“We believe in revolution, we believe in rock’n’roll”, we read on their official Facebook profile. Hailing from Albany, New York NEW RED SCARE follow their whiskey revolution and have teamed up with me for this interview to inject you their rock’n’rolla tunes, fill your minds with punk rock revolution and join the army against blind trust in the government and corporate institutions :) Joint the party and see what they’re up to below.
Hey, buddies! I wore an Upstart Fest 2012 shirt yesterday, proudly showing off after having received a nice promo package from your pals at Altercation Records :) and wondered when I’d be finally able to see this year’s line-up. Today I wake up and the first thing I see is the first set of bands for Upstart 2013, including you guys (!), CRY HAVOC, OC45, and THE MURDER WEAPON. It was kinda obvious you’d be on the bill again, right? :) Tell me more about last year’s edition and some of the expectations for this year’s party.
We had an absolute blast on Upstart Fest last year and are unbelievably excited to be doing it again! It was without question one of the best tours we’ve ever been part of, and being on the road with our Altercation brothers & sisters is like nothing else. It’s like a big, loud, wild family reunion.
And this year going to that much bigger and badder! Upstart has expanded from 4 days to 9 this year, covering more of the Northeast and including some places NEW RED SCARE will be playing for the first time, which is pretty exciting. We’re also particularly proud of bringing Upstart Fest to our hometown of Albany, NY for the first time, plus we also have a bunch of new material that we’re looking to debut at Upstart, so if you saw us last year there’s plenty new treats in store. There’s also a lot more bands are on the tour this year too including some yet-to-be-announced bands that I am personally super stoked for. You’re just going to have to wait and see…
Can’t wait to see the full bill, actually. Tell me more about this new material. What are you cooking up there?
Around the time of Upstart Fest last year, and the recording of our first full length record Waiting For A Spark we went through a line up change at guitar. So the new material is the first work written entirely start-to-finish with this current line up including TJ Hiemel and Mark Jablanski on guitar. It’s same type of politically-charged, throwback “punk-n-roll” sound NRS is known for but I think it has a new, larger and more frantic energy to it. And from a narrative stand point we’ve tried evolve on some of the themes from the last album. Where Waiting For A Spark was kind of a call-to-arms type battle cry, the new stuff comes more from a perspective of what do you do when the battle didn’t go your way. We see a lot of calls for revolution all around the world today but see very little of that progress and change that people are demanding actually taking place. So now, can you keep your head up, keep true to your ideals and find your own way independently in a world that would rather have you stay quiet? It’s survivalist punk! <laughs>
Yeah, man, you must keep that head high no matter what! No doubt about that.
What’s your battle cry?
There isn’t really a specific one really… Throughout the album there’s a plea to take action, change the world, be good to one another. Though I guess if you wanted a specific cry you could argue it’s the “Whiskey! Revolution!” hook from the song “No Sober Rebels”.
Haha! Yeah, the whiskey! Judging by some of the lyrics, descriptions and reviews, you’re obviously a booze-themed band ;) Are you really a rye lover? Any particular brands or flavors that deliver outstanding bursts and tasty balance? :)
Haha! I’m more into the bourbons and irish-whiskys than rye. My father’s actually a wine and spirits importer and distributor so I won’t discriminate between any brands here. But if you know any distillers looking for a rambunctious, rock n roll spokesperson, a few bottles could convince me to name names…
Haha! Alright, we’ll discuss that in private, shall we? ;)
You definitely are a politically-charged punk’n’roll machine. Personally, are you into politics? Do you get involved somehow?
I try to stay as aware of current events and politics as I possibly can, because I believe it’s important to stay conscious of what is going on in your world and stay in active contributor, but I wouldn’t say I’m as “into it” as I was a couple years ago. I used to find the whole political process really fascinating and exciting, but now it’s terrifying. Every day we’re watching civil liberties, freedoms, and basic human decency getting systematically eroded in the name of “security”, “nation”, “party”, whatever and it’s extremely alarming. Nobody in politics is worried about making the right decisions, just the most popular ones. Politics is broken, so for me, personally it’s more important to stay socially active than politically active.
We try to stay involved in ways that more directly affect our community and the change we want to see rather than jump up and down and wait for a political system that doesn’t represent us to do it for us. Individually and as a band we’ll do benefits, donations, rallies, etc for anything from book/toy drives, abuse shelters, community centers, school & library programs. Anything where the results can be directly applied and not dependent on our “leaders” to get around to it.
Is the subject of the Afghan occupation still an issue in America today? Is it even still being much talked about in the media?
Certainly not as much as it should be. It is there in the news, but unfortunately it’s kept underneath such earth-shattering stories as Kim Kardashian having her baby and which color headband will Lebron James wear in Game 7. The American media is an embarrassing game of distractions. It’s all opinion, all marketing, so we have swift pretty deep through the bullshit and gossip to find anything substantial. It makes most people numb to the point of not caring.
It’s crazy, here we are trying to end a 12-year war that shouldn’t have even happened in the first place, that has cost an inexcusable amount of lives, but the media as decided it doesn’t have enough “sizzle” to keep in top story headlines. It’s like that Doug Stanhope joke, we have to read other country’s newspaper just to find out what’s going on in ours. AND IT’S TRUE! Look it up right now, the only story on U.S.-Taliban peace talks that made Google News today was published by The Guardian U.K.
Yeah, man. Brutally speaking, it gets boring, I guess. It doesn’t sell, so it’s not worth airing time.
