BUGGIN by Bryanna Bennett
Interviews

Power hardcore punks BUGGIN discuss Chicago, politics, new music, and more!

BUGGIN (formerly known as Buggin Out) are joining the Flatspot Records ranks with their new two-song release that comes out on January 29th! Brainfreeze, features a single of the same name that explores a lack of ability to express feelings for another person while the B-side features a rip-roaring cover of Beastie Boys’ “Gratitude”. Formed in 2018, the young quartet is keeping hardcore fun, quickly making a name for themselves with inescapable grooves and sneering energy. Today, we’re giving you a brief interview with drummer Michael Rasmussen, who shared his thoughts on the band’s hometown, its local music scene pandemic trauma, some local acts, politics and BUGGIN’s plans for the future.

Originally known as Buggin Out, a name taken from the 1989 film Do The Right Thing, the now named Buggin took it upon themselves to play the type of straight-up hardcore they found lacking in their scene, vibrant and unpretentious. The group is founded on a shared love of Rzl Dzl, Bad Brains, Mental, and Beastie Boys, and not taking themselves too seriously. Below is some quick info on the band and upcoming Brainfreeze release.

Quick facts: » Debut release on the respected label Flatspot Records (Candy, Trapped Under Ice, Higher Power). » Produced with Andy Nelson (Weekend Nachos) and vocals record with Aaron Heard (Jesus Piece). » Has shared the stage with the likes of Show Me the Body, Ekulu, Illusion, as well as appearances at LDB Fest (see the video below) and the Rumble.

Formed in 2018, Chicago’s BUGGIN are keeping hardcore fun. The young quartet have quickly made a name for themselves with inescapable grooves and sneering energy.

In early 2021, BUGGIN join the Flatspot Records ranks with their new two song release Brainfreeze, featuring the single of the same name that explores a lack of ability to express feelings for another person while the b-side features a rip roaring cover of Beastie Boys’ “Gratitude”. Recorded, mixed and mastered in the band’s hometown of Chicago with Andy Nelson (Weekend Nachos) at Bricktop Recording, with the exception of the vocals which were recorded in Philadelphia with Aaron Heard (Jesus Piece), BUGGIN’s crisp production and refreshing drive come across effortlessly. Having shared the stage with the likes of Show Me the Body, Ekulu, Illusion, as well as appearances at LDB Fest and the Rumble, after only a demo and their 2020 Buggin Out EP, BUGGIN are just starting to share their wealth of energy with the world of hardcore.

BUGGIN band

Hey there guys! Thanks for joining us here on IDIOTEQ. How are you? How’s Chicago?

Not bad. Covid cases are still pretty high in Chicago right now, so everything is still closed or super restricted. There’s really not much going on besides just chillin at the house.

How has the city changed over the past 12 months?

I guess one thing that’s changed in the city is the energy. Like with everything being closed for the past 6 months, and especially now that it’s cold and gloomy, there’s really nothing going on. Even downtown which used to be crowded and energetic is like a ghost town some days. I’m hoping things get a bit better once it gets warmer though.

On the verge of a new administration and a new era for the US, how do you the resolution of intolerance, division, and distrust issue in your country?

This is a pretty deep question haha. I’m definitely no expert but young people in America are way past fed up and I feel like those feelings of distrust, intolerance or division like you said cant really be resolved by an administration like this. Also I don’t think being intolerant or distrusting is necessarily a bad thing as long as its directed towards the right people you know?

How can young people and bands help in restoring peace and hope in America?

When talking about politics I’m not sure about “peace” exactly – that word doesn’t sit 100% with me. I think that young people have already seen how those in power ignore demands for justice unless there’s serious push back. Especially in the hardcore/punk scene, people have always worked to agitate and undermine our current system and should continue to do that any way we can. Hardcore bands should be very upfront about that if they aren’t already.

But on like a personal level we can make sure that hardcore stays a place that is really tight-knit, welcoming and overwhelminly positive. Having a place to be excited and be yourself definitely is enough to inspire at least a little bit of hope I think.

How has the pandemic impacted your local punk and independent music scene? Give us some insider’s opinions and perspective on that.

Covid killed Chicago’s music scene entirely. All the venues are still closed. We actually ended up playing the last hardcore show in the city the night before the city went into lockdown. But since there hasn’t been any shows, a lot of bands are embracing mutual aid and fundraising efforts in a way that we weren’t really doing before. There’s been merch fundraisers, pop up events, food drives, and virtual events. Like we are finding ways to still feel like a “community” even without having a big in-person event.

Continued below…

BugginCover

Ok, so this year you’re back with brand new, high-octane 2-tracker on one of our favorite hardcore labels, Flatspot Records. Give us the backstory to this partnership and your new EP.

We were originally supposed to tour on the east coast with No Option last spring and I guess the dudes in Flatspot saw our name on a flier and wanted to check us out. They hit us up shortly after we had to cancel the tour and we were into it right away. Then we ended up having to actually change our name because some wannabe rock stars hit us with a copyright and got all our stuff taken down. The Flatspot guys have been really cool and supportive even with some anxiety and complications on our end and I’m just stoked to finally put these songs out.

What’s next for BUGGIN’?

We hope to put out a longer release sometime this year. I mean if we could play a show that would be dope but I’m not holding my breath haha.

Awesome. So, lastly, give some other bands and recent records recommendations.

Check out the new Anxious songs.

Nick from New Morality Zine has put out some awesome releases recently too so listen to the G.I BILL Demo and Cursetheknife’s Thank you for being here.

Quick shout out to the homies in Gadget, Sniper Culture, Kharma, and SideAction, Zulu, and Playytime.

Thanks so much for your time! Feel free to drop your last words and take care! Cheers from Warsaw!

Thank you! everyone make sure to take it easy on yourself, beware of posers, go outside and get some fresh air.

Power hardcore punks BUGGIN discuss Chicago, politics, new music, and more!
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