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Gavin's Underground

The Wild Ones, Salt Lake Spitfires

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2013-01-02 - I don't know what your New Year's Eve was like, but mine went about as well as I expected it to ... covering a show at Burt's Tiki Lounge. In fact, this was no ordinary show, as Salt Lake City  legend Aldine Strychnine put together a four-band punk showcase featuring The Wild Ones, Salt Lake Spitfires, Suspicious Sound System, and a reunion of the band Maimed For Life. The only thing missing from this year's festivities that really made prior NYE showcases was a shaving-cream war and someone getting kicked out, but it was still a fine time. Today, I have interviews with the first two bands on the bill, along with over 200 pictures for you to check out in this gallery here. Welcome to 2013.

The Wild Ones

Gavin: Hey, Robin. First thing, tell us a little about yourself.

Robin: Nothing much to tell. It's all just a big, accidental joke.

Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Robin: Jerry Lee Lewis, The Stooges, The Runaways and Michael Jackson.
Gavin: How did the four of you come together to form The Wild Ones?

Robin: Carl and I got together for a few months before Jason, our drummer, came into the band. The idea started at our friend Ben Warren's Freedom Blast two years ago. It was never meant to be much more than playing a few songs together. I never really thought we would play shows. It still amazes me that we continue to do so! Like I said ... it's just a big, accidental joke. Bill came along a few months after Jason. He came to a few shows and totally wanted to be in the band. We just have fun and party. Every now and then, an awesome song comes out of it and I have no idea how! None of us really try to do anything at all.

Gavin: What was it like kinda crafting a slower, dingier kind of rock sound as a group?

Robin: It already existed in each of us naturally. All four of us are pretty dark-side.
Gavin: How did you end up getting Bill Frost to join the group, and how has it been performing with him?

Robin: Bill asked to be in the band at our third show. As you may know, he pretty much kicks ass at guitar, and he plays the bass just like it was a guitar, so it was kind of a no-brainer. We needed at least one person with some talent in the band. He's awesome to play with.

Gavin: You've been together roughly a year and a half. How has it been for you playing gigs and building up a following around the valley?

Robin: I don't know -- do we have a following?
Gavin: Right now, you've only got recorded tracks on your ReverbNation page. Are there any plans to record an album or EP yet, or are you just playing around for now?

Robin: There's always plans of some sort.

Gavin: Moving on to statewide stuff, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Robin: 75% sucks and 25% rules. In my opinion, there are not a lot of awesome newer bands, but a few are still around from the older scenes and still kicking ass, and coming up with new projects.
Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it more prominent?

Robin: No. This town is oversaturated with "musicians"; it's just unavoidable.

Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?

Robin: Pink Lightning, Tupelo Moan, Muscle Hawk, Tolchok Trio and The Rubes. There are plenty of bands from the past 20 years that we are still way into, even though they don't play anymore.
Gavin: What's your opinion on the current airplay on community radio and how it affects local musicians?

Robin: We don't really listen to the radio enough to answer that.

Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and as music lovers?

Robin: Music should be shared.


Salt Lake Spitfires

Gavin: Hey, everyone. First thing, tell us a little about yourselves.

David: We live in Salt Lake, we think loud and fast music is very sexy. The current lineup is Greg, Julio, myself, Ivan and Becka.

Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

David: I remember hanging out with the "bad kids" at the back of the school bus in Jr. high. I got turned on to Ozzy, Scorpions and Motley Crew, etc. I think I was 14 when I got turned on to punk rock. There was no turning back.

Ivan: My first music memory is when I was trying to play Metallica songs with a flamenco guitar back in Spain when I was a kid. After James Hetfield, there was Jesper Stromblad from In Flames and Alexi Laiho from Children of Bodom, just to mention a few.

Greg: I remember the first time I heard "Running With The Devil" by Van Halen and was just completely floored. Then "Eruption" convinced me to pick up the guitar. After that, it was Black Sabbath and anything heavy that has since inspired me.
Gavin: How did you originally come together to form the Spitfires?

David: Becka and I used to play in a greaser-rock band called Salt Town Greasers. We started a punk-rock side project called Tough Tittie. We put out a couple of CDs and even did a little tour. After a falling out with one of the other original members, we got a new guitarist and put Mike Cline on vocals. I didn't want to change the name at first, but I'm glad we did. Those other guys are still playing. There would have been two bands fighting for the name The Dueling Titties! Only LA Guns should have to endure that! I'm much more into the music we're making than the band title.

Gavin: How was it for you performing around the city early on and earning a following in the punk scene?

David: A lot of work and a lot of fun. Playing weeknights before getting a weekend spot at Burt's, checking the MySpace page to see how many hits. Good times! It takes a lot to get a band off the ground. And until you have a studio recording, it's almost impossible to do promotion.
Gavin: What was the process like putting together the Chaos Baby EP, and what were early reactions to it before you released it?

David: We had a lot of fun recording this EP. Michael Sasich recorded it. Lucky for us, he is very patient and a hell of a good guy. We did several takes of some of the tracks and a whole lot of fidgeting after. Getting everyone happy with their levels, etc. can take some time. I think we were all happy with the finished product, for the most part. As Mike used to say, "It's punk rock with an emphasis on the rock."

