Remember The Culptits? We Do Too!

Anyone old enough to remember The Culprits?  If you don’t then go hunt down their albums “FifteenThirteen” and “Nora.”  I promise that you will not be disappointed.  If you love Office Negative, The Havoc, and similar bands, then you need to add this to your library of Christian punk.  Brian reached out to me recently and told me that The Culprits might be getting back to together to do some shows, if you are lucky enough to be in the Mid-Atlantic states, maybe you can catch one of their reunion shows!  Anyway, check out what Brian had to say about The Culprits, all the bands they shared the stage with, Cornerstone’s past, and the scene in general.

Q: So The Culprits played their last show around 2004-2005, when did the band get its start?

A: We started working on the songs for the Culprits in early 2000, at that point we were in a 3 piece ska-punk band called Slushball Derkins that was winding down. I’ll never forget the night we decided ska just wasnt working for us anymore, it was January 3rd, 2000. We were playing a show at Carpenter’s Home Church in Lakeland Florida with saGoh 24/7(Anberlin) and Cool Hand Luke. SD had played Lakeland tons of times over the course of 3 years and always had a good response, but that night we opened the show and everyone looked at us like we were aliens or something. No noise in between songs just dead silence, crossed arms, and icy stares. Granted we were a little out of our element at that show but after our set we knew we had to change or we wouldn’t be long for the scene. So the very next day we sat down and evaluated where we were going what we were doing and how we could do it better. We all still loved ska but figured if we can’t go full fledged horns and everything we would focus more on the punk side. So we talked about favorite bands favorite songs and kind of came to a consensus on what we wanted to play. It turned out we all had good memories of albums like Let’s Go, Out Come The Wolves, Maniacal Laughter, and Dookie. We saw that the Christian scene at least in Florida was lacking any kind of good punk rock with a positive message so we set out to change that. As I’m going back through old cds I’m finding out a lot happened in a short amount of time in 2000. The first set of songs that would later become the foundation for The Culprits first album were released on a 4-song demo by SD called Cry Freedom in April 2000 and by the end of that Summer/early Fall we had made the transition to The Culprits and were recording FifteenThirteen our first album.

Q: What is the significance of the name The Culprits?

A: I’d love to tell you there’s some deep meaning behind it like because of our sins we are all culprits in the death of Jesus, but it’s just a name I came up with late one night after seeing the word somewhere, checking to make sure no one else had it as an AOL user name, pitching it to the band and everyone thinking it was a good name.

Q: So we know that The Culprits have members that were in Since Remembered, and a more current project Wolves&Wolves&Wolves&Wolves, can you give us a timeline of how all these bands are related and the order of their existence. Also what other bands have members (or ex-members) been in?

A: The running thread between all these bands and many more is mostly me (Brian) but my brother Kyle has been in all the same bands whether voluntarily or reluctantly. It all started with a band called The Swifties (Kent, Brian, Kyle, Tylere, Joel) in 97-98 which after the lead singer quit became Slushball Derkins (Brian, Kyle, Tylere, Joel & later Danny) 98-2000 which after a couple member changes and a bad show became The Culprits (Brian, Kyle, Sean, Danny – later Brian, Kyle, Ben) 2000-04ish. The Culprits never had a proper last show partly because me and Kyle (bass and vocals) ended up moving to North Carolina Ben (drums) stayed in Florida so it just fizzled out. About a year after that The Culprits first drummer Danny contacted me about starting back up a high school band we had been in together called XNeverAgainX but this time we would call it Since Remembered (Danny, Brian, Mike, Kyle) 2006-07. We sent demos and lyrics back and forth via email and whatever and put together a solid demo which got us signed to Blood and Ink (where the Culprits released a cd). That fell apart in less than a year for reasons I won’t go into which I’m kind of sad about because I thought we had some good days ahead of us. From 07-08 I tried to get a new band going 4 different ways, the same band but different lineups and it never gelled. Finally in 2009 I gave that up and worked on something brand new and that ended up becoming Wolves&Wolves….. which is still going strong and about to release our first cd. I’ll never remember all the bands everyone before or after The Culprits has been in but a small list would go like – Fit For Rivals, The Making Of, The Essex, Black Hand, blkmsk, Catch Phrase, and a ton more

Q: So what is everyone in The Culprits up to these days?

A: From the original line-up – I’m living in Winston Salem working on Wolves, Kyle is also in Winston playing drums in Wolves and working full time at his t-shirt printing business Machine Gun Graphics, Sean is living in Florida and celebrating the birth of his first daughter, Danny is in Tennessee working as a tattoo artist, our last drummer Ben is living in California somewhere near the corner of Hollywood & Vine playing music and cutting hair.

Q: So The Culprits put out a few albums, I know of “Nora”, but there is also an album called “FifteenThirteen” that you mentioned. How would people even get their hands on either of these recordings today? When I listen to “FifteenThirteen” it has a bit more punky feel to it than “Nora” which is a bit cleaner and more produced. Are these the only albums you guys put out or are there other recordings? (any plans on releasing Slushball Derkins? LOL)?

