Could you tell the readers of Bloggin Rotten a little about the band.
We’re a pop punk band from Scotland that’s been going since 2007. We’re currently on Asian Man Records and have been since 2013. We’re more Screeching Weasel/Dear Landlord style pop punk than whatever that more popular form of pop punk is these days. You know, the one with lots of synchronised jumping and baggy clothes and nice haircuts. I couldn’t name one band like that due to being completely out of touch, but you know what I mean.
How do you manage to keep such a consistently awesome writing style? It seems to be at times, a bit of a revolving lineup in the band.
I write all the songs, so it’s pretty easy. For the first time in years it’s a stable line-up and it’s working really well, so Alex and drummer and Alex the bassist played on the new EP and are playing on the new album as well.
Who where your your punk rock gateway bands and is there any bands you are really digging at the moment ?
I was actually just talking to Jamie from Aerial Salad about this the other day due to his confusion as to why I’m not a Green Day fan. The Offspring and Green Day were the first punk bands I remember hearing when I was 7 or 8 years old. That was around ‘94/’95, so they were both on MTV all the time.
I liked their stuff a lot more than the other shit on there. When I was 12 I saw “Smash” by The Offspring in a shop and remembered it from years before, so convinced my dad to get it for me. That was the year “Americana” came out too, which my brother gave to me. Through The Offspring I got into a bunch of the bands on Nitro Records like Guttermouth, The Vandals and AFI.
I got a guitar when I was 13 but couldn’t play any of those bands’ songs because the rhythm parts were too complicated for me, so got frustrated with it and gave up pretty quickly. Then I heard a couple of Ramones songs on a compilation my dad had and I loved them. Through the Ramones I got really into bands like Screeching Weasel, The Queers, The Riverdales, and MTX, and they all played songs that I could actually play on guitar.
I spent most of my time after that playing along to those bands. If it wasn’t for those bands I probably wouldn’t have bothered trying to play guitar again. Maybe if I’d got into Green Day instead then I would have picked things up quicker, and it would have made more sense, since that sort of pop punk is my thing, but for some reason it just didn’t happen. I think it’s because the next thing of theirs I checked out back then was “Warning” when it came out, which probably wasn’t the best place to start.
Recently I’ve been listening to The Creeps “Beneath The Pines”, Robot Bachelor “The Second Third House Boat Album”, Wonk Unit “Terror”, Aerial Salad “Roach”, Don Blake “Tough Like Diamonds” and Harrison Whitford “Afraid of Everything” a lot. Andrew W.K “You’re Not Alone” is definitely the album I’ve listened to the most so far this year though. Really positive and well put together album, and putting the spoken word tracks on there was a great idea too.
When was the last time you guys made an arse out of yourself? Any funny tour stories you can share ?
I can’t really remember specifically. I’m constantly making an arse out of myself, so it all just blends in. I’m enjoying playing live more than ever now because of that. I’ve spent a lot of time burping and winking at people in the crowd recently. I read a review of a show we did in Germany on the tour we just did with Wonk Unit and it said how my chat between songs was “anything but intelligent”, which is fair enough.
Fraser you have been very open about your mental health through your lyrics in both MB and FIPS, firstly I hope you are feeling rad at the moment buddy.
What helps you cope with your mental health, does being in a touring band help with your health? I guess being around your road brothers and sisters must be an enlightening and positive element to add to your life.
Thanks, man. I’m doing alright at the moment. Been super productive recently which helps. The past year has been a rough one mentally, particularly the end of last year, so most of my time this year has been spent trying to figure that out.
Since the start of this year my mind has been going ridiculously fast for the most part, but working on new ideas and trying to be as productive as possible helps slow it down quite a bit.
I’d rather not feel awful at times, but at least there’s some sort of pay-off. Being sober and meditating also helps a lot. I decided to go sober at Christmas last year and started meditating sometime in February, then Miguel from Teenage Bottlerocket’s book “I Wanna Be Well” landed on my doorstep not long after that, which was perfect timing, since it’s all about meditation and yoga and trying to feel better.
