Monday, September 24, 2012

Interview with Miguel Chen (Teenage Bottlerocket/That Guy/Rad Bradleys) on his new side project, Stat Dad

I recently spoke with the bass player of Teenage Bottlerocket, Miguel Chen, to discuss his new band, Stat Dad and its debut 7'' EP titled, Mominatrix, out on Sexy Baby Records.

Squid Pro Quo: Who and what is Stat Dad?

Miguel Chen: "Stat Dad is a side project band I (bass/vocals) started with my friends, J.D. (guitar/Redbush) and Ferg (drums/That Guy). Clint (guitar) is in the band too, but he sucks. By definition, a stat dad is a father who keeps statistics of his kid's little league games. We just thought it sounded cool, but then later came to terms with it being a pretty dumb band name. I'll go ahead and publicly blame Clint."

SPQ: You have a song called "Mominatrix." Please tell me there's a true story, or a story somewhat rooted in truth behind this.
MC: "(Laughs) I mean, I've hung out with doms who are also moms, but mostly I thought it was a clever song name slash record title. Plus, moms are hot and so are dominatrixes, so it worked out."

SPQ: The 7'' has an overall BDSM/gender-role-challenging theme to it. Why?
MC: "The whole band is sort of built around that stuff. I think anyone who knows me or has heard Teenage Bottlerocket's song, "Mutilate Me," which Ray (Carlisle/Teenage Bottlerocket) wrote about me, is aware that I am a little fucking pervert. I like drinking pee and being tied up and hurt. When I was developing Stat Dad, I knew I wanted it to be raw, sort of crusty punk songs. The BDSM aspect just came naturally."

SPQ: Were you really forced into a dress?
MC: "Yes and it gave me a boner. We have a couple of wigs, some makeup and some panties at my house just for when my girlfriend decides I need to be a pretty girl."

SPQ: The song, "Church of Shit" reminds me of Rudimentary Peni crossed with NOFX. Regarding musical influences, what inspired you to write these tunes - bands and otherwise?
MC: "When I started the band, I was listening to a lot of Rudimentary Peni and Subhumans. As far as "Church of Shit," I think the whole band is sort of focused on the idea that everything is shit and we should all have weird sex. So some of the songs are about the kinky side of that spectrum, and some are about how other things are shit."

SPQ: Will Stat Dad be recording and/or releasing a full-length or more material?
MC: "The plan is to do a full length eventually, but again, I'm really busy with my main gig, Teenage Bottlerocket, so it'll probably be a while."

SPQ: Is Benito still incognito? Are the Rad Bradleys dead?
MC: "Benito is ruling in Texas. Radleys are long dead."

SPQ: Is That Guy still doing stuff?
MC: "That Guy comes out of the wood works once every year or two to play a show, but not very often."

SPQ: One final question: is Stat Dad really Masked Intruder
MC: "I wish."

Stream "Mominatrix:"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

'So Steady' EP by In Between

By Kevin Toomey
Release date: August 7, 2012
7'': Toxic Pop/Photobooth Records
Rating: 1.5/5

I didn’t know melodic hardcore was still a thing in 2012. Apparently it is and Baltimore’s In Between are championing its survival or rebirth or whatever stage that scene is in right now. The five songs on their second 7” 
So Steady are pretty run of the mill mid-2000s pop punk, for lack of a better term, taking cues from bands like Lifetime and Texas is the Reason. There’s nothing groundbreaking on So Steady which isn’t a bad thing, but I’ve heard this band 100 times before and it’s not something I think there’s a huge demand for right now. Musically speaking, the five of them are decent, with the standout being the vocalist who has definitely found his voice since their 2011 demo. The other member that really stuck out to me was the drummer. His annoying, flapping double-bass style really overpowers the melodic aspect of the music. The drumming overwhelms each song and makes it hard to focus on anything else. It sounds like someone repeatedly hitting a shoe against a brick wall and it doesn’t help that it accentuates the handful of times that the band doesn’t seem to be in time with each other at all. Hopefully that’s just a production issue and not a band issue, but there is a spot or two that sounds off time in every song. I’d pass on So Steady unless you’re a really big fan of the genre.

Stream the EP:

Friday, September 7, 2012

'American Despair b/w The Coming' by Run Down

By Jason Duarte
Release date: July 25, 2012
7'': Firestarter Records
Rating: 3.5/5

Run Down recorded this two-song 7'' in 2007 and since then, the band adopted a new moniker - Voight-Kampff. "American Despair" is a classic-style punk tune with hints of haunting surf influence reminiscent of the Dead Kennedys, but it embodies the darkness of Rudimentary Peni and nihilistic lyrical tendencies of Pegboy as well.

After a minute-long creeping intro, much like a less melodic "Smash It Up Pt. 1" (The Damned), "The Coming" reveals its meaty innards as a faster, early-style hardcore tune by way of Black Flag. I would recommend this 7'' if you're a fan of any of the aforementioned bands. Not many go for this sound in punk rock world 2k12, though Night Birds and Culo are two current bands that share it. These two very well-written songs are a refreshing throwback and the only bummer is that it's a posthumous release.

This piece of wax is limited to 300 copies on white vinyl via
Firestarter Records.

Listen for yourself: