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John B. Moore: Beans on Toast – Interview

Beans on Toast

JBM checking in with his latest column on all things punk, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.”

I DON’T WANNA GROW UP / JOHN B. MOORE

By John B. Moore

While not exactly a household name in the U.S. (yet), UK singer/songwriter, punk folk poet Beans on Toast (need any more proof that he’s British?) is about to take on the U.S. Tagging onto Frank Turner’s tour, armed with an acoustic guitar and a tight set list of brilliantly dry witty songs, Beans (given name Jay McAllister) will be playing America for the first time.

He was kind enough to trade some e-mails back and worth talking about his new album Fishing For a Thank You, touring with Turner and being a England’s lone Parrot Head.  


You’ve had Ben Lovett and Frank Turner each produce one of your records. Who produced this one?

It was produced again by musicians Lee (Smith) for the band Middleman and Jamie (Lockhart) from a band called Mye Mi. They have a wicked little studio up in Leeds where everything is recorded to tape.

What can you tell me about Fishing For a Thank You?
It’s my fourth studio album in four years, keeping with my promise of putting out a record on the same date every year (1st December). Last year for the festival season I put together a little band of merry men to help me keep in time with myself. At the end of the summer we went to the studio for a weekend and bashed out the record. So the record has trumpet, accordion and some fine beats.

Do you have any guests on this record?
Yes, Rosie Doonan (a great folk singer from a big musical family), happened to be passing through and sung on the song “Orange.” The song also has a The Zulu Traditional Choir who were rehearsing in the room upstairs so we coaxed them down to finish the record; That and some small interludes from a mate’s five-year-old boy. All of these were by the luck of the draw. Also, Dan who played trumpet in the band also plays trumpet for The Pogues, which is pretty impressive.

When you tour the U.S. next month, will it just be you on the stage or will you bring along a full band?
After the record was recorded I disbanded the band, and am again solo for this year, so I will be solo for the upcoming tour.

You’ll be touring the U.S. with Frank Turner throughout June. Do you know what to expect? Have you ever spent this much time on the road with him?
I’ve spent a lot of time on the road with Frank, from very small early shows to big UK tours and even the Wembley show. So I’d say I know what to expect from Frank’s side, however these will be my first real shows in the U S of A. This, for me, is very exciting mainly because I’m not exactly sure what to expect.

Do you have any musical influences that would surprise people?
Probably quite a few. It may be worth mentioning that my Dad raised me on Jimmy Buffett records. Jimmy Buffett is pretty much unknown over here but I know it’s the opposite over there. Would it be a surprise that I’d say I’m a bit of a parrot head? I’m pretty varied in musical taste, though, and like to sample everything going down.

What’s next for you?
In a nutshell: USA / Festivals / Studio / Tour / Release album / Tour / Repeat….

Those are all the questions I have. Anything else you want to mention?
Not really, mate. If you’re happy then so am I.

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John B. Moorecan be found at : Blurt/New Music Magazine/InSite Atlanta Magazine (Music Editor)/Innocent Words/NeuFutur Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at his handle @Jbmoore00

 

John B. Moore: Frank Turner – Interview

Frank Turner

 

Longtime Blurt Blogger John B. Moore checks in with his latest column on all things punk, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.”

By John B. Moore

It’s been about almost a decade since English punk Frank Tuner walked away from life in a hardcore band and swapped out the distorted guitars for an acoustic one.

In that time he’s turned in an impressive collection of albums, packed Wembley Arena, served as opening act for the London Olympics, and managed to help define the punk rock singer/songwriter genre. He’s known best for his injection of wit and humility into songs about growing up, growing old and politics, and even with an acoustic guitar, you still can’t hide the punk kid inside. Need proof? Listen to “Thatcher Fucked the Kids”—which, in light of The Iron Lady’s demise this week, seems uncanny in its anti-revisionist timeliness.

On the eve of releasing his latest album, Tape Deck Heart (due April 23), and first for Interscope Records, Turner spoke briefly about the label change, playing the opening ceremonies at the London Olympics and future plans with his hardcore side project Möngöl Hörd.(Below, check out “Recovery” from the new record.)

[jwplayer mediaid=”33715″]

First off, congrats on signing with Interscope. How did that come about?

In basic terms, they asked, (laughs). The opportunity was there for me to think about working with a different label in the USA, and Interscope seemed like the best place for me. They’re a great label.

When I last interviewed you England Keep My Bones was just coming out and you were going on your first tour with a full band. Has that changed the way you play at all having that full sound?

Well, it alters the live show, sure – actually I’ve been touring with a full band since 2007, on and off. It’s a bigger sound for the live show; it’s very much where my head is at right now musically. The line-up of the band is set. The Sleeping Souls are my guys.

You also played Wembley since we last talked. What was that experience like?