A: We had a small handful of releases, first a 5 song demo in 2000 limited to about 50 or so, only 2 full length albums 1513 was first, self released in late 2000, then by a label in 2001.  Nora was released in 2003 by Blood & Ink Records who I would later work with on Since Remembered’s album. We did a self released 7″ titled “The Sinking Spell” in 2004 that debuted at Cornerstone which ended up being one of our last shows. It’s unfortunate the 7″ never got heard by many people because we were producing some amazing stuff at that point that could have had a pretty big impact. We were on a few compilations, one a central Florida sampler which we were the only punk band on, one was Boot To Head Records Sampler 2 which was huge for me because I ate up everything Caleb put out and wanted to be on BTH so bad, and we had an exclusive song on Tooth & Nail’s I’m Your Biggest Fan Volume 2 which was another big deal because volume 1 was my high school soundtrack. We also did another 5 song demo “Ashes to Ashes Dust to Dust” that had a couple songs from each album and a rerecorded version the song we did for Tooth & Nail that was limited to 50 copies and we sold on our 2002 Fall tour. 1513 was pretty raw but in a good way, we were 4 kids writing music together and having fun it was good times, but a lot happened between the 2 albums, I got married, our guitarist quit (but would later rejoin as our drummer in 2002 only to quit again), our drummer was engaged and quit the band, and the whole thing almost ended. I had moved away from home with my wife and was pretty much on my own writing at that point so I was coming up with different sounding music that had us morphing from a Rancid style street punk band into a Nerve Agents/AFI horror hardcore punk band. A LOT of people would come up to us after Nora and ask why did we change our style, and I’d understand why they felt that way but we never stopped playing the songs from 1513 or acted any different onstage so I would just tell them were writing new stuff and it’s gonna be different because we won’t write the same songs over. We were a progressive minded band if we weren’t moving forward stylistically I felt like I was just treading the same water over and over again. You can get Nora probably until the end of time at bloodandinkrecords.com, I still have tons of copies of 1513 and the 7″ that I can get to people who want it. Me and my brother keep talking about going back and re-recording some of the old stuff and putting it up for free download or whatever but I don’t know if we should go all George Lucas on the old songs, and there’s been an ongoing discussion between me my brother and our last drummer to get together and write some new material but who knows if it’ll ever produce anything. As for the SD stuff I’ve been working on remixing remastering and in some cases restoring the entire catalogue but it’ll only be given to members of the band and close friends who were around at the time.

The Culprits “Johnny Bombs Away”

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Q: The Culprits have been around for a while, and I bet that you guys have shared the stage with a lot of bands that are considered “legends” of the Christian hardcore/punk scene (along with you guys), who were some the bands you guys shared the stage with over the years that were your favorites? Who might we never have thought you might have shared the stage with?

A: We played shows with just about anyone you can think of, Underoath, Anberlin, Showbread, Headnoise, Officer Negative, The Deal, One21, The Havoc, The Last Hope, OCD, FBS, Flatfoot 56, The Decoded, Seventh Star, Sleeping By The Riverside (Adam Warshowsky sang on 1513 and is still a good friend to this day), Gunwale Under, and any Facedown band that came through Florida we ended up playing with. We actually ended up hopping a small swing of dates with Officer Negative in Florida, we played a show with them in our hometown one night in 2001 and we bonded pretty quickly and ended up playing all the rest of their shows in Florida, they asked us the next year to tour with them from Cornerstone to California and it was the most fun I’ve ever had. They were by far my favorite because they were just fun to be around and awesome people. I got a lot of good marital advice from Chad that I’ll never forget and will be eternally grateful for. We also played with a bunch of secular bands in Florida just because we ended up getting a good following in central Florida from non-Christians because we were never preachy, we got the opportunity to open for The Unseen, The Virus, Endless Struggle, and more.

Q: What was the purpose of The Culprits?

A: It was to show Christ’s love, not preach it or just speak it but to SHOW it. We ended up getting a good reputation around central Florida for being the Christian band everyone could like. We tried to never judge anyone because of what they believed or didn’t believe, and we tried not to preach from the stage. I dont feel I was ever called to be a preacher, I’m a musician, so I would go onstage to play music. That didn’t go over too well with some of the established bands and people in the scene but I never felt led to turn a mosh pit into an altar call. Now I’m not saying that other bands should have done the same as us because it’s not my place to say and I dont know what they were called to do but for me it was always about the one-on-one conversations. That’s where I felt led to be, talking and showing Christ’s love on a personal level. If I could talk to one kid after a show and make a positive mark on their life then I did my job. Most of the time when I would talk to people after the show I would end up just listening, not because I didn’t have anything to say but because most of the kids I met never had anyone who would just let them speak. They were so beat down by people shoving things down their throats they were happy someone was just there paying attention to what they had to say and I would never cut them off even if I didnt agree with what they were saying, I’d let them know where I stood and why, but I did my best to never condemn someone because they wouldn’t immediately sway to my point of view. I’ve had many conversations with people where neither I nor they changed their point of view on an issue but we both walked away respecting each other for being able to talk and disagree CIVILLY. I knew I would never be able to change everyone I spoke with’s mind but if I showed them the love and respect we were commanded to show them, God could take that and make a difference.

Q: So, rumor is that The Culprits might be doing some reunion shows, is that true? Where might we see you guys playing?