Gavin: Earlier this year, your original lead singer, Mike Cline, passed away. How did that affect the two of you from the original lineup and the band as a whole?

David: It sucked. I don't know how else to explain it. He joined the band in February and was gone by October. Both the guitarists decided not to continue. That's when Greg came on board. Greg and Mike were in a band together back in the '80s called Rid Mission.
Gavin: What made you decide continue on as a band, and how hard was it moving on without two of the original members?

David: We've been doing this band for eight years and Mike had been in for seven months. I don't think I know how to stop. I'm certain Mike wouldn't want us to. I love making music. With Mike, Ben, and DJ out, 3/5 of the band was gone.

Gavin: How was it for you finding new members, and how did the new lineup come together?

David: It wasn't too much trouble to get a new lineup. Ivan and Greg took over the guitars pretty quickly. One of the biggest changes was putting myself on the mic. I got tired of always changing singers; some things ought to remain constant. We got Julio on the drums and it was complete.

Ivan: I was looking for a band one day, and the next I had a practice with these guys. I had to learn everything really fast but I enjoyed the challenge and the songs. I found it easy to work with them on the new ones since everybody can add their own ideas when composing. Nobody is treated like "the new guy" 'cause there are more "new guys" than original members.
Gavin: I've heard you say that the band has an entirely new feel and sound. How have audiences reacted to the changes?

David: New Year's Eve was our first show. We've had some friends stop by at practice and they seemed to like it. They're sometimes drunk, though -- or is that us?.

Gavin: Being a new group in many ways, how is it for you finding your sound, compared to what you were doing half a year earlier?

David: We're definitely influenced by our earlier sound and still doing a lot of those songs. It is always evolving, and that's one of the things I love most. We have one brand-new song called Sexdriver that has a bluesy, AC/DC feel.

Ivan: We also have a new one called "Alcohol Song" that has a really heavy and slow pace so powerful and low that you can feel it in your bones. When we play it loud enough ,you tremble a little bit; it's real fun!
Gavin: Are there any plans at the moment to record a new album or will you just be playing gigs for now?

David: We have enough material to to another EP right now. We haven't discussed it too much but I'm sure it won't be long. We'd love to have a recording with our current lineup.

Gavin: Moving on to statewide stuff, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

David: I think the local scene is better than it's been in a long time. There are some great bands: Victims Willing, Draize Method, Thunderfist, Handicapitalists, Ravings, Glorious Bastards ... the list could take up the page. The only "bad" thing might be that underground music is underappreciated.
Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it more prominent?

David: I think people need to support the art. If you turn out for the underground bands you like and purchase their music, it makes it a lot easier for them to continue. I like being in the Pariah Music Club. It is an effort to organize promotion with a grassroots, fan-base approach. It's open to everyone and it seeks to grow and unify the scene.

Ivan: I think bands need to tour and get out of their comfort zones, show what they've got and give it a go. We have great media like City Weekly and SLUG! ready to help us find out what is going on in the whole area. This kind of promotion can make a big difference for an independent band like us.

Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?

David: We've named a lot of locals already; on the national scene, my favorite touring bands with no major label support are Neutralboy, Dwarves, Drazie Method and the Pine Box Boys.

Greg: I am really excited to see MFL after 20 years! Dave named all the locals I like, as well. Nationally, some of my favorites are Periphery, Caliban, Scarve, and anything out of Sweden; death metal, that is.

Ivan: I'm still pretty new to the area, but I went to see the Ulteriors a couple of weeks ago and had a lot of fun. Speaking of favorite bands, I have always been an In Flames and Lacuna Coil fan -- mostly northern European bands that play cool metal.
Gavin: What's your opinion on the current airplay on community radio and how it affects local musicians?

Ivan: Nobody wants to answer this, so I'll go for it. In my humble opinion, being here for just five months, I think the States are in general too "globalized" and it is hard for bands without a label to get through the superhits of the moment. There are exceptions like the SLUG Magazine podcast Soundwaves From the Underground that gives voice to bands and stuff that you could not listen to otherwise, and I think it's a risky but awesome proposal.

Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and a music lovers?

David: Death to the music industry. Time to get creative, musicians!
Gavin: What can we expect from all of you over the rest of this year?

Ivan: Well, our comeback was with the New Year's Eve show, but for 2013, you can expect a bunch o' great shows starting Jan.26 at Burt's Tiki Lounge supporting Victims Willing. We're probably recording a new Salt Lake Spitfires record. We're working on a new logo and some merchandise to refresh the image of the band. We're considering some ideas to make a self-produced music video for "Sexdriver," a new website, MySpace, Twitter and all the usual networking, so stay tuned 'cause there's a lot coming.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

David: Yes, thank you! Jan. 26 at Burt's with Victims Willing. Also, we want to invite everybody to check us on Facebook.


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REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // January 5,2013 at 01:44

The Salt Lake Spitfires rock! They really know how get an audience psyched, despite the freezing weather and warm beer.

 

 
 
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