so I took a bunch of NyQuil and didn’t leave the couch for three days. I would order Pizza in the morning and it would get delivered to me, I would order two so that I could eat one for lunch and one for dinner. It was a really sad time, so I wrote those lyrics down and decided to turn them into a song. I think the other have of that song is from when I was in the Dominican Republic for that same job, and I was literally stuck on an island. I was very sad and wanted to get away from everything I was doing, so it was very real.

Alright. Is it difficult for you to perform such personal and sad songs in front of an audience?

Not anymore, it was for a while. I’ve compartmentalized it enough; these things are all very old. Most of the songs on this album were written at the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016, so we’re talking almost three years ago. So, it takes me back to that moment, but I’ve gotten pretty good about not living that moment because I don’t want to be sad like that forever and I’m also dealing with my current sadness and whatever is happening at the moment. It’s also really hard to be depressed about something when I’m onstage and people are having a good time. I’ve chosen to embrace the happiness of it all as opposed to focusing on the sadness.

Ok. Since we’re doing this interview at Fat Tony, my last question for you is: what is your favorite pizza topping?

I am a traditionalist. A pizza should be bread, tomato sauce, and cheese. It’s all it should be, that’s a pizza. None of that other bullshit matters. You can put whatever you want on it, if the cheese, the sauce, and the bread is bad it’s not a good pizza.

Thank you!

Thank you so much!

Spanish Love Songs Links:







Interview: Milo Schärer / Foto: John Lafirira

Mobina Galore (CAN) Interview

Mobina Galore are a punk rock two piece from Winnipeg, Canada consisting (photo FLTR) of Jenna Priestner (vocals/guitar) and Marcia Hanson (drums/vocals). Milo from Radio Radius spoke to them after their performance in the Zukunft at Obenuse Fest IV on May 5, 2018. In this interview, they talk about their album Feeling Disconnected, Winnipeg’s music scene and more.

Milo Schärer: Hi, thank you so much for doing this interview with Radio Radius!

Marcia Hanson: Our Pleasure!

Jenna Priestner: You got it!

Milo: This is actually the third time I’ve seen you play. I saw you play at Hafenkneipe almost exactly a year ago and also opening for Against Me! at Dynamo. Which of your performances in Zurich, including today, has been your favorite?

Marcia: I had a blast today. It was one of the sweatiest shows and I was very cramped on that stage, but there was something about being so close the audience when it’s a smaller stage in a smaller room. Everybody was singing along, so I’m going to say tonight.

Jenna: I think I would have to agree. It was probably my worst performance of the whole tour, I fucked up so many things.

Marcia: You’re allowed to be sloppy in a small venue.

Jenna: I was getting hit by people, but it’s one of those things where you just roll with it, it felt like a basement show. So, tonight!

Milo: Well, it was literally in a basement. I’d briefly like to mention the other bands that are sharing the stage with you in that basement. Jenna, you sang a bit on the new Cancer Bats album The Spark That Moves and you’ve also played with Propagandhi many times before. Are we going to see you come on stage at all during their sets?

Jenna: I don’t know. This is our first time at this venue and I pictured the stage being a big stage. I was like: “There’s no way I’m going on this big stage because I don’t remember the words”. But now, this vibe, I think I could get into it. I don’t know, we’ll see.

Marcia: Are you just going to run up and grab the mic or have you been invited?

Jenna: I have not been invited. So, I do not think I will be gracing the stage.

Marcia: Let’s see what happens.

Jenna: Only time will tell.

Marcia: It was cool while it lasted. Whatever.

Milo: Almost all of the bands playing here are Canadian bands like yourselves. Could you tell us a bit about the music scene in your hometown of Winnipeg?

Jenna: I think Propagandhi kind of speaks for that. Everyone knows Winnipeg from Propagandhi if you’re in the punk rock scene. There’s a ton of punk rock bands there, just not a lot of them tour, so a lot of people in Europe wouldn’t know who they are, but there are so many good bands and there’s long cold winters so people just hang out inside writing music and creating art, so it’s a really good city to be in to be part of a music community and for some reason people love punk in Winnipeg, so we fit right in.

Milo: Since you said these bands aren’t really known in Europe, could you maybe give us some names of good bands in Winnipeg worth checking out?

Jenna: Yeah, definitely. One of faves are our buds in a band called Union Stockyards. There’s a band called Clipwing. I’m drawing a blank on other bands now.

Marcia: It’s like: “Who did we play with?”

Jenna: Check out those two.

