Guy Picciotto: Interview by Daryl Gussin
I wasn’t raised with religion and only understand spirituality in a hypothetical sense. But I can say when I first heard the Rites Of Spring full length in my early twenties, there was an awakening deep down inside that ruffled my innermost self in a way a believer might feel moved by a sacred text.
The wailing cries and spiraling guitar leads, the utterly personal lyrics, it all came together with a timeless and ceremonial quality. At the helm of it all—screaming his goddamn head off—was Guy, a musical craftsman and performer who spent decades pushing the physical limits of his very human body. He’s someone whose trail of work should speak for itself, but who continues to put the time in. Like most of us stuck in this quarantine purgatory, I’ve off and on found myself checking in with old friends and family. One day while chatting with Will Fitzpatrick about One Last Wish it occurred to me, “Why not drop a line, see how the man is doing?” And goddamn if he wasn’t so accessible and polite about it.
If you’re looking for a play-by-play of his musical output over the years I suggest the audio interview with him on washedupemo.com. There’s a lot of interesting stuff on there that I didn’t ask about or go into because it’s posted there. This interview took place on a mid-August morning by phone, me in L.A., Guy in New York, and at the end of it, the connection I felt through the music all these years was only intensified knowing behind its crushing emotional and political presence was a genuine human who, through everything, still very much walks the walk. –Daryl
The Muslims: Interview by Rosie Gonce and Donna Ramone
Left on my own, this entire interview would have needed a long supplementary Editor’s Note to help all the kafir readers understand any of it. There’s a lot to discuss with The Muslims when I have the benefit of also having lived a similar, shared experience that I don’t get to express freely with many other people in my life. Rosie called me up about co-interviewing the band to expand the voices represented in the conversation, which I was very grateful for. Yet, I knew if I opened up and discussed the feelings I live with as part of this diaspora, I would inevitably have to explain it all—like why in Arabic we use numbers to signify letters that don’t have an anglo pronunciation equivalent (for example, a “7” is a “kh” back-of-your mouth sound), or why kids will get money on Eid (it’s a cultural tradition, like giving presents on a holiday). I also had to accept that my conversation probably wouldn’t exactly produce good reading material.
The ability people have to culturally connect doesn’t always need to be translated, though. When punks get together, the conversation can get very “inside baseball.” If someone says cryptic words like “oogle” or “festing,” we collectively understand what these words mean. The esoteric nature of the conversation is what immediately gives us common ground when in our safe communities. We don’t owe anyone a glossary of punk terms so they can follow along, nor do cultures outside our own owe us the time and effort of an explanation.
The Muslims are a trio from North Carolina who, would you believe it, are actual Muslims (which is exactly why several friends immediately made me aware of them). Their first full length came out April 1, 2018 and their third was out April 1, 2020, all three of which are packed with lyrics and titles that made me laugh/scream, and often made my white friends repeatedly ask, “What are they saying? Is that Arabic?” Their mix of dance melodies and raw power is the musical crescendo that pairs perfectly with a flaming cop car.
Together, our interview gave space for a conversation that could include my inevitable need for regenerative camaraderie, and allowed Rosie (a trusted friend of mine for the past decade) the ability to comfortably ask what the fuck we were going on about. It gave us all room to discuss general collective topics, like their music and diversifying the punk scene, along with some niche comments that readers can look up themselves if they really want to know. A balance between emotional labor and cultural catharsis. Simply taking the time to listen, learn from, and laugh with The Muslims is the absolute least we can all do in 2020.
As well as buy all their albums. Reparations, motherfuckers. –Donna Ramone
Raging Nathans: Interview by Kevin Dunn
For some, punk is a tourist destination, a subculture to dabble in. For others, it’s a passing phase, something they know they’ll grow out of once the bills come due. But for the dedicated few, punk is a lifelong commitment. It might be driven by an aesthetic appreciation of the music, but it’s also an ethical stance shaping how they navigate the world and treat their fellow travelers. For them, punk isn’t a fashion, but a set of core beliefs. The Raging Nathans are those kinds of punks, living their lives according to the ethos of DIY punk. And the music they make—straightforward but complex, catchy but angry, Midwestern but universal —is for their fellow travelers. At the core of the Dayton, Ohio band are Josh Goldman and Nick Hamby, two longtime friends equally committed to tearing shit up. While Goldman has played with a few higher-profile bands, his commitment to DIY punk is on full display in both The Raging Nathans and his label Rad Girlfriend Records. –Kevin Dunn
The Vulturas: Interview by Martin Wong and Todd Taylor
Addiction, recovery, death, and mourning unite The Vulturas, so they aren’t about to let a pandemic get in the way of becoming one of your favorite bands. A new combo with the familiar faces of singer Louie Perez III (Los Villains, Evil Hearted You, LP3 & The Tragedy, Manic Hispanic) and guitarist Rob Milucky (The Grabbers, The Pushers, Duane Peters And The Hunns, Devil’s Brigade), their DNA comes from the East L.A. punk roots of Los Lobos (Louie’s dad’s and uncle’s band) and first-wave suburban punk like The Crowd and The Simpletones. The vibe is raw and timeless—not corny—powered by rootsy and powerful riffs and alternately angry and funny—but never boring—lyrics. The rock-solid rhythm section of Shane Strange and Eric Fuller will kick your ass, too.
With an ungodly amount of shows and touring packed into a short amount of time and a debut LP already on its second pressing, The Vulturas had amassed multiple more releases worth of songs ready to be unleashed when COVID struck. We took advantage of this forced pause to interview Louie and Rob via Skype about their excellent band that rose out of shitty circumstances, and what happens next. —Martin Wong and Todd Taylor
Donna Ramone knows that only the lonely know this feeling ain’t right. (instagram)
Jim Ruland gets elected to kick out the jams. (instagram, website, twitter)
Lorde Jayne takes home the gold in the Genital Olympics (instagram).
Sean Carswell gets dyspeptic in the dystopian dipshit reality. (instagram)
Rev. Nørb reads the liner notes to the cake mix. (instagram, website)
Puro Pinche Poetry: Gritos Del Barrio (Edited by Ever Velasquez (instagram) and Eugenia Nicole (instagram)
From:I Am That Poet
“I graffiti stanzas
on walls. I steal ideas
from books. I light palm trees
on fire to create
visual metaphors. I am
RoQue Torres and the metro (instagram)
Michelle Cruz Gonzales loves the smell of pomade in the morning (instagram)
Art Fuentes knows that the piggy peed himself. (instagram)
Jamaica Dyer gets mindful. (instagram)
Rhythm Chicken covers John Cage and takes the ruckus to the (mad) max. (instagram)
Designated Dale gets in the van with the road crew.
Danny Andrew is not his friends, not his brother, or father (instagram).
And photos from the lovely and talented:
Chris Boarts Larson (instagram, facebook, website)
Rachel Murray Framingheddu (website)
Dan Monick (instagram)
This issue is dedicated to the memory of Leslie Hartman.
All copies of Razorcake at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton, TX are free in her memory.
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