WORDS: YASI SALEK
PHOTOS: BROOKE FREDERICK
Fullerton punk quartet Audacity have been making music together nearly ten years, and now in their ripe old mid-twenties, have released their third (THIRD) studio album in a combined effort to make you feel bad about your life and productive output. Okay fine, they don't give a shit, they just want to make snot-nosed, heart-felt garage punk, full of the daring and DGAF-ness (that's a technical music term) of youth. I sat down with the band for a chat over a ridiculously large drink called a Fishbowl at one of their local Fullerton hangs:
You guys were technically the first Burger Records band (aside from Thee Make-Out Party, Burger founders Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard’s band). Since they put out your first album Power Drowning with Recess Records, they’ve grown into something of a cultural phenomenon. Do you think that has helped you guys? Their growth?
Thomas Alvarez: Yeah some towns, like Chicago, you’d show up and there would be a bunch of young kids wearing Burger pins, stoked to see us play, but then we’d go to like Dayton, and there were all the people who worked at No Idea, so it would be a different group of stoked people.
What is your guys’ songwriting process like? You’ve known each other half your lives and written music together forever.
Matt Schmalfeld: I don’t know if we fit the normal “we have a songwriting process” kind of thing. There are a lot of different ways that we have written songs. I think we still haven’t totally found the one way that we do it.
T: I think it just clicks.
Cameron Crowe: It’s always gone from, sometimes maybe every single person writes the lyrics together. It’s been that way. Sometimes someone shows up and they’ve written everything, the music and the lyrics. Most of the time with the music, even Thomas, we kind of do the whole layout of the song, together, on the fly. Playing it over and over and picking what goes where.
M: It starts with chord progressions from me or Kyle usually. It’s never like…I guess it sometimes is, but it’s usually not all the way done when we all get to it.
Who are your favorite bands to tour with and play shows with?
M: Well we haven’t done it yet but we’re looking forward to playing with White Knight.
T: They’re the dudes from the Pterodacdudes’ new band, and they have an album coming out on Recess. We’re touring with them in January.
C: Nü Sensae is really awesome to tour with.
T: We love touring with Pangea.
M: I liked touring with Man Or Astroman. Those dudes know how to have a good time.
T: They sip their wine and we sip our beer.
C: They sip their whiskey too. They drink a lot.
T: Bad Antics. Underground Railroad To Candyland.
M: Yeah Todd’s bands!
T: Todd (Congelliere) is the guy who does Recess records.
C: And Mika Miko of course.
Would you say there’s one specific band that made you guys want to play music?
Kyle Gibson: As a kid I remember seeing my sister's boyfriend's Damned Damned Damned record and being intrigued by the wild looking people on the cover. Also my sister had an X Ray Spex shirt and came home from college with a computer with a bunch of songs by The Stooges, Buzzcocks, and Bikini Kill on her computer. That was when I felt a cool personal connection to bands/music. So really a computer and t shirts made me want to play music.
M: Minutemen did that for me, when I was younger. And The Replacements. The Ramones too.
C: You know what made me want to be in a band? Watching That Thing You Do in elementary school. I watched it all the time.
T: That made me NOT want to be in a band.
M: Yeah it exposes the dark side.
C: It was just watching this one hit wonder fall apart. The scene where they’re on the radio and they’re all excited, that really made me want to be in a band and be on the radio. On mainstream radio.
Has that happened?
C: No. One day! Maybe Star 98.7.
M: They can play our old stuff on (Southern California Classic Rock station) KLOS, that’s how long we’ve been around.
T: I like Jack FM.
C: KLOS plays Green Day and Foo Fighters on there.
Fuck I’m so old.
M: I heard Ty Segall on KLOS. Things change fast these days.
What’s coming up next for Audacity?
M: Butter Knife is out Oct 29th. Then Shutter Knife comes out.
C: The album we recorded in high school, in like 2007, is going to come out in like the Spring on Cut Rate Records. It was made and recorded and test-pressed but it never came out.
T: Then a bunch of touring with Mean Jeans then Hunters. Seven weeks of tour. It will be exciting.
M: We’re going to release a fourth album too.
T: And we tour again in January with White Knight.
C: And then a Weekend At Bernie’s themed music video!
Butter Knife is out today on Suicide Squeeze Records. You can buy the LP/CD via the label or digitally on iTunes. Catch them on tour now, dates to the left.