Strike Anywhere return to Australia in a couple of weeks time alongside Anti-Flag and The Flatliners. A number of the shows are selling quickly as you would expect, so don’t wait until the last minute if you plan on grabbing a ticket. This week in The Hotseat we catch up with frontman Thomas Barnett. Expand this post to check out his answers and re-cap the tour information.
Name : Thomas Barnett
Band : Strike Anywhere
Job In Band : Vocals,Lyrics
Website Address : www.strikeanywhere.org
Hometown : Richmond, Virginia
Hometown is best known for : Capital of The Confederacy in the American Civil War; Lamb Of God
Best venue in your hometown : Strange Matter
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : Born Again$t at Skillet’s warehouse, January 1991
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : Strange Matter, Oct.2010 with the Flatliners
How did the band first come to exist? Richmond scene veterans and upstarts, hardcore kids and punks, colliding together to make art, spend a decade-plus together, have fun, play fast, and speak truth to corruption and power.
How long has the band been going? 13 years this September
Any particular story behind the name? It is both a statement of intent and aesthetic, and a song title of my first band, Inquisition
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… Iron Front came out in 2009, so its not super-recent, particularly. But we like it. Feels like a punk record that has a barely controlled nuclear core underneath some melodic layers. Not a punk record that is just repackaged rock music. For our tastes and vision, we found a very honest way to write songs beyond only angst and reaction, but toward redemption, courage and comprehending the shattering of systems and the new world waiting within. I hope we’ve succeeded in some way. It’s philosophical, orchestral, and ferocious. And there’s more to come.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? Personally, once we got through a bomb threat and other near-disasters, the show we played in Moscow, Russia in February 2009 was as explosive (heh.), warm, and as brilliant as anyone would want. The sense of community and commitment of the kids in that moment was electric. There was also relief !
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? Singing Depeche Mode and Black Flag songs with my older cousin while avoiding family reunions.
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? 7 Seconds “The Inside”, New Model Army (everything), Subhumans “Someone Is Lying”, The English Beat “Tears Of A Clown”, Bad Brains “I Against I” and “Silent Tears”, Billy Bragg “Levi Stubb’s Tears”, Siouxsie Sioux (She probably has a song with “tears” in the title,right?)
Your first band name, and what style did you play? Inquisition; we played melodic punk rock that was ultimately somewhere between Lookout and Revelation Records in the late ‘80’s early ‘90’s.
Most prized music related item you own? My black Washburn semi hollow body acoustic-electric guitar that has followed me through seven houses, two garages, four states, and 12 years.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? Writing, Bike riding, walking my dogs, gardening, and working in a warehouse.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… Seeing my bandmates in airports, catching up, laughing a lot.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… Getting sick, sleeplessness.
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? vegan options. energy drink. contradictions.
Favourite place you’ve toured… and why? All of Australia shares first place with some special cities in Europe, Asia, North and South America. Can’t leave out New Zealand! Tokyo is always a completely surreal yet comfortable and welcoming place to play,too. the International language of hardcore keeps a lot of shit real.
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? In recent memory? last Summer’s Acoustic Benefit show in Richmond for the IWW and the Anarchist Black Cross. We donated our proceeds to legal defense for Copwatch Activists and to jumpstart the food bank for the Occupy Richmond movement. Also, it was a fun and chaotic show with a lot of singing that drowned us out at times… moving stuff – no matter how many shows one plays, you can never become numb to that exchange.
Got a favourite song to play live? Been enjoying ‘Til Days Shall Be No More, the last couple tours, and the acoustic version of Orphan Age. Also, Detonation. So….deep cuts!
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? Saying the wrong name of a band I was trying to give a shout to. I can only blame sweat and exhaustion.
Any pre-show rituals? Stay focused. Write a set-list. Hydrate like a beast.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? Economics, fuel costs, no longer being in a national economic climate where one can quit one’s job and get a fresh one when tour is over.Those days are gone, unfortunately, so touring has to be far less relentless and more focused when possible.
Last song you listened to? The Power and The Glory by The Slackers & Friends
Last album you acquired? Darker Days Ahead by Tragedy
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? That Ice Age record is awesome. Also digging the X from Australia, how did I miss that record? It’s been out since like ‘79?!
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? Kruel from South Central Los Angeles.Pygmy Lush from DC. Iron Reagan from Richmond Virgina. and Stop Breathing from Ventura CA.
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? I think we will continue slowly sharing musical ideas back and forth while we work our jobs and live our lives. Finishing up the artwork and production for “In Defiance Of Empty Times” , our new Live Acoustic LP which will come out this July. We have no touring plans as of this writing until November when we return to South America.
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? Germ Free Adolescents by X-Ray Spex. We could make that record heavy! And also turn all the saxophone parts into guitar melodies.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? New Model Army. Would take our songs and find the post punk gold that may glitter in the breakdowns! And TV On The Radio would turn our record into an eerie electro gospel.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? MC5, SOA, Embrace, and of course Joy Division.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? We’ve had the good fortune to be able to play a lot of the most storied venues. Wilson Center, CBGB’s, Gilman ST.Project, Camden Underworld, Art House, Lintfabriek, Hangar 118 in Sao Paolo, etc for the small punk rock show. Right now we’d take any place creative and community-run with no bouncers and kind faces singing strong with us.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? I almost had a chance to fill-in for Efrem for a Death By Stereo Latin American Tour when he’d thought he’s lost his passport. That would’ve been a crazy experience, I’m sure! It would be awesome and different to fill-in for Jay from Bedouin Soundclash because I dig the songs – they are in a totally different sonic pocket than the music I play.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band. Well, definitely the Flatliners…Also we love touring with Dead To Me whenever we can. Great friends and criminally underrated songwriting.
Got any final words… In Defiance Of Empty Times will be out this July on Bridge Nine Records.
Collateral Manage Co, Blood Sweat and Beers, Blunt Magazine and Bombshellzine Present…
ANTI FLAG – The General Strike Australian Tour
w/ Special Guests STRIKE ANYWHERE & THE FLATLINERS
24th – Capitol, Perth [18+] w/ The Decline. Doors 7:30pm – Tickets – moshtix.com.au
25th – Fowlers, Adelaide [Lic/AA] w/ Hightime. Doors 7:30pm – Tickets – moshtix.com.au and venuetix.com.au
27th – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne [18+] w/ The Ramshackle Army. Doors 7:30pm – Tickets – www.thehifi.com.au, tel 1300-THEHIFI (843 443), Polyester Records-CBD & Fitzroy,Sight n Sound – Northcote & Boronia
30th – The Zoo, Brisbane [18+] w/ Army Of Champions. Doors 7:30pm – Tickets – oztix.com.au 1300 762 545 & www.thezoo.com.au
31st – Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast [18+] w/ Milestones. Doors 7:30pm – Tickets – oztix.com.au
1st – Manning Bar, Sydney [18+] w/ Easy Company. Doors 7:30pm – Tickets – www.manningbar.com (ph 1300 762 545)
2nd – Uni Bar, Wollongong [18+] w/ Steel City Allstars. Doors 7:00pm – Tickets – Redback music, Unicentre, Bigtix.com.au & oztix.com.au