Thick As Blood Interview

unnamedBack in early 2000, there wasn’t much of a scene leftover in my area of South FL (Cape Coral/ Ft. Myers to be exact). So I joined/ started bands and began to book shows on my own. Around this time is how I met the TAB boys after booking them on one of their first treks through FL. Thereafter we played a couple shows together and then eventually they became one of my first sponsored bands back in 09. It’s been inspiring to watch these dudes go after their dreams for the last 10 years and on top of that remain so humble and appreciative. When I heard about their plans to disband I was a bit sad as it’s hard to find many (if any at all) that are still keeping the sentiment of FL hardcore alive and well. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. A big thank you to TAB for holding us down throughout the years and becoming more than just acquaintances, but friends. I was able to catch up with Gino & Randy one last time to reflect on their reign as well as to flesh out what the future holds for them, enjoy:

I got to start with the question that’s on everyone’s mind, after 9 years, why the split?

Gino: We’ve been a band for 9 years and we’ve had a cool run. We’ve been to a lot of cool places, met a lot of cool people  and it’s just the right time for us to go out now as opposed to people just stop caring down the line.

Have you guys been planning to disband for some time, or was it a more recent decision?

Randy: It was a little bit of both. Things were just building up and we thought “It might be the right time for this” and we came to the conclusion and realized it in fact was the time to make that move.

 How has the final tour been going? Have the reactions been crazier?

 Gino: It’s been fun man, definitely a blast. It’s our last run and kids are coming out and very appreciative. We’re having fun too, which is what it’s all about.

What’s next for you guys?

 Gino: NETFLIX!

Randy: Ya, Netflix ha! Me & Gino are into acting and that’s kind of been taking off. I’m going to be working on a new Netflix original series so keep an eye out for me on that. And we still have a bunch of final tours in the works coming up and we’re going to try and hit up a bunch of different countries. We’re going to try and do Japan, Cuba and hopefully sneak in South America too.

 What about you Gino, are you still acting? Yep, we had both worked together on a show called Complications which comes out sometime this year and we’re both on the first 2 episodes of this show Graceland on USA which comes out in June. I’m also in a Jay Lo movie (laughs), James our bass player is playing bass for Bane now, Jerry’s a nuclear engineer and our current drummer Dylan’s playing in a new band called Engraved.

How did you get into acting?

Gino: For me I just found it through extra gigs. In between tours I was like, fuck, what am I going to do for money? Let me just look online, I already look like a freak so what am I going to do? So I found an open casting, they brought me in and both me & Randy worked it and we liked the atmosphere. It was very cool and fast with a good vibe so we both started with acting classes and got agents and it’s been rolling ever since.

Are there any other musical projects in the works?

 Randy: Nothing set in stone but I’m sure something will eventually come up.

Gino: Ya if I do another band it’ll just be to jam but hey, you never know. I mean, I toured for a bit with Betrayal overseas and that kind of came out of nowhere, so who knows.

60421_10151589192239163_1675152575_n

You’ve toured From South America to Japan & virtually everywhere in between, what’s been your favorite spot?

 Gino: Honestly, one of my favorite countries to go back to has been Japan. Columbia’s also cool, I don’t know there’s just so many cool places we’ve been to to zero in on one.

Randy: Australia is awesome too. It’s expensive but it really is an amazing country and like he said with Japan, this will be our 3rd time going there so we’re definitely looking forward to that.

I’ve definitely heard Japan’s dope, as it’s a different kind of scene and more respectful.

Randy: It definitely is very respectful, everywhere you go. Stores, hotels, the shows, everyone’s silent in between songs and they actually want to hear what we have to say. Shouts to Tohru and Caboose records.

 Looking back on all of your accomplishments, is there anything you would have done differently?

Gino: Done differently, not really. We got to do a lot of cool stuff, I mean there’s bands that I wish we would have been able to tour with but I’m ultimately happy with what we’ve accomplished altogether.

Randy: We started out with no plans at all. We were just a bunch of friends trying to make music and play shows, we never thought we’d be a full time band.

 Gino: One thing I notice with younger bands today is that they start off trying to be successful. The only piece of advice I would give is to not do that, start a band with your friends, have fun and just see where it takes you.

Any other  pieces of advice you’d give to aspiring musicians  looking to accomplish all that you have over the years?

Randy: Don’t wait around to get a manager, start off DIY. Book your own tours and eventually promoters will notice that you draw people & they’ll put you on bigger shows etc.

Gino: Life doesn’t wait!

