Groezrock announced Dropkick Murphys and more!

Groezrock announced the first names for their 2019 edition: Dropkick Murphys, Millencolin, Neck Depp, Bowling For Soup, Comeback Kid, Eskimo Callboy, Citizen, Fleddy Mulculy, Hank Von Hell, Mest, Higher Power, Trade Wind, Sharptooth and Get The Shot.

Next to announcing new names, the festival also announced a fifth stage for up-and-comers and they also announced they where going to lower the ticket prices; combi ticket will cost 99 euros (exclusive service cost) instead of 110 euros. 

Dag Nasty

Dag Nasty may be one of the founding bands for melodic hardcore. Nearly thirty years ago they combined their love for melodic songs with the intensity of American hardcore in the '80's.

Founding members Brian Baker and Shawn Brown have returned to their original lineup and are playing shows together again as if it was 1985 in Georgetown D.C. Time to sit down with Brian and Shawn and see what the future holds for Dag Nasty.



Welcome to Groezrock. First time here?


I've been here a bunch of times with Bad Religion. Which is why i have the rain boots. I'm a veteran at Groezrock. This is the first time that Dag Nasty has been here, even Europe.


I don't have the rain boot experience, this is my first time. I'm wearing my fly kicks today, especially for the trip.

Dag Nasty has been playing shows for some time. And almost thirty years after playing in this lineup, Shawn is back at vocal duties. How has it been?


It's been great. Just the fact that we're together and doing this. To me it's fun, it's amazing. I have a great time singing the songs. I don't have anything to say more than that. It's awesome.

You're also releasing a new single in a few days. A 7” featuring two new tracks. I've heard snippets and sounds promising. What may we expect?


We thought it would be appropriate. The band is finally doing some shows, doing some work. Kind of the whole idea of the experience to see what happens in the future. Part of that is making new music. That's really fun for me. We're going to keep writing music. Fortunately Dischord was cool enough to put it out. And we're going to write a record as soon as we write some more songs.

Dag Nasty has been quite influential to many bands. It seems there are a ton of cover songs around by plenty of bands. How does it feel to have your music covered by friends and fans?


I'm incredibly greatfull and somewhat amazed actually. I think it's really nice. There are so many bands that are so influential to me; like when i play a Ruts cover or a Damned cover, it brings me so such joy too. Hopefully that's what people are feeling when they play Dag Nasty stuff.

Shawn: It's nice that people like the music that you've done or are infuenced by it. To me it's like a dream come true. It's amazing that people still care about it. You write music or create things, they are what they are and you see time go by. Wow, someone did did like this, it did inspire somebody. That's cool to me. I make me think of following a tradition that other people have done for me.

The monniker Dag Nasty is actually proclaiming that something is awful. Pretty negative claiming your band sucks. You never regretted the band name?


I've been in a lot of bands with bad names. It's too late for regret. You want to know a bad band name. Bad Religion is a bad band name. And honestly, Minor Threat is not that good of a name either.


What? I love that name.

You could have had a band called Sweet Belly Freakdown. But then once again i think that's a cool name.

Brian: I don't thinks it's that good.

The point of the names is that they come right at the beginning. That name to me reminds me of walking with my friends when i was 19 down the streets in Georgetown D.C. And we were trying to think of bandnames. We just went, that's it. I see like a photographic representation of that day. I wish it was something cool like Black Sabbath but that was taken.

You were one of the first bands playing melodic hardcore. Being an innovator also attracts a lot of disdain. Did Dag Nasty receive much criticism in the beginning?


People seemed to like it from the get go. We weren't super hardcore, but at the time the scene was so small. It's before factions developed in styles of punkrock. There was basically British and American. And we weren't British. But we weren't really like Black Flag either. I was really into The Damned, and you can kind of tell. Playing guitarsolo's and not every song being fast. But maybe that's why it was cool. No one was thinking long term. Just making up songs. I don't really know what a song was, i didn't know a chorus or a verse. I just thought of songs as things that went on for a couple of minutes. When you are at that kind of caveman level of understanding songwriting you're not really like 'my influences are…'.


It's more like, hey we like this. We want to sound like. Like in the case of Swiz, The Damned, Metallica and the Bad Brains. We wanted to have a mix of that. Those were the bands that we liked.

