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Off With Their Heads interview

7 octobre 2010

In Desolation de Off With Their Heads est le meilleur album de punk rock que j’ai entendu cette année. Quand j’ai vu que le groupe allait être de passage à Montréal avec Bad Religion j’étais assez excité. Quand à la fin de notre entretien il m’a dit qu’ils allaient jouer un after show j’étais encore plus excité. J’ai rejoint Ryan Young chez sa blonde en Californie. Il était en train d’écouter Jersey Shore.

So you’re going to play Montreal in mid-October with bad Religion to support your new record called In Desolation. Is there a meaning behind the title of the record?

The title comes after a song. We always name our record from some line in one of the song on the record. It’s about touring all the time, which I’m not complaining about because it’s awesome, it’s fun but every single day you’re never by yourself. You’re always with someone doing something so it’s about how awesome it would be to be completely alone for a while. Which I get right now and it’s awesome.

Are you satisfied with the new record? Is it the record you expected to record?

We wrote 4 or 5 of those songs a week before we recorded so we didn’t really had an idea of what it was gonna be like. We always do that by the way. Write a bunch of the songs right before just to keep the pressure on. So I had no idea how it was going to turn and at the time I was really happy with it but now that it’s been out for a while I listen to it and I wanna move on and do something else. I’m ready for the next record. So I don’t get the same excitement with this record has I did in the beginning. Now I’m kind of excited to see what’s next. I just started working on the next record. I don’t even have a complete song yet. But we’ll probably record something in the fall.

You’ve participated to the compilation Let Them Know by BYO Records and you’ve choose to cover the song Headlights…Ditch! by The Bouncing Souls. Why this song in particular?

Whenever we do a tribute record or anything like that we try to go with the song that takes the least amount of work. We try to make them funny or take the easiest way out. I love The Bouncing Souls, we’ve played with them but we thought that would be one of the dumbest songs to pick from any BYO release. That’s one of my favourite tribute thing we’ve ever done ’cause if you listen to that song in one part when it stops one of the guy goes «Oups». That’s ‘cause he couldn’t hit that stuff after five takes of a 30 seconds long song so when we did the vocals we just called him to just say «Oups» and that would be how we would fix that problem. And the Stern brothers found it really funny too.

Do you remember what the first BYO record you’ve ever heard was? What does that label’s ethic represent to you?

The first BYO record I’ve ever heard was Maniacal Laughters and that got me into Youth Brigade and a lot of the comps they did like Someone Got Their Heads Kicked In. That label shaped a lot of what I do and bands I like. We got to tour with Youth Brigade before and those guys became good pals of mine. So it’s really weird to look at the 15 years-old me who listened to BYO records and now making fun of the Stern to their faces.

You’re known for covering the song Silver And Gold from Joe Strummer. What do you think was the best record involving Joe Strummer?

My favourite one was his last one. I think that every single song of Streetcore is awesome. That’s why I choose to do that. Even thought it’s not an actual Joe Strummer song but it’s the way that he did that. It’s a cover song. I can’t remember who wrote it but it’s an old blues guy (Fats Domino). Either way it’s a great song. I think that Silver And Gold was a great way to end his last record ‘cause that was kind of the last thing he did before he died. What a cool way to go out I guess.


You’re going to tour with Bad Religion in October. Is there a song you’re excited to hear them play every night?

Oh man, I can’t…you know honestly I think that their new record has two songs that are some of their best I’ve heard in a long time. The Devil In Stitches and Cyanide, I really love those songs. I love the pop songs that they do you know. The Process of Belief is the record we listen to in the van all the time now. We actually covered one of their songs for that tribute record that they did. We covered Sorrow. And Myspace rejected it for their compilation. They did like 22 bands and I’ve listen to a lot of the songs and ours was pretty traditional compared to what theirs was. Instead of the reggae intro we just did a piano thing with one of the guy from Youth Brigade. They say it’s because there’s too many Epitaph bands, I just think that they didn’t like our cover.

Are you going to release it any other way?

