No Sir, I Won’t Interview

NO Sir I Wont

 

– Hey there, hope all is well. Which member of the band am I speaking to?

All’s as well as can be expected, thanks! Or at least I haven’t read the news in a few days, so I don’t know just how bad things really are. Hope all’s well with you. I’m Dan, I do vocals and now I play bass as well.

– Can you introduce No Sir, I Won’t to the readers? The circumstances under which the band formed, the musical influences, fellow band members etc.

NO SIR, I WON’T started when I moved back to Boston in about 2009 (I’d been living in California and playing in a band called SURRENDER), and I got together with some friends who had a mutual interest in making political punk music. It was a rocky start, people had a lot of shit going on in their lives, but eventually we shuffled the line-up a little and started playing in earnest. At that point I was singing, Jeff (BRAIN KILLER, WITCHES WITH DICKS etc.) was playing guitar, Dominick (SUBCLINIX, SAVAGEHEADS etc.) was playing bass, and another Dan (LIBYANS, FOREIGN OBJECTS etc.) was on drums. That’s the line-up that recorded the demo, the first 7” and the first 12”. Eventually Dominick moved to drums, I took over on bass and our friend Kelley (FUNERAL CONE etc.) joined to do vocals as well. We’ve all been influenced by all kinds of things, and while the most obvious influences on the band are CRASS, CONFLICT, CHUMBAWAMBA, bands like that, everyone has brought their own interests in as well. For instance I was involved with the noise/experimental scene for a long time, I love prog rock, metal… I grew up as a total metalhead in the 80s before I discovered punk and realized that there was a whole alternative lifestyle available to me. I imagine it’s different in Pakistan, but in America the metal scene (especially in the 80s) was mostly a-political, mostly kind of braindead, mostly about partying, basically another version of mainstream society, with all the same misogyny and shitty attitudes. Punk opened up a way to make music and be involved in a community based around political ideals and personal ideals that were really different from what I saw around me every day.

– The Anarcho-Punk tradition dates back to the late 70’s and has been through several ups and downs. How do acts like yourself stay relevant in the current political and musical climate?

I’m not sure we do! But for me, anarcho-punk has never been a particular sound, it’s not as narrow and constrained as, say, D-beat is. It’s always been much freer and more creative, much more wide-ranging, mostly connected by a general political outlook. If you go back to the early days of anarcho-punk in the UK, you hear bands like D&V, HIT PARADE, RUBELLA BALLET doing all kinds of strange things, looking different, sounding different. It’s not only based off of CRASS. So likewise, when we started this band we took the political ideals and the goals and brought our own thing to it. We grew up playing in street punk bands, hardcore bands, pop-punk bands, grew up in a different time and place and so the result was naturally something different, something born out of the the here and now. The important thing was that we grew up with the same ethos as the old anarcho-punk bands in mind. Even if you weren’t an active revolutionary or something, it was hard to be involved in punk around here in the early 90s and NOT encounter anarchism, not be influenced by that day to day political outlook. In the end I think that by not trying to sound just like CRASS or CONFLICT, and by allowing the band to take its own course it naturally adapted to the current climate. That is to say, the current climate of the DIY scene. Neither our politics nor our music are at all relevant to what’s going on in mainstream society, as far as I can tell! I wish they were…

 

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– Do you believe Boston is a fertile breeding ground for politically and socially conscious punk acts?

I think it has been and it could be, but I don’t see a lot of that going on here right now. Boston has a really transient population because there are so many schools, and it can be hard to form a solid, lasting community like the kind that I think political activity often stems from. Also the trend in punk (at least in the US) right now seems to be towards a more nihilistic kind of attitude, and a more superficial engagement with (or outright rejection of) the political aspect of the music and the lifestyle. That’s a generalization of course, there are people in Boston and elsewhere who are doing great work and making great political statements, but particularly in Boston right now that seems to be the exception and not the rule.

– Apart from music, what literary, non-musical influences do the band members hold?

I can only speak for myself, but I’ve always been heavily into science fiction. Philip K. Dick is big for me, Ursula LeGuin… I think those authors have influenced my outlook at least as much as the bands I mentioned before. Science fiction has always been a forum for radical views, a way for people in repressive conditions (Yevgeny Zamyatin in Soviet Russia, for instance) to voice their ideas with just enough of a remove from reality that they could get away with it. I’m not a conspiracy theory person, at least relatively speaking, but SF has definitely contributed more or less to a certain paranoia I have about the state and about what’s really going on in the world. Lyrically and rhythmically I also take  influence from poets like Blake and Tennyson. I like their romantic, dramatic style, but I also like the more down to earth diction of people like William S. Burroughs. When I’m writing lyrics I try to balance those two things, the more poetical and the more vulgar, I guess you could say.

– Any upcoming plans? Splits, EP’s, full length?

Unfortunately we’re lying low right now, Dominick is out on the West Coast for a while. Planning to do a tour at the beginning of the Summer and hopefully make a new recording then.