A: A reunion has been in discussion for a couple years now but something always came up to prevent it from happening, never anything major we just never got the timing right. We’d love to do something around Halloween like a Fall tour, maybe a week or a couple weekends back to back. The fall was when we started getting things together in the beginning and our imagery fit perfectly with the season so I think it’d be the most fun. We always did a big Halloween show every year. I’ve sketched out some tour plans and there’s always places we would love to get back to but it always ends up that Florida, North Carolina and Virginia were the places we were most attatched to. Tampa, Orlando, Melbourne/Cocoa Beach, Savannah Ga, Raleigh area NC, Richmond and Roanoke VA are our targets for a tour. If it only came down to being able to do one show it’d probably be Orlando or Tampa.

Q: Are you guys going to be putting out some new material?

A: Ive got a treasure trove of never before heard material from the old days and some newer songs that would fit where we were headed around the time of the 7″ so I wouldnt rule it out, it’s just a matter of focusing our efforts to do it. With Wolves&Wolves…. getting ready for a tour later this year and everyone being so far apart it’s more likely we would just get together for the shows and to play the old songs again.

Q: What do you guys think about Cornerstone calling it quits? (in case you didn’t hear, this is the LAST Cornerstone Festival)

A: I think it’s unfortunate, one of our biggest goals as a band was to be able to play C-stone and we achieved it pretty quickly. We played the Underground Stage, Steel Roots Stage, and a handful of generator stages in 2002 and had a great time. Sadly that was the last time we were asked by the fest to officially play. We ended up playing 03 and 04 thanks to Blood and Ink Records getting us spots on smaller stages. I know a lot of behind the scenes info about C-stone and it doesn’t shock me this is the last year, I’m honestly a little surprised it didn’t happen sooner but I had a lot of fun and made a lot of great memories and friends that I’ll never forget over the 4 trips (3 Culprits, 1 Since Remembered) I made to that corn field. I hate to think that kids won’t have that in the future, but time brings change. and I really hate I’ll miss the Squad 5-0 reunion.

Q: What are some of the fondest memories as a band? What shows or interactions have had special meaning for the Culprits?

A: The entire Officer Negative/Culprits tour in 2002 was a blast start to finish. Chad, Casey, and the guys will always be some of my favorite people and musicians of all time. I dont think there was a moment on that tour I wasn’t having fun or didn’t have a smile on my face. One time in particular that sticks out, after Cornerstone that year was over we were meeting up with ON to start West at a hotel in Macomb which just happened to be where most of Tooth & Nail and Facedown Records were staying. Chad had organized a heading separate ways prayer with ON, The Deal, One-21 and another band I can’t remember, but asked us to join. We had played with The Deal a couple times in Florida and I think One-21 was confused as to who we were but being able to share that moment with 3 bands we looked up to was awesome. One other thing that jumps to mind was that same year at Cornerstone we were setting up our merch booth the first day and realized we were right next to Poor Old Lu, a band I have always loved. We get our stuff straight and are sitting around talking and next thing I know Jesse sprinkle is walking to the table with a box of stuff and all I can do is sit and stare. I know it freaked him out, I had my mohawk cut off shirt bondage pants and combat boots and I’m just staring at him. Over the course of the day we both caught each other staring, me out of admiration, and him I’m sure out of concern. I never worked up the nerve to start a conversation so I feel like I missed an opportunity to let him know he influenced a street punk band.

Q: When might we see The Culprits officially get together and announce these mini tours you reference above?

A: Sooner rather than later I’m hoping, it’s all depending on work schedules, tours already in place for our current bands and a few other factors. We’ve pretty much got the lineup set and the songs we wanna play picked out, it’s just a matter of everything coming into perfect alignment.

Q: What message do you want to send the hardcore punk scene as a whole?

A: Don’t limit yourself. Don’t just listen to one style of music. It’s ok to listen to things others don’t approve of. Be open minded and you’ll be surprised what you find.

Q: Feel free to give any shout-outs, share links to bands & ministries, etc. Thanks for the interview and look forward to hanging with you guys in Raleigh!

A: To be honest we’ve been out of the Christian scene so long we have very few contacts anymore. Off the top of my head Blood & Ink Records carries our old CDs and are always putting out amazing stuff, great guys great bands; theres a praise and worship band called Ascend The Hill, we go way back with Joel the singer solid dude; I play hockey and hang out with Dusty from The Almost so check them out; and of course wolves&wolves&wolves&wolves not a Christian band but that’s what me and Kyle are doing now.

Introducing “Jump Ship Quick”

I am trying to find bands to compare to my buddies in Jump Ship Quick.   When I listen to them, I can definitely hear influences from early NYC hardcore like Gorilla Biscuits, and bands like Uniform Choice (an early hardcore straight edge band out of Southern California).  All I can say is that the boys in Jump Ship Quick got the formula for straight punk right, catchy riffs, sing alongs, it will make you want to jump up and circle pit!  Anyway, we caught up with with the boys in Jump Ship Quick to ask them a few questions.  They recently signed to Thumper Punk Records (who also just released True Liberty’s new album which is another great album). Go and pick up their CDs here.

Band: Jump Ship Quick
Music Style: Punk
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Q: Where and how did Jump Ship Quick get its start?
A: Jump Ship Quick began in about 2004 but the story goes back 10 years earlier to Jeff and J playing in a skacore band in college. We enjoyed playing together and have continued over the years producing demos that we figured no one else would ever hear but we just loved jamming and kept going despite not really even having a band. Slowly but surely God put more pieces together to get us to the point of being able to record our CD.