 What about advice pertaining to record labels, Bc obviously when you get to a certain point most are looking to get signed?

 Gino: Well we got on Eulogy from doing our own thing really. You know, they’re a FL label and they started taking notice and it was real cool because there were a lot of labels checking us out at the same time and we decided to drop two records with them and after felt like it was time to move on. We hit up Rise on our own which goes back to what Randy said, sometimes you just got to do it on your own. Even if you have a manager you just got to do it because only you truly know what the most beneficial thing is for your band. Just do it, like Nike!

 If you had to pick one, what’s been your favorite moment in the band?

 Gino: I don’t know man, we’ve been to so many crazy places and done so fucking much and there are so many favorite moments it’s too hard to sum it up to just one.

 Randy: For me, we played this festival in Columbia the first time we went called Rock In Rio and it was a huge festival with like 2,000 people. There were camera cranes filming it;  it was the biggest intl show we had played at that point and the whole crowd even sang Brandon(bass) happy birthday, it was just insane.

Gino: I bet you can find it online, just search Thick As Blood Columbia.

Favorite TAB record & why?

Gino: I mean they’re all good, know what I’m saying? ::laughs:: But no, I really like Living Proof not because it’s our newest one but because it just felt right. The recording process with Nick Jett was awesome. It was completely different than anything we had done  bc we focused on just one song each day which gave me time to rest and write and I work better under pressure.

Randy: It’s a toss up between Embrace & Living Proof. Embrace is definitely the fan favorite but I like Living Proof bc we put a lot more focus into it and it felt more like our baby.

 I would like to thank you guys for all of your support throughout the years. You’ve got the last word, what would you like to tell the world?

Gino: We really appreciate you having our back for a long time man. Raise Hell!

Randy: Support Still Proud for sure!

 Follow Thick As Blood to keep up with their final dates here

G-SP

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Interviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Army of the Pharaohs “Behind the Scenes” – Episode 1

The unfuckwitable juggernaut known as the Army of the Pharoahs brings you this latest behind the scene’s clip of their most recent video shoot. Lots of SP flashes in there, shouts to Planetary & Crypt of Outerspace as well as the homie King Syze for holding us down!

G-SP

 

 

Posted in Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Dave Peters of Throwdown Interview

1258418797-throwdown

If you’ve been in the hardcore scene for some time, you’ve heard or seen Throwdown. As the longest standing member of the band, Dave Peters has lived through a legacy that a majority of artists (especially in this genre) seldom attain. Having been a longtime Throwdown fan myself, I was beyond stoked for the opportunity to catch up with Dave to discuss the latest record and hopefully clear up some confusion that many of us may have had throughout the years. So Without further adiue, Dave Peters:

SP: First off, congrats on the latest record as it fucking kills! Intolerance has been out for a little over a month now, how has it been received?

Hey, thanks.  I appreciate that.  From what I can tell, both longtime and newer fans are really into it, which has been great. My mom doesn’t like it very much.

SP: I appreciate Intolerance because typically after bands go down a different path (as you had the last few records) they tend to stay there, but this release has a more classic core Throwdown feel to it. What was the writing process like and what were you aiming to accomplish with this record?

Some of the riffs I’ve had for a few years, but the majority of it was written and assembled in my room over the year leading up to recording last May. I pretty much wrote the music for 11 songs, sent the riffs over to Jarrod with some direction for drums and we were in the studio tracking within a couple months.  I think we got together in person twice the weekend before the session started.  We planned on three times, but a pipe broke behind a wall and flooded my living room and kitchen, so I got to deal with that instead. It was a lot like the writing process for Vendetta actually, except we spent more time in a rehearsal space back then, over thinking parts and probably making some songs longer than they needed to be.  As far as the goal of the record, it’s really no different than the last records at the heart of it— just wanted to make some songs I was proud of and that people could get into.

 SP: Diehard fans tend to have a selfish expectation that a band should stick to the formula that “made” them. On the other hand having been in bands for many years, I know how that expectation (if applied) can certainly stifle your ability to progress your sound. From Vendetta to Deathless there’s no denying that there was a bit of exploration which I’m sure you know upset a lot of longtime supporters. Walk us through this time period, were you merely tired of the same old same old or were there other factors that affected the direction of those records?