– Thanks for your time. Cheers from Pakistan.

Thank you! It’s a rare treat to hear from someone in Pakistan, I hope people in the States can learn more about the music scene there through your work. Cheers! Get in touch: nosir.iwont@yahoo.com

 

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No Sir I Won’t on Bandcamp

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Being A Hardcore Punk Band In Bombay: The Riot Peddlers

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India almost never saw the words “Hardcore” and “Punk” being used in the same sentence, let alone a clause or phrase. The term “Hardcore” became synonymous with metalcore bands that did not enjoy the Devil Wears Prada or any other metal band that associated themselves with tight pants. Hardcore, for the average Indian metalhead was, put bluntly, an impure form of metal that they found too light. “Punk” in India was an even bigger joke than “Hardcore”. If you knew two chord progressions and your drummer hated playing anything fast or creative, you could form a punk band and state the Ramones as your primary influence. Soon enough, punk rock in India became about not wanting to go school and pseudo-political songs about how politicians are limitlessly greedy and evil (I know, so original and not thought of before). Any previous ideals that Henry Rollins and Ian Macaye spoke about for hours on end were made terribly obsolete as Indian punk band turned to the extreme right and complained against immigration (in a city made of immigrants). During this time, I was your average Indian teenager, hoping to do his post-grad outside India just so that he could be part of a legitimate scene.

 

 

It was around this time that the Riot Peddlers began to appear on Ennui.bomb compilations and show line-ups. I remember my excessively condescending metalhead friend (considerable older) telling me that he saw “my type of folk playing fast and complaining” at some show he was at. I followed this claim by explaining to him my disillusionment with both “Hardcore” and “Punk” music in the country, to which he replied, “I don’t know, one of them has a Mohawk”.

 

 

 

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Soon enough, I discovered the Riot Peddlers for myself. They played old school hardcore punk and consisted mainly of Arun Ravi on guitar and vocals and Ashwin Dutt on drums, whom we remember from the days of Kinky Ski Munkys and Pin Drop Violence. They had more than one bassists, including Frank Pawar, currently of Atmosfear, whose sheer muscle mass was more than the combined weight of other two members plus their equipment combined.

 

 

The music that the Riot Peddlers played was perhaps too stripped down and away from the convention you spotted in and around the city for them too gain an outstanding support. With just a hint of New York Metallic Hardcore, the Riot Peddlers played a raw take on 80’s hardcore, complete with angry D-beats and even angrier guitars. But perhaps the angriest things about the Riot Peddlers were Arun’s vocals and lyrics. The Riot Peddlers were pissed at everything from begging to Bollywood. At the risk of romanticizing too much, the Riot Peddlers became the musical equivalent of that lonely kid at the show, who stood outside when the next band was coming on and told the closest person he could find about how pissed he was about all the bullshit everywhere. If an unsuspecting non-Indian listener stumbles upon the Riot Peddlers, he/she will basically understand what Bombay is all about, cutting out all the preachy, cheesy crap.

 

 

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What the Peddlers were to the scene was another thing. After initially playing a bunch of college fest, they went on to play Control Alt Delete, Independence Rock and make a mark, being the first truly punk band in a scene of musicians who sold their souls to hipsters and corporate backing. Unfortunately, while their impact was substantial, it never enough to stir up a specialized punk scene. However, what the band did do was lay a foundation for musical and lyrical freedom, something musicians in the coming years would unknowingly benefit. At least, this is what the band did for me.

 

 

“We shouted about a few issues. And got back to our day jobs like every other Indian. Nothing much” says drummer Ashwin Dutt, “If you aren’t playing anything close to Green Day or Blink 182, you don’t have an audience. The bigger issue was we were too noisy for the alternative / electro crowd and too mellow for the metalheads. I remember a bassist asking me, ‘How is your comedy band doing? I really like the way you address issues using humour’. That’s the Indian scene for you.”

 

 

Things continued in this sense for the Riot Peddlers in this manner for a while. They played in Delhi twice and played around in Bombay. And suddenly they were gone. Erased from our scene that just wanted to see electro bands do the same thing time and again. Perhaps we’ll look back in the future and throw around a few compliments about how great the Peddlers were. Arun didn’t get enough time cause of work and Ashwin reflects on what happened. “I guess the bigger challenge is to do something about the issues you talk about. Not just sit there playing your guitar and moaning about issues. You can’t change the situation. Everyone is sitting in front of their computers and tweeting and updating status messages. There is no one when it comes to helping someone or being part of movement. I guess punk musicians are pretty shallow” says the man who only appears scary till you actually speak to him, “And that’s the reason I resigned from playing punk. Or at least the Peddlers.”

 

 

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– Vrishank Menon

Violation Wound Interview

Over the years, Death Metal pioneer Chris Reifert has involved himself in many projects, from Autopsy to Abscess and a million bands in between – even being a part of Death early on. He’s one of the few fucked up individuals who have actually profoundly affected the extreme metal scene. But in his new project “Violation Wound” Chris steps away from the drums and picks up the guitar to let out some ripping early 80’s hardcore punk style tunes. I heard some jams from his new band on Soundcloud and was immediately hooked – being an avid punk fan myself. I hit up Chris for an interview and he responded in his classic witty fashion. Read on!

