My Revenge: Final Show 7/19 @ The Hub
Longtime Burlington hardcore punk band My Revenge are headlining their record release show at the Bristol Hub Skatepark this Saturday July 19th. We met up with the band for a short interview in anticipation of what should be a legendary show. Big Heavy World Music Library and Shop = BHW My Revenge = MR
BHW - This show is billed as your final show, but we've heard you have no intention of stopping, could you explain that?
MR - Yes, it says final show, but it's a joke. We are playing another show next week! What we mean by "final show" is it's really our final show as a regular touring band. We have spent up to 1/3rd of the year on tour in the past. As we've gotten older, that's just not feasible any more. Some of us are married, some of us have kids now, and we can't be away from home for so long. So we're still going to play and perform together as a band, but just not spend as many months on the road.
BHW - We are expecting a huge turnout for this, for people who may not have seen My Revenge before, can you give a little history on the band?
MR - We played our first show at Club 242 Main in Burlington on July 6th 2001. At that time we had a different lineup. It wasn't until May of 2002 that Mike Halvorsen joined on Bass, and shortly thereafter Eric Smith joined on guitar. Bobby Hackney was the original drummer for My Revenge, but was so busy he couldn't meet our touring obligations so Ryan Krushenick came on board for drums in early 2003. This lineup has stayed solid ever since. We're all great friends and we all share a mutual love for music and hardcore punk. I'm pretty grateful for what we've been able to accomplish together. Once Ryan joined we really turned up the amount of time we spent on the road. So far, we've done 5 full U.S. tours. We also got to play in Mexico – the scene down there is incredible and the kids were super nice and supportive. We have done a ton of shows in Canada including making the trek all the way to Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 2004 we toured over in Europe doing a bunch of dates in the U.K. That was one of our best tours; we met a ton of cool people and did a bunch of skateboarding. After that we had an opportunity to tour in Japan, so in October of 2005 we did about a dozen shows over in Japan - that was such a great experience. My Revenge was the first underground band from Vermont to tour overseas, and we have done so twice at this point. I'm really thankful we had the opportunity to do those tours and see what those scenes were like. Everywhere we've gone people have been super friendly, welcoming and supportive towards us.
BHW - And what about releases, you've put out quite a few over the last few years?
MR - Yes, we've done two LP's for Thorp Records and several EP's. ThirdXParty has been an awesome label to work with as well. This show is going to be the release for our 3rd LP entitled: "Strength Through Nonviolence."
BHW - My Revenge has gotten a reputation for your political lyrics and social-political stances on various topics. This is a theme that's been with you guys and been encompassed in your albums from the start, can you talk a little about that?
MR - One of the foremost things we celebrate is skateboarding. We started with that theme and have always carried it with us. Most of us skate and we believe the ideologies of skateboarding and punk rock go hand-in-hand. They are very similar and both are non-conventional. They both involve individuality, expanding your limitations through creativity, and thinking outside the box. We grew up and currently listen to lots of skateboarding themed punk rock such as Token Entry, Black Flag and Suicidal Tendencies. Spencer’s favorite bands are Minor Threat and 7 Seconds – he draws a lot of inspiration from those two bands especially. My Revenge has always aimed to carry that torch, sing about skateboarding and how basically it's one of the best things to do ever! As for politics and our records, having a message is something we believe in strongly. We sing about issues which matter to us and we feel matter to the world. We'd like to see positive changes happen and our lyrics are a medium to try and convey messages we have. For example, Less Plot, More Blood - the title track was about "less talk and more action." It was kind of a tongue-in-cheek b horror (we love low budget cheesy horror films) referenced way of saying seize the day. Don't just sit around and talk about your goals, hopes and dreams, go out and strive for them. If you want to accomplish something in this life you're going to have to be motivated and work for it. That's what Less Plot, More Blood is referring to – talk without action means nothing. So many people talk about what they'd like to do in their lives - start a career, quit smoking, travel to a distant country, spend more time with their family, but inaction and lack of motivation hinders them. It ends up being all talk with accomplishes nothing. So Less Plot, More Blood is about making the most of the short time you have in this life by doing as much as you can to be active, positive, and productive with your life.
Our second LP - Six Feet Of Earth Makes All Of Us Equal. We've always had long, bizarre and tongue-in-cheek song and record titles just to kind of add creativity into the naming mix. Anyhow, the title track Six Feet Of Earth Makes All Of Us Equal is about racism. The song not only speaks out against racism, but all forms of prejudice and discrimination. The idea is of Six Feet Of Earth Makes All Of Us Equal is a reference to our common humanity - we are all going to die some day. We are all born, we all breathe, we all feel emotion; we share these same human qualities and characteristics. All of us. When we recognize that we're all human and no one is above nor below anyone else, then we eradicate things like sexism, racism, homophobia. Also when people can stop allowing their fears of the unknown to get the best of them and instead strive to understand each other instead of irrationally prejudicing others, then these forms of discrimination erode. We have always been outspoken about human rights and calling out human rights violations. Whether it be issues of sexual abuse, rape, discrimination or homophobia we sing about how these things still exist in such a destructive and insidious way and we have to work to end them. We also sing about being drug-free and the benefits of living a drug-free lifestyle.
Strength Through Nonviolence - this is our third LP, it's coming out at this show which we're thrilled about. One of the themes on this record involves the idea of a compassionate revolution. What that means is that with the messed up things in our society, such as inequality, the corruption in our government, discrimination and violence, that you fight these things with love, compassion and understanding. In the spirit of what Martin Luther King was talking about - this is a message we're underscoring in this record. We're saying that violence is unproductive, destructive and hurtful and not the way to accomplish things. The album talks about trying to understand each other, asking questions, and work to understanding our differences. The lyrics to "Love Resolves" and "Strength Through Nonviolence" pretty much say it all as to what the album and My Revenge is about. Compassion is our revolution and we take a stand on issues that we feel are destructive such as homophobia - (we have always as a band spoken in favor of legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states and throughout the world), social injustices, sexism, violence, and racism. Our band has always worked to take a stand against these things and use our message to try and bring about some positive change in the world.
BHW - You guys have quite the reputation for your outrageous stage show, can you give some examples?
MR - The minute people are checking their cell phones to see what time it is, we've lost them. Our mission is to keep our shows as non-mundane as possible. My Revenge has never been about being run-of-the-mill. We have always done things differently and done things on our own terms - such as not playing shows with barriers, or shows that have unreasonably high door prices. That being said our live show tries to be as fun and possible and make sure everyone has a good time, and most importantly not get bored. Boredom during a show is one of the worst things ever. So we make every effort to be as engaging as possible. One show Spencer came out dressed up like Santa Claus and had Ryan in a huge bag being carried on his back. Spencer dumped out the bag on stage and out pops Ryan who's dressed like an Elf and then he just skipped back to the drumset and we started playing. Total ridiculousness. haha. There are about a thousand more examples like that, where we just take a light-hearted approach.
BHW - Well we're all looking forward to the show and the new album,
MR - Thanks a lot for the interview, we are looking forward to it too; it should be a good time. We appreciate it!