When I first heard of this band from Nashville, USA, I immediately fell in love with their mix of melodic but dirty punk. The guys will soon be on European tour so if you can, go and see/hear them live, you wont regret it!
HI AND WELCOME TO MY WEBZINE. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE EL ESCAPADO TO THE READERS OF THIS ZINE THAT HADNT HEARD FOR YOU YET?
Abe: Picture Karl Marx snorting cocaine while tossing Molotov cocktails into an EDM festival. Viva la revolución!
Elliot: If you like fast music and intricate vocals, this might be for you.
Joey: Fast,drunk,and fun punk rock.
KD: Hmmm. Fast, drunken punk rock I guess? Think fast NOFX songs, but with less talent, shittier gear and slightly smaller crowds.
Toby: Chuggity guitar riffs over really fast drums and intense driving vocals.
YOUR NEW ALBUM „HERES TO ETERNITY“ CAME OUT A WHILE AGO. HOW IS THE FEEDBACK? WHERE CAN WE HEAR/BUY YOUR MUSIC? YOU ALSO MADE A VIDEO RIGHT?
Abe: Our fans love it and the reviews have been outstanding. We are keeping the momentum going. We’ve already started writing songs for the new record. You can buy a copy by driving to Madison, Tennessee and personally picking it up. Yes.
Elliot: Feedback for the first recording has been mostly positive. You can find us in all the usual places online- iTunes, Bandcamp, Redtube…..wait, maybe not that last one. Only KDs solo work is featured there.
Joey: You can hear it on spotify iTunes band camp YouTube and yeah the video was a lot of fun to make and came out great!
KD: Its been pretty good for the most part. A few places hated it in their reviews, but they probably suck too. Most of the bands and people at our shows seem to dig us though, which is what counts to me. Yeah the new video just came out for “Downtown”, it was really fun to do. I think we are doing another one soon.
YOU GUYS PLAY DIRTY BUT AT THE SAME TIME MELODIC PUNKROCK THAT I LIKE A LOT. WHERE DO YOU DRAW YOUR INSPIRATION FROM?
Abe: I get my inspiration from far too many areas, which makes it difficult to narrow down. I used to believe that I was the bastard son of Greg Graffin. Turns out…he doesn’t know me and thinks I’m strange.
Elliot: It’s always funny to me to hear what other people take from our music. I don’t see us striving to create “dirty but melodic” music. That’s just what comes out. We all have different backgrounds, and when we come to the writers table, a little bit of everyone comes out. I don’t think we ever consciously set out to create a certain sound. We just play loud and fast punk, like every band we’ve all ever loved- but our style.
Joey: Drums from Travis Barker,Jimmy Chamberlain,Davey Calabrese, Tre Cool and Keith Moon.
KD: I’m into bands like NOFX, Bad Religion, Propagandhi, Bigwig, etc., so I guess bands like that, but I probably listen to more regional touring/local bands we play with than anything. Hopefully I don’t rip off any of their riffs .. haha I just like to play fast and I want to have as much fun on stage as NOFX and tour as often as Motorhead did.
Toby: We mostly just like to play music that we want to hear which all of us are into the fast punk rock from bands like NOFX, Propagandhi, Strung Out.
YOU ARE PREPARING A EUROPEAN TOUR THIS SPRING. WHICH COUNTRIES WILL YOU PLAY? DO YOU GO ALONE OR AS A PART OF A BIGGER PACKAGE? IS THIS YOUR FIRST TOUR? BIG FESTIVALS VS SMALL CLUBS, WHAT IS BETTER?
Abe: Big package…haha. I enjoy jamming in front of energetic crowds in small clubs – nothing beats playing to a rowdy group packed together like a sweaty Vienna Sausage can. I like to see everyone’s smiling faces and hear them singing along. Although, festivals are nice too. A crowd of a few thousand usually affords a band the chance to eat things other than Vienna Sausages.
Elliot: KD is the mastermind behind everything that we do. I’m not even sure where we are going. I’m just going to show up, play my guitar, and eat whatever awesome food each country has to offer. We’re flying kinda solo on this venture. The Manchester Punk Fest is our kickoff, and then we fly into the great unknown. Big venue. Small show. We bring the same energy and enthusiasm either way. We’re just happy to play.