Q: Who all is in the band and what do they do when they are not playing?
A: Jeff – Guitar Jeff is a school teacher in Medicine Hat Alberta Canada
Harry – Vocals Harry is a career counselor helping people get jobs in Abbotsford British Columbia Canada
Dave – Guitar Dave works with a christian organization helping troubled teens in Denver
J – Drums J is a videographer/editor working for a small production company based out of Houston

Q: Who do you guys compare your musical style to?
A: Our style is mostly influenced by old school straight edge bands of the early 80′s such as Gorilla Biscuits, 7 Seconds, Minor Threat, Youth Of Today. We also have a poppy-er sound with influences like NoFX

Q: Have any members been in other bands that we might know?
A: Jeff played in several bands from the Orange County hardcore scene. Before he was a Christian he played in No For An Answer, Half-Off, and Straight Arm. After he became a Christian he helped form the band Focused. One of his songs was on their debut CD Bow called “Walk Beside Me”
J helped form the band Ultimatum but left before they released their first demo Fatal Delay.

Q: You guys put your faith right out there in your music, you are obviously a Christian band, what does being a Christian band mean to you guys?
A: First and foremost we won’t be one of those bands that you can’t tell what we are about. We feel punk music is the perfect place to boldly tell our story. We desperately want to point people to Christ and be salt and light in a dark place. Our name Jump Ship Quick came from the idea of jumping of the ship of our current world view and having some urgency about it because one day it will be to late.

Q: Generally how does the punk/hardcore music scene accept that you are a Christian band?
A: We feel the secular side dislikes our stand but likes our music.  We have had reviews that were negative on our lyrics but did enjoy the music. We think that is a positive. The bible says if we make a stance we will be hated. We are certainly OK with that. Being disliked because we take a stand for Christ is more than acceptable and is sorta the ultimate compliment. We are all older guys who have lives outside of the band. We have jobs and don’t make a living playing.  We have the luxury of saying and doing what we want.

Q: You guys been playing shows?
A: No, we have never played a show yet. Matter of fact we have only had one practice and that didn’t even include Dave because it was over a year ago before he joined.  We were trying to tighten up the songs we decided to record. We do however want to play shows but the fact that there is so much distance between us all has made it very hard to do. We all were hoping to get in some shows this summer and play a couple fests but no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t seem to make it happen. We all sat back and began looking for God’s direction because nothing was happening. We have all become comfortable where we are and just hope God gives us the opportunity to play in the future. This whole band and recording really was God at work. We could never have orchestrated this whole thing and how it fell into place. To look back at the last couple of years we all have been in wonderment of how amazing God is.

Q: Might we see Jump Ship Quick on tour anytime soon? You guys playing any fests?
A: Jump Ship Quick will never officially go out on a real tour. We have jobs and families and responsibilities that will never allow for that kind of freedom. All the guys are very family oriented and our family is such a high priority to us, that touring goes against our convictions on being dad’s who are around and a part of our children’s lives. As much as we would love to do a 50 city tour, we have so much more of a responsibility at home. We do hope to play some weekend shows and maybe next summer do 3 or 4 shows back to back.

“I Defy” by Jump Ship Quick

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Q: What bands are you guys listening to that we should check out?
A: We are all really getting into the Thumper Punk library. Notably the Old Timers, they just put out an album that resonates well with us as we are all old timers too.

Q: Where does Jump Ship Quick pull most of its inspiration from scripture?
A: I don’t think we could single any portion out. We are all over the bible, from old testament to new. Some of our songs aren’t super biblical but they still have biblical slants. Bottom line we all realize a couple of important truths. We are all sinners, we all need grace and mercy and Jesus paid a debt that we can’t pay. In the end it all comes to those fundamentals anyway. It doesn’t matter how fancy you get that is the bottom line. In the end that is our story. We were all missing the mark we were all wrong with God and Jesus stepped in with grace and mercy and fixed our relationship with God.

Q: Which songs that you have hold the most meaning to you guys?
A: For every member there is a different song. No of us agrees on the one song that means the most.

Q: Jump Ship Quick is signed to Thumper Punk Records, how has that been for the band?
A: We are just so appreciative of Thumper Punk. The label took a chance on a band who has never played together and nobody knew who we were. We just sorta showed up. The coolest thing is getting to know some of the guys in the other bands on TPR. Everyone is very cool and it’s so great to be able to talk with them. Also, we do want to mention that this CD was put out by 2 labels which is Thumper Punk and Punk Roxx Records. Punk Roxx Records was the first part of the team to talk to us. They were the label that really didn’t know what to expect. All they heard was some really bad demo’s and to our complete surprise said they wanted to put us out. By the time TPR got into the mix our CD was finished so they had the ability to hear finished work instead of going on poorly produced demos. Nonetheless we are just so appreciative to both TPR and Punk Roxx. Who else would take a chance on us? Probably no one and for that we are forever grateful! One other great thing is, neither of the labels control our music. We decide how, when and what. They give us guidance and help us along the way but they leave us to take our journey they way we see fit. Plus, we don’t get into big financial contracts so we retain our song rights and don’t go into debt to record a CD. Both run their labels as a ministry and they look at it that way, so pressure to tour, sell CD’s and perform are just not there. These labels actually get it and I am glad to be a part of what they are doing. They don’t have the big PR machine but at the same time we as a band don’t have to pay for the machine to keep running. We are free and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Q: What are future plans for the band, are you guys planning on putting more albums out in the future?
A: Right now we have 11 songs that we are working on. We are hoping if all goes well we will be trying to get in the studio this time 2013. The beauty of our band is that we are all friends who are dedicated to each other and our families. We will probably play together till we can no longer play. What that looks like as far as CD’s and playing shows who knows. We just have so much fun doing this and it’s on our terms so we don’t see anything stopping us from continuing on.

