Since encountering my first paper zine when I was 13, I’ve always wanted to have some sort of music publication. I found it with Smash The Discos. With the internet and social media, it’s not very difficult to pull off. It doesn’t take money, just a little time. Our beloved scene is small, so it’s not too difficult to hunt down bands. Even though it’s far from being a requirement, I get a lot of swag. Lots of albums. Shirts, stickers, other stuff. It’s cool recieving that stuff, but it’s not necessary… although, it’s always appreciated. I’ve been asked, “Why would you do a magazine and not make money off of it?”
… well, there’s 2 answers to that. 1) It’s fun and therapeutic. 2) I love this scene. Without it, I’d be completely dead inside. On behalf of Dan, and myself, thank you to everyone who participates in this webzine.
By the way, that first zine I had featured a handwritten interview with Jello Biafra. The ex girlfriend who destroyed it in a fit of rage WILL burn in Hell while Satan shoots fire ants into her peehole with a blow dart gun. I’ll be there to make sure it happens.
This issue we got The Seaside Rebels, Anger Flares, Dan Hooligans new gig Mob Mentality, and a new favorite of mine Brassknuckle. Also, Kris H. from the mighty Hardsell stops in and gives us an Audio Fix, and then we check out the amazing graphic art of Jeff Hultgren.
You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust the sails. The Seaside Rebels do just that, as they continue to guide themselves in the right direction leading to the forefront of the streetpunk scene.
Let’s start from the beginning. How did The Seaside Rebels come together as a band?
SR: Hi there, and good day to you. Our band began as a small studio project in 2012 by Nick and Astren. We wrote 4 songs and recorded them shortly after. These tunes were later uploaded to the internet and forgotten about. It was a couple of years after that we realised that these tracks were gaining popularity. We were surprised. Even more surprised when Contra Records decided to release these four songs know as our debut 7” entitled Changing Times. As we had a label release on our hands, we figured we better make this band a real thing. Before we new it, we were receiving offers for shows and festivals. Our childhood friends Alex and Bimche stood up to the challenge and filled in the remaining gaps in our lineup. To this day our line up hasn’t changed. It consists of Nick on drums, Alex on bass, Bimche on rhythm guitar, and me on lead guitar and vocals. Its a tried and tested recipe given we’ve since played shows all around Europe and Asia!
Tell us about your connection with tbe ongoing nautical theme behind your albums and videos.
SR: We all have different heritage back grounds, including Swedish, English, and Greek. One thing we all have in common though, is that we all grew up together on an island called Rhodes. This is where our love for the ocean and respect for all things nautical stems from. We have since all moved away from there, but Rhodes always remains in our hearts, hence we write songs about it and it’s incredible history. (No Place Like Home, Take To The War Path)
Speaking of videos, your music videos are very high quality. How is the video making experience for you, and where do you find these amazing sets?
SR: Thank you for your kind words. We take great pride in every little thing that we do, with our videos being no exception! We are blessed to have a talented, hard working friend called Frank Pellegrino. Frank is an Italian video producer that has shot, edited, and directed nearly all Seaside Rebels videos to date. He has done a magnificent job of them all. Wrong Or Right, Abandon Ship, Never Admit Defeat, and our most recent video Overworked, Underfed, Underpaid are all his work. The sets for the videos are a very important factor as they make up half of the video and give each one its unique atmosphere and feeling. Astren usually come up with the sets, but we all more or less chip in. All the band are keen travellers, which helps when we have to pick a place to shoot a new vid!
One of the things I like about your music style is how the bass guitar plays an important part vs solely layering the rhythm. Tell us a little about your songwriting process.
SR: Bass guitar has always been a big priority in Seaside Rebels. We loved it to stand out tastefully, and that’s why we write intricate bass lines that complement our songs. Our writing process is pretty standardised, meaning we use the same method for every song we write. Astren usually comes up with melodies, chords, and lyrics to a song. Then Nick and Astren will play around with the idea on a couple of guitars, write lead parts, and set up the structure of the song. The idea then gets taken into the rehearsal room were it gets played over and over until it reaches a satisfactory tune. Whilst in the rehearsal room, Alex and Bimche will be adding their parts. We rip it to pieces until we’re happy with the final result. Then it gets recorded as a demo track and saved for latter on. When there is enough demo tracks and song ideas we will then hit the studio. And thats when the real hard work comes in. Hehe.. We’ve written music with other bands too and we are aware that each band has a completely different approach to this process. This one is what works for us at the moment, though you never know, it may very well change in the near future!
What other bands / musicians do you cite as influences?
