Friday, July 29, 2016

Interview with Joe Demolition of LYNCH PIGS by Dave Wolff

Interview with Joe Demolition of LYNCH PIGS

The first time I saw your band was when you opened for the Murder Junkies in Ronkonkoma, Long Island. Describe the show and how you got booked. Was this your first time opening for them?
The show was outstanding! We had a great turnout and the show ran very smoothly. We've played with Murder Junkies three times now. First time was in Brooklyn at Hank’s Saloon, we were booked by a promoter friend in New York City. The second time was at Evenflow in Bayshore, New York and the third time was the show you attended in Ronkonkoma. The last two times we booked the shows ourselves, we've been friends with the Murder Junkies guys for a couple years now and when they tour they contact us for a show.

Who was the promoter who booked you with the Murder Junkies the first time? Does this promoter actively book punk shows in Long Island and New York City?
Aerik Von and Frank Wood were the promoters for the first show. As far as I know Frank Wood is still booking and promoting bands. Aerik has since moved out of New York City and is pursuing other things.

How long have you and the Murder Junkies been friends? Did you happen to meet them at their show or by corresponding on the web/social media?
First time we met the guys in Murder Junkies was when we played with them on May 18, 2013; we've been friends since then. We stay in contact through phone calls and sometimes through social media.
Have you ordered Murder Junkies and/or GG Allin merchandise from Merle through his mail order? What are your most vivid memories of seeing the Murder Junkies perform?
I've ordered merch from Merle as well as buying it at the shows. Merle is a pro with the merch. One of my favorite memories of seeing Murder Junkies was the first time we played with them. I was standing up front during their set, in the middle of their third song some chick started punching me right in the nose. I pushed her away and she landed on the stage. The Murder Junkies looked at her, shrugged it off, and kept playing without missing a beat.

What is the bulk of the merchandise you have bought and ordered from Merle? Are you mostly collecting clothes/shirts or live shows, DVDs and the like? Was the GG Allin documentary Hated one of the items you purchased from him?
Never bought a shirt, I've bought some records from him. I don't own a copy of Hated but I've seen it many times. Whenever we have a new member in the band if they haven't seen Hated we hang out and watch it.

What most appealed to you about Hated? Did you see the material where Merle and Dino were interviewed? Merle mentions that one magazine listed Hated in the top 25 greatest rock documentaries (it beat out docs about much bigger bands).
What most appealed to me about Hated was the raw unadulterated truth of an underground musician/band. What you see is what you get. When Merle said one magazine listed Hated in the top 25 greatest rock documentaries I wasn't surprised. It's the most entertaining documentary to watch.

Would you have liked to see a performance by GG Allin when he was alive? How many live videos have you watched of his?
Not only would I have wanted to see a performance but I would have liked to open for G.G. Allin. I've watched a lot of live videos online, although it's not even close to experiencing the real thing, it's cool that people nowadays can check out G.G.'s live performances.

What are some of the most extreme performances of GG’s you have watched on video?
GG Allin and the Murder Junkies at Beowulf NYC 8-31-91 was pretty extreme. It's hard to say which is more extreme than another because I don't think G.G. ever played a show that wasn't extreme. Also because what is extreme to one person might not necessarily be extreme to someone else. I think his performances did become more extreme as time went on though.

What is it like to be a punk/scum rock band based in Long Island? How did the band members get together and what were the initial reactions to your shows?
Being in a scum rock band on Long Island really sets you apart from everyone else. Pretty much all the other bands here try to not offend people. We could have taken the easy route and played generic punk or metal but we decided to place ourselves in the middle and put offensive lyrics on top of it. Since we played our first show in February 2012 our fan base has steadily gone up. Initially people came out to see what we would do or how offensive we could be. Now they come out because they enjoy the music. Initially our old drummer and I played in a band together. We played one show and after that the band broke up. From there we started Lÿnch Pigs. Dirty Martinez has been our bassist since 2013 and his first show with us was opening for Murder Junkies. At the time we were playing without a bassist, Dirty was at one of the shows and bought us some drinks. We hit it off and asked him to join. The newest member is Danny Crusher on drums. We met Danny by playing with his other band Jones Crusher. Our old drummer moved away and we still had shows to play so we asked Danny to play. So far it's worked very nicely, Danny's a great drummer and brings some fresh ideas to the band.

