Two months before their upcoming European Summer tour with Polish hardcore band GOVERNMENT FLU, California hardcore powerhouse BUSTED OUTLOOK checks in with an insightful interview for IDIOTEQ! The band will be releasing their new 12” on Refuse Records for that tour and you bet it’s a killer follow up to their two previous 7-inches on Warthog Speak and Speedowax Records. Tracked, mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley at The Atomic Garden in East Palo Alto, California, the full record is available for streaming below. Check it out and scroll down to see our interview on the band, touring, DIY punk culture and politics.
BUSTED OUTLOOK hits Europe on July 20th. Joining them on the road will be US 80s hardcore inspired GOVERNMENT FLU.
Divebombs, breakdowns, dope solos, and good vibes to help you ride through summer 2016. Fast, unapologetic and political hardcore that combines elements of NYHC and early 80s USHC. Current or former members of PERMANENT RUIN, IN DISGUST, CONDITION, NO MISTAKE, STRESSORS, HOSTILE TAKEOVER / Refuse Records
Photo by Angela Owens.
Hey Jeremy! Thanks a lot for taking some time with IDIOTEQ! How are you? Already stoked to fly into Europe this Summer?
Hello! We are all very excited to be touring Europe this summer. Playing at Fluff fest is something we have wanted to do and we are happy to have the chance this year.. it should be great!
Oh it will be, I can promise you that. You’re a relatively new band and it’s very cool to see you hitting foreign lands without waiting 5 more years. Have you been touring Europe with other bands before?
When the opportunity arose we had to jump on it! We thank Robert at Refuse records for putting a lot of hard work into getting things organized and releasing our new LP. Two of our members actually toured over in Europe just last year with their band PERMANENT RUIN. Most of us have traveled there over the year.. I think only one person has not been. But I could be wrong about that :)
Which stops are you exceptionally looking forward to?
I think in general we are all pumped for the whole trip. It’s going to be a great time. I’m really looking forward to UK / Fluff / K-twon and Malmo to name a few. I don’t want to pick favorites really. I’m sure every show will have great things about them. I’ve never really been to the UK so that for sure is getting me excited. We wish our trip could be a little longer so we could hit spots in the Mediterranean but unfortunately we can’t take too much time away from home… this trip
20.07. Germany, Berlin @ Koma F
21.07. Czech Republic, Prague @ Cafe Na Pul Cesty, Pre-Fluff HC Matinee w/ Minority Of One (E), Spirits (US), Viva Belgrado (E), Petrol Girls (UK), Gust (S)
22.07. Czech Republic, Day Off
23.07. Czech Republic, Fluff Fest
24.07. Slovakia, Kosice
25.07. Poland, Krosno @ Respekt w/ S.A.T.A.N.
26.07. Poland, Kraków @ Piękny Pies
27.07. Germany, Chemnitz @ AJZ
28.07. Belgium, Antwerp @ Den Englantier
29.07. UK, Brighton
30.07. UK, Nottingham TBA
31.07. UK, London @ DIY Space For London w/ Suria
1.08. France, Paris TBA – no GOVERNMENT FLU
2.08. France, Strasbourg – no GOVERNMENT FLU
3.08. Germany (AVAILABLE – GET IN TOUCH!) – no GOVERNMENT FLU
4.08. Denmark, Copenhagen @ Ungdomshuset – no GOVERNMENT FLU
5.08. Sweden, Malmo – no GOVERNMENT FLU
6.08. Germany, Greifswald – no GOVERNMENT FLU
7.08. Germany, Leipzig @ Kulturcafe Manfred – no GOVERNMENT FLU
Tell me about your experiences traveling with bands – what have you learned from it and what has hurt or inspired you most?
Traveling with a band is my favorite thing to do. For me it’s the best way to travel because it allows you to see new places while also giving you purpose. I’m someone who needs to have a reason to be doing something. It’s hard for me to be a spectator because I get in the headspace that I could be doing more. It’s a strange outlook but that’s how I manage. Things that I have learned: No tour will be perfect. Not all the shows will be “good”. The biggest part of touring for me is to see new places and meet new people. I love playing music and having people come out to see you play is very rewarding.
Photo by Angela Owens.
Ok Jeremy, so back to the new stuff, how did you get in touch with Robert and become and joined Refuse Records?
I actually had little to do with that. I think the story goes something like when two members from BO were on tour over there last year with PERMANENT RUIN they met Robert and talked about stuff. Robert expressed interest working with us on a release and we just so happened to be writing an LP. I think this is how it came about. I might be wrong.. haha
Ok, so here we are on the verge of unveiling your debut 12’’. How do you feel about this new collection of raw, uncompromising tunes?
I feel great about this record. Our strongest material to date no doubt. The last record we did, “Spitting Wind” ep was a bit rushed and at the time I really didn’t know the direction I wanted to take the writing of songs. This LP has a good mix of jams on it. It just feels better overall. Can’t wait to get it out! I think people will be into it.. I hope :)
Your sound can be linked to dozens of your classic hardcore inspirations rooted in the original punk and DIY movement. Do you feel that old vibe and drive is still in today’s scene? How thriving is your local punk society and how would you comment on the state of today’s hardcore?
