A Conversation with a hoodratscumbag

Photo of Pablo Cervantez taken by Emily DeHart

It wasn’t too long ago Beach Goons (made up of Pablo Cervantez, David Orcozo, and Chris Moran) was playing house shows in the “surf punk scene” of San Diego, California and using equipment from the public library. These past few months was only their second tour, despite the large and incredibly engaged crowd. The band has been gaining more and more popularity with the release of their new album hoodratscumbags. Singer and guitarist, Pablo Cervantez, explained from behind his tiny merch table at Theatre of Living Arts, that this album is his “little baby,” and has been working on it for 2 years. He went through the process of writing in his room, in the studio, and wiping out 8 songs before he was ready to release it.

With influences from Balance and Composure, Chalino Sanchez, The Cure, and Marvin Gaye it is obvious how Cervantez’s vast music taste contributes to the perfect creation of a surf punk album.

Cervantez went into depth about how important it was that he includes his Mexican heritage in this album specifically. The listener can quite literally hear this in the several verses he belts out in Spanish (such as in the song A.M.) , an inclusion that is greater on hoodratscumbags than any other album Beach Goons has released before. He explained that growing up in San Diego as a first gen was difficult because of ridicule from greater society. He referred to the area as “the ghetto,” something that he made known he is not ashamed of. Cervantez even recalls being pushed to speak english in public by his parents, fearing that he will be looked down upon for his heritage.

With his background influencing his recent album, Cervantez explained how he is no longer ashamed of his heritage. He is simply proud and he wants his parents to be proud.

After hoodratscumbags was released, Beach Goons had the opportunity to have an Audiotree Live session in Chicago, something Cervantez grew up watching and listening to. The coordinators were very welcoming and the overall experience was amazing. Check out their session on Spotify or Youtube to hear the extremely authentic and vocally dynamic recording.

Cervantez closed in on the interview with some insightful advice for kids growing up in less fortunate areas who are told they cannot accomplish anything:

“It’s all Bull Shit!”

Cervantez recommended a documentary about the area he grew up in called Chicano Park:

Check out a full review of the show here:

https://wkdu.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/swmrs-beach-goons-and-destroy-boys-at-tla/

Interview: John Lydon

John Lydon

By: Nick Stropko

John Lydon is crass. At this point in his 40ish-year-old career, he’s developed a reputation for being unfriendly to press. And politicians. And, well, a lot of people. He tends to offend wherever he goes. He even made it a point to belch loudly during the middle of my interview (“practicing my jazz chords,” as he described it to me, the host of a jazz radio show, for christsakes).

This off-putting demeanor, however, belies an undeniable intelligence. Controversial positions he has long and ardently held, ranging from his omnivorous taste in music to many of his political and social beliefs, are now commonplace, while Sex Pistols’ sneer and Public Image Ltd.’s post-punk discord have long been held as prescient, influential, or both.

So where does this leave Lydon in today’s music landscape? Per John, “I’m quite happy here on the outskirts, doing what I want, and not getting dragged into cliques or categories anymore…And I think these last two albums we’ve put out are probably the best music in my entire career.” Yes, it’s easy to roll your eyes at any musician pushing 60 who claims to be putting out their best work–or really anything short of an outright cash grab (notable exceptions: Gira, Michael, and Bowie, David). And sure, some of his opinions fit quite comfortably within an irrelevant, crotchety old man archetype (rejection of technology, disinterest in any contemporary music). But given his track record, I’m willing to hear him out. The rigors of age and his smoking habit have seemingly done nothing to extinguish that singular, shrill voice that set the world on fire in ‘76, and he seems as pissed off as ever. Not to mention, the new record really isn’t half bad.

Public Image Ltd. is on tour through November. Dates are here. An excerpt from my interview with John is after the break–if it somehow isn’t long enough for you, click here for the full transcript.

Continue reading “Interview: John Lydon”

One of the BEST Moments of My Life at a Show

By Maeve Walker

I went to see Bomb the Music Industry at the church – it was maybe my second or third time seeing them. Not only are they are great band recorded, they are even more fun live. I was with a few friends, who also knew how much I liked them.

Never in my life had I ever crowd-surfed. Ever. It’s pretty scary, in theory. You’re up in the air, all willy-nilly, leaving your fate up to the crowd to carry you or let you fall. It’s not something that I normally would be interested in.

