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Interviews

Streetdogs
22/04/2004



So how long has the band been together and how did you get together in the first place? Are the band where you thought they would be when you first started? Ie Level of interest in the band, musically and band level wise?

The band has been together for about two years. We got together as just a couple of friends who wanted to just play music in a basement again. We eventually played some shows and got an exceptional reception which surprised us. On the strength of that we made a demo and that circultated for a few months. This prompted some interest from labels which in turn got us a record deal with CMH/Crosscheck records based in Los Angeles, California. The time came for our debut record which is Savin Hill and we have toured in the states and played regional US dates in support of the record. The response to the record and band has been way beyond our very modest expectations. We are pleased with the way things are evolving for us. The interest from people wanting to know about the band in the US and more recently Europe has been significant. It comes as a big surprise to us.

As far as the band members and how we feel about the group, the members of this group are committed to the group 100%. Come hell or high water we
play. That is the band's personal mandate.

How was your debut album Savin Hill' received and what was your favourite track on there?

The record, like I mentioned earlier, was received very well by fans and critics alike in the US. In Europe we have also received some strong reviews which took us off guard somewhat because we do not have European distribution on Savin Hill but somehow word has travelled overseas and we are pleased. Very soon we will putting something out in Europe, most likely with our soon to be new label Side One Dummy records.

My favorite track on Savin Hill is Declaration as it bemoans the state of fluffy, superficial radio and music video in the US. The month Joe Strummer passed away was tough on this band as each member of our group are huge Clash fans. In our estimation it should have been automatic that he grace the cover of Rolling Stone magazine that month, following his tragic passing. Tragically that did not happen. Instead some flavor of the month, constructed by the industry pop tart, graces the cover. This insanity is what prompted us to write and record declaration. Yeah we are wearing it on our sleeve in a way but who fucking cares! Whats right is whats right, Joe Strummer was and always will be remembered as a legendary songwriter and performer. He should have been accorded more respect.


How much do you think that living in Boston influences your sound?

I think living in Boston influences our sound tremendously. Most of the members of this band grew up in the area. You grew up surrounded by the likes of Gang Green, The Freeze, Slapshot, SSD, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and The Bruisers. You attended their shows. You went crazy in the pit and this can't help but get into your blood and influence you once you decide to get into a band and write music.

Also the environment you grow up in is bound to be reflected in the lyrical content of the songs you write. Boston definetly finds it's way into our music.

Why the name 'Street Dogs'? What over band names do you rate?

Street Dogs early on in the band's life was a possible song idea that was never formally used or recorded and then I came up with the idea that we name the group Street Dogs. My reasoning for the name was that every member of the group, at one point in their life, was just a kid growing up on the streets of a middle class neighborhood and running with a gang of kids. This formative period in our live's still today impacts our outlooks, views and beliefs to some degree. Basically the name just says that we have not or will not forget where we are from. We are not classically trained musicians from a high end music and art school. At the same time we are not slamming people who do have that background but we are just a group of guys who hailed from different neighborhoods and streets who later in life decided to get into music and bands because of the urgency and power of some of our influences. The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, The Ramones and The Replacements are some of those urgent influences. Plus the way we see it is that in order to make it and weather all the crap that you go through as a band is that you need to stick together like a pack of desperate and hungry dogs. Does that sound a little too dramatic? Of course it does but it is the truth and that is the impetus and reasoning behind the band name.

As for your question of what over bands names do we rate, I don't understand the question.

Who have you toured with so far, and which bands would you like to work with?

We have played some dates in the past with Flogging Molly and we will be playing more dates with them this fall in the US. We toured with The Briggs who hail from Los Angeles and they are a phenomenal street punk band who you must check out, if you have not already done so. We have played with the Bouncing Souls before who are great. We also played with Roger Miret and The Disasters and that was an honor to play alongside Roger Miret.

As far as bands we would like to play with I would say that Against Me, Rancid, Social Distortion are a few of the bands that come to mind as they
are some of the favorite bands of members of the Street Dogs.

Tell the readers five facts about the band / band members they will not know

1. Johnny Rioux(Bass) has a cell phone surgically implanted in his right ear.

2. Anthony Modano(Drums) used to be in LA Cosa Nostra.

3. Markus Hollar(Guitar) is a rodeo champion from Texas.

4. Gary Schwindt(Our Manager) is secretly attempting to take over the world.

5. Me, Mike(Lead Singer, Jester, Aspiring Politician) I will one day run for elected office in the US, probably Congress!


If Street Dogs were a type of alcohol, what drink would they be and
why?

Wild Turkey whiskey would be the type of alcohol that Street Dogs would be as Wild Turkey has a significant alcohol content in it and you go for broke crazy when you drink it. If we were going to be alcohol we want to one of the craziest!

How have you seen the scene change since you first got involved and what can be done to make it better?

The scene is way more divided then it once was. I think the media as in magazines, music television and record companies are the culprits as they have put titles, genres and marketing names on bands. That needs to stop. We also need to desperatly go back to the time of radio and television giving equal time to Rock N Roll as they both are innundated with Pop crap. Music has got to become urgent, dangerous and infrormative again. Radio in America and I can't speak about Europe on this but in America radio is petrified of Punk Rock as they believe some of their demographics would be offended by the sound but you can see it work like in Los Angeles you have 103 FM who is playing rock and punk and people of all ages are listening.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2004.

We are releasing a new record in the fall on Side One Dummy, our new label
, and that will coincide with a fall tour in the states with us opening for Flogging Molly. We are touring Europe this summer and we will be very busy next year as well.

Any final comments?

Live Free Or Die. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


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