Describe a few of the ideas Danny has brought to the band since joining, and how much those ideas have contributed to your sound?
Danny has brought some new life to the band. Before he joined we had been playing the same songs for the past two or three years. Before Danny our songwriting was beginning to get stale, we began writing to a formula. Danny changed all that with his style of playing. We've been feeling each other out and our different styles have come together. We are writing five new songs with Danny right now that we'll release as an EP soon.

Do you see scum rock getting press in local music papers in Long Island? How about other parts of New York? Or would you want to see it receive more press?
Occasionally I've seen articles on scum rock in New York City but not here on Long Island. Scum rock seems to be one of the musical genres that people need to go out and find on their own. It's not for everyone and in a way I really like that. It seems to me that there aren't any casual listeners of scum rock.

What zines or papers do you know of that support scum rock in the city?
The only one I know of is New York Waste because they interviewed us in 2014. We were asked to do an interview after we opened for ANTiSEEN in September 2013.

How indepth was the interview New York Waste did with you? And how much attention did it get for the band?
The interview brushed on a lot of topics ranging from how the band got started to what type of underwear we all wear. Our answers were brief and to the point, if I remember correctly the interview was done by two emails. The first was sent to us with a short list of questions and the next was us sending our answers. After the issue with our interview came out we received a little more attention in New York City. I can't say it opened doors for us but our draw increased slightly.

What draws you and the band to scum rock? When Lynch Pigs started, what made you decide to go against the easy option of playing something generic?
There is a lot of freedom playing scum rock. We're not the kind of guys to write love songs but we'll write a song about anal sex. Someone once told me to write lyrics about what you know. Most of our songs are about sex, drugs, and violence. Deciding to not play something generic always appealed to us. You can hear our influences within the music but we don't sound exactly like any other band. It's something we've always been proud of; we play something different than what’s going on around.

What band were you and your previous drummer involved in before Lynch Pigs? Did you intend to be a serious band? Why did they split up that early?
Before Lÿnch Pigs we played in a black/thrash band called Akred. It was a lot of fun but I don't think it was ever taken too seriously. We split up over a difference of opinion, I wanted to take it more seriously but the other guys didn't. That's when we, Jason our previous drummer and I, took off and started working on Lÿnch Pigs.

Did Akred plan to release material on CD or play more shows before splitting up? How many songs did you have altogether? Where did the band’s only performance take place?
Akred released a four song demo called "Spills & Thrills Rehearsals". We only made a handful of copies but a couple songs are on Youtube. Altogether we had about eight songs when we split up, we were only together for about six months. The only performance was at The Acheron in Brooklyn.

Would you ever reform Akred if the opportunity came and you found musicians with similar ideas in mind?
Right now I am focused solely on Lÿnch Pigs. I might in the future form a band that played similar music to Akred, although it's unlikely. I probably wouldn’t play with the same guys or use the old name.

What fan base were you seeking when you began writing offensive lyrics? Were there any bands you took after lyrically?
Honestly we thought no one would like it. We were writing lyrics that we thought would offend everyone. We wanted to be the most hated band but it didn't turn out that way. Lyrically I think we take after The Mentors. We tend to have a comical approach to our lyrics and I think The Mentors do as well.

Do the band members like other older bands, such as Nihilstics, Bloody Mess & The Skabs or AntiSeen? Would you cite any of those bands as having been influential on you?
We like a lot of the older bands. Nihilistics are awesome; I saw them at Revolution a couple years back. Bloody Mess & The Skabs are great; I was just listening to 6th Grade Field Trip on Youtube the other day. ANTiSEEN kicks ass and has been influential on Lÿnch Pigs especially the album Murder Junkies with G.G. Allin.