Q: What message to you want to leave the scene with?
A: As older guys we see young people out there selling out to much. We aren’t even talking about musical style. We are talking about your stand. We to often hear about not wanting to offend people. All we can say is don’t fall into that. Be bold, be courageous, be different the world will think you are a fool and that’s OK.  When you look back you will be glad you did because it is the ones who stand out that truly make a difference in people’s lives. God uses the foolish and weak things to confound the strong and wise. He wants to use you. Are you ready to be used?

Q: Any shout-outs, links you want to share, message
A: We want to shout out to:
Bill from Punk Roxx Records  www.punkroxxrecords.com
David from Thumper Punk Records www.thumperpunkrecords.com
and you guys thanks for allowing us this time to tell our story. We are so deeply appreciative of what you guys are doing to help grow the Christian hardcore/punk scene. It’s really awesome to see.

Stand Together Fest Footage Is Posted

Hey folks, sorry we have been slacking, sometimes life gets in the way of doing the fun stuff.  John has been busy with with work and his kids, so he hasn’t had much time to post anything.  Josh has been busy with his pet project www.Apexshows.net and work has been eating his time as well as family.  So, we finally got all the video posted from Stand Together Fest today.  Sorry it took so long and thanks to all the bands that have been patiently waiting (and bugging us) to post it.  I would suggest that you go to the HXCChristian.com youtube page and you can check out all the video there.  You can get to the HXCChristian.com youtube page by clicking here.

Here is a little teaser from the first day:

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We are also working on some interviews, so stay tuned and I promise we will get some stuff cooking!

Josh and the gang!

By the way, this guy <– rocks.  Daniel (the guy behind Blood & Ink Records) did a killer job putting together and running the Stand Together Fest.  Make sure that you thank Daniel if you know him and tell him that he should definitely do the fest again next year.  Since Cornerstone is going away, this would be a good way for our small scene to keep together and catch up.  Again, many thanks Daniel!  Make sure you go and buy all the Blood & Ink records.  There is going to be some really good stuff coming out in the near future (at least from what I have heard!!!!  shhhhhhh………

Stand Together Fest Next Week!

So, a few of the HXCChristian.com staff will be going to Stand Together Fest next Friday and Saturday (the 13th and 14th of April) and we are super psyched to see some of the bands that will be playing. We know a lot of the bands on the bill and really look forward to hanging, having fellowship, and enjoying some good music. The good folks at Blood & Ink Records are the ones that are putting this event on and asked if we could help promote it in the final push to get as many people to the show as possible. It sounds like there is a good crowd coming out and there are still some tickets available.  Tickets are only $45 for a bunch of great bands, so, if you are within 2 hours, you have no excuse not to come and hang out.  You can find out more info on the Stand Together Fest website and buy tickets there.  As for Cornerstone, I (Josh) will not be going this year, however, we have a few folks that will be going, but I do not think we will be running a full tent this year.  More info to come on that in the coming month.   Here are some of the people we want to give shout outs to and look forward to finally meeting and hanging out with:

  • Sean and Daniel from Blood & Ink Records (we love you guys)
  • Kevin from Beacons (we both live in NC and have to go to TN to hang out?)
  • Jesus Steph
  • The With Increase posse (and Doug, if he is coming….)
  • Our homies in Venia
  • Matt B from Carrying the Fire (coming out of mosh retirement?)
  • XLooking ForwardX – let’s talk about Cormac McCarthy books please!
  • Debater (aka Debtor) – bring me a cheese steak please…..
  • Cool Cough – John & Harbor – can’t wait to hang again buddies!
  • Strengthen What Remains – Joshua and crew – Miss you guys!
  • Fravel – nuff said
  • John Jackson – keep me from getting into trouble (he helps out at HXCChristian.com)
  • FF56 – hope we can hang and finally get some kind of interview
  • This Moment in Hardcore Crew (Matt and Nick)
  • Clint (from Jawbone) and his wife Heather (YES I WILL FILM THE JAWBONE SET THIS TIME PROMISE)
  • Friends – I loved you guys at Cornerstone last year, can’t wait to see you guys play again (and I need to pick up your album)
  • Grumpy Old Man – Will he show up? Will he provide a PSA on stage during the fest? We’ll see….

I am sure that I forgot some people, and if I did, sorry, catch you at the show.  John and myself (Josh) are staying at the Marriott downtown.  I am flying in and get to the airport early on Friday morning, I will be around to hang out and do interviews if any bands are interested in doing a fun video interview or goofing off.  (you bring the goof, I’ll bring the camera).  Hit me up on facebook (if you are friends with me already), or email me at josh @ HXCChristian.com if you want to hang or setup a video interview and I can give you my cell number so you can text/call me.  We would love to meet you if we don’t know you already (or even if we do).

