The divide between hardcore punk bands and acoustic cradling country crooners is growing narrower nowadays. Avail’s Tim Barry, Hot Water Music’s Chuck Ragan and even Social Distortion’s Mike Ness have all added a little Highwaymen outlaw vibe to their solo records of late.
Yesterday’s Ring, comprised of a handful of members from Montreal’s hardcore heroes the Sainte Catherines, prove even Canadian’s aren’t immune to power of the twang and a good drinking song.
Yesterday’s Ring, lead by singer Hugo Mudie have just released their third full length (and first for Suburban Home Records) “Diamonds in the Ditch”.
Hugo was kind enough to answer some questions recently about the new record, the future of the Sainte Catherines and why punk rockers can’t say no to country records.
Prior to this band, you were known more for a harder punk rock sound. What made you decide to play alternative country?
We still play in our punk band the Sainte Catherines. We started to enjoy listening to softer music while on the road with the Sainte Catherines. Our old drummer really liked country and he kind of turned us on to it. It was perfect for driving through the south of the states.
So you haven’t always had country music influences?
No I think it started around the year 2000 while on tour with the Sainte Catherines. But growing up my mom was a big fan of Kenny Rogers and John Denver and my dad was a into Springsteen and Dylan…I guess I got it from them also.
Do you approach writing songs for Yesterday’s Ring any differently than the way you write and record Sainte Catherines’ records?
Yes, definitely. The Sainte Catherines is more of a collaborative effort. Yesterday’s Ring is a band, but it’s written more in the songwriter tradition, where someone from the band comes up with a song and we work around it.
There are actually a lot of punk rockers who have started writing more country and folk-influenced records (Tim Barry, Chuck Reagan, Frank Turner, etc.). What is so appealing about this type of music that it attracts so many former punks?
It’s simple and heartfelt like punk rock but it’s not so fucking loud (ha).
Are the audiences any different or the same punks who came to see you with the Sainte Catherines?
There are more girls at Yesterday’s Ring shows and more NOFX fans at Sainte Catherines shows.
Do you still plan on writing and recording more albums with the Sainte Catherines?
We just started writing a new record for the Sainte Catherines. We are really excited about it. I think it’s gonna be a lot catchier and rock than previous records.
What music have you been listening to lately?
Colin Moore, John Prine, K’Naan, Steve Earle, Dirty Tricks, Koriass and Lake Of Stew.