Banjo infused cowpunk band ALLDEEPENDS discuss new album, punk ethics, politics, and more

9 mins read

ALLDEEPENDS are a banjo-driven DIY hardcore cowpunk rock’n’roll riot of a three-piece band, currently residing in Dundee, Scotland. Having met amongst kindred spirits at art school and formed in the epicentre of east coast cowpunk that is Conroy’s Basement in late 2019, ALLDEEPENDS played their first ever show at Book Yer Ane Fest XIII. A couple of UK runs followed, a well-earned reputation for wild live shows the result.

The four horsemen of the apocalypse and a global pandemic couldn’t stop the rock. The debut “Hello MY NAME IS” 7” was released through MTAT in May 2020, “the final punk 7” under neoliberalism” we hopefully proclaimed at the time. Thankfully, ALLDEEPENDS abide, develop, evolve and adapt; creativity an existential escape, a moment of immersive reflection, absorption, tension, release; “Throwing A Pit To Nothing”.

Written, demoed and performed by the band, recorded and mixed by Harris at Dundee Music Studios and mastered by Ant Booth at Kesbri Studios, “Throwing A Pit To Nothing” is the debut LP from ALLDEEPENDS. Instantly recognisable yet with marked progression from the EP, “Throwing A Pit To Nothing” is lightening in a bottle; a uniquely driven band with borderless vision, insight, emotional intelligence and will to act beyond talk.

We sat down with the band to unveil some more details behind their project, discuss the cowpunk style, the Scottish folk punk scene, and more! Check out the full exclusive first listen of their new album and our full interview below.

Throwing A Pit To Nothing” is available for preorder from MTAT now. Ten front to back bangers form an instant cowpunk classic on two sides of “pick’n’mix” random coloured vinyl (first run of 300 copies),
six-panel CD, digital download and various bundle options, releasing worldwide on Friday 10th June 2022.

ALLDEEPENDS are finalising dates for their June/July US Tour. MTAT are currently booking European Tour dates for November in the run up of Book Yer Ane Fest XV, happening at Rad Apples in Dundee, Scotland from Friday 25th through Sunday 27th November 2022

Filmed on location live in Dundee, Scotland, the band’s “xX_DUND0N14N V4MP1R35_Xx” movie features appearances from members of Portable Heads, Truth Ruiner, Papa D, The MARX, Ramona Flower’s Fan Club and more. Tune in below.

Please tell us a bit more about your background and how it all got started for the band.

(Hooligan): I’m Hooligan, I was born and grew up in the 90’s in Mexico City. In a place where anything outside Cumbias, banda or bootleg pop music was almost taboo. My parents did claim to both like the Beatles but looking back I don’t know if they new the Beatles outside their yellow submarine hits. I remember my mum having a three record collection composed of Celine Dion, Eddie Brickel and Rod Stewart. My older cousin Adrian came over to stay one summer and he would stay up till 3 in the morning to watch a show in mtv called “head bangers”. I was never aloud to stay up that late but I think that made me understand that to find great music you must go out of your way.

At that point in time the internet wasn’t full on in Mexico. He knew the music he liked would only come through that tv at 3am so he was there for it!! Punk came to me by the phenomena of contraband, with bootleg cassetes and cd’s, in high school one thing led to another and me and best friend started a “HappyPunk” band. We were called trampolin, he played guitar properly and I had a shot at some drums a couple of times, so that got me the position of the drummer. I didn’t have a drum kit so we were practicing in the garage with a small amp a guitar and I was hitting bins and lids, anything that resembled a drum, and I’ve never stopped being involved in music ever since. Since then I played in a couple of other projects, mainly Thefireandi and IDKID, 20 years later and now we are here.

With ALLDEEPENDS I guess the story might start with the three of us moving to Dundee about the same time. I was living in Glasgow but applied for an art and philosophy course, John is super mysterious but he also ended up applying for a fine art course, and Nick was doing a masters on medical illustration. I met Nick at a MTAT show, it was Joe McMahon that give nick a shout and said “Nick has just moved here from America so talk to him after the show “ so I did. Then I met John whom I recognise from uni I just remembered being super high on coffee, the gig was Kaddish / Indica show, back then we met our friend miki Miki from Japan, sadly she was going to move away for her job in like 3 weeks but we did arrange to jam!! and holy shit John was amazing on the bass. So that sadly never went anywhere apart from writing a couple of songs.


Then after that Nick was driving my old band up to a festival in the highlands and I new they had a project called misery guts. Anyway, while we were up there nick gatecrashed a radio session and played a version of “I payed for my college education and I’m going to fucking use it” and a cover of tuff, and I was like, “man you should do something with that”, then we organised a jam, and then I was like “I KNOW THE BASS PLAYER” and now we are here!

(Nick): I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and was fortunate enough to have a father that was a punk in the 80s and remained active throughout my life, so I started going to DIY shows in my early teens and absorbed the music and community. I jokingly say I was an apprentice punk for many years, this is my first band I couldn’t be prouder.

What were some of the inspirations for this unique banjo driven cowpunk style of yours?

(Hooligan): Well, after “hello my name is” which is made of 4 songs, and the instruments were guitar, bass drums, and during lockdown Nick was playing a lot of banjo to the point that they wrote a couple of songs that we wanted to try but instead of translating them for guitar we ended up adding a pic to the banjo and they sounded great! Then we translated all our songs to banjo and wrote the whole album like that!

(Nick): I have always been around the banjo growing up and it felt like a very natural transition. Even when playing electric guitar, I never used a pick because I’m too clumsy and always drop them. The banjo is a very rhythmic instrument, because of the high 5th drone string, giving it lots of triplet and rolls, which opens up a lot of melodic opportunities for John on bass. At its core though, the banjo has a history of folk and protest music, and these traditional styles were meant for fast dance music. I think its overlooked in a modern alt music context.