 

 

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– Hey Chris, hope everything’s well with you!

Doing well here, thanks. Got my second cup of coffee almost dumped down my gullet and my stereo is wailing away!

 

 

– So your new project Violation Wound is putting out its debut album soon. I realize you’ve always been a fan of old hardcore punk – some of those influences have seeped into your work with Autopsy and moreso in Abscess. But what was the main motivation behind starting Violation Wound at this point in time?

Seemed like a cool and exciting idea, that’s enough of a reason for me. It’s nothing to overthink or anything….it’s straight from the gut and nothing to do with modern polished and perfect punk. And yeah, the album is gonna be out May 26th officially, though I think you can order it already at http://www.vicrecords.com.

If old style rockin’ and raw punk is your bag, this just might scratch the itch.

 

 

– If you were to explain your new band’s sound by comparing it to classic bands, who would you compare it to?

I don’t think we sound like anything in particular, but there’s no shortage of bands we like. Rather than trying to sound like any certain bands, I prefer to go for the vibe of a certain era. I really dig late 70’s early 80’s punk/HC and that’s what VW is aiming for I’d say.

As for the type of stuff I like, I can easily mention the Ramones, Dead Boys, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, OFF!, Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, X, DRI, Anti-Nowhere League, Cock Sparrer, Christ on Parade, Ill Repute, the Dickies, the Damned…..on and on and on.

 

 

– How did the record deal with VIC Records come about? Have you worked with them before?

I got in touch with them through Bob from Asphyx who knows Roel. Never worked with them before, but VIC seemed enthused and willing to believe in this unknown possibly sore thumb of a band. Haha!

It’s been great and I’m really happy with the way things are going. Hell yezzz!

 

 

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– Do you plan on playing live/touring with the new band? Will you take it along on Autopsy tours or are you going to keep the two bands seperate from each other?

They are definitely two very separate things, so they’ll probably remain that way as far as live purposes go, but hey….stanger things have happened. Haha! We haven’t played live yet, but we’d like to. I do think this stuff would be a blast to play on stage with some other really good bands on the bill.

 

 

– As someone who has been involved in the extreme metal movement from the very start, did Punk/Hardcore influence you guys back in the day too or was it something that people in the metal scene just got interested in later? Are there any new metal/punk bands that you would recommend?

I actually discovered metal and punk around the same time way back when. I don’t remember thinking about catagories at the time, it was more like a quest to find the most aggressive, fast or heavy bands I could get my eardrums around. As far as Autopsy goes, we really didn’t let any punk influences get in there….we just wanted to be the most brutal and heavy band around. And yeah, there’s always good new bands coming out of all types. I really like OFF!, Burning Monk, Sordid Flesh and Gluttony to name a couple.

 

 

– Did you expect metal and punk to get proliferated out in regions as far away as Pakistan, India, etc when you first started out? Planning on an Asian tour anytime soon with either Autopsy or Violation Wound?

When we first started out, we had no idea of where this kind of music would be appreciated. It’s amazing to know that there are people all over the world in all sorts of places who share the passion for underground music. What a cool thing, eh? As for tours, that’s something that’s just not possible for Autopsy or VW since we have too many responsibilities at home. But one off gigs here and there have happened and could happen some more. We’ll have to see how it goes, but I don’t think any of us will be doing any long distance travelling too soon.

 

 

 

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– You’ve been involved with a lot of bands in the past and continue to do so. You’re not getting any younger, so what’s the main motivation? Are you as pissed off as you where 30 pr 20 years ago?

I have no rational answer for this one. Haha! I guess it’s something that’s enjoyable still after all these years. I’m actually not a pissed off person by nature, oddly enough. Maybe I can get all of my frustrations and aggressions out through music instead of acting like a knucklehead. On a good day, anyways. Haha!

 

 

– Horror movies kinda suck these days, and I know you’re a big horror film fan. Is there any horror film in recent years that kicked as much ass as the old classics?

I agree with you on that one. I still go back to my old faves time and again if I’m in the mood for horror. The Romero, Fulci, Universal and Hammer stuff still do the trick for me. Anything with atmosphere, which is something modern horror films neglect too often.

I’m pretty tired of endless remakes, ya know? There’s a real lack of original ideas it seems and too much emphasis on CGI crap. That said, I did love the Human Centipede and the first two Saw movies. There’s probably more good stuff out there, but I haven’t exactly been seeking it out I guess.

 

 

– Thanks a lot for the interview. Hope to see you play live one of these days!

Thank a bunch, it was really cool to hear from you. I hope the underground scene continues to thrive in your neck of the planet. Cheers for the support and stay tuned for whatever’s next!

 

 

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Buy the CD on VIC Records

– Hassan Dozakhi