Joey: Small clubs are better to me,I prefer house shows haha. Not our first tour but first time in Europe I’m stoked!
KD: Yeah, we are doing a quick 20 day tour in Europe. We play Manchester Punk Fest in the UK to start, then we head to Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Italy and France. Its mostly just us with local bands, but we have a few dates with the band F.A.V.L. from Italy that we meet when we played with them on their US tour in 2016. This will be the 3rd tour for El Escapado, but our first outside of the US. I just love to play live, I don’t care if its to 500 people or 10, although the energy you get from large crowds is pretty amazing, especially when they are there for your band and really get into the music.
Toby: I’ve never played a big festival so I have no idea.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GIGS AND CROWD IN EUROPE COMPARED TO AMERICA?
Abe: I guess we’ll find out. I sure hope so.
Elliot: Ask me in June.
Joey: I’m not sure from what I hear European crowds are more into it.
KD: I’ll tell you after our tour ..
Toby: I’ve heard that European crowds are way cooler than American crowds.
WHAT KIND OF LABEL IS STIK MAN RECORDS? ARE YOU SIGNED ON THAT LABEL? ARE YOU HAPPY? WOULD YOU SIGN FOR A MAJOR IF OFFERED?
Abe:It would have to be a unified decision amongst the bandmates. It might be difficult to tell the Stikman owner that we were leaving. Though, he would understand and is cool with us being open to other opportunities.
Elliot: Stik Man is KDs label, so we’re kinda stuck with him. But in truth, there’s not a better place for us to be. Stick Man is all about putting their all into bands that they believe in. We share a label with other bands that we respect and love. There’s nothing better than that. With that being said, if you hear that a major label has interests, they can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joey: If anyone wants to pay me to play drums for a living I’m down cough Fat Mike. Stik Man is great all my bands but two have been on it.
KD: It’s horrible. I hate them. They rob us blind, fuck us over and send us on shitty tours. Plus the owner is a fucking drunk who likes to give people shit. Oh, I own Stik Man btw, so I guess we are technically self released? Being on a bigger label would mean more exposure and less work for me, so I would be down for it. Plus we could use the extra money to tour and drink more often. Fat Mike? Brett W. Gurewitz? Mike Park? Any of you guys reading this?
Toby: I don’t know about a major label, but a larger independent one would be alright with me!
CAN YOU EARN THE LIVING WITH THE BAND? DO YOU GUYS HAVE REGULAR DAY TIME JOBS?
Abe: Ah, it’s nice to fantasize.
Elliot: Fuck, I wish. My daytime job is a recording engineer at my studio- Shed Recordings. I get paid to make other peoples records so I can go on vacation with my friends in our band.
Joey: Yeah we all work the regular jobs for now..
KD: The band pays for itself for a lot of things, but touring and doing videos can get expensive, so we all work jobs.
Toby: I drive forklifts in a warehouse. It’s kinda cool because it’s all glass bottles and I get to “accidentally” grass glass every now and then.
HOW IS THE SCENE IN NASHVILLE? ARE YOU INTO THE UNDERGROUND BANDS AND SCENE FOR A LONG TIME PERSONALLY? CAN YOU STILL REMEMBER THE FIRST PUNKROCK GIG YOU ATTENDED?
Abe: Nashville is known for country music. The punk scene has had its ups and its downs. Honestly, the scene kinda sucks. There used to be a time when we were all unified and it was a large tight group, but then the dominoes fell. But there does seem to be a resurgence with the younger kids. I went to see FIDLAR play a couple of months ago. There was a whole new group of lil-punkers, from the Y-generation, at that show. It was packed with kids that would dig anything Stikman Records is dishing out. I guess they just miss the big marketing campaigns.
Elliot: The Nashville scene is small, but very much like a family. We all try to support each other’s endeavors. But I can’t speak to the old days. I grew up in LA. My first punk show was the VooDoo Glow Skulls at the Olympic theatre. A girl’s hair got torched. I saw a dude stab a security guard. It was intense, and I was all in after that.
Joey: Yeah! My first show wasn’t until I was 18-19 i think it was Dirty D And The Sweaty Meat.