It was really just a matter of doing what I/we wanted to do without following any sort of rules in the writing.  It’s funny; there was actually a big backlash to Haymaker and Vendetta when they first came out.  I guess Haymaker more so because it was the first record I sang on after having played guitar in the band for the years prior.  A lot of people didn’t like that.  But yeah, Deathless had a lot of elements that people were just not used to hearing out of a Throwdown record.  I wasn’t looking to do that twice. Because it was polarizing for fans as much as I just didn’t want to do something twice. Not an album anyway. Whether fans, new or old, like what the band releases, I think I owe it to them to be authentic.  If I wrote Intolerance in 2008, it wouldn’t have been. It’s the record I wanted to make in 2013, so we did. That’s always the approach.  It should be for every band.

 SP: From what I’ve read, there aren’t immediate plans to tour in support of the new drop which isn’t very typical of bands. What’s up with that, and can you give us any insight into what the rest of 2014 holds for Throwdown?

We did a whole lot of touring between 2003 and 2010.  It was how we made ends meet and it was also what drove us into hiatus.  These days, I’m happy just to do things on my own terms.  If I want to release some music I will. If a cool opportunity comes up to play somewhere that really wants to have us then I’ll try and make it happen.  But I’m done with the carpet-bombing approach to touring.  For now, we’ve got a festival booked in Montebello, Canada that has a straight up insane lineup.  It should be a lot of fun to be a part of.  I’d like to do a show at the Constellation Room here in Orange County.  Beyond that…we’ll just wait and see.

 SP: Throwdown has released 7 studio albums, toured the world solo and on numerous huge festivals (Ozzfest, Sounds of the Underground, Warped Tour) and even been through a couple record labels over the years. What are 2 pieces of advice you’d give to aspiring bands looking to accomplish what you have?

Play the music you want to play versus what you think people want to hear, and do it with like-minded people.  There’s zero guarantee that it will get you on any tour or label or even out of the garage, but it’s the only way you’ll feel satisfied with what you’re doing and keep your sanity doing it.

 SP: You’ve been in the band for the last 13 years of your life. Looking back on all you’ve experienced, is there anything you wish you had done differently?

It’s actually been 15 years but who’s counting, Haha. I would have lightened up a lot on the road and stopped caring what people thought about the music we made, years before I did.

 SP:  Of course your fans & label are a huge motivation to keep churning out music, but what specifically motivates Dave Peters to keep this up?

There are probably more things and people in 2014 that drive me nuts, whether with their general inanity or outright offensive levels of ignorance, than there were in 2003.  I couldn’t imagine keeping sane if I couldn’t pair my hate for these things with music I love, music that was inspired by bands who helped me channel hate that I couldn’t even comprehend at the young age I first heard them. Essentially, I hate bullshit and love riffs.

 SP: Favorite Throwdown record, and why?

Probably Intolerance.  I know that’s what every band dork says, that the most recent record is their favorite. I do though, objectively as possible, think it’s mine. It doesn’t contain the majority of my 5 favorite songs we ever wrote, but on the whole it’s the best overall album to me.

 SP: What got you into the hardcore scene?

Metal really. I loved heavy metal since I was 10 or 11, and had a few friends when I was 12 who were into punk, one who had an older brother in a band called Function.  They played me the demo and I said, “This sounds like Pantera without solos!” They laughed at me because it wasn’t cool to like metal if you were into hardcore then. But yeah, that was the first hardcore band I heard and I loved the idea of straight edge that was tied to it. At that age I had been smoking weed on the weekends with a couple friends who were into it. But I just felt so phony doing it, especially when there was some other older kid around I didn’t know, like he would realize I was some sort of poseur and out me to my friends.  When I found out I “didn’t have to” do any of that or worry about my parents catching me (again), I thought, “Thank GOD.”  I saw my first hardcore show in ’92 or ’93—Unbroken and Undertow, except Undertow’s van broke down and they didn’t play.  I was blown away at how small the venue was and how close you could be to the band. I guess at that age, I just assumed that if you were popular enough to play a “concert” then you were playing to thousands of people.  I had only seen two shows before that and Metallica / Guns ‘n’ Roses / Motorhead was one of them, which was actually my first concert at the Rose Bowl.  Seeing bands on a 2-foot stage with no barricade at Old World Village was a little different then that.

 SP: You’ve been straightedge for nearly 2 decades which is probably more than 80% of those who’ve claimed it. What’s the key to that longevity?

22 years…but who’s counting. Y’know, I think that if you’re struggling with the idea of not drinking or doing drugs or smoking or whatever, then you probably shouldn’t be calling yourself straight edge.  If it’s who you truly are inside, though, if the idea of dealing with your problems chemically sounds absurd and weak, if doing blow sounds like an unrewarding and expensive hobby, then there really is no “key” or secret to it. You just be yourself and abstain from those things and reject the idea that doing them is “normal” and not doing them isn’t.  If you find yourself asking why you continue living life without those things, you don’t need to look far. Every day, there are plenty of tragic stories and people everywhere that are pretty convincing reasons on their own.