Meditating in the morning helps me start off my day thinking straight, and doing it at night helps me sleep better. Not drinking helps a lot in general. I wasn’t doing it as often as I used to, but towards the end of last year I’d started doing it in order to shut my brain off whenever I felt awful so I could try to start again the next day, which is obviously not a healthy way to live. I’m definitely happier and more focussed without it and plan on keeping it up. Not going on social media very often helps, too.
A year or so ago I found that it really started bumming me out a lot. I can’t really avoid it completely because I have to do all the social media stuff for the band, but not paying attention to the vast majority of what’s happening on there definitely makes me feel better. I get that it’s good for keeping in touch with people since no one calls or texts anymore, but I don’t want to see who’s arguing with who, or who’s high fiving themselves, or who’s posting about being a better friend than everyone else was to someone who’s just died, or who’s still banging on about punk apparently being dead because NOFX said sorry for doing something really dumb.
You know, all that sort of shit. It’s just so depressing and overwhelming, and makes me feel more disconnected than I would have been, if I hadn’t bothered going on there in the first place. I’ll stick to looking at photos of dogs every now and then and trying to stay connected with people in real life, and trying not to forget what real life is.
Touring can go either way really. This year so far it’s been really helpful and had a really positive effect on me and it has for the most part in the past, but there’s also been a handful of times where it’s done the exact opposite and it’s made me feel much worse.
I was so burned out on it last year that it was pretty much ruining me, but I didn’t really realise until I’d completely ran myself into the ground. It’s not really a normal environment to be in for weeks on end, so you have to be careful sometimes. I’d probably be totally burned out on it by now if it wasn’t for a lot of the people I’ve been touring with over the past few years. We just did that tour with Wonk Unit then went straight to Canada to tour with City Mouse after that, and both bands are some of my absolute favourite people, so spending the better part of last month with them was wonderful. So yeah, it really just depends. Thankfully it’s doing me a lot of good right now, and I’m really looking forward to all the stuff I have coming up.
How was it recording with the dudes in ‘Masked Intruder, on ‘The 12 Habits Of Highly Defective People’?
It was awesome! I was listening to MI today and thought about the “12 Habits” recording. That whole thing coming together still blows my mind.
I played a show with MI and they were a really nice bunch of dudes.
Yeah man, they are the best. We’ve toured together a couple of times and it’s been great. I filled in on guitar for them on tour in the UK with Me First & The Gimme Gimmes last year and it was definitely one of the best things I’ve ever done. It was really fun playing with Red on drums at Fest in Gainesville last year as well. It’s been cool playing together again since recording that album together.
What can we expect from the new 7 inch and album ?
The new EP is called “Shitty People & Toothache” and is made up of 4 songs about living with maniacs that rip you off, get you arrested and make your life hell for a while.
That was a bleak part of 2016, but at least I got a new EP out of it. Writing the thing drove me insane, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. Luke from The Copyrights mixed and mastered it and it sounds awesome. It’s out on Asian Man/Brassneck on July 27th.
Scott at Brassneck messaged me about it after I sent him the songs and said “I don’t know if a concept EP is a thing, but I think you’ve just written one”, so I guess that’s what it is!
We’re booked in to record the new album right before we go on tour leading up to Wonkfest in July. I find it hard to describe what an album is like before it actually exists, but the demos turned out great and everyone involved is excited about recording it. It’ll have 14 songs on it anyway. We’ll hopefully have it ready and out before the end of the year.
I’m at the bar what you drinking ?
I’m a big ginger beer guy. I’ve been trying to find this hipster shit I got in Canada that has a guy with a moustache and a neck tattoo on it but I think they only sell it over there, so just whatever other one they have is fine with me.
Some moron working at The Whiskey Jar in Manchester the other night sarcastically called me a “crazy guy” for ordering one then gave me ginger ale instead because they clearly have dog brains, so if we can go to any bar but that one then that’d be great.
Finally , would you rather have a dick for a nose , or a nose for a dick ? and what’s your reason for this ?
Probably a nose for a dick. I like the idea of being able to sneeze piss at people. I guess you could do that if you had a dick for a nose as well though. It’s win-win really.
The Murderburgers – Shitty people and Toothache (7inch preorder) is available below.
Brass Neck Records (UK) Orange Vinyl.
Asian Man Records (USA) Mint Green Vinyl