How long were you and the other band members into punk before you picked up instruments? Are there other scum rock bands from Long Island or other areas close by that you know of?
I started playing guitar when I was fourteen after watching the movie "Detroit Rock City". I've always been into more metal or hard rock over punk. Dirty Martinez and Danny Crusher come from a punk background, they both started playing their instruments at thirteen. On Long Island there is us and our friends White Goblin. There might be more but I haven’t heard of them. We're on a compilation called "Here To Ruin Your Groove Vol. 1". It was released by a friend who lives in Germany. All the bands on it are, in my opinion, the best bands out there right now and most are from the East Coast.

Where is White Goblin from and how much material do they have available? Do you play Long Island together often?
White Goblin comes out of Long Beach right here on Long Island. They have released two albums but it's hard to find copies. I was talking to the singer, PJ, the other day and he told me they are getting ready to record their third album. It's not set in stone yet but we're supposed to record a split with White Goblin in the near future. We try to play together as much as we can, it's always party time when we get together. This year we haven't played out together but we plan on doing a show later in the year.

When was the last time you and White Goblin shared a bill and how was that show for both bands? Where else has Lynch Pigs appeared locally? Have you had a chance to play outside New York yet?
I believe the last time we played with White Goblin was last year when we opened for Murder Junkies at Even Flow Bar in Bayshore. That was a pretty cool show, we had the bands Filthy Twolips, White Goblin, Urban Waste, Murder Junkies, and us. Overall the show ran smoothly and everyone had a great time. It doesn't get much better than that. Locally we've played at The Village Pug in Lindenhurst, Amityville Music Hall, Bubs in Hampton Bays, and a bunch of other venues. Outside of New York we've played shows in Boston, Massachusetts, Oxford, California, Providence, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Telford, Pennsylvania, Canton, Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio, St Louis, Missouri and Dunellen, New Jersey.

What was it like for the band to experience the different scenes in all those states where you have played?
We've met a lot of awesome people and bands playing shows in all those states. It's been an incredible experience so far and hopefully we'll be able to go even further in the future
There are free shows every year in NYC’s Tompkins Square Park. Has the band played one or more of those yet?
We played one of the free shows in Tompkins Square Park in June of 2012. It was a pretty cool experience and was our first outdoors show.

Talk about the show you played in the park in June 2012. What bands are on the bill with you and how large was the turnout?
It was a perfect day for a show in the park, we opened and before we even started there was a good size crowd. As we played the crowd grew larger and larger. I couldn’t tell you how many people were there but there was a lot. The weather was beautiful and after the show we went to Otto's Shrunken Head. We played with Alekhines Gun, Truth In Needles, (A) Truth, Miscegenator, and Mongrel Bitch. I remember while we were playing a crazy lady stood right in front of us and kept screwing around with our singer. She danced throughout the whole set and wanted us to keep playing. A year or two ago I saw an article in a newspaper on the lady, She had been crossing the street and got run over and was killed instantly.

Are you acquainted with the staff of the independent newspaper The Shadow, who are involved with booking the shows at Tompkins?
We met some of the staff when we played Tompkins; we met them through Chris from Iconicide. At first I wasn't sure how to react to p.c. Anarchism; it didn't make sense to me. Now I have a better understanding of what they are about. I can really appreciate what they are doing, when I misjudged them initially.

What gave you more of an understanding of The Shadow and its purpose? If you’ve read any issues of the paper, did you get anything out of any of the articles?
I reached a better understanding by doing my own research. After meeting some of the staff of The Shadow I eventually went back home and began thinking about it. Not knowing what p.c. anarchism really was and assuming it meant something else really confused me at first. Eventually after seeing what is portrayed in mainstream media compared to what really happened opened my eyes. I'm not the kind of person to blindly believe everything I'm told. If you tell me something that I'm unsure about I will research it. I think that is one of the main problems with our society today, everyone jumps to illegitimate conclusions without first finding out the truth. I read an issue of the paper years ago and can't recall a specific article. Unfortunately The Shadow is only distributed in New York City, if it were available out here on Long Island I would read it more frequently.

Many clubs that were around two decades ago are now closed down. Has the band appeared at the clubs left from the old days like Pyramid and ABC No Rio?
We played at Pyramid once back in 2013 with Sexual Suicide. We played in the basement while on the main floor there was a goth party. We never had the opportunity to play at ABC No Rio. We had heard that in order to be booked the staff had to read your lyrics to see if anything offended them, it would have wasted their time and ours.

