Interview With DeeCRACKS

Hello guys, how are you? Welcome back to IBR headquarters once again! It’s a pleasure to chat with you again!
MIKE: Ciao bello, thanks for having us back. All is good here, hope things are great for you as well.

So, September 5 2012. It’s a very important date to me. Well, being that you guys are such a hard-working band, this day doesn’t make a lot of sense to you but actually it was the date of the first show I booked (together with my buddy Ame) since I moved to Milan. IBR wasn’t a thing at the time but I clearly remember everything and that show really pushed me to start doing something (that I hoped would be cool) in Milan. Do you remember that show/weekend we spent together?
MIKE: Of course, I remember, we were with our Chinese bassplayer Zhong at the time and it was one of the first shows of a month-long tour. It was at Ligera and you got us some great pasta, from your mom or grandma if I’m not mistaken. You did a great job there and were a gracious host. Your apartment was lovely too. Do you still live there?  There was this abandoned building next door, which our GPS told us was actually your place (haha). I’m happy it wasn’t!

Yes, I still live there but the abandoned building is now destroyed!ahahah! So 8 years later, and after thousands of shows, what has changed for DeeCracks? (Don’t say bass-players! 🙂 )
MATT: Not very much really, We all have gotten a little older but I’d like to say the attitude hasn’t changed.

In Addition to DeeCracks, you all have different side-projects (Matt with Ratcliffs & Jagger Holly) (Mike … I can’t count how many bands that you play with) how do you manage to keep up with all of those different obligations? Also, a bit of news over the past few days. It was announced that Mike will play the drums at Punk Rock Raduno for the Mopes, how did this amazing opportunity come about?
MIKE: Yeah, it’s so awesome! I can’t wait for that show! I’m really excited for it. Basically Jughead texted me to see if I could play at Punk Rock Raduno with Mopes and of course I said yes. Jughead teamed up with us and Will from Zatopeks to do a special Screeching Weasel/Mopes/Even in Blackouts set at our Sweet Sixteen Festival last September, so I guess, he must have liked the way I played there. I’m super happy about it! I’m always grateful when someone approaches me to fill in or play in a band with them, it’s always an honour and it fills my heart that people dig my drumming, after all, it’s my happy place.

Let’s talk about Punk Rock Raduno. It’s not the biggest festival, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the most beloved festival in the world. Being that you played/attended at every edition, what are your feelings about the festival? And what do you think is the secret behind the success of the festival?
MATT: Hm… well if you are looking at Europe during springtime and summer you might have noticed there’s a ton of festivals going on! If you ask me, there’s way too many. Every now and then we are playing some of them but I have to say I don’t really like it. It’s just very unpersonal and stressful. Raduno feels a bit different though. It feels more like a family reunion, you know? Everybody’s there for the same cause! Bands and fans! It’s like amongst all of those parties there’s one just for us!

It’s pretty well-known that way back in 2013, you were banned from USA. I don’t wanna go back to that infamous story but is the ban permanent or are you working on finding a solution to be able to go back to USA?
MIKE: Yeah, it’s a never-ending story really. As of now we are still banned, but we are still trying to make it back there one day. Never say never! Maybe once Matt will write a worldwide sensational big hit song, we’ll make it (haha).

Although this sad story might have demoralized a touring band, you rolled up your sleeves and toured everywhere possible. We’re talking Russia, Israel, China, Mexico, Turkey, just to name a few, most of which are not really conventional destinations for punk rock bands. What can you tell us about the punk rock scene in those countries? Leather jackets and ripped blue jeans?
MATT: Our main goal has always been getting around as much as possible. We hardly ever turn down offers, especially when it’s about shows or tours abroad. The cool thing about punk rock is that it connects the people all over the world. Scenes are the same everywhere.
Of course there are cultural differences In different places. Like for example Japanese bands practice hard until they reach perfection, while we don’t (haha). And by the way, no one should be “demoralized” because they got kicked out of the USA.

Last summer you guys did a great tour with the legendary CJ Ramone. How it was? What can you tell us about CJ? How is CJ behind the curtain? Any funny stories you would like to share with us?
MATT: We like to remember it as the ‘No AC Tour‘. It was kinda hard because last summer was brutally hot… But every show was great! It was professional to a certain degree (which we aren’t really used to), but the atmosphere was super relaxed! CJ is a great guy and really down to earth and yet absolutely aware of how big of a impact the Ramones were on thousands and thousands of people (was and still are) We were really grateful that he chose us to support him on his (final???) Euro tour. And yes, there are some funny stories but I don’t think I wanna share them here (haha).