SR: As kids, we grew up around musical parents, therefore our influences are too many to number. One things for sure, the is a massive variety of genres in our record collections! From early reggae, to northern soul, from outlaw folk to Oi! and Street Punk. We love it all. Bands that we love in the modern punk scene would be NOi!se, The Restarts, The Hardknocks, and Booze & Glory. Wolf Bites Boy, Legion 76, and Rude Pride are all bands that are thriving in the scene at the moment. We have been very privileged to have done Split releases with all 3 bands. Great people and awesome musicians, its a real pleasure working with them! Other musical influences would be a number of Hardcore bands such as Wisdom In Chains, Turnstile, and Madball. Nick and Alex really dig the Hellacopters, Zeke and Imperial State Electric. It all adds great character to our music and forms a personality of its own better known as “Seaside Rebels”.
In “Overworked, Underpaid, Underfed”, we hear the heavy presence of acoustic guitar. Is this something we can look forward to in future material?
SR: Indeed, in our latest release “Overworked, Underfed, Underpaid” we have been pretty experimental and strayed away from our typical aggressive guitar sounds. For this tune we used, mandolins, accordions, and as you very well stated, acoustic guitars. We were pretty apprehensive about it and didn’t expect the song to go down so fucking well! Its been loved and adored since its release almost two months ago, with people from all around the world sending us encouraging messages to say how much they feel the song and its lyrics. Its a typical working class ballad, made unique by adding our twist to it, of course. It has a strong folk vibe, a mix between British, Irish, and American folk. The lyrics of the song are all about the working man’s struggle throughout the ages, reflecting on past working and living conditions, and relating them to the present, where frightfully not much has changed.
We will definitely be doing more acoustic stuff being as “Overworked, Underfed, Underpaid” has gone down so well, and bearing in mind that we always like mixing things up, trying new styles, and testing our creativity and musicianship. So you can expect more similar material yes!
Which one of your tracks is your favoriye one, and which track do you feel best represents what the band is all about?
SR: Ahh, hard to say! Each song is written straight from the heart therefore each one is an instant favourite as it expresses our true feelings and emotions. If we had to choose one, reckon we would all agree that Abandon Ship is up there with one of our best songs to date. Its all about growing up in a fucked up, poor, and corrupt nation and having no hope as a young adult. It’s about breaking away from all that and making the leap of faith. All about how we packed our bags at a very young age and left to find something better, something deeper, a brighter future for our selves and our families. It also has a underlined sense of camaraderie, as a lot of our songs do (“Wrong Or Right”, “Our Life, Our Music, Our Scene”). It expresses our true nature and represents the fact that this band is a bunch of migrants, misfits, and pirates with no real place to call our home.
Are you currently working on new material? What can we expect in the future?
SR: Currently we are anticipating a brand new release on legendary labels Longshot Music and Contra Records. Both labels have teamed up to bring the world the “On Common Ground” Split EP between Seaside Rebels and the incredible Rude Pride from Madrid. Each band has two songs on this 7 inch with our two being “Overworked, Underfed, Underpaid” and “Ain’t the Season To be Jolly” both of which have guest vocals from special guests! We had the honour of teaming up with Liam from Booze & Glory of the first song and Robin from The Restarts for the second. We are more than happy with how the songs have turned out and can’t wait for them to finally be released on vinyl too. Distribution will be going strong, so “On Common Ground” EP is available all around Europe and the US as of April 2017. Look out for it!
Asides that, our label had the ingenious idea of releasing a Seaside Records compilation record. This will include all the songs we have been releasing on various formats, splits, and compilations in the past two years – all on one record. It will be a glorious gatefold release on tape, CD and vinyl. Asides that, it will have unreleased bonus material, exclusive to each format. Along side all this, we’ve already got out graphics designer working hard creating an awesome theme and layout for the release. This will be Seaside Rebels first ever 12 inch release, so expect it to be good and expect it to be big! More details on release dates etc etc to follow shortly 😉
Thanks for the music and keep up the good work. Any final words for the readers?
SR: On behalf of all the band we would like to thank all our loyal supporters throughout the globe, cheers for appreciating our music! A big thanks to you Jason and Smash the Discos for giving us the opportunity to express our selves through this interview. Keep up the great work, the scene needs more geezers like you! Remember to always keep the “master mentality”, you are only ever a victim if you decide to be one – Never Admit Defeat!
Visit The Seaside Rebels Facebook Page and let them know you’re listening.