Milo: For people who do not know Mobina Galore yet, how would you describe your band in five words?

Marcia: Hmm…

Jenna: Vocally aggressive power chord punk.

Marcia: Whoa! She nailed that!

Jenna: I already came up with the tagline. I didn’t know it was only five words though.

Marcia: This is you nailing it.

Milo: You’re a two piece, which is a slightly unusual constellation for a punk band. For instance, there’s only one other two piece besides yourselves playing here at Obenuse. How did you get together as a band in this formation?

Marcia: It just happened naturally. We met in Fernie, British Columbia, when we were both living there years ago. Jenna had a whole jam space set up in her house that she owned there, with drums, guitars, vocals and keyboards. I had never seen one person own all this stuff, so I was like: “This is so cool! Let’s jam!” So, then we had some beers and started jamming. And we kind of just never met someone that wanted to play with us.

Jenna: That sounds so bad.

Marcia: Someone that wanted to play music when we were open, you know, figuring it out? Nobody was playing music, and then we just kind of got into a groove and we were comfortable. It became very easy, to the point where we couldn’t imagine having a third person and taking a space in the band.

Milo: Alright. Which bands or artists have influenced your music?

Marcia: Lots.

Jenna: It’s a range. I always find that question kind of hard to answer. Blink-182 were my all-time favorite band in high school, but I don’t listen to them anymore, but I’m sure that has some type of influence from when I started playing. Now all we listen to are the bands we tour with, because it’s three or four bands every night. I don’t really search out music all that much anymore, so it’s kind of a weird question to be honest. Against Me! is huge in our lives right now because we toured with them a couple times. Now even Cancer Bats, I’m super stoked about being on that one track, so I’m repping their new album. It’s just kind of about the people that we meet on the road and those bands that inspire us in life in general, not so much as a band, you know?

Milo: This next question I’m going to ask you is mainly so that one of our very good friends who is not so into punk will read this interview as well. When preparing for this interview, I saw on your Facebook page that you also listed Taylor Swift as an artist that you like. So, what is your favorite Taylor Swift album?

Jenna: That’s a tricky one. I would probably say 1989, but the new one’s really good too. There’s just a couple tracks that I don’t like on there.

Marcia: I really like Red too.

Jenna: There’s a couple of gems on that one.

Marcia: There’s a lot of gems on Red. But she was just much younger then, so it’s a little harder to relate to what she’s singing about maybe. So, I’m going to go with 1989.

Jenna: 1989, yeah. And Ryan Adams’ version of 1989 is…

Marcia: Very cool! If you haven’t heard that, check it out.

Jenna: We listen to a lot of pop music when we’re driving, and folksy music because all we listen to when we’re playing shows is punk, hardcore and metal. In the van, it’s just: pop it up! Beyoncé, whatever, all the mainstream. The gold mainstream, not all of it. Just the Beyoncés and the Taylor Swifts.

Milo: Alright. In February of 2017 you released the album Feeling Disconnected.What are your thoughts on it a little more than a year on?

Jenna: That’s a good question, we’ve never been asked that question before. So, kudos to that.

Marcia: I’m still very happy with it. I like the way that we recorded it. We went into recording that album thinking that we wanted to have it be more like our live shows; just the two, drums, guitars, both vocals; instead of the way we recorded our first album, which was more layering vocals, more layering guitar kind of tracks. I still think it sounds great, I love the guy who did it, J.P. Peters, who produced and recorded both of our albums. I love it.

Jenna: I’m just excited to record a new album, really. You listen back to your old stuff and try figure out what you can do to make it better. For me, my guitar tones, even though we spent so much time on them for the last record, I’m excited to tweak my guitar tones for the new record.

Milo: Now that you mention a new album, you did play one new track today. Could you briefly comment on it?

Jenna: Yeah, it’s called Fade Away and it’s the only track that’s complete that will be on the new record, so we’ll be releasing it as a single on May 18. So, we’ll post a video and a digital release as something in between before the new record comes out. And we’re super stoked about it, it’s kind of a mix between our first and our second record, so we’re very happy with it.

Milo: Now going back to Feeling Disconnected, could you each just say what your favorite track off that album is and why?

Marcia: Yeah. I love Start All Over, I think it’s the first track off that album. Jenna started writing that song, and she was like: “Come on, let’s try to write a song together, because often we’ll write separately. I was reading her stuff, and I was like: “I don’t like it” and just left. Then she came back with this track and it became my favorite one. Now I’m upset that I wasn’t a part of writing it.