Let’s talk about records, Sonic Delusions is your latest full length album and two years later, are you satisfied with the final result? What is the general feedback or opinions that you got from friends and fans? What’s it like being on a major label now?
MIKE: Yeah man, it’s been great. Our fans really seemed to enjoy it and thanks to Pirates Press Records we found some new listeners, that we hadn’t reached before. I wouldn’t do anything differently with it really, maybe the artwork wasn’t our strongest, but that’s a matter of taste. We wanted to stick out and be different then the other bands on PPR, not only sound wise. So, it was all good. It’s not a major label though, it’s a very ambitious punk rock indie label that’s turning the right screws. We’re really happy to be a part of it and thankful for the opportunity. We like the fact that we got a special place in their hearts also, as we are a little different. Pirates Press and DeeCracks is not an obvious fit, but they took a chance on us and we took a chance on them, and we both thrived with our matching work ethics, vision and spirit. So, in my mind, it’s perfect.

For your upcoming italian tour you will release a new 7″ “…Can’t Get It Right” through Striped Records and Bad Man Records which has two brand new songs and two songs that were previously released on compilations. What can you tell us about it? I had the chance to listen to them ahead of time (thanks for doing that!!!) and I can say it’s another solid release in your discography!
MATT: Well the “new” songs are actually taken from the 2017 Sonic Delusions session. We always record extra material for 7″s, compilations and so on. (well I guess every band does that…), “Killed by Death” was featured on the Mom’s Basement‘s HEAD tribute compilation and then there’s a newly recorded version of the song ‘Caroline’ (the original one was part of the OCW 30 seconds songs compilation). We are really happy to have Striped with us for this one since they always did a great job taking care of our merch!

Whats next for you guys after the Italian Tour? New album? Big tour in the farest corners of the world?
MIKE: You know us, there is no stopping us from hangover hoppin’ all around the world. We’ll be hitting the road again in April around Europe, mostly Gemany, Austria and bella Italia. In May we will record a new album, Pirates Press is gonna release it once it’s ready. So we’re looking forward to that. We will be touring in France and Spain in fall and we’ll do Japan again sometime in 2021. That’s all, more definite plans will come once the new record is ready, so stay tuned.

Before letting you go, this is your chance to say what you want to say and ask me a question!! It’s always a big pleasure to talk to you, see you at NoReason Fest!
MIKE: Andrea, thanks again for the interview. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. But what can I ask you? Hmmm… Can I just ask you to just keep up the good work? Keep booking and playing shows, keep IBR and your bands alive, help shape and build the Italian punk rock scene and bring it to the rest of the globe… just keep your heart out there and keep being you. Can you do that for me?

Oh sure, Mike! I will never give up my friend!

Special Thanks Goes To John Proffitt Jr. for editing the interview

Info about Punk Rock Raduno

E’ sulla bocca di tutti ormai da tempo, quindi non servono grandissime presentazioni, sicuramente diffondere il comunicato ufficiale può aiutare a fare un po’ di chiarezza a chi ancora ha qualche dubbio o perplessità. 
La mia opinione è che sarà davvero una bella festa, oserei dire in famiglia. Tanti amici, tante band, tanta bella musica e i soliti accordi per quattro giorni. Non basta?
Nel nostro piccolo, stiamo cercando di dare il nostro contributo così unendo le forze con altre realtà come S.N.A.F.U., No Reason Records e Poison Heart ‘Zine (rip) abbiamo deciso di realizzare una fanzine in vecchio stile. Nessuna anticipazione – anche perchè siamo nel bel mezzo dei lavori – mi permetto di dire a nome di tutti che siamo davvero orgogliosi di come si sta evolvendo consapevoli che sarà davvero un bel “giornalino”. 
A quanto pare sono rimasti pochi posti liberi nell’ostello punk rock, quindi consiglio vivamente a chi avesse bisogno di un posto letto di prenotare. Concerto esclusivo e compilation del Raduno incluse nel prezzo. Mica male.
 