Interview By: Dan Tope
The Anger Flares are an experienced street punk oi band from Tokyo Japan. They have a sound that makes you want to grab a beer and sing along. Front man Yuichi is no new comer to the music scene as he has played in Cobra, a band that helped to define Japanese oi. Now the Anger Flares are continuing to make an impact not only in Japan, but also around the world. This hard working band continues to put out great records and actively go on tour. Their catchy choruses inspire beer-fueled sing-alongs that are backed by an aggressive edge blasting from the speakers. Angers Flares deserve a spot in every fan of street punk and oi’s record collection.
When and where did the Anger Flares form, and who is in the band?
Yuichi: I formed Anger Flares in Kobe city where I was born and raised in 1999. Anger Flares needed to stop playing while we were performing under the name of “UNITED WE STAND” and during those years that I had been a member of COBRA. But we re-formed our band in 2013 and have been playing actively since, and we are based in Tokyo now.Our current members are: Yuichi (Vocal/Bass) Shinjin (Guitar/Vocal) Koshi (Drum/Chorus).
How many albums do you have?
Y: Since we reformed this band in 2013 we have released 3 albums and the 4th album will be on the market in a few week time! New album title is “ALL STICK TOGETHER” so please don’t miss this opportunity to listen to it. Including our very first album released in 1999 and UNITED WE STAND album as well as our self-cover album, ALL STICK TOGETHER will be our 7th product, I think.
Being from Japan what first inspired you to play punk rock and what bands influences your music?
Y: Firstly, some Punk Bands playing in my hometown, Kobe City inspired me. So many bands influenced us, though; if I have to name particular one Japanese band I’d say it must be COBRA. Our band name Anger Flares is however, named after from the lyric of THE OPPRESSED song ULTRA VIOLENCE.
Can you take a moment to talk about the music scene in Tokyo? I visited Tokyo last year and as a foreigner. It was very hard do find punk rock (I think the language barrier was hard to overcome).
Y: We have had same hard experiences in the UK and US as you did in Japan. The centre of Japan is, as you know, it is Tokyo. There are so many different kinds of music scenes in Tokyo and Japan. I don’t know anything but Punk bands, but as far as I know there are so many punk bands are playing every weekend in Tokyo and local clubs as well.
The punk rock scene is still strongly going on in Japan! (Please note that if you or any of your friends need any language help in Japan you can contact my friend Onizo. Here is her web page http://www.onizoenglishservice.com and she knows punk rock info which you might want to know).
What can we expect to see at one of your shows?
Y: It always depends on where we perform at, but I see many audiences sing along with us raging their fists up. I can see they are having good time wherever we perform.
What is the name of your latest album, and what themes does it have?
Y: Our newest album, “All Stick Together” will be released on 20th April! This is our first album since we became a 3-piece band. We are so proud to announce this release to the world because it contains so much music influence from the past not only Oi! Punk rock but we approached from any aspect as much as we wanted to put together. Majority of the songs were sang in Japanese but we still sing about working class anthems. Because that is what we are!
I know you toured the United States last year, tell us a little about your experiences. Do you have any plans to come back to the states?
Y: It was such a brilliant experience for us! I appreciate our promoter Redboi so much even now. He made our dream come true! He told us that next we will be touring in East Coast. Hope it will be true!
Where can people buy your music?
Y: You can buy our records at Oi! THE BOAT RECORDS in USA, and RANDALE RECORDS in Europe. They released our 7inch and LP. SUNNYBASTARDS in Germany released split album of Anger Flares with GIMP FIST.
What is the best way to get in contact for booking?
Y: Please contact us at our official web-site http://www.angerflares.co.uk or Facebook. For US Bookings, Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Anger Flares can be found on these labels: BOOTSTOMP RECORDS (JAPAN) AA RECORDS (JAPAN) Oi! THE BOAT RECORDS (USA) RANDALE RECORDS (GERMANY).
Visit Anger Flares Facebook Page and keep an eye out for an Anger Flares / No Coast Criminals split coming soon on Crowd Control Media.
In thr midst of the creating his 4th full length album “Subculture Criminals”, Kris H. of the mighty Hardsell talks to us about 5 of his favorite, most influential albums of all time in this issue’s Audio Fix.
5 albums that influenced me. At first that seemed eazy, but the more I thought about it, the harder it got. There are tons of bands who influened me, so I am going to use the criteria for an album, that if I would not have listened to it in my life the band would’ve been different.
1. Iron Maiden. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son.
When I was 8 I heard Can I play With Madness?and that changed everything for me. From there on, Maiden was king and lots of other Metal bands.
2. Spermbirds. Something To Prove / Nothing Is Easy
When I was 12, I heard this album and discovered punk. Loved it. Had to have it so I “borrowed” it from the library. The song Try Again is still one of my all time favorites.