We might. I mean we recorded it, it sounds good so we might release it on one of the 25 seven-inches we’re about to do I’m sure.

You’re considered to be the first punk rock band to be signed on Epitaph since 2001. What do you think of that?

I think that’s awesome. I gotta say I was very very surprised that he even liked our band. We he called me I was like «Really?». ‘Cause he put out a lot of really shitty music lately. He knew that we would not like most of the stuff that he did. He had us over to his house for a lunch. We were sitting to a picnic table and we were just sitting there. Nobody would say anything and he’s like «All right, I know you guys don’t like anything we’ve put out recently but I really like your band» and we all started laughing. It was a pretty funny moment. He could tell what we were thinking. But I got say that having us kind of kicked him starting to getting back into things that people like me can actually be into. I mean following us came Social Distortion and Alkaline Trio. Who knows what’s next. Now Weezer! That was a shock! It’s cool. It’s a good time. We were all really nervous at first to do anything with the label just because of how lame it was but it turned out it was a really good move.

 Have you heard anything from the new Social Distortion record?

I did. I actually heard the whole thing the other night. I don’t know if I was supposed to but I did. They’re still mixing it so it was a ruff mix but it is awesome. It’s different ‘cause they used all analog recording equipment and nothing digital so it sounds like an old record and it’s gonna be something else I think. I’m really excited for it to come out.

 What’s the biggest difference between working with Epitaph compared to No Idea! ?

Epitaph has something like 25 employees in their office in L.A. and when your record’s coming out, everybody focus on that one thing so it’s crazy to have that many people working to make sure that your record does well. And they were all really excited to work on a punk record again. They all told me that when I went in. So it’s also good to have label like your band. No Idea! has a system that use for pretty much everything and they all love everything that they put out too but it’s a lot more laid back there and less business, and I think the older I get the more I’m into the whole business side of music.

 What’s the most dangerous show you’ve ever played?

I don’t know. Probably the ones we play in houses. We don’t do it much anymore ‘because there’s too many people. But I remember one time, I think it was in Boston, and there was so many people down there that we played about three songs and had to stop ‘cause it turned into chaos. People pushing, the drum got knocked over like six times in three songs.

 What was the most influential record to you: Maniacal Laughter by The Bouncing Souls or Midwestern Songs Of The Americas by Dillinger Four?

I would have to say that the Dillinger Four one was definitely what introduced me to what the underground punk thing was. They were the first local band that I went to saw their shows at houses or in clubs. Right when that record came out was when I started to go to shows all the time. To see those guys do what they do and just watch it and being like «Wow, that’s what I wanna do». I remember I used to have that recording thing, like an 8-tracks recorder, and I would sit there and play all the instrument of my favourite Dillinger Four songs and record them. I think I did that entire record. I recorded the whole Midwestern Songs thing when I was about 16 years-old. I actually told Paddy from Dillinger Four about that and he told me that if I could find the tapes he would put it out as an LP. This would be really funny.

 What’s the craziest story you can tell me about Paddy Costello?

Oh boy…OK, let’s see. One time we were just at the Triple Rock, ‘cause I consider him one of my best friend. When I’m in town we always go out and party and have a good time. So one time I went to the Triple Rock with Paddy and he got so drunk that the people at the bar were like: «Ryan, would you please take him home! He’s pissing off everybody and it looks like he pissed his pants». But he had actually spill whiskey on his crotch. So I had to handle him out of the bar, put him in my car and drive him home. Now he only lives like a mile away from there. But on the way home he kept punching me on the side of the head while I was driving and yelling at me. It was total nonsense. So finally he passed out in that mile. I opened the car door, just through him on the ground and left him there. I called his roommates and told him that his roommate was in the driveway. I was really pissed at him. And the next day he took me out to eat to apologise.

Le 15 octobre au Métropolis avec Bad Religion et The Bouncing Souls à 19h00.

Le 15 octobre à l’Escogriffe avec Brixton Robbers à minuit. Billets en vente ici.

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