To celebrate the band's massive Canadian tour with NOFX, I caught up with singer/guitarist Ray Carlisle on the phone to discuss what's new in the world of Teenage Bottlerocket:
What’s your favourite thing about touring across Canada?
It’s just home to some of my favourite cities in the world, like Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton. And the summertime weather is going to be awesome. Looking forward to it.
Moving onto your latest EP, can you give a little background on the songs?
For the song that I wrote, “Mutilate Me,” our bass player Miguel influenced me for the most part. He’s just into bondage, S&M, that’s his thing so I wrote the song for him. And for “Punk House of Horror” that’s Kody’s song that he wrote. It’s about a punk house with dirty floors and some place you don’t want to sleep. The inspiration was just staying in them whenever we’re on the road.
And you recorded at the Blasting Room, right?
Yeah, it was cool when we recorded this EP because Rise Against was set up at the Blasting Room at the same time to record their full-length. They happened to be mixing in LA the day we showed up to record the 7” so we got to jump on all the gear that was already set up. We avoided all set up costs that way, the drums were available and bass strings, everything was ready to go. We were ready to crank out the two songs in one day and then we recorded the Bad Religion cover earlier.
How did that recent music video for one of your older songs, “She’s Not the One” come about?
I think it was a school project or something for this dude who was going to school in Santa Barbara, California. He emailed us saying he shot a video for the song so we watched it and loved it so we just said ‘OK, let’s put it on YouTube.’ Just some dude did it and we liked it and he happened to use one of our songs.
And Another Way was recently reissued by Red Scare. Some bands seem to hate their early recordings, others don’t. Where do you fall on that spectrum?
I guess I sit on both sides, it’s a little embarrassing, but at the same time it marks a period of time that we were in with our band. It took awhile to mature I guess you could say. The main reason for the reissue was the fact that it never actually came out on CD. It was only released on vinyl and this was finally an opportunity for us to release it on the compact disc format. I’ve listened to it recently, it wasn’t too embarrassing, I enjoyed it. I can see how some bands might think that way though. Your music develops and usually bands like their most recent release the most.
What do you think is the biggest change you’ve gone through since those days?
I think just changes with our record labels and writing more songs and releasing more records. Just the things that build up alongside doing that and touring. People going to shows, people not going to shows. So many things have changed.
I’m assuming you get to spend more time on Teenage Bottlerocket now? I remember reading that you and Brandon are engineers.
Yeah, that’s totally changed. Our music’s become a little more legitimate in the eyes of our boss, I’m just talking about me and Brandon here. My brother and I work for the same company and getting time off can be difficult, but now that the band is becoming more legitimized, we’re able to get more time off recently than ever before. Just because he believes in us and is cool like that.
We’re going to play Reading and Leeds in the UK in August and then we’re going to Australia for the first time ever in September. We’re working on tunes for a full-length and will try and get into the studio as soon as we can to record another LP, as soon as the songs are ready.