Hey! We are doing well, though a bit tired! Last night was our final show of the European leg of this tour. We had to leave pretty soon after our show in Antwerp last night to catch a late night ferry so we could pick our friends up in SPRAYNARD today and meet up with GNARWOLVES. I’m currently sitting in an English rest-stop eating breakfast and drinking a coffee. Life is good.
You had to replace two band members for this tour on short notice. Sheer horror or non-frightening everyday business in the independent music sector?
Both. We knew we were going to have to be doing this tour with a couple of fill-ins since we booked it but some unforeseen circumstances actually had to have us REPLACE those fill-ins only 2.5 weeks before the tour. Luckily our good friend Joe Clark from the band DRUSE, who has toured with us for years, stepped up to the plate on guitar and our new friend Zach Sandel (EVERYTHING EVER, THE MOMS, BINARY HEART) stepped in on Drums. They are both doing a killer job. There were both moments of sheer-horror and pragmatism in the preparation of this tour – but everything is going better than we could have imagined. We are stoked!
You toured Europe earlier this year with a stop at Groezrock. What were your impressions from visiting Belgium and being part of such an amazing festival?
First of all, Groezrock was one of our favorite shows of 2015 and was our first European show of the year. Impressions from Belgium – the people love punk rock, french fries, and good beer. That sounds like a win for us. We hope to continue to come back to play Groezrock and our show last night in Antwerp showed us that Belgium is just a great country for bands like us.
Basically you’re touring non-stop. Is it still fun or does it – besides skating and drinking beer – sometimes feel like an actual job?
It really is both. If you don’t treat it with some of the same respect you treat other jobs – such as performing well, getting better, being effective, and staying sane – you will lose perspective. At the same time, if you don’t know how to be fluid and have fun with the pace of being in a touring band, you will surely crash. We enjoy it so much, and obviously get to drink and skate so much, that it nary feels like a chore. But we do like to treat it respect! If you lose that respect, your body will hate you more than it already does!
Right before you left the US, Paris was hit by a terrorist attack. Were you worried in any way leaving for Europe?
I think our families were more worried then we were – though I would be bluffing if I said we had no apprehensions at all. We knew this was going to be a very interesting time to be touring in Europe, that’s for sure. To no surprise we’ve had a lot of interesting conversations and interactions with people all over the world in regards to Europe’s current climate in regards to refugees and national tensions and fear. We are grateful that our shows in France and Belgium both happened and that incredible audiences were able to share that with us.
That was a special night for us. Not only did we get to give them some clothes, but we were able to engage with them in punk rock, in positive energies from music. It was something we were not expecting at all. Every time we come overseas we get to conversate with people who are outside of our little bubble, but still carry the same issues close to their hearts. Compassion for other humans, seeing good in the world, bringing good to the world. Hopefully everyone can continue to steer the conversation that way.
Let’s talk about your music. Your last record „The New Sidewalk“ came out in 2014. Besides the upcoming split, when can we expect new material?
We are writing and recording practically the minute we land back in America. We aren’t sure what shape the recordings will take quite yet but we have a lot of material we are playing with that we are really excited about. We are extending past the road we established on „The New Sidewalk“ but are aiming to get some hookier elements in the mix. Crazier AND catchier.
You recently teamed up with German label Flix Records. How came the cooperation with Felix and his team?
Katrin, who works for Flix, drove and tour managed us on our May co-headliner with our boys in TRANSIT. We got along so well that before the tour was even over we were looking for ways that we could continue to work with each other. Felix and Katrin care a whole ton about supporting the international punk rock community and how it related to the European music scene/music industry. We are happy to be a part of it.
„What is your favorite PROPAGANDHI record?“
What are your plans for 2016 – I just noticed that you’ll be back to Germany next summer?
We are coming back to Europe next summer. A couple shows have already been announced like a series of shows put on by Flix called Flix Fest that we are really excited for as well as a Festival in Belgium called Brakrock where we be playing with STRUNG OUT, THE DWARVES, AUTHORITY ZERO, and more. There are a bunch of things that we have already confirmed or are about to be confirmed on our end that haven’t been announced yet. It’s going to be a killer summer.
Any last words you would like to spread?
Listen to the new HIATUS KAYOTE record, „Choose Your Weapon“.
Thanks for the interview, enjoy your time off during the holidays and see you around next year!