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Viva Rock ‘n Roll ! Une entrevue avec Lenny Lashley

14 septembre 2011

La première fois que j’ai entendu parler de Lenny Lashley c’est quand Virgil Dickerson hypait l’album de Lenny & The Piss Poor Boys sur le board de Vinyl Collective. Je me souviens avoir immédiatement adoré ce que j’ai entendu. Puis pour le Pouzza Fest j’ai fait une entrevue avec Jon Snodgrass et à la fin de notre entretien il m’a dit que Drag The River allait venir à Montréal à l’automne avec un dude du nom de Lenny Lashley en première partie. «Just an old Boston guy» comme il m’avait dit. Il m’avait aussi recommandé de checker son 7 pouces et c’est en faisant quelques recherches que je me suis rendu compte que non seulement c’était le gars de Lenny & The Piss Poor Boys mais qu’il allait jouer au FOUFS genre 3 jours plus tard. C’était vraiment nice. Il a fait de moi un fan pour la vie j’imagine. Peut-être que ce sera votre cas aussi si vous écoutez ce qu’il fait.

Hi Mister Lashley! What are you up to?

Just fixing a few things that got broken by the hurricane. Irene wasn’t as bad as it could have been but it did a little bit of damage.

What have you been up to this summer?

Playing tons of shows basically. I play at least 6 shows a month. I played in Boston, Maine, New Jersey, New York. I play solo and I also play some shows with a group of three guys that are accompanying me when I play local shows.

It was said that you were supposed to have a full length out by January 2011. Will that ever come out?

Oh I’m hoping. I have been in talks with some friends of mine that have labels. Pete from The Bouncing Souls produced it so I was hoping it land out on Chunksaah but they’re having some problems with distro so it doesn’t seem like they’re gonna be able to do it. But it’s definitely going to come out for sure. It’s in the can, waiting for mastering and it will be ready to go out. It’s 10 songs, half an hour of music. It’s done.

It’s a well know fact that you were the singer of the band Darkbuster but did you had any other band before that?

Before that I was in a lesser know band called Swaggeroon. It was more some kind of stoner-rock grungy kind of stuff I guess. That’s kind of how I met all the other guys in Darkbuster. We were all playing in smaller clubs out in the suburbs. We got together and decided that we wanted to do something else.

Will the Lenny & The Piss Poor Boys record ever be re-released?

Actually we’re planning on doing that now. We’re in the process of doing that with Suburban Home. I think he was talking about pressing a thousand. We’re actually flying out on Tuesday of next week to play a showcase in Denver for the 16th anniversary of Suburban Home Records. Hopefully we’ll be able to firm out a release date by then.

I know that a member of the band is dead but did you ever thought about writing new songs with that band?

Hum…since John passed away it kind of seems…it’s probably best to let that band sleep you know. And actually a lot of my newer material is half rock and half kind of that I’m not gonna split it. I think it will get to people that like both bands.

Darkbuster was a more direct kind of punk rock an now your newer material is more rock and stripped down. Is there a reason why you decided to exploit that sound more than punk rock?

It just kind of happened to be honest. It took a couple of years to regroup mentally ‘cause I had a kind of bad run in Europe with Darkbuster. I basically had to regain confidence in myself to just go out and play by myself with an acoustic guitar. That 7 inches I did with Pete it was just supposed to be me with an acoustic but he liked the material so much that he wanted to add some instrumentation. People just kind of start to liking it and asked me if they could play along and that’s just how it developed I guess.

For how long have you been a part of the Boston punk rock scene?

Ho…15 to 20 years I guess. First show I ever saw in Boston was the Ramones when I was 16. I’ve lived most of my life in Kingston, Massachusetts on the south shore of Boston.

What do you consider being the most memorable era of the Boston punk rock/hardcore scene?

Probably from ’82 to ’94-ish and then it started to slacking down a little bit. But the future is unwritten for that stuff. There’s plenty of good bands out there now.

What’s the most dangerous show you’ve ever been to?

Well, I guess the early days when I didn’t know anybody and I went to see Slapshot. If you went to see Slapshot you might get punch in the head by somebody that didn’t know you. For sure. Slapshot, Blood For Blood and Colin of Arabia are probably the most dangerous shows you can be at I guess.

I saw that Blood For Blood will be playing a show in Quebec City. I thought they were done.

Yeah, I just ran into Buddha a couple of weeks ago and I guess there writing material for a new album. Actually Rob’s writing material. The demand is there I guess you know.

It was about time the Bruins win the Stanley Cup. What kind of player do you prefer: Chara or Lucic?

Yeah well overdue! If I had to choose between those two, Lucic probably. I’m a fan of the big bad Bruins of the ‘80s with Cam Neely and Terry O’Reilly. The guys who can do it all and that are not afraid to mix it up if they have to.

What’s the upcoming release you’re the most looking forward to hear?

It’s a good question. I know there’s a record I told myself I had to go out and buy the other day but I can’t remember what it was. I’ve been having kind of a ruff week. A dog that I had for the last 14 years passed away the other day it’s been kind of confusing for me. Hum…I’m guessing those Teenage Bottle Rockets guys are working on a new record and I’m a big fan of that band. I’d love to hear what they’re doing.

What do you consider being the most important record of American punk rock to ever come out?

Personally, for me, probably Rocket to Russia by The Ramones.

What’s the biggest difference between being involved in punk rock at 20 compared to the point you’re at in your life right now?

It takes me a lot longer to recover. I’m going on 47 years old and I’m much less apt to jump in the middle of a pit.

What are the things that you take into consideration before going on tour with a band? How many shows will you play with Drag The River?

With Drag I think I’m going out for only about 14 shows. I just want to be on point and be able to be focused and up to play good every night. They’re an awesome band and I don’t want to let anybody down. I want to be mentally prepared. I’m hoping to do up to 200 shows in the next year so…I have a little dream where I want to do 365 shows in 365 days but that hasn’t really quite materialized yet.

What’s the closest you’ve been to do that?

When Darkbuster was going in their prime we were hitting about the 180 mark. We were going really hard at it. So 365 in 365 is a massive undertaking. I think Joan Jett & The Blackhearts has got the Guinness book award for the most consecutive dates if I remember correctly.

I did an interview with Jon Snodgrass a few months ago and he told me he was going to play Montreal in September with Drag The River and you and he described you as «just an old Boston guy». How would you describe Jon Snodgrass?

Jon is a one of a kind. He’s just a phenomenal musician and songwriter and he doesn’t let that get him away from being a great person as well.


Lenny Lashley sera en show au FOUFS à Montréal avec Drag The River ainsi qu’Hugo Mudie & Fred Jacques le mercredi 28 septembre. Page Facebook de l’événement.

Il jouera aussi avec Chad Price et Jon Snodgrass au Looba Café à Drumondville le jeudi 29 septembre.

Page facebook de Lenny Lashley

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