weekly updated blog for Oi! – punk – ska – reggae
Next is an interview with Suede Razors from San Francisco (USA). The band is like old wine in a new bottle but aged to perfection. The band plays a mixture of 70’s punk, Oi!, pub rock, bootboy glam and mod revival and with (ex)members from Harrington Saints, Emergency, Hounds & Harlots and Sydney Ducks you know quality is guaranteed. All questions were answered by Mike.
May 2015 – band website
Can you please introduce the band to us?
It’s Darrel on vocals, Bryan on guitar, Mike on bass, and Eric on drums. Darrel also sings in Harrington Saints, Bryan sings/plays guitar in Hounds & Harlots, and Mike had previously played bass in Sydney Ducks as well as Emergency and Subway Thugs most notably. Eric has played in several bands as well but none recently in the Bay Area. However, he was in The Bootboys who appeared on the US Of Oi! Comp (Link Records).
You just come back from your first European tour. Do you have any good memories to share?
Aside from us all being sick as hell the entire trip and dealing with too many ‘technical’ issues with our van and back-line, it was a great tour! We had a lot of fun on the road with Lion´s Law and Topnovil (Australia)… Awesome bands and solid guys! It’s always great to get back over to Europe, see old friends, and make new ones. Hopefully we get a chance to go back!
Usually when people are young and start a band they wanna conquer the world, when they grow older they wanna calm down and lower their ambitions. But you start a band and within a short period of time you release four 7″s and do an overseas tour. Where do you get the energy from?
Isn’t that the truth! We all love playing music and it’s something that energizes us. We initially had no expectations for this band other than hanging out and playing some music that was different from our other bands. But after our first 7″, we got a lot of great feedback and with each release gained more and more momentum. With four 7″s and a few shows under our belt it was only natural for us to try to get overseas! We all have had great experiences touring Europe in our other bands so when the opportunity became available for Suede Razors to tour Europe, we jumped at the chance!
Apart from Suede Razors the members also play in bands like Harrington Saints, Sydney Ducks and Hounds & Harlots. Do these other band obligations limit your band ambitions?
Yeah to a certain degree. Our other bands schedules take priority so there are definitely limitations at times. We’ve done a pretty good job at balancing shows, tours, and studio time amongst all four bands though. Sydney Ducks and Hounds & Harlots both have members currently living outside of California so that has allowed for more time for Mike and Bryan to spend focusing on Suede Razors.
As said you just released four 7″s so far. Is the 45er a special format to you or do you alo plan other formats, like a full-length, as well?
Definitely I think that a 45rpm 7″ record with only 2 songs is a really special format, it is the ultimate in classic vinyl formats!! Think of all the great punk singles and reggae and soul 45s. They are all only 2 songs, and usually both really killer songs!! On a full-length LP with 10 or more songs, it is really difficult to make every song equally as great, so in my opinion a lot of times LPs end up with some ‘filler songs’. So to release only 2 songs on a 7″ is a bit of a challenge to be sure that BOTH songs are totally great songs!!
Of course this is a matter of opinion about what is a good song or not, but for us as a band, we want to feel like every song we release is worth releasing. So to answer your question about other formats from Suede Razors… Yes, we want to release a longer record as soon as we can write and record enough songs that we feel are ALL great and worthy of releasing!! Our plan is to hopefully record 6 songs this summer to release as a 12″…
For your latest 7″ you recorded a cover song from Red London, a band which is highly underrated in my opinion. Why did you choose this song?
I had actually played this as a cover song in another band a few years ago and I always loved this song. The bass-line is so simple and so catchy! So as the bass player, I liked playing it and it is quite simple, so it was easy for the whole band to learn. Of course it is also a little bit of a risk to play this song because of the fact that it seems that most people think it is a Skullhead song!!
I honestly only ever knew it as a Red London song when I first heard it, and I find it funny that the people who want to make accusations seem to be listen to ‘right wing’ bands in the first place apparently! So to me, it is also a little bit of a statement from us to make people aware of this great, under-rated band Red London, and to take back this song from that ‘other band’ and to give proper credit where it is due to the guys from Red London who wrote this song. We clearly state that this is a Red London song on the 7″ and we introduce it as a Red London song each time we play it!
Mike, you also run Longshot Records since 1994. What keeps you going and do you have any interesting new releases scheduled yet?
Well… The one thing that keeps me going is all the great bands and great music that they are making!! I have been doing this for 20 years now, and there have been many bad times as well as all the good times! I have taken short breaks of about a year a couple of times, then then each time I do that, I hear a new band or something that makes me excited again and it makes me want to keep doing Longshot. So as long as there will be good bands out there, I will probably still be doing Longshot for 20 more years at least!!
It is also very important to give credit to some of the many great labels out there who are also working in cooperation not only with Longshot, but with each other to make our scene as good as it ever has been probably since the original days!! Labels like Contra Records, Rebellion Records, Randale Records, UVPR, Step-1 Music and here in the US like Oi! The Boat and Rebel Sound as well as Pirates Press Records of course!!
As for upcoming new releases, there are so many… Shandy, Bonecrusher, The Pagans Of Northumberland, Marching Orders, Bats Out, Crown Court, Last Crusades, Emergency and recently there have been new releases by Bishops Green, Razorcut, The Lancasters and Marching Orders…
I suppose Passion On The Pitch is a football song. Is football still a B-sport in the USA or did the latest world cup helped to improve the popularity of the game?
Football (or “soccer” as the Yanks call it) has definitely been getting more and more popular here in the US, although to call it a ‘B-sport’ is still accurate I think.
The World Cup definitely helps, both in 2014 and even in 2010 and 2006 there was growing interest. The Euro Cup is also getting more and more popular here to watch, since so many of the best players in European Leagues like the Premier League, Bundesligue, Serie A and La Liga, etc. are involved with the Euro Cup. Also, for the last 2 years, one of the main TV networks here in the US has been showing EVERY single English Premier League game on TV. So anyone who has a TV is pretty much able to watch now. We get more English football games here in the US on TV than they show in England!!
Do you have any closing comments?
I just want to say thanks a lot for asking us these questions and taking the time to take an interest in Suede Razors!! Hopefully you will all hear more from us soon!