The band “ASS” are a crushing crossover band in the vein of DRI and Municipal Waste and after hearing their new release on PRC Music I got in touch with drummer Reeve Allen for an interview and here is the interview for everyone to enjoy:
How did the band get together and what is the current line-up and did any of you come from any other bands?
Well a few years ago, Matt, Jonny, and Houston were hanging at a friend of ours, and decided they wanted to start a thrash punk band. Half way joking, Matt said they would call it ASS. As soon as he said it though, they all pretty much thought it was more awesome than funny, but still a little funny. The next day, they called their friend Bobby to play drums. He was more than stoked to do it. Jonny had seen this post on craigslist from a dude named James in our area who plays lead guitar wanting to start a punk band, so they got a hold of him. That’s how the original lineup started. As for me, I knew Matt through my dad, because Matts old as shit, and when Bobby had to leave I offered to come try out. We all meshed right away and started writing more songs and having a blast. And lastly, yeah, we all came from different bands. I could list them for days The Hangouts, Original Glitch, Set Aflame, TON, Throne Of Odin, Burning Midget, Blood Magistrate and Galactic Morgue are a few of the bands we all came from.
Was your ‘Speed Krusher” release your 1st release and how was the response to it? How many copies did you print up for this release?
Yeah, actually Speed Krusher and Work Sucks were both recorded at the same time. A friend of ours, Bill Fool, of little T&A records expressed interest in putting out a 7" so we took some of those songs, and gave them to him to press on vinyl. In the meantime, we took the rest of the songs, and put them on cassette for the speed krusher EP. We only pressed 100 cassettes and 300 vinyl. They're all gone now though! Which is part of the reason we're teaming up with PRC to put out a CD with all those songs on it. It’s dropping in April.
Your ‘Work Sucks” 7’ is sold out. Any plans on having that re-released in the future again on 7”?
It’s definitely a possibility. We are focusing on getting the dual EP out with PRC, as well as some other things, but we love vinyl press so I don't see why we wouldn't, as long as we have the means in the future.
How did you hook up with PRC Music as they have release both of your releases on a cd? Are there extra songs on this release that aren’t on those 2 releases?
PRC approached us which was rad cause we didn't see it coming! Remi expressed his enthusiasm for our band, and we were stoked! It’s awesome when someone recognizes hard work, without you having to stick it in their face. The dual EP idea came, just before PRC approached us. We had sold out of both EPs and had no music to sell at shows. We had discussed putting them both just on a burned CD so people could have something to take home. Right about that time Remi hit us up with ultimately the same idea so we jumped on it. No new songs on this release, like I said, we just want to have some music people can put their hands on, but we will definitely have some new stuff very soon.
For someone who has never heard the band, what would you describe the sound of the band?
Crossover. All of us came from similar, but different backgrounds. I grew up on west coast punk, Matt grew up with crust punk and metal, James and Houston are metal heads through and through, and Jonny grew up on hardcore punk, and some old thrash. So when we got together we just kinda started playing whatever came out. Ended up being a pretty sweet mix of all of it, which makes it all the more fun because we don't have to stick to a formula, we just go have fun playing music with our buds, and this is what you get.
How is the scene down in Texas these days and are there many places to play?
The Texas music scene has its high points. Austin isn't much of what it used to be. Still tons of music, but the motive has changed. Houston is constantly surprising us. It’s a big pond and were a little fish, but they always seem to show us love. Victoria too. Shout out to TSS, those guys are awesome, and whenever we play in town, the kids go INSANE. So for all you punk and metal bands out there check out Victoria, TX.
Have you gotten to play many live shows and are there any live clips on say You Tube and places like that?
Absolutely. We've been gigging hard for the last couple years. In fact, these last 2 months we have played the LEAST amount of shows since the band started. Just been working on recording and writing. We've got a handful of video clips on YouTube. Here are some links:
Around in any given week is spent doing band related stuff?
Unfortunately, we don’t get a whole lot of time together. Two of us live in Austin, and the other three live in College Station, which, for all you non-Texans out there, that's like 2 hours away. So setting up a practice or a BBQ with all of us, can get kinda tricky sometimes.
How does the writing of a song come together? How about the lyrics?
Well generally someone will have a riff or two, if not an entire song written out on the guitar. Well listen to it as a group, and decide what we do and don't like. Well listen for the flow of the song, and add or omit transitions and stuff like that. Then well decide where to put the leads and solos. Next we lay down a rough recording for us all to take home and listen to. That way James can write his solos, and Jonny can practice his lyrics. As far as writing lyrics, I think Jonny kinda just feels out the song. If it’s angry, or evil, or slow, he can gain inspiration from those types of things, but sometimes we go to a party and get rad and write songs about that!
How did you come up with the name “ASS” and is there any plans to change it?
It just came to us. It will never change.
What are some of your favorite bands you like to listen to and are there any metal genres that you’re not a fan of?
Were into all kinds of bands and we all listen to different music. It wouldn't be fair to everyone for me to try and guess all the band names, but as far as our sound, and mutual interests, we get down on D.R.I., S.O.D., old Metallica, Municipal Waste, Iron Reagan, Suicidal Tendencies, and Bad Religion.
What are your plans as a band to promote yourselves?
Well we are trying to work on our social media presence. More pics and videos. We've got a few outlets we have yet to tap, but were waiting for our LP, or at least the dual EP, before we reach too far.
Do you hope to go some type of tour behind your new release?
Yeah, that'd be awesome! We've been trying to plan a week long tour or something along those lines, so we can manage the finances ourselves, but if we could go longer and further I'm sure we would!
What stuff do you have for sale these days?
A few different t-shirts to choose from, stickers, patches, buttons, and now koozies! Soon well have some more music for sale too.
Do you bring both a metal and punk crowd when you play live?
yeah pretty much. Both genres have always kind of intermingled, not always peacefully, but still usually at the same shows. Whenever we play punk shows, people see us as the "metal band," and when we play the metal shows, they see us as the "punk band."
When can we expect some new music?
In the next few months! Were in the studio now, working on our full length album. We are taking our time and making a record were all proud of, but financing a full length yourself, as a small band, is hard, but soon enough!
Any last words and horns up for the interview?
We're too stoked for this!! To be taking interviews, and having an ad in decibel magazine. We owe so much to PRC MUSIC for helping us get our name, and our music out there, so thanks to Remi and his people. We hope to see all of you at the next show!
Interview by Chris Forbes
Answers by Reeve Allen