3. The Last Resort: A Way Of Life: Skinhead Anthems
Shortly after I was listening to punk, I discovered my first OI! album. The Last Resort: A Way Of Life: Skinhead Anthems. If you listen to the first song alone, it had some Sabbath influences in my opinion and so it was an easy fit. From here Oi! was it! The brutal honest working class tunes struck a nerve and I shaved my head just a week after I turned 13.
4. Bohse Onkelz. Es ist soweit
A band that influenced me, and Hardsell, was the German rock band Bohse Onkelz. Bohse Onkelz: Es ist soweit (it’s time). You can hear a lot of Onkelz in all our music, and til this day it still is a major influence in our songs.
5. Backfire! Rebel For Life
Backfire! is the EU HC band. They are to EU HC what AF was/is for US HC. When I was 16, I joined the M-Town rebels and found my fellow Hardsell members. If it wasn’t for Backfire!, there would not have been Dutch HC, or a Discipline or Hardsell, and many other bands.
So, I guess these are the 5 most important albums in my life. Honorable mentions: Ramones: Loco Live, Operation Ivy (played that taped to death. Had to re-record 5 times), Warzone, AF, Bruisers, Anti-Heroes, 4Skins, Business, Cocksparrer, Bonecrusher…
Visit Hardsell Facebook Page to stay up to date on when their 4th studio album will be released. I’ve been watching the progress, and it’s going to be killer!
Dan Hooligan is by far the most determined skinhead alive… which is why all the zines and many music fans are picking up on what he’s throwing down. After the demise of Hooligan 77, the pieces were picked up (practically overnight) and Mob Mentality was born… and I’ll tell you this: Oi! Fuckin’ Oi!
Hows life been treating you since the demise of Hooligan 77 and the birth of Mob Mentality?
D: I’m doing great, I’m pretty fortunate to be surrounded by some guys who work hard and chip in when it comes to song writing, promoting and dealing with labels, and all that fun stuff that comes with building a band. We work together very well in the studio and when it comes to new songs and ideas.. we get shit done, no complaints. In Mob Mentality we all have the same attitude, lets make some NEW songs and get them out there, everyone chips in and nobody is sitting on their hands. Everybody is putting in work to push the band as far as we can.. and along the way we have some people like yourself and others supporting us and thats really awesome.
Who’s in the new lineup?
D: Me: Vocals, Skip: Guitar – Back ups, JB: Guitar -Back ups, Murphy: Bass, and Conor: Drums.
For those who havent heard them yet, tell us a little about Mob Mentalitys first batch of released tracks.
D: Sure, our first batch of songs is from our first E.P No Honor, No Guts, No Glory. You get 4 American Oi! songs for free on our Bandcamp, so if you haven’t heard them, check them out! They are free! Mob Mentality Bandcamp. I’m very proud of those songs, and it was a good way to get started. Can’t win em all, Another Loss, Hardcore Hooligans and No Honor, No Guts, No Glory. All those songs touch different subjects from dealing with the grief of losing a close friend to just your every day bullshit. We knew after recording those songs that we wanted to keep the ball rolling and write new ones and take things to the next level.
I hear that you’re back in the studio again already. Can you tell us about the new tracks?
D: Yes. Back in the studio to record our first LP. We just recorded 5 new songs and plan to go back in the studio very soon to record more. As of right now, I couldn’t be happier. These songs sound a little meaner and have some good anthem style choruses. This is gonna be a kick ass American Oi record. Working Class Blues is one of the new songs we just recorded, and we may put that out on a compilation. Depends what the guys wanna do. We also have a song for our Vets that will be on the new record. That’s pretty awesome.
Is there anything you plan on doing differently with MM, than what you did with Hooligan 77?
D: Oh yeah, a lot! It definitely starts with having the right people around you, so with Mob Mentality, we plan to work with labels and do some Vinyl, Compilations, and staying very active, and many other things in the works. By the way, we do have a limited run of No Honor, No Guts, No Glory coming out on cassette from Clockwork Punk Records, that will be available to order on their fb page, but anyone can contact us for more info. We would like to play Europe one day. We have been talking to a lot of bands and promoters from Europe, so that is a possibility. If you, or anyone, would like us to play in your city, hit us up!
When do you think this next album is going to drop?
D: Hopefully soon. I don’t have a date yet, but if you follow us on fb we will keep you posted. I can’t wait to get these songs out there!
With the world becoming more divided everyday, the scene is becoming more divided as well. Where does MM stand in all of this?
