Old Currents
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NJ punk rock storytellers OLD CURRENTS premiere new video, discuss the pandemic era, inspirations, and more

7 mins read

Today OLD CURRENTS uncovers the first glimpse into their upcoming album, The Glory, The Defeat with the first single “Here, You Throw This Away.” The full length album is set to release on April 22, 2022 with a collection of singles on the way until then. This new track showcases their undeniably captivating contribution to the rock genre and allows the band’s diverse musical influences to shine. We sat down with the band to discuss their work, local punk rock scene, the pandemic era, and more! Dive into it below.

Alongside the song release is a music video that depicts the story behind the lyrics:

“This song was written about a couple of friends of ours who when they drink become insufferable barroom preachers, but when you get them one on one, the conversations can actually be articulate and insightful. The only problem is, nobody wants to talk one on one in those situations, so people don’t get to have those deep conversations.” – Jake Novak

Old Currents hit the ground running in December of 2017 with the spontaneous announcement of the band and unveiling of their first LP, Three Chords & the Truth. Founding members Jake, Joe and Greg grew up together in Glen Rock, New Jersey and started playing together when they were teenagers. After swapping stories, songs, and ambitions with Ryan Struck after a show, he promptly joined the band in winter of 2018.

Old Currents is more than just a band; it is a declaration of dedication and intent to turn one-off bands and jam sessions into something real and something to truly be proud of. Their inspirations span every facet of the musical universe from country to ska to hardcore and Old Currents prides themselves in seamlessly blending their diverse muses into a fresh iteration of alternative rock music. In Fall 2019, Old Currents went to Portrait Recording Studio to write and record their first album as a four piece, The Glory, The Defeat. This album marks a new wave for Old Currents.

An interview with OLD CURRENTS:

Hey guys! Congrats on your new single! “Here, You Throw This Away” brings in so many amazing inspirations, blending my favorite takes on emotive, hearty punk rock, with a hint of bluesy, Americana vibes. Great job! Tell us a bit about your creative process behind this new release and what led you to put it out now, amidst the fourth wave of the freakin’ pandemic.

A: Thank you so much! Jake and Joe are the two songwriters of the band, and when one of us has lyrics, chords and a melody, we bring it to the other members and let everybody add on what they see fit to bring a song from its skeleton to a fully formed expression of a thought or feeling. For Here, You Throw This Away, Jake wrote the shell of the song about how people can cast aside old friends when they become inconvenient, when really they need a friend more than ever. As for the timing, we started the recording process in January of 2020, with the hope of releasing it later that year. Of course, life didn’t go as planned, so we thought it best to sit on these songs until shows came back. And while the local scene and shows aren’t back 100%, we just couldn’t continue to let these exist in a hard drive somewhere, and decided to show them to the world.

Speaking about the Covid era, how did it affect you and the band?

A: On a personal level, it affected us the same as everybody else, though I won’t get too much into it as the coverage of everybody’s 2020 is more than well documented. But as a band, it sucked. No way around it. I didn’t know how much I relied on weekly band practices, and the general hangs to get through the week, let alone how much having shows to look forward to helped as well. That being said, we did get lucky that we didn’t release The Glory, The Defeat before 2020 happened. There were some bands I listened to that dropped their album either pre-covid or right in the middle that didn’t know what to do with themselves and their new album. The one positive was we all came back to practice as better musicians. What better way to spend all that free time than by practicing, writing and learning new songs.

Old Currents

What did the pandemic teach you about your relationships and life in general?

A: Any hang can be your last, so savor them all. That was always a thought I had, but I expected that idea to really start to resonate in my older age, not at 29. But go to every show, say yes to new experiences, talk to everyone you meet and really just go out there and live.

How has your local punk rock scene transformed over the last couple of years?

A: I would say there are less punks than there were when I was a kid, for a myriad of reasons. That being said, every member of the scene is just as punk rock as they’ve ever been, in my opinion.

Can you share some of the noteworthy local bands that we should look into this year?

A: Oh for sure. I could go on forever about bands we know who NEED to be heard. First and foremost, Neckscars has a new album out everybody needs to go hear right now called Don’t Panic.

