Interview with School Damage

When the band started?
We started in 2010 I think. We’ve gone through a lot of drummers since. And two guitar players. But we’ve been lucky enough to play in several countries, see some cool shit and drink their alcohol.

Could you please tell us which are your main musical influences ?
When we first started we were definitely influenced by the Riverdales and Lillingtons. Now we’re a bit more fluid with how we write songs. We don’t really follow that Ramones Core structure anymore. A lot of bands do that style of music better than us anyway.

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You played at PUNK ROCK Raduno in Bergamo in 2017. Im terribly sorry I must admit I’ve missed your set. How do you found playing @EDONE’ in Bergamo and how was your Europe tour? Do you have some funny stories to tell us about?
You missed our set?! Haha, it’s okay man. We were on pretty early in the day. That was a lot of fun. Endless beer, great bands and everyone is so friendly. We’ve done a few festivals but the Raduno is up there as one of the best. It’s a different vibe than North America. Way more chill. I got pretty drunk on the last night and fell in a Rose Bush on the way back to the hotel and got cut up pretty bad. I have scars from that. As for the European tour, it was great. We definitely annoyed those Ratbones guys who we toured with. We got really hammered in Austria and woke up at the German Border with illicit substances on us. That sobered us up pretty quick. Luckily they didn’t have the dogs out.

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Do you like and do you want to tell us about other good bands from your area? You’re from TORONTO right? Have you ever heard about Vincenzo Esposito? He’s an Italian basketball. player that played in TORONTO RAPTORS around 1995, he was such a pioneer speaking about italian basketball!!
Toronto has definitely had some incredible bands. I’m proud of being from Toronto because of our music history is so rich. We’re one of the pioneering place’s for punk rock! Unfortunately a lot of my favorite bands from here have broken up, but Brutal Youth are probably my favorite and they’re good friends of ours since day one. Teenage Head and the Vapids are incredible bands too, but they’re not from Toronto. They’re from the neighboring city called Hamilton. I’ve been to several Raptors games but I’m not Huge basketball fan so I’m not familiar with that player. The Raptors would have just started in 1995 and I was 12. I was too busy jacking off and listening to my shitty CD’s.

CANADA is great for PUNK ROCK music, I’m thinking about CHIXDIGGIT, my favourite Canadian band, and PKEW PKEW PKEW..another great band i had the opportunity to see before the pandemic.
So what’s the magic, the magic glue, that make Canada have so many great bands?

Funny story. I recently found a flyer where Pkew Pkew Pkew actually opened for us. But obviously they’re very successful now as well as very nice dude’s and a great band. We’ve played with Chixdiggit a few times too and they’re also great guys. I love KJ. I always say he’s the nicest guy in punk. He can tell you a story about me if you ever get a chance to talk to him. I don’t know what it is about Canada. Maybe it’s the long winter’s. But Italy has some incredible bands, too so don’t sell yourself short.

Which place do you like to play more? I mean when things will be ok again do you wonder about going on tour? Do you think about something to promote the new record?
I can’t fucking wait to go back on tour. We had a tour with Lone Wolf through Canada but of course it got cancelled due to COVID. It’s weird putting album out during a pandemic because there’s no other way of promoting it besides online. We can’t even play the new songs live. But we’re very thankful Andrea from I Buy Records and John from Mom’s Basement are helping us put this new album out. Hopefully we can tour America and Europe again. I love the unpredictability of touring other countries.

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Do you know and do you listen to some bands from Italy?
Yes! Ratbones, Livermores (RIP Manu), Mega, Proton Packs, Teenage Bubblegums. The Ratbones and Jimmy Vapid have shown me a lot of great Italian bands and we’ve been fortunate to play with some of them.

Another question about Canadian you guys like the Weakerthans?
It’s a band Ive see a couple of times live and that really impressed me alot. I can honestly say I haven’t listened to them very much. I’ve seen them live once and think John Samson is a great song writer but never fully got into them. I really liked the era of Propaghandi when he was in the band still.

So speaking about your new album, could you tell us something more about the lyrics and the ideas behind it?
Lyrically I feel it’s darker than any other album we’ve done. Jon, our bassist, called them depressing. But he’s right. The songs I contributed are kind of depressing but there’s also a bit of hope in there as well. I’m a depressed person so that’s what you get. We’re older now so it’s more of a mature album. No joke songs it anything. It’s our first album with Dennis Lee, our new drummer. I don’t think he likes me very much but I like him.

Do you find yourself great playing as a TRIO?
We’ve been a 4 piece off and on but I am happy with being a trio. But at times I miss a second guitar covering up for my mistakes.

Last question..Do you have any message for your Italian fans?
We have Italian fans?! Well, I just want to say that we can’t wait to go back there and we are probably going to hug and share a beer with every single one of you when this is all over and we can visit Italy again. Also, Italians are also the most attractive people in the world.

Thanks a lot for your time, please also If you’d like say something funny that you know in italian 🙂 We will mention it on the radio show for sure! 🙂
Thanks Tommi!
My Italian is terrible so when we were at Punk Rock Raduno the bartender wouldn’t give me a beer until I pronounced it properly. We also call things that are cool “tight” in North America but in Italy you don’t have an expression like that so we were calling things “stretto” which obviously makes no sense to anyone else in Italy but it was funny to us. We were definitely dumb tourists.

Interview with Avem

AVEM in Latin means BIRD. And their songs are only about birds: the thing itself is quite bizarre but funny that it intrigued me enough to go deeper. I must say that they are good. And if they have received the blessing of Jimmy “Maestro” Vapid, it means that it is worth knowing them a little more. And who could interview them if not the most famous ornithologist of the italian scene, mr. Tommi GB aka Il Gabbiano from Radio Eustachio? Please a warm welcome to Tommi, a great dude that will entertain you with cool interviews!