D: Good question. I think the world has always been divided for awhile, but with the internet and social media, issues tend to snowball more out of control. Alot of keyboard warriors out there. Unfortunately, the internet can be used as a tool to break someone’s character and create a circle of wagons. Sometimes its good but sometimes it can be vicious. Mob Mentality is not a political band at all. We all are working class & patriotic and if I can say there is one thing we all can agree on, it’s that we hate the whole politically correct bullshit. It’s getting a little over the top now. I personally grew up watching George Carlin, Eddie Murphy, Andrew Dice Clay, and Kids in the Hall, so I don’t get offended so easily. Too many people get a free pass on the internet to become this PC Hero. I grew up in a different time. Everything wasn’t so politically correct, at least it didn’t seem that way.
Visit Mob Mentality Facebook Page and let em know you’re listening.
No politics, just honest Oi! This band from Edinburgh, Scotland captures the sound of Oi! in it’s truest form, echoing the sounds of tge classic era all while kicking in a modern touch to it all. Jonny Boots brings us up to speed on Brassknuckle.
Let’s start at the beginning. Can you tell us how the band got started & give us a little background on your bandmates?
J: The band was started by Chicken & Danny, who are brothers, along with Darryn on drums & a mate called Chris on bass. Luigi joined as the lead guitarist & another mate, Paul, was a 2nd vocalist too. It was started just to play good Oi! music. Both Chicken & Danny had been in other bands before, but wanted to make the type of music they like to listen too. Everyone in the band were mates already, so it really was a group of mates making music. Paul left for personal reasons then Chris left due to work commitments & I was good mates with the guys so was drafted in to take over on bass.
Where do I start on the guys in the band? Chicken is the song writer, like I said previously he has been in a few bands before. He started a band called Bombskare who went from being an Oi! band to evolving into a ska band. He was in this band with a guy called Andy & they started another ska band who are still going called Big Fat Panda who we’ve shared the stage with a couple of times & are good mates of the band. He’s also been in a couple of other Oi! bands too. Most of these bands, both Oi! & ska, still play the tracks that he wrote for them. He writes all our tracks and to me is a great writer. Luigi is the other guitarist, he’s mainly the lead guitarist, but he & Chicken do share it on some tracks although the damn fine solos you hear on our tracks are all his work. He’s an amazingly talented guitarist. We joke about it all the time.
Chicken will write a track, show me the bassline, Darryn will add drums & we’ll work on it. Luigi will walk into the rehearsal room hear the new track & play it straight away then come up with a solo too. Like I said, a talented guy. He also plays in another local Oi! band called Last Stand who he does all the guitar work for. Danny’s our vocalist. As with Chicken, he’s been in a couple of other bands previously. He gives it his all on each track & squeezes some lyrics in that the rest of the band can’t manage. Darryn’s the drummer & the baby of the band but don’t be fooled by his youthfulness.
He’s a great drummer & comes up with the beats for all our tracks. He’s the only member who’s not a skinhead, but he loves the music we play just as much as the rest of us. He sets the pace we play at & keeps all us old guys motoring along.
As for me, I’d never played bass before I joined. I was mates with the guys already & my then girlfriend had a bass at home. When Chris left, Chicken asked me to join & taught me the basslines. I had 6 weeks to learn 12 tracks as there was already a gig arranged. I managed to do it & played that 1st gig & did ok. I’ve taught myself a little more, but am still very much a novice & just know our tracks, as we don’t do covers, I don’t see why I need to learn other bands tracks. So that’s the band, we practice together & work out the tracks as a group. Chicken comes up with the lyrics & the bones of the track then we bash it out between us & everyone can have input on how the finished article sounds. We’re still very much a group of mates bashing out tunes.
I’ve seen that you guys stress that you’re a non political group with no agenda, just music. Has there been any false accusations or drama since you guys 1st started up?
J: We are most definitely non political as in we don’t follow a political leaning. There’s enough bands around preaching their shit to everyone, both left wing & right wing. We just want to play. There’s been a couple of instances since we started up. Before I joined, the guys had a gig organised that was pulled at the last minute by the local council & police after someone made phone calls claiming it was going to be a right wing gig. In Edinburgh there’s a lot of left wing/anti fascists & they are very much of the opinion that all Oi! bands are right wing. We’ve played with ska bands & a few bands who are far from right wing like Panik Attack, Control, The Last Resort amongst others, but it’s just people’s ignorance & the left wing fanatics who are not willing to accept that you can have no political agenda. We had a gig at the end of April with Section 5 & Top Dog & someone tried to get it cancelled by contacting the venue, but the owner has asked us if there’s a political agenda & we said no & he believes us. If we organise a gig we do it at the Citrus Club & have a good relationship with the owner. The call was made by someone from a very well known band, but I’m not willing to give his political shit any publicity, so won’t say who he is.
