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Detroit, Michigan, United States
I'm a punk rock guru from Detroit. Part skinhead, part crusty, part metalhead, part hardcore kid, part party kid, 100% punk rocker.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Interview with the Koffin Kats

1. What are some of the band’s particular influences?
I’d have to say Bad Religion and other early SoCal punk bands like Pennywise. We really listen to everything and anything these days. Finding out about bands like Mad Sin and Nekromantix helped push us to have more of a “psychobilly” sound.
2. Do you listen to a lot of music, or do you take a Joey Ramone approach and aim to have a smaller amount of influences?
Lots of music. You have to keep your mind open if you want to have any type of progress in your song writing. Lately it seems all I have been listening to is Sheer Terror and old Waylon Jennings.
3. How did Koffin Kats arise? Did it rise from the ashes of any other bands?
Before KK I had a band called V8 Nightmare. Tommy was in a band called P.R.E.S.S. Neither bands were doing much so one day we just started jamming some songs together and then it happened.
4. Is it hard to learn to play the double bass?
If you just want to play the basic stuff then no. It’s a fun instrument. I’ve been playing almost every day for almost ten years now so everything seems easy, I guess.
5. How is Ian adjusting to the Koffin Kats lifestyle?
He is now playing like he’s always been in the band. His liver is having a hard time adjusting though!
6. Is it difficult to adjust to living on the road?
I love the road. After a week of being home I just want to get back out there. It’s easier for us now that we have been through the U.S. so much that there is usually a floor to sleep on after a show.
7. Do you embrace being as famous as you are?
I don’t think I’m famous! Ha ha. I certainly respect and appreciate that some people dig the stuff we do.
8. Why is it that psychobilly bands have a tendency to release more material than most punk rock bands?
I don’t think it’s just psychobilly. There’s a lot more punk or whatever bands putting out a lot more material out now because recording has become easier and more affordable these days.
9. Have you ever considered covering a Demented are Go! Song? If so, which one?
We actually used to do a cover of “Cast Iron Arms”. DAG actually covered that too. I’ve always wanted to do “Call of the Wired”.

10. Has psychobilly in the United States, in your opinion, strengthened or weakened since the spike in popularity in the early 80s?
I totally think it’s bigger and more accessible now then it’s ever been. The internet has helped a lot with not keeping it so underground.
11. Do you have any plans to release new material in the next year or so?
We’re planning on getting back into the studio in August with Ian. Hopefully have an EP out around November.
12. How much time goes into writing a song by the band?
We actually write the music rather quick when it comes time to record again. The lyrics usually are written a few days before the studio session, as I like to work under pressure.
13. How long have you guys been playing music for?
All three of us starting playing instruments around the same age. I picked up the guitar when I was 12 and got my first upright bass when I was 17. I’m 27 now.
14. Do your speakers go to eleven?
No, because it pisses off the sound guy when you have the loud of volume onstage. If ya want to sound good then make the sound guy happy!
15. What are your plans to tour in Europe at the moment? Is playing there better than playing here? What sets it apart?
We’re heading over to Europe in Mid-May for 6 weeks. We’re going all over the U.K. and as far east as the Ukraine. I think artists in general have a higher level of respect for them over there when compared to the States.
16. What recording are you most proud of? Why? (song/album)
Well I’m gonna go the generic route and say our newest release “Forever for Hire”. It’s our most professional recording yet. I think we kicked it up a bit in the song writing for the album as well. We have been getting a lot of requests for new songs like “Wild Ride” and “Saw My Friend Explode”.
17. Do you find much success touring in a particular area? Which one?
Well the West coast has always been a hotspot for bands like us. Especially in southern California. You have a higher population of people there into the underground culture.
18. What does ‘Mors Ex Supera’ mean? My Latin is a bit rusty.
It translates to “Death From Above”.
19. Do you guys go out to see bands if you aren’t touring? Do you watch the bands often when you are on tour?
We’re usually too broke to go to a ton of shows but I always enjoy going out and supporting friends’ bands. We actually do try to catch the opening bands. Even when there is a backstage. I like to be out drinking in the crowd.

20. Anything else you’d like to add for fans/potential fans?
Well, thank you for taking the time to read this! Hope to see ya at a show sometime. Live music and touring bands do still exist. Go out there and support!!

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