Thursday, May 19, 2011

Interview with Nick McLenighan of The Reaganomics

By Chris Carlton

Squid Pro Quo
: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Squid Pro Quo, Nick. The Reaganomics' album, Lower The Bar is out now on Red Scare Records, and the band's been playing a lot of shows. I want to start by asking how the band got together?

Nick McLenighan: "Well, really we were in need of a bit of a break from Ryan's Hope and wanted to try something that was just all about having fun. Greg was writing songs for himself to play guitar and sing on, and I was writing these stupid songs that I wanted to sing on, and Terry caught the bug and before we knew it, we were doing these super low-quality demos and puttin' 'em up on the Internet. A guy named Joe heard 'em, said he would record 'em and that was that. We did the first EP/demo/whatever with just the three of us, and played our first show slightly after in October (or was it November?) of 2009. Been gettin' lucky ever since (with shows)."

SPQ: The band recently played with The Dead Milkmen and The Lawrence Arms at the Congress Theater here in Chicago. That's a pretty awesome bill. How were you guys received by the Milkmen/Arms fans?

NM: "Honestly, I'm not sure. It definitely seemed like we had a really positive response; a lot of people moshing, cheering, etc. We had a bunch of people singing the songs, which was super awesome. But you never really know. A lot of people came up afterward and said, 'great show' and shit like that, which is always nice to here. One review however called us 'green' and had some not-so-nice things to say about the set (it was more or less neutral, I guess). But he sounded pretty fucking typical, so I don't really care about that. So, short answer, yes, I think so. But who knows (laughs)?"

SPQ: I had the chance to see you guys open for Teenage Bottlerocket last year at the Subterranean, and I was won over from the jump! Do you normally win over the crowd easily like you did at the Sub-T?

NM: "Really, we are just glad if people are having a real good time during our set. I guess that means we have done our jobs. We are usually so occupied with having a good time ourselves and making each other laugh, I don't really know how effective our show is at 'winning people over.' I hope we do though, 'cause its fun to do this, and you can't really keep it up for too long if no one likes you. Although, I'm sure we would try."

SPQ: On the track, "Ed Hardy," off the new album, you have Kody from TBR as a guest vocalist. How was it working with Kody?

NM: "Super easy. He was such a nice guy, and he just nailed it right away. We recorded his vocals right after the show at the Sub-T, and he just did it. It was amazing. I was freaking out the whole time!"

SPQ: Are there any Reaganomics shows coming up?

NM: "Yeah, we have one on June 12th at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago with The Bouncing Souls. Really looking forward to it!"

SPQ: Has the band toured outside of Chicago? And are there any plans for a full-length tour?

NM: "The Reaganomics have yet to tour outside of the Chicago area. Really, I think we have only played one show outside of Chicago, which is crazy ' cause we are from Joliet! As of now, I really would like to get out and do some weekends, hit up some new places (maybe some 'old' Ryan's Hope haunts) and maybe do a fest or two. Depends on what we can get, and what we are all available to do. So to answer your question more directly, no concrete plans as of yet."

SPQ: Having 3/4 of The Reaganomics in Ryan's Hope, will we be seeing a combo show with both bands playing in the future?

NM: "That would be really awesome, but I dont know. I really can't say for sure."

SPQ: I know Lower The Bar is still pretty new. Are there any plans on hitting the studio any time soon?

NM: "I wish. That would be cool, but nothing planned as of yet. Hopefully the record sells!"

SPQ: How can fans get in touch with either The Reaganomics, Ryan's Hope or both? Do you have a website where we can find out about news, upcoming shows, new releases and merch?

NM: "You know how the Internet is nowadays: and Or, you can find us on facebook (both bands). I know it sounds lame, but with the cost and time it takes to keep up a website, we just rely on those sites as they are free to us."

SPQ: I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with Squid Pro Quo, Nick. I'm looking forward to seeing you again real soon.

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