And what do you think of the situation in Turkey? Has there been any leaks about the World Police gearing up for another mission? ;)
Not yet, but just follow the money. If there’s profit to be made in getting involved we’ll send them all the “truth, justice, and American way” they can handle. It’s sad, we enourage these people from afar to stand up for themselves but when the innocent start dying, all the sudden those same leaders are indecisive until there is personal gain to be had.
Do you feel sad about the fact your government is associated with such actions? It draws a false picture of Americans as a nation, right? How does a person who doesn’t agree with such politics feel?
It’s disappointing to watch a lot of the antics the U.S. governement has pulled over the years to upset the international community and it’s most often not a reflection of how the average American truly feels, and even less of a reflection on how the average American punk rocker feels! And I think that’s true of the citizens in any country. You can’t judge the average person based on the selfish actions of the elitists class in charge. Fortunately, I feel like that’s understood anywhere I’ve travelled abroad. People have always been incredibly nice and hospitable when I’ve identified myself as an American.
I remember distinctly, I was travelling abroad in Europe the night Bush was re-elected and I was absolutely terrified to travel the next day, like I was afraid I was going to get stoned to death or something! But people were great, everyone was very cordial, respectful… they had some questions on how a man like that could be re-elected, and frankly so did I… Learn, adapt, be yourself and we don’t need our governments to tell us how to act.
Were you touring with the band or enjoying a vacation? :) How did you like Europe?
I was doing a semester abroad while I was in college. I got to travel and enjoy cities in Spain, the Netherlands, U.K., Germany, Belguim, France, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic. Absolutely loved everywhere I went. People were very welcoming and there’s such a rich culture visible throughout Europe. Here in the States, being just a little over 200 year old, there’s not that same deep sense of history to our cities the way there is in Europe where your cities have been there and growing for several centuries longer. It’s very interesting to experience.
Nice :) Where in Poland have you been?
Spent a night in Wroclaw, though I would love the chance to spend more time in other parts of the country, as my great-grandparents had come from an area outside Gdansk.
Nice! Definitely, you should see Mazury :)
Any plans to come back with NEW RED SCARE to see how tough our punks are in moshing? ;)
NEW RED SCARE would come tour Europe in heartbeat!! If you have a place for us to stay, we’ll be on the plane as soon as possible. Our hope is with our friends, SVETLANAS from Italy, now part of the Altercation Records family we may be able to travel around with them in the very near future and see how your punks do it!
Yeah, man! Sounds like there’s no chance you won’t be touring our lands sometime soon :)
Touring Europe would seriously be a dream for us. So the sooner the better!
Besides the Upstart fest, do you have some more shows booked for the coming months?
We have a number of show throughout the summer that we’re pretty excited about. In July, we’ll be hosting a benefit show with our buddies TWO FISTED LAW and LOSER’S CIRCLE to fund a local animal shelter here in the Albany, NY area. We will also be doing another benefit show at the end of July as part of a local school library’s summer music series. It will be the first time they’ve ever had a punk rock show at the library, and we intend to make it the loudest library on the planet! Also doing a number of other shows throughout the Northeast with UZUHI, TWO MAN ADVANTAGE, CRY HAVOC!, BOXER BROWN, and tons of other great bands until it is time to storm Upstart Fest! It’s going to be pretty awesome summer for us.
Yeah, man! I wish you a terrific summer season!
And what about some good quality recent shows like Altercation Punk Rock BBQ? :) What live gigs do you remember fondly?
The Altercation BBQ and the whole SxSW music festival experience was the BEST tour I’ve ever been part of! I’m very proud of how hard we rocked Texas, and had a total blast traveling around with LOST IN SOCIETY and THE SCANDALS! The Altercation BBQ was one of the best line-ups I’ve ever seen, TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS, SAY HELLO TO THE ANGELS, SNIPER 66 but it was especially cool to get to play that show with LOWER CLASS BRATS, who were one of the very first bands I started listening to when I was getting into punk. So to play with a band that meant so much to me personally, and had such an influence was unbelievable.
We’ve also had the opportunity in the last few years to play shows with punk rock legends like THE CASUALTIES, MISFITS and THE BUSINESS. Those gigs really stand out because those are bands we idolized and seeing the positive reactions we got from playing to those larger audiences showed us that what we’re doing is worthwhile and kind of help fueled the NEW RED SCARE machine. And anytime we get to play with our Altercation brothers like TWO FISTED LAW, LOST IN SOCIETY, JUKEBOX ROMANTICS, AMERICAN PINUP, and BLASE DEBRIS, is just a big ol’ party, so those shows stand out too.
Nice! :) And what were some of the biggest fuck ups you experienced concert-wise? :)
Well there was a show where TJ was hospitalized with severe flu symptoms about 20 minutes before we played…. that one sucked. <laughs> Fortunately for him the hospital was literally right next door to the venue! Otherwise, we’ve been pretty lucky. There’s been the occassional prick booker but you learn to avoid them and their shitty venues pretty quickly. NEVER DO “PAY-TO-PLAY” SHOWS!! Selling tickets to help support a touring headlining band is one thing, but when you have these douchebags who want you to pay for tickets upfront or pay for unsold when you’re playing your OWN TOWN. Tell them to fuck off.
I will! :)
Alright… is there anything else you want to tell us before you leave IDIOTEQ pages?
Check out NEW RED SCARE as soon as you can! Stay in touch, and be sure to check us out at www.reverbnation.com/newredscare and friend us at www.facebook.com/newredscare. We are always putting up new show announcements, videos, pictures, and free-to-download demos and there should be a lot of new stuff coming soon. Keep rock ‘n roll dangerous!
Thanks for your time!