Otis Tours e Stripedmusic.com present:
Punk Rock Raduno
July 14-15-16-17 2016 Edonè – Bergamo
Innovative, free admission, all ages, open to everyone and to all kinds of ideas. Andrea Caredda (the Manges, Veterans, Striped Music) and Franz Barcella (Otis Tours, Edonè, Radio BAM!) have spent a big part of their lives being active in the underground scene, and they are now working together on a new festival, based on the very simple concept:
“what if we bring together all the labels, distros, bands and artists of the International punk rock scene, in a single, open event?”
Not a single brand. Not built around a single name, or a star. Just a showcase, and a rally (“raduno”), for a part of the underground that never stopped being active, and also a great party that everyone is invited to join.
This is the first edition line up:
Thu July 14 2016 // WARMUPSHOW (20:00 – 24:00) 
DEECRACKS (Austria)
MIDRAKE (Switzerland)
SUGUS (Spain)
MEGA (Italy)
Fri July 15 2016 // DAYONE (20:00 – 24:00) 
CHIXDIGGIT! (Canada)
JIMMY VAPID (Canada)
TOUGH (Italy)
VOLKOV (Italy)
Sat July 16 2016 // DAYTWO (15:00 – 24:00) 
THE MANGES (Italy)
ZATOPEKS (UK)
BABY SHAKES (USA)
MUGWUMPS (Austria)
THE LEECHES (Italy)
LUCY AND THE RATS (UK)
THE RATCLIFFS (Austria)
Sun July 17 2016 // #FILLERDAY (12:00 – 20:30)
SLANDER (Italy)
COUNCIL OF RATS (Italy)
TEENAGE BUBBLEGUMS (Italy)
Chixdiggit! European exclusive gig for their 25th anniversary? Check!
Zatopeks celebrating their 15th? Check!
Jimmy Vapid playing The Vapids hits backed by the MugwumpsCheck!
Punk Rock Raduno will take place at Spazio Giovani Edonè in Bergamo, a multifunctional venue already known for underground events like Bergamo Sottosuolo, The Exhibition Night, Monster Zero Summer Mash, Vintage Roots Festival, Bergamo Reggae and more.
To help all the people that will attend from out of town (and out of Italy), taking advantage of the (very close) Bergamo international airport, and to create an original “festival experience”, the dedicated offer is #punkrockhostel In the event days, the high-quality Bergamo Hostel, located in Monterosso (10 minutes walk to the venue) will accept only the festival crowd and artists. Beside accommodation and breakfast, the guests will receive a copy of the Punk Rock Raduno compilation, gadgets, and access to an exclusive secret show that will take place in the hostel. It is still possible to book accomodation at:
The punk record labels that will take part in the first edition are Surfin’ Ki Records (Italy), It’s Alive Records (USA), Monster Zero Records (Austria), Striped Records (Italy).
They will have at least two bands of their roster playing at the fest, and they contributed to the release of a vinyl LP of the Punk Rock Raduno. 18 previosly unreleased or rare songs from the 18 bands composing the festival line up. The record will be available at the event, and hostel guests will get a free copy. And there is more: DJ sets, Ramones.World exhibit, merchandise and records vendors, the Punk Rock Raduno fanzine.
Edonè is also an excellent hangout for food&beverages lovers, with his choice of restaurant, pizzeria, burgers, cupcakes, Italian specialties, cocktail bar. The Sunday July 17 will be dedicated to a special edition of Filler, the Italian convention of skate/punk/hardcore/DIY art and illustration.
Discover more at www.punkrockraduno.com

Battle Of The Bands

Bom Prò – Autobus N° 7

Che li si conosca o meno, i Bom Prò da Livorno sono quasi 20 anni che suonano e nonostante il tempo passato hanno mantenuto inalterato lo spirito che li ha sempre contraddistinti, ossia quel sound anni ’90 marchiato tricolore che tanto ci ha faceva battere il cuore, ormai anni fa.

In Autobus 7, tra momenti di alta goliardia/genuina “idiozia” (nel senso buono del termine sia chiaro, vedi Trombadaria, BirreQuaglia Innamorata) e sprazzi di maturità (Autobus n°7) i vecchi punk-rockers livornesi, a mio avviso, azzeccano l’album condito con ottimi cori  scuola Flower-Punk e con due cover, I Can’t be, già comparsa nella Compilation Tributo dei Ramones, e Forza Sugar dei Rockin’ Horse. Fare un album in italiano è ormai utopico ma i ragazzi hanno dimostrando che con il giusto spirito tutto è possibile.

