After their explosive set at Union Transfer this past weekend (if you’ve ever seen them live you’d understand the energy they’ve got, packed with a punch), Philly Mixtape drank some music tea with The So So Glos, which or may not have been spiked.
Break a tea mug with So So Glos brothers Alex (singer/bassist) and Ryan (guitarist / singer), as they spill about the records that made them who they are today, and just what their new record, Kamikaze, will be all about.
PM- How is Kamikaze going to be different from your previous record, Blowout?
Alex- It’s going to pick up where Blowout left off. I like records where you could listen to one and you can put on the next and it sounds like a continuation. Kamikaze is like the next saga. Darker, Angrier, Sparser. It’s more direct. The highs are higher, the lows are lower. The loud is louder.
Ryan- We didn’t plan it out that way. It was a just a natural progression.
PM – You guys had a chance to play Letterman before he signed off the late show circuit. What was that like?
Alex –I don’t really remember being up there. It was like a really quick flash. Letterman was cool because of that space. The Ed Sullivan Theater. The Beatles played there you know?
PM – Do you guys maybe see any other televised performances in the music future?
Ryan – We don’t really think about it. Those are all just an added bonus.
PM – You guys also write a lot about this so-called current generation “z” and how they’re lost in technology.
Alex – Oh is that what they’re calling it now? I think we’re like the last generation to grow up with a concept of tangibility. We remember a time before the Internet. Sometimes I feel super hopeful. There’s just so much more information that kids have their hands on. Without the experience though, you lose these very important skills like looking people in the eye. You go to the doctor and he won’t even look you in the eye. Sometimes I feel hopeless. The only thing we can do is talk about it. I think people need to be reminded of humanity all the time. We’re losing it in a way.
PM – Which albums influenced you as young music kids? Any favorites in the crate right now?
Alex – The first Specials record was one of the most influential records for me. I loved it. “Do The Dog” “Concrete Jungle” “Stupid Marriage.” It was miles and miles ahead of everything that was happening. It’s a hodgepodge of styles.
Ryan – When we were kids our parents played us a lot of 70s punk stuff / new wave stuff. I was into that early on and then “Dookie” came out.
Alex – Operation Ivy “Energy.” That was a huge influence for “Blowout”s album art. Wu Tang “36 Chambers” is one of the best records of all time. Beastie Boys “Licensed To Ill.” Why don’t we throw Clash in there too. “London Calling.” It’s one of those records you can always go back to. You are never done with it. The first Violent Femmes record.
Ryan – Cyndi Lauper “She’s So Unusual” that’s definitely one of our favorite records. The Kinks “Arthur.” We grew up on a lot of Kinks.
PM – What does the word “punk” mean to you?
Ryan – It doesn’t matter.
Alex – It really doesn’t matter. You’ll know it when you see it. It’s a conversation that’s constantly happening in the Universe. And it doesn’t mean a leather jacket. It’s more about fighting through your inner demons; standing up and facing the day; to inspire someone to do the same thing.
PM – What’s been one of your favorite cities to play in?
Ryan – On this tour, Cleveland was cool. It’s a rock n roll town. Boston was really fun. Some cities are exciting to get to. Detroit. New Orleans…but not so much for the show. I like playing Shea stadium.
PM – Do you consider yourself in the punk scene?
Alex – No.
Ryan – There’s more bands that call themselves punk bands now than when we started. Punk is in now. It wasn’t when we started.
Alex – Labels and genres are less important than they’ve ever been. We’ve never been accepted into any scene. We’re outsider artists in a way. There’s no band around that sounds quite like us. We like hip hop. When we started artsy kids were laughing at us. Hardcore kids said we were too pop. We just started our own culture. You gotta build your own army. We’ve never been scene-sters.
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