Our bassist Ryan Struck has an amazing hardcore band called Scary Hours, and he’s always releasing new music.

And I want to give credit to my favorite songwriter I know, Brian Rothenbeck and his band, The Adventuring Party.

In addition, and in no particular order you need to hear our friends (or friends of friends): A Beautiful Somewhere, Chris, Skel, Top Bloke, Boardwalk Saints, Jared Knapik, Tired Radio, Friends Like Strangers, American Thrills, Dunkerhook, Reese Van Riper, latewaves, Pass Away and there is probably 20+ more I didn’t write down. Keep an eye on our show flyers to find even more awesome bands that we love.

How about your best picks for the whole year? What albums would you name your top of the pops in 2021?

A: My (Jake’s) albums of the year for 2021 are Charles Wesley Godwin’s How the Mighty Fall and Jon Charles Dwyer’s Junebug. Both albums are a masterclass in songwriting. Both draw on folk, singer-songwriter and country music for influence, but where they differ is CWG leans more on bluegrass and has a more polished approach to his album, while Jon bares his feelings out in the most raw of ways. Both albums are beautiful, and I think can be appreciated by anybody, from any walk of life. Oh, and I’ve been listening to Red (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift for days on end too.


Back to OLD CURRENTS, was creating and performing something your family and you personally embraced from the start? Tell us a bit about your background, your approach to a band project, and what it means to you.

A: For me, until I was 11 or 12, I wanted nothing to do with music, singing, instruments or performing. I listened to music a lot as a kid, but that was the end of it. Then middle school rolled around, and seemingly overnight all my friends bought guitars and drums (I know Joe went through this too when he moved to Glen Rock as a kid), and you had to play music to keep getting invited to hang out. The older I got, the more serious I became, and my parents supported me the whole time. They never cared what I did with my life, as long as I did it 100%, and didn’t leave any “what ifs” on the table.

This is a highly charged time, both politically and economically. Is it a good time to be active in a band? How do you balance OLD CURRENTS with your day-to-day activities?

A: I think it’s as good a time as any to be active in a band. In my opinion, there’s never been a “good” time to be in a band. It’s just something that you have to jump into, and go for it. There’s a million reasons not to, from personal issues to global issues, and everything in between. I also truly believe, when times are tough, there’s no better medicine than a song that means a lot to you. The balance between day jobs, life, friends, family and relationships, and bands is always a delicate one. For me, honesty is the key to maintaining balance. Be honest and upfront with everybody about your goals, needs and asking everyone to do the same with me avoids a lot of headaches. And if everyone is on the same page, it makes it easier than you’d think.

During the dreadful days of the pandemic, I guess we could use a good tip on what to do in order to stay positive. What do you do to stay cool when life is hard?

A: Just take an inventory of life. Obviously, it’s not easy, and there are countless ways it can become overwhelming. But for me, just remembering I have people who love me, a roof over my head, food to eat and a band that’s achieved more than I could ever have imagined really helps me get into a positive headspace.

Ok, so back to The Glory, The Defeat, content wise, what themes do you cover on this new album?

A: A lot of it covers our relationships with people in our lives, odd situations we’ve found ourselves in and places we’ve been. We have songs on this album about one of our best friends moving across the country to Los Angeles to pursue a career in screenwriting, helping friends who are in a bad spot try and get back on track, the great city of New Orleans, advice from my mother among a bunch of other topics. I guess really, the theme we cover is life as a whole.

What is next on the horizon in regards to how you take this new release to the world? What can we expect from you guys in the coming months?

A: We have a couple more singles coming out in the winter, then we get to share The Glory, The Defeat in its entirety on April 22, 2022. We have some amazing shows coming up that have yet to be announced as well.

Thanks so much for your time guys. Feel free to share your final words and take care! All the best for 2022!

A: Thank you so much for talking with us! It’s not hyperbole to say the experience of releasing The Glory, The Defeat has been some of the coolest times of my life and I really appreciate you helping be a part of it. Let’s do this again for album three, shall we?

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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