Durango 95 – Fuckin’ 40

 

 

Ho ricordi vaghissimi dei Durango 95, ricordo un lontano passato come cover/tribute band dei Ramones ( il nome è comunque abbastanza eloquente) e poi niente più.
A distanza di tanti anni, ho nuovamente notizie da parte loro, da quello che ho capito Ivano si è circondato di ex-membri dei Cani Pazzi e ha sparato fuori questo disco.
E’ punk rock in italiano, ben suonato, ben prodotto e con dei bei cori ma che a volte cade davvero troppo nel banale (caratteristica comunque frequente del punk-rock in italiano ,eh).
Gli spunti interessanti ci sono vedi, Fottuti 40, Un incubo, Happy (con la presenza di Ally Bubblegum), a voler dimostrare che non è necessario parlare di canne e sbirri per fare del buon punk-rock in italiano.
Scelta coraggiosa coverizzare in italiano (Lo sceriffo, Death or Glory, E’ tutto ok) ben 3 pezzi di 3 mostri sacri che a dire il vero non mi convincono affatto. Sinceramente mi aspettavo molto di più da chi gli anni ’90 li ha vissuti in pieno, ma il mio parere vale davvero zero e sono certo che a molti altri quest’album sarà piaciuto e piacerà.

Cavaverman – 8​-​bit From Hell

Ho già avuto modo di parlare dei Cavaverman (ex-Viboras) lo scorso anno con la recensione di James Dead Again, ci lasciarono con un bel disco dal sapore Misfits/periodo Graves. E questo nuovo ep, continua sull’onda precedente a voler dimostrare che la passione per zombie, videogames 8-bit (leitmotiv dell’ EP) è eterno anche se i 20 anni li hai già passati da un pezzo. Suonato bene (ma son certo che son in grado di fare ancora meglio) spicca senza dubbio la voce del cantante, incredibilmente potente e da sfruttare in pieno nelle prossime uscite (a quanto pare stanno lavorando a un nuovo album). Noi li aspetteremo con molta curiosità. Merita l’ascolto.

 

Honey – Honey

 

Adesso è il turno di parlare di un nome nuovo. Oddio, non proprio nuovo visto che mi hanno scritto tipo mille mesi fa, mille volte e solo ora mi sono messo a recensire l’album. Bene, gli Honey sono dei giovanotti della Romagna – nuove leve per intenderci – ma che sanno il fatto loro. Si parla di punk rock/hardcore melodico anni ’90, colpisce la buona tecnica di base e un’ottima conoscenza dei “principi fondamentali” del periodo,
Pur risultando in alcuni casi un po’ acerbi e violando ben due delle mie regole musicali (mai superare i 2:30 minuti e mai chitarre in levare), mi sento di promuovere i ragazzi aspettando con curiosità nuovo materiale. Ah, la Morning Wood Records, label olandese, ha pubblicato il disco. Che ci abbiano visto lungo?

 

Dee Cracks/Zatopeks – Behind the spotlight

 

 

C’era una volta Dee Dee Ramone, bassista della band più figa di tutti tempi che prese una clamorosa sbandata per il rap, abbandonò tutto, cambiò nome d’arte e incise Standing In The Spotlight. Riscontri negativi del periodo a parte, sin dal mio primo ascolto ho sempre considerato l’album una piccola gemma: lo stile di Dee Dee è il migliore anche quando vuol far cagare.
A distanza di 25 anni, Dee Cracks e Zatopeks, in collaborazione con Striped Music e il Ramones Museum di Berlino, si sono uniti per omaggiare la loro amicizia e il compianto Dee Dee interpretando due pezzi a testa e dandoci un’idea di come avrebbero potuto suonare i pezzi in chiave-Ramones: i DeeCracks pescano Brooklyn Babe e Poor little rich girl, Zatopeks rispondono con Mash Potato Time e Baby Doll.
I pezzi (praticamente i miei preferiti) e gli interpreti – bene o male – li conosciamo tutti e sappiamo già cosa aspettarci: questo disco oltre ad essere un bel pezzo da collezione è il giusto e passionale omaggio verso un vero e proprio “Re“. Da avere assolutamente.

