Olympia own wild bunch on the loose!

The Stuntmen are one of those bands that hit you in the face like a ton of bricks, the first time you see them live. They are fast, loud and ready to give you 110% every time they jump on a stage and you can feel it right in your bones. Then, after the show, you realize that they are not only a great band but also great dudes that know how to have a good time. They come from Olympia and, after the local beer, the are the best thing that has ever came out of our state capital. We took sometime to chat with Mick, Jerry and Karkass about their band and this is what we came up with.

Interview: SeawolfDee - Photos: WM Baker, The Groove Photography

The Stuntmen are the best punk rock band in Seattle. (Yes, I said it.) 
What do you think about this statement?

Thanks Dario, If you say so then it must be true & who are we to argue with you, actually that's very humbling because those are some big shoes to fill, There's always has been a bunch of kick ass bands lurking about in Seattle.

When did you guys start? Give me some details of your band's history.

I met Mick in late Oct. 2014 at a CLAW event (Women's arm wrestling match) at the Brotherhood Tavern in Olympia, Wa. He came up and asked me if my name was Jerry Z. before I could answer my girlfriend asked him {why, are you a cop?} we both started laughing and wound up drinking and talking rock the rest of the night. He said he just moved here from Boston and was looking start a rock band, He had gotten an apartment a few blocks from my house in the South Capitol neighborhood, We got together and jammed a couple times, After about a week I asked a friend of mine (Aaron Larsen...HPP Hipster Piss Party!!) to come over and play bass. We wound up playing our 1st show at LeVoyuer on Xmas eve. under the name DR.SHRINKER, We kinda knew Aaron was not working out, It was mutual and he was planning on moving to Portland anyhow, So we started jamming with KARKASS around mid Dec., About New Years we changed the name to the STUNTMEN... our 1st show was Jan.2nd 2015 with FANG at Deadbeat"s record store, followed by an opening spot on El Corazon"s 10 year anniversary Punk Rock Fury Show. with a shitload of Seattle"s Best. ZEKE,The DERELICTS, TOE TAG, MILHOUS, the LOAD LEVELERS, 13 SCARS, NEUTRAL BOY, the HALLOW POINTS, TRIPLE SIXES, A bunch of the Seattle bands we dig and want to play shows with & here on one bill. And that was way cool since our band at the time was not quite 2 months old, Thanks Dana! We then made our way too Portland for an awesome show with the P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S .in March. That April we went to Sound House recording studio and recorded a 12 song self-titled record with Jack Endino, Followed by an East Coast tour with FANG in August,...NY, Boston, Philly, ect.. While playing local shows as much as we could. 

You all are pretty known and respected musicians, in the Seattle scene, and come from other projects. What were you doing before putting together The Stuntmen?

Jerry was playing for Mosquito Hawk, Hartwood & Fitz of Depression. Karkass in Undisputed Heavyweight Champions, Space Cretins and Brutal Thirst. Mick did some time with the FUs, The Stunts, Willow Street Fisters, That's just a few; we've all been in bands mostly our whole adult lives.

 You guys have so much energy live, (and also at practice; I witnessed this firsthand one lazy Sunday afternoon when they invited me to their HQ for beers and some jamming.) What is your secret?

The whole high energy thing is just us, we're all three kinda cut from the same punk/metal background from 3 different parts of the country, I like to think we play like a band we would want to see, As far as the water goes...There is water in BOOZE. so's the water. 

You guys play a lot. What are the best clubs you've played?

Our HQs is McCoys in Olympia, We like playing ElCorazon/Funhouse, the BOWERY ELECTRIC, Pretty much any cool little dive with a crowd and PA and were more than happy to do our thing. We have been really fortunate enough to land some great shows with great bands like DOA, FANG, MDC ,the DWARVES, FUs, Mentors.

Who are your favorite bands to share the stage with?

The usual names; Dwarves. Zeke, Fang, DOA and Piston Ready (kiss ass) But seriously we have a blast every single time we hit the stage.

Best of worst memory from the road?

Karkass: When I was in Undisputed Heavyweight Champions, I had food poisoning from Denver to Utah to Montana to Seattle.
Mick: Touring last year with Fang on the east coast was great, but we did get ripped off by a crappy Boston promoter named Viv.

What is DIY for you in 2016? Do you still think it’s important for a band to have total control of their product?

Karkass: Same as it's always meant. I don't have to cuddle after I finish.
Jerry: Same shit we always do, cuz it ain't gonna do itself.
Mick: Merch is where your money is at. Taking as much control as possible of your own product is probably in your best interest. You simply cut out the many middle men. I bought a CD duplicator and 4 color silk screen press and we do that shit ourselves. My old band used to order up the band starter kit, I think it was t-shirts, lighters, stickers, buttons and some other stuff. Those were cool, reasonably priced, great for your band, people want something to remember at your show. That's where some cool merch. It does wonders. 

What's in the works for The Stuntmen?
There are rumors of you guys joining a pretty know old school label.