Bomb the Music Industry has a song “Sort of Like Being Pumped,” – it’s the final song on my favorite album, Scrambles. My friend, Jake, said that they don’t usually play that song (which bummed me out because it was my favorite song at the time).

Towards the end of the show, with only a few songs left, Jeff Rosenstock started playing the guitar riff of the song. My heart started beating really fast and soon I was singing stupidly with happiness.

Jake is pretty well known in Philly. He’s a larger than life person, in all aspects of the word. He probably saw my face light up and got an idea in his head – to throw me into the air unexpectedly at the big climax of the song.

As the song continues, we are near the middle of the crowd – if you know me, you know I like to be far away from crazy people running around because I typically wear glasses and am a girl that bruises easily. I like to watch the action from a safe distance.

The pivotal moment – the song is about to hit the big finale:

“IT’S BEEN A LONG DAMN WEEK WE GOTTA REST OUR TIRED FEET…”

Boom.

Jake takes me around the waist and chucks me into the air.

I’m on top of the crowd.

And I kid you not, confetti cannons go off, streamers fly through the air. Champange bottles are popped onstage.

It was like that exact moment was MADE for me to make my way towards the band, being carried by the crowd.

It was truly one of the most surreal moments of my life. I will never forget the song, the band, the streamers – the super ecstatic feeling of being on top of the world, totally immersed in a great song and band.

Interview with Ruin (August 28, 2013)

By Mike Eidel

Ruin, Philadelphia’s inimitable and legendary band came down to the station to hang out, spin some records and talk about their highly anticipated Union Transfer reunion show (Saturday 8/31!!)  future releases, past shows, sparklers and much much more!

Ruin is more than music, or at least aspires to be more. Initially, it was a propaganda project. Students of the arts, philosophy and religion, doing lab work with music. Experimenting with ways of being human. Was, and still is . .

For more on Ruin Read this great article from City Paper.

RuinInterview02
Ruin in WKDU

Concert Review: Man or Astro-man? @ Underground Arts (June 22, 2013)

By Carolyn Haynes

A night of surf, sweat, and musical theatrics best describes the Man or Astro-man? show that took place on June 22 at Underground Arts. Fire-lit theremins, spacesuits, and background projections are what you’d expect from the 20(ish) years of experience of the headliners, but the use of fog machines and extreme beachwear weren’t lost on the openers.

Philadelphia Beach locals, Dry Feet, started the evening with a set of crunchy, reverb dusted surf rock. Tales of skateboards, eating too much, sleeping too little, and respect to the ladies of the world (including their mothers) filled the ears of many a head-bobbing beach bum. Perry Cola, Jay K. Shin, and Frizz B led the way to a surf paradise in their tie dye shirts, jumpsuits, and scuba masks.

Up next were Jacuzzi Boys, on a 10 day tour with Man or Astro-Man? who brought the Miami (…cough…Beach… cough) Heat. With a new self titled record on the way, the three piece played a set of fan favorites (“Glazin’,” “Crush,” “Koo Koo with You,” as well as some new singles “Double Vision” and “Domino Moon.”

Finally, the Man or Astro-Man? crew started the projections set up. The lights dimmed, the screens lit up, and the crowd cheered as the band walked to their places. Bassist/Theremin/electronics player Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard was in full form; space suit, helmet, and space-ified bass were set to go. The full house at Underground Arts cheered and danced as the veterans of surf rock performed an amazing set reflective of their decades of experience.

Interview with Ted Nguyent (July 9, 2013)

By Nick Sukiennik

I went to Mad Dragon Studios to interview Travis Arterburn, vocalist and drummer for local punk outfit Ted Nguyent, about his newly formed record label and its first release, “Philadelphia Comp. 2013

Nick Sukiennik: What is Self Help records?

Travis Arterburn: Basically at this point it’s just a name for something for me to release things under. I was working on a compilation for my senior project of 15 different Philly DIY bands. I wanted to put it on record but I didn’t have enough money. I decided that I’d put it on tape because I could duplicate it myself. Basically,  I was going to release it so I figured [I should] put a name on it. I’m trying to use the money I make from that to do some other things, maybe put out some tapes for a couple other bands, and eventually put out a vinyl from Ted Nguyent. So, a small label, I guess.

NS: So where do you get your funding?

TA: So far the only funding I’ve needed was buying the 300 tapes, art and boxes and stuff, which wasn’t super cheap or super expensive. But it was just money I saved up from delivering sandwiches (laughs).

Continue reading “Interview with Ted Nguyent (July 9, 2013)”