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NYC’s RESISTORS discuss their new album

Brooklyn, New York City punk rockers from RESISTORS have released their new full length on February 19th, 2013.  “Breaking Tradition” is available as a pay what you want download at this location. I talked them into doing an interview with me to discuss the birth of their new work and various aspects of their 2-year existence. Here’s the final product of our time spent together.

The band powers through twelve new songs, touching political, social, and personal subjects, that will “prompt listeners to rise up, hug, cry, and start a circle pit, all within a half hour”. Yeah, they shot a nice introduction for themselves, but they’re quite right,. Think 88 FINGERS LOUIE, GOOD RIDDANCEBAD RELIGION, press the play button below and judge it by yourself.

Hi, guys! Thanks so much for your time. What’s up? How are you doing just before the release of your new album?

Hi Karol, thanks for interviewing me.  The album just got mastered last week, and I’m just starting to get the word out in advance of the release.  There’s not a whole lot to do, since it’s only being put out on Bandcamp.  Now it’s time to sit back, drink beer, and watch the billions of dollars start to pour in from the free downloads.

[laughs] Tell me more about the recording process. Who’s helping you out with that?

Nobody really, it was a total DIY process.  The whole recording was done at my studio, The Rock Compound, in New York. That’s kind of the way I’ve been doing it for the last ten years.  It’s kind of awesome to be in complete control over it and not have to pay someone else to do the recording.  But on the other hand, it’s a lot of work, and it would be nice to just show up and play and let someone else worry about making it sound good.

Does it mean you’ll be looking for a proper label and producer next time?

Probably not.  Production-wise, I’m pretty happy with how this album turned out.  And I kind of gave up trying to find a label to put out my band’s records after being rejected by every last one of them in the 1990’s.  Although if the right opportunity presented itself, it would be sort of ridiculous to not consider it.  I wouldn’t mind having a record put out on Epitaph or Geffen, and produced by Bill Stevenson, J Robbins, or maybe even J Bieber.  But those labels haven’t gotten ahold of me yet, at the level this band is at, the DIY approach seems to make sense.

Do you have any songs left after the recording sessions?

There are a handful that were written but didn’t make the cut because they didn’t really fit in with the rest of the album.  Whether or not they eventually become RESISTORS songs, I don’t know.  Some of them are drastically different.  A psychobilly song would sound pretty out of place, as would a slower pop influenced song. They might become songs for other bands that I’m in, so this band’s sound can stay the same.

Ok. How are you putting this out, guys? Bandcamp only? Any plans for vinyl?

Bandcamp first, and CD, and then it’ll be up on Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, and all the rest.  Bandcamp has been the most effective for us in the past, and people are more likely to check out a new band if it’s free.  At this stage, I’d rather have people hear the record than get paid for it.  No plans for vinyl for this release, although I’d like to do a 7″ in the future.

Aren’t you afraid people will get scared by the cover [laughs]. I don;’t know what it is, but it’s disturbing [smiles]. Tell me more about it.

[laughs] That’s the point right?  Actually the picture is from this guy’s car, I used to work with him.  He drove around for months with those religious lawn ornaments strapped into his seats, like they were his friends or kids.  His license plate read “HEAVENBOUND,” so picture pulling up next to that at a stop sign.  That might be scarier than the cover.  I had taken the picture, and then figured it would make a pretty killer album cover.  Visually, it sort of fits in with some of the lyrical themes, and it’s one of the few pictures that I’ve ever taken that didn’t come out blurry or cut off, so I figured I’d use it.  Jeff, if you’re reading this, thanks for the album cover!

Jeff, you’re a sick man [laughs].

Naah, I’m jokin’. Amazing stuff [smiles].

What about the previous record? It’s not a typical cover, as well. [smiles]

That one was done by my friend Mike, and it’s a picture he took of his cat.  I think he made it out of pity.  I had sent him the cover art that I created, which was really awful.  It was a black background with a crooked line on it, and it said the band name and album title, and that was it.  It looked like a four year old made it in Paint.  So about a half hour after I had sent that to him, he was like “the songs are good, and here, I made you a cover,” which was his nice way of saying, “hey jackass, your band doesn’t suck, but your cover art is the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life.”

Ok, guys. Do you have any active side projects?

The only active one is GRAVEROBBERS, which I play guitar in.  It’s kind of surfapunkabillyrock.  We haven’t released anything yet, but that band actually probably has a better chance at taking over the world than us.  RESISTORS is actually kind of a side project that got out of control.

Ok, I know that you „have not played major festivals, like Lollapalooza, South by Southwest, or Warped Tour, either”, but have you traveled with the band? What was the farthest you have traveled for a gig?

The farthest we’ve traveled for a show is New York City, on the Upper West Side, which is pretty far from Brooklyn. It’s like 45 minutes or something like that. This band hasn’t and probably won’t do a whole lot of that.  Old people things like families, jobs, and going to bed early have taken some of the luster and practicality out of heading out on the road.  I did some touring with my old bands, but I lived with my parents, and it was still tough back then, so I can imagine that it would be almost impossible now – unless we went on the road with MADONNA, FOO FIGHTERS, or RISE AGAINST.  So if you’re reading this MADONNA, hook a brother up.

[laughs] RISE AGAINST doesn’t sound impossible. TOUCHE AMORE did a huge tour with them last year. Weird, huh? [smiles]

Anyway, in terms of underground, alternative and DIY music, what does New York have to offer that other places can’t?

New York has a great scene, and there are a ton of supportive people.  There are a ton of shows going on all the time, which provides bands with a ton of opportunities to play.  There are also a ton of great bands from here, so the shows are generally good.  The cities are pretty close to each other here on the east coast, which makes doing shows outside of NYC pretty easy.  That’s something that other areas of the country don’t necessarily have.  Where I’m from, Chicago, there are a few hours of cornfields before you’ll reach another city to play a show.  But they have Malort in Chicago, and we don’t, so they probably have the upper hand.

What’s that? [smiles]

My newest obsession.  It’s made in Chicago, and I don’t think they’ve unleashed it on the rest of the world yet.  It’s this amazing liquor that tastes like peppermint mixed with Aqua-net hairspray. Google “malort face”, and you’ll wish you had a bottle at home!

Oh, damn, I’ve just realized what we’re talkin’ about here. Yeah, but it’s not that bad, it’s like 35% strong, right? You should try my father’s 65% tincture [smiles].

When are you planning to take a few bottles and hit the road with RESISTORS?

[laughs] Yeah, it’s not that bad. If Malort sponsors a tour and comes out with us, RESISTORS will hit the road.  No guarantees on the quality of the performances though.

Ok, guys, before we finish off. Tell me more about Brooklyn [smiles]. How is it?

Brooklyn is great.  Lots to do, and tons of great shows.  And all of the stereotypes about Brooklyn that you’ve seen, well they’re all true.  People dressing like it’s 1985?  Check.  Boomboxes on the street?  Check.  Old mafia looking dudes?  Yup.

[laughs] Is it safe to live there? Shoot me some of the most important rules from the guide “How to survive in Brooklyn, NYC” [smiles].

Yes, it’s safe, aside from the singing gangs that take over the city from time to time.  Or maybe that was just in that movie Warriors.  I have trouble separating real life from what I watch on TV sometimes.  Brooklyn’s actually just like anywhere else, except that everything is kind of dirty and smashed together.

Ok, sorry for that, but I need to ask you [smiles]. Do you have any Polish pals over there? Any Polish stores, places, etc.?

My family is part Polish. Does that count?

And how! [smiles] Do you still have some roots here in Poland? Does someone in your family speak Polish?

No roots still in Poland.  I think that was several generations ago.

Alright, boys, let’s wrap it up. So what does the future hold for RESISTORS?

After we get back from that tour with MADONNA, I guess maybe another record.  Or if we don’t get on that tour, maybe some shows and another record anyway.

Promise you’ll drop me a line when something new comes up! Oh, and say hello to Louise Veronica for me, will ya?

Thanks so much for your time! Are there any final words you want to pass onto my readers?

Cheers!

Thank you for your time and support!  And thanks to your readers for checking us out.

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