Jenna: Maybe that’s why it’s so good. No, I’m kidding. That’s a tough one, but just off the top of my head I’ll say Spend My Day, which is a song that Marcia wrote. People love it. It’s a fun song to play, tonight people were singing along to it, so I like it.

Milo: Feelings of detachment, including while on tour, were a big theme on Feeling Disconnected. Having toured extensively behind the album, do you feel more or less disconnected now than before the album’s release?

Jenna: I want to say less right now. I suppose you also got us at a good time; great show, great weather, great city; where I’m having a really good time on the road. It’s not as stressful and tiring as it can be. I think at this moment, anyways, I’m feeling pretty good. It’s our third time here now, and you feel more welcome and more at home every time you come back. We’re meeting more people and making more connections in all these cities and countries. It feels good.

Marcia: I agree.

Jenna: That’ll be the pull quote. “I agree”, says Marcia Hanson.

Milo: I’d like to ask a few questions about some specific tracks that we especially like. Could you tell us the story behind Vancouver?

Jenna: Yeah. That was a song where I wrote the verses and I just couldn’t come up with the chorus. Then Marcia wrote the chorus later. There almost opposite from each other, lyrically and the way they’re performed. I was having an anxious moment so I wrote all the verses in a very anxious state of mind. Then we wanted to make the chorus kind of big and happy, and sing-a-longy, Marcia ended up coming up with those lines when we went to Vancouver to work on the Feeling Disconnected Record. We spent quite a bit of time there throughout the year. We went there to finish up songs, and I think that’s when you came up with the chorus. The juxtaposition of the song just kind of worked. That’s what that song’s roughly about.

Milo: I’d also like to know about the song Fourth of July, the bonus track for Feeling Disconnected, because it seems like there’s a specific story behind it. So, could you tell us about that?

Jenna: Sure. Do you want to?

Marcia: Sure. We were on tour and we had a day off, and it happened to be the Fourth of July, which in the states is America’s birthday or something, so it’s a big party. Independence Day, I think? I’m not American, so it’s ok that I don’t know this. It’s a big deal over there and we had that day off and we were driving through Omaha, we were going to spend the night in Omaha. I happened to say to Jenna: “Hey, isn’t Conor Oberst from Omaha?” Conor Oberst [of Bright Eyes] is one of her favorite Songwriters. So, I started googling Conor Oberst, and it turns out he owns a bar in Omaha. I was like: “Jenna, I know what we’re doing tonight for the Fourth of July, we’re going to Conor Oberst’s bar. Maybe he’ll be there.” She’s like: “Yeah, right. He won’t be there, but let’s go.” We walk in and he’s there, but nobody else is. It’s just him with eight of his friends and the rest of the bar is empty. Jenna and I were both excited, so we both sat at the bar, had a couple of drinks, and watched him out of the corner of our eyes. We never got the courage to actually say hi or anything, but you know, he’d come up and ask the bartender for a glass of wine and I’d watch what bottle he’d pour from and be like: “I’ll have one of those.” So, I like to say that we shared a bottle of wine. Actually, we shared a few bottles of wine.

Jenna: We wrote the song while we were sitting in the bar. We knew there was something about that night that we had to commemorate. When we recorded it, it just didn’t quite fit with the vibe of the rest of the album, but we really liked it, so we wanted to put it on as a bonus track.

Milo: That’s a really cool story. I’d also like to ask about one song off your first album, Cities Away. What’s the story behind Skeletons?

Jenna: To be honest, I don’t even know if I can answer that question. There’s some songs where you almost just blink and somehow, you’ve written a song, and it’s gone from wherever the bare bones of it was to where it is now, but people love it. It’s a simple, kind of Ramones-y vibe, guitar riff. I don’t even know, we were living in Vancouver at the time as well, when I wrote that song, but I don’t think I even have an answer for that one.

Marcia: I think that is an answer, that you don’t really remember.

Jenna: Some songs just kind of happen.

Milo: We met your friend Joe Vickers, who opened for you last time you played in Zurich, when he played a show at Cartel Burrito recently, and I told him that I was going to do this interview and he suggested I ask this last question, so this is all thanks to him.

Jenna: Oh my god…

Milo: If I remember the story correctly, you adopted the practice of using a fanny pack from him. What items in your fanny pack are absolutely essential while on tour?

Marcia: Let’s go through it.

Jenna: Well, we don’t need to go totally through it.

Marcia: Oh, sorry. Maybe there’s some secret items.

