The night before Groezrock kicked off its annual punk party, a selection of some of the pop punk bands playing were playing another great small fest in Munchen, Germany. The Uncle M Fest featured bands like Masked Intruder, Make Do And Mend and Teenage Bottlerocket. We from RMP were present and took some time to talk to Teenage Bottlerocket’s frontman Ray Carlisle about their latest release “Tales From Wyoming” and much more at Skaters palace, Munchen.
- Today you're playing Uncle M Fest in Germany. Will you play “Ich Bin Auslander…”?
Yes, we will. It was a song that I learned in high school. I took German in high school. And it was sung to a different melody but I changed the melody and made it a pop punk song. We also did the Tony Sly song “Via Munich”, which was a coincidence, for the EP “American Deutsch Bag”. The other songs didn't have anything to do with Germany though.
- “Skate Or Die” is an obvious ode to skateboarding. Today we're in Munster, Skaters palace. Did you find time to hit the deck?
I didn't bring my skateboard to Europe, usually I have my skateboard on tour. I skated the day before I got here. But I left my skateboard at home.
- What came first, skateboarding or punk rock?
Kind of the same time. I got into skateboarding and my older brother had the DK logo on his grip tape and he had Black Flag’s “My War” on cassette. He was like ‘Here's the Bones Brigade, here's Powel Peralta, here's G&S,…’ It all was intertwined with like I said Black Flag, Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys. More so skateboarding was the forefront of my life before punk rock. Punk rock became more after Green Day.
- Saturday you're playing Groezock in Belgium. Any special songs for Belgium or what may we expect?
We’ll just try to play as best as we can, stay sober. It will be our second time, it's an honour to be playing there. We don't take it for granted so we keep that in mind when hitting the stage.
- “Tales From Wyoming”, your most recent album has been out for a couple of weeks now. How has the response been?
It's been great, it's cool to hear everyone singing along to the new songs. It seems that everyone is getting into the record. The response has been phenomenal.
- You also have some exclusive watches coming out from Vannen watches. It's like an eyeball of some monster. How did this come by?
The guys just really love our band. They asked us if we wanted to do a watch and we said yes. It's almost as simple as that. They came to our show at the Warped tour in Ventura. I'm standing behind their product, I'm wearing a watch by them right now. We were involved a little bit in the design. The first design we weren't 100%happy with so they changed it. So they listened to us a little bit.
- One of the new tracks, “Found The One”, is a straight up love song. Congratulations, the follow up to “She's Not The One”. How important is love to you?
That's a coincidence. I think that we try to write songs about things other than girls. So we have our songs like “Haunted House”, “Too Much La Collina”. You get to switch it up. We'll always write love songs and sometimes it's about girls that are cool and sometimes it's about girls who are shitty.
- “Nothing Else Matters” holds some Metallica references. A big influence to Teenage Bottle Rocket?
I think Metallica was an influence to us for sure. Growing up, watching Headbanger’s Ball. Before punk rock had really taken over our lives, Metallica did.
- Teenage Bottle Rocket always has great videos. You've got the Mincecraft-themed video for “They Call Me Steve”. Or the headbanging video for “Headbanger”. How important is a video to the band?
I think it's really cool. It's part of the way the internet is now. We did a lyric video for “Nothing Else Matters”. Putting together the “They Call Me Steve”-video was funny, because we just did a YouTube search for people who did Minecraft videos. We found this kid in Vancouver, I'm pretty sure he lived with his parents and sent him ‘Hey man, can you like make a video for us.’ And he said ‘Yeah man. I'll do it.’ He kind of quoted a small amount of money. ‘Okay, we'll give you that.’ And the video turned out great. We kind of had to walk him through every single step of the way. He had us strumming our guitars up and down, and we had him switch to like all down strokes. In the end we're really happy with how it turned out. For the “Haunted House” video we filmed in Fort Collins in the street near where our drummer lives. It was a house that literally looked haunted and it was abandoned.So we just broke into the house for a day and recorded this video. Hopefully we can do a couple more videos for this album before it's on to the next record.
- Any plans in the nearby future or tours?
Tons of touring, we're going to be back in Europe in August. Between then and now we'll be on the road all the time.
– David Marote