 

3 Shots For Easter

La domenica di Pasqua, per quanto mi riguarda, è storicamente una domenica normale, ma senza partite. Approfittando quindi del tempo, faccio il mio esordio su IBR con una tripla recensione di dischi che hanno monopolizzato i miei ascolti nelle ultime settimane, in ordine di gradimento.
Lawrence Arms – 2014 – Metropole
 
 
Torna, dopo ormai quasi sette anni dal meraviglioso Oh, Calcutta!, una delle mie band preferite di sempre. Ho atteso l’uscita con particolare ansia, e non nascondo di essermi trovato un po’ interdetto di fronte al primo singolo You are here, che non mi ha entusiasmato particolarmente. L’ascolto del disco per intero è stata una liberazione; come in passato, i miei preferiti rimangono i pezzi cantati da Brendan Kelly, più urlati e truci sia musicalmente che a livello di liriche. Si va da pezzi che trasudano disagio urbano come Chilean District o Paradise Shitty a poesie come Seventeener. Il tutto secondo un unico filo conduttore, ovvero la crescita (e/o l’invecchiamento, vedete voi), raccontando storie sulla propria città (Chicago) e su luoghi in perenne cambiamento.
La palma d’oro del pezzo migliore, ed è strano tenendo conto dei miei gusti relativamente ai TLA, la vince Beautiful Things, cantata da Chris. Un disco profondo ed emozionante, c’è poco altro da aggiungere.
Unica pecca: il booklet è come al solito farcito di citazioni letterarie, una per ogni pezzo…rispetto ai dischi precedenti, però, mancano completamente i riferimenti rispetto a dove siano state tratte. Ma questa è una perversione mia e li perdono.
Zatopeks – 2013 – About bloody time
Secondo nella mia classifica per mezzo punto. Nelle pause che mi sono concesso da Metropole ho consumato il nuovo disco degli Zatopeks, ormai da anni divisi tra Londra e Berlino. Uscito per la It’s Alive, About bloody time è il disco che ti aspetti dagli Zatopeks. Punk rock alla Ramones, echi di rock’n’roll anni ’50, ballatone. Il tutto nello stile poetico a cui ci hanno abituati i cinque inglesi con i dischi precedenti. Si parte da One Evening e Alert!, classici pezzoni in quattro quarti; quest’ultima impreziosita da strofe parlate e declamate dal megafono. Si procede tra accelerate improvvise (Politics, Neu-Isenburg) e ballads quasi commoventi (Acetate).
Aggiungeteci che live sono divertentissimi e sono dei ragazzi d’oro. Questo per quanto mi riguarda è sufficiente. Bentornati Zatopek Boys!
The Menzingers – 2014 – Rented World
Mmm…aspettative troppo alte dopo On the impossible past e il nuovo singolo In remission rendono Enri un po’ perplesso. Il disco è oggettivamente bello, ma la sterzata verso terreni meno aggressivi è evidente. Poche urla, poche sfuriate, un disco molto più indie nel senso un po’ pallosino del termine rispetto al precedente. I pezzi belli ci sono (Where your heartache exists e la stessa In remission sono delle bombe), per il resto mi viene a mancare un po’ quella sensazione disperata e lancinante che mi aveva lasciato On the impossible past. Peccato, ma li aspetto comunque al Groezrock!

Lawrence Arms – Metropole  

TRACKLIST:
01 – Chilean District
02 – You Are Here
03 – Hickey Avenue
04 – Seventeener (17th and 34th)
05 – Beautiful Things
06 – Acheron River
07 – Metropole
08 – Drunk Tweets
09 – The YMCA Down the Street from the Clinic
10 – Never Fade Away
11 – Paradise Shitty
12 – October Blood

BAND:
Brendan Kelly – Vocals, Bass
Chris McCaughan – Vocals, Guitar
Neil Hennessy – Drummer

Zatopeks – About Bloody Time

TRACKLIST:


01 – One Evening
02 – Alert!
03 – The Romance Of A Bus Stop In The Rain
04 – Politics
05 – Acetate
06 – Neu-Isenburg
07 – Wait For The Fall
08 – Chequerboard
09 – Exile Blues
10 – Baltic Moon
11 – Mechanised
12 – Life Is Elsewhere

BAND:
Will DeNiro – vocals
Sebby Zatopek – guitar
Pete Sematary – drums
Sammie the Giant – bass, vocals
Spider – guitar, vocals

The Menzingers – Rented World

TRACKLIST:
01 – I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore
02 – Bad Things
03 – Rodent
04 – Where Your Heartache Exists
05 – My Friend Kyle
06 – Transient Love
07 – The Talk
08 – Nothing Feels Good Anymore
09 – Hearts Unknown
10 – In Remission
11 – Sentimental Physics
12 – When You Died

BAND:
Greg Barnett – Guitar/Vocals
Tom May – Guitar/Vocals
Eric Keen – Bass
Joe Godino – Drums

di Enri Gluesniffer