See you there!

HXCChristian.com Radio Lives Again

We have redone the radio station, new music, all the time. Click the player to the right in the menu bar to tune it or select the logo of the player you want to stream through to the right.

Hit us up if you want us to play your band! josh @ hxcchristian.com

Grace and Peace!

Introducing North Carolina’s Saint Hooligan

Recently John (who was in a punk rock mood) reached out to Saint Hooligan of North Carolina.  When he did this interview, they were in talks with Thumper Punk Records and signed with them in the middle of conducting this interview.  So, this is a two parter.  But seriously, good punk is getting harder and harder to find these days, seems like pop punk is still polluting the scene.  But, Saint Hooligan pulls off classic style sloppy DIY handmade hardcore punk.  Like a melting ice cream cone in 99 degree weather!  Can’t wait to have these guys play for Apexshows.net!  Check out our pals, and like them on facebook, and buy their album from Thumper Punk!

Band: Saint Hooligan
Music Style: Punk
Home Town: Burlington/Greensboro NC
Facebook Reverbnation

Q: Where and when did Saint Hooligan get its start?  Have any of the band been in other bands?

Marc: Started in the summer of 2009 after the breakup of Travis and my’s first band together, Chucksilver. We’ve all been in bands before.

Travis: For me it was the day we wrote ‘Circles.’ It was the first punk sounding song we had. Right after that point Chucksliver dissolved and Wham-Bam, Saint Hooligan erupted. I have been in numerous bands over the years. From cover bands to punk/ska to indie rock.

Andrew: I don’t know. And no I haven’t

Q: How about the Greensboro/Burlington scene.  Good, bad, big, small, good venues?  Do you feel your beliefs affect your acceptance in the scene?

Marc: There’s some good venues that are great for punk music. Not very big, but big enough for a circle pit. Hasn’t affected our acceptance yet.

Travis: Burlington sucks for music, unless you’re into to jam band cover song crap. Greensboro on the other hand has great venues and accepts the punkers. Our beliefs haven’t affected us I think because we don’t shove it down people’s throats…we love them for who they are and where they are at in their lives.

Andrew: Ehhhh it’s okay. Could be a lot better

Q: I see in the liner notes that at least two of you qualify as “Punk Rock Dads”, how does that workout?  Any challenges?  Any weirdness with schools/their friend’s parents?

Travis: Well…I have a 8 year old daughter and twin boys that are 6. It works out pretty well. They love music and punk music the most. Some challenges are them knowing most of the words to Rancid’s, “And Out Come The Wolves” album. I’ve had to go into some of the songs and remove the explicatives or mute the parts when we’re in the truck. I’m kinda like the FCC. The oldest of the twin boys has rocked out a full mohawk for about 2 years now and my daughter has a leather jacket with studs, Roger Merit and Rancid patches on it. I do get some looks from the school parents when I show up in a “Swingin’ Utters” t-shirt! I’ve got a lot of weirdness going on and I love to push the salmon-nella envelope.

Marc: I have a 13 month old, so no school wierdness yet. It can be tough getting up early the next day after a gig to wake up to take care of her.

Andrew: C&B

Q: What does everyone do when not being in the band?

Marc: Work and enjoy the family.

Travis: I sell landscaping, collect vinyl records, design flyers for shows, modifying effects pedals and cooking. I also enjoy long walks on the beach and world peace (haha).

Andrew: Constantly trying to get better at the drums

Q: What are the origins of the name?  How about the skull logo, which, incidentally is really cool?

Marc: The origin is from the recesses of my cranial cavity. Just came to me seemingly out of thin air. Liked the oxymoronicness of the name. And Travis came up with the logo.

Travis: I love skulls! I have numerous ones all around the house. A skull to me is intriguing because it is the holding cell for the mushy matter that runs all parts of the body. All emotions and decisions go on inside there. I hope one day to own a real skull. I love telling people the name of our band. It always get a wonky look on people’s faces.

Andrew: I have no idea

Travis: Sorry about Andrew, all he wants to do is bang on the drums all day!

Q: Tell me about the music influences of the band members.  Do you have one cd/album that you consider as most influential or one that really opened your eyes to something new? (For me, I can still remember when I first heard the opening part of Slip It In by Black Flag, totally blew me away).

Marc: My influences are: Creedence Clearwater Revival, AC/DC, Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, early Led Zeppelin. The opening riff for Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Up Around The Bend” gets me every time. I love raw, wide open, raunchy-riffed rock n roll without a bunch of fluff.

Travis: Operation Ivy, Rancid, Have Nots, Minor Threat, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Wes Montgomery, Joe Strummer, Jack White and The Kinks. I am a punk and blues sponge. My Dad listened to a lot of ‘Oldies’ when I was growing up. I still remember the first time hearing “You Really Got Me” by the Kinks. It blew my mind the sound those kats had. I still to this day love the guitar solo on that song, dirty and simple. The most influential album would be “And Out Come The Wolves” by Rancid. (For the all the real punkers, check out Plastic Bertrand’s – “Ca Plane Pour Moi”, it’s punk at a different light)

Andrew: My favorite bands are Angels and Airwaves, and Blink-182. CD wise it would be I-Empire by Angels

Q: Describe the song writing process for Maniac Punk.  Was it music first, lyrics first, who did what, how did the songs come together?  Any good stories behind some of the songs?