Instead of we are going to do it this way because they do it this way. It's more like a stew.

Brian has been a key element to the band and also to many other bands such as Minor Threat and Bad Religion. He has a distintive guitar style that many envy. Where does this type of playing come from?


I don't know, the only thing i know is i only know how to do one thing. That's it. It's just ripping of Captian Sensible, Angus Young and a little Billy Gibbons.


That's a good mix.


Even in Junkyard, my metal band, i still play the same as i play in Dag Nasty and Bad Religion. Whatever.

Any last words or advice you want to share?


We' tour when we can. Because everyone has life and work and stuff. Which is awesome. We're playing a couple of Punkrock Bowling shows in The States. And we're coming back over the pond to do a UK tour at the beginning of August. Maybe five or six shows. And we're trying to get a record together. Slow and steady.

So next year a new record?


I would like to. Just got to make sure the songs are really good. Sometimes that happens quick, sometimes it takes for fucking ever.


There's no rush.

The only thing i have to say i you should check out the Dag Nasty single that is on Dischord Records. And you should also check out the Red Hare single that's on Dischord Records. That's another band that i play with. It has members of Swiz, Bluetip and Garden Variety. I think people will enjoy that as well.

Night Birds

The Watch Out stage at Groezrock probably holds the biggest potential for witnessing an up and coming band that is bound to become the audience's favorite soon. This year Night Birds had the honour of playing the open air stage and proving their worth watching out for. RMP Magazine had a talk with vocalist and madman Brian regarding Night Birds and the struggle of combining a touring band with family and jobs.


Welcome to Groezrock. First time here?


Today is the last show of the Euro tour. Your bass player had to return last week due to something in the family. How has it been so far?

It's actually been really great. Well, not really great, it's a shitty circumstance and it's the first show we had to play without Joe. Joe's wife's mother passed away, so he had to go home for the funeral and all that stuff. She's been sick for a while so we knew it was a possibility. So before he left the tour we had a guy named Jason Draper playing bass, he used to be in the band Lemuria and now he's in a band called Cheap Girls and a band called Orations. Joe our bassplayers started showing him some of the bass parts assuming that at some point he might have to go home early. In the back of the van they would work stuff out. And then we had a couple of ferry roads to and from the UK and they tried to work everything out. It was a little bumpy at first but i think this is like our sixth show with Jason today and i think we are going to pull it off.

The band members all have day jobs next to Night Birds. So this tour is more of a vacation away from work. What do you do in daily life?

I work in a hardwood floors store. It was my grandfathers and then it belonged to my father. We sand and refinish existing hardwoord floors and then we reinstall new ones. It's close to my house, we have health insurance, which is very difficult to get in America. So it pays for health insurance for my family. I make enough money to keep a roof over our head and clothes on everybody and keep everybody fed. And it's convenient with my touring schedule. They're cool with me doing this.

So this is what i do for fun, that's what i do for work and then i have my family which is the bulk of my life, the bulk of my time.

Is it hard to juggle the job and the tours?

It's very hard. Fortunately for me, my wife is super supportive. When we had a baby we kind of went into it knowing that we wanted to continue doing what we were passionate about. Add the baby to our lives, not stop doing everything we love and just become parents. We want to be the best parents we possibly can but at the same time we need to keep ourselves sane and do what makes us happy. It's a little bit hard trying to juggle everything but it's really rewarding when you can make it happen. When i can go on tour for three weeks with Night Birds and my wife can hold shit down on the homefront. I come home, i'm totally recharged. I'm ready to be a kick ass dad and do everything i have to do. And then my wife will go away for a week or two. Last year she went on vacation with her brother. Kind of clears her head. It's important to kind of work that out. If you have a good signifcant other i think you can make that shit work . We have a good thing going.

On Facebook you gave some tips for touring bands. Like exchanging foreign currency with other touring bands from other countries. Anymore of those handy tips you are willing to share?

That's a big one.

My biggest thing on tour that i learned over the past 15 years. Is…not sure how to put it. basically don't be a dick. You're in a van, you're living with other people, you're eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, you're sleeping on top of one another. You're in a van all day, every day. Just don't be a dick.