 SP: On the vocals front, I can attest first hand that this is not exactly the easiest genre to keep your voice strong. Have you ever had any sort of vocal training or do any warm ups before picking up the mic?

I do some pretty silly sounding warm-ups that help with recording sessions more than touring really.  On tour, my voice is usually ready to go by set time. But I have a hard time singing in the day, and producers and engineers don’t exactly want to start tracking at 10 PM.  I got some great warm-ups and other ideas when I did do a few sessions with Melissa Cross in NY years back. She’s great. I met Kevin Bacon when I was there! No shit.  He was her next session after mine. She says, “Kevin Bacon is outside, wanna meet him?” So I got to. Apparently he plays, has a band called the Bacon Brothers!  I had no idea. I thought she was fucking with me, but there he was, fuckin’ Footloose.  So yeah, I’m one degree of Kevin Bacon.

 SP: Aside from the band, what type of activities would we be surprised to find Dave up to?

Horticulture? I like plants. I only have a little patio with space for a few things, but one day I’d like to have a garden, or at least an avocado tree and a blackberry bush among a few other plants I like.  Other than that, Muay Thai has been a consistent hobby for me the past four years.  Don’t think you’ll find me in the ring any time soon, but I have a lot of fun with it.

SP: That about does it sir and thanks for taking the time to answer these questions! Any last words?

Hey, no problem. Thanks for taking the time and caring enough to come up with them!

Be sure to cop the latest record here and keep up to date with Throwdown on Facebook & Twitter

 

Posted in Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Devotion

tATTOOS

It’s beyond humbling to find other individuals that take this idea to heart as much as I do. We’re not a name on a T-shirt like so many meaningless “brands” out there, this is a mentality & outlook on life. Shouts to Meryck for taking that support & understanding to the next level! 

G-SP

Posted in Tattoos | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Troops

Back again for our monthly supporter appreciation post, keep up the tags!

Chichen Itza boi!

photo13

Ile de la Réunion1441227_10202482840377258_1345275806_n Antigua1901666_728165890541372_1104489065_n Nico Warhoundphoto1 photo2photo3photo4photo5photo6photo7photo8photo9photo10

photo11

J57 reppinphoto12photo14Pay No Respectphoto15The homie Zanephoto16photo17

Jay Lionheartphoto18

Ben Taken By Forcephoto19photo20photo21Suicide Kingsphoto22photo23photo24

G-SP

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Spring/ Summer 14′s LIVE!

DSC_5342DSC_5358DSC_5353

Hit our store to cop this very limited drop. If we sell out in the main shop be sure to check our Kazbah page as new product will periodically hit the site throughout the week.

Please spread the word!

G-SP

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

MEMOIRS Lookbook S/S 2014

This one goes out to those of you who’ve stood by our side throughout the years!

unnamedDSC5156DSC5141DSC5200 DSC5173DSC5314DSC5239DSC5113 DSC5218DSC5268 DSC5285

The launch will hit the store TOMORROW am!

Photography by Studio 77. Models: Adam Stewart, Marijah & Gavin O

G-SP

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

“Memoirs” S/S 14 Battleplans

photo

I named this release “Memoirs” because it’s a trek back through the years to some of our more popular pieces. The official release date will be on Tuesday (3/11/14) and our lookbook will hit the site a day earlier on Monday (3/10). I even kept the quantities of each design lower then what I normally print so if you missed out on the first run, DON’T SLEEP AGAIN as who knows if you’ll ever have a 3rd shot! In the spirit of keeping this short, of course I couldn’t leave you without some teasers:

Rain rain go awayphoto_1Bring the heatphoto_4Baseball season…photo_3Ladies, we got YOU!photo_5Camo is my favorite color…photo_6

See you on Monday!

G-SP

Posted in Blog, New Product | Tagged | Leave a comment

King Syze-Due Process

Shouts to King Syze for repping our Occupy Minds zip HARD in his latest flick! Cop this track for free here and keep an eye out for his upcoming album titled “Union Terminology” which drops on 3/25/14!

G-SP

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Koncept & J57 Drop A Video for “Wings”

The homies Koncept & J57 just dropped a new video which features footage from their visit last year to London. You can find this track on their FREE ep here.

Can you spot the SP?

G-SP

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment