Words: Yasi Salek
Photos: Sara Nataf & Kealan Shilling
I don’t know a whole lot, but I do know the following things: I know the definition of irony (conveying a meaning that is the opposite of the literal meaning); I know that Friends is a really good TV show; and I know that The Spits are punker than you.
The Kalamazoo-based band has been making self-proclaimed “punk for the people” for over ten years now, touring tirelessly (they’re known for their stage costumes which range from graduation robes to Ronald Reagan masks) and putting out album after album of their particular brand of dirty, sped-up garage punk (so far they’ve churned out no less than 17 releases). After all these years they’re showing no signs of slowing, recently wrapping a tour with kindred spirits OFF! and gearing up for more Spits mayhem in 2013. I chatted with guitarist Sean Wood, about the tao of tour, amongst other things:
If your band were the cast of Friends, who would be who?
Well, I think Wayne our drummer would be Joey. Our keyboard player Josh would be Ross. My brother and I … we’re both kind of in the running for Chandler, we both got it going on a little bit. I’d say a mix between Chandler and Joey.
What is the best part of being a touring band for all these years?
Well, meeting people and seeing new things, but really performing is the best part. About twenty hours of every day suck, then four hours are great, getting ready to play, playing and socializing afterwards. Otherwise everything about tour pretty much sucks.
What are the top three cities best you’ve ever played in?
San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle.
What are the top three worst cities you’ve ever played in?
Brussels, Belgium. Let’s see … Oklahoma City and Salt Lake City.
What music do you listen to in the van that people might not expect?
We listen to a lot of a classical music actually. Not anything specific, but all different kinds of classical.
What’s the reason for all the classical music?
Just to chill out. It helps you escape. But then again, we’ll also go straight to AC/DC or Metallica or ZZ Top sometimes too.
What’s your favorite thing to eat on the road?
We like to eat regionally wherever we are. If we’re down in Alabama, I want some catfish, or if we’re in Chicago, I want a polish sausage, Detroit I want a Coney dog etc.
Best bands you’ve ever seen live?
Metallica, Mitch Rider and the Detroit Wheels and Blue Oyster Cult back in the 80s.
What’s up next for The Spits?
We recently put out a new single with King Khan, and we’re working on a new record that will be out next year. Then just touring, playing shows, and having fun … trying to exist and maintain and keep up, you know? Play music for the people.
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