Be nice, everybody is in the same boat. Everybody is going to get sick of each other. You're all going to be do little things that are going to get on each other's nerves. But instead of being an asshole and snapping at your friends. And then making it difficult to live together. Just put on headphones, shut the fuck up and try to enjoy yourself. Any of us are lucky to be doing what we do. I'm in fucking Belgium right now playing a show at no cost to me. The least i can do is just soak it in, enjoy it and let my friends enjoy it as well. Just try to coexist, you're going to get on each others nerves. Just don't be a dick. That's it.

Last year you released your third album Mutiny On Muscle Beach on Fat Wreck Chords. The surfpunk of Night Birds is a bit off from the typical Fat sound. How did you hook up with Fat?

Chad, i don't know what his official position is. I think he runs some of the day to day operations. He was a fan of the band and i sent him some demos. So we ended up doing the Maimed For The Masses 7” with them. And we played Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas a couple of years ago. Fat Mike came up to me and introduced himself. Asked why we hadn't done the Born To Die In Suburbia album with Fat. And it was because we already had agreed on doing it with the label Grave Mistake Records, who did our first album. Who are also really good friends of ours who put in a lot of work and effort into our band. He asked if he could do the next record. That's how it kicked off.

Those guys love the style that we play, Mike loves D.I. and The Adolescents and shit like that. That's not so far from what we do. Really it's kind of surprising that they don't have more bands on the label that sound like us. Because it kind of seems that's what got a lot of those dudes into punk in the beginning. At this point they have their signature kind of sound and those are a lot of the band on the label. So it's fun to be doing something a little bit different on Fat.

Being into surfpunk Agent Orange is mostly one of the names that springs up, but what other bands are of huge influence to Night Birds?

We love the 70's and 80's punkrock and hardcore. But i have always been a sucker for melodies.

Bands like Naked Raygun or The Damned's Machine Gun Etiquette, i think that's a perfect album. Bands that aren't affraid to show that they actually know how to play their instruments. They're not affraid to write a melody or a hook. Basically taking the mentality of writing a popsong but making it a punkrock popsong. I like songs with hooks, i like catchy songs. That's really kind of a formula that we use. We like all the Westcoast stuff, Circle Jerks, D.I., Adolescents, Agent Orange, Dead Kennedy's and all that shit… we also love The Big Boys and The Dicks from Texas, We love The Necro's and Negative Approach from the Mid West, Minor Threat and S.O.A. From D.C.

The most noticeable logo with Night Birds must be The Dagger. What does the dagger represent for the band?

It means nothing. We stole it from a comic book called Thrilling Murder. And then we wrote a song called Thrilling Murder. Basically we combined. They had the dagger on the comic, we stole that and then we did our own version. There's another band called Agent Orange, we kind of ripped of their logo and put the dagger in there as the tee. We kind of put it on a shirt and then on buttons. Before we knew it there was a hundred people with dagger tattoos.

Any last words or tips?

This is kind of funny. This is kind of the end of our plans after like seven years being a band. After seven years of planning. There's always like kind of a next step. There was like a planning, now we're going to do a demo, now we're going to a 7”, now we're going to do an album, now we're going to tour Europe, America and Canada. We always knew what was coming next. There was always a next step. This is kind of the end of our original plan. So i think, now we'll just see what happens. We're not going to go out of our way to plan anything. Everybody needs a little break to do family shit. I haven't been away with my wife or my daughter since she's been alive. I think next year we're going to go to like Disneyworld or do something fun like that. Usually, anytime we have of from work, we tour. Now that my daughter is two and a half i want to take a little bit of time to do that. I don't know. We still want to get to Australia, still want to get to Japan and Brazil. Everytime we come to Europe it just gets better and better, touring America is always fun.We'll just kind of see what happens. This is kind of the end of a very long string of plans that we always made.

Photo by Jurriaan Hodzelmans
Interview by David Marote


PUP has only been playing as a band for nearly five years now but managed to make it to the Groezrock line up for the second time. Armed with a new album soon to be released the Toronto outfit was set out to destroy the Watch Out Stage on Saturday. But before the madness commenced we found vocalist Stefan hanging out in the press area. So time to find out some more on the new album The Dream Is Over and where it originated from.


Congratulations with the soon to release new album The Dream Is Over.

I've heard it and sounds amazing. What can we expect?

You can expext a lot of touring. The new record, we kind of think is heavier than the first one. It sounds a little bit more confident. I'm excited to get back. I think it's a step forward.

