One week before their upcoming Japanese tour, Chicago raw punk rockers from BOILERMAN team up with IDIOTEQ to share another new tune from their new full length ‘Feel Ways About Stuff’, out May 6th via 86’d Records in the States, All In Vinyl in the UK, Sad Punk Records in Argentina, and Waterslide Records in Japan. Judgin from the new track, the angry, yet melodic punk, in all its righteous fury and addictive catchiness, becomes a foundation for these boys to create a signature sound that will flow through this new upcoming LP. “Some Help”carries some powerful punk melodies and it seems that its smart blend of old and new are mixed to create some highly listenable songs. Stay tuned for the full album and meanwhile, play the new single and scroll down to read the full interview with the band.
Live photos by Patrick Houdek.
Hey there guys! How’s Chicago doing this fine Spring?
Chicago’s pretty good! Weird weather, but that’s pretty standard here.
Having close family in Chicago and not visiting them not even once is so lame and I happen to found myself in this awkward situation :) What would you say to convince a hardcore / punk rock webzine writer and independent music enthusiast to visit Illinois? Tell us a bit about your local music scene, how thriving it is and how it has evolved since your forming back in 2010.
One of the best things about Chicago is that there is a really big punk scene. There’s something for everyone no matter where your tastes lie. This is a double-edged sword in that it leads to a somewhat fractured scene since there are so many people and so many shows that someone can easily just go see the very specific things they’re interested in and ignore the rest. On any given night you could probably go to a grind show or a pop punk show or an indie show or a jazz show. That said, Chicago punk has been, and continues to be, a diverse and overall supportive scene since our inception. We’ve played with bands that run the gamut in terms of genre and it’s great. Like all places, it goes in cycles, but there’s never too long a stretch without an awesome new band rising from the ashes of an old one or a group of young kids starting new stuff.
How did you decide to cement your contribution to the local punk rock scene and form BOILERMAN? Tell us about your beginning, other associated acts and the very roots of your involvement in rebellious, notorious music business.
In 2009, I had a few songs written for a band that I wanted to do, but had no people in mind. I had four of the demo songs completely record with me playing everything, but didn’t know what I was going to do with them. When I met Joey, who was playing in some hardcore bands at the time, we bonded over our love of bands like THE BROADWAYS and I asked him if he’d want to drum for the project I was working on. We got a friend of mine to play bass who then left about a year later and Kris joined the fold. Since then, we’ve made every attempt to ignore the music business altogether.
There’s a lot of freedom in DIY, but this way of life can be a hard nut to crack, too. Do you have regular day jobs? How do you balance between your everyday lives and BOILERMAN?
We all have regular jobs. Right now, Joey lives in Japan and is a full time teacher, I substitute teach and work in a restaurant in Chicago, and Kris works in a restaurant in Philly. When we were all in Chicago, we all had various jobs. BOILERMAN has never been the means to an end. The point of it has always been to just play music we like and maybe wasn’t played that often when we started. Assuming a band is going to pay the bills is a great way to get disappointed and make something fun and rewarding into something stressful and frustrating.
Ok guys, back to your music, your new record “Feel Ways About Stuff” comes out in early May via 86d Records (US), All In Vinyl (UK), Sad Punk Records (AR), and Waterslide Records (Japan). How did you team up with these labels?
We have worked with 86’d, All In Vinyl, and Waterslide on past releases and consider the people involved with each of them friends and like-minded individuals, which are things that you don’t come by too often. Sad Punk is a label Wells from 86’d has worked with in the past and has also split a release I did on my label, Hip Kid Records. All the labels are awesome and have very solid catalogs aside from the BOILERMAN stuff.
Can you comment on how your latest inspirations influenced your sound on this new record? Also, apart from music, what inspires you to write?
What mostly inspires me to write are every day occurrences that either slightly shift how I think about something or upset me in some way. More often, it’s the latter. I regularly feel a fair amount of disgust and disappointment about the world around me and I’d say that’s chiefly what fuels my writing for BOILERMAN. In terms of sound, we all have really diverse musical tastes, so it’s hard to pinpoint certain things that directly impact the new record, other than SLAYER.
Was there any specific idea behind the album’s name? Also, what were some of the concepts for these tracks?
The idea behind the album’s title comes from the general indifference that we see penetrating a lot of music. From the vapid, empty platitudes of most youth crew bands to the goofy, sophomoric content of a lot of pop punk, I mostly don’t have time for things that have no substance. The tracks themselves are just things I feel strongly about and a running theme is a consistent disappointment with humanity and the idea that the world would probably be better without us.
DIY punk aesthetic is something that has constantly been evolving. How do you feel about the pairing of today’s fast digital times and the underground nature of independent punk movement?
I think the freedom that digital music has brought to DIY great. I’m still someone who wants to have lots of music physically, but the availability of music and the ability to distribute music widely and cheaply has had an overall positive impact on DIY music. Not to mention the fact that recording has become much more affordable and accessible for bands to do themselves.
How do you see punk rock doing over the next 20 years?
I don’t see it going anywhere. Trends will come and go, but there will still be people that are passionate about punk twenty years from now that are contributing to the scene. This past month my other band, Rash, played a show around the release of a great Chicago hardcore documentary called NO DELUSIONS. Seeing the diversity, energy, and excitement of that show featuring a huge range of ages, as well as some bands that have been around for 20 years, makes me very confident that 20 years from now won’t be any different.
Ok guys, you’ve been touring heavily since day one. Are there plans to keep it up this year and book more shows, perhaps some European stops?
Right now, the only concrete tour plans we have is to play in Japan in late April/early May. With Joey in Japan and Kris and I in different states, touring will definitely be less heavy than in the past. Still, we do intend to keep doing things when it works for us and hopefully get some US shows in when Joey’s home if possible. As for Europe, maybe at some point!
How do you feel about your upcoming Japanese trek? Are you familiar with their punk rock scene? What do you expect to take from this run?
I’m personally only vaguely familiar with Japan’s punk scene, but what I know rules! We’ve played with a few Japanese bands in Chicago while they were on tour, like THIRSTY CHORDS, TURNCOAT, YOUR PEST BAND, and SANHOSE. I can’t wait to play with some of those bands in their home country. I’m trying to have very few expectations for this trip. I’m just excited to be in Japan and see how their scene functions and play with friends’ bands. I can’t wait.
Ok guys, many thanks for sharing time with IDIOTEQ. Is there anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
I think that about covers it unless you have anything else you want me to clear up. Thanks a lot for the interest and the questions! Hope all’s well in Warsaw!
Yeah, it’s all good! Thanks a lot! Cheers from Warsaw and good luck on the road!