You guys really capture that old school Oi! feel to your music. Is the album title Skinhead ’82 meant to represent that?
J: Thanks, we really didn’t set out to try to be old school, we just play music that we like & that we like to listen to, but really appreciate the comparisons to the old school Oi! sound. The track Skinhead 82 is about being a skinhead back then. 1982 was when Chicken & Danny 1st started getting seriously into the whole skinhead scene & the track celebrates the way it was back then. The great music, the fighting, the good mates, & the general enjoyment of being a skin. Saying a big “fuck you” to the establishment & all the other youth cultures around at the time. One of the lines is ‘Skinhead 82 where the fuck are you?’ & this is asking what’s happened to all the guys from back then. The guys who were saying, “I’ll be this way for life”, yet disappeared off to settle down & fit in with mainstream society. Yeah, people grow up & change, but there’s plenty of guys still around who have been doing this shit for a long time through all the ups & downs of being a skin. There’s also a lot of people reappearing now their kids have left home are coming back to it & that’s a good thing although we do need to attract some young blood into the scene.
Where are we most likely to catch a Brassknuckle show? Are there any tour plans for 2017?
J: All our shows so far, & our planned shows have been & are in the UK. We organise our own gigs in Edinburgh & play with some great bands here for other promoters. We’ve been lucky enough to be invited to play in various places in England too. We’ve no tour plans. We’re not really a big enough name to tour. We wouldn’t pull in the crowds that are needed, plus we all work so an actual tour would be hard on us all. We’ve got some great gigs lined though. We’ve got the previously mentioned home town gig with Section 5 & Top Dog. We’ve also got a new group of young lads from Glasgow called Half Charge opening the gig for us. We’re playing in Bolton Punks Picnic in July & in Carlisle with The Warriors & Top Dog later that month. We’ve also got the amazing opportunity to play at the Rebellion Festival in August which we’re really looking forward to. We’re waiting for a gig with one of the well-known Oi! bands to be announced where we’ll be opening for them in Edinburgh. I’m afraid that’s all I can say at the moment. We’re also talking to a few other bands about them coming up to Scotland to play. So anyone in the UK has a pretty good chance to see us at various places.
Tell us a little about your album tracks. Which are your personal favourites & why? Do you feel any one-track best represents what Brassknuckle is all about?
J: Ok, the album tracks. Another Tory is about how the tories in Britain have fucked everyone over. Even though it’s about the tories, we’re not saying we support the other side all the politicians here fuck everyone over. One & All is about spending your life working to provide for your family yet having fuck all to show for it then turning to crime to provide for them & ending up in prison for it. Ska Band is about wanting to sing in a ska band being influenced by what you see your older brother & his mates doing. Junkie, pretty self-explanatory I guess. It’s about all the junkies that are around these days, scrounging & robbing to feed their addiction without a care for who they hurt in the process & how we really don’t care about them unlike the do gooders who think they just need help. Lies, this is actually a ska track Chicken wrote for Big Fat Panda & we took it & made an Oi! version of it. It’s about lying to your girlfriend & the outcome of it.
Skinhead On The Inside, simply it’s about being in jail & everyone forgetting about you & just leaving you there. Proud is about being proud of being a skin, of how you look, about being working class. We Had An Empire, it’s an anti-terrorism song, the people who hide in society & take what they can then try to bring about change by ways of terrorism. Bow is about the people out on the street preaching about workers’ rights & how the under privileged are suffering, yet live with their rich parents & actually help to keep the lower classes down. How they should bow to the people who keep them in their little rich lifestyle. Skinhead ’82 I’ve already spoke about earlier. Politics is about how we’re fed up with all the lies of politicians & how the political bands are pulling the scene apart.
United is about being united together, not for politics or anything but just with your mates everyone looking out for each other. Your Boots Have Gone is about all the people who’ve walked away from being a skin & hung their boots & the guys who’ve stuck around all this time. My personal favourites, Junkie is probably my favourite track. I love playing it. It’s very much bass led & the bass line is great. The whole thing is a great track. Skinhead ’82 is another favourite. I just love the track. I like playing all the stuff we do so picking out favourites is hard. I’d say the track Politics sums up what we’re all about, the way that we don’t care what your political beliefs are we just want to play, drink & have a good time.
Is there any new material in the works? What are you currently working on, in Brassknuckle or on the side?