It was amazing, everything went to plan! It was a show that my team and I worked on very hard for a long time. It was also something of a risk – I wasn’t at all sure that I’d sell all the tickets, or that the music I make would work in that kind of live context. In the event it all went swimmingly.

Had you had a chance to meet Billy Bragg before asking him to play that show with you?

Yeah I’ve known Billy and played with him for a few years now. Great guy.

You also had the opportunity to play before the Olympics. Are you surprised by how many people can relate to your songs?

Yes, pleasantly so. The Olympics thing was pretty surreal. I mean, it was an amazing opportunity and a unique experience for sure, but it was certainly outside my comfort zone.

What can you tell me about the new album?

I’m very pleased with it; I think it’s a step up for me, musically and lyrically. The music is a little bigger, warmer, than before. Lyrically it’s a very raw, personal record.

What are your U.S. tour plans?

I’ll be in the USA a whole lot this year and next, (laughs). The Interscope team have big plans for my diary.

Do you have plans to do more with your side project Möngöl Hörd? Release an album maybe?

Yeah I definitely want to get a record together and a tour sometime. It’s a lot of fun, but the problem is that it’s not a main priority for me right now. It definitely has to sit back a bit while we work on Tape Deck Heart.

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John B. Moorecan be found at : Blurt/New Music Magazine/InSite Atlanta Magazine (Music Editor)/Innocent Words/NeuFutur Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at his handle @Jbmoore00

Small Brown Bike: Interview by Blurt Blogger John B. Moore

Small Brown Bike

Our man in the moshpit checks in with his latest column on all things punk, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.”

I DON’T WANNA GROW UP / JOHN B. MOORE

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Small Brown Bike

By John B. Moore

You can’t say the guys in Michigan post-hardcore band Small Brown Bike aren’t doing their part to keep hope alive.

Comprising brothers Mike and Ben Reed, guitarist Travis Dopp and drummer Dan Jaquint, one of the best kept-secrets in punk rock called it quits in 2004 after playing together for more than a decade. They resurfaced for a handful of reunion shows in 2007 and decided to give it another shot with 2011’s Fell & Found.

While the band is not officially broken up now, they are all involved in a number of different projects and spread out across the country. The prospect for a new studio album from Small Brown Bike may be remote – at least for now – but the band is putting out a double LP retrospective on May 28 on Dopp’s own Old Point Light Records. Recollected is crammed with 17 demos, limited releases, covers, unreleased and alternate songs.

Dopp was kind enough to take a few minutes recently to talk about this new album, digging through old demos and the future of the band.

When did you start putting together the Recollected collection?

We started to talk about it after we finished The River Bed. We had an extra song from that record, that got us talking about how many songs/demos were never shared or were only put out on a very limited tape releases (40 copies… maybe). And when I decided to start up Old Point Light -my production company – I wanted to take on Recollected. Almost a year later and here we are. Putting out something that documents Small Brown Bike’s first 15 years as a band.

Did you come across any songs you had completely forgotten about or didn’t remember working on?

Yeah, there were some demos that I totally forgot about. It was more interesting how we arranged those demos and what they eventually became. Mostly the Dead Reckoning demos were very different from the album. The thing that weirded me out the most is when Dan mixed all of the songs – some of the jams I had no idea what it was, cause I’ve never heard the bass sound that way… or never heard them that clear.

Do you plan to do any shows around the release of this album?

As of right now, we don’t. We’re all so busy with our new projects, families, lives and we don’t live near each other. We talked about trying to do something. We’d hate to do something half assed so as of right now, no shows are planned for the release. But for Recollected I’m gonna be running some shows on the Old Point Light website called “The $3 Ticket Show”. This will be old shows that we’ve never shared. Right now I’m working on audio for it… it’ll be in the near future.

I last talked to you guys before the Harvest of Hope show a couple years ago and you were about to go into the studio to record Fell & Found. Have you been working on any new songs together since that album came out?

Unfortunately we haven’t. Mike (Reed) and Dan recorded an album for their new project The Fencemen. I’ve been recording a new record for my new thing Travis John and Dan also recorded another record with his other project White Gold Scorpio. Everyone’s so busy outside of Small Brown Bike.

So after Recollected comes out, what’s next for the band?

Not living in the same area or state makes the writing process or any plans of touring or recording very tough. We’ll be putting out music in our other projects… I feel like we’ll have a chat in the near future and decide what’s next for Small Brown Bike.

Those are all the questions I have. Anything else you want to add?

Recollected will only be available at www.oldpointlight.com. Before May 28th I’ll post the exclusive record stores in the states that will be caring it. Other than that, I’d like to share our appreciation to the friends and fans for sticking around and showing interest. Thank you always.

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John B. Moore can be found at : Blurt/New Music Magazine/InSite Atlanta Magazine (Music Editor)/Innocent Words/NeuFutur Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at his handle @Jbmoore00