Jenna: I always have a Sharpie. I have a miniature floss, which I don’t think I’ve ever used.

Marcia: But just in case.

Jenna: Just in case. You always need money. I’ve always got lip chap and GeloRevoice, which is a German throat lozenge specifically for singing. So, I usually have those in here. My keys? No, my keys aren’t even in here usually. My earplugs. I’d say earplugs, lip chap and a Sharpie are all essential in the fanny pack of Jenna from Mobina Galore. That is so funny. Joe Vickers…

Marcia: Great question. He’s also a hilarious guy.

Mobina Galore Links:








Interview: Milo Schärer / Foto: Dwayne Larson

Save Ends (USA) Interview

Save Ends from Boston, USA are an emo-punk band consisting of (photo FLTR) Tom (guitar), Brendan (vocals/keyboard), Burton (drums), Christine (vocals/guitar) and Brad (bass). Milo from Radio Radius spoke to them after they opened up Obenuse Fest IV in the Hafenkneipe on May 5, 2018. In this interview, they talk about their album A Book About Bad Luck, Dungeons & Dragons and more.

Milo: Thank you guys so much for doing this interview with Radio Radius!

Brendan: Of course!

Milo: Are you happy having just opened Obenuse Fest?

Christine: Absolutely! This is our first time playing Europe ever, so to be able to open up this festival is extra special, I would.

Tom: Yeah, that was really, really fun.

Christine: Good first European show, for sure.

Milo: Nice. For people who aren’t familiar with Save Ends yet, how would you describe your band in five words?

Christine: Dungeons and Dragons and beer.

Milo: You already mentioned Dungeons & Dragons, and if I’m not mistaken, you decided to form Save Ends after playing D&D together, is that correct?

All: That’s true.

Milo: How has D&D influenced you as a band?

Brendan: I’ll handle this one. Tom, Christine and I were playing D&D together on a regular basis and we had all been in bands in the past. We just decided it would be funny or fun to do a band together and also name it something D&D-related. We all have played a lot, and I guess that’s it.

Milo: Any songs in particular that are influenced by D&D?

Christine: Well, the band name is a Dungeons & Dragons reference. Same Old Dice, which is the last song that we just played.

Brendan: Yeah, that’s a reference to D&D.

Christine: On our first EP we tried to make every song name be a reference, but that’s a lot.

Brendan: That’s a lot of work.

Tom: Ten or Better, the first EP we did, is about… save ends is a mechanic where if you roll ten or better, you save. The next EP, Strength Vs Will, was an example of a saving throw. So, you’d have to do two combined rolls, strength vs. will. Anyway, that’s D&D related.

Brad: I think this is what they want to hear. They want to know about it, don’t feel weird about it.

Tom: What else? There’s more.

Milo: Well, actually, we do have one more D&D question. Who do you like to play as in D&D?

Tom: Well, our campaign that we’ve been playing forever is an evil campaign, so we’re all really evil, and I am a drow paladin, so that’s a dark elf paladin who is evil as crap.

Christine: I’m a tiefling warlock and I have a tail, and it’s prehensile, which means that I can hit things with it.

Brendan: I’m the DM, I just make up the story. And I can attest to them being very evil. I don’t want to mention the things that they’ve done in the interview because people wouldn’t like us anymore.

Milo: Alright, we’ve talked a bit about your game influences, now let’s talk about musical influences. When I heard your music, it reminded a lot of 90s emo like The Get Up Kids or Rainer Maria, did these kinds of bands influence your music?

Christine: Yeah, you are hitting the nail on the head with those two bands, absolutely. Especially Rainer Maria. For me growing up, going to shows, seeing Rainer Maria and seeing a woman in a band singing, it was like: “This is cool. Is that a thing I could do?” That just influenced me to even play at all, and additionally they have influenced our songwriting.

Brendon: Yeah, that nailed it, I think.

Milo: Alright. And maybe any other influences worth mentioning on your sound?

Tom: I think we have a lot of punk influences too. We all grew up listening to 90s Fat Wreck Chords bands, Lagwagon and stuff like that, so I think there’s a hint of that in some of our songs too. It’s kind of like a marriage of 90s emo, pop-punk and punk.

Brendan: Brad and Tom also play in No Trigger, so that’s a little heavier band than we are. That comes into play a bit.

Milo: Since you bring it up, Brad and Tom, you play in No Trigger as well, what are the differences between playing in No Trigger and Save Ends?

Christine: Yeah guys, what are the differences?