J: Yeah we’ve got some new stuff in the pipeline. We’re working on 4 or 5 new tracks at the moment. We’re going to record a couple of them for a compilation for our record company Rebellion Music Merch. We’re working on a few different ones to see which we want to record & Chicken’s hard at work writing new material for our next album. Like I said earlier, Luigi has Last Stand who are working on new stuff. The rest of us just work on Brassknuckle. Personally I couldn’t try to play in another band. I have enough trouble trying to remember what I’m playing in 1 band, but Luigi is 1 hell of a talented guy.
Since you guys capture the classic Oi! sound a lot I got to ask what’s your personal take on the changes in street punk over the years, such as the overly PC attitude in some areas for example?
J: Personally, I hate all the PC brigade. All this Oi!, street punk, punk, whatever you want to call it, started off as a way of saying what you felt in a way that felt good to you. Now there’s just too many people who want to make everything about politics & if you don’t follow the same beliefs as they do, then you must be some kind of nutter. I think that there’s a good batch of bands coming up now who are making good tracks & saying fuck you to the PC brigade. Writing tracks that are about everyday life & if people don’t like it then it’s tough shit. We try to do that in what we play & there’s others about.
B Squadron, Top Dog, Tear Up, Arch Rivals, plus others are making some amazing music with no political agenda, no worries about being PC, just playing the music that they want to play. There’s still people around who worry too much about what others think & the original idea of all this being rebellious is lost to them, but like I said, it seems to be coming back & I like to think we’re part of that. We don’t worry about what people think of us. As long as people enjoy our music, we’ll keep making it.
Well I’m glad I caught you guys early on, I can’t wait to hear more. Any final words for the readers?
J: Thanks a lot. We appreciate guys like yourself giving us time & the place to speak out. Hopefully there’s enough people liking what we do that we can carry on for a while yet. I’d like to say thanks to a few people, Wouter from Rebellion Music Merch who put his faith in us and released the album. Longshot Records for putting it out in the States. Alan & Lou from W&H Promotions who have had us down to England for a couple of gigs. The guys from the other bands we’ve played with, especially the guys from Top Dog who we’ve played a few gigs with & have become good mates. Darren who asked us to play the Rebellion Festival & any other promoters who put gigs on. Not just the ones we’ve played, but anyone who puts on gigs of this type. The biggest thanks has to go to the people who’ve spent their hard earned money on watching us play, bought our album & shirts, & made it possible for us to do this. Without them, it wouldn’t happen.
Visit Brassknuckle Facebook Page and let em know you’re listening.
If you’ve bought an album, seen an album, or a shirt… anything in the last few years, then you’re familiar with the graphic art of Jeff Hultgren. What Pushead is to Metallica, Jeff Hultgren is to streetpunk… so, we asked him a few questions. Here goes!
So, your designs are really getting around from tshirts, album covers, and now book covers. What are some of the projects you have worked on over the past years?
Jeff: Thanks! It’s been lots of fun, and it’s cool to see my work out there on stuff people are listening to and wearing. I love being able to do design for all the bands I love and for the music scene I love. I’ve always said that I can’t sing or play and instrument, but I can design! That’s the whole reason I started A Way of Life Design. I’ve done lots of work over the years. Lately I’ve mainly been doing work for Crowd Control Media, Rebel Sound Music & Merchandise and Contra Records.
Also quite a large number of bands have contacted me directly to work on logos, shirts and album covers. So, to actually answer your question, here’s some of the stuff I’ve worked on that people might be familiar with. Records and CD’s for Fear City, Bad Assets, Hub City Stompers, Drastic Actions, Doomhammer, Bare Knuckle Hooligans, Soldier 76, The Brass, Young Idea, Foreign Legion, Dogs In The Fight, The Hardknocks, The Old Breed, Crime Spree, The Smärtboyz, Down For Life, Thug Boots, Race Riot 59, The Malchicks, 99 Bottles, The Sussed, and Union Blood just to name a few.
A few of the bands I’ve done merchandise for include Noi!se, Patriot, Foreign Legion, Demob, Perkele, Lion’s Law, Komintern Sect, Cro-Mags, Hard-Core, The Beltones, The Hooliganz, The Skoidats, Harrington Saints, Haymaker and Bishops Green. Some upcoming projects include work for The Seaside Rebels, The Hardknocks, Gimp Fist, Blue Collar Criminals, Wolf Bites Boy, Foreign Legion, Dogs In The Fight, The Short-Timers, Grade 2, The Prowlers, and Hardsell. I’m also currently working with a band from Australia that everyone knows but who won’t be named at this time.