Marc: Both. Some were music first, others lyrics first. Travis and I flow very easily together creative wise. Either Travis would get a riff in his head, we’d flesh it out, and I would write the lyrics. Or I would have lyrics written, come to Travis with a sense of the direction musically that I feel the song should go. Or he’d have a riff, and lyrics I wrote three weeks earlier fit the feel of the riff. We write very quickly. Usually one, sometimes two, practices to write a new song. When the juices are flowing, we ride the creativity till it dries up. Maniac Punk (the song) is based off of Travis’s own maniac punk experience.

Travis: Story behind the song “Maniac Punk” – I was at a Have Nots/Flatfoot 56/Street Dogs show in Charlotte. I have always been one in the circle pit first so I was that night. Long story short, I came out of the pit with scuffed up checkerboard shoes and a bleeding busted lip!

Andrew: Most of the songs were already written when I got here, so~

Q: What would be your favorite song on Maniac Punk (and why, of course…).  How about the rest of the guys?  What song is your favorite to play live and which one do the crowds seem to connect with best?

Marc: “Spoil the Cynics” is my favorite off the cd. Just dig that opening riff. Live? Either Battle Hymn or Maniac Punk. Love cranking up the speed on the chorus of Battle Hymn and enjoy the craziness of Maniac Punk. The crowd gets into that one.

Travis: “Deserts and Wastelands” is a special song to me from the album because I think it describes the brotherhood, love and crap Marc and I have been through together pushing Saint Hooligan forward. For Live – the pit usually gets going on “Maniac Punk.”

Andrew: “Battle Hymn” because the whole dynamic going from the verse to the chorus is just awesome

Q: Why did you decide to submit Spoil the Cynics to the Punk Never Dies comp.?  Have you seen any interest from that?

Marc: It was the first one done for our album, but also it’s got our signature sound. It’s kinda our standard by which we measure our other songs we write.

Travis: Definitely have gotten some interest. I’m not to sure if Brandon from Indie Vision was to keen on us at first. A lot of our lyrics don’t scream Jesus but are positive and about life. Brandon is a really cool guy and is doing great things with Indie Vision. I’m not drinkin ‘hateraid’ but I have a different idea of punk music. I would have to say we are one of the few really punk bands on that comp. But like Tim from Rancid says, ”who am I to say who’s punk?’

Andrew: Yeah…we’ve gotten a record deal out of it

Q: Have you toured before and if so how does that balance with families?  Any touring plans coming up?  Want to go to any festivals? (Love to see you at Cornerstone!).

Andrew: No because 2/3rds of the band are too weeny to do it. No big deal though.

Marc: Have not toured yet. Would love to do some mini-touring on weekends, so in the process of getting shows set up.

Travis: I’m sure it would pull a little on my lovely wife and kids but they are behind me in my musical journeys. I’d love to do a Cornerstone Fest but I’m not sure if they are privy to the straight forward raw punk style. I guess if I was 18, grew my hair out in front of my face and we could write some Emo songs we might get an invite?

Saint Hooligan – “Spoil The Cynics”

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Q: If you could assemble a tour package, who would be on it with Saint Hooligan?  Any bands you play with often right now?

Marc: Would love to play with Flatfoot 56, Dropkick Murphys, and The Rabble. The Nondenoms (local punk band) we have played with twice.

Travis: I love to be on tour with Rancid, Have Nots, The Nondenoms. That would cover veterans and newbies to the punk world. Hey bands, you can learn a lot from the dudes that have gone before us!

Andrew: The Nondenoms for sure

Q: Guest vocals seem to be a pretty big trend right now, who would you want to be guest on your next cd?  Whose cd would you want to be on?

Marc: I would want Matt Freeman from Rancid or Ken Casey from Dropkick to sing with me. It’d be cool to sing on Dropkick’s cd.

Travis: I would have to say Tim Armstrong (Rancid) and Matt Pruitt (Have Nots).  I would love to be on a CD with the Have Nots or The Hoax. A deep dark secret of mine is to sing a duet with Joan Jett

Andrew: C&B

Q: What do you see as the purpose for the band?

Marc: To go to the dark places and change the atmosphere by who we are and Who we carry in us. We are the same on and off the stage. We were called to the sick, not the well. We also want to build relationships with other bands and sow into them.

Travis: Yes, other bands are very important to me and the friendships with them.  I think as a band we have been sent in to destroy religious bullcrap that oozes from the pulpit and media. I’m not hopping on a soapbox here but you can check out Mark 7. I’ll have some bread.

Andrew: To reach as many people as possible.

Q: Where in the Bible do you draw inspiration from as a band?  Any favorite verses/stories that really hit home?

Marc: I draw inspiration from the honest rawness of David in the Psalms. Matthew 9:11, 12 is a verse we have discussed extensively as a band. Any of the stories of Jesus or the apostles reaching out to the dirty of the world hit home.

