Chicago’s SHIP CAPTAIN CREW released their latest EP, “House Of Mercury” this past summer, bringing in a combination of melodic, punk-infused breakdowns with resonating and impactful instrumentals, refusing to conform to the pop-punk stereotypes, exploring darker themes and heavier overtones. Produced by Seth Henderson (REAL FRIENDS, KNUCKLE PUCK, FOREVER CAME CALLING), has produced a release that is turning heads across the city, and a platform from which they have every potential to propel themselves into one of the Windy City’s most exciting rock / pop punk prospects.
I caught up with the band to pit and instigate them about the genre they perform, Chicago music scene, and their influences. See the full interview below.
Hey buds! What’s up? Can you please introduce the band to our readers?
We are Ship Captain Crew from Chicago, IL and we like to party.
I’ve been wondering, how could you please convince all the heavy music enthusiasts to dive into your hyper-melodic pop punk tunes from time to time? :)
Fans of Metal music should listen to SHIP CAPTAIN CREW because our music offers a dynamic palette that goes beyond pop hooks and cliche lyrics. We try to provide something for everyone to dig. Also the breakdowns, plenty of breakdowns…
What made you hit this most accessible subgenre of punk rock music? What inspired you to start SHIP CAPTAIN CREW? It was set to be a magnet for the ladies, admit it!
It was never a conscious effort to start a Pop Punk band. We just write music that is true to our hearts and combines our collective influences. If we wanted to pick up chicks we would have started a Bar Band.
You’re alleged to bring in darker lyrical themes and heavier overtones to the original shape of melodic pop rock / pop punk. How come? Can you expand more on your lyrics and the message you try to convey with this band?
Most of us come from Hardcore/Metalcore backgrounds and the Chicago south suburbs scene that spawned bands like DESTROYVALE, DANCE CLUB MASSACRE, and TOWER OF ROME among others. We grew up seeing bands like THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, THE NUMBER 12 LOOKS LIKE YOU, FEAR BEFORE THE MARCH OF FLAMES, HEAVY HEAVY LOW LOW, GRACE GALE and THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, which still has an influence on our music and our choice to write songs in Drop C tuning. We are also trying to adopt DIY methods from bands like FUGAZI and MINOR THREAT in order to nurture our burgeoning music scene in the wake of Myspace’s collapse. Roger’s lyrics are laced with hermetic allusions to ancient wisdom, alchemy and astrology which focus on healing and inner growth, rather than the typical boy/girl breakup story.
Ok guys, you released your latest EP “House Of Mercury” this past Summer. Recording-wise, do you already have some more plans for the coming months?
We are currently recording a 6 song EP titled “The Ocean Floor” with our good friend Seth Henderson at ABG Studios in Crown Point, Indiana.
Cool! What made you go to Indiana to track this latest record? Can you talk more about the recording process and outside-the-band personas involved in this operation?
Our drummer Mike recorded a song with Seth for our friend Dave Gomez’s band PLASTIC SMILES and we knew instantly he was the right man for the job. He has a very Punk Rock mentality when recording, and is always super fast and efficient with the whole process. He always goes the extra mile to make everything he records the best it can be. His studio is also amazingly well equipped and gorgeous to look at, a very comfortable place to make music. 10/10 would recommend.
WOw, this has a great energy! Thanks a lot!
Ok, so I guess now would be a great time to hit the road, huh? What shows do you have planned for this Winter and 2015?
We have a Holiday show in our hometown at Centennial Lanes, then it’s off to Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, among other places hopefully.
How is Illinois when it comes to pop punk bands like SHIP CAPTAIN CREW? Please drop us a little scene report :)
Illinois, specifically the south suburbs have berthed some great bands recently, our buddies in REAL FRIENDS and KNUCKLE PUCK are enjoying great success. It’s no mistake that we all came from the same scene around Mojoes in Tinley Park. We all grew up going to the same shows, playing in each other’s bands and it produced a lot of talented people. They worked very hard for what they have and we hope to follow in their footsteps.
Does Chicago have a number of cool venues or other places with a great support and proper DIY approach to young independent bands?
Chicago has lots of cool venues. Reggie’s Rock Club, the Beat Kitchen, Township, the Bottom Lounge, Double Door are all great places to play or see a show. We wouldn’t describe Chicago’s scene as “supportive” or “DIY” at all though. A lot of crowds can be stand-offish and it can be difficult to fill a weekday show with so many different musical options throughout the city. Most people won’t give you a chance if you don’t play garage-punk, art-rock or some butt-rock cover band bullshit. There’s also a fair amount of pay-to-play practices by some promoters. That’s not to say we aren’t thankful for the opportunities we have been given. The south suburbs are actually much more open-minded and conducive to DIY shows in basements, bowling alleys and coffee shops. Most kids are happy to see any band play, even when the bill is packed, and are very supportive and thankful for their scene.
How does Chicago influence your music?
A lot of the bands that came through the Fireside Bowl had a big influence on us growing up. ALKALINE TRIO, THE PROMISE RING, BOUNCING SOULS, SMOKING POPES, AMERICAN FOOTBALL, HOT WATER MUSIC, AFI, although most of us were too young at the time we found out about all these bands from the older punks that were going to these shows. Also the Fueled By Ramen bands like FALL OUT BOY, THE ACADEMY IS…, GYM CLASS HEROES, THE HUSH SOUND all got their start at Mojoes.
Ok guys, what else? 2014 is almost over, so it’s a great moment to sum it up. What artists and albums rocked your music players this year?
MODERN BASEBALL – You’re Gonna Miss It All
PVRIS – White Noise
DRIVER FRIENDLY – Unimagined Bridges
AGAINST ME! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM – Get Hurt
EVERY TIME I DIE – From Parts Unknown
WITHIN THE RUINS – Phenomena
EXPIRE – Pretty Low
DEATH GRIPS – Niggas On the Moon
TAYLOR SWIFT – 1989
Do you have any special plans to celebrate Christmas this year?
We plan to gather ‘round the Festivus Pole with some Malort & Old Style for the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength.
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