Brad: Mostly the sweat. I sweat way more in No Trigger. It’s just a lot more work in general.

Tom: I think I only head bang in No Trigger and in Save Ends I get to get sexy and dance a little.

Brad: I get to really groove with the bass, which is nice. It was actually scary because No Trigger’s been on tour for a week now. So, for me to get out of that groove of just being crazy and relax, just hang out, it took me like three songs tonight.

Tom: This was also particularly difficult, being early. I call it early, it’s not early in the day, but Brad and I have been up very, very late every night for the past week.

Christine: And we also haven’t played together in three weeks.

Tom: But I think it went ok.

Christine: We did the songs. We got through all of them.

Milo: No, it was great. You wouldn’t have noticed that it’s the first time you played together in three weeks.

Christine: Good.

Tom: Perfect.

Christine: That’s what we were going for.

Tom: We tricked them!

Milo: So, Brendan and Christine, you share lead vocal duties for Save Ends. I’d like to ask, what is your songwriting process like? Who does what in the band?

Christine: When we started, Brendan and I kind of brought some stuff in. But then Brendan and Tom started writing together, and Tom and I started writing together, and then over the years as a band, especially this last record, we wrote a lot of the songs in band practice, got skeletons down for them, and then Brendan and I separately work on them. We bring them together and try to combine things. It’s actually very collaborative, we have really figured out how to write songs together, which is great.

Brendan: We’ll get the music down, for the most part, in band practice and whoever has a part will write it. Tom C is super good at song structure stuff, so he’ll help out with that a lot. We do vocals afterwards. What we’ll do is take the recordings of practice home, and Christine and I will give songs a shot.

Christine: Yeah, and try to play along with them, change things up and see what works for singing. We’ll move them in different places.

Milo: Alright, now let’s talk about A Book About Bad Luck, your album from last year. The album’s title comes from the opening tack Bad News. What is this song about and why did you choose a lyric from it as your album title?

Christine: This is you.

Brendan: You wrote some of the lyrics on this too. This album is kind of a bummer, it’s more of bummer, I think, than most of our albums. I think calling it A Book About Bad Luck kind of fit the mood of the album, so we used it. Maybe it was partially out of laziness. You know, like: “That’s cool.”

Christine: “Alright.”

Brendan: I mean, we could have tried super hard.

Christine: It’s a nice line though.

Brendan: I know, it sounded good.

Brad: It’s a good line!

Burton: I like that name.

Brendan: We’re old. We’re in our mid-thirties, and that song is basically just about people in your life that you meet or yourself, everyone goes through some tough times. It’s basically about people that you know and love going through bad times. You just have to get them through the rut. That’s basically what that song’s about, lifting your friends up from the rut, and it’s from the perspective of someone who’s in a bad place.

Milo: Alright. Another lyric that I found interesting from that album was “I should be missing it, but I’m not missing it” from Way Back. Could you tell us about this song as well?

Brendan: Yeah, I wrote that lyric too. That one, Way Back, is pretty literal, about going back to where you grew up. You had some great times back there, but you’re not there in your life anymore. So, at least personally, I literally went back to the street where I grew up because a friend of mine still lives there. I lived there for 15 years. No, I lived there for 18 years. You remember how it felt to be there, but it’s not like that anymore. As much as you romanticize the past, you can’t go back. It’s that cliché, you can’t go home again, that’s what it’s about.

Milo: The song Hateful Kids, still from the same album, is a bit more political than your other material. What compelled you to write that song?

Brendan: The United States is going to such a shitty place right now, it’s hilarious.

Christine: We suck!

Brendan: It’s hilariously fucked up, how we elected a reality TV star racist asshole to be president. And I would have felt bad, if you play anything in the punk genre, and you don’t at least bring up the fact of how fucked up that is. It’s completely ridiculous what’s going on, and we have a lot of people acting on, as the song says, tribal instincts, where they’re being racist or the easiest person to pick on is who they’re going to pick on. It’s just trying to address the actual problem that we have. I don’t know, we live in frustrating times and it would have felt bad to not have a song that addressed it.

Burton: I like the line in that song where you say “we are going back on our worst instincts”, is that what you say?

Brendan: Yeah.

Burton: I always crack up when I hear that line because I can just picture you saying it, just so sharply, you know what I mean? Just like: “We’re going back on our worst instincts.”

Brendan: Yeah, I think that’s true.

Milo: We’ve talked about A Book About Bad Luck.How do you think it compares to your previous album Warm Hearts, Cold Hands?

Tom: I think we put more into this one. We took a lot longer to write this one, we didn’t rush it, not that we did that with Warm Hearts, Cold Handsall the way, but this time we weren’t in a rush. We wrote songs over time, some of those songs took a couple years.

Christine: One day we were like: “We should probably do a full length now. We’ve been working on stuff, what are we doing?”

Tom: I think this one’s probably a little bit closer to our real sound. I think Warm Hearts, Cold Hands was little bit… not harder, but a little punkier, pop-punkier, whereas this one has a lot more feeling, depth, and dynamics to it. We’re proud of both of them, but I think it’s a good evolution for us.

Christine: I think the material is just sadder, too. Moodier and sadder. Being at point where you feel like you can be truly honest writing lyrics is hard the first couple times around, but I felt more comfortable this time really writing what I wanted to talk about. Things I hadn’t been able to address previously, I could do it on this album. That felt really good.

Milo: Alright, thanks again and enjoy the rest of your European tour!

Christine: Thank you!

Save Ends Links:








Interview: Milo Schärer / Foto: Tommy Calderon

Obenuse Fest IV – 5.5.2018

Locations: Eldorado, Hafenkneipe, Kino Roland, Sansibar, Zukunft

Lineup: Propagandhi, The Outcasts, Cancer Bats, Radioactivity, Wonk Unit, Failed Teachers, Mobina Galore, No Trigger, Hysterese, Murderburgers, Stalled Minds, Spanish Love Songs, 100 Blumen, Not Scientists, Youth Avoiders, The Run Up, Kids Insane, Bad Sports, Eamon McGrath, Plain Zest, Joe McMahon & The Dockineers, Life In Vacuum, Despite Everything, Hunted Like Thieves, The Fired, Terrorfett, Möped Lads, Save Ends

Das Obenuse Fest ist kein gewöhnliches Festival. Vielmehr ist es ein Treffpunkt für die Punk-Szene in Zürich und der Schweiz, wo Grenzen zwischen Bands und Publikum kaum existieren. Organisiert wird das Ganze von Überyou & Friends, und für die vierte Ausgabe am Samstag, 5. Mai, 2018 haben sie ein ausgezeichnetes Programm inklusive der grossen Attraktion Propagandhi zusammengestellt. Vermutlich war deshalb der Vorverkauf bereits 11 Tage nach dem Start ausverkauft. Und bei 29 Bands aus der Schweiz und aller Welt in fünf verschiedenen Locations im Zürcher Kreis 4, inklusive der Hafenkneipe und dem Pornokino Roland, weiss man gar nicht so recht, wo man mit der Berichterstattung beginnen sollte.

Die Stimmung ist bereits vor dem Bändeltausch um 13 Uhr ausgezeichnet, wenn noch ruhiger als das, was noch kommt. Beim Kunstraum Walcheturm empfängt Überyou-Sänger Ian Bands und Besucher ganz herzlich, als viele bereits Schlange stehen, da sie sich Hoffnungen auf eines der 50 Tickets an der Tageskasse machen. Tickets geschnappt hören sich einige die akustische Performance von Hell & Back-Sänger Vuki, gespickt mit NOFX– und Überyou-Covers, an, während andere die Sonne auf der Wiese des Kasernenareals geniessen und das erste Bier von
vielen trinken.

Das erste eigentliche Set ist das von Save Ends aus Boston in der Hafenkneipe um 14:45. Die Emo-Band, welche neben Genre-Grössen wie The Get Up Kids oder Rainer Maria das Spiel Dungeons & Dragons als grossen Einfluss zählt, gehören zu den ruhigsten Bands am Obenuse und passen daher gut in diesen eher undankbaren Zeitslot. Ein wichtiges Merkmal der Band sind die abwechselnde Lead-Vocals des Keyboardisten Brandon und der Gitarristin Christine, und Bassist Brad und Gitarrist Tom spielen sanftere, verzwicktere Töne als in ihrer anderen Band No Trigger, die später ebenfalls in der Hafenkneipe auftreten. Das Publikum ist zu diesem Zeitpunkt noch vergleichsweise zahm, ein würdiger Auftakt ist der Auftritt von Save Ends aber allerweil.