I also do other design work for local places where I live such as the community college, the public library and other small businesses. All this work is just part-time, freelance stuff I do on the side, in my free time. I work a regular job as a graphic designer/pre-press operator for a large printing company. So, as you can see I’m quite busy with just the design projects on my plate.
Just for example, some of the designs for a shirt or record project can easily take 8-20 hours or more. That’s just for one design. Design is very, very time consuming and it seems like everything always takes me twice as long as I thing it will.
Out of everything you’ve designed so far, does one piece stand out amongst the rest to you, sort of a favorite? If not, what are some of your favorites?
J: Tough question. There is no way I could pick a favorite. The easiest would be to say that whatever project I’m currently working on is my favorite! When I’m working on something, that’s what gets all my attention and thoughts and creative energy. I’ll think about a job even when I’m not working on it. When I finish something, I’ll print it out and hang it up and look at it for hours to make sure it’s just how I want. Stuff that nobody would ever notice but me. Items like if a font is too big or too small, is a line too thick or not thick enough, does something need to be moved slightly, does the color work and on and on and on. Although I couldn’t pick a favorite, I’m really proud of the patch and skateboard deck I did for Noi!se. I like how my patch for Patriot turned out.
I was greatly honored when Carl from Komintern Sect contacted me to do a shirt for them for Midwest Live and Loud in Minneapolis last year. Likewise when Andy from Demob had me work on the stuff for their West coast tour in 2016 including Punk Rock Bowling. I personally like how the design for the Lion’s Law, Bishops Green, Perkele and Harrington Saints shirts turned out. I love how the upcoming album for Young Idea looks. I believe that will be out later this year from CCM. And, so far the designs for shirts for Seaside Rebels, Hardknocks and Grade 2 look great but are nowhere near complete. Really, I’m very pleased most of the work I’ve done but there just isn’t enough space here to list everyone and every design project.
What are the tools of your trade?
J: Well, depending on where I’m working from, I use both the Mac and PC platforms. A computer that is fast had has a whole shitload of storage space! Graphics for design projects take up lot and lots of room. I feel like I’m always running out of space. For the most part, I only use the Adobe Creative Cloud. Programs like Abode Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Acrobat. I will occasionally use something else, but those are the main four. In addition to that a good laser printer so you can see what you are doing and of course being very creative!
What is the process for someone to take to acquire your skills for a project?
J: Well, as I just mentioned, you need to be one of those creative people. I have been my whole life. Ever since I was little I’ve loved art and drawing and creating things. Art classes were always my favorite thing in school. I guess by the time I was in highschool I knew I wanted to do something with art as a profession. I took as many art classes as I could in high school. I also took extra art classes at the community college in the summers whenever I could.
I did two years at my local community college working on all the basics and as many art classes as I could. I graduated there with high honors and an Associates in Art degree. From there I attended three more years at Northern Illinois University. Although I loved drawing and painting, I decided to major in something that had more potential for job opportunities. I decided on graphic design as a major. The university called it visual communication. So after three years of almost exclusively art classes, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art – majoring in Visual Communication with a minor in jewelry and metal working.
After school, I worked for about a year at an Amoco gas station that my neighbor owned. I spend my time there pumping gas and working on minor car/engine repairs in the shop all while looking for a design job. My first job using my creative skills was for The Belvidere Daily Republican and Belrock Printing. I was hired as a graphic designer for both the newspaper and the printing company.
So, for the past 25 years or so I’ve been working for different printing companies as a graphic designer. After that it’s all just practice and experience. That has really taught me about how design and printing go together. Probably the most important thing young designers should know is that just because you can design something on your computer screen and it looks good, it doesn’t mean it will transfer to something that will print well. Printing has lots limitations that computer design does not.
Anyway, I could go on for ever. I want to thank you, Jason, for showing the interest and taking the time to talk with me and having me in the zine. I love what you’ve been doing with Smash The Discos so far and look forward to more issues! I want to thank everyone and every band that has trusted me and allowed me to do design work for them. Thanks to CCM, Rebel Sound and Contra Records. And last but not least…If you already haven’t, check out my page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pg/jh.awayoflifedesign. If you’re interested in working with me, you can contact me there or at email@example.com. Cheers!
This concludes this issue of Smash The Discos.
Get out to shows. Support your scene. Support your neighboring scene. It’s all about the good times here. Good times and beer! No one’s getting rich off of this shit, but there’s more to it. Skins and Punks are the working class. We secure our lifestyles by busting our asses daily. Then by night, it’s Oi Fucking Oi!!!!!
Honestly, if it all ever got too big, it wouldn’t be any fun anymore. This is our thing. SFFS
Now, enjoi! the official Smash The Discos Webzine theme song!