Do you regret that so many clubs were forced to close down since the 90s? At which of them would you have liked to perform?
It is unfortunate a lot of clubs had to close down, a lot of them had a following all their own. Now it's almost solely up to the bands to fill the venues. If you don't have a following you’re either not going to get booked or even worse might have to do pay to play. Since I've been in Lÿnch Pigs I've seen many venues come and go. We used to play at Evenflow Bar and Grill in Bayshore but it closed down earlier this year. Down in North Carolina Tremont Music Hall recently closed down. It's happening everywhere and doesn't look to be stopping. Given the opportunity I would have liked to play at Sundance in Bayshore and L'Amour in Brooklyn. Both of those clubs really stand out in my mind and I've heard a lot of stories of amazing shows that happened.

What label was the first volume of Here To Ruin Your Groove released on? Did he contact you to ask if you were interested in appearing on the compilation? Which of your songs is included and do you plan to contribute to future volumes?
Our German friend, Tobi Plumenbohm, released it on his label "Here To Ruin Your Groove Records". He contacted me a year or two ago and asked if we wanted to be on the compilation. We have two songs, "Road Soda" and "Force It In". We have no plans on contributing to future volumes. There are a lot of bands out there that really deserve to be heard. I wouldn't want to take away the opportunity for another band to have their songs released.

Considering your lyrics, how gradually did you see the changes in your audience’s reactions from when you started playing out? What are some of the most inane, ridiculous remarks you’ve heard people say to you about the band?
Initially a lot of people were horrified and some even left the shows, now people sing along. It's a great feeling to be on stage and see people really digging your music. I remember at one of our shows someone came up to me in the bathroom. They wanted to know if I knew what the band name really stood for. Although the name could be interpreted as hang cops we never took it from that angle. My last name is Lynch so it's meant to be Lynch’s Pigs but people can interpret it any way they want.

How many lineup changes happened since Lynch Pigs started, and how long has your present lineup been together?
We've been plagued with lineup changes, so far we've had eight lineup changes. Dirty Martinez has been in the band since February 2013 and Danny Crusher joined us in January of this year. We just parted ways with our singer, Jesse Omega, and now Dirty and I will be singing the songs.

I saw a promotional video the band made for your song Lynch Daddies. Who were the dancers appearing in the video? Does the clip represent the usual kind of show by Lynch Pigs?
The dancers were Omega Girls. Our previous singer, Jesse Omega is a well-known promoter here and he had go-go dancers at all his shows. Most of them were found at strip clubs here on Long Island. When Jesse was in the band he had dancers at every show we played, but in the end it didn't work out. The girls wanted to be paid and at most of the shows we weren't making any money. Besides the spaghetti wrestling and dancers, the clip represents a typical Lÿnch Pigs show here on Long Island.

Can you cite some of the sleaziest, most extreme shows the band had played? Describe these shows and what happened at them.
There isn't one show that stands out as being the sleaziest or most extreme. For the most part there are situations that have happened at shows that were extreme or sleazy. One instance was when we played Providence, Rhode Island. While we were playing one of the bartenders brought a bottle of liquor on stage and proceeded to pour it down our throats. It's not as easy as it looks to play a song while having someone pour alcohol down your throat. After our set we met some chick, we ended up with her in our van and everyone got a turn. While this was going on her boyfriend was walking around looking for her.
Last time we played Blackthorn in Queens our set was cut short. After about four songs I took my guitar off and tossed it at the drummer. I wasn't mad, I was really high and drunk and just felt like it. I went and got my guitar and told him it wasn't personal. He laughed and I walked to the front of the stage and gave everyone the finger. Immediately security came out and the sound guy unplugged my amp. The crowd wanted us to keep playing but Blackthorn took it upon themselves to shut everything down. We decided we don't have to play there ever again.

Tell the readers about the first demos the band released and how much distribution they received. Were there reviews of those demos in the fanzine industry?
We didn't have an official demo in the beginning. When I joined the band all the songs for the first album, Cheap Sleaze, had been written. The reviews were mixed, some people really liked it while some really hated it. There was only one written review and it was on the internet. There wasn't any distribution for the first album; we sold them at shows or from our online store. We began writing new songs when Jesse Omega joined the band. I came up with the music and titles for the songs, from there we would all have a say in the lyrics. The two EPs we recorded, Livin' Dirty and Forced Entry, are the songs most of our fans know. We've had a much better response from those then we did on our first album.

To date have you sold more of your releases at your shows or through online ordering?
We have sold more through our online store. We get orders from all over the place, recently I shipped packages to Germany and Norway. I've shipped merch pretty much all over the United States but a lot of the orders come from down south. In the U.S. we offer free shipping but anywhere else in the world we have to charge shipping. Currently we're looking into European distros to try to alleviate the shipping costs.

Have you contacted any distros in Europe that would be interested in stocking your releases?
We haven't contacted any distros yet. I've been in contact with a couple people who live in Europe and are fans of the band. They are sniffing around to see what they can find. As soon as we have compiled a list of potential distros we'll begin contacting them and see what we can come up with.

Do you still have copies of Cheap Sleaze available for purchase? List the songs appearing on this release?
We still have copies of Cheap Sleaze on CD and vinyl. We always have a couple copies with us at shows and it can be ordered from our online store. The songs on Cheap Sleaze are Hellhounds Of Rock "N' Roll, Hellbent For Tobacco, D.W.F., Earn My Love, Do Your Damn Job, Titanium Cobra, The Seven Day Itch, Dine 'N' Ditch, Knee Deep In Pussy, and Bang In The Bathroom. On the cd version there are two bonus tracks called Lookin' Ain't Touchin' and P.C. Cunt. We occasionally play Knee Deep In Pussy and Hellbent For Tobacco, the rest of the songs we haven’t played in probably three years.

In what ways was your EPs Livin' Dirty and Forced Entry an improvement from Cheap Sleaze?
If you listen to Cheap Sleaze and then put on either of the two EPs it sounds like two different bands. 90 percent of Cheap Sleaze was written by our old drummer before I even joined, at that point there wasn’t a band but more of an idea for a band. Our old drummer made almost all the decisions regarding the album, beyond writing the songs he also came up with the cover and layout. Cheap Sleaze was his project; the rest of us went along for the ride. It worked out nicely in the beginning because we didn’t have to spend time writing, we learned the songs and began playing out.
When we recorded the EPs the whole band was involved in writing. I would come up with a riff and bring it to practice, if everyone liked it we would write a song around it. Instead of going to a studio we recorded it ourselves at our practice space. Everything was done in single tracks and mixed later on. By doing this we got a raw sound instead of a polished sound like on Cheap Sleaze. We're a sleazy, down and dirty rock n roll band and the raw sound suited us better. There are differences in lyrical content as well, a lot of people find it hard to relate to anything on Cheap Sleaze. With the EPs the lyrics were a little more real while still being comical.

What are the band’s favorite songs from Livin’ Dirty and Forced Entry? If you are writing songs for your next release, how will they be improvements from your present material? How soon do you expect to release something new?
Some of our favorites from those releases are Lard Makes Me Hard, Road Soda, Random Acts Of Violence, and Learn English. Each of those songs sound different than the others and we have fun playing them. We have the music part for a new EP almost finished and we're working on lyrics. By having us sing the songs instead of a lead singer it's forcing us to put more thought into what we are doing. In a way it is pushing us to improve individually because we aren't going to write easier guitar or bass parts just so we can sing at the same time. We are planning on beginning to record the new songs for an EP in about a month, it should be ready by November when we go on our east coast tour. We are also working on our second album which should be released next year.

Where do you plan to record the next EP and full length? How extensively do you plan to promote them once they’re released?
The upcoming EP is going to be recorded in our practice space. Our second album is being recorded at Zenith Studios in Rocky Point by our friend Michael Gatto. Both will be available on our bandcamp and from our online store. The album will also be available on Itunes, Amazon, and Spotify. We'll be hitting the road after the album is released to promote in as many places we can as well as having online promotion.

-Dave Wolff

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