Rust Belt Demons
Rust Belt Demons
So in August of 2009 we put a band together, and started practicing in an empty rental house. It was fucking hot. You’d walk out of there just soaked from head to toe with sweat, and there was no sound proofing so I guess the neighbors still know all the words to A Hooker’s Heart, which was one of the first songs we wrote. With the current lineup? No, the two of us are actually the only original members. It was Myself, Tim, Nate on drums, Josh on guitar.
A four piece. Nate left after we recorded the RBDFSU demo, and Scott Bednar took his place. We became a five piece when we added Jason Frank on second guitar. He came on the reccommendation of a close friend, and having two guitars really filled out the sound.
So I felt like between him and Scott the band just improved a ton almost overnight. Later on Josh left to move back to Kansas and we got Paul Tadder, which again improved things greatly. You mentioned your “sound”, how would you describe that? People have said we sound like a punk band from the late 70’s, which to me is a big compliment. I love the Ramones, the Pistols, Dead boys, stuff like that. Then there’s also the west coast stuff like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Bad Religion.
We’ve also been compared to Social Distortion and US Bombs. Someone that did a review on us even mentioned the Replacements, which again I take as a huge compliment, being a Westerberg fan. We just like loud, fast rock and roll, and that’s what we play. Who else have you been influenced by? Well personally, I’m a huge Clash fan, they’re my favorite band. You could say we’re influenced by the Misfits and the other late 70’s bands I mentioned before.
Tim and I are big Buddy Holly fans, which informs a lot of our songwriting. Jason brings a lot of rockabilly and psychobilly influence. Paul is a trained musician, so he listens to everything under the sun and can play in a lot of different styles. Then you have Scott, whose favorite band is Iron Maiden.
We mess with him a lot because he listens to Rush and Styx and shit llike that, but hey he’s a drummer, what the fuck are you gonna do? I’ve heard a lot about your early shows, things getting broken and people getting hurt. Should club owners be afraid? (Laughs) Yeah, I chipped a tooth at our first gig, got my lip split open at the second one, a friend of ours got a huge gash on his leg at another show. Down in Rockford last year I got my head split wide open at a show with Court Street Scrappers. Everyone leaves the gigs with assorted bumps and bruises, but that’s how it is.
People want to go nuts at our shows because like us, they’re folks who have been working too hard for too little at shitty jobs they hate so they need a release, and we provide that. The punishment should fit the crime. They don’t come to a show to see us stare at our shoes and whine about our relationships. They want to dance and slam into us and throw shit and fall down and spill beer.
They want go through the ringer and leave sweaty and bruised and drunk. We stand in front of them, and so we bear the brunt of that but we don’t mind because we’re all working stiffs and we feel the same way. We have a few club owners that let us go nuts so those shows tend to get out of hand, busted equipment and me getting hurt are standard fare. But for the most part our friends are just rowdy, controlled chaos.
They behave at nicer venues where we don’t know the owners personally. So no, I wouldn’t say there’s any reason club owners should be afraid. They know when they can get away with mayhem and when they can’t. I mean, you can spit on the floor in your own garage but you wouldn’t do it on your Grandma’s carpet, right? You mentioned the working people’s frustration and their need for a voice.
Would you say that’s the central message of this band? It’s always there when we’re writing, and it’s something we feel needs to be expressed. We are absolutely a pro-union, working class band. The working class in this country continues to get fucked at every turn while the rich and powerful grab up all the money and the resources. They spend billions to gauin political advantage,then engage in divisive tactics to keep us disorganized and in the dark, promote union busting, low wages, reductions in benefits, and outsourcing.
We view our songs as a call to arms. We have a voice and we intend to use it to empower our fellow workers and provide a release for their rage and frustration. Like most of our fans, we’re working stiffs from middle class backgrounds and some of us are union members, so we know what we’re talking about and why it’s so important. What’s in the future for RBD? Are you working on anything new? We just did a song and a video in support of the Fighting 14, the senators that left Wisconsin to stop the vote on a union-busting bill our Governor introduced recently. So that song we’d like to put on a 7” with Rats (another union anthem) on the B side.
Then another 7” with a few songs that didn’t make the demo, and we’re in the studio now working on a full-length album we hope to have out this spring. What about touring? We’re working with the IWW in DC right now, planning a mini-tour out to DC and back with a few stops in between. Other than that, we’re looking to work with other bands in our genre that are looking for supporting acts. Anything you want to say to your friends/fans who wuill read this. Yeah. Thanks for the injuries, see you at the next show, and thanks from all of us for your support. RBDFSU! Read more on Last.fm.
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