When the band started ? 

Avem has been around since the end of 2017, when three old friends from high school got together to play some of the old songs we used to jam.  That quickly morphed into writing a new song or two, and when we were outside smoking weed considering what to write lyrics about a huge woodpecker started pounding on a nearby tree. The thought of singing about birds came to mind, and that’s what led us to start singing about birds! We’ve added another guitar player since that time, and are on our third drummer so lots has changed since the initial band started!

Could you please tell us which are your main  musical influences ? 

Well we obviously hate the Ramones LOL jk!!!! We all grew up listening to punk rock and ska of all kinds.  We were teenagers in the 90s and early 2000s so it was a lot of Fat Wreck and Epitaph bands.  I’d say some big bands for Morry (guitar player) and myself these days are Teenage Bottlerocket, The Manges, The Hextalls, Giant Eagles, The Queers, Windowsill, DeeCracks, Teenage Bubblegums, NOFX. Anything Dan Vapid, anything Jimmy Vapid, Mr T Experience,  Weakerthans, Louis Armstrong.  Swing music of the 20s-50s.  Been listening to a lot of The Beths and Jagger Holly lately too. Don’t forget the Groovie Ghoulies. OH and The SUCK‘s new album kicks ass.  Haha we could go on and on.  All of these bands do cool little things or write cool songs that inspire us to write the songs we do.

Speaking about influences for sure you love talking about birds in your songs, please tell us something more about this


Birds are so rad.  Some of my earliest memories of being a kid living on a farm are all the cool birds that used to come to our feeder.  What’s so cool about birds is that the more you learn about them, the more you learn that there are so many species that are incredibly different, and it’s amazing what they do to survive.  For example a 3g hummingbird flies over the Gulf of Mexico 1300-1800km IN ONE FLIGHT every single migration. That is twice a year this tiny little thing flies across a massive body of water, for reasons humans still don’t entirely understand.  Some birds dance, some birds mimic, some birds simply survive.  There are a lot of similarities you can find between birds and how they behave/what they have to go through and humans, so we like to talk about birds themselves, and human life experiences as told through the perspective of birds.  

Do you like and do you want to tell us about other good bands from your area?  

Oh man I don’t want to do any of them a disservice because there are so many that work so hard and kick ass!  School Damage is one that comes to mind but you might have heard of them already 😉 If I had to name 3 local bands they’d be in no particular order: Hangtime, Busm, Mad Murdocks.

My favourite Canadian band are the Chixdiggit! I had the opportunity to see them live here in Italy. I can tell I was also really impressed by the Creeps when Andre from IBR bring them to punk rock raduno. I went in tour as a roadie with Andre and his band The Ratbones…They told me great things about their Canadian tour, about Jimmy Vapid and alot of other cool things.  Ah man also i saw 3 years ago the band PKEW PKEW PKEW that are really good… So what’s the magic, the magic glue or powder that make Canada having so many great bands? 

Oh man I remember seeing Chixdiggit! with Kepi Ghoulie playing bass for them.  I’m surprised their hips don’t break, their power stances are so low awesome.  I also interviewed KJ once for a friend’s blog, MusicSheBlogged (what up Sarah Litt!)   What’s the magic, you ask? I’d have to ask the same thing about Italy!!! There are some fucking amazing bands coming out of Italy that just blow my mind and I wish they’d come over here to Canada!  Maybe because there are a lot of Italians that live in Canada? I’m going to go with that answer.

Which place do you like to play more? I mean when things will be ok again do you wonder about going on tour?

So far we’ve only really played in our home province, in the south side.  Toronto at Bovine Sex Club is an awesome place, there was a bar called The Foxx Lounge & Hotdoggery that kicked ass north of Toronto, and an AWESOME place in the suburbs in the basement of a restaurant called Rotilicious. That place kicks so much ass.  In terms of where we want to play, we’d love to come across the ocean and play in Italy, Holland, Austria, Germany, France, Europe in general. There are just so many kickass bands in Europe and the scene seems so cool, we would consider our lives complete doing a tour across Europe that ends up at Punk Rock Raduno.

Do you know and do you listen to some band from Italy?

Sure do!  Ratbones, Manges, Teenage Bubblegums, Riccobellis, Proton Packs, TOUGH, MEGA, Livermores.. all amazing bands.  You got any more for us??

Another question about Canadian you guys like the Weakerthans? 

Fuck yeah.  They’re such a great band, I really hope they get back together and make another album.  Their lead singer John. K. Samson is brilliant and he kicked ass when he was in his old band Propagandhi (who also still kick so much ass)

So speaking about your EP, how does the idea of doing a split with COBRA&THE DAGGERS came up? 

We’ve known those two for a very long time and are dear friends of ours.  They had recently moved across the country and sent us some songs they had done together just for fun, and we thought they kicked ass!  We asked if they wanted to do a split digital release with us, as their songs needed to be shared with more than just close friends.  We’re super stoked with how the EP turned out, and I absolutely love their songs.

Are you planning a full lenght album soon?

We’ve been working on a full length for quite some time now, we’ve got probably close to 15 songs that nobody has ever heard before.  With the world being different than it was a year ago it’s been tough for us to get together and practice, it’s also tough to get studio time.  We’re still working at that, but in the meantime we’ve recorded a couple new songs with Jimmy Vapid that will be coming out one of these days.  
Qualcuno ci invita a Raduno così possiamo festeggiare e insegnarti gli uccelli, cazzo sì!  OR one I actually use regularly, Manache! hahahaha


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