Die Zukunft an der Dienerstrasse ist interessant als Location für das Obenuse Fest, da es sich ansonsten eher um ein Zentrum der Electro- als Punk-Szene handelt, was sich an den hängenden Disco-Kugeln im unterirdischen Club auch sofort erkennen lässt. Am Obenuse ist diese Lokalität sozusagen ein Schaufenster für kanadische Bands, die einzige Ausnahme bilden Hunted Like Thieves aus Zürich, welche harten Post-Hardcore spielen und sich sehr dankbar zeigen, die Bühne mit Propagandhi und Co. teilen zu können. Bei Mobina Galore, einem Duo aus Winnipeg mit Jenna Priestner (Gesang/Gitarre) und Marcia Hanson (Schlagzeug/Gesang), formt eine kleine Gruppe von Zuhörern einen Mini-Moshpit, und ein Teil des Publikums singt bei den Refrains mit. Ihre Musik ist erstaunlich eingängig, dicht und muskulös für eine Band, die mit nur einer Gitarre und ohne Bass spielt. Sie präsentieren zum Schluss ihres Auftritts noch ein neues Lied, Fade Away, welches am 18. Mai als Single erschienen ist. Neues Material präsentieren auch die Hardcore-Band Cancer Bats aus Toronto mit ihrem hervorragenden Album The Spark That Moves, das vor wenigen Wochen erschienen ist.

Zur selben Zeit wie Cancer Bats in der Zukunft spielen, sorgen Spanish Love Songs aus Los Angeles in der Hafenkneipe für einen unvergesslichen Konzertmoment, den man so nur am Obenuse Fest erleben kann. In der Szene hat es sich offenbar herumgesprochen, wie gut ihr im März erschienenes Album Schmaltz ist, denn die Hafenkneipe ist schon vor dem Konzertbeginn bei Maximalkapazität gefüllt, bis zu 20 Leute stehen vor der Tür mit der Hoffnung, irgendwann doch noch hineinzukommen. Dank der noch scheinenden Sonne um 6 Uhr ist die Temperatur in der Hafenkneipe kaum erträglich, der dichten Menschenmenge interessiert es kaum. Erstaunlich viele können bereits Songtexte von Liedern wie The Boy Considers His Haircut und Buffalo Buffalo auswendig, und der Tourmanager wagt einen Crowdsurf über das begeisterte, schwitzende Publikum. Auch wenn Frontmann Dylan Slocum den Vergleich nicht nachvollziehen kann, werden Spanish Love Songs von vielen als die nächsten Menzingers gehandelt – beim ersten Auftritt in Zürich werden sie diesem Ruf mehr als gerecht.

Am späteren Abend begeben sich viele BesucherInnen in die Zukunft, um sich einen begehrten Platz beim Propagandhi-Konzert zu sichern. Aber auch anderswo gibt es viele sehenswerte Bands: Im Eldorado am Limmatplatz beispielsweise spielen mit Bad Sports und Radioactivity zwei Bands aus Denton, Texas, die Mitglieder teilen. Erstere spielen kratzigen, rohen Power-Pop, letztere simple, schnelle Punk Lieder à la Ramones oder Buzzcocks, aber beide spielen ihre Sets ohne Unterbrüche und lassen die Musik für sich selbst sprechen. Erwähnenswert ist auch der Auftritt von The Outcasts, die erstmals 1977 aufgetreten sind und somit die mit Abstand älteste Band am Obenuse Fest sind, im Roland. Da das umfunktionierte Sex-Kino an der Langstrasse viel geräumiger ist als die anderen Locations ist, kann das Publikum einen besonders ausgelassenen Moshpit bilden. Man sieht hier auch gut, dass beim Obenuse Fest eine Szene sich selbst feiert: zu den ZuhörerInnen zählen auch viele, die selber in der Schweizer Punkszene aktiv sind, wie Manuel Kellerhals (Todesdisko/Kabuki Joe) oder Hasu Langhart (The Peacocks/The Vicos).

Das diesjährige Obenuse Fest überzeugt mit einem hervorragenden Line-Up mit Punk-Rock Bands aus aller Welt, intimen Locations und eine gehörige Menge Bier. Die Atmosphäre ist so familiär wie an keinem zweiten Festival, an der Afterparty haben Bands, OrganisatorInnen und ZuhörerInnen alle gemeinsam gefeiert. Das Wetter an diesem ersten Mai-Sonntag hat auch mitgespielt, was zu Feierlaune im gesamten Kreis 4 und besonders verschwitze Konzertlokale geführt hat. Das einzige, was es auszusetzen gibt, ist, dass es etwas zu viel des Guten ist: bei einem so gut besetzten Programm lassen sich Terminkonflikte nicht vermeiden. Sollte man The Run Up oder Joe McMahon sehen? No Trigger oder Hysterese? Chelsea Deadbeat Combo oder Murderburgers? Alles schwierige Fragen, im Gegensatz zu derjenigen, ob man in 2019 ans Obenuse Fest V gehen sollte.