We've just finished recording our 2nd record 1/2 at Seattle basement sessions with our friends Johnny Graziadei and crew, and the other half with Aaron Finkle (Chord Monster Remote) Then had Jack mix and master it. We're working on some artwork design and hope to have it officially released by Thanksgiving. We are also going to be on a couple compilations from Mystic records coming out just before the new Year... Copulation and Slamulation!! 

Tell us something we absolutely should know about you guys.

Karkass: I want to be Iggy Azalea's toothbrush. Hee Hee Ooohhh.
Jerry: We're gonna go even faster.
Mick: We were all born in the sixties and only produce male offspring.

Where do you record, and what have you done so far?

Jerry: We recorded our first 12 song CD at Soundworks in Seattle with Jack Endino. It was mastered by Chris Hansek. Our upcoming release was half recorded at Karkass' house with Aaron Finkle of Olympia; and half done at Johny G's (Of Basement Sessions) in Seattle. All 9 new song were mastered by Jack Endino.
Mick: As we’ve already said, we have some songs coming out on Mystic Record's "Compulation” next month. We are pretty stoked about this one!

Who writes the songs?

K: Jesus
J: Allah
M: The Angel Moroni.




New Wave of Italian Heavy Metal

Classic Heavy Metal is on te rise once again. An army of new bands are devoting themselves to the cult of the heavy sound and among them there’s an elite of, true to the core, soldiers that can be considered bona fide purveyors of this genre. TYTUS are definitely at the top of that list and their new record is here to prove it. Here is what they have to say about it.

Interview by SeawolfDee

Quick story of the band. When did you guys started?  

Tytus was born in 2014, soon we hit the studio and recorded “White Lines”, a 7''ep coproduced by three record labels: Kornalcielo (Italy), Ghost Highway (Spain) and Self Destructo (USA). We promoted this first record with an european tour and supporting some US bands like Crowbar, Valient Thorr, Castle, Warrior Soul, Gozu and Pentagram…

Before Tytus was born you all played in Gonzales, one of the best rock n roll bands that came out of Italy in ages. How come you decided to switch from Rock n roll to Heavy Metal? What are, in your opinion, the differences?

Gonzales have been playing across Europe for 10 years. During the last year of activity of the band (2014) our songwriting went naturally to another direction. Our songs became heavier and our sound got even harder. We went back to our heavy metal roots, working in a different way with the instruments, so we decided to quit the Gonzales experience and start a new band with a different name but with the same lineup.

How is it to play Heavy Metal in Italy in 2016?

Here in Italy is a hard life for every kind of musician, even some US bands avoid our country during their tours because book agencies know how hard is to get people to shows…

What are your major influences?  What inspired the Tytus sound?

Tytus can be described as a mix of the sound of the golden days of 80's heavy metal/speed metal and the groove of the 60/70's. If you want some names, we got mostly inspired by Thin Lizzy  and  NWOBHM.

Any cool new band you like or think people should know about?

They are different from us but you should listen to Hobos (brutal death punk), Destroy All Gondolas (mayhem surf punk), Slander (HC Metal) and Border Bastard (speed rock). Let's support the Italian scene!

Let's talk about gear for a second. I know you guys are very picky when it's about instruments. Which are the best amps and guitars for heavy metal or rock n roll? Do you go for vintage or prefer modern gear?

We haven't changed a lot of our gear from the Gonzales days, if I have to be honest. We just picked 2 Soldano SLO 100 clones and combined 'em with Marshall JCM800 heads to modernize the tone of our guitars. Gibson Les Paul and Precision Bass make our vintage classic style.

Heavy Metal is in full revival, especially in Europe. New Heavy Metal band are poppin' out left and right pretty much all over the place. Why do you think there's so much interest for this music genre nowadays?

Heavy metal is a never ending sound. We started playing music after listening to Iron Maiden, Metallica. We think that nothing interesting and new has really came out after the '70s and the '80s. To us it seemed quite natural, if you're into rock music, wanting to re vamp the music from the golden age of rock n roll. 

Do you consider yourself more of a Studio or a Live band? How's the concert situation in Italy now?

A Live band for sure, no doubt. As I told you before, the Italian scene is very difficult for musicians. We go on thanks to those heroes that keep organizing concerts just for their passion!

Your first full length "Rises" is coming out soon. Who took care of it? Where did you record it? Are you happy with the final result?

“Rises” has been released by Sliptrick Records as we speak. It has been recorded at Track Terminal Studios in Trieste, the same studio where we recorded our first 7” ep “White Lines”. It has been mastered  by Dead Air Studio in Massachusetts, and we are pretty stocked about that. We are very happy with the final result, as we started without knowing exactly how it was gonna end up sounding. Especially because we changed our minds a few times during production, but , at the end, we managed to find a sound we liked!

Future plans? Touring?

We are composing some new tunes, while promoting “Rises” trough concerts that should bring us all over Europe. We are also at the initial phase of booking our first North American tour.

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