KD: Nashville can be tricky. Certain large bands can get a lot of people out and a few smaller touring acts can do ok, but its a hard city to get into if you don’t know someone or have played here a lot and can get a following. We have good shows some nights and other nights we are lucky to get 20 people out, so it varies for us. I’ve been playing in bands for about 15 years. My first punk show was at a place called Lucy’s in 1995 or 96 maybe? It was some friends band from school and some other bands that I dont even remember. It was a whole new world for me because I was mostly into Hip Hop at the time, Wu-Tang, Gangstarr, NAS, Biggie., etc. I still have more Wu tattoos than any other band .. haha.
Toby: The scene here is okay. There are some cool bands. I moved here in 2008 but there were some bands that I listened to since before then. Like our friends in Stuck Lucky. I remember seeing band names and listening to their music on MySpace (way back in the MySpace days.) that turned out to have band members that I play with now. My first punk show was in a small town in Michigan called Battle Creek. I was friends with the co owner of a skate shop that threw shows in the back and this band VDB played. The singer was hitting himself in the face with the microphone making himself bleed and the band was just fast and loud. They had the power turned off on them in the middle of the set but I still loved it and bought a cd from the guitarist that was recorded in a garage. I still have that cd and it’s awesome.
HOW IS LIFE IN AMERICA NOWADAYS? IS THERE A LOT OF POLITICAL TENSION DUE TO TRUMP CONTROVERSIAL DECISIONS? THE NEWS THAT WE HEAR IN EUROPE ABOUT THE RISING DICTATORSHIP ARE NOT GOOD.
Abe: How long is this interview?
Elliot: #fucktrump #pizzagate #fuckhillarytoo #mandelaeffect shit is fucking nuts right now. Just like you guys in Europe, I’m baffled that this is happening. I’m just trying to move forward and create a positive environment for our son and my family. I come from a family of immigrants. One of my closest friends is Iranian. The new regime is a big threat to all of us. We just try to stay positive and look for the good in the world. No one is being silent over here. You don’t have to look far to see the people that have your back.
Joey: I try to stay out of it in conversation because It gets me worked up too much Trumps a womanizing racist sexist homophobic idiot. I hope he’s impeached in the future.
KD: Honestly its scary and I’m not sure if we can take 4 years of him. I have no fucking clue how he got elected or why. I feel like we are moving backwards in so many things that I use to love America for. For the first time in my life I feel embarrassed to be from my country, it’s sad really and I hate even thinking about it. I can’t wait to come see everyone in Europe! haha I’m sure Abe has more to add to this ..
Toby: I personally don’t pay much attention to politics. Besides, I’m sure Abe had enough to say about that.
THATS IT FOR NOW. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY AND I DIDNT ASK YOU?
Abe: Can we come move in with you? At least until the next election? We’re clean, I promise.
Elliot: My favorite color is blue and ferrets are my favorite kind of pet. Salvia is a fun recreational drug. I enjoy taking long, hot baths. Fighting rush hour traffic to take my son to school every morning is the pits. Fuck the new Nashville. Move back to Milwaukee, why don’t you?!?
Joey: Thanks for liking us enough to do an interview!
KD: Thanks for interviewing us, hopefully we will make it to Croatia next time. I like food, beer and wear a medium size shirt for anyone who is reading this that wants to buy me things on tour!
You can catch the guys on the following tour dates:
April 21st – Manchester Punk FEST
April 22nd – Manchester Punk FEST
April 24th – Belgium @ TBA
April 25th – Netherlands @TBA
April 26th – Emmen, Netherlands @ Huize Spoorloos
April 27th – Berlin, Germany @ Wild At Heart
April 28th – Poznan, Poland @ Alternativa Club w/ F.A.V.L.
April 29th – Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany @ Club Steelbruch w/ F.A.V.L.
April 30th – Dresden, Germany @ TBA w/ F.A.V.L.
May 1st – Hof, Germany @ Punkrock Partykeller
May 2nd – Turin, Italy @ TBA
May 4th – Viterbo, Italy @ TBA w/ F.A.V.L.
May 5th – Munich, Germany or Switzerland or Southern Germany
May 6th – West/South Germany or Belgium or North France