This Friday will see long running punk band Strung Out release their new EP ‘Black Out The Sky‘ via Fat Wreck.

While Strung Out has made their name on intense, frenetic slabs of metal-influenced tech-punk, there is more to the band than meets the eye. ‘Black Out The Sky‘, is an acoustic affair. Singer Jason Cruz says;

Every song starts on an acoustic guitar for the most part. If it’s a good song, it can be played acoustic. For about the past five years, I’ve been pushing the band to try an acoustic release. These guys are great musicians — we can do anything.

Cruz and his bandmates — Jake Kiley, Rob Ramos and bassist Chris Aiken — began working on ‘Black Out The Sky‘ in January 2017 with producer Kyle Black, who they had previously teamed up with on 2015’s effort ‘Transmission.Alpha.Delta‘, and who played a role in the band deciding to re-work two older songs, ‘Matchbook‘ and ‘UnKoil‘ for the release.

Kyle is a fan of the band. I am the kind of person who wants to stray and go out into the unknown when I’m in the studio, but Kyle represents our fans. He didn’t let me stray too far with the melody or the music—just far enough to keep it fresh.


With no set deadline on the release, the recording process went on for nearly the entirety of 2017, allowing for song arrangements to bloom in ways Strung Out songs never had before.

The songs came out really super-dark, not jingly-jangly acoustic stuff. We had to get other musicians involved. Some of it is sparse and intimate, and some of it has a lot going on.

During the recording process, the band decided they needed to part ways with Jordan Burns, the band’s drummer since 1993. Cruz stresses that this decision was not an easy one to make, but it had to happen for the continued existence of Strung Out.

I think the band needed it. It needed to happen for the band to survive and grow. We got to a point where we were going to break up if it didn’t.

While in the studio, Strung Out realized some of the acoustic songs still needed drums. So the band enlisted their friend Sean Winchester, an accomplished drummer who has played with Everclear, Buckcherry and more, to fill out their sound. For their upcoming live shows, Strung Out will enlist RJ Shankle of California skate-punk band Runaway Kids to man the throne.

Really, the whole theme of this record is rebirth. It’s the rebirth of our brotherhood and being a band. It’s astounding when you can keep a relationship together for three decades. There’s something so special about the music we write. We’re brothers beyond any kind of blood. It vindicates that we’re doing something right. I always ask myself, What nerve do I have to get in front of a microphone? The fact that I kept this relationship together for 30 years says we worked through some shit. In our darkest times, we always came out with something beautiful because of it. In my mind, that gives me the right to get in front of that microphone.

Musically, the EP careens from songs that could be ported to full-band electric arrangements easily to mid-tempo grunge indebted to Alice In Chains to a full-on rollicking country song.

Nearly three decades in, Strung Out is not driven by trends but instead by each other.

There is no ‘me’ in this band. It’s us. Whatever we think of, we’re gonna do it. Sometimes, people want to maintain a youthful aura about their band. That’s gone. We’re old dudes. But we’ve learned a thing or two. There’s nothing wrong with being an old dude. Lemme show you a road that I found; come with me.

Order a copy of the EP on CD & Vinyl [Here]. The band will tour Australia in June / July. Dates and venues below.


21st – Sol Bar, Maroochydore [18+]
22nd – The Brightside, Fortitude Valley [18+]
23rd – Miami Tavern, Gold Coast [18+]
24th – Byron Bay Brewery, Byron Bay [18+]
26th – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle [18+]
27th – Long Jetty Hotel, Bateau Bay [18+]
28th – Factory Theatre, Marrickville [18+]
29th – Narrabeen RSL, Narrabeen [18+]
30th – Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne [18+]
1st – Pelly Bar, Frankston [18+]
4th – Fowlers Live, Adelaide [Lic/AA]
5th – Prince of Wales, Bunbury [18+]
6th – Northshore Tavern, Hillarys [18+]
7th – Hell Hole, Perth [18+]
—> Tickets available now.
—> For more information, visit [Here].

Strung Out Australia