Travis: This may be a shock and my answer may get pulled on this but I don’t draw inspiration from the Bible per se. Now before all you Tim Tebow fans start chunking rocks at me listen first. To me it’s a daily relationship with my Papa that I draw inspiration from. God’s happy and He’s in a good mood! The constant conversation I have with Him drives me personally and musically. But if you have to have a scripture to make it official it would be Hebrews 12:29. (And yes, I do read my Bible)

Andrew: Romans 12:2

Q: Any bands that you’re currently listening to that we should know about?

Marc: The Rabble and the Street Dogs.

Travis: Have Nots, The Hoax, Big City Bombers and The JB Conspiracy (if you like ska)

Andrew: Nondenoms

Q: Tell us about the acoustic shows at coffee houses.  How are you received there?  Do you do those with mohawks up/same attire as playing a punk show?

Marc: We have been well-received at the coffee houses we played at. People like the acoustic versions. We go in whatever we feel like wearing that day.

Q: Tell us some crazy story about the band or a something that happened at a show?

Marc: Two years ago, since we were drummer-less at the time, Travis and I spent three months playing to a drum machine in his basement. I also hadn’t learned bass yet, so it was just Travis with his guitar, my singing, and the incessant drumloop. If you can live through that, your band can survive anything.

Andrew: Travis rubbed my leg

Travis: One of my favorite’s is being on the 11:00pm spot but not playing until 1:30am. People are torn up drunk by then so it makes for a very fun time. And about the leg thing…it was an accident!

So, some people may stumble upon a clip of us in the studio with a pentagram on the drums and I figure I better explain that before anyone jumps to conclusions.  We recorded this album at Jerk Music Productions in Burlington NC that my friend Cody owns. At the time our drummer didn’t really have a great set of drums that he wanted to record with so (site unseen) we used a studio set Jerk had. It just so happened to have a pentagram on the front of the head. I first did a double take when I saw it and my ‘Christian-ese’ slipped up on me. I thought, God, how is Andrew gonna play on these? Then I was prompted inside myself that this was nothing more than a symbol, just like a ‘fish’ on the back of a car, and it wasn’t any stronghold or demonized drum set. Andrew recorded and the cd was released and has been a success for us. The video was filmed just for studio footage to use later but Cody made it into a video and put it up on his YouTube site. There will be an official Spoil The Cynics video up on our site in a couple of months.

Q: What is one of your favorite cd’s that you’re embarrassed to admit you own (any/all band members)?

Marc: I have Monster Ballads. It’s a collection of  ’80s big-hair, arena-rock love songs.

Travis: Lionel Richie’s Greatest Hits…I love me some Lionel!!

Andrew: I am very proud of all the music that I own

Q: Any shout-outs you’d like to make?

Marc: Thank God for Pop-Tarts. Without them I wouldn’t have survived college.

Travis: SKA music – it still lives! My wifey and kids, sushi and PB&J. Dave from TPR..thanks for taking this behemoth on! Blahhhhh!

Andrew: Mom and Dad! And my C&B

UPDATE:  So in the process of us interviewing Saint Hooligan – unknown to us, they were signed by Thumper Punk Records.  The following questions are in regards to their signing with Thumper Punk Records.

Q: So, about the signing to Thumper Punk, how did this all come about, especially since Saint Hooligan is so geographically distant from the rest of the Thumper Punk family?  Any plans to get out to the West Coast and have label mates journey to the East?

Travis: Well I’d have to say it all comes down to us being featured on the “Punk Never Dies” comp. That’s the first place I think Dave ever heard us. He just sent a simple email saying “ Love your sound, keep it up.” From there I shot Dave (I shot Dave??) an email to see if there was any interest in us. Something happened and it never got to him or something. Couple months later, I found The Hoax online and was listening to them and saw they were signed to TPR. I sent another email to Dave and the rest is history. No plans yet…but it will happen.

Q: How does it feel to be described as a “behemoth” in the press release?  Any story behind that or is just good press?

Travis: The “behemoth.” Hahahaha! I love us being referred to as a behemoth. I believe that comes from the sound that is projected from a 3 piece punk band. The way we write, play and record is simple but produces a big sound. But I will say that we have good press too! (wink,wink)

Q: I’ve seen on your Fb page talk of more tunes, any recording plans coming up?  How about the sound, still straight-ahead punk or are you cashing in and aiming for clean vocals and multiple breakdowns? (ha).

Travis: Yes we have plans of getting in the studio soon. You know how pushy TPD (Thumper Punk Dave) is so he’s making us record more. I’m just kidding, he’s not like that at all. We have written more songs since our album release and we are ready to record so look out for a ‘re-release’ of the album with more songs. As for the sound it will still be Behemoth Hooligan punk sound with Marc’s clean-ish vocals and my gruffy ones. No multiple breakdowns because we’re not really good at “picking up change” or “windmills” and it’s hard to run in a circle pit with those but the new tunes will be a little more aggressive!

Q: Any thoughts about becoming a 4-piece?  Do you feel limited at all by being a 3-piece outfit?

Travis: Marc and I have kicked around the idea before but we seem to fit as a 3 piece. Plus it’s a lot easier to agree on and record with 3 folks than 4. Some of the limitations might be for Marc as he loves to be on the mic and be able to move around. But he’s a beast on the bass and does very well with our sound. It sometimes hinders me in writing solos because of one guitar but we not a hair band with 7 minutes solos so I’ll stick to my simple 4 bars.