Please drop us a quick overview of the Scottish cowpunk / folk punk scene. What’s your take on this particular community?

(Hooligan): Geographically Scotland is tiny, which affects somewhat how many folk punk bands / grind core / doom.etc, there are, which means there is no way you could have a scene with 2 bands, that would be more like a “cult”. Actually in Dundee there is not many bands with those folk punk sonic TENDENCIES apart from Tragical History Tour and us.

So in reality what brings the scene together is the punk ethos and the DIY culture, I think because of this we are able to see past this sonic differences and we get involved with the heaviest of bands and the subtlest of songwriters . pretty similar to ALLDEEPENDS we have different backgrounds but our ethos have the same baselines, as artist our art practices are very different but we recognise those differences, similarities and enjoy them, bringing them into the band.

Diversity is beautiful, so in the wider sense the scenes, network extends through out the island and beyond. We love having people play here and getting them involved that way, example of Toodles and The Hectic Pity, they are a folk punk band that is from Bristol, but by coming to play a show with us they are getting involved in our scene, therefore being a part of our local scene.

(Nick): It’s rare and valuable to find people so active and welcoming. Compared to large American cities, it is very easy to recognize fellow creatives, make connections and become part of things. In the age of the internet, there is truly one big scene, you just gotta reach out.


How would you comment on the current post pandemic state of the music scene?

(Hooligan): A little analogy to touring or a road trip…I think we were already in our way doing our thing but we needed to stop for some gas and refreshments, we even had a chance to check up on the oil and tyre pressure.

(Nick): I suppose post-pandemic is kind of a relative term, but I think a lot of people have had ideas and passions fermenting over the past few years, and things are beginning to ramp up for everyone. We have all been living under an incredible passive tension, and my hope is that everyone will recognize how important new live music is to our collective culture, and will be eager to get out and support each other.

Ok, so back to your new album, lyrically, what is “Throwing A Pit To Nothing” about?

(Nick): So I wrote all of my lyrics and I have a word association process that I go through to fill out the ranting verses. I keep a massive backlog of terms I hear in conversations, idioms and little snippets of poetry that I find or come to me. One day I’ll have to make a guide explaining all the little references, I really try not to write any throwaway lines.

Each song is generally based on a loose idea or concept like ‘the alienating speed of news-as-entertainment media’ or ‘growing up as a queer person in a rural setting’ or ‘vandalism as a political act of dissent’ and gradually string these references and turns of phrase together. I particularly love subverting a well known phrase to turn its meaning like ‘dot my T’s and cross my eye’ for example. Very lyrical rap is a big inspiration for the vocal delivery, hopefully the blast of imagery and references grants the listener a sense of context.


What does punk mean for you guys?

(Hooligan): I think our songs are punk because of our inherent ethos as a band. I guess the nature of it is that we recognise that something like voting a or b does very little for our community but what really contributes to bringing forward radical ideas and actions is Culture.

That’s what punk is, getting ( x ) together in an alternative way.

(Nick): All three of us came to an anarchist outlook independently, and that informs all of our actions. Communicating these ideas through songs does a lot of the work that asking people to read Kropotkin can’t (even if we all love reading theory haha). From singing songs of African ancestral resistance in the American south during the slave period, to the coal mining strikes, music (banjo music specifically in this context) has been a tool to speak against violent oppression.

Punk is a straight line from that in my mind.

What’s your take on the current geopolitical situation and the war in Ukraine?

(Nick): Uneven power dynamics and the exploitation of the many by the few is nothing new, but resistance and dissent are just as eternal. For example, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while deplorable, is not unprecedented. The Muscovites, the Tsars, the Bolsheviks, the USSR, and the Russian Federation have all tried to occupy this region for it’s natural resources, food, and warm water access to the Mediterranean. This does not excuse it, just shows that governmental structures are willing to use violent means to secure their power and rob the autonomy of others. Time is a flat circle, but that does not diminish the importance of standing opposed to those taking personal advantage of it.

Ok guys, so what are your plans for the rest of the year?

(Hooligan): A tour in the east coast of America these June and a tour of Europe in November, making a bunch of videos and maybe some zines.

(Nick): We are all visual artist in our own right, so we all have a number of galleries, and commissions and degree shows and such in the future as well. Plus we can’t stop writing new music, so more will be on the way shortly.

Where would you like to perform live and why?

(Hooligan): High schools, community places wherever it would make an impact and challenge ideas, but obviously you don’t know what will make an impact and what won’t so we’d like to go everywhere, create a bigger DIY network.

(Derrick MTAT): I’m currently working on the European Tour plans and booking dates. If anyone in Europe, in this first instance France, northern Spain, Switzerland, northern Italy, Germany, Czechia, Austria, Netherlands and/or Belgium would like to book the band, please get in touch.

There will be a wider European Tour in 2023 and we’ll be looking to visit more of Eastern Europe and Scandanavia; hopefully looping up through Norway, Sweden and Finland before perhaps visiting Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Poland before heading back towards the shitty north atlantic archipelago we call home. Fuck Brexit. No borders, no nations. When capital is free to cross international borders but humans are not, we exist under corporate fascism,

If anyone would like to help us in booking shows or providing signposts, please do get in touch via [email protected].

Awesome! Thanks so much for your time and please share your final words or any type of open message for your readers and the world you feel is worth before we say goodbye.

(Hooligan): Go and start a band, support and question different ideas!

Draw something, paint your name in walls, take pictures, look at pictures, go to local events, make your own events, read a book, write your ideas.

The world needs you and your expression to make better sense of this reality!

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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