The video for the new song It This Tour Doesn't Kill You, I Will has been broadcasting some time now. I've noticed it's getting good reviews?

It's been good. We have a friend of ours, his name is Jeremy. He makes awesome music videos. He's one of our best friends. He's always kind of like totally got where we were going for. I think he nailed it with that one. It was really fun to shoot that one. We all pretend to kill each other in the video. It was a fun shoot and i think the reaction has been really strong. We haven't put out a record in a long time. There's just a lot of anticipation.

This is your second time at Groezrock, pretty impressive for a band that started five years ago. Anything planned for today's set?

We're really lucky. We're going to be playing some new songs from the record for sure. See how that goes.

The album title The Dream Is Over was inspired by a doctor's visit  where you heard your vocal chords were damaged. How is everything now?

PUP did 40 or 50 shows. That can be really hard on your body. We finished touring the first record, we went straight to the studio and recorded the second one. Two days after we finished recording we started a seven week tour. So it was a lot of singing for my part. The first days of touring i had to go to the doctor. Something was up with my throath. I was having a lot of health issues during the whole year. That was kind of the climax of all of that. They have a little camera that they can stick in your throat. They can see your vocal chords vibrate. And when she pulled the camera out, the words say said to me, the dream is over. Which is kind of ridiculous.

She found a cyste on my vocal chords and a hemorrage, it wasn't good. But, like i'm pretty persistent. I've been working and touring the band a long time and it seems that things are just starting to work out. Naming the record that is like a testament to our persistence.

Do you need something special for your vocal chords?

Yes and no. I kind of had the option between having a chirurgy or retraining my vocal chords. A chirurgy would mean that PUP couldn't tour for a year. That's not really an option for us i think. I've just been on some medication and retraining my vocal chords. It's going to be a long process but i'm feeling good. I've recovered from those injuries. I'm feeling pretty good.

New album, new merch. Clocks for one featuring The Dream Is Over and a genius parody shirt with the BA Baracus overall and gold chains. Who's idea was that?

That's our drummer Zack. He's a really creative, kind of visual artist. He's got a really unique sense of humour. He designs most our merch and it usually blows me away everytime i see it. He's a man of many talents.

Every tour he comes up with at least one really creative design.

Fellow label mates AJJ recently made a cover of your song Reservoir. Featuring electronic sounds and Sean's distinctive voice. How did you feel when you first heard it?

It thought it was amazing. Some of our fans were angry, because they didn't understand. The cover is kind of done tongue in cheek. I thought it was so good. It just took the song in totally different direction. Kind of poked fun at the genre at the same time. AJJ is such an amazing band, they're like one of my favorites. They're so good. We felt really flattered that they choose a PUP song to cover.

And is that the sound of a bong at the end of the song?

Could very well be.

Speaking of covers, PUP has a video where you cover the Jay Reatard song My Shadow. Any particular reason for that track?

We're all Jay Reatard fans, particulary Zack and Nestor. The drummer and the bassplayer. Just thought it was a nice song. We didn't play it live to many times. We did it on one tour. We just like covering songs that we enjoy. That record is one that we all grew up listening too.

Canada has spawned some great artists, from Leonard Cohen to John K Samson. If you could form an all star Canadian superband, who would you pick? And no Celine Dion!

Oh boy. You named John K Samson, who's i think one of the greatest songwriters in the world. I really admire him. He'd be onboard aswell as all of Rush. Because it's Rush, greatest Toronto rock band of all time. What i would like to say, right now in Toronto there are a lot of new amazing young bands that are kind of emerging. That we get to share the stage with often. I would love to put an all star band with just the kids that come from our scene. There's a band called Pkew Pkew Pkew, who are really amazing. There's Single Mothers and Dirty Nil,… there's a good Toronto scene happening now. We feel lucky to be a part of that.

Any last words?

Yeah, Our new record is called The Dream Is Over and it's going to be out May 27th. We're going to tour it like crazy, like we always done, like we did since the beginning of PUP. There's going to be live touring, we're going to be back in Europe several times.

I'm really excited to be back at Groezrock, last time we were here it was an incredible experience.

I'm looking forward to drinking a few too many beers and having a great day.


Photo by Jurriaan Hodzelmans
Interview by David Marote