Und übrigens, wir haben am Obenuse Fest noch mit Save Ends, Mobina Galore und Spanish Love Songs gesprochen…

Text: Milo Schärer / Fotos: Dominique Magnusson

The Flatliners (CAN) – 29.4.2018

Dynamo Werk 21, Zürich

Support: Kabuki Joe (CH)

The Flatliners aus Ontario in Kanada sind keine Band für Leute, die aktuelle musikalische Trends verfolgen. Chris Cresswell (Gesang/Gitarre), Scott Brigham (Gitarre), Jon Darbey (Bass) und Paul Ramirez (Schlagzeug) spielen seit nunmehr als 15 Jahren Melodic Hardcore mit Ska-Einflüssen, wie Rancid schon ein Jahrzehnt vor ihnen. Bei ihrem Auftritt im Dynamo Werk 21 am 29. April zeigen The Flatliners, dass diese Art von Musik halt nach wie vor sehr viel Spass macht, vor allem in einem Live-Setting.

Den Abend eröffnen Kabuki Joe, die heute zum ersten Mal in dieser Formation ein Konzert geben und aus Mitgliedern der Schweizer Punk Bands Lyvten, Moron Bros und Todesdisko bestehen. Nachdem sie mit Drunk Enough, dem Title-Track ihrer vor kurzem erschienen EP, starten, bemerkt Sänger Manuel Kellerhals: „Es isch fucking crazy uf euch alli z luege, es macht fucking Spass.“ Tatsächlich ist der Keller des Werk 21 bereits gut gefüllt, wenn man bedenkt, dass es Sonntagabend ist. Ihr Drei-Akkord Sauf-Punk passt auch perfekt in dieses Konzertlokal, und sie liefern auch noch ein hervorragendes, originalgetreues Cover des Bouncing Souls Songs Hopeless Romantic, das dem Publikum richtig Freude macht. Ein auf ganzer Bandbreite überzeugendes Debut von Kabuki Joe: weiter so!

The Flatliners eröffnen ihr Set mit Hang My Head von ihrem letztjährigen Album Inviting Light. Bei diesem Song bleibt das Publikum überraschend ruhig, bevor bei Eulogy ein regelrechter Moshpit in den vorderen Reihen ausbricht. Dann bedankt sich Frontmann Chris Cresswell beim Publikum, und fragt, wer bei ihrem Konzert vor 2 Jahren bereits dabei war. Er scherzt dann: „Us too. We have a lot in common.“ Die Setlist der Band enthält neben weiteren Songs von Inviting Light auch ältere Fan-Lieblinge, so folgt auf den schnellen Vollgas-Singalong Count Your Bruises von Cavalcade aus 2010 das Midtempo-Stück Unconditional Love. Beim Lied Monumental wagt jemand einen, na ja, monumentalen Crowd Surf von der Bühne bis in die hinteren Reihen und zurück. Cresswell zeigt sich freundlich und dankbar: Charly, wie bei gefühlt jedem Konzert in Zürich in der vordersten Reihe mit seinem orangen Hawaii-Hemd, erhält für seine Tanzkünste die Auszeichnung als MVP des Abends. Und zu Ehren der Veranstalterin Kathi stimmen die Flatliners einige Songs von ihrem 2007 Album The Great Awake an. Der grosse Moshpit pulsiert auch bei diesen Songs weiter, einige besonders eingefleischte Fans schreien jeden einzelnen Songtext mit. Auf lautstarkes Verlangen des Publikums kommt die Band nach ihrem Set für eine Zugabe mit den tanzbaren Ska-Stücken He Was A Jazzman und Fred’s Got Slacks erneut auf die Bühne.

Es gibt definitiv schlechtere Wege als mit den Flatliners im Werk 21, seinen Sonntag zu verbringen, als mit den Flatliners im Werk 21. Ihre Punk-Rock Party hat allen beteiligten, scheinbar auch der Band selbst, sehr viel Spass gemacht. Und auch wenn ihr Melodic Hardcore wohl nie eine ganz grosse Zuhörerschaft ansprechen werden, werden diejenige, welche bei diesem Flatliners Konzert dabei waren, wohl auch in 2 Jahren wieder kommen.

Text: Milo Schärer / Foto: Skalender