I think hardcore today is the best it’s been in a long while. New bands coming up every day it seems, and most of them are really good. The drive has got to be there. There are scenes here in the states that crank out great band after great band. It’s really inspiring. I dig it. The local punk “society” here in the bay area is going strong. Not as many bands as there have been in the past and maybe that’s because people are moving away and/or too busy working and trying to stay afloat. We have a strong scene here for diy. It’s just shrinking ever so slowly. Overall todays hardcore is looking good in my eyes.
I was hoping you could talk a little bit about some of the inspiring projects, bands, zines and initiatives from your area and how they inspire you. Are there some names or undertakings you’d like to share here?
Honestly I’m not involved with and initiatives or political movements at this time. The vocalist for BO, Rich is very much involved with a lot of things. He is part of a collective called Think and Die Thinking. That collective does a festival every year focusing on bands that contain members of the LGBTQ community. They do a great job being inclusive and helping out with other things in their community. Rich also does open writing sit-ins and a lot of art. More and more band are being more open their rosters, including all walks of life and that’s inspiring to me. Punk and Hardcore is not just for the white male. It’s as if it takes some people along time to figure that out but I’m glad things are turning in the right direction. I’m inspired by all new bands. I love to see what younger people come up with and also enjoy to see the direction in which the old heads go. The bay area does not have my favorite bands by any means but we have a lot of solid bands here and a lot of people with good heads on their shoulders. Plenty of people I could name for doing this or doing that but it would take me all day. haha
Ok, so back to BUSTED OUTLOOK, what stuff do you like to handle in your lyrics? Do you have some goals of increasing awareness of certain issues and educating your listeners?
Rich: I think the lyrics appear as calling out on issues, but often when I write it is about introspection, things that I notice in myself that I want to change. I never want to tell people what to do and I am for sure not going to pretend to be a judge on who’s good or bad, the world is much too harsh and confusing to place people in binaries like that. I like to talk about emotional vulnerability and the strength that come with that. I do hope that I can increase awareness in some way, using this platform I am giving to say something that means a lot to me, and being able to emote it in this manner its dangerous in the best ways.
Being a punk band, do you feel any pressure to be political or dead serious in your writing?
Rich: I don’t feel any pressure to be political, I feel often that black and brown peoples actions are politicized without our consent anyway. I personally choose to use the space given to say some shit, but sometimes I want to just put down the critical lens and that’s ok too.
Speaking of politics, how do you view the current political climate in the States? How do you feel about the current presidency and this whole drama around this year’s elections?
Rich: It’s atrocious, but it’s been bad, the states have had a whole other level of governmental suppression for a long time. The current presidency race is giving a lot of people a whole new feeling of powerlessness. I’m scared that Trump is going to become president and hit the reset button on everything, but maybe that’s a good thing that we blow each other up, I am sure the earth would be happy if all humans died. It’s hard to live in the states and be aware of certain privileges we have, but that shouldn’t deter us from speaking up on the countless dehumanizing aggression’s that happen here.
Is there one reasonable explanation for Trump’s rise?
Rich: Yes, Humans are stupid, but really nothing about Trumps rise is reasonable.
Ok guys, so let’s not serve the man even more undeserved promotion than he’s already received.
Back to the band, what’s the journey with BUSTED OUTLOOK been like so far? Also, generally speaking, what have you learned thanks to bands you’ve been in?
The journey has been really fun thus far. We have had the opportunity to tour the west coast, a handful of those days with Hounds of Hate. Play a couple fests and do a short run on the east coast. We try to do as much as we can with BO but sometimes life and other bands will put things on hold. This Euro trip is something we have been looking forward to for a while and we can’t wait to begin! I can’t speak for everyone obviously but main things I’ve learned from other bands I’ve played in is that you must try to always keep things positive. Negativity within a band dynamic makes things really unfun. Be respectful to each other and your hosts. If you can manage that everything will be fine.
What keeps you going?
The fact that you might learn something new or see something new. That’s what keeps me going. I love playing music, pretty much the only thing I actually like to do. There is something so great about being able to travel and play music at the same time. Nothing can top that.
Video: BUSTED OUTLOOK live at Damaged City Fest 2016 – GO HERE to read the full interview with the festival’s organizer Nick Candela, also of COKE BUST.
The mad rush for digital products and services seems to have increased in the past couple of years. Do you think this is a positive thing? What do you miss about previous decades?
I think today digital music is crucial. The resurgence in vinyl has made low level labels trying to release records struggle to get them out. It takes up to a year or more in some cases and in turn that makes the bands struggle because they won’t have anything to tour on etc. I will always prefer vinyl but it’s also good to have easily accessible music via digital download. I like cassettes a lot too :)
I miss the days when the general population thought records were extinct. Its seemed like it was more for the diy crowd but now they are back in the mainstream. But that’s how things go.. one day vinyl popularity will probably drop again and it will go back to us being able to get records out within two months.
Let’s hope the big fish labels will lose their interest in vinyl one day :)
Ok Jeremy, thanks a lot for your thoughts! Feel free to add you final word and take care! Good luck on the road!
Thanks so much for the interview! Check out our new LP now at the bandcamp out on Refuse Records next month! See you soon!!